>>44817151 You don't. Regular gruntlife is basically railroading: The Game, and the individual characters skillsets and abilities matter less. All you're left with is the social side of tbings and moral dilemmas, which can be great, but you're really not getting much in return for avoiding the whole lone squad trope.
>>44817151 Problems with military campaign are: 1) Lots of overhead for the GM to worry about, since "war" usually involves a lot of people to interact with. 2) Not many RPG systems that I'm aware of that deal with massed combat in a PC-centric way. Since war simulation favors boiling groups of people down into a single set of numbers where their individual lives aren't very important, it makes it hard to play a meaningful individual part.
>>44817305 >>44817392 I semi-disagree. You have the PCs as the squad. Many squads in WW2 were undermanned depending on the time of the adventure. You have NPCs who get shot very quickly so it's down to the players who have to continue the mission. Sure, they get given objectives by the CO or whoever, but isn't that the same as being given a mission by anyone else? You don't have to have massed combat, not all combat is massed/in trenches/ etc. See Saving Private Ryan for a standard unit given a mission. In fact, most war films. Then, when the PCs get that reputation for getting things done, they'll get asked for for bigger and bolder missions. Think small, it can happen very easily.
The thing about war TTRPGs is that you can do literally anything from Black Adder to Black Hawk Down.
Watch lots of war movies. Get ideas. Combine them all together.
For example, just last night I was in a session of Halo Mythic where the players were just one part of a platoon that ended up dealing with a mass Insurrectionist attack; we never went on our own away from the rest of the platoon, but still had plenty of fun rescuing a general whose motorcade was pinned down, accidentally spacing the agent assigned to handle our AI, experimenting with flamethrowers mounted on aircraft, and declaring war on the city's sanitation department.
>>44817151 Run squad-sized endeavours. Have the players do multiple characters, depending on who's relevant (see Star Wars WEG Darkstryder campaign) Treat the other grunts as NPCs (see FFG Only War) NEVER make a true DMPC lieutenant. It's okay if he's a newbie that doesn't know what he's doing so the PCs can show initiative or find a way to correct the mess he gets them into, but competent officer directly in charge = railroading. Military life is rarely combat. Have them do patrols, chores, deal with regiment cleaks and natives. Then strike with combat. It will be much more potent. Alos, when you're on short leave you can do whaterver you want, same outside work hours. Give most of them a goal outside of killing the enemy : have them try to run black market, go native with their local girlfriend, go back home asap, be a bootlicker desperate for promotion,... Drama can be provided by the system (incompetent/antagonistic high-command), the conflict (which side is right, moral dilemmas, blah blah...), their own problems (unsupportive family, personal trauma, two squaddies with history between each other,...), plus the regular stuff. And don't forget that they may hate each other but they're still brothers in arms.
>>44818604 Loader and Radio aren't really fun to rp, and even gunner and driver are one-dimentional Most systems have the same problem for actions involving spaceships manned by multiple people, though those offer far more possibilities. IMO it's better if everyone has it's own tank (with the rest of the crew being npcs) or you have some poeple playing infantry sitting on the turret. or you have fantasy tanks with fully accessible modules and a two man crew.
>>44819256 You're right, but it still means that combat is gonna be limited for some players. A good system would have everyone able to play an active role in every situation, otherwise it's begging for some players to look at their phone for a whole scene. The alternatives that I proposed don't prevent you from having out of tank shenanigans
>>44819472 Combat is limited for -all- players if you are doing a tank crew, as each one does what they do, the radioman is on the radio, his options are limited, the loader literally only loads the cannon he doesn't even have a machinegun he can man, the commander has the most active role but even then its not about what the players do alone, its what they do as a group.
When you're playing as a crew for one tank it isn't about having only one option, its about communicating.
A tank crew has a different dynamic than a tank battalion or platoon, and the more tanks you have wandering around the more difficult the challenges get at an exponential level.
It adds more weight to the characters when its a crew, you have to roleplay more, you have to be more involved rather than just rolling for your action.
Which individual tanks it goes "enemy spotted, rolling to shoot" which a crew it goes from that to "enemy spotted, driver hard left, gunner 200 meters high left side, loader HVAP now" and then a bunch of shit at once.
