Battle Brothers Firefight Tactics

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Battle Brothers
Setting: Grimdark Future
Games: Grimdark Future,
Grimdark Future: Firefight
Species: Human
Version: v2.50

Note: as v2.50 is in constant development the following might not be accurate.

Why play Battle Brothers

The battle brothers are a very powerful army that offers few weaknesses. Each member is resilient and has access to plenty of weapons to cover any weapons. Each of them can be relied on to pull off their assigned role without issue.

Pros

  • A majority of your army is very heavily armored.
  • A high amount of customization when including the specialized Detachments.
  • Your entire army is Fearless.

Cons

  • Your forces are expensive.
  • Lower-than-average number of activations
  • Your troops lack Tough, so heavy weapons can very easily wipe out a unit of Brothers.
  • You only have one Psychic model. Some forces add more, but you'll be paying a pretty penny for that.

Special Rules

  • Shield Wall: Models with shields are harder to hit, with enemies shooting at them taking -1 to hit.
  • Veteran Training: Models with this rule get a +1 to hit in both melee and shooting. This makes them very strong. This also tends to be an expensive upgrade for any unit that takes this.

Psychic Spells

  • Blurred Sight (4+): One enemy unit within 12" takes -1 to hit with shooting. Vital for protecting your troops from heavy weaponry of any kind.
  • Psychic Terror (4+): One enemy unit within 12" takes 2 AP 2 hits.
  • Cursed Ground (5+): An enemy unit within 18" that attempts a charge loses 6" to their charge distance next time they charge. Note that this won't save anyone from a charge if they're too close, but it will prevent any long-range gambits.
  • Cerebral Trauma (5+): One enemy model within 12" takes a single AP 3 hit. Pretty much all you can ask for when sniping a hero or heavy weapon.
  • Time Passage (6+): One friendly unit within 12" can immediately move 6". This gives you a desperate escape button or possibly an easier charge.
  • Lightning Fog (6+): Two enemy units within 6" take 8 hits each, making this hell for mobs of grunts.

Unit Analysis

Heroes

  • Captain: Your gold standard when it comes to Heroes. He's heavily customizable to fit out any mix of shooting (which you can milk out with Relentless granting extra shots) or melee without any issue. They can also grab Veteran Infantry and either Advanced Tactics to add +3" to the shooting and charging ranges of all allies within 12" or War Chant to give Furious and make charging deadlier.
    • Shooting: The basic assault rifle (or pistol) pretty much give you only one shot, nothing else. If you stick with the default assault rifle, you can buy it an attachment for a gravity rifle (for Rending), flamethrower (for a bunch of attacks), plasma rifle (for AP) or fusion rifle (for making something die very hard). If you instead go for a pistol, you can replace that with a gravity pistol (for Rending), a plasma pistol (for good AP) or a storm rifle if you just want a doubled-up assault rifle. If you're going all-in on melee, you can instead replace that with a Shield for Shield Wall.
    • Melee: If you just don't care about shooting or defense, you can buy either a heavy chainsaw sword for a bunch of attacks at AP 1 or twin energy claws for a good number of AP 1 Rending attacks. If you're taking the pistol, you can then replace that CCW with either an energy sword (AP 1 and Rending), energy fist (for tank-piercing AP 3), energy hammer (AP 1 and Deadly 3 so you can flatten elites) or chainsaw fist (energy fist but you're doing four attacks instead of 3)
    • Personal Upgrades: Battle Brother leaders are quite capable of going into multiple roles. The destroyer armor gives very blatant defensive boosts with +3 to Tough and Ambush so your captain won't immediately get shot up. The jetpack gives Flying and Ambush, especially useful since Firefight focuses more on verticality. The combat bike is more mobile in the traditional sense, as it grants Fast and Impact 1 (good for melee) while also carrying a twin assault rifle so you have some sort of shooting.
  • Champion: Take your Captain, chop off 10 points and Relentless and you get your Champion. They can be useful in plugging up any options that your captain didn't take or dedicate them to be the choppier since they don't have Relentless to incentivize shooting.
  • Engineer: Don't be fooled by the name; these guys are your medics for any tough units you drag along, including other Heroes and Destroyers. You should be wary of the limits of the Repair ability, as it only heals a single wound on a single Tough unit within 2" on a 2+. This replaces the options for special rules captains get, but you can otherwise peruse their list of weapons and personal upgrades as you see fit.
  • Psychic: Your most expensive hero, but he also provides you with your lone psychic casting while remaining a genuinely powerful warrior. Alongside the other upgrade lists open to other heroes, you can also upgrade him to Psychic 2 for extra power.

