Who do you need to own? Who should you fear on the map? The reviews continue today with the common Thugs (note, feel free to add +1 to the rating if their boss is in play):
002 Black Mask Thug
All the Thugs in B:AO have a Minion/Master power that keys off their namesake "boss." For the Black Masks, they get the added defense of Shape Change when their crime lord is near, an ability they really need to keep from being mere cannon fodder.
As range oriented minions The Mask's make for very ineffective tie up pieces - they'll want to stay back and use the Running Shot, Energy Explosion, Ranged Combat Expert or Enhancement powers on their dial. Once they're in close quarters these False Facers will take a beating - a bare 16 defense will get pounded through quickly.
The other strike against them is no ranged attack protection. ES/D would have been welcome, if Stealth wasn't an option - but as these guys excel at range, they just don't hold up under the same amount of gunfire. They may be good in a pinch, useful in chaining the Bat Enemy TA and they are a smidge better with Black Mask in play, but there's better investments in the set for about the same cost, as we shall see.
004 The Penguin Thug
Damage values are just pitiful, so they'll probably be using Incap to deny opponents actions and force penetrating damage on thick skinned opponents. Overall, this bird is like its namesake in that it just won't fly.
006 The Joker Thug
Say what you want about the Joker - he knows how to effectively employ cannon fodder. As a stealthy 40 point attacker this goon makes for good mobile blocking terrain, and deploys fast with Willpower.
Players may still want to push to click two and pick up the Blades (and if you can take a free push with the Poison power, even better!). An 8 attack isn't intimidating, but he should have someone else to borrow an AV from - and 5 or 6 damage from a good blades roll more than earns his low investment.
This figure is just about everything you want in a Hired Thug - a tie up piece with teeth that can't afford to be ignored.
004 Bane Thug
Bane Thug is probably the best generic in B:AO, if not one of the best Batman Generic Villains of all time thanks to the Empower on clicks 1 & 2, and the front loaded Charge.
In a swarm these figures will be extremely deadly, especially because they'll be sharing attack values. Individually they are difficult to take out as the only henchmen with Toughness, which fades into Combat Reflexes.
Mid dial Close Combat Expert and rear dial Sidestep keep these figures an active threat and annoyance on any click, and the Minion/Master power is just pure gravy on top of the turkey and mashed potatoes. Willpower to keep moving and fighting is going to make this Thug a very annoying cheap attack piece.
Given the Empower, the chained attack values of the Batman Enemy TA, this is one figure that probably belongs in your collection in multiples of 2 - not just a must play, but a must own for all those Batman Enemy swarm teams.