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Re: (TFT) MA issues, proposed fix

----- Original Message ----- From: "Joey Beutel"

Hi Joey.

What is your system of unit talents, just out of curiosity?

I view Talents as a way of "scheduling" Downtime among their more obvious purposes.

Without getting into a full blown thing here (mainly because I'm still playing with the numbers) let's just say that each point a Talent costs represents an hour or so per week that the Figure has to spend in training or otherwise maintaining the Talent at a top performance level.
Jobs go a long way in this respect.
A Units Talents are maneuvers and skills that are practiced as a group.
The basic idea is that Unit Talents are abilities that can be performed on Orders from a Leader.
From a martial standpoint an informal Unit of farmers that train for a few
hours after church on Sundays will only have a few Orders available to execute while a paid soldier probably can perform more Talents as a Unit than they could as an individual. Formations and Movement Talents for a military Unit is pretty straight forward. That bit I wrote about the elephant and how many guys fit in a hex is pretty important to Formations and how much space the Unit might take up on the map depending on how you've framed it.
A party's marching order is a Formation.
Movement Talents help get the Unit around on the map while maintaining Formation.
Shock of impact requires the Unit to move as a gestalt.

Weapon Talents are a bit odd.
To discuss why involves a bit of the type of discussion I was trying to avoid in a quick answer.
From what I can gather playing from the point of view of an individual
derived from war games representing Units.
I don't mean to poke a hornets nest with that and I'm no expert on this but that's how I have the basics sused right now. Anyway, when doing research on weapons it seems that early RPG designers hit the library and just started making lists of pretty much any weapons they could dig out. I understand but I've come to believe there are considerations that weren't taken into account in this approach that are important.

Weapons for military Units must meet more requirements than simple effectiveness in combat. There are considerations of production costs (and materials) and Unit tactics of both your own forces and your opposition.
And of course there's your opponents equipment.

My favorite example from history is the Roman Pilum designed specifically to be effective against the close order phalanx. Time and again you'll see a weapon type evolve in response to opposition equipment or tactics. The stuff for those guys in the elephant tower is probably pretty specialized. So the point is that while a Weapon Talent is the kind of Talent that plays for an individual Figure it can be such a specialized technique that it would have little value in confrontations outside of its use in a Unit. A hoplite in the arena all by his self is gonna have problems against a gladiator simply because the equipment for the gladiator was designed for single combat compared to the fella who's equipped for a close order formation. Doesn't mean he loses, but it's probably a disadvantage if all else is equal.

In other words while some Unit Talents can have a direct relation to a RPG Figures Talents they are more likely to be effective within the Unit the Figure is a member of.

On the abstract side a Units Talents can certainly be more focused on individual Figures at the cost of less direct control. A Unit of tax collectors (Detect Lies, Business Sense maybe?) doesn't get a chit because of the area it must cover over time but try and run your military without them.

I'd be happy to offer more specific thoughts on your particular frame if you'd like but for the most part what I'm suggesting is that if a Figures Job involves being in a Unit like a phalanx then a job portion of their Talents should be absorbed in stuff that's of somewhat questionable value all on their lonesome like.

The Brits go with "informal" Units for their military.
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