So we’re back folks with more of the new releases for BMG & DCU. And don’t forget to check the results of our prize draw at the end! But what would we be without another prize for you guys? Well, let me tell you, this month it’s something extra special – and secret! Yup, this month you’re going for a mystery prize (trust me, it’s a doozy). But more about that later.
With the 80th anniversary of Batman upon us, Knight Models are pulling out all the stops. First and foremost, we have the new Bat-Boxes: 3 fully contained starter forces (350 rep, so tournament level), complete with quick start rules, scenarios, faction-specific objectives, strategies and equipment cards (woo-hoo!).
The starters are:
For the Joker, you get the Joker starter set (Arkham Joker plus 3 goons), the 2 new clowns from last month and a further 3 clowns: Ace of Spades (armed with Joker Gas Grenades, very neat), Dynamite (who’s excellent, another Double Blood axe for a fairly reasonable 22 points) and a new sidekick – Gaggy! Now there’s a blast from the past, as he comes with an explosive gas pogo stick. Delightfully silly, not sure how he’ll play though when Harleys are so useful at optimising mobility. You also get 2 Joker Gas objectives and the aforementioned equipment cards. For around £70, it’s a very decent price indeed.
Riddler has never appealed to me in BMG, as a faction at least, as it’s been from the Arkham video games – I have no real attachment to that version of the character. However, this is a new Comic Starter set, and my-oh-my it’s impressive. There are 4 new sculpts in the set, in addition to the regular Riddler Starter (with 3 retro-style Riddler goons and Quelle): female lackeys Echo and Query, a comedy cat-burglar who needs to be painted with SWAG on his bag, plus the Irish giant Finn. Firstly, it’s great to see more females in the game generally, and both of these new additions are quick, nimble and pretty deadly, an effective alternative to hiring Free Agents in a Riddler crew. Moreau, the cat burglar, is likely to be most useful for his Drop a Riddle ability, enhancing your ability to score VPs generally. Finn, meanwhile, is a hulking giant of a model, reminiscent of the old Titan metal figs for Joker and Penguin; however, he’s a far more versatile piece, with high damage output, Bodyguard and the ever-potent Electric Storm ability. And from a fan perspective, getting current comic characters is really exciting; the whole set is really evocative, and it’s genuinely going to be hard to resist getting this one.
A resin re-release, the Suicide Squad movie figs continue to impress as versions of the actors, with the new material really highlighting the crisp detailing. Also, other niggles with this set in metal – most obviously the notoriously hellish build that was Katana – have largely been negated. Again, it’s a great set, though I’d’ve liked to have seen Rick Flag added to the set, to be honest. Whilst the price point on this set is around £10 lower, and it’s about the self-contained starter force, not including Rick – or Enchantress for that matter – seems an oversight. And whilst I’m wishlisting, Amanda Waller? No figure exists for her yet, and given that we’ve had new sculpts in both of the other two boxes, her absence was genuinely a surprise – a rule that including her lowered the cost further of SS members would’ve been a simple resolution also, but in fact she no longer even appears on the Team list (more on that later). That being said, the new objective marker is great, and again the stack of equipment cards is invaluable given that, as Free Agents, the Squad see so much wider play.
Now you can’t really celebrate the Bat-iversary without a new Batman, now can you?! Whilst one might have expected a Batman Batbox (patience, old chum) we instead get the spectacular, massive sculpt of the Dark Knight descending through a cloud of Bats. It’s a stunning model, continuing the current trend of highly evocative comic figures that we’re now seeing from KM. In game, he’s good, but not absurdly so (which considering that, at 162 points is the most expensive Wayne in the game, is remarkable) – so it’s one for the collector and the completest, certainly, but not a game-breaker.
And what would the Bat be without his Nemesis? Well, continuing their habit of variant sculpts, here we have an online exclusive extra of Killing Joke Joker, in full beach attire. Another dynamic sculpt; I have mixed feelings about online exclusives generally, but I’d rather see a variant sculpt than an entirely new miniature any day of the week. Doesn’t mean I don’t want one though… Ha. Ha ha ha…
Another big – and I mean big – solo Free Agent release is Basil Karlo. Beautiful sculpt for one thing, a comic vibe leaning towards classic BTAS, with rules reflecting his Rebirth appearances in Detective Comics: he may be Organised Crime, but this is a Clayface that can be run with the Batman. As a DC nut through-and-through, it’s great to see this level of thought going into designing new gameplay experiences. Likewise, the inclusion of Soft/Hard versions as upgrade cards allows you to not only play Clayface as suits your style but adapt accordingly. What I would say is that, for all the thought that’s gone into this, he powers down very fast with damage; yes, that’s fluffy, but not that effective in game terms, sadly. If you have to go big, I’d go King Shark, for all that this is a lovely figure.
The big bads of the CW get a look-in this month, with Damian Darkh, Malcolm Merlyn and a resin reissue of Reverse Flash. Though they belong to different factions, they can be played together under the new Team rules (see the end of this article!). Reverse Flash has got cheaper and nastier, with an ability that accurately reflects his CW persona. Speedsters have long been second-stringers in BMG, overpriced and underpowered. However, particularly within the new Team rules for the Society of Super Villains, Reverse Flash is now a strong contender for must-have; he’s lethal against henchmen heavy crews, and where you don’t have weight of numbers that’s really going to count. It’s great that Merlyn is finally available, as League have really struggled to keep up even with the new Ra’s starter for 2nd edition. As I’ve indicated, it’s difficult to gauge how useful he really is yet, though, without a clear idea what other league members are going to be available in 2nd edition. Certainly, he seems good on paper – as you’d expect, he’s essentially an evil Arrow – but not quite a top priority for his team. Great for CW fans though.
