Friday, July 14, 2017

Book 5 Pre-Previews: Ten Thunders

A heavy couple weeks of news and announcements, followed by a quick look at the new models coming for the Ten Thunders.


-OMG Gosh it's Book 5! We got a peek at the cover, as well as a description of what's coming inside, namely new upgrades for all the old masters! Hmm, where did I hear that one mentioned before... Ok, so before I get in trouble, let me reiterate that when I wrote that post, I WAS NOT on the playtesting team for Book 5 yet, and I did not, in fact, know anything. There's a reason I haven't mentioned the theory again since. Anyways, we saw a quick preview of a couple of the new upgrades that are coming, one for Lady Justice that gives her more of a hit-and-run style of play, and one for Seamus that takes his already impressive ability to manipulate Terrifying checks and turns it up a notch. More on these when there are more available to discuss.

-A new issue of Wyrd Chronicles came out as well, discussing some of the design process for Book 5 and what's coming. Also, there's a Through the Breach adventure published in there by one of my favorite authors, wherein you take a fellow he's afflicted with Black Blood to go get a cure, only to discover that the cost of this cure may be quite high.

-The cover of said Wyrd Chronicles features this year's Gencon Nightmare Edition box, which has been shown to be an alternate Hamelin crew styled like a Crazy Cat Lady. Not my cup of tea (I don't play Hamelin) but it's a funny idea all the same.

-Additionally, the issue of Wyrd Chronicles mentioned that this year's Miss Model is an alternate Taelor named Miss Deed, who looks like she'd look right at home in any Western themed crew. Additionally, an alternate Sybil was shown as well. You earn this one by spending $60 on Malifaux products during August (like, oh, I don't know, Gencon stuff or instance.) You fill out a form on Wyrd's website, send them a picture of the receipt, and you get the model. Couldn't be simpler!

-Are we done with Chronicles yet? NO! There's also a competition going on with the Gencon sales! Any time you buy something at Gencon or online during the convention, you get to vote for whether Nicodem or Lady Justice wins a duel of fate! What could be the consequences of this? Who knows! 

-The art previews have continued to come, this time for the Cyclops from Neverborn in Monday Previews and two more commanders from The Other Side. I don't want to link them all, you can find them easily enough. 


Ten Thunders

Gwyneth Maddox-8ss Henchman-A henchman Lynch has to pay for? Hard Pass! But seriously, she’s interesting. Seems to be an upgraded Beckoner with some interesting card manipulation abilities. Luck thief makes enemy + flips count as – flips against her and allows her to heal when models miss attacks against her, which should provide some interesting defenses. At the beginning of its activation it can stack the top 3 cards of the fate deck or throw them away, so some more card manipulation for the Ten Thunders, particularly when paired with her (0) Hit Me to draw some of those cards into your hand. And The After Party lets you get away with not bringing the Addict upgrade by just building it in to her from the start. Her gun is ok, with a built in trigger to spread more Brilliance which the Lynch crew has probably needed. And finally, her 1 AP Come Play At My Table works a bit like Bert Jebsen’s Cracker Jack Timing as a way to pull models into base to base with her, and can also hand out some more Brilliance with a trigger. Very interesting model.

Katanaka Crime Boss-8ss Enforcer-Finally, the alluded to mafia side of the Ten Thunders is getting some representation in the game. These guys seem like they’re designed to hold points in the game, as the front of their card is designed to resist shifting them from a particular spot and punish enemy models for dropping scheme markers near them. This is paired with a decently damaging melee attack on the back and a nasty one-two punch with the A Lesson You Won’t Soon Forget that boosts the Nagamaki’s mediocre Ml value to 5 and grants a + to the damage flip. It can heal with a 0 action with the familiar Calls Unto the Chi tactical action and can give itself an ability until the end of the turn to draw a card whenever an enemy model activates inside the Crime Boss’s engagement range. Interesting not just for the abilities, but because the Thunders don’t have a ton of “Hold this Point” type models.

Lotus Eater-6ss minion-Another defense oriented model, the LE has the same protection money ability as the Crime Boss and Bully, which makes an opponent discard a card to walk or interact within 3” of them. The Lotuses that the minion eats are scheme markers, and it can chew on one at the beginning of its activation to either heal 2 damage or take a 0 action (even if it has already declared one this turn). One of the model’s 0 actions lets it move and eat another scheme marker, potentially allowing for a chain of movement and making it pretty good at defending against Claim Jump. It has a middling melee attack that uses CA and heals the LE, or it can place a condition on an enemy model forcing it to discard two cards to be able to declare actions on its turn, which can be enhanced with the Aggressive Stance to force weaker WP models near the LE to take a – to all duels involving the LE. Could be useful as a denial piece.

Obsidian Statue-9ss Enforcer-A heavy beater for the faction, this model combines some defensive abilities with a relatively hard hitting melee attack. At the end of its activation, it drops a ht3 50mm marker in base to base with itself to create some mobile cover. It has armor, can’t be pushed, placed, or buried while the statue marker is on the board, and drops scrap markers every time it gets hit which can then be used to heal itself. The model is designed to set things on fire with its Spew Lava attack to give it burning and then land a melee attack with its obsidian fist, gaining a + to the damage flip if they have burning. It’s always tough to tell which beaters will end up being most effective when so many are already in the game. It isn’t very fast and the Df of 3 leaves something to be desired, but it could do some damage in a crew that can overcome these issues.

