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Are Stormtroopers too Lethal?


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#1 Barefoottourguide

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:20 AM

 I know one of the first Star Wars scenes involve Stormtroopers slaughtering rebel troopers, dropping them with a single shot… and their EotE builds certainly reflect this… but are they too tough? Are they not meant for first tier PCs? Do they represent the faceless 1-shot easy kill minion, or are they to9o much the faceless death the Emperor designed?

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#2 LethalDose

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 06:50 AM

 

Personally, I prefer the older view of stormtroopers that seemed to hold sway in the SW "flavor" of the 90's. Stormtroopers are the elite Imperial shock troopers and are a force to be reckoned with. The should be mid-level minions, and the stats in the book seem to hit that on the nose. Freshly minted characters should be afraid of them, especially if they're present in substantial numbers. After a few weeks of play, though, they shouldn't be too bad, especially if the players are smart and keep it narrative.  IF you need something else dangerous, use the stats from some flavor of trooper (Imperial naval or planetary defense force). 

I think in a lot of video games and the WotC versions, they got nerfed to the point of being down-right tame. And even for the default stat block provide, the only place where these guys are too dangerous is the Agi 3 and soak 5.

But again… they're minions with 5 wounds. They will go down easy.

 

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:57 AM

LethalDose said:

 

 

Personally, I prefer the older view of stormtroopers that seemed to hold sway in the SW "flavor" of the 90's. Stormtroopers are the elite Imperial shock troopers and are a force to be reckoned with. 

 

 

 

  <Narrows eyes> 

 
I'd swear people were making jokes about 'only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise' in the ninties. Like A lot of jokes.
 
The recent Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcast suggested that, since Lucas was a California Hippy, the rebels were the heroic rag tag Viet Cong and the Imperials were the squares with the crew cuts in the US Army.
 
And I think we should respect that. It is the Platoon and Apocalypse Now view of the US Army in Vietnam, not the We Were Soldiers version.
 
Body armour that can stop a rifle bullet has only been a thing for the last ten years or so, so in the ninties, I'd swear Stormtrooper Armour was seen more a liability than an advantage. Certainly in Star Wars D6 I percieved the 1D penalty to dexterity to not be outweighed by the 1D bonus to strength (I wonder if I was right). In D6, stormtroopers were operating with an effective 1D in Dex, which wasn't good at all.
 
There is a similar effect with Nazi, in that they are getting better soldiers all the time - I'd swear games in the ninties didn't value Nazi soldiers and equipment as highly as Flames of War does for instance. My local Hobbycraft used to stock five different SKUs of Tiger Tanks which I think gives an impression of what people think is cool these days.
 
In the end, Black Hawk Down was 2001, and I don't think the popular perception of the western military as bulletproof supermen really got going until then. And in Star Wars, the teenage farmboy with a dream IS going to win over the crew-cutted professional warrior. It is just that kind of place. Or at least it used to be.


#4 Lord of Malice

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:01 AM

 I am in the school that Stormtroopers are the elite shock troops of the Empire. With the party in EotE being people trying to make their way in the universe outside of the main reach of the Empire they will very rarely draw the ire of skilled imperial forces. Imperial sector security seems like it is going to be more of a consistent threat to the players then the elite legions of the Emperor. Of course that could all change if the party has a force sensitive or if there obligation ends up too high and they end up on the Empire's bad side. 



#5 Sturn

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:14 AM

I'm on boat with posts #1 and #3 above. They are the elite troopers of the Empire descended from the Clone Troopers. Perhaps not as good as them, but something still elite and professional. We typically saw them going up against the super heroes. When we did see them against just lowly rebels, they kicked ass.

I like my stormtroopers elite and tough assault troops as they should be. Only mid to upper level characters should think about going against a squad of them.



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:23 AM

Thing is, the 'cool side' is the one with the fewer, more powerful units. Nazis vs. Russians or Americans, Nazi toy soldiers outsell Commies and Plutocrats massively.

The dynamic we want, I would argue, is that seen in the X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter match up. The Imperials use cheap, mass produced, disposable ships and pilots, while the Rebels have better trained pilots flying fewer, more powerful fighters. In individualism and flair vs. conformity and discipline, Star Wars is on the side of individualism.

Similarly, Stormtroopers are cheap, mass produced, disposable goons whose role in life is to be gunned down in droves by the smaller numbers of higher quality Rebel troopers. h

That is, if you actually WANT people to prefer being the rebels… h

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#7 LethalDose

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:29 AM

Yeah, I went back to WEG's 2nd Ed, R&E rulebook to see what it said about stormtroopers . The first line is "The Emperor's elite shocktroops" and then discusses their ubiquitousness (is that a word?). Anyway, you are also correct in that the stats don't make them particularly threatening opponents under that system.

