In our recent Shoretrooper Preview article for IACP Season 4, we introduced a new card type for the Mortar Trooper: Squad Upgrade. A hybrid between a Deployment Card and an Attachment, we knew that we would have to tread carefully to make the rules for such a card type as simple as possible. For this reason, this article will contain the latest FAQ regarding Squad Upgrade cards, which will be updated regularly as new interactions and questions are discovered.
7/15/21 UPDATE: This FAQ is being updated for Season 6. With the introduction of Squad Upgrades that can be attached to different groups with different figure costs, it has become necessary to update the rules for how Squad Upgrades interact with cards like Reinforcements and Call the Vanguard.
Most likely this will not cause any changes to how the Mortartrooper Squad Upgrade from Season 4 works, but will add additional clarity for new Squad Upgrades going forward.
Terms of concern:
Base Group = The Deployment Card to which the Squad Upgrade is attached to
Q: What is a Squad Upgrade?
A: A Squad Upgrade is a type of Attachment that adds or replaces a figure in a deployment group. Just like a Skirmish Upgrade, rules and abilities that reference Deployment cards do not affect, do not include, and cannot manipulate Squad Upgrade cards unless the rule or ability states otherwise. For example you cannot exhaust a Squad Upgrade when playing “Take Initiative”, and cannot attach another Attachment card to a Squad Upgrade, including other Squad Upgrades.
Q: How does a Squad Upgrade work?
After attaching the Squad Upgrade, the Squad Upgrade card’s figure is either added as an extra figure to the base group, or replaces a figure within the base group. Unless a Squad Upgrade specifically states that it replaces a model in the base group, no original figure is removed from the base group. The figure provided by the Squad Upgrade uses the health, stats, traits, and abilities of the Squad Upgrade unless otherwise specified. During setup, deploy any figures added from a Squad Upgrade in your deployment zone. These figures are considered part of the attached group for all intents and purposes, but only use the abilities on the Squad Upgrade card unless otherwise specified. Rules and abilities that reference reinforcement cost or figure cost will reference the cost of the Squad Upgrade card when dealing with the figure from that upgrade.
Q: How many copies of a specific Squad Upgrade can I play in my list?
A: Squad Upgrade work just like other Deployment Cards and Skirmish Upgrades in this regard. If it has a red border, it is elite and you can only bring two copies in a list. If it’s grey, it is regular and you may have up to 4 copies. If there is a black dot in front of the name, you may only have 1 copy in your list.
Q: When I kill a figure added from a Squad Upgrade, do I get points equal to the figure cost of the base group?
A: No. Each Squad Upgrade has its own figure cost using the cost of the Squad Upgrade card. This is separate from the figure cost of figures in the base Group. (Example: When the Mortar Trooper dies, it gives 4 points, regardless of what the Shoretroopers’ figure cost is). This figure cost is also used when playing cards that reference figure cost like Call the Vanguard, Primary Target, and Murne’s False Orders.
Q: If I kill all figures of the base group, is the Squad Upgrade automatically defeated?
A: No. The Squad Upgrade adds a figure to the group. This means that even if all Shoretrooper figures in a group are defeated, the group is still considered to have figures in play if the Mortar Trooper has not been defeated.
Q: When I kill every figure in a group with a Squad Upgrade Attachment, do I also score points for the Squad Upgrade attachment in addition to the points for killing the figure that came with it?
A: No, unlike Skirmish Upgrade attachments, you don’t score VPs from the Squad Upgrade attachment when you defeat the last figure in a group with a Squad Upgrade. Those points only get scored when the Squad Upgrade figure is defeated.
Q: Can I use an Squad Upgrade attachment on a deployment card that already has a Skirmish Upgrade attachment?
A: No. The Squad Upgrade card is a type of attachment with added rules and restrictions, and thus follows the normal one attachment per group rules.
Q: Does the Squad Upgrade change the deployment cost of the base deployment card?
A: No. The Deployment Cost of the base group remains the same for the purposes of cards like Strength in Numbers or Change of Plans, even when it has a Squad Upgrade attached to it.
Q: Do I have to activate the added figure before or after activating the rest of my group, like a Companion?
A: No. The figure added from a Squad Upgrade activates as part of the attached group, and follows all normal activation rules for activating a figure within a group.
Q: Can a defeated Squad Upgrade figure that costs 3 be brought back with Reinforcements?
A: Yes. A Squad Upgrade figure’s reinforcement cost is the same as the cost printed on its Squad Upgrade card, regardless of the reinforcement cost of the base group that it’s attached to. In the same way, a Squad Upgrade figure that costs 4 or more cannot be brought back with Reinforcements even if it is attached to a base group of figures that have a reinforcement cost of 3 or less.
Q: If all of the figures in the base group have a reinforcement cost of 3 or less, but have all been defeated except for the Squad Upgrade figure, can the base group figures be brought back with Reinforcements?
A: Yes. As long as a figure in the group is on the board, a figure can be Reinforced. This includes when there is only a Squad Upgrade left, because the base group’s figure cost is the number printed on the base group’s card.
Have any further queries, or other concerns about Squad Upgrade cards and their functionality? Ask us in the comment section below, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.