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Dafydd

Minions and soak

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When attacking a minion group, does the group as a whole get one soak value, or does each member soak individually?

 

For example, one of my PCs is a Mon Cal sharpshooter.He opens fire on a group of stormtroopers with his trusty blaster rifle and gets two net successes. Added to the base damage of 9, that makes 11 damage, plus another 4 from his Deadly Accuracy talent for having Ranged (Heavy) 4, for a total of 15.

 

Stormtroopers have soak 5 and wound threshold 5. The soak removes 5 damage, leaving 10. The next 5 damage eliminate one stormie. What happens to the last 5? Does another plastic soldier go down, or is it stopped by the second trooper's soak?

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As per the Edge of the Empire FAQ and Errata

 

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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OK, this has made me doubt myself again....

 

Minions do not die when they reach their individual WT, only when they exceed it? So the above group would need to take 6 points of damage to defeat one?

 

The WT does not change when a trooper is defeated... but surely thats just badly worded, even if you view the WT of the group as 15 (for 3 troopers), each time one dies, it doesnt matter if they WT becomes 10, or remains 15... since another 5 damage would kill another? Does it matter which way you track it?

 

In the instance where the group takes 10 damage, does that mean the group only needs to take one more point to defeat the second trooper?

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OK, this has made me doubt myself again....

 

Minions do not die when they reach their individual WT, only when they exceed it? So the above group would need to take 6 points of damage to defeat one?

 

The WT does not change when a trooper is defeated... but surely thats just badly worded, even if you view the WT of the group as 15 (for 3 troopers), each time one dies, it doesnt matter if they WT becomes 10, or remains 15... since another 5 damage would kill another? Does it matter which way you track it?

 

In the instance where the group takes 10 damage, does that mean the group only needs to take one more point to defeat the second trooper?

Yes, Wound Threshold is the number to exceed not the number to achieve. It's confusing because in FFGSW you count up from zero not down from the number. So a PC or NPC with a Wound TH of 10 doesn't lose 10 HP and reach 0 they start at 0 and gain 10 wounds, the next wound then pushes you over the edge and you go down.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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So, essentially, a Minion group with a WT of 15 (5 wounds each), would technically have a total of 18 wounds? You would need to deal 18 wounds to dispatch them all? Correct?

 

That does give them abit more bite.. ive been doing it wrong for 9 months!

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So, essentially, a Minion group with a WT of 15 (5 wounds each), would technically have a total of 18 wounds? You would need to deal 18 wounds to dispatch them all? Correct?

 

That does give them abit more bite.. ive been doing it wrong for 9 months!

Not quite. The first minion drops at net damage (damage minus soak) 6. The second drops at net damage 11. And the third drops at net damage 16.

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So, essentially, a Minion group with a WT of 15 (5 wounds each), would technically have a total of 18 wounds? You would need to deal 18 wounds to dispatch them all? Correct?

 

That does give them abit more bite.. ive been doing it wrong for 9 months!

Not quite. The first minion drops at net damage (damage minus soak) 6. The second drops at net damage 11. And the third drops at net damage 16.

 

 

 

So... is this correct:

 

(Assuming 3 Mins with 5 wounds each).

 

1st shot, does 7 Damage (After Soak). Kills one minion, inflicts 1 wound on the rest.

2nd Shot does 4 Damage (After Soak), this does not kill a minion, but applies 4 more wounds.

3rd Shot does 9 Damage (After Soak), this kills two minions. the first point of damage takes the total above the second minions share, and the remaining is enough to take out the third.

 

?

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So, essentially, a Minion group with a WT of 15 (5 wounds each), would technically have a total of 18 wounds? You would need to deal 18 wounds to dispatch them all? Correct?

 

That does give them abit more bite.. ive been doing it wrong for 9 months!

Not quite. The first minion drops at net damage (damage minus soak) 6. The second drops at net damage 11. And the third drops at net damage 16.

 

 

 

So... is this correct:

 

(Assuming 3 Mins with 5 wounds each).

 

1st shot, does 7 Damage (After Soak). Kills one minion, inflicts 1 wound on the rest.

2nd Shot does 4 Damage (After Soak), this does not kill a minion, but applies 4 more wounds.

3rd Shot does 9 Damage (After Soak), this kills two minions. the first point of damage takes the total above the second minions share, and the remaining is enough to take out the third.

 

?

 

 

Incorrect. A second minion would be dropped after the second shot; after Soak, you've dealt 11 total Wounds, which is enough to drop two minions with a WT of 5.

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Ah.

 

I've been playing it that each time the group does 5 wounds, they would kill a Minion.

