Showing posts with label Gremlins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gremlins. Show all posts

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Ripples of Fate Review: Gremlins (and some stuff from Gencon)

I haven’t had the time I expected to sit down and crank these out, but a promise is a promise so here’s the Gremlins crew from Ripples of Fate. More to come, as you would expect. Enjoy!

 1.Earl Burns: Burns was the lead engineer on the Infamy (before that became its name) but has now been forced into slavery by Zipp and his crew, since they don’t know how to fly it properly and would likely have ignited the hydrogen inside and killed them all by now if he didn’t stop them. Earl is a significant minion totem which can be towed along by a friendly pirate similar to Hoffman. He has decent ability to heal constructs with his melee attack or smack enemies, but I think his best ability is Regular Maintenance. For an easy cast and a discard, you can add a suit to all duels for friendly leaders and constructs within 6” of him and, with the right trigger, grant them + to their attack actions. Pretty good totem. He also can grant some mobility to pigs or swampfiends in the list, at the potential cost of a wound to himself.

        2.The First Mate: As advertised, he is a Silurid that ate the previous first mate and earned himself the job. He’s a 9ss hench with ok defenses and no defensive abilities to keep himself upright, so he’s going to be a bit fragile. This seems odd, as he seems to want to get in and mix it up in combat. He has a pretty standard melee attack that can poison or turn slow into paralyzed, which comes in handy for his next ability, swallow you whole. If you discard enemy scheme markers within 8” of him he cycles a card.He also has a pretty good maneuvering ability called Menacing Croak that lets you push enemies up to 6” and has some good triggers, including the ability to hand out slow (unless you give the Mate fast, he can’t slow, paralyze, and swallow whole in one turn.) And, of course, he has leap. He seems to be better at maneuvering and positioning than combat, but he still seems a little fragile to me. (Correction: the Mate can slow with a trigger from leap, paralyze, then eat. Card intensive, but possible.) 

        3.Iron Skeeter: These guys seem pretty good. They’re 6ss enforcers that count as living and construct, so Earl gets to tag along with them. When they take walk actions, they can choose to flip a card and, on anything but a crow, place a ht 5 blocking terrain smoke counter adjacent to them. With Zipp throwing around his terrain counters too, a sky pirate crew might be pretty rough on enemy shooting attacks. Their ranged attack has some interesting triggers that can push the enemy or give them slow, and their melee can throw out some poison or, with a different trigger, attack twice if you’re hitting someone who is slow. I’m getting the impression that getting some reliable slowers into a Skeeter crew will be money. Probably most memorable for them is the (0) action “Hop Aboard” wherein they can designate a ht. 1 model near them and then let them move along with their flight for the rest of the turn. The caveat is that you have to declare a trigger for the ability, and half of them are bad. So you’re taking a risk, but Iron Skeeters can bring some real mobility and utility to even non-Zipp crews.

      4. Akaname: Your token brewmaster minion is essentially a filth demon that is an Oni and Tri-Chi and lives in gremlin communities, wherein they eat the pig mess and help defend the town. They have the ability to transfer poison from models around them to themselves once per turn, gain a point from the uncomfortably named “Lick their Corpses” ability when someone drops a corpse or scrap marker, and don’t tick damage every round or reduce their poison condition normally. They gain a bonus to their Ml equal to their poison value (up to +3), can spray poison onto other models by transferring it from himself, and can turn poison on itself into scheme markers as a 0. I don’t know brewy well enough to say whether this plugs a hole for him, but the fact that it doesn’t have a Sebastian or McMourning-esque extra poison effect, so it seems like the most effective use for them.

       5. Banjonista: Is what it says on the tin: gremlins that specialize in playing the banjo. They have a ranged attack that ignores armor, which is probably something gremlins need. They are, however, fairly squishy with 5 df and wp and 6 wounds. Probably the most interesting ability is “Pluck the Strings” which lets them apply a Paranoid condition which forces discards or damage in a sort of pseudo-AoE effect and can trigger to allow other Banjonistas to perform their own Dueling Banjos action. Not sure at first blush how much use these will get, as Arcanists can probably squish them before the armor negation becomes a problem, but I could be wrong.

