One of the delights of having made friends with a number of games over the years is the sheer variety of stuff you end up with in your mountain of unpainted stuff. From Warmachine’s steampunk armies to Relic Knights’ anime troopers, from Warhammer’s ‘classic’ fantasy to Monsterpocalypse’s world-destroying gribblies… and then there’s Super Dungeon Explore. Ninja Division’s chibi dungeon crawl is home to some oustandingly fun models, and applying brush to chibi is an amazingly different painting experience to painting warjacks or space marines or any other of models. Enter one of the models that came home with me from GenCon, the House Phoenix Pugilist.
The fourth of the Takaoshi University models, the House Phoenix Pugilist joins the House Cerberus Occultist, House Unicorn Diviner, and the House Siren Enforcer. She’s the first of the four I’ve managed to put paint on, much to my own chagrin, but I’m pretty chuffed with how she came out.
As a Kitsune hero, the Pugilist had to have reddish-brown hair, showcasing her vulpine heritage. The gloves and helmet were weirdly fun to paint, and I like that the final effect has an almost vinyl look when the light hits it just right. When I’m more comfortable with the freehand I’d like to put “Everlast” or a Crystalian equivalent across the back of the helmet, and of course I’ll need to base it at some point,. but for now she’s done.
On the table
The Pugilist has a fairly standard move of 6, and the usual 3 actions per turn. She has Yellow crystal affinity, and the Surefoot trait reflects her fancy footwork as she shuffles through difficult terrain as if it was never there. She packs three blue dice for her strength rolls, per primary attack, and a surprisingly hefty two red dice for armour. Two blue will and three blue dexterity aren’t her focus.
Unusual for a hero, none of her abilities take a single action.
Punch, Punch, Punch is where she’s going to shine once she has some equipment that ups her strength. She makes an attack and, if it hits, moves two squares and swings again against a different target, using one less dice. Then again. Then again. She keeps going until (a) there’s no-one who hasn’t been hit yet, (b) she misses, or (c) she runs out of dice. A few extra strength dice and she’s going to be amazing at clearing out mobs. This ability takes two of her three actions, but the potential to wipe out a bunch of kinoshrooms is pretty damn sweet.
Got a harder target? The Finisher, taking two actions, winds up for a power hit. Adding a red dice to her existing three blues it’s a more accurate attack, and does Massive Damage for double the usual wounds.
Finally, her potion – Ringside Canteen – grants an extra blue strength dice and Feint, forcing a an target to reroll one of their armour dice (or, in Arcade mode, decreasing their armour stat by one). Sooo she swings from the Canteen, adding an extra blue dice to the pool for Punch, Punch, Punch and reducing the armour of any targets for the round, making the hits even more likely to succeed, thus triggering more bonus swings.
She looks great, she’s fun to paint, and her abilities have a nice synergy that will make her a real boon for cleaning out spawn points and choked corridors. She’s as a front-line bruiser with good armour, bonus mobility, and a potion that will help anyone on the team crack armour and score better hits against harder targets.
I’m really quite glad I picked her up at GenCon – she’s a great addition to the Masterclass models, and she’ll be a great addition to an adventuring party out to punch the Dark Consul right smack in the chin.