Mechanical Rider, Arcanist Enforcer

Mechanical Rider.jpgOverview

The Mechanical Rider: Robot Riding Scourge of the Arcanist Forces. This quick, 12 stone model can fit snugly into almost every Arcanist force without skipping a beat. She's a well tuned, fire-forged, one-(robo)-woman, keister-kicking machine that's ready to assist you and your crew in literally every way.

Like all of the rider models, she has a suit building mechanic that builds as the game continues and really hits its stride in Turn 3. But with a little help and a little luck, the Mechanical Rider will cause hordes of foes to moan in disgust.


Mobility

The Mechanical Rider, just like all of the riders, has some top tier movement stats--a Walk of 6 and a Charge of 10. That's not all. While she may not have nimble, she does have "Revel In Creation". At its core this is a (0) Action summon, but it also has a 4" push baked in. This can be used to push out of engagements. Presuming that you can't do this on Turn one (due to the suit requirement), Turn two she can push 4 inches, summon a model behind her, and then move 12--or charge 10, and make two attacks.

She's also got Unimpeded, so she'll ignore severe terrain.

A quick model is an understatement, as the other thing you usually want down field models to do is place scheme markers once they're down there. Since she has ways of placing scheme markers without using AP, the Mechanical Rider's mobility is top notch.


Offense

She only really has one offensive move, but its attack and utility are both quite good.

(1) Chain Spear (Sh 6 / Rst DF/ Rg (gun) 8 or (melee) 2). Her gun is also a sword. Well... technically her spear is also a spear on a chain, but regardless. Nice range both in melee and shooting--so even if you don't want to engage, you can Sh from up to 8 in, giving her a 12" shooting threat range with (0) Revel in Creation's push, or a 16" potential charge threat range (again including RiC's push and 2" melee range). The attack does a respectable 2/4/5 damage, but where this attack gets ridiculous is in it's two triggers.

  • (Tome) Fated Strike: After damaging an enemy, draw a card. Are you kidding me? That's amazing. I get to draw a card because I stabbed a guy? Sign me up! It is worth noting that the trigger may only be declared once per turn, and that Errata has changed this to only one card drawn. But that means that starting on turn two, you can declare this once a turn for an extra card a turn! And this isn't a Scry like surge, where you draw two and discard two--you just get to keep it!

  • (Tome) Arcane Ritual: After damaging an enemy, place a scheme marker within (pulse)2" of the target for each Tome in the final duel total. (Reminder, can only be taken once per turn, just like fated strike, and caps out at 2 markers total). These markers must be placed at least 1" away from other friendly scheme markers. This is helpful because a model interacting to remove scheme markers removes every marker it's in base to base with! So stacking them markers a mile high can actually make it easier for your opponent to wander a Necropunk in and just ruin all your plans.

It's important to note that these triggers only begin to happen starting on Turn two, and on Turn three, you'll get the maximum benefit every time you hit. If you hit both times this turn, you can declare both triggers. Only one success, you'll have to make some choices, but you'll usually have a pretty good idea if the scheme markers or the card draw are the better option.


Resilience

The mechanical rider has an average Df of 5, and an above average Wp of 6. With 10 Wounds, if she gets focus-fired, she can become scrap relatively quickly. Luckily for her, her charm, speed, and average defense score aren't her only defensive traits:

Stubborn: Sure, her Wp is already better than her Df, but any time you can make a model have a negative flip to attack is a good time. Go ahead and try to lure me, Rotten Belle! Unless you focus... In that case, go ahead and lure me...

DF (Tome) Forged in Steel: The other rider signature ability. Forged in steel allows the Mechanical Rider to reduce incoming damage as if she had armor. Equal to the number of Tomes in the duel total. So, on Turn 1 that's 0 (unless you luck out on the flip, or cheat in a Tome). But as the turns go on, you get steadily more and more tough. On Turn five, if you cheat a book as well, you've got effectively 5 armor.

Remember, it's not actually armor. And that's a good thing half of the time...and a bad thing the other half. Any time you're targeted by Df and get hit, you'll more than likely be able to mitigate that away. And actions that ignore Armor cannot bypass this. But if it's targeting Willpower, or otherwise isn't targeting Df (like Blasts, Pulses or hazardous terrain), then Forged in Steel isn't going to kick in.

Upgrades

Because the rider isn't an M&SU construct, she isn't able to take any of the M&SU only upgrades, which leaves her with the two general upgrades (until the new generalist upgrades come out, at the very least).

Imbued Protection
Df may be her biggest controllable weakness, so the ability to make her Df go to 6 may not be worth it. If, however, they're going after her wounds laterally (via blasts or terrain damage), it won't make a bit of difference if her Df is 5 or 6. It will, however, let you reduce some Blast or Wp damage by two (once), which could be enough to keep the Mechanical Rider alive for another day.

