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M2E Marcus

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Someone else had mentioned that there wasn't much activity in the Arcanist forums, so as a devout Marcus lover I figured I would start a discussion about him and ‘do my share’.

 


 

EDIT: I finally got around to finishing the beast rundown. Since it took me so long their pretty deep into the thread so to make it a little easier to find them I went through the Master List below and added the post number that each beast appears in.

 

EDIT: As part of this Marcus tactica I'd like to give links to any outside blogs I find that have anything to do with Marcus and his friends.

First up is a blog by mythicFOX.

Second, here's sssk.

Looking forward to a lot more cool stuff from these two Marcus aficionados.

 

On to the rest of the thread, EDIT over.



THE MASTER LIST

 

Here is a list of all of the Beasts Marcus can hire. Don't forget that Marcus is an Arcanist, and can therefore hire any Arcanist model.....and there are some good ones that fit right in with him just fine. But this list will be about Beasts.....I will include all the Arcanist Beasts for completeness. I have assembled the list from highest to lowest SS cost:

 

Arcanists

Sabertooth Cerberus (9ss, Enforcer, Wave 1) Post # 9

Blessed of December (9ss, Enforcer, Wave 2) Post # 353

Myranda (8ss, Henchman, Wave 1) Post # 1

Cojo (8ss, Enforcer, Wave 1) Post # 9

Slateridge Mauler (8ss, Minion, Wave 2) Post # 353

Razorspine Rattler (7ss, Minion, Wave 1) Post # 13

Hoarcat Pride (5ss, Minion, Wave 1) Post # 13

Moleman (4ss, Minion Wave 1) Post # 15

Malifaux Raptor (3ss, Peon, Wave 2) Post # 353

Jackalope (2ss, Totem, Wave 1) Post # 1

 

Resurrectionists

Rogue Necromancy (10ss, Enforcer, Wave 2) Post # 355

Shikome (8ss, Minion, Wave 2) Post # 354

Canine Remains (4ss, Minion, Wave 1) Post # 16

Night Terror (3ss, Minion, Wave 2) Post # 354

 

Neverborn

Spawn Mother (9ss, Henchman, Wave 2) Post # 355

Silurid (7ss, Minion, Wave 1) Post # 16

Waldgeist (6ss, Minion, Wave 1) Post # 16

Gupps (4ss, Minion, Wave 2) Post # 355

 

Guild

Guild Hound (3ss, Minion, Wave 2) Post # 354

 

Ten Thunders

Dawn Serpent (10ss, Minion, Wave 1) Post # 18

 

Gremlins

War Pig (9ss, Minion, Wave 1)

The Sow (8ss, Minion, Wave 2)

Wild Boar (6ss, Minion, Wave 2)

Piglet (4ss, Minion, Wave 1)

 

 

Interesting exercise. Four beasts from three of the Factions.....with Guild and 10T only giving one each.......and not a single Outcast Beast.

 

 

 

 

I, like so many others, have always wanted to play Marcus as “The Beast Master” and use nothing but pure Beast lists. Unfortunately, in V1 this was often a losing proposition. Most of the beasts were very similar…….fast moving and squishy.

Any strategy or scheme that allowed you to basically ignore the enemy and just move around the table was excellent for us……there just weren’t enough to allow you to play him very often. Most games required some form of killing and / or attrition. While many of the beasts can hit hard, they didn’t hit hard enough to allow them to get out of dodge before the inevitable counter-attack that all too often would just remove them from the table.

Many alternate lists started showing up that demonstrated the true path to victory. Utilizing other Arcanist models like the Gunsmith, Kaeris, Kang, the Mechanical Rider, etc put Marcus on a very competitive level……but they weren’t beasts.

So, here we are with M2E and I for one feel like Marcus has been reborn into the leader that I’ve always wanted him to be. He can still function similarly to his previous form….as a one-man team….he can hit hard and move fast, or he can assume a more defensive, supportive position and allow his beasts to carry much more of the burden. With the rebirth of many beasts which have become much more survivable, games that require killing and / or attrition are much more attainable for a ‘Beast Master’ list.

So let’s start taking a look at some of these models.

Marcus
Not bad stat-wise. Average Df, good Wp and a solid chunk of wounds. Good movement with a nice long Cg with a 2” weapon and Unimpeded means he can get where he wants to go, even without some type of ‘hyper-movement’.

His slightly newer version of Defend Me is awesome in that he can actually turn an enemy into a beast and shunt damage off on them. I’ve had some success targeting a high cost enemy right in the middle of the enemy crew and just staying there…..obviously this doesn’t work as well against crews that have lots of movement tricks like Lure and such, or against crews that can remove Conditions…….but it’s fun watching them try to figure out how to get at Marcus.

Accomplice plays nicely while in his support role. Laying down a couple of Law of Meats then activating a beast to run into the middle of them can really shut down some powerful foes. Also incredibly nice if you put Darzee’s Chaunt on said beast before they go…..it allows the beast to hit hard, while limiting the potential danger coming back at it.

That leads us to his spells. Darzee’s scares me quite a bit. I don’t like the double neg on defense so it’s really only useful to me if I can set it up as I mentioned above. It’s not bad if you can put it on a high Df enemy that has already activated (so they don’t get the plus flips) but it is also dependent on what Upgrades you’ve taken as I’ve found Domesticate to be the better choice in most cases.

Law of Meat is pure gold. Its nice 12” range coupled with Marcus’ movement provides quite the threat range. It’s almost as good as the old Undead Psychosis in shutting down melee monsters. With a high Ca and a low TN, Marcus has a great chance of succeeding with it.

Alpha is situational for me. It counts as a Chain so he can’t use Accomplice after it and Alpha being a (2) limits your ability to shut down counter attacks (via Law of Meat). I’ve found it most useful for chasing VP. To give your objective runner two activations in one turn is very nice. However, I’ve often found that Marcus can put those 2 AP to better use himself rather than giving them to a hireling.

