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Nicodem 2.0 Discussion


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Well, I played a LOT of Nicodem during the whole beta process and from what I'm hearing, there hasn't been any real changes to him nor his upgrades, so I think it's safe to start discussing the old bat.

First off, looking at his base card we can see that he has a LOT going for him from the get go. He has an amazing passive effect on corpse conductor that buffs all friendly undead at 6" and then the immunity to slow he gives undead through death’s whip, also at 6". All these effects are awesome, but they do come with a cost, which is, Nico has to be in the thick of it, though with some careful placement it should take a while for him to get engaged. Also, he isn't as frail as one may believe between Impossible to Wound his 14 wounds and his surprisingly useful 0 action, Chime of Sorrow.

He also has Embrace death among his passive powers, but I’ve never managed either to remember using it or felt that I wouldn’t be better off with the 0 action, it’s a bit of a “forget you even have it but when it’s relevant it may be a life saver” sort of ability, I’ve yet to actually use it though.

Action wise he has no claw weapon to speak of, so he can’t engage anything and be an annoyance, that doesn’t mean he has no options to bring some pain since he can always cast decay, be it as an offensive spell, a healing spell or try to get both effects going, though do remember it has a pretty high TN. He also has the very useful Rigor Mortis which I only use to make my stuff fast, but I’d imagine using it to debuff enemies would be a very compelling plan, especially if you get the trigger, on those times decaying doesn’t seem that useful or easy and when reanimator isn’t an option.

Speaking of Reanimator, it’s pretty much the whole reason for using Nicodem, it’s versatility will always have at least a decent chance of getting something on the table, even if it’s only a humble canine remain. Keep in mind that that you will need at least 6 stones, and probably even 7 to keep it going since a turn without stones and crows in hand really limits what Nico is actively able to achieve. Also, the raised model takes half its wounds rounded up when raised, something you’ll have to account for depending on what plans you have for that model, if you only want a distraction it shouldn’t be a problem, but if you expect it to do more than that, you either have to look at upgrades, or attack a model that hasn’t activated already or put it in a more conservative placement. Also, very big thing, summoned models cannot interact the turn they are summoned, remember this one since it’s very important.

Chime of sorrow which I mentioned earlier is a very helpful 0 action to heal up and get you some cards flowing, I highly recommend to always consider using it since an extra card or 2 can really save a turn, though this is of course based on you having enough corpses to do this or the ability to produce them.

As for Nicodem’s upgrades, there are 6 to account for:

  • Maniacal Laughter: This is a generic upgrade, but Nicodem gets a lot out of it. It lets him raise all corpses 8” from him as mindless Zombies for a 0 action, and seeing as you only other 0 action is Chime of Sorrow, you shouldn’t have problems with it. Thing is, mindless zombies are pretty crappy by themselves, so this upgrade is mostly warranted as a combo piece with other upgrades. The ones that play the best with it will be mentioned later.

  • Reaper grin: This is the defensive upgrade. It lets him sacrifice undead to reduce damage to 0 and lets him cast the fog to put some soft cover up. It would combo well Maniacal laughter. Haven’t really gotten much use out of it, I’ve almost never actually had Nico die on me and I’ve felt chime of sorrow is good enough to keep him alive most times. The fog is a good spell, but with too high of a TN and well, Sebastion isn’t a bad choice to add with Nico and has a much better version that outright gives a – to shooting instead of just giving soft cover.

  • Shadow Embrace: Good upgrade to go with if you have some poison spreading pieces and if you had Sebastian it can count as regen 2 on your stuff. Do keep in mind this only heals while 8” and line of sight from Nico, had Mortimer bleed himself to death because I didn’t keep him in range once. It’s still a good way to at least have Nico healing himself and be hardier. The Upgrade also gives the empty vessel trigger. In theory it sounds very useful, that +2 to Ca can be huge, but I haven’t gotten any use out of it since I either don’t have the tome, or I don’t manage to connect/kill with my decays. Still worth remembering that you have it.

  • Necrotic King: This one is a pretty big one, giving Nico the Undead Crowning action, but again, very hard to cast spell and it’s an upgrade that you really have to plan around before deciding on picking it up, especially since it forces Nico to go early to get good use out of it. The + to Ca is useful of course, but mostly incidental since outside the hanged, rotten belles and crooked men, we don’t really have that many spelly casty undead models, though they will all appreciate the extra oomph, the seller here is the + to damage. That + to damage makes the usual summoned punk zombie that flurries a LOT more dangerous and also keep in mind it’s not Ml only, so spread decay would get the + to damage making it a lot more reliable in getting some blasts going.

