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  #85  
Old June 15th, 2021, 03:41 PM
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Got It

Okay I'm understanding your delineation better and that helps me follow where you're coming at.

~Dysole, still with no concrete ideas for any upcoming RtW events
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  #86  
Old June 15th, 2021, 10:02 PM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

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Originally Posted by Dysole View Post
I think you don't see short but good as much because most people know how to play those good armies so it tends to feel like less of an edge than when you're playing the weird mixes I or OEAO or IS have or one of the I'm good with this figure armies. There's also a couple examples that have been left out like Johnny Frisbee with Heavies x3 Tornak Ornak 2019 that made day 2, and some of the glad/blast builds feel that way.

~Dysole, informationally
True.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegietarian18 View Post
Wasn't the 2019 point total 410? Ornak Tornak Heavies x3 is 410 points. Unless your point is that Ornak and Tornak are bad figures that eat up your points, which is fair, but I think it's more of a Mediocre but Whole army. Different than the other Mediocre but Whole armies since Tornak and Ornak are the mediocre ones, not the bonding squad.

dok's 2019 Gladblast could definitely be classed as Short but Good though. Swarm Raelin and Kumiko just spend points there. Truly, many of these armies can be classed as other archetypes, but I'm trying to pick the most defining attribute for each army. If you're going to class playing suboptimal figures to spend points as Short but Good, a lot of RtW armies could fall in the category. There's a gradient of:

Actually playing light
Playing figures who truly waste points and do nothing (Matthias's 2018 Hato)
Figures who waste a lot of points but situationally can do something (Vegie 2019 X17 + Theracus)
------------------
Bad figures who you need to do some things but are under no impression that they'll be killing their points' worth (ISB3 2018 Agent Carr + Dund, dok 2019 SotM Raelin + Kumiko)
Playing mediocre figures who you think can probably carry about their points worth in an RtW meta, with support from some good options that help them (the entire Mediocre but Whole archetype)

To me, the short but good archetypes ends at the dotted line, and then it just becomes other RtW army making strategies, that often involve spending points suboptimally.
I think Iíd draw the line after the second bullet point (Matthias/Hatamoto). I see it as either just straight up playing short, or playing things that are clearly so bad and arenít the main part of your build, plus have pretty much no tie to your main core, and theyíre literally just to spend those points. X17 is bad but with Theracus thereís utility, and didnít that combo actually do you some good tactically in a few games? That to me just feels like youíre effectively utilizing bad figures (well theracus isnít terrible), which just feels like the RtW meta armies.

But like you said armies can dip into multiple archetypes. And it is true that the rest of your army was good units.
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  #87  
Old June 29th, 2021, 09:43 PM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

It's definitely debatable if my army really was playing short. X17 never really did have a great game though no. His best game was probably the quarterfinals against Major Q23, when I just plopped him on Valda with Theracus; he was very safe against Q23's Dwarves with his melee defense and secured the glyph for the Chasers the whole game. My opponents either tried to use X17 without much success or just left him in the startzone until the endgame. I had a few games where I left him in the startzone too.

I guess I just think Deathchasers are good, and they were by far the more meaningful part of the army. Anyway I guess I'm not sure what I'd class it as otherwise either; maybe Fast But Fragile?
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  #88  
Old July 1st, 2021, 04:00 AM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

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Originally Posted by vegietarian18 View Post
It's definitely debatable if my army really was playing short. X17 never really did have a great game though no. His best game was probably the quarterfinals against Major Q23, when I just plopped him on Valda with Theracus; he was very safe against Q23's Dwarves with his melee defense and secured the glyph for the Chasers the whole game. My opponents either tried to use X17 without much success or just left him in the startzone until the endgame. I had a few games where I left him in the startzone too.

I guess I just think Deathchasers are good, and they were by far the more meaningful part of the army. Anyway I guess I'm not sure what I'd class it as otherwise either; maybe Fast But Fragile?
Gladblast?

Haha yeah youíre right itís not too obvious to categorize otherwise...Iíd probably go with Fast But Fragile myself. Itís also an army (DCís) that youíre definitely good with, so I could see it under Figures You Personally Are Very Good At. I guess it would feel more like Short But Good to me had you played 40pt. under or had a not-so-good filler for Theracusís spot. Theracus+X17 actually seems decent to me, it for sure makes it a lot easier to get X17 somewhere and that can help save your deathchasers from some attacks. Would you say Theracus+X17 was a big reason for your win against William? Iíd say the filler in this category really shouldnít ever do much, besides maybe getting super lucky in the end game or something.
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  #89  
Old August 4th, 2021, 07:36 PM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

Honestly I don't know what to say post-Championship this year. Before the tournament started, I was talking to my dad about how I didn't think either of our builds fit into these archetypes, and now that I've seen other builds I don't think most other people's did either. There was a pretty substantial dropoff in power level and army coherence from previous years. I'm reluctant to call any of the top builds "Splash" because I think they're so different from previous Splash builds. Dysole's is really the only thing that's in the Splash mold. Basically I think "7 card order marker chaos" may be a new archetype that was invented this year. I'll need a little time to think things over.
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  #90  
Old August 5th, 2021, 08:19 PM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

