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  #1  
Old January 9th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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Venom or SotM Drake?

Okay, this post got me thinking about "X versus Y" threads that don't suck. Here's one I've been mulling over: Venom or the new Sgt. Drake?

LEFT BOX: Both are Medium 5 figures. Drake is a Valiant "Solider," which is worth something, and Venom is a Ferocious Vigilante, which is worth nothing. Advantage: Drake.

MOBILITY: Both have a choice between a normal move of 6 and a pseudo-flying move of 4. Neither's special movement can be boosted by any means or deactivated by Rannveig. Marcus can boost Drake's walking move to 7. Drake's Grapple Arm can traverse 45 vertical levels to Swing Line's 40, but Swing Line incorporates valuable disengagement and sometimes gives additional movement on the opponent's turn, and Venom takes no falling damage even when walking. Advantage: Venom.

ATTACK: Both have a normal melee attack of 6. Drake's Pistol Fire has a range of 5, attack of 3, and a slight disadvantage (cannot attack Jandar figures), and Venom's Web has a range of 4, attack of 3, and a slight advantage (target rolls 1 less defense die). Marcus can boost Drake's normal attack to 7, but Venom's super strength allows him to bypass the automatic shields of destructible objects. Advantage: none.

DEFENSE: Both have 4 defense. Drake has 6 life to Venom's 5. Defensive special powers are the main point of contention. Drake's Thorian Speed has a 100% chance to stop any normal attack from a non-adjacent figure, but it does not waste such attacks; they can be redirected at Drake's allies. Venom's Spider-Sense has a 35% chance to stop any normal or special attack from an adjacent or non-adjacent figure. If it goes off, it will waste the attack, preventing the enemy from redirecting at Venom's allies, and allow Venom to Swing Line (potentially moving out of range of further attacks that turn). Venom benefits from the glyph of Lodin; Drake does not. Every new special attack that appears degrades the value of Thorian Speed, but Spider-Sense only degrades when new d20 damage comes out, which happens less often. Advantage: unknown.

THEORYSCAPE CAGE MATCH TO THE DEATH: Since Venom laughs at Thorian Speed and Drake lacks the d20 damage required to break Spider-Sense, it should come as no surprise that the Heroscape matchup calculator declares Venom the winner of a one-on-one duel by a non-trivial margin (thanks very much to mathguy). Advantage: Venom.

COST: Drake is 170; Venom is 150. Advantage: Venom.

So my thinking is that when you draft Drake, you're essentially doing nothing more than forking over 20 points to have Venom upgraded to Valiant Soldier status. And that's assuming Thorian Speed is equal to Spider Sense, which my experience suggests is questionable.

Did I miss anything? Is there ever a reason to choose Drake over Venom in an army that lacks both the 4th Mass and Marcus? Thoughts?
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Old January 9th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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I haven't played Venom much, but whenever I've talked about it with Worldturtle, we've pretty much came to the same conclusions. If Marvel is allowed, and you have no reason to be Valiant, I'd say go with Venom. He's one of the Marvel heroes whose cost and overall survivability make him pretty balanced in a normal Heroscape game. Very good, but balanced and useful.

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Old January 9th, 2008, 11:03 AM
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Nice analysis, I think Drake has the edge slightly, due to the fact that a lot of people here don't mix Marvel and "Classic", especially when it comes to tourneys. Once that changes, who knows. Part of it depends on how many more valiant or soldier type synergies come out in future waves.

Quote:
If Marvel is allowed, and you have no reason to be Valiant,
I wouldn't say that, Captain America with 4x4th Mass, is a very good reason to go valiant.

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Old January 9th, 2008, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias Maccabeus
Quote:
If Marvel is allowed, and you have no reason to be Valiant,
I wouldn't say that, Captain America with 4x4th Mass, is a very good reason to go valiant.
That's true. I'm saying that if you've already resolved to have a non-valiant army, by choosing Deathreavers, Raelin, or Cyprien or something, and Marvel is allowed, I'd see little reason to pick Drake, and would opt for Venom for a mid to high cost beatstick.

Quote:
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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 January 9th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Re: Venom or SotM Drake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdhight
Did I miss anything? Is there ever a reason to choose Drake over Venom in an army that lacks both the 4th Mass and Marcus? Thoughts?
Ranged squads. The Nakitas, Krav Maga, 4th Mass, Arrow Gruts, etc. cannot touch Drake until he closes to melee (which he is no longer forced to do because of the Pistol). With Venom my experience has been that his Spidey Sense just doesn't work quite often enough. Also, I cannot count how many times I have had a hero perform, well, heroically on their very last point of life - so that 6 vs. 5 looms larger for me than it might for others. As with many HS comparisons, I think this one comes down to the specific situation faced.

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  #6  
Old January 9th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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Good post and good comparison. I hadn't thought of this one before. I'm with Aldin, though: it depends on the situation. Vs lots of range, I'd definitely want Drake, as Spider-Senses just doesn't cut it. In most other non-Valiant situations, though, I'd probably take the "bargain" hitter Venom.


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  #7  
Old January 10th, 2008, 10:09 PM
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Yeah, I think I'll be using Venom much more often, but Thorian Speed can really wreck a ranged squad in a tight passage where Drake can't be swarmed. One of the very first games in which I played the 4th Mass, it came down to several of my minutemen versus old Drake. He got halfway up a ladder so that only a couple of my figures could get adjacent at once. I finally won, but not before the Sergeant killed his points. Wasting 50% of your damage potential is never fun.
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  #8  
Old January 11th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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When I first saw the title of this thread, I couldn't help but think, what does Venom have to do with Drake. To me that was like asking of you needed to take Nakitas or Anubian wolves in an all Ullar Elf army. You totally got me to look at similarities more closer now. Well written.

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  #9  
Old January 13th, 2008, 02:27 PM
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I had a nice battle last night with Venon & ROTM Drake, and with Venom I managed to take him out after having 3 wounds on Venom. Although I couldn't roll a 14+ to leave an attack, but I did manage to roll a 13 7 times so that was a bummer.

In the end Crixus ended up taking out Venom to win the game but it came down to the wire.

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Old January 13th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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The only thing I can think of is that Drake would deflect attacks to deathreavers. The question you have to ask yourself is if you want your enemy to re-target. Sure, there are very few situations where you'd want to, but they are there. The other thing is that if the enemy has Astrid and height, you definitely want Drake rather than Venom. So, like Aldin said, it depends heavily upon the situation.
This is a good article, and I do agree that Venom works better most of the time.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 11:28 PM
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If Drake is the only one you move into range, then the retargeting option won't be there. I see SOTM Drake as a better assassin of major range players without special attacks. If the other guy has lots of ranged specials, though, give me Venom.

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Old January 14th, 2008, 12:17 AM
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Rdhight, I have to agree with your analysis. Venom is really one tough cookie. Drake, if anything, is tougher against the higher-point Iron Man, whose specials are not as useful against Drake as Venom's are. Well, Iron Man's Defense is higher, so let's analyze:

On avergage, Drake rolls three skulls; Tony rolls 2. That's 4 turns to kill him.

Tony rolls 2 skulls, twice; Drake rolls 2 skulls each time. It is highly variable whether Tony gets lucky or keeps missing altogether.

It's late, and maybe my analysis is off. Any thoughts?

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