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malladin.ben last won the day on January 17

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  1. malladin.ben

    Falconers tournament outing

    Thanks to the very generous TO and opponents at Leodis Games today I was able to use my acrylic falconers in a 4 game tournament. I went 3:1 which now makes me (however briefly) top Falconers player IN THE WORLD! (Seriously, I'm a very average player, but I guess ive pkayed them more than many so far, sobthere may be some kernels of wisdom I can share). Here's what I learnt: 1. Managing engagements is key to their success. They're not as light as they may at first seem. The fact that they need to be 6" away from the enemy makes them vulnerable, and they are generally slightly below average hp and defensive stats, but with careful feeding of models to the enemy in a controlled manner you can manage the rate that you lose hp and give up vps. But against anyone other than probably shark you're probably going to lose models. Rundaas and Minerva want to be engaged, so they're your most likely candidates. Fortunately Rundaas is pretty nails with tough hide - surprisingly hard to kill. You don't want to keep them stuck in a big scrum with all your enemy's players. Sacrificing other models as a distraction did a job for me. Ikaros is actually pretty good for this - if he's anywhere near the ball he's too much of a threat to leave alone and one of your better defensive statted models so can soak up a few hits. Use him to split up enemy attention. 2. You don't need three harriers. Yes they're nice and you can do good work with 3, but it adds an extra set up activation that threatens little directly. A lot of the time Devana's activation doesn't allow for more than 2 Death from Aboves, and waiting around 3 or 4 activations to get it all set up can be a big problem. Limiting yourself to 2 harrier players feels like you're a lot more tactically agile, and those 2 should be Minerva and Rundaas. Minerva is a superb set up machine and Rundaas turns 4 influence into 4 good things practically every activation. 3. vHearne is an excellent battery and half decent back up brawler. There's so many good uses for last light in this team. Devana is an obvious target for it with 3x 1 INF character plays, but I've also found it good on Ikaros - you've usually got 1 INF spare to put on him even if you're not planning anything with him, but with a last light he threats 11" to the ball and a tackle (more if he can run through a harrier), or decent for reacting to an enemy goal and moving the ball a big distance. It also gives you chance to escape a KD parting blow - take flight to leave, take the parting blow, then get back up and sprint away. Can be a decent way of pulling the enemy in different directions and making the most of your hp. It can also potentially make for a decent bluff to attract attention to a model you're not really planning much from. When you're flush on MP, it can also be used for a 2 inf character play, including skewered from hearne himself. Back to vHearne: as a back up brawler he's not a bad replacement for minerva if she's out of it for a turn. He's got the KD, and skewered gives out snared which is helpful, and the momentous >> is decent. 4. Devana can mix it in combat as well as at range. If you've already got your harriers, eye spy and dirty knives in place, and frelsi engaging (which isn't that hard to do, I've found) there's really not much you can do with the other 2 or 3 INF in her stack than punch them in the face. You can still death from above when you're in melee, and being in there isn't such a worry if you're finishing off a model or two in the process. Tied with the tactical agility argument I mention in (2) above, this let's you play the takeout-as-control game butchers used to play so well in S2. She can go in first activation if you need, too. frelsi on her own can be enough to get the takeout on a key model, but with just a Minerva activation gone she can really go to town. I nice I've found is to leave a model on 3 or less so that devana can legendary them at the start of her activation for the takeout whilst also helping set up the next target. The skill is knowing when to take her in. Once I went in on brick and failed to take him out, so he just hit me back and, with knockback, took himself out of the harrier which could have saved Rundaas an attack setting it up. In another game I took out a 6-stack corsair under a single harrier before he got to activate. Timing and knowing how much set up you need to do the job is incredibly important to doing well with her, and that's the interesting puzzle of playing this team. Cheerio, Ben
  2. malladin.ben

    First actual game with the Falconers

  3. malladin.ben

    First actual game with the Falconers

    Sorry if you read that as a criticism, it wasn't intended. You gave me cause to re-reflect and reconsider, which is never a bad thing. I think you actually helped me spot a flaw in my original plan (that I never got to do because Ikaros was taken out). Skulk is a headf*#k, certainly! Best thing to do is prioritise him for death. TOs is probably the falconers best/only control play.
  4. malladin.ben

