Creating Heroes with Kai Lek Atastrin

Ruben Catalan's Kai Lek Atastrin

Players of BtGoA v1 will have noticed that there is at least one hero missing: Kai Lek Atastrin, the limited edition model given away in the first Xilos box. We will use him here to illustrate an option players could use as a bit of fun: creating personal heroes.

All the character models are heroes to one degree or another. They are costed using a spreadsheet that includes a lot of different factors as well as experience from playtesting. However, players often like creating their own, notable individuals or leaders for their squads and giving them a background. Here, we run through some rules for customising those individuals so players can run them for themselves.

We are aware that some of these costs and up summing to somewhat more than a normal model. this is because such a build process is easily nerfed: once you have some experience, do drop the final total by a point if you think it reflects the models abilities better. When totalling the points, always round up!

The Heroes System Step by Step

We happily acknowledge this is a rough-and-ready process, but can give some idea of how to modify your own heroes. The points costs given are for each upgraded model, but apply to the unit, as a whole, just like upgrading commander models in a Command squad.

Step 1: Base Model

To create your own character, take a single model’s stat line in the army lists that most match the figure you are looking for. We recommend that squad leaders are used over other models as they already have playtested and discounted stats.

Equipment should be as the underlying model, but minor upgrades could be given for free or nominal (0.25pt) cost: a plasma pistol in place of a carbine would be free, for example. All equipment should be available from the faction to which the model belongs and should be able to be carried and used by the model (no plasma duocarb’s on Ghar Outcasts, for example).

Step 2: Stat Upgrades

Stat upgrades should then be applied, but take note of the free increases that go along with Tough.

Stats should not be increased more than the maximum given above the species normal, physical limits, and Co and Initi stats should not be increased beyond that of a commander’s stats for the force. The costs and limits for each are below, remembering that at the end, points costs should be rounded up.

M+1 over base to max 70.25 (1/4) pt
Ag+2 over base to max 80.25pt per
Acc+1 over base to max 80.5pt
Str+2 over base to max 80.25pt per
Res+1 over base0.5pt
Init+2 over base0.25pt (1/8) per
Co+2 over base0.25pt per up to Co 8;
then 0.5pt per up to Co 10
Step 3: Special Rules

Finally, give the model Special Rule upgrades with the costs as noted. Where a special rule also comes with stat upgrades, they still cannot exceed the limits above. We have not listed each Faction’s special rules, frankly because we are unsure of how each can be affected by this process, and those that are not listed should be discouraged!

Ace, cost 2pts (vehicles, drones and humongous beasts only). A Damage Table adjustment. Ace 2 should be very rare and costs +2pts on top of this for a total of 4pts,

Agile, cost 0.5pt (1/2pt). Use a weapon in hand-to-hand using a character’s Acc stat.

Army Option(<option>), cost var. These should be costed at the cost of the Army Option <option>. Models should not be able to take Army Options from outside their list.

Command, Follow, cost 1pt each. Command allows others to use this model’s Co stat; Follow allows this model to have another unit to copy its order. Units that have a model with Follow also inherit the Command sub-type (so Infantry to Infantry Command).

Hero, cost 0.5pt. Allow others to use this model’s Init stat.

Loyal Bodyguard, cost 0.25pt. this should be rare on characters as it can be somewhat sacrificial. There is a possible nerf here whereby a Loyal Bodyguard can be given two Wounds, but it is not something we’d encourage.

Medic, cost 1pt. Note that Isorians have Monitor, instead.

Savage Strike, cost 1pt for the whole unit. Whilst individuals have Savage Strike, they actually affect the whole unit.

Sniper, 2pts. Use sparingly!

Tough, cost 1pt. Each Tough increase also comes with a one point increase in a single stat up to a maximum of one over the base stats for type. So a Concord Strike Trooper with Co 8 could only increase their stat to Co 9 using the ‘heroes’ method. Tough should never be discounted.

Unique, free. Automatic. All characters are unique!

Wound, cost 1pt; Wound 2, +2pts for an overal cost of 3pts (1 for Wound 1 plus 2 for Wound 2). Wound should never be discounted.

Strike Leader Kai Lek Atastrin

We’ll create Kai Lek Atastrin using the above system, and give some of his background.

Stats: Strike LEader Kai Lek Atastrin

To replicate something usable but approaching the Xilos stats, we use a Strike Leader in a Concord Strike squad. The Strike Leader already has the first Tough, so using the above process we first give him Tough 2 with a stat increase of Co to 9, then another Tough to Tough 3 and a Res stat increase of +1. Finally, we add a Wound.

This is an increase of +3 points: (Tough with Co increase) + (Tough with Res increase) + Wound = +3.

In summary: Kai Lek replaces a Strike Leader in a single Strike Squad for +3 pts, making the total unit cost 13 with him in command.

