Showing posts with label Arcanists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arcanists. Show all posts

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ripples of Fate Review: Arcanists

Hello all.  I figured I would give Adam a hand with a couple of these so you can get them faster.  And seeing as how I already faced Sandeep at Gen Con Avatars I may (but probably not) have better insight.

I will start with Sandeeps upgrades.  Sandeep has two limited upgrades available both of which allow him to summon gamin.  The difference between the two is that one lets you paralyze your target if you do moderate or severe damage, and the other increases his damage profile to 3/4/5. His summoning mechanic involves attaching upgrades to the gamin that are summoned.  There are six rare 1 gamin upgrades tied to each of the limited master upgrade.  Sandeep must attach an upgrade to summon so he can only have plus 3 models over what he started with at any given time.  All six upgrades buff and debuff the summoned gamin in different various ways.  One set of three are scheme and interact related and the other three are combat oriented.  An example would be this gamin may not be moved or pushed (which I assume includes walk and charge actions along with effects from other models) but gains an aura that makes the enemy discard 2 cards to interact or the action fails.  If you only use the upgrade to summon Banasuva I still don't think you put Sandeep on the table without one of the two.

He has two other upgrades.  Enlightened Soul allows Sandeep to draw a card once per turn if he kills an enemy model.  And there is a cast that hands out incorporeal to other models until the end of that models next activation. Just what a nimble Howard needed...  The other Unaligned Sage allows him to hire in model with the academics keyword from other factions.  And there are two 1 AP tactical actions.  One will let you draw a card once per activation if an academic discards a card (so things like flurry but there is a call out it doesn't work for cheated cards).  The other turns on a 6" aura that make academics not randomize.  Both seem useful depending on the crew build but not auto include by any means.

1. Banasuva.  An 8SS rare 1 minion totem that is summon only (cost is there to set the summon TN).  This thing has melee expert and hits like a truck (3/4/5).  It has the Ice Golems toss ability and a zero action to copy an ability or action from close by friendly gamin (editor's note: see also Armor +2 on Iron Gamin.)  It has 8 Wd's, Df 6, and Wp 4 and no other defenses so it can be a liability for hunting party but outside of that I don't see this master without this guy on the table at least once.

2. Kudra.  A 7 SS rare 1 academic henchman.  She has a few neat abilities on the front of her card.  Butterfly Jump, a Df/Wp (built in) trigger to draw a card once a turn if hit, once a turn spend a SS and discard a card to add the SS back, and 4 melee attacks on a charge (too bad the spread is 1/2/3 and 1 poison or this might be awesome, but I do see it being good against high armor or something with high Df with 1 wound left).  She has a ranged cast with a gun icon, Elemental Bolt that has a few triggers.  She also has an upgrade that give her various buffs if the elemental gamin are in range, and a 0 action to sac a gamin (I assume to free up an upgrade of kill denial ((Editor's Note: Also, to sac and resummon Banasuva with a different one of the negative upgrades attached or in a different position.))).

3. Amina Naidu.  A 9 SS rare 1 M&SU, academic henchman who is essentially the M&SU's injury lawyer.  If she suffers damage from an enemy attack action she can push it 2 inches (potentially out of range or LOS) by discarding a card. She has a 6" aura if an enemy interacts she may discard to add 1 SS.  Another aura of the same radius allows her to put an attack at negative if its targeting another wounded friendly model by Amina suffering 1 Wd.  A cast that hands out slow with a taunt like trigger.  A collier pistol.  A 12" pseudo lure with a trigger that prevent the target from attacking things with less Wds then the models Wd stat.  She also has 2 zero actions.  One is Ca v Wp take 4 damage and may reduce by 2 for each card discarded with a trigger to take the next 0 action.  Ca v Wp of gain Peon and may not take interacts action for the rest of the game or until Amina is killed or sacrificed.  She seems like a very annoying control piece and to get the most work out of her you are going to have to understand what she is in the list for and remember her auras.  She is definitely not a model to just drop in a list and go.  I would recommend playing some small friendly games to learn what she can and can not do.  Models with a lot of text will slow down a game if you don't have a decent grasp on all of the various interactions.  But once you unlock her she might turn out to be a cross between a lawyer and brewmaster.

4. Carlos Vasquez.  A 9SS rare 1 showgirl henchman.  He comes with smoldering heart.  An ability to treat burning like armor (up to +2), may push pyre markers after a walk action to cause Wk duels and avoid the damage.  And he gains burning +1 after resolving initiative.  He comes with a decent 3" melee with built in triggers (all 3 need 1 tome).  Give burning +1, do extra damage equal to the burning on Carlos (up to 3 damage and ending the condition), or add burning to Carlos.  Zero action to place a 50mm pyre marker until end of turn, or a zero action 4" push and add burning +1 or trigger to remove it.  An interesting model and probably play fine as a solo model but he will probably do better if there is more burning in the crew.  He also has an upgrade to heal from burning at the end of the turn.  And it also has a 1 AP blow up a scheme marker to pulse burning +2.

5. Poison Gamin.  A 5SS minion.  1 more wound than the typical gamin but more or less function like the rest of the gamin.Melee attack to deal 1/2/5 and grant them Poison+1 with a built-in trigger to do additional damage to targets that are already poisoned. It pushed 3" at the end of its turn if it took an attack action and heals a point of damage instead of taking damage from poison. Their ranged attack does not that impressive damage and has the infect trigger, but not built in (odd.) As a (0) action they can turn on a version of McMourning/Sebastian's ability to tick a point of poison off if they activate within 4" of a poison gamin. I'm not confident enough in the rules to know for sure, but I suppose you could put multiple poison gamin together to tick multiple poison damage on a turn. It's resource intensive and easy to disrupt, but I know that one criticism of Kudra was that her poison is less effective without these mechanics in place in the faction, so that's not ENTIRELY true.

6. Shastar Vidiya Guard.  An 8SS enforcer.  The model can draw a card if it cheats a Df duel once per turn.  When it activates it may discard for focus +1. and comes with hard to kill.  Also comes with a 2/4/6 melee with a trigger on every suit. A weak Rg 10" attack with a built in trigger to hit other targets (that were not targeted by this attack once per activation) in range and Los. ( I see this working good with Raspy.)  and a zero action to push another friendly model within 6" up to 2".

The generic upgrades seem kinda meh to me but I'll cover them and let you decide.
-Circus Bear.  0 SS - Gives the slate ridge mauler +1 Wk and +1 Ml and a 0 action Ca to push 2"  with a trigger to use a second 0 action.
-Temporary Shielding  0 SS - makes 3 Oxfordian Mages cost 15 ss instead of 18 and you can discard the upgrade and a card to reduce damage it suffers by 2.
-Well Rehearsed. 1 SS rare 1, enforcer - when a scheme marker is placed within 3" the model may push 2".  When a friendly living model within 3" is killed, you may discard the upgrade to leave the model alive with 1 wound.  (I don't see this replacing imbued energies unless you somehow have 3 on other models and an enforcer with an upgrade slot and SS left over during hiring... so not likely).
-Blade and Claw.  1 SS rare 1.  requires you hire a beast and a construct in the same list and it lets them swap places as a 0 action.  (I'm not sure this is worth the ink used to print the words on this upgrade.  But I'm certain there will be one person who thinks its the coolest thing since sliced bread.).

I have the ten thunders review and then I will have an origins/gencon super tournament report (including my match verse Sandeep).  I didn't snap pics of the posters so maybe Adam will edit it in and post it to the guild one he is doing next.  I hope to have the thunders done tonight. (Editor's Note: Done and Done.)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ripples of Fate Preview: Sandeep Desai

I’m running a bit behind this week, what with the American Society of Virology conference coming up and a manuscript being prepared for publication, but let’s get to the Monday Preview…on Thursday.

So, this is Sandeep Desai, a new master for the Arcanist’s faction. This continues a trend of a master working with a new Tribe in the faction, in this case the Academics. I think we all figured there would be some master eventually who interacted with them (currently they’re the Oxfordian Mages, Iron Zombies, and Freikorps Librarians only, but I’m sure there will be more,) but this is hardly the stuffy professor I expected. Sandeep appears to be an Indian Sikh (hurray for more diversity!) who channels magic that his crew can tap into and use for themselves. Also, his break-down in the Monday Preview itself mentions that he uses Gamin friends, so hurray for the little elemental dudes getting a boost (cut to a sad-faced Iron Gamin suddenly perking up and smiling a metallic smile.) Let’s peek at the stat card real-quick.

Well, 12 wounds, Arcane Shield, and Impossible to Wound. These Ripples of Fate masters are pretty tough on average, it seems. The rest seems pretty standard, though Df5 is nothing to write home about. The real interesting mechanic with this guy seems to be the Beacon and Student of All abilities. Beacon lets friendly non-peons within 12 of him take one of his Ca actions at -1 Ca during their turn. Once they do this, that ability is locked out for Beacon until the next turn, so no spamming the same spell over and over through multiple little weenies, but it still makes for some interesting force projection possibilities. Then, Student of All allows Sandeep to take a (1) action once per turn when someone uses one of his spells and ends up with a Tome in the final duel total. This leads me to assume that Sandeep won’t have said Tome built in (although if he does, good lord) but still creates some good ability to get bonus AP outside of activation. This leads me to think Sandeep is going to want to be in the mid board where he can project his Beacon out into the action, but isn’t quite tough enough to survive long term in the middle of melee (though being engaged won’t lock other models out of using his spells with a gun symbol, so it’s not the worst thing ever for him to mix it up with that big hittin’ stick he’s carrying around.) Of course, we don’t know what spells he’ll have, not seeing the backside of the card, but still cool.

