Star Wars Saga Edition: Platoon Stats

I run a Star Wars: Saga Edition campaign. This campaign takes place in the misty recesses of the early Republic, so it doesn’t use standard stormtrooper or Sith trooper stats, and in any case I find those statlines to be pretty bland after a while. Granted, they’re only supposed to be first-level encounters, but it’s not like there’s a whole ton of variety as you get into higher levels if your enemy remains more or less “the Empire” (or period equivalent). When Emperor Xim (yes, that is a legends character and not an OC) shows up with an army, is he going to have nothing but “stormtrooper” and “stormtrooper but level 8?” That can work, and for my first campaign, Birth of the Republic, I largely relied on these kinds of things, using combat largely as filler between political scenarios.

For Nine Thrones of Xim, however, I statted out a much more complex and balanced set of military mook stats. I then lost those stats. I have combed over every one of my notes documents and as far as I can tell the full stats for these guys are no longer on my machine. What I do still have are the shorthand stats I use for running them in combat, so that’s what I’m posting to celebrate the upcoming release of Episode VIII: Barely usable abbreviated stats for an edition that stopped publishing nearly a decade ago. That said, even in their abbreviated form they are usable and add a lot of interesting flavor to what would otherwise just be ten identical stormtroopers.

Before we get started, I should note that these guys are built for an era when having beam tubes was a huge military advantage. It’s not clear what beam tubes actually do in the official lore nor what weapon they had such an advantage over, just that they were once cutting-edge weapons but by the time Han Solo got his hands on them they were basically worthless (for some reason they can’t be sold as antiques, I guess?). So, in Nine Thrones of Xim, the standard weapon is a slugthrower, which does one die less damage, and beam weapons are slowly phasing them out. Beam weapon deal full damage, but on a nat 1 the beam tube burns out and must be replaced, which requires a full round action and a Mechanics check, as opposed to a move action reload when your slugthrower runs out of ammo. Most soldiers are equipped with slugthrowers, while PCs (once they get their hands on beam weapons at all) have gravitated pretty consistently towards having a beam weapon and then a backup slugthrower which they switch to if their tube fries, then replace tubes between encounters. Upshot of this being that all of these stat blocks use slugthrower weapons, but add a die to damage and bam, they’re blasters.

For starters, you’ve got your conscript squad.

Sergeant OR Corporal x1
Conscript x7-9

These guys are the building blocks of less competent, more disorganized militaries. You’ve got 7-9 conscripts, level 1 non-heroic zakos who are going nowhere in life, led by a single corporal or sergeant. The corporal’s not even much of a leader, really, he’s only got soldier levels, but the sergeant at least has one leadership ability. Conscript squads tend to be led by corporals as often as not, though. These kinds of squads are great for disorganized militias or really crappy government troops, which means they can sometimes be appropriate for stormtroopers. They can also be used for pirate crews or street gangs.

CONSCRIPT

Initiative: +3
Reflexes: 12
Fortitude: 11
Will: 9
HP: 9

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +3 (2d8)

CORPORAL

Initiative: +5
Reflexes: 17
Fortitude: 13
Will: 11
HP: 32
Threshold: 13

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +7 (2d8+1)
Frag grenade +4 (4d6+1)

SERGEANT

Initiative: +6
Reflexes: 22
Fortitude: 16
Will: 13
HP: 58
Threshold: 16

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +8 (2d8+4)
Frag grenade +5 (4d6+2)

Inspire Confidence: As a standard action, grant all allies in line of sight +1 attack and skill checks for the rest of the encounter, even if they break line of sight.

 

Up next we’ve got the standard squad, which is what I use for most militaries and what I recommend for stormtroopers.

Sergeant x1
Corporal x1
Gunner x1
Riflemen x3
Conscript x2

This squad is split into two teams. The gun team consists of the sergeant, gunner, and two conscripts. The gunner is the most deadly man on the squad and can lay down full auto to dish out half-damage to enemies with high Reflex scores (Reflex is used in place of AC in Saga Edition, but it’s still a static number and not a die roll), and can also do a lot more damage in single-shot mode if enemy Reflex is low enough to hit reliably. Conscripts also typically fire on full-auto, while the sergeant spends an action on Inspire Confidence before falling back usually on single-shot. The gun team’s job is to make PCs very scared of leaving ending a turn out of cover, and they can also hold actions to fire on any PC who leaves cover, which acts the way you’d expect suppressive fire to work (and sometimes I fluff it that way) even though it is technically not firing any shots at all. Do keep in mind that the gun team will want to be able to brace their weapons in order to reduce full-auto accuracy penalties from -5 down to -2.

