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Dreamer shuffling mini-tactica (with my respects to Karn:) )


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Shuffling the shufflers,

a brief Tactica on Shuffling to humbly add on to the amazing work of Karn :)

If like me you have ended up with a LCB out, alone, naked and exposed in the middle of a turn and realised you can’t turn him back to the Dreamer or similar “damn, what have I done now!” kind of situation, this little write up is for you (and me!) to try and remember the options we have when shuffling the Dreamer & Co, as we know how playing with this kid can really be mind twisting for the player him/herself!

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, so feel free to add to it, I hope it’ll help some of you. I also hope I’m not stepping on your toes Karn, and you’ll appreciate the write-up ;)

Note on Shuffling:

The Dreamer Shuffle (Karn copyright) is the main annoyance this master has in his possession. It involves relocating models forward, backward (sideways?), bringing them possibly right into melee and in position to do damage, and particularly allowing the position of the Dreamer/LCB to be optimised.

For the purpose of this Tactica I’ve preferred to initiate shuffles from the Daydreams rather than the Dreamer himself, the reason being that in this manner the masters keep their full AP potential, able to use them into more deadly manners than walks…

Shuffling requires a few things:

. Cards: a shuffle requires 2-4 cards (6,3,6,7) to be surely performed, so always bare in mind that this strategy is card consuming (before you even intent a strike at the opponent) AND that to complete it you might have to keep those cards in hand instead of playing them (if you don’t, your shuffle might be stopped half way through, which can be ok, but at times might mean your Dreamer is for instance stuck up the field on his own -> not good!. Think of the risk of flipping a black joker too…)

. Daydreams (DD): I use 3, particularly as I like to bury one for my shuffling styles, but 2 can be fine. The more, the merrier! Sometimes for a quick hit-and-run shuffle involving only the Dreamer/LCB you might want to keep the DD within 6” of Dreamer to companion activate them, but that’s not always needed (although they’ll most likely be near to protect the boy anyways)

. The finish: if you finish your turn with an exposed Dreamer up the field, it’s really grim for you, so if you intend to send him solo there, so as a rule of thumb always keep a DD to do the last activation, to relocate if need be.

So let’s go and have a look at our options:

There are 2 main shuffle styles:

. Sneaky shuffle:

That’s a quick move forward with no opponent interference, to strike hard with Dreamer/LCB only and pull him back to safety. Note that this has the potential to send LCB with his full AP activation within 18” of the original DD location, so pretty great threat range!:

  • Dreamer companion activates with 2 nearby DDs
  • DD#1 goes forward unburies LCB and turns him back to dreamer
  • Dreamer unburies a DD#3 and LCB (if you don’t have a mask in hand use (0) to unbury LCB, but this means your opponent has to be within 12-15” for optimum strike delight, otherwise you’ll have to charge with LCB, ok but not great)
  • LCB companions DD#3 and activates
  • DD#3 turns back LCB to Dreamer, and buries himself or floats away to relocate
  • DD#2 unburies LCB and turns him back to Dreamer, the shuffle is complete and Dreamer away from front line

Note: the point of this is that you get to do your strikes and disappear before the opponent can do anything. Bare in mind that if the rest of your nightmares are buried, this will mean the end of your activation, so might be more worth it to use when your crew is on the board. A little twist to that could be to keep just one melee nightmare (ie Teddy or Coppe) buried and keep DD#3 close to the enemy as sacrificial threat; if your opponent decides to terminate DD#3 you can then release that one nightmare who will then activate after your opponent finishes his current activation, and splat.

. Drop my load shuffle:

It’s similar as above, but you don’t do any companioning, plus you must do an All My Friend trigger with the Dreamer to unbury most/all of your crew on your opponent (which has to include a buried DD). Note that in this shuffle, LCB is on the board until the end of the turn almost, so beware of counter-attacks.

In this shuffle you will activate all your unburied nightmares before you activate DD#3 then finally DD#2. When DD#3 activates, he turns back LCB to Dreamer, then buries all nightmares including himself if wanted. Hopefully at this point you would have out-activated your opponent so he won’t be able to target the Dreamer (so don’t do it if he can still attack you!). You’ll close the shuffle as above with DD#2 doing the last activation to bring back Dreamer close-by. The main issue with this is that it takes 4 cards to succeed, but you sent your whole crew forward, killed something (or paralyzed a few stuff) and pulled the whole crew back.

You’ll find that if you keep all your nightmares buried all the time, you’ll be limited in terms of activation choices. Coppelius particularly likes to activate after enemy models to transfer Paralyzed to the next activation. So a good idea could be to keep a couple of cheap nightmares unburied (those which walk fast such as Madness or Alp) to give you a better activation timing. Another way is to keep it all unburied but maybe one melee guy (Teddy, Coppe, Lelu). That way you can activate a lot of stuff, and finish your turn with a Sneaky shuffle from LCB and the Coppelius.

An alternative to shuffling is moving in, or ‘creepy lodger style’, where you simply don’t pull back into safety at the end, and stay with your crew all on the board right by the opponent. This can save up cards and brings the crew right in the middle of things, but remember nightmares are fragile when exposed and if they start a turn within charge/casting range of opponent it usually hurts. I try not to do this until one or two opponent models have been neutralised; it also depends which opponent you face: if Lilith has the initiative on you, you’re as good as smoky dreams!

I hope this is readable and can help those starting with the Dreamer out there, good luck and keep the shuffle on!


