Jump to content



Photo

Flag Officer in the Field


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 venkelos

venkelos

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,108 posts

Posted 02 January 2014 - 08:57 AM

So, this is sort of a dumb question, but I have a thing for the high-ranking folks, who in many war scenarios get to avoid field time, so I'll inquire. Say that a high-ranking Officer-analogue got stranded out in the field; maybe he was inspecting troops, moving to a new base when his convoy took a hit, his base took a hit, or however you want to get him out there. Is there anything specific you might do to make him seem "better", or "different"? Would he just be another soldier, but with a higher Fellowship + Command total, have better gear, or what? I know that the game doesn't do much with Officers at that level, as it sort of takes players out of the intended zone of the game, were they to become such, but what might make them a cool-seeming NPC, if you got a mission to evac them back to safety? I assume that their knowledge and skill MIGHT warrant at least a single rescue operation. I could see a refractor field, maybe a decent pistol (plasma of h-s las), but I don't know how "cool" they might think to make themselves, just in case something went pear-shaped. I can also see this as a cool RP opp, where the players could rub shoulders with the brass, and maybe get a favor or bonus sometime in the future.



#2 Robomummy

Robomummy

    Member

  • Members
  • 270 posts

Posted 02 January 2014 - 11:22 AM

Well it depends on the regiment and the officer, some regiments such as the vostroyans have officers who got their position by birthright where as you have you Catachans who's officers are elected from the ranks and are still "one of the men".

 

If your regiment has officers who were born into it they might see interacting with the lowly grunts as below him and would probably have a low fellowship when interacting with them. Maybe they are incompetent or fond of sending men in to suicide charges (an interesting scenario would be to protect them from his own men).

 

Or maybe they are a genius strategist and loved by the soldiers, maybe they are an officer who actually cares about the lives of his men. In that case they would be able to inspire the troops even more than a normal officer and would have high interaction skills with the regiment.

 

An officer who sits behind a desk in a command bunker typically might have good weapons that are more for display than their actual prowess with it and would maybe be a poor shot or weak so their BS, WS, S, and T would probably suffer.

 

My advice would be to make the officer's backstory first, then based on that see what stats they would excel in or be limited in.


  • Tenebrae likes this

Check out my podcast Buckets Of Dice where myself and a friend review how to start various different kinds of tabletop, roleplaying, and CCG games. http://bucketsofdice.podomatic.com/ Each episode focuses on a new game, we discuss a little about the game's backround, rules, how to start/ what to buy, and a little about the company.  


#3 Lynata

Lynata

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,757 posts

Posted 02 January 2014 - 11:22 AM

This really depends on the regiment, but I'd actually make a flag officer be a worse soldier, just because there's a high chance this individual used to be some foppish noble whose only experience with warfare so far has been some fencing lessons and a couple boardgames. He or she may not even have a good Fellowship, just because their authority derives chiefly from the brass they wear, rather than whether or not they actually make good leaders.

 

It very much depends on whether you want the character in question to be the "ideal officer" (what players would actually create using the system), or a grimdark reminder of the universe not working in an ideal way. You could even go all the way out and make the officer a crazed coward like that stranded general in the first Starship Troopers movie. A challenge all by itself for the player characters!

 

If it were up to me, I'd look at the regimental background and homeworld culture, then consider what sort of officers the respective planet is likely to produce - which would be derived chiefly from how exactly the officers are recruited (local nobility? feral tribe leaders? hive gang bosses?). In almost all cases they would sport better equipment, however: better clothing, a power sword, las pistol (maybe even a heirloom bolt pistol), perhaps a refractor field generator... that sort of stuff.

 

[edit] eldar'd ... by a couple seconds!


Edited by Lynata, 02 January 2014 - 11:22 AM.

  • Tenebrae likes this
current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#4 Tagget

Tagget

    Member

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:18 PM

If I may offer an interpretation, you are IMO going at this from the wrong direction OP. What kind of character do you want the officer to be? He or she can be absolutely anything you want to, you can justify any level of competence and equipment easily since you are the creator. I don't imagine for an instance that every, say German officer of a certain rank is the same, people are different and move through life in different ways. What planet a person is from should not be enough to make any but the broadest of predictions about them, like equipment and cultural stuff, and certainly not skill. Equipment is pretty standardized, but can be handwaved easily as well. Maybe the Lord Solar lost his sword and discharged all the ammo for his plasmagun, so now he is carrying a lasgun.

