Guide to Warpath: Units and Activation

With Warpath and Firefight hitting stores last week, we thought it would be a great time to take a look through the mechanics of the game  – so people can learn to play using their new armies – or Deadzone forces scaled up. Today, we’ll be going through the basics of Warpath and Firefight – how units work on the tabletop and how you can use them in battle which will set the groundwork for looking at other mechanics in future articles.

In both Warpath and Firefight, your forces will be made up of units. Units are comprised of miniatures, either Infantry, Large Infantry, Massive Infantry or Vehicles. You build your units before the game, with each one being limited to a certain size with a certain number of upgrades.

A Team of Asterian Marionettes from Warpath

In Firefight a unit is composed of individual miniatures, each one tracking things like damage, line of sight and weaponry individually. In Warpath, units are made up of teams, where multiple miniatures are formed up into one team, that is treated as a single entity on the tabletop which attacks and takes damage as one. Warpath’s system allows for larger forces to be controlled easily and quickly to facilitate larger games, while Firefight is built for more detailed gameplay on a smaller scale. This does not limit how you can play these games – you can play small games of Warpath or large games of Firefight without issue.

canada goose Units can be upgraded with additional weapons or specialists. There are three types of upgrade; Equipment, Personnel and Support. In Warpath, a team may only take one of each upgrade and in Firefight, these are specifically limited in each unit entry.

This team of Plague 3rd Generation Troopers has been given a HMG Equipment upgrade.

An Equipment upgrade replaces one miniature’s weapon with another, adding to their firepower. In Firefight, this replaces that miniature’s shooting completely, but in Warpath, this simply adds an extra attack without affecting the original unit’s attacks. These work in the same way for both melee and ranged weapons.

A unit of GCPS Rangers with a Leader Personnel upgrade.

celine bags canada goose A Personnel upgrade replaces one of the miniatures in the unit with a specialist or leader. The new miniature is armed in the same ways as the rest of the unit, unless stated otherwise and they add new abilities. Leaders grant units better morale, Medics make units more resilient, Engineers can repair vehicles and so on.

A unit of Enforcer Pathfinders with a D.O.G. Drone Support Upgrade.

A Support upgrade adds a new miniature to the unit, rather than replacing an existing one. The best example of this is the Enforcer Pathfinders’ D.O.G. Drone. This extra model can add its attacks to the unit it joins, as well as adding abilities, such as the D.O.G. Drone’s RDL Transmission special rule.

In games of Warpath or Firefight, you and your opponent take it in turns to activate your units in order to fight and outwit each other across the tabletop, through firepower, close quarters combat or capturing objectives. The core of both games is similar to our Sci-Fi Skirmish game, Deadzone, in that it works around activating units (sometimes known as alternate activation).

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At the beginning of the game, the two players roll for initiative – the player who rolls highest gets to choose who has the initiative first this turn. The player with initiative may then issue up to two different short actions or one long action to one of their own units. Once these actions have been completed, the initiative moves to the opposing player. Both players carry on in this way until all of the units on the board have activated, at which point, the turn ends. In the next turn, the player who activated all of their units first will have the initiative first.

Although there are some things that can alter this sequence – most notably orders – almost everything in a game of Warpath, from occupying terrain to shooting, uses this simple system. Some examples of Short actions include Movement, Shooting, and Regrouping, while long actions include Assaulting, Overwatch and performing a Double Move. We’ll cover how these work in a future article.

If you want to get started with Warpath or Firefight, you can pick Operation Heracles or the Rulebooks from any great hobby retailer, or from our Webstore. You can even download the starter rules from Operation Heracles for free right now from the website!

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