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kelpie

Squad and Squadron

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Hi

i was reading Squad and Squadron rules on GM's Screen, but there is something not clear.

Please correct me where i'm wrong

 

1) a PC or important NPC (nemesis or some rival) can "join" up to 11 minions and becoming a single squad/squadron (with a roll)

2) the newly formed squad is now a single unit: now the squad can do only one maneuver (+1 with strain/advantage) and one action

3) the squad can do every action type the leader can do (ie if choosing to shot, the squad use leader's weapon and leader's skill)

4) the squad can do every action type the minions can do (ie if choosing to shot, the squad can use a minion's weapon with minions' skill)

5) enemies can hit the "squad" and not single specific minion (or leader)

6) when hit by enemies, the squad can choose to inflict damage to the leader, as per normal rule

7) when hit by enemies, the squad can choose to direct damage to the minions, killing/destroying/removing one minion for hitting shot

8) leader can do a roll to change formation

9) formation give special bonus/rules that can be applied to squad's actions/maneuver

 

i'm not really sure about (4) and (7).

Particularly: if leader choose to redirect damage to the minion, the minion get normal damage (ie losing wound equal to damage - soak) or if a single minion get removed for single shot, whetever or not the hit's damage is enough to kill one of them, or more

 

Also, i'm not really sure what squad can do. Ie a stormtrooper sergeant within a squad with stormtrooper minion is not a problem; but a PC with pistol in squad with alliance trooper with rifle, can only shot with his pistol, or can the minion shot with their rifle (using minion's skill, weapons, talents, etc, not PC's)

 

ty for your help! :)

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4) Not really. The minion group and the leader essentially become a single entity. So in exchange for being counted as one Sil higher, the leader gets ablative wounds in the form of the group, and the bonuses from the group's formation. He can also make use of Advantage/Triumph in a way that applies to the squad/squadron, like spending a Triumph to have the minions roll their own attack independent of the leaders action. But the Minions don't get to do their own thing just cause, it's gotta hinge off the leader.

 

So that Pistol PC leader with a squadded group can shoot his weapon, or make a leadership check to reorg them, or an athletics check to get himself (and the squad) over a wall, or what have you, and if he get a triumph, then he expends that to have the entire squad fire their rifles in addition to whatever he already had them doing as part of his checks.
 
7) Correct. A minion is removed from play and the hit is considered resolved. This can actually be a really big deal in certain situations. For example, a vehicle firing on a player/rival/ect, or a minion group can be devastating due to the scale difference, easily x2HTing the player, or wiping out the minion group in a single shot due to the x10 damage modifier. When squadded however, that hit can be diverted to a single minion and resolved. So that 50 damage blaster cannon will only remove a single 5 WT minion from the squad, allowing those big battles to be survivable.

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Side question from someone who lacks the GM screen: How do the squad rules affect skill checks? If my Technician builds a bunch of monotask droids to assist with repairs, does it work just like assistance from another character, or does something else kick in?

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Side question from someone who lacks the GM screen: How do the squad rules affect skill checks? If my Technician builds a bunch of monotask droids to assist with repairs, does it work just like assistance from another character, or does something else kick in?

 

The squad leader uses his leadership skill to assign "formations" that each provide a benefit of some kind. So for example the "Dig in" formation gives a setback on attacks targeting the squad, "Close" adds a  boost to attacks made by the squad, and so on.

 

Squadding is really a military/combat oriented thing, so in the case of your "I equip a dozen mouse droids with tool kits and Mechanics skillware and squad with them to repair my ship" example, it would provide no real benefit because there's no formation or advantage/triumph bonus that matches up with that.

 

The closest thing is the "Mission Specialist" formation, which allows the squad leader to use his Leadership skill to have the squad make a limited number of checks in technical type areas (Mechanics, Computers, Medicine, ect). While not quite what you had in mind, this formation would allow a character with a high leadership to do some nifty things, like say a Diplomat to take a number of B-1's as his bodyguards and when confronted with a locked door use his leadership in place of skullduggery, with the narrative that one of the droids is softwared and equipped to pop locks.

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Ghost of Man beat me all to it. There is also a walkthrough sort of scenario I wrote up on the forums a while back that explain what the intent was when I was writing them, though anything FFG says regarding the rules is the actual ruling, as I wasn't privy to playtesting or the subsequent tinkering. 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/109944-gm-screen-squad-rules/page-3

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Hey, it's a **** fine mechanic, especially if you're running a campaign where you need a bigger sense of scale without the character management issues, and/or need a way to mitigate damage while keeping the consequences tangible....

 

My current campaign has started working with it, and by the series finale it's going to be vital to keep the closing battle manageable. Thanks to some rather cold blooded wound mitigation choices one of my players has earned the nickname "Commissar" but it largely works for the character so... yeah, all good....

