RPGNow.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Rogue Trader: The Koronus Bestiary
by will b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2012 15:06:00
I previously wrote a review for this book and due to the fact it had a few missing bits of information I rated it at a three. However, today they fixed that and now it is complete. Once again i will say this is a book in the format of FFGs other critter books, with a good section on void and warp beasts, great full info on eldar and ork forces and a xenos generator as well. Not a lot concerning daemons, the only ones i think are seen elsewhere in one of the books (perhaps Daemon Hunter) but overall a great book, i enjoy it much more than the creatures anthema for dark heresy and the enemies seem like they will present a challenge.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: The Koronus Bestiary
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Only War: Core Rules Beta
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/25/2012 06:23:35
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/07/25/tabletop-review-only-wa-
r-beta/

’Join the Imperial Guard’ they said…
‘See the universe’ they said…

Fantasy Flight, those magnificent masters of game production, have put out a “beta test” set of rules for a game that is meant to be the spiritual successor to Games Workshop’s Rogue Trader, that classic tome that originally defined the world of Warhammer 40,000 for those who already knew and loved Warhammer Fantasy (at that time just called Warhammer). Did you know that licensing for RPG products related to Warhammer had been handed over to Fantasy Flight? I didn’t.

Only d10s
The game uses d10s exclusively, and will require both regular d10 rolls and d100 rolls (roll two d10s, one die represents tens, the other represents ones). For special effects like scatter rolls (where a grenade or some similar object hits the ground), a d10 is also rolled to determine the direction that it travels next, according to a diagram. Whatever needs to be decided with a die roll, d10s will be used.

The testing process is similar to many other games, like D&D for example: you take a base stat that corresponds to the action you are attempting, and add or subtract from that according to any modifiers that may apply. The GM can assign bonuses or penalties based on the conditions that the action is taking place in, like cover in a firefight granting defensive bonuses, etc. If you roll equal to or under the final number with a percentile roll, you have succeeded. The result of the test is further modified by the amount that you succeeded at or failed the test by, so that the GM can tell more precisely how the result of the test plays out in the game. There is also a handy table for the GM to consult that gives several levels of difficulty and their modifiers.

Taking a cue from more recent RPGs perhaps, a character will have “Fate” points, that are a sort of currency allowing them to do various things like re-roll or remove damage. This seems to be a standard addition to most games lately, and I can’t say I disagree with the decision. I do wish it had a different name because now I’m thinking about the FATE system and other sort of indie RPGs and I can’t help but think it’s a little cribbed. Whatever though, I look forward to more innovations in RPGs like meta-game currency.


Only Imperial Guard
You will be playing Imperial Guard. I expect that other armies will become available in the future but after a quick glance at the Fantasy Flight website I wasn’t able to confirm that. I did not delve into the forums however, where I’m sure such questions have been asked and possibly answered.

As an Imperial Guard, you have TONS of stuff to choose from. Just about any of the IG factions (as far as I know, I’m not as up on 40k as I used to be) are available: Catachan Jungle Fighters, Mordian Iron Guard, etc. The types of troops are available as classes: Medic, Priest, Heavy Weapons, Storm Trooper, Psyker, even Ratling and Ogryn are there to choose from. The only class I don’t understand is the Commissar. How is someone supposed to play the Commissar in a group? What if the group decides to retreat, does the Commissar shoot them? Well, check this out: if your character is close to death, the Commissar can shoot your Comrade to get you back in the game. That’s right. I think that’s cool, I just don’t understand how a player is supposed to be part of the group and behave like a Commissar. Read the class description yourself and see if you agree. At the very least it would take some creative players to pull it off.

Looking at the classes, a squad might begin to look like your typical D&D group: Fighter, wizard, priest, and rogue turn into Ogryn, Psyker, Ministorum Priest, and Ratling. What is kind of funny to me, is that there is no class for just a regular Guardsman. There are five standard classes, and then seven support classes, but not one of them is a regular Joe. Hm. I mean, the standard classes are supposed to cover skill sets belonging to basic “grunt” guardsmen, but it doesn’t cover the most basic!

Your character, once you’ve chosen a regiment and class, and a few other things, will be given various other attributes that may flesh him or her out as a character or give them special skills or bonuses. For instance, there is a large table (taking up two pages) of “Demeanours” that you will roll on to give your character some aspect of their personality or being that distinguishes them. You might roll “Psycho” or “Dreamer”, and then consult the brief description of the attribute and act accordingly. It’s a bit strange that a table is used to determine a character’s personality, but since I am a proponent of separating the character from the player I actually applaud this decision. It even adds a bit of old school flavor to character creation. Gotta love tables.

One of the most interesting things about character creation is the fact that you will generate a Comrade along with your character. This person is your buddy, and while not all classes get one, most do. After all, the I.G. is all about numbers isn’t it? Basically, a comrade is an NPC that performs various servile functions and may provide some nice backup or cannon fodder from time to time, depending on how a character uses him or her. I think it’s a really cool idea, my only worry is that it will clutter up play by forcing the player to think about what their comrade is doing or remembering in a certain scene where their comrade is etc. Imagine comrades as “red shirts” in the Warhammer world.

Character creation is going to take up some significant time, and it will probably be best if the group is together when it happens. Since the group is functioning as a regiment, or a squad, or whatever, then they will all belong to the same faction and have similar purposes in the course of the game. Players will also have to decide how many of them will be support classes and which will be standard classes, since it could easily happen that everyone wants to be a support class. I could see a cool scenario where everyone is a support class helping out different portions of a regiment in a large-scale battle, going wherever they are needed. However, mixes of regular Guardsmen and special classes might get difficult to work with. Another reason creation will likely be lengthy is because there are pages of things like Aptitudes, Traits, Demeanours, Skills, and Talents (not counting equipment) that will have to be decided on by a player or rolled on a chart. Most of it is decided by the player. I’m not excited about poring over lists of attributes and such things to “customize” my character, since I consider the mere fact that I am controlling my character to be enough to differentiate him or her from the other characters. However, those who prefer a bit of rules crunch will like it I suppose.


Only Gear
My word, is there a lot of gear to paw through. As I mentioned earlier, I am not quite up on my 40k so I don’t know if all of this is available in the miniatures game, but I recognize a lot of it. Las-weapons, various grenades, flamers, even down to bows and flintlock pistols, are all available. Pages and pages of stuff.