Charm Warder-5ss Minion-Another defense oriented model, this one punishes enemy summoning crews. Any model summoned near them gains the Entropy condition, which deals damage to equal to the condition when the model activates and can then be reduced at the end of the model’s activation, at the cost of discarding cards (which most summoning crews can’t afford to do.) They also block scheme marker placement near them, and can offer some protection to friendly models near them that have activated, granting them a + to Df and WP duels and by using its Charm of Vanishing (0) action to make attacks against the model have the chance to fail. They can also hand out Disguised, deal a little damage in melee (not the reason you would take a warder, but still handy to be able to switch between Ml or Ca for the attack and Df or WP for defense), and can add on Entropy with an attack.

Tanuki-5ss Minion-This model is an odd one, as tends to be the case with Tri-Chi. Any model that activates within 8 of it and in base to base with a scheme marker gets a point of poison, which can end up being slightly easier to set up than it sounds with its built in defense trigger to place a marker every time they succeed on a defense check and get a little extra movement or with its Gourd Bop attack, which also drops a scheme marker. It can force models to reduce their poison condition by half and take all that damage at once, which is potentially useful (or painful for a McMourning crew.) Alternatively, friendly models can reduce their poison condition by up to 4 and heal a point for each. If done to aTri-Chi for 3 or more wounds, it hands out Reactivate to minions or enforcers or Fast to Henchman or Masters. Finally, when they activate they can chose to immediately end their activation, drop a scheme marker, and then count as two models for the purpose of the strategy. So, they could be good as scheme runners, presumably, though Wk 5 and no mobility tricks other than the defense trigger don’t naturally suggest that. I’ll not pretend to be an expert on the Brewmaster, but this doesn’t immediately jump out to me as being amazing. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Book 5 Pre-Previews-Rezzers and Outcasts

I've had some personal life stuff going on lately and been grappling with a bit of burn-out, so I apologize for the lack of posts in recent weeks. To make up for it, I thought I'd give you a double-sized pre-preview article, this time taking a look at the Ressers and the Outcasts. But first, an art heavy segment of mini-musings!


-There've been a few Art Previews since last I wrote. One is the Bultungin, the Neverborn minion previously discussed. It looks like the image above. The other is the Lampad, whose image I put with the Ressers below. Finally, there's the Guild's Monster Hunter, pictured immediately below. I dig her. 

-Meanwhile, The Other Side has started doing Friday Previews as well. Here comes Charles Edmonton and the Storm Siren. 

-Ok, I lied, there's one more Art Preview. Nathan stuck it in a different place on the forums. It's Kandara, the Arcanist model coming out soon. And, if you follow the link, you can watch a video of Alyssa actually painting the image. Cool.
-Wyrd has another Game Designer job opening. Got what it takes? Send 'em an application.

-Finally, the Malifaux game rules are now available for free in French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish (as well as English, of course.) 

Benny Wolcomb-8SS Henchman. A new friend for Hamelin, Benny seems like he might be another member of the rat catching brigade. If he takes damage, he can discard a card to summon a rat. Also, he has an important role to play in removing enemy scheme markers. His Rat Presents ability allows him to place a friendly scheme marker next to an enemy scheme marker within 3” of a vermin at the end of the turn and then remove the enemy marker. Rude. To help make this happen, several of his abilities have a tome trigger for “Drop It,” where you make them drop an enemy marker after damaging them. His greatest offensive potential in the late game comes from Bleeding Disease, but he has a melee attack from a knife and a 0 action attack that scales damage based on how many vermin are standing within 3” of the target. Finally, he can eat other rats within 3” of him to heal himself a point per rat consumed. An interesting defenseman model to confound enemy scheme efforts, and a pretty decent henchman.

Freikorps Engineer-6ss minion. A fairly standard Freikorps type model on the front of the card with relatively standard attacks on the back, the most interesting thing about the Freikorps Engineer is his ability to alter armor from targets. As a 0 action, they can increase the armor value of friendly models, with a couple of interesting triggers to add Rams to the friendly model’s attacks (only Outcast models for this one) or a Light Distorting Device which gives all non-melee attacks a – flip to hit. Additionally, a trigger on the melee attack lets the librarian reduce the target’s defense.

Prospector-6ss minion. This is an interesting minion. First of all, the Prospector’s “Spend Soulstone to Make Soulstone” refunds you a soulstone at the beginning of the game after your crew deploys, which is nice. Additionally, every time they discard an enemy scheme marker with an interact action, you get to add another stone (though this feels like the ability actually reads “enemy will not use soulstones near the prospector.”) If you don’t want to earn a soulstone for ditching a marker (for some reason) or want to stand back a bit from the one you’re discarding, there’s “Appraise” which discards a scheme marker and then makes you discard a card, draw a card, or nothing based on the result of a card flip. There’s a kind of Rg. 8 Lure spell called “I’ve struck soulstone” that has the bonus of letting you drop a friendly scheme marker. And finally, the tactical action with the groan worthy name “I’m just talking about shafts” turns the lure into an attack, because any enemy model that moves within 6” of the prospector and ends a move or push within base contact of a friendly scheme marker takes some damage. An odd little guy without a ton of offensive power, but the scheme marker manipulation and soulstone refund makes him interesting. And he’s a merc, so any crew can hire him. Could be silly with Collette, maybe.

Talos-8ss enforcer. A new toy for the Void crew, Talos seems to be some kind of construct/furnace that buries people and burns them up for his own benefit. It can heal itself for the number of wounds a model has when he buries them, but takes half those wounds as damage if the creature unburies. He does the burying with “Into the Furnace,” a Rg 2 attack resisted by WP which buries a nonleader model. His melee attack gains an inch of range while something is buried, and he can burn up a buried model for 2 points (take that, stupid Malifaux Raptors). Finally, he has a 0 action to force enemy models within aura 3 of him to make a Horror check versus a TN of 10+the number of enemy models which are buried. Seems like an ok beater (anything with a minimum 3 damage melee attack usually qualifies) though he has a lot of competition for his slot in non-Tara crews. The buffs from having models buried might make him better with his sub-faction than as a generalist.

