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Old June 16th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the eye?

This first preview we got of Wave D2 was a doozy (doozie? dusy? duesie?). I'm more excited about the Wyrmlings than I have been about a preview for a long time. However, I'm thinking these little dudes are going to be tougher to play than most players (including me) think.

First of all, I'll post each of the cards so we have a point of reference:









Now, many players have noted that the Wyrmlings work like a 2-person squad due to their Wyrmling Bonding power. Many others have noted that, since the Wyrmlings all do different things well and seem to be close in strength, that some variety in your choice of Wyrmling is probably the best way to play them. I'm beginning to disagree.

I started touching on this in another thread, but due to the nature of Wyrmling Bonding, the Wyrmlings (when varied within an army), are a lot tougher to play than a regular common squad is. If you vary your choice of Wyrmling, you can't just pile Order Markers onto any Wyrmling Army Card and activate any two you want. Here's the Wyrmling Bonding power:

Wyrmling Bonding - After revealing an Order Marker on a _____ Wyrmling Army Card, before taking that _____ Wyrmling's turn, you may take a turn with one other Wyrmling you control.

At first glance, I thought "cool - I can activate 2 Wyrmlings per turn!" and that was the end of it. But it's not. That might have seemed obvious to some, but it went completely over my head until I really thought about it. For example, take this army that I posted in the Wyrmlings - What's Your Army Idea? thread:

Red Wyrmling x3 - 90
White Wyrmling x3 - 180
Black Wyrmling x3 - 270
Blue Wyrmling x3 - 375
Deathreavers x3 - 495, 24 hexes

When I posted that army, I thought to myself "That's a sick army, and I'm playing it in the first tournament I can." However, I think that army is probably the toughest, most mentally taxing army I've ever constructed. Remember, because of the way Wyrmling Bonding is worded, if I place an Order Marker on a Red, that Red must be my second turn, and my first turn must be something other than the Red I plan on using for my second turn. Also, I need to make sure that at least 1 of my 3, 3 defense Red Wyrmlings are alive when I reveal that Order Marker, or I'm not getting a turn at all.

At 3 of each Wyrmling, I have lots of options, sure, but here's some things I need to think about and anticipate before the beginning of each round:

- Which Wyrmlings are the best to activate this round, based on what my opponent has?
- Are there enough, or will there be enough Wyrmlings of this color in position to make attacks when I reveal this Order Marker?
- Are there enough other Wyrmlings other than this one that will be in position to attack when I reveal this Order Marker?
- Am I sure at least one of these color Wyrmlings will be alive when I reveal this Order Marker?
- Are the color of Wyrmlings I need to use to beat my opponent protected?

There are probably more questions that will come up if I ever play this army, and that's before (or after) I consider all of the questions that Deathreavers and Scatter bring to the table. I think the first question though is the toughest - there are invariably going to be times when you wished your Order Marker was on a different color Wyrmling, and now your turn is only half as efficient as you'd like it to be. You can't activate 2 Red Wyrmlings to kill those Deathreavers your opponent just moved to engage you when you have an Order Marker on a White. You can't activate 2 Blacks to kill the Krav Maga your opponent just deployed when you had your OM on Blue to try and assassinate Raelin. And on top of all of that, if you only have 3 or so Wyrmlings of each color, you'd better make sure your opponent doesn't kill those 3 before you take a turn.

I think Deathreavers will help mitigate these choices by drawing fire away from the Wyrmlings and giving you time to set this army up, and I believe are a must (or, at least some type of screen is) for an army featuring multiple varieties of Wyrmling. However, if you're using Wyrmlings to fill in 120-150 Points of an army, I think that I strongly suggest sticking to one color. Splitting it up 2/3 or 2/2 makes it very easy for your opponent to target your Order Markers and deny you turns unless you have them extremely well-protected. I'd suggest you find the hole your army needs filled, and pick the Wyrmling that best fills that role.

If you want a rat-eraser, I suggest going all Red.
If you want Raelin or Krav assassins, I suggest going all Black.
If you want a solid squad-killing option or map control, I suggest going all White.
I don't see the Blues being used in this role very often, as I believe there are better role players out there than them and they have a weird Point cost. I think their worth comes into play with other Wyrmlings (namely Red and Black) that either have trouble with tough heroes or are in need of a multiple attack.

Beyond using 4 or 5 Wyrmlings, I really think it's going to be best to keep to 2 colors at most, or 3 colors with a majority invested in one color to protect your Order Markers. This way, you can pick a color that you're going to use your OM's on and make sure you leave one of those in the back until needed to protect your turns. White probably makes the most sense to use for an OM sink for multiple Wyrmlings as it has the best defense.

Just some things to think about - I can't wait til these guys hit shelves!

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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

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Interesting thoughts KC, you made me rethink these little guys myself...

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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:25 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

I agree that in small numbers, you want the same color. The OM issue is too important to ignore unless you plan on only activating them in situations where they will be quite safe, and only one OM per round.

When you scale up, I think you can get away with a mix. As long as you have one of each of 3(or4) colors in the back, and spread the OMs around, the opponent won't know exactly where to focus attention. There is a risk, of course, but it's not quite as bad as using different common squads. In the deathreaver/Raelin Wyrmling army, which is the only Wyrmling-heavy army that makes sense to me so far, the rats should be offering enough cover early- to mid-game that the OMs aren't an issue.

But it certainly gets harder in the end game, and there I think a mix makes it very hard to not lose a turn here and there. If you're ahead, it may not kill you, but if you're even-to-behind, it's going to be tough to deal with lost OMs.

