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S4 Hunters finally revealed!

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Time to test Ulfr. He looks solid now when you take into consideration Skatha's buffs. Charge 10 just with f ast ground and get T << on 2 hits before using WTG. He's not spectactular as an individual, but just much more reliable.

Seenah just makes me want to go and play a game. Just imagine her with vMinx. Oh god. Really interesting rework, can't wait to test her. (Hoping for Sturdy was a bit much I guess :D ).

Chaska looks awesome. Definitely target for a Blessing, 7 dmg+snare+4" push on 3 dice is great. Also great playbook rework. New mud concealer is also better IMO.

Jaecar got nerfed a bit, which is fine with me. I think he's not an auto anymore which is good. Those 2 inches on Gut and String are pretty big as he won't be as safe anymore retreating BTTS.

Can't wait to put them on the table. :D

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Damn, Ulfr, Seenah, Skatha changes just look so fun I need to try them. I think Chaska & vHearne look way more interesting, now I just need to play with it all.

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Quite happy indeed.

Seenah was the obvious "Fuck yeah" moment. That bear became the monster the story made him (her?) out to be. With up to mom 6 dmg (before Isolated Target or Harrier), Crucial Artery and early KD he will bring the pain. Add that he can even function as a minor battery now and I can finally play one of the models that brought me to Hunters without feeling handycapped.

Ulfr was underwhelming at first glance, but upon further consideration is now a very solid striker. 20" goal threat, Lone Hunter actually being a bonus due to his shortened playbook and easier mom T mean he can score on his own, but goes to eleven with Skatha.

Chaska is also great. While he lost the triple (quadruple ?) Boombox the increased range and damage mean he can be a great battery if blessed. Mom 2 on 2 also greatly improve his fighting capabilities, especially paired with his mom >> on 1.

Skatha we knew about, but her changes can´t be overstated. Both her personal goal threat and support capabilities improved greatly with the change to her blessing.

Snow is also interesting. Lost "Oooh, Ball..." but gained loved creature. I´m not sure yet if the change in Pack Mentality is a nerf, buff or lateral change. 2/6" Kick is great to have on a mascot.

Zarola might be usefull for something besides Midnight Offering now.

Theron´s only change makes him so much simpler to use, which I am incredibly happy about.

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1 minute ago, Xavian and Deathgrip said:

Well, as a non-hunters player, Seenah's playbook is terrifying. 

Not having to to rely on her charging to get big numbers is such a big relief.

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The changes I can see for now:

Theron: He loses 2HP and his forest is more easily placeable.

Skatha: She was already revealed, so no comments.

Fahad: No changes at sight.

Snow: It gains KICK range, greater Pack Mentality radius and Loved CReature trait, and loses Oooh...BALL! trait.

Chaska: His Boom Box has changed radically. It's OPT, costs 3 INF, has RNG 6" and does 6 DMG and a 4" push to one enemy. Mud Concealer trait now gives DEF instead of ARM. Plus the already known changes to hunter traps. Its Playbook also changes: he has more relevant early results (momentous doble push on 1, 2 momentous damage on 2) but at the cost of losing options.

Egret: Swift Strikes now grants 2" dodges. Her Playbook becomes a little worst (momentous push dodge on 4, instead of on 3).

Hearne: No changes here.

vHearne: Already revealed, too.

Jaecar: He loses Blood and a column playbook result (3 damage dodge push on 6). His trap have changed.

Seenah: It totally changes. It loses its free charge (although now it has a free attack), its free disengage and its extra VP gain, but it gains loads of damage potential (1 hit in melee = 1 DMG, Crucial Artery and Isolated Target) and 1 extra INF. It also loses a high KD damage playbook result.

Ulfr: He gains MOV, KICK range and a shortened playbook. He loses Blood Scent and some interesting playbook results (momentous damage on 2, momentous tackle dodge on 3).

vMinx: Her traps changes.

