Showing posts with label RipplesPreviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RipplesPreviews. Show all posts

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ripples of Fate review: Ten Thunders

So I guess we saved the best for last... (debatable but I feel I must represent!)

Without further ado...

Asami's upgrades
- Feigned Weakness.  1 SS  In my opinion this strikes me as a trap.  It allows you to summon a model if your opponent ends the turn with more VP than you.  It will come in with flicker +2 and the bigger the difference in VP, the bigger the model you can summon.  If you have schemes that score end of game and you are close to 100% certain you can score them this is a bargain for 1SS but in a tournament differential is a thing so ceeding your opponent VP to use this ability is generally not a good idea.  But it is totally a play style decision.
- A Heavenly Design.  2 SS gives Asami a 0 action 6" teleport and a 10" aura that when a friendly model is sacrificed place a scheme marker into base contact.  It should be noted when flicker ends the model is sacrificed so this is going to be free VP for the summoning she is going to do anyway.
- Grasping Strands. 1 SS gives her an aura 4" that reduces the number of attacks generated for enemy models by the charge action by 1.  Also grant a trigger to Reaching Tendrils for a free Ml after succeeding.
- Nefarious Pact.  2 SS after she activates draw a card.  More importantly 10" aura where friendly models can chose not to end conditions if an action or an ability of an enemy model would require you to do so.  I don't see a ton of condition removal in lists.  That said you can either hunt those models or take this upgrade and not worry about the summoned oni being 1 shotted.
-A Fate of Mortals.  2 SS.  Any Oni model can take this upgrade.  once per turn if your opponent scores 1 or more VP, 1 target friendly Oni gains flicker +1.  Also a 10" aura if a friendly Oni minion kills or sacrifices an enemy it may draw a card.

Amanjaku- 3SS peon totem-  insignificant, disguised, manipulative 13.  a 1" Ml for 1/2/3 and plus damage = to your opponent VP upto +2.  flay trigger.  A Ca action that lets you increase the value of a condition by 1.  And a 0 action that requires  a TN and a suit to put up an aura to put Sh on a negative within 6"  Not sure how I feel about this totem but when I get the set I will put it on the table before I reserve judgement.

Ohaguro Bettari- 8 SS henchman - The Bird and the Snake, Enemy models with in aura 6 may not declare Df or Wp triggers.  Squeel all you want gremlins... it will do you no good.  Drawn to Essence, may chose to place into base contact with models that summon in within aura 6".From the darkness, May charge regardless of LOS and ignores models and terrain during the charge.He has a 2/3/6 Ml with flay, and 2 other triggers.  Ploughed Over if you win do no damage, push the model 4" away and then charge a different target, once per activation.  Or after succeeding place a corpse marker into base contact with the target. He has a 12" cast to place a condition that stops the model from charging.  And he has 2 zero actions, 1 makes a oni at range 6" to take an interact, and the other turns on a 4" aura to add masks to Ml for oni... sad illuminated but still solid (auto flay??? yes please!).  I'm kinda mad I didn't buy this box just to have this guy at gencon.  But I can wait for release.  Also has a 1SS upgrade for eat your fill.

Yokai - 5 SS minion  - plus flip to charge attacks.  Starts with flicker 5 if you hire him. Gets the option for an extra flicker +1 on summon.  And if he is still on the table after flicker and poison is lowered you may place it within 3" not in terrain. Ml for 2/3/4 damage with flay and 4 other triggers.  And he comes with 0 action to lower flicker by 1 to take a 1 interact with a heal trigger.  Don't know if I would hire these guys but I might try it just see.  But odds are I won't have stones to hire them anyway.

Terracotta Warrior - 5 SS minion - I'm going to say I was on the fence about this guy but he has a little bit of versatility.  Thousands Strong, if this model suffers damage from any source other than something that targeted it it may place a card from your hand on the bottom of your deck to prevent the damage.So if you get a bunch of crap cards this guy can potentially go into overdrive.  Armor +1, Unimpeded.  A 1/3/5 Ml with a trigger for +2 damage to you and the target.  It has a Ca to place a condition on non Terracotta minions or enforcers where you can misdirect the damage to this model and end the condition.  And a 0 action to change upgrades that cost more than 0 to other upgrades.  You have to pay stones if the new one costs more.  I will be running this tomorrow just to see what in all I can do with it.  This guy is more utility than most minions so it plays into some of the things I like to do.

Sun Quiang - 8 SS enforcer.  4 abilities on the front of the card.  Thirteen Measures, enemies that activate within 4" must past TN 12 Wp duel or gain slow.  Don't mind me. Absolute Sincerity, when this model activates all models in pulse 4 heal 1 damage.  King of medicine, when a model within LOS suffers damage you may place a card at the bottom of your deck to push up to your walk toward the model.  If you push at least 3 you may take a 1 interact.  He has a weird Ml which is Rg 6 or close 1 no damage track but 4 triggers, tome discard all scheme corpse and scrap marker within pulse 2 of target, Ram (built in) heal or deal 2 damage, Crow hand out the adversary condition, Mask after succeeding vs an enemy place the target within 6 of its location not in terrain.  His tacticals are a 1AP Ca A Recitation of the Essential Formulae which activates an aura that makes enemies within 4 count as a peon.  His zero Study targets a scrap corpse or scheme marker, place a friendly scheme marker then discard the target.  This guy is going to be very annoying for the opponent.

Yasunori - 12 SS enforcer. This guy is kinda a rider as far as stats go but that's where the comparison ends.  He does come with armor +1, stubborn, flight, scales of heaven once per turn, when this model suffers damage draw a card.  He has a 3/4/5 Ml with plus to attack that has 2 once per activation triggers for a bonus attack, 2 suits for 1 and the other 2 suits for the other.  A cast to make any minion take a 1 AP attack action with a trigger for bonus damage equal to VP the models crew has up to 3. And he has a 0 action to look at the top 3 cards and put them back in any order. With Asami if you give this guy fast and use recalled training you can charge for 1 AP with a 12" threat range and if you kill that model in 2 to 4 attacks you can charge a second target with 2 plus the remaining unused triggers.  This guy is going to wreck 2 models and then probably die if he is in the thick of combat.  But he will soak up AP to remove so still worth it.  He is not as scary with other masters but still needs to be dealt with.

Fuhatsu has a 0 SS upgrade to get +1Wk and a 2/4/6 Ml.  Odds are I still won't buy this model.

The Peaceful waters- Grants the Low river monks a Rg 6 heal flip if they are within 12" and LOS of the model with the upgrade.

Equality - once per turn after the opposing crew scores 1 or more VP do one of the following:draw a card, place a scheme marker in base contact with this model, or heal 2 damage.  I don't see myself taking this upgrade to have it, but I might use it to draw a card or 2 then flip it to something else with the terracotta warrior.

Death contract- comes with a decoy card, both don't count vs upgrade limit, play both face down, and if you kill or sacrifice the model the model that killed it must discard 2 cards or 2 stones or be killed..

Let me know if I need to fix anything since this is not really a strong suit of mine.  I will go back and update the Arcanists when I return from Wandering River Style.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ripples of Fate Reviews: The Guild

1.       The Printing Press: This is a pretty boss totem. It’s a mechanical press on arachnid limbs Nellie constructed and animated with a soulstone carried by her father. Its protectiveness has led her to suspect that it may have a portion of his soul inside. It has Arcane Reservoir+1, which is always a good thing. Df5 and WP6 are pretty strong for a totem, especially paired with Armor+2. Models that are pushed or placed in base contact with impassable terrain within 8” of it take a point of damage. Its melee attack hands out slow, which is awesome, and deals a little bit of damage if the target is already slow. And, for a (0), it can hand Nellie some evidence and let her go immediately after it as a chain activation. Very good. Don’t know why you would leave home without it.

