A new type of article today. This time I am planning an 8 Aristo team and explaining my reasons behind it.
My normal method of planning an 8 is to balance out tank, damage, control and support. My idea for this 8 is to skew the direction of the team towards a certain direction. The hope for this is that if the opponent’s 8 can’t deal with this, as theirs is (in theory) balanced it can mean they will have a hard time.
It also means that if I get counter-picked (when using the Zlavin mod, which we use all the time) I will have enough options for my 4 Aristo team to still carry this aim out.
So, time for my team – entitled ‘Everyone Fights! No-one quits!’
This team is a very tank-heavy skew. It also has a fair few movement tricks, uses the immobilize state a lot, and is generally pretty hard to kill. It was initially designed to combat high damage teams like Miyamoto Mushashi – Wild Bill pairings that can often burn up a team pretty fast. It uses a wall of hit points, healing and immobilize to out-attrition a match.
I will be referencing the characters and their cards a lot, so it might be handy to click on the characters to be taken to their page.
The team contains:
The team would normally contain one healing / support (Parvati or Mendoza) depending on the match up. Parvati is better at removing states, and so will be used when facing lots of dazzle and immobalise, or scenarios where movement is important. Mendoza is a better healer and so will be used for more static scenarios where surviving is key.
I am going to go through the list and discuss the key points I think a list needs, namely Movement, Damage, Tanking and Control.
As well as containing models that are harder to kill than average, it looks initially slow, but it has a fair few movement tricks.
First of all, we have Max. With implacable he can displace when he is not targeted. This can easily translate to moving a couple of hexes in a turn, giving him effective speed 4. His agility is the highest in the game, making him hard to pin down.
It is probably a surprise to noone that Kozmo can be fast, with Meteoric Charge she can have the highest agility in the game (with thee exception of Maximus) , and move 8 hexes. Card-wise, Gravitational Slingshot can let me fling models into scoring zone, or clear them out.
Final boss can Swim Move over immobilized, stunned or dazzled targets. Whilst this list has not got much dazzle, Final boss can stun targets, as can Hippolyta with cards. Valkyrie can also immobilize easily with Frostbite. Chimera Ram is one of my favorite cards, and lets him displace 4 times, which is huge.
Speaking of Valkyrie, Odin’s Breath gives her bursts of speed when needed, her displace with Charge of the Valkyrie is small but potentially important.
Hippolyta hasn’t got much in the way of speed boosts herself, the bonus movement points from Boosted reflexes will normally translate to a single point of movement unless she can switch to boost her initiative before her activation. That said, in this list she is important; this list has a lot of low initiative Aristos. So many are initiative 4 that even with the underdog token you might not get the choice who activates first, losing a lot of thee advantages that token brings.
Hammerhead, who I recently ranted about is all about movement and displacement tricks. For a tank he can move a long way, and get to a scoring zone others can’t reach.
Parvati has innate movement 5, which is nice, and Mendoza has no movement abilities at all – but at least he can set nearby people on fire. Which is something.
Max, Kozmo, Final Boss, Valkyrie and Hammerhead all have pretty decent agility values, meaning they can get to an engagement and leave it again when they feel like it.
This team has no dedicated damage models. Kozmo can do decent damage with help from smoke, Final Boss has an OK gun, as does Parvati and Mendoza. The only person who can potentially get to a red / three orange situation is Valkyrie, and that relies on her moving first.
With this list I don’t think it is a huge problem. It has a lot of staying power and often will kill an Aristo over a turn or two. I like building up for turn 3 / 4 kills as it means they will not be able to take full benefit of the free re position that an early kill can get them.
If I really want to do more burst damage, there are ways I can do it.
Kozmo has Stellar Nucleosynthesis to damage anyone in smoke. Final Boss has Ohoho Suprise! to get a reposition and more damage to a stunned target. Valkyrie can hit things with her charge, and use Valkyrie’s Cry if she needs to. Hammerhead can use cards to poison himself up to the eyeballs, then use No defence to crack a target.
