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How to play Dreamer in casual games


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Good question. In general I'd advise against it. Dreamer (and most top tier masters) are very good and hard to play against them without knowing what you are doing... and even knowing what you are doing... top tier masters in general could take a hit tbh. 

I personaly avoid it, Marcus or Hinamatsu are my go to for casual or Newbie games (but that's just personal preference, you could go with most not top tier stuff as long as you don't build go for the best builds or crazy combos.

Anyway, think a newbie or casual list won't have very competitive stuff (and in case of newbies, their plays wouldn't be the best ones in most cases; unless is one of those experienced players coming from other games). They won't be able to pressure dreamer or handle his scaling and summoning (summoning in particular tend to overwhelm new players, another reason not to pick him); specially if the Dreamer player is just a more expericenced one and know how to build and play a good list.

If you still want to use him, then you have to give yourself some handicaps. Some ideas:

  • No Serena, no Hinamatsu, no Rider.
  • No more than 1 or 2 Daydreams. No more than 1 stitcheds (hired or summoned).
  • Focus on Insidious and Alps.
  • Include WW and Bandersnatch (a newbie will probably charge right into your crew; picking models too good at holding a place will make his game miserable). If you get stuffing, summon dolls.
  • Include Carver or Coppelius, they are good models but more of a counterpicks or more squishy; so they won't be as efficient or hard to deal with as Teddy and that's good versus them.
  • Pick some very underpowered stuff like a Bloodwretch or a niche model like a Cyclop.
  • Do some less efficient stuff like keeping models buried and use his mele attack mostly.

Another option is picking LCB, WW or Carver as leaders; you can still play mostly a nightmare list, but without the summoing.

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I played the following List yesterday vs. an experienced player (Reva) in a casual game. 

Fluffy Dreamer  (Neverborn)
Size: 50 - Pool: 4
Leader:
  The Dreamer
Totem(s):
  Lord Chompy Bits
Hires:
  Teddy 2
  Bandersnatch
  Insidious Madness
  Insidious Madness 2
  Bear ly Together
  Bear ly Together 2
  Daydream

 

The Game was close and fun to play for both of us BUT the lucid dream still is something for the opponent to Deal with...

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Interesting challenge!

Looks like you've come up with a solid list on your own. Some principles that are probably a good idea to follow:

  • No ancient pacts
  • No double spider (so probably Bandersnatch only).
  • Minion heavy.

But you're already doing all that (although Teddy + LCB may be over the top).

You don't want to go too easy, and for my own learning playing against summoning masters was critical. That said, Dreamer is pretty strong so not fully ideal for someone's first 5 games. But games 5-10, introducing a summoner seems like a good idea to me (if they're getting the hang of it and beating other masters).

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I don't have quite the same mind set as the original poster I think. You play dreamer in a casual game just the same as any master.  

If you are the better player, and feel the need to handicap yourself then that's a different thing. You can choose sub optimal lists ( or try out ideas that you don't know if they will work), pick harder schemes (vendetta with a daydream is probably going to be really tough to get).  You could try not playing your optimal performance, but that's hard to do. 

Different people find different things seem negative play experiences so it's hard to say any one way of playing is bad for a casual game. 

 

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Just try some stuff you normally wouldn't do or bring along. Like how good is the little brat in melee? Is there an effective way to make use of "BAM! Your turn!" without giving up your leader? Are there any OOK models that might have some remote value with Dreamer? Have you ever tried the Hooded Rider Chompy delivery service? (ride with me on Dreamer to have Dreamer use the your nightmare trigger to deliver Chompy nearly anywhere on the board... I haven't dared risk it yet)

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29 minutes ago, Hawkoon said:

Just try some stuff you normally wouldn't do or bring along. Like how good is the little brat in melee? Is there an effective way to make use of "BAM! Your turn!" without giving up your leader? Are there any OOK models that might have some remote value with Dreamer? Have you ever tried the Hooded Rider Chompy delivery service? (ride with me on Dreamer to have Dreamer use the your nightmare trigger to deliver Chompy nearly anywhere on the board... I haven't dared risk it yet)

Excellent point. Casual games are the perfect time to experiment.

LCB delivery service seems super scary though 😜

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Thank you all very much!

22 hours ago, Adran said:

I don't have quite the same mind set as the original poster I think. You play dreamer in a casual game just the same as any master. 

In my LGS there are several players who think the actual state of malifaux is unbalanced. Leveticus, dreamer, sandeep, dashel and several others seem to be clearly over the curve and no fun to play against. Since I play casual games a lot I want to have a fun experience for both me and my oponent. 

