Good morning to you, one and all! My article writing has been slow of late, as I am able to (generally) do either a podcast or an article each week. And, as my podcast this week wasn’t recorded, it is time for an article! Huzzah!
Time to talk about Decimate. I have been on record in the past saying I wasn’t too fond of her, but that has changed pretty quickly.
The first part of the article, as before, looks at her stats and all that. The second part looks at how I use her, which will probably lapse into some more Masons-centric ranting near the end as the caffeine starts to kick in.
She is pretty quick, and has a great TAC (especially combined with Anatomical Precision). Her KICK value is good enough to pass and score a goal if needed, and her DEF and ARM makes her relatively survivable, though with only 14HP she will fall over if anyone wants to target her
A nice, well rounded stat line. She can recover the ball after a kick off, she can attack well, she has a good threat range of 10″, and she can take a couple (but not many more) of punches.
So, I love her as she is able to do multiple jobs, often being able to switch over from a goal scorer to an attacker (or vice versa) where needed.
She can generate momentum for every single hit, without (almost any) exceptions. This is powerful stuff, as she can just convert the allocated influence you give her into the good stuff very reliably. If you aren’t sure why momentum is so awesome, have a look here.
So, let’s look at what she does. Generally speaking, she is going to kick out 2 damage and a dodge per hit, unless she charges or wants to tackle. This won’t finish off a player early game, but late game she can kick out a very reliable 8 damage, which is often enough to secure a take out.
Also, let’s talk about that dodge she gets on virtually every result. Why is this good?
Well, first of all, she can use it to really annoy players without 2″ reach. If they attack her without being base to base, and they haven’t got a knock down on their playbook, she can dance away pretty easily. I know this sounds a bit situational, and it can be, but bear it in mind.
Also, she can get to a target she is not currently engaged with very easily. If she is engaged with someone else, and she wants to go and tag, say, a ball carrier or mascot, she is able to attack, dodge out of engagement then move where needed. This means she is very hard to tie down, and predict where she will be at the end of her turn.
If she charges, she has a good chance of scoring 4 hits, and so giving her the option to choose a tackle / double dodge. Not only does this give her more goal threat, it means she can prance away without any fear of a counter attack whatsoever. This can free her up to kick the ball to someone else, or score herself.
And then she has Thousand Cuts….but that will be described in the character play section. Right about….now!
In a game where movement and positioning is probably the most important part of winning, having a cheeky Second Wind up your sleeve can be a huge deal.
Like a lot of things about her, it is flexible. She can use it in the first turn to give herself or somebody else move movement to get them up the field for the next turn. Likewise, she can use it if a model is suddenly out of position. I have found this useful against the Morticians, where an annoying Puppet Master pulling a model out of position can be pretty much solved with Second Wind. Also, it is great on a goal scorer, giving them an extra jog after a goal is scored. Just remember, in this case, the still have to job before the ball is placed.
And, for the Masons players that are reading this, it works at the end of the activation. This means if you have two activations due to Superior Strategy you get to use it twice, resulting in some ludicrous movement in a turn.
Remember this about Thousand Cuts – you need 6 hits to trigger it on an attack, so if you need to use it you might find yourself better off if you buy it with influence.
Dropping the defence of a model by 2 is a huge swing to ay further attacks. How much? Let’s have a look, shall we?
Ah, hit calculator, how I missed you! Thanks again to here for your fine calculator.
Well, here we have someone who is TAC 5 attacking someone who is normally DEF 4+. If they have ARM 1 as well, we are looking at a jump from a 19% of scoring 4 hits to a 80% chance. Sounds pretty good to me. Of course, this means if you charge, the chance of scoring a big wrap is much, much better.
Now, 3 influence is expensive, so the chances are you won’t be using this all the time. It can help you hugely if you have some high results you want to reliably hit (Scything Blow on Gutter springs to mind), or a high DEF model you want to connect with (such as Fillet).
Well, she can only play for these teams. Second wind is good for any of them, in Alchemists and Engineers she can be an easy source of momentum generation, in Butchers she works very well with Ox’s multiple auras of death, and in Masons she is flexible enough to do what she needs to do.
Just about how good is ignoring a point of armour, anyway?
So, Decimate (TAC 6, Anatomical Precision) against a DEF 4+, ARM 1 player.
If she wants to score 4 hits so she can tackle / double dodge, the odds of that are 34%.
Compare this to a TAC 7 player who wants to score 4 hits, like Ox, wanting his 2 damage result. Against the same target, his odds are only 23% (as he needs 5 hits total), even though he has a higher TAC.
Looking higher, at TAC 8. Let’s keep with the Butchers vibe and have Fillet, wanting 4 hits to throw out a Blood Rain. Her odds are 36%, only slightly higher than Decimate’s.
Of course, this has no meaning if they have no armour at all, but this single point of armour that is ignored massively skews the results in your favour – and it is the reason why she can kick out the low/mid results on her playbook so reliably.
So, how do you use her?
Well, as I have said approximately a million times now, she is flexible enough to do several roles fairly well, but there is one reminder I always have when I look at her card.
No, it is not Erskirii, or Human, or even Female. Though that seems to be forgotten a lot, and it can be pretty useful when attacking Flint. Not that you ever should.
She is a Winger. Now, I know practically nothing about Football, but what I do know is this means she shouldn’t always be front and centre, beating face.
She is very good at ball retrieval, either early in the game, when they have scored a goal against you, or if they have someone hiding the ball away from the main parts of the pitch. With her movement and relatively easy tackle results (as long as she charges) she can get to a ball carrier fairly easily.
For similar reasons, she isn’t bad at scoring goals, and if she has the influence to Second Wind herself afterwards, even better.
She isn’t bad in a scrap, especially against low HP pieces. Wear them down, and finish them off with Decimate, at the same time as earning buckets of momentum. Or, find a mascot, dodge to get near it, and kill the poor thing. Also, she is one damage buff rom being completely unreasonable in a fight, so if you have the activation and influence to give her a Tooled Up, that will take her up to 11. Be careful having her too far forward unsupported, as she is unable to take a fight for a long period of time.
Obligatory Masons ranting
Ah, hello Caffeine, my only friend. I can only talk about how I use her, as I think there are many ways she can be used in the team.
Early game I use her to grab the ball and pass down the line of players, if receiving. If kicking, she tends to hang back until later turns, looking for a tackle or a model to finish off. As Honour, Flint and Mallet take up most of the Influence she has little to play with. This isn’t really a problem though, as she can hang around the back / sides, with the speed to help where needed. Also, if I lose one of the other players, she is versatile enough to take their place, be it kicking in goals or kicking in face.
And there we go, Decimate. I do like her, though I wish her swords weren’t so bendy.