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How many bad guys would be in each point of magnitude in a "horde"


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#1 peterstepon

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 04:52 AM

 Picked up a copy of Final Sanction the other day.  Very impressive and an extremely well done demo.  The Horde rules look great and there are LOTS of opportunities to fight hordes in the adventure.

 Any idea how many actual guys would be in a horde?  I recall someone suggest that a horde point of magnitude could be between 2 and 100 enemies (I guess depending on whether they are Tau, Tyranids, or anything in between).  I wonder because if players destroy a 30 point horde, how many guys would that translate to?



#2 dvang

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 05:11 AM

It totally various in the power of the model that makes up the horde.  There is no 1-to-1 or set value relationship.  Generally, a 'weaker' base enemy would have a higher body-to-magnitude ratio.

For example, a 30 Magnitude Horde composed of an armed civilian mob might have 300 bodies.  A 30 Magnitude Horde of PDF might have 50.  (Note: these numbers are completely arbitrary and pulled from thin air).

I believe the initial Rebel Horde at the chapel in the demo adventure said there were thousands surrounding the chapel, but the book had the SM face a single Magnitude 40 Horde (I acutally used Magnitude 60, since I had 6 players). 

Unfortunately, there is no good answer for you.  Magnitude != number of bodies, and there is no set correlation between the two.



#3 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 05:57 AM

And no one, not under NDA, knows the answer since the actual rules haven't been published yet. 



#4 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 06:05 AM

I'm pretty certain that it's an inherently and intentionally abstract figure. Personally, I'm inclined towards 2-3 Magnitude per creature. It works out about right in most situations, as most standard attacks will kill with two successful hits on average, and it means that a Magnitude 30 Imperial Guard horde can represent a 10-man squad quite neatly. Then again, I'm quite inclined to represent an enemy force using several hordes of varying size rather than one big one.


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#5 RenoDM

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 11:31 AM

I also included other factors in what makes up Magnitude.  Good defensive positions vs. being out in the open.  The hordes' access to accurate intel and open lines of communication.  Moral and motivation.  I think the whole point of rules like these is to leave it open and abstract so that I as GM can make that call if it becomes relevant.  Magnitude is as much a measure of "threat level" as it is actual number of members.

In fact I can see a Space Marine evaluating the opposition's threat level and actually refering to it by "magnitude".

 



#6 Cynical Cat

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 02:03 PM

Morale also has to be taken into account.  Gretchin or panicked civilians will break with comparatively few casualties while Tyranids will pretty much have to be killed down to the last critter unless a higher life form orders a withdraw.



#7 Santiago

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 05:34 AM

 Another question on Hordes:

In close combat a horde can attack each combatant within range.

Ranged combat a Horde can attack once per first digit of their magnitude, is this per combatant or in total?



#8 Brother Praetus

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:23 AM

Santiago said:

Ranged combat a Horde can attack once per first digit of their magnitude, is this per combatant or in total?

In total.  But they can conceivably still perform semi- and full-auto fire with those attacks; or, it at least seems implied in the rules.

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#9 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 01:11 PM

The other cool thing is that you could apply Hordes to just about everything, as the core concepts are still based around regular stat-lines, weapons, Skills, Talents and Traits. You could have even a Horde of Marines if you wanted. 

I love how easily extrapolated all the 40K RPG rules are. :)

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The views expressed in this post are my own. I do not speak for or on behalf of Fantasy Flight Games.


#10 Dahak

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 01:23 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

I'm pretty certain that it's an inherently and intentionally abstract figure. Personally, I'm inclined towards 2-3 Magnitude per creature. It works out about right in most situations, as most standard attacks will kill with two successful hits on average, and it means that a Magnitude 30 Imperial Guard horde can represent a 10-man squad quite neatly.

 

 

I'd say that was an exceptionally low ratio, bordering on the unsound. First because the rules in Final Sanction says

"One point of magnitude does not equal one individual enemy or creature but may represent tens or scores or even hundreds."

And secondly because it takes at least two Full Auto Bursts for Brother Sepheran to remove 30 magnitude from a Horde, but he can kill or incapacitate ten Imperial Guard in normal combat with a single Full Auto Burst. And he has Unrelenting Devastation so it should be easier for him to kill them as a Horde.

