Monday, January 9, 2017

January 2017 Errata, Fire in the Sky, and The Other Side

News Briefs:



1)   Wyrd’s Monday preview from last week introduced an upcoming Penny Dreadful for the Through the Breach RPG titled “Fire in the Sky.” This is the first story for the role-playing game to be set earthside. The Fated journey to San Francisco, where a strange light has appeared in the skies. From the cover, you can see that this light is man-shaped, and the description mentions the Other Side, so it suggests that the Burning Man (and perhaps some members of his cult?) may be involved. As someone who may know things about things, the Ongoing Challenge from chapter 2 of this book is one you won't want to miss! 

2)   The Other Side’s kickstarter campaign has 11days left. They’ve exceeded a quarter of a million dollars at this point, and have revealed some special models/units as the campaign has progressed. Adjunct models are special figures that can be plugged into a normal fireteam to add in some special abilities, but can be removed like a normal model or picked off by enemies with accurate fire. Additionally, the creators have introduced the idea of Ally rules, allowing for the addition of some more diversity to your army. One type of ally you can hire are Syndicates, groups of unaligned forces which have restrictions on which armies can purchase them. For instance, the Court of Two syndicate is a Malifaux syndicate, and so can only be hired my Malifaux allegiances (one assumes Gibbering Hordes and/or the Burning Man.) One of the syndicates is the Guild (hurray!), who have taken a step back from running things earthside and are offering their troops to the highest bidder. The other, the Court of Two, is led by Neverborn and their ilk. The Court of Two model previewed in the update is Binh Nguyen, a spirit trained by Kirai Ankoku who has helped raise an army of ghosts to hire out. Cool stuff. Plus there are a large number of add-ons unlocked at this point, so if you have the money, backing the Kickstarter is likely going to be a pretty good deal.

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Over at Leodis games, the 20% discount on preorders continues! Added to it this month: the Amo No Zako boxed set, Death Marshall Recruiters, Will o’ the Wisps, and Akaname, among others. If you’re a UK reader, go check them out!

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            The January 2017 Errata document served as an introduction for several things besides just alterations to models. This was the first modification to the game headed by new Malifaux lead designer, Aaron Darland, and it introduced the way these are going to be handled going forward. Specifically, there are now plans for there to be 2 errata documents released during the year, one in January and one in midsummer. Major changes are going to be released in the January update, while the one later is meant to include small changes, many of which come up in response to things from the first errata. The FAQ documents will still be done bimonthly as before, but this allows them to make more drastic corrections without needing to do the 0 ss upgrade cards as has been done in the past.
             Many folks, of course, have some thoughts and feelings about this. The response has actually seemed pretty tame compared to what I expected, but there is a bit of (possibly understandable) salt from some people due to alterations to their favorite models and/or having to reorder cards for models you already own. The print-on-demand service from Wargame vault helps offset some of this pain, at least, but I think even the game design team would prefer not to have to do it this way if possible. This is an advantage digital games like Hearthstone have, where they can make changes on the fly without leaving people with a large number of out-of-date cards. Still, I think this is the best of some bad choices.
            As for the individual changes, they range from severe overhauls to very fine alterations. To run through some of them (and my thoughts: )

Ironsides-Added a tome to her defense, allowing her to trigger “Good shot, my turn” every time she gets hit in melee. Ironsides players love this change, and it means you had better just not fight her in melee, period.

Colette-You can still prompt 3x in a turn, but you can only prompt the same model once. So, no more running in Howard and then having her prompt him to swing over and over. I think even most Colette players are ok with this, as the card does a lot of cool stuff outside of this ability, but many players literally never have her do anything else.

Tara Crew-Many of the changes to Tara and her ilk were to clear up her bizarre hiring rules. She now has Infiltration: Void, which works like many of the 10 Thunders masters to allow her to hire anything with that trait from outside her faction. Correspondingly, Death Marshals, the Scion of the Void, Void Wretches, and the Nothing Beast all gained this trait. Since this made part of the Dead of Winter upgrade redundant, she gained a new ability on there. And, probably the nicest buff for Tara’s crew, the Nothing Beast is now a henchman, with the increased upgrade slots and soulstone use that goes with it.

