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Old August 28th, 2015, 11:01 PM
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"What's in an Order Marker?" - C3G Style

Well met!

Jexik laid out a loose system for assigning roles to units in Classic Scape. The categories are:

Bread & Butter - Referring primarily to squads in Classic, in herocentric C3G, Menacers often fill this role. In my armies, I tend to use cheaper Sharks, and use the extra points for additional Sharks, and/or Cheerleaders, rather than Menacers.

Cheerleaders - Units with auras requiring few if any OMs. Weather Wizard and Diablo are good examples.

Defenders - Similar to Cheerleaders, but "you want them to draw fire.". What I would call "anvils." In Classic, cheap, high defense, units. Off hand, I can't think of any in C3G.

Sharks - Similar to Bread & Butter, but needing constant OMs to survive. In C3G, these are mostly self healers like Wolverine.

Menacers - Similar to Sharks, but can take damage too. What I call "thugs.". Thor and Hulk are examples. I rarely field them, but, in our next game, I'll be fielding Omega Red, who, if not a Menacer, is certainly a Shark.

Cleanup - "Not enough attacks to be useful early on because they'd be taken out by squads . . . " I've never been comfortable with this category. I'm not sure what C3G units qualify.

Niche - Units that have interesting powers, are not competitive in general, but may be useful in special circumstances. Kee-Mo-Shi in Classic, you name it in C3G.

In the Gang's last meeting, I fielded Cheerleaders (Weather Wizard and Diablo), a Cheerleader/Controller (Baron Zemo), shooters with multi-hex attacks (Judge Dredd and Rocket Raccoon (also a Cheerleader), and two minor Sharks (Electra and Captain Kei). In our next game, I retain Captain Kei, and field a Cheerleader with Niche tendencies (Jean Grey), Shark/Menacer Omege Red, and my Bread & Butter (Controller/Sniper) guy, Cable. Or is he Cleanup? Many units fill multiple roles, some in bizarre combinations that defy simple labels.

In C3G, OM efficiency is more important than anything else. Units should have particular roles, and passive powers are golden.

I expect that these can be codified much better for C3G than I have done.


Last edited by kolakoski; August 28th, 2015 at 11:22 PM.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 12:17 AM
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Re: "What's in an Order Marker?" - C3G Style

Tons of Bread and Butter figures out there, but Mister Fantastic and Professor X are probably my favorites.

They both are really tight with their favorite Cheerleaders, Invisible Woman and Angel. Professor X is technically a bit of a Cheerleader himself with Psychic Defense X, but he's more important as Bread and Butter.

The best examples of Defenders I can think of are: 1. Blob 2. Mister Fantastic or Thing when backed by Invisible Woman.

Most Mid-level Heroes need Order Markers to survive, or they'll get one-shotted by Menacers like Hulk, Thor, and Superman. However, that's often a good way to lose your Order Markers too .... (figures like Oracle, who provide contingencies, should have their own category. Though she's also a big Cheerleader, I suppose).

I'd say Clean Up is different in C3G. In C3G, Clean Up is: not tough enough/powerful enough/good for enough activations to be used early, but has some nice multiple attacks or other powers for late game clean up. In C3G, if squads are all that's left, that's usually a GOOD thing! It means you survived the onslaught of beat sticks.

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Old August 29th, 2015, 11:49 AM
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Re: "What's in an Order Marker?" - C3G Style

Honestly, for C3G, I'd be tempted to list a new role called Commanders - these are guys like Professor X, Nick Fury, Baron Heinrich Zemo etc. who take up most of your order markers, but primarily to take turns with other figures, providing multi turns and OM flexibility. Bats lists Mister Fantastic and Professor X, one's I'd consider obvious Commanders, in his above post as Bread and Butter - I can see that, but I'm honestly feeling that they'd have different roles.


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Old August 29th, 2015, 03:27 PM
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Analysis

Brought the original stuff in here so I could do a good comparison

Quote:

Warm colors describe units on which you will place the majority of your order markers.

Cool colors describe units that are good even when they don't take many turns.

Purple and dark red describe units somewhere in between.

Black units should be avoided when making pre-made armies.
Quote:
Bread and Butter
These are the types of squads on which you never regret putting an order marker. You get a lot out of each turn, and they are usually durable enough to see their next one. In the case of bonding units, it is usually assumed that youíll use the appropriate supporting players (i.e. Krug and Swogs for Arrow Gruts, appropriate Champions for Knights and Gruts, etc.) It is not uncommon for you to spend all three of your turns on (or build armies around) units like these. Beginning with Master Set 2, Marvel, and Wave 8, we are also starting to see some heroes who function similarly- these heroes will from the core of your army and dispense their orders to swarms of commons or lesser heroes.