    First actual game with the Falconers

    I never bothered with easy pickings because I just felt getting eye spy and a harrier down were so much more important. I guess if there's an INF spare for some damage it might be worth it, especially if you can have the harrier on the target, too. Most of the time, though, the KD was important. At the end of the game the ball was just so deep there was only 1 model (rundaas) who could actually engage Bonesaw, but with only 2 inf, if he tackled the ball it's be impossible to make it safe. The scatter went 6" to 3 to snap to Bonesaw, and I hadn't realised I'd left ikaros within 2 of the board edge, so I was expecting to be able to after it with Ikaros, who had some fast ground to play with, and with 2 jogs with a fast ground could potentially have gotten away from Skulk with the ball - maybe, I suppose if Skulk tackles him piper can reverie Skulk to score, hmmm. The double take out devana activation was definitely the best choice at the time. If I'd had a less shitty hand of game plan cards I might not have lost the initiative and been able to score with Ikaros first activation to close out the game anyway. But when the highest card you get dealt is a 5 you have to suck it up at times.
  5. Having laser cut myself a set of nice acrylic proxies, I went to the club last night to get a game in. I played against Sean, a new guy in our club, but quickly developing his skills (as having to play against Henry Kay every other week will do for you!). He played ratcatchers, subbing in vGraves and Bonesaw for Scourge and Miasma, as he felt he was tying himself in knots a bit trying to deal with it. Probably not a bad option for a new player. I took the box six. I mainly spent my turns trying to get out as many harriers as possible, and ideally and Eye Spy, too, and then go in with Rundass, followed by Devana shooting down targets from range. Generally speaking this worked nicely and give me a constant steady trickle of VPs and mom. However, Piper constantly to do horrible things with the ball, and Skulk locked down Ikaros nicely. Having 3 Harriers was nice, but I think there was only 1 turn where I was able to get all three out and use all three of them for Devana's attacks. That said, being able to place 3 and keep things flexible was a strength in itself. I managed to keep the ball safe for the first two turns by keeping Ikaros out of the action. I considered going for the first turn goal with him, but a nice (for the rats) kick off and then me being greedy over turn 1 harriers and didn't allocate enough influence. During turn 1 I put a bit of damage on Squeak and vGraves with Devana, setting them up for easy take outs next turn. During turn 2 Minerva went in first, KDing the both graves and the rat and getting out her harrier. Mataagi triggered a hit shot harrier off the KD's rat and put it on skulk, and Rundass went in on the rat and graves and did TO the rat and put some damage on graves, whilst also getting out his harrier and a dirty knives on graves, setting things up nicely for Devana to come in and take out graves and get skulk down to a few hp. During this turn Skulk is able to get the ball off Ikaros, but unable to put it anywhere useful. Pelage goes in against Rundaas, but is crowded out by Minerva and only manages a couple of damage. I take Pinned from her dilemma and then use the takeout on vGraves by Devana to clear from Rundaas via Minerva's aura. Not sure exactly how things go from here, turn 3 and 4 kind of merge into one for me, but Bonesaw gets a goal next turn, and because of an unfriendly kick, piper manages to get it back for a second, after which get the ball to Ikaros who runs to the corner to get away from everyone, but a returning skulk can sprint to engage him (only having 1 inf). I have another good turn of murder, taking out graves and the rat (twice) again, leaving me on 9 and him on 8, and on me 2-up on mom going into turn 5. My highest card is a 4 but he has Lone Striker in the bank that he's not had opportunity to use yet because I've often been well on top in the mom race. He gets first go, tackles Ikaros, shoves him into the crowd and kicks the ball up field towards Bonesaw and gets a nice scatter so that Bonesaw can snap the ball. It's 10-9 to the rats and there's nothing I can do about the ball. Rundaas could sprint and hope for three 5s to tackle, and similarly Mataagi could move up and hotshot bonesaw, hoping for three 5s to tackle, but then they'd be out of INF and standing within easy range of Piper or Bonesaw for them to finish the game. However, Squeak and vGraves had come back on within range of Devana and Frelsi, so a hack back, a charge to kill off the rat and then 2 more attacks to try and do the 7 or 8 to graves that he returns on, but only with +1 DMG. bit of a tough ask. Then I roll a ton of 1s on the charge and fail to kill the rat on the charge. Looks like the game is over, but then, as it typical when you're learning a new team, I realise I haven't used my legendary yet, so use it to finish off the rat and deal 3 to Graves, snaring him in the process. After that it only takes 1 attack to finish him off and take the game. Devana was, unsurprisingly, a beast, but the surprise 2nd MVP award goes to Minerva. Every turn after the first she got 3 and almost every turn she went first, did three useful things, generating 3 mom in the process, and then she helped with healing and clearing conditions during Devana's turn when her captain starts to churn out the takeouts. Going to be very difficult to drop her. I agree with @Beardminis that vHearne could be very useful in this team, so I'm thinking who I might replace him with. Rundaas proved an excellent secondary damage dealer (2dmg GB when you're already under a harrier deals 5 damage, poison and -1 DEF!), so he makes a really good second activation, particularly if Minerva has a target KD'd and Eye Spied and in a Harrier! Ikaros seems like a good shout as he did very little for me in terms of output this game. But, he was really useful in helping kill the ball, so maybe it has to be Mataagi. To be honest I was lucky and there was a lot my opponent could have done to mitigate the takeouts I did get, just be choosing where he brought his players back onto the pitch a bit more carefully, but if he did, maybe I would have been forced to go for Piper or Bonesaw instead and knackered up his gameplan further. Interesting thoughts - was I tempted away from playing an effective takeout game by always going for the soft targets? Overall, and this may say more about me than about the Falconers, but they feel most similar to butchers than any other team. Yes, they have ranged attacks, but they also have the mobile/easily killable thing that the butchers have, and good amount of risk/reward to their play. They also lack much in the way of control (as far as I have so far discovered, at least) beyond taking out key models at key times, and to some extent they suffer in comparison to butchers on this score as they need to build themselves up over several activations. The risk/reward aspect that I really like about butchers is much better set up with the falconers, too. With butchers your risk is down to target selection and, often, the dice you roll, whereas with falconers it seems to be a lot more about getting the set up and activation order right to cash in on it (the risk being more about how your opponent reacts to your set up than whether the counter attack f*#ks you over for the turn). There's less direct interaction with the opponent in terms of counter attacks, but more in terms of positional play and soft control from placing your harriers and frelsi. I like them a lot. They may do what farmers didn't and tempt me away from Butchers for a while. Cheerio, Ben
  6. malladin.ben

