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FFG_Sam Stewart

Adversaries Feedback Thread

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So, I was looking at how effective Stormtroopers are in combat, and found that they carry quite a bit of gear. Their total Enc is 12 (blaster rifle, vibro knife, laminate armour, 3 grenades). Obviously, adversaries don't have to follow the written rules. Still, if handled RAW, this would mean Stormtroopers suffer 4 setback dice on pretty much any check, and don't get a free maneuver due to being encumbered.

This quite comically recreates the idea that Stormtroopers can't hit the broadside of a barn (so I'm actually not against this being the case, and props to the designers if this is working as intended).

Otherwise, they did seem quite a bit effective. A group of 4 (3 agi, effective Ranged(Heavy) 3 skill due to group size - 1) drops 3 proficiency dice, vs. 2 difficulty dice and 1 setback, firing at PCs in medium range who are behind cover. Fairly likely to deal 11-13 damage a turn, effectively downing a PC every other turn.

One other thing, having heard that its possible that armour does not add (or adds differently) to encumbrance, this may not matter at all (as minus the laminate armour they would be able to carry all of that gear).

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One big question I now have is trying to determine if a group of minions > 6 have an effective skill rating of Size - 1 still. Skills cap at 5 for PCs, but its unstated for NPCs/Minions (especially given the "don't follow normal rules" blurb).

Basically, when shooting, do 10 Stormtroopers drop 6 ability/3 proficiency, or 2 ability/3 proficiency? I'm inclined to believe it caps at 5, as otherwise its difficult to do a larger group combat without just accidentally murdering a party member each turn.

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I imagine the intent is for larger group combats to broken up into a number of smaller groups acting independently, such as is seen in the Tusken Raider encounter in the sample adventure.

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Star Wars Beta: EotE, page 199. Twi'Lek Black Mareketeer [Henchman] 

The NPC adversary doesn't have any proficiency ranks in charm or deceit.

I know the rule on page 38 (Twi'Lek Special Abilities) only strictly aply to PC's and Nemesis.

So maybe thi is as intended. And then againmaybe not.

Really the first option would be kinda liberating for NPC creation duties.

Anywway, I though it was worth to mention.  

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 Maybe I missed something somewhere, but how would a group of minions attack more than one PC at once if they make just a single attack roll?  For some reason I think I read something somewhere about it, but I could just be confusing it with the auto fire rules (of course it may just be the same as the auto fire rules).

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Also regarding Minions, I failed to find in the written text anykind of provision to calculate or otherwise determine the wound threshold of Minions.

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OB-1 said:

 

Also regarding Minions, I failed to find in the written text anykind of provision to calculate or otherwise determine the wound threshold of Minions.

Minions have their own Wound Thresholds. Look at their statblocks.

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Inksplat said:

OB-1 said:

 

 

Also regarding Minions, I failed to find in the written text anykind of provision to calculate or otherwise determine the wound threshold of Minions.

 

 

Minions have their own Wound Thresholds. Look at their statblocks.

Actually, he has a point, at least from the POV of building your own NPCs, something that some of us GMs like to do rather than just rely on the same set of stat blocks over and over again.

Granted, I'm hoping the final version has some basic guidelines on building NPCs, particularly as pertains to Wound Thresholds.  As it stands, it looks like Minions get 2 to 4 skills, most at only 1 rank , and a Wound Threshold of 5 in most instances.  Henchmen seem to be more on par with starting PCs, though with slightly better characteristics and talents than a starting PC can generally get.  And Nemesis-level baddies seem to be in a category all their own, with it taking hundreds of XP for PCs to reach similar levels of power, or simply can't reach those levels at all in some instances.

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OB-1 said:

 

 

Star Wars Beta: EotE, page 199. Twi'Lek Black Mareketeer [Henchman] 

The NPC adversary doesn't have any proficiency ranks in charm or deceit.

I know the rule on page 38 (Twi'Lek Special Abilities) only strictly aply to PC's and Nemesis.

So maybe thi is as intended. And then againmaybe not.

Really the first option would be kinda liberating for NPC creation duties.

Anywway, I though it was worth to mention.  

Please have NPCs follow the same rules as PCs unless there is a specific reason for them not to do so in a case by case basis. In the case of this Twi'lek, I don't see a compelling reason for NPC Twi'leks to lack proficiency in either charm or deceit.

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There really does need to be guidelines for creating Minions, Henchmen and Nemesis level NPCs and some sort of guidelines for skill levels, so that minor NPCs can be created on the fly.  There also needs to be some guidelines for creating encounters?

As for species characteristics, I would say that most NPCs should be created as non-specific, species wise, and its up to the GM to add species characteristics that might come in to play.

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Minions attacking as a group make a single attack roll to determine success.  Since this one roll represent fire from multiple weapons, would it be reasonable to add the "Linked" quality to these attacks?  Very successful attacks (e.g. large number of advantages) by these groups could generate multiple hits from the group.  The ability may require more advantages to activate than the "linked" quality states to appropriately control the abilities potency.

