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Stormtroopers

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What are stormtroopers in your games? Elite shock troopers? Or standard infantry grunts?

I always preferred the latter and it makes sense based on the movies where the clones were the standard soldiers and the clones became stormtroopers.

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Watching the movies I always got the impression that Stormtroopers were the standard grunts. But were themselves elite personel. Sort of like how the USMC view themselves vis a vis Navy and Army.

We did see a few AT-AT crew and other "army" personel who weren't in the white armour, but not many of them. Uniforms seemed more common in the naval service.

It seemed odd that a backwater world like Tatooine would have such a strong Stormtrooper presence if they were elites, unless they were sent down from the Star Destroyers looking for the stolen plans.

Also the Rebels, both ships crew and ground forces wear uniforms but not armour. This suggests that somebody is making and buying military uniforms in bulk. I wonder what the military uniforms of the Old Republic looked like before the Clone Wars.

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Standard infantry grunts for me. I might make a squad leader more shocktrooper-esque, but I want to run it with the timeframe. If my old EU knowledge isn't too rusty, I want to say that by this time most of the stormtroopers are actually human, with only a few, elite squads of clones remaining for special tasks or garrisons.

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It seemed odd that a backwater world like Tatooine would have such a strong Stormtrooper presence if they were elites, unless they were sent down from the Star Destroyers looking for the stolen plans.

 

Check out Wookiepedia - that's exactly what happened. The battle above took place between the Star Destroyer and the Tantive IV, and then Stormtroopers were sent to the surface to find the droids. 

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In the lore the Stormtroopers are elite infantry. There are traditional army units in the imperial military. The reason stormies get such a bad wrap is the fact they were told to let the rebels escape the Death Star and were missing on purpose.

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In the lore the Stormtroopers are elite infantry. There are traditional army units in the imperial military. The reason stormies get such a bad wrap is the fact they were told to let the rebels escape the Death Star and were missing on purpose.

Guess the Emperor ordered them to take it easy on the teddy bears too :P

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In the lore the Stormtroopers are elite infantry. There are traditional army units in the imperial military. The reason stormies get such a bad wrap is the fact they were told to let the rebels escape the Death Star and were missing on purpose.

Guess the Emperor ordered them to take it easy on the teddy bears too :P

No that was the God Emperor Lucas that did that. :-) The troopers missed because it was in the script and they were shooting at the heroes. Your game can cleave closer to what they are supposed to be, elite units of troops, combining elements of the SS, US Marines, Rangers, Roman Centurions and other elite units through history to the present.

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Stormtroopers for me have always been 'armchairs with guns' or 'ninjas behind the curtains'

 

Basicly they exist to fill the air with blaster fire, ramp up the action of a scene without it turning into a Baghdad street fight, show up en masse to give the main characters something/someone to karate chop, etc.

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In my Star Wars universe, there is the Imperial Navy, Imperial Army, and the Stormtrooper Corps. EU agrees with me on this one even though I only agree with EU a small portion of the time.

 

"Only Stormtroopers are so precise", speaks of them being elite, not just average grunts. They were described in very early canon as the shocktroopers of the Empire.  The name Stormtrooper itself comes from a German term describing assault troops, not basic line grunts.

 

Why did they miss so much? Plot. In the movies we see them fighting the heroes. If they were as precise as they are supposed to be, Han, Luke, Leia, C3P0, R2D2, and Chewie would all be dead. Note that when we see Stormtroopers fight non-named Rebel mooks, they suddenly become much more accurate.

 

Imperial Army? Evidence of that? On Endor the ATST pilots are Imperial Army troops. Note the different color of their field uniform and the unique helmet. It's not the same as the Imperial Navy uniform and helmet:

 

Imperial Army Trooper (vehicle crew without breastplate):

Atstcrew.jpg

 

Imperial Navy Trooper:

imperial_navy_trooper.jpg

 

The Stormtroopers are elite shock troops. They aren't used in every backwater situation, only the most important places. There are more regular Imperial Army troops. In the movies, we only are seeing Stormtroopers, because we are seeing Darth Vader chasing around the Rebel leaders and of course he has elite Stormtroopers with him. On Tatooine, the Stormtroopers dropped from Darth's ship to look for the droids. At Hoth, it's again a legion of Darth's Stormtroopers aboard the searching fleet. At Endor, the Emperor actually states he has brought along several of his "finest legions". Stormtroopers are reserved for elite positions such as shock infantry troops, fighter pilots, and elite vehicle crews. The regular Imperial Army troops are found everywhere else.

 

Imperial Army General:

Blog-Veers-1_8-1-07.jpg

 

Note the armored breastplate added for field work. Standard issue to Imperial Army troopers.