Uses: Build an army around these guys: they can do it all. Get more of them (at least 2-3 of the same common squads.) They don't work well in conjunction with Sharks (discussed below.) They work great with Cheerleaders.
There is maybe one B&B squad in C3G (Gorilla City Warriors) that is very good. Everything else is meh. (assuming I'm not forgetting one) Most fit under Orang's Commander point. Prof X., Heinrich Zemo, Mr. Fantastic, and even some like Commander Rogers. While they don't quite match Jexik's definition, this one fits decently well here with the exception that because the Commander units are often taking turns instead of they are actually great uses for Sharks since once the unit dies you don't lose an Order Marker.

Quote:
Cheerleaders
These units are better seen and not heard. You might put an order marker or two on them in the early rounds to get them into position, but after that, they really donít give you all that much out of a turn. They also usually have some sort of powerful aura that makes them actually useful without a single order marker on them! You should do your best to defend them, as your opponent will often try to ambush them. These units wonít kill their points-worth most of the time, but they will enable others to do much more.

Uses: These fit in well with any army that they can apply their bonuses to. Just make sure to pick up enough units to actually go out and kill stuff for you.
Invisible Woman, Destiny, Bane, Vertigo, Captain America (C3G). This one fits in quite well except on occasion the cheerleader is actually worth several turns or Order Markers themselves.

Quote:
Defenders
Very simliar in order marker usage to Cheerleaders, but the main difference is that you want them to draw fire. Thatís what they do best. If a Squad, they make great glyph-securers, and map controllers. If a Hero, engage the biggest thing you see.

Uses: Your goal when using this type of unit isn't to run around killing everything. It's to force your opponent to waste turns attacking them instead of your more vulnerable and/or dangerous figures, like Sharks, Cheerleaders, any ranged units, or Menacers (discussed below).
Blob, Krypto/Robin/Wasp, Jocasta, Beat Cops, Aaron Cash. Here is where I would argue that Defenders work a bit differently in C3G. You still have some dudes who fit the definition but then you have figures that you need to attack first or else they are going to make your life absolute pain.

Quote:
Sharks
These units appear at first to be identical in use to Bread and Butter units. They have lots of power and/or range, and they usually arenít a waste of an order marker. However, the main difference between them and BB units is that you have to keep putting order markers on them: they have to keep moving or they die. Theyíre usually one or more of the following: unique, low defense, or expensive point-wise. They have an uncanny knack for drawing attention: once you activate them, youíve gotta keep activating them and see how much havoc they can wreak.

Uses: These work well with Defenders first, and then Menacers and Cheerleaders about equally. Use the Defenders to tie up your enemies and allow the Sharks to choose their prey. Sharks and Menacers can both act as decoys for each other; pay attention to which group your opponent seems to focus on more and exploit that point. Cheerleaders might make them actually stand around for a bit longer than you think. Additionally, it is also important to note that Sharks do not make very good glyph holders. They need to take advantage of their mobility and attack values. Sitting in one place is a waste, and a common mistake when using Airborne Elite.
Healing X Factor peoples, Satanus, Stepford Cuckoos. I struggled here. Most things that deal a lot of damage are usually pretty sturdy. There's a lot of worse ones but there are not a whole ton of Sharks in C3G that I can't argue are also Menacers.

Quote:
Menacers
Your opponent treats these units very much like Order Marker Sharks. They see them, and they do everything they can to kill them. The big difference is that these guys can actually take the punishment. Menacers combine high offense with high defense: this means that an order marker on them is not a waste, but you also donít need to worry about them getting taken out exceptionally quickly. These guys are an excellent place to drop your X. I suppose the only real difference between these guys and BB units is the amount of fear they seem to bring out in opponents despite the fact that they often have fewer attacks than BB's.

Uses: Similar to Sharks, only that they aren't as reliant on Defenders to be functional. They can make decent glyph-holders in a pinch.
Thor, Superman, Dark Phoenix. A lot of Menacers exist in C3G.

Quote:
Cleanup
These are usually single-based, ranged heroes that you just sit in the back and hope your opponent simply doesnít notice them, or isnít able to reach them until very late in the game. They donít have enough attacks to be useful early on because theyíd get taken out by enemy squads, but late in the game, theyíre able to pick apart the survivors with alarming alacrity. They play very much like Sharks, but the key is just to wait until later on to use them.

Uses: Depending on points, they can work well in nearly any army. Just try to keep them alive until it's their time to shine. Defenders and/or a sturdy Bread and Butter force are a plus.
In a game that is very hero dominated, I don't feel comfortable nominating anyone as especially good at Cleanup. Maybe somebody like Wendigo or Carnage.

