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FR Tactical War: RT Mini Games: In Details

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Hello guys,

Today I would like to start a second serie of articles about mini games of Rogue Trader.


By mini game I mean additional mechanics helping play specific parts of the game/rules other than just role playing. Combat rules, for instance, is the example that everyone knows. RT also contains such integral to it's spirit mini games as acquisition and space combat. BFK book adds ground war mini game and SoI adds colony mechanic.

Mini games help enrich the game and what is important give players and GM more interesting situations, experience, challenges, decisions and fun. It can help to bring more war to those who crave it, more strategic development and planning with colonies, starship pirating and adventures depending on what players with GM want and like. It helps change the pace of the game, points of view, keep adventures unique and fresh, helps players to interact in new ways exploring their own and each other characters. There is only one rule - mini game should give ability for all players to be involved.

So, the goal of this serie is to talk about mini games which require more details such as RT acquisitions, ITS navigation and BFK ground wars or offer new mini games we developed for RT such as already described crafting. I plan to go over Social Events, Racing and Dynasty Agents.


Lets start with Frozen Reaches tactical war mini game and add some details.

It is a great mini game which focuses more on tactical decision of the war like balance between attack, defense and scouting, prioritizing which objectives are more important and how to react to unexpected situations. It has different pace of time - days, weeks, months - provides easy combat resolve, opens up opportunities for PCs timely decisions and leadership.



The missing part is 'Strength' calculation.

If you are not playing vanilla version but fitting it for your specific party storyline you might notice that some of Strength even in vanilla versions doesn't make much sense. Pre-defined Strength numbers has illogical relation even relatively to each other not to mention the possibility for PCs to have on the battlefield additional or different troops and starship they brought on the mission.



Our take is to bring general simple rules for Strength calculation based on 3 main troop types: infantry, vehicles and monster creatures. General strength is divided on 3 broad categories - basic unit strength, troop rank and gear. Final strength is sum of these all categories for the unit.

Separate calculation is used for starships.



1. Basic unit strength

Starting with infantry inconsistencies of batallion of levy regiments trained for ground war and company of mustered armsmen from ship having same strength - 15 vs 16. And then skitarii feared by many with superior armour and weaponry at measly strength 10. It feels wrong and doesn't set a good and comprehensive template for own RT troops. Table 1 is our take on how to consistently grade infantry trying to be around same numbers as Frozen Reaches suggests:

Table 1. Determining Infantry basic strength

  • Strength     Unit                Manpower
  • -6                 Team               1-10
  • -3                 Squad             10-30 
  • +1                Platoon           30-100
  • +3                Company        100-300
  • +6                Battalion         300-1000 
  • +10              Regiment       1000-3000
  • +15              Brigade          3000-10000
  • +21              Division          10000-30000
  • +28              Corps              30000-100000
  • +35              Army               100000-300000


There is no much choise of vehicles so it was decided to rate basic strength by quantity and vehicle size - surely Bane Blade can do more than Lehmann Russ:

Table 2. Determining Vehicles basic strength

  • Strength     Unit               Quantity
  • +1                 Team            1-10
  • +3                 Squad           10-30
  • +6                 Platoon         30-100
  • +10               Company     100-300
  • +15               Battalion      300-1000
  • +21               Regiment     1000-3000
  • +28               Brigade        3000-10000
  • +36               Division        10000-30000
  • +45               Corps            30000-100000
  • +55               Army             100000-300000

Table 3. Vehicle size strength modifier

  • Strength      Size
  • +5                  Hulking
  • +6                  Enormous
  • +7                  Massive
  • +8                  Immense
  • +9                  Monumental
  • +10                Titanical


As a general type we should always consider involvement for monster creatures which is a mix of number of Infantry and size as Vehicles do:

Table 4. Determining Monster Creatures basic strength

  • Strength        Unit              Quantity
  • -3                    Team             1-10
  • +1                   Squad           10-30
  • +3                   Platoon         30-100
  • +6                   Company      100-300
  • +10                 Battalion       300-1000
  • +15                 Regiment     1000-3000
  • +21                 Brigade         3000-10000
  • +28                 Division        10000-30000
  • +36                 Corps            30000-100000
  • +45                 Army             100000-300000

Table 5. Monster Creature size moodifier

  • Strength        Size
  • 0                     Hulking
  • +1                   Enormous
  • +2                   Massive
  • +3                   Immense
  • +4                   Monumental
  • +5                   Titanical


2. Troops rank

In order to acknowledge troops training slighlty modified BFK.p126 Table 4-5 NPC Troop Quality is used:

Table 6. Determine unit combat rank effectiveness

  • Strength         Quality              Skils and Characteritics
  • +2                     Conscript         20
  • +3                     Volunteer         30
  • +4                     Professional    40
  • +5                     Veteran            50
  • +6                     Elite                  60


3. Gear and abilities

Let's top it up with some troop specialtis and uniqness and we ready to fight.

