Sunday, December 5, 2010
Deathwatch Core Rulebook, First impressions.
To start off with, it is bigger than I thought. I am not sure what I expected of a $60 rulebook, because I have never owned one before (yes I play all other GW games with the mini rulebooks). This thing is HUGE. 400 glossy archival quality pages with full color illustrations and faux-geniune in character documents from the grim, dark future. All in all, a pretty slick package. Unless you are a glutton for punishment, though, either get it from Amazon where it's a bunch cheaper, or get the digital download version direct from FFG.
Mechanics wise, I have already waxed eloquent on how much I love the Hordes rules- for minor enemies, and that still holds true. Individual enemies would have to be very tough indeed to stand against the fury of a tactical squad of Deathwatch Marines, so running a Horde allows for a challenging confrontation for the players that is not a mega-monster every time, yet still does not give the GM carpal tunnel syndrome rolling dice for a hundred NPCs in a battle.
Another neat feature is the squad and solo mode for character actions. I am still a bit fuzzy on this one, but I like that it encourages good team play for bonuses towards areas where an individual should realistically have problems coping.
In addition to exciting new rules and crunchy stuff, there is a lot of fluff involved here for those so inclined. Hundreds of pages in fact. It will take me an awful long time to wade through a tome of this magnitude, and it makes me glad for the introductory adventures, which give a rules synopsis for those who had not played the other 40k RPGs (Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader).