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Only War: Core Rulebook $29.95
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Only War: Core Rulebook
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Only War: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by William V. H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/12/2015 12:08:04

I have to admit I was hoping to see Commissar Cain as an NPC along with his Valhallan comrades...

That aside, this is a great set of rules...one that brings the Imperial Guard to life. The rules are easy to read, although I would have liked to see character creation presented earlier in the process. Breaking it up the way it is, while making some sense, might be confusing for those new to RPGs in general. The regiment choices are interesting, and provide a fair amount of variety when it comes to designing adventures. The Comrade system is also slightly unclear, especially since the rules governing them are split into a number of different locations (Character Creation and Combat). It might be better to deal with them in Combat, since that's where the bulk of their rules are located.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2013 03:22:49

Good 'final chapter' of the 40KRP line of Core books (assuming it is!), with good presentation and organisation to match the other books in the series. It is a smaller file than some of the others however, which means you can download and manipulate it easily enough.

The premise of playing a military combat unit is a strong one for a rpg, although not that original when compared to other sci-fi games. The enjoyment of fighting orcs never get's old though!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Seamus C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/25/2013 13:43:30

It's interesting to think that this started off as merely a splatbook for Dark Heresy, and funny to see just how much this whole great idea ran away from them. Short version: good book, good game, worth the money.

Being more-or-less the same system as DH it is easy for a 40kRPG veteran to get into, but there are some interesting changes to pay attention to. Righteous Fury has been streamlined a bit, for instance. Probably the most interesting change is 'leveling up'. In previous 40kRPGs what class you were determined what skills and talents you could learn and how much they cost, in addition to the XP cost of improving attributes. In Only War there is something called the 'Aptitude' system. For instance, one might have an Aptitude in both Ballistic Skill and in, say, Offense (I'm almost certainly paraphrasing). That's two aptitudes that run along the same track, so talents and skills along the lines of Two Weapon Wielding (Ballistic) will be at their cheapest (the 100 XP track). A single aptitude gives you slightly less of a discount (the 250 track) and having none of a talent, skill, or attribute's associated Aptitudes means you'd be paying full price (the 500 xp track). A character gains Aptitudes depending upon what specialty/class they choose, with additional ones sometimes being granted by your regiment. While this certainly makes a given character specialty lean towards taking certain things it does not actually restrain them from going for the most expensive options; there are no character paths to progress by, merely a small block of 'recommended' advances. While going outside of your Aptitudes is expensive, actual prohibited advances are few to none.

The regimental set-up is very interesting, especially the regimental creation rules which allow the entire party to build the regiment that they come from using a point buy system. This also simplifies the character creation process, as your regiment plays a large part in determining your basic kit, a few starting talents or skills, and maybe an aptitude. Replacing a dead character is much easier, as you are handed a bunch of equipment and goodies at character creation and do not have to worry about being TOO far behind the older, surviving characters.

The Logistics set-up is interesting, in-character for the universe, and potentially hilarious (were supposed to be issued a tank, were instead issued several crates of booze, for instance).

The Comrade system allows for PC created and controlled NPCs to fill out the squad (and for the GM to kill mercilessly whenever the players make a mistake).

The vehicles are a great addition, ESPECIALLY the new tables for Critical Damage as done to vehicles. The Crit tables in the FF 40kRPGs were always a blast, and now we have an entirely new set.

I will say, however, that there was a severe oversight in the vehicle section: no aircraft. The explanation given is that they are more the purview of the Imperial Navy and will thus not be in Only War. But there is an entire type of regiment designed to be jumping out of aircraft, a specialty that is built to handle vehicles and would need just one more option to choose to be able to fly them, and there are pictures of Valkyries. All. Throughout. The Book. Teasing you. And Valkyries had to be flown during the Free RPG Day last year! They clearly are being used, so where are the stats guys? They've used a decent in-universe excuse, and I understand the need to hold things back for future books since this IS a business, but this seems a little too forward for me to just nod in an understanding fashion. So, even though I'm probably nitpicking, I'll wave a yellow card and dock a star for Overly Blatant Milking of the Customers.

That's . . . pretty much the only thing about this book that bothered me. I love what they've done with the Imperial Guard, I'm looking forward to the upcoming splatbooks giving us more pre-built regiments, Rough Rider options, and mixed regiment creation, and would highly recommend that any fan of 40k or gritty military sci-fi get this game and try it out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/23/2013 19:38:24

Only War is the latest RPG out for the Warhammer 40k rpgs released by Fantasy Flight Games. After tackling the Inquisition, Rogue Traders, Space Marines and Chaos, the series finally pays attention to the true backbone of the Imperium's endless war: the men and women of the Imperial Guard.

In many ways I was looking forward to this book the most. While there's some kind of glamour associated with the Space Marines, the true heart of many stories set in war come from the front lines. The Imperial Guard are the ones who see the fight first, and suffer incredible losses in their days at war. They are the ones who stand to lose the most, and are most vulnerable to the enemy but they don't back down despite the horrors of war, because that is what they do.

Most of all, this is the game that allows you to really tell more well-rounded, human stories rather than the laser focus of just plain hating on the Xenos, the Mutant, the Daemon and the Heretic. (I know I'm oversimplifying things here, but bear with me.)

In any case, those familiar with the rules for Dark Heresy will find that Only War uses the same system, with some intresting new mechanics. One of my favorites is the Regiment creation system, where a group (or the GM) can plan out what kind of Regiment they want to play if they don't want to use any of the ones provided. That said, there's a lot of interesting Regiments to choose from, starting with the Cadian Shock Troops to other iconic Regiments like the Catachan, the Mordians and the Tallarn.

Players can take on the roles of more than just Guardsmen as they get to choose specialties such as Heavy Gunner, Medic, Operator, Sergeant and Weapons Specialist. Furthermore they have Support Specialists as further options including the infamous Commissar, Ministorum Priest, Ogryn, Ratling, Sanctioned Psykers, Storm Troopers and Tech-Priest Engineers. The sheer variance provided is a very nice touch as it helps dispel the impression that everyone essentially plays a grunt with a helmet and a lasgun.

Another interesting mechanic is the generation of Comrades. These are special NPCs that fight alongside the player characters. Mechanically they're sort of like familiars, as each player has direct control over their Comrades by the use of Orders. This doesn't mean that Comrades are expendable by any stretch as certain abilities rely on having a Comrade, and it is to a player's best interest to keep their Comrades alive as long as possible.

Vehicles also a large part in an Imperial Guard game, and vehicle rules account for movement and combat, including some interesting systems critical hit charts that go a long way to simulate the harrowing nature of taking a critical hit while inside a vehicle. Repair rules are also present, giving more opportunities to simulate the "less than ideal" world of living with vehicles that have been patched together by field repairs.

As with all the books in the Warhammer 40k line, the artwork is solid and the layout is readable. I'm glad that the fonts they chose for this are readable while retaining the whole Warhammer 40k vibe. Also of note is the fact that the PDF has been cross-linked, making rules look ups as painless as possible.

Overall, I feel that Only War is a product that shows just how used to the system the team is already at this point. Furthermore, they have a very strong vision as to what the game should be about and aren't afraid to push that agenda via the rules. There's a lot of fluff discussing the nature of the war and how it grinds humanity down, but it never comes off as too depressing as to be utterly unplayable. There are real opportunities to live (and die) as heroes in the war. It's admittedly not the easiest thing to do in the context of RPGs, but in this case Only War deserves a Medal.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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