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At present, Ms. Silverrain has to be under Orba's command to use any decent archers for her Blind Volley. That cost cannot be overlooked. Acacia can use this tactic in small games, Silverrain cannot. This is merely an observation, offered as counterpioint, not meant to dismiss your point, which is a good one. ;)

 

I would love to see a hero or mage who could command the Ivy Crown archers and make them *good* (compared to elves and Reven) and also a Dwarf Warlord who does not come encumbered with an ability that costs ~150 and cannot be used if he advances or uses his 3 strikes at +5.

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Scenarios for taking out heavy hitters:

 

A) I'd say straight up the most vulnerable models are Large models with 2-3 damage tracks (Trolls and Ogres for example). Models that can very easily be surrounded by 3-4 Crusader models, make one of them a character with multiple attacks, and what might have been considered overkill previously now makes sense.

[snippage]

I would even venture to say that a Hill Giant, Avatar, or Onyx Golem arn't models that are all that hard to Mercy if you are able to swarm them, or if you have a hefty character of your own and a few grunts along for the ride.

 

B) Have you ever seen a Warlord, Captain, or 3-4 wound Elite/Solo go down in a single turn? [snippage] You might say the opposing player is silly for putting himself in such a situation, but it cannot always be avoided, and not only does the Crusaders opponent have to suffer losing their Warlord, but hadning it over to the enemy unscathed (Or best case having it live on it's last damamge track).

 

C) An really nasty scenario:

 

Lord Ironraven + Spear of Aurellius, 6 Justicars, 3 Ironspears, Halbarad with 6 bandages, a Troop Standard.

 

Ironraven can Mercy from Behind a wall of Justicars, while Halbarad keeps them healed up. All models in the Troop have +2 Dis (Spear + Standard), most models.

 

Start adding Hospitaliers into the mix to make extra Mercy Rolls (especially at +2 Dis) and things get really interesting; albiet expensive.

 

If Mercy didn't cause opponents to worry about it, Mercy wouldn't be worth it, right? I agree that your scenarios are reasonable and can indeed give pause to opponents. But that's different indeed from saying that Mercy can't be countered. And we won't even get started on the whole undead thing. (I normally play Crypt Legion.)

 

A) Yup. You might have to think twice about taking easily swarmed and mercied creatures against Crusaders. If you do take them, you will need to protect them. You can't send them out on on fire-and-forget missions, lest they come back to haunt you.

 

B) Happens all the time. You might have to change tactics to try to prevent it more than you did in the past. I'd argue that many of the fragile warlords/captains are mages, clerics or elves. Mages and clerics aren't all that valuable if you've unloaded their spells. Do so before getting them into HTH with Crusaders. Elves need to think twice about going HTH with anyone, let alone Crusaders. I can't see the updated mercy rules changing elvish tactics.

 

C) "Albeit expensive." Aye, there's the rub. Small elite armies can't afford many losses. And that troop has no offensive ranged weaponry or magic, right? Plus the need to bunch up to make their HTH abilities work? I trust the tactical responses to this type of troop don't need to be spelled out in detail.

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I would love to see a hero or mage who could command the Ivy Crown archers and make them *good* (compared to elves and Reven) and also a Dwarf Warlord who does not come encumbered with an ability that costs ~150 and cannot be used if he advances or uses his 3 strikes at +5.

 

That starts you on a slippery slope of unbalancing the game, or turning every faction into virtual clones of each other. Neither of which is a good situation. Using a Bless gives the Ivy Crown Archers a RAV 2 which is considered average for Archers. With the number of Cleric capable models in the Crusaders, this is very easy to accomplish.

 

I'd be stunned if there weren't some other options for the Dwarven Warlord (or Warlords) in the Faction book.

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bless is cool and all, but how many of the archers will you bless? You have to get all who will participate in the volley or else it's lost. And if they group around the cleric, they cannot form up and keep use of Marksman as they will have moved.

 

 

For the Dwarf King, I'd like to see his Scrye Shot detachable as an item OR see his Mav and price reduced. He FAR too cool a model to never see use on the table.

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bless is cool and all, but how many of the archers will you bless? You have to get all who will participate in the volley or else it's lost.

