+ inload: Engine War – Gargants for Adeptus Titanicus III: Krew +

+ Gargant krew for Adeptus Titanicus +

+ Building on previous inloads, today we're looking at a gargant's krew. If you'd like to catch up, you can read the previous installments here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +

Paul Bonner's always excellent art is a great inspiration!

+ General design principles +

  • Being orky, Gargants should be tough, and kick out a lot of firepower. 
  • Unsubtle but entertaining, they should be generally less reliable than their Imperial equivalent, but have the potential – with luck and good planning – to outshine their opponents' equivalent War Engines.
  • Playing a mob of Gargants should feel like you are an ork Kaptin managing his krew, and reward aggressive play.
  • Playing a mob of Gargants should not be a frustrating experience.
  • Using Gargants must abide to the core rules as seamlessly as possible while maintaining character.


+ Krew +

+ Extinguishing fires [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] will necessarily have to be tied into the crew mechanics. I've had some great ideas from the PCRC and other places, and the crew mechanics have such potential to give the orky feel (design principle 3) that I really want to get something good without over-complicating things (design principles 4 and 5). +

+ There are two broad approaches that I've toyed with. These are outlined below; I'd love your thoughts on which you'd prefer to pursue. Remember the design principles – which feels orkier? Which is going to make for a more fun, fluid game? +


+ Approach 1: Dice pool allocation +

+ In background terms, the crew of a Gargant has always been related to its size. Bigger Gargants have more crew. We've got an existing mechanic for reflecting that in the game: Scale. Keeping things simple, Gargants should have one team/mob of crew for every point of scale. Our Great Gargant, for example, will have ten Krew, an abstract representation of the riggers, stokers, boyz and nobz used in previous editions. +

+ With this approach, the bridge crew (the Kaptin himself, Gunboss, Flagboss etc. detailed in Codex Titanicus) are represented through the Critical Damage mechanics, as they are in Imperial Titans. +

+ The Krew themselves then form a pool that can be assigned as you wish. Unlike Imperial Titans, where the disciplined crew perform highly-specific ritual tasks – the Enginseer only monitors and administers to the plasma reactor, the servitor clades only repair damage, the gun-servitors only fire the defensive weapons etc. – ork krew are more versatile, if less reliable. An ork or grot can shovel coal, throw water onto a fire or bang an armour plate back into place just as effectively as they fire the guns. +

Krew: During the 'Issue Orders' part of the strategy phase, roll a number of D6 equal to the current Krew value of your Gargant, then allocate them to the relevant locations for that turn. [designer's note – the details of what the krew do in a location will be on the command terminal].
+ To reflect this, this approach will let you assign those ten Krew as you wish during the Strategy phase of the game. Each Krew mob gives you one D6, which you can allocate to one of the following Hit Locations/Weapon Card Slots:
  • Head
  • Right Arm
  • Left Arm
  • Gun Decks
  • Engine Room
  • Belly Gun
Gonna krump 'em!
+ Having a krew die in a Location/Slot allows you to push the boiler (equivalent to pushing the reactor) for the relevant region. The subtleties come in when looking at the values. A die of 2–5 represents the vast majority of the orks and grots crawling through the Gargant, and simply allow the region to work as normal. A die reading '1' represents a mob that is either dangerously incompetent, overly enthusiastic or simply not paying attention. Such a krew marker will prove detrimental to the region. Conversely, a die reading '6' represents a mob that is curiously well-disciplined, contains a knowledgeable oddboy, or is simply close enough to a shoutin' tube that they know what the Kaptin wants. Such a krew marker will prove beneficial to the region. +

+ The astute will quickly spot that with a Krew value of 10 (the Great Gargant is Scale: 10, and you get one die for each point of Scale), there will be some spare krew. This allows you to send additional krew to particular regions (space allowing). Having multiple Krew in a region can benefit certain regions – lots of orks shovelling coal/nuclear pellets/dogs into the boiler will let the Gargant put on a particularly impressive turn of speed; and the more orks that crowd into the gun decks, the more supporting firepower your Gargant will be able to kick out. +

+ Another reason for redundancy is to account for bad mobs. You always count the highest value within a region; so accompanying a '1' Krew with a '4' Krew will ensure things run smoothly. +

+ Finally, Krew can be lost through damage - so having some spare runtz and replaceable boyz doesn't hurt. +

+ Krew and the Command Terminal +

+ To fit with design principle 5 (see above), I want to keep this mechanic as self-enclosed as possible, and minimise book-keeping. The Command Terminal is the ideal place for this. In the revised prototype, there's a box for crew; with 16mm squares (the same size as standard dice). This house the crew dice before they're allocated; so there's a physical object to move to the relevant region – I think that'll add to the feeling of commanding a crew, as per design principle 3. +

+ This space also organically tracks crew casualties; placing a marker to fill a box after a casualty is taken is a physical reminder not to place a die in the pool; so you won't forget in the heat of battle. +


+ Approach 2: Regional crew +

+ A simpler approach entirely, rather than a allocating crew from a central pool this approach has dedicated crew to the various sections – somewhat similar to the abstract servitor clades and so forth of Imperial Titans. The advantage of this is that we can bring forth the specific character of the crew types – gretchin riggers, ork stokers and so forth; bringing the different types out in Critical Damage results etc. +

+ It means that the enemy can target particular locations, and the orks can't simply redirect krew from other areas. This may or may not be an attractive option – personally, I like the fact that the Kaptin can just send a mob to replace the last lot; but I'd be interested to hear your views. +

+ This approach does have the advantage of being simpler and less hands-on. A Gargant Bigmob (Maniple) would become much more streamlined and easy to manage – potentially useful, if a great number of Gargants is in use. There simply wouldn't be much micromanagement for the ork player to do; and that design space could potentially return attention to the Engine Room (i.e. the Plasma Reactor equivalent) or other areas of the game – perhaps creating a Bigmob-wide 'Waaagh/morale' mechanic. +


+ Next inload +

+ Next time I'll show the revised Command Terminal for the Great Gargant, and give some concrete examples of allocating krew. However, as mentioned above, I'd really appreciate any thoughts on which you'd prefer to see based on this theoretical inload. Remember the design principles – which feels orkier? Which is going to make for a more fun, fluid game? +

+ Finally, if anyone would like to playtest these rules, I think they'll be ready to roll out towards the end of the month – I would very much appreciate some practical field experience, however limited. So if you fancy it, let me know how you get on. +



Sebastian said...

You had me at Paul Bonner. Being a modeller mostly, I got lost in the rules talk - but definitely look forward to the results of this gargantuan project. (dodges rotten fruit).

Reallu liked the command sheet graphics though! :)

apologist said...