      6. Swine-Cursed: So…these are a failed experiment by Wong to combine the strength of pigs with the…intelligence of Gremlins? In actual effect, you get a werepig version of gremlins that can switch back and forth between being either type gremlin or type pig as a (0) action. Which state they’re in changes a trigger on their melee attack. The crow trigger when they’re a gremlin makes it so the target can’t declare walks while engaged, while the ram trigger when they’re a pig lets you get a free charge on another target nearby. Every time they switch states they get a healing flip. And, of course, there’s the fact that they gain the Magical condition at the start of the game which lets them ignore armor, hard to kill, and incorporeal. I think there’s some potential here, but they can get knocked down with a concerted effort from the opponent, so they may not be too dangerous.

Upgrades: Zipp’s upgrades: His two limited upgrades alternate in theme for what you want to punish the other crew for doing. One makes them discard to use soulstones. The other makes them discard to use 0 actions with their master or henchman. They both give an ability to clear conditions off of Zipp, though one requires a card and a soulstone so that would take some decision making in game. And, both let you attach one sky pirate upgrade to an enforcer for free. His rambling diatribe upgrade could be crippling against certain crews, as it lets you name a suit and then force your opponent to discard all cards of that suit and redraw them. They sky pirates seem to have a sub-theme of benefitting from discarding opponent scheme markers (fitting, they are pirates after all.) Treasure map is another example of this, as you get to do a draw and discard to get a bonus from which suit you pitch. There are two upgrades that represent the airship getting involved, one with pianos dropping from the sky and the other with a very bright spotlight. Both have a number of amusing triggers. And, finally, the First Mate can give himself armor by removing enemy scheme markers, and gains a trigger to his leap ability which lets him do that for free.

Gremlin Upgrades: The two “fix old models” upgrades are for the Whiskey Golem and the Warpig. The former gives the Barrel to the Face action a ram or tome trigger to follow up with a free Smokey Finish. The Warpig upgrade A) lets the warpig attach the upgrade like it were an enforcer and B) acts like a super recalled training, letting it ignore Set’er off, gain +2 wp, and a + to all flips for the turn. Scary. The two new generics can make certain gremlins more useful for a pig style crew by giving them pork whisperin. The other lets you reflip for random targeting when shooting into a melee once per turn or, if that doesn’t end up being useful, can be pitched to draw two cards.

Bad Blood Statistics

                At this point, I’ve run the module 3 times, once as a shakedown cruise with my friends on Wednesday night and twice with players here at the convention. It’s gone pretty well, I have to say, and it’s been cool running it at a table adjacent to Mason, the head writer for TTB, as he comes over after the game and asks how the players did and looks for cool moments. The shakedown cruise was a darned good idea, because I found a couple of things about encounters which I had misinterpreted while reading (which unfortunately led to a party wipe, but c’est la vie.) Some stats from the game thus far:

Players killed: 1
NPC Mercs killed: 16
Peacekeepers Fixed: 2
Peacekeepers Subsequently Destroyed: 1
Mature Nephilim Evolved: 1
Average length of survival for hooded rider: 4 turns.
Times Mary Finnegan has been stabbed by a doppelganger: 2 (nobody was playing her the third time)

                This adventure rewards players who make good use of the (1) Order action to better utilize the mercs, which I also discovered the first time through. The 1st convention group managed to keep the Peacekeeper alive through to the fight with the Hooded Rider and then use its chain harpoon to keep it from escaping in combat, and it’s so beefy that not fixing it is definitely a mi

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ripples of Fate Preview: Captain Zipp

Alright, folks, it’s time for the last Master Preview! The rest of these have all been exciting, cool themed masters that fill in some corners of the Malifaux universe or introduce some new ones. Time to see what the Gremlins br…wait…what?

Well, that’s certainly different.

Zipp is apparently a Sky Pirate (introducing yet another new tribe/trait.) This is interesting, as it’s been mentioned in previous fluff that Malifaux is criss-crossed by sky cars that transport its citizenry. Clearly, these gremlins have come up with a new and innovative way of raiding these conveyances. I don’t know what thematic elements inspired this character other than…I don’t know, the Rocketeer? Oh well. I’m not going to pretend all the Gremlin silliness appeals to me, and their choice to raise the ante here doesn’t do it for me at all. But, that doesn’t mean the character can’t be interesting mechanically.

