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Desertspiral

Tapper - why ever bring him???

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Hi everyone,

I know the title might sound provocative and it probably is considering the group think regarding Tapper > Esters.  

However, I've been playing Brewers for a bit now and I am honestly struggling to find a scenario (Any) that I would actually want Tapper in. 

So for all of the old guard in here; what is the purpose of bringing Tapper and at what point does he perform in a way that isn't just eclipsed by 

Ester' tool kit?

 

Thanks

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Tappers strength is that he can activate whenever he can punch someone, knock them over, Commanding Aura, bit of damage, Old Jakes onto Scum.

Esters isn't much use in combat herself, and normally has to activate early because Empowered Voice is needed. This often seems to lead to a gap for the opponent, but Tapper would have left the opponent incapacitated. 

That's the main reason I take him anyway, Brewers are always waiting on a teammate to activate to use their buffs, very few of them want to activate first and provide both a buff for their team and a kicking for the opponent.

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They bring very different things into the team. Esters brings buffs to one player a turn (apart from Legendary turn), ranged pressure, efficient condition removal. Tapper brings inf efficiency, some movement buffs, burst dmg and command aura. Both captains have their match-ups. I play Esters into Hunters, Alchemists, Masons, Butchers and I think Farmers. Against the rest I mostly play Tapper and it is working out for me

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I honestly feel the same about Esters, the situations where I feel she could be useful are so few and far between I find it hard to justify putting her on a 10 man list.. 

This may change after the Ratcatchers launch depending on how much of a pain the disease condition is but it really comes down to personal playstyle.. 

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42 minutes ago, Redmaw said:

I honestly feel the same about Esters, the situations where I feel she could be useful are so few and far between I find it hard to justify putting her on a 10 man list.. 

This may change after the Ratcatchers launch depending on how much of a pain the disease condition is but it really comes down to personal playstyle.. 

Ok, thanks for that and tying this back to my initial query - what does Tapper bring that justifies putting him on the pitch.  In most cases he presents as a liability more than an asset and the things that he brings appear to be of limited value given the proximal restrictions on them.  

So what is the logic for bringing Tapper.

 

Thanks

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37 minutes ago, Desertspiral said:

what does Tapper bring that justifies putting him on the pitch.  

2"melee, Commanding Aura, Tough Hide, Influence Efficiency, Consistent KD and damage when required, and to top it off, he has the best legendary play in the game which he can use every turn as it's a heroic (Old Jake's).. 

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2 hours ago, Redmaw said:

2"melee, Commanding Aura, Tough Hide, Influence Efficiency, Consistent KD and damage when required, and to top it off, he has the best legendary play in the game which he can use every turn as it's a heroic (Old Jake's).. 

Ok so Let's agree that we've all read the card...

I'm curious what you mean by influence efficiency though as it seems like he needs to spend three to achieve anything, once CA is up he is also swinging in the breeze with his very mediocre def stats and seems like he's more on farm status than anything?

It might be just me and his playbook in a 2018 environment seems entirely underwhelming especially when viewed side by side with newer captains (particularly Grange who seems to eclipse him in every way).  Having to hit four successes for momentous damage seems like a lost cause - especially when he's your alpha strike and to get any meaningful work done he needs to wrap off the charge which is very unreliable.  

I understand the argument that he isn't there to deliver a knock out, but to set up the scrum - which again seems flawed as the model he engaged on then has a chance to react and/or if the opponent has any ranged potential - just leave him there and focus other areas of the pitch.  

Jakes is great, and if he's just pushed deep to deploy 'his package' then is he in a position to use old jakes effectively, as it seems that if everyone is that close to the opposing line then something has gone wrong given Brewers tend to be slow and have troubles initiating?

I also feel it's a long bow to draw in saying that Old Jakes trumps the boos that some legendaries provide.  

It's possible that I just don't understand how the game plan of dangling Tapper in the breeze ends in a victory against anyone that refuses to collapse on him - or maybe it explains the poor performance of Brewers in general?

