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Sergeant vs Officer


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#1 BirdofHermes

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:25 AM

This Discussion started on the thread "Commisars *sigh*"  I wanted to continue the discussion but it was no-longer germane to the thread so I am re-posting it here:

Radwraith said:

BaronIveagh said:

HTMC said:

Personally, I'd at the very least rename Sargent as 'Officer' because NCOs are not trained as such from boot, officers are.

I actually sent this exact suggetion to the designers with the same reasoning. Officers are trained from the academy (Or birth in the case of nobility) to lead men into battle. Sergeants would be senior members of any of the standard specialties who have gained experience enough to "get things dome". They rarely have much tactical finesse but often have a great deal of leadership and intimidate abilities. Again, This would be a matter of spending the appropriate experience rather than any specific aptitude.

I actually prefer to leave the Sergeant as is for the following reasons:

-At the start of a campaign the players probably aren't going to be part of a command squad. Keep in mind they only have a logistics rating of 10 to begin. This is in line with them being enlisted men.

-In the table top game a squad of troops is lead by Sergeants/Veteran Sergeants. While I suspect your argument is based on how it is in the US military, this is not the theme of this RPG. Any confusion about what a Sergeant character does can be cleared up simply by reading the specialties description.

-The kind of officer you are describing would have more in common with loner characters like the Commissars and Stormtroopers and would require a reworking of the character concept.

Point 1: Unless they're tech priests, priests, Sentinels, Commisars, snipers, armored just about anything, or heavy support just about anything. Since all those report to the command squad, not the gopos they're attached to.

 

Point 2: So you're saying that the theme of this game is that Sergeants spring up out of the ground and promotions never ever happen in the rank and file?

Does not just fly in the face of logic, it flies in the face of fluff (After all, the 112th Rough Riders were being lead by a former sergeant turned colonel following the fighting against the tyranids on Coriana.

Point 3: not seeing the reason it would require that level of rework. Unless there's some reason from GW that it would, I know they've been a pain in the ass for approving things.

Conter-point 1: Priests and Commisars are attached to the Squad, though technically respond before Echlesiarchy and the Comissariat respectively. Snipers and heavy weapons specialists report to the Squad leader because they're part of the squad. If a Sentinel is attached to the squad or they have a Chimera transport, their operator too respond to the squad leader, because they're nominally part of the squad and he's in charge and if the squad is part of an armoured company, the "Sarge" is the tank's commander, so everyone inside the vehicle responds to him.

Counter-point 2: Promotions do happen to the rank and file, but the soldiers who get promoted are those that show aptitude in leadership and command. If you have no charisma whatsoever you'll never rise above corporal, no matter how good a killer you are. Regardless, Sergeants can "spring from the ground", springing from the ground meaning that during training they are singled out and promoted, either through exceptional aptitude, upbringing or nepotism. After all, a freshly minted regiment has a fully functional command structure before its baptism of fire.

 



#2 BirdofHermes

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:28 AM

JuankiMan's counter arguments agree with mine entirely on point 1.

On point 2 to I would like to also point out that my argument flows directly from my first point. A starting party has more in common with a troop squad than a command squad, so it is only natural to assume that the primary leader class should be titled Sergeant.  Your example from the 112th would be a fine example of what could happen to a PC Sergeant during a campaign.  Just because the character class is called Sergeant doesn't mean that the player is stuck at that military rank forever. However, I would say that any Sergeant promoted directly to Colonel is still going to be a Sergeant deep down and is going to think differently than someone out of an officer academy.  Thus Sergeant is a more appropriate label than Officer because it is more descriptive of the leadership style of the character and the relationship that character will have with his/her subordinates.

The difference in leadership style and the difference in relationship to his/her subordinates is at the heart of my third argument.  When I am talking about reworking the character concept, I am referring primarily to the unique comrade abilities Sergeant can purchase.  Half of these abilities give a buff to all characters with a comerade, including the Sergeant.  If the class is re-themed as Officer, I am arguing that it should not have a comrade because academy training would give them more in common with a loner character such as Commissar or Stormtrooper.  This would diminish the effectiveness of the class's comrade abilities however.  This diminishment needs to be accounted for and thus the comrade abilities tweeked even further.



