A Little Ornithology

Hello Bird-Watchers! With the second installment of a Minor Guild mere weeks away I thought I’d put some ink to paper regarding Falconers. They have interesting mechanics and have a super dope Aesthetic! Let’s arm chair quarterback these birbs!

Observations on Themes:

  • Harrier AOEs
    • 3 of the models place Harriers and Devana can move existing AOEs. This means all 4 of these models can feasibly be set up pieces or damage dealers. The sheer amount of characters producing AOEs makes them difficult to avoid. However it is worth noting they are expensive to hard cast.
  • This team is fast!
    • Speed translates into pretty extreme threat ranges. They’re all somewhere between 9”-11” of melee threat. Only crossover model Vet Hearne is 8”.
    • Above Average threat on Goal. The dedicated striker can shoot from over 20 inches away, but the other models have impressive threat ranges as well. Their Tackles are kind of garbage though.
  • Abundance of Ranged damage character plays.
    • Even items like Snapfire, that only do 1 damage, can add up, especially if a model is inside the harrier.
  • Lack of Reach.
    • Only Hearne and Minerva have reach. The entire team is pretty susceptible to counter attacking.
  • Very killable
    • All of these models have Low HP with average at best defensive stats. There is almost no survival tech on their cards. They are 99% offensive.

 

A couple notes on each model:

  • Devanna. She’s a strange one and I am having a bit of trouble placing her. She’s in this weird “sort of support/sort of wants to kill things” space. dev1
    • Fighting: When Frelsi and a Harrier can be positioned correctly her damage output can be terrifying, but by herself she’s spending 1 or 2 influences to make that happen, which means 1 or 2 less attacks. If the team can queue her up she can go off very hard. The legendary Snare is also huge. If you’ve done a good set up on a couple of lower HP models, I’m sure there are times she will kill multiple models in the same turn.
    • Fighting: I find her to be extremely susceptible to counter-attacks. TAC 5 with 1” melee and her KD is all the way up there on 5. Now that is a little deceptive because a lot of the time the birb will be there boosting her to 7 dice, or she’ll try to KD you with Death from Above, but even on 10 dice that is only a 37.7% KD on a 4+/1.
      • I suspect you save attack from above. Reason being is exactly counter attack. She can use death from above to push you back in to melee. Even if you lose your big attack, it’s better than losing a whole stack of influence.
    • Scoring: Will save these thoughts for the other models since Hack Back is for Frelsi and Air Mail seems to be directly paired with Ikaros.

 

  • Frelsi. First I love the character of this mascot without the need for lines and lines of text. He is probably one of the more dynamic mascots you’re going to see on the pitch.fre1
    • Snare is super weird to me as Blood would have probably been more thematic, but Snare does fit into the theme of every model being a set up piece. I don’t know he gets attacking influence though.
    • Assisting damage – See Devana. Probably on’t hit the birb until she’s activated. That’s not good for you.
    • Birds wanna fly and that’s probably what he does. He stays back and out of the way, or off on the side, until he is needed. Hack Back him in to fight or out to Score. Note the Flying rule affects Hack Back because it says “Moves”. He’s also a bit of a Shapshot turret. The 3/4”Kick and that’s a 74% snapshot. 89% with bonus time. Games are def going to end because of Hack Back Snapshot.

 

  • Mataagi. Man I just cannot get over how much this guy wants to kill himselfmat1
    • Yeah hot shot is super dope. You can do 2 damage bleed or put down a harrier. You’ve also gotta be 6” away to do it. So you’ve either started 6” up, very dangerous, or you move 6” up and are still in the danger zone.
    • He is super mobile though. and Def 5+ isn’t nothing. 10 boxes though… man what a snack.
    • I think Mataagi is a hard consideration as a drop for me just from the survivability aspect. The other two Harriers are better and maybe you don’t need all three?

