High Command: Faith & Fortune

Welcome to a very special edition of Unboxing With Faultie! As many of you are by now aware I was fortunate enough to be able to attend GenCon this year, and as such had access to all sorts of gribbly goodies that aren’t quite hitting shelves just yet but will be very, very soon. One such piece of niftiness was the new High Command core set, Faith & Fortune! After all this time I can finally play my beloved Retribution of Scyrah in High Command! Oh, and there’s Convergence, Four Star and Highborn Covenant, if you’re into those sorts of things… *ahem*

The point is, we have four brand new factions in High Command, and we have a bonus modelling assistant in the lovely Faultimus Von Durmstrang.

As with the previous two High Command core sets, the box opens to reveal the rulebook, cards that are sealed for your own protection (Ooch! Papercuts!) and a handy-dandy sorting tray for you to sort your cards into.

Would YOU buy a bunch of cards from this man? This may be one of my favourite pics of Faultie ever…

As with previous core sets, some sorting was required…

… and there was significant enthusiasm about cool art and the translation of character fluff from Tabletop game to Card game – such as Father Lucant here, as his machinations not only filter your hand a little but also reanimate a “dead” card from your discard pile.

Then there was some more sorting…

Faultie was very interested to see the Ordic mainstay warjack chassis, the Toro, manifest in card form.

And a little more sorting before we were able to take a closer look at the cards themselves.

High Command: Faith & Fortune gives each of its new factions five Warcasters to choose from, and introduces new themes and mechanics. True to my own obsession with the elves of Ios, let’s start with the Retribution.

I’ll admit I was expecting the five warcasters from Forces of Warmachine: Retribution of Scyrah, but it looks like Garryth’s on sabbatical while Issyria has come to play. A direct reflection of her concept in Warmachine on the tabletop, Issyria has no offensive power of her own, but instead buffs the snot out of every card at her location. Yes, I said that. It’s a quantifiable technical term. Kinda the opposite end of the spectrum to a smidge.

A prevalent theme for the Retribution is hand filtering. Many cards, such as Adeptus Rahn, the Hydra, Aspis, Phoenix, Arcanist Corps and their 2/2 resource Combined Arms, all allow for drawing and then discarding a card, allowing you to tune and filter your hand to hopefully optimize the resources available to you.

The card that most caught my attention was the Soulless Expendables. At 4/4, they hit harder than most warjacks, and are as hard to kill as a light myrmidon, which is amazing for a card that only costs 1 CMD to recruit… but if your opponent destroys them, they’re gone from the game, never to recycle through your discard pile and back into your hand. Worth it? I think so.

The Four Star Syndicate represents the most… well, mercenary of Warmachine’s mercenaries. If you’ve got the coin, they’ll be loyal… In High Command, the Syndicate also includes the Talion Charter’s pirates, such as Captain Phinneus Shae and Fiona the Black.

Their feature mechanic could be loosely described as topdecking. Multiple cards are triggered based on revealing the top card of your deck, and then achieving results based on what card was shown. For the Trollkin Sellswords, if you reveal a Warrior card they cannot be destroyed this turn. The aforementioned Toro is a powerful warjack for its cost, but requires constant maintenance. At the end of your turn it bounces to your hand if the top card of your deck is not a resource.

The flipside to the needy Toro is the reliable Nomad, quite affordable at 4 WAR for a 3/4 heavy warjack, and should it be destroyed, and the top card of your deck is a resource, it returns to your hand rather than the discard pile. Because hey, you can afford the replacement parts to get it up and running again.

The Convergence of Cyriss takes flight with Aurora and her fellow Warcasters. Given that there are at the moment only five Warcasters available for the Convergence of Cyriss, it’s no surprise that all five are represented in Faith & Fortune. Aurora, in particular, exemplifies the sheer mobility of the faction.

Leaning very heavily on the potential to move from location to location, pinning the Convergence’s forces down to a single location will be a chore. Additionally, many triggers move cards from the discard pile back to your hand, such as Pervasive Attendants recycling Servitors, or the Enigma Foundry Core moving cards from the discard pile (or your hand) to a location. For free. Darn robots.

The Diffuser shows the resilience of the Convergence and their recursion style. That Modulator you just crushed with your twin Gnarlhorn Satyrs? It’s back. That Perforator Complement? The Attunement Servitor Array? The Diffuser’s beacon lights the way for them all to come back to the table and really annoy you.

The Highborn Covenant represents the freedom fighters of Llael, seeking a return to independence for their beloved homeland. They’re supported in this by the members of the Searforge Commission, because… well, Rhul borders Llael, so they’re buddies.

One surprise out of Faith & Fortune was Nicolene Beaudrie, a character we haven’t yet seen in Warmachine on the tabletop. Her power seems to be perhaps a touch necromantic given that it’s fueled by her deceased countrymen, though mayhap it’s sheer indignance and a desire for revenge.

Identifying a primary theme for the Highborns is a little more difficult given the array of abilities available to them, but there is a definite focus on Warrior cards. Nicolene and Ossrum both trigger off Warrior cards, as do the Nyss Refugees and Hired Help resource card. Of particular interest is the Precursor Knights and their ability to negate the abilities of Warcasters and Warlocks.

Of interest to me going into the set was how the gun mages of the Amethyst Rose school would be portrayed. While they use magic pistols and bullets like their Cygnaran Arcane Tempest brethren, the Llaelese characteristically seem more inclined to finesse and dueling. In this case, it’s represented by their skill on the draw – they turn up and put a bullet in you before you’ve even registered their presence. BAM!

High Command is Privateer Press’ deckbuilding card game that evolves into a fully fledged LCG with the addition of expansions.The Warmachine and Hordes sets have been with us for awhile now and given my friends and I many fun hours of battling across the length and breadth of Western Immoren. Now, with the addition of Faith & Fortune, not one, but four new challengers have arrived to make life… shall we say… interesting? It releases this month. You should talk to your FLGS and make sure you can nab  a copy for yourself.

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Also, you might like to know that there’s a copy of High Command: Faith & Fortune under lock and key in the Gdaycave that will be given away as a prize soon. How? Listen to LHR ep100 when it’s released to find out!

2 Responses to High Command: Faith & Fortune

  1. Thanks for the writeup! I’m dying to know more about these factions, can you give us an idea of how these compare in power level to the previous core sets?

    • I’ve been playing the Retribution against the established factions and faring reasonably well. The only real issue I’m immediately seeing is that the Retribution cards feels a little light in terms of VPs out of the box (nb: I haven’t actually done a full set analysis to confirm), but I had the same issue with my early Protectorate decks, and as more expansions were released it became less and less of an issue as I was able to customize divisions to suit my preferences.

      I will say, Halberdiers are sweet…