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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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Single Seishin Samurai vs. Horned Skull Q10

Posted March 3rd, 2021 at 05:46 PM by Astroking112
With the recent resurfacing of the Skeletal Samurai sculpt, my passion for the Samurai has seen a resurgence. Now that availability is better, it's even possible to do a single-spawning version of them as had been suggested ~15 months ago, making them a feasible design once more.

HIGH WAYS OR THE HIGHWAY by 1Mmirg
395 Points
Glyphs: Dagmar and Wannok
Astro: Seishin Samurai x6, Tagawa Samurai Archers x3, Raelin
Captain Stupendous: Horned Skull Brutes x3, Major Q10, Marcu Esenwein

SURVIVING UNITS:
Raelin (4 wounds), 3x TSA, 2x Seishin (one was unplaced)
~120 Points Left

GAME SUMMARY:
Capt. S and I both beelined for Wannok, mostly ignoring the left side of the map (he had Marcu, but my best Wannok sponge was Raelin, so I didn't want to leave it uncontested and only had 10 figures on the board to start with, which made spreading out infeasible). I led with TSA of course, and he moved out with Q10. They met on OM2, with Q10 taking 1 wound but killing a TSA with his Wrist Rocket SA. I replaced it with a Seishin and engaged him, which proved to be a mistake as he immediately killed that Seishin, too. We ended off the round with me developing Raelin and him moving in some HSBs.

He then primarily switched to the HSBs for a round as I placed my entire focus on the TSA. They didn't manage to deal any damage, but I was able to develop a decent wall in front of Raelin with two of them beside the ruin and one on the hex of height beside Wannok to shoot down on advancing HSBs and deal decent damage. They managed to kill a TSA, but couldn't capitalize on the development thanks to a Seishin spawning within range of Raelin and keeping that area blocked off. They did manage to kill that Seishin the next turn, but I kept developing a TSA to keep them away from Raelin and forced to combat the 5D Archers or 6D Samurai. The Archers did surprisingly well with CS, killing off a decent number of the attacking HSBs.

This continued through the next round as well, with me focusing on protecting Raelin, keeping Major Q10 engaged with one Archer (whom I would replace with a Seishin if they died to the first Wrist Rockets SA), keeping my other figures safe from the SAs. Eventually, there was just one squad of HSBs left, and 5 Archers left. In the interim, I took a Seishin turn with two activations, blocked by Q10 but killing the last developed HSB.

The next round, Capt. S switched to use Marcu on OM1. I thought he would be using him on OM3, and after many failed attacks at Q10, I was planning to Wannok him to death with sheer Raelin-backed numbers, so I sped across the central road and started shooting down on Marcu. He took 4 wounds, then nabbed height on a TSA, ready to sink his teeth into flesh... And instead finding himself taking a wound due to Counterstrike. The Archers finished him off the next turn, then moved out and wiped out the rest of the HSBs in Capt. S' starting zone. This left him with Major Q10 at 2 wounds against 4x TSA, one Seishin on the board, and one unspawned Seishin left.

I then moved the Archers in, suffering one casualty but keeping Q10 engaged with a Seishin and inflicting one wound. Q10 then moved onto Wannok to avoid an automatic loss, but this left the TSA on height and they finished him off the next turn, ending the game.

POWER USAGE:
5/6 Seishin were spawned in total.
I forwent spawning a Seishin 2 times.
The Seishin got 1 OM3, which got two activations thanks to Wave of Fear. One attack killed a HSB and the other was blocked.
The Seishin got no kills via CS.
Total Damage Dealt: 25pts

It's worth noting that despite "filling 25/120 points," I felt like this was a fairly strong showing for them overall thanks to them being instrumental in keeping Q10 away from wrecking more of my army. All but one of the Seishin died to him, and they were a big help in slowing down his Wrist Rockets thanks to their 6D with Raelin.

THOUGHTS:
This version of the Seishin works surprisingly well. I think that it maintains their original fun playstyle very well, and the drop to 20 points feels fair for their loss of multiple lives. It did feel potentially a bit oppressive against the HSBs (despite their 4 attack, they weren't able to break through the Samurai wall... but that kind of means that the TSA were actually functioning as they were supposed to now), but it was a pretty close game overall that could've turned around the other way several times (particularly if Raelin had died sooner; I got lucky in that she survived at 4/5 life the last time that Q10 was able to shoot at her). I almost feel like 15 points might be feasible, but that's perhaps a bit too aggressive for middling melee squads. This is certainly the "fixiest" unit that I've designed, though, since unlike stuff like Masha Shingai, the Seishin Samurai does directly make the Samurai better. The TSA are just in such a bad position that this actually feels like an okay power level, especially since they're by far the best combo and are a pretty dull card otherwise.

It is worth noting that Wave of Fear was never really worth banking on for me. I kind of planned on having 3+ Seishin out concurrently the one time that I put OM3 on them, but Capt. S killed one of those three and didn't end up spawning any more that turn. This left me with two attacks of 3, when I would've been better off with the ranged 3x2 attacks. This power probably has a lot more potential against figures that will be killing more Samurai per turn, such as ranged squads, especially if it can be set up on OM1 rather than gambling on it at the end of the round.

CAPTAIN STUPENDOUS' THOUGHTS:
He liked them overall, though he did feel like it's a major thematic disconnect that a TSA can try to leave engagement, die, and then the Seishin can take a LEA from the same figure again. The lowered risk of LEAs to grab glyphs or whatnot felt at odds to the Seishin's concept of "Honor Beyond Death," especially given the Knights of Weston's framing of leaving engagement as a cowardly act. I floated the idea of replacing Wave of Fear with Disengage, which I find a bit harder to thematically justify but would improve their skill ceiling and make them harder to use well, and he liked the idea.

He also felt like they might be a bit too good for their points, feeling that 25 would be fairer. It is worth noting that at 25 instead of 20, I would only have had 5x Seishin (if I went 5 points over his army), which would've been mostly the same since I had one unspawned Seishin at the end of the game.

He also felt like they're very interesting as an offensive force, and that I could've relied on Wave of Fear a bit more. This is definitely interesting, since I use the Seishin mainly as a defensive force for making the Samurai better as guards. I think that's a very valid point, though, and I'd be interested in playing against the Seishin Samurai at some point to see if an opponent brings a more offensive playstyle for them to light.

VERSION OF THE SEISHIN TESTED:
Spoiler Alert!
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