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JacctheInsomniac

A Thread to Talk About My Problem(s) With the Hunters

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So this is a thread I’ve been wanting to make for a while now, and I’ll start by stating outright, I’m not here to have my mind changed.

I’ve come to my own conclusions about the Hunters over the course of many many games trying multiple playstyles, and through contrasting this experience with my games as the other guilds. I'm a Hunter's player. They were the entire reason I picked up this game, and they’ll always be the first miniatures I’ve ever painted. My hope is that a reasonable amount of people can agree with at least some of what I’m saying or at the very least can sympathize.

So here’s the basic thesis.

The Hunter’s are the most demanding, and least rewarding guild to play in Guild Ball.

Certainly people are having success with the Hunters, however I still think that it’s difficult to argue that they’re okay power-wise, while impossible to argue that they’re satisfying to play. Unless you're a masochist.

Additionally good players =/= good teams. Many of the strategies being employed are derived from the universal game knowledge that is equally as effective for the Brewers or other equally underpowered team. I will immediately concede however that this is a discussion to be had by other people as I’ve little to contribute to conversations about power levels and data.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about the power level, but I also want to stress that it’s not my main concern.

The Hunters never feel like they do anything. Theron’s turn amounts to him putting 3 damage on a Tough Hide target because doing anything more aggressive means he eats a Counter-Charge and loses his turn, or simply gets collapsed on in retaliation. Seenah charges a model and in 3 attacks manages a KD, momentous push, and momentous 2 damage. Egret flurries 3 times over the course of the game, her target heals once. Chaska misses one of his 3 Boom Boxes. Skatha hands fast-ground to an ally and she can only jog 5”. She makes an attack for the ball but is crowded out and gets nothing.

I’ve played countless games as the Hunters, and never have I had anything as notable happen as casually 1-turning 2 models as Fillet. Or blowing up a Flask in the middle of the enemy team as Smoke with her Legendary. Cosset charging with a comical amount of dice and dealing too much damage to her target. Every other guild has something cool that regularly happens, the Hunters…. just don’t.

This is just salt in the wound, but NO ONE enjoys playing against the Hunters. When after sweeping me 12-4 my engineer opponent quips something to the effect of, “that is a really annoying team,” all I have is bafflement. The Hunters make your opponents miserable, even when they’re winning.

So I’m going to try to move through them model by model with a few caveats.
 

1.) I probably won’t list every point that I want to, at this point I’m really just trying to get this posted and my thoughts out there because I’m exhausted about reading spoilers for new models and going something to the effect of, “but the Hunters aren’t allowed to have Tooled Up?”
2.) It’s going to be hard to remain objective, consistent, and level-headed throughout, not helped by the fact that this was written over the course of a few months in various headspaces, some of which frustration, some of which boredom.
3.) You may consider what you’re about to enter to be a rant thread, to which I have no defense. *shrug*
4.) There is 0 consistency in what I capitalize and what I don't and I f*cking hate myself for it.

_______________________________________________________________________

Theron

Theron’s placement and timing restrictions on his forest severely limit his ability to use it to his or his team’s benefit. Terrain takes up a large portion of the board, and because it can’t be placed within 2” of terrain, it can’t be used to block crucial lines of sight, or cast rough-ground to impede charge lanes. Often Theron’s forest placement boils down to one of 2 or 3 spots, sometimes none of these spots provide any form of benefit and can actively impede our models through its LOS and Rough-Ground penalty. (Egret, Seenah, Fahad, and our Union all lack Light Footed.)

Forcing the player to place the forest at the start of Theron’s activation acts as a force multiplier to its restrictive placement and comes with the few moments, especially for learning hunters, where you forget to place it, and then have to do the awkward, “ehrm, can I step back.” This is a minor point, but I feel like it’s relevant enough to mention as missing that timing has lost me games.

If you’re going to restrict when and where Theron can place his forest to prevent him from getting the most optimal benefit from it, then why give him the ability at all?

Once that forest is down, it’s neutral terrain, and what may’ve been a great position when it was placed can become a terrible position once your opponent begins using it to their advantage. This is most observable through the cover it provides. Our combat and defensive stats are poor, meaning that effects like Cover; which affect combat symmetrically benefit our opponents more than they benefit us. Guilds and models who already benefit from defensive tech such as high armor or Tough Hide will benefit a lot more from double dipping in the forest’s cover.

Sun Strike is still unreliable, and inefficient. The only elements that make the ability useable is putting MP into the MP flow to begin benefiting from Blessing of the Sun Father. It requires an investment that the Hunters can’t afford and makes it even more backbreaking when a single play fails, for a payoff that is underwhelming.

Lastly, his abilities in Combat are resoundingly, meh. It’s appreciated that he can cheaply apply snared, and he can at times pull weight, but his playbook just isn’t good. It exists when it needs to. 2 damage on 3 hits means he consistently needs above average rolls on anyone of average defense to deal damage of consequence.

 

Skatha

Skatha’s AOE placement and timing has all of the aforementioned issues regarding Theron’s forest, with the added issue of the fast-ground unapologetically benefiting her opponents.

Furthermore, Skatha’s movement is cripplingly slow, clearly having been pre-emptively nerfed due to the Fast-Ground. I’ll reiterate, if you’re not going to allow Skatha to gain a benefit from her Fast-Ground then why give it to her?

A 5/7 Mov with a 4/6 Kick does not pull enough weight. She’s reliant on snowball and fast-ground to move about the pitch, meaning that she cannot use these abilities to benefit her team while simultaneously positioning beyond turn 1.

She dies very quickly with only 14HP at Def 5 with no defensive capabilities. When she’s returning to the pitch is when her slow speed really gets put on display.

A 1” Melee means she’s susceptible to crowd-outs and counter-attacks. With a tackle on 2 hits at Tac 5 with a poor playbook her ball retrieval capabilities are abysmal. If she’s balanced around being versatile then she also fails on that front by not providing enough accessible damage to compensate for her lack of footballing capabilities.

Skatha’s total goal threat requires an immense influence investment, and presents a high chance of failure, especially if she doesn’t start in possession of the ball.

Cold Snap does 1 damage and has no lingering effect clearly communicating that Snared is valued higher than Bleed, despite Bleed accounting for a far greater damage increase for the Butchers. In spite of that, Pain Circle still leaves a lingering effect. Movement reduction is present in the lingering Fire Blast which also deals 2 damage and burns the opponent for 1 damage/turn, meaning that the control elements of Snared are not the factor. Triggering from the playbook is edge case, and doesn’t account for such a drastic boost in power as to warrant the pre-emptive nerf. The only reason I can see is to avoid design crossover with Theron, which once again feels like the Hunters are being designed into a corner that deprives them of satisfying tools.

While snowball is a premium on Influence spent to dodge distance, with some additional uses, the dice can and will fail. When that happens add it to the list of abilities that cost 2 influence to do nothing.

Edit: Can't believe I forgot to mention her Blessing of the Moon Goddess, honestly it's an incredibly satisfying ability to actually use. 1 Inf for a 1" dodge on playbook results that otherwise wouldn't have them is an interesting and creative ability. I'd like it a lot more if it wasn't guild-restricted (or if oMinx was dual-guild), and had the 6" range Sun Strike does. I'm not sure if the same ability feels like a Legendary tier ability, but there're plenty of uses so it does earn its spot. (Also the image of Seenah charging someone then dodging 2" laterally is hilarious.)

Skatha’s 6” kick brings with it so many disadvantages that she cannot overcome due to her movement and melee requirements. Comparing to a model like Pin Vice, who has a higher starting Mov, the ability to buff it, on demand teamwork actions through her legendary, significantly more reliable combat capabilities, both in offense through Playbook and Deletion and through defense in Reanimate. I also feel that sBrisket is another good point of comparison because they were released relatively close to one another and have comparable playbooks. 8” Kick, UM, Tackle + Dodge on 2 hits, and a lower TN for goals, with the potential to gain extra VPs being gravy.

 

Snow

Snow is starts off being penalized with a 5/7 Mov due to Skatha’s fast-ground, and at 4-0 with 8 HP she’s easy to kill.

Anatomical Precision is roughly equivalent to +1 Tac, we’re talking about paying an entire Influence for an ability that the Brewers get on their dog for free. Or that the Union gets as an Aura from their turtle. Coin brings an entire additional influence and a free bonus time to the table. So why is the premium on Anatomical Precision so ridiculously high for the Hunters. Their playbooks are not so powerful that they need to be counter-balanced by making this ability cost more.

I haven’t used her enough to pass final judgement on her Aura, the ability seems to be made to save models from brawlers. So in my head I have a few considerations. Fillet, Corsair, Brewers, Choice Masons, and vRage. Fillet’s AOE damage will casually kill this doggo for being anywhere near the scrum. Corsair will pull you away from her aura before killing you. Brewers will KD you then kill you, Masons have more than enough options to keep up, and vRage I can’t say because I haven’t faced them.

While the ability may force your opponent to play around it, your opponent doesn’t have a difficult time playing around it. Even 1” melee models can get b2b and have a single attack before the ability presents a threat.

Perhaps the reason to play Snow is in Ohhh.... Ball, which still seems far too situational. Everything about Snow, from her stats to her name is underwhelming.

 

Fahad

Fahad… is an above par damage dealing mascot. He can very often deal between 4-6 damage with no influence on a Snared target. I think he’s one of the more involved and impactful mascots in the game and I’m more than happy to take him in most games.

 

Hearne(s)

The main issue with the Hearnes is how easy both of them are to kill. They have no defensive abilities at 3-1 with a hearty 20 Boxes, but nothing else. This may seem fine, but when a model has low defenses and lacks defensive abilities, they become an easy way to surrender MP as there’s no way to nullify your opponent’s efforts. E.G. Sturdy makes Momentous KD not produce momentum.

oHearne brings an output that can justify this. The changes to BotSf & his playbook worked wonders for him, but it left vHearne in a quite sorry state. They’re also our only 2” Melee models who don’t come with heavy downsides.

 

Jaecar

Jaecar is one of the Hunter’s few unapologetically good models. The Butchers are envious of him. With a balance of strengths (killing people ded), and weaknesses (being killed ded).

If Jaecar is the reason that so many of the Hunter’s have to be counterbalanced then give him the Maverick Character Trait. It’s even got a fluff tie in for him.

 

Egret

Egret’s Influence usage is inefficient due to her low damage and poor playbook.

She gets shut down hard by Tough Hide, High Defenses, and High Health Pools. Spending 1 Influence to have a chance at dealing 1 damage is nearly impossible to justify, especially when it requires her to be within 6” of her enemy. She accomplishes little to nothing over the course of the game because the only thing she brings to the team is damage and sub-par goal-threat, neither of which are potent enough to pressure your opponent.

Egret lacks any rewards for dealing damage, but her kit is entirely contingent upon it. There’s not even a single momentous damage result on her playbook. If Egret misses a Flurry her turn has consisted of her doing nothing as Swift Strikes, Venomous Strikes, and Back to the Shadows all only proc if damage is dealt. Snap Fire may as well not even exist on her because it’s never worth it.

Tackles on 2 hits are reserved for Strikers which bring some other kind of power such as 2” Melee, Anatomical Precision, or Tac 5. In these instances, some combination of Tackle on 2, and non-momentous is used to balance out the advantages provided. Egret brings no tangible advantages over other strikers to justify her higher tackle. She has no on-demand dodges, no defensive capabilities, and her offensive endeavors amount to an average of 6 damage over the course of the game if nothing goes wrong.

Egret’s role is to exist. She walks forward, plinks a play, then dodges back assuming it was successful. Occasionally she might get the ball and hope she can make the goal-run.

Strikers like Friday or Brisket bring above average damage for their role and have additional utility without sacrificing their goal-scoring capabilities or defenses.

 

Chaska

Chaska is far too reliant on Theron bringing him a Forest and a free Boom Box. When Theron’s forest is on Chaska he becomes a 3-2 with cover and 16 HP, which is more than good defensively, but unless you win the MP race that he doesn’t contribute to he’s going to be vulnerable at the top of next turn. Handing cover to Chaska every turn also means that Theron’s not placing his forest in one of the 2 other spots he can place it to benefit the team. While threatening multiple Boom Boxes can be valuable, he can and will miss them adding Boom Box to the list of “spend 2 influence to do nothing,” abilities. Chaska is a resource sink and the Hunters already have too many of those.

 

Zarola

Zarola simply doesn’t do anything. Her entire model is a conduit for Midnight Offering, which is a great ability in isolation, especially with the possibility to use it while assigning her no Inf. Sometimes to some players it’s enough to carry her playbook, kick, and Mov.

I feel like I don’t need to say more about Zarola. I think she wins the trophy for worst player in the game. Especially if we’re talking about the worst players with the best models.

 

Ulfr

It goes without saying that Ulfr is the definition of a thematic/mechanic failure. A man so untamed and feral that he carries the animal character type…. Only cares about the ball. I’ve been harping on this point, but honestly. I hate Ulfr’s model so I’m glad he doesn’t go into the kill team I want to play.

Ulfr is a 5/7 with a 3/6 Kick, this is what passes for a striker.

Important details, on the surface he may look comparable to Greyscales, but he’s nowhere close. Unpredictable Movement plus a 2” melee is all that needs to be said, but I’ll add. Greyscales is not a Striker, he is a Winger. He’s on a team that is bursting with ways to move and move the ball to the goal. He doesn’t have to pick up the goal-scoring slack for his entire team.

At 4-0 with 16HP He is pathetically easy to kill, but is required to enter combat whether he’s got the ball or not. He’s punished for being near allies in combat, allies that provide effects like Singled Out, Gang-Ups, and Snared which would otherwise benefit his poor playbook. A 1” melee and low Tac comes with all the drawbacks we’ve established, vulnerability to counters, crowd-outs, etc. On goal-scoring models, 1” melee’s also reduce their effective goal-threat in situations where combat is a factor, which for Ulfr is always.

His reliance on entering combat to become an actual Striker means that your goal-runs will either be gimped or disruptable, his low Tac and high Tackle means that he’s equally as ineffective at stripping the ball from most models who would hold it.

Worst of all, because the Hunters have no buyable dodges with which to deal with Counter-Charge bubbles, and Unpredictable Movement among other things. We’re forced to take him, in spite of him being a bad model.

 

Seenah

2/1 Defense may not be easy to kill with 21HP of Tough Hide. But that’s far better for your opponent because she turns into an MP battery creating such a huge advantage that your opponent won’t care if they kill her or not. Once they get her low enough she’s also a banked 2vp. She necessitates 2 Inf/turn while depriving you of 2 to allocate to other players, making the cost of taking her essentially 4Inf/Turn.

Bear Hug is hands down the worst additional VP ability in the game. It’s too conditional while providing too little payoff. You’re most likely to hit Bear Hug when you charge, however if you’re charging a model you’re likely not finishing them off. At Tac 7 the chances of hitting her 6th column are low unless her model is both KD’d and Snared, even then if your target has armor rolling a single 1 misses you the Bear Hug, and it’s outright impossible to land on a 2arm target.

So in order to land Bear Hug, your target needs to be at or below 4 HP. (3 if they have Tough Hide), and you need to get 6 Net Hits with a Tac 7 model. And you’re rewarded with a single additional VP for your trouble.

Seenah doesn’t threaten relevant damage, her earliest relevant result is the Momentous 2 on 3 hits, which she can’t easily achieve. Snaring her target activates Isolated Target, but her momentous damage doesn’t actually continue increasing after this point until you reach Bear Hug, which ironically does not benefit from Isolated Target. For a model who does not bring anything to the table other than takedowns, setup or not, she does not takedown models effectively. I make 3 points of comparison with Seenah. Boar, Cosset, and vKatalyst.

