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  #205  
Old September 21st, 2014, 01:32 AM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

They aren't broken. They do make the meta game harder for Melee armies in general (especially the ones that aren't A-ranked). I'll admit I wish that was not the case. But they are not broken.

Your custom probably has too much Defense.
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  #206  
Old September 21st, 2014, 02:47 AM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

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Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
The most persuasive argument that they are broken is a demonstration that they are broken. Has such a demonstration occurred? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm quite serious.
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They aren't broken. They do make the meta game harder for Melee armies in general (especially the ones that aren't A-ranked). I'll admit I wish that was not the case. But they are not broken.
These types of dialogue are flawed at there core.

What is broken? Tell me a Heroscape figure that is broken? Q9? No there's counters. Raelin? No. Rats? No. There is not one Heroscape figure that is "broken." Even if heroscape was played in a vacuum, which of course it's not, there still wouldn't be a single figure that can be consider broken.

Terms like broken and to a lesser extent overpowered have hurt custom design as much as they've help it. It's a shortcut words that's used in lieu of actually trying to understand a figures place in the metagame. Not broken and properly priced are not synonyms.

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I've played against Cathars with Finn+Thorgrim+Knights+MW/KMA several times, and never lost (and I've lost the other side of the matchup once as well).
That also doesn't show anything. Taking very strong armies that perfectly counter Cathars and barley winning, and then saying the Cathar are balanced is the reason there to strong in the first place.
I'm not sure what "balanced" is supposed to mean here, or what you think I was trying (and failing?) to show. I am the guy who ranked them an "A" as a squad, and I stand by that ranking. I'm just noting that there are primarily melee builds that I am comfortable running against the Cathars. And I've already stated that I think the strongest ranged builds have an edge on them (although they are extremely strong against the 10th - they are almost a hard counter to the redcoats). So there's a range of armies that put them at a disadvantage. Yes they are good, yes they are "A" ranked for a reason, but I don't consider them broken.
Calling super Krav/super Marro Warriors a primarily melee army is a bit disingenuous.

The difference between Cathar and the other elite squads is that you can play well against them, out maneuver your opponent but still get screwed by braced spear. No other elite melee squad has such a mechanic.

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  #207  
Old September 21st, 2014, 05:42 AM
Dragon Ruler Dragon Ruler is offline
 
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

In my opinion, braced spear is broken. I watched braced spear destroy heavy gruts/grimnak in the championship game at Islandscape. OrcElf was playing the gruts. Orc has won General Wars (2012) Lightweight (2013, 2014) with the gruts and is known as a pretty good grut player. (In fact on the way to the 2013 championship his gruts beat Dok's gruts. In the 2014 championship game his gruts crushed my 4th Mass.) He got stomped by braced spear. The problem with braced spear, as opposed to the poison of the hounds for instance (also d20 dependent) is that if your figures are poisoned you at least move and attack with different figures. With braced spear you have moved into it, and once you are speared, you have no attack. Broken. Case closed.
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  #208  
Old September 21st, 2014, 09:46 AM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

I should not have to explain that neither an anecdote nor theoryscaping is a proper "demonstration." They've been out for a while now, a serious review of their performance in a competitive environment should be possible now or possibly soon. Bring data to the conversation, though.

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  #209  
Old September 21st, 2014, 10:53 AM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

I think its time I fully break down the Cathar Spearmen, so we can see that nothing about them is broken by itself, but together, they combine to make the most powerful unit in the history of Scape.

@dok: You just called them a range squad, to an extent. Isn't the fact that they are the only 4-defense, 4-man range squad a problem?

The Cathar take the best of the 4th Mass, Knights of Weston, and Marrden Hounds and combine them into a range squad who melee cannot beat unless they have plenty of bonding heroes or range support, which most melee armies don't have, unless they are Romans or Greeks.

The Cathars also have NO incentive to get engage, which is a problem because it makes Braced Spear even better. The power is backwards from a balanced perspective: it should be like the Granite Guardians, where they are weaker from range.

Braced Spear is broken. It is a cross between Engagement Strike and Plague. It requires a d20 roll of a 16 or better to activate, but it happens upon engagement by the opponent's figures. Engagement strike has only been used before on two units, both Uniques: Arkmer and Nakita Agents. On a common squad, it is a devastating power. The only drawback that it has is that if they are engaged, their spears are not braced.

Like Dragon Ruler said, another problem is the fact that it is often SO much more powerful than the Hounds' plague. If you move anything with only 1 life next to a spearman, you lose not only that figure's move, but also attack and board control. That Cathar can then kill a different figure on its own turn, gaining a devastating momentum swing.

Plague and Engagement Strike both have exceptions: Plague doesn't work on Marrdens or Soulborgs, and Engagement Strike doesn't work on large or huge figures. Braced Spears doesn't have any exceptions, making it better than both Plague and Engagement.

Any good melee player knows the key to winning with melee: momentum and board control. So if you use a melee squad and lose that board control and attack which disrupts their board positioning and momentum, you literally cannot win. Even when Braced Spear fails, or if they are playing against range, they still have 4 defense, which is on par with all of the A-range melee squads.