2.       Phiona Gage: She’s a union worker who suffered a terrible accident, was denied work, and is now held up by Nellie as an example of the Union’s corruption (despite the fact that the Guild caused the accident that injured her in the first place.) She has ok defenses for a henchman, hard to kill, and goes up to 7 DF when she’s in terrain. Unimpeded helps make it so you’re essentially never going to want to walk her in the open if you can help it. She gets a smell-fear-esque free attack on enemies that fail a WP duel outside her activation. Her pick-axe does pretty solid damage and gets a + to attack versus models that have already activated (which Nellie can set up with Incite from one of her upgrades.) Probably one of her most defining abilities is calling up a 50mm stone pillar of hard cover blocking impassable terrain (we all know Adam likes summoning terrain.) And, finally, she has a Francisco-esque ability to jump into melee with someone who is engaging one of her friends and then push the friendlies away while gaining a free attack. She’s a pretty solid henchman who would be used all the time in some other faction. In this faction she has to contend with Ryle, Francisco, etc. in this point value slot so we’ll have to see how she measures up to them.

3.   Allison Dade: Hurray for Through the Breach characters in Malifaux! Dade is a reporter from the backwater contract town of Innocence who survived the chaos there and has relocated to Malifaux, joining the staff of the Tattler. She’s a monkeywrench henchman designed to basically screw up whatever the opponent is trying to do (very Lois Lane-ish.) Before she activates she penalizes enemy models for declaring attacks near her, and after she attacks she heals her friends when they attack, so deciding when to activate her will be important. She’s manipulative 12 and can gain fast by discarding a card whenever the opponent gains VP. Nice. Her attack hands out slow, deals damage if the target is near a guardsman, and has a trigger for each suit that hand out a variety of debuffs (Discard a scheme marker or take damage, push a target away, discard a card or take damage, or push a friendly into melee with the target.) She can put a condition on enemies for a (0) action that deals damage if they declare an attack action, and her tactical action forces an opponent to either discard a scheme marker or show you their hand. She seems incredibly annoying.

4.       Field Reporter: What can I say about these guys that Joel Henry and the Schemes and Stones folks haven’t already drooled about? 4SS earns you an unimpeded, disguised, manipulative 12 minion that can function as a scheme runner. They’re woes, which is odd since Pandora doesn’t get an upgrade to hire them (maybe some time in the future, fingers crossed.) Their attack action does nothing on its own but has an array of triggers including dealing damage every turn, slowing, giving a – to attack actions, or pushing the model 5” away. They can hop to enemy scheme markers and discard them with the same AP. And they can ditch a card for Reference the Field manual to let them choose the trigger on their attack. For the cost, these guys are pretty solid. Joel’s suggestion of taking Embedded on Nellie and hiring four ronin and three of these guys seems really aggravating, to be sure.

5.       Death Marshal Recruiter: These guys are basically what you think they are-Death Marshal veterans that go out into the world to find new Death Marshals. We need “Lady Justice Wants You” recruitment posters. They have DF/WP 6, 7 wounds each, and hard to wound 1 to help keep themselves alive. Apparently the soft life of a recruiter has caused them to forget how to finish the job, but they can now discard a card to keep friendly Guild Marshals within 4” from dying. If you can keep one of these near Lady J, they can keep her alive. Additionally, they can discard a card to target something that is buried. His recruiter’s sword has the ubiquitous critical strike built in to go with the 2/3/4 damage spread and can, with a tome trigger, use Glimpse the Void to bury the target. He also has a Peacebringer for…reasons. He can push 5” towards enemy targets with a (0) action and can, with a trigger, pass out attacks to another friendly model engaged with the target. Additionally, he can use a (0) to give a friendly non-leader model Guild Marshall for a turn. Shame it doesn’t last for the rest of the game like Shotgun Wedding, but there’s probably something exploitative about that. Still, I think they’re pretty solid, and the ability to keep Lady J or The Judge alive for the cost of a card means they should at least merit consideration.

6.       Witchling Thrall: These guys are rogue spellcasters that Sonnia gives…special attention. They’re 9ss minions that sit on a 40mm base and are essentially berserker dudes. They have 12 wounds and impossible to wound, so their defenses probably don’t matter (5/5 for reference.) They automatically pass Horror duels, regardless of the total and can, once per turn, take a melee action when a model places a scheme marker within 4” of them. Said melee attack does 3/4/6 damage and can choose between a pair of built in triggers to either heal the thrall for 2 if attacking someone with a WP 6 or more or force the opponent to discard a card if WP 5 or less. They have a range 8 Ca that adds a little more blast damage to a Sonnia crew and can push all damaged models with a trigger. Finally, they have a (0) action Yank the Chain to push into base contact with a friendly model. The last bit has a crow trigger you have to take if possible which results in your making a melee attack against the friendly model, so you have to be careful. They seem like they can do some hurting, so expect to see some play, particularly in strats like Collect the Bounty where high damage minions are at a priority.


Nellie: Guild Funds give Nellie more things she can do with her evidence condition at the end of her turn, allowing her to dump evidence +2 for healing, Evidence+3 for giving a model Hard to Kill until the end of its next activation, or dropping Evidence+4 to gain 2 soulstones. The last will likely never happen and the third is only situationally useful, so the heal seems like the most frequent. You also gain a trigger to df/wp that gives her more evidence and gives her the ability to let you count a death from conditions near you as her kills for strat and scheme purposes. Embedded is the infamous “hire four mercs and don’t pay the merc tax” upgrade. It also puts a couple of triggers to add more utility to her Hot off the Presses attack. I like the Misleading Headlines upgrades, which gives her the very powerful Incite (0) action and lets her lower her evidence or discard cards to pass activations (no more out activating us, jerks.) Probably the upgrade I would use most frequently is Delegation, which gives her a Tactical Action to pass out Fast to friendly models and, at the cost of lowering her evidence, place a scheme marker in base to base with them or heal them. Finally, there’s a Journalist upgrade that makes all other journalists within aura 8 have an attack trigger, transparency, to drop scheme markers after succeeding.

Generals: Phiona’s upgrade gives her a + to damage flips when hitting models which have already activated, emphasizing her “activate me late” modus operandi. Captain Dashel gains a (1) ap cast action resisted by Wk to summon a Guild Guard in base to base with the model (a resisted summon spell? Weird) and puts a couple of triggers onto his pistol for critical strike or a tome trigger to discard an enemy scheme marker and push the target. The Executioner gains Ready to Work which gives him +1 wk and the ability to discard the upgrade when it declares a charge and take it for (1) ap. Curfew may as well say “take this when playing Gremlins,” as it allows you to give slow to all enemy models which haven’t activated when your crew has no one left to activate. It costs you the upgrade and a soulstone, but taking away that advantage for a turn could be pretty helpful I’m thinking. Numb to the World may as well be a Papa Loco upgrade, as getting to ignore conditions and being able to discard a card to keep your opponent from Obeying him to explode would be very valuable to him. Otherwise you'll have to chose if its worth the cost to protect your big beaters from these. Finally, A Debt to the Guild is the Guild’s answer to Show of Force. If the model with the upgrade is killed or sacrificed, you add a Soulstone to its pool. Also, once per game the model can draw a card at the start of its activation and deal an additional point of damage with all of their attacks. You don’t discard the upgrade, so it stays in play for the game. Nice. 

