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Additional Orders for Comrades [Work in Progress]


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#1 Musclewizard

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 07:20 AM

Hello there fellow Soldiers of the Imperium.

Inspired by the thread "Comrades? Mindless and lacking? " I decided to quickly write up a first draft of additional Orders for Comrades to give them some more options and hopefully make them feel more like real soldiers instead of just assisting the players by giving buffs without having to rely on imprompto ruling.

I'm usually not doing a lot of houseruling during my games so this is more or less a first for me but should you be interested in this topic I'd like you to read over the rules (english isn't my first language, sorry) and tell me what you think.

I've enabled comments for the document so if you want you can write them directly into the document or you can obviously just post here.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

docs.google.com/document/d/1858peGl6Ml5jDOQu99o_Vi1BwLcAua2gDtVRIJ5YI8Y/edit



#2 Eradico Pravus

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 09:01 AM

 GREAT idea, Musclewizard. Looking forward to what this thread yields.

 

 



#3 MorioMortis

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 12:50 PM

 I'd apply Suppression to WS, BS and Focus Power tests, and I'd make them stack with the Sergeant's order.

I think charge should either allow a basic melee attack from the Comrade (with whatever appropriate standard kit melee weapon) or induce some penalty to the enemy (maybe a penalty to target anyone except the charging soldier?)

For the Rescue Comrade, I'd have him walk at half standard speed (maybe allowing an Athletics or Strength check to pull off a badass running rescue)

I like the attack action, although I'd say that rolling (maybe even just a fixed 50% chance) would be a bit more cinematic and wouldn't slow gameplay too much (it also avoids the fact that an enemy hit by a comrade strangely seems to take less damage than if hit by the same weapon used by anyone else). 


The stupid must be bashed upon the head with the Mallet of Wisdom until their heads are inflated with knowledge.

 

Words to live (and die) by : "I have officially Been out-rogue tradered!  As always, one must always assume that no matter how grand your plan is, it's never enough!" - RogalDorn1


#4 Musclewizard

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 01:03 PM

MorioMortis said:

 I'd apply Suppression to WS, BS and Focus Power tests, and I'd make them stack with the Sergeant's order.

I think charge should either allow a basic melee attack from the Comrade (with whatever appropriate standard kit melee weapon) or induce some penalty to the enemy (maybe a penalty to target anyone except the charging soldier?)

For the Rescue Comrade, I'd have him walk at half standard speed (maybe allowing an Athletics or Strength check to pull off a badass running rescue)

I like the attack action, although I'd say that rolling (maybe even just a fixed 50% chance) would be a bit more cinematic and wouldn't slow gameplay too much (it also avoids the fact that an enemy hit by a comrade strangely seems to take less damage than if hit by the same weapon used by anyone else). 

Thanks for the feedback.
Comrade supression applying to Focus Power might work albeit I'm not sure if that wouldn't make their supression feel a bit more poweful than the PCs supression. (Since Comrade supression doesn't require a pinning test to avoid slowdown).

Now the penalty on the charge to attack anything but the charging soldier is absolutely fantastic. I was thinking of a way on how to make the enemy not just ignore the Comrade (if I'm not giving the Comrade a chance to attack since most of the time it wouldn't be feasible with just a knife) and couldn't come up with a solution.

I tried to keep the Orders close to the three examples that we have in that you don't have to roll for standard Orders in general to avoid slowing down the game.

Of course if you don't think a single attack roll per Comrade would slow down the game too bad you could probably drop the /2 for the damage and instead roll to hit.
Or go even further and roll for damage as well, but I think that's just unncessary, the game's about the PCs. A bit of focus for the Comrades is fine but it shouldn't cosume to much time.



#5 Eradico Pravus

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 01:34 PM

 I don't want to threadjack, so let me know if this should be a separate thread but I have a couple of questions:

1. I understand that the word "orders" w/regard to Comrade Orders is more for the benefit of the player at the meta-gaming level. But within the game isn't there a better way to phrase this? Could we say the PC "signals" or "prompts" or simply "states" a given request? Of course "Put that fire out!" is pretty much a command but I think the Sergeant should be the only one barking out orders.

2. How about an "Overwatch" command? Or even a simple "Guard!" command. It just seems silly that RAW a comrade cannot protect an entry point/stop enemy without a PC's fire.

 

 



#6 Musclewizard

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 02:05 PM

Eradico Pravus said:

 I don't want to threadjack, so let me know if this should be a separate thread but I have a couple of questions:

1. I understand that the word "orders" w/regard to Comrade Orders is more for the benefit of the player at the meta-gaming level. But within the game isn't there a better way to phrase this? Could we say the PC "signals" or "prompts" or simply "states" a given request? Of course "Put that fire out!" is pretty much a command but I think the Sergeant should be the only one barking out orders.

2. How about an "Overwatch" command? Or even a simple "Guard!" command. It just seems silly that RAW a comrade cannot protect an entry point/stop enemy without a PC's fire.