Marcus’ Upgrades
The Hunger Cry: I’m always going to consider this Upgrade when facing Rezzers or Neverborn just for the +2 Wp for my own crew. Unfortunately, Marcus does not gain this benefit. I will also consider it if I design my crew specifically for it. Howl is great for helping to cast several of Marcus’ spells…..and there are a few beasts with Terrifying, so it basically bumps that by 2…..combined with someone having the Pack Leader Upgrade to allow bonus attacks from failed Wp Duels is a nice combo. I’d also consider it using it if I wanted to run a few Canine Remains because their trigger can turn things into beasts for the rest of the game.

Feral Instincts: Not really high on my list, this is usually the first one I drop if in a dilemma about what to take. Instinctual is nice if I’m playing more supportive since I could use this card’s Feral to turn an enemy into a beast then de-buff them from a distance. If Alpha still counted as the model’s activation for the turn I might consider this Upgrade more often.

Trail of the Gods: This is the one-man team Upgrade. +3” Wk gives Marcus incredible range for running objectives. 4 Weak damage is a killer….especially against H2W models. And of course who doesn’t like Melee Expert? This card is an Auto-take if you want Marcus running around killing things or chasing objectives.

The God’s Domain: This is the support Upgrade. This is an excellent match with The Hunger Cry. Marcus can use Domesticate, then charge in for 1 AP and still have AP to smack someone else around. He doesn’t do as much damage, but he has a better chance of hitting and triggering Primal so all of those models are pretty heavily de-buffed….excellent if the enemy likes to bunch up. Regeneration and a 7 Df make Marcus very survivable also. This allows him to not worry so much about moving to a defensive position or killing a foe before being killed.......therefore being free to spend his AP to de-buff the enemy to give his team an easier time.

The others: I would consider most of the other Arcanist Upgrades. Arcane Reservoir speaks for itself. Pack Leader is nice, but I usually put it somewhere else. Imbued Protection is nice when combined with the Trail of the Gods to give him more protection while he’s beating people up, and I suppose some people will give it to him with the Domain to make him Df 8, but 7 is enough for me.

Recharge SS is situational….dependent on the enemy crew. I haven’t taken it on Marcus yet, but I would consider it.

I would never take Imbued Energies on him……I can’t make myself believe that I would let him die :)

(EDIT: 11-27-14) After quite a bit of play, taking Imbued Energies on Marcus is sometimes useful if you want to play him hyper-aggressively. You should probably plan to have some back up for him if you're going to fling him that far into the enemy lines. Also giving Myranda Imbued Energies....having her move up and Shapechange into something while popping Killjoy out from her sacrifice would be considered plenty of back up.....and just really nasty....but it won't work for you all the time....it's a tactic.

And I would never take Surge of Insight. I’d rather save those SS for more important things and I have other ways to boost Marcus Df.



You mess with the Jackalope! You get the horns!
Same as ever. Still doesn’t make sense that a giant 3-headed cat has no difficulty moving through the undergrowth, but a little rabbit can’t……..I guess his horns get stuck. And doesn’t make sense that sometimes he can jump (mask in hand or flipped) and sometimes he can’t.

But I don’t care, still a nuisance….still keeps on coming back. Now that he gets the +2 damage on both charge attacks, he has an even greater chance of actually killing a low Df model on the charge.

What’s not to love about this guy?



Myranda
Thanks Wyrd….we can use this model now. And she is totally worth it. Great stats and a great attack….she has crap for wounds, but if she had any more she would be worth more than 8 ss….and I’m happy keeping her at 8.

Myranda is at the forefront of my whole ‘survivable beast’ theory. What’s the best way to survive? Not be there when the sting comes. Huntress coupled with the fact that many of the beasts have at least above average Df makes a lot of attacks miss.

Primal Flame: A 6 of anything for a little healing is okay with me.

Hunting Call: Let’s face it, Myranda with her low wounds should not be at the front of your lines……no, with Huntress keeping your beasts alive, Myranda can convince them to take some extra attacks instead. This one’s a little tougher to get off requiring the suit, but it’s still only a six….so there’s quite a few cards that can do it.

When Myranda needs to be at the front she’s got the stones for it, Ml 6 with a nice damage spread and a 2” reach…with auto poison.

If she can get engaged with something that has a low Ml score, she can lock them down tight….they will struggle to hit her and if they try to escape, she has Wicked.

Finally, she has the Shapechange. It’s a (0), so she could do some other stuff, like charge in and attack then change….or throw a couple of heals and change….or just move to a good position first. She can change into any Arcanist beast….that makes me a little sad that she can’t turn into a Drake, but she will have the Cerberus, or Cojo…..and I can’t wait to see what the Mauler will look like and who knows what else.

Myranda’s Upgrades
Skinwalker: Great theory……I just can’t honestly imagine why I wouldn’t want her to start on the table. Her Wk allows her to pretty well keep up with anything else and her buffing is great…..why keep that hidden? Her Df is high enough that she isn’t under a huge threat at any time….and if she takes some damage, she can Shapechange away.

Imbued Protection: While this makes her a 10ss model, as I mentioned above, having her on the table is very good and giving her an 8 Df makes her a LOT safer.

Imbued Energies: Virtually an auto-include for her……you know she’s going to either be sacrificed (by your choice) or be killed (probably by your mistake)….why not take the 4 cards?

Pack Leader: If I plan on Marcus being more supportive, then I might take this on Myranda….as she will be closer to the front lines and will almost always be in LoS to the beasts.

I don’t consider any others for her.

 

Sabertooth Cerberus
He fits the mold for the classic Arcanist Beast. Hard-hitting and squishy as hell.
A good Ml stat with plus flips to hit and damage gives him a good shot at dishing out that excellent damage track. And if you have the card or can flip it, his trigger gives him a free attack against the same target. His Df and Wp are slightly above average (by tenths of points) so if you leave him exposed he won’t be feeling well.