Marlena Webster-8ss Enforcer. The orphan from the Divergent Paths event is apparently a Teddy and Orphan together in the same model, now. They can charge an enemy that drops a scheme marker near them, hitting with protector claws that do decent damage. It has a Squeel-esque mask trigger to push away from things that hit them, with the added benefit of smacking the attacker for 2 points of damage. There’s a vaguely nasty ranged attack that ignores hard to kill and wound and, with a trigger, can prevent healing for the rest of the turn. It can discard scrap markers to summon wicked dolls, which is interesting but probably not that useful, and most importantly can use a 0 action called “Soul Tether.” You make a Cast to beat a TN10 targeting a friendly leader. The amount by which you exceed the TN becomes the value for the “Tethered” condition and, if that leader is killed, they are immediately healed back to life for the value of the condition and Marlena takes the same amount as damage. The condition then falls off. Ostensibly this is designed to be thematic with Leviticus, but I could see using it on, say, Victoria before launching her up the board as a sort of insurance policy or wound buffer. I think she’ll see play, though again, the mid-high point enforcer space is crowded for Outcasts.

The Midnight Stalker-8SS Enforcer. From a thematic standpoint, I love the idea of another serial killer in Malifaux, especially one that has a massive inferiority complex towards Seamus. His front of card has an interesting balance of abilities that will make choosing when to activate him key, as models get a double negative flip to target him before he’s activated for the turn, but his respect for the art ability makes it so he can only attack models that haven’t activated yet. At the beginning of his turn he is reborn, healing all the damage he’s taken and placing within 8”. He gets fast if he’s on the opponent’s side of the board, which is new and different, and ignores intervening models when moving. His melee attack is a pretty standard ml 5 2/3/5 sword with critical strike, but he can use a 1 ap action to give himself a ram for every model with which he is engaged. And, finally, if he’s dealt damage that turn, he can force anyone trying to charge him to pass a TN14 Wp duel or the action fails. My first impression is that this model is fun and characterful, but possibly not that competitively viable due to the less than inspiring attack (the crit strike ability is nice, but swapping 2 attacks for one attack with more critical damage isn’t going to make a huge difference, imo.)  


Asura Roten-8SS Henchman. A henchman with roots in the Through the Breach module A Night in Rottenburg, Asura is an interesting addition to the faction. She has a Sandeep-esque ability to hand out her melee attacks to undead models within 12” of her. She places a Quarantine Marker within 12” of her at the beginning of her activations, which boost the damage of the aforementioned melee attacks or can be used to summon a Mindless Zombie with a 0 action. These markers force enemy models that activate within 3” to pass a TN14 WP duel or take a point of damage. Finally, she can eat corpse markers within 3 of her to heal 2 per corpse. Probably the most interesting ability is the Grasping Hands, which reduce the target’s Df, Wk, and Cg by 1 point per instance of the condition. Seems she’s built to interact with mindless zombies and other less than stellar minions, handing out her melee attacks to either drag the enemy’s models to a halt or grind them down with her attacks. Could be interesting with a crew that has Mwahahaha or lots of smaller minions, like maybe an alternate spammy version of Nicodem maybe.

Kentauroi-8SS Minion. This is an interesting model apparently based on Centaurs (though, considering Ressers are involved, I have a suspicion the man and horse halves didn’t necessarily START attached to each other.) They have an ability to taxi models around ala Gracie or Iron Skeeters, so that’s automatically interesting. The model seems to be built around transporting models and then charging, as its lance attacks do the most damage on the charge and they can use a 0 action to let them charge when engaged, so long as the target is different than the one with which they are currently engaged. After the charge, their loose stitches causes them to take 2 damage and drop a corpse marker in base to base contact. The centaur can use its 0 action to pick up the corpse marker and heal the damage, or you can leave it for summoning or as an attack point for Reva. I think these will find a place in many crews.

Bone Pile-6ss Minion. This model seems best used as a higher point scheme runner. They take one point less damage from enemy attacks, reduce enemy damage flips with a negative flip, and are immune to all conditions that are non-scheme or non-slow. With a 2ap action, they can bury themselves and unbury at the end of the turn from a corpse counter somewhere on the board, which they can then discard to heal 2 damage. At the start of their activation they choose from a trio of buffs: One which increases their movement, one that grants a plus flip to their attacks, and one that makes the bone pile count as two models for the purpose of schemes and strategies. Their attacks are somewhat middling, so you’ll probably want to pick from the first or last option and use these guys to take care of some schemes.

Gravedigger-7ss Enforcer. An interesting utility piece, the Gravedigger’s job is to grab corpse markers and move them around the board. This is reflected by a condition, Corpsebarrow, which goes up by 1 for every corpse marker this thing discards with its varied abilities. The Gravedigger pushes to corpse markers that other models drop within 6” of it and discards them, giving it the condition. Additionally, the Gravedigger can use a 0 to discard a corpse marker within 2” to increase the condition as well. What do these markers do? Well, a model can target the Gravedigger like they’re a corpse marker, reducing the condition by one for each marker that would be discarded for an ability like summoning. Secondly, the Gravedigger can discard markers to fuel the damage on its attacks. There’s a little risk in doing this, as a model that can remove conditions gets rid of your corpse markers, but if the Gravedigger dies it drops corpse markers equal to its Corpsebarrow condition in base to base, so at least you won’t lose corpses that way. Finally, assuming any corpse markers are left on the board, the Gravedigger can make them count as friendly Scheme Markers with a 0. And, if none of that does anything for you, the Gravedigger can push enemy models around for a wheelbarrow ride and potentially slam them into terrain for some damage. I think the utility will have a place in many crews.

