News for November 2011
Upon The Shoulders of Primarchs 25
A preview of First Founding, an upcoming Deathwatch supplement
Deathwatch | Published 01 November 2011

“They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give of themselves to me. Like clay I shall mould them, and in the furnace of war forge them. They will be of iron will and steely muscle. In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest guns will they be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them. They will have tactics, strategies and machines so that no foe can best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the Terror. They are the Defenders of Humanity. They are my Space Marines and they shall know no fear.”
      –The Emperor of Mankind, on the creation of the Space Marines

First Founding, a supplement for Deathwatch, will be on store shelves later this month. Today, we’re pleased to present a designer diary by contributing author Nathan Dowdell, who worked on (among other things) a section devoted to additional content for Space Marine Chapters described in the main rulebook. Thanks, Nathan!

Loyalists and Traitors

First Founding details the nine Chapters directly formed from the loyalist Space Marines Legions, and includes new rules from solo modes to new advances specialities. Of these nine Chapters, First Founding features the final four Chapters not discussed in previous Deathwatch rulebooks. This exciting supplement includes the background of the nine Traitor Legions and their fall to the seduction of the Ruinous Powers. Additionally, for the first time in Deathwatch, First Founding provides new rules for Battle-Brothers to have followers.

First Founding was an opportunity to delve into imagery of the most iconic of Space Marine chapters and bring them to Deathwatch in all their glory. I was charged with producing a significant portion of the rules within the book, developing the mechanics to accompany the copious amounts of background written by Andy Hoare.

The second chapter is devoted to those Chapters described in the Deathwatch main rulebook, providing additional material for Battle-Brothers of the Black Templars, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Storm Wardens and Ultramarines. Each Chapter receives an assortment of additional rules, ranging from Advanced Specialities to new Squad and Solo Mode abilities, to new Oaths.

Legendary Chapters

To start, the Blood Angels are something of a mixed bag of new rules. The ancient spiritual traditions and the taint of their curse are represented by the revered Sanguinary Priests and mighty Furioso Dreadnoughts (including those inhabited by Librarians), while the mastery of aerial assaults is covered by the Descent of Angels Solo Mode Ability. The Squad Mode abilities Crimson Tide and Conviction, and the inspirational Oath of Hope round out their new array of abilities.

The Dark Angels receive rules for the legendary Ravenwing, whose iron wills and masterful skill with fast vehicles make them valuable scouts for the Deathwatch, and the veteran Deathwing, who are nigh-unstoppable in their mighty Terminator armour. Their Squad Mode abilities and the Oath of Vengeance emphasise the ceaseless determination of the Unforgiven to punish those who stand against the Imperium.

The Space Wolves are quite different from those Chapters that adhere to the Codex Astartes, and this required many additional rules to help convey these differences. The stealthy and murderous Wolf Scouts and the wise Wolf Priests are both represented, rendering them distinct from their more civilised peers from other Chapters. On top of those, the strategies of fierce hunters are presented in the Space Wolves Squad Mode abilities, and the Oath of the Wolf King, while the search for glory in battle is covered in their new Solo Mode ability, the Hero’s Saga.

Finally, as befits the inheritors of Roboute Guilliman, the Ultramarines are paragons of the ideals of the Codex Astartes, each warrior aspiring to these ancient and sacred notions of courage and honour and trusting in the strategies and tactics laid down by their Primarch a hundred centuries before. Ultramarines characters are skilled tacticians thanks to the Student of the Codex Solo Mode Ability, the flexible Oath of Duty and four new Squad Mode abilities. In addition, their greatest champions are represented in the Honour Guard Advanced Speciality, while recent tragedies and the grim lessons learnt from them are conveyed with the Tyrannic War Veteran Advanced Speciality.

Thanks, Nathan! Download a preview of the Ultramarines Honour Guard (pdf, 563 KB), and look for First Founding on store shelves next month.

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.

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Comments (25)

Published: 11/2/2011 8:27:50 AM

arag i understand what you are saying. we will just have wait and see if this book is what everyone wants. as for the two chapters in the book that are not first founding, you have a good point, why are they even in a book about the first founding :) hmm seems like ffg slipped a bit there. but we really should forgive them as they are doing a great job with the 40k rpg lines :) shame they had to turn warhammer fantasy into a box setted farce :( here hoping they do a 4th ed, as in reboot 2nd ed as they should have done in the first place :)

nver mind, that a diffenent topic for another forum :) so heres hoping that the book is great and we all get want we want from it :)


Published: 11/2/2011 8:19:09 AM


Yes, the IF are covered in RoB and the Black Templars, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Storm Wardens and Ultramarines are covered in the main book (they all have roughly the same amount of info). But the amount of coverage in FF goes beyond that basic information and the fact that IF aren't mentioned might point out that they won't be getting any goodies the chapters from the main book are (doubtful, no designer would be that dense).

So it's not about the basics, that are in both core and RoB, but rather the extra goodies that will be provided to all core chapters in FF.

In fact, two chapters from the main book (Black Templars and Storm Wardens) shouldn't be even included in the book as they aren't first founding legions/chapters.

Published: 11/2/2011 4:32:02 AM

Looking good, this book promises to be quite a deal.



Published: 11/2/2011 2:40:07 AM

yes, the imperial fist are in rites of battle, pages 44 to 51

Published: 11/2/2011 2:27:54 AM

I don't understand - aren't the Imperial Fists covered in Rites of Battle?

Published: 11/1/2011 8:11:57 PM

I agree with Tyrrell. The wording, if correct, will make the IF less appealing due to a lack of info. But I really hope that they are covered too in as much detail as the other chapters. 

Published: 11/1/2011 8:09:57 PM

@Mr. Grimace

Or that, in this book, the stuff on the Traitor Legions can be imported to Black Crusade.  If nothing else establishing the relationship would allow the other renegade Astartes a broader range of gene-seed.

Published: 11/1/2011 7:32:10 PM

So, nothing for the imperial fists in here? It seems odd that, at least judging from this blurb,we'll see little to none of them in first founding but we will get some support for the storm wardens.

If it is so it means little to nothing in regards to the usefullness or enjoyability of the book, it just seems counter intuitive.

Published: 11/1/2011 7:14:06 PM

really looking forward to this book, now more than ever. would also like to know more about followers, sound great :) wish it would hurry up :)

Published: 11/1/2011 5:32:12 PM

Looking forward to this book. I am crossing my fingers that some of these ideas can be used with the successor chapters.

Published: 11/1/2011 4:03:37 PM

Love the artwork. :)


Mr. Grimace
Published: 11/1/2011 2:06:59 PM

 This book looks amazing. It has been a rough time waiting for it to hit shelves. I really hope the Traitor Legions get a similar treatment in Black Crusade. 


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