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Schemes & Stones Pre-Jan 2018 Errata (Arcanists)


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16 minutes ago, WWHSD said:

No one on the Podcast plays Arcanists much do they? 

I’m not saying you guys were wrong, it’s just if you compare the Arcanist bit with the Ten Thunders section it seemed less in depth.

Yeah, when they were talking about the riders and mentioned Marcus as one of the masters that had no need for tomes I was rather surprised.

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Felt like they did not have much experience and also were pressed for time, think this may have been a podcast better spread over 2 episodes as the Arcanists got only the fastest overview and the Gunsmith never got a mention.

There is a fair number of Arcanist mini's worthy of a review, we've been hit by the nerf bat a fair bit recently and are, I think its safe to say, the most nerfed faction with Metal Gamin, Wind Gamin, Arcane Rider (multiple times), Colette all getting attention and not unreasonably, but I think some may have overshot, notably Colette.

Equally Ironsides in particular has steadily been buffed.

Still the strength of some models in the Arcanist faction really hides a number of flaws.

Rasputina and her Frozen Heart have some notably amazing models but even as a summon the Ice Golem is dubious, a poor crew model and fairly weak summon. 

Ramos is very strong and the Steam Arachnids are still a solid summon, generally the construct side of Arcanists is very strong, but I think happily not overpowered.

Marcus has access to so many Beasts it actually really hides the weakness of the Arcanist Beasts in general the Cerberus is solid and Blessed of December is good as well and can see time in non-Marcus crews as well.  But I rarely see Mole Men or the Hoarcat Pride with other factions supplying superior selections for Marcus and barely getting a look with other Arcanist masters.  As for SM Mauler and Cojo the less said the better, even with the Mauler's buff, and Razorspine, Poison Gamin and Scorpius MIGHT get a look in a Marcus Poison list but no where else and honestly even in the poison list their are better out of faction options.

Mei Feng has some OK Foundry models.  Her problem is she doesn't really compete as a master in competitive play.  Metal Gamin and Rail Golem both could use a little love to bring them in line with alternatives in the faction.

Ironsides is now an excellent master with some great options and crew selections.  But her totem Mouse is abysmal and the Captain is badly over-costed for the faction.  Across the M&SU the Union Miners are still a shade weak and the Gunsmiths are bad especially next to the only worth it for 15SS but then a little OP OxMage triplet selection.

Kaeris again is a master who is a little flawed, she does nice things but not quite enough.  Not great Burning synergy in the faction really, its there but sub-optimal.  Fire Gamin struggle, they are not the weakest models but one issue with the Kaeris crew is is damage output is poor and it does not really scheme or move fast and the Fire Gamin are emblematic of this they are a minion with no real scheme-y boost, average speed and poor damage.  Many of Arcanist's burning models (Fire Gamin, Rail Golem, Union Miner, Gunsmith) are a little under-powered.

Colette has been hurt by both the recent nerf and her poor Book 5 upgrades compared to many other masters across all the factions.  She has tumbled from one of Arcanists strongest masters to one of the weakest.  In addition she really lacks anything she 'does' better then anyone else, she is not an obey master, not reliably durable, has poor damage output and her scheme-y tricks are OK but more crew centered than master.  In short she really needs a look in and of herself.  Crew wise the Showgirls are good but a little heavy on the scheme-y speed, light on durability and poor in damage output.  Her theme crew is actually very costly (Performers and Dancers are 6SS and Duet while great is 14SS) and struggles, the Colette crew is usually heavily skewed non-theme and in fact is almost a generic the best Arcanist models crew in order to compensate for her vulnerabilities.

Sandeep is the master which probably needs a light nerf, he is simply too strong in too many situations, he's a toolbox filled with premier tools.  However his Gamin summoning does highlight the Gamin issue as its clearly Wind (even with nerf) > Ice > Fire or Metal > Poison, this spread is simply to obvious.  Kudra was a poor model and the Book 5 releases will seal her doom.

