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  1. #1
    Member wookielips's Avatar
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    Deathwatch Chapter

    would it be feasible for an entire successor chapter to be supplied and directed (and basically seconded), with appropriate backstory and history, to the Ordo Xenos as a "deathwatch" chapter?

    sorry if i am asking a question that has long since been answered. i have recently read quite a few deathwatch stories and the idea intrigues me.

    thanks for any help in this matter/idea


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  3. #2
    God's nutcase Xerxes's Avatar
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    It's very unlikely, as the members of the Deathwatch all need to prove themselves individually to be something beyond a "normal" marine. Having a chapter like that belies the even-more-rigorous-than-before testing, and makes the structure of the Deathwatch moot; I don't believe they ever deploy en masse, but only in small kill teams. I could be wrong, but I can't remember any references to that fact.

    The closest thing that you're likely to get is probably any member of the Scythes of the Emperor. The chapter itself was official wiped out by Hive Fleet Behemoth, but I've seen a few adventurous painters put a marine with crossed scythes in a kill team, which can only mean one thing. If you survived the full onslaught of a Hive Fleet when most of your chapter didn't, you probably qualify several times over. But there are very few of them left, if any at all according to canon fluff.

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    Member wookielips's Avatar
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    my thought was a few full fledged squads that had a heavy bit of experience (and were therefore parts of actual deathwatch kill-teams), and a lot of scouts who would remain in training for an extended period of time, as scouts, so they would be 'above and beyond' to make the specs for deathwatch.

    this may be too far fetched to fly. may go back to the drawing board on it.

  5. #4
    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    Above and beyond a normal marine means, at most, a few veterans from every chapter. That's one in several hundred, at best.. Just training your scouts a bit longer won't cut it.

    The kind of engagements deathwatch are meant to fight in are either outright suicide missions where less experienced marines wouldn't stand a chance or require a level of subtlety and innovative thinking which few marines have. The point is that having a full-sized army isn't generally necessary, and when it was it would probably be some kind of epic world ending threat like the kind of situation the grey knights would roll out en-masse for. Generally, if an Inquisitor needs a blunt hammer to smack some aliens in the face he can already call on the Imperial Guard or ask the space marines nicely to go and check it out. If he needs a precision scalpel for a mission which requires exceptional skills, knowledge and experience and which is so vitally important it has to succeed, he can call in a deathwatch kill team. Having a whole army of lesser soldiers in that kind of situation wouldn't necessarily be effective, they'd just get in the way, suck and die.

    Also, there's the cost.. the equipment deathwatch get is a big, big investment on the part of the Imperium. The Imperium doesn't build hovertanks, but it gives the deathwatch heavy bolters with anti-gravity engines to make them lighter. Trying to equip an entire chapter with relic tech and amazingly advanced super-ammo seems wasteful. You want veterans with hundreds of years of expeirence and the skills to use it to best effect, not slightly-better-scouts.

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    Member wookielips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Giant_Mantis View Post
    Above and beyond a normal marine means, at most, a few veterans from every chapter. That's one in several hundred, at best.. Just training your scouts a bit longer won't cut it.

    The kind of engagements deathwatch are meant to fight in are either outright suicide missions where less experienced marines wouldn't stand a chance or require a level of subtlety and innovative thinking which few marines have. The point is that having a full-sized army isn't generally necessary, and when it was it would probably be some kind of epic world ending threat like the kind of situation the grey knights would roll out en-masse for. Generally, if an Inquisitor needs a blunt hammer to smack some aliens in the face he can already call on the Imperial Guard or ask the space marines nicely to go and check it out. If he needs a precision scalpel for a mission which requires exceptional skills, knowledge and experience and which is so vitally important it has to succeed, he can call in a deathwatch kill team. Having a whole army of lesser soldiers in that kind of situation wouldn't necessarily be effective, they'd just get in the way, suck and die.

    Also, there's the cost.. the equipment deathwatch get is a big, big investment on the part of the Imperium. The Imperium doesn't build hovertanks, but it gives the deathwatch heavy bolters with anti-gravity engines to make them lighter. Trying to equip an entire chapter with relic tech and amazingly advanced super-ammo seems wasteful. You want veterans with hundreds of years of expeirence and the skills to use it to best effect, not slightly-better-scouts.
    yeah i agree 100%. i liked the idea of a few small kill teams that were permanently seconded, but it does seem highly far-fetched.

    i may turn the idea around, and make a chapter that has a good working relationship with the Ordo Xenos, and say, to become a chaplain (obviously veteran to be considered) you must serve on the deathwatch. that sounds considerably more feasible.

  7. #6
    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    Sounds good.. my advice would be to have the chapter almost destroyed by an alien force of some kind recently in their history (tyranids are an obvious one, but necrons are of particular interest to the Ordo Xenos too).. the few survivors of that engagement would make ideal deathwatch candidates. Rather than having hard and fast rules like 'you must have served in the deathwatch to be a chaplain' though (especially since chaplains are primarily morale officers, not just 'big fighty dudes', they skills they require are not necessarily deathwatch oriented, especially since the deathwatch are trained to often ignore the moral restrictions most space marines live by if it means getting the job done), just make some of the elite officers and squad leaders former or current deathwatch veterans. I believe former deathwatch get to keep their deathwatch shoulder pad when they return to their chapters, and actively serving deathwatch (with the full black armour) also sometimes return to their chapters while on duty to deal with specific threats. So a smattering of both would give the impression that the chapter had strong ties to the deathwatch without being too implausable.

