Are Space Marines still super powerful?

peterstepon
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:55 pm

Are Space Marines still super powerful?

Postby peterstepon » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:59 pm

Hello Gang,

I had to just get this off my chest. I love Space Marines and the lore behind them. I love the fact that each Space Marine is now equal to "10,000 regular troops" (that was in the NPC section), which was a big improvement over the "equal to 10 men" which was in earlier editions. I know that Space Marine powers inflate and deflate depending on who is writing about them, but I still like them to be super champions of humanity.

Now, I wanted to find out how people compare them to the Space Marines of Deathwatch. In that game it seemed that they were extremely powerful and a kill team could take out a Tyrannid hive ship and a Tau Commander in an afternoon. There were horde rules which simulated a squad of marines taking out armies of heretics and xenos. A space marine in his armor could have bullets bounce off unless fired by a horde of enemies.

The new stats seem to support this. A Space Maine could have a resistance of 11 or 12 which would mean that most conventional weapons would also just bounce off. Having a healthy Shock and Wounds of about 7 or 8 seems to be enough to keep them alive an take a few hits (for those times something gets through the armor). A bolter seems to be able to average 13 damage (10 + 1ED, plus Brutal and 2 Rapid Fire), which would seem to be able to shred most enemies.

The new book also implies that a Deathwatch Campaign would be Tier 6 or higher (!), would that be the Tier we need to be as powerful as the Deathwatch RPG and be Sector shaking Champions?

Anyways, I was just curious as to how people feel about the new Space marine power levels.

Sardonis
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:27 am

Re: Are Space Marines still super powerful?

Postby Sardonis » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:38 pm

From what I've seen, they have been highly nerfed.

Personally, I don't tend to run Astartes games, being more of an Inquisition / Astra Militarum / Rogue Trader man myself, but I intend to use the Primaris template for regular marines for now, and wait for the devs to hopefully buff the Astartes to a more appropriate level in the near future!

BTW, one of the only things I disliked in the game (apart from the lack of ammo) was the Tier in which some archetypes were placed. Having Rogue Traders in Tier 2 was the most egregious mistake in the entire game, IMO.

warhammerfrpgm
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:04 pm

Re: Are Space Marines still super powerful?

Postby warhammerfrpgm » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:55 pm

[quote="peterstepon"]Hello Gang,

I had to just get this off my chest. I love Space Marines and the lore behind them. I love the fact that each Space Marine is now equal to "10,000 regular troops" (that was in the NPC section), which was a big improvement over the "equal to 10 men" which was in earlier editions. I know that Space Marine powers inflate and deflate depending on who is writing about them, but I still like them to be super champions of humanity.

Now, I wanted to find out how people compare them to the Space Marines of Deathwatch. In that game it seemed that they were extremely powerful and a kill team could take out a Tyrannid hive ship and a Tau Commander in an afternoon. There were horde rules which simulated a squad of marines taking out armies of heretics and xenos. A space marine in his armor could have bullets bounce off unless fired by a horde of enemies.

The new stats seem to support this. A Space Maine could have a resistance of 11 or 12 which would mean that most conventional weapons would also just bounce off. Having a healthy Shock and Wounds of about 7 or 8 seems to be enough to keep them alive an take a few hits (for those times something gets through the armor). A bolter seems to be able to average 13 damage (10 + 1ED, plus Brutal and 2 Rapid Fire), which would seem to be able to shred most enemies.

The new book also implies that a Deathwatch Campaign would be Tier 6 or higher (!), would that be the Tier we need to be as powerful as the Deathwatch RPG and be Sector shaking Champions?

Anyways, I was just curious as to how people feel about the new Space marine power levels.[/quote


I would say against regular t1 folks without special or heavy weapons i would say marines are as bad ass as they appear. the great equalizer is plasma, melta, and some of the grenade/missiles(plus all the xenos equivalents). if you had a space marine he could easily take out an entire mob or two of several regular orks or humans. again its down to what is shooting at the marine. but i do love them. anyhow i will be running a astra militarum/only war style campaign for my children and their friends. a single chaos space marine would give the characters fits.

quindraco
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Re: Are Space Marines still super powerful?

Postby quindraco » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:53 pm

I think part of the problem is simply the geneseed implants being underpowered - most of them don't remotely do what they ought to do (for example, the Preomnor should be at *least* as good as Iron Gutz). I've been toying with the idea of rules to properly support them; the primary downside is how to balance chapters with mutations properly, but there are other serious questions to answer, like how to appropriately set their Tier.

Lynata
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Re: Are Space Marines still super powerful?

