Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wastrel Overview and Tactics

One always assumes that with wealth and good breeding that only paragons of justice and virtue are born..If that were only true then the sons of the wealthy would not end up in such a place as Malifaux. Whether it was to escape persecution Earth side or simply the pleasures on the other side of the breach fail to suffice. One way or another these black sheep of  the wealthy make their wake to Malifaux and look for ways to cause trouble. Though the Guild doesn't officially recognize these Wastrels as officers of the Guild.. there are times when their certain set of skills could be used..

Welcome to the Wastrels the gentlemen thugs of  Malifaux! Even before the book was released I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of these minions. Though at first when the art was spoiled I thought these would fall under the Arcanist branch I was overjoyed upon opening the book and finding these guys under the Guild's umbrella of operatives! With that said lets see just what us Guild players got...

Abilities:

Dual Faction: (Guild/Ten Thunders)
This is another model  that may be hired  by Ten Thunders masters which does in fact include Lucas McCab as one of the five choices available. There is a great amount of choice if you decide to go the Ten Thunders route since you can "splash" 1-2 minions from every faction. As I have said before not too familiar with all the combinations of Ten Thunders but it does add great versatility.

Aniomosity (Zoraida):

Usually models with WP 4 or lower may be hired by Zoraida, but not these guys! With this ability these models may not be hired if she is leading a crew.

Backstabber:
While the Wastrel is under the effects of Harmless it gets +2 Dg to it's Damage Flip. This is quite a good boost considering how low the damage output of his Gang Weapons are at 1/2/3. But don't let straight damage be the judging point of this model there is more to be seen!

Castoffs:
For each Wastrel in your crew you may pick one of the following options, it is considered printed onto their card from that point. You cannot have any duplicates of same Castoffs ability, here are the following choices:
-Earth's Elixir-
It is a 0 action that can only be used once an encounter, but once activated the Wastrel cannot be brought down below 1 wound. This is a great ability to throw a Wastrel onto an objective and have him activate this ability so he cannot be killed. Mind you  that he could STILL be Sacrificed but just about every other form of damage going his way he can simply shrug off.
-Petrified Feather-
A great ability when you have to zoom across the field to jump on an objective or avoid an enemy, once per encounter as an (All) action this model can be placed anywhere within 18" it can legally be placed. Since it is a Place effect you do not have to worry about Disengaging Strikes or any of that jazz. Also something to keep in mind is that even if you are Slow you can still use an All action.
-Soulstone Bullet-
Once per encounter before inflicting damage with Small Handgun replace the 1/3/4 damage stat to 3/4 with a blast/6 with a blast and it is Magical damage. Another one use ability it is good to remember that it is before Damage especially with only a Cb of 4 with Small Handgun you can use the ability when it seems most dire or useful.
-Strange Metal Blade-
The only Castoffs ability that is not 'one use' it replaces the Gang Weapons damage of 1/2/3 with 1/3 + Slow/4 + Paralyzed and the weapon is Magical. Not only do you receive a significant damage boost but the effects you gain on the weapon are great for a 4ss minion to have around. Remember that you still have access to 'Critical Strike' on your Gang Weapons making it quite a nice choice to take.

Harmless:
Enemy models targeting this minion with an attack must win a WP>12 Duel or the action fails, unless the model with Harmless performs any action other than Walk or Pass. Ruthless and Terrifying models ignore Harmless.

With only a Defense of 4 and no other defensive buffs Harmless is a great way for your Wastrels to get into position especially against models with low WP. Even against models with relatively nice WP this Harmless ability isn't a total waste because it will force your opponent to burn a card on top of their deck. The amount of times I have seen a high card get wasted on random flips is staggering.

Ruthless:
This model ignores both Harmless and Pitiful when targeting enemy models. Quick and simple with only a WP of 4 you do not want your Wastrels to use that stat for Duels. Models like Kirai and Molly cannot rely on their Pitiful ability to cover them up once they unleash their tricks.

Weapon:

Gang Weapons: Paired


Small Handgun: Paired

Both weapons at a glance aren't too impressive till you notice that both weapons are actually Paired. Off the top of my head I cannot recall too many models with both Ranged and Melee paired weapons especially at this Soulstone cost. With a healthy dose of Castoffs and/or Triggers these low Damage output weapons become all the more menacing...

Triggers:


Critical Strike (Gang Weapons):

If you hit with a Rams suited card you gain +1 Damage to your Gang Weapons bumping it from a 1/2/3 to a 2/3/4. Not too shabby especially when you have a Paired Cb 5 weapon it shouldn't be too hard to hit your opponent. It is more of a bonus especially if you couple it with the Castoffs ability of Stangemetal Blade which would become 2/4 + slow/5 + Paralyzed.

Reload...Twice (Small Handgun):
Quite an odd Trigger that requires you hit your target with a Crows suited card, replace the damage of Small Handgun from 1/3/4 to 3/6/8! It is quite a punch indeed doubles your damage but at a great cost. After the attack is resolved this Wastrel ends it's activation and gains Paralyzed. This is Trigger is based highly on the situation, if you can knock out an important model then sure why not go for broke. I see this Trigger most often being used the second action that the Wastrel has just to add a little bit more to damage before you go useless or die the next turn. 

Actions:


Secret Passages:
This model can be placed 8" if no enemy can draw Line of Sight when this model performs this action and the Wastrel is not engaged in Melee. This action does not end Harmless on the Wastrel. A very nice ability to get about the battlefield even if you only perform this ability once a turn you effectively double the Walk of the Wastrel. In addition since it is a Place effect you can essentially phase through walls and into terrain.

Jumping from cover to cover through Line of Sight blocking terrain means that your Wastrel can travel a max of 16" a turn. Have to check if I am correct on this but though you cannot be Engaged or in Line of Sight to the enemy when you start this action. It does not say you cannot end your action in any of the above. Good for pouncing on enemies or getting to their objectives while staying relatively safe.

In my book it is another fine low cost model available to Guild, though the Wastrels do not follow the typical high damage straight forward tactics approach that Guild usually take... that is actually a good thing. The Wastrels have a few neat tricks that Guild didn't have access to in the past, having mobile tricksters that meld well with their respective Master is quite nice indeed.

My only real complaint is that they are not "Guardsmen" but that is only because I wanted the run them with Lucius for the "Dapper Gentlemen Crew". All jokes aside I think just about any Master barring Hoffman can get some good use out of these guys. In theory being faster than even the mighty Warden and only being slightly cheaper. Again with Dual Faction I have not looked to see what crossover ability they may have with the other Masters but as always versatility and options are always a good  thing in my book! Till then folks!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Clockwork Trap Overview and Tactics

Deep in the laboratories of the Guild, scientists work tirelessly coming up with new equipment for Guild officers to bring to the field. What started off as a simple trap spawned into something bigger as the scientists pushed the limit of their ingenuity. This in turn has spawned their very latest... the Clockwork Trap! Stalking its prey as it slithers across the battlefield before it finally attacks and latches onto its victim incapacitating them!

Hello folks and welcome to another article I know that I have been away for quite some time but summer time is usually the busiest with conventions and what not going on. When I got back it took some time to detox and during that time I looked over the new Storm of Shadows book by Malifaux. I figured that I should write an article that highlights one of the new Guild minions. So here is my small review of the model by reading the rules. I haven't been able to proxy it in a game yet but I figured here are a few ideas that first came to me while reading the entry over.

Abilities:

Dual Faction: (Guild/Ten Thunders)
Not a real ability but it allows both Guild and Ten Thunders factions to hire this model into their crews. Which crew this model can get hired into is HUGE and  the amount of combinations that can be done I haven't checked up on fully. So most of my following observations come from a Guild standpoint.

Arachnid:
This ability lets the Clockwork trap get into a good position by ignoring Severe and Climbable terrain penalties in addition it treats all vertical surfaces as climbable. With a very average walk of 4 this really helps the clock work trap get the most out of it's movement.

Evasive +2:
When hit by a blast marker the Clockwork Trap will receive Armor 2 against the damage, quite nifty considering that the trap only has 3 Wounds. Along with the Tiny ability it makes the Clockwork Trap just a little bit more survivable against most ranged threats.

From the Shadows:
Allows the Clockwork Trap to be deployed after all miniatures have been placed, must be in cover and at least 12" away from an enemy and an objective from a Strategy and/or Scheme. In addition this model cannot be targeted by Ranged Strikes or be target of a Charge unless it takes an action other than Pass.

Great ability that lets you counter deploy your enemy where you think you may be your weakest, Clockwork Trap is great at area denial. This ability compliments what the miniature is supposed to do, it can sit in terrain waiting for an enemy or reinforcements to come.