    Let's start taking tactics

    Hmmm. I actually think the reverse, @EpicChris - I see it more as how the rules have been "lawyered" a bit to make sure you can RAI when in RAW it doesn't quite work. The way I see it Harriers represent the birds flying around, and (for whatever reason, reduced drag like migrating geese, probably), flying with the birds makes Ikaros fly faster. Personally I think Updraft needs wording so that he only gets the benefit if he's flying, as that's how I picture how it works. But I can't see it being RAI that he should gain the movement benefit from "updraft" only when not flying.
  7. malladin.ben

    Let's start taking tactics

    Yes, but that limits the flexibility of where you can go. If you place one at his feet and give him a 4 stack you're threatening 15" to the ball from that point, if you drop it 5" in front of him you might create some safe zones at the sides of the pitch. And by "at his feet" realistically you can probably get away with placing it an inch or two in front of him without limiting where he can get to too much. Anyway, it's all just speculation at the moment, so I may be being overly cautious. I can see the advantage to a more advanced placement of the harrier, but equally if he's clipping it from being placed it gives him cover if anyone can get to him, so there's pros and cons for both. Ben
  8. malladin.ben

    Season 4 Playtesting Event

    I'm there. Will be the first event I'm going to where I won't be playing Butchers, probably. Need to get that second farmers box painted...
  9. malladin.ben

    Let's start taking tactics

    Thinking about Rundass, he could also be a nice first activation model, to help set up the rest of the turn. A charge in likely gets you a KD, then a GB for dirty knives, then a bonus timed attack should get you to the 2 GB to drop a harrier. It's only 2 dmg and net 1 mom, but you'll have a KD and Dirty Knives model inside a harrier for Devana to prey on. You're basically saying "activate this model next or lose it". Trouble is I think, if she can get into combat, Minerva does this better - only 3 INF as you don't need the charge for the high column KD, then eye spy and harrier for 3 mom, albeit without the damage.
  10. malladin.ben

