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Fixed Pool selection

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I’m considering attending an event in a couple of weeks that is based on a limited pool.

Now whilst this event is set up in a way to make it seem a beginners event, it is probably one of the most challenging ways to play tournament Malifaux. You need to plan for all sorts of eventualities before you even see the venue tables.

This event is fixed master which sort of makes it easier, but also can make it harder for some masters.

There are probably a few sorts of Malifaux players, and their approach to crew building will affect how the approach this sort of event.

1 sort plays with a virtually fixed list, or at least a core of models, and only change a few things to what they know. This is the sort of player that most people start as (due to only owning a few models), and some stay as. If It works for you, then its all well and good (The Current UKGT holder is this sort of player, and will play a virtually fixed list regardless).

If this is you, then you probably don’t really need to read this Blog, as making a pool is quite easy for you.


The Other sort or player makes use of a much wider range of models, mixing and matching for what they want at a particular time.

That’s the sort of Player I am.

I used  only 1 master more than once in the recent UK GT (7 rounds). It was Marcus, and my first list (Stake a claim) looked like this

Marcus, Spawn mother, Blessed of December, Cerberus, 2 Gupps, 2 Silurids, Jackolope.

My second looked like this (reckoning).

Marcus, War pig, Rogue necromancy, Dawn serpent, Gupps, Decembers Acolyte and Jackolope.


Whilst they both worked, they are quite extreme styles of lists, filled with very specialist models that would only work in a small niche.


So I now need to create a 70 ss pool to play 3 45 ss games. It’ll be using the new 2016 schemes, which I haven’t even tried yet.

Its Fixed Master, so That’s where I need to start.

I considered Ironsides, as I haven’t yet got my head around her properly yet, but with such a limited pool I am worried that not understanding what she wants, I might completely handicap myself before I even start. I then considered Marcus. I do well with Marcus, but part of that is a huge hiring pool that I enjoy making use of. And it is nominally a beginners event.

So I have decided to Go Jack Daw.

I’ve managed a few games with him, and enjoy his style, but there is a lot for me to learn.

Last time I used him, I had a lot of fun with Out of Control Desolation engines (8 AP on the first turn), but I’m not sure that what I need to get that list to work will do for all strategies.


My general approach is to build lists and look for common ground. Make my lists for a range of games, and then work out why I have what I have in the list.

I own every outcast model released except Killjoy. I own every out of faction Merc except Gracie. I own Every Tormented model except Papa Loco, Jakuna Ubumi and Drowned (which I do sort of own a proxy for).


So I’m going to make 3 lists.

I know my Strategies, but not my scheme pools for the games. (Or the table or the opponent).


Interference (Standard deployment)


Squatters Rights (Corner)


Head Hunter (Standard)


So I’m going to add the following Scheme pools and make my Lists based on a generic standard western town table. (There will be some terrain, but nothing specific to work with or around)

Convict Labor, Exhaust their forces, Hunting Party, Set up, Search the ruins

Convict Labor, Show of force, Hunting party, Mark for death, Occupy their turf

Convict Labor, Take prisoner, leave your mark, Catch and release, Detonate the charges



Interference (Standard deployment) Convict Labor, Exhaust their forces, Hunting Party, Set up, Search the ruins

Jack Daw (Twist and Turn, Writhing Torment, 3 curses) (4ss)

Lust (8)

Guilty (5)

Bishop, Oath Keeper(11)

Johan, Oath Keeper(7)

Obedient Wretch (4)

Hodgepodge Effigy (4)



The Wretch is Cheap, and can summon Rats to help out numbers and deny interference. The Hodgepodge is cheap and solid stats. Lust can drastically ruin a careful position. Guilty are cheap, and can make a beater Tormented. Johan has a decent Ml Range for tying up multiple models. He can also put out the hurt.

Bishop is a toolbox, capable of ignoring almost any defence. He is great engaged, and 3 AP is always good.


I should be in a good spot to do Hunting party and Possibly exhaust their forces. I also should be in an ok spot to deny exhaust. I can probably get Convict Labor with not too much effort.  I don’t think anyone is likely to take search the ruins, because of its interaction with not scoring Interference. Set up is probably not going to happen either.




Squatters Rights

Convict Labor, Show of force, Hunting party, Mark for death, Occupy their turf.


Jack Daw (Twist and Turn, Writhing Torment, 3 curses) (4)

Ashes and Dust (Scramble) (15)

Bishop (10)

Guilty (5)

Nurse (5)

Rat catcher (6)


Rat catcher has don’t mind me, useful for stealing Squatters markers.

