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venkelos

Rogue Squadron

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How would Rogue Squadron, or a similar unit, function, mechanically? Each member is often an Ace, in their own right, making them Rivals, and Rivals don't group up, like Minions do, while, if hey did, you'd mostly just have the benefits of one Ace, and the rest, despite their skills, would only really be so much strap-on health packs, keeping the leader alive, at their expense, costing you a lot of Aces. However, they do often fly as a group, "in formation", and are a stand-alone squadron, not breaking up, and each attaching to a separate squad of regulars, and helping cover for one another.

Does each fly solo, and just gain no benefits, from the squad, or how would they work, mechanically?

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For NPCs, if you wanted to have each one be an ace quality pilot but still get some bonus from flying in formation you could modify the squadron rules from the AoR GM kit. For example you could say outside combat they can use any of the formations with no penalty, since it's just narrative time. In combat is a bit trickier you could say that they can only work in groups of two (the wingmen working together), and then just use the normal squadron rules by saying that one of them is the "lead" and that they formed a squadron with the other. They could also each work alone making them harder to target and giving them more chances to shoot. That's how I would do it, I think that I would mix it up between groups of 1 and 2, to keep things interesting. 

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Also, a lot of Ace squadrons (including Rogue) had high pilot turnover.  It would not be out of line to have a squadron of 12 pilots consist of 6 rivals and 6 minions, formed into 6 pairs.  The minion will die to save the Ace.

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I think that would work, except it seems weird to have "minions" in a squad of all aces; you don't get into Rogue Squadron while still being a green rookie (after Luke Skywalker did, anyway). Oh well, for the ease of bookkeeping, I suppose there's little point in sweating the small stuff, right?

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Mechanically, they're Minions. Narratively, they're wingmen, highly trained to stay in formation and guard their squad mates.

I shudder at the idea of running an encounter with 12 individual Rival starfighters. That could take hours.

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Yeah, I can see that taking a long time, but it would seem a it odd for "the best of the best" to get shot down by scrubs, all the time. On the other hand, I suppose if you sort of treat those 2-4 wingmen as "health upgrades" with the occasional "spend Advantages to have them take an additional shot, without you in it", kind of thing, they could, counting as one unit, benefit from your Talents, or Adversary, and be as hard to hit as your Rival/Nemesis Ace, maintaining the feel that they, too, are aces. Thank you much!

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You could also give them a minion ability like "for any two Rogue minions added to a squadron, the leader increases their Adversary/tricky target/defense by one" or something along those lines. Gives them more of a benefit while still working within the squadron rules.

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On 8/15/2017 at 1:40 PM, venkelos said:

I think that would work, except it seems weird to have "minions" in a squad of all aces; you don't get into Rogue Squadron while still being a green rookie (after Luke Skywalker did, anyway). Oh well, for the ease of bookkeeping, I suppose there's little point in sweating the small stuff, right?

I get where you're coming from, but part of a good RPG session is making the PCs feel like the heroes. That's difficult to do in such august company as a whole squadron of aces.

If you insist on doing so, keep in mind that the squadron rules can be used in conjunction with the narrative to "bend" things to fit. Consider Wedge guarding Luke's back during the trench run. If you accept Luke & R2 to be PCs with an ablative Minion in Wedge, then it looks like this:

  • Wedge is flying in formation with his deflector shields angled to protect against shots from the rear (this is pure narrative)
  • Wedge takes a hit meant for Luke (mechanically, this is what the squadron rules represent)
  • Luke tells Wedge to bug out and return to base for repairs (narrative again)

Mechanically, the Minion wingman is destroyed and removed from play but narratively it could mean anything from a straight kill to a heroic sacrifice by another pilot to something else entirely.

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Also all an ace is is someone who has gotten 5 kills. A minion can be an ace easily. I think it largely comes from the fact that in WWII if you survived 5 engagements you were likely to survive the war. You learned a LOT in those engagements. Most pilots dont survive their first few combats. This is the whole Idea behind Top Gun and Red Flag. We want to get those first 5 engagements to be in training not in life or death combat.

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Build flights. Each flight is lead by a guy with the squadron leader spec or at least a rival with the "form on me" talent. 

Have fun with long, extended ... who am I kidding, it is still space combat and 72 TIE-fighters are faster done than a 10 man squad of dark troopers. So combat should not even take to long. Best part? You can have clear roles within the squadron and not only Stay on Target, but as well Stay with your Leader. ;-)

You WILL still constantly lose ships and pilots. Anything nemesis or above is worth a rescue mission after a crash landing on the nearest planet. But the rivals? Well, funerals are part trops how to handle such a squadron narrative. 

Daeglan and SFC Snuffy like this

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Posted (edited)

On 8/15/2017 at 1:40 PM, venkelos said:

I think that would work, except it seems weird to have "minions" in a squad of all aces; you don't get into Rogue Squadron while still being a green rookie (after Luke Skywalker did, anyway). Oh well, for the ease of bookkeeping, I suppose there's little point in sweating the small stuff, right?

Remember, in A New Hope Luke wasn't in Rogue Squadron, he was part of Red Group. There was no Rogue Squadron back then. The survivors of the Battle of Yavin formed Rogue Squadron after with Luke as the lead. New pilots were brought into Rogue based on raw talent, not necessarily just duty record, and so very often a talented newbie would join Rogue (look at the Michael Stackpole novels for examples of this). As for the narrative aspect of minions, Snuffy shows a really good example of how they work.

Edited by Kyla
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