I fucking hate playing against Cygnar. I don’t and won’t hold any malice against players of that faction. I don’t fault people for playing the faction that calls to them, and is good. I don’t think the people playing them are bad people, and the games are good games that I don’t regret playing.
But damn it, it feels like every game I play against that specific faction is a slow motion tragedy that only happens to win if the opponent makes graves mistakes.
I think, to an extent, everyone has this problem. There is always that one thing in a game, that one tactic or ability, that one playstyle that grinds your gears. For me, its Cygnar. But there are other things that drive me nuts as well.
Before we Start
I want to take a moment, before I go on the tirade I feel coming on, that I very much separate the act from the player, and from the game as well. I also may be using some very strong language, but that is to convey my feelings, not to encumber players with my judgement. These acts are in every way acceptable, understandable, encouraged and allowed. I most often won’t say a damn thing about it during a game, because it is something I should have seen comin’ but couldn’t or didn’t. Again. In no way is this a judgement on the players, factions, and tactics that use these abilities. It is, if anything, an expression that not everything is perfect, no matter how good it is, and/or a condemnation of the rules that have to/must allow the tactics.
I might have gone over this earlier. Maybe.
But I really want to be clear here. Cygnar, as a faction, is a complete negative play experience for me. It is, in one swift motion, both the definition of, and the antithesis too, that word. When I play against Cyngar, either with Skorne or Cryx, I rarely feel that I start the game on equal footing, and as the game winds down I’ve so rarely felt that the game is in hand. Instead, I’ll make some sort of desperate play, one which puts everything all in, and either win or loose on that specific gambit. That form of play is so ingrained into how I play that I often, prior to the opening moves of the game, analyze how I can go about achieving that one goal. This creates a situation where the game itself, regardless of outcome, player skill, player awesomeness and any other factors, is extremely negative. It is often so negative that I would rather not play a game than play a game against Cygnar. I don’t, though, because I understand that the Negative experience is self contained. I understand that this game, even in its casual form, is a social experience where one gets to see their friends, hang out, and play a puzzle-game from start to finish. Good times are to be had even if the game itself was not a fun experience. It rarely is not a pleasure to sit down at the table across from another person and play the game. Cygnar may be my NPE, but it is mine, and not the fault of the player on the other end of the board.
There is also little good to be done with venting during the game or even afterward at the opponent. By griping about the negative experience just received, you’re belittling both their immediate victory, and their ability to play the game overall. You can, and should, discuss the game, but try and pull out from the opponent when they felt threatened, when they felt success might slip away, and other points of the game that you did well. Focusing on what you did well is a balm after those bad games, especially from the opponents point of view
I’m have no illusions about my skills in the game. I am good, but I’m not any sort of tremendous player. There are players better than me in every faction in the game. I don’t know, however, that every Cygnar player is a better player than I am. There have been many games that it feels the opponent is stumbling around and trying to get their feet under them, but I am still being brutalized, and only manage to win because the opponent has a flimsy caster that they put in a poor position and ends up getting Cryxed.
In MKII, there was at least the feeling that I wasn’t playing the right caster. Asphyxious II was the anti-Cygnar caster, with clouds to block LOS and a suite of abilities to punish the faction. Now, I feel like I am simply trying to dodge. It is not a great feeling.
Additionally, I’m not looking for sympathy here. Cryx has been a long time boogeyman of a number of factions. I commiserate with your pain now, as I did then. Cygnar isn’t a new 3e problem for me, its been the same since I was first introduced into the game. Guns are powerful. Running at them is a solution only a few casters can manage, and staying away is a failing battle. Pre-measuring helps both sides, but only so much. I’m sure there is something to consistently beating Cygnar, but in ~10 years of playing, I’ve certainly never found it.
Other Gear Grinding
This is a sub-group of the above Cygnar Problem, but its been creeping into other factions slowly. This one, I know, has to do with my primary faction. Covering fire is an ability that is so heavy denial, I don’t understand why its not leaned on more heavily. As strongly as it prevents most infantry from participating in the game, it has always felt off. Caustic Mist-like effects are in this boat, too.
Attacking your own models
Man, this is going to be contentious. I absolutely hate the fact that you can attack your models in this game. Its something that sets me off almost immediately, though I try and keep it inside. I don’t really know what it is, other than the propensity to get around my models abilities in ways that are obtuse and backward. I know that people feel it adds a layer of depth to the game, but I feel quite the opposite. It builds and breeds non-interactive games where what I do doesn’t matter, your able to make sure that you can do whatever you wanted. Will I do it? Sometimes, aye. Do I think its dumb and am internally shamed every time I do? yes.
I will never, ever understand the desire to make an opponent not play the game that they set aside time to play. Gunlines, and the associated style of play, are simply the worst games to play. Without any return gunfire, your simply a sitting, shitting duck. Bringing enough bodies and hoping they roll below average is also a sad, boring strategy. This goes with the non-interactive layer of the game, where I get to watch the opponent do things, and I remove models, while I am stuck running, standing still, or playing for scenario only. They are very winable games, but they are boring and festering stew pots that I would rather not be there
Alrighty! Next week, Feedbackapalooza!