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  #205  
Old September 11th, 2018, 07:27 PM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

[quote=Son of Arathorn;2221701]
Spoiler Alert!
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Spoilered the whole post for length reasons.

You seem to have missed this part of my post:
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Anything that letís your allegedly worse melee bruisers mitigate Braced Spear, or coordinate a ranged unit to negate its effects altogether.
So Iím not sure why weíre talking about all-melee builds. Anyone* who brings such an unbalanced army to a tournament expecting to go far deserves the hard lesson theyíll get. And I can only assume competition is the concern here.

Are you running Knights of Weston? Use Sir Gilbert or Finn to engage the Cathars and some 4th Mass to soften them up. What about Romans? Bring on the Azurite Warlord to engage, and 4th Mass or 10th Reg paired with Marcus to pour on the fire. Heavy Gruts? Use Ornak to fling Krug or an Ogre Warhulk into them, or Moltenclaw to break their lines. Axegrindwrs of the Burning Forge? Mok and Morgrimm Forgehammer will carry their weight and then some. Capuan Gladiators? It might suck to be you, to be honest, but the Steamroller ainít perfect.

I guess my point here is that if your opponent keeps crushing your scissors with his rock, maybe try a piece of paper. Preferably one with a pattern that doesnít clash.




*Anyone not named Matthias
Not that I really care anymore (because I don't play with VC), but this post is pretty ridiculous. Sure, the majority of the community is quite bad with melee. However, all-melee armies are still Tier 1 and, when piloted correctly, can beat anything.

Your army suggestions seem to involve very large point totals. The Grut one is straight-up ridiculous. Cathar are especially efficient at lower totals than those you seem to be implying.

@Looking_East:
Are Cathar A? Probably, although I'd lean towards low A+ seeing as Hounds are a B+ and Cathar are way better for 15 less points. Fun to play against? Nope. However, are they broken? Nope. Good melee can still beat them, just like anything else.
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  #206  
Old September 11th, 2018, 07:29 PM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

[quote=Looking East;2221645][quote=Son of Arathorn;2221624]
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While Iím not going to argue that the Cathar arenít very good (they are) and that they can be frustrating to play against for certain, monolithic builds (they are), theyíre not broken (IMO). Three little words: Human Champion Bonding. Or Warlord Bonding. Or even Orc Champion Bonding. Anything that letís your allegedly worse melee bruisers mitigate Braced Spear, or coordinate a ranged unit to negate its effects altogether.
If you can build an all melee army that can consistently beat an equal number of points worth of Cathar Spearmen I would be impressed. You can use any combination of all the melee pieces in the game. Do you know of any build that could pull this off? When I say all melee, I am including special attacks and special abilities. I'm not being sarcastic. I am being serious in asking if you can come up with a melee build that will take them down.

I guess to make things more fair both sides should get a Raelin since she is so brokenly strong in a melee only match up that she would really skew the results if she was on one side but not the other.

My guess is the best approach would be using extremely cheap bonded melee squads capable of throwing a lot of attack dice per OM. They need to be very low cost so that they don't just lose to attrition from the D20 and they need to throw a lot of attack dice to overcome the godly defense the spearmen have.

Since there would be no Zelrig style specials to worry about probably the bonded orcs or romans would fair decently since they are super cheap and could huddle up for bonuses without penalty.

I'm curious enough now to try actually making a game of it next time I get together with my friends to play. Perhaps we will have a "Beat the Cathar Spearmen Challenge Night" to see if anyone can do it.
Raelin is really not broken in meleee vs melee matchups. Any A- and up melee squad can beat Cathar when played well.
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  #207  
Old September 11th, 2018, 07:34 PM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

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Originally Posted by OrcElfArmyOne View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking East View Post
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Originally Posted by Son of Arathorn View Post
While I’m not going to argue that the Cathar aren’t very good (they are) and that they can be frustrating to play against for certain, monolithic builds (they are), they’re not broken (IMO). Three little words: Human Champion Bonding. Or Warlord Bonding. Or even Orc Champion Bonding. Anything that let’s your allegedly worse melee bruisers mitigate Braced Spear, or coordinate a ranged unit to negate its effects altogether.
If you can build an all melee army that can consistently beat an equal number of points worth of Cathar Spearmen I would be impressed. You can use any combination of all the melee pieces in the game. Do you know of any build that could pull this off? When I say all melee, I am including special attacks and special abilities. I'm not being sarcastic. I am being serious in asking if you can come up with a melee build that will take them down.

