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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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!


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.


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.


(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!


(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!

No comments: