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Engineers Mascots really bug me

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At the request of @Selfy


Engineers have two good Mascots. One is Mainspring and the other is Mother.  Let’s break them down.

Mainspring:  The Cricket Cannon (or, as some call him, The Roach) is a good example of a battery mascot.  Like most Mascots, he only brings one influence but what he can do without any influence is pretty awesome in itself.  First of all he has a TAC Of 2.  Not great but we can work with it.  Mostly he’s there to play retriever anyway. However, using Sic Em or Ratchet’s Overclock heroic, 2 TAC becomes an asset.  First of all, he has a MT on 1 result. Meaning he just needs to get lucky against an unarmored striker or very lucky against 1 armor to take the ball.  On a charge, he can even overcome close control with a wrap. He’d have to get a dice spike against a 4+/1 to do it but, the possibility exists (34.4%). Against a 3+/1 like Flint the chance goes to 68%.  So decent odds. 

His role as a ball retriever is because he is pretty fast (6/8) and, thanks to his Trait Launch Control, he gets to use his character play (Long Bomb) once per turn for free.  This play adds 4” to his kick stat.  He then has a 3/8 for a pass .  Best kicking mascot in the game (unless the horse is better). And it can’t be intercepted if he misses. Add this to the MT on 1 and he can charge the ball holder, get a tackle, and maybe even the double dodge on 2.  He can then launch the ball to Velocity or Hoist sitting 8” from the goal for a snapshot from 16”.  All with 0 influence. If you happen to be playing GICs, Clockwork Perfection, he can do this with only the Momentum from the Tackle!

Now let’s talk damage.  Mainspring has that low TAC and the only damage on his playbook is non mom 1 on 1 hit.  Of course with the 2 deep playbook he can wrap easily. If he hits all successes on the 6 dice from the charge he can do 3 damage.  But if he’s tooled up it doubles.  Deleted, it triples with a bonus time, to boot. So that’s 10 damage.  I once calculated the Magical Christmas Land scenario to see what max one-shot damage output by the bug could be and came up with something north of 20 points with every modifier against a knocked down, singled out, Thousand cuts boar with 5 other players surrounding him.  I don’t even remember if Mainspring had to explode.  Which brings us to the last point and the seemingly real purpose of the bug in seasons 1and 2.  When he’s taken out, he explodes in a three inch pulse, inflicting fire on everything in range. This is due to his trait, Overheat.  Since it’s a pulse, there is no to-hit roll.  It’s automatic.  And because it isn’t a Character play or playbook damage, Tough Hide has no effect. Neither does GM as it doesn’t target the player. The drawback is it gives the opponent 1 point for the takeout.  I admit, I have put deletion and alternator on him to get him into range of the enemy and then blast him with Blast Earth to blow him up.  It made sense at the time.  Fire slows a team and costs momentum to remove. And then 3 damage on each player hit is nothing to sneeze at.  But be careful with this attempt.  If you are too close he can be pushed back into your lines and blown up there.  Chaska does this to me sometimes. Ouch.

I love using Mainspring. Remember all that damage came from 0 influence. So he is a great offensive weapon.

chirp. Chirp.  Boom!

oh yeah.  Ratchet can use creation to bring back Mainspring as a Heroic play.  If he does so, Mainspring comes back at full health with any influence he had on him.  I’d have to check to see if he keeps Deletion or anything when he comes back that way.


Mother: Many poeple say Mother is the best mascot in the game.  Some say she’s broken.  I have to say there are several “broken” Mascots that are very good at what they do.  She may be better than they are, regardless.  As Mainspring is an offensive weapon, Mother is all about control. She is almost more about her synergies with Hoist than she is about her own abilities.

Mother has a very useful character trait called Spider Nests.  She can place within 4” three 30mm markers that have several useful characteristics.  The first one is passive.  They provide  -1 die to any TN test while within 1”.  These are fairly easy to work around and a model can cross them but can’t stand on them.  That fact alone means a well-placed nest marker or 2 can block a charge lane.  I have done this against the bear.  Hahaha!  You can make a shield against goal kicks as well.  They are basically a crowd out penalty.  However, no matter how many nest markers a model is near it only affects it once.  In and of itself this is fairly useful.  Another use is her character trait Webbing.  Webbing says that if a free ball marker is within 2” of a nest marker Mother can gain remove the nest marker and gain possession of the free ball. From. Anywhere. On. The. Pitch.  Now, that usually isn’t a problem.  Most of the time it’s nearby, but it can be corner to corner away from her and she can still get it. Not a bad thing.  Kind of a one-trick pony right?  Not so fast.  

Mother’s nest markers give her another option.  If she is within 4” of a nest marker she can “Burrow” to base contact of the marker for one influence.  This is essentially a teleport.  It doesn’t proc a parting blow, it ignores terrain and intervening models, and at the end of the jump you can make a free attack if someone is in melee range.  Mother has a 3 TAC so chances are not good for a great result. Especially with no momentous results on 1.  She does have a T on 1 but not momentous.  But after using Burrow Mother can jog, run, or charge.  It gives her a total move of over 11” without a dodge. So kick Mother the ball, she dodges forward 4”, she burrows 4 more + the width of the nest and her base. Then she runs 7” to the goal and shoots.  This is fun to do and a fairly easy goal.  However it takes a bit of luck as Mother’s kick is only 2/4”. Of course that’s within Tap In range so only need a 3+.  Still an 89% chance to score.

Now for the Jank.  You can run that same play with Hoist.  It takes more setup as Mother has to go first and if Hoist gets taken out it’s 2 points not 1. But it parks a Very Tough Model with a 4 dice kick within Tap In range. And it works with the Guild Plot Card “Good Marker” to extend the range 2”. Hoist’s True Replication is what many people believe breaks Mother as a Mascot.  His ability to Burrow has allowed him to escape Jaecar and his trap many times leaving the trap stuck on the pitch until I am dumb enough to cross it again.

Who is better?  I don’t know.  I know that most people take Mother most of the time.  I think some people’s opinions are colored by Season 1&2 Mainspring that was really only useful as a walking bomb and they have a hard time figuring out what to do with him.  As for me I like to use him on Pin Vice’s Legendary turn to go on a goal run. I don’t even need to use accelerator. I use Deletion sometimes to give him the extra die on goal and Controller so the opponent can’t react. Then I park a leaking, wounded fragile bomb on their goal line.  And if they don’t deal with him he is a constant threat for snap shots.  It costs me one VP to gain 4. Mother, on the other hand is always a threat, especially with Hoist. She can do so much.  If I am taking Hoist I almost always take Mother. If I am against the Hunters, I usually take Mother.  Against Alchemists I don’t know because I have never played them. So, let ‘er rip.  Tell me I’m wrong. Help me see where I am wrong.  Did I miss anything?

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Very detailed and insightful. There isn't anything I disagree with, except I don't think Mainspring is a cricket.

Stop saying you're wrong. I've told you before, there is no wrong.

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