So 6 models which I think need real attention:

  • Cojo
  • Poison Gamin
  • Mouse
  • The Captain
  • Ice Golem
  • Kudra

Others who could use a glance:

  • Razorspine Rattler
  • Mole Men
  • Hoarcat Pride
  • SM Mauler
  • Gunsmith
  • Fire Gamin
  • Metal Gamin

Either Howard needs a slight nerf or the Rail Golem a slight buff, I think the Arcane Rider is in a good place (probably the only (true) Rider not descending fast).

I'd like to see Union Miners nudged sideways.

Could see nerfs for:

  • Sandeep
  • Triplet OxMages
  • Maybe still the Wind Gamin which still has the best speed, durability and hitting mix of the Gamin
  • December Acolyte, it is simply to good for 7SS much as I hate to say it

As always the problem is finding niches for certain models, balancing the all-rounder models to be flexible enough to take but not strong enough to dominate specialists and whether you are better powering up weak models (power creeping upwards) or nerfing models which are to strong.  

But simply put the spread of models across all levels in Arcanists is pretty obvious, I think we're better off then certain factions in places (Guild and NB for example have huge henchman disparity and Gremlins struggle with the sheer value of Bayou Grems) we have a broad issue across Masters, Henchmen, Enforcers, Minions and Totems where the gap between the great and the poor is very clear and quite wide.  I find about 30% of my Arcanist models always get consideration in crew selection and playtime and then 30% feature depending on crew and other game specific factors, after that the last 40% is rarely seen unless I am making 'for fun' lists with some of them (the noted 6 above) really only being taken if I don't mind handicapping myself.

Certainly felt Arcanists deserved more time in this episode.      

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Yeah, our section felt a bit rushed through.  I agree with Dancater that there are a couple models who are definitely lower than par, though I feel like a bunch of our models just need tiny tweaks:

  • If Gunsmiths go to a 2/3/5 damage spread base I'd feel better about their :+fate:+fate in general, maybe Experimental trigger should just be +1 damage
  • Metal Gamin IMO only need a change to when Protection of Metal ends (maybe check the 3" range at the end of the turn, when the Metal Gamin ends its Activation, or if the Protected model ends its Activation instead), or just make it a Condition on the Metal Gamin itself where all friendly models within :aura3 of it get +1 Df up to a max of 6 or something
  • December Acolytes just need to not have the slow AND the discard both built in, have us choose one or the other and I think a lot of people would find it a lot more fair, and maybe bump down to 2/4/5 damage
  • Rail Golem, if Locomotion went down to just needing a 2 or an Ace (but still the :tome trigger to keep doing it) I think would increase the likelihood of it continuing enough to be fine for it
  • What if Temporary Shielding was changed to be Rare 1, and any one friendly Oxfordian Mage can discard it to block 2 damage?  You'd still get the 3 good models for 15ss, but then only one of them gets the free 2 wounds
  • Also, this has been bothering me since I originally came to 'Faux: make Kang dual faction!  I feel like Mei's biggest role in Arcanists at the moment is just to have Kang, if Kang is allowable by all then maybe we can look at Mei without him and can see just how much of a fix she needs from there
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For Kudra, maybe something really simple like giving her :+fate to hit with her Cobra attack?  It makes sense since it's a paired weapon.  Her attacks are really weak at 1/2/3 damage (+ poison), so you really need to be consistently hitting on the attack flip as they're not really worth cheating. At Ml6, that's just not consistent enough...  She gets four attacks on the charge, but even still, it's just not good enough in this day and age.

It could also gain the Poison Gamin's trigger (not built in), but you'd be more likely to hit it with the :+fate to attack.

:crowCorrosive Toxins: When damaging the target, this Attack deals +1 damage if the target had the Poison Condition when it was selected as the target.

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23 minutes ago, Da Git said:

For Kudra, maybe something really simple like giving her :+fate to hit with her Cobra attack?  It makes sense since it's a paired weapon.  Her attacks are really weak at 1/2/3 damage (+ poison), so you really need to be consistently hitting on the attack flip as they're not really worth cheating. At Ml6, that's just not consistent enough...  She gets four attacks on the charge, but even still, it's just not good enough in this day and age.

