The Saddest, Shoddiest, Unluckiest Fireteam Ever

What happens if you aren’t Anvil- or Iron-Trained, have sucky comms, lack Infiltration or right tools for the job, are outnumbered and outgunned by an opponent with superior position, fail to make contact, and roll 0 successes on the Officer’s Roll to set disposition?

Can you start a Firefight with disposition 0? If so, what happens?


Call us again when this happens in play.

That may sound callous, since it is a theoretical possibility, but here’s the trouble: How did it happen?

If you started the firefight, you shouldn’t have (you should have brought some right tools or found an infiltrator, at the very least).

If your opponent started the firefight, why are you fighting? I mean, if you’re sitting on top of something really valuable and he’s attacking you to get it, that should net you Superior Position, right? If you’re just out going for a stroll and he jumps you, why? Why not just make it a color scene? If your opponent is trying to assassinate someone, he paradoxically needs to make sure you have some dispo (because otherwise the fight is over before he can get in the Direct Fire or Close Combat maneuvers he needs to kill a member of your fireteam). (Cheater’s note: One way to boost your opponent’s dispo is to flub your contact roll intentionally. If your commander has a stellar Observation, make sure you roll your Beginner’s Luck Signals instead, don’t get help and don’t FoRK anything).

In short, I think if this ever happens in a game, it’s because you’re not paying attention to scene framing and you’ve just started a conflict scene where nothing is at stake.

Run! Or surrender! Plead for mercy!

Sounds like you lose without compromise. Once your dispo hits zero, you’re out.

And though Devin’s being harsh, he’s on point. You can do better than that!

It’s not harsh at all. This is just theoretical noodling, not based in actual play, and so it doesn’t merit the same level of seriousness as AP would. Actually, it happened because we were teaching the group Firefight and going over the list of disposition bonuses at the start of battle, trying to come up with examples from film/books/etc. of when certain fireteams would/wouldn’t have these bonuses.

All we could come up with for starting disposition zero was a massacre, which prompted the (highly hypothetical) question. Sounds like we had the fiction about right!


I have had this happen in actual play, and I did not call for the conflict, a player did. He was the head of a criminal syndicate and decided to take to the streets in open warfare against the planetary military. His disposition wasn’t 0 but it was damn near it. We tried to talk the player out of it and explained why, he wouldn’t listen, then he got stomped and was frustrated. He’s… stubborn.

I described it to Judd later and he was like, “What did he expect? It’s like Tony Soprano versus the Navy Seals!”


That’s awesome.


Actually, twice this has nearly happened in my game. Three of the players have access to armies and they team up A LOT, meaning they almost always have Superior Numbers, Weapons and Position as well as Psychology advantage. Even WHEN my guy has troops, it’s just his one set of Anvil versus their combined Anvil x2 and Hammer forces.

Usually, I’m just hoping for a Compromise.

And even under those overwhelming odds I’ve never had a Disposition of 0. Mostly it’s been like 3 vs 12 or something like that.


So, what we’re talking about, would be some fleeing group of refugees, with no Command or Tactics among them, and nobody of strong Will or Perception, so that getting all traitors in the dispo roll is feasible. They have no Infiltration, no Signals or comm equipment, no weapons, and are walking into an ambush in a valley by the Emperor’s Elite.

Essentially yes. If this happened to me, I’d say that the side with zero dispo breaks as soon as they take a dispo hit and will break at the end of the first exchange if their dispo is unaffected through all three volleys.

Exactly. Now, that’s a really great color scene, showing what a hard, murderous, bastard the Prince-Colonel of the Emperor’s Elite is. It’s a really weak conflict scene, though, unless there’s something else going on (and if there is, it’ll probably change the dispo at least a little…)

I was thinking it would be more of a box canyon rather than a valley. In a valley there’s two ways out for the exceedingly lucky… :slight_smile:

It’s in the section title “Unskilled Commanders”, but I think this answers your question:


This actually happened last night. Two Lords-Pilot PCs tracked my GMFoN out to an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town and crashed the place in iron with a dozen Anvil troops. They thought the FoN was trying to skip town (well, skip planet, really) and figured he wouldn’t come quietly. They rolled quite well, scoring contact and 5 disposition on the officer’s roll, while my poor commander rolled not a single success on his Command. The PCs had Iron Superiority/Training (+2) and a dozen guys to their 5 (+1), leaving the opening score 10 disposition to 1 (thank you Sly for pointing out that rule!). I promptly had the smugglers surrender. :slight_smile:

If rolls had been reversed (ha!), the Firefight could well have gone my way. This was a case of a somewhat sad, somewhat shoddy, extremely unlucky fireteam.