Something's been coming up a lot: New Players don't (1)Focus. It's understandable, its not a specific action on your model's card, its not cool like slapping someone in a Pine Box, but it is what's going to start winning you more games.

(1) Focus, as mentioned, is a general action so any model in the game can take it. Some are built around it, being able to gain the benefits for less AP or through other means, but it can be very worthwhile to spend your precious AP on using it for its regular cost. Focus is going to net you a [+] on your attack flips and a [+] on your damage flips.

Most commonly people start venturing into Focused attacks when they have a shooting crew. The [-] you suffer from shooting into cover gets cancelled out by your [+] to attack. Which is awesome, you're far more likely to hit someone when you can cheat your attack flip and aren't taking the worst of two flips. Even when you aren't suffering a penalty, the highest of two cards flipped is pretty nice. But the real power of Focus is in that [+] to damage.

So we all know the table: Ties are[-][-], 1-5 is [-], 6-10 is neutral and if by some Black Jokered twist of fate you beat your opponent by 11+ you can have a [+] Now 6-10 points above your opponent is tricky. You can do it sure, but more likely with something whimpy. If you have Nekima or a Coryphee Duet on the table, your opponent is going to be saving some cards to try and keep those beater models from beating you by a wide margin.

But if you focused, you're now going to be on a neutral flip AND be able to cheat against most models (reducing the bite of Hard to Wound on others) so long as you beat them by more than a tie. This in particular is great for models with higher than average moderate damage. Coryphee for example have a 2/4/5 damage range, so having them able to cheat damage means you can double your damage for a 6.

Now you are giving up an AP to focus in most cases. I think a lot of players can fall into "well, I hit for 2/3/4 so if I hit them twice for min damage, thats 4, which is better than 3". Or simply just having more opportunities TO hit your opponent, which IS true. You shouldn't be focusing every model every activation. But you should be focusing models you want to hit for max damage. A 1/2/4 profile is not going to get that 4 very often without focus, but a lucky flip from Neutral is going to quadruple your damage. And don't think of it as a wasted high card on lowly minions, that high card was going to be a lot more wasted when it was discarded in favor of the Ace beneath it.

Anyway, play around with Focus. Its a very powerful ability and you're really going to like cheating Red Jokers in for damage more often.

Defensive Stance

Similar to Focus, Defensive Stance is another one of those (1) General Actions you can take. For that 1 (or more) AP and a card, you will gain [+] to all that model's Df duels until the start of the model's next activation. Again, it doesn't seem as flashy but those two cards instead of one ups your average draw to 9 instead of 7. That's a significant bump and for models you need to stay alive this turn, can be what saves them. Since you're averaging higher it also forces your opponent to cheat more cards to hit you, leaving them resource drained for a counter attack.

Additionally, there are numerous models out there (Coryphee jump to mind right away) that can slap you with [-] to your Df duels. This prevents you from cheating and is often a death sentence to whatever model is suffering from it.