Thirdly it doesn't really leave space for Genestealer or Orc Hordes to have a lower ratio and leaves excessive space for higher ratios.

Magnitude 30 Human troops look to be around a Company to Battalion from Final Sanction. I rather doubt Space Marines are worth more than one magnitude each.



#11 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:35 PM

Dahak said:

I'd say that was an exceptionally low ratio, bordering on the unsound. First because the rules in Final Sanction says

"One point of magnitude does not equal one individual enemy or creature but may represent tens or scores or even hundreds."

And I don't care. I'm allowed to work to my own interpretations.

It also avoids creating frequent moments of absurdity when a single bolter shell kills several hundred creatures.

Dahak said:

Thirdly it doesn't really leave space for Genestealer or Orc Hordes to have a lower ratio and leaves excessive space for higher ratios.

Personally, I'd never include genestealers as a horde - they're sufficiently potent to be dealt with as individual creatures, and function quite well in that way. And, as I noted, I'd give Orks a higher ratio - an individual Ork is tougher than an individual human, and consequently each is represented by more Magnitude points. Essentially, the more tough and/or resolute a creature, the greater the number of magnitude I consider it to be worth within a horde.

In practice, none of the Marines seemed lacking for potency when firing at hordes...

Dahak said:

Magnitude 30 Human troops look to be around a Company to Battalion from Final Sanction.

Yet collectively only count as an Enormous object - per the size listings in the Rogue Trader rulebook, that's about the same size as a Sentinel Walker or a Kroot Knarloc. I'd expect companies of men to take up significantly greater space.

Similarly, there are situations in Final Sanction make 'thousands strong' hordes impractical and detrimental to suspension of disbelief, such as placing 2 magnitude 30 hordes in the tunnels beneath the Imperial Stores


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#12 gruntl

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:01 PM

I did some calculations in another thread that could give some insight. They are made assuming that 1 magnitude equals one npc.If you don't like this kind of (basically pretty pointless) math exercises, just ignore my post ;). Horde rules used are from Final Sanction, I guess they might look different in the full game.

-

No horde rules:

30 enemies with knifes, each with SB:+3 and WS 30. One attack per enemy.
Damage roll: 1d5+3 (RF on 10)
Mean damage per attack: 5.78 (no RF), 10.78 (1 RF), 15.78 (2 RF), 20.78 (3 RF)
(.78 rather than .5 due to 1d5 being rolled with a d10, 9 not being RF)

Total soak for a space marine: 16 (from the extra characters). To third order in RF,
=> 30*(0.3*(0.97*(5.78-16)+0.029*(10.78-16)+0.00087*(15.78-16)+0.00003*(20.78-16)+...))= [damage cannot be negative]=
=0.001

No threat at all, you'd have be to extremely unlucky to get injured.

With horde rules:

30 enemies with knifes, a magnitude 30 horde. Still WS 30 and SB3. One attack for all of them (melee vs one opponent).
Damage roll: 1d5+3+2d10 (can you get RF on the 2d10?, assuming no, the expression becomes so cumbersome if I have to include that ;) )
Mean damage: 16.78 (no RF), 21.78 (1 RF), 26.78 (2 RF), 31.78 (3 RF)

Total soak is still 16,
=> 0.3*(0.97*(16.78-16)+0.029*(21.78-16)+0.00087*(26.78-16)+0.00003*(31.78-16)+...)=
=0.28

Damage is up by a factor of 300 by using the horde rules (even more when considering dodge/parries). It's still not a lot of damage though, a space marine will not be hindered at all by such a horde unless being very unlucky.

Doing the same with better equipped cultists, using mono-swords (1d10+SB, 2pen), same WS

No horde rules:
Total damage:
30*(0.3*(0.97*(8.5-14)+0.029*(18.5-14)+0.00087*(28.5-14)+0.00003*(38.5-14)+...))= 1.29

With horde rules:
Total damage:
0.3*(0.97*(19.5-14)+0.029*(29.5-14)+0.00087*(39.5-14)+0.00003*(49.5-14)+...)= 1.74

assuming they have ranged weapons with manstopper ammo (1d10+3, 2 pen).
BS 30.

