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What about the little guys?


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5 hours ago, Cedar said:

I'm actually glad that somebody finds more value in those models than I do :D For me climbing gear is bit bad, as it doesn't work on models that start movement in range, just on models in range. It screwed me over few times.

What does climbing gear matter? You've got a stat 5 knock aside with suit built-in!

EDIT: Also helps to think of climbing gear as negating a piece of terrain rather than being for a specific model. Got a bit forest you are going to struggle with? Suddenly your whole crew can climb through the trees.... Yeah, not sure how that works.

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I made this list basing on my experience when playing the models or facing them (or not facing them at all - like saboteurs). I guess there are different opinions on some of these models and I think it's great that not all of them are generally considered garbage :) 

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51 minutes ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

What does climbing gear matter? You've got a stat 5 knock aside with suit built-in!

EDIT: Also helps to think of climbing gear as negating a piece of terrain rather than being for a specific model. Got a bit forest you are going to struggle with? Suddenly your whole crew can climb through the trees.... Yeah, not sure how that works.

The most fun I had with the goat was when it charged trough concrete wall. Incorporeal robot goat is super fun idea. I admit, the charge achieved nothing, but it was amazing :D 

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55 minutes ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

What does climbing gear matter? You've got a stat 5 knock aside with suit built-in!

EDIT: Also helps to think of climbing gear as negating a piece of terrain rather than being for a specific model. Got a bit forest you are going to struggle with? Suddenly your whole crew can climb through the trees.... Yeah, not sure how that works.

Ok but why would you ever declare Knock Aside when you could instead say the words, "Unintelligible Screaming"

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6 minutes ago, Cedar said:

The most fun I had with the goat was when it charged trough concrete wall. Incorporeal robot goat is super fun idea. I admit, the charge achieved nothing, but it was amazing :D 

You can also charge through your own models for the perfect knock aside positioning!

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7 minutes ago, Mycellanious said:

Ok but why would you ever declare Knock Aside when you could instead say the words, "Unintelligible Screaming"

This is how I always imagine this trigger:

Pepe reeee - Apps on Google Play

5 minutes ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

You can also charge through your own models for the perfect knock aside positioning!

unfortunately I never had a chance to make this trigger relevant :( 

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One thing that could be cool is if the tech pieces for factions were cheap models rather than all the expensive stuff. As is, when you're looking at teching models, you're usually looking at stuff like Anna Lovelace, Vincent, Manos, etc.

I guess powerful auras are considered too strong for cheap models? But it'd be a good way to make them niche playable.

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Charm Warders seem a good example for a reasonably priced tech piece against summoning, considering that they have more utility beyond that. But maybe at 7 you can't really call theam cheap .. but it's not 9-11 either.

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2 minutes ago, Maogrim said:

Charm Warders seem a good example for a reasonably priced tech piece against summoning, considering that they have more utility beyond that. But maybe at 7 you can't really call theam cheap .. but it's not 9-11 either.

Yeah, that does seem like a good example of what you can do.

And since cheaper models are easier to kill, it seems like it is easy to balance. Like imagine if a 5 health model has an aura. You have to take two of them to ensure redundancy of the aura, and the opponent can counterplay it by removing one to limit your space.

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I do think there was a philosophy mismatch from 2E to 3E that didn't get caught.  And that is that in 2E being two models was a bonus, while in 3E being 2 models is a penalty.  In M2E, cheap models gave you activation control (play against the Tara+6 Void Wretches list sometime).  In M3E, having cheap models loses you activation control, because they give your opponent a pass token, then they die before they activate and your opponent gets the control.

I'd love if Wyrd did a balance pass on all 6 stone and below models, because a lot of them need it.  And I'd love it if the balance pass looked at making it reasonable to hire (2) 5 stone models vs. (1) 10 stone model more often.  Or 4/8, because that one is REALLY bad.  Consider this - an 8 stone model killing a 4 stone model in 1 action is the equivalent of (2) 4 stone models killing an 8 stone model in their full action.  Do you think there's any 4 stone models where two of them could kill a (combat-capable) 8 stone unit in one round?  