I guess to make things more fair both sides should get a Raelin since she is so brokenly strong in a melee only match up that she would really skew the results if she was on one side but not the other.

My guess is the best approach would be using extremely cheap bonded melee squads capable of throwing a lot of attack dice per OM. They need to be very low cost so that they don't just lose to attrition from the D20 and they need to throw a lot of attack dice to overcome the godly defense the spearmen have.

Since there would be no Zelrig style specials to worry about probably the bonded orcs or romans would fair decently since they are super cheap and could huddle up for bonuses without penalty.

I'm curious enough now to try actually making a game of it next time I get together with my friends to play. Perhaps we will have a "Beat the Cathar Spearmen Challenge Night" to see if anyone can do it.
Raelin is really not broken in meleee vs melee matchups. Any A- and up melee squad can beat Cathar when played well.
The most glaring error in this thread is that there's been four posts in a row where nobody has bothered to correct the quote tags.

I say this without hesitation: pure melee vs. melee matchups are the worst, most annoying matchups in Heroscape. They are ten times more annoying that normal attacks vs. Deathreavers. If you want to watch a game start with 5 rounds of no attacks before somebody tries nibbling at the corner of their opponent on OM3, then watch a couple strong players play melee vs. melee.
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  #208  
Old September 11th, 2018, 07:37 PM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

I think that the Cathars have a problem of being really overwhelming against players that aren't familiar with how they work, and how to effectively fight them. The first 2 or even 3 games against them, you will probably think they are the best thing in the game. But The people here commenting on this have all fought against them enough to know there weaknesses, and how to effectively fight against them.

No one is saying that the Cathars aren't really good, we're just saying that they can be beaten, and that there are things that are better, and more consistent than them.

To give a few exanples of thing that can beat them in an all melee format, with no aoe special attacks:

Arashara Goshiri with romans, and a few other bonding melee heros to shift with and soak wounds will beat a pure Cathar build, even if both have Realin. In fact Arashara is made even better by the fact that there's no real range in the Cathar army, which is her biggest weakness.

Just pure Hydras. Nothing but Hydras. No braced spear activations, and multiple normal attacks per turn.

Also, Chain Fighters. Chain grab is amazing.

Spiders and Wyverns. Talon grab would negate the braced spear, and the Wyverns could engage to negate braced spear to let the spiders web tangle, and attack.

I could go on, but I have to leave for work now. Point is, they aren't quite as good as you think, especially when the person fighting them has experience facing them, like the majority of the people commenting on this.
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  #209  
Old September 11th, 2018, 07:40 PM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

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Originally Posted by Looking East View Post
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While Iím not going to argue that the Cathar arenít very good (they are) and that they can be frustrating to play against for certain, monolithic builds (they are), theyíre not broken (IMO). Three little words: Human Champion Bonding. Or Warlord Bonding. Or even Orc Champion Bonding. Anything that letís your allegedly worse melee bruisers mitigate Braced Spear, or coordinate a ranged unit to negate its effects altogether.
If you can build an all melee army that can consistently beat an equal number of points worth of Cathar Spearmen I would be impressed. You can use any combination of all the melee pieces in the game. Do you know of any build that could pull this off? When I say all melee, I am including special attacks and special abilities. I'm not being sarcastic. I am being serious in asking if you can come up with a melee build that will take them down.

I guess to make things more fair both sides should get a Raelin since she is so brokenly strong in a melee only match up that she would really skew the results if she was on one side but not the other.

