The latest version of Wild West Exodus stat cards was released about a month ago, bringing a few notable changes to the game and some hints as to what’s to come hidden away in the .pdf files containing the complete faction card collection. I’ve had some time to sit down and go over the new cards to see just what this will bring to the game once the miniatures are finally available. This will be a three-part series focusing on a few factions per article to help evenly distribute the information and avoid a massive infodump. The final installment will cover both the Infernal Investigations and Ranger Showboat posses in-depth. Last time, we discussed the new cards for the Hex, Union, and Warrior Nation. We’ll be rounding out the additions this time with the Outlaws and Lawmen. As discussed previously, we’ll be waiting for any new cards for the Order, Watchers, and Enlightened until the next update in the fall.
The Outlaws only gained two new cards, both of which are linked to the Conquistadores. First up is Padre Perez, a second mounted Boss for the sub-faction. Coming in at 225 points with 3 Fortune, Padre Perez is a fast-moving support Boss with a decent stat line for his unit type and a pair of formidable ranged weapons. The Runic Bomb comes with the Hazardous condition on a hit, which will be useful in clearing out stubborn pockets of resistance on an objective, and his Golden Pistol comes with the Ammo Clip rule giving him a good amount of flexibility in dealing with enemies.
Where he really shines is his special rules, proving him to be a force multiplier rather than a simply beatstick. His special rules are:
- Compel: take control of an enemy unit for one action
- Fateweaver: spend 2 action points to look at the top 3 cards from your opponent’s Action or Adventure deck and reshuffle them
- Inspirational: a friendly unit can re-roll a single die in their activation
- Rapid: can Focus a Move action at no change
- Invigorate: give a unit +1 Limit for the turn
- Team Player: Be demoted from Boss to Face, losing Largesse
Ines Suraez, on the other hand, is much more straightforward. At 130 points and a single Fortune, her stat line is the definition of middle-of-the-road with 5s all around aside from a Limit of 3. She comes with the Shoulder to Shoulder special rule (+1 Grit when in base contact with another model with this rule) and Counter Intelligence (can be redeployed after initial deployment is finished) making her a bit trickier for your opponent to deal with. You can also combine her with Esteban el Bruto and Eduard Costa for additional Counter Intelligence redeployment shenanigans, allowing you to move nearly half of your posse after initial deployment and putting some serious pressure on your opponent if they're not paying attention.
Like her counterpart Amadeo Savoia, she is a sniper. Armed with a Golden Rifle with a nice 20” range and Ammo Clip, her job is to move, shoot, and pop smoke. She doesn’t bring anything special to the table like Amadeo does with Rapport or Sic ‘Em!, but she can hold her own in close combat with her Espada de Vida providing access to Decapitate on a critical success. Amadeo is currently limited to his Golden Pistol in close combat, a significant disadvantage after the changes to Close Work dropping his Fight stat by -3 when using them in melee.
The best way to utilize Ines, in my opinion, is alongside Amadeo to provide long-range sniping, additional smoke grenades, and some extra Grit should they come under fire. She can also provide better melee protection with her gear, since she won’t be fighting with a -3 penalty and need to resort to tapping into Fortune to overcome this. If you want a more rounded Conquistadores force, go with Amadeo and utilize the extra units he can provide (points budget allowing, of course).
Moving on to the final faction we’ll be discussing, the Lawmen definitely got the most out of this update. Not only do we now have the stat cards for the entire Infernal Investigations and Ranger Showboat posses, but several new support options have been opened up providing Judge Stern’s Lynch Mob and Wild Bill Hickock’s Ranger Showboat posses with some much-needed options.
The Lawmen now have access to several support options, some previously restricted to the Outlaws. Iron Horse Deputies and Deputized Dustcutters, are now available, as well as the Deputized Support Team.
The Deputized Support Team is very similar to the Support Teams available to the Union: a group of 2-4 models with access to the complete faction armory for each model in the unit. Want a unit of gatling guns to lock down a fire lane? Go ahead! Need some grenade launchers to clear some pesky Outlaws from the saloon they’ve barricaded themselves in? Not a problem! Or if you’re tight on points and want a clear shot at whoever (or whatever) is coming over the hill? Here you go!
The Support Team comes with Chace sniper rifles by default, but can be equipped with anything in the Lawmen faction armory, provided you have the points to spare. Their stats aren’t anything particularly amazing with 4s all around aside from a Quickness of 5 and a Limit of 2, but they can lock down a fire lane very easily and will be rather difficult to dislodge thanks to the Tinman rule adding +1 Grit.
The Iron Horse Deputies and Dustcutters also provide additional firepower, along with mobility and some light transport capabilities with the Dustcutter. The Dustcutter can transport 2 small based units and comes with Rapid, allowing for free Focused Move actions. For smaller point games, the Dustcutters can be used to quickly redeploy minimum sized Deputized Support Teams where they’re needed the most. And while said Support Teams have the option to fire from the Dustcutter, they’d be doing it at a -2 penalty and without being able to use any Heavy weapons, so it may not be worth it. Other units may be less affected by the restrictions, however, so keep this in mind when putting the Dustcutter on the table.
The Iron Horse Deputies are good for grabbing objectives quickly and flanking enemy units. Their rather weak Aim of 4 means you probably won’t bother swapping out their Linked ROA 4 Gatling Guns for the other options available, but the combination of both Skirmishers (extending Coherency range to 4”) and Tinman (+1 Grit when in base contact, ignore Uneven Ground penalties) give you the ability to spread out when needed to avoid template fire and group up for extra Grit when camping an objective at the end of the game. The Iron Horse Deputies are also 10 points cheaper than the Ranger Interceptors, giving you an easy way to save some points for better options elsewhere. If you’re playing with the Lynch Mob posse, the Iron Horse Deputies give you some much-needed mobility without having to invest in something like a Judgment eating one of your valuable Support slots. Though, to be perfectly honest, you should get a Judgment anyway.
Looking at the current Lynch Mob posse card, it quickly becomes understandable why it was often overlooked. This posse was largely restricted to using Deputy Hands units and Angry Mobs (who weren’t released for a while) with only a single slot open for a Face and a max of two Support slots. The Deputy units currently available for this posse aren’t that great to begin with, particularly the Deputized Gunslingers after the Close Work rule change. While these restrictions may fit rather well in a narrative-style game, it’s not the most competitive choice. The addition of three new Deputy units gives the themed posse much more allure as it isn’t relying entirely on waves of poorly armed and trained meat shields. If you're looking for a more professional Lawmen posse, then you're better off going with either the Ranger Showboat posse, which we'll be discussing next time.