Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ripples of Fate Review: Resurrectionists


1.       Corpse Candle: There’s actually some cool fluff behind these, where they’re the souls of a pair of zombies Reva took in and sheltered who feel so loyal to her that, even with their physical forms gone, the spirits move from body to body animating them and burning their energy out to help her. They can count as a corpse counter for friendly models and must be summoned by Reva, not hired. They have a pitiful melee attack which you will never use for anything besides perhaps disengaging strikes. They have two abilities that will see any use. One is Light the Way which pushes all corpse markers within (3) of her up to 3” in any direction.  The other is The Essence Remains, wherein you sacrifice the corpse candle to either give a friendly target Disguised, give you + flips to attack against an enemy model, or allows a friendly model within 8” to draw a card then immediately activate as a chain. You'll use them with Reva, obviously.

2.       Vincent St. Clair: Reva’s henchman is the exorcist that rescued her from her parents’ house, where they had her sedated and restrained. He believes in her, but has begun to question whether that belief is real or just another byproduct of the devotion he’s seen her inspire in others. He is a 9ss living/revenant henchman. He heals a point whenever a model is killed within 8” and draws a card every time a corpse counter is discarded within 6”. He has abilities to do those things on his own, but will also definitely make certain other Rezzer masters have a bad day with those two abilities. He is himself able to burn corpse counters to add a suit to his flips during his turns (only one specific suit per turn.) Finally, he can push 3” in any direction after resolving a defense or willpower flip with a trigger. It’s built in for defense, but not for WP. So yeah, the front of his card is pretty hefty. His profane crossbow doesn’t include spirits when randomizing into melee combat. Its built in trigger adds damage for corpse counters within 3” of the target, or he can repeat the attack with a tome or add 1 soulstone after killing a model with a ram trigger. He can attach a condition to models to make his damage unpreventable with a (0) action. Finally, he can blow up a corpse counter and place blast markers off of it to force models beneath the blast to take a Wk duel or take damage. Vincent has a lot of cool abilities, but you’ll have to be careful to keep him protected from ranged attacks from which your defense trigger can’t protect you. He's sort of the uncola of Rezzer henches, which makes sense as he is still alive and up to recently was employed by the Guild. 

3.       Archie: This guy is hilarious. He was made by McMourning to be a companion for Mollie. As such, he’s a henchman Horror. You have to compare him to Nekima because he has a 13ss cost, and I think he does well side to side with her. 12 wounds, terrifying all 12, and hard to wound 1 means he won’t be falling down nearly as easily as she does. He can only heal 4 wounds per turn from the humorous ability "He's dropped his ice cream", the reason for which will become apparent shortly. Thankfully he also has Attack Expert to get an extra AP for melee, as his walk is not very good off the base card (though this is fixable). I’m going to break from format and point out his upgrades, as they’re vital to understanding how Archie works. He has 3 upgrades which represent odd…augmentations to his body. One can grant him +1 armor. Another can give him leap, which will help add some mobility to get him into the thick of things. The last is Doc found a tentacle, which will give him a (0) action to pull an enemy into melee and gives him Focused when its discarded. How do things get added and removed? Well, his ranged attack requires him to discard an upgrade or a corpse marker within 3", effectively reflecting him picking up a dead body or pulling bits off of himself and throwing them at the target. It does reasonably good damage and places a corpse counter in base contact with the target (Nicodem will then likely turn that into a punk zombie and mince you.) He can reattach a new upgrade specific to him with a (0) action. Doing so damages Archie unless you discard corpse markers. That’s a mouthful, but there’s also always his brutal 4/5/6 damage melee attack as a baseline, so I think he’ll see some definite use.

I don’t know why all these henchmen are so much more complicated in this faction. The write-ups will be shorter from here, I promise.

4.       Shieldbearer: These guys are the frontline fanatics that serve Reva. Their gimmick revolves around, when they are killed, attaching one of three soulbound upgrades to them, healing all damage, and dropping a corpse counter. Effectively, this is meant to reflect their instantly reanimating as a murder ghost and flying off to attack the enemy. This essentially means you have to kill them twice, which explains why they only have 4 wds. Cool. You actually want these guys to eat a red joker flip for your crew, as there is effectively no cost (the soulbound upgrades are also minor buffs for the models.) Their shields and swords are so ridiculously big because, in the fluff, they’ve looted them from Guild Guardians and are able to wield them because their fanatic devotion gives them supernatural strength. They gain fast whenever a friendly model near them uses a soulstone, and they have armor+1. Their salvaged sword has a reasonable minion damage track and triggers to drop corpse markers or deal a point of damage on a miss. They can also push enemy models with the shield slam. And on top of that, they can spend their (0) every turn to give themselves either a + to damage flips or a +2 bonus to DF. If you want to use them to hold a point you’ll want to do that early to take the most advantage, but I like these models. They seem fairly solid, particularly with Reva's ability to push them with one of her upgrades adding mobility.

