First things first, we made a little boo boo in our last article. Specialists are not an exclusive ⅓ ratio for determining their inclusion in a warband, they are inclusive ⅓ . What this means is that as long as the ratio is 1 specialist plus 2 other guys is maintained, you can include as many specialists as you like. The previous reported way was 1 specialist to 3 other guys, and is incorrect. Our bad.
Now then, onto our article for the day, a look at the Caravanners warband for This is Not a Test. The Caravanners have a lot of options for a player, though they are the only warband in the core rulebook that has a single leader choice. Let’s take a look at each section of the roster and see what fun we can find.
The Trade Master is the only available choice for the Caravanners and comes in at a BS cost of 80. He starts with Scavenger and two other skills of his choice from any of the skillsets. This gives you as a player a wide range of options to build up a leader character to do exactly what you want. His stats are solid, with a Defence of 6, 2 wounds, Move 5, Melee 6, Ranged 6, Strength 6, and Mettle of 7.
To me, the real advantage of the Trade Master is his customization potential. Pick two specific skills that you want and then equip him from the armory and you can build a character that wears a lot of different hats. Want a gunslinging shootist? Can do. Want a melee murder machine? Can do. Want an inspirational leader? Can do.
The Caravanners have a couple of options for their elites choices. You can grab a Caravan Lieutenant, a Tracker, or you can grab a Local Emissary. Local Emissary is a code word for grabbing an Alpha Mutant, a Raider Champion, a Tribal Representative, or a Warden, tooling them up, and adding them to your dudes. This gives you options to either fill in gaps in your existing war band’s capabilities or to go for broke on their strengths.
The Lieutenant is a mini Trade Master in a lot of ways. He costs 45 BS, and has a slimmer stat line than his boss. He’s got a Defense of 6, 1 wound, 5’s in Move, Melee, Ranged, and Strength, and has a Mettle of 6. He also doesn’t have his boss’s skillset access, being limited to Leadership, Marksmanship, Survival and Tenacity. He starts the game with the Motivator Skill and one other skill of choice. With Motivator, you’re going to want the Lieutenant in the middle of a bunch of other caravanners so they can get the bonus to activation. If you want hilarity ensues, give him the All Together skill so that he can mass activate other models around him.
The Tracker has a slightly higher BS cost of 50, and stats identical to the Lieutenant. The primary difference between the two of them comes down to their skillset. The Tracker comes with both the Reconnoiter and Trekker skills, and has access to the Marksmanship, Quickness and Survival Skillsets. Reconnoiter gives them a free movement action before initiative is determined, allowing them to get where they need to be. Trekker allows them to make an Agility test to ignore difficult terrain. You can equip them with close combat weapons and have them sneak into the bad guy lair, or you can give them big guns and hide them in difficult terrain.
Rank and File
The Rank and File has two choices for the Caravanners, the Caravanner/Defender and the Lugger. Defenders are upgraded caravanners who gain the Brave skill for 3 extra BS. The base caravanner has a statline of Defence 6, 1 wound, Move of 5, Melee 4, Ranged 4, Strength and Mettle of 5. For a base BS cost of 20, you can pick up several of these guys for your warband. Experience is only going to take them so far, as they only have access to Marksmanship, Melee, and Survival.
Luggers are the dedicated Melee unit in the Caravanners warband. For 20 BS, you get a Defense 6, 1 wound model that has Move 5, Melee 5, Ranged 3, Strength 5 and Mettle 5. They also come with the Brute Skill and the Dumb general ability. Load them up with a big melee weapon and let them smash something’s head in.
The Caravanners have two specialists available to their warband. You can grab the Caravan Guard if you want to add support weapons to your available pool of firepower. They cost an extra 5 BS for this ability, but with a ranged stat of 5, and access to the Marksmanship, Melee, and Quickness skillsets, there are worse things to spend 30 BS on. Overall stats of Defense 6, 1 wound, Move 5, Melee 4, Ranged 5, Strength 5, and Mettle 5.
The Caravan Runner is probably the star player of the Caravanners many options. For 30 points, you get Defense 6, 1 wound, Move 6, Melee and Ranged 4, Strength and Mettle of 5. You also get the Flighty and Leap skills, which combine to make the Runner one of the most agile pieces on the table. It can disengage freely, and ignore difficult terrain gaps that are less than an inch wide. They are your objective grabbers, stuff takers, and get the hell off the board guys.
Overall, the Caravanners have a wide range of potential play styles backed up by pieces that will let you play with the style you like the most. Skill options combined with the ability to grab people from other warbands means that you can go to town on your warband and still be able to handle the challenges of the scenario. The thing that would concern me are the potential fragility of your people, and the lack of a specialty created by the versatility you have in your army. You are a jack of all trades warband, and you need to use that versatility to your advantage from scenario to scenario.
All right guys, that’s our look at the caravanners warband for This is Not a Test. Next week (hopefully) we’ll cover the mutants, and the awesome craziness of the mutant horde.
Game on, Game Fans