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  #1  
Old January 19th, 2009, 01:07 PM
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4th>10th

Last spring when we first caught a glimpse of the new card for the 10th Regiment of Foot, many players were very quick to proclaim that the 10th were clearly better than the 4th Massachusetts line. I argued very passionately against this line of thinking, to the point of people thinking I had some kind of man-crush on the yankees.

But I hardly like the 4th Mass at all. I just know BS when I see it. I'm going to list some of the old arguments and why I disagree with them, as well as the most important one that usually goes unspoken for some reason.

1) They gain more benefits from synergy.
This isn't true. They're both soldiers, so they can get the benefits from Marcus. You can just as easily put Raelin, Q9, or Rats in an army with the 4th as with the 10th. The 10th don't actually gain anything from being in an all disciplined army, and when you put Sacred Band in the same force, you quickly run out of starting spaces. Sir Gilbert can help move the 4th Mass, while the 10th only have the option of Marcus, which the 4th also have. Even in a very similar build, the 4th still cost 5 points less per squad.

2)They're more flexible.
Many players seem to have this mistaken belief that when you play the 4th Mass, you're sitting around and using Wait then Fire every turn. All you need to do is 'outrange' them and you win. Sure, it can be advantageous to force the 4th to come to you with a really long range attack, but the same thing is true of the 10th. Most of the time, you're probably better off staying on high ground and firing from max range with either squad. Sometimes when people talk about flexibility, they're talking about drafting options, but as I already said, they get the same synergy benefits, with the 4th having the option of going full valiant for something that the 10th just can't compare with.

3)The 10th are just as good, if not strictly better than the 4th when facing a full melee army.
This one is actually true. I saw a pretty nasty game recently in KC, MO. deliverymanxas was playing 10th Regiment of Foot, Raelin, and Marcus against Matthias' Knights of Weston with no ranged support. It was a slaughter. If Ken's Kenights ever even made it to the 10th, they'd be rolling 3v5 anyway, which is a pretty unfavorable roll.

But there's just one problem: most people don't play all melee. The metagame is still pretty ranged-heavy, and in that case either the 4th Mass' Valiant bonus is better than being leashed to Raelin's Aura, or even in a mixed A+ junk army, you'll still save 5 points/squad by going with the Mass and you won't use the 10th's bonuses that often anyway. In the example I gave above from a 530 point tournament, D-man played 4x 10th, Raelin, Marcus, and Marro Warriors. Had he gone with the 4th Mass, he could have gone 5x Mass, Marcus, Raelin. Either army would have beaten the Knights, and the second might have fared better in other matchups.

When I think of bringing the (Valiant) 4th Mass to a tournament, I think about their main likely matchups.

1) They're favored against a Glads/Blasts army.

2) They're favored against most Stinger-podges.

3) They have a 50/50 chance against most Rat/Uniques armies, especially if they only have 2x Rats. Also, I don't see these too often in my area.

4) They're in trouble against Q9 in the hands of a capable player.

5) They're favored against most melee armies, even Knights.

6) They'll do well against less competitive armies.

If I were to make a similar breakdown for the 10th, I think almost all of the matchups except number 5 and maybe 6 would get slightly worse, and number 4 would get much, much worse. A 10th centric army doesn't have a chance against Q9. Against other ranged armies, that drop from 3 to 2 defense really makes a difference.

Now, you're probably just thinking, "Well, the 10th aren't as good at being the 4th Mass as the 4th Mass are, but that's no big deal. The 10th are still better when you're playing a hodge-podge army with a special attacker, Raelin, and Rats."

At that point, without Marcus, you might as well just play Stingers. That'll even out your match ups nicely, and give you a shot against Q9 and Nilfheim. Or grab the Krav and Marro Warriors for the cost of 2 squads, which is what I'd do whenever I'm planning to field 3 or less of a ranged common.

Don't get me wrong. The 10th are quite good. I just think they're the 4th best ranged common in the game (behind the Mass, Stingers, and Trons). Do you want to settle for 4th best?