Damian Darkh, however, has really divided people. I for one think he’s potentially a game-changer for BMG. He’s a cheap evil magic user, and whilst the trolls may rant about “this is the guy that took out Team Arrow”, the fact remains that he’s not to be underestimated. He’s almost half the price of Enchantress; play him in the Society and he’s even cheaper. As an effective, lethal counter to the magic meta, the bad guys’ got game again. Oh, and did I mention his unique spell representing his gory little idol? Rendering the target (himself or another) immune to Magic? Now “fixing” the magic meta with anti-magic is contentious, but it’s certainly going to make people stop and think about Constantine-sniper lists; I for one like adaptive rulings, so this is a very good thing indeed. If I have one criticism of the set, it’s that no DCU cards are included – an odd choice, as they seem the very essence of Multiverse characters.
You can’t have bad guys without the good. Cisco, Harry and Barry all get BMG versions (again, no DCU cards, strangely) – and, yes that’s a completely new sculpt for Barry. I’m a bit torn, if I’m being honest. Barry standing still? Ok, it mirrors the Reverse Flash sculpt nicely, but he does stand still (and look scary) – somehow, Barry standing still just doesn’t work for me. As for his stats, well, thankfully he’s better and no longer pillow-fisted, his bolts now doing auto-hit Str 3+ Blood-double-Stun. Given his continued versatility with Arrest and Detective, he now is a more viable option as a leader or sidekick, albeit a pricy one for the latter. He’s a really interesting choice for a cop-crew, and whilst you’re unlikely to run him with a Bat or an Arrow, it’s certainly possible and indeed viable. If you want mobility without Magic (*coughRavencough*) then Vibe is the Free Agent for you. Whilst his range of abilities, and an expansive beam attack, are interesting, it’s the ability to teleport himself and others that’s really potent, especially coupled with Luck to increase durability (Def 3/End 6 is pretty squishy).
Finally, Harrison Wells [Earth 2] brings a big freakin’ stun gun to the table. He’s not particularly mobile, which is his disadvantage, so judicious use of sewers or pairing with Cisco is the way forward. Personally, I really like the fact that the game design for Vibe & Wells is to have the played together but entirely playable apart – when fluff and crunch collide. He’s a very reasonable 48 points – and, crucially, a Henchman. Quite rightly, he’s Barry’s Diggle, and fills many of the same in-game roles for less, albeit dealing stun rather than blood damage (but, again, Barry has Arrest so can remove KO’d characters from the game. Great aesthetic on Vibe and Harry mean that for me this, overall, is a must-have for B&B players.
Resins: Crime Syndicate, Zod Crew, Parliament of Owls
This month’s re-releases are all about variant play styles. For BMG, Owls play like no other faction, as they are entirely self-contained. This has always been interesting, but I think it’s worth waiting to see what their BatBox brings later in the year. Certainly, it helps deal with (again) fiddly metals, and the casting of the various knives is particularly crisp. DCU’s re-releases, on the other hand, are about changing up the way the game plays. Both the Crime Syndicate (Earth 3’s evil Justice League) and General Zod’s Sword of Rao add flexibility and variety to DCUMG as a game. Often, the concern expressed by (particularly veteran) gamers at DCU is its relative simplicity and lack of “sides”. The Team cards allow you to have clear, thematic lists that are structured, easy to build, and provide a clear foundation for development. Good for players old and new, and to see the crisp facial details of (for example) Michael Shannon or Superwoman’s barbed wire lariat rendered so well yet again shows just how effective the materials are.
It’s worth mentioning also that there’s a comprehensive tweaking of many of the character cards for BMG, which can be found through the KM store. Also, a number of factions have been restructured, with the Amazons of Themiscyra now a playable force in all BMG formats (yay Hipployta!) and revised Team rules: The Suicide Squad (who work much as before), Bat-Family (allowing you to field Clayface along with them, as in the recent Detective Comics run), Team Arrow (playing as a sneakier version of the B&B, more akin to their 1st Ed incarnation) and… The Secret Society of Super Villains, who merit a bit of extra discussion. The Society allows you to turn $400 into 30 rep, effectively opening up 90 extra points to spend on (pretty much) any evil character you care to mention. Whether this breaks the game wide open remains to be seen, as the game as a whole is still dependent on Henchmen for most of the legwork of scoring victory points. Certainly it feels more comic-fluffy, but how it plays out in the long run of the game remains to be seen.
And the winner of our “Every Day is Batman Day” competition, snagging themselves a pair of Knightmare and Knightfall Batman promo miniatures is… Dex Scott!
Congratulations! Remember to get in touch within a month to claim your prize, either through social media or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, hang on a minute. So this month’s prize is a Mystery. Let’s just say it’s exciting. It’s inviting… so the contest comes with a twist: you need to guess. Well, you don’t have to – but, in addition to the like-share-comment as always (details below), if you comment on Facebook you’ll get an EXTRA entry if you manage to guess right! Not bad, eh?
So here’s the rules:
Once you’ve done that, you can earn one competition entry for doing each of the following (maximum of six 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 28th October 2018.
So what are you waiting for? Get on it!