The idea of these Hard Counter series of posts will be to review ways to deal with your opponent once they’ve declared which master they are taking into a game. They will primarily focus on specific models or tactics which the Ten Thunder can deploy for the time being as that’s my current faction, but there’s a good chance that other factions will have access to similar models or abilities as those mentioned here. I want to avoid assumptions on which specific master is being played into him but will call out if a particular master is strong. Some of the models suggested here will involve the key word tax if you’re not playing their corresponding master. What I hope to present is some tactics and model picks you may want to consider if your opponent declares this master. Obviously, this doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to win, there’s still the strategies and schemes to score and let be honest, there’s a reason this blog is called midtable obscurity.
So, who is the first victim of the hard counter? Everyones favourite jetpack wearing sky pirate, Zipp.
Straight off is his resistance trigger, Blasting Off, its nasty and makes killing Zipp really hard. But clearly as mentioned in this post the Ten Thunders have a really solid counter. Simply take the Masked Agent upgrade on your beater. Zipp is still fast though so if you do want to go down the route of killing him your beater will have to be too. With a Mv of 7 and flight Yasunori is probably a good pick. Plus the showboating ability will actually help him out by increasing the number of cards your opponent has in hand
Sputtering Exhaust is another of Zipp’s defensive technologies, as well as a number of his crew also have the ability. Effectively putting all range attacks against his and anyone nearby on [-]. One way to deal with this is take models with a built in [+] on their ranged attacks. Samurai and Fuhatsu are two such examples with the positive built into their Gatling Gun attacks and they’re both versatile too. Thunder Archers are another alternative, they are [MONK] [LAST BLOSSOM] and instead of having a [+] in their attack they ignore concealment. All three of these also have an extra bonus in that they can generate blasts. Zipp and the Iron Skeeters in his crew will often tow another model around, meaning you’ll often see two members of the crew stood close by. Earl Burns in the case of Zipp and probably a beater for the Skeeters. If you can generate the blasts you’ll be able to damage two models for a single attack. Finally the Thunder Archers have another trick to their bow in their trigger to give +1 damage against targets in concealment. The crow isn’t built in, but if you hit it they become min damage 3 with potential for blasts.
Finally, there is the scheme marker denial that Zipp and his crew have. Zipp is chatty so makes it hard to drop markers in the first place. Then a lot of the [INFAMOUS] keyword have the bonus action Free Loot, which allows them to pick up markers with ease. Now clearly the first tactic is to not pick marker-based schemes against them, but what to do if the pool doesn’t easily allow it. Hucksters let you drop markers without taking an interact action, if you’ve another model dropping a scheme marker away from the action you’ll be able to keep both the ones you drop. Also, a Ten Thunder Brother prevents scheme markers being removed with 4″ so he’s a good way to protect markers in key positions (Zipp’s crew can’t even declare the Free Loot action within 4″ of them). The other option is to simply kill off Zipp and most of his crew in three turns and then score your marker based schemes in turns three and four.
What other tactics or crew picks can people think of to take versus Zipp? Who would you like to see tackled here next? Let me know in the comments.