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Monthly model discussion: [mar,'15] moonless night
  1. #1
    Never Knows Best's Avatar
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    Monthly model discussion: [mar,'15] moonless night

    It's obvious, since the new release, that this month's discussion should either be one of the new or revised models.

    However...

    I didn't want to pick something too obvious. It should be apparent by now that people are liking models like Captain Flay or the Dust Bull. I've already expressed quite plainly how awesome I find models like Lynette and Old Ma.

    So how about something that players (and myself) might be a little on the fence about? This month:

    Moonless Night


    "Moonless Night is utterly insane. She can run a table like no other"
    -John Carter, 2014 Immortal Winner


    Highlights

    * Other than perhaps Coatlai, she is probably the deadliest alternative-deployment model in the game. With charge bonuses and weapon abilities/multiple attacks her aim is to be around 3 wounds per attack or more.

    * That combined with Honor Seeker, 4" movement and Blink should make her a very effective way to build Vengeance Counters.

    * She's the highest-point-cost 2 HP model in the game, a whopping 75 pts per HP.



    Conversation Points

    * Your 2 HP, 150 pt model is only defended by Parry and sits behind a better-than-average 2 defense but a paltry 14 armor and Assassinate has to be planned very carefully to be close enough to take advantage of a winning initiative but without being too close in case initiative is lost.

    * With 3 different attacks, I find this is finally a model where each different attack offers something new and each makes sense; Arc in case of AOE targets, ED against big/single targets, with Blink to flee or pursue targets elsewhere.

    * Because of the first two points, I expect a high learning curve for players using Moonless Night. Play her correctly and she'll do a lot but played incorrectly and it puts a lot of points in jeopardy.

    * Is there a way to minimize this risk/reward aspect of MN? How would you?

    * Is she as easy to counter as simply keeping a couple range models on hold? Or how would you counter her?

    * Is she worth her point value?

    * Other thoughts?

  2. #2
    McNs's Avatar
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    Moonless Night is the most Salt Nomadiest Salt Nomad that ever Salt Nomaded.

    She's the epitome of a glass cannon. She has the capacity to hit like a ton of bricks, but is always one '20' on an AR save away from evaporating, which stops her from being auto-include in a 750 Salt Nomads force. However, unlike the other Assassination models, bar maybe Elijah, she's got the mobility and threat to pop-in, score an objective on a flank, and still contribute to a larger fight.

    To answer your questions:

    1) How to best play MN: Dropping her in is going to be an art. Like other models with Assassination, you can try to counter her deployment with massed "On Hold". (Frankly, if you can convince someone to play that defensively, you've gone a long way to earning MN's points back.) At 750, though, an opponent is rarely going to put *everything* on hold. Given MN's mobility, I'm OK dropping her to kill a few, weaker models on a flank to either deny an opponent a Secondary/Primary objective or score a Secondary/Primary myself. Remember, 20/30 Secondary Objectives involve killing a model or objective - MN is great for letting you kill what you need to kill where you need to kill it.

    That said, at 150 points, you can't "trade" her in the same way that you might someone like Red or Saber or something like Harpies. I find my thinking with MN is if she can swing 2 VPs in my direction, she's worth her points (so, either scoring me 2 VPs, denying someone else 2 VPs, or a combination there of).

    tl;dr - She's really good but pointed accordingly. Don't throw her away to an unfavorable trade, particularly when it comes to VP.

    2.) Counterplay to MN: It depends what models are On-Hold. If I was playing against her, I'd keep grouped and as On-Hold as I could. Models with high AS, Reach weapons would be ideal here. Alternatively, I'd try to bait her into deploying somewhere where either I could kill her easily or I could minimize her impact on the rest of my force.

    Considering she's ~1/3 of your force at 500 and ~1/5 of your force at 750, you've also got an advantage against what else is on the table. Hammer whatever is out and take as many, non-kill based objectives as possible.

    At minimum, I'd avoid bunching up easily killed models, as her Arc attack murderates those.

    3) Is she worth her points: Yes, though she's not something you an plop on the table like a Johann and be guaranteed to get your points back. I'm surprised that Elijah is only 100 points, compared to MN. I could have seen her being 125 points without an issue. However, I still think she's worth it at 150.

    *****

    I tend to compare her to Hood, seeing as they're both 150 point costed Outcast models.

    Hood is a bit more survivable (+1 DF, +2 AR, +1 HP, +2 AS with Parry) and has more AP, at the cost of having less flexible in what he's good at killing and less mobility. I think Hood has a more limited role in a Slavers force, but he's very, very good at that role: he will drop in and, assuming you win Initiative, he will murder a character. Slavers don't really give Hood all that much (I suppose it helps with Victimize on the range attack), but Hood offers a lot to a Slaver's force, as they are now a bit light on powerful ranged attacks. Hood lets Slavers bully a back-line/catch support models they wouldn't otherwise be able to catch.

    MN is more of a generalist, in so far as she will generally murder what you need her to if you play her right. However, she really, really likes having support from the army: Vengeance tokens, Marked for Death, etc. At the same time, she also helps get Salt Nomads Vengeance tokens to keep their re-rolls coming. I see a more natural army synergy there.

    Bottom line: I feel like MN is a bad roll or two away from death, even if you play her perfectly. Hood is a bit more survivable in a lot of small ways. Heck, being "Huge" versus "Medium" is a massive help against AOE KD (Tremor, Shockwave, etc).
    Last edited by McNs; 02-27-2015 at 10:25 PM.

  3. #3

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    first of all, 150 points on an assassin. that is the very first thing that caught my eye with this discussion, and as such, i had to do some research to figure out the potential of this little lady.

    Potential (if everything goes right)
    -always in melee of something (permanently giving it the bonus from range/parry on the model) from blink and assassination rules
    -as 10 on all it's attacks
    -pow 8x2 with extreme damage
    -charging and killing three models on the turn it comes in (as 12/pow 10x2 ed)

    negatives
    -this model WILL eat through your vengeance tokens, and even if everything goes right, you'll spend 9 tokens and only get 4 back on a single turn if she dies
    -150 points
    -a very large gamble (assassin)
    -3 action points

    when i see 150 points, i immediately begin thinking of being like father mayhem/curwin (because i'm skarrd player) and when i look at this chick, i can see a lot of dangerous potential. YET, for only a few points more at 165 points, we have Raze, someone who is able to threaten an entire half of a table, even at 1000 points, almost by himself.

    Is this chick interesting? hell yes, her potential to take down someone like murtros is off the charts, and she can do it by herself and without to much effort, all she would have to do is pass a single acid blood check.

    the most important question of course is: WOULD I TAKE HER IF I WERE TO PLAY SALT NOMADS?

    ANSWER:
    HELL YES. In a game where everything, EVERYTHING has it built into them to die horrendously simply by rolling three 20s in a row, then getting buzzed by a sister of charity (sorry klepto), you have to take chances. this girl is a huge investment of points, so i wouldn't take her at the 500 point range, but at 750, having a single model that is one of the biggest gambles i've seen yet in this game, and then having to set up to even take that gamble, that mind war of: i've got a lot of vengence tokens opponent, what are you going to do this turn to prepare for assassin run, and thats of course, if i'm even going to do it.

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