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Help on dealing with reckless squad leader


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#1 Deepstriker

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 10:42 PM

Hi there,

I've tried looking up but could not decide where I should post this.  Its not pertaining to DMs and Rules, nor art nor fiction so I figured thought it may be alright to post here.  My apologies if I have gotten it wrong.

Would like to seek advice on how to deal with a squad leader who tends to run off by himself when he likes it.  In game my kill team member claims that his character plays to his demeanor of staying on the hunt even though others may give up.  The other members just seem to buy it.

I'm currently playing a Ultramarine Deathwatch Librarian.  My squad currently consists of a Blood Angel Assault Marine, a Space Wolf Techmarine Iron Priest, a Storm Warden Devastator, and a Dark Angel Apothecary.

Personally my character's beef with this is (being an Brainy Smurf is):
i) A squad leader is first amongst equals.  He should strive to be exemplary to lead the team.  He ran off in a battle to chase an enemy leader unit without knowing the number of enemy.  Leaving three members behind and one injured storm warden bounding after him.   This is reckless, unbecoming of a marine and non codex (fluff wise I referred to Graham McNeill's novel Honour and Glory).
ii) Even though he is able to complete an objective by himself, it was an impetuous act which nonetheless endangers the kill team.
iii) GM gives free rein to players to roleplay.

In light of this, what actions would you recommend my character take?  Personally I think this behaviour should not go unpunished.  As second in command of the team, my character is motivated to relieve him of command and to report this matter back to the DW once this is over.  I could try to counsel the character and chide his actions but that is being too merciful and would encourage his behaviour further.

How would you advice me to approach the scenario.  Thanks for your input. :)

 

 



#2 SolP

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 11:09 PM

You should confront the character, calling him an incompetent leader and such. And if that doesn't help, report it to the Inquistor you're working for or your DeathWatch supirior.

Or simply hope he gets killed in action...



#3 Deepstriker

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 11:59 PM

SolP said:

You should confront the character, calling him an incompetent leader and such. And if that doesn't help, report it to the Inquistor you're working for or your DeathWatch supirior.

Or simply hope he gets killed in action...

Thanks for the quick reply.  I am really tempted to, truth be spoken.  I am just wondering what other options are available.  As Space Marines are supposed to be knight errants.  Plus the Fact I'm playing an ultramarine.  It totally deviates from the codex.



#4 SolP

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:16 AM

Then use refrences to the Codex to bash his leading style, and if he ignores you start calling him an heretic or something like that, for his blatent disregard for the holy Codex blah blah. Or you should simply back down and let him lead like that, and simply take control while he's running off, and start convincing your squad menmber of the flaws in his way.

Good luck!



#5 Captain Ventris

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 05:05 AM

Reporting to superiors would be a valid way to go (there are Renown punishments in RoB for endangering the team), but would of course put a rift between your character and his. Calling him out on behavior unbecoming of a squad leader is always sound. Think of how Learchus behaves in the Ultramarines novels regarding Uriel Ventris.



#6 Akishma

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 02:53 PM

I think you should quote to him the Codex, and his unorthodox methods. Let him know that the Kill Team is second quessing his actions, due to what he has shown so far. Tell him that the men look to him for guidance, he needs to know that in this game he cannot wander off all lone-wolf style.

This is probably the first mission with him leading the Kill Team, and there lacks the bonds of friendship or understanding between the team members. It makes for a great role playing opportunity, and even if he doesnt respond to your advice or direct warnings, the GM should award you for staying true to the feel and setting of the game world.

Last chance is simply telling the Deathwatch Captain, or Inquisitor in charge, or once you have the backing of the other Kill Team members strongly behind you, you may under Codex charter remove him from command, pending an inquiry which he will have to win in order to remain as squad leader. Use the information that is recorded via the feedback from the power armor sensors, as evidence against him. This information is normally stored or transmitted to the Watch Captains for mission analysis.

And last of all, mention your intentions to the Gm of your group, listen to his opinion over the matter, and if he agrees with you over the situation of the other player.

 



#7 Deepstriker

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:15 PM

Hey guys,

Thank you for the feedback.  Especially Akishima's use of mission recording via feedback from power armour sensors.  It is indeed our first game as a kill team.  So we do not have the bonds of an established kill-team as yet.

Will break my books to look at the Learchus-Uriel Ventris suggestion.  Could you advise me which book it is found in?  I suspect its Nightbringer. :P

Two of my squad members are slightly convinced as Dark Angels and Blood Angels somewhat still maintain abit of codex doctrine.  Have spoken to my GM.  He did say the best option is to report to watch team captain after the mission is over.

Friends wise, the player playing the Space Wolf has the most RP experience in the group so I think it would be fun to RP out the whole thing.  Props to suggestion of RoB for penalties to renown.  I just got my grubby hands on a copy!

Will keep you guys updated on the progress.



