Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book 5 Model Pre-Previews: Neverborn

I'm moving over the next couple of days, so you get your Neverborn preview early. Congratulations!


-The Monday preview was a model we're reviewing in this article (not a coincidence) so we'll get to her later.

-In lieu of any other news, let me give a plug to a newish podcast, High Fauxdelity. They have a unique take on the podcast format, selecting a Soulstone value and debating the best and worst models at that soulstone cost. Every host nominates a model, and the only rule of the debate is that the other hosts are not allowed to agree with any nominations other than their own. Other than their bloody April Fools episode, which tragically I started playing while driving and couldn't safely turn off, I enjoy their show very much. Check them out!

-And speaking of podcasts, Arcane Reservoir, the most consistent and longest running UK Malifaux podcast, has launched a brand new homepage. Check it out, too. They've done a great job of branching out into a full multi-media experience. The podcast is very much oriented towards competitive tournament play in the UK meta and are unapologeticly firm in supporting their opinions (I still smart from their assessment of Titania's abilities as a master, fair though they may have been), so it may not appeal to all listeners, but I'm betting the website should have something for everybody. 


Hinamatsu-9ss Henchman-Obviously a melee oriented henchman, as it has melee master to give it two additional AP for melee attacks. That means potentially four (4!) attacks per turn. Yowza. Has some armor and an ability that prevents Hinamatsu or enemy models within 6” from taking actions outside of their activation, so will not be Zoraida or Collodi’s friend, despite being a puppet. It gets a + to attack flips and initially does only a weak 1/2/3 damage spread. However, each hit also adds a condition that stacks on additional damage on additional hits until Hinamatsu hits them for at least 4, at which point the condition falls off. To keep from overextending him, you can snatch enemy models from 6” to him, and with its 0 action it gets to cheat fate on any attack with a + flip (like its melee attacks) face down. Df 5, armor 1 and 9 wounds isn’t exactly invincible, but Hinamatsu looks like he could put some hurt on the enemy in the right circumstances.

Cyclops-8ss Enforcer-A new Fae for the Queen! This one gets to pitch a card on its activation and gain either a bonus to its ranges with a mask or a small heal with a ram. It has frozen heart, which is usually handy, and the Santiago Ortega suite of “Hits you harder when it’s taken some damage and has hard to kill," which also has potential to be useful. Has a pretty decent melee attack (albeit with only a 5 ML stat, but what’re you gonna do) that can gain blasts off of a ram trigger (see also the Santiago abilities.) It has a very random 0 action ability where it targets nearby scheme markers (which Titania will likely be creating, remember,) flips the top card of the fate deck, and generates some kind of effect based on the card. Could be interesting with Zoraida or some other model that lets you know what card is there, but a bit too random for my tastes, particularly when its other 0 action is to summon Ice Pillars, which is always helpful. I’ll let you guess which one I’ll be using more often…

Bultungin-5ss Minion-A fitting introduction of the Abyssinian folklore (they’re about to become a big deal in Malifaux/The Other Side, after all,) the Bultungin is a werehyena from various East African cultures (presumably. It’s what came up from my Google search, anyway.) You’re going to need to be careful with these guys, as Df 5 Wp5 Wd6 and no defensive abilities doesn’t inspire confidence. Everything with these guys is built around trying to get off their 2 AP Savage Mauling attack. If the enemy drops a scheme marker within line of sight of them, they gain a condition that lets them move an extra inch per instance of the condition at the end of the turn. If they move into melee range through something other than a walk or charge action they can discard a card to take the Savage Mauling attack. Their 1 AP melee attack has a trigger to then take their 2 AP melee attack. So the 2 AP attack must be pretty great, right? Well, 3/4/5 Ml6 is not exactly overwhelming, though a 5ss minion doing it is alright. I guess it seems like a lot of set-up to pull it off. I could be wrong. 