Ripples of Fate Review: Arcanists

Hello all.  I figured I would give Adam a hand with a couple of these so you can get them faster.  And seeing as how I already faced Sandeep at Gen Con Avatars I may (but probably not) have better insight.

I will start with Sandeeps upgrades.  Sandeep has two limited upgrades available both of which allow him to summon gamin.  The difference between the two is that one lets you paralyze your target if you do moderate or severe damage, and the other increases his damage profile to 3/4/5. His summoning mechanic involves attaching upgrades to the gamin that are summoned.  There are six rare 1 gamin upgrades tied to each of the limited master upgrade.  Sandeep must attach an upgrade to summon so he can only have plus 3 models over what he started with at any given time.  All six upgrades buff and debuff the summoned gamin in different various ways.  One set of three are scheme and interact related and the other three are combat oriented.  An example would be this gamin may not be moved or pushed (which I assume includes walk and charge actions along with effects from other models) but gains an aura that makes the enemy discard 2 cards to interact or the action fails.  If you only use the upgrade to summon Banasuva I still don't think you put Sandeep on the table without one of the two.

He has two other upgrades.  Enlightened Soul allows Sandeep to draw a card once per turn if he kills an enemy model.  And there is a cast that hands out incorporeal to other models until the end of that models next activation. Just what a nimble Howard needed...  The other Unaligned Sage allows him to hire in model with the academics keyword from other factions.  And there are two 1 AP tactical actions.  One will let you draw a card once per activation if an academic discards a card (so things like flurry but there is a call out it doesn't work for cheated cards).  The other turns on a 6" aura that make academics not randomize.  Both seem useful depending on the crew build but not auto include by any means.

1. Banasuva.  An 8SS rare 1 minion totem that is summon only (cost is there to set the summon TN).  This thing has melee expert and hits like a truck (3/4/5).  It has the Ice Golems toss ability and a zero action to copy an ability or action from close by friendly gamin (editor's note: see also Armor +2 on Iron Gamin.)  It has 8 Wd's, Df 6, and Wp 4 and no other defenses so it can be a liability for hunting party but outside of that I don't see this master without this guy on the table at least once.

2. Kudra.  A 7 SS rare 1 academic henchman.  She has a few neat abilities on the front of her card.  Butterfly Jump, a Df/Wp (built in) trigger to draw a card once a turn if hit, once a turn spend a SS and discard a card to add the SS back, and 4 melee attacks on a charge (too bad the spread is 1/2/3 and 1 poison or this might be awesome, but I do see it being good against high armor or something with high Df with 1 wound left).  She has a ranged cast with a gun icon, Elemental Bolt that has a few triggers.  She also has an upgrade that give her various buffs if the elemental gamin are in range, and a 0 action to sac a gamin (I assume to free up an upgrade of kill denial ((Editor's Note: Also, to sac and resummon Banasuva with a different one of the negative upgrades attached or in a different position.))).

3. Amina Naidu.  A 9 SS rare 1 M&SU, academic henchman who is essentially the M&SU's injury lawyer.  If she suffers damage from an enemy attack action she can push it 2 inches (potentially out of range or LOS) by discarding a card. She has a 6" aura if an enemy interacts she may discard to add 1 SS.  Another aura of the same radius allows her to put an attack at negative if its targeting another wounded friendly model by Amina suffering 1 Wd.  A cast that hands out slow with a taunt like trigger.  A collier pistol.  A 12" pseudo lure with a trigger that prevent the target from attacking things with less Wds then the models Wd stat.  She also has 2 zero actions.  One is Ca v Wp take 4 damage and may reduce by 2 for each card discarded with a trigger to take the next 0 action.  Ca v Wp of gain Peon and may not take interacts action for the rest of the game or until Amina is killed or sacrificed.  She seems like a very annoying control piece and to get the most work out of her you are going to have to understand what she is in the list for and remember her auras.  She is definitely not a model to just drop in a list and go.  I would recommend playing some small friendly games to learn what she can and can not do.  Models with a lot of text will slow down a game if you don't have a decent grasp on all of the various interactions.  But once you unlock her she might turn out to be a cross between a lawyer and brewmaster.

4. Carlos Vasquez.  A 9SS rare 1 showgirl henchman.  He comes with smoldering heart.  An ability to treat burning like armor (up to +2), may push pyre markers after a walk action to cause Wk duels and avoid the damage.  And he gains burning +1 after resolving initiative.  He comes with a decent 3" melee with built in triggers (all 3 need 1 tome).  Give burning +1, do extra damage equal to the burning on Carlos (up to 3 damage and ending the condition), or add burning to Carlos.  Zero action to place a 50mm pyre marker until end of turn, or a zero action 4" push and add burning +1 or trigger to remove it.  An interesting model and probably play fine as a solo model but he will probably do better if there is more burning in the crew.  He also has an upgrade to heal from burning at the end of the turn.  And it also has a 1 AP blow up a scheme marker to pulse burning +2.

5. Poison Gamin.  A 5SS minion.  1 more wound than the typical gamin but more or less function like the rest of the gamin.Melee attack to deal 1/2/5 and grant them Poison+1 with a built-in trigger to do additional damage to targets that are already poisoned. It pushed 3" at the end of its turn if it took an attack action and heals a point of damage instead of taking damage from poison. Their ranged attack does not that impressive damage and has the infect trigger, but not built in (odd.) As a (0) action they can turn on a version of McMourning/Sebastian's ability to tick a point of poison off if they activate within 4" of a poison gamin. I'm not confident enough in the rules to know for sure, but I suppose you could put multiple poison gamin together to tick multiple poison damage on a turn. It's resource intensive and easy to disrupt, but I know that one criticism of Kudra was that her poison is less effective without these mechanics in place in the faction, so that's not ENTIRELY true.

6. Shastar Vidiya Guard.  An 8SS enforcer.  The model can draw a card if it cheats a Df duel once per turn.  When it activates it may discard for focus +1. and comes with hard to kill.  Also comes with a 2/4/6 melee with a trigger on every suit. A weak Rg 10" attack with a built in trigger to hit other targets (that were not targeted by this attack once per activation) in range and Los. ( I see this working good with Raspy.)  and a zero action to push another friendly model within 6" up to 2".

The generic upgrades seem kinda meh to me but I'll cover them and let you decide.
-Circus Bear.  0 SS - Gives the slate ridge mauler +1 Wk and +1 Ml and a 0 action Ca to push 2"  with a trigger to use a second 0 action.
-Temporary Shielding  0 SS - makes 3 Oxfordian Mages cost 15 ss instead of 18 and you can discard the upgrade and a card to reduce damage it suffers by 2.
-Well Rehearsed. 1 SS rare 1, enforcer - when a scheme marker is placed within 3" the model may push 2".  When a friendly living model within 3" is killed, you may discard the upgrade to leave the model alive with 1 wound.  (I don't see this replacing imbued energies unless you somehow have 3 on other models and an enforcer with an upgrade slot and SS left over during hiring... so not likely).
-Blade and Claw.  1 SS rare 1.  requires you hire a beast and a construct in the same list and it lets them swap places as a 0 action.  (I'm not sure this is worth the ink used to print the words on this upgrade.  But I'm certain there will be one person who thinks its the coolest thing since sliced bread.).