If you want to look at what they do individually it wont seem like much, but its a team effort, if you just are the commander everything just happens in your tank behind the scenes and you do things.
I've played a great tank crew game and it was some of the best roleplaying I was ever part of. And when characters inevitably died it was terrible, but when we did something difficult is was absolutely orgasmic.
It's not easy to pull off I guess, but maybe you're actually taking turns doing things rather than a turn being what everyone does simultaneously.
At the end of the day its whatever you can get to work, though.
>not having phones set aside so people won't fuck with them
>>44817151 Kitchen crew. Literally had a campaign where we made and delivered hot chow to the troops.
Some missions we did were, avoiding getting shot up with our mobile kitchen while on the road.
Being forced to cook for starving German soldiers... who basically intimidated us with nothing but empty guns and huge balls. After eating basically a huge meals, the German soldiers promptly surrendered to us and mocked us for not calling their bluff. They ate well, so well our troops got pissed when they learned all the sausages were gone.
Trying to catch that bastard soldier who was always stealing the coffee stash reserved for the officers.
Trying to please superior officers with fancier foods because one of our player's decided to create a character with just happened to dedicate points into elite cordon bleu french cooking skills. Seriously, why!? (he also boned a superior officer's mistress but that's a different story)
Losing the kitchen, twice, to minefields. Once because fellow soldiers didn't feel like properly clearing the mine field so they stole the kitchen and rolled it over the field to see if it had been mined. The second because the driver got drunk and didn't stop it got blown up.
Finding and losing a stash of very rare and expensive French wines to Russians. Who promptly declared it was terrible because it wasn't vodka.
It was actually a lot of fun. We even did some scavenging to get food in abandoned town and villages. We also had moral choices, we couldn't feed starving refugees or POWs and other ambiguous situations.
>>44817151 You start them out as prisoners of war in enemy territory. Once they make radio contact with their CO give them orders to support the local rebels or other activities that require them to be more mobile and less accessible than their other soldiers.
>>44820331 Because the others need to spot things as well and call out threats.
There are infantry, or craters, or mud patches. There is brush and other tanks and flanking maneuvers. Aircraft, types of tanks, emplacements.
All sorts of things go on at once, and it does go on all at the same time.
A lot of stuff also happens while the commander is giving orders, the driver may need to decide to get where he was told he has to stop turning and move forward instead, the gunner may need to stop aiming because an infantryman with an AT weapon popped up close and the hull-mounted machinegun isn't firing on them due to other threats.
Its basically a clusterfuck of information and shit going on that all the players need to react to, and sometimes that means they simply can't follow orders, it's hectic and that should be reflected in that.
Everyone has -something- to do, even if they normally have nothing to do (like a secondary driver, he usually has literally nothing to do aside from sit there and maybe use the hull-mount, but even machineguns can damage tracks or optics)
>>44820603 >What systems do people think lend themselves best to war games? Ideally outside very specific setting/group themed games like Only War. Modern? GURPS. Ye olden days? Try GURPS? I admit you might find something better for non modern but I can't think of anything better than GURPS for modern.
>>44821145 The thread with roleplaying tips for krieger combat medics was gold.
>>44821087 Adaptable, rule light, and nice lethality with levels of injuries. It was based on z-corps to be precise so we had fear and endurance that are lacking in the core system IIRC. Main problem is the 1 in 6 crit fail chance (you have one primary dice with a lot of other d6 depending on your abilities, adn you have to go over a threshold). We played it as a drawback that doesn't negate success, but it was still annoying at times.
I once ran a Savage Worlds campaign set in World War II. The PCs were soldiers and civilians left on their own during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. They were on their own, except for local guerrillas and other stragglers, and were always on the run from the Japanese.
>>44821536 >First krieger ever to last long enough to retire >So old that he isn't fit for combat duty anymore Why Emperor, why! Have I failed you like my ancesters did? Don't I deserve to join you in front of the golden throne?
>>44821696 >flamboyant cunt >borderline heresy, again >Negociating with xenos!? I've lost my entire regiment so mankind could be freed of their vile schemes, and you want to trade with them!!! >Calm down, VP-2573-12, calm down, you're not behavign like a proper trooper >I swore to obey him >the warrant of trade is the will of the Emperor >Please betray us soon so I can kill all of you filthy xenos and join my Lord.
