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ApocalypseZero

Forged in Battle - quick review

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I picked this up yesterday at Gen Con and did a quick run over the book. It's like all the other AoR Career books for the most part. So, the layout isn't anything new. Some highlights and lowlights.....

 

Species: Elom, Elomin, Kyuzu, and Shistavenan

Interesting choices. A fan of the Shitavenan just due to the idea that they remind me of the Canine races from Palladium Books (a fan of the Wolfen). Nothing game breaking here, no special abilities of awesomeness or awkwardness.

 

Specs: Heavy, Trailblazer, Vanguard

Biggest Con for me: The Heavy. It's the same as the Edge one. Nothing changed. I was hoping a little tweak here or there. Course, I now just thought about the Pilot specs, if they are the same, then I can let this go.

 

Trailblazer feels like a Scout or Ranger. Interesting but nothing outstanding in my eyes.

 

Vanguard: So take Marauder, replace the Melee Weapons centric idea to Ranged Weapons and go. Interesting Talent: allowing one to suffer 2 Strain to reduce the difficulty of a Ranged attack made at Engaged Target. I'm already thinking about a Vanguard Gunslinger being ugly. 

 

Signature Abilities: The Bigger They Are.... and Unmatched Courage

They feel really good for Soldiers. Can re-enact many movie moments with these two. Unmatched Courage could be a game changer as well.

 

Weapons: 

Another lowlight.......Breach Personal Ranged Weapons, including an Ion Disrupter with Breach 1, Blast 6. There's like 4-6 guns with Breach, and many weapons have fluff text bonuses or penalties not shown in the stat box. At least the Gunnery weapons feel more like Emplacements (like E-Web), which could be used to cut down of players wanting them.

 

Vehicles:

Couple of exciting ones, like the Clone Crawler from Rebels season 2, some other interesting ships. Lots of Clone Wars era stuff.

 

Modular Encounters: I just perused. One interesting thing I seen was Fortifications, which looks similar to Bases/Homesteads/Businesses. I need to delve farther into that.

 

There you go, hope I don't turn you away from it. Feel s like a good book to me, with just a few issues. (all personal though)

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I picked this up yesterday at Gen Con and did a quick run over the book. It's like all the other AoR Career books for the most part. So, the layout isn't anything new. Some highlights and lowlights.....

 

Species: Elom, Elomin, Kyuzu, and Shistavenan

Interesting choices. A fan of the Shitavenan just due to the idea that they remind me of the Canine races from Palladium Books (a fan of the Wolfen). Nothing game breaking here, no special abilities of awesomeness or awkwardness.

 

Specs: Heavy, Trailblazer, Vanguard

Biggest Con for me: The Heavy. It's the same as the Edge one. Nothing changed. I was hoping a little tweak here or there. Course, I now just thought about the Pilot specs, if they are the same, then I can let this go.

 

Trailblazer feels like a Scout or Ranger. Interesting but nothing outstanding in my eyes.

 

Vanguard: So take Marauder, replace the Melee Weapons centric idea to Ranged Weapons and go. Interesting Talent: allowing one to suffer 2 Strain to reduce the difficulty of a Ranged attack made at Engaged Target. I'm already thinking about a Vanguard Gunslinger being ugly.

Four species? In a career book? Huh. The inclusion of the Elomin just took a bat to the kneecaps of my theory that they're staying away from species only found in the EU (I was actually hoping they would show up eventually).

 

As for Heavy, yeah, Pilot, Driver, Mechanic, Scout, and Slicer are all identical between Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion. No reason Heavy shouldn't be.

 

Are there any appearances of the Prime Positions or Suppressing Fire talents anywhere.

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Sounds like this might be a "must have" for anyone wanting to go Clone Wars era.

 

 

At least the Gunnery weapons feel more like Emplacements (like E-Web)

Are you saying the E-web is a unique statted weapon in the book, or just that there's a lot of heavy support weapons that would probably pair best with Tripods and Steadycam mounts?

 

 

Modular Encounters: I just perused. One interesting thing I seen was Fortifications, which looks similar to Bases/Homesteads/Businesses. I need to delve farther into that.

Interested in where this goes.

 

 

Kyuzo

Please tell me the frisbee helmet is an option...