(Note: I'm not expecting this to be taken as the gospel of Heroscape. I'd like to hear some convincing arguments for using the 10th over the Mass or Stingers, and what sorts of matchups you'd want them).

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; January 19th, 2009 at 07:56 PM. Reason: GB added an interesting thought. Mary Ann for the win!
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  #2  
Old January 19th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

Glad I could be used as an example. deliverymanxas is a jerk!

I've beaten many 4th Mass armies with my knights.
The 10th are definitely better against my knights.

Too bad they're both girly range units!

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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

Good read Jexik..although I do disagree with you....mainly because The 4th usually handcuff people into selecting all Valiant armies to take advantage of the defense bonus.
The 10th can be used with so many other units and benefit more from having Marcus with them than the 4th. Defense of 3 against adjacent attacks and a +1 bonus on most melee attacks gives them the edge and is well worth the additional 5 points per squad.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

I think Onacara makes a very valid point that many people may readily overlook. I don't think I ever thought of the 4th Mass in a Valiant army as a handicap, but it terms of comparison between the 4th and 10th, Onacara seems to be right.

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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:57 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

My argument for the 10th:

IF you have committed to using non-valiant figures, melee defense and bayonet charge are well worth 5 extra points.

That doesn't argue for building an army around the 10th, per se, but it argues for using them over the 4th when you have 150-225 points to fill in.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:57 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

I'm not 100% sure, but I think you're cheating, Jexik...

1) Synergy - The 4th only get Marcus or Raelin if they give up their Valiant bonus. At that point they are 5 points cheaper without either the all-disciplined or the melee benefits the 10th offer/have. Competitive 4th builds are all Valiant, why try to pretend they aren't?

The trick of this is that non-Valiant 4th armies aren't generally considered to be competitive. So the 10th has to be enough better than the 4th (in non-Valiant army) to make that army competitive. Do the synergies help in this? Sure. Marcus adds both speed and attack to the 10th. Is it enough? I'm really not sure. I have yet to personally use the 10th in successful concert with Marcus. Neither have I had them successfully used against me in this way.

2) Flexibility - Imagine this army: Nilfheim, 3x10th, Marcus, Raelin, Isamu. In this force you can't activate Marcus with bonding, but you can use the 10th as both a ranged unit and their own melee screen. The 4th simply can't be used in this fashion at anything but a severe disadvantage to the 10th. Other examples exist and I come back to my point above - why pretend the 4th exist in competitive non-Valiant armies? We still don't know whether the additional flexibility makes the 10th competitive in a way the 4th aren't, but we can demonstrate that they are indeed more flexible.

3) Let's talk opposition:
1: Glad/Blast - I can put the 10th in an army with Braxas, etc. at no loss of power.
2: Stingers - I can put the 10th with Q9, Nilf, etc. at no loss of power.
3: Rats - blah, blah, blah, Orcs
4: Q9 - blah, blah, blah, Minions
etc...

What doesn't make sense for the 10th is: 6x10th. The 4th is very good at what it does, but extremely limited. The 10th needs to be used in conjunction with other units in some way.

~Aldin, who still thinks that the 10th haven't proven they are more deserving of play in a tourney

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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:57 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onacara View Post
Good read Jexik..although I do disagree with you....mainly because The 4th usually handcuff people into selecting all Valiant armies to take advantage of the defense bonus.
The 10th can be used with so many other units and benefit more from having Marcus with them than the 4th. Defense of 3 against adjacent attacks and a +1 bonus on most melee attacks gives them the edge and is well worth the additional 5 points per squad.
I agree to some extent, Onacara, but I find that whenever I put Marcus in I'm wondering if I should spend 100 points on a figure that will give them a movement bonus and then convince them not to move.

Then I think I should include some Romans or Sacred Band to move Marcus around, and before I know it I've run of starting spaces or dropped down to 3x 10th Reg. Then I'm sort of losing the benefit of playing a billion 4 figure common squads in the first place.

And there's still the question of Q9. I've noticed that he's seen pretty rarely up in the Northeast. And to be honest, I don't see him that often in Iowa or Minnesota either.

