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#1 Eldartank

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:02 AM

I was thinking about some of the hassle and confusion that might arise out of the "Comrade" rules in Only War.  I think the easiest and quickest way to generate a Comrade for your Only War character (for those classes that get a Comrade) is to simply use the statistics for the generic Imperial Guard Trooper NPC on page 372 of the main rulebook, give him the Aptitudes of a Weapon Specialist (for the pupose of raising stats, talents and skills), and then randomly generate a name and demeanor as per the game rules.  That would provide the character with a suitable Comrade without having to go through the hassle of generating a whole other characer after you've already made your main character.

I think I will use this when I run my Only War campaign.



#2 MILLANDSON

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:21 AM

Eldartank said:

I was thinking about some of the hassle and confusion that might arise out of the "Comrade" rules in Only War.  I think the easiest and quickest way to generate a Comrade for your Only War character (for those classes that get a Comrade) is to simply use the statistics for the generic Imperial Guard Trooper NPC on page 372 of the main rulebook, give him the Aptitudes of a Weapon Specialist (for the pupose of raising stats, talents and skills), and then randomly generate a name and demeanor as per the game rules.  That would provide the character with a suitable Comrade without having to go through the hassle of generating a whole other characer after you've already made your main character.

I think I will use this when I run my Only War campaign.

I believe that's the way the book tells you to do it, actually - your Comrade isn't an additional generated character, you just use the generic Trooper NPC.


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#3 Eldartank

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

MILLANDSON said:

Eldartank said:

 

I was thinking about some of the hassle and confusion that might arise out of the "Comrade" rules in Only War.  I think the easiest and quickest way to generate a Comrade for your Only War character (for those classes that get a Comrade) is to simply use the statistics for the generic Imperial Guard Trooper NPC on page 372 of the main rulebook, give him the Aptitudes of a Weapon Specialist (for the pupose of raising stats, talents and skills), and then randomly generate a name and demeanor as per the game rules.  That would provide the character with a suitable Comrade without having to go through the hassle of generating a whole other characer after you've already made your main character.

I think I will use this when I run my Only War campaign.

 

 

I believe that's the way the book tells you to do it, actually - your Comrade isn't an additional generated character, you just use the generic Trooper NPC.

The rule description seemed rather vague to me, and a couple others I spoke to seemed to have the same problem.  But then, perhaps I'm as literate in game rules as I am in operating my computer (notice my accidental multiple postings of this topic)   ;)    Anyway, thanks for your input.  And my apologies for the multiple postings.



#4 LuciusT

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:38 PM

Actually, my understanding is that Comrades don't have stats at all. They can't do anything except the limited set of Orders and/or special abilities the character buys for them. They have their own unique system for damage. They cannot attack. They don't make skill rolls. They are nothing but a name, a deamenor and maybe a few special abilities.



#5 Burek

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

LuciusT said:

Actually, my understanding is that Comrades don't have stats at all. They can't do anything except the limited set of Orders and/or special abilities the character buys for them. They have their own unique system for damage. They cannot attack. They don't make skill rolls. They are nothing but a name, a deamenor and maybe a few special abilities.

This was my understanding as well. Part of the explanation in the book seemed to suggest that the intent was to make comrades simple, and make them not have to test continually, which would slow down gameplay. I actually find the current implementation (at least, my interpretation of it) to be rather elegant in its simplicity.

Having said that, there's nothing stopping you from fleshing out comrades as fully-statted NPCs with their own actions as a house rule, if you (and your players!) don't mind the extra management. Just remember that this will substantially increase the power of the party if you allow these new "super-comrades" to take their own actions outside of the standard comrade options.



#6 Musclewizard

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:19 PM

I assumed Comrades would be handled like this:

  • If they are close to "their" player character they are in cohesion, they are acting via the Orders that the players can give them and their hitpoints are represented as Healthy, Wounded and Dead.
  • If they are away from "their" player character or the GM otherwise feels he needs stats for them he can use the generic Imperial Guardsman profile.


#7 AtoMaki

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

LuciusT said:

Actually, my understanding is that Comrades don't have stats at all. They can't do anything except the limited set of Orders and/or special abilities the character buys for them. They have their own unique system for damage. They cannot attack. They don't make skill rolls. They are nothing but a name, a deamenor and maybe a few special abilities.

This is how I see it too. In the party where I play, 'Comrade' is actually a byword for 'Self-Propelled Bullet Shield' - they always (and usually quite quickly) meet their fate when a PC throws them into harm's way to save his own *ss…



#8 LuciusT

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:09 AM

AtoMaki said:

LuciusT said:

 

Actually, my understanding is that Comrades don't have stats at all. They can't do anything except the limited set of Orders and/or special abilities the character buys for them. They have their own unique system for damage. They cannot attack. They don't make skill rolls. They are nothing but a name, a deamenor and maybe a few special abilities.