Harmless:
Enemy models targeting this minion must first win a WP>12 Duel or the action immediately ends, they may ignore Harmless if they are Terrifying or Ruthless. Harmless ends if this minion performs an action other than Move or Pass.

Another nice little defensive buff for the Clockwork Trap though some would reason if someone wants the Trap dead that it will die one way or another...but who wants to overkill a 2ss model?

Immune to Influence:
A staple on quite a few constructs this makes the model immune to any Will Power Duels while it is the defender. Nice little ability means your model cannot be manipulated whether its due to movement or control shenanigans.

Tiny:
Ranged Strikes and Ranged Spells suffer a Negative fate flip when targeting this model, in addition this model does not block Line of Sight to other models. Another great defensive buff if this model is in cover even Paired weapons will not hit this model reliably.

Coupled with a nice Defense of 6 anybody targeting this minion with Ranged Strikes is going to have a hard time drawing a bead with their guns! If they want to waste the resources to eliminate this minion then it is already doing its job.

Top Secret:
This increases the rarity of the Clockwork Trap from Rare 3 to Rare 6 when the crew includes either McCabe and/or Guild Trappers. Not much else to this talent not quite sure why you would need 6 in a regular game but at 2ss a pop it is not out of  the realm of possibility.

Unstable:
If this model Flips a  Black Joker for a starting Duel he produces a Pulse 2 for 2 Damage and is then Sacrificed. Shouldn't come up too often but I can see how some people hate losing models on a "random" flip, if it's any consolation it is only 2ss AND it gets sacrificed so no counters for any Scavengers!

Weapon:

Trapping Jaw:
Models who are hit by this weapon cannot attempt to disengage unless the Clockwork Trap either moves or is removed from the game. Traps... well TRAP models it will make them immobile unless they either kill the trap by wasting AP or have Push or Placement effects.

Triggers:

Elusive:
After an enemy misses the Clockwork Trap with a Melee Strike if you have cheated with a Mask suited card you may immediately push the Clockwork Trap 3" ignoring terrain. Quite nifty to get you out of a tight spot if you face something you may not be able to handle. Since it does not say directly away and because the ability does not say it has to leave melee range of any models you can in theory tie up an nearby enemy models with this push.

Actions:

(0) Clamp Down:
The first of three (0) abilities available to the Clockwork Trap, pick a model within 2" they must perform a Cb > Wk Duel. If the target loses the Duel it becomes Paralyzed and you must Sacrifice the Clockwork Trap. If the Clockwork Trap was still benefiting from Harmless when it takes this action it gets a Positive Flip to this Duel.

Most models who have the ability to Paralyze either are Masters or expensive Minions, so when you can have a cheap model that has access to Paralyze it is a GREAT thing. Sure it comes at the price of the Clockwork Trap's life but when you tie up or deter an enemy this action is worth its cost many times over.

(0) Primed:
With this action the Clockwork Trap may make the "Clamp Down" action when an enemy model comes within 2" of this minion, in addition this does not end Harmless. A simple set up ability that is very rare in Malifaux and that is the ability to essentially interrupt a model's action while they are activated.

With this action you can simply set it and forget it, watch the enemy either try and run through the traps or they will have to take a detour around your Clockwork Trap. In addition because it is not a strike per se you can even catch models who have Flight or Float!

Spells:

(0) Dug In:
A relatively tough spell for the Clockwork Trap  to pull off, needing a 9+ of any suit this spell will give the Clockwork Trap +3 Armor until it moves. Not a bad use of a (0) action will give the Clockwork Trap a slight measure of protection when the inevitable close combat begins. With a high defense of 6 you can close to gap and almost always ensure a negative flip when being attacked. So having +3 Armor will usually degrade most melee attacks to 1 damage.

Though I would prefer to use the "Primed" action wherever possible Dug In is not a bad action at all in case you want to tie an enemy or even multiple enemeis. Armoring up can sitting in combat preventing enemies from leaving is a perfectly viable strategy.

Off the top of my head I cannot recall many models (especially those in Guild) that specialize in area denial so the Clockwork Trap is quite a treat. Of course Hoffman always loves new/cheap constructs to put into his list I can see him using these to actually out activate an enemy.. as well as other neat tricks. Regular Guild crews can also benefit from slowing down the enemy by having a trap or two lay in wait till the enemy is forced to run into them.

As far as being Dual Faction the Clockwork Trap also has lots of potential in Mei Feng's crew where she can use  them to "bounce" off of with her  Railwalker spell. But of course as I have mentioned in the beginning of  the article this is all "Theoryfaux" as I have not been able to test this minion out. Feel free to comment below with any ideas you have thought up for this minion or if I should edit some of the article. Till then folks!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lucius, Governor's Secretary Overview and Tactics



In Malifaux there are many things to fear, from the rampaging Neverborn to the undead constructs raised from the grave by the Ressurectionists. But no single human being is as feared as much as Lucius, with his porcelain mask he is the voice of authority in Malifaux. No one doubts his terrible power as with a simple word or gesture he can make any opposition mysteriously disappear. Behind every transaction and deal that the Guild make Lucius personally oversees the details with meticulous planning and deadly efficiency.

Today we talk about one of my favorite models the ever intimidating Lucius, though some people see him as something of a "pencil pusher" Lucius is actually quite the killer. He lives up to his back story by having his minions do all the dirty work as he pulls strings from the shadows. All fear the mysterious man behind the mask, time to find out what's behind it!

Looking over Lucius' statistics he doesn't seem all that impressive as either a Leader or  Henchmen (the latter being 10 soul stones) with most of his stats roaming around the 6 area Lucius almost looks lack luster. Do not be fooled by the raw printed statistics, after you keep reading his card you will see that Lucius actually fills out his card quite nicely with a plethora of abilities/actions/spells/etc.

Abilities:

Advanced Planning:
Any Crew containing Lucius that used a Soul Stone to reflip a Strategy gains one Soul Stone into its Soul Stone Cache. It should be noted that this ability cannot be used when doing a Shared Strategy but otherwise this is quite a good ability. now most players probably would not even dare to waste a stone to reflip a mission. But if you plan to take Lucius you have nothing to worry about as it will come back towards your Soul Stone Cache when you are done building your crew.

Have a mission you aren't particularly strong at? You can reflip the Strategy giving you a better chance to accomplish objectives. As I have said before I do not believe I have seen many people sacrificing a Soul Stone in order to reflip strategies even when they WOULD want to. So the fact that you can do it for "free" should not be something overlooked.

Highest Authority:
Any Strikes or Casts targeting Lucius receive a negative to Attack and Casting Flips. An excellent ability that will help Lucius keep relatively safe even with his low base Defense. In most cases Lucius just has to watch out for enemies who have Paired weapons. As most other enemies will generally be at a disadvantage it doesn't matter how high their Cb or Ca are since they will be at a negative they will not be able to cheat, while Lucius can easily avoid any incoming attention.

Yes a model can get around this by Focusing or Channeling but I have found in most cases if they attempt to do this they are usually  giving up movement so will tend to find other methods to deal with Lucius. Though this makes Lucius pretty hard to target for most models do not think he is above enemy reproach. If you want him to be near bullet proof just hide him behind some terrain where even Focused/Paired weapons will have trouble dealing with him.

Secret Service:
While a friendly Elite Division or Guardsmen model is within 2" of Lucius he  gains a +2 to his Defense, making him a respectable 6. Mixed with 'Highest Authority' this ability makes Lucius pretty hard for most minions and even some master to take out quickly without allocating a good amount of resources. Where as some abilities vary pending on situation this ability is almost always the recommended path to be taken.

The reasoning behind having either an Elite Division or Guardsmen model near Lucius is because Lucius himself is more of a crew buffer.While his damage output is actually quite mediocre it is his ability to command others to be more effective that makes him great. By having a model near by it creates a very effective bodyguard even out of the humble Guild Guardsman.

Slow to Die:
When this model is killed it may immediately take a 1 action before it is removed from the table, if the model manages to gain at least 1 Wound back it stays alive and is not removed from the table. This is an amazing ability on a minion but when given  to a model capable of Use Soul Stone it becomes even better. Since regardless of how many Wounds Lucius takes he can simply absorb the damage and burn a Soul Stone to make a Healing Flip for his 1 action. As long as it is not a Black Joker he stays around for some more!

It should be noted that "Kill" effects will still put you in the ground permanently so if you are going to burn a stone to avoid getting hit make sure it is to avoid a "Kill" effect. Though few models actually have such an effect it is a good heads up to remember such things. How many games have been lost due to not paying attention to details?

