The fanciest people in Venice aren’t going to miss their chance for new rules, are they?
Blood on the Water is hitting the shelves this Friday! The first campaign book for Carnevale is chock-full of stories, scenarios, and brand new rules. And with it we’re also releasing the free 2.2 edition of the rules, and doing a full balance pass on every single character in the game!
We’re going to take a look at the Patricians to see how they’re changing with this balance pass, and of course have a look at some of the characters from the new Venetian Navy boxed set too.
Faction Command Ability
Every faction Command Ability in the game has been revisited and re-evaluated, and the Patricians are no different.
In fact, the Patricians have a brand new faction Command Ability, and it’s a key part of how the faction as a whole plays.
Are you a Patricians player? Well this next sentence is for your eyes only: Patricians are better than everyone else.
Are you a non-Patricians player? Well this sentence is just for you: Patricians are better than you.
And this Command Ability proves it! Patricians by their very nature are self-centred, selfish, and self-obsessed. They don’t really care what anyone else has to say and don’t really need to listen to them either. Let the Masquerata Begin shows that they don’t need to rely on anyone else. While this ability is very similar to the Order command, it doesn’t rely on anyone being in line of sight. A Patricians character with Command Points can just make themselves better, regardless of where they are on the board. Oh and there’s a chance it won’t even use a Command Point!
Speaking of Command Points. They’re an integral part of Patricians being better than everyone else, but Command Points in general are not as prevalent as they used to be.
Before, certain Heroes would have some Command Points, but others did not. Now, in Patricians, every Noble has 1. That’s right, even Adventuring Nobles and Venetian Spies! Almost all of those characters have the Councillor keyword as well, meaning they might not use one when doing their Command Ability!
The Foreign Dignitary (previously Foreign Noble) shown here has had some changes. For one, these Dignitaries have been sent to Venice to broker trade deals. So why wouldn’t they speak Venetian, or at least Italian? No more penalties here!
For two, any Councillor is trying to win their favour and show them a good time. They’ll go out of their way to make this deal work, bossing around everyone and burning all their bridges (sometimes literally) to make that happen. In-game that means they replenish Command Points if they’re close enough! The Foreign Dignitary is going to become a staple in a lot of gangs.
We can’t talk about Patricians without mentioning about the Barnabotti!
These party-goers might not have the Councillor keyword (since they sell their vote to the highest bidder anyway), but they do also come with a Command Point! Unfortunately they’re limited in their use of it, but can give themselves an extra AP once a game.
Barnabotti are a little worse than they used to be (you’ll notice a lot of Henchmen have gone down to Attack 3 as standard), but they do now come with both sword and pistol! Don’t worry how your models look – you can now give them whatever weapon you think look coolest.
Remember that Companion replenishes Will Points as well, and they’ve dropped to 12 Ducats from 13! They are truly one of the best Henchmen out there.
Speaking of which…
Pan Lady has been awarded the character profile she truly deserved, separate from the Butler. She’s her own lady, and she will hurt you. While she’s not the Hero or Leader that some were campaigning for, she actually brings something that the Patricians were sorely lacking: a cheap (and good) Henchman choice! At 9 Ducats, she’s a steal!
While we’re talking about Henchman choices, Patricians players will notice on Friday that there is an ommission from the roster. You may have gained the Butler and Household Staff as separate choices, but the Courtesan has been removed.
We don’t do this lightly, and we know that this decision may cause some annoyance for some of you, but there are a lot of reasons we decided to removed Courtesans from the game.
You may have noticed that over the last few years, we’ve pushed to have a more equal split of men and women (and fish monsters) in Carnevale. We are an inclusive company, and believe that our products should reflect that. There are many amazing women in Carnevale like the Queens of the Adriatic, Moon, and White Dove (in fact, almost all of the recent art was drawn by an amazing woman, artist Rei), and the Courtesans did not live up to that standard.
We know that there were prostitutes in Venice at the time. We’re even happy to say that the Patricians still hire prostitutes. The difference is that we do not see a reason for them to be taken out onto the streets to fight. They have no weapons and no reason to be in the game.