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Breach Personal Ranged Weapons, including an Ion Disrupter with Breach 1, Blast 6. There's like 4-6 guns with Breach, and many weapons have fluff text bonuses or penalties not shown in the stat box.

 

Are you sure it's Breach and not Pierce? Breach is typically a vehicular-scale trait, and it ignores armor. Pierce is personal scale and ignores soak.

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I picked this up yesterday at Gen Con and did a quick run over the book. It's like all the other AoR Career books for the most part. So, the layout isn't anything new. Some highlights and lowlights.....

 

Species: Elom, Elomin, Kyuzu, and Shistavenan

Interesting choices. A fan of the Shitavenan just due to the idea that they remind me of the Canine races from Palladium Books (a fan of the Wolfen). Nothing game breaking here, no special abilities of awesomeness or awkwardness.

 

Specs: Heavy, Trailblazer, Vanguard

Biggest Con for me: The Heavy. It's the same as the Edge one. Nothing changed. I was hoping a little tweak here or there. Course, I now just thought about the Pilot specs, if they are the same, then I can let this go.

 

Trailblazer feels like a Scout or Ranger. Interesting but nothing outstanding in my eyes.

 

Vanguard: So take Marauder, replace the Melee Weapons centric idea to Ranged Weapons and go. Interesting Talent: allowing one to suffer 2 Strain to reduce the difficulty of a Ranged attack made at Engaged Target. I'm already thinking about a Vanguard Gunslinger being ugly.

Four species? In a career book? Huh. The inclusion of the Elomin just took a bat to the kneecaps of my theory that they're staying away from species only found in the EU (I was actually hoping they would show up eventually).

 

As for Heavy, yeah, Pilot, Driver, Mechanic, Scout, and Slicer are all identical between Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion. No reason Heavy shouldn't be.

 

Are there any appearances of the Prime Positions or Suppressing Fire talents anywhere.

 

 

Prime Positions shows up only in the Trailblazer. Supressing Fire shows up twice, can't remember what spec though. 

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The Emplacement Weapons seem to be like the E-Web as in mounted. Tripods and Stabilizers are noted in a couple of weapons. An interesting one is the Rotary Barrel Repeating Blaster (very similar to the Sidewinder from Dangerous Covenants) as this one is Ranged Heavy, not Gunnery. A couple of the weapons have Autofire (Only), as in they MUST Autofire. 

 

As for Breach, YES BREACH! I saw several with Breach 1 and one with Breach 2. Also, the Pulse Cannon, a Ranged Heavy Rifle, has an option to Mag Dump from a Breach 1, Vicious 3 single shot instead of the normal Pierce 2 shots. Another saving grace, Prepare and Slow Firing on many weapons as well. 

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As for Breach, YES BREACH! I saw several with Breach 1 and one with Breach 2. Also, the Pulse Cannon, a Ranged Heavy Rifle, has an option to Mag Dump from a Breach 1, Vicious 3 single shot instead of the normal Pierce 2 shots.

O.O Jeep+Bus.....

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Well, if the Breach weapons have things like Prepare or Slow-Firing or even both, then that cuts down on the weapon's value.

 

We had the E-11 Sniper Rifle in Enter the Unknown, which was at the time seen as one of the more brutal Ranged (Heavy) weapons in the game, but the Slow-Firing 1 meant only one shot every other round, which cut down on how nasty a PC could be with that weapon.

 

I also wonder if Cumbersome is something that shows up a lot with those new weapons.  After all, not every PC is going to grab the Heavy spec for ranks in Burly, and most "shooty shooty" builds tend not to invest all that much into Brawn.

 

Vanguard certainly sounds interesting.

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So the Vanguard has Dynamic Fire, huh? I was wondering if it would show up outside the Recruit. Maybe a Spy spec will have Creative Killer?

Would you be willing to map out the spec trees for the Trailblazer and Vanguard for us?

And maybe the Signature abilities, too, while your at it?

Edited by Absol197

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Probably don't want to do a picture, but maybe just list the tiers out, like so?

"Talent 1" "Talent 2" / "Talent 3" "Talent 4"

Where a / indicates it doesn't connect horizontally, and underline means it doesn't connect down?

Remember, you got the book first! It is your sacred duty to tell us everything there is to know!