Now, the only way to beat them is obviously to engage them with a bonding hero, correct? However, that is flawed, as few melee armies will be using several bonding heroes, so that one that gets engaged will be killed almost instantaneously after engagement. A few hits from Braced Spear plus a few attacks and even the mighty Grimnak will fall. Plus, melee armies generally work best if they stay together, but the Cathar can battle efficiently on two fronts at the same time.

Finally, they are a very luck-based unit, which I feel is horrible for the meta-game as we should not be encouraging luck; we should be encouraging skillful play, not who can roll the d20 best.

So, as we see, not only do they wreck melee due to loss of board control and momentum, they can still hold up as well as everything else in the A-range to range. They are better against melee than other melee and better against range than other melee, making them the strongest, most versatile unit in the game on the level as Major Q9.

Now, you want results @Dad_Scaper? I could boast about my Heavy Grut and Blade Grut records, but the people here already know that I have good, to say the least, records with them. Most did not think I could take Blade Gruts 5-0, but I did (having the pleasure of playing the greatest melee player of all time, Matthias_Maccabeus). Indeed, I have dismantled countless cheesy range armies with my Gruts.

The Cathar won IslandScape '13, going 4-0. In the finals, my Gruts fell to the Cathar. It wasn't close. I lost a full squad of Heavies to Braced Spear, leaving Grimank open to Reaches from height, so then he fell. In one order marker, I was down 190 points, out of 440 total. Any melee player knows that there is no coming back from a deficit like that, as @Grishnakh's son now had board control and momentum. He played well, but, without stealing his thunder, that one turn was the deciding factor for the whole game.

I, for one, am not fine with something this powerful. But if the C3V team refuses to see reason so that they can save face, rather than do what is right by admitting that they were mistaken and correct the power of this abomination of a unit, then, unfortunately, there is nothing we, as the loyal fans, can do. I am sure that over time, more results will arrive, reaching my same conclusion. As @Arch-vile modestly admitted earlier in this thread: "I'm a C3V Playtester, I naturally assume most of the C3V units are around a "B" range. I'm a little biased".
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  #210  
Old September 21st, 2014, 11:11 AM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

What else did they beat at Islandscape? Was the d20 hot? It sounds like it was. I don't know what you mean about refusing to see reason. You made an observation, I asked for an explanation. What else would you have me do?

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  #211  
Old September 21st, 2014, 11:19 AM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

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Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
What else did they beat at Islandscape? Was the d20 hot? It sounds like it was. I don't know what you mean about refusing to see reason. You made an observation, I asked for an explanation. What else would you have me do?
When I was talking about reason, I meant that I wish the C3V would amend this unit as a whole; it was not a personal shot. We need to get @Grishnakh here to attest what they beat, as I honestly don't know.


Yes, the d20 was hot, but why do we encourage the use of such luck dependent units? This is my huge problem, and @infectedsloth summed it up nicely: "The difference between Cathar and the other elite squads is that you can play well against them, out maneuver your opponent but still get screwed by braced spear. No other elite melee squad has such a mechanic".
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  #212  
Old September 21st, 2014, 11:22 AM
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I've beaten them with MacDirks. Ran away a 1 life Gilbert and then watched as Macdirks just barreled them over with 7 attack dice and the guy rolled Braced Spear maybe once or twice. I've also gotten stomped by them with Warforged with Marro Warriors before I realized precisely how their powers work and how to mitigate them. I think they are powerful, but I'm not certain one game can make them "broken".

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  #213  
Old September 21st, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

Oh come now. I do want to have this conversation, but you can play the 4th Mass with a spreadsheet. Let's stay focused and reasonable, please.

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  #214  
Old September 21st, 2014, 11:48 AM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

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Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
Oh come now. I do want to have this conversation, but you can play the 4th Mass with a spreadsheet. Let's stay focused and reasonable, please.
If you are calling the 4th Mass a low-skill unit, which I believe you are, I fully agree. Just because they are low skill doesn't mean we need more luck based units. One luck based unit does not warrant the creation of another.
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  #215  
Old September 21st, 2014, 12:22 PM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

So far I am reading here that in the championship game at Islandscape the Spearmen steamrolled Heavies in a game that was neither competitive nor fun from the Orcs' perspective. That is helpful feedback. The theoryscaping is moderately helpful as well.

In my experience with the Spearmen in tournaments, I have also found them to be very strong.

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  #216  
Old September 21st, 2014, 12:24 PM
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Re: C3V/SoV-inclusive Power Rankings

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What else did they beat at Islandscape? Was the d20 hot? It sounds like it was.
FWIW, I lost pretty badly against SonofGrishnakh's Cathar army playing a Dreadgul Raider, Jotun and Guilty McCreech army. The format was 450 points, 24 spaces. I don't recall SoG's luck being particularly exceptional, but I do recall losing a lot of Dreadguls to Braced Spear.

I agree with infectedsloth that the word "broken" generates more heat than light in a discussion like this, but my sense of the Cathars is that they're the kind of army one has to specifically counter if one wishes to have a reasonable chance of beating them, much like a Q9, Raelin and Deathreaver army.

I disagree with OrcElfArmyOne that if the Cathar were found to be as powerful as, say, the 4th Mass that it would be some kind of tragedy for a custom to be that good. As a founding C3V member though, I'll say that I do not want us to be putting out those kinds of units with any kind of frequency, and certainly not intentionally.
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