 

Essentially treating each minions wounds as their own, rather than lumping it together.. as it seemed more logical and easier to track for me. But it seems thats wrong? (And what you say feels counterintuitive?)

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Ah.

 

I've been playing it that each time the group does 5 wounds, they would kill a Minion.

 

Essentially treating each minions wounds as their own, rather than lumping it together.. as it seemed more logical and easier to track for me. But it seems thats wrong? (And what you say feels counterintuitive?)

 

The entire point of Minion groups is to make it easier bookkeeping, and it sounds on this end like you're trying to make it more complicated than it needs or is supposed to be.

 

A Minion is dropped whenever it takes Wounds that exceed its Wound Threshold; in this example, taking six Wounds drops a Minion with a wound threshold of 5.

 

A group of three such Minions have a collective Wound Threshold of 15, and they lose a Minion whenever they take damage that exceeds 5 (so, in this example, at 6, 11, and 16, upon which the Minion group is defeated).

 

The reason that you pool the Wound Threshold together is for bookkeeping's sake, since Soak is only applied once per hit (itself a bookkeeping consideration).

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The idea is you can field a minion group many Minions in size, but treat it mechanically as a single character.

 

You can track Wounds either way as long as the mechanics work correctly. I do track them individually, but only in that each counter in Roll20 has a wound counter to keep my head straight. I do everything normally as far as actual in game mechanics are concerned. (roll over Wounds, Crit-kills, treat them as a single character for all effects ect).

Edited by Ghostofman

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For simplicity's sake I treat minions differently than rivals and nemeses and allow them to drop when they take wounds equal to their threshold rather than needing the requisite "1 beyond WT". It didn't make sense to me for a group of 3 minions with WT of 5 to lose the first minion after taking 6 wounds, yet only need 5 more to lose the next minion. Plus, since a critical hit versus a minion group applies a number of wounds equal to one minion's WT (which is supposed to eliminate one of the yellow bastiches), I feel somewhat supported in this decision by the rules. Whichever way works best and quickest for you is the way you should go but just remember:They're minions! don't spend too much time on them. In the words of a different genre's famous captain: "Let! Them! Die!"

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For simplicity's sake I treat minions differently than rivals and nemeses and allow them to drop when they take wounds equal to their threshold rather than needing the requisite "1 beyond WT". It didn't make sense to me for a group of 3 minions with WT of 5 to lose the first minion after taking 6 wounds, yet only need 5 more to lose the next minion. Plus, since a critical hit versus a minion group applies a number of wounds equal to one minion's WT (which is supposed to eliminate one of the yellow bastiches), I feel somewhat supported in this decision by the rules. Whichever way works best and quickest for you is the way you should go but just remember:They're minions! don't spend too much time on them. In the words of a different genre's famous captain: "Let! Them! Die!"

If you know how it's supposed to work why not just do it? It's not Calculus or anything just basic math... Regardless you just made your minions 20%+- weaker.

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For simplicity's sake I treat minions differently than rivals and nemeses and allow them to drop when they take wounds equal to their threshold rather than needing the requisite "1 beyond WT". It didn't make sense to me for a group of 3 minions with WT of 5 to lose the first minion after taking 6 wounds, yet only need 5 more to lose the next minion. Plus, since a critical hit versus a minion group applies a number of wounds equal to one minion's WT (which is supposed to eliminate one of the yellow bastiches), I feel somewhat supported in this decision by the rules. Whichever way works best and quickest for you is the way you should go but just remember:They're minions! don't spend too much time on them. In the words of a different genre's famous captain: "Let! Them! Die!"

If you know how it's supposed to work why not just do it? It's not Calculus or anything just basic math... Regardless you just made your minions 20%+- weaker.

 

Because:

 

A) Basic math states that reducing the amount of wounds needed to defeat an entire group of minions from 16 to 15 (using 3 minions each with a WT of 5 again) makes them nowhere near 20% weaker. It's just a single wound and is negligible. If a player inflicts 10 damage and then gets a critical hit on that group, I'm going to write off that minion group, not make the players keep shooting in order to do that last point of damage.

 

B) A critical hit only adds the amount of a single minion's wound threshold, NOT the Wound Threshold +1. My method makes it easier for me to keep track in my head without having to carry the 1, which makes play simpler and faster.

 

C) Why on earth does that first minion need 6 wounds to drop when all of the ones after need 5? The rule doesn't make sense for minion groups.

 

D) I have more minions. They're in a hole in my pocket in an unlimited amount, so regardless of whether it makes an actual difference I can still drop the anvil of overwhelming hordes on the players if I wish to.

 

These are just my reasons. Again, whatever works for you is best and offering advice is never a bad thing if it has the potential to be helpful.

