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njharman

Confused about Minion Groups

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Do minion groups reduce in capability as they take casualties. original 3 member minion group with 3 ability and group skill rolls gyy. After losing their buddy, do they exact revenge with only ggy?

 

I couldn't find guidance on minion group size, seems like 3-4. 

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Minion group size can literally be unlimited. Rolls are determined by the attribute (which is static) and the number of minions in the group, which caps at 6, I believe. So at most, lets say you have "an entire legion of my best troops" at endor. Thats like 6,000 stormtroopers. They have 2 AGL, and they def reach the cap of 6, so you'd be rolling 2 yellows and 4 greens for every attack they make.

Now, that is obviously not the most efficient way to handle that from a combat tactics POV (though it is awfully efficient in the sense of running a game at large scales that is bogged down with a ton of separate combat checks).

What happens when a minion in the group is killed? Well, if a group goes from, lets say 6 to 5, then yes, their next combat check will lose a green die. If it drops again, it loses another. If a sole minion is alone in the wilds, then they only roll their attribute score, because group skills can't function if a minion is alone. You need 2 or more to count skill ranks, which is to say, no yellows. Just greens from the attribute.

Hope this helps!

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Narratively they could be hitting more than one target, mechanically the Wound Threshold of the minion group is the same.

 

A group of 3 minions with 5 Wound Threshold each would be a total of 15 (5 + 5 + 5).

 

Here's the part that is confusing to many people:

When the current wounds exceed the threshold of an individual minion, a minion is destroyed (which minion is dependent on the narrative)

 

So the first minion would be killed at 6/15 (because 6 wounds exceed the 5 wound threshold), and another would be killed at 11/15 and the last at 16/15.

 

Essentially the damage of killing blow of one minion will spill over into the next minion, so narratively there could be more than one target. This is okay, because the job of a minion is to give the PCs a challenge but to die off quickly.

Edited by kaosoe

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So a minion group would more likely be successful in combat than rolling each NPC individually. For instance, if each stormtrooper listed above rolled, it would 2 green 6 times. This compared to the minion roll that would be 2 yellow and 4 greens rolled one time. The same purple die would be used each time. A better success rate would come out the minion group. Is this correct?

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Probably not. At medium range, the minions have a 40% chance to hit individually, and a 90% chance to hit as a group for ~6 more damage. So basically ~2 hits at ~10 damage vs ~1 hit at ~15 damage. Grouping together only breaks even against targets with 5 soak.

 

Howeeeeever, they'll be more effective individual at short range, as a group at long range/against high defence PCs, the group is better at scoring crits but has a lower peak damage... basically it's too messy to call.

 

Really, minion groups are a bookkeeping tool.

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So a minion group would more likely be successful in combat than rolling each NPC individually. For instance, if each stormtrooper listed above rolled, it would 2 green 6 times. This compared to the minion roll that would be 2 yellow and 4 greens rolled one time. The same purple die would be used each time. A better success rate would come out the minion group. Is this correct?

 

Yes, more than 1 minion member introduces possibility of Triumph, making a group more effective in the long run.

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The thing with Minions to remember is that, thematically, they gain their strength in their numbers ... to really pose some resemblance of a challenge to the group of PC's.

 

So as those numbers dwindle, so does their abilities.  The example you (and others) gave is correct ... they would downgrade their dice pool as they lose individual members of the Minion group.

 

 

As far as Minion group size, it depends on the story, for example ... how much of a challenge do the PC's need (do you want them to mow thru the Minions or be overwhelmed so that even the PC's see the need to flee).  I have found that a Minion group equal to the number of PC's seems to be the sweet spot for general encounters.  Sometimes they can be broken up to fit a narrative (for example ... if you have 5 PC's and 5 NPC's, could it be a Minion group of 2 guarding the exit while a Minion group of 3 search the premises?)

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Yes, more than 1 minion member introduces possibility of Triumph, making a group more effective in the long run.

 

IMO it's way better gamesmanship for the GM to run the minions as groups (as is intended by the system) just because of how well it streamlines combat, and the possibility of a Triumph result is nice.  

 

That being said, the quoted statement is just wrong.  "In the long run", rolling a bunch of green dice a once for each minion will produce more successful results than rolling a batch of green and yellows once per group.  Unfortunately, this is true almost without exception.  Rolling triumphs is useful, but mathematically, it doesn't even come close to offsetting the advantages of multiple rolls.

 

(Sorry to be nitpicky and contrarian, but stats are my livelihood, and seeing stuff like this is a pet peeve of mine)

Edited by LethalDose
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Aren't minion groups supposed to be used by the GM as massed troops basically, nameless red shirts basically to be mowed down to show how deadly the conflict is...???  Not to shortchange our Star Trek brethren, but FFG has not mass produced their game yet....whuahahahaha... I'm kidding, I collect old RPG's and would love to see more RPG's produced, but like many other 80's films, some things are beter left alone.  But if they did, I would add everything to my library too.  **** you FFG, you are worse then a bad lover, you realy keep us coming back for more.....that could be illegal in some states if you were not regulated...

