GenCon 200 Assault and Community draft update

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bshugg
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GenCon 200 Assault and Community draft update

Hi All! I played in the 200 assault and community draft on Saturday. I didn't get into GenCon until Midday on Friday so missed most of the earlier events.

200 Assault NA championships:
This event had a disappointing turn out of 4 players! None of the usual faces that have attended over the last few years showed so the event was quite small. All 4 players played each other round robin and I won it going 3-0

My band was:
200 points, Borderlands, Dragondown Grotto

Imryth 150
Worg 11
Skeletal Legionaire 4
5 Merchant Guards 3 with Rot Scarabs

The other 3 bands were:
Howling orcs, Ettin Merc, Militia Archer, Raistlin, Enduring Ale buff
Elminster, 2 Wand Experts, 2 Merc Guards, filler
Storm Silver Hand, Cazi x2, Raistlin, 2 Human Sellswords.

I didn't take notes on games. Elminster and Storm bands didn't really have the damage output to take out Imryth so the games weren't very close. The orcs can put a lot of hurt on things they need the synergy bonuses of the 2 champions to have a chance and I got lucky and eliminated the Ettin on turn 1. With out the +4 attack it would of been a bigger struggle. Also I won map which would of made it very hard for him to keep up with Imryth.

Thoughts on the band:
Storm King added a few new options in the format along with the nerfs to a few of the stronger figs that I had abused (Fighter lords, onyx, Yuan-ti Sorc). If the field would of been bigger I kind of expected to see a few more of the bigger giants be played like some of the Fire Giants, Frost Giant Slayers, or maybe a techy Countess Sansurri build. This is the first time I felt any of the huge figs were actually viable in 200 which is pretty darn cool and I give credit to the design team that worked on SKT!

I feel like Imryth is an "oops!" fig and is not in a healthy place. She opens up a new style of play that I think a lot of bands will struggle with, especially if she wins map. I did a lot of testing against her since SKT was announced and she excels at getting a point advantage then using that to win a drawn out hit and run battle where they have to chase her around the map. It's certainly not fun to play against unless you are running a very mobile band with high attack values that can reasonably hit her. She lacks the weaknesses of other huges due to her flying and high mobility. I never once felt like her 3x3 base was an issue and under old rules she almost always has cover for 34 AC.

The community draft was later on and had 16 players which was a great turn out! I finished around 6th or so. Most of the pods had multiple players opening SKT boosters producing big tanky threats while my pod was all Monster Menagiere and rage of demons. I first picked a Barovian specter over a phase spider which ended up circling back to me in the end. We were given a Kobold Champion and Hobgoblin blade dancer to buff our pool. I drafted a Drow Captain basically as a crappy attacker but in the end I had 3 stealth or dwor figs so my band ended up with great synergy:

Drow Captain (lodestone)
Epic Kobold Champion (bag of tricks)
Phase Spider
Drow Scout
Barovian Specter

I suprised my opponents with how much damage these dorks could do under the champion effect taking out a giant each round. The last round I lost to a Countess Sansurri that rolled 2 crits on a cloud kill against my full strength figures (100 damage each) while I had the countess down to low HP. It was nice to see a lot of new faces in the league and they all seemed to have a good time. The community draft is always the fun part of GenCon DDM.

Overall I was bummed by the turn out but I think we could get the numbers back up higher again with a bit of love. Doubt we will ever see 50+ but I would be happy with 20+ at events. We talked about a few ideas to do so. I'm going to try to bring League play back for GenCon 2018 as well as maybe some options to get ddmguild.org out for new players. We are making minis still so players still should be able to find us.

skyscraper
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Thanks for the post BShugg!

As for new players, could WotC not be contacted for an article on their website about DDM Guild?

plastic finn
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Thanks, bshugg, and congratulations on the win!

Iymrith is indeed formidable. With all those Merchant Guards I can imagine she'd be incredibly hard to take down.

Good to hear the community draft had such a nice turnout despite the championship tournament not quite getting there. Hopefully there's a solution to be found for the overall numbers to grow.

Generic Fighter
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Hey. Back from GenCon and recovered, mostly. So, forst off pictures for those who couldn'y come...


Prize Table at Community Draft.

More pictures can be found below...

http://genericfighter.imgur.com/all/

We had a bunch of people for the Community Draft and I didn't get last place! Had tons of fun, too. Played a few 50 point games and the 50 point tournement on Friday. Colapsed into bed after checking the dealer hall Thursday. Met up with one of the Hosts of a Podcast I like on Friday and Enjoyed the Music of Mikey Mason that evening. Saturday was an RPG event in the Football Stadium and the Draft in the Evening. Sunday was the Search for Deals in the Dealer's Hall. Also, met Chris Pinyan in the ICC at some point on Saturday before the draft and giot to show him my repaints, too. All in all, an Excellent Convention!

GF

skyscraper
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I'm impressed to see that Snow White was part of the Community Draft!