Little Gasser-4ss minion. An undead gremlin? Ok. Apparently it’s a gremlin’s corpse inflated with poison gas? ………..ok……… It moves over terrain and pushes an extra inch when something pushes it, and puts the Poison condition on any models within 2” of it at the end of its activation. It can do an AoE pulse forcing non-gremlins to pass a TN 15 WP duel or suffer damage as a 0 and then, with a trigger, push some more. Finally, it has a not impressive melee attack with the infect trigger, or a different trigger that, in the unlikely event the Gasser kills something (maybe you left a weak model on one wound for it to finish off,) makes it count as having been killed by the poison condition rather than by the Gasser. Potentially useful with McMourning describes that trigger and, potentially, this model in general.

Lampad-7ss Enforcer. Based on Nymph companions of the Greek goddess of witchcraft (two greek mythology things in Book 5 ressers? is this a theme?), this critter is based around burning. All of their attacks give burning. They have a ranged attack with blasts, all of which spreads more burning. Any model that ends their activation within 3” of them gets, you guessed it, burning. And they can even use their 0 action to float 6” and give burning to any model they pass through during the move. But why all the burning? Well, because any model which dies from Burning damage within 10” of them lets the Lampad summon a new Lampad in base to base for the cost of a card from your hand. Pretty good, but I’m always a little leery of something like this because it asks a lot of the model playing it and also relies on the opponent not taking steps to stop you (burning can always be reduced at the cost of their AP, remember, to say nothing of good old fashioned condition removal). I think the damage part is good, and the summoning should be considered a bonus. Getting a full-powered Lampad for one card is a pretty good deal, but it’s going to be tricky to pull off. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Book 5 Pre-Previews: Gremlins


-Wyrd has put together a Bundle of Holding deal wherein you can acquire pdfs of all of the Malifaux Miniatures game books for $27.88. Pretty good deal, and part of the proceeds go to the St. Jude's Children Hospital. 

-May 20th to 21st was the date for the Malifaux International Team Competition, a really cool event put together by Mike Marshall for international competition ala the Ryder Cup in golf. This year's event ended up with the USA triumphing via team Trump Card. 


Big Brain Brin-7ss Henchman-A Gremlin support henchman, Big Brain Brin seems like some kinda great big smart Gremlin. She can clear conditions off of models, which is always helpful, and can hand out reactivate to another friendly Gremlin with WP 4 or less (which costs her a card from her hand, unless she’s ok with sacrificing said Gremlin at the end of their second activation.) Her attack isn’t exactly amazing, but has a tome trigger to hand out Insignificant. She lends some support to her allies against attacks that target WP, traditionally a weakness of Gremlins, and can cancel triggers from enemy models within 6” of her (albeit, again, at the cost of a card.) Her DF of 4 leaves something to be desired, however, so you’re going to have to be protective of Brin if you’re going to use her. She strikes me as more of a “tech” piece to counter Resurrectionists or Neverborn at first blush, but I could be wrong.

Gatraeux Bokor-6ss Enforcer-Despite having a nearly unpronounceable name, the Bokor is a fairly straightforward model. They seem to have two roles you can choose from in your group: handing out a condition reminiscent of Kirai’s curse that grants a + to Ca attacks from other Gremlins against the target or spending 2 AP to grant Reactivate to Enforcer or Minion Swampfiends. That, plus a 0 action ability to give another model in the crew the Faded trait, which lets them reduce the damage from the first attack that hits them to 0, with some triggers to add additional utility. These could potentially be useful in Wong and Zoraida crews.

Wrastler-5ss Minion-Little cousins of Mancha Roja, presumably, these guys continue the Lucha Libre tradition of Gremlin society. Tap Out provides an interesting defensive ability, allowing you to prevent them from being targeted by enemies for the rest of the turn after an enemy hits them for 3 in a single blow. They have Diving Charge, which is useful and charcterful (just gotta give them a turnbuckle to climb and leap off.) When operating on their own they have a relatively hard hitting melee attack that can use a ram trigger to replace the damage with placing Paralyzed on the target. If there’s another friendly model fighting the target, they can use Tag Team which has a lower damage spread on its base damage flip, but has a built in trigger to do an additional 1/2/3 damage flip as well. That paired with “Give em a shove” to push target models around and their ability to discard scheme, corpse, or scrap markers which they finish a charge in base to base with to add some additional damage make for an interesting cheap beater for Gremlins. Plus, they make me want to build a professional wrestling themed Gremlin Crew (Mah Tucket converted to Hulk Hogan? Trixiebelle as Ms. Elizabeth?) so that’s always a good thing.

Flying Piglet-4ss Peon-Well, it had to happen. We have flying piglets in Malifaux now. They have Diving Pigcharge, which is interesting, and can be summoned by models that can normally summon Stuffed Piglets. They have an incredibly troubling attack named “Drop Bowels” which, if you’re thinking “Maybe it doesn’t mean what we think it means,” does a little bit of damage and poisons the target. So, yeah, it probably does mean the flying pig is pooing on you. Jaw Dropping Amazement lets them hand out slow, which is pretty strong for a 4ss model. And, finally, it can do 2 damage to itself to drop a scheme marker. Putting a handful of these on the board and using them to strip AP off of enemy models gives these the potential to be relatively annoying, especially given the fact that they’re summonable.

