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Subject: Hunter - Archer Comparison rss

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Paul Kelly
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Hunter - Archer Comparison (Basic cards only with optimal starting brown gear)
Edit: Sorry, it's quite a wall of text; tldr I think they are pretty even and the Hunter is viable

The community seems split over the usefulness of the Hunter, many preferring the Archer, so I decided to do a comparison between them with some numbers to back up my opinions.

This comparison assumes brown starting gear for both, of which the Hunter's is the Community created pieces (shame on you MCG)

Deck Composition
Move 3/3
Ammo Related 5/9
Attacks 5/5
Interrupts 5/5
Ongoings 2/1
Buffs 2/2
Utility 3/0

Now to further comment by category of card

Movement

Same as all other heroes, nothing to say

Ammo related
Having over a third of the deck as ammo for the Archer is pretty significant, ok it is the characters main mechanic but that is an awful lot of the deck, the Hunter in comparison has a fifth of their deck as Ammo, which considering the attacks do not need ammo necessarily is fine.

Attacks
Both have the Tumble card, same for both
Both have a single target, 1 AP, 1 damage card for the Archer it is Through the Eye of a Needle, for the Hunter, Strider's Edge, the Hunter has 2 of these. Like a lot of the Hunter's attacks/cards in general, moving is encouraged by the bonuses available unlike the Archer who is generally rewarded for standing still.
Now the 2AP cards, the Archer has 3, the Hunter 2 and the Archer definitely gets more bang for their buck overall.
They both have a bleed attack, Hunter's Flag is one of the few Hunter cards to require the Hunter to not move for the hero cycle, relies on having marks out (and clearly is best with 2) to get any bleeding to happen. The Archer has Gift of the Underworld, Ammo has to be used if you want the bleed but that is not exactly a major problem, the duration of the bleed however is determined by the Archer's movement and is better when moving less so has a synergy with the rest of the Archer attacks, unlike the Hunter's bleed option.
Next they both get a card with the Critical keyword, the Archer's is Kharon's Payment, a straight forward 2AP, 3 damage. The Hunter on the other hand gets Hunter's Doom, 2AP but only 2 base damage, with the rider that Mark cards can be cleared for an extra 2 damage each, so potentially 6 damage total. Note that there is no stipulation that the minions on the Mark cards have to match your current target to get this bonus. I would say in general the Archer gets the better deal as the Hunter probably only wants to clear Marks for the damage on Bosses or mini-bosses, so the rest of the time the card feels overpriced for AP.
The final attack card the Archer has is Orion's Tears, the card that seems to tip the Hunter/Archer argument in the Archer favour for a lot of people, however, it is reliant on having a lot of Ammo stacked to kick serious butt, although knowing that you plan for it.
The last thing to say on the Attacks is that the Hunter has the added flexibility of using a non-ranged weapon as we are assuming they are dual wielding giving bonus dice, unlike the Archer who if they chose to use the attack with no Ammo would just be using their basic 1d10 from their token.

For me a major negative to the Archer is that there are only 5 Attack cards, draw 3 in the first turn and you have to discard 2 of them, draw 3 any other turn and you have to at least discard 1 of them, leaving only 2 more Attacks until you have cycled your deck (oh look, more Ammo to play, ***Yawn***)

The Archer also has so much more potential for wasting damage, having only 5 attacks, if all you have is Kharon's Payment and you need to finish off the Monster with only 1 HP left, what else do you do, the Hunter might take more actions applying the damage but a higher percentage of them are doing something worthwhile.

At this point the Archer seems ahead, but there is more to consider.

