December Acolyte, Arcanist Minion


Overview

December Acolytes deploy forward and hide, waiting for the right moment to shoot their harpoon gun at the enemy, slowing them. They prefer ranged, but are capable in melee. They can also be excellent support pieces, removing Armor and Hard to Wound in an aura around them.


Mobility

They have a Wk of 4 and a Cg of 6, and should be considered of average mobility because of this.

However, with From the Shadows, they can start the game anywhere on the board that is outside of 6" of the enemy deployment zone, allowing them to be at the right place. Don't get to excited - they may not take Interact Actions on the first turn, and keeping them alive while being that far forward and unsupported can be difficult.

Their melee attack also has a Mask trigger to push them 4" in any direction. This can be particularly effective if you are using them as Scheme runners, pushing them out of engagement and then leaving them with 1 AP remaining to drop a Scheme Marker.


Offense

Their primary offense is ranged. Sh of 6 with a projectile range of 12", a damage spread of 2/4/6 and if the attack succeeds, it automatically gives the target Slow. This is a great attack already, and it has two triggers on it. It comes built in with the Crow to cause the target to discard a card after damaging. As well, if you want some movement tricks you can use a Ram to push the target 6" towards the Acolyte.

You don't want them in melee, but if they ever get involved in it they have an ok Ml of 5. It has an engagement of 1", with a 1/4/6 damage spread and if it succeeds it automatically gives the target Slow. On a Mask, after damaging push the Acolyte up to 4" in any direction. You can use this to get out of melee in order to shoot, drop a Scheme Marker, control territory, etc.

Lastly, the Acolyte has a 1 AP tactical action to cause enemy models within aura 6 to lose Armor and Hard to Wound until the end of the turn. This aura allows you to put it up, and then have multiple models take advantage of it! It is particularly good against Arcanist Constructs with all their armor, and Ressers with all their Hard to Wound.


Resilience

The Acolyte has a Df of 5, a Wp of 6 and 8 Wds. He comes with Frozen Heart, which makes him immune to Horror Duels and Paralyzed. There is also some interaction with Rasputina and her spells.

He doesn't have strong resilience, but can be flexible in his use because of his attacks movement triggers. If you get in with a melee beater, use Into Shadow from the Hunting Knife to get away and shoot it. If he's opposing a shooter, use Pull and Drag to bring the target close enough for him or others to get into combat with him.


Tactics and Tips

December Acolyte's can be great Scheme runners, because they can start in a good position. With Corner or Flank deployment, or if you deploy second you can deploy them such that they are further away from your opponent. Power Ritual or Line in the Sand are great Schemes as the Acolyte can (on the second turn) drop a Scheme marker and then walk away from it towards the enemy to defend it. They are particularly strong in Power Ritual, where if you declare the Scheme, drop one marker in your corner and have the Acolyte drop one in another corner you have 3 VPs fairly well sealed up.

Other than that, find your opponents most powerful piece and make it Slow every turn.

Don't forget the Acolytes movement triggers, as they will allow you to get in and out of difficult situations when necessary.

Be very careful when deploying. It can be tempting to deploy in a "perfect" position but not notice that your opponent will be able to kill him fairly easily. Particularly against a ranged crew, or very mobile crew, you may consider playing him much more defensively than you would otherwise.


Playing Against [Minion/Peon]

The Acolyte is not incredibly resilient and will die if you look at him hard enough. Df5 and 8Wds, with no defensive abilities means that if you want him dead he will die. However, be careful of his Slow and his movement triggers to get away or pull you towards him. He is immune to Horror and Paralyze, so don't rely on these abilities when facing him. If you are deploying second, watch for where your opponent places him and if you want to focus on killing him, you should be able to do so - he may be far up the field without any support, and could be an easy model to remove with little opposition.


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