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okugreenman

How do you beat Shenlong?

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Sorry for the rant, but I'm desperate.

 

Recently we've got a new player in our meta who exclusively plays Shenlong. And we're kind of stumped on how to deal with him.

1. Peasants give him two more activations than you for two points. If you kill one of the peasants, the new one is born the next turn for free, and you are not able to kill both in one turn due to LOS restraints.

2. Thunder Archers hit you ignoring LOS and melee twice a turn with ++ to attack and damage flips. And practically everything else always has + to attack and damage, and usually has straight flips even against defensive tech.

3. Izamu can be pushed 10" out of activation, then walk 4" then charge 9" and make three attacks for a total of 23" of threat.

4. Whenever Shenlong feels threatened, he has Defensive+2 or better and is able to heal 8 wounds a turn. And he has soulstones.

I personally play Outcasts and have tried doing something with Misaki and Jack Daw. Misaki usually kills something not terribly relevant and then dies, Izamu kills Misaki or the second strongest model and then maybe dies to a retaliation, Jack just dies to archers ignoring LOS and having ++ to all flips.
Our Guild player tried Sonnia and Hoffman with the same results - Peacekeeper dies to Izamu, Sonnia gets engaged by Shenlong and is unable to do anything productive.
Our local Zoraida had some success with debuffing him, but still was not able to win once. Same thing goes for a Lynch player.

Could you please advise me on his weak points, some things he might be vulnerable to, general strategic tips? What makes you lose when you play him?

 

Thanks in advance. :)

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For starters, you're doing a few things wrong.

10T Archers don't ignore LoS, they can only ignore models while drawing it. Also, although they can focus for 0 with Shenlong they should still only be receiving 1 focused shot per turn.

Second, Shenlong can't heal himself for 8 per turn unless he's spending his entire turn on Low River style and then throwing it to Sensei Yu to also do that, which is possible but means your master and Henchmen are spending most of a turn essentially idle.

Moving on to winning, the crew you're describing is certainly threatening but it also has a lot of resources tied up in a synergy engine. There's no chain activation between Izamu being pushed around and attacking, and so you can sabotage the whole thing i you can target him with a crippling debuff or just throw something cheap in his charge lane to stall him out, thus putting him out of position and not earning his keep.

Alternately, Izamu can die fast if you have a way of ignoring armor.

For the archers, bring something that can coverground or threaten from afar and they'll go down easily. They're expensive, and so positive piece trading is very easy.

Shenlong is weak against fewer, higher strength attacks because defensive doesn't raise your actual total, and thus you can still force damage through by cheating. Even if he's healing it back up, forcing him to waste a turn on that is a net gain.

Between more than one 10T archer, a peasant, a style, Izamu, and (I assume) Sensei Yu, your opponent has already spent at least 39 stones, meaning a scant 11 for any kind of utility. Put the pressure on him with more mobile scheme running rather than trying to kill him. I almost never kill my enemy master because it's usually a waste of resources.

 

So yeah, play to the schemes and try to throw a wrench in his over-invested synergy machines.

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As for Archers, I meant Hail of Hachinosu. What usually happens when he takes two archers and an the Blot the Sky upgrade: they set up during their activations and Focus for (0), getting Focused+2 because of Reading the Wind. At the end of turn they both shoot for free, applying focus because it lasts until the end of turn. Alternatively, they can just focus and Hail of Hachinosu during their own activations, and do a normal Hail at the end of turn. Either way, it's 12" and ignores both melee and LOS. And hard cover or any kind of hard to wound is mitigated by focus.

Even one focused archer without an upgrade still is a reliable source of 2-4 damage with a blast regardless of the target's defenses. Two of them with Rain of Arrows kill an average 6-7 point minion in one turn, all while safely standing behind a house of sort. :)

 

As for healing - whenever he's actively engaging/surviving, he does Stones of the River twice, targeting himself with both the action and the trigger. This does not seem to need to involve Yu in any way. 

 

As for disruption - that's where Peasants come in - those pesky two activations for 2 points, that pay for themselves when killed. Izamu always activates last, so I cannot punish him for charging in on the same turn. And if he happens to win initiative on turn2, he kills my countercharge model as well.

 

45 minutes ago, RarerMonsters said:

So yeah, play to the schemes and try to throw a wrench in his over-invested synergy machines.

Guess it's L2P then. :( And debuffs. Maybe I should give Jack another try.

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I don't have the 10T Archer card at hand but the general activation is

  • Peasant puts 1 Focus on model.
  • Model activates and shoots w/ 1 Focus
  • 0 Ap Focus
  • 2nd AP Shoot w/ 1 Focus

Okugreenman, what about hitting the peasants with blasts?

