Only War Playtest
Forming the Regiment
When beginning a campaign in ONLY WAR, the group first decides on a single regiment that their Squad of Guardsmen hails from. This determines which world the characters were born on, what their commanding officer is like, and what type of missions they get assigned to, as well as many other elements of their campaign. After deciding on a regiment, individual players can then create their individual characters as described in Character Creation.
When creating a new regiment, a group must go through a number of choices, which are described in more detail below. Firstly, a regiment has a budget of 12 points with which to purchase individual options, which come from a number of categories:
- (1 to 3 points) The home world or origin, which defines where the recruits came from before they were chosen to serve in the Imperial Guard. (chosen by Boyd Prime)
- (1 to 3 points) A unit must select the personality of its commanding officer, which defines how the unit has adapted to the realities of war under their commander’s authority. (chosen by MarDurTaren)
- (2 to 4 points) The regiment type (armoured, droptroops, light, etc). (chosen by Ben)
- (2 to 4 points) The training doctrine (close order drill, jager, etc). (MAY BE SELECTED TWICE INSTEAD OF SELECTING SPECIAL EQUIPMENT) (chosen once by Nat)
- (2 to 3 points) Specialised equipment for the regiment (such as chamelion cloaks or combat drugs). (MAY BE SELECTED TWICE INSTEAD OF SELECTING TRAINING DOCTRINE) (chosen once by Pope)
I would like the entire Regiment Formation process to be done as a round-table with each player taking a turn at making one decision. This gives each person one definite element that they have chosen and cuts down on “decision by committee”.
With that in mind can players please begin Regiment Creation in the order given below. I have chosen Dave first and then randomly assigned the rest of the order:
Boyd Prime(done) MarDurTaren(done) Ben(done) Nat(done) Luke(done)
So Boyd Prime would choose an option and then update the information on the forum and then Marc would choose an option and so on.
Standard Regimental Kit
After everyone has completed regiment formation we can then move on to assembling the Standard Regimental Kit. This is built from a universal kit and modified by choices made in the previous step, and finally augmented with 30 points of additional kit items.
Certain regiments hold a preference for particular heavy and special weapons, whether through availability, due to a particular style of combat, or simply due to the nature of the common enemy. Choose one heavy weapon and one basic weapon, these favoured weapons are easier to obtain, granting characters from the regiment a +10 bonus on all Logistics Tests to obtain those weapons and ammunition for them.
At this point, regiment creation is almost complete, with only a few details remaining before players can begin constructing characters from that regiment. These elements of background should be developed when updating the forum with your regiment formation choice. By the end of the process we should know:
Where was the regiment raised?
You should have already determined the type of home world or origin the regiment came from, but worlds are more than the simple classifications that the Imperium gives them. Considering the nature of a regiment’s world of origin can help define the way that regiment is dressed, the style of its wargear, and its traditions and idiosyncrasies, all of which are useful for the GM and the players to know when playing the game.
Why was the regiment raised?
Particularly when dealing with regiments that have come from far distant sectors on the other side of the Imperium, explaining why the regiment came to exist is useful to know—are they the simple product of their home world’s tithes, contributed to a distant war, or were they mustered to combat a particular threat on a world near to their home? Perhaps they’re survivors from a campaign that tore across their home world, now moved from warzone to warzone, or they’re returning crusaders, not yet asked to lay down their weapons.
What does the regiment believe?
Every world in the Imperium worships the Emperor—this much is both inescapable truth and inviolable law. However, the differences between the belief systems of individual worlds can be considerable. Each sector and each world within will have different ways to practise those beliefs, different local festivals and patron saints.
Within the Calixis Sector, Saint Drusus is the most revered of saints, having been one of the generals who founded the sector, and its first ruler in the aftermath of the Angevin Crusade. Few are the Calixian regiments who do not pay at least the slightest respect to Drusus, but every world will have its own ancient heroes and figures of veneration, whose examples and legends inspire the faithful.
In what state is the regiment?
Whether freshly raised to fight the Emperor’s wars, or hardened veterans of many battles, regiments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some of the most dangerous consisting of a handful of companies, while a fresh regiment may consist of tens of thousands of warriors. Some veteran regiments may even have been so battered by conflict that they have merged with another under-strength regiment, to ensure that neither goes to waste, and by the end of a long campaign, single regiments with eclectic compositions and histories can be all that remains of a dozen or more regiments that began the campaign.
Fresh regiments and veteran ones can produce wildly different styles of campaign. The inexperienced are still equipped with brand new wargear, and in full and neat formations, still stood tall with the rhetoric of preachers and drill instructors, but blissfully ignorant of the truth of warfare.
Meanwhile, the veterans exist in ragged, almost informal groupings, where casualties have shattered the ordered ranks and files of the past, no longer naïve about warfare, and with every trooper having his own quirks and disorders from years of battle.
What is the regiment’s name?
Every regiment must be uniquely identified. For some, more formal forces, a simple number and a factual designation is entirely sufficient, and often even those plain identifiers can be heavy with ancient legacies and traditions, where numbers have been used and re-used over the millennia. At other times, a regiment may be given a moniker all its own, distinct from its official designation.
Commonly a source of pride for the regiment’s men, their collective name helps distinguish them from all others who have come from their home world, and gives them a stronger sense of identity. In particular, this seems to be commonplace with regiments from worlds that are naturally deadly, with regiments named after particularly deadly predators, bearing stylised images of those creatures upon banners and medals, or emblazoned on the armour of tanks.
Who is the regiment’s commander?
Having already defined the personality of the commanding officer, it is worth considering him in a little more depth. Particularly as a campaign continues, the regimental commander is likely to become an increasingly relevant figure within the Player Characters’ lives. Determining his name, at least, is something worth putting a little thought into.
Beyond the regiment’s commander, there are other figures within the regiment to consider, ranging from Commissars, whose judgement is all that stands between a man and execution, to attached preachers, who guard the souls of troopers and lead them in their prayers to the Emperor. The regiment’s command structure contains many whose personalities and responsibilities will bring them into contact with even the most junior of Guardsmen, and it’s worth putting a little time and effort into deciding who those people are.
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