Friday, 28 July 2017

Been burnt once before

Nearly a year

Its been nearly a year of not posting on my blog.  Yet something has appeared which has brought me to resurrect the old stomping ground.

The Big Grumpy Gamer is back (I'm very very salty right now).

If this is truly a return I shall post something later about why the long absence, but I'm really here to put down some initial thought and feelings.  I can't help it, its all come about because of the Guild Ball errata.  Actually, its all come about from changes to the Alchemists.  Yes, they are my team (when I play), so it is entirely possibly to say I'm being petty.  As such, let me add clarification:

I don't mind Midas and Vitriol being balanced downwards, they needed it.
I will still play the game and play Alchemists (for now)
I don't know if I will swap out characters, because I've not played with the changes.  Everything I say now is initial reactions, I'm just confused about the choice(s) that have been made.

So based on the above: Yes, I don't like the changes (actually its one above all others) but I won't be burning all my models on a tea tray in the back garden.


So the captain got hit hard.  He has lost a lot from his card and some of it is a bit nasty.

Actually he got what he deserved and I only really care about one part.  In all these changes are pretty reasonable.

1. He lost Supershot... well with it he could have a 4/10" kick and that's just bonkers.  So I'm ok with this.  Its not like he isn't super maneuverable anyway.
2. He lost Lightfooted... ok so he is a little less maneuverable, but lets think about this for a second.  He can perform teamwork actions for 1 less, so dodging on a pass or on receiving is still there.  Now all this loss means is he can't run over rough ground without cost (unless you use a momentum point of course and considering teamwork actions are more or less free this isn't really a big tax now is it).  I'm fine with this.
3. Lure of Gold is once per turn rather than one per team mate per turn.  Its a painful change, picking how to use this is now tougher, but actually I never really considered using this a lot anyway when I first saw it.  Certainly I wasn't going to be burning influence on it, and I have a lot of things to do with his playbook results most of the time.
4. Promise of Fortune no longer gives +1 armour.. well that's annoying.  Its not earth shatteringly annoying, but still.  Midas used to have more in his arsenal to keep the ball and basically this is another nail in that coffin.  Yes 5+ Def is still good, so I'm not protesting too much, but this is about the only really hard change to live with.

I'm ok with Midas being like this though.  It's painful, but not punitive.  Lure of Gold is less effective, but I'm not sure how well used it was anyway.


So first things first, she still needed work to downscale her and after really thinking things through I'm ok with most of what has happened.  I'll go with the ok stuff first

1. She has lost the option of doing +1 dmg, once, on a target in cover.  Sure, I mean it used to be all the time, I coped with it going down to once, so losing it is alright I guess.  Basically it's sort of clear she was doing too much damage and this is a fine way to get her back to being a striker
2. The same applies to the move of her 3 damage result up one with the push dodge going down one.  It's a better fit for a model that shouldn't be getting into a scrap as often anymore.
3. The other reason she shouldn't get into a scrap is she comes on with less health now is she is taken out.  But wait

Been burnt once before

Vitriol has lost her +2"/+2" move when she starts in cover and gained "Been burnt once before".  A 2" move when she starts her activation in melee range of someone who is burning or poisoned.

I just don't get this and I will try to explain why.  I doubt anyone from Steamforged will read this, after all I'm venting, but in the off chance they do I would love to know some of the way this came about/went through testing.. anything to just quash these fears I have.

I need to split this into two parts:

Via opposing players - 80% of the time, with only 10 health, Vitriol will not want to be ending a turn next to an enemy player.  So if positioned correctly Vit shouldn't ever get this dodge.. ever.  We've already said a lot of the changes stop her being a fighter and more of a striker, so by choice I will never get this bonus.

The rest of the time things get messy and complicated, so bare with me.  I'm going to do a lot of situations here.

She has the ball, and in the last turn was attacked but not killed (clone, counter attack, etc).  In the next turn you go first and can get her to the goal.  Well I won't be dodging because I need momentum so the chance goes.

She doesn't have the ball, but ended next to a model that does... see above, I can't dodge because I need the ball and momentum.

If at any point in any situation (I have the ball or not), the model next to me has a condition, and I am going second then I would be amazed if my opponent doesn't generate momentum and clear the condition of the model I'm next to.  Thus... no dodge.  This is a similar issue to the original S1 and S2 version of OG Katalyst.  Without being able to apply conditions himself, the set up involved to get the bonus (Kat was damage, but Vit is the dodge) is so easy to counter for the opponent that they will never get to see the bonus happen.  Well not via opponents anyway.  Oh and because Vit's can only happen at the beginning of her activation it wouldn't matter anyway if she could apply one or the other, it would be too late.

Via her own team - So Vit's ability can come from any model, not just enemies.  This means S3 OG Katalyst (who is always on fire) or Crucible (who can be on fire, poisoned, or both) can be used to trigger Vit's dodge... so long as they are within 2" of her.

Hang on.. if I kick I want Vit doing the kick, to make her speed a threat to get the ball back.. so there is no way Kat or Crucible are close enough.. ok so this can't happen then.

If I receive, or later in the game than this option of using a team mate is pretty strong.  In fact this is how I would play it.. but:

Vit is far faster than either of those players.  So she has to slow down in order to get her 2" dodge from them.. that doesn't seem right.  Also Kat wants to be in the fight.. which Vit really doesn't want anymore.  Crucible doesn't want to be in the fight, but she does want to be close to it.  Better, but Vit is still an easier target.  More importantly she isn't off doing what she is designed to do, which is be a striker.  Either I have to have Vit going slow and getting to places she doesn't want to me.  Or I have to use my Lure of Gold on Kat or Crucible to make sure they keep up with Vit.. meaning Midas has to be nearby and the two fighting orientated models aren't where they really should be.

My opinions matter little

So I'm truly accepting of the fact that I haven't tested these changes.  I assume that these changes are tested in full flow of a competitive game as well as set up situations to see what would happen with the skills if the stars align for it.  My mind may change of BBoB once I have used it a bit.. but I wonder if Vitriol would be any different if they just removed BBoB all together as well.  I don't think it has the impact or use it should have in the harsh light of a first read though.  If I'm proven wrong, that would be a nice surprise right now.

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