 

Practically, with only direct volley, 5 is about as much as you are going to get; I prefer to use a wedge formation if I'm going to Bless for a shot like this. Though honestly, most of the time I wouldn't bother with the volley unless you need the extra range from it (which generally only applies during the first round, unless you have archers with short range). Which means, of course, that formation is much less important; if the Bless only gets some of the archers, no big deal. Setting up this way also telegraphs your intent to the opposition, and makes an excellent target for a fireball or firestorm that could easily wipe out your archer and damage your cleric.

 

You make your choice and take your chances, eh?

 

And after being the one playing the Crusaders against Ron the other night, I think that Mercy is too powerful as currently written and explained. I blew an opportunity to Mercy another of his large models early on (3 damage track solo) because I'm not used to running Crusaders and forgot all about the ability. Yes, it would have only been my Templar Knights offering the Mercy, but their Dis of 6 vs. his 3-track solo on its lowest Dis would have greatly favored my chances of turning him, completely undamaged, to my side in only the 2nd round of the battle. As is, the times that I remembered to use it were enough that if we'd had the time to finish, I would have likely turned several of his other models as well (I still had at least 2 models on the table with Dis values of 7 or better) and routed his force.

 

The current version of Mercy is ugly, and I sincerely hope it gets changed, despite the fact that I intend to field a full Crusader force at some point in the future.

 

~v

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And after being the one playing the Crusaders against Ron the other night, I think that Mercy is too powerful as currently written and explained. I blew an opportunity to Mercy another of his large models early on (3 damage track solo) because I'm not used to running Crusaders and forgot all about the ability. Yes, it would have only been my Templar Knights offering the Mercy, but their Dis of 6 vs. his 3-track solo on its lowest Dis would have greatly favored my chances of turning him, completely undamaged, to my side in only the 2nd round of the battle.

 

Perhaps, but I think you might be indirectly supporting points I made earlier. You forgot the ability, but apparently so did your opponent. If that solo is getting swarmed in the second round, I suspect he was sent out to kill something and then die. But solos aren't fire-and-forget against Crusaders, and really never have been. Even if you want to forget that solo, you'll remember them when they come back around at you... :lol:

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Perhaps, but I think you might be indirectly supporting points I made earlier. You forgot the ability, but apparently so did your opponent. If that solo is getting swarmed in the second round, I suspect he was sent out to kill something and then die.

Well, you'd have to ask him for confirmation on that, but I'd say he was sent to deal with my archers. I moved my templars in to deal with him only after he'd engaged the ranged forces.

 

I get the point about being careful about taking your multi-track solos into harm's way against Crusaders. What I think is getting lost in the translation is that 1) I only had grunts against this solo, and if I'd remembered to Mercy, I would have had about an 80% probablility of turning him - this is a ridiculous number for a Grunt to have against a Solo, and 2) if you have to make such a drastic composition adjustment to a force to account for an enemy like Crusaders (i.e. avoiding multi-track models to force discipline checks on more even footing, and to avoid having a powerful ally become a powerful foe), then something is wrong with the rules.

 

Yes, tactics should matter in every battle, but if you can't field a force against one group that would be otherwise a competative force against every other faction, that's imbalanced. I don't see how anyone could have a reasonable expectation of fielding an "all-comers" generic force against a group of Crusaders without abandoning all mutli-track models. I have a hard time believing that was the original intent of the ruling...

 

I can't see why someone playing in a tournament like the upcoming event at RCon would come with any other army, if they had the choice. With the tournament's restriction of only one roster change permitted during the event, everyone else is at a disadvantage.

 

~v

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Perhaps, but I think you might be indirectly supporting points I made earlier. You forgot the ability, but apparently so did your opponent. If that solo is getting swarmed in the second round, I suspect he was sent out to kill something and then die.

Well, you'd have to ask him for confirmation on that, but I'd say he was sent to deal with my archers. I moved my templars in to deal with him only after he'd engaged the ranged forces.

