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Donner's Tactics Strategy Guides #3: Ambuscade

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Donner
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Donner's Tactics Strategy Guides #3: Ambuscade

In complete opposition to my previous statements, I'm posting another guide today!  That's because tomorrow I probably won't have time to.   Thanks everyone who commented on the previous guides!  And without further ado, here's Ambuscade!

Ambuscade

                Ambuscade is a ranged assassin, good at hit and run strikes against lone enemies.

Builds:  Controller, DPS, Tank

                Best Power Cards:  Rigged Explosives, Cloaking Device, Custom Hand Cannon

                Worst Power Card:  Feedback Plating

 

                Strengths:  Taking out weak vulnerable targets, controlling the battlefield, setting up potentially huge hits.

                Weaknesses:  Only 2 actions.  Base power auto-misses on a 6.

                Works well against:  Unity, Tachyon, Visionary

                Weak against:  Legacy, Citizen Dawn with Truth, Omnitron-V, Wraith

                Controller Build:

                                Rigged Explosives

                                Feedback Plating

                DPS Build:

                                Rigged Explosives, Explosive Launcher, or Custom Hand Cannon

                                Automated Hunter or Cloaking Device

                Tank Build:

                                Feedback Plating

                                Quick Stim Patch

                Commentary:

                Ambuscade is amazing at hit and run.  With Cloaking Device and Rigged Explosives he can hit anyone, anywhere.  An aimed custom hand cannon can take out even strong targets like Legacy, if it can deal damage.  However, Ambuscade also tends to find himself far from his allies in the middle of a battle, making him vulnerable to being singled out by his enemies. 

                A strategy I have seen work well with him involves the Custom Hand Cannon, Cloaking Device, and Automated Drone.  Use the Cloaking Device to show up within 3 hexes of a character.  Swap it out for Automated Drone, placing the drone between Ambuscade and the target.  On the Surge, move the drone to the target, blowing it up.  On Ambuscade’s turn, take an Aim action, then use an aimed Custom Hand Cannon attack on the target.  This takes out most non-high-defense characters.

                Tricks:

                Drop a stack of Rigged Explosives and have Ambuscade step on it to set it off on adjacent targets.

                Automated Hunter + an Aimed Custom Hand Cannon can take out low maximum health heroes quickly.

                Assassinate heroes with only 2 health with an Aimed Custom Hand Cannon.  Add Attack + 1 tokens for fun and profit!  It even makes Legacy with Danger Sense cry.

                When dealing with melee opponents, nothing beats Feedback Plating for making them regret using Ambuscade as a punching bag.

                Deal with enemies who like to group up by using Explosive Launcher and a stack of Rigged Explosives or an Automated Hunter.  Remember that Ambuscade is immune to his own damage, so don't be afraid of performing point-blank attacks!

                Rigged Explosives can be placed clear across the map from Ambuscade.  In these situations, use allies like Swift Bot, Omnitron-V, or Beacon to set them off.

                Use Cloaking Device to escape hazardous terrain without any nasty side-effects.  It also works great to get Ambuscade to a safe location for a Quick Stimpack.

                Aim as a final action actually works well for Ambuscade.  He gains an Attack + 1 token, and if someone sets off his Rigged Explosives, he can aim one of the explosions.  How did he know the enemy would be standing right there when he planted them?!?

                kitmesu notes: I also think it may be worth mentioning that when cloaking, unless your team mates are completely out of range, they will take more focused fire from your opponents, so feedback plating may be a wiser defensive choice in some situations. 

                 Phantaskippy has the following comment about Automated Hunter vs. Custom Hand Cannon for those who run with Rigged Explosives all the time: 

                 The problem with hand cannon is you are likely taking 3 dice [after auto-misses], and if they are blocked you do no damage.  Hunter you are likely taking 4 dice [also after auto-misses] which gets you 1 damage in most circumstances.  The range works out the same for the two, unless elevation gets in the way, and then Hunter wins clearly [because it sprints to the same hex as the target, ignoring elevation change].  Hunter also takes no actions, so you have that benefit.

                Countering Tips:

                Ambuscades who rely on Cloaking Device will only be vulnerable for a small window of time.  Hit them when you can or make sure your weak characters are defended by intercepting tanks like Legacy and Citizen Truth.

                Defense dice and Dodge are the best counters for Ambuscade’s Custom Hand Cannon.

                If Ambuscade doesn't set off his Rigged Explosives, consider using them against his team.

                Ambuscade has a lot of area attacks, so avoid grouping up.  This goes doubly for Unity, who’s bots can blow up on her if she’s not careful.

                Ambuscade only has 2 actions a turn, making him vulnerable to aimed attacks.

Edited to add great points from the comments below.


"Deja-fu? You've heard of that?"
- Lu Tze, Sweeper, Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

Powerhound_2000
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From watching the tournaments I haven't seen much use of Reactive Plating or Custom Hand Cannon.   Really it's surprising to me that Custom Hand Cannon got so infrequently used it seemed.  


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
Donner
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Remember that a lot of those tournaments were people who hadn't played a lot.  They often added Ambuscade purely for the Rigged Explosives.


"Deja-fu? You've heard of that?"
- Lu Tze, Sweeper, Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

Powerhound_2000
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Even in the finals at Gencon it seemed like teams were hesitant to use it.   


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
phantaskippy
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The choice is often between hunter and hand cannon.  Hunter is roughly equivalent.  

The problem with hand cannon is you are likely taking 3 dice, and if they are blocked you do no damage.  Hunter you are likely taking 4 dice which gets you 1 damage in most circumstances.

The range works out the same for the two, unless elevation gets in the way, and then Hunter wins clearly.

Hunter also takes no actions, so you have that benefit.

If you are using traps and disappearing you use hunter.  It works much better than Hand Cannon because the damage is only slightly in hand cannon's favor, but that action can be put to good use and that tips value toward hunter.

If you aren't keeping traps out you want to use both Hunter and Cannon and assassin someone.

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I don't care what is in your other slot I would say Automated Hunter is great coming out of cloak assuming you show up near a target.  


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
kitmehsu
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I also think it may be worth mentioning that when cloaking, unless your team mates are completely out of range, they will take more focused fire from your opponents, so feedback plating may be a wiser defensive choice in some situations.