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Tara, the Awesome Master who's is also a Failure!


E.T.A. Hoffman
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I love Tara. I think she's an awesome, tactical master with many interesting play styles. She's pretty hard to kill and, in some rare cases,  can lay down some decent damage. That being said... her intended play style is just...bad. I'm sorry! I said it, it's bad!

 

Her bury mechanic is way to random to use, the TN is too low, the fast is too dangerous; I'm just getting started! Karina is so meh! For 5 stones and an ability that can only really be used against one model that you might bury. To offest this you have to take death marshels who I think might be slighly overpriced for their what they do.

 

What I'm saying is I've found more success with Tara using alternative play styles and all of the rezzers! Including a fun list that allowed me to make Rogue Necromancy's on turn 2.

 

Void wretchs are just ok objective grabbers, where crooligans are so much better for the same price. I find one is ok if you use Tara's bury as a vehicle for something big and scary.

 

Has any one had better luck with the intended Tara mechanic then I? Who agrees or disagrees? Flame War welcome ;P

 

CHEERS

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I think she requires more work and planning than most to be successful. But that just means she only will appeal to players who like that (and some players do like complication). That said, I do think she needs 1 or 2 more in-theme models to be a complete crew, but that's not too surprising considering how odd her play style is.

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I think "intended" is sort of a loaded word. It hinges on what the designers wanted her to do. Which is both impossible to guess and irrelevant (well...unless you happen to be me. Which most people aren't, luckily for them.) 

 

With Tara, we were well aware of all the power she brought to the table that you mention. She is near impossible to take down with shooting, her damage is decent, and she has built in reactivate. Which meant that her sub-theme had to be a little less powerful. And since her sub-theme was burying the opponent (something which has a large potential to create an NPE) that was fine. So, I think what was intended doesn't really matter, all that matters is what actually works. And Tara definitely can work, as you point out.

 

I just think her theme is so cool and unique people often try to shoe-horn it in and lose the game, instead of seeing it as a fun side thing.

 

Of course if I had a time machine there are things I would change (there always are), Karina could be a bit better, etc. But Tara is a very playable master. And, ultimately, not every master is for every one. There are definitely people who prefer a master with lots of fiddly bits.

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I think the general complaints aren't that Tara is bad herself but as you point out using her theme junk over bog standard resser and outcast models tends to loose her games more often than not. People ponied up a decent amount of change for some extra fancy shwanky nightmare models. Its reasonable that they'd want to fit as many of them as they can into a list and play around. Its disappointing when that falls on its face.

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I enjoy playing Tara quite a bit, but I've heard people compare her to playing Von Schill before Wave 2 rules came out:  you can play Von Schill and he works, but if felt like he was missing a few of his Freikorps toys (which he was). 

 

I think that once Tara gets a henchman and another thematic minion, most of her issues will sort themselves out pretty well.

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Tara is perfectly playable, but she clearly needed more time in the oven, simply with how much she NEEDS her upgrades to work shows that to me and that she needs another upgrade to be able to field her full thematic pieces in both her factions.

 

The void wretches are perfectly fine and made of awesome, a 0 action Slow is golden no mater how you slice it.

 

The Nothing Beast definitely needs something more but it isn't much and an upgrade down the pipeline could probably give him that extra omph he sort of lacks right now.

 

Karina is a gigantic piece of suck and the new Malifaux Child as far as I'm concerned, but that she is pretty much alone in her island of fail is still positive in the sense that I can't think of a single model that is nearly as bad in all the other factions. Again, just no having enough time in the oven.

 

Being nightmare edition sort of screwed Tara over ruleswise and I'm 100% convinced of that, but outside Karina, I don't think it's unworkable though I certainly wouldn't mind at all if she could get a second round :)

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I tend to see Tara as the new Marcus of Malifaux - not terrible by any means, but certainly requiring a degree of patience and skill to get the most out of her. In that sense I kind of like her - a Master for players who want more of a challenge in their games. ;)

 

The Void Wretches are great and while I have reservations about the Nothing Beast, he still seems useful. Karina though - I'd just really love to see her get an errata. I agree with Razhem in that she seems to be the least worthwhile model in the game, so it'd be nice to feel as though she's worth fielding in some sense. 