The rifle team is the three riflemen led by the corporal. Their job is to get in close to any enemies who’ve taken cover (which can be used to avoid full-auto if you’re lucky and provides a hefty +5 bonus to Reflex regardless) and toss an assload of cover-ignoring grenades at them, preferably from the flank so that on the next round they can open fire in single-shot mode to pick off any survivors. Players with decent Reflex scores quickly come to resent grenades. Dipping into Scout long enough to get Evasion is a popular choice amongst mine for exactly that reason (although a nerf to Evasion in my house rules means that anyone directly targeted by a grenade can’t benefit from it, that still has only slightly dampened its popularity). That one level dip is easy to make room for in later levels, but early on a standard squad with grenades can be pretty frightening, especially since the level of the opposition is overall higher. Riflemen are level 2 (counting their three non-heroic levels as one, which is how Saga works for some reason), Corporals are level 3, and Sergeants are level 5.

Standard squads can be an intimidating but manageable enemy as early as level 3, and can remain an effective threat clear up to level 5 or 6. They’ve also got enough internal unit diversity that you can up the threat level by just adding a second squad and it usually works fine.

RIFLEMAN

Initiative: +4
Reflexes: 15
Fortitude: 11
Will: 10
HP: 21
Threshold: 11

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +5 (2d8+1)
Frag grenade +3 (4d6+1)

GUNNER

Initiative: +5
Reflexes: 16
Fortitude: 12
Will: 11
HP: 32
Threshold: 12

Speed: 6 squares
Heavy slugthrower +7 (2d10+3)
Frag grenade +4 (4d6+1)

 

professional squad has even more unit diversity and a higher threat level as they’ve entirely shed conscripts and are much more dense with grenades. Professional squads are what I recommend for clonetroopers or elite stormtrooper units like the 501st.

Sergeant x1
Corporal x2
Gunner x2
Grenadier x2
Rifleman x2

Each professional squad is split into two identical fireteams containing one corporal, one gunner, one grenadier, and one rifleman, with the squad sergeant not attached to any fireteam in particular. Because the two fireteams are identical, which one acts as the gun team suppressing the enemy with held actions and which one acts as the rifle team attacking with grenades can vary based on the situation. The two fireteams remain a dozen or so squares away from one another whenever possible in the field, so that if one of them is ambushed, that is now the rifle team, and the other guys are the gun team.  Additionally, both fireteams can act as the gun team if the squad is defending a position, and what was the gun team can act as a second rifle team if the PCs have destroyed the rifle team and are now on the attack.

While the jump in threat level between the conscript squad and the standard squad is one of several levels, professional squads are only slightly more dangerous. They’re appropriate mainly to level 4-6-ish parties. Professional squads are mainly dangerous when encountered as platoons, which we’ll get into below, since their high density of grenades means they remain capable of posing some threat even to higher-level parties.

GRENADIER

Initiative: +5
Reflexes: 16
Fortitude: 12
Will: 11
HP: 32
Threshold: 12

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +6 (2d8+1)
Grenade launcher +7 (4d6+3)

 

command squad is the squad answering directly to the lieutenant who leads an entire platoon, which means that where a command squad is, there’s usually at least one and possibly as many as three or four conscript, standard, or professional squads nearby. Each command squad has a lieutenant and staff sergeant, and then three (or maybe four) two man fireteams from the given list of five. A command squad may have two veteran fireteams (especially if the command squad has four fireteams overall), but will almost never have three or more veteran fireteams or more than a single fireteam of any other type.

Lieutenant x1
Staff Sergeant x1

Command squad fireteams:

Sniper x1
Rifleman x1

Medic x2

Veteran x2

Heavy x1
Mortar x1

Comms Officer x1
Rifleman x1

Command squad specialists are almost all level 5, and although a lot of them suffer from being built on the basic non-heroic chassis of the conscript, the majority of their levels are heroic. They are not to be fucked with and can serve as a decent challenge to a level 5-ish party on their own, although they will still be at a disadvantage due to a comparative lack of build diveristy: They are nearly all relatively minor variations on the same non-heroic/soldier build, with only the staff sergeant given enough levels to really break away from that, and the lieutenant the first one to actually have a pure heroic build designed from the ground up for his specific role, rather than having a few role-specific levels bolted onto the rifleman build. Even so, their average level is around 5 or 6 and when encountered as the head of a full platoon of three professional squads, they can continue to be a threat well into level 7 or 8, even if they’re a bog standard line infantry platoon with no vehicles at all (we’ll get into those later).

There are a lot of individual fireteams competing for deadliest addition. The sniper can dish out quite high amounts of damage in single-shot and gets to ignore cover, which makes him very good for picking off low-Reflex PCs (and most PCs below level 10 are either low-Reflex or clearly wearing a ton of armor, which makes it very easy for the sniper to identify the easy targets). This is doubly true if you’re giving everyone blasters for use in a standard era instead of the weird, obscure thing I’ve got going on.