#8 Captain Ventris

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:29 PM

Well, Learchus' general attitude is helpful, but the particular incident and the reasoning behind it are at the end of Warriors of Ultramar, and the beginning of Dead Sky, Black Sun.

And yeah, RoB is sexy.



#9 SolP

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:44 PM

I talked with my GM about it, and as he pointed out, the squad leader position is elected before each mission, so... don't elect him as leader next time. Also it is not a military rank, but more an expert advisery position, that breaks ties in decision-making situations.

So you shoulden worry to much.



#10 DaedalRogue

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:17 AM

SolP said:

I talked with my GM about it, and as he pointed out, the squad leader position is elected before each mission, so... don't elect him as leader next time. Also it is not a military rank, but more an expert advisery position, that breaks ties in decision-making situations.

So you shoulden worry to much.

I think this depends on the group, my players for when I'm GM, and my group for when I'm a player treat squad lead as a pseudo-sergeant role. You're in charge and direct the unit to maximize its potential. While we still do the vote on who gets to be squad lead as players, we also account for factors like the characters leadership skills as well as the actual players. So far this has worked out exceptionally well as it makes it for the GM easier to address one person then they RP it out amongst themselves. So any Leadership NPCs that are used have a single point of contact which gives more of that sense to a military structure.

That being said punitive matters from the Watch Commander, or Inquisitors would eventually come from the GM and could lead to some interesting repercussions.



#11 Siranui

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 12:01 AM

Suggest that he not lead the squad next time. He's only leader because the rest of the squad want him leader. If he screws up repeatedly, he loses that oppertunity.

If it's the first game though, the player may be unfamiliar with the role. PCs aren't generally used to working as a close-knit team, and it's news to some players. Sure: Players work as a team, but in most games each player knows that they are perfectly entitled to do whatever they like. Stress to the player that he is now in charge of 5 PCs, not one. And running off and leaving the others is basically failing in that role. If he doesn't want to 'give up the hunt' as squad leader then you SEND SOMEONE ELSE to do the chasing.



#12 ak-73

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 06:17 AM

It's very simple: skipped by most GMs, every mission's aftermath involves decontamination, the transport home and an extensive report by the attached librarian that will go to the Erioch librarium for statistical analysis, etc. If there is no libby present, it becomes the team leader's duty. The initial draft of the report goes to the Watch Captain who will then conduct a debriefing with the preliminary report before him. This is the time when other team members can correct inaccuracies in the report. Astartes are not likely to lie to cover up their own alleged incompetence so the truth will be known, right?

 

And if the Watch Captain comes to the conclusion that an team leader has been acting incompetently, he'll be having to renew his leadership training (in fact as a GM I would force the player to pour xp in relevant characteristics/talents instead of combat training) and in more severe cases temporarily or permanently excluded from kill-team leadership.

 

That is the beauty of a military RPG like DW: you can exert control as GM (or player) through existing military structures.

 

Case closed, next kill team please! ;)

 

Alex

 


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#13 HappyDaze

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:51 AM

Note that in the eyes of the Astartes, results tend to matter far more than caution. If your 'reckless' leader is still pulling in victories, then *you* will likely lose Renown if you try to challenge his decisions with the Watch Captain. OTOH, if he leads you into failure, then you might have a case (if you're still alive).


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#14 ak-73

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 06:05 AM

HappyDaze said:

 

Note that in the eyes of the Astartes, results tend to matter far more than caution. If your 'reckless' leader is still pulling in victories, then *you* will likely lose Renown if you try to challenge his decisions with the Watch Captain. OTOH, if he leads you into failure, then you might have a case (if you're still alive).

 

 

 

Good point. Although it depends on the Watch Captain. A Ravenguard with Calculating Demeanour is probably more receptive than an Ultramarine Glory Hound.

 

And think of the Apothecary in the Ultramarines movie.

 

Alex


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#15 Deepstriker

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:17 PM

Wow, My thread is still... alive....  

Does the outcome justify the means.  How does the squad leader's success make my libby lose renown?  The success of the mission is likely the survival instincts of the squad kicking in, not as a result of his leadership.

Based on the action of running off and abandoning the team in the midst of uncertain danger to chase down an enemy commander.  I would add the KT was split in two as the devastator limped after the squad leader to "keep him safe".

I believe firstly running off and abandoning the kill team in the middle of battle without proper instructions on who takes over and a proper rendezvous time/ location endangers the KT.  Charging off into an enemy of unknown size and strength clearly contravenes the codex astartes.  

My character will be using the video/ audio recordings (as Akishima and Captain Ventris suggested) from the armour to support his report as the librarian attached to the kill team.  Our campy is on a hiatus (we paused just a scene after the KT was split) as players have real life commitments.  My libby is current acting leader for the AM and APO.



