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Advice on the proper care and feeding of a fire demon?


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#1 StormKnight

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 06:58 PM

I think the Fire Demon is an absolutely lovely (in a smouldering, evil, destructive way) mini, but I'm finding I have no clue how to use the thing. With a recovery of only 2, and an attack score so low it can't hit the ground, it seems to just flounder around and miss a lot.

Now, there may be some summoners that can boost its abilities, but I'm just looking for thoughts on the base model with a standard summoner.

The 20 point fire demon shows up with 2 actions. It can't charge right away, and it can't reach anyone with a free move, so it probably doesn't do anything first turn. Next turn, it loses a bind token and has none left. It can then charge. Next turn it likely goes away (barring a lucky stability roll).

The 30 point demon lasts a turn longer, but still probably only gets maybe 1 charge and 2 attacks. That probably miss.

The best use I can think of is to just tie down some enemies. Ideally, if there are a few together, you can get them all with its flaming aura and make it hard for them to get away.

Suggestions? Ideas? Clever tactics?



#2 Shiro_Kuro

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:22 AM

 I haven't played with any Summons yet (waiting on my Valis), but I have heard that Ignis is probably the least useful Summon out there... Still, I can think of a few ways to potentially increase its usefulness.

 

For generating a few more AP:

The Plot Advantage Card "Power Source" lets you regen an extra AP on one Character during the Upkeep.

Sophia Ilmora is a cheap character with a buff that instantly grants one AP. I find it great for helping along characters with slow AP regen, or those using Upkeep Abilities.

If you're playing a Wissenschaft Team (assuming Bellith or Valis as Summoner), you can use Haste counters from The Process on Summons (but not Gears or Hidden Characters).

 

For hitting more often:

Don't attack any Character that has AP left to Dodge. Hold off with your Ignis until later in the turn, and pick on anybody who leaves themselves open. Also, save Gnosis to really punish these openings. If your opponent doesn't like leaving units open, then "focus fire" with several lighter attacks first to drain their AP.

Swarm! Given their cheap cost, you could potentially have several Ignis running about at once. If you focus on one enemy, you should be able to drain their AP and leave them open to your heavy hitters.

Again, Sophia has a buff that raises a friendly unit's Attack by 2.

If you're playing an Empire team (assuming Bellith as a Wanderer Summoner), the advantage Combat Mastery means that your Ignis will hit on a 9 or a 10 regardless of the Defence roll.

Charging will give you +2 Attack and an extra die, so if you have the AP you should probably take advantage of that.

 

Even with all that... yeah, they have some serious drawbacks. Their Armour and Health are pretty low for a Damage Resistance creature, meaning they can be taken down with only a couple of really solid blows. Their cheap cost seems to be their main advantage, so I might suggest squeezing one in if you have a few points spare. But, as I said, I haven't played with Ignis or any other Summons yet, so perhaps they have some hidden uses that I can't see yet?



#3 Shiro_Kuro

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:32 AM

 Oh! More thoughts!

Even without any special AP gain, try this:

 - On the first Turn when Summoned, Walk the Ignis into base contact with an enemy. This will force them to resist the Fire Aura or take 3 damage, and also locks them down.

 - On the second Turn, you'll have 3 AP and can make an Inferno Attack (ignores enemy Armour).

 - On the third Turn, if still around, you'll have 2 AP for a normal Attack.

If the enemy dies or runs away, you'll hopefully have enough AP to Charge, or to Walk into base contact with a different enemy.

The one good thing about Damage Resistance is that you don't have to save any AP for defence; you can go all-out with offensive moves. You can also use the Ignis to pick on DR Characters with the sequence of moves outlined above, since they can't Dodge either. Use Gnosis on the Attack roll if you use Inferno on a DR Character, as this will allow you to inflict maximum pain.



#4 Raith

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 01:24 PM

The best thing with the Fire Demon is to think of it as a Missile or a Doorstop.

Doorstop technique:

With this tactic the Fire Demon is there to hold another character in place.  Target someone who is out of AP, you then summon the Demon the requisite 2" away and then have it free move into base contact where it makes its basic attack and now the pair are locked in combat, while the Demon might die pretty quickly it will cost the opponent some AP to kill it before they can move on.

MIssile Technique.

Summon your Demon within a few inches of your summoners front arc, somewhere back from combat a little and let it cross over a turn so it has 4 AP then send it charging in to an opponent where it gets out a single attack before the following round it starts making stability checks.  IF your summoner can hold 2 or more summons each turn have it pull out another Demon so it can fling them across the board turn after turn gaining bonus to hit and extra dice from the charge action to overcome its low attack score.

The Genma Factor

If you can take Genma with Fire Demons, she has the ability to add Bind Points so they can stick around longer.  On top of that she has a nice magic missile attack for some light damage.  Genma really helps with the Doorstop technique to keep things around and she can potentially deploy two Missile attacks in a turn.

The Sophia Initiative.

This goes for anything really, I wouldn't waste her bonus to hit on Summons but you can include Sophia in any team so she can buff a characters attack value.  It turns the low characteristic figures into larger threats.

Advantage Cards

Unfortunately you can't attatch Advantage Cards to a Summon so theirs no hope coming for them from here.

- Raith



#5 Shiro_Kuro

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 02:19 PM


Doorstop technique:

... you then summon the Demon the requisite 2" away and then have it free move into base contact where it makes its basic attack and now the pair are locked in combat...

 

This is not possible.

The rules (page 34) clearly state that Summons "must be more than two inch(es) away from any other Character" when they are brought into play. It is therefore not possible to Free Move into base contact immediately after Summoning, unless the enemy is kind enough to move closer before the Summon is Activated.

To act as a Doorstop you'd have to pay 1 AP to Walk, as I describe above. You still get to burn people for 3 LP if they don't make the Effect roll, but you won't usually have enough AP to Attack in the first Turn.



#6 StormKnight

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 10:27 AM

Thanks for the advice. Still not sure I see a good use here :)

Mostly, it seems like anything the fire demon could do, a stray agent could do better. Rather than, for example, having Ophiel send 2 actions summoning the fire demon, he could just have a cheap Samael agent tag along and go be a doorstop or missile.

I'm thinking maybe it would be more effective against ranged units, since its hard to hit with ranged attacks. Summon it to block shots from them and go pin them down for a while.

Partly in the games I've used them in so far, I've seen bad luck compounded with the low stats - I've had a fire demon miss 3 out of 3 attacks on a paralyzed target :D






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