    Let's start taking tactics

    With the last 2 models due to be officially spoiled on Thursday (but are already out there if you're interested), I'm thinking about proxying them this week at the club. So lets start to talk through some ideas on some basics of strategy to try out, things like activation order, INF allocation, team selection and turn 1 strategies when kicking or receiving. Here's my initial thoughts (all theory crafting ahead of any games played): Team Selection I want to play them as a takeout team primarily, so Ikaros and Egret are going to be my first drops. I think Egret is probably (currently at least) the weakest model available to them and synergises least well with the rest of the team - yes a flurry into a harrier is going to be nice, but also tricky to pull off, I suspect. Ikaros, on the other hand is a potentially great counter attacking striker, able to get the ball wherever it goes, but I think I need the other players to make the fighting side of the guild work rather than the ball threat and goal scoring Ikaros provides. That said, I can't see another great kick-off model, so he'll probably make the team when kicking, but it's difficult to know who to drop for him. It probably has to be Hearne, but that makes the INF economy of the team tricky. The other option is Minerva, but that then makes the Harrier economy difficult, so its a problem. INF Economy The reason I like Hearne in the team is largely as a battery - he can provide support to the rest of the team by spending MP rather than INF, which is a great help in getting the most out of the players that are going to be your "output" models: Devana, Rundass and Ikaros. Devana being a 4/5 means there's potentially a bit more INF for the rest of the team than in other super-solo teams like Hammer or Fillet, and indeed you can potentially use her as a secondary output model rather than the primary one if the situation permits. Rundaas is your next best damage output model, IMO. If he can charge into a harrier he has a decent shout of the 2DMG GB result to trigger dirty knives, which will do 5 dmg! With last light he can spend 2 mom to drop the harrier first, or dirty knives to make the 2dmg GB more likely vs a high DEF target. More on that stuff later, for now, he's wanting 4 INF any turn you think he can be relevant (probably any after turn 1). Ikaros is the best goalscoring model in the team. With a harrier at his feet he can take flight 7" then charge another 7", and if there's a harrier on his target he can roll 9 dice on the charge. 15" threat to the ball is huge, with Last Light and a harrier at his feet he can threat 13" to the ball before having to spend any INF. As with Rundaas, if you think there's a goal on, stack him with 4, but you might also get away with 3, or even 2 if Last Light might be a possibility. There's a judgement to be made between Rundaas and Ikaros during the maintenance phase. Which do you want more: a take out from Rundaas or a goal from Ikaros, as you've not got enough INF to fully fund both of them, especially if you take into consideration all the set up you might want to spend on them, too. Mataagi probably only needs 1 after turn 1 as a hotshot attack will almost always allow you to pop down a harrier and earn a momentum (turn 1 he needs 2 so that he can move up and hotshot, or drop it for 2 if he can't make the range count so you've at least got it for Ikaros or as soft control). I think Frelsi probably wants 1 most turns if you're stacking Devana so that he/she (has the eagle's gender been mentioned yet?) can get to where you want her to make Devana's activation more relevant. Hearne is the team's battery, able to take 0 and just jog over to someone and last light them (Devana is probably the best target, but any of the output models could would benefit from it). Minerva is the team's support model. If she can get into combat she can do some useful things, but how likely is she to be there and if she is, is that the right place for her to be? If she can safely get into combat, she can do some good work with a 3 stack, pretty reliably getting a KD and putting out both a harrier and an Eye Spy, but before that, probably just 2 INF for one of the above (which will mostly be a harrier). Harrier Economy Another thing I think is important to think about with the falconers is their harrier economy. Getting these AOEs in play and to be relevant is going to be a real key aspect to playing the guild well, I suspect. Perhaps as we get more skilled we might feel comfortable dropping to 2 Harriers, but at first I think it's probably a decent shout to have all 3 in there. When to play them is also going to be a key factor, too. When kicking, placing an early one at Ikaros' feet is probably a good shout as an early activation, but after that you've got plenty of activations where you need to place them after the opponent has moved their models, so they are going to find it hard to get out of the AOE. Turn 1 - Receiving When receiving I'd probably look to have Mataagi and Rundass placed on the wings for ball retrieval. Whichever needs to go get the ball probably needs a full stack of 4 if they need to sprint, or 3 if not. They need to then kick the ball and drop their harrier somewhere central to keep it relevant and provide a bit of soft control. There may be options for placing it where it's going to make it difficult for the kicking model to pressure the ball without ending up in the harrier, but it's probably better to place it centrally then let Devana move it to make it more relevant. Hearne and Frelsi are probably good early activations to waste a bit of time. Hearne can pass the ball well, so you might want to give him an INF to do so and generate a bit of extra mom. I'm not sure whether I want to give Frelsi 1 for the big 9" push up, of if the 5" jog keeps him/her relevant given there's likely Hack Back to come. Hearne needs to Last Light Devana. After that there's hopefully some targets in play for Devana, so you can think about placing your harriers more effectively and possibly dodging her up with a pass. I think first turn you don't want to get her into melee, but to be able to Death From Above 3 times to set things up nicely and generate some more mom. Thinking about it, unlike other super solo teams, I'm not sure you want to go straight in for the kill with Devana at the top of T2. Your turns are likely always going to be about early set up for late activation reward, so it might be better to spread out the damage at this stage, so that you've go a selection of players in TO range of several members of your team. Turn 1 - Kicking When kicking I think you want to kick with Ikaros and give him for to force some kick off pressure and try and score a T1 goal at some point, even if it means trading the goal for Ikaros. Run him high up the pitch then kick to where it will be hard for them to retrieve it. Give him a full stack of 4 to keep your options as open as possible, then go early with Minerva to place a harrier at his feet. Ideally kick to the side of the pitch where you have Mataagi set up, so that he can likely hotshot the model who comes to get the ball. If Devana is also on this side she can also make use of the harrier to put some damage out from range, too. Also use the turn to get Rundass into a position where he can be relevant next turn. Anyway, that' just my starting thoughts. What other ideas do people have for how to use these guys? Ben
  11. malladin.ben