No horde rules:
Total damage:
30*(0.3*(0.97*(8.5-14)+0.029*(18.5-14)+0.00087*(28.5-14)+0.00003*(38.5-14)+...))= 1.29

With horde rules:
Total damage:
3*0.3*(0.97*(19.5-14)+0.029*(29.5-14)+0.00087*(39.5-14)+0.00003*(49.5-14)+...)= 5.23

 

I've made a few simplifications, the biggest one being no RF on the extra horde damage (2d10 in this case). That will probably cause the horde damage to go up a bit (~10%).

So if you want a horde to have the same average damage output as regular enemies you can calculate a npc/mag ratio (for a given type of enemy) that makes this true (on average).

The exact number of npcs/mag needed to get the same total damage out depends on the enemies/equipment. Just divide the value for total damage for the horde rules with the damage from the non-horde rules to get a number. E.g., for the mono-sword cultists above, the figure is 1.34*(number of people in melee with the horde). For the ranged horde, the figure is 4.1. For the knife-horde the figure is ~300*(number of people in melee with the horde).



#13 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:46 PM

Tangential question:

How often do you (or your GM's) do RF for NPCs and especially for adversaries? I only do it on boss-style characters, but never on regular guys.

BYE

 


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#14 Brother Praetus

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:30 PM

gruntl said:

assuming they have ranged weapons with manstopper ammo (1d10+3, 2 pen).
BS 30.

 

Your math needs a slight adjustment.  Manstoppers increase the pen of the weapon to a total of 3, not 2.  But otherwise things look more or less right.  I would definitely not allow for RF results with a Horde, as I also do not allow most mooks to score it either.

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#15 RenoDM

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 04:18 AM

Something else to consider; just because a horde's Magnitude is dropping it doesn't neccessarily mean that people are dying; the horde is simply becoming less of a tactical threat.  As I ran Final Sanction I described Magnitude reduction in several different ways:

  • Enemies killed (of course).
  • Enemies wounded and unable to continue or being medi-vac'd out.
  • Some of the enemies losing the nerve and falling back.
  • A good tactical position degrading (making the horde less effective).
  • Ammo running low or weapons being damaged / overheating / failing.
  • Horde fatigue and combat weariness.
  • Colaterial damage (falling debris, dust, etc.).
  • The enemies' tactical plan being disrupted.
  • A strong "squad leader" being killed or incapacitated.

Abstraction is the key.  That's how in our game a heavy bolter in one turn was able to inflict 18 Magnitude damage while firing 10 bolts.  I love these types of rules because they have the potential to really bring out GM and player creativity.  When you have rules designed to work a little more abstractly you have to watch trying to "pin-down" universal specifics such as "1 Magnitude always equals 12.5 enemies".  Embrace the abstraction and allow your creativity to intrepret the things that happen as you go.  You'll find your game becoming more engaging and vivid without wasting so much time with the minutia of rule specifics that don't neccessarily add anything to the game.

 

 



#16 MILLANDSON

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:08 PM

RenoDM said:

Something else to consider; just because a horde's Magnitude is dropping it doesn't neccessarily mean that people are dying; the horde is simply becoming less of a tactical threat.  As I ran Final Sanction I described Magnitude reduction in several different ways:

  • Enemies killed (of course).
  • Enemies wounded and unable to continue or being medi-vac'd out.
  • Some of the enemies losing the nerve and falling back.
  • A good tactical position degrading (making the horde less effective).
  • Ammo running low or weapons being damaged / overheating / failing.
  • Horde fatigue and combat weariness.
  • Colaterial damage (falling debris, dust, etc.).
  • The enemies' tactical plan being disrupted.
  • A strong "squad leader" being killed or incapacitated.

Abstraction is the key.  That's how in our game a heavy bolter in one turn was able to inflict 18 Magnitude damage while firing 10 bolts.  I love these types of rules because they have the potential to really bring out GM and player creativity.  When you have rules designed to work a little more abstractly you have to watch trying to "pin-down" universal specifics such as "1 Magnitude always equals 12.5 enemies".  Embrace the abstraction and allow your creativity to intrepret the things that happen as you go.  You'll find your game becoming more engaging and vivid without wasting so much time with the minutia of rule specifics that don't neccessarily add anything to the game.