  • Undertaker: This is another upgrade that is mostly here to combo with Maniacal Laughter since it lets you get cards out of sacrificed mindless zombies and also lets you get something out of your friendlies that die near you. It also adds a trigger to Reanimator to allow the raised model to come up with more wounds in exchange for more corpses, which is another very nice thing to keep in mind if you already have a lot lying around and well, it’s an autotrigger, so very easy to do.

  • Love Thy Master: This upgrade is HUGE and lets Nicodem be able to alpha strike like a badass. I know that Mortimer can also use it, but I prefer to keep it on Nico since it helps me keep my ranges straight and Mortimer tends to already have Corpse Bloat and his Shovel. This upgrade gives companion to any model summoned till the end of the turn 6” from the user of the upgrade. This means Nico can summon any piece he deems worthy and have it activate just after him, and not only that, it’s the rest of the turn, so if you summon another model, that model will still have companion too until the end of the turn so you can get away with a couple of 2 for 1 activations in a row. Add something like Sebastian into the mix dropping dogs and you end up having a lot of activation chaining potential. The most obvious choice though is going with Nico, dropping a punk, making it fast and having it flurry into the poor target just after Nico finishes, this move will make more than one master scarred stiff.

As for Nico's crew, he can really work with anything as long as it’s undead, though he doesn’t shy away from the living support models like nurses, Sebastian or Mortimer. My suggestion, depending on scheme pool of course, is to go with more objective taking and utility pieces in the core crew and plan on raising the more dedicated combat pieces as the match goes on, though always have something hitty from the get go just in case.

Mortimer isn’t crucial to the list, but is usually a good choice to have around and is the best Corpse Bloat bearer we can get thanks to his regen 1, stack shadow embrace into that and he is dropping kidneys like no tomorrow. Corpse Bloat is a very key upgrade though since it lets you get corpses on demands, something you may not be able to count on in some games, be it because of corpse removal or your opponent not dropping them, so it’s always good to try and get a piece with it in.

Totem wise, the graveyard spirit is always a nice choice, even if it’s just to hang with Nico to keep him safe. Even though the spirit is very good, I prefer the Vulture, it lets you play more aggressively and make your presence felt earlier. This is thanks to corpse ferrying which can let you go for an early game alpha strike by letting you place a corpse just where you need it and if the vulture dies in the front lines, well, now you have 2 corpses to constantly reanimate to annoy the hell out of your opponent.

Please keep adding your experiences, ideas and crew choices with the Nicodem, along with any oddball uses of upgrades or abilities I might not have come up with.

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Also, you are supposing that you have 3 perfect lanes that are 4" or more apart for canine remains to move through and be able to put scheme markers turn 1 while also stating that you don't really mind having your master not moving an inch turn 1.

Seems like more of a people are getting used to it thing than "Nico's dog posse is unstoppable!"

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Then don't do it, doesn't matter to me. It works for the time being, probably not when people get used to it. You don't score Sand until turn 2, but you can use your first turn AP to set it up. Unless you're playing against Guild, there isn't a ton that gets rid of the Scheme markers.

I don't believe Nico's dog swarm is unstoppable, and to be honest, I don't like Canine Remains as much as Necropunks. I've mostly been winning with Nicodem by taking three Punks, two belles, and pulling whatever their biggest threat is across the table by at LEAST turn 2 (Sometimes Turn 1) and flurrying it to death.

But, it worked with the boards they had set up there. That's all I'm saying.

Edited by Mehter
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Line in the Sand isn't scored until the end of the encounter, on either scoring condition (at least 4 markers on line, at least 2 and announced).

That said, I too like necropunks more than dogs. For one more point you get a (theoretically) faster model with leap to ignore some terrain. Plus their combination of hard to kill and a self heal can be very annoying to the opponent who doesn't commit enough to bring one of them down.

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Am I wrong in using Rigor Mortis as an auto success now that you can have the target friendly model "auto fail" to resist and tie the duel. I can also use Decay in much the same way, to heal my models while still potentially doing some splash damage.

I feel like this was the intention, but I hate to abuse this kind of thing, it just feels like what you do. My wife wasn't too happy when I was splash damaging and healing the samurai punk zombies I had hitting up on her Death Marshals. I didn't always have splash damage moderate/severe, but I did a few times.

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It's going to be difficult, in general to get splash damage from targeting your own models. When you decide to automatically fail a friendly model's targeted duel, you tie, which means the damage flip is going to get a double negative twist, and if it's a h2w model that means you'll be flipping a total of four cards and having to take the worst one.

Now if you get lucky and just flip a series of cards to get the blast then yup you have it correct, you can heal your models and do dmg to your enemies.

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It's going to be difficult, in general to get splash damage from targeting your own models. When you decide to automatically fail a friendly model's targeted duel, you tie, which means the damage flip is going to get a double negative twist, and if it's a h2w model that means you'll be flipping a total of four cards and having to take the worst one.

Now if you get lucky and just flip a series of cards to get the blast then yup you have it correct, you can heal your models and do dmg to your enemies.

Or you can not choose to autofail and cheat appropriately (either raising Nicodem's or lowering the defender's). This is how I lost my Nothing Beast. I wouldn't say it is overpowered by any means. It took a lot of my opponent's resources and some luck to do it, and the Nothing Beast himself is pretty sick ("you hit him, congrats, you did half damage and now he's going to Obliterate you"). So, splash damage is certainly viable.

((Not sure if the issue was the splash damage trick or auto-failing for it.))

Edited by ABoyNamedSue
Grammar
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It's still generally hard to do for the Ressers as most of the Resser minion models that are also undead have the H2W trait, meaning that in order to be able to cheat dmg the difference has to be 11+ between the attack and defense flip. Certainly doable, but not even as easy as cheating the df down and the attack up might otherwise sound.

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Well, you can do a nice combo with it if you go and summon a Crooked man, since it's lacking the hard to wound and is only def 4, it's relatively easy to get the straight flip going and do some blast damage to enemies while healing it a bit and if you chain that with Love Thy master you have said crooked man piling on more immediate pain on whatever got blasted. It does require some work from your hand though because of the high TN of decay, but it's quite doable. Hanged can also apply to this plan of course and any other models that are undead that we may happen to get that aren't H2W.

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So while using Maniacal Laugh, how precisely do you use Mindless Zombies effectively? Sure Corpse Conductor and Necrotic King can give them bonuses, but they still are only going to be doing 1 damage most of the time. Is it because outside of token removal, you can just keep ressing them over and over when they do with Maniacal Laugh? Coupled with lots of Corpse token generation via Mortimer, Corpse Bloat, and Canine Remains I can see that being neat, but how EFFECTIVE is that?

The best use for them I can see is using them with Corpse Bloat as (un)living bombs that waddle forward and then have them explode.

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HMMMM! Interesting call on using the Vulture to drop the Zombies into engagement ranges.

So, then the best way to think about the MZ are as "friendly" corpse tokens you can get to attack stuff and move around, but not interact or place scheme tokens sadly.

I will ponder.

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I would just like to mention for those that don't already know it, Nicodem is a monster.

Just played a game against him using the Ortegas. I killed most of the Resser models each turn. Nico responded to this by putting them all back. In engagement range. Without slow. With plus flips. And healing them.

He is awesome.

**Edit: And he didn't just put back the same ones. He put back better ones. By the end of the game it was like he had played a 70+ SS game to my 50SS.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to ask (I know the cards are due out in less than a week), but are there any major differences between Beta Nico and final version Nico and his core crew (Mortimer, Punks, Mindless Zombies, Vultures, his specific upgrades etc?

Also, Mortimer feels really expensive with a base cost when you add in Corpse Bloat that is 11ss straight away.

Has anyone ever considered running Corpse Bloat on Nicodem himself?

I was trying to think of ways to heal him after using it and so far I thought that Mortimer could use Fling Rot which gives Poison 3 and then use Welcoming Pain from the Shadow's Embrace upgrade which allows Friendly Models within 8" to treat Poison as Healing (that works on Nicodem too right? I always get confused with aura rules lol).

Plus a benefit of Corpse Bloat on Nico is can can be useful if he gets stuck in CC, as you can throw out a Corpse Counter and do 5 damage.

The only thing that sucks with Nico is I dont think he can benefit from actions that target Undead like in last edition, so he can't use Decay to Heal himself, so like I said, when considering using Corpse Bloat, I'm trying to think of ways to heal him.

Edit

Also, is it just me or does Vulture feel a little rubbish? I kinda wish it was Undead so Nico could summon in a new one, because at the moment it feels like anything targeting it, kills it and I just can't help but think Gravespirit is better for this crew to either keep near Nico, Mortimer or even a group of Undead models.

Edited by D-A-C
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  • 4 weeks later...

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