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Darth Pseudonym

Official answer from Sam on how minions work with blasts

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Hey, I got official answers hot off the email inbox!
 

 

First: Should a group of minions be treated as a group of individuals who happen to share one wound pool, or as a single entity?
That is to say, if a blast goes off in the middle of a group of minions
-- should each minion, individually, take the blast damage, soak it, and apply the remainder to their shared pool, or
-- does the group as a whole get hit by the blast, take the damage, soak it once, and then apply the remainder (and if so, then does the group being the primary target exclude the group from being affected by the blast)?
Or is there some other methodology?


The first option would be more thematically appropriate. That being said, if the minions were particularly spread out (if you had a group of four with two each behind two separate barricades, for example), I'd rule that some of the minions couldn't be hit by the blast damage. It does make grenades quite effective against minion groups; but that's sort of the idea in any case.

 


A twofer answer! Not only a clarification that minions in a group are treated as individual targets, but also that a minion group is not at all required to stay huddled together.
 

 

And second: Does the blast of a weapon benefit from that weapon's pierce or breach rating? If they do, it seems to make missile tubes amazingly dangerous, as even their blast effect on a miss would deal 10 damage with breach 1 (which makes the damage virtually unsoakable).

Yes, blast damage benefits from pierce or breach. Yeah, missile tubes are pretty scary with that, and that is probably warranted!

 


So that clears up a lesser-asked quandry, but (none the less) a useful answer.
 

Hope this helps,

Sam Stewart
Senior RPG Producer
Fantasy Flight Games


eeeee.  FFG is so awesome.

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The breach info is good. I never played minion groups as having to be engaged with one another as soldiers particularly try not to bunch up for that very reason.

 

Yeah, the main thrust of the question was to confirm that minions (assuming they are engaged together) take multiple damage from blasts.

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Doesn't that contradict the FAQ/errata document?

 

Q. Presuming a minion group of 3 stormtroopers,
with a wound threshold of 5 each and a soak of 5,
what happens when the group is hit for 10 damage?
11 damage? 15 damage? Is soak applied by each individual
member of the group? Is a member of the
group defeated for each 5 wounds suffered?
A. Soak is applied only once, and then the remaining
damage applied to the group’s wound threshold.
In this example, the group hit for 10 damage suffers
5 wounds. No members of the group are defeated, as
the total wounds suffered has not yet exceeded an individual
trooper’s wound threshold. If the same group
were instead struck for 11 damage, the group would
suffer 6 wounds and 1 trooper would be defeated.
If the same group were instead struck for 15 damage,
the group would suffer 10 wounds and 1 trooper
would be defeated. When a trooper is defeated, the
total wound threshold and wounds suffered by the
minion group does not change, but the group loses
the benefits of that additional minion on skill checks.

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So a frag grenade goes off amid a group of 5 otherwise healthy STs (WT of 25).

 

Lets say it deals 10 primary damage to one of them as part of the successful attack roll. The attacker then spends 2 Advantage to trigger the Blast quality for 8 more as well. Now what?

 

Thematically, as Sam suggests, one takes the 10, the others 8, and each would soak it individually. Then apply the total to their WT pool. Since they have a Soak of 5, that's 5+3+3+3+3 damage, for a total of 18 damage.

 

Normally, if they were individuals, they'd all still be standing since they have a 5 WT. But as a group, they sustained 18 out of 25. So only 2 of them actually remain standing.

 

If the attacker was able to generate enough leftover Advantage to also crit, that would add another 5 points to the total. Then only a single ST would survive (and wounded, at that).

 

I think I can accept this as a viable option and incorporate it easily enough into our games.

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I feel like this muddies the waters a bit in terms of what a minion group actually is and how it works, but I'm grateful for an answer nonetheless.

It's not quite as strict as Hordes in Deathwatch, imo, since minion groups can be spread out a good bit better than a Horde and still maintain the notion of operational (IC) and physical (OOC) cohesiveness.

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So a frag grenade goes off amid a group of 5 otherwise healthy STs (WT of 25).

 

Lets say it deals 10 primary damage to one of them as part of the successful attack roll. The attacker then spends 2 Advantage to trigger the Blast quality for 8 more as well. Now what?

 

Thematically, as Sam suggests, one takes the 10, the others 8, and each would soak it individually. Then apply the total to their WT pool. Since they have a Soak of 5, that's 5+3+3+3+3 damage, for a total of 18 damage.

 

Normally, if they were individuals, they'd all still be standing since they have a 5 WT. But as a group, they sustained 18 out of 25. So only 2 of them actually remain standing.

 

If the attacker was able to generate enough leftover Advantage to also crit, that would add another 5 points to the total. Then only a single ST would survive (and wounded, at that).

 

I think I can accept this as a viable option and incorporate it easily enough into our games.

One takes the 10 primary damage...but since each minion in the group has 5 wounds, 2 of them drop before the Blast triggers (whether from direct injury or some other reason like freaking out that they got fragged). I think.

 

EDIT: forgot about soak. But that one that took 8 would drop at 5, spillover a further 3 to another, who would take 6 and drop at 5, spillover 1 to another. That one would take 4, and the other 2 would take 3.

 

Also, 5+3+3+3+3=17, not 18.

Edited by Kshatriya

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EDIT: forgot about soak. But that one that took 8 would drop at 5, spillover a further 3 to another, who would take 6 and drop at 5, spillover 1 to another. That one would take 4, and the other 2 would take 3.

 

So this is wrong? Or maybe it's a little too concrete, looking at discrete wounds rather than the total of 17.

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I see it this way. The group takes 10-5(soak)=5. There's still 5 up since the threshold hasn't been exceeded. Then blast is triggered and the group takes 8-5(soak)=3 more. The wound threshold has now been exceeded and one trooper goes down with 3 wounds left on the group.

Minions go down easy enough, there's no reason to make them easier. Now if they were in a group and the gm decided to apply the blast to the four as individuals rather than the minion group I wouldn't argue against it. If you did apply blast to the four remaining minions I would expect them to all get soak as well. So that would be 12 damage from the blast. That's 17 total and you are down to 2 minions.

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The key is just to think of a minion group as ... not a group at all.  Stop thinking of them like a "horde" or "mob" or whatever other collective noun other systems use.  A minion group is not a single entity.  A minion group is a group of individuals who cooperate (in a way specified by the special minion rules) when they attack, and share a common wound pool (also in a way specified by the rules).  Other than those two specific things, the group is simply a several guys standing around.

 

If you hit one guy for damage (be it a blaster bolt, an axe swing, or the primary damage from a grenade), he takes the full normal damage and soaks it, and applies the damage to the group wound pool.  And that's it.  From a mechanical point of view, one guy was hit for damage, and applied that damage to his wounds.

 

Then, optionally, you trigger the blast.  There's three guys in the blast radius other than the main target.  It doesn't matter that they're minions, or that they are (or are not) in the same group as the main guy.  Three guys got hit for damage, each one takes the blast damage, soaks it, and applies it to their wounds.  We still don't care whether they're minions, rivals, or whatever, or how their grouping breaks down.  Just hitting guys for damage.

 

Finally, after all that, we can look at the minion group's wounds and determine how many of them (if any) died in that attack.  Narrate as needed.  This is really the only time in the process that it matters that they're minions in a group.

Edited by Darth Pseudonym

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