The long-awaited update of the rules dropped last night (by the Queen’s time). It is an open playtest of a set of tweaks and changes to the 1.0 rules designed to move the game towards its second edition. No unit stat changes are included in this update, presumably as it would require reprinting all the stat cards, something which is more likely to happen with 2.0. Below is a summary of the changes I’ve found. If there are any I’ve missed, or if I’ve misread any, comment below and I’ll update the post. For now this is just a quick summary, I’ll go into fuller detail on some of them in future posts.
1) Placeholder Cards: These are placed into the queue if there are not enough units to fill all the spaces, and during Clean Up when a unit has moved from the Link to Active slot. When a PC enters the active slot it allows its controller to either heal or move a friendly unit, or use an Esper Initiate Action from a friendly unit, then proceed to Clean Up.
2) The value of a point of Held Esper is reduced from 2 to 1.
3) Attack Prevention no longer exists, it is now called Primary Defense Action. It looks as if Damage Prevention should now be called Secondary Defense Action, although it hasn’t been changed in the title on p23. Secondary Defense Actions are referenced elsewhere in a way that suggests they are Damage Prevention.
4) Guard now no longer completely cancels the attack. Instead the target takes half the damage rounded up and ignoring any Armor or Recover, with a cap on the damage placed at 10. Also, Guard no longer prevents Pull or Charge.
5) Redirect no longer sends all of the damage to the new target, but the original target takes half rounded up, and the new target the rest plus all the other effects of the attack. There is no cap on damage. Secondary Defense Actions can be used by both targets.
6) The Danger Zone for squads is reduced from 6″ to 3″.
7) Collision and falling damage sustained by squads is reduced from 3+3 per additional model after the first, to 3+1 per additional model after the first.
8) A condition token can no longer be deposited on the same activation it is retrieved.
9) Knight Slayer is increased to 5VPs for Relic Knights, but remains at 3VPs for Questing Knights. There is a new type of unit called ‘Avatar’, which is the equivalent of a Relic Knight.
10) The Darkfield no longer buffs itself.
11) Many of the victory conditions have been changed or reworded.
12) Recover once again now triggers for the attacker as well as the target.