 

 

This is how I see it too. In the party where I play, 'Comrade' is actually a byword for 'Self-Propelled Bullet Shield' - they always (and usually quite quickly) meet their fate when a PC throws them into harm's way to save his own *ss…

Actually, I don't think you can do that by the rules. Not that I'm not fine with players doing that in practice (I'm actually thinking of making it a house rule) but according to the rules, Comrades as only hit when the GM rolls doubles.



#9 AtoMaki

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:17 AM

LuciusT said:

Actually, I don't think you can do that by the rules. Not that I'm not fine with players doing that in practice (I'm actually thinking of making it a house rule) but according to the rules, Comrades as only hit when the GM rolls doubles.

Hard to argue when the player literally uses his Comrade as a shield. Other uses (with lethal end) include "mine sweeping", "derp magnet" and "tank obstacle"… So yeah, over here, an ally NPC with little use = dead NPC :D.



#10 MILLANDSON

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:03 AM

AtoMaki said:

LuciusT said:

 

Actually, I don't think you can do that by the rules. Not that I'm not fine with players doing that in practice (I'm actually thinking of making it a house rule) but according to the rules, Comrades as only hit when the GM rolls doubles.

 

 

Hard to argue when the player literally uses his Comrade as a shield. Other uses (with lethal end) include "mine sweeping", "derp magnet" and "tank obstacle"… So yeah, over here, an ally NPC with little use = dead NPC :D.

In my games, if you treated your comrades like that, you'd get a swift dealing-with by the Commissar, and you wouldn't have Comrades again, as the Commanding Officer wouldn't shift anyone to fill up your squad.


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#11 AtoMaki

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:11 AM

MILLANDSON said:

AtoMaki said:

Hard to argue when the player literally uses his Comrade as a shield. Other uses (with lethal end) include "mine sweeping", "derp magnet" and "tank obstacle"… So yeah, over here, an ally NPC with little use = dead NPC :D.

 

 

In my games, if you treated your comrades like that, you'd get a swift dealing-with by the Commissar, and you wouldn't have Comrades again, as the Commanding Officer wouldn't shift anyone to fill up your squad.

 

We are in the grimdark future of the 40th millenium. People are expendable. Even a lasgun cell is more precious than the life of the guy next to you. A normal Commissar will agree with this, and would probably encourage it. A huge pile of corpses is a cost you have to pay for victory after all. And who cares about idealist officers? it is the Munitorium who fills up the squad, and those guys care even less. And if the officer still messes around, then we could always call a Commissar - what the officer wants is effectively treachery, and what he thinks is heresy. 



#12 LuciusT

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:48 AM

AtoMaki said:

We are in the grimdark future of the 40th millenium. People are expendable. Even a lasgun cell is more precious than the life of the guy next to you. A normal Commissar will agree with this, and would probably encourage it. A huge pile of corpses is a cost you have to pay for victory after all. And who cares about idealist officers? it is the Munitorium who fills up the squad, and those guys care even less. And if the officer still messes around, then we could always call a Commissar - what the officer wants is effectively treachery, and what he thinks is heresy. 

The tabletop game has the Look Out, Sir rule. This isn't all that different. Personally, I would prefer to think of it as the comrade selflessly throwing himself in the line of fire to protect his buddy rather than his buddy physically hurling him into the line fire as a human shield, but the result is much the same.   



#13 MILLANDSON

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:21 AM

LuciusT said:

AtoMaki said:

 

We are in the grimdark future of the 40th millenium. People are expendable. Even a lasgun cell is more precious than the life of the guy next to you. A normal Commissar will agree with this, and would probably encourage it. A huge pile of corpses is a cost you have to pay for victory after all. And who cares about idealist officers? it is the Munitorium who fills up the squad, and those guys care even less. And if the officer still messes around, then we could always call a Commissar - what the officer wants is effectively treachery, and what he thinks is heresy. 

 

 

The tabletop game has the Look Out, Sir rule. This isn't all that different. Personally, I would prefer to think of it as the comrade selflessly throwing himself in the line of fire to protect his buddy rather than his buddy physically hurling him into the line fire as a human shield, but the result is much the same.   

The Comrades throwing themselves in the way of rounds, or being hit by them instead (shown by the GM rolling doubles to hit), I don't have an issue with. Perpously putting your peers into positions where they get killed first, and using them as "meat shields" is a misuse of the Emperor's soldiers, as well as a sign of cowardice, punishable as the regimental Commissar sees fit.


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#14 AtoMaki

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:48 AM

MILLANDSON said:

Perpously putting your peers into positions where they get killed first, and using them as "meat shields" is a misuse of the Emperor's soldiers, as well as a sign of cowardice, punishable as the regimental Commissar sees fit.

Nah, in the Imperial Guard, humanism is for the weak. Sacrificing a random guy to complete your mission is perfectly fine to the point where you can sacrifice dozens, hundres or even thousands (most IG commanders do this 24/7). It is not "misuse" or "cowardice" but simple pragmatism and resource management. Do you think that it is soulless and inhuman? Well, welcome in the Imperium of Man, here is your one-way ticket to Hell!