Bayou Smuggler-6ss Minion-Probably the main reason to bring these is the ability to, when you use a soulstone to draw cards, discard an extra one to refund the soulstone cost. That’s potentially VERY useful. Longtime readers of Malifaux Musings know my affinity for card manipulation shenanigans, so the fact that they get to draw one when they’re in a duel where the opponent cheats appeals to me. Their smuggled goods lets them reposition enemy scheme markers. Their “The Swap” ability lets it change places with an enemy model at the cost of letting them place a scheme marker next to the enemy model prior to changing places, which could potentially backfire badly if the enemy is doing a “Detonate the Charges” style scheme but does have some interesting utility. There’s a forgettable attack with a paddle with a push trigger and an ability to discard all markers within 3” of them (at the cost of discarding one card per marker, which may be a little high.) I think the Smuggler may have a place in crews just for the Barter Economy, but it has some interesting utility all the same.

Gremlin Crier-7ss Enforcer-I’m interested in the fluff for what’s going on with these guys, as a town crier doesn’t initially scream Gremlin to me. They can take wounds to draw cards for each card a friendly model discards near them. They have the Lucius “Highest Authority” ability, which will help them survive when they use Gremlin Bureaucracy, which makes all enemy models and any conditions on models within 3” of it not count for schemes or strategies until the end of the turn. They can hit people with their bell and get a + to damage flips if you have more cards than the enemy, and have a short range lure attack that does damage if the target ends up in base-to-base contact after the push. And finally they have some interesting survival abilities, in that they can discard cards to heal themselves as a 0 action and, when they die, they summon a Bayou gremlin into base to base first before removing the Crier from the board (essentially the gremlin deciding that they’re tired of doing this job.)  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book 5 Model Pre-Previews: Neverborn

I'm moving over the next couple of days, so you get your Neverborn preview early. Congratulations!


-The Monday preview was a model we're reviewing in this article (not a coincidence) so we'll get to her later.

-In lieu of any other news, let me give a plug to a newish podcast, High Fauxdelity. They have a unique take on the podcast format, selecting a Soulstone value and debating the best and worst models at that soulstone cost. Every host nominates a model, and the only rule of the debate is that the other hosts are not allowed to agree with any nominations other than their own. Other than their bloody April Fools episode, which tragically I started playing while driving and couldn't safely turn off, I enjoy their show very much. Check them out!

-And speaking of podcasts, Arcane Reservoir, the most consistent and longest running UK Malifaux podcast, has launched a brand new homepage. Check it out, too. They've done a great job of branching out into a full multi-media experience. The podcast is very much oriented towards competitive tournament play in the UK meta and are unapologeticly firm in supporting their opinions (I still smart from their assessment of Titania's abilities as a master, fair though they may have been), so it may not appeal to all listeners, but I'm betting the website should have something for everybody. 


Hinamatsu-9ss Henchman-Obviously a melee oriented henchman, as it has melee master to give it two additional AP for melee attacks. That means potentially four (4!) attacks per turn. Yowza. Has some armor and an ability that prevents Hinamatsu or enemy models within 6” from taking actions outside of their activation, so will not be Zoraida or Collodi’s friend, despite being a puppet. It gets a + to attack flips and initially does only a weak 1/2/3 damage spread. However, each hit also adds a condition that stacks on additional damage on additional hits until Hinamatsu hits them for at least 4, at which point the condition falls off. To keep from overextending him, you can snatch enemy models from 6” to him, and with its 0 action it gets to cheat fate on any attack with a + flip (like its melee attacks) face down. Df 5, armor 1 and 9 wounds isn’t exactly invincible, but Hinamatsu looks like he could put some hurt on the enemy in the right circumstances.

Cyclops-8ss Enforcer-A new Fae for the Queen! This one gets to pitch a card on its activation and gain either a bonus to its ranges with a mask or a small heal with a ram. It has frozen heart, which is usually handy, and the Santiago Ortega suite of “Hits you harder when it’s taken some damage and has hard to kill," which also has potential to be useful. Has a pretty decent melee attack (albeit with only a 5 ML stat, but what’re you gonna do) that can gain blasts off of a ram trigger (see also the Santiago abilities.) It has a very random 0 action ability where it targets nearby scheme markers (which Titania will likely be creating, remember,) flips the top card of the fate deck, and generates some kind of effect based on the card. Could be interesting with Zoraida or some other model that lets you know what card is there, but a bit too random for my tastes, particularly when its other 0 action is to summon Ice Pillars, which is always helpful. I’ll let you guess which one I’ll be using more often…

Bultungin-5ss Minion-A fitting introduction of the Abyssinian folklore (they’re about to become a big deal in Malifaux/The Other Side, after all,) the Bultungin is a werehyena from various East African cultures (presumably. It’s what came up from my Google search, anyway.) You’re going to need to be careful with these guys, as Df 5 Wp5 Wd6 and no defensive abilities doesn’t inspire confidence. Everything with these guys is built around trying to get off their 2 AP Savage Mauling attack. If the enemy drops a scheme marker within line of sight of them, they gain a condition that lets them move an extra inch per instance of the condition at the end of the turn. If they move into melee range through something other than a walk or charge action they can discard a card to take the Savage Mauling attack. Their 1 AP melee attack has a trigger to then take their 2 AP melee attack. So the 2 AP attack must be pretty great, right? Well, 3/4/5 Ml6 is not exactly overwhelming, though a 5ss minion doing it is alright. I guess it seems like a lot of set-up to pull it off. I could be wrong. 

