Darian Ocana said:
Hi all - Two questions regarding Minions:
1. Reading on the boards I have found that there are two approaches to soak. One is that a group of minions get to use it once and then the remaining damage is allocated killing each past 5 wounds (give or take), and the other is that each minion takes advantage of their soak as extra damage spills on to them. Has there been an official answer to this?
2. Since I could not find a clear answer (I looked, honest!), Would someone explain how you upgrade dice on minions? I understand every minion past the first grants one skill die (EotE Beta pg196). But how is this upgraded? I have a feeling that its just like PCs, but I want to make sure I have this clear in my mind.
Example: Random Stormtroopers attacking PCs.
1 Stormtrooper: Ag 3, soak 5, wounds 5, blaster rifle - doesn't get to roll anything to attack?
2 STs - 1 ability die, upgraded to 1 proficiency die, due to AG 3.
3 STs - 2 ability dice, upgraded to 2 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.
4 STs - 3 ability dice, upgraded to 3 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.
5 STs - 4 ability dice, 3 upgraded to proficiency dice, due to AG 3, 1 remains an ability die.
Is this correct?
First, notice that in the minion stat blocks, each minion has a list of skills, but no listed ranks. This is because minions working as a group are considered to have ranks in the listed skills, and only in the listed skill, equal to the number of minions in the group minus one. This is discussed in the second half of the Minions can fight as a group section of page 196 in the Eote Beta text.
In your example, you would roll the following for attacks:
1 trooper: 3 Ability dice; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 0 ranks in Ranged [Heavy]
2 troopers: 1 Proficiency die, 2 ability dice; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 1 rank in Ranged [Heavy]
3 troopers: 2 Proficiency dice, 1 ability die; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 2 ranks in Ranged [Heavy]
4 troopers: 3 Proficiency dice; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 3 ranks in Ranged [Heavy]
5 troopers: 3 Proficiency dice, 1 ability die; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 4 ranks in Ranged [heavy]
Note that these are accuate so long as the stormtroopers have "Ranged [heavy]" in their stat block and are attacking with a Ranged [heavy] weapon.
So, notice that the number of 'equivalent ranks' is n - 1 in each group, where 'n' is the number of individual minions in each group, e.g. the group that has 2 minions has 2 - 1 = 1 rank, the group that has 5 minions has 5 - 1 = 4 ranks, etc. The advantage of operating the minions as single units is that each individual beyond the first that is added to and acts as part of group improves the groups skill rolls.
This doesn't mean that you would roll 3 proficiency dice and 1 ability die for each of the 5 minions in the final instance of the example. To get this 'equivalent ranks' bonus, all the minions make one roll as a group to resolve a single attack as a group, i.e. a single roll is used to resolve all the attack actions made by all 5 ST's at once.
I guess it should also be noted that in the Beta text, it only discusses minions adding skill ranks in a combat context, e.g. the source of these ranks is not mentioned in the Minions do not possess skills section, and is only explained in the Minions can fight as a group section using combat skills. However, many minions have non-combat skills (e.g. Skulduggery, Perception, etc) listed in their blocks. In our games, we rule that the same rules apply to non-combat skills. So I guess technically there could be some room for interpretation on this.
Also, we've decided that to act as a group, minions have to be able to communicate effectively to coordinate actions and access the target of the actions to 'act as a group'. For example, a group of minions could act as a group to attack a character they all have line of sight to, even if he is behind cover. However, if 2 minions in a group were on the other side of a blast door from the other 3 minions and the target PC, the 2 on other side of the door could NOT provide bonuses to the 3 that could attack the PC because they can in no way reach the PC, even if they did have comlinks. However, if the whole group of minions wanted to slice the door open, the could if they had comlinks (or some other way to effectively communicate) AND all the minions could access the door. Similarly, if you had a group of minions that were individual spread over different continents of a planet that wanted to hack a single mainframe, they could act as a group provided they could 1) communicate effectively to coordinate (e.g. via chat-room, holo-conference, comlink) & 2) access the mainframe (e.g. via a data network).
Maybe more detail than you wanted. Sometimes I get carried away with the explanations. Anyway, hope that helped.