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  • Writer's pictureRobey

Command in Midnight Dark

The Moccus Command Vehicle from Strato Minis is a good example of how you might represent a heavy cavalry or superheavy cavalry element with the Command upgrade

One minor gripe I occasionally heard about the original Horizon Wars was the absence of a real role for leaders after the process of mustering was complete. The CHQ was basically a free element that influenced army building choices and with a couple of upgrades, but otherwise there was nothing very special about it.

The first thing I've done is to take away the points cost changes that a CHQ created. It was a good idea, intended to replicate the fact that, first, commanders tend to bring their friends to the party (a Battle Group commanded by an infantry company commander is going to involve the rest of their company), but also that commanders tend to stick within their lines when it comes to assets they prefer to use, so a tank squadron commander is going to be more familiar with armoured tactics and, therefore, favour elements that support that kind of doctrine over those less intimately involved in it.

But, despite being a good idea, it was mostly just a bit of a pain for players wanting to assemble forces that fit their own ideas of what "thematic" meant. It also involved a table that was hard to remember and also quite confusing to interpret for a lot of players. Doing away with tables is always a good thing.

A feature of the new rules is that a Command upgrade can be given to any element, including aircraft and artillery

But, far more important than that, I've also made the allocation of orders much more intimately connected with the available Command elements. So instead of getting a straightforward two orders per element, players get a supply of orders based on their CHQ, which is then augmented by other Command elements in their Battle Group.

This means that the allocation of orders at the start of a turn is more of a planning process, as players have to decide where to invest them. It also sends a message to your opponent about your intentions, introducing an element of bluff and double-bluff that seemed appropriate to this kind of wargame.

Players can also use orders to generate more orders! In fact, that is the main job of subordinate commanders - elements with the Command upgrade who aren't the CHQ.

But there is one more feature to Command and Orders that I've added, which is rather important. Those who bought the Over the Horizon supplement will find this faintly familiar. If you end up with more orders than you can allocate in a turn, your Battle Group will suffer from "command fatigue" - a degradation of their ability to fight caused by commanders pushing them too hard, too often.

I'll post about what "fatigue" is in a future post, when I talk about the changes to damage.

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