Fel Hammer Elemental Unbound and The Unmasked's training, what happens?
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Thread: Fel Hammer Elemental Unbound and The Unmasked's training, what happens?

  1. #1

    Default Fel Hammer Elemental Unbound and The Unmasked's training, what happens?

    A fel hammer has 1 wound remaining. It begins its activation and takes a Will Check to Unleash Fury. It fails that check and loses its last wound.

    However, it also benefits from the Unmasked's training ability, which allows it to move 3" and make a 1 die melee attack when it fails a will check.

    The question is, in what order are these effects resolved?
    Can it take the 3" move and attack (as part of resolving the failed will check) first?
    Or would it suffer its last wound and be killed before the training takes effect?

  2. #2

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    A model is removed the moment it suffers Damage equal to its HP. In this situation it would be reduced to 0 before the Training would allow it to do its thing.
    Designer and Senior Developer
    A Song of Ice and Fire, Dark Age, Rum & Bones, World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch, Wrath of Kings, Xenoshyft

  3. #3

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    can you please delve into why the damage would take place first? The only system of simultaneous resolution we have in the rulebook is off of attacks where it says

    •Select an attack action available to the active model.
    •Select enemy model(s) to be targeted by the attack(s).Ensure that the attacker can see the targets and they arein range of the attack.
    •One target at a time, roll the dice involved in the attack.
    •Generate and apply the results of the rolls.
    •Apply damage, and check for death.

    So the movement part of training would happen at the exact same time as checking for damage. Mostly I'm wondering why the damage is resolved first if they both trigger at the same time when the damage/ability resolution from attacking says the opposite.

    so from my (addmitedly limited) understanding the order should be

    Fail willpower roll
    Generate Training/Generate Damage
    Resolve Training/Resolve Damage
    Check for death

    I'm fairly new so I may be missing something
    Last edited by Higglefiggle; 08-06-2016 at 11:32 PM.

  4. #4

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    The will check happens at the start of the activation before anything else happens. The will test fails and is fully resolved before anything else happens. Fell hammer dies and doesn't benefit from training.

    Your example is for the attack action which isn't actually happening in the original scenario.

  5. #5

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    Im willing to accept the timing of this. Its how I play them now. But this, plus the 2-die Will check to unleash rury, means fel hammers tend to suck because they wind up being more glass than cannon. Ashemen do the same job better thanks to greater numbers by rank. Oh well. Pretty models sit in the bag.

  6. #6

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    Using them with Arkan and the Bloodchild helps with their survivability.

  7. #7

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    It does, but I usually like to pla Escort Civilians because its fairly easy to score despite opponent builds, and Bloodchild is excellent for that. But it leaves him far out of banner range. Thus ashmen are superior in the same role.

    Pigeonholes the fel hammers into Thesh only lists. So, meh? At that point ashmen have an equal or better defensive chart.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by paradox1 View Post
    A fel hammer has 1 wound remaining. It begins its activation and takes a Will Check to Unleash Fury. It fails that check and loses its last wound.

    However, it also benefits from the Unmasked's training ability, which allows it to move 3" and make a 1 die melee attack when it fails a will check.

    The question is, in what order are these effects resolved?
    Can it take the 3" move and attack (as part of resolving the failed will check) first?
    Or would it suffer its last wound and be killed before the training takes effect?
    Wait, why are you taking a Will Check at the beginning of activation? Unleash Fury reads: "At the start of this model's activation it may choose to gain Elemental Fury until the end of the activation. If it does so, at the end of it's activation it must make a Will Check (2)"

  9. #9

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    Not reading closely? I missed that the whole time. I guess I was reading what I wanted/expected, in gaining an ability.

  10. #10

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    I've got to say, I'm shocked that the Fel Hammers don't get a "death strike" with the Unmasked's Training if they fail that final Will Check and they die. That... super sucks. I mean, I'm not mad at it, but I've been playing that wrong this whole time and now I just want to leave the Fel Hammers at home without it. I run them hot and go for maximum damage, expecting them all to die. *shrug* oh well.

  11. #11

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    I was kind of surprised that the Fel Hammers didn't get revised. they don't seem effective enough for a unit that is very likely to kill itself. I've only played a few games with them but in each game they've taken themselves out. Half teh time they take am equivalent chunk of enemies with them, but the other half of the time they don't.

  12. #12

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    At this point, having played them wrong by Will testing at start of activation, I'm willing to give them another go and reserve judgment until then. That change does not alter the ultimate outcome of poor rolls, but it does at least give an activation in which they can do work, which will only help improve overall performance for me.

    It does suck mightily that they can't get a last "death march" under the Unmasked's training though.

