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Posse Discussion Time: Wild Bill's Ranger Showboat

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The Ranger Showboat posse is a Face-heavy posse that revolves around Wild Bill Hickock. If all six slots are filled in the posse by at least one unit, than all units in the posse gain the Elite special rule, allowing them to treat the Guts bonus on any Adventure card as +1 action point rather than the listed bonus should the player choose to do so. This will allow the Lawmen player more opportunities to Focus their actions in critical moments, which is a boon considering Wild Bill is the only unit in the posse with the Largesse special rule (other units can use his Fortune) with a measly 3 Fortune to his name. The best way to utilize this posse is by taking advantage of the crowd control options available and disabling the biggest threats as quickly as possible to avoid running out of Fortune for re-rolls.

The key thing to remember with the Ranger Showboat posse is the unit restrictions. Every unit in the posse must have the RANGER keyword, limiting you to only twelve units:

·         Wild Bill Hickock

·         Rabecca Copelie

·         Missie Copelie

·         Grace Myrtle

·         Nate Berenger

·         Calamity Jane

·         James McClain

·         Veteran Rangers

·         Ranger Minutemen

·         Ranger Interceptor

·         Ranger Gyrocopter

·         Ranger Blackjack

Wild Bill Hickock is primarily a support-oriented Boss with some teeth. His 18” range rifle with a -2 Piercing combined with his Aim value of 7 lets him easily reach across the battlefield to find vulnerable targets, and the Iron Asp Baton that is nearly ubiquitous amongst the eligible posse units. He comes with the standard Tinman special rule unique to the Lawmen (models in base-to-base get +1 Grit, ignore uneven ground, can re-roll failed Yeller Checks) along with the Forward Echelon special rule (grants +1 Grit to non-Disordered Hands within 3”, can Go On Lookout for 1 action point regardless of previous combat actions), making him ideal for pairing up with a group of Veteran Rangers. Both units have the Trailfinder rule, allowing them to make a free Walk action after deployment. By keeping Wild Bill and a full group of 6 Veteran Rangers together, you get a walking bunker with +2 Grit (not taking terrain into effect) that will take a good amount of dedicated firepower to remove. If this bunker makes it to an objective, it will be nearly impossible to dislodge. And if you have the points available, you can give this bunker a pair of Liberty Gatling Guns to ruin the day of any Outlaw who happens to get too close. You’ll pay out the nose for this setup, but it’ll get the job done.

The Copelie sisters are pretty similar aside from weapon loadout. Missy comes with a Chace launcher, giving you some high-powered template shots at Piercing -3 to dislodge groups of models on the tabletop, whereas Rabecca has a pair of Juiced pistols for a more in-your-face approach. Both come with Iron Asp Batons as well as the Tinman and Dead or Alive special rules (melee weapons gain Lethal when attacking a Stunned or Disordered unit). They both also comes with the Teamwork special rule, allowing for some potential chain activation shenanigans if you’ve planned far enough ahead. Something to keep in mind using Missy is the Heavy keyword on her Chace Launcher, meaning she can’t fire it after making a Move action, so try to position her early on to ensure she gets the most use throughout the game.

Grace Myrtle is one of your heavy duty snipers in this posse, thanks to a combination of her Chace Rifle’s 18” range and the Deadeyed special rule allowing her to target anyone in range regardless of whether or not they have the Target Priority special rule. Bosses and important Faces won’t be able to use a group of Hands as human shields against Grace. She’s also notable for being one of the all-important crowd control options for the Ranger Showboat thanks to her Lasso. The Lasso is a 6” ranged weapon with Tangle (target must pass a Fight check after the Grit check or become Stunned and Disordered) and Drag (unit becomes Disordered and is moved d5” towards Grace) on a critical success. Top all this off with Headhunter (unit games a Fortune chip for destroying a Unique enemy model) and Grace Myrtle is practically an auto-include for her ability to shut down Faces and potentially Bosses in her turn.

Next up we have Nate Berenger, one of the few sources of Smoke Grenades in the posse. In many ways, Nate is a toned down version of Wild Bill. Nate comes with nearly the same special rules as Wild Bill (Tinman, Dead or Alive, Forward Echelon, Rapport) and a slightly worse statline. Nate also swapped out the long range capability for a heavy Juiced Launcher and some Smoke Grenades. Nate’s ability to deny firing lanes with Smoke Grenades makes him an ideal defender, so if you have other plans for Wild Bill on the table, you can easily swap him out for Nate when building your Ranger Bunker to protect either an objective or a group of Civilians (should you decide to try for some extra Victory Points).

Calamity Jane is Grace Myrtle on steroids (or quality whiskey, in this case). Her rifle has a longer range (20” vs. 18”) with a higher Piercing (-2 vs. -1) and comes with two Lassos instead of one. That combined with her high Aim of 7 compared to Grace’s 6 and both units having Dead or Alive makes her even more dangerous to nearby enemy Faces. What Calamity Jane does not have, however, is Headhunter, so Jane will always be stuck with her 1 Fortune. Grace is also 30 points cheaper, so if you’re trying to keep your points costs down, Calamity Jane might be a bit too extravagant. It not, however, then feel free to use both Grace and Jane to shut down or remove the more difficult units outright.

Our final Ranger face is James McClain who, like the Copelie sisters, is also useable in an Outlaws posse as well. James McClain is a short-range Face, only carrying a pair of Chace pistols and a baton. Looking at his rules, the two that stand out a great deal are Trailfinder and Gunfighter. He’ll be able to keep pace with any Veteran Rangers thanks to Trailfinder, and Gunfighter will let him either split his fire (not that effective with ROA2 pistols) or use Revolver Fan for free. His best place seems to be with a group of Veteran Rangers helping to build or reinforce a Ranger Bunker on an objective to free up other Faces (or Wild Bill) for other duties on the table.

The Ranger Showboat posse comes with three Support options: Interceptors, Blackjacks, and Gyrocopters. These three vehicles are remarkably similar and do the same basic job with a few unique methods. Each option costs 85 points per model with a unit size of 1-3 with an average Aim of 5, some extra survivability thanks to Moving Target, and providing Shred in some capacity to make cover less of an issue. The Gyrocopters can quickly bring Gatling fire and smokescreens to bear thanks to Flight, the Blackjacks will give you some additional crowd control with Winch Lassos, and the Interceptors can quickly cross ground on the table to either take objectives or eliminate anyone trying to hide behind cover to take potshots thanks to their guns coming with Shred as default and Lethal on a crit. This gives you a good amount of flexibility when building your posse.

At the end of this posse breakdown, we come to the Hands units: the Veteran Rangers and Ranger Minutemen. These two units are ideal for taking and holding objectives quickly and easily thanks to Tinman. Veteran Rangers (the melee variant) comes with Trailfinder to give you an extra jump at objectives (or Civilians running around like chickens with their heads cut off), whereas the Ranger Minutemen (the long range variant) has Deadeyed to give enemy Faces and Bosses pause when approaching. Both units can take at least one weapon from the faction armory, and thanks to the Experienced Unit special rule, they can take a second weapon with a max sized unit of 6 models. They also come with the ubiquitous Iron Asp Batons to make them a bit more useful than their Deputized counterparts (and all Outlaw hands, but that’s an issue for another time), so don’t expect a unit of either flavor of Ranger hands to simply be brushed aside after a single round of combat.

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