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Thanks to some rather cold blooded wound mitigation choices one of my players has earned the nickname "Commissar" but it largely works for the character so... yeah, all good....

It's important to note that using a member of your squad to take a hit is not a character choice, but a player choice.  So the player can choose to have the minions take every single hit meant for his character, and it's not the character being callous and hiding behind his minions.  It's just that Redshirts #1-10 are the ones that happened to get blasted.  So the Goody-Two-Shoes Jedi isn't going to be losing a bunch of Morality for sacrificing his men.  Unless he regularly leads them on suicide missions that only he survives, but that's another situation.

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Thanks to some rather cold blooded wound mitigation choices one of my players has earned the nickname "Commissar" but it largely works for the character so... yeah, all good....

It's important to note that using a member of your squad to take a hit is not a character choice, but a player choice.  So the player can choose to have the minions take every single hit meant for his character, and it's not the character being callous and hiding behind his minions.  It's just that Redshirts #1-10 are the ones that happened to get blasted.  So the Goody-Two-Shoes Jedi isn't going to be losing a bunch of Morality for sacrificing his men.  Unless he regularly leads them on suicide missions that only he survives, but that's another situation.

 

When the character in question is a heroic type you're absolutely right. It's combat, people die, and the squad leader is heroically surviving because that's his role in the story.

 

In this case though its more "Screw him, he's just a human anyway, I can find more." kinda thing, but the character in question is known for being cold, callous, and kinda a jerk anyway, so it's an equally valid interpretation to the more heroic sounding option that better fits the character. Plus I get a reason to photoshop a fancy hat on him...

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If you have concerns over what a squad can do, I've been working on a sort of upgraded, more in-depth house rules kind of thing since I can see my FaD campaign turning into "epic Rebellion leadership" here in a few major arcs and wanted to get ready for my "Jedi-to-be" taking an old Hammerhead and being given command of a Sector Force that they're in charge of mustering and pushing around their area of space...

 

Of course, my group is wholly unconcerned with game balance. We just like to have fun at the end of the day, even if it sometimes feels cheap. ^_^ So upgrading a squad by giving it an "AT specialist" and having it fire with a missile tube occasionally - or any of my other shenanigans - may not be the best option for your group. But, yeah, as per RAW those answers are correct.

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I don't see this particular question discussed here regarding squads:

 

When a squad is created who are eligible targets in that squad? The rules indicate that if the leader is targeted then any successful hit can remove a member of the squadron. So does this mean that the squardon, itself, is not a target, and therefore cannot be attacked? the players must choose to attack the leader, or the minion groups that make up the squadron? This seems crucial because it seems that tactically it would only make sense then to target the minion groups first because there would be, on average, more damage sustained via that method than simply targeting the leader and picking off the minions one by one with each successful hit.

 

Going to use these rules tonight, so let me know!

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For my clone wars game, I use a varient- When a Jedi is leading a squad of clones, the jedi can use Reflect to protect his squad. Between a hypothetical jedi's 2 ranks of reflect and a stormClonetrooper's 5 soak, any hit that does less than 8 points is ignored.

 

I'm also willing to soak the extra bookkeeping to have partially wounded clones, with the caviat that the wounded are hit first.

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I don't see this particular question discussed here regarding squads:

 

When a squad is created who are eligible targets in that squad? The rules indicate that if the leader is targeted then any successful hit can remove a member of the squadron. So does this mean that the squardon, itself, is not a target, and therefore cannot be attacked? the players must choose to attack the leader, or the minion groups that make up the squadron? This seems crucial because it seems that tactically it would only make sense then to target the minion groups first because there would be, on average, more damage sustained via that method than simply targeting the leader and picking off the minions one by one with each successful hit.

 

Going to use these rules tonight, so let me know!

When you target the "squad or squadron" it is a single entity. The default is for the squad leader to take the damage, but the player (or GM) can choose to redirect that damage to a single member. That's it. 

Technically, depending on your interpretation, someone could use the aim action to target a specific component to target a specific member of the squad/ron. In this case, so as to not break the rules, I'd make that mean targeting a specific member of that minion group, as opposed to the minion group in general, for exactly the reasons you outlined above. 

And really, on the subject of aiming (assuming you're at all interested in my interpretation of that rule), if a player is only aiming because they want their attack to be more lethal (re: aiming for headshots), I'd interpret that as just adding boost die to the attack, NOT as targeting a specific component. Their goal is to make a more lethal shot, and the additional successes and advantages a boost die can provide can represent more damage, or a crit. The only time a GM should offer the setback dice for aiming at a specific component is when the goal is to achieve a different type of result, such as disarming an opponent, activating or disabling say, a blast door controls, etc. 

