Crew Overview: The Penguin
The Penguin is a gentleman of crime. An eccentric man that is well-known for his love of ornithology and his use of technology-fitted umbrellas.
The Penguin is one of Gotham's greatest criminal masterminds. He has been able to eliminate the Mafia as a leader of the underworld and now he is the one who manages the largest criminal empire without scruples and without fear of relating to anyone to carry out his plans (even if it involves even collaborating with Batman). In general, his crew is made up of cheap models that have good equipment. This equipment may have been purchased with the crew's dollars, or it may simply have been included in the model itself.
The crew has a special rule that allows it to gain a resource called Business that depends on whether the rival is beating our models, or completing objectives, this will allow us to have activations without an Audacity marker with more actions (although it will have a consequence) or enhance the ability to score any of our Objectives, even upgrade any Resource.
Another strong point is that all the Leaders of this crew have the Underworld King trait, which allows us to start the game with four separate Objective cards, although we can only use them as a Resource, and we can only pay for it with Business counters, but as long as we pay 1 Business Counter after using them, we will have them available again to use them whenever we want, giving us enormous flexibility.
This game mechanic allows the crew to have great flexibility when it comes to scoring the cards, and the Resources to use, as long as we use the Business Counters we have at our disposal wisely.
“Ever prepared, the Penguin is back! And how sweet it is!” The Penguin
Smuggled Goods is the best example of how having Business counters is important. You must place an Event marker near your enemy's deployment zone when you play this card just before the round begins. You will want to bring this event marker closer to your deployment zone than the opponent has it of his own.
The rival will be able to move the marker 4” when manipulating it, but you will be able to move it 2”, plus an additional number of inches, which is equal to the number of Business Counters you have, being the maximum 6, so you will be able to move the marker 8”, twice as much as your rival!
The card Resource is perhaps one of the most powerful resources in the game, as you will be able to play a resource from one of your enemy's cards played as a resource during this round, or already scored, paying Business counters instead of bonus points of own Resources. This strategy will allow you to play resources, such as canceling a resource used by the rival if it is the Batman crew, or you will be able to collect Venom Dose if you face the Soldiers of Fortune crew for example, there are many options!
“You think Gotham is a safe place? Not anymore. Not anymore!” The Penguin
The Objective Not Buying? Don't Touch! It is a card that you can play when an opponent removes one of your Suspects, or removes one of your models as a Casualty (which will increase your Business Counters), then you will mark them as a target. You will score the card if the target has one of your Suspects within 4” of them at the end of the round. So, try to mark models you don't want to remove, otherwise you won't be able to score the card. Another tip is to mark a model isolated from the rest of the crew, so as not to give the opponent a chance to remove your Suspects, or even try to do it with the last models you activate to give the opponent less time to react.
Its Resource invites you to use it almost every time you have the card, since it has a cost of 0 and forces the opponent to lose 1 Resource point and give it to you if he wants to Reveal (Remember be grateful and thank him for his generous act).
This is Mine! It is an objective that will have two steps to follow. The first one will be to place more Suspects than the rival (to do this it will help you to have a big crew) and also to place a Suspect in an Enemy Deployment zone (to do this it will help to have a fast model). The resource is expensive, but it is very powerful, since you will be able to place a Suspect in contact with an enemy Suspect that is within 8” of the active model, and, after performing this action, remove the enemy Suspect. This objective can help you gain dominance over the Suspects on the table.
“What people want and what they’re most scared of are usually no far removed from each other” The Penguin
Considering the importance of numbers in this crew, we have the Territory Fight card. This is an objective card that will make you divide the board into 4 quadrants, and you will score it if you control more quadrants than your opponent during the Recount phase. To control them you will have to have more models that are not KO'd in each quadrant. Having more models than the rival to be able to score this card is vital.
If you want one more help to deal with the enemy Suspects (it also helps you to score This is Mine!). This card's resource allows you to move an enemy Suspect 4" that is within 4" of an enemy model. Use it when, for example, you want to deny an enemy Objective that needs that Suspect to stay in play.
These two objective cards complement each other and help score the previous cards, or are helped by them. We are talking about Secret Equipment Bases and Goods Raid. The last one is pretty simple. When you place a Suspect, have at least 2 more than the opponent in play (very easy to accomplish if you have paid attention to how you use the resources of the previous targets).
Secret Equipment Bases, however, is a bit more complex. It asks you to play it during the Raise the Plan phase, and you will have to choose 2 Scenery elements that are at least 8” away from each other and from any deployment zone. To score it you will have to have more Suspects than the rival within 4” of each element. As we said, it is very useful to have more Suspects placed than the rival to be able to score many of the crew's cards.
