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Those Magnificent Men in their Armored Machine.


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#1 WittyDroog

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 07:25 PM

So I'm compiling for my group a selection of custom Regiment choices for them to select from because I want them to have  a say in the matter but I want to streamline character creation (plus I want to have a good idea what kind of campaign each of them would have). I'm trying to give them at least one choice in each "type" of Regiment so that the players can select what kind of campaign they want to run.

For the Armored Regiment I wanted to shape a Regiment that serves as a standing police force in a recently reconqeured world. After centuries of civil war on a Hive World one side has finally earned the spoils but a planet doesn't just submit after all that fighting: the military has to constantly deal with insurgents that still riddle the blasted out ruins of shell-hammered spires. I picked an armored regiment because I felt it would be a neat change of pace to have a Leman Russ driving down tight streets and emptied out buildings, making it vulnerable to guerrilla tactics of when a captured vehicle outflanks it and traps it in. On some level I want the Russ to feel like as much of a death trap as it is a bastion of defense, a coffin of iron essentially.

While building the Regiment I realized something: I have six players in the group, and each of those six players will have a commrade (no Specialities here, just the five "core"). A Leman Russ holds only five people, so I'm assuming the rest have to either ride on top or march alongside the tank (which has it's own interesting implications to scenario design, think of Full Metal Jacket when they're marching behind the tank, using the phone to talk to the crew.) This got me wondering how commrades would work in this situation. Obviously some of the players are going to want to ride IN the tank, but if their commrade comes along that takes up a slot, but it seems weird to let the players take advantage of the tank while leaving their commrades out in the cold.

Normally this isn't really an issue in a regiment because your commrade is just hanging out in the same situation you are, but what happens when you enter a vehicle that can't hold everyone. What would you guys advise?



#2 HappyDaze

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

It could be FAR worse. Consider if they were Hunter Killer. One guy in a Sentinel and eleven guys with only vests and pistols walking alongside. For policing an urban area I'd go with Mechanised Infantry over Armour for fairly obvious reasons.

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#3 Radwraith

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:39 PM

The Leman Russ holds 4 or 6 crew depending on configuration. Basic is 1 Commander, Driver, Main gunner, Loader/Radioman plus 2 additional gunners if sponsons are fitted. Normally this would amount to 2 or 3 characters plus comrades per tank (Typically I would use all Operators but that's me). So with 6 players you could actually Man 2 Tanks! This would allow each of the players to have a "cool" job (Being a Sponson gunner or especially the loader is typically a boring job!). In The IG it is highly unlikely that a regiment would deploy a singular tank without some sort of support anyway!cafe



#4 HappyDaze

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 12:01 AM

Armoured squads consist of a single tank. Armoured platoons are three tanks. Armoured compani es are four platoons plus a command tank for a total of thirteen tanks. All of this is from memory and may be off, but my genral point is that a squad gets only one tank - and that's what Only War gives regardless of how many PCs are in the squad.

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#5 MILLANDSON

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:28 AM

HappyDaze said:

It could be FAR worse. Consider if they were Hunter Killer. One guy in a Sentinel and eleven guys with only vests and pistols walking alongside. For policing an urban area I'd go with Mechanised Infantry over Armour for fairly obvious reasons.

If it helps, No-1-H3r3 wrote that bit, and his intent (that seems to have been changed in the book) was that it was either 1 Sentinel per person, or 1 Hellhound for the squad.

That should make it work a little better.


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#6 HappyDaze

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:57 AM

MILLANDSON said:

HappyDaze said:

It could be FAR worse. Consider if they were Hunter Killer. One guy in a Sentinel and eleven guys with only vests and pistols walking alongside. For policing an urban area I'd go with Mechanised Infantry over Armour for fairly obvious reasons.

 

If it helps, No-1-H3r3 wrote that bit, and his intent (that seems to have been changed in the book) was that it was either 1 Sentinel per person, or 1 Hellhound for the squad.

That should make it work a little better.

Is that 1 Sentinel per Player Character or 1 per squaddie (including the Comrades)? I think it would be better to just have 1 Hellhound or 3 Sentinels per squad but up the standard gear to match Light Infantry so the rest of the foot sloggers aren't at such a disdvantage. Optionally, just have the PCs be from multiple squads joined together into the same platoon, but this can create problems of its own.


