I’m sure this is in the book somewhere, but I can’t find it. How do I know what equipment and gear the NPC rookies and specialists have?
I assume the Marshal can pick a specific load for them or usually its pretty obvious what load they’d have based on fiction (Light for Recon, Normal for Supply, Heavy for Assault).
But does that include utility? Would NPC rookies have soldier kits/hand weapons, GM fiat?
You don’t need to have the Marshal pick load for the NPC squad, but you can, fictionally, if you wish. Most of the time it will be pretty obvious. It’s more logical to have all the squad in heavy load in an assault mission, or to know if all rookies have a shield, etc.
The thing is, you won’t get extra utilities or any mechanical advantage from that. According to RAW, it won’t change the number of NPC Rookies deaths on a 1-3 or 4/5. NPC Rookies armour and shield won’t change any of that. And most important, you can’t use the NPCs as “mules” that have spare equipment to give to the PCs when the PCs have exhausted their armour or blackshot or whatever.
So if no PC has brought a wrecking kit then you can’t say, “Oh, it so happens that a Rookie has one, we’ll use that”.
The exception to that is that, (there is some contradictory text between book and sheets or some examples, but Stras has confirmed it on this forum) when the QM spends some resources to boost certain engagement rolls, the whole squad is freely equipped, for the mission, not just the Specialists. So even the NPC rookies would have blackshot if the QM spent a use of blackshot, for example.
Thank you! Of particular help is the “if no PC has brought a wrecking kit…”. I’ve been asked by players about NPC’s having rope, hand weapons, etc before. Based on what you said, I may just go with the idea that whatever a Rookie has won’t be given up to any quirky/crazy idea the players have (no giving ammo for them to Rig an explosive or Black Shot for a trap).
I had been wondering if a Rookie has a hand weapon since none is on the default loads…but i suppose Family Weapon takes care of that!