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About spooky_squirrel

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  • Birthday 03/21/1980

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  1. What these peeps all said. The aesthetics won me over. One of the items in my backerkit order is the motorcycle because nothing screams tech tree like bringing a motorcycle with soulstone powered weapons to a cavalry fight.
  2. Looking at this map and corner deployment, I see that one of the MVPs for the strategy will be Soulstone Miners. There's good blocking/concealing terrain near each corner, which provides a spot for the Soulstone Miner to unbury at the end of Turn 1 to Stake a Claim starting in Turn 2. This looks so tempting, that I'm almost inclined to take two of them. 12 stones to potentially get 4VP is a steal. The problem is that Gremlins have a number of things they could do, including pigapulting stuff up the field so that they can go reckless and drop markers in my half as fast as possible. This same problem tells me to not try for Claim Jump. However, Accusation! could be useful, especially if I'm doing it as a (0) against flung Gremlins trying to score the strategy. That would wash those VP (potentially, assuming no ties: they don't remove Accuse, but score Stake, I cannot score Stake, but score Accuse; they remove Accuse, don't score Stake, I don't score Accuse but get Stake). Frame For Murder would also be good. If Francois or Wong go after that Soulstone Miner I already mentioned, that's 3VP for me. If Burt nukes it, only 2. Sounds like an argument for a second Soulstone Miner, put the non-Frame one nearer to Burt if he's present and force him to deal with it or let me work the Strategy. Mainly sounds good because that's 12 stones shooting for 7VP. Which brings us to the last two. Mark For Death is an interact and kill kind of scheme, which similar to Accusation! is guiding my Master pick towards Colette, but the controller in me wants to dial it up a notch beyond what Colette can do with regards to the Strategy--she cannot deny it as readily as Sandeep can. If nothing else, I can get those Marks out in a hurry on things that come into my half and collect them up. Show of Force requires getting some non-master models with 1+ cost upgrades up into the middle of the board to hold ground for 3 turns with greater than or equal to the number of opposing non-master 1+ cost upgrades near the center. If only there was a way for Arcanists to do this, right? So that leans me into: Sandeep Desai (Arcane Reservoir, To Behold Another World, Unaligned Sage) (full cache) Carlos Vasquez (Stunt Double, Warding Runes) Kudra (Free of Mortal Shackles, Warding Runes) Oxfordian Mage (Temporary Shielding, Blood Ward) Soulstone Miner Soulstone Miner Rail Worker I know at first glance there will be some "what is this blasphemy!" urge, but here's the thinking. The Soulstone Miners can work the Strategy. If my opponent brings killing Henchmen/Masters, one of them gets Frame for Murder and spends its life acting like it's working the strategy while drawing fire. Sandeep summons in a Chattering Gamin to deny my opponent their own play on the Strategy. If they're flinging Gremlins up the table or darting them up the slow(er) way with reckless, that's fine. There will be a chatterbox waiting for them in Turn 2. This chatterbox can also potentially help with Accusation!/Marked For Death defense and Accusation! scoring. Who ends up chattering will depend on opposing crew composition. The Rail Worker, Oxfordian Mage, Kudra, and Carlos can all kill scheme runners. The slowest melee one in the group can try to copy Sandeep's place to give itself an approximately 15" threat. The other two are absurdly fast without needing to borrow Sandeep's abilities. They play into the idea of summoning a Gamin that can interact when summoned to hand out a condition to a model it happens to be summoned near. Blood Ward makes the two frontline Henchmen immune to Accusation! and Marked for Death, which makes putting them in the middle of the table for Show of Force less of a liability. The Oxfordian Mage can also feed off of Sandeep and Kudra early game (corner deployment) to help do things like push the Rail Worker up the field to better threaten in Turn 2, while providing a 'gun' platform that can also get into Melee if needed. The Blood Mage and Rail Worker can also work together to limit the amount of VP an obvious Frame For Murder target awards the Gremlin player, either by arranging for it to die by burning (Shovel Faster might find use to soften someone up to die by burning). These two Henchmen are an interesting take into Frame For Murder because they give out conditions with their attacks--which can completely negate the FFM scheme if pulled off. Just make sure you don't kill the target outright until you've identified the FFM patsy or know that your opponent didn't take FFM. At which point, let these two bully the center. Sandeep's summoning won't be relying on Banasuva's threat and additional force multipliers, instead the focus is getting Gamin on the table that can get things done. The Gamin that comes in ready to interact will depend on whether you go with Accusation! or Marked For Death. If you want to get tricksy with Accusation!, for instance, you can use the Wind Gamin to plant the Accusation, Kudra to "kill" the Wind Gamin with a (0), Wind Gamin self-sacrifice to push a Soulstone Miner into a new position to stake another claim, and do it all again in the next turn. If instead you are going with Marked For Death, Banasuva might drop in to Mark someone, then Melee Expert to collect on it (card intense, but done within a single activation after summoning, first time will be a surprise). Otherwise, you drop in Gamin of choice, Mark your target, then let the Oxfordian Mage and/or Rail Worker kill it. I recommend Wind Gamin because of the Soulstone Miner thing I already mentioned.
