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Is the Bombshell special?
07-14-2012, 09:02 PM (This post was last modified: 07-14-2012 09:50 PM by metalsquid.)
Post: #1
Is the Bombshell special?
If you watch a lot of replays, the Adorables' and Feedbacks' Specials really define those teams and their playstyle. Sadly, the same is not to be said for the Scallywags and the Bombshell. Despite them being the free team that comes with the game, the Bombshell has not become well-ingrained in the vast majority of Scally gameplay. Currently, it seems more of a liability than an asset.


The nature of Specials is that they are very powerful, yet very vulnerable. In move mode, the Bombshell is just as vulnerable and mobile as the other Specials. However, to start actually being useful it must transform to turret mode, thereby rendering itself immobile. It gains +2 health in turret mode, which is good because it's now a sitting duck and can't move again until the next turn. It also can't fire immediately after entering turret mode. It has to wait till the next turn. If it fires, it cannot return to move mode until the next turn.

Because of its ability to deal heavy damage directly to units, something that other specials aren't capable of, and its reduced vulnerability (+2 armor and 3 hex range) in turret mode, this might seem balanced in theory when comparing between individual units. But as I will attempt to show, in actual gameplay it means that the Bombshell is less effective than the other Specials in defining team tactics.


It's poor in attack because of it's stop-start nature. If you don't turret after a move you'll get easily picked off by Runners. Even then, a Runner and Soldier can take out a buffed Bombshell turret. The support it needs to keep it alive is no different from Mobis and Scramblers but they don't have to wait a turn before being immediately useful offensively, nor do they need an extra turn to setup. The Adorables' and Feedbacks' Specials support the flow of an attack, not retard it.

With 10 wits, a Mobi can spawn (7), move(1), teleport(1), teleportee attack (1). The Mobi does no damage itself but with a heavy or Sniper teleportee it can dish out 3 damage with an effective range up to 7 hexes away. If it survives spawn(7), buff(1) and move(1), it only needs 2 wits to attack next time.

A Scrambler can spawn(7), move(1), brainwash(1) and attack with the brainwashed (1), possibly taking out 2 enemy units in the process. Also can deal 3 damage up to 7 hexes away if it brainwashes a sniper 4 hexes away.

A Bombshell spawns(7), moves(1) and turrets(1), then has to wait a turn, inviting enemy units to get closer to it first. Surviving that turn likely means more often than not, a medic will need to buff(1) it. Add another wit if you need to move(1) your Medic to it. So 11 wits spent and you haven't taken out a single target with it yet!


So in defense, you might think it's pretty powerful at first and it can be. But only if your opponent is kind enough to group all his units together in a nice bunch so your shrapnel can all hit them. Slowly, you'd realise that you've now effectively got 2 bases to defend and losing either means losing the game!

The Bombshell can only fire one shot per turn and cannot defend itself against flanked attacks without support, tieing up your other units which could be used to defend other positions. And if your opponent is experienced enough, he'll stay out of the blast radius and move around it so hopefully you haven't left your base exposed on the other flank. Ironically, spending all those wits on the Bombshell in a desperate defensive move may have left you in just that very predicament!

A Mobi in a bind, could teleport a Heavy in and move away leaving the enemy to deal with it, or a Sniper to keep them at bay, or teleport its own unit out of harm's way, or bring a medic in to heal units on that last push towards the enemy base.

For a Scrambler, offense is the best defense. Against a SHM rush for eg., it can brainwash the Heavy which in turn kills the Soldier, leaving a harmless Medic, all done in 3 wits. A Bombshell might take out the Soldier or damage the Heavy, but still needs 2 support units and 4 wits to kill what's left. Otherwise, the Bombshell is a dead duck. If you need to move it to a safer position, it costs 3 wits coz after leaving turret mode and moving you're probably gonna want to turret again unless you don't want to shoot what's chasing you. But if you need to fall back, you've probably already fired at something in that turn already so you can't move until next turn anyway. Kiss that Bombshell goodbye.

Now, 3 wits to move a Bombshell safely and if you want to move, you can't have fired. It's for this reason alone that you should never, ever, immediately turtle on a spawn! I've seen this mistake made in replays and it usually spells defeat for whoever does it. It takes 2 wits just to move off, throwing away a potential Soldier or Medic you could have created instead had the Bombshell not been on top of it!


