Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nino Ortega Overview and Tactics

The youngest family member of Ortega clan is Nino (pronounced knee-nyo) Ortega feared for his infamous Repeating Rifle and his sharp eye. It is said whatever is in Nino's telescopic sights has mere seconds to immediately regret that decision. Nino is the premier hunter and sniper of Guild, wherever you see Guild presence you will see (or maybe you won't) Nino Ortega in a good field of fire covering his employers.

Nino is one of the few staple models that just about every Guild player has owned one way or another. His abilities craft him to be one long range killer whether it is through one deadly shot or a fusillade of bullets as he goes trigger happy on an enemy. This is all balanced by any enemy that gets near Nino will usually carve him up like a Thanksgiving turkey, so remember folks guard your Ninos! (see what I did there).

Looking over the stat card nothing jumps at you that would really catch your eye about a 7 soul stone model. His wounds are about average with like models of his soul stone cost but after moving onto his combat stats you notice the following: first a very pitiful Rifle Butt attack, if you EVER have to use this you are in real trouble! But then you notice his very impressive Repeating Rifle. With a stock CB of 7 a decent damage spread of 2/3/5 and it's long range of 16" you can understand why Nino is seen as a very potent long range threat.

Companion (Family):
As with most Family members Nino comes equipped with Companion (Family) this ability just like all other Companion abilities lets you activate models simultaneously. Where this ability differs rather why it is so powerful in the hands of the Ortega Family is because all of their Unique members have this ability. Which means most if not ALL of your force can activate performing the famed "alpha strike" against the enemy, if you so choose.

The hardest part about this ability for most people is gauging WHEN is the right time to unleash the fury of the Ortega Family on an enemy. At first some people tend to use all of their Ortegas at the same time, the problem is a double sided blade. On one hand you get free reign when attacking your enemies models. On the flip side once you are done with activations your opponent can dictate the flow of battle if you did not effectively cripple them.

This ability lets Nino "see" 6" into obscuring terrain features in addition he ignores the negative flip for firing into said terrain. It is quite a useful ability especially since his Repeating Rifle has an enormous range of 16". There are few places the enemy can hide from Nino with this ability though he still needs to worry about Blocking terrain or Obscuring Effects it does narrow down what he has to worry about when compared to other models.

Being a sniper means sometimes you must traverse difficult ground in order to get the best fields of fire. Thankfully with Scout Nino does not take any penalties for doing so, though he still take a movement penalty when Climbing he can traverse bogs and forests without a care in the world as he gets into position to lend some supporting fire.

Whenever Nino is a defender in a duel he automatically gains +2 WP, this ability is better than what the Death Marshals receive simply because it applies to ANY duel as long as Nino is defending. This is a staple on most of the Ortega Family members and for good reason, when facing Neverborn who use a lot of WP tricks it pays off to learn a thing or two.

Even if you aren't facing Neverborn there are a few crews that rely on WP spells in order to do work, with this ability you force your opponent to cheat high and/or burn a soul stone in order to make sure there is no way Nino can compete. Against most minions though they will probably not try and target Nino with many WP duels seeing as his Df is a lot lower. Though this will in no way effect the game at all the way it is written it can honestly be ANY duel even if it does not require you to use your WP trait.


If you manage to hit an enemy with a Crows suited card your opponent has two choices he can either discard 2 cards or soul stones (if the model has the use soul stone ability), if he does not the targeted model dies! This is a great Trigger to have namely because off the top of my head there are very few models with a "kill" ability and most of those are melee oriented. While Nino is still on the table the enemy is sure to always keep two cards in his hand to prevent this ability. Even if the enemy has the cards to throw away to prevent his model from dying you limit his options for later in the turn.

Because of Nino's high CB stat with his Repeating Rifle between this trigger and Trigger Happy having the right suited cards will always keep your opponent guessing. Even if it is not a high card due to Nino's CB just about ANY suited card will ensure a hit from the get go. Also it has been clarified with "kill" effects even if a model heals via "Slow to Die" or another like ability it would not matter due to the "kill" effect.

Trigger Happy:
When you hit an enemy with a Masks suited card, after damaging the defender Nino automatically makes another Repeating Rifle strike against the same target.This is the one of the reasons I keep around a Mask suited card in my hand even if it isn't that high. In most cases due to Nino's high CB on his Repeating Rifle your enemy will usually have to cheat first. After he is done cheating even if you are a negative for damage cheat with a mask to get "Trigger Happy" off, because two strikes at minimum of 2 damage a piece is better than one spotty shot.

One of the usual tricks that I pull on my opponents is attempting to draw out his cards in order to limit his future options or set up "my shot". This requires that you have two mid cards one of the Crows suit and another of the Masks suit. In a duel where you have to cheat first make sure you cheat with the Mask suited card in order to make your opponent think you want to get Trigger Happy off. Usually this will lead to your opponent cheating with a much higher card just to ensure that you will not get it off. Now with your second action you follow up by cheating with the Crows suited card in your hand. This means on average your opponent discards/uses a total of three cards in order to avoid getting killed or he is done for because he doesn't have enough cards to discard to ignore the kill effect.

In My Sights:
Needing an 8+ of any suit this spell can be cast against a target in it's range without a resist flip, it gives your Repeating Rifle strikes +2 Cb. Making his already formidable 7 Cb to an astounding 9 Cb, in most cases this number will be so high that most minions (and some masters) will not be able to dodge the attack without the use of high cards. If you are not casting this Spell on your target EVERY turn something must be going wrong or you cast his other 0 spells for good reason.

Shrug Off:
Needing a 6+ of any suit Nino can discard a counter or an effect on himself, if you use a Ram suited card you can discard/end two counters or effects. This Spell does not get used often unless the situation demands it, most often you will be casting "In My Sights" or "Where'd He Go?!" before this spell even gets considered. That does not mean this Spell is useless, far from it actually. Rather this Spell can do some very interesting things to help Nino in the long run, namely remove insignificant or knock off any other type of ill effects.

Where'd He Go?!
This Spell can be used to help Nino get out of trouble should the enemy come knocking at his door step... and trust me they will! Needing an 8+ of Masks this allows Nino to leave melee without fear of being locked down or worse attacked when disengaging from close combat. It should be noted that this Spell lasts until the end of Nino's NEXT activation so just in case the enemy tries to lock you down simply walk out from combat cast "In My Sights" and shoot the attacker in the face.

In closing Nino is one of my favorite minions to use, when I need some ranged support Nino Ortega is always on the top of the list. His ability to cover large areas of the board make the enemy think twice about charging straight into the teeth of the Guild gun line. Even if you are not planning to take him with any other Family members he is still a solid choice. Now if you DO happen to take him with Family his alpha strike capabilities increase and that is never a bad thing to have when you need it.

As always feel free to leave comments and criticisms so that I can update anything that I may have missed or that has been cleared up on the boards. I am also working on a small report for a tournament I went to over the weekend. Updates hopefully within a week!


geistwald said...


It's my first comment here, but I read your posts on a regular basis. The only thing I miss is some tips of crew composition, especially best practices in terms of your own field-work.

Thanks for the write-ups, keep them coming!


Cerealkiller.. said...

Hello there,

First of all thank you for reading, University work has slowed down my updates somewhat but never fear more are on the way.

Also I try and keep each entry self enclosed due to how open "army building" is in malifaux. Though I will take your suggestion and attempt to flesh out tactics so people can get a better hang of the models. Thank you again