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Corrupted Idols think tank


Cronex13

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Hello again all.

Today I want to talk about a particular strategy, Corrupted Idols. For those unfamiliar, whoever wins initiative flip will look at his suite and use that to determine where to drop a strat marker, and from there you have to take damage to move the strat marker to the enemy table half to score.

This strat seems like a real bitch! I've only played it twice, but it's coming up at my tourney. So I want to see our thoughts on how we accomplish it. Do we devote cards to cheating initiative to control where the strat marker lands? Do we have specific models we like to use when pushing the marker? How do we like to position our models across the board? 

Now, I don't actually own Nellie, but my opening thoughts is that taking her and the printing press gives Arcane Reservoir and then you've got an extra card to try and influence the strat marker drop location. Then, her and her minions, if they're within range can control enemy interacts, so you could use enemy models to place strat markers on their side of the table, at the cost of their own health.

Let's see some ideas!

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On 10/1/2019 at 9:29 AM, Cronex13 said:

Now, I don't actually own Nellie, but my opening thoughts is that taking her and the printing press gives Arcane Reservoir and then you've got an extra card to try and influence the strat marker drop location. Then, her and her minions, if they're within range can control enemy interacts, so you could use enemy models to place strat markers on their side of the table, at the cost of their own health.

I ran Nellie on this strat at a recent tournament. Nellie really IS powerful denial on it, plus her "Headline: Secrets Exposed!" can force the opponent to interact and take the three damage ... and then three to throw it back, of course. She's a finesse piece, though: she won't solo the mission for you, and the rest of her crew has trouble keeping up, so you'll wind up wanting to pay a lot of tax for models, and probably some SS for a LLC on her since she'll likely be frontlining. This mission is honestly a chance to take her in as a second master, I'd say. Undercover Reporter is potent for sending an opponent away from the new idol site or just straight up denying an outflank or breakthrough or whatever and making them start their run over.

It's a good chaotic mission. Some tips and tricks, to my mind:

- This is a good mission to stone for cards on when you draw. Remember that discarding and drawing happen BEFORE the initiative flip that determines placement, and you want to be able to control that. As @Cronex13 wrote above, it's also a good map for Arcane Reservoir builds. You want to be a little careful of holding cards against Masters like Zoraida or Youku that can mess with your hand, but the pure draw has a bit of a counter to that, so Arcane Reservoir is pretty precise tech for this strat.

- Mobility is a huge help if your opponent out-cheats you for the idol or you just get a bad drop. Pale Rider or Mounted Guards can be a help for pure speed. Another option is crews with out-of-activation actions. For example, Perdita's Family crew can use "A Por El!" to take an action for a card: so double-moving up to the marker so you're in position to be "A Por El'd" into tossing the idol can be a help, with Perdita and company covering you from a distance. Or Lucius's crew can accept orders from him or a Guild Lawyer and take an interact, plus he has Arcane Reservoir. Guild Investigators are good at pushing people around when you drop your own scheme markers, which helps the AP ratio if they're trying to get to an idol.

- Long range can give you versatile targeting across the board on the center line (e.g., Riflemen) if the battle shifts away from where you are. If you can pick off an unactivated model before it flips the idol, your opponent has to spend more AP getting there, which gives you time to set up denial, etc.

- 2" Engagement from a model like Lady J can be a big deal for denying the ability to interact if you just want to win in the scrum.

- Similarly: models with Don't Mind Me that can interact through engagement, or features like Obey/Twist Their Ideals are useful in forcing the opponent to interact.

Honestly, most of our masters have a way to approach the strat with an ook model or two; it's going to be a bit of personal playstyle.

 

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I'll admit, I'm starting to get attracted to the traps after your advocacy of their usefullness @4thstringer. Do you take the Pathfinder as well or just buy a bunch of OOK traps? They seem pretty darned funny at the very least. On the verge of buying some, what's the best way to get them? I know there's a box w Pathfinder and some traps, but not sure how many come in it and not sure if there's a box that just has traps.

@Yore Huckleberry I like your analysis. I've been looking for a reason to use Lucius but he doesn't seem amazing at the top levels of play. Maybe give him some of Hoffman's constructs to play with and he could do okay but at that point I think I'd rather just have Hoffman. Hm.

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6 minutes ago, Hagisman said:

Would Dashel summoning help? I could see summoning some Guild Hounds/Patrol to be sacrificial lambs.

Having put a lot of energy and experimentation into Dashel, I'm firmly against him as a summoner. If he can get a summon off than great, but the requirements for it is just too much to have something dependant on it. For instance, there needs to already be a scheme marker over near the drop spot, and if it's the almost required enemy one, it's usually because there's already an enemy there.

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I started to like Hoffmann in the strat outside of corner deployment (he is a bit slow in guild) as he can very efficiently zone the opponent out of one side and the middle point with the peacekeeper/Melissa/Joss while using his high cards for cheating initiative. He and his totem can heal the damage done by throwing the idols. It's not super amazing but feels very solid. Never got the matchup but I can imagine the Riotbraker denying some of out of of activation tricks people tend to take in this strat.

