cheddercaveman
Since I'm not playing in this league I figured instead I would follow along a bit and do some outside analysis. Season 3 is the biggest league ever with 25 players! There's definitely a lot of interesting things for us to take a look at, so lets get into it! Most of the data can be found here: https://judgement.game/pages/judgement-vassal-league-season-3

First, lets take a look at the hero picks since that was the first thing that we were able to see:
Screen_Shot_2019-06-27_at_8.10.54_pm.png 
First thing here is WOW the number of Sharns! Over 1 out of every 2 players decided to bring her to the league, that's incredible and shows just a ton of hype for her release at GenCon. I'd actually like to take a second and say a word of kudos to the development team to get that level of excitement going for her, now of course if she ends up with a ridiculously high win-rate at the end we get to have that discussion about balance, but for now awesome stuff! 

Lets dig a bit deeper into this though since for me there are some interesting things in play here:

Higher pick rate than anticipated:
  • Sharn
  • Styx
  • Saiyin
I already talked about Sharn, but I think newness explains that well enough. Saiyin is interesting to see picked that much, she just got a pretty significant change to how her attack works, though that's not really why you bring her and is more of just a nice when it works. I haven't played her really a ton since the attack was re-worked, but I would in general say that I wouldn't have anticipated to see her so significantly higher than Svetlana, Kruul or even Zaron (we'll get to him later). Styx is probably the most surprising here though, he just got delivered some pretty hefty nerfs with no buffs coming back. Now, don't get me wrong, Styx still brings a lot of utility to a warband but he did get harder to play. Bold Claim: Styx will have a lower win-rate than should be justified by his pick-rate

Lower pick rate than anticipated:
  • Zaron
  • Kruul
  • Barnascus
  • Skye
  • Viktor
Lets start with the reanimated elephant in the room, there were ZERO people who decided to bring Zaron to their warband. While I wouldn't have expected a high pick, I definitely would have expected to see a few of him. Left unchecked Zaron can absolutely run an entire game in my experience and just the action economy that can exist with having to deal with his skeletons can be very strong. Unfortunate, and hopefully some players take another look at him after the league.

Kruul is another surprise, only ONE. As I said above, I would have expected his pick rate to be closer to Saiyin and Svetlana as they're all sort of the most "classic" Soulgazers. I probably would rank them in the order of Saiyin>Svetlana>Kruul, but I'd have expected them to be within 1-2 picks of each other. With Barnascus I would have thought his pick rate would be  higher primarily due to just getting some buffs. I would say that I didn't expect it to be super high, but probably another 2-4 picks.

Now lets get into the two that I think are the most significant of the under-picked. First, only 3 Skye picks feels egregiously low. The high pick-rate of Sharn I suppose explains this to some degree, but the other Defenders were all within a reasonable range of each other so not sure here. I think maybe folks feel like they need a certain warband or that he has certain fate requirements? There has always been a degree to which Skye plays differently in that Defender spot though, so perhaps its just playstyle choices for most people. For me, I think Skye is probably the Defender I like best and feel is strongest. Bold Claim: Skye will have a higher win-rate than Sharn.

Finally we get to Viktor, this one is a bit trickier since he comes in with 5 picks putting him only really in the low-end of the middle of the pack. The reason I think he's low is that I think with the advent of Dor'gokkan that Viktor is very likely above the curve to be honest. You do have to get your positioning down with him and the demons for sure, but I actually think he's strong enough right now that I won't be surprised to see him or Dorg get a slight nerf in the future. I expected to see a lot more Viktor than the numbers he got. Bold Claim: Viktor will have a 55% or better win-rate.