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#7 MILLANDSON

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:30 AM

HappyDaze said:

MILLANDSON said:

 

HappyDaze said:

It could be FAR worse. Consider if they were Hunter Killer. One guy in a Sentinel and eleven guys with only vests and pistols walking alongside. For policing an urban area I'd go with Mechanised Infantry over Armour for fairly obvious reasons.

 

If it helps, No-1-H3r3 wrote that bit, and his intent (that seems to have been changed in the book) was that it was either 1 Sentinel per person, or 1 Hellhound for the squad.

That should make it work a little better.

 

 

Is that 1 Sentinel per Player Character or 1 per squaddie (including the Comrades)? I think it would be better to just have 1 Hellhound or 3 Sentinels per squad but up the standard gear to match Light Infantry so the rest of the foot sloggers aren't at such a disdvantage. Optionally, just have the PCs be from multiple squads joined together into the same platoon, but this can create problems of its own.

You'd have to ask No-1, but I believe he said "per Player Character".


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#8 WittyDroog

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 06:25 AM

I actually had no issue in having one Sentinel per squad, because it meant the player driving the Sentinel would have to go off disconnected from the group to get a flanking strike or some similar tactic (Use the Sentinel to coerce a Hunter-Killer target into the path of the rest of the squad who blow it up with heavy weapons, etc.). That said the issue of the Sentinel operator's comrade comes into question. Maybe he tags along with the Sentinel to act as a spotter/scout, maybe he stays with the main squad?

 

Really my issue isn't that the vehicles provided by some Regimental choices don't provide enough capacity to house the whole squad, but rather what you do with the Comrades once that capacity is met. Operator classes get the added bonus that their comrade can operate vehicle weaponry while the Operator himself does something else, so it makes sense for Operators to put their comrades in something like a Leman Russ, but what about other choices?

I'm thinking with this particular squad I'm going to rule that only Operators can effectively use their comrades for tank operation to encourage that only Operators are inside the tank. Then the rest of the players who opt to be other classes will act as the tank's "body guards" against hidden infantry trying to sneak up behind the tank. In the event that people want to get into the tank that are not Operator classes I'll say that they must accomodate for their comrade first to avoid exploiting the tank's internal armor and encouraging to use the tank's body more as cover during a firefight. Like I said I'm going to intense city-fight style action.

 

And yes, I originally considered a Mechanized force to fill this role so that the Chimera held the whole squad (almost, but I was going to fudge it and say it was just more cramped than usual packing the men in). The reason I switched to using an Armored regiment style is mostly to tip the extremes of the battle in both directions: The players have a more powerful weapon at their disposal but at the same time the value of a Russ makes them a massive firemagnet for insurgents who either want to take the tank for themselves or simply blow it up. I want to try to force players to make difficult decisions of what streets to take their tank down as some won't allow the tank to turn around. Hell there might be a moment where the driver decides to simply plow through a building to get to the other side! Just thinking about unique encounters.



#9 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:31 AM

You could always make allowances to allow for greater sizes than one ‘squad’.

I mean, Sentinels and Russes come in groups of 3, so if there are enough PC’s + Comrades to crew multiple tanks/sentinels, then do so. As mentioned above, they come in Companies (10 Russes or Sentinels per company), so there’s a lot of room to move.

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#10 AtoMaki

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:29 AM

I would do either:

- Drop the Comrades. Yeah, they are cool, but in this case, they are just surplus NPCs. 

- Give the squad a bigger tank. Like a Malcador/Macharius or even a Baneblade variant. Enforcing the Emperor's peace with a Hellhammer sounds pretty awesome if you ask me :D.

 

I do not recommend the "multiple tanks" option, as your players will go haywire in every turn with them, driving their tanks left, right and center until they got totally separated. Also it can produce very awkward situations where one tank screws up the other and the players will begin to argue endlessly and stuff. 



#11 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

I would say that multiple tanks isn't that bad of an idea. Keep in mind that you're part of the Guard, and they do everything in large quantities. There's bound to be a dozen other tanks nearby anyway, so what's wrong with having 2 controlled by the PC's, rather than just one?

