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[SR6] Firing Squad - SUT (small unit tactics)

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MercilessMing

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« on: <10-14-20/1109:35> »
It's not clear to me from reading pg.86 how the action economy is supposed to work and how long the bonus is supposed to last, so let me see if I get it right by making assumptions and informed guesses:
Each participating member is supposed to reserve a Major action (Minor if they have the team bonus) for use on the leader's initiative.  That's clear.
All the actions are spent on the Leader's initiative when the test is made.  Participants can join in via Teamwork; I'm guessing they don't spend an additional Major action to do so(despite it saying "teamwork test per the normal rules").
If the test is unsuccessful, everything's wasted and nothing happens, or all the motions and actions of the maneuver happen on lowest member's initiative but without the bonus. (Fail case isn't mentioned at all, I'm unclear).
If the test is successful, nothing happens until the lowest team member's initiative.  If the leader is the lowest, it happens now.
On the lowest team members' initiative, the bonus takes effect and you do actions in the order they're listed in the description of the move.  Members don't need to spend additional actions making the maneuver happen, so if they spent a Minor to do the maneuver and their role is to move and attack, they just got to do that at a steep discount.  The effects of the maneuver are happening outside of the initiative order of almost everyone in the team, so this is an instance of making an attack outside your initiative. 
As written, maneuver movement isn't affected by whether a team member has already moved that turn, so tables will have to decide if a team member can move/sprint and then additionally move per the maneuver or not.
It's not clear how long the bonuses from the maneuver last, but I would guess they last a minimum of one round and maximum GM discretion.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #1 on: <10-27-20/1203:58> »
Hate to bump, but, did this post get no response because no one knows, or did I write it that badly? :D

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: <10-27-20/1306:10> »
I thought I grokked it and worked up a wall of text, then saw a wrinkle that threatened to undermine my entire understanding.  I'm reaching out to the author.



RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #3 on: <10-27-20/1351:17> »
Thank you!  Appreciate it.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #4 on: <10-27-20/1449:29> »
Alright, after having talked to the writer, this is how I understand Small Unit Tactics:

Duration: Much like statuses, they last as long as the GM wants them to. The intent is that they last until one of the following occurs: the fight ends, the participants shift to a new maneuver, or the circumstances sufficiently change to render the maneuver no longer applicable.

Teamworking the SUT test: not a requirement, but if you do perform it then it still costs the Major action per usual. (this makes more sense, given the duration will last for some time following the test)

Maneuvers costing a minor action if everyone possesses the SUT k skill: this applies to non-attack actions in conjunction with the maneuver.  For example, if you're performing the Flank SUT maneuver it costs a Major action to attain position... or only a Minor action if everyone possesses the SUT k skill.  An actual attack is NEVER reduced to Minor Action.  "C'Mon man!" factor, here.

Movement prior to executing the SUT maneuver:  See above. 

RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Hobbes

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« Reply #5 on: <10-27-20/1520:06> »
A lot of these maneuvers could be rolled before initiative.  The various breaches, covering, searching, movement related maneuvers are appropriately checked before initiative in most cases.  The action cost for beginning a maneuver isn't meaningful unless the team is switching to a different maneuver or starting a maneuver during combat. 

As to the duration, it makes sense that the bonus from a breaching maneuver or something like slicing the pie would fade once the teams settle down into cover and are exchanging fire with the opposition.  Leaving that as a narrative / GM call works for me.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #6 on: <10-27-20/1608:30> »
Cool, thank you.

Maneuvers costing a minor action if everyone possesses the SUT k skill: this applies to non-attack actions in conjunction with the maneuver.  For example, if you're performing the Flank SUT maneuver it costs a Major action to attain position... or only a Minor action if everyone possesses the SUT k skill.  An actual attack is NEVER reduced to Minor Action.  "C'Mon man!" factor, here.
Okay, does that mean if a test is attack-only (Suppressive Fire) or attack + move (Bounding Overwatch), the SUT action always costs a major (and so we get to move for free)?

