Insider 01-29-2016

In just a few short months, the Company of Iron narrative league for WARMACHINE and HORDES will begin. So, what’s Company of Iron, you ask? Let me give you the quick recap from one of my previous Insiders.

With our next full narrative league not beginning until after Lock & Load 2016, we wanted to fill the gap this spring with a shorter standalone league, which meant it would last a single season instead of four. Company of Iron begins March 2016, lasts six weeks, and can be run at any time up until the new narrative league begins.

This new league focuses on famous platoons of soldiers—specific groups of models—that you take control of to play in various asymmetrical Attacker/Defender scenarios. Each faction gets its own unique platoon, and over the next few weeks, we’ll take an in-depth look at each of them. One of the coolest features of the platoon mechanic is that you can include these platoons in your normal-sized games of WARMACHINE or HORDES, or you can play the platoon skirmish scenarios in cases where you don’t play a full-sized army. Instead, you and your opponent play only with your platoon models. No warcasters, no warlocks, just a small-scale skirmish battle where every single activation counts more than ever.

Now, before we look at our first two platoons, I want to show you something really awesome: check out the prize kit for Company of Iron!

Each of the pins you see represents one of the platoons playable in the league, and the faction player with the highest league score will win this pin as a prize. I’m personally a huge fan of the Minions Krewe of Croak platoon pin—it has the right amount of Mardi Gras flavor I was going for when I designed the platoon initially.

Now then, let’s start our review of some of the platoons you’ll be able to play in this upcoming league.

Cygnar: The Saints of Corvis

The ruined streets and dilapidated buildings of a war-torn city hold sights that can break even the hardest soldiers. The Saints of Corvis survived such horrors during the Invasion of Sul and still fight on, standing resolutely against Cygnar’s enemies. Deployed deep into urban combat zones, these warriors strike seemingly from nowhere, clearing enemy positions before disappearing without a trace.

The Saints of Corvis are composed of a unit of Arcane Tempest Gun Mages and a minimum unit of Trencher Commandos, and they are led by a Gun Mage Captain Adept. This platoon starts off with all models gaining the Gunfighter ability, and over the course of the league gains plenty of useful upgrades called promotions. For example, one of the promotions available to the platoon grants the Gun Mage Captain Adept a new ability called Light ’Em Up, which reads: When a friendly model with Light ’Em Up directly hits an enemy model with a ranged attack during its activation, friendly platoon models gain +2 to ranged attack damage rolls against the model hit for one round.

The Saints of Corvis are all about getting the job done quickly, quietly, and from as far away as possible. In platoon skirmish games, the Trencher Commandos can be a real nightmare for your opponent and must be dealt with as quickly as possible before they carve up enemy soldiers, regardless of their ARM stats.

Cryx: The Black Heart Raiders

There are those who would write off the Black Heart Raiders as nothing more than phantoms invoked to frighten unruly children, but the glazed eyes and trembling hands of mariners from the coastal villages between Ingrane and Highgate tell another story. Tales of proud men slain by horned witches or innocent babes ripped screaming from their mothers’ side are tame compared to the horrible truth. Any soul unfortunate enough to survive one of their midnight raids can only look forward to an agonizing death as part of Satyxis blood rituals under the scrutinizing eye of the Raiders’ vicious captain.

The Black Heart Raiders are composed of a maximum unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party and a minimum unit of Satyxis Blood Witches with the Blood Hag unit attachment, and they are led by a Satyxis Raider Captain. The whole platoon starts off gaining Pathfinder, and like all platoons, they get some really nasty upgrades throughout the league. One of my favorites is a new ability for the Black Ogrun called Blood Haze, which reads: When an enemy model is boxed by an attack made by a model with Blood Haze, center a 3˝ AOE on it and remove it from play. While within the AOE, friendly platoon models gain +3 ARM. The AOE remains in play for one round.

This platoon is all about getting their hands dirty…well, bloody, actually. Almost all of their promotion upgrades involve providing some benefit to the rest of the platoon for killing or wounding enemy models. The more damage you do to your foe, the more your platoon buffs will snowball… er, bloodball.

That’s all for today, but check back next week when we’ll take a sneak peek at the platoons available for Trollbloods and Skorne.