|Deathwatch | Published 25 March 2011|
“The tome you see before you now is the result of our discussions regarding the myriad threats that our Kill-teams have faced amongst the worlds of the Jericho Reach...Of particular note to your Ordo, honoured Inquisitor, is that a number of the threats detailed in this tome are not, in fact, alien in origin. Rather, these enemies are heretics, traitors, warpspawn, or worse...Thus, when I asked for the reports to create this tome, these reports included the threats that were judged worthy of the Deathwatch’s interest in all aspects of war.”
-Codicier Taelon of the White Scars
Though Codicier Taelon would not live to complete his life’s work, having been among the fallen at the Battle of the Darkspire, many Watch Captains have taken heed of his wisdom and his tome has been highly praised by Inquisitors Ghraile and Quist of the Ordo Xenos. For within the war-torn Jericho Reach only the intervention of the Deathwatch Kill-teams can tip the balance in the Imperium. Taelon’s knowledge-laden book, minutely depicting the enemy, aids the Deathwatch in striking back against their greatest foes.
Mark of the Xenos, a bestiary of the monstrous, is the upcoming supplement for Deathwatch. Today we’ll be looking at an overview of Mark of the Xenos, the tome created by the Deathwatch Librarian Taelon, that includes commentaries, advice, and vital information.
Mark of the Xenos is separated into four chapters, each focusing on a different breed of threat that you may face in the course of your duties: The Alien Threat, Radicals and Heretics, The Forces of Chaos, and Advanced Adversaries. The subdivisions within the chapters feature enemy profiles with movement values and weapon damages, presented with options and variations for a Game Master to modify as is required for his game. Also included are ready-made adventure hooks that a GM can use to drop the monsters directly into his Deathwatch campaign.
The Alien Threat
“Let me tell you son, when you hear that sound, you’ve got three seconds to grab your lasgun and then they’re on you.”
-Corporal Hahnsen of the 45th Scintilla Guard
Chapter one centres around the Enemy Without, the primary enemies of the Deathwatch. No enemy is more central to the purpose of the Deathwatch than the numerous hostile alien races scattered throughout the galaxy and beyond. Discover over 35 alien predators that exist within the Jericho Reach!
This chapter features some better-known aliens such as the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Dagon, the Tau forces of the Velk’han Sept, Orks, as well as more minor species like the shapeshifting Lacrymole, and more. Immerse yourself into the minds of the aliens inimical to human life and emerge better able to fulfill the Deathwatch’s main purpose, eradicating such xenos.
Radicals and Heretics
“When the box sings a pretty song; when it saves you from all that’s wrong; when it adds a sudden price, you bless it once to be cursed thrice.”
-Children’s rhyme from the Jericho Reach
The Imperium of Man seethes with anarchy, rebellion, and murder. In the Jericho Reach, hidden from the Light of Terra for thousands of years, billions of souls have wandered far from the salvation of the God-Emperor of Mankind. Including a brief history of heresy in the Jericho Reach, this chapter discusses the enemy within that abounds on the cursed worlds of the Jericho Reach.
Codicier Taelon contended with the Deathwatch about the dangers of even a single heretic or radical, arguing that sometimes the most dangerous threat is the most simple: an idea...subtle, insidious, and difficult to destroy. Within this chapter recidivists misled by the rantings of Apostate Cardinals, the deadly machinations of a Radical Inquisitor, and the horrific constructs of tech-heresy are laid bare.
The Forces of Chaos
“Better to pluck out your eyes and fight blind than to look upon such a vile, blasphemous monstrosity.”
-Chaplain Trakus, White Scars Chapter
The Ruinous Powers command Daemons, warpspawn, Chaos Space Marines, and corrupt hordes of humanity daily; Chaos is the ancient enemy of Mankind and those ensnared by it become a threat of ruination to Mankind. Impossible to destroy, Chaos being an unalterable fact of nature, the Deathwatch can only attempt to quell the growing plague. As the Hadex Anomaly spews forth armies of corruption into the Jericho Reach, every gained detail about the tide of evil depicted within this chapter will strengthen any Kill-team’s cessation techniques.
Prepare your mind for the horror. What follows is a glimpse of the gruesome tales that await you in Mark of the Xenos. An excerpt from the Plaguebearer section:
When you asked me to share anything I knew about the enemies we regularly confront in the Reach, one incident in particular came to mind. I led a Kill-team on a mission...to an orbital station above a world in the Acheros Salient...we faced a group of daemons, each with a single rheumy eye and a black, twisted horn. These daemons were extremely difficult to destroy...for these daemons are seemingly immune to any pain or discomfort, even from missing limbs or wounds that would otherwise despatch an enemy. Eventually, we purged the station by opening that chamber to vacuum, then re-sealing it and cleansing each room with flamers.”
“They came without number and without remorse. They came from every side and at every hour. They came hungry for our blood, and they just kept on coming. Every one that came... we killed.”
-Battle-Brother Glarus of the Crimson Fists
A Battle-Brother facing enemies equal to his numbers is a rare occurrence; nothing exemplifies the strength and power of the Space Marines like their ability to deal with a foe that vastly outnumbers them. Of course, this is what a Space Marine expects on the field of battle. Presenting new rules and guidelines, the final chapter details how to utilise adversaries in a Deathwatch campaign, including the proper use of Hordes which will allow a GM to turn any kind of foe into a mob or combat formation of even thousands of individuals, Horde tactics, the rules for scaling up to even larger conflicts, and more.
With a detailed understanding of the specifics of warfare, a GM can better manage his games. Take a peek at a discussion of one of the keys to encounters and actions in larger conflicts with an excerpt from the chapter:
“Battles are seldom fought to the last man and in many cases the victor is determined not by size, strength or skill of a force, or even the stalwart leadership of its commanders, but by fate and a few chance encounters and actions amidst a much larger engagement. These key moments in a battle are sometimes known as turning points, and can influence the entire outcome of a combat.”
Be vigilant! More previews are imminent in the coming weeks. This Spring, get ready to know your enemy like never before in Mark of the Xenos.
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.
"2 chapters in a book titled Mark of Xenos wasted for hereticsother chaos forces. That means only couple Tyranid species, some Tauprobably 2less entries for EldarOrks. Shame on you FFG."
Yes, shame on them for not doing what you personally wanted them to do. How dare they...
I personally like the varietywill be happily using all the "wasted" write-ups for heretics, Chaos Space Marines, and daemons with my playerswho will all probably buy this book as well.
Most excited by the Xenos stuff,I'm excited about that in a big big way. The cover art alone had me soldi hope we have a good amount of Tyranid stuff as well as plenty of other diverse critters for my players to face. All i need now is a release date so i can save up the money in time to but it as soon as it's available.
2 chapters in a book titled Mark of Xenos wasted for hereticsother chaos forces. That means only couple Tyranid species, some Tauprobably 2less entries for EldarOrks. Shame on you FFG.
I'm looking forward to the xenos. I'd like to see more eldar (craftworld, dark,exodite). Not so sure about the hereticschaos stuff, but that could be cool - I trust FFG on this. Hopefully this is released soon!
I want XENOS. Not hereticsChaos....plenty of that has seenwill see coverage soon enough. I should not complain though....Fantasy Flight has been good to 40k.
I wouldn't mind seeing the list for all the Xenos in this. Will be getting this for sure.
35 Xenos surely sounds good! I hope they will be useful in Dark Heresy too!
I definitely want.