Overall, his presence in the Arcanist rebel scum reminds me of Nemo from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, so he’s automatically awesome for that. Here’s hoping he has a cool submarine hidden somewhere. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wave 2 Beta Wrap-Up: Arcanists

I began by taking a look at the Ten Thunders and then moved on to the Guild. The new files drop on the 10th, so as of this writing I have 5 days to get the rest of these things knocked out. There will be five articles to go after this one, so I’m still on track to make it through this series at one article per day. I assure you, no one is more surprised about this fact than me.

This particular article is one of the three remaining factions I don’t really play, so this presented a problem for me. My read on models and their competitive viability is always a bit shaky anyways, and that’s within factions I know well. How would I know whether the Wave 2 Arcanists were good for the faction when I don’t even really know what they’re doing now with only Wave 1? Answer: pass the buck!

Here you go.

I posted a thread to the Wyrd boards looking for feedback on what models I should be writing about in this article. The response was great and really helped point me in the right direction while reading. Probably the biggest benefit was just the reassurance that things I saw which looked strong were, in fact, strong. It was so useful, I’ll likely be doing it for the upcoming articles in the series as well. But, without anymore preamble, let’s dive in and see what jumped out from the Arcanists in Wave 2.

As previously, the point is to take a look at the models that are going to have broad appeal rather than being specifically strong in a particular crew. Because they typically are more complex and deserve more than a short blurb, Henchmen, Masters, and Totems are excluded from this.

Oxfordian Mage: As of now, I believe this is the only model with the Academic type, which is relevant as these models get a +tomes to duels when within 3” of each other that they need for triggers on their casts. They’re also one of, if not the only model with furious casting in M2E, so there’s not a lot of mystery to what they’re supposed to do. They seem like nice cheap ranged damage models, but are a bit slow and fragile. Also, fun fact, the Oxford in their name is Oxford, Mississippi, not Oxford, England. 

Coming to an Arcanist crew near you.

Coryphee and Duet-The designers made a pretty strong choice this time by making the individual Coryphee quite strong on their own, thus incentivizing you to keep them separate rather than immediately pairing into the duet. With armor 2 and +to df and wp flips they’re going to be hard to put down. They push 4” after their melee attacks with a trigger, so they’re still pretty speedy. Interestingly, they gave them puppet in addition to showgirl this time around, so the coryph√©e can be ran with Collodi (a cool idea) although they are specifically only able to form the duet in arcanist crews. With the mobility remaining more or less the same and many of the attack options duplicated in the duet, one imagines the choice between when to combine and get one model with swift rather than 2 individual activations will be situational (reckoning comes to mind as a time when you will want them together.) It may be a choice of letting one of them take a hit first and then combining them for mutual protection. 

Performers-As Collette’s shtick this time around revolves around using scheme markers, it isn’t really a shock that performers are good at putting them out and interacting with them. “Don’t Mind Me” is always good, and their seduction ability allows them to discard any scheme markers (not just friendly ones) as a cost for passing out debuffs to the enemy. Pretty good objective runners for 5 points, though not exceptionally speedy.  

Mannequin-They are solid as ever with Armor 3, cheap at only 4 stones, and can do some interesting moving tricks if you have other showgirls in your crew. Their magician’s assistant ability lets friendly models place scheme markers 6” away from them, which makes for some interesting utility for things like Plant Explosives. Plus they gained Puppet, so they also get to join Collodi's Marionette show. 

Gunsmiths-The first post on the forum thread read simply “Gun. Smiths.” The rest of the thread backed up this initial support, and it’s not hard to see why. Their main attack has a different trigger for each suit that lets you alternately ignore armor, h2w, and h2k; boosts the damage; adds blasts; or prevents the damage being reduced from soulstones. Normally I don’t like these options, but they have a (0) action that lets you pitch a card and add that suit to all your final duel totals. If you are a crew that hands out burning, you can use their other (0), The Hard Way, that gives you a double positive twist to all duels against models with burning. If you attack them, they have a tome trigger to give the attacker burning or a ram trigger to give the gunsmith fast. A very strong ranged model, and one we should probably expect to see fielded quite a bit in the coming months.

Plus they look like this guy.

