Insider 05-17-2016

Another short but important one: this time, we will be discussing ’jack marshals.

When we began working on the new editions of the game, foremost among our design objectives was to see more warjacks on the table. Once we saw the potential of the Power Up rule in action, we knew battlegroups were sorted, but ’jack marshals began to feel lackluster. This led to another round of discussions and playtests as we sought a means to let the more mundane warjack operators come to the fore. Eventually, this led to a broad re-envisioning of the ’Jack Marshal rules.

First, to simplify the rules a little, we limited each ’jack marshal to only controlling a single warjack at a time.

Next, we broadened the list of benefits a ’jack marshal could convey to its warjack and increased the potency of those benefits. Now, once during each of its activations while in its controlling ’jack marshals command range, a warjack can gain one of the following benefits:

Crush! – The warjack can make one additional melee attack during its activation this turn. Additionally, it gains +2 on all melee damage rolls during its activation this turn.

Hurry! – The warjack can run, charge, or make a power attack without spending focus during its activation this turn. Additionally, it gains +2 on charge attack rolls and slam attack rolls during its activation this turn.

Strike True! – The warjack gains +2 on all attack rolls during its activation this turn.

Take Aim! – The warjack must forfeit its Normal Movement to aim during its activation this turn. Additionally, it gains +2 on all ranged damage rolls during its activation this turn.

With the added complexity these new rules added to the game, we also focused on which models would have the ’Jack Marshal rule—some models gained it while other lost it. We tried to limit this to where we felt it was most likely to be used.

Oftentimes, we added incentives to models with ’Jack Marshal to further encourage their use in this role. This encouragement usually took the form of Drives, which, in lieu of the removal of command checks in the game, operate more like Leadership special rules that convey benefits to certain models as long as they are within the command range of the model with the Leadership rule.

For example, the Iron Lich Overseer gained Drive: Dark Shroud and a spell that could grant Stealth to itself and a warjack it controls.

We also reworked models that could control their own battlegroups a little. Models like the Journeyman Warcaster and Beast Mistress must now have at least one warjack or warbeast (as the case may be) in their battlegroup at the start of the game. We decided if you were going to take models designed to control battlegroups, then they needed to have models in their battlegroups. Gone are the days of the Strategic Academy sending out Journeyman Warcasters without warjacks to Journeyman with!

In the end both the changes to ’jack marshals and to battlegroup commanding solos resulted in an increase in viable options for putting more warjacks (or warbeasts as the case may be) on the table.