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Quick Question to Minion Groups attacking


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#1 Germaniac

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:24 AM

Im pretty sure that the answer is in plain sight and Im blind, but anyways:

Does a group of three Stormtroops shoot three times / attack three times or just one time?

 

thx



#2 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 11:20 AM

Germaniac said:

Im pretty sure that the answer is in plain sight and Im blind, but anyways:

Does a group of three Stormtroops shoot three times / attack three times or just one time?

 

thx

Just the once, as a minion group is treated as a single entity.  The only way a group of three Stormtroopers would get to make three separate attacks would be if they were each operating as individuals.  Given they'd only be rolling 3 Ability dice when operating as individuals, it generally behooves them to work in minion groups.


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#3 Germaniac

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:15 PM

Ok, thank you very much



#4 Kintaro1

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 06:30 PM

Don't forget that working as a group allows you to count the extra guys as ranks on checks!

 

MINIONS CAN FIGHT AS A GROUP subheading on page 196 in the beta book.



#5 Diggles

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:35 AM

The minion system for EoE is rather genius.  I would highly suggest you learn them well and utilize them.  There really isnt much reason at all to ever use minions individually as they present nearly zero threat whateverso to a party.

I had fun using the Stormtrooper Sgt (henchman) who could issue commands to minion groups of Stormtroopers to give them buffs or extra manuevers.  Stuff like this makes more challenging/fun/thinking game.



#6 wormwoode

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:18 PM

 

So if I've got a group of 3 or 4 'Troopers busting in a doorway, or even back-to-back in the middle of a room, and PCs scattered throughout the area, the group of Troopers have just 1 single attack against 1 single PC during their initiative slot?

 

Doesn't that get them completely wiped out in one round, or so? And how are GMs justifying all of the minions targeting just one character?

 

I'm trying to get the basics hammered out before my groups 1st session, this weekend. I must've read the minion rules too quickly.



#7 Leechman

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:43 PM

Yes they only have one attack, but its bolstered for the number of minions in the group.  So there's a high chance you'll be generating surplus success/advantage, maybe even a triumph, so keep in mind you can do things like cause Critical Hits or maybe even give them a second (possibly weakened slightly) attack with a Triumph.

Not necessarily.  Not every PC will hit the group.  Furthermore, I'm assuming that not everyone is carrying a heavy blaster rifle, which will mean that not everyone will be taking down one minion with each shot. Besides, if they get destroyed then that's fine too anyway.  This system is about narrative gameplay.  So if the troopers bust in only to meet a flurry of bolts as your PCs unleash hot death in their direction, then thats great.  Describe it in an epic fashion and your PCs will feel like they're unbeatable.  A perfect time to unleash a Rancor from a side room :P 

As for justifying the attack, again describing it narratively is the answer.  The Troopers step in and unleash a volley, bolts starts whizzing past your players as they dive for cover.  One PC lets out a shout as one shot manages to strike him in the shoulder.

A solitary minion group isn't meant to be too threatening for the PCs.  If you want the combat to be threatening, try 2 groups of 4 troopers lead by a sergeant who is able to direct and lead them (giving boosts/ free maneuvers etc).  Or if you feel that one attack isn't enough, give them 2 attacks, but have the second one do half damage or something.  Or you could do something like not have any available cover for your PCs, and give your minion groups hard cover.  Or threaten the PCs in another way whilst the combat is going on - theyre being pushed back by the combat, and then a fire breaks out behind them, blocking their escape route and eating up their oxygen.  Now they have to fight through the troopers before they suffocate or get burned alive.

Remember, it's your game.  If you don't understand or like a rule, change it to what you feel would be appropriate for your game.



#8 LethalDose

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:51 PM

wormwoode said:

 

So if I've got a group of 3 or 4 'Troopers busting in a doorway, or even back-to-back in the middle of a room, and PCs scattered throughout the area, the group of Troopers have just 1 single attack against 1 single PC during their initiative slot?

 

Doesn't that get them completely wiped out in one round, or so? And how are GMs justifying all of the minions targeting just one character?

 

I'm trying to get the basics hammered out before my groups 1st session, this weekend. I must've read the minion rules too quickly.

