Squad and Mobs optional?

Greetings. How are people using squads and mobs- as an optional rule to deal with large numbers of minions or as the standard rule for that number of opponents?
Having run my 2nd session using Vultures of Shem, a handful of toughened Gidim and about double that of minions seemed to be a good match for 3 new PCs. Will using the squad rules make it easier for the players?

To be honest this rule (minions) is one of my favorite rules in the game. I use it pretty constantly. At one point I had a total of 6- 5 minion +1 Toughened Squads going up against my players, and they loved it. It was a pretty solid combat as well.


Yeah, have just returned from running the big fight at the end of Vultures of Shem. 2 of the PCs are very competent in combat. They wasted Saadan the Ghoul king in 1 round. I certainly have learned the lesson that individual minions have almost no chance to hit these PCs in combat and they will generate a bunch of momentum from the parry. So I definitely need to squad and mob up the mooks so they only attack once as a group.

It depends on the enemy. Sometimes player characters need to fight like 12 cultists. So in the interest of saving time I group them into mobs.

Mobs generally have a better chance to hit (since they roll extra d20s), but if player characters roll ridiculous amounts of damage, they can kill several mob members in a single strike. So it has upsides and downsides. My favorite benefit is saving me time and overhead :wink:


As it’s been eluded to.

This isn’t an all or nothing rule. There isn’t a requirement to organize into a mob or squad. You can when it works and can not when that does.

You can even have your minions run around all by themselves and then organize into a mob in the battle.

1 Like

Mix up between groups and individual enemies to keep PCs on their feet (or confused). Ungrouped enemies make more attacks despite those attacks being weaker than group attacks.

How much you use mobs/squads will have a big effect on the feel/style of your game. There’s a big difference between mowing through minions vs battling toughened. Rolling high stress damage means a lot less for the people who are good at that since you can only deal 2 harm without other modifiers. Toughened also are harder to fight with defense and stuff. It’s going to set your game style as grittier. If you use mobs a lot then you could have people mowing them down (but that’s just mobs doing their job).

Mobs vs Squads can make a big difference too. A mob gets 1 die + 1 per extra member, but that lead die has to succeed or the rest are meaningless. A squad gets the full 2 +1 per extra member, and only one of the 2 needs to be a success.

Oh and if you break up your mobs you’ll have tons of largely ineffective enemies bogging down your game with die rolls and possibly whittling down your PCs. Grouping up minions into mobs and squads will save game time and keep PCs from getting whittled down by foes who should be just improvised scabbards.

A series of good die rolls from 5 minions who all score a hit will result in 5 full damage die rolls. That’s going to murder PCs. Say the first three tear through the stress track, then the other 2 hits are instant wounds even if they roll a single point of stress over soak. The players have to start piling up doom wasting reactions on trash foes who should be operating as a single unit.

I’m just putting that out there since those are the thoughts that I’ve put into minion systems of various games. I’d like to reiterate that the choice you make will have a big impact on the feel of your game.