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Maybe it's just my crew, but I don't have any reliable blasts - just Misaki's Thunder attack. Everything else either gets Izamu's before it gets to the backline, where those vermin make their nest, or requires LOS, like common shooting.

Guess it's one more thing I could think of to add to my collection.

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Okay I pulled the card out

Threading the Needle: This model may ignore other models when determining LoS. In addition, this model does not randomly determine it's target when firing into an engagement.

Reading the Wind: The first time that this model takes the focus action during it's Activation it gains an additional Focus +1 Condition. 

So an archer can get 2 Blessed Longbow attacks with 1 Focus each. I don't see anything on the card that allows them to ignore LoS, just models. 

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I'm seeing (2) Hail of Hachinosu: This Attack Action does not require LOS, but cover applies as normal. All the stats are the same as for a usual Blessed Longbow attack, but moderate and severe damage also include a blast.

Was this changed?

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Ice_cat   

Engage archers into melee, and take them out that way? Ignore Shenlong unless he begs for a smack in the face.

Perhaps ressers is the way to go? A lot of incorporeal to make their impact less, a summoner to put forward new enemies to engage his crew. And, the hanged can effectively half his wounds and force him to spend ap on healing - which should buy time to challenge him if you feel he needs to be killed, or do scheme running. The hanged should be decent against Izamu as well. Add something that can give out adversary to Izamu and then have some spirits charge him with plus flips ^^ I've tried doing this against a Shenlong crew and stood a fair chance. Just wish he hadn't had the TT emissary! 

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1 hour ago, okugreenman said:

Maybe it's just my crew, but I don't have any reliable blasts - just Misaki's Thunder attack. Everything else either gets Izamu's before it gets to the backline, where those vermin make their nest, or requires LOS, like common shooting.

Guess it's one more thing I could think of to add to my collection.

UGH I'm a dummy! Just 5 more seconds of reading... I was fixated on getting two focused 1 AP attacks.

 

 

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tomjoad   
1 hour ago, ScareMeTrav said:

Reading the Wind: The first time that this model takes the focus action during it's Activation it gains an additional Focus +1 Condition. 

So an archer can get 2 Blessed Longbow attacks with 1 Focus each. I don't see anything on the card that allows them to ignore LoS, just models. 

Remember that when you use Focus, you use it all. If a Thunder Archer takes Focus as a 0, he can use both Focuses on the 1st attack for a :+fate:+fate to the attack and damage and have nothing left for the second, but he cannot use one focus per shot, which really makes the Hail of Hachinosu a lot more appealing.

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As an Outcast you have a trivial way of outactivating anything through the use of the Rat engine. Get an Obedient Wretch and two Rats, Summon two more Rats, form a Rat King, turn into a Rat Catcher and a Rat and you net eight activations for eight SS. Which is the extreme use case an not necessarily one you should do rather spreading them out a bit but the potential is there.

Jack Daw (and Zoraida!) is very vulnerable to free-Focusing Archers so I would suggest Misaki, though Jack is a lot better at dealing with Izamu. Johan and Taelor are super killy against Shenlong (as he's a Tyrant) and Ronin are pretty awesome against Izamu.

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14 hours ago, ScareMeTrav said:

UGH I'm a dummy! Just 5 more seconds of reading... I was fixated on getting two focused 1 AP attacks.

You still can get two focused 2AP attacks:

- Peasant puts 1 Focus on model.
- Model activates and shoots w/ 1 Focus Hail of Hachinosu (2AP)
- 0 Ap Focus (and gets an extra focus for reading the wind)
- 2nd Hail of Hachinosu at the end of the turn w/ 2 Focus

And if the archers also manage to do all that 3" from Sensei Yu, they'd be getting +1Sh with each shoot.

And to round it all up, add an Emmisary to add extra blasts in each shoot. Virtually you'd have 4 Sh8 2/3:blast:blast/4:blast:blast:blast attacks without LOS, two of them with 1 focus, and other two with 2 focus

All pretty idyllic, though xD

14 hours ago, tomjoad said:

Remember that when you use Focus, you use it all. If a Thunder Archer takes Focus as a 0, he can use both Focuses on the 1st attack for a :+fate:+fate to the attack and damage and have nothing left for the second, but he cannot use one focus per shot, which really makes the Hail of Hachinosu a lot more appealing.

Note that the archer is getting focus separately, first from the peasant before the 1st attack (and then using it), and then with the (0) and thus being able to spend it in a second attacks.

 

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On a bit more serious note though...

