Lock and Load has come and gone, and what a weekend it was! The amount of information, spoilers, and just all around excitement coming out of this years Lock and Load was pretty incredible... but where did the Protectorate fair in it all?
Well... lightly, to be honest, but we got some whispering of some exciting things in the pipeline for us in the future.
Champion of the Order of the Wall
Our first offering, from the Lock and Load keynote early on day one, is the Champion of the Order of the Wall, debuting as the Protectorate's first non-character Dragoon. Dragoons are a rare beast; every faction besides Convergence, Minions, and Grymkin have a character Dragoon, many of which have found decent places in armies, but until now only Khador boasted a non-character Dragoon. Now, it seems, we have our own Man-O-War Drakhun and... that's hardly a bad thing.
Dragoons boast a certain kind of toughness uncommon in solos and other cavalry, in that they have a lot of wounds and have to be dismounted before they can be killed properly. The Champion of the Wall, as I'm sure many of us will be calling him, is MAT 8 which is fairly standard among the Paladins, ARM 18 which is quite solid (and my speculation is he also has a Shield, like the Drakhun does), and boasts Retaliatory Strike, Steady, and Sturdy. Paladins have typically been remarkably high PS weapon masters so Retaliatory Strike, especially coupled with MAT 8, is strong. Sturdy is randomly useful and Steady of course is always great.
Further, Jay Larsen of Chain Attack was able to get from a developer round table at the convention that the Champion also has some form of Leadership ability which gives other Paladins Retaliatory Strike. This is pretty interesting, although the ones we have available are limited to 1" melee ranges; my favorite spot for Paladins is when they've dug into enemy lines but maintained Stone and Mortar Stance, so already in melee with things, to get the most out of righteous vengeance movements and attacks, so Retaliatory Strike just keeps to that same style and gives the paladins far more potential attacks than their 1 melee initial would imply.
Exemplar Warder Elias Gade
This one, admittedly, wasn't really a Lock and Load spoiler, but a model called Exemplar Warder Elias Gade appeared on the retailer release list for October. The general expectation, I think, is this is our solo meant to accompany Company of Iron (given that it comes out the same month). We have next to no information on this model aside from that he 'shoots stuff good', as Will Shick put it in a response on twitter. A shooty Exemplar solo... very interested in what this guy does and what he brings to Interdiction.
The Faithful Masses
The last of our spoilers out of Lock and Load was basically just... the existence of the Faithful Masses theme force. This force is comprised of Deliverers, Zealots, and Paladins, making up the converted masses of the Protectorate forces and the Paladins sworn to protect them. What's exciting about this is it means we'll be getting a CID pass through some of the factions' most maligned models; while I actually think Paladins are pretty decent, Zealots haven't found much of a place anywhere and of course the loathed Deliverer Skyhammers could use a look over. Also, it's a bit uncertain on if models like Allegiants of the Fist or Idrian Skirmishers would appear in this theme, since they make up a very similar, but not exactly the same place from an archetype standpoint to units like Zealots and Deliverers. If they are, we're already looking at a pretty interesting theme force but... time will tell, as time as gone on theme forces have become much more interesting and 'out of the box' as far as their design, so I'm excited to see what the PP development team comes up with.
And... that's it for us. Protectorate's offering at Lock and Load was, admittedly, a little dry and you'll note we have next to no real information here. The Champion of course is exciting, and that reveal was made more intriguing by the tease of a theme force for it to find a home, but we know nothing about what that force does. Elias Gade could be a very exciting addition to the Exemplar arsenal... but again, all we know is he shoots really.
Theme CIDs are pushing pretty fast, with a few for other factions confirmed to be kicking off in the next month or so as the Northkin CID wraps up, so I'm expecting we'll see our first pass at what the Faithful Masses looks like in the next couple of months. Get those paladins painted up!
See you all next time!