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edopersichetti

Smugglers: even worse?

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Hiya! I am writing to talk a bit about one of our Wave 5 releases, the Bayou Smugglers. I think most people agree that our Wave 5 has been pretty disappointing, save perhaps Criers which are the only ones I've used to some effect so far. But today I was looking at the Smuggler card, and in fact it is even worse than I remembered! Did the "Swap" action get further nerfed after the last beta test???

I followed the whole Beta testing quite closely. In the beginning in fact there was no "Swap" at all, and obviously the model was extremely underwhelming. Then the Swap was introduced (plus other minor changes), and the model kind of made sense. In this version, both players got to put down a card (or choose not to) and then resolve. You had a decent chance of either making the swap happen, or at least draw two - with some mind games possibly involving the opponent deciding not to put the card down, you deciding not to put the card down, etc. 
The usual cries of protest and OP rose from the community but I thought the action was ok: it had great potential but still a 50% to not give the desired effect and compared to similar effects (like Lilith's or Yan Lo's) was understandably less powerful and less reliable. Still, it was a nice trick, and worst case scenario, you got to burn a card off opponent's hand, and/or draw two cards. In the last beta version I have (6/7) it was still like this.

As I said, I was just checking the Smuggler again earlier and I noticed the new "Swap" action. I couldn't believe it. Am I crazy or it doesn't make any sense? The active player now does not get to drop a card, and the opponent instead draws another card after dropping his. So the opponent can pretty much guarantee the swap not happening. Even worse: you don't get the consolation of burning the opponent's card - instead, he can actually use it to his advantage and cycle a bad card!!! Who ever thought this was a good idea??? For me, this completely killed off the utility of the action: 80% of the times you'll end up using 1AP for a short range, Ca 5 attack just to draw two cards - assuming it hits without you having to cheat it. I'm not sure this makes much sense.

The model already suffers from very little in-faction synergy, which in Gremlins is crucial, since he's not Gremlin or Pig for example can't be healed etc. His passive abilities are very cute but not sure that by themselves they're worth the investment. Barter economy means you get to cycle cards without using the SS - nice, but the price to pay is a 5-card hand. Smuggled goods could be useful, but I'd rather pay 2SS more and use Trixie who can do a very similar thing. Buy Low Sell High can get you a couple cards if the enemy cheats fate: again kinda nice, but nothing to die for. His tactical action is very card hungry so it kinda balances out.

I don't know, they seem extremely clunky and they seemed so already with the last version I was aware of - I am baffled. Thoughts?

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You are correct, they did get a change after the open beta closed. I remember using them a few times with the original iteration of swap during the beta test. It was entertaining and kind of its own minigame.

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From what I understand since I did not participate in the beta, it seemed like that interaction would take much longer than the current one. About the validity of the model I won't really comment, but I can say for a 6ss model, non rare model, I wouldn't want too many interactions that somewhat disrupt the flow of the game. So I can see the change from the original.

Now it's simply

1. Attack, check for success

2. If success Opponent discards a card.

3. Resolve effect depending on card discarded.

4. Opponent redraws (so yes, card cycling, but sometimes they might let it go through because of that).

Not too much time involved beyond ordinary actions. In the case of dropping odd, which is statistically more likely and usually the desired outcome, they also drop an enemy scheme marker, which I enjoy turning into piggies with Sammy. Plus any card draw you get (or opponent for that matter, so whenever this action succeeds) allows you to cycle as well. I do see some synergy there. A crew with Bayou two card doesn't care as much about cards in hand either, so the trade-off for better cards but a smaller hand is sort of a win win, in that it's just cycling the low card you didn't care about anyway.

Criers like having less cards than their opponent.

 

Idk, after all this I STILL agree that the model feels awkward and out of place, but it does have some synergy, it's just more niche than I feel is necessary.

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Let's say this is the last model I but from this wave (IF I decide to buy it at all). I won't take it further than this statement. No point.

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It was a hopelessly complicated and cumbersome Action and desperately needed streamlining.

The other theory is that, If I understood correctly, the old Swap had crazy synergy in the TT where teaming a Smuggler with a Katanaka Crime Boss/Lotus Eater could lead to massive card draw (possibly six cards from a single cast!). So the natural response to a Gremlin Merc with a problematic interaction in a different Faction: nerf the Gremlin model :P:P 

No matter, I do think that the Smuggler looks quite underwhelming being a weird utility piece that doesn't seem to quite know what it is doing and lacks durability. I'm not sure that they are actively bad as such, but I'm not sure when I would hire them, either. The Tactical Action is ludicrously card hungry and if it seems like it might be an inconvenience for the enemy (Reva?), it isn't exactly difficult to just kill the Smuggler.

