The Maw - Volucrid Host Preview
Locusts of the Stars
The innumerable swarms of the Volucrid Host are vast, migratory flocks that ply uninhabited space in an unending search for fertile worlds ripe for infestation.
Volucrid migratory fleets are spawned by enormous progenitor structures on their birth-worlds. These living ships are capable of crude spatial-differential travel and lumber across the empty void, dispatching scout organisms to the worlds in their path. Should suitable conditions for colonization be met, these survey parties will relay their findings to an organic quantum entanglement network and the fleet will arrive to make violent planetfall, disgorging billions of Volucrid organisms upon their new home. The shattered remains of these migratory vessels act as the raw materials to transplant the Volucrid's alien ecosystem onto the virgin world.
The cost of a Volucrid infestation is high; birth-worlds are scoured to their bedrock for natural resources - any elements that aren't of use spawning new migratory fleets are reformed in great fusion crucibles, drawing on the energy of the planet's very core to fuel their reconstitution. After centuries of ravage, the strain of unsustainable mining and energy consumption rips the planet apart, leaving only a shattered husk it its wake... but not before it has fed the growth of dozens more migratory fleets.
It is for this reason that the advanced civilizations of the Spur must remain ever-vigilant and crush Volucrid scout organisms before they have a chance to summon their fleet. The cost of failure can be measured in millions of lives.
Life is Cheap
Teams belonging to the Volucrid Host are far more numerous than those brought to bear by other factions. Sporting both the most inexpensive infantry in the game and some of the most powerful Field Officers; protecting their leaders is of paramount importance to Volucrid troops, who will quickly devolve into lethargy without an alpha-organism nearby to command them.
When threatened, however, the Host's combat-strains have evolved to use the easily-digestible biomass of their fellows to power their aggressive response.
Using the bodies of their comrades as a resource, Volucrid teams have much more ready access to the Fury tokens required to fuel their melee alpha-strikes than have similar teams from the Zhren'thrar Prides. However, lacking a lifetime of martial training, Volucrid combat organisms are far less elite combatants.
Volgox "Crawlers" are some of the most numerous Volucrid organisms, acting as all-purpose workers to maintain and defend their hives. These diminutive creatures are poorly evolved for combat; boasting a miserable Acc 2 with their Manipulator Pincers. When threatened however, these simple workers band together and pose a serious threat in large numbers.
A common theme among organisms of the Volgox genus, the Swarm special rule will be familiar to Zhren'thrar players who have access to it thanks to Packmistress Feraq's Call the Hunt ability. In contrast, Volgox models maintain this powerful rule permanently.
A bizarre adaptation of the Volgox genus, "Fireflies" act as messengers; guiding the less-intelligent crawlers to their assigned tasks with trails of adhesive pheromones that confer the Marker attack modifier to all hit levels of their melee weapons.
Coated in adhesive fluids, Fireflies are tough to get rid of once they've been unleashed on their prey. The Latch rule lets them not only remain close to drag down their targets, but also ensure that they don't get in the way for their Crawler brethren to finish off a Marked enemy.
Leaders of Monsters
While Volgox infantry individually weak, not all members of their genus are so simple. Ordering their cousins to battle with shrieking sprays of aerosolized command pheromones, Volgox "Howlers" are powerful Field Officers able to send their subordinates into a raging frenzy with their Aggressor Pheromone and Galvanizing Howl abilities.
Boasting a massive 4 Order tokens alongside their impressive suite of order abilities, these agile beasts can even beat down with the 2" Rng on their Distal Chelae melee weapons to make even more effective use of the Swarm (Volgox) special rule.
The Big Guns
Lumbering behemoths evolved for strip-mining unwanted materials with cascades of highly reactive biochemicals, Volgox "Spitters" are easily able to alter the chemical composition of their organic projectiles and adapt their natural bile to a combat environment
These Medium-based organic artillery make use of their Consume ability in an even more alien way than their comrades - using the components of their fellows' bodies to fuel their bioweaponry in different ways depending on the unique situation.
With the option to spend either Action or Fury tokens to add Attack modifiers to their AOE weapons, "Spitters" can choose on the fly whether to use their valuable actions or simply use the hapless organisms nearby to fuel the bubbling reaction within their corpulent masses.
These are not all of the inclusions in Wave 1 of the Volucrid Host faction. Learn more soon when their rules become available in the Breachstorm Open Beta.
The Volucrid Host will be unlockable as a stretch goal on the Breachstorm Kickstarter Campaign, launching 9/18/18.