Saturday, 2 September 2017

Scrutinising the Inscrutable

Welcome, Heralds, to Volume I of our (as yet unnamed) tactica collection. We'll probably end up calling it something stupid like Steel Brain.

I thought I'd start with something really niche and optional. You know, the important stuff. Specifically the new Inscrutable Objectives table which, if used correctly, can bring some properly weird superpowers to the game.

You can choose to use these thesaurus-powered Mysterious Objectives in any game of Heralds, as long as it uses objectives of some kind. In this article we'll look at some quick DO and DON'Ts, and leave you to figure the rest out on your own.

Objective Duality

As in previous editions, there are two kinds of objective in H8R: the ones you can pick up and carry, and the ones you just have to stand near. This makes a clear difference to their utility: is it good (or bad) for several models or just one? For the portable ones, you get the extra advantage of being able to take it to where it'll do the most good. For the static kind, you might be able to maximise or minimise their area of effect by placing your models closer or further away.

1. Mundane: No Effect 

Booo, right? Booo for Boooring.
Still though, it's worth thinking about. This won't help you at all, it's just more likely to get you killed since the enemy wants it too.

DO:

Give the portable version to someone who you don't mind Hiding. They'll be able to keep hold of it a lot more easily, and if they're no great shakes in the fight, you won't miss them.

Send someone worth their salt after the static version. Someone who doesn't need buffs to win a tussle. Consider reinforcing it with the Immovable Object action.

That's it. You know how to hold objectives, and we've got more interesting things to talk about.

2. Fury Siphon AKA "Come At Me, Bro!"

Your Team Leader gets to swap their Leadership and Attacks stats - for the rest of the game. You know when you get so hungry that you become extremely stupid and angry? It's that. They can only reverse the change by using a different Fury Siphon. 

DO:

Give this to your Leader. Obviously! Nobody else can benefit from it, so you might as well have the option.

Try your best to snipe the enemy leader if they spot it first and are closer to it than you. Really ruin their day.

Start killing enemy grunts as fast as you can if the enemy leader gets their forelimbs on it. You want to make them take a Rout test on that new Leadership value, which is probably around 4 if they're lucky.

DON'T:

Use this if you're approaching Rout territory! Unless you can immediately get a charge off, which could well tip the odds back in your favour.

Let the enemy TL take this off the cooling corpse of your flimsy boss. Your average Shas'ui isn't going to benefit much from this, but if that Howling Banshee Exarch gets hold of it, you'll be putting yourself back together with Blu-tack. Faced with that kind of matchup, you'd be better letting someone bigger and tougher keep hold of it, even though they can't use it.

3. Corrupted Waystone AKA "Screw you, Nerd."

Everyone is rightly afraid of psykers, but fear not less! The Corrupted Waystone is here to help. Even the lowliest of psychically-unreceptive morons can deny brain-bullets with this on side, and used properly it can be a serious threat to enemy psykers and their teams.

DO:

Keep your own psykers well away from this! Also laugh with glee if you didn't bring any and your opponent did.

Use a static one as a miniature psychic null zone.  Hold with multiple models, as far from it as you can, for maximum reach. Even if the enemy does the smart thing and keeps their psyker out of the bubble, you're doing board control! Well done!

Chase enemy psykers around with the pocket-sized one. They'll think twice about trying to Smite you if they're worrying about dragging half their team into hell.

DON'T:

Let your psyker near it. Not only is it dangerous but, if your normal less psychically-attuned models are using this to deny enemy powers, your actual psykers can be elsewhere, doing the same thing.

Get too close to an enemy psyker that you're tormenting. If that librarian goes nuclear, you want his teammates to be taking the brunt of his foolishness, not yourself.

4. Decaying Containment Field AKA "Muahaha... I'm invincible!"

An invulnerable save that gets worse every turn? This will be much more useful to some teams than others, but always ends up the same way - getting you and your false sense of security killed off.

DON'T:

Overreact. If the enemy gets their hands on this, don't go panicking and wasting your big guns on them. Anything that their new invul can soak up better than their armour could is wasted. Hit them with small arms fire or, if at all possible, just ignore them for a couple of turns while the save gets worse and worse.

Waste time playing "hot potato." I wouldn't spend turns getting it into the hands that need it most, unless it's super convenient to do so. Just position the bearer so your opponent will have a hard time not choosing them as a Primary Target, and use them as a damage tank for as long as you can.

Assume this will end well.

DO:

Make it a focal area. You want to send everyone who's going anywhere through this point - it'll look like a big, threatening force coming at your opponent, who should react accordingly by wasting a lot of bullets, and by the time the save decays to useless levels, you should be somewhere else!


5. Infra Targeter AKA "HEEERE'S JOHNNY!" 

This one might not seem like the shiniest or most exciting, but hiding is now a useful tactic, which means rooting out skulkers actually matters.

DO:

Think about the model that's hiding. If they're still hidden, but you can see them to shoot at them, it means you can see less than 50% of the model (or they wouldn't be hidden!) That means they're getting a +1 to their Save. Leave them to the big guns; Lascannon Larry and his AP -4 doesn't care what you're hiding behind.

DON'T:

Get excited at the opportunity and put Lascannon Larry in unnecessary danger. To use this most effectively you might have to do some Hiding yourself, just to get into position. That's alright though: what are they going to do, shoot at you?

6. Temporal Disruption Node AKA A glitch in the glitch in the glitch in the...

Let's do the time warp! Shoot or Fight twice; but risk a mortal wound in the process. These objectives really give with one hand and grab with the other.

DO:

Have a think about whether fighting or shooting twice is really necessary. Don't risk a mortal wound just to chop that one guardsman into even smaller pieces!

Have a couple of tactical re-rolls left in the tank, just in case.

Combine with the Unstoppable Force action/stratagem to swing twice against a charging enemy before they get to hit you at all! For the low, low price of 3 Tactical Points, you can do this and re-roll the die to avoid that mortal wound.

DON'T:

Try to take one of these off someone in the Fight phase unless you absolutely have no choice, for the reason outlined above. Shoot them. If you're a full close combat team, use overwhelming numbers to bring them down, or just keep out of their way and negate their advantage.

"But what if it's the only objective on the table?!"
That means it's static, and so you can both benefit. You're more than likely going to be the one making the charge, so make it count.

So there you have it! Have fun with the Inscrutable Objectives, and check back soon for something else. No idea what.

I'm definitely calling this feature Steel Brain.

- Ash.

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