Special Forces Leader (Elite Division):
Not a real ability per se just crew hiring limitations for Lucius, simply put crews led by Lucius can only be compromised with models with the following keywords: Elite Division, Guardsmen and/or Totems.This only comes into play when you have Lucius lead a crew, personally that is the ONLY way I run Lucius. Yes he can "sling shot" Masters or powerful Minions into combat but for me I enjoy using him as a Leader of a crew.

As of the posting of this article the minion pool includes: Guild Guardsmen, Guild Hounds, Ryle, Lawyers, Guild Captains, Austringers, Wardens and various totems. Though with the new book being released a little over a month away I eagerly await to see what other goodies Lucius may get.

Terrifying 12:
Whenever a Living Model without Terrifying activates, moves through, or ends an action within Lucius' melee range or when declaring a Charge against Lucius they must win a Morale Duel of 12 or immediately fall back. Another defensive ability that Lucius possesses if he ever is locked in melee with an enemy even if they have a high Will Power stat do not forget this ability. Yes they may easily pass the test but the more you mill an enemy's deck the better the chances.

For a second imagine an enemy laughing that they "JUST" have to pass this low Terrifying duel and they flip a Red Joker for the test. That WOULD have been a Red Joker on the attack if it were not for Terrifying! Also what if they flip a really low card? The opponent will have to cheat using one of the cards in their hand they were saving for something they hoped would of been a better situation. If ever an opponent flips a Black Joker for such a test they will be fuming, what would of been a regular miss turns into their model forfeiting their action and running away!

Triggers:

Governor's Authority:
When Lucius must absolutely dirty his hands in a scrap he has this nifty trigger. When he hits a model with a Rams suited card the defender may not target Lucius with ANY attacks. Adding to his survival skills all Lucius has to do is HIT the enemy regardless if damage is caused or not and the enemy will just have to sit there and hope another model is in melee range to use actions on.

With his Cb 6 aiming for this trigger is not a terribly bad idea when you are in a pinch, though I have said that Lucius does better commanding other models it doesn't mean he can't hold his own in combat. This trigger effectively "pins" a model in place with Lucius unless there is a model in range all they can do is either sit there and hop it doesn't happen again OR try and break away combat from Lucius.

Actions:

Casting Expert (+1)::
This gives Lucius an extra action which can only be used for Casting a Spell, not too shabby considering that Lucius has three (1) spells that can be cast. More often than not this spell will "Issue Command" but do not completely discount his other spells...

Advanced Training:
A (0) action that gives all friendly Elite Division or Guardsmen +2cb till the end of Lucius' activation. Though at first glance this ability seems quite prohibitive take a moment to let it sink in. This action is used exclusively with "Issue Command" to make even the humble Guild Guardsman a very skilled swordsmen or gun slinger. When this bonus is applied to something like a Guild Guard Captain or an Austringer this action is VERY nasty as it would create extremely accurate attacks from your minions.

I tend to use this action second turn on unless I want to keep re positioning my crew via "Reinforcements", the +2cb is a huge bonus especially since it can come into use up to three times a turn (by casting "Issue Command" three times) which makes it quite devastating. When this bonus is applied to an Austringer this boosts up their strikes to Cb 9 even some Masters will have difficulty avoiding an attack! While Minions more often than not can only hope to close the gap so the attack doesn't do too much damage.

Ruthless Leadership:
By sacrificing a friendly Elite Division or Guardsman model within 2" Lucius gains Reactivate, this action can only be used once per turn. When it comes to Lucius he has three very viable (0) actions as you will see, with this action  he gains Reactivate which is quite a powerful effect to have. With Reactivate you can have Lucius dash off with some treasure, interact with terrain or simply continue supporting his crew.

Targets for "Ruthless Leadership" tend to be models that have already activated or are already on the chopping block because of being paralyzed, poisoned or simply low on wounds. In the closing stages of the game where an enemy may have activated all their models having Lucius activate again is never a bad thing especially when it means you can "Issue Command" an additional 3 times a turn.

Spells:

Reinforcements:
Needing a 7+ of any suit this 18" range spell places a friendly model from the deployment zone to within 4" of Lucius. A very nifty spell that can make even your slow movers one of the fastest models in the game, this spell in particular is why most players include Lucius into their crew. You double Walk Lucius cast Reinforcements and if the model happens to be Guardsman or Elite Division you can even "Issue Command" on them for some extra shenanigans.

The subtle power of this spell is that because it does not "target" a model you can slingshot models like Ryle or even the Lawyer without any negative effects. Also it is a "Place" effect so you can put a model into/onto a building, out of line of sight, etc. Do not think this is JUST a turn 1-2 spell.if one of your models is running away from the enemy run to your deployment zone and simply have Lucius teleport them out from harms way.

In a mission like " Deliver the Message" after the opponent activates his master and there is no immediate danger simply walk up Lucius and cast this spell to put the minion within range. In some cases it is easier to walk one of your minions to your deployment zone to have Lucius re position them further along the board or onto an objective.

Guild Intelligence:
Next up we have Guild Intelligence needing a 6+ to cast this spell allows you to draw a card then discard a control card. This spell is relatively easy to cast and should you have nothing that needs Lucius' immediate attention it is a good spell. Any time you have the potential to cycle through your deck and weed out the low cards is a good thing in my book.

Even if you cycle into a weak card never discount that the card  COULD of been a failed defense/resist flip, yes it may stay in your hand but when you discard it next turn that is a turn free of one weaker card out of your deck.

Hidden Sniper:
An interesting spell that requires a minimum of 5+ Rams suited card to be cast, it is spell that targets Defense and has a nice range of 16". It's damage output is not that impressive at a 1/2/4 but it should be noted that this spell is not considered a Ranged Spell so it can be cast to/from melee without penalty. In addition Lucius himself does not need Line of Sight, in fact this spell can target any model within range of the spell that any friendly Elite Division can see.

I have  not personally used  this spell much the relatively weak damage probably will not make a big dent in an enemy barring a lucky severe or red joker card on damage. But if an enemy is camped in some terrain or you are facing a pesky Spirit I can see where this can come into play. Though Lucius has better spells and actions to do in the right circumstances this particular spell can be useful..

Issue Command:
The spell that defines Lucius as a crew buffer Issue Command needs an 8+ of any suit to go off, it allows a friendly Elite Division or Guardsman to immediately make a melee or ranged strike action or it can take a walk action. With a healthy range of 12" Lucius can stay behind his minions a good distance while commanding them to carry out his orders.

As has been mentioned in "Advanced Training" this spell can effectively double (or more) a minions actions and make them quite dangerous. Just when an enemy thinks they may be safe you can spam attacks and even some of the better defense minions will break a sweat as they burn through their deck or hand trying to defend themselves. The most popular use of this spell is to make an Austringer attack even more! with an already deadly Cb 7 even without "Advanced Training" the enemy will be hard pressed to avoid attacks.

In missions where movement can mean victory or defeat simply make a model keep taking Walk actions, just make sure to keep them in range of Issue Command until Lucius uses his last AP. Being able to move just about anywhere, focus fire and other tricks ANY time after their activation or even before is a huge boon. It will keep an enemy guessing unless they completely eliminate a minion they will have to second guess some of their plans if Lucius did not yet activate.

My preferred totem of Lucius when he is leading a crew is the Governor's Proxy this is for a handful of reasons. The main reason is that the Totem comes with a ghosted Rams suit for his Ca so he can ALSO cast Issue command but needing a 9+ instead. Sure it he can only cast it an additional time but when a 2 Soul Stone totem can give a higher Soul Stone model another action it is a thing of beauty.

Now I have to chime in that all the times I have played Lucius he has always been leading the crew so I cannot comment on the greater use of him when taken in addition to a master. It is a rare thing when Lucius actually stays dead at the end of the game, between having some great defensive buffs and other models putting out damage output the enemy either forgets about him or over commits.

The speed that Lucius provides means that he can really get his crew where they need to be, so in objective missions you can easily get about the battlefield and pick where you want the fight to be. Much to his background story and character Lucius does plan things meticulously and see that every cog in the Guild machine does it's part. Playing Lucius as a leader for a crew is a different experience because all of the current Guild masters can do some damage in one way or another where as Lucius lets others do the work for him.

If Lucius has a glaring weakness it is that if all his minions are dead most of Lucius' usefulness goes with them. He NEEDS his crew to do all the heavy lifting so unless you have a mission that either relies on staying alive or mobility you may be toast. If a master or powerful minion decides to go after him there is not much Lucius can do but stall or run away unless he is lucky. With that said Lucius is one of my main crew leaders (the other being Sonnia) and I always enjoy fielding his crew, it is a breath of fresh air and gives Guild players tons of tricks that were previously unavailable.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Judge Overview and Tactics



Ever by the side of his mistress the Judge is a cold and efficient killer, many of the citizens hear horrid stories about the death marshals. But the Judge is the one they fear the most with almost super human resiliency and his lack of fear for his own safety or death. It is whispered that the Judge's face is nothing but bone or some other such horrors underneath the bandanna that covers most of his face. But when the living dead come back to life there is only one that surpasses the Judge's skill in arms and knowledge of the forbidden lores that is in the employ of the guild.. Lady Justice herself.