 

-WJL

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 That would definitely make minions with ranged weapons more fearsome in the damage output department if you feel they aren't serving their purpose.   However, I look at it as I do in WFRP.  The damage output of the group is "minionized" such that a "hit" from a group of stormtrooper minions might actually be a couple glancing strikes or near misses depending on how you visualize wounds.   So if a cloud of angry alien toothy creatures has a go at you the hit they generate is actually a number of lesser bites and jostles.  Minions cant even damage individually like a propper combatant…hence their status.

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LethalDose said:

Minions attacking as a group make a single attack roll to determine success.  Since this one roll represent fire from multiple weapons, would it be reasonable to add the "Linked" quality to these attacks?  Very successful attacks (e.g. large number of advantages) by these groups could generate multiple hits from the group.  The ability may require more advantages to activate than the "linked" quality states to appropriately control the abilities potency.

 

-WJL

I'm thinking it's not needed.  Minions are supposed to be cannon fodder, and the fact they actually get skill dice when functioning as a group rather than individuals provides enough of a benefit already.  Seeing how it's generally easier to get hit in this system than in most prior versions of Star Wars, most minions are going to have enough damage output to be worrisome to the PCs already.  And when the PCs get more experienced, minions should be far less of a threat.

Consider the movies, where in ANH stormtroopers are generally treated as a threat to be worried about, even by the seasoned adventurer Han Solo.  In the original version of ANH, that group of stormtroopers that Han was chasing after thought it was a squad of opponents, but when they ran into a sealed-off corridor and turned around, they saw it was just one guy.  Cue Han running the other way as soon as he realizes his bluff has been called.  But by RotJ, even the Emperor's so-called "legion of his best troops" are pretty much being treated as target practice by the heroes.

Also, the Battle at the Pit of Carkoon.  The ANH versions of the heroes would have gotten decimated against so many minions.  And yet, we see Luke ripping through them like Godzilla through Tokyo, suffering only a minor critical hit in exchange for the piles of dead minions he left in his wake.  And fandom-fave Boba Fett was just barely able to slow the former farm-boy down, where he'd have no problem at all dealing with Luke in prior movies.  Amazing what four years of adventuring can do for one's combat prowess.

While there are going to be PCs that have obnoxiously high starting Wound Thresholds or Soak Values (or both!), upgrading minion damage just to account for them is falling into the classic issue of making combat too lethal for the less stalwart characters to have a hope of surviving against something that even has the ability to hurt the combat monster.

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I think Minions could have an option of having some kind of "squad weapon" with them. For instance, check the scene in Episode V when the Falcon escapes from Hoth.

How would that work? They couldn't fire it every round. To keep the action going, maybe such a weapon, be it E-Web repeating blaster, rockets etc, could only be fired once every three rounds, giving the players a chance to take cover or otherwise get out of the way.

Also, a Minion group could, for example, have one sharpshooter in the mix?

Any thoughts?

 

Eirik

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Ferretz said:

I think Minions could have an option of having some kind of "squad weapon" with them. For instance, check the scene in Episode V when the Falcon escapes from Hoth.

How would that work? They couldn't fire it every round. To keep the action going, maybe such a weapon, be it E-Web repeating blaster, rockets etc, could only be fired once every three rounds, giving the players a chance to take cover or otherwise get out of the way.

Also, a Minion group could, for example, have one sharpshooter in the mix?

Any thoughts?

That particular scene is already covered in the rules. The snow troopers were using a heavy repeating blaster, operating in a two-man team if memory serves with one gunner and one guy maintaining the generator.  In this case, I'd treat them as a group of minions, but still allow them the perk of being able to fire the E-Web every other round instead of being limited to firing every third round the way a single operator would.

So I don't think any special rules are needed to provide a "squad weapon" beyond the GM deciding "hey, this group of stormtroopers have access to a heavy repeating blaster" for that particular encounter.

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Ah, I noticed it now. I think the wording is a bit unclear. But I'm glad it's included.

Of course, I guess we'll see much more details around military operations, squad weapons and such in Age of Rebellion. But the rules for squad weapons as they are now works for the purpose of the adventure I'm planning. :)

 

-E.

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For game mechanics, even if a crew manning a squad weapon would have importance equivalent to minions, it may be better to  treat the squad weapon + crew as a henchman.  The individuals and weapon function as a unit, and together they are substantially more dangerous than a typical single minion.  This would give you some flexibility with what the squad's abilities are (ala talents) and you can assign appropriate ability scores and skills (Not requiring multiple minions to get actual skill ranks).  When all their wound points are gone, all members in the crew die (GM may even want to say the weapon is destroyed, to keep powerful hardware from unbalancing later encounters where the players weren't expected to have that kind of firepower).

Also, where Ferretz asked "could the minions have a sharpshooter in the mix", the answer is, unfortunately, no, as the RAW stand.  On pg 196, in the section minions can fight as a group it states "Minions can only be deployed in groups of the same type".

If you need individuals (or very small groups of individuals) supporting a group of minions (squad weapons or a few sharpshooters), its probably best to add them as henchmen, instead of more minions.

