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Guildenstern

Somer summoning trouble & Lenny's aura

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Had a game recently and I found I had some issues in the beginning with Somer's summoning, in hindsight I should have taken another turn to summon instead of advancing like I did (maybe). I'm just looking for any ideas maybe I missed for how to better control Somer's summoning.

After the game I realized, I could have stoned for the mask suit, which would have done me better service.

Part of the problem was my hand had no masks for "do it like dis" *or* any 8+s to summon off of!

Bayou two card looked like my only option, I got one summon off, but drew/flipped really badly for the other two.

So, is that just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes or is there something else maybe I should have/could have done?

 

Also, re: Lenny's damage reduction aura "Big Target" for friendlies within, I think it's 3? inches, does that include any piglets he summons from deliberately whacking the pigapult with his "I'll love it and pet it" tome trigger? The way I'm reading it, the card just says the pig suffers a 1/2/4 damage flip that cannot be cheated. Doesn't say "not reduced" though, so I was wondering if this would be included in Lenny's aura.

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If you had cranky and Sammy sitting next to each other, activate cranky first with tell me a tale... React with Sammy, you can redraw two cards every turn without using a soul stone. 

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You can always resort to killing a Bayou Gremlin in melee (hopefully getting a Piglet out of the deal) and triggering Survival of the Fittest for Two Control Cards (hopefully getting that :mask ).

Unfortunately though if you don't have a :mask to drop for Do It Like Dis! then Som'er's summoning can be a bit more difficult. It can often be worth using the SS to get the :mask though so don't discount it.

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50 minutes ago, Nosilloc said:

If you had cranky and Sammy sitting next to each other, activate cranky first with tell me a tale... React with Sammy, you can redraw two cards every turn without using a soul stone. 

Another reason I need Cranky! lovely thank you :D

 

31 minutes ago, Omenbringer said:

You can always resort to killing a Bayou Gremlin in melee (hopefully getting a Piglet out of the deal) and triggering Survival of the Fittest for Two Control Cards (hopefully getting that :mask ).

Unfortunately though if you don't have a :mask to drop for Do It Like Dis! then Som'er's summoning can be a bit more difficult. It can often be worth using the SS to get the :mask though so don't discount it.

Oh I hadn't thought of that either! thanks!

Currently making myself note cards so I can remember to do Somer's activations correctly, since they're not second nature quite yet. Just tracking all the stuff that needs to stay in various bubbles is 'interesting' to say the least lol

 

Appreciate the help guys :D

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14 hours ago, Guildenstern said:

So, is that just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes or is there something else maybe I should have/could have done?

As others have noted, Somer has access to some fantastic card draw. I wouldn't go for the Cranky with Somer, though - Skeeters are amazing and Sammy's abilities can key off of Somer's own card draw just fine. Oh, and getting a Piglet out of a dead Gremlin is good but you can also aim at getting a Skeeter. I often turn one Gremlin into a Skeeter on the first turn if I have Crows in hand.

But that said, if the cards simply don't align, it may be worth it to do something else with Somer besides summoning. His Biggest Hat has a fantastic range and can really mess with your opponent. And if you hand is bad, you can discard it happily. Or simply use the Boomer. Of course either of these might be difficult on the first turn but if the opportunity is there, then changing gears can be a good idea.

14 hours ago, Guildenstern said:

Also, re: Lenny's damage reduction aura "Big Target" for friendlies within, I think it's 3? inches, does that include any piglets he summons from deliberately whacking the pigapult with his "I'll love it and pet it" tome trigger? The way I'm reading it, the card just says the pig suffers a 1/2/4 damage flip that cannot be cheated. Doesn't say "not reduced" though, so I was wondering if this would be included in Lenny's aura.

Aye, you are correct - Lenny does indeed reduce the damage if the Piglet appears close enough to him.

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If Sammy takes the encouragement upgrade Somer can take positives on his summon flips and with bayou two card that let's you draw 3 cards hoping for the summon (and dirty cheater will heal the encouragement damage if you need to bayou two card to cheat)

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nice! thank you both!

I actually really like the Skeeters, they did a great job of tying up some stuff for me, just by being there. I never got off their ability to do one of Somer's tacticals but they did their job well. Learning to not put them quite so close to certain models seems to be a good trick. But then frankly placement and movement in this game in general is huge.

Somer never got his Big Hat off that game but the threat alone made my opponent completely block in his master, which sort of worked as well. I need to remember his Boomer more as well.

As always appreciate all the advice and help!

