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Commander Vimes

Thoughts on Scalpel after playtime?

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Hey Spooks,

now, after some time has passed after released, I hope to get a discussion going on Scalpel. What are your thoughts on her now in comparison to your initial gut reaction? Have you played her, or played against her?

I know that many people "badmouthed" her after release. I have been playing her reularly since then and am really enjoying myself. I find her very strong in MOM generation, and her hit and run style can lead to some crazy angles. However, the most limiting factor is her 1" reach IMO.

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I have played my Hunters into her twice. Now I'm still pretty new to the game and I only played against Obulus once, so the comparison might not hold up to closer scrutiny. She seems to be a pretty versatile captain, though.

Against Hunters, her melee range is not a huge issue. Sure, greater reach would be better but at least I can hardly engage her without her being able to strike back.

Her legendary makes gauging her charge ranges really hard. She can effectively engage people behind woods or corners, or just over a pretty huge range.

Second Wind makes the Morts very dodgy which can be a pain in the ass.

All in all, I found Obulus to be more frustrating to play against but not really harder to play against. In my last game, Scalpel (together with Graves) killed Theron twice. She certainly pulled her weight.

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I've still only played as her once and against her once but in both games she was extremely mobile and annoying.

My main use of Obulus is moving the opponent closer, a role she filled well but with the added bonus of a stack of MP with it. I think a fair cost for the loss of Puppet Masters greater range of uses.

 

In the game against her, I decided I could could just take Ghast out but it would I have to commit two models to the job. So charged and paid the inf tax, and gave them the 2 MP. He answered by putting Gravedigger on Ghast, which was an excellent move because I would not have been able to finish him even with best possible rolls. Changed targets for the second attack and had to deal with Fear and Anger again next turn.  

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9 hours ago, CurlyPaul said:

In the game against her, I decided I could could just take Ghast out but it would I have to commit two models to the job. So charged and paid the inf tax, and gave them the 2 MP. He answered by putting Gravedigger on Ghast, which was an excellent move because I would not have been able to finish him even with best possible rolls. Changed targets for the second attack and had to deal with Fear and Anger again next turn.  

Interesting point. I personally tend to play her supersolo-style, so she can go in (maybe with tooled up), drag someone around, use her heroic and back off again. Every time I tell myself to play to her support strength at least once, but the temptation is too strong ;-)

Another interesting point is that in my experience, Tormented Agony is far less used than expected. I think it's due to the fact that she wants to attack (drag in) targets that die the same turn, so they either already have activated or suffer from shutout. The 3 on her playbook is the sweet spot, giving ><.

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I'm going to be using Scapel for the first time this week (I hope). I will post a report. Well I'm teaching someone so if he is the only one I play I won't but I hope to get more games in than that.

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Played a game with her tonight (first time back to morticians in a few months)

Ran her, dirge, rage, casket, ghast and silence vs honour led masons. 

 

Scalpel kicked off and just dribbled the ball over  the line.  Tower came up to recover it for me to drag him back over to me. I proceeded to pile everyone on finishing up with rage. He took out dirge with mallet missile and put some hurt onto scalpel. 

Next turn I Popped legendary to drag mallet and honour into the middle of the dog pile and mallet away from rage.  Finished off mallet (rage sunk some attacks into him first turn) and honour dragged scalpel off and flint tried to get the ball off ghast only to be put back down.  Rage killed the monkey last to stop loved creature and generated a casual 5 momentum to win the roll.

Piled some more guys around flint and casket put him the the box sent scalpel into honour. Managed to score the kd and sent rage into honour to finish up. 

 

Final score was 12-2 and she was responsible for 8 of those points (in giving her credit where she set up) with casket netting my other 4.

 

Scalpel is still solid with some serious game. Im thinking my last 2 would be mist and bonesaw to switch to a more football game. 

 

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I ran her for the first time since the first few weeks of her release yesterday and she was excellent.

I've moved away from trying to play too much football with her, its actually worked out for the better. She can be an opportunist goal scorer but I find her very good at the 4&1 game. Multi use players like Graves seem to work very well with her.

The team I ran yesterday was; Scalpel, Dirge, Silence, Ghast, Rage and Graves. It was very light on influence (11) it had more than enough damage threat. I think the other two players in the tournament 8 would be Mist and A&G for goals against teams that would out fight me and activation orders respectively. Casket might have a place but I've never really got the hang of him.

The biggest problem I have with her is when to use the Legendary it can be so very good but I have wasted it a couple of times trying to get players sitting just outside the threat range.

