Riot Quest: The haunted hunter – Yuri

Ah, the life of a Kossite. Those city folk w’ their high-falutin’ indoor plumbing, steamjacks  and pasteurized milk can go hang, just give me a hand axe, a bolt-action long gun, and an unhealthy preference for furry hats. Yuri the Axe was a legend among Khador’s manhunters long before the Infernals came to claim the souls of mankind, but the events of the Claiming left Yuri a changed man.

No longer was he driven to decapitate Southerners; rather, when the perfidy and corruption of his leaders was unveiled, Yuri’s own soul was similarly laid bare. The Infernals didn’t come for him, but the weight of his own deeds brought him to his knees. He tried to eschew a life of violence, but it was only a matter of time before Greygore Boomhowler crossed his path, a limb was severed, and Yuri once again found himself embroiled in a world of conflict.

Yuri the Hunter is the post-apocalyptic incarnation of Yuri the Axe, but he’s changed from being a frenzied maniac lumberjack to a fur-clad archer. He’s a Gunner class hero for Riot Quest, moving slowly with SPD4 but being able to take a heck of a punch and being lethal at a distance. While his speed may be low, Swift Hunter lets him move an additional 3 spaces when he hits a target with his purloined Tharn Long Bow.

As with all Gunners he has the Aim ability, and the as he closes in for the kill Trapper slows down his targets, giving the burly bowman a degree of board control.

For Warmachine, Yuri is still loyal to the Khadoran crown. The Empress’ court may have been eviscerated, but Yuri is unwavering.

Yuri is no longer a threshing machine, though he’s still a MAT8 Weapon Master with his hunting knife, so his melee threat is not to be ignored. With his having Advance Deploy, Pathfinder, Stealth and Ambush, he’s going to get wherever he needs to be if he really wants to poke you with his Hunting Knife.

His potential with the bow is more interesting, and a little more tricksy. The Tharn Bow is POW14, being shot with Yuri’s RAT8 at a total 18″ threat range, making him a solid threat to errant solos, and a surgical tool for removing single infantry models that are otherwise blocking lines of sight or charge lanes.

Huntermeans that Stealth is the only real protection from his sniping a target off the board, but it’s Arcing Firethat makes the bow shine. You can’t hide behind a barricade thanks to Hunter, but Arcing Fire means you can’t hide behind your friends either, unless you’re snugged right up behind them.

So again, with a high tier RAT, Yuri can plant a shaft in your Attendant Priest or Steelhead Arcanist from 18″ away, potentially angling in from the side of the board and generally being able to avoid any ranged threats himself as he gets into position.

Trapper makes Yuri more of a threat to massed infantry, but only in his immediate vicinity. A 4″ AoE doing POW10 to any living or undead model entering or ending its activation in it will mess up lightly armored models, but the template must be placed in contact with Yuri himself.

This works as a effective deterrent to a charge against light to medium infantry, or can be used more offensively by having Yuri stalk his prey, get in a back arc and then drop the template, forcing them to exit the immediate area – perhaps around an objective or flag?

His being able to put the template down after killing a target with a ranged attack thanks to Cover Tracksmeans the ability’s going to be used more frequently as a freebie than as a Special Action in and of itself, but its utility isn’t to be discounted should the right circumstances arrive.

Much like his Kossite brethren, Yuri’s not going to be a significant threat to heavily armored targets (though don’t discount the potential of a P+S10 + 4d6 Weapon Master charge with that knife), but his ability to get wherever he wants to on the board and then to start cleaning out the opponent’s solos and support models with a degree of impunity means he’ll find a slot in lists accordingly. If a Brawlmachine list can find room for his points, he’ll earn his keep.

Yuri the Hunter, by John Christensen

Yuri the Hunter is one of the five starting heroes in the Riot Quest: Wintertime Wasteland starter set, available through your FLGS or preferred online retailer.