So yeah, Zipp’s weird as a master. Again, we can’t see his attacks to know what he’s going to bring to the table offensively, but Df 6/ Wp 6 and 12 wounds is not going to hold up to a lot of punishment. Off-setting it, you’re only going to get one hit on Zipp most of the time, as his trigger for Df and Wp will likely push him out of range for any follow-ups after resolving. On the face of him, Zipp kind of seems like a scheme runner/scheme runner hunter, which is odd for a master. I’m not sure there’s any that comes close to his raw speed: with an 8 Wk and 3 AP he can pretty much get wherever he wants in a turn. Of course, he’s insignificant, so no dropping scheme markers, but that won’t stop him from hunting down opposing runners or scoring for things that don’t require significance. And, his pseudo-chatty bubble will make interacting for things like Detonate Explosives or the old school Deliver the Message pretty tough.

I sort of feel like Zipp, more than most of the others, will require seeing the back to know what he can really do. As it stands, he strikes me as being a denial master, but his lack of staying power sort of seems counter-intuitive to that. I think he’ll do best in strats like Interference where the opposing crew will be spread out and you can chase them down individually. So, I guess we’ll see.

Now, since we know all the masters, it’s time to let your voice be heard! Which master from Ripples of Fate are you most excited to play? Go vote here!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wave 2 Beta Wrap-Up: Gremlins

Everybody’s favorite green little nasties, the Gremlins, are next up on the list of factions to receive a thorough blogging from me. I’ve previously discussed the Ten Thunders, The Guild, and The Arcanists under this format. Once again, the forums have come through in a big way to point me towards the minions and enforcers that have general, cross faction appeal rather than being only useful for a particular crew. As per usual, we’re skipping over the Masters and Henchmen for the time being. Let’s not futz around anymore and get down to business.

The Sow- I don’t want to know why the Sow is three headed. I just don’t. Her melee damage spread is a very respectable 3/5/6 so she’s going to rip things up when she’s in melee. She also can summon piglets with a 5 or higher of crows as a (0) by discarding enemy scheme markers through her “Birth” ability, and similarly spawns some piglets from Farrowing when she dies. A respectable melee beater with some summoning that conjures up…unpleasant mental images.

Rooster Rider- This one definitely drew a lot of attention from the forum folks. With Wk7, Cg7, Reckless,  and Gremlin movement tricks the Rooster Rider is crazy fast. It also has the Warpig’s ability to charge as a (1) and the Stampede trigger from their melee attack, with a gremlin’s Rusty Rifle ranged attack. Their only Achilles Heel is the Rampage ability, which makes them charge the closest legal target if they’re knocked to 2 wounds or less. Makes it pretty Gremlin-y, but worth the 6 stones for what it can do.

Stuffed Pigs and the Taxidermist-These two need to be discussed together, so I thought I’d lump them up. The Taxidermist doesn’t exactly work the way it used to, namely with turning piglets into the stuffed variety as a means of arming the Pigapault. I get the sense there was some discontent over this notion, which has left some of my forum responders not liking the Taxidermist much while others swore by him. Now, his summoning comes off of a (0) action and uses Corpse Markers, which of course will be plentiful in a Gremlin crew but won’t be clumped in your deployment zone with the ‘Pult.  The Piglets themselves all have the Bacon Bomb action, in which you flip a suit to determine the range and damage of the blast when the pigs go up. It triggers automatically if they die, and the Taxdiermist can set them all of if he dies. The flip can’t be cheated, so you’re subject to the vagaries of the deck on your bacon bombardiers unless you can stack it in some way (one suggestion coming later on.) The Taxidermist is actually not too bad in melee and generates corpse counters off of successful melee attacks. Combo units like this aren’t really my thing, but they could be potent under the right circumstances.

Bayou Bushwacker-The Bushwhacker’s (0) action lets you generate some mobile cover within 3” around her as the crew moves up the board, which has some obvious benefits both for her and potentially other gremlins that can hide behind her. She has a pretty good statline for a gremlin, and her ability to take bonus shots whenever a gremlin misses with a ranged attack is interesting.  With no defenses she’s a bit fragile, but this may be a model to keep an eye on.

Burt Jebson-I’m not sure what to make of this Burt. 7 points is a lot for a gremlin, which tend to be relatively fragile as a general rule and thus value quantity over quality. Slippery and Hard To Kill will give him some survivability, but 7 wounds and 5 defense aren’t exactly impressive. Moreover, I’m not really sure what he’s supposed to do for you on the board. He has decent damage on his melee attack with Crit strike, and he does have Trigger Crazy to possibly spam off a lot of shots, but still, I’m not that impressed. Crackerjack timing could be useful for clumping models up for things like the Pigapault, Pere Ravage, or the blast from his gun’s severe damage I suppose, though having to spend a (1) for that seems a little impractical. Maybe I’m just not seeing it, but he’s a pass for me as of now.

