Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't

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I’ve been working on a CAG (for my BSG hack) move analogous to Leadership, used to control the squadrons, and something is coming into focus. I don’t understand what the Leadership move does.

I get pack alpha. Getting your gang to behave is tough, they’re going to fight you, this how you put them down.

But, if your gang is under control, why isn’t the character in charge of them, any character just making basic moves?

Need your gang to stay sentry and watch out for intruders trying to sneak in? Read a sitch.

Need them to put the hurt on someone and get them to pay their debts? Go aggro.

Need them to stay the fuck out of site while you lure your enemies into an ambush? Act under fire.

It just seems to me that Leadership is superfluous unless you need it to control your gang, and that’s not exactly what leadership does. Sure, on a miss, you lose control, but on a hit you get things like “make a hard advance”. What is that? Is it going aggro? Is it seizing by force? If so why not just roll those? If not, what does it do.

In the book Vincent suggests spending hold along with using moves (his example is making hard advance and seizing by force to take a wall). But again I ask what does the Leadership part of this doing? Why couldn’t the Hardholder just roll seize be force to take the wall?

He also mentions using the gang as weapons (p.253) but that also just looks like you do basic moves with them.

What am I missing?

Also, if I’m not missing anything, what about a move like this. Strong Hands on the Rein*: You can use your Military Unit (my name for gang) to perform all the basic moves. Add these to all moves. On a 7-9, you’ve got to discipline one of your soldiers after the encounter for something they did or didn’t do. On a miss, your MU has broken formation, been routed, or otherwise leaves you exposed to your enemy.

*Move name courtesy of SoylentWhite

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 10:00:32 AM »
...if your gang is under control...

It just seems to me that Leadership is superfluous unless you need it to control your gang, and that’s not exactly what leadership does. Sure, on a miss, you lose control, but on a hit you get things like “make a hard advance”. What is that?
I think that the move assures that your gang is actually under your control for certain kinds of maneuvers.  You do still need to engage other systems to figure out if your hard advance will work, but at least you know that those savage fuckers are going to make the advance.  Without that kind of leadership, everything is that much harder.

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 10:12:45 AM »
Imagine what Leadership and Pack Alpha imply about the scenario where someone leading a gang has neither move (the scenario Blind Blue and Hatchet city has this, where the Violent character has some dudes but isn't always the Chopper). You're their leader fictionally, but they're not your gang. If you find yourself needing to make a hard advance, what, do you roll +Hot, with the promise of spoils (or maybe that you won't shoot them for insubordination?). Good luck with that one, Funlugger.

On a similar-but-different-note there's this thing where gang's aren't available as advancement options but Leadership is as Another Playbook's Move (see also Holdings and Wealth), even though you need a gang for it to be any good. That's always struck me as something, although I'm not sure what. Take Leadership (the move), and then find a gang in play? Or just having those as moves while keeping gangs limited to people it makes sense to get gangs? I dunno.

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 11:15:01 AM »
Along with the mechanical aspect, moves like Leadership change the color of the game.  In my experience, players take certain playbooks or moves not because they want more tools to deal with a specific situation, but because they want to bring that situation into play, or focus more on it.  They don't take leadership because they're tired of manipulating or going aggro on their ersatz gang, they take it because they want to make leading more of a thing.  It's a flag to the MC and other players to give more of a thing, like a Key or Aspect.


Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 01:16:54 PM »
I may be off base here, but the examples in the text seem to suggest to me that:

  • under normal circumstances, using a gang as a weapon requires you to be there, leading the gang;
  • but leadership lets you command the gang from afar, or send them on a mission without your supervision.

Is this even close to vaguely right?

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 02:14:57 PM »
I think that the move assures that your gang is actually under your control for certain kinds of maneuvers.  You do still need to engage other systems to figure out if your hard advance will work, but at least you know that those savage fuckers are going to make the advance.  Without that kind of leadership, everything is that much harder.

Okay, so safe to say that this move, and Pack Alpha, assume your gang is naturally hard to wrangle, that these are the things you can expect to get out of them, and that, if you slip up. The will rebel.

Without the move, you may have a gang, but they are going to act on their own interests and the best you can manage is to influence individual members via the basic moves.

So... what I take from that, is that "using a gang as a weapon" second of the book is dependent first and foremost on your gang's willingness either because:

a) you hit on a move like Leadership or Pack Alpha
b) it's in their own self interest (not a move)
c) you've done enough work in the narrative (via other moves) that the MC believes it is now b) in their own self interest.

Yes?

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 02:17:40 PM »
Imagine what Leadership and Pack Alpha imply about the scenario where someone leading a gang has neither move (the scenario Blind Blue and Hatchet city has this, where the Violent character has some dudes but isn't always the Chopper). You're their leader fictionally, but they're not your gang. If you find yourself needing to make a hard advance, what, do you roll +Hot, with the promise of spoils (or maybe that you won't shoot them for insubordination?). Good luck with that one, Funlugger.

Okay, so you're saying that having a gang, without having a move to control them, just means you have violent people around you, who are going to act in their own self interest.

Thus it sounds like if you have a gang, but not a Leadership move, you are really part of the gang, rather than the leader. Heck, someone else might even vie for leadership without particularly thinking they are pushing you out.

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 03:40:25 PM »
Along with the mechanical aspect, moves like Leadership change the color of the game.  In my experience, players take certain playbooks or moves not because they want more tools to deal with a specific situation, but because they want to bring that situation into play, or focus more on it. 

I think you hit the nail on the head there. You play a Hardholder or a Chopper because you want to deal the trials of leadership.

So, and this is getting back to my specific needs for the CAG, I'm thinking something like this:

Strong Hands on the Rein: When you send your pilots out to fight, roll +hard (maybe +sharp because that is the CAG's high stat). Get some holds and spend them to:

* Defend the fleet
* Blast Cylons
* Jam signals
* Buy time

And crap they get from their pilots are recklessness, insubordination, challenging their authority, etc. Stuff to throw in with a miss.

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 09:36:51 AM »
Your AW gang is a bunch of named NPCs with their own not-that-complicated agendas.  They're threats in fronts.  They might be trying to kill you and they might also be the only thing keeping you alive.  

the best you can manage is to influence individual members via the basic moves.
At least sometimes, you can influence them as a group with the basic moves.  You can straight-up go aggro on a gang, right?  And I'm pretty sure that Vx has talked about manipulating groups of people.

So... what I take from that, is that "using a gang as a weapon" second of the book is dependent first and foremost on your gang's willingness either because:

a) you hit on a move like Leadership or Pack Alpha
b) it's in their own self interest (not a move)
c) you've done enough work in the narrative (via other moves) that the MC believes it is now b) in their own self interest.

Yes?
I'm not parsing "second of the book" but I want to point out that no matter what you do to motivate your gang, it always boils down to convincing them it's in their best interest.  If you hit the leadership roll, then they think you (we!) can win or at least they think that personal loyalty keeps things going.  And acting as pack alpha, you're convincing them that doing what you tell them to is smarter than getting their shit kicked sideways.  You can even be whip a mob (wouldn't your gang often count as a mob?) into a frenzy and have them fight for you because, at least temporarily, you've talked them into seeing things your way.  And if you don't use any of those moves, they'll still fight for you if they think it's the smartest course.

That's how I see all that.

As to BSG and your CAG move, it occurs to me that something pretty important in the show is how one of the pilots (usually Starbuck) will disobey Lee, but through amazing skill, luck, pluck, etc. get the job done -- maybe even better than anticipated.  Is that an interesting failure or partial success condition?

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 11:01:41 AM »
I'm not parsing "second of the book" but I want to point out that no matter what you do to motivate your gang, it always boils down to convincing them it's in their best interest.

Sorry, that was a typo. "second of the book" should have been "section of the book".

As to BSG and your CAG move, it occurs to me that something pretty important in the show is how one of the pilots (usually Starbuck) will disobey Lee, but through amazing skill, luck, pluck, etc. get the job done -- maybe even better than anticipated.  Is that an interesting failure or partial success condition?

Starbuck doing the job wants but giving him grief seems like a good thing to fit in the 7-9 space. They do it, but there is hell to pay afterwards. Other things that could fall into that category would be pushing themselves too far (Kat on Stims), getting lax after the mission (Flat Top does his 1,000th land in Act of Contrition and in partying, the get blown up by a lose missile), etc.

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2012, 01:08:49 PM »
Okay, here's my shot at "Squadron Commander"

Two thoughts on it:

1) A hit should give 2 holds (no matter what), with a 7-9 including something that needs disciplining.

2) Damn, now Brief the Squad is stepping on it's toes. Merp.


Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2012, 01:58:26 PM »
Trying again:

Squadron Commander: When your squad fights for you, roll +hard. On a hit, hold 2. On a 10+, that’s all, they are following orders. On a 7-9, they buck your command, push themselves too far, or get careless. Spend your hold 1 for 1 to:
  • Draw fire.
  • Concentrate fire on a target.
  • Sacrifice themselves to buy time for the fleet.
  • Lay in wait to ambush.
On a miss the squad is scattered, outflanked or unprepared, leaving you exposed to your enemy.

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 03:35:38 PM »
I see what you changed between the two versions but not why.

As I read those, a version of the move that's sort of between the two came to mind:

Squadron Commander: When your squad fights for you, roll +hard. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7-9 hold 1. Spend your hold 1 for 1 to:
•Draw fire.
•Concentrate fire on a target.
•Sacrifice themselves to buy time for the fleet.
•Lay in wait to ambush.
Any time during the fight, you can choose to take 1 extra hold and the MC will tell you how they they buck your command, push themselves too far, or get careless.

But if that shares whatever the problem with your first version is, then that's still a problem.

Re: Trying to understand what Leadership does that basic moves don't
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 04:05:43 PM »
The reason I changed the first version is that it didn't have any "but they mess with you" consequences except on a miss. I wanted to add in the "weak hit" option that still got the job done, but with consequences. I don't like the "trade a problem for a hold" because I want to know, once the dice hit the table if I should be including a problem in the fight, so I can drop it in whenever, rather than only finding out at the end when the CAG trades for another hold.

Now I think I just need to dump Brief the Squad (it overlaps too much) and give the CAG as +sharp move that lets them help anyone (like Oftener Right).