Friday, August 21, 2015

World literally collapsing

Holy news spam.

First, and most significantly, we have errata with actual nerfs/buffs:

 - Shake Effects: Blind and Shadow Bind have been added to the effects that you can shake with a focus or fury.

Sizable nerf to Gorman, whose "piece trade" stock was just completely off the charts as you could trade his activation for a Gargossal/Heavy activation almost ad infinitum. No longer - now you just trade it for -1 focus or fury on those things. Still a really excellent 3pt solo for 2pts, all things considered.
This also nerfs Morghoul2, and is therefore my favourite errata of the lot.

The second effect shake is a nerf to Cryx, specifically Denny2 and the War Witch. Still a superb feat, although almost entirely removes that 'insta scenario win' potential. Brings her down a good notch.

-Pack Fury: Brings the warbeast packs in line with warbeasts to prevent you from gaining fury from killing warbeast pack models with friendly model.

I have never seen warbeast packs played in person but I assume this is an actual errata. Neat.

- Major Victoria Haley (Haley2): Changed Major Haley’s feat so that the Haley player no longer chooses the order of activations for models/units.

Probably the most significant nerf in here. I agree it addressed the core problem of player agency, but I don't know if I would have gone that far as to remove that part of the feat entirely. I assume they playtested the shit out of multiple alternatives though and ended up with this, so we shall see how it pans out.
Either way, this will change the meta a lot, which is what I like to see.

- Major Prime Victoria Haley (Haley3): Changed the wording of Temporal Flux to clarify that it grants the unit and friendly FACTION models within 5" of one or more models in the unit +2 DEF.
Changed Time Projection to clarify how Haley Past and Haley Future can allocate focus and use arc nodes.

Mostly a nerf to Acosta, who looked cocoa butter bananas with that +2 DEF. Haley3 is one of the few Cygnar casters that loves Cygnar infantry due to Revive + the smoke wall so the nerf isn't as much a nerf to her gameplan as it is to all the OP 2pt Merc solos that would hang out near her.
The other stuff is actual clarification that we've known about for a while.

- Flank: Fixed Flank on Trench Buster and Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye to prevent them from flanking with themselves.
Another actual errata. Neat.

- Bone Shaker: Asphyxious the Hellbringer (Asphyxious3) and Calaban the Grave Walker have been updated so the wording of Bone Shaker is consistent across all models.
Holy balls, did Calaban just get a BUFF? It seems that when you kill a guy with Bone Shaker during feat, if that zombie dude kills a guy while zombie dude is in Calaban's control area, then Calaban gets a fury from the dead target (still doesn't get one from zombie dude, who gets RFPed at 'boxed')

Still not enough to make him worth playing (getting fury on the feat has never really been a problem), but it's a minor reduction in Skornergy. At this rate, he should playable by 2022.

- Pistol Wraith: Death Chill was changed to stationary to allow a model with Focus: Shake Effect or Fury: Shake Effect to remove the effect.

Another nerf to Cryx. I approve in principle. Pistol Wraiths don't see play so much anymore though, but they should. Or should have, prior to this nerf. 3pts is hefty. Still better than the Brigand UA though.

- Thyron Sword of Truth: Added duration to the feat.

- Mountain King: Gained Assault.

 Most impressive. I think this is the first time a model has gained a full, entirely new rule (Rhyas gained reach, but that's a property of the weapon *technicality*). This opens the door to more aggressive errata in the future, I hope.
Does this make the Mountain King playable? I think it does. Does it make him good? We will see. It's an interesting change for sure and changes his dynamics.

- Siege Animantarax: Rage Tokens can be gained from friendly attacks. Rage Tokens can be used to boost any attack or damage roll.

Sweet buff. This makes the model not as bad, but perhaps still bad. Will this become significant for the developing Skorne ranged game? It could be like a different (and overall crappier) version of the Sacral Vault.

- Archangel: Draconic Aura changed from Righteous Flames to causing Continuous Fire to enemy models within 2”

Cool, the model now has an animus. Situationally good if you can get like 8+ guys on fire for 2 fury.

Also Grotesques renamed, meaning we get more Grotesques in the future! Legion players everywhere rejoice/fall to your knees and weep!

      If there's anything that can be learned, it's that if you complain enough, eventually you will get what you want. A valuable lesson for everyone in life.

      Notice how the buffs are all to huge based, really impressive looking models? The ones that look cool and you WANT to play them, but then get frustrated when you do because their rules are bad? Then you go on the forums and bitch for 2-3 years about how your huge-based centerpiece isn't even useful as a paper weight because you live in a high wind turbulence area and the resin/plastic components fall over in the face of a strong breeze? Size matters, folks. Maybe when they release a terrible Manowar Battle Engine, things will happen in that department.

