At First Glance: Archie & Joker’s Bikers Pt. 1

Emo Dwarf and the Sons of Anarky

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.

Insert Rorschach Pagliacci quote here

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…

Free Agents: King Shark

“More food for the sharkticons!”

Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite pants-wearing Finding Nemo villain – King Shark. Shark as he currently stands in second edition is a great addition to a crew looking for a melee beat-stick. With Shark being affiliate unknown and only rivaling the Brave and the Bold, he’s an option for the majority of crews and teams. When evaluating whether or not to take Shark into your list you should first understand his role and what he’s going to do for you. Let’s take a look at his card.


Overview

He’s coming in at 95 Rep and no cost to your funding with a solid stat line and a high damage output potential. With his core stats you can see at attack 5 with 3+ strength that he’s going to want to put his hands on someone. Furthermore, he can easily snap henchman like twigs, but also will be able to go toe to toe with a more formidable opponent. His weapon profile “Claws & Teeth” on their own are fine; however, coupled with Devastating and a few other abilities, he can turn into an absolute terror. For each successful damage he’s putting 1 blood and 1 stun onto his target and with Combo that’s a potential 7 attacks going through. Now, if shark is injured at all he’s gaining another attack counter from Bloodthirsty putting him at a potential attack output of 9 attacks (6 attack counters plus 3 from combo). His attacks are devastating, meaning he’s rolling 2 collateral die and applying both results and he’s Brutal so he has an innate bonus to crit chance and/or knocking down his opponents. Shark is mostly going to be putting out 6 or so attacks because he won’t benefit as much from loading his attack completely with combo, only applying for each 2 attack counter intervals. This also allows for shark to save some counters for Regeneration, defending or making use of Swift to increase Shark’s threat range. Keep in mind that because shark is a base attack of 5, your opponent will need to block on 5’s as well, making him a tough model to defend against. Blood Scent is going to be what you need to make Shark more reliable against tougher opponents. Once they’re injured he can go in with +1 to hit and +1 to strength. Making it easier for him to chew through models with higher defense and making his damage rolls close to certainty. Finally his size is going to give him access to Charge which can be very impact-ful against henchmen balls.

Another component that makes your melee beat-stick a threat is how quickly he/she can get to a model. Since Shark is Huge he has a base movement of 7″, three more inches of base movement than your average 30mm base model. Should you need additional movement he’s Swift as I mentioned before, meaning he’s moving and additional 6″ when you allocate 2 counters into movement. This makes Shark’s threat range 13″ which will often get him into contact with what he needs to reach. Shark also has access to Amphibious, which will allow him to access a sewer for 1 counter instead of 2. This can often be useful for traversing the board, or exiting an area to safety, and with the cost of less counters this will help him defend or regenerate if he finds himself in a dangerous situation.

Shark’s weakest point is his ability to survive. Yes he has endurance 8, but his defense is average at 3. The issue is that half of all incoming melee attacks are going to get through, and without Martial Artist and being so big, a few models can outnumber him and bring him down to defense 2. The silver lining is that Shark has a Bulletproof Vest in the form of Meta-Skin making his survivability against guns significant, and with access to Regeneration he can heal himself as needed. My main point with his weakness is that he does not have access to Sturdy or Desensitized making him starved for counters as he takes damage, which he can accumulate rather easily for a free agent.

Hey you guuuuuuuuuys

Recap / Strategy / Personal Experience

Shark is a murder machine, chomping those pearly whites into anyone and everyone he crosses paths with. We know that hes great at beating-up henchmen and has the ability to go toe to toe with some heavy hitters with less ease, but possible nonetheless. We also know that he’s relatively quick which couples nicely with his ability to rip through models, and finally his only downfall is his low defense and that he can be put down fairly easy for a high rep cost model.

Shark is great to take when your crew lacks melee power, and since he’s not in the triple digits for rep cost, he can fit into a lot of lists without breaking the bank so to speak. It’s important to play him into situations where you can somewhat predict the outcome or be aware of the potential backlash. This means you’ll want to throw him in knowing he can survive or pick off a model without a ton of risk. Look at him as a glass cannon, he has high damage output potential, but he will pay dearly for you overextending him. Also keep in mind that he’s big and it wont take much for your opponent to outnumber him and take him out. One neat trick is that he can score all of your objectives at once if the objectives are placed near each other (legally). This is something you can do with any Huge 60mm model, but since Shark wants to fight this is something that should be done only if your opponent is not contesting or scoring and he can do it safely. Realistically he should be out fighting while your low-cost goons score your objectives, but remember this is a possibility for you. Run him around the board as a hunter and don’t feel like your wasting your efforts picking off henchmen because this is his job and he does it very well.