 

-WJL

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LethalDose said:

For game mechanics, even if a crew manning a squad weapon would have importance equivalent to minions, it may be better to  treat the squad weapon + crew as a henchman.  The individuals and weapon function as a unit, and together they are substantially more dangerous than a typical single minion.  This would give you some flexibility with what the squad's abilities are (ala talents) and you can assign appropriate ability scores and skills (Not requiring multiple minions to get actual skill ranks).  When all their wound points are gone, all members in the crew die (GM may even want to say the weapon is destroyed, to keep powerful hardware from unbalancing later encounters where the players weren't expected to have that kind of firepower).

-WJL

Well, a pack of minions functioning as a "group" or "squad" already have the perk of having a combined wound threshold, with every increment (usually 5) reflecting one minion getting taken down, so again it'd just be a matter of the GM equipping that squad of minions with the appropriate heavy weapon and the skill to make good use of it.  So to use the Hoth Snowtroopers and their E-Web as an example, combine 3 Stormtrooper minions into a squad and give them a heavy repeating blaster.  The squad has a final Wound Threshold of 15 and can attack once per turn with a big **** gun, which I think is plenty enough as is.

As for the worries of the PCs keeping it, remember that this is military-grade hardware, and only on the most lawless of worlds are the PCs not going to have the locals calling for the authorities.  Plus, whatever fun toys the PCs might acquire, the Empire has better quality and lots more of them ;).  As the Alliance brass will gladly remind you, fighting a war of attrition against the Empire is a losing proposition, and that's with the Alliance offering a degree of support that most EotE groups simply won't have.

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Ferretz said:

Also, a Minion group could, for example, have one sharpshooter in the mix?

Any thoughts?

Eirik

The minion’s mechanic is designed for back ground battle fluff and damage. I understand they can actually do a sizable amount of damage over time or with a good roll here and there, but all in all they are more table dressing for the over-all adventure/encounter.

 

Snipers or Sharpshooters would be considered a low level NPC in my opinion. This is a unique element that makes the encounter extra nasty or difficult.
 

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Daegren said:

The minion’s mechanic is designed for back ground battle fluff and damage. I understand they can actually do a sizable amount of damage over time or with a good roll here and there, but all in all they are more table dressing for the over-all adventure/encounter.

Snipers or Sharpshooters would be considered a low level NPC in my opinion. This is a unique element that makes the encounter extra nasty or difficult.

A Sniper or Sharpshooter would probably just be a Henchman that's operating alongside a minion squad rather than being a part of one.

Alternatively, the presence of a "sniper" or "sharpshooter" could instead be used as a story-based justification for why this pack of minions are now rolling proficiency dice; the other minions that get dropped save for the 2nd-to-last one simply "got in the way" of the heroes' attempts to take out said "sharpshooter," and they only succeed once they attack a minion squad that's down to 2 members, with the last member (now a lone minion) simply being a regular shmoe (and thus why the proficiency die goes away).

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One thing that I have noticed reading through Crate of Krayts is that some Minions do not have any skills listed, so how would you use them as a group?  What would the mechanical benefit be?

And on a related note, can a group of Minions target more than one enemy?  Or would it be best to split the group to cover more targets?

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lupex said:

One thing that I have noticed reading through Crate of Krayts is that some Minions do not have any skills listed, so how would you use them as a group?  What would the mechanical benefit be?

And on a related note, can a group of Minions target more than one enemy?  Or would it be best to split the group to cover more targets?

The mechanical "benefit" would be that the GM has a few less individual bad guys to keep track of, which in bigger fights can be a huge boon.

As for what a group of minions could target, I'd leave it that they can only target one enemy at a time.  Granted, I think you can put minions into groups of 2, so you can use that option to let your minions get the benefit of their skill ranks (when they have them) and still be able to attack more than one PC at a time.  Mind you, I'm away from my book, but it kinda seems that for a lot of EotE combats, putting minions in groups of 2 seems to be the easiest way to increase their threat to the PCs and yet still have them be easily taken down. 

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Donovan Morningfire said:

 

lupex said:

 

One thing that I have noticed reading through Crate of Krayts is that some Minions do not have any skills listed, so how would you use them as a group?  What would the mechanical benefit be?

And on a related note, can a group of Minions target more than one enemy?  Or would it be best to split the group to cover more targets?

 

 

The mechanical "benefit" would be that the GM has a few less individual bad guys to keep track of, which in bigger fights can be a huge boon.

As for what a group of minions could target, I'd leave it that they can only target one enemy at a time.  Granted, I think you can put minions into groups of 2, so you can use that option to let your minions get the benefit of their skill ranks (when they have them) and still be able to attack more than one PC at a time.  Mind you, I'm away from my book, but it kinda seems that for a lot of EotE combats, putting minions in groups of 2 seems to be the easiest way to increase their threat to the PCs and yet still have them be easily taken down. 

 

 

It actually clearly states that when minions are fighting in a group, they attack as a whole, not as individuals. So they make one attack roll against one target - same exact way squads worked in Saga Edition. The other minions in the group are considered to be "aiding each other."

Same way when the PCs are attacking the minion group. They attack the group as a whole instead of Stormtrooper B.

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