Ammo Checks, Command, and artillery officers commanding infantry

Some questions about ammo checks surfaced in the firefights I’ve been doing. Some of them I am sure have already been discussed, but I have some new things I’d like to ask. So.

After some discussion, Sydney and I decided to test each of our named characters’s skills for ammo-checks, but in my subsequent firefight with Paul, Luke said you don’t need to check each character, just the commander and any PCs. This is cool. It is how I thought it should be done. I like it. It is elegant.


It sets up some odd situations. What skill does the commander test? Does he test the skill of the weapon he was using? Does he test his highest weapon skill? If you have an artillery commander defending his limbered gun with his jackgun armed gun-crew, does he roll his artillery 5? Or does he try to remember basic training and roll his Assault Weapons 2. If my pistol armed duelist is sitting in the cab of a fusion-gun armed combat-car, can he roll his close combat as an ammo test?

And why does the commander need to have a high weapon skill to force his troops to maintain fire discipline? Shouldn’t it be a command roll? “Wait till you see the whites of their eyes.” Or a tactics roll? “Johnson, make sure you put that spare powerpack near the fusor.” Or even an intimidation roll? “Any man to fire early will be flogged.” Is it possible to FoRK those skills in?

A versatile and skilled commander will bring better fire discipline.

Anyway, you test the appropriate weapon skill. If your crew was firing jack lasers, you test Assault Weapons. If you were unleashing a barrage, then you test Artillery.

I can see why a commander who is familiar with commanding rifle-armed infantry formations would have a better sense of how to control his unit’s rifle fire than he would commanding an artillery battery.

Overall, my impression of how firefights are supposed to “feel” in BE is as if you are a character, fighting in a traditional rpg, but instead of a sword, you have a tank platoon. So you’re treating your men like your personal weapon: checking their ammo, making their Flank rolls, etc… And your personal skills affect how your “weapon” performs.


Oh, I agree and understand. I am just… not entirely sure Napoleon was a crack shot with a musket. It’s actually not a big problem, because while ammo tests are frequent, the consequences of failure aren’t terribly dire. And it’s a good source of difficult weapon tests.

Napoleon was an undisputed master artillerist.

…also short, and a loser.

gasp Blasphemy!

Funny story. My grandparents are Austrian. I was talking about Waterloo with my grandad and my grandmother butted in wondering what we were talking about. “Waterloo!”, my grandfather said, “You know, the battle where Blücher beat Napoleon!”

That good Austrian education.


Blücher always got an honourable mention in my very English education. But naturally, Johnny Foreigner couldn’t possibly be responsible for trouncing the froggy runt.

Also Blucher did think he was pregnant with a baby elephant. Kind of bad for your historical credibility.

Not for the Austrian educational system, clearly.

Alte Vorwarts!