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Jordon

O' captain my captain

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I'm  curious to peoples experiences using the captain. I originally thought of him as the quintessential generic henchmen for our faction. He can hit hard, support and offers decent board control. 

 

However I've found myself running him less and less lately. I don't think it's because I think he's bad, but I think there are a few issues in my mind when considering him in my list. 

 

My big issue is that he's pretty expensive compared to myranda, cassandra and the firestarter. This is where I find my toughest challenge when trying to hire him. Generally I won't hire Myranda outside of Marcus but cassandra and the firestarter are rock solid for their cost. I'd probably give the edge to Cassandra as the best henchmen for her cost, however I do prefer to run the firestarter in kaeris and ironsides.

 

I also find myself including Johan more and more into my lists and I feel like that is also influencing my hiring choice for the captain. I know they're fill different roles, but I just see Johan doing way more for his cost. 

 

So i'm wondering how and where people are running the captain. Do you take his Ca expert upgrade? 

 

 

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I've run him with Kaeris a few times, and he's been great. I've always taken his Casting Expert upgrade, and it's seemed well worth the cost. I mostly use him for Airburst. The extra mobility and Burning on your crew, and the serious punch he packs, help Kaeris a lot.

I wouldn't think of him as the Arcanists' "generic henchman" - personally, I've found Cassie is way more versatile and Joss is a far better beater. I'm looking forward to trying him out with Ironsides, though. Pushing enemies out into the open and setting them on fire for the Gunsmiths to mow down sounds like a good time.

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I almost always take Patron's Blessing with the Captain, although I did start a campaign without it.  I also tend to field him with Kaeris, although Hand-Picked Men can make him scary with Ironsides, and Colette does her make-everything-good-better thing with the Captain.  I also tend to use him exclusively for Airburst, even though the Relic Hammer is a nice hedge bet for Constructs and Tyrants, and I actually like pushing Gunsmiths to try to draw a :ram.

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To my mind, Joss is much more the all-purpose Arcanist henchman - I've run him with everybody (except Colette, who I haven't gotten to try yet), and he's always earned his keep. But I have been loving the Captain lately. The relic hammer, for me, is an added bonus that only comes into play every now and again - it's all about that airburst. Pushing the Rail Golem and giving it burning +2, pushing your gunsmiths and  (as Hippodruid points out) giving them Fast by cheating in the low ram on their df, giving Hank just that little extra shove he needs to nimble and flurry at a crucial moment - it's all beautiful. Since it doesn't have a gun icon, you can also fire it into engagements without randomizing, meaning you can rescue a beleagered scheme runner, or reposition a beater who's engaged with the wrong person, or whatever. It's also great for moving enemies out of position - I played a game a couple of weeks ago against Brewmaster where I would let Brewy set up his little aura every turn and then just shove him somewhere irrelevant and go on with my business.

 

He's not durable at all, but keep him at a distance rearranging the board every turn and I think you'll find him quite satisfactory.

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I've actually cut back on using him since I felt that he was starting to become a crutch for me. Having the extra mobility from Airburst made things feel almost too easy sometimes. He also seems to make Bodyguard really simple, since he is fairly tough & mobile and tends to stay back in a support role rather than getting stuck into melee.

I also tend to take Patron's Blessing with him, since that greatly adds to his utility. It may not be the best 2ss spent in faction (Arcane Reservoir), but it's pretty close.

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I've enjoyed him with Ironsides (push her into a pile of enemies or make a pile to push her into) and Rasputina (since her crew feels so slow without Snowstorm).

 

But I actually had no idea he had an upgrade card at all, it didn't come in my Troubleshooters box.  Where do I find his upgrade?

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It's also printed in Shifting Loyalties if you don't have access to one of the decks. But it's very simple: 2 points, Captain only, gives him Casting Expert (generates 1 extra ap when activating which can only be used for casting actions). I know 12 points is expensive, but I've taken him with and without, and I actually think he's not worth bothering with at 10 points, but at 12 (with the upgrade) he's phenomenal.

