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Promotions, Ranks and switching specialisations


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#1 Croak3r

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:54 PM

Hi everybody,

I have a question on ranks (military ranks) and promotions that can be granted to your players. Have searched the Book so far, but couldn't find a distinctive rule on that. Are we suppost to handle promotions and ranking via house rules or could we expect to get some rules on that on a future rule book?

I only ask, because there are some of my players who would like to play a war hero career, starting as a trooper and increasing in ranks. So they are most likely not to start as a sergeant, but like to be one one day. And to have the opportunity to step up as a sergeant could be nice, too!

Could we expect an Officer specialisation some day?

Same goes for rules handling the switching of specialisations… like starting as a weapon specialist and being chosen for heavy weapons later. You could argue, that this could be done by buying the respective skills and talents later on, but this would only be the case for initial change of specialisation, but after that, the focus of character development would have been changed too, so should the aptitudes and such things.

What would you guys say? Shouldn't be a rule for this, too?

Best Regards,

Croaker



#2 Arbitrator

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:14 AM

Most regiments/worlds have there own unique ranks and titles, as well as ways of getting them. Some like the Death Korps have all their soldiers begin from the bottom and officers are those who survive and show an ability to command. Others might simply 'buy' their commissions so the point only nobility get positions of  high ranking. Really, its up to you and what the theme of your regiment. For ease though you might want to pick a modern day military (British Army is probably best) and wing it with that, though I might replace 'Private' with "Guardsman".

The Imperial Guard and the worlds it tithes from is just so vast and diverse a book for set ranks that aren't generic "Officer", "NCO", "Guardsman" would be pretty pointless. Some guidelines couldn't go amiss though. 

Sergeant fills that 'command'  niche nicely in my opinion with an officer perhaps being an advance of that we get in the future, probably in the inevitable player's handbook whenever that reers its hed. 

I quite like the Apptitudes system as it stands myself, rather than just swapping specialisations and making the GM's life harder. The company only has so many heavy bolters after all, so they aren't going to give another one to Charlie Squad just because Bob fancies lugging around the fire power today. Maybe if Tim dies in a firefight and Bob decides he quite likes the job, he could spend the XP to earn those abilities for the future whilst retaining what he knows as a Weapon Specialist. It makes more sense that he is learning over time how to handle his new weapon, rather than magically forgetting how to better provide supressive fire and suddenly knowing how to hit enemy targets effectively with his heavy bolter as if he'd been doing it his whole career.



#3 Croak3r

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:13 AM

You, of course, got a point there, with the myriads of possibilities within this great galactic imperium, but some examples and generic guidelines on ranks and promotions would have been nice. As I understand, the basic idea of the warhammer 40k universe is, to give players enought space to develop their own aspects and ideas. Same goes for the WH40k RPGs, most of it with this one, but in every rule book, there are some examples of what could be done.

On the Sergeant topic: Maybe it's the rank, which confused me and made me question, how the whole promotion thing could work out. If they had just named it "Squad Leader", I believe this wouldn't have been the case.

And for the Aptitudes: I like them, too. They give great opportunities for character development, at least, if you know how you want to play and what you want to achieve in the first place… Maybe it mere switching of aptitudes than switching of specialities in total which I mean, at a suitable cost of experience of course. For when you, as a player, decide to change the goals for your character… or in a situation, like the ones you have described. Sure, you could say, that it is also possible for a weapon specialist to weild heavy weapons, if he invests enough experience. But if your role in the squad changes, your focus of development, maybe you want to change the rules of your development as well. I don't speak of an easy way, it should cost you, definitly, but it should pay off after a few skills.

Something, a bit off topic, but related to this switching of specialisation thing is awakening of hidden psykic talents. Did I miss something about psykic talents, or are they only achieveable for sanctioned psykers? I think of some hidden talent, which should of course be bought as a talent and should in-game be triggered by some event or anything like that. Admittedly, this would result in some problems for the character (thinking of a certain verghastit and black ships, you know, what I mean), but this could also be an opportunity for "Ascension" to Dark Heresy complice Same goes for blunts (untouchables)… I'd like to have a clumsy adjutant of a certain commissar… sonreir



#4 Asoral

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

Croak3r said:

Something, a bit off topic, but related to this switching of specialisation thing is awakening of hidden psykic talents. Did I miss something about psykic talents, or are they only achieveable for sanctioned psykers? I think of some hidden talent, which should of course be bought as a talent and should in-game be triggered by some event or anything like that. Admittedly, this would result in some problems for the character (thinking of a certain verghastit and black ships, you know, what I mean), but this could also be an opportunity for "Ascension" to Dark Heresy complice Same goes for blunts (untouchables)… I'd like to have a clumsy adjutant of a certain commissar… sonreir

Both Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy has rules for awakened psykers and untouchable (also Black Crusade has them, albeit for a tad bit *different* kind of awakened psykers ;) ).

I guess that if you want to give your players character progression in the way of going up the ranks, maybe you could take a look at the Logistic ratings table on page 162, since it gives approximate ratings for different kinds of ranks. I'd restrict the going up the ranks to the Sergeant character (and in some way the Commissar also, but unofficially) and have the rest of the group be elevated upper along with him. After all, each platoon commander needs his command group, doesn't he?