Today I take a closer look at the Judge not only is he a stunning model (both regular and nightmare version) but he is quite handy in a pinch. Though he lacks the special abilities or cool tricks that book 2 and 3 Guild minions may have inherited he is still quite appealing even with his moderately high Soul Stone cost of 7. At first glance you will notice he has a decent Walk/Charge and Defense values that is on par with most of the Ortega's at a healthy 5-7.

When it comes to weapons the Long Arm Pistol and Long Arm do not seem THAT impressive at a glance with a 2/3/4 and 2/4/5 damage flips respectively. In addition though cb 6 is decent for the Long Arm the Long Arm pistol only sports a 5cb, though these would be usually good stats for most minions you have to factor in that this particular minion is a healthy 7 stones and has to fight hard to beat out the other guild minions... Have no fear though because though he is a bit on the expensive side hopefully this article will  give you some insight on how to use the Judge or maybe spur on thoughts of your own how he should be used!


Abilities:

Hard to Wound 1:
One of the signature abilities usually seen on Ressurectionist models, it makes any damage flips against Judge receive a negative flip modifier. Barely hitting your enemy and receiving a negative flip is bad enough, but when you are not only grinding your deck and possibly some good cards but reduce the chance  to do high damage it is killer.

Never Me:
A neat little bonus ability that was made almost purely to combat Ressur crews, when Judge dies he does not leave behind a corpse counter. It is not an ability worth writing home about BUT it will be handy to remember when you do fight against Ressur crews.

Slow to Die:
When this model is killed it immediately gets a 1 AP action before it is removed from play. This is a great ability not just because you can get some payback but because you have the ability to do it at range OR in close combat. If you have a 5 or 6 Masks suited card you can cast 'Blades and Bullets' or 'Bullets and Blades' because it is a 1 action spell that generates two attacks!

Fear not Death:
Another anti-Ressur ability this gives the Judge +2wp against Undead models while he is the defender. Since it is a very specialized bonus this ability will probably not be used often. But it is always a good idea to remember ALL of your model's abilities because you never know when it will be useful.

Triggers:


Critical Strike (Long Arm and Long Arm Pistol):
The bread and butter trigger that most Guild models have applies to both of the Judge's weapons, though only the Long Arm actually has an automatic Rams suit built into the weapon. This makes a Long Arm strike damage flip to be 3/5/6 not bad at all, 2 Long Arm strikes will kill most low level minions even on minimum damage. Though the Long Arm Pistol strike does not come with a Rams suit in it's CB its good to note that when you do manage to hit with a Rams suited card that the damage is very consistent and would be increased to 3/4/5.

Final Repose:
Though for most occasions 'Critical Strike' is probably going to be your go to Trigger, Final Repose is not a bad idea when finishing off an opponent. After killing a defender with a melee attack they do not generate Counters of any kind. This is great ability to use against summoning masters/minions depriving them of some raw materials means you are limiting their options. For example if Judge manages to kill a Flesh Construct that is two less Corpse Counters masters like Nicodem can recycle and throw back at you.

Actions:


(2) Flurry:
Nothing too fancy here, discard a card and use two AP in order to make three separate melee attacks against a single target in range. Not too bad as with a decent score of 6cb with his Long Arm strike Judge should hit most models reliably. The only downside is that you would already have to be in combat already in order to use this or at least be moved/pushed by other means.

Three attacks via Flurry even on minimum damage can send most minions to an early grave, now on a master you may have some trouble as they will probably either have a higher defense or burn a soul stone to avoid getting hit. But if a master is spending all their high cards and soul stones trying to avoid getting hit I would say that the Judge is doing a good job draining resources.

In most cases the 'Blades and Bullets' spell is a better option because it will give you two attacks for the cost of an AP allowing the other AP to be used for movement or if you are lucky another casting of 'Blades and Bullets'. The only flaw of the plan is to make sure to keep at least a 5 of Masks suited card in order to pull this off and hope a Black Joker doesn't rear it's head.

Spells:


Arrest:
Needing at least a 5+ Crows suited card this spell can cause an enemy to discard a control card every time they want to take Walk or Charge action for the rest of the game. The enemy could discard two control cards in order to cancel this spell after it has been cast. With a range of 12" which is quite far in the game of Malifaux it is able to tag opponents who would be regularly out of reach of the Judge.

This spell may not seem like much but if you are inclined to make a "Kill Effect" list making your opponent bleed cards even if they are "useless" can lead to some very hard choices for them later on in the turn. But if that isn't your thing this spell is still useful, limiting your opponent's choices either by making them discard or burning a card to avoid being tagged by this spell is still a good tactical option.

Blades and Bullets:
With just a 5+ Masks suited card you can turn the Judge into a whirlwind of limbs and blades, the Judge immediately makes a Long Arm strike and a Long Arm Pistol strike against a single target in range of the 2" spell. This effectively gives the Judge the Gunfighter skill for the action and if you have the cards how can one pass up 2 attacks for the cost of 1 action?

Though the damage on the Long Arm Pistol strike is not as good as its melee equivalent as far as being slightly weaker in both CB and DG it is a minor complaint over all when you can move a healthy 5" and lay hurt on an enemy model. If the Judge is in a position where he doesn't need to move and you have been hoarding two 5+ cards you can unleash this Spell twice on the same model or two different models.

Bullets and Blades:
A very interesting spell that lets you make both a Long Arm and Long Arm Pistol Strike against a single target within 8" of the Judge. All you need is a 6+ suited Mask card and a little bit of lack as both weapons will suffer from a -2cb on their strikes. Though the drawback looks kind of big bringing your strikes to 4cb for the Long Arm and 3cb for the Long Arm strike do not completely discount this spell. First of all it is not considered a "Ranged" spell so you will not suffer the usual penalties, such as shooting at a target in cover or shooting into combat.

When you factor those two great benefits the spell starts to shape up a bit since if you were to shoot regularly with your Long Arm Pistol you would receive a negative/random flip. As with the spell 'Blades and Bullets' it is a good spell to get off and still retain your mobility or other options open.

Judged:
Needing at least an 8+ of any suit the Judge can do a 1/2/4 damage flip against the target, not very impressive at first glance. But if you have learned anything from the Judge is that he is particularly good against undead/spirit models and this spell is no different. If it targets an undead/spirit model the damage becomes a 2/4/8 flip! yes against most undead you will probably only get 2 damage due to hard to wound. But spirits are not afforded the same luxury as you can blast away most spirits by keeping a Severe damage card in your hand which would kill most spirits in one shot!

The spell like a few of the Judge's other spells/abilities/etc IS based heavily on the situation and opponent you are facing I will admit. But I tend to see it as another option SHOULD I need it if something is too far away hiding in cover or I simply do not have the suited cards to pull off 'Bullets and Blades'.

So there you have it, with the Judge you not only gain some great melee potential but when you factor in he has some surprises in the ranged department also it will catch an enemy off guard. If the enemy things that they are safe behind cover simply cast 'Bullets and Blades', sure you will take a penalty but it is better than taking a negative flip to hit. Have a real tough enemy in your melee? Cast 'Blades and Bullets' twice and watch how most minions and possibly a few masters will turn to paste.

When it comes to playing Guild I have found that it is okay to not play all one force or theme, I believe some players get so caught up in playing Guild just one way all Ortegas, Sonnia with just Witchlings, etc that they fail to see other potential combinations. As a Guild player I find that I have much greater freedom in picking a crew than other factions might have (Hoffman/Lucius are the exception). That is not to say that there aren't a few "auto includes" in a list but don't take it for granted that Guild has many resources at its fingertips it reflects on how you CAN pick your crew.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Executioner Overview and Tactics



Among the Guild there are a few individuals that specialize in the art of the killing blow, these individuals are called Executioners. Summoned by the Guild where ever their services are needed they usually carry out the orders of individuals higher on the chain of command. With cold but deadly precision the Executioner is has mastered the art of death dealing. When they set upon an opponent it is with unexpected agility and ferocity that catches an opponent unawares. Some would say that the Executioner's even relish in this macabre dance of death.. and they would be right! who else would be crazy enough to give up their hands for serrated blades?