If you want the incompetent "loltroopers" that are the butt of the frequent jokes you mentioned, that's fine. Nerf the stormtroopers into irrevelance/incompetence/wherever and balance them as you see fit in your campaign.
I personally think that making them just "one more flavor of inconsequential minions" is boring as ****.

This is my opinion, and has empirically worked for me very well in my games.

I view the stormtroopers as being equivalent to the 3rd Reich's Waffen SS. Well equipped and well trained, in addition to being the Fuhrer's/Emperor's 'personal' force. I see these both as archetypical examples of an elite infantryman. An enemy type that is more dangerous and disciplined than a typical grunt, but still using direct warfare tactics, as compared to the "special" tactics that a commando might use.  Whether or not this is historically accurate is irrelevant, the popular [mis]conceptions 

The goal is for my players to see these enemies and think "oh wait, this enemy is harder than a navy/army trooper, maybe the fight is worth a second thought/more caution/alternative strategy". Viewing them and treating them as I've described achieves the goal My players like the level of challenge, and I like having an enemy that's identifiable and a cut above a usual grunt.

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#8 usgrandprix

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:32 AM

I don't mind stormtroopers being tougher than other adversaries. I like where they are in the game. Maybe too much soak because when you do hit them they should go down.

I think they illustrate a bigger concern. Give anyone a few ranks (3-4 range) and they will never miss. I think they need to up the to hit difficulties so the game is more "realistic" for fights between more experienced combatants. Seeing as how they gave adversaries the new talent I hope there is more defense for the PCs coming up.

 



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:44 AM

LethalDose said:

 

I view the stormtroopers as being equivalent to the 3rd Reich's Waffen SS.

 

 

But the Waffen SS are the most popular army in WWII wargaming! Even though they are SS! I am sure the flames of war people didn't set out to produce materials about how cool Nazis are, but that is what they do. Osprey produce HUNDREDS of books on the Waffen SS and their cool camouflage schemes.

If you make Stormtroopers the equivalent of the Waffen SS, everyone will want to be the Stormtroopers and not the Rebels, which is ass backwards for a Star Wars game! h



#10 Jegergryte

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:59 AM

Well… after reading Allegiance and Choices of One I have become to the conclusion that Stormtroopers are beardy. They kick ass, have skill and good equipment. Sure there are crap troopers, but considering that all stormtroopers look alike to non-troopers (a nice point made in Zahn's Choices of One) its hard to know the good from the hilarious. In other words, stormtroopers can both be crap - on some unimportant backwater planet that only get the dregs from "stormtrooper academy" or the few remaining degenerate clones left over from the clone wars (if anyone remain - both spaarti and kamino clones). Although on more important worlds, better trained troops will be positioned, but they'll look the same as the jokes - all white and covered in plastic (right… right… ceramic laminate composite malarky). I think this opens for variation and uncertainty - two things I love in roleplaying games - players get **** scared and start to think - or remain in character and the rest of the party must rescue them - or patch them up fingers crossed, hoping they won't bleed out…


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#11 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:04 AM

Barefoottourguide said:

 I know one of the first Star Wars scenes involve Stormtroopers slaughtering rebel troopers, dropping them with a single shot… and their EotE builds certainly reflect this… but are they too tough? Are they not meant for first tier PCs? Do they represent the faceless 1-shot easy kill minion, or are they too much the faceless death the Emperor designed?

Garrett

Depends in part on how you're running them.  If you're running them in minion groups greater than 2, then stormtroopers can be quite deadly due to the way Minion skills work, especially if your PCs aren't using intelligent tactics (like seeking out cover) or are built to absorb lots of damage, and even the later only lasts so long.

Cyril put our group (4 PCs) up against a total of 6 Stormtroopers in sets of 2 (3 separate Minion Groups) and a Stormtrooper Sergeant, and we made pretty quick work of them.  Though one of the first things most of us did was seek out cover, with the exception of the Trando Marauder, who soon followed suit after getting blasted a few times.  We didn't have much trouble taking them out, though everyone except my Force Exile took damage from the fight (loving that Sense Ongoing Control Upgrade).

I actually kind of like that Stormtroopers can actually be a threat to the PCs in this game instead of an inconvenient speed-bump they were in the various d20 games.  They may go down quick due to being minions (provided you're using something with more punch than a regular blaster pistol), but if you take them lightly you could end up paying for it.


