Hardholder's Vehicles

  • 9 Replies
Hardholder's Vehicles
« on: March 06, 2017, 10:21:29 AM »
So the hardholder sends his gang out with some of the vehicles in his hold - the jeep, etc. I'm just playing the gang at their regular harm/armour.

How do you guys do it when a gang has vehicles, or is that just included in harm?

Re: Hardholder's Vehicles
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 06:51:14 PM »
I must admit that I haven't actually played a lot of battles involving both gangs and vehicles, but I've thought a lot about how I would do it:
I think I'd have the vehicles (including the gang members inside them) count separately from the main gangs that are fighting, as if they are themselves separate gangs (though counting as a guy or two with regards to the math) involved in the fighting.

Like so:
Gang A has 30 guys (medium, 2-harm, 1-armor), a pickup with 1-armor and a .50 cal (5-harm, area), and a semi with 2-armor and spikes (7-harm ap). They are going up against Gang B, (large, 3-harm, 0-armor).
Gang A suffers 3-harm, the pickup suffers 5-harm and the semi suffers 4-harm. Gang B suffers 1-harm from Gang A, 5-harm from the pickup's .50 cal (or 2-harm, depending on how large an area they are spread out across) and 4-harm (ap) from the semi ramming them.

Of course the actual battle might go very differently depending on rolls, tactics and a lot of other factors. The above example is just to show how I would do the math.

If Gang A belongs to a PC, I'd have her roll for the gang, the pickup and the semi separately. If Gang B belongs to a PC, I'd probably just have her roll once and apply the +/-harm to all enemies. Again depending entirely on conrete actions, tactics etc.



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Re: Hardholder's Vehicles
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2017, 08:04:56 PM »
I would definitely, absolutely never do the math like pastorlindhardt suggests above. Not only is any harm above 6 pointless, but this way ensures that the most valuable equipment is always the most damaged, and allows multiple "turns" of conflict to resolve at the same time. Harm rolls are in aggregate, not individually counted against another aggregate. It is also overly complicated.

It's far better to actually look at the stuff in the fiction. I would probably treat the gang as if it did not have vehicles point wise. Everything will average together. If they've got some special weapon like a real fully functional 50cal anti-tank weapon, maybe that weapon boosts the damage output of the gang by +1 harm while it's in play. But more likely, I'd do it like this: If you've got a missile launcher, all of a sudden maybe you can include that helicopter in the things taking damage during this exchange. If you've got a 50cal mounted gun, you can expect to deal your gangs harm against many or most or all of the vehicles in your opponents army. If you've got dangerous weaponry in your gang, you deal it against the other gang, and what could get wrecked by the type of fire is included in the harm roll. If you've got only light weaponry, then I probably wouldnt bother damaging any enemy vehicles, and the people most likely to be uninjuried in the exchange will be included as those manning those vehicles.

The reason any of this is relevant, is that having vehicles in an army allows you to make actions and do shit that you could not ordinarily do. You can run from a fight, possibly pulling out even your most wounded at high speeds.  You might be able to engage an enemy easily, have access to further maneuvers and combat opportunities, you might be able to chase down fleeing enemy vehicles or guarantee that the enemy cannot escape. You could force the enemy to leave behind their wounded, or making hit and runs that let you whittle down a stronger foe. Having tactical and strategic assets in a combat never actually need to be explained or handled on a independent numeric standpoint (it can be on a case by case), but it is far better to let them determine the fictional possibilities of the outcome then try to figure out how to support the possibilities with the very simplified combat tools this system relies on. Fiction first, if someone's weaponry cannot harm a tank (sticks and stones for example), then they cannot roll to harm the tank anyway. Determine damage by considering what things are in play in the fight. Choose to take something if it makes sense, and be willing to take everything if that's what the fiction demands, etc.

Basically, you're doing it right. If you want it to matter more, then look at the times when they're doing stuff, take the time to make sure you comment on why it might be important to have... or to not have such equipment there. Explore that, push where they're weak, let them know where they're strong by providing them opportunities that their stuff allows.

Gangs don't use vehicle harm rules, that's for handling individual harm, not aggregate.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 08:39:22 PM by Ebok »

Re: Hardholder's Vehicles
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 09:46:33 AM »
Pastor and Ebok, thank you for your input. I'm going to try out both ideas in a generalized way with my 'test group'.

Re: Hardholder's Vehicles
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 11:47:59 AM »
You're welcome!
I should add, that I don't usually count harm to gangs and vehicles as cumulative; so a gang suffering 3 harm from two different sources doesn't suffer 6 harm, but rather 3 harm twice (so something like 4 harm which is still really bad!).

Also I agree completely with Ebok with regards to fiction first. If all a gang has is specifically small arms, they won't be able to touch a tank for example.

Let us know how your test goes!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 12:06:27 PM by pastorlindhardt »

Re: Hardholder's Vehicles
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 11:23:58 AM »
Do you have the hardholder roll for his gang/vehicle even if he isn't present?

I had this situation in my first game a couple weeks ago. The hardholder wanted to assist the other players because he was the only one with a vehicle or a gang, but he didn't want to leave his stronghold as he had just been betrayed and wanted to have a solo scene with some of his gang to reinforce the base.

