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Cardiology: Vindictive Attack

Decision: (When) Should You Play Vindictive Attack?

 TL;DR:

Every Snarlfangs player should be playing this.  Try to use it early on Rippa if possible.

Factor: First Things First

Lets get things started on the right foot: you should absolutely be playing Vindictive Attack in your Snarlfangs deck.  You won't find another card at this time that gives +2 dice to an attack without a cost or drawback.  In some other warbands, you might pass on this card despite it's numerical superiority because it doesn't fit with your strategy, but that's not the case here.  If you're playing Snarlfangs, you're going to be making a lot of attacks.

One caveat: you can't use Vindictive Attack to boost your Snarlfang's Jaws attacks.  That sucks.  The Snarlfang's Jaws attack would be the ideal attack to use this card on, if you could: low base accuracy and (relatively) high damage.  Using Vindictive on Snarlfang's Jaws would really give you the most bang for your buck here, but - like Rippa's secret unrequited love for Zarbag - it can never be

Let's start, then, by looking at the attacks you have access to, and how they stack up against the base defenses that are currently available without any modifications.


1B2B1D2D3D1G
Rippa





Boss Loppa54%39%59%47%37%48%
Boss Loppa+70%54%74%61%51%65%
Grot Bow+40%30%44%35%28%37%
Stabbit





Stabbin Stikka40%30%44%35%28%37%
Stabbin Stikka+55%43%58%48%40%51%
Whirlin Stikka+55%43%58%48%40%51%
Mean-Eye





Grot Bow40%30%44%35%28%37%
Grot Bow+55%43%58%48%40%51%


A few things stand out here.  Rippa is obviously the superstar of the warband, with his hammer-based attack greatly outshining the danglebros' sword-based attacks.  While not reflected on the above chart, Rippa's Loppa attack also does twice the damage of the Stikka or Grot Bow at base, making him shine even more in comparison.  Finally, we should note that a lot of the above attacks have similar attack profiles.  Mean-Eye and Stabbit's attacks are actually identical in terms of damage and accuracy.  Knowing that, we can probably safely condense the chart as follows:


1B2B1D2D3D1G
Rippa





Boss Loppa54%39%59%47%37%48%
Boss Loppa+70%54%74%61%51%65%
Grot Bow+40%30%44%35%28%37%
Stabbit/Mean-Eye





Stikka/Bow40%30%44%35%28%37%
Stikka/Bow+55%43%58%48%40%51%


Now that we've got the basics out of the way, let's take a look at how these attacks benefit from the use of Vindictive Attack.

Factor: Post-Vindictiveness

Obviously, playing Vindictive Attack is going to greatly increase your accuracy across the board - giving you a bonus to hit equal to that of Potion of Rage or Haymaker without the drawbacks (you shoud be playing all 3 out of Snarlfangs).  So really, it's a pretty good card to play at any time.  However, there are some situations where you'll benefit more than others.  Let's start by looking at the percentage chance to hit on all your base attacks after you play Vindictive.


1B2B1D2D3D1G
Rippa





Boss Loppa80%66%83%72%62%77%
Boss Loppa+86%75%88%79%70%85%
Grot Bow+66%54%69%59%50%62%
Stabbit/Mean-Eye





Stikka/Bow66%54%69%59%50%62%
Stikka/Bow+74%63%77%67%59%71%

Now those are some good aggro numbers.  However, we here at Call it Shadespire acknowledge that not everyone is super into scrolling back and forth and comparing percentages like we are, so we're going to simplify things a bit.  The next chart shows the bonus you get from playing Vindictive Attack against various defenses, along with averages for the attacks and defenses.


1B2B1D2D3D1GAVG
Rippa






Boss Loppa26%27%24%25%25%29%26%
Boss Loppa+16%21%14%18%19%20%18%
Grot Bow+26%24%25%24%22%25%24%
Stabbit/Mean-Eye






Stikka/Bow26%24%25%24%22%25%24%
Stikka/Bow+19%20%19%19%19%20%19%
AVG23%23%21%22%21%24%

Now some things should start becoming clear.  First - like Rippa's immortal pining for Zarbag's sweet, sweet body - the target's defense stat doesn't matter much.  There are some slight differences across the board, but a 3% spread really isn't anything to get excited about.  If we can pull one thing from the defensive averages, it's that Vindictive really helps you overcome the defenses of models that are on guard.

Second, it should be pretty obvious that you gain more of a bonus on your uninspired attacks than you do on your inspired ones.  This is actually another great example of GW's burgeoning attempts to guide how certain cards and warbands are played.  (Picture GW as an 11-month-old baby in this regard, clumsily stuffing her entire fist into her mouth in order to get a single Cheerio from plate to face - not elegant yet, but moving in the right direction.)  Rippa's Snarlfangs are clearly meant to be an aggressive warband, and this card just reinforces that idea.  Additionally, the inspire mechanics of the three models hint at the idea that Rippa is supposed to wade in early and put pressure on the enemy army in order to inspire his pals.  Vindictive Attack lets you do just that.


Finally, it's worth repeating that you're actually getting double benefit from playing Vindictive Attack on Rippa rather than one of the dangle-wolves, as his base attack does twice as much damage as theirs.  So the increase in average damage you're reaping from Vindictive is actually 52% vs 24% on uninspired attacks or 36% vs. 19% on the inspired ones (ignoring Rippa's Grot Bow, which really should be used only as a last resort).

Factor: Odd Bits

On it's own, Vindictive Attack is very good.  But it also synergizes with a few other cards nicely.  It can help you score Leading the Charge, No Mercy, and Brought to Bay, all of which require you to make a successful attack or take an enemy fighter out of action.  It's also great for shoring up attacks that do extra damage, including those from upgrades (though not for Larval Lance - sadface).  Every Snarlfangs fighter is a hunter, so you can combo Snare and Pit Trap with Vindictive to boost your mediocre base damage.  If you're running low on health and desperately need to get out of range of a Dwarf with a gun, you can even use it to drastically change the positional state of the board by utilizing Stabbit's range-2, knockback-1 attack.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of cards in Snarlfangs that Vindictive Attack really doesn't help with; "nonbos" if you will.  As already mentioned, Vindictive won't help with anything that involves the Snarlfang's Jaws attacks - including the objective Feeding Time.  Bizarrely, GW also provided the Snarlfangs with a bunch of positional objectives that are hard to pull off with just 3 models (the 11-month-old now has a piece of spaghetti in her hair and is repeatedly poking herself in the eye trying to get at that sweet marinara).  Chase Down, Conquered Land, and Swift Hunters all fall into this category, and get no help from Vindictive Attack.

Finally, a note on Amberbone weapons.  Stabbit and Mean-Eye are both decidedly lacking in the damage department, and could really do with a weapon upgrade.  Since you're going to be focused almost entirely on killing the other team, the Amberbone weapons present a good option to fill this gap.  The two currently available Amberbone weapons share an attack profile with Rippa's uninspired Loppa, and thus benefit quite a lot from Vindictive Attack.  And if you do hit with them, you can pick up an extra glory!  If you happen to draw Vindictive late in the game (when Rippa may very well be out of action), you could do a lot worse than using it to ensure the success of an Amberbone attack.

Summary: 

Vindictive Attack is a great card, and every Snarlfangs player should have it in their deck.  If possible, use it on Rippa early on to increase his threat profile and ensure some early damage (maybe even "one-shotting" a 4-health fighter in the process).  If not, try to kit out one of the sidekicks with an Amberbone weapon or other damage increase before playing Vindictive.

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