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Copper8642

Number of players and squad size

17 posts in this topic

I'm planning on GMing an OW game for the first time in a little over a month, and I think I'm onyl going to have 3 or 4 players.  If they all have comrades, that makes for an 8 man squad, maximum. 

Now, as far as I'm aware, the standard squad size is 10 men.  Would you guys throw in a GMPC with a comrade to fill the squad?  Throw in two back-up comrades?  Fluff their regiment to field smaller squads (this last option seems easiest, but only really viable with the 8 man group, not as much for 6).  Is there an easier option I'm missing?

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You could add a couple of NPCs for that round 10, but you can always go with the notion that this particular regiment 's doctrine states squads are numbered at 8.  Call it some form of that world's customs or tradition.

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I tossed in four npc's to make my squad ten, then a couple of more players joined so now they are 14. Guess I have to start killing someone.

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A standard infantry squad is ten men. Specialist squads (like Heavy Weapon squads and Special Weapon squads) are six. Also, a regiment in an active combat zone will sometimes field undermanned squads for a variety of reasons.

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Size of squads, and indeed all units, vary from Regiment to Regiment. Some Regiments only contain a few hundred troops, others have hundreds of thousands. Similarly, the size of the Regiment's individual Companies, Platoons and Squads are also variable, and not always standard. You can simply say that the size of Squads in your particular Regiment varies according to the needs of the Platoon or Company.

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It also really depends on what type of regiment you have going. If your players are manning a Leman Russ, then you have the perfect number. If it is more an infantry type regiment, then I'd recommend making 2-4 NPC troopers and maybe a specialist. It sort of depends on a number of factors just how much or little you want to throw in. What kind of enemies will they face? If Chaos Marines, Tau, Necrons, or Tyranids are going to be the enemy of choice then the extra firepower and cannon fodder are fantastic. Do you feel comfortable handling a handful of NPCs? If not, don't feel like you need to. Anything that bogs you down or puts undue stress on the GM is going to hurt the game and you can do without it. Is the squad missing anything that might really be needed? Lacking a heavy weapons or sergeant is a great place to slide in an NPC, or if you have a mechanized infantry regiment and the PCs don't have a driver, Personally, I usually make the entire platoon so I have ready made troopers to fold in or use when stuff comes up. Oh! Sgt. Morrow and his squad are pinned down on that ridge etc. etc. 

 

Best of luck, let us know how it goes!

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I generally agree with wombat. Personally; If my group were 3 players I would try to run a Tank crew. If 4, I would add a single NPC + comrade (probably a weapons specialist).

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Just add some NPCs, and use the them like quasi-comrades - don't let them contribute as much except when using Sweeping commands, but on the other hand they can soak enemy fire and be cannon fodder. 

 

If you later get more players you could always have some NPCs transferred for a variety of reasons. 

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Just add some NPCs, and use the them like quasi-comrades - don't let them contribute as much except when using Sweeping commands, but on the other hand they can soak enemy fire and be cannon fodder. 

 

If you later get more players you could always have some NPCs transferred for a variety of reasons. 

 

Best response/plan.

 

Also note that not all regiments use the "standard" squad size.  It may vary based on casualties, terrain, specialization, etc...

Edited by Traejun

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Like has been said several times, if you want to run a standard squad, just toss in some NPC:s. And if you're running some kind of specialist squad, just consider if you don't already have the perfect number, or maybe you want to throw in some more NPC:s. Or less.

Really, there's no right or wrong answer. Stick to what feels right.

Lynata likes this

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I find 4-6 players best, any more and combat goes far too slowly, any less and they might not win in a fight.

This. No RP-group should ever go over 6 players. I'd list the maximum at 5 Players + 1 GM, but there's always the odd chance that you just want to squeeze in that last person, and if it brings it up to 6, we'll just have to live with it. But never ever above that.

Anything below 3 is too small, anything above 5 is too big, is my rule of thumb.

Lynata likes this

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I find 4-6 players best, any more and combat goes far too slowly, any less and they might not win in a fight.

This. No RP-group should ever go over 6 players. I'd list the maximum at 5 Players + 1 GM, but there's always the odd chance that you just want to squeeze in that last person, and if it brings it up to 6, we'll just have to live with it. But never ever above that.

Anything below 3 is too small, anything above 5 is too big, is my rule of thumb.

 

yeah 5 is the best number but I always say up to 6 in case someone has a friend visiting or someone wants to see how to play. this way I have a spot open for walk-ins or irregulers.

Fgdsfg likes this

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My experience, too. My first GM stint, I had 12, and was a grown man crying, between off-banter, slow everything, and challenges for that group. It was nice when "hey gang, let's split up!" wasn't the usual "we're pants-on-head retarded!" statement of most other games, but the off-group just talked, and screwed about, ruining the stuff for the active group. Better to not have an inactive group, so smaller is better.

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I think Hammer Of The Emperor has rules for players with multiple comrades, too. That's a way of bulking up numbers without vastly increasing the amount of dice thrown...

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I think Hammer Of The Emperor has rules for players with multiple comrades, too. That's a way of bulking up numbers without vastly increasing the amount of dice thrown...

 

The commander Advanced specialty allows for up to 4 comrades for the commander.

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