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Henchman Leader. Advantages?

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Hi! I've noticed the rulles allow you to select a Henchman as your Leader and I'm curious about it. Appart for modes where the Master are banned, is this a legit strategy to make competitive lists?

I can see that double keyword Henchmans could give you a higher model pool (plus the access to models that aren't in the faction thanks to the keyword system), plus you'd get the Efiggy for free (kind of a substitute for the totem); however the masters+totems are quite powerful so giving that up isn't easy.

Also, it's not exactly efficient stone-wise, but I guess nothing stop you to select a henchman as your leader and then hire the Master+Totem paying the full stone price, right? (for example, choosing the Widow Weaver as the master to have the puppet keyword and then hire the dreamer+LCB for 20 stones; not staying this particular one is a good idea tho)

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4 minutes ago, Ogid said:

Also, it's not exactly efficient stone-wise, but I guess nothing stop you to select a henchman as your leader and then hire the Master+Totem paying the full stone price, right?

Rules do. Rulebook under "Choose Faction and Leader" (page 42 in the pdf version):

Quote

Any Master or Henchman can be chosen as a Leader, but Masters cannot be hired in Crews led by a Henchman Leader.

 

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In Outcasts I take Barbaros so I can bring in a weird Nephilim crew.

In Bayou I take The First Mate so I have a crew of all Stealth models.

In Ten Thunders I take Fuhatsu for an aggressive all shooty build.

.... and Crossroads Seven speak for themselves.

 

It can give you some more options in your crew building; non-traditional crews will throw off opponents, and that alone can be the first step to winning the game.  Always remember you are playing against the person, not the crew.  Plus, giving some of those henchmen leaders, like Fuhatsu, 3 actions is painful!

(I'm planning a Neverborn Hinamatsu lead Qi & Gong crew, but I wanna wait until Kabuki Warriors are out)

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2 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

It can give you some more options in your crew building; non-traditional crews will throw off opponents, and that alone can be the first step to winning the game.  Always remember you are playing against the person, not the crew.  Plus, giving some of those henchmen leaders, like Fuhatsu, 3 actions is painful!

Ah ok, I missed some rules then. So you can't hire Masters while a Henchman is the Leader, but the Henchman gains an extra order for being the leader... 👌

The surprise factor may worth it but Masters+Totems are powerhouses and just checking the keyword of the Henchman a good oponent would know more or less what is coming his way. Have you seen these Henchman leader list working well?

 

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Some keywords don't have a Master, Puppets, Crossroads, Half-blood, Asylum come to mind.

And a free effigy is an advantage, not sure if it makes up for not having a totem tho

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Benefits of hiring henchmen leaders include:

* three actions for the henchmen, potentially quite useful.

* keyword shenanigans (there is no zombie master, so using a henchmen is the way to do that).

* unlocking keyword synergies that masters can't.

For instance, zombie models gain significant benefits from other zombie models that don't share a master. However, they do share henchmen, so there is a bit of power potential there.

Overall, I think it is more for fun and flavour than pure power level, though.

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The Fuhatsu one I haven't used since beta ended, but it was a good surprise when someone declares Neverborn/Resser for Reckoning to just out shoot a notoriously not shooty faction.

The First Mate I picked against Guild, hoping for a ranged crew and not Lady Justice, and got Perdita; was able to choose when I was engaged the whole game.

Barbaros is my Outcast vs Outcast go too.  Seems to work.

No one else in my meta seems to use them, so I guess I'm the weird one.

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Then it's as I thought. Masters are the go-to but Henchmans could be a surprise pocket strat in the right circunstances... I missed the fact the leaders also get a 3rd action, and some Henchmans with the 3rd action could be quite good, much more squishy than a true master but the thrird action is big anyway.

