Last time, I had a look at Ol’ Grim, also known as Widowmaker Marksman: Dead edition. Continuing on the theme of new solos, today I thought I’d look at another one, Yuri the Hunter. If Ol’ Grim is on the amazing end of Riot Quest solos (with a ten being Kogan the Squash Player and a one being Gorman the Sad), then Yuri is a solid 6, useful, but not an auto include. I’ll be comparing him to Yuri the Axe, mostly because if you’re in Jaws of the Wolf, you’re likely taking one of them.

Let’s look at Yuri the Hunter first.

Front of his card looks pretty good. Good base stats, Rat 7, Mat 8 make him highly accurate. 14 def/ 14 Arm is pretty decent for a solo, especially for a stealthed, ranged solos. Arm 14 is surprisingly durable to random blast damage or the occasional electro leap. Weapon-wise, the Tharn Bow is the whole reason to take Yuri, combine with his Advance Deploy and Ambush to really get in and scalpel out some models. As such, Yuri is just long enough range, high enough Rat and powerful enough to actually reliably kill most other standard solos, as well as take a decent chunk out of most Archons/beefy combat solos.

Back of card shows the aforementioned Ambush. Ambush is often a defining rule, with most Ambush models always starting off the board. This isn’t always the case for Yuri, as sometimes (especially when going second) it makes more sense to Advance deploy him and shoot, or utilise Trapper.

Trapper provides Yuri with an additional role to that of scalpel, although it’s usually mutually exclusive. Especially with a high jack build, Trapper can defend our jacks from random infantry. Even high arm infantry (like Trollkin Champions for example) have to worry about being randomly knocked down. Hunter is a generally excellent rule, meaning that Yuri is consistently accurate, regardless of terrain. The dream is to move into a good position, murder something useful, and then pop down a Trapper to defend your front line.

Overall, Yuri the Hunter is going to be a tech choice some of the time (into infantry) and a scalpel the rest of the time. Set him up as a team with other solos to hunt Archons, or leave him out on a flank to hunt other solos (especially with access to Guidance).

Yuri the Axe, on the other hand, is a slightly different kettle of fish.

Yuri 1 is a much simpler model than Yuri 2. He’s muscly and he has an axe. Front of card is very similar to Yuri 2, similar relevant stats, similar accuracy, with the big difference being a better melee weapon (2 inch reach and p+s 13 hits pretty hard) and 3 extra boxes. 8 boxes is a big difference to be fair, as it takes Yuri from dying to average boosted blast rolls to high rolls. Combined with where he is likely to be stood on the board, and Yuri 1 is hardier than Yuri 2, until he commits.

Treat Yuri like a throwing axe: Throw him to take out someone’s kneecaps and forget about him

Back of his card is fairly simple as well. His big trick is Tree Walker, which is hilarious when it’s relevant. Advance Deploy him top of 1, run behind a forest and menace everything out the other side. The Elite Cadre may as well not exist, as both Kossites and Manhunters are both terrible. If they ever get better, then it’ll be an awesome ability, but until then is just taking up space.

Overall, Yuri the Axe is a missile that happens to be shaped like a hairy mountain man with a big axe. He is a great solo, durable and hard hitting. If he also had someway to make his attacks more consistent or retreat after attacking, he’d be perfect.

So which Yuri should you choose for your list?

It comes down to one question. Can you buff Yuri the Axe? Some of our current jack casters are excellent at buffing Yuri. Kozlov is the ideal example. He can put Fury onto Yuri for Pow 16, as well as feat on him to speed him up to speed 8 (threating a hilarious 15 inches with a Boundless Charge) and hitting at potentially Pow 16 on 5 dice. At which point, you have a fair chance of outright killing lights and Archons. Other excellent casters for Yuri 1 include Strakhov 1 and Irusk 2. Strakhov for the extended charge range and Irusk 2 for a good Battle Lust target and immunity to blast damage.

Almost everywhere else, Yuri 2 is going to be a better bet. He is more immediately useful, and Jaws as a theme benefits from having more access to guns. Ranged Khador jacks are currently terrible, so solos are where it’s at. A team of Ol’ Grim, Widowmaker Marksman and Yuri the Hunter make and excellent set of firepower that can clear chaff, scalpel support models, and if they have nothing better to do, plink damage off of heavier targets to support trading.

To summarise, take Yuri 1 if you can buff him, Yuri 2 otherwise.

For the Motherland!