In my review of Action 2, the gift that keeps on giving, I noted that there were several frameworks for thinking through things in a structured way. One was Assess, Analyze, Act, and Avoid.
I decided to apply that to the Aeon campaign, and specifically to The Commander, my 1,300-point (or so) super-soldier.
What does that look like?
- Assess is “how do we gather data”
- Analyze is “How do we make plans?”
- Act is how we fight, mostly, in this context
- Avoid let’s reframe this into stealthy and non-stealthy transport.
For unsubtle, we have the VERTOL. That gives everyone in the vicinity a note that the cavalry is coming, and even a target.
For subtle: The Rat Queen can be sneaky by virtue of tiny rats. My guy can do Stealth based on SEAL! (so SEAL!-17 I think). Arc Light is notoriously non-subtle. 🙂 Eamon looks just like a guy, and Murui can probably do sneak as well being a martial artist, but not sure.
One thing that we haven’t been doing well is formal recon. Our Perception skills all seem sky-high; minimum of 18 perhaps?
But we don’t do a great job of casing the joint, so to speak, and I think we need an SOP here. Let’s do journalism:
- Who: What metas and what normals do we expect at the place? If we don’t know, how can we find out?
- What: The goal of entering the building or locale.
- Where: Blueprints! significant other buildings or surroundings. Presence or absence of cover.
- When: timing, not just for all of us to arrive but if we want to arrive in waves. If we need help, is it available, and how long would it take to arrive?
- How: Subtle, non-subtle? Violence or persuasion? Who’s the notional lead, and in what circumstance?
What skills and skill rolls will help tip the scales here?
I have forgotten Tactics rolls more than once.
In yesterday’s example, we suspected that the building would have an occult presence, and yet we just waltzed in and let in a demon. That was a rookie mistake. 🙂
But we could have done Architecture to figure out the layout. Blueprints for entrances and exits ahead of time. Research for hidden lore, etc, before we started sprinting into the fray.
My primary skills for the analyze phase include Ten-Hut! at a level of 16 or 18 (IQ+2 or IQ+4), which covers a bunch of nice stuff, plus SEAL! at the same level, which has Interrogation, Intimidation, and some other militarily useful abilities, including Intelligence Analysis so I can take all the recon data and incorporate it into a Tactics roll. Part and parcel of that is also Observation.
Act: The Commander
Defense: Parry-14 with his sword. Dodge is nothing special. TK block with the sword. Armor is worth about DR 20, plus another forward-facing force field (TK) for DR 40 total. This field is projectable if need be.
- Extra attack means I can aim and attack or attack twice with my weapons each turn, so long as I’m bringing the hurt.
- Assault carbine. 6d damage with standard ammo. He can both aim and attack each turn, so against the rare mundane foes at SMG distance (-7 for 30yds) he can hit vitals (-3) at about 90%; this means he can also hit legs or arms at 95%. Thus far, gunfire has mostly proved useful for telling us that our foes are immune to gunfire.
- Uber-splody bullets: I have 68 rounds left of the gadget ammo that Arc Light made for me. I use this one shot at a time, and it’s got a big armor divisor and an even worse follow-up explosion. 6d(3) and some big number for follow-up. I took out a battle robot with this.
- Sword. There’s somethign special about my grandfather’s sword. I can do cazy TK blocks with it, and it does a lot of damage. Does 5d+14 (2) cut, or 5d+14 cr with the sheath on if I don’t want to slice things.
All of the above are very, very lethal.
My other talents are moving things around the battlefield with 5d double knockback TK blasts. I can transfer energy from place to place, and this can be stunted such as with the earthquake.
My martial arts skills are solid.
I’m good at killin’ folks, knocking them around, and mundane physical violence. I’m good for protecting civilians, and calling off tactical plans. I will likely never do 240 crushing damage.
My ability to recon an area would be insanely good – the go-to guy for this – if it weren’t for the Rat Queen’s ability to do all of that stuff better than I can. So I’m backup recon guy, but probably the #1 player in the “make a tactical plan” department for when we remember to make one. I describe this as “Call it, Captain” from the Avengers.
|“Call it, Captain.”
Once we get into the action, my guy is often the one who does recon-by-fire. He sees a target, and fires a few normal bullets into it to see how it reacts. He usually aims for the leg, unless the hostiles (like the demons in S1E8) are obviously in the “kill on sight” category.
Beyond that, he can do lesser damage via grappling and battlefield prep and denial via TK abilities.
Diffuse foes? Screwed from a damage perspective, but not from a dispersal one.
His DR is good, but not great, and we keep running into things with (2) through (5) armor divisors, which means my DR 40 becomes DR 20 (not bad, about 5d+2) down to DR 8 (2d+1). So he’s protected but not immune to stuff. His defenses tend to be best when leveraging Weapon Master to parry at -2 per additional, starting at Parry-14, Parry-15 with a retreat.
With all of that, he’s not the front-line combatant here. Our “Hulk? Smash” players are the Rat Queen in Ogre mode and Arc Light, especially with our newly discovered Fastball Special, where he can deal out basically 6dx10 crushing damage, absorbing the blowback on himself
He’s most useful in clearing the field of “normals” that might threaten his teammates somehow. He can wade through those guys – often with Zephyr the martial artist’s help – at a rate of 1-2 per turn. He’s surprisingly less useful thus far against the powered set.
Well, unless there’s killin’ to be done. Then he’s got three magazines worth of rifle ammo – the result of a one-off gizmo – that do something like 6d(3) with a follow on 10d explosion. That’s 63 points of penetration on the average (just shy of 1″ of steel) with an explosion that will almost always be internal for x3 damage, which can in fact do about 100 points on the average. So if there’s a legit target for lethal force, The Commander can provide it if there’s enough time to swap magazines, and the target sets off the explosion.
I wonder if I can get one of those nifty dual-mag carbines from Ultra-Tech . . .