 

 

That's cool, we can walk ya through the basics.  So first, lets point out that, even as a group, minions aren't typically major threats.  So, yeah, they're mooks who get taken out early, especially if the GM isn't playing them smart (we'll talk about that in a bit).  Also, I'm not sure if you're running the Beta rules, or the Beginner's box; What I post below is out of the Beta text.  Let's look at the basic rules that address how minions are handled (beta text pp 195-6):

  • Minions don't suffer strain: strain just causes wound damage, unless otherwise specified
  • Crits kill minions: Self explanatory
  • Minions do not possess skill[ rank]s: Basically, minions in a group after the first one add skill ranks to skills listed in the stat block.  See the next rule.  
  • Minions fight as a group:  This rule has two parts: damage is accounted as a group & and minions make skill checks as a group.  Expanded below.

Okay, so lets look at a group of 4 imperial stormtroopers (pg 205).  This group has soak of 5 and a wound threshold of 20 (4 troopers @ 5 wound/trooper).  They have Athletics, Discipline, Melee, and Ranged (Heavy) skills.  When making skill checks with these skills while acting in concert, the group makes checks as if they are a single character that has 3 ranks (4 group members - 1 = 3) in each of these skills.  Therefore, when making an attack with their blaster rifles as a a group, the stormtroopers roll YYY (three proficiency dice, since they have an ability (Agi) of 3, and 3 ranks of Ranged (heavy)).  That's not bad, its about as effective as a well designed starting character with good soak and a high wound threshold.  

In combat, let's say this group gets hit by a Bounty Hunter's blaster rifle.  The bounty hunter rolled a net of 2 successes and 2 failures.  This deals 11 damage (9 base + 2 successes).  The soak reduces the damage by 5,  and the group takes 6 damage.  The first 5 damage takes out a trooper, and the remaining 3 troopers have 14 damage between them.  Also note that soak is only applied ONCE.  Even though they only get one attack, and their efficacy reduces as they lose members, it still takes 20 points of damage to take them down.  Then the two failures are used to give the group a free manuever.  Let's say they use that maneuver to take cover.  So now ranged attacks against the group have a setback added to them.  Since ther are now 3 troopers, they roll YYG (2 proficiency and 1 Ability die) when they attack or make any skill checks using the skills on their list.

So how do you increase the efficacy of the groups?  Use cover, aim, and maximize their abilities.  This may be controversial, but I also like to have my minion groups spread out a bit to mitigate grenades and other blasts.  The damage still spills over, even though they're not forming a single engagement.

Thats a quick example.  The Minions aren't too hard to use after you get the hang of it, and they provide a simple way to have a substantial number of combatants on the field in a managable way.  They're not super threatening, but they serve their purpose.  

Based on this example, we can try to clarify other questions you may have.  What's still on your mind?

-WJL



#9 FuzzyLog1cZA

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:38 PM

Thanks for that post LethalDose. Explains a lot to me, hopefully it helps the OP too.



#10 Germaniac

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 02:16 AM

FuzzyLog1cZA said:

…, hopefully it helps the OP too.

 

Im fine thx.



#11 whafrog

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:19 AM

LethalDose said:

The bounty hunter rolled a net of 2 successes and 2 failures.

Don't you mean 2 successes and 2 threats?

 



#12 wormwoode

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:23 AM

Huge thanks to Leechman and Lethaldose for the well-worded clarifications. Oddly enough, the minion rules are surprisingly similar to the way my group played swarm-type creatures in our Gamma World game (which was about 60% house rules).

I'm still a little unsure about the idea that a gang of four trained soldiers is prone to focus all their fire on a single target, thematically - but mechanically, it actually seems to work really well. Seems like the minions are easy enough for PCs to deal with that having multiple minion groups on the map at once should mitigate the feeling that the Storm Troopers are really just one monster that gets weaker as it takes hits. Again, I like the way it works mechanically, but it does feel a bit silly that the PCs can be outnumbered 2-1 in a firefight, and still only have to worry about 1 PC getting shot at. 

I'll take a look at the specialized Trooper characters mentioned above. Sounds like having an Officer In their ranks changes the game up a bit.

 

I guess maybe the only other thing that's still not 100% solid in my mind are the Range Bands, and the abstractions involved with movement. I found the wording regarding ranged movement in the Beginners Rules to be a bit confusing. I think I've got it, but I don't feel too confident.

