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Season 4 Ratcatchers - Share your play experiences!

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Hi guys! A bit slow in this subforum so I thought I would try to stir something up. 

Season 4 is now upon us in full effect. And I know people had different opinions on whether Rats got better or worse or sidegraded. 

But that was all theory then. 

So now, how have you been feeling the rats on the table now in season 4? (Good/Bad, Fun/Boring, Same/Different, Easier/Harder?)

Any and all opinions are welcome :) 

I do have some opinions myself, but I will wait a bit before writing them, as I am curious how everyone else are feeling them and I don't want to put words into anyone elses mouth.

Cheers

/Niclas 

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I feel like I have to play them in a different way now. I personally liked the 'rat trap' play style as I think it fitted with the aesthetic of the team. Piper leading a rat into the jaws of a trap for it to slam shut.

Although it is still possible to play that way, it is no where near as efficient.

I think they are ok, but I've been no where near as successful with them with the S4 changes (that may just be that I've not clicked with their 'new' playstyle yet). 

I think they are still a lot of fun and are capable for some incredible jank but I am finding them harder to play and mistakes feel a lot less forgiving. I'm certainly struggling against teams that want to brawl.

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After scouring the internet, I find that I am decidedly in the minority in that I didn't ever use snackdigger.  I used snackbreak mostly for the health regen, but I usually just preferred the damage.  Occasionally it was handy to turn a mascot kill into a normal 2 point take out.  I never really saw the possibility of a snackdigger as justification to bring S3 vGraves.

In S3, I took the basic Ratcatcher box team in just about every game.  I never really found a justification to bring S3 Bonesaw or vGraves, unless I was playing a newer player and wanted to give myself a handicap.

So, my play actually focused around a good deal of goals to begin with, with Pelage and Scourge on takeout duty.  I feel like they were already capable of the goal oriented style the design team wanted, and the only reason that people weren't using that was because they had the option of snackdigger, not because they weren't capable footballers.

Now, all the players are viable, and most of them are better footballers than they used to be.  I feel like vGraves is now nigh mandatory, ironically.  As much as I like his interplay, I am frustrated that the very badly needed upgrade to Squeak is on Graves's card.  And since you have to take Squeak, his usefulness is determined by Graves's presence.  I also think that Graves is now an even better beat down partner for Scourge.  With KD They Ain't Tough on 2... I can't imagine a better set up for a Scourge finish.

Ironically, even though the Piper and Skulk got better Kick, and Bonesaw is now useable, meaning the team is now much better at goals, I personally will be doing more takeouts than I used to just due to the 1-2 punch of Graves and Scourge.

I suspect others will be moving more in the other direction, especially if they played heavily into snackdigger.

I've only played a few S4 games, but those are my observations.  Also, new Salve on Miasma is super awesome.

My team is typically Piper, Squeak, vGraves, Scourge, Miasma, and flex between Skulk and Bonesaw depending on kick or receive.

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I were never all in on any strategy in s3, I have always been a "path of least resistance" guy - doing whatever seems easiest given how my opponent plays. 

What I did find with s3 rats were that the team heavily centered around Piper and Scourge. Piper needed to move models around (friends and enemies), make the goals happen and chase down the ball. And Scourge cash in take outs. 

However now the burdens are a lot more shared. With Bonesaw helping with ball pressure and his long threat means you a lot of times can get a goal without using reverie. So you are a lot more free to use Piper for other stuff, moving others around or using reverie on Scourge/graves to engage or disengage. Pipers cheaper pay the Piper is actually used now, since you can reasonably pay for it before you attack when you expect a counter. So if you miss getting a m>> you still get a momentum for standing yourself up if they KD you for example. It generally pays off several momentum too. But, Piper really wants to go late, when his repositions gets to affect already activated models. 

With new salve, scrummier graves and skulk with kd you are actually a lot better at scrumming properly now, it just yields fewer points. Which does feel better imo for both parties. With salve you are encouraged to be diseased yourself without being as vulnerable to kd and hence putting out a lot of momentum drain. You are however less likely to heal with your players taking damage and it being expensive (sometimes removing disease to heal is a good idea) - but it feels more thematic in any case. 

I have yet to be impressed with packmaster - the momentum is barely worth 2 inf on squeak. And when he wants to hit what graves have KD:d his first momentous result is on 3 (bar taking shriek for momentum) and it is just a m2, having a worse playbook, less speed, less furious, worse def stats than Vileswarm is not super great - but sometimes you get a useful shriek, so swings and round abouts I guess. I have mostly used it to let squeak run and pass actually when needed. Graves himself is solid however, so not much to complain about. 

Though as I am a Skulk fanboy I do not always take vgraves as other seems to deem autoinclude. Piper, Scourge and Bonesaw eats up a lot of inf and Skulk/Pelage are just allround better models at standing around and surviving/being annoying for free. 

My autoincludes are basically always Scourge and Bonesaw, after that I am pretty flexible (though Miasma naturally comes in a lot). 

I do think that the team has become better, in any case they *feel* better to use. But season 4 have seen a lot of other teams getting a power increase too. I see Bonesaw as the biggest gain for the guild. They really needed someone fast like him to counter act the loss of snackdigger. 

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My quick thoughts after two games, as someone who isn't very good at this game:

Piper: Feels about as strong as I would've expected. He is very influence hungry and I really like using Pay the Piper every turn. My playpartner always falls for "do you bonus-time?" 

Squeak: The 1" difference is VERY noticable! And giving him 2 influence out-of-activation is pretty cool, because can tag-along after graves and be in a good position to charge in your next activation. It's much easier to get his control effect into the game now and he's better for piling in too.

Miasma: I never have any luck with her up close just like before, but Rataclysm is still great and her reworked healing salves are very good.

Scourge: Lost his wind, but he still a fat sack of health and Miasma's buff primarily made him more useful.

Pelage: No changes, but I actually have to mention her, because with the changes to momentus damage across some teams, she is even worse of a target to hit than before. But she is a lot worse against Fish than before

Skulk: The Knockdown on 4 makes such a difference. Taking a parting blow from 8 dice is risky enough for most players not to try and it's went up to what I estimate to be a ~1/3 chance to flatten a Striker attempting to build momentum on him. Haven't used his increased Kick yet in practice.

Graves: Amazing just for Close Control and the Squeak interaction. Haven't gotten value out of the character plays yet, but that's fine. 

Bonesaw: - not yet used -

 

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