All of them die fast and refuse to surrender the huge MP lead that Seenah does. All of them bring Inf they can contribute if they get locked down. Boar and vKatalyst have teams that can pick up the slack in damage if their turn goes poorly. Cosset and vKat have a higher threat range. Cosset and Boar have access to Tooled Up. Cosset has access to Assist. Chemical Frenzy is far far better than Isolated Target. vKat’s Witness Me is easier to setup with a higher payoff than Bear Hug. vKat brings AOE damage through Intensify, and earlier, greater momentous damage. Cosset has earlier momentous damage, a higher potential Tac, and a shorter playbook for easier wrapping and more benefit from those +1DMG buffs. Boar has traits that more than quadruple his influence efficiency.

It’s true Seenah can disengage herself from a single target if she’s not knocked down, but she doesn’t accomplish enough for this strength to hold relevance, and by depriving your team of 2 Influence before being allocated any, she makes it even more back-breaking when she IS locked down.

A model with the weakness of 0/2 influence should have remarkable strengths to make up for it, instead she handily loses a linear comparison to every other model with the same role.

Even though she's bad, she's still one of our best damage dealers.


Minx

A nice balance of strengths and weaknesses. She should’ve been dual-guild.


Concessions

In case I didn’t mention them in their part, I wanted to acknowledge a few things about each model.

Theron - His ability to cheaply apply snared and control models, or deal a small heft of damage to a non-tough hide, non-high Def target is appreciated. The change to BotSF also made it very satisfying to use.
Skatha - Her Turn 1 threat extension is very powerful, and mostly safe especially for the models who haven’t been pre-nerfed to ensure they don’t actually benefit from her fast-ground.
Fahad - Awesome damage dealer.
Egret - When her character plays hit, she is an extremely safe model.
Jaecar - He kills things ded.
oHearne - SO, and momentous damage, Skewered, 2” melee and BotSF. He brings plenty to the table, even if he does die to a stiff breeze.
Minx - Furious + Back to the Shadows is a super satisfying combo, great battery player who can deal damage under circumstances.


General Points

The Hunters are poor at killing and scoring, and while the argument may go that they are an all-rounder team, the Masons are devoid of many of the same issues.

In order to be an all-rounder team, you can’t just have options for everything, you need to be above average at everything.

E.G. The Masons have lots of early momentous damage, high Tacs, early momentous tackles, accurate kicks, Combat Buffs such as Tooled Up and Singled Out, and control options through Breaking Play and Counter-Charge. Even their accessible dodges handedly accounts for their lack of ranged capabilities.

When scoring the Hunters have to overcome low movement speeds/linear movements, poor ball retrieval, low kick distances, low kick accuracy, 1” melees, and low defenses.

When killing Hunters have to overcome low defenses, poor playbooks that place relevant damage results far too high, low Tac, a lack of combat buffs to overcome Tough Hide and similar defensive tech, and  1” melees. Because the Hunters combat buffs only come through lowering Defense/Buffing Tac, their damage output never gets high enough to outpace the potential healing an opponent with momentum can do. This problem is exacerbated when their opponents benefit from passive healing or defensive tech such as high armor or HP pools.
 

Conclusion

In light of the amount of strengths a new guild like the Blacksmiths are allowed to have, the Hunters seem like they were an experiment that is now being abandoned. Every one of their strengths comes with a caveat, a hoop to jump through. They fail to deliver on their fantasy at nearly every turn, with models like Zarola, Ulfr, and Seenah, and their output is not proportional to the energy they demand.

 

At the end of the day, the Hunters simply do not feel good to play.

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Most of the points raised are correct. Your analysis is right but very pessimistic. You seem so disenchanted. Maybe it's time to change your guild?

Personally I find that our guild has many weaknesses, the most important of which is our ball game, but I have so much fun with my hunters that I do not want to play anything else at the moment. When I lose, it's often because the opponent was better than me and not because his guild is more competitive than mine. And every time I sell dearly my skin.

The last errata did us good and I'm having fun with Theron again. Strongly vMinx! I hope that it will allow us to fill some of the gaps that you have mentioned.

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I am thoroughly excited for vMinx, her model is gorgeous and looks like it'll be a ton of fun to paint. To the same effect I'm quite tired of hoping that the next release will fix a problem or fill a gap. There's only so much a single model can do.

With that said, changing guilds is not on the table. I have and have played the other guilds and am quite partial to the Morticians, and while it's nice to be able to play a team that feels like it can do what it's supposed to, no other guild fulfills the visual fantasy that I wanted when I picked up this game.

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Some points are simply invalid (eg. anatomical precision is roughly equivalent to +1 Tac... it is not), and many points made me laugh in a good way (eg. Skatha's turn 1 threat extension is very powerful for the models who haven’t been pre-nerfed to ensure they don’t actually benefit from her fast-ground... so true :)).

I think you are right that hunters present a sub-optimal return of investment, speaking of the mental effort you need to achieve the given results. That said, the clock is not our best friend. I also agree that some mechanics in this faction (that are supposed to be signature mechanics) are lacking. And yes, I played way fewer games with my hunters than I did with my butchers, and still I was told more that I had an annoying bunch to play against.

This annoyance, I think, comes from the fact that hunters are often forced to play full denial: they don't have their own mechanics as powerful as many opponents', but man they do have the tools to put sticks between the cogs. So, from the other side of the table, it doesn't feel like the "I will try to kill you, while you will try to score three screamers" game, it feels like the "whatever you do, your only goal is to lose slooooooowly" game.