Gracie-Gracie is a pretty decent tank, particularly for fragile gremlins. Armor 2, Hard To Kill, and healing from Eat your fill and her bite attack are going to make bringing Gracie down pretty tough. 10 Stones is a lot to pay for her, though, so that may limit her utility.

Merris Lacroix-Another star from the Wave 2 Beta is the wannabe Kaeris, Merris Lacroix. His (her?) Gremlin Cunning ability lets you draw 2 cards and then put 3 back on your deck, which is good both for the extra card cycling but also for knowing what suits are coming on subsequent flips (perhaps for setting off Bacon Bombs?) The Bombs Away! ability lets you throw some scheme markers down, which is helpful when paired with his flight ability and gremlin reckless movement. Definitely useful.

Wild Boar-When I read this model’s rules, my first thought was how disruptive they could be by deploying them downfield with From the Shadows and just letting them go nuts with Rampage. Problem is, the boar isn’t tough enough to have much of a chance to survive for long like this and are a bit too expensive to be used as expendable fodder. I think they would have been more interesting if built with one of these strategies in mind, but for now seem to be just a mid-range beater outside of Ulix crews.

Lucky Effigy-Unlike most of the others, this Effigy’s attack actually has a pretty good damage spread, though this is offset by an ML value of 3. Its (0) buff for the crew’s master lets it offset some of the damage done by the various Dumb Luck abilities by having them heal a point of damage when they flip a ram (because god knows a point of damage was too much for Ophelia to pay for her absurd damage output.) It’s “Hit Me!” ability forces models to pass a WP test to attack something other than the effigy, which lets it follow the master or some other important unit around and act as a funny sort of tank. It’s a fairly interesting model that could be pretty disruptive.

Glowin’ Varmint- As has been said about Gremlins since the very beginning of the game, I don’t know if these guys are any good, but they look fun. Their main spellcasting attack can trigger blasts that do damage or pulses that heal everything  nearby. Tinkerin’ with the Unknown creates an interesting sort of interaction with the opponent while giving you something to do with the bad cards in your hand. It allows you to place a control card face down on their stat card and, if the varmint survives to the end of the turn, lets you discard it and get some kind of effect ranging from damage pulses on a crow to healing pulses on a ram. As I said, an interesting sort of interaction with you potentially bluffing your opponents or setting you up for that last little nudge on a turn, but the question will be how exactly you’re going to keep them alive long enough to trigger them.

Bayou Gator-Gators are cheap and mean, to put it bluntly, and were a subject of controversy that led to them being made into peons to try and reduce their value. A 5 stone model with melee expert is scary, and with a good attack like the gators have makes for some serious damage potential. They also have a (3) AP Ml attack that, with a crow, can trigger paralyze. Combine that with the Ambush ability to push 3” and set up for charges and they can get to grips and do 3 attacks relatively simply. They have no defenses, really, so they’re going to die, but they’re going to do a scary amount of damage before they go. Also, nice to see some more swampfiends in the game. If I hadn’t already committed to Hoffman (and if I didn’t already have the models,) I’d be tempted to use Zoraida for the upcoming ToMB project and go swamp heavy. These guys would be an important part of it.

Old Cranky-Any model that has the words “Add 1 soulstone to the crew’s pool” on an ability is going to get my attention. The funny thing is, most of the Gremlin masters I’m familiar with need their totems, so I’m not sure who will realistically be able to switch to this generic. However a totem that boosts the defense and WP of the friendly models around them seems pretty good for Gremlins. I’m reminded of Killa Kans with Kustom Force Fields in Ork armies (from some game we don’t talk about) in that the defense it adds to the army aren’t incredible, but all it has to do is help a few more members of your horde get to where they need to be to be effective. Card cycling as a (0) always makes me happy. His gun is like Granny Ortegas, letting you do blasts or switch to a Seamus-like damage level against a single target. And all of this is only 4 stones. I’ll be interested to see who or what finds a place for him.

Phew, so that’s the Gremlins out of the way. No offense green guys, but I was worried about this one. If there’s one of these articles I expect to get wrong, it’s this one, if only because of my inexperience with the faction. Feel free to set me straight in the comments here or elsewhere.

Now time to move on to the other natives of Malifaux for the next article, The Neverborn. Feel free to share your suggestions on this newthread on the Wyrd forums or in the comments here.

Thanks for reading!