The scenario you play will determine the number of points you have available to purchase soldiers and equipment with. You start off by picking a faction, which suits your playing style. These are:
- Advancers – believe strongly in genetic engineering and bio-modification. A good way to get some extra enhancements to outwit your opponent.
- Commonwealth High Guard – trained from a young age as the personal bodyguard to the High Guardian, they are easily the toughest faction. Stand back and shoot.
- Corporations – have a strong background in technology and weapons development, so can easily afford the best weapons. Good for deploying lots of heavy weapons.
- Criminal Gangs – not short of numbers, but relatively unskilled. A cheap squad if you like to get into close combat, but expect to lose a few men on the way.
- Grand Families – have a few tricks up their sleeve, but an all round, balanced faction.
- Ideologian Clerics – a quasi-religious order which relies upon its special psionic abilities. Weak at shooting, but more than make up for it with other skills.
- Mercenaries – exceptionally tough soldiers, so expect to be outnumbered
- Privateers – starship crews are a tightly-knit bunch. Great if you like to use super-heavy weapons to shred your opponent before they even see you.
- Security Forces – one of the most popular factions, but well balanced in their abilities.
Read the background about each faction
Once you have picked a faction, the next step is to equip them. Some factions will have special abilities or equipment as standard issue. A good example is the Commonwealth High Guard who are all equipped with expensive, but resilient Mirror Armour. The items that you can purchase for your squad include:
- A wide range of weapons including simple pistols, a range of rifles, crewed weapons and even aerobots.
- A number of armour types ranging from Light up to the heavyweight Exosuit.
- Enhancements to improve the basic profile of a character, such as ‘Fleet of Foot’, which gives the ability to move further than normal.
- Skills and upgrades to give your character some extra abilities, such as ‘Repel’ which allows them to try and avoid close combat
When equipping your squad, there are millions of combinations to try out, but they can be broken down roughly into the following categories.
- Shooting – the squad is designed for standing back and picking off the enemy at a distance.
- Combat – heavily weighted towards close quarters combat.
- Skilled – a highly skilled squad will mean you have less characters on the gaming table, but could tip the balance in your favour if you pick carefully.
- Balanced – a good, all-round squad will give the best chance of winning in most situations.
- Mission – if you know the scenario before you pick your squad, then mission-based equipment and skills are likely to win the battle.