The Steel Warriors are solid infantry. They have a higher than average defence stat and come with the Headstrong special rule, which allows them to remove suppression each turn. They can be upgraded to take a unit leader and a Hailstorm Autocannon, which, combined with their own weaponry, is great at supressing enemy units. All of their ranged weapons are armour piercing, which allows them to take on foes with a high defence stat, or even light vehicles.
Alongside the Steel Warriors are the veterans of the Forge Fathers. Brakkarim carry a Hailstorm Autocannon each; ideal for dealing with large units of infantry or just piling on suppression. Issilgarim wield anti-armour weaponry, such as Magma Cannons or Missile Launchers. They are the bane of enemy vehicles, as many GCPS Lancer Battlegroups have discovered the hard way. Finally, there are Rekkhyrrs; flame-thrower specialists that are used to clear out enemy positions or hold back massed infantry. Forge Fathers are commonly outnumbered by their foes, so making use of these units will be crucial to your success, either in tackling large numbers, or prioritising anything that poses a severe threat to your soldiers.
You’ll also receive six Forge Guard in your Starter Force. These are a terrifying unit to face in their own right, with a high defence stat of six, plus great ranged and melee combat stats. They can be upgraded to carry heavy weapons to place them in a particular role, e.g. anti-tank support, in addition to their standard loadout of Hailstorm Rifles and Forge Hammers. The commander miniature on the sprue can be fielded either as a unit leader (who grants the unit a command dice and can issue orders) or could even be broken off from the group and fielded as a Huscarl or Forge Lord – the choice is yours!If something is proving too tough to crack, or poses too much of a threat to your infantry, enter the Iron Ancestor. This is the most resilient mech in the game and comes with a twin Hailstorm Autocannon and appropriately over-sized Forge Hammer. They are great at dealing with heavily armoured foes, as both of these weapons are great at going though armour, but can equally be adept at dealing with infantry or fighting in close quarters. The Forge Father Starter Force includes one of these giants.
Finally, there is a Jotunn Weapons Platform. This is mounted with a Heavy Hailstorm Cannon, capable of dealing heavy suppression and taking out teams of infantry each turn. It’s vulnerable in close quarters or short range, so keep it deployed near the back of the board and have it fire on large units to keep them pinned down. As before, the trick is prioritising your targets, so that your Forge Fathers aren’t overwhelmed by faster moving opponents.
Leading the armies of the Star Realm into battle is the Forge Lord and Ingulf Krestursson. The Forge Father Forge Lord is a very handy character, giving your army three Command Dice for issuing orders, as well as bearing an energy shield to war. This makes him resilient to ranged attacks and means that he will survive longer to keep the force together.Finally, Ingulf Krestursson is an infamous Forge Lord. Known as ‘the Dragon’, he has been openly hostile towards humanity for centuries. In addition to the above benefits of a Forge Lord, Ingulf’s Hatred of Mankind allows you to re-roll one order dice per turn when you face the Enforcers or GCPS (including Marauder Auxiliaries). He also wields a Dragon’s Breath flame thrower, which he uses to add to his Forge Guard unit’s firepower.
The Forge Father Starter Force and Forge Lord/Ingulf Krestursson are available to pre-order now and can be found in all good hobby stores from the end of May. If you can’t wait to get started with Forge Fathers, why not get the Operation Heracles Two-Player Battle Set, which will be out very soon!