Well this is exciting isn’t it. The reveal of the first model from a brand new Guild. Oh boy. Well, we say this is exciting, we assume a lot of you have already skipped down the page in a frenzied rush to get at the model rules and are now reading this as a sort of afterthought, but that’s okay. No judgement here. It’s a big, big day and we understand if you got overexcited and skipped ahead in violation of all the standard rules of how to read a blog.
Anyway, let’s get into revealing the VERY FIRST FALCONER, MATAAGI!
Caw Caw, Tookie Tookie
Yeah I know. Right? Let’s run through Mataagi’s statline, he’s fast, with a 6”/9” MOV allowing him to make his way handily around the pitch, with fairly average TAC and INF. He does have a rather nice 2/8” KICK, so he’s not the most accurate guy on the pitch with the ball, but he can boot it a long way. He has a strong DEF of 5+, which means no ARM, naturally. He also has a 1” melee range, since much like the Hunters and Engineers, the Falconers get their threat ranges via inserting sharp bits of wood into people from quite far away using a basic understanding of physics.
So all in all he’s fast, with a good KICK range, and strong DEF. Close to what you’d expect for the Hunter’s Minor Guild, barring maybe the KICK range so far. His Playbook is lovely too, with a momentous Dodge on column 1 for some easy momentum generation, and an absolute peach of a column 2. Momentous two damage and a momentous GB result on an easily accessible column make Mataagi anything but a dull boy. That’s already good and we don’t even know what that GB symbol does yet (hint it’s kind of okay). A momentous double dodge on column 3 finishes off his momentous results, while he also has a non-momentous Tackle and some higher damage results on the top end.
So that’s a strong Playbook, good access to a variety of momentous results lower down, tailing off once you get up to the very top end, which does still provide Mataagi with some higher damage numbers if he needs them.
Soooooo let’s dive into his Character Plays. Firstly, Mataagi has Snap Fire, a Character Play we’ve previously seen on Egret in the Hunter’s Guild. Exceedingly simple, one Influence cost, range 6, causes one damage to an enemy model. Easy peasy.
And now for the big kahuna, the bee’s knees, the Most Exciting Bit: Harrier. Harrier is a Character Play which places an ongoing-effect AOE on the pitch. This AOE has no immediate effect like something like Fire Blast, but when an enemy model within the AOE suffers damage from a Character Play or Playbook damage result, they suffer +1 DMG. This Play can either be used for 2 Influence, or can be triggered from the Playbook. Which is momentous. On column 2.
So uh. Fancy your entire team getting +1 DMG against some poor sucker? Or even multiple poor suckers? Drop one of these on their head and watch ‘em get murdered. That seems okay, right? Yes. Yes it does. Hunters, say hello to your bestest new friend. Falconers, say hello to your Support class.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out Mataagi only has 10 HP. He’s a fragile distance murderer/supporter who wants no truck with the whole getting punched thing.
Birds of a Feather Murder Together
The three abilities on the back of Mataagi’s card are all abilities we’ve seen before, but let’s run over them quickly. The first, Crucial Artery, means that any model Mataagi damages suffers the bleed condition. This is great for getting more damage onto enemies, both through momentous Playbook damage results and through Snap Fire. This damage fits Mataagi’s theme of non-directly bumping up the damage done by his team.
Secondly, he has Light Footed. A Hunter staple, the lad’s quick on his feet no matter what’s underfoot.
Thirdly, cause we had to represent that bow of his one more time, he has Hot Shot. We’ve seen this before on Cinder of the Blacksmith’s Guild, this ability allows Mataagi to make an Attack from 6” away once per turn. Mataagi can make an attack from 6” away, put down a Harrier AOE momentously, then sink 3 Snap Fires into the model, doing a total of 6 DMG and inflicting bleed, if he wants! Not bad from 6” away, eh? Or just make one attack, get Harrier out, then stay a good distance back from the action cause he is a touch squishy. This is generally more efficient, since Mataagi isn’t a big damaging model himself (although in melee in a Harrier AOE he does still effectively have momentous three damage on column 2) but he’s a strong supporter/set up piece.
While the whole of Mataagi’s card is good, really, it’s hard to get away from how awesome his Harrier AOEs are. Many Guilds have rules like Tooled Up, which means only a single model can get +1 DMG, while the Falconers get their whole team potentially damage buffed while an enemy model is standing in a Harrier AOE. Now that has a flipside, obviously, which is that an enemy model can move out of a Harrier AOE and render it useless. For this reason it’s generally best for Falconer (and Hunter!) players to put their Harrier AOEs over enemy models which have already activated, since that minimises the chance they’ll move out of your designated murderzone. You do always have to be aware of the enemy team’s ability to reposition their own players though, since that can ruin your day pretty quickly. It’s also worth noting that Harrier is Once Per Turn, so you have to be *very* sure you want it where you put it, since you don’t have a second chance at it.
Harrier AOEs are cool, they represent different ways of giving out a damage buff and a design space we’re really happy to begin exploring with these guys. And one more snippet to give away, Mataagi isn’t the only model in the Falconer’s Guild with this rule. In fact, Mataagi is a very classic Falconers player, and you’ll be able to tell a lot about the Guild from his card. Harrier AOEs form a core part of their design, and carefully planning each turn where you want/need your Harriers for the best buffs is an important part of playing the Falconers. This will be particularly important when we reveal their captain, Devana, in a few weeks time.
In addition, you can see their general fragility and focus on ranged combat. Mataagi doesn’t particularly want to be getting too close to the enemy, what with his low health pool. The Falconers in general are adept at causing significant amounts of damage both in melee and at range, peppering the enemy with their bows while setting their birds on them. When they engage the enemy team at close range they will certainly want to do it on favourable terms. In a lot of ways they’re like the Hunters ratcheted one step further; they’re fragile and rely on ranged plays to bring down the enemy team’s health before they swoop in for the finishing blow. They also bring some unconventional methods of scoring goals, but of course, you’ll see those tricks revealed soon enough!
Let us know what you think of Mataagi on our social media and forums, and let us see your ideas for what the rest of the Falconers will look like! Happy Harriering!