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15 hours ago, Yore Huckleberry said:

I ran Nellie on this strat at a recent tournament. Nellie really IS powerful denial on it, plus her "Twist their Ideals" can force the opponent to interact and take the three damage ... and then three to throw it back, of course.

I assume you're actually talking about  Headlines, secrets exposed trigger, as nothing else forces them to interact.  You would need them in exclusive interview range to make them interact how you wished (interact to remove all scheme markers in base contact is always an option, even if there are 0 scheme markers in base contact), and they would need to already be in base contact with the idol. Its certainly a good idea to know about this, but its rarely going to come up against a knowing player.

 

Back on topic

I think there are a few ways to try and do Cursed Idols.

You can try and control the idol drop, in which case you want some way to have pass markers/Initiative bonuses, extra cards and so forth to get the marker in your area.

You can try and split your forces to cover the areas. This needs a relatively fast crew that can cope with being in 2 or 3 groups, hopefully that won't fold too much if they get heavily outnumbered.

You can control one area and try denial in the other areas. Guild and its guns is pretty good at this. You might not be able to get to the markers quickly, but a lot of the time you can make an area of the board (that you aren't in) very dangerous to be in.  You probably need something a little nippy to move back idols that they got to before they died horribly.

You can control 1 area and hope.

 

After you've decided which of these approaches, you probably need to look at how you are moving idols, and the damage it does to you. 

You can try and hire healing to replace those wounds.

You can plan on summoning to add wounds to your crew.

You can Hire models that have Grit so you take advantage of being on lower health  

or you can just accept that you have a pool of 50ish wounds, so you can afford to push the markers once or twice each, and just  kill anything that gets near you.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Adran said:

I assume you're actually talking about  Headlines, secrets exposed trigger, as nothing else forces them to interact.  You would need them in exclusive interview range to make them interact how you wished (interact to remove all scheme markers in base contact is always an option, even if there are 0 scheme markers in base contact), and they would need to already be in base contact with the idol. Its certainly a good idea to know about this, but its rarely going to come up against a knowing player.

Ah, yep -- fixed it! Cheers.

Worth noting that Phiona is an in-keyword model that can pull a target (ideally an activated model) into range to interact with the idol to help Nellie out. Or Nellie herself can Twist their Ideals to charge a target at the idol and then Headline: Secrets Exposed them to force the interact, which is probably a set of mechanics most people don't expect.

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I’ve played this strat a couple times now with Guild and healing is your friend.  Though in fairness the easiest time I’ve had with it was using Sandeep, but that doesn’t help us here, does it?  😃

I quite enjoy Basse for idols, since he can establish a picket line along the centre turn one.  Frontiersman are squishy, but heal easy.  Throw in a Domador and they are surprisingly resilient, auto-healing 3 from decay.

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The thing that I am wanting to test out is Lady J with DMs and a Dom for this.  The DMs move up to the marker and start killing anything nearby.  The Dom uses their undead obey to have the DM toss the idol for 2" and then heals the DM for 2 if you've got the suit in hand for Corpse Command.  Next turn the DM either moves to another marker or that same one before popping off attacks against the enemy.  Dom obeys and heals.  Rinse and repeat as long as you can get :ToS-Ram: into your hand.

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5 hours ago, Cathaidan said:

The thing that I am wanting to test out is Lady J with DMs and a Dom for this.  The DMs move up to the marker and start killing anything nearby.  The Dom uses their undead obey to have the DM toss the idol for 2" and then heals the DM for 2 if you've got the suit in hand for Corpse Command.  Next turn the DM either moves to another marker or that same one before popping off attacks against the enemy.  Dom obeys and heals.  Rinse and repeat as long as you can get :ToS-Ram: into your hand.

Don't expect your DM to kill a lot of things ahah! Maybe other scheme runners but any tougher foe will crush him! They are not that threatening in offense! They are good scheme runners if undead are close but apart from that they aren't that impressive in my opinion!

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8 hours ago, Cursed25 said:

Don't expect your DM to kill a lot of things ahah! Maybe other scheme runners but any tougher foe will crush him! They are not that threatening in offense! They are good scheme runners if undead are close but apart from that they aren't that impressive in my opinion!

They actually have quite impressive damage and durability for their cost, so they can kind of hold their own in a scrap. They are not quite warderns, but who is?

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On 10/1/2019 at 4:29 PM, Cronex13 said:

Today I want to talk about a particular strategy, Corrupted Idols. For those unfamiliar, whoever wins initiative flip will look at his suite and use that to determine where to drop a strat marker, and from there you have to take damage to move the strat marker to the enemy table half to score.

Just a little note here which may not matter most games but just might if you're aware of it:

The location of the idol is actually determined by the flip of the player with initiative, which is not necessarily the player with the highest card since the highest flipping player may choose which player gains initiative. And therefore also whose card is used to determine the position of the idol. :)

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2 hours ago, Myyrä said:

They actually have quite impressive damage and durability for their cost, so they can kind of hold their own in a scrap. They are not quite warderns, but who is?

