Things are a bit heady around the pod right now. We've got two new VTOL models inbound, the Lion just dropped and the Leopard will be following soon after. The big thing that most players will want to know if how is the update to the Living rule book going?
Like most updates there is an important thing to remember about them; it is the small changes that matter.
Some changes you will see and experience right away, but most will not affect the average player as they are too limited to specific rules or models. Read on to get a sense of how these changes will affect your games.
One example of this is how an Air Strike is being made harder to effect unless you have a Satellite Uplink trait. Currently a model is just as good at calling FOs as airstrikes. Now a model without a SatUp:X trait will count as having an EW skill of 6+ when calling in an air strike. To compensate for this the TV costs of the various generic aircraft will be reduced by 20-25%. Using that extra point for the Anti-Air upgrade may start looking more interesting to players. This is an example of a rule that does not affect everybody since not all players use aircraft in their games.
A rule that will affect virtually all players is the change to Split Fire. Currently Split fire was a very specialized rule that was applied to very few weapons as a standard trait. It gave an obvious advantage, an bonus attack with a small penalty so there were no down sides to it. We've decided to change it so that now all attack rolls using the split fire rule will suffer the modifier, though they still benefit from the burst trait if they have it. This means that the Split trait has been removed from most models where it was added on as an attached trait (in brackets). Now the Split fire trait is standard on all standard Autocannons which will increase the overall number of attacks but players will do so at the cost of the accuracy of their attacks.
The special deployment Flanking is also a place here cleaning up of the rules is going to make it easier to play. Now instead of deploying in a quasi-off board state the unit will deploy on the board directly. The only limitation is that the unit must be in formation, within 4" of the edge of the board, and is not in an enemy deployment zone or within 6" of an enemy model. This can make very cheap models like ATVs and infantry very useful for pushing back flanking models by deploying them right on a corner of a deployment zone. Note that the requirement that the unit needs to be in formation means that you can use Comms relays and Satellite relays to spread a unit out more or even split them up to different sides of the board altogether as long as the satellite relay link is there. This can be especially important if you are playing opposite corners on a table and can lead to some devastating flanking maneuvers.
Another change is to Area effect attacks. This change encompasses most of the Indirect fire weapons category as well as things like rocket packs. There is now a minimum attack roll of 1D6 for these attacks making off board artillery now possible for sustained bombardment, though highly inaccurate.
Another small change that may change how you play is that Infantry models that only have the Infantry movement type (MR:I:X") are now allowed to purchase Grenades, Shaped Charges, and Panzerfausts as generic upgrades. This weapon upgrade counts is counted as the culmative effect of multiple weapons that approximate the effect of a larger Gear portable weapons. Infantry strike teams being deployed by VTOLs with the APC trait like the soon to be released Titan VTOL for the South. Proportionally the cost of an upgrade like this can add up to 25% or more of a the cost of an Infantry model but the extra punch against armor or fortifications be well worth it.
The updated Living rules and the change log will be out soon so keep any eye out for the announcement on our pages and forum for when you can download your new book.
As always thanks to the readers, playtesters and every player who is contributing to the success of Heavy Gear!