Veteran Sakana - The Faithful: New Beginnings

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Welcome back sports fans, it’s a super exciting day. The weather is nice (right here in England the sky is a very fetching shade of grey), the work week is almost over, and we have new things to show off! Since the Falconers have all been spoiled now, (and if you haven’t already pre-ordered them, get on it here) we have some BRAND NEW SHINY TOYS to share with you all today.

The Faithful box is nigh upon us, so let’s dive right in with a look at the Wolf of the Sea, Veteran Sakana

Yar Har, Fiddle De De, Being a Pirate Is Alright to Be!

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Since Corsair’s return, the Fisherman’s Guild has been taking on more of a distinctly piratical flavour. As Corsair’s first mate, Sakana has been deeply involved in this change, losing some of his free spirit and love for the game in favour of, uh, pirate flags and moody expressions.

Running quickly over his stats, Sakana is very close to his original version, with the only exception being his INF stat which is now 1/3 instead of 2/4. I wonder if there’s a reason for that? He’s also kept his 2” melee zone, which adds another one of those to the already 2” melee zone heavy Fisherman’s Guild.

Sakana’s Playbook has elements of a classic Fisherman Playbook but with a couple of interesting exceptions. His momentous Dodge is on column 2, while his Tackle is on column 1, a reversal of how those results often appear in Fish. This means he can super reliably Tackle the ball from enemy players, and he can pretty reliably Dodge around and generate momentum. His other momentous results are a GB symbol on column 3, a Push/Dodge result on column 4, and a double Push on column 5. This more Push focused Playbook (compared to ‘normal’ Fishermen) is representative of his more piratical, aggressive playstyle, much like Corsair. He also has 2 damage on three hits, and 3 damage on five hits. With the large number of gang-ups Fishermen can stack, this actually allows him to put quite a bit of damage out on the enemy team, albeit non-momentously.

We did mention that momentous GB symbol on column 3, and both of his Character Plays trigger on this result. Column 3 is very achievable, especially since Sakana has kept (spoiler alert) Anatomical Precision from his original version. This is particularly sweet since both of these Character Plays are new, and unique and GOOOOOOOD.

Sakana’s first Character Play is called Fancy Footwork, and this allows him to steal the ball-marker from an enemy player within 4”. This provides another way of getting the ball from the enemy team, in conjunction with Siren and Corsair, it gets very, very hard for the opposing team to keep the ball safe from the predatory Fishermen! This rule also further represents the more piratical nature of Veteran Sakana, he’s all about theft and living his best pirate life (Burgler Bill fans may be interested to know the original name in playtest for this rule was ‘I’ll Have That!’).

The second Character Play on Sakana’s card is another super interesting one, it’s called Raise the Black Flag, and further represents Sakana stealing from the enemy team. It allows him to inflict a -2”/-2” MOV penalty on an enemy model within 6” of him, and correspondingly give +2”/+2” to a friendly model within 6”. This gives an enormous amount of flexibility, handing out an additional 2” of movement to any friendly model within 6” can push several Fishermen models into truly silly levels of speed, Shark or Siren beginning an activation with a 9” Jog seems pretty good, for instance. The fact that Sakana ‘steals’ the speed from an enemy model to benefit his friends is just gravy, making it even more difficult for the enemy team to counter the suddenly much faster Fishermen team.

Perkins, I Told You I’m Not Making a Pirate Pun

[Editor’s Note: no need to get p-IRATE]

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The back of Veteran Sakana’s card is nice and simple, with only a couple of rules on there. That said, they’re pretty good rules! The first is one we talked about a little earlier, Anatomical Precision. Sakana has kept this from his original version, and it’s just a very useful rule. Ignoring a single point of Armour when making an attack really helps push the reliability of Sakana’s Playbook, making it much easier to hit the higher end results on there. It also makes it much more reliable even when you’re just going for the lower end results like his Tackle or momentous Dodge.

The second trait on the back of Veteran Sakana’s card is one we’ve seen before on Coin in the Union, it’s Bag of Coffers. This is a super cool rule, which allows Sakana, once per turn, to allocate 1 Influence to a friendly non Captain model within 4”. This is the reason for his 1/3 INF stat we discussed earlier, since he can use this to allocate himself an Influence to be effectively 2/4 (just remember to spend some Influence first, since allocated Influence can’t take Sakana above his maximum Influence cap of 3). However, this also allows him to allocate an Influence to someone else, which can be used to react to your opponent’s moves throughout the turn. Only allocated 1 to Siren and then suddenly realise you want to use Lure? Not a problem, Sakana can make that happen. Realise that Greyscales is 1 Influence short of scoring a goal? Your pirate pal has your back!

Bag of Coffers also allows the model to use Bonus Time! once per turn without spending MP, which is of course handy for a variety of reasons. Getting an extra die on an attack is handy, but it’s best used for trying to hit those clutch Character Plays or Kicks you really desperately need to hit. Getting an extra die on a Shot to score a goal is great, as is getting an extra die on a Character Play like Lure or Drag.

Sakana is a versatile model who can really support your team well, whether by stealing the ball back from the enemy team, throwing a movement buff out while debuffing the opposing team, or by handing out free Influence and a Bonus Time! to whichever friend of his needs it.

Veteran Sakana is a cool, alternative option to his original counterpart, and one which we’re confident will find a home in many Fishermen line ups. What do you reckon? Let us know on our social media or our forums, and if Veteran Sakana sounds good to you, you can pre-order the Faithful box here.

We’ll be back next week with another model from the Faithful box, till then have a good week and safe sailing!