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Teamworking the SUT test: not a requirement, but if you do perform it then it still costs the Major action per usual. (this makes more sense, given the duration will last for some time following the test)
Yes, but it also means teamworking this test will be out of reach for most people due to action economy since they already may be dedicating a Major to the SUT action at the same time.

A paragraph covering how Drones participate would have been really, really useful here too.  I'm missing it already.  A SUT autosoft on the RCC and maybe Influence (Leadership) + LOG when commanding a drone unit?

And - does the author have anything to say about the fail case?
« Last Edit: <10-27-20/1615:36> by MercilessMing »

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #7 on: <10-27-20/2002:24> »
Cool, thank you.

Maneuvers costing a minor action if everyone possesses the SUT k skill: this applies to non-attack actions in conjunction with the maneuver.  For example, if you're performing the Flank SUT maneuver it costs a Major action to attain position... or only a Minor action if everyone possesses the SUT k skill.  An actual attack is NEVER reduced to Minor Action.  "C'Mon man!" factor, here.
Okay, does that mean if a test is attack-only (Suppressive Fire) or attack + move (Bounding Overwatch), the SUT action always costs a major (and so we get to move for free)?

No, and no.

Think of it this way:
You spend a Major action to "unlock" the bonus listed for the given maneuver.
It's only a Minor action to unlock the bonus if everyone has the SUT knowledge skill.

In the case of maneuvers where a participant must change physical location: that movement is covered in the same action that unlocked the bonuses, and is agnostic to the issue of any potential movement prior to/after that.

Edit:  I wanna give an example, since Suppressive Fire was mentioned.

If you spend your Major/Minor to participate in Suppressive Fire, you're laying down some lead (required via the special rules/fluff for the maneuver).  You're not rolling to hit though, because you're not attacking (yet). You're just (according to the fluff) spraying an area.  Ergo it follows that you should have to be expending some ammunition.  How much?  GM fiat.  It should depend on how many people you're trying to suppress, and/or how many people are contributing.  1 person suppressing? probably take half your clip or so.  5 runners all suppressing? maybe a burst of 4 per runner is enough.  etc.

After you spend that Major/Minor action, you're allowed to then spend more Major actions to shoot people. in that same turn if you have the action economy, or perhaps more likely on subsequent round(s) after the maneuver was established.

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Teamworking the SUT test: not a requirement, but if you do perform it then it still costs the Major action per usual. (this makes more sense, given the duration will last for some time following the test)
Yes, but it also means teamworking this test will be out of reach for most people due to action economy since they already may be dedicating a Major to the SUT action at the same time.

As Hobbes pointed out, quite a few of the maneuvers are ideally performed before combat even begins.  There's no opportunity cost involved in spending that major to participate in teamwork when you're outside combat initiative.

And as for those times when you use SUT under fire: well, can you remember any moment in an action movie or tv show where the heroes are hunkered down behind cover and shouting about tactics?  This is exactly that. 

SUT under fire:  weigh the PRO of getting the maneuver bonuses against the CON of spending a combat round not actively attacking.

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A paragraph covering how Drones participate would have been really, really useful here too.  I'm missing it already.  A SUT autosoft on the RCC and maybe Influence (Leadership) + LOG when commanding a drone unit?

I don't see why a GM couldn't approve a "Small Unit Tactics" autosoft. Although all the Autosofts in the CRB have a rating, so a ratingless Autosoft would be problematic to price.  But not impossible.

That aside, I'd just assume the Rigger's SUT knowledge skill (or absence thereof) extends to all Drones under his control.  Drones under autopilot... well. Makes sense that they're not the tactical genius a metahuman is. (barring the hypothetical Autosoft)

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And - does the author have anything to say about the fail case?

I'm not sure I see what's confusing about what to do if the Influence test fails. 

Step 1: A leader is designated.

Step 2: Leader performs test, along with the teamwork assistance from anyone who happened to help.

Step 3: if it turns out the test failed, then the maneuver will give no bonuses.

