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Gnomezilla

How Does a Turtle Learn to Charge?

17 posts in this topic

Another tournament yesterday. In round two I reverted to my usual poor showing.

Round one was close deployment, as was all of henchman hardcore. Apparently, given close deployment, even if deploying first, I wreck face. Very anomalous. (Blind deployment during Divergent Paths wasn't bad either, but that'll happen again approximately never.) Therefore my major failure at this game is probably in figuring out the opponent's threat ranges beyond where models are at any given moment.

...so what can I try to practice to get better at that, if weekly games aren't helping? I am not good at visualizing overlapping auras, for certain.

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Waaaayyyyyyyy back in the Grim dark times, I had similar trouble with my Dark Eldar, as far as visualizing bubbles of threat range. Now I accurately refer to their carrying case as the Pink Bag of Death because I made it my business to improve my ability to see those bubbles.

Step 1: Measure eeeeeeverything that is a threat to you, and how far away you can be a threat to a potential target. As much as possible stay out of their bubbles and put them in yours.

Step 2: Repeat Step 1 until you see bubbles. If your screen saver is the bouncing bubbles over personal pictures, that unfortunately doesn't count.

Honestly, for me it's less about visualizing bubbles, and more that, through repeatedlyrics asking/looking up/measuring those distances I found I developed an eye for those distances and stuck them in the memory banks. Ended up being able to tell a new opponent if they could get to me or not without them having to look it up.

Took a while, but a valuable skill to have. I'm very excited to say it transfered pretty easily to Malifaux.

Best of luck!

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Play friendly games and ask. Not just "what's Howards wk stat" but "seriously, how far can your list get him in total over a turn?"

That and read up on the models that did movement tricks after the game tournament game. Colette, Cassandra, the captain, Sensei Yu, Graves or whatever it was they used against you. Sometimes you even learn that your opponent did something illegal like doube-push friendlies with Graves or push Dreamer with his own totem.

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The easiest way is to play against Marcus or the Viks and when you ask what range the biggest threats have, your opponent can say "the board." Easy.

The best way would be measuring all the things. Be careful about it and recognize the crew multipliers that can get huge beat sticks across the board. Beware Yasunori. 

I've also found that just by playing for a long time I can eyeball 6" pretty easily but still always double check. On inch is probably the hardest distance to memorize, I always think it's smaller than it actually is. 

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Play some friendly games that are in the same format as HH. As @Ludvig recommends, talk to your opponent about actual threat range of their stuff and what factors into it. Walk and Charge information is important, as is weapon ranges--but those don't account for pushes, (0) actions, and other special rules that modify their threat.
Some things are obvious (Coryphee, for instance), while other things are less direct (Wind Gamin).

In friendly games, after your opponent describes the threat range, if you're still not sure of how to read it ask them to show you. Use empty bases if you don't want to interfere with the board state. Depending on your community, you may even find your opponent open to walking around the table with you and swapping crews for a few games so that you can learn how their stuff interacts with itself.

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On 2/13/2017 at 3:04 PM, Ludvig said:

Play friendly games and ask. Not just "what's Howards wk stat" but "seriously, how far can your list get him in total over a turn?"

That and read up on the models that did movement tricks after the game tournament game. Colette, Cassandra, the captain, Sensei Yu, Graves or whatever it was they used against you. Sometimes you even learn that your opponent did something illegal like doube-push friendlies with Graves or push Dreamer with his own totem.

I like the 'ask' idea. I think most people are pretty chill and want to win based on skill rather than their opponent not knowing stuff or 'gottya' type play. 

If someone asks me the threat range of a model I'll say Burt can charge easily at 12" threat range but also I could drop him off with Gracie or this Iron Skeeter here so its really more of a 24" threat range (or whatever). Most people should be okay with giving this info in causal play and others like me would even give this info to you in a tournament setting as well. 

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I could see why people would be less forthcoming in a tournament but I hope most would probably answer it.

There have been numerous AWP discussions were players would refuse to give any sort of info to an opponent unless specifically asked and would only answer stuff like what the stat on the card is, not all the pushes in the crew. 

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I generally agree with "Ask."

I'm always happy to tell my opponent all the terrible things I can do, usually in a format of "His charge is 8, with a 2" melee.  I have Mr. Graves who can push 6", Lilith with Tangled Shadows, and a Doppleganger who can copy Mr. Graves, so in theory, he could be anywhere from right here to the next table."

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As a rule, any competitive Malifaux crew will have ways to move its models outside of their activation. In practice, as shown above, if a few of these abilities stack then depending on terrain models can be almost anywhere. Thinking about that leads to analysis paralyses (at least for me) so I look at things a little bit differently. I'm borrowing a style of tactical thinking and terminology from my time as a competitive fencer, I think its intuitive but I can clarify as needed.

