|Tannhauser | Published 14 May 2009|
The forces of the Reich were bolstered by the appearance of the Blutstrum agent, Yula Korlïtz. Now the Union has added to their ranks, with the addition of Sergio Ramirez Delastillas.
The History of Ramirez
While a corporal in the Ranger Marauders, Sergio Ramirez Delastillas - aka “Cristeros” - did the impossible at Guadalcanal during the assault on Alligator Creek. Although his battalion had been all but decimated by automated defense turrets, Ramirez ignored a general retreat order despite having sustained massive chest wounds.
Acting on his own initiative and under devastating enemy fire, Ramirez defused the mobile mines defending the enemy’s primary bunker, sabotaged the secondary hatchway to the controlling blockhouse, and placed a 10-kilo charge on the electronic brain within. The resulting chain of explosions tore a hole in the enemy defenses and allowed Colonel Merrill’s 75th Infantry to make spectacular progress.
Ramirez was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for this heroic exploit, making him one of only a handful of Union soldiers ever to receive these two combat decorations simultaneously.
At the invitation of John MacNeal, Ramirez joined the 42nd Marine Special Forces in 1945 as a chief instructor and explosives disposal expert. A specialist in antipersonnel armaments, he has been an ongoing part of the evaluation of prototypes created by Professor Himmelberg in Area 51. A rumor persists that Delastillas illegally smuggled several such prototypes out of Nevada for “field testing.”
An expert in demolitions, Ramirez carries the Mark 19 mod A1. This weapon fires explosive projectiles, capable of damaging every model adjacent to their explosion. Although not as powerful as real grenades, the rounds this weapon fires can still do a significant amount of damage to a clustered group. Adding to his explosive nature, Ramirez also carries the Bouncing Betty, an M16 antipersonnel mine that has been modified with a remote detonator and the ability to launch into the air before exploding. This weapon is placed on any empty circle adjacent to Ramirez, and can be detonated at any point in time, even interrupting another model’s actions.
Smoke grenades are the trademark of the Union, and Ramirez has taken precautions to avoid being caught in the smoke. Wearing the HB-3 Visor, Ramirez is immune to the effects of smoke tokens. Using this, Ramirez can use the cover of smoke to set up a nasty surprise for the enemies of the Union. Advancing under cover, he can set the Bouncing Betty in front of an entrance, preventing the enemy agents from entering, or if they choose to enter, taking a nasty explosion.
The grenade launcher and the Bouncing Betty are excellent weapons. Both allow Ramirez to flex his knowledge of the explosive, but it is the radio-controlled Hound DOG that is the culmination of his incendiary skills. Controlled by a remote attached to Ramirez’ hip, the mobile bomb Hound DOG is a terrifying threat for opposing forces. After every activation the bomb moves one circle in any direction. This is an excellent intimidating effect, as the bomb keeps moving. You activate an agent, Hound DOG moves. Your opponent activates an agent, it moves again. The closer it gets, the more likely your opponent is to move figures, even if they are in no danger. Although it is slow, Hound DOG is a great way to direct enemy agents, often times into the waiting explosions from the grenade launcher.
Alternatively, you can equip Ramirez to be more of a hunter. Taking his Stamina Pack gives you access to the Purple Heart, which cancels the first wound Ramirez receives each game. The other item that allows him to chase down enemies is the Brothers Bomb. This device carries a deadly payload of potassium nitrate, and is capable of moving autonomously. The bomb moves similarly to Hound DOG, as it moves after each activation. This constant movement is a way to intimidate your opponent into moving key figures to avoid the bomb’s blast. Using Ramirez with this pack, you effectively gain two extra models moving about the board. Use this to drive models towards your deadly flash guns, or onto the paths covered in smoke.
Ramirez adds a ton of punch to the Union arsenal, between his bombs and his grenade launcher. He works best in the thick of the fighting, where he can lay down salvos of grenades and provide enough distraction to the opposing force. Combined with his remote explosives, Ramirez can often make the enemy dance to his tune. That is until he blows them up.
Oh Ramirez, how I hate thee.
When, as the Reich, I face you in the field
All your explosives, all seem to find me.
I give up. The board I now must yield.