Chris Poor
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Hey, just wanted to run this situation by the community to see what advice you can offer - after yesterday's session we are unsure if we are doing something wrong, if there is an effective counter to this, or if this specific combo breaks the game.

I have only played twice now, and have already missed several rules that were hiding in various corners of the rulebook, so I totally understand if I am missing something here, but could not find it yesterday. Here is the situation:

After the first Chapter, the Gentlemen visited various sites in London. The 'Location' deck included the Royal Arsenal, and the Tesla Blade was available. Major Dreadful acquired it, and in the second Chapter, he was an unstoppable beast. As the Nemesis, I could find no way to stop him.

He starts with 3 Punch and 3 Trigger; he has Charge; the Tesla Blade gave him +3 Punch (with +3 Trigger and Spread for 1 Ether if desired); his Role was Bouncer, so +1 Punch and +1 Trigger; finally, his Steam Fist gift gave him +2 Punch and bonus damage on the 'Target +' die roll.

When he activated on turn 2 (after my Agents were on the board), he charged out of the building, attacked Ira for 3+3(blade)+1(bouncer)+2(Steam Fist)= 9 die attack, and rolled 12 hits. I defended with Evade and dodged 5, then his second action was another 9-die punch. Ira died. The Leader (in Line of Sight) activated later in the turn, took an action with the Major, who charged Emerson and hit him with another 9 die Punch. On turn 3, the Major activated first and repeated the carnage with whoever was unfortunate enough to be on his side of the board.

I just had nothing to effectively defend with. I started the Chapter with Ether and some upgrades due to the purchases in the Intermission, but the prospect of three 9 die attacks each turn just disheartened me. I burned all of the Ether gained by the Major's use of his gift on Evade attempts. By the end of turn 3, all of my Agents were down, and the other 3 Gentlemen had been free to handle the minions and the objectives. We all agreed that the scenario was unwinnable for the Nemesis at this point, and perhaps the whole Campaign was effectively over.

Now, I see on page 21 of the rulebook a similar situation with Maj Dreadful, so I know that the designers knew that situations like this would arise. So I am assuming first of all that as the Nemesis, I am missing something that I can use to counter this. I have only played twice, and I know that more Powers and Chaos cards will come my way, but looking at the rest of the campaign, I just anticipate that the Major will charge and eliminate my Agents while the rest of the Gents accomplish the Victory conditions largely unopposed. I can try to avoid him, but with Charge and the relatively small stage, he can really dominate an area. The player in control of him pointed out at the end of the session that the next Intermission, he would select the "Relentless" upgrade, giving the Major a bonus attack for 2 Ether.

I know that I have Conspiracy points to spend; I spent 9 before the start of Chapter 2, and they did me little good, perhaps I could have spent them better.
I know that I can attack the Major with Shadow Grasp and other Powers, I know my Agents can also attack him, but with 5 die attacks, I'll average 2.5 hits, and he'll block 1. There's not enough time to seriously slow him down. He also had the 'Out of my way' upgrade, which made any minions adjacent to him effectively destroyed.
I know that the 12 hits roll was very lucky; on average a 9 die attack should do 4.5 hits, boosted to 6 with the Steam Fist bonus. The Major rolled well all three times (you all know a player like this), and I always seem to roll Hats on attack and Targets on defense.
I also know that bunching all of my Agents in an area makes this kind of disaster easier for the Major - by the time it became clear what a beast he was, my Agents were all on the board. But also, the Chapter requires the Nemesis to Neutralize Gentlemen to win, and the best way to do this is to gang up on one, since unless you take him down in a turn, he will just Recover in his next activation.

Suggestions?
 
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Chuck Hurd
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We haven't played with him yet but he sounds like a game breaking beast as you describe him. We'll have to watch for him and see how it goes.
 
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Ronaldo Fatecha
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Not sure, but I suspect that he will be less effective on chapter 3, where the nemesis can go for a timed victory and Madame Eduarda can potentially mind control the Major to attack the gents...
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Drake Coker
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I'm too novice to give any good advice, but looking through the Royal Armory, several cards are nearly as good, so it seems likely that, at some point, some of the heroes are going to become very strong. That suggests there are balancing factors. I would keep playing and learn more.
 
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Craig Wright
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Aren't the Tesla Blade and Steam Fist two separate weapons?

I don't have the game here, so perhaps they stack, but normally you can only use one weapon.(p.19 When Gentlemen Attack, they may select 1 equipped weapon to use)

I have had plenty of times where I hit 2 or 3 on 7 dice so you may have been unlucky as well.

Regardless, awesome combo. I think unusual for so early in the game.
 
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Jason Sherlock
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Skavvy wrote:
Aren't the Tesla Blade and Steam Fist two separate weapons?

I don't have the game here, so perhaps they stack, but normally you can only use one weapon.(p.19 When Gentlemen Attack, they may select 1 equipped weapon to use)

I have had plenty of times where I hit 2 or 3 on 7 dice so you may have been unlucky as well.

Regardless, awesome combo. I think unusual for so early in the game.


Steam fist is an attack boost, not a weapon. They will work together.
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Jon Darlington
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The only thing I can see is that, having invested entirely in his formidable attack, he has no boosts to his defense. So:

- I think he's your first target for all of your attacks -- especially knockdown attacks, to deprive him of actions. There's a Nemesis power that grants a five-dice attack that knocks down its target; granted it costs two Ether, but it will sometimes be worth it. And with little defense, those five dice *should* cause at least one Damage.