The thing that really bugs me about Kudra is she's Sandeep's best student and her Elemental Bolt is worse than an Oxfordian, who is also cheaper than her.  It feels like she's been pushed pretty strongly into the "melee Henchman" group, when that's really not what Sandeep's really looking for.  I mean, she has 4 abilities (7 including the upgrade), and the only one relating to using spells is the upgrade's Fire Gamin bonus to a Ca 5 attack.  I didn't mention her in my above list because she's one of the ones I think just to her core is not a model I like, and if I had control over her card I'd end up changing half or more of what's on it and the upgrade.

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10 hours ago, retnab said:

The thing that really bugs me about Kudra is she's Sandeep's best student and her Elemental Bolt is worse than an Oxfordian, who is also cheaper than her.  It feels like she's been pushed pretty strongly into the "melee Henchman" group, when that's really not what Sandeep's really looking for.  I mean, she has 4 abilities (7 including the upgrade), and the only one relating to using spells is the upgrade's Fire Gamin bonus to a Ca 5 attack.  I didn't mention her in my above list because she's one of the ones I think just to her core is not a model I like, and if I had control over her card I'd end up changing half or more of what's on it and the upgrade.

Agreed here totally, her fluff and play does not match at all AND as a playable model she is very weak.

I think she needs a reworking and big change in her core concept at the moment she does not seem to be a student of magic and the esoteric.  She'd fit better either as a Marcus ally - a student of herpetology and poisons or as a Showgirl snake charmer/dancer but neither her fluff nor abilities reflect that though her 'style' kind of does.  But as Sandeep's best student you have to wonder if she is cheating in classes because her card in no way reflects this.

Honestly Kudra is where a 'this is a cool idea and model' was shoe horned into a 'this master needs a henchman' and then the card was made super bland and safe with no thought towards any synergy beyond a upgrade card which can be useful as an after thought.  This is made obvious as retnab pointed out the best student is a sort of melee model but weak and minimal synergy where as Kandara has obvious function, is melee in a way which is useful and makes sense and has multiple potential synergies with Sandeep.  Kandara feels like the henchman that should be in Sandeep's box set and Kudra feels like that generic henchman that does not quite work well with any crew but is close with several.  Add to this that Kandara is the same cost as Kudra and I can simply not see a reason to take Kudra ever, which is a shame because the original cool idea was valid, I really like the concept but the model is just short on all bases.  In this she is very much like Mouse (in what way does this model represent a spymaster?) where an excellent idea has simply failed for a number of reasons to be applied to the tabletop and the entire concept is not really reflected in the model play.  The other models in my 6 (Cojo, Poison Gamin, Ice Golem and the Captain) are more great concepts which are just a little to weak in play because the designers were over cautious, which honestly I'm OK with I'd rather over cautious then overpowered its easier to nudge models up then have certain models dominate the meta for months and need to be nerfed. 

 

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I'll say this again... December Acolyte doesn't need a nerf, guys this miniature isn't an auto include like Nurses or Doppelganger, you doesn't see in every arcanist list, it's a good miniature that's all, not a must. If you do a little nerf you condem them into a box.

And I play a few times Kudra, copying Sandeep teleport, we can charge every turn, with 4 atacks it's rare you do minimun all the time, and with the correct combo: Gamin for + and Ml7 she hits all his atacks, I kill a lot of thing with her, and try to kill wounded Banasuba for do a nuclear explosion of 1dmg + 1 burning + 1dmg + 1poison in the middle of enemy crew, then resummon with Sandeep killing the Gamin and doing  new 1dm + 1posion in his crew...

In the other hand I'm agree with the other buffs like Cojo, Captain... Mouse, because they are autentic trash.