As far as the Baneblade goes, well when I wrote that entry I did envision an entire player group acting as the crew for a single Baneblade, with any spare positions being taken by comrades.

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Matt Eustace. Contributing Author Credits: Church of the Damned, The Lathe Worlds, The Lathe Worlds - The Lost Dataslate, Only War Core Rulebook, Hammer of the Emperor, Shield of Humanity, Tome of Fate, Tome of Blood, Tome of Excess and Tome of Decay.

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#12 Radwraith

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:53 PM

AtoMaki said:

I would do either:

- Drop the Comrades. Yeah, they are cool, but in this case, they are just surplus NPCs. 

- Give the squad a bigger tank. Like a Malcador/Macharius or even a Baneblade variant. Enforcing the Emperor's peace with a Hellhammer sounds pretty awesome if you ask me :D.

 

I do not recommend the "multiple tanks" option, as your players will go haywire in every turn with them, driving their tanks left, right and center until they got totally separated. Also it can produce very awkward situations where one tank screws up the other and the players will begin to argue endlessly and stuff. 

I must respectfully disagree here. There is no artificial rule that limits the players to one squad or one tank. Operating a tank is very much like crewing a ship and is therefore a team building excersize. My point earlier is that a tank would not logically operate alone in an urban combat environment. Therefore; With 6 players it makes sense to deploy two "Squads". The second tank would need to stay close to the first or they will both very quickly be turned into scrap iron!  If you don't want your crew to be all operators than it makes sense for the tank commander to be a Sergeant.



#13 AtoMaki

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:28 PM

Radwraith said:

Therefore; With 6 players it makes sense to deploy two "Squads". The second tank would need to stay close to the first or they will both very quickly be turned into scrap iron! 

 

And the problems will appear here. Separating the players into "Tank A" and "Tank B" instad of the normal single-entity "Squad" can produce various unnecessary trouble. The players will have a much higher "freedom-sense" with their tanks, since they don't really have to rely on the PCs in the other tank (Example: as a Squad, you stick with your buddies because having the Medic/Heavy/Sniper/Engineer with you increases your survivability significantly. But with a tank, you no longer need the Medic/Heavy/Sniper/Engineer, because you have a tank, and if an enemy can defeat a Leman Russ, then you are screwed either way. And it is not like the Medic could telekinetically patch you up from your wounds from the other tank…). So overall, with multiple vehicles, I think there are a huge chance that the party will fall apart into invididual tank crews and start messing up the game. 

A few months ago, we had a Black Crusade adventure, where the party had to cross a warzpone with two Predators, and even though the GM carefully elaborated the setup to emphasize cooperation between the tanks (one Predator was a Destructor with anti-infantry weapons and the other was an Executioner with anti-vehicle/anti-heavy infantry weapons for example), it simply didn't work. At the end of the etap, the GM had two separate adventures, one with the Destructor driving through a peaceful agri-field gunning down innocent peasants, and the Executioner in the midst of the fiercest fight, taking out Terminators and blasting Land Raiders…



#14 HappyDaze

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:02 PM

AtoMaki said:

Radwraith said:

 

Therefore; With 6 players it makes sense to deploy two "Squads". The second tank would need to stay close to the first or they will both very quickly be turned into scrap iron! 

 

 

 

And the problems will appear here. Separating the players into "Tank A" and "Tank B" instad of the normal single-entity "Squad" can produce various unnecessary trouble. The players will have a much higher "freedom-sense" with their tanks, since they don't really have to rely on the PCs in the other tank (Example: as a Squad, you stick with your buddies because having the Medic/Heavy/Sniper/Engineer with you increases your survivability significantly. But with a tank, you no longer need the Medic/Heavy/Sniper/Engineer, because you have a tank, and if an enemy can defeat a Leman Russ, then you are screwed either way. And it is not like the Medic could telekinetically patch you up from your wounds from the other tank…). So overall, with multiple vehicles, I think there are a huge chance that the party will fall apart into invididual tank crews and start messing up the game. 