However, speaking of annoyance, I don't think that I have any sympathy for those who don't want to work for the win. In my book, those teams are more annoying to play against that have powerful and extremely reliable mechanics, the point&click way, without any risk/reward balance.

Tldr: I think I understand your point and I agree on many of your statements, only I see the whole matter more rosy. ATM I mostly enjoy playing my hunters, and don't really care if they cause frustration to competitive opponents. And for friendly&fun games, hunters don't necessarily have to be the denial machine they can be. Those times just take the Winter Moon box + the bear and go party :)

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So... I only really started playing Hunters for the Union in Chains event. Picked up and painted by the wife and I, for her to use....mainly 'cause there was "A BEAR!". I put in 20 games with them thus far and have a staggeringly horrible record of 3-17. It's been close in many of the games...but I can emphathize with the original poster's sentiments... a lot actually.

Now I know I am a newish player with only 5 months under my belt... but I was at least a 50/50 player, before I tackled these guys, and was just kicking around with the Kick Off Masons and Brewers 1/2 teams... I definitely want to love the Hunters and be passionate about them... I just don't find that an easy thing if I am to be honest and objective about it.

You are not alone @JacctheInsomniac. I am definitely looking forward to getting my hands on another guild... or maybe just fleshing out the starter teams and giving them some pitch time!

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Wow I am surprised by so many points. Currently 21 games into the Hunters and I couldn't disagree more. I've really clicked with the guild and I'm having more fun then any other guild I've tried yet (I've tried them all).

Theron, oHearne, Fahad & Jaecar all feel like they work fantastically smoothly. I'd argue Zarola, Chaska and Egret all work as intended and may need a nudge here and there (Zarola playbook, etc). I went to a team event with them and went 3-1, only losing to Corsair which was a mistake of my own. Infact I've won over 80% of my games with them and I don't feel at all they're hugely punishing or demanding. The only real thing that has to happen if you really want it to is place the forest in a way to have oHearne jump to it but he doesn't NEED it every turn. oHearne can do work on his own now can Singled Out, Skewered and make 2 more hits. 

I think you should take a break, hell even try Masons. I often find I think teams are much stronger then they are when I get beaten by them when the actual reason was I just lost to a better player. 

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Hunters weak?

Hmmmm.......
It all depends on skill, and rolls

Had a game where if Egret hit flurry on 4+ she would have scored a goal and win me the Game, but she didn't
Then I had a game where my 1st turn ended with a screamer from Skatha (beginning on deployment line), then she activated 1st second turn, stole the ball and scored second screamer while staying safely away from retribution.

Your opponents must be good players who have no mercy on you, for when I learned hunters my most played opponent went through 5 guilds in search for counter against me, he is yet to succeed.

In my opinion hunters are a odd guild, that requiers odd way to play. And now after a buff to Theron and oHearne hunters feel to me like a really good guild.

 

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I agree with many of the points stated by the OP and I win most of my games with he hunters. They have to work extraordinarily hard for they get in terms of damage and goals. Their lack of influence even with the abilities they have means that you usually have to go “all in” on a few models and show your hand.

That being said I find them to be incredibly fun to play and while I do agree a few tweaks would go a long way, Ulfr, Zarola and Egret (to a lesser extent with Egret) are really what makes the overall guild underwhelming. Having the crazy lone wild man be a low TAC, low damage, 4 influence if you want him to do what he’s designed to model FEELS incredibly unsatisfying. Jaecar, oHearne, Theron and Seenah by comparison, even if they don’t alwyas live up to their roles as beasts and hunters still feel fun to play and in keeping with their themes.

Lastly I agree with the sentiment that’s i regurlaly get complaints from people I play against that the hunters have all these tools when they can casually destroy models, start at one end of the pitch and end the activating with a goal or have 3 ARM and then go “That snared eh?” 

 

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So I find Hunters ridiculously fun to play, but I agree with most of the complaints.

Personally, I genuinely like every model in the guild (Zarola is one of my favorite models in the game despite her admittedly awful playbook) with the exception of vHearne, who literally does nothing that's better or more interesting than oHearne. My major issue isn't the concept or role of the models but how difficult it is to get them to work consistently. I've had tremendous success with Ulfr and Chaska, but I've also had games where they walk around as future 2 VP presents to my opponent.

Ultimately, I think the main issue is the overvalue Steamforged puts into Snared. Now Snared is an extremely powerful condition, but it's still a condition. Unlike something like Gut and String, Singled Out, or even Stagger, the opponent has the ability to simply clear Snared off. This means that unless you're pressuring them pretty heavily in the momentum race, you are always at risk of having your plans fall to pieces.

And speaking of those buffs, I don't understand why there are so few models in the Guild that get a major boost from Snared. I'm not even asking for everyone to get Isolated Target. It would be awesome to see Egret get additional dodges when she hits something that's Snared or at least become more accurate. Ulfr absolutely needs something for hitting Snared targets, though I'd like to see him get a Charge-specific buff since that's his whole schtick.

When I look at Blacksmiths and Farmers, I actually see a lot of potential for Hunters fixes. I think that a good direction to go in would be to split the guild up into Hunters and Trappers. Trappers, such as Theron, Zarola, oHearne, and maybe Chaska, could have their offensive abilities lowered in exchange for more support abilities to go with the ability to more reliably (with the exception of Theron) apply Snared. Meanwhile, the Hunters, such as Seenah, Jaecar, Fahad, Skatha, Ulfr, and Egret, would get major buffs from targeting models with Snared that relate to their roles. Just like with Farmers, it's up to each player to decide how many set up pieces and how many playmakers they need and which ones should deal with specific match ups.

tldr: Hunters are fun but take way too much effort to get the pay off their designed for. The Hunters need situational buffs to reward good set up and overcome their numerous weaknesses

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9 hours ago, ForestRambo said:

I think you should take a break, hell even try Masons. I often find I think teams are much stronger then they are when I get beaten by them when the actual reason was I just lost to a better player. 

