WoCotM #3: Scimitar – by Glenn Clarke

WoC text:
[1 Hand] Any turn you do not play a Special Card, you may extend to one adjoining grid square any Basic Attack. This attack now covers two grid squares and may not be a Power Blow.

Overview:
The Scimitar, the weapon of choice of the Moors and Turkish raiders. Its long curved blade is designed for fast slashing attacks, but can be exceptionally strong, severing all in the path of the razor sharp edge.

The Scimitar weapon of choice attempts to reflect this ability, allowing you to extend any Basic attack to an adjoining grid square, giving the effects of a Slash but still delivering 2 damage if successful. Unlike some other weapons, it doesn’t have a specific drawback, but does limit the use of the weapon ability, requiring you to not play a Special card and not make the resultant attack a Power Blow (so no modified head shots).

However, on the whole, these limitations can be compensated for, simply by not using a deck heavy with Special cards, and by maximising on Thrusts, and gaining the +1 damage if successful to maximise damage.


In-game cards:
The Scimitar has a total of 5 ingame specific cards, but these effectively boil down to just two groups: Hacks and Guards.

Hack, Attack
(---/X--/-X-),(---/--X/-X-)
You may play this attack if you do not play any Edge or Special card this turn. This attack cannot be blocked unless the block comes from an Exertion. It does one damage and may not be a Power Blow.

At first glance, the Hack looks like a great card, as it covers 2 grids, and can only be blocked from an Exertion. However, take a moment to compare it to a Basic attack extended using Scimitar. In both cases you cover 2 grids, cannot play a Special card that turn, and the attack cannot be a Power Blow. The trade-off here is the Hack cannot be blocked (unless from an Exertion), but comparatively for that price you cannot play Edge cards that turn, and the attack only does 1 damage if successful. Once you start factoring in cards like Appel or Lunge, you’ll begin to see why I generally don’t use the Hack cards.

High Guard, Block, 2
(XXX/---/---)
This is a Standing Defense. You may attack normally after this defense.

Middle Guard, Block, 2
(---/XXX/---)
This is a Standing Defense. You may attack normally after this defense.

Low Guard, Block, 2
(---/---/XXX)
This is a Standing Defense. You may attack normally after this defense.

Be aware that, while these cards have the same effects, and only differ in their target grids, note that they do have distinct titles. As for the cards themselves.. what you have is a minimised Master’s Guard, that doesn’t require a Master slot, and so apply the usual tactics; try a Higher Ground with the Low Guard to make your opponent attack to the middle grids only as an example.


How to use:
Since the drawbacks are minimal, they can be largely ignored during deck construction. Personally, I’d advise dropping all the Scimitar’s ingame cards, and simply using the weapon to augment a low-Special deck strategy. In addition to this, look at trying to use Appel & Lunge (as previously mentioned), and the Move & Strike cards from the original MLE set; if played straight after a Combat Trick, these 2-grid attacks are considered to be Basic attacks, and therefore fair game for the Scimitar, giving you up to 6 attacks that could cover 3 grids, and do 2 damage if successful. Combine with Bright Blades for even more damage. Also, don’t forget the new Master’s Reflex card (from WWE), allowing you to play basic attacks to areas you just defended with a basic block.

How to counter:
In general, simply stock up on 4-grid basic blocks, as these will defend against the vast majority of Scimitar-modified basic attacks (i.e. those that cover 2 grid squares), but include a few Alertness (Block) [ME] and some full-grid dodges.


Who should use this weapon:
Ideally, any persona chosen to wield the Scimitar will want to be focusing on 1-2 attacks per turn, and needs to be able to capitalise on the effects by maximising damage, or limiting the defensive options. Examples include:
Cassandra (discard defenses to remove defenses from opponent’s hand at random)
Dark Duncan (combine with Evil Laugh cards)
Graham Ashe (add Slashes to deck, make the modified attacks into Slashes, then combine with Lightning Strike)
Grayson (opponent must discard a dodge to play a dodge if you make a successful block)
Haresh Clay (if only one attack, opponent must discard a defense to play a defense)
Kalas (opponent must discard a card at end of draw/discard phase for each point of damage from attacks or Events)
Kanwulf (discard a defense (up to 3) to increase a non-Special attack’s damage if successful by +1 per defense discarded)
Kyra (if opponent attacked and you took no damage, can make one non-Special non-Power Blow attack undodgeable)
Mako (discard Special to prevent opponent playing an Edge or Event that avoids attacks or prevents damage)
The Kurgan (+1 damage if successful)
Xavier St. Cloud (combine with the Hook cards, can make one basic attack cover 3 grids)
Yung Dol Kim (combine with the Learn Basics First card)


Summary:
I rate the Scimitar as a 6.5. Works well for a few immortals, and ok with most of the remainder, but really needs to be combined with a deck light on Specials for best effect.


What our Reviewers said:

Nick – Annoying and that's about all I can say there. Used in tandem with Move and Strike it becomes a little more powerful but still no where near devastating. I've seen it used fairly well, but I've never been able to make heads or tails of it.

TMO – Abstain

Erick – The Scimitar can be a nice weapon to use, but it's in game cards are not up to par. To get the main benefit of using the Scimitar you can not play a Special card so you can extend a basic attack 1 grid, but it's more annoying then anything else.. For most personas you don't want to do that too many times. If you're playing an anti-special deck Scimitar makes a natural WoC and so does Hack when you don't need to play an Edge too. The 1 immortal that comes to mind for using Scimitar is Kuyler. Since Kuyler decks should be lean on Specials to begin with it just gives him 1 more thing to make an opponent worry about. In Kuyler's hands and playing a Hack your opponent can only play a block from an exertion to stop the attack. Overall I would give this weapon a 6 for its annoyance factor, but in the hands of Kuyler I would more it up to a 7.5 since it fits right in with his power.

Adam – Abstain

Nigel – The scimitar is a good WoC but to use it you have to build your deck around it. Its power is good but the drawback of not being able to play a special card when you use its ability is a high cost. If you use it you really have to build your deck around it ie a deck very light on specials. I would use it with cards that stop your opponent from playing specials Honor bound, wargames west. If you aren’t playing any specials stop your opponent from playing them. Interestingly the persona I would most likely use the scimitar with Glenn hasn’t even listed and that would be Culbraith. He is not playing specials anyway and can stop his opponent from doing so …ideal for the scimitar. I really like the guards .. these can be used very effectively. Overall I would agree with Glenn’s scimitar summary and would also rate it as 6.5






Scores:

Nick 5
TMO -
Erick 6
Adam -
Nigel 6.5
Glenn 6.5

Average - 6



WoCotM is a variation on the PotM articles, content © the MLE team.