Possibly a holistic break down of the game plan would give me better insight as to why he would even make the ten let alone the A string.  

 

Thanks for expanding on those ideas

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2 hours ago, Desertspiral said:

Ok so Let's agree that we've all read the card...

Have you thought.? I know this is probably going to come off sounding a little blunt and so I apologise for that, but you have created this forum post to ask for support and advice regarding using Tapper but you already seem to be stuck with a slightly bias opinion that he is an ineffective super solo beater similar to Hammer or Thresher, which he is not.. Tapper is a "mobile" (4"/7" lol) support captain who sets up and enables the rest of his team to do what they do best...

Anyway, starting from the top :

He has a 2" melee, more importantly he is a captain with a 2" melee.. While I understand the pool of captains with this ability has become slightly over crowded since the release of the release of the Farmers and Blacksmiths, it is probably one of the most important stats in the game, so much so that the world almost ended when Thresher got boosted to 3" for free during his activation.. What this means for Tapper is he is able to cover an expanded area in the scrum he creates with crowding out bonuses, it's also a good way to neuter "Unpredictable Movement" on most characters, even if he does occasionally need to get base to base to continue swinging away.

Regarding him being "Influence Efficient", in most cases Tapper can turn 1 influence into 1 momentum and it is not uncommon for him to receive 2 momentum on a charge or with enough crowding out bonuses in his favour. On top of that, at any time he can convert one of these momentum back into two influence and distribute it freely back to his team so they can use it to generate more momentum. The only non-efficient part of his tool kit is "Commanding Aura" and there has been an ongoing debate since s1 regarding you spend the influence to set up this up or roll it off the playbook, and honestly it largely depends on the board state.. Personally I always prefer to try and set this up from his playbook where possible, either by targeting KD or low defence miniatures (preferably both) or charging if required..

Looking at Tappers playbook directly, I understand what you are saying when compared to Grange who has a momentous KD on 1, or Thresher who has momentous damage all over the place.. I don't necessarily feel it is in a bad place though as in most cases you should be rolling 7+ dice under "CA" which gives you a momentous 4 damage on 4 successes which is far better than either Farmer captain if you just want to go the straight damage rout.. I would however suggest taking either the momentous push or double push on 3 or 5 respectively to re position your target deeper into your scrum.. Also, as a last highlight of Tappers playbook, if you are able to wrap due to hot dice or having correctly set up the scrum your bonus successes become +2/3 damage as a kicker..

Putting both his 2" melee and potential playbook results together, Tapper is quite capable of taking a full stack and knocking down 2-3 opposing pieces with no reprise then push them around with any remaining influence he has left which gives your opponent one activation to decide which piece he wants to save and may result in disrupting their preferred activation order.. In a worst case scenario they will be able to stand up a 2" melee piece, spend 2 momentum to pick up another team mate and then have a swing at Tapper in an attempt to run away from the scrum.

I've already mentioned the main strength of "Old Jake's" and it's ability to increase the influence / momentum efficiency of the guild, but in a more linear context it increases the team to a pseudo 15 Influence / Turn team which is only really rivalled by Farmers (who recently took a hit with the nerf bat on this).. Not only that but it allows the distribution of this last bit of influence till later in your order activation so your opponent will never really know where the full stack is going.. In most cases I tend to use it to top up Spigot, Hooper or Pintpot before going in for a KO, but Scum is a surprisingly effective target for this and one a lot of players may not directly see coming.. While it's about to be a little toned down with the removal of "Sic 'Em" you can still give the cat a free charge which in the right circumstance can easily wrap for 6-9 momentous damage. I've also used this to fuel the cat at the beginning of a round before using Friday to re-position him for a charge / tackle / dodge / goal to win a game as a last activation when my opponent thought the ball was safe on his mascot at the back of the field. (although none of this really has anything to do with Tapper, Scum is just awesome)

Getting back to my opinion of "Old Jake's" and why I feel it is the best non-legendary legendary play in the game, It is most easily comparable to Honour's "Topping Out", in a perfect situation that will hand out 5 Influence at once which can dramatically change the face of the game and be a huge boon for one turn, it does however require an early (if not first) activation to get the most out of.. Tapper on the other hand can give out 2 Influence every turn when it's needed (at the cost of one momentum).. While I understand this is not as overbearing as "Rigor Mortis" or straight up as damaging as "Get 'Em Lads!", or "My Gang", it is something you can use to your advantage each and every turn and it only increases in power the longer a game goes..

