Friday, July 22, 2016

RIpples of Fate Previews M. 2: Nellie, Reva, Titania





So, surprisingly, Wyrd actually released quite a bit more information on the Ripples of Fate box sets prior to Gencon. I thought it would just be the images of the box sets and, by the way, bravo to them for having ALL SEVEN of the new box sets as well as all of the remaining Book 3 models which haven’t been released available for the show. The sculpting staff at Wyrd deserve a lot of kudos for this. This will be the first time since M1E (possibly the first time in the history of Malifaux) when they’re completely up to date. So, cheers for that. However, mid-day on Thursday the 21st, they released some crew summaries and the backside of the master cards to the public. Therefore, since the previous preview posts (yay alliteration) were so popular, I thought it would be time to go back and revisit the previews. There’s only 2 weeks left to the show, however, so we’re gonna have to pick up the pace a bit. On with the show!

Nellie Cochrane




                Fluff-wise, Nellie has been confirmed to be the leader of the Guild run newspaper in Malifaux city. As such, she serves their purpose by not exposing their corruption while digging into everybody else’s (though the story suggests she’s not crazy about this arrangement, necessarily.) She’s got a crew of journalists that work with her as well as her companion, Phiona Gage (a reference from a famous historical medical case of a railroad worker who took a metal spike through his brain and lived, but with an altered personality.) She’s a crusader of truth and, at least from the blurb, is possibly the only truly good person in the entire game of Malifaux. That said, I haven’t read her short stories, so she’s probably secretly kicking puppies or something.
As predicted, Nellie is very different from your average Guild master (IE she’s not going to smash you in the face.) She has a few options for attacking between 1) Scathing Review: an attack that attaches a condition which deals damage every turn unless they perform an interact action (which will then give Nellie more Evidence,) 2) Propaganda: an attack which does a smallish amount of damage but which has a number of triggers which can push the model, let something else take a swing at it, or give it slow, or 3) Hot off the Presses which pushes a model to a scheme marker and gives them burning 3. Propaganda is probably the most interesting, since the additional text lets you drop your evidence condition by 1 to declare more of the triggers off the attack. She can chew up the scheme markers she drops at her feet to get a free 6” push as a zero action as well. She has upgrades which will allow her to hire up to 4 mercenaries without paying the mercenary tax (which will, likely, necessitate taking multiple mercs, since it’s unlikely to be a free upgrade.) Misleading headlines grants her the ability to avoid being out-activated by the enemy crew (a frequent problem with Guild crews) and gives her the very powerful Incite action. Delegation lets her heal models or give them fast (!) which has some interesting interactions with those big, scary mercs you might be hiring or, you know, all the big scary things the Guild already has. So, essentially, Nellie is a big bag of tricks and aggravation for your opponent. I can see her essentially following along with some big gribbly like a Peacekeeper, healing it or giving it Fast, and handing it free attacks with Propaganda. Feels a bit Hoffman-meets-Pandora-meets-Collette to me. She will be mine, someday, but she may stay on Vassal for the immediate future. School supplies have to be bought for my kids this month.


Reva



                Reva’s not at all what I thought she would be in the story. I was with everybody else on thinking “death nun,” based on her appearance, but apparently she is a girl from a rich family who could speak to dead people. They locked her up in the attic, but she escaped with the help of a fallen Guild Exorcist. I’m usually a bit more PC about these things but, based on what I’ve seen so far, *yawn*. I kind of liked the idea of the Resurectionist Nun, I’m not going to lie, so I’m disappointed in this. But, this is just a blurb rather than the full stories from the book, so I’ll reserve judgement until I know the full tale. She seems to have kind of a “Joan of Arc” for the Resurrs, as it mentions that she’s attracting a sort-of death cult that is fanatically loyal.
                The best analogy I can get from my impressions of Reva’s role on the table are “Resurrectionist Rasputina,” only not really. Her main attack comes from Ethereal Reaping, a 1 AP attack that will target anything within 3” or her (and she’s on a 50mm base, so that’s a big range) or a corpse marker within 18”. The attack does pretty strong, Perdita-ish damage with some decent triggers, so this could mess opponents up pretty badly. You won’t want to overlook the Drain Life ability, however, as it has the potential to damage an opponent and heal Reva for up to 5 damage depending on the margin by which she beats the defender in a duel. We all know how fond I am of non-damage flip attacks, after all. Her tactical actions let her teleport to corpse markers or discard corpse markers to add friendly scheme markers. Her upgrades feel toolbox-y, though the one that gives her a corpse candle starting on the enemy’s side of the board and allows her to use Strength of the Fallen while engaged seems pretty strong for her. She’s described as being a quick master who pops around the board, does damage, or perhaps prepares for a big final charge at the end of the game.


Titania


                Ah, my Faerie queen. How we all prepare to revel in the glory of your return. Titania’s fluff we already more or less knew. She’s the resurrected former leader of the Fae who, upon defeating the titans and destroying their physical forms, was locked away by her followers (the current-day Neverborn) and forgotten. She’s back now, and this time she’s pissed. Part of what I want to see story-wise from the book is which of the Neverborn’s masters fall on her side versus which are going to be opposed to her. I can’t imagine Lillith bending the knee, especially given her people’s hatred of the Undead, but I could definitely see Nekima aligning herself with Titania as a means of getting revenge. We do know that she considers humanity to be a scourge of vermin that need to be wiped out, so that would suggest that Jacob Lynch, Zoraida, and the Dreamer are not going to be on her friends list.
                The attack action A Wicked Silence and A New Harvest result in the scheme markers she needs getting dropped. Her main attack is Bloody Command which can discard scheme markers to spike the damage up, heal a friendly model, or forgo Titania’s damage and call in a beater to smash the target (speaking of Nekima.) Finally, she can use her (0) action and discard scheme markers to push herself along which, if she combines it with a triple walk, will give her up to a 21” move in a turn. Sexy. We don’t know which, if any, of Titania’s upgrades are Limited (and, thus, which can be combined,) but we know a few of them. One forces an opponent to discard 2 cards to attack her after she hits a trigger. Forest claims all lets her convert corpse and scrap markers to scheme markers (seems like a pretty strong choice.) And, finally, there’s an upgrade which lets her name one member of her crew as a champion, which gives them some manner of buffs. This lets you apply some flexibility to who gets the upgrade and prevents them getting taken off before they can make use of the abilities, presumably, which tends to happen to me whenever I bring a new shiny to a game. She’s the crew box I’ll be picking up at Gencon, but that’s been the case since the Nythera event, frankly, and that didn’t have anything to do with the rules. I can’t be unbiased with Titania, is what I’m saying, but I think she’s great.


Check back next time for the remaining 4 masters.