Gunsmith, Arcanist Minion

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The Arcanists answer to the Ortega Family. But less tequila. The Gunsmith is a model meant to deal damage from range, and synergize well with masters or models that deal out the burning condition. With many triggers given to his fancy pistol, and (0) actions that can help get around certain damage limiters, the Gunsmith is a nice toolbox shooter that can penetrate the defenses of the day with accuracy, and extreme prejudice.


The Gunsmith has a walk of 5 and a charge of 6, putting his movement at an average pace. He shouldn't get left behind, and starting on a typical turn two, he will start firing into the enemy ranks.

While he doesn't have a ton of movement trick like pushes or places, he does have a 12" range on his guns that can also be used in 2" melee, giving him the flexibility of engagement that you want in a shooter.


The way I look at the Gunsmith is, he has two methods of attacking, though he only has one weapon.

(1) Custom Pistol (Sh6 / Rst: Df / Rg: Sh12 or Ml2) 2/3/4
A respectable attack for a minion. Decent damage, good chance to hit. But what makes this attack good are it's triggers:
  • (Book) Piercing:
    Piercing bullets allow an attack to ignore Armor, Hard to Wound, and Hard to Kill. Great at dealing with neverborn and Arcanist alike. Highly effective against Colladi and his puppet death squad- Ignores the armor and the hard to kill- it will only take two shots, instead of three, to send them down, even doing minimum damage both times.
  • (Mask) Experimental:
    Experimental Bullets change the damage profile slightly (2/4/6)- it's not amazing on it's own, unless you are looking to be able to get a moderate or a severe onto the stack. I think this is a nice trigger to luck into but harder to focus on. If you've got a high mask in hand, and nothing to do with it, then you might as well focus and cheat it in for a chance to really cheat in some damage.
  • (Ram) Explosive:
    Explosive bullets, like Experimental, change the basic damage track of the Custom Pistol, but in this case it changes the nature of the damage. Your Damage track retains it's 2/3/4 damage, but gains a single blast token on moderate or severe damage. Good for spreading some damage around some clustered up models. Again, this upgrade only becomes useful if you've gotten moderate or severe damage, but if you can cheat a high ram on a focused shot and then cheat the Red Joker, you can do some pretty decent damage.
  • (Crow) Cursed:
    Cursed bullets--or as the Ortega's would call them Witched bullets. These make it so the damage from these attacks can't be prevented by burning a soulstone. Good to take out a henchman or a master who's at low wounds, but has plenty of soulstones left. Think of the look in Viktoria's eye as a cursed bullet is loosed her way, screaming death all the while.

Now, that's already a lot of things to keep in mind offensively for the gunsmith. "All the triggers!" you may find yourself saying. And you're right. But what if you want to get a particular trigger over and over? Good news. The Gunsmith is able to accomadate you:

(0) Switch Chambers allows you to discard a card to gain the Condition "New Chamber"; this says you gain the suit of the discarded card to all duel totals until the end of the turn. So, discard a book, and you get piercing all day. Discard a ram, explosive. You get the idea. The best part is, it applies to all duels, which doesn't make a lot of sense to you now, but it will when we get to resilience.

"But I thought you said he has synergy with burning crews! Not a single one of his guns makes people be on fire!"
I'm glad you brought that up. Er... I brought that up. This whole second person writing thing is a little odd... Anyways!

(0) The Hard Way is his other zero action. You give up the ability to use switch chamber, which is a little sad--but you can still get the triggers honestly if you're lucky. What The Hard Way does is become the period on the end of the burning sentence. "Easy Target: This model gains a double positive flip to all duels against models with the burning condition."
I'll let that sink in. Double positive. All duels. If you're in a Kaeris crew, you're likely to be facing quite a few models who are actively on fire. The hard way gives you three cards to choose from when you're shooting a target on fire! But that's not all, if a model who is on fire tries to attack you, you get a double positive to your Df or Wp (or Wk, or Ht, or whatever) duel. For the whole turn. Which (0) to use is actually kind of a tough choice!


