At First Glance: Bronze Tiger

BRONZE TIGER
Me-wow!

Hey everyone, today we bring you the latest installment of the Kung-Fu Panda Series. In this particular film, a young Ben Turner becomes a karate-kid wannabe, fresh from his local furry fetish meetup group.

In all seriousness, I’m glad we’re finally seeing this character in BMG. This isn’t the design I was hoping for, but I’ve had him on my wish-list for some time and I’ll take what I can get. Let’s take a closer look at this martial master that has a real knack for the Tiger fighting style.

First off, he’s a free agent who works with all of your bad-guy crews and rivals Brave and the Bold. You may have also noticed with the Teams PDF being updated he can also be included in Suicide Squad, which is a great addition to a team that needs more options, and if you’re a comic book geek like myself you would have been outraged if Knight had somehow overshot that affiliation. Tiger comes in at 85 rep and no cost to your funding, putting him in a comparable free agent level to someone like King Shark who we’ve discussed in the past. The first thing you’ll notice is his stat-line, and wow is he solid. For 85 points he has a great set of stats that couple incredibly well with his traits. Ben is attack 5 with strength 3+, not only that, but due to Close Combat Master, he’s re-rolling his failed hits, all of which are putting out double stun from his Reinforced Gloves.

As a side note: re-rolls = reliability = success

Anyway, if that wasn’t enough for a great start to combat, he also has Martial Expert that allows him to crit on a roll of a 4, 5 or 6 on the collateral instead of the normal 6 roll that non-experts deal normally. This means he should crit 50% of the time, which is fantastic. But Wait! There’s More! Also our kung-fu-cat friend here has Offensive Defense, which allows him to use his defense counters as attack counters during his activation. Let’s do some math here. In a perfect world, Turner here is close enough to walk into combat with an enemy model without having to use any movement counters. Assuming he’s going for broke, he’s loaded up with 5 counters in attack and 2 in defense. That’s 7 re-rollable attacks at strength 3+. That’s potentially 15 stun damage with the improved crit chance from Martial Expert. That’s an insane amount of output for an 85 rep model, and if we compare him to someone like Shark who’s a high output glass cannon, this guy is a high output model that is defense 5. Let that sink in for a moment. Attack 5, defense 5, strength 3+, re-rolling hits, and 50% to crit, and the ability to exceed his attack counter threshold by dumping remaining counters in defense as attacks. What…

The fun doesn’t stop there, and one could easily argue that with just those abilities and stats, 85 rep may be a little low for him, or maybe he is just at the cusp of balance; however, he keeps going. He’s also a Martial Artist, so you can’t even attempt to drop his defense by outnumbering him, and if he finds himself in a crappy situation where he needs to D-up, he has the option to knock you out while protecting himself with Counter Attack. I actually don’t think you’ll need to use Counter Attack with him, just because he’s naturally resilient at Defense 5 and Martial Artist, but it’s a nice tool to have. Turner also has The Professional trait which allows him to score additional VP’s when he removes a Leader, Sidekick and/or Free Agent from the game. This is awesome, but paired with his final ability it pushes him over the edge for sheer point for point value. His final trait is Take Down, something you may be familiar with if you’ve looked at/played Red Hood. This is great for many reasons; the first being that if you’re someone who plays bad-guy crews, you have very few, and in some case, no options to take a model with Arrest/Cruel/Takedown in your crew. All of these abilities are incredibly valuable. With him you now have the ability to remove models from the game without having to spend activations trying to finish off a threat unreliably via coup de grace. The second reason is that assuming another model knocks out a Leader, Sidekick and/or Free Agent, Tiger can literally walk up and for one special counter remove that model and still gain the benefits from The Professional.

I think he fits amazingly in the game, he’s not an insanely expensive melee beater. In fact I would say he’s under-costed for what he does. His biggest weakness is speed, and at movement 3 he’s not suffering all that much. He gives bad-guy crews access to removal that they don’t get to see often without outright stacking blood dealing weapons. I would even go as far to say that this is the Free agent you want in a Bane crew, and because he doesn’t cost any funding it allows for a lot of equipment and guns to be purchased during creation. I love King Shark, and back before shark and before standard started to become more popular my go-to was Zsasz, and now we have Bronze Tiger. If his sculpt/design looked a little less like a mascot for a Chuckie Cheese Dojo, I probably would have died from over-stimulation.

