Tuesday, July 30, 2019

How To Play: Corrupted Idols! - by guest bloggist Brien "Schemes" Spence

As part of my move back to the midwest, I've been blessed to join a meta that is at least within practical driving distance in Des Moines, which has reduced my need to employ the Wandering River Style to attend tournaments/get in games of Malifaux. One gentlemen I've been "blessed" to play against was Brien Spence, of Schemes and Stones fame. We've played twice since I moved here. Both games were corrupted idols and both were against his Leviticus list (I'll work on getting him to write about Levi for the future.) I was very impressed with his control-based gameplan for dealing with this strategy, and I asked him to comment on it briefly. So, here he goes!


            When Adam asked me to write this piece, I’ll admit I was a little stumped on how to procced.  I felt that I had a strong understanding of Corrupted Idols, and that most of the decision making around this unique Malifaux 3E strategy is done at the table, en medias res.  As I thought about what to write, while lazing on vacation in Northern Wisconsin, it occurred to me a few choices I’ve made in every Corrupted Idols game, from the moment the strategy is declared.  As such, I decided to breakdown and address these.

Firstly, how Idols works – as copied from the M3E rulebook:

Corrupted Idols (M) At the start of each Turn, after determining which player has Initiative, Drop a Strategy Marker centered on the centerline. The location of the Strategy Marker is determined by the suit of the Initiative Flip of the player with Initiative (and the direction is calculated from that player’s perspective):

• M: 8" from where the centerline meets the table edge on the left.
• T: 8" from where the centerline meets the table edge on the right.
• R: On the centerpoint.
• C: Where the centerline meets the table edge (player with Initiative chooses which table edge).
• Joker: Reflip

If the Strategy Marker would be Dropped on top of a Strategy Marker, Impassable Terrain, or a model, the player with Initiative instead Drops the Strategy Marker evenly on the centerline, touching but not overlapping that Strategy Marker, Impassable Terrain, or model. If this is not possible, the Strategy Marker is not Dropped. A model in base contact with a Strategy Marker can take the Interact Action and suffer up to three irreducible damage, ignoring Hard to Kill. A model may not suffer more damage than its current Health. Drop the Strategy Marker anywhere within X" of its current location, not into base contact with a model or Impassable Terrain, where X is equal to the amount of damage suffered by the Interacting model (even if it was killed by the damage it suffered). At the end of each Turn, a Crew gains 1 VP if there are more Strategy Markers completely on the opponent’s table half than it has earned VP from this Strategy.

Here, there a is key information I’ve found is often overlooked; “The location of the Strategy Marker is determined by the suit of the Initiative Flip of the player with Initiative”.  What this means is if you win the Initiative flip, but decide for your opponent to have first activation, they become the player with Initiative, and thus control the placement of the marker.  In most scenarios, you always want to have Initiative, and thusly should always cheat for Initiative, or declare first action – in this way, I have my first major recommendation for playing Corrupted Idols:

Location, Location, Location:

Upon arriving at the table, pick a location on the board where the Idols might drop, and decide to focus the majority of your time, models, and gameplay there.  In essence, before the game starts, decide on a corner (or center) that you will cheat the Idol to every round.

My plan going into every Idols match is to dump all 5 Strat Markers in the same spot and deny all Strategy points from my opponent; if they have to consistently push towards my chosen location during the game, they are less likely to be scoring their schemes, whereas my priority is only scoring the 4 points from the Strategy, and picking up a single point from one scheme.  I’ve found this forces my opposition to play the game I’ve declared, with drastically controls the tempo of the game.  I normally like to pick a flank edge, and work to position my crew spread along the line, stretching from the 8in mark (where the Idol drops) and the center; this gives my models control of 3 of the 5 possible Idol locations.

Next, Crew Selection:

             Focus on 2-3 high quality schemers, preferably who can leap. Don't spam low quality scheme models

I’ve found players build large, spam-ish scheme crews to handle Idols – they think that because the Idols can show up in 5 locations, they must be at all 5 locations.  This I find wrong for 2 main reasons, the first as detailed above, the second, the survivability of low-cost, spam schemer models are low.  Abandoning any type of mid-quality damage dealer just means you won’t be able to prevent the opponent from scoring, without improving your own chances of scoring, since your schemer models will crumble.  Between harming yourself to move the Idols and the counter play from enemy, a mass of cheap models will push the Idols, but be unable to maintain them to score points. Keep the balanced lists you use for every other Strategy.

Lastly, Game Play – Standing and Cheating:

Idol markers are not impassable; stand on them.  Cheat Initiative unless you literally cannot afford to do so.

The rules of Corrupted Idols makes no mention of impassable traits on the markers, whereas Turf War does.  This means you can stand atop Idol markers with impunity, boxing out your opponent’s valuable tech pieces, namely Don’t Mind Me models.  Standing on top a marker at the very least denies it from your opponent, and potentially secures it for your scoring. Additionally, I’ve seen boards where players have used large (vertically) 30mm markers for Idols, often with a flag or statute attached (very narrative, I do approve), however, this creates the illusion that they are impassible – do not hesitate to change these out, or call a TO in more official settings to adjust the board as needed.

As the locations of the markers are determined, never, never hesitate to Cheat Initiative, if that will impede your opponent in anyway:  Cheat to place the Idol in your designated zone?  Do it.  Cheat to place it in the contested center zone, and not their zone?  Do it.  Cheat to toss it to the location without any models, denying both players?  Do it.  Cheat a midrange card to force your opponent to cheat a better card?  Do it.  This cheating idea goes double for any crew with access to Arcane Reservoir, since you will have the extra card to spend. 

And there you have it, my top tricks and philosophy to play Corrupted Idols in Malifaux 3E.  Please feel free to reach out on Facebook to comment and share your thoughts and remember, Bad Things Happen.

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.