I'm going to add more posts to this thread as I go, I don't want to risk getting data lost because I left this open and editing for too long.
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cheddercaveman
Now, analysis on some breakdown as provided by Nightflier on warband compositions. I'll add some additional information as well.  First, here are the values he provided us on how many people brought X amount of a role to their warband:

Aggressors
4 - 1 player
3 - 12 players
2 - 10 players
1 - 2 players
Defender
2 - 15 players
1 - 9 players
Support+Hybrid
4 - 1 player
3 - 7 players
2 - 12 players
1 - 5 players
Hybrid
2 - 4 players
1 - 14 players
0 - 7 players
Support
2 - 8 players
1 - 16 players
0 - 1 players
Soul Gazer
1 - 18 players
0 - 7 players

What can we discern from these statistics. Well first there are some generic things, for example most people felt that they needed to have 2 or 3 aggressors and only some significant outliers existed with those. No one opted to go into 2 Soul Gazers, showing perhaps that current feeling on them is that they're not strong enough to consider having two in play at the same time and they folks were ok with their Soul Gazer being banned out. Two Defenders was the most common, but by no means was it uncommon to see a warband only include one, again meaning people must feel ok playing without a Defender if they must.

The interesting role is perhaps in the Hybrid+Support category which I put together for this analysis because they're somewhat similar. The majority seem to have 2-3 here as well, nearly mirroring what we would see from the aggressors. There has definitely been chatter that this class of heroes has a lot more utility, a lot more survivability than aggressors but still often brings some damage to the game as well. I think this is why you're seeing so many of them. These are also sometimes heroes that you will see a lot less in 3s that going up to 5s almost always allows for. Some other quick interesting anecdotes:
  • One player brought 4 aggressors, obviously bringing the highest amount of potential DPS to the fore. Likely means they're going to see their Soul Gazer, Defender or a support banned out since DPS isn't likely to go. Since this is Tirrith I'll be watching how this bold move pays out.
  • Another player brought 4 Support/Hybrids which is also a bold move. Going to have to hope that the flexibility here pays off because they're also likely getting something important banned.
  • There were NO players who opted to have neither a support nor a hybrid.
  • 7 players eschewed a Soul Gazer entirely, which goes against what folks normally discuss and predict for this map. It feels like this number is maybe a bit high, but perhaps not given the high usage rate of the Support/Hybrid class.
  • On the other side, no player thought to bring a 2nd Soul Gazer, so look for high ban rates on Soul Gazers.
  • No one opted to go with a third defender nor to go without a Defender.
Breakdown by Race:

Elves
5 - 1 player
4 - 1 player
2 - 6 players
1 - 10 players
0 - 8 players
Dwarves
3 - 1 player
2 - 6 players
1 - 10 players
0 - 8 players
Human
3 - 3 players
2 - 10 players
1 - 9 players
0 - 4 player
Orc
5 - 1 player
3 - 6 players
2 - 6 players
1 - 9 players
0 - 3 player
Minotaur
5 - 1 player
3 - 1 player
2 - 4 players
1 - 11 players
0 - 9 players
Goblin
1 - 9 players
0 - 16 players
Undead
1 - 5 players
0 - 20 players

Forgive me if the numbers did end up a bit off, I was starting to go cross-eyed by the end of that. Some interesting analysis though. Mostly I think the races all have a pretty solid amount of distribution. Most races had the largest amount of heroes at 1 per race, except for Human which is definitely higher on the curve than that. Definitely makes sense to see some of this based on how high some of the individual heroes such as Styx, Sharn and Kvarto were picked. Saiyin also made sure several had at least 1+ elves.
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Tofubones
I'm not quite sure what you meant by anticipated selection.  Based upon true random selection (i.e. perfect parity between heroes), 175 total heroes, 31 heroes to chose from, you would expect each hero about 5.6 times, with a range of 3.22 to 7.98 being 1 standard deviation. (Also these calculations do not directly take into account there are 7 models per warband with 25 warbands).  You end up with something like the following:

NameCountExpected ProbabilityZ-Score
Allandir775%0.59
Barnascus111%-1.93
Bastian5100%-0.25
Brok775%0.59
Donerakkar775%0.59
Gendris488%-0.67
Haksa1017%1.85
Istariel5100%-0.25
Jaegar775%0.59
Kogan5100%-0.25
Kruul111%-1.93
Kvarto1017%1.85
Lord Fazeal5100%-0.25
Lori233%-1.51
Nephenee362%-1.09
Piper488%-0.67
Rakkir488%-0.67
Saiyin932%1.43
Sir Marcus5100%-0.25
Skoll852%1.01
Skye362%-1.09
Styx119%2.27
Sharn132%3.11
Svet694%0.17
Thorgar932%1.43
Thrommel5100%-0.25
Viktor5100%-0.25
Xyvera233%-1.51
Zaffen488%-0.67
Zaron02%-2.35
Zhonyja852%1.01

You can use the Z-Score (how many standard deviations from the mean) as a stand in for group perceived power score, anything between -1 and 1 as average, 1-2 as above average, 2-3 great, 3+ Broken (Sharn nerf incoming), negatives would be in the other direction.

