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Withcling Handlers, what are they good for?


Hagisman
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So I recently got my new Witchling Handler Models, but I don't see what they would be useful for. They buff Witchling Stalkers and can give out the ability to add burning to nearby friendly attack actions.

The only thing I can think is maybe taking one in a Sonnia crew to increase the amount of burning on the table. Maybe as another form of summoning for Witchling Stalkers.

Other than that they seem like pretty lackluster models for their cost. Anyone have better luck with them?

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Only other use I can see is pairing them with a group which lands more than one attack per AP (preferably one which can change target) to really ladle on those extra helpings of burning. Even then, kinda meh. She and the Guild sergeant/lieutenant/whatever the heck rank it is I'm a civvy I don't know these things feel over costed by one compared to other buffers and by two over all. At least she can be mop-up summoner with killing blows and tomes in hand.

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I've used her for her minion push,  more than her extra burning.   She was a good holder for counterspell aura before nurse hb came out.   She kind of comes off as a generalist,  with a gun,  a decent if not great melee attack,  better stats than most guild,  And if you don't need her push,  her aura pumps up her own damage potential too if I remember correctly. 

 

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I've been playing one in my Sonnia list which includes 3 Stalkers, and have to say that the main use I have had is with the Goad Witchling ability, even a +1 WK helps a load tbh. I've used her a couple of times to finish enemy models off but due to not having played the game that long I feel that I'm not using her to her maximum, especially considering the models cost.

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The title of the thread demands at least someone reply, "absolutely nothing".

On a serious note, I've only ever played against Witchling Handlers, not with them, but even I think they're a little underwhelming.

Maybe if their Walk buff applied to all Witch Hunter minions rather than just Stalkers, they'd have a more rounded purpose. At the very least it would help close the gap between Orderlies and Reporters as scheme Runners?

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2 hours ago, Gnomezilla said:

I was exposed to some different rulings this past weekend thanks to joining a new meta. One of them was that handlers' auras stack. Is that true? It taxes stalkers twice, but dang would it make them speedy....

The ability in question:

Quote

Goad Witchling: Friendly Witchling Stalker models that Activate within :aura4 of this model gain +1 Wk and +2 Cg until the end of their Activation.

The reason why it's cumulative, from Stacking, Rules Manual page 63:

Quote

All other effects in the game which are not Conditions always stack unless they state otherwise. For example, enemy models within :aura1 of Canine Remains suffer -1 Df. If an enemy model is within range of two Canine Remains, it will suffer -2 Df. Another example, the Rush of Magic Ability allows the Crew to draw one additional card in the Draw Phase and then discard a card. If a Crew contains two models with the Rush of Magic ability, that Crew would draw two additional cards in the Draw Phase and then discard two cards.

For reference, the aura defined by Canine Remains:

Quote

Hunting Dogs: Enemy models receive -1 Df while within :aura1” of this model.

Abilities don't require a +X in their name to be cumulative, unlike how Conditions do.

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They do stack. The real question you should be asking is whether it would have been better to just bring three extra stalkers and have another stone instead.

 

The best use I've found for them is letting a stalker charge further to put something on fire and having the handler pull it back before Sam or Sonnia shoots at the enemy so you don't need to randomize. A slight problem in the fact that it isn't a chain activation so if your opponent isn't completely daft they'll just interact to remove the burning before Sam can get any benefit from it. They're kind of expensive for that purpose (especially since Samael is in many ways subpar for his cost and more than half your list will be used to let him do a point or two of extra damage). 

If you are hell-bent on summoning with Sonnia I could see their aura as very useful since she is likely to be caught in melee and lacks her own way of lighting people up when engaged. Not sure if a Sonnia melee build would be considered a top tournament list though ;)  The potential to summon two stalkers from a single kill near Sonnia is also fun. Not super easy to get off but far from impossible.

I've used a handler with McCabe and a bunch of stalkers. When the handler gets to be nimble and have a :+fate to both ml and damage they are actually a lot cooler. Not sure if good with McCabe means anything at all, he is like the guild band aid.

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6 hours ago, Ludvig said:

They do stack. The real question you should be asking is whether it would have been better to just bring three extra stalkers and have another stone instead.

 

The best use I've found for them is letting a stalker charge further to put something on fire and having the handler pull it back before Sam or Sonnia shoots at the enemy so you don't need to randomize. A slight problem in the fact that it isn't a chain activation so if your opponent isn't completely daft they'll just interact to remove the burning before Sam can get any benefit from it. They're kind of expensive for that purpose (especially since Samael is in many ways subpar for his cost and more than half your list will be used to let him do a point or two of extra damage). 

If you are hell-bent on summoning with Sonnia I could see their aura as very useful since she is likely to be caught in melee and lacks her own way of lighting people up when engaged. Not sure if a Sonnia melee build would be considered a top tournament list though ;)  The potential to summon two stalkers from a single kill near Sonnia is also fun. Not super easy to get off but far from impossible.

I've used a handler with McCabe and a bunch of stalkers. When the handler gets to be nimble and have a :+fate to both ml and damage they are actually a lot cooler. Not sure if good with McCabe means anything at all, he is like the guild band aid.

Stalkers with 2 Handlers nearby have Wk6 and Cg10. They also do 2+3burning minimum if positioned correctly. Unless you`re playing versus Kaeris with Puryfying Flame it might pretty decent damage. 

If you block a corridor or two with Flame Walls from child and Sonnia you might actually have a very potent charge group T2 and possibly quite a few Stalkers from Reincarnation.

