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Hey guys, a wee review of this month's releases. I'll be giving away the Suicide Squad blister as part of the review over on bigcomicpage.com along with the Amazons and other stuff too. Worth a look
For starters, there's the excellent value for money squad packs, this month bringing us the Teen Titans, Birds of Prey and Suicide Squad, all packaged with brand new cards for the DCUMG game also. As the models have been around a while, I won't spend ages on each set, but here's some thoughts, along with a bit more of a look at their new DCUMG cards. What I will stress is that, coming in at around £30, these all represent real value for money and are great jumping on points for either game.
Teen titans get a bit of tough rap in BMG as they have the reputation as an underpowered team - and to be honest, it's not entirely underserved. However, all those in this pack are useable as part of Team Batman (or rather, The Brave and the Bold in the new edition). I never liked Ravager anyway* (*this is a lie; see just about every other Geeking Out...) As individual characters, both Starfire and Cyborg are renowned for being expensive but extremely powerful in both games. So I'm going to talk about Kid Flash.
Why? Because I honestly believe he's the best speedster in BMG. He may only have speed force 4, BUT he does what you want a speedster to do: beat up goons and nab objectives. With every other speedster clocking in at over 100 points, and notoriously pillow-fisted, he's a well priced alternative in that mid 70s sweet spot. As for DCUMG, as a 5 point speedster he fulfills a similar role of cheap(ish) fast objective grabber. It's a little bit more of a gamble, as he is pretty squishy, and 5 points can go a long way in this game, but will work in the right list.
The other two packs are chock-full of popular characters.
The fan-favourite Birds of Prey are as excellent in game as you'd hope, but fair warning to novices: these are not the easiest to assemble. Already staples of BMG both in friendly and competitive play, it'll be interesting to see how the BoP do in DCU. Canary and Batgirl are already (relatively) known quantities, filling the low point gap in many a list (albeit a fairly fragile one). Huntress is the new kid on the multiverse, and she looks like she will function as a punchier, stealthier Green Arrow. Even at 6 points, she is pretty darn nasty.
For the indecisive, there's the Suicide Squad, with Boomerang, Deadshot and Katana, pretty much the core of any BMG Suicide Squad force, as well as being top flight free agents. It remains to be seen whether Boomerang and Deadshot will end up with specific factions in 2nd but it seems unlikely; access to this version of Katana, however, adds a rare blood damage melee character to The BatSquad (along with Azrael). Given that melee seems likely to be more relevant than ever in 2nd with the movement rules, she is a major asset. In DCUMG, she's actually cheaper than her other version, sacrificing the admittedly excellent Bodyguard ability for more damage output. Deadshot, as well as continuing to be one of the scariest characters for board control and ultra violence in DCU, seems to be losing none of his edge in BMG 2nd. Personally, I prefer the cheaper Boomerang from the boxed Suicide Squad Vs Joker movie starter set for BMG: this version feels a little over costed, but we'll see if that changes in 2nd; DCUwise, however, his single point increases his damage output considerably. And together, they get access to the Squad team ability in DCU, giving more setup choices, so this is a cracking buy and a great way into the game.
But that's not all that this month has to offer. We get a tease of things to come with the greatest, or certainly angriest, Red Lantern himself, Atrocitus. Straight out of the gate, I have to comment on the irony of how good he is in a team with Sinestro. Both are at the strong, upper middle points bracket for DCUMG, and between them will do for just about any hero in the game.
He's a combat monster, naturally - and actually relatively cheap at 12 points. Able to switch damage types, throw for free and the ability to teleport into combat with wounded foes? Utterly brutal. Don't be fooled, though, he's no mere blunt instrument and great as a tag team with the likes of Sinestro.
Also, it's a lovely physical model, and huge - taller even than Superman on his tactical lump of ice. You can debate whether some models truly offer value, but here there's no argument - it's a lot of metal for your money.
And then, there's the other big release for DCUMG: the Crime Syndicate of America. The survivors of Earth 3 are here as the first, full new DCUMG faction (though they can also be played with Villains) as well as Owlman and Jonny Quick getting BMG versions - which we'll start with.
Both are seriously expensive, among the most costly in the game, rivalling only Deathstroke and Lobo. So straightaway you need to balance whether they're worth it.
Johnny Quick has the same issue with all speedsters: expensive and not fantastic in a fight. He's very similar to the comic Flash (who he's the same cost as, naturally), and though undoubtedly his Molecular Vibration ability - denying an enemy model movement - is powerful, there's more efficient, cheaper ways of achieving similar results. However, 2nd may bring changes to speedsters we haven't anticipated yet.
