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Who Let the Dogs Out?


Who Let the Dogs out?






It’s time for another “What’s in it for me?” review, where we look at which cards Zarbag’s mob might enjoy from the latest expansion.





This month’s offering is Rippa’s Snarlfangs,  Zarbag’s unruly and uncivilised cousins from the Steppe will shortly be hitting the shelves (and everything else).  As I’ve mentioned before, riding on wolves and being uncouth are not the ‘done thing’ for respectable young Goblins, and it’s no conscience that we’re seeing cards such as Temporary Victory, and the reprint of Rebound, as moral standards have fallen to where society seemingly has no problem with a goblin showing its knees in public.  Family values is needed. Please consult the following guide:



Zarbag’s Etiquette Guide for Young Goblins:

Mary Poppins would never be seen without shoes on!

1.       Good goblins should be in bed before dawn. Goblins who have slept the whole day will wake up in the evening refreshed and energetic, making it easy to be a fresh and vivacious conversationalist or party host.
2.       Good goblins wear skirts with pride.  Aspiring Loon Bosses won’t waste their time with Goblins who have trimmed their skirts, and while showing your knees might get you some attention in the short-term, more than one budding Shaman has had their career derailed by the circulation of etchings of their “Krumpspringa Dayz”
3.       A hood is the best defence against the sun (and axes):  The Bad Moon sees all and knows all. It saw fit to bless Good Goblins with hoods and skirts. If more had been required, then more would have been provided. Simple.
4.       Good Goblins don’t run with wolves. Wolves are big and dangerous and have fur which can aggravate allergies. Good Goblins think ‘safety first’ and attempt to stay away from unnecessary danger. Riding a hairy death machine in the daytime (when one’s faculties are not at one’s best) is a very dangerous, selfish and irresponsible thing to do.
5.       Good Goblins are social creatures.  Good goblins remember that you should never go anywhere without at least eight friends. Again, putting yourself in harm’s way can seem thrilling, but it is dangerous and selfish. Goblins who have adventures raiding and burning settlements are likely to offend their friends back at the nest.
6.       Neglecting one’s Squigs is a blight on your character. Squigs are a Goblin’s best friend. Science has shown that Squigs get 20% less bouncy if they are away from their Goblin for more than a day. Absentee Goblins have fat Squigs which lowers the breed standard, and will definitely NOT impress the Loonboss.
7.       Good Goblins read everything on a list. If you’ve made it this far, well done! You’re well on your way to being a Good Goblin.


Now that we’ve addressed the shocking decline in community standards, we can progress to discussing the latest cards and what they bring to Zarbag’s Gitz from a competitive standpoint.



Amberbone Hammer


Does anyone know what time it is?

...It's Hammertime. As much as I have made a bit of thing of saying that attack actions are for crypto-fascist sociopaths with darkness in their aura, there are times when one needs to get one's hands dirty (AND calloused, be sure to bring moisturiser if you’re swinging a hammer, you could probably grate cheese with Stormsire’s palms).   If you’re going to make attack actions, you could do much worse than a disposable hammer with a built-in Tome of Offerings.  Being an attack action is a positive and a negative for Gitz – one the one hand it gives another string to the bow of archers*, but also it precludes the Squigs from joining in the Hammertime fun.  By and large, this is a fairly minimal disadvantage, as their attack is as good anyway, missing only the glory bonus and knockback.
* See what I did there?
I like that this card will either give you glory or a knockback, as a common flaw with knockback weapons is that they’ll often kill their target, making Get Thee Hence a frustrating card to score at times. I wouldn’t advocate putting ‘ Hence in a Gitz deck unless you’re doing some janky weirdness with Wall of Force and Mutating Maul. Add in Versatile Fighter and Lethal Repertoire, and the deck will … be bad. But bad in a good way. Like Sharknado.
  
Amberbone Hammer is probably one of those cards that will almost make the cut, but won’t. That said, you feel like you need a literal ‘Break in Case of Emergency’ attack upgrades, this is a good place to start.


