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Deathwatch: Your Experiences with Apothecaries?

Apothecary Deathwatch RPG

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#1
A D-B

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Hey, folks. 
 
I'll keep this brief, as I'm mostly soliciting advice and opinions regarding Apothecaries, with no experience of my own to share yet. My Deathwatch campaign starts in just under three weeks and I'm playing the Apothecary, but there's a lot of conflicting advice regarding builds, skills, experience expenditure, and so on across various forums.
 
Just wondering if any Deathwatch players here have any words of wisdom to share on the subject. We're a 4-man Kill-Team (Tactical, Devastator, Assault, Apothecary) and although I don't expect to be Killing All The Baddies, I'm conscious of wanting to be an effective support role, focusing on what Apothecaries are good at in-game. 
 
So basically... any advice appreciated. Thanks, guys.
Note: Everything I say is my own personal opinion as hobbyist, a novelist, and the world's slowest painter. It's not intended to reflect back on Games Workshop in any professional context.

 

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#2
Laughingcorpse2

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From the games that ive played the apothecarys generally just stack medicae and intelligence, as with the narthecium your healing a large amount of wounds to begin with. if you requisition a diagnosticator helm then your set as a healer really from my experience.



#3
Gentlemanloser

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Hi ADB,

 

None of my group wanted to play an apothecary, just so the group had someone with First Aid.

 

They quickly found they much needed the healing an Apothecary could give.

 

The only other way we found of making a Marine that starts with First Aid is to take the Genetic Mutation legacy.

 

It was kind of a limiting factor.  There isn't much healing in Deathwatch, and no one wanted to give up being a Dev/Assault/Tac/Libby to be the 'cleric' of the group.  But there's not really anything else you can do.

 

If you face a similar problem, you might need an NPC Apothecary in your Kill Team.

 

Or cheese the game by including a Psychic from Inquisitor with Mend Flesh ( I think that's the name of the power) which basically gives you unlimited healing for no cost, and trivialises the game unless your Marines face damage that can one shot them.

 

Edit: Ah! you're playing and not running. msn-wink.gif

 

Then your Kill Team will love you, due to healing them.

 

If you want to be killy, you can be just about as killy as the other members of your team, depending on your Stats.

 

It all depends on how much you utilise Squad Mode and tactics (gah, can't remember thier names!)

 

Do you know how your GM will be handling ammo?  If you don't get an unlimited amount for your basic gun, you might want to consider a Backpack with requisition.


Edited by Gentlemanloser, 13 January 2014 - 02:50 PM.

QUOTE (Seahawk @ Jul 30 2011, 05:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We all feel different ways about different rules, but if you're traveling between different gaming groups or to tournaments, the only commonality is the rules as they are written. If you can get your opponent to agree with you on house-ruling something then that changes things, but until then all we can do is go by how things are written.

#4
Pre-heresy Models

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From the games that ive played the apothecarys generally just stack medicae and intelligence, as with the narthecium your healing a large amount of wounds to begin with. if you requisition a diagnosticator helm then your set as a healer really from my experience.




In my own experience as both a regular player and GM; the above holds true most of the time. A robust intelligence is a must have, as is medicae. Just be aware that the +10 and +20, etc bonuses to medicae do not carry into the wounds healed, you use only the base Int for the purposes of first aid. Which in turn makes Enhance Healing a real boon to have, especially so if you have big 'Beefy' Characters in the squad with a high number of wounds, but a average or low toughness bonus.

In terms of the 'Killy' factor... I have seen some truly outrageous stuff come out of apothecaries, though that's mainly due other influences such as chapter and skillset.
Judging by your squads current load out, I'd say a more combat focused apothecary isn't actually a bad idea, if that’s what you want to pursue. More so, because the FFG 40k RP systems are somewhat skewed towards Melee characters in the sheer direct damage they can put out when spec'd up correctly.
A good example would be to have a Blood Angels (Or a successor! A simple adage that has become common place in groups I’m currently a member of is "First founding is where the raw power is at, successors is where the grim-dark fun is found.) Apothecary, some choice synergising wargear topped off with a chainsword. Job Done. Both a serious Melee beat stick, squad healer AND provides squad bonuses!