In game terms: Your Duty is Spoiler Alert 50, and we just rolled a 44 on the party Duty chart! Hop to it, Soldier!

Edited by Absol197

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Biggest Con for me: The Heavy. It's the same as the Edge one. Nothing changed. I was hoping a little tweak here or there. Course, I now just thought about the Pilot specs, if they are the same, then I can let this go.

It didn't need tweaking. They've left dupes in the game few and far between and it fits just fine. It being the same is completely ok. The lines are meant to be separate as well as compatible.

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The idea of duplicating instead of modifying comes down to game balance. If an existing Specialisation fits into another career then they will duplicate it. This prevents excessive options to optimise with unique talents. The changes to career skills, related career Specialisations and Signature Abilities enough to make a big difference to the feel of the Specialisation.

 

So far we have the following duplicates:

 

 

Pilot, Driver, Mechanic, Scout, and Slicer are all identical between Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion

 

Its quite possible that Heavy wont be the last either, we still need the Bounty Hunter, Spy and Engineer books. Given that Ace has 2 duplicates then its possible Spy or Engineer could have another duplicate each. Bounty Hunter could duplicate Rigger i guess, but i cant think of other Specs we have seen that would fit.

 

As an example the Ace Pilot is a very different beast to the Smuggler Pilot just with the Signature Abilities. Add in the completely different Career skills and its an entirely different beast before you even look at the other Specialisations that it has cheaper access to.

 

Heavy will have slightly less variance in Skills, but still a variation, the Career options and Signature Abilities will be the biggest differentiator. Last One Standing makes a Hired Gun amazing at crowd control and fits the heavy spec well... but its The Bigger They Are that really changes things for a Heavy. Suddenly they go from a mook mower to a tank buster, very different.

 

I wouldn't expect any Duplicates between FaD and the other lines, they are very different in direction, and we are yet to see an FaD Spec without a Force Talent, something  the other 2 lines have no right to contain (other than the universal specs)

Edited by Richardbuxton

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Guest cimmerianthief

@Richardbuxton-

 

Thanks for the analysis. Do naming conventions matter at all? Have any skills, talents, etc. been printed that closely read as: 'All/Only Heavies can do XX?' 

 

I ask this question because I don't think I understand its game effects: If I chose Ace (Pilot), and (insert reason why) career dipped into Smuggler (Pilot), I might do so to earn...

* New career skills

* Opportunities to buy more same-named or similarly useful new or ranked talents

* Story effect (I was an Ace, something something happened, and now I'm a smuggler.)

* Access to signature abilities or talents ("Dedication) not found/repeated under my own original career talent tree

 

At the end of the day, if no links are found about how careers are named and what benefits those shared names have, I must continue to think that FFG is just mailing-in career specialization names and repeated species in other books. C'mon- they've already raised the bar quite high with their own content. To fall asleep behind the wheel of interesting and unique names is just ... disappointing. Names can mean whatever- unless one recalls or reads the talent tree or career skills, can anyone else tell me how different a Hotshot is from a Starfighter Ace? How about a Hunter and a Pathfinder? Without game knowledge, we could presume both former classes like to fly starcrafts in excitingly talented ways. Yup. Only when we dig into the books do we see differences (and similarities). Still, even if they were almost identical, I'd hate for both to be called Daredevil or something equally as unimaginative as Heavy, Mechanic, etc. Once, is fine. Twice? Is all of the imagination gone from Disney-owned products so soon? Will we see a new Lannik in the Bounty Hunter sourcebook, too? 

 

In a game that pushes playgroups a lot to develop cooperative and imaginative ideas...they got called for a false start on the goal line during 3rd and 1, after an amazing 99 yard strike to get them there.

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Naming conventions are very important in this system, all duplicate Specialisations are "the same" Specialisations (actually the same can be said for Talents too, you only ever buy an unranked talent once, any further ranks in other specialisations then are automatically pre-purchased when you reach them). This means that if your an Ace Pilot you CAN NOT buy into the Smuggler Pilot Specialisation, your already a pilot just with a different background.

