Hello again, everybody! By all of your support, I’m glad to see that you’re not getting tired of my constant posting and updates with WarmaZone. Anyway, we’re continuing with the Ministry of War with Imperial’s most customizable offering, the Special Forces. Now if you know Imperial, you know that there are almost hundreds of Special Forces. You’ve already met the Blood Berets and the Life Dragoons, and the Golden Lions and Grey Ghosts are still to come, but there are tons of others that don’t have official models. You’ve got the Black Berets, Sterlings, Righteous Diadems, Terror Eagles, Harlequins, Hunters, Blue Berets, Wild Roses, Shamrocks, Rams, Crusaders, Acid Spitters, and on and on. There are so many that you’d never be able to have an appropriate unit for each, so Prodos got around this by releasing the generic Special Forces unit, so then you can make any special force you want or simply make your own. So what do you get? Well, let’s take a look.
- Unit Composition: 1 Leader, 5-9 Grunts
- Cost: 8/14 pts
- Force Allocation: 2
- Stats: SPD-5, STR-7, MAT-8, RAT-8, DEF-13, ARM-16, CMD-8, HP-1
-Invader Assault Rifle: RNG-10, ROF-1, POW-10
-Hand Ripper: RNG-0.5, POW-3, P+S-10
-Charger HMG: RNG-10, ROF-D3, POW-11 (6 pts)
-Gehenna Puker: RNG-SP8 (8 pts)
-Puker: ROF-1, POW-14 (Continuous Fire, Damage Type Fire)
-Belcher: ROF-2, POW-1 (Poison Gas)
-Mandible Shotgun: RNG-SP8, ROF-2, POW-8 (5 pts)
- Special Rules:
-Emergency Recall Device (Mini-Feat): Once per game, this unit can use its ERD to be placed completely within 8” of its current position. Models using their ERDs cannot be targeted by free strikes when using them.
-Special Forces Specialization: This unit can be upgraded with any of the specializations from the following list. Each specialization costs 2 pts and must be purchased by all models in the unit.
-Anti-Armor Specialists: Ranged weapons gain Armor Piercing
-Anti-Personnel Ammo: Invader Assault Rifles and Charger HMGs gain Anatomical Precision.
-Charmed: Gains Tough
-Close Quarters Defense Training: Gains Brutal Charge and +2 MAT
-Corporation Fighters: Gains Fearless and Contempt for any other faction.
-Forward Spotters: The unit leader gains Artillerist
-Furious Combatants: Gains Rapid Strike
-Guard: Gains Shield Guard
-Gyro-Stabilizers: Models equipped with Charger HMGs gain Luck on their ranged weapons.
-IR Goggles: Gains Mage Sight
-Jungle Fighters: Gains Pathfinder
-Long-Bore Rifles: Non-spray ranged weapons gain +3 RNG
-Marksmen: Gains Run & Gun
-Night Ops: Gains Prowl
-Psy-Corps: Enemy models targeting models in this unit with spells suffer -2 to their rolls.
-Ship Fighters: Gains +2 DEF and Steady
-Veteran: Gains +2 CMD and Commander
First of all, you’ll notice the starting cost of the Special Forces is rather cheap, only being two points more than the Trenchers, and right out of the box there’s not a whole lot to them. They’re good at hitting their targets and their weapons have enough POW to do decent damage, and they have good DEF and ARM, but that’s really it. Their weapon is a standard-issue Invader assault rifle paired with a Chain Ripper that has Critical Shred, so they’re decent in melee or ranged combat, but there isn’t anything special to them yet. For their special rules, they once again have Alchemical Mask, but now have the Emergency Recall Device, which once per game lets the whole unit teleport out of a tight spot. It’s not always useful, but if you’re facing strong melee units like Doom Reavers or Dread Rots, it’s nice to get them out of the fray and keep them alive. The Special Forces may sound boring at first, but once you see all the ways you can upgrade them, they become much more interesting. For weapons, you can swap their Invaders for a Mandible shotgun for infantry-clearing, a Charger HMG for blowing your enemies away through sheer quantity of bullets, or Gehenna Puker for setting your foes on fire or poisoning them with a gas discharge. They don’t have access to the Assailant like the Life Dragoons, keeping them mostly short-ranged, but the high POW of their weapons lets them hold their own in ranged combat. They don’t have any melee options unless you count the Gehenna Puker, but between that and the Chain Ripper, they’re no slouches. That’s all for weaponry, but the true worth of the Special Forces comes in their final special rule, Special Forces Specialization. If you look at the list above, you’ll see that the Special Forces, for two points each, can be upgraded with special training or gear to grant them specialization in any environment. Want a prolonged ranged battle? Upgrade their guns with long bores to give them +4 RNG. Want to carry out a stealth assassination mission? Train them for Night Ops and grant them Prowl to benefit from their environment. There’s no limit to the ways you can upgrade them and no limit to their combinations either, outside of the points value. Only two points for one upgrade can take them to the same point value as Cygnaran Trenchers, but anything above two starts to get into seriously expensive territory. You could almost fill out an entire army list with just two units of Special Forces decked out with all the training and gear available. If you remember the MOW army list and my commentary on it, one of the things to keep in mind when playing Imperial is wise investments. It may sound good on paper to invest all your points in this one specialist unit, but if your troops end up getting shot off the board by a much bigger force, your investment will have been for nothing. Before upgrading this unit or any other Imperial unit, you need to make your decisions wisely, or you’ll be caught with your pants down. Outside of the MOW army list, I think this unit best encapsulates the idea of wise investment, as, again, this is essentially just a big corporation with its own privatized military. I won’t make any recommendations for these guys regarding their upgrades, as ultimately it falls to their commander to make those choices, so I’ll leave this to all of you to decide what they’ll be upgraded with. In addition, these troops can be fielded in the Wolfbanes army list, so you can hire them to give a little ranged support to the otherwise melee-centric highlanders.
Next time on WarmaZone, we’ll go back to the Wolfbanes again and look at the femme fatales of their ranks, the pretty but deadly Mourning Wolves. Stay tuned!
-The Raging Goblin