Adze-7SS Enforcer-Some more African folklore, the Adze is a vampiric sort of creature that can be either a firefly or take a humanoid form. They’re a 40mm incorporeal model that has a souped-up version of the Primordial Magic’s ability to count as a Scheme Marker, as you can discard a card to avoid having to discard it for the Scheme in question. It has a Melee 6 attack with a built in trigger to heal itself for the amount of damage dealt. It can also use the Will-o-the-Wisp’s Wisp call ability to dictate the enemy’s movement to them. Their 0 action can lock a non-leader model out of their 0 actions for a turn, which could be situationally useful. Finally, they have a tactical action that looks an awful lot like an attack action, a 2 AP Ca attack that forces the target to pass a TN12 WP duel or take a 3/4/5 damage flip. Something for the aforementioned Wisps to borrow and use, I suppose. 7SS for this guy might be a little steep, but I’m interested in the scheme marker ability and the synergy with other Wisps.

I am Grootslang.

Grootslang-6SS Minion-Yet more African folklore, this creature is truly unique, essentially being a creature created by the gods that is part Elephant and part Snake (realizing their mistake, the gods split them into the two creatures after their creation.) This model is built around using Terrain to its advantage, gaining a + to all non-damage flips when in contact with a marker that counts as Terrain (Waldgeist trees, Lillith forests, etc.) Additionally, they do more damage when in base-to-base with a Lair marker. What’s a Lair marker you ask? They’re a ht0 50mm marker that you place 3 of anywhere on your half of the table at the beginning of the game. Grootslangs ignore penalties for severe or hazardous terrain when moving, which is handy, and can hop from lair to lair as a 1 AP action (no interacting after they do so, of course. That would be pretty crazy.) They have a harder hitting rg 1 attack with their claws or a slightly weaker rg3 melee attack. When they take the lair to lair action they can use a mask trigger to take a free melee attack. And, finally, they can discard a corpse or scrap marker with which they are in base to base as a 0 action to make a new Lair marker. It’s an interesting model, to be sure. I’ll want to see it in play a bit more to be sure of what it can really do. The mobility seems handy, however, and 6SS is relatively cheap for all of these abilities.

Hey good lookin'.

Serena Bowman-7SS Enforcer-Finally, our second Divergent Paths model, the Trickster, joins the ranks of the Neverborn. The flaying she endured has resulted in her gaining Disguised and a Thick Skin ability that prevents her from taking pulse damage. Perhaps most eyebrow-raisingly, when she dies she doesn’t drop a marker and you resummon her in your deployment zone at the end of the turn. Wow! She has an ok melee attack with a fun trigger when she kills someone to put on their skin and make it harder to attack her with melee actions, but I have a suspicion this won’t see as much use as her other attack, Black Blood Tendril. This one lets her work as a sort of poor-man’s Reva or Rasputina, giving her a range 3 melee attack that she can have pop out of any model with Black Blood within 12” and LoS of her. She can give a Nightmare model Black Blood for the rest of the game, and with a trigger can then give it to a Non-Nightmare within 3” of the original target. Finally, she has a healing spell that needs a ram to cast unless she casts it on herself, which is handy if nothing else because Neverborn don’t have a ton of healing in-faction. I like her. I like her a lot. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Book 5 Model Previews: Guild

Just a couple of mini-musings this week, then we'll do a quick look at the upcoming Guild models.


-Wyrd needs volunteers for Gencon. This is always a ton of fun, and I'm very sad I won't be able to help out this year. More room for you, though! 

-Just in time to be too late for my blog, here's the image of the Self-Righteous Man after Divergent Paths/in Book 5. Werewolves with top hats: always a crowd pleaser.


As usual, all of these models are still being tested and are thus subject to change by the time the book finally comes out. 