 

I think you have an idea for a great encounter, so don't let the setting restrict you when it shouldn't!

 

Had to edit a typo.


Edited by Tagget, 02 January 2014 - 03:21 PM.


#5 venkelos

venkelos

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,108 posts

Posted 02 January 2014 - 04:08 PM

Well, while I can see the "I can choose whatever" angle fine, there is that, and then there is typical, when I'm not being a twink. If I look at the codex, said CCO has crap, but he can get numerous upgrades. In a "real" scenario here, I don't know if a Flag Officer, having to go outside his base, would use his authority to get carapace armor and a refractor field, or if he'd wave it off, and have next to nothing (at his desk, he really doesn't even need flak armor, and might just have a lho stick-lighting laspistol, or he might carry a plasma pistol and a power sword, either for appearances, or because he's bada$$. Please remember that I wrote up a twink of an Officer (Gov-Mil Krueger) with dual power fists, integrated weapons, carapace+conversion field, and he gets more cool/silly from there. He's a planetary leader, like Creed, and has to frontal assault fight Orks, so I felt a bit justified, but it's still cheese. I don't know if the "typical" Officer would be more a guy with a useful Command skill rating, or have some good gear, and be able to hold his own, at least for a few minutes.

 

Also, for me, if I don't name a regiment, I probably mean Cadian, as they are my favorite, overall. I don't know, for sure, how the Cadians appoint Flag Officers; they had school, but it got roasted by Chaos, and Creed, their Supreme Commander, was a "regular" soldier, for the most part, raised by the Schola Progenum, and I seem to recall some displeasure in some at his appointment to Lord Castellan. With him in charge, they could be a meritocracy, or still have Officer training, ignoring rank-and-file soldiers, leaving him an oddity in charge.



#6 Lynata

Lynata

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,757 posts

Posted 02 January 2014 - 04:41 PM

Wasn't Creed raised by the regiment he would later command? It's been some time, but I vaguely recall the troopers finding him as a young boy under some rubble and keeping him in their regiment's wagon train until he was old enough to become a Whiteshield.

 

Cadia is one of the very, very few planets in 40k I could personally imagine as sporting a meritocracy in an industrialised environment, just because the entire world seems to be geared towards militarism. They're like the Federation from Starship Troopers.

 

Of course, this is where we delve into interpretations and preferences again.  :lol: As Tagget said, don't necessarily let the setting restrict you - BL novel authors and FFG themselves took considerable artistic licence to pursue their own ideas, and within your own game you have the very same option. All that matters is that your players can dig the result.

 

 

What planet a person is from should not be enough to make any but the broadest of predictions about them, like equipment and cultural stuff, and certainly not skill.

 

To clarify: when I mentioned a character's homeworld I was aiming at perceived standards and averages, not a "characters from there MUST be [fill in trait here]". You could always (well, almost always) have exceptions, but that doesn't mean that there is no rule.  ;)

 

I see it like the traits commonly attached to the regiments, such as "Mordians are very disciplined and great in line combat". When a regiment's officers were recruited out of a nobility that is notorious for consisting of pampered fools, then there's a high chance this will be reflected in such characters in one way or another. Similarly, you'll probably have a hard time finding a Catachan officer who's a wimp.


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#7 Radwraith

Radwraith

    Member

  • Members
  • 788 posts

Posted 04 January 2014 - 01:16 AM

IRL the higher rank an Officer reaches the further they are from the "trenches" Field an flag grade officers must, by their natures concern themselves with "bigger issues" than the common grunt. The "better" ones (IMO) will concentrate on strategy and tactics as well as unit Morale and preservation in order to maintain combat effectiveness. The "lesser" ones will be politicians more concerned with their personal status and what the "optics" or "appearances" of a given operation will be and not whether it serves the overall war effort. They are the ones that will scream "WHAT DOES IT MATTER?" when turning in high casualty counts or allowing through their own incompetence, a unit to be surrounded and destroyed with no hope of rescue. (This should sound vaguely familiar to american players!)