After the gear rules are sections on Psyker powers and vehicles, I’ll leave it up to the reader to pore over the stats contained therein.

Only Combat?
This is a serious question: is the game only combat? The answer, of course, lies with the people that play it. However, the game is based on a combat-only miniatures game, and is focused with that in mind, so you have to wonder. Certainly the bulk of the game would be expected to take place in combat conditions.

When in combat, characters have a wide variety of possible actions. You can aim, perform a wild melee attack, fire off a shot, fire off a spray of rounds, run, cover a position, jump…all kinds of stuff. What I love about this is that it takes the action of Warhammer and gives you a granular detail. Imagine that I.G. unit ducking, covering a line of fire, attacking some Ork stragglers, and at the same time tossing grenades over a low wall instead of just standing there on the table, frozen in some sort of action pose. This brings the action that is imagined in the miniatures game and brings it to life.

As described above, attacks will be determined by a d100 roll. If you hit somebody, you also determine the location of the hit, a nice little detail adding more granularity to the combat. At first glance, you might think this will slow down combat, but you don’t actually roll any more dice to determine the hit location on the table, you simply reverse the two numbers you rolled on your to-hit roll. For example, if you hit with a 35, your hit location would be 53 (a body hit). That’s pretty clever.

Did you say something about wanting more tables? Well, let me wet your whistle with this information: there are 8 pages of critical effects tables for doing damage to different parts of a character depending on what type of weapon is being used. Depending on the table roll, the effect will be underwhelming or spectacular and grisly. These effects only happen if a character is below 0 Wounds (the Hit Points of Only War), so if you find yourself in that situation take care, because the next frag grenade could deploy your leg to another front on the battlefield.


Only Rules
There is a lot more in this book, it would take pages and pages to cover it all. You’ve got everything from GM advice to vehicle movement, and combat rules to codexes of bad guys (Chaos, Dark Eldar, and Orks by the way). There is also a beginner adventure in the back, which is always the sign of good decisions being made in my book. The adventure is rather wordy and all of the facts appear to be buried in paragraphs upon paragraphs of text, however. As a GM I would be loathe to run this adventure as is, and would have to make several notes and summaries so that I didn’t have to read through chunks of text just to get some basic information or to try and get a grasp on the scene. The monotony of prose could really use some simple tables or charts or maps or something to stop the wall of text from being so imposing. Of course, this is the beta version and there is a lot of art missing from the book at this point, so it can probably be assumed that some nice art will be inserted somewhere in there.

Overall, I am quite impressed with what the designers have attempted here and how they have done it, to bring Warhammer 40,000 to life in the minds of players on a more individual level has obviously taken a lot of work and a lot of care to get it to where it is. I think it is going to prove an enjoyable game, especially for fans of the miniatures game who also happen to be interested in role-playing. The game is definitely combat-focused, but the RPG element now adds endless possibilities for stories, instead of just battle after battle with nothing in between.

To me this game is not ambiguous; the designers and players know that war is the focal point of everything, and the game does not pretend to be interested in anything else. This game is like an electric guitar plugged into a fuzz pedal and an amp turned up to 9 (11 is too loud): it’s destined for action.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rules Beta
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/14/2012 21:54:12
Introduction: I'll admit not having played Final Fantasy or other Japanese video roleplaying games. I'm still familiar with genre, and even visuals alone will tell you that these fantasy games are quite different than their western counterparts. And, while Japan has its tabletop RPGs, few have been translated to American markets. Indeed, Anima, which looks on the surface to be a tabletop rpg version of Japanese computer rpgs, was originally published by Edge Entertainment in Spain. That doesn't make it any less qualified to be a thorough and detailed treatment of the genre. However, its complex character generation rule may put gamers off.

Character Generation: Anima character generation is flavorful but highly detailed and complicated. If you're the type who approaches character generation as a spreadsheet budget, or someone who must create a super-exotic mondo-unique uber-butt-kicking character (or, much worse, have a player who wants to be one), expect to spend quite a bit of time going through several chapter's worth of character creation options. But if you limit first characters to the same basics the sample character uses (yes, Ki, Magic, and Psychic abilities are not basic!), you should be able to play soon enough. After their first game, players you can your players recreate their characters or introduce new ones. If you do a search on "anima roleplay character generation", you should be able to find jmbowman's Anima character generator.

Combat: Anima combat is straightforward, with optional complexity. Each turn you have an action, often an attack. In an attack, you and your opponent both do a "skill die roll" of an attack skill (eg. Attack Ability) versus a defense skill (eg. Dodge). You then cross-index the difference (negative numbers can cause counterattacks!) against armor. This results in a percentage which you multiply against your weapon's damage to determine how much damage you actually do. (This is easier done than said, since Anima provides a table and 100% damage is a multiple of ten.) Additional rules and modifiers are provided for ranged and optional hand-to-hand and ranged attacks.

Sourcebook: Much of the gamemaster's section is source material: Gaia's history, Countries and Cities, Organizations (factions), The Supernatural World, and Powers in the Shadow (conspiratorial organizations influencing Gaia), Hell (supernatural worlds and their races), Light and Darkness (deities and mechanics for their gifts), and Supernatural Presence (how much of the world's reality is centered around a character -- including the PCs).

Gamemaster: Other gamemaster sections include gamemaster advice and guidelines, Common Characters (common NPC stats), Creation of Beings (detailed mechanics for creating special creatures), Creature Compendium (example creatures), and a character sheet.

Art and Layout: Bring out your iPads. At 322 full-color pages, you're not going to print this out. It's too bad that Anima doesn't have a printer-friendly or text-only version.

