Thursday, June 19, 2008

AT-43 Preview: A Closer Look at the Frostbite Excerpt

Hey everyone,

I had a chance to look at the Frostbite PDF, and it looks really good in my opinion. Lots of new things that will definitely add some new twists to the game. Like what you wonder? Well, lets take a look at each of them along with my own thoughts on each.

Civil Engineers
Mobile secondary objectives that you can attach to a unit. Definitely an interesting twist to things, but make sure that you don't kill them! One impact and they are dead with no damage test. The weird thing is that it says that they "benefit from the same movement capacity and abilities as their unit". This sounds like Therians can use Dash on them, and Wing Troopers and Anakongas can use their Rocket Pack on them as well. At first this sounds odd, but I guess that you could explain it as the troops physically carrying the engineer.

Mine Fields
This is a nice looking ability if I do say so. In fact this is one of the few that had me thinking "Man, why can't I have combat engineers?" but what can you do? That's what I get for playing Therians. Still it is a nice little twist, especially when you take some of the new terrain effects into account. Watch your whole unit slide across the ice right into the minefield and BOOM! Admittedly the anti-personnel mines are a little weak but I still think that its gonna leave a mark.

Crystals and Nanogenerators
This is another nice little twist for the Karmans and the Therians. In addition to being scenic elements, it turns out that the crystals of Elysee can be used by the Karmans to focus their minds letting them see slightly into the future. What does this mean in the game? A cover save out in the open. Makes you thing there might be something to this "Karma" thing they talk about...

As for the Therians, the nanogenerators can now be used to reduce the cost of routines used by the unit controlling the generator. Definitely a nice little bonus, especially if you get the company commander sitting on top of one of them and this is even more potent with the Web Striders as this will reduce the cost of some of the routines to zero, zip, nadda. Hmmm... This might be a good time for me to give them a try...

Support Units
The mobile support units sound pretty nice (finally a use for all those extra special weapons!) but I still wonder about the bunker units. Since they can't actually leave the bunker, you realistically don't need any miniatures for them and they don't detail what the new special abilities will be like so I'll have to hold out judgement on these until we find out more.

Troops Transports
In a word, sweet! This will definitely add a new dimension to the game as troops come flying across board to disembark even closer to the objectives. Might be time to start using bigger tables... One thing that caught my eye is that the open troop transports have the troops placed on top of them. Makes you wonder just how big these things will be!

Special Terrain
A new world means new terrain and this stuff looks pretty interesting. Ice flows, water, crevasses, and frozen lakes dot the landscape of this new world, making for some very precarious footing at times. Plus it gives lots of terrain building ideas, some of which I plan to start working on this weekend. Pics once I get some work done on it.

New Combat Drills
Three new drills are being introduced to the game. The first of these, appropriately called Eject!, let's you spend an LP to place your heroic pilot anywhere on the battlefield when their walker is destroyed. The plus is that you might be able to get your heroes out of the line of sight of the giant infantry unit in front of you. The downside is that the pilot deviates and if it hits an object... well, the word Splat! comes to mind.

The second is Fire at Will! This drill lets an infantry hero increase the re-roll score of the unit that he is attached to by 1 as long as they don't move. Definitely not a bad little bonus there but at least you are forced to make some sacrifices to use it.

The final drill is Shield Formation! which lets infantry take cover behind armored vehicles. Definitely makes sense in my mind. If you have a giant armored unit in front of you, wouldn't you try to get some protection from it?

Last but not least the bunker rules are finally fleshed out more. In addition to the rules that we have already seen released earlier, they are now adding structure points to the bunkers to that you can actually destroy them. Of course no mention is made as to just how many SPs they will have but I would think that it would be pretty substantial considering that they are big, reinforced structure. Only time will tell though.

So that is my own take on the latest information about Frostbite but what do you guys think? Do you agree, disagree? I would love to hear your comments either way.

That is all for now but as I mentioned earlier, I am really excited about the prospect of the new terrain types and I am hoping to get a head start on some terrain this weekend. So no battle report but there should be pictures of shiny new terrain pieces. Until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

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