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Why aren't we talking about Kraken?

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Our "Big Guy" unit seems to struggle making it to the field. Why is that? Let's take a look and see if we can figure out the Kraken's Kryptonite is.

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I believe the issue lies in his TAC/Playbook combination along coupled with his standard Big Guy defensive stats and ability.

TAC 5 is pretty much par for the Fish course. Excluding Farmers, Blacksmiths, and Union from the discussion (and subbing Locus for Colossus as he is a more close comparison to the "Big Guys" -- also morts have 2) the most common TAC is 5 Kraken, Locus, Hearne1, Brick, and Casket. I make this point because it means that his TAC isn't necessarily low comparatively speaking.

Hearne and Brick also are capped at 3INF/turn and neither of them (presently anyway) seems to have much of an issue their finding the field. Brick also lacks much momentous damage like our boy but does have concussion, 4 damage on his playbook with access to singled out and tooled up within faction. Brick is also more durable with 2/2 vs Kraken's 3/0, tough hide makes this apples to apples. 

Hearne on the other hand brings his own singled out, has a fair amount of momentous damage, a DEF debuff at the end of his playbook, and can effectively get back to 4 swings if he uses his heroic ability. He is a 3/1 so defensively he is a little better but I think tough hide probably wins out vs 1 armor at the same health. Hearne's teleport can certainly be used defensively too though but I don't know that that ability can be objectively measured.

So low TAC doesn't seem to necessarily be an issue for a "Big Guy" as long as they can make up for it with a cool ability or solid damage output. Cool ability? Check. Release the... is great. It is similar to external combustion which works great on Katalyst. Drag is also really neat even if you aren't trying to be a beater. Pull a model off a model you want to strike/pass with and you  are in business, hell you can even use your extra INF to knock 'em down which is all but guaranteed. The problem is that model is going to get up and get away from you or knock you over. Or they are going to forfeit movement, get knocked down, clear conditions, and just farm Kraken for momentum.

The lack of any natural attack/damage buffs hurts Kraken as he has no way to boost his damage output without getting crowd outs. This works alright with Corsair since you want the scrum but A&G is almost universally a better pick than him. In a Shark team you are counting on him putting out damage for you but realistically you're capped at about 9 damage a round with him which is rather pitiful if he is supposed to be your main dps guy (captains not withstanding.) Also consider the lack of momentous damage Kraken brings to the table. He has momentous 3 if he can net 5 hits. This is pretty tough to do though. against a 4/1 it is actually impossible without outside forces and if you charge they simply defensive stance and your chances to score those 5 hits are somewhere below 20%. His ability to convert INF to momentum really hurts him.

That tough hide with 20 health means that the big bastard is hard to take off the pitch. He tanks well but when compared to A&G there is literally no difference in health/resilience and the damage output is on completely different levels just for sacrificing 2" melee. You aren't even missing out on damage buffs since they don't exist within faction (in fact Kraken over A&G denies you singled out.) 3/0 is going to get farmed on either model but at least when they get in Avarisse's face there is punishment for it. Avarisse even brings you additional INF over Kraken. This isn't rocket science.

I would propose that Kraken loses a little bit from his health stack, maybe 3, and gains "Shove the boot in" or "Floored." If he is supposed to be a model that makes the most of knockdowns then why isn't he built that way? +2 TAC or + 1DAM would put him in a better place and helps justify that lack of momentum. If they don't want to directly buff his damage then let's make him better at a control role. Making Kraken a 1/4 would mean he could double drag, or drag, run away, and then drag again. He could drag, KD, and then push the enemy back to the other Fish to work on. It just seems like one of these options would make the "Big Guy" see some more table action and with a sculpt like his he deserves it. Stave and Locus suffer from being ineffective "Big Guys" too and it is a shame since they also have cool sculpts.

What say you seadogs? Am I overly critical of Kraken or does he need a rework of some sort? I know we talk about looking at models a lot, especially since the errata, but this guy has felt sub optimal for a while to me. His change from 2/1 to 3/0 and his slight playbook tweak show the designers must've felt something was up but I don't think those changes were even close to enough to get this guy in the right place.

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There largely has always been three reasons why I look at Kraken and then put him back on the shelf.

First an Inf of 1/3, second a Kick of 2/6" and third a Move of 4"/6". Those combine to make him a fish player that will nearly always take more than he gives, who cant pass the ball around and who can't get into position reliably themself.

I rarely ever get to the stage where I need to think about if I want to try and make his uninspiring playbook work for me.