Moraturi
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She did not play, but was with one of our players.

skyscraper
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Did he play a dwarf warband?

tried
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Brad, as far as Iymrith goes, I never doubted her strength, but she will be less strong in V3 and I suspect also that you did not play against any band that could significantly damage or nerf her. We'll see what winter brings, and then judge whether she needs a nerf. You were well ahead of the curve, and surprised the meta before people realized what they might need to build against. Me, I love Sansurri as well, but not certain if its possible to build around her. I think she plays like archmage, while Iymrith plays like Large Silver Dragon (of old edition).

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bshugg
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Love the old school mini references there Dwayne! Smile

The scary part of Imyrith is her mobility. On my chosen map of Dragondown grotto she is uncatchable. If she doesn't want to fight she's 24 squares away this turn and since she flies and has ranged she doesn't ever have to get close if she doesn't want to. I don't think we've ever had a titan style build quite like that before. I ran my drow and fighter lords (pre nerf) and some other things at her testing and she just laughed them off if she wins map. It was pretty gross. V3 will change some of her strengths as she won't always have perma-cover like she did in my matches.

tried
tried's picture

My recommendation had been to limit her mobility during development. It was the only thing I was truly afraid of, and if nerfed she will come down to 5 movement, (and *possibly* even 4, though I think that would about kill her as a threat.)

BTW: I really don't like *not* having a map rotation for the championship. With a map rotation,
there would definitely be a lot more thinking about versatility in warband construction.

/d

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Moraturi
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Agreed on the map rotation.
Also, for the other tournaments using a small map, we really need to go back to opening up map choices beyond just Pillars/Cove. Those two are very limiting for other formats.

Ira
Ira's picture

I didn't play in the Assault tournament, so I'm responding without playtest experience.

My first thought is that I trust Brad's judgment, and if he says something is broken, it's probably good to take a close look and likely make a change.

My second thought is "really?!" Not counting CPs, that 150 point creature can dish out 80 damage per round in melee, or 70 damage per round ranged (as long as you're spending move actions to recharge). Also, her attack bonuses aren't so amazing and will certainly miss sometimes against higher cost creatures.

Obviously the five merchant guards go a long way in protecting her, and the +2/+10 damage boost is significant in making those guards scary after they've used up their bodyguard.

Brad, do you think the +2/+10 is the issue, since those bodyguards are quite useful after they've guarded? To me, flying away for both activations just doesn't seem like a big deal, though I regularly value mobility lower than Dwayne and others. If I'm already in melee, you have to spend 1 action to shift, and possibly multiple actions, depending on how well I have you surrounded.

bshugg
bshugg's picture

I think there's some builds that can beat Imyrith but where I think the issues are:

Champion 3 means she wins map frequently. She wins map and its Dragondown Grotto and most normal bands really struggle. She could easily be a Champion 2 which would bring her on par with most other Champions. I've mentioned the grotto as being a problem map before but she is far and above a typical ranged band because of flight and the ability to double move on it. You don't want to see wand experts or radius effects on the grotto but you can at least catch them.

32 AC on a ranged fig means I easily had 36 AC versus other ranged attackers. I'm not sure if her AC needs to drop really but its incredibly high unless you are preparing for it. You won't be able to get cover as easily in V3 but its still possible. Especially on her map.

The 24 move is just an option. She can do a retreat of 18 and shoot or 12 and shoot and recharge as well. More often she moves out from cover at end of turn, shoots, then shoots again. Wins init the following turn and shoots again or moves back. She lets you have 9 activations in a 8 fig format so you often get 2 unopposed actions with her at the end of turn. She can charge something for 80 damage from 12 away which can make for big swings as well. No matter what though she's going to decide on where the engagement takes place and the opponent is going to get hit hard first and have to split their forces to catch her.

How to bring her more in line:
Champion 2
Adjust defenses to have some other weaknesses: Maybe AC:32, REF: 28, Fort 28, Will 30
Speed 5

Probably 2 of the above 3 would be enough.

bshugg
bshugg's picture

I dislike the small map formats ONLY because of the map selection. The newest ones are fairly balanced but the original ones SUCK for constructed bands. Having to play against a band on crossroads when they have prepared for it can be super frustrating.

We talked about rules for starting off the map but they didn't make it for V3. Why not?

bshugg
bshugg's picture

Brad, do you think the +2/+10 is the issue, since those bodyguards are quite useful after they've guarded?

It depends on what your facing. Against a swarm band it will help as +13 charges for 20 is decent damage so you would probably use it a few times. I used the effect more for shooting a bodyguard over to where I wanted to end my turn with the teleport then flying Imryth over to that location. You really want to use all 5 bodyguards to absorb attacks on her rather than having them swarmed by their fodder or drow scouts that are useless against Imryth so the teleport helps with positioning to keep them safe. It lets you fling them over the cliffs on the grotto safely as well.

tried
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Why would a creature with cover have 36 AC?

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Guildmaster Head of Organized Play

bshugg
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32 base + 2 cover + 2 from skelly legionnaire

bshugg
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The other version of Imyrith I tested was:
Imyrith
Hiss-ka (I believe)
Wild elf warsinger
Fodder to hit 11 activations

This is the more techy version as the lizard king gives Imyrith 2 extra moves to get to safety and the warsinger lets her do 90 on a charge which can be important at times. Also it lets your fodder charge for 30 to clear out merchant guards and other fodder