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Why is Hamlin so good?


rvdbarnes
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Mostly because of GG17 - many schemes rely on placing scheme markers and Hamelin crew can do it with ease, as rat catchers can reactivate winged plagues/rat kings, and latter have great (0) action for place and discarding enemy scheme marker. He can Obey friendly Crooligans for interacts and place from long, 12" range. Plus, always scheme can be denied by single rat (as you can't score Claim Jump when enemy model is standing next to yours marker), same as interference (rats can engage enemy models). People like saying that his condition immunity is problem, but let's face it - Accusation is bad scheme, and Mark for Death can't be scored on enemy peons, so only decent condition scheme remaining is tail'em. But this is issue related to GG17 rather than master himself, so GG18 probably will fix it.

On the other hand, he is king of activations. You can say that Somm'er, Nellie or Collodi overactivates opponents, but none of them does it better than our beloved Tyrant. he spawns rats very easily, can summon his totem (who can sacrifice for other rats), and his whole theme crew can change themselves to another models - for mere 8 stones you can have 8-9 activations, which is huge. Of course, rats are rats so they don't bite very hard but rather work as Blight dealers, parts of rat kings, catchers free armor or now as source of replacing enemy schemes thanks to Benny. 

If his crew would be composed of low cost models he would be decent master - there are few Minion masters (like Collodi) and each of them is ok, while few of them are powerful. However, he can take 2-3 big beaters and still maintain activation control, and personally I think this is his biggest issue - most masters have to decide - should I take one more beater, who can kill enemy model per turn, or should I take two minions, who maybe don't deal as much damage as single beater, but are two activations instead of one. He doesn't have to make that choice - he simply takes few beaters and creates scheme runners.

He is also very survivable master - you can't perform alpha strike against him due to his Piper aura. He is backline summoner, obey and lure (and since Broken Promises - also artillery) master, who can sacrifice his free totem to heal wounds. Combining this with all I said before, he can be very negative player experience for many people. He is my favorite master, but each time I bring him to table, my opponents look at me with despise.

 

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12 hours ago, Raimu said:

How would you do that?

The only way I can see is luck.

Zipp is highly unlikely to do enough Damage to Hamlin in 1 activation to kill him even if he doesn't have to move. Burt and Francois can probably do enough damage with their 4 attacks, but aren't that likely to be able to make that many attacks, and aren't likely to be able to remove him from his Stolen protection. 

He is highly rated because he is very good at scoring/denying the scheme game. He doesn't need much hired in his crew to support him if you want, all his natural crew will just come about in the game anyway most of the time, so you can often hie quite a varied crew to match what you want to achieve. 

 

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14 hours ago, Drunken Kung Fu Kid said:

I'd love to play vs  hamelin. I'd pick zipp, kill hamelin turn 1 and then play with the advantage of no hamelin player on this planet being prepared to lose him turn 1 and then adapt. XD 

 

How would you ignore his ability to just sac a stolen and not be dead? 

Cedar did a good rundown although I'm not sure Hamelin will be weak in gg18, out-activation rarely goes out of style, it's quite helpful for killing things as well as positioning for schemes and strats.

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42 minutes ago, Adran said:

The only way I can see is luck.

Zipp is highly unlikely to do enough Damage to Hamlin in 1 activation to kill him even if he doesn't have to move. Burt and Francois can probably do enough damage with their 4 attacks, but aren't that likely to be able to make that many attacks, and aren't likely to be able to remove him from his Stolen protection. 

He is highly rated because he is very good at scoring/denying the scheme game. He doesn't need much hired in his crew to support him if you want, all his natural crew will just come about in the game anyway most of the time, so you can often hie quite a varied crew to match what you want to achieve. 

 

Yeah, I can't see how Zipp can get to Hamelin turn 1 being able to chew through stone prevention, Stolen sac and occasionally Survivalist.

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20 minutes ago, Ludvig said:

How would you ignore his ability to just sac a stolen and not be dead? 

Cedar did a good rundown although I'm not sure Hamelin will be weak in gg18, out-activation rarely goes out of style, it's quite helpful for killing things as well as positioning for schemes and strats.

Zipp could just move him away with up we go, but even with a red joker damage flip, Zipp is needing to hit at least 1 extra moderate damage flip to kill him. 

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=)

Zipp:
- The Dread pirate Zipp
- Gift of Gab
Student of Conflict
Trixiebelle
- Show off
Killjoy
- Do Over
Gracie
-Saddle
Bayou
Bayou
Bayou

Turn 1:
- Stone for cards
- Stone for/Cheat initiative

Activate bayous, keep them safe.
Student gives Zipp fast.
Gracie walks, takes zipp with her, reactivates.
Gracie walks again, takes zipp with her.