Conclusion: This is not a casual roleplaying game. The system is complicated, and the source material extensive. However, if you're looking for a detailed tabletop treatment of a Japanese video game, Anima is a definite choice.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Only War: Core Rules Beta
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/06/2012 06:26:29
The latest of the WH40KRP line, and arguably the best, although it's still in play test form. This is probably the first game in the series that provides a decent range of character types (12), whilst also retaining a human-centric feel that is lacking in some of the other games. The Ogryn and Ratling 'specialities' add a more exotic feel to the choices, although I feel that the Ogryns look a little underpowered in the rules as they stand. Military platoons are pretty easy to motivate into action, and there are a large variety of missions that they can undertake (giving the GM a lot of room to create scenarios from) There is a good spread of iconic Xenos types to fight against (again missing from previous games) and solid vehicle rules too. The new regiment rules are interesting with the view that each character will have an additional NPC companion to contribute also - a bit like Troupe roleplaying from Ars Magica presumably. I expect the presentation will improve significantly in the full published edition, although it's a clean and functional download as it stands. The 40K universe isn't a subtle one, and military missions may well be the best way of experiencing it in game. Good stuff, and I look forward to the full version.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rules Beta
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/06/2012 05:21:18
Dark Heresy has probably been around long enough for the gaming community to recognize the setting, and the rules are a pretty straightforward percentile affair, with customizable archetypes being used for character generation. The art looks quite impressive, and it's got a very large page count for it's background. I do feel that there isn't enough support for a GM to run it without supplements, however, and actually feel that some of the editing (in terms of what to include) could have been organized better. Moreover, later 40K games have formatted themselves better, and are a lot more streamlined in the presentation of their rules. The file itself is enormous, which can lead to some technical issues in downloading. Although the basic premise is eminently workable, it currently ranks as the weakest of the 40KRP game line because of these reasons - and certainly deserves an updated edition, in my view.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Only War: Core Rules Beta
by Levy K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2012 22:52:24
For a beta this book certainly offers more than what a finish books can offer. I was not expect much out of this beta, but I am glad to say I am proven wrong. This is a whole book. Though what really carries it is the fact that this beta is not afraid to show its teeth with the regimental rules. I spent a couple of hours just making up regiments for fun.

If you love the 40k setting, want a low level game, and don't want to use dated rules from other 40k rpg books then only war will work for you. Plus you can leave suggestions in the forums in the Fantasy Flight site that can help shape the game. What more can you want from a beta?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rules Beta
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Only War: Core Rules Beta
by Kyle W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/26/2012 00:56:34
Only War does a good job at being a WH40k game of great quality, even in its beta state; there are a lot of people who gripe about something or other in terms of how the beta is being handled, but as a product, I've seen full games less polished than this, and the high-quality rating and what art is already in here is of absolutely top-notch quality.

Just as a game, Only War is pretty spectacular, using FFG's polished percentile-based rules, with pretty much all the rules you would need to play through military campaigns and the like. It's got simple rules when simple rules are required and there is an obvious eye to detail when it comes to the mechanics; covering everything from ascending cliff faces to requisitioning supplies without becoming needlessly bloated.

Basically, if you're on the edge of the fence when it comes to getting this game, hop on over; the Imperial Guardsman setting is absolutely awesome when it comes to playing within the 40k Universe, especially if you follow some of the novels.

I'd say that if you're at all skeptical, don't worry about the $20 cost; you get the game as-is early, plus a coupon for $20 off the final edition.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rules Beta
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/25/2012 00:23:38
In many ways, this is the model for successful games design to which every company should be paying attention. ‘Only War’ works conceptually, financially and ethically on a number of fronts and FFG should be congratulated.

Firstly, is the nature of the release. By ‘Beta Rules’, I expected to see a fairly slim volume indicative of the final game. Instead, I was (pleasantly) surprised to receive 267 formatted pages which look as though they are only missing the final full-colour and full-page glossy art to be be ready for printing. The black-and-white nature of the book is kind to the printer and for $20.00 you still feel that you’re receiving a quality product. As for the price tag for a beta product, I also received an email to inform me that the $20.00 for the beta would come off the cost of the final version of the .pdf upon release. Well done, FFG.

That said, onto the book itself. For those familiar with ‘Dark Heresy’, ‘Rogue Trader’ and ‘Death Watch’ there should be no mechanical surprises whatsoever. The game works on the basic d100 princicples of its’ predecessors, with the rules being interchangeable with the other systems. In many ways, this product is the perfect accompaniment to the other games, as Inqusitors from ‘Dark Heresy’ should be able to recruit guardsmen (especially the Storm Troopers in ‘Only War’), there are reasons for a regiment to work with Rogue Traders, and definitely to provide support in ‘Death Watch’ campaigns. The interoperability of the rules between the games is a massive advantage, whilst those new to the system will still have a fully-fleshed out rulebook which stands admirably by itself.

The premise of the game is to play a unit of Guardsmen – by far the most numerous (and expendable) military asset of the Imperium of Man – in the pursuit of various missions. Those familiar with ‘Death Watch’ will be notice that the rules for constructing missions are almost identical. There are a range of complications to keep life interesting as well as a swag of new kit that can be assigned for the completion of the mission.

‘Only War’ introduces a unique element to character creation in terms of the Comrade. This individual is assigned to a PC (unless you play a Commisar or Storm Trooper) and offers mechanical benefits for their presence. In doing so, they are a useful companion (comrade-in-arms) that a GM could flesh out with their own motivations and back story should they wish. Also, as these are effectively a second PC, it increases the unit size to a more believable level (ie five PCs plus their comrades equals a ten-man squad). There are plenty of rules around the comrade, including injuries and death (and how not to abuse them as a living shield) and also requisitioning new comrades. On this note, the requisition rules for equipment add an extra element to the game, especially given that some non-combat skills can grant bonuses to tracking down that ‘special’ item. The random equipment table also offers a host of opportunities to anyone wanting to take the role of the bent quartermaster or simply run a bit of a side business with other Guardsmen (amazing what those guys in the other platoon will pay for a lho stick when they run out, isn’t it?).

The developers clearly saw that the tread-heads in the audience would be appeased with vehicle rules, and they are present with most of the recognisable vehicles in the Guard represented in the book. The Front/Side/Rear armous system will appeal to war gamers and most of the vehicle entries read like a Codex with upgrades for weapons and the like. There has been effort made to ensure consistency in nomenclature between the tabletop battles and the RPG books, which is excellent. I’m not sure how many times PCs will be able to comandeer a Baneblade, but if they do, the GM has the rules.

Likewise, there are very straightforward rules for representing the theatre of war. It is rare that the mission will only involve the handful of Guardsmen portrayed by the PCs, so these rules allow the GM to have a cast of millions, somplete wiht artillery and mechanised assault which can form a stunning (and manageable) backdrop to the story.