Image result for bronze tiger dc

What do you think of this kitty-cat criminal? Where do you see him fitting into your crews?

Adepticon 2019 Recap Pt. 2

Image result for adepticon 2019

Long time no see Bat-Family. Sorry for the silence on my end, life has been extra busy these past few weeks and I’ve just finished (well mostly finished) recovering from eye surgery. The surgery had rendered me incapable of looking at a computer/phone screen, in addition I’ve had to use this past week to catch up on some of my obligations. Anyway, I’ve meant to put this post together ages ago, but better late than never right? Let’s get into Jason’s analysis of Adepticon 2019 for the BMG tournament.

Let’s revisit Jason’s lists that he built as a sort of “all-comers” list for both. Also stating that the idea was to deal with “smaller elite” crews. Let’s take a look.

List 1

  • Poison Ivy (Big Ivy) – modified pheromones
  • Harley Quinn (Gotham City Sirens)
  • Mutated plant 1
  • Mutated plant 2
  • Mutated plant 3
  • Carnivorous Plant
  • Tet
  • Stealth Op – Mutant Alterations
  • Dreadnought Op – Mutant Alterations, Mutation Serum

List 2

  • Poison Ivy (Big Ivy) – modified pheromones
  • Harley Quinn (Gotham City Sirens)
  • Scarecrow
  • Prisoner 1
  • Mutated Plant 3 – Titanic Mutation, Corrosive Blood
  • Stealth Op – Mutant Alterations
  • Dreadnought Op – Mutant Alterations, Mutation Serum, Rare Nth Medallion
Related image

Jason’s thoughts on his list and his games

The main difference between the two lists is the lists composition – list 1 with Tet and more plants compared to list 2 which had Scarecrow and Pipe Prisoner. I’m really trying to prevent my opponent from getting to his objectives with the plants and the hard to hit guys (Adaptable from the Serum) and of course Mind Control. None of my opponents attempted to hit Stealth Op at Defense 5, so he was great at holding my objectives. Dreadnought was more in the forefront, still trying to score my other objective, but also able to kill a model when needed (ironically he had trouble putting down Cooki’s Pipe Prisoner)

My idea was to have Ivy and Tet on the hunt to control and hand out fire makers to models they cross paths with.Tet killed 5 models in total, burning High Security, and Icy in one game. The next game he killed Cash, QRT2 ,and Arkham Guard 3. Harley was used more as a Support piece. Disarray, Follow Me! (the veteran models could move that counter to help deal more damage if needed) and her guns were used to scare my opponent. With harley you either commit to her or avoid her. Although it’s pretty unanimous throughout the community, she’s a great model with lots of impact in a single game. Not many other models can run up side of the table to go beat Lincoln March to death with a baseball bat.

I want to talk about Scarecrow and Ivy, and how good they are. I’d say together they are significantly stronger than if you were to look at them as individual pieces.

Related image

Scarecrow allows Ivy, or any other Mind Control user, to control higher willpower models with slightly more ease. He can also get a ping from Ivy’s roots. Charm is a good rule, and makes it tough to deal him in melee; however, there are still a lot of ways to put him down. Overall Scarecrow can easily die if you don’t act fast and cagey with him. Keep in mind that Persuasion can also help with positioning adding more control to his playstyle, it will help by giving him more breathing room, specifically forcing a model to activate, that may not want to activate. I used List 2 with him in it versus Ben and his BatB, also against Kevin’s Court.

I noticed in the games that his basic movement of 5” made a difference when catching models to spray as well as running to safety.

There’s not a whole lot to say about Ivy that we don’t already know. Against Kevin he passed the willpower tests 2 or 3 times, which was bad luck on my part since the models were at willpower 3 and 4 during those activations. I found myself constantly moving her up fast turn one. Then my opponent would rush me down, but unless they had a way around her Defense of 5, I’d just play cagey. I used Mind Control and Plants to back me up and take off some of the pressure.

Tet went on a killing spree, and as I mentioned before he had some key casualties. Controlling a model with Ivy allowed me to drop the model’s counters and the Tet could spray a nearby model catching 2-3 models easily, and with the loss of counters it was tough for my opponents to purge the fire markers off.