Please tell me if I've got this correct:

A PC in one corner of a room sees an enemy come through a door at the opposite corner of the room. The enemy is determined to be at medium range from the PC. To fire on the enemy with a blaster, the PC adds a difficulty of 2 to his shot. To close in on the Enemy for a melee attack, the PC would need 2 maneuvers (1 gained by expending Strain), just to get into short range. The "only 2 maneuvers" cap prevents him from getting into "engaged" status from medium range. So he spends 2 maneuvers to get into short range, and his action to get into cover. Then, on his next turn, he only has to spend one maneuver to get from short to engaged, and can spend his action punching the enemy (provided the enemy didn't move further away on it's turn).

Like I said, I think I've got that right. It gets a bit fuzzy for me when the Long and Extreme ranges come up, as the extra maneuvers involved seem to complicate things.

Am I on the right track?



#13 Leechman

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 04:03 AM

You've basically got it down.  In your example however, it's worth noting that only certain NPC's can suffer strain similar to PC's.  Minions and Henchman classed NPC's (the more common bad guys) don't suffer strain, and any strain damage they would take is taken as wounds.  Minions cannot voluntarily suffer strain, whereas Henchman can choose to do this, taking the converted wounds.  So if you wanted them to have 2 maneuvers in a turn you'd need to use up their action to do this as well, or maybe some adv.  Nemesis NPCs (typically the Big Bads) do have a strain pool however, so its important to note the distinction between the different Adversary types.

That said, it is still your game, so don't be afraid to throw certain rules out the window in order to make a great cinematic scene.

The movement bands can be broken up simply: Any movement from Medium range to a shorter range band is 1 Maneuver.  Any movement from Medium to a larger range band, is 2 Maneuvers.  Your difficulty dice for ranged attacks increases by 1 for each range band. Short = 1, Medium = 2 etc.

There was someone on here who made some really great reference sheets that I think would be helpful to you if you're having trouble remembering certain things (there is a lot to remember :) ).  But for the life of me i can't remember who it was :/

And RE: only 1 getting shot at.  Don't tell your players its a minion group.  Just say something like "4 troopers come in and open fire", roll your dice, then say that they only managed to hit one PC.  Or give them a second attack at half damage, for the cost of a maneuver, if you really feel its necessary.  Think of it like the movies, a group of stormtroopers will shoot at everyone involved, but there is a lot of missing going on.  So for all intents and purposes they ARE shooting at each PC, just missing ;P

Don't be too concerned if you don't get everything perfect on your first run.  Your players are learning the game too.  If you blank on something, just work something out with the players that seems fair or appropriate.



#14 wormwoode

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 04:26 AM

Sounds like good advice, all around. I may have to try to sneak that second (half-damage) minion attack in from time to time, maybe on PC Despair results or something. Keep the PCs on their toes. Also, not emphasising the idea that "these enemies are just minions" is probably a good idea for the same reason. It can be tough to find ways to keep the sense of danger and consequence running in a game where you really aren't really trying to outright kill PCs. 

 

Thanks again for the clarifications and pointers. Any other advice is certainly welcome.



#15 Yepesnopes

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 05:01 AM

wormwoode said:

I'm still a little unsure about the idea that a gang of four trained soldiers is prone to focus all their fire on a single target, thematically - but mechanically, it actually seems to work really well. Seems like the minions are easy enough for PCs to deal with that having multiple minion groups on the map at once should mitigate the feeling that the Storm Troopers are really just one monster that gets weaker as it takes hits. Again, I like the way it works mechanically, but it does feel a bit silly that the PCs can be outnumbered 2-1 in a firefight, and still only have to worry about 1 PC getting shot at. 

You can break down your minion group into smaller groups. For example, if you want your characters to face a fight against a stormtrooper minions, and you want them to be outnumbered 2 -1, you can pair your minions in as many groups as PCs. If you have for example 4 PCs, they will be facing 4 groups of 2 stortroopers minions each. In that way each group will roll 2 ability dice and 1 Proficiency die when firing their blasters (as long as the two minions are alive).

You will be making 4 shots per round. With these stats, and suposing medium range and 1 set back die (from cover, defence or whatever) each minion group will have 56.7% probability of scoring at least 1 success per shot made, 14% of scoring 3 successes, 19% of at least getting 2 Advantages and 8.3% of getting a triumph.

