Fallen Frontiers Faction Focus: Harvesters

Hail commanders,

It is time to end the review of the four factions of Fallen Frontiers.  Last but not least, the most mysterious and dreaded of all : the Harvesters.

A terrible foe
Very little is known about the cyborg race classified as Harvesters. The first encounter of humanity with these beings date from the Beta Tharken 17 tragic event, where contact with a full colony and its supporting fleet was lost. In a few hours all members of the expedition were assimilated, and no witness survived to warn about the threat.

The loss of Tharken was just the beginning, a simple skirmish compared to what happened afterwards… the siege of Terra. This started a few months later, with a scale and violence that totally overwhelmed the human defense forces.

When communications with Earth ceased, the colonies and terran fleets were suddenly isolated and abandoned to their fate. This triggered a state of emergency in the Ares Condominium and the Sayx Enterprises pacification fleets patrolling the borders, and all of them took full independence from the Central Government council of Earth.

Meanwhile in Earth a desperate campaign was in march, a conflict where humanity not only faced one of the worse menaces ever known, but its own survival. Hordes of necroslaves and warriors arrived in great numbers from Harvesters ships that easily opened some breaches through the terran orbital defenses and the local fleet. Earth itself become a nightmarish battlefield where the only options were to endure or being assimilated.

 

The dead troopers
Harvesters don´t have an army, or at least not a conventional one. There is no Harvester society, since every individual of this race is virtually a minion under the control of the Cybermasters. However even these few “privileged” ones can´t be considered free,  but merely executors of a greater entity´s will.

Harvesters don´t have an specific physiognomy, because any of their victims join and shape the dreaded legion. The bodies of the dead corpses, frequently slaughtered and deteriorated, are recycled to create cyborgs by using an advanced and esoteric technology. That makes of any individual of other races, from a child to an adult or a monstrous animal, a potential lethal slave at Harvester´s service.

Harvester tactics
Harvesters are probably the most “unique” army of Fallen Frontiers universe. And by this we don´t talk about their advanced weaponry or fearless troops, but their efficient system to assimilate enemies and increase their own ranks. If an enemy commander does not prevent this, he/her will discover in fear how their own casualties rise again to fight at enemy´s side. An unfair warfare that usually turns the balance for the Harvesters.

A Harvester army is not characterized for the range of their weapons or brutal close combats, but the ability to recover from suffered casualties and dealing chaos and confusion through the enemies. The standard weapons of Harvester troops have the SUPRESSION or ABDUCTION skills, which areboth very effective in order to crush the opponent´s will of fight (either by taking several morale tests or suffering the assimilation of casualties). Needless to say that tactical cards like Terror tactics of Assimilation are great options to enhance this particular characteristic of the army.

Morale is another of the strongest points of Harvesters. By deploying Heroes with Cybermaster in the adequate places we can form a Fearless horde that automatically passes morale checks. However we must be careful and protect these units from sneaky shooters and unwanted charges, or they could die and let our troops in a vulnerable position,  in particular for Necroslaves (see Exhaustion skill).

Talking about Necroslaves, we would like to get this unit closer to the enemy as soon as possible in order to get the benefits of our ABDUCTION weapons. To achieve this, it might be useful to get cheap tactical cards like Forced March or Brisk Pace, or even perform a Quantum Leap, in a way that enemy casualties are kept in range to be assimilated.

But let us no fool ourselves, leading a Harvester task force in not an easy task, since one of their weaknesses is the command points generation. Their heroes do not usually contribute with too much Command, so it is critical to manage it carefully or eventually play cards like Logistics or Scavenge.

Conclussions
Harvester is the most different faction of the game, both for background and mechanics. This is probably an army more recommended for veterans, because here it is very important the correct use of command points and the skills available. Much of the Harvesters performance in battle depends on their powerful skills, wearing down the enemy and breaking their morale.

Harvester´s units are very different than those of other factions, which makes them more difficult to be learnt and understood by novel players. This unawareness in the enemy produces paranoia and doubts that can be easily exploited by Harvester´s players, leading them to victory.

If you are that kind of player that enjoys commanding a fearless legion and spreading terror and desperation through the battlefield, then Harvesters are probably your best choice. There not many scenarios worse than facing an army of merciless automatons, who are capable of enslaving their enemies. So… why should be prolong the inevitable and not embrace their cause?

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Reaper

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