Zarola: She gains TAC, KICK dice and max INF. She keeps her crappy playbook (now one column longer than before, yay!).

Mataagi and Minerva: The same players, with the reduction of Harrier range.

 

 

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Plenty of little buffs that make things tick. An extra kick die for Zarola, Swift Strikes, Forest and Fast Ground placement for the captains. Playbook reworks.

I think we get more than we lose with Chaska and Seenah, WAY more. But I will miss the Quad Box dream team, and Furious.

Oh yea, Ulfr exists and he isn't a dumpster fire anymore. I never latched onto his aesthetic fantasy so I still don't think he'll ever hit the table for me.

Honestly a little annoyed that I have a useless Pitfall trap. I know I can convert it onto a 30mm base, but when the change was coming I said it kills the uniqueness of the trap markers for the players, and I still think that's true. Jaecar doesn't even have a way to inflict bleed anymore. Not that he really needed one, but you get my point.

I think Skatha's changes are still far and away the most significant.

I'm excited to try out new team comps and put models on the table who've never taken the pitch beside one another before.

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1 hour ago, JacctheInsomniac said:

I'm excited to try out new team comps and put models on the table who've never taken the pitch beside one another before.

This.

3-0 game might be viable with the changes to Skatha and Ulfr. And the idea of a dancing bear in the pitch with up to 3" of dodge after a mauling has me giggling.

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Got a game in with Theron, Fahad, vHearne, Seenah, Egret, and vMinx this afternoon and it was a lot of fun. Best Ratcatchers 12-7. I had a really hard time picking which 6 to try and settled on this mainly becasue it’s the models I like the most. Theron’s forest placement is much easier now which helps a lot. vHearne’s new teleporting ability is great. It out him in position for a potential snap shot on turn 2 but the pass from vMinx failed. The teleport allowed him to adjust at the top of 3 though and it turned into my only goal for the game. Swift Strikes going to 2” isn’t a massive change, but you notice it with Egret. Seenah got 2 take outs as well. Her having Crucial Artery is amazing. I was disappointed to lose Furious, but the free attack was much more flexible in this game and that made a difference. Not to mention having that extra influence all game since she is 1/2 now. 

Can’t wait to try out Zarola now that she is a 2/4 influence model. Ulfr essentially being a TAC 6 striker with a 20” Goal great also seems really good. S4 Hunters are going to be fun. 

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The more I look at Hunters the more I like them.  Ulfr is definitely a lot better.  The synergy with the team is a lot better.  This team has come a long ways from S2.  For me, Jaecar was basically an auto include in S3, and now that is not the case.  Still not a big fan of Egret, I was really hoping that they would do something else with her.  I am thinking that my first S4 Hunters game will be with Skatha.

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TL;DR (Hot Take/Gut Reaction): Balance wise, minor buffs were needed and are now given; however, the team doesn't feel the same, and they won't be as exciting to play. Their team complexity and character uniqueness has diminished to get them competitively in line with other guilds, and that makes them feel watered down. 

.....................................................................................

Most of the changes are boring. I know Steamforged's goal for S4 is simplification, but for this team, I am concerned that the reduction in complexity in a lot of characters and throughout the whole team is going to make them feel too different (and thematically not as interesting). I can try to appreciate cutting off unnecessary parts like Jaecar's bleed character play, and maybe even Snowball's "Ooh, ball", but at the same time I feel like they removed the charm/uniqueness/substance from these characters. Some characters were buffed, but their identities became obfuscated.

For the record, I wasn't concerned about Hunter viability before, and I'm not concerned about Hunter viability with S4 changes. I know a big gripe in S2 and S3 for new Hunter players was that it felt like you had to work harder to get the same out of them as you would any other team (some would argue you would get less), but I enjoyed that about Hunters. Before you had to have a game plan for each turn and fight like hell to make sure that game plan sticks so the payoff was worth it. Now it feels like the game plan is wide open and you'll get results no matter what you do. Hurray?

