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  #13  
Old August 12th, 2018, 02:19 AM
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Re: Morgan's Riflemen Public Playtesting

Just finished a game with @All Your Pie .

We played on Zephyr, and I figured the best glyph would be Ulavania (Unique Attack +1).

My army was Morgan's riflemen, Parmenio, Marcus Decimus Gallus, and 3 squads of Sacred Band. Parmenio made the Rifles into a Disciplined squad.
(410 points)

AYP played Emperor Andask, Siiv, and 3 squads of Varkanan Blade Dancers.
(410 points)

Summary:
We started the game out by fortifying our postions, and there was a little bit of bloodshed in the end of the first round. Soon, AYP brought out the Emperor to have a good Aura of Rerolling. Then the Riflemen truly arrived, rolling excessively well on attacks. They mowed down Andask in two attacks. During the turns I took with them, they were dealing some damage to the Varks, and I was using the Sacreds and my heroes to block off the gunners. I did use Marcus's attack bonus quite a few times for these guys. After Marcus went down, my entire game went downhill however. My Gunners and Sacreds just got ripped apart by the Varks for a good while. We did eventually get back to neck and neck, and All Your Pie won with a 1 Life Siiv and a single Blade Dancer.

Thoughts:
The biggest takeaway from this game for the both of us is that these gunners are actually playable outside of pure Valiant builds, like 4th Mass build. He was somewhat terrified of the idea of my Roman variant of this build (drop Parm for NGS and Sacreds for Legos). That might be worth testing soon.

This build turned the Morgan's Riflemen from a somewhat defensive sharky unit into a full on sharky unit from hell. They played fast and hard with Marcus boosting them to a threat range of 12 *or* boosting their average attack of 3 to a beefy attack of 4. I couldn't really take advantage of both effects at once. I did make sure not to apply MDG's movement boost to Hit and Run, which I surprisingly didn't use often. More often holding their position was more important. Unless I wanted to run them out of the Blade Dancers threat range.

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  #14  
Old August 12th, 2018, 04:10 AM
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Re: Morgan's Riflemen Public Playtesting

One thing that came across while playing against these guys is how surprisingly complex and fiddly Hit and Run is for how simple of a power it seems to be. I understand why those complexities are there, but they make the power feel oddly loose and very easy to mis-play. You have to decide which of your riflemen arenít going to move during your movement phase, then move and attack with each of those individually, making sure not to add any movement bonuses for Hit and Run specifically.

An alternative would just be to make it a special attack that the whole squad has to not move in order to activate, in the style of Kumiko or Asterios, but I understand not wanting to give 4th mass valiant builds access to an SA that outclasses Samuel Brown. Hit and Run as an SA wouldnít necessarily be less complicated, but it would flag it as an action with special and specific rules that canít be modified.

That said, I may be the only person who struggled with the specifics of it. It didnít ever come up in our match, but it struck me as something worth mentioning after the fact.
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Old August 14th, 2018, 12:54 AM
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Re: Morgan's Riflemen Public Playtesting

Whew, sorry for taking so long on these after saying I'd do them over a month ago, but here you are!

Army 1: Morgan’s Riflemen, Sir Gilbert, Knights of Weston x3 - 375/16
Army 2: Gladiatrons x3, Blastatrons x2 - 360/20
Battlefield: Ruins of Rennoc
Winner: Team Jandar - 1 Rifleman and Gilbert (4 wounds) remaining
Summary: The Riflemen started the game in a first round hit-and-run skirmish, but one was hit by a lucky shot from a Blastatron before they did anything (so I guess you can keep in mind that there were only two Riflemen doing work the rest of the game). The survivors did some kiting, killing 2 Glads and 1 Blast before retreating behind a ruin.
Then the Knights came out to play, pushing back the Gladiatrons that were trying to lock them on lower ground. Knights attacks won out, though losses were pretty even overall, and the Knights were able to claim one side of the map completely. The ‘Trons then took the opposite hill, reinforcing with all remaining forces, and Gilbert took the Defense glyph while Knights fought to get free of Gladiatrons. As the Knight forces thinned, the Riflemen began skirmishing again, picking off Blastatrons to limit firepower. They killed three and then one Rifleman was caught by Gladiatrons and shot, and the other hid behind a column for the rest of the game while Gilbert chased down and killed the last Glad and Blast.
Riflemen Performance: Killed 2 Glads and 5 Blasts (2 Glads and 1 Blast were killed in their Round 1 skirmishing).


