Flex Your Muscles

How diversify your glory stream.

I must immediately confess at this point that I am not John Rees but, then again, hardly anyone is, so I hope you won’t blame me for it (his name is SIMON 😂). John has bestowed upon me the great honour of contributing to his splendid blog. While I can’t confess to rolling as many crits as he does, I’ve been playing with John as part of the vibrant and competitively successful London meta for nearly a year now, and so John asked me to share some shadeglass fragments of wisdom.

Before we begin, we need to define some terminology; these are the names used by the game designers for the three main archetypal strategies that players use:

– Aggro. We all know what this is: charge, kill stuff, score immediately, upgrade, charge again. Khorne cares not etc.
– Control. The two main types of control stray are ‘defensive’, whereby you sit back and score passive glory out of harm’s way, and ‘objective’, which involves jumping on those pesky tokens.
– Flex. This is a combination of the two styles, which relies on having the flexibility to counter all other deck types.

In the scissor-paper-stone arms race, defensive control beats aggro, because aggro can’t score if their opponent runs away and hides. Meanwhile, objective control beats defensive, since defensive objectives typically score pretty low glory and the objective controller has the keys, double supremacy etc. However, aggro will reliably beat objective control, because sitting on those objectives means putting your little dudes in charge range.

But flex! Oh, flex! Flex decks are everyone’s most feared opponent. Taking one of the other archetypes means that tournament play is highly risky. This is why, with a few notable exceptions, Magore’s Fiends haven’t won many Grand Clashes, despite being one of the most heavily represented war bands. They’re one dimensional and predictable. Anyone who sits opposite a Fiends player at a tournament immediately knows exactly what their strategy is going to be, and it can be countered easily. At tournaments, after four or five rounds of best of three action, the highest ranked players will usually be the ones who have adapted best to the play style of each of their opponents.

So how do you become a flex player? You need to go back to the drawing board and ask yourself one question: do I feel unlucky? It’s easy to build a deck on the basis of what will happen if everything goes right, but a good player needs to know they can score glory even if everything goes wrong. You need to build your deck so you know you can score glory reliably in a range of different ways. So what objectives should you be looking out for?

Flexible Friends
Many of the objectives on the restricted lis are their because of their universal popularity among a number of play styles (e.g. Alone in the Darkness, Escalation, Extreme Flank), but there are plenty of alternative options that are unrestricted and can guarantee some glory even when Plan A is going south.

– Ploymaster vs Master of War: Ploymaster is great but should be avoided if you’ve got lots of reaction ploys in your power deck (if the condition doesn’t get met, no glory). Master of War requires something good to happen in order for you to score the objective and upgrade, but otherwise is highly dependable.
– Unbroken Wall/Well-guarded: The first is easily achieved by small war bands, the second very achievable by anyone. With Great Concussion on the scrap heap, there is very little your opponent can do to stop your scoring then.
– Shining Example: an easy score for most war bands, especially if you bring Inspiration Strikes to the party.
– Quick on Your Feet: Perfect for four-fighter war bands who will either want to charge as much as they can or move up to be able to charge next round.
– Martyred: Great for larger war bands who are likely to lose the roll off and may find themselves being charged in the first activation of Round 1. You’re always likely to be the first player to lose a fighter, and this will temper that glory swing.
– Keep Them Guessing: This card is becoming so prevalent that there’s very little guesswork going on anymore, but there’s no much your opponent can do to stop you, especially if your warband has special actions on your fighter card.

These are just my top picks, but we’re interested to know what you think. How do you diversify your glory stream? What reliable objectives would you take to replace those that have been lost to the restricted list? What are the best ways of scoring without having to roll any crits at all?

2 thoughts on “Flex Your Muscles

  1. Funny the Fiends get an honorable mention; inspired by Michael’s article over on Steel City and my inability to reliably score with Magore and his buddies, I’m thinking about tweaking my deck. Mostly the objective deck, as Victory after Victory often gets in my way AND prevents me from scoring much else due to taking up space in my hand. In turn, that means Superior Tactician will usually end up in the discard pile too.

    I’ll freely admit that having the Fiends sit back and score defensive objectives feels wrong, but if that’s what it takes to make ’em shine…

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    1. Victory After Victory is just a win more card which I feel can brick too much. I don’t think the Fiends need to sit back but you can score objectives that don’t require you to kill while you advance such as Swift Advance, Conquest, Extreme Flanks etc.

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