Fortunately he can be played defensively….even though he is on a 50mm base, he is still only Ht 2….so if you’re playing with the proper amount of terrain with a nice variety he should be able to hide. Going with that, he of course has Leap, he doesn’t have the suit required but it’s only a 5….so hopefully by turn 2 when you’re ready to do it you should have something.

Speaking of Leap, if you’re clever enough to line him up for a Charge, you can blast something and Leap away….hopefully out of LoS. Even if you fail to put the target down, you can freely Leap out of melee now without incurring a disengaging strike.

Helping you line up that charge is the virtually beast-standard Unimpeded. So sneaking a look around a corner you can still charge through the right terrain.

For yet more defense, he has Terrifying. It’s only for Living models, but it helps against some crews.

Crew synergy is not to be over-looked for defense. Myranda’s Huntress ability allowing plus flips can help and utilizing Marcus’ Howl can increase your Wp resistances while making it harder for Living foes to overcome your Terrifying.

Let’s expand on his attack ability a little. I mentioned his trigger, Maul, at the start….if you spend you’re time building up your Tomes, you can really lay out some pain on two models that are close together. Maul is one of the few triggers that can be repeated off of its self. Leap into engagement range; hit the first model and trigger, trigger…..then hit the second model and trigger, trigger. It’s resource intensive, but it can really help you get your points back off of this model.

It’s important to keep him safe before attacking with him so you can maintain his Three Headed buff….again remember synergy. If he is under the cut-off for this rule, have Myranda go first and heal him then use her Accomplice ability to let him go right away.

Finally, on his card, is Stalk………ummm….I’d be happy if someone could give me some pointers on this. I’ve never used it, nor can I see a reason to except in a very rare situation. Fortunately, it’s a ‘may’ so you don’t have to take the movement, but in most cases I’m following my own above advice about playing him defensively and staying out of LoS and range. I can’t see walking my expensive squishy model 5” directly toward someone and leaving it exposed.

Saber Upgrades
There are three for me to consider but I haven’t put any on him personally. I don’t want to increase his cost considering how squishy he is and that I’ll be throwing him in harm’s way. Imbued Energies implies I’d be okay with letting him die and I’d rather not if I can help it……of course opposed to that would be Pack Leader…but I’m too afraid that he will die, despite my best efforts and I’ll lose the bonus………I know, I don’t make much sense there.

The third is obviously Imbued Protection, which would probably help, but I don’t feel like it’s worth the 2ss on this guy.

 

(EDIT: 11-27-14) After playing Marcus for quite some time, my position on his Upgrades has changed quite a bit. There is one that I take with him almost as an auto-include - Imbued Energies. The ability to discard it to gain Fast is just so good on a missile-type model like him. That one extra AP turns him from a conventional missile to a tactical nuke.



Cojo
Aside from how fun it is to pound on your chest making various grunts and howls, there’s quite a bit in this model.

He is and he isn’t a standard beast. His average Df and low wounds, Unimpeded, and a decent damage track are where the similarities end.

He is not very fast and his standard attack has a low Ml for his cost….fortunately there are other things that make up for this.

He’s one of the first beasts designed as a football (American football) line-man….we haven’t seen the mauler yet. Hard to Kill……..very unusual on a beast….hints at some staying power. Combined with Myranda for plus flips on Df and some healing keeps this guy going for a while.

His standard attack is average, but has a massive 3” reach….looking at his Charge he seems a small threat to quicker models, but this reach makes that a bit deceptive.
The trigger gives him some control ability with its any direction push.

His Rampage is a bit different, with a great damage track and a very high Ml stat. Again, it has that same massive 3” reach. It’s a (2) action, but Loping Charge lets him use it on the charge….of note, is that it can be used for disengaging strikes….not much escapes from that Ml stat.
Again, nice controlling trigger on this one…..a push directly away that he can follow up on. This could give him a nice boost in speed and can help him to get into the position you want him in. Pesky 10T Archers hiding behind a blocker? Push that blocker back into them, follow up and engage them all.
The other trigger is great if you need to insure some good damage....granting a plus flip on damage.

His tactical actions are both great. Mark Territory, needing only a 5 of anything to cast, is an excellent way to get rid of enemy scheme markers….and it’s a (0) action, so he can move into position first….it has the bonus of giving him Defensive +1 for each marker removed. It’s only a 3” pulse, so it’s unlikely that you will catch more than 1 or possibly 2. The danger is that it removes ALL scheme markers…friendly ones too.

Rude Sign Language is another area control ability…..pushing all enemy models close to him 4” away. It’s another (0), so you can’t stack up with Mark Territory, but it’ll be great for strats like Turfwar. Again, you can use it at the end of an activation so you could move into position or beat someone up then get them out of there…….or, defensively, use it first so you can get out of dodge…or even push someone away from a friend.

Cojo appears to have two jobs. Hold back, then charge in and clear an area……or move in quickly and hold an area, kicking out anything that gets too close. Alone, he is very good at his first job and utilizing a little synergy with Myranda, he excels at the second. I don’t think he’ll be right for every game, but choosing him for the right strats and schemes will be the trick.

Cojo Upgrades
About the only one I consider for him is Imbued Protection….and that’s only if I plan on using him to hold his ground. Unlike the Cerberus, the 2ss cost for Df 6 makes sense on him…..he doesn’t have the speed of the cat to help protect him, and his Hard to Kill makes it even more worthwhile.
 

Razorspine Rattler
So, we have slightly above average movement with a Wk of 5 and the obligatory Unimpeded. Cg range is…..okay, but the 2” Ml range helps. Acceptable.