Infantry

  • Pathfinder: Your flimsiest model, so you need Strider to get to cover quickly. Alongside all the basic weapon upgrades they can also buy either Camo Cloaks for Stealth or Forward Sentries so they can Ambush enemies. They also have possession of a sniper rifle so they can pick off units at their leisure.
  • Battle Brother: The baseline for your force, meaning a walking tank, while also remaining as cheap as a pathfinder. Your brothers have the widest selection of weapons available, spreading almost any manner of weaponry. On top of this, you can also buy either a Banner for Fear or Medical Training for Regeneration.
  • Assault Brother: A battle brother with two CCW attacks and a pistol. These guys lack full access to the armory, but they can still get a flamethrower instead of a pistol or trade your weapons for a heavy chainsaw sword. This brother can also pick up jetpacks so he can get Ambush and fly as well, giving them good mobility to go with the punch.
  • Support Brother: This brother lacks the option for Veteran Training, but you do get Relentless and the option to pick a heavy weapon for only 5 points higher than the base brother.
  • Brother Biker: Each comes with Fast and Impact 1, so melee is a viable option. If you're going for shooty, you can buy a twin assault rifle for the bike or upgrade the base assault rifle for some of them with more interesting guns.
  • Pathfinder Biker: Take a bike, give it the Pathfinder's flimsy 4+ defense and add Scout. Though it lacks the sheer weight of options, you can still give the bike a twin assault rifle or grenade launcher. The grenade launcher in particular gives you the option for either Blast or Deadly depending on the situation, something that most guns cannot accomplish.
  • Support Bike: A bigger bike strapped with a a heavy flame thrower and a Tough and Impact value of 3. Honestly, you shouldn't be using this for close combat, because that means you can't be firing the big gun (and if flamethrowers aren't your deal, you can take a heavy machine gun for long range or the fusion rifle so you can have fun with Deadly). You also shouldn't be throwing around something so expensive like it's nothing.

Detachments

Blood Brothers

The Blood Brothers are remarkably choppy, with Furious being available for only 5 points for most of your troops (10 for destroyers). That said, the loss of vehicles does mean that they aren't any faster now.

Psychic Spells

  • Fear (4+): Enemy unit within 12" suffers -3" to its next movement. It's trading off Cursed Earth's range for a penalty that's always on.
  • Lance (4+): Enemy model within 12" takes an AP 2 hit. Compare with Psychic Blast.
  • Quickness (5+): Friendly model within 12" may immediately charge up to 6", making this a godsend when you get it off on that pack of very angry death brothers.
  • Blood Curse (5+): Two enemy units within 6" take 6 hits each. Essentially Lightning Fog.
  • Break Shields (6+): Enemy unit within 12" takes a -2 to their next defense roll, giving an extra AP 2 to any attacks you make. Especially useful if you want to guarantee death.
  • Rage Burst (6+): Enemy unit within 12" takes 3 AP 3 hits. It's essentially a focus-fire Cerebral Trauma.

Unit Analysis

Heroes

  • Blood Priest: Your stand-in for the Champion with Furious applied. In exchange however, you can't buy Battle Rites or War Chant, instead being limited to the Holy Chalice. This is tailor-made for your build, as it's adding +1 to any unit's melee attack and regeneration rolls.

Infantry

  • Death Brother: A bit of a price jump when compared to base brothers, but you get Regeneration and Furious, making them ideal company for the Blood Priest. Other than that, you can just consider them seriously angry assault brothers. If you have a captain guiding them instead, Battle Rites is a far more useful buy.
  • Guardian Brother: Even more expensive assault brothers with jetpacks and furious built in. They come with plasma pistols available at no cost, but you're very limited otherwise. Your only weapon options are the fusion pistol, energy sword, or energy fist. You could also grab a banner if you want to throw Fear in as well.

Dark Brothers

The Dark Brothers don't specialize in any particular form of combat, but instead focus on holding on no matter the odds. They will not break as easily.

Special Rules

  • Dark Assault: This adds onto Ambush by making you able to deploy them on any round you wish, adding to your strategic game of dropping in troops. However, this is only available to Destroyers and Heroes, limiting its value.
  • Grim: This unit isn't only Fearless, it's so fearless that if it fails a morale check you can roll another d6 to make it pass instead on a 4+. Unlike the prior rule, this is more widely available to your forces.