To me all the things he does have going for him are by and large just not needed in the current Fish playstyles. Just making him more efficient in his niche is not enough, for him to go up in value in his current style there needs to be more Fish models around him that need him.

I would fix him by letting him overlap a bit more with the rest of the team by giving him a 3/6" kick and making his play book shorter by removing the :3: from the 4th column and moving the momentous :PP: in to replace it.

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26 minutes ago, Banjulhu said:

I would fix him by letting him overlap a bit more with the rest of the team by giving him a 3/6" kick and making his play book shorter by removing the :3: from the 4th column and moving the momentous :PP: in to replace it.

I was going to make this same suggestion in my above post when I mentioned shove the boot in and floored and I just forgot to put it in. Do you think it makes him too Brewer-y? I mean it really would look like a playbook for Stave at that point. Not that I don't think it would be a good fix I just wondered if it looked too nonconformist to the rest of the faction.

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I love Kraken, but if you want him as a primary beater you'll be disappointed. I very rarely run him with shark because of only bringing 1 INF which feels really painful, but I almost always take him with Corsair.

I treat Kraken as corsair's first/second activation. Turn 1 often sees me using Corsair to drag someone in, knock them down then dealing about 6 damage. From there Kraken can either jog in and add another 4-5 damage, charge for 3, or if your opponent spends momentum to stand knock them right back down. Turn two can see you finishing off the player at the first activation while dragging another and knocking them down. The order on these guys activations are really flexible and depends on how much damage you want that activation. 

Vs A&G: this is apples and oranges. Avarisse (and greede but I'm shortening this) is a dedicated beater who's pretty bad at doing set up and gaining favorable positioning. He brings 2 INF but to get much work out of him you'll need to really load him up, and if you don't like EZ points sitting on the board for the opponent to snatch up 1 INF will always be spent picking up greede, so think of him like a 1/4 if you plan on doing work with him. If Avarisse or Greede is taken out they're unlikely to impact the game again, but due to drag Kraken be back in the action relatively quickly. To boot Kraken is secretly more durable than Avarisse because of 2" melee and great counter attack options making him pretty unsafe to attack without a high chance of KD, where Avarisse you're safe to attack with a 2" melee or way to get back into engagement after the push. I find corsair and kraken do plenty of damage against non tough hide models, and even then some tough hides are fine if their DEF is low enough. 

If the people are still unconvinced that he doesn't need a buff, I would only increase one of his inf stats by 1.

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1 hour ago, Pending Forum Suspension said:

I was going to make this same suggestion in my above post when I mentioned shove the boot in and floored and I just forgot to put it in. Do you think it makes him too Brewer-y? I mean it really would look like a playbook for Stave at that point. Not that I don't think it would be a good fix I just wondered if it looked too nonconformist to the rest of the faction.

Working off KDs would feel very Brewer like. Shortening the playbook on the otherhand would possibly hit too far into the territory that got Siren2 nerfed. Good achievable momentous damage.

35 minutes ago, MechMage said:

What would you want out of a faster, 2/* influence kraken that you aren't already getting from Jac?  Just the KD on one?

Jac has his own shortcomings which makes comparing them a bit tricky, but I see the big differences being that Jac would be more about clearing zones effeciently to open the field up and free up the rest of the team whilst Kraken would be more for sucking things in and putting them down.

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I love the Kraken model. I've had him RTK once, but otherwise he's just a MOM farm and relatively easy 2VPs for most opponents. Let me qualify that with: I've only played fish about 4 or 5 times, and Kraken three times. I am getting to know the team better, and am performing better each game. I still can't get that third goal though. Always 1 activation behind it seems! 

That said, I'm painting up a Season 2 Corsair list and think Corsair, Kraken and Hag could have many lols messing about with opponents. That leaves me Grey Scales, Sakana/Jac, and Salt for goals. 

Edited by Lee
forgot a game with Big K!

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I've wondered if I could exchange Jac for Kraken in my Corsair lineup (tried it once) but I haven't been able to make it work... maybe it's a subconscious thing and I just love the big, goofy-looking giant too much.

I usually just give him 1 inf and throw him in the pit - I like him for the melee reach (yes, I know Jac is also 2") but I mostly like the mom KD on 1. That usually seems to be enough of a threat so he's not ALWAYS a pinball machine.

