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I've been reading through Deathwatch and I've finally gotten a grip on the fact that space marines are seriously tough characters compared to the other games in the Warhammer 40k RPG line. The monsters listed in the back of the book are particularly nasty and vile, fitting opponents. I'm a little concerned on how to guage the balance on them.

Would a dozen Tau fire warriors make an appropriate encounter for a group of rank 1 Deathwatch marines?

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When I was running DH, the combat balance point I looked at was average PC's T, Torso AV, and primary weapon damages and pen's in ranged and melee. Used 5.5 per die, rounding up at end, then multiplied by total number of PC's.

If the difference between average damage+Pen and opponent's T+AV is significantly different between sides, the battle will tend to be similarly lopsided.

EG: PC's average Toughness is 40... so T=4. Average torso armor was 4. Weapon damage was averaging 8 (1d10+2), with Pen 4.

NPC side had T6 and AV8, average damage 7 (1d10+3), pen 0...

PC Side was 8+4 vs 6+8, for -2 NPC side was 7+0 vs 8, for -1.

Now, it has to be shifted to positives; move both up the same amount so the lower is +1. In this case, PCs 1, NPC's 2. Now multiply by the numbers. I had 7 PC's, and used 4 NPC's... for 7 and 8. Then multiply by average skill as a percentage... PC average was 45, NPC was 33, for 7*0.45=3.15 and 8*0.33= 2.64. It's clear the PC's have an advantage, but a very weak one... and since in the initial stage, both were negatives, it's going to involve a lot of armor staging.

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Hi, Thank you for the detailed example. I don't understand the last paragraph though, I guess with the skill you are referring to the WS and BS, but I don't understand why the PCs WS is multiplied with the NPCs damage, which was 7 in your example. Or am I getting it completely wrong? –  Elsi Sep 8 at 5:55
@elsi You're misreading Aramis's answer. The NPCs' damage is either -1 or (later) 2. 7 is the number of PCs present. More details can be found in this breakdown of the post (Note to other users: feel free to use anything from the pastebin to make Aramis's answer clearer. I don't know enough about Deathwatch to be comfortable editing around all those acronyms and jargon). –  AceCalhoon Sep 23 at 18:03
Good read, @AceCalhoon. Spot on. –  aramis Sep 24 at 7:42

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