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Ronin, Outcast Minion
"No questions. No answers. That's the business we're in. You just accept it and move on." -Vincent,
Ronin are masterless mercenaries whose contracts have expired, failed, or otherwise been forfeited. With no way to return to Earth, the Ronin remain masterless, wandering Malifaux and hiring themselves out to the highest bidder in order to stay fed.
Table of Contents
Tactics and Tips
Playing Against Ronin
These Mercenaries can be hired by any crew that wants a durable, mobile minion dressed up like a "street walker".
Ronin have a decent Walk speed of 5 and a Charge speed of 6, which is fairly typical for a model of their price.
The Next Target trigger on their Daito attack gives them a free 4" push in any direction after damaging their target, and the mask they need to activate the trigger is already built into their attack. This makes Ronin very good at hit-and-run tactics, allowing them to dart in, stab a model, and then push back out of range before the opponent can counterattack.
The primary weapon of a Ronin is her Daito, a solid attack that is unfortunately somewhat hampered by its short range. It has a good damage spread of 2/3/5, however, and it ignores Armor, making Ronin very effective against Constructs and other armored enemies. Ronin also possess the Flurry ability, allowing them to spend 2 AP and discard a card to make three melee attacks against a single enemy, which is great when they're facing off against tough opponents.
The Twist the Blade trigger grants the Ronin a +flip on her damage flip, which can help to turn a glancing hit into a straight flip so that the Ronin can cheat up to her high severe damage. On straight flips, Twist the Blade just makes it that much more likely that the ronin will hit her severe damage without having to cheat a card for it.
Her Next Target trigger is built in, ensuring that the Ronin will always be able to take a 4" push in any direction after she damages her opponent. This makes ronin very good at hit-and-run tactics, or allows them to dance around an enemy they're Flurrying against, allowing her to position herself where she wants before scooting out of combat.
Ronin also possess a Collier Pistol, but they're not very good with it, as they only have a
of 4. While shooting is sometimes the right choice when their target has a low Defense or can't be brought into melee range, Ronin are primarily melee models and should be used as such.
Ronin are incredibly resilient models. Despite a relatively average Defense and Willpower, they have a number of abilities that make them very difficult to take down.
Disguised makes the Ronin immune to being charged, which forces your opponent to either deal with them at range, or to waste an AP walking into combat with the Ronin. Because Ronin possess the Next Target trigger, they can easily push out of combat with their opponents, forcing those models who wish to engage them in melee to come to them.
Even if the opponent does manage to attack your Ronin, they have Stand Ground, which allows them to take Defensive Stance actions without discarding a card. If you don't desperately need a Ronin to use all of her AP in a turn, this is usually a good way to help her survive a turn of attacks, particularly when taken in combination with all her other tricks.
Ronin also possess Hard to Kill, which usually means that it'll take one more AP to kill them than your opponent wants to spend. Hard to Kill also makes it more likely that your critically wounded Ronin will survive to use their Seppuku action, allowing her to kill herself to give her crew some extra soulstones or cards.
Tactics and Tips
Learning when to take the Sepukku action of a Ronin can be difficult. One school of thought holds that Ronin should be hired for a single purpose - such as dropping a scheme marker in a distant corner for Power Ritual - and then sacrificed for soulstones or cards as soon as the Ronin has finished with her task.
Another way to run Ronin is to only Sepukku them after they've been knocked down to Hard to Kill, ensuring that you get as much use out of them as possible before "cashing them in." This does run the risk of having your opponent get lucky or attacking the Ronin after she's activated and killing her, however, so it can sometimes be a risky approach.
Ronin work amazingly well with
, who can begin the game buried while the Ronin move up the board. Once the Ronin has gotten to a good position or accomplished her goal, she can Seppuku, killing herself and netting some soulstones or cards and unburying Killjoy in her place. Ronin are usually durable enough to get wherever you need Killjoy delivered, and being able to pull the trigger on him whenever you like can be game changing.
Playing Against Ronin
Between Disguised and their Next Target trigger, Ronin are difficult to take down with melee models. It's usually best to shoot them with ranged weapons, but even then you have to be careful, as they'll likely just commit Seppuku once they've taken a few hits. While this does result in the Ronin's death, getting extra soulstones or new cards midway through a turn can really swing things back around in your opponent's favor.
It's usually best to finish off Ronin after they've activated so that they can't take their Seppuku action after you've knocked them down a bit.
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