Ratchet, The Maverick & Mainspring, Anti-Personal Mine
No write up on Ratchet or Mainspring would be complete without frequent reference to the other, so I have written about them both at the same time. Paragraphs referring to Ratchet will have R before the title or R- at the beginning. Paragraphs for Mainspring will have an M in the place of the R, simple enough? Let’s hope so.
R- Typical of the engineers players Ratchet is effective at passing the ball. Ratchet has one of the largest threat ranges for damage in the game, while also manipulating the field by putting rough ground where you want it. He also has a few other tool box tricks with support for mechanica and great synergy with Mainspring.
M- Fragile, low health (actually a good thing, see below), reasonably quick and an unlikely kicker. Mainspring is a serious contender for the best mascot in season 1.
R- Ratchets movement is average. TAC is on the poor side with a mixed play book that has limited momentous results and moderate access to a tackle. His kick stats, like most of the engineers line up are above average for accuracy and average for range, his typical position on the pitch makes him a good passer rather than goal scorer. DEF is on the low side, ARM is average, above average HP , INF is good and he has a 1″ melee range.
M- Mainspring is quite quick. His TAC is very low, but that isn’t to much of an issue. He does have a momentous tackle on one hit, but he is a mascot, so has a limited play book. Mainsprings kick stats are poor, but he has a solution to that if you need it (see below). DEF and ARM are average and INF is pretty standard for a mascot, and he has a 1″ melee range.
Traits and Plays
R- Ratchets trait, ‘creation Mainspring’ is a vital component to the success of the pair. For 2 momentum during Ratchets activation you can return a taken out Mainspring to play, placing him in base contact with Ratchet. It is important to note that opponents do not get VP’s for taking Mainspring out after he has been returned to play using this trait. ‘Creation Mainspring’ can be used to return Mainspring in the same turn he was taken out, but if he was activated before he was taken out he won’t get a second activation. It does however mean Mainspring will be around for influence generation for the next turn, or that you could potentially over heat Mainspring twice in one turn, though that would be very situational.
M- ‘Overheat’ Mainsprings character trait, which triggers when he is taken out has a down side and many upsides. The downside is that 12-2 is as good a score as Engineers will likely get, as you will concede 2VP the first time Mainspring is taken out. This can be a pain in tournament play as it affects your VP difference and therefore ranking. The upsides, this trait is a damage source that no one can defend against. As Overheat is a character trait (3″ pulse that causes 3 damage and the fire condition); high DEF, ARM, cover, tough hide, clone, all count for nothing. Not only does overheat by pass other players defences, but again due to being a character trait, if overheat causes a take out on models like Dirge you don’t trigger Dark Doubts and loose 4 momentum. It doesn’t matter who you are Mainspring will get you, unless your Rage on the same team of course (wink wink).
R- Ratchets heroic play ‘overclocked’ has a range of 4″, targets a friendly mechanica player that has not yet activated this turn. Targeted mechanica may then sprint or charge without spending influence, then at the end of their activation they suffer the taken out condition. This play is mainly for use with Mainspring, it is worth remembering when desperate plans are needed that a free charging Velocity or Colossus might get you that winning goal or vital take out, but I have yet to use it on any player other than Mainspring. But why is this so good for Mainspring? It’s all about resource management, you want Mainspring to overheat and deal masses of damage to the opponents players, but you need INF and or Momentum for the rest of the team. Overclocked is the method of overheating Mainspring using Momentum. The plus side on this method is that mainspring can get a free Charge will can lead to a couple of extra points of damage to a non tough hide model, or perhaps allow Mainspring to dodge to the sweet spot before blowing. You also have the sprint option if charging isn’t possible and you didn’t have to put any influence on Mainspring. The down side is that Mainspring won’t be back to add his influence to the pool for the next turn as this means he has to activate after Ratchet. There are other methods to cause Mainspring to overheat, such has Blast Earth, Flurry (One of Ballistas character Plays) or AOE effects left by other teams (jog through a poison ring when you have low health perhaps), some of which give you the chance to return mainspring with Ratchets character trait before the turn ends. More on that shortly.