 Hidden Presence
Darth Vader: I know what you're getting for Christmas, Emperor
Emperor Palpatine: How?
Darth Vader: I felt your presence

Hidden Presence
is likely to find a home in decks where certain key fighters need to avoid potentially game-swinging gambits. Mollog gets his Madness Dart inoculation after all.  For us Gitz, I’m struggling to think of too many gambits targeting a specific goblin that would wreck our day. Perhaps Distraction at an inopportune moment, Sphere of Aqshy, Lethal Ward etc?

There’s a substantial downside however, friendly gambits are also off-limits for the upgraded Git. This means they can’t be affected by any of the push ploys that are so important to us. Upgrades can still be played as usual.

This does interact favourably with Guard, making a Git that could only be moved off an objective token via an attacking enemy fighter, who’s got to get through two dice on guard. Tough as a hippo’s instep.  All in all, I’m not sold on this card. The cost is significant and the upside is minimal.


Gathered Momentum


Remember when people were salty about the limit to Surge cards. Here’s yet another reason why they did it.
Making this card a surge card in itself is an interesting paradox. Its surginess could chain enable chaining into Combination Strike, or in our case Petty Vindication, but counting against surge limit means there can only be a maximum of five cards to enable it to be scored, meaning there are likely to be times where it sits in your hand unable to be used, like a $1.75 in a $2 shop….or will it?
The charge aspect is what pushes this card up into relevance. Faneway Crystal, Spectral Wings and the soon to be discussed Tracking all give speed 4 warbands an opportunity to score Gathered Momentum even if the surges aren’t rolling out for you. 
A supremely flexible card, capable of being scored in a range of circumstances which a deck should encounter with reasonable frequency. Me likey. I’ll need to test it further before I officially endorse it.

Hostile ground

It could have been really good...

Hostile Ground seems like a solid card. Agile decks able to move into the lethal hex Bull Market that’s going on, will reap considerable dividend from it, proving that even Hostile Real Estate is a good investment.
Placing a lethal hex on your opponent’s board, means Hostile Ground can target a fighter in almost half their board (14/36 hexes).

With the current ubiquity of Calculated Risk, people are likey to have a) Lethal hexes in their own territory
I’ll leave that there to explain my thinking BEFORE I realised the fighter had to be in your territory.
Pass.



Temporary Victory
You can smell the 'I can't Believe It's Not Playtesting' from here

Uh.

I’m clearly reading this card wrong too.

I’m not? Oh.



If you’re playing Warhammer Underworlds and you’re not using Mollog, you should play this card.


I don’t even want to talk about it, to be honest. It’s so bonkers. I’ve had really good conversations about how this card could have been made fair: Have it only 1 glory, have the glory received be spent, have it only scorable in the third round etc.  But no, it’s boring and over the top.

I have two questions about it though: When will it hit the Forsaken and Restricted list (I’m tipping 1 Dec 2019), and which category will it be on. I vote Forsaken.

Iara (Croft’s) Instant Shield
I really hope there's a Voltron card for Lost Pages too


I bet whoever lost this page got in some serious trouble. There’s some math-hammer to be done on this card.

So let’s dive in. Apologies to Stephen Vann if I’m stealing your thunder, but I’ll probably get these numbers wrong anyway:

First of all, you need to cast the spell. And the likelihood of that obviously depends on your magic level:
Magic Level
1
2
3
Chance to cast
50%
75%
87.5%

As you can see, it’s quite likely you’ll get the spell off, but what will it actually do?

Original
Re-rolled

Successes
Chance to Crit
Successes
Chance to Crit
1 Shield
0.50
0.167
0.75
0.31
2 Shield
1.00
0.3333
1.50
0.56
1 Dodge
0.33
0.167
0.56
0.31
2 Dodge
0.66
0.3333
1.12
0.56

Those are quite some numbers. Offering almost as good a defence buff as +1 defence, which we all know is great.  That said, there is some uncertainty as to whether or not the spell reaction will be cast, meaning that we should probably reduce the increase by half for a level 1 wizard, and 25% for a level 2 wizard.  As with all wizard only upgrades, we have to ask ourselves, much like his parents did (and foster-parents thereafter) “Is Zarbag worth the trouble?” Chances are, we’re probably going to answer in the negative, as they did*. Basically, it all comes down to how much you use Zarbag in your general strategy, and whether you have anything that can synergise with the card. Survival Instincts makes him basically impenetrable, while Spectral Armour gives exponential value, but if Zarbag goes down, the card is essentially dead in your hand.

