Today I’m going to be looking at speed in Malifaux… wait a second, didn’t some other mali-blogger do that recently? Well yes, that lovely Mr Joel Henry wrote a very interesting blog post on speed in Malifaux (which can be found here… if I remember to put in the hyperlink). For this post to make any sense, you should probably have a read of that first (also if you’re reading this blog and not Joel’s blog, you’ve flipped a black joker in the blog world).
As a brief summary, Joel says there’s various different forms of speed/acceleration in Malifaux, ranging from models with high walk values (obviously), to conditions which alter the chances of duels succeeding (thus speeding up/slowing down the flow of things through the game). OK, that was an awful summary. Go read Joel’s blog post.
Right, welcome back. I thought this was a very interesting way to view how crews work within the game. Usually when I look at my crews, I look at what the models can do, how many activations there are, maybe how many AP the crew generates, but Joel’s speed theory is a very different approach.
For this post, I thought I’d take a look at a core multi-purpose crew which I’m currently tinkering with, using this speed theory, and see how it pans out.
The crew consists of Marcus (generally with trail of the gods, feral instincts, and the hunger cry), Myranda (with imbued energies and possibly, RSR, December Acolyte, and 2 molemen. The table below shows the different facets of each model’s speed based abilities (I hope wordpress manages to interpret it correctly).
|Marcus||Trail of the Gods (+3 walk)
Unimpeded (not slowed by severe terrain)
|Darzhee’s chaunt (+ve flips for a beast to attack and damage)
Accomplice (alpha striking fun)
Trail of the Gods +1 melee AP/+2 damage)
Alpha (shift AP to where it needs to be)
|Law of meat (prevents charges/melee actions)
Domesticate (-ve flips for enemy beasts)
|Myranda||High walk value||Hunting call (shift AP to beatsticks for extra killyness)
Shapechange (turn Myranda into a beast you need at the time to shift the speed advantage)
Pack leader (Extra attacks from friendly beasts is never a bad thing)
|Huntress (+ve flips to defense for nearby beasts)
Primal flame (healing spell)
|December acolyte||From the shadows (Deploy ahead of the deployment zone)||Good ranged weapon (the only model which doesn’t have to be stood next to the enemy to hurt them)
Smell weakness (improves the speed of taking down enemies)
|Good ranged weapon (people don’t like getting shot, so stay away)
Hands out slow condition (slow slows stuff down)
Forces card discard (discarded cards = more failed duels = slow down)
|RSR||Slither (once combat is joined, this allows the RSR to get where it needs to be)
|High defense (opponent has to waste cards hitting, or waste AP missing)
terrifying (usually useless, but sometimes the opponent needs to burn a card, meaning it’s not available for other things)
Constriction (double +ve flips to disengage stops opponents moving to where they want to be)
Wicked (damaging opponents if they fail to disengage makes them even less likely to try)
|Molemen||Tunnelling (0 action to place in contact with a nearby scheme marker, movement in any way which isn’t a walk action is amazing…fact)||Armour 2 (takes more damage to kill them off, therefore more AP spent), defense trigger (takes even more AP to kill them)|
Well, that was a fascinating table wasn’t it? But what does it tell me? Well as I hoped, my “multipurpose” base crew for any strategy pans out pretty averagely. It’s not bad in raw speed, with Marcus and Molemen panning out really nicely there. In terms of acceleration it’s possibly a little top heavy, with Marcus and Myranda providing most of that… but then Marcus and Myranda are both pretty much gear sticks, able to shift the pushing power/resistance of the crew at the drop of a hat, so that seems fair enough.
I’m also very impressed and surprised with the deceleration which the crew can bring to the opponent’s crew, with everything able to do something to slow them down (which of course is useful in every strategy and every scheme). This is something I hadn’t really spotted on the face of it. I always view Marcus’ crew as a crew which wants to get in, break some faces, and then run away, but certainly the molemen and RSR can survive a fair while in a fight, and with the support of Myranda they’re as resilient as many other things in Malifaux. This was something I hadn’t really identified in the Molemen before. I tend to use them for chucking out scheme markers, but with armour 2 and a defensive trigger to potentially reduce damage to 0, they actually do very well against many models which have a weak damage of 2. Holding up those models for a turn to stop them getting a squatter’s rights marker (for instance) can easily be the difference between winning/losing a game (see my Halifaux game against Jimmy).
So in summary, I think Joel’s speed theory is a really interesting new way of looking at how your crew functions, and what it has to offer in different areas. It also really highlights strengths of individual models. For instance from a standing start, Marcus can either shut down half of the opposing crew with law of meat, debuff a key model to put it on negative flips for the turn (meaning beatsticks/RSR can get in and do some real damage), get a bunch more AP out of a beatstick, or leg it himself to get the movement to out position the opponent for next turn. He’s so flexible it’s ridiculous.
Anyway, so my advice to you, is have a think through what the different models in your crew do in terms of this speed theory (maybe make a table… if you’re that way inclined). It really makes you think about what each ability/action is actually giving to your crew.
And with that, I’ll end here. At present I have no idea what the next post will be about. There’s still a Cerberus and RSR which you might like a focussed post on, so maybe one of those, or maybe I’ll have figured out some deep philosophical point to make, or tactical ploy to try out. Who knows.
Until next time