It’s time for the holidays and apparently Privateer Press wanted to give us something to do besides stuff ourselves with food and cookies and presents. So the released an errata yesterday. And boy was that a doozy.
You can find it here:
Since my main faction is Cygnar, I will talk about that in more detail than the rest. So lets dive right in:
Caine 2: His attack types are changed to Empowered Shot, which means, he has to pay a focus if he wants to use Grievous Wounds or Trick shot on one of his shots. Until now he had the ability to put out 9 GW shots or 9 shots + 9 Trick Shots. Now he can put out 5 shots + 4 GW/Trick Shots a turn.
What does that mean? He isn’t an “I will just kill everything and your momma” kind of assassin anymore. I have played 24 games with Caine 2 at the beginning of MK III and in about 25-30% of those the game ended with me trickshotting the oppossing low arm caster. Most of the time to death, a couple of times the numbers didn’t quite add up. I had a few practice games where we went “Ok, let me just roll this TS assassination and afterwards we play on”. I died to a TS assassination recently as well.
Caine 2 now can’t trivially remove a whole infantry unit AND some key solos AND give a couple of key heavy pieces Grievous Wounds AND still have his feat AND… you get the picture. He can’t do it all in one turn anymore. Having access to a total of 9 shots + 9 trickshots a round (either through Squire or Reinholdt), could easily remove a full unit of low to mid ARM single wound infantry. On top of being a great assassin with his regular shots, he could also Trick Shot the opposing caster to death.
Until now, opposing players didn’t just have to worry about staying outside his 19″ death bubble, but ALSO had to stay more than 4″ away from anything easy to hit, but hard to kill in their army. That reduces the available safe space on a table pretty much to zero, especially when you are bringing lots of heavies or even a Gargossal.
Now that Trick Shot assassination is off the table. He is still a great caster and you still want to stay more than 19″ away from him and/or have Shield Guards handy. You also want to keep key solos 4″ away from anything, cause he can still kill the odd solo. But, the matchup against him got a bit better for the opposing player.
Good nerf, doesn’t make him unplayable, but reduces the frustration for your opponent.
Haley 2: She lost Deflection and has it replaced with Force Field. Meaning she lost he army wide +2 DEF to ranged/magic attacks, instead she is now immune to blast damage and knock down. And she can choose where enemy AOE’s deviate in her CTRL. That is an adequate replacement in my opinion. Losing the DEF boost is hard, makes her and her army more vulnurable to shooting. But not going KD, not dying to random AOE’s blast damage and choosing the deviation is good.
She also got a change to Time Bomb. Now only the model directly hit gets -2 DEF and -2 SPD, instead of everyone under the AOE 4″. Hm… don’t really have an opionion on that particular change. Overall I think going after Temporal Acceleration and/or TK would have been better. Time Bomb didn’t see much use in MK 3 – at least not in my games. But maybe that is, as has been suggested (and as the nerf to the other Haley sorta proofs) a sign of how OP PP thought Time Bomb was in MK 2? I don’t know.
I think it probably wasn’t Time Bomb or Deflection that made her so ball busting. IMHO, changing Temporal Acceleration and/or Telekinesis would have reigned her in better. Because those two threat range extenders on top of her incredible control feat make it so unfun and hard to play against her. Its not just that she basically tells you to do nothing for a turn, but that she also outhreats you and uses that threat to gain a significant attrition advantage.
Grade: inconclusive – this isn’t so much a nerf as it is a sidegrade.
Haley 1: Well, that came a little out of nowhere. Temporal Barrier got changed in part – the -2 SPD for opposing models is reduced to her CMD range, instead of CTRL. Meaning, opposing models have to start their activation within 8″ of Haley to get that malus. That… well… puts most models in charge range of her anyway, even with the SPD debuff.
The DEF debuff staid the same and, at least in my recent 10 games with her, was the main part of the spell for me.
I guess this was a change that was aimed towards newer players, as TB was one of THE prime negative play experiences in the game and has been since MK I. PP wants to reduce these as much as they can, especially for newer players. So on that front it makes sense.
But you could also argue, that losing the SPD debuff entirely and reducing the cost of the spell to 3 FOC might have been a better way. Still, I don’t think this is a bad nerf.
On top of that, she got her Warjack points reduced by 1 – down to 27 now. Which makes the list I had shamelessly netdecked (thanks Canada Moose WTC team) illegal and would need some rejiggering to get it legal again. On the other hand, I don’t plan on playing Haley 1 anytime soon…
Grade: +- Having her changed so significantly was surprising, but thinking back on over a decade of TB makes sense.
That is it for Cygnar changes. Kara Sloan stayed the same, as did the Hunter and the Storm Lances and the GMCA. Did those NEED a change? Some say yes, I don’t think they did need to change.
Overall game changes: Throws and their abuse have been taken down quite a notch. You can’t power attack your own models anymore, just as the switch to MK 3 made it impossible to charge your own models. So no flying Snake, no flying Rök, no sending the opposing caster knock down by chucking your own trooper at him. That takes a lot of weird assassination angles off the table and makes a lot of casters safer. I haven’t fallen victim to a throw yet in MK 3 (at least I don’t think so), but I have seen it plenty on other tables and even killed a caster myself with a throw (although, this nerf wouldn’t have changed that – I sent one of his own horses after him).
Grade: ++ – great, now you don’t die to having a steady heavy thrown literally across the table anymore. I think this is better than changing the power attack Throw itself.
Huge Bases are not effected by Grievous Wounds anymore. Well, that means it gets more important to take them out in 1 round. Meaning, people will have to take even more damage dealing options in their lists. Not really sure, if that was a massive problem, I have played a Stormwall only recently in my pHaley list.
Grade: inconclusive – time will tell how much Gargossals make a comeback due to this.
The rest – Some factions have been hit hard by the nerf bat (Khador for instance), others not at all (Protectorate). Overall I think the changes are good, if maybe a bit too timid/conservative. Some changes and especially the lack of other changes clearly shows, that PP still doesn’t have that well a grasp on the meta outside the US. Storm Lances have been tearing up the scene in Europe since MK 2. Yet, they remained unchanged. Not that I am complaining and I am not even sure, they NEED a change/nerf. But many were expecting them to be changed.
The High Reclaimer is played on a high level over here as well, and was clearly one of those marked for a change – or so we thought. But since he hasn’t been rampaging through US cons, he was apparently deemed fine.
I sort of get why Una 2 wasn’t changed, since she only saw a limited release so far. Maybe changing the Scarsfell might have been prudent, but maybe the data was inconclusive so far.
PP was very conservative with this errata. To me that says, they don’t want to change too much at once and risk overcompensating problems in the other direction. I think its a good start and a step in the right direction. The next 6 months and the still to be released Skorne errata will show us if this round of changes was too little to really shake up the meta.
I am ok with what has been done – but I also don’t plan on playing either Haley 1 or 2 or Caine 2 anytime soon, all of them already have seen 10+ games on the table.
Oh one more thing, please people stop whining and complaining. Get out there and play games, before you condemn the changes or the lack of buffs you feel you are entitled to. Put models on the table and play games. I firmly believe nothing in this game is unplayable garbage. People are way too obsessed with what they think is and/or should be competitive.
And on that note – happy holidays and a happy new year to everyone.