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Second in Command: The Dreamer's Henchmen
 
Lord Chompy Bits
 
(Since Lord Chompy Bits is attached to The Dreamer's stat card and cannot be hired, this beginning section will be discussing the purchase of the Restless Dreams upgrade.)
 
When To Consider:
  • When Turf War is the Strategy.
  • If you believe your opponent will have a lot of armor or incorporeal.
  • When Assassinate is in the pool (it is much harder to kill a master that isn't there.)
  • When you want more flexibility in your hiring choice.
Pros:
  • You won't have to worry about keeping high cards to summon. If you are new to summoning masters and trying to balance between bringing new friends to the party or throwing that Jack of Crows headlong at a Teddy Hug, sometimes it can be nice to stop having to have a third thing to worry about. Do I cheat to hit or to block, instead of hit, block, or let it take it and just make a new one? 
  • While not the best killer Neverborn has to offer, Lord Chompy Bits is still a scary beatstick. With near immunity from death, provided The Dreamer doesn't bite the dust while he's away, a higher Df than expected for someone so large, a high Wp, Terrifying (All) 12, and an instant death trigger two different suits on a great MI 7 he can carry his weight. If you have a fistfull of high rams or crows, you're probably going to take someone down.
    • Having an instant death trigger on two different suits means, unlike Seamus or Misaki, Lord Chompy Bits has twice as many useful cards when trying to kill. With either a high Rams or a high Crows you can stone for the opposite suit to disembowel someone!
    • While having a lower MI 5 on his opposite attack, he also has a trigger to ignore Armor, Incorporeal and can't be prevented with soulstone use. If you're attacking something with a low Df relying on one of these to keep it alive (As many Constructs and Spirits tend to have) he can shred through them.
  • Six more stones to use towards crew creation.
    • If you're taking Dreams of Pain you are also going to take Otherworldly to accomplice to your newly-summoned Wd 1 models, to heal them up and take them out of "I killed you by accident" range. In addition to this, it is unwise to not start with at least one Daydream on the field, as you will want to sacrifice it for Masks on your first turn. This means that you're committing 9SS total on wanting to summon, not including the Cache which you will probably have.
    • With Restless Dreams you don't have the absolute need to start with a Daydream or with the Otherworldly upgrade. However, in light of the fact that the Sh attack on The Dreamer's stat card has a :ranged, it is a very wise idea to take Tantrum, granting him both a free AP to shoot with and, in addition, a Sh attack that does not have :ranged. Total soulstones spent on this route is only 3.
    • This means that you have more flexibility to start with models that cannot be summoned!
  • While being able to summon, The Dreamer's list of summoned models is comparatively small. The Dreamer has a total of 5 summons that he gains by taking Dreams of Pain. This is less than the other dedicated summoning masters, such as Kirai, Nicodem and Molly. While being able to summon models on the fly is powerful, their uses are not limitless. Planning for not having the ability to summon and, spending less starting stones on this build path, allows you for much greater flexibility in planning your list. Remember, The Dreamer's Empty Night can target any minion!
 
Cons:
  • Taking this upgrade removes your ability to summon anything but Alps and Daydreams.  This also means you only get what you can fit in your list. This also means you have to care more about keeping your models alive. With the Nightmares being, for the most part, quite squishy, it means your positioning must be that much more careful. In addition, it means that there will be less suicide bombings of burlap sacks filled with organs.
  • If you're counting on Lord Chompy Bits to do your killing, this means you lose the opportunity to act with The Dreamer freely. Your shooting and summoning get you closer to waking him up and for as long as you're chopping away with the Tyrant you're losing out on the chance to push, heal, cure, throw fast and shoot. Careful management of your actions and being mindful that Lord Chompy Bits can always sacrifice himself to bring The Dreamer back is key!
  • If Lord Chompy Bits dies, The Dreamer could be miserably out of position. The Dreamer is, by no stretch of the imagination, a frontline tank. If you are not careful with your positioning of the Tyrant of Nightmares, then you can find your Df 4, Wd 6 master about to be ripped in half. This is a bit different thinking than another killer, as your concern isn't Lord Chompy Bits himself dying: Its just where The Dreamer will be after it happens that you're worried about.
  • Lord Chompy Bits is a summon and cannot take upgrades. Lilith can gain some utility on top of Alarune's thirst, and Lynch has a bit of flexibility when it comes to how hard he wants to end people. Lord Chompy Bits can't get anything but his Melee Expert. His "Upgrades" are The Dreamer, which is quite the powerful attachment, to be sure. But you do have to be aware that, even though he is a Henchman, there will be no extra 1 on prevention flips and no Perfect Camouflage.
  • Lord Chompy Bits isn't the strongest killer in the Neverborn faction. Lilith has her Greatsword and nobody doubts the ability of Jacob Lynch to make the opponent read'em and weep. Malifaux is a game balanced around choosing by faction, not by master. Sometimes there will be times where instead of making Restless Dreams work, you'll just want to take Jacob or Lilith. But this isn't true for all players; not everyone owns every master of their faction. In addition, Lord Chompy Bits and The Dreamer are part of the same package. Simply be mindful of your choices based on the schemes!

In Depth:

Lord Chompy Bits is not a model you really have to consider taking: Even when playing with Dreams of Pain, the Tyrant will always be an option to use. Part of The Dreamer's duality and strange hold on the world of Malifaux is that they are always together. The real question you need to ask before starting the game is which limited upgrade to you take? The pros and cons are something you have to weigh when making your list and decide. In any case, lets look at our Tyrant Lord of Fear, Nightmares and Teddy Bears.

 

The first thing to note is while Lord Chompy Bits does have a total of Wd 10, he is always summoned without Slow but instead with 3 damage on him, making his entry at Wd 7. Thankfully this can be healed back, as he Feasts on Pain, healing 1 of that damage off each time he kills a model. This also gives him a bit of resiliency, especially if he has to fight against a large amount of minions. The more things that die, the quicker he heals off their attacks. As is fitting for the Tyrant associated with fear, he also has Terrifying (All) 12, making it all the more difficult to attack the Tyrant, espeically as The Dreamer can summon Wp lowering Daydreams before Lord Chompy Bits comes out to play.

Lord Chompy Bits has no ranged attacks, instead favoring two powerful MI attacks, each with their own starting value, engagement range, and triggers. His longer ranged attack, his Ten-Inch Claws, has a MI 5 :mask and a 3'' engagement range. This means that he can charge and engage any model within 9'' of him, and also allows him some interesting charge positions, as with any model with this large of a reach. In addition, this attack has an auto- :+fate, as he does have at least a pair of claws (I count a total of four... yikes.) He has a sturdy 2/4/6 damage track which has triggers for all non-Tomes suits. A mask allows him to cheat the damage flip regardless of :-fate's, quite powerful considering the severe of 6. This means that you can force through severe if you can engage a model with a Df of 5, even if they match you card-for-card. On a rams, he takes another (1) MI attack, note that it doesn't have to be the same attack, against the target. This attack, however, won't be able to declare triggers. Still, more attacks could potentially mean more damage, if you don't have the cards to force through that severe especially. The last trigger is a powerful one, on crows, allowing him to ignore Armor, Incorporeal, and soulstone prevention flips. Ignoring Armor is not common among the Neverborn faction, so being able to slice a Peacekeeper, Lazarus or Joss in twain is quite powerful. He can also be a nightmare, pun fully intended, for henchmen or masters that have an exceptionally low Df and relies on soulstones and one of the previous to protect themselves! Of Nightmare, indeed.

 

His other attack has a shorter engagement range, at 1'' instead, but a higher MI 7. His Six-Inch Teeth have a solid 3/3/5 damage track, always dependable if you're fighting something that is Hard to Wound + X, as weak damage 3 is won't to be. This attack also has the Onslaught trigger, allowing you to make another MI attack against the same target. Once again, it doesn't have to be the same MI attack: You can declare Onslaught on Six-Inch Teeth and strike with the second attack with his Ten-Inch Claws. In addition to that, it also has a two-different suit instant death trigger. On a :ram:crow you force the target to discard two cards or two soulstones or die outright. Being on two suits, not one, is very powerful: This means that if you have a high crows or a high rams you can more easily force through this trigger. If it was similar to Assassinate or Sweet Murder, being on :crow :crow, you can only declare it with a successful crows card and a soulstone. In addition, even if they do decide to discard to save their lives, they still have to contend with that weak damage 3. In all, it is a very scary situation to be in.

 

The only other action that Lord Chompy Bits has is a (0) Sleep, My Child. This allows you to unbury The Dreamer without giving him slow, by sacrificing Lord Chompy bits. The fact that he can leave on command is very powerful, as it allows you the best of both cards without having to jump through hoops to switch in either direction.
 

The key to using Lord Chompy Bits is twofold: Never let your Waking condition go up unless you plan on topping out that turn and never put the Tyrant where, if he dies, The Dreamer is miserably out of position. The Dreamer has a respectable range and, with both Twist Reality having a 12'' range and his Surrounded by Nightmares attack being resisted by Wp, making it quite hard to dodge, earning that Waking isn't the issue. The real skill with trading between the two comes with managing his support characteristics, the Healing, free actions and condition removal, with the use of your massive killpiece. Never forget that The Dreamer is still part of your crew and you do nearly always have access to him again for an emergency Stitches or condition removal. Also, unless you are either amazingly confident or don't mind the consequences, do not let Lord Chompy Bits move so far away from your crew or into enemy lines that, should he die, The Dreamer will be placed away from his Nightmares and easily attacked. If you can just be careful that the space behind Lord Chompy Bits, on the other side of him from the model you're attacking, is a safe ground for The Dreamer then by all means, swing away!

 
The Widow Weaver
 
When To Consider:
  • In any list where you will be fighting for objective control, such as if the pool contains Breakthrough, the strategy is anything except Reckoning, or if you believe they're apt to take Line in the Sand.
  • If your opponent declared Arcanists (as she ignores Armor and lowers their Wp) or Ressurectionists (As her Wp-based shenanigans will be hard to avoid on the already-low-Wp undead.)
  •  If you want even harder to avoid Wp skills, especially if you have the Tantrum upgrade.

Pros:

  • An amazingly powerful (0) action, allowing her to throw almost-unremovable -1 Wp bubble.
  • All of your Constructs gain +1 Wk when activating within  :aura 6'' of her, making your Stitched Togethers faster and Teddies faster than that.
  • The ability to paralyze with almost impunity with a bit of setup. 
  • The ability to throw out a hard-to-resist, ranged TN 12 Horror Duel.
  • A solid 2/3/6 damage track that ignores Armor, a rare thing for the Neverborn faction.
  • A powerful trigger that allows you to throw anything in melee with her quite far away.
  • 8SS Henchman is on the cheaper side of Henchmen.
  • The rare, but achievable, ability to summon a Teddy with her upgrade, otherwise another source of summoning for Wicked Dolls.

Cons:

  • Df 4 with only a Terrifying (All) 11 to protect her. 
  • No Cg value means her attack will require some set up before it can work. 
  • 6'' and 8'' ranges on her two offensive skills means she cannot just avoid combat from a far range.
  • Her upgrade and Playthings ability tilts your list towards the Construct side of things, either hiring or summoning them depending on your playstyle.
  • If she goes down, all of her webs go with her.

In Depth:

The Dreamer's thematic Henchmen, Weaver Widow is the absolute definition of terrifying, quite literally. She is terrifying herself, at a relatively low 11, but it will help against things with low, or loweredWp. Ever see a legion of Belle's trying to lure an army of terrifying models and getting paralyzed everywhere with their Wp of 4 or less? The ability to force paralyzed on a model by simply targetting her is a strong one and, the later in the turn and the less cards they have to cheat, the more powerful it becomes. 

 

As a spider-woman who feeds off of fear, she also comes with the ability to Inhale Terror, drawing a card whenever a model fails a horror duel within  :aura 6'' of her. Not that it will come up very often, but this does not say enemy model. If you really felt, you could have an allied model simply target a terrifying model, fail the horror duel and end its activation by paralyzing itself to draw a card. While slightly more niche of a use, it has come in handy before.

 

She also grants +1 Wk to any friendly Construct activating within 6'' of her. Examples, thematically, include Stitched Togethers, Teddies and Wicked Dolls. Outside of theme, this includes Vasilisa, the Hooded Rider, and the Mysterious Effigy. Things move very quickly when they start near her, and you'd be surprised how powerful the difference between 4 and 5 is, for the otherwise slow Stitched Togethers.

 

Her actions are all very powerful and you'll find quickly why she seems to be one of the best options to take with The Dreamer, summoning or not. Her bread and butter is her only (0) action, Create Web. This allows her to place a 30mm Web marker within 6'' of her, lowering the Wp of any model within 3'' of her by a stacking -1. This is what makes her so powerful for objective control. The only way to remove the markers is by killing her, so she can start stacking them around the Turf War marker, throw them around a couple of the Squatters Rights markers, or just simply make it horrendously dangerous to go to a nice section of board. Since they stack, you can very easily lower something's Wp from 6 to 4 or from 4 to a measly 2, making it nearly impossible to attack the Terrifying (All) 13 Teddy and very difficult to get to herself. When four or more models on the enemy crew require a 9+ to even attack someone, they're in for a bad time. 

 

Her two ranged options are Exhale Terror and Seize PreyExhale Terror is a Ca 6, Rg 8 skill that targets Wp. This forces the enemy to take 1/2/5 damage, a rather weak spread with a high severe, and take a TN 12 Horror Duel. With even one Web Marker near them, a Wp 5 model would need an 8 to not become paralyzed, and this would very quickly become an issue as she exhales upon more than one person. Remember, because these horror duels are generated by the Weaver, if they pass one or attack her and pass that, she cannot force it on them again that turn. If one model attacks her and passes the horror duel, they can't have one forced on them by Exhale Terror and a model that passed the first one she spews out can attack her without taking one later that turn. 

 

Her second ranged attack can only target a model within range of two Web Markers. She is placed in base contact with the model, removes all web markers within range of them, paralyzes them and gives them Poison +5. Now, if they're in range of two web markers, this means their Wp is reduced by at least 2. If a model has Wp 5, they're resisting her Ca 6 with a Wp of 3. This is, for reference, just as hard as trying to resist a Belle lure as someone with Wp 5. Ever feel like their lure is irresistible? Well, that's how your opponent will feel about this paralyze. 

 

She also has a very solid attack with a very unique attribute. As a MI against Df it won't benefit from her Wp-lowering Webs, but with a 2/3/6 damage spread that ignores Armor it certainly has its uses. If you get a  :crow, her bite also inflicts Poison +3. The other great thing about this attack is, with a  :tome, you can move the model into base contact with a Web marker within 8'', conveniently the same range as her Exhale Terror. If a model gets into combat with you, you can use a  :tome to toss them into your Webs and then paralyze them there so they can't attack you again. 

 

Careful positioning and use of her range to her advantage is key with the Weaver Widow. As with most of the Neverborn, she folds quite easily when focused down or if her one defense is bypassed, so be careful with how you move her. Always be aware of her surroundings. 

 

 
Vasilisa
 
When To Consider: 
  • If your opponent may be playing a fast faction.
  • If you're playing with Squatters Rights or a large pool of objective-based schemes.
  • If your opponent playing lower-Wp faction.
  • If you would normally take the Stitched Togethers in this scenario.
Pros:
  • Obey action in a crew that already wants terrifying models (!)
  • Near unmatched mobility with a Wk 6, The Long Journey ability, and Unimpeded.
  • Powerful control MI attack, allowing difficult choices against models without Armor.
  • (0) action to grant a (1) to a friendly puppet within 8''. Stitched Together can gain reactivate out of activation and Wicked Dolls can use the Straight To You after walking their full move.
  • Sweet Nothings makes it harder to resist her Obey or adds another stacking negative to Wp in The Dreamer's Crew
  • A Friend to Talk To upgrade which allows her to drag around a puppet friend without having them expend any of their actions.

Cons

  • Works far better with Weaver Widow and her summoning upgrade, making her a considerably more expensive option.
  • Works far better with Summoning Dreamer or, at the very least, two hired puppets of your choice, limiting your starting options.
  • Df 7 and the Run Away Home trigger are her only defenses and with a Wd pool of 6, she'll go down easy if out of position.
  • Low damage output if you lack the cards / stones to force her triggers through. (2 is a good number to aim for.)
  • A relatively low Wp at 5 in an otherwise high Wp crew. 
  • Suit dependent Obey making even more uses for your stones to be used on.

In Depth

Another control piece in a master rife with it, Vasilisa trades crew-flexibility for a powerful objective controller, a mobile murder-squad and the access to the powerful Obey action in a crew full of Terrifying. The biggest thought you have to play around with Vasilisa is that her upgrade and her Twist action both require a puppet. The scariest thing that she can drag around with her and still be thematic and easy to play with is a Stitched Together or two. She can walk her 6 unimpeded and bring a Stitched to talk to, then Twist the other to walk with her. Then she can walk again, bringing the second one (4'' walk plus the 2'' range on A Friend to Talk To lets you take advantage of this) then Obey the first to follow as well. That's almost 12'' of movement to two models for the cost of one 7 :mask and an upgrade.

 

Once in position she can Twist them to gamble out of turn or even let you draw cards when you run out after setting up a low Wp with her own Sweet Nothings or her friend the Weaver and Twisting out A Game of Chance. She can also pull this same setup tactic with a pair of Wicked Dolls, using her own aura to lower their Wp after walking them herself all the way up there, then letting them throw their "First Comes One, Then Comes Two!" trigger at someone up to four times, allowing you to forego having to cheat a high card to force the powerful condition through. 

 

When it comes to running objectives, she is unparalleled. With the Stitched Togethers having a Wk 4 and her Long Journey having a range of 3'' you'll find you don't mind how slow they are sometimes. They can drop a scheme marker, then she'll swing up next to them. On her activation she can start walking again, bringing the Stitched Together along to talk to. 

 

Most of her potential lies in her highly mobile aura, her own high mobility, and her control of your pieces. She's a 9 stone extention of your master, throwing out free actions after they think that they're safe and don't have to worry about a Stitched Together anymore. She does work very well with the Weaver Widow, though, so if you're playing The Dreamer summoning style, think about taking both the lovely ladies and their upgrades, giving you high mobility and letting you spawn Wicked Dolls from dead Stitched Together that The Dreamer takes. It is a combined 21SS though, so be wary. 

 

Her MI action comes with a starting 7 and an unimpressive spread of 1/2/4. However on all non- :tome cards she'll get a trigger that forces them to choose between 1, 2, and 3 damage or be unable to take a certain action. 

  • :crow Sewn Lips disallows Tactical Actions, including those such as focus and defensive, unless they take 1 damage at the start of their activation.
  • :ram Sewn Hands says that they cannot take Attack Actions unless they suffer 2 damage. This is the trigger you want to get every time she has to attack, because this means she cannot be struck back unless they turn her 1/2/4 damage spread into a 3/4/6 one. 
  • :mask Sewn Feet is used best in conjunction with Sewn Hands. They have to suffer 3 damage or cannot take walk actions. If you sew up a models hands and feet, it must suffer 2 damage or it cannot attack you and if they didn't take the 3 damage as well, that means that you can just trigger your Run Away Home and push out of combat with them. If they did, well, your effective damage over two attacks was 3/4/6 and 4/5/7. Ouch.

 

Candy 
 
Bad Juju
 
Nekima
 
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New Friends: Nightmare Models!
 
Daydreams
 
Overview:
  • Able to push Nightmares at a respectable range, giving a very ephemeral and hard to predict threat range to many of your models. A 4'' push could suddenly put that Stitched Together into gamblin' range.
  • Accomplice on a 2SS model. 
  • Free  :mask on The Dreamer's flips for the rest of the turn (!). 
  • An   :aura 4 that lowers Wp by 1, stacking. 
  • Wk 6, incorporeal allowing for quick movement, setup and combined with the 10'' range on the push, a 16'' range of influence in a single turn.
  • 2 Wd and Df 5 means that almost anything headed their way will probably kill them, even with incorporeal. 
  • Insignificant
  • Ht 1 means terrain can interfere with your range of influence.
  • A cheap activation for out-activating an opponent.

In Depth: 

One of the two models that The Dreamer can summon without his upgrade, so they are always in his sights. Requiring a suitless 7 to summon, they aren't the most difficult thing in the world to get without cheating. A slowed Daydream will either allow you to push a model 16'' away from The Dreamer on the turn you summon them (summon within 6'' of him, target within 10'' of that) or use their Wk 6 to move them into position, then push around next turn.

 

Daydreams lower the Wp of anything within 4' of them by a stacking -1, and they are Nightmare models. You can use this in junction with a lot of The Dreamer's crew: The Dreamer's Surrounded By Nightmares (while adding 1 to its damage), Weaver Widow's Exhale Terror, Coppelius's Sleep, My Friends, Lilitu's Lure and her Impure Thoughts trigger, Stitched Together's Game of Chance, Insidious Madness's Neverborn Whispers and Induce Phobia, Alp's Smother... that's only counting Nightmare models! Use their positioning wisely, because they will die if something wants them to. A Df 5, incorporeal and a Wd pool of 2, if something has a minimum 3 or hits a moderate 3, they're outta there. They're incorporeal and Wk 6, if you want to set up a good strike, wait until after something has activated to run a Daydream over there.


Their skill, Lead Nightmare, requires only a 5 to go off, and with Empty Night on The Dreamer requiring only a 4 means that only 3's and lower are throwaway cards. They allow you to push a Nightmare 4'', but only once per activation. The wording allows you to target the same model with more than one Daydream, though, allowing you to push Teddy 12'' then, with Gobble You Up having an 8'' range, allowing you to Flurry from 20'' away. Yikes. If this was the only thing that these little guys could do, for 2SS, I'd find it worth it! Movement, positioning,

 

Finally, they can nix themselves for + :mask to all of The Dreamer's flips for the rest of the turn. If you summon at least 2 models (Alps with no upgrade, anything with) they just saved you the stones you would have had to use otherwise. They're also the easiest way to hit the It's My Dream trigger on The Dreamer: A high  :crow or a high  :tome or  :ram with a stone gets you an unslowed model. You would have needed a high  :mask or :crow card and a stone otherwise, but with the condition Lucid you can get it with a stone on  :tome or  :ram too, or for free with a  :crow.

 

You will be surprised at how much these little guys can extend The Dreamer's influence and speed your army up. Besides, at 2SS and the ability to hire 3, they make for great end-list filler.

 

Alps
 
Overview: 
  • A cheap to hire, easy to summon model that plays with slow
  • A :aura  3 that forces a Wp duel or gives slow.
  • A stacking aura of damage that allows you to pandora-style-ping models to death.
  • The ability to propogate if their aura does kill something.
  • An MI 5 that forces slow on moderate or severe.
  • A targeted, non-Dreamer way to heal your models.
  • Not an undead, living or construct and can avoid many negatives because of it.
  • Df 4 with no defensive abilities and only 4 Wd so expect them to die easily.
  • Insignificant. 
  • Their heal costs them 2 Wd to use, and it's only 1/1/2
 
 
In Depth:
Alps are the only other model that The Dreamer himself can summon without his upgrade, Alps are the easiest thing to get next to Daydreams. They require only a 7 :mask  to go off, which you can get for an entire activation with a Daydream all the same. On paper, they don't seem like much. with their low Df and low Wd you'd expect them to die to anything coming their way, and they will. But they are so easy to get, and serve such a simple purpose, you won't miss them much. If your opponent is wasting their time slicing up your chaff, they won't be able to stop your elites like Teddy, the Weaver, Lord Chompy Bits or the like from running rampant. 
 
Their main use is as a tarpit and a waste of your opponents time. If something activates within  :aura  3 of them, they must pass a Wp 12 duel or receive slow. Obviously you can use them with Daydreams and Weaver Widow's web markers to make this Smother test harder to pass. They also force 1 damage on any model receiving slow within 3'' of them, using their Feed on Dreams aura, and this does stack (unlike the slow aura, which is only once regardless of Alps in range.) If you have two Alps next to something and they can't pass the slow test, they take 1 Wd twice, for a total of 2. If this aura takes someone out, then you also get to summon an Alp next to the model before it goes away. (Note: If a model has slow or cannot receive it, such as Mei Feng and her Unstoppable Industry, they do not take the damage from Feed on Dreams)
 
If they get into combat, with no Cg value mind you, they have a respectable MI that forces 1/1+slow/3+slow damage. This slow will also force 1 damage on an opponent. It also makes them harder to kill, since most models don't have a minimum 4, so they have a good chance to survive the one attack. 
 
 
Insidious Madness
 
Overview:
  • A Wk 7, Incorporeal model that is significant. (!)
  • The ability to force a stacking condition on an opponent that lowers their Wp.
  • Difficult to kill in melee combat, especially with some set up. 
  • A very mobile, dangerous aura that can force your opponent into a tough spot.
  • The ability to force a low-TN Horror Duel on every enemy within :pulse  2
  • At range, Df 6 and Incorporeal is the only thing protecting their measly 3 Wd.
  • Requires some set up to use offensively.
  • Inexpensive to hire, easy to summon. 
  • No Cg value makes it difficult for them to move into combat and still be offensive.
In Depth:
Insidious Madnesses are very powerful objective runners and dangerous Wp based offensive pieces. While being so easy to kill seems to be a common weakness among the less-expensive Neverborn, the Insidious Madness does have ways to protect itself if some unwary model gets to close to them, but more often than not, that won't be how you'll use them.
 
With a Rg  :ranged 10 on their attack, they can certainly stay away from melee oriented models and start harassing their Wp lower. Each time they hit with Neverborn Whispers, they force a condition called I Can Hear Them +1 on them, lowering their Wp by -1. Combine that with Incorporeal and Wk 7, they make for powerful objective runners. They can move through walls and drop Scheme markers wherever you need them to be. If you're playing Summoning Dreamer, expect them to be quietly picking up your VP while you play with or destroy your enemy. If you're playing The Monster Dreamer, they make for powerful objective runners all the same, but they will contribute less to your end goal if your idea is to kill the enemy dead. 
 
Their defenses on the front of their card are also offensive abilities, when used right. You can set up a dangerous attack with their possible 14'' movement, dragging their auras right up next to the enemy you want to die. Their aura The Madness Spreads makes your opponent discard a card before cheating on a Wp duel, opposed or not, or they cannot cheat. If you're lowering their Wp with Daydreams and/or web markers, suddenly passing that low TN horror duel got a lot harder, let alone passing a Teddy's TN 13 while using 2 cards to cheat. They also have a pseudo-Manipulative, forcing an enemy model within :aura 2 to pass a TN 10 Wp duel when targeting them with an action or the action fails. 
 
 
Stitched Together
 
Overview:
  • A powerful but risky damaging skill that cannot have :+fate or  :-fate 's and can't be cheated.
  • A Wp based duel that allows for a large card advantage. (!)

  • The ability to leave off an aura of soft cover within 4'' for a (0).

  • Dealing them damage triggers a less-reliable, but more damaging **Black Blood like ability.

  • A low Wk of 4.

  • With only Df 4 and Hard to Kill to protect them they're easy to hit...

  • ...but hard to take out with The Dreamer's healing aura, Alps and the reactivate condition they can get a'la Joss.

In Depth:
Stitched Together are the next most expensive thematic model, weighing in at 6 points. Their theme is high stakes, winner take all type of play. Yet, just like a card shark at a casino, the name of the game is to watch your opponents resources and take advantage of their weak points. 
 
The main draw, to me, of the Stitched Together in a Dreamer crew is their attack, A Game of Chance. At a Ca 5 it isn't the most accurate of skills, but it's resisted by Wp, making it easy for you to take advantage of your opponent after a few webs or Daydreams. The winner of the duel draws two cards and discards a card, allowing for some very powerful hand fixing. Using this when you've only seen low cards so far or with your opponent having a full hand will most likely lead to you losing your hand advantage, and throwing it without preparation will end the same. Once you've got a tar pit of negative Wp set up, and you've got a model trapped there at 2 Wp or lower, you have almost limitless access to more cards, making it easier to summon, easier to hit, or easier to hit that kill trigger with Lord Chompy Bits. The game also has two triggers on :crow , one to draw an extra card and one to force a discard on your opponent, further leading to your advantage.
 
The other powerful ability of the Stitched Together is their Gamble Your Life. At a Ca 6 against Df you won't be able to make it impossible to resist, but that shouldn't be a big deal. If you win, you force an uncheatable 3/4/7 damage flip, ignoring all :+fate and :-fate 's. If you lose, however, your opponent makes the same flip back against you. Once again this is simply a matter of waiting until your opponent has less cards in their hand to stop you from hitting, or going after something that's got a low Df and relies on armor or being hard or impossible to wound to not die. The best thing about this skill is that it also triggers their Eternal Nightmare. When they are reduced to their Hard to Kill by an attack action, enemy or otherwise, they gain reactivate. They can attack a model that has already activated, and if they fail and go down to Hard to Kill, they pass, then activate again, perhaps healing from The Dreamer's aura again as well to go back above Hard to Kill. 
 
In addition to all of this risky goodness, they also have a weak melee attack, at a MI 5 1/2/4 damage spread (it's mostly there to give them an engagement range, more than anything) and their Rotten Contents. If they take damage, flip an uncheatable card. If it's crows, every living model within :pulse  2'' takes 2 damage. Like Black Blood, except less reliable. 
 
They make great additions to your army if you're planning on running Vasilisa, as she turns them into very sturdy objective runners that have quite the threat of damage, as well as offering her own -1 on Wp for them to steal cards with. Otherwise, they're one of the sturdiest things you can summon as The Dreamer, being the only nightmare model with Hard to Kill.
 
 
Lelu and Lilitu
 
Overview:
  • A pair of resilient models in an otherwise squishy (thematic) crew.
  • Enough :+fate's to force them to be accurate
  • The unique ability to share all conditions between the two, like Fast or Whispers In Blood...
  • ... or Slow or Burning or Poison.
  • The ability to share heals, making them one of the fastest 1 to full models you have access to.
  • A solid Wd pool lets them soak up some damage...
  • ... but a lack of any other defense makes them drop to a focused assault.
  • Pounce in a crew that wants Teddies.
  • Lure in a crew that wants Teddies.

In Depth:

 

Lelu and Lilitu are two of the higher end models that you can hire or summon while staying thematic. Though they are Enforcers, being Nightmares means that they can be targeted with Empty Night and summoned as well. Lelu and Lilitu may be two separate models, but for the purpose of using them, you can almost consider them one model. Both Lelu and Lilitu have Regenerate +1 and Black Blood, as they are both Nephilim. They also have a matching pair of abilities Same Oppressive/Malignant Force. Whenever Lelu/Lilitu gains a condition or heals damage that they have suffered, the other heals the same amount and, unless you discard two cards, gains the same condition.They have similar stat lines, Lelu has one less Df than his sister but one more Wd to compensate, but that's where their matching abilities end.

 

I'll start by explaining Lelu's specific abilities, then Lilitu's, and finally, how they mesh.

 

Lelu: Lelu has two close range melee attacks, Vampiric Bite and Poisoned Claws, which each have their uses. Poisoned Claws has a MI 6 and a 2'' engagement range. With a respectable 2/3/5 damage spread, Poison +2 on each hit, and an auto :+fate on attacks made when he falls below 6 Wd it is what you'll be using most of the time. Vampiric Bite has a better MI but a worse damage track at only 1/2/4. The difference, though, is that the auto-trigger will let him heal the amount of damage he inflicted. This means that he can activate and heal 1, then attack and heal up to his entire Wd track. Lelu is a bit slower than his sister, only Wk 4, but his last ability Lie In Wait, allows him to discard a card to gain Pounce and push 3''. This means if he needs, he can move 11'' in a turn, or push out of combat or over severe terrain. As well, if he gains Pounce, so does his sister. Right now what we're looking at is a solid, if easily focused down, melee model.

 

Lilitu: With only one damaging skill, Lilitu is much less the killer. Her MI 5 and 1/2/4 damage spread certainly proves it. She does have an impressive 4'' engagement range, though, allowing her to crack that whip with relative safety, and she also gains a free :+fate to damage flips if they're already below half Wd. If you manage to net a :mask on the attack, you also force a relatively high TN 14 Wp duel or the target becomes paralyzed. She isn't going to be spending too much AP on this attack though, as you'll see in a moment. She also has a cast 7 :crow:mask lure as well, which is very respectable.

Her (1) tactical action gives her the condition Whispers in Blood +1, giving her :+fate on all duels for the rest of the turn. This, being a condition, also passes to her brother. With this action, she can make her brother and herself amazingly accurate, flipping easily two or three cards on every attack. Whispers in Blood and then using Lure is quite powerful, as the Ca 7 with a positive twist will be hard to avoid.

 

Tying them together: Now that we have their skills outlined, what is it that makes Lelu and Lilitu so good with The Dreamer?

They're amazingly resilient. Not hard to kill, just resilient. When either of them activate, they both heal 1 Wd. If either of them is within The Dreamer's healing, they can heal even more. Summon both of them in at 1 Wd? One activates and heals 3, then the other activates and heals 3. You've got a full health Lilitu and an almost full health Lelu. Lelu can Vampiric Bite to heal them both, the Stitches trigger on Empty Night heals them both, making it a sitiuation much like the Stitched Together: Kill them right the first time, or you'll never be done with it. In addition, Whispers in Blood also gives them positive twists on Df flips, making it very difficult to hit them without some dedicated cheating. Also, if you're worried about initiative costing either her or her brother their lives, either one can take the Defensive Stance instead, which lasts until their next activation!

They're scary dangerous. Remember that The Dreamer can hand out Fast with his Empty Night action. This means that you can give them both Fast for one action (as they share the condition) then have Lilitu gain Whispers in Blood +2 and lure someone with that double positive twists .  Then, Lelu has 3 attacks at a double positive or triple positive, depending on his current Wd. Even after this assault, he can discard a card to gain Pounce and a few well placed Teddy attacks will bring low just about anything. Teddy hits and pushes them, then both brother and sister get to Pounce. Then repeat. Ouch. Even retaliating isn't the easiest thing to try, as their positive twists will make it hard to deal more than weak damage, and Black Blood will make it hard to kill them before they can kill you.

They're both Nightmares. This means that you can resummon them if they die, and you're playing Summoner Dreamer, and you can easily keep them alive and push them around regardless. The ability to pop out two 7SS Enforcers at nearly full Wd with only one chain activation, and otherwise very little effort to keep them useful, is amazing. I cannot count the number of times that I've thrown Lelu into combat to watch him bring someone low, die, and pop right back up to go on fighting. Even as The Monster, The Dreamer loves the ability to hand out Fast to two models for one AP, or have a model with a double positive on attack flips to give free attacks to.

The amount of flexibility they have with Same Malignant/Oppressive Force is astounding. The Dreamer can give both of them Playtime with one action, letting you draw a card whenever either of them deal damage, or Fast with a Frantic trigger on Empty Night. Lilitu can focus and her Brother can expend his own to hit a severe of 5, while still having another action all to himself. Be mindful that this ability works both ways, though, and you will need to be careful summoning or hiring them against a crew that is apt to hand out conditions or if Distract or Cursed Object are in the pool.


 

 
Coppelius
 
Overview
  • A large wound pool for a Neverborn model.
  • Snowball-like Df, up to 7(!).
  • A powerful heal, for himself or allies.
  • Amazingly fast, moderately dangerous.
  • Ability to summon on an enforcer.
  • Low starting Df.
  • Lack of any defensive abilities outside of Terrifying.
  • Rather expensive, all inclusive. 

In Depth

 

Coppelius is the only significant model to come in The Dreamer's plastic box (Not counting Lord Chompy Bits), so if you're new to the game you should get comfortable using him before branching out to other models.

Coppelius is the epitome of what-was-that-noise-creepy-bump-in-the-night. Before even looking at his myriad of actions, the fact that he is a significant Enforcer with a Wk 7 is amazing. While there are other, powerful scheme runners in faction, such as the Slurids, as a thematic model Coppelius is an amazingly fast squid-eye-stealing Nightmare. With Terrifying (All) 12 and a 3''  which deals 2 damage to any enemy who fails a Terrifying check, he's already something to contend with against other scheme runners. In addition, for an 8 point Neverborn Enforcer, you'll be hard pressed to find someone who can match his Wd pool of 10. 

The Eyeball-plucker only has one attack action, Long, Clawed Fingers which has a respectable  :melee2 Rg and a decent 1/3/4 damage track. The draw, though, is that every time he hits with this attack he gains an eyeball, noted by the Plucked Eyeball +1 condition. For each eye that he's holding, he gains +1 Df, and since it is noted by the +, that means that it does stack, although in this case it only stacks to +3 when helping his Df. His low Df 4 goes up to Df 7 quick in this way, after only one good round of combat! (Note: This condition only applies if he attacks an enemy. No stealing Daydream's eyes.) This attack also has 2 triggers, both of which are scary good. The first allows him to deal moderate damage without flipping, guaranteeing  him that 3 damage, and forces a TN 12 Horror Duel on any enemy within 4''. Be aware that this test is not imposed on someone who passed his Terrifying ability earlier in that turn! The other trigger, I Want Them Both, is an onslaught trigger, letting him attack again to, hopefully, rack up another eyeball.  

The thing that Coppelius does excel in, besides being fast and generally creepy, is his myriad of Tactical Actions. The first allows him to eat one of his collected eyeballs, giving him or a friendly model within 2'' a 2/3/5 healing flip. Since healing in a Neverborn crew isn't common, and also being better than a 1/2/3, this is quite the premium. Imagine having The Dreamer lose some of his Wd 6 and being able to heal him 5 for just an eyeball? This works especially well with Hard to Kill models, such as Stitched-Together or models with Armor such as Waldgeist. 

He can also consume one of his plucked eyeballs to summon an Alp within 6''. Though the model he summons is only a 3 point model, the fact that an 8 point enforcer has the built in ability to summon another model is very strong. Never doubt the surprise of a Coppelius with Plucked Eyeball +4 dropping two of them and getting two Alps for the low cost of two 6's, no suit required. His last action forces a TN 12 Wp duel on every enemy within 3'' to inflict Slow, which conveniently works well with Alps, doesn't it? 

If you're planning on playing Summoner Dreamer, be aware that he is an option to summon! Though it might take some finagling to heal him back up from Wd 1, if he can get a free round of attacks and an eyeball to eat, plus some Pleasant Dreams, he'll be fine in no time. 

Of special note is the upgrade On Dreaming Wings. For 2SS you can up his Wk to 8 and grant him Flight, allowing him to breeze pass anything in his way to accomplishing your schemes. While weighing in at 10SS total at this point, Coppelius will be a scheme runner not to trifle with, and will be more useful to largely ignore other models, finding clever ways to fly past combat if need be. And if he doesn't, well, his Alps just got a lot more Flighty.


Teddy
 
Overview
  • A very high wound pool.
  • A stack of defensive abilities.
  • Terrifying (All) 13  in a crew that can summon -1 Wp auras.
  • Moderate Wk and the Nightmare characteristic makes him quite fast with The Dreamer.
  • MI 7 and a powerful damage track, as well as a built in push and flurry, makes him one scary killer.
  • Df 3 makes him die to high weak damage tracks. 
  • Impossible to Wound also helps him none against high weak damage.

In Depth 

 

Teddy. The killer, the terrifying beast, the huggable stuffed animal that The Dreamer loves so much. If ever there was a beatstick that was designed to be abused by The Dreamer this is him. Just look at the front of his card, to start. Clocking in at a whopping Wd 11, Regeneration +2Impossible to Wound and Terrifying (All) 13 marks him as quite the tough model to take down, if you don't have a way of abusing his low Df. If someone is relying on a moderate or severe, good luck getting around Impossible to Wound. If you have a low WpTerrifying (All) 13 is amazingly brutal, since even Wp 5 means that you'll need an 8 and no less to resist his scary visage. And, in addition, he'll bounce back quick from a measure of damage dealt to him. 


More than another beatstick in the same faction, such as Nekima, the Hooded Rider or Baby Kade, he has the Nightmare characteristic. This means he can gain Fast, lose conditions and Heal from The Dreamer's Empty Night ability, as well he can get a free 6'' push and attack. Ouch. He can also be pushed around by Daydreams because of this, making him go from a decently fast model to a speedy demon of a killer. 

He also has Smell Fear, an ability that gives him a free attack once per turn against someone in his range if any enemy within 6'' loses a Wp duel. This becomes more relevant in a crew led by The Dreamer, as he can use Tantrum to target Wp, and most other models with the Nightmare characteristic target Wp with at least one action. Take those four rules together, as well his high Wd pool, means that nobody wants to get anywhere near him. And we haven't even looked at his actions. 

Teddy has a very powerful Hug. Weighing in at MI 7, a 2'' engagement range and a 3/4/6 damage track, he's already scary as can be. He has a built in trigger, Peakaboo!, which allows him to push the target 4'' in any direction, then push into base contact with them. A built in push trigger works well with models that have pounce, such as Lelu and Lilitu in theme. Attack, push, two pounces, rinse and repeat until eviscerated. 

He also has a (0) action, low Ca 4 attack, requiring an 8 to go off, that targets Wp. This gives him positives on attack and damage flips and, if you flip a crows, he heals 1/2/3 damage for killing the target and the model drops no corpse or scrap markers. Quite useful if you've already set up a few Daydreams to lower their Wp, letting him tear them to shreds wit his already strong MI attack. He also comes with Flurry on his card, letting him get three attacks on one target (four if they fail Gobble You Up). Someone would be hard pressed to survive one of those. 

Taken all together, with some position or pumping free actions into him via The Dreamer, he is a force to be reckoned with and one of the first plastic models I would suggest picking up outside of the starting box. 

Keep in mind, the fact that he is a Nightmare Enforcer means that he can hold On Dreaming Wings, giving him Wk 6 and flight in addition to his already quick moves. He can also hold the upgrade Retribution's Eye, allowing him to ignore armor and, for one turn, ignore Df and Wp triggers. If you need a thematic way to ignore armor, Retribution's Eye is a powerful way of getting around it. Imagine having a good round of combat against a Rail Golem when you ignore his Armor +2 and have a MI 7 attack. 

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Guests at the Playground: Non-Nightmare Models
 
Primordial Magic
 
Wicked Dolls
 
Mysterious Effigy

Waldgeist
Overview
  • Armor +2 in a Neverborn crew(!)
  • A difficult to remove model.
  • Ability to create severe terrain and soft cover in a mobile crew
  • No slouch in cobat
  • Inexpensive, only 6SS
  • Slow for a Neverborn model
  • If you ignore armor, they don't stand up as well

In Depth

Waldgeist are, at their core, tanky models. They're not very fast with Wk 4, but they're Unimpeded, they have a strong rule, Perfect Camouflage, if you can use activation control to your advantage, and more than that, they have Armor +2 in a Neverborn crew. Why do I specificy a Neverborn crew? Well, as lists in Malifaux are made before you know what crew your Opponent is playing, but after you know their faction, having armor in a crew without an affinity for armor is very strong. Unlike the Arcanist faction, in which taking a model that can ignore armor is almost never a wasted choice, not many opponents will take a model specifically for its ability to ignore armor against a faction that they may not even see it. In this way, your Waldgeist are less likely to fall victim to the armor paradox: Tanky if you can't ignore it, butter if you can. 
 

Perfect Camouflage is also a powerful rule to consider when taken with The Dreamer. Considering you have access to three 2SS models that no other master has, and in addition you have either the option to summon or a second model that gets an activation that you didn't pay for Ala Lord Chompy Bits, The Dreamer is quite good at activation control. The rule, if you are unfamiliar, grants :-fate to any attacks from models trying to Shoot them or Charge them until they activate. Your opponent is never really sure if they saw that tree move, or if it was just their imagination. 

Their attack is solid, clocking in at a MI 5 and a 2'' engagement range. They have a middling damage track of 2/3/4, and two triggers on their attack as well, one to grant Slow and one to Root the opponent, keeping them from moving or charging and forcing 3 damage on them if they are forced to move, until the end of the turn of course. In a crew that already loves a Teddy, that 3 damage is more of an immediate threat. In addition, this attack increases its engagement range to 4'' if he's touching Severe terrain, convenient that they can generate it with their only (0) action! Wrap this entire bundle up and you have a model that is a hard-to-remove 9'' tar pit that can't easily be gunned off the board

As always, remember that they are minions. This means, even though they aren't Nightmares, they can still be affected by Empty Night action and the Pleasant Dreams ability. A model with Armor +2 that can heal 3 every turn and offer soft cover to an incorporeal master? Sounds too good to be true.

 
Baby Kade
Overview
  • A brutally powerful killer
  • A potential 5/6/8 damage track (!)
  • Pounce in a crew that loves Lure
  • Lure in a crew that has Wp lowering auras.
  • Powerful, sight-agnostic movement ability.
  • A glass cannon if ever there was one.
  • Works best with another model, an 11 point one.

In Depth

When someone thinks of the Neverborn faction, their unmatched speed and unforgiving brutality bought with their blood and safety, one can think right away of the woe Baby Kade. Rather than starting with his front of card abilities, like other models, I'm going to get right to his bread and butter: Carving Knife. At MI 7 with a 1/2/4 damage track and the Flay trigger, he seems like any other Neverborn. But this little Tonberry is a lot more wicked than that. If his target is engaged with another friendly model of his, distracted by them, then his attack deals +2 damage. This brings him to a 3/4/6 damage track. Sound familiar? In addition, if he flips a :crow, he gets the  Sweetbreads trigger. This increases his damage by a further +2 and also inflicts Slow on the target, giving him a brutal 5/6/8 damage track. But when something on a non-soulstone user requires a suit, I never count on it. It's strong enough that I'd be willing, and happy, to force it through if I got the card for it, but the matter is, only a quarter plus one of the deck works, so it can't be counted on. Instead, think of him with a reliable 3/4/6 damage track with his accurate MI. Seems still worth it to me.

In addition to his Carving Knife, Baby Kade has access to a Lure, with both suits built in and a Ca 5. While not outstanding, in a crew that can lower Wp it isn't impossible to hit, and the fact that he has both suits on a skill that would otherwise take away a card that he could use for one of his two triggers, it is a strong addition to his card. 

Baby Kade has one last trick up his non-existant baby sleeves: Where's Teddy?. Considering you have one of the giant stuffed brutes in your list, he can use a (2) action to place himself into base contact with your Teddy within 15'', regardless of line of sight, and push the Teddy 6'' in any directions afterwards. This allows him to sneak behind cover and other models, hiding away from those who would cause him harm, until he teleports next to his Teddy, and lets Teddy Hug and slide things into his waiting knife. Unlike other two-model combos, this doesn't require your firstborn and a complex double handspring. Peekaboo! is built in, Where's Teddy? doesn't require line of sight or flips, both models have a very accurate MI 7, and Pounce doesn't require anything to go off. In the end, you get two or four MI 7 3/4/6 attacks against one model. Yikes. More than anything, Baby Kade is a killer. A solid 7 point investment if you already wanted to take a Teddy, are facing an opponent relying on wounds instead of armor to keep them alive (a'la Ressurectionists), or just really want that one thing, right there, dead.

Now, we've gone over his back of card abilities, so what does his front of card look like? Stark, to be totally honest. With only Wd 6 to keep him alive and a Df 7 he is the poster child of Neverborn defensive strategies. You can't kill what you can't hit, unless you do, in which case you will. He also has Manipulative 11, which is low on the numbers scale for "Flip or this action fails." What this amounts to is that his real defense is being able to hide away from models until you're comfortable using Where's Teddy? or his Cg 8 to get him into combat and eviscerate whatever scares him.

Now, unlike the minions discussed so far, Baby Kade is an enforcer. What this means is he has some options for upgrades, the 3 most logical options being Retribution's EyeThe Mimic's Blessing, and DepressionRetribution's Eye is discussed after Teddy himself, allowing the model to ignore armor and, at the cost of the upgrade, ignore Df and Wp triggers for the turn. An option to consider on either of them if your opponent is likely to have armor. The Mimic's Blessing grants Perfect Camouflage, an ability discussed at the end of the Waldgeist section. As well, if he dies while holding that upgrade, he lets you draw and discard 2 cards. Not half bad if you're worried about him being murdered by a Sh heavy crew. The last upgrade is for a Woe only, allowing him to gain the (0) action Delight in Despair. This allows him to discard a card and add that suit to his attacks for the rest of his activation. If you're planning on charging with him, rather than pouncing, or if something takes longer than one round of Teddy-Hug-Pounce to kill, he can discard a low :crow's card and just go to town on someone with a guaranteed weak of 5. 

Beckoner

Doppleganger

Mr. Tannen
 
Mr. Graves

Hooded Rider
 
Killjoy
Edited by Ari and Needlebreath
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Tying it All Together: Schemes, Strategies and Victory Points
 
Strategy for Strategies
 
Scheming Your Way to Victory
 
When to take The Dreamer
Malifaux is a game of factions, less of masters. This is why you declare one before you know what you're playing for, but you choose your master to fit the scenario. For this reason, I understand that the more veteran players of the game, who already own multiple Neverborn masters, don't need to know how to play The Dreamer in every scenario, and instead what he focuses on. But it is my hope that some new players use this guide to get started playing the little boy from Earthside, so I will show his strong schemes and weak schemes, and a small bit of advice on all of them! 
S -> Summoning Dreamer. C -> Chompy Bits Dreamer. Green is good, red is bad, yellow is neutral (as in, The Dreamer brings very little other masters couldn't.)
 
  • A Line In The Sand 
    • S C
      • Summoner Dreamer, as with many summoners, are excellent at schemes involving scheme markers. The ability to summon significant models, let alone incorporeal ones with Wk 7, is hard to fight. In addition, Daydream pushes make positioning a cakewalk.
      • Besides Daydream pushes, and his own 6'' Journey trigger while he's up, Restless Dreamer offers very little unique to the Line in the Sand game. This isn't to say he's bad at it, he just doesn't offer anything special to this scheme.
  • Distract
    • S C
      • Daydream pushes are going to be very powerful when playing with, or against, targeted interactions. Most other masters don't have access to 3 models that can push friendly models out of combat, allowing them to remove the distract condition. Remember, you can't take interact actions while engaged unless they target an enemy model. 
  • Breakthrough
    • S C
      • Many models thematic to The Dreamer are either fast, incorporeal or both. This includes The Dreamer himself, the ability for Lord Chompy Bits to walk then sacrifice at a later date to give another 8'' of movement, as well as the pushes from his Daydreams which are available to both. In short, The Dreamer is very fast, even for a Neverborn model, making Breakthrough quite a viable option.
  • Assassinate
    • S C
      • Summoner Dreamer certainly lacks the killing potential Restless Dreamer does, as none of his summons are as scary as a Melee Expert Lord Chompy Bits with a pool of stones at his disposal. This isn't to say he can't accomplish Assassinate, if you have a limited master pool and prefer Summoner Dreamer, but he certainly will have a harder time of it than, say, Lilith or Jakob Lynch.
      • Restless Dreamer, however, is a terrifying sight for the enemy master. With a high MI and an instant death trigger on two different suits, as well as a slew of other triggers, if he can get into position (with 3 Daydreams making this ever easier) then he should make short work of the enemy master.
  • Protect Territory
    • S C
      • Summoner Dreamer, as with many summoners, are excellent at schemes involving scheme markers. The ability to summon significant models, let alone incorporeal ones with Wk 7, is hard to fight. In addition, Daydream pushes make positioning a cakewalk.
      • Restless Dreamer, as with many of the scheme laying games, is nothing special at protect territory. He does, however, have the added advantage of scaring people away from the area The Dreamer is in, allowing you to more easily defend your scheme markers.
  • Bodyguard
    • S C
      • This scheme is average for both Summoner and Restless Dreamer. Since Lord Chompy Bits is a summon, and can never be named as the Bodyguard target (as he isn't in your list) you rely on other Neverborn bodyguard targets. But the thematic models for The Dreamer are either squishy and too easy to kill, like Weaver Widow and Baby Kade, too vital on the ability to throw them into combat, like Teddy or Coppelius, or are otherwise available to all Masters and are nothing special for The Dreamer, such as Bad Juju and Candy.
  • Cursed Object
    • S C
      • Daydreams are key for the model-targeted interact actions. The ability to push an ally out of combat, or into combat, is very powerful. For either Dreamer, you have access to 3 unique models that will allow you to slide out of combat to take the interact action to remove Cursed Object, or slide into combat after they try to escape to keep them from removing it.
  • Outflank
    • S C
      • The Dreamer himself is Wk 7 and incorporeal, making it very difficult to keep him from being over by the important areas of the board should the end of the game creep up on him. That being said, though, The Dreamer may not be as good as say, Zorida or Pandora with their forced movement at making sure they're alone there. He won't have a harder time, per se, just isn't anything special at it.
  • Plant Evidence
    • S C
      • Summoner Dreamer, as with many summoners, are excellent at schemes involving scheme markers. The ability to summon significant models, let alone incorporeal ones with Wk 7, is hard to fight. In addition, Daydream pushes make positioning a cakewalk.
  • Entourage
    • S C
      • In a similar manner to Seamus, just ask your opponent to try to stop a Wk 7 incorporeal model from getting across the board. The best they can do is try to kill him but, that isn't easy to do either. If you're confident in your planning and your positioning, you can be sure to earn your points worth for this scheme!
  • Vendetta
    • S C
      • When you give a Teddy a Vendetta, with his amazing ability to kill anything in his way, his relative speed for such a brutal model, and being a Nightmare to be pushed by Daydreams, you'll be happy to know that this scheme is very strong. Either Dreamer can throw free pushes and actions into Teddy to be sure that he is the one who kills his target.
  • Plant Explosives
    • S C
      • Summoner Dreamer, as with many summoners, are excellent at schemes involving scheme markers. The ability to summon significant models, let alone incorporeal ones with Wk 7, is hard to fight. Just be wary, you do need to lure your opponent onto or near your scheme markers. Though in your crew, pushes are rife.
      • Restless Dreamer can still load himself up with strong push effects, and feels less bad about taking an out-of-theme Doppleganger to let her use her Don't Mind Me to accomplish this one, but besides the Daydream pushes, Restless Dreamer offers little for the way of scheme marker shenanigans. 
  • Make Them Suffer
    • S C
      • Summoner Dreamer loves bringing new minions to the party, and will rely quite often on his Daydreams to give him free suits. This in mind, if you take Summoner Dreamer and never summon any low-Wd minions for them to eat points off of, you only have the Twins and Coppelius to summon. You'll find that the restraints this puts on you, or the want you have to protect your summons and still summon more using your high cards, will stretch you too thin. In addition, his thematic henchman, the Weaver Widow, is not the greatest killer, and he isn't either. This makes it hard for you to take and use this scheme to your advantage without relying on Lord Chompy Bits to do it. I do not recommend Summoner Dreamer if this scheme is in the pool. 
      • On the other hand, though, Restless Dreamer can get by quite well for this scheme. With Melee Expert on Lord Chompy Bits, a powerful killer in his own right, and the ability to spawn incorporeal Daydreams to hide away to keep them from getting free points on account of your lack of minions, means that he can both accomplish and keep your opponent from accomplishing it. 
  • Deliver a Message
    • S C
      • Daydream push, accomplish, letter for you sir! Once again, free Daydream pushes are super powerful when attempting to interact directly with the opponents models. You'd be surprised how little your opponent can do to stop you from delivering a message when you can give one model a ton of pushes, allowing him to have both actions up to deliver that message.
  • Take Prisoner
    • S C
      • Neverborn Masters want to kill. Even Zorida would love to give you burning, poison and paralyze until Bad Juju can slam you out of existence, or a Performer can Sip of Poison them to death. With that in mind, Take Prisoner isn't difficult to get out of, for The Dreamer, its accomplishing it that he doesn't quite want to do. He wants to kill anything that gets near him or his crew, not tank it and keep them tied up. There aren't a lot of models you can take that are just as good as tanking as they are at killing, with Illuminated being one of the few exceptions. Therefore, he's about average when it comes to Take Prisoner. No need to dissuade you from taking him, just look at your other schemes first.
  • Spring The Trap
    • S C
      • Neither Dreamer has the ability to interact well with a model that has Don't Mind Me or the ability to drop scheme markers with any finesse. This being said, they are still Neverborn, so they still have the ability to push the enemy master into the place you want. But with the Doppleganger being your only real option for laying scheme markers while engaged, they certainly do not excel in accomplishing this scheme.
  • Murder Protege
    • S C
      • Whether its giving free attacks to Teddy, allowing the Twins to destroy someone, or using Lord Chompy Bits, The Dreamer has access to several powerful kill pieces. In addition to their speed, the Neverborn are skilled killers, and our little boy is no exception. Whether your opponent is playing Arcanists, Resurrectionists or Ten Thunders, you should have no issue murdering that protege.
  • Frame for Murder
    • S C
      • Because The Dreamer has the ability to summon and otherwise doesn't rely on his henchman or himself to kill, your opponent will find it difficult to earn full points for this scheme. In addition, it is easy to frame something of yours for murder that they would not expect you to be so calm with losing as you can always summon new models in his place. Your opponent wouldn't imagine your Coppelius, who has been more or less avoiding combat for the first turn or two, would be so willing to die when charged by the enemy henchman.
      • However, Restless Dreamer wants to use a henchman, namely Lord Chompy Bits, to murder anything and everything your opponent has available. For that reason, you'll find it is hard to stop the opponent from getting points for this scheme if they should choose to take it unless you are considerably good at mind games.
  • Power Ritual
    • S C
      • Summoner Dreamer, as with many summoners, are excellent at schemes involving scheme markers. The ability to summon significant models, let alone incorporeal ones with Wk 7, is hard to fight. In addition, Daydream pushes allow you to move to the corners of the board far faster and make this an easy cleanup.
 
Dealing with an awful scheme pool
 
A Sample Turn as The Dreamer
Edited by Ari and Needlebreath
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Thank you so much for this. Really great to get such an in depth look at my favourite Master. Just a couple things. Dreamers cache is 2 not 4 (at least on the highrez downloads, maybe that is a mistake). Also I always though that the Just a Dream trigger on Empty night meant you had to do it on the same model. Having reread this I can see that there is nothing saying that, making that trigger even more awesome. I do think you underestimate Restless Dreams Dreamer (in many strategies/schemes I much prefer him), but as there is an entire thread on that topic already I am not going to clutter this post with that argument. I don't think it is too wordy or deep at all, there are lots of more basic looks at dreamer around so a super in-depth one is perfect. 

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Only been playing dreamer a short time but never played summoning dreamer. Your post has certainly given me the enthusiasm to try in my next few games

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Wouldn't worry about being too wordy- the point is to offer insight, after all. People who don't want to read it don't have to.

 

Well organized and easy to read. If you're not going to cover the "Chompy" version of Dreamer, might want to make that clear in the beginning, for those who're looking for that. Loved the presentation, though. WIll be directing my local Dreamer player this way. Maybe I can get a game out of him soon! :)

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I will actually be covering the Restless Dreams version of The Dreamer, it will just be in Lord Chompy Bits's section. I just wanted to share my personal views on the situation, in that I don't find it to be the overall stronger of the two. Anything and everything to do with using Lord Chompy Bits, ranging from using him as a free 8''-14'' move for The Dreamer to full on Toss and Turn mode, will be in his specific section. ^^

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Not only a fantastic guide so far but greatly appreciated! 

I've been using the Dreamer lately and he really helped put the fun back in Malifaux for me (after a streak of frustrating games with Collodi GRRRR *angry fist shake*) 

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I will actually be covering the Restless Dreams version of The Dreamer, it will just be in Lord Chompy Bits's section. I just wanted to share my personal views on the situation, in that I don't find it to be the overall stronger of the two. Anything and everything to do with using Lord Chompy Bits, ranging from using him as a free 8''-14'' move for The Dreamer to full on Toss and Turn mode, will be in his specific section. ^^

Chompy Dreamer is good for the strategies Reconnoiter and Turf War...give him a try next time one of these two are flipped, you may find it more to you liking.

 

All in all, a solid write-up.  Many will appreciate the time and effort that went into this tactica!

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awesome write up dude! just one thing that i could be very wrong about anyway...

You wrote:

Restless Dreams
As a sharp counterpoint to the expensive alternative, for only 1SS you give Lord Chompy Bits a quite useful ability: Melee Expert. Since the Tyrant is only a Henchman, this gives him 3 AP to work with on his turn and you'll be surprised how far it goes.
Restless Dreams also adds the stipulation onto his shooting attacks, either from his printed card or his upgrade Toss and Turn, that they all now grant Waking +1 (provided that Lord Chompy Bits hasn't activated already this round, as to inhibit the shenanigans of activating with him, burying him after 3 attacks, bringing back the Dreamer who shoots 4 times and brings him back out for a second activation.)
 
im pretty sure that unless he gains reactivate then chompy has already has his activation and cannot have second one
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you can activate the dreamer then get +4 wakening then bring out chompy hit 3 times and then bring back the dreamer. How ever the dreamer would not be able to activate a second time. I think he was trying to say you cant do it.

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Chompy Dreamer is good for the strategies Reconnoiter and Turf War...give him a try next time one of these two are flipped, you may find it more to you liking.

 

All in all, a solid write-up.  Many will appreciate the time and effort that went into this tactica!

 

I think you would like to write Reckoning instead of Reconnoiter.

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awesome write up dude! just one thing that i could be very wrong about anyway...

You wrote:

Restless Dreams
As a sharp counterpoint to the expensive alternative, for only 1SS you give Lord Chompy Bits a quite useful ability: Melee Expert. Since the Tyrant is only a Henchman, this gives him 3 AP to work with on his turn and you'll be surprised how far it goes.
Restless Dreams also adds the stipulation onto his shooting attacks, either from his printed card or his upgrade Toss and Turn, that they all now grant Waking +1 (provided that Lord Chompy Bits hasn't activated already this round, as to inhibit the shenanigans of activating with him, burying him after 3 attacks, bringing back the Dreamer who shoots 4 times and brings him back out for a second activation.)
 
im pretty sure that unless he gains reactivate then chompy has already has his activation and cannot have second one

 

 

The article is explaining why its added the stipulation why it doesn't add waking if you have activated Chompy.

If you have managed somehow to activate Chompy, then kill him and activate the dreamer, and get the dreamer up to waking 4 and bring in a new Chompy, then that Chompy could activate. It is a new model in all ways.  

Its just very very hard to do that.

 

ps, good write up, I'm enjoying reading it, looking forward to the rest

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you can activate the dreamer then get +4 wakening then bring out chompy hit 3 times and then bring back the dreamer. How ever the dreamer would not be able to activate a second time. I think he was trying to say you cant do it.

That's exactly what I figured, but then I didn't notice why Adran pointed out about it being a new chompy... One activation per seperate chompy summon

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@ Stitched Madness 

You've got it. I was saying that specific rule (Cannot gain the Waking +1 from shooting attacks if LCB has already activated.) is in place to prevent summoning Lord Chompy Bits twice in one turn. [Now, technically, if you use something to give The Dreamer fast, such as a Student of Conflict, then summoning four times, I don't see a reason why you wouldn't get to summon a new Lord Chompy Bits, which is why I used the word inhibit, not prevent.]

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