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I honestly think that Kraken's only real issue is the 1 influence he generates. If he was a 2/3 influence model, I think he'd be great. I already like to bring him with both captains in certain situations to have a control piece to work around. When you think about it, he's a 2" melee model with easy knockdown and an absolutely brutal counterattack that forces models without easy access to their own knockdown to be careful before using him as a momentum battery. Plus he brings utility in the form of Drag and gets a lot faster if you bring Hag, which I do most of the time.

Is he the right pick into every game? No. His low defense and influence are definitely enough to keep him off the pitch often enough. But he's a nice piece for the Fish to have. I certainly think he's useful and fun more often than Jac. Ultimately, I think Kraken really only needs one more addition, preferably another point of momentum generated, and then he's just about perfect for the team.

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Ok perhaps I am expecting more from him than he is designed for. I could be cool with that. I would still suggest he needs a small buff somewhere, perhaps in the playbook or in his INF (really I'd take +1 on either side of it.)

If we concede that perhaps Kraken isn't supposed to be our non-captain dps model is it fair to say we are missing on in faction after the Siren2 nerf? Everyone gets a striker or two. Everyone gets wingers that can shoot the ball. We have one captain that can swing and Kraken that hits like a wuss for no momentum and is capped at 3 swings.

Getting Gutter is looking kinda bleak right now but perhaps we'll get a different model that can hit hard with the next wave of models. It isn't really like we need any more strikers or wingers with the lineup we have now. One fast, 4/0 model that swings hard, maybe even with 1" melee, with easy access to momentous damage, and maybe just average ball skills, would be really neat. Doesn't have to be a big, ugly tank with tough hide and GM with a million health that has momentous 4. Just like a glass canon  rifle would be fine.

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14 minutes ago, Pending Forum Suspension said:

If we concede that perhaps Kraken isn't supposed to be our non-captain dps model is it fair to say we are missing on in faction after the Siren2 nerf? Everyone gets a striker or two. Everyone gets wingers that can shoot the ball. We have one captain that can swing and Kraken that hits like a wuss for no momentum and is capped at 3 swings.

Getting Gutter is looking kinda bleak right now but perhaps we'll get a different model that can hit hard with the next wave of models. It isn't really like we need any more strikers or wingers with the lineup we have now. One fast, 4/0 model that swings hard, maybe even with 1" melee, with easy access to momentous damage, and maybe just average ball skills, would be really neat. Doesn't have to be a big, ugly tank with tough hide and GM with a million health that has momentous 4. Just like a glass canon  rifle would be fine.

Fish are missing one in faction. But why do fish need it as one of the few factions that can use A&G effectively? Easy momentous damage was taken from vSiren because the designers don't like the ball skew team being able to easily be an effective 4-1 as well. Also fish don't have any in guild buffs that really makes union vs fish beater meaningful unless you're trying to get both on board and going 4-1/6-0

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1 minute ago, Ik-tornado said:

Fish are missing one in faction. But why do fish need it as one of the few factions that can use A&G effectively? Easy momentous damage was taken from vSiren because the designers don't like the ball skew team being able to easily be an effective 4-1 as well. Also fish don't have any in guild buffs that really makes union vs fish beater meaningful unless you're trying to get both on board and going 4-1/6-0

Perhaps it is just my personal hang ups. Union in chains has me nervous we might see Union options start falling off from availability. A&G are great so long as we retain them. Honestly they'd have to take Kraken to levels he probably doesn't need to go to win out on damage over A&G. So I suppose we don't need one; as long as we don't lose the one we have.

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Burn that bridge when we get to it. For now if they give fish guild damage that stacks with union and makes them too beaty.

If they did get rid of union as mercs, i imagine my prediction is even more likely. Prediction being that regardless of who wins the UiC events every team has their version of the character playtested and released under a different name. Butchers win, fish get "totally not vGutter" etc

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I used to use Jac and kraken in my shark list. They work very well together at opening up gaps and getting people off the pitch. I find people don't want to get to close to him because of his easy kd. That said I ain't used him in a while now but I do think he is useful

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On 10/25/2017 at 2:37 PM, Pending Forum Suspension said:

TAC 5 is pretty much par for the Fish course. Excluding Farmers, Blacksmiths, and Union from the discussion (and subbing Locus for Colossus as he is a more close comparison to the "Big Guys" -- also morts have 2) the most common TAC is 5 Kraken, Locus, Hearne1, Brick, and Casket. I make this point because it means that his TAC isn't necessarily low comparatively speaking.

I think the issue lies with the back of Krakens card, where he could use a little TLC.

