Starting Soldier? Squad speciality hack?

About to start my first game running Band of Blades and I have 2 questions.

The first one is letting each squad start with 1 Soldier 4 Rookies instead of 5 Rookies. The Soldier is also the corporeal of the squad. Will this break it and be overly powerful?

The second thing is making each squad more valued at different mission types by givi g them +1d for that type of mission like Ember Wolves for assault, Ghost Owls recon, Silver Stags supply and Star Vipers religious. Where Grinning ravens or Shattered Lions get I havent figured out yet.

And of course any tips are welcome.

I would say why not! Doesn’t make a difference if nobody plays them right?
Also by giving them +1d for engagement rolls give them -1d for one mission type too.

If you’ve finished an entire campaign before, the soldier is a shift of 2 missions per squad, so yeah it’s a big deal, but you can probably manage it. If you haven’t played before, you should know it’ll cause a lot of questions about squad threat and other problems off the bat. So make sure you prep for that.

Engagement dice are actually really tightly controlled. It will change your consumption and death rates significantly.

I wrote about squad differentiation here:


The book already talks about differentiating Squads by giving them bonuses to particular Group Actions in the optional rules. As Stras says, I think you’ll regret mucking with the Engagement Rolls in that way.