And that's exactly how I ran the Horde rules when I playtested Final Sanction. The entire point of the Horde rules is to make it more abstract and easier to work with in mass combat. As Reno said, just because 1 point of magnatude is taken down doesn't mean any of the NPCs that make up the Horde have been killed.


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#17 theDevilofWormwood

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:02 AM

RenoDM said:

Something else to consider; just because a horde's Magnitude is dropping it doesn't neccessarily mean that people are dying; the horde is simply becoming less of a tactical threat.  As I ran Final Sanction I described Magnitude reduction in several different ways:

  • Enemies killed (of course).
  • Enemies wounded and unable to continue or being medi-vac'd out.
  • Some of the enemies losing the nerve and falling back.
  • A good tactical position degrading (making the horde less effective).
  • Ammo running low or weapons being damaged / overheating / failing.
  • Horde fatigue and combat weariness.
  • Colaterial damage (falling debris, dust, etc.).
  • The enemies' tactical plan being disrupted.
  • A strong "squad leader" being killed or incapacitated.

Abstraction is the key.  That's how in our game a heavy bolter in one turn was able to inflict 18 Magnitude damage while firing 10 bolts.  I love these types of rules because they have the potential to really bring out GM and player creativity.  When you have rules designed to work a little more abstractly you have to watch trying to "pin-down" universal specifics such as "1 Magnitude always equals 12.5 enemies".  Embrace the abstraction and allow your creativity to intrepret the things that happen as you go.  You'll find your game becoming more engaging and vivid without wasting so much time with the minutia of rule specifics that don't neccessarily add anything to the game.

 

I totally agree with this as well, and the abstraction (and freedom thereof) made for some pretty dynamic and entertaining combat encounters.

The one issue I had as the GM, though, was figuring out how to describe numbers.  Does a Magnitude 50 Rebel Horde represent tens of men?  Hundreds of men?  Not having any benchmarks whatsoever made it difficult to figure out how to consistently narrate enemy numbers to the players so they had some idea of varying difficulty.  I don't need a hard and fast formula for Horde numbers, and I recognize and appreciate the flexibility of the abstraction, but having some vague benchmarks would definitely help. 

...Especially since my group is looking at porting the Horde rules over into Rogue Trader, and we're trying to figure out how to buy Magnitudes of men for the RT's personal army



#18 RenoDM

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:33 AM

We were thinking the same thing for Rogue Trader.  My thought was to base hordes on "units".  Something like:

  • Conscript Unit = 10 to 15 or so per Magnitude
  • Trained Soldier / Mercenarie Unit = 1 to 5 per Magnitude
  • Elite Troopers = Each man may be 2 to 5 points of Magnitude

These are just some ideas, ultimately it doesn't matter.  When the rogue trader goes to "acquire" a unit it will simply be a type (stat block) and a Magnitude. 

For my game I'll just have the crew list their total Magnitude worth of any type of troop.  How big any given horde will be is up to the PC's.  For example lets say the crew has 200 Magnitude worth of conscripts aboard the ship.  When they deploy they can have four 50 Magnitude hordes, two 100 Magnitude hordes, or any combo therein.  Since the average rogue trader vessel may have 15,000 to 50,000 people aboard, does it really matter how many people are in the horde?  Not in my game.

 



#19 Decessor

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 01:01 PM

@OP: As others have pointed out, it's going to vary wildly by factors such as troop type, cover, morale and ammunition stocks.

 

H.B.M.C. said:

Tangential question:

How often do you (or your GM's) do RF for NPCs and especially for adversaries? I only do it on boss-style characters, but never on regular guys.

BYE

 

 

I use RF for all major NPCs ("boss-style"). For big fights, I sometimes bring in a limited version of RF where lesser NPCs can pile on damage until they actually manage to wound a PC/major NPC. So no 100+ damage from one power sword hit for them.



#20 Bilateralrope

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:19 PM

theDevilofWormwood said:

...Especially since my group is looking at porting the Horde rules over into Rogue Trader, and we're trying to figure out how to buy Magnitudes of men for the RT's personal army

Meaning we only need an approximate relationship between magnitude and the scale modifier to buy gear for a group.






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