Firearms, Ammo, Black Shot, and Load

I had some questions about how firearms, Ammo, and Black Shot worked when selecting loadouts. These may seem obvious, but I wanted to make sure, since I didn’t see it addressed in the book.

  1. Several Specialists and Legionnaires don’t have firearms as part of their standard light/normal/heavy loadouts (Heavy, Scout, Soldier), or only get them if they take a normal loadout or higher (Medic, Officer). If I wanted to spend 1 load to add a musket or pistol to a loadout as a utility item, would I also have to spend another load to add Ammo or Black Shot to make that firearm actually do anything? Firearms don’t automatically come with any amount of ammunition by default, right?

  2. In a similar vein, if a Specialist or Legionnaire has Black Shot equipped (by taking it as a utility item or from the Quartermaster expending a use of Black Shot), do they also need to make sure they bring a firearm to be able to use it? Black Shot just refers to a type of ammunition that must be used in a firearm and is not itself a self-contained weapon, correct?

  3. Is it reasonable to rule that, if a Scout gets Black Shot, they simply have extra Black Arrows?

Basically I wanted to ensure that a) firearms are useless without something to fire (Ammo or Black Shot), and b) Black Shot is useless without something to fire it (firearms or maybe Scout’s bow).

I’d agree with these assessments - this makes Light load quite risky, which it should be IMO. That said, I’d be interested to see ingenious uses of Black Shot or ammo without firearms - improvised mines, distractions, etc, could be quite cool.

I just realized that Black Shot takes 2 load, since this is not stated in the book from what I can tell (only stated on character sheets). And my initial read of the character sheet suggested to me that the 2 boxes next to Black Shot were in case you wanted to take it twice (which in retrospect doesn’t make sense, since there are only 3 circles next to it). What that means is that for some characters, if you can’t use Black Shot without a firearm and don’t get a firearm in your loadout set, you literally can’t use Black Shot unless it comes from the Quartermaster expending a use of Black Shot such that it ignores load, which allows you take a pistol or musket for 1 load (or if you come up with a super crazy use for it like @StoryWonker suggested). That’s good to know.

Load is sometimes difficult to grasp, since it is not only weight and encumbrance, but also represents Scarcity. And you have answered your own questions 1 & 2 quietness correctly, Imho.

For the third question, yes, and anyway it could be considered easy to “RIG” the Black Shot on top of an arrow, while it would be much more difficult to make it fit in a bullet…

  1. Yes. No.
  2. Yes. Correct.
  3. I would think so.

Another way of looking at Blackshot with no firearms is that you’re hauling ammo for another soldier. That could potentially be a fun scene, “The sniper’s running out of blackshot. I need you to resupply her now Rookie! Go, I’ll cover you!”.

Black Shot gets spent frequently (like most assault missions). So picking up a gun when you have the option isn’t a bad plan, though standard load (say for a heavy) doesn’t always include guns, so you have to commission special resources.

Your assumptions are correct.

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Thanks @stras!

By this, do you mean something like starting a Long Term Project to make something that can increase someone’s load capacity, or perhaps create a firearm that doesn’t consume load?

No just using “utility”. That’s more or less pretty much like walking up to the QM and saying “I need something that I don’t usually get for this mission. Yeah i know you probably have to take it out of our dwindling stores, or from another person staying on guard at camp but I need it.” ^_~

If guns are not already in the utility section of a character sheet, does that mean they can’t normally take the item without consequences? The items listed on page 74-75 are described as “common gear that anyone in the Legion could have access to”, which I assumed to mean anyone could take it freely as part of their utility load even if it were not on the character sheet (including Black Shot and firearms). There’s a bit of a feel-bad interaction if the Quartermaster uses Black Shot on an assault mission, but the Heavy can’t really do much with it (both because it’s hard to get them a gun, and even if they got one, it’s not likely they are any good at the Shoot skill).

The other concern was load capacity. If it is indeed possible for a Heavy to somehow take a pistol (load 1), then they would not have available load to take Black Shot as well (load 2) if the Quartermaster didn’t expend a Black Shot, correct?

There are blank lines for odd exceptions like this.

It hasn’t been a problem in playtests, but realize that you have limited page space and most of the other gear there has way more application to a heavy.

Most heavy’s I’ve seen don’t even bother taking Shoot unless it’s eventually 1 die for the resist. So taking that pistol doesn’t feel bad because they can’t do much with it to begin with. They tend to actually re-arm people with their shot (handing the case with the bullets to the sniper, or sharing it among the squad). Also they tend to have big gauntleted full-plate armor, and handling guns with that is just odd.

If your heavy asks and you think it’s reasonable just give it to them and tell them to write it in on the blank line.

Correct. Black Shot is so commonly spent though that you have to put it on sheets (it’s a WAY worse interaction when you’re told you’re given it for free, and you can’t mark it, that we DID have complaints about). But the loadouts are designed with what the Legion expects you to have. If you’re a class that’s not assigned firearms (like a heavy) then it’s not on your sheet, and it’s hard to get armed with that. You’re not intended to. If you want to—you should be a different type of specialist.

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Fair enough, thanks!