My guess is the best approach would be using extremely cheap bonded melee squads capable of throwing a lot of attack dice per OM. They need to be very low cost so that they don't just lose to attrition from the D20 and they need to throw a lot of attack dice to overcome the godly defense the spearmen have.

Since there would be no Zelrig style specials to worry about probably the bonded orcs or romans would fair decently since they are super cheap and could huddle up for bonuses without penalty.

I'm curious enough now to try actually making a game of it next time I get together with my friends to play. Perhaps we will have a "Beat the Cathar Spearmen Challenge Night" to see if anyone can do it.
Raelin is really not broken in meleee vs melee matchups. Any A- and up melee squad can beat Cathar when played well.
The most glaring error in this thread is that there's been four posts in a row where nobody has bothered to correct the quote tags.

I say this without hesitation: pure melee vs. melee matchups are the worst, most annoying matchups in Heroscape. They are ten times more annoying that normal attacks vs. Deathreavers. If you want to watch a game start with 5 rounds of no attacks before somebody tries nibbling at the corner of their opponent on OM3, then watch a couple strong players play melee vs. melee.
Itís not boring when youíre the one playing it 😉. I guess it could be boring to watch.
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  #210  
Old September 11th, 2018, 07:43 PM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

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Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
I think that the Cathars have a problem of being really overwhelming against players that aren't familiar with how they work, and how to effectively fight them. The first 2 or even 3 games against them, you will probably think they are the best thing in the game. But The people here commenting on this have all fought against them enough to know there weaknesses, and how to effectively fight against them.

No one is saying that the Cathars aren't really good, we're just saying that they can be beaten, and that there are things that are better, and more consistent than them.

To give a few exanples of thing that can beat them in an all melee format, with no aoe special attacks:

Arashara Goshiri with romans, and a few other bonding melee heros to shift with and soak wounds will beat a pure Cathar build, even if both have Realin. In fact Arashara is made even better by the fact that there's no real range in the Cathar army, which is her biggest weakness.

Just pure Hydras. Nothing but Hydras. No braced spear activations, and multiple normal attacks per turn.

Also, Chain Fighters. Chain grab is amazing.

Spiders and Wyverns. Talon grab would negate the braced spear, and the Wyverns could engage to negate braced spear to let the spiders web tangle, and attack.

I could go on, but I have to leave for work now. Point is, they aren't quite as good as you think, especially when the person fighting them has experience facing them, like the majority of the people commenting on this.
I don't think you need to go so fancy. Warhulk+Nerak+Chasers x5 has a good chance against Spearmen x5 + Marcus. Definitely so if the map has Wannok with good height near it.
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  #211  
Old September 11th, 2018, 07:44 PM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

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Originally Posted by OrcElfArmyOne View Post
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Originally Posted by dok View Post
I say this without hesitation: pure melee vs. melee matchups are the worst, most annoying matchups in Heroscape. They are ten times more annoying that normal attacks vs. Deathreavers. If you want to watch a game start with 5 rounds of no attacks before somebody tries nibbling at the corner of their opponent on OM3, then watch a couple strong players play melee vs. melee.
Itís not boring when youíre the one playing it 😉. I guess it could be boring to watch.
Well, personal preference and all, but it's my least favorite sort of matchup to play.
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  #212  
Old September 12th, 2018, 02:57 AM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

Out of the suggestions that have been made for taking out the Cathars setting them against any combination of melee units in the game I think the only real contenders for beating them so far are the Death Chasers with the Bonded Warhulk and Nerak and the Hydras.

The Hydras cheat a bit since they actually have a ranged attack that allows them to circumvent the absolutely devastating wrath of the D20 rolls in addition to the fact that are just fast enough that they should be able to get first strike which will force the Cathar player to position his units in a very unoptimal manner to make sure the Hydras can only reach one figure with their opening attack.