 

Neither of these extremes really affects the Officer in questions individual combat prowess but the "better" officers will typically at least maintain their combat prowess. (Good 40k examples are Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and of course Castellan Creed.) But remember, Being willing to sacrifice your own men in order to achieve a goal, while strategically questionable, is not always ineffective and does not necessarily indicate cowardice or lack of personal prowess! (Think: Abaddon the despoiler!) 

 

Field and Flag officers typically will have better gear whether they know how to use it or not! My thoughts on guidelines would go something like this:

 

Platoon commander (Lieutenant)

As Commander in HoE

 

Company commander (Captain)

 

Armour: Flak coat or light Carapace

Weapons: Power sword and Bolt pistol.

 

Battalion Commander (Major)

 

Armour: Carapace Breastplate and Flak coat.

Weapons: Good quality Power sword and Either Plasma pistol or Good quality Bolt pistol.

 

Regimental Commander: (Colonel)

 

Armour: Carapace breastplate and force field (Refractor or conversion field)

Weapons: Best quality Power sword and Either Best quality Bolt pistol or Good quality Plasma or Inferno Pistol.

 

Flag officer: (General)

 

Armour: Typically best quality Carapace or Light powered armour with Force field (Refractor or conversion)

Weapons: See note.

 

Note: Flag officers are similar to rogue traders when it comes to access to gear. therefore the skies the limit as to what is possible. Typically, an Officers personal equipment will maximise mobility and defence as much as possible so as to allow rapid movement around the battlefield. An Officers weapons are intended for personal defence more than battlefield engagement. Therefore Power swords and Pistols Are far more common than things like Power fists or heavy weapons.

 

These are just guidelines but they give an Idea. Obviously an Officer's "combat loadout" is for when they have taken the field alongside their troops. Sitting back at headquarters it is unlikely they would carry more than their sidearm or some kind of blade (If that!).


Edited by Radwraith, 04 January 2014 - 01:17 AM.

  • Santiago likes this

#8 venkelos

venkelos

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,108 posts

Posted 07 January 2014 - 06:56 PM

So, one might easily be willing to think of such a high-ranking asset just sitting in their nice, Proteus-class command bunker, leading from afar, and staying out of firefights, either never trained to fight, or over the hill, and not as spry as they used to be. What might actually lure one out, then? Creed is likely always going to be my example, and he's one of my favorite Cadians, but if we eliminate the fact that people playing 40K on a table often get access to some silly things, and choose to use them, even if they don't need to (thus seeing Creed in a 2000pt game), what would actually bring the Lord Castellan to fight, rather than vox orders in? It isn't "I want to one-on-one Abaddon the Despoiler", a warrior who I can at least understand gracing the field, but he's a hero on Cadia, so I assume he occasionally leads his men, apparently even against the Emperor's traitorous children. Only War doesn't seem like such a scenario, with both generals in No Surrender mostly holding back, like generals do, and letting the players play the game. What might make them more "play the game" alongside, though hopefully not taking the spotlight away?



#9 Lynata

Lynata

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,757 posts

Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:01 PM

What might make them more "play the game" alongside, though hopefully not taking the spotlight away?

 

Bravery and heroism, perhaps a perceived need to witness a tactical action themselves to make sure their plan is carried out exactly according to their ideas, or alternatively a combination of arrogance and lust for glory mixed with the belief that there is little risk to their own person thanks to the troops that would protect them. The regiment's homeworld could have also instilled the officer with a sense of duty to "be there" as a matter of tradition they are simply expected to follow.


  • Radwraith likes this
current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#10 Radwraith

Radwraith

    Member

  • Members
  • 788 posts

Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:20 AM

 

What might make them more "play the game" alongside, though hopefully not taking the spotlight away?

 

Bravery and heroism, perhaps a perceived need to witness a tactical action themselves to make sure their plan is carried out exactly according to their ideas, or alternatively a combination of arrogance and lust for glory mixed with the belief that there is little risk to their own person thanks to the troops that would protect them. The regiment's homeworld could have also instilled the officer with a sense of duty to "be there" as a matter of tradition they are simply expected to follow.

