Here we are again. So I wasn’t awfully happy with the last post. It was very bland and dry. Because of that, and to make up for the fact that I’ll be away this weekend, here’s an additional freebee post. Enjoy
This post is going to be yet another change of pace. For those Myranda fans out there, don’t worry, the Myranda post is on its way. However, in 3 weeks (at time of writing) I have my first ever Malifaux 2nd edition tournament. It’s called Halifaux, and is being held in Halifax (UK… the town, not the building society). It’s 3 rounds at 50ss, and the strategies will be Reckoning, Squatter’s rights, and Turf War. We won’t know the available schemes until just before each game.
So with that in mind, I thought it would be interesting/useful to give my thoughts on what I might take for each strategy. This is A) so that I force myself to put some thought into it (normally I just use the set up I’m enjoying at the time for all the games at a tournament), and B) so that anyone reading this can give me some thoughts/opinions on the crews, what might improve them, what to watch out for etc. It’ll be a 3 post series (one for each strat), and then I’ll do after thoughts once I’ve played in the event.
To kick things off, my model pool is:
Miss Step (Howard Langston)
1 Canine remains
1 Hoarcat pride
Lots of steam arachnids
1 Rail worker
(late realisation that I also have a ronin. she might get a look in too).
So sadly no Dawn Serpent yet. I do have Ramos and Mei too, but I haven’t used them yet, and I’d rather stick with what I know (to minimise accidental cheating by not knowing rules properly).
The first strategy is Reckoning, or as it used to be known, “beatdown”… I should be good at this one. The strategy basically requires you to kill enemy models, and not lose models yourself, so a fairly valid plan is to take a few very killy, very resilient models. However Marcus isn’t known for the resilience of his crew… this could be interesting. I feel like this is one where I could go one of two ways, and which way I go in the end may well depend on which faction I end up facing. However let’s take a look at what I’ll probably do:
First thing to think about with Marcus is which limited upgrade do you want. Both are valid in this strategy. Does he want to jump in and smash things apart to get his VPs, or does he want to go defensive to prevent the enemy getting their VPs? Well I think I’m going to go for the latter option, and actually try out the God’s domain. Marcus should be a pretty neat tarpit at defense 7 with regen 1. “What about willpower attacks?” I hear you ask. Well I’d better slap the Hunger cry on him too, so that he can boost beasts’ willpower by 2 (within 8″ of him) and reduce non-beast willpower by 2, all for a (1) action, as well as getting a nifty (0) action to put enemy beasts on negative flips for all duels. Finally I’m going to go with Feral instincts. This allows him to use 2 (0) actions, and gives him a (0) action to turn a model into a beast.
This is a setup I’ve been thinking about for a little while, which I’ve taken to calling “Pandarcus”, as it basically involves a great big pile of willpower shenanigans (what Pandora is famed for). It makes Marcus very resilient (especially if Myranda is nearby), and makes him very capable of reducing the function of enemy models (law of meat on models which are at -2 WP is pretty effective), or casting alpha on enemies (which he can turn into beasts using Feral). Alternatively he can 1 action charge and still cast alpha. Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of making him pretty slow (by Marcus standards), and he can’t put out much damage himself. Not putting out damage isn’t such a big problem though… as we’ll see in a minute.
I’m NOT taking the Jackalope for this strategy, and I thought I’d better explain myself, as generally I think it’s great. The problem is that the strategy only requires the enemy to kill 2 models for a VP each turn. The rabbit is pretty easy to take down, and then every time they kill something else, it comes back, effectively giving them another cheap kill. Not a good idea for reckoning, or when “make them suffer” is available in the scheme pool.
Back onto things I will take, Myranda will be in there (if Vendetta is available I might think twice about her, but she’ll probably be there). As I’ve mentioned before, Myranda is a fantastic support model. Her aura of positive defense flips, along with her healing spell, should help to keep those squishy beasts around a bit longer. A bit of well timed healing can easily be the difference between a VP for your opponent. Also her spell to have another beast make a melee attack could be very useful in finishing off a model which your opponent thought was safe. As usual I will be running Myranda with Imbued Energies, allowing her to either get fast if she needs it one turn, or draw 4 cards which she dies or is sacrificed (which will happen most games). I’m tempted to also give her Pack Leader, which would allow beasts to make melee attacks against models which fail willpower duels (which there should be a lot of, with the Pandarcus set up), however I’ve tried it twice so far, and simply forget that it’s there, so until I find a way to remember, that may stay at home.
Chances are, Myranda will either turn into a Cerberus (if I need to push on the attack to gain VPs), or a Razorspine (if I need to prevent my opponent getting VPs), though that’ll be very situation dependant. On my current record, she could also turn into Cojo if I need to really break some heads, or move models around for scheme purposes.
