Apologies for the lack of photos. This is largely due to me having a negative amount of time in which to do anything which isn’t work at the moment (stupid end of PhD brown trouser zone). One day there will be photos… but it is not this day. Similarly, one day there will be proof reading… but it is not this day (so apologies if some of the following doesn’t make any sense).
Welcome to the final instalment of tales from Jimmyfaux. As you may remember, I’d had a fair bit of success at Jimmyfaux, winning 9-2 in Turf War, and 9-1 in reconnoitre. Now I once again found myself on table 1, this time against the rather lovely John Wharton and his less than lovely Viktorias. We were playing squatters rights, with a bunch of schemes available (it was 2 weeks ago, and I didn’t make notes… this may be vague). I think the schemes were Bodyguard, murder protégé, plant explosives, entourage…or breakthrough…or something, and line in the sand.
As before, I went with the full Perdita box set, with wade in on Francisco, Trick shooting on Perdita, and this time I took plant evidence on Francisco. Schemes were difficult to pick here. Going on what I’d learnt so far about Perdita and my glorious #ToMB crew, kill schemes seem good picks, so I took murder protégé (on lazarus). I wasn’t at all sure about bodyguard, which would be on Fransisco, as the Viks tend to be pretty killy, and I wasn’t convinced I could keep him alive. I didn’t go for the one I can’t remember either, because it needed me to be over the other side of the board in some form or other, which didn’t seem a good idea, so I ended up going for plant explosives, as the lesser of 4 evils. Just for reference, I don’t think I’ve ever taken plant explosives before, as I just don’t like… this should be interesting.
John went for both Viks, a malifaux child, Lazarus, a friekorps trapper (sniper bloke), a friekorps librarian, and Vanessa (notably the only wave 2 models I played against all day). He took bodyguard (don’t remember who on) and murder protégé (on Francisco).
After deployment I still hadn’t really figured out what I was going to try to do here, other than aim for Lazarus and 2 of the squat markers, and see how things developed.
Things started out pretty poorly, with some bad positioning resulting in a dead papa loco near enough instantly (his low defense meant any abuse which was thrown at him just stuck). I then massively underestimated how far a vik can charge, and Francisco found himself with master Vik in his face. Just to be clear here, he walked forwards a bit, she walked once, then charged (!), then still had melee expert left! She also ignored his hard to kill, was doing +2 damage, and had about a billion additional positive flips. Suffice to say, on the first attack of the charge, she did 8 damage (enough to kill him as she ignored hard to kill), so I figured he was dead anyway, and just let him go. I really dislike Viks.
Turn 2 started out and Perdita took some shots at Lazarus, failing to hurt him much. Master Vik then charged Perdita and did a bit of damage (whirlwinding a few wounds onto Nino too). The rest then messed about a bit (ie not much happened), though Lazarus healed back up to full wounds.
Turn 3 and I got initiative. From past experience, Perdita in melee means things are about to die. Unfortunately, my deck didn’t want me to win this game. I had an awful hand, and then Perdita managed to miss the Vik a fair bit. I did do a bit of damage though… which the Vanessa/Librarian combo instantly healed back up (from the other side of the battlefield). Did I mention how much I hate Viks?
Long story short, the rest of the turns progressed pretty much that way. It took about 3 turns of Perdita using all of her AP to shoot master Vik in the face before the stupid thing eventually died, by which time the game was lost by a country mile.
When Perdita was finally free of *expletive deleted* master Vik, and could draw line of sight to Lazarus for Murder Protégé, ruddy henchman Vik charged in and killed her (Dave’s thoughts on “free” models remain unchanged). Santiago eventually managed to break free, drop a scheme marker, and then lure in Lazarus and hench Vik (by being “a model which was still alive”) to get a couple of points for plant explosives, but it was all over long before that.
Thoughts on the game
So this game was a 10-2 whitewash. It was literally over in about half an hour (including set up time). This was for 3 main reasons. I was way too aggressive in movement in turn 1. I didn’t really know what I was trying to do until everything was already dead. My cards were broken.
I know, I know, bad workmen and tools yadda yadda yadda, but seriously, my cards simply didn’t happen. In game 1 you may remember that I kept beating Simon by 1 in every duel. Well John was doing that here, except winning each duel by miles. The number of times Perdita flipped a weak card, and couldn’t cheat in anything higher to hit the master Vik was totally insane.
Anyway, in the end, I think this game was always a win to John, however I think with the benefit of actually seeing a card with 2 digits on it, I might have been able to close the gap close to somewhere in the 10-5/7-5 region (if Perdita had been able to get free, Lazarus might have got taken down).
As it happens, the most annoying thing about this game was the lack of a fight which I gave John from his perspective. He’d fought his way through tough opposition all the way to the top table, and then found himself playing against a (slightly) glorified blancmange. It wasn’t really a fight worthy of the top table (sorry John). Another really good opponent though, and hopefully we can play again sometime soon for a less card dominated game.
