Mars Attacks – Leaders Lead

MA Martian heroThere’s a difference between heroes and leaders. At least, there is some of the time. A few individuals can do both, but many of the heroic survivors of Greenville’s largely disintegrated population aren’t cut out to lead troops in battle. They have other qualities that come into their own under different circumstances and will leave the leading to the army guys.

For the moment though, I just thought I’d mention the military leaders and their signature trick, which is to activate several of their men at once. This allows the leader to make coordinated attacks (or “advances to the rear”) at critical moments in order to overwhelm and surprise the opposition. Normally the turn sequence limits a player to moving two models at a time, but this allows a leader to move himself and then up to four more nearby soldiers. With this ability the military heroes work very nicely with hordes of soldiers around them, which makes sense visually too.

Sergeant level characters now have the ability to do this same trick, but only once per game (rather than with “Hero Points”). This makes waiting for the right moment even more important for them, though it does take a bit of the pressure off your heroes and means that the influence can be spread more widely. The range on this effect is quite short and having several models that can do this allows you to keep your opponent guessing about where the axe might fall.

Of course, on a multi-mat battle this is even more useful. With more troops you’ll want ways to move them around more quickly, and this is just the ticket.

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14 Responses to Mars Attacks – Leaders Lead

  1. Jake says:

    The leader being able to activate multiple models is the ruleset used by World of Twilight. It is a good rule and one i hope will be used more frequently as it makes leaders actually worthwhile

  2. Cool, does playing a card simply substitute for a troop movement? eg you move leader and 4 troops or leader, 2 troops and use 2 cards or even use leader, 1 troop and play 3 cards? Or does it mean you cannot play cards at all in that turn? (possibly a big negative but could easily be worth it to activate the extra troops)

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Not quite.

      Normally, you can activate 1 models + 1 card, or 2 models. Activating the sergeant would be one of those models. His special rule happens to move 4 other models (and that would count as their activation for the round), but it doesn’t eat any more of the 1 or 2 models’ worth you can do that turn. So, you could activate the sergeant, do his special thing (move 4 nearby soldiers), and then play a card – in one turn.

      The ability to get nearby men moving cannot be swapped for playing cvards – that would be a different skill.

      Good point though Jason. I’ll have to make that clear.

      • Thanks for your clarification and your swift response. Its a very interesting concept which would allow you to move sgt/hero +4 and then Sgt/hero +4 in a single turn for a possible 10 model activation turn. On the face of it that sounds very powerful.

        3 questions come to mind
        1 – What range are you thinking for this ability, just the occupied and adjacent squares?
        2 – At what point in the sgt/hero activation can he use the ability, (start/end/anytime.)
        3 – Does the hero/sgt complete his actions before moving onto the ‘commanded’ troops?

        I can picture people clumping models together to use this ability but the downside is an increased vulnerability to support cards, it will be interesting to play test and see the results.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Remember though, that if you burn all these special abilities to make your 10 man activation, the other player will still have to move all his models in that Round, so you may give him that benefit too. When you do this, you need to make it really work for you.

        1 – probably. It needs to be more than the square the model is in, and might need to be a range of 2 (current favourite). I need to try it out with a few different scenarios. Also, if it was on a multi mat game only adjacent would look very small.

        2 & 3 – You have to activate the model to use it (as it’s part of his turn) and it’s simplest to finish each model in sequence so I will make that the rule. Therefore you activate the sgt/hero, trigger the ability at some point, finish their turn. You then go through the triggered models, doing their thing, finishing each one before moving to the next. Then if the sgt/hero was first thing in your activation you can move another model.

        Note that this ability does not buy you any more card plays.

  3. Anthony says:

    Does this “activate” the models moved in this fashion?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Yup. As it says above “and that would count as their activation for the round”.

      What it does is allow you to control the flow of the round rather than getting two goes out of each model. Still powerful though, when timed right.

  4. Anthony says:

    So when’s the stat lines coming in? We had to pickup the two player DzC starter to tide us over till we get some new toys for MA!

    Did your proposal to Mantic turnout good? If so, what was it? If not, what was it?


    • Quirkworthy says:

      The proposal was partly the way Heroics work and the requirements for new counters. Also changed the way hidden things worked and that needed slightly less counters, so dovetailed rather nicely 🙂

  5. Chris says:

    When models are activated by a leader can they attack or is it just movement?

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