No matter the enemy, a wise leader never leaves for war without an entourage of his most trusted advisors.
Characters whether fighting courageously in the front lines or strategizing and supporting from the rear are followed closely by their Retinues, comprised of individuals offering advice, fighting or assisting their master in other, more elusive ways.
In this Spotlight we will be taking a closer look to the new additions to the rules regarding our favorite models: the Characters.
In Version 1.03 Characters see an overhaul in three big and game altering ways. First and foremost, there are new Items for all Characters of all Factions. Then, we have added Masteries, optional Skills that allow players to further personalize and customize their Character’s abilities. Lastly but definitely not least, we see the addition of Retinues – models to be placed on an Infantry Character’s Stand further enhancing their capabilities.
You will find these intriguing new items and Retinues within their relevant Army List sections and Chapter 8 of the Conquest Rulebook.
The optional upgrades for Characters in each List (such as Heirlooms, Mutations etc.) have been expanded and – aside from the Spires’ Mutations – they have all been separated into 5 distinct categories: Banners, Armors, Weapons, Talismans and Arcane.
These categories serve to separate Items into types, as you can now gain Arcane items only with Characters sporting the Wizard or Priest (X) Special Rule. Characters wanting to select an upgrade from the Banners list need to also have fielded at least one Tactical Retinue upgrade.
Retinues is a mechanic we wanted to include in the game from its very beginning and we are very excited to share it with you! Your Infantry Character Stands can now be customized with up to three extra Models belonging to one or more of the three fields: Tactical, Combat and Magic. Depending on how many upgrades you include of each field your Character gains abilities and access to Draw Events and Special Rules!
For example, let us say you would like to build a Noble Lord that could take on even the toughest of adversaries. By investing in three Tiers from the Combat Retinues field you would pay a total of 40pts (5,10 and 25pts respectively for each tier) and gain a staggering +1 Wound, +1 Clash, +1 Attack and +1 to your Cleave Characteristic. Combine it with the Arms Master Weapon Art, and your Cleave 3 Noble Lord would strike fear in your enemies hearts.
As usual, good things always come at a cost; As you will find out, gaining those benefits will cost you dearly in points – in the aforementioned example your Noble Lord would end up costing an impressive 120pts!
Additionally, not all characters have access to all types of Retinues and even if permitted to choose a certain category, they may have restricted access to it, in which case it would cost double the points!
As you might have guessed so far, only Infantry Characters can get Retinues, as only Infantry Stands have slots for extra Models.
Characters, Conquest’s most powerful and renowned individuals are not just repeated iterations of one another. While many a man may hold the rank of an Imperial Officer, each is their own person, with experiences and skills not often found in others making their own narrative in Eä.
Masteries come to represent just that –an Imperial Officer might have spent his early childhood studying the art of Mathematics and Trigonometry – a very handy Mastery allowing his Regiment to gain the Arcing Fire Special Rule.
While rare, it is not impossible to meet two or more individuals who trained in the same art; when fielding these masteries, each additional purchase of the same Mastery costs twice as much.
Tread carefully when building and outfitting your Characters, as at the end of the day, it is your trusted Regiments that will plant your standards in enemy territory and when your Regiments perish, your Characters perish with them.
Let’s take it a step further, and see an actual example of the aforementioned mathematically inclined Imperial Officer, as he prepares to take his Warband into action.
As an Imperial Officer he would cost 60pts. He would be leading a few Crossbowmen Regiments, so a Fire and Advance Drill at 15pts seems a prudent choice.
We then choose to field only two Models as his Retinue, selecting one from the Tactical category and one from the Magic category. While Tactical is listed as “available” for Imperial officers, Magic is restricted and it costs double points! As the Officer has only selected 1 Model from each of these categories, he gains the Tier 1 benefits of both. We now add 5pts for Tactical Tier 1 and a whooping 20pts for Magic Tier 1.
As mentioned before, we go for the “Trained in Trigonometry” Mastery, providing the Arcing Fire special rule to any Regiment he joins, costing another 15pts.
Going into battle unarmed is rarely a good choice so we choose a Weapon from the Heirlooms list: The Kiss Farewell. For a steep 30pts, gaining the Barrage ability becoming a deadly ranged warrior.
The Imperial Officer has packed heavy, totaling up his cost to an expensive 145pts hoping this investment pays up.