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Lokchen

Vehicles and comrades

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This is my first post (lurking for some time), so hi all!

Question is:

With 2, 3 or 4 seat vehicles (Tauros assault, Hellhound, Salamander) i have some problem with Comrades. Where they are?

For infantry regiment with transport - no problem, they are riding Chimera with PCs.

For tank/artillery crew i have no idea what to do with Comrades. Any tips from more experienced players/GMs?

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In the case of 2 seated vehicles, it will be a PC + comrade in one vehicle and the rest of the PCs will ride their own vehicles with their comrades. AFAIK, the only 3 seated vehicle is the Chimera, as the Hellhound and its variants have a separate gunner for the main weapon. 4 seated vehicles will have 2 PCs + 2 comrades. 

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While i wouldn't necessarily like to be the dude outside the vehicle, I can imagine many could support several troops sitting on the exterior. If I draw the parallel between IG tanks, which mostly are WWII knockoffs, and IJ:TLC, Indy has enough room on the top of that tank to fight dudes. i can see several sitting on top of it, or hanging onto the sides, like a fireman, or garbage collectors. Some of them might have better perspective to see incoming threats, without the claustrophobic confines of the smoke-belching tank around them. Some weapons are also better served being out there, rather than stuck in the vehicle. Smaller ones, I don't know so well. If a Tauros is a jeep, they COULD do something similar, sort of like Orks draping all over their vehicles, and Sentinels, you COULD maybe squeeze that tool in, so he's benefiting your weapons, if you are a Heavy.

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The vehicle rules could definitely use some extra detail- Comrades being a good case in point. I've recently been trying to wrap my head around how a campaign as a true Tank Crew (as opposed to an Infantry Squad with a pet tank) would work; the 14th post in this thread has my stab at an optimal breakdown ('optimal' as in requiring the least amount of rule alterations to work).

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The simple way is to divide your tank crew by 2. This is the number of PC's in the tank. For example, A Leman Russ with sponsons has a crew of six. This would necessitate 3 PC crew members.. Probably Driver, Main Gunner and Commander. All Tank crew would be operators and thus the comrades would be able to fill out the remaining crew roles using their comrade talents. (Gunner and Put that out!). The tank commander might be Elite advanced to sergeant if he had enough exp. 

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Thanks guys for advice.

@Adeptus-B

I like idea of comrades manning "secondary" positions in tank. This way i can  split my PCs between two vehicles or even create group from mixed regiment inspired by WWII german Panzergrenadiere and start adventure like a "movie "Kelly's Heroes" :D

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And with a sentinel, your comrade runs at its feet like a dog chasing its master.

I really wish non-infantry types had the option to not have a.comrade but gain something else in place of the comrade.

Or your comrade is your wingman, another sentinel in your recon team. But yeah, I wouldn't mind a working set of written rules on the subject instead of having to invent everything by myself. Publishing an adventure centered around armored warfare would be helpful as well.

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...All Tank crew would be operators and thus the comrades would be able to fill out the remaining crew roles using their comrade talents. 

 

If your players are willing to play in a campaign with only one Specialty, they are very different from my players...  ;)

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...All Tank crew would be operators and thus the comrades would be able to fill out the remaining crew roles using their comrade talents. 

 

If your players are willing to play in a campaign with only one Specialty, they are very different from my players...  ;)

 

While I agree with you in principle, That is the Crux of the problem in a tank campaign. Most of my players are military vets and they realize that IRL a tank crew is a group of (Very) similarly trained individuals whose sole purpose is to operate, fight and maintain their tank. So much so that there is a definitive hierarchy that exists within the tank. The crewman starts out as a loader, moves on to driver, then gunner, and finally (Sometimes) tank Commander. This progression usually takes a few years so some crewmates rotate out at the end of their respective enlistments. Unlike an infantry squad where each member has pretty much their own role, Tank crews are expected to take up any other role within the tank as necessary. Hence why, IMO, a Tank crew would be made up of operators. Of course, Within the regiment (Or even company), Their would be Medics, Priests and especially Engineseers but these would not be part of the tank crew as such! Further, Since the nature of crewing a tank is VERY different, the Infantry-centric roles of weapon specialist and heavy gunner might not be represented at all! (Although an Armored Regiment will likely at least have a company or so of [probably mechanized] infantry to support the regiment.)

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That is the Crux of the problem in a tank campaign. Most of my players are military vets and they realize that IRL a tank crew is a group of (Very) similarly trained individuals whose sole purpose is to operate, fight and maintain their tank.... Hence why, IMO, a Tank crew would be made up of operators.

 

I agree that an 'all-Operator' crew would probably be the most realistic way to go, but realism isn't OW's strong suit, what with individual Stormtroopers and Ogryns assigned to standard infantry units and whatnot...

 

One thing that would help would be more tank-based Advanced Specialty options. As far as I know, Tank Ace from Hammer of the Emperor is the only one. Anyone out there have the latest sourcebook yet? Does it have more tank crew options? It seems to me that this would be more useful for adding color/detail to a tank-based campaign than stats for the umpteenth Leman Russ varient.

 

Dare we hope for a tank-based supplement ("Tread Heads"?) in the future, that takes tankers out of the shadow of infantry in this game...?

