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Marcu Esenwein costs too much!

Posted November 6th, 2008 at 11:50 AM by Jexik
Updated November 6th, 2008 at 02:01 PM by Jexik (Cited some 'books.')
"Taelord costs too much."

We've all read it before. We've all said it before. It's a truism that is pretty much as old as Heroscape websites.

Anyone who read my article in codex 10 will probably start to see the issue here. The game isn't just about points, but about what you are doing with your turns. That's the basis of all of my order marker essays, and the first step on the real route to solid play.

I threw around the term turn productivity in my first order marker article, without ever taking the time to define it. Productivity in economic terms is the amount of output you get from a unit of input. Turn productivity (or perhaps more accurately order marker productivity) in Heroscape terms is simply what you get out of a given turn. How many figures are activated and how many dice can they potentially roll on their attacks in the space of one order marker? That's turn productivity.

So why does Marcu Esenwein, the 20-point figure with solid stats and self-healing cost too much? In most armies, the opportunity cost of putting an order marker on him is enormous. Because of Eternal Hatred, he has an 80% chance of taking a turn which will give him at most 1 attack. With a glyph or height, he can get 5 or 6 attack dice, but even then that will only be a useful turn if he is close enough to an expensive hero. He has 20% chance of turning against you, which is clearly not a very productive turn. (Granted, Ornak makes Marcu a better play, by using only half a turn and negating the effect of Eternal Hatred).

On the other hand, if the point total is high enough to allow you to play Taelord, one move with him can potentially increase the productivity of your future turns by a lot, which is something that very few figures can do.
Total Comments 6


S1R_ART0R1US's Avatar
That's why most people use Isamu and Otonashi as cleanup: they have better units to put markers on.
Posted November 6th, 2008 at 06:37 PM by S1R_ART0R1US S1R_ART0R1US is offline
Pickledpie's Avatar
Never thought of Ornak+Marcu
Posted November 6th, 2008 at 06:54 PM by Pickledpie Pickledpie is offline
Bones's Avatar
I've lost Marcu 80% of the time I've used him... so my 20% goes to show you that that 20% is 80% of the problem. Good read, thanks for the tip. I look forward to using Ornak and Marcu next time I play!
Posted November 6th, 2008 at 09:11 PM by Bones Bones is offline
rdhight's Avatar
Jexik, I agree that an order marker on Marcu is often a bad buy, but some armies really benefit disproportionately from a cheap, expendable flier. If Marcu (or Theracus, Sonya, Iskra, etc.) can collide with a full contingent of Krav or Nakita agents and kill the first one, that's an order marker well spent after all. Even if he fails to get the kill, engaging an Agent Skahen or Kaemon Awa can change the course of a game. An order marker on a single-attack hero can be inefficient even if he's always loyal, but a marker on a single-attack hero that easily jumps into engagement with enemy figures can still be more efficient than a marker on a common squad that's going to plod forward 4-5 hexes and shoot into Stealth Dodge.
Posted November 6th, 2008 at 10:48 PM by rdhight rdhight is offline
Jexik's Avatar
There are certainly some times where Marcu is good. The whole betrayal factor just makes the potential unproductive nature of the figure a bit more clear. When spider_poison played 3x Glads, 2x Blastatrons, Raelin, Isamu and Marcu in a 470 point tournament last spring, he went 5-0 with huge differentials. He never once activated the two filler heroes all day, even though with the Gladiatrons he could prevent a damaging betrayal. Being able to move 8 figures was always so much more important to his cause.

I probably would have used Deadeye Dan as an example, especially since he usually can't even move and uses his powers on the same turn. Me bagging on him is probably getting as old as my singing the praises of Nilfheim.

Still, I think that Marcu Esenwein is a stroke of design genius. You have a figure that's packed with neat abilities and useful stats, but balanced by the order marker system.
Posted November 7th, 2008 at 12:56 AM by Jexik Jexik is offline
He's a cleanup unit. By the time you place that OM on him, his really high move and solid attack are more important than the number of attacks. You would never use him early on, unless you were using Ornak or you had a really specific purpose in mind for him.
Posted January 17th, 2009 at 01:46 PM by chispito chispito is offline
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