A note to bear in mind, bar a few notable exceptions, Blood Angels and their successors make the best Apothecaries. They have some of the best mid to end game gear and relics that can be a serious boon to the squad, provided the squad can be trusted with their use! ( A possible RP point, theres a chalice in First founding that completely heals a character who drinks from it. Question is however, would you say your squad mates are worth of it? have they earned the honour? Food for thought if nothing else! )

Second to last, are deeds. Give deeds a good long look at. Also, check to see if your GM is enforcing the 'Stock' FFG rules of only allowing one per character if he/she is allowing more than one. I say this as there are some nice First founding ones in there, but there is also a handy Apothecary specialization one in there as well that I’d recommend at least looking at.

Finally, some handy page notes for enforce the points I’ve already made and hopefully point you in the right direction:
  • P 43-44 First Founding - Sanguinary priest (Currently the only 'Dedicated' apothecary advanced career. Another reason why Blood Angels make some of the best Apthecaries.)
  • P 101 First Founding - Blood of Heroes (An item that can be picked up from the very start; it seems sort of meh to O.K. on paper, but believe me, if you and your squad make good and regular use of squad mode, you're going to be very thankful for the extra Cohesion!)
  • P101 First founding - Blood Chalice (The a fore mentioned Chalice, Late to end game content mind you but something to aim for!)
  • P101 & 104 First founding - Death Mask & Winged jump pack combo (More BA stuff, but for good reason. early to mid game requirements but well worth the mission Req. The combined affects make you a FEAR 2 creature... if twinned with the right history or two or more complimenting histories... some really stupid and outrageous stuff can be done. I mean, Fear 3 or even 4 space marines.. all for the price of 45 Req!?)
  • P 144 Rites of Battle - Astartes combat webbing (3 req buys you... +20 to medicae test. 3 Req. its... take it. Just take it and watch your GM Curse the fact that its an offical FFG item.)

In closing, let me say this.

Any play style can be made to fit an apothecary. They are a pretty versatile class, while not as flexible as a tactical marine they can be kitted out to fill a variety of roles. I know my examples above are more than a little skewed towards playing a blood angel, but that’s simply because FFG have made it hard for me to give you reasons why you wouldn't want to!
But at the end of the day, any chapter can make a good apothecary. You really need to ask yourself one question and be aware that there is really no wrong or bad answers and then just go for it.

"Am I trying to build the Best apothecary I can, or am I trying to build the apothecary I want to play."

I hope this helps you out.

Edited by Pre-heresy Models, 13 January 2014 - 03:14 PM.

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#5
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This thread is already a huge help, thanks, guys.

 

For the record, while I'm not too worried about min-maxing, I've also got no experience with the system (and thus, no context for the rules) so it's difficult to pinpoint what's useful and what's not. Specifically, I've read a lot of stuff online about Apothecaries being fairly useless in melee to begin with, or that they spend most of their turns healing, and so on. I don't mind whatever happens, I'm just in the market for some context, if you get me. I'm assuming the Assault Marine will be jump-packing ahead and doing all the melee killing, so I'd be hanging back with a bolter, with the Tactical and Devastator. But like I said, it's hard to guess. Some sites say the Toxins trait is something that they swear by, while others say the additional healing is mandatory. Without knowing the make-up of their groups, it's tough to say what's what.

 

Character-wise, I'm playing a Minotaur Apothecary, which kills all the (awesome) Blood Angel advice. Just thought I'd slip that in here.


Note: Everything I say is my own personal opinion as hobbyist, a novelist, and the world's slowest painter. It's not intended to reflect back on Games Workshop in any professional context.

 

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#6
Gentlemanloser

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Healing is a bit, difficult in Deathwatch.

 

You can only heal damage once.  So players need to keep track of how many wounds they had after a healing attempt, as these can't be later healed away.

 

Usually, Healing will come after combat, and not really during it.

 

Unless you have a cheesy Psychic Power that makes Apothecaries redundant. ;)  Which can heal any damage you have.  At any time.  With no cost.  (But this isn't a part of Deathwatch, so as long as you don't star blending Inquisitor stuff in, there should be no worries there!)

 

Is there a specific reason you want to be an Apothecary?  If it's just healing, then why not consider being a Minotaur with the Mutated Gene legacy.  Not sure if you can start with a narthecium that way (it's been ages since I looked at the books), but it would open you up to being another class, while still being able to provide healing to the group.

 

Sure you lose the extra helaing from the Apothecary class, but I remeber that as being quite small (I could be mistaken, none of my players ever wanted to play an Apothecary!).


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QUOTE (Seahawk @ Jul 30 2011, 05:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We all feel different ways about different rules, but if you're traveling between different gaming groups or to tournaments, the only commonality is the rules as they are written. If you can get your opponent to agree with you on house-ruling something then that changes things, but until then all we can do is go by how things are written.

#7
yodaid764

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The group we had a few years back the Apothecary doubled as a sniper since it was important to keep him out of melee. Admittedly, he was the most lethal character in the group, though this was mostly due to lucky crit rolls. 

 

The part about only being able to heal once per wound was a pain in the ass, as mentioned above.  My only advice on that is to make sure your healing ability can max out to keep the team alive. If you are running back and forth healing, that really only leaves three combatants and your group can get overwhelmed quickly.


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#8
Jareddm

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The FFG RPGs have, since the beginning, intended for wounds to be painful and healing while on assignment to be difficult. The removal of mend wounds (the aforementioned psychic power from dark heresy) I feel was a positive change, as it took more power away from psykers, who were already by far the most powerful classes.

When it comes to tracking wounds, my group came up with an easy method. We recommend each player keep a little bowl or cup with a number of tokens equal to their max number wounds in it. When they take damage, they can take some tokens out of the cup to show those wounds haven't been healed yet. When you attempt to heal them, they can put the wounds that were successfully healed back in the cup, and those that weren't successful are removed entirely. This helps to seperate out the wounds that can't be healed until the mission is over.

Another approach to take is to take a more scientific role and load up on lore skills. I encourage my groups less combat oriented members to make use of their lore skills as much as possible as a way to gain minor bonuses and bits of information in and out of combat.

On a slightly different note, since you're playing a Minotaur, I was wondering what you were doing for a chapter trapping, since there weren't any listed for them.

edit: Make sure your group is using the errata! A single unerrata-ed heavy bolter-wielding Devastator can absolutely wreck a campaign.

Edited by Jareddm, 13 January 2014 - 08:04 PM.

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#9
Pre-heresy Models

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I'm assuming the Assault Marine will be jump-packing ahead and doing all the melee killing, so I'd be hanging back with a bolter, with the Tactical and Devastator. But like I said, it's hard to guess. Some sites say the Toxins trait is something that they swear by, while others say the additional healing is mandatory. Without knowing the make-up of their groups, it's tough to say what's what.
 

 

At the end of the day, Its down to how the group is going to play.
When I say that, I'm talking classes or builds, but how the actual people will play and what kinds of Characters they play. As a point of referance, I GM two groups and play in a third.
Each group has its own distinct play style, all of which started off in a similar place at Rank 1 with no real extra abilites just their class specific stuff and have since evolved. GM group 1 leans towards ranged combat for example, Group 2 can't seem to make their minds up but are currentley focused on 'More Dakka + ??? = Victory!' while the group I play in is somewhat of a balance. You're not really going to know until you get down and play a few games and you've all got to grips with the system. I feel thats the best advice I can give in that regard.

 

 

Character-wise, I'm playing a Minotaur Apothecary, which kills all the (awesome) Blood Angel advice. Just thought I'd slip that in here.

 

Forget kill, you took a flakk gun to it >_<; Nevermind.
That aside, with that peice of context I can give you some advice in regards to some... perhaps more interesting builds. Some of which are things to aim for, some of which are things you can start with and work on and improve over time.

 

  • Gunkata - Dual Bolt Pistols

This is something you can take pretty much right off of the bat and be... fairly effective with but is something that more rewards time invested as when it gets to the mid game, it can get pretty damn hillarious.
The basics of it are as follows:
Pay the Req for an additonal bolt pistol at the start of each mission or, depending on how flexable your GM is, Take a 'matched set' plus some upgrades as a peice of signature wargear. forgoe your normal Bolter, take it with you (Always a useful bit of kit!), but stick to the dual pistols.
The talents your going to want to pick up are as follows, some of which I believe marine characters actualy start with; Dual weild (Ballistic) (Allows you to weild two ranged weapons simultaneously), Ambidextrous (does what it says on the tin), Dual shot (One BS test hits the target twice), Swift attack (allows you to make two attacks in Melee), Lightning attack (allows you to make three attacks in Melee), Bolter drill (Increases the number of shots fired on semi or full-Auto with Bolt weapons), Gunslinger (no -10 penalty for dual weilding pistols), Marksman (No penalties for firing at long ro extreme range),

Now, the above list may make it look skewed towards Melee, but its not. Not really. This build is balanced nicely, allowing you to be a bolter spam master in Melee and a good shot at range.
the total number of attacks you can make in Melee with this build (normally 1 for marines) breaks down something like this:
Two weapon weilder (ballistic) +1 attack with you offhand weapon.
Swift attack/Lightning attack +1 each respectivley
For a grand total of four attacks total. pretty respectable... untill you factor in a few things like, Pistol weapons when used in Melee count as not firing single shot, but Semi auto.
Yes, you read that correctley, Semi-Auto. Forgetting the Mechanics for a moment, thats pretty cool. With the mechanics in mind however, you are now pumping out 12 shots. 12. even Eldar with their truly amazing Dodge abilites cannot dodge that many shots, some will hit and the target will go down most of the time (provided the dice gods are with you of course!). It can get even more fun/crazy with things like bolter drill added into the mix.

At range is different but not less effect than if you were weilding a bolter with a few chocei skills, its can actualy be more effective in fact. With Dual shot, Gunslinger and Marksman making for a pretty damn mean combo of skills, and you twin pistols (Bolter or otherwise) the bane of single targets.

 

It's worth noting however that this build runs VERY heavy in the Ammo usage department as each round of combat is costing you twelve rounds. End of the day however, this build is unique enough that I doubt anyone in your group will be playing it and its also an interesting character point to boot as their are very few Astartes gunslingers in the 40k Cannon, (a certain fallen angels is the only one that readily springs to mind).

 

 

I don't mind whatever happens, I'm just in the market for some context, if you get me.

 

Speaking as purley a GM, and a little over three years give or take with specificaly Deathwatch, the apothecary fills a vital role in the kill-team, as folks like Gentlemanloser have aptly pointed out. However in terms of overal play style, the apothecary is a intelligence based rear guard type that can with a little effort on the players part and some clever use of skills, easily hold his own when stacked up against the two 'Main' classes of the Roleplay, the Tactical Marine and the Assault Marine respectivley. I mean, at the end of the day you are playing as Space marines. Having started with Dark Heresy some six years ago now, I cannot stress the sheer amount of OVERKILL a fully armed and powered marine can put out in terms of Dakka-Dakka or punching things.
Tau Fire warrior? dead, killed by a passing Semi-auto burst of bolter fire with standard shells. Chaos cultist? clubbed to death by an improvised weapon (Broken chainsword). Tyranid Gaunt/Warrior? arms and legs pulled off in grapple tests. Imperial Guardsmen? bludgeoned to death as they floundered about in zero G, with a brother techmarine using their own comrades as improvised weapons. Ork Boy? punched to death with his own skull.
Okay, maybe not the last one, but all the other examples are things that have happened in my own groups and they all happened with roughly Rank 1, early Rank 2 characters. I believe my point is made.

 

I hope I've given you some context and perhaps even an idea or two in terms of character builds. As I've said previously, and have said to everyone i've GM'd with at one point or another "there are no right or wrong answers, just go for it."

 

P.S. I too, am interested in what you're doing about a chapter trapping. They're normaly just petty foiables but sometimes... they can be instigators for entire story arcs, so I for one would be interested in what you and/or your GM decides to do about the Minotaurs current lack of one.
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#10
Lysere

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Since a lot of good advice has been handed out already, and my own deathwatch experience is fairly limited I'll mention two things. One, medicae can be used to heal wounds that weren't healed mid combat with an extended care test (or something like that unless they FAQ'd it), whether or not you'll ever have time to do one of those is debatable though. All the missions I've done have been too short to try things like that, or our apothecary hasn't been around.

 

The other thing is, if your not around your group will notice. A while back our group started the first part of a longer mission and our apothecary guy didn't make it out there that day. Myself (I play a Carcharodon Assault Marine) and the Iron Hand Techmarine are both pretty banged up mostly because the techmarine charged forward like an idiot. Either way without the apothecary there our only way to heal is fate points which I'd rather save atm.


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#11
Jareddm

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P.S. I too, am interested in what you're doing about a chapter trapping. They're normaly just petty foiables but sometimes... they can be instigators for entire story arcs, so I for one would be interested in what you and/or your GM decides to do about the Minotaurs current lack of one.


In my group, we let the Minotaur pick an Ultramarine chapter trapping and passed it off as a spoil of war that was taken from the Inceptors. Suffice it to say, the Novamarine was NOT happy.
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#12
Disruptor_fe404

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Gunkata - Dual Bolt Pistols.

 

I don't play Deathwatch, but I'm very happy to have stepped into this thread, because a Deathwatch Apothecary gunslinging boltpistols has now been added to my list of models to make.


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#13
Lysere

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Gunkata - Dual Bolt Pistols.

 

I don't play Deathwatch, but I'm very happy to have stepped into this thread, because a Deathwatch Apothecary gunslinging boltpistols has now been added to my list of models to make.

 

Get far enough into it you could have dual arm mounted master crafted bolt pistols. Because why not.


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#14
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Get far enough into it you could have dual arm mounted master crafted bolt pistols. Because why not.

 

My list has been amended.

 

Thank you!


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#15
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Gunkata - Dual Bolt Pistols.

 

I don't play Deathwatch, but I'm very happy to have stepped into this thread, because a Deathwatch Apothecary gunslinging boltpistols has now been added to my list of models to make.

 

Get far enough into it you could have dual arm mounted master crafted bolt pistols. Because why not.

 

Why not? Because one arm is carrying a storm shield. cool.png

 

I played a Dark Angel apothecary and quickly found that all you need to heal effectively is an Int stat in the 50s, the medicae skill (buy the +10 and +20 advances as soon as they become available, they aren't expensive) and a narthecium. Most of this is provided to a rank 1 apothecary so you can spend the majority of your XP and requisition points on other cool things.

 

Your initial stats and the chapter bonuses (Aaron, do you mind sharing the Minotaurs rules you'll be using? I'm curious.) will probably determine if you prefer to shoot or slash the enemies of mankind. High rank apothecaries have access to some beastly close combat talents but early on you might get more mileage from shooting, using the to-hit bonuses from semi-auto fire and gunsights to ensure you consistently do damage.

 

I don't think we got further than rank 3 in the campaign I was playing in but by then I was sporting a power fist with wrist-mounted bolt pistol in one hand (my request for a shot selector too was denied), a storm shield in the other and having a great time dakka-ing and punching everything that came my way, before patching up the rest of the group at the end of each fight. Before the storm shield was available I was typically standing by the tactical marine firing a storm bolter.

 

In short an apothecary can fight in whatever manner you choose. You won't melee as well as an assault marine, you won't shoot as effectively as a devastator, but all astartes have such tactics, strategies and machines that no foe can best them in battle.


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#16
Quozzo

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How did your game go A D-B? Need anymore advice?

Edited by Quozzo, 06 February 2014 - 04:07 PM.


#17
A D-B

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How did your game go A D-B? Need anymore advice?

 

Always open for advice. As for how it went: KAPOW!


Note: Everything I say is my own personal opinion as hobbyist, a novelist, and the world's slowest painter. It's not intended to reflect back on Games Workshop in any professional context.

 

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#18
Noctus Cornix

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Well.... Can't say your friends were not prepared...

 

I have a bit of experience with Deathwatch, and although it is perhaps my least favorite of the 40k RPG systems, it can still be fairly fun and interesting.

 

Now, as for an apothecary, I must confess that I have only played one Apothecary, but I quickly realized precisely what you have come to the conclusion of. Like the adept of Dark Heresy, the Apothecary is a support class that focuses more on its ability to heal and little else. That being said, that was something that drew me to it in the first place as I've always been more of a fan of characters who do not focus on combat and allows me better access in the other fields that usually involve more social interaction.

 

The problem with that is that, unlike Dark Heresy, you will often find Death Watch holds little opportunity for such things. The game is more concise and processed, geared towards mostly combat on a mission to mission basis with most 'RPing' done by means of interacting with our fellow squad members. That being said, however, we had a rather generous GM who much preferred to add RPing and social interactions with humans.

 

Because of this, I chose to simply rely on my basic stats and abilities to get through combat (along with my teammates) and go full on into training for everything else. When it came to knowledge, social skills, interrogation, or basically just about everything else that wasn't combat, my team turned to me, and this is where I like to think I shine because I can have these moments where I flex my fluff-nut muscles and ability to Roleplay. Your times may be rare, far and in-between, but when those times come, and you can successfully convince that Imperial General to lend his forces to your command to help in the siege of a Tau fortress with three baneblades at the head.You'll feel that sense of pride because all your hard work paid off and no one else in the group could have done it.


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#19
Jareddm

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I took a second look at those wargear cards and I cried a little at the sight of them not being the errata'd stats.   In my experience, within a level or two, your devastator's heavy bolter will pretty much make the entire party obsolete.



#20
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Always open for advice. As for how it went: KAPOW!

 

Holy crap, the chalkboards with personalised erasers for every player. Your group is HARD. CORE.


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Chapter Command ([1]), Throne Company, Grail Company ([1], [2], [3]), Lance Company, Sword Company ([1], [2]), Dagger Company, Shield Company, Sigil Company, Tome Company, Storm Company, Shadow Company.


Current projects: Lance Company - Infiltrating into 2020


#21
Shuggnuggath

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At first glance it may appear that the apothecary is best suited to melee combat. He comes equipped with a chain sword and bolt pistol. He also has some melee combat talents in his advance scheme. If your group includes an assault marine you will find that he will rapidly streak ahead of the apothecary in combat prowess and the apothecary will never really come close. 

 

I think that the apothecary is better off to adopt a gunslinger role with a pair of pistols. It is more cost effective to invest in just ballistic skill than weapon skill, strength and toughness. There are also a lot of talents required to specialise in melee compared to shooting, some of which are not in the apothecary core talents. Assault marines also have access to increased mobility in order to get themselves into melee. 

 

I feel that the best place for the apothecary to operate in a group, is positioned between the forward melee guys and the fire support at the back. That way he is able to respond to threats to both groups. For these reasons I think a pair of pistols or possibly a stormbolter is a good start to aim for.


'He who allows the alien to live shares it's crime of existance'

#22
reckoning

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"Take that alien censored.gif "

 

laugh.png


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karden00, on 28 Apr 2014 - 21:55, said:
Eh... dark angels couldn't hold the line. Surprise surprise....

 

 


#23
diomedes23

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I'm joining a Deathwatch campaign as an Apothecary and thought I'd chime in.

 

I'm playing a Salamander and the very thought of it rocks.  We have a Devastator, an Assault Marine, and a Librarian.  Since we don't have a Techmarine, I'm hoping to make up some of what's missing with the Salamander's tech skills.

 

I don't think the Astartes Combat Webbing should add +20 to Medicae skill for the Apothecary.  After all, he's already got the +20 for the Narthicium.  Heck, if that works, why not throw in a Medikit at the same time, add a Diagnosticator Helmet and be +70?  Why buy any Medicae skill at all?  I think all those +20s are for the same thing; you have a medikit with drugs available.  You can't stack medikits.

 

I also don't think dual-wielding anything at all works well with the Apothecary since he's got a rather hefty piece of equipment on his arm in the form of the Reductor.  Keeping that in a backpack just seems wrong.  I'm still trying to figure out how the Apothecary wields that bolter with the Reductor on his arm.  Heck, why not just pick up an extra Heavy Bolter and lay down some extra suppressive fire?  I really just want a flamer and my bolt pistol.

 

Someone mentioned that the Apothecary starts with a chainsword.  That makes a lot of sense, except I can't find that anywhere.  Does anyone have a reference to that?  Is it in some new errata I don't have?  It's definitely not in my book.  I'm looking at drilling people with my Reductor or stabbing them with an Astartes combat knife.



#24
Jareddm

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why not throw in a Medikit at the same time, add a Diagnosticator Helmet and be +70?  

Because +60 is the maximum bonus you're allowed to have. Pg 244, core rulebook.



#25
Hayato Genra

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Apothecaries can get a chainsword through the Tyrannic War Veteran specialty in Rites of Battle. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Apothecary, Deathwatch RPG

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