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One of the reasons that the Dec Acolyte is not in every Arcanist list is that the Arcanist masters are very diverse and several simply do not always, or even regularly, take an Acolyte.  Also the two models you've identified are both pretty strong but more importantly are infamous because they have powerful and nearly unique abilities which are almost always useful.  Not many factions have them in quite such an obvious fashion as those two models.

Marcus runs Beast, Ramos Constructs.  Mei is often (for me) construct heavy.

In Sandeep, Kaeris and Ironsides the Dec Acolyte is a definite strong choice as I run them but not auto, no.

But Raspy and Colette it is always in.

However, it is more than that and I will reasonably say that while it is not something which brings a particular very powerful near unique skill (Doppleganger & Nurses) which sees it in 90% of lists I will say for 7SS it feels very, very good and not much in that cost range or even a stone (or in notable cases more) above is as solid as the Dec Acolyte.  Not saying it needs to be beaten with a nerf bat but a slight tweak would not be unreasonable.  I mean I'd rather see Dec Acolyte get -10% and the Gunsmith get +25% in order to equalize these models in value then see the Gunsmith buffed to the current Dec Acolyte and cause a resulting power shift.  As for Cojo at 8SS compared to Dec Acolyte at 7SS, well that is just an example of the strong vs the weak.  To make Cojo a solid choice (outside of specific Marcus Beast synergy) for Arcanists standing next to the Dec Acolyte and worth a soul stone more would probably make every other faction forum go into some sort of meltdown.  

Honestly we can all identify models across our faction and the others which we thing are overpowered (yes Nurse and Doppleganger are examples) or badly under-powered (Guild Guard or the Beckoner or Orian all come to mind) but this is about Arcanists and not just about whining about what needs to be better.  

So if I was saying nudge (slightly) down then Sandeep as a master and Dec Acolyte are two, maybe OxMages triplet as well.  Otherwise Arcanists have been nerfed a few times and OP wise fell OK I think (Raptors, Mech Rider, Wind Gamin).  Maybe the nerfs have gone a shade to far on certain models (Colette lost her strong somewhat boring play and gained no characterful alternative while being short changed in Book 5 badly and Metal Gamin went from too good to arguably only better than the terrible Poison Gamin because it was made 5SS).  

And buff wise I've mentioned Cojo, Mouse as priority.

Also as noted Kudra (as much for fluff as anything), Poison Gamin, Captain, Ice Golem.  Honestly I think a small buff to Gunsmiths alongside a nudge to Dec Acolytes would let these two take up nice solid separate rolls for the 7SS cost, specially if the triplets were less solid as a Gorgon like tri-model beast.  Would like to see a slight equalization of the Gamin.  Also would like to see Marcus Arcanist Beasts get more love ext to cross-faction equivalents, this I think is a Marcus in Arcanists problem as I can't think of when I took an Arcanist beast outside Blessed and Myranda > Cerberus.  

Speaking of which the Myranda and Imbued Energies trick needs to be changed, taking Myranda & IE instead of a Blessed or Cerberus is simply a no brainer and it feels kinda wrong, Myranda is OK but with the IE it is to much better than the beasts she shifts into.

Kudra is not useless but I feel she is resource intensive to use and other models (notably Kandara, Cassandra and Aminu) provide better value and with less work needed.  Also as stated Kudra feels disconnected from her own fluff concept as retnab accurately pointed out.   

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15 minutes ago, dancater said:

Speaking of which the Myranda and Imbued Energies trick needs to be changed, taking Myranda & IE instead of a Blessed or Cerberus is simply a no brainer and it feels kinda wrong, Myranda is OK but with the IE it is to much better than the beasts she shifts into.

Whilst I agree that the trick ought to be changed. (My suggestion is for Imbued to not kick off sacrificed) I find that I much prefer to have my blessed or Cerberus to have an upgrade, and so I almost never Pick Myranda for her shape change ability. If I want one of those more expensive beasts, I normally want them to be fast or well rehersed themselves for that critical turn and the 1 ss tax is worth it for that slot

 

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27 minutes ago, dancater said:

Honestly we can all identify models across our faction and the others which we thing are overpowered (yes Nurse and Doppleganger are examples) or badly under-powered (Guild Guard or the Beckoner or Orian all come to mind) but this is about Arcanists and not just about whining about what needs to be better. 