I think this can be dealt with somewhat by using colors you're low on more aggressively near the end, so you're left with mostly one color at the end. (The counter-strategy is clear, but possibly not always easy if you've engaged them with your last white.)
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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:29 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

So, I'll have to buy at least 4 packs of Wymlings, in order to field an appropriate number of Reds for Golem-splash. Clever marketing ploy, WotC!



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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

Wyrmlings - more than meets the eye? I thought that was Transformers.

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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

Wow KC! I never saw these guys as that complicated...but I see now they will be hard to use as a Primary force unless you have lots of the same color...makes me think about these guys more and more and I think I'm excited for them more than Kurok and the elementals.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:12 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

Quote:
Originally Posted by fomox View Post

When you scale up, I think you can get away with a mix. As long as you have one of each of 3(or4) colors in the back, and spread the OMs around, the opponent won't know exactly where to focus attention. There is a risk, of course, but it's not quite as bad as using different common squads. In the deathreaver/Raelin Wyrmling army, which is the only Wyrmling-heavy army that makes sense to me so far, the rats should be offering enough cover early- to mid-game that the OMs aren't an issue.
I agree that when you scale up, you can get away with a mix to some degree, and with a screen, though it's still risky business. Having 3 of each (for example) and leaving one in the back means that only 2 are in attack position (maybe - only moving 2 per turn will make it tough to keep one of each available for attacking) and, if your opponent focuses on the color that hurts his army the most, you might find yourself with a bunch of useless (or not as useful) Wyrmlings that your opponent can just systematically destroy. I think this might make them a tough choice for a blind tournament army, though probably excellent as a counter-draft, especially in big numbers.

For instance, if I'm playing Vydar range, I'm bee-lining Q9 straight at the Blacks, and then the Blues if there are any. Reds and Whites aren't all that scary to Q9/Krav.

If I'm playing Deathreavers, I don't really like my matchup but you can bet I'm taking aim at the Reds, then the Blacks.

I guess my point is that the Wyrmling's opponent can focus on which ones are the threat to him and, with a mixed Wyrmling army, it might not be too difficult for them to take the dangerous ones down.

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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

Another thing you might be able to try is using a backbone of one color for OM protection, say, White, because they have the highest defense, and keep one behind a ruin, and then sprinkle in other colors for variety.

3x Deathreavers 120
7x White Wyrmlings 330
3x Red Wyrmlings 420
3x Black Wyrmlings 510

I guess you'd have to drop a rat, but you get the idea.

Edit: This is exactly what you suggested in the last paragraph. Carry on.

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(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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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

well as the title implies, these little guys are a little more dangerous to use than what we gave them credit for. But I think that the largest reason that these guy's are so difficult to use is not their overall strengths, but rather how we are utilizing them. Think back when there was the swog rider. Now your army needed 25 points for filler and you did not stick the arrow gruts in your army so you had to take Swoggie for his stats, not his abilities. He was not the main force of an army like that. This is where storytime is over. This is the age of the wyrmlings. So if we used them for say filler or as 100pts-120pts we should be fine. Using these little taxing beasties with 1 life and the highest def is 4 as our front line and the bulk of our armies just never sat well with me. Which is why in the armies thread, I never put too much meat of the wyrms in my army and never will(except for entertainment's sake).

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Old June 16th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

Great article, kc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kolakoski View Post
So, I'll have to buy at least 4 packs of Wymlings, in order to field an appropriate number of Reds for Golem-splash. Clever marketing ploy, WotC!
Remember that there's no splash on fledgeling fires. Golem spash only works with the unique heroes (Zelrig, DW9k, Murphy/Sullivan, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by killercactus View Post
I agree that when you scale up, you can get away with a mix to some degree, and with a screen, though it's still risky business. Having 3 of each (for example) and leaving one in the back means that only 2 are in attack position (maybe - only moving 2 per turn will make it tough to keep one of each available for attacking) and, if your opponent focuses on the color that hurts his army the most, you might find yourself with a bunch of useless (or not as useful) Wyrmlings that your opponent can just systematically destroy.
I agree; I think the "keep 1 of each in reserve" is a non-starter. Loading up mostly on one color, keeping one of that in reserve, and using it as an OM sink is a pretty decent strategy, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by killercactus View Post
I think this might make them a tough choice for a blind tournament army, though probably excellent as a counter-draft, especially in big numbers.
I don't think it's quite that bad. I think you just have to have a robust number of at least one, and a strategy for dealing with the armies that are not great for your majority wyrmling.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 11:08 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

Quote:
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I don't think it's quite that bad. I think you just have to have a robust number of at least one, and a strategy for dealing with the armies that are not great for your majority wyrmling.
Wyrmlings cost 30-35 points a pop, 3 of each {edit: worth} plus a counter...HS doesn't give you that many points to start with usually.

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Old June 16th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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Re: Early Wyrmling Strategy Musings - More than meets the ey

Quote:
Originally Posted by kolakoski View Post
So, I'll have to buy at least 4 packs of Wymlings, in order to field an appropriate number of Reds for Golem-splash. Clever marketing ploy, WotC!
I think I understand the term Golem-Splash (Attacking your own Golem with a AoE (Like a Shotgun or Majestic Fires) to hit multiple enemies with little fear of damage for your Golem... right?

If that's the case then how will a red wyrmling achieve this tactic? They don't have a splash attack... do they?

...No. No they Don't.

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