      The extra shakeable effects is also a systemic buff to jacks and beasts, which I like to see.

      Secondly, Core Rules to the game finally made free after many years:

      I guess this is the first step towards a "living rulebook", and makes sense all things considered. The business model has caught up, at least partially.

      Third, and most significantly, Jason Soles exits from his cave and interacts with the public:

      My favourite part of the article, except for the fact that it is written by Jason Soles, is that it includes the quote: 
      " We do not like to make changes during or right before a major convention or an organized play season."
      on a document released literally one day after World Team Championship (probably the biggest, highest profile Warmahordes tournament in the world) lists are locked and released to the public. Pure class.

      Hopefully now when I talk about my greatest inspiration, or use my Soul tokens, people will know who I am talking about. Hopefully.

      Monday, August 3, 2015

      Farrow Warlord - SS, DD

      Filler post!

      The Farrow Brigand Warlord was just released at Gencon, and with it followed a wave of emotions (mostly positive for myself personally as a Gator player who does not play Pigs at all, but as a player of the game, a little more sombre).

      This was the first thing released to the interwebs, posted on Twitter by Will Shick before the Gencon shop opened. 

      Reactions were mixed: on one side, Gang and Reform are both really good abilities for any unit with some melee capability, and Prowl is also useful on a (potentially) Pathfinder unit. 
      On the other side, these abilities don't particularly synergize with Brigands, who are at base a pretty weak unit. Reform breaks Dig-In, Prowl more or less depends on a forest being on the table (since Pigs have no cloud creation available), Gang is good but not great on a non-reach unit without melee focus. I mean, there are great synergies with Carver - reform is awesome with Quagmire, and Gang is great with Overtake + Weapon Master. But giving them CRA alone already made them decent with Carver, so they really needed to be more useful with other warlocks thatn even better with Carver.

      Overall, at this point my opinion of the UA coincided with Immortan Joe's:

      There was some discussion about whether he would be worth it for 2pts, and probably a good option for the unit at 1pt. Then 12 hours later, we got the front of the card:

      3pts. Pigs - Same Shit, Different Day.

      On the positive side, he is a pretty decent model with good stats, 2 RNG:10 POW12 gunshots at RAT 6, Gunfighter for 3 POW12 attacks and some decent options with all his abilities and access to Prayers. If he had everything he had with the unit, minus the unit, he'd be a good 2pt combat solo.

      On the side of reality, there is no reason for this guy to cost 3pts as a UA. He brings the unit up to 1pt per model and doesn't really provide them with a specific use. Sure, it makes them even better with Carver and as noted previously, the abilities he grants are not bad. They are just not the right abilities. It makes them relatively worse with everyone else in Pigs. It is not what the Brigands needed to be useful or interesting. It makes them bad Trenchers, a different kind of mediocre.

      Much like the Razor Boar's animus, this is wasted design space. 

      What stings the most (other than the inexplicable 3pts) is not what is there, but what isn't.

      Why is this a UA? A UA is supposed to either improve or redefine a unit.
      For example the Legion Warspear UA (2pts AND a better model, trololol) makes them a lot more numerically efficient and gives Relentless Charge, both issues the unit previously had compared to other Legion options (and Gatormans). He brings a previously underpowered unit up to par.
      On the redefinition side. Tyrant Vorkesh (Cetrati UA) is a model than make the unit better in some lists and worst in others, depending on its intended purpose and matchups. He allows you to use an already good unit differently, in different lists, against different matchups.

      The Warlord neither improves nor redefines Brigands. He gives them more tactical options, for quite a few more points. Unfortunately, Brigands are an underpowered, ill-defined unit that needed improvement, or could have done with some redefinition.

      Much like the Farrow, this release lacks focus. 

      Nobody really knows what the design of Farrow is supposed to be. Some say chaos, some say combined arms, some say Mad Max, some say cool models, some even say just being bad.

      It's like they designed this sweet mini-Carver solo, and attached him to a unit as an afterthought. There is no particular synergy between the two.
      He's a pretty bad ass fighter, but his best two abilities are Granted rather than Tactics, so you really don't want to get him sniped (and he is a pretty good target to snipe out) therefore keep him back (reducing his combat potential until after engagement).
      He has gunfighter, but it doesn't stack with gang

      The more you think about it, the more you focus on what isn't there, rather than what is there. That is the sign of missed opportunities, and it probably all comes back to 'it's probably too good with Carver'.


      Pigs are the joke that keeps on giving. Except the joke is more of a Comedian / Joker style of joke, or Rorschach's Palliaci joke.

      Sorry, Farrow players. I understand your loss.
      But then again, I just don't understand why you keep at it. Just on the other side of the pond, we just got Croak Raiders - who are better than Brigands with the UA, for less points, for every other faction in Hordes. GG.