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SN0flux

Hunters being swept under the rug?

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Not to begin discussion with the usual Hunters dread, but does anyone else feel that Hunters are getting pushed to the side (power wise) compared to the other guilds? I'm quite happy with the errata changes to Theron and oHearne, but Steamforged doesn't seem to want to share enough of their mechanics with the Guild to make them stand firm with all the others.

What sparked this was going over the 'reveal' of Ploughman. Another 2" melee and 6" Glide for free. Inter-guild comparisons aren't fair and balanced but since they are "the new hotness" and what is coming out, i think there's a spot for a bit of it. In the Farmer's Honest Land box alone there's 4 of 6 players with 2" melee. Add in the additional characters we're aware of and at least half of the 12 man guild has 2" reach. We've got 3, and can't take both Hearnes. Our players have great maneuverability but with the easy knockdowns available on a lot of current characters we can't stay around to lay down the hurt without breaking our melee.

One of the advantages that Hunters get is their Light-Footed capability; this was important enough to the team that they added it to Theron who was missing it. We can move around the field at base speed or faster without worry; Theron's forest is good for Hearne and can block pesky line of sight, but is also rough-terrain great for slowing down your snared opponent too.

I played a pair of games against Farmers with my Hunters and each time I was struggling with engaging any models within relative reach of each other due to their abundance of melee. I was able to cherry-pick some straggling players (Harrow, peck, Harrow again as he walked on-field) but the other players were relatively untouched mostly due to playbook counters. I haven't taken them into Blacksmiths yet and I look forward to the match to see how it goes.

I love my Hunters, they allow for some great play with our furious animals, giant Seenah, triple Chaska Boombox, and snaring everything on field is great; but the other teams seem to be designed stronger to start.

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I still think they're a great guild, but the new toys that are coming out are taking away from the neat specialties that make the Hunters unique and give them an edge. And maybe this isn't just for Hunters as a whole, other guilds could be in the same boat. There's no reason that a good player can't take them and win tournaments either, just that it seems it would be much harder than with the other guilds.

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Yeah, the Australians - or "Oceanites" to continue a meme from Double Dodge - are convinced Hunters are at the top of the pack competitively. I'm not sure I see it, personally, but I guess we'll find out in December.

Part of the Farmer's "schtick" is easy access to 2" melee. Note that they're a whole lot less slippery than the Hunters, and largely less maneuverable even with the potential for free glides.

EDIT: As for problems that I think Hunters still have, I think they're still hampered by the hoop-jumping problem. The errata to Theron and Hearne have helped certainly, but there are still too many players that have to do a bunch of work to get from under-par to over-par in their apparent area of focus. Ulfr is a prime example, as is the GIC from the playtest.

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My take also. 

The cool or powerful stuff Hunters have access to generally allows your opponent at least one activation to react. This makes them relatively easy to trip up against anyone with a degree of experience playing into them. 

Of course, this makes it extra satisfying to pull off, but reliability is one of the most desirable traits in a competitive faction in most tabletop games, and Hunters aren't blessed with it in spades. I'm still pretty early in my Hunters career in terms of games played, but this was thrown into sharp relief when I first played into Fillet Butchers and witnessed what she could do in a single activation with a full stack.

I've every confidence we'll see external parity eventually, if we're not already there, and I'm also sure the tweaks needed for internal balance will happen too.

I do wonder if there's an inherent, if unintentional, bias against them due to Matt's (?) well known affection for them and a subconscious desire to avoid being accused of playing favourites that's resulted in a smidge of an overcorrection though..

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12 hours ago, SN0flux said:

What sparked this was going over the 'reveal' of Ploughman. Another 2" melee and 6" Glide for free. Inter-guild comparisons aren't fair and balanced but since they are "the new hotness" and what is coming out, i think there's a spot for a bit of it. In the Farmer's Honest Land box alone there's 4 of 6 players with 2" melee. Add in the additional characters we're aware of and at least half of the 12 man guild has 2" reach. We've got 3, and can't take both Hearnes. Our players have great maneuverability but with the easy knockdowns available on a lot of current characters we can't stay around to lay down the hurt without breaking our melee.

You know that almost any hunters team has as much or more armour on the field than the whole Farmers roster?... And Armour isn't something that would be put down as a Hunters strength. Most Hunters can do "attacks" from further than 2" away in the form of Character plays. Yes, Hunters have a small engagement range, but a large threat range.