See that's the thing. I have played the other guilds. It's hard to quantify the difference to how they play. But in a word, I'd call it cohesion.

To that end, not every point is a full fledged problem, but I still felt worth mentioning
e.g. Theron's playbook is bad, but it's not really his focus so it's not really a problem, just a weakness.

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2 hours ago, JacctheInsomniac said:

See that's the thing. I have played the other guilds. It's hard to quantify the difference to how they play. But in a word, I'd call it cohesion.

That's interesting because I sort of abandoned butchers for hunters, exactly for the same reason. Their really powerful combos are hard to trigger vs experienced opponents, and I felt the lack of options and repeating the few efficient plays just restricted my own development as a general GB player. Now playing hunters feels kind of a relief.

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13 hours ago, JacctheInsomniac said:

See that's the thing. I have played the other guilds. It's hard to quantify the difference to how they play. But in a word, I'd call it cohesion.

To that end, not every point is a full fledged problem, but I still felt worth mentioning
e.g. Theron's playbook is bad, but it's not really his focus so it's not really a problem, just a weakness.

I love Therons playbook. Double dodge on 2? Momentous 1 on 1 which applies snared and allows him to reliably hit momentous 2 on a 4/1 target that's now snared and 3/1? KD that's not too far down the column, ability to wrap for M3/M1. I think his Playbook is full of good things, especially when all it takes is oHearne with 1 influence to apply Singled Out & Snared to a target. We're going to have to agree to disagree, I think his playbook is pretty good considering his ranged presence and the things he does for the team. 

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6 hours ago, ForestRambo said:

I love Therons playbook. Double dodge on 2? Momentous 1 on 1 which applies snared and allows him to reliably hit momentous 2 on a 4/1 target that's now snared and 3/1? KD that's not too far down the column, ability to wrap for M3/M1. I think his Playbook is full of good things, especially when all it takes is oHearne with 1 influence to apply Singled Out & Snared to a target. We're going to have to agree to disagree, I think his playbook is pretty good considering his ranged presence and the things he does for the team. 

I concur with @ForestRambo, Theron's playbook is excellent! His double dodge on 2 is fantastic (good luck attacking him 1 inch melee). Hunters fanboys over here <3

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10 hours ago, ForestRambo said:

I love Therons playbook. Double dodge on 2? Momentous 1 on 1 which applies snared and allows him to reliably hit momentous 2 on a 4/1 target that's now snared and 3/1? KD that's not too far down the column, ability to wrap for M3/M1. I think his Playbook is full of good things, especially when all it takes is oHearne with 1 influence to apply Singled Out & Snared to a target. We're going to have to agree to disagree, I think his playbook is pretty good considering his ranged presence and the things he does for the team. 

In terms of Captains double dodge on 2 is pretty par for the course. Blackheart, Honour, Midas, Shark, Balista, and Pin Vice all sit pretty at Tac 6 with some combination of 2" push, dodge, or push-dodge on 2 hits. Honourable mention to Scalpel at Tac 7 with push-dodge on 3, with AP. It's a good result, just not a remarkable one.

If Theron is regularly attacking the "average" statlines of 4-1, 3-1, and 4-0 then sure it's a great playbook. But what makes an ability good in Guild Ball is being above average. His momentous damage caps out at 3, and he needs 7 net hits (9 Tough for Hide) for it to get any higher. Which is why I posit that it exists when it needs to. Perhaps bad isn't as operative a word as "not great."

In any case, the playbook being not great isn't the problem. The problem is the playbook being not great while his forest is also not great, and Sun Strike is also terrible.

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6 hours ago, Lumpyseven said:

I concur with @ForestRambo, Theron's playbook is excellent! His double dodge on 2 is fantastic (good luck attacking him 1 inch melee). Hunters fanboys over here <3

It only looks great because it was not in earlier editions, now thats its on par with other models, its better than it was. Being on par is cool, but honestly its not great just par for the course, I'm merely happy its on par with the rest. That said the rest of the points do have merit.

Character plays that don't match playbooks e.g. Egret, not enough possible damage for the inf to do damage that cannot be healed in one go. I play loads of folks who have the cheek, yes the cheek, to wait until I have hit something twice before attempting heals. 

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I can't see how can playbooks be examined in a vacuum. Theron is able to do okay backstrikes and okay damage, while he only uses his playbook in corner case situations if it's up to him. So his playbook is not great, but it's great he does have it. How is it a weakness? It's like not having The Owner aura is a weakness. Because it is, compared to anybody who has it.

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Alright so I just posted a big thread on chaska vs jaecar and I also posted a 1 year feedback thing on the main thread where I outlined my issues and fixes that I see for hunters.  As negative as some of that may have come out Hunters are my main guild and I have a winning record with them.  A few things that I don't think have been covered.  

When evaluating and composing a team you need to look at their win conditions, are they a 3-0 team like fish or a 1-4 team like butchers?  IMO Hunters are a 1-4 or 2-2 team.  The hardest part for me is squeking out the last kill in either line up. 

