2.1 Comments/questions

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2.1 Comments/questions
« on: November 22, 2012, 06:36:56 PM »
In advance of playing tonight, some questions and comments:

* Under recovery/healing, what does 'get worse' mean?  Is this purely narrative, or does it mean boxes get progressively crossed off?

* NPC Action - might be good to say: (contrast w/ unit action)

* Help: the "If you ignore" rule - I assume this is a broader rule than merely refusing to use the help+bond roll.  For example, if someone's trapped across the street and it requires you to expose yourself to enemy fire, this isn't a "Help move" situation, but I think it should be stressing.  Maybe what I'm saying is that refusing help seems like a different move.

* Help: clearing a condition.. even 'Critical'? Even non-medics?

* HEAT: What does +2AP mean?  Is this a bonus to the die roll, or is it about neutralizing armor?  (I can't seem to find the armor rules, that might answer it.)

* I took 'ex' (e.g. under mortar) for Expend, which confused me.  Maybe 'ext' is a better short form for extreme?

* Critical - it doesn't seem to say, but it seems like the implication is that being critical means you can't do much (other than cry for help maybe, and Push Past it).

* Crew: under-crewed weapons do less damage, but are just as effective in assaults (I think that's the implication of -1d)

* Flamethrowers are 'messy' AND 'area'. Is this right?

* GM moves: Thought of two that seem rife in what I've been reading lately:  Shot at by friendlies; Uncertainty whether those guys are friend or foe.

* Well-armed units - what does the 'when you attack' mean.  Is that when the players attack along with their unit?  (It seems weird for a well-armed unit, for example, to boost an individual's attack.)  Or does it mean you're so flush with ammo everyone can go bananas?

* Officer's logistics move: When a unit 'has surplus' does this mean they're restored to the default of 3 supply?

Thanks!

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 12:43:38 AM »
* Under recovery/healing, what does 'get worse' mean?  Is this purely narrative, or does it mean boxes get progressively crossed off?

It means they check more health boxes; but, it also needs the narrative component. Their health deteriorates due to emotional or physical trauma. That leads to a narrative outcome, like “Shit, gangrene’s set in” along with that new check mark in wounds or stress. GM decides what the time frame is, how many additional wounds or stress are taken (usually just one at a time), and how this worsening manifests in the fiction.


* Help: the "If you ignore" rule - I assume this is a broader rule than merely refusing to use the help+bond roll.  For example, if someone's trapped across the street and it requires you to expose yourself to enemy fire, this isn't a "Help move" situation, but I think it should be stressing.  Maybe what I'm saying is that refusing help seems like a different move.

Actually, that’s the gist of how helping works. So, if your buddy is bleeding out in the street, you have a choice: help them or not. If you run out into the street under enemy fire and help them, you roll +bond and mark xp. If you don’t, if you just leave them there to their fate, then you take stress and destroy your bond with each other.

Help is a different kind of move in that it has two stages. It starts with the fictional trigger: someone needs your help. Then you make a hard choice, to help them or not. There's no dice involved in the decision-making; the player chooses. Then, you make the move to help or you make the move to destroy your relationship.



* Help: clearing a condition.. even 'Critical'? Even non-medics?

Yes. Critical is a condition and it can be cleared with the move, even if the character making a move isn't a medic. The medic move is way better for dealing with it, though.  The critical condition can be acquired through either stress or wounds and it doesn't necessarily mean their life and death right now. It could; but, not always. To clear the condition, whoever is making the move has to be able to do something in the fiction that makes sense to clear the condition, so, establishing what’s causing the critical condition is key. Then, you can make the decision as to whether or not it makes sense for a character to clear the condition. In other words, the GM can say, “there’s really nothing you can do to materially help them; therefore, you can’t make the move; therefore, you can’t clear their condition.” Then, tell them what it might take to clear the condition and ask them what they do. Have them make moves to assess the situation, throw stress at them if they are panicky, and see where they go with it!


* HEAT: What does +2AP mean?  Is this a bonus to the die roll, or is it about neutralizing armor?  (I can't seem to find the armor rules, that might answer it.)

If I recall, the weapons with the HEAT tag all do 5d. HEAT means it does +2 AP (armor penetrating) vs. vehicles. So, if you use it against soft targets, you do 5d and if you use it against hard targets, you do 7d.

There aren't "armor rules" per se; but, some vehicles are referenced on the GM1 sheet. We're envisioning an armor supplement; but, getting the basic game working and done is priority one.



* Critical - it doesn't seem to say, but it seems like the implication is that being critical means you can't do much (other than cry for help maybe, and Push Past it).

Yes, that’s pretty much the case. Again, establishing what’s really causing the critical condition (apart from just the check marks on the sheet) is crucial. For example: “Sanders is hit in the leg Sarge! Bullet went clean through: he won’t be able to put any weight on it; right now he’s in shock.” Now you’ve established what the situation is and there are concrete steps the players can take to remedy the situation: they can probably clear critical by patching the holes and treating the shock symptoms; but, they’ll still have to drag him limping along. The wounds need to manifest as more than just boxes that are checked and erased. That is really fertile ground for storytelling – more so in my experience than the tactical move and shoot elements of the game.