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I've tried to make her work over the course of the last few game I've played. It's been about 3/4 games playing her and I really like her.

I'm using her in a 'pack' but I need to work out exactly who to put with her in order to punch out the damage.

So far, I've run: Scalpel, Dirge, Silence, Cosset, Rage, Minx - I found that Minx was ever so slightly outgunned (first time I've played her!) but the pack did work well. This was vs. Fillet led Butchers with the captain consequently smashing face!

I've also run her with: Dirge, Silence, Cosset, Rage and Graves against Honour led Masons and Ox led Butchers. Again, they worked well - particuarly with the double bleed and the ability to lure with Cossset in order to 'drag' opposing players out of position. My problem with both of these teams was the goalscoring threat, although the 4/7" from Silence should be plenty and she's not too bad herself at going for goal!

Interesting reading other posts about using Ghast - I think he has real merit here as he can effectively deny parts of the board in order for the 'Scal-pack' to go hunting.

I would be interested to see the effect Casket has on the play, taking advantage of the weak but I'm not sure he has a place in my playstyle and in this team.

Her legendary, I found quite useful as a circumstantial legendary. It can be used to drag people out of position but also if she is further up the board, move them away from others trying to score. I think it is a question of 'when', not 'if' you use it. It's finding the right moment in a game in order to take full effect. Potentially if you kick to an opponent, they pick it up, she goes again, pulls that player in and locks them in melee in order to score some VPs.

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6 hours ago, GPG said:

Her legendary, I found quite useful as a circumstantial legendary. It can be used to drag people out of position but also if she is further up the board, move them away from others trying to score. I think it is a question of 'when', not 'if' you use it. It's finding the right moment in a game in order to take full effect. Potentially if you kick to an opponent, they pick it up, she goes again, pulls that player in and locks them in melee in order to score some VPs.

I've almost always used her legendary to circumvent Unpredictable Movement, <</></>> Counterattacks etc. The 1" reach and the high KD are among her biggest weknesses IMO.

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Yeah, you're quite correct. This is why I think she needs to be running in a pack.

Going behind someone like Ghast and popping out is useful for her as he has that access to that early KD. The Legendary is to just ensane those characters and stop them getting away but I do think that she can be used as a distraction in order to pull models out of position - particuarly when you are trying to fling up the board with Mist (other strikers are available)!

I do like her, it's an interesting puzzle to solve!

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I find her not too different from early Graves (the 1/4 version). She can do damage, some repositiong very well, or play good football, and additionally reallocate influence. Which made me think if she could work well with him, as she doesn't always need 6 influence like Obulus wanted in at least most cases. Only when shits going to go down for your opponent you give her that juicy six. I killed two players with her in one activation without even moving thanks to her legendary. And then she charged Corsair and triggered his sturdy.

Graves as well is a pretty devent striker. He hasn't 8" range, but he is decently fast, and with Scalpel able to damage targets far away with her long sprint, for his "damaged target" trait, or use Silence and his embalming fluid for that.

A list I tried out and that I found to be pretty decent was something around 
Scalpel, Silence, Dirge, Graves, Mist and the one and only Rage for tooled up or Cosset. For additional 2" reach use Ghast. The good thing about her is that she doesn't need much influence, and those lists don't generate much for Morticians Standard, but that's completely ok. Usually she gets three when she starts her turn. For a captain I find that extremely cheap, just like it is with Ox.

Additionally I can imagine her really good with vGraves and Vileswarm both flanking on one side. She pushes an enemy model round about 5 or 6 inches to that flank, Graves charges in, KD's that model, gravedigger, push. And then VS Charges in and does his 4 to 6 inch push on that model. Rinse and repeat. Haven't tried that out yet, but I will.

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I'm guilty of looking at Scalpel when she was released and thinking, "Meh"

However, after the recent "Is Obulus OP?" debate, I took another look at her on point of principle and then decided to buy her. I own a Morticians team but have never used it as everyone seemed to be playing them last year.

They're not painted yet, but managed to get a Scalpel game this evening by borrowing a friend's Morts while he played my Brewers. I should point out that it was a bit of Friday night fun and we weren't playing competitively, but I certainly enjoyed using Scalpel.

She scored a goal and took out Harry the Hat readily enough. Throughout game, I found Unnatural Stamina surprisingly useful as it lets you use all your influence for attacking before retreating to safety. I won the game by attacking Scum. The cat was just out of sprint range, but Voodoo Strings dealt with that issue and of course, it didn't trigger Unpredictable Movement either. Probably got a bit lucky with the dice rolls, but Scum was soon sliced and diced for the victory.