Units

Heroes

  • Interrogator: Make an Champion and replace their option for Battle Rites or War Chant with Fear and Grim. Though they won't be able to support your forces as directly as a base captain, you can use a melee-tooled interrogator to help tip melee battles..

Infantry

  • Dark Destroyer: Insanely expensive compared to the base destroyer, but you get both Grim and Dark Assault, allowing him to pop in wherever and whenever you want. Dark destroyers also have access to plasma cannons, giving them an answer to any Brother-tier squads out there.
  • Destroyer Knight: These Destroyers have shields and wicked maces with rending, meaning that they need to rely on Dark Assault if you don't want them to die early. If you feel keen on charging, you'll be wanting to take a heavy flail for Impact 3.
  • Black Biker: See those bikes? They're now Grim. They also have the option for twin plasma carbines or grenade launchers, both quite handy though you can't grab the other guns. In exchange, you also get to buy either an energy sword or energy hammer.

Knight Brothers

While the Guardian Brothers have to rely on auxilia sisters to block off spells, the Knight Brothers can pull it off themselves without such an absurd price hike. Your exclusive choices also come with storm rifles and the perk of being able cast by themselves, which gives you some well-needed support on casting.

Special Rules

  • Aegis: Your entire army can block powers as if they were psychic. In the case of Psychics, they instead get a +1 to block. This is available to all your infantry choices.

Psychic Spells

  • Ward (4+): Enemy unit within 12" suffers -1 to hit with melee on their next turn. Important since you're only protected by a mere 2+ save for the most part.
  • Cleanse (4+): Enemy unit within 12" takes 2 AP 2 hits. Somewhat equivalent to psychic blast, though it hits the entire unit.
  • Warp (5+): Enemy unit within 12" takes -1 to defense, which you'll want if you're struggling to turn the tide.
  • Doom (5+): Enemy model within 12" takes an AP 3 hit, making this a prime sniping spell.
  • Strike (6+): Friendly unit within 12" can immediately shoot.
  • Purge (6+): Two enemy units within 6" take 2 AP 1 hits each, making it comparable to Lightning Cloud.

Units

Heroes

  • Knight Champion: A very costly hero, but you get quite a bit. Alongside Aegis and Psychic 1, you also get Combat Master, which gives you one of four different styles each round you're in melee (+1 to hit, AP +1, Rending or Impact 1). This champion is a through and through beatstick with psychic powers. If you want support, pick the generic heroes.

Infantry

  • Knight Brother: Each of these boys has a storm rifle, an energy sword and Aegis, which is plenty worth the price hike. Each brother has a very unique selection of weapons. Their guns are now an incinerator (a flamer with AP 1), a psychic silencer (a minigun-lite with 6 shots) or the psychic cannon (AP 2 and rending). In melee, they can swap their energy sword for an energy staff (less attacks but it's poisoned), the halberd (less attacks but AP 2), twin energy falchions (Rending) and daemon hammer (2 attacks, but now AP 4 and Deadly 3). You can also grant them Impact 1, Ambush or Teleport (so you can jump 6" anywhere without regard for terrain and isn't the same as ambush for some reason). Oh, and these guys can be psychic too, so joy.
  • Purgation Brother: Knight with Relentless. He now has free reign of the special weapons but can't specialize in melee. He can also be psychic too.
  • Knight Destroyer: Destroyers are already dangerous, so you know for sure that stacking all the benefits of Knights makes them deadlier as well as obscenely more expensive. Their weapon choices mirror the base knights, but they can also grab a standard (for Fear) and Regeneration for allies within 12" as well as Impact 3.

Watch Brothers

The Watch Brothers are for those who are super spoiled for choice. Your basic brothers all have an obscene number of weapons available

Special Rules

  • Tactical Master: Your Captains, Death Watchers and Champions can buy an upgrade for additional ammo for their pistols, assault rifles and storm rifles. Each turn, you can pick between +1 to hit, Rending, +6" to range or AP 1, giving you a wide choice of options for them.

Units

Heroes

  • Death Watcher: Essentially a Captain for all intents and purposes. Aside from the frankly obscene number of guns available to the basic watch brothers, you can also grab a guardian brother's spear-rifle and the choice of either a jetpack or destroyer armor. If you pick up Tactical Master for special ammo, do be wary that the number of weapons you can use it with is very slim. Don't grab it unless you are absolutely planning to use it because 30 points is not cheap.

