Insider 8-19-13

The WARMACHINE High Command rulebook we previewed last time greatly enhanced the preview material we’ve provided for High Command in the past, here in the Privateer Insider or in the pages of No Quarter. There’s still plenty of information yet to be revealed, however; in today’s Insider I’ll be writing about the six detachment colors and the subtle push they give to a faction’s play style.

Note that the explanations provided here are merely generalizations, the detachment colors’ meanings vary a bit from faction to faction, and there are plenty of exceptions to the general rules.

The theme of the orange detachment is new recruits. Typically, this means lower costs on average and fairly straightforward card abilities. Using numerous low-cost cards can be very helpful early in the game to grab a location before opponents can retaliate, but later in the game orange detachment cards will struggle to defeat heavier foes. A good example from an orange detachment is Cygnar’s Grenadier. Its costs are economical for its stats, and it gets even better alongside Trenchers. On the downside, it’s not worth any victory points, and its value as a resource is minimal.

The theme of the yellow detachment is army support. This ranges from artillery pieces to torture victims to mechaniks to walking corpse-mines. It’s a broad detachment conceptually, but mechanically it tends toward the lower-cost end of the spectrum with more utility than impressive raw stats. A good example from a yellow detachment is the Protectorate’s Wracked Heretics card. Though it has 0 base Power and relatively low Health, the Wracked Heretics forces an opponent to engage at a location or else allows you to draw an extra card every turn.

The theme of the green detachment is scouting forces. These cards often pay relatively low premiums to rush to a location (by their own faction’s standards, of course) rather than deploy there. They also have more abilities allowing movement between locations, but they don’t have a great deal of staying power. A good example from a green detachment is Cryx’s Stalker. It has the lowest warjack rush cost in the game, and it can move to other locations, but it won’t stand up to much enemy opposition.

The theme of the blue detachment is elites & veterans. Cards from blue detachments trend toward higher costs, along with higher Power stats. They also have a number of abilities inspired by elite combat forces in WARMACHINE. A good example from a blue detachment is Cygnar’s Stormblade Platoon. It has a great Power stat, can increase the Power of a warjack card at the same location, and it’s worth 2 victory points. It’s not cheap to purchase, deploy, or rush, but it’s worth the investment.

The theme of the purple detachment is arcane power. Whether we’re talking about arcanists, priests, mechanika, or necromancers, purple cards reflect the magical elements of the Iron Kingdoms. A good example from a purple detachment is Cryx’s Blood Witch Hags card. Its costs and stats are fairly standard, but its special magical effect Dispel really sets it apart. Stopping an opponent’s warcasters can make it much easier to secure victory at a location.

Last but not least, the theme of the red detachment is heavy armor. Red cards have some of the highest costs in the game, but they’ve got decent Power as well. Red’s defining trait, however, is its focus on higher Health and/or Health-related abilities. A good example from a red detachment is the Khadoran Destroyer. It’s an expensive card to purchase or deploy and will usually be downright impossible to rush, but it’s got massive damage output and it requires multiple enemy cards (and often a warcaster) to dislodge it from a location.

So, there you have it: the six detachment colors of High Command. As I said at the beginning, these are generalizations and not hard-and-fast rules. But playing with different combinations of detachments adds lots of replayability to High Command. Experiment with a wide variety of detachment colors and factions to get the full High Command experience.

Color Coded,
—DC