• TMNT: Bring on the Bad Guys!

    (Credit: Jeremy Wiggins)

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Heroes in a Half-Shell! Turtle Power!

    Welcome back to another installment of our Full Review of the upcoming TMNT Box Set. As we've mentioned, this set will be a little different than others. A lot of people are skeptical about the collectible aspect of this game, so this is a great opportunity to get friends and family to try out the game by getting everything together in one box. As such, these reviews are mostly focusing on use "in-set", though we may mention some usage in unlimited play as well.

    For this particular review we will be looking at some of the various Villains that can be found in this set. There are a total of 8, which almost works perfectly for a Heroes-vs-Villains matchup, if you ignore the fact that one player will have two Splinters Mechanically, we can see that this set uses the stylized "V" logo (). All cards in this set that refer to Villains use this logo, and it meshes nicely with unlimited use as well.

    We'll start with the infamous pairing of Bebop and Rocksteady. Bebop is a Mask character, with stats skewing towards the defensive (2/4, 3/6, 4/7) and a Total Fielding Cost (TFC) of 3 (0-1-2). Rocksteady is a Fist character with more offense-oriented stats (3/3, 5/3, 6/4) and the exact same TFC. Every Bebop/Rocksteady card in this set actually refers to the other character, and gets a bonus only if their "partner" is active. This is nice and thematic, showing us the partnership between these guys. Let's look at their first cards:

    These are obviously meant to mirror each other. Each are 4 cost (the cheapest versions of them), and each gives the same benefit: While the partner is active, the die gets +2A and +2D. This gives them fairly decent stats for their cost, but requires you to have both of them fielded at the same time. Simple, easy to remember, nothing complicated here.

    Now we move to the slightly higher-costed Mutant Warthog/Rhino. These are, again, extremely clear effects. If the partner is already in the field, then they gain a "when fielded" effect, dealing 1 damage to a player (Bebop) or KOing an opposing level 1 character die (Rocksteady). Within set, it's notable that Bebop has the only direct damage ability, and Rocksteady has one of very few non-combat KO effects. However you need to be aware that in order to take advantage of these abilities, you have to have one already in the field when the other is fielded. To take full advantage of "When fielded" abilities, you want to "cycle" them through frequently (either have them KO'd to re-field them, or attack unblocked and cycle back through the bag. If you are doing this with both characters, it will be hard to manage the timing necessary.

    Finally, the most "interesting" versions of these characters. Bebop: Pighead is the most expensive at 6, but has one of the coolest abilities I've seen yet in Dice Masters. I think all of us have had that one game where our dice absolutely betrayed us and would only come up energy faces. If you have this version of Bebop, and a Rocksteady die in the field, you no longer have to worry about that. In your Roll & Reroll Step, you have essentially unlimited rolls to get a character face. Or even if the energy would help you, you never have to settle for the single energy face. At the high purchase cost, this will be hard to get multiple of, but with his high defense he'll stay out for quite a long time.

    Rocksteady: Armed and Dangerous is our final version of him, and (in my opinion) the best. He only costs 4, making him tied for the cheapest, and as long as you have Bebop active he has Overcrush and can't be damaged by blockers. Combine this with his already decent Attack values, and you have a relatively affordable character that you can keep throwing at your opponent over and over again. I would absolutely use this as my preferred Rocksteady, and for Bebop I'd either use the cheap Troublesome or the fun Pighead.

    Now we move on to another pair of Villains: Baxter Stockman and his creations, the Mousers. Baxter is a Bolt character with a great TFC-1 (0-0-1) and moderate stats (2/3, 3/4, 4/5). His Mousers are Shield characters with a TFC-2 (0-1-1) and slightly lower stats (2/2, 3/2, 3/3). We'll look at Baxter first.

    All 3 versions of Baxter Stockman deal with the Mousers. So if you are playing with him, you really need to be playing with both of them The cheapest, Evil Scientist, is a 4 and lets you move all Mousers from Used to Prep when you field him. His low TFC pairs well with a "When fielded" ability, but this one requires some good timing or bag management to make the most of his ability.

