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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Army Lists: Overview

The next few posts will be strictly on army lists, both the looks and feels of the different forces and how they work.

If you've never played a miniature soldier game before, it usually works like this: two or more players make an army of a set amount of points, say, 500. Every unit of models or vehicle has a point value, say, 20. You can add as many units or vehicles to your army as long as you do not exceed your 500 point limit. It's okay to have a 498 point army, as long as it's below 500. The Halo Tabletop Wargame works just like that.

There are also five different categories on an army list: Command, Special, Core, Transports, and Vehicles. Each army list specifies the maximum number of units or vehicles you can take from each category for your army. For example, an army list may say you have a max of 2 Command, 3 Special, 5 Core, and 3 Vehicles. Transports are attached to Special and Core units as upgrades and cannot be bought as standalone vehicles, but more on all of this some other time.

Command Units are the leaders on the battlefield. They direct the battle, join squads, and are stronger than your average Joe. For example, three Command Units for the UNSC are Marine Generals, Marine Colonels, and Marine Lieutenants. Six Command Units for the Covenant Empire are Elite Field Marshals, Elite Field Masters, Elite Generals, Brute War Chieftains, Brute Battle Chieftains, and Brute Chieftains. (Apologies for the non-canon Brute Battle Chieftain- Brutes had no other equivalent to an Elite Field Master.) Some Command Units may also purchase protective squads as upgrades, such as Elite Honor Guard Squads or Brute Bodyguard Squads.

Special Units are the elites on the battlefield. They are stronger than rank-and-file soldiers and pack punch. For example, four Special Units for the UNSC are ODST Rifle Squads, ODST Heavy Weapons Squads, ODST Sniper Teams, and SPARTAN-IIs. Three Special Units for the Covenant Empire are Grunt Suicide Squads, Elite Special Operations Squads, and Elite Ranger Squads.

Core Units make up the bulk of an army and represent the majority of its forces. For example, two Core Units for the UNSC are Marine Rifle Squads and Army Rifle Squads. Two Core Units for the Covenant Empire are Grunt Patrol Squads and Jackal Infantry Squads.

Transports can be bought as upgrades for a Special or Core Unit to take them around the battlefield. The Transports include Warthog Carriers, Falcons, Pelicans, HEVs/SOEIVs, Shadows, Phantoms, Spirits, OIPs, and Teleport Pods.

Vehicle Units are the armored columns in one's army. They pack heavy weapons and speed on a tough chunk of metal. You've seen them in the games already: Warthogs, Scorpions, Specters, and Wraiths are just a few. Some vehicles from Halo Wars will also make an appearance, though Cyclopes and Gremlins are without a doubt not making the First Edition. If anyone feels differently about them, comment about it and let me know.

So that's the overview on the categories in army lists. Next, we'll talk about the different factions and what they will generally have to offer the players. Thank you for reading, and see ya next time! Peace.

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