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Yeah, you'd have to target the squad as a whole. The way I play it, that's why the "Increase silhouette by 1" come into play... there are sometimes higher/lower difficulties for targeting an opponent d3epending on their size. So the squad itself is definitely the target

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4) Not really. The minion group and the leader essentially become a single entity. So in exchange for being counted as one Sil higher, the leader gets ablative wounds in the form of the group, and the bonuses from the group's formation. He can also make use of Advantage/Triumph in a way that applies to the squad/squadron, like spending a Triumph to have the minions roll their own attack independent of the leaders action. But the Minions don't get to do their own thing just cause, it's gotta hinge off the leader.

 

So that Pistol PC leader with a squadded group can shoot his weapon, or make a leadership check to reorg them, or an athletics check to get himself (and the squad) over a wall, or what have you, and if he get a triumph, then he expends that to have the entire squad fire their rifles in addition to whatever he already had them doing as part of his checks.

 

7) Correct. A minion is removed from play and the hit is considered resolved. This can actually be a really big deal in certain situations. For example, a vehicle firing on a player/rival/ect, or a minion group can be devastating due to the scale difference, easily x2HTing the player, or wiping out the minion group in a single shot due to the x10 damage modifier. When squadded however, that hit can be diverted to a single minion and resolved. So that 50 damage blaster cannon will only remove a single 5 WT minion from the squad, allowing those big battles to be survivable.

I am not really sure if it should work that way or if it's benefitial if it's that way. I can see that KRKappel likes your post so he probably agrees but in the other topic he referenced to in that same page 3, he himself says that it can be interpreted differently and that the playing group can choose how they interpret the rules (they were doing playtests again).

 

I would like to offer the explanation we went with in our group which i think is the better choice because it does not take way from the "immersion" by "not making sense" (why would the minion weapon skills disappear and not be able to use them? can't the leader just point at a target for them to shoot?). 

 

 

In our group the squad formed can choose who's skills they use for the attack. If the leader is a speech type mainly directing his troops, then he might prefer giving his minions to "do their thing" and attack using the normal minion group rules (counting the minions to determine skill level, and using their characteristics score). He himself can increase the attacking skill used if he has at least one rank in it (he is a pc after all). So in this case a Figurehead with mainly training in Ranged-Light (at least 1 rank) would count as an extra minion when forming the dice pool if his minions in the squad would be using Ranged-Light weapons but he won't add anything (not even his characteristics) if they use Melee, Brawl, Ranged-Heavy etc. (he also forgoes doing extra attacks if triumphs are rolled, as his sole contribution is by shouting "shoot at that target !!!" and not any real expertise. This also keeps him from gaining all the advantages without any drawbacks to the situation) 

This also means that for gaining boosts to attacks, these must be gainned via the leadership checks and formations and not the simple maneuvers performed by a single character.

 

In the second option, if the squadron leader is a super soldier, with much combat expertise, he would use his own pool and gain the triumph option by contributing with his personal skill (out maneuvering the enemy and gaining a shot at them by himself while the squad goes out the back and catches him off guard for example) and they contribute by adding more fire power.

Here too because he is in a squad no personal maneuvers can give benefits unless he disbands (not to mention that the squad benefits are a bit stronger as they follow into subsequent turns while maneuver ones do not).

 

 

We decided to go this route because it didn't state otherwise, and because in the Skirmish formation it says it adds the boost to Vigilance "made by the Squad or it's Leader", suggesting a choice of whose better skills to use (A Vigilant commander ready for anything, or the 10 sets of eyes looking in on every corner keeping guard).

 

This seem to use to make the better sense of it while not making squads too over powered. I hope this helps you guys.

Edited by Metushelah

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4) Not really. The minion group and the leader essentially become a single entity. So in exchange for being counted as one Sil higher, the leader gets ablative wounds in the form of the group, and the bonuses from the group's formation. He can also make use of Advantage/Triumph in a way that applies to the squad/squadron, like spending a Triumph to have the minions roll their own attack independent of the leaders action. But the Minions don't get to do their own thing just cause, it's gotta hinge off the leader.

 

So that Pistol PC leader with a squadded group can shoot his weapon, or make a leadership check to reorg them, or an athletics check to get himself (and the squad) over a wall, or what have you, and if he get a triumph, then he expends that to have the entire squad fire their rifles in addition to whatever he already had them doing as part of his checks.

 

7) Correct. A minion is removed from play and the hit is considered resolved. This can actually be a really big deal in certain situations. For example, a vehicle firing on a player/rival/ect, or a minion group can be devastating due to the scale difference, easily x2HTing the player, or wiping out the minion group in a single shot due to the x10 damage modifier. When squadded however, that hit can be diverted to a single minion and resolved. So that 50 damage blaster cannon will only remove a single 5 WT minion from the squad, allowing those big battles to be survivable.