Adze-7SS Enforcer-Some more African folklore, the Adze is a vampiric sort of creature that can be either a firefly or take a humanoid form. They’re a 40mm incorporeal model that has a souped-up version of the Primordial Magic’s ability to count as a Scheme Marker, as you can discard a card to avoid having to discard it for the Scheme in question. It has a Melee 6 attack with a built in trigger to heal itself for the amount of damage dealt. It can also use the Will-o-the-Wisp’s Wisp call ability to dictate the enemy’s movement to them. Their 0 action can lock a non-leader model out of their 0 actions for a turn, which could be situationally useful. Finally, they have a tactical action that looks an awful lot like an attack action, a 2 AP Ca attack that forces the target to pass a TN12 WP duel or take a 3/4/5 damage flip. Something for the aforementioned Wisps to borrow and use, I suppose. 7SS for this guy might be a little steep, but I’m interested in the scheme marker ability and the synergy with other Wisps.

I am Grootslang.

Grootslang-6SS Minion-Yet more African folklore, this creature is truly unique, essentially being a creature created by the gods that is part Elephant and part Snake (realizing their mistake, the gods split them into the two creatures after their creation.) This model is built around using Terrain to its advantage, gaining a + to all non-damage flips when in contact with a marker that counts as Terrain (Waldgeist trees, Lillith forests, etc.) Additionally, they do more damage when in base-to-base with a Lair marker. What’s a Lair marker you ask? They’re a ht0 50mm marker that you place 3 of anywhere on your half of the table at the beginning of the game. Grootslangs ignore penalties for severe or hazardous terrain when moving, which is handy, and can hop from lair to lair as a 1 AP action (no interacting after they do so, of course. That would be pretty crazy.) They have a harder hitting rg 1 attack with their claws or a slightly weaker rg3 melee attack. When they take the lair to lair action they can use a mask trigger to take a free melee attack. And, finally, they can discard a corpse or scrap marker with which they are in base to base as a 0 action to make a new Lair marker. It’s an interesting model, to be sure. I’ll want to see it in play a bit more to be sure of what it can really do. The mobility seems handy, however, and 6SS is relatively cheap for all of these abilities.

Hey good lookin'.

Serena Bowman-7SS Enforcer-Finally, our second Divergent Paths model, the Trickster, joins the ranks of the Neverborn. The flaying she endured has resulted in her gaining Disguised and a Thick Skin ability that prevents her from taking pulse damage. Perhaps most eyebrow-raisingly, when she dies she doesn’t drop a marker and you resummon her in your deployment zone at the end of the turn. Wow! She has an ok melee attack with a fun trigger when she kills someone to put on their skin and make it harder to attack her with melee actions, but I have a suspicion this won’t see as much use as her other attack, Black Blood Tendril. This one lets her work as a sort of poor-man’s Reva or Rasputina, giving her a range 3 melee attack that she can have pop out of any model with Black Blood within 12” and LoS of her. She can give a Nightmare model Black Blood for the rest of the game, and with a trigger can then give it to a Non-Nightmare within 3” of the original target. Finally, she has a healing spell that needs a ram to cast unless she casts it on herself, which is handy if nothing else because Neverborn don’t have a ton of healing in-faction. I like her. I like her a lot. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Book 5 Model Previews: Guild

Just a couple of mini-musings this week, then we'll do a quick look at the upcoming Guild models.


-Wyrd needs volunteers for Gencon. This is always a ton of fun, and I'm very sad I won't be able to help out this year. More room for you, though! 

-Just in time to be too late for my blog, here's the image of the Self-Righteous Man after Divergent Paths/in Book 5. Werewolves with top hats: always a crowd pleaser.


As usual, all of these models are still being tested and are thus subject to change by the time the book finally comes out. 

Jury-8ss Henchman-First mentioned all the way back in the fluff from Book 1 of 1st Edition Malifaux, The Jury finally joins the Judge and Executioner in the law sub-faction of the Guild. Has some utility by allowing models within 6” to discard a card and add a mask to their duels (like if, oh, I don’t know, you wanted to Riposte for instance.) He/she/it has an interaction with the fees condition through handing it out on defensive or offensive triggers and can force you to discard a card for each point of your Fees condition with a trigger on the ranged “Throw the Book At Them” action. Finally, the Jury can find you innocent, guilty, or libel as a 0 to put some nasty conditions on enemy models or give some healing to friendly ones.

Guild Investigator-6ss Minion-I’m a big fan of the idea of these guys: detectives that are investigating stuff that’s going on in Malifaux. Its attack is nothing to write home about (though at least the gun has a claw symbol so it can be used for melee.) However, it has some interesting potential in terms of denial of enemy scheme marker stuff, by eating one every turn (or a corpse or scrap marker) to draw a card, locking the enemy out of using any scheme markers near the investigator for their actions or to complete schemes, and by pushing models that are near where a scheme marker is placed. Cool.

Thalarian Queller-6ss minion-For non fluff-heads, the Thalraian doctrine is one of the many magical methodologies in Malifaux, in this case one that focuses on suppressing other spellcasters and creating enchantment/long running effects. This is embodied by this model, who can toss out markers to create a sort of mobile version of the “Removes suits from Ml, Sh, Ca, Df, etc.” effect that models like Hannah have. They can enchant friendly models weapons to make their damage unreducable, which is handy, and can use a ranged attack to reduce enemy’s attacks and possibly give them slow. An interesting tech piece, but time will tell if it's useful enough to see play in most games.

Monster Hunter-6ss minion-Reflecting presumably some members of the Latigo posse who also do monster hunting (how many Ortegas are there?), these guys interact with the Stalked condition (which they can apply with a 0). In addition to the free moves generated from it, models with the condition have to discard a card to cheat fate against them, the Monster Hunter can get a free attack on them after taking a “Stalked” move, and the Monster Hunter can heal itself and draw some cards after killing a model with the condition. In addition, they deal extra damage and take less damage from models with higher soulstone costs than them.

