The Riddle of Iron

Iron. I love the idea of it, as someone who collects 40K spesss mahreinnes. Big, bulky, bad ass.

Seems like it would also make you a big damn target in BE. Every strength is also a weakness, and every weakness can be a strength… and Iron seems in no way an exception to that. I’d be pissed if I bought Iron for my character and it got taken away in the course of the game… but that’s the game of it.

Who has run player characters with Iron? How did those games go? Did you go with Anvil Lord or Cotar Fomas, and what did that mean for your game/world?

Or is Iron usually just a tool of the Antagonists?

(Must get “Faith Conquers” at some point…)

We’ve used it. It works as intended. High-index fights between fusor-equipped Iron squads are really bad, really boring places for non-Iron PCs to find themselves, though.

A Lord-Pilot in iron is the equivalent of a knight in armor in 14th century France. He’s a badass. But power comes in many forms in the Iron Empires, especially depending on the phase you’re playing. Bureaucrats, Financiers, Journalists, Lawyers, Propagandists, et al can prove to be effective, deadly combatants in the Infection. A Lord-Pilot in Iron is a master of one sphere of power (though a missile will still vaporize him), but certainly not all.


I can see the parallels with Coeptir, Armiger, Lords Pilot and the Page, Squire, Knight paths… and Iron is such a big target compared to Plated Mail, though perhaps that is something engendered by years of DnD (yawn, AC3). Iron-clad Lords Pilot just seem more obviously Noble than BW Knights, for whatever reasons (the macrolevel, the strongly feudal setting, Iron being amped Plate).

I can see how tackling Iron in mixed power level groups during Firefight is going to require GM creativity to avoid a mess… although shouldn’t Anvil be f*cked regardless? Isn’t that their lot in life?

I dig all the context stuff. Regale me with stories of your Iron!

claps hands imperiously

Nah, they’re only fucked if it’s all fusors, all the time. If your squad support is some mix of PaCs, missile launchers, and so forth, then shot ops are at least survivable for Anvil-armored troops. But with fusors… They pretty much vaporize anything that’s not Iron.

There’s definitely a bigger gap between Anvil and Iron than between a knight and a dude who has captured a warhorse and cobbled together some second-hand chain, so I think you’re right about the difference being more pronounced. But it’s also tough to put on Iron (all those stentors? It pretty much takes a full-time assistant to get you into Iron, two if you’re in a hurry). So nonferrous Firefights are totally possible.

I love iron because it really makes its mark on play. You can’t ignore it. To attack it you need a counter like air power, heavier armor or iron.

We once played a game on an abandoned then recolonized ringworld. There was one single suit of iron on the world – owned by a former cotar fomas. He took on the entire force of pick-up truck and machingun wielding junta. They couldn’t hurt him, all they could do was slow him down.

It was simultaneously eminently satisfying and frustrating.

On our current world, we have no iron – but we are using the Lords Pilot Hussars. It changes the tenor of the game!

Okay. It’s clear I’ll have to see how mixed sides do in Firefight. I’ll keep the Fusor issue in mind & try to be smart about it.

I can picture a good mess for it. City fighting, close combat. Stalingrad (again), Saving Private Ryan, Kelly’s Heroes. I’ll have to see how Firefight does with tank hunting… I can see it clearly in Mouse Guard (Maneuver to set up a kill shot), but I haven’t run BE yet (obviously).

If rabble in technicals just annoy a dude in Iron, I’d cheer as a fan but I’m sure it would be kinda tough as a GM (ignoring all the non-firefight areas that we’ve discussed so far).

Ahhhh… I didn’t notice that Julius Arnot comes with Iron. Omac just got way more interesting.

I see it being more like a tank on a modern battlefield. Infantry certainly does have and will continue to have an important role–but in the middle of a tank battle he’s tread-bait. He’d better have some powerful anti-tank weapons and an indifference to survival, or an objective that needs taking or holding. He’s certainly not the best for taking out the tanks. That’s best left to (as mentioned above) air power, artillery, and the like.

I have to ammend my man Devin’s comment there, anything squad support that does V damage is pretty horrible, though the H10 hit to a second guy on a Superb Fusor strike is really bad (and probably what he’s getting at in terms of being awful).

It’s an important thing to note that firefights in BE are a lot less about killing the other side and more about out maneuvering them. That said, killing people in Iron is fairly “easy” if you come prepaired for a tank battle since HEAP grenades are super easy to carry and have the Devastator trait. Similar to fighting full plate in BW, killing people in Iron while on the battlefield is about neutralizing their armor and then killing them instead of trying to overwhelm them with raw damage.

If you’re trying to take down a guy in Iron, especially if you’re a bunch of guys in trucks, set stakes about capturing them and then use your maneuvering bonus to flank and advance his dispo into the ground. And if you’ve got high capacity magazines, throwing in the occasional suppressive fire to rattle them and also degrade dispo helps a bunch (and if you’re guys in trucks you probably have heavy assault guns or better bolted to the roof).

The difficult part is the dude in Iron starts out with some hefty dispo bonuses just for being in it (superior weaponry, superior training, etc).