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About this blog

My bemused ramblings and occasional success story. This time with a plan!

Entries in this blog

Tayne

Hey there! Remember this? No? Well, it’s still a thing. A terrible thing I won’t do well in, but a thing nonetheless. As a recap, for the UK Nationals this weekend, I plan on using a different master every round. No, I don’t expect to do well. Yes, I do expect to be very drained by the end of it.

So things have changed since I first thought of doing this. First, it will no longer be full faction thanks to the addition of Ripples of Fate. I think this is a great book and I love the masters in there, but the fact that I’m no longer able to claim that I ran the full faction of masters saddens me somewhat. Oh well.

Secondly, in the summer I swapped back to Arcanists. In part, this was because I thought Titania would be far more prevalent than she has been and, by running Sandeep, I get to lob a sodding genie into people’s faces.

Thirdly, and linked to the above, I kinda forgot my plan. I’d meant to practise the masters, taking each to at least one event and getting a decent feel for them. Did I do this before swapping? Nope, I got a little disillusioned, bought some gremlins and WHONKED my way through three events using Mah and Wong.

Heh. Whonking things with spoons. It’s fun.

So, this has left me with a couple of days before nationals to figure out what I’m going to do. My plan now is to come up with eight 30-35SS crews that I can then fill in at the table, plonk down and play. I think this prep will be sorely needed, especially by game 7 and my brain is mush. So that’s what I’m going to blather on about in the rest of this post.

 

Ramos

Easy master to start with, Ramos plays with a fairly fixed crew at the best of times. In fact, I might just write his 50SS list now and adapt at the table if it’s needed.

Ramos – Under Pressure, Arcane Reservoir, Combat Mechanic, 5SS Pool

Brass Arachnid

Howard Langston, Imbued Energies

Arcane Emissary, Mechanical Conflux

Large Arachnid

Performer

Electrical creation

So this is a fairly standard list I think. I have the Emissary instead of Joss and a Performer because they are generally awesome. The Emissary appears with a few different masters and, while possibly not the optimal choice, there’s something to be said for sticking to the same models. Thanks to Ramos’s summoning (coming from the dead Electrical Creation) I’m not worried about activation control.

 

Rasputina

Like Ramos, I find Raspy fairly easy to build for as she really likes her Frozen Heart models, limiting the pool to pick from. Are these the only ones to use with her? Nope, far from it, but it’s a starting point.

Rasputina – Armour of December, Arcane Reservoir, Cold Nights

Wendigo

Snow Storm, Imbued Energies

Arcane Emissary, Elemental Conflux

Silent One

15SS remaining

I’m not sure having both the Emissary and Snowstorm together here is a good idea, but they do add a lot of mobility to the crew. I’ve not yet played Raspy with the Emissary but I really like it’s upgrade allowing Raspy to shoot through it, and the fact that Snow can plonk it somewhere with a nice charge lane… yeah, I’m hopeful this will be fun to play with.

 

Kaeris

My first love of Malifaux. I currently own four different versions of her, just have the translucent plastic eluding me now… Ahem, anyways…

Kaeris – Purifying Fire, Blinding Flame, Arcane Reservoir

Malifaux Child

Carlos Vasquez, Stunt Double, Imbued Energies

Johan, Well Rehearsed

Large Arachnid

18SS remaining

Hello Carlos! Here’s our first appearance of book 4  cards. Carlos is a fantastic addition to Kaeris’s hiring pool and just a plain fun model. I mean, he literally plays with fire! Well Rehearsed gives Johan some free movement and an effective second hard to kill, which couples with his heal could make him very sticky. I might still swap the Malifaux Child for the Eternal Flame yet, it also plays with Pyre Markers and if I need flight/scheme markers I’ll switch Purifying Fire with Grab and Drop quite happily.

 

Sandeep Desai

Sandeep. You have a genie. How I love you. Our newcomer is a great toolbox that I’ve been enjoying lately and I may well go single master with him after the Nationals for a while.

Sandeep – To Command Another Plane, Arcane Reservoir, Enlightened Soul

Oxfordian Mage, Temporary Shielding, Blood Ward

Oxfordian Mage, Temporary Shielding, Doom Ward

Oxfordian Mage, Temporary Shielding, Nemesis Ward

Performer

Ice Gamin

22SS remaining

Plenty of options still to hire, Cassandra with Warding Runes really tempts me. I always, always hire a gamin with Sandeep and will oscillate between Wind or Ice depending on mood. Yes, I have Oxfordians. I like them and I will swap out Enlightened Soul for Unaligned Sage if I want them to ignore LOS restrictions on Beacon. I enjoy using Sandeep’s 0 to teleport them, then have them unleash a furious cast, possibly at + flips to attack. Happy days.

 

Colette Du Bois

Uh.. I actually have nothing to say here. Moving on

Colette – Shell Game, Arcane Reservoir, Practised Production

Cassandra, Imbued Energies

Howard Langston, Imbued Energies

December Acolyte

Performer

12SS

Possibly the “filthiest” list yet and I have to admit, I’m not comfortable with it yet. Colette is a master I know is excellent but doesn’t gel with me all that well. I might tinker with this one somewhat still…

 

Ironsides

Ah Toni. If you want to hear her get bashed, go listen to the recent Arcane Reservoir podcast on Arcanists. She’s not the most thrilling of masters, but she is fun and I do enjoy her.

Ironsides – Arcane Reservoir, Warding Runes, Seize the Day

Arcane Emissary, Ironclad Conflux

Oxfordian Mage, Temporary Shielding, Blood Ward

Oxfordian Mage, Temporary Shielding, Doom Ward

Oxfordian Mage, Temporary Shielding, Nemesis Ward

Johan, Well Rehearsed

13SS remaining

It’s likely that I’ll just be adding scheme runners to this list, possibly some steam arachnids to keep the M&SU theme going. Toni and the Emissary here will be the target while the rest of the crew runs off, hoping to complete objectives… yeah, not the best of plans I know.

 

Marcus

I’m not a Marcus fan. It’s not that he is bad by any means, but his style and fluff just doesn’t grab me like other masters do. Still, I have a whole one game practise with him, let’s get a list down.

Marcus - The Trail of the Gods (must not call it his happy trail..), The Hunger Cry, Feral Instincts.

Jackalope

Myranda, Obligatory Imbued Energies

Performer

Poison Gamin

Silurid

19SS remaining

Possibly needs another hitter in the crew. The Gamin is there to tank damage for Marcus if needed… I might swap it out with some tinkering but for some reason it feels like it’s not a terrible plan. I think I might be wrong.

Also, no Arcane Reservoir! Boooooo!

 

Mei Feng

Remember how I’m not a Marcus fan? Well, at least I have one game with him. Mei is, as yet, unplayed and is my choice of master to not use this weekend for that reason.

Mei Feng – Seismic Claws, Vapormancy, Arcane Reservoir

Emberling

Joss, Imbued Energies

Large Arachnid

Rail Worker

Arcane Effigy

17SS remaining

First appearance of the Effigy! It’ll no doubt make more lists, love that little guy, but at 4SS he’s easy to slot in. Joss will swap for Kang if I’m against ressers. Aside from that.. eh, that looks okay I guess? Yeah, really not planning on using Mei if I can help it.

So there we are! Eight base lists to add to/adapt as needed. Each has some form of a plan to run with. It may well be a poor plan, but that’s better than no plan at all. Next step, to figure out what master favours what strats.

Oh, and some painting. Quite a bit of painting. Oops.

Tayne

And a choice is made.

But I’ll tease a bit first. What can I say? I’m mean and it’s funny. You know, unless you know how to scroll down and skip the rest… I should stop giving ideas now.
So this Saturday just gone, I went to another tournament (third in three weeks! Kinda tired now) which was Ante Up in Northampton. I’d spent the previous week messing about with Collodi and loving every minute of him, this week I was planning on doing the same with Rasputina. 


