Sunday, June 9, 2019

How to Play Jacob Lynch in M3E - with guest bloggist Landon Sheehan

I'm still procrastinating on assembling my own tournament report from the Iowa tournament staple MuseonCon (also known as the Schemes and Stones Open) which occurred a couple weekends ago. In the meantime, however, I've begun reaching out to some of the luminaries of the Malifaux word to discuss crews in the M3E era. What better way to start than with the crew that won the 22 person tournament on Saturday? And the fact that it features my favorite crew in terms of theme in all of Malifaux, the folks from the Honeypot, is icing on the cake. Also, it means I get to dust off this old chestnut.

Keyword Models:

Jacob Lynch
Hungering Darkness
Gwynneth Maddox
Kitty Dumont
Mr. Graves
Mr. Tannen
The Depleted

Keyword Ability: 

Rig the Deck +X- Allows most models (not Hungering Darkness) to draw X cards off the top of the deck when they activate, and then place X cards from their hand back on top of the deck in any order. 

Without further time wasting on my part, take it away Landon!

How Does the Crew Work? 

For reference, the list I played all 3 rounds of MuseOn Day 1

Lynch, Huggy w Silent Protector, 2 Beckoners, 1 Illuminated, Mr Tannen 1 Shadow Emissary, 1 Kabuki Warrior. 6 stone cache.

In my style of play, Jacob Lynch is a kill-oriented crew which can either play aggressively turn one and two, or play for a later game by taking advantage of brilliance tokens. The early game version works by using beckoners and Tannen to move big beaters such as Huggy and the emissary up the board. These models have excellent damage tracks and triggers to tear apart a few key models on the first turn, and are tanky enough to cause a lot of disruption on subsequent turns as enemies try to deal with them while slowed, engaged or both. The key is to use stones appropriately to keep Huggy alive while not wasting his large amounts of healing, and to take advantage of the emissary’s place trigger or Huggy’s obey to move dangerous models out of position after you have crashed into them.

If you decide to play a longer game, Huggy will usually be using obey to place tokens/disrupt your opponent until you build enough tokens to kill their most dangerous pieces with Lynch’s nuke. The Kabuki Warrior is most helpful for this style, as the – to WP lets you place tokens and land the nuke much easier.

How Has the Crew/Keyword Changed Since M2E?

In M2E Lynch lacked excellent options for mobility, and beckoners were extremely overcosted. In addition, the crew was much easier to kill. Now with beckoners being much cheaper it is much easier to move your own pieces around. The tradeoff is lures have much lower stats so it’s harder to use them to move your opponents out of position. Additionally, the card filtering mechanic of rig the deck is new to M3E, and gives lynch a quality over quantity of cards approach to card advantage, whereas before you were usually drawing aces to improve your hand.

Who are the Key Pieces in the Keyword, and What Are Their Roles?

Huggy, who is your totem, is a key piece. He can either put out tokens or consume them for +flips, healing, and slows. Beckoners allow you to place brilliance tokens before the game even begins, which lets your t1 and t2 with Huggy be incredibly aggressive. I take an illuminated model because the 2” shockwave is quite helpful for softening their hand as well as being another activation to rig the deck with brillshaper to throw away a dead card. Tannen is key to your survivability, as his auras can all but disable melee beaters trying to attack your models as they have to pass 2 simple duels which cost double to cheat before they even try to attack a terrifying model.

Rate the Keyword 

-Killing Power


The crew that I run has incredible output when the lowest damage model is essentially your ‘min 2’ beckoners. I say min 2 because they have a trigger built in to put out a brilliance token, which in combination with other models essentially adds one to two points of damage to the attack. After your 2 beckoners everything is either min 3 or potentially min 3 with +flips. I rate it lower than 14 because it lacks consistent ranged damage, and a lot of the killing power comes from the card manipulation mentioned later which allows you to land your hits.



 Terrifying or –flips on all of your important models makes it very hard to kill this crew, especially if you are in Tannen’s bubble. I would push this mark higher if you know you are against a crew with lots of melee and lower if you are against a crew of near exclusively ranged attacks. Ruthless and +flip ranged attacks get through a lot of this crew’s defensive capabilities but they won’t fold immediately if this is the case.



 I rate them slightly above average in this department for the list that I run. He’s no McCabe (although I would certainly consider hiring some of his models in this crew out of keyword) but beckoners and Tannen help you maneuver enough that you shouldn’t have any problems getting your schemes done.

Card Manipulation


This needs little explanation, but with rig the deck and the emissary you will regularly cheat or flip 4-6 severe cards a turn at exactly the right time. Including your starting 6 cards, you will see a total of 19 cards a turn without spending soulstones. That’s over a third of your deck.

Which Keyword Models (Outside of the Master) Are The MVP and the LVP?

Ignoring Huggy and Lynch, Mr Tannen is both the MVP and the LVP depending on the game. If you can position Mr Tannen correctly such that he does not get charged/shot off the board he makes your opponent’s turn near impossible within his 6” bubble. His df 4 6 wounds however can easily make him a wasted model if you let him get shot off the board, and with walk of 4” he sometimes gets left behind if you are playing aggressively.

