Had your summer holiday? Or just starting? Or maybe just in the mood for treating yourself to a new project? Well luckily we’ve got hold of the next wave of releases from Knight Models, along with yet another fantastic, mahoosive giveaway for you (seriously, how good are we to you?!) with everything to get started in Organised Crime with one of the biggest (or rather, the cleverest) minds in the DCU plus the smallest (who you callin’ small, ya dummy?).
The summer releases are all about the evil laughter. From last year’s Dark Nights: Metal event we get twisted, Dark Multiverse versions of Bruce Wayne – The Red Death (Bat-Flash), The Drowned (Aqua-Bat), The Merciless (Wonder-Ares-Bat) as a set of 3; plus, of course, The Batman Who Laughs (Joker-Bat).
The sculpts are excellent, highly characterful and dynamic. The chittering Robins at Batman Who Laughs’ feet are seriously creepy, and the level of detail in the casting is remarkable. He’s decent in the games, also. Detective, Strategist, Luck and Trickster giving you the best of Bat & Joker, plus the highly unusual combo of Large and Stealth make him interesting and versatile. Whilst 140/$200 may seem steep, it’s that versatility that you are paying for, bringing you a rare skillset for most factions. In DCU, he’s decent for 11 points, though it’s not immediately obvious how to use him (there is a line of thought that 10+ characters should always be able to deal out 3 damage minimum per attack or they’re not worth it). He’s not quite a killing machine, but he’s a potent debuffer with multiple ways of moving up the battlefield quickly; placed wisely with infiltrator, and use him to take out low-cost characters quickly or debuff the big guns.
The Dark Knights are an interesting group, but there’s some criticisms that have been levelled which need to be addressed. Firstly, is the argument that the Dark Knights are essentially ANOTHER evil Justice League (vid. Zod & Kryptonians, Crime Syndicate of America). Whilst there are some similarities, it’s fair to say that that’s DC for you generally. The Red Death is a fairly generic evil speedster, but on the other hand, he sits neatly between Zoom and Johnny Quick from a points perspective for both games; sometimes, those funny points gaps matter.
The Merciless has a really interesting points scoring mechanic – for DCU he just has to get killing, and ends up playing like a hyper-violent, evil Batgirl (strange but true), at a very reasonable 11. For BMG he’s an interesting alternative for those who like a serious melee free agent (and looking at the scale-creep of hero free agents, that’s not a bad thing) – 114 is actually relatively cheap for a 2+ str character with Medium Armour. Oh, and he has Anti-Tank on his freakin’ sword, meaning he’s a must for Legend games or just chopping up SUVs.
Villain teams in DCUMG don’t have an Aquaman equivalent (and there’s no such thing in BMG, even with Black Manta), and indeed she’s a surgical anti-Atlantean counter; in fact, in the case of both games The Drowned is probably for me the standout character: her Dark Water’s cold damage another addition to Freeze’s arsenal in BMG and neat damage/debuff in DCU. She also meets the other criticism head-on, that because they’re all called Bruce Wayne, they can’t be taken in the same team. This is a flawed argument, however. Firstly, she’s Bryce Wayne, so a different named character. More importantly, you’re very rarely going to run 2 free agents at over 100 points each in any kind of competitive list. Given that in Legend mode, where the points available are far higher, is by mutual agreement and friendly play, one could quite reasonably play the full house of Wayne. As for DCU, The Dark Knights get a team card allowing you to run multiple Villain-affiliated Bruce Waynes, along with a serious penalty to your opponent limiting their use of special abilities in the first 2 turns. Oh, and we’ve not even seen The Murder Machine et al yet…
If you’re evil gamer (mwahahahaha) you’ve got a lot more besides to be happy this month. Quite apart from the new Dark Knight Metal free agents, there’s a resin reissue of Killer Frost (such a… Cool month to be a Freeze player). All hero players get meanwhile is the resin version of Rebirth Batman. Tsk.
