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tarkand

So are Hunters... bad?

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Hello there,

As you can probably tell from my post count, I'm brand new here. Played 3 games so far, going 12-2 against Brewers and Engineer and losing 12-2 to Union. The Brewers and Engineer players were both new as well, but I have been a competitively minded miniature players for a few years and they aren't. The Union player is a pundit and also one of the best competitive player in our area.

So I didn't put much stock into those game as balancing factors, I'm too much of a noob to make those call yet. I decided to hit the web for information and resource and well... this is the kind of stuff I keep hitting:

http://diceotfirstdegree.blogspot.ca/2016/09/step-3-into-guildball-choosing-your.html

Now this is in no way a dig at dice of the first degree, this is merely the most recent such entry. Terms like 'Not recommended for new players', 'Challenging', 'Steep learning curve' and so forth are literally attached to every single review or claim. Podcast aren't much rosier.

Now I don't think it takes a genius to read between the line here... especially since this is the exact kind of speech you use when trying to make a new player understand that they are about to buy something terrible (Trollblood Slugger are a... very difficult unit to use. How about some fire eaters?), but you know that coming on too strongly will just create a bad vibe. 

So what give? Did I pick the lemon of the guild? Not that it's that big of a deal if I did - as the url above say, buying into guild ball isn't exactly pricey.

But is that the consensus? Is it actually showing in tournament? Etc.

In any case, going to a tournament with hunters at the end of the month, hopefully it won't be too bad;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've heard this as well, however at the last open game night I went to I sat across from a player who saw my Hunters and said "Man...I heard they're like, impossible to beat". I don't consider myself experienced enough to weigh in either way, though I did win that match. My primary opponent has been Masons and I've had games where I crushed and games where I've been crushed. The difference seems to be momentum generation which is rather difficult with Hunters early game. Having ranged attacks is great but they're not super awesome for Momentum generation. 

Morticians are also often couched in a "difficult to learn" framework and I don't think anyone would consider them the lemons of the game :). I currently have Hunters and Masons assembled and they're the only teams I've played with. I don't know which team is stronger, but I have a lot more fun playing Hunters. 

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I don't think they are bad, but are difficult to learn the basics of the game with. The Hunters tend to generate less momentum than most teams, which makes learning when to use the teamwork actions and heroic plays more difficult. They also tend to have lower kick stats which makes landing the teamwork actions, and passing in general, a little more difficult. The teamwork actions are a very important strategic piece to the game and knowing when and how to use them is very important. Hunters can have a hard time with that so trying to figure out when to use them with a team that can have a hard time using them is tricky. Throw in the traps and the fact that they are the only team that has a 0/2 player and things can start to stack up pretty quickly against newer players. I think the Hunters can suffer from bad dice more than most teams as well, which can also be frustrating for newer players. I don't think they are a bad team at all, just require a little more time than most teams to really be effective with. 

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After finally jumping into Hunters (as my 4th team), I definitely agree they are the *hardest* to use out of the 4 (Masons, Union, Brewers).  I am not a super experienced player, but have 20+ games under my belt, mostly with Masons.  Hunters are definitely harder because of what others have said already, momentum generation and too many combinations to think about.  Their activation order matters a lot and it changes based on what your opponent is doing, and if you get the order wrong or forget to use an ability on your player, you are at a disadvantage. 

With that said, I LOVED my game with the Hunters and definitely plan on playing them more and learning the subtleties.  I don't think you've bought a lemon at all, but do expect to make some mistakes in comboing your abilities and potentially losing because of that. 

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They are probably the hardest team to learn the game with. Their play style isn't the most obvious - Butchers and Fishermen are traditionally the teams that people try to teach the game with (although my friends who are pundits tend to use Butchers and Masons to do their learning games with new players). Butchers are probably the most straightforward team to learn - they want to do damage, and they generate momentum from it as they go. There are other subtleties that can be learn over time, but essentially running at people and hitting them will get you there a lot of the time.

Hunters are a different prospect. They are also more on the damage path to victory (they do have some goal threats, but they aren't strong enough in terms of kick stats to make this the corner stone of their strategy) but they lack both the raw damage and momentum generation of the Butchers. This means Hunters get kills by effective control and debuffing key pieces. To a certain extent, this requires detailed knowledge of threat ranges, activation order, damage out put, etc. All of which makes them a tricky prospect for someone learning the game.

When they work to full effect, they're very strong however. Mine aren't painted, but I would definitely be taking them, to more tournaments at the moment if they were - I very much enjoy playing them

They are far less represented at tournaments currently, but they're still relatively new. Results seem to vary quite wildly as well - there have been several tournaments won with Hunters, but equally I often see people on the lower tables playing them, which leads me to the conclusion that they are strong with a good player but weaker if you don't know what you are doing. 