  13. #13

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    Personally, I see them as kamikaze troops. In fact, I want them to die as part of the failed check to finish off the target. Usually that'll be a leader or other single, high value target.

    As a result, I don't really find the Unmasked is useful and think Thesh is their clear leader.

    At that point, you have to ask if the commitment is worth it? As a small unit of timebombs, maybe. I agree with Jake Richmond, I expected an update.

  14. #14

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    I feel like Unleash Fury gives some very nice bonuses, but they're not worth the risk of taking two wounds. And without Unleash Fury the Fel Hammers are kind of mediocre. They have fairly good attack, but they're slow and relatively easy to kill. The Unmasked's Inspire and Training certainly helps make the Fel Hammers more attractive, but the Inspire only works if the Fel Hammer's succeed, and the Training doesn't work at all if they are killed.

    I think that when the Fel Hammer's are working they work really well. but that's true of any unit. The difference is that when other unit's aren't working they don't kill themselves. A group of Brutes, Skorza or Pit Fighters can have a poor activation and not die at the end of it. They get to live, and the enemy has to put resources into dealing with them. Fel Hammer's benefits just aren't enough to outweigh their drawbacks.

  15. #15

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    That's my key worry: They are going to die.

    I would have liked to see an alternate leader that made them a little more survivable, or a change to make them a no-brainer for activating Unleash Fury.

    As a rank 2 unit, it's a big question about even fielding a handful. Taking three as kamikaze assassins you have to think: That's six slots on Fel Hammers, and another 2 on Thesh to better control when they pop. Eight slots is a lot to ask even at Skirmish, and a non-starter at Patrol.

  16. #16

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    I think with the Fel Hammers people really focus too much on wanting to use Elemental Fury each round, when it simply isn't needed.

    Ignoring the ability, you still have an average speed, two-wound model with 2 dice and Critical Blow(1) that, when it dies, explodes.

    Elemental Fury when activated turns them into the second fastest Infantry in the game, outside of War Dancers, gives them a 30% Base Overpower result against most models (20% against the remaining 5%, which rely on not being Overed to live), and a re-roll on their attack.

    Elemental Fury is not something you use every round, it is something you use when you need to make something incredibly dead, not against your casual Rank 1 Infantry or alike.
    Designer and Senior Developer
    A Song of Ice and Fire, Dark Age, Rum & Bones, World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch, Wrath of Kings, Xenoshyft

  17. #17

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    Sure, but for "cost" the positional advantage of the speed buff is potentially huge, and appears factored into the rank 2 cost. And tge hitting power, Ive found, is necessary to maintaining attrition, especially because the ability makes them very fragile. Overall, they are very risky and heavy use of fury feels necessary to help ensure output in table top practicalities. I have played games where I restrain use of fury, and often just wished Id brough ashmen instead in those cases.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by paradox1 View Post
    Sure, but for "cost" the positional advantage of the speed buff is potentially huge, and appears factored into the rank 2 cost. And tge hitting power, Ive found, is necessary to maintaining attrition, especially because the ability makes them very fragile. Overall, they are very risky and heavy use of fury feels necessary to help ensure output in table top practicalities. I have played games where I restrain use of fury, and often just wished Id brough ashmen instead in those cases.
    This sums up my feelings as well. I'm paying (with a Rank 2 cost) for an ability that I'm only getting once in a while, and has a good chance to only be used once. Alternatively, I could swarm with twice as many Ashmen and get the hits via dice. The reduction of the squads' combat capabilities is slower, as well. It's a better value.

    I really like the Fel Hammers, it's a great sculpt and 'feels' fun for rules, but the tactical costs are too high outside of larger games where model count allows for more niche roles.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by CMON Mr. Black View Post
    I think with the Fel Hammers people really focus too much on wanting to use Elemental Fury each round, when it simply isn't needed.

    Ignoring the ability, you still have an average speed, two-wound model with 2 dice and Critical Blow(1) that, when it dies, explodes.

    Elemental Fury when activated turns them into the second fastest Infantry in the game, outside of War Dancers, gives them a 30% Base Overpower result against most models (20% against the remaining 5%, which rely on not being Overed to live), and a re-roll on their attack.

    Elemental Fury is not something you use every round, it is something you use when you need to make something incredibly dead, not against your casual Rank 1 Infantry or alike.
    Thanks for responding again to this thread!

    Without Elemental Fury I feel like the Fel Hammers are a fairly Mediocre Rank 2 unit. Their attack is certainly okay, but nothing really special for a Rank 2 unit. Yes they explode when they're killed, but thats almost as much as hazard as a benefit, forcing you to position them away from the rest of your army and deny them support or risk having vulnerable units pushed into them.