Interrupts
Both have 5 interrupts, both include 2 basic identical Dodges within those 5.
Both have a basic Counterattack, the Archer's requires Ammo if it is to be used with their weapon to give bonus dice and range and costs 1AP, the Hunter's in comparison costs zero AP and has the flexibility of using either weapon as long as Ammo is available, but if it is not then they still get bonus dice from the melee weapon they have.
Both have a Counterattack/dodge card, similar but there are differences, although still pretty much equal
The final interrupts for each are quite different, the Hunter gets Pincushion which is a card the Archer only gets as a Novice card swap, it is another dodge but also indirectly a damage card as long as there is at least 1 minion adjacent to you. The Archer get's To the Knee, which although an attack does no actual damage but instead knocks the target prone as long as they are a Captain or minion (and not immune to being prone of course)

Based on the above, the Hunter edges it with the Interrupts, however, as the Hunter is dual wielding the Interrupts also do double duty as Rush attack cards and this in my opinion is the equaliser between the two classes. Each Rush does 1 damage base, is not an Action and so several can be played in the same Hero cycle, along with an actual Action card.

Ongoings
The Hunter gets Mark of the Hunter, a nice ongoing buff, some say well only any good if the monster types are matching but apart from the Mini-bosses which are a bit random, and Agents which have no 'type' then while Adventuring it is up to the players if they make it awkward and the modules only seem to have 1 or 2 monster types in them, therefore a mute argument really.
The Archer ongoing is a nice distraction card, as well as reducing the Darkness meter, it is not very sturdy and so is unlikely to be in your Action Space too long.
Both very different Ongoings, both have their merits, but being very different would be unfair to compare directly.

Buffs
Both classes have what are essentially buffing cards.
The Archer gets Vision of the Mark (sounds more like a Hunter card) which gives a one off boost to an attack Action with +1 d10, +1 FD and +1 damage for zero AP and then Find Weakness, a party wide buff and the Archer's NCA/courage boosting card but with added combat bonuses to a single specific target, again for zero AP.
The Hunter gets Scent of the Hunter, it is restricted to giving the bonus based on the monsters that have Marks but the bonuses are pretty good, +2 d10, +1 damage and choose the result of 1 FD. It also works on any type of attack card, so Action, Reaction and Interrupt/Rush, going quite some way to justifying the 2AP cost. The second buff card the Hunter has is Alpha Predator which allows the bonuses from your Mark to apply to a different monster and also ties in with Scent of the Hunter, not bad for zero AP
For me, the Hunter edges it in this category because of the sheer number of attacks that can benefit from the boost

Utility
Finally the Hunter has 3 cards I have described as utility cards as they don't really fit in any other category.
First is Second Sight, not a great card and feels like a waste most of the time. OK until you get both Marks out but after that you don't have space to play 2 Action cards and this card, it also costs 1AP, biggest candidate for removal on upgrade.
Next is Cleanse, a status removal card, but the status seems infrequent to say the least being Curse, maybe it becomes more prevalent later but as most classes (except the Archer!) seem to have a status clearing card then so be it.
Finally is Fate Sealed, the Hunter's NCA/courage booster except the NCA part seems to be very unusual as it is to set 1 FD result to anything you want during an NCA, when that gets used is beyond me but I suspect when it does it is extremely useful, coupled with the fact this is an Action card, this is not a good card in my opinion.

All of the above being said, I think that for most categories the classes are either even or only slightly better than the other, and often those times are situational. In the main task of clearing Monsters though, the Archer appears to clearly lead but the use of Interrupts as Rush attacks for me brings the Hunter very much back into play, whilst they do not have the big BANG of the Archer, they just have more options for nibbling away at things and as the Rush attacks (probably) don't need Ammo, the build up time for both characters is likely to be similar, with the Hunter just slightly better off.

Number Crunching Comparison
Hunter 19AP(treating all Interrupts as 1AP Rush attacks, otherwise 16AP), Archer 15AP.
Average AP cost per card excluding Ammo; Hunter 19/21 AP per card (or 0.90); Archer 15/18 AP per card (0.83)
I have excluded Ammo as they are something the class has to do to function, cost no AP but do nothing except let you do something else later.
Basic no bonus, damage for each; Hunter 11 (or 9 if you don't use Interrupts as Rush attacks); Archer 8 (assumes only 1 Ammo on Orion's Tear and only 1 RP bleed on Gift of the Underworld - so the bare minimum to play the card)
Maximum damage with no external boosts; Hunter 28; Archer 20
Clearly this is dependent on giving the Hunter some proper starting gear instead of being half-assed about it, although giving them pretty much anyone else's starting gear other than the Archer would help (the Apprentice's actually seems like a good choice, or even the Swashbuckler for some real dual wield weaponry) - as long as you accept that the Ammo cards are wasted space until you get a dual wield weapon and a missile weapon that can hold Ammo. Also, it is dependant that the Monsters you are fighting both have minions and are not just random races of monster so the Marks are of use.

