As part of a regular series, I’ll be talking about the sub lists in each faction. As a standard caveat, I’m only some dude who doesn’t play every sub-list of every faction. But these articles should serve as a jumping off point for players interested in knowing more.
The Liberati Resistance Cells in the Story of Heavy Gear
Liberati are free contractors who work the dangerous surface of Caprice. They work mines, repair the autofactories scattered across the planet, and do myriad jobs to help keep the demanding economy of Gomorrah going. Everything from food and water, to steel and high end electronics might well pass through their hands from the factories outside of the cat’s eye trench. The have positioned themselves as independent contractors, part of a pseudo-union of Liberati and the corporations are forced to deal with them despite not liking employees they can’t control. When the CEF took over Caprice, they had little time for the Liberati’s ways, considering them anti-government. Many Liberati also never accepted the CEF as the new rulers of Caprice and a burgeoning resistance movement grew out of them. While not all Liberati are resistance fighters against the CEF, a significant enough portion are that they get broadly painted that way. Some corps are even secretly aiding them, hoping to eventually drive Earth out.
The Liberati have been working to get allies abroad. They sent an envoy to Terra Nova in secrecy and helped to create the Black Talons. Talon teams were sheltered by them in their attempts to blunt the CEF invasion of Terra Nova. Now that the CEF is back on Terra Nova, some Liberati cells have slipped along with the invasion force and bring their mounts to bear against the invaders in support of their new Terra Novan allies.
The Liberati Resistance Cells are hit and run forces. Despite their heavy mounts, they are very vulnerable to the full might of a professional army, especially air power. This means that they have to engage in hit and run attacks, assassinations, and lightning raids before melting back into the mountains and trenches to hide among the population. Their pilots tend to fight bravely. They have often spent their whole lives driving mounts for utility purposes, making them excellent pilots. They bring highly customized or improvised warmachines to the battlefield eschewing the usual load outs of Caprice corporate forces. Having had access to space travel, they will also sometimes have allies from the Black Talons, or resistance fighters from Eden or Utopia on their side. Every attack has to be carefully planned. If they get pinned down, they are likely to be wiped out.
Heroes of the Resistance: Each combat group may select any one gear or strider from Caprice’s list to be a duelist. This force cannot use the Independent Operator rule for Duelists.
This is why you play Liberati. Being able to build a bunch of customized striders is not only fun, it’s really deadly! Duelists have the lead by example trait, so each time one of your mounts causes damage, you give out SP to everyone within 12” INCLUDING other duelists. With all those skill points, you can do some real damage, hand out orders, and keep yourself alive. Adding precise to some of the high end weapons on your already stable mounts is very effective for a low cost. None of the mounts are Lumbering meaning you can buy shields or even Agile for them to make them even more survivable. Remember that Duelists also can get veteran upgrades. This could allow for some very deadly melee striders (some of which already start with bonus Brawl dice).
A last note: remember that SP become CP on leaders, so there is some incentive to make your commanders duelists.
Allies: You may select models from Black Talon, Utopia or Eden (pick one) for secondary roles.
As with the generic Caprice Invasion force, this lets you plug some holes in your forces. Black Talons can provide much needed recon gears for your anti-tank missiles. Utopia and Eden can bring cheap units to give you some numbers, or even more movement flexibility with Utopian VTOL armigiers.
Ambush: One combat group may use the special operations deployment regardless of their role.
The last thing Carpice needed was extra movement up the table, and it’s just what you get. This is particularly interesting for frames like the Kadesh that have rotary cannons that could start in good range, and can be made into a melee monster fairly easily with a few duelist upgrades. Remember that this is optional, so you can save it for those times you end up able to exploit a hole or have a bad deployment zone.
Leaders of the Resistance: This force must select at least one assassinate objective. Select other objectives normally.
Usually this is seen as a downside or balance, but with Caprice it can free you up to take Fire Support or multiple Strike units without being locked into missions that are harder to achieve with low model count forces such as capture or break the line.
Liberati on the Tabletop
Like all Caprice forces, Liberati will be almost entirely striders (caprice Mounts) making for a high durability, low model count force. This is even more pronounced with the inclusion of duelists. It’s pretty easy to go crazy in building a Liberati force and you may find yourself going up against a small number of extremely deadly and hard targets. Against the Liberati, careful deployment is key. You know you will be facing an assassination objective so consider where your targets can retreat to stay safe but also impact the battlefield so that they wont be wasted points. Somewhere they can pop out and fire, fire indirect, or be in range to issue orders is ideal. As with other caprice forces, you can use a numbers advantage against them. Play the scenario, and try and crowd them off objectives or take Hold and Detailed Scan, which are easier to achieve against them. Detailed Scan in particular is worth noting because Caprice has a pretty poor EW game, almost entirely relying on the Bashan. While effective at it’s role, its one of the easier mounts to take down, and may well be too far forward due to it’s poor sensor range. Focus on the mission, don’t try to go head to head with a monster duelist unless you can finish the fight, and you should be able to wear them down and win the long game.