I like Shark in gun heavy crews like organized crime, since he can put his hands on your enemies while the rest of the crew sets up to shoot, and with a threat like shark in the forefront your opponent is going to be forced to deal with him instead of rolling through your gun-wielding henchmen. Just be careful not to overextend him and get him killed. At this point I would also say he’s pretty much an auto-include in Suicide Squad. Squad has limited options and some of them are flat-out weak choices; whereas Shark is a strong choice in any crew. He also benefits greatly from Squad’s Airborne Deployment.

Consider taking Shark in your lists and let me know how he fares. Thanks for taking a look and make sure you don’t get your period in Shark infested waters. See you soon.

What is The Batman Miniatures Game?

Bruce “The Edgelord” Wayne

The Batman Miniatures Game (BMG) is a skirmish tabletop game centered around the DC Universe’s brooding, edgy, tragic superhero vigilante ‘Batman’. The game is set in Gotham City or any other landscapes that fit the Batverse whether that’s Bludhaven, The Bat Cave, some twisted theme park operating as the Joker’s latest base of operations and anything in-between. As a player you have the option of playing as any of your favorite Batverse/DC hero or villain and his or her associated ‘goons’. The game starts with you and your opponents crew and plays around the interaction between them. One thing I will say is that this game plays very cinematic, more than most tabletop games. Knocking out a gun-wielding thug and then zipping up to the rooftop of a nearby building feels like Batman. Each activation of a character or model plays just like you’d imagine, or at least pretty close to it. Let’s talk about a few key points and I’ll post some useful links at the end of this post to help you get started.

I’m assuming you here for one or more reasons. The first being that you’re a tabletop gamer who’s also a fan of Batman or the DCU. Secondly, maybe you’re just a big comic book fan and you think the models look cool. Third, you’ve been coerced by your friends to play with little hand-painted figurines on a 3D board-game-like tabletop. Whatever your reasoning might be is good enough to at least check things out.

The Bane-Train

Let’s chat about crews for a moment. One of my favorite things about Batman is not just the Dark knight himself, but he has an amazing rogues gallery. All your favorite villains are here including everyone’s favorite drug addict Bane. Whether your heart is as cold as Mr. Freeze or you see yourself as a clown much like The Joker, or maybe you can relate to the family man cop Jim Gordon – there’s a crew for you. Now I won’t dive into the inner-workings of every crew in the game, at least not yet. I would say the first thing you should consider is what will you have the most fun playing. I always recommend playing something that matches your personality either aesthetically or play-style. That could also be as simple as picking your favorite character and building a crew around him/her, or maybe your the type to say “I just want to beat up other models effectively,” whatever that motivation is explore the model range and read through the rules to help you decide.

Named after the nickname you gave yourself as a 7 year old to sound cool — Nightwing

Some of you may be overwhelmed and have no idea where to begin. Though this is outlined in the book, you’ll need models with specific ranks to fill out your crew. They are: Leaders, Sidekicks, Free Agents and Henchmen. These ranks can be complex, but for the most part you’ll just need a Leader and from there with some constraints you can build outward with henchmen and maybe a sidekick or maybe even a team of characters like The Bat-Family. The catalyst of crew building revolves around resources and you have two to focus on. First we have reputation, this represents the core value of the model. For example Batman may be upwards of 125 reputation, whereas a measly guard might be 21 reputation. In a friendly game you can set your crew limits to be whatever you want, but the most common form of play is 350 Reputation and $1500 funding (Tournament and Batmatch Standard). For example, in a crew allowing for 350 reputation Batman will take up 125 of that and a guard 21 more, leaving the crew 204 remaining reputation for you to fill out. Next we have funding, this represents equipment that is either purchased after building a crew or an associated cost for a model. For instance, you might be eyeing another guard to stick with Batman, and he’s got a sweet assault rifle to pepper some makeup wearing thugs. now the guard himself is 26 reputation, but he also will cost you $600 in funding because those guns aren’t cheap and maybe after hiring him into the crew you want to make sure he’s got an extra clip so that’s another $200 tacked on, leaving you with 178 rep and $700 funding left. Thought this is just one example I think you get the gist.

Oh boy, Joker and his freaks sure are excited to see that Hot Topic is having another sale!

This has been a brief insight to the game. Obviously there is a lot more to cover, but I wanted to just touch on a few things that might interest you enough to look deeper. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need some guidance, you can also find me the Arkham Rejects Discord chat daily. Here are some helpful links to scratch your Bat itch, cheers.

The official Website with free downloadable rules and more – https://www.knightmodels.com/en/

The BMG Discord Chat, for all your questions, theory-crafting and BS’ing – https://discord.gg/2hRsbCs

Podcasts, search for the following – The GCPD, Little Gotham, The Boy Wonders and Titandose.

The Iceberg Lounge, a collective of articles and blogs – https://iceberg-lounge.com/author/icebergloungebmg/