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simonblick

Calling squad mode abilities

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Hi all,

 

At what point can you call a squad mode ability? Having some issues as DM thinks that i can only call it on my initiative! this make lightning strike almost useless. I think that i can call it at very beginning of round before any initiative has been called.

 

 

Is this correct?

 

Regards

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Depends on the squad mode ability, but as far as I know he's correct. Anything that requires a full, half or even free action can only be done in your 'turn'.

 

That said, squad mode abilities on your 'go' benefit everyone - so calling several bolter assaults gives everyone multiple 'goes'.

I can't, I'm afraid, remember what Lightning Strike does.

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Solo and Squad Mode abilities have action costs (Free, Half, Full, Reaction) attached to them and therefore activate only when a character could normally use actions with similar costs.

 

This indeed means most abilities can only be used during a character's initiative, and abilities which cost a reaction may only be used as a reaction to an outside stimuli.

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Hi all,

 

At what point can you call a squad mode ability? Having some issues as DM thinks that i can only call it on my initiative! this make lightning strike almost useless. I think that i can call it at very beginning of round before any initiative has been called.

 

 

 

Is this correct?

 

Regards

 

Lightning Strike is certainly used before your Turn as it takes place before Initiative is rolled (it grants a Surprise Round for those who can't recall) - but that's the specific effect of the ability, so it's not too great an example of timing in general. Soak Fire is a better example as it's essentially a Dodge, but used for the benefit of another team member, so using it before your own turn is fine as you would with a normal Dodge. 

   It's possible that most squad modes with activation by Reaction could be used before a PC's turn, but this should be discussed with the GM.

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Here's another one! If the leader is an ultramarine do we all get to use rally and lead by example even tho the rest of the party are of different chapters. Ie as a storm warden can I call lead by example as well as the ultramarine and we both get the re-roll and the plus to all rolls.

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Here's another one! If the leader is an ultramarine do we all get to use rally and lead by example even tho the rest of the party are of different chapters. Ie as a storm warden can I call lead by example as well as the ultramarine and we both get the re-roll and the plus to all rolls.

 

Nope.

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So only ultramarine can call the squad mode and we get to join it?

 

You can neither call it nor join it unless you are an Ultramarine.

Edited by bogi_khaosa

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I'm confused now.... I'm a storm warden and I call lightning strike, so do I only get the lightning strike or does the whole squad get it?

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Think im understanding it now...

 

Im a Stormwarden Tactical Marine and im the leader and Oath to the Emperor, we have an ultramarine and a Blood Angel too.

 

1) We can all benifit from our solo modes and squad modes Fire for Effect, Regroup and Strong Point.

 

2) Storm Warden also gets use of Lightning Strike and Shield and Sword.

 

3) The Ultramarine also gets Lead by Example and Rally Cry

 

4) The Blood Angel also gets Fury of Sanguinius and Feel No Pain

 

5) At the begining of combat i call Lightning Strike but only i get the benifit from it at a cost of 2 cohesion

 

6) However if there was another Storm warden then we would both gain Lighting Strike for only the 2 cohesion cost

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So if you have Tactical Expertise all the others in your squad will get the benefit of Lightning Strike for 2 cohesion, if you succed on a command check (different difficulty depending on rank).

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That got me a bit confused. In the Core Rulebook, the Oath-taking section's last sentence states, that "in addition to the listed Codex Squad Mode abilities the Kill-team will also have access to their leader's Chapter Squad Mode abilities" - we took it to mean that the leader's activated chapter squad modes can be joined by the team.

Alternatively it could mean, that if we have, say, an Ultramarine leader, he can activate Lead by example, but it cannot be joined by others if the'yre not smurfs, while Armour of Faith (the other guy is a Black Templar) cannot be activated at all, since he is not the leader.

Since the group is pretty new, and I took up GM-ing Deathwatch only recently, there has been only a very light use of squad modes (I scaled down the enemies a bit to familiarize ourselves with the combat mechanics first, and also because the kill team consists of only two SMs). Anyway, I'd appreciate if you could help me clear up the confusion before Squad Modes become the deciding factor.

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It's in the errata, everyone can use their own chapters squad modes. But to be honest, if a leader uses his chapter squad mode I'm not sure if it is limited to Kill-Team members of his chapter. Neither core rulebook nor errata is really precise about this question.

Edited by Avdnm

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Thanks, valid point there, I have to check the Errata again. I purposefully ignored it for the first few sessions to give the players a bit more dakka than deserved, to counter their slight WH40K scepticism :) I'm planning to scale back next time - they took a liking to the game, so they're under my thumb now. [insert evil laugh]

Anyway, I'll try out letting them have the leader's squad mode for now, to lend some more meaning to the position and to emphasize the worldview/combat doctrines of their respective chapters, and I'll see what happens.

Anyway, if someone knows something definite about this, feedbacks are invited

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if a leader uses his chapter squad mode I'm not sure if it is limited to Kill-Team members of his chapter. Neither core rulebook nor errata is really precise about this question.

Yes, it is. Chapter Squad Modes are limited to members of the Chapter who are in the Kill-Team and in Squad Mode at the time, unless one of the aforementioned exceptions is applicable.

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Yes, it is. Chapter Squad Modes are limited to members of the Chapter who are in the Kill-Team and in Squad Mode at the time, unless one of the aforementioned exceptions is applicable.

 

 

The reason why I'm not 100% sure on this is the mentioning in the oath-taking section(p228). "In addition to the listed Codex Squad Mode abilities the Kill-team will also have access to their leader's Chapter Squad Mode abilities".

 

What bugs me here is, we know every Marine has access to his own Chapter Squad Mode abilities, so what's the intent on the mentioning here if not an extension? Also, there is no limitation listed here.

 

It still differs from the Tactical Marine's skill, because Tactical Expertise doesn't require the Tactical Marine to be the squad leader.

 

Besides, musungu's reasoning sounds good for me, as this would represent the leading style of the marine in charge.

Edited by Avdnm

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Thank you, Kshatriya. The general instructions that Chapter Squad Modes are only available to members of the relevant Chapter are quite clear indeed. My question pertains to the position of the leader in particular, specifically the sentence quoted in the first post:

 

 "in addition to the listed Codex Squad Mode abilities the Kill-team will also have access to their leader's Chapter Squad Mode abilities" - Core Rulebook, p. 228

 

So if I understand it correctly, the above instruction is to be disregarded? What do you think, would it be a gamebreaker, if I houseruled to allow it for the leader (perhaps with some additional challenges for non-Chapter members when trying to join)? So far both tactical marines chose Bolter Mastery instead of Tactical Expertise, as expected from inexperienced players, and I couldn't yet find the description of Forging the Bond, but it wasn't a cheap improvement, if I can recall it correctly.

 

The group is progressing well, and it's visible how deeper understanding of the rules improves gameplay session by session, but I want to facilitate roleplaying a bit more, and since the players are not intimately familiar with the universe, I figured such a move would make the position of the leader more important, and would indirectly insert more fluff into the game.

 

Sorry for picking at the topic, but as a fresh GM with an inexperienced group, I really could use the insights of the community.

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Besides, musungu's reasoning sounds good for me, as this would represent the leading style of the marine in charge.

 

 

My line of thought, exactly. I want the players to actually think about who might be the best leader, and not just dump it on the Ultramarine every single time. I mean, sure, to cooperate with the IG to fend off a 'Nid attack, let it be the guy in blue, but to eliminate, say,  a renegade psyker, the Black Templar might be better-suited. And as I mentioned in my previous post, I want to put as much fluff as possible in a combat-heavy game. By the time the bliss of epic rip and tear wears off somewhat, I want my players to be heavily invested in the 40K universe :)

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 "in addition to the listed Codex Squad Mode abilities the Kill-team will also have access to their leader's Chapter Squad Mode abilities" - Core Rulebook, p. 228

 

 

Subject to the normal restrictions related to calling Chapter specific Squad Mode abilities. The squad also has access to every other marine's Chapter Squad Mode abilities as well, since chapter abilities are always known and always available. Still, only those trained in their use can benefit from them, even if the Kill-team leader activates them.

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If I may throw a GIANT wrench in the works, I play an Untramarine Tactical Marine that is focused on squad mode abilities.  Let me lay out some special things I have collected to let me ignore most all of the rules when it comes to squad modes.  Sometimes I find that learning a concept is easiest when I know what the exceptions are...

 

Tactical Expertise from being a Tactical Marine: Make a Command test to let one of the squad modes you have access to affect your whole team that is in range (also based on rank)

 

Defence Genius from Rites of Battle Deeds: GIves me access to Defensive Squad Mode abilities from any chapter that is in my kill team.  My team is the following currently: Myself Ultramarine Tactical, Dark Angels Apothicary, Space Wolf Tactical Marine, Storm Warden Techmarine, Blood Angel Assault Marine.  This means I can use the Defensive Squad Modes from Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Storm Wardens and Blood Angels.

 

Strike Team Specialist from Rites of Battle Deeds: GIves me access to Offensive Squad Mode abilities from any chapter that is in my kill team. My team is the following currently: Myself Ultramarine Tactical, Dark Angels Apothicary, Space Wolf Tactical Marine, Storm Warden Techmarine, Blood Angel Assault Marine. This means I can use the Offensive Squad Modes from Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Storm Wardens and Blood Angels.

 

In closing, these three abilities put together mean that I can use "Lightning Strike" from the Storm Wardens (access through Strike Team Specialist and the Storm Warden team member) and have it affect everyone (Tactical Expertise) with a Command check.  I have Fellowship of 65 (rolled a 50, +5 from Ultramarine +10 from advances) and the Command +20 talent (Ultramarines) and a few other deeds/items that put my command check at a clean 100 so I can't fail (except snake eyes).  I may not bring a lot of pain myself but i can generate 16 cohesion a session which is lots of "Lightning Strike" and other fun abilities for the whole group to take advantage of.

 

We came upon another problem with my massive amounts of Cohesion, any single player may only benifit from one Sustained Squad Mode at once.  This means that we had "flashcards" to tell which they were under at any given moment.  When using a Sustained Squad Mode you can still be affected by Non-Sustained Squad Mode abilities like Lightning Strike so no worries there.  Just a helpful hint if you go down the Cohesion rabbit hole a wasy further, use Sustained Squad Mode abilities at the very begining of your session because they last all session.  Even if no one is "using" it at the moment you can still change back to it with no additional cohesion cost.

 

In the end, Cohesion/Squad Mode is a fantastic force multiplier but requires a little bit of accounting on the team leader's side to make sure you do it right.  The only downside is all of the fantastic and fluffy Solo Mode abilities that are never used by my group because they want my +6 to actions and 1 reroll (that is one reroll for the whole group BTW not per person).

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