Thursday night is my regular Deathwatch RPG night. When last we left our kill team of marines, we had just visited a pleasure planet, found out that it was corrupted to the core, were sorely tempted by disguised Daemonettes, but we valiantly fought our way to down to the bowels of the corrupt Lord Commander's abode . . . and then we saw a portal open before us and a huge, vaguely female leg popped out.
Now, Rangar Then (my Space Wolf Devastator) would be remiss if he didn't rely on the storied traditions of the past to guide him in situations like this. Immediately he remembered in his youth, on Fenris, when Rangar was nearly killed luring an Ice Troll into a pit trap so that his fellows to could kill the beast as it climbed back out.
Rangar's pro-active Space Marine version of this plan was to have one of the Kill Team run out of the line of sight of the daemon, set our Melta Bomb (we always requisition at least one), and I'd taunt the daemon until it was right up on me, we'd blow the Melta Bomb, drop the daemon into a hole, and blow the thing up as it's climbing back out of the Melta created hole.
That was the plan.
Amazingly, the Assault Marine was going to follow the plan, despite the fact that Korlon is usually the first one to dive into combat before any plan can be formulated. Unfortunately Garziel, our Dark Angel Librarian, had his own plan, which he didn't share, because he's a Dark Angel, and also because he's got a big hammer that hates daemons. Also, did I mention that our Apothecary's player couldn't make the session, so we were a bit short on someone to staple the holes back shut again.
So, we have Garziel about to charge the Keeper of Secrets, we have our Tech Marine, Alexander, about to run like Hell to get out of sight so he could set the Melta Bomb (and also because he was right next to the Keeper and was pretty wounded), Mathias, our sniper, well away and ready to take shots at the thing, and Korlon ready to jump in and start taunting the Keeper if she killed me or didn't follow the right path to the Melta Bomb.
We all know it couldn't go easily, though, because the Apothecary had our tarp, and we all knew that the best way to fight a daemon is to throw a tarp over it's head first . . . what? It worked that one time.
So Garziel charges the Keeper of Secrets, and does an amazing amount of damage, between his daemon hatin' hammer and his psychic damage bump, enough damage to really stagger a really powerful daemon . . . so it decides to rip him to shreds. It's okay, we can still salvage the plan. Heck, Garziel can help me draw her/it down the right path to the Melta Bomb.
So after the Keeper's four . . . four . . . attacks, Garziel would have been dead if not for burning a fate point, and he quite spectacularly lost a leg. And by spectacular, I mean that he immediately shot out so much blood that anyone in the area had to make agility checks to move through the blood's path (don't worry, we're Space Marines . . . the wound sealed up pretty quick, after letting out a slick roughly half of the size of the Exxon Valdez spill).
Alexander's turn comes up, and he starts to run like Hell to get out of sight and set the Melta Bomb . . . and promptly slips on the blood slick left by our Librarian. Flat on his back, the plan immediately morphed into, "shoot it shoot it shoot it shoot it."
I so wanted to actually look like a tactician, even if a crazy one. Ah well. I unloaded the heavy bolter into her/it repeatedly, and hit . . . a lot. So much that she/it decided to turn her attention to me. Thankfully I had picked up the honor of being able to wear a nice, handy Iron Halo, which is good, because Rangar dodges about as well as drunken elephant. The Iron Halo managed to keep me from suffering Garziel's fate, and my second salvo killed her to death . . . or at least back to the Warp.
Against all logic, we decided that instead of letting the Inquisition handle all of this investigation stuff, we'd do it, and ran into a full blown cult that involved the Lord Commander of the local Salient, a bunch of Imperial officers, and some Chaos Marines. Mathias did his sneaky thing to scout out the bad guys, got spotted, and invoked his ability to one shot any named NPC that was suppose to be a threat.