The Warhulk and Death Chaser match up will require a lot more luck since the Cathar's have the mobility and reach required to prevent the opponent from getting the opening strike. This means the Cathar's should get one round of free attacks with +1 to the dice and then every enemy unit that closes with them is going to be subject to between 1 and 3 braced spear attacks before they even get a chance to attack. If you position the Cathar's well in a melee only fight your opponent should almost always be taking 2 or more braced spear attacks for closing in which is roughly a 50% chance of losing a squad figure which in this case would be the death chasers.

The Warhulk is the only real chance this army has of winning since it has enough life to survive getting hit a with a few 3 dice attacks and then several D20 rolls at which point it needs to roll perfectly with its special basically every turn it gets before dying. It is also a bit of a double edged sword that it must close with as many Cathars as possible each round but it runs a 25% chance of taking a point of damage for each figure it does this with. The warhulk needs to take out at least 8 Cathars to break even on its points but since the warhulk is really being counted on to carry this army in the war of attrition it needs to kill more like 10 or 12 of them. Remember for every single Cathar the Warhulk tries to engage it eats a D20 attack and it needs to engage and kill 8 or more just to earn its points. That's 8+ free D20 attacks it has to eat.


The death chasers biggest issue will be that so long as the Cathar's are positioned correctly about half of them should die just to braced spear attacks when trying to close and some will also die simply because the Cathar's should be able to get the opening attack given their greater threat range. This coupled with the Death Chasers poor defense means under half of them should ever get a chance to attack. Death Chasers and Cathar's cost about the same per figure so really they need their bonded heroes to carry the battle for them.
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  #213  
Old September 12th, 2018, 03:54 AM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

I can think of few things that would make me happier than my opponent rushing the Cathars over to my position in order to claim "first strike". Height advantage - so hot right now.

I said "good chance" to win - I don't think it's a slam dunk or anything. But I think it's basically a fair fight, and one I'd expect to be able to win with either side if I could wrangle some positional advantages. The point was just that I picked a strong melee build that has a high-life bruiser and concluded that it could play in the matchup.

That said, I think it's a bit silly to restrict ourselves to all-melee if we're trying to assess the power of the Spearmen in the overall metagame. Spearmen will frequently play without any ranged heroes or unique squads, but a lot of mostly melee armies have very important ranged components.

That's a pretty strong 'chaser build that I just brought up, but in an unrestricted double blind event, you'd be much more likely to see OP and MBS instead of a Warhulk. The implications of that flip should be pretty obvious. Likewise, a Marcus/MBS/Roman build will beat the Cathars on raw figure numbers and activations per turn, and the threat of that ranged ping will force the spearmen to run at the shield wall, where Marcus can absorb some spear hits and then let the Romans fill the gaps. Knights x3 + Finn + Thorgrim + Krav will be quite effective against the spearmen. And then there's actual ranged armies, of course.

Last edited by dok; September 13th, 2018 at 02:22 PM.
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Old September 12th, 2018, 09:55 AM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

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I can think of few things that would make me happier than my opponent rushing the Cathars over to my position in order to claim "first strike". Height advantage - so hot right now.

I said "good chance" to win - I don't think it's a slam dunk or anything. But I think it's basically a fair fight, and one I'd expect to be able to win with either side if I could wrangle some positional advantages. The point was just that I picked a strong melee build that has a high-life bruiser and concluded that it could play in the matchup.

That said, I think it's a bit silly to restrict ourselves to all-melee if we're trying to assess the power of the Spearmen in the overall metagame. Spearmen will frequently play without and ranged heroes or unique squads, but a lot of mostly melee armies have very important ranged components.

That's a pretty strong 'chaser build that I just brought up, but in an unrestricted double blind event, you'd be much more likely to see OP and MBS instead of a Warhulk. The implications of that flip should be pretty obvious. Likewise, a Marcus/MBS/Roman build will beat the Cathars on raw figure numbers and activations per turn, and the threat of that ranged ping will force the spearmen to run at the shield wall, where Marcus can absorb some spear hits and then let the Romans fill the gaps. Knights x3 + Finn + Thorgrim + Krav will be quite effective against the spearmen. And then there's actual ranged armies, of course.
My point to restricting the battle to melee units was simply to demonstrate just how strongly they counter other melee units.