 

  • Minerva. Other than probably being the coolest looking art/model, she’s a support queen extraordinaire.min1
    • Ranged Singled-Out, Harriers, KD on 2… it feels like she is the one you want initiating. She also wants to be near the action due to Nocturnal Hunting. It’s one of the only defensive abilities in the Guild.
    • But again she is not in any way Tanky. This whole Guild seems to ask the question “Who’s up first? Because they’re probably gonna have to take one for the team”.
    • It is interesting she is a great finisher as well due to easy pickings. 3 damage on 1 hit isn’t a joke.

 

  • Rundaas. This guy is your bro. He is the model who is always there for you. He is the best man at your wedding and the last to leave your funeral.
    • run1Shadow like with a 6”/8” MOV Lets him get where he needs to be and more.
    • Tough Hide lets him die a little slower once he gets there. He still dies though.
    • The real star here is his playbook. If you’ve set him up he is going to easily throw out four 4 damage swings. If you haven’t set him up he is still going to either throw a harrier and dirty knives for the next guy, or still throw down a good 9 damage on his own.

 

  • Ikaros. Surprise! Batman’s secret identity is… Flint???
    • ik1Identical first two column strikers. Sprint + Character play goes 12”. 4”/8 Kick. 4+/1 Def (most of the time). HEY but one has close control and the other one does Harrier stuff!
    • Seriously hire me Steamforged. I will make you a way cooler Ikaros in under 2 hours. I will do this for free. I’m Bummed-out man.
    • Game mechanics wise he is fine and allows the team to solidly content for 2 goals. He makes your 6 the same way Mist makes your 6 in Union.

 

  • Egret. Maybe makes the team because she is more survivable than Mataagi? Probably not. egr1
    • Flurry in a Harrier AOE is actually pretty scary.
    • 4+/1 and 12 boxes with back to the shadows actually lets her not die.
    • Swift Strikes makes her a reasonable goal threat to back up Ikaros? Maybe she puts them in the realm of 3 goals?

 

  • Vet Hearne. As meme as he is in Hunters he sure seems solid here.hea1
    • First off he doesn’t die to a stiff breeze. You can get him in there to initiate without the fear of instant death.
    • Skewered and Harrier combine nicely. You also really want another 2” reach model.
    • Last Light might be where the money is. Devanna has this thing where she has to spend influence to really get her motor running. Last Light on Devanna, giving her a Hack Back or Deadly wings is pretty dope. Even getting Harriers for MP seems super-efficient.

 

Final Thoughts:

I don’t think these guys all the sudden shake up the meta. I think they either win really hard or lose really hard. They strike me as even more fragile butchers with a healthy handful of Range and Synergy.

  • A 3 goal list is intriguing but ultimately I don’t think it pans out.
    • Something to the effect of Devana, Birb, Ikaros, Egret, Mataagi, Rundaas.
    • The issue here is the team doesn’t seem to have a super great way to secure the ball other than Ikaros flying into tackles. Devana can probably range tackle, but maybe Mataagi struggles too much. Even then a single Close Control ruins their entire day.
  • I really don’t think they have the grit to survive to a 4 take out 1 goal win. Once the lines meet they are just going to drop too fast.
  • So seems to me the basic game plan is 2 goals 2 kills.
    • I think the starting six are probably something like: Devana, Birb, Rundaas, Minerva, VHearne, Ikaros.
    • Ikaros gets one goal semi-automatically. At some point you get your take-outs. You close out with a second Ikaros goal or cheeky birb snapshot.
    • They all threaten really far, but the problem I have trouble with is who here exactly is initiating and not dying a horrible death? Maybe Minerva has just enough health to do the job? Problem is if she dies your healer is down too.
    • It just doesn’t seem like they have a way to control fights beyond straight murder. And do we really think the harriers and other offensive buffs allow them to kill faster than they die?
    • Maybe Devana and Rundaas have enough output, but sure does seem to me like one good counter attack can hurt them really bad.
    • They’ll have their amazing blow you away games, but I think you’ll also beat them handily more often than not.

 

Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the thoughts and future bird watching!

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