I can see this fast vying for top spot on my FFG shelf at home, due to the human-ness which shines through and the versatility of play experiences. To play a foot slogger in 40K has to be an incredibly dreary (and fatal) experience, but the designers have made it an exciting prospect and I’m looking forward to exploring the human dimension of these war stories. Whilst it is the grim darkness of the 40K universe, you could easily adapt this to play in the tones of anything from ‘Dad’s Army’ to ‘The Dirty Dozen’ to ‘The Expendables’ or ‘Inglorious Bastards’. I’d highly recommend serving this with a side dish of Dan Abnett’s ‘Gaunt’s Ghosts’ series which will help you to visualise the non-combat core elements of a game like this.

Whilst this is a Beta, I haven’t spotted any immediate changes (after two readings cover-to-cover) but actual play will be the true test – and I can’t wait to do so. I just have to find a GM willing to let me play a Commisar now…

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: The Chaos Commandment
by Mathew S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2012 20:02:12
Simply put, the mechanics of this adventure are broken. What should be exciting roleplaying opportunities are reduced to an endless series of skill tests so abstract as to render them meaningless. The only investigation section revolves a single -20 Tech use test, which if failed removes any option other than brute force. Without a tech-priest in the party there is no way to access most of the story, since everything needs mind impulse units to access.

If you do not intend to play the adventure as written, but instead to write your own missions around the events and setting, be warned that even that isn't up to the standard set by the first two. Where they explored some of the most interesting and unique aspects of the setting and had many memorable events and characters, this is 40k at it's most bland. Cultists are crazy and summon daemons, kill them. That's really it. The conspiracy behind the first two adventures has disappeared and you never deal with them; the only possible mystery is something the players witnessed themselves in the last adventure; and the man behind it all has already been defeated. The resolution violates the lore in pretty severe ways that I won't spoil, but if you've even read the background in the core rulebook they jump out at you.

I have run the entire trilogy as GM, and this is a huge drop in quality from the first two which had none of these problems and which I highly recommend. According to the credits page most of the same people wrote the first two, while this entry had a single author who was involved in neither. While I recommend the trilogy as a whole, I suggest you skip this chapter and make up your own ending.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: The Chaos Commandment
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
by Mario M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2012 17:01:01
Great product. Good scan and indexing. The handbook is just fantastic! A lot of background and new careers. An hint for the game masters: don't let yourself be overcome by the power of the new careers and weapons. In a Dark Heresy campaign you have to reduce this things, or the other player (the ones with characters taken from the core rolebook) will be really disadvantaged! Instead you can give some extra equipment to the other PGs.
Anyway I love the first chapter, the one with all the background! And Faith and Fury, the one with the faith powers! I haven't already read the last chapter, with all the hints to play an Ecclesiarchy Campaign. It seems to be a great source of great ideas for roleplaying!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Deathwatch: Core Rulebook
by Daniel W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2012 13:03:02
Deathwatch is the last of what was originally announced as a Trilogy of Warhammer 40K Role Playing games. The first, Dark Heresy, was intended to allow players to start out as the “everyman” of the Imperium of Man. The Second, Rogue Trader, was designed to allow players to stretch out in imaginative new directions and explore new worlds. The final game, Deathwatch, is supposed to allow you to play the pinnacle of Imperium forces, the Space Marines. Huge and imposing they have been made to kill any foe the Imperium should cross paths with. Rigid and heroic, there are a lot of people out there who want to play these superhuman champions. But how do we play Space Marines when they stay almost exclusively with their own chapters?

And so enters the Deathwatch. The Deathwatch is the militant arm of the Inquisitorial Ordo Xenos. The Inquisition has three functional major orders (or Ordos); the Ordo Hereticus which hunts Heresy and Traitors, the Ordo Mallius which hunts Demons, and the Ordo Xenos which opposes alien influences. The Deathwatch is a unified force made up of Space Marines from many Chapters who work together at the behest of the Inquisition. When they find proof that a world has become tainted by Alien influences, or signs of significant Chaos, it’s the Deathwatch that is called to purge these foes. Due to its nature it’s a unique melting pot of different Chapters coming together to form small and intimate Kill Teams, teams that work together as a squad or as individuals. And there will be a lot of killing in this game.

So let’s take a tour under the hood and see what fine goodies we have available to us!

The book begins with a forward discussing the subject matter, what is role-playing, the book itself, and an overview of what a Space Marine is. If you have ever read a Space Marine Codex for the table top game you will find a lot of that material here. If you haven’t, take a peek. In short a Space Marine is a man who was recognized for his nearly superhuman abilities and feats and made… More. To become a Marine many biological implants need to be grafted to the applicant, when they are done the man has become an 8 foot tall, acid spitting, kill machine. Actually, to be fair, they are more a kill Factory. They need less sleep, less rest; their bodies are adapted to survive in climates that would kill normal men and to wear power armor with biological grafts. There is a complete list of the implanted organs and what they do to modify the marine inside. The forward wraps up with a description of the path of the Marine, how they advance the ranks from a recruit to Chapter Master.

The first real chapter is Character Creation. We are introduced to the basic stats of the game and are walked through creating a character. The die mechanics are based on Warhammer Fantasy 1st and 2nd edition, there are various stats such as Ballistics Skill and agility rated from 1-100. To make a stat check you roll percentile and try to roll under your stat. Challenge ratings either add or subtract from the stats number, for example a hard agility check is a percentile roll under the player’s agility minus twenty. The mechanics are much more extensively discussed in chapter 7 of the book, but the key point to remember when making your character is to ensure that your stats are as high as possible.

Base stats are 2d10 30 for each trait. This is modified by your Chapter, resulting in stats that range from 32 to 55. For scale Dark Heresy characters range from 27 to 45 to start and Rogue Trader character stats range from 32 to 50, give or take. That includes any bonuses from the past or your home planet in Rogue Trader or Dark Heresy. Space Marines also have a trait called Unnatural Strength and Unnatural Toughness, which makes these two stats even more spectacular than their Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader fellows. While the scale does not seem that spectacular I can assure you, from play, that it’s fairly epic. The average starting number for a Dark Heresy character is 30. The average Deathwatch stat is 40. Breaking into a 50 is the best a Dark Heresy character can hope for, and he will be spending 2000+ exp in total to do it. Deathwatch characters can start at those heights and reach a 60-70 in all their stats. Good times for them!

