News for September 2013
Just and Divine Cause
A Designer Diary for No Surrender
Only War | Published 24 September 2013

"The star-fort's gunners have all the skill of servitors. If we pilot into the landing bay at full acceleration, we can evade their defensive fire."
    –Captain Catriona Trace, Imperial Navy pilot

For the Imperial Guard, a perilous new adventure is waiting in the Spinward Front. You can now preorder No Surrender, the newest supplement for Only War, at your local retailer! An expanded, three-part adventure invites you and your fellow Imperial Guardsmen to try to take back the Lycurgos star-fort and battle the traitorous Severan Dominate. Untold challenges and new adversaries await you within the massive star-fort. To further explore the new environment that awaits players in No Surrender, here’s contributing writer, John Dunn.

A Word from the Developer

In working on No Surrender, I had a unique opportunity to explore the capabilities of the Imperial Guard in an unusual environment. Obviously, different regiments are trained for working under different conditions. For example, mechanised infantry are suited for very different environments than Drop Troops. In my mind, though, the situation becomes far more intriguing when the units are forced to work in conditions that are inconsistent with their training.
Often, as groups have to work with inappropriate equipment or in an unfamiliar hostile environment, they can make mistakes or try to take shortcuts. This can add depth and danger to the situation, forcing the characters—and the players—to improvise in fun and different ways. To me, this kind of spontaneous thinking can really get at the heart of an enjoyable roleplay experience.

It's a given that the Imperial Guard must be prepared to fight the Imperium's foes wherever they might dwell. Within the Spinward Front, that is most typically on the planets held by the traitors of the Severan Dominate or the foul xenos of Waaagh! Grimtoof. Millions of brave warriors on each side have already given their lives in the effort to secure a few inches of blood-soaked ground. In the interests of altering the environment a bit,
No Surrender focuses on a battle fought in an entirely different front. After all, assets need not be on the surface of a planet to be valuable. In fact, the resources that reside within the void beyond a planet's gravity well can be priceless. Examples of these include valuable storehouses of materials or even manufactories. Others are defensive emplacements, which exist to deny an opponent access to another location or resource. In the Warzone Epsilon system, there is a voidstation that represents both of these things.

Lycurgos is a Ramilles-class star-fort that was used centuries past as a key Imperial weapon in Angevin Crusade. Bureaucratic errors left the valuable asset abandoned in the Periphery for centuries. Between the time of the Crusade's functional end and the time when humanity rediscovered it, time took its toll upon its infrastructure. All of the human inhabitants had succumbed to time and died off. Only a subset of the servitor staff remained functional. After a great deal of work, the station was eventually refitted and restored to its former grandeur. Soon, it was able to defend the colony world of Helena II, as well as serving as a distribution centre and a repair yard for the Imperial Navy.

When the Severan Dominate seceded, the mad Duke Severus realised just how critical Helena II was to his plans for independence. Its rich farmlands could fulfil the agricultural needs for many of his colonial worlds. It was a happy coincidence that the world already had Lycurgos in place to defend it. Of course, the forces of the Imperium quickly recognised its value as well. A single system holding both a productive Agriworld and a capable voidstation held a tremendous strategic value. High Command swiftly concluded that not only must this asset be denied the enemy, it must also be captured as a valuable staging facility for loyalist forces.

This presents the core challenge of the adventure. The Warzone Epsilon system is an incredibly valuable asset to both sides of the conflict. Neither can afford to allow the other side to hold it indefinitely, but neither side is willing to risk destroying it as well. Consequently, the Imperium must deploy conventional troops to secure both the station and the world without seriously damaging either.

Thanks, John!

In this excerpt from No Surrender (pdf, 524 KB), you can find out even more about the history of the Lycurgos star-fort and the factions of Warzone Epilson.

Are you ready to venture into the dangers of the Lycurgos? With new adversaries and an entirely new adventure, No Surrender will lead you and the bold men and women of the Imperial Guard into an encounter like none other. Keep checking back for more previews, and preorder No Surrender at your local retailer today!

Only War is a Warhammer 40,000 roleplaying game in which players take on the roles of soldiers in the Imperial Guard, the galaxy-spanning armies of the God-Emperor. In the face of overwhelming opposition, Guardsmen fight against mankind’s many enemies for the very survival of humanity and the continuation of the Imperium’s dominance over space.

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