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Akaleth

Pundits
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  1. Union GIC Theory Thread

    Yeah it's a difficult problem to solve. Should there be one card that is clearly for each captain, but then there isn't really a choice of which card you play? Should there be 1 fighty, 1 footbally, 1 in the middle/generalist card that offer choices to each, but don't feel inspired by the mechanics of the captains? I'm not really sure which is best, but it's for that reason that I'm glad they are having an open testing session for this mechanic, because it really does need to be exactly right.
  2. Union GIC Theory Thread

    I'm glad that +VP cards are gone, because I think it probably leads to less fun games and took up so much space for other cooler cards that actually meaningfully change the way that people play their guilds. With that, here's some hot takes on the updated cards: Pirate's Ransom, at +2 MOM instead of +1, is obviously better, but still really boring. I'm okay with this one being the all-around safe but boring pick, but I'll never be excited about it. Honour Among ThievesOnce per turn when a friendly Guild model suffers the taken-out condition, before removing the model from the Pitch, any Influence currently on the model may be allocated to one other friendly Guild model within 8".Heal Rate 2 I think this card is cool and has some neat gameplay interactions, but I think those interactions are mostly for Blackheart/Brisket teams. VetRage pretty consistently goes first and kills at least one model, if not more. With lots of 2" models providing Crowd Outs and a fountain of momentum to keep the heals going, it's hard for all but the fightiest of teams to get a kill through the VetRage scrum. On top of that, when a model is in danger of dying to a follow up after a dicy turn, this card isn't meaningfully different than just allocating to models that aren't going to die instead. "Forcing" your opponent to kill a model because of the threat of their activation isn't that impactful when that model is one or two attacks from death anyway. And a higher HR could have prevented that kill in the first place, depending on the situation. Raise the Stakes (updated) Each time a friendly Guild model makes a successful Tackle during its activation, the friendly model may immediately make a Pass without spending influence. Heal Rate 3 This card is pretty cool. Having every Tackle essentially be a Ball's Gone! is quite powerful, and this doesn't have to be used for some Magical Christmasland Tackle -> Disengage -> I'm Open crazy impossible goal runs to be useful. It's less exciting for vetRage as he generally doesn't want to fight over the ball as much as he wants to kill people, but being able to Tackle and Pass out to open ground against a soccer team has the potential to meaningfully slow them down without absolutely crippling his ability to get kills. I think this is the new best card and default pick. My overall opinion on these cards is much higher than the first round of cards, but I think you may have overcorrected for the lack of Brisket cards in the first round, as none of the cards now feel like they're meant to be for Rage. This is going to be a difficult task for Union no matter what, though. 3 captains and 3 GICs means you really don't have any wiggle room.
  3. Union GIC Theory Thread

    If Raise the Stakes were HR4, I think it'd be a pretty solid option. At HR3, it's not as bad, but I still think it's pretty much just worse than Pirate's Ransom. These are rough estimates with no data, but with the cards as they are now, I'd expect to take Most Wanted 60-70% of the time, Pirate's Ransom the rest of the time, and Raise the Stakes never. If Raise the Stakes were HR4, I'd suspect Most Wanted 60-70%, Raise the Stakes 20-30%, and Pirate's Ransom 10%. This is a lot of Theory Ball as I haven't had time to play a game with GICs yet, but personally, I think the rules text on Raise the Stakes needs to change before the Heal Rate. +1 to initiative rolls is a boring line of text regardless of how effective it may be, and it is particularly ineffective on Union, as they tend to excel in momentum races anyway. I think I get what you guys were going with when designing Raise the Stakes - make your momentum less effective, but you don't need to keep as much of it around - but I just don't think it lines up favorably against any team. If you're playing against a striker-y team, you'll beat them in momentum quite often anyway and need more ways to spend it, if anything. The momentum race in fighty mirrors tend to go heavily in one direction or the other - you're either winning it handily or losing it by a mile. In one situation, the rules text doesn't matter, and in the other, the low HR is a huge liability. HR2 is also a liability against cagey teams like Ballista or Smoke as you can't keep up with their ranged plays. Fundamentally, it operates in a very similar space to Pirate's Ransom. The rules text matters most when you aren't guaranteed to win initiative. However, Raise the Stakes only matters when you're still able to fight for initiative, is really bad when you're behind, and sometimes you can still roll a 1 and lose a likely initiative roll and the trait essentially didn't do anything, while Pirate's Ransom at least gives you a consolation prize when the dice aren't in your favor, and you don't have to be anywhere close to winning initiative to get something out of the rules text.
  4. Union GIC Theory Thread

