Only War Playtest
SUPPLY BASE BLACKWATER
Where the Highlands meet the open stretches of Aeyras, those areas cleared long ago by the first settlers, the Imperial Guard have established Supply Base Blackwater, the primary supply point for their forces forward of the Fallow River line and the last Bastion of Imperial Will before the vast stretches of the Hellfens.
In the months since the capture of the Fallow River and the the Mechanicus Bridge, the camp has swelled in size to a large base as more and more fresh regiments have been sent over and across the Fens, and it became clear to the local commanders that supply by air is no longer logistically viable. SB Blackwater now occupies over four square kilometres and services over five thousand Imperial Guard.
The current garrison is the 412th Longknives. This unit has suffered heavy casualties over the course of their deployment. The entire regiment now consists of only four companies and a few additional support elements. Many of the defenders are walking wounded. Most of these veteran Guardsmen wear stained bandages, casts, or cybernetic limb replacements. Their uniforms are well worn and often ragged or stained.
- Your assistance in cleaning up and general aid in their defense puts you on “Favourable” terms with the Longknives and you receive +10% to all interactions with them.
- Commissar Dragonov’s discipline measures have made him “Feared” and instead gains +20% on all Command checks with them doubling to +40% when directly supervising.
About two-hundred members of Baraban Militia are also assigned to the base. These troopers are distinguished by their armour composed of native hides and the autoguns that they carry at all times. The militia wear a haunted expression, which contrasts sharply with the grim determination of the Longknives Guardsmen. It is clear that these natives realise that their world has been lost. They recognise the newcomers as their hope for salvation, but they also acknowledge that the Baraban they knew can never be restored.
- You are on “Favourable” terms with the Militia and receive +10% to all interactions with them.
On the southern perimeter of the base is a large shantytown where perhaps 1000 Baraban locals eek out a living servicing the soldiers of SB Blackwater and providing others with the company or family they would otherwise be without.
All manners of vice, non-military services, and general gossip can be found here.
In spite of brutalities of war, morale is surprisingly good. the Longknives are upbeat about their chances against the Kroot, now that mechanised reinforcements have arrived.
- Commissar Dragonov’s actions in the days following your arrival has helped immeasurably in galvanising the commitment of the long-serving Guard unit.
Almost every kind of resource a regiment requires can be found here, crates are stacked high on the edge of the swamp or are being loading into ships, while new companies are equipped for the front line before boarding their boats or, if they are lucky, getting into their Valkyries for the long journey to the front.
Locations within SB Blackwater
All of the officers on site share the facilities located within the Administrative Offices building. This fortified stone structure was once a Baraban garrison outpost. While it bears numerous scars from the ongoing war effort, it is the most structurally sound construction within the base. It is clearly hundreds of years old and has endured throughout.
The interior walls are elaborately sculpted gothic stone. There are several score of offices within, though due to the number of officers on site, most house several desks, some of which are shared by officers who work different shifts. The building’s basement serves as a bomb shelter and a briefing room. The room contains theatre seating that can accommodate up to two hundred individuals.
Two guards stand constant duty at each entrance to this structure. With the exception of individuals assigned clerical duties, enlisted soldiers are only permitted access in the company of an officer or when they have been ordered to do so. One of the guards always holds a clipboard with a listing of any soldiers currently expected to report.
- Embrace the Bureaucracy:* If you gain access to this area you may spend meta-time here to gain 50 x.p. towards the Peer (Administratum) taent; or Common Lore (Administratum), or Scholastic Lore (Administratum) skills.
Each company is assigned a large hut structure as their barracks.
Rather than metal construction, these are built from native woods. The interior of the barracks have a musty odour, but they are largely waterproof. The bunks fold out from the walls. The mattresses are made of a natural fabric, which has an elastic quality and is surprisingly comfortable. The front three quarters of each barracks is a single open room with enough double bunks to accommodate a full company . There are no lockers. Soldiers either bring a footlocker or live out of their packs, using the hooks mounted in the walls.
Each structure has the luxury of running water, complete with full showers and toilets making up the back of each barracks. A narrow hallway between the restrooms and the sleeping quarters has two doors. One leads to a tiny private room for the company’s commanding officer. The other holds a small meeting room with a table that can accommodate up to twelve individuals.
- Resting: you may spend meta-time here to rest: remove all fatigue and other appropriate conditions.
- Off Duty: Meta-time spent here may be spent training and developing yourself, gaining 50 x.p. towards and appropriate skill or talent.
- Meta-time spent here may incur disciplinary actions if a spot inspection occurs as Guardsman usually have assigned jobs to do and should be elsewhere!
Accordion wire surrounds this compound of several square tents, each roughly 25 metres per side, bears a badly painted sign proclaiming it “The Hole.”
This is the recreation area for enlisted guardsmen. It is only open from one hour before sunset until four hours past sunset. All enlisted soldiers are provided with weekly chits that offer them one drink per night at The Hole. Officers seldom enter the establishment.
The atmosphere in The Hole is generally friendly. The available drinks are well-watered, but there remains a steady market in chits—particularly from those who are on duty during the club’s operating hours.
Inside, there are typically amateur musicians playing and at least two tables engaged in illicit games of chance.
- Carousing: The depot’s rumour mill flows through The Hole. This is always the place to find out the latest information on upcoming deployments and to hear of recent mission successes and failures.
Make a successful Routine (+10%) Charm Test to gain an insight into an area of interest (Deployments, Recent Missions, Strategies, Gossip regarding personnel).
A standalone wooden structure, the chapel represents the Ecclesiarchy’s primary influence upon the base. Four missionaries and a priest live within the building and services are held twice daily—an hour before dawn and at sunset— for any who wish to attend.
