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are stuffed piglets cheesy?

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so playing gremlins for a few months now and I am starting to feel bad taking stuffed piglets against everyone apart from specific some combinations of factions and strats....im looking at you wind gamin in headhunter.

the out activation is so powerful and the game feels like it is creaking. I am playing list with like 11-12 activations turn 1 and 2 which is allowing me to pick and kill what I want in early turns and making teh game a real NPE for opposition. However i feel our faction is such a glass hammer that playing without activation control is just asking to lose.

what are your guys thoughts? 

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I think to a large extent this comes down to what sort of game you're expecting to play, and does that match what your opponent is expecting?

One of Malifaux many strengths is it caters for a wide range of gaming experiences;  everything from story encounters bordering on role play, through casual pick up games, all the way up to hard edge competitive play.  All of those are valid ways to play the game. IMO the biggest scope for NPE is where you and your opponent aren't on the same page about what you're doing.  All factions have some horrible tricks that will feel out of place in a non-competitive setting.

Best advice is if you're worried about this, talk to your opponent before the game.  Have a frank conversation about how competitive you want the game to be, and agree.  I did this last week with a club mate. We normally play at the top end of competitive, but agreed to dial it back so I could get more of a feel for some new models I was using without being Vik'ed off the board turn one.

TLDR: I don't have a problem with Stuffed Piglets.

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For me it depends what you are using them for.

If it's purely for activation control then yes as the game is based around the you go i go alternative activations.

If you are using them as pigapult ammo or just taking two for nuisance value that's fine.

As mythicfox says above the setting makes a difference too as tournaments anything within the rules goes but for social play it's a bit shit.

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People everywhere in the world take advantage of models that are good. How many Arcanists take raptors the practised production upgrade.  How many people take the ridiculously underpriced Doppelgänger and the murder machine Nekima. 

Plenty of crews have lots of activation Hamlin for one has as many as he likes before he Obey's a beatstick to your face turn one.  Activation control is very powerful, but so is being able to make your opponent set up 1st.  There is even a new scheme that you can score when people have so many more activations. 

In the new 2017 I see myself taking Bayou gremlins more than stuffed piglets as you need to drop more scheme markers.   Are stuffed piglets too cheap hell no!  they aren't worth 3pts, but I think it would be more fluffy and balanced if they had to explode when they died, but then again I think the Doppelgänger should be 9pts.

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Stuffed piglets are probably the most under priced model in Malifaux.  Walk 5, Df/Wp 4, Ml 4, and optional death explosion.  For 2ss.   Even at rare 6, that's kind of absurdly good.   While insignificant prevents them from scoring you points, they're still perfectly viable for denying your opponents points.   Interacts can't be done while engaged, and stuffed piglets will happily eat an AP or two as you try to get out of engagement with them in order to accomplish your goals.   Just tonight I won a game because a stuffed Piglet flipped the red joker on a disengaging strike.

Their wounds are such that they'll require at least 2 hits to kill from almost everything, they can explode for a hefty sum of damage on death (Which ignores almost every method of damage prevention/avoidance)   and they debuff enemies who use sh actions.

They are as good as most other 3 point models, if not better.  But they can't cost 3 points, because then the Piagpult balance doesn't work right.  Being 1 ss less expensive to make the pigapult balanced might seem like a big deal, but that's a 50% discount.  This results in the ability to bring a silly amount of them for activation control, without really affecting much, because even though you spent up to 12 stones on stuffed piglets, you're still probably going to get 12 or more stones worth of work out of them, AND have stupid good activation control on turns 1 and/or 2.

There are a couple of balancing options I see.   Making it so you can only hire 3 is one.   They still give a little activation control, and are still good models, but don't lead to horrible cornercases where people bring 6.  By specifically changing it to "you may only hire 3"  it keeps the rare 6 restriction, allowing Taxidermists to still summon up to 6 (and also doesn't ruin the taxidermy box's value)

You could also make their bacon bomb action mandatory.   This creates a downside to bringing them, as in exchange for activation control (which forces your opponent to position well or die)  you also have to position well or have your own pigs blow up on you.

Removing their melee attack is also an option, allowing your opponent to disengage freely without potentially wasting cards on it.

Heck, just dropping their wounds to 2 make them die to many more models.

 

I'm honestly not sure what the best move is to balance stuffed piglets, but I do feel that for their 2ss cost they are just too good.   The activation control itself isn't too problematic competitively in and of itself.   It's that you get activation control and still get models worth using out of it.   Although, I do feel it's worth pointing out that huge activation advantage can create a gameplay experience that just doesn't feel fun.   And sometimes, regardless of balance, things should be changed to make the game more fun.

