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Only War Core Rulebook (Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay)
Only War Core Rulebook (Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay)
by Fantasy Flight Games
Edition: Hardcover

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab your lasgun, the galaxy needs saving., 5 Jan. 2013
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The 40k universe contains super humans who can tear open tanks, alien creatures the size of a house and technology advanced beyond the imagination. You are none of this. When the hordes of the enemy come down you hold your ground with faith as your shield and numbers as your sword. You are Imperial Guard.

Only War is a combination of Black Crusade (BC) and Deathwatch (DW). The game mechanics are similar to BC for actions, righteous fury and an 'open' advance scheme allowing to take your character in any direction. The squad rules are dramatically improved over DW as marines don't really need to work together, as guardsmen alone you don't stand a chance. Each player gets a comrade (a.k.a. Red Shirt) and with your comrade you work as 2-man teams, such as Heavy and Loader, Sniper and Spotter, etc. Comrades have the life expectancy of a Spinal Tap drummer emphasized by the Squad sheet the group gets that gives you many rows for 'Name' and 'Cause of death' in the squad.

The Players all come from the same Regiment selected from mechanised Cadians, deathworld Catachans, selfless Death Korps of Krieg, Elysian Drop Troops, Calixis sector's own Maccabian Janissaries, Mordian Iron Guard, guerrilla fighting Tallarn Desert Raiders or Voystroyan Firstborn. There is also rules to make your own and no doubt there will be supplementary books with many more regiments in. Each regiment has rules that will effect all the PCs in stats, roleplaying and equiptment (Catachans are all strength but Mordians come with a Leman Russ Battle Tank as starting gear!).

Each player then selects their duty in the squad from; Heavy Gunner, Medic, Operator (vehicles), Sergeant, Weapons Specialist, Commisar, Ministorum Priest, Ogryn(!), Ratling, Santioned Psyker, Storm Trooper and Tech-priest Enginseer. Each specialisation comes with unique skills or abilities making a character defined and yes, a Commisar can execute people (if you need some motivation the Commisar shoots your comrade - punishing your friends for your failings).

Don't expect to see Power Armour in the armoury, its more about supporting equipment to improve your character so don't forget about your comrade when tooling up. Equipment is done on requesting from the Munitorium based on Logistics which is effected by how well the guard are winning in your region, how many guard are stationed on your planet and the success of your squad. Be careful though, the Imperium is an organisation of beauracracy and requesting gear can go wrong with the helpful servitors suppling you with a crate of helmets rather than the ammo you desperately need.

Vehicle rules are updated and improved. Vehicles now have hit locations so you can just strike at a weapon or tracks if you don't want to blow the whole thing up. There are also new vehicles and it is possible to have access from the start.

Only War is about a tight nit group working together, problems can't be solved by one person and to be caught on your own outside the group is certain death. After all you only were given a glorified torch, pointy stick and cardboard armour. Join the Imperial Guard and be the first line of defense against the terrors of the galaxy.

Black Crusade (Warhammer 40,000) (Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay)
Black Crusade (Warhammer 40,000) (Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay)
by Same Stewart
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death to the false emperor!, 26 Oct. 2011
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In my opinion bad-guy RPGs don't work. There is no structure to adhere to and after going on a kill crazed rampage you find that there is little else to do. Black Crusade has good ideas for GM's and PC's to keep the story flowing although it would still take work on the GM's part since Khorne Marines have no reason to gather information or even talk to NPCs except to say "I will wear your skull on my throne".

The book starts with the 40k history but this is worth reading again as it is from the view of Chaos and its take on Imperial society will make you want to join the forces of ruin. It even gives an idea about how to play hidden within the Imperium (Calaxis sector), avoiding Imperial entanglements (Halo Stars) or outside Imperial knowledge (the Screaming Vortex).

Character generation starts with race; you can be a Marine or a Human. The characters are meant to balance out since humans get more skills than marines plus there is only 5pts difference in the starting stats. The best thing about characters is that they don't have pre-destined career path, you gain points towards each of the 5 chaos alignments and that determines what skills you may take.

The rules are similar to the other 40k RPGs even though the layout is different. The biggest thing about the system is that it has an ending. Characters gain corruption and infamy points as they game based on the powers of chaos distorting them or the gods blessing their acts. The race is to make sure you keep infamy points higher as once you reach 100pts in either take on full corruption and mutate into a spawn or you gain the greatest blessing and become a daemon prince to lead a Black Crusade against the vile Imperium.

Weapons are fun and creating daemon weapons will no doubt be toyed with a few times. The adventure in the back is a good starting point as groups need to be given some instruction on how to start their path to glorious damnation.

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