>>44821941 >That xeno id baring is teeth! Fire at will!! >Goddamit VP, he was just smiling! >My opinion exactly, sir. That was highly suspicious. It's well known tha xenos enjoy only the suffering of man; for it to be so gleeful was a sure thing that it was going to attack us.
>>44817151 Have them go on patrol a lot. Modern fireteams are only 3-4 people and squads are 8-12. if you are doing anything close to modern or slightly futuristic there's plenty of insurgents to be fought while patrolling around in small groups. It also gives interesting non-combat encounters with civilians, moral choices, and rough terrain to deal with.
You can have other segments where large numbers of NPC troopers start in the same area as the PCs but things go to hell. Suddenly explosions, mg fire, snipers, artillery, airstrike, etc decimate the company/battalion leaving only the PC squad and a few others alive. The PCs start on the corner of the battle-line so they are ordered to flank around.
Night raids, have enemies attack the camp. Players were on watch and have to hold them off until the main army martials to fight.
Basically just don't do pre-WWII combat. If you are working with squads, guns, and cover you can easily isolate a party and give them an objective in a way that makes them important but not supersoldiers.
>>44817450 >>Tank Crew Does not compute. Our DM had to intentionally fuck us over because tank crews suck. Now we are apparently going back to god knows where with a shitload of illegal munitions (5 or so AVT40s, a shotgun, an smg and a few illegal pistols as far as my char knows) to meet with intelligence officers after ramming a Zis5 with a stolen kubelwagen, killing 7 smersh officers and catapulting our tank commander over top of said Zis5. Good times.
>>44820195 >fellow soldiers used the kitchen to sweep for mines
Immersion broken. Real soldiers cared about the quality of their food. Decent food one of few things they could look forward to. If they lost a good cook (or his spices and ingredients), that's bad news. Losing your chef means you could spend weeks or more eating amateur cooking, or god knows what dreadful slop passes for non-perishable rations.
Also, if someone is making things that you put in your mouth, you really don't want piss that person off. Just saying. I'm amazed that you didn't get back at them by spitting in their food.
>>44824493 We couldn't because they all died the next day. We fantasized so imaginatively of the evil we would do... the next day we learned they all died. We stumbled upon them, I think we were a bit shocked not just because our revenge was stymied but because these were guys who seemed to survive everything.
Have the players lost behind enemy lines. They survive a plane crash, or they manage to hold their position even as the entire enemy army swept through the line and advanced, isolating them. Maybe they're paratroopers, or were being deployed with a glider and were blown way off course. They could be the sole survivors of an ambushed truck caravan. Maybe they are manning an observation post, keeping tabs on an enemy position, but then home base goes mysteriously silent and no one comes to relieve them, leaving a little mystery for them to solve.
Simply put, isolate them from their chain of command, or DESTROY their chain of command. Bonus points if every one in the party is the same rank.
Alternatively, you could just send them on super long range patrols.
Or instead of making them the part of the herd, have them embedded with another country's troops as advisers. There are lots of cases where Motor T and Artillery guys will wind up being alone or in a pair with no one around but a bunch of villagers they're suppose to teach to defend themselves. It's surprising how often regular grunts, or supporting units are utilized for missions that are way out of their pay grade, way out of their echelon, and way out of their expertise. Not even paper pushing admin are immune to being sent out to the field on their own initiative because "the Colonial wants to know what happened to a missing pallet of ketchup", and suddenly they wind up in an intense firefight and winning a medal of honor. Crazier things have happened.
Also, depending on the CO, individual soldiers or marines in any MOS or branch can some times be given a surprisingly large amount of freedom to accomplish a task. That is, if the Commanding Officers feels he can trust you to not screw up, or to use your freedom to steal stuff, or just rack out for 18 hours because you know no one will come looking for you because "the CO trusts you".
>>44828365 Not that anon, but I've seen DMs hastily kill off NPCs in response to players (myself included) openly fantasizing about torturing them.
