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.


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'.


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.


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.

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!

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