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?

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!

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.