The plants were there simply to contest. I had about 2 seed markers near each objective, and placing the Caustic Plant in a good spot to shoot. Mutated Plant 3 is a steal with the Disruptor at 14 rep, so I included him to support my crew.

My main goal was to play fast on turn one, getting to my objectives and playing very cagey. Tet was the MVP but Kabuto and Pipe Prisoner were also doing a lot of work. Dreadnought did a great job, but he’s not going to be taking down the bat anytime soon. He really benefited from Harley consistently backing him up.   

Overall, both lists were fast. It 100% came down what my opponent had in his list to help decide if I would run list 1 or 2.

Jason

Adepticon 2019: The Cooki Connection

Hey Everyone, part 2 of Jason’s Adepticon write up is coming soon, but I wanted to provide you all with something a little special. I had the chance to pick Aaron “Cooki” Cook’s brain about Adepticon after taking home first place. Without further adieu I present to you the Omaha Onlsaught, The Midwest Mayhem — Aaron “Cooki” Cook

I’ve been miniature gaming since I was about 10-11 years old, so about 16 years now (currently 27) I’ve played a ton of games from any Clix series, any GW game, warmachine/hordes, malifaux, etc… I haven’t won many major events but have placed/won a decent amount of smaller events. I don’t consider myself a “power gamer” because most of the time I just try and make things I like work. I’m notorious around the Midwest for using sub-par stuff and doing well with it. Batman is probably the “hardest” I’ve gamed in a while and even then it’s only about half of the time. 

How long have you been playing Batman; moreover, how long have you been playing in BMG specific tournaments?

I’ve been playing Batman for around 2 years. Been going to Batman events since I’ve started. The Des Moines guys and us (Omaha) have hosted a few events for BMG.

What were your thoughts going into Adepticon from a player/strategic standpoint? Tell me why you chose your lists and what you aimed to accomplish with them if anything specific. What were you hoping to see or not hoping to see at Adepticon from a strategic standpoint? (IE: weaknesses/strengths)

Last year I placed second and Karl from Canada placed first. We both used basically identical lists. How the rounds and VPs went, we dodged each other and were both undefeated. So this year I knew I had to step up my game, Omaha thinks Freeze and Owls are the top two crews in the game currently after Society nerfs (which now has changed because of Joker’s bikes and that sweet DKR box, but that’s another discussion). So my buddy was taking Owls for sure, so I could have borrowed another friends Owl crew or just run Freeze. I went with Freeze because I like using big badass free agents a lot. That being said I knew I was afraid of Owls, Penguin, and Militia probably the most. So I built both of my lists to be able to feel comfortable enough to handle either in any scenario. I knew most of the time I’m dropping The Batman Who Laughs list anyways. The Enchantress was just to list-chicken some people. I dropped the Batman Who Laughs list 3 of 4 games.

Give me a brief rundown of how you felt about the games you played in specifically, and
what were your thoughts on your fellow players as a whole?

Image result for the batman who laughs

I got to play against completely new opponents for this tournament, which is a nice change.

First round I played against Jason Thompson in Secure the area. He dropped Ivy, Harley, Tet, Kabuto, Dreadnought Op, and 3 plants and I dropped my The Batman Who Laughs list. I picked Ice Field, Change of Plans, and Vandalism. I probably should have picked something else besides change of plans. He picked 2 patrols and Ivy’s strategy. I knew going into this match that it was going to be cagey and a very low VP scoring game because Freeze plays defense very well and Ivy’s plants are annoying. He made some very clutch Ice Flash rolls on Tet and he was tearing up my flank of High Security and double shovel guys. The game changed in my favor when I tempted Ivy into mind controlling High Security and a shovel with good counters on them, he took the bait and I failed both of my willpower rolls but then managed to take down Ivy with Freeze and Batman Who Laughs. It came down to my shovel guy surviving Dreadnought Op last turn to contest his Medical Supplies, which pushed it to a minor win for me. Very close game and a very cool and chill opponent in Jason Thompson. I got in a total of 3 pick up games with Jason over the Adepticon weekend.