A few months ago, we had a Black Crusade adventure, where the party had to cross a warzpone with two Predators, and even though the GM carefully elaborated the setup to emphasize cooperation between the tanks (one Predator was a Destructor with anti-infantry weapons and the other was an Executioner with anti-vehicle/anti-heavy infantry weapons for example), it simply didn't work. At the end of the etap, the GM had two separate adventures, one with the Destructor driving through a peaceful agri-field gunning down innocent peasants, and the Executioner in the midst of the fiercest fight, taking out Terminators and blasting Land Raiders…

You had a bad experience with two tanks, but that doesn't mean that two (or more) tanks will always lead to bad experiences.


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#15 AtoMaki

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:43 PM

HappyDaze said:

You had a bad experience with two tanks, but that doesn't mean that two (or more) tanks will always lead to bad experiences.

Yes, but personally, I would say that it doesn't worth the risk. 



#16 Hiro Protagonist

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:05 AM

Why isn't it worth the risk? This is a game and your players are Imperial Guardsmen, who will want to blast the holy hell out of the enemies of the Emperor with the righteous power of a Leman Russ. Yes, your players my tear off in unexpectecd directions. Such is the nature of the game. I'm a long-time GM. I've seen my well drawn out games go completely off the map. Players WILL drive you starkers. But such is your role. You need to be able to adapt. I fully sympathize with the bad experience, but not allowing two tanks? The OP wants an Armoured Regiment game. IMHO, two tanks, jam in your PCs and comrades and give 'er! If the PCs want to do whatever, let 'em. That is their right. They get to reap the rewards AND the consequences. You hav to trust your players and you have to anticipate. Placing artificial limitations is a bad plan. Nothing sucks the fun out of a game like railroading. Even in the name of story cohesion. Or maybe, ESPECIALLY in the name of story cohesion. Just my two cents.



#17 AtoMaki

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:06 AM

^Sure, you are right. I didn't say that noone should run two tanks for such a big party. I've just said that running two tanks could lead to really awkward situations and as such - in my opinion - it is not the best idea, especially if you have other options too. Of course, if the OP doesn't want to bust Comrades or give a super-heavy tank to the party, then he could run two tanks, no problem. But he has to pay attention to the problems this solution has, namely the phyisical separation of the party and the lowered need of cooperation. 



#18 WittyDroog

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:11 AM

Man I walk away for a day or two and the thread explodes.

I'm not going to go with multiple tanks, period. It's not because of the logic of having multiple tanks but rather because it would go against the whole concept of the campaign. I want a single Russ to be their roaming base of operations, their home, and it's constantly under attack by insurgents taking advantage of an army ran razor thin. Adding a second Russ greatly reduces the inherent dangers of being a lone tank as you have someone watching your back. Sure, I could just write encounters that would put BOTH tanks in danger but it really lops off a lot of neat ideas I have for the group. This Russ should be a privledge, not a given, and I want the players to really feel the value it has. Ideally I want this game to eventually boil down to harvesting tread links and other nessesary bits from blown out vehicles littering the tight alleys, with the constant fear of ambushes while they try to steal some fuel or ammunition.

I've pondered about dropping the comrades, but I think that takes a lot of teeth out of the squad considering some of the added abilities. Since making the thread I've been scribbling ideas and scratching them out and I think the most logical approach to take, in order to preserve the tone I want, is to remove the sponsons from the Russ so it's just the hull mounted guns and allow two players and their comrades to operate the vehicle and its weapons. The remaining four players and their members will have to tread lightly as being near the tank might open them up to fire, so they would be encouraged to form a tight unit that clears out buildings scounts ahead for the Russ to ensure the path is clear. I think that here I can steer the group to consider their tank more of an objective than an asset and really drive the missions and personal goals to helping the tank as much as possible.

 

I'll fiddle with it some more and see what I come up with, but I'm going to agree that multiple tanks isn't the way I would want to go.



#19 AtoMaki

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:58 AM

What about a Malcador Defender instead of a Leman Russ? The two tanks are fairly similar, but the MD needs like 10-12 guys to crew it. 

Here, take a look at it:

http://www.forgeworl...R-DEFENDER.html






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