*I’m not crying, you’re crying!

It’s a (tentative) no from me at this point, but if the Lost Pages keyword becomes relevant, I reserve the right to change my mind.





Tracking
As anyone who's been burned by eBay would know, always pay for tracking

Tracking was super exciting for the three or four days between Rippa’s Snarlfangs being spoiled, and the Gift Pack’s contents revealing one Spectral Wings.
Unless you’re packing Hunters (which we’re not), Tracking is strictly inferior to Spectral Wings; and if you’ve only got room for one ploy, take Wings; But, as the great philosopher, W. T. Pooh once said ‘it’s so much more fun with two’, if you can find room for both, adding redundancy is a very good thing.
Both Tracking and Spectral Wings work nicely with Gathered Momentum, and can help immeasurably in the hunt for a Woozle too.
I generally find, with the Gitz, 4 move is sufficient, but I do occasionally find the 3 move of the Squigs to be a pain. I feel this could be another ‘almost’ card.   If you do want to go down the Gathering Momentum route, I’d play this and Spectral Wings.


Invert Terrain

Anyone who doesn't flip a feature token like a coin after casting this has no joy in their life

Invert Terrain is another of the slew of anti-objective token gambits or spells out there. I’ve picked this one at random to talk about, but take it as read what I’m going to say refers to all the others too.

Generally, between Swift Capture, Temporary Victory, and Supremacy (the OG objective token card, now looking a bit old and slow), we want to keep objectives the right way up. Where cards like Invert Terrain could be worth a look is that not only do they enable some counterplay in Supremacy-deck mirror matches, but they also allow the opportunity for you to restore a previously flipped objective token, and it’s through this mechanic that Invert Terrain gets a boost over the much easier to cast Abasoth’s Unmaking. Imagine how smug you’d feel flipping a lethal hex back up, then sauntering over to score Temporary Victory. Classic.
Friend of the Blog and fellow Australian Gitz enthusiast, Dan Carne has also been clamouring about the possibilities of using Invert Terrain to help score Infestation and Coveted Prize. I must admit I’m a bit too chicken to try that out, but I await the results of his experiments with interest.




Run Ragged.
These Goblins appear to be naked. SHAMELESS MORAL DECAY OF SOCIETY


I thought I’d quote Michael Carlin’s succinct review of Run Ragged here:

“No” – Michael Carlin, 2019.

I wholeheartedly agree. Run Ragged is awful. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the word ‘friendly’ has been omitted, meaning every single fighter needs a move or charge token.

This means that the card cannot be scored while fighters like Snirk (most likely) or Stalagsquig are on the board, and there’s little likelihood of it being scored at most other times.

We have a better version in Mad Scurry, so we’d definitely not play it, but I cannot think of a single deck that would even try to play Run Ragged.  Toss it out. There’s no point even owning it.



Conclusion:

So here we are again, another year older, and another review down. Temporary Victory is definitely the standout here from a Gitz perspective, while Iara’s Instant Shield (I keep calling Iara’s Lost Pages - a definite “Grashrak’s Despoilers effect” going on there!) and Gathering Momentum round out the top 3. So should you buy Rippa’s Snarlfangs? Absolutely. The pool is somewhat shallow for modest goblins who don’t like flaunting their needs like trollops, but while Temporary Victory remains unrestricted, I’d suggest the expansion hands-down as a must buy. If Temporary Victory gets banned, however, I'm not sure the rest of the cardpool is strong enough if you’re going ‘all in’ on Gitz only. But hey, If you’re a serious Underworlds player, you’re going to buy Rippa’s Snarlfangs anyway.




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