Second game was against one of the Canhammer guys, Andrew Atkins. The scenario was looting and I went with the Batman Who Laughs/Freeze list and he dropped an Arkham Asylum Joker, Rebirth Harley, Borgon, Rasta Clown, Hobo, Master of Ceremonies, Pipe Clown, and Punker list. I went with double Fast Advance and Andrew picked Joker’s strategy, and Change of Plans. I knew going into this match up I needed a bunch of VPs because I was way behind the top three on VPs scored after the first round. Playing against Joker with only five rounds I needed to jump on objectives quick and out-last him, which is why the double Fast Advance was picked. I think Andrew’s biggest flaw, to me, was that it seemed like he didn’t have a game-plan throughout the game. At one point of the game he threw Joker’s explosive weapon at The Batman Who Laughs and did damage, I told him to use luck and fish for a knockdown. He didn’t realize ranged attacks can knock down large/huge guys. He got the crit and proceeded to chop The Batman Who Laughs in two with Master of Ceremonies, but Andrew had taken massive causalities and couldn’t come back. That game ended in a major victory for me. Andrew was a easy going guy, I enjoyed the game.

Game three was against Matt from Minnesota. We were playing Asphalt Jungle. He only had one list and it was the Penguin bat-box with a Scope on Tanner. I was about to drop the The Batman Who Laughs list again and then changed my mind because the Enchantress list was designed to fight crews more like the penguin bat-box (IE: some scary guns and lots of low powered henchman). I was afraid of tanner just 1-2 rounding The Batman Who Laughs before he got stuck in the mob of henchmen so that’s why I went with the Enchantress list. Matt is a fairly new player, I believe he said this was his 5th game and he had never played against Enchantress nor Freeze, so I knew it was going to be brutal for him. He deployed Tanner on a far flank with decent line of sight but then I counter deployed High Security with Bulletproof Vest/Grapple Gun within 12” and out of line of sight to threaten him right away. Tanner was my biggest concern from the start. He pulled first and shot my Whistle-Shovel and put 6 blood on him, then he used a sewer to go on top of a building near my deployment zone. I put my sewers all on top of buildings for the sole purpose of knowing that I could out-fight Penguin, so if he wanted to use sewers then I could out score him as well. I saved Enchantress for going last and zipped up the field to mind control Lark. Second round of the game is where it got brutal, I knew I had a good chance to pull first and with Tanner out of the game for this turn (sewer placements) I positioned myself for a good round of double sprays. Between Enchantress and two sprays his crew fell apart quick. We only got to round 5. Matt took the loss well and this is a situation where a second list designed to fight more of the top tier free agents and more games under his belt could change everything.

So going into the final round I was in fourth place. The top three guys were running VP farming type lists, so the only chance of me winning the tournament was for the top table to pull a draw and me to win. So knowing this I just needed a 5 point lead and hope for the best. My opponent was another guy from Canada, Will Paul. I was looking at his crew the entire tournament and was a bit afraid to play against it. I don’t have much experience against Riddler bots and hoped for a decent scenario against it as well (which two of the four scenarios that I would want to play against him in were already played). He was using Modern Age Riddler as the Mechanic Riddler which I didn’t know until we sat down and discussed lists, once he told me that I was a bit more at ease because I was thinking he could use regular objectives, drop riddles, and clues. His list was just the bot-spam clue and riddle farm with Ratcatcher. We were playing skirmish, a decent scenario to fight the bots against. I knew the bots don’t really want to fight and I need to get on them right away. So double Fast Advance was the choice, needing 4 strategy points to use two fast advances I needed to drop The Batman Who Laughs list. I set up super aggressively and was looking to match his points along the way and hope that I could make him run away (kill 70% of his crew). He set up his bots along his entire deployment but then clustered Riddler, Bodyguard Bot, and two other bots with the riddle dropping equipment in threat range of my two sprays and The Batman Who Laughs. To me this was his biggest mistake of the game. I pulled first and used freeze to inspire, ice flash, and spray 5 guys. Then my second activation was Coldy with the same 5-man spray. I didn’t care if I was wounding on 5’s because of the bot trait/Light Armor. I was just putting on a bunch of early damage that can only be healed by Riddler. It got crazy fast with High Security/The Batman Who Laughs and both shovels getting into it by turn 2. The mistake I made that game was forgetting he used Riddler’s strategy on one of my shovel guys and forgetting about it until he mentioned it in the recount phase, not a huge mistake but something to remember. After the first three rounds he didn’t have much left and I was up 1-2 points. At the end of round three I counted up rep and he made his run away check and failed it. So that pushed me to a major win due to bonus points. Will Paul was a great opponent and would play against him any time.