Also, I wasn't suggesting rushing in with the Cathars. You want to play them in a completely defensive position waiting for the enemy to come to you in the warhulk match up. There is no way for the enemy to close with the Cathers and attack them without spending a turn within their reach with the one exception being if get the double move by being the last player to act on the prior round and winning initiative in the next round.

This means that even playing defensively you will quite often get the first strike with the Cathars which will usually be worth it in this match up since rolling a total of 12 attack dice against a bunch of two or three defense units is going to wreck them. For the price of advancing the front line of Cathar's you would on average kill three Death Chasers or do 3 damage to the warhulk which means three of the four Cathars you have moved have already earned their points.

Now the opponent gets to move and every single one of his pieces he tries to counter attack those 4 Cathars with will now be exposed to D20 attacks, often multiple ones. If even one of those 4+ D20 rolls connects the 4 Cathars you struck first with have earned their points even if your opponent is lucky enough to roll like a god and kill every single one of them this turn which is quite improbable. On average 4 attacks of 4 will kill 2 Cathars and keep in mind each Death Chaser that gets hit by a D20 doesn't get to attack that round as well. This is not a particularly even fight outside of the Warhulk getting lucky and going nuts with its special every round.

What makes them so nasty to other melee units is that so long as you sit back and wait in a proper formation the enemy squad figures are usually going to be running a 25% to 75% chance of getting killed by the D20 rolls they have to endure just to try and get into position to attack. Losing like half of all your melee squad pieces before they even get to roll an attack is an absolutely brutal hurdle to try and cross.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts I think that the only melee squads that really have a chance going toe to toe with the spear men are cheap bonding squads like the orcs and the romans precisely because they are cheap enough to eat the D20s.

Edit: It looks like I forgot to mention this earlier, but I think the Cathar's have a strategically rich and flavorful design which I really like a lot. I just think they are over tuned.

Last edited by Looking East; September 12th, 2018 at 10:19 AM.
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Old September 12th, 2018, 12:53 PM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

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Originally Posted by Looking East View Post
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I can think of few things that would make me happier than my opponent rushing the Cathars over to my position in order to claim "first strike". Height advantage - so hot right now.

I said "good chance" to win - I don't think it's a slam dunk or anything. But I think it's basically a fair fight, and one I'd expect to be able to win with either side if I could wrangle some positional advantages. The point was just that I picked a strong melee build that has a high-life bruiser and concluded that it could play in the matchup.

That said, I think it's a bit silly to restrict ourselves to all-melee if we're trying to assess the power of the Spearmen in the overall metagame. Spearmen will frequently play without and ranged heroes or unique squads, but a lot of mostly melee armies have very important ranged components.

That's a pretty strong 'chaser build that I just brought up, but in an unrestricted double blind event, you'd be much more likely to see OP and MBS instead of a Warhulk. The implications of that flip should be pretty obvious. Likewise, a Marcus/MBS/Roman build will beat the Cathars on raw figure numbers and activations per turn, and the threat of that ranged ping will force the spearmen to run at the shield wall, where Marcus can absorb some spear hits and then let the Romans fill the gaps. Knights x3 + Finn + Thorgrim + Krav will be quite effective against the spearmen. And then there's actual ranged armies, of course.
My point to restricting the battle to melee units was simply to demonstrate just how strongly they counter other melee units.

Also, I wasn't suggesting rushing in with the Cathars. You want to play them in a completely defensive position waiting for the enemy to come to you in the warhulk match up. There is no way for the enemy to close with the Cathers and attack them without spending a turn within their reach with the one exception being if get the double move by being the last player to act on the prior round and winning initiative in the next round.
The point is, Cathars, like most melee or near-melee figures, have a choice to make: either height advantage, or first strike. If a bunch of chasers are 5 spaces away, then you can go run over to attack them... but a good player is going to make you do so from low ground. So your choice is height or first strike. Reach doesn't really change this. Height advantage wins games.