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Does anyone have a page# reference for minion combat? I can't find the specifics on "minions fight as a group" in AoR, it's clearly spelled out in edge but I'd like to compare. On p. 410, it says "minions fight as a group", then explains wound thresholds and finally skill ranks, but AoR has omitted the following sentence, from edge: "likewise, minions make one attack per group, not per individual".

I see a lot of people giving advice as if that sentence were not omitted. Thoughts?

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As the system is the same across the three "major expansions" (Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion and Force and Destiny) the common sense is, unless one book specifically overwrites some rule what is explained in a book works the same for the other two.

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They did overwrite it by rewriting the paragraph. AoR is word-for-word same as edge, except for the omission of that sentence

 

 

As the system is the same across the three "major expansions" (Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion and Force and Destiny) the common sense is, unless one book specifically overwrites some rule what is explained in a book works the same for the other two.

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Hi guys, new member, just started the game yesterday. As GM, I ran into a problem related to minion combat as well. I understand the concept, but the whole group was utterly confused when it came to assigning damage to the minions, especially as it pertains to soak value, 

 

So during the Whisper Base mission, our group encountered its first minions - guarding the command room. A group of three Stormtroopers, so wound threshold of 15. They would also have a soak value of 15 (5x3). One player tosses a stun grenade, resolves modifiers, etc. and ends up dealing 11 damage. The grenade apparently does both stun and blast damage (at least that's what the character folio says - ?). Since any strain damage would just be counted as wounds, we started counting the damage against the minion's soak score. At this point, I have a lot of questions. 

1) When a weapons does both stun and blast damage, are they counted together? It seems that the blast damage would be counted against the enemy NPC as normal, and the stun damage would cause them to be disoriented (adding a setback die to skill checks per round of stun damage). So does the PC role separately for each type of damage? So confused. 

  -----------a) However - NPC's rarely have to make skill checks in combat, so how does a setback die penalize them in the first place? Shouldn't the setback be applies to their next attack role, or (as in D&D rules) cause the player to miss X amount of rounds until the effect wears off?

2) When any weapons does less damage than the collective soak value of the minions, how does that work, exactly? If I apply 11 damage to a soak value of 15, it leaves 3 - meaning no wound damage was inflicted at all. It seems nearly impossible to overcome the NPC soak value to do any wound damage. In our case, if we don't triple the soak value to reflect the number of minions (15) and instead consider them to have a collective soak value of only 5, that leaves 6 points of wound damage, which, if I understand correctly, would kill 1 minion, with a single wound damage point leftover for the next minion. Which seems wrong to me also, because stun grenades don't kill people. 

------------a) Even had the PC used an AP Grenade (16 base damage) it seems unlikely, post modifiers, that it would overcome the collective 15 point NPC soak score. Again - very confused. How in the world can anyone defeat a group of minions when their soak value is so high? An AP grenade should do considerable damage, but with the soak value at 15 (3x5) it would only inflict 1 point of wound damage? 

So essentially, I can't find anything in the beginner's rule book or the adventure module explaining exactly how to deal with soak scores for minions, and I'm additionally confused about this stun grenade that does two types of damage (stun and blast) and how to roll for and distribute that damage to the NPCs being attacked. While the rule book lists the stun grenade in the weapons section, it only addresses how the character can utilize it, and nothing about the actual damage roll (neither is it addressed in the weapon effect section). 

 

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Hi guys, new member, just started the game yesterday. As GM, I ran into a problem related to minion combat as well. I understand the concept, but the whole group was utterly confused when it came to assigning damage to the minions, especially as it pertains to soak value, 

 

So during the Whisper Base mission, our group encountered its first minions - guarding the command room. A group of three Stormtroopers, so wound threshold of 15. They would also have a soak value of 15 (5x3). One player tosses a stun grenade, resolves modifiers, etc. and ends up dealing 11 damage. The grenade apparently does both stun and blast damage (at least that's what the character folio says - ?). Since any strain damage would just be counted as wounds, we started counting the damage against the minion's soak score. At this point, I have a lot of questions. 

1) When a weapons does both stun and blast damage, are they counted together? It seems that the blast damage would be counted against the enemy NPC as normal, and the stun damage would cause them to be disoriented (adding a setback die to skill checks per round of stun damage). So does the PC role separately for each type of damage? So confused. 

  -----------a) However - NPC's rarely have to make skill checks in combat, so how does a setback die penalize them in the first place? Shouldn't the setback be applies to their next attack role, or (as in D&D rules) cause the player to miss X amount of rounds until the effect wears off?

