|Deathwatch | Published 12 March 2010|
Greetings, Deathwatch fans!
One of the greatest challenges I faced when developing Deathwatch was finding the right answer to a simple question: What Space Marine Chapters should be included in the core rulebook?
The Deathwatch is a unique opportunity to showcase the differences between the core beliefs, traditions, and gene-seeds of the various Space Marine Chapters, and there is no better way to showcase that than to focus on some of the most famous and distinct Space Marine Chapters in Warhammer 40,000.
In the background of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, there are a large number of interesting and unique Space Marine Chapters. Working with Games Workshop, we selected six of these Chapters for the Deathwatch Core Rulebook, but there are many more that await in future supplements for the Deathwatch line. I myself am quite a fan of the Space Marines, so I know that there are a lot of fans out there who are waiting with bated breath to see their particular favourite Chapter for Deathwatch.
In addition to that, it is a long-held tradition for Space Marine fans to create their own Chapters, or develop successor Chapters from some of the more famous and well-established ones in the Warhammer 40,000 lore. You can be sure that a thorough and extensive create-your-own-Chapter section is planned for the Deathwatch line in the future!
I am pleased to reveal the first of these Chapters in this Designer diary: The Space Wolves.
The Sons of Russ
The Space Wolves are a personal favourite of mine. These fierce Space Marines hail from the icy Death World of Fenris, and they are a proud and noble Chapter, their battle-lust tempered by cunning. Even in the grim darkness of the far future, there can still be heroes, and amongst their number you will find the savage fury of the Space Wolves. Here are some words from the talented pen of Andy Hoare about these Space Marines and their role in the Deathwatch:
“We may be few, and our enemies many. Yet so long as there remains one of us still fighting, one who still rages in the name of justice and truth, then by the Allfather, the galaxy shall yet know hope.”
–Ragnar Blackmane of the Space Wolves
Since the Imperium came into being, the Space Wolves have fought tooth and nail for the cause of the Emperor. Amongst the most famous of the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, their sagas are told from one end of the galaxy to the other. As headstrong as they are fierce, the Space Wolves excel at close-quarters fighting, their warriors vying keenly for glory on the field of battle. The Space Wolves live to fight, and death holds no fear for them.
The Battle-Brothers of the Space Wolves are ferocious and aggressive warriors. Though far from mindless berserkers, they are certainly possessed of a feral exuberance for battle. They have an overriding sense of duty and honour, and are driven ever onwards by a strong desire to right the many wrongs that have befallen the Imperium of Man since the heady days of the Great Crusade. Space Wolves exhibit a fierce sense of loyalty to their comrades in arms and this is on occasion extended to their compatriots in other branches of the Imperium’s military.
Although as devoted to the Emperor as any other Space Marine Chapter, the Space Wolves express their faith not in prayer and piety, but in feats of arms. While the Battle-Brothers of other Chapters may spend the night before battle in solemn meditation, the Space Wolves are more likely to mark the eve of battle in bawdy celebration, raising overflowing jacks of Fenrisian ale to brothers they may be mourning once battle is done. A Space Wolf will drink and make merry, for tomorrow, he may die.
In temperament, most Space Wolves are blunt and plain speaking, even to the point of giving offence to those not used to their ways. They abhor pretension and despise politicking. They are honest to a fault, and expect the same quality in those they fight alongside. Space Wolves embrace their lot with an uncomplicated enthusiasm, from the headstrong, newly recruited Blood Claw to the grey haired and taciturn Long Fang. Each plays the role fate lays before him, knowing that a life spent in service to the Emperor is a life well lived.
In the face of an enemy attack, a Space Wolf bounds forward like a Fenrisian wolf on the hunt, a joyous song of war on his lips.
In the Deathwatch
Many Space Wolves have served in the Deathwatch, and some of the most celebrated Battle-Brothers are drawn from the Chapter. Their propensity to engage the foe head on has led to many great victories, even if none outside of the Deathwatch ever hear of them. Though many Space Wolves have been elevated to the rank of Watch Captain in the Deathwatch, comparatively few have served as Watch Commanders. It is likely that this is due to the brothers’ natural gregariousness, and their desire to return to the great feasting halls of Fenris once their duty is done.
Deathwatch is a roleplaying game in which players take on the roles of the bio-engineered super-soldiers known as Space Marines. United with their battle-brothers, players will complete extraordinary missions involving some of the greatest heroes and deadliest opponents the Warhammer 40,000 universe has to offer.
I know it'll be far down the list of Chapters they include, but I'm hoping to see the Mantis Warriors get some love. In fact, given how well known the main codex chapters are from the minis game, I would actually hope that they consider making at least 2 of the 6 initial chapters ones that aren't codex chapters. I fully expect Black Templars to be included, as well as Blood Angels. I could also see Crimson Fists and Salamanders. If the guess of Dark Angels is right, one of the last two would have to go, but I'm holding out hope that I'm wrong about some of the choices. Its certainly the choice that makes the most business sense, I suppose (although saving some for expansion books makes sense as well), but I really want to see some less popular chapters developed.
My only concerns for Deathwatch are those connected with strict roleplaying - many gamers (even experienced ones) can find roleplaying Space Marines difficult. It is hard enough to identify with a Space Marine, but to identify with a Space Marine of a given Chapter is even harder. To fully appreciate some Chapters one has to read at least a GW Codex, not to mention books as it is in the case of Space Wolves (only there one can feel their atmosphere).
