Blood has begun to flow over the plains and in the woods. Across the cobbled streets of the settlements and through the rivers to the sea. Death has come to Balecaster. The local inhabitants, knowing little of the galaxy outside their doorstep have essentially been protected by the massive asteroid belt that surrounds their system. Space travel here has been perilous and mostly avoided. They have seen visitors before but none in this number and certainly not this well armed.
Some of them flee, some of them fight, many of them die as their way of life is smashed apart by the warring factions across their lands.
The results are in four our first week of Crusading with quite a few gains being made on the campaign map.
We have now kicked off our Balecaster Crusade! I just wanted to write some ideas for you to think about now that you have some RP to spend and the ability to plan out your next games.
Firstly, for those lucky enough to level up, it is time to choose a battle honour – be careful your unit is tied into this battle honour for the remainder of the campaign – for instance my possessed squad which I marked for Greatness rolled to get the Scout ability – which is great in that they get a pre-game move but less useful because previously they were paired with the Master of Possession and since he does not have this ability he will likely no longer accompany them on future missions!
Secondly, we held off at the start for balance reasons but you can now spend a RP to give a character (whether in the existing roster or new) an enhancement. You will have to increase their points cost to include the enhancement so it may change the nature of your army a bit – but this is the only time you will be able to do this without going up a rank. So think carefully!
You may remember from our Campaign Kick Off article, that we skipped over a couple of the points on the “to-do” list before the start of the first game these were:
Step 8 – Purchase Requisitions
Step 10 – Select Crusade Blessings
Since you’ve now got a lot of RP burning a hole in your pocket it is now a good time to start thinking about what you are going to spend the funds on! Some things to think about might be:
- Increase Supply limit (1RP) – increase the points you can have on your roster by 200 points
- Renowned Heros (1-3RP) – add an enhancement to a character that gains a rank – you cannot use an enhanced weapon to become a Relic or add an enhancement to a crusade relic weapon, this costs 1RP and an additional RP for each other enhancement your Order of Battle contains. You’ll also have to pay the points cost for the enhancement and add that to the cost of the model in your Order of Battle
- Legendary Veterans (3RP) – you won’t be here for any of your non-character units yet – and if you are YOU’RE CHEATING! We’ll look at this again in another note in future.
- Rearm and Resupply (1RP) – change the loadout of an existing unit – for example now that my Master of Possession no longer has the Possessed to cosy up to he may need to change his Mark of Chaos so he can run with another unit instead.
- Repair and Recuperate (1-5RP) – remove a battle scar from a unit. This costs 1RP plus 1RP for each battle honour the unit has and increases the Crusade points for the unit by 1.
- Fresh Recruits (1-4RP) – add models to a unit up the maximum listed on the datasheet and increase the points value of the unit (ensuring you remain within your supply limit). This costs 1RP plus 1 RP for every 2 Battle Honours the unit has.
Since some armies are now developing more swiftly than others there is an in-game handicap system (aside from the one covering our campaign!) to help level off armies against each other. You’ll note that your army has started to acquire crusade points as you start to gain experience – my unit of possessed who have gained a battle honour now have 1 Crusade Point for example.
If there is a difference in the number of crusade points that the armies being fielded then there may be some benefits for the weaker player. Work out how many crusade points each of you has on the field of battle:
|Difference in Crusade Points||Blessings|
You can select from the benefits below if you have crusade blessings to spend:
Until the start of the second battle round, each time a ranged attack is made against one of your units, if it is wholly within your deployment zone, it receives the Benefits of Cover
You star the battle with 2 CP
You can select one additional agenda
What doesn’t kill you…
At the end of the battle, every unit from your army that is not destroyed gains 1XP
Once per battle, at the start of your charge phase you can use this Crusade Blessing. If you do, until the end of the phase, add 1 to Charge Rolls for units from your crusade army.
At the start of the first round, select up to three units from your crusade army. Each of those units has the Scouts 6″ ability (units with leaders count as one unit for this rule) for this battle.
Dedication to the Cause
Once per turn, you can re-roll one Battle-shock test taken for a unit from your Crusade army.
We will also have notified you about the leaders in your team. In each Phase of the campaign (every 4 weeks) the leaders of the teams will be able to hand out Command Benefits. These can only be used once per Campaign Phase but will refresh at the start of the next phase of the campaign. The leaders can give these benefits out to any of the members of their team or keep them for themselves. If they choose to keep them for themselves then there may be a longer term cost to their alliance which will be revealed later.
All Leaders will have access to the Command Assets below to distribute amongst their team each Campaign Phase as they see fit.
|Strategic Prowess||You begin the game with 1 additional CP|
|Additional Resources||when selecting units from your roster for this game, you may add to 50 additional points to your army|
|Effective Command||Select one additional unit to receive additional experience points for Marked for Greatness|
|Martial Prowess||For the duration of this game you gain 1 free use of the Command Reroll Stratagem|
You will note that our campaign map has a number of strategic points of interest. If your team controls one of these map resources then each of the team can use these abilities once per battle with the exception of the planetary bombardment which can only be used once (unless it is taken by another team). To gain the benefits from the map resources on the surface, you must control the hex that the resources are based on before the battle AND have a direct link with your hexes back to your home settlement.
|Scouts||Before the battle begins, select one unit. It gains the Scout special rule for the duration of this battle. The range of its scout ability is the same as the unit’s movement value.||Starstone Circle / The First Settler|
|Tactical Manoeuvres||After both sides have finished deployment but before who gets the first turn has been decided. You may redeploy up to D3 units.||Observatory|
|More where they came from||During the game, the first friendly Battleline unit to be destroyed can be returned to the player’s army and placed in reserve. This unit will not gain any additional XP/etc the second time it enters the battle. |
The initial unit will still have to roll for its out of action tests at the end of the battle regardless of what happens to the reserve unit
|Citadel / Dread Keep|
|Emboldened||When one of your units fails a Battle Shock test, you may use this card to automatically pass the test instead.||Castle|
|Where’d they come from?||One unit from your army gains the Deep Strike rule for this battle. |
However, the use of the Warp gate is not without its dangers. Roll a D6 for each model that was deployed using this Campaign Asset. For each roll of a 1, the unit suffers a Mortal Wound
|Playing Dirty||When rolling for the first turn, the player my change their roll by +/-1||Rogue’s Refuge / Smuggler’s Cove|
|Planetary Bombardment||The controlling alliance may opt to bombard a hex on the surface. If done so, the team leader (or designated player) picks a hex and rolls a D6. On the roll of a 3+ the target is hit and the hex is replaced with a crator, any benefits it may have conferred are removed. All other hexes adjacent to the target hexes’ controlling forces are also removed. If a 1 or a 2 is rolled, the shot goes off target and scatters a number of hexes depending on the degree of failure. |
Apply a -1 to hit modifier for each unclaimed hex adjacent to the launch site hex on the Orbital Map.
|Objective Secured||Before the game begins, you may select a unit from your army, all models in that unit increase their OC score by 1.||Archeotech Device|
|Forward Operatives||During deployment you can select one Battleline unit to gain the Infiltrators special rule||Spaceport|