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2.0 out of 5 stars Get some! Get some!!! Or Retreat?, 4 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Only War Core Rulebook (Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay) (Hardcover)
FFG have produced some excellent coverage of the Warhammer 40K RPG environment, but in `Only War' I am pretty disappointed with this release.

The Introduction isn't bad and quite interesting when you examine the chain of command of the Imperial Guard and the complexities with support and supply.

The role of you in the Imperial Guard is focused at the very bottom of the military hierarchy structure. In Chapter IX - The Game Master, sub title Running Massive Battles (pg. 301) ... "the Battle Event System......Full Scale Campaigns ..... rules for that level of battlefield command will be presented in future Only War supplements....the massive battle rules in basic Only War campaign focus on the valour and heroism of a single squad".

You may think that this input from FFG is not bad; but have we not overlooked the fact that the Imperial Guard is billions-strong and the fighting should be voluminous like some of the teasing minor artwork suggests. Only War should not be afraid of taking on such epic proportions. After all, in this starting rulebook we should be moving away from the stealth/ finesse of previous Warhammer 40K role-plays. Perhaps rules for fighting within the bastions of Titans, (or around their feet), when advancing and pursuing the enemy will be covered at some point.

The regiment/character creation is all pretty straight forward i.e. you can recruit from 8 different worlds. You won't be an interpreter to deal with the Bloodaxe Ork clan, speeder pilot, or a classic Rough Rider. But you can be other things. I am reminded in the artwork that women of the 41st millennium are involved in the fighting too. Abhumans such as Orgyns (for brute force and Ratlings for snipping/tracking) was a smart move. But what about the horned, hoofed Beastmen used as assault troops? Where also are the cool Squats too? After all, they got integrated into the Imperial Army.

It would have been nice to have appeared in this rulebook the famous Necromund as well as the Armageddon Steel Legion. FFG opted for Elysian Drop Troops whom are a rare, unorthodox Imperial Guard regiment `Dubbed Hell Divers' using Grav-chutes. Maybe they should have been called `terrors from the skies' and leave the real hell diving to regiments whom use actual Jet Packs to `dive' but this equipment seems forgotten. In fact, do not expect to find anything really new in the equipment/weapons. Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader core rulebooks are good supporting material to lean on.

Rough Riders aren't covered in this book, despite the talk of Lance weapons and brief artwork of what appears to be an Attilian rough rider. Only War Hammer of the Emperor supplement will include them, I think.

The Armoury section is very minimal in everything and does not include the Imperial Land Speeder, Hydra, Manitcore, Colossus, Whirlwind, or Gorgan Close Assault Vehicle. Drilling/Tunnelling vehicles to carry imperial troops, such as the Imperial Mole/termite weren't in the book either. Looking at the Super heavies; the Shadow Sword tank should have spearheaded the list, but didn't even get a mention. Still you get more text than anything on some vehicles, which should give you a decent enough start. Flying support such as Valkyrie Assault Carriers/Furries will probably show up in an Imperial Navy Book.

At Squad level you will be battling Hulking Chaos mutants, very large chaos vehicles and alot of Dark Eldar (no pictures sorry). Looking at our Ork adversary, we are regurgitating previous RPG 40K material. Still no sign of Ork Stompers, which the Imperial Guard fight in the thousands. The huge beastly hide of the Squiggoth bristling with Ork castles is not mentioned, or even the simple Ork Dreadnought.

There are indeed issues I have with this book, but perhaps I expected too much, which is likely the problem.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Feb 2013 23:26:52 GMT
David Gori says:
You are underlining very minor issues. The book is gorgeous, rules permit a lot of self-tuning and, what's more, you didn't even mention Commisars. Dismissed.

Posted on 19 Jul 2013 14:44:21 BDT
This review spends a lot of time telling me what's NOT in the book but very little telling me what actually is in it.
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