If I'm being honest, I quite hate the builds we see in RtW for the Main Event. I'm probably in the minority of players - and clearly my record in the main event RtW doesn't speak for itself (I went a shameful 2-4 haha) - but bringing 7 cards of random stuff, or 7 cards of stuff that sorta works together or has slight synergy etc...just seems so annoying and lame. Again, take this for what it is...just my opinion...but why is this such a thing? I mean, to me it seems much more fun and enjoyable to have maybe 2-3 cards of okay, midlevel units that have synergy rather than splashing in 1 squad of everything just to make sure you have a matchup for that unit. For example, Phantoms X1 in case you see range, Mezzos X1 in case you see commons, Syvarris cause he's cheap Range and then whatever else and then Raelin to make all your bad stuff good and to make sure your few numbers survive. I'm sorry, but that just does not sound fun to me to try and make 1 squad of 3 different squads and a few different heroes, work.

Honest question, why is this a thing? Why do so many people play the main event this way? I really don't get it. Is it really because you want to make sure you always have a unit you can use in a "bad" matchup? i.e. if they have range, at least you have Phantoms X1 etc etc.

I just feel like so many armies were just a bunch of random crap thrown together....but again...that's me on a soap box talking from a 2-4 record for the event...so maybe I'm just uneducated/inexperienced in how this event is "supposed" to work. idk...

~Sir H getting off his soapbox now, not trying to offend
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  #91  
Old August 5th, 2021, 08:31 PM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

No offense taken at all; I think this is an interesting/important discussion (and one I've had with a few other people since ScapeCon, actually, so having it here on a public forum is probably a good thing).

So there's a few things to un-pack in there, and I'll try to separate them as best I can.

1) Who enjoys those armies?
I can't/shouldn't speak for others, but I definitely do enjoy playing them; to me, adding another level of complexity (harder OM decisions and planning ahead more) is enjoyable. I will say that I believe I've learned at least as much about individual figure placement tactics & OM decisions in the 3 main events I've played (GenCon '18, '19, & ScapeCon '21) playing pod armies (mostly x1 of common) than in almost all other competitive tournaments I've played in that time because the armies are so unforgiving they force you to really learn tiny placement details that would otherwise compose 1% of the win rate but compose > 20% of the win rate with these armies. I.e. all other things aside, I believe playing these types of armies has made much a much better overall 'Scape player.

2) Why would I play such an army instead of x4 of a bad common?
It's harder for other people to play and induces them to make more types of mistakes. If I enter a tournament I'm trying to win it (that level of competition is fun for me) and I see these types of armies as a way to increase my edge. Specifically:
- these armies require better planning in round 1, which is harder if you haven't played that specific combo before
- these armies are less forgiving to a mistake, which lowers variance (a good thing, for me at least as I see lowering variance against all but, like, 5-10 players as a way to increase the chance I win that game, all other variables being equal at least).
- these armies negate the matchup-roulette, to an extend at least. Imagine, say, 4x McDirks; some armies matchup well with that, some matchup terribly, and I prefer to avoid getting a terrible matchup (also consider how big of an effect the matchup has in, say, 4x400). Having Raelin + 1x of each 'type' of figure (screen, high offense, ranged, etc.) means I'm much more likely to avoid any unwinnable matchups. It's not perfect, but I think the matchup roulette is much lessened by these types of armies.

I've got plenty of additional thoughts on this topic, but I'd like to leave these thoughts a bit briefer to let them be digested / disagreed with / agreed with / etc. on their own for now.
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  #92  
Old August 5th, 2021, 10:39 PM
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Shrug

I tend to go more towards 2x crappy unit + Raelin + things that cover crappy units' weakness. I can play the OM hell armies but I tend to want a touch more stability. I dunno. It's worked for me so far (making Day 2 at least). I'm sympathetic to your concerns though.

~Dysole, who is admittedly one of the premier "let's bring crap and win with it" players
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  #93  
Old August 5th, 2021, 10:50 PM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

I'm basically 100% in line with Chris Perkins here. I like playing these armies. Maybe the one weakness is the lack of time to prep for them; if I had an hour to do a test game on my own I'd be much better at playing these complex builds. But that's the point of the format, to hand your opponent something they'll struggle with.

You're 100% right on the matchup smoothing aspect too. Having a variety of tools means that when you sit down to play any game, whether it's against something coherent or variable, you'll have a shot at winning. This is possible precisely because of the power level weakness of the event.