22 hours ago, Adran said:

 You could try not playing your optimal performance, but that's hard to do. 

100% agree. And thats not what I came for. I want a challenging game and i dont lose on purpose (except introductory-games maybe). BUT I dont want the advantage of playing a superior (overpowered?) master.

On 10/31/2020 at 12:20 PM, Ogid said:

I personaly avoid it, Marcus or Hinamatsu are my go to for casual or Newbie games

I play Lucius a lot and he is my absolute favourite. But well I love the dreamer fluff and models (esp. Teddy)!!!

22 hours ago, Hawkoon said:

Just try some stuff you normally wouldn't do or bring along. Like how good is the little brat in melee?

Good Advice. And I already did in the game I mentioned before, which lost me my LCB at start of turn 2. But it was cool anyway and fun to do. 

22 hours ago, Adran said:

Different people find different things seem negative play experiences so it's hard to say any one way of playing is bad for a casual game.

Yes thats true. Sometimes I can empathise and agree. Sometimes I just can´t like once while playing Hinamatsu as leader in 50§ game I discussed how "broken" she is with 3AP and how broken Coryphees are... and stiched... and Mannequins... and vasilisa... I might be a bit sensitive when being told just to play "the good stuff" which is why I opened this thread. 

 

BTW:

Your guidelines help lot and I want to make some personal "rules" of em:

  • No Serena, Hinamatsu, Rider, BBS!
  • No ancient pacts.
  • Minion heavy: No more than 1 stitched (hired or summoned). No more than 1 or 2 Daydreams. Focus on Insidious and Alps.
  • Include WW and Bandersnatch - preferably Bendersnatch only. If you get WW-Stuffing, summon dolls.
  • Include Carver or Coppelius, they are good models but more of a counterpicks or more squishy.

 

What do you think of an agreed Handycap like "no lucid dream"...? I played Collodi twice and deliberately didn´t use his "tuned obey". But is that a better game-experience?

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3 hours ago, extremor said:

What do you think of an agreed Handycap like "no lucid dream"...? I played Collodi twice and deliberately didn´t use his "tuned obey". But is that a better game-experience?

That's really a question for your opponent rather than us. I think it is fine if both players like it, but in my experience players don't like accepting a disadvantage on one side (then the win doesn't feel as real).

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I have to clarify that my answer above was more directed towards playing versus new players than casual games tho.

5 hours ago, extremor said:

In my LGS there are several players who think the actual state of malifaux is unbalanced. Leveticus, dreamer, sandeep, dashel and several others seem to be clearly over the curve and no fun to play against. Since I play casual games a lot I want to have a fun experience for both me and my oponent.

There is a reason I always advice not to cherrypick masters but to commit to a faction: The game isn't balanced master to master, but faction vs faction. Some masters have an very uphill battle versus others and some masters are just bad versus some factions; having all your masters and OOK choices really help in those cases and masters in bad match ups can really improve their chances through smart OOK and versatile picks... However it's true that's not an option for casual games.

But I agree the top tier masters could get a hit and other keywords could use some buffs tho; it'd be nice to see in competitive something more than the same 2 masters per faction again and again.

5 hours ago, extremor said:

BTW:

Your guidelines help lot and I want to make some personal "rules" of em:

  • No Serena, Hinamatsu, Rider, BBS!
  • No ancient pacts.
  • Minion heavy: No more than 1 stitched (hired or summoned). No more than 1 or 2 Daydreams. Focus on Insidious and Alps.
  • Include WW and Bandersnatch - preferably Bendersnatch only. If you get WW-Stuffing, summon dolls.
  • Include Carver or Coppelius, they are good models but more of a counterpicks or more squishy.

 

What do you think of an agreed Handycap like "no lucid dream"...? I played Collodi twice and deliberately didn´t use his "tuned obey". But is that a better game-experience?

Glad to help :), but mind those weren't playtested at all; I don't play Dreamer into not serious games for exactly what you comment, he is too good versus casual lists. It all depends on the skill (and model) gap... For a player with a simmilar skill level and most of the faction the above are probably too much, but versus a new / more casual player definitely go easy.

As a rule of thumb for casual play to weaken Dreamer I think forbiding summoning turn 1 (this would work for any summoner in casual play tho) and play as if LCB doesn't have Lucid Dreams would be a good first step (LD is better the more LD are in the crew, this change seems small but it'll be noticeable). Those 2 will delay Dreamer from snoballing as hard as he can when is not pressured, but won't totally destroy his scaling. From there add more of the above rules depending on how you feel the games and skill gap.

And definitely report back your test and impresions!

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