I'm also an Outcast player, and have been playing Leve, Von Schill and Misaki rather exclusively for the past 2 months.  As an Outcast player, you have many options around Shen Long.  First thing to do is to first and foremost cater the crew to the strategy and schemes.  Don't let the fact that it's Shen Long deter you from how you should play.  The only other factor that goes into preparing for the game is knowing what Ten Thunders in general can bring.  Judging from what you're saying though, your local meta is pretty exclusively open about Masters, so if you were to cater a bit more to playing against Shen Long, here's what I would suggest.

Master of choice: Misaki or Von Schill.  Both have the ability to ignore models and terrain when charging in and out of combat.  If you suspect him bringing Izamu, then go with Von Schill, otherwise both work fine.  Von Schill will take Izamu down very quickly, given his attacks ignore armor, and you can spend stones to trigger his Critical Strike.  After Izamu is done, anyone else with Armor should be his next target, although there aren't many other TT models that have it.  The next model to go needs to  be Sensei Yu.  10 Wds without Hard to Kill makes him considerably easier to take down than Shen Long.  Even if Von Schill dies, if you can eliminate those 2, you will probably have an easier time contending with everything else.

Henchmen/Enforcers:  Hannah, with "I Pay Better".  All day, everyday.  Shen Long and Sensei Yu rely heavily on their Ca actions to work, many of which are suited.  If you can get her Nether Flux in range of them, that will eliminate a lot of his pushing abilities.  The Hodgepodge Emmisary can also be great, depending on schemes.  If scheme markers aren't necessary for the game, the Strong Arm Suit is a better substitute.  Combined with Misaki or Von Schill, that's 2 models that can jump in and out combat easily.  Bring a Librarian for some of your own healing when needed.

Minions:  You want answers to taking out his Archers?  Freikorps Trappers.  Even without the benefits of "I Pay Better", you can reliably get 1 shot across the board on a single activation.  Sh 5 vs their Df 4 will not be hard to hit, and once TT Archers start taking wounds, it's hard for them to recover quickly.  Just perch them on Ht 3 terrain within LOS and range of Hannah to benefit from "I Pay Better" when you need to.  They're also there to counter his Peasants, but don't kill them until his bigger threats are down.  Coordinate your attacks so that you're hitting multiple targets with the right models.  If Von Schill is attacking Izamu on the same turn your Trappers are shooting at other things, he can't heal enough damage fast enough to stop it all.  Your scheme runners will be the Freikorpsmann, because who doesn't like a Wk 5 Unimpeded model for only 5 points. 

Main advantage to this crew is that TT has few ways of ignoring Armor.  With a crew that largely has Armor, it mitigates a lot of the damage spread they can bring.  The Freikorps suits also protect from the blast damages the TT Archers can bring as well.  Give that a whirl and see how things go.  Good luck!

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Adran   

There are counters, and they are probably a case of learn to play with what you have. 

For example you said Misaki kills something not relevant and then dies. Pick her target more carefully. Trading her for 1 enemy model can be worth it, but only if its a worthwhile enemy model. If the pair of Archers are your problem, give her the Scout the field Upgrade, and Charge the archers. You won't need line of sight for the charge, and can ignore the blocking terrain for the move. Be prepared to hold it off until turn 2. You have a greater threat range than they have LOS ignoring shooting. 

Smoke and shadows and Torkage, let them go Defensive and try and stop Izamu. He'll probably kill them but it will take a little time.

I like a Tormented Bishop, and he is a pretty good counter to Izamu for Jack Daw. Especially if you can get firing squad injustice on Izamu.  

If you don't think you are going to kill 2 peasants this turn, then decide if its worth killing 1. Sometimes waiting a turn and getting them both the next turn works out much better.  

 

 

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What I find most annoying when playing Shenlong is when someone breaks my crew and positioning up. Doesn't even have to be through killing, just getting the units out of each other's bubbles so I either have to spend AP getting it all back together or continue with all units weakened. Even more ideal; managing to get Shenlong or Yu seperated from the group. They can hold off two or three attacks but a dedicated effort with nothing around to swoop in and save them leaves them dead men walking. Pair some push/pull effects with Misaki taking out stray units one by one or striking dead center after it's cleared up a bit and you can either chip the crew down bit by bit or take down something huge and important. Just be sure to not leave your target alive because with a little dedicated effort it's back to full health.

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Against the Archers there's not much to do but get to them quick or snipe them unfortunately, fortunately they do melt if you breath on them.

Shenlong may be really tough to take down but Sensei Yu is certainly a decent target for models with decent stats and brings Shenlong down to only one Style at a time if you kill him.

