Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Beginners Guide to Deathwatch - Part 6 - Deathwatch Devastator Marine
Deathwatch Devastator - An Overview.
If your idea of a good time is watching things die from a good safe distance then this is the character for you. As with the Assault Marine, the Devastator has a fairly well defined area of expertise and all his upgrades are biased towards that speciality. He has upgrades for the improvement of both Full Auto and single shot weapons as well as those that increase the damage of his shots and pretty much none whatsoever for the purposes of hitting things better in assault.
He shoots at shit and it dies.....that's what he does ;-)
Ballistic Skill, Strength and Perception. Strength and Perception are more there for 'Fluff' reasons than anything else as you don't need a high Perception score to hit things and Astartes heavy weapons can be lifted and used by even the weakest of Marines. Ballistic Skill is the one that all your points should be going into for reasons that I'm hoping I don't need to explain, lol. Ballistic Skill is also the characteristic score used if you need to unjam a weapon which is another good reason for having it high.
Toughness, Willpower and Fellowship. Toughness is always useful as the Marine that just made a large chunk of the enemy forces disappear in an explosion of blood and internal organs is likely to leap up the enemies target priority list quite quickly. The other two abilities can be ignored for the most part unless you have a role-playing reason for doing so.
Weapon Skill, Agility and Intelligence. You don't need any of these though Agility is required for both the 'Dodge' Skill and for deciding who goes first in combat situations so could be worth enhancing....prepare to pay through the fucking nose for the privilege though.
As should be expected you get the usual Astartes Power Armour, Astartes Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades (3), Krak grenades (3), Astartes Combat Knife, Repair Cement and one Chapter Trapping that everybody gets.
In addition the Devastator gets given the following,
Astartes Heavy Bolter with Backpack Ammo Supply.
The Heavy Bolter is an excellent weapon for dealing with pretty much any foe, especially when combined with the wide variety of requisition-able alternate ammo types available for any weapon that fires bolts. Heavy Bolter rounds are more expensive than standard Bolter ones but that's to be expected. The Backpack Ammo Supply increases the weapons capacity from 60 to 250 which is a considerable increase.
A brief interlude on weapon damage.
In the latest errata for the Deathwatch RPG system there is an alternative (and apparently optional) set of weapon stats that reduce the effectiveness of a number of weapons for reasons of balance. Though the errata refers to them as optional it's worth noting that all Fantasy Flight books set in the '40K' world released since appear to be using the errated stats for any Marine or Marine-like weapon. Which you use will be up to your GM but bear in mind that when people on forums complain about the Heavy Bolter being 'broken' they are referring to the original non-errated version. Our groups GM has recently started to make us use the new stats and to be honest it hasn't really effected us greatly though he may have altered our opponents power-levels accordingly.....Maybe he'll have something to say on the matter in the comments section.....
Well other than the Standard Marine ones which all Deathwatch Marines get. None extra then if your being picky.
You get to choose one of the following pair of options. One is a 'Solo' mode option the other is a 'Squad' mode one.
Solo Mode ability first. If your standing behind cover and wielding a heavy weapon then you get a +10 bonus to all Ballistic Skill tests as well as gaining the 'Sturdy' Talent. The Sturdy Talent gives you a +20 bonus to tests to resist being grappled and also gives the same bonus should somebody attempt to use the 'Takedown' talent on you.
This is the Squad Mode ability and has been re-worded in the errata so I shall therefore be quoting the 'new' version.
When the Marine successfully attacks and damages a horde with a heavy weapon he does an additional 1d5 damage to the hordes magnitude. Rather nicely this extra damage stacks with any other ability with similar effects. The effect applies per attack so under normal circumstances this will only happen once per turn. If you happen to hit more than one horde, you get to pick which one takes the extra damage.
Of the two I personally prefer Unrelenting Devastation as our GM is rather fond of hordes of enemies and cover isn't something you can consistently rely on being where you want it to be. Neither are bad though.
The Devastator Marines own Advance Table has all the shooty upgrades in it as you'd expect.
You'll be wanting to take 'Mighty Shot' straight away as it adds 2 to the damage of any weapon you fire. What other abilities you select will depend entirely on which weapon or weapons you intend to focus upon. 'Cleanse and Purify' is useful if you plan on taking Flamer type weapons for example. From the Space Marine Advances the 2nd level of Signature Wargear (Rank 2) is a common investment (you need the first level beforehand, though) as most heavy weapons can be acquired permanently for under the 40 requisition your allowed with only the exotic stuff being out of your price range...
Heavy Bolter - 20 Requisition (you get this as default wargear anyway)
Plasma Cannon - 30 Requisition, Distinguished Renown.
Multi-Melta - 35 Requisition, Respected Renown.
Heavy Flamer - 15 Requisition, Any Renown.
Lascannon - 30 Requisition, Respected Renown.
Missile Launcher - 10 requisition, Any Renown.
As with any character the two extra wounds available at 500 XP each at rank 1 of the Space Marine advances is always useful. Unfortunately most of the Deathwatch Advance Tables Skill increases apply to Weapon Skill not Ballistic Skill as apparently hating something makes you better at chopping it's head off but not blowing it's head off.....
Some General Advice.
This bit is fairly obvious, lol. Up your Ballistic Skill to the maximum possible as soon as possible, take the 'Mighty Shot' talent and 'Signature Wargear' your favourite toy as soon as your at sufficient renown. Our own Kill-teams Devastator has developed a liking for the Plasma Cannon...
Next time...The Deathwatch Librarian.