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2 hours ago, Math Mathonwy said:

It was a hopelessly complicated and cumbersome Action and desperately needed streamlining.The other theory is that, If I understood correctly, the old Swap had crazy synergy in the TT where teaming a Smuggler with a Katanaka Crime Boss/Lotus Eater could lead to massive card draw (possibly six cards from a single cast!). So the natural response to a Gremlin Merc with a problematic interaction in a different Faction: nerf the Gremlin model :P:P 

:D

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4 hours ago, daniello_s said:

:D

 

7 hours ago, Math Mathonwy said:

It was a hopelessly complicated and cumbersome Action and desperately needed streamlining.

The other theory is that, If I understood correctly, the old Swap had crazy synergy in the TT where teaming a Smuggler with a Katanaka Crime Boss/Lotus Eater could lead to massive card draw (possibly six cards from a single cast!). So the natural response to a Gremlin Merc with a problematic interaction in a different Faction: nerf the Gremlin model :P:P 

No matter, I do think that the Smuggler looks quite underwhelming being a weird utility piece that doesn't seem to quite know what it is doing and lacks durability. I'm not sure that they are actively bad as such, but I'm not sure when I would hire them, either. The Tactical Action is ludicrously card hungry and if it seems like it might be an inconvenience for the enemy (Reva?), it isn't exactly difficult to just kill the Smuggler.

I agree unfortunately this happened. But then, it would have been enough to change the draw part to "if hired in Gremlins only", as it is now. I don't understand why they changed the part where both players get to drop a card, it doesn't seem that cumbersome or complicated to me...

1. Flip for attack, it either hits or not
2. Opponent decides whether to drop a card
3. Active player decides whether to drop a card
4. Resolve

Really, this is cumbersome???

Also, why the re-draw? If opponent decides to drop an odd card and prevent the Swap, they should at least pay a little price, not being rewarded for it!!!

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19 minutes ago, edopersichetti said:

I agree unfortunately this happened. But then, it would have been enough to change the draw part to "if hired in Gremlins only", as it is now.

But that would've made a Gremlin Merc be worse when hired outside of the Gremlins! Could you even imagine the furor it would've caused? Governments might've toppled!

19 minutes ago, edopersichetti said:

I don't understand why they changed the part where both players get to drop a card, it doesn't seem that cumbersome or complicated to me...

1. Flip for attack, it either hits or not
2. Opponent decides whether to drop a card
3. Active player decides whether to drop a card
4. Resolve

Really, this is cumbersome???

The weird part is that the Active player should never drop an even card as it doesn't affect the outcome. But I think that the whole thing is just way over complicated and is quite possibly the weirdest action in the whole game.

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I don't think of the Smugglers as real Gremlin models. Just another model in the faction that was really intended to work outside of it.

I almost miss the days we were in the outcast faction and stuff like this made sense.

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11 hours ago, Omenbringer said:

I don't think of the Smugglers as real Gremlin models. Just another model in the faction that was really intended to work outside of it.

I almost miss the days we were in the outcast faction and stuff like this made sense.

Yep. Seems like there was no spot left in Outcasts during this wave so Smuggler was pushed to Gremlins because why not?

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"Be positive" , in Gremlins forums?.... IMPOSSIBLE!!! LOL.

 

.... you guys. :-fate

I think Smugglers are awesome and you will all be eating your words in a few months. :) Or I will... 

 

Perhaps I should try them first but I do like their card and abilities. Swap is still good IMO even if the opponent is cycling a card. Doesnt always mean its a better card and it makes them consider dropping a higher even card rather than a low ODD. Placements are extremely powerful and at 8" with a minion...

I think its solid. Its not a sure thing but puts pressure on your opponent which is enough considering 6ss and his other abilities to get more cards if the opponent cheats a duel. If they Cheat Swap and you lose, you still draw a card. If they cheat and you cheat to win and they drop an EVEN, you draw 3 cards as a gremlin player or get placed. Sure they are going to cycle a card, but I think thats a consolation prize for the gremlin drawing up to 3 or placing you within 8" and possibly tying up other models w/ a 3" engage. 

The (0) after placing can be used to drop all the bad cards you drew and can get rid of corpse, scrap, or scheme that could be used by your opponent to their advantage. Again, not overt, but tricky and IMO will win games on the 4th or 5th turns often. 

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He is too situational. At this state of the Malifaux you want models which are good in certain things every time, all time not something which works good under certain circumstances. It could be ok when the model pool was not as big as it is now. Simple, for 6SS (and 5SS) you can get way better models into your crew.