Their durability is nice that's true! But their dmg is on par with most 5ss models (which is pretty low) I'm maybe bias because I prefer to use big beaters to attacks and little 5ss model to scheme but I've never found that Death Marshal did something meaningful in a fight! If I want something dead I will throw Lady J in the fray or another beater while the DM dodge bullet and do the scheming!

 

1 hour ago, Erorior said:

Just a little note here which may not matter most games but just might if you're aware of it:

The location of the idol is actually determined by the flip of the player with initiative, which is not necessarily the player with the highest card since the highest flipping player may choose which player gains initiative. And therefore also whose card is used to determine the position of the idol. :)

You are right sir! I learn things every day ahah! thank you! :)

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How do you feel about alpha strike lists against this scheme.  If you are putting damage into a bunch of their models it makes the cost to move the market that much greater.   Blast heavy alphas like Sonia are the main method I'm thinking of.

Problems I see: cursed idols is a favorite for people with Regen to get back that cost.  

People tend to want to spread out in cursed to cover their bases a little better.

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4 hours ago, Erorior said:

Just a little note here which may not matter most games but just might if you're aware of it:

The location of the idol is actually determined by the flip of the player with initiative, which is not necessarily the player with the highest card since the highest flipping player may choose which player gains initiative. And therefore also whose card is used to determine the position of the idol. :)

I'm not sure I agree. I don't have the rulebook handy but my read on it was that the highest card determined initiative, and whoever has initiative determines who goes first. That is to say, having initiative and going first aren't the same thing. But I'd be open to discussion on the matter.

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Playing the right rules will help :P

While we are on the topic (and its cropped up elsewhere) - Its worth remembering that you cheat the initiative flip based on the card flip, BEFORE you add pass tokens to the total. So just because your opponent has more pass tokens they might still need to cheat first. Not going to help much, but on occasion you'll be able to steal an initiative from them unless they actually put effort into winning.

Cursed idols has a few tactics that do require careful reading of the rules, and not just assuming you know. I know I have won the flip, but chosen to give initiative to the opponent because it was a better idol spot for me.

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That's pretty good! This is definitely the most nuanced of the strats, I'll definitely be reading all of this a couple times again. Might be something to be said for a smaller and more elite force so as to obtain pass tokens. A Yuoku crew would have a field day with this strat

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On 10/1/2019 at 2:59 PM, Cronex13 said:

Having put a lot of energy and experimentation into Dashel, I'm firmly against him as a summoner. If he can get a summon off than great, but the requirements for it is just too much to have something dependant on it. For instance, there needs to already be a scheme marker over near the drop spot, and if it's the almost required enemy one, it's usually because there's already an enemy there.

The other big crew to look at here is Basse. Starting closer off the block with Home on the Range can help you choose which area to control and get there, and having a ton of in-keyword models with the "Follow my path" free-action lets you disengage other models and reposition to toss the idol. It's janky and weirdly-paced vs having something that can do it by itself (Mounted Guard's Ride with Me does the trick), but if your opponent has to spread out a bit to cover different things, it could work. Bernadette and Jonathon both have decent pulls to get opposing models out of position from the idol and into range of a beat-down, and a dust cloud or two helps keep you clear of being targeted by a ranged list trying to control a spawn point at a distance. Pulling Paul Crockett into Basse is interesting too, given that he's got a great range shot himself and is somewhat inexpensive, being an enforcer. This is all theory right now, but I like the sound of it.

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18 minutes ago, Yore Huckleberry said:

The other big crew to look at here is Basse. Starting closer off the block with Home on the Range can help you choose which area to control and get there, and having a ton of in-keyword models with the "Follow my path" free-action lets you disengage other models and reposition to toss the idol. It's janky and weirdly-paced vs having something that can do it by itself (Mounted Guard's Ride with Me does the trick), but if your opponent has to spread out a bit to cover different things, it could work. Bernadette and Jonathon both have decent pulls to get opposing models out of position from the idol and into range of a beat-down, and a dust cloud or two helps keep you clear of being targeted by a ranged list trying to control a spawn point at a distance. Pulling Paul Crockett into Basse is interesting too, given that he's got a great range shot himself and is somewhat inexpensive, being an enforcer. This is all theory right now, but I like the sound of it.

Basse seems to be the way to go on this. The clockwork traps would do a great job of delaying forces for a turn or two as well.

On the subject of Dashel, my view has shifted slightly. Some Genius figured out that The Dispatcher can use "Consolidate power" to push a friendly minion towards him. Then with the mask trigger, since guard models count him as a scheme marker, you can place an enemy scheme marker next to him and he would take a damage instead of being removed. So he can walk walk and then use that on a minion near him and set Dashel up for a good summon... Can't believe I didn't realize this myself. Basse is still better but this is an option.

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