This blog will cover the evolution of the scheme portion of Gaining Grounds 2018.
Jumping right in...
The Always and doubles schemes appear unchanged from 2017. Currently Claim Jump and Eliminate the Leadership respectively.
All four suited schemes are currently new and all four can be accomplished even if the enemy crew is immune to conditions. If this holds and your event is run in a 50 SS standard format then you ought to have bare minimum 3 schemes your opponent can't deny with crew selection. Furthermore there are currently 0 schemes that hand an enemy a condition. I don't know if I expect that to remain until the end of beta but I would happily take the compromise of not having the hand out condition schemes suited. But I do like the strategy where you interact to acquire a condition and that gets neatly around condition immunity. Or Wyrd can extend the can't be immune to scheme conditions as well. But I suppose that is what beta is for.
- Smuggled Across (masks); Once per game your crew can reveal this scheme to score a number of VP equal to the number of minions on the enemy half of the table and not within 6" of the center.
Initial reaction; First I'm not entirely certain they didn't mean centerline because on flank deployment this is probably scored 3-3 at the end of turn 1. Gremlins will, more likely than not, auto score this after turn one if there is a pigapult present. In the current iteration most summoners can also probably be up 3 at the end of turn 1. I predict there will probably be a change to this scheme in its current form.
- Charge Soulstone (crows); Kill an enemy model within 6" of a master or a henchman and then discard a Soulstone to score 1 VP.
Initial reaction; Most crews I run that don't summon can get by on 3-4 SS. With that said odds are if you run a summoner and think you can kill 3 models in 1 activation you might catch someone by surprise since very few would expect a summoner to use SS in a non summoning function. This scheme will certainly foil the (current)mask scheme to some extent if you want to expose your minions in that fashion. I find this scheme interesting and I hope it makes it in some form.
- Buried Treasure (tomes); At the end of the game score 1 VP for each scheme marker that is both more than 6" from your deployment zone and more than 6" from all non leader models.
Initial reaction; This is 3 VP on corner deployment. Outside of that gut reaction this will be relatively simple for the masters and their crews which drop schemes everywhere as a byproduct of what they are already doing. Sensei Yu in most cases will get 3 easy VP as well. Ranged scheme removal and solid models that tank well will help defend this.
- Collect Evidence (rams); use interact to remove enemy scheme markers to reveal scheme and score a VP. If revealed you also score 1 VP at the end of the turn if there are 0 enemy scheme markers outside of 6" of its deployment zone.
Initial reaction; I love this scheme. I love that it is a foil for the tomes scheme if they both end up in the same pool. Chatty models will see a lot of work in 2018.
The number schemes appear to be a grab bag of book schemes, 2016/2017 schemes, and a hand full of new schemes. I won't list the numbers because there is a chance these will end up shuffled from where they currently sit.
- Hold Up Their Forces; Use no more than one model to engage more than one enemy model and maintain through the end of the turn. Score 1 VP at the end of each turn after the first if the requirement is satisfied.
Initial reaction; I'm not sure how I feel about this scheme. It punishes lists that rely on auras. Also peons currently count. So raptors can drop in end of turn and catch a bad positioning by surprise.
- Challenge; reveal the scheme at the start of a turn and then select one of your models and an enemy model as challengers. If the enemy challenger is killed by the friendly challenger score 1 VP and unreveal the scheme. You may discard 2 cards to unreveal the scheme and remove all challenge tags assigned by this crews scheme.
Initial reaction; this is basically the same thing as Vendetta (with Vendetta currently in the pool) only Masters and 0 cost models can be involved and you can aim for peons with 13SS models if so inclined. And if the enemy wins initiative then he can kill his model and you have to discard 2 cards to try again next round. So right off the bat cheating initiative is huge on both sides of scheme. I predict some form a change or possibly a full replacement of this scheme.
- Take One for the Team; Basically Frame for Murder with different scoring conditions.
Initial reaction; I prefer this to Frame For Murder because I can deny a point by using a cheaper model to land the killing blow and go about what I was doing. As an aside moving it to a numbered scheme will have less people complain when it does show up. I liked Frame and I think I like this version better. If anything makes it through unchanged this will probably be the first thing I would bet on.
- Don't Leave a Mark; when you scroll to the description it's Leave Your Mark.
Initial reaction; I'm probably not the first to catch the error. reserve initial reaction for the correction when I find it.
The other nine schemes are unchanged from what I can tell from their previously released versions.