Welcome to your first briefing, Blacksmyths! In this series we'll cover the rules and lore of new additions to the Blacksmyth Project.
The forces of the enigmatic Ativari Conclave are the first faction to launch under the umbrella of the Blacksmyth Project, and the rules to play these highly skilled alien cyber-ninjas are currently available on the Rules page!
Over the next few days we’ll be delving deeper into the backstory and mechanics of this new faction; so keep reading to learn about this new addition to the Breachstorm universe and their strengths and weaknesses on the tabletop. In future posts we’ll dive deeper into each unit in the faction and their roles in the Conclave military.
An administration forged from the Schismatic Wars of millenia past that saw the end of the ancient and spiritual Theolarch order, and the rise of the populist Seculare, in the bizarre language of the Ativari “Conclave” acts as both a collective noun and is synonymous with their governmental structure - a fitting word for the only truly unified species in the Spur.
The Conclave bureaucracy is divided into Directorates that govern and maintain distinct aspects of life. Presiding over all Directorates is the Conclavate Synod - a shadowy council composed of the most senior members of each organizational body.
Ativari society is a strict meritocracy, but is not highly militarized; preferring to rely on subterfuge and espionage to curb rival powerbases. The Warfare Directorate maintains immense, clandestine webs of agents and cells within every other nation of the Spur, and supports a myriad of violent resistance organizations… most of whom are not even aware that they march to the drumbeat of an alien power...
When drawn into open warfare the Concalve deploys their proud order of career fighters; the Prelator. Relying on advanced technology, unparalleled stealth and tactical supremacy, Prelator infiltrator teams launch flurries of surgical strikes that blunt enemy resistance with minimal loss of life. Ativari combatants often make use of biomechanical Adaptive Combatskin technology, and are accompanied specialists, such as members of the pseudo-religious Willblade and Praetorian orders who apply powerful psychokinetics, unique weapon systems and specialized tactics to unique battlefield situations.
Tactical Note: Keep in mind the total divide between the phsyiology, and psychology of Ativari specimens from that of human or Zhren'thrar. Typical psy-ops protocols have proven entirely ineffective, and their robust silicate anatomy makes direct intervention inconclusive at best.
Ativari agents advance into an abandoned Confederate outpost. Conversions are a mix of parts from Breachstorm and Corvus Belli miniatures.
On the tabletop, a team hailing from the Ativari Conclave brings an entirely unique playstyle to Breachstorm. Instead of relying on overwhelming firepower or numbers to achieve victory, Ativari warriors leverage superlative movement and trickery afforded by their light-bending Nanofield technologies.
At first glance you’ll notice that every unit profile in the faction shares two characteristics; a selection of Adaptive Combatskin enhancements and the In Shadow Clad special rule.
With every single unit having access to the Mirage Nanofield enhancement, the faction’s lack of reliable defenses and high damage pools is deceiving since the first hit against them each round will be negated by their stealth technology… if you can keep their enhancements active.
Understanding the Enhancement mechanic is important to playing a Conclave team well. These abilities can “toggle” on and off depending on the game state, and only work while they are active. While every unit in the faction has a unique selection of enhancements available to them, most Enhancements deactivate themselves when the unit activates, deactivates, or when the enhacement’s ability is used.
While all Combatskins have the inherent ability to activate one enhancement at the start of their wearer’s activation, to get the most use out of their toolbox of abilities you’ll want to take advantage of the Conclave’s multiple enhancement-enhancing abilities. Sequencing your turn to chain enhancements with the Prelator’s Combat Synchronicity special rule, or using abilities such as the Optius’ Adaptive Tactics or Legate Atrius’ Coordinated Action gets more use out of your enhancements and displays true mastery of the faction.
Tactical Note: Remember that while your Mirage Nanofields can only be triggered once each round, reactivating them before your units activate is still important to prevent enemies from getting the drop on them before they activate in future rounds.
Jack of all Trades… Master of All
The tenets of the Prelator order dictate that combat units must remain tactically flexible, and are typically outfitted as such. While they don’t place a particular emphasis on either melee or ranged combat, Conclave units are equipped to use these two combat styles to complement each other.
Phase and gravitic impulse weapons keep enemies honest at medium range so Ativari agents can close and deal the killing blow with monomolecular-edged combat blades.
While boasting powerful ranged attacks even on the lowliest Prelator Vanguards, Ativari weaponry is typically short ranged and they operate best in close quarter battles; 4-6” away from enemy units. This shortcoming is complemented by the faction’s In Shadow Clad ability, which allows them to escape enemy lines of fire or move forward to engage ranged attackers as they ghost like shadows over the corpses of their recently dispatched victims.
Tactical Note: Keep in mind that In Shadow Clad can trigger any time you kill an enemy with any type of attack, so you can dive behind cover after finishing a target off with a ranged attack or even use it to advance your Prelator Fusiliers after destroying a cluster of enemies with a Wide Dispersal AOE.
Thank you for your time, Agents. In the next briefing we’ll cover each individual unit and highlight its strengths and weaknesses in an Ativari Conclave team, as well as their role in the lore.
r2.11 Update Notes
Some minor changes were made to the Ativari Conclave rules since they released; some typos and technical issues were addressed. These include:
The Combat Synchronicity special rule (Prelator Vanguard, Prelator Optius, Prelator Fusilier, Legate Daeronus Atrius, Evocatus Helcia) was reworded to remove ambiguity. The intention is that the rule can only pass enhancements during a unit's activation.
Prelator Optius’ Combat Secarus weapon critical damage level was changed to 4; this was a typo in the original file.
Willblade Adept’s Phase Projector Trident range was changed to 8”; this was a typo in the original file.
Willblade Adept’s Dynamic Autotargeting special rule should provide a 2” advance; this sometimes appears as a 7” when printed. The text was enlarged to help prevent this issue.
Update cards can be downloaded on the Rules page.