Owlman, by contrast, is a beast. He's a blood damage dealing Batman for evil crews that can appear anywhere on the board turn 2. He is a strong contender for one of the best evil free agents in the game. Whilst he lacks Deathstroke's Soul Armour or Lobo's general mainmanliness, I think he still has the edge. He's versatile and basically terrifying.
As for DCUMG, that's another matter. Well, Owlman is still great, and brings villains the ability to negate a Resistance or Immunity at last , for only 1 point more than Ravager (told ya I was obsessed... ), whilst at 10 points also Johnny Quick is a faster, better, more deadly version of Zoom. Obviously, with the full Crime Syndicate totalling 60, they're designed to be run together, but that's not a negative - they're a coherent force with the range of strengths.
Speaking of which, what of the others? Power Ring, also 10, is a trimmed down version of green lantern - marginally less power and will, but still plenty of damage. All things being equal, Atrocitus is more impressive, but it's cost, after all. And if I'm being honest, I prefer his pose to GL also.
Ultraman is a beast, at 18 points of course, but as he can't score Victory Points (just kill stuff) he can lack versatility - sure, he's great against Kryptonians but there are better beat-sticks in the wider game; yes, his 10 power is impressive, but Black Adam comes in 2 points cheaper (granted with 1 strength lower) and magic damage across the board.
And this is where Superwoman shines. 12 points and magic snare attack? She's more than just an evil wonder woman, she's got the finesse of Catwoman with the physical strength to back it up. For me, she's the star of the set. Lovely model, too.
This is a great month of releases. There's some serious paralysis of choice for BMG and DCUMG fans alike.
Hope that's of interest
Theophony"... and there's strippers in terminator armor and lovecraftian shenanigans afoot."
Solar_Lion: "Man this sums up your blog nicely."
Anpu-adom: "being Geek is about Love. Some love broadly. Some love deeply. And then there are people like Graven.
They've given up trying to get the Batclaw to have a functioning rule that moves you in a straight line. Spoiler for the day says the Batclaw just flat gives you +8" of movement that you can use to move in any direction you so desire, but you can only use it every other turn.
So, looks like thus far the Arkham Guards have been the QRT2 guy ripped in half.
Personally, I'm happier with individual faction starters over a 2 player starter. Too many games get stuck with the 2 player sets crippling player diversity and leaving people needing to buy a bunch of extra models for that one they might want.
Yeah, removing Run is sensible now. Previously, it worked quite nicely at forcing the choice between straight, guaranteed movement and more random but potentially faster and more agile movement, but now extending your range just with MC is reliable enough that you'd almost never need to Run.
Not sure on the Batclaw changes; definitely in favour of just using it to extend movement instead of all the faff with having to hit the edge of a terrain feature and move a minimum height and all that stuff, but not being able to use it in consecutive turns is a bit of a pain, especially since it means in a potential 6-turn game, anyone with a Batclaw but no Batcape (so some Robins, Batwoman, anyone using a grapple gun/hook arrow) could spend half the game just getting up to and down from a rooftop. Maybe that's intentional but with everyone being a lot faster now, I'm not sure limiting the use of the Batclaw is all that necessary.
Run was a neat mechanic but since the cost is the same with movement counters it makes sense to see it go. I think its overall a huge improvement, as far too often the run mechanic mixed with the circular geometry of bases could make models act like a videogame with glitchy collision detection, getting hung up on lampposts and building corners when the movement roll wasn't enough to slip by it.
Batclaw and Cape, Sneak attack, Counter Attack and Batarmour Mk1 make him a very solid all rounder, and the new ability Mixed Combat style is pretty awesome (performing a Close Combat attack lets you make a free Ranged Attack once a round). A nice way around the 'fight or flight' dilemma as he can get a couple of CC hits in, Batclaw or Run away and then pile on some more damage with a Batarang for the best of both worlds, and it also makes him potentially pretty good at engaging multiple different targets in one go, which is rare in BMG.
And since we were talking about Batcapes, a bit of a change there, now they provide total immunity to Jump/Fall damage for 1SC (passive) and let you move down vertically without using any MC or Movement Distance, so a bit faster and less fiddly than before.
This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/09/07 11:49:46
Ah, somehow I missed that! Thought it seemed a bit too good. Still pretty decent though. With 8WP, you could easily do 4 melee attacks, a batclaw then a batarang, which is 12 potential damage in a turn if you go all-out. Not bad at all.
I hope if they do a new 2 player starter sets they include those cardboard Gotham city buildings, they look pretty cool from the videos ive seen as far as cardboard terrain goes... actually I would buy a bunch more of them if they did additional designs sold seperately....
In theory, all the old stuff will be completely compatible; individual rules might change but the mechanics will stay pretty much the same. If any of the older sets get redone in resin, Finecast-style (shudder!), I can see KM redoing their cards, but that seems unlikely to be honest.