 

imptroop.jpg

 

It appears the Snowtrooper armor used on Hoth is derived from that of the Imperial Army trooper, not the regular Stormtrooper armor. The helmet, breastplate, and even rank insignia is similar to that used by the Imperial Army:

Snowtr.jpg

 

Ok my geek spasm is over.

Edited by Sturn

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If you want to use stormtroopers as cannon fodder, that's fine; they work great for that. Should you ever feel like ramping things up a bit remember that there are elite units within the stormtrooper corps that can easily field a squad or three of all-Rival level baddies. And they have access to all the best weaponry in the Empire, so don't hesitate to pile on grenades, repeating blasters and anything else you want.

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As noted above, Stormtroopers ended up being the most common seen enemy in the movies so they are also one of the easiest to relate to for a group of PC's.  So, even though they are generally regarded to be elite in the Lore, we tend to use them more as cannon fodder for the group because their impression of them is having Luke, Han, and so forth always mowing through them.  Although, at times, I mix in a sergeant (or a "more dangerous" named trooper) or two as a Rival to up the ante. 

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As noted above, Stormtroopers ended up being the most common seen enemy in the movies so they are also one of the easiest to relate to for a group of PC's.  So, even though they are generally regarded to be elite in the Lore, we tend to use them more as cannon fodder for the group because their impression of them is having Luke, Han, and so forth always mowing through them.  Although, at times, I mix in a sergeant (or a "more dangerous" named trooper) or two as a Rival to up the ante. 

 

I agree.

 

I plan on my players encountering Imperial Army or Imperial Navy troopers early on. I'm saving the better armed and skilled Stormtroopers for later. I want them to be feared. If you start with Stormtroopers early on, you will need to make them Minions for your party to be able to deal with them. They will quickly outgrow them, so next your Stormtroopers morph into Rivals to be a challenge. It's kind of like d20 Stormtroopers that strangely rise in level as the players do. This might work, but it won't always sit well and will be a pain for the GM if he has to run 10 Rivals at once.

 

Like I said, the first Imperial opponents will be non-Storm Imperial troopers, typically Minions with a Rival leader thrown in from time to time. When Stormtroopers are encountered, I'm going to try to still run them as Minions, but beef them up over regular troops somewhat from what is in the core (I think by making their version of Laminate Armor have upgraded attachments by default). If I'm forced to upgrade all Stormtroopers to Rivals (again, harder to run as a GM) to make them a challenge, I will probably mention these are from a veteran Legion.

Edited by Sturn

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You don't need to upgrade the minions to rivals to make them tougher. Just add larger minion groups.

However, I plan to use the ST sergeant rival stats for elite STs.

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You don't need to upgrade the minions to rivals to make them tougher. Just add larger minion groups.

However, I plan to use the ST sergeant rival stats for elite STs.

 

Agreed. A group of 5 is rolling 1 ability and 3 proficiency dice. They have 5 soak and take a total of 25 wounds to take out. 

 

Not the greatest of challenges, but not a pushover either. 

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I tend to use stormtroopers as "elite mooks" through the various Star Wars RPGs.

 

They're a bit tougher than the run of the mill goons that PCs have to deal with, but not quite so much as to be a possible TPK.  As the PCs get more experienced and become better able to handling themselves in a fight, then it's natural for the regular stormtroopers to become less and less of a threat... at which time I start introducing elite/veteran stormtroopers, such as the 501st Legion, who could very well be badass enough to rival the PCs in a fight.

 

I'd imagine with the Empire being a major adversary in Age of Rebellion that we'll see more than just the garden variety of stormtrooper that we got with EotE.

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I'd imagine with the Empire being a major adversary in Age of Rebellion that we'll see more than just the garden variety of stormtrooper that we got with EotE.

 

This sort of thing doesn't sit well with me though. I understand the reasoning, but constantly upping the "level" of your Stormtroopers to keep them a threat to growing players is for some reason upsetting to me. I think d20 Star Wars had three levels of Stormtroopers to dish out.

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In the lore the Stormtroopers are elite infantry. There are traditional army units in the imperial military. The reason stormies get such a bad wrap is the fact they were told to let the rebels escape the Death Star and were missing on purpose.

Guess the Emperor ordered them to take it easy on the teddy bears too :P

 

No, people overlook the fact that the Ewoks, while primative, were *hunters*.  They also outnumbered the Imperials about 5:1 (or more), and had a *very* good knowledge of the territory, and how to get around without being seen by the super-predators which were the only thing the Ewoks worried about killing them.  And, to top it off, through 3P0, they got a briefing on Imperial troop procedures and tactics so they knew what they were fighting.