R- Fixer is the first of Ratchets three character plays. For a cost of 1 influence fixer allows Ratchet to target a friendly mechanica within 4″ in order to restore 2HP and remove all conditions from them. This is a once per turn play. I have found this play to be of limited use as Ratchet plays in a different part of the field to Velocity and often Colossus as well. It is useful on those occasions when it comes up however, for example if Mainspring is on fire or knocked down and you need his full movement, fixer is a good….fix.
R- next for Ratchet, long bomb, again a cost of 1 this character play allows Ratchet to do a massive kick. You target a spot on the field within 12″ and standard scatter the ball from there. It is inaccurate, Ratchet needs to have the ball to use it, but it has it’s uses to help clear the ball and if luck is on your side it may even snap to a well placed striker (centring your chosen spot on big base Colossus increases the chances of a snap to) . Also as it isn’t a kick or pass intervening models and interception doesn’t affect it, but of course it doesn’t generate momentum either and no snap shots. This can make Ratchet a good receiver for a goal kick and as he kick stats are solid he can play that either way.
R- Blast Earth, this is Ratchets purpose in life. His job consists of setting up bombs on legs (Mainspring) and throwing bombs. For a cost of 2 this range 10″ AOE3 character play deals 2 damage to models hit and remains as rough ground until the end of the turn. Firstly the rough ground is very useful for slowing all manner of players down, just watch out for light footed models and don’t forget they can use slider for 1 momentum to ignore the rough ground penalty. Blast Earth also has the potential to damage multiple enemy models if they clump up, clever opponents will spread out however. But the real power of Blast Earth is in the damage out put and its method of delivery. As an AOE weapon Blast Earth does not target and enemy model, so it bypasses character traits like Fear (Ghast) and Beautiful (Siren), it also effectively means the max range is actually 11.5″; which with Ratchets movement becomes16.5″ threat for a possible two Blast Earths or 18.5″ threat for one after sprinting. Ratchet can blast Earth in the same place twice, stacking the damage to 4 if you hit both times (also generating 2 momentum if he is within Ballistas aura, enough to create Mainspring or Overclock him as needed). Blast Earth can also be buffed by Rage’s play Tooled up, bringing us to 6 damage if you hit both times. AOE’s can also hit friendly models, automatically if you so desire and Mainspring has 6HP…. Coincidence? I think not.
M- Back to Mainspring for Super shot (I know we were talking about cool explosions and stuff), for a cost of 1 influence Mainspring gets +1/+2 kick, taking him from an awful kicker, to a poor one, but it does make him a credible goal threat when things get tricky or chance produces the opportunity.
R&M- How do we make the most out of overheating Mainspring? I’m glad you asked. I like to kick off with Mainspring (especially against Morticians, go on Lure him in, take him out, you are only helping cackle cackle goes the mad engineer), this means he is further up the field usually 4-6″ as he wanders to a side to try for a favourable ball position. During turn 1 he can either jog or sprint if you gave him influence, usually after the main target enemy model has activated so they can’t get away. Then tooled up Ratchet (don’t forget to take Rage) blasts earth on the target enemy and Mainspring twice, the enemy model takes up to 9 damage (6 from blast earth if you hit both times and 3 from overheat) and is on Fire. Now if the opponent has time and momentum they can deal with that fire, but that means you more than likely get the initiative for turn 2. So we have a possible 10 damage (with fire damage) with a big threat range. Going in to turn 2 the take outs start rolling in fast. After Ratchet has done his blast earths and assuming you place Ballista correctly, you should have two momentum, this can either bring Mainspring back ready to pop again in the second turn and of course add his influence to the pool, or if Salvo and Ballista didn’t make enough momentum you can keep it for the initiative roll. Ideally Mainspring should be exploding every turn, unless you received the ball, in which case a clever opponent will hang back waiting for you to make your move.
Good luck and happy bombing.
Thanks to solidgroundstudios.co.uk for the cobbled street bases and rough ground terrain.