. The Shufflette (because of the short range :) ):

Another way to shuffle in close range (12-14") with 2 variations:

  • Dreamer companion activates with 2 nearby DDs
  • DD#1 goes forward unburies LCB
  • LCB strikes with full activation
  • DD#2 pulls LCB or walks towards him, turns him back to Dreamer, and unburies LCB further away from enemy

Version 2 is:

  • Dreamer companion activates with 2 nearby DDs
  • Dreamer goes forward unburies LCB (either 1 walk and cast or 2 walks and (0)
  • LCB strikes with only 1 general AP
  • DD#1 walks forward, pulls LCB and turns him to Dreamer
  • DD#2 unburies LCB away from enemy and turns him back to Dreamer

Both versions are advantages and inconvenients:

V.1 requires 2 cards (6,6) only instead of 3 as in Sneaky shuffle, however you don't go far and therefore leave 2 DDs within 6" of the opponent. Also this move leaves LCB out at the end which is not ideal to finish the turn (unless you have another DD to turn him back before end of turn).

V.2 can be done with only 2 cards (3,6) or even only 1 (6+) if you use your (0) to turn into LCB, however this would prevent Dreamer from doing an offensive (0) such as Inflict Dreams since he has to do a (0) I Can Fly first. The downfall is its short range again (one DD left within 6" of opponent), and also LCB will have 1 less attack, which limits a little his potential: it's often the attack which would have killed the target model. Also in V.2 LCB couldn't do a destroy evidence for example or other interaction requiring a (2). However an davantage of both versions is that you don't need a third DD buried.

Edited by poulpox
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No, the first time LCB is unburied, he is re-buried before having activated. 'Immediately activates' happens only after the first DD has finished his own activation, since LCB is buried by the time the first DD finishes the activation, LCB still hasn't activated.


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No, the first time LCB is unburied, he is re-buried before having activated. 'Immediately activates' happens only after the first DD has finished his own activation, since LCB is buried by the time the first DD finishes the activation, LCB still hasn't activated.


Interesting, looks like I missed that change. It alters the Dreamers interaction with Daydreams significantly.

Although legal, this combo is a bit too close to seeming like rules abuse to me (not criticising you). I'll just do it the old fashioned way by companioning two Daydreams at the start of the Dreamer's activation and using the second one to put chompy in a different spot at the end. It works well enough for me.

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I was under the impression that when you placed the Dreamer or LCB you removed one model and placed the other in essentially the same spot. But it sounds as if you are saying theDDaction (0) Calm Nightmares action allows you to bury LCB 6" behind you and place The Dreamer 6" in front of you. Is that right?

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Nevermind. I just checked Karn's Wiki (which is fantastic by the way) and it's clear now. The lynch-pin is really using (1) Frightening Dream and the All My Friends trigger to position LCB since he is a Nightmare and is allowed to be placed within 6" of the DD.


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Yup I spent a good deal of time trying to detail these shuffles correctly on there. Broke them down as best I could and explained the furthest you can get with them.

But don't forget Ironburn, it's not just my Wiki, Rathnard and Lalochezia put as much work as I did at the very least along with the multitude of other contributors :). I don't deserve all the credit.

Edited by karn987
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Glad if I helped :)

Funnily enough, although I have the theory clear in my head, I often mess it up in practice (like forgetting to companion... did that twice yesterday night, rrrhhhhaaaaa!!!! :$ ); it takes time to get the hang of it, but when it's applied well, it's as sweet as nectar :)

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While we're at it and for completeness, here's V.3 of the Shufflette (sounds like a Motown group!):

1. Dreamer activates, companions 1+ DD

2. (0) I can fly

3. (1) Move 7"

4. (1) Frigtening Dream (unbury LCB plus others if triggered)

5. (0) Optional: Inflict Dreams

6. (+1) LCB Melee expert

7. (1) LCB Melee strike, cheating in a high tome to trigger "All done"

8. DD activates, moves 6", magical extension: frightening dream, turn LCB back into Dreamer.

Max. strike range: 16"

Drawbacks: More card intensive, needing a 3, a 6 and a decent tome to make that last strike worth it. Risks the black joker screwing you over if it comes on the DD's Frightening Dream flip, companioning 2 DD mitigates this.

Advantages: Only needs 1 DD. The Daydream(s) can take a move action in any direction rather than having to move within 6" of LCB, allowing you a wider range of respawn spots. You can have the Dreamer finish up to 34" away from where LCB strikes.

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I find that the issue with the All Done trigger is that since LCB is usually sent to inflict as much Dg as possible, All Done doesn't do him any justice, and he works better with the damage triggers (particularly Onslaught); with only two strikes to make and the 2nd one not boostable, his hopes of doing many Wds are low in this way. However it's true it's good to be able to use only 1 DD!


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If you have the cards there's nothing stopping you going for onslaught off the first attack, especially after you've hit the target with Inflict Dreams for a - flip on Df. Dropping off a primed Madness next to them pretty much guarantees that'll happen. With the claws being paired you can then benefit from any medium masks which appear on the starting flip for Onslaught too.

The beauty of All Done is that you don't need to have done any damage for the trigger to work, so if you find that your total is beaten on a soulstone flip or some such you can accept it and still be safe, but with Inflict Dreams in play you're likely to get it off most of the time with damage as well.

In the mean time your other Daydream (s) can be dropping off one or two Nightmares all around the board where needed as they're not tied to the site of Chompy's strike.

I agree that you don't have the AP for uber damage, but as a surgical strike to finish something off or take down a low DF model when you have the masks in hand its a low resource option.

Edited by anathema
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