Friday, August 23, 2013

Better Know Your Malifaux 002: Francisco Ortega

It's a tough job, being the elder brother of a prodigy. With the incapacitation of the Ortega family patriarch, tradition would dictate that Francisco step into the role and assume command of the Latigo compound.  Francisco knew, however, that in the categories of leadership, strategy and charisma he was over-matched by his younger sister Perdita.  With the best interests of the family in mind, he stepped aside and allowed Perdita to take the reigns. During the fallout of the Event, while Perdita was bed-ridden, Francisco found himself thrust back into the leadership role, balancing his time between caring for his comatose sister and fighting against the Neverborn threat.  With Perdita now returned to the battlefield, Francisco has happily resumed his second-in-command duties.

Francisco has a decidedly average stat line for a Henchman but this is reflected in his Soulstone cache of five and his cost of eight; He is not expensive relative to many of the other models of his station.  Where his sister is better than him with a Peacebringer, Francisco excels at using his Dueling Sword. His Combat is at the top end of Henchman capability, and rivals even the best of Masters.  Add Flurry on top of that and Francisco can take down even the toughest foes with his blade.

With an average Defense, a relatively low Wound count and his sole defensive power, Finesse, only providing a modicum of protection while he is engaged in melee, Francisco needs to rely on cover and maneuverability to survive. Thankfully, maneuverability is something the Ortega clan brings in spades with a half dozen movement actions between them, in addition to the ubiquitous Companion.  Taking the Wade In upgrade gives him some sorely needed defense, adding both Hard to Kill and a healing ability to keep him in the fight.

As either a Leader or as a member of a Master's crew, Francisco can provide some solid versatility to your force.  With the Hermanos de Armas upgrade and his "Enfréntate a Mi!" ability he can move his allies into position, or out of trouble.  El Mayor rounds out his ability to be a support Leader, providing a much appreciated Defense and Willpower boost to a nearby ally of choice (it also comes from the rare class of abilities that carries over past the end of the turn).  When used on Perdita this drives her defensive stats to stratospheric heights.  If on the other hand you would rather Francisco provide melee support, Wade In and Diestro allow him to tie up the middle of the board and have his allies fire at will into the engagement.  Finally, although he is not the best shooter the Ortegas have, he can provide substantial fire support for either assassination (Vengeance Bullet) or crowd control (Tormenta de Plomo).  Unlike with Perdita, the Thalarian Stone is actually an option in some scenarios since his Defense and Willpower are low enough to take nearly full advantage.

For all of his utility though, Francisco is happiest when he is engaged with the enemy blade to blade, his favourite cover being the whirling dance of melee combat.  He confronts the enemy with a charge or a challenge and hold them in place, freeing the rest of the crew to focus on the mission at hand.  He sees it as his role in the family, and it is a burden he bears with pride.

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