Strike Leader Kai Lek Atastrin with plasma carbine,
x-sling with slingnet, plasma grenades; hyperlight armour
55556(8)79Tough 3, Wound, Unique
Background: Kai Lek Atastrin

Kai Lek Atastrin is a member of one of the few Concord Combined Command formations to have experience of fighting amongst the ruins of Gatebuilder settlements. He was part of an expedition onto the world of Dama Tu, which lay in the Aan Segment in a region little explored since the beginning of the Seventh Age. The planet was known to have a small Gatebbilder base. The Concord mission transported to the surface close to what appeared to be a subterranean complex.

Kai Lek’s squad was just one of these that found itself searching the ruins when they were ambushed by a force of Vorl. Even the IMTel had failed to detect the presence of the Vorl, and the Concord force was rapidly overcome. Kai Lek led his squad out from the ruins into the open from where they were transported back to their ship.

They were one of very few survivors, and none doubted that it was only Kai Lek’s extraordinary bravery and steely determination that ensured his entire squad made it back alive. Kai Lek himself was wounded numerous times during the retreat from the tunnels, but he still managed to drag a badly injured comrade from the claws of the Vorl and fight his way through an enemy blocking force to escape their chitinous clutches.

Fiction: Kai LEk MEets the Vorl

The towers soared above the jungle, thrusting skyward like ascending starcraft, vast and forbidding even in ruin. No one knew what race had built the towers nor for what purpose they were raised. Despite the best efforts of the Concord’s exploration teams the multi‐layered maze of buildings and tangled passageways beneath remained unfathomed.

‘Spotters forward five yan scout orange.’ The squad leader spoke softly and the squad’s two spotter drones glided silently ahead at his command. Kai Lek Atastrin motioned for the rest of the squad to wait. The drones’ eyes would do the work for now, checking the passages and rooms that lay in their path. The mechanical clicks that recorded the machines’ progress played out into Kai’s combat shard interface. The full spectrum of the drones’ cameras relayed their ghostly images onto his visor’s screen. Seeing what they saw. Sensing everything their mechanical senses were able to discover.

At Kai’s signal the squad hoisted their plasma carbines and followed their leader beneath the first archway. The walls, sheer and dark, rough‐hewn from stone that glittered with embedded mica, rose over and enclosed them. As the drones explored the ruin, a map began to unfold in the unit’s combat shard. Kai watched as little pulses of light advanced across his visor’s screen, each member of the squad a green dot, the two drones yellow in the distance. He felt a keen responsibility for those tiny green dots. This was their first taste of fighting outside the simulators. He had not lost a trooper in three years of fighting. He was not about to start now.

The blast threw Kai to the ground. Chunks of stone bounded from his armour with a shriek of coruscating violet. The shock of impact was barely dispersed by the suit’s hyperlight shield. For a split second Kai’s connection with the unit’s combat shard blurred into a disorienting multi‐coloured haze. The squad leader’s audio link crackled and spat with the gasps and cries of his four charges.

Kai’s vision cleared a little as his suit’s sensor arrays adjusted to the dust. Spent plasma splinters embedded in the walls and roof cast a dying light over the rubble‐strewn chamber. ‘Status,’ he barely framed the word. The machinery that melded him to the rest of the squad was sensitive to the slightest thought.

‘Red… click… nine‐nine… click… going to ground…’ A single yellow dot remained on the screen. The explosion had no doubt blasted the other drone apart. To Kai’s relief five green lights flickered rapidly. All alive at any rate! Now angry red dots appeared on the edge of the interface’s map. Three dots. Four. Five. More. Every red dot was converging towards the squad’s position. Fast.

‘Squad enemy twenty two yan closing formation point defence,’ he gave the command. Instantly each trooper’s visor projected an overlay of target points. The squad had trained for situations like this. Through the interface of the combat shard Kai could sense the racing heartbeats of his troopers, feel the adrenalin coursing through their bodies, even taste something of their fear.

‘Fire on my mark!’ he spoke out loud. His voice was unwavering and confident. It was as if this was nothing more than a training simulation and the enemies mere holographic imagoes.

‘Fire!’ Iridescent blasts of intersecting plasma tore through the doorway, casting the target into a stark and hideous silhouette. A scream echoed in Kai’s monitor – the cry of a woman – it was Sulyn Ran one of the squad’s two female troopers. The alien creature exploded into pieces only to be shoved aside by the next monster. The alien’s own weapon spoke briefly until it too tumbled to the ground, neatly dissected by a plasma bolt. Undeterred by the fate of their comrades, more of their kind pressed into the narrow space, seemingly oblivious to the certain fate that awaited them in that confined space.

‘Vorl,’ gasped Sulyn over the interface, ‘… those things are Vorl!’

Ruben Catalan's Kai Lek Atastrin
Rube Catalan’s Kai Lek
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