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TAG Pilot questions

Discussion in 'Rules' started by wes-o-matic, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. wes-o-matic

    wes-o-matic King Canute

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    I have some questions about how TAGs and Pilots are supposed to behave, inspired partially by this thread about reassigning the LT role to a Pilot.

    1 - Are Pilots separate Troopers from TAGs?

    I wish this were more clear.
    • They're either LI or REMs, but they have no Training so they're neither Regular nor Irregular, and Training is sort of a key feature of being a Trooper.
    • They generate no Orders "of any kind." The definition of Trooper includes the ability to "contribute...Orders."
    • States transfer between the two, with some limitations.
    • They don't take up a separate slot on the Army List, but neither the Pilot profile nor the TAG profile has the kinds of clarification provided for Peripherals, AI Motorcycles, or Motorcycles.
    • If the TAG model is destroyed while the Pilot is dismounted, the rules don't actually say what happens, but the implication is the Pilot continues to exist independently, it just can't generate Orders. However, it's not clear whether the dead TAG model profile being dead (a null state) means the Pilot is "a Trooper in a null state" if they're the same Trooper.
    They're also described confusingly in the Pilot rule itself:
    • The description before Pilot says "Troopers with this Special Skill are aboard a Vehicle or TAG."
    • The second and third bullets of Pilot refer to "their Profile" for the Pilot and "using their...TAG Unit Profile" for the TAG, implying that they're a single Trooper with multiple Profiles, as with various other kinds of multi-Profile Troopers in the game, and that the TAG Unit Profile somehow "belongs" to the Pilot.
    • The tenth bullet of Pilot says "If the Pilot is a Trooper vulnerable to hacking..."
    It feels like we're getting mixed signals here. I know that Troopers have models and profiles, but other instances of Troopers with multiple profiles are covered by transmutation or equipment like the AI Motorcycles rule. Instances of models where a Trooper and non-Trooper are linked are covered by Peripherals. Describing the Pilot as a Trooper in a way distinct from the TAG, while also treating them as a single Trooper in some important ways, is not very clear and can result in some weird interaction questions.


    2 - How does Lieutenant work for TAGs and Pilots?

    This would be partially answered by knowing whether the TAG and Pilot are fully separate Troopers or whether they're alternate Profiles of a single Trooper.

    If they're a single Trooper, then the TAG having Lieutenant as a Special Skill allows that Trooper to be the Lieutenant at the start of the game, but if the TAG profile goes Unconscious and the Pilot wanders out onto the table, it's unclear whether Loss of Lieutenant occurs, since "the Trooper" simultaneously is and isn't in a Null state, and the Lieutenant Trooper being in a Null state is what causes LOL in the first place.

    If they're a single Trooper and the TAG goes Unconscious then since the Pilot profile doesn't have the Lieutenant skill, the profile that does have the Lieutenant skill loses it (Unconscious disables Automatic Skills, and LT is an Automatic Skill).

    However, other Null states can affect the TAG model while leaving the Pilot unaffected, and they don't turn off Automatic Skills, so that mechanism doesn't apply and the question of Loss of Lieutenant devolves back to the question of whether the TAG model being Null is sufficient to trigger LOL even if the Pilot is fine, and if so why? The profile with Lieutenant is Null, but the Trooper isn't necessarily so.

    If the two profiles are a single Trooper, does that mean that while the TAG profile is Unconscious both profiles are "a Trooper in a null state" so it's legal to declare BS Attack while in silhouette contact with the conscious Pilot of an unconscious TAG? If you're in silhouette contact with a parked TAG that's nominally conscious, but the Pilot is unconscious, are you Engaged?

    REMs can't be LT, so presumably a Remote Pilot couldn't inherit Lieutenant-hood from the TAG carrying it, but for manned TAGs the idea that the Pilot inside the suit somehow stops being Lieutenant outside the suit seems really counterintuitive.

    If they're separate Troopers, then it becomes clearer, but causes the question of whether the Pilot is able to spend the TAG's Irregular Order from Tactical Awareness.

    Speaking of spending Orders...when a TAG is your LT and the Pilot dismounts, can the Pilot spend the LT Special Order, and why or why not? Does it make a difference whether it's a Pilot or Remote Pilot? The Order is generated by the LT (the TAG) and is for the use of the Trooper who generates it, and if they are the same Trooper then the Pilot should logically be able to use the LT Order.

    How does it work if you assign LT to your manned TAG pilot during play? Do you enter LOL if the Pilot re-boards the TAG as asked here?

    If they're a single Trooper, then do you assign both profiles to be your LT simultaneously, or do you have to pick one profile since LT is a Special Skill and both profiles have distinct Skill lists? If you do assign it to both simultaneously, the Pilot mounting the TAG won't cause LOL. But that implies that the Pilot is also the LT if it starts the game that way, and losing your LT TAG profile doesn't cause LOL.

