It’s magic time in Carnevale!
There are five brand new models out now for the Doctors, and they’re all brand new character classes!
We know that the miniatures look amazing, but what happens when you put them on the board? Let’s take a look at new rules for the Esoteric Investigations set!
Do You Have An Appointment? Doctors!
We’ve got two brand new Hero types (although “hero” probably isn’t the right word), with the Doctor of Poisons and Doctor of the Firmament. One is a bit spacey, the other a bit more hands (or knives) on.
The Doctor of Poisons is a bit of a weird character for the Doctors. Part combat, part support, she does a bit of everything. And strangely for the Doctors, she’s all about close combat. No guns here!
She’s a little faster than usual, and benefits from increased running when leaving base contact thanks to Slippery (2). Basically she’s good at getting in at the most opportune moment, then getting out again before she gets hit back!
Her Attack power isn’t very high, but +1 Damage and -1 Penetration on her Poisoned Blade makes up for that. Plus 2 re-rolls thanks to Expert Offence (2) means you’re likely to do a surprisingly high amount of damage with each attack.
The real benefit though is her Poisoned Weapons special rule. It causes additional Life Points to be lost on failed Attack dice. So if you go after someone with high Attack (like a Raadru or the Abomination for example) you’re likely to add on several more points of damage from each attack. That can add up really quickly, especially as they can’t take Protection rolls from that extra damage!
That’s not all though, the Doctor of Poisons also occasionally comes up with some beneficial poisons (at least in the short term), and can use her 2 Command Points to administer Elixirs to nearby friendly characters. Acrobatic, Engage, or Expert Offence are all super useful in the right situation, and she can even take them herself! Adding Acrobatic (3) means she becomes very fast and excellent at jumping to get away from angry opponents.
The Doctor of the Firmament is the answer to cries of wanting a full magic-using Hero choice. And he does that very well.
He’s got a pretty low stat line, and rubbish Attack power. But, frankly he’s not really concerned with such trivial things! This guy is all about the special rules.
We’ll start off with the simple stuff. Universal Shielding means he doesn’t ever have to worry about Penetration against his armour. That means you shouldn’t be too concerned about attacks from above, which is very handy! He also has 3 Command Points to use on his Void Walker ability. Letting everyone within 3″ walk through walls is extremely handy! Pair him with some heavy hitters like The Being and that’s a nasty surprise for an enemy who though they were safe!
Alright, now let’s talk magic. This guy does magic very well. He gets 4 spells, and re-rolls 2 dice when casting. He has access to Blood Rites, Fateweaving, and Wild Magic, so that’s a lot to choose from. But thanks to his Aetheric Gaze rule, he can actually choose his spells from 2 different Disciplines, gaining the Cantrips for both! So actually he can end up with 6 different spells!
Now, Blood Rites is a solid Discipline, but Fateweaving and Wild Magic are often touted as having a couple of stand out spells in there. With a choice of 2 Disciplines, you can really pick and choose! Teleport into place with Gateway then unleash Kraken’s Breath? Add 2 Attack with Blessing of the Sky and then another 2 Attack with Bloodlust? There are some insane combinations, which you better believe we’ll be looking at soon!
Helping Hand Henchmen
The Doctors aren’t just getting new Heroes though, there are two fantastic new Henchman classes available in the Esoteric Investigations box. And they’re both pretty wacky!
The Apprentice Doctor is a great addition to a gang that needs more Henchmen able to capture objectives. The Doctors struggle a little bit since most of their Henchmen are Mindless, so an opponent can target the doctors themselves and cripple the gang for scoring points.
The Apprentice Doctor has a fairly standard statline, on par with most Henchmen. A -1 Penetration weapon is pretty useful, but not all that great.
The Apprenticeship special rule is what we need to talk about.
Basically you pick another doctor to be a Mentor. That doctor has to be a Hero – the Leaders are way too high up to be helping out a newcomer! Then you take a small part of that doctor and steal it!
The Apprentice Doctor can take a special rule (like Mage (2) from the Doctor of the Firmament for example), a unique ability (like the Poisoned Weapons of the Doctor of Poisons) or even a single weapon profile (the Alchemist Doctor’s Alchemical Bombs maybe?), and have it for themselves!
This opens up a whole range of possibilities. Do you make them a Mage? Give them a gun? How about making them a back-up Beast Master? There are loads of options, and you can tailor your gangs in so many ways!
Alright, we’ve seen walking through walls, poison, and even copying abilities. But the Hollowmen are possibly the weirdest new characters.
At 5 Ducats they are the cheapest characters in game. Cheaper than Slaves! And what do you get for that? Honestly, not much in the way of stats.
These ex-madmen have had their Straitjackets cut so they are a bit more dangerous in combat. Bodyguard allows them to shadow doctors and then charge in for free if the doctor is attacked, so they can really get stuck in there. But with only 6 Life Points and 2 Protection they will fall quickly.
It’s the combination of special rules that makes them great though. Frenzied allows them to use Life Points as Will Points. With only 6 it’s dangerous, but check out the Life Drain rule. Every time they lose Life Points (even from Frenzied) then a friendly Nexus character in line of sight replenishes that many Will Points. That includes any Madmen, Unleashed Madmen, and Carrion. They’re battery rechargers! Get them stuck into combat and recharge your Madmen to get a bit more use out of them!
Not only that, but Death Throes is what happens when they’re killed. The very last magical energy bound up in them (there’s always a bit of sauce left at the bottom of the bottle) explodes outwards, replenishing 2 Will Points from all doctors in the vicinity. With some careful positioning, you can get a lot of Will Points back.
So there we have it! The Doctors are all about careful gang building to create some scary combos, and all of these characters really help with that! You’ve got offensive assassins, multi-purpose magicians, and even rechargeable battery packs for your Madmen!
What do you think? Are you excited to add more doctors to your lists? How about some Apprentices to help take objectives? Or are you just happy to not have to throw your Madmen away after they’re drained out? Let us know, and don’t forget to pre-order your Esoteric Investigations box today!