What are your plans for Batman moving forward?

I told myself after Adepticon to tone down my lists a little and I’m probably going back into Bane or Central City. I picked up a bunch of scatter terrain at Adepticon and need to start demo-ing around my area and build the community here. 

What advice could you give to other players that are either interested in competitive play or interested in improving their play?

My biggest advise for players is to really start talking about things you don’t know how to play against/have troubles against and figure them out. Even in friendly games my buddies and I will talk to each other and figure out what the best course of action is at any state of the game. It helps with knowing our own crew better but more importantly knowing what the enemy wants/plans to do.

How do you think BMG could be improved? Or what changes would affect the game’s quality for the better?

I think Knight should tap into their community a bit more and get some more feedback. In all fairness though Knight has been doing a pretty good job with the game more recently.

I would like to say that I enjoyed the Batman tournament at Adepticon. There has been talk about how terrain was terrible and there was a pairing issue round 2, but all in all it was worth going to still. I even stated that at first glance the tables didn’t look amazing but they played fine, maybe besides 1-2 of them. The pairing issue was a bit frustrating but to be honest I think if I hadn’t said anything, people probably wouldn’t have really noticed/cared. I just love the game and want to play, that’s really the only thing I care about.

Aaron “Cooki” Cook

Free Agents: Reverse Flash (TV Show)

This is what you would look like if you were really fast and hated everyone

Oh look! It’s the evil doppelganger trope. Reverse Flash, where do I start. Despite the fact that he’s just hell-bent on systematically destroying the life of Barry Allen, he’s actually responsible for a ton of great content produced by DC. If you’re a fan of the current Doomsday Clock run, you’ll know that The Button was the primer for what is happening currently. There’s also Flashpoint & Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay that was brought on by the devious motivations of Thawne. Whatever your poison might be, I figured we could sit down and look at this time-traveling bully and what he brings to a crew.

If you’re looking to take a speedster in your villain crew, this is the one you’re going to be looking at. Thawne is coming in at 110 rep and no cost to your funding. 110 is steep and this is going to be the main reason you undergo heavy consideration when putting him into your crew, or choose to completely gloss over him every time. He has great stats, and when you couple his stats with his speedforce powers he can do some pretty cool things. The first thing that will jump out to you is that he’s movement 5, making him able to move incredibly far across the table and Dodge with near certainty, on top of that, being defense 5 makes Thawne tough to deal with regardless, and because of his speed it’ll be difficult to outnumber him or catch up well enough to increase his ability to be hit. The likelihood that movement 2 henchmen are going to have the opportunity to outnumber Thawne is slim to none, it would really only apply with unfavorable activation orders or poor planning. Let’s go a bit further into what Thawne actually does in a crew.

At 110 rep you’re going to need to play Reverse Flash so that he’s making a large enough impact to make him worth his cost. Now, he has a lot of tools at his disposal, but I think we should talk about the speedforce first since it will apply before either you or your opponent activates.

Speedforce

I purposefully cropped the chart to display the powers you’ll be using most often. Do keep in mind that because Thawne has I Know I’m Doing that he’ll be able to at least shrug off any adverse effects from the paradox table, should he fail to succeed. A rule of thumb for speedsters in general is to stick to what is consistent and what isn’t going to be detrimental to your game. The only reason you should ever risk using a power that can paradox is if it means the difference between you winning/losing the game. Besides healing every once and while if need be, you’re going to be hitting the same speedforce power combination every turn. At Speedster: 5 that combination will be Muscle Growth, Fast Combo, Super Speed Lvl 1 and Super Speed Lvl 2. This will allow you to move Reverse Flash 12″ before he activates, and if your unfamiliar with speedsters and speedforce powers, this does not count as Reverse Flash’s movement and happens before any model activates. This effectively means you could move into combat, out of combat, into an objective, out of an objective or anything else you can think of with an additional 12″ before activations begin. With Muscle Growth Thawne is effectively at strength 3+ when you decide you want him to beat someone up, with Fast Combo you’re throwing out twice as many attacks for each assigned counter. IF (and that’s a big if) you decide to dump all your attacks into an enemy, that is potentially 8 stun which is good, but keep in mind he does not have any inherit re-roll to hits or damage so he is susceptible to whiffing in combat. Kinetic Tornado is unique to Reverse Flash and it can be very useful given the circumstance. It will Paradox on a 6+, but because he has I Know What I’m Doing he can do it with a bit of a safety net, but because it costs 2 of his speedforce counters, you’ll have to determine what you’ll be giving up for the round. What’s nice about Kinetic Tornado is that it occurs before activations so if you have a small opening to push someone off a building before they activate, or disrupt a henchmen ball then its definitely worth its use. I’d even go so far to say that this is something you could generally use on turns that you don’t need Thawne to go in and punch it out with another model; however, still assess whether or not the paradox effect is worth the associated risk, especially if you’ve already used up I Know What I’m Doing.

