Load selection questions


I’m new to the Band of Blades (and had only some brief experience with FitD family). I have two questions about Load selection.

I’m using Heavy Specialist as an example.

  1. Some playbooks give a choice of particular items at different Load levels, e.g. take Fine Shield or Fine Heavy Weapon. Do I select this once and for all (i.e. this is my assigned gear for life, no discussion, we’re in the military) or rather I make a choice every time I decide on Load (i.e. sequential selection: I take Heavy Load so I make choices first for Light, then for Normal and finally for Heavy).

  2. Item replacement. Does Utility choice fall under item replacement rule? For example I play Heavy Specialist. I go on a mission with Heavy Load. On Normal Load I decide on taking a Fine Heavy Weapon instead of a Fine Shield. Later I select “Shield” as an Utility item. Is this utility shield replaced then by a Fine Tower Shield from Heavy Load (“replaces any Shield”)?


  1. You decide every mission. The assumption is that your Specialist has access to every item on their playbook and they decide their kit on a mission-by-mission basis.

  2. I believe so, yes. The fine tower shield says it “replaces any shield”, that includes one you get as utility.

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  1. As fighterchimp says; you decide your load before each mission.

  2. Here I don’t agree with fighterchimp. You get the Tower shield only if you have selected it at normal load. See page 75 in the “replacement and unlisted gear” box:

If a Heavy selects a Shield at normal load, it’s replaced with a Tower Shield at heavy load.

Also, I would note that the Soldier’s loadouts indications (page 108) specifically say:

Pick up to 2 additional utility load from the standard items list (this can be two 1 load items). If a fine version of that item exists (for example: a fine pistol), you get that version.

So, I would say that if it’s not specified for other specialists, it’s not the case. A shield selected with Utility by a Heavy specialist stays a normal shield, it’s not Fine or a Tower shield.

Thanks! That was my initial approach. “Replaces any Shield” statement is a bit strange given that Heavy can only get one specific Fine Shield at Normal Load. At least I’m not able to figure out any other sources of “any shield” other than Normal Load and Utility gear. On page 81 the case is simple: Fine Tower Shield “Replaces shield” (my guess would be that “any” should be removed for clarity from the playbook).

On the other hand taking an Utility shield still costs 1 load and in result some other gear will not be selected for that particular mission. This is not an ideal trade-off but this is still some cost nonetheless. Anyway, I agree that going with simple Load replacement works best.