Domador de Cadaveres-7ss Enforcer-The real headline on this model is, obviously, the Special Dispensation ability that lets the crew hire a 6ss or less undead model for each model with the ability (so, you know, Rotten Belles. There are other choices but…come on.) They can hand out free attacks to a friendly living model within 6” of them that is dying, so that’s fairly thematic. They have a few attack actions, in that they can make the opponent discard a card, do some damage (and heal any friendly models that are beneath pulses generated by their ranged attack) or use an Obey-like effect on non-leader undead models. Handy and flavorful but, goodness, the new Governor General must have some interesting policies…

Riot Breaker-6ss Minion-So a new Guild construct that has been a minion in the Through the Breach roleplaying game for a while now (that's where the above art comes from), oddly enough, these guys seem to be peacekeeping models of some kind. They block models near them from gaining any extra AP from fast or casting expert, which could be situationally useful. They’ll probably be used mostly for their Riot Gun attack, that adds some cheap blast damage and gives models damaged by it Insignificant for the rest of the turn. Its Tactical Action seems like it could be useful for breaking up clusters of models, as a Wk duel of 13 requires a 7 or an 8 for most models to pass, but I’m personally not a huge fan of these type of abilities, as they tend to not do anything significant when I’ve tried them. Not sure on this model, but we’ll see. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Book 5 Model Pre-Previews: Arcanists


-Book 5 playtest is open, and you can be a part of it! Aaron is posting a file with the new models every Wednesday to this thread on Wyrd’s forum. The models in the file are Henchman, Enforcers, and Minions (notably, no masters. Hmm) for each of the factions, including the three Divergent Paths models. Go test them out and send in some feedback!

-A company called Dog Might is Kickstarting some cool woodenboxes to transport your crews, decks, and tokens for a Malifaux game. The boxes can be ordered with Malifaux’s faction logos on them. They’re pretty cool. Go check ‘em out.

-Kimberly and Kai have joined the Wyrd staff. Pop into this thread and say hi.

-A new Penny Dreadful One-Shot adventure, Til Death Do Us Part, has been added to DriveThru RPG. The Fated are hired to solve a murder…by the person that was murdered. It’s $5. Go give it a look.

-New Bios have been posted for some Book 1 Enforcers, Henchmen, and Minions for each of the factions on Wyrd’s website, along with some lore about the factions themselves.

-Finally, the last Monday Preview contained an image of one of the Divergent Paths characters, the orphan who ended up with Leviticus. And it looks like this!


              Since I’m not going to a ton of tournaments at the moment (I have a move coming up soon and I’ve been busy with some writing projects, more on this soon) I thought I would go through some of the new stuff coming in Book 5. Obviously, all of these are still in testing, so I’m not going into much detail, as they all can change. This week, here’s the Arcanists.

Paul Crockett-A henchman with some beast synergy/antipathy abilities. He’s immune to hazardous terrain, can give friendly beasts free attacks when he hits someone, and is terrifying and can trigger for extra damage against beasts. Fortunately, can turn models into “beasts” with a (0) action, so these abilities will stay relevant even when legitimate beasts are unavailable. There’s a pretty good chance he’ll be most useful for his gun, which does reasonable damage and ignores cover and randomization when firing into melee, but I imagine he'll have some nice use with Marcus.

Kandara-A henchman to run around with Banasuva. Kandara doesn’t take damage from the jealous firelord ability. Some decent attacks, a self-healing condition than can be applied when she is hit with blasts/pulses or flips severe damage on her ranged and melee attacks, and can shuffle upgrades with other Gamin (allowing you to remove some of the hindering upgrades from the models Sandeep summons, at the cost of Kandara having to hold it for a turn.)

Neil Henry-7SS Enforcer that synergizes with constructs (despite apparently hating them). He’s from the foundry, so he will play nice with Ramos and Mei Feng crews, among others. He has a decent melee attack, can gain free attacks when a construct hits something near him, and can put a “Fragile” condition on models that give damage flips a +. Finally, he can take a McCabe-esque reactivation, after which his heart bursts and he dies. I like the two folklorish characters joining the game. 

Medical Automaton-5SS minion construct that grants some healing. Can grant a 1/2/3 healing flip to a model within 3” and give a model Hard to Kill as a 0 action.

Union Steamfitter-6ss minion. Most interesting ability is to draw the top card of the discard pile and then discard one when it activates and to grant a model that doesn’t have armor the Armor+1 condition for the rest of the game. Has an OK melee attack and can move scheme markers (not just friendly scheme markers) into base-to-base with him/her, so there’s some utility there, but still kind of a hodgepodge of abilities.

Ferdinand Vogel- 8ss minion. The end result of one of the Divergent Paths models. He has the Mimic trait now, so that means he can play with Lucius from time to time as well. He has a decent melee attack that can apply the red-tape condition. Can eat scheme markers within 3” of him after taking a walk to draw a free card. Probably the most useful ability is Censure to lock enemy models out of their tactical actions until after their next activation (there’s an option to lock them out of their attacks, instead, but they can discard a card to ignore it.) He can heal beasts, and use a trigger to give a non-beast living model the Beast characteristic and a free attack. And then, of course, at the start of his activation he can discard a card to turn into…

The Beast Within-0SS Enforcer. The beast is a somewhat fragile looking beater model that has a 3/4/6 damage spread melee attack. The fragility, of course, is offset by the fact that you can always sacrifice the Beast or Ferdinand on their activation to summon a full-health version of the alter-ego, but if you leave him exposed you could lose him pretty easily. There’s some decent triggers to bounce around and get a bonus attack or ignore armor. Finally, as a 0 action they can put a condition on beasts within 5” that basically lets them take a Stalk movement whenever an enemy model takes a walk or charge action, which has some interesting possibilities. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

A small report for a small tournament

                No mini-musings this week, so let’s jump straight into the article, a brief story of running a tournament that didn’t quite turn out as planned.