I'd love it if 4-6 stones either got more utility, or got combat stats that were actually relevant - more min 2, more stat 5, if they're supposed to get into fights.  And lets try to make it at least hard to one shot them.  Save the "easy come easy go" model slot for 3 stones, where it belongs.  5 stones is 10% of your starting list, if you lose 10% of your list to one of your opponent's actions then you run a strong chance of getting tabled.  

I actually think the Explorer's society got a lot of their 4-6 stone minions pretty right for where the power level needs to be to make them a reasonable choice to hire.  Like Hopeful Prospect struck me as something I could bring for the heal and card cycling and COULDN'T be one shot (so necessary).  Machinists look like a relevant counter to certain abilities that also have good utility and a decent gun (even if they could stand to be Armor +1), and Huntsman look almost good.

 

I also really like the auras being on cheaper models to give them more counterplay.  I think that's a cool ability a lot of crews could play with.  There's plenty of very strong auras that just have "avoid the bubble" as counterplay.  Like what if instead of Kandara's 'draw cards' aura, there was a 4 stone, 4 health minion with a 4" Wisdom Aura.  Suddenly Sandeep's card draw has an achilles heel.

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1 hour ago, RisingPhoenix said:

I do think there was a philosophy mismatch from 2E to 3E that didn't get caught.  And that is that in 2E being two models was a bonus, while in 3E being 2 models is a penalty.  In M2E, cheap models gave you activation control (play against the Tara+6 Void Wretches list sometime).  In M3E, having cheap models loses you activation control, because they give your opponent a pass token, then they die before they activate and your opponent gets the control.

 

I agree. I think it is a combination of 4 things.

Firstly, Pass tokens. These reduce the value of bodies on the table. There is still some use to numbers but a lot less. 

Secondly Gaining grounds. If I remember right it was Gaining ground 2016 that really gave bodies on the table a strong place, and they then just never left in M2, whilst in M3 there isn't the same sort of advantage to having cheap models. Give an interference like strategy and you will start seeing some more cheap models. Its not going to be enough on its own because of reasons 3 and 4 which have impacted the durability of cheaper model.

Thirdly Focus. Previously it was almost impossible to hit a little model with a focused attack. Now all beaters seem to have access to enough that they can do it with ease, and so its so much easier to reach that severe which often kills the cheaper model. 

Fourthly Charge. Now that Charge is a 1 action, even without the focus duration changes its much easier to hit a model with focus. Modes with a 2/4/6 damage track last edition would have to charge and make 2 duels and probably only do 4 damage on average. Now if they are going after a 6 wound model they can focus and charge in the same activation. Much more likely to do 6 damage in the activation. It has increased the threat ranges of most beaters whilst also making their damage more consistent. 

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3 hours ago, RisingPhoenix said:

 Do you think there's any 4 stone models where two of them could kill a (combat-capable) 8 stone unit in one round?  

Mostly agree with your points, but have to point out that a pair of Crooligans can dish out 12 damage in a pair of activations pretty easily (max 16 damage with severes), with no cheats from an opponent.

Two hopeful prospects can do 10 damage in two shots (assuming four shots total to force some cheats).

Etc. 

It also is a weird comparison - no 8 stone model can kill a 4 stone model with a single action. Someone has to do some walking for that kill to happen.

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On 3/15/2021 at 2:04 AM, Mycellanious said:

Ok, this is crazy talk. Harpooners and the Alpinist are both FANTASTIC models, although I will say that I have only played Harpooners in EVS so maybe they need Keyword models to shine (which is good). 

I think I also saw Railworkers on this list? Excuse me? Railworkers are fan-fucking-tastic, to the point of tilting my regular opponents. 

Stoked to see someone else else on the Harpoonist hype-train.

Definitely give them a spin in Apex too. They're great precisely because they don't compete with the :masks needed to fuel other Reconfigure (:mask) models in EVS, and can use any low cards via Deep Discovery, which for a crew that sometimes struggles to get value from 1-4 cards, is a big deal. Plus they have 3 different ways to either rescue Cooper or push enemy models engaging him away.