Quote:
Niche
Heroes, heroes, everywhere, and not a squad to bond! These are usually heroes that just donít do enough on their turn to warrant an order marker (or points). These are the types of units that can be very useful in the right situation, but they are always a risk. If they ever add a unit that bonds with these guys, watch out! The squads mentioned are usually terrain specific or just kind of make you wonder why you spent an order marker on them. However, as an astute Top Chef contestant once put it it: "Sometimes, there's a fine line between being competitive, and just being an [abrasive individual that nobody really likes]." Don't be afraid to use these units with your friends; many of them are quite fun and interesting. Being put in this category isn't necessarily saying a figure is 'bad.' Some, like Theracus or Emiroon, can be extremely useful in the right situation, but their powers aren't directly related to beneficial auras, powerful attacks, or protecting other units, and their powers still require order markers to use.

Conclusion
People often forget order marker usage when designing an army. This is the main reason that people suggest using at least two of any common squad: most become an absolute waste if you only field one squad-they just donít justify the point investment, and become a huge risk for order markers. Bread and Butter units work well when you just get a ton of them and weigh your opponent down with figures, with perhaps some cheerleader support. Additionally, taking an army with a ton of Cleanup figures and Sharks is doomed to failure if you donít adequately protect it with some Defenders and/or Cheerleaders.
With so many commander type units, the only way for a unit to be niche is for is it to not be very good a la Penguin or Ventriloquist.

Now one of my complaints with this system is that there a lot of units I can't really fit into any category. Ozymandias and the Joker (I) are both very good but they're both decently fragile and are not very good at attacking but they are amazing at disrupting an enemy's strategy so they don't really fit into Defender, Cheerleader, Menacer, or Niche category.

I would also argue there is an insane amount of hybridity across the board in C3G.

One more thing to consider is that in Jexik's original article it was about selecting armies so that you didn't give yourself order marker nightmares hence his categories and what works well with what. In C3G sharks can work well with B&B units and synergy is oozing out the wazoo. Plus with so many units, the combinations are incredible.

I don't know if it's particularly helpful to just say "X unit is Y Category" but we also need to look further into designing a C3G army and how that design will affect your Order Marker placement.

~Dysole, rambling


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Old August 29th, 2015, 05:38 PM
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Re: "What's in an Order Marker?" - C3G Style

Well met!

Building an army in C3G is sort of like creating a party in D&D. Each unit should have a role, and you should have an overall plan of battle. Some additional categories:

Leaders: Commanders (subordinates have free will) and Controllers (subordinates have no choice).

Warriors: Primarily melee units.

Thugs: Warriors with high offense and high defense.

Shooters: Primarily ranged attackers.

Snipers: Primarily long range Shooters.

Magicians: Units whose primary value is messing with opponents' efficiency.

Martial Artists: Any unit with any traditional martial art in its past.

Supernaturals: Powers acquired supernaturally, like being Undead or an Angel. May be Magicians, and vice versa.

Units with Explosion or Area Attacks, Multi-Attacks, and Auto Wounds should be listed somehow.

Multi-Classing is a D&D staple. Hybrids are the rule, rather than the exception. Also a training tree, where certain powers would be listed with sub-powers. A basic attack might have limbs for multi-attacking, auto-Skulls, etc., for example.


Last edited by kolakoski; August 29th, 2015 at 06:00 PM.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 06:01 PM
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Re: "What's in an Order Marker?" - C3G Style

Some of those classifications are strategic ones and some of them are thematic .... seems like an odd mixture.

C3G can be played with official Heroscape, but it's not recommended.


DISCLAIMER: C3G claims no ownership of the characters or artwork used for C3G customs. All rights for the characters belong to their respective publishers/creators. C3G cards are not intended for sale, and C3G does not authorize any party to profit from C3G cards.

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Old August 29th, 2015, 06:02 PM
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Train of Thought

While I might quibble about the specific ones you've chosen I think that fits closer to army designs in C3G although it is worth noting that you can make armies that just do one thing but do that one thing REALLY WELL. (e.g. Baron Zemo, Red Skull, Jean Grey, Meteorite, Blob, and Whirlwind has basically one strategy (stay clumped together and get your opponent forced to try to kill Blob) but it does this strategy extremely well)

~Dysole, who might liken it more to a machine than a DND party


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Old August 30th, 2015, 04:06 PM
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Re: "What's in an Order Marker?" - C3G Style

Well met!

So then - what categories would be most useful for C3G?

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Old August 31st, 2015, 01:07 PM
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Re: Analysis

Well met!

Bread & Butter. There is maybe one B&B squad in C3G (Gorilla City Warriors) that is very good. Everything else is meh. (assuming I'm not forgetting one) Most fit under Orang's Commander point. Prof X., Heinrich Zemo, Mr. Fantastic, and even some like Commander Rogers. While they don't quite match Jexik's definition, this one fits decently well here with the exception that because the Commander units are often taking turns instead of they are actually great uses for Sharks since once the unit dies you don't lose an Order Marker.