And as I point out, many bonding armies can pack a ranged figure, which will force the spearmen to unfavorable ground reliably.

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Now the opponent gets to move and every single one of his pieces he tries to counter attack those 4 Cathars with will now be exposed to D20 attacks, often multiple ones. If even one of those 4+ D20 rolls connects the 4 Cathars you struck first with have earned their points even if your opponent is lucky enough to roll like a god and kill every single one of them this turn which is quite improbable. On average 4 attacks of 4 will kill 2 Cathars and keep in mind each Death Chaser that gets hit by a D20 doesn't get to attack that round as well. This is not a particularly even fight outside of the Warhulk getting lucky and going nuts with its special every round.

What makes them so nasty to other melee units is that so long as you sit back and wait in a proper formation the enemy squad figures are usually going to be running a 25% to 75% chance of getting killed by the D20 rolls they have to endure just to try and get into position to attack. Losing like half of all your melee squad pieces before they even get to roll an attack is an absolutely brutal hurdle to try and cross.
The basic approach in this matchup is to get the Warhulk to engage multiple figures, then have the chasers come in and clean up the ones the Warhulk didn't kill. If the Warhulk goes hurricane and kills everything... oh well.

Again, not saying it's an easy matchup but it's winnable if you can leverage terrain. And the real "A" version of the 'chaser build has MBS so you should have an easy time leveraging terrain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking East View Post
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts I think that the only melee squads that really have a chance going toe to toe with the spear men are cheap bonding squads like the orcs and the romans precisely because they are cheap enough to eat the D20s.
I think knights with viking champs can manage.

Also there's cheap non-bonders that can pull it off. Venocs x7 + Warlord is going to out-class Spearmen x4 + Marcus pretty reliably. I'll take cutters x6 against Spearmen x4 a lot of the time. It comes down to how effectively the spearmen can prevent mob attack, but scurry makes reach a lot less effective.

And again, I don't see why we should discount that a startzone full of 4th Mass beats the spearmen on any map where they can get to height.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking East View Post
Edit: It looks like I forgot to mention this earlier, but I think the Cathar's have a strategically rich and flavorful design which I really like a lot. I just think they are over tuned.
As I said, I'll cop to their being underpriced by about 15 per squad, which definitely matters. If they were that much more expensive then it changes the numbers balance in all these matchups, and suddenly a lot more figures feel like they are relatively cheap enough to risk the spear hits.

In VC we never aim to create an "A" figure, but when you aim for B+ and you under-price, you get A. That's OK; there's plenty of A figures in classic too.

I know people talk about the Braced Spear roll being too low, but to me it's such a key flavor element of the design and raising it too high would ruin a lot of what makes them play like I want spearmen to play. If I were going to change anything aside from price, it would be to lean in further to the formation aspect. I might make a Braced Spear power like so:
BRACED SPEAR 17
After an opponent's figure ends its movement engaged with at least one Cathar Spearman that was not engaged before that figure began its movement, you may roll the 20-sided die. Add 1 to the roll for each Cathar Spearman within 2 clear sight spaces of the opponent’s figure that was not engaged before that figure began its movement. If you roll a 17 or higher, the opponent’s figure receives one wound.
This would, as I say, further encourage bunching up the Spearmen. It's also probably a bit weaker (lower cutoff for the wound most of the time, but fewer rolls most of the time) so it would probably negate the need for a price bump. It would also trigger Elaria-related PTSD in Scytale.
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Old September 16th, 2018, 11:17 PM
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Re: The Book of Cathar Spearmen

I recall playing against these guys with Braxas. She is nasty here, because she can hold height and melt up to three of them at a time. You will have to play super aggressively with her though, because she has to kill a lot of cathars to get the job done. Even running her into pikes just to possibly get another kill is important, because she has to do a lot of damage.

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