Marshaling squads

I’m a bit confused on how the book describes marshaling / teamwork / squads. I understand that if there was a normal group roll, then each player character would roll, along with one additional roll from the NPC squad members. I’m having trouble seeing when to separate that from situations where someone could just roll marshal for the whole squad. The section on marshaling on page 226 reads like these two scenarios shouldn’t be treated interchangeably.

Using marshal to set up for a group action makes sense to me, but marshal as a standalone action (when you have a mix of PCs/NPCs) isn’t clicking for me. I’m interested in seeing how others have handled situations like this in their games.

I’ve been pondering this since you raised the question. I think the answer here is: there is no hard-and-fast rule for the “appropriate” situations in which to use Marshal instead.

Like a lot of other things in BoB, it’s personal choice which of multiple possible options applies/you want to try. So group action or Marshal? Either works. Though one might be more appropriate in a given context (such as: Marshal lets you coordinate the squad in order to gain Scale where you might not otherwise). One also carries with it a potential Stress penalty, but likely a higher probability of success, since Marshal is just your dice while a group action is everyone’s dice.

I realize that’s probably not as helpful as you’d like. Sorry. Also remember: fiction first. What does the established fiction up to this point say? Does it seem to require everyone coordinate? Then Marshal is appropriate, and picking a group action instead might make the position more risky or have a reduced effect. But no one can tell you when that is, because no one can foresee the fiction at your table (ie: the story you’re telling one another before the GM decides something should require a roll to resolve).


It feels to me as though the distinction is between a Group of individuals all doing the same thing (Group Action), and a Team coordinating to carry out an action (Marshall) - is each person doing something on their own and we want to know whether they all did okay (Group Action), or do we need a team to work together (Marshall)?

Not to say I won’t be confused in the moment at the table. :slight_smile:

And greyorm is definitely right that you follow the fiction to work out at the time what you should do (and probably don’t stress on making the “wrong call”).


The group action is also and especially about orders and coordination: “When you lead a group action, you coordinate multiple members of the squad to tackle a problem together. Describe how your character leads the team in a coordinated effort.”

If each individual is doing the same thing but without orders and coordination, it’s not a group action, just several normal actions.

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