So I played my second game of Carnevale today. It was a 250 point game with me playing with Ospendale. I had:
Plague Doctor w. Claws of Mother Hydra and Spiritual Bond
Doctor of the Arsenale w. Cannon of Derangement
I was facing Lemm's Patricians:
4 Venice City Guard
(Lemm may correct me if I remember falsely).
The table consisted of a WWG modular table with a T-shaped canal in the middle and 2 bridges, which meant that 2 quadrants could be accessed (without swimming) from only a single quadrant. The scenario was Unexpected Clash.
Lemm won the iniative and left me a quadrant that was sealed with the canal from all sides and had only a single bridge to access it with.
In his first turn he sent the city guard to secure the bridge, to which I responded by letting the Rhinoceros loose on them, which effectively secures the bridge for me, leaving me rather free to shoot and cast spells with my docs that were now in relative safety. The rhino didn't do much damage, but he managed to jam 2 barnabotti and 4 city guards, which I then managed to destroy in the next two turns using the docs, finishing on the 3rd turn after my Plague Doctor destroyed the opposing Noble with Claws of Mother Hydra - without a single casuality for the docs.
Now... Although I love the setting and the dice pool system, there were some issues that made the game a bit too much of a rock-paper-scissors thing to make it enjoyable.
First, the Patricians. 20 pts for a Venetian guardsman that has a Protection value of 4 and Dexterity 4 (due to the Breastplate). Now... I'd basically need at least Combat 5 and roll well to even cause a single wound to this guy. I tried once to hit this guy with Warden with a normal strike. Combat 4, First Strike (which was negated by his sword's Save(1)) - basically I would need to invest 2 karma to even get a theoretical chance to wound the guy. Rock beats scissors. Pretty good for 20 points.
Now, this can be countered with Spiritual Damage or Flame damage for which I was prepared. Claws of Mother Hydra are ok when used by the rashaar, but employed by a Plague Doctor with 3 madmen means that the doc can pull this spell off 3 times per turn throwing 6d10 each time and drawing the required 12 karma from the madmen, which are rather expendable. With 3 madmen, this can be done in 3 successive turns and given that the spell's effect is squared with each ace (4 successess=4 spiritual damage to 4 different targets) multiple times per turn, is devastating. Paper beats rock. :/