Playdge: Tactical Deep Dive
The last in our series of tactical deep dives on the new leader models, this time Neil talks about the Artefacter alternative to Nix:
I’ll be honest and say that Nix is one of my favourite leaders – but, she may have some worthy competition in Playdge. I see them fulfilling different roles in the army.
By comparing their leader abilities you can see immediate differences – whilst Nix is focused on buffing her own killing effectiveness, Pledge is all geared towards buffing his crew. Quickshot is a nice addition to the faction - enabling reliable mid-range engagements to be in your favour, especially if the enemy models have already had their health chipped away. Playdge also gives you a once per game dodge – which could be really key in in final turns to secure/contest objectives, but is very situational. Hard training on the other can boosts everyone's dodge, enabling more movement around the board.
In terms of stats Playdge is slightly worse off in ranged combat and melee, and potentially defence too if you factor in Nix’s reflexes (2) trait. Nix also wins on damage output – as Playdge only has smoke grenades as a ranged weapon.
Where he does excel however is in his traits. That’s where things become interesting. Playdge focuses on buffing his crew – which makes an already powerful Artefacters crew even stronger. He encourages you to group your force closely and move around the board as a group to stay within his Hyperaware aura. With a faction like Artefacters, who are already quite good at dodging, it lends itself well – having a chance at getting a shot off at the same time as dodging is extremely efficient for a single, reactionary AP. His Blink trait will also be frustrating for opponents to be able to engage either at range or in CC. Blink is incredibly helpful in keeping him out of harms way.
Overall my initial impressions of Playdge are that he is an interesting one to face off with. His mobility is much more unpredictable, and allows the rest of the crew to be similarly hard to pin down, the downside of this is that it can be very situationally dependent. This will be useful in certain scenarios, like assassination or grudge match, but can be countered as it is entirely dependent on having AP to react with.
I think models with stun will be a problem for Playdge, particularly in larger numbers (dilo packs or bondsmen for example) because he will be expending an AP either way, thus making him an easier target. I see him as being a roster option in a tournament scene, but not completely replacing Nix when outright murder is required.