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Hey!  I'm going to my first tournament since starting back at M2E.  I've made some rough outline lists for the rounds.  I want some feedback!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-OKjbZrm79iSB2tatzG-jd7-fDIITZmm2Eos0YW1jhQ/edit

There are the three rounds.  

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1paSWjNAwlnw4984EgNR-upfOKq-Sgv2Zd5nzYNzI9_4/edit?usp=sharing

Those are my lists.  

Really hope to get some feedback!  

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I'll give some general thoughts/feedback/questions on the lists and your ideas of how to score schemes and strats with some questions I have, and I'll tell you what I would do against your lists in these pools.

Round 1-

This list is definitely telegraphing Last Stand hard, but I'm curious what other schemes you're considering because I don't see an easy way to score any of the others while also killing models and picking up heads.  Mark for Death is too AP intensive for such an elite crew as is Claim Jump here, as well as being easy for larger crews to deny.  That pretty much leaves Frame for Murder, for which you'll have to engineer a situation where you're going down to 4 elite models, and Accusation, for which you'll need multiple models within 1" of your opponent's and/or good initiative flips.  Five models is pretty low, and it will be easy for your opponent to force you into disadvantageous activations with a higher model count.  Movement tricks are great for Headhunter, and even without Wandering River, Sensei Yu excels at pushing models around, getting a focus, walking 7 inches, and using said focus to pick up a head- position accordingly.  The Emissary's push and fast can help, and Mei Herself can be pretty mobile too.  With such an elite crew, your opponent is probably going to end up focusing on single target elimination, and they're going to play around Sensei Yu's heals, making sure to take down those Hard to Kill models or Yu himself.  With Kang's taunt up, that will make him a likely choice for anything around him to attack, which may or may not do anything for Frame for Murder as your opponent may likely use enforcers, minions, or conditions to deal the final blows.  Ototo functions best after taking 6 wounds, so a savvy opponent is likely to just tie him up through other means targeting his low willpower; this may be rough in such a small crew without any condition removal. 

So my main questions are:

Least drastically, what is the People's Challenge accomplishing here?  With 3 Hench's making a last stand, would you consider just 2 extra soulstones?

Why Mei?

How are you picking up heads and denying a possibly larger crew from doing so?

How do you plan on scoring a second scheme?

Is it possible to go to a six model crew (possibly cutting Kang or Ototo for something like Emberling and a smaller Hench or enforcer like Chiaki or Yamaziko or keeping the rest of the crew and taking Lynch/Huggy) and still score Last Stand?

The last I realize certainly can make Last Stand a little less likely, especially if you are killing things and making heads, but having 2 incorporeal scheme runners to grab the heads and/or bluff/accomplish Claim Jump could provide some activation cushioning and diversion tactics, and Lynch/Huggy are our go to when things need to die (yea, I don't score on Last Stand).

If you were playing this list against me, I'd probably try to take out whatever advanced the most (likely Kang or Ototo so vent some steam) or is on the weakest flank (e.g. no steam) on the first turn with some pushes and fast to Huggy with a popped Recalled Training or Lynch, giving up the possible 3 points for Frame for Murder.  Then I'd take out whatever was closest to threatening me turn 2 to clinch activation control and deny Last Stand and the Strat, also taking out Sensei Yu as quickly as possible.  Likely, I'd go for Claim Jump turns 3-5 and Mark for Death, as it's easier to accomplish with activation control.

Also, this scheme pool is rough.

Round 2-

Stake a Claim is definitely a strat for scheme runners, and also remember that sacrificing models, like a peasant, doesn't generate corpse markers for Toshiro to summon off of; they would need to be killed which is maybe a bit too AP intensive for making Ashigaru as fodder for a Hunting Party.  I'd cut Toshiro, who shines with more minions, for 2 decently mobile models- say Chiaki (helping a little to deny Hunting Party as an enforcer scheme runner who gives the option of Leave Your Mark in weird places and condition removal) and a Monk of Low River (who has other synergies with Shen Long and his pet dragon and condition removal).  Your Sniper is probably going to get the most value deployed somewhere where it can Stake a Claim turn 2, running as appropriate turn 1 if anything comes after it.  I'd also suggest starting Shen Long with Wandering River Style to get a rapid edge on those claims and possible schemes; It's not unrealistic here to get a couple scheme markers in place for Search the Ruins or Claim Jump on turn 1.  You can always cycle into Low River Style later in the game once models start taking damage, but it doesn't do a whole lot on turn 1.   All in all, this crew seems pretty flexible and can do anything except Hunting Party.

What is Toshiro trying to do?

Why Low River Style to start?

Who is going to be staking claims, and how early and often do you think this can happen? 

What schemes are you going to try for, how much AP will they take, and who is going to spend it?

