So as 2015 starts to draw to its conclusion and an entire year of neverborn has been played by me its time to start taking stock on me and the faction in my first dedicated year with it. As a year goes I got a fair amount of games in with the faction over 50 but tournament games the only event I was able to attend that I got tournament games at was Adepticon this year. I went 2-3 with the faction with an overall differential of -2 and 34/50 Vp on the day. That was within the frist 5 months of the change after the previous 2 years of resser experience in m2e and 5 years in 1.5 prior with ressers. Looking at my overall with NB I have struggled with them my win %is around 45% for games tracked on the year. And I’ve been looking deeper recently as to why my winning with them is so low compared to my relatively high mark in ressers. I’ve identified a few key things that are pain points between myself and the neverborn. So I’m writing this blog with the intention of using it to better articulate my struggle in the hopes it might help, either someone else, myself or at least to help me vent a bit of frustration as I decided where to focus in 2016 be it continuing with NB or moving to a different faction.
1.) Not an Attrition based playstyle- Neverborn aren’t built for the long game, their idea of attrition is take and run. They aren’t a get stuck in faction, if they get stuck in they are dieing and our models don’t trade well. This is entirely counter to my base programming in m2e from my foundation knowledge base of Ressers. Ressers do play the attrition game probably better than any faction in the game. Often with ressers its about grinding and overcoming, with Neverborn its about lightening war, Taking models without offering a trade. This transition has been my greatest struggle as at my core my playstyle tends towards attrition style heavy trade game that NB just don’t play well.
2.) Knowing the Models like the back of my hand.
I haven’t played ressers in a little over a year and I can still tell you most of their stat lines and abilities cold. I don’t nearly have this level of inherent model understanding on the neverborn side. I can say its much today a year in than it was a month in or 5 months in but its still no where near the understanding I have not only of the stat cards but of the relative ability of a flesh construct vs nearly every other model in the game. In terms of taking a hit, chance of retaliating back, which triggers to actively try for and how many ap that model will remain upright on average above and below average flips. That level of understanding just isn’t fully developed in my neverborn game yet and its hindering me. Knowing the right model for the right job is critical and my level of understanding in ressers vs NB is night and day.
3.) The Masters and the Enforcers are the backbone of the Faction.
Neverborn as a faction are highly defined by 2 sets of models their Masters who can manipulate the game state more than any other factions on the whole and a stable of Enforcers who tend toward the upend of the power curve for the game. This means our crews can often be defined by high priced but highly efficient models. Contrasted heavily by minions who tend toward the higher offensive output to lower defensive spectrum generally speaking. This is in high contrast to previous experience were minions made up the backbone of the faction with everything else really built to play to the minions strengths.
4.) Neverborn are an active faction and I am a reactive player at heart.
Neverborn are a momentum faction, they want to set the game tempo and really dictate the flow of the game. Neverborn don’t react to what the opponent is doing they instead act and force reaction upon the opponent. They favor an active aggressive style. That’s not to say the faction is mindlessly charging forward quite to the contrary it means the faction plays best when it forces the player to react to various threats its presenting. By Contrast Ressers tend toward a reactive game, allowing the opponent to punch take that punch and then Judo chop them on the ground on which they will smoother the opponent over the next 2 turns. Neverborn instead are looking to combo their initial punch in such a way as to continue pounding the opponent into the corner. Not giving them the moment to regroup and counter. This above all has been where I’ve failed to wrap my head around what neverborn want to do the most force reaction capitalize on momentum and continue the relentless march to 10vp.
5.) Neverborn as a Faction I”m having trouble identifying a solid Answer/s to the Outcast Questions
Neverborn seem to have a factional issue with the questions that Outcast posse with Masters Like Leviticus , Hamlin and Jack Daw. If you guess the opponents master drop incorrectly the match up game can be fits. This match up issue is a key point of frustration for myself personally and an area I’m trying to solve for.
So I’m sure your reading this if you’ve made it this far and going Joe if your having those problems why not just go back to ressers and 2 what has kept you going with NB with these problems.
The answer to number 1 is I don’t want to go back to Ressers because fundamentally ressers are playing a different game than the rest of the factions for the most part. And that is okay but it isn’t what I want to play going forward. My year separation has really allowed me to grow a lot as a player and there are many things I truly enjoy in neverborn far more than I do in other factions.
1.) I enjoying playing far more neverborn masters than I do Resser masters.
On the whole I enjoy every neverborn master and feel they each hold a unique niche within the faction. By contrast resser masters are often powering the same list slightly differently while this provides variety its more pick your favorite flavor or 2 and go from their. I have quite enjoyed the style diversity that I get in neverborn masters and playstyles they offer to me.
2.) Doppleganger makes me truly happy.
One of the greatest gifts to the neverborn faction has been this mimic with Ill omens and the ability to copy non master one actions. 7ss of versatility and the ability to enable my love of aggressive playstyle that relies on initiative control. Truly a crutch but a versatile one and worth staying in the faction for.
3.) Sense of Discovery and level up that I was missing.
Neverborn offered last year a chance to totally step out of my gaming comfort zone. A radical playstyle shift attrition tank to glass canon. And a chance to learn the game essentially anew with a faction I hadn’t previously played, tested or owned. They offered last year a reset button and this year they offer the prospect of continuing to skill up. I get to learn lots of new things every game with Neverborn something that just wasn’t happening with Ressers.
4.) Dreamer maybe the most fun you can have on the table.
As far as masters go their has only been one other master in the game I have enjoyed as much as Nicodem and his Name The Dreamer. Dreamer is a complex support caster who summons and has interesting modes of Play. In both Dreams of Pain a recent addition to my dreamer playstyle and in my favorite Restless Dreams or shooty dreamer. He offers me some unique gameplay challenges and always regardless of game outcome I have fun seeing what I can get him and his crew to do in that game. Dreamer captures my imagination like few other models in the game and by doing so strengthens my desire to play Neverborn.
5.) Neverborn attack the game sideways
Neverborn tend to attack the game from unexpected angles. Be it wp based attacks, amazing speed, or tricks this faction attacks the game differnet than most other factions does. And that rewarding puzzle means its hard to get bored of the faction.
So as I reflect on a year of Neverborn I see that my pile of unpainted neverborn is shrinking and my unpainted and unassembled horde grows for Ressers, Arcanists and 10t. And I’m torn on my 2016. Do I begin the learning process over again with 10t or a dive into arcanists. Do I go back to the Green Banner and continue our relentless recruitment drive. Or do I stay with the Native’s of Malifaux for a second year. Take the lessons of year one build on them and see what I can achieve in 2016 as a Neverborn player in my second year with the faction.
So many choices till next time.