 

Just imagine it like a real world Commercial Pilot and a Navy Fighter Pilot. they both know their way around a plane, both could likely (with a little training) get each others plane off the ground... but they both have very very different backgrounds in their training. the material they have had to learn is entirely different. Quickly learning to fly the others plane is not the same as going through the entire process of training to BE that other person. 

 

Obviously this example falls down a little in that in real life people can change careers, where FFG made the game design decision that a PC can only ever have a single Career even if they can branch out to unrelated Specialisations. But the basic idea is still the same.

 

Engineer Mechanic and Technician Mechanic is the same, the engineer knows weapons of war inside out, the Tech is much more on the fringe dealing with everyday moisture farm equipment.

Scouts in the Army have a different focus to Explorer Scouts, one is looking for targets the other resources for colonists.

A Driver in the military is very very different to a Driver in a colony on the fringe, even if their core abilities are the same

A Slicer Tech is focused on maintaining old outdated machinery or slicing for criminal purposes... A Spy is purely in it for espionage, yet their core skills are again very similar.

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Keep in mind that you cannot buy the same spec more than once. So if you're an Ace, and you started with the Pilot spec, you can't buy the Pilot spec again as a Smuggler spec.

The difference in career skills ends up looking like this. If you're an Ace who starts as a Pilot, you have the following career skills:

Astrogation(x2), Cool, Gunnery (x2), Mechanics, Perception, Piloting (Planetary) (x2), Piloting (Space) (x2), Ranged (Light)

Additionally, you could attach either This One is Mine (initiating a ship on ship duel against the target) or Unmatched Survivability (being able to keep your ship going even when it should be falling apart at the seams) to the bottom.

If you're a Smuggler who starts as a Pilot, you have the following career skills:

Astrogation, Coordination, Deception, Gunnery, Knowledge (Underworld), Perception, Piloting (Planetary), Piloting (Space) (x2), Skulduggery, Streetwise, Vigilance

Additionally, you could attach either Narrow Escape (slipping out of any encounter without a trace) or Unmatched Fortune (optimizing a roll when you're in a jam) to the bottom.

The two are similar because they're both Pilots, but there are important differences.

It's not a lack of creativity, it's not creating more system bloat, and preventing chances for min maxing. Since you can't take the same spec twice, having two similar specs allows a character to take both and double up on talents. Also, you'll notice that, just like the different species, there are no repeated specs within any one line of the game. No Edge careers repeat specs that other Edge careers have, same with Age and same with Force.

Besides, I think you're over-exaggerating the number of times this has been done. Counting the Soldier and Sentinel books, we have a grand total of 90 specs, and only 6 of them have been repeated. That's only 6.67%, and it's only likely to go down.

As for species, let's see, we've got 80 total races, and 10 repeats, or 12.50%. A bit higher, sure, but once again, that'll go down much more than it goes up.

Edited by Absol197

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Species: Elom, Elomin, Kyuzu, and Shistavenan

Interesting choices. A fan of the Shitavenan just due to the idea that they remind me of the Canine races from Palladium Books (a fan of the Wolfen). Nothing game breaking here, no special abilities of awesomeness or awkwardness.

 

Specs: Heavy, Trailblazer, Vanguard

Biggest Con for me: The Heavy. It's the same as the Edge one. Nothing changed. I was hoping a little tweak here or there. Course, I now just thought about the Pilot specs, if they are the same, then I can let this go.

 

Trailblazer feels like a Scout or Ranger. Interesting but nothing outstanding in my eyes.

 

Vanguard: So take Marauder, replace the Melee Weapons centric idea to Ranged Weapons and go. Interesting Talent: allowing one to suffer 2 Strain to reduce the difficulty of a Ranged attack made at Engaged Target. I'm already thinking about a Vanguard Gunslinger being ugly. 

 

Signature Abilities: The Bigger They Are.... and Unmatched Courage

They feel really good for Soldiers. Can re-enact many movie moments with these two. Unmatched Courage could be a game changer as well.

 

Glad to see another fan of Palladium games out there. I always liked the canine races in Palladium Fantasy.  

 

Trailblazer and Vanguard seem like they'd be really useful for a game centered around a spec-ops or insurgent type unit, or even for an Imperial based campaign as anti-insurgent troops. Both specs seem like they could work well as point-man or tunnel-rat roles. A Vanguard could also be suited to the "door-kicker" type. 

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