This is one I would take McCabe for, and I'd likely have a Claim Marker and 2 Scheme Markers for Claim Jump down at the end of turn 1 with hounds in place and hidden from any earnest sniper shots to drop 2 additional Claim markers at the top of turn 2.  I'd also take Leave Your Mark and have my doggies see to that while the rest of the crew tied up your advance, protecting the doggies if you decide not to ignore them (as they'll be scoring all the points).  I'd likely try to engage and eliminate the sniper as early as possible to free up my crew's movement, and I'd probably also send something after Sensei Yu or Shen Long with a Glowing Saber, to try to nullify the crew's mobility quickly.

Round 3-

Squatter's Rights also typically wants a higher model count and scheme runners.  I'm curious why Mei in this pool?  She has absolutely no support for her Rail Walk in the crew, and she doesn't seem to add a whole lot to the rest of the crew in this case.  I'd suggest taking Shen Long over Mei for Squatter's Rights, especially in corner deployment.  The rest is a little trickier, depending on what schemes you pick, but it looks like you have an inkling towards Show of Force from your other crew, though this can be hard because the whole centerline is the main conflict zone, and the 6" bubble at the center leaves the flanks free for opposing scheme runners.  A sniper is great in corner deployment because you can pick a Squat marker to just park on, which is something like a hair over 2 AP to get to from the corner when playing fair.  It's really hard to say what the best schemes would be here because Eliminate the Leadership and Show of Force are both heavily dependent on what you're up against.  Search the Ruins, Show of Force, and Hunting Party look like your main options her

Why Mei here; is she hunting opposing Scheme Runners? 

What are you doing about opposing scheme runners?

How do you intend to balance Show of Force with achieving and denying Squatter's Rights?

I'd have McCabe again here, taking Claim Jump and possibly Show of Force with an Emissary bringing in an upgrade off of Conflux of Exploration and Sensei Yu having possibly something in addition to Wandering River Style.  Similarly, I'd have the dogs claim as many squat markers (likely 2-3) on turn 1, maneuvering the rest of the crew to protect scheming dogs or deny squat claims/tie up key models as needed.  I'd probably also use activation control and Sensei Yu's pushes to deny and score Show of Force, taking out the opposing Sensei Yu ASAP.

 

There's some thoughts.  I've yet to paint and play my Mei Feng that I've had for a year and a half now, so I'm actually really curious about how she is played.  I mostly think of her in her Komainu-spamming capacities with Tosh/Pork Chop/Emissary for Interference and Reconnoiter as well as a great counter for Neverborn, Ressurs, and Guild in Turf War and Interference.

 

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So definitely some great feedback. So the round one the scheme pool definitely is rough!  So I kind of felt like going hard on the strategy and one scheme wasn't a terrible idea. I love Mei in head hunter for the ability to freely advance with the crew, and that 3in engagement. Same for ototo. You have a good point about savvy opponents just single targeting stuff making people's challenge questionable for two stones. 

For round two I actually don't have McCabe or its who I would have brought. Toshiro was there to give out fast to the sniper if possible and then be able to bring models back up. But you have a good point. I also considered dropping him for a dawn serpent. 

For round 3 I was obviously going for show of force, something I love with Mei especially against shooty crews.  I figured I would go hard on the middle 3 markers and try to hold them. 

The feedback was awesome and I am going to seriously consider a lot of those suggeztions!!

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For whoever cares. Pretty much ended up sticking to the plan. 4-4 round one, 10-1 round 2, 3-8 round 3.  I made a pretty big error to get no points in frame round one.  But got 4 pts off the strategy. None of schemes :(.  Round 2 I managed to follow the plan. Jammed down my opponents throat and then had the rest of my crew do their thing. Round 3 went poorly.

Round 3 was vs Sandeep who managed to make interacting hard. My crew ended up being very pillow fisted. FFM target never even got attacked and was largely ignored. 

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Yea, Frame for Murder can be a tough one.  If you throw something that they absolutely have to take down in their face or lose chunks of their crew, like a Vik of Blood or the much less imposing Izamu, then many opponents will be forced to bite, but I avoid it most of the time because it relies on your opponent spending AP, the only control you really have over it being model positioning and a good poker face.  You took the crews as listed?  What round 2 schemes did you end up picking?

 

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I did take your recommendation and start with wandering river round 2.  Helped me to jam my emissary and kang into the ressers face. I took search the ruins and hunting party (my opponent was on Nicodemus with a ton of minions so great chance at it).  Search the ruins was nice and easy with a TTBRO and Sensei Yu.  Since the emissary and Kang distracted the bulk of his force, my sniper, brother, and yu were free to do search and claim jump. 

Round 2 was tough. I lost to the guy who got 3rd. Turns out Sandeep is tough to beat in squatters rights. But I should have bit the bullet earlier on cards. And I shouldn't have taken frame and gone for eliminate the leadership.  

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