  3. With Bleeding Edge Tech on Joss he gains a (0) that will hurt Dreamer's summoning Alps and performing cast actions (like his Nightmare controlling bits) just in case you don't get all the damage you needed. I generally won't bother with Powered by Flame, instead opting for things like Warding Runes or Recharge Soulstone, since I know he's going to be in the scrum in most games. Joss ignoring triggers is the key to getting his hits in on Dreamer, and with Imbued Energies (as mentioned above) he gets a third attack for getting those last two wounds (barring Dreamer stoning damage away). The downside of being aggressive with your BET-caddy is that your spiders won't be regenerating unless they are up in the mix of things, so if you need them to scheme you need to be summoning in 2-3 every turn to make up for the fact they're going to be dying 2-3 per turn.
  4. I usually drop Mei Feng in. Vent Steam a couple of times to cover the crew in general and have someone like Kang with Warding Runes so that he's basically immune to the Lure. Added bonus is that almost nothing in Nico-Ressers wants to go near Kang-supported crews.
  5. Killjoy's a 13 stone investment for something that's only good for killing things (yeah, really good at it) and putting your opponent on the backfoot when it works. When it doesn't work, it's a liability. Hiring a dove to get him into position brings it up to 15 stones (roughly 1/3 of your crew). If the strat and scheme is such where he could get you 3-4 VP without awarding your opponent the same, no problem outside of what @Mrbedlam already described: you're telling your opponent what you are going to do. With crew efficiency being such a critical thing to the competition scene, dropping 1/4 to 1/3 of your hiring resources into a single vector is a high risk thing; here in the Arcanists, we can get activation control, AP control, and card draw to get an in-faction beater into play that only has a slightly weaker damage track, but built in positives and none of the "let me make sure that this thing is nowhere near my crew, just in case" stuff to worry about for roughly 1/6 of our available hiring resources. If all I need is a distraction beater rushing in to force my opponent to change their plans, I have cheaper options that have better returns. If you want to overcome the AP/activation deficit, you'll probably want to run Ramos and use his spiders as a delivery system (because popping him out is optional, re: "may"). In this situation he's running in the exact kind of role that Howard Langston was: big distraction beater threat, just with less threat range when already on the board and no option to field repair, reactivate, or be helped by the Mobile Toolkit, all while being Ml 6 instead of Ml 7... but that's because here in the Arcanists we have more premium tools than we could ever use in a 50SS game.
  6. If you want to find a better master for getting schemes done on a budget and in a hurry, you have to go out of faction and look at someone like Lucas McCabe with Luna and 4x Guild Hounds. Even then, he's still not doing what Colette does, and it starts with those 6 models. Colette can work with any minion to get mileage. If you're trying to do something similar through Ramos, you're counting on AP attrition through summoning. He has to be doing stuff and summoning stuff, and you must have the cards in hand and scrap on table, and the first turn that the spiders are on the table they're not able to do those critical interacts. Sandeep runs into the same kind of problem, only he's not doing it through attrition, but rather wonky interplay between models (copying abilities, triggering effects, etc.) that is reliant on hand, triggers, and proximity. Colette gives her minions and showgirls the ability to interact as a (0) (optional, so they can interact more than once per turn) with nothing more complicated than proximity. That is, she's on the table, and they're within her aura. No card reliance, no Master AP reliance, and literally the only thing your opponent can do is stop interacts altogether, control models out of her aura, or kill her or all of the minions and showgirls on the table that could get within that aura. Where Master AP comes into play is if you decide you want to turn some of those (0) interacts into a (1) action of choice for models near markers at the expense of 2 AP from your master. Whether or not you want to is up to you.
  7. On top of Ironsides, consider bringing The Captain and consider the Oxfordian Trio. The Captain makes you nearly master-independent when it comes to interference, as he can walk away from engaging models (agile) push opposing models out of scoring position or friendlies into scoring position. The Oxfordian Trio (three Oxfordian Mages with their 0-cost upgrades) give you access to more pushes for getting things up the field and/or enemies out of place. If you're leaning towards Mei Feng, Coryphee are extremely quick constructs. The Mech. Porkchop is also quick enough to get you places. The Emissary with Mei Feng's conflux can drop a scrap marker to give you a leaping node. Outside of that, you can benefit from The Captain (for the reasons described above), or if you're only concerned about getting your own constructs into position, bring Angelica. She'll walk up 5" at the start of the first turn (after initiative, outside of activation), and probably not need to move anywhere else, as that can put her 11" up the field with an 8" range on her friendly pushes. That's good enough to help you with controlling the quarters on your half. As an added bonus, she can help you get scheme markers into play for scheme-marker oriented schemes or abilities with Practiced Production (sure, Raptors, but don't worry about them). If you have them, Soulstone Miners are a nice infiltration piece, as well as a potential node for Mei Feng to Railwalk to.
  8. For kicks and giggles I've used Message from the Union in a crew that included Gunsmiths. Between that and Hand Picked Men it made things interesting. Switching Chambers with a Tome gets you around the whole armor business, but The Hard Way on a slightly scratched Gunsmith against a burning target is just bonkers. You will find all of your jokers. You might even get your choice of triggers too.
  9. @Boomstick I've found that dropping Carlos in with a couple of Ice Dancers gives me more mobility than I need. At a tournament last month Carlos ended up travelling roughly 22" (prompt for a push/walk (8"), his (0) to push another 4", and his charge threat) from corner deployment to kill something that was near the centerline corner in the first turn. The Ice Dancers had no problem getting up into the scrum either. Colette, on the other hand, had to use her disappearing act to place herself up the table just to get into position to participate. The Ice Gamin and Silent One were both in the backfield with a "corner deployments are terrible for us, could we not get flank instead?" Outside of that? It's great being able to play Colette and not have my opponent roll their eyes and expect Howard Langston. I already played a different way: Ice Show described above is how I played her pre-errata (Cassandra instead of Carlos) and I'm working out something else that's going to exploit Carlos burning and Rail Worker buffing and tanking.
  10. As an especially vocal internet entity, I agree with the above statement. Groupthink isn't always accurate, and definitely does not always apply to local meta and regional tournament scenes. Especially in this game system. Other game systems that have fixed list requirements and guaranteed win conditions can end up in a place where groupthink produces optimized lists, but Wyrd has Malifaux doing something different: you design your list on the fly after you've seen the scenario (strat/schemes), table, and you know your opponent's faction (and if you've played them before, their playstyle and default choices). Your crew is hired with a lot fewer unknowns. So to this: I say keep on rocking the winged spec ops agent and resident Arcanist arsonist. She's done very well in various competitive environments and some terrain set ups scream "play Kaeris!!!" Player ability (natural talent and practice) counts for so much more than distilled wisdom.
  11. There's a couple things to bear in mind here: December Acolytes have 8 wounds and a decent defense. It takes something with some quality attacks to delete one in a single activation. That's something with quality attacks that's not going into the main threats in/effort of your force. If your December Acolytes are too far forward, it costs your opponent little to nothing. If that Acolyte is near your own stuff, your opponent has to figure out their risk tolerance. Having armor and Hard to Wound turned off is bad, but if there's stuff that can give itself positives or that has good min damage or can trigger for additional attacks that's near enough to threaten the target with melee, offering up a quality target to things that can tear it down is also bad. Now take that same scenario and have a Blessed/Luther or Snowstorm nearby with the Sub Zero upgrade. There ends up being no such thing as a good decision to make regarding the Acolyte and the forces it is enabling/supported by. If you're putting up Smell Weakness and are looking to get in close, you have threat vectors that can reach things that are relying on armor and hard to wound. All Smell Weakness is doing is making it so that you hit harder. Now I'm a janky and chaotic sort of player and the only Arcanist Mei Feng player in my meta, so I don't just bring one trick up my sleeve. What Smell Weakness does for me is make it so that Hard Worker Kang and his cadre of Rail Workers don't have to pick between (0) actions for maximum impact. It also makes it so that I don't need to worry about choosing between a trigger for an additional positive or a trigger to ignore damage reduction when my Shastar Vidiya Guard dives in. If my opponent decides to go after the already activated December Acolyte with something that could potentially kill it outright in a single activation, they're ignoring the things that were planning on exploiting the sudden loss of defensive tech. Let's say you're not doing this, but you're using other things like Ice Dancers and Silent Ones that can get some serious damage spikes if they pop moderate or severe. Your stuff is still in range to threaten. You might not delete as many models in the turn as you hope, but you still pulled a quality model's attention onto the Acolyte. That's a model that's not tearing down your main effort, even though you'll still have to worry about armor and negatives on wounding as they apply. If you're putting up Smell Weakness and are looking to Ice Mirror or otherwise use ranged attacks against your target(s), then you do need to worry about the Acolyte being dead. Or buried, or controlled into a position where it's no longer providing any useful effect. This is unfortunate, but it is also because the effort that the Acolyte was supporting was looking to engage from a long ways away, leaving the Acolyte out by itself. Of course, your opponent still had to put some effort into doing that, and that effort may have exposed something to your shooters. If you still need to bypass the Hard to Wound ability, you end up needing to focus. It happens, but as a matter of course, you probably want to have your shooters focus anyway to overcome