I am not really sure if it should work that way or if it's benefitial if it's that way. I can see that KRKappel likes your post so he probably agrees but in the other topic he referenced to in that same page 3, he himself says that it can be interpreted differently and that the playing group can choose how they interpret the rules (they were doing playtests again).

 

I would like to offer the explanation we went with in our group which i think is the better choice because it does not take way from the "immersion" by "not making sense" (why would the minion weapon skills disappear and not be able to use them? can't the leader just point at a target for them to shoot?). 

 

 

In our group the squad formed can choose who's skills they use for the attack. If the leader is a speech type mainly directing his troops, then he might prefer giving his minions to "do their thing" and attack using the normal minion group rules (counting the minions to determine skill level, and using their characteristics score). He himself can increase the attacking skill used if he has at least one rank in it (he is a pc after all). So in this case a Figurehead with mainly training in Ranged-Light (at least 1 rank) would count as an extra minion when forming the dice pool if his minions in the squad would be using Ranged-Light weapons but he won't add anything (not even his characteristics) if they use Melee, Brawl, Ranged-Heavy etc. (he also forgoes doing extra attacks if triumphs are rolled, as his sole contribution is by shouting "shoot at that target !!!" and not any real expertise. This also keeps him from gaining all the advantages without any drawbacks to the situation) 

This also means that for gaining boosts to attacks, these must be gainned via the leadership checks and formations and not the simple maneuvers performed by a single character.

 

In the second option, if the squadron leader is a super soldier, with much combat expertise, he would use his own pool and gain the triumph option by contributing with his personal skill (out maneuvering the enemy and gaining a shot at them by himself while the squad goes out the back and catches him off guard for example) and they contribute by adding more fire power.

Here too because he is in a squad no personal maneuvers can give benefits unless he disbands (not to mention that the squad benefits are a bit stronger as they follow into subsequent turns while maneuver ones do not).

 

 

We decided to go this route because it didn't state otherwise, and because in the Skirmish formation it says it adds the boost to Vigilance "made by the Squad or it's Leader", suggesting a choice of whose better skills to use (A Vigilant commander ready for anything, or the 10 sets of eyes looking in on every corner keeping guard).

 

This seem to use to make the better sense of it while not making squads too over powered. I hope this helps you guys.

 

I would disagree with this interpretation (though again, as a GM you are free to interpret or use rules at your table in any way for any reason) for two reasons. Both reasons come down to balance. 

 

1.) The squad and squadron rules can really start to feel overpowered by this, and you might stack the maximum number of members (11 I believe) you generate HUGE attack pools every offensive turn. 

2.) You can already do what you want to do by leaving the minions as a separate entity, and having a character direct them to add a boost to an attack. So you are basically just giving those characters the defensive bonus and formation bonuses for free without costing anything in terms of XP or mechanical options. 

Narratively speaking, I assume the rest of the squad is busy engaging the enemy, they aren't just standing around. In Star Wars, people tend to miss a lot. So I assume those minions are trading shots, and keeping the leader defended by providing cover fire and the like. They just aren't hitting anything. Unless you triumph, then someone might be getting hit. I think we did the rules a disservice in the way we named them. It gives an offensive connotation rather than a defensive one. Defensive Screen or Cover Fire rules or something might have been a better name. The rules are less about having a squad or squadron narratively, and more about a new way to utilize minions that help characters defensively rather than just grouping them for offense. 

 

Again, it's your table, so feel free to use the rules in whatever way provides the most fun at your table. I'd just recommend keeping an eye out for those balance issues. 

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I would like to address some of the things you mentioned:

 

How are they getting those HUGE dice pools you are naming? aren't the skills "capped" at 5 meaning the most you might get is 5 yellows and 1 green if you have 6 members in the minion group and they have 6 ability score at the characteristic used (very unlikely, the likely outcome is 3g2y ?)? As far as i understand having more than 6 means the other minions are simply used as a buffer allowing you to keep using that dice pool for some more turns before minion number drops. 

5y1g dice pool is considered huge? (i have some experience with the game but have yet to throw so much at 1 time).

 

Also, If you can use it, so can and should the enemy right?! This will make combat against enemy squads and leaders that more tense.

 

And as you said, in our table we keep it subtle and manageable via RP. The leader in our group doesn't get minions left and right and so "each head counts". This makes it all the more powerful when one gets killed whether by enemy action or by directing damage to him or when he is able to recruit a new one to join his band. We also RP his specialists he get which mean that until he recruits that certain specialist he can't use that skill in the specialist formation. 

(in a way it seems to me like a way to min/max for battle similar to auto-fire rigging or the newly discovered signature ability "last man standing" which can rather quickly derail combat challenges if not addressed by the GM and group).

 

Thank you for answering :) It's and honour and i hope i don't do a disservice by offering this type of interpretation.

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