The exterior of the structure is not ornate, but the interior is clean, well-maintained, and bears dozens of devotional paintings and quotes painted in flowing script upon the walls.
There are no seats, but the open space can crowd up to two hundred individuals. One of the members of the Ecclesiarchy is on duty at all times to offer counsel and support to any soldiers who choose to visit the chapel for prayer.
- Hold Devotion to the God-Emperor: you may spend meta-time here to attempt to gain/regain a fate point (15% chance) (note this can take you over your maximum until the end of the session.
- Perform Penance: Alternatively you may spend meta-time here to gain 50 x.p. towards Removing Insanity (must be spent before the next session).
- Seek Strength in the Emperor’s Embrace: Alternatively you may spend meta-time here to gain a 1-point Insanity indemnity against a future Insanity loss this session.
Two of the same style huts as the barracks combine to make up the Medicium. Its two hundred beds for injured Guardsmen are tightly packed and the moans of those in pain counter the sound of the life support devices that keep the comatose from receiving the God-Emperor’s final blessing. The front portion of one side is cordoned off as a surgical area, where two surgeons struggle to keep up with the constant stream of new patients. Outside, tents offer cover for the injured who wait their turn for treatment.
A small pharmacia is adjacent to the building’s other entrance. Soldiers who have prescriptions for ongoing treatments are expected to make daily visits to receive their therapeutic drugs. Other than the medical staff, only members of the Ecclesiarchy are permitted to visit injured patients. There are far too many virulent strains active within Baraban’s environs to risk further contamination of the sick.
- Become a Patient: You may be required to spend meta-time here when injured.
- Pharmacological Supplies: You may come here to gain access to drugs and injectors using the Logistics system.
The Mess Hall
The Mess Hall is always open to accommodate the constant duty shifts required of soldiers. However, calling it a building exaggerates its structural integrity. Camp meals are taken in an environ that is poorly suited to Baraban’s rainy climate. The kitchen area is contained by a waxed canvas tent. The front of the tent is open to the air, where the serving line is set up. Dozens of tables with attached benches are arrayed in an orderly manner in front of the food tent. However, the tables have no protection from the elements or from enemy fire.
- Carousing: If you spend meta-time here you gain are assumed to be spending more time around the other troops and also gaining more access to better nutrition than the K-rations you are supplied with.
This means you may make Interaction tests (p. 225) with a single group (9th Calisi (enlisted), Longknives (enlisted), or Militia). Also you gain a “well fed” condition (one S or T Test may gain +5%).
The Motor Pool
A corrugated steel building near the landing strip, the motor pool services and stores all of the depot’s vehicles. This large structure has facilities capable of performing maintenance on up to forty vehicles at a time, though was until now rarely fully utilised.
The steel walls bear countless scars from battle damage. Many of these show signs of hasty repairs and mismatched paint work. Others are open to the exterior. The sounds of metal hitting metal, active welding, and the whir of pneumatic tools loudly echoes through the structure.
Functioning vehicles wait outside in a cordoned off area.
Guards are always on duty to make certain that only those authorised for vehicle use are able to take them. Several promethium storage tanks for refueling are also located near the motor pool. However, these are cordoned off and nothing is stored too close.
- This area provides ample supplies (from the QM) and adequate facilities in “relative” safety granting a +20% bonus to repair rolls
This freestanding, large wooden building is open at all hours, but access is strictly limited to officers and the serving staff.
There are countless rumours of the vast luxuries available within, but one-way windows and an uncannily silent serving staff leaves them unconfirmed. Smoke rises from its attached stone chimney and provision trucks make regular deliveries. With few exceptions, the bases’s officers always dine here.
- The Commissar may spend meta-time here to make Interaction tests (p. 225) with a single group (9th Calisi (officers), Longknives (officers). Also you gain the “well fed” condition (one S or T Test may gain +5%).
- Alternatively the Commissar may spend meta-time here to gain 50 x.p. towards the Peer (Imperial Guard, Schola Progenium, or Rogue Trader) talent.
- Alternatively the Commissar may spend meta-time here to make a successful Routine (+10%) Charm Test to gain an insight into an area of interest (Sector Deployments, Sector Missions, Overall Strategies, Gossip regarding other Sectors, the Rogue Trader Vangelos).
A ceramite bunker with a reinforced, double width metal hatch represents the above ground entrance to the Quartermaster’s station. Servitors, guardsmen, and automated weapons fervently guard the hatch at all times. Upon entry, a hydraulic lift occupies the entirety of the bunker. Passengers can use it to descend 25 metres below ground to the heart of the supply depot’s stores.
The below ground portion is a sprawling complex that is almost certainly larger than the remainder of the above ground base. The hum of the air circulation system, the whir of forklifts, and the clank of servitors echo constantly through spacious warehouses. Unless assigned duty to work with stores, Guardsmen are only permitted entry to the Quartermaster’s office. Black and yellow chevrons clearly delimits this region and servo skulls actively monitor the section for offenders.
- You receive a +10 bonus to any Logistics checks made here for gear of Average or better Availability.
Little more than a area of solid ground on the shoreline of the swamp, the docks are a maze of crates, shipping containers, promethium barrels, and pallets of various arms and wargear all awaiting further distribution. This is also the embarkation zone for new companies boarding the ferry to the Highlands and Forward Point Alpha. Large, slow boats sit against the shore ready to take entire companies at a time across the vastness of the Hellfens.
Hundreds of small dwelling made from discarded pallets, empty promethium drums, discarded wood and a myriad of strange materials create a bizarre and confronting slum on the main road between SB Blackwater and the Mechanicus Bridge. Home to the camp followers who are attached to the base for whatever reason, this den of inequity is strictly off-limits ofter dark due to several…disappearances.