Thats true, and I misspoke a bit earlier, to be clear, a Hacker in a Gunfight will generally be less immediately effective to the enemy than say a Gunman (The different Talents they possess make a dramatic difference in power scope). I meant more that this way a hacker can feel like they are having a visible effect in any confrontation.
As for operating in Cyberspace and essentially acting as crowd control. Yes, that is definitely a thing, but if I could use an example to illustrate why I allow a Hacker to “take out” a Trooper it is as follows…
A guy with a Gun lines up on a trooper with another gun, pulls the trigger. Bang, dead Trooper.
A Hacker without a Gun lines up on a trooper with another gun, hacks the troopers gun and stops it from working. Trooper then switches to a second weapon, or reboots, or draws a knife. Its then still up to the Hacker to figure out a way to stop that same trooper with a new way of attacking, or after the Hacker turned off the Troopers gun its up to another Gunman to then take them out.
Which is just as effective as that Gunman just acting twice with the Hacker just sitting back and doing nothing.
Essentially in this scenario the Hacker can DO a thing, its just relatively ineffectual for countering the badguy.
Now, against a Nemesis and even an Elite, sure. Thats why Elites need multiple Harms to take out, that give you room for multiple characters to participate in dealing with a threat that requires teamwork. In fact in the above example the Hacker is probably better off just assisting the Gunman, that way they may gain enough Momentum to make a Second attack in that first turn.
Troopers though shouldn’t have that level of difficulty to overcome, they should be easy fodder for anyone to deal with, which the rule that 1 Harm of any type is designed to replicate.
But as you said, a good GM with a Hacker in their Team should also be tailoring challenges in such a way that a Hacker will have other stuff to occupy themselves (a fight in cyberspace or a digital lock to hack so the scene can move) I just point this out for all those spur of the moment situations where the stakes aren’t that high (or the GM is unprepared) and things are exactly as they appear, a bunch of thugs running into a scene in order to get shot. In these sort of encounters its good that a Hacker can have an immediate, visible impact on a fight.
But, I’m getting sidetracked…
After having reread all this stuff on Harms and Breaches and how they apply is that in the Trooper rules, I realised I made a mistake earlier. These rules do not conflict with one and another, they are both 100% true.
In regards to “Troopers, the least important NPCs, are taken out after the first Harm” that is true, the combat section of the core book goes into how you incapacitate a enemy in a variety of ways (aka everything on the damage table). Its a bit illogical but as I mentioned earlier this can be seen a technological paralysis, malfunctioning gear making the target ineffective in the scene, or to use a couple of your examples you made, detonate their grenades or just providing a tactical insight to the scene that outwise makes the presence of the Trooper meaningless (maybe they come around a corner and another PC just takes them down instantly without a need for rolls etc).
But the information in the Adversary Chapters section on troopers is also correct, it’s just refering to something different than incapacitating an enemy. What it actually pertains to is that in addition to a Troope being taken out with a Harm they are also much easier to effect in other ways.
1 Attack will inflict a Wound Effect, 1 Psywar will inflict a Metanoia Effect and 1 Hack can Completely Shutdown a System.
This is for the purpose of all the specific Breach/Wound/Metanoia effects that you can apply to gain an advantage in a situation. Such as the “Tag” effect requiring a persons Commlog to have its firewall shutdown to apply. Its also present because a Trooper or Elite classification can be applied to Geists, Drone and just outright pieces of Machinery such as a Repeater Node attached to Maya.
Without the clarification from the Adversary Chapter it would still take the regular number of Breaches to do this. There are other similar Status effects that need this rule to work, a Trooper with 1 Metanoia will be much more easily convinced to introduce a character to their best friend the Hotel Cook, than a Elite is or a Nemesis would to their friend the Influential Senator.
So that’s how things sit with me on these rules, maybe its off base, but I feel like I have a much better grasp on why those 2 pieces of information seemed contrary now.