So, with the release of the Wardens Hoffman has begun to get some table time in my games. I have trotted him out a couple times recently, with results that are not too bad. A quick look on my spreadsheet shows a record of 4 wins, 2 losses, and 1 draw for a total of 7 games. While that only comes in at less than half the games I have played with aSonnia and aJustice, it is ahead of Perdita and Sonnia without her Avatar, and slightly edges out even Lucius. Overall he has been very interesting to play, and I have enjoyed the games.
|Click on graphic to jump to my spreadsheet|
So far this article really looks like a lead in to discuss the crews I have taken and how much I like or dislike Hoffman. Thats not where I want to go with this though, I have a different goal in mind. I have heard a whole lot of feedback on the Wyrd Boards about how Hoffman players limit themselves to only construct crew. Further, this approach is presented as a negative or weak way to build a Hoffman crew. This type of feedback really made me think about how I build Hoffman crews, and then further on how I build Guild crews in general. Thats the area I wanted to target and discuss with this article.
I am going to step right up, raise my hand, and say that I build construct only crews for Hoffman. When I reach to pull Hoffman out of my bag, my crew selection narrows down to the following models:
- Pale Rider
- Joss (Arcanists)
- Mechanical Assistant
I understand that Guild as a whole is pretty versatile. The other Guild masters (Justice, Sonnia, Perdita) can use fairly interchangeable crews, bringing their own type of support to the crews. One of the reasons for this is that none of these other masters are support masters. They all have their own role to play, and then provide crew support as an addition to what they do well already.
So, here is the crux of the argument I get stuck on when reading about adding living models into a Hoffman crew. First, we have to agree that Hoffman needs some constructs to work well. Lets be nice and agree that at least half his crew is going to consist of constructs. That leaves half or less of his crew for models that he does not synergise with as well as constructs. Except in very very rare circumstances (coppelius) these models do not benefit from being in a crew with Hoffman, and Hoffman will not benefit from them in the crew. Meanwhile, had we gone fully construct, every model in the crew can both benefit and benefit from Hoffman.
Here is where it gets worse. If I want to play a crew with living models such as Stalkers, and Nino, and Austringers, other Guild masters work better with them. Lady Justice brings hard hitting and can bump all thier CB values. Sonnia brings big blasts, recycling near-dead models, and magic protection. Lucius and Perdita bring extra actions to the crew. Looking closer at Lucius, he brings extra attacks, CB boost, and movement to guild-guard crews, nearly identical to what Hoffman brings to Construct crews.
So, why would I run a sub-optimal master with a sub-optimal crew when I could make a better choice? Adding a construct to another masters crew can enhance that other crew. Adding a living model to Hoffmans crew does nothing for Hoffman, his crew, or the model you added.
So, dear reader, I leave you with that quandry. Why would I add living models to a Hoffman crew when I could add a construct? Why lead a living crew with Hoffman, when you could benefit better with other Masters?
Maybe its just down to people liking the Hoffman model and Aesthetic. I can understand that argument, but its the only one I can really understand. Are there other sound reasons?