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Maybe thats my problem then. I usually looked at him at 10ss because at 12ss, he's then competing with langston and mech rider and I have a hard time with that. Perhaps that extra AP makes a bigger difference than I thought. 

 

It does appear that most people just see him for his hammer and airburst. I get that airburst is totally utility but no one talks about the rest of his abilities. Does anyone get any use from wind wall or eye of the storm? I imagine eye of the storm could be useful but because it's not a Ca action, it's probably difficult to pull off, especially since he's usually playing in the backfield. 

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I frankly just look at him as a 12pt model - the couple of times I've taken him without Patron's Blessing, he's been lackluster (especially compared to other models in that price range, like Joss). But when he can move three models 5" most turns, he becomes a crucial piece that's worth every soulstone in the right situation.

 

I have yet to discover the use of Wind Wall. Since it's not blocking, it doesn't really have the board control utility of Raspy's Ice Pillars or other wall / pillar actions. It's Soft Cover, ok, but you can't place it within an inch of anything, so you're just creating a bit of soft cover that a model could walk towards - never found that very useful. And eye of the storm could be good in an emergency, but I just think the way I play him I haven't let him get surrounded. The one thing I can see doing with it is if I really needed to move an enemy model more than 5", you could combine it with Airburst (since you can only Airburst a given model once per turn), but 5" is already a long way to move something. And since he's immune to disengaging strikes, you don't need Eye of the Storm to rescue him.

 

Have other people found good uses for either of those abilities?

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His airburst is amazing. But if you have other models that can push stuff around as easily, I guess you can make do without him pretty well.

 

In my Ironsides crew facing Perdita with Papa Loco the other day, that was the only thing preventing the crazy old fool from 'sploding my whole crew in one go, as M&SU really likes to cluster up.
Of coures setting frie to Papa Loco when he's down to two wounds and then as last action of the turn pushin him in the middle of his crew can lead to some hilarious results :D

 

The clustering tendency is also what makes Wind Wall rather useful, as it gives you a bit of protection wherever you need it.

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I've really loved running the captain. I run Kaeris and give him the upgrade that makes friendly constructs add burning with their attacks and then have the rail golem and rail workers. He seems really solid crowd controlling with them. The free cast is really good, but I've only used it once because I didn't know he had it. But as has been mentioned before, I feel like he's becoming a crutch for me.

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Though he's not cheap for 13 SS, he's done great things with Casting Expert and Imbued Energies for me.

While Howard is my go-to high SS model normaly, I sometimes enjoy playing Captain if the schemes require less killing and more Manipulation. He's great at pushing stuff around to gain control of table quarters or the middle in Turf War.

Imo my opinion on him is basically that he's a great scheme & strategy modell and less taken for his brutality. While he can dish out some serious hits, everything that ignores his Df trigger will give him serious trouble. On the other hand he can push stuff like that around easily, so it's not like he can't defend himself at all.

Concerning masters I played him so far with Marcus, Colette and Raspy. I also play Ramos but for some reason didn't wanted to bring him there yet.

In Marcus he's a nice target for Alpha since you will get 3 actions out of your 2 invested, which is great. However the same is true for Mech Rider and Howard, so it's not an easy choice what you prefer.

In Colette it's just nutz using Prompt on Cassy, who Prompt's Captain, who pushes something else around. While it's really cool playing solitaire sometimes it also drains your hand away pretty fast. Adding even more mobility too a Colette crew is just crazy, especially when you combine it with immobile models like December Acolytes. Those guys become really ridiculous when they can alway use their actions for shooting (most of the time with no cover for your opponent) and never have to walk at all.

In Raspy I like him way more than Snow Storm actually. On the one hand I don't like Snow Storm much tbh, but on the other hand he just brings a lot of mobility to this crew. Most of Raspy's crew and especially herself are kinda immobile, so having Captain or Angelica or both ready is nice.

 

Long story short, no, he's no must take within the faction. However - beside maybe Imbued Energies - there's no such thing. Even Mech Rider isn't the best choice sometimes, though some people may disagree.

 

I'd advice you to try him out a bit more, mainly when schemes and strategy require a lot of positioning and less killing.

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