When I have time I may go back and adjust the numbers based on Class, ie you would expect more aggressors than say defenders, so that will probably shift Sharn to even more of an outlier.
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Tofubones
General Thoughts:

I think what we are seeing is that players are prioritizing abilities that reposition other heroes, since Sharn, Styx, and Kvarto were 3 of the top four taken.  Sharn is probably #1 because she also has solid defender stats for survivability and can cause reliable true damage.

Thorgar as number 1 aggressor does not surprise.  I do not think he's the best aggressor, but he's the most reliable and slots into pretty much any warband without a second thought.

Haksa being #3 actually feels a little low.  He's super versatile and reliable with damage, healing, 3 inch melee, 8 inch magic attack with a 1S curse, and not that easy to kill.  It's hard to see how he doesn't belong in all warbands.  (not as important on Vassel, but one of the best models in the game just to be complete) 

Thoughts on Soulgazers:

Saiyin is the number 1 chosen soulgazer because of her sheer utility. With Aura of Light, Augury, and Holy Shield there is always something for her to do.  Also with her change in attack, she may have passed Skoll in anti-soulgazer tech. With a 5 inch move + 3 inch magic attack, that's 8 inches of threat to anyone carrying souls (opponent with 2 souls gives Saiyin a 4/5/6 damage attack).  Saiyin also does not care about being engaged, so can pretty much always find a position to attack.  And with agi 5, parting blows are not that scary.  Hunting other soulgazers should be part time work for Saiyin.  And she can harvest souls and possibly strip them. #1 default soul gazer in the game by a mile.

Svetlana being second most popular makes sense because of the monster control and good survivability.

Xyvera being on the lower end of expected possibilities does not surprise me since she needs to be built around and seems to require high skill play to get the most out.

Kruul being only 1 is not that surprising.  And it basically comes down to the map.  When there's 3 soul pits, he's likely not doing anything at least on 1 turn.  And if he's not soul gazing his magic attack is weak and his other abilities do not give much utility.  He does have the most reliable soul strip ability so there is that plus, but Jaeger can fill in that gap.  On 1 soul pit maps he can dominate, ie gets the soul then gives out long range -1 SH and increased damage on magic attacks.  Of course then Saiyin becomes a really good counter.

Zaron being selected 0 times actually feels about right.  Zaron needs to be summoning skeletons, i.e. demands fate, or his utility goes to almost zero relative to any other soul gazer.  And Zaron really needs to be level 2 or those skeletons are super underwhelming.  Most heroes can kill a skeleton in 2 actions, so on average the trade is 1 action to get rid of 1 fate from there opponent.  And early game if you are spending a fate to get a skeleton, there may not be extra fate for that inevitable re-roll for a missed soul harvest.  With the recent change to summoning, I expect a future Undead summons to change Zaron's ranking.  But for right now Zaron is probably on the bench in competitive play. (Side note, I think I would be okay if skeletons were changed to something along the lines of 1A to summon a skeleton that had 1 health, only 1 action a turn, and were height 1).
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cheddercaveman
Clarifying point: When I discuss "anticipated participation" I'm actually referring to my read on the current meta of the game and how I think that people feel about a particular hero. If not that, then my analysis of where I think in a power-level situation that a hero is. Seeing the numbers broken down in the expected probability like that is another fantastic way to see it though.

RE: Tofubones Soulgazer analysis - We agree regarding Svetlana and Xyvera. I don't agree with your analysis on the other three.

