Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Broken Promises Upgrade Reviews: Gremlins


Standard disclaimer: I don’t know Gremlins. I don’t play them. I rarely play against them (with one exception...curse you Wong...). So, there’s a very real chance this article will be more filled with inaccuracies than usual. So bear with me. Luckily, the Max Value podcast did their Gremlins episode on Sunday, so I at least had that to listen to and prepare. So if our opinions sound similar…there’s a reason.



Ophelia

               Her first upgrade is Useless Junk. No, that’s the name, not my opinion of it *rimshot*. It allows her to dump a 30mm Trash marker anywhere in Ophelia’s LoS whenever she discards another upgrade. What’s a trash marker, you ask? Where would I be without you, my easily suggestible audience? At the beginning of any other kin model’s activation, they can push 6” towards a trash marker. If they come into base contact, they heal 2 and drop a scheme marker, but either way the Trash Marker gets discarded. An interesting utility tool for kin heavy Ophelia crews (which, let’s be honest, just means it’s a way for Francois to get some free movement.)
               Metal-Lined coat seems decent as well. It gives her Instinctual, which is usually useful. Also, if you discard it for Plink! It prevents 2 damage instead of one. It costs 2 stones, which seems a tad steep, but since her little cousins can toss her stuff during the game maybe you can attach it later on. Not flashy, but decent.


Som’er Teeth Jones

               Neither of Som’er’s (the rare double apostrophe) upgrades really blew me away. Insectophile adds a trigger to his melee attack to summon a Skeeter with a crow. Skeeters are ok, but a melee summoning trigger’s not great in general, and Som’er Teeth wants to summon Bayou Gremlins or shoot his gun. Hell, it’s even on the same suit as the piglet summoning, so it’s really just giving you a choice of summoning one or the other when most folks I don’t think really used the piglet summon anyways. Higher Proof is a little bit different, as it lets a friendly model in LoS that uses Drunk and Reckless gain a condition that increases it’s Sh value but prevents you from declaring triggers on your attacks. I guess if you wanted to do a gunline type list this could be good, but I just don’t see it. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong.

 
Brewmaster

               I’m glad to see that they gave Brewie some stuff to do besides just get the opponent’s crew drunk and try to lock them down all game. A Barkeep Never Sleeps gives him an ability to make poison tick for 3 damage rather than one ala Sebastian for any models within 6” of him and gives him a 0 action to resummon Apprentice Wesley. I don’t know how often Brewmaster crews would lose Wesley, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt as an insurance policy on your insurance policy.
               The other upgrade is A Friendly Ear, and I think it has some interesting potential as well. When targeting a model with the poison condition on it, the TN for his duels (namely his Obey action) gain +Mask to the final duel total. So, if he does it to a friendly model with poison, all he has to do is hit the TN to succeed, which is huge. And it makes using the Obey on enemy models much more practical. Handy, especially for a control oriented master like Brewy. The other action, Explosive Mixture, makes all enemy models within 3 pass a TN 12 Wk duel or suffer 2 damage. Again, this one seems like icing on a good cake, but also again I’m glad to see Brewmaster gain some offense rather than just being a passive lock-down (even if it’s in the form of “lock you down and then blow you up.”


Ulix

               His upgrades very much are what one would expect for a support master. Disembodied Sooey lets him target a non-pig model within 8 and have every pig within a 6” pulse move their Cg towards it. One of them that moved at least 1” gets to make a 1 Ml attack action against it. This is alright, but it seems like models that can charge for 1 AP and are within 6” of a target don’t really need this to get the job done. If it was longer range and worked like Mortimer’s Fresh Meat I could see it being really useful, but this seems more situational.
               I was saying in the Resser article that an ideal upgrade for a Summoning crew is one that provides passive buffs, as their AP are mostly spoken for on the majority of turns. Pig Midwifery is a good example of this. Any pigs that are summoned within Aura 3 of Ulix don’t become slow, and any Living Pig that is killed or sacrificed within 8” of Ulix and 3” of another pig lets the other pig heal 2 points of damage (ostensibly by eating the dead one.) Simple, straightforward. If Ulix crews have the space for it and plan on doing some summoning, there’s no reason not to bring it along.


Wong

               Ah, Wong, my old nemesis. What new tricks have you learned? Behold My Effervescence! gives him a 3 AP action to Lightning Jump every model within range and Line of Sight. They don’t randomize when shooting into engagements, which seems like the opposite of what Wong wants most of the time. Additionally, he gains a 1 AP action to flip a card for each model within pulse 6 of him, with a random effect based on the suit that flips. This is randomness, and the kind of randomness that would drive me crazy and lose me games. I don’t like it.
               The other upgrade increases the benefits a model gains from being deemed “Magical” at the start of the game, granting them Don’t Mind Me and Agility and preventing the condition from being removed in addition to the normal buffs. If the Swinecursed didn’t exist, I’d be worried that this was putting all your eggs in one basket, as killing that one model would make the upgrade useless. Spreading it around to other models helps, but I wonder if Don’t Mind Me and Agility are all that useful to a Swinecursed model. Time will tell, I suppose.