Army 1: Morgan’s Riflemen, Finn, Thorgrim, Knights of Weston x3 - 430/17
Army 2: Grimnak, Tornak, Heavy Gruts x3 - 430/14
Battlefield: Smokey’s Lament
Winner: Team Jandar - 2 Riflemen, 4 Knights, and Thorgrim (1 wound) remaining
Summary: The Riflemen went with an opening round skirmish, hitting the orcs from different points on the map while leading them back to the waiting Knights. Fortunately Tornak was able to catch up and kill one, but the other Riflemen were able to hide behind Knights, and then the stretched orc forces had to fight a moving mass of Knights, which was a slow melee meat grinder that eventually resulted in the Knights’ favor (Riflemen didn’t do anything after round 1).
Riflemen Performance: Killed 2 Heavies and dealt 2 wounds to Tornak. Their bigger contribution to the game was stretching out the enemy forces as they necessitated an answer to their early game threat.


Army 1: Morgan’s Riflemen, Finn, Thorgrim, Knights of Weston x3 - 430/17
Army 2: Teeth of the Makwa x5, Theracus, Kira Jax - 420/17
Battlefield: Badru Valley
Winner: Scouts - 1 Teeth (Tooth?) and Kira Jax (2 wounds) remaining
Summary: With more threatening ranged enemies, the Riflemen waited until cleanup for this game. The knights had a slow push against the Teeth, and early game was mostly slow rolling knights while Teeth took vantage points and killed a few. When Knights were finally in a point to get constant engagements, the meat grinder began, and they were able to kill all but one squad of Teeth before the Vikings were dead and Knights were at less than a squad.
One squad of Teeth, Theracus, and Kira were remaining when Riflemen began cleanup, boosted by the Viking Spirits. They were able to abuse the shorter range of the Makwa well, only losing one to their attacks, and Theracus was killed in two attacks early on. Kira was able to negate the Riflemen defense bonus (thinking back, I think I misplayed and negated Thorgrim’s spirit bonus as well) and had long enough range to get some good hits in, and finished the game with one life remaining.
Riflemen Performance: Killed Theracus, 2 Teeth, and 2 wounds to Kira. If it weren’t for Kira’s negation power, they likely would have won with probably 2 members remaining, I think.


Army 1: Morgan’s Riflemen, Sir Gilbert, Knights of Weston x3 - 375/16
Army 2: Pel, Me-Burq-Sa, Death Chasers of Thesk x4 - 365/14
Battlefield: Badru Valley
Winner: Team Bad Guys - Pel with 5 wounds remaining
Summary: The Riflemen held back again to wait for cleanup, and the Knights vs Death Chasers was fairly standard. An initiative switch and a couple of successful Paralyzing Stares from MBS resulted in an early death for Gilbert, but the Knights were able to recover fairly well and killed all but one squad of Death Chasers before they switched to Morgan’s Riflemen with a few Knights remaining to act as defenders.
The Riflemen easily killed the last squad of Death Chasers, then had some skirmishing against MBS, eventually killing him with one Rifleman and one Knight remaining. Then skirmishing against Pel began, the the last Rifleman kited like crazy. The last Knight jumped in early on to try to tie Pel down and put 2 wounds on him, but Pel shrugged him off and the chase resumed. It wouldn’t have ended in Pel’s favor if it weren’t for an initiative switch that let him catch the Rifleman.
Riflemen Performance: Killed 3 Death Chasers, MBS, and dealt 3 wounds to Pel. If it weren’t for the initiative switch they would have had another round to kill Pel. Their Hit and Run was absolutely ruthless in the end game here (and it’s always been powerful).


