26 March 2015

Batman Closes In On Joker

We've been watching the Joker put together his crew online for a while, now it's time to go toe to toe. Batman is going to hunt down the Joker and put him out of his misery.

We're starting with a straightforward(!) 200 rep starter game in a couple of weeks while we get some experience under our collective belt. Hopefully this should enlighten us to the basics of the game. I've already decided on my crew make up, but I'm going to have a look at exactly what abilities and gear I'll be taking into battle with me and see if I can work out a plan.

Batman (Arkham City)

First thing of note, the big man's Inspire trait will be wasted as I'm not taking any Henchmen for these initial games, but that's ok – one less thing to worry about.

My main focus is on a combination of the Batclaw, Sneak Attack and Total Vision. The claw allows me to get up high on terrain – out of reach and sight of the enemy. I can then move around on rooftops or bide my time and use the claw again to drop on an unsuspecting victim, thanks to my total vision. They wouldn't be able to defend themselves with a block as they couldn't see me when I launched the attack. Ideally I need to incapacitate the model I attack before they get chance to retaliate.

One way to chip away from distance is the Batarang. I have three of these for the game and because they are remote controlled I get to ignore any Blink rolls for intervening terrain – awesome! When combined with my Night Vision it would appear that I can literally shoot around corners – OMG!

Defensively, Bat Armour gives me an effective armour save of 5+, whilst Counterattack allows me to hit back should I block an attack. A big issue is the lack of Martial Artist which would negate consequences of being outnumbered, something that will happen with Batman. I need to be aware of this – Batman is good but will be dragged down if facing multiple foes at the same time.

Should anyone get to Batman while he's up high, his Batcape will prevent any damage should he be knocked off or bodge a Jump move between buildings.

The one thing that does bother me is that a lot of these abilities / gear require a Special Token, of which you can only have a max of 3 per turn. I foresee resource management being a big issue and careful choices having to be made at the beginning of each turn.

Robin (Tim Drake)

Boy Wonder also has a trait that won't come into play this weekend. Follow Me gives nearby henchmen an extra move token. Again, this will come in handy in later games with cops but for now it's one less thing to forget to do.

The Batclaw is a part of Robin's kit too, so I can see these guys swinging around the place like Tarzan. An instant move of 30cm to any elevation in range will come in handy for rapid escapes as well as dropping in on goons. Tim also has a couple of Flash Grenades which Blind and disorientate enemy models – these will be a perfect precursor to a melee attack and a great way to break up groups. Robin's Bo, with its Handy (rerolls!) and Reach effects, sounds like it's going to be a great weapon. Looking forward to hitting a few clowns with that!

Both Batman and Robin have the Detective trait. This will mean that I can cancel an opponent's Pass at the beginning of each round. Unfortunately, seeing as I will be heavily outnumbered, Joker won't be able to Pass, so another trait I don't have to worry about. Robin also has the Searcher ability. This allows me to reduce the Joker's strategy points by 1 before the game starts. If we do go for the optional Strategies (unlikely in a training game) it will prevent Joker from accessing the 3 point strategies which is good.


I usually get a vibe for a game before an opening battle, but I confess I have no idea how this one is going to play out.

The main thing I've noticed is that I don't have any weapons that inflict blood damage, though there's a lot of stun damage to go around. I think these means that I'm not able to inflict any casualties, only KO enemy models – this is a massive negative if true, as I won't be able to remove any of Joker's crew from the table.

In addition, the fact that I could be outnumbered 3-1 is something I need to keep in the forefront of my mind. I can't go charging in and expect to come out the other side – I will have to employ guerrilla tactics until I can reduce the number of enemy models, making best use of Sneak Attack and Total Vision.

I could have gone for a boat load of cops to accompany Batman, and the fact I didn't means that I'm missing out on the benefits of several traits. But it would have meant unpainted models on the day no doubt and I love the idea of taking Batman & Robin. I may regret this decision if I'm meant to be babysitting objectives to get VPs.

At the same time I need to remember that this is a tutorial game day so, while there will be banter abound, I have to learn as much as I can. No point sneaking about for 6 turns, only for the game to end and come away none the wiser about how it all works.

Anyone else any thoughts?

Next I'm going to look at the Joker and see what I need to watch out for…


  1. Only 3 games to my name, and my first impression that having an adequate number of models is vital to take Objectives.

    Then again, at Rep 200, if your opponent does not have Riddler or similar, it is less of a problem.

    But that is based on very limited experience, and I too am learning. :)

    1. I think you're right about the numbers – especially since I can't kill any of the Joker's crew. I'll be posting a full game report so maybe we can all learn from each other!

  2. One way Batman can combat the objective problem is by using explosive gel in the first turns to blow up enemy ammo and titan containers. Also both Batman and Robin get rerolls on Riddles, increasing the likelihood of scoring from them.

    Mind you, when your doing that, you're not kicking bottom, which is the fun bit. :)

    1. Actually, ignore me. He can only do that to urban furniture like sewers and lampposts. Sorry :)

      I should always check things BEFORE I post them.

    2. Ah but blowing up lamp posts could be quite a good tactic – if the enemy can't see you…!

  3. I'm eager to see how the dynamic duo will do against a crew of villains in the game will they get taken out quickly? Or can they knock down their opponents strategically?

    1. I'm starting to feel like I'm bringing boxing gloves to a gun fight. I don't think Bman and Robin will go down quickly or easily, but I think the Joker crew definitely has the advantage going in – numbers, weapons that inflict blood damage, not to mention being able to change tactics on the fly.

      I will have to thinking clearly to pull this one off!

  4. I have done a little play testing and have been interested to see how short the distances are that characters can move even by adding Movement dice rolls. It going to be interesting to see how many turns it takes to even get to one another. I will also struggle to do any damage to your guys. It sure feels different to anything else that we have played. Should be fun though.

    1. That is where I'm hoping my Batclaws come in – being able to swoop 30cm could be quite useful… and both my guys have them :)