I have the ten thunders review and then I will have an origins/gencon super tournament report (including my match verse Sandeep).  I didn't snap pics of the posters so maybe Adam will edit it in and post it to the guild one he is doing next.  I hope to have the thunders done tonight. (Editor's Note: Done and Done.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ripples of Fate Reviews: Outcasts

1: Doc Mitchell: A failed doctor and alcoholic who Parker kidnaps in his fictional story, he’s a 3SS insignificant minion totem. At the start of his activation he can discard a card to push up to 5” towards a friendly Bandit within 12”, so that’s a nice little movement boost. His best ability is probably his Stitch Up heal for 1/2/3 and a trigger to give the healed model Hard to Wound. Offensively, he isn’t particularly effective, as his melee attack isn’t very good and his ranged attack ends with him dying if Parker can see him use it. 3ss is a pretty good cheap activation and some nice healing, so I imagine you’ll use him.

2: Mad Dog Brackett: A 9ss henchman, he’s Parker’s right hand man. The weapon is a shotgun, for those who weren’t sure, and it’s a good source of damage and blasts that pushes damaged models back with a built in trigger. All enemy scheme markers within 2” of him become friendly at the end of the game. He drops a friendly scheme marker in base to base with a model after he kills them. And, finally, he gets a Santiago-esque bonus to attack and damage flips when he has four or fewer wounds remaining. He can Rapid Fire, so he’s definitely built around ranged attacks. He doesn’t really have a melee attack, as his main one involves putting his cigar out on people. It does Burning+2 and, with the appropriate triggers, can do a little more damage or give him a melee attack with his shotgun (to push the enemy out of melee, if it hits.) Finally, probably the most interesting ability is his Blow it to Hell (0) ap action. He needs a ram to cast it, but it places a 30 mm Blown Apart Marker within 8” and LoS. Any models within 3” of a marker is unable to use cover. I think that could be pretty effective for a ranged crew, though it might be better if you could also ignore LoS. Still, I think he’s a pretty effective damage dealer, but he’s in the Outcasts so he’s going to have a lot of competition for this slot.

3: Aionus: You know what he does. Moving on.

4: Bandido: These are the minions that come in Parker’s boxed set. They’re 5ss fragile minions, as Bulletproof+1 is probably one of the least useful of the situational defense abilities. They only have 5 Df and 5 Wds, so I don’t think they’re going to get to use Life of Crime to convert enemy scheme markers into Friendly at the end of the game. I guess it’s a good thing they have Finish the Job. Their gun deals 2/3/5 damage and can force the enemy to drop an enemy scheme marker with a trigger. Finally, they can Run and Gun for 2 ap to let them move, shoot with a + flip, then move again. I don’t know, they just look fragile to me. Run and gun will protect them somewhat, but who knows.

5: Dead Outlaw: Where I’m not crazy about Bandidos, Dead Outlaws look a lot tastier. They’re just what the title says, dead bandits that wake up and then resume banditry. They count as undead/tormented/bandit minions. For 6ss they’re a point higher defense, one more wound, hard to wound, and get a heal every time an enemy scheme marker is placed within 6” of him (which should be fairly frequent in a Parker crew.) Their ranged attacks have a better attack value, deal extra damage to targets which have upgrades attached from a built in trigger or can reposition with the same suit. For a tome you can either use Drop It! to force the enemy to drop an enemy marker (and heal the Dead Outlaw, presumably) or ignore Armor, Hard to Wound, and Hard to Kill. Their melee has an odd damage spread (1/1/5) but has some useful triggers built in that can give the enemy slow or push the outlaw out of melee. Finally, they can cast a spell to give an enemy a condition “Curse of the Covetous” which makes it so they can’t take any actions besides walk and interact. The model can choose to take 3 damage at the beginning of its turn to remove the condition, but it could be useful to lock a melee model on low wounds out of attacking. Altogether, I don’t know why you would take a Bandido over these.

6: Wokou Raider: These are oriental pirates who sailed the waters of the Three Kingdoms and were imported by Malifaux to try their skills on its rivers. They haven’t had as much success with this, but they’re still effective combatants so the Ten Thunders keep using them. They’re Bandits and Last-Blossom minions which cost 8ss, so on the pricey side. Bulletproof is a lot better, in my opinion, when paired up with Combat Finesse which makes it so enemy models can’t cheat fate on attack actions which target Df. Every time an enemy scheme marker is placed within 6 of them they can push 3” in any direction, so they could have a lot of added mobility in the Parker crew and can potentially dodge away from Detonate the Charges. Their 2/4/5 with plus flips melee attacks are pretty strong and can hit the Drop It! Trigger from a built-in tome. With a mask they can give a free attack to another friendly model engaged with the same target. And, of course, they have critical strike. I doubt you’ll use their gun much, as it’s pretty standard. And, they have a (0) action to reposition a scheme marker. They’ve got some interesting abilities, and I think they’ll see some use for Parker and Misaki, at least.

Upgrades: Parker has a ton of upgrades, so buckle in for this one. The two limited actions both give Parker Bulletproof. One lets him add a soulstone to his pool whenever a friendly model takes an action to remove an enemy scheme marker and can hand out free interact actions to friendly models as a (0). The other lets him draw cards when friendlies remove scheme markers and can hand out (1) ap attack actions. So, essentially, you’ll probably want one of those attached most of the time. To rapid fire through the rest: Crate of dynamite lets you blow up a scheme marker to deal damage, Hail of Bullets lets you place two 50mm Ht 0 Hail of Bullet markers which are hazardous terrain and can provide cover as well as adding a trigger to “Hands in the Air.” Stick Up gives him a WP attack that will either deal 4 damage to an Enforcer, Henchman, or Master or will steal one of their soulstones for you. Human Shield gives you soft cover and lets you pass one attack off to a friendly model within 2,” and finally Coordinated heist gives all bandits within 8" of Parker Scout the Field and a cool ability, “You were told to duck…,” which lets him fire into an engagement involving a friendly model and get an attack on every model involved. You have to discard the upgrade at that point, but you can reattach it to him and take the action again if you’ve got a particularly good pile of enemies in the combat. Phew. As I’ve said several times, Parker’s concept is pretty easy to learn, but you’re going to have to learn when to attach each upgrade to play him effectively.

Mad Dog’s Lucky Poncho gives him Hard to Kill and can grant him Focused+1 if you discard it when he has 1 wd at the start of his activation. Hans gets an upgrade that gives him +1 Wk and a (0) action to give him Focused. Pretty good for a sniper. Montresor gets one of the best “Fix Me” upgrades, I think, as it forces enemies in base contact with him to discard a card to attack and gives him Hard to Wound+1, effectively turning him into the tarpit/tank that he was supposed to be in the first place. One of the generic upgrades, Return Fire, gives the enforcer it’s attached to a Df/Wp trigger on a crow to let them shoot back at the attacking model after resolving. And, finally, “The Bigger They Are” make their melee attacks deal an extra point of damage to non-master models with upgrades attached, and so it is a good anti-Show of Force upgrade. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ripples of Fate Review: Resurrectionists

1.       Corpse Candle: There’s actually some cool fluff behind these, where they’re the souls of a pair of zombies Reva took in and sheltered who feel so loyal to her that, even with their physical forms gone, the spirits move from body to body animating them and burning their energy out to help her. They can count as a corpse counter for friendly models and must be summoned by Reva, not hired. They have a pitiful melee attack which you will never use for anything besides perhaps disengaging strikes. They have two abilities that will see any use. One is Light the Way which pushes all corpse markers within (3) of her up to 3” in any direction.  The other is The Essence Remains, wherein you sacrifice the corpse candle to either give a friendly target Disguised, give you + flips to attack against an enemy model, or allows a friendly model within 8” to draw a card then immediately activate as a chain. You'll use them with Reva, obviously.