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I would contend that in order to run a Tank based game; The challenge is not so much with the Character classes in the game but rather in teaching the players (Who may not be vets) how to play the various crew roles and how they affect the vehicle in battle. Using the mighty Leman Russ as a template, I offer the following synopsis: (With a few of my own ideas thrown in! :) )

 

The Leman Russ MBT (Main battle tank) has three player character roles (All other's filled by comrades): The Tank Commander, The Main Gunner and the Driver. All three are normally operators but the Gm could substitute a Sergeant and a Heavy gunner as appropriate but in all cases the comrades would use the Operator comrade rules (It is a tank after all!)

 

The Tank commander, The Tank commander has Overall command of the vehicle and thus directs the actions of the rest of the crew (Obviously!). In Battle; the Commander is tasked with spotting targets, directing vehicle movement and relaying target information to the gunner. (The Commander's station is the only point on the tank that has a 360 deg. view around the vehicle when it is "buttoned up" for combat. The driver can only see the front Arc and the gunner's can only see the facing of their weapon and then through a very small viewpoint!) In combat, the commander may perform a full round Awareness test to aquire a suitable target or scan the surrounding area with the tanks onboard Auspex. (I cannot conceive that a 40k tank would not contain this device since modern tanks have thermal sensors and other such equipment!). Once a target is acquired, it's location is related to the main gunner or driver via a Battlefield shorthand that includes the Arc of the target, It's type and range. For example: Target: Tank! bearing 055 rng 350! Engage! This process of aquisition and target relay takes one full round and the gunner may only act on it the following round. Note that while the Main gun is engaging a given target the Tank commander can (and should) be scanning for new targets in subsequent rounds. 

 

The Main Gunner: The Main Gunner is responsible for all actions involving the Tanks primary weapon (The Battle Cannon). Once Target information has been given to the gunner he (or she!) must lay the turret on the correct arc (A half action) and Acquire the target (A +10 Awareness test half action). If the Turret is already is already in the correct facing the gunner may progress directly to target aquisition. Once acquired,The gunner may engage the target. This usually involves an Aim or Extended aim action (especially for Vanquisher Cannon equipped Tanks!) followed by a standard attack. Note: The Standard Tank Gunsight is equivalent to a Photo Sight but upgrades are possible. Sponson gunners are comrades and will engage any suitable target that enters their firing arc unless the tank commander specifically orders them to hold or cease fire. (Using the Gunner comrade rule) Sponson guns also feature Photosight gunsights. Note 2: All vehicle weapons (Except pintle mounts) do not gain any bonuses or penalties due to rate of fire (Single shot or full auto) due to the nature of their mountings and are automatically considered braced.

 

The Driver: The driver is responsible for the movement of the tank and also mans the forward hull mounted weapon. Because of his extremely limited view, The driver generally takes directional cues from the Tank commander but wise character will try to maintain his thickest armor facing (Typically the front) towards the greatest threat to maximize protection.

In combat the driver may move the vehicle using the normal Operate: surface rules. additionally, The Tank driver may engage any suitable target with the forward Hull mounted weapon using the same rules as the gunner above. 

 

Note that these thoughts emphasize that detection of an enemy from inside a tank is NEVER automatic! Appropriate bonuses should be given to detection of enemies in plain site but that is the Tank's single greatest weakness! In Close urban environments, Tanks are vulnerable to infantry because of their comparatively slower reaction times and because they often have trouble detecting enemies even when they are very close! Gunners operating from sponsons only gain the benefits of their gunsights when they are actually using them so detection in the dark is almost entirely up to the tank commander!

 

Non Combat: In Narrative time, A tank operates in what is known as an "Unbuttoned" state. All of the Tanks top Hatches are open and all the Player characters are assumed to be sitting with their Head, Torso and Arms exposed. The Tank Commander has access to any Pintle mounted weapon but this is the only weapon that is operable in this mode. The Tank commander and Main gunner enjoy a 360 deg view and the driver can see 180 degrees across the front of the tank. While the crew are exposed in this mode they are typically difficult to target since the tank is typically moving at cruise speeds. (-20 to-hit) It takes one round for a Tank to "Button up" for combat.

 

Hope this helps! The second part of a tank campaign is keeping it interesting for the players. Gm's should avoid constantly giving situations that require the Tank crew to dismount as this will get real old real fast! (Why have a tank if you can't use it?) Instead, Focus on scenarios that will effect a Tank differently than standard characters. An Infantry unit faced with a shallow muddy river can still cross it. A 60 ton Leman Russ is going to need some help! An Infantry squad facing a Carnifex is probably dead in very messy ways! :unsure:  :o  That same Leman Russ is here for just that reason (Hoo-ahh!)

 

Hope this post wasn't too long!

Edited by Radwraith

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Very cool, Radwraith!

 

But the fact that you had to make all of this up, and none of it is depicted in any official OW books, just validates my point that tank campaigns really need more rule official support (-beyond an endless stream of new tank stats which never mention how they should be 'played'). Right now, if a gaming group isn't already knowledgeable about tanks, they are pretty much hosed...

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You are correct adeptus b! I was trying to apply what I know to be the methodology of tank combat to the game rules. But that being said, Yes, I absolutely made it up! Still, Every thing I wrote is just a slight extrapolation of what's in the rules with my knowledge of modern warfare thrown in. Glad you like it! :)  And thanks!!

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