In this article I’m going to take a look at one of the most feared of all the henchmen, Dallas.
Dallas is a mercenary for the Bane crew and also for The League of Shadows, for many he is an instant choice when playing either of these crews, let’s take a look at his card and see what differentiates him from the rest of the chaff.
Dallas shares the same stat line as all of the other mercenaries. None of the stats particularly stand out, his Willpower of 5 is 1 higher than the ninjas available for the League of Shadows. Attack 3 and defense 3 make for a tougher opponent in hand to hand and his willpower of 5 means he is not going to get killed by 2 successful double damage strikes. Requiring the opponent to put at least 3 counters into attack for a chance to take him out.
Hi special traits are also a common theme between all of the mercenaries. Veteran allows for the reallocation of 2 action counters upon activation and is a very nice trait to have. It allows him to react to situations as they arise and if necessary stack two counters in defence during the raise the plan’ stage just in case.
Bulletproof vest modifies damage rolls with firearms to a 4+ and helps to reinforce the image of these mercenaries as group of tough no nonsense soldiers of fortune.
Where Dallas starts to shine is with his equipment, he carries the fabled Assault Rifle. Arguably the most powerful and devastating weapon in the game. Unlimited range and rate of fire 3 with triple blood damage per hit mean a possible 9 blood damage per activation!!! Enough to take out all but the hardiest of Gotham’s citizens. But other henchmen have access to Assault rifles so what makes this different….
In either of the crew configurations available to him he can take night vision goggles for the small sum of $200. This really transforms Dallas into a potential threat from anywhere on the board. Now he is capable of shooting anyone from anywhere as long as he has a line of sight. He can also be given an extra clip of ammo which means three turns of this incredible firepower.
Match this with his bulletproof vest and veteran and you have an incredibly powerful henchman who is quite tough to knock out of the game.
The only downside to all of this shooty goodness is that it becomes expensive. Taking Dallas in a crew with Night vision and extra ammo takes up $1000 of the crews spending. In a 300rep game that is all of it!!! However what you get is arguably worth the cost, especially as there are not that many more good shooting options for the League of Shadows or Bane.
One of my favourite tactics is to fully equip him and then use the patrol strategy to set him up in an ideal sniper position. Patrol allows an extra 10cm deployment for one henchman. 90% of the time this will give me enough of a deployment boost to sit him on top of a building or in a high vantage point from which he can cover large swathes of the board. I will often try and negate the enemy firepower from this position by taking out targets with long range weaponry such as sniggering clown or RPG toting Militia.
‘Nasty’ I hear you say, indeed. And this is why you will see him appear in almost all Bane or League of Shadows crews at tournaments or in general. So what can we do if we come up against this turret of doom. It seems only fair to offer counter tactics to help tackle him.
More often than not the enemy will not have a tactic to directly counter this threat and he will be allowed to take out a couple of henchmen before running out of ammo. His reputation cost of 35 means he tends to make back that cost without much difficulty.
I tend to think of him as a generic ‘sniper’ and like to have a tactic to deal will all kinds of sniper should the need arise.
One of the best ways to stop him shooting is to get someone within 5 cm of him. He is unable to fire his weapon at all if an enemy is within 5cm of him and he will rarely waste an ammo by moving and then shooting.
Typically I will do this with a henchman with a batclaw, it doesn’t have to be an expensive model either, Dallas has no close combat weapon and his stats mean he will be hard pushed to take out someone in hand to hand. Other characters have the potential to close him down through other traits. Unpredictable allows for some really big movement and acrobats like Harley Quinn and Catwoman can move large distances in a single turn. Climbing claws can achieve a similar result.
Technique number 2 is to shut out his lines of sight, this can be achieved in a number of ways. Adjusting your tactics to move down a different alleyway or path can, in theory, negate all of his shooting for the game. And if the enemy has put him up on a building with no means to get down and change his position then that’s a lot of funding sat doing nothing all game.
Equipment such as smoke bombs can cover your crew as they move up, Dallas’ night vision cannot penetrate these clouds of smoke.
The third option is to shoot him before he shoots you but this brings its own risks. Assuming you can see him (he is lit up from some source) then your shooting is really going to have to be on point to take him out.
Lets use the Joker crew as an example.
One of the clowns has fired off a flair and so Dallas’ position has been revealed. Sniggering clown could now make use of this to shoot at Dallas. Assuming Dallas is in an elevated position the rolls required to shoot him are: 3+ to hit, then avoid the 5+ pings and follow it up with 4+ to damage. He would need to succeed with 2 out of 3 shots in order to take him out. To put this into perspective the odds of any single shot succeeding are 22%….
Had he not been equipped with the bullet proof vest this rises to 37%.
You’ve also now left your shooter in Dallas’ threat zone and his return shots on sniggering clown will be successful 69% of the time.
Having looked at counter shooter options the best chance falls to the new classic deadshot, He ignores pings and bulletproof vests plus his bonus to shooting means he has a very high chance of his shot being successful. But this only does 4 blood damage and he is then forced to make every other attack against Dallas until he is dead or KO. He can, however, dodge so this makes the chance of Dallas killing him in return fire much smaller.
Other than this there a few crew specific techniques to negate him. Poison Ivy can place a seed counter near him and then spawn a plant within 5cm to stop him shooting, potential waste of a plant though.
Dallas is a threat you need to be prepared for. At some point you’re going to come up against a $1000 shooting turret perched atop a building and without some sort of plan to take him out or avoid him he will quickly ruin your day.
I would be very interested to hear if people have other methods they use for dealing with snipers and long range shooters.