2.       Vincent St. Clair: Reva’s henchman is the exorcist that rescued her from her parents’ house, where they had her sedated and restrained. He believes in her, but has begun to question whether that belief is real or just another byproduct of the devotion he’s seen her inspire in others. He is a 9ss living/revenant henchman. He heals a point whenever a model is killed within 8” and draws a card every time a corpse counter is discarded within 6”. He has abilities to do those things on his own, but will also definitely make certain other Rezzer masters have a bad day with those two abilities. He is himself able to burn corpse counters to add a suit to his flips during his turns (only one specific suit per turn.) Finally, he can push 3” in any direction after resolving a defense or willpower flip with a trigger. It’s built in for defense, but not for WP. So yeah, the front of his card is pretty hefty. His profane crossbow doesn’t include spirits when randomizing into melee combat. Its built in trigger adds damage for corpse counters within 3” of the target, or he can repeat the attack with a tome or add 1 soulstone after killing a model with a ram trigger. He can attach a condition to models to make his damage unpreventable with a (0) action. Finally, he can blow up a corpse counter and place blast markers off of it to force models beneath the blast to take a Wk duel or take damage. Vincent has a lot of cool abilities, but you’ll have to be careful to keep him protected from ranged attacks from which your defense trigger can’t protect you. He's sort of the uncola of Rezzer henches, which makes sense as he is still alive and up to recently was employed by the Guild. 

3.       Archie: This guy is hilarious. He was made by McMourning to be a companion for Mollie. As such, he’s a henchman Horror. You have to compare him to Nekima because he has a 13ss cost, and I think he does well side to side with her. 12 wounds, terrifying all 12, and hard to wound 1 means he won’t be falling down nearly as easily as she does. He can only heal 4 wounds per turn from the humorous ability "He's dropped his ice cream", the reason for which will become apparent shortly. Thankfully he also has Attack Expert to get an extra AP for melee, as his walk is not very good off the base card (though this is fixable). I’m going to break from format and point out his upgrades, as they’re vital to understanding how Archie works. He has 3 upgrades which represent odd…augmentations to his body. One can grant him +1 armor. Another can give him leap, which will help add some mobility to get him into the thick of things. The last is Doc found a tentacle, which will give him a (0) action to pull an enemy into melee and gives him Focused when its discarded. How do things get added and removed? Well, his ranged attack requires him to discard an upgrade or a corpse marker within 3", effectively reflecting him picking up a dead body or pulling bits off of himself and throwing them at the target. It does reasonably good damage and places a corpse counter in base contact with the target (Nicodem will then likely turn that into a punk zombie and mince you.) He can reattach a new upgrade specific to him with a (0) action. Doing so damages Archie unless you discard corpse markers. That’s a mouthful, but there’s also always his brutal 4/5/6 damage melee attack as a baseline, so I think he’ll see some definite use.

I don’t know why all these henchmen are so much more complicated in this faction. The write-ups will be shorter from here, I promise.

4.       Shieldbearer: These guys are the frontline fanatics that serve Reva. Their gimmick revolves around, when they are killed, attaching one of three soulbound upgrades to them, healing all damage, and dropping a corpse counter. Effectively, this is meant to reflect their instantly reanimating as a murder ghost and flying off to attack the enemy. This essentially means you have to kill them twice, which explains why they only have 4 wds. Cool. You actually want these guys to eat a red joker flip for your crew, as there is effectively no cost (the soulbound upgrades are also minor buffs for the models.) Their shields and swords are so ridiculously big because, in the fluff, they’ve looted them from Guild Guardians and are able to wield them because their fanatic devotion gives them supernatural strength. They gain fast whenever a friendly model near them uses a soulstone, and they have armor+1. Their salvaged sword has a reasonable minion damage track and triggers to drop corpse markers or deal a point of damage on a miss. They can also push enemy models with the shield slam. And on top of that, they can spend their (0) every turn to give themselves either a + to damage flips or a +2 bonus to DF. If you want to use them to hold a point you’ll want to do that early to take the most advantage, but I like these models. They seem fairly solid, particularly with Reva's ability to push them with one of her upgrades adding mobility.

5.       Draugr: Some people who come through the breach have a magical ability that doesn’t awaken until after they die. These are Draugrs, which are reflected in the game by an 8ss minion/revenant/horror. At the start of their turn they choose their Ht (1,2, or 3) and gain a variation of abilities based on which they choose. At ht. 3 they have Hard to Wound, can hand out soulbound upgrades to non-leader non-peons if they’re ht. 1, or can take their Trollskap ranged (0) ap casting action if they’re ht. 2. Trollskap forces the opponent to discard a card and applies a debuff based on the suit (which I don’t love, since your opponent gets to choose.) Draugr give a + to attack flips of models within 6” with soulbound upgrades, so they’re a decent anchor model in Reva’s lines, and they heal a damage whenever any non-peon dies within 8”. The damage track for their melee axe is interesting, as its damage flip is 0/1/2, but you add your ht. to the damage. So yeah, weird. I can’t tell if they’re good, if I’m being honest, but they are definitely interesting.

6.       Goryo: These are strong willed warriors or lords who martyr themselves in battle. It’s a spirit/retainer minion. Incorporeal as expected, and a pair of new abilities on the front. When another friendly model dies within 3” he gains Fast and he can charge for 1 AP versus models with Adversary. I think Kirai will like them for that, though a 7ss minion is a bit of a pricey summon. Their sword ignores armor with a decent damage track and can hand out slow with a trigger. They get a final little sting attack as a (0) ap action to help you polish off hard to kill models which can, if the thing lives through it, give them adversary with a trigger (so you could also use it to set up a 1ap charge.) Also, as a 1 ap action, they can do 2 damage to themselves and summon a seishin in base to base. I don’t know Kirai crews from personal experience, but this seems like it would be a pretty strong summon minion for her. Wk 6 incorporeal means it can get where it needs to, I suppose, but we’ll have to see if its good enough to get into other crews.

Upgrades: Reva-She has two limited upgrades. One lets her attack out of corpse counters even when she’s engaged and lets her summon a corpse candle on the opponent’s half of the board (not within 8” of an enemy model) at the beginning of the game. The other helps her melee abilities, granting her regeneration+1 and a trigger for her melee that lets her deal no damage and then charge a different legal target. I prefer the ranged upgrade for its flexibility, personally, but time will tell. One of her other upgrades, Blood Mark, gives her a ranged push for friendly models that grants them a free (0) ap action (useful to get both of the buffs on shieldbearers, among other things) at the end of the push. With a trigger, she can also count them as corpse markers for her abilities. Finally, her Litany of the Fallen puts a built-in trigger on her melee attack to make the damage irreducible. Usually useful. I don’t know why you would take Vincent without his upgrade, as it grants him From the Shadows and a (0) ap push action to get him out of melee. Maybe you might decide he has too many things to keep track of already and he makes your head hurt. Finally, the soulbound upgrades can either make the model explode when it dies, gives them finish the job, or gives you a refund to grant you a soulstone if the model dies in exchange for a card in hand.

General: I already discussed Archie’s upgrades, so we’ll skip along. Wronged Spirits is a rare 1 upgrade which makes all friendly Onryo within aura 12 gain +1 wk and cg. The model carrying it can discard it to give all Onryo in play Focused+1. Not sure this is enough to make the Onryo playable, but I don’t have firsthand experience to know for sure. I was personally surprised to see Phillip and the Nanny getting a free buff upgrade, as I know lots of people use them, but perhaps the idea was to give them some abilities besides “walk down the board, eat scheme markers, draw cards.” The upgrade in question gives him Haunting Cries, a range 12 Ca v. Wp action that does 2/3/4blast damage. A tome trigger grants a TN 10 horror duel. Again, Phillip players can tell me whether they’ll actually use this or just keep drawing cards with them, but I suppose it’s a free upgrade so why not take it. One of the Rezzer generics is Admiration, which allows a model to push to any summoned models that arrive within aura 6 of them for the cost of a card from hand. It’s costly, but I could see putting this on a slower model like Izamu to give it some added mobility in a summoning crew. The other is My Little Helper, which allows you to summon a Mindless Zombie off of the upgraded model if/when it dies and, once per game, makes the model untargetable by any actions more than 3” away and lets them use two (0) actions for that turn only. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Ripples of Fate Review: Neverborn


      I'm back home from the convention, so I should be able to crank these out sooner. If you want to order a copy of the book, make sure to get it done today before the webstore closes pre-orders. 