While I understand Tapper initially looks underwhelming when compared to the Farmer options (especially pre nerf Thresher) you can't just look at the cards side by side. Tappers main strength comes from the synergy of what he can do to magnify the output of the "squaddies" under him and then what they can do in return. For example, you could have Hooper on the field with one influence which you opponent is ignoring become a Tac 8 monster with a full stack to swing away with  and +2 to any damage results.. As mentioned previously I think a lot of this comes down to your preferred playstyle and what you want to get out of the captain. In a lot of cases, Esters is a "safer" captain I just never seem to get enough work out of her, and while I do feel like the guild as a whole has fallen slightly behind the power curve / creep although I'm expecting this to be addressed in the s4 errata / update...

Anyway, I hope that gave a little more insight as to why I feel Tapper is the "better" Brewers captain and didn't just come of as incoherent ramblings.. I know I didn't directly compare him to Esters but in reality they are hard to compare as they are two different captains with two completely different playstyles.. If you were looking for opinions comparing the two directly I can attempt to do so but it's currently  6am here and adding that onto this post would have created an even bigger wall of text..

TLDR:

Tapper is an awesome front line support captain that can turn on and enable the rest of the Brewers lineup, he is not a super solo..

 

**edit**

Preferred line up in draft order : Tapper / The Cat / Friday / Hooper / either Spigot (based on opponent and previous drafts) / Pisspot, Mash or Stoker (optional depending on opposing guild and previous draft picks).. I need more field time with Lucky and increasingly excited for the new Decimate as I have a feeling she will be huge in a Tapper lineup..

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1 hour ago, Redmaw said:

Anyway, I hope that gave a little more insight as to why I feel Tapper is the "better" Brewers captain and didn't just come of as incoherent ramblings.. I know I didn't directly compare him to Esters but in reality they are hard to compare as they are two different captains with two completely different playstyles.. If you were looking for opinions comparing the two directly I can attempt to do so but it's currently  6am here and adding that onto this post would have created an even bigger wall of text..

Hey that was great thanks, especially as I am looking for evidence to support the use of Tapper and where he excels rather than a comparison of the two Brewer captains.  

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1 hour ago, Desertspiral said:

Hey that was great thanks, especially as I am looking for evidence to support the use of Tapper and where he excels rather than a comparison of the two Brewer captains.  

There are a couple of match ups, like Ballista Engineers and Theron Hunters which are a particular ball ache and I have a bit of a poor record against Fillet Butchers although that's largely down to "interesting" dice rolls.. I'm also undecided on whether you "need" Esters against disease heavy Ratcatchers or if taking Hooper and Stoker is enough built in condition removal.. End of the day, at least in my opinion, Tapper is always the "better" choice of captain in most matchups..

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Tapper is working out for me great. I always play him into Union, Engineers, Blacksmiths and Brewers. He has been working out against Hunters and Masons but Esters is just as good a pick against them. I'm still not set on a pick against the post-errata farmers. Tapper used to work for me against Grange but Tresher was difficult for either Tapper or Esters. Tapper wrecks vetRage who seems to be a TOP3 captain and I don't remember the last time I lost to vetRage with my Brewers.

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1 hour ago, Edek said:

Tapper is working out for me great. I always play him into Union, Engineers, Blacksmiths and Brewers. He has been working out against Hunters and Masons but Esters is just as good a pick against them. I'm still not set on a pick against the post-errata farmers. Tapper used to work for me against Grange but Tresher was difficult for either Tapper or Esters. Tapper wrecks vetRage who seems to be a TOP3 captain and I don't remember the last time I lost to vetRage with my Brewers.