- Also, use ranged attacks against him rather than melee whenever possible so that you're not offering him melee targets.

- If you can keep a bubble around him empty of targets, you'll cut down on his opportunities to attack and to perform double charges during his activation.

These aren't solutions to the problem he presents -- he'll definitely be a thorn in your side going forward. You're right about that. But it's a couple of things to keep in mind hat might help mitigate his threat.
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Nicolas Tremblay
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To add to Jon, for the Major to be doing all this he is spending a ton of Ether each round- which means he's either convering Crowns, or just feeding you a constant supply.

 
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Drake Coker
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Another thought: attack him until he gets a Torment then leave him be and focus on other heroes. Since it's only one action (or two) to fully recover him, it might be best to rely on denying him prime targets or generally hindering him than trying to fight up straight up.

Alternatively, you can try fully embracing the role of nemesis and try bribing the player
 
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Chris Poor
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Daimortus wrote:
To add to Jon, for the Major to be doing all this he is spending a ton of Ether each round- which means he's either convering Crowns, or just feeding you a constant supply.



He's spending 2 for the Steam Fist, and I won't get that Ether until the start of his next activation. 1 for each Charge, and 2 for the Leader activation, which I also won't recieve until the Leader's next activation. (p 21, Bonus,Actions & Upkeep timing) I'm hoping someone would say we are doing this wrong, but for the Steam Fist, the 2 Ether cost has the little triangle next to it, which we assume means that it is an upkeep action. That means he spends the 2 Ether and every attack gets the bonus until the start of his next turn. If this is not the case, then I need a definition of what is an upkeep effect. We are using the triangle to indicate this, but I am not sure that it is correct. If we are wrong, yes, that balances things quite a bit.

And looking over the cards, there are a few that specifically state 'Upkeep'. So what is the point of the triangle? Is is just 'pointing' at the (obvious) only possible effect of the Ether spend?

Ok, I think I have this one figured out, at least in part. This sequence would actually hand me upwards of 9 Ether IMMEDIATELY (2 for each Steam Fist boost, 1 for each Charge, 2 for Leader activation), which I could put to use. The Gentlemen were pursuing a low-Ether strategy in general, and I suspect this would give them pause in using it for every attack. Also, he would run out of it after 1 or 2, and need to do something to renew it.

I made an assumption about what the symbols on the cards meant, and had not noticed the "upkeep" title on other cards.

I guess I'm getting old and having more trouble picking up on all of the rules. Thanks for the discussion, you've cleared it up.

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Chris Poor
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Not quite so good, as the Steam Fist only costs 1 Ether. Still better than I was playing it, but at the start of a scenario, with 4 Ether, he can Charge and Punch twice, then drink his Whisky and be able to do it one more time - EXCEPT perhaps when the Leader activates him, is he prevented from spending Ether for the Fist or Charge? Is the Major 'controlled' by the Leader, similar to when Nemesis takes control and cannot spend Ether? I don't think so, but could possibly be argued...

The Leader Role card states, "Make 1 Action with a Gentleman in Line of Sight".
 
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uru uru
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First though. Major + Bouncer + Tesla Blade + Steam Punch + Charge is a dreadful combo (pun intended) but generate a some immediate amount of Ether (1 for Charge, 1 for Steam punch).

Royal equipment is pretty bitchy (Gatling gun !) and only available with a location (very few chance to draw one) and should have given you lot of conspiracy point (5?) to buy health boost by example (at least for the next chapter :-/ ).

Best defense for this is to stun him so he loose on action.
Another help is to have Zombie on the way (Escape damage) to make the cost of reaching you higher.

In chapter 2, you have also the control of where you make an entrance with your agents and (flaming) zombie. Place yourself away from the monster (or make him run).

Someone said something about Torment card, but in my experience, Gentlemen just wave them away by doing a restore action... :-/

Some other hints :

Collated and Complete Unofficial FAQ
Quote:

CONTROLLING

Q. When you take control of another character, can you boost the attack you make with their buffs that require ether, and who's ether do you spend?

A301: No, you cannot spend another character's ether.



So the leader cannot make you charge or use steam punch (but gives you 2 Ether )

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Lorenzo Cotti
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To be fair revive can be used only by ko'ed characters so torment cards aren't so easy to remove
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Josh Worley
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crispy66 wrote:
Not quite so good, as the Steam Fist only costs 1 Ether. Still better than I was playing it, but at the start of a scenario, with 4 Ether, he can Charge and Punch twice, then drink his Whisky and be able to do it one more time - EXCEPT perhaps when the Leader activates him, is he prevented from spending Ether for the Fist or Charge? Is the Major 'controlled' by the Leader, similar to when Nemesis takes control and cannot spend Ether? I don't think so, but could possibly be argued...

The Leader Role card states, "Make 1 Action with a Gentleman in Line of Sight".


Also, he won't get the Whisky gear for each Chapter. He only gets it once at the start of the campaign.

CMON FAQ Page 1 wrote:

Q: Some Gentlemen list starting items. Do they
get these items at the start of each game?


A: If playing a One-Shot Adventure, yes. If playing
a full Campaign, the Gentlemen only get these
items the first time they are used (example: Major
Dreadful is selected for Chapter 1. He begins with
both Whisky and a Shotgun. At the start of Chapter
2, he would not receive another bottle of free Whisky
and another Shotgun. The Unicorn Club does not like
to be wasteful!)
.
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