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@Guildenstern

I tend to agree with you that the real power of Bigger Hat Than You is in the potential more than the reality. The biggest thing it has done for me is make my opponent use SS and/or Control Cards to keep it from going off.

While I agree with Math that getting a Skeeter is a good thing, it is way more difficult than getting the piglet. Probably has a lot to do with the infinite skeeter summons crap from last edition. Glad they stopped it but wish they would have at least let us keep the extra 2 Skeeters.

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35 minutes ago, Omenbringer said:

@Guildenstern

I tend to agree with you that the real power of Bigger Hat Than You is in the potential more than the reality. The biggest thing it has done for me is make my opponent use SS and/or Control Cards to keep it from going off.

Why you say that?

I've always 1 or 2 turns each game (at least) with horrible hands !! 

With CA6 and RNG18 it would be pretty easy to throw hand away and get tons of advantage from it? Average WP of master is 6...so with a 13 there's no way other than red joker to stop it...and a hand with 13 and all low cards is pretty junk, isn't it?

Not only trading a bad hand with a possibly better one, but also drawing cards with the various mechanics Somer has and abusing Bayou 2 cards

Only theory, because I'm going to receive my somer in a couple of weeks... :) 

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I say it because my opponents try very hard to keep it from going off, if they have anything worth keeping. Additionally, you don't always have a 13 in hand when it would be most advantageous to use Bigger Hat Than You.

Generally speaking when I have had the cards to guaranty it will go off it would have been a bigger detriment to me than my opponent (either a good spread of higher value cards or desirable suits). In almost 7 years I have rarely had a hand where it was just the one 13 and everything else was absolute crap (all low and of only one or two undesirable suits). Also Som'er tends to want to exploit both ends of the card range (high and low). For example Do It Like Dis! (Som'er and Skeeters) and Defensive (Skeeters and piglets) provide ways to utilize those "crap" cards to great effect. Both of these actions are crucial to running a Som'er crew well and ensuring things happen the way you want them to. Som'er's summoning for example requires a :mask to be successful, now you could hope to draw an 8+ :mask from the deck (or perhaps get another chance it with Bayou Two Card) or you could dump a low :mask and guaranty the required suit across up to 3 castings, increasing its success range dramatically because now all you need is an 8+ of any suit. Also consider that both Piglets and Bayou Gremlin's are required to declare a trigger with their most utilized attack actions (Gore for the former or Boomstick for the latter), some of those triggers come with side effects that are not super desirable. Low cards are again valuable because you can dump them with Do It Like Dis! to always provide an option to choose a better one.

Also consider that to be most effective with Bigger Hat Than You you want Som'er to go early in the activation cycle, preferably first so he can dump the most Control Cards from your opponent. This comes with its own set of issues since activation order is another huge part of running Som'er well and this is when your opponent will have the most cards to cheat. If Som'er goes before the Skeeters, who also want access to Control Cards for discarding when it is their turn to go to either Maximize the effective area of Do It Like Dis! or go defensive, then it can greatly effect their usefullness.

Lastly, though the range is 18" if you are utilizing the recommended amount of terrain (the updated amount from the 2 player Starter box not the much lower amount from the book, wish they would have updated that when they posted the Free Mini Rule Book), it is usually easy enough to hide the enemy "Leader" model out of LOS (even it is just behind a few other models). My groups generally tend toward the high end of recommended terrain amounts to curb the increased devastation long ranges can wreck on the game, especially from Rotten Belles and "Sniper" models.

Bigger Hat Than You is one of those actions that is either feast or famine. When everything is perfect, it is devastating and memorable but most of the time, its bark is significantly louder than its bite.

One thing has me a bit confused though:

15 minutes ago, Blacks85 said:

Not only trading a bad hand with a possibly better one,

Bigger Hat than You doesn't replace your hand it simply dumps both your opponents and yours. Sure Som'er has access to a few methods of replenishing his Control Hand after this but a lot of them have downsides, such as Survival of the Fittest which requires one of your Gremlins to die within 6" of Som'er, or Old Cranky who denies you the ability to hire Skeeters since he is a Totem. Also I am not a huge fan of Bayou Two Card (I know several other posters love it particularly on Damage Flips), it has a very specific range where it is useful but still doesn't guaranty a better result. To many times it has produced either a similar or less desirable result for me, I consider it another Feast or Famine ability.

I would be curious to see if your opinions on these interactions change once you get Som'er in hand and start running him on the table.