IMO this is the big mistake, we must balance the game, not factions like a separated entity, if we nerfed the Arcanist, wave after wave like now, the other factions still have fucking OP miniatures for 5ss like nurses (hate when heal 13wd on Seamus and Kirai end the condition or paralice with 1Ap...).

And for the Gunsmith and Acolyte it's a fact that if we have 2 options ALLWAYS one will be better than other, and in competitive play we want to take the better, no option in that.

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I was typed Kirai but want to type Chiaqui the miniature who removes the condition, and 13wd is an example of an entire game, at the end I killed Seamus, hitting him with Banasuba + Sandep + Howard + Cerberus xD

But for me is ridiculous heal entire wd of one miniature with a poor Ace, IMO this must have at least TN 12 - 14

And sry for the offtopic xD

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There's two things being discussed here, both very different but both very important.  Internal balance (within the faction) is what we're specifically discussing here, where it's very obvious for example that for 7ss the Gunsmiths and December Acolytes are not equal and we want that changed.  External balance (each faction vs the others) is making sure we're still able to pull about a 50/50 win ratio in the large scale against every other faction.

With no internal balance, you get things like Gremlins where apparently half the faction is in the trash bin and the other half is so good you're squeezing them into every list.  With no external balance, either factions are just flat out better or worse than others.  Both are very important to do right.

And theoretically, if the Nurse is too strong then I hope it gets nerfed too.  I'm just not sure it's in the OP category at the moment, could be wrong though.

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On 11/19/2017 at 6:53 AM, Da Git said:

For Kudra, maybe something really simple like giving her :+fate to hit with her Cobra attack?  It makes sense since it's a paired weapon.  Her attacks are really weak at 1/2/3 damage (+ poison), so you really need to be consistently hitting on the attack flip as they're not really worth cheating. At Ml6, that's just not consistent enough...  She gets four attacks on the charge, but even still, it's just not good enough in this day and age.

It could also gain the Poison Gamin's trigger (not built in), but you'd be more likely to hit it with the :+fate to attack.

:crowCorrosive Toxins: When damaging the target, this Attack deals +1 damage if the target had the Poison Condition when it was selected as the target.

I think the issue that you have with buffing her Cobra attack is that if Sandeep drops a Wind Gamin with the :+fate attack buff in the right spot she'll be getting 4 Ml7 attacks with a :+fate flip.  

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6 hours ago, retnab said:

There's two things being discussed here, both very different but both very important.  Internal balance (within the faction) is what we're specifically discussing here, where it's very obvious for example that for 7ss the Gunsmiths and December Acolytes are not equal and we want that changed.  External balance (each faction vs the others) is making sure we're still able to pull about a 50/50 win ratio in the large scale against every other faction.

With no internal balance, you get things like Gremlins where apparently half the faction is in the trash bin and the other half is so good you're squeezing them into every list.  With no external balance, either factions are just flat out better or worse than others.  Both are very important to do right.

And theoretically, if the Nurse is too strong then I hope it gets nerfed too.  I'm just not sure it's in the OP category at the moment, could be wrong though.

Yes, this is my point.

Further I think that Arcanist players are in a unique position (as are other faction regulars) to discuss what is both over and under powered in the faction.  We have vested interest in our favorite and best models but equally we also know without the element of frustration/bad game/ambush which opponents experience which models we look at and go 'wow, that is awesome'.

So from an internal balance perspective I don't think we can discuss what needs to be buffed without acknowledging what needs to be nerfed.  The fact that we have a number of genuinely weak models and only a few particularly strong ones indicates that yes probably some buffs are needed to tighten the internal balance of the faction.  Again this is particularly tricky as Arcanists have several distinct threads and excellent diversity.

Also think we need to differentiate here between always taken because its massively powerful and always taken because it fills a unique slot.

