19 July 2012

The First Son

A Preview of Edison, the Upcoming Tannhäuser Expansion, by Jeremiah Terry

The Edison Single Miniature Pack for Tannhäuser will on store shelves in just a few more weeks! This heroic expansion includes one beautifully painted figure and accompanying character sheet, an all-new scenario, and all the tokens and equipment cards necessary to bring Edison’s inspiring leadership to your battles. Today, we're pleased to present a guest article by Tannhäuser enthusiast Jeremiah Terry.

The soon-to-be-released Edison Single Miniature Expansion for Tannhäuser opens up a host of new tactics and strategies for Union and UMTOMA players. Edison not only has an impressive list of special equipment, but also a few special rules that make him a unique force on the battlefield. The first, and perhaps the most powerful, of these is that he grants your squad the power to exchange one of your usual Heroes for two Troopers, allowing you to field four Troopers total. Combining these extra Troopers with Edison's Command pack can, in a three Command Point (CP) game, make Edison seem nearly invincible.

This is because Edison’s Command pack has a great ability called "America's Favorite Son," which allows nearby Troopers to literally act as human shields for the Colonel, preventing him from taking any wounds from any attack. After that, the extra Troopers can fill any holes left by fallen comrades till the end of the turn, and finally the three Command Points will allow you to replace a lost Trooper at the start of the next turn. This can be extremely useful when facing powerful threats like Asteros, or a less than friendly squad of Matriarchy forces with Zor'ka or Natalya in tow.

Another of Edison's built-in abilities allows you to leave one Trooper behind (so you'll play with either one or three Troopers), and at the beginning of each turn you may gain either an extra CP or a +5 bonus to your Initiative roll. While the +5 bonus is nice, and effectively removes the need for Edison to have a "Rank" token filling an Equipment Slot, that extra CP is the real key, because it allows you to make a two CP game play like a three CP game for your squad. This allows you to take advantage of the combo above, even when you would not otherwise be able to.

A Big Man with a Big Gun

Edison's Special Object is the massive and impressive MENLO Gun, a heavy weapon with more to it than just its six die attack ability. Like Edison himself, the MENLO has some special rules beyond what you'll find on its equipment card. The primary and probably most useful of these is that it can "recycle" expendable "MENLO" equipment, which can be found in all of Edison's packs. Basically for the cost of an Action and a CP, Edison can turn any used (facedown) token with the "MENLO" trait face up. This allows him to use powerful special attacks repeatedly. Also, because this power is Command Point based, the ability to leave behind a Trooper to gain an extra CP can make the MENLO even more deadly.

However, don't think that the MENLO is the only piece of Roswell high-tech that Edison brings to the party. He also wears an advanced version of the Commando Delta's BG-42, called the BG-450; much like the BG-42 it will block all the enemy's successes on a Natural 10, but unlike the good old ‘42, it will work against all attacks. Guns, knives, fists, the ‘450 will stop them all, providing Edison's with some heavy duty protection for his Stamina pack. Combining this with his other abilities from his Stamina pack, Edison will be able to charge into battle and do massive amounts of damage while soaking up the punishment, allowing him to not only hold his own against the likes of Itami, Asteros, or Natalya, but pose a great threat to them singlehandedly.

With all that power, you'll be tempted to send him in alone to take down the enemy, but never underestimate the power of teamwork. Edison's Stamina pack allows him to also heal an adjacent character with his "Biotech Residue" token, which is a piece of MENLO hardware, giving Edison near infinite "First Aid Kits.” With that, teaming him with one of the other Union's big guns becomes an even more of a boon to the Union. Imagine not just Edison and MENLO charging in on the enemy, but also Barry and his Flash Machinegun A6a; if you concentrate your fire using Barry to soften the enemy before Edison finishes them off, this tactic becomes even more effective.

Bringing it All Together

Edison's high firepower and strong healing items make for a great multipurpose character useful for both attack and defense. In a combat-heavy game like Deathmatch, he should be among your top choices for squad members, but he will be just as effective in Domination or other stamina-intensive game modes. His built in initiative bonus, given in trade for a Trooper, makes him and excellent choice where command pack abilities are of need (like Capture the Flag mode). However, unlike characters such as John MacNeal, Edison doesn't need to sacrifice any of his damage potential for the use of his excellent initiative bonus.

He is certainly going to be a mainstay of any Union or UMTOMA force going up against an Epic level enemy, or in a scenario like "Crimson Juggernaut" (from Operation: Hinansho) where you face an enemy like Kowai the Red Oni. In these situations you're going to want to stick with Edison's Stamina pack, not just to boost Edison's survivability, but because the "CYPRUS Cylinders," a nasty piece of MENLO equipment, can force an enemy to roll two fewer dice on a Shock roll. That will be a great help in mitigating Asteros' five die Shock roll.

That should be all you need to know for Edison to get started fielding him in your game, whether you’re an advanced Union player or new to the world of Tannhäuser.

Thanks, Jeremiah! Look for Edison to lead the charge onto store shelves soon.

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