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  #1  
Old March 28th, 2010, 09:32 PM
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Beyond the Obvious

Well met!

This is a thread for competitive armies that do not elicit a response like "[w]ell, duh, Q-9, Raelin, and anything is competitive." This is a thread for armies that elicit a response more like "[w]ow, I never would have thought to create an army like this. It's synergies and power are in no way obvious!"

An example of the latter is an army Marro Divider #4 came up with recently:

150 Major Q-10
140 DW 9000
120 Stingers x 2
120 Hydra
70 Zettians
600

Special Attacks, explosive attack, high defense, range and melee, in six cards that can be combined into two and/or three card waves/combinations for a myriad of opponents' strengths. Very flexible, fun, and relatively strong army with no Raelin, no Deathreavers, no Krav . . .



Next Generation

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  #2  
Old March 28th, 2010, 10:15 PM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

I think that's a pretty cool army there. The only problem I think with it isn't not using the Krav, it's facing them. The only figure that could really beat them would be the Hydra, but in my limited experience with the Hydra, the Krav seem to be able to take him out easily, especially since you can still Stealth Dodge from Reach.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 08:47 AM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

Q10 really isn't that bad against the Krav with his Machine Pistol.

The Venoc Warlord is easily my favorite "syngery" unit. He has so many different synergies going on, and he synergizes with other figures that synergize.

This used to be one of my favorite synergy-filled armies:

Sujoah - 185
Fyorlag Spiders x2 - 265
Venoc Warlord - 385
Zetacron - 445
Armoc Vipers - 510

It can be changed now to something like this:

Wyvern - 100
Fyorlag Spiders x3 - 220
Venoc Warlord - 340
Estivara - 420
Zetacron - 480
Theracus - 520
Brave Arrow - 570, 18 hexes

I see a few different strategies with this army, depending on who/what you're playing. If there's a big hero out there that needs to die, Zetacron has a threat range of 15 to try and pop off a super-charged shot. If that fails, the BaT Bomb can fly 9 spaces and use Theracus' boosted attack, followed by Brave Arrow's attack of 4, but that's not all! Once Theracus dies, the Spiders and Wyvern come charging in (Spiders moving 9), and any Spiders that get adjacent to Brave Arrow (who can surivve for a while thanks to Concealment 10) also get the +1 attack. Once the Spiders are in the battle, Estivara moves up from behind, shoots something with her Venom Ray, further boosts the Spiders' attack, and might be invincible from range for a turn. After all that, the Venoc Warlord is still hanging around for cleanup duty.

Without the big hero, Theracus might want to carry Estivara into battle to make use of her bigger attack aura, and lead with the Spiders/Wyvern. Brave Arrow makes a fantastic glyph holder if there's a good one out there. Estivara can also just move out on her own, in which case Theracus could be saved for mid-game with Brave Arrow to fly in and support the Spiders.

And, I haven't really talked at all about what Talon Grab can do, which is a lot of cool stuff like dropping a figure into some Brave Arrow/Estivara boosted Spiders, or putting Raelin on low ground for Zetacron to blast her on the next OM. I also haven't really gotten into Venom Ray or Venomous Sting, which both have the ability to kill big things in one turn. Lastly, this bears mentioning on its own even though I've talked about it - this army is just absurdly fast. Estivara's movement of 5 seems super slow here, but her ranged attack and 6-space aura easily make up for it. Brave Arrow's and Zetacron's 7 movement is just average when you have the Wyvern's Flying 7, the Spiders' walking scurrying 9 and Theracus' Flying 9. Mittens is so good.

Either way, having played the 510 Point version that has a lot of synergy, but not nearly as much as the new 550, I can tell you that this army would be ridiculously fun to play, and should compete fairly well.

Here are some other units that synergize with the units in this army:

Mohican River Tribe - +2 movement from Mittens and semi-bonding with Brave Arrow
Venoc Vipers - +2 movement from Mittens and Frenzy Boost
Elite Onyx Vipers - +2 movement from Mittens and Frenzy Boost
Aubrien Archers - Frenzy Boost from Mittens
Armoc Vipers - bonding with Mittens
Roman Legionaires - bonding with Mittens
Finn the Viking Champion - the FaT Bomb and boost to Zetacron's Deadly Shot
Sujoah - bonding with Fyorlag Spiders (also a cool "poison" theme with Estivara and Wyvern)
More Wyverns - bonding with Fyorlag Spiders
Pelloth - can use Lolth's Wrath on Estivara (yeah, that one's a stretch)

There are also a bunch of units that synergize with those, and the list goes on...

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Last edited by killercactus; March 29th, 2010 at 10:36 PM. Reason: I wonder how many times I used the word "synergy" in that post. I'm too lazy to count.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

In my opinion, the "non-obvious" stuff isn't something that we can post and be right about. It's something simple that works, and later becomes the obvious.

Like when spider combined Raelin with a typical Arrow Grut army to win GenCon in 2006, or when Matthias Maccabeus and Mantrain showed that Heavy Gruts are indeed competitive in a rat/raelin/range heavy environment.

Even stuff like Mittens or Mogrimm + anything is fairly obvious, because it's written on the cards. Nilfheim + Greenscales + Y is going to be pretty obvious. It's units like the Deathreavers and Stingers, when first utilized, that are the 'non-obvious' picks.*

I'll get back to you in September.

*I wonder how hard it is to come up with something completely new these days. The new units are theoryscaped so much these days before they hit the table, that people seem to already have decided how good they are before they even play them. The overall knowledge level is a lot higher than it was in 2006... and yet, Heavy Gruts still surprised a fair number of people at GenCon, and there are still deniers out there.