Back in the day the Mech Rider was an 'always take' because it was such a fast useful model (not unique) with powerful summoning (not unique) and durability as the game progressed (not unique), what was unique was the overall power package it was thus OP and got a deserved nerf, no problem.

The Nurse may or may not be OP, what it has is a heal/paralyze ability which is unique to it and given the nature of the action it is very flexible.  The Nurse does something no other model does in or out of faction and that ability always has some useful application, add in it is cheap and also can do schemes and it is a obvious inclusion in many, many rezzer lists.

This is an additional twist in balancing, differentiating between models which are simply OP, models with unique skills which are a little too useful and models with unique and reasonable skills which simply see disproportionate table time because the skills they bring are useful and flexible.

So we have one in faction cheap condition removal the Arcane Effigy, it is a great little model and the condition removal is amazingly useful, so it sees a lot of my lists.  Not because it is OP but because it is a cheap inclusion with an essential skill and the only way to get that skill without merc tax (Johan/Johanna, who also sees many lists for that same skill anyway).   

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22 hours ago, Fetid Strumpet said:

So for the cost of 11 SS, a crow, 2 activations, as well as specific activation order to full heal a df4 master is OP? hmmmm if that's the case then there are a lot of factions that get far more for that cost that are going to need taking down. 

To be fair, it's 11SS that are already in a lot of Resser lists.

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On 20/11/2017 at 8:09 PM, Fetid Strumpet said:

So for the cost of 11 SS, a crow, 2 activations, as well as specific activation order to full heal a df4 master is OP? hmmmm if that's the case then there are a lot of factions that get far more for that cost that are going to need taking down. 

If your didn't understan this by yourself, I can't speak more :lol:

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30 minutes ago, Fictor said:

If your didn't understan this by yourself, I can't speak more :lol:

No offence, but yours attitude reminds of a guy who recently started Malifaux and came to conclusion that Malifaux is shit, because his Nekima was killed in one focused red jokered attack by, what a coincidence, Seamus. We told him he should have stoned for :-fate to damage or cheat his 13 from hand to avoid the hit at all, but no - it's Seamus who is OP, and his bad decisions have nothing to do with that loss. So, next time you will face that dandy hatter I recommend killing Nurse or Chiaki before you will sink mass of your AP in Seamus, or simply ignore him.

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2 hours ago, Fictor said:

If your didn't understan this by yourself, I can't speak more :lol:

Seamus is probably the Master with the most healing in the game. (And I include Levi healing on bury in this). 

Almost every model in a Seamus list has a way to heal Seamus.  He really is a master where your best bet is to take out his support rather than him unless you have overwhelming firepower, and I really mean overwhelming, you are probably looking at needing 2 models that have a chance to kill him from full health in 1 activation each to make a run on him worth considering. 

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Some suggestion about Colette:

 

Death Defying doesn't need to trigger. Wording of Now You See Me changes "reduce" into "prevent".

Attack Actions are the main problem of Colette. Titania is the better design in this subject.

I think that the burying tricks or enemy control tricks may suitable for Colette.

Such as

:tome:crow Lost In The Mirrors

This trigger can only target a model which has activated this turn.

After damaging, target model must discard two cards or become buried. The next time a scheme marker is placed, unbury the target in base contact with that scheme marker.(If multiple scheme markers are placed at one time, this model may choose which scheme marker to be the target.)

Or

:tome:mask Deep Confusion

After succeeding, target enemy model gains the following condition for the rest of the game. "What is real?: When this model targets an enemy model which is within 2 inch of an enemy scheme marker with any action, this model must pass a TN 13 WP dual or fail the action. This model may end this condition by taking a (1) Interact Action to remove an enemy scheme marker."

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2 hours ago, Goodtest said:

Death Defying doesn't need to trigger.


That's great. It's a minor change since it's currently a trigger with a built in suit but it gets around a lot of of the things that shred Colette by ignoring triggers or using something other than Df or Wp to resist. I think if that change was made, the other trigger wouldn't need to be touched. 

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