Trixie moves to a spot where she has a good view over the battlefield.

Zipp activates (4ap) goes to wherever on the board hamelin is, flings him out of stolen range, does as much dmg as he can (unreducable, prevention costs a card due to gift of the gab)
Then he (0) into a bayou.

The bayou drunk and recklesses and then incites some schemerunner or whatever, its optional.
They bayou has (if u played it correctly) LoS to trixie and 2 ap due to summon slow and drunk and reckless.
He kills himself by exploding with Show off. (3 dmg to hamelin)
Killjoy unburries right next to hamelin.

Killjoy attacks hamelin 2 times. (2 cards from do over)

Turn 2:
Cheat initiative (or use mood swing), activate killjoy, attack hamelin again if he is still alive.


If someone kills the bayou before it can explode, killjoy comes out.
If someone blocks LoS to trixie, zipp unburries at the end of turn 1, sacrifices the bayou, unburries killjoy.


Edit:
Trust me, almost no hamelin player on earth is prepared for this if he didnt read this threat =D. In 90 of 100 games hamelin is super safe for a lot of turns.
Edit2:
You might aswell just explode the bayou in stolen range to kill them.

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@Drunken Kung Fu Kid

It may be a different view on things but I don't really count the first five or so games someone plays against a new master. For it to be reliable I would assume the Hamelin player has had this exact trick pulled on them before or is good enough to see it coming.

I know any number of tricks that work against a bad player unfamiliar with them who takes zero steps to prevent it. Pulling a fast one on a clueless opponent proves nothing in my book. I would like to see this pulled against a player who takes steps to handle Gracie by engaging her or making it impossible to fit a 50mm base through some choke point. I would also assume the Hamelin player still has most of their list behind LoS blocking terrain and is just fiddling about with rats so inviting isn't all that easy. Their first real activation would be in response to Gracie, either engaging her or somehow pushing/moving her so she can't pull Zipp any further. 

 

I would also assume the Hamelin player using models and terrain to make it really hard for Zipp to get to ml attack or place away from the stolen. If I didn't miss anything Zipp needs to be within 2" to make that placement attack. I realise I may have misjudged your comment on account of usually looking for sure tactics and not just one-off fun combos. I agree it could be devastating against an unprepared player. :) 

 

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Well that gets the damage, but is kind of ruined by Hamlin performing a walk action or summoning a stolen at the wrong point. 

I'm a naturally aggressive player with my masters, so enjoy putting opponents masters under turn 1 threat, but most of my opponents would easily Keep Hamlin live through this, and I would be very much surprised if Killjoy was alive to activate first on turn 2, but then I'm used to Ashes and Dust being around Hamlin. 

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well ok, if you take the best possible steps to prevent the gracie train and block LoS to trixie its still doable for zipp to get to hamelin and fling him once. Killjoy still reliably unburries since zipps end of turn unburry is a sacrifice on your own bayou. And cheating initiative turn 2 is pretty reliable. Its not an auto kill on hamelin but it applies a huge amount of pressure on the hamelin player. 

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I think the execution of this plan relies more on perfect circumstances than the defense. Almost any model in the game can just walk up to Gracie and keep her from taking walk actions by doing disengaging strikes. I'm also not sure how easy it is to keep your bayous safe while still being in a spot where killjoy popping out of them will reach Hamelin.

My most reliable killjoy defense is just walking something with armour near the model I think will be sacrificed so killjoy will start engaged to it. Killjoy can't charge for a (1) unless he starts i engaged so even a single rat betters his thing. 

It's even worse against Hamelin because Killjoy gets out and then Hamelin activates and obeys him to walk into a position where he must charge his own crew because he can't reach any enemies. That position is preferably behind a model or terrain so that Trixie can't push him. Killjoy is now likely working in Hamelin's favour more than your own because Hamelin could spend a few ap obeying KJ back to your crew where he becomes dangerous to you and is forced to charge towards your deployment.

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well I guess it depends on out activating. Turn 1 you actually need something to be that fast, so it can reach gracie after her first walk and also you dont want to use you whole crew to defend your master. Even if the alpha gets faked, you threatened the opponent and forced his activations to be lined up perfectly to prevent it. in this case you can always just kill some other key models and drop the bomb next turn. 

For example stop after gracies first walk. Then activate Zipp and kill some support model or beater (fling it to gracie to get eaten or just kill it with Zipp) and if hamelin has already activated you can kill him instead. 

The fast Zipp up the board can basicly reach any important modell and fling it a few times, so reacting and countering the alpha gets pretty hard in the few activations between zipp and killjoy. 

