Recent upset on the homefront took me away from the hobby for the last few months. I’m tipping a toe back in as I simply can’t stay away. Here’s part one of my Batman Mini’s game write up. Note I wrote all this back in September before the newer releases (Looking at you Mr. Freeze!)
Welcome back to Voracious Gamer we’re going to dive into The Batman Miniatures game by Knight models. You may have seen their recent suicide squad starter box tease? If not go and check it out right now I’ll wait. It’s gorgeous, unfortunately it was announced just a week or two after I finished painting my Penguin crew for the game. But damn is it gorgeous, I’ll be getting more penguin titans! I’m getting ahead of myself here. Batman Miniatures game is a skirmish game with a unique action counter mechanic that adds a nice layer of strategy and planning to your turns. Let’s ramble on through these rules. I don’t know if the wiki for the game is accurate or not. I’ll be grabbing a hardcover book here soon to review and add to the collection. I do prefer to have physical copies of the games I play because there’s nothing like flipping through the actual book and lugging it around. Ha, so prepare yourself for a rambley jaunt through this game and ultimately the Penguin Crew as well!
The game plays on 90cmx90cm playing surface using 6 sided dice and a tape measure (With cm) along with some counters and bits to represent things and stuff that we’ll cover shortly. Centimeters, right that’s interesting indeed. Luckily my tape has them! 90 x 90cm is roughly a 3 foot x 3 foot table. The game should be played on a terrain filled board with buildings or city streets to really make the best of it all. The game rounds down and uses the amazing mini’s made by knight models. Mini’s size or in game height is determined by their base size. They can be seen to take up a cylinder of space above the base when it comes to line of sight and all that jazz. So a police officer crouched down firing a pistol is still treated as full height and such because his base size is the same as police officers standing (30mm). Let’s dive into a stat card! I don’t know if their free or legal to post up and review but we’ll give it a shot. I found this one on an old army builder site it may even be out of date but for learning purposes it works and for thematic purposes its Penguin!
What’s in a name? Well a whole lot for Oswald Chesterfield Cobblspot.. A whole lot. In crews you can only hire one of each named character. The cards come with an alias name too if they’ve got one and Penguin totally does! The Ranks are Leader, Sidekick, Free Agent and Henchmen there are restrictions surrounding these when it comes to building crews. Characters in the crew need to have the same affiliation as their Leader. (One leader per crew). Lets drop to the bottom of the card and take a look at the Reputation Penguin is 75 rep. When you build a crew you set an amount of rep so 150, 200 or 350. 350 seems standard from what I’ve seen but I’m playing in a slow grow league that starts at 150. Then to the right of reputation is Funding. This is a dollar amount that is also used when hiring crews. Some models have a funding cost here and some equipment upgrades cost funding as well. The funding limit for a crew is based on the decided reputation limit. There’s a correlation like 500 dollars per 150 reputation of crew or something like that. We’ll figure it out as we go here.
We’ll go over the weapons chart later but we can see he’s armed with an Umbrella Cannon (yesssss) and an Umbrella Blade. Beneath the weapons are his personal and special traits, these are the unique rules and mechanics that make each model different from one another. Penguin has some cool sounding traits like ‘lord of business’ and ‘Charismatic’ we’ll see what those do in a future post. The right side of the card is the main stat line starting with Will power up at the top. Penguin has a 7 this means he’ll have 7 counters at the beginning of the turn to place on the 6 stat spaces. Essentially you’ll be adapting his stat line with those 7 Wp every round by placing say 3 on attack and 4 on defense but next turn you could place 3 on special, 2 on endurance and 2 on defense it just depends on what you’ll need or want to accomplish in game. The first stat Strength is what you need to roll to do damage so Penguin needs 5+ he’s no mike Tyson in the ring and is more of a back lines guy. Movement is 2, I don’t know what it represents just yet. But I do know that characters ‘walk’ at the same speed but ‘Run’ at different ones. The attack stat in which penguin has a 3 can have action counters (willpower counters) place on it up to the max number to represent how many strikes he can make that turn. Attack is also the number your opponent needs to roll to block. Seems like we’re getting jargon heavy fast. Bear with me my intrepid reader we’ll plow through this bit on the stat cards and it’ll all make sense soon!