 

They're small, but they're cunning, vicious, and prone to eating their enemies.  Remember, the trap that caught Han, et al?  That was for a much larger predator that the Ewoks eat, and they were all prepped to cook & eat the heroes.  Don't picture them as teddy bears, picture them as a pack of *sapient* feral dogs with weapons, and a level of technology roughly on par with what was needed to build the Pyramids.  Heck.  One of them brought Leia home as a *pet*.

 

From yet another perspective, most of us could defend ourselves quite handily from 1-2 five year-olds, but if they really wanted to kill and eat us, I suspect that we'd be in real trouble if we had to deal with 5 of them.  Especially if we didn't know they were coming, and they had time to prepare.

Edited by Voice

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They are completely loyal to the Emperor and the Empire, and are use as Elite Shock Troopers.  Very similar to the Nazi SS, or even the WWI German "Stoßtruppen"

 

The ones we see in Escape from Mos Shuuta are from the small garrison (including the TIEs) the ones in ANH on Tatooine are from the ISD Devastator.

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I'd imagine with the Empire being a major adversary in Age of Rebellion that we'll see more than just the garden variety of stormtrooper that we got with EotE.

 

This sort of thing doesn't sit well with me though. I understand the reasoning, but constantly upping the "level" of your Stormtroopers to keep them a threat to growing players is for some reason upsetting to me. I think d20 Star Wars had three levels of Stormtroopers to dish out.

 

 

If you want to up the level of the Troopers, add a Sargent.

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Watching the movies I always got the impression that Stormtroopers were the standard grunts. But were themselves elite personel. Sort of like how the USMC view themselves vis a vis Navy and Army.

USMC is a good comparison. I treat them as somewhat more thoroughly brainwashed, however.

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Watching the movies I always got the impression that Stormtroopers were the standard grunts. But were themselves elite personel. Sort of like how the USMC view themselves vis a vis Navy and Army.

USMC is a good comparison. I treat them as somewhat more thoroughly brainwashed, however.

 

You use of 'them' would seem to refer back to the USMC. Intentional?

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Aramis, careful please. This is about Stormtroopers, not the USMC. You seemed to indicate Stormtroopers are only "somewhat" more thoroughly "brainwashed" then Marines (that is the way I read it).  That implies that Marines are brainwashed themselves, just like the brainless Stormtroopers of the Empire. That is probably fighting words to some here. Let's don't go down these rails, I see a derailment up ahead. :)

 

Eta: Yes I understood the intent, just the word choice could be unsettling to Marines (which I'm not one of).

Edited by Sturn

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Aramis possibly meant that as an ironic understatement, since stormtroopers are profoundly brainwashed (while, just for the record, real-world Marines are not).

 

But yeah, stormtroopers are elite, front-line soldiers. They get the best training and best equipment, but not to the specialized degree that actual special forces-type troops would. Stormtroopers are the ones who get the jobs where unflinching courage and a complete disregard for one's own casualty numbers are important. I always treat stormtroopers as being unquestionably loyal and immune to any morale factors like overwhelming odds, casualties and the like. That doesn't make them stupid; they'll still fall back to a more defensible position if that is tactically wise and not in conflict with their orders, but if told to hold at any cost that's exactly what they'll do.

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Who cares, brainwashed or socialised, its semantics... Stormtrooper are cool, deadly and can sometimes hit a barn door, if under competent leadership. They have cool armour, cool helmets, but poor camouflage except on Hoth. Stormtroopers like any soldier of any (totalitarian) regime fight for what they believe is right (that they have been taught/socialised/brainwashed into believing of course), and their job is to follow orders, even if (particularly when?) they do not understand or know the reason for the orders. This goes for Stormtrooper in particular, except if you read Allegiance and Choices of One, which are great books, then all of the above is more or less nonsense, except for the fact that Stormtroopers are even cooler if you read those books (but their camouflage is still poor in any environment except Hoth.)

 

So are they faceless grunts that do the evil emperor's bidding? or are they idealists fighting for peace, order and stability in a chaotic and strife ridden galaxy? Probably both, you will find stupid soldier anywhere, just as you will find intelligent and smart soldiers who are aware of the paradox of "fighting for peace". It's a choice based on assumptions about ideals versus reality.

 

So, in my games Stormtroopers are usually faceless grunts. I use them separately, because I know a minion group of stormtroopers lead by a sergeant, used somewhat competently, can quickly down a player or two before too long. They are deadly in groups, merely dangerous solo (at least for low-xp PCs.) While they are faceless grunts, my players fear them - and the Empire - more than most I think. I wonder why.

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