July 8, 2015 by crew
This is The Wartrader, ready in a minute…
It’s time for another unit spotlight, and given that it’s USAriadna Week, what better unit than the humble Minuteman?
The Minutemen unit goes back a long way in game terms, being present in the 1st edition rulebook back in 2006. It tended not to be taken very often, partly for being pricy in points and somewhat boring with no flashy stuff and partly for having only one (slightly goofy-looking) sculpt. In N3 the unit got a major overhaul in points cost and loadouts.
N2 to N3 Changes
Stat-wise the Minutemen barely changed, gaining a couple of points of CC. However their Jungle Terrain skill changed to the much more flexible Multiterrain and they gained Kinematika level 1 – letting them Dodge an extra inch in reaction with their respectable PH13.
The big changes are in weapons and cost:
- The Light Shotgun sidearms were all swapped for Light Flamethrowers. In several cases, for two Light Flamethrowers.
- Alongside this, the basic loadout of Rifle plus Light Shotgun for 28pt went down to a Rifle and twin Flamethrowers for only 22pt.
- Heavy weapons saw a big shakedown, with the HMG and Panzerfaust options being swapped for an AP HMG and an actual Missile Launcher. The Missile Launcher loadout does, of course, come with a Light Flamethrower. You may be sensing a theme developing here.
- Several older loadouts got combined into the AP Rifle (plus, of course, twin Light Flamethrowers), Marksmanship, X Visor loadout. This costs 7pt over the base loadout but is well worth it – X Visor putting the model on zero modifiers from 16-32″ instead of -3 and -3 from 43-48″ instead of -6. With their base BS13 this makes the trooper surprisingly effective at long range firefights, with the AP Rifle helping to take down armoured targets and the Shock ammo from Marksmanship level 1 helping to permanently take down lighter targets.
- The Paramedic loadout has gone, replaced by a Forward Observer, although with their base WIP12 the Minutemen aren’t that observant, or particularly good at mashing buttons in tournament missions.
- The AP HMG Lieutenant option is a nice addition, both for hiding the LT in plain sight (albeit on a model that’s going to be a prime target anyway) and also for having a 0.5 Support Weapon Cost (SWC) discount, allowing you to take more big guns – an important thing for USArianda as their big guns tend to have higher SWC than is usual for Ariadna.
- Lastly, a completely new loadout has a Boarding Shotgun and Grenades. This makes for an excellent close quarters battle trooper for the times when you want the point-man in your fireteam to have the safety of an opposed Face to Face roll instead of spraying multiple flamethrower templates around the place. Grenades are also an excellent option with the Minetuemen’s PH13 and the range changes in N3.
USAriadna – Minutemen Fireteam
The other big change is that the Minutemen now have their Sectorial force and as expected they are linkable, allowing up to five troopers to move and act as one as part of a fireteam or link.
This has an added impact for some of the new loadouts, to the extent that you’d almost think they were redesigned with this in mind.
- The Burst bonus in a link takes those two Light Flamethrower templates up to three templates in the active turn. Even TAGs and other heavily-armoured troops are going to be seriously considering a Dodge reaction instead of firing back unopposed and taking three automatic fire ammo hits.
- If you get within 8″, the Boarding Shotgun gets frankly terrifying – up to Burst 3 from the link bonus and if it’s a full five-man link you’re on base BS22 – that’s twenty-freaking-two – before cover and camouflage modifiers. If you manage to mark the target on the way in with the Forward Observer (who also gains from the Burst and hit modifier bonuses) that can hit BS25, or 1 in 4 of those Burst 3 shots being a critical and ignoring the target’s armour roll, while at the same time adding 5 to the Minutemen’s dice rolls. Youch.
- Also of note in a link is the Missile Launcher, immediately doubling it’s Burst to 2 in both active and reactive turn, which will frighten anything in the game.
So a very capable and flexible fireteam might be:
Not too bad in points, but that whopping 3SWC can be an issue when writing as a list as it’s half the SWC for a normal 300pt game. As an alternative, swapping out the AP HMG for the Lieutenant version would save you 0.5 SWC, but I quite fancy swapping it out for the AP Rifle/X Visor:
For long distance targets you’ve still got the Missile Launcher and for anything within 32″ the AP Rifle + X Visor isn’t that much less effective than the AP HMG for any target less tough than a TAG. Plus it leaves you with plenty of SWC to take one of those tasty Maverick bikers with a Molotoke.
So how will you load up your Minutemen fireteam?
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"This has an added impact for some of the new loadouts, to the extent that you'd almost think they were redesigned with this in mind..."
"In N3 the unit got a major overhaul in points cost and loadouts..."