After rolling their base stats they pick their chapter, which further raises their stats and gives them a Chapter Demeanor. We will be discussing Demeanors later, but for now know that you pick one for your own personality and each chapter is defined by one. After selecting your Chapter you then pick your Specialty, which is like your job. It’s a bad analogy but it sort of works. Specialties include Apothecary, Assault Marine, Devastator, Librarian, Tactical Marine, and Techmarine. Players of the many versions of Warhammer 40K will recognize these titles, and they are what you would expect. There will be a more detailed version of the list when we review their chapters. (As opposed to Chapters, which are brotherhoods of Space Marines)

Next up is the spending of Experience points, each character starts with 1000, and how to calculate Fate points, wounds, and movement. Starting equipment is simple, you get a basic package as a Space Marine and then your specialty gets a further package. For example, all Space Marines get a bolt pistol, but Tactical Marines get a Bolter too. The Specialist packages are all minor tweaks but they give each Specialist the signature gear you would expect, such as a Jump Pack and Chainsword for the Assault Marine. This is followed up with some charts on their individual pasts, which makes each marine a little different even when they are from the same chapter with the same specialty. You also get to roll for your Power Armor’s history, a nice touch by the way, a roll for your personal demeanor, and your name. There is also a good discussion of the history of your individual Marine’s history. There is also a good, in-depth, discussion of the various implanted organs and what their game effects are. A clever GM might extrapolate enough information from this to run a campaign from the point of view of a recruit seeking to join a Marine Chapter.

Let’s take a moment to talk about Demeanors. These are a new mechanic for Deathwatch, and it feels like an Aspect from Fate Role-playing games, and I mean that in a good way. Each Space Marine has two, one from their Chapter and one that is personal. When invoked, and role-played, they allow you to fake a Fate point expenditure and may even improve the rolls effect. They are intended to be invoked once, each, per story to give the player a chance to pull some super heroics out of their hat. If your demeanor is Stoic and your facing a Green Skin Horde charging towards you the player can say something Stoic sounding and then stand there gunning them down with a bonus to their rolls. It’s a nice add on to the game and makes Space Marines feel even more larger than life in my opinion.

Chapter One wraps up by presenting the six Space Marine Chapters presented in the book: The Black Templars, The Blood Angels, the Dark Angels, the Space Wolves, the Storm Wardens and the Ultramarines. Most of these will be immediately recognized by those familiar with the table-top Wargame, or with the 40K fiction, all except for the Storm Wardens. They were created by the book’s writers as a Chapter based in the Calixis Sector (the setting of Dark Heresy). All six Chapters spend time discussing their recruiting practices, their approach to war, and the mechanical modifications to those who play the particular Chapter in the game. For those new to the setting, think of your Chapter as your race. Each Chapter has become somewhat specialized to an approach and playing that Chapter grants mechanical benefits as befitting these specializations. Elves are portrayed in most games as master archers and their stats reflect this, a Blood Angel tends to favor Fast Attack and so in this game they get a bonus to Weapon Skill. This, in turn, tends to make Assault Marine much more attractive as this Specialty plays to their strengths but the player can do any Specialty they want. Even Blood Angels need Librarians. There are a few restrictions, Black Templars shun Librarians and there are no Space Wolf Apothecaries, but there are very few of these restrictions. Personally, I find that these Six represent a nice slice of the setting. I see more Ultramarine armies than I can shake a stick at, but Space Wolves and Blood Angels are also very popular. All of the selected Chapters are very well known, except for the Storm Wardens for obvious reasons, and I think most players will end up very happy with what’s available.

For those who want to know, a starting Space Marine at Rank One is 15,000 experience before spending their starting package of 1,000, which makes that around rank five for Rogue Trader or Ascension for Dark Heresy.

Chapter Two is dedicated to the Specialties and the Experience Point charts for Advancement. As usual your character is limited to five stat advancements, and there is a discussion on how to advance and what Elite Advances are. For those not in the know an Elite Advance is an advancement that is outside the advancement scheme for a character, but one that could be justified through role-play or circumstances.

The actual Advancement charts clearly show that this game has been designed to accommodate a lot of different approaches. There is a Space Marine chart, going from Rank One to Rank Eight. There is a Chapter specific chart for each of the chapters. There is a Deathwatch advancement chart, for Marines who are part of the Deathwatch during that particular rank. Finally there are the Specialty Advancements, which are for each specialty and include the Stat Advancement charts. The message is very clear; you can add new Chapters very easily but just adding a Chapter Advancement Chart. The Deathwatch is also optional, if you want to run an Ultramarines game where they are defending Ultramar from the bug hordes you just drop the Deathwatch charts from the game. I cannot think of any other cross Chapter organization to add, but one could be added if one were so inclined.

Along with the Specialty charts are a description of each Specialist, a trained skill to add to the sheet, and a choice of unique abilities to add. These allow two Specialists to be different, for example an Apothecary can be really good at keeping the Kill Team pure (resist corruption), make Xenos specific toxins (poison coating for more damage), or be an exceptional healer (well… that one is self explanatory). Again, I like this touch. Anything that lets two people doing the same job stand out from each other is a good thing in my opinion.

Chapter three covers skills. The vast majority of skills are part of a Marines basic package with one or two coming from their Specialty. The rest are Advances of one type or another from one of the previous charts. Skills are linked to a stat; to succeed you roll under the linked stat on percentile dice. Skills can be improved, giving a bonus to the base stat for roll to be under. For example, Dodge 20% gives you a bonus of 20% to your Agility when you try to dodge an attack. So if a Marines Agility is 52 they need to roll under 72 to succeed. Each skill is then reviewed along with their uses. A good read and full of useful information for players and GM’s alike, but if you’re familiar with Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader its familiar territory even with the new topics.

Chapter four reviews the Talents and Traits of the game. Talents are the feats of the game, granting advantages in combat or to situations. Traits are normally found in the back, with the Monsters, but here they follow the Talents available to Space Marines. Some of the talents are reprints from prior books, but many of them are new and require the player to be and Astartes (or Space Marine) to take them at all. All Space Marines have some unusual traits shared with the Dark forces of the galaxy, so the Traits part is not as odd as it might appear.