1.   The Gorar: Titania’s totem is a symbol of death and rebirth among the Fae (note the egg that the snake is cradling in its coils.) Its main function is to get to the center of the board (within 6”) so that, if a minion you care about is killed, you can sacrifice the Gorar to resummon it. This is important, as the knights and Rougarou are all minions and this is a way to protect them from being killed. It has unimpeded to help it get there through terrain, which is good because it doesn’t have much else in the way of defense. Its melee attack creates a scheme marker and does a little damage and its ranged turns a slow condition into paralyzed (this will make more sense in a moment,) but that’s not why you would be taking it. It’s going to attract a lot of fire and you'll have to work pretty hard to protect it, so I’m a little worried how much use this model will see when Primordial Magic exists.

2.       Aeslin is the Dryw (old English for Druid) that serves as a sort of major domo for Titania. She has Curse of Autumn (as do the knights) which force targets that begin their turn engaged with Aeslin to make a TN 13 WP duel or become Slow. She will get less use out of this than they will, I would assume. She’s a spellcaster with casting expert and the ability to dump a scheme marker to fire into combat without randomizing. Her two attack actions are the same A Wicked Silence melee as the Gorar, but you’ll more often use the Rot and Rend ranged spell. It has no TN, Ca 6, and a pedestrian 2/3/4 damage spread. The real strength of this spell comes from triggers, which can discard scheme markers to do more damage, drop another scheme marker with the ubiquitous A Trophy for the Queen trigger, push a model, or hand out slow. Her (0) actions can either inhibit the opponent’s casting flips or prevent them from moving, pushing, or being placed within a short range. Overall, Aeslin is a short range caster with ok damage and some interesting triggers. I question how much staying power it will have in the crew, but Titania’s ability to tank for her should help.

3.       Tooth, Claw, and Thorn: The three autumn knights are essentially the same theme with variation. The front of their cards are the same, with ok defenses and stats, hard to wound, armor+1, and curse of autumn. All of them also have the (0)AP tactical action A Clear Path to push towards scheme markers within 4”. The differences come with their attacks and their challenge actions. The tooth has a melee sword which automatically drops a scheme marker as a trigger and can hit a different one to get a + flip to damage. Her challenge forces an opponent to move into base to base with the tooth, gives them a free attack at a -, and then gives her a free attack back. The claw (possibly my favorite) has a spear which works as a ranged or melee attack, has the same triggers as the tooth but with the other trigger built in instead, and has a challenge which pushes an enemy model into base to base and can, with a trigger, give them a – flip to defense for the rest of the turn. Finally, the Thorn lashes you with vines that do slightly worse damage but has the + flip to damage trigger built in as well as a separate trigger to let you draw a card if the enemy is close to a scheme marker. They seem tough but not quite as tough as Illuminated, but they’ll probably be necessary to get scheme markers out for Titania.

4.       Bandersnatch: This creature is cool. It’s a Rare 1 Nightmare minion that jumps into your shadow and can attack others from there. This is represented mechanically by the (0) Crawl Into Shadow. If successfully cast against a target, the Bandersnatch buries itself and places an “upgrade” on the target which does damage to it every turn and allows the buried Bandersnatch to use it as the origin point for its attacks. In effect, it acts like the Bandersnatch is attacking out of the shadow at other enemy models, which then allows it to drag the enemy models into melee with the poor sucker and even has a trigger where the second model might attack the first one out of confusion. The 2” melee range of the Snatch is increased by the height of the model. The “upgrade” falls off after the second time it ticks on the original target for damage, so it will be important to activate the Bandersnatch right away to jump back into a shadow and avoid getting hit back, but I think this model is very cool and thematic.

5.       Will o’ the Wisp: These guys are rare 3 spirit swampfiend minions that are incorporeal but also insignificant. Any model that fails a WP duel within 3” of them lets them place a scheme marker in base to base with the enemy. Their attack isn’t very good, but with a cost of 3 they’re not really expected to hit hard. You’re really taking them for 2 reasons. One is The Wisp’s Call, a ranged spell that places a condition on the target which forces them to take walk actions toward the wisp with one of their AP and prevents charging. It has a possibility to disrupt enemy movements, but seems somewhat situational. They also have a tactical action to use a (2) action off of another Neverborn model within 10” for (1) AP. The immediately obvious use is to summon Voodoo dolls for Zoraida, which allows her to use her AP for other things. There is a lot of careful wording to make sure you can’t abuse this (you can only target a single model one time with this per turn and can only be taken once by turn by the Wisps) but could, over time, end up becoming even more useful as new models are released. I'm interested to see these guys in action with Pandora, Zoraida, or Titania for three entirely different reasons. 

6.       Rougarou: If you watch Supernatural you already know that this is a sort of wolf creature which, inexplicably, all the recurring characters are always off hunting to explain why they aren’t in the episode. They’re 8ss fae/beast/undead minions (so hurray for Marcus, I guess.) They’re melee beaters that don’t have a ton of resilience off the card. Hard to Kill is decent, but they could really be scary if they had been given Hard to Wound as well like the rest of the knights. Instead, they have the ability to eat a scheme marker within 3” at the start of their turn to either heal 2 wounds or push 3”. Their claws have a high severe damage and a ram trigger that gives the damage flip a + so its more likely you can cheat for it. Its tactical actions are a pair of (0) actions that either force a target to make a TN 13 WP duel and, if it fails, gives the Rougarou a free melee attack or can push all enemies with pulse 4 into base to base with the Rougarou if they fail the same WP duel. There’s also a fun trigger on this action which lets it jump into base to base with one of the model who succeeds the WP duel after the others push in. Not sure how strong this one is, since it may be a bit too fragile to stick around. There are probably better options at 8 points.

Upgrades: Titania-The Queen has no limited upgrades, so they can be used in whatever combination you prefer. One puts a mask trigger on all of her attacks which forces an enemy to discard cards to target anyone besides Titania. Another gives her the ability to place an enemy model into base contact with her and can place a scheme marker with a trigger. Both of these add to her ability to tank for her crew. The Forest Claims All seems like one which should be used in most games, as it allows her to change all corpse or scrap markers placed within 4” of her into scheme markers unless the opponent discards a card. This seems good for not just disrupting Rezzer, Ten Thunders, and Aracanist summoner crews, but also for getting scheme markers for Titania when the opponent doesn’t care about those markers at all. Finally, The Queen’s Champion is an upgrade which you place on Titania until one of her models kills something. The upgrade then jumps to the new model and grants them Armor+1, a + flip to attacks, and placing a scheme marker every time they damage an enemy. This one seems most likely for me to leave off simply because the cost of controlling which model gets the upgrade (discarding a soulstone if you don’t want it to jump) is pretty high, and I don’t like things I can’t control directly. The general Fae upgrade gives them a 10” aura which grants all Fae the ability to, with a trigger that is built in for the knights, discard a scheme marker and push 3”. This one might also get left behind unless the knights really get a lot more use out of it in play than I'm imagining.