His Role/General Strategy

Reverse Flash is a nuisance, much like any other speedster in the game. Their ability to move across the board and disrupting activations and outcomes is key. Because speedsters have the ability to basically move at two different times during the game round, you’ll want to focus that on achieving goals related to movement and positioning. For example, a bread and butter trick is starting the round on a controlled objective, and using the speedforce to walk Reverse flash into combat with an enemy. After he is successful or unsuccessful at knocking out the enemy model, he can then use his basic movement (8″ from base of 4″ plus another 4″ from Fast and Speedster: 5) to move back into another objective or the same objective. In addition at movement 5, he can move a total of 18″ if needed. This something I like to do if a model is close enough to do a hit and run. The example is as follows: Reverse Flash who had scored by controlling a Medical Supplies objective in the round previous uses his speedforce powers to travel 12″ to Bouffon who is ready to unload his nail gun into Grotti who is already injured. Reverse Flash assigns 3 counters into attack and with Muscle Growth and Fast Combo Thawne is dishing out 6 unblockable attacks (speedsters can only be blocked by other speedsters), 4 of which are successful knocking out Bouffon. Reverse Flash then uses 2 movement counters to return to the Medical Supplies and scores it again when the round ends. Maybe in this scenario you’ve assigned another into movement and 1 into defense, for the chance to Dodge a ranged attack or to attempt to block an attack. Speedsters are also great at producing a threat. By this I mean that I can essentially lumber up the board with a henchmen ball while Reverse Flash heads up the other side of the board to score an objective, or maybe two with Change of Plans. This makes it so my opponent has to make a decision to stop Reverse Flash from scoring, or deal with my threat that will soon be at his doorstep. I would argue that a successful tactic in tabletop miniatures games usually involves creating problems that your opponent needs to solve; furthermore, the tougher that decision is for your opponent the more successful you’ll be. This brings me to my main argument with speedsters and Reverse Flash they/he are a nuisance and cause issues for your opponent, which can be incredibly valuable. I would say that a more skilled opponent will render Reverse Flash as not nearly of a threat than the havoc he can wreak on a newer opponent, since the veteran player will understand the long term effects of his/her choices more so than the newer player. Speedsters can also prove to a be a great resource to help take out a tough opponent should you need to change the balance of the game drastically. Speedsters are unblockable by other models without the speedster trait, therefore if you’re dealing with a meat-shield who has high defense and assigned defense counters you may be able to strip some of those counters or finish a model who is looking to hang-on by the skin of their teeth. This is especially effective if you’re able to enter combat with Reverse Flash in a preexisting combat between two other models. For example, Reverse Flash enters combat with AA Batman who is injured and failed to put High Security Henchman down at the end of the last round. Now that Batman is outnumbered he will be hit on 4+ instead of 5+ and though he has 3 counters in defense to block, he will be unable to block Reverse Flash’s incoming hits due to the speedster trait. If the result is at least 2 or 4 stun and Batman is not KO’d, he has now lost counters and may make it easier for another melee model to come in and get the damage through. Finally, any model in any miniatures game that has the ability to travel the board efficiently is a good model by default, greatness is when that ability is coupled by other powerful traits.

Further Card Evaluation

We know what Speedster: 5, Fast and I Know What I’m Doing does from what was discussed previously. Dodge simply allows for Reverse flash to dodge ranged attacks without having it built in through the Acrobat trait. Scientific gives him +1 special and he awards 1 more VP when he is casualty’d; however, due to Survivor, on a 5+ Thawne can continue to prevent himself from dying, therefore the drawbacks of scientific will be slightly less regular. Tachyon Device is worthless unless you’re playing in a game with another speedster, friend or foe.

