Creating specialists after initial mission

Hello:

I have a couple of questions regarding when and how to create characters:

For the initial mission, each player creates one character without any restrictions. Also, there’s a squad of rookies (5 rookies) coming along the main characters, right? Theoretically, all squads are at full capacity at this time.

The initial 5 extra rookies belong to one of the squads, so if they die (or if one of the players creates a soldier or a rookie), that squad will lose members?

Specialists do not belong to any squad, squads can only have soldiers and rookies. If a player soldier advances to specialist, they stop belonging to that squad.

Squads have a maximum of 5 members each.

When can new specialists be created after the first mission? If there’s no restriction to creating specialists, players could always create a full party of them for each mission?

I know these are very basic questions, but I couldn’t find the details in the book. Thank you for your advice!

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I’ll answer in order! See below th questions.

For the initial mission, each player creates one character without any restrictions. Also, there’s a squad of rookies (5 rookies) coming along the main characters, right? Theoretically, all squads are at full capacity at this time.

You got that right. And the Marshall completes the number of Specialists to 5. For instance, if you have 3 players, they each create a Specialist, and the Marshall creates 2. There’s no obligation to have different playbooks for all those 5 Specialists (at least, it’s not written in the rules), but of course it’s better (or? it dépends on how you wanna play). However: it’s a bit strange, but even if each player creates a Specialist, they don’t have to play those on the first mission. They can play a Rookie, or they can play a Specialist created by another player.

The initial 5 extra rookies belong to one of the squads, so if they die (or if one of the players creates a soldier or a rookie), that squad will lose members?

Yes. And if the Legion finds itself with less than 15 Rookies (equivalent to 3 full squads), the game is lost. Same if you don’t have at least 2 Specialists alive.

Specialists do not belong to any squad, squads can only have soldiers and rookies. If a player soldier advances to specialist, they stop belonging to that squad.

Yes

Squads have a maximum of 5 members each.

Yes

When can new specialists be created after the first mission? If there’s no restriction to creating specialists, players could always create a full party of them for each mission?

You don’t create Specialists after the first mission. Either you promote them through the ranks (it will take a bit of time), or you get some specialists from some mission rewards. This means that you can find yourself with a shortage of Specialists, and especially with a shortage of Specialists able to go on a mission.

Also: you cannot have a “full party of Specialists”. Except for a very few exceptions (the first mission is one), you are not allowed more than 2 Specialists on any mission, or 3 if one of them is a Medic. If you have 3 or more players, some of them will have to play squad members. Same if your specialists are too heavily wounded.

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Wow, that’s a really informative answer! You even pointed out things I had missed or that would become questions later on. Thank you so very much!

Note that even if you have 2 or 3 players only, the only obligation is the ONE required Specialist for eah type of mission. If you don’t get it, you lose 1 dice for the engagement roll. You hon’t HAVE to have 2 Specialists on mission. That’s especially true for secondary missions, where the second specialist does not bring any mechanical advantage, and risks being wounded, with the only benefit being 2 xp.

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Another detail I didn’t notice. Damn, it’s as if I had never read the manual. I’m very comfortable with blades, but BoB seems very difficult to grasp somehow. Thank you!

And… again, something that is not stressed in the book, but is interesting: nothing prevents you from playing all Rookies, and having the Specialist(s) on the mission as NPCs if you wish so. Especially interesting for the Medic. See this discussion with input from Stras here:
https://community.bladesinthedark.com/t/npc-specialists-and-attache-questions/706

Here I am again! I apologize for the mild necromancy.

We had such a fun demo game that the group demanded to turn it into the session 1 of a full fledged campaign! They failed the initial mission for the horned one and made some tough choices, but at least they got a high quality alchemist out of it. Quite tortured, though, but hey, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and all that. Thanks for all the clarifications.

Thinking about the rules, the most munchkin way to start a campaign would be to create an all soldier group for the initial mission, since the specialists would be created but not played, and soldiers cannot be created from scratch after the initial mission, is this correct? I’m asking from a theoretical standpoint, the players were very cooperative and didn’t weasel at all.

Thank you!

That’s an idea, but it does not work if you follow the rules, because you are not allowed to create Soldiers on the initial mission: it’s either Specialists or Rookies.
Soldiers are only promoted from Rookies during play, or gained from secondary mission rewards.

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If you boost the Recruit action you can recruit Soldiers directly.

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Oh yes, I had forgotten that. Still no soldiers possible on the initial mission though!

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