Western Front: Help with first set of missions!

Just GMing my first BoB mission. They’re at the Western Front, and I’m rolling for missions. Here’s what I got:

  1. Assault, Undead.
    Reward: +4 Morale, Penalty +1 Pressure Favor: Mercy

  2. Recon, Exfiltration + Danger.
    Reward +1 Intel -1 Time, Penalty 2 Deaths Favor: Holy

  3. Recon, Troop Recon Reward: Asset or Troops, +1 Intel, Penalty +1 Pressure Favor: Holy

So, how to flesh these out?

  1. Assault: Well, my Broken are Render and Bligher, and they faced some of Render’s troops at the bridge. So let’s introduce Blighter. “Blighter has captured a bunch of refugees and is using them as test subjects and feedstock”.

Why would the Legion bother with this? Refugees are everywhere. What would convince them?

  1. Recon: Well this is the classic “rescue the holy man”. Go back into Karlsburg and pull this guy out. Or maybe it’s two guys, because “2 deaths”? Have to think about that. I think this would be Blighter again.

  2. Recon: This one confuses me a little. Asset or Troops, Holy, penalty is Pressure… up in the hills there’s a squad of troops that the Legion is familiar with; they’re good enough to be recruited. Maybe they’re holed up in a temple, under attack by the undead?

Thoughts and suggestions welcome!

First of all - why all your missions have Favor? Of course, as a GM you can tweak missions as you like, but RAW favor have a) special missions, b) “mission count” roll can give one mission with a favor, c) “type of a mission” for religious can give a favor

About rolls

  1. What Western Front has (and other locations have not)? Tigeria river! Mission is either “There is a ford. We know, that group of enemy will cross it. Kill them”, or “Destroy a bridge” (it can be Hozelbrucke bridge - intact or reconstructed by enemy).
  2. First of all, “Deaths” can be postponded for Advance - “If we don’t get , road to next location will be more dangerous and we will lost people”. As for a mission - you can exfiltrate spymaster’s agent! If Spymaster’s role is active, penalty can be “wounded agent and death of legioneer” and no reward - because agent have to get out themself and info is expired. If Role is not active - just honest death of an agent.
  3. Recon (at least in my head) need to be more… stealthy. How do you like “There is a town. It is occupated by Render’s force. It is base of operations for them. Your mission is to get a hostage knight - for interrogation (+1 Intel) and get an Asset/Troops, that is in that town”? Troops can be hostages or they can hide in that town.

Petr is right in the first answer, there can’t be here a Favour for each mission. One max since you have no religious mission.

For your first mission, you are boxing yourself into a corner if you first decide of the theme of the mission ("“Blighter has captured a bunch of refugees and is using them as test subjects and feedstock”) without knowing what will tempting for the Legion. It should work the opposite way round. First find something tempting that rings with the rewards and penalties, the flesh it out.

Also you third mission sounds more like assault than recon.

As noted by others, every mission should not have Favor. At best, without a Religious mission in the mix, only one could have Favor. So I’m ignoring any influence of Favor in the following suggestions.

Also, Petr’s suggestions are cool, but since this sounds like your first time running BoB, I’m going to keep it a little more simple and oriented to straight RAW than mixing things up with delayed penalties and non-legionnaire losses, etc.

The assault mission is probably the easiest: that’s a huge morale bonus, so I suggest an Infamous be present on the mission. Foiling its plans (or even destroying it – good luck) would explain the large bonus. The pressure penalty suggests enemy forces are massing or advancing or cutting off forward movement under its direction. If you still want to include refugees, you can: the forces you’re attacking include a cart(s) of prisoners being moved south.

The exfiltration mission with the small intel bonus, and the personnel loss penalty, suggests a couple of legionnaires were caught behind enemy lines or captured while out scouting the area. They have some information about troop movements in the region that can help the Legion move more safely northwards, but only if they can be rescued. (I suggest picking two members of a squad who aren’t part of the one chosen for the mission: you then know exactly who you’re rescuing, which makes the rescue a little more personal.)