Chapter Five reviews the Armory. A new system is presented for the Deathwatch; unlike previous games where the players had to purchase what they needed either with their Wealth or actually pay Thrones for them a Space Marine has access to the mighty resources of the Inquisition itself. Each mission gives them some Requisition points to spend adding to their basic package. You can also take a talent that “perma-buys” equipment and makes it part of the players basic package. You are limited by this Requisition, but it can be pooled if you’re not using all of it, and by your renown in the Deathwatch. No one who is new to the Deathwatch, no matter how highly ranked in their Chapter, is getting the big toys until they prove their heroism and loyalty to the Deathwatch itself. All your favorite toys are here: Power Fists, Power Armor, Bolters, and Plasma weapons and they are all Astartes sized. There are also rules for other types of characters trying to use Astartes weapons, and surprise, it is not a good idea. Each player also gets a Relic from their Chapter to carry into battle, and they are all pretty cool. On the par with Dark Heresy’s Divination, nothing here is game breaking but these relics give a bit of an edge to the Marine holding it. The chapter wraps up with a discussion of the Cybernetics available and how much it costs to requisition Servitors.

It’s worth noting that the Deathwatch Living Errata has significantly altered a few mechanics for combat and for the Armory in general. Damage has been simplified to fewer die rolls; previously a Bolter did 2d10 damage with a small bonus on top. Bolters also get to roll two dice for every one and you get to keep the higher of the two dice for your damage roll. So for every damage roll the player ended up rolling four dice, having to roll each “die” of damage in a pair for proper effect. The rules have now been modified to dropping the roll to one actual die (you still roll two keeping the higher though) and giving a bigger bonus to the roll. Also, auto-fire has been significantly revamped with many weapons completely losing the full auto option entirely.

Chapter Six discusses Psykers, well Librarians really, and Psychic powers. Once again there are big changes. In the past we have had a lot of little powers (Dark Heresy) that are granted automatically when a Psi rating is raised. Then we had what could only be called “slots” (Rogue Trader) for powers, you would buy one and fill it with a power equal to its cost in Experience or less. They had fewer powers than in Dark Heresy, but their powers were much more effective and Rogue Trader introduced a new way to use powers that made failure far less disastrous. This system of restraint at the cost of power, or power at the cost of increased chance of the Warp getting involved, was later adopted in Dark Heresy with the Ascension book and returns here. The big change here is how powers are selected. The varying cost powers are back, but there are no “slots” to buy. A few powers are limited by Renown rank but you can buy any power you want, regardless of discipline the power belongs to, as long as you can pay its experience cost! In the past the Psi rating only allowed access to a single discipline, or in the case of Dark Heresy, less to start with and granted more access as your Psi went up. Deathwatch Librarians can freely access all four of their disciplines as they see fit as long as they meet the powers requirements (of which there are not that many, to be honest.)

There are four disciplines in Deathwatch. Telepathy, Divination, Chapter powers, and Codex powers. Telepathy is the most structured and rigid, to get the most powerful abilities in Telepathy you need to buy a few of the lower powers to “build up to” the grander stuff. Divination is far less restrictive; there are only a few powers that require previous powers to be purchased. None of the powers in either discipline require Rank to make them available, and they are largely what you would expect from prior books. Librarians are the Soothsayers of the Astartes, their telepathy is on par with an Astropath Transcendent and their divination gifts make them a favored advisor to the Chapter Leadership as they plan major offensives. The real gems, though, are the Codex and Chapter disciplines. Codex powers are available to any Marine and include such favorites as Smite, Might of the Ancients, and Vortex of Doom. Table top players will recognize these as signature powers from the Wargame. These do have Rank requirements. No rank ones are going to be throwing around Vortexes of Doom without a house rule! Codex powers are much the same, but they are specific to their Chapter and give each Librarian a more or less unique pool of powers to pull from! Each is fairly thematic, for example the Storm Wardens have lightning effects and ancestor calling in their list while Space Wolves (who call their Librarians Rune Priests instead incidentally) can call storms and spirit wolves to their sides. Rank requirements range from plentiful to virtually non-existent on these lists. I really like this approach and I am looking forward to playing a Librarian.

Chapter Seven is about Game Mechanics which covers the bulk of game rules(aside from straight fighting, which is in the Combat chapter). The testing mechanics is fully explained here, but as I said previously it’s a very simple system: Roll under your stat (either linked from a skill or in a straight stat check) which is modified by challenge. A Challenging check is 0, for example, or a Hard test at -20. Players of Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader will find these rules to be the same. Fate points are fully explained as well, but don’t forget that once a game per Demeanor you can “fake” a fait point by invoking and role-playing your demeanor. We then move the obligatory Environmental Hazards discussions. Swimming, flying, weight, light sources, jumping, climbing, and gravity effects are all reviewed.

A very interesting new element is the Squad mechanics. When a Kill team departs they select a leader for the mission. They then take an oath which is limited by the leader chosen. The leader and the oath determine the Cohesion of the squad. A marine can be in one of two modes at any given time, Solo and Squad. When in Solo mode they act autonomously and favor their chapters training in a situation. Each chapter has a solo technique that can be invoked by the marine, such as the Blood Frenzy of the Blood Angels which allows them to re-roll damage checks in Melee and increase the chance of doing Critical Damage to a foe. There are also general techniques available to marines of the appropriate rank. Squad mode removes these solo abilities and means that the team is acting in unison. They get new techniques such as setting up a fire line to dig into a position for maximum defense. Cohesion is lost when initiating these tactics; it can also be directly damaged by others through fear and numbers. If you’re Cohesion goes to zero the squad returns to solo mode and breaks ranks. Tactical marines can even share Chapter tactics with the right ability. This adds a nice tactical element to the game, making combat a little more interesting while not requiring a grid or miniatures.

We then move on to the Mission structure, which gives the Kill team a very nice adventure format. You can very easily move beyond it, but basically they get briefed on a threat, select gear with requisition as needed, the GM rolls for a complication and then the adventure proceeds to completion. Renown and Experience are rewarded for meeting Primary and Secondary objectives. The better your Renown the better the gear you can select, the more Experience you get the powerful your Marine becomes. The complication is a nice optional touch, it’s a simple roll that you can do in front of the players and watch them groan as the see they are going to have Insertion troubles. I have been accused of making stuff like this up to torment my players, charts like this make my players feel like these disasters are now more or less random and not design. The Oath taking that is done after a Squad leader is chosen is also a nice touch that I very much enjoyed, it rewards the players for choosing leaders that are best suited to the mission at hand but does not penalize for not having the most opportune leader if the players decide to go their own way.