Nurse and Bishop combo can get me an edge marker on the first turn. (Nurse Gives Bishop +2 walk. Guilty makes him tormented, and so he gets a push, and Jack can make him take an extra action.

Plan of getting an edge easily, and then working into the center. I would probably go for Convict Labor and Hunting party, although Mark for death might match hunting party well.

Ashes and dust can either help threaten the middle by  a huge threat range (and the possibility of getting Tormented from Jack) or go on the other flank to Bishop and nibble along there. Some of this may depenmd on how much I think they are going for show of force. I might need to check my distances for Corner deployment,


Head hunter

Convict Labor, Take prisoner, leave your mark, Catch and release, Detonate the charges


Jack Daw (Twist and Turn, Writhing Torment, 3 curses) (4)

Ashes and dust(13)

Hodegpodge (4)

Johan  (Oathkeeper) (7)

Strongarm suit (Oathkeeper) (11)

Guilty (5)


I would be tempted with Take Prisoner, depending on opponents crew, Otherwise its probably Convict Labor and Catch and release.

Ashes and Dust is hard hitting, and capable of killing something and collecting a head from it.

Johan hits hard and is good area Control.

The Strongarm suit can be handy with its ability to charge out of Combat to pick the right targets each turn.

Guilty and Hodgepodge are there as cheap activations that are going to aim to be the ones to grab heads that the bigger guys kill.




I have 3 generic lists. If I combine them I end up with


Jack Daw

Ashes and dust (13)

Johan   (6)

Bishop (10)

Strong-arm suit (10)

Guilty (5)

Nurse (5)

Rat catcher (6)

Lust (8)

Obedient Wretch (4)

Hodgepodge Effigy (4)



Writhing tourment (2)

Twist and Turn (2)

The 3 cursed upgrades (0)

Scramble (2)

OathKeeper *2 (2)


Total 79 soulstones.



Breaking the pool up

Upgrades – This is potentially a little light for the new scheme. I like that Jack load out, and Scramble is one that whilst I often ignore, can star on certain boards. 2 oath keepers is probably a good amount. At the moment I don’t think I want any others upgrades for what I currently have in the pool.


Hitter models

Ashes and Dust, Bishop, Strongarm suit, Johan.  (39 points)

I’m relatively low on ranged hitting power which might be a worry on open boards. Also I don’t see/use Jack Daw as a strong hitter. So I need to make sure I have access to a decent choice of these to cover my masters weaknesses.

To a large extent Bishop and the Strong arm do similar stuff. I might look at adding someone like Lazarus or Rusty Alyce into the pool to give a little more in the way of options. I am probably going to Drop Ashes and Dust, as it is supposed to be a beginners friendly event, and Ashes is not a beginners friendly problem to solve.


Support Models

Lust, Nurse, Guilty. (18)

I think with my set up I will want to make at least 1 model tormented, I’ll stick with the guilty. I like the mobility tricks with Lust, and the Nurse is pretty solid.  

Not sure of any other support models I might be looking for.



Rat catcher, Obdient Waif, Hodgepodge. (14)

I might drop the rat catcher, as careful use of the waif will allow me to summon a rat catcher on turn 2.


Other models I might consider

I’ve mentioned Rusty and Lazarus. Envy, Greed and Sloth are possible band members to bring along. I had cunning plans when I started to combine Lust with a crooked man and Shafted. And If I need to up my scheme running, then Desperate merc and Void wretch can both do well for only 4 stones.


Pool B


Rusty (10)

Bishop (10)

Sloth (8)

Lust (8)

Johan (6)

Nurse (5)

Crooked Man (5)

Guilty (5)

Obidient Wretch (4)

Hodgepodge Effigy (4)

Twist and Turn (2)

Writhing Torment (2)

Scramble (2)

Oathkeeper*2 (2)

Puts me at 73 still.

So for the purpose of this article I am going to drop the Nurse and pick up Tally sheet (which is a solid upgrade with a Killy henchman like Alyce).

I’ve still got a week to go before the event, so I may well change the pool before hand. (So anyone going to lost love and seeing something different, tough ;)) I've ended up fairly different to how I expected to, when I started this a week ago. 

I will write a follow up post with post game reports and what did and didn’t work.

please comment and ask questions, and tell me where I've gone wrong. 



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True. I'm also lacking austringers and the mechanical rider. Fortunately I don't Need metal gamin anymore. 

EDIT- Ahh, I see I'm just missing the Twitter feed that shows that multiple belles is overpowered. 

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