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    Member wookielips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Giant_Mantis View Post
    Sounds good.. my advice would be to have the chapter almost destroyed by an alien force of some kind recently in their history (tyranids are an obvious one, but necrons are of particular interest to the Ordo Xenos too)
    has this not been done before? i seem to recall this from some other backstory (not the Astral Claws/Knights, i know they were decimated)

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Giant_Mantis View Post
    the few survivors of that engagement would make ideal deathwatch candidates.
    aye they would.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Giant_Mantis View Post
    Rather than having hard and fast rules like 'you must have served in the deathwatch to be a chaplain' though (especially since chaplains are primarily morale officers, not just 'big fighty dudes', they skills they require are not necessarily deathwatch oriented, especially since the deathwatch are trained to often ignore the moral restrictions most space marines live by (if it means getting the job done)
    well my ideas about this chapter are/have been branching out from the chaplains with deathwatch experience, and here is why.

    basically, the idea is that sometime after the 2nd founding, the imperial fists suffered some grave injustice at the hands of the Emporer's Children. either a chapter hero slain, or an artifact taken (i have not decided what the point of divergence/origin would be). a cadre of veterans and recruits/scouts would be split off into a new chapter, who's sole purpose is the wholesale destruction and erradication of the III legion. throught the centuries that followed, the chapter realizes that it requires a skill-set and base of knowledge, marines and wargear that is selected for this specific and difficult task.

    specific to this thread, the chapter realizes that its chaplains must think 'outside the box'. in addition to a rock-hard core of faith (read: standard chaplain, or maybe even grey knight-esque), they needed a specialized set of training, experience and even wargear to counter the deviancy and alluring power of slaanesh and it's chosen.

    through some manner of event or series of events (still working on that), they become involved with an Ordo Xenos inquistor, assist him/her in a desperate pursuit or situation, and that inquisitor in turn begins a relationship with the chapter. the relationship grows through deathwatch operations, and the inquisitor and chapter form stronger ties. it is the chapters reasoning that their chaplains, by gaining a wealth of new experiences in the deathwatch, would be better prepared to combat the elusive and dangerous forces of the EC, and also to train and guide the chapter's marines in their ultimate goal.

    may seem far fetched, but i like the idea of a chapter dedicated to a single goal, eradicating a stern and devious enemy of the Imperium, and the idea that it is working and utilizing a fairly unique angle to assist in this goal.


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Giant_Mantis View Post
    just make some of the elite officers and squad leaders former or current deathwatch veterans. I believe former deathwatch get to keep their deathwatch shoulder pad when they return to their chapters, and actively serving deathwatch (with the full black armour) also sometimes return to their chapters while on duty to deal with specific threats. So a smattering of both would give the impression that the chapter had strong ties to the deathwatch without being too implausable.
    yeah this seems accurate, in as much as i know of the lexicon.

    maybe my current idea is a little implausible, but i really like the basis of the chapter (in this semi-rough outline) and i'd love some input on these ideas

  9. #8
    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    has this not been done before? i seem to recall this from some other backstory (not the Astral Claws/Knights, i know they were decimated)
    Since space marine chapters are pretty difficult to exterminate wholesale, many chapters have been brought to the brink without actually falling off. I can think of a whole range of fluff examples, but it's still perfectly good for player-made chapters as well.

    Okay, I don't think the EC angle makes much sense, simply because to be a deathwatch marine takes an intricate and highly specialized knowledge of how to kill aliens. They tend to be veterans who have spent most of their space marine careers killing either a specific kind of alien or aliens in general, to the point where their knowledge, and also their xenophobia, is far beyond the rest of their battle brothers. The kind of people who know how to bring down a carnifex with a bolter or how to disable a necron warrior with a knife and prayer.

    If you spend your life fighting chaos, you just don't gain that experience. Sure, you get very good, but it's not the kind of good which makes you an effective deathwatch marine. Even if you've single handedly taken out a chaos terminator squad, it means nothing if you don't know which end of a Zoanthrope is which.
    Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; March 6th, 2010 at 23:33.

  10. #9
    Member wookielips's Avatar
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    very true. i think im going to scrap the deathwatch idea for the time being.

    does the Ordo Hereticus have anything similar? i have never heard of anything of the like.

    edit: going to start a rough DIY thread about this 'anti-EC' chapter
    Last edited by wookielips; March 7th, 2010 at 00:44.

  11. #10
    Drills baby. Da Mighty Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wookielips View Post
    does the Ordo Hereticus have anything similar? i have never heard of anything of the like.
    Well the three major Ordos of the Inqusition all have a Chamber militant that they call upon in special situations. Ordo Malleus have the Grey Knights, Ordo Xenos have the Deathwatch and Ordo Hereticus have the Adepta Sororitas, the Sisters of Battle.

    Both the Grey Knights and the Deathwatch are completely subjugated to their respective Inquisitorial orders (Lord Inquisitors form an integral part of their command structure) and very rarely deploy on "personal missions". Indeed, as Xerxes noted, the Deathwatch only ever deploy in 'kill-teams' for very specific missions and the Grey Knights only deploy in company strength in truly dire situations (not reflected in the game though, where they fight in large numbers any time they get. ).

    The Adepta Sororitas are different though, being more aking to the standing army or militia of the Adeptus Ministorum (law dictates that the Ecclesiarchy cannot have 'men' under arms) and who have an alliance with the Ordo Hereticus to assist their agents if needed. This makes the Sisters of Battle primarily an army of the Ecclesiarchy and not the Ordo Hereticus.
    Last edited by Da Mighty Camel; March 9th, 2010 at 13:39.

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