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To my mind they should always blow up when killed so they're actually a liability and they should grant VP when killed.

I was actually under the impression they do grant VP, the thing  about sacrificing them if they are still in play is obviously there to work if you take bacon bomb voluntarily while they aren't dead but not prevent VP from the kill. It's sloppily worded but trying to use that when the intent is so obvious seems like a dick move to me. If people play it like that it should get faq/errata ASAP to say "after the current action" or something.

Can't really blame someone for taking them though. The designers seem to have wanted gremlins to have stupid ap control andsince other factions got 3ap models they obviously needed 2 ap activations.

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I enjoy using them, and I've gone as high as hiring 4 and then summoning more during the game with the taxidermist, but I'm finding that although you can get some initial activation control, your crew tends to melt to nothing mid game.  I generally pop 1 in a list though if I have the stones spare, running 1-2 is my baseline these days

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i have noticed this aswell, my wong alpha melts usually leaving me with wong and a bayou gremlin/ old cranky by around turn 4 (my opponent rarely has anything left unless they are sandeep)

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What Mythic said.

I think this really is a case of "learn to play better". I know it can be super annoying, especially if you are not in the mood for 'ultra-competitiveness'.
I use them regularly, and so far most people in our meta handle them quite well (or I play them terribly, whatever).

I would not cry if they lost a wound or something like that. But in general I wanna say they are perfectly fine.

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In my experience with stuffies, you're forced to pick between tying up models and having the activation control. If you throw them into the enemy, they will die or they will at least dictate your activation order somewhat to ensure maximum disruption (e.g. if stuff disengages or pushes the piglets away you need to have them available to activate to walk back in), whereas if you want full activation control you have to keep them safer and then they're not doing the disruption.

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good point, i normal run them as interference and blsst off them, they usually dead by turn 3 (i ran 2-3 most games with 2 bayous)

 

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Eh, I don't think there's such a thing as "cheesy." Just opponents who want easy wins.

I don't think Stuffed Piglets are unfair. I'm not sure I'd play them at 3ss. I'd prefer a significant Minion at that price break.

Spamming them has huge disadvantages, too. They are a huge chunk of your list that can barely participate in the schemes/strategies part of this scheme/strategy driven game.

Insignificant and entirely crappy stats are what make them fair.

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On 2017-02-16 at 11:05 PM, Obeisance said:

Eh, I don't think there's such a thing as "cheesy." Just opponents who want easy wins.

I don't think Stuffed Piglets are unfair. I'm not sure I'd play them at 3ss. I'd prefer a significant Minion at that price break.

Spamming them has huge disadvantages, too. They are a huge chunk of your list that can barely participate in the schemes/strategies part of this scheme/strategy driven game.

Insignificant and entirely crappy stats are what make them fair.

I don't think anyone would play them at 3ss. They do however deny interference very effectively by engaging stuff. Most marker schemes are also invalidated by enemy models near them so they should be able to influence the game effectively.

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I do thing they are a lesser version of the rat engine. High rare 2SS activations shouldn`t be hirable for a whole faction and they are way better than rats for the same price. The explosion shouldn`t be optional and they should probably be 2 Wds to get one shot by most things. They only give points in Hunting Party which doesn`t come up very often but can block a multitude of schemes, head markers and interference.

 

While I don`t like to brag that "this is OP" or "that is OP" because I do think most of the things in this game acceptable but I think having faction-available cheap activations (while still having non-rare 3ss significant minions) isn`t exactly cool.

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10 minutes ago, trikk said:

While I don`t like to brag that "this is OP" or "that is OP" because I do think most of the things in this game acceptable but I think having faction-available cheap activations (while still having non-rare 3ss significant minions) isn`t exactly cool.

Actually this is really. Gremlin-way cool, but still cool.

Personally I don't see a problem with Suffies but maybe this is just me.

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2 hours ago, daniello_s said:

Actually this is really. Gremlin-way cool, but still cool.

Personally I don't see a problem with Suffies but maybe this is just me.

Me neither and I think @Von Woozle brought the right argument against this to which I'll add another example:

are two trappers cheesy? Yes definetly, even tho cover in a well made map will be sorta easy to find, they dicatate the way you're gonna deploy ( we sure can take a focused shot  to the face so light hearted), ignore covers with their + and just cost 6. I personally think rare 1 would be enough, having armor 1 too and their 0, but from there to require a FAQ I think there's a long road. And they're hella annoying.