But still, I'm glad to see Spase Wolves here as they became my second favourite Chapter after Black Templars and the one I find the most appealing for roleplaying.
I'm still waiting for Black Tamplars though. They were my first army to collect and their truly gothic imagery just rocks.
Somber, what you are referencing is in fact the short story "Deathwing" that details why they Dark Angels termination company wears white armour and bears it's distinctive name. The Genestealer invasion was NOT on Caliban (or the Rock) but rather on one of the Dark Angels' recruiting worlds. The marines in the story were natives of the world in question before becoming Angels and had to deal with old memories and emotions as they struggled with the burden of their obvious duty. Because the survivors of the Termination company knew that the actions they were about to take (purging the Genestealer infestation of an entire world!) would kill them, they had funeral rites for themselves and painted their armour white (as was tradition on that world to dress the dead in white) because "they are already dead". For those who have not read it, give it a look.
From the Lexicanum:
Specific chapters that are known to contribute troops to the Deathwatch include;
Scythes of the Emperor
So, i don't really care if Dark Angels are made members of the Deathwatch in the RPG, it's just that it is a bit a contradiction.
In the previous editions of many codexes, it is also stated that Dark Angels does not take any allies from the Inquisition.
It's just strange.
I love Dark Angels , by the way :)
So , i should have used the word, INVADED by Genestealers... sorry about that.
Chapter legend states that a band of Deathwing brethren returned to the world of their birth, only to find their people enslaved to xenos invaders.
Abiding by the traditions of their people, the brethren painted their armour white, symbolising that they were dead men walking, ghosts, setting out on their death-quest.
Fighting through hordes of GENESTEALERS, the brethren penetrated deep into the alien lair, and faced the largest GENESTEALER any had encountered before.
The battle against this beast claimed the life of the band's Librarian, but it was felled, and the world freed from alien domination.
Dark Angels Codex 2006, page 16.
Sombrelame: Genestealers? Huh? The Dark Angels themselves destroyed Caliban during the Heresy when they found that their brothers left to guard it had turned traitor. They bombed it from orbit, and the damage was so intense that the planet broke up, leaving only their fortress (which was void shielded) intact. This fortress, called The Rock, now travels between the stars as their mobile home base.
Perhaps you mean the Ultramarines defending their homeworld against Hive Fleet Behemoth(?)? That wasn't destroyed either, but the Nids did manage to destroy the entire first company in a battle at the polar defense fortress. After this, Chaplain Cassius started working on training a team of Tyrannic War vets to fight the Nids in the future, and to train other chapters in the same. If this is what you were thinking of, that would be WAY cool to see in this game.
I saw the marine with the jump pack. It is a Dark Angel.
But i play Warhammer 40k for about 20 years now, and in some of my books, it is clearly written that Dark Angels does not take part in the Deathwatch.
Maybe they changed this to fit the purpose of having all space marines chapters in their game, but originally, Dark Angels are not supposed to be members of the Death Watch.
In fact, they are not supposed to join any inquisition force at all.
Of course, like all Space Marines, they hate the Xenos (their homeworld have been destroyed by genestealers)as much as Chaos and Deamons, but the Inquisition never trusted them.
also in the DW artwork shown in the book they're fighting Chaos Marines not a Xeno race
Anyways check the artwork on the Deathwatch main page. Marine with the Jump Pack on the left go view background image. That is a fairly common example of Dark Angels Iconography on a Dark Green field on his knee, he is wearing a winged helm and he is in deathwatch armour. I would say he is a Dark Angel.
In the FFG artwork = good chance in the FFG game
While the game may be called Deathwatch from what FFG designers have said it does not sound like you are limited solely to an Ordo Xenos campaign and while I wouldn't expect to see the Grey Knights right away I would expect them in a future suplement.
Also you may want to watch the condesending attitude you're comming across with in your post (if people think that's how I sounded also, I appologies) not all of us have access to or have found all of the canon that has been written over the past 20+ years.
Curious where it says that there are no Dark Angels in the Deathwatch (seriously I'll admit I don't have all the background books). There may not be many Dark Angels in the Deathwatch but when people don't do what the Inquisition asks they tend to wonder about what you're hiding (and the DA have alot to hide and you can be sure a number of Inquisitors have their own suspicions).
Also the Dark Angels are pretty fanatical about all threats to the Imperium, in their background refusing to suffer the alien, the traitor or the deamon to live. Yes they mainly focus on finding and punishing the Fallen, but the clues that will lead to them can be found scattered across the galaxy on both human and daemon worlds. However, just focusing on these leaves out the possibility that some of the Fallen or clues to their whereabouts may be found scattered through various alien empires and worlds acting as
Dark Angels Chapter in the Deathwatch ?
Maybe you should learn that the Dark Angels are obviously not members of the Death Watch, except ONE, that refuses to give his name.
Dark Angels have no time to waste hunting xenos because they are after the Fallen.
Also, Grey Knights is a chapter that hunts heretics and demons... not Xenos !
A Grey Knight Expansion for Dark Heresy could be fun though. It fits more in Dark Heresy thant in Death Watch.
Suggestion for Fantasy Flight Games:
And another big book containing monsters, races and atrocities too ! (compatible with all WH 40 k RPGs).
And another one, containing a ton of vehicles and spacecrafts too ! Like the Landraider, the Valkyrie, Baneblades, Predator , Leman Russ, Dropships and the like.
We need more vehicles and more monsters ! :)