A number of topics to squeeze into this one, the FOC chart, Allies, Warlords, and Fortifications. Some shouldn't take long to touch upon, and some will be more relevant after the next bit on Setting up a Battle and the missions.
Choosing your army - (p.108) Despite some of the rumors, the Force Organization Chart remains; they did not revert to army percentages. Things have changed a bit though.
- You start with a Primary Detachment which is the same as we're used to - 1-2 HQ, 2-6 Troops, etc. Your Warlord (see below) must come from the Primary Detachment, so if you're IG with Blood Angel allies, you use your IG HQ as the Warlord, you can't technically be led by the Marine.
- You may also take one Allied Detachment for your Primary Detachment, with 1 HQ and 1 Troops mandatory (if you take allies), plus one optional Troops/Elite/Fast/Heavy. This must be from a different codex as your Primary Detachment. There is a chart later on which shows you who plays nicely with whom. Some get benefits from allies' powers (though the FAQs take out a number of the more offensive possibilities), some are just fighting side by side, some give you problems (so you're unlikely to see those combos), some are forbidden outside of games like Apocalypse. No Daemon allies for your Draigowing, sorry. The lesser levels of allies are IMO probably more trouble than they're worth unless you're just trying to tell a specific story - stick with the "Battle Brothers" level when you can unless you have a very specific plan that won't get messed up by the restrictions (p.112).
- I like seeing Allies in the game and hope that we'll see some really neat armies as the result of it. For all the worrying about killer combos, I think that for the most part the "top tier" armies will just be better off spending the points on more things from their own codex instead of bringing in allegedly weaker units. For all the potential synergies in some cases, I think that there will be many more where the allies just don't fit in well with the main gameplay style and may be as much hindrance as help. Use allies, but the resulting force will be an ENTIRELY different army, not just X with extra bonuses. Which I like! Variety is good. Vive la difference.
- You may also take one Fortification. There are several in the book, and they mention that more will be available through White Dwarf and online, so I would expect we should start seeing more options soon. The ones available now will be covered below.
- For larger games (2000pts+) you can take an additional Primary Detachment, which in turn unlocks another Allied Detachment and another Fortification. It's important to note, though perhaps disappointing, that both Allied Detachments must be from the same codex, so no taking CSM as Primary, with both Daemons and IG as Allies.
There's a note that some special characters may have a fixed Warlord trait, so look for that in future books. Whether it will be a fixed one from the existing list or an entirely new one, who knows? They also say that sometimes a codex may have an alternative chart that you can choose to roll on instead, so look for that too! I would also expect to start seeing abilities in books that let you reroll the trait roll, take more than one and things like that.
I'm glad to see more being done to make the leader more of an actual leader that affects how his troops fight, but a lot of these are more just army boosts or changes instead of real leadership. I think at the moment the IG Orders rules are the best way it's been implemented so far and would have liked to have seen Warlord powers take a similar route.
Fortifications - Remember that Fortification slot in your FOC I mentioned? Here it is, currently limited to four options but with the promise of more to come. I like the idea of this, and look forward to more of this, with player ability to modify the battlefield. Maybe they'll even include something down the line like the ability to pay X to REMOVE a piece of non-purchased terrain after terrain is set up, or even after deployment! The current options are:
- Aegis Defence Lines - You get sections of wall giving you a 4+ cover (2+ if you go to ground), with options to buy a comms relay (reserve bonuses) or a Gun Emplacement (two options, both with Interceptor - shoot at reserves and Skyfire - normal BS vs. flyers). If you're running a shooty horde or a bunch of stationary tanks small enough to get 25% cover from the walls, might be a good buy. Pretty cheap at 50pts plus more for the upgrade options.
- Skyshield Landing Pad - You can either have things deep strike onto it with no scatter, or have the shield up giving you a big 4++ platform to fire from. 75pts, no options. I'm sure some could find good uses for it, but I think it will be seen a lot less than Aegis lines or Bastions.
- Imperial Bastion - An AV14 medium building (so capacity 20 models - don't try to stuff 30 Orks or gaunts into one!). Heavy bolters on the sides, options to upgrade like the Aegis lines. Nice for a bit of high ground with a weapon attached, but also a nice big target. 75pts plus upgrade.
- Fortress of Redemption - FOUR AV14 buildings (three small - 10 models and one medium - 20 models) stuck together, with weapons and options for more. Cost 220-290pts depending on weapons. Probably too many points in most instances to be worth buying, but I'd like to see one in the middle of the table sometime.
Next time, Fighting a Battle! Deployment, Set Up, Objectives and Missions!