Defense is next and also a 3 for Penguin, each counter in defense represents a block. So Penguin could block up to 3 times if you placed three action counters there. Defense is also the roll your opponent must make to hit in combat. I don’t know if they need to roll a 3 (the base stat) to hit or if they’d need to roll x (however many action counters you placed there 0-3 for the round?). That’s a big difference that we’ll keep in mind for later. Endurance is how tough your character is. Penguin would go K.O or die if he takes 7 damage. You place damage on his endurance bar as he takes it. The last stat is Special which represents energy used to do character specific special abilities. Perhaps like using the Umbrella Cannon? I’m not sure at this point I also think one can only allot their willpower in action counters to Attack and defense. (in a monsterpocalypse kind of way for those who played that brilliant game!!!)
There are three common types of ‘Rolls’ the first is the ‘skill roll’ to execute an action that needs a skill roll you roll a d6 and compare the value to the number in the stat line you’re rolling against. So a doppelganger penguin fighting penguin would need to roll a 5+ skill test to strike him because his strength is 5+ in the stat line. The next kind of roll is ‘Agility Roll’ to succeed in a an agility roll you take a d6 and hope for a number equal to or lower than your movement value! Man Penguin sitting at two won’t be running on ice or crouching from any ledges. ‘Endurance Roll’ is a 2d6 roll where a success means the sum is equal to or less than the characters endurance value. The ‘Willpower Roll’ is next and involved rolling 2d6, a success would be a sum equal to or less than the willpower stat.
In Gotham it’s always night so line of sight is limited to 30cm, only 12 inches! Streetlights and lanterns are a thing in the game that will illuminate the area round them so being in the light can make you visible to longer range fire. As you’d expect in a batman game it’s safer to stalk in the shadows. Next we’ll detail crew creation! The Reputation recommendations are between 150 and 450 rep with 300 being what the rules are based on or written around. Once you have a rep limit you can choose a ‘Boss’ and begin to recruit your crew. A boss must be a character ranked as leader or sidekick on their card. (use bat-builder to play with list creations!) The rest of the characters in your crew must have the same affiliation as your Boss. The funding of the Boss is reduced to 0$ but the rep cost still counts.
You can only ever field one leader who must be your boss if you go with a leader. You can only include 1 sidekick ranked character unless you choose a sidekick as your ‘Boss’ if you do then you can choose an additional sidekick. You can include 1 free agent for every 150 reputation of the crew total. So a 300 point standard game can have two free agent ranked characters. Henchmen are unlimited and the only way you can ever field 2 of one character. The henchmen are your basic minions and thugs.
There are special traits associated with each Rank in the game. Leaders can re-roll failed willpower rolls and gain a trait called Inspire, they can also allow henchmen within 10cm to attempt ‘Let’s Go!’ without spending SC. So I don’t know what those traits are but in due time. The Sidekick models allow henchmen within 20cm to re-roll ‘Let’s Go!’. Henchmen have the ‘Let’s Go!’ trait.. Okay now I’ve got to look it up. Let’s go allows henchmen to chain activate off one another. So I’m assuming normal activation is alternate a la malifaux. We’re getting ahead of ourselves though. Funding is 500$ per every 150 points of reputation. So the standard 300 point game would include 1,000$ of funding. The Funding if not spent on hiring characters can be spent on Equipment. Each faction or leader specific crew has it’s own list of purchasable equipment and restrictions. For example the Penguin crew can take 0-2 camo vests for 200$ each they grant the model equipped the stealth rule. There is a grapple-gun too which should be really sweet on terrain heavy boards. The last bit of crew creation to consider are strategies. Players start the game with 3 strategy points, these points are used to buy one time effects and upgrades that will come into effect during the game. For example if you spent 2 of your 3 strategy points on the strategy Ambush then you’d play the card before deployment and deploy your entire crew AFTER the other player. Just little things to give you an edge we’ll see how they play out in the game and perhaps go through the available strategies once we have a better grasp on the game.
That’s the beginning of this gorgeous minis game. Check out Knight Models and come back next week for part 2 of the series. Now that we’ve gone over the stat cards some of the basics along with crew creation we’ll discuss setting up and the turn structure itself next time. Cheers all, happy gaming. Thanks for checking out the series!