The mistress of ceremonies at the illustrious Star Theatre, Angelica has risen far beyond her humble beginnings as a carnival barker. Most often seen alongside her friends Colette and Cassandra, Angelica is a versatile model who can find a place in almost any Arcanist crew. She specialises at pushing both friendly and enemy models around, and is an ideal candidate for the Practised Production upgrade to give you even more control over your scheme marker locations.
Her mobility is pretty good, with a slightly above-average Wk and Cg. She also has a nifty little ability called First To The Stage, which lets her take a free walk action after the initiative flip on the first turn, allowing her to get a head-start on moving upfield. A free move is nothing to be sniffed at, and can help to move her further up-field to star using Give Them An Encore! – more on that shortly. Since it’s a walk action, and she’s a Showgirl, it can also be used to drag a Mannequin forward with Mechanical Adorations.
Angelica comes with two attacks, one close and one ranged. Her close attack, Hooked Cane, isn’t bad if she’s in a tight spot, with a low Ml that gets boosted for each scheme marker nearby. The main appeal is the built-in trigger “Next Act!”, which pushes the enemy model 3″ plus an extra inch for each friendly scheme marker within 5″. There’s no cap on that either, so if you happen to be near a couple of Union Miners who’ve just laid their False Claim Angelica can push her opponent 7″! As such, it’s definitely best to attack models in an area densely packed with your scheme markers, which synergises well with the Practised Production upgrade – more on that later…
Her ranged attack, Projected Voice, is her other option. The damage is pretty low, albeit with blasts on moderate and severe, but – as with her Hooked Cane – the trigger is where the attack shines. On a Mask, after damaging the target must discard two cards or gain the Paralyzed condition. With a low damage track it’s not likely to affect a master or henchman (who’ll likely stone to prevent the 1 damage, and as such prevent the ‘after damaging…’ trigger), but against enforcers and minions – or an opponent low on cards in her control hand – it’s a great way to give yourself an ap advantage.
As with most Showgirls, Angelica doesn’t have a tremendous wound count. However, her Df clocks in at a good 6, and her mobility should let her hug cover. She does have a situational yet potentially very powerful defensive trigger, the excellently-named Get Off The Stage! If Angelica manages to dodge an attack and has a mask in her final duel total, she can place the attacking model in base contact with any of its scheme markers within line of sight. Situational, but worth it for that time your opponent’s going for Power Ritual and you can throw an enemy model right back into their deployment zone! Finally, she benefits from the Disguised ability, so if an enemy wants to engage her, they’ll have to walk in rather than charging.
Angelica only has one tactical action, but it’s an awesome action and one of the main reasons she’s so good. The (1) Give Them An Encore! lets her push a friendly non-leader model within 8″ up to 5″ in any direction. It doesn’t have a Ca or TN – it just happens – and is a great way to speed up the slower elements of your force, get models out of melee or simply move models around out of activation.
As an Enforcer, Angelica can take one upgrade. Usually, for me, this will be the Showgirl-restricted Practised Production. Not only does it offer the option to buff up her Hooked Cane attack by dropping a scheme marker for free, but there are so many schemes that require markers in a particular position. (Sadly, due to the caveat that the marker can’t be placed within 3″ of an enemy model, you can’t use it for an easy 3vp Plant Explosives!) Whether you’re playing with the regular schemes or the Gaining Grounds 2016 collection, there’s usually plenty of use for getting scheme markers in a particular position, and Practised Production lets you get one where you need it. Its many uses include dropping a scheme marker next to Colette so she’s primed and ready for her own Hooked Cane attack or her Now You See Me trigger; dropping one near an enemy model, and then using a Performer to Siren Call the model onto the scheme marker so Envy’s Gatling Guns get their bonuses; and, since it’s not an Interact action, dropping scheme markers near other scheme markers to make schemes such as A Line In The Sand or Protect Territory that much easier.
I don’t usually tend to take Imbued Protection on Angelica since it’s fairly pricey at 2ss, and her Df 6 is fairly good anyway. Imbued Energies is always good, letting her push three models around in one activation if needed, but I’ll still usually pick Practised Production. Putting it on Angelica frees up the upgrade slot on the other two candidates, Colette and Cassandra, and avoids putting all your eggs in one basket (or should that be all your upgrades on one model?).
Aside from the obvious synergy with Colette, Angelica fits in very well with other masters too. There’s usually someone who could do with a push, such as the Rail Golem or Arcane Emissary. If you take Practised Production, do remember that the scheme marker you place via the upgrade only has to be at least 3″ from an enemy – so it can be placed near your own scheme markers, making flank runners such as Molemen that much more efficient. At the end of the turn, you can remove one of the many markers a pair of Molemen inevitably leave behind them, essentially trading an unneeded scheme marker for a free one upfield.
Particular note has to go to Rasputina, who Angelica particularly works well with. Despite Give Them An Encore! not being able to target leaders, most models with Frozen Heart tend to be fairly slow (of course, there’s always an exception!), and will benefit from being pushed around. The Ice Golem and Silent Ones in particular are slow models who will love being pushed into position. Her Projected Voice trigger also works well with Rasputina, who can take advantage of Paralyzed models with her (0) Shatter action from the Child Of December upgrade.
I take Angelica for her scheme marker and push shenanigans, so she’ll usually be either running down the flank or moving up behind the main force, where she can be fairly safe from enemy attacks yet still push my own models around as needed. With her above-average Wk and Cg she can move forward quickly if needed to attack enemy models and push them around with her Hooked Cane – out of the Turf War bubble, for example, or breaking up synergetic auras. Due to her reliance on nearby scheme markers to raise her Ml above 4, she tends to fare better at this in a Colette crew where scheme markers are usually found in abundance.
I’ve never yet had a game where I’ve regretted taking Angelica. Whether she’s directing my models around, paralysing the enemy or just ensuring that I have scheme markers where I need them, when I need them, Angelica is frequently one of the stars of the show in my crews.