Sunday, July 14, 2019

How To Play the Marshal Keyword Crew- by guest bloggist Paul Harden

My First Round of Museon Con, I was paired with a Lady Justice crew and, outside of stuffing lady Justice to the gills with Brilliance for now purpose, got my ass handed to me. Lady Justice being a beast was not a huge surprise, but there were other members of the crew that took me buy surprise. So, I reached out to the crew’s player (Paul Harden) to put together a brief look at his crew, how it works, and what players can expect when they bring it to the tabletop (or sit across from it.)

How Does the Crew Work?

The Marshals play as a semi tanky crew with average speed and decent damage. All
models (besides the totem) have become harder to kill; Hard to Wound and Unnatural Vigor
(After killing an enemy model, this model heals 2). They can best be utilized for kill centered
Strats and Scheme, though have some models that can move if needed for schemey games.

How Has the Crew/Keyword Changed Since M2E?

There are some minor changes to the models with the edition change, but for the most
part fit a similar role from 2e to 3e. They like to kill models and try to stop summoners and
corpse/scrap marker abilities.

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

I believe the Key Pieces are the non-minion/non-totem models.

Lady Justice: She is still the same beater she was in 2e with the place upgrade. My best
description of her is a target for your opponent. She can heal with the keyword ability and
Juggernaut. Additionally, this edition she gained hard to wound, which is fantastic as everyone
focuses. She did get a reduction in her attack stat, though she can potentially make 7 attacks in
one turn.

The Lone Marshal: I feel this model is very similar to 2e. He has Run and Gun, a 14”
projectile attack, With Mv 7. Realistically there is very little reason why this model should not
have at least one attack a turn, every turn including turn 1. Best use is to inflict a little damage
while setting up and running schemes (e.g. charge and shoot for first action, then scheme,
move, shoot for second action). Also, he is Ruthless, giving a distinct advantage over Terrifying
and Manipulative models. [Editor’s note: this model really took me by surprise, and from the scuttlebutt I could hear other people as well. That range paired with Run and Gun is killer.]

The Jury: Great anti summon/buried model. Her ability Exorcism ritual hurts all models
with a summoned upgrade and all buried models (two separate damage instances if you can get
it off). Her range attack does 2/4/5 damage, but the real ability comes with the triggers, such
as Into Dust, that is an assassinate trigger if the model being attacked is undead. Fortunately,
several models in the Keyword can give the enemy models the Undead Characteristic
including the Jury. Last, she has a 6 stat obey with the mask built in, making her obey nearly as
good as Zoraida.

The Judge: This lady does not have the same feel as the 2e Judge. She can no longer
pull models towards herself or tell friendly non-master models to make an attack. She can however Gain soulstones if she kills a model with her melee attack (trigger built in) and draw up
to five cards (at a risk to herself). So essentially a beater with card draw

Rate the Keyword on the Following Criteria from 0-14 (feel free to comment if necessary)

 -Killing Power

12-14 (Severe). All depends on how you build the crew, but for the most part this is where this
Keyword excels.


10ish area (Moderate). Again, the two abilities shared between this crew are amazing at keeping
them around. And if you bring a Domador into the crew they could heal between 1 and 4
damage per model hit with decay (Blast and RJ).


5-7. Again, depends on how you use Lady J and the Lone Marshall, both can move
around the board fairly easily, though if you engage the Lone Marshall he will more than likely
not be doing interact actions that turn.

-Card Manipulation

4-6. Several models have the Triger Drain Magic to card cycle, or Maim to make the
opponent pitch cards, and two models can card draw (The Judge and The Scales of Justice).

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

MVP: The Lone Marshall, nearly every game I have played with him, he has angered my
opponents at what he can do (21-28 in threat range tends to do that).
LVP: The Scales is kinda blah, but it is free if Lady J is the master, so next I would say are
Death Marshals. They are now undead so are unaffected by Recruiters Grim Recruitment
ability, have a low Df of 4, but at least have Hard to Kill along with Hard to Wound.

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

To increase the killiness of the minions both Expert Marksman and No prisoners can aid most Marshal minions (though Exorcists already ignore Friendly fire so more than likely enjoy no prisoners more).

As far as versatile models to bring in, To make a crew even faster/more killy the Pale
Rider is amazing. To begin with he can essentially move size 2 and below models 6 inches or
More (Editor’s Note: Via Ride With Me, which is one of the greatest abilities in M3E), has a decent attack, and the trigger to make everyone in range take the charge action can be devastating.

The effigy’s aura can help keep close models alive longer with successful attacks, and
gives another bury into the crew. And as at a same degree the Emissary follows with a very nice

As a last note, even though they are not versatile, I do see that several people may take
Austringers with the Expert Marksman upgrade with the tax, as that could potentially be a
model with three attacks a turn.

Friday, June 28, 2019

How to Play Swampfiend Zoraida-By Guest Bloggist Shawn Lee Christoffers

Happy M3E release day everybody! To celebrate, here's a guest post from Shawn Lee Christoffers describing the Zoraida crew he used to win the day 2 MuseonCon Tournament. 

General Crew Build for Tournament Play

Zoraida (7 stones)

The First Mate



Wicked Doll


Bad JuJu

How Does the Crew Work? 

            The way I play this crew is using the power of stealth for my scheme runners and my Master to control the more problematic models of my enemy crew. By cutting my crew into two parts, one focused on scheming and the other on the power of obey, I can threaten large areas of the board with denial and scoring.