Postby Lynata » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:11 am

I would not say that Space Marines were "nerfed", unless it's in direct comparison to FFG's Deathwatch game. Rather, they have been nudged back closer to where they are in the tabletop and the studio background. It has already been pointed out how their representation depends a lot on who writes the book -- and, by extension, thus also whether a product (RPG or novel) has them as sole protagonists with plot armour, or whether they actually have to fit in with other forces in a shared universe, like a piece of a puzzle in a larger image.

That's not to say that wanting to play an Astartes as if he were Superman is inherently "wrong". 40k as a franchise is filled to the brim with legends of heroes from all factions pulling off incredible feats, so it's not surprising that many players will be inspired to pursue a larger than life campaign as well, a model explicitly supported by the Deathwatch RPG!

However, Wrath & Glory is a shared, universal ruleset, which like the tabletop game seeks (more or less) equal representation for all the factions, including support for mixed groups like they at times occur during various stories, and which were - to bring up a bit of trivia - the reason behind the creation of the Deathwatch as a group in the first place. As such, I feel it should be understandable that the Space Marines should not exceed a power level supported by other material where they are also presented as a piece of a larger whole. To do otherwise would undermine the very concept of a unified ruleset, and either result in various bits of inter-faction background or even the Astartes own history no longer being applicable .. or require other Archetypes to follow suit, which in turn would make the entire exercise redundant. After all, if everyone is special, no-one is.

And that's a good thing. This is a roleplaying game where all players should be allowed to have fun, without a perceived exclusive claim to fame resulting only from narrow and selective Archetype interpretation. In this game, everyone is a hero -- and everyone is just as likely (or not) to become "a sector-shaking champion".

quindraco wrote:for example, the Preomnor should be at *least* as good as Iron Gutz
Going by GW's Index Astartes, the preomnor is just a filter implanted in front of the stomach, it doesn't even digest anything itself. By comparison, Iron Gutz replaces just about the entire digestive system with machinery. How could the former be superior?

I think the abstraction of implants makes sense. It's already more than Space Marine characters had in d100 Inquisitor -- and if you'd write up special rules for every single organ, you'd end up with a horrible and bad-to-remember mess like the dozens of pages in Deathwatch. If you'd then grant other Archetypes similar treatment, half the core rulebook would be filled by lists upon lists of special abilities.

Isn't it enough special snowflake treatment that Space Marines got two pages of Chapter rules, whereas human characters don't even get Homeworlds? As if the difference between a Dark Angel and a Salamander were to be bigger than between a Catachan and a Necromundian.

quindraco
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Re: Are Space Marines still super powerful?

Postby quindraco » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:49 pm

Lynata wrote:Going by GW's Index Astartes, the preomnor is just a filter implanted in front of the stomach, it doesn't even digest anything itself. By comparison, Iron Gutz replaces just about the entire digestive system with machinery. How could the former be superior?


Granted, the Iron Gutz will be helped along by Orkish belief that it ought to work, but it's still the result of a Mek smashing a bunch of gubbins together and hoping it works - not the result of someone substantially smarter than the smartest human on record developing an implant for the same purpose:

Phase 7 – Preomnor. The preomnor is a large implant which fits into the chest cavity. It is a predigestive stomach which allows the Marine to eat a variety of otherwise poisonous or indigestible materials. No actual digestion takes place in the preomnor. Individual sensory tubes assess potential poisons and neutralise them or, where necessary, isolate the preomnor from the rest of the digestive tract.

Remember, this is the same set of implants as the multi-lung, which allows breathing water. It seems implausible on its face that the Preomnor would only provide the suggested +1 bonus die to Survival tests for food and water, when Iron Gutz allows automatically succeeding without a roll. It could certainly be argued that some benefits should only accrue with multiple organs working in tandem, but a fully functional Space Marine, unlike the Ork in question, has the additional benefit of the Betcher's Gland to let him corrosively break down materials for chewing and a Neuroglottis for identifying digestible materials. I'm comfortable with the provided organs only providing bonuses, not automatic successes - as you say, the Preomnor does seem "less" intensive than Iron Gutz - but the bonus should be a lot bigger than +1, and explicitly pointed out, rather than hoping the GM has read enough fluff to get it right.

If you wanted to stick with how the talents and chapter bonuses seem to be built, it would be something like:
Preomnor: +Rank to Survival checks to find food and water and Toughness tests against ingested toxins.
Neuroglottis: +Rank to Survival checks (the Neuroglottis is explicitly described as also being helpful to track things).
Betcher's Gland: +1/2 Rank to Survival checks to find food and water and Toughness tests against ingested toxins, in addition to its uses as a weapon (which should have actual stats).

Lynata
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Re: Are Space Marines still super powerful?

