Have no doubts: the Gharh Exiles are, at heart, Ghar. The main difference between themselves and the Ghar Outcast Rebels and the Ghar Empire forces is that are still loyal to the Empire and consider Fartok a divisive heretic. The trouble is, Karg (who they also regard as heretical) has Outcast them or their leaders for one reason or another. Think of them as more desperate Rebels, loyal to their wrongly-Outcast leaders, hiding out in derelicts, cave systems or in ruined cities, out of contact with both the Rebels and the Empire, but short of supplies and equipment.
Being loyalists, they only use Ghar or Ghar-derived equipment, of course. And they’re hoping, one day, that Karg will be deposed and they can return to the Empire. They try and retain what unit structure and markings they had when forced to leave, and stick to Empire organisation as much as possible. However, due to the shortages, their units often contain a mix of troopers and may even have dramatically modified equipment if they are short of parts. Whilst they still consider the troopers the elite soldiers, sometimes the pilots have no suits so have to dismount and form their own squads. As a result, Exile forces often have more unarmoured infantry than other forces, and their desperation and loyalty makes them more resilient – mentally, at least.
In game terms, Ghar Exiles cannot field large armies and cannot field the larger Ghar vehicles. At most, they might have access to a command crawler with its communications and control equipment, but cannot use Bombardment Crawlers and Droppers – partly because of space, partly due to lack of resources.
Given their environment, typically low ceilings or enclosed spaces, the Exiles have had to adapt their weaponry as a bombardment crawler is basically useless. They equip or support their weaker (what might be term Outcast) units with ‘bomber cannons’ – crawlers fitted with the disruptor bombers from bomber suits which have been adapted for direct fire modes. Whilst longer range than normal disruptors, its firepower is still that of bombers and may run out of ammunitions. A Bomber Cannon has the following attributes:
|Light Support Weapon||– Range –|
|Bomber Cannon||20||30||60||1||Blast D5, Disruptor*, Limited Ammo, No Cover|
* Disruptor. See the additional rules for Disruptor Weapons in the rules on page 79 of the Antares rulebook. Disruptor weapons can be used in a Breaching mode (see Dronescourge, page 72).
Sometimes their workers wear the vac-suits they use for work in space to give them a little more protection. Given the lack of resources, Ghar battlesuit pilots also dismount and wear their armoured flight suits into battle with their lugger guns. And, of course, there are special units of particularly loyal Ghar such as ‘Shaltok’s Sheep’ — Ghar who were once Outcast but have created a name for themselves as unarmoured soldiers through ferocity, courage and tenacity on the battlefield. The army list depends on these lightly armed squads as their battlesuits are often in poor repair.
Sample Dismounted Troopers and Shaltok’s Sheep stats are shown below. Both have better Init and Co than might be found on ordinary Outcasts, especially when bearing in mind the squad leaders have an additional point of Initiative or Command (to 8).
|Dismounted Trooper in Armoured Flight Suit with Lugger Gun||6||5||4||4(5)||7||8||—|
|Shaltok’s Sheep with Lugger Gun||6||5||4||4||7||7||Shaltok’s Sheep*|
* Shaltok’s Sheep: As long as Shaltok or his immediate sub-commanders, Dobat or Tren, are alive and on the table, their command rating can be used for any tests involving Shaltok’s Sheep. Shaltok’s Sheep can also respond to Dobat, Tren and Shaltok’s Hero, Follow and Command attributes, but are otherwise classed as Outcasts. Shaltok’s Sheep can only be selected if Dobat, Tren or Shaltok himself are also selected.
The group of Exiles aboard T.O.R. 563, an ancient starliner, are only 5000 strong and manage a group of 500 panhuman slaves who they need to interface with the starship. They have renamed the starship City of Exile and have partially repaired it so they can move between star systems. Unfortunately, they are in no way in full control of the vessel and have barely begun to explore its empty spaces. This group, under Force Commander (Captain) Shaltok, are representative of the Outcast Ghar who have no wish to turn to Fartok.
Full details and army list is in The Dronescourge Returns.