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!

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…

Featured

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/