Examples

Before (the example everyone is probably thinking of): Chaska's quad boombox required an extensive setup and investment. Full influence on Chaska, two activations before Chaska's, maybe enough momentum to supplement for bonus times + to pay a boombox with last light (sun strike helps). In return, you got 16 damage and some push power. A turn you could smile at and crack up with your buddy about some crazed, mud covered man with a shotgun. 

Now:  Chaska is an influence battery and a blessing target. Yawn. 

 

Before: Protect and enable Seenah by keeping her back until the moment is right for the free charge (+2 attacks if required). Chaska's multiple boomboxes to help clear off the bear.

Now: No setup required. Maybe VMinx's Marked for Death. 

Note: I am glad Seenah is now a dangerous bear rather than a package to be protected and then delivered, but it still is a good example in a reduction of complexity. I know most people saw Seenah as a liability because normally the activation would have to be wasted and she wasn't generating influence while not doing anything (making her noncompetitive), but that bear hug payoff (your bear crushed Ghast's neck...that's intense. Have 4 VP!). Furious and Intimidating Roar felt right, too. Feral is an ok replacement. 

 

Before: Three different traps with different aesthetics and different abilities. Made bringing certain hunters like choosing your team load out. 

Now:  Normalized. Bland. However, traps doing snared AND 1 damage is a decent recovery thematically. 

 

Before: Ulfr. I know gambling doesn't equate to complexity, but he was the only striker like him.

Now: Made him look like just about any other striker. 

Note: Why not just give him a shorter playbook (and adjust for balance) and more movement (like he should have always had); then leave everything else alone?

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I don't think Hunters got watered down at all, you'll still need to stick to a plan, but now there are more viable choices and therefore more plans that can work. Plenty of Guilds got damage buffs, the game is getting a bit faster and a Hunter team without a plan will still get picked apart IMO. 

I also think the guild identity didn't suffer at all. That's very subjective of course and I don't want to argue, just present a different point of view.

Chaska fits the bill of a frontier huntsman now. He appears from the mud, blasts someone for 7 dmg, if he puts down a trap before and then he can close in for the kill or some solid damage. His 2 on 2 meands that he can easily do 15 damage with the blessing and 4 inf! That's awesome and I can easily imagine him beating up a shotgunned and snared target. :) As for 4quadrupleboomboxe - while it was fun, it didn't seem right to me as you can't really get off 4 blasts from an middle age shotgun thing without anyone interfering. Perkins even said it was a mistake that boom box wasn't opt. It was also very easy to disrupt it.

While Seenah lost some of the fluffy abilities, the ones she gained just make her more bearish imo. Furious was great, but Feral is a neat replacmenet and show she can't be simply tied down and do nothing, because she's a freaking bear. Her playbook also resembles that now and got scarier. And while bear hug was okay (it got you 3 vps not 4 :) ), mauling is just awesome and for me again makes her more bearish. I actually like she'll damage everyone around her, so we'll have to be careful. And she makes all enemies bleed now, which a bear should do.

I agree with the pitfall trap, which was nice, but also think Minx traps are more thematic now, as they have ropes and stuff and didn't inflict snare before.

Ulfr seemed super fluffy before, but was simply dysfunctional. Still kept ambush and tac 6 most of the time, which shows he's a bigger and stronger guy than other strikers. So he retains some of his uniqueness. Yes, he got a bit watered down, but not to a point where he's bland imo. And that's a trade I'm willing to make to actually see him on the table. :)

Again, not here to argue as I understand this things can't be judged objectively. I guess the point of my post it to try and spread the excitement a bit? :D 

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11 minutes ago, Larhendiel said:

Its a real shame we only have three planters
It'll make hard for us to land as many snares as I'd like.

 

Well that’s the same amount of trappers as you have in S3 and now all of them snare, surely that increase is something positive?