    If they're separate Troopers, then removing the Pilot from the table due to boarding the TAG would cause LOL.

    There's another option: Pilots can't be nominated Lieutenant (they don't generate "Orders of any kind" so can't generate a LT Order? or some other reason?) and you must nominate the TAG profile as your new LT to end LOL. But I can't figure out why that would be the case.


    3 - If a Pilot (Remote) is hit by an attack that sends it to Dead, does that kill the TAG model/Profile as well, and what's the timing for that process?


    The Pilot rule for this says that the Pilot (Remote) must be on the table in a null state and the TAG then spends an Order or ARO to Reset and remove the Pilot (Remote) from the table. This doesn't remove or reverse any States, it just removes the Pilot from the table.

    Dead is an irreversible Null State that results in removal from the table as an Effect, which presumably occurs either immediately upon meeting the Activation requirements, or during the Effects step of the Order Expenditure Sequence even though it's a State Effect and not a Skill Effect. (I can't actually find the rule that says when removal from table happens. Feel free to point it out!)

    Say a Squalo is parked while its Crabbot is running an errand, and the Crabbot is crit by an HMG that inflicts 5 wounds and sends it straight from conscious to Dead in a single Order. Is there any point where the Squalo, if it has an ARO, could Reset to break the Pilot link and remain functional? The rule says: "If the Remote Pilot is on the gaming table in an Isolated, Immobilized, or Null State, their player may spend an Order or ARO to declare Reset with the Vehicle or TAG to regain control of it. If this Reset is a Normal Roll with no MODs applied, it will be an automatic success and, after declaring this, the Remote Pilot is removed from the gaming table."

    I presume that if this maneuver is somehow prevented, the Pilot bullet that specifies removing the TAG if the Pilot is removed will kick in, killing the Squalo along with its Crabbot. But if the Squalo had an ARO, would it be valid to Reset and try to pre-empt the death of the Crabbot, given that the 'bot won't possibly be in a Null state until the Effects step?

    [edited to clarify the initial question's basis; added a couple of details and bulleted list formatting]
     
    #1 wes-o-matic, Nov 20, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  2. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Savnock and Nuada Airgetlam like this.
  3. wes-o-matic

    wes-o-matic King Canute

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    When you assign a TAG to be your new LT to end LOL, which profile gains the Lieutenant Special Skill per the rule for assigning a new LT? Both profiles have separate Skill lists; in Army, the Pilots don't have the Lieutenant Special Skill, it belongs on the TAG profile.

    If you don't have to pick one and it applies to both, why doesn't the Pilot have Lieutenant in Army? Are manned TAGs better LTs when assigned in the field after LOL? Because the rule for assigning a new Lieutenant says the trooper gains the Lieutenant Special Skill.

    If the Pilot is considered to have the Lieutenant Special Skill simultaneous to the TAG profile, why would losing one but not the other trigger Loss of Lieutenant? (yes, yes, if either is in a Null state then "the trooper is in a null state" is technically true, but it's counterintuitive AF and results in the weird interaction mentioned above about being able to BS Attack while in contact with the Pilot of an unconscious TAG)

    If you have to pick one, and you pick the Pilot profile, does re-boarding the TAG trigger LOL? Why, given that the trooper is still on the table and not in a null state (the TAG being the same trooper on the table, and the Pilot never entering a null state)?
     
  4. ijw

    ijw Ian Wood aka the Wargaming Trader. Rules & Wiki
    Infinity Rules Staff Warcor

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    Unfortunately CB still haven't decided on a consistent treatment of TAGs and Pilots. :-(

    My personal preference would have been for Pilots (at least the standard non-Remote ones) to be the primary Trooper and to have LT status etc, with the TAG profile treated more like a Motorcycle/Mounted Profile.

    But this is answerable, and indeed you've answered it yourself (marked in red). If a model is sent to Dead, then all parts of Dead State (being in a Null State, and being removed from the game table) are applied in the Effects step, so there's not going to be a time where you have a Pilot (Remote) that is on the the game table and is in a Null State.
     
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  5. wes-o-matic

    wes-o-matic King Canute

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    Thanks for the response; I’d also like to see something like that, somewhere between the regular Motorcycle and AI Motorcycle rules, but it sounds like that kind of change is either not on the table or a long way off.

    Do you have any recommendations for how you’d suggest we play TAG LT profiles for the time being? Right now there’s no real issue as long as the Pilot stays mounted, but as soon as the situation involves a dismounted Pilot things seem to get opaque. (I can re-list my specific questions in a neater format if it helps.)
     