Overall I think he’s solid, he’s incredibly fun to play with, but he’s expensive and that’s why you may hear that speedsters in general are not worth taking in your lists. He may not be an easy choice to make and he’s definitely not a key component when min/max’ing, but I think he has his place and can be very impactful. Tell me what you think when you give this angst-filled butt-hurt ginger a whirl.

At First Glance: Batwoman

Everyone’s favorite crime-fighting, wig-wearing, lesbian red-head vigilante

Where do we begin with Kate Kane? She’s one tough cookie with daddy issues and she’s rocking the mantle of her rich emo cousin Bruce. If you’re a comic book fan you’ve seen that she’s been integral in the latest detective comics run featuring the current bat-family. Well let’s dive in and see what her 2nd edition counterpart has to offer.

Kate is a Leader or Sidekick for Brave and the Bold, and if you noticed there was some slight updates made for teams that includes Batwoman in Bat-Family. She’s coming in at 111 rep and no cost to your funding. Her stat-line is solid, not great for her cost, but solid nonetheless. Stat-line wise she’s exactly the same as she was in 1st edition with an additional willpower.

Batwoman has her same old weapon profiles with the R. Controlled Batarangs and the Shock Gloves. The real changes come in the form of her special rules and the fact that she is now a Leader/Sidekick hybrid instead of just a Sidekick.

Let’s see what she’s gained and lost in the updated model release.

Gained:Lost:
Air CombatTechnique
Interrogation
Military Teamwork
Batcape

Losing Technique is rough. It is a strong ability that can completely render a model useless if it is affected by the paralyze effect; however, Kate gains a lot as you can see above. Air Combat is easily the most exciting of the bunch, but Interrogation is interesting as well. What’s nice about Air Combat is it is very easy to ensure combat bonuses on the turns that Kate’s Batclaw is active; zipping into combat with a Batclaw/Grapple Gun is often something you’ll have seen by various Batman models, Robins, equipped High security Henchmans and Borgons (not to mention the various other models and combinations). My point is that this is something familiar, but Batwoman is gaining a huge advantage by entering combat with her Batclaw since she’ll be +1 to hit and +1 to damage rolls. The great part is she effectively gains Martial Expert. The reason this is important is that Kate’s gloves have CRT: Stunned which gives Batwoman a lesser Technique in that it prevents the affected model from spending counters of any kind (it does not award -2 to defense though). There is a direct trade-off, yes Batwoman no longer has the reliability of technique; however, it is now supplemented that her crit effect on her gloves are much more likely to activate. Now Air Combat can also be activated by leaping down, and since you can only use her Batclaw every other round, she can still benefit from Air Combat by essentially jumping down and putting her hands on another model. This is why I believe that Knight decided to also give her the Batcape rule, preventing her from taking fall damage by trying to active Air Combat through a leap down movement (if the distance down is significant). Interrogation is another new one for her; the rule is a little wordy, but as far as I understand it is that if she is able to successfully grab or push an enemy model — she or another friendly model may move up to 4″ or reallocate 2 action counters. I see this being more beneficial for friendly models since Batwoman can try and move a friendly model out of harms way, or move them into an objective by beating someone up despite the location of her and said friendly model. For example, Kate successfully pushes High Security Henchman off of a roof, and on the other side of the board, Arkham guard moves 4″ into the player’s medical supplies effectively scoring it at the end of the round. It could also be used to pull a model or herself away from a lamppost, out of range of a gun etc… I really think this is a great rule, it’s just going to require some finesse and positioning. I could also see this being a way of moving her or a friendly’s counters around to either help with attacking, or to save someone by dumping more counters into defense, moving it into movement for dodging, moving unused counters into special to recover more effectively at the end of the round etc… Military Teamwork is another solid rule, but because Kate is going to be zipping around beating models up, it’s really only going to come into play when she makes her way into a situation where she’s saving another model or attempting to outnumber an enemy model.

