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.