Boosts - does anyone have players who use them?

One thing I've noticed in the campaign I've been running the last couple of years - my players very rarely use a Boost action, as it seems to them that, in most cases, it's more effective for them to spend their three shots to simply attack the foes directly. There may have been one or two defensive Boosts, but I don't think anyone has applied a Boost to another PC's attack at any point.
What have other players or GMs found?

(I did wonder if facing a Boss would encourage the players to start Boosting each other ... but some lucky exploding rolls meant that said powerful Sorcerer went down in a fusillade of gunfire in the first sequence, leaving the heroes to spend the next several sequences merely fighting off the Blood Imp mooks and taking down the two Flayed Demons who had been serving the Sorcerer - no Boosts required.)

Point is than expanding fatigue level is more expensive for PC than for NPC.
it's the same issue than wound in ars magica. As a wound, even a few light one, will impact a character for 1 week of game time, they have a greater impact for character whose action in the story need to be continued (typicaly PC)

fatigue level is less of an issue but is still, 3 level of fatigue and your character need to stop for hours of game time, which can be an issue in numerous circonstances.

players won't use them unless required to, and they will be requiring it only if it's required against opposition or if it could speed up the fight a lot.
Point is than with any fight including magus, the magus will unbalance the fight with duration so than the grog impact is not that interesting, players simply don't need grogs to use boost offensively and would rather let spells resolve fight, spending fatigue on a spontaneous or big spell as a bigger game impact and could be used, but not boost.

Hi, @Ellone - thanks for the reply, but I'm not sure if that reply was meant for this thread, as this is for Feng Shui rather than Ars Magica, and light wounds are less relevant in FS2, and fatigue isn't tracked. It sounds like the Boost mechanic is rather different in AM, too, from how you're referring to it.

IME, boosts are usually about hitting Bosses you're struggling to hit.

It can also be situationally useful when multi-attacking mooks. (It can be more effective to dump a bunch of +1's into a single check and then spend a Fortune die on it rather than trying to take the mooks out one by one. Or at least it feels that way; I guess I haven't actually run the math on it.)

The mechanic is also useful for mooks on the GM's side of the screen: Their attacks are pretty useless... unless 4 of them boost the attack of the 5th. Or if a horde of mooks are shielding their boss with defensive boosts.

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Thanks Justin!

I suspected that was the intention with regard to Bosses. My players don't seem to have had enough trouble hitting a Boss to make them consider teaming up with a bunch of assists, but I shall keep it in store to remind them about if (when) there is one that frustrates them.

Equally, I can see the potential usefulness for removing mooks, with a bunch of set-up actions. Similarly, with my particular player group that's not come up, as we have a Private Investigator who's picked up Carnival Of Carnage, and a Masked Avenger who uses Tremble In Fear. Between the two of them, they carve through mooks fast enough that I've been following the guidelines for additional mooks, just so that some make it through the first sequence.

However, I'd overlooked the fact that GMCs could use boosts. For defending the boss, the Foe Schtick 'Ablative Lackey' tends to get used, but that does run down the mook count, while defensive boosts described as 'covering fire' etc would not. And similarly, for attacks, trained mooks could well use their attacks to herd a PC into another mook's sword or bullet. Thanks for the tip - I might employ those in my next encounter. And means that, if you charge into a large enough group of mooks, one of them is likely to get lucky (as opposed to just having six make feeble flails in the PC's direction.

It would effectively add to the concept of Mooks by implementing the Mob Mechanic seen in some other games, so that a team of mooks might only get one 'attack', but it is boosted by the non-attacking mooks, rather than having them each make feeble flails. A team of three mooks would therefore have an effective AV of 10, rather than 8, but with only one attack. (Which is still more likely to hit than three at AV 8.) It makes mooks (in large enough groups) a threat, which means that it is worth the PCs taking at least some of them down rather than ignoring them in favour of the Featured Foes.


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After a couple of sessions of testing, can confirm - it works well for mooks to Boost each other (or assist their Featured Foe superiors with Boosts) - especially when you have large groups of mooks. That way, rather than having five mooks all wave vaguely in the direction of the hero, the weight of attacks actually becomes potentially dangerous and might cause a hit.
And, in the meantime, there's a recent addition to the party who has been applying defensive Boosts to the other characters, so they're starting to see that those can be useful, although we have discovered that it's often best to not describe how the Boost being applied until the attack is declared, so that something relevant can be described.