Overall I think that Batwoman is solid, her main drawback is her cost, she’s expensive, but if you compare her to someone like AA Batman I think she’s much better and cheaper. I would say you probably won’t be running her with any of the really expensive Batman models or other Brave and Bold costly pieces. I think she does well in Bat-Family since she can Arrest and will be dealing stun damage anyway, so paired with someone like Damian who will gain the Boy Wonder trait, Damian could knock someone out and she could easily remove that model, especially with Criminology preventing Runaway, but she really pairs well with any high stun list which is the majority of the Brave and Bold/Bat-Family options anyway. She’s going to want to run around and pick people off since she’ll be pretty quick with her Batclaw. She’ll definitely want to zip into combat with enemy models camping objectives especially if she has back up to make use of Military Teamwork, but that will be more of a mid to late game scenario. Try to take advantage of height with her. Simply standing on a van and dropping down to punch someone can activate Air Combat, or dropping down from a building if you’re trying to keep her safe. She’s pretty survivable at Defense 4 and Endurance 7, and the icing on top is her Bat-Armor MK1. Just be careful when throwing her into a mob, since she does not have Martial Artist and guns can tear her apart if she’s not making use of Stealth.

Other things to note would be that Night Vision pairs well with the fact that her Batarangs are R. Controlled, making it so you can throw them from around a corner or weave them through obstacles. Searcher is always nice to have, in fact anything that removes strategy points or removes an enemy strategy is huge. I would also go as far to say that models that have an impact on the pre-game are always an option to consider and are generally useful for that reason alone. In addition to all that I just mentioned, Kate also has access to her Officer Training equipment which gives her the Follow Me! rule, something worth taking if you have the extra rep and funding.

Overall I think the new Batwoman is pretty awesome. What do you all think? Is she good? Bad? Will there be a Birds of Prey team coming? Does the carpet match the drapes? You tell me!

At First Glance: Archie & Joker’s Bikers Pt. 2

You may not be cool enough to ride a motorcycle, but these clowns sure are. If you’re not getting Road rash (1994) vibes then I feel bad for you. Let’s continue on with these jocular speed demons.

gotta…
go…
fast…

Here’s the deal… these guys are good. I’m still toying with them and thinking about how they fit exactly into lists, but at first glance they’re solid and in easy contention for top Joker henchmen. Firs things first they have a decent henchmen stat-line with a slightly above average endurance stat. because of Fast and Special Base the bikers are going to move at a base of 8″, and with full movement allocation they’re threat range is 12″, 13″ and 15″ (because of reach) for Biker 2 who has Anxiety.

Let’s chat about the weapons each biker has. The short of it is that the weapons are great. Biker 1 has a double blood short range gun with Assault 3, making his moving and shooting an easy choice, effectively only losing 1 rate of fire for accomplishing exactly what he wants to. Biker 2 is sporting a 1 blood 1 stun weapon with Handy and Reach, making his threat range insane for a henchman and he’s re-rolling his failed hits. Finally Biker 3 is donning a blade, a double blood weapon that is Heavy and Overwhelming. This effectively makes him a base strength of 4+ with a -1 for anyone attempting to block him. The rules associated with each weapon are great, and make each one them valuable coupled with their other rules and stats.

We know that they’re fast, but lets take a look at their other rules and how they affect their potential. Death Pack just got a whole lot more dangerous. Biker 2 and 3 have it and together the enemy model is going to significantly easier to hit. On top of the hit chance going up, these guys are getting free attack dice, for an even easier time to put the hurt on someone. Always on Move (I think they a word) is a new rule and it’s a doozy. This makes it so that each biker can effectively cruise up to an enemy model, attack it, and then keep on moving. It’s a really nice rule when the biker is wanting to do a hit and run so to speak, but because of Death Pack it’s not going to be utilized when the biker’s are ready to jump on someone for reliable damage. I think that the gun toting biker (1) and the hockey stick biker (2) benefit from this the most.

Special Base allows for all the benefits and slight drawbacks of being a Large model, most importantly Charge. With Charge, Death Pack and Biker 3’s Bloodthirsty, this is one scary trio. If you’re also running Bud and Lou in your list you have fast moving, hard hitting death-ball zooming around the table. This is something I’d be eager to try and I could see being a gimmicky, yet effective list.

I think that these guys are definitely an option to consider, in fact as it currently stands I would try to fit them in any Joker list that I’m kicking around. As mentioned before, I’m curious to see how they function with Bud and Lou, and just to go Crazy throw roller-skate Harley in there to zoom around with the rest of Joker’s athletes.

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…