(Edit: Whoa, this thread exploded. I'll try to get to all these arguments as soon as I can).

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; January 19th, 2009 at 05:43 PM.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 02:06 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
[...] whenever I put Marcus in I'm wondering if I should spend 100 points on a figure that will give them a movement bonus and then convince them not to move.

Then I think I should include some Romans or Sacred Band to move Marcus around, and before I know it I've run of starting spaces or dropped down to 3x 10th Reg. Then I'm sort of losing the the benefit of playing a billion 4 figure common squads in the first place.
Pursuant to what I wrote above, I'd argue that once you're comparing four or five or six squads of the 10th to four or five or six squads of the 4th, the 4th looks pretty clearly better. Once you've committed 2/3 of your hexes to the squad, it makes sense to go valiant to get the defensive bonus, and fill in with Drake/Knights/Champions.

It's at the 8 and (especially) the 12 figure level that the 10th has a strong argument, as a ranged component of a larger army. More hexes than that, it's the 4th all the way; fewer than that, and you're better off with unique squads.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 02:26 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
My argument for the 10th:

IF you have committed to using non-valiant figures, melee defense and bayonet charge are well worth 5 extra points.

That doesn't argue for building an army around the 10th, per se, but it argues for using them over the 4th when you have 150-225 points to fill in.
And my argument is that if you’ve committed yourself to playing non-valiant figures, especially deathreavers who take up valuable starting zone space, you’ll be better served playing three or four sets of Stingers. The 10th really have no analog to the million mass army, and don’t perform as well against Q9 in the hodgepodges as the Stingers do.

Stingers are much better at the 8-12 figure level than 10th Reg, in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
I'm not 100% sure, but I think you're cheating, Jexik...

1) Synergy - The 4th only get Marcus or Raelin if they give up their Valiant bonus. At that point they are 5 points cheaper without either the all-disciplined or the melee benefits the 10th offer/have. Competitive 4th builds are all Valiant, why try to pretend they aren't?

The trick of this is that non-Valiant 4th armies aren't generally considered to be competitive. So the 10th has to be enough better than the 4th (in non-Valiant army) to make that army competitive. Do the synergies help in this? Sure. Marcus adds both speed and attack to the 10th. Is it enough? I'm really not sure. I have yet to personally use the 10th in successful concert with Marcus. Neither have I had them successfully used against me in this way.
KaBoomboomboom is a player who rarely posts on the boards, and is a long time friend of mine. He doesn’t have the interest (or collection) to know the ins and outs of every unit, but he’s a good player and competitor. In almost every tournament, he plays at least 3x Mass, and before the Redcoats came along, he often played them non-valiant. He did play Redcoats once... in the Mindshackle tournament (where everyone had to play Ne-Gok-Sa; again, he lost only to spider_poison who won the tourney).

Although 5 points seems like it’s worth it, it often ends up lowering the number of squads you can play, or forcing you to take on a useless filler hero. In these “A+ Junk” armies, putting in the Redcoats instead of the Mass would make them noticeably worse.

He took 3rd place in a MN tourney with this offering, losing only to Phloid, the winner of the tourney:

3x Mass 210
2x Rats 290
Raelin 370
Q9 550 (23 hexes)

At another (470 pt) MN tourney, he played this, losing only to spider_poison’s tourney winning glads/blasts.

Q9 180
3x Mass 390
2x Rats 470

At GenCon this summer, he mostly stuck to playing pure Valiant Mass. He played 6x Mass (in a 450 pt. tourney ) and won his heat in the DW9K jumpstart. Playing 5x Mass + Drake II, he was the bubble boy in the main event, getting 17th place. On Day 1 he lost a mirror match against Mattsertruckrally, and to Southwest Ninja, the 3rd place guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
2) Flexibility - Imagine this army: Nilfheim, 3x10th, Marcus, Raelin, Isamu. In this force you can't activate Marcus with bonding, but you can use the 10th as both a ranged unit and their own melee screen. The 4th simply can't be used in this fashion at anything but a severe disadvantage to the 10th. Other examples exist and I come back to my point above - why pretend the 4th exist in competitive non-Valiant armies? We still don't know whether the additional flexibility makes the 10th competitive in a way the 4th aren't, but we can demonstrate that they are indeed more flexible.
I imagine that army would struggle against Q9, and would run out of figures against Stingers. That’s a 600 point army. 5x Mass+ Charos/Eldgrim would likely be a bit sleeker and more reliable, or 6x Mass and Drake SotM.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
3) Let's talk opposition:
1: Glad/Blast - I can put the 10th in an army with Braxas, etc. at no loss of power.
2: Stingers - I can put the 10th with Q9, Nilf, etc. at no loss of power.
3: Rats - blah, blah, blah, Orcs
4: Q9 - blah, blah, blah, Minions
etc...