Great Df and a pretty high Wd stat makes him more survivable than some beasts. Hanging around Myranda for the plus flips on Df really suits this guy well. His Wp is average, but can be helped by Marcus’ Howl.

His Terrifying is so low that not many models will struggle to overcome it….again, Howl would make this respectable. It’s a card drain more than anything.

He has Wicked, combined with his Constriction to ensure any disengaging strike is going to hit. I feel like the two abilities actually work against each other. And dropping one would help this model. I could see risking the Wicked if there was a chance to escape, but the Constriction stacks that deck…..and I could see risking not being able to escape if I didn’t take damage for it. But risking the damage and not having much chance to escape makes me just want to go Honey Badger on that snake. Suffice to say, not much is leaving this guy’s engagement range.

His standard attack is good. Average Ml and damage, but it comes with automatic Poison which is a great bonus. It also has an automatic Reposition trigger……not entirely certain why this was added to him….it seems situational at best.

His Slither is a great ability though. Allowing him to engage an enemy he can’t even see and still get an attack….it’s almost a walk/walk/melee expert……sweet. It also does not initiate a disengaging strike, so if he needs to get away from someone he can….or if he gets blocked, he can use this to get around to the target you need to get to.

Even with some of the strange abilities, I still like this guy a lot for his cost. I’ve used one in almost every list I’ve run so far. His movement, Df, and attack ability make him worth about 6.5ss, but if you use him well he’s still good. If those little issues I have get addressed then he’ll be perfect.

Hoarcat Pride
I’ll be honest I haven’t used these guys yet, so I’ve got nothing but theory.

Average stats across the board expected for its cost. Ht 1 lets them hide a bit, but they lack Unimpeded and their 40mm base means they can’t hide behind much….including friendly models which hampers their Pass Through.

If you can hold off on activating them for a while, their Manipulative is a great defensive ability…..again, even better with Howl. But, whether you activate or not, another ability forces enemy shooting attacks to suffer a neg flip against these little guys.....which sorta counteracts their '40mm base that can't hide much' from above.

 

(EDIT: 11-27-14) I've used these guys a bit more now and have a much greater respect for Manipulative. If you can out activate your opponent so the Hoarcats can wait to activate then they're really annoying. Positioning them as blockers for your crew.....leaving few options but to attack them.....and just letting them sit there for most of the turn can really hold up a foe.....making them waste cards and/or AP to get through or past them. That alone is very useful for their cost.

 

Eat Your Fill may only be useful if you’re actually still alive, but with 6 Wds, if you can make an opponent miss just once on a charge, you have a great chance of surviving.

Standard attack is average and isn’t going to be killing much on its own, but it’s respectable for this models cost and if you can get the Rip Throat trigger, you have a great chance of doing damage on par with a more expensive model’s weaker hits. Don't forget, that if he has 3 or more wounds, he does +1 damage....that pushes his damage to nice levels.

Devour is fun. Unfortunately, it’s low Ml stat and suit requirement make it tough to pull off. There aren’t any ways for a standard Marcus crew to hand out Paralyzed and there aren’t a ton of Ht 1 models out there. You really need to wait until the enemy makes a mistake and fails one of the few Terror tests in the crew. But it’s a great ability to capitalize on a mistake and really make them pay for it.

Overall, they seem like a solid minion and fully capable of holding their own while helping accomplish objectives. The only reason I haven’t used them is a lack of games and the desire to play with some of the other shinies.

 

Moleman

Alone, the fact that they are a 4ss, significant Minion makes them useful for objectives and activations.

Base stats are meh....but on par for his points, he’s very slow and easily hit and he can’t take a lot of hits. On the upside of that, he has Armor +2 which should extend his life a little. His Df trigger, Burrow, allows his Armor to reduce damage to 0…..great, he can shrug off weak hits with this. And he is Evasive so can ignore Pulse damage.

His attack is on par for his cost, but he has a Trigger, Rake, that lets him take a bonus attack against another target……I can’t see it happening often, but it’s there.

Tunneling is a fantastic ability. A (0) action to jump up to 8” to a friendly scheme marker makes them very maneuverable mid to late game, and deceptively fast even early game if set up properly…..I like to set them up with a Silurid or two. If they need to place more markers, they can just make the ‘more than 4” away’ requirement….so, Tunnel, move, interact…nice.

Dug In is excellent in some situations…..especially for something like Turf War that many beasts will struggle with because they don’t have the staying power….bumping this guys Df up a little, combined with his Armor and his Df trigger can let him contest a marker for a while.

A great little model for his cost. Don’t expect him to be winning any speed races, but he’s excellent for your half of the table……Marcus has plenty of choices for speed.

 

Silurid

At 7ss, you pay quite a premium for this guy. His cost is pretty high compared to his stats. His stats are fairly average across the board except for his below average Wp. His melee attack is average with a 1/3/4 spread…. but he does have two triggers. Neither are built in, but two choices is good. One gives Poison and one allows an extra attack....it's also one of the very few in the game so far that allows you to trigger it again (most of these extra attack triggers are...'this action can not declare triggers'). Both are good and I’d be happy to flip either one.

Silurids don’t really run in packs anymore…….I suppose you could, but I’ve found it cost-prohibitive for what they do. They have Companion which might be good early game, but by mid-game they’re usually pretty far from the crew off doing objectives….that’s why you take them.

Perfect Camouflage makes it tough for the enemy to hit the Silurid…forcing neg flips on the attack if you haven’t activated yet.

Silent stops people from targeting him if outside LoS even if they ignore LoS.

Those last two make him much more defensive than his stats would imply.

His final ability is what you’re paying the premium for. Especially with such a great emphasis on Strategies and Schemes, and placing Scheme Markers and such. Leap allows the Silurid to freely leave combat, ignore terrain and models. It allows the Silurid to move up to 12” and still perform an Interact action. This is what you’re hiring him for. If you don’t need to perform Interacts, don’t bring him……but if you do….this guy is worth every SS.

He works great to get some big first turn movement out of the Moleman. Silurid Leaps, drops a Scheme Marker then walks 5……the Moleman can (0) to that Marker and still have two AP to do whatever.

 

Waldgeist

Need a beast with some staying power? Here ya go. Relatively cheap at 6ss this is an awesome addition for any of the Strats and Schemes Marcus used to struggle with.

He’s not fast, but does have the Unimpeded…he’s about average (slightly better) for Df and Wp and has a fair number of Wounds.

Those wounds go a long way with his Armor +2, along with his Perfect Camouflage like the Silurids.

His (0) Germinate increases his defensiveness by allowing him to give himself some soft cover. It has a pretty decent range on it, so he could use it to provide cover elsewhere. It also helps his attack.

His normal attack has a 2” reach, but if touching severe terrain, he extends it out to 4”. This allows him to engage models far from himself. Average Ml stat and damage is fine with his other abilities.

The attack has two triggers….each requiring different suits which gives him options. One of which hands out Slow, and the other prevents models from walking or charging…and if someone tries to push them out of there, they take damage. Nice.

This model is excellent for holding a position and controlling the area around it. Combine with Cojo for some serious area lock down.

 

 

Canine Remains

Our first  addition from the Rezzer faction. I love them. I try to take 2 in all my lists so far. These guys add some awesome synergy with the Marcus crew.

At only 4ss, they give us a decent Df and Wp stat. Low wounds are mitigated by the classic Rezzer Hard to Wound. An excellent Wk stat makes them very speedy and perfect for Objective grabbing.

Their attack looks mediocre at best, but combined with the Df de-buff of Hunting Dogs it becomes more respectable….also excellent to follow them in with a heavier hitter to take advantage of the de-buff.

Two triggers…..built in is Poison, and if you have the suit, you can turn the enemy into a Beast that suffers Wp-1 for the rest of the game. The really nice thing about that is that it’s a suit the rest of the crew isn’t using much of. How’s that for Marcus synergy?

For yet more synergy, with Scent of Death they can charge for (1) AP against a poisoned enemy….not only is this effective if they work as a pair, but there are three other potential models handing out poison….two of which are automatic.

His final ability, Found a Bone, is not yet useful to us. Perhaps later there may be a model that can heal be eating corpse markers or something like that, but for now he’s still very useful to us.

 

Dawn Serpent
Look…it’s a little dragon. Well, at 10ss it isn’t too little but it’s only Ht 2 and on a 40mm base, so how big can it be?

For a winged monster, it’s only as fast as the Canine Remains…which is still pretty quick, but it does have Flight.

Henchman level wounds and decent defensive stats with an above average Wp. Enhance these defenses against magic with Counterspell which is very effective against a lot of spells…..not all, but there are many and, there’s no possible triggers off of them.

Hard to Kill……’nuff said.

He has a great (0) heal, Calls Unto the Chi, that heals a point for every model with a Ca Action nearby. Which is great, because there are several of those available in your average Marcus crew….you can reliably get 2 or 3 wounds back. This also makes it a great target for a mid- to late turn Alpha.....if it's been beat up a bit early on and you think you might lose it, Alpha it for an extra activation so it can heal again.

A great melee attack with respectable damage…and is another model that hands out auto-poison.

And, an above average ranged attack…..the damage is average but has blasts on moderate and severe…it also gives out auto-burning.

Not a lot of tricks to this guy….it is what it says on the tin…..it’s a little dragon. He does a little of what big dragons do. I haven’t used him often due to his cost, but I always consider him.

 

Blessed of December

 

I can’t tell you how much I love this model. For 9ss you get a mobile, durable model that also hits well. As an Enforcer we can also give her an Upgrade.

 

Other than her above average Df, her stats don’t look too impressive for her cost, all of which are about average including her speed. But she has some abilities that allow her to get more mileage out of those average stats.

 

Almost everything on the front of her card increases her durability. As a December-themed model she has Frozen Heart making her immune to Horror and Paralyze (which is great considering her average Wp). Hard to Wound makes it so that even if you get past her good Df hopefully she won’t take much damage. Finally, if you don’t finish her off and let her finish you, she has Eat Your Fill….it has the downside of ending your Activation but you’ll welcome that if you’re down to a couple of wounds left.

 

The final ability on her card front is the almost obligatory Unimpeded for mobility. This ties in nicely with her only (0) Action. Leap. She needs an eight of anything to do it and that’s not a super high card so it’s cheatable and you have a good chance of top decking it. This also really helps her durability believe it or not. If she is engaged with a heavy hitter that almost killed her, she can Leap out of combat and Charge a weaker model to use Eat Your Fill.

 

The last thing is her Attack. A master level Ml stat with a fair damage spread and a 2” reach. She has three nice triggers. None are built in, but they all use a different suit so you have a great chance of getting something. The least inspiring is a 4” Push after damaging….until you realize that if you’re in trouble this extra 4” combined with her Leap puts her well outside the Charge range of most models.

 

Her other two triggers are attack-based. One adds +1 damage if the target doesn’t have Armor which pushes her damage into very respectable levels. Her other one lets you take a free attack against the same target if the target is not a Construct (hey, she can’t eat constructs…but flesh and blood makes her HUNGRY)….one thing to note here; she can get this trigger multiple times…..no ‘this attack may not declare triggers’ caveat. And with her high Ml stat she has the potential to trigger this off of lower cards.

 

Blessed Upgrades

She could take Armor of December or Sub Zero, but there usually aren’t enough other Frozen Heart models and I’d rather use her (1) Actions for other things….but a Df 6, Hard to Wound, Armor +2 model would be very hard to dislodge.

 

Imbued Protection. Not one I usually take on anyone. Pushing her to Df 7 would make her even more durable, but for 2ss more? I think she’s durable enough as is.

 

Imbued Energies. Always a good choice. Depends on the roll you want her to play. I rarely lose her, so I’d bank on discarding it for Fast instead of getting the four cards from it. Rarely losing her leads me to not bother putting Killswitch on her.

 

My absolute favorite for her is Pack Leader. She is durable enough that you should be able to keep it going for a long time if not the entire game. Her mobility allows her to be where she needs to be to get the most use out of it (her Ht 3 40mm base also helps to keep her in LoS). Marcus dropping one Feral or Law of Meat in the right place can be brutal and Marcus himself is a Beast so he can get a free attack as well.

 

Malifaux Raptor

 

It’s a bird right? How good can it be? Used properly; very good. For 3ss you can understand that it’s an Insignificant Peon so it isn’t going to do much for VP. Wp is below average and low wounds in keeping with it’s cost. However it’s Df and mobility are way above it’s cost.

 

Obviously it has Flight and it also has Companion. It has an awesome (2) AP Tactical Action. No card flipping, no discarding…..just Bury it. At the end of the Turn Place it anywhere on the table….engaged, unengaged, in terrain, on terrain, ANYWHERE.

 

It’s melee attack has an average stat and pretty pathetic damage, for his price though I’m actually pretty impressed with the stat. But, the attack has two very good triggers. Neither are built in, but totally worth cheating if you have the cards….it’s a very tough decision though as one suit competes with the Cerberus and the other competes with Marcus.

 

One lets you look at the top three cards of the target’s deck (you could use this on yourself) and put them back in any order either on top of the deck or in the discard pile….well I’ll dump this ten and queen in the discard pile and put that two on the deck…..sweet.

 

The other is money for Marcus. Hand out the Beast Condition for the rest of the game. It’s a Condition so it’s removable, and the target can discard two cards at the start of its Activation to end it. Great if you’re running Marcus as a de-buffer with Domesticate.

 

Let’s put it all together. First, if I think I might be facing a big ranged crew I’ll take at least one Raptor. At the end of Turn one he can engage an enemy shooter to shut them down. It’s high Df makes it difficult to get rid of and it’s average Ml can stop disengaging. Once you have a heavier hitter in range to deal with that shooting threat you can go ahead and Bury the Raptor again to annoy someone else. Second, if I want to use a non-Beast model in my crew the Raptor can go ahead and make it a Beast…..the Canine Remains can also do that, but it also inflicts a -1 Wp de-buff. Third, if I really feel like fooling around (happens to the best of us), this model makes a fantastic Killjoy Delivery System.

 

Slate Ridge Mauler

 

I’ll give a little rundown but to be honest I haven’t used this model much. The couple games I did try him I wasn’t able to get much out of him so he dropped down my list. I like him in theory and maybe it was just bad match-ups for him, I do think that he deserves another shot.

 

He’s a big 8ss Minion. 50mm and Ht 3. Below average Df and Wk, average Wp, a decent Cg, and a good chunk of wounds. He seems durable with Hard to Kill and Impossible to Wound (the crews I seemed to face with him had high Weak damage so his Df really let me down). He’d be much better with some Armor I think. But he does have Bearskin Armor which is sometimes helpful.

His final card front ability is Frenzied; when at half wounds or less his melee attack does +2 damage. This has been my greatest difficulty, keeping him in that range. Even with Hard to Kill, knowing that they’re looking at four Weak Damage, the enemy usually doesn’t let him survive in that range.

 

The other issue is his average Ml stat. The damage track is fair and could be really good if Frenzied and he has a good reach. I think if the stat was one point higher his attack would be much more reliable and useful. It does have a useful trigger to let him Heal two damage to get him above that Hard to Kill level, but you need the suit making the Ml stat more important.

 

He does have a nifty (0) Action; Bear Hug. It’s a better stat and has double the reach of his regular attack. It doesn’t do any damage, but gives Slow and pushes the model into base with the bear. It’s only trigger (needing the suit), lets him take an attack after the hug.

 

I want to like this model for a Turf War or Squatter’s Rights Strategy but so far I rate Cojo much higher in those situations.

 

Guild Hound

 

Our only addition from the Guild faction and it’s a good one.  For 3ss he’s got pretty average stats but above average movement. He’s a Minion so is good for scoring VP when you need placement like Reconnoiter or Turf War, unfortunately they’re Insignificant so aren’t too useful for Squatter’s…..but wait.

 

They have one stand out ability called Pack Mentality…..while within 5” of another Hound they may ignore Insignificant….they are a Hound and at 3ss each, you can easily have two or three highly mobile objective runners. They also have Companion to help them stay together. With Marcus this gets even better. Canine Remains are Hounds. Pairing a Canine Remain with a Guild Hound has been golden for me. It really helps to play up another one of their abilities; Scent of Evidence. They can charge enemies close to a Scheme Marker for only (1) AP. So the Canine Remains can move up, drop a Scheme Marker, Companion the Guild Hound who can now charge in for three attacks.

 

They’re both pretty cheap models so don’t expect them to stay around too long, but the Canine with it’s Hard to Wound does have some staying power and if you don’t need the Scheme Marker they can move in closer to reduce the enemy Df , giving the Guild Hound a much greater chance of connecting on attacks. Speaking of the Guild Hound’s attacks….it’s not bad. Average stat with a fair damage spread except for the Weak damage of one. They do have Critical Strike (not built in) that can get their damage up a little better. However, don’t underestimate what a pack of dogs can do. I’ve pulled down some pretty tough guys with two or three dogs, especially if they’re getting three attacks each.

 

These models are certainly a good addition for Marcus. A decent attack coupled with great mobility and potential objective running makes them very versatile for their cost. Also, keep in mind that out-activating your opponent can be a pretty big deal…..a few of these cheap versatile models can easily fit in with some pricier, heavier models to give you a real edge.

 

Night Terror

 

Marcus certainly isn’t hurting in the cheap model department. Here is another 3ss option. As expected for that price it is Insignificant, however it’s a Minion so is good for Reconnoiter or Turf War type Strategies. With a 6” Wk they can easily get where they need to be to score points. Average Wp (and Wounds for it’s price), and an abysmal Df probably won’t keep it around too long so be careful with it but it isn’t as fragile as it looks. It’s also a Spirit, so maybe we can find something later to help with that.

 

It’s Hard to Kill so at minimum it’s taking two hits to put down. But it’s also Incorporeal and that can make it more annoying for some crews to get rid of. The Incorporeal also helps with mobility and it’s Attracted to Noise ability gives it a little more…allowing a 3” Push toward an enemy (within 8”) that used an action with the gun icon. It’s not an Aura so the Night Terror doesn’t need LoS to use it and there is no limit to how many times it can use it….against a big shooty crew this model could be bouncing around all game.

 

Its main Attack Action isn’t too special with an average stat and range and very low damage track. It does have a nifty trigger that if you can pull the suit makes this model awesome against gunfighters. It places a condition (that can be removed by the target at the start of its Activation for two cards) that stops them from taking Sh actions. This can really hurt something like a Gunsmith or a Convict Gunslinger whose only attack is a Sh action.

 

Night Falls is a nice (1) AP Tactical Action. No requirements, other than the AP. Enemy models reduce the range of their Ca actions by 4” while within an 8” Aura of this model. For a lot of casting masters like Kaeris or Sonnia or Pandora that 4” is a really big deal. Going from 12” down to an 8” range is a lot in this game….or from 10” to 6”….wow.

 

Shikome

 

I have to admit that I haven’t really used this model. I think that it would function better in a crew that can hand out the Adversary Condition a little more. That said, after re-reading the card for this article I think I need to give her a shot as she could be helpful in a few situations.

 

For 8ss we get a model with average Df, Wp, and Wounds. She has above average Wk with a Cg of the same distance but she does have Flight which always greatly enhances mobility.  She also comes with Hard to Wound which helps her durability.

 

Now Adversary is a Condition that gives Spirits a :+fate  when attacking an Adversary. (If you read the Night Terror above, you’ll know I was looking for something that helped Spirits……here it is.) She has two (0) Actions, one of which has an above average Ca and can give the Adversary Condition to one enemy model at medium range. It’s other (0) has all the same stats and allows you to place the Shikome in base contact with an enemy model that has the Adversary Condition…..this is why I always thought it would be better with other models that can give Adversary…..if it gives the Condition, it can’t place itself in base contact because they’re both (0) Actions. However, I think she’d still be worth it even without that Place Action. If she is in range to give Adversary then she is most likely in range to Charge that model given that her threat range is only 1” less than the spell. Another buff for this model that goes along with Adversary is Long Memory on the front of her card….it lets you choose whether the target resists the Shikome’s attacks with it’s Df or Wp.

 

She has one more ability on the front of her card that fits in with a Marcus crew pretty well.  She has Scent of Death which allows her to Charge Poisoned models for only (1) AP….and we do have access to quite a few Poison dealers. She could either get three attacks, or be able to move into position to allow a Charge and if she can put Adversary on that enemy first she can hit much harder.

 

This brings us to her melee attack. Only a 1” reach, but an above average stat and a good damage spread……couple that with :+fate  against Adversaries and being able to choose the lower defensive stat, she’s going to hit pretty often……..and she also has built into her attack a flat +1 damage against Adversaries pushing her damage into very respectable levels. She has three triggers one of which is extremely helpful for beast crews and is conveniently built in…..she ignores Armor. Armor is something that beasts struggle with. She also has a Poison trigger that can automatically give one Poison and potentially two if you flip the Crow. Her final trigger requires a suit, but gives a plus :+fate  :+fate  to the damage.

 

Yeah…..I think she deserves a shot.

 

Rogue Necromancy

 

Another one I don’t have much experience with yet (the smoking hot new plastic model is on it’s way though).

 

It’s a 10ss big boy with Ht 3 on a 50mm base. It is an Enforcer so it does have access to some Upgrades. It’s an Undead Construct which for us is potentially a weakness since we have nothing that works with those things and there are some models that get bonuses against those things. It’s not a big deal, just something to keep in mind. Stats aren’t great with below average Df, average Wp and Wk, with a Cg only slightly better than the Wk.

 

It does have a fair chunk of wounds though and with Impossible to Wound it has some staying power just watch out for anything with high Weak damage otherwise the low Df will be a real problem. It’s defensive ability that really intrigues me is Terrifying (All) with a good number meaning most models will need eights to pass it. It really intrigues me because of Marcus and Howl. Dropping enemy Wp by 2 puts this Terrifying into…..well, scary levels. The Rogue can follow up on this with Smell Fear, and of course you could also take Pack Leader in the crew allowing other models to take advantage of it as well.

 

Like the Cerberus, the Rogue has the Three-Headed ability which is pretty interesting as this model actually has a ranged attack that will get that benefit; Acid Breath.  I don’t usually take too many slow models with Marcus, but the massive range on this attack will let the Rogue be effective early game even if it can’t get up close and personal. It’s a Ca attack with an average stat and it carries the Ranged icon but with Three-Headed you can virtually ignore cover with it. The damage track is tight with a high Weak damage but low Severe, however Moderate and Severe damage both produce a Blast so that high Weak damage is really going to spread the pain. It has a built in trigger to put a point of damage on the original target (not others damaged by blasts) and can put an additional point if you flip the suit. So, now we have a slow model that can put out Poison at range, and some really fast models that can take advantage of Poison with (1) AP Charges….that’s some nice Synergy right there.