Infantry

  • Watch Brother: Your base troop has free reign on what guns they want. Whatever you want, wherever you want them, you can buy some and drop them wherever. You can also grab a shield if you want protection.
  • Watch Vanguard: Take an assault brother with jetpack and make him Fast. While the firearms are limited to pistols, the melee weapons aren't. With this includes shields, meaning you can have a very mobile and hard to hit foe with serious weapons.
  • Watch Destroyer: Destroyers are already expensive, so why take these? Because a watch destroyer can slap an extra gun (Gravity, Fusion, Plasma or Flamethrower) on top of his energy fist. And this is on top of the rest of the guns a destroyer can grab.

Wolf Brothers

Where the Blood Brothers are for getting stuck in quickly, the Wolf Brothers are for getting as many attacks as possible. Between their spells and their loadouts, you should be sure to get all the attacks you want in any situation.

Special Rules

  • Counter: When this unit is charged, you can give one melee weapon an extra attack. All of your infantry can pick it up so you can make your army quite defensive.

Psychic Spells

  • Fury (4+): Friendly unit within 12" gains Furious. You definitely want to set this off whenever possible.
  • Hurricane (4+): Two enemy units within 6" take 4 hits, making it a diet Lightning Cloud.
  • Storm (5+): Enemy unit within 18" takes -1 to their next shooting rolls. You absolutely want this to protect a vulnerable unit as they make their attack.
  • Thunder (5+): Enemy unit within 12" takes 3 AP 2 hits, making it better for punching big boys.
  • Wrath (6+): Enemy unit within 12" can be thrown 6" in any direction, leaving them out of a weak unit's hair or right in the sights of a charging mob.
  • Lightning (6+): Enemy unit within 12" takes 2 AP 3 hits. The inverse of Thunder, making it for blasting vehicles.

Units

Heroes

  • Lone Wolf: A genuine beatstick of a hero that sacrifices his ability to benefit allies. Perhaps most remarkable is its option for pet guard wolves (for bonus attacks) as well as a great wolf mount instead of a bike, thereby granting the rider extra melee weapons as well as Impact 3.

Infantry

  • Wolf Rookie: Take a pathfinder and toss him into basic brother armor. The quality won't be as good, but you'll be able to buy weapons that would normally be impossible.
  • Wolf Brother: Your basic battle brother, though the weapon selection lacks anything with heavy punch. You can also give him a jetpack or bike to fill in a hole you want - ones that could normally be filled with the appropriate base units.
  • Werewolf: While more expensive with a 3+ defense, you get yourself a genuine melee monster with Fast and Regeneration. While normally without any shooting, you can buy a backpack grenade launcher to give at least a cursory effort at softening up crowds before ripping into them with the variety of evil implements at your disposal.
  • Wolf Destroyer: What makes these guys different from the stock destroyers? It's their ability to replace their storm rifles with base assault rifles (at a discount of 5 points even!) and then buy an attachment that's normally only for base brothers. In exchange, each one starts off with an energy sword instead of a fist.
  • Wolf: This wolf is even more poorly defended than a pathfinder, but they're quite swift with Fast and Strider and give you a good number of attacks. If you're really worried about their survivability, you can buy the lone upgrade available and grant a wolf a 4+ defense.
  • Wolf Rider: Take a biker and replace his bike with an angry wolf with Impact 3 and 3 AP 1 attacks to add to the frenzy. Your ranged options are very limited to just pistol, assault rifle or plasma pistol. If you're planning to go all in on melee, you can instead replace the rider's weapons with energy claws.

List Building & Tactics

General Advice

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Tactics

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See Also

Battle Brothers
Overview - Tactics - Firefight Tactics - Miniatures - Quickplay Armies - Firefight Quickplay Armies
Grimdark Future: Firefight tactics
Alien Hives - Battle Brothers - Blessed Sisters - Custodian Brothers - DAO Union - Dark Elf Raiders - Dwarf Guilds
Elven Jesters - Eternal Dynasty - Gangs of New Eden - Havoc Brothers - High Elf Fleets - Human Defense Force
Human Inquisition - Infected Colonies - Jackals - Machine Cult - Orc Marauders - Prime Brothers - Ratmen Clans
Rebel Guerrillas - Robot Legions - Saurian Starhost - Soul-Snatcher Cults - Wormhole Daemons