This section focuses on when and where you should spend momentum, and when you should not. This follows on from the basic section which contains the rules for momentum expenditure and gain. Following this is the expert section, where I will look more into the maths and number crunching side of momentum.
Should I spend it or save it?
Well, in basic terms, do you want to go first next turn or not?
Think of the game in these terms, you alternate activations until both sides run out. You then roll initiative, allocate influence, then go at it again.
That first activation can be a very good time. Especially if you went last the previous turn, as it allows you two back to back activations, potentially with the same model. It can allow you to do many activities without fear of reprisal, as your opponent will have no momentum themselves to do any pesky counter attacks or defensive stances. Also, if you are the sort of team who wants to take someone out (and even Fishermen can), you will be able to possibly take a player out who has been allocated influence.
Not only will this waste influence, it will give you an advantage when it comes to activations later in the turn, possibly giving you two back-to-back activations later on. Also, you will certainly gain momentum from this, which will give you an advantage when your opponent activates next, looking for revenge.
So, it is decided. you should never spend momentum, you should just bank it all.
Well, not exactly…if anything else if you go first your opponent will get a free point of momentum, so beware of counter attacks and defensive stances, which can really mess up your first turn advantage if you don’t account for it.
In that case, you should spend it!
- Counter attacks and defensive stances can swing a fight hugely in your favour, especially if you have 2″ reach and / or knockdown. Look here for more information on how that can be used for your advantage.
- Bonus Time on an action can really help a dice roll out. Look at the expert section for more on this.
- Teamwork actions can be very useful to get a 4″ dodge, either for the kicker or receiver. Look here for more of those shenanigans.
- Healing. This is often overlooked by newer players. Even against teams that do not do immense damage, it can add up quick. In the late-game, a canny opponent will look for any players who have been worn down, as a quick 2VP could quickly result in a loss.
Well, spending it looks pretty good too…
How much does your opponent have?
More than any part of the game, this section will be very open ended, and there is not really a hard and fast rule as to what to do.
Generally, I try to have the advantage of 1-2 points of momentum above my opponent. This gives a fair crack at the next turn (look here for more on that), and allows me to spend some at the same time. I always try to generate momentous results from my playbook if I can, even if this involves doing 1 damage less here and there.
However, this may change, if I believe that spending momentum quickly, or doing non momentous results can net me a large swing of VP, such as a quick take-out and goal, as long as the subsequent goal is not giving more VP to my opponent when they counter score.
Why not aim to have much more than your opponent?
Well, first of all (as I will explain in the expert section), you are looking at diminishing returns when it comes to the chance of gaining first turn. Unless, of course, you REALLY want to go first if, for example, it will win you the game.
Secondly, if your opponent has taken it as a dead certainty that they cannot go first, they will spend it like crazy. They will counter attack wherever they can, heal and so on. This could really make your job of winning harder, as you are suddenly meeting bonus timed, defensive stanced, counter attacking models every activation. Then again, if they haven’t got much momentum, that may not be the case anyway.
See? Open ended 🙂
How can I prevent my opponent from having momentum?
- Counter attacks. You will have to spend one too, but if you have more momentum than your opponent you can probably spend it. If you can knock your attacker down in a counter attack, they may have to spend a momentum to clear their condition and get up to continue attacking.
- Conditions. The alchemists are masters of this. Overload your opponent with burning, poison, bleeding and knockdown. All of these need momentum to clear. As one point of momentum can clear all of these of one model at once, if you attempt to target a vulnerable model with conditions at different points of the turn they may be forced to spend 1 to heal them selves, then 2 points later int e turn for someone else to heal them, too.
Would you like to know even more? Head on over to the expert section.