Generalist-Lelu gets Satisfying Punishment, which increases his DF+1 and gives him an ability to deal itself 1 damage at the end of its turn to cycle a card. Iggy gains a melee attack with a 2/3/4 damage spread and the Hide in Shadows trigger. The generic upgrade A Thousand Faces has to be used on a Non-Master and is Rare 2 but allows a leader to take a (1) action if the model with the upgrade dies and may be swapped out for a different upgrade at the start of its activation (paying the difference in soulstone cost, if its higher.) If you choose to switch to Pact, you also get to draw a card. I think I like the other upgrade, Malifaux Provides, better (although I suppose you could always start out with the first one and then switch to the second one when you need it.) It allows a model to discard a scheme marker within 3” to heal 2 and, when the model would gain a condition, allows the model to ditch the upgrade and ignore it as well as drawing another card. Now that I think about it, you may as well start with the first one in case the enemy does something you don’t expect and kills a model early on, but then later switch to the second or any of the other Neverborn upgrades as you feel necessary. 

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, July 26, 2016

Ripples of Fate Previews M.2: Sandeep, Parker, Asami, and Zipp

Time to carry on with the reviews! If you missed the first half, here's a link!

Sandeep Desai

                From the fluff, we learn that Sandeep was born in Guild occupied India and learned magic at a temple when he was adopted as an orphan. The knowledge he mastered was totally against Guild law, and as such his master was killed and Sandeep was set on his path. He has since become a teacher of rebel mages and spellcasters, with a mastery of Gamin and holding secret classes on Earth and now, after being invited there by Victor Ramos, in Malifaux. It could be my academic background, but I like the flavor of this dude.
                He summons his big totem, Banasuva, to provide a threat on the board that could be interesting for Collect the Bounty. On the card (likely modified from upgrades,) he has a not so strong melee attack from his big Gada mace. His ranged caster spell has a respectable 2/4/5 damage flip with a ram trigger to give it plus flips for damage. He can teleport as a (0) or perform an interact action. As written, he feels like a kind of generic master, but that makes sense because any of his abilities that are casts (the ranged attack, teleport, and interact) are usable by the other academics in his crew. As such, you wouldn’t want them to be too overwhelming or that could get really out of hand. His melee attack is enhanced by which of his limited upgrades he chooses. He also picks up the ability to summon gamin from his limited upgrade, and gives different buffs to them based on which upgrade he chooses. The other upgrades aren’t detailed to any degree, other than to state that they let him hire academics regardless of faction and gives him the ability to enhance their abilities…in some way. Perhaps fittingly, Sandeep remains probably the most mysterious master at this point, but I’m very interested to see how he operates on the tabletop.

Parker Barrows

                Parker was screwed over in court by a brother long ago, which took all of his money and left him to a life of banditry. He now runs a gang out of the Northern Hills and robs people. They aren’t loyal to anybody, so anybody is a target. And…that’s pretty much it for fluff.
                Parker sort of strikes me as being reminiscent of the game Othello: you can learn him in minutes, but it will take you a lifetime to master. He shoots stuff, unsurprisingly, and has a trigger to make an enemy drop…one of their scheme markers? That will likely seem weird, until you get to the tactical action Five Finger Discount which lets him discard either his own soulstones or the enemy’s scheme markers to attach one of Parker’s upgrades to him. This makes sense when paired with his Empty The Chamber trigger on his shooting attack, which increases his damage from ditching upgrades, and the fact that he has 7 different upgrades which allow him to do different things on the board. So, Parker ditches an upgrade that may or may not have outlived its usefulness in the game (IE it’s a combat upgrade and the game has shifted to a strats/schemes/movements phase, or vice versa,) does some extra damage on an attack (3/4/6 for the cost of one upgrade,) and gains a soulstone back for Limited Supplies. He can then either ditch that soulstone or an enemy scheme marker and attach something better from his massive pool of personal upgrades. So, he could be a swiss army knife, with a different tool to fit whatever job you need. He also can toss out some pushes to his crew to help get slowpoke models into position for added utility. So, to all appearances, he is a scheme denial master (sort of,) who can switch between strategy or combat mode in mid game. My brother used to joke that, if I went to a fast food place, I would tend towards the “one of everything combo” because I like having options. Parker gets more tempting to me all the time. I do worry, however, that most Levi and Vik players may look at him, shrug, and move on past because they already have a very strong combat master and Parker doesn’t explicitly fill any of the things they’re missing.

Asami Tanaka

                I wasn’t sure if Asami would have been an Oni from the start or a former human who had been changed into one. Her backstory reveals that she is the latter. Asami was locked up (seems to be a theme with the women of this book, I just realized) as a child because she could see the lights twinkling in the Beyond and longed to call them to be her family. She and Reva should sit down for coffee sometime. I think they’d have a lot in common. Anyway, her temple was raided and she was wounded and left unable to have children, ensuring she would never be able to create said family the old-fashioned way. As such, she accepted an Oni into her and gained the ability to call them, as well as a big shiny new smile (on the back of her head.) The Thunders have recruited her to take advantage of her talents but, who knows, maybe she isn’t so inclined to being under their control.
                Let’s get the big thing out of the way, Asami’s a summoner. She calls any Oni type minions with a similar version of Nicodem’s summon, but with a twist. Rather than losing wounds when the new Oni enter the board, they have a condition called Flicker+1 that ticks down at the end of the turn and, if it is removed from the model, results in their being sacrificed. So, Asami’s summons have a timer essentially, which can be spiked up by sacrificing corpse and/or scrap markers when she calls them and (presumably) by her totem which has the ability to increase conditions. They still can’t interact when they appear and are slow, but they can tick her for 1 wound and then charge as a (1) so that mitigates a bit of the speed problem. She also has the ability to grant an Oni or minion Focus+2 for the cost of an AP (she is an Oni herself, don’t forget) and her melee attack is no slouch on its own. That said, she has only 10 wounds and only Hard to Kill to protect herself, so keeping her safe while taking advantage of that attack is going to be tricky. Her upgrade A Heavenly Design sounds, on the surface, to be a must-have due to granting her a placing effect for better positioning and by allowing her to drop a scheme marker next to any models which are sacrificed near her (granting them a kind of pseudo-Finish the Job trick similar to Molly’s.) 
                I think that, of the new masters, Asami has the potential to be the most difficult of the lot, but there’s a great deal of potential power here. Playing her as a dedicated summoner and ignoring her own offensive capabilities may end up being a trap, but summoning is one of the most powerful mechanics in Malifaux. Plus, you know, Amo No Zako charging for 1 AP is scary, ya’ll.


                Zipp is pretty much what it says on the box, Captain of a crew of sky pirates. He and his band stole an experimental airship and have been raiding and pillaging ever since. His ship is called the Infamy. He has a jet pack and a lightning gun. I think that’s more or less covered it.
                I like to think of him as having more in common with a certain other captain from Futurama whose name begins with Z. His strength is in A) Aggravating the people around him, B) talking a lot and C) Winning because the competent people around him go complete the mission for him. He’s insignificant, we already knew, and specializes in disruption. His two forms of attack are the lightning gun, which can drop the enemy’s walk down or push someone around on triggers. Or, he can lift you up in the air and drop you, leading to the very unique Melee versus Height duel with a pretty decent damage spread and the ability to reposition Zipp and the target 5”. This attack also has the greatest trigger name in Malifaux, “My work done, I race triumphantly into the clouds,” which lets you move Zipp away after doing the drop on the enemy. I think the most powerful thing he might be able to do is summon clouds of smoke to redefine the terrain on the battlefield and screen his troops. And, he has a semi-reliable ability to reposition his own people. I don’t think we can see the real full strength of his model at this time, since he gains power from upgrades which also allow his enforcers to attach Sky Pirate upgrades as well. These give you the ability to bring the Infamy into the fray by having his people drop pianos out of it on people on the other side of the board. It's tough to know for sure what Zipp is going to do, but I'm sure we'll see a ton of it just for the humor value (which could be said for most non-Wong Gremlins, but I'm editorializing again.) Good luck building those Iron Skeeters, though. 

