As mentioned on a recent episode, Jason took some lesser used Union models to a recent tournament. Here are his notes, thoughts, and feelings on these.
Dan Harwood, Brewers 12-8 win.
Blackheart, Turtle, Fangtooth, Snakeskin, Gutter, Rage.
Tapper, Scum, Friday, Hooper, Vet Spigot, Harry.
- Kicked off with Snakeskin and the ball got passed around. Put confidence on her and tooled up. Late in the turn charged Vet spigot and got the wrap for double tackle and a dodge. Then kicked the ball back towards Blackheart. Got a cheeky 2 damage and poison off on Vet Spigot on the counter.
- Blackheart got a 6vp activation at the start of turn 2 taking out Vet spigot who potentially had 4 influence on him.. I think.
- Fangtooth sat in the middle KD people and being an issue. Dan worked pretty hard to keep Rage engaged or Goaded so he couldn’t run around being a pain.
- Gutter had the time of her life at 1 point getting Scything Blow off of a KD Hooper, hitting Friday and Harry at the same time.
- Took out Vet Spigot, Hooper, Friday & Blackheart Goal.
Charles Nurser, Masons 6-12 Loss
Blackheart, Turtle, Rage, Snakeskin, Hemlock, Gutter.
Honour, Monkey, Brick, Flint, Tower, Mist.
- Kicked off with Hemlock.
- Noxious blast on Flint and Brick, Flint Scored. Snakeskin Counter goal, Mist Counter goal, took out Flint. Honour did magic and got the ball. Charles won initiative with me on +2 then scored.
- Really could of done with Gutter being able to pay for Chain grab at least once in this game.
Alex Fish 8-12 Loss
Vet Rage, Turtle, Snakeskin, Fangtooth, Gutter, Hemlock.
Corsair, Salt, Greyscales, Siren, Hag, Avarice.
- Think I kicked off with Hemlock.
- He over extended Corsair to Drag the Turtle in. which allowed me to Quick time Rage and Charge Corsair already engaged by the turtle. Alex got priority and decided to take a parting blow from the Turtle so he wouldn’t lose a dice when hitting Rage, got the wrap and sat Corsair on his fat arse! Rage then had the time of his life.
- Hemlock allowed me to reach out and damage the weaker players like Siren and Hag before going in on them. Blind also nearly saved the game for me after I had got the ball back with Snakeskin and then Alex seduced Rage to pass it. Could have left it unsnapped but just didn’t see Siren sitting there. Hemlock Blinded Greyscales giving him a 1 dice Kick to win the game, which he missed. But then just picked the ball up and hit Gutter to generate MP and shot again getting it.
- Snakeskin Gave me a fast option to chase after the ball, just found it really hard to hold onto the damn thing.
Russell George, Union 12-8 win
Vet Rage, Turtle, Snakeskin, Fangtooth, Gutter, Hemlock.
Vet Rage, Turtle, Mist, Avarice, Gutter, Harry
- Actually received this game which nearly cost me! Mist kicked off and then charged in and got the ball back before punting it back towards Russ’s team. Mist did get pummelled for his efforts but it allowed Russ to get his players up the board and put the pressure on me.
- Hemlock got a Cheeky Noxious blast off late game to set Mist up for the take out in the maintenance phase, also scored the winning goal for me.
- Russ played a good game but just couldn’t get it over the line, failing to kill Gutter on 2 separate attempts. Honestly don’t know how I got a win out of this one. We both kept forgetting Vet Rage’s Usurper rule. Snakeskin stayed out on the wing to threaten a counter goal, but in the end charged Mist for the late takeout prior to Hemlocks goal.
- Once in the middle he’s a real pain in the backside to deal with for some teams, Gluttonous mass and his KD on 1 really made people think before engaging him.
- Great target for Vet rage to use Red fury on to KD a model before Rage goes in.
- Decent damage output if a little limited by 3 influence max.
- Great with OG Rage as a damage tag team.
- Pretty slow and with a bad bad kick stat is not very mobile. Even using his Heroic can really burn your team as well with the 4” pulse.
- Positioning is so important with him. Not only so that his Foul odour doesn’t mess your movement up but also if you are going for a big Unmasking. With his base size and it being a 3” pulse it can really burn you as well as your opponent.
- Foul Odour can really effect your own deployment and how you move turn 1. Also the amount of times you plan something out and then remember Foul Odour is in play!
In the first game against Dan Fangtooth was pretty solid and really helped out. However overall I found him to be difficult to position right and sometimes his damage output was underwhelming if I was looking for momentum as well. As much a limitation of my own ability more than anything I did find him difficult to “optimise”. If I was going for a more “Competitive” build Fangtoooth wouldn’t make the bus. Unfortunately, I don’t really see him having a place in non-union teams either at the moment. With the cap of only 1 union model per team the guilds that can take him all have in my opinion better options that offer them more.