Mah Tucket

               I’m told that Mah Tucket isn’t very good in Malifaux. I’m also told that these upgrades make her a lot better. I can’t tell you for sure whether they do or not, as I’ve never seen this “Mah Tucket” in person.
               Manifest Destiny seems to be the big one. It lets any models with “Get off my Land!” (Mah, the Little Lass, and Bushwackers, unless I missed something) use it every turn rather than just on the first one, and allows them to cross the center line with it on any turn after the first. Additionally, any time Mah discards a card outside of a duel she gets to then draw a card. The aforementioned Get off my Land is one thing you have to discard for. Also, her 0 actions. Card cycling is good, ya’ll. Finally, her melee attacks gain an inch of range. So this isn’t so much an upgrade card as a straight buff. Go ahead and staple it to her.
               The other upgrade is Pit Traps, which lets you throw out three 30mm pit trap markers after both crews have deployed at the beginning of the game. Rather than Blight you, they force you to discard a card or become slow. They can also be removed in the same manner as the Plague Pits, but Mah gains a 1 AP tactical action to discard a card (and then draw one, since you’ll have MD) and place a new trap marker in base to base with her. You can’t take it while engaged (that would be mean) so it’ll take some foreplanning to make it work. It’s not as useful as Manifest Destiny, but it’s got potential.


Zipp

               Zipp’s upgrades are a little all over the place, in that one I think I’d use most of the time and the other is…situational. Let’s get that one out of the way first. Supply Drop at least doesn’t cost Zipp any of his AP (you couldn’t pay me to use it if it did.) Instead, it allows Zipp to flip a card once per turn after he completes a walk action. Based on the suit, an effect happens. One drops a blast marker within 2” of him that deals 1 point of damage to everyone touching it. Another drops some blocking terrain within an inch of him. A third drops a scheme marker, and the fourth pushes Zipp 2”. Jokers let you flip two cards and resolve both. If you were able to cheat the flip, it would be a different story. As it is, the effects are all too different from each other, so you’ll never know what you’re going to get and it will often be the one you don’t want. Pass.
               The Dread Pirate Zipp on the other hand is quite amusing. It gives Zipp a 0 action to summon a Bayou gremlin and then bury himself, called “I am not the Dread Pirate Zipp.” At the end of the turn, you resummon Zipp in base to base with any Bayou Gremlin you have on the board and sacrifice the Bayou Gremlin, as that one is obviously the “real” Zipp. While he’s buried, all the Bayous in play gain a 0 action to hand out Incite to enemy models, which is pretty cool. Playing this upgrade on Zipp is interesting and a good way to potentially get him out of danger, but may not actually be the best use for it. A lot of what Zipp does is annoy the opponent by being on the board and messing up their stuff. An idea I heard the Max Value fellas talk about (and one of them borrowed it from someone on the Wyrd forums, so citing sources gets even stupider…) is to instead put this upgrade on Sami. I think it’s Sami. That’s the one that can attach a master’s upgrade, right? Anyways, whatever that one is, put this upgrade on them. They activate at the beginning of the turn, do their thing, and then bury themselves. Meanwhile, Zipp still gets to flit around and mess things up for your opponent, and you have Bayou Gremlins with Incite that is incredibly obnoxious (you know, unlike the rest of this crew…)
               Finally, his Conflux for the Lucky Emmisary lets it work like the giant death wheel that it really is. The model gains the Trample ability allowing it to move through Ht 1 and 2 models during any move or push. It also gains the Death Wheel ability which allows it to, once per turn, force any models it moved through on a walk to make TN 12 wk duel or suffer 2 damage. Oh yeah, and he gets Witty Banter to turn on a 4” Chatty aura as long as he has LoS to Zipp as a 0 action. Seems good.

               So, that’s it for the Gremlins (Zoraida’s a Neverborn master, and I won’t hear any argument to the contrary.) You may have noticed there was no pitch for the Patreon account at the top. That’s because we got our first patron, and as a reward for being first in line, I let him pick the next faction to review. So, next out of the chute is going to be the Arcanists! If you want to pick who is coming after that, go to our patreon page and sign up. A $1 donation will at least get you a vote (assuming that this magnificent, inspirational reward gets the pledges rolling in that is. More likely you’ll be the only one to sign up and you’ll get to pick. Tough to argue with that!)