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This came up in game today: Lucius "obeys" a Doppleganger (actually the Horror duel he does after walking), so she declares a walk action which would end outside of an engagemente she's in (with Mortimer). Mortimer does his disengagement action to prevent her from moving. Does he have to check for Manipulative 14? She had not activated that turn.
IT is October and I do not know about the rest of you but I love horror, except parasites those should be purged by fire. This month I will talk about TN duals that your enemy forces you to take and how I perceive them, what might be some counters and what factions can get more use out of using TN duals. Horror and manipulative tend to be the most common of these types of abilities and both are based around protecting your models or limiting what they want to do. I find that these abilities tend not to do this with any form of certainty, with an exception later on, but rather they give me an idea about my enemy’s hand. Excluding what is flipped to resist what matters is how your opponent cheats, it is like a checking the muscles of their hand. That sounds odd so let me explain. With TN duals your opponent suffers X if they fail, if it is horror it is losing an activation. To avoid this most people will cheat as low as possible or they might cheat a little higher to keep a card for a trigger but it gives a general idea of their hand especially if they do not cheat. If they cheat with a card higher then what is needed tells you that there hand is probably broken between that number and the one they played. For instance if I cheat what I needed an 8 but use a 10 then my hand probably has a black joker to a seven and a ten to a red joker. This leaves a lot of possibility but it has more towards the lower end. The more TN duals you have the more you can check there hand. I am currently running 2-3 with 1 being horror. Manipulative is sort of better as it lets one model check an opponent hand vs another model multiple times. The downside is it is really only effective with high value targets that are targeted early or if you activate them late. Of course there are a number of other abilities, especially in the Neverborn, that range from damage to slow. How do you counter this check on your hand? I have found 2 ways and I am not fond of either to be honest. First is to take one or two models that ignore it or allow others to ignore it. There are not many of those and if your enemy does not take things that cause “passive” WP duals then you are limiting yourself or your crew selection. So this is a gamble. The other way is play the mind game. What do I mean by mind game, if you fail the dual early with a good model then let it fail though you may lose that model. Generally the better the model the more convincing it is and you do this in the hope of your enemy over extending themselves as they go from a cautious approach to pushing the attack. Then when you counter attack them they will be off guard. The down side is that this leaves one or more models at risk especially the bait model. Finding a good bait model is hard, generally you want one that is based around close attacks, a little bit of armor or survivability but not supper survivable, at moderate cost (7-9) and one your opponent probably want dead, a good example might be Mr. Graves though there are plenty of others. Making these work for something other than diagnosing someone hand. Neverborn tend to have access to a good number of passive WP TN duals and ways of lowering or effecting a models WP as well as a few models that have abilities to trigger based off of the failing of duals. Four masters that tend to have a lot of these sorts of duals are Pandora, The Dreamer, Titania, and Lynch. Pandora just loves when models fail WP near here so she and sorrow tend to work better the more of them you take and the poltergeist put you at a negative flip so any model with a high (12+) WP TN is viable for her. The Dreamer has a penitent for teddy, alps, Widow Weavers and Coppelius being in his list which when combined with the daydreams lowering WP near them only increase their usefulness of such duals. Titania and Lynch do not have any direct synergy that effects passive WP duals but instead tend to have a good number of them in their list between there minions and other models, including herself with Titania. Resurectionist have a lot less in the way of masters messing with WP but more in the way of card robbing effects. Bells can lure you and have you drop a card. Hanged can make you take multiple horror checks to drain your hand. Guild Autopsies and Flesh Constructs can reactivate if you have no cards at the end of another friendly models activation. So when you get down to one card and you just failed your horror vs Yin do you cheat it and let possibly 2-4 models reactivate. The two masters that I can think of that like/effect WP duals are Seamus and Molly where McMorning likes poison and Flesh Constructs so if you think you’re playing them consider when you cheat horror carefully because you could lose your hand quickly. If any Resurectionist have more insight into this please feel free to share. For all other factions you want to drain your enemies hand to get more use out of TN duals. There are other sorts of duals this thought process apply to such as any static dual from Asami trigger to eat a model to Fear Given Form. I had Asami eat Von Schill in a game once because my enemy had no cards left and failed the HT 11 dual. Also If you did not see the Q and A post I did near the end of last month here is the link: I would like to do another for October and November so if you have a question for me do not hesitate to PM me.