My team was footballing Morts, so... Scalpel, Dirge, Silence, Ghast, Bonesaw and Mist. Mist scored the other goal. The mobility and board control offered by this line up is excellent and doesn't suffer from the "All the eggs in one basket" issue that is Obulus's one weakness. Note that it also gives you 13 starting influence while an early goal (usually via Mist) gets it up to 14! Being able to max out your Captain and still have 7 (or 8) to distribute amongst the team is pretty handy.

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I really like Scapal and after a couple of meh performances from the ferryman himself I am going back to her. My favourite line up so far has been... 

Scapal

Dirge 

Mist 

#playgraves2016

Ghast 

Silence (because I have to)

It feels like it can score goals or put the hurt down. I am tempted to drop mist to get rage in for some added punch though. 

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The issue with pure Scoreticians is if the football goes wrong - (I missed three 4 dice shots in a row last game and Scalpel was two of those?) - you have lost some killing ability in team selection.

I think Scalpel provides more reliable last-ditch murder options than Obs if you need it and can chase the ball down from space with less Inf than Obs needs if opponent tries to kill ball. (He generally needs to PM himself and/or hit and bounce off opponents; Scalpel has far better straight line speed).

On the down side she loses a lot of midfield pitch/ball control compared to the old man.

Playing her into @DrillbossD's Engineers today so will let you know how it goes! (Although he's a bit handy with the Cogs so probably won't be great ?)

 

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I did try pure Score-ticians last night against honour. Big problem with it was that when I didn't have the ball and couldn't get to it. I really struggled to do anything in the turn. My opponent played well and only gave me bad options for Obulus. Which had I of had Scapal I would of been able to do some moving and dodging for momentum generation. 

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2 hours ago, Totes McAwesome said:

I did try pure Score-ticians last night against honour. Big problem with it was that when I didn't have the ball and couldn't get to it

Did you have Mist? This is what Mist is for :)

Edit - Masons are annoying anyway. My own personal kryptonite. I just give up when I see a Masons team line up on the other side of the pitch.

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Well the Engineers made a mess.... Two losses :(

Every time something went wrong I could see exactly how Obulus would get me out of the jam but Scalpel just struggled to get the game flowing. 5 inf to do 2 damage to Decimate and the passes to set up Mist missing, and Mist missing 4 dice shots didn't help; the dice were not my friends!

Ballista and Salvo were on fire too, I spent most of the game trying to work out how to stand players back up and without Rigor Mortis they generated MoM with no fear of losing it. 

I think the trick I missed was in trying to score 3 goals I under-used Scalpel's potential damage output. With her and Rage or Cosset I think I could have reliably killed a player a turn - or at least threatened too.

As it was I tried use the team how I play with Obulus and the pieces just don't fit the same... Need to play more games with her and maybe not be so stubborn about taking Graves and hunting 3 goals :/

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Yeah I have started to question whether rage is a better alternative to Graves in a Scapal team. Graves is there to win the ball back. Which is often what I find Scapal doing. With rage in the team it adds damage and allows me to run Ghast on 2, mist on 3, Scapal on 4+. I love Graves but am not sure if I need him in that play style. 

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9 minutes ago, Totes McAwesome said:

Yeah I have started to question whether rage is a better alternative to Graves in a Scapal team. Graves is there to win the ball back. Which is often what I find Scapal doing. With rage in the team it adds damage and allows me to run Ghast on 2, mist on 3, Scapal on 4+. I love Graves but am not sure if I need him in that play style. 

A sad day when we both think this :(

#playGravesexceptwithScalpel2016 

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I think it maybe true. Scapal gets the ball back easy and usually scores a goal. Mist also threatens goal. So Ghast is in the middle knocking shit down and controlling things. I then just feel like I need raw damage. Either rage or Cosset. Rage brings bleed that I lack from Graves having a day off.

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53 minutes ago, The Old Buzzard said:

Original Graves does bleed if he does damage. ( ? )

Crucial Artery trait.

Vet Graves loses this and does Bleed off his playbook.

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Well I had half a game with her last night. My opponent wasnt in the best state by that point so my success should take that into account...

I took Scalpel, Dirge, Silence, Rage, Cosset, and Graves. Scel kicked, Meathook retrieved the ball and Scalpel immediately used her Legendary to pull her closer, then did momentous push dodge 6 times to bring her target into range of the 2 furious players, before using Second Wind to hide behind a Barrier out of Fillets way. Got an easy first turn TO and a mountain of MP. 

I like this line up, although it did need more of a goal threat. I might go all out and drop Silence for Mist next time..

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