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I think he was just saying that your opponent potentially has a much better hand, so when you both trade in for nothing, you end up with the better deal! ;)

 

I find bigger hat amazing to counter summoners or masters that have to discard cards for their abilities. (Helloooo dreamer.)

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I am not discounting that it can be very potent in screwing with your opponents actions, however it can be just as effective in denying your own. Like with everything in Malifaux, Som'er and the Gremlin's in particular, it is a balancing act. On paper it looks like you would always use Bigger Hat Than You in practice it is very different.

 

Interesting that you would mention the Dreamer, as I would consider him fairly well equipped against Bigger Hat Than You. His Otherworldly upgrade provides a pretty good means of refilling his control hand, while sacrificing Day Dreams can provide a means of getting his second required suit for his summoning. Add in his Higher Wp value and his Df/Wp trigger Safe in My Bed which has the required :mask built in, and it is even more unlikely to succeed against him.

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But if you get it off against Dreamer he dies immediately, sooooo can definitely get in the opponents head.  You might cast it 4-5 times across a 5 game event, and it may go off once or twice.  That doesn't mean its not  an awesome ability.

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Yes, I meant that if you use the HAT is likely that you can trade a worst hand (your) with a better hand (the opponent's) so you end up trading positively.

I'm curious too...I'll get Somer and try it straight away !

Purely on the paper, If I have a decent amount of bayou two cards and drawing mechanics while opponent has not, I will be happy to discard my hand even if it has a couple of 11+ cards and then some shiet...Because my opponent will purely flip from deck while I have much more odds in my favour.

But - you know - paper is something and playing is another thing...so I will definitively keep you posted :P

You wrote 7 years? Oh, well..I'm playing since 3 months and I've played only outcast, Gremlin just since 2 weeks. I'm sure you get much more arrows on your bow :D 

 

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1 hour ago, Guy in Suit said:

But if you get it off against Dreamer he dies immediately, sooooo can definitely get in the opponents head.  You might cast it 4-5 times across a 5 game event, and it may go off once or twice.  That doesn't mean its not  an awesome ability.

I am not seeing how exactly he "dies immediately" if you manage to get Bigger Hat Than You off against him, perhaps I am missing something. Again I am not saying Bigger Hat Than You doesn't have "Awesome" potential, I am saying that the bark of that potential is usually much more significant than the actual bite.

1 hour ago, Blacks85 said:

You wrote 7 years? Oh, well..I'm playing since 3 months and I've played only outcast, Gremlin just since 2 weeks. I'm sure you get much more arrows on your bow :D

Yep almost 7 years, I was fortunate enough to have lived in an area that adopted the game early and had a fairly large community thanks to a few of the old Wyrd crew.

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I definitely get what you mean Omenbringer, about Bigger Hat. The first opponent I got it off on simply wasn't expecting it and to be fair we didn't do a run down of each others models, as we were both still very new. My latest opponent kept his master (another summoner) out of LoS - very simply by putting him behind other models. Once I get used to how to move around better, I hope to try to trade on the threat as much as I can.

Getting rid of my first turn hand in this particular instance would have been beneficial certainly, but I can also see your point about using high and low end cards, as there have been several times where I might have been able to try Bigger Hat, but had something in my hand I really needed to keep, like the masks!

Bayou Two Card is interesting as well, but I think too unpredictable overall. I don't mind using it when I am using the Bayou Gremlins and they only do say weak damage. I think you need to really be able to count cards to make stuff like Bayou Two card work really effectively. Which requires a better memory than I really have lol I mean I try to figure about how many high cards I've seen for instance, or how many low, but it's a very rough estimation. And I only just started being able to do even that. I'm sure better players will no doubt be able to use it to their advantage, better.

Anyway, this discussion has clarified a lot of points for me, so thank you all :D

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Som'er and his boys really love :mask but they also like :ram and :tome. The former allows them to up the damage while the latter allows them to generate more :blast's.

I tend to agree that Bayou Two Card is best utilized on cheatable damage flips where it gives you that 2nd chance at generating Moderate or Severe damage. It is way to unpredictable on other flips, particularly in regards to Defense flips where it has not only failed me but also increased my opponents Margin of Success because of it.

Tracking the high cards is really what "Card Counting" is, it is not what is depicted in the movie Rain Man. Though this can definitely help, Gremlin's are usually better served by understanding the potency of Deck Shaping and/ or Deck Cycling techniques. Gremlin's, and especially Som'er, can be built to really excel at both of these. Most turns I can cycle the deck at least once, giving me a second chance at the Red Joker. Deck Shaping requires a bit more work but can pay huge dividends in the early turn.

