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Building for 35ss games: Neverborn


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Recently I've been playing 35ss games.  The guy I've been playing with has limited time available and we're playing over VASSAL, so 35ss size is perfect because it usually allows us squeeze in about a turn a session.

Most crew building wisdom centers around standard 50ss size, so I'd like to explore what the community thinks about how to build 35ss crews.

Obviously each game is different, with opponent's master, keywords, strats and schemes, etc. but I feel like there must be some general philosophies that can be kept in mind with smaller games.

As a conversation starter I'd like to offer how I've been thinking about it ("right" or "wrong").  With less models to achieve objectives, I've been focusing on how to score the strat and 1 objective, with the second object being a "plan B" of sorts.

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I've only played HH or full 50SS so not sure how these feels.

An obvious problem is summoners; these are already good at 50SS; at 35SS they have to be insane. How are you dealing with it? Are lists around summoning the meta at 35SS?

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The first game we played we both chose summoning models. My opponent chose Tarah as his master and I hired Spawn Mother into Zoraida.  Obviously he had a better time of it, as Tarah is a more effective summoner than Spawn Mother. But we both initially approached the problem of too few models by finding a way to bring more haha.

Zoraida was my choice partly because she enables the fewer models to get more done with her obeys.

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5 hours ago, ezramantis said:

The first game we played we both chose summoning models. My opponent chose Tarah as his master and I hired Spawn Mother into Zoraida.  Obviously he had a better time of it, as Tarah is a more effective summoner than Spawn Mother. But we both initially approached the problem of too few models by finding a way to bring more haha.

Zoraida was my choice partly because she enables the fewer models to get more done with her obeys.

Ha ha, so you pick a smaller size for time purposes, and the first thing both players do is pick summoners to increase their crew size...

There are 2 large effects that going to a smaller size has on your game plan - Firstly you have a much smaller crew, so you need a firm plan to score those VP, your crews total actions are likely to be much lower than in a 50 ss game, and most point scoring  requires just as many actions regardless of crew size.  

Secondly, for a similar reason, there is a lot less hand pressure You still have the same size hand and few actions to spread it over. This means that you are more likely to cheat to make your important actions work. You can also afford a higher percentage of card discard effects in your crew (or in reality you can afford to support as many card discard effects in your crew as at 50, but with a smaller crew that will be a larger percentage ).

Summoning is often the easiest way to over come the first issue, especially because it is made stronger by the second issue.

(To a degree summoning is limited by the cards in hand, and with the lower pressure on the hand, its easier to save those cards to summon with)

 

If you want to play this size, then I would suggest considering not increasing the plentiful value on summon upgrades for being the leader, and possibly think about a smaller hand size (although this is less of an obvious issue).   

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6 hours ago, Adran said:

Ha ha, so you pick a smaller size for time purposes, and the first thing both players do is pick summoners to increase their crew size...

Right? We both immediately laughed about that too. I *think* there is now an unspoken agreement to not use summoners. We'll see...

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6 hours ago, ezramantis said:

Right? We both immediately laughed about that too. I *think* there is now an unspoken agreement to not use summoners. We'll see...

It's kind of amusing yeah XD

4gamwa.jpg

However if you are going to play this way and you both agree that summoners are too much, you could use the oportunity to test some extra rules instead of outright ban them; both of Adran points are good. I'd suggest:

  • A hand of 5 cards for 35SS seems fitting
  • I'd be even more restrictive with summoning: The plentiful doesn't increase even when the summoner is the leader and models cannot be summoned in turn 1 and 2, unless they are summoned by a leader, in that case they cannot be summoned only in turn 1.

The leader part keeps summoner as leader relevant after the plentiful change and the first/first+second turn ban in summoning could be enough to make those models fairer at 35SS. The first turn there usually are less interaction between players, so in that turn summoning is less punishing that in later turns; also models summoned in turn 3 will have around half of the AP of one summoning in turn 1 and there is time to get rid of the summoner. It'd need some testing tho.

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12 hours ago, Ogid said:

It's kind of amusing yeah XD

4gamwa.jpg

However if you are going to play this way and you both agree that summoners are too much, you could use the oportunity to test some extra rules instead of outright ban them; both of Adran points are good. I'd suggest:

  • A hand of 5 cards for 35SS seems fitting
  • I'd be even more restrictive with summoning: The plentiful doesn't increase even when the summoner is the leader and models cannot be summoned in turn 1 and 2, unless they are summoned by a leader, in that case they cannot be summoned only in turn 1.

The leader part keeps summoner as leader relevant after the plentiful change and the first/first+second turn ban in summoning could be enough to make those models fairer at 35SS. The first turn there usually are less interaction between players, so in that turn summoning is less punishing that in later turns; also models summoned in turn 3 will have around half of the AP of one summoning in turn 1 and there is time to get rid of the summoner. It'd need some testing tho.

I also would reduce the plentiful rule or leave it be. Or, if you really want to safe time an make it challenging, play without summoners. No matter wich kind of summoner... ok it shrinks the amount of possible models but It may open up to a new variety of lists....?? 

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1 hour ago, extremor said:

I also would reduce the plentiful rule or leave it be. Or, if you really want to safe time an make it challenging, play without summoners. No matter wich kind of summoner... ok it shrinks the amount of possible models but It may open up to a new variety of lists....?? 

Banning them is also OK if both players agree (and it's probably easier than playtesting new rules); but I'd rather try to balance it for less SS than outright banning them; even a crippled option is better than no option.

2 hours ago, Regelridderen said:

I find HH every bit as interesting as 50 stone+master - and better balanced. 

I also like HH for quick and casual games, but not so sure about the balanced part; there is too much cheese in that mode XDD.

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I like HH, but people wanna play with their masters. Especially new players. Personally I like having a wider variety of leaders in the form of henchmen.

I also realy like mixing up strats and schemes so HH gets stale for me quickly.

Might be cool to play 35ss henchmen led games. Not sure how many summoners are out there outside of masters.

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