What doesn't make sense for the 10th is: 6x10th. The 4th is very good at what it does, but extremely limited. The 10th needs to be used in conjunction with other units in some way.

~Aldin, who still thinks that the 10th haven't proven they are more deserving of play in a tourney
How is being very good at what it does (win games) extremely limited? Get Charos or Sgt Drake in there and you’ve got a decent chance of taking out Q9. I’ve also seen people splash Q9 or Zelrig in there as early game suicide units pretty effectively with the Mass.

Here’s the thing... dropping down to 3x of a squad, or 2x from the possibility of 4x is a significant drop in power. It’s much easier to get you to spread out your guys and have the casualties matter when you’ve got fewer squads, especially when they’ve only got 2 defense, or 4 even when you’re stuck to Raelin.

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; January 19th, 2009 at 02:48 PM.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 02:59 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

Interesting read, and a good thought provoking disscussion. Nice job Jexik.

I don't have much to add to the thread, but to me the 10th seem a little more versitile. If you need to move one guy, say to fill in a casualty, the whole squad loses wtf. This is true for both. However, the other 3 members of the 10th could charge and gain the bonus dice. I know its situational, but in this case you have 3 attackers at 3 dice and 1 at 2. Assuming no height. In the same situation with the 4th your at 4 attacks of 2, no matter how you slice it. It may be a weak argument, but its food for thought. I'm not a huge fan of either.

As far as the blasts being the 3rd best common ranged unit. I say no way. Not trying to hijack the thread, but without the glads the blasts are next to useless. I know most people would not play one without the other, but there you go. If the blasts are to be used to their full potential, you must take a specific unit to go with them. (Glads). Therefore locking you into a specific army. Granted the glads/blasts combo is an awesome one, but I would'nt put the blasts up there as one of the best due to their non-versitility. Thats why I'd put the 10th ahead of the blasts.

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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:10 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
My argument for the 10th:

IF you have committed to using non-valiant figures, melee defense and bayonet charge are well worth 5 extra points.

That doesn't argue for building an army around the 10th, per se, but it argues for using them over the 4th when you have 150-225 points to fill in.
And my argument is that if youíve committed yourself to playing non-valiant figures, especially deathreavers who take up valuable starting zone space, youíll be better served playing three or four sets of Stingers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
The 10th really have no analog to the million mass army,
No argument there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
and donít perform as well against Q9 in the hodgepodges as the Stingers do.

Stingers are much better at the 8-12 figure level than 10th Reg, in my opinion.
I also agree that the 10th is, on paper, in an unusually bad spot against Q9+rats.

But it seems that you're really opening things up here to a broader three-way comparison between the 4th, 10th, and stingers. After all, wouldn't you rather have stingers than the 4th against Q9+rats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
Although 5 points seems like itís worth it, it often ends up lowering the number of squads you can play, or forcing you to take on a useless filler hero. In these ďA+ JunkĒ armies, putting in the Redcoats instead of the Mass would make them noticeably worse.

[several good examples of armies where the point cap works out right]
Well, sure, there will be cases where things work out juuust right for a certain point total. On the other hand, I saw there was an army at Gencon that had two squads of the 4th and Marcu. And I couldn't help thinking that that army would have been stronger with two squads of the 10th and Isamu.

