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malladin.ben

First actual game with the Falconers

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Having laser cut myself a set of nice acrylic proxies, I went to the club last night to get a game in. I played against Sean, a new guy in our club, but quickly developing his skills (as having to play against Henry Kay every other week will do for you!).

He played ratcatchers, subbing in vGraves and Bonesaw for Scourge and Miasma, as he felt he was tying himself in knots a bit trying to deal with it. Probably not a bad option for a new player. I took the box six.

I mainly spent my turns trying to get out as many harriers as possible, and ideally and Eye Spy, too, and then go in with Rundass, followed by Devana shooting down targets from range.

Generally speaking this worked nicely and give me a constant steady trickle of VPs and mom. However, Piper constantly to do horrible things with the ball, and Skulk locked down Ikaros nicely. Having 3 Harriers was nice, but I think there was only 1 turn where I was able to get all three out and use all three of them for Devana's attacks. That said, being able to place 3 and keep things flexible was a strength in itself. 

I managed to keep the ball safe for the first two turns by keeping Ikaros out of the action. I considered going for the first turn goal with him, but a nice (for the rats) kick off and then me being greedy over turn 1 harriers and didn't allocate enough influence. During turn 1 I put a bit of damage on Squeak and vGraves with Devana, setting them up for easy take outs next turn. During turn 2 Minerva went in first, KDing the both graves and the rat and getting out her harrier. Mataagi triggered a hit shot harrier off the KD's rat and put it on skulk, and Rundass went in on the rat and graves and did TO the rat and put some damage on graves, whilst also getting out his harrier and a dirty knives on graves, setting things up nicely for Devana to come in and take out graves and get skulk down to a few hp. During this turn Skulk is able to get the ball off Ikaros, but unable to put it anywhere useful. Pelage goes in against Rundaas, but is crowded out by Minerva and only manages a couple of damage. I take Pinned from her dilemma and then use the takeout on vGraves by Devana to clear from Rundaas via Minerva's aura.

Not sure exactly how things go from here, turn 3 and 4 kind of merge into one for me, but Bonesaw gets a goal next turn, and because of an unfriendly kick, piper manages to get it back for a second, after which get the ball to Ikaros who runs to the corner to get away from everyone, but a returning skulk can sprint to engage him (only having 1 inf). I have another good turn of murder, taking out graves and the rat (twice) again, leaving me on 9 and him on 8, and on me 2-up on mom going into turn 5. 

My highest card is a 4 but he has Lone Striker in the bank that he's not had opportunity to use yet because I've often been well on top in the mom race. He gets first go, tackles Ikaros, shoves him into the crowd and kicks the ball up field towards Bonesaw and gets a nice scatter so that Bonesaw can snap the ball.

It's 10-9 to the rats and there's nothing I can do about the ball. Rundaas could sprint and hope for three 5s to tackle, and similarly Mataagi could move up and hotshot bonesaw, hoping for three 5s to tackle, but then they'd be out of INF and standing within easy range of Piper or Bonesaw for them to finish the game. However, Squeak and vGraves had come back on within range of Devana and Frelsi, so a hack back, a charge to kill off the rat and then 2 more attacks to try and do the 7 or 8 to graves that he returns on, but only with +1 DMG. bit of a tough ask. Then I roll a ton of 1s on the charge and fail to kill the rat on the charge. Looks like the game is over, but then, as it typical when you're learning a new team, I realise I haven't used my legendary yet, so use it to finish off the rat and deal 3 to Graves, snaring him in the process.  After that it only takes 1 attack to finish him off and take the game.

Devana was, unsurprisingly, a beast, but the surprise 2nd MVP award goes to Minerva. Every turn after the first she got 3 and almost every turn she went first, did three useful things, generating 3 mom in the process, and then she helped with healing and clearing conditions during Devana's turn when her captain starts to churn out the takeouts. Going to be very difficult to drop her.

I agree with @Beardminis that vHearne could be very useful in this team, so I'm thinking who I might replace him with. Rundaas proved an excellent secondary damage dealer (2dmg GB when you're already under a harrier deals 5 damage, poison and -1 DEF!), so he makes a really good second activation, particularly if Minerva has a target KD'd and Eye Spied and in a Harrier! Ikaros seems like a good shout as he did very little for me in terms of output this game. But, he was really useful in helping kill the ball, so maybe it has to be Mataagi.

To be honest I was lucky and there was a lot my opponent could have done to mitigate the takeouts I did get, just be choosing where he brought his players back onto the pitch a bit more carefully, but if he did, maybe I would have been forced to go for Piper or Bonesaw instead and knackered up his gameplan further. Interesting thoughts - was I tempted away from playing an effective takeout game by always going for the soft targets?

Overall, and this may say more about me than about the Falconers, but they feel most similar to butchers than any other team. Yes, they have ranged attacks, but they also have the mobile/easily killable thing that the butchers have, and good amount of risk/reward to their play. They also lack much in the way of control (as far as I have so far discovered, at least) beyond taking out key models at key times, and to some extent they suffer in comparison to butchers on this score as they need to build themselves up over several activations. The risk/reward aspect that I really like about butchers is much better set up with the falconers, too. With butchers your risk is down to target selection and, often, the dice you roll, whereas with falconers it seems to be a lot more about getting the set up and activation order right to cash in on it (the risk being more about how your opponent reacts to your set up than whether the counter attack f*#ks you over for the turn). There's less direct interaction with the opponent in terms of counter attacks, but more in terms of positional play and soft control from placing your harriers and frelsi.

