Last week we showed you guys Fathom, the Waverunner, a cool supporting player who's also no slouch at grabbing goals. If you missed that blog, you can check it out here. This week, however, we're going straight to the top. It’s time to give you guys an insight into designing the Helmsmistress herself, the captain of the Navigator's Guild, Windfinder!
Why fight when you can navigate?
Sooooo there's some real cool stuff on here. Let's go through it. First off, Windfinder has a 1" melee zone. That cutlass isn't particularly long, but she's pretty damn skilled at getting the most out of it, as we'll see. Her statline is solid, with a 6"/8" MOV, a TAC of 5 with all the rerolls forever, a 2/8" KICK (REROLLS), a DEF of 5+ and finally INF 4/6. So obviously, her two slightly below average stats for a captain, her KICK and TAC, are more than made up for by Precise Calculations.
Her Playbook is another example of a classic Navigators Playbook, with almost all of the momentous results concentrated on the top end. However, her tackle on 1 hit is suuuper reliable, as is her momentous dodge on column 2. Column 3 brings a double dodge and a GB symbol, which we'll discuss in a second when we look at her Character Plays, column 4 has momentous 2 damage, and column 5 has a momentous tackle double dodge. You might think you're seeing a lot of tackle dodges/double dodges in Navigators, and you'd be right! One aspect of the Guild is that we wanted them to be hyper mobile, with different options to the Fish, and so their top end Playbook results have a lot of ability to strip the ball from enemy players and get out of dodge.
The momentous 2 damage result is also very achievable, and she's the first Navigator we've seen with momentous damage. The Navigators are intended to be primarily a guild that wins games by getting 3 goals, much like the Fishermen, but in some games your opponent will make that very hard, so they do have a sprinkling of momentous damage in order to allow them to play to a 2 goal/2 takeout playstyle against teams where they can jump on a squishy player.
Windfinder's Character Plays are interesting in that they can be used either to support her team's efforts, or allow her to personally do some work. Eye Spy is one that we've seen before on Minerva in the Falconer's Guild (although interestingly the play was actually written for Windfinder first, and was added to Minerva during the testing process. The more you know!). It's just a fantastic play, allowing any Navigator model to roll 2 extra dice when making an attack against a target enemy model. We talked a bit last week about how the Navigators, with their rerolls and unique playbooks, benefit considerably more than other Guilds from rolling extra dice on attacks, and so this play is key to how they function. This unlocks the top columns of their playbooks, and starts to allow wraps against models with poor defensive stats.
Incidentally, this is also why a lot of the Navigators don't have 1 damage on column 1. They're very likely to get wraps, and so in playtest they often ended up doing more damage than we intended. This is still very doable with some gang ups and Eye Spy, but it requires more set up now. This also hurts their ability to get takeouts against Guilds with a lot of Tough Hide. If we assume Windfinder wraps to column 2, she would, against a normal model, get momentous 2 damage and 1 damage for a total of 3. Against a Tough Hide model, that's only a total of 1. Therefore we can see the Navigators really don't like to fight models with lots of armour or Tough Hide, really reinforcing their goalscoring playstyle. That said, there's a standing bet of five metal staff coins to the first person to kill Anvil with Navigators, cause there's always one person who has to go silly with them.
Windfinder's second Character Play is a completely unique one, Full Speed Ahead. This Character Play allows the model it targets to Charge or Sprint without spending Influence during their activation, and gain +2" MOV on that Charge or Sprint. Note she can use it on herself if she has to Charge anyway, in order to just gain the +2 MOV. However, putting it on a friendly model and letting them go ham (remember how fast Fathom is anyway? She just got faster!) is just as valid a tactic, and it's up to the Navigator's coach to recognise what the right use for this play is in each situation.
Finally, fourteen health reinforces her position in the Navigators. Like many of their models, she's a touch on the squishy side, and relies on speed and precision strikes to get in, do what she needs to do, and get out safely.
A Captain Is Never Late, Nor Is She Early. She Arrives Precisely When She Means To
Windfinder of course has Precise Calculations, the Guild Trait allowing models in this Guild to reroll all kicks and attacks. Her next two abilities are unique to her, and they're super cool.
Stormwind means that when she hits an enemy model with a Character Play, they suffer the knocked down condition. This really is an exceptional rule, especially if she triggers Eye Spy off of her Playbook, allowing her to knock down the model she's attacking, or even hit another enemy model nearby, and knock them down. Suddenly she's gaining +2 TAC from Eye Spy AND the enemy model is knocked down, which is a pretty great result from a single attack! She can even just pay the 2 influence for Eye Spy and knock someone down from 6" away! The flipside is that this is her only way of knocking enemy models down, so she has to be REALLY precise about where and when she uses it.
As a Captain, Windfinder of course has a legendary play, and hers is a doozy. Perfect Course is a 6" pulse, and for each enemy model within the pulse, one friendly model can make a 4" dodge. That's pretty spectacular. We did say the Navigators were focused on speed and movement, and Windfinder enables that to a pretty exceptional extent. The uses for this legendary play are, pfft, I mean, where do you start? Pull a model back out of an enemy's threat range, use it to dodge Windfinder forward to get in range for a goal or to grab the ball, use it to move some friendly players forward to provide some gang ups for Windfinder to go for a kill on someone, use it so another friendly model can dodge into goal range...honestly, this legendary play has so many uses that we pretty much can't list them all. It's impossible. Like counting the grains of sand on a beach or emptying the ocean with a spoon. Just try it out, it's great, you'll love it.
And with that, we conclude our look at Windfinder, the Navigator's captain! We hope you guys are as excited as we are about her, and we hope that you're starting to get a pretty clear picture of how the Navigators will play by now! If you're keen to set sail with them, you can pre-order them here:
Next week we're going to be looking at the Navigator's mascot, the good luck charm of the Freebooter's Bounty, the albatross Wander! [Editor's Note: Isn't it a seagull?] Smooth sailing till then, everyone.