    The next, Mutagenic Researcher bumps his cost up to 5 and gives him a "While Active" ability: all Mousers get +2A and free to field. This gives them a bit better attack, but their TFC is already pretty low (on level 1 it's already free, and it's never more than 1).

    Finally we have the picturesque Fly Guy. Once again having the higher 5 but returning to a "When fielded" ability. This time, when you purchase him you may immediately purchase a Mousers for and roll it right away. At worst, you get your 1 energy back, at best a new character ready to field. Now granted, they only cost 2-3 energy anyways, but this is a savings of 50-67% and not having to worry about the . If you're playing with Baxter (and therefore Mousers), I'd say this is definitely the one to bring.

    And now, the Mousers! All of their abilities deal with characters that have "When fielded" abilities in different ways. In-set, this will hit all 3 versions of April, all 6 versions of Splinter (there's the thematic aspect, I guess?), and then a few other assorted versions of different Villain characters (the Bebop/Rocksteady mentioned above, the 2 Baxters, a Krang and a Shredder). I'm going to start with the cheapest: Spare Parts. It's a 2, and gets +1A/+1D if another player has an active character with a "When fielded" ability. First off, I'm not a huge fan of abilities that rely on your opponent to bring what you need. Secondly, they have to have an active character - as we already mentioned, characters with "When fielded" abilities don't tend to stay on the board, you want to be cycling them through to get them fielded more often and take advantage of their abilities more. So on your turn, it's unlikely that they'll still have the character active, meaning that the best time to use this ability is as the inactive player, giving you a slightly stronger blocker.

    Next is Rat Eradicator. If he's blocking/blocked by a character with a "When fielded" ability, you get to reroll it. If it comes up energy, it is moved to Prep (basically, KO'd but not triggering any "when KO'd" effects). While this might sound good in theory, it's actually the exact opposite of what you want to happen. You are guaranteeing that your opponent will have this die available to roll next turn, potentially fielding it again and getting its benefit again. Alternatively, you could roll it to a higher character face, giving it more attack and defense to damage your Mousers with (since it would retain its attacking/blocking status against your Mousers), or even you the player if the attacker was given Overcrush (or if they have Cowabunga! or Enraged held back). The best case scenario here would be rolling it down to a lower character face, and this ability isn't optional - it's mandatory (it doesn't use the word may).

    Finally we get to Metal Teeth. When you field this Mousers, you KO another character with a "When fielded" ability. The controller of that die may pay 2 life to prevent this. At first glance, this would appear to fall into the same trap as I just discussed. Maybe it's worth it to them to pay the 2 life if it's (one of) their only blocker(s), but aside from that it's good strategy to KO one of these characters to field it again next turn. Why would I want to give that benefit to my opponent? I'd rather keep their character fielded as long as possible so that it doesn't get its ability again. But here's the nifty part about this card - it doesn't say it has to be an opposing character. With this in mind, I can actually plan on KOing my own characters, cycling them through to keep using their abilities. Here's an example with the Baxter Stockman: Fly Guy above: Field Baxter, buy this Mousers for 1, roll it to a character face. Field Mousers, KO Baxter, and do it again next turn. If I were building a team using these cards, this is definitely the combo I'd be looking at (especially if paired with other "When fielded" abilities that I can abuse).

    So there you have it: our first look at the TMNT Villains. Do you agree with my choices? Would you pick different versions of these characters? Is there something I'm missing? Do you just want to talk about how much you love these guys? Comment below, and keep watching this space for our final TMNT article featuring the rest of the Villains!
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. ElraE's Avatar
      ElraE -
      Fantastic character synergy in this small set. I wish the larger sets had more focus on this.
      I can't wait for this.
    1. JasonG's Avatar
      JasonG -
      I love reading these sneak peak write-ups. The more I read them the more I want the set. Great article!
    1. DiceDiceKitty's Avatar
      DiceDiceKitty -
      I'm so pumped for this set! Each preview makes me that much more excited to get my hands on this box!
    1. RastaBot808's Avatar
      RastaBot808 -
      OK, I retract my statement about skipping this set from the other article. Im in!!!