I've had situations where I wanted to alphastrike the master and my enemy protected him anticipating the Zipp strike. So i just turned to another target and killed it on the side. Its just so flexible since 4 ap and 8 Walk and a reliable spot to bring killjoy out (against chargeable opponents perfectly in (1) charge range) covers such a huge area. And if u engage Zipp he just flings you away and walks with a mask. 

Basicly pick the priority of targets that need to die, watch carefully who gets protected if they try to deny the alphastrike and chose one of the others on the list.

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You do realise that a normal Hamlin list can have activated only about 8 ss worth of its crew by the time Zipp has had to activate everything? It means that they have plenty of time to react to the Gremlin and Killjoy. (rat, rat, wretch rat rat, rat king, rat, ratcatcher is 8 activations and is only 8 ss of your initial hiring.)

Its also not uncommon for Hamlin to have his own Killjoy bomb which can send a rat 25" forward before it automatically sacrifices itself? It isn't hard to disrupt your plan without significantly interfering in the Hamlin players turn  or risking anything before they want to. 

 

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Yup, I will not argue that tying up Zipp is rather tricky ;) He's got some WTF level movement tricks. 

What do you mean it depends on out-activating? We are talking about Hamelin, for 8ss he gets 8 activations turn 1. Hamelin or any of his useful models will likely not activate before your entire list has gone so he can just deploy behind a wall of friendlies and hide by not activating them, they can then choose which target to go after when you have done every move you intend to make turn 1. 

I can't find the upgrade giving gremlins incite at the moment, would you kindly enlighten me? That may force something to have activated already which at least gives KJ a shot at actually charging an opponent.

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So the big thing about this list isn’t really the fact you could kill Hamelin with your list it’s the fact your projection to do so is so poorly hidden it’s not hard to play around. Usually alpha strike lists do this but yours does so more so with the two merc options being taken. The second big glaring weakness I spot is the fact as people stated Hamelin won’t have gone before you do all this and can just obey KJ away twice and then he’s fine. And that’s if the rat blocks don’t happen. I do agree these type of lists usually catch people off guard. But I don’t see how that will happen here there are so many sequence breakers to use in said sequence that I don’t see t long term doing well. 

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alright i get your point about the counterplay with hamelin outactivating and putting rats in the way or obeying killjoy in between. 

what about this:

Let's say student, gracie and Zipp are the first 3(4) activations so we can leave outactivation out of the conversation in case of hamelin. 
Student gives Zipp fast.
Hamelin player activation 1.
Gracie carries Zipp 2 walks (8" from the deployment zone) and gives herself reactivate.
Hamelin player activation 2. (At this point, do you have something that can engage gracie? If yes, Zipp activates, if no, gracie carries him again.)
(Gracie carries Zipp again 8")
(Hamelin player activation 3.)
Zipp: Let's say gracie walked in the middle of the board. Zipp now has to reach a prime target  and in most cases 1 or 2 walks is enough to do that. Even better if you can do it in a walk and a charge, but we're talking about hamelin. This leaves him with 2 or 3  flings on the prime target, placing it towards the most favorable spot for the zipp player. (This might even be into engagement with gracie)
Zipp is now gone from the battlefield, so he isnt in danger and the hamelin player has 1(2) activations to reach the out of position target and save it. (Count in terrain if you need to move around it, cause zipp doesnt care about terrain while flinging over it.)

 

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the alpha strike is not hidden, but unlike other alpha strikes it can hit basicly any model on the board while normal alpha have a telegraphed target. You cannot surround all of your key models with rats in 3 activations... 
And it doesnt strike the enemy where he wants, it strikes where Zipp places the target to his own advantage. 

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Its also worth remembering that whilst Zipp can place the enemy from his up you go attack action, he only gets to make a walk, so it is possible that disengaging strikes will stop him movign afterwards. 

You have just potentially put a strong enemy model that has yet to activate in engagement with your already activated and injured pig. This is potentailly not a good thing. If I have expensive but weak support models and you have Killjoy, then I can deploy them in relatively safe places so I don't need any activations to protect key models

I can definetly do Alpha strikes in Arcanists that are even less telegraphed than this. And potentailly more dangerous and cost less. Marcus, Colette and Ramos (via the brass arachind) can all arrange for a 2 activation model to be able to reach the enemy deployment zone on the charge, and still have enough points left to have a buried Killjoy if you are able to kill the target. 

 

 

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As I said, its not about hiding that an alpha is going to happen, its about hiding where it happens. 

While a lot of Zipp players feel like he loves every single of his ap in all of his turns i can tell you the flexibility of having him with 4ap in the middle of the board at the start of his activation opens up a lot of things.

Maybe im overestimating it or you're underestimating it, who knows. A pitty we cant test it in a game since im from europe. I love learning about malifaux by getting beaten up by better opponents. 

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