Izamu is tough as nails and honestly I haven't faced him much but I have played him a bunch. I imagine Jack's Curses are the ideal counter to his effectiveness. If you stack Drowning and Firing Squad Injustices on him, he is very much in a bind especially if he is getting Fast and trying to heal because he is either effectively Paralyzed or killing himself very efficiently. With Misaki Izamu is also a pretty decent target just because he has Df4 and can't burn Soulstones to prevent damage. This means Decapitate works like a charm on him though you do want to try and burn some cards to ensure it's a sure thing.

If the problem is that the Peasants are sitting back with the Archers pumping them up with Focus, then all the more reason to get a Misaki or a big hitter in there to disrupt 18ss worth of models, more counting whoever has Blot the Sky. Misaki can definitely do it and I assume Jack can too.

Basically, Shenlong himself is going to cause you to have a migraine but you can deal with the crew around him diminish his scoring potential. Obviously, focus on objectives too.

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Everyone, thank you for the replies, I have at least some ideas of what to do right now. The thoughts right now are the following:
1. Not play into alpha strike - screen with cheaper models.
2. Ignore Shenlong and most of his crew until you're ready to deal with them - concentrate on the mission. At the very least, ignore Shenlong.
3. Have some models that deal with armor and control a lot of space (with shooting or long charges through terain). This one is the most complicated - I would need to buy some models, since I only have Misaki, Otooto, Killjoy and Ama no Zako for beaters. Maybe Montresor, but I don't think he's too good for the job.
4. Have models to stall the opponent. I have been using Desperate Mercenaries for that (cheapest in my collection), but rats certainly work better - I might coerce someone into playing Hamelin and rob them of a few critters. :)
5. Use a lot of debuffs. Might give Jack another try, now that I have Ama no Zako and a Trapper. :) Just need to be more careful with Jack's positioning - not getting him killed by Thunder Archers, Katanaka Snipers, or Izamu.

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On 20.02.2016 at 10:56 AM, chris_havoc said:

Izamu is tough as nails and honestly I haven't faced him much but I have played him a bunch. I imagine Jack's Curses are the ideal counter to his effectiveness. If you stack Drowning and Firing Squad Injustices on him, he is very much in a bind especially if he is getting Fast and trying to heal because he is either effectively Paralyzed or killing himself very efficiently. With Misaki Izamu is also a pretty decent target just because he has Df4 and can't burn Soulstones to prevent damage. This means Decapitate works like a charm on him though you do want to try and burn some cards to ensure it's a sure thing.

One time I actually played Jack Daw into Izamu, I put a Firing Squad curse on him to soften him up, but he just received Fast from Shenlong, got pushed 10" by the monks, then took the (2) Penance and finished Jack off with two attacks (one for Fast, one for Melee Expert). Admittedly, Jack was pretty beaten up by two archers by that point, but the cursing still proved not very effective.

After that Montresor killed Izamu with a red joker, but the damage was done, and Montresor dies to a menacing glare, so I just gave up. :)

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Yeah that's why you also have to put the other curse on him I reckon. Had you done that from the beginning he'd be in a bad way. I think the trick is to make Shenlong waste his actions rather than trying to kill him so maybe the curses are a good option for him too. Then have jack chase down the archers with Jack and do the minion curse. I do reckon that maybe Gunslingers would be a good answer to the Archers. They can deal damage if they are hit and can hit them at range and Charge in to tie them up.

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On 17/02/2016 at 9:48 PM, okugreenman said:

As for healing - whenever he's actively engaging/surviving, he does Stones of the River twice, targeting himself with both the action and the trigger.

This is wrong. Firstly, the stones on the river action is an attack action and therefore cannot target itself. The trigger can, but to use the trigger, Shenlong  (or Yu) needs to lower their defence condition: unlike focused, burning or poison, Shenlong and Yu don't maintain defensive as this would make them almost impossible to kill. Defensive lasts, as with every other model, until the start of the models activation. The most Shenlong can heal himself would be 4 (0 action + 1 ap to cast river twice)... actually he could cast stones on the river on you, heal you, gain defensive and heal himself from the trigger for 6...

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Ludvig   
1 hour ago, Skitt_Happens said:

This is wrong. Firstly, the stones on the river action is an attack action and therefore cannot target itself. The trigger can, but to use the trigger, Shenlong  (or Yu) needs to lower their defence condition: unlike focused, burning or poison, Shenlong and Yu don't maintain defensive as this would make them almost impossible to kill. Defensive lasts, as with every other model, until the start of the models activation. The most Shenlong can heal himself would be 4 (0 action + 1 ap to cast river twice)... actually he could cast stones on the river on you, heal you, gain defensive and heal himself from the trigger for 6...

Stones is a tactical so it's perfectly fine to target yourself. 

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