    The two additional cards revealed: Most Wanted Once per turn when a friendly Guild model inflicts the taken-out condition on an enemy model, after any VP is gained, the friendly model can spend [3] MP to gain [+1] additional VP. Heal Rate 2 The ceiling on this card is quite high - VetRage teams certainly generate boat loads of momentum, and cashing those in for extra VP when you have more momentum than you know what to do with seems powerful. However, I think that the most this will do is make a mascot kill more valuable, and otherwise screams win-more to me. A lot of games where you'll be able to get this off twice safely against normal players are games that you're probably so ahead that you're going to win anyway. I think this is a solid pick against soccer teams where the low heal rate isn't a concern, and the upside is high, but I would stay very far away from this card in any game where you expect to brawl. Raise the Stakes The friendly team gains [+1] to Initiative rolls. Heal Rate 2 This card seems pretty useless to me. Again, because of heal rate 2, I don't like this card against fighting teams where you expect to heal often, and most Union teams will out-momentum any soccer opponent and win initiative pretty handily anyway. Minor assistance for the early turns before anyone but the receiving player is making momentum, but winning initiative on the early turns isn't as critical anyway. Having two heal rate 2 cards supports the idea that the heal rate of cards isn't necessarily tied to what the card does and is a balancing tool. In this case, perhaps rightfully so since Union is quite strong. But a heal rate of 2 seems very low to be on any card that doesn't provide some other form of assistance. Raise the Stakes does so slightly, in that you can spend an extra 1 MOM on healing and still guarantee the initiative for next turn, but that's not going to come close to making up for the lower heal rate. Overall, I'm pretty pessimistic about Union's GICs. Heal Rate 2 is so low, and under the current OPD, I think it's quite risky to take anything but Pirate's Ransom since most teams can field a lineup where that low healing is going to matter. It's really unfortunate that neither of the effects on these new cards is particularly strong, and both come with such a risky downside, that the one with a boring effect but a lesser downside feels like the one you have to pick most of the time.
  5. Union GIC Theory Thread

    Yeah, I'm excited for the GIC system as a whole, but this one is really underwhelming. It's a small downside for a small upside that I'll only get if I'm losing, or if I'm in a stalemate, which isn't a particularly fun game stat. While I expect the power level to vary a good amount, both because of the inherent difficulty in balancing things and because the identities can and should be used as small balancing levers for individual guild strengths, the comparison to the Brewers identity is quite telling on the strength of this identity.
  6. Ideal roster for a Rage/Blackheart team

    I'm not a big fan of Snakeskin, and think that it's likely better to play a normal Blackheart roster than it is to force vetRage and play Snakeskin to shore up the weaknesses. I lean towards A+G and Harry - I like new A+G a lot, though they are a risky proposition, and I like Harry a lot against Smoke/engineers as having 2 Rising Anger models against teams trying to put out ranged character plays really changes the dynamic if they try to play cagey. The extra mobility with the ball is also a huge boon for breaking the opening stalemate.
  7. When to pick SBrisket over VRage

    sBrisket is a very hard sell under the current OPD. Her matchups against all captains range from basically even to disastrous, and when you aren't sure what captain your opponent is playing when you pick her, it can just go so horribly wrong. Her job used to be to shore up the matchups that are bad for vRage, since she doesn't have any notably good matchups herself. The problem there is that vRage's worst matchup, Shark, is not as much of a problem with the new errata, and sBrisket's Corsair matchup is so bad that I don't ever want to make that risk.
  8. Thousand Cuts

    In the average game, the DEF debuff on one player is probably not worth losing out on a reliable 6 DMG/3 MOM from using that INF on attacks instead. You're making some number of attacks better, and it is a reliable character play, but there's only so many attacks that you can put into the average enemy model and still be making meaningful progress. In general, I only consider Thousand Cuts as a reward from spiking an attack roll and getting it through the playbook.
  9. Composure Timing