Yep, I sent him out to kill the archers, figuring that he'd have a 40% or so chance of making it back. I only remembered the Mercy change after Gurm got killed and then rolled his Tough check to get back up. Then, it was either try to retreat (and hope that I either completely succeeded or failed twice) or suicide attack, hoping to be killed off on the Defensive Strike (which is what happened).

 

I can't see why someone playing in a tournament like the upcoming event at RCon would come with any other army, if they had the choice. With the tournament's restriction of only one roster change permitted during the event, everyone else is at a disadvantage.

I'm trying to finish a company in time for GenCon, where, I expect, the point target will be 1500. I was pushing the painting schedule as it was at 1500 with 2 solos in order to finish in time (given my limited painting time), but I'm now stuck in the quandry of going with an otherwise balanced army that will be at a disadvantage against Crusaders or push myself even harder and hope that I can replace the solos with grunts and a double track sergeant. :unsure:

 

Ron

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Yes, tactics should matter in every battle, but if you can't field a force against one group that would be otherwise a competative force against every other faction, that's imbalanced. I don't see how anyone could have a reasonable expectation of fielding an "all-comers" generic force against a group of Crusaders without abandoning all mutli-track models.

Now here's where I see your argument coming unstuck ! Ever come up against a Dwarf army and to find out that all those bandages and heals you gave your cleric for healing up your grunts are just a waste of time because they're not going to work , or faced Nekfosar with a mage loaded for bear and have the power drained . I could go on and on about others , but what's the point , people have obviously made up their minds that it's either good or bad , whether it can be countered or not ! :down: In the previous incarnation , Mercy against big/multitracked things was a waste of time , you might as well have CDG the critter. I think the big problem about this is that Dis check can be made so easy , not the undamaged model . <_<

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Brushmaster, the examples you cite are known as "da breaks." How do you think the crusader players feel when they run into Necropolis? Of the Vampires feel when they play Razig. Metagame is part of army construction. That's part of the reason for Crypt Legion's ability being subtle and VERY good. You can take Scare and other spells that do not affect everyone and if you're up against someone that is not affected, you can burn that to heal. Bandages are still good against Dwarves, just not on grunts. It's all part of army construction. ;)

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Yes, tactics should matter in every battle, but if you can't field a force against one group that would be otherwise a competative force against every other faction, that's imbalanced. I don't see how anyone could have a reasonable expectation of fielding an "all-comers" generic force against a group of Crusaders without abandoning all mutli-track models. I have a hard time believing that was the original intent of the ruling...

 

The first thing that came to mind when reading your post is... Most of my Crusader lists are competitive against nearly every army except Necropolis. This is just debating your point mind you, I field my Crusaders, and can do well against everybody except Necropolis, and to a lesser extent, Nefsokar. And when I say 'do well', all I mean is that it's a fairly even match-up. So is the Necropolis imbalanced?

 

Not in my opinion. And the last tournament I went to, I played against 2 Crypt Legions. One I lost handily, the other by 6 points. The only reason I was able to hold my own in the last one was some shameless use of terrain. But as Ranz alluded to, "Dem's da breaks". I'm not gonna swear off playing Necropolis. I don't have to like it, but I accept it.

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Brush: Ranz has made the point for me there; those are the breaks you take against any force. Then again, I don't stock bandages to heal my grunts; they bring my elites and solos back up to max power. Rarely are they used in the situation you describe. And, even if they were... I just proved my own point. I *could* use those bandages for something other than grunts. Against the Crusaders, your options with an "all comers" roster have already been dictated to you. And, for the record, the options have become: Lose.

 

Rascal: You suffer against one opponent; big deal (no offense). You need to flip the script. It's not about you sucking against the Necropolis. Every army has a faction that they don't do well against, for one reason or another. If everyone got schooled by the Necros, then yes, I'd say they were imbalanced. What I'm talking about is an imbalance where nearly *every* faction is at a disadvantage to the Crusaders now because of Mercy. That's where the rule as it stands becomes a problem.

 

Please not, I'm not arguing what part of Mercy needs to be changed, just that as it currently stands, it is too powerful. One of the best abilities got better; things are now out of whack, and need to be corrected.

 

~v

 

P.S. I think it should be abundantly clear now that many Crusader players feel the ruling is overpowering. That ought to tell us all something...

