To suggest that the Company of Iron league caught my attention right out of the gate is something of an understatement. It’s no secret that I’m somewhat addicted to Privateer Press’ pin series, so to have a six week league with no less than a dozen unique regimental pins available for the winning, well, suffice to say I’m super keen to see these beautiful metal and enamel adornments in person. I’m thrilled with the prospect of seeing these scattered amongst the various gamers at my local FLGS, and I assure you publicly that I no plans to mug the winners of each faction so that I can relieve them of their faction pins. Public declaration, right there. If any of them doget mugged and lose their pins, it must be some other perpetrator, y’see, because I promised I wouldn’t stoop so low. Now, excuse me while I hide my ski mask and baseball bat.
Company of Iron, as mentioned, will be a 6 week league over the course of the Spring. Players are encouraged to play using pre-set platoons, and indeed there are a selection of scenarios that actively require the use of the platoons. Each has its own small piece of fluff explaining where it came from, listing its membership, and as you play your games you can unlock new potential as the platoon improves on their internal synergy and combined tactics.
Take, for example, The Krewe of the Croak, a small tribe of Croaks who have fallen under the sway of a particularly ambitious Gatorman Witch Doctor, who I fully expect people to paint with purple adornments to match the minion pin above.
The Krewe consist of the aforementioned Witch Doctor, two Croak Hunters, and a full unit of Croak Raiders. Simply by declaring that you’re playing Minions for the league, you unlock their first Promotion, which allows them to be played in any minion army, regardless of Pact or Theme Force. Yes, this means you can include them in your Thornfall Alliance armies, Helga’s theme force, what have you, so if you’re a Farrow fan you’re not left in the dark.
After you’ve won your first game using one of the Platoon Skirmish scenarios (of which there are two in the kit, and allow you to use no models other than the ones listed in your Platoons), you unlock the second promotion. For the Krewe, this means that every Croak model gains Undead and Sturdy Bones (immunity to Blast Damage when in command range of your Witch Doctor). No more will your Croak Hunters fear errant AoE’s circumventing their Stealth, nor shall the Raiders care about bunching up when facing down a mortar or somesuch. It should be noted right here that while the Platoon Skirmish scenarios are limited to the Platoons themselves, the other scenarios are not, yet you retain the Platoon’s benefits…
Win three more Platoon Skirmishes (that’s four total) and you unlock the third promotion, in which your ambitious witch doctor declares that any Platoon Undead models (so all of the Croaks, as per the second promotion) can’t be knocked down, because there’s no sleeping on the job.
Push further for a total of seven Platoon Skirmish wins – and again, this is over a six week league in which you have the option to choose which scenario you play, so you could theoretically grind out your platoon games depending on how your FLGS runs its leagues (though the rules do specify a max of 3 platoon games per week) – and your self-centred Witch Doctor reveals his true colours with Call To Sacrifice [Platoon Croak] meaning that any time you would bring the sod down, he can choose instead to sacrifice a Croak within 8″ to heal 1 damage. With a full unit of Croaks and the two solos in the list, this means he could potentially have 12 Get-Out-Of-Urcaen-Free cards hopping around the table with him.
At the end of the six weeks, if your Krewehas won more Standard Games than any other minion player, you get to take home that pretty pin which for the life of me makes me think of a sad, fluffy puppy… Should someone have the same number of Standard wins, then Platoon wins becomes the tiebreaker. Should that be tied too, it’s a fight to the death …
Now, myself, I’ll be unleashing the terror-inducing Spectres of Ios on my locals. Which faction will you be championing?