I definitely do not agree that Zaron is on the bench for competitive play either. I do agree that he wants to spend more fate than all of the other soul gazers though. That said, proper play with the skeletons can completely manipulate a game if you're playing Zaron well. Your statement saying that a hero is spending a net of an action to remove a fate from you I suppose math's out roughly correctly, but that's still reasonably strong even if that was the only thing that was happening. To elaborate, 1F+1A heals 5 points, or d3+3 from Bastian for example, if 4 damage is going into a skeleton and that was all that happened, you'd be pretty close to just negating what someone else might heal. However, now add on top of that the ability to soul harvest through them, the fact that they likely charged and might have added some damage, they also stop someone from getting to move where they wanted, and assuming level 2 they almost certainly do another 2 damage. I wouldn't say that I expected a lot of Zaron to be played, because he does generally want fate (though without he's still a 2/3/4 damage magic attack and Gift of Life is generally underrated by folks).

On Saiyin vs Kruul. I agree with a lot of what you're saying about Saiyin too, and I do think she's strong, but I also think that a few of your points are probably a bit exaggerated from my perspective, however, she is quite good. I don't think she's leaps and bounds better than Kruul though either. Kruul has a more controllable way to up his damage (him getting souls, rather than an enemy getting them), does have a curse if he's positioned to bop someone with the stick, and most importantly has the most reliable (yes more than Jaeger, and definitely more than Saiyin) way to get a soul off an enemy warband. I would have probably expected numbers more like this:

Saiyin - 7
Svetlana - 5
Kruul - 4
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cheddercaveman
More Analysis - Aggressors

This is the category that I think making predictions about is nearly the most difficult because its the largest and most diverse category out there. With soul gazers we only have 5 to pick from, 6 now for Defenders, and 9 split between Hybrid and Support. The last category there though is also probably another one that we could spend some time discussing, but mostly because of how diverse it is. Aggressors on the other hand then have to account for the remaining 11 heroes, but they all essentially have a similar goal: Apply Damage. No aggressor was left behind, and none of them have fewer than 3 appearances either, which is pretty interesting to me given what I was just saying about having 11 of them, while soul gazers being the smallest group actually have 3/5s of their options at less than 3 appearances. However, lets look more closely:

Thorgar - 9
Zhonyja - 8
Allandir - 7
Brok - 7
Fazeal - 5
Istariel - 5
Kogan - 5
Viktor - 5
Rakkir - 4
Zaffen - 4
Nephenee - 3

As Tofubones said in hist post above, its not really shocking to see Thorgar get to that top spot.  A lot of folks regard him as the best aggressor, but also a lot of the times he's just the most consistent to add due to his low fate requirements and solid but basic numbers. However, lets talk a bit more about who is directly below him which is Zhonyja! She is the most directly brutal aggressor in the game, she's MEL 8 out of the box, she does at least the standard 2/3/5 damage of an aggressor with a chance at times for it to be higher, and her fate ability only requires crits rather than 2S or 1S+1J like a lot of others. Its not uncommon to see her go in on a target and do 16 damage ... which not coincidentally is about how many HP most heroes (or more). However, if you can't keep her safe you're definitely going to have some bad times playing her. Sure, she can dish out some damage, but she's certainly not going to survive too long out there on her own without protection either. How the tactics go for folks using her will definitely be interesting to see. Bold Claim: She has less than a 50% win-rate.

Now, I want to talk about all the long-range aggressors together, so we're talking about Allandir, Istariel, Viktor and Zaffen. These are all selected more-or-less how I would expect them to go. I think a lot of people still regard Allandir as the most consistent ranged aggressor, primarily because 2/3/5 is such a good damage track for a ranged hero, especially when you add in his mobility and the simplicity of his fate ability. I already talked about why I think Viktor was lower than I would expect above, so I think we can move on from that. I think Istariel and Zaffen are about right as well, most folks feel that Zaffen wants setup so you normally see one of the movement heroes with him if he's being played, Istariel is middle of the pack which is pretty much fine. 