>be high-level wizard >helping a siege of a city >casting spells, being helpful >an enemy mage appears! >counterspells literally every spell I cast >wasting a half dozen good spell slots on this mage >getting mad as fuck >enemy mage smirks as he renders my PC useless >DM reveals OOC that this guy is only like 5th level >Me: "Take that one alive!" (OOC: "I still have that dagger with me. I am going to fucking skin this fucker alive") >DM has the enemy mage die (without rolling) so I don't get to torture him
>Artillery regiment >Spend our days being fade-aways around the brass >Trade scrap metal from spent shells for hot meals >Try not to drop ordinance on friendlies >Give priority to armored fire missions in exchange for extra promethium from the pool >Use promethium to fuel a generator >Build a clubhouse with a freezer and sound system stolen from a Valkyrie pilot >Try not to get shot for heresy >Play politics with the base mooks >Slowly build a private arms stockpile as the front line begins to collapse and fire missions get closer and closer >Dig trenches and prepare to be overrun >Still drink cold beer every night >Trade small arms for candy >Trade candy for porn >Trade porn for chems >Get jacked and listen to Space Jimi Hendrix
>>44828365 No so much kill as deliberately make their food ice cold. Pretend all the soda pop was out... and the cookies were given way to those cute cute children at the village. Or how the other guys accidentally got double helpings but they came in too late have their share doubled. Or we'd refuse to cook for their 'girlfriends'.
They were all right guys for the most part but man, fuck them for taking our goddamn kitchen. They were all right when brought in ducks they'd hunt so we could cook'em or shit like that but still.
>>44829461 >Why didn't you just have an archer bullseye that dude? An allied crossbowman NPC killed him, actually. I think our PC archer was elsewhere at the time. Probably shooting at something important for the siege. It was a few years back, and we weren't using grids, so my memory's kind of hazy.
I guess it depends on the era. But if they are in a squad/fireteam, have them seems like they are part of a big war. Have some set objectives of why the two sides are fighting and align some military and political objectives for both sides in case this isnt a one shot.
bring it down to the PC' unit level. They are fighting in this region.. but what is there objective? To capture a town or important transport route, destruction of enemy material or units, etc?
Once you have that why addressed, make the PC unit's leader give out a briefing of here is what we are gonna do here and what is available to help us. Give the PC's and their fellow NPC elements an objective that can be accomplished at the platoon level and have at it.
Throw in some background stuff too. Air and artillery support on your PC's objective or another group's objective... hearing a battle and seeing reinforcements going to another town. Having their mission scrubbed because another platoon just got fucked up and needs more help that planned for.
>>44817151 You get their platoon wiped out in enemy territory. They have to survive on their own to find their way back, and possibly find other survivors. Depending on how far beyond the line they are and how dangerous is the place, this might take months, so it could be a good portion of a campaign.
The Medicae had examined the trooper for a long time. He had come down with a strange affliction. His hair was grey, his skin was wrinkling, becoming slack, he was slow, soft, unfit for duty. After some deliberation the Medicae made a recommendation and the trooper was sent for special examination.
The medicae had agonized over this, upon initial examination he thought that the trooper should be shot and incinerated to stop the spread of this new disease. However; there was a risk that whatever had caused this had already spread. If so, the trooper's destruction would be destroying a specimen that might be valuable. The Medicae thought of more Kriegers afflicted with the troopers condition. That was a horror too terrible to contemplate. And so the trooper was disinfected, isolated, secured, wrapped, and sent for additional testing. They tested him against every possible disease. They called in psykers to look for some foul chaos corruption. They sequenced his genes. They biopsied skin, muscle, liver, bone marrow, heart and brain. They analyzed, they argued, they came to no useful conclusions.
They checked his service record. They executed the record keepers for incompetence. They checked his records again. After having the second set of record keepers executed for incompetence, and finding no change in the answers the experts advanced a tentative theory. The trooper was 52 solar years old, and his affliction was old age.
Having satisfied themselves that the trooper's affliction was unlikely to afflict other Kriegers, they applied the prescribed treatment from ancient regulations. He was given 40 acres of Krieg's surface, a monthly stipend, a sterile ungulate beast of burden, and no more thought was given to him. The trooper, for his part, ate the ungulate, sold the land, and signed on with the first person he could find who would let him continue fighting in the emperor's name.
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