#3 Santiago

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:29 AM

 I think you could easily use the Sergeant Template as CO Template. Just call it 2nd Lieutanent. Statically it would actually fit better as a Sergeant since the lieutanent is usually fresh out of school.

Whether we truly have to change it in the book I don't know, I don't think its needed.

S.

Edit. Perhaps we could call it Junior Officer so it could reflect both sergeant and lieutanent.



#4 HTMC

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:10 AM

I'm gonna be honest, I would be shocked if they made a change this major this late into the development cycle, so this is probably an academic debate at best :-p



#5 Radwraith

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:03 PM

HTMC said:

I'm gonna be honest, I would be shocked if they made a change this major this late into the development cycle, so this is probably an academic debate at best :-p

It's hardly a major change! Just change the name of the class to Commander (or some other non rank specific title.). This represents a young character with the basic traits to become a leader. After all… There are Squad leaders, Platoon commanders, company commanders etc. These titles all have a specific rank attached but the title remains. It's not to lat to revise that!



#6 HTMC

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:43 PM

Radwraith said:

 

 

It's hardly a major change! Just change the name of the class to Commander (or some other non rank specific title.). This represents a young character with the basic traits to become a leader. After all… There are Squad leaders, Platoon commanders, company commanders etc. These titles all have a specific rank attached but the title remains. It's not to lat to revise that!

I was referring more to the suggestions regarding changing how the class worked rather than the name itself. If you're just talking about the name, I don't really see what difference calling it Sergeant or Commander or Officer or whatever actually accomplishes; it's just an archetype, and the name means practically nothing. It's just like how a Dark Heresy "Guardsman" didn't technically mean an Imperial Guardsman, but instead could be any kind of person with a military background or training.



#7 MILLANDSON

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:51 PM

I doubt it's going to be changed though, since you don't need the name to change to use that speciality for a leiutenant. Just as "Operator" is the speciality name for main tank drivers, vox operators, demo experts, etc, "Sergeant" is the speciality name for squad leaders, leiutenants, actual sergeants, etc.

Just because the speciality name says "sergeant" doesn't mean you have to be of that rank.


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#8 Radwraith

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:59 PM

MILLANDSON said:

I doubt it's going to be changed though, since you don't need the name to change to use that speciality for a leiutenant. Just as "Operator" is the speciality name for main tank drivers, vox operators, demo experts, etc, "Sergeant" is the speciality name for squad leaders, leiutenants, actual sergeants, etc.

Just because the speciality name says "sergeant" doesn't mean you have to be of that rank.

While I certainly understand your point, My problem is that the Term Sergeant implies a certain role that is not really accurate to the template! Just like in BC the term "Champion" is used to describe a leader character rather than a specific rank, The term Commander is a recognizable title without being a specific rank. To me; The term sergeant implies by it's nature a level of experience that a beginning character will not have.



#9 JuankiMan

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 02:30 AM

Radwraith said:

 

While I certainly understand your point, My problem is that the Term Sergeant implies a certain role that is not really accurate to the template! Just like in BC the term "Champion" is used to describe a leader character rather than a specific rank, The term Commander is a recognizable title without being a specific rank. To me; The term sergeant implies by it's nature a level of experience that a beginning character will not have.

 

 

As I already mentioned in my counter-points, a Guardsman can get promoted to Sergeant without having ever seen an actual battlefield. After all, any regiment needs a command structure, even freshly minted ones.



#10 WittyDroog

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 02:35 AM

 Call it whatever you want, its such a nit picky detail. If you can't bridge the gap because of the name, even after you read the description and mechanics, maybe you take things too literal in life and rpg's go right over your head. In Popular Fantasy RPG a "cleric" is just the name of a class and that's it. Not every cleric is a dude in robes who cast healing spells. Some bash skeletons with a mace and shield, some do both, some do neither. In the end the name doesn't make a difference, so call it whatever you want.

 

A rose by any other name would be just as sweet.