What's your general strategy vs. Vet Rage?  How are you out fighting him?

 

Also what do you do into Corsair+Gutter?

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Brewers are bulkier and out-threat Union. If you force vetRage into using quick time so that he can charge then his damage output drops massively. And without any assists he really doesn't hit Tapper or Hooper that much. If I'm kicking then I buff Tapper as much as I can for the last activation of the turn. With 11" threat range and Tooled Up he's really a huge threat. Tapper and Hooper put a lot of work with 2" melee and Tough Hide. Just keep Spigot and Friday in the back so that going them puts the Union player waaay out of position. Most Union players are 14HP DEF 4+ and Arm 1 and that's really easy to take out with Brewers.

Into Corsair I play Esters. Trying to drag Esters costs 4INF and leaves Corsair with only 2 if he didn't have to run so won't get that much more work done. Tapper is ok against Shark but Corsair is too much.

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Ok so the Fish/Union player pivot off your early engage and then use gutter to lynch the rest of your team - followed up by additional rage attacks or protected by dread gaze respectively.  

 

How do Brewers then handle those two scenarios ?

 

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Sorry, not really sure what you mean by pivot off. Maybe this will be easier when we talk with some real teams. My drop into Union is Tapper, Scum, Hooper, Friday, Spigot and Pint Pot. The vetRage team is what, vetRage, Strongbox, Gutter, Benedition, Mist and Hemlocke? Or A&G in the last slot? Brewers out-threat all the Union players. I force the engagement on my terms, go and Dirty Knives someone keeping Friday within 4" of Spigot so trying to TO is really difficult and if someone gives it a go and fails (which is most of the time) then Tapper/Hooper/Pint Pot get in and start dealing dmg. The Union players need vetRage to activate so that they can deal some real dmg to Tapper or Hooper if you manage to TO him then it's an easy game from then on.

 

As for the dread gaze I feel that oSiren is too good into Brewers not to take her. Also lately people have been trying to go Shark against my Brewers and to score 3 quick goals so I need to look into the Brewers v Corsair.

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This is a newer perspective but what I've always found with Tapper is that (barring one or two control heavy teams) he rarely wastes his influence. On top of that, he's an great support captain who happens to be an awesome beater besides. 

With an excellent playbook, dynamite support abilities, tough hide/20 health, and his 2" melee, he asks a tough question for other teams - can you handle the center table meat-grinder that is commanding aura Tapper with his squaddies ready to rush in from the wings?

Esters has great tools for separate situations but she doesn't have the same cheap team buff as Tapper - all of her cool stuff needs more resources to get work done. Her ability to reach out and touch people is awesome and there's probably more targets for her now than pre-farmers/blacksmiths but Tapper is simple - run in, beat face, setup the rest of the team. And while it's predictable, it requires a bunch extra resources on your opponents end and some serious planning to stay out of the death zone. If you don't plan for Tapper and get caught in his threat range, he's going to smash that models day and give his team the tools to make it hurt 

Like @Redmaw noted above, in a team that wants to go second,  Tapper provides that crucial setup to turn everyone else to 11.

I usually think of him in "question vs. answer" gameplay terms - Tapper asks a great question that your opponent needs to consider, while Ester provides some great specific answers to questions your opponent is asking.

Hope that helps!

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Let me start by saying I love BOTH of our captains; to be fair, I hate Esters in the narrative, but I like her on the pitch, so...