Chapter Eight is all about combat. If you have played Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader, you know what to expect here. After you roll for combat order in the round you decide on your actions for the turn. Attack rolls are made with Ballistics skill or Weapon skill depending on the nature of the attack. The defender can attempt to dodge or parry, which he can do one or the other only once per turn, and if successful on the skill roll then the attack roll is fully negated. For example, a Devastator is laying down some heavy bolter fire. He is doing this at short range (+10 to the base skill, making it easier) at Full Auto (+20 to the base skill, heavy bolters cannot fire at any other rate) with a base skill of 52. Rolling a 02, he hits with 7 degrees of success. That means that he hit the target with 8 of the 10 bolts, or 16d10+48 total damage (base damage for a Heavy Bolter is 2d10+6). And it has tearing, so each die of damage is rolled twice and the better of the two is kept. One dodge roll later, no degrees of success, and the attack is negated in full. At first I found this a bit discouraging since it works the same way for bad guys, but if the players focus fire only one attack can be avoided per round. Another thing I find a little confusing is when multiple hits score, such as the example above, if the total damage is rolled minus the targets Armor and Toughness Bonus or if each shot is reduced. I have ruled that each shot is reduced, but it’s a point I may seek clarification on in the future. The rules for Hordes, in Chapter Thirteen, seems to count each Hit as a separate damage roll which jives with what I am doing for damage normally.

Again, note that the Living Errata has made some fairly significant changes to overall combat, but from my experience in play its all for the better. Take a hard look at those rules, in my example above the Heavy Bolter hit for 16d10+48. Each die is rolled twice, using the old rules, so in play this would be done with each dice to be rolled done in pairs so the better of each roll is kept. 16 times. A total of 32 dice rolled for those 8 shots. The new system would have 16 dice rolled, half as many. Much faster in play, especially for horde strikes where each shot needs to be compared to the toughness to determine if the hit was effective or not.

Chapter nine: The Game Master Chapter; reviews all the points a Game Master needs to know beyond what the players will normally be familiar with. The Themes of the Deathwatch are discussed, different approaches to play style, how to invoke the setting, how to reward players in experience and renown, and the rules for Fear and Corruption are presented. The chapter is very informative, but feels a little short. I would have appreciated more information on running Space Marine chronicles outside the Mission structure provided, but this is in no way a deal breaker for me. There is a good section on the types of missions undertaken by Kill Teams, which makes a good starting point for planning adventures. The rules for insanity are also very specific to the Chapters; each Chapter has its own insanity that affects its Marines as they get more and more lost to the horrors of war.

The next few chapters cover setting information, so I will be covering them all together. Chapter Ten cover the Imperium of Man. This is more or less what you would expect; it’s a good overview of the Imperium works for those who are not familiar with Warhammer 40K background. It reviews the different organizations and how the Imperium wages war. Chapter Eleven covers the Deathwatch organization in detail including its history and practices. Chapter Twelve covers the Jericho Reach, the default sector of space that the game is set in. We get the history, key worlds in the sector, and a detailed examination of the Deathwatch’s holdings and operations in the Reach. Each of these chapters is well written, informative, and presents a lot of ideas for adventures both in the Jericho Reach and outside of it.

Chapter Thirteen gives us Adversaries, the foes your Kill team will be coming up against time and again! It starts with a discussion of Hordes, large mobs (that’s a crowd as opposed to the MMO term) that band together to form threats from foes that would not be a threat otherwise. Any hit that damages a horde, after Armor and Toughness reduces the damage, reduces the magnitude by one. Explosive weapons reduce it by two. Devastators get additional bonuses, if they choose it for specialties’ power. We then get an overview of Chaos Marines and Demons, the Tau, and the Tyranids. The chapter concludes with some basic templates for Guardsmen, Servitors, and a civilian.

When I reviewed Rogue Trader I was critical of the lack of a random Xeno creator and was disappointed with the number of adversaries as a whole. If this is your first foray into Warhammer 40k, and own no other books, this chapter should hold you over for a while. You will eventually need to start snatching up other books in a few months, and I would strongly suggest Rogue Trader for its Kroot rules and Ork information. If it’s not, well the other major Xeno threats are already presented in other books from the line so you should have no shortage of foes. But while I found Rogue Trader, a game about meeting strange new Xeno races and plundering lost worlds, very much in need of a random race/monster generator Deathwatch feels very complete without it. I have most of what I need to pit the Space Marines against some of their classic foes: Orks, Tyranids, Tau, Chaos, Chaos Space Marines, (rogue) Guardsmen, and Eldar. Each of these races are very far from complete, but I can sort of fake what I need to based on what I have for now. The only major table top army that has not been given any rules is the Necron, but I don’t hate my players that much. Yet.

The final Chapter is a sample adventure called Extraction. I am not much on evaluating an adventure until I am running it, and I have not run this one, but it seems very complete for an introductory adventure. It takes a sandbox approach, presenting an objective and countdown, and allows the players to seek their objectives in any way they want. This is how I tend to write my own adventures, and it does not look too scripted/railroad like.

The book then wraps up with an index and a character sheet, much as one might expect.

Overall, I am very impressed. This is exactly what I wanted from a Space Marine game and it avoids, neatly mind you, what would block a more standard Space Marine game. It allows you to play different Chapters that would ordinarily not work together, gives you some internal completion to play off, and gives you a framework for adventures where they don’t have Thunderhawks to call on for backup when things get tough. When playing them, and running them, they feel very superhuman especially if you have played the prior games. The biggest hurdle I ever had with Rogue Trader was the fact that the players could truly do anything they wanted and trying to convince them that they could go ANYWHERE sometimes felt like I was trying to explain the Warp to the Tau, and Deathwatch neatly skirts that as well with their mission structure. The art is also very nice; I found it inspiring and evocative of the spirit of the book. To be fair, though, I feel that Warhammer 40K RPG family is one of the best written out there. Especially with the minimalist approach a lot of mainstream companies are going with their setting details.

