Another aspect of Planet Apocalypse, which doesn’t come into play until you get the expansions, are Regions. These are actually countries, and the country you are ostensibly playing in affects which troopers you have available and (sometimes) other parts of the game.
Except for the Moonbase map, you always have five different types of troopers, costing 1-5 points.
In the core game, from cheapest to most expensive, you have Volunteers, Citizen Militia, Police, Army, and Special Forces. Each has his own absorption rating, his own ambush value, and some have special abilities besides (in the core game, only the Army and Special Forces have an ability).
In the Void pack we add the USA and Texas regions, plus we add Space troopers.
If you decide you are in the USA, you have access to the five core troopers, plus five alternate troopers, also costing 1-5 points. The alternate troopers are Gang, Evangelicals, National Guard, US Marines, and Navy Seals. For each category, before the game begins, you need to pick one of the two types. Thus, you might decide to have your five units be Gang, Citizen Militia, Police, US Marines, and Special Forces. Or whatever. The important thing is you still get a range of choice from 1-5. So if you prefer Army to Marines, you can get them. Or Police to National Guard.
Texas is, of course, part of the USA, but it has one different feature. You still have to pick which of the two troopers types you want in each category from 1-4, but the 5-cost trooper MUST be a Texas Ranger. That’s just how it is here in Texas.
Because of the space-oriented maps in the Void pack, we also provide Cosmonauts and Astronauts. These replace the 3 and 4 cost troopers for most areas, but are the only troopers available on the Moonbase.
New Region – Japan!
This new stretch goal opens up the Japan region. Japan’s units are (from 1 to 5): Yakuza, Paramilitary (OR Citizen Militia), Police, Self-Defense Force, and Special Forces. The Police & Special Forces are the normal troopers of that name (presumably, they’re Japanese, but still), and the Paramility covers several countries, and is found in the Pack of the Pit. If you don’t have that, then the Citizen Military provides the same basic role. The others may bear some study.
The Yakuza are the only units in the game that don’t have an absorption rating. Or rather they do, but it’s 0. So what use are they? Well, they can ambush enemies and kill them, thus earning courage, and they have the special ability that you can discard one in the area to get an extra First Aid use during the team phase. So they can heal you after the battle, but not intercept injuries coming in at that time.
The Paramilitary have a really weak attack. However, you can upgrade them once placed (or when on patrol with you, to a higher-value trooper. Their cost is 2, but by paying 1 courage per paramilitary, you can bump them up to a cost-3 trooper. Or pay more to rank them up even higher. This can be useful. Of course they also absorb 2 damage each, so that’s handy in and of itself.
Self Defense Force is made up of troopers with a really useful ability, if you prepare properly for it. Basically, you can have them attack along with you when you fire. After the attack you have to discard one of them however. You can do this either when they are on patrol with you, or when they are already in ambush. However, they are expensive (cost 4) so usually it’s hard to have too many on patrol at a time.
Here’s an example – you are in an area containing three SDF troopers. You attack the demons, adding the troopers’ 2d6 to your total. You then discard one of them. Another player enters the room and also attacks, again adding the SDF ambush to his total, though this time it was only 1d6 boost, since only two troopers are left. Then, later on in the turn, the remaining SDF trooper does a normal ambush. You got a total of a 2d6 roll, a 1d6 roll, and another 1d6 roll out of those three troopers in one turn, which can provide a healthy courage bump.