5.       Draugr: Some people who come through the breach have a magical ability that doesn’t awaken until after they die. These are Draugrs, which are reflected in the game by an 8ss minion/revenant/horror. At the start of their turn they choose their Ht (1,2, or 3) and gain a variation of abilities based on which they choose. At ht. 3 they have Hard to Wound, can hand out soulbound upgrades to non-leader non-peons if they’re ht. 1, or can take their Trollskap ranged (0) ap casting action if they’re ht. 2. Trollskap forces the opponent to discard a card and applies a debuff based on the suit (which I don’t love, since your opponent gets to choose.) Draugr give a + to attack flips of models within 6” with soulbound upgrades, so they’re a decent anchor model in Reva’s lines, and they heal a damage whenever any non-peon dies within 8”. The damage track for their melee axe is interesting, as its damage flip is 0/1/2, but you add your ht. to the damage. So yeah, weird. I can’t tell if they’re good, if I’m being honest, but they are definitely interesting.

6.       Goryo: These are strong willed warriors or lords who martyr themselves in battle. It’s a spirit/retainer minion. Incorporeal as expected, and a pair of new abilities on the front. When another friendly model dies within 3” he gains Fast and he can charge for 1 AP versus models with Adversary. I think Kirai will like them for that, though a 7ss minion is a bit of a pricey summon. Their sword ignores armor with a decent damage track and can hand out slow with a trigger. They get a final little sting attack as a (0) ap action to help you polish off hard to kill models which can, if the thing lives through it, give them adversary with a trigger (so you could also use it to set up a 1ap charge.) Also, as a 1 ap action, they can do 2 damage to themselves and summon a seishin in base to base. I don’t know Kirai crews from personal experience, but this seems like it would be a pretty strong summon minion for her. Wk 6 incorporeal means it can get where it needs to, I suppose, but we’ll have to see if its good enough to get into other crews.

Upgrades: Reva-She has two limited upgrades. One lets her attack out of corpse counters even when she’s engaged and lets her summon a corpse candle on the opponent’s half of the board (not within 8” of an enemy model) at the beginning of the game. The other helps her melee abilities, granting her regeneration+1 and a trigger for her melee that lets her deal no damage and then charge a different legal target. I prefer the ranged upgrade for its flexibility, personally, but time will tell. One of her other upgrades, Blood Mark, gives her a ranged push for friendly models that grants them a free (0) ap action (useful to get both of the buffs on shieldbearers, among other things) at the end of the push. With a trigger, she can also count them as corpse markers for her abilities. Finally, her Litany of the Fallen puts a built-in trigger on her melee attack to make the damage irreducible. Usually useful. I don’t know why you would take Vincent without his upgrade, as it grants him From the Shadows and a (0) ap push action to get him out of melee. Maybe you might decide he has too many things to keep track of already and he makes your head hurt. Finally, the soulbound upgrades can either make the model explode when it dies, gives them finish the job, or gives you a refund to grant you a soulstone if the model dies in exchange for a card in hand.


General: I already discussed Archie’s upgrades, so we’ll skip along. Wronged Spirits is a rare 1 upgrade which makes all friendly Onryo within aura 12 gain +1 wk and cg. The model carrying it can discard it to give all Onryo in play Focused+1. Not sure this is enough to make the Onryo playable, but I don’t have firsthand experience to know for sure. I was personally surprised to see Phillip and the Nanny getting a free buff upgrade, as I know lots of people use them, but perhaps the idea was to give them some abilities besides “walk down the board, eat scheme markers, draw cards.” The upgrade in question gives him Haunting Cries, a range 12 Ca v. Wp action that does 2/3/4blast damage. A tome trigger grants a TN 10 horror duel. Again, Phillip players can tell me whether they’ll actually use this or just keep drawing cards with them, but I suppose it’s a free upgrade so why not take it. One of the Rezzer generics is Admiration, which allows a model to push to any summoned models that arrive within aura 6 of them for the cost of a card from hand. It’s costly, but I could see putting this on a slower model like Izamu to give it some added mobility in a summoning crew. The other is My Little Helper, which allows you to summon a Mindless Zombie off of the upgraded model if/when it dies and, once per game, makes the model untargetable by any actions more than 3” away and lets them use two (0) actions for that turn only.