My biggest problem with Tapper is that he seems like he wants to go early to set up Commanding Aura and KD opponents, but when he does, your opponent will be able to see the turn developing and react accordingly.  I've actually started leaving him until a little later in the turn, and sometimes doing things my opponent wouldn't expect to try to throw them off the trail.  For example, I've allocated 1 INF to Hooper near Tapper, which normally screams "Old Jakes is Coming!", but then just put Tough Skin on somebody and jogged to help provide crowd-outs/gang-ups.  Then the last two activations of the turn are Tapper putting up CA, knocking down a victim who has hopefully already activated, and using Old Jakes on Spigot nearby (who has been sitting on one or two, suggesting a Tooled Up and maybe a sprint is coming).  Spigs then tools himself up and jogs in, now at +3 TAC (up to 8 with CA, 9 or 10 if you've done your Gang-Ups properly) and +2 DMG on plays.  In most cases, he'll wrap pretty handily and do at LEAST 15 damage (and generate at least three momentum) across his three attacks.Normally, I'd then leave the enemy player alive so that next turn, Spigot can go first, Tool Up Hooper (or the cat!), take out the enemy player, and Tapper and Hooper can go Bash Brothers on people.  The point here is that you don't need two or three squaddies/the cat to benefit from CA to make it worthwhile- if Tapper and one other dedicated beater get the benefit in a given turn, you've done your job.  Getting greedy and trying to set up a miracle turn where my team kills the whole enemy squad is the biggest trap I've fallen into while playing the Grand Brewer- your opponent is going to see it coming and won't give it to you.  Take your Take Outs one or two at a time- target a player and DELETE them, then move on. =)

My biggest problem with Esters is that in a team that thrives off momentum and heroic plays, she sometimes doesn't convert INF into MP as efficiently as Tapper, unless she's in melee, which at 3/1 and a 1" melee is still not amazing, even with Glut Mass.  It's very easy to allocate her 4 every turn for no MP in return if she's throwing her AOEs.  She also doesn't fight very reliably in terms of killing the enemy or knocking them down; her playbook is great for generating momentum, and she'll push people around, but significant damage is harder to come by (though she can do it if you get your buffs laid down) and her KD is a LOT less reliable (coming on 3 from TAC 5 rather than on 2 from TAC 6/7 under CA).  She can be glorious on the charge, though- and is a rare captain I actually think it's better to charge with than jog and take two attacks- her playbook is so short that you can easily wrap, and she's got that magical Momentous 2/KD on column 4.

In short, I think they both have their place.  I use Esters if I think I can't outfight my opponents (or need the reach on her character plays because I won't be able to catch them) and Tapper if I think I can.

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What player are you dropping from your 10 that is better then tapper? I get weighing a union slot versus another squaddie or 2nd mascot, but how do you say well sorry tapper gotta fit stave in here. Esters is a flexible captain with a static gameplay while tapper is a static captain with a flexible gameplay. What does that gibberish mean? Simply old jakes impact on the game. A "15" influence team has the potential for higher impact then a 13 influence team. With esters your opponent can plan around your allocations, sure she can do alot of neat stuff but if you fail to allocate to someone they can write them off. Where as tapper can allocate 1 to Hooper and 0 to Friday and either Hooper can threaten a knocked down player or Friday gets her sprint and kick goal influence from nowhere. Tapper has the benefit of being a low input high output captain, can get around unpredictable, and has 2" melee.

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I've been fielding Tapper a lot and had two games this week with him, firstly into Hunters and secondly into Blacksmiths.  

Perhaps I'm using him incredibly wrong; in the Hunters game I felt completely shut out and probably made some positioning errors.  Having scored a goal with Friday though I had Jaecar and ranged attacks murder two players and then I was in no position to even engage after that.  I don't see how a 9" threat range 'out threats' anything.  

Against smiths - I took the feedback from this thread and in spite of my skepticism sent the team as a tight ball into the field.  I was able to get an early take out on Cinder, and then from there got completely wrecked in a scrum.  This is probably a meta problem rather than a 'Tapper' problem (except that Tapper is very emblematic of the issue) and I feel like smiths out dps, out sustain and out score brewers all at the same time - which is exceptionally frustrating.  

 

It's possible that Brewers just aren't a good play style fit except that that seems like a cop out - so I'd rather figure out what they need to do in order to chalk up consistent victory.  