Hunters will basically always loose the momentum race.  I don't try to win it.  Opponents farming momentum on seenah isn't as important to me on my hunters as it is on my other teams because I've already conceded that they will go first.  thats wasted influence against me most of the time.  

Hunters are very match up/meta dependent.  I actually think they are one of the worst match ups for Fish (due to the restrictions on their movments and focing them into an attrition game) and Blacksmiths (if you field chaska to rip apart their apprentices).  But they are comically useless vs butchers or union that can just walk through them.

So as for your thoughts on the individual players lets try to take it model for model

Theron
His playbook is fine, he's a control piece.  Standard play for me sees him avoiding getting closer than 8 inches to an enemy, pumping out multiple snares or pushing 6 damage into a single piece.  Use forest for 1 of 3 reasons.  The most common is to touch the space between you and the model you intend to pin.  Anywhere along that path means the opponent is a -4 movement to get to Theron, it doesn't need to be in the middle and obsutcut his view but because they have to move directly at him just clip their base somewhere along the path. 2, give Chaska rough ground and cover.  3, give oHearne a teleport location.  if you can't do any of these 3 put it behind one of your own models with light footed so they get cover with no penalty, anywhere else is useable by your oppoent.  

Zarola
I know i'm bouncing here (there is a reason) you talked about this model being the worst in the guild (thats ulfr by a long shot).  There is only one thing on her card that you take her for, midnight offering.  It keeps Theron safe if he had to use his movement to get into range to use his plays (or chaska).  Zarola is not required for Theron but she does a lot of good for him

Skatha
Speaking of movement.  Skatha has 2 things that she does on the board.  1 she puts down fast ground clipping the backs of one of your model (or where they will end up), and kicks snowballs to give dodges.  Or she eats all your influence to go for a tackle dodge play from some absurd 20 inches away.  Everything else on her is a waste and honestly thats fine.  But you have to realize that is the team you are playing and take players that can benefit from the extra influence/movement. 

You wanna see something fun.  If you end up receiving, receive the ball with anyone besides egret, pass to egret dodge her forward 4 inches, have skatha snowball Egret and dodge her forward 4 inches, put the fast ground so it's clipping the back of Egrets base (put this down infront of her so that it ends up there if that wasn't clear), activate Egret, Charge someone 10 inches away take the momentous >< to avoid counter attacks and ~1 more inch of distance, ping someone with snap fire for poison and an extra 1 of movement and shoot an 8 inch shot for a total of 28" threat range, usually a tap in (34" if you use zorola to jog her during this), then Dodge 4 inches towards the opposite side of the table as skatha so either of them can threaten the ball next round.  You can also do this if you kick off with Egret but its a little more restrictive.

Snow
Again Snow has only 2 things you should ever be doing with him.  The first is standing 4 inches behind your most over extended player to help walk them out of danger.  The second is to hold the ball until you want to do something with it.  Most hunters have to put themselves in danger to do anything meaningful with  a momentous T on 1 he can counter attack to keep the ball, he needs no influence to do his job of babysitting other players.  Anatomical is honestly a trap on him, hunters don't get a lot out of their playbooks so hitting better is rarely worth it.  That said against some teams it can be nice to put on someone before they go for dangerous plays but thats the exception not the rule.  He is not 'nerfed ranged' because of Skatha he has Free movmenet because of Oooh ball, holds onto it and plays with it behind your team until you want to use it.  Or disrupts your opponents goal attempts by providing a 1 dice hit on stealing the ball from them.

Chaska ... go see my thread on him.

Egret
I think I did a decent outline of her goal turns but basically she should ensure that your opponent is either taking a little damage every turn (prepping them for a chaska/Jaecar all in), burning momentum to clear conditions, or keeping low health players back from the action giving you a numbers advantage.  Keep her moving up the field, too many people dodge backwards with her.  stay out of range with back to the shadows and always threaten 'if anyone on my team gets the ball i'm only a pass away from Egret making a break away on your goal'.

Hearnes/Seenah
So you refrenced Seenah in compairson with Boar and Cosset and I made the smae mistake early on.  He isn't.  He is Ghast, he's not gonna put in damage.  He is going to tie people up, and push and bully them off your other players.  Hearnes do the same thing, they push, KD, occasionally snare, and generally disrupt your opponents from getting to Theron, Skatha, Chaska, Egret, Zarola.

Jaecar ... your gonna have to get feedback from other players on him, I am underwhelmed.

Ulfr ... just garbage he won't see play until season 4

You talk about wanting to play killy Hunters.  Here is the thing, their roster can't do that.  Chaska can 16 box someone, with about a 40% success rate on Def4 (if your going for this play do your best to drop them to Def 3), Jaecar can also push out 16 boxes.  Thats where you cap out though.  Nothing higher and a LOT lower.  And it's impossible to setup both of them on the same turn for 2 16 box activations.  If thats what you want out of this team, you won't get it no matter how much strategy and plotting goes into it.

All of that said I agree with a lot of what you outlined.  They are not an easy guild, and I think they are honeslty under tuned, I don't understand why Tooled Up is gernally cheaper to apply than snared, it can't be cleared but snared can and the moedles that get bonus damage from it ... it doesn't apply to ALL damage (bear hug).  You'll very rarely win a straight up fight between you and most guilds because of the lack of stacking/scaling damage and generally weaker defensive stats. 