#11 Wilbry

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:32 PM

 To further labour the point… a cleric is an administrative role within the western churches, not  a military class of divine bad-assness. If people got hung up on piddly details like actual meaning we would never have rogues, nor sorcerers. 

To bring it back to 40K, Space Marines have no water-based aspect to their training/purpose. 

I think the point we are all trying to make is that it's just a label, and in RPGs reality and history, even language, all take a back seat to game design. In OW the Seargant is what he is. It is a tag which evokes certain 40k themes which the designers wish to bring into the game. In that regard it is more appropriate than a generic "officer" or "leader" archetype such as you might find in a system like d20 modern. 

 

You are having a problem because you are more familiar with  the more popular, non-40k, differences between the sarge and officer than you are with 40K fluff and you feel the stereotypes you have are too strong for you to overcome. That isn't the fault of the game design. 

 



#12 TCBC Freak

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:44 PM

The only thing I think they need to change about Sergeants is giving them Common Lore (Imperial Guard) and Common Lore (War). No reason not to have them and it would not unbalance anything to just give them to the Sergeants. Other then that I've never seen a playing problem with the "class".

Also having this be a Sergeant leaves the door open for FFG to add proper officers (most likely called Junior Officers) in a later supplement to bridge the gap between the hard hitting Commissar and awesome commanding Sergeant which in the TT is what Junior Officers are all about. It might not make sense compared to real world military but on the Table Top (at least in the last edition I played) the Veteran Sergeant didn't add a lot of melee or range hit to a squad but could help in passing those darn test to avoid falling back and such; but adding a Commissar or having that Junior Officer with a power sword and his command squad nearby could turn the tide in a melee battle.

Just my two cents.


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#13 Radwraith

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:31 PM

 Now assuming you're all through flaming and calling me shallow perhaps you might consider that it is you that have missed the point! A Sergeant in almost any military in the world is a senior enlisted man. This is not a stereotype but a fact. This is not to say that a Sergeant could not be promoted to Officer rank because it certainly does happen on occasion! What I AM saying is that even in the official 40k fluff a Sergeant would be someone who comes from another specialisations (such as Weapon specialist, Heavy gunner or Operator for instance!) whereas an officer is a class unto itself. The Sergeant's role in both the 40k universe and real life is to serve as an Expediter and Mentor so that those in his squad would be successful. It is a rank based on experience rather than education or birth class. To use your own points back: Not every Sergeant is a natural born leader of men who focuses on tactical and Strategic brilliance. Sergeants do not necessarily get their experience on the battlefield. The supply corps, Admin,and motorpool folks need NCO's as well. They are still Senior Clerks and mechanics who have been given responsibility over a specific area. They are given this responsibility because they know the inns and outs of their particular craft in a way that a true officer never will!

Lastly: I make these points because this game is not in it's final form and therefore any suggestions are still on the table. If the concept of "beta testing" is over your head wittydroog then just say so and the rest of us will try to explain it to you. After gaming for 30+ years I sincerely hope the concept of an RPG has not escaped me ! I simply stated my Opinion. It's not to late to make changes. If FFG decides to ignore me and stick with Sergeant than I can certainly work around that. Please feel free to return to your regular trolling



#14 HTMC

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:22 PM

Radwraith said:

Now assuming you're all through flaming and calling me shallow perhaps you might consider that it is you that have missed the point! A Sergeant in almost any military in the world is a senior enlisted man. This is not a stereotype but a fact. This is not to say that a Sergeant could not be promoted to Officer rank because it certainly does happen on occasion! What I AM saying is that even in the official 40k fluff a Sergeant would be someone who comes from another specialisations (such as Weapon specialist, Heavy gunner or Operator for instance!) whereas an officer is a class unto itself. The Sergeant's role in both the 40k universe and real life is to serve as an Expediter and Mentor so that those in his squad would be successful. It is a rank based on experience rather than education or birth class. To use your own points back: Not every Sergeant is a natural born leader of men who focuses on tactical and Strategic brilliance. Sergeants do not necessarily get their experience on the battlefield. The supply corps, Admin,and motorpool folks need NCO's as well. They are still Senior Clerks and mechanics who have been given responsibility over a specific area. They are given this responsibility because they know the inns and outs of their particular craft in a way that a true officer never will!

