WarmaZone #26: NCO Benjamin Taylor/SURPRISE!

Well, I suppose I’ve put this one off long enough. It’s time for WarmaZone #26, and time for the final available solo for Imperial. NCO Benjamin Taylor is a veteran Trencher who, unlike the other NCOs, still spends mot of his time in active duty and possesses incredible skill with machinery. While Imperial has its own dedicated mechaniks corps for keeping its warjacks up and running, Taylor prefers to do the work himself, believing others will just muck up his careful repairs. (By the way, stay tuned to the very end of the post for a very special surprise!)

nco-sergant-benjamin-taylor

  • Unit Composition: 1 Solo
  • Cost: 6 points
  • Force Allocation: Character
  • Stats: SPD-5, STR-7, MAT-6, RAT-6, DEF-13, ARM-14, CMD-8, HP-5
  • Weapons:

-Aggressor Handgun: RNG-8, ROF-2, POW-10

Ricochet: This weapon’s POW is 12 against small-based models within 2” of a warjack or battle engine.

-Chainripper: RNG-1, POW-3, P+S-10

Critical Shred

  • Special Rules:

-Alchemical Mask

-Artillerist (Action)

-Iron Sentinel

-Jack Marshal

-Pathfinder

-Repair (Action/D6)

Taylor’s pretty much Imperial’s answer to character mechaniks like Arlan Strangewayes or Thor Steinhammer. While his offensive and defensive stats are nothing to brag about, he can at least hit his targets reliably, though with his average DEF and poor ARM, he can’t be played too far ahead (at least on his own), or he will be killed and you’ll be down one mechanik. His primary arm is once again the standard-issue Aggressor, but Taylor has had a bit of practice with his, unlike the others. Ricochet lets him bounce his shots off enemy warjacks or battle engines, catching sneaking support solos or ‘jack marshals, or even hit the enemy’s warcaster in the back lines. It’s not the same as Trick Shot, but it’s good for making the relatively boring and weak Aggressor a bit more powerful, and giving Taylor more of an offensive game. He also has the standard-issue Chain Ripper, but with its low POW and its critical ability only occurring once in a while, you’re better off not using it. Like all MOW units he has Alchemical Mask to stay alive during friendly gas strikes and Pathfinder for sneaking through rough terrain. He’s also the only Imperial ‘Jack Marshal, so he can take along a warjack or two to provide additional ranged or melee support, and he has Iron Sentinel like Raluk Moorclaw, granting him a small ARM boost when in B2B with his marshalled warjack. Just like Ricochet, it’s nothing special, but it helps to keep Taylor alive when the bullets start flying. As is befitting of a Mechanik, he has Repair, letting him fix up either his or his commanding warcaster’s warjacks or nearby battle engines. With the wide array of machines and repairables available to Imperial, it’s a good idea to have Taylor around to keep them up and running, especially in a melee slug fest. He can also function like a Master Gunner thanks to his Artillerist ability, letting you reroll AOE attacks from your warjacks, or from your battle engines armed with AOE guns. Given Imperial’s good offensive stats all-round, you won’t need to use this often, but it’s still a good option. For his point cost, he’s worth it, providing an average offensive solo with a good range of support abilities for keeping your machines working and giving an occasional boost to your warjacks or battle engines with AOE guns, or even Life Dragoons toting mortars. All in all, a good choice for your MOW army list, and highly recommended for any Imperial player or anyone running the MOW list.

Well, we’ve gotten to the part I’ve been looking forward to since I announced it. Have any of you guessed who the character was? If you did, good job! If not…well, you probably just skipped ahead to see who it was anyway, you big cheater. Whatever, let’s get to the good stuff. In the world of Lore, intersections with other worlds are not uncommon, and sometimes things leak through from one world to another. This can happen intentionally (like the infamous Esper incident that occurred within the bounds of the Museum of Dangerous Books and Papers), or accidentally, and a person eating breakfast can suddenly find himself dropped into the middle of a crater-pocked battlefield. This next example was one of the intentional ones, when a group of Museum wizards tried to open a controlled gateway to another of these worlds for study. What they found was an unusual world seemingly between states of development and decay, though it also appeared that the people of the realm were in the process of rebuilding it after some sort of horrible accident. Everyone they spoke to made reference to a messianic figure who came to their world from yet another, and saved everyone and everything there from extinction. The exploration team followed the accounts to a small, run-down home in a desolate industrial area, where they found themselves under attack. The first explorer who entered the house remembered a blue and brown blur before experiencing a searing pain in his head and falling unconscious. What they had encountered was a young woman wearing the tattered remains of a rain coat and sun hat, armed with a metal staff and obscuring her face with a worn gas mask. They assumed she was human, but the triangular, fuzzy ears protruding from her hat and yellow eyes behind the lenses of her mask led them to believe she was part Catkin, the half-human half-feline race native to Lore. It turned out that this poor girl was the legendary savior of their world and, having completed her task, ended up trapped in their world, unable to return to her home, and eventually settled in the old home in the wastelands as it reminded her of home. When the wizards told her that they were able to cross over from their world to this one, she asked to go along with them, hoping they could help her get back to her real world. They were understandably unsure, but once they were assured her intentions were pure, they agreed to bring her back to Lore to see if they could help find her old home. She now lives in the Museum of Dangerous Books and Papers while they work to find a way back, but occasionally wanders out on her own to explore this strange new world and all it has to offer.