I like them a lot. They may do what farmers didn't and tempt me away from Butchers for a while.

Cheerio,

Ben

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8 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

Skulk locked down Ikaros nicely.

This doesn't surprise me even a little bit. I really can't see an even mediocre way for Ikaros to do anything useful with the ball while Skulk... skulks about. Even with a TAC bonus and cover from a Harrier AOE won't be enough, I don't think, as Skulks traits really don't care whether or not he has the ball. When I first saw Ikaros, and realized he had no solid way to disengage other than via an attack, I was worried that he just wouldn't get much work done. One game isn't a trend, but I am curious how he gets away from, for example, Skulk, or (f'n!) Hearth (in cover!), or Iron (or a host of Blacksmiths, to be honest), or Benediction, etc., other than simply the rest of the team trying to take out the model that is tying him down.

 

8 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

I take Pinned from her dilemma and then use the takeout on vGraves by Devana to clear from Rundaas via Minerva's aura.

Brilliant. Did you ever consider using Minerva's Easy Pickings to take out the weakened models? Would it have made any other players activations better?

 

8 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

It's 10-9 to the rats and there's nothing I can do about the ball. Rundaas could sprint and hope for three 5s to tackle, and similarly Mataagi could move up and hotshot bonesaw, hoping for three 5s to tackle, but then they'd be out of INF and standing within easy range of Piper or Bonesaw for them to finish the game. However, Squeak and vGraves had come back on within range of Devana and Frelsi, so a hack back, a charge to kill off the rat and then 2 more attacks to try and do the 7 or 8 to graves that he returns on, but only with +1 DMG. bit of a tough ask. Then I roll a ton of 1s on the charge and fail to kill the rat on the charge. Looks like the game is over, but then, as it typical when you're learning a new team, I realise I haven't used my legendary yet, so use it to finish off the rat and deal 3 to Graves, snaring him in the process.  After that it only takes 1 attack to finish him off and take the game.

Just so I'm picturing the situation correctly - Bonesaw has, or is easily within range, of the ball, and can go for a goal run, and you have a single models influence stack to either grab the ball and keep it from Bonesaw, OR get 2 take-outs (or I suppose, score a goal yourself). I assume Squeak and vGraves weren't in a Harrier AOE, or there wasn't one on the field to move, and that's why you charged w/ Devana - ah, I see, it was your FIRST activation of the turn. That's damn impressive, and a might fine use of her Legendary. I know what I would've done in that situation is try and use Devana to get the ball, if at all possible, and Air Mail it somewhere. It might've prevented the goal run on the next activation (and maybe not...), but it would not have won the game. If not possible, then, yeah, I would've been looking for the 2 take-outs. Looks like during turn 3 onwards, the Ratcatchers have 3 DEF 5 models on the field, and one of which is NOT the mascot... ugh.

Minerva in this team vs. Ratmen is going to be crucial, I think, since the Falconers have such low health pools - Disease is just going to eat them alive.

I love good match reports.

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I never bothered with easy pickings because I just felt getting eye spy and a harrier down were so much more important. I guess if there's an INF spare for some damage it might be worth it, especially if you can have the harrier on the target, too. Most of the time, though, the KD was important.

At the end of the game the ball was just so deep there was only 1 model (rundaas) who could actually engage Bonesaw, but with only 2 inf, if he tackled the ball it's be impossible to make it safe. The scatter went 6" to 3 to snap to Bonesaw, and I hadn't realised I'd left ikaros within 2 of the board edge, so I was expecting to be able to after it with Ikaros, who had some fast ground to play with, and with 2 jogs with a fast ground could potentially have gotten away from Skulk with the ball - maybe, I suppose if Skulk tackles him piper can reverie Skulk to score, hmmm.

The double take out devana activation was definitely the best choice at the time. If I'd had a less shitty hand of game plan cards I might not have lost the initiative and been able to score with Ikaros first activation to close out the game anyway. But when the highest card you get dealt is a 5 you have to suck it up at times.

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I am in NO way criticizing your choice of actions to win the game - in fact, just the opposite. I'm saying I likely would've made the wrong decision in that position, assuming the 2 take outs were out of reach, and just tried to extend the turn. But the situation you describe w/ Ikaros is a perfect example of what I'm not his biggest fan yet, and why I hate Skulk (until I play Rats, then it's a different story).

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Sorry if you read that as a criticism, it wasn't intended. You gave me cause to re-reflect and reconsider, which is never a bad thing. I think you actually helped me spot a flaw in my original plan (that I never got to do because Ikaros was taken out).

Skulk is a headf*#k, certainly! Best thing to do is prioritise him for death. TOs is probably the falconers best/only control play.

 

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Nice one Ben, good write up. Saw your proxies on Twitter, brilliant work! 

I'me going to picking up the Falconers box - I like the idea of playing like Butchers but without actually playing Butchers :D

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