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Struggling a bit with McCabe


chris_havoc

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Hey there, So I've been trying to get McCabe down since his final rules came out and I've not been very successful. I've tried a couple crew styles out but none have seemed to click yet. So I wondered if I could pick at your collective brains on how to approach different victory conditions and opponents. Much appreciated! Chris.

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This is the core I've been considering for scheme running with doggies:

Lucas McCabe -- X Pool

+Badge of Speed [2]

Luna [4]

Guild Hound [3]

Guild Hound [3]

Guild Hound [3]

Guild Hound [3]

Ten Thunder Brothers and Yamiziko would be the next considerations with some Smoke and Torakage on the cards. You could turn it into a Killjoy delivery system too.

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This is the core I've been considering for scheme running with doggies:

Lucas McCabe -- X Pool

+Badge of Speed [2]

Luna [4]

Guild Hound [3]

Guild Hound [3]

Guild Hound [3]

Guild Hound [3]

Ten Thunder Brothers and Yamiziko would be the next considerations with some Smoke and Torakage on the cards. You could turn it into a Killjoy delivery system too.

 

Hi!
In my opinion you deliver too many points in "scheme runner";  the guild hounds are very useful and fast, but Luna and two of them are enough to run scheme. If you spam hound, your crew maybe is little tactically flexible. I love wastrel because they can afford many situations, and for 4 SS they are great.
McCabe plays a lot on his "upgrade sinergy", but he also cost a lot of SS between pool and upgrades, so, models which accompany him, must have a little SS cost. Luna, 2 hound and 2 wastrel is ok; in 18SS you have 5 models. The rest of the crew can be composed by heavy hitter or "denial" models.  
 
McCabe is not an "easy master", like many others in wave 2, but with the right gameplay he can achieve great results!
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Lucas' damage isn't great, but tossing upgrades around can really boost another model's effectiveness. They're not limited to minions only: A Peacekeeper with the Badge of Speed can potentially move up to an enemy and use Flurry instead of charging.

 

I had a game where I tossed the Glowing Sabre to my Peacekeeper who was about to engage a big enemy construct just to bypass armor and hard to wound. The next turn the Peacekeeper used the sabre. Lucas took it back during his activation, used it, and then threw it to a wastrel with his 0 action. Wastrel activated next and charged with it. 3 different models used the same upgrade in one turn.

 

Wastrels themselves aren't very durable(at all), but can use their 2 action to heal someone and still make an attack. If you've got something which poses a major threat (like a Peacekeeper with upgrades) your opponent has to either deal with it while wastrels heal it, or kill wastrels while the Peacekeeper does its thing.

 

Badge of Speed on Sidir is great, too--It lets him get into range and still have 2 AP to shoot.

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I've been running him a lot recently.  He's a support master.  Remember that.  He's fast, but he can get beat down pretty quickly if you're not careful.

 

I run Luna, the Pathfinder (with a varying amount of traps), 2 or 3 wastrels, Ama No Zako, and an Austringer.  I take him 10T.  Sidir can replace Ama, but I just love her eating things, especially after McCabe has paralyzed them.  Regardless, you'll want to have one or two bigger, badder models and then the wastrels as support.

I've also seen Izamu being the big damage output for McCabe's crew.  Really, with McCabe, you should be focusing on non-combat oriented schemes (and strategies if you can help it). 

 

Again, as has been said, his main benefit is tossing his upgrades around, whether it's giving your big hitter regeneration, or making your mob of wastrels get armor. Badge of Speed is phenomenal, not only can you give someone reactivate, but then you can toss it off to give someone nimble (possibly the person you gave reactivate).  Works well with whoever your big guy is. 

 

Hope that helps.

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I will admit I have had great success with him, but first thing first, some more information will help.  I will agree he is not the easiest master but I believe he can be fairly simple one once you get use to some core tactics in his arsenal.  After that it is mostly understanding range to make things work.  You then just have to be mindful of how to shift with the game if your opponent tries to throw curveballs.

 

Some questions/Information to help a bit;

-What point level are you playing at?  This gives an idea of what to suggest as McCabe's game shifts like many masters at different levels as he likes his crew for alot of the lifting.

-I am guessing as you brought it up in this subforum you are playing him under 10T rather than Guild, but confirmation is nice.  It goes a long way suggesting what Guild models to take as you can only have 4 non-10T Guardsmen or Black Sheep.  Suggesting stuff like Peacekeeper if your focus is 10T is not going to help you.