#5 Frankie

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:53 AM

Think of it this way, there's huge diversity, but you have very basic rules for army hierarchies that go back hundreds--even thousands of years. The ranks we know come from the tabletop game. 'Guardsman' is obviously the grunt infantryman enlisted rank equivalent. Sergeant is for NCOs. Junior & Senior Officers also speak for themselves. Most regiments likely have much more developed ranks, but there's parallels like that which should exist in any regiment. Maybe some regiments that are used to integrating other regiments or used to coordinating with foreign regiments have their own system for converting ranks.

Switching specialties is going to be a mess mechanically, what with things being priced by aptitudes. It isn't like, say, some RPGs where you can go "oh, these just cost twice in this class". You'd have to go down your entire advancement for each individual purchase and then re-calculate it. Which means you'd probably need a surplus of experience points before switching out.


https://docs.google....gfhJwcenSM/edit

Someone here did make a rough rank advancement chart, which gives you extra comrades and logistic rating bonuses as you advance in XP.

 

I should point out advancing in ranks is usually more complicated. You normally need a college education to become an officer, but in WW2 when armies had to be expanded for total war, many enlisted men received "battlefield/field promotions" because of the lack of proper officers. These were men who showed outstanding leadership in combat.  The medieval equivalent is knighting/enoblement for commoner soldiers. So, when it comes to advancement in ranks the following matters:

1. Education/training.

2. If the spot is open because of the military expanding or an officer leaving their position because they're KIA/MIA/WIA or simply retired.

3. If 2 happens and the pool of candidates from #2 is open, then merit/battlefield experience matters.

 

Remember that you also won't simply have, say, a party of lord-generals just running around as infantry.

 

I think an officer advanced specialty would be cool, but the Sergeant is the closest thing.And it's perfect for squad-level commanders.



#6 Kasatka

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:21 AM

As mentioned, the promotion of a character should fall to the units leader, be that a player character playing the Sergeant class or an NPC in the background. The mechanic for unit promotion already exists in the game, albeit in an abstract manner - Logistics. This rating is an abstract representation of the units clout and ability to get what they want when they want it. It increases through a combination of successful missions (command sees the squad as a "can-do" group for vital missions), for completing bonus objectives (command recognizes that the group has great iniative and lateral thinking) or simply by spending experience points (just slogging it out at being guardsmen has its rewards eventually!).

I think what the book didn't clearly enough explain and what a lot of people arent understanding is that Sergeant is not literally just a Sergeant but is more   representative of a starting NCO, and as time goes that character will get promotions up through the ranks to a commisioned officer and eventually up to high command. Along the way they take their trusted comrades with them (the player characters) to form their command squads. All of this is eplained in the back of the booklet that comes with the GM screen. I'd recommend every GM purchases it if only for the booklet, as they adventure in there is better than the one in the core book as far as introductory adventures go.


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#7 Asoral

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

After getting my hands on the GM's Booklet I was quite happy to notice that they had included "Rank and Responsibility" topic in it, like I had hoped. Basically its divided into Squad Command (logistics rating 1-30), Regimental command (30-90) (this one goes from platoon officers all the way to regimental officers, depending on the current rating) and finally Strategic Command (90+, stretching from battle zone command (General) all the way to Salient and Crusade Command (Lord General/Lord Commander) ).

So now we have guidelines for promotions to happen. That being said, its a good idea to come to a conclusion with your group that what level of play do they want to have so you can plan the promotion thresholds/moments for them.



#8 Kasatka

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:58 AM

Asoral said:

After getting my hands on the GM's Booklet I was quite happy to notice that they had included "Rank and Responsibility" topic in it, like I had hoped. Basically its divided into Squad Command (logistics rating 1-30), Regimental command (30-90) (this one goes from platoon officers all the way to regimental officers, depending on the current rating) and finally Strategic Command (90+, stretching from battle zone command (General) all the way to Salient and Crusade Command (Lord General/Lord Commander) ).

So now we have guidelines for promotions to happen. That being said, its a good idea to come to a conclusion with your group that what level of play do they want to have so you can plan the promotion thresholds/moments for them.

I see no issue with a  GM essentially offering promotions and the unit turning them down if they don't want them. Remember that anything above squad sergeant (a non-commisioned officer) becomes a commisioned position and so has both more power but also a lot more responsibility.

Sergeant Joe Bloggs is looked up to by the ten or so men under his command as he is one of them, and they'll just as likely dive on a grenade for him as eachother.

However Lieutenant/Captain/Major etc are ranks quite removed from the rank and file troopers and so less likely to garner the same respect as NCOs. That said these ranks can command  50+ men and are responsible for troop disposition, marching orders and some of their supplies etc.


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper.

Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.


#9 deinol

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

 

Imperial Infantryman's Uplifiting Primer
Chapter 3
Section 3
Ranks & Insignia
Given the immense size and complexity of the command structure of the Imperial Guard and the fact that it is spread throughout the Imperium on my different worlds and amongst many different cultures, only the most prevalent ranks are listed below. In fact there are a lot more. The most important thing to remember is your place on the list, and the fact that an order given to you by anyone above your rank is to be obeyed without question or delay.
 
Warmaster
Lord General
General
Marshal
Lieutenant General
Major General
Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Major
Captain
Lieutenant
Sergeant
Corporal
Trooper


#10 deinol

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:25 PM

I should note that I believe the standard organization is that:

A Sergeant commands a squad, which contains a corporal and 8 troopers.

A Lieutenant commands a Platoon, which contais 2-6 squads.

A Captain commands a Company, which contains 2-6 platoons.

Higher ranks get into regiment and battlegroup command, which vary a lot more.






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