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How to play Leveticus in casual games


Cuilion
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Inspired by Extremors Thread about the Dreamer I want to try the same with Leveticus. 

Most players in our local group don't like to play against Leveticus for 2 reasons: 
- He is too strong

- Some effects, no matter if too strong or not, feel frustrating because they just happen without the opponent being able to prevent it

I think they are absolutely right. I don't wanna play Leveticus into games with my buddies I know I am gonna win from the start.

Simply playing non-optimal lists or encounters Levi does not like feels wrong. I still want to get the most out of my crew when creating a list and playing the encounter - that is part of my game desired experience. Therefore I started pulling together some rule changes for the Amalgam keyword which you will find below. The goal is not to make him weak. He can still be a strong master, but just not as ridicolous as he is now. A similar level like the Viktorias would be good. 

Please let me know if you think my measures make sense. Do they go too far? Not far enough? Would you like to play with a non Tier 1 master against this Leveticus and expect a fair game? Do you have alternative or additional ideas on what to change? Should single models like Rusty or A&D be nerfed additionally? 

 

Irreducible Damage

Can be reduced by Soulstones. Gives opponents at least a partial counter. 

Entropy

Models do not automatically suffer the damage but only if not passing a TN12 WP simple duel. 

Demise Leveticus and Ashes&Dust

Both cost a card to go off. Increases the cost of their demise and gives opponents without Lantern of souls a small chance to prevent it by draining my hand. 

Demise Desolation Engine

Change the effect from replace to summon. This way opponents get bounty tokens for the desolation engine. 

 

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if your friends are ok with homebrewed versions of official models, then you can apply all these changes and see if they still get wrecked by you. but I can hardly imagine anyone except highly casual player who would accept such a proposal. could you maybe play another master against them and keep Levi for experienced players?

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Quote

How to play Leveticus in casual games?

Simply put the answer is: not at all. 

Especially with your approach of 

59 minutes ago, Cuilion said:

I still want to get the most out of my crew when creating a list and playing the encounter - that is part of my game desired experience.

On an abstract level, what you are looking for is a way to destroy your opponents without destroying them so much that they don't want to play you anymore. 

If you are looking for games as an intellectual challenge, the easiest solution would be: get the worst Master/Keyword you can get your hands on and play him as much in Keyword as possible. Maximum challenge for you, maximum fun for your opponents. 

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Are you the strongest player in your group? Because if you are a better player then you are more likely to win anyway. 

I'm a little confused by the mind set that you don't want to alter your crew hiring or scheme selection but are quite happy to house rule models.  ( allowing your opponent to pick your scheme will still need you to get the most out of your list, but give the opponent more chance. If you're really much better then don't have them pick the schemes until you've hired the crew.). 

 

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Another thing to consider is disadvantages that accrue based on winning.

So for example say for every game you win, your initial hiring pool goes down by 5 stones. So if you're winning enough, eventually you're 30 stones vs. 50 stones.

Or you can introduce bans. For every time you've won in a row, your opponent adds a model to the ban list. When you lose, you get to take a model off the ban list.

Etc.

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I agree with@Adranthat it seems like a strange mentality to not want to play a suboptimal list with Leveticus but instead be happy to houserule and thus in effect play a list constructed entirely of made-up suboptimal models.

Nerfing the Desolation Engine when it's generally considered a bad model is also a little weird :D

For what it's worth this list is actually a good jokey list to play if you want to goof off:

Mechazombie Apocalypse (Outcasts)
Size: 50 - Pool: 4
Leader:
  Leveticus
    Servant of Dark Powers
Totem(s):
  Hollow Waif
  Hollow Waif 2
Hires:
  Desolation Engine
  Desolation Engine 2
  Abomination
  Abomination 2
  Abomination 3
  Abomination 4
  Abomination 5
  Abomination 6
References:
  Abomination

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Not sure what to think about this. Leveticus is IMHO the best Outcast master, but is far from being in the top of the game, so not sure why do you think it's necessary to nerf his crew to play casual. Why not try to play with the opponent's crew? That way maybe your friends would learn how he plays and hoe counter him. 

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First of all thanks everyone for your contributions!

I'll try to explain better where I am coming from and also answer to the different proposals.

My group is pretty large, most of the players are casual oriented. I own every Outcast Master but Zipp (which will change) so I do have a variety of masters. Me and my opponents mostly enjoy games that are challenging for both sides with a close outcome. We do have those games when I play Hamelin, Viks, von Schill etc. However, I like Leveticus playstyle a lot. I thought about non-optimal encounters. While chosing schemes that do not fit or having a deployment like Corner which Levi doesn't like might even out the chances to win but I hardly doubt it would be fun. Spending the first 2 rounds walking from my corner to the middle might give me opponent time to et into better positions but is it fun? I doubt that. Non-optimal lists like the Abomination/DE Spam List posted above can be fun for one game maybe but it doesn't represent what I want to play. I want to use Rusty and A&D and use a scavenger and play very Levi style but only if my opponent still has an even chance to counter me. I am not seeking a justification to destroy my opponents, I just think it is more fun for me and my opponents if I can use the full toolbox of a nerfed Leveticus crew and my opponent feels like playing an even matchup. 

I do regard myself as a good (not international level good) player in our group but not THE best. I think I understand well how the game and crews work. And only when playing Levi I feel like I will always when if I don't do bigger mistakes. 

