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Optimal Thresher Turn 1?

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Just picking up the Farmer's, looking at starting with Thresher, Buckwheat, Millstone, Jackstraw, Harrow, Tater. I know I want to look to kick with Thresher, but what is my optimal order of activations? Should Harrow go first or Millstone? Does Millstone only need to push Tater and Thresher?

Any insight or referrals to articles would be appreciated!

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Depends a lot on the board position, but if Thresher has chance to steal the ball first activation he should. Otherwise, Harrow should be trying to drop a marker near Tater, and Tooling up Thresher. 

It's difficult to give hard advice because it does depend so much on exactly where everyone is and what you think the opponent will be doing. If you think they are going to score, and you can't get the ball, sure Millstone, put goal defense up and push anyone you can :)

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I think first activation preferably should be Millstone, as Thresher needs her push to start threatening the deployment line.

Plus this way you can stay within 4" of Harrow on the kick-off jog with Thresher and enable him putting down an extra HM on turn 1 (as he will get pushed same 2" as Thresher, so should still be within the range at the start of his activation). At first this might not seem reasonable, as you supposedly steal 1" of Thresher's threat range. But let's see what you actually sacrifice to get that HM:

  • if Thresher moves 4" on kick-off, then gets pushed by Millstone, he threatens 9" wide of the opponent's deployment line;
  • if he moves full 5", he threatens 12,7" wide of the opponent's deployment line.

I'd say 9" is more than enough as it is, so it's worth to hold him back a little bit and get that additional HM. Of course, that plan goes to the bin if the opportunity arises to go steal the ball and score as the 2nd activation. But that goes without saying... ;)

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Awesome, I'm looking forward to getting some games in with them. 

Another question - if kicking, Thresher is the obvious choice. But what about when receiving? Is Thresher still a solid choice of should I go with Grange? What are the trade-offs there?

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Thresher is great at both, but he's better at kicking off than Grange is.  Grange is probably better at receiving than Thresher is, but I'm more comfortable with Thresher because I wasn't touching Grange until this last OPD change. 

A Grange team receives really well because everyone is no less than a 3 dice pass, if not 4.  If you're playing Bushel, this is really great for I'm open.  They can all build up momentum pretty reliably passing the ball back and forth and set up for a turn 2 domination as long as you don't let the other team get into you too much.  Bushel's good for 2 momentum on her own just with "I'm Open" and passing back.

 My meta also plays GIC quite a bit, we feel that it's a good thing and is going to stay around.  With this in mind, I usually put two out to where my first activation of the turn can be Tater sprinting up to a harvest marker right away.  This is usually followed by Millstone who bump one or both forward a bit and further supports the field with another harvest marker.  I have been known to leave it back far enough for Jackstraw to reach so he can teleport up, walk forward and drop 2 Harvest Markers in the area Thresher is going to go.  This means Jackstraw is right before Thresher.  I also have Peck and a flex spot in this lineup which is either Harrow, Bushel or Grace.  Bushel is only if I receive so I can have a reliable pass to Thresher before he goes, and she can return goals pretty reliably.  She's crap at ball retrieval though.  Somewhere in there, Peck activates and either moves or whatever.

  If Harrow is in the list (Which I bring against Tough Hide prevalent teams, so Engineers, Brewers), he just activates early, does his HM stuff and tools up Thresher.  This means Thresher has to hang back to within 4'' but I find that I don't have to worry about losing that too much.  Actually, when Thresher walks 5 for the kick off, his back edge is still within 4'' of Harrow so it's not often that it's a big deal. 

  If Harrow isn't in the list, and Grace is (Which might become a thing, I haven't decided), Grace activates relatively early to give Thresher 2/2 MOV.  Probably after Millstone because I want Millstone within 4 or 5'' of Tater.

  So, Thresher kicks, with GIC free 2 harvest markers in place.  Then Tater, Millstone, Grace/Harrow, Peck, Jackstraw/Bushel, Thresher. 

  Without GIC, it's Thresher kicks.  Then Harrow if I have him, otherwise Millstone to push and drop and HM.  Then Tater for that sweet countercharge, Grace, Peck, Bushel or Jackstraw, Thresher.  If Jackstraw goes much earlier, he gives the opponent a chance to mow down the Harvest Markers, and I've found that having 2 of them that far forward lets Thresher deal that free 3 damage at the end of Round 1 and beginning of Round 2, and there's not many models that survive that.

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Thanks! I finally got to play a couple games last night with Thresher, and I have to say, I'm hooked. Farmer's feel really good. I didn't get to try out Grange, but I'm looking forward to that too!

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