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I just played a game of henchmen + 3 hoarcats vs. henchmen + 3 guild autopsies.

One thing worth noting about these cheap minions is that they're fantastic for learning the game, precisely because they're so simple. So I think it worth remembering there is a lot of value in having some models that are good for learning, but eventually get left off the table when you get more competitive.

If every cheap model was on the level of Beckoners, it'd be a bit trickier to teach the game with them.

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1 hour ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

I just played a game of henchmen + 3 hoarcats vs. henchmen + 3 guild autopsies.

One thing worth noting about these cheap minions is that they're fantastic for learning the game, precisely because they're so simple. So I think it worth remembering there is a lot of value in having some models that are good for learning, but eventually get left off the table when you get more competitive.

If every cheap model was on the level of Beckoners, it'd be a bit trickier to teach the game with them.

I don't think that competence and complexity are somehow intrinsically linked (even through Explorers happened :D). Silurids are amazing yet amazingly simple. Hoarcats could simply have numbers big enough for them to be good without it affecting their noob-friendlyness one bit. Or make them cost 3 and suddenly they are crazy amazing.

Also, I think that in general it's a very bad idea to make stuff that you learn with so bad that they're worthless once you get into the game proper even if it would make sense business-wise on the surface. This is basically the approach that Wyrd took with their starter set for M2e which included like two models that were ever seen in a tournaments setting.

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Just now, Math Mathonwy said:

I don't think that competence and complexity are somehow intrinsically linked (even through Explorers happened :D). Silurids are amazing yet amazingly simple. Hoarcats could simply have numbers big enough for them to be good without it affecting their noob-friendlyness one bit. Or make them cost 3 and suddenly they are crazy amazing.

Also, I think that in general it's a very bad idea to make stuff that you learn with so bad that they're worthless once you get into the game proper even if it would make sense business-wise on the surface. This is basically the approach that Wyrd took with their starter set for M2e which included like two models that were ever seen in a tournaments setting.

I think the problem is that there are only so many ways to make a low-cost model strong without making it complex. We'd end up with just a bunch of roided up low-cost models.

Not to mention the half problem (there's likely a lot of areas where models can't be balanced one way or the other - stat 5 is too low, stat 6 too high. Suited leap is too much, unsuited leap is not enough. Etc). No matter the game system, there'll tend to be stuff where the perfect balance is at 5.5 rather than a whole integer (or 5.55 if you're allowed to go one decimal place, or 5.555 if two, etc).

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1 minute ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

I think the problem is that there are only so many ways to make a low-cost model strong without making it complex. We'd end up with just a bunch of roided up low-cost models.

Not to mention the half problem (there's likely a lot of areas where models can't be balanced one way or the other - stat 5 is too low, stat 6 too high. Suited leap is too much, unsuited leap is not enough. Etc). No matter the game system, there'll tend to be stuff where the perfect balance is at 5.5 rather than a whole integer (or 5.55 if you're allowed to go one decimal place, or 5.555 if two, etc).

I disagree. There's a lot of stats to tweak in Malifaux (especially when you count in suits for Triggers and such) - I'm 100% sure that it would be possible to make Hoarcats good but not oppressive just through stat tweaks if Wyrd were so inclined.

If a model would be perfect at 5.5 stones, make them 5 stones and take out a wound and lower their Wp by one or whatever. Or the other way around, make them six and add one to their severe damage and give them two extra wounds (not talking about Hoarcats here, obviously).

The good thing about tweaking stats when balancing is that it is unlikely to create crazy powerful combos or just break the rules system like the Nekima-Another -debacle :D 

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I also just find it a shame from a thematic perspective because some of these lower-costed minions really seem to catch the aesthetic of what a keyword is meant to represent. 

Seeing Youko without Kunoichi and Geishas ist just sad and wouldn't really feel like Qi & Gong is supposed to feel. Same holds true for Mei. She's supposed to be the leader and champion of Malifaux's Railworkers, so it feels just wrong if she leaves them (meaning both Rail Workers and Kang) behind in favor of the Professor's discarded toys and a crazy good Horseman straught from an 80s Metal album cover.