Its resources continue to power this style of play. Secret Equipment Bases allow you to place a Suspect within 4” instead of in contact (This is Mine! It is much easier to score using this resource) and the Goods Raid resource will allow you to recover any Ammo you have previously spent to be able to deal with rival threats, always at the cost of a Suspect in addition to the resource.
“Oh, c’mon… I’ve wanted nothing to do with this psycho from the start. I do one favor for someone and suddenly I’m taking all the heat for someone else’s dirty work. It’s just not fair!” The Penguin
One of the most interesting options to lead the crew is The Penguin with his Upgrade Penguin's Duck.
This model is special because it will allow you to add Penguins, a model that works differently, since they do not have their own activation. You can only perform them when The Penguin's own model performs actions. But not only does it allow you to carry “adorable” penguins (as adorable as a penguin with weapons can be!) but thanks to the Upgrade you will be able to move them all at once with a single action and it will have upgraded durability, very important due to how does the crew work.
Although these penguins do not have their own activation, they do count for cards like Territory Fight.
Thanks to the additional movement of the Penguin Feeder trait, you can get to move the penguins really fast, so scoring with them This is Mine! It is easier than with other models of the crew. Mob will help you better position and attack with your henchmen. Considering Dealer, a trait that will force the opponent to discard cards from his hand and truncate his plans, or give you more Resource points (very useful to be able to move and relocate your Suspects). It also has the remarkable trait of the Underworld King crew, where you'll pick up to 4 target cards (you'll usually want to pick the generic ones) and put them aside. These cards can only be used as Resources, and only with Business counters. This rule gives you enormous flexibility. For example, what do you need to remove an annoying effect from Poison or Enervating? uses I'm Feeling Weird. If you want more movement for your crew, Stick to the Plan will also be a great option.
“Birds, my sweet Birds have happened. They’ve panicked the entire city. Because I told them to!” The Penguin
Loose Lips, the Sidekick of the crew, is a great companion. Although it has a cost for your Funding, actually thanks to its Smuggler trait (which allows you to buy Magazines and Radios for your crew at half cost) this cost decreases. It brings us an efficient Shotgun, which will give us an additional Pass on Activation, to play with the initiative. He will be able to be inspired by The Penguin from his One of the Boys trait, and with his Order trait, he will be able to place an additional Suspect with another of our models.
This complete package is focused on allowing us to place up to 3 Suspects per turn with it. It will help us a lot to score Not Buying? Don't Touch! And This is Mine!
To the Henchmen, including Lark, the Penguin's bodyguard will give us security. If the Penguin's Duck upgraded it was already much more resistant than expected, with Lark nearby it will be much more difficult for them to defeat him. Security Chief will increase The Penguin's Defense as long as she is close to it, and after that it has Bodyguard to save us from some devastating hit. By the way, she's a henchman, and can be inspired, so you can place Suspects with her, but don't move her too far away from her boss, since it’s key to scoring a lot of cards, like Territory Fight.
Why? You may be wondering, because the 3 penguins that we can carry in this example can always be replaced by a new one by the boss's trait. We have each one of them for flexibility, and if the opponent bunches up a lot, an attack from the Rocket Launcher Penguin could do a lot of damage. The Minigun Penguin will give you an option to attack a single target, while with the Explosive Penguin in addition to doing moderate damage in an area, all Suspects affected by the explosion will be removed!
“Forget crime, today the big money is in branding! Merchandise! Franchising!” The Penguin
To close the crew we can choose, for example, a couple of tough guys who resist in the game like Penguin Elite Thug (who is also a threat in combat) and Penguin Lieutenant, who can protect the rest of our henchmen with Take Cover! Adding a sniper gives us options about ranged attacks, and the Penguin Thug 2 is an example of a cheap guy who has a great gun.
Finally, two cheaper but useful henchmen could be Street Demonz 3, with an interesting weapon and Penguin Thug 1, who with his Repairman trait will even be able to remove some damage markers from our boss, since, with the upgrade, he considers a Vehicle.
The priority of all of them will always be to be able to place Suspects to score our cards, and also to win by number in the Territory Fight quadrants, considering that they carry quite powerful weapons for their cost. Also remember that the Penguin has a very high Funding value, so you can acquire a lot of equipment for your crew, even if you have already included powerful weapons with a high cost, such as equipping a Grapple Gun, Penguin Elite Thug or Lark the Prototype Freeze Ray, perfect for granting Ice Flash, another control tool that you have during the game.
That’s all. Now is your turn. Join The Penguin and play with the crew that uses tricks and dirty jobs to gain control of Gotham city.
In future articles we will show other options for The Penguin crew and how to play them. Don't miss them!