Finally, a fond farewell to Aaron Daarland, the mecha-tyrant of Virginia and lead designer of Malifaux for the past couple of years. He's moving on to greener pastures (or at least one with less Gremlins in it.) I'm sure we all wish him the best.
Round 1) Standard, Ply for Information, Surround Them, Show Of Force, Set Up, Vendetta, Inescapable Trap
My thought for this round is summoning Pandora. That crew typically brings a wide swath of enforcers who can carry cheap upgrades to score Show of Force, and Baby Kade is a dream model for Vendetta with his Lure to score the first point, high combat ability, and low soulstone cost. Models that want to Ply my models will have to walk into the bubble of badness that is overlapping Tannen/Widow Weaver/Tuco/Pandora/Poltergeist/Sorrow auras, which helps the crew out. I think this gives us a good groundwork to build from. Plus, Pandora can bring her Fugue State upgrade to penalize the models that do come in and take interacts.
2) Corner, Squatter’s Rights, Eliminate The Leadership, Take Prisoner, Set Up, Covert Breakthrough, Dig Their Graves
It’s been well over a year since I played Squatter’s Rights, and I’m struggling to remember the last time I did it with Neverborn. It may be reflective of this, then, that my first thought is “Ok, well, that means time for Sillurids.” I know they’re expensive and fragile, but they have Leap and they can handle their business for this strategy. Gupps supposedly can do the same job for cheaper, but 1) They also are even easier to kill and 2) I don’t own any of them. I’m tempted to try and lean into this even further, bringing a swamp fiend list with their From the Shadows upgrade. Maybe I could get a McTavish to carry the upgrade? Idk, that may be overkill since this is Flank Deployment. This is the one where I’ve got the least initial ideas. In any case, the Master and the other crew members will probably be busy fending off the enemy crew. I’m thinking the Titania and Barbaros crew, with Hoody as back-up. She’s free points for Dig Graves. Since Eliminate is in the pool, I’m thinking Pact with the Grave Spirit to help bring down the enemy Master.
Round 3) Flank, Headhunter, Eliminate The Leadership, Recover Evidence, Vendetta, Take One For The Team, Hold Up Their Forces
This one’s a pretty easy call, as Lynch with Cheating Bastard is made for Headhunter. Bringing in Beckoners who are able to cheat second on their Lures means, chances are, you’re not going to have to come far out of your comfort zone to drop some heads from the enemy. The rest of the crew would be hitters like the popular Hooded Rider/Nekima combination, or perhaps Stitched Together if my opponent makes me worried about shooting. Vendetta is in the pool again, so a Beckoner-Lure to get an easy 2 points at least is in play. I’m leaning towards Eliminate for the second scheme since I’m planning on doing a lot of killing anyways, though that would be dependent on who I’m facing. Dig Their Graves is also a strong option, since Cheating Bastard potentially lets you get some easy scheme markers down.
Round 5) Corner, Symbols of Authority, Punish The Weak, Dig Their Graves, Show Of Force, Search The Ruins, Take Prisoner
This one is going to require mobility and defense, so I’m thinking Lillith here. She and the Hooded Rider are there to play defense, using Root and oversized swords to discourage runners from getting to my Symbols markers. I haven’t had a chance to get Tuco back out since he became cheap enough to consider using, so he may be just as useless but for one stone less. However, placing him with From the Shadows behind a symbol that’s distant from the enemy crew seems like it could be useful to get one symbol down. The others will have to be acquired with a combination of crew mobility and/or Tangled Shadows. The crew typically brings a lot of enforcers and henchman, so again Show of Force is likely to be a good scheme choice. Lillith and Nekima are more than capable of scoring Punish the Weak if the enemy crew is vulnerable to it. I’m not a huge fan of Take Prisoner, as there just seems to be too many ways for it to go wrong during the game, but it’s probably my back-up plan if I don’t think Punish is going to work.
Round 4) Will be announced prior to Round 4 on Sunday.
You’ll notice that I skipped round 4, and that’s because we don’t know anything about it yet. part of Travis's personal plan to make Alex Schmid crazy (and I suppose test people's crew building abilities) is to make folks wait until Sunday morning to learn what the fourth round game will be. I left Collodi for this round, because he can be built to do most scheme pools and strategies and because he’s the master I know best out of the faction (outside of Lynch, I suppose, but I’ve had more recent experience with the Puppetmaster.) For the time being, I’ll leave the post like this with a blank here. Next Sunday, I’ll add an addendum here and in a new blog post updating it with how I would build a crew to respond to the actual scheme pool.