But it’s Organised Crime players will be particularly happy, with not one but two major boosts this month, both following fan requests (well played KM). In terms of reissues, we get Lex and LexCorp return PLUS a boxed set of Heavy Lexcorp trooper with armoured Lex as an option for BMG at last (much like Lobo, it’s an upgrade attachment – not going to lie, was tempted to swipe that for myself). Lex is now a serious BMG contender, and up there with the big guns of OC (Two-Face and Black Mask) as a viable boss again.
Lex is not to be underestimated in DCU, although his play style is complex and synergistic, relying (rightly so) on the troopers. One for the experienced player, or equally the novice who likes a very different style of gameplay. The troopers are some big-hitting Armoured dudes, usable with any OC boss. It’s worth noting, however, that the Heavy Trooper is especially useful also in both games – it’s had a much-needed buff in BMG (stick him in an OC Wonderland gang) but is also a great add to the likes of a Zod themed Villain crew (and makes a passable Eradicator, or at least Kryptonian warsuit).
The other OC release is, at last, a Ventriloquist set, featuring Wesker (with Da Boss, of course) and 3 new suited thugs. These include a new Elite Gangster, so compliments those found in the “classic” OC starters (Maroni or The Roman’s gangs), plus a couple of new OC thugs – a wealth of choice for the budding Gotham Crime Elite Boss – or, as an Elite, one can be chosen by any OC boss. These are solid new additions: I’m only an OC player in passing (Mad Hatter/Lex) but I can see me using any one of these goombas to fill odd gaps: Iceman is 26 point thug with a Rifle (yes, one of those Rifles with UNLIMITED range), and the Tailor is a great for 24 Bodyguard with Bulletproof Vest (defend your boss with a 2+ save… Oh, go on then). They’re not quick, but they’re good at what they do. Showtime, meanwhile, is ok with his automatic gun, but arguably a better buy for the other OC gangsters (make that a Long Gun). A neat trick is to run the new recruits with Tetch and use Wonderland masks: give Iceman the Cheshire Cat mask (climbing claws and Stealth – killer sniper), Queen of Hearts to Tailor (don’t underestimate the utility of Order, especially on a character who’s going to always have SC sitting on them) and White Rabbit to Showtime (Fast and Tireless – suddenly that Multifire short-range automatic gun is terrifying).
As for Ventriloquist himself, he’s a solid choice in an already crowded field, but if I’m being brutally honest his greatest appeal comes from (1) it’s really difficult/expensive to get hold of Black Mask (2) it’s Ventriloquist, ya dummy! It’s not to say he’s ineffective by any means but the biggest incentive comes from the characterful sculpt – a nice and surprisingly effective mix of BTAS and current comic aesthetic – plus the ability to run hordes of pinstriped heavies, of course. But at 75 points with a Medium range machine gun, Elusive and Goad (never underestimate the power of a well-timed Goad), he’s a good mix. Oh, and of course, Hard Guys and Master Criminal doesn’t hurt.
So let’s talk you through this preposterously huge prize. One lucky winner will win themselves:
– Lex Luthor with Lexcorp troopers (starter)
– Lex Luthor in Warsuit with Heavy Lexcorp trooper
That’s enough to run a full BMG OC Lexcorp list and a complete self-contained DCU starter force to boot. Not too shabby.
What’s that? Not enough? You want more, putting the squeeze on me…
Ok, ok, ok, how about the Ventriloquist starter AS WELL?
Yup, that’s right, you can win both of this month’s starter sets, giving you a huge array of choice to get Crime Organised!
Once you’ve done that, you can earn one competition entry for doing each of the following (maximum of 5 entries in total):
Entry is open worldwide, but we can only pay postage within the UK (sorry, folks) so if you are entering from outside the UK, please be aware that you’ll have to cover P&P. You also have 30 days from competition winner being announced to claim your prize.
The winner will be chosen at random from all the eligible entries on Sunday 12th August 2018.
So what are you waiting for? Get on it!