Postby Lynata » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:14 pm

I was focusing more on the intent of the device (full digestion vs "only" filtering) rather than its reliability. If we'd look at the latter, we would have to start questioning even the Orks' guns. ;)

We probably also should not forget that orks are a generally sturdy organism by nature, whereas even the Space Marines are ultimately "just" enhanced humans, still bound by the constriction of having a related metabolism (hence the dependence on drugs mentioned by IA). I don't think an Iron Gut would work as well for a human or an Astartes, even if it'd function exactly as intended -- I would guess the orks' quasi-unique proximity to plantlife has something to do with it, and an ordinary humanoid just wouldn't be able to cope with what the Iron Gut produces, or at least not for long.

Of course, this bit is merely my interpretation, but it would serve to explain the mechanics in this case.

quindraco wrote:Remember, this is the same set of implants as the multi-lung, which allows breathing water.
Not as per studio sources. From the Armageddon 3 campaign website:

"The atmosphere of the planet was so heavily saturated with moisture that human lungs, even the hyper efficient multi-lungs of a Space Marine, were unable to extract enough oxygen from the air. [...] As the breathable air in the Raptors armour began to run out the Chapter's Tech Marines desperately sought a solution to the problem of their dwindling oxygen supplies. Necessity is the mother of invention and the Tech Marines were able to modify the breathing apparatus of the powered armour helmets to incorporate an osmotic gill that would filter the oxygen from the moisture rich air. This proved to be highly efficient and the Space Marines were able to survive for seven years on Jemadal, subsisting on a diet of indigenous plants and fungi before being rescued from the death world by the Ultramarine battle barge Rath's Honour."

Note further how the description of the multi-lung in the Index Astartes, from which you quoted the preomnor, also does not say anything about extracting oxygen from water. The exact words there are "absorb oxygen from poorly oxygenated or poisonous air". (and even that seems to have its limits)

I don't really doubt that you may have read what you described elsewhere, though. This is actually a good example for how the very same organ may have been portrayed with inflated properties elsewhere, especially in derivative fiction. 40k is filled with contradictions like this, so in the end we're left to cherrypick according to our preferences.

Since Wrath & Glory is a shared ruleset meant for compatibility between all sorts of heroes, though, I think it makes sense that it gravitates to the lower end of the spectrum as far as these abilities are concerned. It's not like the Space Marines are the only ones "restricted" by this need for narrative balance. In fact, I'd argue they still have it best, considering the amount of additional rules and attention they have been provided with compared to other factions. Anything more would merely exacerbate this latent issue.

Of course such limitations would not have to apply for a Marine-only campaign, and perhaps the upcoming Astartes supplement will offer additional optional rules to pick from? But even then, personally I don't see much appeal in whole pages of extra mechanics to memorize like the Deathwatch RPG did, though this is just me having become a sucker for "rules-lite".

On a side note, is there really a difference between "providing automatic success" and three organs having a stacking bonus for tracking and digesting food that, at Rank 5, tops out at a nifty +12 to Survival before equipment and other factors?

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Aenno
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Re: Are Space Marines still super powerful?

Postby Aenno » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:44 pm

As far as I can tell it depends on Tier you're playing them.
If you want Space Marines to be super powerful, you're limiting playing them to Tier 5, with every Marine built on 500 BP; that's a situation where handful of marines would decide fate of planets and things like this. Commanders of such marine forces would be 600-700 BP characters.
If you want them to be on par with tabletop and other kind of forces in the galaxy - well, the lowest Tier possible for SM is Tier 3, so they're build on 300 BP and designed to be superelite guys between other military, something like Holywood Green Berets. It's quite possible you wouldn't have enough BP to make them as powerful as godlike stuff from some WH media.

Essentially, don't look at Space Marine; look on situations you want them to be involved, and define Tier (therefore BP) appropriatly.
I argue fiercely, but I never believed disagreement should be capital offence.

I'm editing my posts often. English isn't my native language, and I'm doing a lot of mistakes; that, with thoughtful rereading, I often found and want to edit.

Lynata
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Re: Are Space Marines still super powerful?

Postby Lynata » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:54 am

Aenno wrote:If you want Space Marines to be super powerful, you're limiting playing them to Tier 5, with every Marine built on 500 BP
This is a great point, and one I hadn't considered yet. By nature, Wrath also enables a group to make a Marine-only game where "narrative power level" is dependent entirely on the chosen Tier.

With this kind of coverage, you can play Astartes campaigns modeled after grittier depictions like Brothers of the Snake or Final Liberation, or more legendary, larger-than-life stuff like Blood of Asaheim or the Space Marine videogame, and anything in-between.


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