Table 7. Determine wargear, abilities & support strength modifier (X/Y equals Min/Max)

  • Strength          Feature
  • +1/+3                Support Vehicles
  • +1/+3                Mainline Vehicles
  • +1/+3                Air Support
  • +1/+3                Esoteric 
  • +1/+2                Specialist Equipment
  • +1/+3                Superior Arms and Armour
  • +1                      Fear Rating (+1 per Fear value)
  • +1                      Unnatural Traits (+1 per each Unnatural stats trait number)
  • etc                      ...


4. Starship Strength calculation

Rules of calculating own fleet suggested by Frozen Reaches are good, but calculation of Aegis light cruiser of Strength 40 and "The Bulwark: The Bulwark is extremely powerful and deadly" Strength 10 is not consistent with them. Also, frigate Starweaver with Strength 16 and light cruiser Ordained Destiny Strength 14 make little sense.

Just couple changes were made. One is to extend ship strength list with battle cruisers (25), grand cruiser (30) and battleship (35) and added differential by fit weaponry on the ship counting maximum weapons that can shoot in one turn on one single qaudrant, so formula would be:

Starhip Strength = Strength(Ship Type) + Strength(Crew) + Strength(Weaponry Alpha)



Now, let's sum all components and get strength for your units. 

- Company of House Troops will be Strength(9) from Company(3) + Rank(4) + Support Vehicles(2) not 12 as in Frozen Reaches, Mustered Armsmen will have Strength(7) from Company(3) + Rank(4) not 15. Lower quality armsmen shouldn't have more Strength than well trained House Troops.

- Levy Batallions will have same Strength(14) from Batallion(6) + Rank(4) + Mainline Vehicles(2) + Support Vehicles(2).

- Skitarii cohort will have the same Strength(10) from Company(3) + Rank(5) + Superior Arms and Weapons(1) + Unnatural Strength(1) but now it's rivaled only by batallion of Levy.

- Starweaver Frigate(10) + Crew(4) + Weaponry(2) will have same Strength 16. Ordained Destiny Light Cruiser(15) + Crew(3) + Weaponry(2) with Strength 20 instead of 14 makes more sense to be a more powefull ship than Starweaver.

- Aegis will become Light Cruiser(15) + Crew(5) + Weaponry(2) Strength 22 which is just slightly better than Ordained Destiny because of the better crew.

- Finally, The Bulwark as "deadly" orbital station of battleship level will be Battleship(35) + Crew(5) + Weaponry(4) Strength 44, not a laughable 10.



Most important is how to involve all the players with different skills.

Thanks to authors of Frozen Reaches some missions and personal involvement are already provided for invasion. GM depending on the party and their wishes can also provide not just simple tests but totally allow players to join troops, went on scouting mission, stay in the city and go on spying mission, politics negotiation or plot a coup de'tat.  



Army split
If RT brings the army with him then decide how to split it into formations and units before the war starts, because it can lead to either very prolongued party discussion or lost of interest because of huge preparation phase. Better to split it hypothetically and then play with what you have.

Confrontation Scaling
If you changing even a little bit a vanilla version with additional armies or different balance then just not follow the original nnumbers and bravely recalibrate them for defenders or attackers keeping in mind how long you want to run the campaing, what numbers defenders have and how attack will scale in average turn by turn. This will help you avoid RT beating all the orks loosing the drama of invasion or RT overrun and lost everything in 1-2 days. Small preparation in terms of numbers will go a long way for this great adventure.

Map and cards
In order to make it more fun and easy convert it to board game with mtg card maker which you can place at different locations on the original Damaris map. It is much easier to manage and more engaging to plan war tactics. Example:




That's it for fun tactical war details)


Please read, comment, use. Next one I plan to provide new mini game Dynasty Agents.


Kind Regards.

Here about who, what and why.

Edited by rt1234456

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