                If you’re like me, you look at events like those run weekly in the UK or in the Southeasetern Malifaux Players Group (the greatest play group in the world, just fyi) and think to yourself “Hey, I want to run some tournaments like that.” Maybe you came from a place that had a pretty awesome player base that you helped build. And after watching all of these cool tournaments and remembering the good old days, you dream a special dream about running your own tournaments and building your own community in your new home. You join the henchman program. You submit a pre-event report to Wyrd. You coordinate with the local game store owner to get some extra prize support in addition to a standard Wyrd tournament pack. And when the time comes to run your tournaments…you get disappointed.

                It happens, and I should have seen it coming. There’s a phenomenon that’s appeared in the age of social media where you get the idea that other people’s lives are much better than yours because what you see of them on their Facetwits or Instachat pages is always the very best, most photogenic and envy-inducing parts. The great gourmet meal they cooked once in between McDonalds outings. The awesome vacation they went on to a place they really can’t afford and will spend the rest of the year paying off their credit card. There’s something similar when you follow tournament podcasts and writings like I do, and I fell victim to it. So, to combat this, I thought I’d share what starting out building a community in a small-town part of the world can look like. Maybe it’ll give people a more realistic view, and maybe let you know you’re not alone in your struggles.

                To provide some background, I live in Blacksburg, Virginia. I moved here in late 2013 from Omaha, Nebraska which, despite what you may think from its location in fly over country, actually counts as a relatively large city. Blacksburg, on the other hand, is basically Virginia Tech with a town built up to support it and a few other small towns within driving distance. It’s not that no one knows what Malifaux is, here. Indeed, one woman that lives nearby helped with the initial playtest for Malifaux 1.0. However, she and her significant other don’t play anymore (didn’t make the jump from 1st to M2e.) I know another player in the local area who plays gremlins as a break from 40k. AAaaaannnddd….that’s pretty much it. I’ve tried setting up demo days that no one comes to before now. Other than playing games online with Vassal, there was a point in time after my daughter was born when I didn’t play a game of Malifaux for almost a year and a half. Since she’s gotten older and my schedule's become more free, I’ve dipped my toe into the Wandering River style of my blogging partner, Phiasco, and have traveled to some Southeastern Malifaux tourneys nearby. However, when I heard about a local gaming convention (NRVFaux, you might have heard me advertise it on here previously) I thought I would run a small tournament for it. The game store owner was happy to get me to join in and offered some convention money that people could use at the vendors. I did all the stuff I mentioned above to start promoting it. I traveled to other tournaments in the region and tried to promote mine there (and it’s a good thing I did, as the two folks that traveled from Bristol were the majority of my player base.) When the week of the tournament came around, I was expecting to have 6 people show up: two from Atlanta, two from Tennessee, and two locals (one of the locals was iffy, so I was preparing myself to ringer if necessary.) Not a huge tournament, but not bad for a start. If it went well, then maybe I could build from there.

                However, the day before the tournament one of the Atlanta people dropped out, so it was just Phiasco making the trip, and I learned day of that neither of my locals were able to come either. So my tournament was cut in half, and I was basically going to have to step in and ringer to allow the people to have the full 3 games that they drove all the way to play. This was not great. I was not happy.

I tried my best to stay positive, however, and kept things moving forward. And the bottom line is, the tournament (such as it was) was a success. I had Andrew playing Arcanists (Rasputina each round,) Rich playing Ressurectionists (Seamus, I believe,) and Phiasco testing out Ten Thunders Brewmaster. The first round, one person who had traveled from Tennessee with Andrew and Rich sat in the Ringer’s chair with me coaching him how to play Andy’s Ramos crew (a bit of a joke, as I’ve never played that master before, but I think he enjoyed himself.) Second round I ran a demo with my own models for someone who wandered by and seemed interested before taking over the Ramos chair (might as well learn a new crew) and fighting to a draw against Jon’s Brew Crew (because that’s what happens when we play each other in tourneys, apparently.) Last round I squeaked out a win despite a near tabling by Rasputina (Rich looked down at the table at one point, saw no spiders on board, and said “Well that must not be going well.” But remember kids, just like we Henchmen tell you in every demo we run, Malifaux is a game you can win even when you lose the combats. Play the objectives!)

Winner of the tournament was Rich’s Rezzers, scoring him a mystery box with an alternate Gator in it. Andrew won 2nd place and got a Barbaros, as well as winning the painting for a very nice Malifaux Raptor which would be pictured at the top of the article, except my phone's SD card broke and took all my pictures into the cyber grave with it. And the raffle drawing for the Doctor Dufresne Phiasco had put up went to Rich also, which was great since he didn’t own McMourning and played Rezzers. Everyone seemed to have a good time, which is great. I learned a new crew (must…resist…urge…to…buy…Ramos…) And, best of all, Andrew let me know that his area wants to learn Through the Breach and at some point in the future we’re planning on having me go out and run a module game for them, which counts for my Henchman program requirements. Perhaps they’ll get to run through Bad Moon Rising, the module I ran at Gencon? We’ll have to see. So, while the tournament didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to go, it was an overall positive experience. I don’t think I really made any progress towards building an oasis in the midatlantic Malifaux desert, as no locals participated, but I had fun, and I put together an event for three other people to have fun as well. And, really, that’s what being a Henchman is all about (beyond promoting Wyrd, obviously.)