Som'er is a very cerebral Master despite the hilarity of some of his abilities, actions, and interactions. Thankfully he is an absolute blast to learn because of the hilarity of his abilities, actions, and interactions.

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8 hours ago, Omenbringer said:

I tend to agree that Bayou Two Card is best utilized on cheatable damage flips where it gives you that 2nd chance at generating Moderate or Severe damage. It is way to unpredictable on other flips, particularly in regards to Defense flips where it has not only failed me but also increased my opponents Margin of Success because of it.

I think that you only have to consider one question when utilizing Bayou Two-card: what would happen if I flipped an Ace of Crows instead of the card I have. If the answer is "nothing that isn't happening now", then utilize it without question. If the answer is "my model might get hit by a straight damage flip instead of one with a negative twist" then you should consider how likely it is that the model would die.

I think that Bayou Two-card is amazing for lots of things and I use it a lot when I'm not about to die to a bad flip.

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10 hours ago, Omenbringer said:

Tracking the high cards is really what "Card Counting" is, it is not what is depicted in the movie Rain Man. Though this can definitely help, Gremlin's are usually better served by understanding the potency of Deck Shaping and/ or Deck Cycling techniques. Gremlin's, and especially Som'er, can be built to really excel at both of these. Most turns I can cycle the deck at least once, giving me a second chance at the Red Joker. Deck Shaping requires a bit more work but can pay huge dividends in the early turn.

Would you mind to explain the potency of deck shaping / cycling techniques?

Do you think that "cycling" cards very fast giving you a 2nd chance to hit red joker is a good point? or is there something else? Because 2 red jokers means 2 black jokers and I always consider the impact of the black joker most destructive than the benefit from Red joker, so I won't search for a twice of those.

I agree with Math, when a worst flip won't impact greatly the results and you have a decent chance to roll better - maybe win the duel - I definitively bayou the 2nd cards...then all case is on its own, but generally speaking.

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7 hours ago, Blacks85 said:

Would you mind to explain the potency of deck shaping / cycling techniques?

Do you think that "cycling" cards very fast giving you a 2nd chance to hit red joker is a good point? or is there something else? Because 2 red jokers means 2 black jokers and I always consider the impact of the black joker most destructive than the benefit from Red joker, so I won't search for a twice of those.

I agree with Math, when a worst flip won't impact greatly the results and you have a decent chance to roll better - maybe win the duel - I definitively bayou the 2nd cards...then all case is on its own, but generally speaking.

No problem.

Deck Shaping is where you are actively trying to remove low value cards from the deck for the next turn. The game already features this in a small degree with the discard after shuffle that happens at the beginning of the turn. Usually this isn't that potent as most players don't have many cards to really impact the deck a whole lot. Masters that can draw lots of cards during the turn though can have a pretty dramatic effect on the decks composition for the next turn. Say for example that Som'er has managed to acquire 8 control cards during the turn (drew a handful of crap and had a Gremlin or two die near him for Survival of the Fittest, if they are low value cards, then holding them until the discard phase next turn will remove them from the deck until it is reshuffled. Instead of drawing from a deck of 48 (assuming no control cards to discard from previous turn plus the 6 cards drawn for the Control Hand) you can now draw from a deck of 40 (8 removed during discard, and 6 drawn for the new control hand) with 8 low value cards removed from the rotation until cycled back in during the next shuffle. This will skew your deck away from the low cards and toward the higher value cards. Your deck will now be stronger in potential than your opponents un-shaped one. Here you will want your most important interactions to go early to take advantage of the decks increased potential prior to reshuffling

Deck Cycling is also a potentially good technique as it gives you another opportunity at all the high value cards in the deck. It does come with the disadvantage of possibly reintroducing the Black Joker into play as well though so some some consideration is warranted. If however you have managed to draw the Black Joker into your control hand (not all that uncommon actually) then you can cycle to your hearts content without fear of it ever showing up. This is also why the Black Joker appears so infrequently during games while the Red seems to always show up, once a player has it in their control hand there is very little incentive to ever discard it and allow it to roam the deck (the only time I will ever willingly discard it is in the beginning of turn 5). If it is roaming it still isn't that large of a deterrent for me to cycle though, as I am not counting on one good hit to succeed (like an elite Som'er  crew build typically does) but a thousand little pin pricks (leading to the old joke "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time). The "death by a thousand bee stings" approach will cycle the deck quickly as most damage flips are going to be at least :-fate and each Bayou Gremlin can generate up to 3 damage flips per turn (1 Bayou Gremlin with that Extra AP from Drunk and Reckless tying for success can cycle up to 12 cards, 15 if the target is also Hard to Wound). 3 Bayou Gremlins doing this in a turn and all tying for success will cycle 36 cards (45 if the targets are also Hard to Wound) and guaranty at least 8 damage (assuming the Black Joker pops up). Notice that these extra cards on the Damage Flip also increase the likelihood of truffling out that Red Joker as well. Given the ease with which Som'er can often pull Bayou Gremlins out of his hat early in the game, this can produce some amazing deck cycling potential for the Gremlin Gunlines.

