Illustration by Corbella
We've made some substantial changes to Command Points
They are one of the key ways a Marine player can get that slight edge if played wisely. There is a definite art to using Command Points too. You need to know when to use them and when to hold onto them. Choose poorly and your whole world as the Marine player
The potential for problems with Command Points
If you're the Marine player, there are never enough to go around. If you're the Genestealer player, you sit there wondering how a Marine can move around the hulk even faster than a Genestealer can each turn. And that violates one of our original concepts... guys in bulky Terminator armour are not as fast as pure bred killing machines suited to the environment.
Command Points are not to be taken for granted
When it came time to look at how we wanted to modify Command Points, we wanted to make them feel like they were connected more to the Terminator Officers on the board and not just a freebie the Marine player got each turn. We began to think of Command Points more like Command Influence. We wanted the Marine Officer to be able to contribute to that effect.
How Command Influence works
The first thing we did was eliminate the redraw of Command Points. You draw once and what you get is what you get. I know, I can hear the cries of heresy already!
We found that having the redraw as the Marine player you began to rely on it and planned for getting "enough" Command Points each turn instead of working with what you know you have (only getting 4APs per Terminator). It felt too disconnected to us. Taking away the reroll forces the Marine player to think about using what he has the best way he can without relying on the extra points just to get the basics done. That being said, we gave the Marine player a bonus by way of the Officer.
Having a Sergeant in play will get you +1 Command Point each turn. He becomes valuable in that he can contribute to the effectiveness of the squad overall. Lose him and lose that extra point. You don't realize how much that one point helps until you don't have it anymore. If you have a Captain in play (rules for him to come later on), he grants an additional +2 CPs each turn. This guy has been around the block and knows what needs to be done if you want to accomplish the mission.
Some restrictions to Command Influence
Since the Officer bonuses are cumulative meaning you could potentially draw 6 CPs, have a Sergeant in play (+1 CP) and have a Captain in play (+2 CP)... there is the possibility of having 9 CPs at your disposal as the Marine player. Now we're right back to where we were before... that violates one of our original concepts... guys in bulky Terminator armour are not as fast as pure bred killing machines suited to the environment.
The solution to this was to cap the total Command Points a Marine player can have at 6 per turn. So no matter what you draw or how many Terminator Officers you may have in play... you'll never have more than 6 CPs to use in a turn. In addition, Command Point bonuses gained from having an Officer in play are lost when they are killed, but not if they exit the board in any way as part of the mission requirement.
The end result
We find ourselves being a little less cavalier with our Sergeants. Sure, they might be tougher than the average Marine, but they are also valuable from a command standpoint and that can be just as important if not more so especially during the later stages in the game where the odds are really stacked against the Marine player.