Army 1: Morgan’s Riflemen, Sir Gilbert, Knights of Weston x3 - 375/16
Army 2: Cathar Spearmen x5 - 375/20
Battlefield: Badru Valley
Winner: Spearmen - 1 Spearman remaining
Summary: Riflemen did their early game shooting and kiting for two full rounds, killing a lot of spearmen. Then the spearman defense kicked in, and an initiative switch resulted in them killing 2 Riflemen, and the last one shortly after. From there, it was just Knights vs Cathar Spearmen as usual. In all honesty the Spearmen probably should have won harder, as they were below average for Braced Spear rolls, and they had some good map control after chasing the Riflemen around.
Riflemen Performance: Killed 6 Spearmen


Overall Summary & Thoughts: These guys are super strong and very reminiscent of Krav Maga and Marro Warriors, though I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. They are very similar to those other unique squads, though, in that Hit and Run creates a steep curve when playing with/against them, and newer players who aren’t as used to hit and run tactics in the first place are likely going to be frustrated (and seasoned players may get frustrated too). The fact that they are made to fit with Knights, an already strong army, just furthers this.

The main thing I felt during the games was that Hit and Run was strong. Of course, I was testing it mostly where it would be strong (against melee or shorter range), but the worst was when Pel was chasing a single Rifleman around, unable to catch it except for the initiative switch (which specifically had to be Pel going last one round, then first the next).

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Old August 14th, 2018, 08:12 AM
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Re: Morgan's Riflemen Public Playtesting

Thanks for the tests! That is some real solid info!
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Old August 14th, 2018, 08:59 AM
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Re: Morgan's Riflemen Public Playtesting

Can you speak to how many attacks they survived and how many defense they usually had?

I am also curious if they did a lot of killing of engaged figures and then retreating or it was very rare they saw a melee attack.
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Old August 14th, 2018, 06:44 PM
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Re: Morgan's Riflemen Public Playtesting

It was rare that they were attacked in melee. My main priority when using them against melee was to get off an attack and then retreat out of threat range. Getting an attack from height was icing on the cake when it happened (which was still fairly often when melee was still moving in), but even with 3 attack I got results with even ground attacks. With 6 range and 5 free move, I found I could often get a good shot then move to where melee couldn't reach me by putting difficult terrain between us.

I can't say with full certainty how their survivability/defense was (it's been a bit since the games and I wasn't measuring it specifically, and keeping them safe with Hit and Run was their main survivability tool). I would say that survivability-wise they felt average for 3-defense ranged figures when attacks did come. When they were eventually caught by melee they had height since Hit and Run allowed them to choose where to make a stand when needed. Against range it would depend. Against the Teeth they also usually had high ground since their longer range let them turtle (and any attempts by the Teeth trying to make the Riflemen come out just had the Riflemen move out a couple spaces, shoot, then go back to their perch). They also had Thorgrim's spirit in that game, so that would mean 5 defense dice. Against Blasts one was killed early on by a same-level shot, then the others defended probably defended 3-4 more single-skull attacks on level ground before hiding behind the ruin until endgame, and even then their attacks usually consisted of moving from behind the ruin to shoot a Blastatron (on higher ground, but 3v3 isn't bad) then moving back behind it. Fighting MBS I'm the most hazy on -- I honestly don't remember if Paralyzing Stare ever worked (though I don't think so since I would have included that in my notes). At first it was getting two or three attacks from lower ground (since MBS was in position already) then retreating onto a piece of ground where MBS could at best get an even-ground attack back at them, though I do think one was killed from high ground.

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  #19  
Old August 17th, 2018, 02:40 PM
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Re: Morgan's Riflemen Public Playtesting

@LoveElemental and I ran a themed game. Confederates vs Union.

Me (Confederates)
Mittens
53 North Carolina x5
Armoc Vipers x1
Theracus

vs

LoveElemental (Union)
Marcus
Morgans Rifles
20 Maine x5
Patrick Ferguson

On Bad Moon Rising. Glyphs are Range +1 and Wounder.

Spoiler Alert!


This was a game where having more attacks per turn really sold the game. The Morgan's Riflemen didn't do a whole lot but sacrificing the last one to Wannok did mean that Marcus would be a bit healthier in the event of cleanup and it didn't kill one of the large horde of commons. As the opponent, it seemed like the Riflemen just weren't going to contribute as much as the 20th were able to. That seems to be the theme with this units, your almost always better employing them in armies without a significant ranged component.