Wait, what? Taking a squishy little dog in a game where the opponent wants to kill squishy things? Surely that’s a bad idea. Well yes and no. The main reason the dog is here is for the trigger on it’s attack to turn a model into a beast (more on that in a rather predictable minute). However it is also a speedy little model, so should be able to stay out of trouble, and gives me a nice cheap activation. I suspect most of the game this guy will be cowering.
Miss Step (Howard Langston)
Here’s the answer to all of those “in a minute” points. Turn 1, the canine attacks Miss Step, and triggers her to become a beast for the rest of the game (Myranda can then heal her up if necessary). Now you have a crazy cyborg running around, which Marcus can cast Alpha on, and Myranda can make her do extra melee attacks. That’s a whole lot of high Ml, high damage attacks. Myranda can also heal her, and Marcus could even cast Darzhees chaunt if I get plenty of activation advantage. Miss Step will most probably be given Imbued Energies, giving the potential to have fast one turn.
Clearly she’ll get killed in turn 1, but it’s good to have potential. I suspect I’ll hold her back as a reserve model, so that the opponent can crash into models with high defense and armour, and then miss step can counter attack. Interestingly, with nimble, miss step is theoretically also very good for dropping out scheme markers. I’m still yet to try her out in a game, but I trust in the wisdom of Conrad (one of the malifools), who says “just wind her up and let her go”.
We have attack/shenanigans sorted out in Marcus and Miss step, and a bit of defense with Myranda, but now we need the heavy tanks. For their cost, I think waldgeists are some of the best beasts out there at the moment. They bring a solid attack, with a stupidly long melee range (if you’re touching terrain), fantastic defense (in the form of good wounds, alright defense, and armour 2), and one of the best (0) actions I’ve seen so far, which gives your crew even more protection. I’ll be bringing 2 Waldgeists to Reckoning.
The basic plan is to throw out their (0) action forests so that the weaker parts of the crew are protected from stray gunfire (they can then shift those forests up as I advance). They’ll then amble forward using their ridiculous melee range to lock up enemy models, and generally be a nuisance. Their trigger to prevent a model from being able to walk is also incredibly useful. If used correctly, you can hit a model with your 4″ melee range, and then they can’t move up to attack you in melee (with their hopefully shorter melee range), and can’t shoot you because they’re in melee. The damage is also sufficiently good to be worrying for your opponent.
Did you honestly think the mighty RSR wouldn’t make a showing? Of course it’s here! RSR is a great defensive model, not bad at hitting stuff, not too slow, and very useful for locking models in place. With Marcus’ Howl ability, the terrifying might actually have an effect! It’s just a great all round model to plug any holes I might have left.
So what does this give me?
Marcus (the Gods domain, Feral instincts, the hunger cry)
Myranda (Imbued Energies)
Miss Step (maybe Imbued Energies)
2-3ss (meaning 6-7ss in the cache)
That’s 7 activations, a fair bit of killing power, plenty of defense, not much speed.
The basic plan is to keep everyone fairly close together, with Marcus and the Waldgeists getting in the way of attacks (and shutting down enemy models), Myranda doing her support thing, Miss step counter attacking, and RSR filling any gaps. The canine might get a bone to chew on. My concern at this stage is obviously speed. If I have an opponent who can manouver around the waldgeist trees and put some damage on Myranda or Miss Step, I may have issues. Similarly, my crew can’t really go hunting for enemies very efficiently (except Miss Step), so I’m kinda hoping they’ll come for me. If they don’t I may have yet more issues, however one might hope that that would mean they wouldn’t be scoring VPs either.
I’m also slightly lacking in the damage output. Everything here can put out a reasonable bit of damage for what it is, but there’s only really miss step who actually poses a serious threat. The first solution to this will be to protect her at all costs with healing and pop up trees. Models like Taelor (who eats big constructs for breakfast) will be a serious threat, and will probably need locking up using Marcus. Then the second solution will be “old faithful”… the “Myranderus” aka Myranda turning into a Cerberus. This is a tried and tested method to put out quite a bit of damage where you need it later on in the game, when lots of things have already died.
In terms of schemes, I’ll probably aim for tricksy schemes like distract, or cursed object, or else scheme marker schemes which don’t require too much spreading out, such as protect territory, or plant explosives maybe. However as I said, that’ll depend on which schemes come up. This, along with which faction I’m playing against (for instance other arcanists, or Gremlins), are the major things which might lead to a change of plan… along with whimsical decisions on the day.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these thoughts. Please feel free to get in touch with thoughts/opinions/suggestions. Next up will be a spotlight on Myranda.
Until next time