Mechanical Rider-The Mechanical Rider is widely considered to be the best of the riders, and plays in nicely with some of the Arcanists' themes of focusing on strategy rather than being focused on offensive power. Its attack triggers either allow you to draw cards or drop scheme markers off of a successful attack, up to a maximum of 2. Moreover, she can summon 4ss or less arcanist constructs as a (0) action once the rider has two tomes. Given how powerful summoning is in this edition of the game, it seems like the Mechanical Rider has some good potential.

Silent One-The thing that jumped out at me initially was the Frozen Statue trigger from their defense. It gives them a condition that reduces all damage the Silent One suffers to 1 and is not considered engaged for purposes of Ice Mirror of Shattered Mirror. I sort of picture an interesting combo where they get attacked by their own crew to trigger this, then Raspy uses her as the focus for her blasts to chain out and hit enemy models, letting you dish out damage without having to win duels. For more general crews, I could see them being decent for objective holding strategies like Reconnoiter or Turf War. They also have a good casting attack for range with some decent triggers and healing with their (0) action, though the trigger is only useful in frozen heart crews.

Soulstone Miner-The main appeal of the miner is their “Surprise from Below” ability which allows them to deploy downfield at the end of any turn. This opens up some options for objective grabbing, particularly for schemes like Breakthrough where you need to get into the deployment zone (though, keep in mind, you will have to appear at least 6" away from the enemy DZ when you come onto the board.) As mentioned in James “Mythicfox” Doxy’s interview on Malibites, the fact that they’re constructs makes them synergize a bit better with some crews like Ramos, as opposed to the current champion objective grabber in the faction, the Moleman. Their soulstone generating ability is really just gravy, although I doubt many of us would argue with a model that could inflict 2 wounds to cycle 2 cards through our hand (via SS at the beginning of the turn.) Compare that to Ronin which you have to sacrifice for similar effects. 

Angelica-One of the models that utilizes all of these scheme markers thrown out by Showgirls, Angelica provides a lot of board manipulation. Her Hooked cane lets you push enemy models around, while here Give Them an Encore! gives you a 5” push for friendly non-leader models without having to attack them. The duel result and push distance are all augmented by the number of scheme markers around her, so you'll want to position her carefully when activating. She seems like she’ll thrive in a central position on the board, re-positioning things for the crew's benefit as the game goes along.

Blessed of December-Anytime you see Leap, you know it’s going to be a good thing, especially when paired with Unimpeded and a Cg of 7. These guys are going to move quickly on the board and can do some decent melee in addition to running objectives. When you throw in Frozen Heart and HtW+1, you’ve got a quick, solid model that can do whatever you ask of it in the game, but may be a bit pricy at 9 soulstones.

Fire Gamin-They’re cheap at 4 SSs and everything they do, including dying, passes out burning to enemy models. It’s a shame shame Sonnia can’t take them anymore, so let’s hope she gets an upgrade sometime in the future to get them back. They’ll be a gunsmith’s little buddy and can do some nice things like stoking the Rail Golem or just generally being a problem for enemy crews.

Slateridge Mauler-The four armed bear is tough but pretty slow, so you’re going to need to get it upfield somehow to even have a shot at earning its points back. Paired up with their good but not great melee damage spread and 8SS cost, this one seems like a pass for most crews and, since it doesn't really stand out, may get passed over even in Marcus crews.

Willie-Willie is a scary model in terms of all the blast damage he can put out, much as he was previously. However, with no way to protect himself, you’re going to have to be careful with exposing him too early or the enemy will shoot him to death before he can be effective. He's very all or nothing. I do like his ability to protect your scheme markers, though that may be a bit TOO meta, as I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've seen an opponent destroy one of my scheme markers via Interact during a game.

Arcane Effigy-The main purpose to this model is to supply some much needed status removal to the faction, and it might see use for this alone. Arcane Radiance is decent (particularly if you’re trying to get some more burning for your Gunsmiths) and you may as well do it every turn since it costs you nothing and it has no other (0)s.

General Thoughts: I really should look more at the Arcanists, if only because of how much I enjoy crews where you dance around the combat and focus instead on schemes. You have to win a flip to kill a model. You don't have to win a flip to do an interact and drop a scheme marker. The Arcanists, particularly the Showgirls, are going to excel at this. There’s going to be some debate between the Gunsmiths and the Blessed (as evidenced by the debate that broke out on the forum thread) for higher point combat models, and that’ll probably come down to the rest of the crew build for how well they’ll synergize. I'm leaning in the direction of the Blessed right now, mainly for its speed and versatility, but I certainly see why the Gunsmith is as popular as it is.

Next up, I think we’ll take a look at the newest faction, the Gremlins. Again, this is one I’m not an expert on, so I’ll be counting on you folks to point me in the right direction.