 

Well it's not really a threadjack, sure it's a bit about semantics and the transition from crunch to actual play but I don't really mind.

1) I think you are making the same mistake that a few people made when reading the Comissars Execution Order.
It's not that the PCs are forcing the Comrades to do something (well sometimes it may but not in general) rather the Squad is working as a cohesive unit and apply tactics that they have learned. So in other words the Players are just given some creative freedom over what their Comrades do without the player character having those abilties (at least for most types of Orders).

So "Put that fire out!" certainly is a Operator ordering his Comrade to, well put that fire out but for example "Attack" (from the Orders in the doc) may be an order in some situations (from the PC to the Comrade) and in other cases it's the player determing that the Comrade now decides to attack.
This is especially important if you want to allow the Squad to split up into a group with no Players and still want them to be able to play through such a segment or the PC is unconcious while his Comrade is still alive.

 

2.) You mean like Overwatch for the PCs? I'm not quite sure what such an Order would do but here's something I just made up:

Overwatch / Guard / Delay:

Cost: Special

Effect: Select an Order and a Trigger Action. Once the Trigger Action takes place the Comrade executes the Order you specified. (See also Delay).

Examples of Trigger Actions include an enemy charging through a door, the sound of a bomb exploding or bestial creatures appearing near the treeline.

There's two problems I have with this:

-Interrupts for many NPCs / Comrades can be problematic and slow down game time.
-Wording (I think there's a thread somewhere discussion the RAW / RAI of Delay so the same problems would probably apply here.

 


 



#7 Eradico Pravus

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:18 PM

Musclewizard said:

 

2.) You mean like Overwatch for the PCs? I'm not quite sure what such an Order would do but here's something I just made up:

Overwatch / Guard / Delay:

Cost: Special

Effect: Select an Order and a Trigger Action. Once the Trigger Action takes place the Comrade executes the Order you specified. (See also Delay).

Examples of Trigger Actions include an enemy charging through a door, the sound of a bomb exploding or bestial creatures appearing near the treeline.

There's two problems I have with this:

-Interrupts for many NPCs / Comrades can be problematic and slow down game time.
-Wording (I think there's a thread somewhere discussion the RAW / RAI of Delay so the same problems would probably apply here.

 

I meant Overwatch as an order for the Comrades. I like the concept of an Overwatch/Sentry command.

Your concerns with regard to game-play are legitimate but we come back to a root problem: if a Guardsman can't guard anything then what good is he? 

Just thinking out loud here: I'm wondering if there can be two different modes for Comrades. One is IN COHESION, then he acts along the line of Comrade rules as written. Or he can be DETACHED and in a more independent mode which would allow him to make attacks and do damage without a PC firing alongside him. I know this probably works against the concept of comrades in general, creates even more book-keeping, thus the idea may not be so hot.

 



#8 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:00 PM

The thing is, if he's just 'left behind' and told 'hold that door' - he's a standard guardsman from the NPC's section if you want to work out a fight longhand. Since he's an NPC on his own against other NPCs, the GM can just arbitrarily decide himself and it makes no odds to the game.

At the moment, a comrade can

- Shoot at the same target as you

- Charge the same target as you

- Perform a task of challenging (+0) or easier whilst you protect him

- Hide

 

Other simple tasks you might want him to do - I stand by 'he's an extension of you and shouldn't do things by himself'

 

- Drag you to cover - I like 'rescue' as you stated, but you're not a comrade - I'd suggest a half move. The average human, once you strap guard body armour on them, is juuuust outside the easy lifting capacity for a S3 T3 guardsman, so a half move feels right - half an action to move himself, hald action to move you.

- Watch your back - he's also a second pair of eyes. Possibly grant you a second reaction (at a cost of him doing anything?). In a melee, this would represent him parrying for you (potentially) either against your main opponent or against someone else trying to get involved, rather than helping attack your target.

- Look out, sir! - a rather malevolent use for it (probably a talent to buy, might cost corruption?) - voluntarily redirect a hit onto your comrade (either he heroically dives into the way to protect you or you…ahem…yeah. Equivalent of whats-her-face from Rogue Trader who's supposed to be especially callous with her men)

 

 

I'd leave covering fire as the sarge's order.



#9 catowar

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 12:43 AM

woot! good to see my thread started a awesome idea.  I like it, Hope fantasy flight see's that most of us want our comrades to be worked on a bit… honestly so far, its the only thing I would REALLY like to see changed about the game.



#10 Musclewizard

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:26 AM

Magnus Grendel said:

 

- Watch your back - he's also a second pair of eyes. Possibly grant you a second reaction (at a cost of him doing anything?). In a melee, this would represent him parrying for you (potentially) either against your main opponent or against someone else trying to get involved, rather than helping attack your target.

