Secretive assassins who often remain unseen up until the moment they seize victory.
Shadow units are exceptional at massive burst damage. The stealth rules often mean they have a minimal presence on the battlefield. Carefully managed though, they can eliminate models critical to the opponent achieving victory.
Let's take a look at some core models from the faction...
Short range experts, the Balestrieri use a pair of pistol crossbows. Able to deliver accurate and deadly bolts into their targets weak spots, they are dangerous foes. The Shadow prefers to employ them against targets known to be quite lethal in melee themselves, and who know how to use cover to avoid a sniper.
The Balestrieri is an excellent damage dealer. She is an assassin, and like most assassins, she can vanish from the battlefield with Stealth and return to make Sneak Attacks that deal critical damage. She has great freedom of deployment thanks to her Infiltration trait. She occasionally has to stop to reload, so plan carefully. She’s a little vulnerable to crits with VIG 1, and good value bringing 1 Mark to your unspent mark pool. The contract killer trait does allow her to generate a few extra Marks during play which makes her even better value.
Appearing seemingly from nowhere, wielding their dual long knives to sudden and deadly effect. Vanishing a moment later, leaving behind nothing but blood and misery. These are the Cinquedea, when people say they have crossed paths with an agent of the Shadow, if it truly was the Shadow, it was probably a Cinquedea they witnessed.
The Cinquedea is able to deal great melee damage and deter opponents from objectives. He is an assassin and has access to both Stealth, Sneak Attack and Infiltration. Cut and Thrust, Sneak Attack and an augment can be combined to one-shot even some of the toughest models in the game. He’s a little vulnerable to crits with VIG 1, so consider an amulet especially if using him to guard an objective. He is costly bringing 0 Marks to your unspent mark pool, but the contract killer trait does mitigate this a bit, allowing you to recoup that cost during the game. His Ready Riposte can make enemies think twice about attacking him, so he can take on some light objective guarding duty between contract kills!
Combining a wide variety of chemicals to create everything from pyrotechnical effects to lethal contact poisons. Proof that not all assassins stab you in the back, they might poison your drink instead!
The Alchemist can provide a broad range of support options for his fellow assassins. He can use Stealth like most assassins, but on Infiltration instead of a Sneak Attack, he delivers poison. In doing so he makes enemies easier for any assassin to kill. He can hand out smoke bombs that increase the flexibility of other assassins stealth abilities. He can even provide a healing concoction to his allies. He is costly bringing 0 Marks to your unspent mark pool, but a well-placed smoke bomb can turn the tide of a battle.
So that’s the three of the four basic Shadow Models done. The other basic model that will be added above soon is...
The Spia, a model capable of hiding amongst your enemies troops, altering opponents tactical commitments and even scoring objectives using your opponents models. This manipulative spy is a master of winning entirely through covert means.
The core rules also include a couple more advanced options for the Shadow.
The Falconer and his Falcon. An interesting pair, able to counter the Stealth ability of other assassins if you ever find yourself in Shadow on Shadow conflict. Also through the Falconers abilities, you can have a 2AP flying model capable of taking objective actions!
The Carcano a sniper who uses a composite bow to deliver death from afar. The Carcano is the longest ranged model in the game. She is capable of launching a flurry of arrows to wipe out closely packed targets, and single perfectly aimed arrows to kill at incredible distances. She is very unusual in having 2AP, and being able to directly deal damage.
Full art, rules and unit cards for these models can be found in the free rulebook download in the rules section (except the Spia, whose art isn't quite ready yet! Rules still available though).