I got the Deathwing expansion last week and it seems to me that the playtesters got something wrong from a play balance perspective.
It seems to me that Brother Jericho (range 0) should be teamed with Librarian Menelauis (Grey? team) and Brother Boreas (Range 3) should be teamed with Sergeant Zaltys (Blue Team).
This would reduce the effectiveness of the librarian team a bit (but not by much), but would increase the effectiveness of the blue team to the point where I think it would be close to par with other teams.
We tried it out and with that simple change, the Blue team was much more effective (range 3 every turn is surprisingly useful).
- Last edited Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:46 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:45 pm
A cool idea. I'm sure the reason they gave Boreas range 3 is that the teal team (which people call grey) loses all special abilities when the librarian dies. That said, I agree that the librarian is powerful enough, and the blue team is practically a joke.
My only argument against it is that the teams aren't necessarily meant to be balanced. Instead, different teams should provide a variety of play styles and difficulties. I think the Deathwings in general were designed to be a bit weaker with a few abilities to give them bursts of good luck when the die is kind.
Deathwing certainly has fewer outright powerful attacks - Hellfire is at least as strong as any previous attack, and Deathwing Assault can be pretty effective, but that's about it.
Conversely they have a lot of nice support abilities and can really pile up the support tokens, as well as having orders which can kill genestealers outside of Attack.
Blue I find actually pretty good if you don't expect them to do much genestealer killing themselves.
- Zaltys on support boosts everyone; no need to agonise over who needs the support tokens for attack and defence so much. Combines very nicely with Pink (support to make Uriel near-invincible from the front and move to transfer support tokens to Zaltys).
- Their move special (move another marine as well) is the only flexible movement power Deathwing have. It's not as strong as Reorganise from the original Yellow team, or Litany of Hate from Marine Pack 1, but it's still pretty good. Effectively lets someone else move and fire, which helps get people in to range.
- Their attack is weak, especially with Jericho's range, but if you're playing a game with minor spawns = 1, Zaltys can keep terrain covered quite nicely for as long as necessary. A good person to be watching your back for Lictors and Rippers, too.
But I mostly play 6-team games where a "support" team is quite useful. I get the impression most people mostly play 3- or 4-team where the heavy firepower is more valuable.
Deathwing's Yellow team, on the other hand, are underpowered:
- beachhead is a really good support power, especially for smaller games where they don't need to move as far to use it. In larger games they'll probably be in the wrong place most of the time, though.
- "Baiting a Stealer" is next to useless. Far less powerful than "Strategise" from the original, but worst of all it takes place after they've completed their full move+activate, so you can't even use it to lure Genestealers to the promethium tank (or even hull breach) unless someone with Move 11 or 12 is also nearby. Just about usable to move a swarm in to range of someone, but Blue can do that better.
- "Fury of the Lion" is okay, but even in an ideal situation is weaker than Brother Raphaen's attack (and considerably weaker than Lexicanum Callistarus) in terms of support tokens per kill - and it's attached to someone with Range 0 so you hardly ever get to use it.