Anvil Lord troops vs just some troops?

Is there any mechanical difference between the people you get from the Anvil Lord (Hammer Lord) trait(s), and troops you might get just by putting a relationship and affiliation on your character sheet? Are the traits really just reminding you that a character from those life paths really should have a military group he is in charge of?

The main difference is that the Anvil/Hammer Lords don’t have to roll to get them some cronies to do stuff. If they have purchased the affiliation with their forces, then they get a guy at a certain skill level. Poof, no roll required. However, that also means no test, and no advancement, so it’s not as good as it sounds.

Someone with Affiliations but no Hammer/Anvil Lord trait means they have to roll to get stuff done. This means that there’s the chance they might fail and get people that hate him/are hulled by Vaylen/are secretly insane and will screw up his plans/not actually what they claim to be but an actor dressed up as whatever you tried to circle up in the first place. However, this person makes tests like a madman, and his circles Exponent will shoot up pretty quick.

The Hammer Lord in my game is careful about using the trait, as it means throwing away a test that will earn him advancement.

Thanks Glendower,

That’s what I thought the difference was, but wanted to get it explicitly.

Maybe a related question, but given the nature of BE scenes, presumably the AL/HL isn’t actually giving up skill tests, just giving up the chance for a circles test in favor of some other test.

You are right, there’s still a test, it’s just that the AL/HL doesn’t get any advancement on any skill whatsoever. For example, let’s say he uses his trait to grab a Signals guy, and has that guy roll his signals to track some kind of strange transmission from the depths of space or something. Sure you can get the test, but the AL/HL doesn’t get a Signals test pip on his sheet.

So there’s a fairly beefy tradeoff. I personally like coloring in the little dots next to skills, so the characters I play tend to be very hands on. I only use the trait when I don’t have the skill and absolutely need this roll to have a chance of succeeding. (beginner’s luck is brutal)

But if it’s happening in a building scene then he only has three tests anyway, so he can roll something else instead.

Actually, that brings up a point. If you follow the process of how to set up having a crew, does that mean that you have to use circles for each member of your crew that you want to come, beyond the second in command? For instance, in the Firefight example from the book, how do you get those four lords-pilot to come and back you up? Do you sit there and circles them up before the fight, or do they just come with the second in command, or something? How is that different from Anvil Lord?

If you’re the head of a mercenary force, for instance, how does one handle gathering up one’s force? Do you make one check for your whole group, en masse?

Sure, but each Building scene you, the player, get only three chances to test (and by test I mean roll the dice to do something). If you get your HL/AL to make the roll, he gets to record the test, and will eventually advance the skill.

If you have your character order some underling to make the roll, that still counts as one of your chances to roll the dice, but your HL/AL does not get to record a test on his sheet. Like I said earlier, it’s a trade-off.

The only other time you get test advancement in a maneuver is through Verses tests, the maneuver roll, or if you’re helping someone.

Ah, yeah. I understand that a circled NPC making a check for you in a building scene will count against you. That makes sense.

But anyway, how do you handle gathering up large numbers of forces if you’re not an anvil or hammer lord?

Circles up someone who would have subordinates. Pay the conditional obstacle penalty, and he comes with his buddies.