I’ve talked briefly about Tapper before, but it’s time for a full analysis. A lot of my knowledge about Brewers and Tapper comes from playing against them. Thanks to my regular Brewers opponent Andrew and the Brewers players that keep beating me in tournaments (I remember Dan from TKO and Lance from Muse beat me with Brewers, but I could be missing more).
Probably the most important thing for Tapper is Commanding Aura. He can always pay 2 influence to activate the aura, and that is the safest course of action. He can reliably get it from attack a model with defense that adds to 3 or less (which isn’t very many models), or by charging defenses that add to 4 or less (which is more, but still not a lot of models). If there is a target like those then he can pretty safely get Commanding Aura from an attack or charge instead of paying for it, but most of the time Tapper will have to pay for Commanding Aura. Here is the full table of probabilities:
Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Another important part of Tapper’s kit is the Knockdown. Having his knockdown be both Momentous and on column 2 makes it easy for him to hit it. Against defenses that add to 5 he gets there more than half the time, and anything less than that he should be getting almost every hit. I’ve included the chances of getting KD on a wrap from charge so you can see how likely it is for him to get a KD and Commanding Aura on a charge (Enemy Staves: Watch Out). Here is the table for compete probabilities:
Chance on Attack
Chance to wrap on Charge
The last thing Tapper will be wanting to do is not as support-y; it’s damage! Tapper has a reputation for putting people in the ground, and while he’s pretty good at that, there are better options on the team (Pint Pot for one) for doing damage. I see a typical Tapper turn as Commanding Aura, Remaining influence to knock down models (that’s 2 or 3 models), Old Jakes someone (Pint Pot seems like a great choice!). Knocking down as many models as possible with Tapper is good for two reason: it keeps the other team from doing as much on their turn, and it’s harder for others on the team to knock down and everyone on the team would love for the enemies to be knocked down. However, here is his damage if he’s out of models to knock down:
More importantly, here is his damage with Commanding Aura up:
Tapper does more damage than Pint Pot, but once again: he is the most likely to knock someone down, and Brewer’s really want those enemy models knocked down. If Tapper can knock down the model for Pint Pot, then he gets an extra damage on attacks from the knock down and is then doing Tapper damage.
Tapper is more of a support captain than people assume. They get caught up in Tapper going in and doing damage on one model, but the team is much better off if Tapper can put up Commanding Aura, knock a bunch of models down, and Old Jakes someone than just knocking down 1 model and doing a little damage. The only time Tapper should be doing damage is if he’s out of models to knock down or if the attack will kill the model, otherwise it’s better to knock down more models. In earlier seasons, when he could Old Jakes himself, he was that beater captain everyone thought he was, but now he’s all support and people will need to play him that way if they want to get anything out of him.
Tapper is not good at generating momentum from damage results. His expected momentum from taking damage results is only .24, one momentum in 4 attacks. On a charge he still only expects .75 momentum for the charge. This just reinforces the fact that Tapper is now more about knocking down and pushing than he used to be. Here is a complete table of expected momentum results (when picking the most damage):
Tapper is going to want to spend two of his influence on Commanding Aura, so that leaves him with 3 or 4 more influence. With three influence he would be doing 9.8 damage and .7 momentum on three attacks or 8.3 damage and 1 momentum if he charges and gets an attack. With 4 influence that goes to 13 damage and 1 momentum for the 4 attacks or 11.5 damage and 1.5 momentum for a charge and two attacks. Pint Pot in the same situation doing the same number of attacks, let’s say 4 attacks: 2 influence and 2 beer tokens, does 11.3 damage and makes 3 momentum with just attacks. If he has the charge first he does 10.3 damage and makes 2.7 momentum. Pint Pot does a little less damage than Tapper in these situations, but produces a lot more momentum. He also does it for less influence. All this strengthens my argument that Tapper is not the beater he used to be. He can still put out a lot of damage if he needs to, but without the momentum to go with it he’s better off knocking others down and gaining momentum and letting others do the fighting.