It is very easy to look at the toys 1 guild has, and wish you had them for your guild. Its harder to look at them and see what they don't have. I'm not going to say Hunters are better than Farmers (I think its too early to tell), and Farmers will start off strong because its easier to learn how to play a new team than how to face a new team, and the mechanics of the farmers are unlike a lot of the other teams but I think they are fairly close in power level.

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Recent errata (Less then a month ago) gave 2 significant buffs to Hunters. Hunters placed 4th at British champs, WON the Australian nationals and a thread pops up saying they've been thrown under the bus? Brain does not compute..

 

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4 hours ago, Adran said:

You know that almost any hunters team has as much or more armour on the field than the whole Farmers roster?... And Armour isn't something that would be put down as a Hunters strength. Most Hunters can do "attacks" from further than 2" away in the form of Character plays. Yes, Hunters have a small engagement range, but a large threat range.

It is very easy to look at the toys 1 guild has, and wish you had them for your guild. Its harder to look at them and see what they don't have. I'm not going to say Hunters are better than Farmers (I think its too early to tell), and Farmers will start off strong because its easier to learn how to play a new team than how to face a new team, and the mechanics of the farmers are unlike a lot of the other teams but I think they are fairly close in power level.

I would think that all guilds have a large threat range in different ways -- through combat or by goal threat. Some of the squishier Farmers have 5 DEF which is tough to hit on those character plays, but they also have easier targets at 3 DEF.

5 minutes ago, AaronWilsonCB said:

Recent errata (Less then a month ago) gave 2 significant buffs to Hunters. Hunters placed 4th at British champs, WON the Australian nationals and a thread pops up saying they've been thrown under the bus? Brain does not compute..

 

It took them two years to errata them saying they were "just fine" performing under-par. People are finally playing them, figuring them out, they feel viable now. The errata is wholly welcome, but it doesn't feel like enough when you look at the two teams coming out and their capabilities. (Yes, we only see half of blacksmiths, so time will tell.) It feels that the Farmers are simply a hard counter to what Hunters bring to the table now.

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24 minutes ago, AaronWilsonCB said:

Recent errata (Less then a month ago) gave 2 significant buffs to Hunters. Hunters placed 4th at British champs, WON the Australian nationals and a thread pops up saying they've been thrown under the bus? Brain does not compute..

 

Hunters didn't come 4th at British Nationals... Fishermen did 😜

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39 minutes ago, SN0flux said:

I would think that all guilds have a large threat range in different ways -- through combat or by goal threat. Some of the squishier Farmers have 5 DEF which is tough to hit on those character plays, but they also have easier targets at 3 DEF.

And 2 of those with DF 5 have 1" engagement. (I'm only working off 7 models at the moment, I don't have the rulebook to hand, so just honest land and ploughman) So if they are filling their team with their higher Df, then they aren't filling them with their 2" ml.

Several hunters can easily disengage 2" ml safely by the use of dodging/pushing

Snared has the potential to cripple some farmers, they already have low movements, and relatively low df. Making both of those lower is not good for them at all.

Hunters had some changed at the beginning of season 3 as well, so its not correct to say they were left as they were for 2 years. (Largely from memory it was a big increase for Seehna and a mainly downgrade for Theron, but it was errata).

Granted Locally we have a very good Hunters player, but I don't see Farmers doing amazingly against Hunters. I think his style of hit and running, and not forming a large brawl will really stifle normal Farmers play and allow the picking off of stragglers, as you did. I'm not sure how you play hunters, but yes, Farmers are a better Brawling team than Hunters, but I would have thought you go into the game in a similar way to facing someone like Brewers. Don't Play they way they want' use your mobility and control to make them play the way you want.

 

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Swept under the rug as in we received four new models in April? Or you mean the recent errata? No, wait, it has to be the recent surge of Hunter success in large tournaments. Thank God Farmers do not have high threat ranges, high mobility, good dodging, or high access to offensive character plays or I would swear you're being myopic. 

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8 minutes ago, Anudem said:

Swept under the rug as in we received four new models in April? Or you mean the recent errata? No, wait, it has to be the recent surge of Hunter success in large tournaments. Thank God Farmers do not have high threat ranges, high mobility, good dodging, or high access to offensive character plays or I would swear you're being myopic. 

Too bad there isn't a down vote. If you are just going to hit all the highlights from above posters you could at least hold off on being smug about it. The guy has 20 posts and you are trying to make him feel dumb about being upset about a team with a storied tradition of being mediocre at best. Cool.