So he sent five gang members and a truck with a 50.cal to take the Gunlugger, savvyhead, and child-thing on a mission. On the way, they enter an ambush situation. The savvyhead had foreseen the ambush using the augury special move in his base earlier, so he had the gang out and walking along with the truck as they slowly approached the ambush spot. The truck stopped just outside of the ambush zone.

The gunlugger was on the .50cal and he made a go aggro move with a bullhorn. He passed and I responded by triggering the ambush (force your hand and suck it up). The gunlugger with the .50cal rolled seize by force. I used the .50cal as a weapon against the fortified checkpoint up ahead, but I used his success to determine not only the success of that combat, but also to determine the success of the small gang of 5 against the flanking ambushers (small gang vs small gang). So one roll, but two different maths.

I am wondering if I should have allowed the hardholder to roll for his gang (even if he wasn't there) or if it was appropriate to bundle it all into a single seize by force roll. I also realize that I should not have had the Gunlugger seize by force, that my selection of "suck it up" would have introduced combat and that it was redundant to also roll seize by force.

« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 11:48:37 AM by redbeard »

Re: Hardholder's Vehicles
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2017, 01:57:50 PM »
Yeah, the gang are a weapon the Hardholder can use, he gets to roll for them while they're on a mission for him. That wouldn't be the case if they were just hanging out and the Gunlugger decided to shoot them or something, but while on a mission from the boss, the Hardholder should definitely get to roll for them.

Also, it sounds from that description like you responded to a successful Go Aggro with the necessity for a Seize By Force roll, which, if true, is deeply wrong. 'Force Your Hand' means they immediately take damage with no chance to hit back, they could then attempt to attack, but only if they survived the flat damage they just received.

Re: Hardholder's Vehicles
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2017, 02:44:33 PM »
Also, it sounds from that description like you responded to a successful Go Aggro with the necessity for a Seize By Force roll, which, if true, is deeply wrong. 'Force Your Hand' means they immediately take damage with no chance to hit back, they could then attempt to attack, but only if they survived the flat damage they just received.

Ok, let me describe the scene a bit more because the idea that it would be a battle where only the player does damage and the enemy threat only receives damage (not hitting back) doesn't sit right with me .

So the savvyhead had a vision of ambushers in wait while he was in the augury tank/psychic maelstrom.

The armored truck is approaching the second checkpoint in a dangerous terrain. The terrain had already been clearly identified as a threat. There was an earlier checkpoint that, after a successful "go aggro" via bullhorn, the thugs simply let the party through without harassment ("go aggro" success responding with the threat "caving and doing what the Gunlugger wants" by opening the gate.)

The savvyhead gets a icy chill and recognizes something from his vision. He tells everyone to hold up. They listen to him and approach the second checkpoint cautiously, stopping short of the ambush zone. The gunlugger is on the .50cal and gets on the horn again, shouting "open the gate and move away or eat lead."

This Go Aggro roll is successful (10+), but these dudes were ready to spring the ambush, they aren't going to cave and just let the party go by without a fight. So, despite the party being wise to it, the ambushers collective "hand is forced" into springing the ambush early. I did, at this point, force a "Seize by Force" roll, this was incorrect, I am happy to admit that. However, I do feel that the story demands that this is not a one-way combat. The party was wise to the threat and as soon as they see that the gate isn't being opened they are ready to spring into combat, but the ambushers are likewise going to fight back, their fingers are already on triggers and such.

As I am re-reading the rules, I do understand what you are saying.  The issue is that the "Go Aggro" rule stipulates "Use it whenever the character’s definitely the aggressor: when the target isn’t expecting the attack, isn’t prepared to fight back, doesn’t want to fight back, or can’t fight back effectively." Using the Go Aggro rule as written, the .50 cal would've simply torn apart the guards as soon as they started to aim their guns, game over. (which is essentially what happened even with the seize by force roll since the range was far and the ambushers didn't have far guns)

So if I wanted to do this over again I would either 1. not allow the party to try to "Go Aggro" because the enemy was already prepared for a fight. or 2. allow "Go Aggro" and not allow the ambushers to fight back at all.

Re: Hardholder's Vehicles
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 02:58:25 PM »
"Go aggro" is not a good move to call, I think, without some more clarity of the situation.

What, exactly, was been threatened in your game? Were the PCs aware of the location of the ambushers, and sufficiently so to target them with their weapons?

Or was it an empty threat?

The harm potential (both fictionally and mechanically) should be clear when this move is rolled, I think. Were they just spouting empty threats into the air ("We're going to strafe this entire canyon!")? Or did they have a bead on a target (e.g. the ambushers were behind flimsy cover the .50cal could easily penetrate)?

On the other hand, if, as you suggest, the ambushers were geared up for a fight and ready, maybe "going aggroing" wasn't possible at all. The megaphone statements were just opening negotiations... once they failed, both sides decide whether to engage a fight or surrender. If it was time for a Battle, then make with the Battle moves.

Re: Hardholder's Vehicles
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2017, 11:45:35 AM »
Well, if they don't have the range to hurt the Gunlugger, and he does have the range to hurt them, Go Aggro is absolutely appropriate regardless of whether they're ready for a fight, and should be handled with them simply taking the damage or surrendering (or, on a 7-9, taking one of the other options). Go Aggro is made for situations where only one side can harm the other.

If the situation were the same, only the Gunlugger were within the ambushers' range, then Go Aggro would be the wrong move, with Seize By Force being the appropriate one.

So yeah, go with one of the options you state at the bottom of your post.