Or, going the other way, that 550 point army you posted works great at 520 points if you replace those three squads of 4th with three squads of stingers. And it works well at 565 with the 10th. My contention is that, for the points, those 520 and 565 armies are a bit stronger than the 550 is.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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Re: 4th>10th

Quote:
Originally Posted by clancampbell View Post
Interesting read, and a good thought provoking disscussion. Nice job Jexik.

I don't have much to add to the thread, but to me the 10th seem a little more versitile. If you need to move one guy, say to fill in a casualty, the whole squad loses wtf. This is true for both. However, the other 3 members of the 10th could charge and gain the bonus dice. I know its situational, but in this case you have 3 attackers at 3 dice and 1 at 2. Assuming no height. In the same situation with the 4th your at 4 attacks of 2, no matter how you slice it. It may be a weak argument, but its food for thought. I'm not a huge fan of either.

As far as the blasts being the 3rd best common ranged unit. I say no way. Not trying to hijack the thread, but without the glads the blasts are next to useless. I know most people would not play one without the other, but there you go. If the blasts are to be used to their full potential, you must take a specific unit to go with them. (Glads). Therefore locking you into a specific army. Granted the glads/blasts combo is an awesome one, but I would'nt put the blasts up there as one of the best due to their non-versitility. Thats why I'd put the 10th ahead of the blasts.
Thanks for the kind words.

Is an extra attack die some of the time (when moving into melee often putting yourself at height disadvantage) better than an extra defense die pretty much all the time?

You're right that Blastatrons require a specific army to do well. But Glads (at least 3), Blasts (at least 2), and Raelin is such a powerful base for an army that they're definitely one of the most powerful units in the game. Spider won GenCon 2008 with them, and lonewolf took 3rd in 2007. Dignan won NHSD this year in Texas with them. The Redcoats have yet to have that kind of success.

For the Blasts, much like the 4th Mass, having limited army drafting options really doesn't mean that much once the army hits the table and starts winning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
and don’t perform as well against Q9 in the hodgepodges as the Stingers do.

Stingers are much better at the 8-12 figure level than 10th Reg, in my opinion.
I also agree that the 10th is, on paper, in an unusually bad spot against Q9+rats.

But it seems that you're really opening things up here to a broader three-way comparison between the 4th, 10th, and stingers. After all, wouldn't you rather have stingers than the 4th against Q9+rats?
I think this is precisely the kind of comparison that you need to make when designing an army for a tournament. If I think, "hey the points work out pretty well, and I don't expect to see many Q9's, I'm totally playing 4th Mass this time."

If I feel like going Valiant, I can think of reasons I'd want to use Mass over stingers. I can't think of an excuse to play Redcoats. At least I haven't since they've been released. I feel much better with 4x Stingers than 3x Redcoats and Isamu or Marcu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik View Post
Although 5 points seems like it’s worth it, it often ends up lowering the number of squads you can play, or forcing you to take on a useless filler hero. In these “A+ Junk” armies, putting in the Redcoats instead of the Mass would make them noticeably worse.

[several good examples of armies where the point cap works out right]
Well, sure, there will be cases where things work out juuust right for a certain point total. On the other hand, I saw there was an army at Gencon that had two squads of the 4th and Marcu. And I couldn't help thinking that that army would have been stronger with two squads of the 10th and Isamu.

Or, going the other way, that 550 point army you posted works great at 520 points if you replace those three squads of 4th with three squads of stingers. And it works well at 565 with the 10th. My contention is that, for the points, those 520 and 565 armies are a bit stronger than the 550 is.
At the 520 point level, I'd play 5x Mass and Sgt Drake II over any army involving the Redcoats. (Although Grishnakh's 2x Minions/4x Redcoats was pretty cool. But is that significantly better than 4x Mass, 2x Sentinels and Kyntela Gwyn?) At 560, I'd go 5x Mass and Charos, or just play Phloid's army- the one that beat K-boom at that tournament I mentioned (2x Rats, Laglor, KMA, Raelin, Q9... and Isamu to make it 560).

I've never come across a point total that works out juuust right for the Redcoats. Show me that total.

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; January 19th, 2009 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Added dok
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