From this game I didn’t really figure out too much more about my crew, as most of it was dead or dysfunctional through the whole game. However, I now have some idea of what my crew does, what it’s good at, and what it’s not so good at.
End of month 1
So at the end of month 1, I’ve played 4 games with the crew, won 3, lost 1. Generally, the crew is proving pretty good at killing stuff, though it’s a little fragile, and fairly slow (compared to Marcus… which maybe isn’t a fair comparison to make). I’ve found that Perdita can generally achieve whatever I set her to do, and Francisco is great for taking out average minions (putting him up against beatsticks and masters isn’t such a hot idea).
I’ve found that Nino is pretty situational, being very handy in some situations, and utterly hopeless in others. Generally I think for his high cost he will struggle to fit in my crews, as he’s extremely fragile. However he can quite reliably deal around 3 damage per turn where I need it, which can be very useful… but is it enough?
Papa loco seems to be a bit of a gimmicky character. He can put out a ridiculous amount of damage if your opponent lets him get near, but if they do, they probably just don’t know what he’s capable of. He has an awful defense, and is very slow, so it takes quite some effort to get him near models. Both times he’s actually achieved anything were in turf war, where I parked him near the centre of the board, so my opponent had to head toward him (and in both cases they had little/no shooting to remove him at range). Nonetheless, I quite like him as an area control model, and anything which can dish out blasts is useful. At the same cost as Nino, I’ll tend to pick Papa over Nino most of the time I think.
The enslaved nephilim is one which I think I’ve been mis-using. The lovely Joe Taylor (laundryking on twitter) pointed out that it can use shackled on itself to move it up the field faster, and I think this is what I should be doing. Definitely further work needed on this little guy. I think he’ll fairly regularly find a place in my crews once I’ve sorted out how to use him, as the extra speed he gives is very useful, and being able to do a mini (though expensive) obey, to make another model do an action is pretty good.
…and then we get to Santiago. Oh how I want to like Santiago. He has generally good stats and abilities. Being able to ignore friendly family models when shooting into melee means he can support Perdita and Francisco pretty well when they get stuck in. With hard to kill, he should be pretty survivable too. Unfortunately, so far I’m just finding that he isn’t. If a beatstick (big hitty model) or master looks at him, he just dies, no questions asked. Hard to kill just isn’t enough to overcome his average defense. Even being attacked by a couple of cheap little models generally sees Santiago being felled in fairly short order. So I should hold him back right? That way he can stay safe and dish out some hurt… except that he can’t. His damage is slightly better than that of a moleman, with no inbuilt ram for critical strike. His shooting stat is good, so he can hit fairly reliably, but each hit does very little damage, and if you try to capitalise on his trigger to get a free shot, you’ll run out of cards even faster than Perdita usually does (I don’t think I’ve ever ended a turn with cards in my hand). So generally I just don’t see what Santiago is trying to achieve. At the moment I think I’ll continue to use him because A) I want to figure out what he does, and B) he brings lots of wounds to the board, which at least need dealing with.
So now we start month 2. I think one of the key issues I recognised in month 1 is that my crew is very expensive in terms of soulstones. Only the nephilim is cheaper than 7 soulstones, which makes it pretty expensive all round. To combat that, I’ve decided to buy some witchling stalkers. These guys are pretty cheap and multifunctional, so can generally turn their hand to whatever they need to. They have guns, they have melee weapons (really good melee weapons!), they can remove conditions (for the first time ever in M2E, I have an answer to paralyse!), when they die they explode, and whenever they cause damage they do extra burning damage too. Their only real weak point is their low walk value, but I think I just need to learn that minimum walk 5 is a Marcus thing, not a Malifaux thing.
The second thing I purchased for month 2 was one of those “must haves”, which get mentioned every time Guild is mentioned, that being an austringer. These are cheaper than the family models, and provide some reliable low level hitting, but don’t need line of sight, and they have a very nice ability to move a friendly model and then make it do an interact action. This makes it a very flexible model, and great support over a large area.
Minor note: I’ve actually played 1 game with my month 2 purchases so far. From that game I found a few things. The witchlings really help with adding activations to the crew, and provided some much needed melee punch. The austringer is interesting, broadly I’d say he’s as useful or more useful than Nino in 90% of situations (and cheaper), but I didn’t do anything groundbreaking with him, so I need some more games to see where they differ. Santiago hasn’t got any better…
So there you go, that’s a massive blog post for you. If anyone has had success with Santiago, please get in touch. I really want to like him (particularly as I want to use my nice Santana model), but at the moment he’s just costing lots of points, and achieving nothing. I have a feeling that this month I’ll find that I’m lacking survivability, but I’m not sure if that’s just because Guild survivability is “shoot them before they shoot you”.
Until next time