I did offer one of my opponents an army swap after destroying von Schtook 2 times in a row. I think Schtook can be an even matchup for Levi. He didn't like the idea and refused. However, this is a completely different approach. While I think von Schtook can beat Levi, a lot of other masters I believe cannot. I believe it supports the variety in our group if I nerf Levi and make him fairly playable in most matchups. 

 

Nevertheless I am surprised by all of your reactions and wonder if my group will feel the same. I did not offer this to them yet. I will ask and wait for their reactions before pursuing this further. If anyone still has ideas for good Levi Nerfs I am still happy to read them. 

 

Regarding the Desolation Engine Nerf: I do not think the DE is a bad model. I think it is very strong. But with having Rusty Alice and A&D in the same crew it just faces even better models. I tried playing 2 DE in Public Enemies the other day and it was devistating. They have a big killing potential, are not squishy and you don't have to worry about them dying because the opponent will not get any bounty tokens but will have to kill the summoned Abomination instead to get at least one. That feels simply wrong. If I field 2 10P Killing Machines, the opponent should be able to score from killing them. In other strategies my nerf will not have much implications. 

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What part of the Leveticus playstyle is it that appeals to you, and what part of that playstyle makes others dislike playing into him? I think the reactions are fuelled in large part by us being more a community of gamers rather than game designers, so rewriting the rules is somewhat outside our remit. Parsing your seemingly conflicting desires to both hire the most effective crew possible but then not actually play a crew of that effectiveness is causing some confusion and there might be easier answers. 

 

To be honest I almost wonder if the solution would be to run Hamelin as your Master and just hire Leveticus's Keyword models to build the crew. There are at least passing similarities there and it would certainly feel rather toned down.

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5 hours ago, Cuilion said:

Nevertheless I am surprised by all of your reactions and wonder if my group will feel the same. I did not offer this to them yet. I will ask and wait for their reactions before pursuing this further. If anyone still has ideas for good Levi Nerfs I am still happy to read them. 

Its almost certainly best to talk over this sort of thing with the people you play with. Unless they only ever expect to play in your group, they may prefer to play a game that is related to what they would face else where. I know I'm not your target audience, because I would happily play against overpowered things, but I would much rather play things according to the rules. It can be hard to try and get consensus of this in a local group unless its really small because they may not all know about the house rules you are using, and if they start planning how to face leviticus they may try and counter things you can't do, or learn the wrong rules which matter else where (If someone learns that you can use a soulstone to counter irreducible damage because they face you a lot, and then ends up losing a game to a kirai player because they expected to be able to soulstone to reduce the damage from Ikiryu, they may not be happy). Which is why I would typically add self imposed limits that are strictly following the rules, rather than just changing the rules to add limits. Things like "you can't hire more than 2 8+ ss models" or "your crew must contain 2 abominations" or even "you must end the game with 5 ss to win" are limits that will hinder you without formally changing the rules. 

Swapping crews is a good way for people to learn, but if they are casual players they may not really want to learn how to use Leviticus and they just want to play with their models. 

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Leveticus is actually quite easy to handle. Von Schtook should really had broken him, so I guess it was a matter of player skills.

If Alice is a problem, maybe you're playing with very little terrain, or not enough concealing. Same in general for Leveticus, if you have a decent amount of severe terrain, the crew really stuggles.

Any crew that has easy access to stunned, mele range 2 or conditions can be a problem for Leveticus. Add to that list: summoners, crews more mobile that can dictate when the fight is going to happen, anti-healing, anti-demise, crews that can easily kill the Hollow Waifs, shooty crews...

Honestly, Leveticus is far from being overpowered, but it actually requires to adapt your playstyle (or your opponent's in this case) in order to deal with him.

Also, "pseudonerfing" Leveticus seems ridiculous when you actually you don't want to change your playstyle (playing chill and just for fun and not going with the knife between your teeth) or even make a more friendly list.

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Again, thanks to all your contribution.

I discussed with my local players in our chatgroup and they totally agreed with you here. Seems like this was only in my head. It might have to do with the fact that I played a lot of Warhammer Fantasy tournaments back in the days when in our national meta hard resrictions were normal. Maybe that's why I leaned into that direction. 

There might be some local players who don't wanna oppose my Levi but still most of them do. I guess I got it all wrong. 

 

I think, depending on my opponent, I will try the soft nerfs that you proposed like altering my list, making sure the encounter is not Levis wishlist and making sure terrain is not comforting me.  

 

Thank you!

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2 hours ago, Cuilion said:

Again, thanks to all your contribution.

I discussed with my local players in our chatgroup and they totally agreed with you here. Seems like this was only in my head. It might have to do with the fact that I played a lot of Warhammer Fantasy tournaments back in the days when in our national meta hard resrictions were normal. Maybe that's why I leaned into that direction. 

There might be some local players who don't wanna oppose my Levi but still most of them do. I guess I got it all wrong. 

 

I think, depending on my opponent, I will try the soft nerfs that you proposed like altering my list, making sure the encounter is not Levis wishlist and making sure terrain is not comforting me.  

 

Thank you!

If you haven't already, check out the Gaining Grounds 1 guidelines on terrain. Nearly half the board should be terrain, and the whole game is balanced around that assumption!

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One other thing you can do to handicap yourself is take schemes you normally wouldn't. Try to do runic binding with Levi, see if you can. That doesn't require playing worse or taking a worse list (but it might change your list building to try to accomplish those schemes).

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