Don't know much about Guild, but it seems like Lady Justice is being played without Death Marshals. Some of the most awesome and cool models in the game who are supppsed to be her elite squad are just not elite enough to be her squad (neither are they Elite but you get what I mean).

I'm just glad that Jakob wouldn't work without Honeypot so he basically always brings a thematic Crew. But I'll try to bring Illuminated in every game.

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20 minutes ago, Math Mathonwy said:

I disagree. There's a lot of stats to tweak in Malifaux (especially when you count in suits for Triggers and such) - I'm 100% sure that it would be possible to make Hoarcats good but not oppressive just through stat tweaks if Wyrd were so inclined.

If a model would be perfect at 5.5 stones, make them 5 stones and take out a wound and lower their Wp by one or whatever. Or the other way around, make them six and add one to their severe damage and give them two extra wounds (not talking about Hoarcats here, obviously).

The good thing about tweaking stats when balancing is that it is unlikely to create crazy powerful combos or just break the rules system like the Nekima-Another -debacle :D 

One issue is that while a model might have ~10 levers to adjust on its stats, there are thousands of things you're balancing against. Different pools, different matchups, different roles, etc.

I'd be super surprised if you could fix every cheap model by adjusting its stats (and even if you could, then other models would become obsolete because there are now better options).

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Just now, Maniacal_cackle said:

One issue is that while a model might have ~10 levers to adjust on its stats, there are thousands of things you're balancing against. Different pools, different matchups, different roles, etc.

I extremely strongly disagree with the idea that a model needs to be good in all pools and matchups for it to be fine.

Just now, Maniacal_cackle said:

I'd be super surprised if you could fix every cheap model by adjusting its stats (and even if you could, then other models would become obsolete because there are now better options).

I even more strongly disagree with the notion that buffing models is useless since "one model is always the worst" (and the corollary of nerfing models is useless because "there's always a model that is the strongest and therefore problematic").

I think we're in the territory where it might be wiser just to agree that we disagree since our differences are so extreme here.

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1 minute ago, Math Mathonwy said:

I extremely strongly disagree with the idea that a model needs to be good in all pools and matchups for it to be fine.

It doesn't need to be good in all pools/matchups, but it needs to be good in some. Like if you're good in 1/1000 pools, is that enough? Probably not.

1 minute ago, Math Mathonwy said:

I even more strongly disagree with the notion that buffing models is useless since "one model is always the worst" (and the corollary of nerfing models is useless because "there's always a model that is the strongest and therefore problematic").

I don't think that buffing models is useless, and very much support tweaking the game. However, I don't like widescale changes that could potentially invalidate other models that people enjoy playing. To take an extreme example, they could buff every model that currently sees plays less than 20% of the time in its keyword, but then it would probably break the game in other ways.

For example, Vincent is a tricky one to balance because he auto-kills summons. Do you accept that as his niche and balance him around that, or do you buff him to be good in all games and broken against summons?

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I guess to clarify my overall point - I don't think every model in the game can just be efficiently statted/costed.

Some of them need to fill unique niches, but that unique niche isn't always useful for learning the game. Granted, there is merit to the idea that the simple models should be the efficiently statted ones, so you can use those to learn the game.

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I admit that I'm having massive difficulty following what you're trying to say here. To me it kinda reads like you're just disagreeing on principle since your examples seem to be of ridiculous extremes like "being good in 1 in 1000 pools" or "buff him to be good in all games and broken against summons".

Do you honestly think that I was suggesting something where that "1/1000 pools" thing would be relevant? Or that anyone on this forum wants to see Vincent being good in all games and broken against summons?

Malifaux is unique among minis games in the way that it supports niche models and makes them relevant and therefore I feel that it would be possible to have the huge stable of models that it has and still have them all be relevant choices to some situations. Which is why I reject the idea that there's always 20% useless models and it cannot be helped.

That said, I won't be answering you further as I can't see this leading anywhere constructive due to our massive differences in our base views of the game. Feel free to have the last word.

 

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