    I agree that you probably don't want to use Elemental Fury each round, but honestly I'm not sure if it's ever a good idea to use it outside of extreme situations, since the ability is likely to kill the Fel Hammer and very likely to at least inflict one wound. The trade off of a moderate increase in speed and offensive ability (which admittedly does bump the Fel Hammer's "okay" attack to "very solid") just isn't worth the cost. The Avatar of the Bear has a very similar ability that gives it a better attack and only asks it to risk a single wound at a time. I'm sure there are balancing factors there, but in the end the Bear is a unit where you actually want to use it's ability, even if it means you're likely to take the wound. With Fel Hammer's the risk usually just isn't worth it. I don't want to use the ability of I can avoid it.

    A big part of the problem is the very high risk of wound or death, but an equally big problem is the bonus provided by Elemental Fury. The bonus is not bad at all, but I don't think it's worth risking 2 wounds for. +2 movement can certainly be useful, especially when it's the difference between being able to engage or coming up just short, but once you're at the enemy line it usually won't be a factor. The addition of Critical Blow and Offensive Expertise are also nice, but in the end the Fel Hammer will still need to roll a 6 or 7 or better to wound most opponents, which means if he's using Elemental Fury he's about as likely to kill himself as cause wounds. Thats not a good trade, and even in dire situations it's not one I really WANT to use. I also can't think of another unit in the game thats asked to take on that kind of risk for such an unequal reward.

    My experience with the unit is that they often kill or seriously cripple themselves when using Elemental Fury without inflicting an equivalent amount of damage. That doesn't mean they can't get in there and wreck face, but it does mean that at the end of that wrecking the unit has usually lost half or more of their wounds. Which makes them a very easy target for a counter attack. Many Rank 2 units can do similar damage without losing any wounds.

    I don't think any of this makes the Fel Hammers a bad unit, but it all adds up to a frustrating combination that ends up being an unattractive choice. More and more often I'm passing over the unit and choosing other options for my lists.

  20. #20

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    I have another way of explaining my issue with the Fel Hammers: They aren't a rank 2 unit, but they have rank 2 costs.

    Look at Union Workers. With one wound, they're comparable (though a bit weaker) to a Fel Hammer who isn't Furying. One less die on the attack, 1" less movement, and a little easier to kill. If they get damaged (and they have a leader for exactly this), they match the non-furied Hammer even more closely (same damage, same movement), with a higher likelihood of hitting but less average damage (extra strike, fewer overpowers, no re-roll). For the Hammer to clearly get better it has to risk dying in the process as Unleash Fury has a decent chance of dealing one damage, and the reprisal if it doesn't kill the target will likely kill the Hammer. (It's like the old Loony Toons joke, "It's a great trick, but I can only do it once.")

    Now, let's compare the Hammer to Shael-Han's Bear. Both are rank 2, but the Bear, for the same risk, ends up with Unstoppable (2) and Overpower (1) while lacking Offensive Expertise. So it's hitting more often and matching the Hammer for damage. Additionally, the bear is harder to hit and doesn't have an Overpower (though it does suffer opponents backlashes). This means that, most of the time, the Bear is clearly better and only really suffers in specific situations.

    Now, the counter to this is that the Hammer explodes. That's fine, but I'm hurting my morale in doing so, even when I take out a high value target. Let's hope my opponent doesn't take it out at an inopportune time. As a result, this translates to a lot of risk in taking the Hammers, even if you intend to have them die kamikaze style. Alternatively, our counter examples have no risk in fielding them, and less risk in activating their abilities.

    For me, that means the Fel Hammers really feel like a Rank 1.5 unit. Alternatively, you can take Thesh to better manage the will checks, but he's a rank 2 leader himself. The outlay is just too high for Hammers as they exist.

    So, I have a few ideas, with any one of these making them much more attractive:
    1. Add Unstoppable (+1) to Unleash Fury (Kind of OP)
    2. Add Offensive Master (1) to Unleash Fury (Not a fan as this feels quite OP)
    3. Increase the Elemental Unbound magic attack to 2 dice

    Of those, I think 3 is the most balanced. By making it a 2 die attack, you at least give them the chance to hit something with any resilience. Since those are the likely targets you're sending your heavy hitters against, your opponent has to consider whether or not to actually target the Hammer. If you want to be REALLY mean, you can also let them make a free attack if the enemy disengages (I am NOT recommending this), as it then becomes a serious threat to important units.
    Last edited by EvilGardenGnome; 08-23-2016 at 02:02 PM.

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