 

HeroForgeScreenshot.png

Well, here she is, the Savior of the Lost World! For those of you who are still unsure as to who this is, this is Niko, the protagonist of the amazing puzzle game OneShot. In the game, Niko wakes up in a strange world populated by robots, bird people, and other odd entities that all claim she’s the Messiah, sent to restore their dying world and save everyone. Being a little kid (canonically 8 years old), Niko is understandably scared about all this, and it’s up to you, the player, to guide her through her adventure to save the world. If you haven’t played the game, I highly recommend it. Not since Undertale has a game played with my emotions like this, and I’m not afraid to admit the ending had me in tears. To the artists who created this game, guys, you did an amazing job. Keep up the good work! Anyway, not to spoil anything, but this version of Niko is from an alternate reality where she never escaped the world, instead being forced to adapt to her new life in this strange place. She never forgot about home, as is evident by her choice to wear the remnants of her hat and coat as a reminder of her old life (Note: The belt holding her shoulder pad on is made from her scarf). Despite this, she has tried to make the best of her new life, and has become a shamanistic figure of sorts. The staff she carries used to belong to Prophetbot, the first being that greeted her upon entering the world. He has long since ceased functioning, so Niko carries his staff as a reminder of her fallen friend. She also carries a lucky charm, made up of the three items from her quest (Silver’s locket, Alula’s feather, George’s dice) on a string, which is supposed to be tied around the staff. These people are still alive, but she keeps the charm to remind her of her quest and purpose in the world. Also, several years have passed since the events of the game, so Niko is a teenager now, which is why she’s a lot taller than she would normally be. So, what can she do in the game? After a lot of experimenting, I came up with a rough idea of what she can do and how she’ll play.

Niko1 Stat Card

(Note: credit for card goes to Soul Samurai, stats to Privateer Press, Niko to the creators of OneShot).

As an offensive solo, Niko really isn’t cut out. She is fast, and her DEF is high enough that she can duck around most attacks, but with her poor MAT and paper-thin ARM (she is only wearing a tattered raincoat, not proper battle armor), she will die to low-POW blast damage. She does have 5 HP, but it won’t do much to keep her alive. Her secondary weapon is the Prophet’s Staff, which has a decent RNG to keep short-ranged enemies at bay and Magical Weapon to damage incorporeal models, but with its lackluster POW, she’s not going to be doing a lot of fighting. Her primary weapon, which is one of the reasons you take her as a mercenary or minion, is the Phosphor Jar. This short-ranged weapon is comparable to the Lumichem Ampule used by Convergence Attunement Servitors. It has a small AOE and no POW, but the Flare ability lets you flush out Stealth infantry and provide an easier target for your ranged troops to shoot at. She works best with a gunline, marking targets with phosphor and giving her comrades clear shots. She has her old gas mask from the Barrens with her, granting her Alchemical Mask to ward off enemy gas strikes and letting her see through clouds, Dodge for letting her keep her head down and moving when the bullets start flying, and Pathfinder and Stealth for dodging enemy bullets and slip through rough terrain. She has two special abilities which really come to the fore and make her more effective on the field: Lucky Charm and Protect the Child. Lucky Charm is comparable to Reinholdt’s ability; one model/unit within her command range gains an extra die on their damage and attack rolls, and discards the lowest roll, letting them hit their targets more reliably. It only lasts for one turn, but it can make a mediocre unit even more effective in battle, as long as your rolls are good. Since Niko is such a special figure in her world, and is still just a kid on the battlefield, Protect the Child exists to keep her alive amidst the troops. Think of it as a combination of Sucker! and Vengeance. When Niko is targeted with an enemy attack, you can choose one friendly model within 1″ of her to take the hit instead, letting them take the bullet for her and keep her alive. If somehow the the attacks get past her brothers in arms and she is destroyed, one friendly model within 1″ can make a full advance and attack the model that removed her from play, so you can get revenge. She doesn’t do much besides making her employers better at hitting their targets, but sometimes that’s all you need. She has the option of working for the Legion (Cygnar), Iron Reich (Khador), Imperial (Wolfbanes), Free Peoples, Trollbloods, and Circle Orboros, so she’s not limited to just one army, and with both Mercenary and Minion, you can take her in a pure Mercenary/Minion force if you wish. In my own headcanon, I can’t help but imagine Major Gibbs making her a plate of her favorite hazelnut pancakes as part of his Hot Meal ability and the two becoming good friends.

I know I know, Niko’s a lover, not a fighter, but I wanted to give a little tribute to an amazingly-crafted game outside of the customary fan art, and part of me really wanted her story to keep going, to find out what ever happens to her once the story ends. I guess she’s a lot like Holden from the Crossroads of Courage campaign; you, the player, determine her story, where she ends up, and what ultimately happens to her. If you happen to use her in your game of WarmaHordes, make sure to give credit to her designers. I don’t want to take the credit for something this wonderful, and I hope they continue to make more games in the future, maybe even continuing Niko’s story to see what other adventures she will have. If you are interested in using her as a miniature, you can buy her from Hero Forge with the following URL: https://www.heroforge.com/load_config=385594

That’s it for the Imperial solos for now, so we’re slowly reaching the end. Next time is the second Wolfbane warcaster and final Imperial warcaster, the mighty Morten Oakenfist. After that, we have a few more warjacks to cover, and then it’s onto the next faction for WarmaZone. Once we’re finished with the Imperial corporation, we’re taking to the skies with the Kharadron Overlords of Warhammer Fantasy, so stay tuned for that. Anyway, that’s all for right now. God’s blessings on your week, and I’ll see you all next time!

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