December 13, 2019, 10:12:09 AM

Author Topic: Niche Animal tactics  (Read 242 times)

DaveW

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Niche Animal tactics
« on: November 28, 2019, 08:56:35 PM »
I was thinking about Creatures to put into a Straywood BM book recently, and have considered a few that I'd never used much before for specialized roles. I'm sure that there are others, but here are the ones that I came up with the other day:

Feral Bobcat:
Even when you don't have initiative, you can get a guard out before your opponent gets to act if cast in first quickcast phase. In conjuntion with the Altar of the Iron Guard, you can quickcast the Bobcat as a guard -- as it has a melee defense, it could take a hit away from your Mage and might possibly be around for another turn. Use it to guard again or move it to attack with the Charge bonus on the next turn... whichever is better at the time.

Mountain Ram - Two uses:
1) vs. Corporeal Conjurations... half the spell book point cost of a Force Hammer for a six dice attack (presuming that it gets the charge bonus). This is a creature that seems best cast when in a zone adjacent to a corporeal conjuration with a Rouse the Beast cast on it to keep the opponent from putting a wall between it and the target before it can attack. It'll probably get a second attack on another target the next turn.
2) vs. Creatures... 4 die attack with a bonus 6+ push when moving... might push the enemy into or through a wall, or reposition it where it might not want to be.

Hellfire Ants:
The swarm of choice seems to be the Bees... but the Ants have something going for them: Their additional strikes may be made against different creatures. This allows them to knock several creatures off guard in the same turn, or "sweep" from a guarding creature into the creature you really want to attack. Downside: Any guarding creature will get its counterstrike in after the last time you attack it, so you will lose one attack each time you change between guards. On the positive side, however, each guard ttacked will only do one damage in return due to the swarm trait. Therefore, it doesn't matter how big the guard is... attack the largest guards with this one creature and then attack your main target with your other creatures.

Hunting Falcon:
Everyone has seen a pet Thunderift Falcon, but against an enemy with a sturdy flyer (Victorian Griffin, for example), a pet Hunting Falcon could be a better choice in my opinion. You get three extra life and piercing +1 for the extra two (or three, if a pet) mana and Fast trait as compared with the Thunderift Falcon. Either bird will be hindered by the flyer... so most of the time I would find the extra life and piercing the better choice. Downside: You don't get to quickcast the thing as it is level 2.

Any other interesting animals... especially those that might have niche usefulness that people may not often consider?
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Arkdeniz

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Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2019, 10:39:43 PM »
I have a charge-based BM deck that uses the Rams extensively. Lots of fun. And you are right - mix them up with some thorns or bloodspines and you're laughing. Particularly good if matched with something like a Rhino that draws aggro.

What I have had trouble getting to work are the Atticaran Porcupines. They just don't have that level of threat that makes opponents need to attack and thus bring the counterstrike +2 melee into play. Any thoughts?
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SirJasonCrage

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Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 05:58:11 AM »
I always wanted to make a bleed-stacker Johktari with the bow and some direwolves (shooting the bow saves mana so the lair can spam more wolves). Add bloodspine walls and Wolverines and Crocodiles and Pblood and Darkfenne owls and Deathlock to keep the bleeds on.

It's fucking expensive though, you scew yourself over with deathlock, the bow is ridiculously hard to use and necros just giggle at the sight of you.

DaveW

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Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2019, 08:39:41 AM »
What I have had trouble getting to work are the Atticaran Porcupines. They just don't have that level of threat that makes opponents need to attack and thus bring the counterstrike +2 melee into play. Any thoughts?

There are plenty of ways around guards, but maybe Chant of Rage?
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DaveW

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Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2019, 08:55:52 AM »
It's fucking expensive though, you scew yourself over with deathlock, the bow is ridiculously hard to use and necros just giggle at the sight of you.

Deathlock should be ok since you will be doing (in theory) more damage to the opponent than he is to you (especially considering bleeds), in my opinion. (I might take out any kind of healing in the book to save spellbook points.)

I don't try to use the HBow... it seems too costly for its effectiveness... you might want to forego trying to get additional bleeds on the Joktari's non-spell attacks with all of the creatures in there, and just go with a Kajarah and a backup copy (you probably don't have the mana for the Spear).

On Necros... until the Pillar of Righteous Flame gets nerfed, a book like this has to have one. You will want to focus on creatures with high attack dice numbers, and attacks that do direct and/or critical damage for zombies in addition to your main focus (needs balance). Also, maybe grab a Wand of Ice and Fire to burn nonliving creatures with.
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Powlich

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Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2019, 06:26:43 AM »
Thanks to this thread, I put together two decks yesterday. One based on the Feral bobcat, and one on the Emerald Tegu. Tho, both decks are very similar to decks I've played with before.

The bobcat was the first spell I added more copies of after my first game of MW, so you could say it was my first favourite card. It's still one of my favs among the animals. I think the bobcat has great potential as a pet. If it gets melee attacked and miss the def roll, it will probably survive and maybe be able to get a second chance with the def during the next round. And with a pet, you don't have to worry about the Bobcats worst enemy, the Hurl rock. If you quick cast the cat and then move to an adjecent zone with an enemy and then rouse the cat, you can get a cheap extra 6 dice attack. The plan is to cast some charge +1 conjurations during the game, so those extra rouse attacks will increase in power during the game. If all your cats die, you can hopefully finish the game thanks to an almost free Slavörg with good charge bonus. But in the end, you can think about removing all your Bobcats from the deck and replace them with Falcons instead…

The idea with the Tegu is to make the enemy mage die from rot dmg mostly. There are a lot of cheap enchantments for minor creatures that can help you. I'm using Fellella to cast those. My base strategy is to enchant the Tegu with Akiro's favor and Badger frenzy, just to help you get those rots on the enemy fast. Use sanguine thirst for healing. There are a lot of spells nowdays that can give you extra counterstrikes, like Defend, Reprisal, Defend me, Packleader's Cowl. That means more rot and more vampire healing. I also have some counters against necro, since rot won't work.

DaveW

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Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2019, 06:27:16 PM »
My BM book has four Bobcats and six Falcons, along with a couple of Foxes and some level 2 creatures. I also have Cervere, a Grizzly, and Slavorg in there... with two Rajan's Furies for the bonus charge and the amulet that gives you the choice of +1 mana or one point of healing on losing a creature... a Lair and the Ring of Beasts... some other things that I like to have in there are the Packleader's Cowl and Staff of Beasts that provide options on what to do with your mana and/or actions. My last game I tested the Altar of the Iron Guard so that I could quick-cast or deploy a guarding Bobcat. It annoyed my opponent so much he put out a Balista specifically to kill the Altar.... (Note that I'm working on peeling off a few creatures from that book... but I think the four Bobcats are staying in it as long as I have the Altar in there.)

Note that the Rots do not work on poison immune creatures, which makes a Necromancer match-up vs. the Tegus especially difficult (the Necro is immune as well....)
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zot

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Re: Niche Animal tactics
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2019, 05:54:09 PM »
It is a really strong play to qc a guard during first qc. and for the guard to have a defense is a huge bonus. an excellent idea and adds strength to the build. very well done sir.