Updated: May 28, 2021
We're getting closer to the planned release date of Friday 28th May 2021 for Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark, so it's time to talk about a key feature of the game: pilots.
Now, I say "pilots", but we could be talking about captains, commanders, or even the artificial Mind of the ship itself. One way or another, though, it's the person who decides what a vessel does and when.
Like a vessel, a pilot has a stat line of M, F, A and D. But unlike a vessel, a pilot's stats are a modifier from -3 to +3.
To keep things simple, all vessels start with a generic pilot with 0 in all four stats and no special qualities. You can choose to ignore pilots entirely, if you think they're too fiddly for you and you want to focus on the vessels. That's completely fine and easy to do. But I think, once you're familiar with the rules, you'll want to have some fun with "heroes".
A hero is a named pilot and before you even get to the stats of your pilot, you'll want to give them that name, as well as choose for them an attitude and a history. Perhaps you'll make a cocky smuggler or a ruthless veteran or an enigmatic mystic... There are six attitudes and six histories to choose from, giving you 36 possible heroes, each choice providing an extra edge in combat before we even get to stats.
A hero starts, meanwhile with a choice of up to two stats in which they can take +1. Or, they can take a negative to give them an extra +1. So you can take +2 in one stat, -1 in another and +1 in a third. As long as the total adds up to 2 and no modifier is higher than +3 or lower than -3, you're good.
This, of course, is just the start for you hero.
If you play linked missions in a campaign, heroes have the chance to earn XP, which can be spent on new abilities and new modifiers. In fact, it's not just heroes who earn XP. Even generic heroes can earn XP and, if they do, there's a chance that they'll graduate from generic to hero and begin telling a story of their own!
Since this blog was written, Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark has released on time and can now be bought from Wargame Vault. BUT WAIT! Because you've made the effort to read this blog, you can get an exclusive 15% discount on the PDF edition by following this link instead!