Up the Pitch: Why I love Hunters (without even playing them).

So, Salute has begun, and we’ve got Hunters Spoilers out in the wild like mad.  Redditor Atrix09 is my inside source, and (s)he has posted up pictures here.  I’ll be adding the cards as I talk about them, but if you want, go look.  I’ll wait (If you’re curious, Snared gives -2″/-2″ move and -1 Def).

Now there are a lot of things to be excited about with the new team, as we can expect.  And I’m really stoked that I pre-ordered them.  They’re a very different team – they aren’t great at scoring and they aren’t (generally) that great at killing.  What they’re great at is being huge pains in the ass and doing small, consistent amounts of damage (pings, poison, etc).  In some ways, they’re the 4 TLT Y-Wings of the Guild Ball world.

But as I read more and more of the cards, and think more and more about the team, I’m coming to one glorious conclusion:

The entire team is a support system for A GIANT BEAR.

Let’s be clear.  I love giant bears.  My all time favorite D&D character had a Dire Bear mount.  I named him in a language I invented just so I could give him a name (It’s Bethrach, which means “Bear” – if you want to learn more, you can go read the campaign journal I wrote on bloody deadjournal (yes, it was that long ago) years back).  I’ve been excited for Seenah ever since I knew she was going to exist, and now I’m even more excited.  And as I indicated in the title, I haven’t actually fielded the team.  I understand that Jaecar is quite the murder machine himself, but he’s not A BEAR.  To be completely honest, I’ve only played a handful of games at this point, so I could be completely off.  But the odds of that are only about 2% based on my highly scientific calculations.

So let’s dive in!  Sure, maybe some of my excitement about A BEAR is coloring my view.  But let’s look at the team.  First I’m going to put up my sweet boo-bear without comment:

She’s the star of the team, and let’s see why.

First support for her: Theron, the team captain.

 

Theron is a captain, so he’s awesome.  4 inf, 4+def, 1 Arm, just like most captains.  And he’s got Pinned, which tells you a lot about how Hunters work.  Pinned *also* turns on Isolated Target (which is terribly named – Isolated Target should be something like “If there are no other models within 3″ of target model” or the like – this ability should be called “PREY ON THE WEAK”) for Seenah.  Which is +1 damage to each attack.  So Seenah’s already respectable playbook (7 TAC, 3 damage on 4, momentous 3 and KD on 5) gets even better.

Now I’m going to say something bad about Seenah – it’s okay.  I’ll tell you why it’s not bad in a minute.  Seenah is a 0 inf Furious model, like Minx.  And no one likes Minx.  0 inf Furious models have a huge glaring weakness – if they can’t charge, they lose a lot of their power.  And smart enemies will make sure that Furious models can’t charge by being next to them.  And when you’re on a 50mm base, getting someone next to you is pretty easy.  So Seenah, at first glance, seems to be in trouble.  She’s an amazing alpha strike, but then she’s just a 2 inf 7 TAC attacker with 2+ defense, which isn’t great.

Theron says to the model pinning Seenah “HEY! YOU! ON MY BEAR! GEROFF!”  Because Pinned models have to advance towards Theron.  “But Ergonomic Cat,” I hear you say, “Models engaged with Seenah don’t care about that – they’ve already moved up to her (they can keep attacking Seenah and advance 0)!”  You make a good point, clever and attractive internet reader of this article, but just wait!

Theron also has Blessing of the Sun Father, which is also a Seenah support tool, as I’ll explain right about now:

Because you see, Chaska is the answer to that problem!

Here’s our turn thus far: Theron activates.  He Pins someone, uses the Blessing on Chaska.  Does whatever else – if he’s not a bear, we don’t care.  He spends 3 influence.