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Skatha, Theron, both Hearnes, Zarola, Jaecar, Chaska and Minx all have native access to snare, and as Falkman mentioned, Minx couldn't snare before. 

If you're struggling to snare models when you want to snare models, the issue isn't with the rules...

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Skatha, Snow, Egret, Ulfur, Zarola, vMinx are close to being a fish team without 2" reach. Super fast, dodgy AF, mascot 2/6", but the rest rocking a min 3/6".

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Positioning around the mauling will always be a concern but as pointed out by a friend of mine Seenah can push our players into a more advantageous position.

First one of us to score a goal by pushing a teammate out of engagement or pushing to within range by mauling is a hero.

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Now that we've seen the cards, any initial thoughts on tournament twelves?  Which three models do you cut? 

I need to get things on the table to sort my thoughts out, but at the moment I think I'd cut Mataagi and Jaecar, and then either Egret or Fahad. 

Probably going to play a lot more Chaska, and I can see him just slotting in for Jaecar.  Also need the second Harrier less between the change to Grace and our improved ability to either play football into teams that are hard to fight or to do damage in larger base chunks from Seenah and Chaska.  Minerva is my preferred Harrier bringer of the two, so she's the one I'd keep for when I want it.  Then it's a matter of whether I want another fast ranged piece that can also strike, or access to both mascots.  I'd miss those Linked shenanigans a ton losing Fahad, but I suspect having access to Egret's Flurry may be more relevant where it comes up.  Still, really unsure.

So, if I had a tournament tonight, I think I'd run Theron, Skatha, Snow, Hearne, vHearne, vMinx, Chaska, Seenah, Zarola, Ulfr, Minerva, Egret  

Loving how difficult SFG has made these choices!

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I'd agree with that 12, though I might think about taking a Hearne out to get Fahad in (just to suit my play style)

Had a "pre-season training match" today - basically Hunters vs Hunters with no duplicates and only one Hearne.  My Skatha, Ulfr, Snow, Vet Hearne, Seenah, and Minerva faced off against Theron, Egret, Zarola, Fahad, Vet Minx and Chaska. 

My team had a turn one goal with Ulfr then Skatha worked on getting the ball for goal number 2.  Turns out Zarola is a great ball holder vs her and I couldn't get the results I needed to dodge in without setting Unpredictable off though.  However, I really liked the fact there were options with the inclusion of her blessing and legendary to work around Unpredictable.  Seenah definitely felt like a bear in this game and Furious was not missed.  In the end though, Poisoned Arrows, Arrows to the Knee, and a free Shotgun blast per round took the game to 12-9 to Theron.  We both really enjoyed the game, and how the Guild feels for S4.

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I'm basically starting Hunters at S4, got roughly 15 games with them at late S3.

I think I'll leave Jaecar for sure from 12, but from this point on it's hard. Probably the last two from Snow, vHearne and Egret.

I would really like keeping Snow since the aura looks ok at some situations. vHearne isn't easy drop too since there isn't too many footballing options in the guild. Egret on the other hand plays very similar role than Mataagi so I think there's no room for both.

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14 minutes ago, AaronWilson. said:

Yeah on further thought, I think Snow, vHearne & Jaecar will be staying at home.

 

This seems very potential solution for me too. I unfortunately don't have too much experience with Hunters in actual games.

Can you elaborate the decision on vHearne? Do you view that there's enough ball retrieval in Hunters without him? Is Seenah taking vHearnes place as an anchor in midfield? Is Egret a crucial part of something I didn't consider? Something else?

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For me I think what vHearne does now is fun but I don't necessairly think massively effective. oHearne does similliar things in regards to teleporting but can flip to straight murdering people.

Between Sktha, Ulfr, & vMinx I think ball retriaval shouldn't be such a massive problem. I'm a fan of Egret into things like Corsair, Blacksmiths, Morticians etc - clumped up teams or low health pools she preys on.

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