 

Also let's consider for a moment: Somewhere, somewhen, Creed was somebody's special snowflake! As was Abaddon and or Marneus Calgar, Shrike, etc. You could interpret these as being "Player characters" to someone and that's how their legend was formed! These "Legendary" leaders are not the norm and are therefore more prone to direct action than your average officer. As to not taking the spotlight away; The presence of a legend on the battlefield always has the danger of exactly this kind of "deux ex machina" phenomena and that's why I rarely use them. If I did it would be from "look what's happening over there!" perspective rather than directly interacting with the players. The Idea of "saving" General Creed from an Ambush he hadn't foreseen would feel at best, contrived to me. Just as fighting alongside Marneus Calgar would probably end up being an excersize in "Stand back and watch this!" for an OW IG squad! For your average flag officer either of these two scenarios might be more plausible as it is doubtful they would outshine the players as much. 

    

Another Possibility in a long running campaign is that one of the player's is General/Colonel/HMFIC themselves! (Probably through the "Commander" elite advance and long playing after that!)

 

Or perhaps the Pc's are part of one of Creeds legendary ambushes themselves. This would then be his Op but the players would not be fighting directly along side him themselves. In their little corner of the war things are no less nasty and people die left and right! (Think of it like serving with General Patton's seventh army in WWII. He was a "Legendary" general but he got the monnicker "Old blood and guts" for a reason!)


  • Lynata and Angel of Death like this

#11 Askil

Askil

    Member

  • Members
  • 333 posts

Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:39 AM

In older fluff a carapace breastplate was the mark of a commisioned officer, almost anyone over lieutenant wore one unless there was a good reason not to.

 

So any rear-echelon desk rider worth his hat would try to ensure that he was wearing a nice shiny breastplate and holding at least an impressive looking dress sword if not a chainsword or power sword if he thought an unavoidable trip to the front lines was coming up.

 

It would be my sugestion to make this officer in much the same way as a pc commissar and change details to fit afterward. Or even have the Officer be a Commissar attatched to the theatre commander`s staff on an inspection tour.



#12 venkelos

venkelos

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,108 posts

Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:50 AM

Sorry to use Creed, yeah he's not your "average" officer, but he was a name I had, and one most people here might know, and maybe know of/what he's like, plus he DOES occasionally take to the field. Short of a full base getting assaulted, and of the enemies, I really only imagine the Orks of the three having that strength, it is hard for me to envision said flag officer leaving safety to ride a transport elsewhere, and thus maybe end up in harm's way. Even the decent officers, who fight like their men, or the tactical, maybe OCD ones who want to oversee that their orders are followed, would only seem to act at their fortress, and send helmet cams with the men, to "see" from a safe range.



#13 Angel of Death

Angel of Death

    Member

  • Members
  • 298 posts

Posted 12 January 2014 - 06:32 PM

 

 

What might make them more "play the game" alongside, though hopefully not taking the spotlight away?

 

Bravery and heroism, perhaps a perceived need to witness a tactical action themselves to make sure their plan is carried out exactly according to their ideas, or alternatively a combination of arrogance and lust for glory mixed with the belief that there is little risk to their own person thanks to the troops that would protect them. The regiment's homeworld could have also instilled the officer with a sense of duty to "be there" as a matter of tradition they are simply expected to follow.

 

Also let's consider for a moment: Somewhere, somewhen, Creed was somebody's special snowflake! As was Abaddon and or Marneus Calgar, Shrike, etc. You could interpret these as being "Player characters" to someone and that's how their legend was formed! These "Legendary" leaders are not the norm and are therefore more prone to direct action than your average officer. As to not taking the spotlight away; The presence of a legend on the battlefield always has the danger of exactly this kind of "deux ex machina" phenomena and that's why I rarely use them. If I did it would be from "look what's happening over there!" perspective rather than directly interacting with the players. The Idea of "saving" General Creed from an Ambush he hadn't foreseen would feel at best, contrived to me. Just as fighting alongside Marneus Calgar would probably end up being an excersize in "Stand back and watch this!" for an OW IG squad! For your average flag officer either of these two scenarios might be more plausible as it is doubtful they would outshine the players as much. 

    

Another Possibility in a long running campaign is that one of the player's is General/Colonel/HMFIC themselves! (Probably through the "Commander" elite advance and long playing after that!)