Seriously. Mathias does that a lot. Don't worry, we may be able to kill named guys that are suppose to be a threat, but we also have a knack for letting moderately dangerous foes whack at us long enough to actually harm us, and to make colossally bad decisions about how long to keep pressing on when devastatingly injured.
Plus Korlon does things like using his jump pack to wall grind and kick flip transfer to charge attack while eating a plasma burst he could have avoided.
After causing most of the cultists to scatter, Garziel picked up his leg and used one of his psychic scary boom things and made the cultist cavern rain blood. We couldn't top that, so we left, went back to our ship, tried to call the Inquisitor we are working with, and found out she hasn't been heard from in a while.
Also, our pilot had been turned into a red stain. Since Space Wolves have an Omophagea, I figured if I tasted what was left of the pilot, I might get some insight into what happened. Lapping up the blood only resulted in me finding out that the pilot was pretty upset about getting killed and disturbing Mathias ("just because you have an Omophagea doesn't mean you have to use it!"), and I found a slightly larger bit of pilot to snack on, which still didn't yield much. Tracking wise, I found really big footprints leading to some buildings.
Now, at this point, it would make sense to head back to the ship, tell someone how screwed the planet is, and and wait for someone to point us toward something else to kill. However, since my fellow Space Marines already headed towards the buildings where the apparent Ogryn killers had headed, I rolled a Willpower test to see if I would be a good leader or a Space Wolf. The dice came up Space Wolf, and I couldn't be showed up by my brothers doing something dumb without me.
Keep in mind, we are all really battered, no Apothecary, and Garziel has only one leg . . . yet walks almost as fast as I do.
Garziel's psyber-raven scouts out an officer type in an office and some Ogryn, and Korlon, back to form, charges the Ogryn. I got out the missile launcher and took out the office. Then all we could see were Ogryn arms pounding Korlon over and over from around a corner. Everyone moved to help Korlon, but I'm slow. I shot a missile near an Ogryn and figured that Korlon's storm shield had a chance to keep the Krak Missile from blowing him up. In theory, the Emperor has to love someone that willing to place himself in danger. Turns out I was right.
Partially. My missile didn't hurt Korlon, but Mathias and Alexander both almost killed him with friendly fire. However, the story has a marginally happy ending because Korlon didn't die and the Ogryn did.
Getting back on track, we set out for the orbital station that the inquisitor last reported from. We find a Chaos Marine shuttle, and Alexander is enraged at the heretical technology. And by enraged, I mean that, for a Space Marine that has a ton of his normal body replaced with machines, he almost showed emotion. He very angrily shut down the Chaos Marine shuttle, and we took off for the detention level, without a single Wookiee to help us break in. Then again, we're Deathwatch. If someone handed us a Wookiee, we would have shot him.
We ran into some more Chaos Space Marines near the end of the session, and Mathias killed someone so well that the GM asked him, "he's dead, do you want to stop shooting him?"
Unfortunately, my Iron Halo apparently figured that keeping me alive fighting a Keeper of Secrets was good enough, and I took 80+ damage or something to my head. Thus I burned my very own fate point that evening, and I have another facial scar to go along with the nice scar I got from the Tau railgun that shot me in the face way back when I first joined the game.
The session was a lot of fun, and it reminded me of something I have noticed between playing and listening to podcasts and the like. Deathwatch is very swingy, but it's a feature, not a bug, at least to my thinking. The insane swinginess of damage lends itself to the over the top feel of the setting, as well as fostering situations where Space Marines can get so cocky over walking through legions of enemies right up to their boss . . . who then can stomp them with mind-numbing amounts of damage.
Side Note: We determined that, given the rivalry between Space Wolves and Dark Angels, that Fenrisian Ale actually contains the tears of Dark Angels. Dark Angels never cry in public, so to prove themselves, Wolf Scouts have to sneak up on Dark Angels when they are sobbing about being so alone and steal their tears for the fermentation process back on Fenris.
Quite enjoying this game, but I can't wait to get my pet Fenrisian Wolf.