Step 4: The Major/Minor actions to execute the maneuver are spent.  If you were flanking you do your portion of the team executing a pincer, or whatever.  But since the test failed, the maneuver doesn't give the listed bonus.  Or, perhaps, the GM decides someone fragged up somehow to explain why the maneuver failed (you zigged when you should have zagged!)
« Last Edit: <10-27-20/2017:36> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Xenon

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« Reply #8 on: <10-28-20/0316:22> »
...all Drones under his control.  Drones under autopilot... well.
Wait, what?
Can you be in [direct] control of more than one drone at the time?

As for drones under autopilot,
There will probably be swarm rules in the rigger supplement later.


Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #9 on: <10-28-20/1249:15> »
...all Drones under his control.  Drones under autopilot... well.
Wait, what?
Can you be in [direct] control of more than one drone at the time?

Yes.  Or, No.  Depends on what one means by direct control.

One of the casualties of this edition was a precise control hierarchy.

Yes, a Rigger can only be Jumped In to one drone/vehicle at a time.

Yes, a character can only be using their own skills remotely through one drone/vehicle at a time (called Direct Control in 5e)

However, a character can be "in control" of lots of drones/vehicles simultaneously, by virtue of issuing orders through a master RCC and each of the drones subsequently roll their own dice pools (called Captain's Chair in 5e).

To rephrase what I was saying before in those legacy terms:

Jumped In and Direct Control: The rigger's rolling their own skills so it has to follow that what matters is whether the Rigger personally has SUT knowledge skill.

Captain's Chair: A hypothetical SUT Autosoft (running on each drone or shared via RCC) could suffice, but I think that even this "one step removed" degree of control over numerous drones would still best be resolved by evaluating whether the Rigger has SUT.

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As for drones under autopilot,
There will probably be swarm rules in the rigger supplement later.

Perhaps.

Until then: the grunt group rules work just fine for any kind of swarms, drones included.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #10 on: <10-28-20/1345:31> »
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Think of it this way:
You spend a Major action to "unlock" the bonus listed for the given maneuver.
It's only a Minor action to unlock the bonus if everyone has the SUT knowledge skill.

In the case of maneuvers where a participant must change physical location: that movement is covered in the same action that unlocked the bonuses, and is agnostic to the issue of any potential movement prior to/after that.

Edit:  I wanna give an example, since Suppressive Fire was mentioned.

If you spend your Major/Minor to participate in Suppressive Fire, you're laying down some lead (required via the special rules/fluff for the maneuver).  You're not rolling to hit though, because you're not attacking (yet). You're just (according to the fluff) spraying an area.  Ergo it follows that you should have to be expending some ammunition.  How much?  GM fiat.  It should depend on how many people you're trying to suppress, and/or how many people are contributing.  1 person suppressing? probably take half your clip or so.  5 runners all suppressing? maybe a burst of 4 per runner is enough.  etc.

After you spend that Major/Minor action, you're allowed to then spend more Major actions to shoot people. in that same turn if you have the action economy, or perhaps more likely on subsequent round(s) after the maneuver was established
Okay.  I can see now where the attack is "narrative fluff" that doesn't actually roll dice to hit and damage, the firing of the weapon for suppresison or cover or whatever is included in the action cost.  So I was correct in the way I interpreted action economy initially except by categorizing it as an attack.
The only maneuvers to have an attack explicity part of it are Dog Pile (which doesn't matter, no SUT test) and Creeping Barrage.  So maybe Creeping Barrage is the only one that needs a clarification - does the grenade lobber get to lob with the Major/Minor spent on the maneuver, or does he have to spend an additional Major?
Dynamic Entry has attacks implied but not strictly part of the maneuver and is a combat-initiating tactic so the maneuver test is likely to be made outside Initiative time.  Still this is an unfortunate case where characters could spend a Major to do the maneuver and have no juice left over to attack what they find after they enter. 
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As Hobbes pointed out, quite a few of the maneuvers are ideally performed before combat even begins.  There's no opportunity cost involved in spending that major to participate in teamwork when you're outside combat initiative.
Right, I'm more concerned with the action economy and none of that matters outside of init time.  It doesn't matter if Teamworking the test costs a Major or not when you're out of init time.  Everything's free outside of init time.
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I'm not sure I see what's confusing about what to do if the Influence test fails.

