NAS: The Blind Guy and the Chicken

NASMizOnd01Is Wednesday, Have Chibi!

Today we take a look at a couple of Ninja All Stars figures. You will, of course, recognize the Ondori Clan Kaiken – the angry chicken samurai – from Monday’s Paint The Target post, but we’re also looking at one of the Yamazaru heroes today, the blind swordsman Mizaru. Ninja All Stars happens to have a couple of blind characters, but this is the only one that gets a fuzzy trim on his cloak. I’m not sure if this is indicative of some sort of societal caste ranking amidst differently abled individuals in Kagejima, or just because Mizaru lives in the mountains with the other monkey ninjas, so needs the cloak to keep warm.

Let’s start with the chicken man.

ONDORI CLAN KAIKEN

NASMizOnd02The Ondori Clan Kaiken is a ronin model available for hire. The warlords leading the assorted ninja clans of Kagejima can toss moneys at him to join forces for the Moon Festival, to the tune of 14 Koban for the initial hire, and a maintenance fee of 3 koban per game afterwards.

The Ondori Clan Kaiken… oh heck, I’m just calling him Chicken Ninja going forward, it’s faster to type… Chicken Ninja’s stats come across as pretty average, though favouring offense. Movement of 6 is fairly standard, his Attack is 3 and his Defense is 2. He has affinity with Air, so will be a natural fit with Clan Tanchyo, but he can be of use to any of the clans.

Chicken Ninja’s strengths lie in his other abilties. The Ronin rule covers his hiring policy, but he also possesses Resilient, Sprint and Ondori’s Beak, a unique ability.

Resilient means he has a 1:6 chance of lessening the impact of any damage taken – Injuries become stuns, stuns become nothing, if he can pass an affinity test. Sprint takes advantage of his feathered frame and air affinity, allowing him to move a total of 12 squares when he runs, rather than 10.

Ondori’s Beakis the money maker. As long as you haven’t activated him yet – an indicator that you’ll likely use him later in each turn – if any enemy model moves into his influence area, Chicken Ninja immediately interrupts their activation and makes an attack on the moving model, before allowing them to continue their activation. That’s Defensive Strike, for you Warmachine players out there, on a model that you can fly into a good defensive position on the first turn. An Attack stat of 3 means he’s got a solid chance of messing up anyone who comes close, especially from the clans that have lower average defense.

Chicken Ninja’s value may be a bit scenario dependent, especially given his None-Shall-Pass attitude, but he’s not an expensive Ronin, and can add a nice little bit of bite… or beak… to a clan that could use a little more punch.

MIZARU

NASMizOnd03Mizaru has been blind since his teenage years, but rather than succumbing to the witch’s curse that took his sight, Mizaru has learned to compensate, even overcome, the challenges of a sightless world, and rizen throught he ranks of the Yamazaru Scouts to become their Captain.

Like most of his clanmates, Mizaru is not renowned for his speed, and leans toward defensive play. A Movement of 5 keeps him from positioning too quickly, an Attack of 2 isn’t a lot to write home about, but a Defense of 4 means your opponent is going to have a hard time bringing him down. As with all Yamazaru, Mizaru bears an affinity for Earth.

Mizaru is a Hero, a unique character that cannot gain XP or be duplicated in a list. Much like the Chicken Ninja, he is Resilient and has a 1:6 chance of lessening a received blow. He’s also a Close Combat Master, allowing a reroll of one of his attack dice. Focusalso helps counterbalance the low attack stat, since Mizaru can give up his movement to roll an extra attack dice, and the Guardability means he adds +2 to any combat he’s assisting, rather than the standard +1.

On top of that, Mizaru’s unique ability is Amazing Awareness. As his action, Mizaru can instantly remove Stealth from any model within eight spaces, with no line of sight required. He can heeeeaaarrr yooouuuu….

Mizaru is geared more as a defensive support piece. He’ll strip Stealth away from your opponents so that your clanmates can team up on those being sneakier-than-thou, and while his personal offensive capability is more limited, his ability to add +2 to any other combat in support of his fellow Yamazaru is not to be sneered at. He’s not going to be moving around the board at high velocity, but then, these are Yamazaru we’re talking about, speed is simply not their forte. Get him into position, and watch him turn your already capable Kaiken into victors.

There’s still a couple of other Yamazaru models on the painting table, but we’re close to starting the next clan… where should our attention go? To the Ika? The Ijin? Perhaps the Kitsune or Tanchyo…