BoB rules question: Squad numbers

Hi fellow Legionnaires, I have two related question on Squad deployment and numbers.

1/ Minimum required squad numbers.
The rules say that the Legion should not “ever” pass under the threshold of 15 squad members, that’s the equivalent of 3 full squads. Have you GMs been very strict with that, or have you allowed this requirement to be fulfilled after a Recruitment action has been done?
My reasoning is : the reason for this rule as given, is that there should always be at least one full squad to protect camp when 2 squds leave on mission. In this light, having less than 15 rookies at the end of a mission phase (because of deaths, desertion) sounds not important if the Legion is able to recruit and have more than 15 at the beginning of the next mission phase, and fulfill the requirement.

2/ When squads are deployed on a mission, should they always be at full complement of 5? Or could, for example, a squad leave for mission with 3 or 4 soldiers/rookie only? RAW are not entirely clear on this.

  • For secondary missions, it sounds logical to have at least enough squad members to bring the heavily wounded specialist(s) back to camp, in the case of a 1-3 on the engagement roll.
  • In the case of the primary mission, what would the fictional explanation be?

Thanks for your comments!

I noticed that p439 gives the option to have three or fewer squads at camp, with a fortune roll to see what happens…

I’d think that the Marshal could choose to send under-strength squads out - the downside is that for a primary mission you are weaker. Per RAW it doesn’t seem to affect the engagement roll - I’d guess that you could modify the engagement roll to say that if a squad is under-strength, -1d, as per missing Specialists or equipment (p130)?

For a primary mission, the optional rules for Squad Specialisations (p439) could be a reason to send a reduced strength squad, perhaps? The Marshal can always rearrange squads, with possible side-effects, of course.

  1. I’m playing it as a hard fail condition that you cannot recruit your way out of. Dropping to 14 or less triggers the fail condition.

  2. I have always played it that a mission requires a full complement of five rookies and/or soldiers, but there’s only limited support for that being a hard and fast rule in the book.

In addition, there are two playbooks for rank and file troops. These types of characters will always be assigned to a squad and five will be sent on missions, usually alongside a pair of Specialists. p 60

There are a few Special missions that have requirements like “only specialists are sent on this mission”, so it doesn’t have to be a hard and fast rule I suppose. Plus, an under-strength Squad is more vulnerable, less effective, I could see it being done in a pinch. I also agree with hemulen that the -1d from Parameters on page 130 could apply.


I’ve been watching the play throughs on the Youtube Actual Play channel and I think in Episode 5 Part 1 they do send out a squad with < 5 members - I just checked and they didn’t, I think they may have discussed it?

Thanks Udachnik, that’s the little bit of rules that I was missing.