Finally, the Hunter wins over the Archer in that they get to Ready 1 Ammo at start up, the Archer by default has a null first turn while getting Ammo into play.

Each to their own, but I think there is enough positives in the above to consider the Hunter a viable class, even in a smaller party.
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David Griffin
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I played a 4-5 tile session with 4 characters solo with the Archer and the Hunter in the same group. I gave the Hunter better than standard starting equipment including a reasonable dual wield weapon and an ammo holding crossbow (but a lower end one).

My experience is that with fewer ammo in the deck and with the interrupts doing double duty there were not enough of either to function well. He was often unable to do a ranged attack for lack of ammo and hardly ever got to actually use his interrupts because they were being used as rush attacks to compensate for the lack of Orion's tears. This was before I customized the treasure deck so the hunter NEVER got good treasure cards, there just weren't enough of them relative to the other characters (though this is fixable).

Given the fact that often you have 2 different monster types (maybe 3) plus mini bosses or agents with their own type, marks were frustratingly hard to play.

The Hunter did kill things, and it was a lot better to have him than to have 3 characters, but the archer was more fun to play and had a better kill rate and the ability to kill large targets at a distance (or large numbers of minions). And that was a Hunter with pretty good equipment. I was using the community pack and by the end I just gave him some green equipment to see how it would help. It did help and he got better with good dual wield weapons and a more powerful crossbow (can't use bows since he uses no quiver) he was more effective (but then so was the archer).

With the base game, and no starting equipment, no rush rules, and no dual wield equipment, the Hunter card is suitable only for a bonfire. With the community card pack, the rush rules, home built starter equipment or better just starting with green gear (crossbow and a decent dual wield) the Hunter can perform without the Hunter player leaping over the table and strangling the person who made him play it. I'm hoping the Journeymen rush characters are better. Frankly he may be less frustrating to play than the Tinker.

This game is complex and it is possible that there is a way to play the Hunter I never quite managed to learn while playing. The Skald and the Spriggan certainly needed some study and play time as well. I'm not as happy with the Hunter as you are though even with decent equipment. It might be different if you could swap equipment at will (so that you could use bows and quivers and then rapidly swap to other gear). The whole concept of someone with a crossbow (which usually needs 2 hands to cock) in one hand and a melee weapon in the other is somewhat flawed as a concept. Crossbows typically give you one shot anyway and then you have to recock. It's not like a firearm and a melee weapon. Maybe they should import the Orcish crossbow from Zombicide Black Plague which has blades mounted on the crossbow.
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Paul Kelly
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Quote:
With the base game, and no starting equipment, no rush rules, and no dual wield equipment, the Hunter card is suitable only for a bonfire.


I totally agree with that comment, pretty much a waste of the APs spent without the Rush rules.
 
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Paul F
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I haven't given the Hunter a go yet, but starting equipment wise I was planning on giving him the archer's brown bow and the improvised shiv from the Swashbuckler. Even without a quiver you can always ready one ammo card. Anyone played like this?
 
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Pretty sure the hand crossbows used by Drow in D&D are used one handed. Although the ones Brian designed for myth maybe bigger than the ones used by the Drow.
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David Griffin
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multifish wrote:
I haven't given the Hunter a go yet, but starting equipment wise I was planning on giving him the archer's brown bow and the improvised shiv from the Swashbuckler. Even without a quiver you can always ready one ammo card. Anyone played like this?


Don't do that, you'll have to use a quiver in the off hand instead of a rush weapon. You need a crossbow that has it's own built-in quiver. Get the community card pack or the journeyman cards and give him a crossbow of SOME kind and a rush weapon.

He's bad enough as it is.
 