The problem is that Mobis and Scramblers only have 1 action. So they get 1 move and 1 action per turn. Easy. But Bombshells have more than 1 action which is what causes the 1 turn handicap.

In move mode, going to turret counts as 1 action. You can't fire or leave turret mode until next turn.

In turret mode, firing counts as 1 action. Leaving turret mode is considered another action so it must wait until the next turn.

Now here's the inconsistent part. In turret mode, exiting it is 1 action. You can move once after but then it should be over, right? Not so. After moving you get a free 2nd action by being allowed to re-enter turret mode!

So there seems to be an exception to the rule there. If it can be done for one case, why can't it be done for all cases?


The Mobi or Scrambler can move with just 1 wit and do something devastating to the opponent. The Bombshell cannot do this because it has to wait for the next turn by which time the advantage may have been lost. Removing the 1-turn handicap will let the Bombshell add some flavour and surprises to the Scallywag's gameplay, compared to the bland, unvaried tactics we see ad nauseum with only generic units being used.

This would give it a big advantage in hit 'n' run tactics. With it's current movement range of 3, it can outrun all units but Runners and Soldiers that were within range. To compensate for this, movement range could be reduced to 2 so that even a Heavy could still reach a retreating Bombshell if it was in range.


In my opinion, for the high wit cost in deployment and maintainence, a Scally team would be much better off with a mix of other units than be crippled by the inflexible, disadvantageous Bombshell. It's really just a glorified Sniper, only more than twice the cost and doubly disastrous to lose before firing a single shot. That being the case, why bother playing Scallywags at all, when all the effective units you can use are available in other teams as well, except that they have a Special that's actually useful?

One could make the case that the Bombshell is working as intended, used to pin back the enemy from advancing, rather than in swift, surgical offensive strikes. But I think that makes them an unnecessarily defensive team which doesn't match their appearance. As it stands, the Mobi and Scrambler can be brought on early or late as game-changers, an effect the Bombshell currently lacks. In my experience it only ignites a war of attrition in which the first player to bring out the Bombshell eventually loses due to wit deficit from spending it on the Bombshell and no advantage gained until 2 or 3 turns later, if at all. In a Pass'n'Play with myself on Long Nine, my Player 2 still prevailed despite not having FTA, brought out his Bombshell later AND lost it first.

It's not a game-breaker. The Scally team works fine as-is. It just has no special. You can succeed without one in this game and many do. Its just a shame as I had hoped for more for the Scallies. Seeing other teams with their Specials, one can't help but feel something is missing on the Scally team. I'm just about done with my exploration of them. Perhaps it's now time to move on to the Adorables.

Thanks for reading if you made it through all that. Any and all opinions are welcomed.
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07-14-2012, 09:38 PM
Post: #2
RE: Is the Bombshell special?
Added a rep.
That was an amazing analysis, thanks for the enlightenment.
I didn't even use that team anyways though Tongue
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07-14-2012, 09:52 PM
Post: #3
RE: Is the Bombshell special?
Interesting thoughts. In the beginning I didn't really know how to use the bombshell effectively. But in my opinion it can be quite useful as it is.
This was one of my earlier Glitch games where two rather defensive tactics met. Here my bombshells clearly made the difference (and taking out my opponent's bombshell in an almost surgical manner).

I haven't really played the other teams enough to get a feeling for the other specials. I should probably, because after reading your analysis I got some good ideas.
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07-14-2012, 10:32 PM
Post: #4
RE: Is the Bombshell special?
Thanks for posting that Wenrod, it was fun to watch. Impressive that you even got 2 of them out!

My thoughts are, if the other guy hadn't spent so many wits hopping around, buffing with his Medic and rushed you early, there wouldn't have been time to deploy your Bombshells as you'd be too busy putting out fires. Once he closes a certain gap on you, the Bombshell would be an ineffective defensive solution.

