If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that I posted these pictures the moment they hit the web. This is an exciting release for Joker since he’s needing more options in standard currently. This box set contains Archie, a new sidekick for Joker and 3 Biker henchmen. Let’s take a look and I’ll give you my 2 cents just from a first look at their rules.
Archie is a brand new Sidekick and model in the game. You may also recognize him as the drunk clown at your 5th birthday who was crying in his car prior to blowing up some multicolored balloon swords. As you may or may not know, several of the models in the game have various versions or sculpts, and this is first iteration of Archie we’re getting. Let me preface this by saying options are always appreciated in this game, especially new options. Let’s take a look at his rules and get right into it.
Looking at his basic stats, we see he’s a Joker Sidekick, he’s cheap at 35 rep, no funding cost and a henchman-like stat line, with a solid willpower stat for his cost. The only reason you take Archie is because his special rules are very unique and can cause your opponent some serious problems. We’re familiar with half of his rules. Small gives Archie a +1 to his ping rolls, making it harder for him to be shot at by firearms, and Luck allows him to re-roll any failed dice roll for a special. I’ll make the argument that this trait will mostly be used to re-roll failed blocks. Sad Life is a new rule to the game, Archie being the only model to possess it so far. Any enemy model within 6″ of Archie has to spend an additional counter to perform actions or use traits that require counters. Finally Truly Immortal (another new rule unique to Archie) makes it so that he cannot be knocked out or casualty’d in any way, this includes being arrested or affected by cruel/take down. Instead of being knocked out or removed as a casualty, he removes one damage marker and Archie’s opponent moves him up to 4″ away from his previous location.
Archie as is, is a solid choice and is going to be very annoying to deal with, there is no way to remove him and because he can easily contest your objectives, or camp his own without penalty, you’re going to want to attack him after he’s activated that round. If you attack him before he activates he’ll be able to easily move back to wherever he wants to be. Archie’s main downfall is that he’s going to be hired in place of either Harley (unless taking the Free Agent roller-skate Harley) or Joker, which is a tough sell. If he’s take in lieu of Harley, you’re losing a strong model that does a lot of work in your Joker crew. Harley is very fast and can affect the outcome of many situations. Losing a versatile model that has a ton of impact is something to mull over. If you decide to take him instead of Joker then you’re mainly losing Kaos Agent which is somewhat detrimental to a Joker crew. Can it be done without? Absolutely, but giving all of your henchmen Trickster through the inclusion of Joker is reason enough to play a Joker crew.
His rank is Archie’s only downside (and he’s a little slow at movement 2), I would argue that the rest of what he does is extremely positive. He’s not going to run around and crush henchmen or other Free Agent’s/ Sidekicks/Leaders, but he’s going to interrupt what your opponent will want to do for the majority of the game, which is extremely valuable. Since Archie is so cheap you won’t really need to justify his point cost and wonder if a model with no combat potential is worth taking, he’s easily the cheapest support piece in the game, and to top everything off, he awards no VP’s to your opponent since he cannot be KO’d or casualty’d. This is huge, one of the reasons why players are reluctant to take cheaper squishy sidekicks like Quelle for example, is because she’s easy to remove and gives up 4 VP’s. Archie gives up nothing and can be an incredible nuisance for your opponent. If Archie was a henchmen he would be an auto-include, and even at his current rank I could easily see him included in many Joker lists.
Keep in mind that if Archie is hired as the Leader, that you won’t ever need a bodyguard, you won’t have to worry about keeping him safe, you will completely invalidate the use of any model with the Assassin X rule. Although the assassin rule isn’t a big deal, the other points I mentioned can make a significant change in play style and crew building. I would want to sewer him up the board turn 1, so that he can make use of Sad Life and Truly Immortal. Archie is slow at movement 2, so using the sewers is going to be key to move him around effectively. You’re going to want to use him to camp you’re own objectives or to contest your opponent’s, saving Luck to re-roll failed blocks when your opponent decides he/she wants to move Archie off of something will also be important. With Luck on blocks, you can really irritate your opponent who may need to throw multiple models into him in order to move him (can’t say remove, because he can’t be removed). Archie will easily earn his rep cost if you tunnel him between sewers to interrupt both sides of the board. Countering him will be tough. You’ll have to deal with him AFTER he activates and not before, and you’ll also need to figure out a way to play around him, whether that means you’re including elements that help you remove sewers, or possibly using effects that strip him of counters, and even then he can still get a lot of value in your crew.
See Pt. 2 where I take a look at the Bikers…