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...


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.

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!

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.

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.

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.


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...


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. 


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!

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