5/5 Balance Update - Change Notes
What's up everybody?! I'm super pumped to roll out this update for y'all; this has some of the most impactful changes we'll make to Breachstorm and includes some brand new units! As usual, updated cards and rules are available in the files section of the beta page.
Let's dive right in!
New Model Profiles
Major Bastien Khara'kha (HWC)
A Zhren'thrar employed by the Confederacy, Bastien brings a radically different game plan to the table than other Homeworld field officers. Rather than passively buffing his subordinates, Bastien takes the fight to the enemy with a front-line playstyle and powerful personal abilities.
Khash'Parah Indomitable (ZTP)
One of the most skilled pit fighters in the entirety of the Collected Prides, Khash'Parah is little more than a living weapon wielded by the Divine Temple. This model brings a couple interesting 'firsts' to Breachstorm; he is the first model without the Interact action on his action bar so he is little use completing certain objectives, and he is the first Field Officer without the ability to issue the Command order. Instead, Khash'Parah is the absolute apex of the ZTP fury food chain; using tokens to fuel his speed, survivability and brutal melee attacks.
I hope you enjoy these guys; they will be the core of the next Community Challenge that will run for the next couple weeks. Stay tuned for that announcement within the next day or so!
General wording cleanup - We worked with an amazing rulebook editor to improve the clarity and legibility of the core rules; they're not perfect yet, but we're getting there!
Changed "Shift/Shunt" nomenclature to "Push/Shift" - This adjustment was made to make those terms a little clearer; "Push" is a common term used in other games and is very intuitive
"Free Action" terminology defined - Many abilities that were useful "during a model's activation" now require the model performs them as a "free action"; this was added to remove any possibility for ambiguity in the future. Using an ability as a free action simply means it can be used any time an action could normally be used, just with no associated cost.
Psychokinetics rework - This has been a long time coming; the game has gone through dozens of iterations up until this point and the psychokinetics system has probably undergone the most changes. We were never happy with system in general and quite often considered scrapping the concept... until now. Now Psychokinetic actions do not require action or psychokinetic tokens to perform, but draw from a limited resource pool listed on their card. This allows Psychokinetic models to output a terrifying amount of damage and battlefield utility in one big turn in exchange for quickly running out of steam and not being able to make use of their special abilities.
Melee range reworked to "Engagement zone" - The rules for engaging enemies in melee have been simplified; now all models essentially have a universal 1" melee range, but some are able to make attacks outside of that with a longer ranged melee weapon (the "melee range" stat will be removed during the next artwork update). We found that engaging enemies at 2" with a long melee range ended up disproportionately impacting models dependent on ranged attacks but without long melee weapons of their own.
"Apply Damage Modifiers" attack step added - This step was added to the attack procedure to make the interaction of many rules such as Rend tokens or upgrades like Brazen and Resilient easier to grok.
Rend tokens now add +2 damage - We were noticing that Rend tokens tended to be the least useful debuff tokens to apply and they commonly didn't actually do anything with the new attack procedure, so they were buffed to bring them farther in line with the other token types.
Captain Johan Lukas (updated to v.30)
Guidance action removed
We found that Lukas' access to the same effect in multiple ways was becoming confusing for players, and Guidance helped his unparalleled late-game power.
Fire Team Leader (updated to v.20)
Added "triangle" upgrade slot
In comparison to the character field officers available to HWC, Fire Team leaders saw less play due to being relatively directionless. With the ability to equip powerful upgrade cards such as Tracelock Ammunition gives Fire Team Leaders a unique spot as a toolbox inclusion to HWC lists.
Dreamspeaker (updated to v.30)
Psychokinetics (3) added
Direct Rage changed from special rule to interrupt ability
With the added flexibility afforded by the new Psychokinetics mechanics, Direct Rage ended up being too powerful an ability to remain the same. Now the ability brings with it a cost and requires precise timing to use effectively; with the added benefit that the Dreamspeaker can trigger it herself in a pinch if needs be.
Brazen (updated to v.20)
Card now exhausts as a free action, damage reduction is dependent on the card being exhausted
The previous wording of Brazen was unnecessarily confusing. This mechanic should help clear up any confusion and make the card work more consistently.
Gunslinger (updated to v.20)
Level 2 cost increased to 3
We weren't sure how impactful the 2" push that Gunslinger affords would be, but after additional playtesting found it to be very powerful in certain combinations.
Oath of Serenity (updated to v.20)
Cost reduced to 1
Removed the restriction on targeting a single model with multiple triggers
This upgrade proved to be extremely niche and difficult to justify when list building; a reduced point cost makes its inclusion a little easier to swallow.
Sharpshooter (updated to v.20)
Level 2 cost reduced to 2
We found that, while still very strong, the impact of this upgrade was not as great as we anticipated and didn't warrant the 3 pt price tag.