The Guild have the House of Virtue as a subfaction, and that is not going to change. We’ve worked hard to make sure that the women and men in the House of Virtue have a purpose in-game. Spies and assassins, the Harlots are a welcome addition. Gav and I worked hard to make sure that the House of Virtue had their place and their agency. However, Courtesans have neither of those things, and so we’ve made the decision to remove them from the roster.
On purely practical terms, the Courtesans don’t fulfil a useful role in the Patricians faction. We’ve reworked their rules half a dozen times in playtesting to try to make them work, but couldn’t find anything for them to do that made us want to keep them.
We stand proud in our decision to make Carnevale an inclusive game, and the Courtesans were a remnant of a way of game design that we do not support. With that said, it’s time to look to the future of the Patricians and of Venice…
The newest box set coming for the Patricians this week is the Venetian Navy! This box contains five brand new models, with four new character classes. It’s a complete gang… sort of. Let me explain.
The Venetian Navy are led by a Sopracomito. This historic position is manned by a young noble who has been sent into military service in order to earn respect and the title he was born into. Put into the emerging Venetian Navy, the Sopracomito is responsible for the coin chest, and for raising a crew to sail out to unknown waters.
For that reason, he has both the Councillor and Officer keywords! He’s also not exactly the most commanding, or inspiring character. He’s not a fighter really either. However, he does have a lot of money. Able to move friendly Soldiers around the board and replenish their Will Points, he can also pay people to inspire them onto greater acts – letting friendly characters use his Will Points!
The Sopracomito is the cheapest Leader character in the game, and one of the worst at being an actual Leader. He’s great in small games though, allowing you to get almost a full extra character compared to taking a Venetian Noble! If you still want some fighting prowess though, take another Leader and the Sopracomito becomes just a Hero, so he’s still useful in larger games. What a deal!
If you’re looking for a true Officer for your gang, the Naval Lieutenant fills that role nicely! He’s a great swimmer, makes friendly characters even faster at swimming, and is also a Soldier so can be the target of other skills as well!
Of course, let’s not pretend we’re not excited for that gun. The Nock Gun is a thing of beauty. With six barrels of pure destruction, this thing packs a serious punch. +3 Damage is kind of ridiculous. You can even put both of his Will Points into the shot for a potential 8 Damage! However, Unwieldy means you have to line your shots up carefully, and your opponent can fairly easily get out of the way before he shoots again, so plan well.
The Lieutenant is also Boat Crew, which is a new ability. It lets you deploy on a boat, and helps when you want to sail it. Boat Crew that start their turn on a boat also replenish 1 Will Point, which makes him very useful for sail-by shootings!
The third new character in the set is the Naval Ensign. This lady has been in the navy since it was founded (a few months ago). She’s risen through the ranks and has seen more action than most (not hard). She – like all City Guard and Marksmen – has Companion (Officer) which helps her stay in the fight long after you’d think.
She swims fast, has a long ranged Fishing Spear that does extra damage, is Aquatic, and she also brings Hunter to the table. She’s worth every one of her 12 Ducats!
Finally the box comes with two Naval Recruits. These soldiers are brand new to the military, recruited as part of a massive drive to bring Venice back to the forefront as a military superpower (and put the Patricians at odds against the Guild – read more about it in Blood on the Water!).
Naval Recruits aren’t amazing. Their Naval Cutlasses are pretty good, but aren’t Aquatic. And other than Fast Swimmer (2), they’re not offering much. But for 9 Ducats, you can easily fill out your Henchman slots while still having cash left for some expensive Heroes!
Are you excited to field some Patricians who actually don’t mind being in the water? How about getting access to loads of Command Points?
We didn’t even have time to talk about Venetian Nobles inspiring their underlings to kill to replenish Will Points! Or Adventuring Nobles knowing every single Wild Magic spell! Heck, I didn’t even mention that Syphilitic Nobles have Frenzied now.
Oh well, there’s only so much time in the day, and Friday will be here before you know it with all these rules for free, and Blood on the Water and the Venetian Navy available for pre-order!
We’ll be back all week with more rules, and all the new pre-orders will be on the TTCombat webstore in just a few short days!