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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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Yokai vs. 4th Mass

Posted January 24th, 2021 at 05:59 PM by Astroking112
Captain Stupendous and I ran a game with the Yokai's biggest new addition, the Kirin, against an army of 4th Mass yesterday. I was mostly wanting to see how a figure that in theory counters bread and butter squads fares against some of the most bread-and-buttery units out there. Here are the results:

ASCENSION by Flash_19
Glyphs: Holdir and Valda
Heavy Snow and Normal Ice.
Astro: Abe no Seimei, Kincho, Masha Shingai, Kirin (480)
Captain Stupendous: 4th Massachusetts Line x4, Alastair MacDirk, Morgan's Riflemen, Eldgrim (480)

VERSION OF THE KIRIN USED:
Spoiler Alert!

GAME SUMMARY:
The game started with me using Masha Shingai as a surrogate Nure Onna (her 7 move is a very valuable addition to the faction, since you can pretty safely use it in R1 from multiple starting zone positions with Shapeshift). This left the Kirin in a slightly compromised position (it took 1 wound from a 4th Mass volley on height, and Masha had already taken 2), so it then swapped back with Masha into range of 3 different 4th Mass figures. Judgment rolled 2/4 skulls, but only 1 soldier was killed since the other two had height. Kincho then teleported into the fray, stopping right on the other side of one of the surviving 4th Mass figures.

I won initiative the next round, swapping Masha in on OM1 with Kincho to kill the adjacent 4th Mass and get within 2 spaces of the Kirin. Capt. S used Wait Then Fire, but only 1 wound to the Kirin was dealt (no Fiery Retribution, either). With my next turn, I swapped the Kirin with Masha (who was now unengaged) and moved 5 spaces into Capt. S' starting zone, targeting 5 different 4th Mass figures (Alastair was also within range, but had no revealed OMs on him). With another 2 skulls, the Kirin killed all but one of the affected 4th Mass figures, creating a sizable dent in the starting zone. The OM moved to Masha's card, putting a sizable attack penalty aura on the nearby height.

Capt. S then retaliated, spreading out his 4th Mass onto the nearby height behind some ruins or just out of reach from Masha and taking many potshots down on the Kirin, leaving it with 3 wounds overall. Masha was also at 3 wounds, so my offenses were starting to look bad. I threw Kincho to the wolves 4th Mass starting zone with the Kirin's Shapeshift, getting it back within reach of Masha's protective aura but sacrificing my attack (and hopefully setting up another nuke for the next turn). Unfortunately, Kincho's Athletic Defenses did not hold out against the angry 4th Mass, and he died to their last attack.

The next round, Capt. S won initiative and led with Alastair MacDirk (which was devastating to my plans), overextending to reach and finish off Masha with a 5 skull attack. I lost OM1 as a result (the Kirin wasn't worth the risk of OM1 still, and it was a gamble either way for who would win initiative). Alastair then moved again, smacking the Kirin with 4 skulls but only dealing 2 wounds (bringing it up to 5/6 wounds). Left with few options (I could only switch with Seimei at this point), I used the Kirin's normal attack against Alastair for 1/4 skulls. It was blocked. The 4th Mass finished off the Kirin the next turn.

From there on, it was just Seimei against well-developed 4th Mass. They grabbed the Valda glyph, and though he tried speedwalking away to deny them Wait Then Fire, they killed him off before he could deal any damage.

SURVIVING FIGURES:
3x Morgan's Riflemen, Eldgrim (unwounded), Alastair MacDirk (1 wound), 10x 4th Mass
~360 Points Left

POWER USAGE:
The Kirin used Shapeshift liberally, saving itself for several turns and pulling off a nasty starting zone nuke to great effect. Ultimately, it still wasn't durable enough to last as long as it needed to.

It used Judgment SA twice, each time rolling 2 skulls. The first time killed one 4th Mass, and the second killed four of them.

It also used a same-level normal attack once (1/4), but this was blocked by Alastair.

It absorbed a fair few attacks with its 6L/4D, but once it fell, my army pretty much collapsed. I wasn't able to leverage its defense bonus very often (only once for Masha, which helped to block one attack) since I was often wanting Masha's terror active against the 4th Mass.

Total Damage Dealt: ~90 Points (5x 4th Mass)
Masha got the only other kill for the Yokai in the game

THOUGHTS:
The Kirin remains highly exploitable. Now, this entire army is very significantly improved by Nure Onna as a 20 point filler (I think that this game especially helped reinforce that--having an extra Shapeshifting option, especially one with a potent -2D debuff, is crazy for this faction). She would've been a big help in saving the Kirin for longer, sacrificing someone other than Kincho, etc.

I was leaning towards increasing the normal attack to 5 (or even 6) to make the Kirin less exploitable on OM1. As it is, it's simply too predictable where OM1 is for the Yokai, since Masha is better 50% of the time depending on initiative, and by carefully choosing their OM placements, the opponent can even outright neuter the Kirin for a round.

Capt. S also suggested a defense increase to 5; I think that this is a very dangerous change, given how potent the Kirin has the potential to be, but he made some very compelling arguments about how for such a central figure to the army, it just doesn't last long enough when it's almost a melee figure. Unlike the best dragons, the Kirin has to be in danger to be useful, and all of its Yokai synergies serve to help it get into danger swiftly and perhaps still recover to tell the tale. I'm willing to test this change out with a careful eye to make sure that it isn't overwhelming against melee bread and butter squads--I think that we can all agree that the 4th Mass will live with a unit like this countering them, but I'm concerned about the B-tier melee squads who might get even worse.

Finally, there's also the idea of limiting Peaceful Protector to friendly units only. Seeing as Peaceful Protector isn't able to be used very well with so few figures and could use more data, I'm saving this change on the backburner for now in case the Kirin continues to underwhelm.
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