The Executioner is a deadly melee opponent who can chew through most minions with his blade hands, even if he takes quite a few hits. As long as he kills something he can keep on trucking ready to dole out some punishment to anyone foolish enough who loiters in their reach. Looking at the Executioner's stat line there are two things you notice right away, the first being an impressive CB of 6 on his attacks. The second is a very abysmal score of 3 for his Df, with no defensive buffs to speak of this is the greatest obstacle that the Executioner must face when being fielded.

Abilities:

Fear Not Death:
The Executioner receives +2 Wp if it in a duel with an Undead model while he is the defender. A simple ability that will help out when an enemy Undead model tries to Lure or do any WP tricks on the Executioner, making him a respectable 7 Wp. Depending on your opponent this ability may not come into play much but it is worth remembering this nice little bonus.

Love the Job:
Whenever a model is killed and removed from play by an Executioner Claws Strike, the Executioner heals all wounds he may have on him. This ability is great because usually melee models have Melee Expert, Flurry or Fast to help them out. But instead the Executioner trades that for Love the Job which is great especially when burning through lower end minions.

Slow to Die:
After this model takes it's final wound and is killed it gets an immediate 1 action, if this action would cause it to heal 1 or more wounds the model does NOT die. Coupled with 'Love the Job' this means that the Executioner can take fatal wounds every turn, as long as he has something in reach he can kill he will stay alive.

If there are no enemies for the Executioner to carve up, remember that Last Rites would help out in case you are up against models that rely on Corpse or Scrap counters. If the Executioner happens to die while holding a treasure counter always keep the mission in mind and make his final act getting 4" closer to its destination before finally kicking the bucket and dropping the counter.

Terrifying 11:
If a model is in melee range with the Executioner they must take a Morale Duel and tie or beat a score of 11, if they fail they automatically fall back. This is a mixed bagged ability only because Guild are usually on the receiving end of Terrifying and rarely get to use the ability as opponents are usually constructs, undead or simply ignore it.

With that said Terrifying is a good ability to have even if you are facing said enemies, why you may ask? Simply because it doesn't matter how high/low your Terrifying score is if you have the ability you are immune to other forms of it from other models. Also if you are facing off against Pandora there is nothing wrong of using her own abilities against her or her crew. Just move up the Executioner and watch her minions even those who were previously immune make Terrifying tests or run. Sure it isn't a hard number to hit with average Will Power, but the amount of tests the enemy will have to take means that they will mill through their deck or make them waste cards in their hand.

Weapon, Executioner Claws:
Paired weapons are nothing to be scoffed at, especially when they are backed up by Cb 6 with Rams suit built in and a sweet damage spread. In addition the Executioner Claws have an ability that does not let a model activate any Defense triggers when they are attacked by this weapon. This ability is subtle but great, because it does not force you to choose which trigger to activate, the ability is already 'built in'.

Actions:


Last Rites:
This action creates a 6" pulse that sacrifices all Corpse and Scrap counters not carried by models. This is a good ability if there are many Corpse or Scrap counters littering the board. In addition it is not a bad idea to have another model kill a minion who is carrying Corpse/Scrap counters before activating the Executioner and getting rid of all of them.

Denying enemies who rely on Counters to do work is a good thing as most times certain crew build rely heavily on these sort of counters. So ham stringing them with this action slows down their crew or worse stops them in their tracks. If you are facing Nicodem his Mindless Zombies can easily be erased via this action, unless of course you feel that the zombies would be perfect bait for the Executioner to chew up for extra health.

Triggers:


Critical Strike:
A trigger seen exclusively on quite a few Guild Minions, for each Rams suit in the combat total the Executioner's Claws Strike get +1 Damage. Quite nice when the base damage of the Executioner's weapon is 3/4/5, he already comes with a Rams Suit on his Cb 6 claws making it a 4/5/6 damage which is quite huge. If you actually manage to hit with a Rams Suited card, which isn't that hard to do with Paired Weapons the damage will be 5/6/7. Not much can stand up to that even Master models would have to beware of getting hit by a Claws Strike!

This will usually be your go to Trigger when facing most minions, the damage output on the Executioner's Claws are quite mean to begin with. But even if you do not hit with a Rams Suited card a 4/5/6 damage flip is nothing to scoff at.

Decapitate:
If you manage to hit with a Crows Suited card  when  you damage a model you may kill the model unless it's controller discards two Control Cards or Soul Stones (only models with Use Soul Stone may discard Soul Stones). One of the VERY few models in the entire range of Malifaux who has a "kill effect", in addition the card does not say "instead of damaging" like a few of the other kill effects out there.

Either way this is a win situation for you because not only do you do the damage, but if the enemy does not have the cards or soul stones to discard the model is killed. Mind you that the Executioner's "Love the Job" would trigger giving him a full heal but in addition you can stop things from healing. Kill effects have been ruled to kill even if the enemy heals themselves back to full or any other action is taken. So "Slow to Die" would not help them because they cannot get rid of the kill effect UNLESS they have an ability that can wipe the effect off of them. Yes it is that nasty.

Final Repose:
After killing an opponent with a melee strike, the defender does not leave/generate counters of any kind. This ability is great against Resurrectionist players who usually rely on Corpse Counters to get their crews going. Though I admit you will probably not use this trigger as often as you would like compared to the other triggers it is worth noting that is IS an option when Facing Ressurectionist or Arcanist players if they rely on those counters.

 The Executioner is a fine model though some players may be put off that he does contend with a few of the "better" 7 Soul Stone models that the Guild has. In my eyes I believe that the Executioner is meant to take on a horde of lower cost models. He can easily rip through a horde of lesser models in melee and continue to heal any damage they put on him. That isn't to say that he cannot deal with higher end models especially with the damage he can pump out, but rather it is easier for him to stay at near full health by chomping on lesser models till he is ready for the main show down.

Do not feel discouraged when the Executioner gets hit... after all his Defense is only a 3 the equivalent of a flailing teletubby. Even if he looks like he may be in a dire circumstance just make sure he is near something that he can kill, he only needs to take out 1 model in order to get back to full health.. and if you look at his damage that isn't that much of a stretch to accomplish that goal.

On a side note I always find when it comes to Guild most people feel that they get the "short stick" of the Factions available, due to the lack of "tricks" or lengthy abilities on the stat card. But in reality I feel that the Guild have tons of options, high damage output on most models coupled with versatility. In addition the less Guild players have on a stat card the less "complex" our combinations have to be which gives Guild players more leeway in terms of strategy. Just think for a second on the other Factions and how in some cases they must burn activations doing something that is pivotal to how their crew runs? Now if you know whats coming you can easily get away with a few unopposed activations or break the chain of events before your opponent can get their "combo" off.

Well that is all for now folks sorry I became a ghost during the month of April but weddings among other things have kept me busy. Now with Gen Con in August I should have a ton of updates as I have been painting up a storm. If you have any suggestions on what I should write about or the kind of updates you would like to see feel free to leave a comment or email and I will do my best to comply. Till then folks!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lawyer, Secretary's Aide Overview and Tactics




They say among civilized societies that there is nothing more powerful than the written word. If that is so than the Guild Lawyer is the road side bandit who takes advantage of those who would be foolish enough to cross his path. Stalking the court houses and finding loop holes in contracts that can eternally damn someone into servitude is what the Lawyer does best.

The Lawyer is one of the biggest enigmas to most Guild players, myself included. They are quite a costly model and have to compete with some of the best 7 soul stone models the Guild has to offer. So why should the Lawyer even be considered? Tell you the truth I am not sure, in a competitive list it almost always spells death. Although it should be mentioned if you play with the Lawyer and WIN you truly are a skilled Guild player as it is universally seen as a "handicap/fun model".

At a glance the stats that stick out the most of the Lawyer is his CA, WP and high soul stone cost. While the very slow WK and WD for a model that costs that many soul stones, after you come to accept these facts you notice that the Lawyer does have a few fair of things to do..

Abilities:

Red Tape:
Any Attacks, Casts and Damage Flips targeting the Lawyer receive a negative flip. If the enemy uses a Focus or Channel action it gives a additional flip to Attack and Casting flips which brings it back to the "base bonus" because the Red Tape ability does not go away.

This ability gives the Lawyer a measure of defense, in most cases the enemy will avoid attacking the Lawyer anyway because they do not have any damaging attacks. If they DO decide to attack the Lawyer they better have paired weapons or most non-master attacks will miss.

Slow to Die:
This usually comes standard on most Undead models and the Death Marshals, which allow the model one immediate and final 1 action before being removed from play. It is near impossible for the Lawyer himself, but if by some miracle he can use the 1 action to gain back a wound he would keep on trucking.

Actions:

(2) Furious Casting:
Discard a Control Card and the Lawyer gains 3 AP that must be used on Cast actions, mind you it does not need to be against the same target. You can also have the Lawyer sling out different Spells if that is your desire.