#16 ak-73

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 08:55 AM

This isn't mortal soliders, this is Astartes. The leader could afford to split the team without leaving instructions because you are consummate professionals and downright heroes in your own right, everyone of you. If he successfully pursued an enemy commander and nothing bad happened to you, he will probably have done right in the eyes of many other Astartes, who are frequently glory-hounds themselves (think of the Ultramarines movie).

Otoh, if you really want to rein your fellow player in, I would like to direct your attention to RoB, page 202. There's something you will find applicable, I believe.

Just ask the professionals from FFG forums for help. Don't blame us for bad blood in your gaming round though.

 

Alex

 


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#17 Deepstriker

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:11 PM

ak-73 said:

This isn't mortal soliders, this is Astartes. The leader could afford to split the team without leaving instructions because you are consummate professionals and downright heroes in your own right, everyone of you. If he successfully pursued an enemy commander and nothing bad happened to you, he will probably have done right in the eyes of many other Astartes, who are frequently glory-hounds themselves (think of the Ultramarines movie).

Otoh, if you really want to rein your fellow player in, I would like to direct your attention to RoB, page 202. There's something you will find applicable, I believe.

Just ask the professionals from FFG forums for help. Don't blame us for bad blood in your gaming round though.

 

Alex

 

Thanks for the concern Alex, its all in the spirit of good gaming.  :)

I'm inclined to believe running off alone in the middle of an assault from enemy hordes seems to exceed the boundaries of personal glory hounding. 

I believe that all Space Wolves albeit glory seekers, do believe in working as a pack (hence the squad ability for pack tactics).  They may try to outdo each other for bragging rights or leave their own saga or story.  But recklessly glory hounding is unbecoming of a squad leader, let alone a space marine.  Nor is it the path to longeivity as the Apothecary in the Ultramarines movie put it rightly.

I do not speculate what his reasons or motivation may be, be it a demeanour or otherwise.  But the action seems to contradict pg 202 of rites of battle as you pointed out.

My course of action: gather information on the squad leader using my armour's black box/ log.  My character will have a chat to him about his actions and the repercussions on the team. 

If he persists in his behaviour; as the librarian attached to the KT, I will submit a report to the watch captain after the mission.  It will not be a nitpick but a balanced assessment of the leader's ability to lead.

 

 



#18 ak-73

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 08:09 PM

I do not think that information gathering will even be necessary. What Space Marine would lie about his actions to his Watch Captain? That would be grounds for very severe punishment; it would be like digging deeper into a hole. And he'd be disgraced in the eyes of his brothers too. (= more renown penalties)

 

Alex


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#19 HappyDaze

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:17 AM

ak-73 said:

I do not think that information gathering will even be necessary. What Space Marine would lie about his actions to his Watch Captain? That would be grounds for very severe punishment; it would be like digging deeper into a hole. And he'd be disgraced in the eyes of his brothers too. (= more renown penalties)

 

Alex

Agreed. Stop the conniving gossip campaign. With Space Marines just be up front all the way. If you can't stand up to him - or if it's not worthy of a confrontation in the first place - then shut up and be a part of the team. It's not like he's fixed into a leader position - if another mission looks like it might need a cool-headed approach (and not all Deathwatch missions do), select an appropriate leader.


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#20 Deepstriker

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 09:32 PM

HappyDaze said:

ak-73 said:

 

I do not think that information gathering will even be necessary. What Space Marine would lie about his actions to his Watch Captain? That would be grounds for very severe punishment; it would be like digging deeper into a hole. And he'd be disgraced in the eyes of his brothers too. (= more renown penalties)

Alex

 

 

Agreed. Stop the conniving gossip campaign. With Space Marines just be up front all the way. If you can't stand up to him - or if it's not worthy of a confrontation in the first place - then shut up and be a part of the team. It's not like he's fixed into a leader position - if another mission looks like it might need a cool-headed approach (and not all Deathwatch missions do), select an appropriate leader.

Which is why I plan for my character to have a chat with the squad leader first.  No use reporting a dispute that can be addressed with simple face to face discussion.

My character's aim is to get the squad leader to stop running off on his own and get the whole kill team united.  Glory seeking at the expense of the mission and the safety of the kill team is not acceptable behaviour for a supposite knight errant.  If he can is aware of his actions, then its well and good.

Otherwise, a report will be filed with the watch captain after the mission regarding his behaviour.  As I mentioned its not about nitpick, petty argument or conniving gossip/smear campaign.  Its because my character does care enough for the members of the kill team.  And its also for the squad leader's own good.  Before he gets himself killed in the process too.

Think about it, our characters are so far away from our individual chapters.  The last thing we need is to die due to reckless glory seeking by an inidividual.  Its our first kill mission together thus everyone is kinda edgy.

Last thing at the end of my character's mind is to sow discord or mistrust.  Its all for the sake of getting the job done and returning back to Erioch with everyone intact.






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