I am not sure if this got already asked - or if I am perhaps simply missunderstanding something.
Part of the special rules of the western front is the following:
“The troops remaining here are shell-shocked and have trouble processing what’s going on. You can bring them along, but they’re in no shape to fight. The Quartermaster may make a 4-clock Long-Term Project to feed and rehabilitate them. When it’s complete, the Marshal may add up to five Rookies to the Legion.”
What is the worth of that?
The quatermaster can at any time use the recruit action to simply gain the exact same amount of Rookies. While working on a long term project may or may not suceed (1-5 Ticks per action spend)
I get that that will allow you to bypass the general limit on only recruiting 5 Rookies per mission; but since this is offered at the beginning I don’t see that much use in it. (other then simply taking them along and “cashing them in” far later in the game)
The other possibility I noticed was using Laborers to slowly fill that clock up - in my opinion the better solution, iff your quatermaster took a group of laborers in the beginning
Or am I not seeing something important?
You can take them with you immediately, the long term project makes them fit to fight and can happen as slowly as you like. So you can hang on to them ready to use when you need 10 rookies in a single session(!), or for when you can’t afford to spend an action on recruit but can afford to spare a labourer to finish the clock.
The same question was discussed on the Discord some time ago.
Some answers that were given:
" i suspect it’s an opportunity to show the values of the legion. Do they care at about who they’re leaving behind to their deaths? Do they spend resources that would be better spent elsewhere on helping people."
" Another possibility for the special rule at Western Front: consider that this special rule implies a Long term Project. LTPs are especially designed to allow players to “break the rule of the game” . So, I would interpret it like this (especially since it’s at the beginning of the campaign) : it allows the Legion to go above the limit of six squads and 30 Rookies (while with a Recruit action, you only fill depleted ranks). Those 5 extra Rookies could form a seventh squad (the Hungry Jackals?)."
“in my view, the reason for that LTP is that laborers can work on it for free. So that two or threecampaign phases down the line, when you need to replenish the ranks, the LTP will have filled up automatically”
“I’m not sure this is the kind of LTP that Laborers are supposed to help. “Laborers must be able to work on projects they tick, so they can’t add ticks to alchemical projects, or clocks they don’t have the resources to affect.” They are supposed to be “engineers, carpenters, blacksmiths”. Providing moral and material care to soldiers with PTSD is not really in their purview.”
" The laborers could certainly make gear for the new squad
And if you wait a few campaign phases of these guys getting fed and recuperating and you spend 4 laborer ticks (a rare and useful resource), id let the players have a new squad.Though I may mark down that this squad is shell shocked and likely to break.
I wouldn’t change their mechanics at all, but I would use it to narrate any failed rolls"
-" as far as breaking the rule of 6 squads, I don’t believe this would do that
A LTP does let you break the rules, and id even let the legion have 7 squads if they made a project specifically to do that. It would involve setting up supplies and personnel required for a new squad
But it wouldn’t also give you the rookies. Gotta get them separately
The squad limit isn’t about how many men you can find, it’s about what you can support
Rookies are are cheap"
Hope that helps