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#12 LethalDose

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:42 AM

Donovan Morningfire said:

I actually kind of like that Stormtroopers can actually be a threat to the PCs in this game instead of an inconvenient speed-bump they were in the various d20 games.  They may go down quick due to being minions (provided you're using something with more punch than a regular blaster pistol), but if you take them lightly you could end up paying for it.

+1 to this.  Succinct and well-stated.

-WJL


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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:49 AM

Can we at least agree that the average Rebel Soldier should be better than the average Stormtrooper? h

Cause seriously, when it is The Elite vs. The Horde, everyone want to be The Eilte. So the bad guys had better be The Horde. h



#14 Sturn

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:53 AM

AluminiumWolf said:

LethalDose said:

 

I view the stormtroopers as being equivalent to the 3rd Reich's Waffen SS.

 

 

But the Waffen SS are the most popular army in WWII wargaming! Even though they are SS! I am sure the flames of war people didn't set out to produce materials about how cool Nazis are, but that is what they do. Osprey produce HUNDREDS of books on the Waffen SS and their cool camouflage schemes.

If you make Stormtroopers the equivalent of the Waffen SS, everyone will want to be the Stormtroopers and not the Rebels, which is ass backwards for a Star Wars game! h

AluminiumWolf said:

LethalDose said:

 

I view the stormtroopers as being equivalent to the 3rd Reich's Waffen SS.

 

 

But the Waffen SS are the most popular army in WWII wargaming! Even though they are SS! I am sure the flames of war people didn't set out to produce materials about how cool Nazis are, but that is what they do. Osprey produce HUNDREDS of books on the Waffen SS and their cool camouflage schemes.

If you make Stormtroopers the equivalent of the Waffen SS, everyone will want to be the Stormtroopers and not the Rebels, which is ass backwards for a Star Wars game! h

Why the heck does the popularity of the Wafen SS have anything to do with how strong we want our Stormtroopers to be in an RPG? If making them strong makes them too cool (that is a huge leap of logic by the way) and your players want to be near mindless Stormtroopers, then just say no. If you can't say no, you end up with a pretty boring military-only campaign with your players being ordered around by their henchmen officers.

I think it is fine to compare Stormtroopers to old German elite troops since obviously that was one of their influences. Google, "Stormtrooper", and you get more then just Star Wars results.



#15 Sturn

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:59 AM

AluminiumWolf said:

 

Can we at least agree that the average Rebel Soldier should be better than the average Stormtrooper? h

Cause seriously, when it is The Elite vs. The Horde, everyone want to be The Eilte. So the bad guys had better be The Horde. h

 

 

No not at all.

We can look at all kinds of movie evidence that Stormtroopers are much better then Rebel soldiers. We have scenes from the opening of Episode IV and the Battle of Hoth. The only time Rebels can hang with Stormtroopers in the movies are the rebel "commandos" in Return of the Jedi. But of course they aren't the typical rebel soldiers.
 

If we make a change such as you are suggesting, then we are starting to play something else other then Star Wars. Want us to next agree that Jedi should not be powerful? The Death Star should not be able to destroy a planet with one blast since that could be detrimental to a role playing game? If we start changing what IS Star Wars purely for gaming balance or purposes, then we end up with an RPG that is not really Star Wars. Might as well use the game system to create your own original universe instead.

Elite vs. Horde? Describing the underdog extremely outnumbered Rebels as the Horde is not really appropriate.

PS: I think your outlook is being too influenced by MMO's which DO need game mechanics for balance. I've played a large percentage of MMO's and I hate it when one "Class" or weapon is so much better or cooler then others that everyone running around is a duplicate of everyone else. That doesn't translate at all to a pencil and paper game in my opinion.

 



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:02 AM

Sturn said:

Elite vs. Horde? Describing the underdog extremely outnumbered Rebels as the Horde is not really appropriate.

 

If the Rebels are outmatched in both Quantity and Quality, they are just ******. h

When Palestinian kids play Israelis vs. Palestinians, everyone wants to be the Israelis. That is just how people are wired. h



#17 Sturn

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:09 AM

AluminiumWolf said:

Sturn said:

 

Elite vs. Horde? Describing the underdog extremely outnumbered Rebels as the Horde is not really appropriate.

