Today we will be diving into the new releases for Four Star Syndicate and The Highborn Covenant in the Ultimate Weapons expansion for High Command: Faith and Fortune.
For our previous review on the new releases from Ultimate Weapon for Convergence and the Retribution, see our previous article.
Shae, Rogue of the Western Seas is the new warcaster for the Highborn Covenant. Priced at an expensive 5 CMD to rush and boasting respectable hitting power, his special ability, Plunder’s Prey, is really interesting to me for its application and implied aggressive nature since it requires the player to capture locations prior to use, making the Rogue of the Western Seas an obvious mid-to-late-game drop. Given the lack of restrictions on it, I am actually quite fond of this card since it simply destroys enemy cards outright, making it a fantastic option for clearing out hardened enemy cards like colossals, gargantuans, and battle engines.
The Sea Dog Boarding Crew is a swarm-oriented card with its generally low stats and the Impressment ability, and will consequently need to be paired with Press Gang cards in order to get the most efficient use out of them. Unfortunately, as both of these cards are bereft of victory points, care should be taken with Boarding Crew-based strategies where the rest of your detachment cards are concerned, specifically by prioritizing the inclusion of scoring cards to make up for the implied deficit.
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire takes the necromancy mechanics of cards like the Wandering Necromancer and Thrall cards and makes a strong, aggressive, and viable strategic module out of them, breathing new life into the “Thrallstar” build. With the recycling mechanics of Grave Summons and the cost reduction bonus brought by the Wandering Necromancer, Alexia will allow a Four Star player to keep constant and often overwhelming pressure on her location.
The Galleon is the Four Star Syndicate’s colossal card in Ultimate Weapons. While a bit low on the Health-side of the spectrum for a colossal, its potential offensive application is quite respectable by being to apply 4 Power to one location and 2 to another. It also scores a welcoming two victory points, has great resource stats for a Four Star card, but is a bit higher on its purchase and rush cost than I would prefer. In spite of its cost, however, I still find the card to be rather fetching.
The Syndicate’s Mechanical Mastery card is Raluk Moorclaw, the Iron Monger. Raluk follows a similar pattern as the Retribution’s Emyliss Shyeel with his high rush cost, lack of victory points, and a special ability that has been a bit difficult to get to work in a satisfying way. That aside, I think that Raluk is actually a bit better at his job than the other Mechanical Mastery cards given his higher health value and strong resource stats in a faction that finds them lacking.
Gorten Grundback appears in an elevated form as Gorten, Hammer of Rhul, the new epic-styled warcaster for the Highborn Covenant. While his Power stat is disappointingly low at first glance, his special ability, Legacy of the Clan combined, with the Battlegroup Commander ability allows him to reap decidedly strong dividends, giving you at least 11 Power to bring to bear with Gorten and a pair of Grundback Gunners. This will give you the means to clear out a location and a pair of solid cards to hold them with.
The Steelhead Cavalry Company is another aggressive damage and health ramping card. It has expectedly-high resource stats and even has a fair rush margin, albeit at the cost of coming without any victory points. While you may be tempted to stack your deck with Steelhead cards in order to get the strongest benefit from the Steelhead Cavalry Company, be mindful that none of the currently-available Steelheads are scoring cards at this point in the release cycle, so be careful not to inundate your deck with them lest you put yourself at a disadvantage. Perhaps the release of the Steelhead Rifelmen Company will change this, but only time will tell where future releases are concerned.
Rutger Shaw & Taryn Di La Rovissi are another high-synergy card for the Highborn Covenant thanks to their Warjack Marshal ability. While in mixed Rhulic/Human decks you can make some good work out of pairing them with Grundback Gunners or Blasters, you will most likely find yourself instead reaching for the scoring and most-excellent Duelist warjack for its great rush margin and single victory point. While Rutger and Taryn have a rather high rush cost given their stats, you can always get them on the table via Ashylnn, Heart of the Resistance’s special ability, Llael Will Rise Again, or by pairing them with Damiano and his cost-reduction ability, Conquest.
The Ghordson Earthbreaker, the Covenant’s colossal card, has the highest base Health stat in the game, allowing the thing to live nearly forever. While its Power value leaves something to be desired, its special ability, Driller, has the potential to effectively increase its offensive presence against the right build, like when facing down Woldwrath-heavy Circle Orboros decks. It is also worth mentioning that, where its damage output is concerned, Highborn has several Warjack Marshal cards that can increase the Earthbreaker’s damage output without having to rush a war caster, with the Hammerfall War Marshal being a particularly standout example given their like detachment options. The Earthbreaker has the expectedly high rush margin that you might expect from a Rhulic card, and has the highest rush cost of any Faith and Fortune card thus far, making its modest single victory point a little disappointing.
Thor Steinhammer is the Highborn Covenant’s bearer of the Mechanical Mastery ability, and is honestly my least favorite of the four given his high rush cost, lack of victory points, extremely low Power stat. That said, the Highborn Covenant is flush with cards that have resource values of 2 CMD/1 WAR or 1 CMD/2 WAR, so if you can keep Thor on the table long enough to try and force a colossal or battle engine on the table, Mechanical Mastery can be a real boon. Consequently, you will want to look for Shield Guard cards like Ogrun Bodyguards and Vanguards to keep him alive long enough to do so.
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