2) When any weapons does less damage than the collective soak value of the minions, how does that work, exactly? If I apply 11 damage to a soak value of 15, it leaves 3 - meaning no wound damage was inflicted at all. It seems nearly impossible to overcome the NPC soak value to do any wound damage. In our case, if we don't triple the soak value to reflect the number of minions (15) and instead consider them to have a collective soak value of only 5, that leaves 6 points of wound damage, which, if I understand correctly, would kill 1 minion, with a single wound damage point leftover for the next minion. Which seems wrong to me also, because stun grenades don't kill people. 

------------a) Even had the PC used an AP Grenade (16 base damage) it seems unlikely, post modifiers, that it would overcome the collective 15 point NPC soak score. Again - very confused. How in the world can anyone defeat a group of minions when their soak value is so high? An AP grenade should do considerable damage, but with the soak value at 15 (3x5) it would only inflict 1 point of wound damage? 

So essentially, I can't find anything in the beginner's rule book or the adventure module explaining exactly how to deal with soak scores for minions, and I'm additionally confused about this stun grenade that does two types of damage (stun and blast) and how to roll for and distribute that damage to the NPCs being attacked. While the rule book lists the stun grenade in the weapons section, it only addresses how the character can utilize it, and nothing about the actual damage roll (neither is it addressed in the weapon effect section). 

A stormtrooper minion group has a Soak of 5.  Not 15.   Stun damage of 11 would be soaked 5, to do 6 stun damage to their WT.  Because they only have one track it's the same as doing regular damage. Narratively they are taken out of the fight , just not dead.  6 Damage is enough to remove one storm trooper from the group.  When that happens they will get a yellow die for all their trained skills downgraded to a green.  IF the player activates the blast with 2 Advantage.  you do the Rating of the blast to each character engaged with the target.  It's up to the GM to decide if all the minions are engaged with each other . But in the Case of Blast, you apply the soak values of each character before you do damage.  So if it has a Blast 6 that means 1 damage to each minion.  or 3 damage.  This would make their total damage 9.  Not enough to take out a second trooper.  But they are definitely feeling the effects.

 

One should note that doing 5 damage doesn't take out a stormtrooper.  You have to do 6 damage (unless you remove the minion with a crit)

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So during the Whisper Base mission, our group encountered its first minions - guarding the command room. A group of three Stormtroopers, so wound threshold of 15. They would also have a soak value of 15 (5x3).

Minions grouping is essentially a method of treating a group of low level characters as a single high level one in most regards. So things like soak don't stack. One hit against the entire group will only have to worry about 5 points of soak.

 

 

One player tosses a stun grenade, resolves modifiers, etc. and ends up dealing 11 damage. The grenade apparently does both stun and blast damage (at least that's what the character folio says - ?). Since any strain damage would just be counted as wounds, we started counting the damage against the minion's soak score. At this point, I have a lot of questions.

Just a mention, Blast is an activated quality. This means when you make an attack, to utilize blast you need to either hit with 2 advantage, or miss with 3 advantage to activate it. When activated it applies a hit that does damage equal to the blast rating to all characters Engaged with the target. In the case of a minion group (which will usually be Engaged to each other) this means 1 hit for each member.

 

So say you hit a Group of 6 stormtroopers (soak 5) with a Blast 6. After soak that's only one damage, but it's applied once for each trooper, totaling out to 6 damage. Minion group wounds are pooled, so the blast removes one trooper, and leaves another with 1 wound, the rest remain unharmed.

 

 

1) When a weapons does both stun and blast damage, are they counted together? It seems that the blast damage would be counted against the enemy NPC as normal, and the stun damage would cause them to be disoriented (adding a setback die to skill checks per round of stun damage). So does the PC role separately for each type of damage? So confused.

Stun is a passive quality, so if a weapon does stun damage, it always applies. Stun, like most passive quality, will automatically apply to hits generated by Blast as well. Stun allows damage to be applied to a targets Strain instead of as Wounds. In the case of targets without Strain, it's technically applied as wounds, but the GM should note for the narrative that the targets are rendered unconscious by the attack instead of killed.

 

Blast and Disorient are both active qualities and require the expenditure of 2 Advantage each to activate. So to Blast and Disorient you need 4 Advantage on the attack.

 

 

-----------a) However - NPC's rarely have to make skill checks in combat, so how does a setback die penalize them in the first place? Shouldn't the setback be applies to their next attack role, or (as in D&D rules) cause the player to miss X amount of rounds until the effect wears off?

An attack is considered a kind of skill check in this system, so the setback applies.