                 So, that’s the whole sorry lot of ‘em that’ll be available at the Con. Before the show starts, I’m hoping to put together a post with some pre-Gencon plans that I’m orchestrating, some information about the games of Through the Breach I’ll be running there, and a Malifaux Musings challenge which will gain you entry to a drawing for some Gencon lootz. So, tune back in for that later this week!

Friday, July 22, 2016

RIpples of Fate Previews M. 2: Nellie, Reva, Titania

So, surprisingly, Wyrd actually released quite a bit more information on the Ripples of Fate box sets prior to Gencon. I thought it would just be the images of the box sets and, by the way, bravo to them for having ALL SEVEN of the new box sets as well as all of the remaining Book 3 models which haven’t been released available for the show. The sculpting staff at Wyrd deserve a lot of kudos for this. This will be the first time since M1E (possibly the first time in the history of Malifaux) when they’re completely up to date. So, cheers for that. However, mid-day on Thursday the 21st, they released some crew summaries and the backside of the master cards to the public. Therefore, since the previous preview posts (yay alliteration) were so popular, I thought it would be time to go back and revisit the previews. There’s only 2 weeks left to the show, however, so we’re gonna have to pick up the pace a bit. On with the show!

Nellie Cochrane

                Fluff-wise, Nellie has been confirmed to be the leader of the Guild run newspaper in Malifaux city. As such, she serves their purpose by not exposing their corruption while digging into everybody else’s (though the story suggests she’s not crazy about this arrangement, necessarily.) She’s got a crew of journalists that work with her as well as her companion, Phiona Gage (a reference from a famous historical medical case of a railroad worker who took a metal spike through his brain and lived, but with an altered personality.) She’s a crusader of truth and, at least from the blurb, is possibly the only truly good person in the entire game of Malifaux. That said, I haven’t read her short stories, so she’s probably secretly kicking puppies or something.
As predicted, Nellie is very different from your average Guild master (IE she’s not going to smash you in the face.) She has a few options for attacking between 1) Scathing Review: an attack that attaches a condition which deals damage every turn unless they perform an interact action (which will then give Nellie more Evidence,) 2) Propaganda: an attack which does a smallish amount of damage but which has a number of triggers which can push the model, let something else take a swing at it, or give it slow, or 3) Hot off the Presses which pushes a model to a scheme marker and gives them burning 3. Propaganda is probably the most interesting, since the additional text lets you drop your evidence condition by 1 to declare more of the triggers off the attack. She can chew up the scheme markers she drops at her feet to get a free 6” push as a zero action as well. She has upgrades which will allow her to hire up to 4 mercenaries without paying the mercenary tax (which will, likely, necessitate taking multiple mercs, since it’s unlikely to be a free upgrade.) Misleading headlines grants her the ability to avoid being out-activated by the enemy crew (a frequent problem with Guild crews) and gives her the very powerful Incite action. Delegation lets her heal models or give them fast (!) which has some interesting interactions with those big, scary mercs you might be hiring or, you know, all the big scary things the Guild already has. So, essentially, Nellie is a big bag of tricks and aggravation for your opponent. I can see her essentially following along with some big gribbly like a Peacekeeper, healing it or giving it Fast, and handing it free attacks with Propaganda. Feels a bit Hoffman-meets-Pandora-meets-Collette to me. She will be mine, someday, but she may stay on Vassal for the immediate future. School supplies have to be bought for my kids this month.


                Reva’s not at all what I thought she would be in the story. I was with everybody else on thinking “death nun,” based on her appearance, but apparently she is a girl from a rich family who could speak to dead people. They locked her up in the attic, but she escaped with the help of a fallen Guild Exorcist. I’m usually a bit more PC about these things but, based on what I’ve seen so far, *yawn*. I kind of liked the idea of the Resurectionist Nun, I’m not going to lie, so I’m disappointed in this. But, this is just a blurb rather than the full stories from the book, so I’ll reserve judgement until I know the full tale. She seems to have kind of a “Joan of Arc” for the Resurrs, as it mentions that she’s attracting a sort-of death cult that is fanatically loyal.
                The best analogy I can get from my impressions of Reva’s role on the table are “Resurrectionist Rasputina,” only not really. Her main attack comes from Ethereal Reaping, a 1 AP attack that will target anything within 3” or her (and she’s on a 50mm base, so that’s a big range) or a corpse marker within 18”. The attack does pretty strong, Perdita-ish damage with some decent triggers, so this could mess opponents up pretty badly. You won’t want to overlook the Drain Life ability, however, as it has the potential to damage an opponent and heal Reva for up to 5 damage depending on the margin by which she beats the defender in a duel. We all know how fond I am of non-damage flip attacks, after all. Her tactical actions let her teleport to corpse markers or discard corpse markers to add friendly scheme markers. Her upgrades feel toolbox-y, though the one that gives her a corpse candle starting on the enemy’s side of the board and allows her to use Strength of the Fallen while engaged seems pretty strong for her. She’s described as being a quick master who pops around the board, does damage, or perhaps prepares for a big final charge at the end of the game.


                Ah, my Faerie queen. How we all prepare to revel in the glory of your return. Titania’s fluff we already more or less knew. She’s the resurrected former leader of the Fae who, upon defeating the titans and destroying their physical forms, was locked away by her followers (the current-day Neverborn) and forgotten. She’s back now, and this time she’s pissed. Part of what I want to see story-wise from the book is which of the Neverborn’s masters fall on her side versus which are going to be opposed to her. I can’t imagine Lillith bending the knee, especially given her people’s hatred of the Undead, but I could definitely see Nekima aligning herself with Titania as a means of getting revenge. We do know that she considers humanity to be a scourge of vermin that need to be wiped out, so that would suggest that Jacob Lynch, Zoraida, and the Dreamer are not going to be on her friends list.
                The attack action A Wicked Silence and A New Harvest result in the scheme markers she needs getting dropped. Her main attack is Bloody Command which can discard scheme markers to spike the damage up, heal a friendly model, or forgo Titania’s damage and call in a beater to smash the target (speaking of Nekima.) Finally, she can use her (0) action and discard scheme markers to push herself along which, if she combines it with a triple walk, will give her up to a 21” move in a turn. Sexy. We don’t know which, if any, of Titania’s upgrades are Limited (and, thus, which can be combined,) but we know a few of them. One forces an opponent to discard 2 cards to attack her after she hits a trigger. Forest claims all lets her convert corpse and scrap markers to scheme markers (seems like a pretty strong choice.) And, finally, there’s an upgrade which lets her name one member of her crew as a champion, which gives them some manner of buffs. This lets you apply some flexibility to who gets the upgrade and prevents them getting taken off before they can make use of the abilities, presumably, which tends to happen to me whenever I bring a new shiny to a game. She’s the crew box I’ll be picking up at Gencon, but that’s been the case since the Nythera event, frankly, and that didn’t have anything to do with the rules. I can’t be unbiased with Titania, is what I’m saying, but I think she’s great.

Check back next time for the remaining 4 masters.