The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

'The Broken' Rules - Part 3: Sub-factions of The Broken


Posted on Thursday Oct 26, 2017 at 11:10AM in Gaming




Every group of survivors that manage to band together to escape the Maelstrom eventually forms a distinct Broken community with its own goals and moral codes. However, there are some broad classifications of the different Broken societies that they tend to fall within:

  • The Forsaken - The most common type of Broken, these are the general bunch of rag-tag survivors who turn to piracy throughout the Maelstrom's Edge simply as a means to survive. The Forsaken have a strong moral code, and see themselves as better than the rest of the spiral arm that has cast them out, therefore they attack only out of necessity. Of the different Broken sub-factions, the Forsaken tend to have a slightly higher level of technology, as their societies provide a good refuge for outcast Weaponsmiths looking to ply their trade.
  • Jackals - Bands of despots and marauders, who look only to further their own interests in a galaxy gone mad. Believing that might is always right, Jackals will attack anyone and take everything they can manage to steal. Jackals live for the glory of combat, and usually go to war hopped up on a potent cocktail of combat drugs that makes them all but impervious to minor flesh wounds. Sociopaths and criminals filter in from across the spiral arm towards the Maelstrom's Edge in order to join some of the more famous Jackal hordes.
  • Spiral Arm Revolutionary Army - The SARA are Broken who have banded together to overthrow those they see as corrupt regimes and corporations who have failed the common man by leaving billions behind to die by the Maelstrom. SARA is more regimented and militaristic than other Broken societies, usually founded by former military who rebelled and fled when they discovered that their government didn't actually have any plans to save them from the Maelstrom. Despite being labeled as terrorists, SARA cells receive funding and equipment from secret benefactors sympathetic to their cause. SARA regularly utilizes counterinsurgency and propaganda as weapons, and like the Jackals, they get a steady stream of recruits from throughout the spiral arm who believe that humanity should be doing more to save itself from the plight of the Maelstrom.

So how will these sub-factions actually work in the game? You'll essentially choose which sub-faction you're fielding based on which command unit(s) you decide to take in your force. So if you chose to take Forsaken command units, then you'd have a Forsaken force and you wouldn't be able to include any Jackal or SARA command units as part of the same force. Naturally, dependent on which sub-faction you use, you'll get different abilities and bonuses for your units. But beyond the command units that are dedicated to a particular sub-faction, all of the other Broken units we make will be playable in any type of Broken force.

As you may have already pieced together, so far we've only released rules for the Forsaken sub-faction, in the form of the Forsaken Chieftain. More than the other Broken sub-factions, the tactics of the Forsaken rely on cunning and misdirection to win the day, and the two unique abilities the Chieftain has, highlight this. First, let's take a look at 'Booby Traps':
During its main action, this model may expend one of its allocated command points to trigger a booby trap, up to a maximum of (X) times per turn. When a booby trap is triggered, select an enemy unit which is both taking cover and visible to the model triggering it. That unit gains D3+1 STs. A single enemy unit cannot be affected by more than one booby trap per turn.
This ability is great because it can be used exactly when and where it will be most helpful to you. Got an enemy unit that is teetering on the edge of being shell-shocked? Hit them with a booby trap. Got an enemy unit that's got absolutely no suppression on it? Nail them with a booby trap to at least force them to take a discipline check when activating. Sure, it costs a command point to trigger a booby trap, but its the kind of ability that can change the course of a battle when used smartly.

The other ability the Chieftain has is 'Shadow Master':
For each model with this ability, one additional friendly unit can utilize the Shadow StrIke ability in each end phase (instead of just 1 unit) and during deployment, an additional friendly unit in reserve can be declared as arriving via Shadow Strike (instead of just 1 unit). In addition, a friendly unit within 18” of a model with this ability automatically passes its shadow strike discipline check, unless the unit is shell-shocked.
This really is the defining ability of the Forsaken, as it allows them to utilize Shadow Strike on multiple units per turn. So if you have 2 Chieftains in your force, that means you could use Shadow Strike on 3 of your units per turn. That opens up all kinds of tactical options unavailable to other factions, such as being able to suddenly put several of your units right into the enemy's vulnerable rear arcs, or to redeploy several of your units onto objective markers that are on the far side of the table.

The last piece of the Forsaken puzzle is their faction objective 'Now You See Me':
Partial: (each end phase) This turn, if at least one of your units was put into reserve via shadow strike and the now you don’t ability was not utilized at all, gain 1 VP.
Full: (end of game) If at least one of your models on the table has the Forsaken designator, gain all of this objective’s remaining VPs.
Now You Don’t: Once per turn, when you remove one of your units from the table via shadow strike, you may either immediately remove 3D3 STs from it, or return 1 model back to the unit that had previously been removed as a casualty.
This objective at its base level just rewards a Forsaken force with Victory Points for using Shadow Strike on at least 1 of its units per turn. But if you don't really need to gain a Victory Point on a particular turn, you can instead cash that Victory Point in for two really amazing options: either removing 3D3 suppression from a unit, or returning a model killed previously in the battle back into the unit. So say your opponent has spent the entire turn pounding on one of your key units, building up a ton of suppression on it. In the end phase of that turn, if the unit is within 18" of a Chieftain, you can automatically remove it from the table (without having to take a discipline check thanks to the Chieftain's Shadow Master ability), get rid of 3D3 suppression and then next turn you'll be able to put that unit back anywhere on the table that is in cover and more than 12" from the enemy...not too shabby!

When the time comes for us to release Jackal and SARA command units, we'll talk more about how those forces from those sub-factions will fight. Until then, if the imagery/theme of the Jackals/SARA sub-faction appeals to you right off the bat, you should feel free to paint/convert your models into those themes, as all you'll need to do to change your force from one sub-faction to another is to take a different command unit.

Find the Battle For Zycanthus starter set and the full range of Maelstrom's Edge models at www.maelstromsedge.com

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