Back on topic. I don't think they've been swept under the rug. It is easy to be salty about stuff on another team, especially a new team, that you wish were on the team you like/play. Trust me I get it. Shark loses G&S but Ferrite has and can hand out hobble.

All is not doom and gloom though. There are talks of another update to the OPD in the near future. While it is a no brainer that Hunters got shafted on the first GIC there is another one the the man himself said will more than likely make itself seen THIS Friday instead of the following one (worst case it comes out the 15th when it is supposed to.) I think with a game shaking mechanic like GICs just getting thrown into the mix we need to bide our time for just a bit. SF has shown they are aware that Hunters are/were below the power curve even if they didn't blatantly come out and say it.

I don't know how long you have been around but if you were here for Season 1 then I'd ask you to remember how poorly engineers were doing. It took a little while but SF saw they were under performing and made huge changes to them slowly. Engineers are a success story. Brewers seem to get closer and closer to a great spot every time something happens. SF will adjust things. I know it feels like they are dragging their feet on Hunters. Test out the GICs, give your input, tell them what works with the team and what doesn't. They are actively watching and communicating in those threads. This is your chance to have an impact on the direction of Hunters.

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The OP is very definitely welcome to have and express an opinion on hunters, positive or negative, and people are welcome to agree or disagree. Politely, constructively, and without resorting to sarcasm or hyperbole.

Don't force me to get out the hammer :P

@Pending Forum Suspension is right, it's a slow process but changes do happen eventually if SFG feel they're needed (rushing into changes would be worse I personally think, but i get the frustration).

Trying to crack the newly revealed farmers and blacksmiths puzzle with the hunters will (hopefully) be more interesting for players, and give better balance information to SFG than almost anything else, I'd say - if people are trying new tactics, looking for positive aspects, and still not able to beat a particular team, it cuts through the noise of gaming really effectively. (Also makes for a more pleasant community feeling, so I'm all for it ;) )

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Most of the stuff I wanted to say have been said more elegantly already by others.  The only thing I want to add is that I can understand why the OP feels that the new teams (Farmers, Blacksmiths) are giving "preferential treatment" compared to Hunters.  I felt that way a little bit too after seeing how Farmers play and having played Blacksmiths for the last few weeks since GenCon.  Both Farmers and Blacksmiths are in better places than the Hunters when first released, but I chalk that up to SFG learning from their previous mistakes of making Hunters too weak at start, so it's a GOOD thing that Farmers and Blacksmiths start out of the gate competitive with other teams.  

The other good sign is that with every update and release since S3, Hunters have gotten some good "toys" (except Theron losing forest sight in S3, but I can understand why).  Each of those brought Hunters closer to the average (instead of being 1 standard deviation below in competitive events), and I think they're at a decent place now, with the Theron/oHearne fix and the release of the Winter's 4.  They're still hard to play, they still make you jump through hoops to have an OK result (compare that with Blacksmiths where if you jump through hoops, you're paid off with SEVEN MOMENTOUS DAMAGE MUAHAHAHAHAHA :D ), but I think Hunters are almost there.  One more fix or with better GICs, they should be competitive for even the casual players.  

Keep at it, keep practicing, and when those nice fixes come, you'll be well rewarded! :) 

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26 minutes ago, kryzak said:

The only thing I want to add is that I can understand why the OP feels that the new teams (Farmers, Blacksmiths) are giving "preferential treatment" compared to Hunters.  I felt that way a little bit too after seeing how Farmers play and having played Blacksmiths for the last few weeks since GenCon.  Both Farmers and Blacksmiths are in better places than the Hunters when first released, but I chalk that up to SFG learning from their previous mistakes of making Hunters too weak at start, so it's a GOOD thing that Farmers and Blacksmiths start out of the gate competitive with other teams. 

I think this summarizes the point in a concise way. Hunters still need to be brought up to par with these other guilds now that SFG has had a few cycles of adding things. I think that a few of the S1 guilds may be a bit behind too, but they're not ones that I play or see often in my meta so I won't go into details.

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I Agree Hunters right now are still the guild that give you the least in return. I think if you play amazing game with Hunters and the opponent plays a good game, you can pull wins but if you're playing a equal skilled opponent I'd say the Hunters are at a disadvantage into nearly every match up. They still lack things, i still think Theron should receive a legendary. [On the Hunt] 6" Pulse - Models in the aura gain +1 TAC +1 DMG this turn if attacking a model currently engaged by a guild friendly player. 

