SFG Keynote – NOVA

A couple of weeks ago, Steamforged presented some new material at the NOVA Open event in their own blog. Besides the new Godtear models and organised play rules, there was some exciting news about the remaining third captains, some more information on the resin schedule, and a spoiler for a new Minor Guild. Let’s quickly get into it!

RESIN SCHEDULE

First of all, we can say that Steamforged has listened to the community. Remember those Veteran boxes, which meant that you had to buy six models, even if you only needed one? You don’t have to anymore!

Veterans Minx, Calculus, Hemlocke, Gutter and Cinder will be available in resin in singles boxes this September! Rejoice!

Another team that will be very happy to hear their team get “resined” in September are the Alchemists!

The new resin squads will obviously contain goalposts, terrain pieces, and balls, but there are some new sculpts as well – Smoke, Vitriol, Katalyst and Veteran Katalyst are all redesigned. These Alchemist squads are currently in production, and are set to be ready for pre-order in late September.

The next team on the list of resin releases are the Masons. One of the two ‘starter’ Guilds of the game, Kick-Off players will now finally be able to purchase the rest of their team, and others are not required to buy the Kick-Off set for the first six anymore.

The Masons will also have some new available sculpts – Honour, Hammer, Marbles, Flint and Tower. As they’re still in the Tooling & Sampling stage, they’re expected to come out for pre-order in October.

Well, if the Masons are getting their own resin line, the other Kick-Off Guild won’t be far behind. The Brewers are in 3D Print Master Prep.

The new Brewer sculpts will be Hooper, Mash and Stoker. The Brewers are expected to go into production late October, and should be available for pre-order around November.

GAME PLAN DECK UPDATE

As part of the core rules of the game, the Game Plan Deck has had its fair share of reviews from the community. It was found that cards with a negative Influence value weren’t played all that often, and that cards with a low Initiative value most of the time didn’t have a strong enough effect to warrant playing them. The design team has worked up a couple of new cards that will replace certain lesser played cards – the release of the new Game Plan Deck will be in November.

The three spoiled cards are Pick Up The Pace!, Raw Enthusiasm, and Never Say Die. Their effects are the following:

  • Pick Up The Pace!
    • +6 Initiative, +0 Influence
    • “Starting with the player that has the Initiative, both players may choose 1 friendly Squaddie model. The chosen models gain +2″/+2″ MOV.”
  • Raw Enthusiasm
    • +2 Initiative, +1 Influence
    • “Choose a friendly Squaddie model. The chosen model gains Put Me Back In, Coach!.
  • Never Say Die
    • +2 Initiative, +1 Influence
    • Each time a friendly model suffers the taken out condition, the friendly team gains +2 MP.

Looking at the already existing cards, it seems that at least one +6 Initiative and two +2 Initiative cards are getting replaced. For the +6 cards, this is either the Singled Out card, or the free Run The Length card. I’m actually expecting the latter. For the +2 cards, it seems that Dig Deep and Kick ‘Em When They’re Down are getting replaced. Are there other cards that you would like to see replaced? Cards that I’d expected to see changes are Stick To The Plan, Wing Backs and Full-Back – especially the first one, as I have NEVER seen this card played.

THIRD CAPTAINS

The Alchemists, Farmers and Union are still waiting for the third captains, but it seems that their wait is coming to an end fairly soon. The cards haven’t been spoiled yet, but some of the art has been shown, and small snippets of their abilities have been given.

Festival

The third captain for the Farmers is a lovely lass called Festival. It is said that she is a Planter Captain that provides abilities of mobility and healing for the squad. She is able to move multiple models – that kind of out-of-activation mobility usually is very strong, so I’m very interested in what this will bring to the Farmers. I can see this ability be very strong with the Reaper abilities that require a certain distance to a Harvest Marker, i.e. Fork Off!. Seeing that she is a Planter, I am expecting nonmom 2 on 1, maybe some momentous pushes or dodges, and I feel like she will have some GB results to use plays from her playbook. More guesses are a 5″/8″ MOV, TAC 5, 4+/0 defenses and a juicy 17-18 health points. Maybe a 4/6″ or 3/8″ KICK and the spear makes me think of 2″ melee. Having the likes of Grange and, maybe more important, Thresher to contend with, I feel that she’ll have to bring something quite strong to even be considered for the 12. My gut feeling is that she’ll be the 3-0/2-2 captain for the squad, who’ll have good synergy with the ball capabilities of the new Farmer’s Minor Guild. (More on this later!)

Soma

The Alchemists should rejoice. They’re not getting one new captain, but two! That’s right, the third Alchemists captain is the first dual-card model in the game. He’ll have some sort of transformation play/trait, which lets him change between a what sounds like a Coach-type support form with loads of passive abilities, and a the most fragile of glass cannons. This captain alone has drawn me towards buying the entire team – something that not many models do. If he is all that I’m hoping he’ll be, I might just instantly buy the resin boxes come September. Where Midas is the scoring captain and Smoke feels like the all-rounder, I think that Soma will be an aggressive take-out focused captain, who’ll buff the damage output of his squaddies in his passive support form, and who’ll change into a massive super-solo in his glass cannon form. I have no idea what to expect for stats, though. I hope we’ll get some card spoilers soon!

Veteran Greede

And there he is! After such a long time, it seems that Veteran Greede isn’t a fun April Fools project, but the real third captain for the Union. And just like Soma, he’ll bring something totally new to the Pitch. Greede is situated on the Strongbox tortoise, and therefore takes both the Captain and Mascot spots. Yes, you heard it correctly – a Greede squad is comprised of only five models! While only having five models on the pitch seems very inhibiting – Casket Time anyone? – Greede seems to have an ability to give one of his Squaddies a second activation. Honour’s Superior Strategy for free, basically. I’m not sure how strong this will be, knowing that Squaddie models have an influence cap of 3 or 4, meaning that they’ll never have a captain-level output in terms of attacks. Luckily, it has been stated that Greede will be able to put out some damage himself as well. One thing is sure – this captain will certainly be interesting.

NEW MINOR GUILD – THE SHEPHERD’S GUILD

One of the bigger reveals of the NOVA keynote was the new minor Guild for the Farmers coaches, the Shepherd’s Guild. The Shepherds are said to be a tad more football focused than their major Guild brethren, and that their main Guild mechanic is based around punishments.

This punishment mechanic is based around buffs to the squad upon your models getting taken out. A literal version of “That what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger”. For instance, Shearer – one of the striker models of the squad – hands out a kicking bonus to his team upon being taken out. Ram provides a strong defensive bonus. While this mechanic seems interesting, it obviously has its weak points:

  • Taking models out at the end of the turn means that the rest of the squad can’t use the buff from the punishment mechanic.
  • 3-0 teams don’t want to take your models out, and therefore your punishment mechanic is useless.

It’ll be interesting to see how Steamforged will solve this balancing act.

It has been stated that Veteran Honour and Bushel are the play-downs from the Farmers to play for the Shepherds. Who the play-ups are is still unknown, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Shearer is one of them, knowing that Festival is right around the corner and my thoughts on what she might want to do on the pitch.

The Shepherd’s Guild is stated to be available for purchase in March of 2020.

CONCLUSION

So, there we have it! Exciting times are around the corner, especially with the World Team Championship on the 28th and 29th of September. Who knows what kind of spoiler we’ll get there…