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Brush: Ranz has made the point for me there; those are the breaks you take against any force. Then again, I don't stock bandages to heal my grunts; they bring my elites and solos back up to max power. Rarely are they used in the situation you describe. And, even if they were... I just proved my own point. I *could* use those bandages for something other than grunts. Against the Crusaders, your options with an "all comers" roster have already been dictated to you. And, for the record, the options have become: Lose.

 

Rascal: You suffer against one opponent; big deal (no offense). You need to flip the script. It's not about you sucking against the Necropolis. Every army has a faction that they don't do well against, for one reason or another. If everyone got schooled by the Necros, then yes, I'd say they were imbalanced. What I'm talking about is an imbalance where nearly *every* faction is at a disadvantage to the Crusaders now because of Mercy. That's where the rule as it stands becomes a problem.

 

True, Crusaders have gained an advantage over any faction where mercy works. That's the nature of improving a capability! But the pinned note at Denelspire hasn't been exactly overflowing with Crusader generals shouting hallelujah. The only thing that has happened is that a Crusader troop with local numerical superiority, swarming one or a few models, gains a better chance of getting less damaged multi-track models. I daresay that was the intent! I claim that's a limited tactical advantage at best, that is only unbalancing if there is no effective counter-response. I frankly am not convinced.

 

Crusaders are designed to defeat attrition tactics. "If I kill this, but let you kill that, I'm ahead" - because the equation becomes, "If I kill this, and let you convert that, I'm behind." Any army that attacks in detail (ie - solo/monster vs archers without other support, where the archers do have support!) will allow the Crusaders to make mincemeat of them a piece at a time. But that's not the Crusader's fault - it's the general's that are attacking in detail, expecting to get away with it! The fact that it's now easier for a Crusader general to expose that particular tactical flaw means your tactics and force coordination had better get better - it doesn't mean Crusaders have morphed into an unbeatable force.

 

I'll make another claim: If your all-comers army cannot prevent significant portions of that army from getting swarmed by Crusaders, you are going to have troubles against any number of other factions as well. You simply must be able to fight a slowly developing battle as well as a quick-strike game. Against some factions, fast-moving melee solos might be effective first-strike units. Against Crusaders, I would expect to use those same solos as a tactical reserve, to be used after melee battle is joined. That doesn't make the solos useless - although it does change my approach to making them effective.

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@Ranza

At present, Ms. Silverrain has to be under Orba's command to use any decent archers for her Blind Volley. That cost cannot be overlooked. Acacia can use this tactic in small games, Silverrain cannot. This is merely an observation, offered as counterpioint, not meant to dismiss your point, which is a good one. ;)

 

Any Freelance company can contain Silverrain + Decent archers and make a worthwhile Scrye Shot + Blazer + Volley indirect fire shot. Orba is not needed unless you intend to run a Straight Merc company.

 

@Capt C

If Mercy didn't cause opponents to worry about it, Mercy wouldn't be worth it, right? I agree that your scenarios are reasonable and can indeed give pause to opponents. But that's different indeed from saying that Mercy can't be countered. And we won't even get started on the whole undead thing. (I normally play Crypt Legion.)

 

The problem I see with this argument, is that Mercy was well and clearly regarded by most players as one of the premium Faction abilities, why did it need to be altered in a way that keeps it effective against grunts while making it extremely effective against characters.

 

Unlike Brushmaster who apparently thinks the former version of Mercy was junk against characters, I thought it was very fair. Whether we like to admit it or not, most players like the odd character in our armies, and nothing is as disheartening or demoralising, or in fact a total turn off, than the best model in your army being taken over and used against me. I thought the core rulebook version of Mercy did an excellent job of conveying the idea of Crusaders out converting their enemies, while making you work hard and spend spells or abilities to convert hefty characters. I didn't mind giving up a 3 or 4 track model when my opponent had to protect it and heal it back up to usefulness in order to make it really effective against me.