Are There Versatile Models and/or Upgrades You Take Routinely?

I routinely take silent protector on either Huggy or the illuminated. HTK gives both of these models a ridiculous amount of survivability with their built-in healing. Sometimes it goes on the illuminated because the minion clause for the upgrade lets it take the hit for other models which can be relevant if something like vendetta or assassinate is in the pool.

The upgrade for stealth should not be overlooked as a potential take on either Tannen, Lynch, or both depending on the pool and matchup .

I always take the Emissary. His 0 to pitch your hand for a new 6 when your hand is garbage can be used either early in the turn as an alternative to stoning for cards or later after you’ve used rig the deck to place your high cards on top of your deck. That in addition to his high mobility, survivability, and min 3 damage track synergizes well with the keyword. (Editor's note: sometimes in the Honeypot Casino, the dragon chases you!)

Lastly I would mention kabuki warrior as an out of keyword hire which often makes it into my list. The –wp aura makes it very difficult to hit terrifying models and near impossible to avoid lynch’s nuke. When you don’t need or want the aura walk 6 and new horizons make him a better than average scheme runner or denier. And Min 3 helps him kill whatever gets in his way.

Thanks again to Landon for contributing. You can look forward to future articles of this type discussing Lady Justice, Kirai, and many others. I really appreciate everyone who is helping out with these. I'm aware of the fact that I'm...ok at Malifaux, but not an expert in the competitive realm by any means. 

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Let the Countdown Commence!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a release date!

Earlier this week, our Wyrd overlords deigned to inform us that June 28th is the date upon which we shall be receiving our M3E goodness. The message included a number of interesting details for store owners, including their intention to put together packets of the new stat cards which can be inserted into the boxes along with a sticker on the outside to indicate that the box has been updated. This should cut down on the need for retailers to clear out old stock and replace it with new cards, and hopefully cut down on the recent Wyrd product firesales that most stores have been employing. Additionally, Wyrd is intending to start lumping some of the individual model boxed sets together to try and cut down on the number of SKUs that stores have to stock for Malifaux product, which is also a good thing. One of the concerning things going into the relaunch was going to be the situation with boxed sets that are having new models added to them. As a way of addressing this, Wyrd will be offering the ability to special order individual models through store owners for the first year after M3E’s release. This way, if you already own the whole Marcus boxed set but need one model that has been added to it (just a random example, I don’t actually know if there will be anything new in Marcus’ boxed set) you can get it special without having to fork over cash for a whole new box. I think these are good steps taken by the company, as their reputation, particularly in terms of customer service and relationships with retailers, has taken a bit of a ding over the last year. Hopefully this is a sign of them pulling out of that tailspin.

But what about the new stuff! Well, ok, calm down. Obviously, I’m going to talk about that too. For those of you like me (and, let’s be honest, everybody reading this blog probably falls into the same category) that won’t necessarily be in a huge rush to go replace all their models with new stuff come launch day, all of the rules and stat cards for M3E will be available for free on Wyrd’s website day one. If you have access to a printer or a tablet, you can play M3E when the game launches June 28th without spending a dime (other than printer ink, of course, which I think is made from soulstone dust gauging by the price. /oldmanrant.) Most folks will want physical cards, of course, and the stat cards and upgrades for each M2E model will be available for purchase in Faction Packs that will be sold essentially as long as demand lasts. Gauging how M1E to M2E went that’ll be about a year so you won't want to wait too long. It’s a good way to get shiny new cards for all of your old models all in one go, barring dual-faction complications. Interestingly, Wyrd has also decided to create Faction books that will be released over the months following release that will include new stories, lore, and information on the factions themselves. I assume stat blocks will be in there also, but at first blush these fall into the category of “luxury item” for people who want to just play some Malifaux. I’m curious to see what’s in them, and as a lore nerd I’ll probably need to pick them up at some point to get all the current juicy fluff content, but I don’t feel like I’ll need to buy all of them on day one necessarily.

As for the models themselves, as mentioned above the plan is to lump some boxed sets together. This helps store owners out for the above reasons as well as by helping the sales staff to guide new players (“Oh, you like Seamus? Cool, to get all of the models from his keyword, you just have to pick up these three boxes that say they include the Redchapel keyword on the outside.”) and potentially make it less of a wallet hit for new people to join the game as well. Ok, probably not that last one, but at least it’ll keep new players from getting overwhelmed by letting them focusing on the keyword models rather than having the daunting task of buying the whole faction in front of them. I included some preview art of the new boxed sets above. I preferred M2E’s green and black boxes to this new scheme, and this new sculpt of Lady Justice isn’t my favorite, but the new judge looks rad and I really like the idea of lumping some models in theme together in the same box. As for the new release schedule itself, why don’t I just go ahead and throw it into the post here so you can check it out.