How Has the Crew/Keyword Changed Since M2E?

            The main distinction of the crew is how Zoraida uses her swampfiends as her eyes for her magic. Eyes in the Night: This model may draw LoS and range for its non-melee Actions from friendly Swampfiends within 12" and enemy models with a Voodoo Upgrade attached. This gives her a large threat range that make it hard for the enemy to predict how your going to effect the board. It's definitely challenging to use the ability to the fullest. One of the best effect for this ability is using forest terrain. By keeping Zoraida behind a forest with a swampfiend within it, will allow her to play a very safe way. Forcing the enemy to kill the eyes and not the brains. It a great trick with assassination in the pool.

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

            Zoraida, the manipulator of fate, gives extra AP for her models or the enemies. Which is always in your favor. The First Mate, the greatest silurid, is the crew's anti schemer and expensive scheme runner. Grootslang, big and fast on your side of the table. He uses lair markers to burrow to any other marker on your side of the table, giving support where you need it. Bad JuJu, punching bag and tank, he assist his crew by being a drain of Ap on your opponents side.

Rate the Keyword on the Following Criteria from 0-14 

-Killing Power (7 out of 14)

             Swampfiends are very average in the destroying aspect. Bad Juju can hit hard but he is a tad slow. Generally with Zoraida, she hopes the enemy brings some big hitter and you can have it kill his allies.

-Survivability (11 out of 14) or (3 out 14)

        or .       

            Stealth on your small models and The First Mate helps against neverborn issues of range combat. Not being able to be targeted outside of 6 inches makes all your scheme runners, silurids and gupps, very annoying to get to. Sadly the die within that 6in bubble. This gives them that bummer score of 3. Like a strong gust can blow these guys up. Mostly, you play a hide and ambush with these models or leap behind the enemy lines to run.

 -Scheming/Maneuverability (12 out 14)

            Silurids leap with stealth... and only need a 3 to do it. Yeap that's amazing. Some swampfiends also have ambush as a bonus action. Giving the player a 3 inch bonus move to get into better position to attack. Can't be used if engaged, but it played a large role in my tournament play.

-Card Manipulation (11 out 14)

            Zoriada is the only card manipulation that you have in the crew. Her ability Reading the Cards - If this model is this Crew's Leader, after an enemy model in LoS Cheats Fate, this model may look at the top card of either Fate Deck and may then discard that card.- Gives her the ability to keep weak cards on damage flips or slightly change fate of her next duel. But your best and only bonus action is the truest card equalizer. Treads of Fate- Both players discard their Control Hands and then draw 6 cards- does 3 things for a swampfiend crew. First it helps keep discard effects from massively taxing the crew, such as demise on Bad Juju and summoning the voodoo doll. Second it gives Zoraida the ability to use high cards to get her obeys out, then refill the control hand. Lastly, it makes opponents play poorly. It dosen't seem like it would on first glance, but most opponents will try to use all their great cards before Zoraida spin the wheel of fate. Yet, just because you can force everyone to discard their hands dosen't mean you should. Just let them cheat and enjoy that empty opponent's hand.

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

             For killing schemes, Bad JuJu is MVP. He hits hard and can use his demise (eternal). This ability gives him better hard to kill by healing him four after he would die. The First Mate may be the best and hardest to kill scheme runner I have ever used. He is very versatile with his AP. Letting him drop 2 scheme markers a turn or kill other scheme runners beside him.
            The Voodoo Doll, Zoraida's totem is LVP. Honestly, it's horrible. The range of using the voodoo doll, the nerf to its health from 6 to 3, and how you only gain one condition on the hex target, takes a hard shift from M2E single model debuff into using it as a scrap marker. Its best ability is to die and draw one card. More on that later!

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

            Vasilisa and Wicked Dolls are my go to versatile models. Vasilisa is a hidden gem in Neverborn. Armor 2, 7 wounds, ability to heal herself or other puppets, and two amazing abilities. She can summon stitched together or wicked dolls with scrap markers. Its a hard summon requiring a 9 of mask that cant be stoned for, but luckily voodoo doll can kill itself and give you that scrap marker turn one. Zoraida can then discard her hand and try to find that mask card. Works most of the time. The second ability is called Pulling the Strings, This model may remove a Scheme Marker within 3" of the target. Friendly Minion only.Target takes an Action. Then, if a Scheme Marker was not removed when this Action was declared, kill the target during the End Phase. This works greatly with Wicked Dolls because when Vasilisa walks, she picks up 1 Sz puppets and takes them along. Making her great at antischeming. Wicked Dolls, at cost 3, are stealthed like silurids and can drop scheme markers. A bit of an investment of 11 stones but together they make up my left or right flank.


There you have it. Zoraida has been an early darling in the M3E era for a number of metas, for reasons that may be apparent from what you read above. Interestingly, I asked Shawn if he had considered working in a big hitter like the Hooded Rider to make up for some of his lower hitting power in the, which is something else I've seen deployed elsewhere. He pointed out that he doesn't really care for having his hitter not safe to use before turn 3, and he didn't like having his Obey stuck in one place. Given that tournament games are most often not making it to turn 5 here earlier in the edition, only having a turn or two of "good" rider action is suboptimal, in his view. He prefers Juju, if nothing else for his ability to soak up AP from the enemy.

Hope everyone else is having a great time post M3E release! Feel free to comment on this if you agree/disagree/have a novel take on Mama Z that isn't mentioned here.