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This is a neater way of storing my playtests for my customs that I want other people to be able to see. I mostly intend on posting about units that I'd like to submit to the SoV.
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Masha Shingai vs Knights

Posted January 9th, 2019 at 09:35 PM by Astroking112
Updated November 29th, 2019 at 11:39 PM by Astroking112
Fossil by R˙chean
Glyphs: Lodin (D20 +1), Dagmar (Initiative +8 )
Astro: Masha Shingai, Tomoe Gozen, Raelin, Tagawa Samurai, Kozuke Samurai (500)
Leo: Knights of Weston x3, Sir Gilbert, Nilfheim (500)

Current Version of Unit:
Spoiler Alert!

Game Summary
Leo won initiative and reinforced well, getting 4 and then 3 on his Jandar's Dispatch rolls. This allowed for Masha to get engaged very early on, although he was luckily able to activate Awakened Terror in time. Most of the battle took place around this point, as I lacked the figures or mobility to flank Leo but was able to force him to use the roads on either side of my Samurai pod.

While this occurred, Leo also managed to claim Dagmar, but I won initiative the next round anyway and was able to do some damage... but only through Counterstrike thanks to Masha + Raelin. Masha fell despite all of the help, since he just couldn't withstand multiple attacks per turn (even if they were as low as 2 dice, which the knights were often able to avoid anyway thanks to height or Gilbert's attack boost).

By the time that Masha fell at the end of the second round, though, I was able to fully level my Tagawa Samurai, who managed to finish off Gilbert and begin tearing apart the knights, who were too preoccupied trying to kill Kozuke instead of Raelin. With the knights falling apart, Leo sent in Nilfheim, but overextended in trying to reach Raelin, letting me reach him with Tomoe and two Tagawas. Needless to say, the dragon fell very quickly as a result (unable to do as much damage as he needed to), and at that point, it was just clean-up.

Spoiler Alert!

Which Units Survived?
Raelin (2 wounds), 2 Tagawa Samurai, Tomoe Gozen (no wounds)
~240 Points

Usefulness of Powers
Masha was a nice addition to the army, but even when supercharged by Raelin, he did not overwhelm nearly as much as I was expecting. His Awakened Terror was very useful, mostly serving to distract the knights (which Leo was playing solely as a melee army for the beginning of the game) from surrounding Samurai and focus their efforts on him. This gave me the time to position Raelin and Tomoe Gozen enough to seize the victory over the knights after he fell (before he fell at the end of Round 2, only one knight had been killed, and it was by Counterstrike).

I was actually surprised at how even the game was before Nilfheim overextended and got killed off. The knights, who (debatably) are known for being slow, were still able to swarm me before I finished setting up my Samurai pod, thanks to Gilbert and the roads. This heavily implies to me that it'll be fine if Masha's Awakened Terror only affects Common Squads, because the Unique Samurai Squads already aren't the greatest army and can really use the help.

It also feels fine to not penalize your own figures by necessity when playing Masha with the Samurai. I thought that it would remove tension from the design, but the need to sacrifice turns on him at the start of every round to activate Awakened Terror hurts more than it might seem at a first glance.

Throughout my testing, I've found this army build to be the strongest and most "competitive" use of Masha, and it is tailor-made to counter the knights and other heavily melee armies. Against faster armies, they really struggle with setting up in time (even moreso than the Elven Wizards), and against slower armies, a single important whiff or initiative switch can swiftly lead to their defeat. It's been proving to not be overpowered, but it is a new playstyle that I think stands distinct from many of the other armies that we've already seen.

Leo's Comments
Against common melee, he's not ideal. He does help, but he's much better against common ranged squads with low range, since he can still take advantage of Fiery Retribution.

Awakened Terror actually seemed reasonable against the knights. It was able to be played around with initiative switches, so it wasn't oppressive. It also required a turn to be spent setting up every round, and Masha's attack is usually underwhelming when compared to any of the other Samurai other than the Izumi. The power was certainly less broken than Raelin.

Surprisingly, the Samurai with Raelin seemed fairly balanced against the knights. Tomoe Gozen was the most difficult problem to get around.
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