 

 

 

If the Rebels are outmatched in both Quantity and Quality, they are just ******. h

When Palestinian kids play Israelis vs. Palestinians, everyone wants to be the Israelis. That is just how people are wired. h

Well, the Rebels WERE outmatched in both quantity and quality if you are just comparing numbers and the training of a typical rebel soldier compared to the most elite of the Empire. Of course that is not the reality of it. The rebels had guerilla tactics. The rebels had "PCs" with extraordinary abilities. The rebels had better snub fighters. Rebel troopers were probably of better quality then Imperial soldiers, just not Imperial Stormtroopers, which is about all we get to see in the movies due to the action being centered around Darth Vader and the rebel heroes.

I don't mean to be rude here, but after reading lots of posts in other threads, you seem to like coaxing people into non-sensical arguments distracting from the OP. I saw others accuse you of being a troll, but I've been giving you the benefit of doubt thus far.



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:23 AM

 I would argue that people should be thinking of Stormtroopers not as Waffen SS and the PCs as Russian Peasants, or Stormtroopers as US Marines and the PCs as Mujahideen Insurgents, because seriously, in those match ups no one wants to play the Russians or the Terrorists. h

Rather, Stormtroopers are the soldiers of the Soviet Union in the cold war. Poorly trained disposable, poorly educated and completely brainwashed conscripts of The Evil Empire that doesn't care about them. In particular, they drive cheap, mass produced T-72 that have lousy armour and a lousy gun but come in large quantities. And the PCs are the heroic professional, individualistic, citizen soldiers of NATO - massively outnumbered, but better trained and driving an M1A1 Abrams tank with Chobham Armour, the best tank gun the world has ever seen, depleated uranium ammo, laser sights and thermal imagers. Because in that match up, persuading someone to play the Russians and charge their crappy tanks in to the guns of the M1s and sweep their little men off the board with a broom is the hard part. h



#19 Sarone

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:29 AM

LethalDose said:

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

I actually kind of like that Stormtroopers can actually be a threat to the PCs in this game instead of an inconvenient speed-bump they were in the various d20 games.  They may go down quick due to being minions (provided you're using something with more punch than a regular blaster pistol), but if you take them lightly you could end up paying for it.

 

 

+1 to this.  Succinct and well-stated.

-WJL

LethalDose said:

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

I actually kind of like that Stormtroopers can actually be a threat to the PCs in this game instead of an inconvenient speed-bump they were in the various d20 games.  They may go down quick due to being minions (provided you're using something with more punch than a regular blaster pistol), but if you take them lightly you could end up paying for it.

 

 

+1 to this.  Succinct and well-stated.

-WJL

 

With the new Adversary Talent, I might two, maybe three versions of Storm Troopers

Level 1:  These guys are the terible ones, the ones who get sent to the backwater, crummy places.  Used mostly to establish Imperial presence than anything.

Level 2:  These guys are a bit better.  Will probably be seen on Star Destroyers or places worth defending, or be in on crummy worlds but are lead by someone who actually wants to do the best job there is.

Level 3:  Elites.  These guy might have the standard gear, but they are better on the inside.  Used for special places like Darth Vader's Squadron, the Death Star(s), Imperial Center, adn other important Imperial worlds.  Will hav access to alot more of the Level 2s with basic patrols being done by new recruits (Level 1s)

 

What do you all think?



#20 Jegergryte

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:40 AM

AluminiumWolf said:

When Palestinian kids play Israelis vs. Palestinians, everyone wants to be the Israelis. That is just how people are wired. h

 

Nope, its the other way around - because the Palestinians are the good guys and the Israelis are just puppets of the evil empire, if not its own self-contained evil empire (they could be the corporate sector: well armed - better armed than the rebels anyways - backed by the empire, but ultimately evil and self-absorbed in greed). The good fight is more valuable than the evil fight… hence we root for the rebellion rather than the bureaucratic and evil machine that is Mammon (ie capitalistic imperialism) and its hegemonic and moronic self-entitled "end of history" and other such phantasies espoused by the evil emperor and his henchmen.

Or, we could play the game FFG is making (which I'd prefer) - which takes no side in an ultimately ideological conflict of who has the authority and monopoly on the definition of "right", "wrong", "evil", "good" and "truth" … and when - as with all organisations that outgrow its initial purpose - the ideological groups becomes oligarchies, the conflict rekindles, if it was ever really put out. The wheel of change continues and the players lives continue more or less untouched by the political shift, only noticing new uniforms and numbers for the same laws that prohibit smuggling, killing and disintegrations… We could play more or less self-absorbed individuals trying to survive in a morally dubious underworld where might makes right (just like in intra-galactic politics), but the law is how much money and ammo you have (again the similarity is striking), and the enemies are big slime balls or green piggies with axes. Its more about survival than ideology… its more about style than who's got the biggest and coolest flag and symbol.


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