Once again I am writing a Deadzone article. This time I want to cover my other new faction the Forge Fathers. I actually built these models and put some paint on the well before I started work on my Asterians. In big part because I already had a paint scheme in mind. The other reason was they were so much easier to build and clean up since the models are much bulkier.
That is not to say they were easy to clean up. It has been pretty much a year since I built the large majority of my Mantic stuff. At that time I hadn’t to much experience building miniatures and didn’t know what to expect in terms of mold lines or even differing types of material. Now I can say I know what the fuss is all about when it comes to Mantic’s stuff. My biggest gripe with restic is the fact that the mold lines can be just about anywhere as it doesn’t appear they were made with simple piece molds. What I did find odd was the restic pieces by and large were as bad in terms of the amount of flash as the harder plastic Forge Guard sprues. However, because the softer, gummier material that is restic, I found removal more difficult. I actually was a bit surprised that the mold lines were as prominent after the primer was applied since I didn’t get to anal about it.
I want to admit that part of wanted to rock an all Forge Guard list. I almost convinced myself that I could have a competitive list with only three units. Almost convinced myself. However, there are far too many objective capturing mission in the Forge Father Mission Deck to try that list out of the gate. However, I do think my second list will be something like this:
Huscarl in Forge Guard Armor
I like this unit. Sure it is expensive but all Officer leaders are, and this one in comparison to a regular Forge Guard is not that much more expensive.
Forge Guard with Hailstorm Rifle
As far as I know the most expensive Trooper in all of Deadzone. You can almost get two Enforcers for the cost of this guy. It think he is worth it though. My impression is that Forge Guard are going to be nigh unkillable unless my opponent makes the shot/attack happen and gets lucky. So long as I keep him out of the open from a sniper I think I’ll be fine most of the time.
Forge Guard with Autocannon
As my Specialist choice this was a hard call between the Missie Launcher and the Autocannon. I figure that the missile is too specialized to get get much use that I couldn’t already get out of the Autocannon. Plus, the Autocannon prevents my opponent from thinking they just gang up anywhere on the board without fear of being Pinned/Suppressed.
I realistically think that list will be frustrating for my opponent or feel like too easy of win should they kill even one of them during the game. So instead I wanted to diversity my first stirke team a little to try out more things and help facilitate a good game. No, my first strike team is this:
Huscarl in Forge Guard Armor 27 pts
Forge Guard with Autocannon 19pts
Brokkr 8pts x3
I think these guys will work out well enough to accomplish the mission while my Forge Guard armor confronts the enemy. I don’t have any great expectations from the Brokkrs beyond doing their job to win the game.
I do want to say that I like the paint scheme I picked for my Forge Fathers. I wanted to go for a sort of roughneck look so I wanted to make it look like they were wearing denim jeans and a sort of jeans jacket harness over a white undershirt of some sort. I think the blue and white motif also carried over to the Forge Guard armor pretty well. Although, I think I should try to find some more spots on the armor to tie them in better.
Like the Asterians, the Forge Father stuff is still in the rough base coat phase. I still need to clean up the base coat a bit more and finish painting the little bits on them, but once I do I think they look fairly nice and have a good cohesive look to them.
Tactics and Stratgies
My idea with this strike team is to try and get the Forge Guard Armor out in front as much as possible to draw most of the enemy fire. I’m hoping that all that toughness keeps them on the board while my Brokkrs can move in behind them to accomplish the mission.
My general impression of the Forge Fathers is they are a decent enough faction. Building strike teams for them was much easier than the Asterians largely thanks to the Brokkrs. If Deadzone wants to continue to play at 70 points, I think all factions should have 8 to 9 point trooper option to allow some flexibility. I just don’t think it is feasible to win with a starting strike team of 3 units. I don’t think it is too realistic to do too well with out 4 models. Honestly, I think 5 is the minimum that allows for enough manpower to cover a wide selection of missions with the assumption that one or two of them aren’t surviving the game.
I like the Forge Father dynamic of either slow or short ranged as well. It presents the player with some fairly interesting tactical challenges as you decide how your are going to engage the enemy. They also first real faction that has to realistically consider the Range penalty as most other factions’ weapons can always hit; it is just a matter of a range penalty at the most extreme distances of an 8 by 8 board.
I think the general stratagem I have for my first strike team is pretty sound (we’ll see in practice). It feels like it will be easy to stick the plan unless horrible luck comes my way. Even then, I do have 5 units so if one does happen to become mission ineffective I can have another pickup the slack.
I think a clever opponent will quickly see my strategy if not from the beginning of the game pretty soon. If so, I think it might be possible to use both the team’s slow units and short range weaknesses to put me into a position I don’t want to be. I think the same thing is true it they can manage to get a lucky shout killing one of the Forge Guard Armors especially the Huscarl.
I like the Forge Fathers. I don’t think they will become my favorite faction, but I haven’t seen anything that fits my play style in Deadzone like the Plague. I like the fact they have a good mix of expensive and cheap (well relatively cheap compared to the Enforcers) units to build strike teams with. The biggest worry I have with them is the potiental frustration of rolling dice against them and not doing anything time after time after time. I have already found new players being a little turned off by the getting all the modifiers lined up for a decent dice pool only to be mostly thwarted by an opponent’s equally good defense making the whole action feel wasted. I don’t have that big of an issue with it, but I already felt it in the last couple of games I played with some friends I taught how to play with the Enforcers and Plague.
I do think newer/novice players are going to find this faction fun to play as the Forge Father’s toughness appears that it can be quite forgiving. At the same time, their movement and range limitations provide some tactical challenges to give them some depth of play not found in, say, the Enforcers another low model count faction that is also pretty easier to learn with.