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malladin.ben

Let's start taking tactics

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With the last 2 models due to be officially spoiled on Thursday (but are already out there if you're interested), I'm thinking about proxying them this week at the club. 

So lets start to talk through some ideas on some basics of strategy to try out, things like activation order, INF allocation, team selection and turn 1 strategies when kicking or receiving.

Here's my initial thoughts (all theory crafting ahead of any games played):

Team Selection

I want to play them as a takeout team primarily, so Ikaros and Egret are going to be my first drops. I think Egret is probably (currently at least) the weakest model available to them and synergises least well with the rest of the team - yes a flurry into a harrier is going to be nice, but also tricky to pull off, I suspect. Ikaros, on the other hand is a potentially great counter attacking striker, able to get the ball wherever it goes, but I think I need the other players to make the fighting side of the guild work rather than the ball threat and goal scoring Ikaros provides. That said, I can't see another great kick-off model, so he'll probably make the team when kicking, but it's difficult to know who to drop for him. It probably has to be Hearne, but that makes the INF economy of the team tricky. The other option is Minerva, but that then makes the Harrier economy difficult, so its a problem.

INF Economy

The reason I like Hearne in the team is largely as a battery - he can provide support to the rest of the team by spending MP rather than INF, which is a great help in getting the most out of the players that are going to be your "output" models: Devana, Rundass and Ikaros.

Devana being a 4/5 means there's potentially a bit more INF for the rest of the team than in other super-solo teams like Hammer or Fillet, and indeed you can potentially use her as a secondary output model rather than the primary one if the situation permits.

Rundaas is your next best damage output model, IMO. If he can charge into a harrier he has a decent shout of the 2DMG GB result to trigger dirty knives, which will do 5 dmg! With last light he can spend 2 mom to drop the harrier first, or dirty knives to make the 2dmg GB more likely vs a high DEF target. More on that stuff later, for now, he's wanting 4 INF any turn you think he can be relevant (probably any after turn 1).

Ikaros is the best goalscoring model in the team. With a harrier at his feet he can take flight 7" then charge another 7", and if there's a harrier on his target he can roll 9 dice on the charge. 15" threat to the ball is huge, with Last Light and a harrier at  his feet he can threat 13" to the ball before having to spend any INF. As with Rundaas, if you think there's a goal on, stack him with 4, but you might also get away with 3, or even 2 if Last Light might be a possibility.

There's a judgement to be made between Rundaas and Ikaros during the maintenance phase. Which do you want more: a take out from Rundaas or a goal from Ikaros, as you've not got enough INF to fully fund both of them, especially if you take into consideration all the set up you might want to spend on them, too.

Mataagi probably only needs 1 after turn 1 as a hotshot attack will almost always allow you to pop down a harrier and earn a momentum (turn 1 he needs 2 so that he can move up and hotshot, or drop it for 2 if he can't make the range count so you've at least got it for Ikaros or as soft control).

I think Frelsi probably wants 1 most turns if you're stacking Devana so that he/she (has the eagle's gender been mentioned yet?) can get to where you want her to make Devana's activation more relevant.

Hearne is the team's battery, able to take 0 and just jog over to someone and last light them (Devana is probably the best target, but any of the output models could would benefit from it).

Minerva is the team's support model. If she can get into combat she can do some useful things, but how likely is she to be there and if she is, is that the right place for her to be? If she can safely get into combat, she can do some good work with a 3 stack, pretty reliably getting a KD and putting out both a harrier and an Eye Spy, but before that, probably just 2 INF for one of the above (which will mostly be a harrier).

Harrier Economy

Another thing I think is important to think about with the falconers is their harrier economy. Getting these AOEs in play and to be relevant is going to be a real key aspect to playing the guild well, I suspect. Perhaps as we get more skilled we might feel comfortable dropping to 2 Harriers, but at first I think it's probably a decent shout to have all 3 in there. When to play them is also going to be a key factor, too. When kicking, placing an early one at Ikaros' feet is probably a good shout as an early activation, but after that you've got plenty of activations where you need to place them after the opponent has moved their models, so they are going to find it hard to get out of the AOE.