 

Or perhaps the Pc's are part of one of Creeds legendary ambushes themselves. This would then be his Op but the players would not be fighting directly along side him themselves. In their little corner of the war things are no less nasty and people die left and right! (Think of it like serving with General Patton's seventh army in WWII. He was a "Legendary" general but he got the monnicker "Old blood and guts" for a reason!)

 

Does that mean Patton was somebody's special snowflake?


"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

 


#14 Radwraith

Radwraith

    Member

  • Members
  • 788 posts

Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:28 PM

 

 

 

What might make them more "play the game" alongside, though hopefully not taking the spotlight away?

 

Bravery and heroism, perhaps a perceived need to witness a tactical action themselves to make sure their plan is carried out exactly according to their ideas, or alternatively a combination of arrogance and lust for glory mixed with the belief that there is little risk to their own person thanks to the troops that would protect them. The regiment's homeworld could have also instilled the officer with a sense of duty to "be there" as a matter of tradition they are simply expected to follow.

 

Also let's consider for a moment: Somewhere, somewhen, Creed was somebody's special snowflake! As was Abaddon and or Marneus Calgar, Shrike, etc. You could interpret these as being "Player characters" to someone and that's how their legend was formed! These "Legendary" leaders are not the norm and are therefore more prone to direct action than your average officer. As to not taking the spotlight away; The presence of a legend on the battlefield always has the danger of exactly this kind of "deux ex machina" phenomena and that's why I rarely use them. If I did it would be from "look what's happening over there!" perspective rather than directly interacting with the players. The Idea of "saving" General Creed from an Ambush he hadn't foreseen would feel at best, contrived to me. Just as fighting alongside Marneus Calgar would probably end up being an excersize in "Stand back and watch this!" for an OW IG squad! For your average flag officer either of these two scenarios might be more plausible as it is doubtful they would outshine the players as much. 

    

Another Possibility in a long running campaign is that one of the player's is General/Colonel/HMFIC themselves! (Probably through the "Commander" elite advance and long playing after that!)

 

Or perhaps the Pc's are part of one of Creeds legendary ambushes themselves. This would then be his Op but the players would not be fighting directly along side him themselves. In their little corner of the war things are no less nasty and people die left and right! (Think of it like serving with General Patton's seventh army in WWII. He was a "Legendary" general but he got the monnicker "Old blood and guts" for a reason!)

 

Does that mean Patton was somebody's special snowflake?

 

Mother's name was Ruth Wilson. I'm sure he was special to her! ;)

What I meant by special snowflake is that these were "Special" characters in TT lore for a long line. The heroes told about in books are like player characters in that they are the "Heroes" of the story. So in that sense, Yeah, Patton was somebody's special snowflake (His own if nothing else!) 


  • Lynata and Angel of Death like this

#15 Angel of Death

Angel of Death

    Member

  • Members
  • 298 posts

Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:57 PM

 

Does that mean Patton was somebody's special snowflake?

 

 

Mother's name was Ruth Wilson. I'm sure he was special to her! ;)

What I meant by special snowflake is that these were "Special" characters in TT lore for a long line. The heroes told about in books are like player characters in that they are the "Heroes" of the story. So in that sense, Yeah, Patton was somebody's special snowflake (His own if nothing else!) 

 

I knew what you meant I was just making a point.

 

In another game I play you can get Legendary Crew for your starships..  but there not available all the time.


  • Radwraith likes this

"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

 


#16 Radwraith

Radwraith

    Member

  • Members
  • 788 posts

Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:29 PM

 

 

Does that mean Patton was somebody's special snowflake?

 

 

Mother's name was Ruth Wilson. I'm sure he was special to her! ;)

What I meant by special snowflake is that these were "Special" characters in TT lore for a long line. The heroes told about in books are like player characters in that they are the "Heroes" of the story. So in that sense, Yeah, Patton was somebody's special snowflake (His own if nothing else!) 

 

I knew what you meant I was just making a point.

 

In another game I play you can get Legendary Crew for your starships..  but there not available all the time.

 

I haven't played SFB in a long time! Great reference! Yeah I understand what you mean and I think we were making the same point. Not every officer is going to look like or be anywhere near as competent as General Creed or any of the other "Legendary" figures. They run the gammut from Competent but unremarkable to blazingly stupid but flashy! It all depends on what personality the Gm wants for them!






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS