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Jack Daw Project

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Background

 

Recently I have had a lot of fun while playing Lilith. She is an all round maniac, who can tailor a crew to do any well in any scheme pool as well as change things up in game. This style of play appeals a lot to me. To have enough tools to think on your feet, react to the flow of the game, and leave the game plan for the better option if it present itself. Granted, nearly all masters (in my experience) can do this to an extent. Whereas the likes of Lilith and McCabe can do it more easily than for instance Rasputina or Lady Justice, who have slightly more carved out roles. Another word for what kind of masters I like might be "generalist", but that might be a bit too general of an answer for my taste. In so many words, I like a free flowing game where the master I play allows me to mix things up a fair bit. One master that I have not tried yet that seem to fit that bid is Jack Daw.

 

The hanged man of Malifaux is a model that has been in my collection for some time. I started playing when 1.5 had one foot in the grave, and I really liked the model so I ended up buying it. The rules of him were not that beginner friendly, but I got to try him out a couple of times against a friend who did not like to be at the receiving end of Jack's mischiefs. Some months later when M2E were released, some ominous clues about Daw's return were also very apparent. Nurses, Crooked Men, Hanged, and Papa Loco (!), all had the Tormented characteristic, which they had not any use for then. Yet it was not sure if Jack Daw would be promoted all the way from a (not so humble) minion to a master, but I was getting my hopes up. Daw got his well deserved promotion, but I weren't too impressed with his rule set at first glance. A position I can gladly say I have departed from.

 

During this spring I read a fair bit about Daw on the Wyrd boards, Rathnard's incredible blog (...), listened to a very good episode of Before We Begin about him, and two episodes of the short-lived podcast Tyne & Wyrd where he was discussed at great length too. What was apparent throughout all of these sources was three things. Daw's outstanding versatility, everyone seemed to have a blast playing him, and that there were plenty of philosophies of how he should be played. Some seem to prefer Jack in very specific schemes and strategies, while others take him more or less regardless. The sum of all the different opinions appealed a lot to me, and have led me to want to try Jack Daw out for a longer stretch.

 

The project

 

A common theme in the discussions about Daw is his learning curve and depth. To quote Rathnard (keep it pink! My emphasis):

 

I remember a game at Gencon where it was the top of the 5th turn vs Nicodem. It was a game I was likely to lose (only barely) but looking at the board I felt as though the potential was there for Jack to pull some really jammy shit, push a bunch of models around and snatch victory from the Jaws of defeat. Unfortunately I just didn’t know him well enough to pull it off, so instead I stared at the board, utterly overwhelmed with the options available to me!

 

The quote really made the final sale for me on Daw. I mean, who doesn't want to be able to pull some really jammy shit! Another thing that is pressing here is that Daw certainly seems to need some time getting used to. That is why I have decided to stick with Daw for a while and learn to play him properly. Currently I am aiming at only playing Daw until the end of September. Summer will get a bit in the way of the project in terms of getting games in, but hopefully Vassal can sort that out. So the span being June 3rd to September 30th (there is the scouting report for you). In the next post I will give a (lengthy) run down on Jack. The one after that well go through Jack's teammates for the coming months.

 

I will also stress that any feed back is highly appreciated!

 

Until next time / Tom

 

PS. The definite form of "jackdaw" (you know, the silly looking bird) in Swedish is Kajan (indefinite Kaja), so I might just call him that. Come on lets make this a thing!

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Looking forward to seeing your thoughts and reports. Jack is the only Outcast that I haven't had much time with - despite having a pretty extensive collection I somehow managed to avoid picking up Papa Loco, Crooked Men or (until recently) Nurses, and scratch-building some Guilty,  Ligeia or Montressor didn't hold much appeal since I don't see myself using them with the other Masters.

 

Basically, I'm keen to hear why I was wrong to ignore Jack and should pick up his crew. :P

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Yeah, so much to learn!

 

There are kind of a few things about Jack Daw to know:

1. He can move around other models a lot, but not always. Learning each of his movement tricks and when to use them all is key.

2. The curses are a great debuff. With a charge, he can actually kill a model by giving a curse in a melee attack and then tearing it off for extra damage.

3. His crew has a lot of things that make territory toxic. Often the best way to use this is to have a clump of poison, usually with Jaakuna Ubume to lure things into it.

4. Tarpits works poorly if the model making the tarpit gets killed. That's the chief problem with Montresor, and sometimes the problem with Lady Ligeia.

5. Jack Daw is REALLY GOOD at getting himself overextended and killed. You can use all your awesome powers to get in the opponents face on Turn One and then die and regret it Turn Two because you assumed your defenses would last forever and they didn't. So don't do that.

6. The best way to learn all Jack Daw's movement tricks is to practice them. And maybe give each set of tricks a name.

 

Here's a page that has some basic information: http://pullmyfinger.wikispaces.com/M2E+Jack+Daw

 

When you learn a thing, why not add it to the Wiki? Pretty please? Edit Jack Daw PullMyFinger Page

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I will follow this closely.

When I decide to expand my Outcasts with another master I'll have a choice between Hamelin and Jack Daw and I hope your thoughts will make the choice a bit easier.

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Hey Ted,

 

When you bring up naming each mobility tactic, a couple of excellent points are made thereby. For example, war tacticians, martial artists, and even sports coaches all have names for each of their tactics (barring little exception). One can use this strategy as a mnemonic, allowing for condensation of strategy (thus allowing more freedom in overall planning).

 

Which begs the questions:

 

a) What are the names for your mnemonics?

 

and

 

B) What are those mnemonics describing, tactically?

 

~Lil Kalki

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Jack Daw—hanging with the hanged man himself

 

Introduction

 

Disclaimer, this turned out to be quite a long post, but I blame Jack for having simply too much to do. What follows is quite a close detailed look at Jack. If you don't fancy that, skip to the end and read my summary thoughts.

 

Jack's got, as we will see, plenty of stuff on his plate. He's got a lot of actions and abilities that lets him disrupt the opponents plans and buffing his own crew. There is no shortage of movement effects or card manipulation here.

 

Tormented

 

The Tormented characteristic is really important for this crew. Jack can hire any model with the characteristic without any additional cost. On top of that, there are plenty of Jack's action and abilities which applies only to Tormented models. Jack and his crew have some ways of spreading the torment, with the Curses being the most infamous one. On that note, let us continue with looking a bit closer at the hexing ways of Daw.

 

Curses

 

The Curse upgrades is what makes Daw really unique. Think of him like an anti-McCabe. The latter wants to buff his own troops by handing them his upgrades, while Jack gives his upgrades to enemy models which will in turn give them some of the games worst debuffs.

 

All of the Curses have a cost of 0. Regardless of how many upgrades you will hire, Jack can always take at least two Curses, ignoring the upgrade limit. When Jack is carrying the Curses they are treated as being "face down", meaning that they won't grant him any of their effects.

 

Other models with a Curse upgrade attached can take a (2) action called Penance, which lets them flip the Curse "face down" if they discard a card(!). All the Curses will give its carrier the Tormented characteristic, which comes into play with several of Jack's actions and abilities.

 

Daw can dish out his Curses in two ways, with his ranged attack with a range of 8" as well as his melee attack. Neither require Jack to do damage to his target, since it triggers after succeeding*2, but it still requires to get the (inbuilt) trigger off. The Curse will then move to the target. He can get them back by when a carrier is killed or sacrificed, and he also got an ability which lets him discard a card at the beginning of his turn to strip a model within 8" of a Curse upgrade. Let us now turn to the Curses.

 

Drowning Injustice

 

The carrier will suffer 2 damage (which may not be reduced) each time it takes a tactical action other than Penance. The carrier will also suffer 2 irreducible damage whenever it fails a simple duel. What really stands out with this Curse is that it lets you think twice about what a tactical action is. It is not only what is usually referred to as tactical actions, the ones that may be listed on a card, but Walk, Charge, and interactions are all tactical actions too.

 

DI seems to have a lot of uses, thus a lot of valid targets. It can completely immobilize a nippy scheme-runner for a turn (enough time to chase it down). All pure summoning actions are tactical actions, so this can make a dent in several summoning engines.

 

Some thoughts on particular master who shouldn't like to have DI on them. A summoning Dreamer can be really hampered by this Curse since he doesn't have a lot of wounds, same is true for Kirai. The ever so irritating Colette with her Prompt action is another master that will not like DI.

 

All and all, I feel like that Drowning Injustice is the upgrade I rarely would leave at home. It got so many uses, and the fact that it can put a real dent in many masters' plans is just awesome.

 

Guillotine Injustice

 

Good bye minions and peons! If it is attached to a minion or peon, when the carrier activates its controller must discard two cards or be killed. If the opposing player wish to flip the Curse with Penance, that is another card, making it a sturdy tax of 3 cards. Besides gaining the Tormented characteristic, the Curse will not grant any other ill effects. The two card tax is more than enough to make this Curse worthwhile.

 

I really like this upgrade too. The fact that it really disrupts the opposing players activation control is outstanding. This is further enhanced by that Jack can take GI back and attach it to another, unactivated model. Once again, really neat tool to mess with summoners with. A great way of dealing with high cost minions too, like the Dawn Serpent, Students, Shikome, and Hanged.

 

Firing Squad Injustice

 

Its similar to DI, but FSI will instead deal 2, irreducible, damage if the carrier makes an attack action. If the carrier suffers damage from an attack action, it will suffer +1 damage.

 

This will greatly hamper offensive models, while also giving your own crew some limited damage buffs. It is quite a straightforward upgrade to me. Tag a model that you don't want to hit you, or paint a target on something for one of your own beaters.

 

After giving the upgrades a closer read, I think that I will go with all three most of the time. Guillotine Injustice being probably the one I would leave first. Although that being a very though decision. We will see, might change my stance on this completely. Overall, all of the Curses look utterly disgusting! They will constantly throw different looks at the opponent, who will need to react to them in some fashion. Often by getting to choose between bad and worse.

 

Getting the Curse machinery to work well will be a high priority for me. I have played with McCabe before, thus a bit used to the whole concept of maximizing the potential of throwing upgrades around. Just have to think about it in a different fashion.

 

Movement

 

One of Jack Daw's strong suits. He got plenty of movement tricks, both for himself as well as models around him. His ability Oldest Magic, lets him ignore other models during any movement or Push. It is basically the same thing as incorporeal. Jack's got a walk of 5" and a charge of 7", so he can move about fairly ok inherently.

 

On his ranged attack, Jack's got a trigger called The Ghost of Malifaux, which lets him be placed in base contact with the target. Jack can place himself on the other side of the target, and that should make the movement be closer to 10". He can target friendly models with this action too in order to get out of bad spots, and run for Breakthrough or Entourage.

 

Also on the back of Daw's card we can find the (0) Driven By Injustice. It targets a model within 16", and if Daw wins the duel all Tormented models within a pulse of 8" will be pushed directly towards the target. It is important to note that it is not a may, but all models must do the push. This can be great for enhancing the speed of Jack's crew on turn 1. Have to be careful with its uses though.

 

On the 2ss upgrade Writhing Torment, Jack gets even more Push effects. When another Tormented models activates within aura 6" of Daw, Jack may Push it up to 3" in any direction. This is great for further enhancing the speed of Jack's own crew, or get enemies of objectives. On another 2ss upgrade called Twist and Turn, Jack gains a Obey-like (0) action, named after the upgrade, who can only target Tormented model. This can let enemies as well as Daw's own models take a walk action.

 

Offence

Jack Daw isn't really great at dealing damage himself, but he can certainly do some harm with the right set-up. Daw's range and melee attack are both CA 7, which is nice and lets him hit most of the time and will get past incorporeal. The melee attack is resisted on DF, and the range on WP. The latter is also missing a gun symbol, thus it can be used in melee. It also got a trigger which lets the opponent discard a card if able. Keeping to theme with the amount of hand destruction the Curses brings. This gives him some variety in what stat to go after on enemies. On his melee attack he got a trigger called Remember Injustice. This lets Daw take back a Curse upgrade after damaging, which will also deal 2 additional damage. This is great for sniping out Hard to Kill models. In a charge Jack can attach FSI on a model with the first attack and deal some damage, on the second attack, Daw can get the upgrade back and deal +1 damage as well as the additional 2. So lets say that he hits for minimum damage on both attacks, but gets all of those triggers off. It is still a total of 7 damage, which will ignore Incorporeal, and probably solve any problems Hard to Kill might provide. Granted, Daw can also keep the upgrade on the target on the second attack, and swing a third time if he got the last AP to spare. All and all, Jack can at least snipe a model a turn if he must. NB: All the Curses are applied after damaging. Since Daw's got fairly low weak damage, getting Curses on targets can be prevented (hah, didn't see that pun coming) by Soulstone users. Although, this plays into providing choices for the opponent. Burn a Soulstone or gain a Curse!

The Twist and Turn upgrade can unlock a lot of Jack's offensive potential. The (1) attack action lets Daw take a (1) action on target Tormented model. It may not declare triggers or list a model by name. You will need an 8 of any suit to get it off, which can be a little card intensive. Yet it great potential. Jack can copy Papa Loco's Throw Dynamite or Whisper From Beyond of the Hanged. Friendly models can also be tagged with the Tormented characteristic, thus he can also shoot with Lazarus' Grenade Launcher or wield Taelor's Relic Hammer. The (0) Twist and Turn only needs a 7 of any suit, and lets a Tormented model do a (1) action instead, with the same restrictions. This can be great for either getting friendly models into position, or land another blow, as well as turning enemies on each other.

Defence

 

Jack Daw's got quite a weird stat-line, but he got plenty of abilities and a sturdy amount of wounds to keep him alive. The ability Oldest Magic will put all enemy attack and damage flips at a negative while aiming at Daw. So this chancels out Focus, for instance. The negative flips will only keep him safe for so long though. Jack will have to respect the threat models with access to plus flips pose to him.

On the Writhing Torment upgrade, Jack gains immunity against the Paralyzed condition as long as it is applied by enemy models. I like this a lot. Having your master paralyzed can be such a heart stopper*. When it can be avoided, its pretty mint. Speaking of the Paralyzed condition, Jack's got another great upgrade called Betrayer which gives him Terrifying 13 against Tormented models. This provides a last line of defence against enemies turn Tormented, as well as those who got it inherently. Daw can also take the generic Outcast upgrade Survivalist to really ramp up his survivability. I think that might be a bit over the top, but I still want to try out a build with Betrayer, Survivalist, and Twist and Turn.

 

Misc

 

We are not done yet. Daw got some additional tricks that doesn't really apply to any of the other headlines. One of them is another (0) action, this one is found on his base card, and is called Last Whisper. Until the end of the turn, all non-peon models within an aura 6" of Daw will drop a marker after being killed. This can make some scheme marker heavy schemes quite easy to do. Especially since Tormented models like Drowned and Crooked men both got Finish the Job, thus will drop 2 markers upon death. The Last Whisper aura can in ideal times protect your crew, since the opponent doesn't want you to score for Spring the Trap or Plant Explosives.

 

Summary

 

In so many words, there is plenty to do with Jack. I think it will be hard at times to grasp in what order things should be done to maximize the effectiveness of the crew, while also throwing wrenches at the opponent. After giving only Jack's card and upgrades a closer look something that really stood out for me was the amount of times the opponent needed to discard cards. As long as Daw can get his Curses rolling back and forth in an effective manner, opponents will loose their hands quickly. The implication of this is that a healthy amount of pressure will lead to that the opponent will constantly play with few cards, thus cannot cheat fate as much, leading to tougher decisions, which will hopefully lead to bad decisions

 

Daw's amount of extra pushes is also very welcomed in the fairly slow Outcast faction. Models like Taelor, Johan, Lazarus, and Bishop are all walk 4", but Daw can push them 3" for free with Writhing Torment, and 4" with Driven By Injustice once they are made Tormented. That is nearly a double walk for all of them. This extra speed frees up their own AP, which is mostly pretty darn nasty attacks.

 

I will conclude with that I now, more than before writing this, think that there is no question about Daw being an all purpose master. There are a lot of depth and combinations to explore, and he seems to potentially be very powerful in many different situations. If Daw gets to control the flow of the game undisturbed, I think that will be a real up hill battle for the opponent.

 

An apparent weakness I can see is that he is far from as resilient as one might think. I will have to restrain myself committing Jack Daw where he can get harmed. Another thing that I have to learn is to be more aware of LoS. Plenty of Jack's Actions and Abilities requires LoS. In order to get those great master plan moves to connect, I will need to be very aware of this. Coming from my latest Lilith binge might makes this a wee bit harder too... Anyway, there are certainly a bunch of other bad match ups and settings for Jack, but I think he should be able to hold his own in most of them. At least with a little help from his crew. We will talk about them next time!

 

* Sneaky reference.

*2 Thanks to Kalkris for pointing this out.

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Nice writeup! One thing I wanted to point out, though, is that the model who Daw is trying to put a Curse on does indeed get the curse after succeeding with the duel, but before the damage flip. So, regardless of whether or not you pull a Black Joker on damage, or if the opponent prevents all of your damage, they still get cursed. They may not take extra damage from FSI if all of that damage is prevented, but they still get Tormented for a bit.

 

I look forward to seeing what more you do with good old Jack Daw.

 

~Lil Kalki

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Nice writeup! One thing I wanted to point out, though, is that the model who Daw is trying to put a Curse on does indeed get the curse after succeeding with the duel, but before the damage flip. So, regardless of whether or not you pull a Black Joker on damage, or if the opponent prevents all of your damage, they still get cursed. They may not take extra damage from FSI if all of that damage is prevented, but they still get Tormented for a bit.

 

I look forward to seeing what more you do with good old Jack Daw.

 

~Lil Kalki

After Suceeding triggers don't happen until after the damage flip, they just don't require you to damage.

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After Suceeding triggers don't happen until after the damage flip, they just don't require you to damage.

rulebook citation for that?

 

EDIT: I see now that all trigger effects resolve after Step 5. however, id like to see an example where it says "after succeeding but before damaging" or whatever the proper wording would be in that case, because "apply results as applicable" is ambiguous to what I am trying to discern. Do results involve triggers? Do they only involve what's printed on the action? Aren't triggers meant to be a part of the printed action if the trigger is to resolve?

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There are 3 common timing terms for triggers to go off, After suceeding, After Damaging and After Failing. Any trigger which doesn't have those times will happen either imeadeatly, or at the point it says it happens (ie Critical strike will increase the Damage from the resulting damage flip)

Any trigger which has one of those 3 terms will happen after step 5 of the duel (apply results),

"After damaging" is basically an" after suceeding, as long as some damage was dealt".

 

There isn't a timiing term for after winning the duel but before dealing damage. If there was it should be on the Austringers distract trigger, as that is an after succeding trigger which should effect step 5.

 

The results of the duel typically doesn't include Triggers, it involves whats printed on the action. The triggers effects will happen when they say they happen.

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Will follow this thread with interest, Daw is a very cool cat and offers a heap of shenanigans. Looking forward to hearing your experiences in practice as well as theory :)

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This might not be the best place to ask but I heard they showed what the 2nd Edition plastics of Daw look like but I cant find it anywhere. I dont know if i heard wrong or I just cant find it so I was hoping someone could help me out. Been waiting on his and Collodis plastics and wondering which looks better to make up my mind.

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I use GW Empire flagellants as my Guilty.  I use one of the Nightmare Hanging Trees as Montressor.  I also use a GW undead banshee model (metal one) for Lady Legeia.

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Jack Daw as himself (old metal one), Candy petulant youth as ligeia, dead Death Marshalls as the guilty. Haven't put Montressor on the table yet but I have metal carver for that waiting for some paint on him.

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That's my crew:

http://wyrd-games.net/community/topic/100725-my-tormented-crew/?hl=tormented

At I will keep playing them even after his starter box comes to life, as I pretty much dislike all its models.

The only one I have not found a proxy which I'm satisfied enough with it is the Guilty, but I never use more than one (if any), in my lists

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