* Crew: under-crewed weapons do less damage, but are just as effective in assaults (I think that's the implication of -1d)

Basically… So there’s kinda two things going on here. First, there’s rolling a stat to make the move – that’s not affected. So yeah, when you make the assault move, you roll +battle, whatever your stat is, and resolve the move normally. The -1d comes in whenever you roll damage, which is the second part of moves like attack, assault, and covering fire. I guess, let me back up a step: you roll dice to determine how many stress or wounds are dealt/taken (see attack). Then, when you roll damage, you take off one die when determining how many wounds or stress are dealt/taken.


* Flamethrowers are 'messy' AND 'area'. Is this right?

Flamethrower should just be area. This is a hold-over from earlier versions where messy was more like the AW definition.


* GM moves: Thought of two that seem rife in what I've been reading lately:  Shot at by friendlies; Uncertainty whether those guys are friend or foe.

Those are definitely good. They are specific examples of “Immerse them in the chaos of war.”


* Well-armed units - what does the 'when you attack' mean.  Is that when the players attack along with their unit?  (It seems weird for a well-armed unit, for example, to boost an individual's attack.)  Or does it mean you're so flush with ammo everyone can go bananas?

It means when your character is rolling damage, you can spend one gear to get an extra die in your next damage roll. The idea is, your unit has superior firepower.


* Officer's logistics move: When a unit 'has surplus' does this mean they're restored to the default of 3 supply?

Good catch. The officer move still uses legacy terminology (I think). First, no, it doesn't mean that the unit supply is restored to the starting level. It means that they get some new benefit or some new benefit and some new problem. The benefit could be supply; but, it could be something else: like a heavy weapon or intel. Look at the order of battle sheet: surplus = advantage and trouble = drawback. We’ll have to fix this next time around.

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2012, 01:32:38 AM »
Very helpful answer, thank you Paul.

- So it seems that 'help' runs the gamut of mundane assistance to people who could just use a little help from a friend, to running to save a buddy whose number is just about up.

- re: HEAT - cool.  Perhaps it should say +2d vs. armored targets instead of +2AP?

Bit of feedback after tonight's game:

Our GM (who did an excellent job coming in totally cold) interpreted Attack, Assault, and Covering Fire more or less as alternatives, and was reluctant to have us roll damage during assaults.

My sense, however, is that Assault and Covering Fire generally lead directly to Attack (as a byproduct).  I think this is what's meant by 'hammer the enemy with your weapon', but it could be clearer.

Anyways, great stuff!

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2012, 01:49:31 AM »
Ah, one last one.  Our GM noticed that you need to be very careful when treating a group of enemy NPCs as a single, 3-damage unit.

A medic who had inherited a flamethrower was attacking an enemy section more or less on his own.  The GM noticed that even after reducing the medic's VOF down twice (movement, force parity), 3d incidental would, on average, do a couple of stress and knock out the whole enemy unit.  (This is before considering the flamer's terror/area/burn tags - as if he'd used a single grenade or something.)

In other words, grouping NPCs and giving the whole group only 2/3 damage points is a big deal, and is probably the right course of action when attacked by groups with similarly aggregated hit points.


- What does this line mean: "Apply both stress and wounds inflicted
to the strength damage track (so there’s no need to roll damage when
NPCs take direct fire, unless you need the added detail)."

I get that if you do 2S, W to an NPC unit, it just takes '3 damage'.  But why don't you need to roll?  (Is this because the GM is just converting the narrative in to damage points?)

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2012, 03:55:12 AM »
One correction: Help can't clear the critical condition. Look at the text again, it can temporarily stabilize (like enough to move your buddy back to the aid station maybe) but without actual medical treatment, they'll go critical again. Maybe I'll reword that bit.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say the GM treated the battle moves "as alternatives." Can you elaborate on that? (The intent is to always roll damage when damage is inflicted in the fiction, including assault, suppress, etc.)

Agreed that the grouping of NPCs is critical. A single soldier against a squad is not unit on unit battle, so I wouldn't treat the squad as a 3-hit group. If flamethrower guy is leading a squad and attacks another squad, then it makes sense, as you say.

Eventually there will be text that actually explains how to do this stuff. :) Thanks a lot for giving it a go with the bare bones.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 04:05:50 AM by John Harper »

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 09:13:31 AM »
One correction: Help can't clear the critical condition. Look at the text again, it can temporarily stabilize

Ah, right you are.

A single soldier against a squad is not unit on unit battle, so I wouldn't treat the squad as a 3-hit group.

Cool.

the GM treated the battle moves "as alternatives." Can you elaborate on that?

Sure - when we were shooting, Stephen (the GM) was reluctant to have us roll damage during an Assault, as if Assault and Attack were alternate moves that characterized different types of fighting (or fighting intents).  From our Bandit Razor game at BW Con, I recalled that you'd roll damage dice pretty much any time lead was in the air, but his interpretation looks surprisingly reasonable from the written text (though it led to assaults and particularly covering fire as feeling strangely inconclusive, and it stops you using weapon tags during assaults and covering fire).