* An asterisk next to a product SKU indicates that the box contains new sculpts or models.
June Releases

Malifaux Core Rulebook
Guild Faction Pack
Resurrectionist Faction Pack
Arcanist Faction Pack
Neverborn Faction Pack
Outcast Faction Pack
Bayou Faction Pack
Ten Thunders Faction Pack
Dead Man's Hand Pack
M3E Fate Deck
* WYR23101
Basse Core Box
* WYR23302
Burning Bridges
* WYR23701
Youko Core Box

July Releases

General Upgrades Pack
Guild Faction Book
Arcanist Faction Book
Neverborn Faction Book
* WYR23104
Lady Justice Core Box
* WYR23301
Marcus Core Box
* WYR23502
Loyalty to Coin
Nellie Core Box
Perdita Core Box
Sonnia Core Box
Brutal Fate
Seamus Core Box
Reva Core Box
Carrion Fate
Ironsides Core Box
Kaeris Core Box
Sandeep Core Box
Arcane Fate
Pandora Core Box
Titania Core Box
Mysterious Fate
Tara Core Box
Parker Core Box
Hamelin Core Box
Jack Daw Core Box
Hodgepodge Fate
Mah Tucket Core Box
Zipp Core Box
Brewmaster Core Box
Ulix Core Box
Lucky Fate
Lucas Core Box
Mei Feng Core Box
Asami Core Box
Shenlong Core Box
Shadow Fate

August Releases

Bayou Faction Book
Ten Thunders Faction Book
* WYR23303
Colette Core Box
* WYR23601
Som'er Core Box
* WYR23713
One Born Every Minute
Pathfinder and Clockwork Traps
Pale Rider
Guild Steward
Rogue Necromancy
Dead Rider
Mechanical Rider
Hooded Rider
Ashes and Dust
Rooster Riders
Whiskey Golem
Bayou Smuggler
Ten Thunder Archers
Lotus Eater
Charm Warder
Dawn Serpent

September Releases

Resurrectionist Faction Book
Outcast Faction Book
* WYR23201
Von Schtook Core Box
* WYR23401
Dreamer Core Box
* WYR23501
Viktoria Core Box
Six Feet Under
Wake the Dead
Surgical Staff
Vengeful Ghosts
The Returned
Eternal Servitude
Altered Beasts
The Ten Peaks
Support Staff
A Light in the Dark
The Howling
Familiar Faces
Hired Killers
Marlena Webster
Wokou Raiders
A Hard Day's Work
Bayou Engineering
Off the Top Rope
See Ya Later
Gautraeux Bokor
Creative Taxidermy
Ancient Evil

It looks like there’s roughly one master’s boxed set per faction getting a resculpt, except for the Ten Thunders. That’s a little disappointing, as I would argue they are the most in need of new plastics, since they were first after Wyrd switched away from pewter and their quality is well behind the others. I thought that all of the alternate art for them in Broken Promises might have indicated the future, but for now I’m a little confused. I assume a new Sonnia will be coming at some point as well, since she doesn’t wear the mask anymore.

I'm sure she's hard at work "motivating" the sculptors as we speak.

Lastly, Wyrd mentions that they’ll be releasing a Gaining Grounds Season One document at some point within the first year of the game’s life to reignite the competitive scene (some of which has already started to come back, based on the M3E beta tournaments I’ve seen recently.) I hope they’re working with Craig at Third Floor Wars so they can tie this in with his Third Floor Wars’ attempt to get a national Masters tournament put together. And, of course, they bring up the mysterious new faction coming (likely) in the next wave of M3E. For those not in the know, McCabe and the new Guild master Basse are dual-faction with them, and some overheard rumor and scuttlebutt has it that 1) there will be a model in the faction for which you can use the former Mounted Guard alternate sculpts from the Nightmare McCabe boxed set and 2) the name of this new faction has been mentioned somewhere in the already existing fluff. More details will doubtless come from the upcoming M3E fluff, but I’d say that the themes of frontier, wild west-type models will probably be involved. Maybe an Explorer’s Society pushing out into the boundaries of settled Malifaux to explore the wider world? I don’t know, but I’m in love with them already. I wish Perdita was going with them as well so I could just quit the Guild entirely and play these new people, but c’est la vi. I’m told by unnamed sources that Perdita and Basse don’t really get along, as Perdita will happily burn down a village to get the Neverborn she thinks is hiding inside while Basse is much more law and order focused. The obvious rebuttal, of course, is “yeah, but McCabe is a lawless scoundrel who is literally responsible for breaking the Earth,” but nobody asked for my opinion on the matter. I like ‘em. ‘Nuff said.

All things considered I’m looking forward to the coming M3E goodness. I think this community post by Wyrd was a good step in the right direction, and they seems to be conscious of the need to make the transition between editions as painless as possible, which is a good thing. Every day I get more hyped for M3E, which hopefully will translate into more regular Malifaux Musings. If you’re in the mid-west United States, I’ll be attending my first M3E tournament in Des Moines May 25th and 26th at Museon Con. If you make the trip, hopefully we’ll see each other there! I’ll be the one who looks befuddled while trying to remember how all these newfangled models work.