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Quality in Cover Fire

Posted October 8th, 2008 at 02:25 PM by R˙chean
I am starting a semi regular blog about my favorite Heroscape units with my opinions of them and their abilities. I will be focusing on army building, strategies, tactics and some breakdown of powers.

I wanted to start with an entry concerning my new favorite unit, Agent Skahen. That's right: my new favorite. She has supplanted Kaemon Awa on my list but only because she has synergy with my two favorite squads, the Nakita and the Krav. Sure she can be flimsy but her Cover Fire ability is such a blast to use.

I wanted to take a moment to break down the Cover Fire ability as far as who it helps the most. Here are the units that she can move with the Cover Fire ability:
  • Agent Carr
  • Dünd
  • Gorillinators
  • Krav Maga Agents
  • Microcorp Agents
  • Nakita Agents
  • Otonashi
But who really benefits the most? You have to break down the relationships between these units to fully appreciate what Cover Fire can do. Here is my take on it, counting them down:

7.) Gorillinators - A maligned unit that can reap some benefit from Cover Fire. But does it put them over the competitive hump? No, of course not. Cover Fire does not change the fundamentally flaw with the Gorillas, that being that tough only works against normal attacks. Moving Gorillas is nice as they can be decent meat shields when facing the right army, but if you want them moved around, obviously the Nakita do a way better job of it.

6.) Krav Maga - Anytime you can move a Krav back to safety or up to high ground, without a marker, it is a good thing. However, the Krav are so self sufficient that you can't really say that they garnish the most benefit from Cover Fire. All support units, Laglor, Raelin, and now Skahen help the Krav, but honestly, they don't really need it and as such they are not the unit that benefits the most. Cover Fire can be very useful once you lose one of them, but you are probably still better off activating them, instead. Once there is only one left, the odds of you moving that one repeatedly with Cover Fire isn’t very high.

5.) Otonashi - The little ninja that could. In the right set up, having the ability to move her along with Cover Fire can be beneficial. It can allow Otonashi to get into a favorable position so that she can maximize her abilities. However, we are still talking about a flimsy, throw-in ninja. Any cute tactics with Otonashi are short lived and hardly worth the set up effort that the synergy of Cover Fire allows. Otonashi can reap some benefit from Cover Fire but the return on the investment is suspect at best. If you were playing an army without many agents, I can see moving her around with Cover Fire; otherwise you should probably use the Cover Fire movement for one of your high cost agents.

4.) Dünd - Love for Dünd, yeah! Another maligned unit that Cover Fire helps a bit. Considering how his special ability works, anytime you can move him without a marker it is a good thing. Is he suddenly elevated to bad arse status? Hardly, Dund still requires good rolls and a favorable army match up to really shine. Skahen certainly makes him more playable but she doesn’t fix all that ails the doggin.

3.) Microcorp Agents - Getting warmer here. Two of the draw backs of the wet suited ones is their average movement and necessity for height. Skahen does quite a bit to get these commons agents where they need to be. The combination of their water treading ability with Cover Fire can be very nice. Getting them to or closer to high ground is also very nice. However, since you can field these guys in multiple, you are usually better of just activating them directly rather than trying to get cutesy with Cover Fire. Later in the game after they have dwindled in numbers, Cover Fire becomes more justifiable

2.) Agent Carr - Morpheus's biggest draw back has always been his life 4 and movement 5. Skahen can’t help his life at all, but she can sure help Carr stay close by and relevant. The threat of Carr is often enough to affect the opponent's decisions and unit positioning. Cover Fire is a way to keep Carr somewhat close to the action so that his mid / late game design, can be realized more efficiently. Keeping him close without using markers goes along way in making him easier to play and more of a constant threat.

1.) Nakita Agents - These gals are all about positioning and adjacencies. Their passive specials are quite unique in that they benefit others as much as themselves. Stealth Dodging agents love to have the powder puffing, engagement striking ladies close by. Since their defensive specials only work when it isn't their turn, activating them is all about getting them in the right place to do the most harm and protect the most units. They suffer from the same problem as the Krav in that once you lose one, their offensive prowess is reduced significantly. But unlike the Krav they can continue to help others out, even with just 1 left. Cover Fire gives you the ability to move them into their protector positions without having to activate them. This is so huge for the Nakita that Skahen, in essence, keeps them relevant and in play throughout their existence on the board.

My next few entires will focus on the unique squads I so love to play.
Total Comments 9


CheddarLimbo's Avatar
Great insights R˙chean, as per usual.
Posted October 8th, 2008 at 11:20 PM by CheddarLimbo CheddarLimbo is offline
Jexik's Avatar
Thanks for the good read.
Posted October 9th, 2008 at 03:29 PM by Jexik Jexik is offline
rym's Avatar
After reading this, I realize I haven't put forth nearly the thought and insight that you have. I guess that becomes obvious when we look at out tournament records in the tournaments we've played together.

Thanks for sharing your insight with the rest of us. I will now have to carefully reconsider the possibiliities Skahen truly provides.

Great blog, and I look forward to the next one.
Posted October 9th, 2008 at 07:42 PM by rym rym is offline
Hex_Enduction_Hour's Avatar
Good stuff, Ry!
Your thoughts on Cover Fire and Carr are spot-on.
Posted October 10th, 2008 at 01:58 AM by Hex_Enduction_Hour Hex_Enduction_Hour is offline
lonewolf's Avatar
Ry, great read. And as we learned the Agent/Reaver combo can be a great counter to the dreaded Glad/Blast combo!
Posted October 13th, 2008 at 11:23 AM by lonewolf lonewolf is offline
Cleon's Avatar
I found this very useful to read since I haven't even tryed Skahen yet, thank you R˙chean.
Posted October 13th, 2008 at 01:48 PM by Cleon Cleon is offline
Clarissimus's Avatar
Thank you for the analysis, although I would probably swap numbers 2 and 3.
Posted October 13th, 2008 at 09:56 PM by Clarissimus Clarissimus is offline
chas's Avatar
We are both members of the Agent Skahen Fan Club, so thanks for the new ideas! This whole series, BTW, is teriffic.
Posted June 10th, 2009 at 11:26 AM by chas chas is offline
dragon's Avatar
I only wish I could find Skahen for a reasonable price. Last I looked on ebay the asking price was $100.
Posted September 21st, 2014 at 11:36 PM by dragon dragon is offline
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