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I don't think Tara is a bad master at all. I took her too adepticon and, despite being very sick and drunk the whole weekend, did pretty well. I'm not talking about her competitive because she is actually pretty good. I'm saying, when I see Tara and her box set on the table, I see a crew that is gets all its unique bonuses and gameplay from buring a model. Yet, its very difficult, boardering on just plain lucky, to bury a model you intend to bury. With glimpse of the void on every model as a auto trigger, you'll probably get a model each turn, yet it will likely be something the opponent can do without cause he's going to save his good cards to keep the good model in play. You might attrition him to death to get your perfered model, yet you probably won't want to spend all that AP. Once you get a model buried, in generall you can do a bit of nasty to him via Tara. Void Wretches and Karina can do some stuff to the buried model, but nothing super amazing, which is fine since they are just teenyweeny minions afterall. So the bulk of the work load falls on Tara. And that's pretty much the trouble isnt it, Tara is a master, she is going to use her Master AP, to get some real work done, except she'll probably wind up just getting to abuse some minion, which is waste of her time.

 

I found the most effective ways of playing her pretty much just abandon the bury and fast mech, and instead I use her upgrades to redeploy for a 0 action, take positive intitive, and give fast to my own models who I'll bury and then sling shot around. I don't think her 'intended' mechanic is so bad that you can play it, certainly not. But, if two equally skilled players with equal luck go head to head with a Tara boxset vs.... pretty much another other boxset, I think the Tara player will more often than not lose.

 

This is by no means a big deal or a crisis. As I said, there are many other ways to play Tara. But, not using her bury which is like playing Criid and not using burning. Oh and a point about the Nothing Beast, he's really good if you win the initiative! Cause if he starts close enough to the enemy and Tara doesn't win the flip, that def 3 is going to be a concern and I've had more success running killjoy or the Rogue Necro. And I've also found, now that we are speaking of her card mechanic, that not having cards in her hand is more harmful to her than the bonus def her models get. Tara needs practically a 7 to get off any of her abilites. Ditching her whole hand means all her abiliites now have about a 50% fail rate.

 

I think she could be fixed up with a few upgrades or maybe her avatar. I hope so, cause I really like what she 'look's like' she 'intended' to do ;D

 

Razhem, why do you think being a nightmare box hurt her?

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Being a super secret nightmare model took her out of the development cycle where she could have been critiqued and hammered out like every other wave one master was. Further complicated when the lack of movement on Levi pushed her into an official release with the main book and the arsenal decks which made addressing fine tuning issues in later waves, ala iron zombies, awkward to the point of being infeasible.

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It's sad, really. The fluff, theme, and concept is all fantastic. 

The scuplts are great, too: But the execution leaves me wanting a lot more and the lacking leaves me with a whole in my heart... get it? Hole in my heart? ...Sorry. 

 

I was taking with some people at my LGS about Tara and it came up that she doesn't get a themed key word even though she has a pretty direct theme going on. I'd say if Lynch gets one (Darkened) there's no reason Tara can't get one that reflects the Far-Realm, From The Void, Cthulhu, Love Craft theme she has that, quite frankly, has a ton of possibility for growth and expansion (I'm thinking "Void" or "Void-Touched" would have been fine). I'd almost wonder why she wasn't Neverborn / Resseructionist with a emphasis on more WP and/or Horror duels. 

 

I wonder if there is any legitimate way to look at her some more and maybe get some Open Beta Testing done? I feel like there is so much room for improvement and that the community as a whole could offer some fantastic feedback in a live environment. 

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she doesn't need a key word, Jacob has one so the cross faction aspect works, without it he wouldn't have a pool of nb to pull from, in effect her key word is buried. her crew isn't about horror and wp duels, its about making people disappear into the void and then popping them back out. if you don't like that theme then go try cthulhu Pandora (insidious madness, her avatar sculpt, corpelius) horror story dreamer (uses some similar models) or scary man Seamus for your horror wp duels

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she doesn't need a key word, Jacob has one so the cross faction aspect works, without it he wouldn't have a pool of nb to pull from, in effect her key word is buried. her crew isn't about horror and wp duels, its about making people disappear into the void and then popping them back out. if you don't like that theme then go try cthulhu Pandora (insidious madness, her avatar sculpt, corpelius) horror story dreamer (uses some similar models) or scary man Seamus for your horror wp duels

Sorry I didn't mean to offend... was just trying to point out some possible opportunities for her given theme. 

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I dont think she needs that much, an upgrade for the Void Beast and just some additional in-theme minion(s) would go a long way. As Justin said, she's pretty good on her own and the "trap" is taking too much to focus on her perceived theme. Which is really just a problem of there only being a few models that fit into it.

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Razhem, why do you think being a nightmare box hurt her?

Pretty much Hypoking nailed it. Being a nightmare box forced her a lot closer to the deadline number. That they wanted her to be a surprise kept her in closed beta only and thta Leveticus was a train wreck forced Tara to not only feature her rules in her nightmare box but also in the book and arsenal decks.