Good game LE!

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Old August 17th, 2018, 07:37 PM
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Re: Morgan's Riflemen Public Playtesting

Thanks, FS and LE!

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Old September 17th, 2018, 02:40 AM
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Re: Morgan's Riflemen Public Playtesting

I ran a small playtesting event with @Leo Ultra this summer, but most of the units were my own that I was needing to test and some of the reports were lost due to a computer error. It looks like this is the only C3V one that I was able to find.

Here's their report:

Dance of the Dryads (with Kelda and Valda) by Typhon2222
500 Points
Dave: Knights of Weston x3, Sir Gilbert, Finn the Viking Champion, Theracus, Morgan’s Riflemen
Leo Ultra: Hoplitrons x6, Executioner 616, Major J15, Beorn Boltcutter, Kira Jax

Which units survived?
Finn the Viking Champion (3 wounds), 4x Knights of Weston, 1x Morgan’s Riflemen, Sir Gilbert (unwounded)

Game Summary
Beginning: Theracus carried Finn to Glyph of Valda on the left, where Hoplitrons quickly attacked. Beorn upgraded Executioner 616. Hoplitron bonding pushed soulborg army forward fast, but knights were effective in defending. Map’s choke point nature led to knights and riflemen having a lot of success in defending the area, counterattacking and whittling down attackers. First rifleman was pushed into molten lava by a hoplitron and the next was shot by J15’s cannon. J15 nearly exploded on multiple knights courtesy of 616, but fizzled out. 616 was killed after taking Glyph of Kelda on the right.

How useful were playtesting units’ powers and how often did they come into play?
The Riflemen felt like a solid and evasive ranged unit that did a good amount of damage against a very forward moving army. They have a good feel and can survive through bad positioning while also were able to capitalize on good positioning. Running with an all (or mostly) valiant army adds to their survivability. They overall felt pretty fun to play and an effective army to use.

Riflemen were somewhat annoying but were not the greatest threat most of the time.

Any additional comments (theme, balance, fun factor with and against)?
They work the best when there are choke points a lot of height differences and against a melee based army. They could be outclassed by other ranged units, but the knights are really good already and the riflemen work particularly well with them.

- - -

EDIT: I also played a game against our friend with our armies reversed, but it was largely a rout. Here's a quick report anyways, in case it can still be used:

The Broken Skyline by Longheroscaper
Dave: Heracles, 2x Shades of Bleakwoode, Marro Warriors, Tarn Viking Warriors
Astro: Morgan's Riflemen, 3x Knights of Weston, Sir Gilbert, Finn the Viking Champion, Theracus

Which units survived?
Everything except for about two knights.

Game Summary
Dave opened with Heracles, but overextended him with labors. Being careful to keep Gilbert out of reach from the shades, I surrounded the Greek Legend and quickly wore him down. After that, it was mostly downhill as I kept reinforcing my knights with Gilbert and steadily slaying the remaining squad figures.

How useful were playtesting units’ powers and how often did they come into play?
The Morgan's Riflemen never got an Order Marker, but they were moved a couple of spaces by Sir Gilbert once or twice when there were no knights who could benefit from that movement.

In this particular game, I never felt the need to activate them. I knew that Heracles would absolutely tear them apart, so I had to wear him down with knights first (who were both cheaper and common, thus able to more consistently get in multiple attacks per turn). The overextension was a perfect chance to capitalize on that, and thanks to the road and Gilbert, my knights already had excellent board control whilst my riflemen were still in the starting zone halfway through the game.

Any additional comments (theme, balance, fun factor with and against)?
I like them as a ranged component for knight builds quite a bit, but it's clear that they aren't necessary for success. Knights are already plenty strong and can succeed even without the added range, but when playing more defensively, these guys have felt like a very strong addition. They definitely enjoy the movement bonus from Sir Gilbert as well.

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Last edited by Astroking112; September 17th, 2018 at 01:07 PM. Reason: Added another game report.
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