I think you're still missing everyone else's points. You're putting way too much into a simple name, it's more of a description than an official explanation of the class's duties. Also, if you look at 40k, there is no true standard for how any given regiment is structured, and it's likely many regiments have nothing with the name of Sergeant or any kind of officer approaching the same field. You're trying to apply real-world terminology and practices to a universe that, while similar in some respects, is still a fictional sci-fi universes. The claims you make, that while perhaps true in some cases, are by the definition of being in the 40k universe not universal.

 

Radwraith said:

Lastly: I make these points because this game is not in it's final form and therefore any suggestions are still on the table. If the concept of "beta testing" is over your head wittydroog then just say so and the rest of us will try to explain it to you. After gaming for 30+ years I sincerely hope the concept of an RPG has not escaped me ! I simply stated my Opinion. It's not to late to make changes. If FFG decides to ignore me and stick with Sergeant than I can certainly work around that. Please feel free to return to your regular trolling

Not to be rude (although you're kind of being rude, to be honest) but you're wrong again. Yes, it is a beta test, but to be more accurate it was a beta test. If you've been following what's been going on, as many of us have been, you'd know that the beta officially ended last Friday and the developers are no longer taking feedback. So yes, it is too late to make changes.



#15 Plushy

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:46 PM

Radwraith said:

 Now assuming you're all through flaming and calling me shallow perhaps you might consider that it is you that have missed the point! A Sergeant in almost any military in the world is a senior enlisted man. This is not a stereotype but a fact. This is not to say that a Sergeant could not be promoted to Officer rank because it certainly does happen on occasion! What I AM saying is that even in the official 40k fluff a Sergeant would be someone who comes from another specialisations (such as Weapon specialist, Heavy gunner or Operator for instance!) whereas an officer is a class unto itself. The Sergeant's role in both the 40k universe and real life is to serve as an Expediter and Mentor so that those in his squad would be successful. It is a rank based on experience rather than education or birth class. To use your own points back: Not every Sergeant is a natural born leader of men who focuses on tactical and Strategic brilliance. Sergeants do not necessarily get their experience on the battlefield. The supply corps, Admin,and motorpool folks need NCO's as well. They are still Senior Clerks and mechanics who have been given responsibility over a specific area. They are given this responsibility because they know the inns and outs of their particular craft in a way that a true officer never will!

Lastly: I make these points because this game is not in it's final form and therefore any suggestions are still on the table. If the concept of "beta testing" is over your head wittydroog then just say so and the rest of us will try to explain it to you. After gaming for 30+ years I sincerely hope the concept of an RPG has not escaped me ! I simply stated my Opinion. It's not to late to make changes. If FFG decides to ignore me and stick with Sergeant than I can certainly work around that. Please feel free to return to your regular trolling

 

FFG didn't name the specialization the Sergeant due to rank, but due to association.

 

Have you ever seen Aliens? The Sarge in that movie is a badass who runs around with the squad, barking orders, chomping a cigar, and blasting the filthy xenos with a shotgun. Same thing with Sergeant Johnson from Halo, or the Sergeant in Band of Brothers, or any other character from any media since the 60s whose title was Sergeant. 

The rank doesn't matter to the average player, because they see it as this archetype; the badass squad leader. I get how irritating it is when things aren't accurate, but this one can fall by the wayside by virtue of being very understandable.


My apologies to anyone I offend; FFG staff, playtesters, and forum users alike. 

 

Please check out my Dark Heresy to Only War conversion! You can find it on the main Only War forum. I'm always looking for more people to playtest it!


#16 venkelos

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 01:57 AM

I think Sergeant will fit better. Unless the game has stuff for armies, Sergeant is where you would be. You are one squad in an army, and a Sergeant leads that squad. He answers to a Lieutenant, or some other fancy Officer who doesn't get his hands as dirty (I know in 40k, more Officers are expected to lead from the front, but this still works), and that Officer leads several units like yours, though maybe someplace else, if you are off on your own, for instance. Once you are an Officer, it is too likely you will be saluted, and executed by the enemy, or get promoted further, and leave your grunts behind, to lead the war effort from a Proteus-Class Command Bunker, several clicks away (like Eisenhower in WWII), or better, from the bridge of that orbiting space ship. The Sergeant is less likely to get bumped up; that's not what he's for, and then will stay in your group, forever.