 

This translates to Tara being incredibly upgrade dependent. Also, there is a huge problem with Tara not having a keyword, since she is a Dual faction master it means that any new models that make sense with her either have to be dual faction or at the very least mercenary since there is no possible way to have her hire any model with her upgrades as both a Resser and an Outcast if said model ins't both factions.

 

Hell, seeing how closed her theme is and how little she really does with Ressers, I'm still wondering why she became the dual master with ressers and not Jack Daw whose crew is pretty much all composed of ressers outside of his core elements.

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Pretty much Hypoking nailed it. Being a nightmare box forced her a lot closer to the deadline number. That they wanted her to be a surprise kept her in closed beta only and thta Leveticus was a train wreck forced Tara to not only feature her rules in her nightmare box but also in the book and arsenal decks.

This translates to Tara being incredibly upgrade dependent. Also, there is a huge problem with Tara not having a keyword, since she is a Dual faction master it means that any new models that make sense with her either have to be dual faction or at the very least mercenary since there is no possible way to have her hire any model with her upgrades as both a Resser and an Outcast if said model ins't both factions.

Hell, seeing how closed her theme is and how little she really does with Ressers, I'm still wondering why she became the dual master with ressers and not Jack Daw whose crew is pretty much all composed of ressers outside of his core elements.

Couldn't agree more.

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from what I hear she is stronger with ressers than outcast, people prefer bete with an aura more than kj and she's cheaper. also as a resser if you don't take the upgrade to hire the void things her resser pool is better than outcast, I cant speak from experience, but just what I hear, when they talked about her on malifools (may have been cheated fates) they all said she's better resser,

 

I also see the duel faction thing as a story element, you saw in the books story, she didn't have the piece of obsidian/void and the other guy did, so some times she's mopey and doesn't have the obsidian so she hangs out with dead people, then when she does she becomes an engine of the void and her own boss.

 

also its really no big deal to put on any new tara crew models a little rule saying "may always be taken by tara regardless of faction"

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also its really no big deal to put on any new tara crew models a little rule saying "may always be taken by tara regardless of faction"

Which generates the crap clutter we had at the end of M1 where some models arbitrarily had to get "animosity (Zoraida)" for example. There really shouldn't be the need for the exception of the exception, if it's needed at the end, so be it, but it's simply not elegant, the same way Lucius having an arbitrary hate for Austringers because they are stupid good.

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ok, well then you introduce an errata to the upgrade and add a key word or include the new models on the erratad card or bring out a new upgrade. im personally just having faith in wyrd and that they have probably thought about this a little bit

 

there is no new tara stuff in wave 2 that we have seen yet so we cant really complain about things as we have no idea there solution, just because I am not clued up enough to solve it doesn't mean that wyrd isn't

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Which generates the crap clutter we had at the end of M1 where some models arbitrarily had to get "animosity (Zoraida)" for example. There really shouldn't be the need for the exception of the exception, if it's needed at the end, so be it, but it's simply not elegant, the same way Lucius having an arbitrary hate for Austringers because they are stupid good.

Come on, how long was anybody really expecting that holiday to last?

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Some other people have mentioned it but I think it bears repeating (and I don't want this to come off sounding like a whine):

 

I spent $80 to buy a gorgeous looking nightmare kit only for other non-theme models to have better synergy with Tara than her own units. She's the only master I can think of where non-theme models are the go-to for most games as opposed to the opposite. Part of what I love about this game, and what drew me away from 40k was the synergy between thematically-tied models. As it is now, I proxxy the Nothing Beast as a stand in for Killjoy, and use Karina as the Malifaux child just to get those models on the table. (I use the NB occasionally as "himself" but at this point I don't even bother with actual Karina.)  

 

edit- I don't know how feasible it is, but I would absolutely support some errata/ possibly a beta test (it could be done with the avatar beta) to address her issues. It understand that it would cause inconsistencies with both the rulebook and (more importantly) the arsenal deck. I figure now is the best time to do it if at all, however, due to her models are not widely available and the new cards/upgrades could be put into her main kit once it becomes available with a note explaining the discrepancies. 

 

 
tl;dr- I really like Tara. I really like her story, what her rules are intended to do, and I love her models. Please do something to tighten up the rules of her and her crew to the standard of excellence I'm coming to expect from this wonderful company and its awesome IP. I know why this occurred (surprise kit+ Levi issues) and I'm not indignant with Wyrd, but I would like to see some form of support to address these issues.  :)
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