Unlike the great puppet, I have some experience from last year where I always chose to use Armour of December and lacked the Blessed of December, Snowstorm and Silent Ones due to the lack of plastics. 

For the most part, these games bored me.  Raspy didn’t want to move and if I did move her, a masters AP for a 3” push to get a mirror target was entirely underwhelming. As were her attacks, for that matter. Raspy was an effective Ca6 vs Df without triggers, when I’d come from Kaeris and her Ca7 vs Df or Wp, as I saw fit. Sure, she had a decent damage track and I now understand the role the focus action a whole lot better than I did before but I found the games to be static and lacklustre.

Move on to now. I have Snowstorm, the Blessed and two Silent Ones and an itch to see how I could do with the Shattered Mirror upgrade. As the tournament pack showed the strats and schemes early, I made a list per round to use these models/upgrades and see how much I enjoyed them.
I won’t bother with a blow by blow as this blog is not intended to be about battle reports. I played three cracking games, two of which were against members of the Squigs and had a blast (hur hur) again.


Damn it.

I was hoping to be proved wrong, that I would find Raspy to be lacklustre once more and have my choice made easy but between leaping Blessed’s, Snowstorm rocking the joint (and not once exploding) and a hilarious first turn charge by Kaeris/Ice Gamin grenade (hurled by Kaeris, not smashed by me), this was not to be. The frozen heart themed crew was very pleasant to play and, if I added the Ice Dancer, I could see running Raspy in theme quite happily. 
So what’s a guy to do to make a choice? Well, I figured I’d have to move on to my other undecided masters (Mei and Ironsides for Arcanists, Lynch and Dreamer for Neverborn) and do much the same: test and review. A daunting task, though I guess half the games would count as practise when I did settle on a faction.

I figured I’d start with Ironsides. Yes, she’s got a reputation for being a weak master but I remembered a guide put onto the Wyrd Place* Facebook group that I read last year, and I firmly believe she can do well in the right situations. Plus, she’s a pugilist in a Steampunk world. That’s just cool. 

It was as I was reading the potential crew members for Ironsides that I was struck by an epiphany. I’d approached this all wrong. Yes, masters are a hugely important part of the game, but if I’m playing Seven Masters for Seven Rounds, then the actual consistent factor is going to be the other sodding models I use. And this is where I know exactly what faction to play, as I just think the Neverborn minions, enforcers and henchmen are more fun to use and plain cooler. 

The M&SU doesn’t inspire me. Beasts don't inspire me. The Showgirls are nice (Cassie is awesome) and the December cult appeals, but the majority of the Arcanist faction leaves me meh. Compared to Neverborn, they have character galore from the top to bottom. With Pandora last year, I’ve run lists with Hans and the Doppleganger, no minions, all minions etc. With other masters, I can do even more and thanks to Collodi, Zoraida and Lynch, be highly flexible in the models I use. 
So this third post has taught me two things. First, I’m dumb and still don’t know how my mind works 34 years into life. Secondly, this is my year of the Neverborn.  

 


*The guide is excellent and can be found via Ironsides Pull My Finger page. Kudos to Rhiannon Morrison for her excellent write up.
 

Tayne

I had a plan for this post. Okay, it was fairly rough and may have ended up as two posts but nonetheless, I had a plan. I was going to analyse the two factions I can use for this self-imposed challenge, examine my feelings on each of the seven masters for both Arcanists, focussing on those that hold little appeal to me (Lucius, Zoraida and Marcus, if you’re curious). I would then move on to general lists, see if I could make a pool of models that works for the majority of the masters (so M&SU for Arcanists, as they’d serve Kaeris, Mei, Ramos and Ironsides well) to see if that affects which faction I choose. I’d weigh my options and settle on a choice, hopefully before Lost Love this Sunday. Then, I’d take a master from the chosen faction and begin the practise. 


Instead, I looked at Collodi. I realised I was supposed to look up the other masters… and kept looking at Collodi. I went to Lost Love 4 on Sunday and guess what? I ran Collodi.