 

 

2) When any weapons does less damage than the collective soak value of the minions, how does that work, exactly? If I apply 11 damage to a soak value of 15, it leaves 3 - meaning no wound damage was inflicted at all. It seems nearly impossible to overcome the NPC soak value to do any wound damage. In our case, if we don't triple the soak value to reflect the number of minions (15) and instead consider them to have a collective soak value of only 5, that leaves 6 points of wound damage, which, if I understand correctly, would kill 1 minion, with a single wound damage point leftover for the next minion. Which seems wrong to me also, because stun grenades don't kill people.

See above, your second interpretation is correct. They have a collective soak of 5, so hitting them for 11 damage would inflict 6 "wounds" and KO one.

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Thanks guys, that actually clarifies everything I was confused about! I've ordered the full blown core rulebook so hopefully that will give me a deeper hold on some of these basics. I'm used to D&D where the GM randomly decides a lot of things that are structured in Rebellion by the up and downgrade die, and the advantage and threat symbols. I really like it, just need more time to get used to it. Planning to finish Whisper Base and start on Shadowpoint Wednesday. Then I may let the group customize their own characters so they can be a little more creative with their equipment and such. 

 

Thanks again!

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Thanks guys, that actually clarifies everything I was confused about! I've ordered the full blown core rulebook so hopefully that will give me a deeper hold on some of these basics. I'm used to D&D where the GM randomly decides a lot of things that are structured in Rebellion by the up and downgrade die, and the advantage and threat symbols. I really like it, just need more time to get used to it. Planning to finish Whisper Base and start on Shadowpoint Wednesday. Then I may let the group customize their own characters so they can be a little more creative with their equipment and such. 

 

Thanks again!

 

You'll get used to it.

 

Some tips:

  • Unlearn what you have learned.
  • Keep the action flowing.
  • Increase a difficulty to make it harder, Upgrade to make it more dangerous.
  • More dice = better (usually)
  • The rounds in star Wars last a minute or so and each attack roll represented several attacks (usually).
  • Keep your GM camera wide, don't zoom in to the room or area.
  • Star Wars Adversaries aren't monsters locked in a dungeon room. Call for backup, run away when things go bad, move the action down the street.
  • Don't lash your Schwartz to maps. Maps are good, but if the player rolls a triumph and says there's a _____ there even though it's not on the map... unless it causes problems put the _____ on the map. Try not using maps, or only using maps for range tracking. It'll take some getting used to, but it's kinda liberating.
  • Yes, vehicle combat is kinda weird, but it works pretty well (usually). The thing to understand is, like personal combat, it's build for speed and cinematic action. Vehicle encounters rarely last more then a few turns.
  • Stormtroopers are pretty nasty if properly deployed and supported.
  • TIE Fighters are actually pretty effective spacefighters... if you know what they are built to do and the tactics they need to use.
  • Starfighter combat can be pretty quick and deadly unless the GM takes measures to make it not.
  • Get the GM kit. The Squad/Squadron Rules alone are worth it.

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Thanks guys, that actually clarifies everything I was confused about! I've ordered the full blown core rulebook so hopefully that will give me a deeper hold on some of these basics. I'm used to D&D where the GM randomly decides a lot of things that are structured in Rebellion by the up and downgrade die, and the advantage and threat symbols. I really like it, just need more time to get used to it. Planning to finish Whisper Base and start on Shadowpoint Wednesday. Then I may let the group customize their own characters so they can be a little more creative with their equipment and such. 

 

Thanks again!

 

You'll get used to it.

 

Some tips:

  • Star Wars Adversaries aren't monsters locked in a dungeon room. Call for backup,

Never thought of that, my players will hate you forever.

VictorDenn and SFC Snuffy like this

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Do minion groups reduce in capability as they take casualties. original 3 member minion group with 3 ability and group skill rolls gyy. After losing their buddy, do they exact revenge with only ggy?

 

I couldn't find guidance on minion group size, seems like 3-4.

 

Yes there group skill goes down with each minion killed. Which makes sense as less guns are pointing now at the PCs as well. You slowly, but surely shoot down a group of 10 stormtroopers to something harmless which might actually surrender once most of their buddies are down and their fear check fails badly. ;-)

 

Always remember those fear checks :D

 

Speaking of remembering:

 

Vehicle combat is deadly, but most starships have eject systems or escape pods, so even when you vaporize an fighter in a single turn, it does not mean that the pilot has to be dead. 

Vehicle combat favors the one who is able to gain the advantage. Whoever has the advantage is calling the arcs they are attacking each other, meaning that if you are on someone's six they usually can not fire back. 

To gaining that advantage is a lot easier when flyling at high speeds, making those TIEs and TIE-Interceptors pretty effective at dog fighting. Refer to page 247, table 7-3, the great thing about the X-Wing is that the astromech can increase the speed to 6 at the cost of an astromech maneuver (see Stay on Target p.72-73)

Edited by SEApocalypse
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