I know that some of this might not be the point you are trying to make, but from a standpoint (mine), it is a simple way to look at it. When the game goes beyond 4-10 PCs and Companions, comprising one squad, up to a group of Hordes led by Officers who answer directly to a "Lord Castellan Creed" type character, fighting Hordes of Orks, led by a "Ghazgul Mag Uruk Thraka" of some kind, a more specific "Officer" class might matter, where they are raised from birth to lead troops. For now, I'd say the above image of a bellicose, order-barking Sergeant, eating his cigar faster than he smokes it, after lighting it on the still hot casing of a Shoota round he found, lobbed by an Ork gun, and telling one of them to wake up Hicks is better than a pressed-uniform pretty boy Officer, wondering what he's doing at this level of the hierarchy.



#17 Radwraith

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 01:26 PM

Plushy said:

 

Radwraith said:

 

 Now assuming you're all through flaming and calling me shallow perhaps you might consider that it is you that have missed the point! A Sergeant in almost any military in the world is a senior enlisted man. This is not a stereotype but a fact. This is not to say that a Sergeant could not be promoted to Officer rank because it certainly does happen on occasion! What I AM saying is that even in the official 40k fluff a Sergeant would be someone who comes from another specialisations (such as Weapon specialist, Heavy gunner or Operator for instance!) whereas an officer is a class unto itself. The Sergeant's role in both the 40k universe and real life is to serve as an Expediter and Mentor so that those in his squad would be successful. It is a rank based on experience rather than education or birth class. To use your own points back: Not every Sergeant is a natural born leader of men who focuses on tactical and Strategic brilliance. Sergeants do not necessarily get their experience on the battlefield. The supply corps, Admin,and motorpool folks need NCO's as well. They are still Senior Clerks and mechanics who have been given responsibility over a specific area. They are given this responsibility because they know the inns and outs of their particular craft in a way that a true officer never will!

Lastly: I make these points because this game is not in it's final form and therefore any suggestions are still on the table. If the concept of "beta testing" is over your head wittydroog then just say so and the rest of us will try to explain it to you. After gaming for 30+ years I sincerely hope the concept of an RPG has not escaped me ! I simply stated my Opinion. It's not to late to make changes. If FFG decides to ignore me and stick with Sergeant than I can certainly work around that. Please feel free to return to your regular trolling

 

 

 

FFG didn't name the specialization the Sergeant due to rank, but due to association.

 

Have you ever seen Aliens? The Sarge in that movie is a badass who runs around with the squad, barking orders, chomping a cigar, and blasting the filthy xenos with a shotgun. Same thing with Sergeant Johnson from Halo, or the Sergeant in Band of Brothers, or any other character from any media since the 60s whose title was Sergeant. 

The rank doesn't matter to the average player, because they see it as this archetype; the badass squad leader. I get how irritating it is when things aren't accurate, but this one can fall by the wayside by virtue of being very understandable.

 

 

Ihave seen Aliens! I remember Sergeant Apone very well! I do understand the point of Association. Sergeant = Squad leader. I get it. And technically any Sergeant could be used as an Officer or whatever! I simply stated this as an opinion based on experience both in games and in real life. I did actually point this out to the developers when the beta was still active (And I was not alone!) 

Plushy said:

 

Not to be rude (although you're kind of being rude, to be honest) but you're wrong again. Yes, it is a beta test, but to be more accurate it was a beta test. If you've been following what's been going on, as many of us have been, you'd know that the beta officially ended last Friday and the developers are no longer taking feedback. So yes, it is too late to make changes.

 

 

I apologise  for that Plushy. The edge in my post was directed at one particular poster who I felt was being rude to me (Not you). for any others I may have inadvertently offended, please accept my Apologies as well. It's been a long week in the real world!
 

 






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