Regardless, it was a good example of using one, or two of them as the case may be, to keep the enemy pinned back. Cheers.

advakharia: Thank you for the kind words and the rep Smile
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07-14-2012, 11:10 PM (This post was last modified: 07-14-2012 11:16 PM by Harti.)
Post: #5
RE: Is the Bombshell special?
First of all, I'd like to say that your very detailed and constructive analyis amazed me and got an instant +1.

Somehow I both agree and disagree with you, metalsquid. There's some good points you're mentioning - but then again there's also something contradictory about them:
When you mentioned the weak nature of an unshelled Bombshell, you're validly stating that it takes a lot of effort to get the Bombshell safely from one place to another. Within the "inconsistency" section you're, however, criticizing the fact that there's an exception to the rule that a special only has 1 action.
Back in beta where I used the Scallywags in roughly 70-80% of all my 130 games, the Bombshell indeed only had 1 action. You could unshell-move or move-shell, but not unshell-move-shell which was awful. We found that this was largely disadvantageous and proposed unshell-move-shell to OML.

What I also brought up back then was the idea of having it work like the Artillery in Advance Wars, with either moving or firing once per turn, dropping the requirement to guard it in its shell first (which I found somewhat distracting as a turret mode Bombshell is the only unit with a shield sign indicating the health).

Being able to move the Bombshell, then enable turret mode and still shoot is probably too powerful of an idea. Especially on small maps where it is easy to shield your Bombshell with some of the predeployed units around, it can safely lurk around shortly behind the center of the map. The opponent won't be able to destroy it, so they're probably using a defensive stance against it. Here's the twist: If you were able to (unshell-)move-shell-fire within one turn, you could harass or destroy large portions of the opponent's defence with (4) 3 wit only AND have a Super Sniper with 4 health on their side of the map! This is actually nuts if you ask me.

I do agree with you on the fact that the Bombshell isn't really good at creating threatening offensive stances but it's really great at defending your property if you manage to set it up in a somewhat central place with many obstacles or pits (cp. Glitch).
The Bombshell has won a massive amount of games for me. Granted, I prefer the one-shot Specials which are good at messing with their opponent's defenses, too, but you can't deny that a Bombshell surrounded with Soldiers and maybe a Heavy or two is a solid start.

Furthermore, in Outwitters it is easier to defend than to prepare an organized attack, which is why the starter team is the Scallywags with their Bombshell.
I can't tell you how often I was about to think "good game" when suddenly a Bombshell appeared out of nowhere to successfully prevent me from destroying their little amount of remaining units and forced me to retreat which cost me a fair amount of wit, too. And my unit advantage was gone shortly after as I spent all those wits on retreating while they began to push.

I agree that the other Specials are far more straightforward and consume less wits on usage but then again, there's a 50% chance you end up playing on a small map which the Bombshell really shines on if you abuse its strengths to the fullest (e.g. exploring what units are hiding in FOW) and try to cover its weaknesses.

In games against the Adorables, I'd highly recommend putting two of them close to each other so in case Mobi picks off your shields one by one and some units manage to destroy your first Mortar Cannon, you can one-shot most of those units with the remaining one.

It's possible to get to Master League and higher with the Scallywags only, most games are decided before it comes to lategame Specials anyway.
And if you really begin to feel that you're treated unequally, you could as well consider to get the Über Pack at $3 which is an awesome deal for such a great game.

Maybe you've got some better or more balanced suggestions on how the Bombshell should work? Smile

jesusfuentesh Wrote:  Harti is like the silent lion. He never says any word, but when so, he was just waiting for his victim haha

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07-14-2012, 11:47 PM
Post: #6
RE: Is the Bombshell special?
Thanks for taking the time to respond, Harti. I had hoped to get some different viewpoints in this thread. I can't address all of your post right now as I spent most of Saturday afternoon on mine and now I need to get some actual work done! But I will respond as soon as I get some time. Smile
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07-15-2012, 05:45 AM
Post: #7
RE: Is the Bombshell special?
Great analysis!
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07-15-2012, 01:10 PM
Post: #8
RE: Is the Bombshell special?
Nice summary of the bombshell! Big Grin +1.

I agree with all points you made. But then again, outwitters is a free game and the scallywags is a free team. Buuuuut.... If you think of it this way: I'm gunna spend (x money) so I can buy outwitters, and this game comes with 2 (/3) free teams!
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