I think there is an easy way to gauge if your being successful with hunters.  If you or your opponent are able to accurately predict threat ranges throughout the whole game, you've done it wrong.  Zarola/Skatha should be moving people in and out causing your opponent to over extend or waste influence because they can't complete charges, Egret should be so wide on the outside that your opponent can't get to her without committing 2 models to pin her down.  What they want to get should be blocked by Hearnes, Seenah, traps and forest, and the momentum they end up farming off of your guys should be spent clearing those snares so they can get back into combat after you've pushed/boomboxed them away.

Hunter's are antifish, fish win through ridiculous range and speed, Hunters win by making your opponents range and speed so weak that they can't execute their game.

Again, not that they are GREAT at this but its how I have found the most success with them, hope it helps.

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2 hours ago, Sitaavanu said:

Anatomical is honestly a trap on him, hunters don't get a lot out of their playbooks so hitting better is rarely worth it.  That said against some teams it can be nice to put on someone before they go for dangerous plays but thats the exception not the rule.

Probably this is the least important part of your writing, but IMO anatomical precision is not vs. armoured teams and getting extra damage. Snow's anatomical precision is for those situations when you need a certain playbook effect, and the opponent has easy ways to kill your odds. E.g. you want to tackle or KD an average 4/1 model on a charge, but defensive stance would make it unlikely to succeed. Then anatomical precision means 3 extra dice vs those presumably 5/1 defensive stats (supposing average rolls of course), so your plan stays executable no matter what.

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13 hours ago, JacctheInsomniac said:

In terms of Captains double dodge on 2 is pretty par for the course. Blackheart, Honour, Midas, Shark, Balista, and Pin Vice all sit pretty at Tac 6 with some combination of 2" push, dodge, or push-dodge on 2 hits. Honourable mention to Scalpel at Tac 7 with push-dodge on 3, with AP. It's a good result, just not a remarkable one.

If Theron is regularly attacking the "average" statlines of 4-1, 3-1, and 4-0 then sure it's a great playbook. But what makes an ability good in Guild Ball is being above average. His momentous damage caps out at 3, and he needs 7 net hits (9 Tough for Hide) for it to get any higher. Which is why I posit that it exists when it needs to. Perhaps bad isn't as operative a word as "not great."

In any case, the playbook being not great isn't the problem. The problem is the playbook being not great while his forest is also not great, and Sun Strike is also terrible.

So what you want is Theron be able to one round anyone, while being able to do 6 damage at ranged and apply snared, provide a forest and be able to Pinned someone. I think if you take a look at the larger picture, his playbook is very good for what else he brings. 

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48 minutes ago, ForestRambo said:

So what you want is Theron be able to one round anyone, while being able to do 6 damage at ranged and apply snared, provide a forest and be able to Pinned someone. I think if you take a look at the larger picture, his playbook is very good for what else he brings. 

Ballista can get mom for all ranged for his entire team, make minefield, shoot from range, has amazing kick, ranged push and kd and can one round my (damaged) Windle when fully stacked.

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1 minute ago, Larhendiel said:

Ballista can get mom for all ranged for his entire team, make minefiel, shoot from range, has amazing kinc, ranged push and kd and can one round my (damaged) Windle when fully stacked

Big difference in that case is that Ballista can't fight in a melee momentously. Theron has the flexibility to generate momentum and do damage either from range or in melee while also having the option to apply the momentum buff to an ally, making it more difficult to shut down his activation and provides a little breathing room if he's over-allocated influence. Theron's main issue compared to Ballista is that he doesn't reliably threaten any goals, but in a straight fight I think he's different rather than just being worse.

Honestly, Theron isn't a superstar captain who wants 6 influence every turn and can win the game by himself, but he isn't designed to be. He creates early pressure and advantages through control and ranged character plays while providing a lot of flexibility throughout the game with his options to keep his team at range or engage in melee, all while applying debuffs and supporting oHearne's goal threat with his forest. Ultimately, it seems to me that Theron need more reliable scorers, either through some small buffs to Ulfr and Egret in that capacity or the introduction of a new player who requires less set up to make a goal run, rather than more personal buffs.

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21 minutes ago, Larhendiel said:

Ballista can get mom for all ranged for his entire team, make minefield, shoot from range, has amazing kick, ranged push and kd and can one round my (damaged) Windle when fully stacked.

Ballista can't generate more than 1 momentum from ranged him self, doesn't provide a free character play for his team, doesn't apply snared which is a set up for his team, can't force someone to move directly towards him and doesn't provide a forest for his team. 

I just don't understand what you guys want from Theron. Completely ignoring all his merits just to say "X Captain can do this" yes, they can. They also can't do everything Theron can. Do people want every captain to be able to kill like Filet, score like Shark and provide support for the team like Esters? If not we could do this for days and the goalposts will always change.

You pick a model for his merits, you don't not pick them for their faults or why would you ever pick anyone? Oh sharks okay but he can't one round Windle so I wish he was more like Ballista.

I think what might be more prudent for people is taking notes on gameplay, mistakes made and how you can avoid this next game before jumping to "Well if I was playing Ballista, I could of done this" because I have a sneaky feeling if you were playing Ballista, the statement quickly become "Well if i was playing vRage"....

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I also think you guys are being drawn in by the trap that is Theron's character plays. One of the best ways to use him is a beatstick, with all of the Hunters abilities to get people's defense down, you can easily wrap on every attack with Theron and pump out horrendous amounts of damage!

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