I find playing in tournaments one of the best ways to learn more about the game. A large number of games back to back means that you can make your mistakes in the first game and then react to them in the next. Hence, although I realize I have been pretty Gremlin-centric recently, I thought now was a good time to go over what I think I have learned.
For a little while I have been toying with the using the focus action more with the Gremlins. There are a couple of reasons for this but the main two are: firstly, gremlins tend to cause lots of blasts if they do decent damage. Secondly, If you are going to kill yourself with dumb luck you want to make sure it is doing as much damage as possible!
In the #goodbadfated tournament I tried using focus most of the time. What I found, however, is that there are a few issues. Gremlins don't tend to have particularly high attack stats and if you don't have decent cards in your hand then it's not worth risking that either your opponent does or flips high. You'll be losing loads of AP that way. I think focus is also a massive card drain. If you are doing it you have to have a high card to hit and a high card to cheat for damage, which I am not sure is worth it either, or at least not all of the time.
The reason I had been toying with the idea was because I thought 'encouragement' was a bit expensive and maybe I was better of focusing, but I have come to the conclusion that it is a life saver in certain situations, so it is most likely going to make a regular occurance.
I also used Trixxiebelle in almost every game I played at the tournament. For certain schemes she is absolutely amazing, spring the trap is great with her, and the ability to cheat the initiative is fantastic. I have not, however, managed to use Gremlin lure once! I keep trying to get her to use her 'gun for a lady', which because Som'er has been dishing out rams, gets double positive to damage flips. I think I have not been making the most of her. The other thing is that I find her quite weak defensively. I guess she has some tough things to compare to for me at the moment, Gracie and Som'er, but having a weak melee attack and no squeal makes her quite vulnerable. I think I should try using her with Burt rather than Francois (who I have been using because cheating the initiative means he can get the drop on people, which is very important for the little guy) because then her melee attack can get Burt to make some free attacks. Francois normally doesn't last past the first half of turn two. Having said this I have been playing small soulstone games, I think she will get better in larger games.
One of things I have realized with Som'er is that I need some decent combat units in the crew, which is one of the reasons I think I have been struggling with Trixxie who needs the same and takes the stones I'd spend on them. I have been using Gracie and Francois to great effect. Being able to get the drop on a key powerful piece and take it our before it has a chance to react. It doesn't always work like all that, but it does tend to put my opponent on the back foot. Usually they are shocked by such a bold move and react to try and deal with the threat. Gracie can be a pain to deal with so it takes a decent portion of the crew to take her down. This means that Som'er has more of a chance to get some shots in with his, frankly, insane gun without getting tied up in combat. It also gives me some space to claim schemes and strategy. The things is, as said before, this tactic doesn't always work. Gracie can be vulnerable to a few things. Anything that can stop her healing will ruin her day. Also, if you can ignore her armour you will most likely take her down. What I really need is a way of causing trouble for my opponent on their half without Gracie and this is where I am hoping Lenny will eventually come in. If I can chuck some hard Gremlins at the enemy, I can hopefully have the same effect. We will have to see when he eventually arrives.
My final thoughts are that I always struggle with reckoning. Gremlins are too suicidal which means that my opponent can pinch a point or two whilst I will struggle. It's not impossible, but at the moment I just don't feel I have the crew for it. This is where I am hoping that pigs will come in. Having to charge all over the place I am concerned will make them struggle in most normal games. All you need to do is kill a couple of key Gremlins and I will lose control of the crew. However in Reckoning that is less of an issue and they tend to have a large number of wounds and plenty of options for healing. We will have to see, but I quite look forward to fielding some squealing leviathans.
So that's it from me. Hopefully some people are interested in my thought progress with the green menace, but I will try and return to some more generic matters shortly. Until then.