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Field Chirurgeon - Just a weaker Medic?

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#1 Arbitrator



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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:36 AM

I'm flicking through Hammer of the Emperor, but I'm really having difficulty seeing just what the difference between Medic and the Field Chirurgeon is.. The book describes the Field Chirurgeon as being better at immediate first aid, whilst Medics perform better at medical work away from the battlefield.. but… considering that's where the bullets are going to be flying most and what I imagine the Medic to be specialising in regardless… just what is the difference and indeed the point? The text even says that they're trained by the Company Medics. I could be missing something here, but it sure feels like the poorest Specialsiation from a design perspective, "Oh he's just like a Medic! But- he's not!" and a way to give other Guardsmen some medical skills.

#2 SwiftFox



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Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:20 AM

The only major differene I can see between Medic and Field Chirurgeon is that the former gets Fieldcraft and the latter instead receives Defence for their Aptitudes.  In terms of what "medical" skills and talents they have access to, the Medic gets an easy advance on the Medicae Skill but for some reason the Field Chirurgeon only has one match with that skill.  Otherwise, I can't see any difference between the medicae talents in terms of their cost.  Both have only one match with Swift Suture (though a Field Chirurgeon could select it when a character advances into the class), and both have two matches with the other medicae talents (as far as I can see).

I feel you are correct in that the Field Chirurgeon appears a bit redundant when compared to a Medic, but I think I can see some of the logic behind FGG's decision.  The Field Chirurgeon is supposed to be the one to apply the first medical care to an injured comrade (represented by the ability to acquire Swift Suture for free), but he's also supposed to be a front line soldier (gets Ballistic Skill and Defense).  This latter fact is important when considering that both Agility and Tougness are hard advances for the Medic, but the Field Chirurgeon at least gets Toughness as a moderate advance.  The odd thing is the inclusion of Fellowship for the Field Chirurgeon, as I can't see any reason to include it.  Otherwise, the classes are mostly the same.

I think that if I were to have a Field Chirurgeon in the game, I would tweak his aptitudes by replacing Fellowship and Knowledge with Finesse and Fieldcraft.  This would grant contitunity with the Field Chirurgeon still being a front-line soldier while ensuring that he still has easy advances with the Medicae skill and the medicae talents, and removing Knowledge represents the lack of long-term formalized training.

Ultimately, my main problem is the name of the two classes.  The way they are presented, the names should be reversed.  My idea of a medic is a front-line soldier with some medical training who can rapidly respond to any injuries that his fellow comrades has sustained, while the idea of a field chirurgeon fits more with the MASH style of doctoring from behind the front lines.

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