 

Guild 50ss Crew

Sonnia -- 5ss
 +Cherufe's Imprint - 1ss
 +Reincarnation - 1ss

Malifaux Child - 3ss

2x Witchling Handler - 8ss
 +A Debt to the Guild - 1ss

5x Witchling Stalker - 5ss

 

You can get a lot of T2 charges with nice damage if your oponent is not prepared.

I do agree that if Handlers were 6-7Wds and 6-7SS they would probably be seen more often.


 

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I have to admit I really appreciate how hard everyone's trying to carve out a niche for this model, so if I gave off the wrong impression in my last post, let this clarify things.

That said, to offer slightly more useful commentary (compared to said post), WH are fundamentally overcosted, particularly as they need quite a few Stalkers, which makes their overall opportunity cost in terms of the models you're forced to exclude too great (no/fewer Austringers, no San Francisco, no Papabox etc)

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Obviously being a complete noob at the game, when I was constructing my 50ss list they seemed an obvious choice seeing as I had the 3 Stalkers already. As I've started getting (slightly) better you do start to see how useful/flawed some models can be and especially compared in there points cost. But the characterful side usually sways me so i'll more than likely keep persevering with her.

 

(Would I like to lose an Austringer to get her in however, well, that's a different story:D. Let's not go overboard shall we!)

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7 hours ago, Surrealistik said:

I have to admit I really appreciate how hard everyone's trying to carve out a niche for this model, so if I gave off the wrong impression in my last post, let this clarify things.

That said, to offer slightly more useful commentary (compared to said post), WH are fundamentally overcosted, particularly as they need quite a few Stalkers, which makes their overall opportunity cost in terms of the models you're forced to exclude too great (no/fewer Austringers, no San Francisco, no Papabox etc)

Not every model can be frank or an austringer.   Situational models like this are what make the game great.    Will they make every tournament list?   Of course not.    If all the guild models were that powerful guild would be all anyone would play.  But can you include them in a list without sinking your entire crew?    Sure, especially with the right build. 

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16 minutes ago, 4thstringer said:

Not every model can be frank or an austringer.   Situational models like this are what make the game great.    Will they make every tournament list?   Of course not.    If all the guild models were that powerful guild would be all anyone would play.  But can you include them in a list without sinking your entire crew?    Sure, especially with the right build. 

I agree that interesting situational models are great for the game (and consequently, that hyper efficient mustpicks are not), but the WH costs and demands so much that you basically have to go all-in on the things, and you're not adequately rewarded for it, making them an undesirable choice. I would be surprised if they saw successful tournament play.

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I'll bring them on occasion in crews that aren't Sonnia.

I'll put them in a Justice crew if I'm doing a Justice missile. Their generic minion push is great in any crew and their general damage isn't really something to just laugh off. With the extra bonus to possibly make opponents ditch cards and/or summon stalkers, they have some extra use to them. 

I've put them in Lucius gun lines, which is pretty gross.

Not to mention they are fast and most opponents will disregard them, thinking what most people on here think, allowing them to pretty much do whatever they want to unimpeded.

They have a bit more utility than a straight beater, so most people would just rather have the beater, I think, but even with not a single witchling stalker following them around, I have still gotten mileage out of them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm still trying to get used to them. Witchling Summoning is probably the least effective type of summoning I've experienced in the game so far.

  • Sonnia needs the target enemy model to be within 10 inches and Burning, but it can't die from Burning.
  • Witchling Handlers need a :mask when they kill a target with their greatsword.

Both require a resource to get rid of to summon but so far I've not been able to give out burning and then kill something. Samael Hopkins got close in one encounter, but my opponent was able to cheat higher than his Witch Hunt's attack action.

Any advice on getting more burning on the field?

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Sonnia's Emissary.

o action, doesn't need LoS gives one burning. It's pretty great for either Sonnia or Sam to go kill things.

Witchling stalkers  themselves are pretty good at applying burning and killing without killing with burning. Even if they die!

Burn them, Burn them all and a sniper?

I don't know if a stalker engine is the best thing going (though I do like it quite a bit with Sonnia) It's something that sort of, if you can make it work, great, but don't go out of your way for it.

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On 28 september 2016 at 7:09 PM, Hagisman said:

 I'm still trying to get used to them. Witchling Summoning is probably the least effective type of summoning I've experienced in the game so far.

  • Sonnia needs the target enemy model to be within 10 inches and Burning, but it can't die from Burning.
  • Witchling Handlers need a :mask when they kill a target with their greatsword.

Both require a resource to get rid of to summon but so far I've not been able to give out burning and then kill something. Samael Hopkins got close in one encounter, but my opponent was able to cheat higher than his Witch Hunt's attack action.

Any advice on getting more burning on the field?

Sonnia can summon when something dies to burning. When they are reduced to 0 wounds they still have the burning condition since you reduce wounds first and remove the condition after. Go ahead and reread the burning consition.

The annoying part for me is often that I kill stuff before I have time to set it on fire since Sonnia's trigger and the abilities of both stalkers and handler's happen after they were reduced to 0 wounds :(  

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On 9/30/2016 at 2:30 PM, Ryin said:

Sonnia's Emissary.

o action, doesn't need LoS gives one burning. It's pretty great for either Sonnia or Sam to go kill things.

Witchling stalkers  themselves are pretty good at applying burning and killing without killing with burning. Even if they die!

Burn them, Burn them all and a sniper?

I don't know if a stalker engine is the best thing going (though I do like it quite a bit with Sonnia) It's something that sort of, if you can make it work, great, but don't go out of your way for it.

I think burn them all has a range limitation, limiting the usefulness against snipers.

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