Brewmaster-Drinking contest was rewritten for clarity. Still works the same way.

Black Blood Shaman-They removed the weird “Black Blood Condition” versus “Black Blood Ability” stuff the model previously had and just made it the ability. This has some effects on the game mechanically but mostly just clarifies weirdness.

Francisco and Papa-Their respective buff abilities now go away when they leave play or activate. This is specifically targeted at the “Papa in a box” type Sonnia builds which, if I’m being honest, always felt a little exploitive. Don’t have a problem with this change.

Guild Austringers-Lost a bit of their sting by taking away the enhanced range while focusing. You’ll now have to get them a bit closer to the action (while still leaving them completely hidden from sight, but it’s something to keep in mind.) This one stings a bit, but may have been necessary from a balance perspective.

Lenny-No longer gives +Rams to masters. This is a big change, and hurts Ophelia, Som’er, and to a lesser extent Ma Tucket crews (as was pointed out on the Malifools, Lenny had a hard time keeping up with Ma.) Probably necessary, but I can see how Gremlins players might be stinging. On the other hand, your Francois can still just explode anything it meets up with.

Rooster Riders-Can no longer Reckless. These guys were, from what I’ve heard, one of the few legitimate NPEs in Malifaux, so softening them up was a good change.

Rotten Belles-Lure's Ca and their wounds reduced to 7. Outrageous! How could they…ok Cast 8 was probably necessary. The reduced wounds actually doesn’t do all that much to reduce their toughness, since people hitting them will probably do weak damage and, if you do the math, this doesn’t change the number of times a Wk 2 or 3 model has to hit them to kill them.

Daydreams: Lucid Dreaming rewritten to only apply to one cast. Basically an effort to curtail summoning Dreamer, who has also inspired some salt from opponents in major tournaments.

Guardian- Reduced to 7 cost and gained a point of weak damage on the sword. Maybe can give Franc a run for his money in the “Auto-include protection model” slot? They’re still not fast so you’ll have to give them a nudge to get up the board with quick crews, but I've dusted mine off.

Lucius-  I’ll just copy-paste Aaron’s description: “The Austringers sent Lucius a fruit basket with a nice card, and now he doesn't hate them as much. Gained +Mask to Defense (Re: Surprisingly Loyal upgrade). Devil's Deal reduced to 2 damage. Elite Training works on Melee attack and Horror flips of Minions, Mimics, and Guardsmen. Commanding Presence works on all friendly models, range reduced to 12”, TN dropped. Governor's Authority lasts until this model's next Activation. Guild Intelligence made a (0), lost its TN, and now works with all friendly models. TN of Issue Command lowered, Triggers changed around. “ Basically, all his stuff that was interesting but not quite that good got a little nudge. Hopefully this brings him out of the “This is the worst master in the game” slot, at least. The scribe also got a nice little boost, becoming a minion and gaining some nice new actions.

Misaki- Deadly Dance changed to a 0 action, making the defensive Misaki build much more viable. Downburst was reworded and given a trigger to allow you to make some attacks after landing.

Montresor-Choking Death now triggers when model activates. Gained a couple of wounds and a point of damage. Wyrd really wants this model to work, as this is only the most recent in a string of buffs. Will this do the job? Who knows, I don’t play outcasts.

Union Miners-Gained a couple of buffs to their attacks and a common-sense rewording to their false claims ability (now you don’t have to discard a scheme marker if one has already been removed from play.) These guys always seemed like they should be decent to me, and yet you never see them. Hopefully this will change that.


As stated above, all the new versions of these cards are available on Wyrd’s site to print off (and these print-offs are tournament legal, per Gaining Grounds 2017.) If you need a real card, you can use Wargame Vaults' print on demand service. How do you feel about the changes? Was your favorite model nerfed? Are you excited to get something on the table that got a buff? Still wondering how Malifaux Raptors+Practiced Production somehow escaped the cuddle bat (like a certain Malifaux Musings author)? Let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, see you next week!