Finally I want to talk about the bottom of this list and why people are crazy. I apparently opted not to discuss this in the first post because of the number of 0-2 takes, but Nephenee with only 3 picks and Rakkir with only 4 comes as a pretty big surprise. While some of the numbers here tells me that folks were taking Defenders, Supports and Hybrids for some of their movement and flexibility, they end up not taking Aggressors that already exhibit that. Personally, I think its possible that Nephenee is the best aggressor in the game, especially when properly supported. She can do up to 8 damage in an attack action without the same caveat where her damage might just completely fall off if the first attack isn't a crit like Brok AND she still also has a fate ability which can add some damage in. She's also AGI 5, ignores basically anything to get where she wants, and at level 2 walks as far as a Dwarf just for free at the end of her turn. Y'all crazy! Bold Claim: Nephenee has a 60%+ win rate

Only 4 Rakkir players is closer to the middle in picks, but still surprising to see so many of Zhonyja and so few Rakkir. It is true that Toxin is harder to pull off, but in exchange he also gets the ability to keep himself out of harm a LOT more than she does. I think in the game that its more important to get a little while giving up nothing than it is to go for a lot and play risky. Not going to belabor this one too much, but I would have expected 1-2 more picks here too.
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BAmick
I think Kruul is undervalued by a lot of people.  Hey may very well be the worst SG at doing the actual gazing, but he might be the best model overall of the SGs with his ability to control your opponent and provide additional damage output and crowds with that 2" stick.
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cheddercaveman
BAmick wrote:
I think Kruul is undervalued by a lot of people.  Hey may very well be the worst SG at doing the actual gazing, but he might be the best model overall of the SGs with his ability to control your opponent and provide additional damage output and crowds with that 2" stick.


I'm not sure that I'd label him the worst at soul gazing, they're all SH6. He doesn't have any special gimmick to help do it with I suppose but he's just steadily the best at it. His level 2 ability is also pretty under-rated I think because another -1 penalty to soul harvesting can particularly make him brutal for opponents to deal with, especially if they only brought SH4 or 5 in their warband. The extra melee range definitely is another factor to consider too, only he and Xyvera really provide that, and he's able to be a bit farther forward I think.
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Tofubones
I realize in real life I can sound Judgemental (semi pun), and internet writing never improves seems to improve that.  I do appreciate your analysis, so my comments are really to improve my understanding of your point of view, and give context.  I look forward to all you analysis.

Additional comments:

Clarifying point: When I discuss "anticipated participation" I'm actually referring to my read on the current meta of the game and how I think that people feel about a particular hero. [Removed for clarity] If not that, then my analysis of where I think in a power-level situation that a hero is. 

[Removed for clarity]

I would have probably expected numbers more like this:

Saiyin - 7
Svetlana - 5
Kruul - 4


As a reader, I need some sort of baseline to expectations for analysis to make sense.  For your analysis to make complete sense you need to explicitly state your power rankings, and where the group think deviates from your power rankings and why.   I appreciate the more explicit statement of expectations you provide there.

Interlude:

Group think can be surprisingly accurate even from non-experts:
https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/08/07/429720443/17-205-people-guessed-the-weight-of-a-cow-heres-how-they-did

And sometimes catastrophically bad:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

So the question is in the case of Sharn (13) and Zaron (0) which is it?

Additional Commentary:

I would argue that any Hero chosen between 4 and 8 times falls within expected choice bounds, unless you think Rakkir is exceptionally good in all cases he is not an outlier in choice. I think that is what the group choice is showing, 9+ is good in all cases, where as 3- would be too situational to be reliable over the league.  Sharn apparently is exceptional (I think it's mostly newness, but if I was playing I would probably include Sharn with the expectation that most game companies would release a new model with rules that are slightly ahead of the curve to drive new sales, GW being the worst offender, and for the record I do not believe this is the case, before adjusting down.  Also play testers are likely to miss some interaction, so there is likely some efficiency to exploit).

The other part of the analysis that is being ignored is the map itself.  I would argue without factions, it's the actual maps that dictate the meta more than anything else.  With that being said, I think Nephenee (3) and Gendris (4) are being undervalued simply because Nephenee has pathfinder and Gendris can freely hand it out.  Being able to charge over those central walls will likely be very important over the course of the league.