Makes me wonder if a slightly different trigger phrase for Attack would be helpful, something like, "Whenever weapons are used against enemies," or something.  Right now, the Attack and Assault trigger phrases are at the same 'level'.  (Of course the full text will no doubt make this obvious.)

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2012, 01:54:37 PM »
- What does this line mean: "Apply both stress and wounds inflicted
to the strength damage track (so there’s no need to roll damage when
NPCs take direct fire, unless you need the added detail)."

I get that if you do 2S, W to an NPC unit, it just takes '3 damage'.  But why don't you need to roll?  (Is this because the GM is just converting the narrative in to damage points?)

You  don't need to roll because at the Direct Fire level, whatever you roll does 1S or 1W, so rather than rolling, you can just mark off a number of circles equal to the number of dice you WOULD have rolled

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2012, 02:54:05 PM »
at the Direct Fire level, whatever you roll does 1S or 1W, so .. you can just mark off a number of circles equal to the number of dice you WOULD have rolled

Ah hah, right.

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2012, 04:35:13 PM »
Thanks for elaborating, Michael. That interpretation of attack/damage never occurred to me. I'll see what I can do to make it clearer on the moves sheet.

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 12:55:49 AM »
Some more questions from tonight's game!

1. On the unit sheet, what are 'Supply' and 'Current Surplus'.  Is Supply the maximum 'current surplus'?  Most of the moves imply that surplus is an amount of supply, though it can also include intel.

2. What happens to heavy weapons obtained by the soldier's at the end of the session?  Reclaimed by the quarter master?  Does this still hold if a single mission spans multiple sessions and/or there's no quartermaster (e.g. as in behind-enemy-lines actions)?

3. During BWCon Bandit Razor, there were times when you applied wounds to multiple enemies (e.g. I rolled 2W and that killed three people).  I'm looking for guidance around when to do it.

It seems pretty clear that a moment-by-moment-scale Attack with a semiautomatic or nonspraying spray weapon will hurt at most one person.

Similarly, if one guy assaults a trio in a machine gun nest, but doesn't spray, he might win the assault and drive them off, but he's only going to hurt at most one enemy.  (Or does the slightly more zoomed-out aspect of Assault mean that the GM is free to wound several enemies?)

Having teammates in a squad action also seems relevant.  If five guys assault with battle rifles assault a trio of enemies, only one person rolls damage (e.g. 3d direct), but it seems appropriate to apply that damage to multiple enemies given that there are five shooters.

When autofire weapons fire without spending extra gear, do they wound a small group, like a spraying weapon?  Or are they no better than semis in this mode?

4. We were unclear on the specifics of medics healing critical injuries.  What I infer is this: When you reach either critical threshold, you get two independently removable conditions - "worsening", and "incapacitated".  Getting someone back into the fight removes "incapacitated" (though they may still die of worsening wounds).  Healing injuries clears boxes, but doesn't remove either condition, I think.  Is this true even if you heal all the boxes?

5. Feedback, not a question - Abstract gear worked really well for me in Bandit Razor.  In our WWII campaign, where we're behind enemy lines, it feels like I'm spending energy rationalizing it.  I feel like I need to consciously decide to hold back gear points, pretending I'm out of ammo with a favored suppressing weapon, so that I 'still have' grenades.  I think it's emphasized by having captured weapons in the mix.  The ammo isn't compatible with my teammates' stuff, so passing gear points around feels like cheating. I have to say I'm tempted to think that just writing '2 grenades', 'German LMG with 4 ammo' as my six gear would be more reflective of how we're playing.

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 06:20:04 PM »
1. Yep.

2. Depends on the situation. GM says what's what.

3. I applied wounds to multiple targets when someone used spray or autofire. The assault move doesn't supersede that. Your 5-on-3 scenario makes sense for multiple enemies hit, too.

Autofire just does what it says. If you don't spend, you don't get any benefit.

4. Yeah, that's accurate. I need to clarify the text to reflect that.

5. Gear boxes are only as abstract as the fiction allows. If it seems stupid to share boxes, don't do it. Your loadout says what your boxes represent, so when your loadout changes (to captured german stuff, say) then yeah, it's not compatible and you can't share boxes (or re-supply from unit reserves).

If you 'pretend' that you're out of ammo for your gun so you still have grenades... then yeah, that's what's happening. If you shoot it all, then that's what you brought -- a bunch of ammo instead of grenades.

If you hit a really awkward situation, like saying you prep a grenade, but then you shoot off all your boxes as ammo first, then, sure. Go ahead and throw the grenade you were supposed to have, "for free." No big deal. In some cases, it makes sense for the GM to call for a scrounge move when you dig through all your pouches to see if you have anything left. Zero boxes doesn't have to mean that you literally have nothing on you, in the fiction.

Also, yeah, just writing '2 grenades, 4 LMG ammo' is fine.

Re: 2.1 Comments/questions
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 06:29:45 PM »
Fantastic, thanks very much.