 

The Crusader Faction book version takes this away, I can now fairly easily lose, and in turn be beaten down by my favorite model; not only is that frustrating, and in my opinion a total turn off (This is the first faction ability in the game I honestly believe has a total power-gamer feel to it), it makes me far less likely to field some of the models I love the most knowing that in turn they can be stripped away from me, The Crusaders have plenty of their own toys, and previously hac the opportunity to convert alot of other toys they may have wanted for, but the re-write crosses the line from making something fun and flavourful into something that feels more malicious and easily abused than in the spirit of the game. The change makes the game far less fun, and that is my primary concern.

 

Please keep in mind, while I have many armies, the Crusaders are pretty dear to my heart, and as a Crusader player I feel like I've been a little cheated. This new rule makes me want to put my Crusaders aside for fear that I will be looked upon and relegated as a power gamer simply for playing with this army; and because I feel like using them will leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

 

B) Happens all the time. You might have to change tactics to try to prevent it more than you did in the past. I'd argue that many of the fragile warlords/captains are mages, clerics or elves. Mages and clerics aren't all that valuable if you've unloaded their spells. Do so before getting them into HTH with Crusaders. Elves need to think twice about going HTH with anyone, let alone Crusaders. I can't see the updated mercy rules changing elvish tactics.

 

Engaging ones opponents in hand-to-hand and then firing into said hth combat is an extremely common Elven tactic. I used Danithal in my example simply at random as well, any of the DV10 or lower Warlords can easily be brought down by a pack of grunts and a decent character. I agree, your in trouble in any situation if you let this happen, but against the Crusaders this sort of mistake costs you a big model, and gives your opponent a big model at the same time. We arn't taking about small niggling defecits that could previously be overcome with hard work, or that , in the previous version of Mercy took the Crusader player alot of effort and resources to have a big pay off, we're taking about a single exchange of combat that could mean 500+ points (me losing 250+ and you gaining 250+), and it wouldn't take more than 200 points worth of models to pull it off.

 

C) "Albeit expensive." Aye, there's the rub. Small elite armies can't afford many losses. And that troop has no offensive ranged weaponry or magic, right? Plus the need to bunch up to make their HTH abilities work? I trust the tactical responses to this type of troop don't need to be spelled out in detail.

 

The previously mentioned troop lists out at (Slight adjustments made):

IronRaven + Spear (133)

Halbarad+Divine Favor+4xBandages+Hold* (166)

2xIronspines (42)

2xHospitaliers (56)

5xJusticars (155)

=552

 

*Note the Hold spell makes multi-track characters really vulnerable to Mercy.

 

This is alot for a single troop, it could easily be scaled back for a smaller game, and might stretcht the limits of a 1000 point build, however I think it would be a great foundation for a 1500 point army, the remaining 900 points could easily make up for numbers witha couple of groups of Skirmishers present.

 

Addressing your concern about a lack of ranged attacks. This is a common Crusader deficiency that can be exploited. Ivy Crown Archers 42 points and RAV 1 make them a dicey proposition at best, and they often don't hit the battlefield or come in low numbers. The lack of a mage is likewise commonplace in alot of Crusader builds. Valandil is the only worthwhile one they have, and Crusader strengths play much better to taking a Cleric along in my opinion.

 

You concern about the high cost of the troop related to the low numbers that it has can be mitigated by two arguments, 1) It might only have 11 models, but 7 of them are multi-track models making the troop resilient, and 2) who needs numbers when this troop can steal 1-2 models every turn from your opponent.

 

True, Crusaders have gained an advantage over any faction where mercy works. That's the nature of improving a capability! But the pinned note at Denelspire hasn't been exactly overflowing with Crusader generals shouting hallelujah. The only thing that has happened is that a Crusader troop with local numerical superiority, swarming one or a few models, gains a better chance of getting less damaged multi-track models. I daresay that was the intent! I claim that's a limited tactical advantage at best, that is only unbalancing if there is no effective counter-response. I frankly am not convinced.

 

Claim whatever you want. It is a very big change in the way Mercy works, fundamental in my mind. Is it impossible to combat, no, not in the least. But it performs exactly the same function against enemy grunts with one wound, while drastically increasing it's effectiveness against multi-track model. As such it has become quite a bit more powerful and useful in far more situations against a whole range of model types. Is this bad? Only from the position that as I mentioned previously the former wording of Mercy made it one of only two abilities I really considered 'Elite' and quite powerful faction abilities (along with Pain Cage), the new wording really places Mercy into a level in which it has no match; it is an ability that didn't need to be changed, and that every player I ever talked to was happy with and thought highly of. So why make it better?