    Lightening reflexes vs dodge 0"

    I think the tricky word in Skulk's rule is "ends". If a dodge "ends" somewhere, does that imply that the optional reposition move from the dodge has been taken? Or does the dodge end in these cases when the optional move is declined? Looking at the rulebook for the wording of dodges and selecting playbook results, and at the timing charts, I can't see any reference to anything that would "end" other than a move as a result of a dodge. As a result that would suggest the original ruling is valid. The movement from a dodge is optional 'the model may make 1" of dodge movement for each arrow shown on the playbook result' (p35), hence you can choose not to take the move, and so nothing would "end" to trigger Lightning Reflexes. Its a bit slim, I'd admit, but its how I'd rule it as TO if it came up at an event I was running before there was an official ruling on here.
  12. malladin.ben

    Butchers minor confirmed as next after navvies

    Fillet in a team where everyone gets crucial artery would be pretty brutal! I guess smell blood would have to change to a TAC bonus or something instead..? If the minor is Cutlers, anatomical precision could be a good shout for their guild rule. That said, I'm not sure it necessarily simplifies their play style, or at least not on its own. It makes them a bit easier to remember, certainly, and clears up some space on the card, but I think it depends on the trait as to how simple it makes things, and there's a lot of other stuff that can be done to simplify a guild's playstyle beyond just giving them a universal rule. Ben
  13. malladin.ben

    Butchers minor confirmed as next after navvies

    So, what would "simple abilities and playstyle" mean in reference to takeout play? What tools would such a team need to have access to to be able to work? One of the biggest issues I find for new players is getting their head around activation order issues. If the playstyle is to be simple, I think it means you need to have a team that has few activation order issues to deal with (I see Shark fishermen currently as being very much like this). Therefore, each player needs to bring its own set up, such as a model with Smell Blood who also comes with Crucial Artery or Blood, or plays like Singled Out, Butchery, They Ain't Tough or Stagger that only that model gains the benefit from. Maybe the entire team could be mavericks? What current abilities would you describe as simple? Furious? Berserk? Ambush? Does simple mean a lack of dodges and pushes? Does simple mean mitigating the "classic" butcher weakness to counter attacks? And if so, how do you do so without making the broken? (On this score I once designed a fan model that was designed to be better if you spent their INF on set up and then charged at an opponent once, rather than their INF being better spent on a single attack, perhaps this could be a concept that fits this guild?) What about playbooks? Is there any room for simplicity there? What about having 2 DMG in the first column? Too strong? Too dull? (this gets my vote). Also, how do you balance a simple take-out playstyle? Do they need to be fast so they can threaten people even if they run away, or is the ability to spread out and not rely on buffs from each other enough to mitigate this issue they might face? Do they need to be light so that they can be easily defeated in the scrum if they have strong individual activations? Or do they need to be more survivable in the scrum, but better able to pull people into it and/or trap them there when they do? If they're going to be strongly focused on takeout play, do you need to dissuade them from scoring goals? If so, how, especially if they're going to be fast? Low kick stats, low kick ranges, high non-momentous tackles? Lots of things to think about if this is the case. What do you think? Ben
  14. malladin.ben

    Butchers minor confirmed as next after navvies

    He said red, not "sort of reddish-brown/maroon". It's happening!
  15. At vengeance there was a bit of info on the navigators, but when asked what minor guild was coming after them, Jamie P said they were going to be "red". With a very heavy hint that by this he meant butchers in case we weren't quick enough to clock on. If I can offer a bit if speculation, the navigators are described as having a very simple, fast, goalscoring playstyle. I would expect the butchers minor to be similar for takeout play. Lots of sinple straightforward models that are just good at dealing damage without too much finesse or set up required. Anyway, that's just me guessing. Cheerio, Ben