-Give us an idea what has caused problems or thrown a wrench into your games.  We can suggest tricks and tips but it might not hit the areas you want.  More so as we are plucking kind of random many are generalized rather than detailed.

-What has been your model spread?  If you just have McCabe's box and little else clearly some suggestions will do less for you then others.

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Oogie boogie: I think you're right about over committing a portion of the crew to one function. The wastrel really is such a good buy for the extra point and greater syngery with the McCabe..

 

Honestly, the biggest deal in my mind with including a Wastrel is the free hand filtering.  Even if you don't need the suit, ditching a low card for the chance to draw a high one (or even remove the low when from the next flip) is a fantastic trick exclusive to McCabe.

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^ very true.

 

Wastrels are a pretty good minion.  Especially since McCabe can give them extra protection from his upgrades.

 

I'm not a big fan of Guild Hounds though, mostly since Wastrels serve well enough for running scheme markers for me.  Additionally with McCabe and Luna's huge movements, getting across the board is relatively simple.  McCabe's crew is very good at moving, so I don't always think you need the extra runners.

 

That being said, I've seen hounds in his crew do great things for him, so it's personal preference really.

 

Another model that does wonders with him is the Austringer, which, due to his infiltration, can be taken while he's 10T or guild.  Austringers are super versatile as well, good at both dishing out damage, but also keep you in control of the board.  nifty little model that is one of the most annoying models I've ever come across...

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Personally I love Guild hounds with McCabe.  If I am playing Guild, I generally have at least 3 and if I am playing 10T generally 2.  When going 10T I generally take him with 2 Wardens or a Warden and an Austringer *generally the two wardens*.  Guild hounds have been the game winners plenty of times because of the movement tricks and objective running I can have them do with McCabe.

 

Both the Sniper and 10T archer are interesting options for him as well.  With the Archer, Black Flash, and two cards you could generate 6 attacks thanks to Rapid fire on a tough target that can be shot into combat.  If you have the new upgrade for the Archers that is currently in the Beta you can even get a 7th attack at the end of turn.  In turn the Sniper, if McCabe moves enough first turn, can get reactivate from Black Flash and fire 4 shots and start putting the pressure on from the get go.

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<moan>Urgh. Third time trying this post a third time. First my router reset itself second I had a power failure and my browser didn't save what I'd typed...</moan>

ANYWAY!

I am playing him as 10T and have had a bit more success with some newer lists I drew up but not exactly winning success... I am still struggling with when to throw McCabe himself into the fray.

I have about 3 variations of the list now with Ama No Zako as a replacement for some of the minions I was playing before and one list with Dashel.

 

Theses stay the same: McCabe with Elixir, Badge, and Sabre. Luna. Sidir (usually with Promises and By Your Side). Ama No Zako (usually with Recalled Training to take advantage of Promises).

Then I add either: 4 Hounds and the Shadowy Effigy who work well together, 3 10T Brothers who benefit a lot from Luna's Bark (may work better with Ottoto rather than Sidir), 4 Wastrels who are just generally pretty good, OR 2 Pathfinders and 2 Traps (this is the only one I have actually tried).

The other list idea consists of McCabe, Luna, and Sidir as above but with Dashel and 3 Riflemen.

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I play 10T Mei though have not used McCabe yet.  The main thing that stands out as missing are shooting models that ignore engagements such as the 10T archers, Hans and McTavish with his mobile soft cover.  Ama No Zako's severe terrain bubble help's delay models and archers can fire into the melee.  The Dawn Serpent is a powerful minion for McCabe to work with, i think DS is released this month.  Maybe a couple less schemers and 1 more beatstick.  

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First thought based on your list is it seems like McCabe does not Want to be thrown in.  With two Henchmen and McCabe you start having alot of people that might want Stones. Both Ama No Zako and McCabe become stone hungry for suits if you are not lucky with your hands in the first list and the one with Dashel and the Riflemen are very shooting forcused for the second.    You also run into the fact that you are at 31ss with nothing additional to your ss pool at that point in the Sidir/Ama no Zako list. 

 

I think you will get better results if you also mix up some of the minion selection rather than going entirely focused on one set up.  Like taking only one Rifleman as Dashel or a nearby Hound can get it that extra ram.  Or taking two hounds, a rifleman, and then a 10T brother or Wastrel.  That would give you speed and cheap activation, a serious shooter, and either a speedbump or a grunt.  It also gets you up to 8 acitvations not counting a reactivate he can give out with Black Flash.

