The rest of the crew

Hi folks,

Welcome back to Play it like Beat down. Before I start today’s subject, I’d just like to say thanks to all the folks who gave me feedback, either on twitter (at iamsssk) or on here. It’s really heartening to get such a great response to what was essentially an aimless ramble. You shouldn’t change a winning formula though, so here’s some more vague chatter. Enjoy!

Today’s topic is going to be a broad overview of the models I’ve been using in my games of 2nd edition Malifaux, a brief summary of what they do, and why I like them. There are a few reasons I might choose to use a model. Maybe it looks good on the table, maybe it fits well thematically, or maybe it’s hard as nails and can reduce grown men to tears. In my opinion, second edition has done a great job of fitting all of these things together, so that you have a beautiful, story driven, tear jerker… OK, that came out wrong. Let’s just move swiftly on. I was going to split this into hammers, anvils, and support pieces, but beasts don’t seem to separate like that (easily). Instead I’ve put them on a scale of attack -> defense, with “shenanigans” in the middle. I’ve missed out Marcus himself, as I talked about him last time in Slither in.

Attack
First up, and firmly in the attack section, is the Sabertooth Cerberus. Everything about this model is either for getting closer to the enemy, or tearing the enemy to shreds. I’ve used the Cerberus as my beatstick so far because it’s the obvious choice for Marcus, and because it has given me no reason not to. I’m very impressed with its face-breaking credentials, but the real selling points for me are 2 things – 1) ‘Leap’ allowing it to jump around, and 2) positive attack and damage flips mean it often doesn’t need help from the cards in my hand.

Attack/shenanigans
Possibly controversial, but here I will kick off with the Jackalope. “WHAT!?” I hear you shout, “A RABBIT IN ‘ATTACK’!?”. Well yes, the way I play it, the jackalope is basically to get in the way, and pose a threat to weaker models. With the advantage that it’ll probably be back later anyway, you can really throw the jackalope into the thick of it as a tempting target, a missile, or just something which needs to be killed before the opponent can continue their plans. As it gets +2 damage on the charge, you really don’t want to get hit by this guy, so it’s always enough of a threat to need dealing with.

I said a bit about Cojo last time, so I’ll keep it brief. I’ve only used him once so far, so I need to test him more to get a proper feel for what he does. He’s really good for throwing models off objectives, but also sickeningly effective at killing things. He does require quite a bit of support to work, but when he does work, he works well… or so it seems so far.

Shenanigans
I’m not sure if they should be here or with some defense too… but I’ll stick them here: Molemen. Though they’re difficult to kill off, molemen’s defensive abilities only really help them out in their main task of dumping out markers and grabbing objectives. They can bounce around from scheme marker to scheme marker and are very good at what they do. MythicFox suggests using molemen in pairs, but personally, I only use 1. This is partially because I only own 1, but I don’t tend to find a shortage of scheme markers in most cases. They work particularly well with Marcus himself, who will often be a fountain of scheme markers. For such a cheap model, molemen are well worth the investment for most strategies. Sadly the models let them down… they’re pretty awful.

Shenanigans/defense
Note: Just because models are here doesn’t mean they’re not good at attacking, it just means I see their main functions as something else.

Let’s kick off the defensive shenanigans with Myranda, Marcus’ henchwoman. I haven’t played a game without Myranda so far. She’s speedy, highly defensive, and really helps Marcus’ somewhat fragile crew survive a lot better with an aura of positive defensive flips, and a healing ability. Where other crews have armour or hard to wound, Marcus has Myranda. I really like Myranda because of how flexible she is. As she can transform into any arcanist beast (except Marcus… sadly) she can really adapt to be the perfect tool for whatever job she’s needed for. I usually end up transforming her into a Cerberus around turn 3 or 4, but more on that later at a later date…

Next up in defensive shenanigans, we have the Razorspine Rattler (RSR). High defense, good wounds, and terrifying put RSR firmly in defense for me. However RSR is amazingly good at holding models in place, and shifting around within melee zones, so is also a very strong control model. In my humble opinion, if you are using Marcus and not using at least 1 RSR, you’d better have a flipping’ good reason why not. My RSRs rarely receive much beastly support from spells etc, so I don’t see why they shouldn’t be just as effective for other masters.

Finally in defensive shenanigans, and indeed finally of the models I’ve used so far, is the Waldgeist. They’re neverborn, but they’re beasts, so Marcus can use them. Waldgeists are very strong all round models with tons of perks, but I tend to think of 2 key points. First, they have armour 2, so they’re very survivable. This is a great thing for Marcus’ somewhat squishy crew, and often I’ll throw out a waldgeist to take some hits before counter attacking with something higher up this list (or Marcus himself). Second (but possibly more important) is their ability to make terrain. Yup, they just spring up little forests, which are obscuring. This fixes them in defense for me, as there are few things which can hurt you when they can’t see you. All of a sudden it’s a whole lot easier to sneak that Cerberus up close enough to strike unharmed.

So that’s what I’ve been using so far. A typical crew for me would be:
Marcus (with upgrades)
Jackalope
Myranda (with upgrades)
Cerberus
RSR
Waldgeist
Moleman
something else (another RSR, Waldgeist, or Cojo)

But the story doesn’t end there! I’ve just received a canine remains from Malifool Jon (thanks Jon), which can turn other models into beasts. I’ve also bought a Miss Step (alternative Howard Langston). These two things aren’t a coincidence. I’m also very eager to try out the dawn serpent. So far I’ve not heard of anyone using it (even so, I’ve heard a few people say it’s not very good… silly theoryfaux), but I’m pretty sure Marcus can make that reptile very nasty indeed.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. I think I’m going to try 2 updates per week, with one Marcussy one (this one), and one general one (which may or may not be about soulstone use this week). It might pan out that I can’t keep up with that, but it’s good to have an aim.

Until next time.

Dave/sssk

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