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BAmick



I'm not sure that I'd label him the worst at soul gazing, they're all SH6. He doesn't have any special gimmick to help do it with I suppose but he's just steadily the best at it. His level 2 ability is also pretty under-rated I think because another -1 penalty to soul harvesting can particularly make him brutal for opponents to deal with, especially if they only brought SH4 or 5 in their warband. The extra melee range definitely is another factor to consider too, only he and Xyvera really provide that, and he's able to be a bit farther forward I think.


Saiyin can give herself a reroll

Svetlana can SG twice in a turn

Xyvera can SG through another model

Zaron can harvest through his Skeleton

 

Kruul is the only one without anything that helps him soul gaze.  That puts him at the worst at soul gazing in my book.  But I think he has one of if not the most powerful tool kit as a model out of all the soul gazers.

 

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cheddercaveman
Just so that I'm clear too, no hard feelings from me on anything, only clarifying our different approaches and just highlighting my reasoning. I definitely am going off of "feel" for much of my commentary based on what I've observed in the community and in game play.
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Nightflier
Something I want to point out with burning earth is that it is very easy to get fate starved often with most monster spawns on the central line and shrines either on the center line or in the middle meaning they are often Easily contested.

This leads to an inclination for heros that have good offensive fate abilities or either do their job with out fate or have useful side roles that cant be done without fate.
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cheddercaveman

Small thing for readers here too that I meant to correct from earlier, Saiyin does not have Pathfinder.

More analysis coming soon!

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cheddercaveman
So, for some further analysis, some of the players in the league have given me the okay to talk about their warbands! Since Nightflier responded with the affirmative first, I'll start with his.  First, here's the warband:

Rakkir / Fazeal / Jaeger / Barnascus / Haksa / Svetlana / Marcus

Breakdown
Role: 2 Aggressors, 2 Hybrid, 1 Support, 1 Soul Gazer and 1 Defender
Race: 2 Orc, 2 Dwarf, 1 Human, 1 Goblin, and 1 Undead

Now lets look a bit more in-depth. I definitely see a good selection of just overall strong heroes in this warband, with a couple of small synergies built-in. Looking first at the aggressor slot we have Rakkir and Fazeal who actually do pair up pretty well since Rakkir likes anyone who can bring some poison out there without him having to do it himself. Also, I think they have a decent potential as a pair because Fazeal doesn't really need as much in the way of fate leaving room for Rakkir to use it to get his Toxin doing work. Also, as I mentioned in one of my other areas of analysis, I think Rakkir's hit-and-run game definitely has a lot of strength on the 5v5 maps.

The other synergies are not so much combos, but Jaeger and Haksa are basically good with any composition. Jaeger being able to utilize Retarius is always going to be a big strength and Haksa has just a huge number of different things that he can be doing any given turn. One of them is highly mobile, the other one is just very survivable and helping out everywhere. If anyone is building a warband on Patch 7 and they want to pick two good models to round out their warband these two are never going to be a bad choice.

I think its probably worth discussion since Nightflier is the only player to bring Barnascus to the league. I actually think this is a very wise call. It gives him another model that has some reasonable resilience when needed, and also can play either the melee or ranged game. Adding in Mounted to Barnascus definitely puts him in a good position to be the back-up option for Knockdown along with Marcus, and still not spending any fate to do it. Gives some ranged presence to the Warband as well, and really is the most aggressor of the Hybrid / Support heroes that he's brought. I'm very interested in seeing how this choice plays out for him or if at the end he's wishing he had followed everyone else's guidance and held off with this pick-up.

Rounding out the warband is Svetlana and Marcus. Not a whole lot to say here, I think that Svetlana even with the nerf to Beast Command can be very back breaking when someone doesn't respect her. Also, she is the hero who can abuse the teleportation circles the most in my opinion due to her Fate ability. Marcus, I know a lot less people were looking to him as a solo tank this go-around with Sharn on her way to the Shadow Plane, but he still has a lot to offer and I don't think that there will be any regret there.