Ty for the insight guys, maybe i'd eventualy consider a Geisha/Puppet Neverborn strat just for the lols 😂

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Hinamatsu with 3 actions is bonkers tbh and it can bring a coryphee duet. I have used a hinamatsu lead crew and it tore my opponent apart as they were not expecting the speed.

some henchmen work to lead but not many though

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1 hour ago, katadder said:

some henchmen work to lead but not many though

Benny is the worst.... the absolute worst.  Don't take him to lead Bandit or Plague.

Montresor, Arik, Mancha, & McTavish I've had good outcomes with.

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I'm considering using Bad Juju or Spawnmother to lead my swampfiends, but not becausenI think they'll be BETTER, rather because the new player I'm playing with gets quite frustrated with Zoraida. I too have been curious to see how it'll turn out but really I can't help but think of it as a handicap. SS value alone indicates a handicap (going from a free 15ss master to a free 9/8ss henchman).

BUT that handicap can let me play my best and not overwhelm a new player.

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3 hours ago, katadder said:

Hinamatsu with 3 actions is bonkers tbh and it can bring a coryphee duet. I have used a hinamatsu lead crew and it tore my opponent apart as they were not expecting the speed.

That is the one I was looking as a possible extra strategy in NVB! The Qi and Gong keyword seem fun (and the models are neat too), it'd be nice to be able to field them; also the croyphee duet seem also quite good with the split and join mechanic.

1 hour ago, ezramantis said:

I'm considering using Bad Juju or Spawnmother to lead my swampfiends, but not becausenI think they'll be BETTER, rather because the new player I'm playing with gets quite frustrated with Zoraida. I too have been curious to see how it'll turn out but really I can't help but think of it as a handicap. SS value alone indicates a handicap (going from a free 15ss master to a free 9/8ss henchman).

BUT that handicap can let me play my best and not overwhelm a new player.

Zoraida isn't easy to replace, that master seem really powerful... but as a way to handicap yourself it can work. Another good pick could be the first mate, that one would give you access to the Infamous keyword...

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2 hours ago, ezramantis said:

 I too have been curious to see how it'll turn out but really I can't help but think of it as a handicap. SS value alone indicates a handicap (going from a free 15ss master to a free 9/8ss henchman).

It's not that big a handicap, because you're getting 150% of the henchman ( well at least in terms of actions). 

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10 hours ago, ezramantis said:

I'm considering using Bad Juju or Spawnmother to lead my swampfiends, but not becausenI think they'll be BETTER, rather because the new player I'm playing with gets quite frustrated with Zoraida. I too have been curious to see how it'll turn out but really I can't help but think of it as a handicap. SS value alone indicates a handicap (going from a free 15ss master to a free 9/8ss henchman).

BUT that handicap can let me play my best and not overwhelm a new player.

I've been thinking of doing the same with The Dreamer, using Lord Chompy Bits as a leader in games less than 50 stones or against new players.

Good way to tinker with the power level of a crew (especially if you don't own the effigy and just have to do without xD)

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Oooo, another cool use of henchmen leaders is 'changing' your faction after declaring it.

Let's say you go Neverborn for a fixed faction event, but one round you want to use TT Qi and Gong. By grabbing the cross faction henchmen Hinamatsu as your leader, you gain access to a bunch of TT models (those with the Qi and Gong keyword) for that game.

Not sure if it has merit, but definitely a niche angle worth exploring for those who own models to support it.

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In my mind, the most important point concerning henched crews is that they're not going to end up like M2E's infamous 25SS-40SS Master vs. Henchman encounter category.  :) 

 

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11 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

 

Montresor, Arik, Mancha, & McTavish I've had good outcomes with.

Don't forget Rusty Aylce, with 3ap, she can take 4 shots a turn...at min3, Sh6...its dumb

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11 hours ago, Adran said:

It's not that big a handicap, because you're getting 150% of the henchman ( well at least in terms of actions). 

That's an interesting point I'll have to think about. Aren't you getting 150%of 15 pts with a master? Do hired second masters still get 3 AP?

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