It would solidify his role as a brawler captain and fit with his story line of growing from the young Hunter to being the alpha of the pack. I am picking up Hunters on the 9th September and I am very excited to try them, but I do feel they are currently the least rewarding guild.  

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5 hours ago, AaronWilsonCB said:

I Agree Hunters right now are still the guild that give you the least in return. I think if you play amazing game with Hunters and the opponent plays a good game, you can pull wins but if you're playing a equal skilled opponent I'd say the Hunters are at a disadvantage into nearly every match up. They still lack things, i still think Theron should receive a legendary. [On the Hunt] 6" Pulse - Models in the aura gain +1 TAC +1 DMG this turn if attacking a model currently engaged by a guild friendly player. 

It would solidify his role as a brawler captain and fit with his story line of growing from the young Hunter to being the alpha of the pack. I am picking up Hunters on the 9th September and I am very excited to try them, but I do feel they are currently the least rewarding guild.  

I disagree vehemently; Theron should not have My Gang.  He's not a brawler captain, he's a controller.  Suggesting he needs a legendary play on top of BotSF is like suggesting Tapper needs a legendary play on top of Ol' Jake's.  I'm not sure Theron needs a buff, but a much more fitting one would be to give him Confidence, although I don't know a precident for one player having four character plays.

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24 minutes ago, MechMage said:

I disagree vehemently; Theron should not have My Gang.  He's not a brawler captain, he's a controller.  Suggesting he needs a legendary play on top of BotSF is like suggesting Tapper needs a legendary play on top of Ol' Jake's.  I'm not sure Theron needs a buff, but a much more fitting one would be to give him Confidence, although I don't know a precident for one player having four character plays.

Can we look at this idea on Tapper again?  Sounds interesting 🤔 🤔 

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I think Theron is in a good place now. His book is respectable, his character plays do the job; All of my old issues with him are solved (except 2" melee, but i want everyone to have that). I would much rather see the rest of the team become viable choices. Zarola is a good battery/movement piece and Linked is useful, but that playbook is BAD. Egret could use some love as well; she really can't make goal runs as a striker. Ulfr can do those goal runs but he needs just something else to make him perfect.

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If we're wishlisting...

 

My three changes for hunters I'd like to see are

1. Zarola replaces linked Fahad with linked animal.  Only Fahad still links back to her though.

2. Egret replaces snap fire with rough seas.

3. Snow loses the anatomical precision play and gains stand firm.

 

Those 3 changes would make me consider literally every hunter in every game and make a 10man roster difficult to form for me.

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Now that they've made a precedent for it, I'd rather they change Egret by replacing Snap Fire with:

Trait: Cold Shots: During it's activation, if it is not suffering the knocked-down condition, this model may declare Attacks against enemy models that are with [6"] and line of sight of this model as if it were engaging the enemy models.

It's probably about as likely as getting Rough Seas.

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7 minutes ago, MechMage said:

Now that they've made a precedent for it, I'd rather they change Egret by replacing Snap Fire with:

Trait: Cold Shots: During it's activation, if it is not suffering the knocked-down condition, this model may declare Attacks against enemy models that are with [6"] and line of sight of this model as if it were engaging the enemy models.

It's probably about as likely as getting Rough Seas.

I had the same thought for her earlier today and was going to come post it. I can't imagine it is very likely but something akin to Hot Shot seems like a good direction for her. Even if it was limited to twice a turn or lost a die for being outside of her melee zone I think ranged attacks are something good for the game if used sparingly.

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I must say Egret is NOT a striker, although in her card says she is that. She is an excelent, slippery, ranged damage dealer. Put her 2 INF, and with one of your last activations, move 6" with her, use Flurry in a good target and then retreat 5" with Swift Strikes and Back to the Shadows. That's 4 DMG to everyone caught in the pulse. Maintain her in one flank, near the center of the field and, if the enemy player scores a goal, return the ball as closer as you can of her. There is a lot of possibilities that, with this 2 INF you can score a goal in return in her next activation (Sprint + Kick).

It's not the only time SFG don't label correctly a model (look at Fillet as an example, she's also a "striker"). People get confused with Egret "Striker" status (including myself, at te beginning), but, when you realize she is not a striker, then you begin to see her true potential.

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