- Kicks out damage and generates momentum like an absolute boss.
- Genuinely concerns people when he is on the table. As Dan said with regards to our game he was really conscious of keeping Rage engaged or creating a situation where he couldn’t get the charge off.
- Reasonably resilient at 17hp doesn’t mind taking it as well as giving it out.
- Crucial artery really skews the healing people think they can do.
- Great for giving Crow outs when trying to get a big Scything blow or Unmasking off, doesn’t suffer from Foul odour.
- Tooled up.
- Doesn’t benefit from friendly aura’s like Shelling out, Butchery, and that.
- Can be difficult to fit in a 9 if taking Vet rage as well.
- Needs players to help disengage him so he can charge.
- Limited threat range.
Rage was fantastic in game 1 and did finish off Flint game 2. I think holding back a bit turn 1 to threaten the counter charge against players is definitely a thing. His passive threat is definitely a tool to be used and with decent placement skills he can really be an issue. Going forward I will certainly be looking to get him on the table more, certainly in a team with Blackheart and probably Decimate.
- Noxious blast is surprisingly useful in a team that really is lacking in ranged damage plays, along with her speed it gives it a pretty ridiculous threat range.
- Although I didn’t really use her playbook having a momentous tackle on the first column has a lot of potential.
- Being def 6 on a parting blow is pretty good. I used it to escape from gutter and set up to pick the ball up for a goal the next turn against Russ.
- A bonus timed Blind nearly saved a game for me.
- She can be pretty influence neutral. Just give her the 2 that she brings and that allows her a cheeky noxious blast or smelling salts. Although not generating momentum it will always get something done with the influence.
- Hemlocks biggest issue is that she is so so fragile. I was constantly worried about her getting engaged and just dying. Which in turn meant she never really got forward to do anything (Except score the winning goal).
I can see there is potential for Hemlock to feature in a 9 but I think more so with only one captain. Not sure that I would want her on the table except for a few niche matchups and the opportunity cost of not taking a more versatile player is an issue.
- Really fast and in my opinion a great option to kick off with and threaten the ball.
- Good at getting the ball when receiving or to go in and tackle it.
- Safe place to put the ball if you want to hold onto it.
- Cheeky poison on the counter attack catches people of guard.
- In the right situation, really difficult to hit and so can be quite survivable.
- For me a great option as a second line striker or to lurk for the counter goal threat.
- Everything you want from her is early on the playbook.
- In the wrong situation, really easy to hit and very squishy.
- Have to make sure she doesn’t get stuck in the middle of the pitch crowded out.
- Can be quite influence hungry if you really want her to tank it like a boss.
- A lot of the models that can threaten her have really long threat ranges so it can be hard to keep away from them.
Ok so admittedly I have a biased opinion of Snakeskin as I’ve always liked her and since Mist lost WTG I generally take Snakeskin as my main goal threat now. Having Shadow like is really useful to get her out of engagement or to reposition slightly to grab a loose ball before running off.
- To be quite short about it… all the reasons we were taking her season 2.
- 2” melee, anatomical precision, reliable momentum generation, good character plays, decent threat range etc.
- Not so much a reason to not take her but more a frustration in the fact that you can’t pay for Chain grab.
Gutter is still fantastic with both Blackheart and Vet rage. The tweaks to how life drinker works and Scything blow moving to the top of her playbook are both fine with me. It was too easy to just rinse people with it in season 2. Even in season 3 its only slightly harder to get it off than it was before and not by much. I think there was an unfair negative reaction to her changes when season 3 dropped but now the dust has settled I should imagine she will be featuring a lot in union teams like she always did.
Final final thoughts…
It was an interesting little experiment taking this set of players as opposed to ones that are considered more optimal choices. What I found interesting as an addition to what I have mentioned above, was that I learned about the players I didn’t take. Have certainly realised that Avarice isn’t an auto pick and you can get a lot done without him. Interestingly I played against Avarice twice and on both occasions found him to be easy enough to deal with. The player I actually missed the most was Harrold. He has such versatility in season 3 since the Steamforge guys gave him a little tickle. Both of his character plays are useful and his playbook is just fantastic. When using either Rage you need a player that can reliably keep them disengaged so they get their free charge. Avarice is capable of doing this, but Harrold with his 2” melee just gets it done and can still easily be engaging that model. At future small sized events I plan to experiment more with these players and put them in with other players I’m more comfortable using as opposed to all of them together which was a baptism of fire really.