#15 LuciusT

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:00 AM

AtoMaki said:

MILLANDSON said:

 

Perpously putting your peers into positions where they get killed first, and using them as "meat shields" is a misuse of the Emperor's soldiers, as well as a sign of cowardice, punishable as the regimental Commissar sees fit.

 

 

Nah, in the Imperial Guard, humanism is for the weak. Sacrificing a random guy to complete your mission is perfectly fine to the point where you can sacrifice dozens, hundres or even thousands (most IG commanders do this 24/7). It is not "misuse" or "cowardice" but simple pragmatism and resource management. Do you think that it is soulless and inhuman? Well, welcome in the Imperium of Man, here is your one-way ticket to Hell!

Personally, I'd rather have the +5 BS or +10 WS the comrade grants as opposed to a single-use extra armor (I'd put a comrade as worth about 8 points of cover, roughly the same as a sandbag). Seems a better use of resources.



#16 Musclewizard

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:27 AM

AtoMaki said:

Nah, in the Imperial Guard, humanism is for the weak. Sacrificing a random guy to complete your mission is perfectly fine to the point where you can sacrifice dozens, hundres or even thousands (most IG commanders do this 24/7). It is not "misuse" or "cowardice" but simple pragmatism and resource management. Do you think that it is soulless and inhuman? Well, welcome in the Imperium of Man, here is your one-way ticket to Hell!

Here's the thing. A good commander does not waste men, he uses them. So if the person that is in charge of your players squad notices that your squad is wasting men as opposed to using them that commander will certainly take action. There's nothing wrong with having a comrade draw fire that will rip him to shreds in a few moments and stuff like that but litterally acting as a human shield is wasteful even by IG standards.

So if your players squad is suffering 50% casualties on every assignment because the higher ranking soldiers (the players) are misusing / abusing the lower rank soldiers (the comrades) they should find themselves either demoted, on mine clearing duty or on the firing line pretty soon for wasting the Emperors resources.

And from a mechanical standpoint a 5% chance to hit (or 10%+ in melee) plus a 10% chance to not get hit yourself seems superior to a one-use human shield.



#17 AtoMaki

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:28 AM

Of course it doesn't happen all the time :D. The first action of the players at the start of each combat is not "Comrade shield up"… But if the player has the choice between wasting the Comrade or completing the task through more risky and/or difficult means, then the player will wave goodbye to the Comrade. And since Comrades provide so little actual benefit, but failure is generally not an option, the "sacrificial threshold" went lower and lower in the party with each game session (especially as the PCs grew stronger and stronger). So as it now stands, a Comrade lasts for roughly 2-3 combats with our party and usually ends up as a meat shield (though around here, they only provide 6 points of cover). 

But yeah, I must admit, this is a YMMV topic. We play a pretty ruthless game, Sven Hassel turned to eleven and grimdark with nightmare spice, but if someone bases his game on the Gaunt's Ghosts books, then I can understand that he sees the sacrifice of the Comrades revolting ;)



#18 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:30 AM

Soldiers may be (mostly) expendable in the Guard, but that doesn’t mean that soldiers just throw one another into the firing line or hide behind one another hoping the other one catches a bullet first. That’s absurd.

I think if anyone in my squad tried that the Commissar’s Bolt Pistol would get a lot of use. “Intentionally killing members of your squad? Heresy!” *blam*

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#19 AtoMaki

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:52 AM

H.B.M.C. said:

Soldiers may be (mostly) expendable in the Guard, but that doesn’t mean that soldiers just throw one another into the firing line or hide behind one another hoping the other one catches a bullet first. That’s absurd.

But valuing the life of a random grunt over the life of the medic/weapon specialist/heavy gunner is kinda' like… idiocy I guess. So the medic used his Comrade to survive a lasgun barrage. His Comrade is now dead, but the medic survived with insignificant damage. Was it mean from him? Sure! Does it matter? Hell no! If the medic would take the barrage (or risk a Dodge Test what isn't really a life insurance against multiple full-auto attacks) then he would die, and his Comrade cannot replace him. The Squad now lost his medic, and will probably fail his mission, so our imaginary Commissar will have a nice day for some summary execution.



#20 MILLANDSON

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

Musclewizard said:

Here's the thing. A good commander does not waste men, he uses them. So if the person that is in charge of your players squad notices that your squad is wasting men as opposed to using them that commander will certainly take action. There's nothing wrong with having a comrade draw fire that will rip him to shreds in a few moments and stuff like that but litterally acting as a human shield is wasteful even by IG standards.

So if your players squad is suffering 50% casualties on every assignment because the higher ranking soldiers (the players) are misusing / abusing the lower rank soldiers (the comrades) they should find themselves either demoted, on mine clearing duty or on the firing line pretty soon for wasting the Emperors resources.

And from a mechanical standpoint a 5% chance to hit (or 10%+ in melee) plus a 10% chance to not get hit yourself seems superior to a one-use human shield.

That's basically my view on it - wasting Guardsmen is different to using them.


~Yea, Tho I Walk Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil~

 

Posts/views/opinions are in no way representative of FFG, and are entirely my own.





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