I had an absolute blast with the Puppet king, playing four rounds and winning three of them, as well as a practise game and a half on the Saturday (my first Collodi games ever). I learned some important things from the weekend that will definitely influence my choice.
First of all, my theoryfaux is far worse than I thought, at least in relation to myself. For the unfamiliar, Collodi has two ways to play: buffing his puppets/minions to greater power OR stealing their buffs to boost himself. I love the idea of the former, making Collodi run around as a general leading his frankly bizarre army of ‘Puppinions’. 


I was wrong. It may well have been due to this being my first game with Collodi, but I found the Fated upgrade to be underwhelming and it was only when I got more aggressive with Collodi that I found my stride. I thoroughly enjoyed the master from this point, and I’ll write more about that elsewhere. Well, maybe. I can procrastinate like a writer, so I’ll admit a write up of my weekend may never happen. 


So where does that leave me for the challenge? Well, I need to rethink my strategy. I don’t think persuading myself to enjoy masters that just don’t appeal to me is the right tactic (slight lie, I can see some appeal in Lucius and Zoraida, but Collodi covers those bases for me). What I need to do is look at the masters I’ve not tried and currently think I like. These are Rasputina, Ironsides, Ramos, Dreamer and Lynch. I’ve got Ante Up in Northampton on Saturday (go on, buy a ticket, they are still available). I think I’ll try at least one of them out there.
 

Tayne

Decisions, decisions

I’m writing this to try and figure something out. See, I love this game and have been playing for around 16 months now. For the first eight or so, I went Arcanists and had a middling to poor record though I will note that I thoroughly enjoyed playing Kaeris. So much so, that I bought bits from the Easter sale to get the alternate version of her.

 

Then I moved onto Neverborn, playing them almost exclusively from June until the nationals (Okay, mostly Pandora. You probably could guess that from my avatar). And I had some success, getting a second place and a fourth place at some smaller events, and managing to get 19th at the 2015 nationals! Definitely pleased with that performance.

 

Still, there’s only so many “Oh, you’re a Pandora player” I want to hear, so I figured I’d start someone new. When Mike revealed the pack for the 2016 nationals, I even thought I might take a stab at the fixed list approach, practise for most of the year with one master and see if I could equal or even beat my performance.

Then, when I should’ve been working, I thought of some simple maths. Prepare to be stunned.

 

There’s seven masters to a faction in Malifaux.

 

The nationals consists of seven rounds.

 

These numbers match!

 

My mind is astonishing to behold, I know. Moving on, the idea is that I could play seven rounds using all seven masters for a faction at the nationals. It’s the only seven round event in the UK (that I know of), so the only chance I’d have to play this. Question is, do I want to?

 

A part of me definitely wants to say yes. And part of me wants to say no. So in no random order, let’s throw down some thoughts. I’ll note down positive or negative, though it’ll likely be clear.

 

  • variety is fun (and I will get bored of a single master until the nationals, definitely) - Positive

  • I have the better part of two factions, mostly painted. There’s not going to be a tremendous amount of work getting the models to tabletop quality. - Positive

  • I don’t all masters for any faction - negative (wallet speaking here, I don’t own Marcus. All those beasts if I go arcanist… yeouch)

  • 7 rounds, 7 masters, 10 strats. I’ll need redundancy, knowing three strats confidently with each master (I want to do this well, not just turn up and play). This is a lot of work - negative

  • I won’t learn any one master in depth - negative

  • It’s different. - positive

  • I’ll learn the faction as a whole better - positive

  • No chance of a trophy. I know what I said about my placings, but it’d still be nice to dream - negative (albeit, minor one)

  • Having to play as either Marcus or Lucius, neither of whom appeal - negative

  • ….having to try out masters I wouldn’t otherwise and, just maybe, improve my game - positive

 

Hmmm. The list is rather balanced if you just add things up, but writing it, I was struggling for the negatives more than anything else. That’s the deciding factor. I’ll do another post weighing up my two options as I’m not starting a new faction for this. And I may do some posts along the way, tracking my various failings. For now though my plan is to do Seven Masters for Seven Rounds.

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