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Buhallin

Swarming: Nastiest Keyword Ever

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Random discussion and gripe!  Having just finished Dark Side of the Moon, is Swarming the worst keyword ever?  Not worst as in poorly designed, but that one little word changes everything.  Beyond the first scenario in each half swarms become end-game bosses every time they show up, hit so hard it's functionally impossible to accept an attack of opportunity from them, and in general just require so much to deal with it's terrifying.

My group was a little slow to pick up on just how nasty they actually were, not a mistake we'll make again.

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2 hours ago, Eldan985 said:

One of my first upgrades as Luke was Storm of Spirits 2. In general, you want some area damage on this campaign.

I just played a Luke with Storm of Spirits 3 and Dayana Esperance. That investigator is just so powerful with a gate box and the right events. I somehow pulled 3 elder signs and ended up with more charges than I knew what to do with. But yes, hitting swarming enemies is so satisfying with area damage. Guardians with grenades would also probably quite happy.

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It reminds me quite a lot of the reaction to alert and vengeance in TFA, where conventional "chop 'em up and move on" strategies were tested, either because you didn't want to kill things (vengeance) or because if you chose not to, your evasion was then tested (alert). In The Dream-Eaters, it feels like Storm of Spirits, Dynamite Blast, I've Got a Plan and Grenades all have grown in power, as have easy evades. I'm a fan of different campaigns really stretching us to alter our approach! 

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7 hours ago, rsdockery said:

Zoey's quite happy with it.

Are you implying that Zooey would get a resource for each swarm card? I'm not a rules expert, but as far as I know despite there being multiple cards, the whole stack only counts as one engagement (ie, they engage as a single entity) so Zoey would only get 1 resource.

Edited by Soakman

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I'm not sure, but the rules for the Dream Eaters expansion does say (in the section describing the new Swarming X key word):

"Each swarm card underneath the host enemy acts as a separate instance of that enemy for most purposes. Each swarm card has the same values and text as its host card. (For example, if an investigator is engaged with a host enemy with 2 swarm cards underneath it, that investigator is engaged with 3 enemies in total."

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It’s murky. When you evade, the whole swarm is evaded at once, and excess damage goes to the rest of the swarm. So it doesn’t really play the same as separate enemies. You don’t get XP for swarm cards underneath a host with XP either, right? 

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1 hour ago, Mimi61 said:

It’s murky. When you evade, the whole swarm is evaded at once, and excess damage goes to the rest of the swarm. So it doesn’t really play the same as separate enemies. You don’t get XP for swarm cards underneath a host with XP either, right? 

Those are because they're special rules for swarms though.  And Victory is addressed specifically on Page 21 of the Dream Eaters campaign guide (only the host card counts).

I'm in the "Zoey gets one for each" camp.

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3 hours ago, Buhallin said:

Those are because they're special rules for swarms though.  And Victory is addressed specifically on Page 21 of the Dream Eaters campaign guide (only the host card counts).

I'm in the "Zoey gets one for each" camp.

I thought I remembered something about the victory only counting for the host card. 

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I haven't used Zoey yet in Dreamlands, but I'm still in the camp that this can make her way way stronger than she is intended to be. A free emergency cache every time an enemy  engages her? If anything, I would think this would be a case of RAW vs RAI. But it's still not clear to me. It'd be nice to get clarification, but I think I'll just continue to use Zoey as if one enemy engages her. 

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5 minutes ago, Soakman said:

I haven't used Zoey yet in Dreamlands, but I'm still in the camp that this can make her way way stronger than she is intended to be.

Agreed; she's pretty broken in dream- eaters if that's how it works. It seems like the swarming rules text should say something like, "The host enemy and all of its swarm cards move, engage, and exhaust as if they were a single enemy," rather than using, "as a single entity." That feels much closer to the intent of the rules.

Still though, yes: Oops! is way better in dream-eaters (and in future campaigns, assuming it sticks around) than in most other campaigns. I hope it sticks around because it does increase the value of many cards, both in solo and multiplayer, making more things viable which increases diversity. A more heavy-handed fix would be to make more swarm cards that only allow the host card to attack, since one of the problems with swarm is taking three damage and horror for fighting some vooniths, which don't seem that tough. 

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