And now to address the elephant in the room: there are only male Space Marines in the Warhammer 40K universe. Yes, you can play a Sister of Battle but you would need to advance them from Dark Heresy to Ascension and the Astartes are going to be better at battle, hands down. Yes, you can house rule a Female Chapter just as I can house rule a galactic alliance between the Imperium of Man and the Eldar Craftworlds for technology and troops, no one says you can’t, but both will likely draw the same stares from purists. My wife and my Daughter are both playing in my Space Marine game, my wife is playing a Tactical Marine and my daughter is playing an Assault Marine, and the gender issue has been a non issue thus far. No one is going to try and seduce a Space Marine; I don’t even think that they feel human desire, so a lot of the issues with cross gender role playing goes away. Personally I think people are making a bigger deal of it than it needs to be, but that’s my opinion and since I am not a woman and thus not directly affected by this issue it’s not worth much. All I know is that I have players who don’t care about the issue, giggle when a they lay Kraken rounds into a Tau on full auto and roll 50+ damage on the roll, and high five the other players when an objective is completed.

This is a definite buy. This game will be a present for players I know at Christmas. The setting is rich, the mechanics are solid, there is a lot of material out there for new players to review about Space Marines (Dawn of War 1 and 2, Books, and Comics not to mention the Table Top game) and spending time in any game store can get a player educated on the different factions and histories of the universe. It’s full of action without requiring a mat and miniatures, which it very easily could have considering its subject matter is based in a table top miniatures game. This game is more than worth the money in my opinion.

I am defiantly looking forward to the new releases from this and the other Warhammer 40K lines.

(Please note, this was originally posted on RPG.net by me. It has been updated slightly with information about the Living Errata, but otherwise the content is the same.)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema
by Jonathan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2012 12:49:47
Creatures Anathema is an excellent book! I would recommend this book to any GM that wants to terrorize the Acolytes that "get a little too big for their britches". Very good plot points and adventure "hooks" in this book.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook
by Don N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/09/2012 00:24:31
I love the look of the book. The graphics are done very we'll. The reading compression is high. The only issue is the organization of the book. I find I have to constantly flip around the book because information is not grouped together very well.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2012 16:25:58
First off the quality is GREAT.

I purchased the download in addition to the Hard cover book. I would have purchased both no matter which came out first. It does have a couple typos, a couple charts were wrong, but overall it is a great game and I really enjoy it. They have already released a FAQ, covering the typos, fixing the charts and explaining a few areas.

I think the rule set is very easy to follow. Some people complain that it is not detailed enough, but I don't nor do my opponents have a problem with it.

I am a diehard fan of Dust both Tactics and Warfare therefore, my opinion is based as such. It is well worth the twenty dollars. I really like that with the same miniatures I can play two different but similiar games depending on my mood and my opponents.

I look forward to the additional releases and will purchase both hardcover and a download copy.

I really don't think you can go wrong with the download copy. This is the first time I have ever purchased anything from the Wargame Vault and if the quality is always this good then I know I will be making additional purchases.

Hope this is helpful.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook
by Lee L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2012 13:04:54
Dust Warfare is a full on miniature wargame, set in the world of Paolo Parente's world of Dust. Designed by Andy Chambers and Mack Martin, this alternate World War II game adds in a touch of the science fiction element. With various sized walkers that replace traditional tanks, Laser Grenadiers, Zombies and phaser weapons, this game steps froward from the Dust Tactics board game in so many ways!

While some were never upset with the idea of it being a miniatures board game, I know many who were waiting for this version of the game, as they didn't have the satisfaction brought about from the hobby elements of a true wargame. The cards used in games of Tactics are not used in Warfare. Instead, each unit has an entry in the book that has all its relevant information at your finger tips. The stats are also slightly different for some weapons, but that is out of a need to make them more playable in this new system. The addition of ranges to the weapons and movement for units enhances the game play in many ways. It allows for more tactical play and also allows for creative and stunning terrain elements to be added to your table. The terrain rules are quite unique in the fact that one piece of terrain may cause issues for a walker, but still be cause a troop to have no restrictions at all and vice-versa. It also means that scenarios can be flexible and story driven without sacrificing fun or smooth game play. These new rules were designed with organized play in mind as well. The tournament and campaign systems are set up to help organizers and players make each event a unique and rewarding series of games for the players involved. The Battle Builder for tournament play is a great addition to the system and something that as a playtester for Dust, I did not get to see until the rules came out. It is an awesome way for you to be able to look at your opponents list and them bid Scenario points towards the upcoming game to try and give themselves some advantage in terrain, objectives, or battlefield conditions. Each player has without sacrificing fun or smooth game play. These new rules were designed with organized play in mind as well. The tournament and campaign systems are set up to help organizers and players make each event a unique and rewarding series of games for the players involved. The Battle Builder for tournament play is a great addition to the system and something that as a playtester for Dust, I did not get to see until the rules came out. It is an awesome way for you to be able to look at your opponents list and them bid Scenario points towards the upcoming game to try and give themselves some advantage in terrain, objectives, or battlefield conditions. Each player has a limited amount of Scenario Points [2] to spend on these and a roll of 5 dice determines who has to start allocating their points first. These will be used in tournaments and can be used for pick up games as well.

Dust Warfare uses the same core mechanics for "hitting" and "damage", as well as actions, but that is about where they similarities end. Cover, saves, and reaction all work very different in this game. It is all a smooth transition and after a game or 2 you will not notice the changes that much [to be honest, I like these rules much better]. The rules are simple and easier to use and make the play move faster than in Tactics. Reaction, for example, you do not have to roll to try and react, you just get a reaction marker that removes an action from the unit. So, you can not react if you have already received a reaction marker this turn. They have also added rules for Suppression, this can affect your units actions as well as being a way of keeping track of if a unit is in retreat or not.

Each unit is worth a set number of AP and players agree upon a number of AP to play before selection their forces. The game has three different point ranges; Small [200 AP or less], Medium, also called a Tournament Engagement [between 201-400 AP] and Large [401 AP or more]. Players must choose at least one platoon, but may opt to add an additional platoon structure for each 150 AP [or part there of]. So in a 200 point game a player may opt to make one platoon or can have 2, keeping in mind that each platoon mush have at least a Command section and a mandatory 1st Section choice for each one. Each platoon may also take up to 1 Hero for each 150 AP [or part there of] allowed. Some Heroes also have a Special ability called Leadership that allows them to be the Command Section of your platoon. If you use them in this manner, they count as the Command Section, but also count toward the number of Heroes you can take.

The dynamic way you build a force and the scenarios you can play with these rules make the system and exciting and fresh new game. I for one can not wait to face an opponent with an all Zombie and Axis Ape army just to see what they can do!!!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 61 to 75 (of 238 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG