Friday, October 14, 2016

Divergent Paths Phase 3

It’s stage three of the Divergent Paths storyline, and things have gotten kind of grim for some characters, and pretty interesting for some of the others. We'll discuss the results further down, but first a mini-game report chronicling my continued descent further into the embrace of the Whisper.

Seamus and Co. Getting Ready for a Gremlin hunt.
I got one more game in with Seamus since last week, this time actually in person! I traveled to my friend Evan (who runs a blog for some weird game called 40k. I’ve never heard of it, but if you have you should go check them out at Facing the Grey Tide.) The Rezzers have been chasing after the Trickster, and the guy I was playing against didn’t really care, so I did my bit for…Grave Spirit and country? I don’t know, whatever. I played against Ophelia in the Trickster scenario, which was a little bit like Headhunter where you picked up Corpse Counters and dropped them off with the Trickster in the middle of the board for VPs. I kind of screwed up and threw Seamus away early on to tie up the back-lines of the enemy crew, but Sybelle and Datsue Ba managed to hold the line against the enemy while my Belles and a Performer I had hired managed to go win the Strategy. Datsue is a pretty sweet hench who will likely be in many of my crews in the future, as she is versatile, brings in some more summoning, and can deal some real damage. I think I’ll throw both Seishin upgrades on her in the future, but she was very strong in this game with just the Spirit Whispers, and summoning a Seishin right up into Ophelia’s face on one turn was pretty critical. Also, the Copycat Killer is insanely strong and aggravating for its cost. It shot gremlins off the board, cancelled out an opponent’s Convict Labor marker, and then held his own against a piglet for the rest of the game. It was kind of silly. I do like the Bag o' Tools for the Scheme Marker drop and the ability to pass out peon, but I think Sinister Reputation might have been more useful in this. Punishing the Gremlins already low WP by lowering it would have been useful, although I did get some good mileage out of the Bag by throwing down Scheme Markers for Detonate the Charges. So, I managed to make sure the lady ended up staying in the employ of the Resurrectionists (much to her dismay...)


For weeks 5 and 6, the Self Righteous Man’s story took an interesting turn. He’d been rampaging in his wolfy form and killing folks until he was caught by a crew of Guild Lawyers, who used their law magic to tie away the creature in his mind and give him back some control. I was delighted to see this, as the Court Procedure school of magic is one of my favorites just because it’s one of the things that feels truly unique to Malifaux. Now, however, he’s on trial and you have to do a sort of shindig Story Encounter where you’re bribing the judge in his case. He’s been claimed by the Arcanists and the Guild on successive rounds. We’ll have to see where he ends up in the end.

The Trickster’s story got…a little dark this week. Doc McMourning killed her again and, when she reanimated, she found that he has removed her skin and given it to one of his nurses. So, that’s pretty rough. I felt a little guilty about that, particularly the discussion of the agonizing pain she is now in constantly, but thankfully the Whispers came along and told me that it’s all a part of the greater plan, so now I don’t feel bad anymore. Thanks voices in my head! Apparently she did finally escape the Doctor’s lab, claiming the skin of a guild guard of some kind and taking on her identity. This week’s scenario is kind of a modified Extraction scenario, wherein you have to bring her painkillers or perform healing flips on her to move her onto your side of the board. You score points for the strategy if she’s on your side of the board at the end of every turn after the first. This one feels the closest to one of the normal strategies, but will have you scrambling to figure out which models in your faction can perform healing flips (hint, Friekorps Librarians are mercs.) 

Finally, the Kid has continued to be influenced by the Neverborn. In addition to her teddy friend, she now has some marionette pals. However, she’s started to want to go find her parents (who are already in Malifaux.) The sinister toys are not so crazy about this idea, and are now going to try and find the kid’s parents and kill them off so she has to stay with them. Again, kinda dark. In this week’s story encounter, you pick a living model in your crew and attach a “possible parent” card to them. If you can kill the other crew’s “parent” you gain VPs based on the station of the model, IE 4 VPs for a master, 3 for a hench., etc. Obviously this would encourage you to hide your parent somewhere in the backfield, however the other side of the strategy is that you gain 1 point at the end of every turn where your parent is within 6” of the opponent’s deployment zone. So, definitely a kill-y game, but one where mobility will be important as well. There will be some tension between deciding between going for the steady points every turn and focusing on the kill. I’m curious to hear people’s plans for how to attack this scenario.

So, there’s two of the new models that, one could say, it will be difficult to pry away from their current influencers. The Rezzers and the Neverborn have won the Trickster and the Kid the first two weeks respectively, so as long as they maintain par there doesn’t seem to be much chance of stealing them away. However, the Self Righteous Man has been split between the Arcanists and the Guild. If I had one complaint about this event as compared to Nythera last year and Dead of Winter from back in the day, it’s that there’s no data available (that I’m aware of) for the other factions’ progress on any of these models. That makes organizing an attack sort of difficult and, in all likelihood, if someone else wins one of the two already locked up models this week they’ll just be handing an ability from their faction to the faction that’s already winning anyways. For instance, if the Rezzers win the Kid this week, Seamus gives the kid his hat. That’s nice and all, but the kid’s probably ending up with the Neverborn anyways, so why should we work to give the kid our hat? As such, if you’re from one of the three factions that hasn’t won any of the models yet, I have to think that your BEST bet is to go after the Self Righteous Man. Neither the Guild nor the Arcanists have managed a commanding lead on him (presumably. Again, we have no data.) So, Outcasts, Ten Thunders, and Gremlins, channel your inner Duran Duran, get hungry like the wolf, and go get that guy. For the other two, we'll just keep pressing our current advantages. Or do like I do, and just play games and be thankful that you got to get your cards out.


Later, folks.