First, it's important to know what ways your opponent has to break tempo - whether that's Lucius or Collodi passing AP out of activation, a Family crew with Companion everywhere, or Hamelin generating half a crew's worth of activations in exchange for a (0). Think about how each of these elements may come into play, and how they may play together, keep in mind that getting models to Reactivate can break tempo by turning what was a "dead" angle into a "live" one. Don't feel bad about looking your opponents cards over or taking notes.

Once you've identified the big tools of surprise then look for models that can give out of activation movement. Look for where this may sync up with tempo breaks (i.e. Lucius repositioning a Guild Rifleman and then Companion activating it).

Now you have the tools to track how effective threat ranges evolve over the course of a turn - Lilith can't Tangle Shadows after she has activated.

During this initial analyses you should also identify major threats, things your opponent will want to put in your face. Your analyses needs to include how that threat will try to attack you and what tools you have to mitigate it. It's fairly likely that Lilith will try to tangle Nekima into your crew, but less likely she'll want to put a Tot there. Look more closely at the threat vectors that are the most potentially devastating.

Now rather than worrying about whether anything can get into you, you only have to think about a couple of things, and you can probably see them coming. Use terrain and model placement to further trim the decision tree and limit your opponent's ability to do what they want in a profitable way. Set up your counters to the plays they hope to make, or at the very least, spread out enough to mitigate the damage they will do. Pick schemes that you can score around those big plays.

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I'd like to thank everyone for chiming in but it's going to be @admiralvorkraft's advice that I definitely want to try and practice (alongside trying to wake my my visualization ability). That codified a lot of half-baked ideas I had floating around in my head.

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For the record, that process is also why I tend to stay away from lists built around specific combos, and why no crew is complete without some ability to hand out slow/paralyze/debilitating-condition-of-choice or Bury. Flexible, adaptable crews win games (in my experience).

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I think being able to push your own models (and preferably enemies as well) is at least equal to conditions in that regard. Especially if you face Shenlong, Hamelin, A&D etc. a lot.

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On 2/15/2017 at 1:05 AM, Ludvig said:

I could see why people would be less forthcoming in a tournament but I hope most would probably answer it.

There have been numerous AWP discussions were players would refuse to give any sort of info to an opponent unless specifically asked and would only answer stuff like what the stat on the card is, not all the pushes in the crew. 

I feel like if that is what you are facing, asking to see all of your opponents cards and not going until you have had time to read and figure out all their pushes isn't out of line.  Even taking the time to write down the crucial parts.  Let them sit and wait, if you only get to round 2 that is what they get for being unfriendly about it.  

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Update: while I've gotten in far more games than average since then I've mostly been facing unfamiliar crews and so having to learn threat ranges for the first time instead. The one familiar opponent? Close deployment. :mellow:(Fun(tm): rocketing the zombie chihuahua across the gap to fart before the opposing crew broke formation. He spent a 10ss beater's activation to smack down a 2ss model instead of charging me, and still took 10? total damage from it. And I thought people hated Luna....)

I have learned that McMourning's crew's threat range in corner deployment isn't quite as good as I thought and I need to look into a different master for that deployment or learn to turtle with him as well.

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27 minutes ago, Gnomezilla said:

Update: while I've gotten in far more games than average since then I've mostly been facing unfamiliar crews and so having to learn threat ranges for the first time instead. The one familiar opponent? Close deployment. :mellow:(Fun(tm): rocketing the zombie chihuahua across the gap to fart before the opposing crew broke formation. He spent a 10ss beater's activation to smack down a 2ss model instead of charging me, and still took 10? total damage from it. And I thought people hated Luna....)

I have learned that McMourning's crew's threat range in corner deployment isn't quite as good as I thought and I need to look into a different master for that deployment or learn to turtle with him as well.

Turn one charges seems less likely in corner. If you want to go for it I would have a look at the emissary. McMourning can put scheme markers quite far up by injecting a watcher after it has walked twice. Big risk of overextending but McMourning should have the mobility to at least provide some support to whoever you decided to throw forward. 

If you want a more balanced advance you could push a performer with McMourning, have that drag two other models up, one of which is the Judge who then pushes a third one towards him after walking himself.

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Turn one charges are often a bad plan in corner/standard unless they're scoring you points somehow (Quick Murder with Frame on the model you charged in springs to mind). The best way to kill something (in my experience) is to create localized force superiority through movement/tempo control.

Guild usually won't have the movement tricks or activations to keep up with other factions, but we have more companion/accomplice than anyone else in the game so we can leverage what tricks we do have to more effectively put down individual models. If you find you're running Guardsmen heavy then Queeg with Watch My Back is a legitimately interesting choice. He can whip someone into position and accomplice into them to deliver beaters up the board or around corners. It's expensive but it's an option.

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