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For simplicity's sake I treat minions differently than rivals and nemeses and allow them to drop when they take wounds equal to their threshold rather than needing the requisite "1 beyond WT". It didn't make sense to me for a group of 3 minions with WT of 5 to lose the first minion after taking 6 wounds, yet only need 5 more to lose the next minion. Plus, since a critical hit versus a minion group applies a number of wounds equal to one minion's WT (which is supposed to eliminate one of the yellow bastiches), I feel somewhat supported in this decision by the rules. Whichever way works best and quickest for you is the way you should go but just remember:They're minions! don't spend too much time on them. In the words of a different genre's famous captain: "Let! Them! Die!"

If you know how it's supposed to work why not just do it? It's not Calculus or anything just basic math... Regardless you just made your minions 20%+- weaker.

 

Because:

 

A) Basic math states that reducing the amount of wounds needed to defeat an entire group of minions from 16 to 15 (using 3 minions each with a WT of 5 again) makes them nowhere near 20% weaker. It's just a single wound and is negligible. If a player inflicts 10 damage and then gets a critical hit on that group, I'm going to write off that minion group, not make the players keep shooting in order to do that last point of damage.

 

B) A critical hit only adds the amount of a single minion's wound threshold, NOT the Wound Threshold +1. My method makes it easier for me to keep track in my head without having to carry the 1, which makes play simpler and faster.

 

C) Why on earth does that first minion need 6 wounds to drop when all of the ones after need 5? The rule doesn't make sense for minion groups.

 

D) I have more minions. They're in a hole in my pocket in an unlimited amount, so regardless of whether it makes an actual difference I can still drop the anvil of overwhelming hordes on the players if I wish to.

 

These are just my reasons. Again, whatever works for you is best and offering advice is never a bad thing if it has the potential to be helpful.

 

It's 20% for the first one, I should have been more clear. The game is balanced for counting up and passing the Threshold not just reaching it. Weapon damage, Soak, the number of wounds NPCs and PCs can take, have all been factored in. This is why Mods, Skills, Talents, and Attributes that help you get even a single extra point of damage are so valuable. Hand wave it away and you negate those benefits that the Players pay for.

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It's 20% for the first one, I should have been more clear. The game is balanced for counting up and passing the Threshold not just reaching it. Weapon damage, Soak, the number of wounds NPCs and PCs can take, have all been factored in. This is why Mods, Skills, Talents, and Attributes that help you get even a single extra point of damage are so valuable. Hand wave it away and you negate those benefits that the Players pay for.

 

 

First off, thank you for asking about this. I tend to use RAW as much as possible so that my players have an idea of how things work, and I don't disregard rules lightly for specifically this reason. This type of discourse helps me to arrange my thoughts on the matter, and helps me better understand my process. And this forum is particularly helpful for that.

 

Secondly, In all honesty I used to run it by the book. But during the middle of a fight 5 sessions in I realized that for that fight I hadn't been requiring the extra point of damage on the first minion... and it didn't change a thing. 

 

I feel that the checks and balances in place get much more traction with rivals and nemeses (which I use in the same way that you do) than with minions. And I think you would be hard-pressed to find a player that would complain that it should have taken one more point of damage to knock out that first minion. 

 

As for letting the players get the mileage out of all of the bells and whistles that they sink their hard-fought experience into: I can custom-tailor any number of rivals and a nemesis or two, or I can add another minion group. Or another minion into a group to make it bigger. In the war of escalation between GM and player XP we can do as we pretty please with sugar, a cherry and a thermal detonator on top. That's what tailoring encounters to your PC's is all about. Trust me, nothing gets lost and it's still challenging for the players.

 

One of the best GM's I've ever had once told me "It doesn't matter if you max out all of your character's stats. I can STILL make up something that would kill you during the first round of combat." And he was right. The game really doesn't come down to stats or the following of the most minuscule of rules. It's the story that drives the majority of us. The game system is simply our Lego building blocks for that, and we don't have to use every piece. 

 

That being said, I LOVE this system, and am normally loathe to using home-brew rules. This just happens to be the smallest of exceptions.

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Well said and I agree on the forums helping me to focus my thoughts.  RAW was officially FAQed with this specific question, but I don't take exception to the way you are handling it.  I respect your observation and mileage and that in the end it is the journey that we take and the story that is told that is where the memories are made and treasured.  None of us will remember all the little outcomes that got us there... yes, we'll remember some of the epic moments (both good and bad).  This is a great system to love, especially for how it has changed how I play a style of game that I have played since the original Star Wars was in theaters.  Pretty nifty trick that...

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