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Old September 1st, 2019, 12:45 AM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 1 until 9/8)

Got the win against the Acolyte/Rifles mix.

Point Total: 475
Map: Wyrmwalk
Glyphs: 4 Treasures

AYP - Army: Kurrok, FE x5, WE x3, Re-Tak-Shi
kevindola - Army: 12th Caucases Rifles x3, Acolytes x3, Morgoloth

Which units survived?
Kurrok unwounded, RTS unwounded, 3 Water Elementals.

General Battle Report/Flow of game (be as detailed or general as you like)
A high roll on Emerge from Swamp let me immediately set up RTS in the middle of the lava hill near my starting zone. I developed the waters towards that hill and the FE towards the roads while kd moved up his rifles. For a few turns, the rifles did a pretty effective job of mowing down the FEs, but I managed to snag a kill on any of them that developed significant board position. I was trading significantly down on point value, but Kurrok was safe and I could continually summon back my elementals whenever I didn't have good attacks to make.

Eventually I got kd down to 2 rifles, and after a potentially strong grenade whiffed he switched OMs to the Acolytes. Here, he was continually hampered in developing a slow-roll due to my water elementals being able to rain 3 attacks of 5 from elevated RTS water and my ability to spawn fire elementals on the road for a suicide run, almost always killing 1 or 2 cultists. He was forced to summon Morgoloth far away because of this, making it very difficult for him to take effective turns with Dark Pact. After 3 cultists died in an attempt to reach my pod, he began putting OMs on Morgoloth solo. He defended reasonably well on the way in and had the scarab of invulnerability for backup, but he couldn't crack 6 defense WEs and didn't get a crucial initiative switch, so Morgoloth fell to a couple volleys of all three WEs attacking from height. After that, RTS emerged from swamp next to a single remaining Rifle and the elementals moved in for the kill.

How useful were playtesting units' powers and how often did they come into play?
Emerge from Swamp was used twice, both times presenting a very useful opportunity. The first round I was able to put RTS in an ideal spot without using an OM to get there. Without Emerge, I wouldn't have been able to get quite as effective a position and would have had to spend an OM for it to boot. In the middle rounds, I declined a 12-15 roll that didn't help much. In the final round, I tied up the last 12th Rifle, as kd could have grenaded every unit in my army if he won initiative. It likely wouldn't have changed the outcome of the match, but it might have been crucial if kd still had a few more units remaining.

Swamp Ooze was the crux of my strategy, boosting my water elementals on many occasions (and only once giving them a chance to water tunnel for one extra space). I almost never was able to leverage it effectively against the Rifles due to their range, but all of the 6 or so attacks I made against the Acolytes were boosted, as were all 9 of the attacks on Morgoloth. I believe they also defended 5 times with both the boost from water and elevation, and survived every time.

Any additional comments (theme, balance, fun factor with and against)?
I love the theme of both of RTS's abilities, particularly Emerge from Swamp--it's a perfect match for the motion that the figure looks like it's in. Her ability certainly made the water elementals playable here, as they would have had very few good positioning options otherwise. I was quite surprised by how effective the combination was, and I enjoyed it a lot purely because I think the premise for the army is very silly--it is otherwise a very slow, turtly build which I don't normally enjoy.

Arguably, it could be seen as a negative that RTS opens up such a build, although I'm just glad to have a reason to use something besides just FEs with Kurrok. It could also be seen as a thematic failing that this build is fairly effective, possibly moreso than RTS and Drudge. I personally don't mind strange combinations working out effectively, though, so I wouldn't count that as a point against her.

A small note on the 12th Rifles, it felt odd to me that Gas Grenade reduces defense dice for the purposes of defending against the grenade itself. That does make rolling a skull on it an auto-kill against anything with 2 defense or less, and gives it decent odds against 3 or 4 dice as well. I don't think it's unthematic, as that gas historically was nasty stuff, but there are times where it's almost as strong as a standard explosion SA in and of itself, while also backed up by 2 decent attacks. I really like the basic idea of the implementation though, so the only thing I might change would be to make the Gas not lower defense against the 1 skull you roll to activate it. But, it's up to y'all if that critique bears out in the rest of the tests.

Overall, this was a really fun game and I enjoyed all of the units involved. Looking forward to the rest of the event!
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