  6. toadchild

    toadchild Premeasure

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    Pilots not generating orders is baggage from Human Sphere N2, when pilot profiles were added as an afterthought (possibly in response to one of the sculptors wanting to make a Szalamandra pilot model). At that point they were going for a minimally disruptive option, so we end up with the rule that you can dismount while unconscious, but don’t generate any orders. Midway through N3 gave us specialist (and remote) pilots, which got sculpts for all the other TAG pilots, plus a reason to actually dismount. But now we’re stuck with some awkward rules that they don’t want to update.

    Borrowing terminology from IJW’s comment above, I think that it’s best to view the TAG, which is tied to order generation, as the primary profile. The pilot is just an optional accessory which can be deployed, with some special death state risks tied to it.

    As a consequence, if the TAG is unconscious, the entire trooper is unconscious for the purposes of LoL and order generation, regardless of the state of the pilot.
     
  7. Sabin76

    Sabin76 Well-Known Member

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    I think it may be important to re-emphasize that this means a pilot of an unconscious TAG cannot tie anything up in CC.
     
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  8. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    Wait, what? Why? This is an S2 trooper that has a base, everything in b2b with him is tied up all the same.
     
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  9. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Troopers in a Null state don't trigger Engaged.
     
  10. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    The Trooper is not in a Null State. The TAG is. The pilot is Dismounted and moves about using their own profile. Their profile is 1W and is not in a Null State when dismounted, as it was not a target prior to Dismount.

    upload_2020-11-23_4-32-52.png

    upload_2020-11-23_4-33-53.png
     
  11. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    False, as above. The only case where the above is true is TAGs of Gorgos type, because the TAG is the Trooper in a TAG class Symbiont.

    Compare with the Anaconda above:
    upload_2020-11-23_4-37-24.png
     
  12. Sabin76

    Sabin76 Well-Known Member

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    So, what's stopping a dismounted pilot from generating its own order (in addition to the TAG's)? What stops it from generating an order while still in the TAG?

    This is why they are one trooper.
     
  13. toadchild

    toadchild Premeasure

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    The whole point of this is that they're one trooper, except when they're not, and the exact nature of the states they are or are not in is at times ambiguous. A FAQ would be nice.
     
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  14. Sabin76

    Sabin76 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I agree. I was just responding to Nauda's assertion that they were two separate troopers, full stop. I think, as Wes has stated several times in several threads now, that TAGs require a specific set of rules that override our basic assumptions about how things are supposed to work.
     
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  15. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    When Dismount happens, you place the S2 Pilot and stop using the TAG model. However the TAG remains until destroyed and is a valid target.

    The Pilot acts on their own from there, using their own separate profile. They have separate profiles. The pilot is as separate from the Anaconda as the Peripheral Chaksa is from the Gorgos. The only functional difference is that the Pilot is not deployed until Dismount.

    States that were not applied to the Pilot profile cannot be applied to the TAG profile and vice versa. They are separate.
     
  16. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Did you just cite rules about two TAGs with Operators in a discussion about TAGs with Pilots?
     
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  17. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Yeah - it needs an FAQ at least, ideally a complete rewrite.

    I maintain its consistently playable (just fucking awkward and results in supreme weirdness) if you just go "anything that refers to the Trooper affects both Profiles".

    Yes this means that you can get +3 to hit the Pilot profile by Spotlighting the TAG profile: "Any Trooper declaring a BS Attack, Hacking Program or Comms Attack against a Trooper in the Targeted State gains a +3 MOD to the Attribute used to perform that Attack."
     
  18. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    I don't know what an "Operator" is, there are no rules for those that I know of or can find in the rulebook. I specifically pasted in rules for a PILOT. Anaconda pilot entry seems to be missing the Pilot rule, that's for the bug thread.

    "OPERATOR" is just a fluff name for an Anaconda pilot. But if you insist, here's two tags with PILOTS, who are just as separate profiles as those above. Same for Maghariba and Shakush, Gecko, Iguana, Lizard, Szalamandra, Raicho. Marut and Zeta have REM Pilots, but Pilots nonetheless. The Scindron and Staldron in CA work the same even though they're called "Remote Ancillary Unit", they're pilots.

    Point still stands.

    upload_2020-11-23_13-25-1.png

    upload_2020-11-23_13-25-13.png
     
  19. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    You don't know what an Operator is...
     
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  20. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    Is there an OPERATOR rule, like the PILOT one? I'm not sure if you mean the word, which I obviously know the meaning of, or some rule that I cannot find in the N4 rulebook. I can find PILOT in there, page 108, quoted above.

    The thread is about Pilot, so even if the Anaconda example was a bad one, because "Anaconda Operator" somehow turns out to not be a Pilot after all, you can have your pick out of the dozen tags where a PILOT is specificially mentioned and marked in the profile.

    The PILOT is a separate profile from the TAG, that's the point I was making and it still stands. Would be nice if you referred to it?
     
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