Parvarti has a decent gun she can fire twice. Mendoza – well I find he does quite a bit of damage by turn 3/4 as those fire tokens can really add up.
So yeah….this list can tank. It can tank good.
In terms of damage soaking Maximus is the best tank in the game. His cards, such as Block and Adamantine allow him to soak a lot of punishment. Placing him two hexes away from someone you want to protect will allow him to displace as a reaction to them being attacked and soak the wounds with Get Behind Me!. This placement allows him to cover a little more ground than having people base to base.
Kozmo can be a little fragile sometimes as she is often a target. Asteroid Belt can let her take a hit aimed at one of her team from anywhere on the board. Her main tanking is her smoke, which can completely shut down ranged attacks.
Final Boss can absorb a surprising amount of damage with I-Khol when he is close, and if he has managed to stun them as well he is very hard to shift. As he wants to be no more than 4 hexes away to use I-Khol I often push him forward pretty fast. Note that as this power needs line of sight he is vulnerable to smoke and hidden attacks from people like Dart.
Valkyrie is probably the easiest of the non-support people to knock out, but 4 wounds with healing in this team still makes it relatively difficult unless she is facing a high damage character like Miyamoto, Wild Bill or Major Lunah. Ice Wall can help with this, but as she will often want her cards to give her mobility and a ranged immobilize I find there often isn’t room for it.
Hippolyta can help with tanking, she can do a mass-stun with Amazon wedge and protect the whole team with ODD Field. Against small attacks it might be worth taking a switch to give someone in your team an initiative boost depending on how likely she is to survive the turn and be healed.
Hammerhead – well he has 5 wounds, which helps 🙂
Parvati and Mendoza aren’t the tanks in this team, and so might get targeted as the weak links. Keeping them near Maxiumus may help with this, and a careful eye on threat ranges to make sure they aren’t too close to people who can one-shot them.
Control can take many forms in this game, from placing models, to states, to simply killing a target who hasn’t activated yet.
Maximus is a strong positional control piece. His brawn is high, making him hard to escape from. His taunt isn’t super-reliable, but can be used to lock down aggressive melee threats – especially if he gets an initiative bump from Hippolyta.
Kozmo has a lot of control. Her smoke can outright shut down some ranged threats, or force them to come in and use their abilities point-blank. She also has access to immobilized from Infinite Density. Gravitational Slingshot can be used aggressively to move targets to where you want them. She also has a good brawn stat.
Final boss has access to stunned as a switch, and his main attack can give out a speed debuff which can prove very useful. With Face, meet fist! he can also dazzle (and maybe switch to stun at the same time) – giving him a quite a tool box of useful abilities. Like above, he also has a good brawn, and can stun people at the same time.
Valkyrie has easy access to a mass immobilize with Frostbite and a ranged immobilize with her Frostburn card. Her brawn isn’t great, but if anyone else is immobilized nearby she can add blue dice to her roll.
Hippolyta can reduce initiative values with her Myrmidion Steel attack – with the added bonus that it doesn’t need to score a hit to slow them. Her cards Amazon wedge can potentially stun the whole team at once. Clairvoyance can reduce initiative to targets she isn’t able to engage, or be used on Aristos who have just returned to the hexadome again.
Hammerhead can displace any target he charges with Battering ram. Simples.
Parvati and Mendoza aren’t here for control really, though Mendoza can dazzle with Res, Non Verba if you really want some dazzle with your fire.
So…..there is a breakdown of my 8. It is deliberately more tanky than some lists I have seen recently. I am going to give it a try over the next few months and see how it does. It has weaknesses to be sure, but I think that the denial (as much as possible) of easy frags and the control of Aristo movement will let this list dictate the pace of the game and grind my opponents into submission.
I will be back to this list in a few months to explain how wrong I was.