First turn you can discard a card and go 'Defense' happy making three of your models within 12" 'Hard to Wound 2'. Or later in the game if you manage to get the Lawyer into a good position you can 'Closing Argument' an enemy model and use the extra Spell on another model with the bonus from 'Closing Argument'!

Triggers:

Confuse:
With a Crows suited card any spell successfully cast by the Lawyer reduces the target's resist duel by 1. This is a good trigger as most Guild models do not require any Crows suited card for their triggers. In effect it makes the Lawyer's CA stat of 7 into an intimidating 8!

As it is the only trigger that the Lawyer has you may want to save a few Crows suited cards if your other models aren't card hogs. Also it should be noted that two of the Lawyer's five spells require a Crows suited card, so keep that in mind.

Spells:

Censure:
If the enemy fails to resist this spell the Guild player gets to choose Walk, Charge, Strike or Cast. On the model's next activation it will not be able to take the chosen action unless it discards 2 Control Cards each time it tries to do the action. You can cast this multiple times on a model but it must be a different action you prohibit each time.

This is a reasonably good spell to use if you want to mill a player's hand especially when they may need their hand later in the turn. Making an enemy melee monster have to throw away his whole hand just to attack. Or limit an models movement during a scheme where they have to get places. Couple this with models that have triggers that make an enemy discard cards or die like Nino Ortega's "Head shot" trigger and your opponent is in for some real fun.

Cross Examination:
Needing at least a Crows suited 7, if the enemy fails to resist it counts as a failed Morale Duel. In addition since you need a Crows suited card to pull off this spell you automatically get the Confuse trigger off making it just a little bit harder for the enemy to resist.

Against low WP crews this spell can be spammed out to make their models run off in fear towards the closest board edge. Even if you just cast this spell on it's minimum requirement of 7 of Crows your opponent having an average of 4-6 WP will have to burn a relatively useful card they are not using to attack you with.

Defense:
Needing a 7+ of any suit this 12" range spell can hand out "Hard to Wound 2" to any of your models. Sadly this will only last till the end of the turn, though with Furious Casting activating the Lawyer and giving three models Hard to Wound 2 till the end of the turn can save them from a lot of harm. At the very least it will grind your opponents deck which is always a good strategy.

The more cards the opponent has to throw away the less chance he has of flipping the high card when they need it. Don't forget that because they are at negative flips for damage they cannot cheat at all so it will almost always guarantee weak damage. On the upside if they manage to flip THAT many severe damage cards they wasted 3+ cards doing so!

Prosecute:
One of the more unique spells in Malifaux in which if the target fails it's resist duel it will no longer be considered a friendly model for the purpose of Talents or Spells till the game is over.

This spell has a great range of 12" and can be VERY nasty to most crews, it may not seem that powerful in the beginning. But consider how many abilities require the targeted model to be "friendly". For example if you Prosecute a Lilitu successfully even if there is a Leelu on the board they will start to take wounds because they are not considered friendly.

Also note the model's abilities/talents that help out "friendly" models will not work either. So if you target a model that is a crew buffer they will be next to useless in that regard.

Closing Argument:
This spell is the be all end all spell for the Lawyer, it requires both of his actions to cast and has a prohibitive range of 1". Needing at least a 10+ Crows suited card (which will trigger Confuse) it will Paralyze a model if they fail to resist. But that isn't all folks the Lawyer receives an additional card to Cast, Defense and Resist flips. Last but not least the target gets negative two for it's Defense and Resist flips till the end of the Lawyers NEXT activation.

The way the spell is written out it seems that the Lawyer actually gets his bonus towards ANY target, not just the target of "Closing Argument" which makes it quite nice as next turn you can start slinging spells with the bonus. The same can be said about the negatives the opposing model recieves as now the model is open to punishment from the rest of the crew. Keep in mind when a model is paralyzed it LOSES its melee range so you may fire freely into the model as they are no longer engaged with the Lawyer.

Another interesting if not cheeky thing about this spell is that it lasts until the end of the Lawyer's next activation, but what happens if he gets killed between now and then? Do the negative effects go away or do they stay on? Not quite sure if this has been answered on the forums properly but always something to keep in mind.

As I am writing this tactics article I realize that I should put the Lawyer through a few more extensive tests in friendly pick up games followed by against some competitive lists. There is potential for the Lawyer to do some great things, the only problem is that when it competes directly with some of the higher end Guild minions it becomes hard to justify the cost.

I feel Lucius can actually get around the lack of mobility the Lawyer suffers from with his 'Reinforcements' spell. As it does not specifically "target" the Lawyer it would get through his "Red Tape" ability. This can vault the Lawyer in a safe position where he can cast to his full potential.

This model will be useless against models who have 'Immune to Influence' as four of his five spells are WP resist duels. Though on the flip side of that most models that the Lawyer can attack tend to have high DF but low WP. The Lawyer is an odd minion among the Guild but just because it is odd doesn't mean the Guild cannot find a use for him... one way or another.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Warden Overview and Tactics

Guarding the jails of Malifaux the ever trusty Warden patrols the cells and keeps the inmates in line. Should a prisoner be foolish enough to attempt escape he will be hunted down by the Warden who requires neither sleep or other frailties of the flesh to stop them from their single goal of capture and return.

In my own personal opinion one of the best things to happen to Guild from the Twisting Fates book. Now I know that some people still regard the Avatars as a "big" thing or even the Pale Rider (though ALL riders but the Mechanical Rider are quite good) or the Exorcist (I hear you crying Ressur players..), there is something about this 5 soul stone minion that is quite great and let me explain why.

Lets look at traits for lack of a better word, the Warden is both a Construct, Guardsman and comes on a 40mm base. Being a Construct the Warden gains the "drops scrap counters" and being Immune to Morale Duels. The second trait is the one that interests me the most as you may already know I am a BIG fan of using Lucius to lead my crews... The Warden now being another choice for Lucius to take makes me quite ecstatic. Not only can the Warden be included in his crews but also benefits from all the other neat abilities that effect Guardsmen models. Lastly being on a bigger base means they can block line of sight a little more effectively and when they die they will drop two scrap counters instead of one.

Abilities:

Armor +1:
Any incoming damage regardless of source is reduced by one point, it may not seem like much but sometimes this may save a model or at the very least force your opponent to waste an extra activation. It should be noted that if the model suffers Wounds instead of just Damage they still take the FULL amount of Wounds. This is because Armor only mitigates "Damage", it is a fine line between the rules that a few people actually forget.

Immune to Influence:
The model is Immune to any Willpower duels where it is the defender. This ability is worth it's weight in gold, while a regular guardsmen can be tempted by a belle's lure. Or a lesser being could be Obeyed by a master or a powerful minion the Warden simply continues on with its duty.

There are a few models that rely solely on the WP characteristic to do damage, depriving them of one of their tools is always a good thing. Though you will still be susceptible to Pandora's ability (while within 'The Box Opens' range) for everything else you should be just about fine.

Mobile:
This ability is similar to the "Arachnid" ability that most of Ramos' creations are known for... well you know without the extra legs. It allows the Warden to Walk and/or Charge through Severe/Climbable Terrain without any penalties. This ability lets them move wherever they want without worry of terrain slowing them down to where they want to go.

Pursuit:
Great ability that gives the Warden a bonus flip to Attack and Damage as long as they target a model that has already activated this turn. This ability mitigates the fact that the Warden's weapons are only a cb of 4, in addition it gives you a higher chance to actually get Triggers off when you need them.

It should be noted that just because it IS a great ability to have don't always wait to activate your Wardens. Sometimes getting away clean or putting damage first is better than the potential bonus you may receive from this ability.

Actions:
(+1) Relentless:
Not only does the Warden come with a higher Walk value than what is average for most Guild models (not even counting the bonus for the Mobile ability). But by discarding a card you get to take a free Walk action. This action lets the Warden zoom across the battlefield in no time and all for the cost of a low card from your hand.

For the most part this is usually I automatic choice for first turn where you are still trimming the fat from your starting hand. There are VERY few things that can outrun a model that can move 10" through terrain and STILL be able to attack.

Triggers:
Pinning Blow [Restraint Claw]:
Looking at the Restraint Claw you may ask yourself what is so good about a weapon that ONLY has 1/2/3 as it's damage output. Well in short THIS trigger, if you manage to hit with a Ram suited card as long as the enemy suffers damage they become Paralyzed.

There aren't too many models that have a Paralyze like ability in the game of Malifaux, if they do have the ability it is usually a Master or an expensive Minion. So when a 5 Soul Stone model gets the chance to do it, for me its just icing on the cake. Some opponents may not have cards to deal with this ability, but once it DOES happen to them they will start to worry about the Warden MUCH more than they did before.

