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Yes, I know we've had several threads on this topic before--and I've read all the ones that came up when I used the search function on the topic. However, the biggest impression I received from all that reading was the rules are a little less than complete--I'd like some input on how you all (would) handle the skill.

The actual Small Unit Tactics skill is pretty straightforward. Make your skill roll, see how many successes you get per team mate based on conditional target numbers, every 2 successes can grant +1 initiative or combat pool. That's fine. Now here are the parts I find a little ambiguous.

1) What kind of action is it to use Small Unit Tactics on oneself only? As it is a complex action to give orders normally, and a simple action if you're using a cybernetic master unit, it seems logical that not giving any orders would be a free action. Or perhaps even a non-action. However, one could argue that using a DNI-linked computer to convey an analysis takes no more effort than processing the data for your own use, making it a simple action. The only thing canon has to say on the matter is "If the skill is only being used for the character's own benefit, no Complex action is needed to communicate" (CC pg 105)

2) What does it mean to be linked to a team member via battletac cyberlink? Do both of them need to have the battletac cyberlink, or does it apply if only the character with Small Unit Tactics (SUT) has the cyberlink? On one hand, the data from the battletac processor would be directly available in one's head either way, making it easier to make an on the spot analysis, but perhaps the added efficiency is only applicable if both have cyberlinks, the way a smartlink system only grants -1 if any part is non cybernetic.

3) I assume you need battletac cyberlinks / receiver components and a battletac master component in order to have a fully functional battletac network. It's pretty clear how a cybernetic master component works--it's a tactical computer with battletac protocols. No big deal (except for the insane cost, essence cost, and street index).How does the external version work? The only thing canon states is "A character using a battletac master component may receive a bonus to his (SUT) skill" (CC pg 106) and "cybernetic versions are also available. See the tactical computer, p.22, M&M"(CC pg 53) This implies that the Tactical computer is simply the cybernetic version of the Battletac Master Component. However, the Tactical computer does three things (+combat pool, +combal pool usable for surprise, and +SUT dice), all of which are only applicable to the person with the cyberware actually in his head. As you can also link cybernetic / electronic senses to a non cybernetic Master component, I would infer that it would only grant the bonus SUT dice (as the combat pool and surprise dice seem very personalized and aren't stated as explicit benefits of the battletac system) based on the number of linked senses.

4) The third benefit of Battletac is "they allow a unit to quickly share a wide range of information. " (CC pg 53) Basically you can feed "any piece of information" into the system with a Simple Action. You can access it with a simple action or automatically with cyberlink. It gives a variety of information the master component compiles and sends out to the receivers, but how is this better from simply telling your friend there are 3 drones here, here, and here? I suppose you could convey more information in a combat situation, but I don't know many who'd be willing to sacrifice a simple action to either check or add to information on a network, especially if everyone's in Line of Sight. Is there anything more to this? Since linked sensory informaiton is automatically added, if my PC has ultrasonic vision and a cyberlink, could his friends use simple actions to find the location of an invisible mage he can "see" with the ultrasound? How would you handle this aspect of it?

I'd appreciate any and all input
1) no action at all.

2) only the recieving character has to have a cyberlink, though the sending character needs a battletac master unit (cybernetic or non-) to communicate with the recieving cyberlink.

3) the "bonus" that a master unit gives you is, basically, the -2 TN for any team member hooked up to a cyberlink, or the -1 for an external battletac link. members with battletac units, with or without a master unit, can send tactical data (enemy location, etcetera) to other team members in realtime as a simple action. so your mage, using astral percep, could mark the location of an invisible target; the rest of the team could then suppress that area.

4) it's better because it's inaudible. or something. in-game, there's really no benefit. i'd allow characters to gain the information-guided direct-fire optional rules to gain a -1 TN on targets marked in battletac, given appropriate rolls.
Recently I've been taking notes on the new "Star Wars: Republic Commando" video game for ideas that I can steal and apply to how I'd want BattleTac to work in the games I run.

In particular, I'm impressed by the combination of useful visual cues they managed to place around the perimeter of the heads-up-display and the ease of one-button contextual command issuing.

Not to mention, it's an awesome game in it's own right, even if I discount everything that I'm going to rip off from it for my tabletop games.
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