Another one coming from the outcasts? Joan! 6 (7 if mercenary) for a globally-hirable relic hammer with condition removal, hard to kill and finish the job

One from Arcanists? Mechanical rider, a huge piece that summons and place markers like crazy.

From neverborn? Primordial magic, which grants you an extra card every turn for just 2 stones (fully repaid turn 2), outclassing almost every neverborn totem ( talking to you Huggy, you easily make a cut to this list too).

All factions have their  "cheesy" models that looks damn powerful and can make a game annoying  because they simply work really well and are very efficient but are they "too much"? No I don't think so. They might require two attacks but as already stated you either keep em save and keep the activation advantage or throw them in the heat of battle and at that point, you don't wanna invest card in them, having among the most card hungry models in the scene. We're a bunch of fragile loonatics, which whithout some control coming from  a larger number crumble like a card castle without luck on your side. 

Final verdict for me is that they simply work really well, as a lot of models do in their factions, but I don't see them as cheesy as models like Rooster riders used to be. 

Also I don't think they're the same thing as the rat engine, cause I would remember that the rat engine ended with you having a minion of the caliber of a rat catcher  and a rat + a load of activations for just 8 stones, in a faction where the efficiency of the models is moderated by their high cost, consequently smaller number. So while stuffed are better than rats,  a rat catcher is better than 3 stuffeds imo.

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3 minutes ago, EpicWaffle said:

Also I don't think they're the same thing as the rat engine, cause I would remember that the rat engine ended with you having a minion of the caliber of a rat catcher  and a rat + a load of activations for just 8 stones, in a faction where the efficiency of the models is moderated by their high cost, consequently smaller number. So while stuffed are better than rats,  a rat catcher is better than 3 stuffeds imo.

I said "smaller version" because they are inferior to the rat engine. I think (not counting Hamelin) the issue with the rat engine was not the rat catcher that came out of it but the 8 activations it gave for a silly amount of SS.

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5 minutes ago, trikk said:

I said "smaller version" because they are inferior to the rat engine. I think (not counting Hamelin) the issue with the rat engine was not the rat catcher that came out of it but the 8 activations it gave for a silly amount of SS.

Sorry I misread it! My bad and yes then,  I'm with you on this :) I would add tho that gremlins are one of the faction that mostly require you to almost fully equip your enforcers/henchmen to properly work, so quite some stones go into that, making a 2ss model kinda needed.

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6 minutes ago, EpicWaffle said:

Sorry I misread it! My bad and yes then,  I'm with you on this :) I would add tho that gremlins are one of the faction that mostly require you to almost fully equip your enforcers/henchmen to properly work, so quite some stones go into that, making a 2ss model kinda needed.

I can`t agree with that agrument. Guild Henchmen need to be fully equipped. Most Arcanist also require 1 or 2 upgrades at least. 

Trixie, McTavish, Francois don`t need upgrades really. Burt just gets dirty cheater and he`s considered very good without it 7SS.

Most Gremlin lists easily start at 10 models. Most other lists don`t often get to 10.  4 Stuffed piglets get you 4 activations for 8SS. For the same price all other factions get 2 activations. I find activation game very important, especially in GG17 where there`s a lot less killing and a lot more ways to deny VP.

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My perspective, M2E did a much better job balancing small models vs big models. There were a few exceptions but Killy expensive models that were very efficient ruled the game in 1e. Big models and small models are all important in M2E, but because of that activation control became more important.

I remember an argument during the second open about Kirai's Seishin. In 1e they were hireable and there was an argument about making them cheap and hiriable in this edition. I argued for, and still believe the correct choice was that they shouldn't have been because of the exact situation we are seeing with stuffed piglets. I don't think outside of very possibly Hamlin that the game's structure can really fairly accommodate models hirable en mass at 2ss.

I don't think stuffed piglets are cheesy, I just think the underlying rules of the game doesn't accommodate them well. They and anything else that is 2ss that isn't unique should get a through looking at in the June errata.

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9 hours ago, trikk said:

I can`t agree with that agrument. Guild Henchmen need to be fully equipped. Most Arcanist also require 1 or 2 upgrades at least. 

Trixie, McTavish, Francois don`t need upgrades really. Burt just gets dirty cheater and he`s considered very good without it 7SS.