The troop recon mission is similar to this, with, again, a minor bonus to intel and a pressure penalty, suggesting the problem the Legion is facing is one of trying to avoid heavy enemy patrols; a bonus of troops suggests the mission is to locate and recruit some scouts who are familiar with the region (and maybe, yes, plan to kidnap an enemy knight).

If the reward is instead about gaining assets, it could be as simple as stealing the supplies (horses, food, reliquaries, whatever) from an enemy encampment (in an old temple?), and the squad notes/steals/overhears a piece of information – whereas failure means the squad is followed back to camp by a small enemy force.

These first missions are a major opportunity to introduce the players to the game’s fiction. Highlighting themes and character of the Broken and Chosen in your game.

Your instinct for the assault mission is good. It introduces a particular way that Blighter is horrible, and gives the legion a way to counteract that, and fits the reward and penalty. I’d be a little bit more specific about what it is that the squad is assaulting, though. Something like “Blighter’s forces have captured the population of greenfield township, and are using a vile alchemical process to transform them into rotters. Rescue the townsfolk and destroy the alchemical equipment, or else the legion will be harried by even more undead.”

It’s clear why the legion needs to do the mission–by rescuing those townsfolk, they are dealing a blow to Blighter’s acquisition of new undead. That’s a two-for one that seems to justify a big morale boost, and you might even look for ways to make it more personal to the Legion (perhaps the townsfolk hosted the legion earlier during the war). And if they fail or don’t undertake, the extra rotters the Blighter makes justifies the pressure increase.

For the second mission, you have an exfiltration with deaths, which is the perfect recipe for a mission that’s about rescuing trapped rookies. Since the penalty is time here, perhaps these rookies were scouting the Legion’s path to Plainsworth–if they were captured, the Legion would be forced to take a longer route. The +Danger tag indicates that you should employ a particular threat, probably an infamous. I’d go with the setup that the two rookies are being hunted by an infamous, and the mission is about rendezvousing with the rookies and escaping while evading the infamous (start a long clock–if it fills, the squad is caught and in serious trouble). Pick an infamous you’re interested in seeing again and that makes sense as a hunter. Wailer and Eater are good choices for the infamous, and if you want combat, fast and agile line troops like crows or hounds might be part of the chase.

For the third mission, pick a type of elite or line troop that hasn’t been seen on-screen yet–the mission is to study their movements so the legion can avoid them (and thus avoid the pressure penalty). The squad will have to get close enough to make their observations, deal with enemy scouts or sentries, and get out quickly before they get entangled with enemy forces. The asset (don’t go troops here because the Legion probably doesn’t need any yet) can be something they pick up opportunistically–a supply of Blackshot that might have been left near the front after an earlier battle, or Food or Horses from a farm whose occupants have fled or been killed.


Others have covered the Favor problem, that jumped out at me right away!

As for motivation, my thoughts…

  1. Like, the Morale boost for rescuing people from becoming Undead Test Subjects is pretty obvious. Feel free to make some of the people taken relatives of Legionnaires. And completing the Mission means there won’t be more Rotters to put Pressure on the Legion. But remember you can always call out a Specialist whose Great Aunt is amongst those taken, or some similar personal, strictly RP-based hook.

  2. It took me until literally TODAY to realize that ‘Deaths’ just means ‘you lose 2 Troops’, and that could be anything including plain old desertion. Like, maybe a couple of Rookies from Karlsburg abandon the Legion to go and try the mission on their own if the Commander chooses to blow this one off.

  3. This seems like an ideal time to introduce the Black Oak Knights if you haven’t (or even if you have). You’ve got a lead on where their stables might be, and if you can get in there and steal some of their horses (The Asset), not only will they serve the Legion well, it’ll mean their mobility is reduced and they won’t be able to press you as hard (the Pressure Penalty).