A joyous eostre to everyone! We're happy to be able to celebrate new growth and renewal and all that cool stuff with the first balance update for the Breachstorm Open Beta!
The updated versions of all Breachstorm statcards are now available in the files section of the Beta page. Now let's dive into some changes:
We've noticed situations pop up both in playtesting and battle reports where one side is able to alpha strike and assassinate most or all of the enemy Field Officers, which ostensibly cripples their ability to reciprocate. This made the game unforgiving if it happened in early rounds and made comebacks incredibly difficult. Command Imperative allows a player to spend an Asset to activate infantry as if they had been commanded, hopefully making those comebacks possible.
The change to Suppression is part of the Support Gunner rework you can find below; not only does it make sense that suppressive fire would prevent troops from jumping around in the open, but it gives HWC more ways to interrupt positioning of Zhren'thrar models without relying on hitting Precise attacks.
Captain Johan Lukas (updated to v.20)
In playtesting we found that Lukas' ability to frontload activations in just list and create a massive alpha-strike of 3 infantry with the +1 Acc from Guided created giant swings in the game state. Requiring an Order token to give all his commanded infantry Guided meant that he couldn't activate as efficiently and requiring an Action token to apply Guided to himself or other powerful models individually limits his personal potential if he decides to use it.
Support Gunner (updated to v.20)
In both playtesting and reports we received, we found the poor Support gunner to be the black sheep of the otherwise picturesque HWC family. While occasionally useful in some very specific situations, their inflexibility as a support model made them mostly worthless over Riflemen in HWC lists.
To address this, we've radically altered their "Specialized Ammunition" ability; instead of granting a single modifier at a time Support Gunners are now able to choose a modifier to apply every single time they attack. This allows them to dynamically adapt to the situation and apply what debuffs their team needs them to without having to spend resources to swap ammo.
The aforementioned change to the Suppression modifier allows Support Gunners to declare attacks on models with Dodge without fear of giving the enemy free movement, provided of course that they choose not to apply their other sweet debuffs.
TITAN Battlesuit, Fire Support Loadout (updated to v.20)
In playtesting we found that the inclusion of multiple TITANs could be commanded together to inflict massive damage in a single activation. This is powerful and super cool cuz everyone loves big stompy robots, but we wanted to force players to make some additional sacrifices if they were going to jam pack their list with big shooty war machines.
Breachstorm's resident catmans received the lion's share (see which I did there?) of changes in this update. We found that the scalability of the Fury token mechanic benefitted very high model count lists disproportionately, so most of these changes are an effort to curb such lists from becoming too powerful.
Packmistress Feraq Gha'Hara (updated to v.20)
One of the biggest issues we had with Feraq was her lack of real purpose. She was not as flashy an inclusion as a Firstclaw and while she was more effective at commanding than a Packleader, the lack of Pack Tactics was sadtimes. To address this we added the Rile ability, which gives Feraq some support to buff her Packwarriors in the early game and creates some interesting combo potential with the addition of a Dreamspeaker.
Firstclaw (updated to v.11)
Packleader (updated to v.20)
Melee weapon changed to "Warsword"
Clarified For Honor token generation timing
Added 'circle' upgrade slot
The Packleader's relatively low melee damage output was made slightly more consistent so they could contribute late-game slightly more effectively.
The update to For Honor keeps the ability functionally the same (its interaction with Dreamspeakers is slightly different), but the new wording will hopefully reduce confusion.
Dreamspeaker (updated to v.20)
If you're willing to shell out the points for multiple Dreamspeakers, Enrage can now stack tokens on a single model. Each Dreamspeaker can still only perform the action once per activation (since it's not Unlimited), but multiples can work together to roidrage-up specific targets.
Packwarrior (updated to v.20)
Reduced the critical hit damage of the Warblade melee weapon to 6
Updated For Honor wording to match Packleader's
Added 'circle' upgrade slot
In our playtesting we found that a gaggle of 5+ Packwarriors was becoming extremely abusive. Even without the support of a Dreamspeaker, with the correct positioning a high model count list could generate approximately 1.3 billion Fury tokens any time a model was eliminated. The decreased critical damage means that even with significant buffs Packwarriors usually require another attack to eliminate most targets and increasing their cost forces most lists to bring one less model.