Turn 1 - Receiving

When receiving I'd probably look to have Mataagi and Rundass placed on the wings for ball retrieval. Whichever needs to go get the ball probably needs a full stack of 4 if they need to sprint, or 3 if not. They need to then kick the ball and drop their harrier somewhere central to keep it relevant and provide a bit of soft control. There may be options for placing it where it's going to make it difficult for the kicking model to pressure the ball without ending up in the harrier, but it's probably better to place it centrally then let Devana move it to make it more relevant.

Hearne and Frelsi are probably good early activations to waste a bit of time. Hearne can pass the ball well, so you might want to give him an INF to do so and generate a bit of extra mom. I'm not sure whether I want to give Frelsi 1 for the big 9" push up, of if the 5" jog keeps him/her relevant given there's likely Hack Back to come. Hearne needs to Last Light Devana.

After that there's hopefully some targets in play for Devana, so you can think about placing your harriers more effectively and possibly dodging her up with a pass. I think first turn you don't want to get her into melee, but to be able to Death From Above 3 times to set things up nicely and generate some more mom. Thinking about it, unlike other super solo teams, I'm not sure you want to go straight in for the kill with Devana at the top of T2. Your turns are likely always going to be about early set up for late activation reward, so it might be better to spread out the damage at this stage, so that you've go a selection of players in TO range of several members of your team.

Turn 1 - Kicking

When kicking I think you want to kick with Ikaros and give him for to force some kick off pressure and try and score a T1 goal at some point, even if it means trading the goal for Ikaros. Run him high up the pitch then kick to where it will be hard for them to retrieve it. Give him a full stack of 4 to keep your options as open as possible, then go early with Minerva to place a harrier at his feet. Ideally kick to the side of the pitch where you have Mataagi set up, so that he can likely hotshot the model who comes to get the ball. If Devana is also on this side she can also make use of the harrier to put some damage out from range, too. Also use the turn to get Rundass into a position where he can be relevant next turn. 

 

Anyway, that' just my starting thoughts.

What other ideas do people have for how to use these guys?

Ben

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12 minutes ago, malladin.ben said:

(has the eagle's gender been mentioned yet?)

She's female. It was mentioned in her blog post.

My thinking was along a similar line of thinking. They have some great take-out tools available, but also some really unusual goal threats with Ikaros and Air Mail. I was considering a 2-2 play with Devana, Frelsi, Ikaros, Minerva, Rundaas and Hearne.

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Thinking about Rundass, he could also be a nice first activation model, to help set up the rest of the turn. A charge in likely gets you a KD, then a GB for dirty knives, then a bonus timed attack should get you to the 2 GB to drop a harrier. It's only 2 dmg and net 1 mom, but you'll have a KD and Dirty Knives model inside a harrier for Devana to prey on. You're basically saying "activate this model next or lose it".

Trouble is I think, if she can get into combat, Minerva does this better - only 3 INF as you don't need the charge for the high column KD, then eye spy and harrier for 3 mom, albeit without the damage.

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It's enough to have a Harrier within 5" of Ikaros for him to benefit either by jog/sprint or Taking Flight (activating Flying at the end of the Jog)

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2 minutes ago, speedfreek said:

It's enough to have a Harrier within 5" of Ikaros for him to benefit either by jog/sprint or Taking Flight (activating Flying at the end of the Jog)

Yes, but that limits the flexibility of where you can go. If you place one at his feet and give him a 4 stack you're threatening 15" to the ball from that point, if you drop it 5" in front of him you might create some safe zones at the sides of the pitch.

And by "at his feet" realistically you can probably get away with placing it an inch or two in front of him without limiting where he can get to too much.

Anyway, it's all just speculation at the moment, so I may be being overly cautious. I can see the advantage to a more advanced placement of the harrier, but equally if he's clipping it from being placed it gives him cover if anyone can get to him, so there's pros and cons for both.

Ben

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I think I'm going to take the box 6 for many games. Hearne2 is a KD bot. That's...ok but not always super helpful. Egret is actually really good (4 point last activation damage makes her nasty as a last T1 activation to soften models) but cack at scoring goals (she is not a striker whatever her card says) and I like a team that can do it all - Ikaros looks pure money for goal scoring.

So I'll start with the base 6 and see where tactics take me. I can see Egret and Hearne2 popping in occasionally but the base 6 look solid for Falconer play - put out all the Harriers, kill things with Devana, get the ball and score.

I mean one of the things I like about the team is they are setup to be an all-rounder team - 2-2 is definitely feasible over 4-1. Harriers AOE placement is going to annoy the hell out of me though...

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3 hours ago, EpicChris said:

So I'll start with the base 6 and see where tactics take me. I can see Egret and Hearne2 popping in occasionally but the base 6 look solid for Falconer play -

I have this thought as well - I'm not sure how often the Hunters players will jump into my 6.

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18 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

Ikaros is the best goalscoring model in the team. With a harrier at his feet he can take flight 7" then charge another 7", and if there's a harrier on his target he can roll 9 dice on the charge. 15" threat to the ball is huge, with Last Light and a harrier at  his feet he can threat 13" to the ball before having to spend any INF. As with Rundaas, if you think there's a goal on, stack him with 4, but you might also get away with 3, or even 2 if Last Light might be a possibility.

2

First of all, fantastic work on this, really enjoyed reading it.

I'm afraid this doesn't quite work though. For taking flight, Ikaros gains flying which makes him ignore ground. Updraft allows him to treat a Harrier AOE as fast-ground, so if he hits it, he ignores it. Just means he has to hit it on his regular advance, not his Take Flight jog.

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Hm, does Ikaros gains Flying at the beginning of his Take Flight jog? Also Updraft doesn't make much sense fluff-wise as it only affects Ikaros when he's on the ground. :D 

 

Great read btw. I think Falconers might also prove to be a deceptively footbally team. Devana can retrieve the ball fairly reliably with Death From Above and get her to wherever the team needs it, Maatagi can do it with some setup and Hotshop and Ikaros has a way around unpredictable movement and similar tech. I can't wait to test them, they seem like a team that wants to constantly pressure the opponent as they probably won't like long grindy games.

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1 hour ago, Tayne said:

I'm afraid this doesn't quite work though. For taking flight, Ikaros gains flying which makes him ignore ground. Updraft allows him to treat a Harrier AOE as fast-ground, so if he hits it, he ignores it. Just means he has to hit it on his regular advance, not his Take Flight jog.

The jog and gaining flying from the cp happen at the same time, so the controlling player can decide, which happens first. So Ikaros can use Taking Flight, jog to a harrier and get the fast ground effect and gain flying after the jog completes. 

 

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1 minute ago, EpicChris said:

Wow...that is some er, 'interesting' ruling. Lawyers clearly had a liquid lunch. I get the ruling is RAW but feel it's a little against RAI.

Why? It's the same with two simultaneous playbook results.

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2 minutes ago, GeroJr said:

Why? It's the same with two simultaneous playbook results.

Because it's using the simultaneous rule to avoid a penalty on movement. I get it's 'the law' I'm saying it looks stupid on the pitch and pretty 'gamey'. "I have flight...but not yet". The theme of rule implies he is getting movement through flying (Take...Flight...) but this rule allows you to crawl along the ground to go faster. Is dumb is what I'm saying.

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The theme of the rule implies to me that Taking Flight is a running start/a take off. So he's running first and once he gains enough momentum he takes off/jumps into the air and starts flying. Other way around would mean that he simply jumps into the air and starts flying into X direction. According to the rules he can do that, but if anything that seqeunce of effects seems weird. Unless he starts flapping his wings so hard he just takes off vertically. If so Ikaros in one strong dude and both ways make sense. :D

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Hmmm. I actually think the reverse, @EpicChris - I see it more as how the rules have been "lawyered" a bit to make sure you can RAI when in RAW it doesn't quite work. The way I see it Harriers represent the birds flying around, and (for whatever reason, reduced drag like migrating geese, probably), flying with the birds makes Ikaros fly faster. Personally I think Updraft needs wording so that he only gets the benefit if he's flying, as that's how I picture how it works. But I can't see it being RAI that he should gain the movement benefit from "updraft" only when not flying.