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So here's where things get a little tricky. He's got an average Df 5 / Wp 5. He's also got two Df/Wp triggers, and Hard to Kill. With 7 wounds, he can take a bit of a kicking before he goes down. The triggers is where it goes a little woolly.

Df/Wp (Ram) Concealed Weapon After resolving, this model gains the Fast condition. You don't need to dodge, or take damage, if you flip or cheat a ram, and live you're getting Fast. A great trigger to use before you activate. Three AP in a turn is always good.

Df/Wp (Tome) Smoldering Heart After this model succeeds, the attacking model gains Burning +1.

That's the one. If you cheat a tome and win, they get set on fire. Now this is the dilemma. If you use Switch Chambers, and discard a tome, this trigger is always active, meaning every attack can dole out burning. If you use The Hard Way, then if you can give them Burning on their first attack, you get a double positive to defense for any remaining attacks (as they are now on fire).

Which (0) you use will depend upon a number of factors- tomes in hand, low rams in hand, models or model groupings that may ask for a given trigger or the other, and number of burning models already on the field.

Tactics and Tips

With Sh6, the ability to jump up to double positive to attack, and really interesting and effective triggers on his Sh attack, he's very effective in midfield combat, whether shooting upfield or tying up lesser models in your engagement zone.

Good when mixed with things like Fire Gamin, or Metal Gamin (who can give him Df6, which makes Smoldering Heart easier to accomplish) who can give out burning tokens before his activation.

The Captain-
There's an interesting little tactic here that a lot of people overlook. The captain needs a 6 up to be able to push you, and usually you decide to tie, or "relent", so that you know it goes off. But if you have a low Ram in hand (6 or lower, in fact), you can let the Captain win in a duel against you and instead of relenting, cheat low with that Ram to gain Fast. This gives you your extra AP and a free move of 5".

Mei Feng, Kaeris
Mei can't rail walk to him, but like her, the Gunsmith likes models the best when they are on fire. So if she swoops in, throws a couple punches and kicks, and then swoops out, or onto another model, he can clean up with The Hard Way and lots of shooting.
Likewise, Kaeris likes to light people up, and leave them burning; the Gunsmith can either finish them off for credit, or be well defended against them. Kaeris can also do something akin to the tactic with the captain, where she Flaming Halos him, and he cheats low to gain fast. With the Drag and Drop upgrade (from Wings of Fire), he gains Flight, Fast, and gets to place a Scheme Marker at the end of his turn - Not bad for a low ram, amirite?

Toni Ironsides
Ironsides has an amazing ability on her card called "Hand Picked Men", which says they get a positive twist to attack and damage if they've got less than their total number of wounds. This can get very good with the Gunsmiths, as this alleviates their need to use The Hard Way for offense, and frees up the chance to use new chamber. If you can get the experimental trigger for all three attacks with a positive twist to attack and damage, you've got a great chance at straight flipping for moderate or severe.

Arcane Effigy
The Arcane Effigy can let your Master hand out Burning on attacks through its Radiance Action.

Playing Against Gunsmith

Try not to be set on fire. If this guy sees you on fire, he will light you up, more than you already currently are. Remember that a model that's on fire, even on that is in cover, is a prime target for these guys. Your master who's been shot up a bit and is half behind a wall... are they on fire? Then the gunsmith is still at a positive flip without focus.

If they've used new chamber and discarded a book, know that they will likely make you be on fire if you try and attack them.

Really, when determining the best method to kill a gunsmith you have two situations to consider.
  1. Do I want to try and kill him before he gets a chance to activate, and probably give him fast for this turn?
  2. Or do I want to try to kill him AFTER he activates, where he'll either be at positive flips against burning people, or passively setting people on fire.

Whichever you decide to do, make it a strong push. If you hit him, and he gains fast, and then doesn't immediately activate, you should probably burn him to try and take that Fast away from him.

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