Jury-8ss Henchman-First mentioned all the way back in the fluff from Book 1 of 1st Edition Malifaux, The Jury finally joins the Judge and Executioner in the law sub-faction of the Guild. Has some utility by allowing models within 6” to discard a card and add a mask to their duels (like if, oh, I don’t know, you wanted to Riposte for instance.) He/she/it has an interaction with the fees condition through handing it out on defensive or offensive triggers and can force you to discard a card for each point of your Fees condition with a trigger on the ranged “Throw the Book At Them” action. Finally, the Jury can find you innocent, guilty, or libel as a 0 to put some nasty conditions on enemy models or give some healing to friendly ones.

Guild Investigator-6ss Minion-I’m a big fan of the idea of these guys: detectives that are investigating stuff that’s going on in Malifaux. Its attack is nothing to write home about (though at least the gun has a claw symbol so it can be used for melee.) However, it has some interesting potential in terms of denial of enemy scheme marker stuff, by eating one every turn (or a corpse or scrap marker) to draw a card, locking the enemy out of using any scheme markers near the investigator for their actions or to complete schemes, and by pushing models that are near where a scheme marker is placed. Cool.

Thalarian Queller-6ss minion-For non fluff-heads, the Thalraian doctrine is one of the many magical methodologies in Malifaux, in this case one that focuses on suppressing other spellcasters and creating enchantment/long running effects. This is embodied by this model, who can toss out markers to create a sort of mobile version of the “Removes suits from Ml, Sh, Ca, Df, etc.” effect that models like Hannah have. They can enchant friendly models weapons to make their damage unreducable, which is handy, and can use a ranged attack to reduce enemy’s attacks and possibly give them slow. An interesting tech piece, but time will tell if it's useful enough to see play in most games.

Monster Hunter-6ss minion-Reflecting presumably some members of the Latigo posse who also do monster hunting (how many Ortegas are there?), these guys interact with the Stalked condition (which they can apply with a 0). In addition to the free moves generated from it, models with the condition have to discard a card to cheat fate against them, the Monster Hunter can get a free attack on them after taking a “Stalked” move, and the Monster Hunter can heal itself and draw some cards after killing a model with the condition. In addition, they deal extra damage and take less damage from models with higher soulstone costs than them.

Domador de Cadaveres-7ss Enforcer-The real headline on this model is, obviously, the Special Dispensation ability that lets the crew hire a 6ss or less undead model for each model with the ability (so, you know, Rotten Belles. There are other choices but…come on.) They can hand out free attacks to a friendly living model within 6” of them that is dying, so that’s fairly thematic. They have a few attack actions, in that they can make the opponent discard a card, do some damage (and heal any friendly models that are beneath pulses generated by their ranged attack) or use an Obey-like effect on non-leader undead models. Handy and flavorful but, goodness, the new Governor General must have some interesting policies…

Riot Breaker-6ss Minion-So a new Guild construct that has been a minion in the Through the Breach roleplaying game for a while now (that's where the above art comes from), oddly enough, these guys seem to be peacekeeping models of some kind. They block models near them from gaining any extra AP from fast or casting expert, which could be situationally useful. They’ll probably be used mostly for their Riot Gun attack, that adds some cheap blast damage and gives models damaged by it Insignificant for the rest of the turn. Its Tactical Action seems like it could be useful for breaking up clusters of models, as a Wk duel of 13 requires a 7 or an 8 for most models to pass, but I’m personally not a huge fan of these type of abilities, as they tend to not do anything significant when I’ve tried them. Not sure on this model, but we’ll see. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Book 5 Model Pre-Previews: Arcanists


-Book 5 playtest is open, and you can be a part of it! Aaron is posting a file with the new models every Wednesday to this thread on Wyrd’s forum. The models in the file are Henchman, Enforcers, and Minions (notably, no masters. Hmm) for each of the factions, including the three Divergent Paths models. Go test them out and send in some feedback!

-A company called Dog Might is Kickstarting some cool woodenboxes to transport your crews, decks, and tokens for a Malifaux game. The boxes can be ordered with Malifaux’s faction logos on them. They’re pretty cool. Go check ‘em out.