So in conclusion, hard to learn, difficult to master, but rewarding if you can stick with them.

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Basically what @FearLord said. The 'not recommended for new players' isn't a euphemism for bad, but just that their playstyle is fairly unusual and they rely on a lot of interactions that aren't obvious for a new player.

There momentum generation and use is intentionally unusual and are one of the 'control' teams. All of these (Morticians, Alchemists, Hunters, Engineers) all usually carry the 'not recommended for new players' badge as they require an understanding of the game beyond point and smash that a new player can do quite well with the Butchers for example.

That isn't to say you can't start with them, but you will need to learn the game quickly to be successful.

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Ha, in my blog I also say something along the lines of "hardest to learn."

http://trollpatrolgaming.blogspot.ca/2016/08/brief-faction-overview-in-guild-ball.html (My requisite plug of the blog entry).

 

But no, they are by no means the "weakest" Guild. Controversially, that would probably be Engineers by most people's viewpoint. But that is just if you HAD to put them in a ranking. 

Hunters are hardest to come to grips with because they are a hybrid team. They are primarily a beatdown team, but they want to apply debuffs, and whittle down your opponent with ranged before going in for the kill. And their goals generally tend to be incidental. Because they don't have the laser-focus that other teams generally tend to have with what they want to do, they can be very hard to conceptually grasp when learning.

But they are definitely a faction that can be very punishing to a variety of players. For instance, Butchers want to really get in melee and generate a ton of momentum doing so. Pretty tough to do against Hunters with their traps, terrain, and ranged snares. Even putting a forest in front of the goal randomly can stop the ability for scoring teams to easily get goals. 

So TLDR: No, they are definitely not "bad", nor are they even at the bottom of the totem pole. They are just harder to learn simply because they don't have the "obvious" playstyles that other factions have.

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There are some very valid points made above. I don't think Hunters are a "bad" guild, as there are none in this game.

However, I do think Hunters are the weakest guild compared to the rest. This is due to two simple facts: (1) they have access to the fewest models, especially excluding very competitive Union choices. (2) They have just one captain, who is arguably on the low end of the power curve.

These two facts are compounded by some inherent design choices for the guild, like reliance on character plays, low MOM generation (Seenah helps this, but at the opportunity cost of less INF) and squishy defensive stats.

I really enjoy my Hunters, win regularly with them and think they have some VERY strong players (Jaecar and Egret foremost for me, definitely not Theron though). But I still think they'll need Season 3 to be on par with the rest.

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1 minute ago, tarkand said:

Yeah... Gotta say the Union choice seems a bit lackluster? No gutter, rage, fangtooth, etc. 

 

And only 3 available picks? :\

I guess Minx and Hemlocke both make sense (Minx is related to Hunters and Hemlocke is just wild).  A&G works for everyone.  I would have expected one more.  I guess Snakeskin would work fluff wise, and Mist maybe.  Maybe the designers were afraid that giving Hunters Mist would be too powerful?

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7 minutes ago, kryzak said:

I guess Minx and Hemlocke both make sense (Minx is related to Hunters and Hemlocke is just wild).  A&G works for everyone.  I would have expected one more.  I guess Snakeskin would work fluff wise, and Mist maybe.  Maybe the designers were afraid that giving Hunters Mist would be too powerful?

My money is on another "Mafia" style guild similar to Union but more focused on providing options to other guilds.

 

My biggest issue with Hunters is that it doesn't take much to take the Hunter's out of their desired game plan.

Disruption is easy especially if you bank on a key Character play, and have it fail. It's that combined with the low influence that makes them frustrating to play for me, because it feels far too easy to dig yourself into a wasted momentum pit that you can't break free from.

 

So you need a plan, a backup plan in case a pivot point fails and an alternative use of influence in case character plays fail.

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My struggle with the hunters has been their very low margin for error. Since they have very low influence and are often short on momentum one bad die roll seems to hurt them more than other teams. I also agree with others that Theron is at the very low end for captains. It would be great to hear some information on a second captain. Still, I actually find I enjoy playing hunters a lot. I like the theme of the team and look of the models a lot. I just need to get better at focusing on hit and run more.

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I definitely think they should tweak the existing team a little as well as introduce a new captain.  I love Theron's utility and abilities, but I think he just needs a tiny bit of oomph when compared to other captains.  I still love playing the team though, despite the slightly lower power curve.

The one issue I still have is playing with time.  There's a lot to think about every turn, and one mistake in positioning or activation order will really mess with the team and it's hard to recover with low MP and low INF.  Combined with the hit-and-run aspect, the game will be longer and thus one is more likely to run out of time.  I played a timed game this weekend for the first time, and I used about 15 minutes more than my opponent (Pin Vice Engineers) when I got close to timing out.  I was playing as fast as I could and actually doing decently with positioning, but it just takes a while...