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Anyway, let's not dwell on this - it means Ikaros is EVEN better than I thought. 24" goal runs ago-ago. So I'm definitely keeping him in - first turn goals are hilariously easy with this faction.

So that +1 to kick/receive will be really useful. FTG Fresli or Ikaros, then setup momentum beatdown with Devana, go first top of 2 and gain TO and possibly score again. Fast and ouchy. 

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Maybe he has to jog first just to get enough speed to get his fat lazy butt off the ground...or is that just my Ikaros? :P 

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How do the Falconers deal with Corsair, especially with Kraken? Basically, Corsair, Kraken, and Tentacles all have CPs that are 6" or more, essentially negating the ability for Mataagi, Rundaas, and, most devastatingly, Devana to do much at range, since all of their CPs have a 6" range. This weekend, Corsair destroyed me (I mean, yeah, he was a tournament level player, and he's played Corsair forever, but I couldn't get ANYTHING going) because his team could essentially pull me in as I had to keep the same ranges in mind. Now, I will freely admit that I made a number of critical mistakes (Ikaros with the ball must stay more than 14" from Corsair if Hag is in the game...), but I was at a loss after the game to identify any strategic fixes.

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It does appear daunting. Guess we could wait for season 4. The other big problem outside the 6" range of their CP's is the lack of high defense models to body block drag and lure.  My guess is to keep Devana way back and place your harriers on the squishiest model then go all in with Devana. Also stealing the ball and punting the ball to Ikarus with Devana and Mataagi seems the way to go.

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6 hours ago, Anudem said:

It does appear daunting. Guess we could wait for season 4. The other big problem outside the 6" range of their CP's is the lack of high defense models to body block drag and lure.  My guess is to keep Devana way back and place your harriers on the squishiest model then go all in with Devana. Also stealing the ball and punting the ball to Ikarus with Devana and Mataagi seems the way to go.

Heh, the suggestions you make are precisely what I tried. Turn one, I had a couple of Harriers on Sakana (though Frelsi couldn't get to him), and put him at about 50% with Devana, and Ikaros wound up with the ball, waaaaay out on the edge (almost too far) in a forest. But Devana was too far forward - it was the only way to get anything done turn 1. And this led to her getting mulched early turn 2, and it just got uglier from there.

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Interesting. I think Shark is the far better drop into Falconers. I would welcome Corsair. I would pick Egret in a heartbeat, if I get the choice, kick with her. Then Poison bubble Corsair and Back to Shadows. Then play cagey with the team - don't rush forward, throw the AOEs at max range. Then activate Devana last and try to get Frelsi into Corsair. Then DofA him, try to go first (assuming they haven't manage to start  generating huge momentum off your models because you were so cagey) Turn 2 and do horrible things to him.

I need more experience into the C-man, but I definitely am less scared of him than Shark. 

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4 hours ago, EpicChris said:

Interesting. I think Shark is the far better drop into Falconers. I would welcome Corsair. I would pick Egret in a heartbeat, if I get the choice, kick with her. Then Poison bubble Corsair and Back to Shadows. Then play cagey with the team - don't rush forward, throw the AOEs at max range. Then activate Devana last and try to get Frelsi into Corsair. Then DofA him, try to go first (assuming they haven't manage to start  generating huge momentum off your models because you were so cagey) Turn 2 and do horrible things to him.

I need more experience into the C-man, but I definitely am less scared of him than Shark. 

Yeah, this is probably the ONLY way to play him (C- stands for......). I didn't use Egret - not sure who to take out. Rundaas was the MAN for me all day, though (you were right). One mistake I made all day, and especially in this game, was over-allocating to Mataagi. Anyway, I would often: KD a model somehow, then throw a Snare or a Bleed on them (or some combination of the 3), just to have the conditions removed. Big mistakes, tbh. But Egret can multi-poison - ah, yes, that might be something. He also played a team that all had some kind of annoying def tech, other than Sakana - Corsair, Kraken w/ Tough Hide, Hag w/ Fear, and vSiren w/ Escaping Fate, which would get her out of range most of them.