I think the closest thing I've played to a non-obvious army was the army I used at my second tournament:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
Outpost 2000 Open- Coon Rapids, MN Jan. 2008
3x Deathreavers, Cyprien Esenwein, Sonya Esenwein, Nilfheim, Marro Warriors
Loss to Snotwalker 8000, wins against Jormi and Supergeek, very close win against Codeman
Results 4-1
This army was fun for me, but really frustrating for my opponents. The game against SW8K was very intense in the middle, but then I clearly lost.
Battle Report
But it still used Deathreavers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fomox View Post
(I've also played many matches with great, fun people who were using Q9. So using Q9 doesn't make you a tool. But being a tool sure seems to make you use Q9.)

Last edited by Jexik; March 29th, 2010 at 11:06 AM.
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  #5  
Old March 29th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
...and there are still deniers out there.
You mean the Stingers?
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  #6  
Old March 29th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbbnbsmith View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
...and there are still deniers out there.
You mean the Stingers?
Heh.

That's actually a good example.

When Jormi used them a day after they came out, made day 2 with them, and used SD, it definitely took people by surprise.

Now, people think that Stingers are lame and overplayed, but there was a time when it was original and groundbreaking to use them.

And I often find that the most interesting armies to me are the ones that use old 'good' units in new ways, like the time that someone used Taelord with a ton of 4th Mass in Ohio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fomox View Post
(I've also played many matches with great, fun people who were using Q9. So using Q9 doesn't make you a tool. But being a tool sure seems to make you use Q9.)
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  #7  
Old March 29th, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

Yeah, that was Brownsfan82, who is no stranger to unusual armies, as you well know.

Like Jexik said, it's tough to argue for hidden synergies when they're actually things that are on the card. For me, the cool avenue to explore is what I call "revealed synergy", where you find two or more figures that cover each other's weaknesses really well.

For example, the new PKs have very little explicit synergy - pretty much just Concan, Dupuis, and Torin, and I don't think any top players are really excited about those combinations. However, when you consider that they're extremely strong against the Krav, favored against 4th Mass, and able to ignore Deathreavers and kill Raelin fairly consistently, you can look for figures that struggle in those specific matchups. On the flip side, the PKs lose point-for-point against basically any common melee foe, so you want something that does well in that matchup. That leads you to a couple builds I've mentioned:

80 Raelin RotV
210 PK x3
225 10th x3
515, 22 hexes

80 Raelin RotV
120 Blastarons x2
160 Gladiatrons x2
140 PK x2
500, 23 hexes

Both those armies do have weaknesses, but a lot of bad matchups for each individual figure in the army are covered by others.

ETA: Another great example of "revealed synergy" is the Stingers + Zelrig combo that DrLivingston used to take down Hexes in Texas.

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Last edited by dok; March 29th, 2010 at 01:23 PM.
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  #8  
Old March 30th, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

Just wanted to jump in and link this battle report, in which I used a 505 variation of my Mittens/Spiders army above. I played against a hodge-podge army that probably wasn't the most competitive, but I was still amazed at how well I was able to make the pieces work together.

This battle also proved that heroes don't want to mess with the spider lady.

It makes me want to try this at 500 Points:

Wyvern - 100
Fyorlag Spiders x5 - 300
Estivara - 380
Venoc Warlord - 500, 19 hexes

and these at 520:

Wyvern x2 - 200
Fyorlag Spiders x3 - 320
Estivara - 400
Venoc Warlord - 520, 15 hexes

Wyvern - 100
Fyorlag Spiders x4 - 260
Estivara - 340
Zetacron - 400
Venoc Warlord - 520, 18 hexes

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  #9  
Old March 30th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

We don't have Kurrok's stats yet, but I have been thinking about a Kurrok, Earth Elemental, Minion army. The idea was to use the Minions to clog the battlefield and for heavy hitting while using the Earth Elementals as living shot-gun blasts. They can use the Underground Movement to get around the clogged everything plus Earth Slam doesn't affect your own Minions because they fly. I'm still not certain if Air Elementals or Sentinels would be a better pick than the Minions.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 03:35 PM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

I think it's going to be really hard to pair Kurrok and Elementals with an expensive common squad like Minions. We don't know for sure what Kurrok's stats are, but we have reason to believe he costs 150 or thereabouts. 150 + 220 for Minionsx2 puts you at 370 already, which means you only have space for four elementals at less than 510.

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Old March 30th, 2010, 03:45 PM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

I'm really thinking that the Greater Ice Elemental, Air Elemental combo is going to be pretty big. My friends have been using the GIE quite a bit, and the dude is a complete and utter beat stick. So, something like this might be very interesting to play...

Greater Ice Elemental (130 points)
3x Air Elementals (90 points)
3x Rats (120 points)
Sharwin (110)
450 points

or...

Greater Ice Elemental (130 points)
3x Air Elementals (90 points)
3x Rats (120 points)
Sharwin (110 points)
Marro Warriors (50 points)
500 points.

The AE/Rats combo I think is a decent means of holding down your fort, it's a bit order marker intensive, but regardless each holds its own purpose.

I also really love the GIE/Sharwin combo, you set Sharwin behind the elemental and ping away at your opponents.

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Old March 31st, 2010, 08:58 PM
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Re: Beyond the Obvious

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
It's units like the...Stingers, when first utilized, that are the 'non-obvious' picks.
Wow, I'm honestly surprised that the Stingers were once a "non-obvious" choice. When I first got my RotV and SotM, even before I really knew much about HS, they immediately struck me as a very powerful unit. Was the initial opinion of them tempered by Drain's fail chance?

As far a D1 units go, the PKs seem to me to have the highest potential to suddenly become Day 2 All-Stars once somebody figures out who to compliment them with.

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Last edited by Killometer; March 31st, 2010 at 08:59 PM. Reason: @kc-3, or 8 if you count all the derivatives
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