-Kimberly and Kai have joined the Wyrd staff. Pop into this thread and say hi.

-A new Penny Dreadful One-Shot adventure, Til Death Do Us Part, has been added to DriveThru RPG. The Fated are hired to solve a murder…by the person that was murdered. It’s $5. Go give it a look.

-New Bios have been posted for some Book 1 Enforcers, Henchmen, and Minions for each of the factions on Wyrd’s website, along with some lore about the factions themselves.

-Finally, the last Monday Preview contained an image of one of the Divergent Paths characters, the orphan who ended up with Leviticus. And it looks like this!


              Since I’m not going to a ton of tournaments at the moment (I have a move coming up soon and I’ve been busy with some writing projects, more on this soon) I thought I would go through some of the new stuff coming in Book 5. Obviously, all of these are still in testing, so I’m not going into much detail, as they all can change. This week, here’s the Arcanists.

Paul Crockett-A henchman with some beast synergy/antipathy abilities. He’s immune to hazardous terrain, can give friendly beasts free attacks when he hits someone, and is terrifying and can trigger for extra damage against beasts. Fortunately, can turn models into “beasts” with a (0) action, so these abilities will stay relevant even when legitimate beasts are unavailable. There’s a pretty good chance he’ll be most useful for his gun, which does reasonable damage and ignores cover and randomization when firing into melee, but I imagine he'll have some nice use with Marcus.

Kandara-A henchman to run around with Banasuva. Kandara doesn’t take damage from the jealous firelord ability. Some decent attacks, a self-healing condition than can be applied when she is hit with blasts/pulses or flips severe damage on her ranged and melee attacks, and can shuffle upgrades with other Gamin (allowing you to remove some of the hindering upgrades from the models Sandeep summons, at the cost of Kandara having to hold it for a turn.)

Neil Henry-7SS Enforcer that synergizes with constructs (despite apparently hating them). He’s from the foundry, so he will play nice with Ramos and Mei Feng crews, among others. He has a decent melee attack, can gain free attacks when a construct hits something near him, and can put a “Fragile” condition on models that give damage flips a +. Finally, he can take a McCabe-esque reactivation, after which his heart bursts and he dies. I like the two folklorish characters joining the game. 

Medical Automaton-5SS minion construct that grants some healing. Can grant a 1/2/3 healing flip to a model within 3” and give a model Hard to Kill as a 0 action.

Union Steamfitter-6ss minion. Most interesting ability is to draw the top card of the discard pile and then discard one when it activates and to grant a model that doesn’t have armor the Armor+1 condition for the rest of the game. Has an OK melee attack and can move scheme markers (not just friendly scheme markers) into base-to-base with him/her, so there’s some utility there, but still kind of a hodgepodge of abilities.

Ferdinand Vogel- 8ss minion. The end result of one of the Divergent Paths models. He has the Mimic trait now, so that means he can play with Lucius from time to time as well. He has a decent melee attack that can apply the red-tape condition. Can eat scheme markers within 3” of him after taking a walk to draw a free card. Probably the most useful ability is Censure to lock enemy models out of their tactical actions until after their next activation (there’s an option to lock them out of their attacks, instead, but they can discard a card to ignore it.) He can heal beasts, and use a trigger to give a non-beast living model the Beast characteristic and a free attack. And then, of course, at the start of his activation he can discard a card to turn into…

The Beast Within-0SS Enforcer. The beast is a somewhat fragile looking beater model that has a 3/4/6 damage spread melee attack. The fragility, of course, is offset by the fact that you can always sacrifice the Beast or Ferdinand on their activation to summon a full-health version of the alter-ego, but if you leave him exposed you could lose him pretty easily. There’s some decent triggers to bounce around and get a bonus attack or ignore armor. Finally, as a 0 action they can put a condition on beasts within 5” that basically lets them take a Stalk movement whenever an enemy model takes a walk or charge action, which has some interesting possibilities.