Imbued Energies
Imbued Energies, for one stone, is probably one of the most taken Arcanist Upgrades. It gives you either some life insurance on your model saying if it dies you get some cards for your effort. You can also cash that life insurance in for a turn in which the model gains fast. This is usually very good for a model as expensive as the mechanical rider. However, with the once per turn stipulation on each of her triggers, the fast may seem like it's going to waste. Your best bet is to use it to cover more ground on a particularly important or dangerous turn- such as she's the entourage model, and you're still on your half of the board- This would make her able to push 4" and then take 3ap to move 18" for 22" total. With unimpeded, that's a lot of move! Or, you can push, then move, then charge if you want your charge threat to be 16 for a turn. But with the range on her attack, that's usually not a huge problem- unless you WANT to be engaged.



Tactics and Tips

As I said earlier, this 12 stone powerhouse can bring something to nearly every Arcanist Crew. Marcus, as always, is the odd man out for these thematic models, but he makes up for it by having cross faction hires.

Ramos-
Ramos is a summoner extraordinaire. But what if he could get an extra spider per turn? Think about being able to summon 4 spiders in a turn. Or more likely, you'll get 2 from ramos, and a third from the mechanical rider! You'll likely get a fresh Steam Arachnid Swarm every turn. That's nothing to sneeze at- and if you're looking for lots of activations instead of lots of tougher models, then let them stay apart. If the Brass Arachnid is taken with Ramos, you can give the Mechanical Rider reactivate, which will allow her to try to summon again, making it so they can create up to 5 spiders a turn together. She can also bring speed to the crew, while he brings the ability to heal the mechanical rider back up with combat mechanic, and can also give her the construct buffs, like positive twists to df, though not overdrive, because it specifies a ML attack, and even while in melee range, Chain Spear is still a SH attack.

Colette-
"The Horse and Pony Show". Colette always had a fascination with clockwork steeds. In this case, there's quite a bit they can do to help each other- If the mechanical rider misses one of her attacks this turn, Colette can give her an encore with Prompt. And what does Colette get in return for her resources and hard work? Scheme markers, for one. The Mechanical rider is popping out scheme markers near enemies like nobody's business. These can in turn be used by Colette to save her life, or re-position models. models, or allow the performers, or Cassandra to make seduction attempts (as the marker will already be close to an enemy model! And for Colette, the more markers, the more options. Getting two free markers per turn would help her out substantially. The Rider can also use Revel in Creation to summon more/new Mannequins which act like mobile scheme markers, and allow her showgirls to produce scheme markers at range.

Mei Feng-
The mechanical rider, as a fast unimpeded model, can always be right where Mei needs her to be. And if she can't be, she can summon a construct that can be. The rider can also summon the Metal Gamin, one of Mei Feng's own personal favorite models, as they're tough, they're jump points, and they can grant burning to enemies.

Kaeris/Rasputina-
The rider, as a utilitarian summoner, can also summon both Ice Gamin and Fire Gamin. So, for Kaeris, she can create more models that are relatively quick to die, but hand out burning when they do, and for raspy, she can set up new ice mirror points on the fly. Raspy has the unique ability to grant the Mechanical Rider Frozen Heart and Armor which can help her through the early game doldrums, and help her survive into the late game. Kaeris can, with the Wings of Fire upgrade, grant the Mechanical Rider flight for a turn, and increase Scheme marker generation- Flight with all the other movement speed and pushes inherent in the rider, can make for a VERY speedy and surprising attack.

Ironsides-
Ironsides has less of a direct synergy with the rider, but because she's sort of a death ball style master, having a fast runner with the ability to drop scheme markers at range can help shore up some of the scheme difficulties this crew runs into.

Honorable Mentions
Keep an eye on "Ride With Me Into Tomorrow". You've got to have a 6+ of Tomes in hand, but reactivate on turn five could be impressive. And if you flip for turn six, it's just a 6-up. With the brass arachnid, you could potentially turn a 10 of
Tomes into two reactivates, by having the arachnid reactivate the horse, and the horse reactivate something awesome. Maybe even two somethings that are awesome, if you get lucky.


Playing Against Mechanical Rider

Kill it! Kill it with fire!

Actually, fire might not be such a bad idea. Nor would poison, or anything else that does damage without incurring a Df check. Blasts, pulses, Burning, Poison, and WP duels are the name of the game if you want to take her down. Or you can just try and blitzkrieg her down on turn one or two before the Forged in Fire total gets too high. Like all Riders, it's important to kill her fast because late game it can get quite difficult. Because of her extraordinary movement, she might leave herself over-exposed. If you can get her cornered, then you can probably finish her off quick enough before she gets the chance to run away. And if you take her down low enough, with little chance to heal, she'll end up spending her turns running and summoning weak creatures--a very expensive scheme-runner.

If you see the mechanical rider in a reckoning list, watch for the model she'll probably be summoning--it'll have between 2-3 wounds left, and even with hard to kill, you can almost count on that model dying for half your strategy point that turn.

If you have models with Bullet Proof, any attack/damage this model will create will be reduced by it (Just because she's in melee, doesn't make it not a Sh attack).

Don't expect engagement to tie her up--her summon allows her to push 4" before summoning, so she can push out of engagement and into freedom, then place a metal gamin between the two of you, keeping you from pursuing.


Ownership
Unless otherwise stated, all names and images on this site are property of Wyrd Miniatures, LLC. (Link)