For comparison, if you decide to gather your stormtroopers in two groups of 4 instead, you will be making two shots per round with 3 proficiency dice (as long as all stormtroopers minions are alive). With these stats, and suposing medium range and 1 set back die (from cover, defence or whatever) each minion group will have 66.7% probability of scoring at least 1 success per shot made, 20.7% of scoring 3 successes, 21% of at least getting 2 Advantages and 21% of getting a triumph (2% of obtaining 2 triumphs)

You decide.

Cheers,

Yepes


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#16 LethalDose

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 05:31 AM

whafrog said:

LethalDose said:

The bounty hunter rolled a net of 2 successes and 2 failures.

 

Don't you mean 2 successes and 2 threats?

 

Yes, this is what I had intended.  2 success & 2 threat.  Sorry for any confusion.

-WJL



#17 LethalDose

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:30 AM

wormwoode said:

 

Please tell me if I've got this correct:

A PC in one corner of a room sees an enemy come through a door at the opposite corner of the room. The enemy is determined to be at medium range from the PC. To fire on the enemy with a blaster, the PC adds a difficulty of 2 to his shot. To close in on the Enemy for a melee attack, the PC would need 2 maneuvers (1 gained by expending Strain), just to get into short range. The "only 2 maneuvers" cap prevents him from getting into "engaged" status from medium range. So he spends 2 maneuvers to get into short range, and his action to get into cover. Then, on his next turn, he only has to spend one maneuver to get from short to engaged, and can spend his action punching the enemy (provided the enemy didn't move further away on it's turn).

Like I said, I think I've got that right. It gets a bit fuzzy for me when the Long and Extreme ranges come up, as the extra maneuvers involved seem to complicate things.

Am I on the right track?

 

 

The italicized section is incorrect.

The player would need to take one maneuver to move from medium to short (nee' close) range, and then one maneuver to engage a character (or pre-existing engagement) at close range.  So it takes 2 maneuvers to go from medium range to engaged:

Medium range band ---(1 man.)--> Short range band ---(1 man.)--> Engaged

and it is possible to go from medium range to engaged and make a melee attack in one turn.  See pg 135 of the beta text for clarifiation & details.

Beyond that, a few points I would make are:

  • Firing at medium range doesn't really "add 2 difficulty", its just that making that shot is a task of Average difficulty; Difficulty isn't really cumulative in this game, so you don't need to "add x levels/ranks" of difficulty to a zero point to find how many setback/difficulty/challenge dice to add to the pool.  It's not a major point, but the words you're using to describe the mechanics just don't sync well with how the mechanics actually work, so you may do well to try to adjust how you describe the situation to avoid confusion for yourself and players in the future
  • Technically, taking cover is another maneuver (pg 130, part of "interacting with the environment), and counts against your 2 maneuver/turn limit.  Actions typically involve more effort (and a skill check) than maneuvers.
  • There are ways to get extra maneuvers other than spending strain.  See p 131.

FInally, on Extreme and long range bands, the bands generally work like this:

Extreme  <--(2 man.)--> Long <--(2 man.)--> Med <--(1 man.)--> Short <--(1 man.) --> Engaged

We use small tokens, each representing a maneuver instead of range band, between characters to track distances at our table.

-WJL



#18 wormwoode

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:40 AM

Yepes : Thanks for the stats. I will definitely keep them in mind when considering busting minion groups into smaller chunks. Opens more options for PC vs Minion combat. 

 

Lethaldose : Thanks for the clarifications. I like the idea of using "maneuver tokens" to keep the range bands straight. I've also read about people making "range rulers" using dowels or string. I like the tokens idea better.

You're right about my "add difficulty" thinking, as well. I think a lot of my comprehension of these rules is being hindered by my brain's attempts to relate it to other systems. My group has done very little RPG stuff together, and the level of abstraction in the few we've run was substantially less than Edge of Empire. My group is a pretty visually-oriented group. We love our painted toys, and have probably relied way too much on grids and "movement points" to grasp the Range Bands concept as easily as we should.

 

I blame Descent. ;}



#19 Yepesnopes

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:27 AM

@wormwoode:

Take this and play with the numbers at your own will.

Enjoy!

Yepes


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#20 whafrog

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 01:48 PM

Very nice, Yepesnopes, thanks for sharing.






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