From what I've seen so far though - being tough is not a win condition and the newer teams out perform Brewers by a far margin.  So what are the Brewer players doing to actually rack up wins (particularly with Tapper as Esters has a solid range denial game that doesn't expose her in the way that Tapper needs to be).  

 

All thoughts welcome

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1 hour ago, Desertspiral said:

  I don't see how a 9" threat range 'out threats' anything.

Yeah, you have Time's Called for that. Also into Hunters Esters the safer choice most of the time.


I'll be honest it feels like a playstyle thing. I don't see how Blacksmiths can outscrum Brewers. The dps players have so little HP I've managed to deal more in one attack with Hooper. And Blacksmiths are way better at the ball game and I'm missing the point of trying to brawl with the Brewers.

 

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1 hour ago, Desertspiral said:

 firstly into Hunters and secondly into Blacksmiths.  

Other than Ballista Engineers (which I feel may be our hardest matchup) I do think that Hunters and Smiths are our hardest pairings due to ranged control and high armour respectively.

For Hunters I prefer taking Hooper and Stoker for relatively free conditional removal rather than relying on Esters as I still believe Tappers toolkit and overall survivability is more viable once you eventually close the gap.

Blacksmiths is still a puzzle I am working on although I feel the Esters / Stoker / Stave (yes, I said it) combo may be the best with their low def and high armour making them susceptible to character plays.. This isn't really a viable option for me competitively though as I two out the three don't make the cut on my tournament roster.

The heavy Farmers / Blacksmiths "meta" is a bit of an issue for Brewers, although I've not played much into either team since the official release of the box 2's and most recent errata.. On the plus side Perkins has advised there will be a season 4 update and with the forum post by Mako it's clear the SFG crew have their eyes on us so it may not be time to sober up yet...

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9 hours ago, Redmaw said:

Blacksmiths is still a puzzle I am working on although I feel the Esters / Stoker / Stave (yes, I said it) combo may be the best with their low def and high armour making them susceptible to character plays.. This isn't really a viable option for me competitively though as I two out the three don't make the cut on my tournament roster.

Don't you simply TO the apprentices and the game is simply over? The masters don't don't have the dmg output nor ball game to win it on their own. Btw what's your roster if you don't take Stoker (I believe the other one not taken is Stave)

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I don't understand how Brewers are supposed to outscrum a team that has a good portion of reach, and mostly all have two armour as well (whether natively or through proximity).  

Lets (for arguments sake) say the team is: Ferrite (C), Hearth, Furnace, Iron, Cinder, and Alloy.

It's faster than Brewers, handles better, and hits harder as well as being way tougher. 

Also every scrum is instantly lost the moment Ferrite activates and disarms 2-3 people, not to mention furnace dropping CoaaT for free and eliminating any potential strength in numbers.  At that point brewers have nothing.  

 

For reference I was using Tapper, Scum, Friday, Spigot, Hooper and Lucky.  

 

I feel like saying just take out the apprentices, may as well be saying get gud and just win.  It doesn't really appreciate the holistic board state and the fact that smiths synergise way better than brewers do, and a lot more of it is passive.  Brewers have to work really hard to make progress on take outs vs Smiths and since smiths have a lot of effective low momentous results its easier for them to undo the headway and make stymie any further progress.  

Again though - I'm open to any input that explains in a logical way how Brewers out perform in this scenario.  

 

Cheers

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1 hour ago, Edek said:

Btw what's your roster if you don't take Stoker (I believe the other one not taken is Stave)

I don't take Esters.. I know taking one captain is generally frowned uppon but as mentioned in my original post in this topic,  I find it hard to think of any situation I personally wouldn't be more comfortable playing Tapper into..

Mylast tournament 10 was:

Tapper, The Cat, Friday, Hooper, oSpigot, vSpigot, Mash, Stoker, Pisspot and Harry. 

Probably switching Harry for Decimate and may switch Mash for Lucky, still not sure though... 

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