This leads me to believe that replacing this category with Commanders (including Controllers) and Squads is the way to go.

Defenders. Here is where I would argue that Defenders work a bit differently in C3G. You still have some dudes who fit the definition but then you have figures that you need to attack first or else they are going to make your life absolute pain.

When units' passive powers affect opponents' units, as opposed to friendly ones (like War Machine, Diablo, and Jean Grey, that I originally classed as Cheerleaders), they function more as Defenders, according to the above. Similarly, units like
Ozymandias and Joker (I), as referenced below, and any unit that affects an enemy army's efficiency (by messing with OMs, taking control of enemy units, etc.) could be classed as Defenders.

Sharks. Healing X Factor peoples, Satanus, Stepford Cuckoos. I struggled here. Most things that deal a lot of damage are usually pretty sturdy. There's a lot of worse ones but there are not a whole ton of Sharks in C3G that I can't argue are also Menacers.

Menacers. Thor, Superman, Dark Phoenix. A lot of Menacers exist in C3G.

Cleanup. In a game that is very hero dominated, I don't feel comfortable nominating anyone as especially good at Cleanup. Maybe somebody like Wendigo or Carnage.

Niche. With so many commander type units, the only way for a unit to be niche is for is it to not be very good a la Penguin or Ventriloquist.

Penguin is a Shark and Ventriloquist is a Shark/Cheerleader.

Now one of my complaints with this system is that there a lot of units I can't really fit into any category. Ozymandias and the Joker (I) are both very good but they're both decently fragile and are not very good at attacking but they are amazing at disrupting an enemy's strategy so they don't really fit into Defender, Cheerleader, Menacer, or Niche category.

Ozymandias and the Joker (I) are Defenders.

I think we've got it (admittedly very broadly) covered. Drop Cleanup and Niche. The Shark and Menacer categories remain the same. Cheerleaders are units that have passive powers that require no OMs. Defenders are units that have powers that mess with an enemy army's efficiency. Certain Defenders are also Cheerleaders. Bread & Butter has been replaced with two categories: Commanders and Squads. So we're left with: Commanders, Cheerleaders, Defenders, Menacers, Sharks, and Squads.

I would also argue there is an insane amount of hybridity across the board in C3G.

Agreed. See Ventriloquist above. Also, for example, Diablo would be a Cheerleader/Defender, Cable a Commander/Shark.

One more thing to consider is that in Jexik's original article it was about selecting armies so that you didn't give yourself order marker nightmares hence his categories and what works well with what. In C3G sharks can work well with B&B units and synergy is oozing out the wazoo. Plus with so many units, the combinations are incredible.

I don't know if it's particularly helpful to just say "X unit is Y Category" but we also need to look further into designing a C3G army and how that design will affect your Order Marker placement.

I believe the above scheme addresses these things broadly, but covers everything. Of course, sub-categories would further refine the process.

~ Dysole, rambling

~ kolakoski, hoping this helps




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Old August 31st, 2015, 01:25 PM
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Re: "What's in an Order Marker?" - C3G Style

Perhaps a category for OM Manipulators(opponent). It would be cool to have a complete list of figures that can manipulate their opponent's OMs, removal or move.

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Old August 31st, 2015, 01:27 PM
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Eh

I'm not so sure I'd agree with your classifications on some of them. The OM purpose of a commander is to toss all your OMs on a figure so you can take turns with other figures (and occasionally them). Penguin doesn't play that way.

And your Defenders act differently depending on who they are. War Machine you can be fine with not placing an Order Marker on him for a couple rounds but Ozymandias and Joker NEED an Order Marker.

Essentially, if you're going to categorize figures in the same category (since the purpose is helping you utilize Order Markers) you're going to need to make sure they are all roughly the same when it comes to Order Marker decisions on them. I don't know if that's feasible within the C3G system.

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Old August 31st, 2015, 02:33 PM
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Re: "What's in an Order Marker?" - C3G Style

Well met!

Caught me in mid-edit - was guessing on Penguin. He's a Shark, however weak. As for the rest, Joker requires an OM, not all of them, same for Ozy. Their role as Defenders comes from their being primary targets as a result of their annoying attributes.

Defenders will generally require far fewer OMs than Sharks or Menacers, and, to an experienced player, OM management is easier when multiple categories are represented. Separate subcategories, as aforesaid, would help to further differentiate units' roles.

I've found it useful lately to build with a Cheerleader or two, a Defender or two, a long ranged unit, a medium ranged, and/or a melee unit.


Last edited by kolakoski; August 31st, 2015 at 08:33 PM.
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