Toss [Mechanical Fist]:
If you manage to hit with Mask suited card after damaging defender you may Toss them 1" per Wound inflicted ignoring Models and/or Terrain. This ability is actually quite nice since only Perdita and her family are really dependent on Mask suited cards. I have thrown models that I wanted to shoot at later in the turn out of combat or out into the open. You could also throw models into Severe Terrain that DO NOT have Hunter or Scout so it takes them some time to get out of it.

Another neat use of the ability is to Toss the enemy into another friendly model who can "hide" in combat from the enemy till it is their turn to activate. After all what melee models do not appreciate when they don't have to waste AP moving?

As I have mentioned earlier I think the Warden is a great addition to Guild crews the mix of high mobility and it's abilities make it a very versatile model. For only 1 Soul Stone more than a regular Guardsman they bring better abilities to the table with little to no weakness besides the low CB rating of both weapons.

I personally find them to be a great boon in my Lucius led crews, creating a wall between three Wardens and Ryle protecting my Austringers, Lucius and Governor's Proxy, there isn't much the opponent can do in the first turn to have an effect on my crew. As always thanks everyone for reading if I have missed or misinterpreted anything feel free to leave comments. Till then folks!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tour of duty. Throne of Skulls Tournament 2/18/12

This past weekend I attended a Throne of Skulls 1250 points tournament at the local Games Workshop. Again my Genstealer Cult/Imperial Guard army were pressed into service as they are the only current army that is painted and based to a tournament level. Here is what I brought:


HQ
Company Command Squad (50) Officer of the Fleet (30), Bodyguard x2 (30), Regimental Standard (15), Grenade Launcher x2 (10)
135pts

ELITES
Sly Marbo
65pts

Psyker Battle Squad x10
110pts

TROOPS
Platoon Command Squad (30) Grenade Launcher x2 (10) Bolt Gun for Commander (2)
42pts
Infantry Squad (50) Plasma Gun (15)
65pts
Infantry Squad (50) Plasma Gun (15)
65pts
Platoon Command Squad (30) Grenade Launcher x2 (10) Bolt Gun for Commander (2)
42pts
Infantry Squad (50) Plasma Gun (15)
65pts
Infantry Squad (50) Plasma Gun (15)
65pts
Special Weapons Squad (35) Flamer x2 (10) Demo Charge (20)
65pts
Special Weapons Squad (35) Flamer x2 (10) Demo Charge (20)
65pts
Heavy Weapons Squad (60) Lascannons x3 (45)
105pts
Heavy Weapons Squad (60) Lascannons x3 (45)
105pts
Heavy Weapons Squad (60) Missile Launcher x3 (30)
90pts
Heavy Weapons Squad (60) Missile Launcher x3 (30)
90pts
Heavy Weapons Squad (60) Autocannons x3 (15)
75pts

1249/1250pts

Looking over the list I imagine most of you are asking "hey where are the tanks?!" quite rightly so you will see I don't run vehicles for 3 reasons.. 1) I don't own army 2) city fighting/light infantry theme 3) I hate transporting vehicles. With that said the second question that may pop up is "why not have heavy weapons INSIDE of squads?". Being a relatively new guard player (my cult used to run the Lost and Damned list from the Eye of Terror codex), it didn't make much sense for me to mix weapon fire.

After all why always keep a static position while one weapon fires at a tank having the rest of your fire patter off uselessly? So far in all the games I have played my Heavy Weapons Teams seem to survive the most, I can deploy them deep behind swathes of infantry. Not many opponents are used to guard advancing towards the enemy unless they are in a vehicle and even then its a rare occasion. I send masses of infantry to tie up or narrow an enemy's plans for movement.

With that said I will move on to quick summaries and thoughts of my games, note that lists are roughly off the top of my head.

Game 1: Nestor's Dark Angels
Sammael in land speeder
Landspeeder w/ assault cannon and heavy bolter
Landspeeder w/ typhoon missile launcher and heavy bolter
Ravenwing Bikes x3 w/ flamer, sergeant w/ power weapon
Ravenwing Bikes x3 w/ melta, sergeant w/ power weapon
Deathwing Terminators x6? w/ assault cannon
Tactical Marines x10 in Rhino (which he split into combat squad)

The mission involved Kill Points not exactly my favorite as I tend to play high Kill Point armies. But c'est la vie I attempted to at least trim 2 Kill Points by combining two infantry units and let them screen my army as Dark Angels won the roll to go first.

Highlights:
-After being shot at and assaulted one of the 20 man blobs managed to pull down all of the bikers in combat!
-Failing to take out an immobile/weaponless land speeder, getting three penetrating hits followed by two shaken results and a stunned result!

-Only failing 1 morale check all game! May not seem like a lot but when you are guard you wouldn't exactly call your leadership stat that dependable.

-It was a tense close fought game though I had no real answer to the terminators without hoping that the psykers getting a lucky roll and wiping them out, I felt I could of tied to the game as his marine units were quite low on models and taking the speeder out would of made it a possible tie.

Result: Loss 7? vs 4? With about 500 points left alive on my side and easily 50% of Nestor's army (points wise) being alive at the end.

Game 2: Ronnie's Tyranids
Hive Tyrant w/ wings and tl devourers
Genestealers 2x5
Carnifexes x3 w/ tl devourerers
Mawloc? w/ tl devourers

With a 12 inch deployment and 5 objectives on the board going first I felt good as guard tend to do better when it comes to multiple objectives. I knew that the Devourers would murder a unit at a time so I had to play the feeding game and hope that I could do enough wounds taking full advantage that Tyranids have not been bio-engineered to have the equivalent of frag grenades.

Highlights:
-Hive Tyrant attempting to cast power Perils of the Warp a wound off, assaulted my platoon command. Only manages to kill one model, I follow up by actually getting through his armor and causing a wound. Due to Regimental Standard won combat, no retreat stripped another wound off of him. If that wasn't bad enough for 3-4 rounds of combat the Platoon Command held the Tyrant up at one point the Commander even rolling double refractor field saves!

-Mawloc assaulting two survivors from a platoon command squad through a building, he only had one wound died to 2 attacks from the survivors.

-My high AP weapons failed to do any real damage to his army, yet the humble lasgun and even a few stray close combat attacks did more damage to his army!

-Autocannons failing to hit once with 6 shots at a lone genestealer holding an objective! drat!

The result was a tie and I was quite happy though had the auto cannons HIT there would of been a good chance that I could of walked away with the win. At the end of the game he had a Tyrant with 2 wounds (he gained 1 back with spirit leech?) and a lone genestealer. I believe we ended the game on turn 5, had the game gone on another turn I would of gotten the game regardless since he would not be able to contest/kill off all my units on objectives.

Game 3: Space Marines
Shrike
Assault Marines x10 sergeant w/ power fist
Scouts 2x5 w/ sniper rifles
Predator x2 w/ heavy bolter sponsons and autocannon turret
Dreadnought x2 w/ multi melta

Again the mission was 4-5 objectives, deployment was quarters, I won the initiative the only exception was that my opponent could only get 5 turns in so we entered a gentlemen's agreement that it would cap out at 5 turns. This is both a good and bad thing since I did not have to wonder if I had to gamble on the game going on, that and I was started to get tired and wanted to head home as soon as possible.

I have played this opponent before whose name escapes me at the moment, friendly guy that doesn't mind thinking competitively so my favorite type of opponent. Though he did not have many scoring troops he did have a lot of armor... and despite having many heavy weapons I have little to no luck taking down vehicles for good...

Highlights:
-After Shrike and assault marines anhiliated a squad, good thing my good old "mop up team" AKA Special Weapons Squad came to clean up the Assault Marines with a demo charge.

-My heavy weapons cannot get through armor, despite twin linking via orders etc he either made every cover save OR I kept stunning/shaking his vehicles. I only managed to destroy a rhino and immobilize a dread despite firing heavy weapons at vehicles EVERY turn!

-Sly Marbo let me down threw a perfect demo charge at his two units of scouts that were bunched up... Rolled TOO high for scatter only managed to kill two of the scouts before they all unleashed bolt pistols at point blank range.

-Opponent needing a 3+ on a fleet roll to get another objective and managing to roll a one. Mid way through his turn there was nothing either of us could do to really change the outcome of a draw once that happened.

Lessons Learned:
-Of all the games played I saw that my guardsmen were lucky to pass most of their leadership checks. Off the top of my head all tournament I failed maybe two morale checks and ran. This could be because I failed some orders and got some "bad dice" out of the way or the Regimental Standard allowing re-rolls when needed.

-Using infantry to herd enemy models, simply move up and surround the enemy, with ten models you can cover a lot of ground and most enemies can ONLY deal with them during shooting/assault.