 

I generally don't have McCabe engage in close combat early on, instead focusing on giving out Reactivation with Black Flash, throwing his upgrades around, and then moving to where he needs to be for next turn *so he can retrieve any upgrades he might need and to be ready*.  During this time depending what is going on if I have any extra AP on hand I either go Defensive or if something is in range fire his Netgun to try and slow something.  One you could say the battle starts up I generally try to keep up Black Flash if possible and redistribute upgrades if I have to, while still giving support.  I might engage at this time, but more often this is charging some minion to use my two strikes to finish it off of if I currently have the saber maybe get a soulstone.  I generally try to have him avoid beat sticks or places he can get trapped in.

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Yeah I have also been considering taking Sidir out of the more melee focussed lists.  I could get 4 dogs for his cost basically. Or 10T Brothers. I agree that mixing it up would likely yield better results. I am just not familiar enough with the models to know what works with them. McCabe is a bit unlike the other 10T masters who are a bit more out of the box in terms of synergy. All my other crews I do better with and I think it is because the masters act in a more obvious way. I think it may be that I am over-investing in Henchmen as you've pointed out. I think limiting myself to one Henchman and filling the stones in with some more minions to give my lists versatility.

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I've been trying out the Kamatachi, rather than Luna in several games recently.

 

It rocks.

 

Having it positioned so that you can benefit from the extra card draw AND healing/pushing a model AND being able to push your master (or a minion) about - all for nothing more than one (0) action, it really ridiculous.  I've yet to actually use any of it's AP for anything other than moving, and yet its been a star player in every game.  I'm looking forward to turning it into a burninator though at some point.

 

I've also been trying out Mr.Graves and Mr.Tannen as a combo.  So far I've been relatively impressed with them, but more games needed before I'm fully sold.

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Honestly, the biggest deal in my mind with including a Wastrel is the free hand filtering.  Even if you don't need the suit, ditching a low card for the chance to draw a high one (or even remove the low when from the next flip) is a fantastic trick exclusive to McCabe.

It's not exclusive to McCabe, Molly can trigger Lost Toys to filter her hand. 

 

In regards to McCabe I've had great success using the following with him:

 

Guild - 2-3 Hounds + Luna, Executioner, Austringer, Riflemen, Death Marshalls & Witchling Stalkers.

 

The Hound are obvious but you can pass out some upgrades to the Executioner and Stalkers to give them some real nice damage output. W.Stalkers for example with the Sabre become very nice little minions indeed. They are also very useful in any Guild crew for a cheap source of condition removal. Death Marshalls also work very nicely due to a pretty decent defense and attack and the good old Pinebox works wonders on the enemy or even your own models. Austringers and Riflemen re-activating can be a royal pain in the enemies ass, definitely worth a shot!

 

10T - Archers, Katanaka Snipers, Oiran & Toshiro w. Punk Zombies. 

 

Archers and Snipers are fairly self explanatory, Oiran however can be really useful. They offer a +1 WP buff and can lure enemy out of position, they are also fairly competant in combat and can be use quite defensively in a pinch. Toshiro & Punk Zombies however are BOSS!! with this crew. Toshiro + 2 PZ's are a kill team that can trundle up the field whilst being buffed by McCabe's upgrades, additional buffs from Toshiro then unleash hell when they can get close enough. Toshiro can also summon Ashigaru to help defend key models or objectives and Komainu can be a real annoyance to the enemy due to their granting tomes to friendly models which can help McCabe pass 2 upgrades per turn, they can dish out slow and burning and make free melee attacks against casters. Toshiro is WELL worth a try. Is it fluffy or thematic? Hell no! Does it surprise your opponent and work wonders? Hell yeah!

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you see, I'd have the kamataci in that list too - being able to push a punk zombie its walk, on top of a push for being passed an upgrade (which also drew you a card), would really help deliver the pain quickly - especially if that upgrade was a badge of speed and the punk zombie had been the target of black flash.

 

reactivating nimblepunk who's already been pushed far upfield? yes please.

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It's not exclusive to McCabe, Molly can trigger Lost Toys to filter her hand. 

 

I didn't mean to imply that McCabe is the only model with access to hand filtering, just that he's the only one that turns the Wastrel's suit ability into something that can be used to filter your hand, whether or not you look to get any benefit from the discarded suit.

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When  a Wastrel performs Cast-offs​ and triggers: Soulstone Bullet (After resolving, this model may take a Pocket Handgun Attack Action which deals 2/3b/5b damage instead), can the Wastrel take the  Pocket Handgun action even when engaged in melee? 

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