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Team Planning – 8-Ball

A bit of a different attempt at a team planning article this week – rather than pick models that have direct synergies that all work together, I have gone for a team that helps the main character, but in less direct ways.

Today, the main character is 8-Ball.

Normally I don’t do this….but today I will. Just take a moment just to look at him.

Would probably get played by Jack Black in Aristeia: The Movie

Right, now we all have gazed into his eyes, on with the blog.

8-Ball’s card doesn’t look very flashy at the start, but let’s dig into it. First of all, I would consider 8-Ball to be a tank; he has high health and pretty much the best defensive stats you can get unless you are Maximus. His brawn and agility are very good – not only is is agility high enough to give him a real chance to escape, both stats can allow him to displace himself as a switch.

Displacement is where this panda shines. Eat my Fa Jing is a close-mid range attack that is unlikely to do much in the way of damage – it is mainly a way he can displace himself and his target even further.

Be water, Dude can be used in the same way, it can move enemies and allies alike. As switches work first, he (on a good roll) can displace himself before he places his target next to him, moving his target much further.

So, 8-Ball is fairly tanky, and pretty mobile. He can score. He can pull opponents out of zones, move them away from friendly targets, and generally mess with plans. What I want to do is have a team that helps him do this, which means allowing his attacks and actions to have a greater impact. This means adding dice, adding range, and adding reliability.

Hannibal has featured in this blog fairly recently, but his flexibility means it that he is rarely a poor choice. The main draw in this team are his cards (more on this below) and Pointman. Hannibal seems a good cheerleader for 8-Ball, especially early game. An extra orange die significantly increases the reliability of his displacements, and of course Programmed Strategy will allow an Eat My Fa Ging! displacement and re position out of activation for 8-Ball, which adds to his ability to control the board.

I don’t think Hannibal will get as much out of Coordinated Assault in this list. That said as this list is dedicated to adding dice to actions, it might be the case that he is able to buff his attack reliably. If 8-Ball is running round like a lunatic he might end up being out of line of sight of Hannibal later in the game, so careful planning is probably going to be needed.

The main draw of 8-Ball for me was originally his cards, and so with Hannibal and Wild Bill in the team I will be able to play the same cards several times. Wild Bill also has cards which can add more dice to attacks, but more on that later. Other than that , Bill will add some reliable damage to the list, which it currently lacks.

Bill really doesn’t want his opponents to get close to him, as his agility is pretty low, so he will be reliant on 8-Ball to keep people off him of they get too close.

The list currently hasn’t got a strong melee presence, though Coordinated Assault and Eat My Fah Jing have no minimum range which can help a little bit, and hopefully I will have plenty of dice to add to my attacks.

Time for the fourth slot. Like the last blog post on Shona Carano I think there are a few options, so I am going to chicken out and give both of them.

The main draw for Lunah in this list are her cards, as this is a very card-heavy design, so I will discuss those below. That said, she is good in any list, and this list is no exception. Suppressive Fire can help with the scoring prevention in this list, and also works with Programmed Strategy. That said, she can also control potential threats by shooting them in the head, which is something she excels at.

My other option is Shona, who I initially shied away from due to the fact that she was in the previous blog.

I think Shona has worse cards, but her melee attacks help with moving targets around in this list, which combined with 8-Ball allows a lot of board control. It also gives me more chances to keep people away from Wild Bill – if I had both Lunah and Bill in the same list I would not always be confident of the abilities of 8-Ball to keep both of them unengaged.

She is also far better at getting to zones and holding them than Lunah, especially if she has some targets to bounce off with displacements from Hit The Blade.

Plus Hit the Blade works with Programmed Strategy and Pointman, which is nice.

Now for the cards, and why I wanted to look at 8-Ball in more depth in the first place.

8-Ball has so many good cards it is hard to choose. I almost chose Block due to adding two dice really helping with the switches in this list, but I was seduced by the scoring and control potential of Badass-Boom and Dance For Me!. Whilst these cards are only linked to 8-Ball, combined with Code <Timeout> and Ace Of Hearts I will be able to play these cards several times. I also like how they involve no face to face roll, and so there is very little that can be done about it, short of my opponent’s precious No!.

Code <Dive> benefits everyone in the list, allowing 8-Ball even more out of activation movement that he can trigger as switches. Ace of Diamonds increases the power of 8-Ball’s attacks and displace potential significantly.

Holographic sight ….I am starting to think it is one of the best cards in the game. It makes the place potential of Be Water Dude! pretty silly to be honest, allowing him to place a target up to 5 hexes away from it’s original location, assuming he doesn’t manage to displace himself in the process.

The ability of Ricochet allowing 8-Ball to displace and place targets he can’t even see adds to his control potential.

So, assuming I want to add Shona in instead….as said above, I really like the cards that Major Lunah brings, but I fear that with two strong ranged characters in the list it will suffer when people are close in, unless 8 Ball can control everyone. Let me know what you think, internet!

These are the cards I would bring:

The way this list plays it is likely that 8-Ball and Shona will be the main scorers, with Wild Bill offering ranged support and Hannibal doing, well, stuff. As such, the cards reflect this. Riposte will be very strong after Shona has scored the turn before in a contested zone, where the enemies are close to her. Whirlwind works on the same principle, she is likely to be stuck in the action contesting and holding zones.

8-Ball should be able to help Shona with her mobility, and he can place targets near her in preparation for a Whirlwind, or increase the power of Riposte. Also, with Code <Dive> it gives Shona potentially two whole rounds of having a very strong close up defence.

So, some team planning there, and some options that I want to try out. Let me know what you think, and follow me on twitter @IHexadome.



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