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Judy Krauss
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I played a long adventure with just the Hunter and the Acolyte, and they did fine until the very end when I got carried away and set up a 12x24 tile and added 2 Crawler lairs and the Conner mini-boss (in addition to the 2 captains and hunting packs) for The Red Wedding quest!

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/22935509#22935509



The Hunter is capable of doing quite a bit of damage at once, and her ability to use a ranged weapon and/or a melee weapon can be quite an advantage (especially if the melee weapon is a dual wield weapon - which I didn't use in the adventure above, but I did use in a later adventure with the Hunter, Apprentice, and Archer). The ongoing "Mark" cards are good for bonuses versus the same monster-type as a minion that she already killed (and there's even a card that lets you temporarily switch the bonuses to a different monster type, and another that let's the other heroes in the party make use of the bonuses, as well as a card that let's you "clear" the ongoing "Mark" cards to do additional massive damage.



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Paul F
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carbon_dragon wrote:
multifish wrote:
I haven't given the Hunter a go yet, but starting equipment wise I was planning on giving him the archer's brown bow and the improvised shiv from the Swashbuckler. Even without a quiver you can always ready one ammo card. Anyone played like this?


Don't do that, you'll have to use a quiver in the off hand instead of a rush weapon. You need a crossbow that has it's own built-in quiver. Get the community card pack or the journeyman cards and give him a crossbow of SOME kind and a rush weapon.

He's bad enough as it is.

As mentioned, I wasn't planning on giving him a quiver, just using the single ammo with the bow that you can always ready without one and the improvised shiv for the dual-wield. That way he'll have a basic main attack without ammo and basic dice pool, an occasional ranged attack with the bow and rush attacks with the shiv.
 
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Tobias Loeffler
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Thanks for taking the time to write this, although I totally disagree with your "assessment".

I have a really hard time to consider this a serious attempt at a comparison... I mean, how can you compare these heroes and not even mention the Archer's ability to shoot over enemies? How can you not mention the total lack of AoE attacks for the Hunter? My absolute favorite, though, is, how you gloss over the mark mechanic: "The Hunter gets Mark of the Hunter, a nice ongoing buff, some say well only any good if the monster types are matching but apart from the Mini-bosses which are a bit random, and Agents which have no 'type' then while Adventuring it is up to the players if they make it awkward and the modules only seem to have 1 or 2 monster types in them, therefore a mute argument really."
Let me rephrase that: "OK, this car has serious trouble with going up-hill and it kind-of only turns right, but if you choose a good route to your destination it's all peaches and sunshine." whistle

Enjoy the Hunter all you want and write about it all you want but don't try to dress up your biased opinion as a "comparison" - that's just lame and doesn't really help the people, that want some actual facts about this hero, before spending their hard earned cash on ebay.

Edit: I just read through the text again and just wanted to point out: I just disagree with you. Nothing personal. The last paragraph sounded a bit harsh and I wanted to make sure, we are on the same page. Happy gaming!

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Paul Kelly
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Nothing personal taken about your comments at all.

Guilty as charged for forgetting to mention the line of sight ability.
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Tobias Loeffler
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Khali wrote:
Nothing personal taken about your comments at all.

Guilty as charged for forgetting to mention the line of sight ability.


Glad to hear it! I won't hold your Hunter-love against you! Promise!
 
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jonny johnson
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I played now 4 sessions with the hunter (as replacement for the archer) and in my opinion, he does his job good. But after those sessions, I'm not convinced that you can compare them really good with each other:

The archer is more stationary, bringing himself in a good position and shooting everything from behind. The hunter is more a hybrid, need to go more into melee range and can shoot some enemies if it's necessary or important.

Also the killing potential is different imho: while the archer needs a bit more time to shoot his enemies (and yes, he has attacks against multiple targets), the hunter is faster ready to go, but then only kills his enemies one-by-one.

So my resumee for the hunter is, that he needs the rush ability and community equipment (ranged weapon with build in quiver and a dual wield secondary weapon), his utility cards are pretty much situational, but he is more mobile and benefits from moving fast into a group of mobs.

Nevertheless he feels "unpolished" and I with only the base game and the MERCs pack, I wouldn't take him in first place. The base heroes are simply better balanced for the base game.
 
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