I understand the concern about Shark, but f-him. To score, he has to come within range - that's how I feel about it, even if it won't work.

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I faced Kraken - Tough Hide doesn't matter as long as you can setup Frelsi and 3xDfrAs. Which on slow models like Kraken isn't that hard. When facing Corsair, I try to focus on him, because once he's gone, his game plan usually starts to fall apart. Take out Sakana with Rundaas - he can't escape him and Rundaas can wreck him up, and just put 1 on Mataagi for the snipe - choose the DMG+Bleed if near end of turn if you don't need the 3rd Harrier.

I would drop Ikaros - Egret is also a Striker(ish) so it's almost like for like. Ignore Hag - she's a PITA and not worth it (she doesn't win herself).

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@EpicChris you make it sound so easy... It's just never as easy as it "should" be, nor "should" it be easy, as the opponent has something to say on the matter. Like re: Frelsi on Kraken - Frelsi has to get there. As you say, Kraken is slow. Well, so is Frelsi, kinda, and she's got a long way to go to get to Kraken turn 1. Re: Rundaas on Sakana - Rundaas on Sakana, with no other considerations, is only getting to 2 net hits reliably (and some pushes) which, with 4 attacks, equates to 8 damage by my hasty math. So if I sacrifice a damaging attack for a Harrier, I possibly do 9 damage. If I sacrifice the first playbook result (which is wisest, the first attack or second?), then that changes the math a bit, but ultimately, after 4 attacks, I've done... 9 damage, but Sakana is at 3/1 DEF (I'm ignoring the poison, which will inevitably be removed, and if not, ok 2 more damage). I dunno... without some help, Rundaas doesn't kill Sakana. And the real problem for me in the game in question - I actually considered ALL of that, although I wound up using Devana instead, because, since it's fish, there were a thousand 2" melee models around to crowd Rundaas out. There was nowhere, in this scenario, where I could go without at least a single crowd out, and I would have to sprint to get there. This is game state dependent, I know. But with vSiren around, it was so difficult to go in with Rundaas efficiently. You mention 1 on Mataagi, and... yeah. Here's an example of a subtle, but critical mistake: I had 4 on Mataagi, and Hot Shotted the ball carrier, largely to get the momentous Harrier, but I hit the tackle instead. Hmmm... ok, I like the ball (ahem), so I grabbed the ball and passed to Ikaros. Now I've used 2 INF, but I still have a momentum, and the ball. But no Harrier, and now what? I put 4 on Mataagi in the first place thinking: Hot Shot, Harrier, jog in, damage one or more models for that sweet extra damage plus bleed, and then probably die, but at least Devana is "safer." But vSiren went before Mataagi, and guess what? Now, jogging in gets me very little if anything with the -2 TAC, she won't die anyway due to Escaping Fate, and I'm hanging out with: 1 momentum, no Harrier, no dead vSiren (I suppose it is possible that I could've TO'd her if Escaping Fate happened and I had 1 more INF, but not great odds...), and no bleed on anything. So... I just Snap Fired at Kraken I think, and maybe Corsair, which at least used the INF, but far less than I wanted. I need to learn that: if I want a specific result and I roll higher on the playbook, just take the result I wanted (I guess, unless higher on the book is the same result plus something else). I totally agree re: Egret for Ikaros. I need to get her assembled and ready for the pitch.

I'm not saying I disagree with your strategy - you're most likely right, and as usual, I bow to superior experience and ability. Sorry for the long post, and series of posts... this match has kept me thinking for days.

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Ah sorry - you're right - a brief description can come off as trite. Not what I was aiming for. What I meant to say was that I focus on Corsair first if possible, then move focus to Sakana, then to Kraken. The idea being these are the actual goal threats. Few Falconers can 1-round models without setup - but if you can Minerva setup a model, Rundaas has a shot. This is also why I like Egret - she softens models up. Models softened up are much easier for Falconers to pick off.

The other thing I didn't mention is always look for opportunities to score - while I have won 0/6, it's not common. 

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