Anyways, I love Reverse the Whip armies (as is evidenced by me writing this thread). I think they reward essential Heroscape skills and challenge you in good ways. I'm definitely interested in hearing other perspectives though since I feel like this year was a big jump to extremes of very difficult to play builds, so if people weren't having fun with that there's some lessons to be learned.
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  #94  
Old August 6th, 2021, 03:29 PM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

I personally prefer the weak but whole build style, and am not a fan of the “7 card OM chaos” archetype. But I think that’s because I like the theme aspect of Heroscape quite a bit. So the big mishmash doesn’t interest me as much. But if you’re playing to win when your opponent gets your army I understand why you’d want to bring that army and particularly make choices to correct for army weakness in various matchups.
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  #95  
Old August 7th, 2021, 08:29 AM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

I'll try to keep this short because I didn't attend ScapeCon this year, but I'm with Sir Heroscape in that I really dislike playing these 7 card "OM hell" armies, and I think that most non-top players fall in the same boat. (As evidenced by the fact that 18/19 armies with 4 cards or less were brought by players that failed to make day 2). One of the things I love about RTW as a format is how it facilitates building an army around a bad unit that would never see the light of day in a pure cheese tournament, (such as Boromir's glad-less blasts this year or Dysole's Ashigaru army for online con), and from that perspective, it's pretty disappointing to see top 16 filled with a bunch of incoherent crap. (No shade to any of the players who brought those armies though). I understand why people did this - the matchup smoothing and difficult OM decisions highlighted in this thread are real and do make a difference to the outcome of a game. But at the end of the day, playing a 7 card army with little direct synergy is not something that a lot of people find enjoyable, and I think it'd be a real shame if the weak-but-coherent builds that used to be a mainstay of RTW fell out of favour in exchange for these incoherent OM chaos armies.

~ Grey Waves, hoping he doesn't look like a tosser for giving his opinion on an event he didn't actually attend

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  #96  
Old August 7th, 2021, 10:36 AM
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Re: Reverse the Whip Army Archetypes

I guess I disagree that bad units that never see the light of day in competitive events weren't out in force at this most recent RtW event. My build had Mindflayer Mastermind as a central piece, HoundsRule had no-Blast Gladiatrons as his most consistent squad, Earl of Sandwich had Capuans without Spartacus, infectedsloth had a hybrid Scout build of Spiders/Mohicans, OEAO had double Ice Troll, Dysole had Shaolin Monks, Garenex had Erevan Sunshadow, Son of Chompy had Roman Archers. People had bad units that do not see the light of day, but they also had them in hard-to-play builds. I think it's a little reductive to the realities of the builds people were playing to just call them OM hell armies, when in the end they were still made of pieces, many of the time with strange synergy and those pieces had to be played well. For example, in Earl's build, he had plenty of creative synergy moves even though he had tons of pieces; he'd step Syvarris back in his startzone next to Kyntela for a defense boost, or put all his OMs on Crixus and one squad of Capuans for the init boost. These builds do have real Heroscape complexities, it's not just piles of figures.

I try to make a new concept happen every time in RtW. I view main as a space to make creative builds, maybe to the detriment of my ability to actually win the event, but I'm pretty proud of the figures I've put on the map. I don't think I could have done this in anything other than RtW. I don't have any allegiance to putting weak figures on the table, but I think in doing creative things I've gotten plenty of weak ones out there. I think lots of other people would feel that way about what they've run over the years in RtW too.

Spoiler Alert!


Some of these builds (really everything besides my 2018 build) are certainly in the "weak but coherent" section of the RtW meta. While my army this year did have the forbidden seven cards, the order markers were basically always 1 Ornak 2 3 Heavies, not much of a hell. My 2019 army was basically straight Deathchasers playing a ton of points short. Matthias won in 2018 with straight Dwarves playing a Hatamato short. Essentialy, OMs are just one skill; if you can beat your opponents in other skills you can win RtW games that way. I don't know what it was like for Matthias, but for me I think I preserved the survivability of my 9 Deathchasers significantly better than all of my RtW opponents did.

On the flip side of my variety of builds with weaker figures or concepts made possible by RtW, there are people like Major Q23 who have largely been working with the same pretty solid figures in RtW for a long time. He's played Dwarves and Darrak and Tandros and Phantoms and Concan multiple times before this. These I think are the builds I think people are a little more upset about. While those figures don't have explicit synergy together as a coherent whole, he's been working out the kinks of playing them well for years. And I don't see anything wrong with that either, he's worked at this for a really long time, so why shouldn't he be able to pilot that build to success.

I have no doubt in my mind that a well-piloted and well-designed mega-coherent Death Knight or Armoc or Deathstalker or Sacred Band or Gorillanator build could have taken down this event. OMs are just one skill in RtW, but the format is about having skills your opponents do not have. I think if anything is a problem here, it's maybe the overfocus on the championship as an event, and I'm probably just as guilty of that as others. RtW is just one Heroscape format, and now people have had 10 years to get good at RtW. There were other high skill events like Betrayal that had a completely different set of people do well in them than RtW. I do think RtW is an ideal championship format for Heroscape in its current stage, but it would maybe be healthier if the championship had a little less of the spotlight for the weekend. That's probably true regardless of the championship format.
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