    For what it's worth, I think it's mostly clear that Composure works as you're both describing and as I described in the first scenario. This is mostly a question of whether or not RAW lines up with RAI. In the event that those don't line up, whether or not it's worth the errata is another question.
  10. Meathook attempts to pass the ball to the friendly Veteran Brisket. Meathook is currently engaged by 3 enemy models, and thus suffers -3 to her dice pool (to the minimum of 1). Meathook's coach then plays composure, adding +2/+0 to her KICK stat (totaling 5/6"). Is Meathook's dice pool, before potential Bonus Time, 2 dice (5 base - 3 crowd outs = 2) or 3 dice (3 base - 3 crowd outs = minimum 1, +2 Composure = 3)?
  11. (Preface: my only other minis experience is 5th edition 40k, but I'm assuming Warmachine scenarios are at least similar in concept) Scenarios are an interesting way to diversify how you play from game to game, and thus are effective at extending the life of a game. I'd really like to see them implemented, though I'm not exactly sure how yet. You guys mentioned on a previous cast that we basically only have the one scenario - get 12 points in some combination of goals and kills - and the games/players aren't really set up to handle doing anything else currently. And as mentioned, it's a bit of a flavor nightmare to make any other objectives make sense. Is it possible, then, to make these "scenarios" a modifier to the way you reach the current goal, rather than changing the goal itself? These are some horrible suggestions for a lot of reasons, but I'm thinking things like "Slippery Ball" - models need 1 fewer hit (minimum 1) on attacks to successfully choose a tackle result, or "Toxic Fumes" - all models who move into/end their activation within certain areas of the board suffer the Poison condition (board edge, terrain, goal post, there are a couple things you could do here.) "Foggy Mist" - all models have -1"/-1" MOV, -1/-1" KICK and -1 TAC. The issue with a lot of these modifiers specifically, but also at the conceptual level, is making sure that they aren't too swingy. Aside from the few outliers, the game balance is close enough that games could be decided by the roll of the die if the modifiers are potent enough. Changing the stats of characters via a meta-game mechanic will also inevitably lead to people forgetting about the modifiers because they aren't printed on the card, so figuring out a solution to that (if it exists) would be important. This exact implementation of it is certainly not correct, but it seems like it's at least in the right direction to go in terms of changing the way we play each game.
  12. US Shipping Status

    Finally received my retail backer copy last night - I think retail backers should expect to get their games later on average, as both stores in my area got their copies well after all of my friends who individually backed it received theirs.
  13. Minx vs Decimate

    I prioritize Minx much higher by virtue of being a battery. The Union has a lot of models that love INF, but not a ton that are fine taking none, and that's the big thing that Minx has over Decimate. Minx will charge someone to set up a snare for a kill, or disrupt a goal, etc. and happily hand her 2 INF off to someone else. But Decimate really wants a full stack for the most part, to turn a bunch of INF into damage and MOM. Unfortunately, this isn't a role that the Union (and vRage union in particular) are lacking. My starting 12 INF very often goes to Rage, Harry and Gutter, and I don't think she competes with any of them for that INF. I think she's worth considering for Blackheart teams, as she fits better into his versatile plan and her 3 die kick is good for making the On My Mark chains feel safer - but I've also only played BH once in S3, so my experience there is limited and I don't know whether or not she makes the cut there either.
  14. US Shipping Status

    Have any retail backers received their game yet? No word from my LGS so far, but almost all of my friends in the area who backed individually have received their copies.
  15. Union List-making and Power Level After 9/5/17

    I'm happy to be able to fit Rage1 into the roster for sure - still one of my favorite models, and I've missed him after playing him in Morts in S2. I'm more likely to play Coin than Decimate for slot 10, but there's merits to both choices. Blackheart likes Strongbox more than Brisket does, so a 1 mascot list feels much more feasible than before, even if Blackheart would prefer Coin probably. I'm curious what you see in Benediction though - in all honesty, he looks very weak to me. His playbook is similar to Harry's but his KD is really hard to reach, and the top end of his book is noticeably worse. Braced/Poised/Stand Firm seem like a cute combo for holding the ball, but if you're going to spend 2+ INF on that, I think Snakeskin is still better at that job. And the Impart Wisdom/Red Fury synergy seems largely irrelevant when the team is playing so close together. All in all, he seems like a good model for not losing, but a bad one for actually winning. Please prove me wrong, because the Solthecian sculpts look absolutely fantastic and I'll be buying them for that alone - but neither of them excite me currently.
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