Step 1: A leader is designated.

Step 2: Leader performs test, along with the teamwork assistance from anyone who happened to help.

Step 3: if it turns out the test failed, then the maneuver will give no bonuses.

Step 4: The Major/Minor actions to execute the maneuver are spent.  If you were flanking you do your portion of the team executing a pincer, or whatever.  But since the test failed, the maneuver doesn't give the listed bonus.  Or, perhaps, the GM decides someone fragged up somehow to explain why the maneuver failed (you zigged when you should have zagged!)
That's the result I would go with too, if I had to make one up.  But no, it's not obvious, when there's no mention of the fail case in the book. 
The other fail case I could imagine is that nothing happens and the actions are wasted - the leader isn't understood, people freeze up, or just say "I do what?  You forgot to tell me what I do, boss". 

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That aside, I'd just assume the Rigger's SUT knowledge skill (or absence thereof) extends to all Drones under his control.  Drones under autopilot... well. Makes sense that they're not the tactical genius a metahuman is. (barring the hypothetical Autosoft)
I would prefer a SUT autosoft paradigm, just to gel with the rigger's "one command to multiple drones" RCC ability.  Issuing one command to the drone army that results in a coordinated maneuver with each drone handling a unique role makes more sense if the RCC is sharing out a soft that supports it.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #11 on: <10-28-20/1418:20> »
...  So maybe Creeping Barrage is the only one that needs a clarification - does the grenade lobber get to lob with the Major/Minor spent on the maneuver, or does he have to spend an additional Major?

Still has to spend the Major/Minor to "unlock" his participation in the maneuver and gain the benefits thereof, and then spend another Major (same turn, or future turns) to lob grenades.

Think of that initial action spend as the BoomMeister taking time to "aim" and make sure his intended aim isn't right where his teammates are going.

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Dynamic Entry has attacks implied but not strictly part of the maneuver and is a combat-initiating tactic so the maneuver test is likely to be made outside Initiative time.  Still this is an unfortunate case where characters could spend a Major to do the maneuver and have no juice left over to attack what they find after they enter. 

Well, again.. you spend the action to perform Dynamic Entry. If you don't have enough  minor actions to spend as a 2nd major in the same turn, then you just don't attack until your next turn.  You're still benefiting from performing the maneuver on the next, and successive turns. Dynamic entry isn't about coming into a room and killing anyone who may or may not be present.  It's about overwhelming unsuspecting hostiles with chaos and surprise.  If properly employed, you should be gaining a surprise round on the baddies anyway, so you don't need to immediately start killing even before you identify targets.

RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Xenon

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« Reply #12 on: <10-28-20/1842:57> »
However, a character can be "in control" of lots of drones/vehicles simultaneously, by virtue of issuing orders through a master RCC and each of the drones subsequently roll their own dice pools
As I see it (and perhaps we are seeing it the same way actually), you are just "instructing" the autopilot. And if you are using a RCC then you could potentially issue the same "instruction" to multiple drones. But you are not really "in control" of the drones. Nobody is actually "driving" them at this point. They are just on autopilot.

A hacker that gain access on your PAN could take the Control Device action on one of your drones in order to override the autopilot (and a sprite can use the Override power even if it doesn't have access yet). In that case they would actually be "in control" of one of your drones and they would be allowed to remote control the drone themselves, using their own ratings, similar to if they would have been a legit user. They are now actually "driving" this specific drone.

...but they can not take over drone that you (or someone else that got access) are actually remote controlling or a drone you (or someone else that got access) are actually jumped into. In this case someone is already "in control" of the drone. Someone is already "driving" it. Two people cannot be "in control" or "driving" it at the same time.


SR6 p. 196 Rigging
Vehicles and drones can only have one driver/controller at a time, regardless of method. You can’t be both jumped into a drone and controlling it remotely.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #13 on: <10-29-20/0407:36> »
Just a minor note: There are drones that count more heavily for grunt group impact. It never says they're the only ones doing grunts. So I've run both spirits and drones as grunts while GMing SRM playtests. Really speeds up the pet combat, and nerfs spirits a tad.
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