Change of Command
A Preview of Edison, the Upcoming Tannhäuser Expansion, by Jeremiah Terry
The Edison Single Miniature Pack for Tannhäuser will on store shelves next week! This heroic expansion includes one 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.
Soon the Union will have the new Colonel Edison to add to their ranks, and today you’ll see how the addition of this new character will open up many possibilities for team composition. This is one of biggest changes Colonel Edison brings to the table; his very presence in your squad allows for differing numbers of heroes and troopers. While the base rules restrict a player to three heroes and two troopers, Edison allows anywhere from one trooper to four troopers. Of course, using more troopers will force you to leave behind one of your heroes. But these extra troopers can be a big advantage, especially when considering the power of reinforcements.
Looking at the possible team combinations for the Union can be a bit daunting, but remember that all things in Tannhäuser can be broken down into one of the three basic categories of Combat, Stamina, or Command. Take Domination mode for example; this game mode really benefits from a Stamina focused team, and it’s a three Command Point game, so Edison’s extra troopers could come in handy. Even more important for Domination Mode is that the extra troopers could protect Objectives that you normally may have to leave vulnerable.
A good team build for this game would be to use Edison with his Stamina pack, backed up by Barry Brown, also equipped with a Stamina pack. Then bring four troopers. The Commandos Delta are quite useful for holding objectives; while their raw combat ability is not the best, their BG-42 vests make them more survivable for defensive positions. The Alphas, on the other hand, are far more combat focused, and can be best used to harass the enemy. And don’t worry too much about losing one because you can always call for reinforcements. With this team it should be easy to use the Commandos to set up a perimeter while Barry and Edison focus on placing their flags.
Into the Valley of Death
Sometimes your objective is to simply destroy the enemy, and even in story mode your primary goal can bear more than just a passing resemblance to Deathmatch mode. In these cases, you’re going to want to focus not just on maximizing the damage you can do in a single turn, but also on minimizing the enemy’s ability to damage you. One way to do this is with “Union Smoke Strategy.” This consists of deploying smoke near either the center of the board, or near your opponent’s objectives, thus forcing the enemy to enter the smoke to either attack or to complete their mission.
This is where a combo like Edison, MacNeal, and Ramirez will be most effective. All three of these characters have the ability to see through smoke when using their Combat packs. So, while your opponent’s attacks will all suffer a two dice penalty, yours will remain at normal strength. Of course for this to work you need to bring some M15 smoke grenades. Both Union Commando types have access to this equipment, but when dealing with a combat focused mission, the Alpha will be the better choice, as he’ll bring not only an M15, but also a powerful Flash Gun MKI.
However, if smoke is not your style, or you’re looking to try something a bit different, a team like Edison, Barry, and Hoax, will have some great abilities at their disposal. Edison’s Stamina pack is probably going to be your best bet here. Even though we’re focused on combat potential, the Stamina pack not only improves his survivability but also can reduce the enemy’s Shock Rolls. When combined with Barry’s powerful weapon, and Hoax’s knife and invisibility combo, this team will be able to deal out masses of damage. Additionally, the overall high Stamina of this squad will keep them in the fight, long after your opponent wishes they were dead.
One last thing to think about here is your trooper choice. While the Commando Alpha seems like the clear choice, remember that the Delta’s Command pack contains the extremely devastating ANM-11 incendiary grenade, which can be extremely effective in controlling your opponent’s actions by limiting his choices. Plus, if you’re worried about the Delta’s somewhat impotent S&W 1917, use the Union exclusive Bonus Token “Weapons Cache” from the Hoax expansion to equip him with a powerful Trench Gun.
Since the entry of the Shogunate into the Great War, the Union has had a tenuous alliance with the Matriarchy, which has allowed players to build teams using both factions for some truly epic and powerful combinations. The Matriarchy has long had some of Tannhäuser’s most powerful characters on its side: first the legendary Zor’ka, then later the Epic Natalya.Both are hard-to-stop juggernauts, with high Stamina values and Combat values to match. The only problem when fielding some of the Matriarchy’s best in combination with the Union has been the Voïvodes. Characters like Zor’ka and Oksana rely on their Voïvodes, but the Union characters work better with human Commandos or Soldaty.
This often leads a player to choose to limit the number of one or the other, but now Edison solves this problem by opening up more trooper slots. Now Edison can have his Commandos, and Zor’ka can have her full contingent of Voïvodes. Also, this can help create more firepower focused teams, Edison and Gorgeï work well together, and both would benefit from two Commando Alphas and a couple of Boepripacy Soldaty backing them up.
As you can see, the possible permutations boggle the mind. With over twenty characters to choose from, and squads with two to three heroes and one to four troopers, I can only begin to show you the variety of UMTOMA teams you can create. I hope that this will inspire you to try some more unorthodox team builds once Edison joins your forces.
Thanks, Jeremiah! Look for Edison to lead the charge onto store shelves next week.
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