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I disagree, in GG2018 its all about situational models. In fact, I think the designers of this game are shooting for more situational models and hoping good players see the value in taking  them into the right S&S to gain the edge. 

  The 18' scheme pools and strategies are begging for players to get away from standardized lists of raw power  and adopt more synergistic combos to get VP. I think as we continue to play more GG18 the top players will be playing more diverse lists to specialize in strategies.

List building is going to be more important now.  No more, "I just bring killers and kill everything, to win in every game". Not saying that wont be a viable strategy, but the edge should be in playing to the S&S by bringing the proper models into them, not just killing. 

This promotes owning more models (good for Wyrd), being more creative with your combos, and understanding the game at a higher level.  If you only play with a pool of 15 models are you really getting the most out of your faction in every scenario? Do your opponents know your tendencies and how you play said 15 models? Diversity is the spice of life and will allow for people not to get bored doing the same thing all the time... even if you win all the time.

Challenging yourself to try something new gives longevity to the game keeping it fresh. I cant believe people arent sick of playing Frank and Burt in every game.. yeah theyre good but EVERYONE knows what you are going to do with them, there are no surprises. I guess thats my point in regards to "new" models.  

Smugglers are almost an auto include in Ply for Information. IMO.

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11 minutes ago, Fixxer said:

I disagree, in GG2018 its all about situational models. In fact, I think the designers of this game are shooting for more situational models and hoping good players see the value in taking  them into the right S&S to gain the edge. 

  The 18' scheme pools and strategies are begging for players to get away from standardized lists of raw power  and adopt more synergistic combos to get VP. I think as we continue to play more GG18 the top players will be playing more diverse lists to specialize in strategies.

List building is going to be more important now.  No more, "I just bring killers and kill everything, to win in every game". Not saying that wont be a viable strategy, but the edge should be in playing to the S&S by bringing the proper models into them, not just killing. 

This promotes owning more models (good for Wyrd), being more creative with your combos, and understanding the game at a higher level.  If you only play with a pool of 15 models are you really getting the most out of your faction in every scenario? Do your opponents know your tendencies and how you play said 15 models? Diversity is the spice of life and will allow for people not to get bored doing the same thing all the time... even if you win all the time.

Challenging yourself to try something new gives longevity to the game keeping it fresh. I cant believe people arent sick of playing Frank and Burt in every game.. yeah theyre good but EVERYONE knows what you are going to do with them, there are no surprises. I guess thats my point in regards to "new" models.  

Smugglers are almost an auto include in Ply for Information. IMO.

I don't disagree that diversity in your model pool gives you a big advantage in Malifaux, but imo smugglers are still pretty useless.

Swap can be nice, but for 1SS more you can hire a crier with lure which is just better (as this way your opponent doesn't get your model to just ply back) or for the same price point hire a performer that can do more.

The smuggler is too slow to be a scheme runner / anti scheme runner

His attack isn't bad, but not great so he isn't a killer

DF5 / WP5 / WD7 isn't that tanky if opponent wants him gone

smuggles goods and up sheets creek would be great utility if he had nimble or up sheets creek was a 0. With just 1WK of 5 I don't see many situations you can make an amazing play with the smuggler with the smuggler sniping markers (not to mention it is expensive card wise)

He isn't a gremlin so it missing out on a ton of synergy in the faction. 

So the only useful ability he has left is barter economy which is good, but not worth 6SS.

 

imo for him to be useful he would either need

1) Nimble (preferable) 

2) Change sheet's creek to a 0

3) reduce cost to 5SS

and

1) Make him a Gremlin or Swamp fiend

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5 hours ago, Fixxer said:

I disagree, in GG2018 its all about situational models. In fact, I think the designers of this game are shooting for more situational models and hoping good players see the value in taking  them into the right S&S to gain the edge.

Challenging yourself to try something new gives longevity to the game keeping it fresh. I cant believe people arent sick of playing Frank and Burt in every game.. yeah theyre good but EVERYONE knows what you are going to do with them, there are no surprises. I guess thats my point in regards to "new" models. 

Not everyone plays the Gaining Grounds Strats and Schemes. Also, while situational models might be worth considering in specific circumstances you generally get much more mileage out of utility models than you do with niche. Good players know this and build their lists around a core of top performers. This is why Frank and Bert are so common in play (though I consider myself a fairly skilled player and have rarely played Frank or Bert).

Smugglers just don't fit well into a faction that is built around Gremlin and Pig synergy.  There is a lot of competition for those 6 SS.

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