-For enemies that have jump packs or other movement tricks simply have another unit not too far behind so they have no safe place to "land". Dictating where and how an enemy moves I have learned to be a great benefit to guard where I can just keep tossing bodies in the way.

-Need more practice with Sanctioned Psykers... though I do have to chalk a lot of it to bad dice. I would say I easily botched 50% of the tests to cast Soulstorm though I never periled. On the positive side they never went below half even when they managed to get off their powers.

Unfortunately I was not able to snap any mid game pictures as my opponents turns were quite short and I had to move/deal with a lot of models on my side. I did manage to snap a few photos during the last game's deployment though.







With the tournament done for now and the Guard being relatively complete for now minus a few odds and ends for units it is time to focus on my Dark Eldar and other projects. I am slowly getting models painted up and churned out to bring about more battle reports filled with painted miniatures. Stay tuned everyone!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The life of a sell sword..

I promised I would put up a few pictures of my Warmachine army up a while back and I am back to make good on that promise. Here are the first three miniatures I painted for Warmachine, they are from Mercenary faction.

Always a fan of those who work for coin and the ability to "mix" units if I decided to play another faction Mercs seemed an easy choice to get into the game. Here is a group shot of the three.


Magnus- AKA Ash from Evil Dead one of my fave all time movies was an easy choice to pick up... that did not directly translate to how easy/hard it was to play with the warcaster for a newbie though. But hey style points are more important to me! Magnus rarely does any heavy lifting in the army but his "resourceful" ability is amazing to buff any jacks he runs.




Renegade- If you want something assassinated at range or want to lay a world of hurt on enemies nothing says lovin' like an obliterator bomb dropping on you. Great range to begin with Magnus usually casts "Snipe" just so the Renegade can aim his weapon. The most notable moment to my Renegades long list of kills was shooting into combat at my own Halberdier in combat with Deneghra just to kill Denny with the blast!





Nomad- Known in my group as "Captain America" as most times it is his shield that causes the most damage. The Nomad is a pretty cheap jack for a heavy with some great hitting power and armor, though it doesn't have any special abilities or weapons like other jacks. You can't ask for a better jack at the points especially for Mercs.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A very first!

Well everyone had a pretty good gaming weekend our group recorded our first YouTube/video battle report pitting my Genestealer Cult/Imperial Guard versus Mike's Grey Knights. We are currently experimenting with how to put everything together so feedback, comments and criticisms are always welcome.

We here at The Wasted Warrior are hoping to amp up our updates as well as quality so let me know what you guys are looking for! Without further delay here is the YouTube link:



Also this weekend is another mini-tournament at the local Games Workshop I am painting/converting like a maniac to bring up the cult to 1250 points. Quite a task when running an all infantry company.. color me a masochist! Wish me luck and more updates hopefully this week!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The second wave.

Hello there everyone! I am back as promised and I am glad to say that I have actually been quite busy working on some models. Looks like both Warhammer Fantasy and 40k are in full swing of course 40k being more common than fantasy but that is nothing out of the norm.

Since the last update I have gone to a small 1k tourney at the local Games Workshop, I took my Genestealer Cult/Guard army though i didn't do great all of my games were quite fun and very close. I have never really played guard so it was quite a learning experience, I have never been a shooting fan but I really like how an infantry horde of guard work.

I have also managed to finish a second squad of Wyches for my Dark Eldar who have also seen quite a few games in the last couple of weeks, mainly at the 1k level of points. Ever the fan of close combat my Wych cult themed army has seen some reasonable success even against the dreaded Grey Knights!





Nothing too fancy a few subtle conversions and bits pulled off of Helions and Reavers mixed in with whatever I thought would fit the aesthetic of the model.I have painted any "special" weapons in the units a neon green color which makes identifying them a lot easier on the table top without a big fuss.

Here is a picture of two models I am about finished with for my Genestealer Cult/Guard army.



No real conversion just an old Necromunda Pyromaniac model who will fill the role of sergeant in a unit. Accompanied by an old guard standard bearer model from the 80s, I use this model as a regimental standard when I have the points. Otherwise he is regulated to the duty of a veteran guardsman guarding the company command.

As you may have noticed yes I do like both purple and blue on a lot of my miniatures, they are just colors i'm quite partial to. Though I do have a bunch of other miniatures that do not have any of those colors. Tomorrow I may have time to take pictures of other work I have completed. Though I am no great painter I love painting models and paint anything within arms reach when I am on the computer passing time.

Anyways the hour is quite late and I should be heading to sleep soon hopefully better pictures or more coming shortly!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Return to the motherland..

Hello everyone and thanks for tuning in lately as I may have said in earlier posts the Games Workshop bug has bitten in my core gaming group. In the past two weeks I have actually played 2 games of Warhammer Fantasy and 6 games of 40k. Mind you I have not touched either game in almost two years! All games were great fun to play especially when I wasn't facing anything over the top list wise just a few casual gamers.

It had my thinking that 1k battles of 40k were quite tactical making armies take the bare essentials with one or two things for fun. Where as in fantasy I have to find a way to magnetize my Dark Elves, I still have not faced a proper "horde" unit to test against my some what MSU (multiple small unit) style that was so popular for Dark Elves pre-8th edition.

I have also been very busy painting up a storm of models lately though the picture is quite late here is a Wych unit I painted up for my Wych Cult 1k army:





I am quite happy how these models turn out, the only real pain was gluing them onto the base. With such a small contact point with the base it was a little hard at first to get them to stay on till I learned a little trick. As always my armies tend to wander into the purple/blue color palette as they are my favorite two colors.

Don't worry guys I have not given up on my strong skirmish roots, in fact I am thinking up of a list for a Brood army for the game Dark Age. Infinity is also going to get some attention as soon as I strip my current Yu Jing army and repaint them (I have a bad habit of doing that...) yet again! Till then folks!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The bore of court life...

Sitting on his throne of trophies Goethe sighed as he drank the last of his wine, here he was in his own keep surrounded by his court of sleeping concubines and retainers. Surrounded by wealth and success should of been more fulfilling but Goethe found civilian life even if it was a high born position menial at best. The tricks and schemes of the royal court were but a child's game compared to the raids on villages the heat of battle and the glory of riches won over blood and sweat.

As he looked down into his cup he saw the last few ruby red drops of wine almost the color of blood. Or has it been that long that he has forgotten what blood even looks like... he deftly grabbed his dagger pristine as reflective as a mirror and stared at it as if in a hypnotic daze. He stabbed the dagger into his palm and laughed as the blood gushed onto his blade. "Now that is what a blade SHOULD look like!" he said to no one in particular and looked at the blade no longer pristine but covered in his own blood. It all became clear to him in an instant he shot up out of his throne and shouted "prepare the fleet! we sail!". One of his retainers stood up as if to question his authority but before a word left his lips Goethe threw his dagger at quicksilver speed into the elf who hit the floor screaming. With a smile Goethe declared loudly "HE will lead the assault! Strap him onto the hull of the ship and make sure he is still alive when you do it!".

Without question his guards jumped up and grabbed the dark elf from the floor dragging his body away to carry out their master's orders. It was all falling into place now, no more political scheming and avoiding an assassin's blade. This mundane existence was over Goethe belonged on the seas raiding and pillaging feeding his vain glory for more. Goethe was on his way to lead his armies back to war against the lesser species. Goethe was alive again.

Well it's been quite some time hasn't it? Recently it seems a bug has been going around.. the Games Workshop bug. It seems out of nowhere a bunch of like minded individuals want to start playing both 40k and Warhammer Fantasy. I had always enjoyed playing Fantasy and just when 8th edition hit my group stopped playing any Games Workshop game and we started playing other skirmish games.

I'm not complaining the others games are a lot of fun but sometimes you just want to play on a platoon/massive army level with a bunch of random strangers. So with that said I am bringing back both my Fantasy army and I am starting/finishing my Dark Eldar army for 40k.

With Fantasy my dark elves can easily hit 2500 with the addition of a handful of troops that need to be painted. While my Dark Eldar I had 1000 points roughly assembled into a themed Wych Cult list. I hope to flesh out all of the cults up to 1k and just pick and choose units when I need them.

Don't worry everybody this doesn't mean that I am JUST going back to playing these two game systems I will still play: Warmachine/Hordes, Dark Age, Pulp City, Infinity, AE WWII, Secrets of the Third Reich, AE Bounty, Hell Dorado etc. It will just mean during the week I will most likely be playing a GW game and on the weekends the skirmish games.

In other news my group is thinking about recording our gaming sessions and making battle reports to put up on YouTube. So hopefully we can bring our group to that next level of gaming. Till then folks! stay tuned!