the inherent weaknesses of shooting when it comes to cover (one of the mechanical things that weakens shooting over melee as @mythicFOX mentioned). I mention the pulling a quality model's attention because it truly matters. My first run in (described in an earlier comment) with December Acolytes was using a Mei Feng Armored Core kind of list. Mei Feng used her activations in the first two turns to kill two of the three Acolytes. By the end of Turn 2 most of my crew was dead to Raspy's blasting things that were in the Smell Weakness bubble. The only thing I could have done with the board state to not have this happen would have been to play Mei Feng the way I do now: supporting with Vent Steam and hoping that I could reduce the number of effective attacks against my main effort until it was time to dive in and kill things. I got distracted with the idea of trying to kill them off, and that left me exposed when I fell short of killing all three of them. The recommendation I would give is hire the December Acolyte to add an element of control to your force. It can hand out slow (just for hitting), strip cards (on a crow), or even pull things out of position (on a ram). Any AP spent killing it outside of killing schemes is AP not spent scoring or setting up to score (so Hunting Party, Collect the Bounty, Head Hunter, etc. end up being a different story). If your opponent has things that rely on armor and/or Hard to Wound, you have a means of turning that off if you need to. If you need to, then plan for it. Use it for isolated targets that have already activated or are hobbled by slow (this is where the control game comes into play, slow a target at 12" away, drag them 6" in, now they're really in trouble). Have a serious enough threat that's in range to exploit that isolated target. Don't plan on it surviving more than a turn within their own threat range to the opponent's crew. As has been mentioned by several of us, people who understand the threat of and whose crews are vulnerable to the December Acolyte will go to some trouble to kill them as soon as possible.
  12. That's the key thing I was finding out when I used one in a campaign: Deploy too far forward and they will be targeted and killed as soon as your opponent realizes their threat (as early as first activation of the game, if your opponent has ever faced them before). Play them back a bit so that they're shooting into where you want the fight to be (main effort, Turn 2ish) and they last longer and can get support from your crew (and be in range for Ice Mirror) much faster, without forcing you to play a hyper-mobile crew.
  13. With what @Starrius said: turning off armor. My first time running into December Acolytes across the table from me was my playing Mei Feng into Rasputina when I still was relatively new with Mei Feng. My opponent was relatively new with Rasputina, but knew how to run a blaster. He hired three of these Acolytes and put them in cover as close as possible to my deployment zone. One of them survived to Turn 2. Raspy's Turn 1 Ice Pillars had forced most of my crew to end up bunched up. The surviving Acolyte put up Smell Weakness and crept in close enough to cover my Rail Workers, Metal Gamin, and Rail Golem; Raspy arced her attacks into my bunched up crew and deleted most of my force, ignoring their armor outright. More experienced me, playing Mei Feng when I expect horror and/or armor and Hard to Wound (especially in the form of Undead and/or Constructs), I have a solid reason to include an Acolyte in my crew. It does with 1AP from the Acolyte what Hard Worker does with a (0) and a card from each affected Foundry model; with the bonus of affecting non-Foundry models. Being able to hand out slow just for hitting a model is also a good way to help up the denial game, provided my opponent's beaters are not immune to conditions (or slow). In any case, if I'm using their attacks, the card stripping is also useful. If I'm winning and I have the trigger they're going to lose the resource one way or another. In short: Rail Worker keeps the (0) for positives, gets positives against constructs/undead and immunity to terror from being near Kang, and the Acolyte lets him ignore Armor and Hard to Wound.
  14. I've used Malifaux Raptors and Shastar Vidiya Guards for some card draw. Rake the Eyes to peek, and a cheated defense duel to draw whatever I stacked to the top (once per turn). I typically only do this when a slightly banged up SVG isn't a liability (M&SU-centered theme with Johan, Ironsides).
  15. Condition removal: Arcane Effigy. Johan's good too, but he's a merc (Outcast, Mercenary, M&SU), and really shines when surrounded by M&SU models. Depending on how deep you plan on diving into Arcanists in the long run, you might go with Ramos (relatively shallow dive, another box of steam arachnids and a large steam arachnid box will give you everything you need to figure him out and start with one of the most efficient summoners in the game). He's got that M&SU thing going on that Johan absolutely loves. If you don't mind going deeper, Sandeep is tricky to learn but can play into anything. You'll end up wanting to think about acquiring Gamin and Oxfordian Mages (hence the deeper dive). He has other ways to go as well, but he can play in theme without losing a beat. Last recommendation I'll toss up for now is Marcus, because he doesn't need anything else in the Arcanists to get work done, if you have beasts from another faction he brings them along for the ride. Another theme player that doesn't lose his edge for playing to theme.