Navigator's Guild: Fathom

Smooth sailings, friends! Welcome back to the SFG blog. Last week we sailed to the horizon to show you the card of, uh, Horizon (which you can find here if you missed it). We hope that whet your appetite to see more of this eclectic, unique Guild! This week we're gonna be diving into the card of one of our personal favourite models ever, Fathom, the Waverunner.

We Know The Way

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Like the front of many Navigator cards, Fathom's card is a touch underwhelming until you remember she gets to reroll EVERY dice she rolls as part of an attack or kick. Let's bear that in mind as we explore this card.

Fathom has a 2" melee zone, for starters, what with her trusty oar proving an ever-present aid in times of trouble. The benefits of a 2" melee zone are many and numerous, particularly for models intended to play the ball, which Fathom very definitely is.

Her statline is pretty solid, she has average move (but just you wait Sonny Jim, she moves like the wind when she needs to), and low TAC but obviously gets those sweet sweet rerolls, so she's more reliable that you might think. A KICK of 2/8" is, with rerolls, effectively a 4/8", which is pretty impressive. DEF 5+ is because she's an agile woman, it takes a lot to pin her down. Finally, she brings a 2/4 INF which is bang on average!

Now, to her Playbook. This again looks underwhelming, with 1 damage on 1, a tackle on 2, a momentous dodge on 3, and finally column 4 is where it gets good. A 2 damage result OR the god result, a momentous tackle double dodge. Yeah. Yeah that's pretty sweet. On a model with a 2" melee zone and multiple ways of moving outside of activation. Now looking at that Playbook, you might be thinking "But Dev Team! Even with rerolls, she's unlikely to get to column 3 and generate momentum or dodge against most players."

That's true, but then we need to consider the interesting way Navigator Playbooks interact with dice pool modifiers. The Navigators are in a unique place with their rerolls where modifications to the dice pool affect them WAY more than other Guilds. So charging, for instance, is way better for the Navigators than for most other Guilds because each of those added dice is much more likely to be a hit. Equally, the Navigators don't like attacking models in cover or with lots of armour, because removing dice from the dice pool is much worse for them due to how finely balanced their Playbooks are.

So this paragraph is a long winded way of saying that if Fathom charges, she should be hitting that momentous tackle double dodge in a LOT of cases. It's also a way of saying that the rest of her card is exceptional and she needs to be balanced!

Looking at her Character Plays, we can see that she's good at a couple of different roles. Acrobatic is a very simple rule which lets her buy a 2" dodge when she needs it. Good for a dozen different things; it extends her threat on going for a goal run, lets her dodge out of somewhere she doesn't want to be, or lets her dodge out then back in to avoid a counter attack. Simple, clean, good.

Her second Character Play is Smelling Salts, which shows something of another role for her. She can also play as something of a support character. Often she's going to be hunting the ball, but she can also sit back and remove conditions from friendly models. Always a useful option to have in your toolkit. It's worth remembering, if that range looks short to you, that the AOE is now placed within that range, not centred on it! Season 4 changes FTW.

Finally, Fathom has 12 HP, which is right on standard for a model with a DEF stat of 5+, she's a bit squishy, but good at getting out of bad situations, so your opponent will have to focus her if they want her taken out.

How Far I'll Go

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Oh my, well. Fathom of course has the Guild Rule of the Navigators that we talked about earlier, providing her with rerolls on all attacks and kicks. Next up, she has Light Footed, naturally. She's a Waverunner, she can slide across the toughest of terrain with nary a missed step.

Those two are fairly simple, but it's the next two rules on the back of this card that really make Fathom cool as anything. They also work together extremely well, so we're gonna examine her Heroic Play first. This Heroic Play allows Fathom to make a 4" dodge if she's within 1" of a piece of terrain. Incidentally, remember in Season 4, there's no distinction between terrain and ground, so she can also use this Heroic Play if she's within 4" of a piece of rough or fast ground. Yeah it's a positional Where'd They Go?  that doesn't cost Influence. Remember earlier when I said this woman moves fast? Yeah, like, warp factor 7 fast. She has an 8" Sprint, Waverunner for a 4" Dodge, and Acrobatic for another 2" Dodge. That's a total of 14" of movement with 2 Influence left at the end!

This heroic play couples extremely well with the last rule, Linked [Angel]. As you may have guessed from this, Fathom is the remaining crossover model from Navigators to the Fishermen. Both her and Angel can play in either team. So essentially, Fathom can use her incredible speed and 8" KICK to snaffle the ball off an enemy model and punt it back to where Angel is waiting, then Angel can immediately go and score a goal before the opponent can respond! OR if you're even luckier, Fathom can score a goal then you can use Linked and force your opponent to kick the ball out and hope Angel can't get to it because she gets to activate next! This is a beautiful bit of synergy that really turns both models up to 11, and allows them to work as a great tag team.

Well there we have it, we've thoroughly explored Fathom's card! We know you're all very grateful, and all we can say is You're Welcome! If you think she looks like exactly the kind of player you want to help guide your team, let us know on our social media channels! Tune in next week to the SFG blog to get your first look at the captain of the Navigators, Windfinder, the Helmsmistress herself!