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I have had issues with time as well. My friend and I have been playing on a clock to try and force faster analytical thinking. The hunters do have a lot of moving pieces and order of activation challenges. It does lead to a lot of clock time falling off.

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I would not call them bad by any means.  I guess they are "special". Personally I would even say they are pretty strong. I just played them like 20 times, but they fit my style of play pretty well. I think it is a really frustrating Team,  first for the Player getting used to play them, after that for their opponents. 

 

 

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The main issue I see with Hunters as a Guild that's possibly harder to win with than most others is that they seem to take more activations to get VP on the board than others on average. Guild Ball is a race in practice: first to 12 VP wins, and nothing else matters in the end. I have similar issues when I try to wrap my head around Engineers too, and there are certainly other Guilds that have to be conscious of this as well, but my limited experience with Hunters gives me the idea they're having the worst of it in this regard. Slow and steady can win the race, but it's not easy. 

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18 minutes ago, Pangur Ban said:

The main issue I see with Hunters as a Guild that's possibly harder to win with than most others is that they seem to take more activations to get VP on the board than others on average. Guild Ball is a race in practice: first to 12 VP wins, and nothing else matters in the end. I have similar issues when I try to wrap my head around Engineers too, and there are certainly other Guilds that have to be conscious of this as well, but my limited experience with Hunters gives me the idea they're having the worst of it in this regard. Slow and steady can win the race, but it's not easy. 

Slow and steady wins the race, but it also runs out the clock... :huh:

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Just now, kryzak said:

Slow and steady wins the race, but it also runs out the clock... :huh:

That's a concern too, but as long as you practice to activate fast that's something you can do something about. If you can only get to 12 points in 17 activations and your opponent can manage in 15 though, that's a lot more difficult to find a solution for.

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As a fairly new player, I wouldn't say the hunters are bad at all. Locally I'm having great success with them against multiple guilds. 

 

They're strength lies in hit and run/control based tactics. Isolating targets and taking models out one by one. 

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As someone who owns all the teams, I think hunters are a viable team for the most part.  My only issues with them are in the strength of Theron compared to other captains, and due to the nature of their playstyle, they tend to have a bad time if they miss a 'key' character play  ie When Theron misses a Pinned Sunstrike on a model I know I am about to have a very bad turn.  If you are having good luck in that sense and learn how to abuse certain models to their fullest potential, they can hang in there with the best of them.

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I've also been having trouble with the hunters when I am on the clock. My friend and I have been playing our friendly games on a timer. With the Brewers I have no problems. With the Hunters there are so many moving parts and activation order issues that I always go over time. It also throws my friend off though too. The Hunters have so many potential shenanigans that he takes longer as well.

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Sigh, so many people who are so restrained on calling out something that is bad.

The hard truth about Hunters is that they are not only difficult to play, but are numerically worse than other teams.
To put it in simplest terms. They are Bad.

HOWEVER! That doesn't mean that you can't win with them, or anything even close to it. But, you will probably have a more difficult time doing so than a good team. 

Do Hunters need buffs? Maybe a few very small ones, they also wouldn't mind if some of the best teams got brought down a little either.

In summary, they are behind the power curve. It doesn't mean you get to brag for winning with a 'bad team'.

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I'm confused.  If "they are bad", then why don't you get to brag for winning with a 'bad team'?  ;)

Also, if I read your post correctly, Talamare, Hunters need only a few very small buffs, so in a "school grade" analogy, The other teams are A students, while Hunters are A- or B+ student.  I guess you're defining a "non-A" student "Bad", is that accurate?  If so, that is fair.  Just wanted to make sure I understood your post.  :)

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8 hours ago, Talamare said:

The hard truth about Hunters is that they are not only difficult to play, but are numerically worse than other teams.

Do you mind expanding on that a little bit? What do you mean by numerically worse? To me a bad team is one that you go into most of your games at a disadvantage. I felt that way at first but really don't feel that way anymore. Just curious what your criteria for bad is. 

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9 hours ago, kryzak said:

I'm confused.  If "they are bad", then why don't you get to brag for winning with a 'bad team'?  ;)

Also, if I read your post correctly, Talamare, Hunters need only a few very small buffs, so in a "school grade" analogy, The other teams are A students, while Hunters are A- or B+ student.  I guess you're defining a "non-A" student "Bad", is that accurate?  If so, that is fair.  Just wanted to make sure I understood your post.  :)

The game is decently well balanced, being below the curve in this game isn't as brutal as its seen in other games.

If you want to equate it to School using letters, they would be probably in the "C" level along with Engineers. Being clearly "A" level probably isn't the best for the game either. "B" is what most teams balance should aim for. There are a few problematic models most people agree that needs to be reduced. Hunter's at the moment aren't really a team most people see as needing to be increased/decreased, but I believe that comes from a lack of time or experience with the team. 

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