In just over 48 hours we will be releasing the brand new 2017 Brood Faction Starter Box full of gorgeous models re-sculpted by the amazing Thierry Masson, so we thought we’d take a few moments out of your day and discuss the basics on how to make use out of them!
As with our other Faction Starter Boxes, this $59.99 purchase gives someone all they need to field a full 500 point, event-legal force using the sinister Brood Swarm! The box comes with two Sawblades, two Broodhounds, two Grists, and two Ratchets. Together they form a competent starting point for any Brood player to work with.
Let’s look at what makes each piece of the Faction Starter special on the battlefield…
Ratchets – The basic workhorses on the front lines
Costing only 50 points each for a model with the ability to knock opponents prone as well as deliver numerous Toxic Counters equally well, Ratchets are good basic soldiers capable of hindering foes in ways that make them far easier to handle. They are not any faster than a normal model, moving three times for 3” each, nor are they particularly well-armored at AR14. They do have a slightly above-average PS score of 12, making them adequate at dealing with certain Objectives, but their real subtle strength comes in their ability to Regenerate. Despite only having a single HP, each Ratchet will take a little extra effort to finish off – otherwise they will be back, up, and around on their next activation. This does leave them particularly vulnerable to anything capable of inflicted extra damage to them, as that a 2 HP loss suffered will instantly pull them from the table.
Grists – Sets ‘em Up and Knocks ‘em Down!
Probably the most fragile of Brood units found in the Faction Starter, Grists are easy to hit, easy to hurt, and only have their one HP for keeping them on their feet before having to Regenerate. Like Ratchets they are 50 points, and have a basic command of their PS score for Objective fulfillment and shrugging off the occasional Panic Counter and the like, but their somewhat light AR score of 14 makes most common weaponry a serious threat. These factors can be somewhat mitigated by trying to keep Grists in Cover as much as possible, using their range to their advantage.
Also one of the rare Brood units capable of causing a malfunction with their weapon, their players should always remember what happens when a Blast weapon rolls a malfunction – and keep their friends at least two inches away at all times. The danger of misfire notwithstanding, the Grists’ Bio-Repulsor is a fantastic tool for synergy with other Brood. A Blast(2) with a decent 8” range, the weapon doesn’t hit terribly hard (PW4), but the slippery digestive payload can knock any target capable of getting slammed over prone 50% of the time. With only a rate of fire of once per round, decisive Aimed shots are quite useful but the real potential is the large area that can be covered by a Grist going On Hold. Targets that try to run past their line of fire can suddenly find themselves falling on their face and in the open; a terrible place to be with the rest of a Brood force bearing down on them!
Broodhounds – Fast, Vicious, and Ready from the Word GO!
Another 50 point unit, the Broodhound is probably one of the best “early game” aggressors the Brood has to offer. Their mediocre PS of 10 makes them a gamble when it comes to getting Objectives done, but their Infiltrate and Vault special abilities mixed with MV 4 allows them to get into the thick of combat in the first few rounds of the game with ease. They can leap over the kinds of terrain that keep them safe from harm and then charge quickly into combat with the enemy, hopefully tearing a piece out of them before getting overwhelmed by superior forces.
Defensively, a Broodhound really only has its mobility to rely on. Its meagre DF 4 and thin AR 12 make them an easy target to deal damage to, and even with Regeneration, their single HP does not last terribly long under fire. One of the best places for a Broodhound to be is behind cover or in combat with a foe with a low AS in melee. Or, alternatively, nearby a bigger Brood threat to draw fire. Offensively speaking, Broodhounds are little shredders. Their low AS on their twin claw strikes is offset by their mobility and Vault to ensure a charge and get big bonuses to attack. Against easier-to-hit targets, their ability to gain free, automatically hitting, Bite attacks can be all it takes to bring a behemoth to its knees – especially if they can manage to get those claws to hit home on their first AP.
Sawblades – The Pillars of the Brood Starter
The elite foot soldiers of the Brood Faction Starter, and one of the toughest 100 point units in the entire force, Sawblades are no-nonsense melee fighters and difficult for foes to deal with. Their above average PS of 14 makes them excellent at completing many Objectives, an average DF to avoid getting shot while running around the battlefield – or truthfully where they want to be… engaged with the enemy.
Sawblades live to be in close with their foes. While their sword is not terribly fancy or hard-hitting, it bears a high AS (for a 100 point model to boot!) of 8 with no chance of malfunction, and makes it pretty likely to use their defensive Parry ability. Even if an attack gets past their parrying sword, their high AR of 18 can take the brunt of most incoming blows. In the case where something gets past their Parry and through their armor – they get a little bit of revenge in the form of their Bio-Gen, Acid Blood. Free hits upon the enemy killing you (or sending you into Regeneration) is a great “take that!” moment, but players will want to be careful not to get in base contact with their friendly models – the spraying acid does not know the difference! A Sawblade’s 2 HP plus Regeneration, especially when shielded by their other statistics and abilities, makes it an extremely tenacious choice for a force… even outside of the Faction Starter!
Oh… and don’t forget all of these models are units of the Brood Swarm, meaning you as their player get to choose at the beginning of Deployment what sort of bonus they get to draw from during the game as a Broodspawn benefit.
A while back we did a closer look at how the Broodspawn Benefits work and why, so if you are interested in looking into it… pop over to that article and have a good read about them! You can find them here.
Play something dangerous!