Hi all BoB fans
1/ I’ve been thinking about Channels and for me, this Special action and the way it works make the Officer a somewhat unbalanced (disadvantaged) Specialist.
What doe Channels bring ? It allows the Officer to make a Flashback about an Asset, without using Stress.
Very good so far. But… the quality of the Asset is not certain. If the result of Sway roll is not enough, then the quantity, quality or reliability of the Asset will not be enough, or the Officer has to spend another Channels.
So for example, if the Officer with 2 Sway wants to make a Channel to say the squad has brought a Siege Weapon (Fine quality), he/she must get a 6 on the roll and that’s less than 1 chance out of three with 2 dice.
Compare this with the Flashback example on page 221 where any PC can get a Siege Weapon on a Flashback with 2 Stress.
Second problem : IOT to use Channels, the Officer has 2 Sway right from the beginning, which means no dots in Marshal (strange for an officer…), or no dots at all in any combat-useful action (Skirmish, Shoot, Maneuver, Wreck…), unlike any other Specialist, even the Medic ! Meaning the officer has to spend its 4 supplementary dots just to get to the bare minimum efficiency, if he wants to fight. So… very strange fictionally for people who have been either promoted from the ranks or come out of a military academy… what did they learn there?
Conclusion: the way Channels is designed, it gives the officer an ability which, on balance, doesn’t seem really better than a good old Flashback, or in some cases is worse, and prevents them from being efficient in fields where he should “fictionally” be (ordering around and fighting).
Well… of course I know that part of the answers to that are:
- The special abilities from the Officer make him useful in a (group) fight even without Marshal or individual fighting talent.
- It is a way to have at least some characters with good Sway, since I guess it is feared that most players would neglect to put a lot of points in this Action (so a direct design choice here?).
But on the whole, for me this is quite unbalanced and makes this specialist the least interesting to play (anyway, as a GM, it is not my choice to play them or not!)
Have you had the same feeling, or is it something that doesn’t bother you ?
2/ The third example of Flashback on page 221 is also a Flashback about an item, in this exemple more Ammo. It’s a bit of a problem for me, because here it means the PC would have exceeded his Load, which should have had mechanical effects (on speed, overall quietness, so on position and effect on some actions) prior to the time when he does the Flashback. So a contradiction here with the initial choice of Load.