Seenah activates.  She charges the model Theron shot for free, rolls 11 dice against a -1 Def.  She gets 4-6 results, doing 4-5 damage, or 4 + bleed, or knock down, or what have you.  Then she spends the 2 we put on her to make two more attacks with 7 dice against -1 (or -2 if you took a KD), doing +1 damage for each.  So she has done, let’s say, 12 damage to the model she’s facing.  Assuming it’s not dead, Chaska goes next.  He saunters up with his 3 influence (Yes, I know, it’s a lot of inf – I’m working on that part).  He gets within 4″ of either Seenah’s target, or some model that’s moved up to be mean to her.  He puts Tough Skin on Seenah, who is now, yes, 2+ defense, but also Arm 2, and takes -1 damage with her 21 hp.  So, you know, she’s feeling reasonably tanky.  He does some attacks or not – he’s 5 TAC, but doesn’t have much damage on his playbook, so he’s not doing a ton of work, but, you know, it’s fine.  We don’t expect much damage from our supports (and remember, everyone that’s not Seenah is a support).  Then he uses BOOM BOX.  He does an exceptionally respectable 4 damage, which, with Seenah’s 12 from before, may well finish off the player.  But let’s assume it’s someone big, or that Seenah rolled badly, or whatever.  And then he pushes whatever clever model engaged Seenah 4″ away.  Which, for those of you following along, leaves Seenah unengaged, and ready to charge again next turn.

Alternatively, if Theron is being a bad support and chasing the ball or something, or if it’s turn 2 and Theron can’t snare everyone then Chaska goes first.  He moves up to Seenah, drops a trap behind a model, then Boom Boxes it 4″, off Seenah, through the trap, Snaring the model (I assume,it’s possible I’m reading that rules interpretation wrong), and turning on Seenah’s +1 damage, and letting her charge again.  Also, and I haven’t really made a big deal about this even though it’s freaking awesome – if you let Seenah get the killing blow, she’s generating 3 VP per take down, so you can win with 4, instead of 5.

Then there’s some other players.  There’s this guy:

He’s also got Blessing of the Sun Father and can snare a model.  He can also give Seenah +2 TAC (making her 9 TAC, or 13 on a charge) against a model (and sure, other players too, whatever), and then once Theron drops a forest between Seenah and those pesky models that seem to want to engage her, he can then teleport into the forest to protect Seenah and tank someone who would try to charge through it!
There are, of course, other members of the team.  There’s Jon Snow’s ex-lady love (Spoilers, but if you get the reference, you probably already knew the spoiler).

I guess it’ll take Seenah a while to take out 4 different models, so maybe Egret can run around and score or something?  Also, her Snap Fire might be useful to poison someone to be sure Seenah can get the killing blow, I guess?

Jaecar is another Snare delivery system.  He can also give someone -4″/-4″ move which, I assume, can combine with Snared to give someone -6″/-6″, which means that Seenah could charge up to 2″ away, maul someone, and then Jaecar could reduce their move to something like 1″ or less and drop their Defense even further, letting Seenah use more of her 7 TAC.

And then there’s this thing:

Why you would bring a cat to a bear fight is beyond me, but since Fahad is a mascot, you’ve got to include her.  People are saying she’s the most dangerous mascot in the game, and that’s technically true, I suppose, but Seenah might as well be the team mascot, since everyone is focused on her.  But Fahad is also furious, so a lot of the stuff that I said about Seenah might trickle-down to her.  And Fahad will probably never get attacked when Seenah is near, between her negligible impact and her 5+ def, so the cat might get to do more than she would otherwise with Seenah around.

And if you’re taking Fahad, you’re probably bringing this one, who is another Seenah support:

Zarola can Snare at 8″, so that’s something Seenah likes.  She can also give Seenah an out of activation Jog, which is fantastic, because that either lets Seenah charge the turn it’s used, if she hasn’t activated yet, or gets her free of the mass of people who have probably engaged her (possibly taking some Parting Blows, but she’s got 21 Health, 2 armor and -1 damage, so whatever.  Zarola also has a push, so she can peel people off Seenah with that too (that also applies to anyone else supporting).

Between all of this, Seenah should be removing a model a turn at minimum.  As long as those other 5 slackers don’t manage to give up too many points, and occasionally do things with the ball, you’ll need 4 turns total to clean up.  It’s also unlikely your opponent will bring a model back with less than 2 Icy Sponges, given that Seenah can probably take out anyone she needs to that’s only healed one level (and will get +1 VP for doing so) which means you’ll often be playing 5 vs 6.  And even when a model comes back on, if Theron is paying attention, that model is going to get Pinned and redirected away, meaning Seenah has a new, weakened, target!

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