I guess maybe it’s because Cryx is due out in a few days (well more like 2-3 weeks for us poor sods in the South East Asian Region) but all the spoilers recently has been about Mercs! We’ve got the spoilers for Drake Macbain, some hints about Shae’s Tiers in the newest No Quarter and some sneaks of Fiona the Black’s Tier over at our friends in Bell of Lost Souls.
First up is some talk about Drake McBain… He looks to like his troops. While he does have energizer, failsafe and jackhammer (all great spells), I don’t think he has the focus to be a jack caster. Energizer is corner case and only really useful when you have multiple jacks, but focus 6 is not enough for him to cast energizer and then load up a jack or two. I mainly see him with 1 (at most 2) heavy jacks as heavy hitters with failsafe on one of them (the 2nd is just for redundancies), with jackhammer once the jack is in melee.
Rift is your usual requisite attack spell, and will be a pretty high focus drain, so is not likely to be used very often. It may be useful though, since (iirc) it’s a spray and able to ignore just about everything (as sprays are wont to do).
Fortune and Countermeasures are the troop equivalents of the great jack spells Failsafe and Jackhammer. Fortune can buff merc units and ensure them hitting, and Countermeasures is great on a stealth unit. Merc everywhere are already thinking of stuffing them on Core’s Cutthroats. This allows that stealth unit to run in largely unaffected by shooting (excepting the usual bombard fire), and then proceed to muck up shooting for a whole plethora of models. Heck, maybe even use them with Kayazy!
As mentioned, his spells seem to say ‘combined arms’ but both his and his special abilities (gang fighter, unyielding) seem to emphasize him running in with a whole group of buffed up friends and then proceeding to wreak face. Failsafe and the feat just being there to ensure that his friends stay alive longer than the enemy.
All in all, it looks like he’s a decent caster. Not uber borken, but not crap either. He supports his entire army, but he really is an up front caster though. Not only that, he’s pretty squishy until he gets into combat, and he also relies on being with his supporting cast for him to really shine. Whether he can get everything to work for him remains to be seen.
Next up, Fiona’s Tier List. I have to admit that her list is extreeemely limiting. We’re stuck with 3 units and 2 solos for the moment, so unless lots of Thamarite Solos come out of the woodwork when Forces of Warmachine: Mercs rounds the corner, I don’t think anyone’s going to touch this list for a while. On the other hand, having multiple units of cultists as a back up pretty much guarantees Fiona an arcnode and a free focus every turn for the entire game. But I’m just not sure if that’s good enough.
Other than her first tier, I don’t think her other tiers really matter that much. Tiers 3 and 4 allows her to be more crazy with her focus allocation in the first turn, but at 8 focus I doubt that was really a problem to begin with. And without any of the workhorse merc solos or units…. I dunno. I’d probably stick with the… 4 star syndicate?
Lastly, we have some small tidbits about Shae’s tiers. He’s limited to primarily the Talion crew (no Bradigan or McNaille but with Dirty Meg), but what a great set of bonuses he has! Solos at -1pt, pathfinding units 1st turn, bonuses to the starting roll and (I’m guessing) +2 to speed for jacks on the first turn, all good bonuses to what looks like a melee-leaning pirate army. And especially for the first tier! With all the units you’re bringing you have like a 4-6 pt discount on your solos! It’s craaaaazy.
People have been moaning about the lack of MacNaile, but really with primarily melee jacks you don’t need MacNaile.
Regardless, I think Mercs Mk2 looks to be like great fun all around. Merc stock can only get better.