Question about an example of Group action in the book

Hi Legionnaires!

I have a slight problem with the example of group action on page 244 of the BoB rulebook. It is a group SHOOT action where a Soldier takes the lead. In this example the Soldier has NO gun or musket, but leads by giving orders: " I don’t have a gun marked in my loadout, so everyone else can fire, but I can level my spear and organize everyone." Then the Soldier rolls SHOOT anyway, acting as “Corporal” for the Squad.

My feeling is that this contradicts the basic rule for an action roll, which is “in order to do it, do it”. The soldier has no gun, so he can’t “shoot” by “levelling his spear” (He could have thrown his spear, but that’s not what he does here).

So, is that a slight mistake or have I missed something?

If it’s a mistake, what would the correct course of action be?

I see two possibilities in this particular example:

  • The Soldier can’t participate in the group action, the Sniper cannot lead it (stressed to the max) ; so there is no Group action, the Sniper should roll alone on her own, the Soldier could marshal the squad to shoot and roll on his own, or the squad could just roll 1 dice for threat.

  • Using a piece of rule that is apparently not often used. Page 223, in the “group action” section, we find: " You can also lead a group of NPCs. Let’s say you need to organize some villagers into a hasty defense. Roll marshal if you direct their efforts, or roll the appropriate action rating if you participate alongside them. You don’t need to roll for each NPC individually: the group rolls its threat level—from 0d for untrained, under-equipped villagers to 2d for elite groups of welltrained, finely equipped mercenaries. Whoever leads this group action will suffer stress from covering for the NPCs."
    This seems to indicate that, as an exception to the “everybody rolls the same action in a group action” rule, one could lead a squad in any group action by rolling marshal. Is that what the Soldier in the example should be doing ? (So : Sniper rolls shoot, Soldier leads the group action and rolls marshal, squad rolls 1 dice for Threat).
    But is is confusing to me, because I’ve never seen that played like this and it seems contradictory to the text describing the difference between marshal and group action on page 226.

What’s your opinion on this? (error in the example? Correct way to handle the situation?)


i agree that example seems to contradict the rules. You can’t roll shoot if you’re not shooting.

I agree it would be better if they roll Marshall to lead a group action or just the squad.

Tweaking the example might also work: “level my spear and throw it”. As you suggest that’s another kind of shoot.

Yeah. I think things could be clarified if we compare to vanilla Blades – still remembering that the games are different though.

In BitD, it’s perfectly clear that you can do a group action by rolling Command + the quality of the Cohort (page 171 of the rulebook: “Command is almost always the right action for leading a cohort or sending an NPC group to do something according to your instructions. Handle it as a “group
action” teamwork maneuver with you rolling Command and the cohort rolling

For BoB the equivalent would obviously be rolling Marshal + 1d or 2d for the squad (or the “corporal’s” dice). But no such wording figures on page 280 of the BoB’s rulebook. And page 226 gives different advice…