The other "big guys" you mention all have additional character trains or heroic/legendary plays that impacts their play style.

Rather than increased damage output, I'd like to see him gain a character trait that allowed him to better protect his more fragile team mates. Something like Granges "Lend a Hand" would be interesting. 

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On 10/27/2017 at 9:44 AM, Pending Forum Suspension said:

Getting Gutter is looking kinda bleak right now

It doesn't have to be. Corsair getting a DPS buddy with momentous damage results in Guild (since there are 3 total momentous damage results in all of Fish, with one momentous play on Kraken) is huge, and it really is neck and neck as of the end of week 3. Fish can totally swing it in our favor, we just need more people taking pictures and reporting games.

It literally takes about 5 minutes. Take 3 pictures, spend a minute or two taking notes on the game, then do the write up. Some bad pun in the title, a small paragraph saying who you took, the game's score, and maybe a bit about how they got to that score.

But we can totally get Gutter, because her home is with us!

And does anyone here really want Butchers to get a model with Chain Grab? *crickets* I thought not. #Beatthemeat

-----------

Haven't played a ton with Kraken, but I do think he needs some help. He's just too slow, and in Fish, who are all about being fast and going fast, that's kind of a problem.

He also doesn't have a ton of appealing qualities to make you want to push in that direction. 'Lend a Hand' is a great starting point, and honestly, I think a 'Gluttonous Mass' self-buff heroic would be helpful as well (he has a KD on one, and the ability to get Gluttonous Mass means that the first thing trying to beat his brains in is a guaranteed KD.  Would help him see more play).

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3 hours ago, Lyrael said:

And does anyone here really want Butchers to get a model with Chain Grab? *crickets* I thought not. #Beatthemeat

Models so far tend not to retain character plays from their original version (I think Spigot, Rage and Hearne are the exceptions). People do seem to be foregetting that what is up for grabs is a veteran model not the orginal version.

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Right, but its possible is my point.

I'm not comfortable with the possibility, personally, and a new Fish model to experiment around with particularly in a Corsair lineup has me intrigued, personally.

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12 hours ago, Lyrael said:

Right, but its possible is my point.

I'm not comfortable with the possibility, personally, and a new Fish model to experiment around with particularly in a Corsair lineup has me intrigued, personally.

Butchers will gain Chain Grab if SFG want them to have it, Gutter or not, all this campaign is ultimately for is basically just a name.

When season 4 rolls in all teams will have new players, some will just be veterans who used to be part of another team, they will all have stats in line with their new team, Fish for example will likely get a 3/6" kicker with a dull playbook and an interesting play.

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So given what has been pulled with the Morts and Hunters we could be facing a situation where the Gutter thing is settled early and we end up with vFangtooth given that outside of A&G he is the only Union model that either the Butchers or Fish can take that is not dead, probably dead or being competed for by other guilds.

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Kraken Goals:

  • Be Fat.
  • Use 2" reach with KD on 1 to crowd control.
  • Provide Gang-Ups.
  • Have an awesome Counter-Attack.
  • Sparingly take influence. Usually only when a scrum begins to develop.

If you think of him more as a tank, and use him accordingly, he will met your expectations. He isn't there to do flashy stuff. He's there to soak hits / control the center while the rest of your team does the work.

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2 hours ago, tehlon said:

Kraken Goals:

  • Be Fat.
  • Use 2" reach with KD on 1 to crowd control.
  • Provide Gang-Ups.
  • Have an awesome Counter-Attack.
  • Sparingly take influence. Usually only when a scrum begins to develop.

If you think of him more as a tank, and use him accordingly, he will met your expectations. He isn't there to do flashy stuff. He's there to soak hits / control the center while the rest of your team does the work.

Also with a little setup, he is a good finisher that can release his kraken all over your opponent's face. Potentially the best single playbook result in the game?

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5 minutes ago, JS said:

Also with a little setup, he is a good finisher that can release his kraken all over your opponent's face. giphy.gif

 

Just feels like it takes considerably more than "a little set up" to hit Release the... with him. Singled out is only available to the team with A&G who is likely not in the same list as Kraken. The only other way to get dice is to bonus time or have some crowd outs. Crowd outs aren't unlikely but you're still rolling a base TAC of 5 which means that with one crowd out on a knocked down 4/1 you gotta roll perfectly to hit it. If Kraken's playbook doesn't get some love is it really so unreasonable to ask for +1 to Tac so that he can try and do a little work on his own?

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