 

This is the first real sign of GW style power creep I have seen in Reapers games. Although I'm sure it was not intentional. It would make me feel dirty to use the ability as it is now worded, and although I won't quit playing Warlord because of the change, I might stop playing the Default Crusader list. Not to mention as I said before, no-one likes to have their toys taken away and used against them, Grunts arn't any fun to lose, but it feels alright because it remains in the flavor of the game and the Crusaders, but having your best models set against you with little or no effort other than having killed them in a single turn makes for a depressing experience in the least, and would make me walk away from the table feeling like I hadn't had much fun (whether I was using or playing agains the Crusaders).

 

@Brushmaster

people have obviously made up their minds that it's either good or bad , whether it can be countered or not ! ik_down.gif In the previous incarnation , Mercy against big/multitracked things was a waste of time , you might as well have CDG the critter. I think the big problem about this is that Dis check can be made so easy , not the undamaged model . dry.gif

 

Just my opinion, but anyone who sides with this new version being 'good', is straight up a Crusader fan-boy or a powergamer. If you can't see the immediate implications it has you weren't seeing how effective it potentially could be prior to the re-wording. It can clearly be countered, but not simply by good tactics being utilised, to have a fair fight it means you have to bring a certain build to the board against it, which makes it somewhat unfair.

 

What if Reaper did any of the following:

 

Enrage Became +1MAV for every -1DV (rather than -2)

 

Cross River's Death become a Move Action rather than an Invoke

 

Do Your Duty could be used multiple times per turn

 

All of these are just slight adjustments, but they would make a world of difference in the way the ability plays, and it's effect on the game.

 

I disagree with the major concern being the low Dis value multi-track models have to make the Mercy check with (I think it is a huge flaw mid you). I think the whole ability to Mercy a model and get it undamaged is entirely unpalatable and hard to swallow.

 

If you get my model undamaged, then I should also get my model back undamaged if you fail to Mercy it.

 

or

 

You should get my model on it's last damage track, and if you fail to Mercy it I should get my model back on it'd last damamge track.

 

The system should not so greatly favor the Crusader player. Fluff reasons or not, it just isn't fair.

 

I probably sound like I am whining alot, but in all honestly I believe a small change like this could make this game a much harder sell to people as soon as they come up against a Crusader player who knows what they are doing. I want Reaper to succeed, and this new version of Mercy is 180 degrees opposite from the direction I feel like Reaper has previously been traveling, a fair and balanced system in which few faction abilities felt absolutely overpowering and dominating. One of the huge selling points was variety if armies and abilities, while retaining a balanced feel, and I'm not sre I can tought the Crusaders as being entirely within the scope of the abilities granted to other armies anymore.

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I would be a lot more comfortable if people were posting battle reports to back their point of view. I'm not saying anyone is wrong, I'm saying that we currently have NO WAY OF KNOWING if anyone is wrong. For example, I have a number of ideas of how changing engagement order would weaken or strengthen "Mercy", the degree to which an army with low grade archers and generally lowish numbers could control engagement order, etc. But unless I was playing them out they remain conjecture. The best thing to do, if you feel the rule is over-buffed, is sit down for some serious playtesting with some good tabletop tacticians.

 

You know that Reaper are responsive. They've asked for play examples, so, give them examples from actual games, BUT I think it would be foolish to submit examples without replaying with a similar or identical list and testing the control-of-engagement. Clearly engaging with a solo as your opening batter is foolish vs Crusaders...... so try NOT.... and see how it goes. Play a scenario, discuss the outcome, come up with a theory as to what went right or wrong, test that theory. Then post something like this:

 

"List X Crusader is definitely overpowered vs list Y Reven. First game Solos fell quickly. Then we tried a different tack; but it was impossible for the Reven to control the engagement enough to blunt Mercy, even when we swapped armies, when the following happened..."

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