Probably the second place contender for most annoying new addition is the medic team, which can seriously extend the HP bar of other annoying units (like the sniper!) if used judiciously. Combined with the staff sergeant running around to buck up flagging soldiers, a platoon’s most annoying units can also be very hard to kill.

Speaking of the staff sergeant, he and the lieutenant can pass out a total of a +2 bonus to every single unit in the platoon. A +2 is not normally a lot, but when there are dozens of attacks made per round, that +10% hit rate does in fact stack up to two or three attacks landing that would otherwise have missed. The only reason they aren’t more of a nuisance is because, between their higher level and the bonuses they hand out, they’re such an obvious target that they don’t usually get to stick around long enough to be maximally effective.

The heavy/mortar team looks pretty scary, but the mortar is basically just throwing two grenades at once (but targeting the same square) from much further away. In a situation where there’s probably already not just two but three rifle teams chucking grenades at the players, the contribution of the mortar is relatively insignificant. The heavy isn’t even particularly in his element firing on infantry. While being hit by a missile launcher definitely hurts, it has to be reloaded after every shot and is generally meant for use as an ambush weapon against walkers and tanks, preferably in terrain where they’re way less maneuverable than infantry.

Clocking in amongst the least impressive of the command squad’s toys is the veteran, who I usually use to create a relatively weak command squad. This can be good for use in the party’s first encounter with such a squad, which might include two veteran fireteams and a heavy/mortar team alongside the lieutenant and his XO. This way, you can throw a platoon at your party early and get them used to the idea before later springing a command squad that swaps out those veterans for a sniper team and a pair of medics. Veteran stats can also be subbed in for some number of riflemen, gunners, or grenadiers in standard, professional, or even conscript squads to make a squad or platoon more deadly overall (riflemen can also be swapped in for conscripts to give the same effect to conscript squads).

The comms officer has an important ECM role to play, particularly against parties who like to use slicing to mess with enemy organization, but overall his team is pretty weak. You can swap a veteran in for the rifleman to beef him up a little, but veterans aren’t that impressive either, as they’re just riflemen with a slightly higher hit rate and a bunch more HP. Not all that impressive in an encounter that already likely includes ten or more riflemen. He is another option for weakening the command squad, and can also serve as a decent counter to any players taking the cyberpunk route to victory (which has always been very popular with my players, which is why I have a counter for this very specific strategy ready to go).

SNIPER

Initiative: +6
Reflexes: 19
Fortitude: 15
Will: 15
HP: 65
Threshold: 14

Speed: 6 squares
Sniper rifle +9 (2d10+5)
Sniper rifle w/aim +10 (3d10+7)
Slugthrower Pistol +8 (2d6+3)

Evasion
Sniper: Ignore cover when making a ranged attack.

MEDIC

Initiative: +6
Reflexes: 21
Fortitude: 16
Will: 13
HP: 58
Threshold: 16

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +7 (2d8+2)
Frag grenade +5 (4d6+2)

Treat Injury: +17
Exceptional Treat Injury: Rolls of 2-7 on Treat Injury are treated as an 8

VETERAN

Initiative: +6
Reflexes: 23
Fortitude: 17
Will: 13
HP: 62
Threshold: 16

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +8 (2d8+4)
Frag grenade +6 (4d6+2)

HEAVY

Initiative: +6
Reflexes: 23
Fortitude: 17
Will: 13
HP: 62
Threshold: 16

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +7 (2d8+2)
Missile launcher +8 (6d6+4)

MORTAR

Initiative: +6
Reflexes: 23
Fortitude: 17
Will: 13
HP: 62
Threshold: 16

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +7 (2d8+2)
Mortar launcher +8 (8d6+4)

COMMS OFFICER

Initiative: +5
Reflexes: 15
Fortitude: 13
Will: 15
HP: 16
Threshold: 13

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +4 (2d8+1)

Use Computer: +14

STAFF SERGEANT

Initiative: +7
Reflexes: 23
Fortitude: 17
Will: 16
HP: 72
Threshold: 17

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +9 (2d8+5)
Frag grenade +6 (4d6+3)

Inspire Confidence: As a standard action, grant all allies in line of sight +1 morale bonus to attack and skill checks for the rest of the encounter, even if they break line of sight, until you are dead or unconscious.
Bolster Ally: Standard action to move target +1 step on the condition track and give bonus HP equal to their character level.

LIEUTENANT

Initiative: +6
Reflexes: 25
Fortitude: 21
Will: 18
HP: 72
Threshold: 21

Speed: 6 squares
Slugthrower rifle +9 (2d8+3)
Frag grenade +8 (4d6+3)

Born Leader: As a swift action, grant all allies in line of sight a +1 insight bonus on attack rolls (note: insight bonus stacks with sergeant’s morale bonus). The bonus lasts for the entire encounter or until you are killed or knocked unconscious. Breaking line of sight does not end the bonus (because of Distant Command).

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