Most Gremlin lists easily start at 10 models. Most other lists don`t often get to 10.  4 Stuffed piglets get you 4 activations for 8SS. For the same price all other factions get 2 activations. I find activation game very important, especially in GG17 where there`s a lot less killing and a lot more ways to deny VP.

Most gremlins don't have solid damage profiles, good amount of hp and generally solid defenses. Francois and Burt without dirty cheater are so fragile and won't last turn 3 against any opponent unless you wanna waste an exagerate amount of resources. And I'd say I just won a tournament today bringing 2 8 pieces crews and 1 with nine, with 2 stuffed in each cases. More than 2 stuffed are good in few scenarios and by personal experience a good opponent knows how to play around them, making them just annoying if I manage to make some good flips, since they're not worth investing too many resources. Activation control is not only important, is huge in gg2017, I agree, but it will last till the end of turn 2 if the game goes slow, aside from rare cases where you can wait for your opponent to come at you. 

Talking about Guild, if it's control you need, Mc Cabe (which with Luna grant you some quite good activation number if you bring some dogs) and Nellie (her upgrade is quite awesome)  definetly solve the problem and make it much less of a pain. 

Before we just start to take over the thread tho, I would say I respect your opinion and in no way wanted to say you are wrong :) imo they're simply good models that fit well their place in the faction (I had quite some experiences of having to face them too, and by knowing how to get around them I didn't find them to be so oppressive), like a lot of models do, but I can see them getting frustrating for the opponent in a lot of situation, so I feel your point :) if you have the occasion and some free time, ask to a friend that have gremlins to lend you a crew and try to use something like 4 stuffed (I would almost never bring more than that, unless I'm feeling funky with Wong) in order for you to get the feeling of them (even on the activation advantage point). This might help you to get a better glance of their limit and than use it to your advantage! Worked for me with Lilith and Perdita, which both gave me nightmares :) 

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@EpicWaffle When was the last time you saw Francisco without any upgrades? I don't think wanting upgrades is unique to gremlins. Activations are so important that a lot of people take totems they hate and just have them sit there since it's a way to get a 2ss activation in. I don't think stuffed piglets necessarily need errata but I'm 100% with Fetid Strumpet on the opinion that 2ss models shouldn't be hireable except for rare 1 (possibly something like traps that never activate too).

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34 minutes ago, Ludvig said:

@EpicWaffle When was the last time you saw Francisco without any upgrades? I don't think wanting upgrades is unique to gremlins. Activations are so important that a lot of people take totems they hate and just have them sit there since it's a way to get a 2ss activation in. I don't think stuffed piglets necessarily need errata but I'm 100% with Fetid Strumpet on the opinion that 2ss models shouldn't be hireable except for rare 1 (possibly something like traps that never activate too).

I didn't say other factions don't requires upgrade on their pieces to make them better but said that for gremlins are mandatory on most cases, that's it, so no need to get laced to it too much. I'm a gremlin player, with collodi, Hamelin and shenlong as side crews, so I don't speak off to what I only experienced by facing it like I main it. I'll say it again, I don't think they're underpowered, intact they're really good pieces but it's something thematic and well placed for a faction like gremlins and it's not like other factions don't have their way around it/cheesy models. You take number and flexibility over precision and solid mechanics. But again that's how I see it, and I'm just one guy on the net, so I'm not thinking to be smarter than anyone: I repdect your opinion and can see the reasons behind it , didn't want to sound cocky or to defend 'till the end the model :)

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Hm, well I think the key here is that none of you just played Dom Westerland this weekend as he took flipping five stuffed piglets and the pigapult for collect the bounty. It was hellish I tell you.

 

But it actually wasn't that effective at the end of the day, which I think is the big thing about stuffies the majority of the time. Like, you get the activation control, to extreme levels if you bring loads of them (in this game I had brought a fairly elite crew and I was literally activating everything before any enemies actually even tried to interact with me), but you screw yourself on scoring. I had the option of any scheme, while he was basically locked into Claim Jump and FFM. It was my own foolishness at also picking FFM and making it really obvious that messed me over.

It's great to have them for Interference because they actively deny scoring, as well as Collect just because they're annoying and can't be scored off there, but IMO a lot of the time Bayou Gremlins are so much more useful that spending the extra stone is worth it - and it's not like you can't swarm them too (which is exactly what Dom did the previous two games for activation control) and actually have the flexibility to score.

I mean it is just one game, and it was a silly gimmick, but I think it highlights some of the balancing factors of stuffies.

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