Being back into Alchemists pretty hard I have actually stumbled upon a team that I really like and even have trouble justifying subs. Even more surprisingly, this is a pure guild team. Venin, Vitriol, Compound, and Calculus have become my go to models in the past few weeks. My game plan is still very much the same, but I am finding a good deal flexibility in all the individual models that I am liking quite a bit. So today I want to talk about this flexibility and why I like it.
Problems of the Past
So my old standard was Compound, Vitriol, Mist and Decimate. A strong Ball playing list with the ability to put out damage as well. The big issue of course is that most of these model like a lot of INF to do their thing and you can generally only use 3 of them as you want each turn. Vitriol can use 4 almost every turn. Midas takes as much as you can give him, but like 3-4 minimum. Mist wants 4 if you plan to actually use him, 2 if he is just repositioning. Decimate needs at least 2-3 if you want to do anything with her. In all this, the usefulness of flask becomes almost nonexistent because you have no condition game to speak of. This is not a bad list by far, it can just be difficult to manage the resources and it can be slightly one dimensional, predictable, and not very flexible if things go wrong.
Enter the New
While Midas and Vitriol are still hogs, the rest of the list can easily be productive on 0-2 INF each turn. I find myself with more meaningful activations all round which I feel strengthens the overall team.
Calculus- Sure she can use 3 easily, but with the current state of Blind it is more of a luxury most of the times. It can still be useful, but is not nearly as reliable an option as it once was. I actually find myself doing other things besides Character plays with her a lot. Positioning is important because of Poisonous Aura. I find getting poison out that way is more efficient and more likely to stick. When you spend INF to poison someone, they feel they are denying you to remove it. When they walk into it or gain it as a secondary thought, they are more likely to just let it slide. Remember they trigger poison on beginning or entering into the aura so it is actually easier for you to control it by engaging people before they activate or she can even push people into Venin if he is near.
With 2 influence I find she is fairly flexible. She can Noxious Blast. She can Charge. She can run/Blind or attack/Blind if she needs Momentum. I do not really ever count on her generating Mom with attacks, but it can happen.
With 1 she can Blind, Attack, or run to position. Setting up good PA positioning is always important.
With 0 she just positions. She is tough enough to stand in a bit of a fray and an acceptable casualty most days.
Venin- He needs to partner with Calculus in positioning and getting poison out there but he can play different roles throughout the match. I can generally get away with 1 INF on him but he can get by on 0. Depending on what you are doing you can activate him early or late in the turn. Going early you are generally just positioning him and buffing his ARM. If there are poisons out you can trigger his bleeds, but be aware that an opponent is more likely to try to clear models who will take 5 damage. If I am going for the bleed I wait until the end of the turn so they are harder to shake. In this case you may want that one INF to either generate Mom or run to a better place.
Venin is surprisingly good with the ball as well. Sure he only gets 2 dice, but 8″ means he can score when people aren’t expecting. I didn’t even realize that was his kick at first. So he can find himself open and in range to score. As long as there is no interference he does pretty good. The only time I usually give him 2 or more is if I am expecting some ball time with him.
Compound- Compounds biggest assets are that he can generate 2 INF and put out a level of field control with Counter-charge. He is not a great goalie, but he is not bad to have around. I find in this list I more often have the luxury to give him and INF which can allow him to use Foul Odour or even make an attack. I often find that late game, I may bring him out a bit to help with crowding out.
Flask- Flask generally gets 0 or 2 INF. My general role for him has grown with this list. Early game he just hangs out staying close to the action, but out of the way. Late game, as conditions start to spread I set him up for the finishing move. The plan is to have 2 goals and a few models taking damage with conditions. If you can end the turn with a model surrounded by 2-3 other for crowding bonus he should be able to charge and wrap at least twice, hopefully a few models are around and take 6 damage followed by 5 from Poison/Bleed and gaining momentum to take initiative and clean up next turn
Of course going into my competitive 8 I still bust out some Union, but role are changing and I am wondering if I really need them as much. Mist is definitely staying in there but is likely only to come out replacing Compound when I am playing against a beat down team who is going for less goals and I want to score quicker. The last slot is a toss between Decimate and Snakeskin and who they would replace when. Right now I am thinking maybe Snakeskin when I do not need Calculus and want a more resilient model center field. Or I can take A&G just in case for Masons really pushing activation skews.
Any way I go, I am feeling stronger with my main 6 and what they can do.