I agree that Bayou Two Card can be good in the right circumstances, I just don't often get to benefit from those circumstances. My usual pool of opponents plays near the high side of recommended terrain amounts (which I prefer as well) and as you can see from the above I actively court :-fate damage flips. Math and a few others play their Bayou Gremlin's very different from me, they tend to Focus a lot and then shoot utilizing Bayou Two Card for increasing the likelihood of higher damages (particularly for :blast on What if More Powder triggers). I do this as well when it is more advantageous, usually against crews that tend to cluster. Where I can usually benefit from Bayou Two Card is in defense flips, since :-fate flips there are very rare.

In the end Bayou Two Card is another tool, like the others, available to gremlins, it has its uses but isn't always the answer. If it was it would be complained about a lot more on the forums.

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You used to be able to deck shape extremely well. When you have 41 cards in hand, so every card remaining in your deck is 11 or higher, you really notice how powerful this can be. Especially if you are still then able to  perform multiple actions this turn, so you cycle through the deck when every flip is a severe. 

Now it is much harder to do it to that extreme, and if you are shaping over a period of time, you can't shape and cycle quite so well, but it can still be a powerful tool. If you were able to remove all the ones and twos from your deck, the average of the deck goes up to 8, which doesn't seem like a lot, but can be significant. It would also drastically reduce the chance of doing weak damage on a negative flip. Its hard to fully appreciate how much difference this can make because on an individual flip basis you'll see almost no noticeable difference 

Cycling with the jokers in the deck works best when you have lots of minor actions, that you don't mind the pay off of a lot of them not working because eventually enough will work to succeed.  (For example, in the case of lots of bayou gremlins shooting,  the red joker works out as better than 2 normal sucesses, so has a greater power than the black joker happening on  a success.). If you've been able to remove the black joker, then it works even better. 

 

On Bigger hat, it will destroy most summoning masters, (well any duels that have a TN to reach)  as  most people who summon rely on being able to cheat the required card from their hand. And a lot of the time, the plan with the master is to summon more. Its less effective on models that have good stats and just go for opposed duels because they are capable of winning on the flip. 

 

 

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Just to note that deck shaping is one part where I and Omenbringer disagree. I ran some simulations (ten million simulations, in fact) and you need to prune the deck an insane amount for it to have an appreciable effect. Drawing 12 cards over your normal six (that's the equivalent of six dead Gremlins for Survival of the Fittest) and then using that to shape your deck results in an average +1 to all of your flips until you need to shuffle again. Not worth it, IMO.

(Drawing you whole deck and then playing Red Joker would mean that you would flip only Red Jokers for everything - too bad that such card draw is a bit tricky).

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3 hours ago, Math Mathonwy said:

(Drawing you whole deck and then playing Red Joker would mean that you would flip only Red Jokers for everything - too bad that such card draw is a bit tricky).

Hm, if you were to play summoning Som'er, take just bayou gremlins and keep only enough around to summon three a turn, killing all the others within 6" of Som'er, you could theoretically do that by turn 3 provided you always succeeded your summons without cheating... but you would also have literally just Som'er left over. Can two turns with 100% RJ flips win you a game? Maybe, depending on how well you did scheming with your doomed bayou gremlins...

 

I kind of want to try this now because it's ridiculous.

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7 hours ago, Dogmantra said:

Hm, if you were to play summoning Som'er, take just bayou gremlins and keep only enough around to summon three a turn, killing all the others within 6" of Som'er, you could theoretically do that by turn 3 provided you always succeeded your summons without cheating... but you would also have literally just Som'er left over. Can two turns with 100% RJ flips win you a game? Maybe, depending on how well you did scheming with your doomed bayou gremlins...

 

I kind of want to try this now because it's ridiculous.

Haha! If you somehow manage to do it, let us know :D:D:D 

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