- Look out, sir! - a rather malevolent use for it (probably a talent to buy, might cost corruption?) - voluntarily redirect a hit onto your comrade (either he heroically dives into the way to protect you or you…ahem…yeah. Equivalent of whats-her-face from Rogue Trader who's supposed to be especially callous with her men)

 

 

I think a second reaction would be a bit too powerful. In a DH game I GMed for quite some time a player had a very agile character with high dodge skills and a second reaction for dodging and was very hard to threaten or hit at all. Having even a second dodge is quite powerful and with a Comrade providing an additional Reaction it might be even more problematic.

However maybe the Ratling Sniper or a similar character could get a passive Comrade upgrade that makes it so that if the PCs are ambushed either the Comrade has a chance of detecting the ambush or that the first attack will always (or most of the time) hit the Comrade (i.e. it always hits the Comrade unless its doubles).

The problem with this and Look out, sir! would be that something like that is already a passive Order from the Sanctioned Psyker and I don't want to take this from him.

I think the reasn the Psykers comrade has this instinct to protect him is that a Psyker is by far "more special" (and more valuable) than any other character in the Squad.



#11 LuciusT

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 02:41 AM

The one order I definately want Comrades to have is "Cover Me" (or Supressing Fire from the OP list). The Sergeant has a the Sweaping Order of Covering Fire, but I think that should be generalized to a standard order for Comrades. It just seems to me to be the perfect role for Comrades… the PC shouts "Cover Me", his comrade blasts away at the enemy (giving the PC a bonus to Dodge or the enemy a penality to hit, whichever) while the PC rushes forward to do something heroic. That one thing, IMO, would help turn Comrades from a kinda weird mechanic into something really cool and characterful. If FFG doesn't do something like it, it will become my third house rule.



#12 Kshatriya

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 09:02 AM

Quick question.

In your Google Doc under the Comrade Attack order, you state "An average Guardsman has a BS of 35 and is equipped with a Lasgun capable of single shots."

Is this an intentional moment of ignoring that lasguns have a semiauto RoF of 3, for the sake of simplicity and uniformity across all regiments? How would you alter it for, say, autoguns or something…if at all? I could see THAT being overly complicated, just wondered why you assumed Comrade lasguns couldn't fire on semi-auto.



#13 Musclewizard

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 09:11 AM

Kshatriya said:

 

Quick question.

In your Google Doc under the Comrade Attack order, you state "An average Guardsman has a BS of 35 and is equipped with a Lasgun capable of single shots."

Is this an intentional moment of ignoring that lasguns have a semiauto RoF of 3, for the sake of simplicity and uniformity across all regiments? How would you alter it for, say, autoguns or something…if at all? I could see THAT being overly complicated, just wondered why you assumed Comrade lasguns couldn't fire on semi-auto.

 

 

I ignored semiauto RoF for simplicities sake. If you want a more detailed way of handling guardsman damage go about it like this:
Figure out the most effective way of dealing damage for the given soldier and weapon.
Determin the average number of hits scored per round (in our single shot example 0.55).
Determin the average damage per hit or per round.
In my example you'd be left with an average of 8.5 damage per hit with a hit every other round.

 

With a BS of 35 and a half action aim, half action semi auto attack (effective BS 45) you'd get:

20% chance of scoring exactly 1 hit.
20% chance of scoring exactly 2 hits.
5%   chance of scoring exactly 3 hits.

Meaning average hits per round: 0.2 * 1 + 0.2 * 2 + 0.05 * 3 = 0.55.
Now I have to say that this is the first time I'm thinking this through for semi-auto fire. If I haven't made a mistake we notice that the average hits per round are exactly the same with semi auto or single shots, this may obviously be different for full-auto weapons.

 

 

Edit: You should also take reloading into consideration if you are using weapons with small clips compared to the amount of ammunition they use per attack like with autoguns. An autogun fired on full auto would need to reload every 4th round for a full rounds thus decreasing the effectiveness. You may ignore this for simplicities sake or you may add some factor to the hits per round. For example if your autogun comrade would get an average of 0.8 hits per round you may decrease this to lets say 0.6 to account for reloading, alternatively you could track reloading for comrades but I think that is unneeded and contrary to the design goals of reducing bookkeeping and rolling for Comrades.



#14 Kshatriya

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:50 AM

Same average hits per round = same average damage per round?



#15 Musclewizard

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:59 AM

Kshatriya said:

 

Same average hits per round = same average damage per round?

 


If the weapon damage is the same yes, each hit is resolved seperately so it doesn't matter if you hit 3 shots every 3rd round or one shot every round (since we are ignoring dodge for simplicities sake).
If you had comrade that are equiped with Facemeltor 3000© dealing 1d10+8 damage, pen 0 but a BS of only 13 you'd get:

 

Average Hits per Round  = 0.33 (Effective BS of 33 with single shot and half action aim).
Average Damage per Hit = 5.5+8 ~= 6+8 = 14
Average Damage per Hit = 14-(TB+Armour)

Average Damage Per Round = (14-TB-Armor) * 0.33 = (14 - TB - Amour) / 3






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