Monday, 19 January 2015

And the dead shall walk

Well I’ve been playing Nicodem for the slow grow league and a tournament which means I’ve had about 20 or so games with him so far. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with him at the moment. I have won 1 game with him. The rest have been epic disasters with some 10-0 losses in the mix. I’ve learned lots and will certainly admit that I am not a very good player (I have an epic loss record across every system I play and if it is a 1st person shooter I struggle on easy settings unless the enemy stand still and I’m behind them!)

I struggled with Nicodem in the early game, then push hard in the mid game (often making my opponent mutter things about being doomed, and how broken Nicodem is) then things fall apart in the end game again. 

Things I’ve learned that Nicodem does well

  • Summoning (yeah, stating the obvious)
  • Buffing
  • Card cycling

These go together quite well. 

On his base card he has some fantastic abilities. He can create a 6” bubble that means models get positive attack and defence flips. Undead models summoned within 6” can ignore slow. 

My favourite trick has been to use the maniacal laugh (0 action) upgrade to allow him to summon mindless zombies.  Mindless zombies still count as corpse markers. I then sacrifice one (using his ability “Embrace Death”) to get +1 to casting, and with the “Undertaker” upgrade, he can draw a card when he does so. He can then summon +1 to casting, and sacrifice another zombie that he has summoned, so he can draw another card. This means that you can get some serious card cycling going with his draws, plus if you’ve used a soul stone to draw extra at the start, you’ve probably got a high enough card to get whatever summoned model you need. I really enjoyed this as I use another soul stone for suits to get a Hanged (everybody loves a Hanged) or a Punk Zombie. That still leaves me some AP to heal and hand out fast. 

The trap I have fallen into is to summon too much, especially if I haven’t taken the upgrade that helps heal the damage on summoned models. I think that I’ve been too focused on summoning early in the game. I will try to stick to more movement and buffing in the early game and then start more aggressive summoning in the mid-late game when the enemy has fewer resources to counter my new models.  

I’ve also really enjoyed using Decay to heal a model, cheating down their flip and Nicodems up so I can spill a blast onto enemy models. 

I’ve also suffered from being utterly dependent on Mortimer to generate corpse counters. It has been exceptionally rare for me to kill a model using Nicodems crew. If I can get a punk zombie fully buffed from Nicodem, Toshiro and focused into combat with something weak I will sometimes be able to flip enough to kill, but baring that I will usually flip too low to actually kill stuff. 

I’ve found that the problem is that the crew itself is so reliant on Nicodem’s buffs that it doesn’t seem to actually do much. I seemed to spend each turn trying to set them up only for it to under deliver. Meanwhile my opponents are getting on with winning the game whilst I am buffing/summoning. 

I was pleasantly amazed to find I won the “Best playing improvement” prize in the Darksphere Slow Grow League. By the end I was at least forcing my opponents to struggle a bit compared to the stompings I got when I started.

All in all I’ve found Nicodem to be an interesting, powerful master with a lot of flexibility. I’m not actually a good enough player to use him effectively and he doesn’t suit my play style at all so, whilst I’ve enjoyed him, I will be switching crews and will revisit him when I’ve upped my game. 

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