With all of this in mind, I do think there are a few places that could end up being concerns. There are actually a lot of bans that might force this warband into some interesting spots. The most redundancy in the warband is actually in the Support / Hybrid section with the 3 heroes there. If someone opts to ban out Rakkir I think that there is going to have to be more creative play to compensate for the lack of DPS that the warband likely can produce. I do say likely because the likes of Barnascus and Haksa can actually do a pretty surprising amount of damage on their own.  Some of the one-offs can also play a pretty big role in how this will play out for Nightflier, Svetlana and Marcus are both pretty appealing ban targets, and both are likely to deprive the warband of something that it might want in a given situation. Haksa is also the only real source of healing in this warband too, so hopefully he prioritizes some of the healing items if that is the model that gets the ban.

Overall, interesting choices. I think the biggest thing that I'll be watching for out of this warband is how Barnascus with his buffs ends up doing. I think that he's going to be a bit of a sleeper-hit, but we will have to see at the end of the league!
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cheddercaveman
Lets take a look at one more warband this evening! This time I'm going to take a look at LOS_Jaden's warband and see what we have going on here! First, the warband:

Thrommel / Sharn / Styx / Kvarto / Zaffen / Allandir / Fazeal

Breakdown
Role: 3 Aggressors, 2 Defenders, 1 Support, 1 Hybrid
Race: 2 Dwarf, 2 Human, 1 Orc, 1 Elf, 1 Undead

Pretty big difference from the last warband that I analyzed! This one I think has a very different, but focused game plan at least to my analysis. Jaden's plan here is to barrage the opponent the entire game with ranged damage, while using his Defender / Support models to continually enable that plan. Anyone who isn't able to either through or around the very beefy front line and into the ranged juicy center of this warband is going to be in for a very rough game indeed. I would say that I think I'm actually surprised that it was Fazeal who rounded out the aggressor pool and not someone like Istariel or Viktor given how it seems that the goal here seems to be ranged damage. That said, Fazeal brings a lot of utility for an aggressor, some more poison which can also help with the accuracy of the ranged shooting, and also should help his soul game by taking some away when needed.

Styx, Kvarto and Sharn are all going to continually do an excellent job at trying to keep those ranged heroes doing work the entire game. You come in too close, you're going to get Telekinesis'd into a spot, and Kvarto will Mind Control a shot into you. Sharn can pull models out, Styx can swap OR move a model around. The order of activations from both players are going to play a tremendous amount into how these games go.

In addition, the warband has the most consistent Knockdown in the game in Thrommel, who also ends up being very terrifying if you give him Kvarto, and Sharn's Knockdown while less consistent is still very good when there are dual walls in the middle of the table like there are on the Burning Earth.  They're also both absolutely a pain in the ass to kill unless you've brought a certain set of abilities with you.

Finally, just to discuss the Aggressors. Zaffen was another of the aggressors that was lower on the list of people bringing him, but boy does he have every tool he could ever want here. If you sleep on this pirate dwarf when he crashes his ship on your game in the Shadow Plane you're going to regret it. If you walk into his range it is not unreasonable that you might just get 18 damage from 10" away applied to you.  Potentially throw in another 6 if Kvarto can get there for Mind Control. Don't think that Allandir is much better either, he can do 15 if he can aim, and even if he can't he's amazingly mobile and frequently you have to be on the watch for him to take down an effigy at any moment if it gets to 8hp or less.

I think that folks are going to sit down to play their game against Jaden and a lot of them are not going to know what the right ban is at all. A lot of that is going to come down to their composition as well. If you're playing Skye I can tell you right now what you're likely not going to get to use when you're playing against Jaden 😉. I think if you brought a low AGI warband you are just not going to have a good time here. On the flip side, if you DID bring a higher AGI warband then I think you start taking out some of the tougher to deal with pieces like the Defenders. If you didn't, you might want to consider limiting the amount of Ranged DPS you're dealing with. I also think that this is not a warband that is going to love dealing with monsters in their face (but will be happy to steal a monster kill from you with ease).

What I'm looking to see from this warband is just how viable it is to go in basically with plan A and B both being to do damage from range primarily. Its not something that a lot of folks are really doing right now in Judgement and I think that it has a lot of potential. The downside of course though is that if you can prepare for it, it can be a lot less consistent since you can't get those extra charge dice or the gang-up bonuses. I'm very excited to see how things go with this.
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Judgement - The 54mm scale, MOBA inspired, table-top miniatures game

https://judgement.game