 

If you can get the Rogue into melee above the Three-Headed threshold, its attack will hurt more than the Cerberus with a higher (Henchman / Master level) stat, a longer reach and a higher Moderate damage (all other levels are equal). It has the same built in trigger to give a little Poison and another trigger that needs a suit but gives a :+fate  :+fate  on the damage. If you can hit that trigger with the high stat this model can still cause damage even without Three-Headed.

 

His final Action is a (0); Stalk. The Rogue can pick an enemy in LoS and if that enemy Walks or Charges, the Rogue can take a walk action toward them. The weakness in this ability to me is that the walk must end as close to the enemy as possible. This can cause the model to walk out into the open, however it doesn’t have to take the walk so it turns into more of a psychological attack against the other player. They know you can do it, so they have to wonder about it every time he moves that model. If you also have a Cerberus in your list, the Cerberus also has Stalk so you could Stalk up to two enemy models and whenever either enemy walks or charges, either the Rogue or the Cerberus could walk.

 

Gupps

 

I’ve used them a couple times. They don’t find their way into just any list. If I plan on using several Swampfiend models like Silurids and Waldgeists then I strongly consider Gupps.

 

Another cheap model at 4ss they are Significant Minions. Below average Wp with average Df and Wk and a Cg the same as their Wk. If you want something like that the Canine Remains is generally faster but as I said Gupps become better with other Swampfiends.

 

Like their older brother, the Silurid, they have Perfect Camouflage (Sh and Charge attacks suffer a neg flip if the Gupp hasn’t activated yet) and Silent (enemies can’t ignore LoS to this model). With several Swampfiends in the list, this can be pretty annoying for the opponent if they want to kill anything especially if you’re careful with your activation order. They have Companion if you need them to go right away.

 

They’re attack isn’t great with an average stat, a short reach, and a damage spread that’s about as low as it can get. With a suit they have a trigger that gives a point of Poison. With a different suit, if you can kill something bigger than a Peon, you can sacrifice this model to summon a Silurid…..this isn’t going to happen unless you soften up the target with something else first so don’t count on it.

 

They have two (0) actions. The first is the almost obligatory Leap. It works much like the Silurid, except it’s both a little harder and a little easier to use…it needs the suit, but it can be anything higher than the Black Joker. The other is the main reason these guys work well with other Swampfiends; Juvenile’s Wail. If an enemy kills or sacrifices the Gupp, friendly Swampfiends within 6” get a flat +2 damage to their melee attacks. Waldgeists and Silurids can become brutal with this buff.

 

Spawn Mother

 

A second Henchman beast for Marcus (thanks Neverborn). For 9ss she’s a bit of a jack of all trades. With some support, a little summoning, and she can do some surprising damage at the right times. Her stats are okay with an above average Df and average Wp, Wk, and Cg. Her wounds aren’t bad, but she really isn’t meant for the front lines right away. She’s a big presence with her Ht 3 and 50mm base.

 

Like the rest of the Silurid family, she has the Silent and Perfect Camouflage abilities. A Mother’s Rage is a fun ability that lets her immediately take a free Charge action at an enemy model that kills a friendly Swampfiend within 6” of her…the really fun thing is if that Swampfiend happens to be a Gupp that used its Juvenile’s Wail she’s coming in at brutal damage levels. Her final ability is The Hatching which automatically hatches any eggs that she laid during the game if she is killed or sacrificed……which leads to her only (0) Action…

 

….Lay Eggs. With a suited six, she can drop an Egg Marker in base contact. The action includes a ‘once per turn’ caveat to prevent any Alpha shenanigans. This also ties in to her (2) Action; Nesting Pool. She can summon a Gupp in contact with each Egg Marker then discard the Marker. If you drop eggs early in the game and don’t use Nesting Pool until later, the nice thing is that Nesting Pool has no range so you could spread the Eggs out, then hatch them all at once. She can not use the Nesting Pool if she already used Lay Eggs in the turn. But she can use the Nesting Pool first then Lay Eggs to set up for next turn.

 

Her final Tactical Action is a (1) AP buff called Nourish the Young. It costs nothing other than the AP and gives all friendly models that activate within 6” of her a +2 to their Cg stat. Not only does that obviously let you charge farther, but Cg is the stat that Leap is keyed off of.

 

She has a melee attack with an above average stat and reach. The damage spread is okay but nothing special for a Henchman. As I mentioned earlier, combined with a Juvenile’s Wail it’s brutal and it could turn her into a killing machine for a turn. She gets the bonus to damage along with a free charge which is during the enemy turn, then it’s your turn and she can charge again with that big damage as it lasts until the end of the turn…..then, when it’s your turn again, Marcus could Alpha her. The attack only has one Trigger and it isn’t built in. It gives one point of Poison so isn’t a big deal and probably not worth cheating for, just a nice bonus if you flip it.

 

I haven’t had a chance to do it yet, but I’m extremely interested in running a big Swampfiend list with Marcus containing the Spawn Mother, Waldgeists, Silurids, and Gupps………it might be worth bringing in a certain Swampfiend mercenary at that point.

Edited by dgraz
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A quick question for you. Does law of meat prevent attack actions? The way that I read the effect, it prevents the charge but does not specifically state that those models cannot attack. (I am new to Marcus and M2E.)

Also, in regards to Myranda, I have played her on the table and buried. I have to say that she performs fairly well on the table in a support role. I have had great success in burying her though. I have played her buried in two games and on the table in one. The first time I played her buried, it was not a great move strategically. However, in the second game, I was able to move up a Cerberus to almost kill Misaki. Misaki then killed the Cerberus and moved away. Before I removed the Cerberus, I brought in Myranda. Then made some attacks against other models, then skinwalked into another Cerberus. Which immediately made a leap action and kill Misaki using the maul ability.

Overall, I like the way Marcus and crew play. However, I know that I have a lot to learn about them to make them as effective as they can be.

I also like the thought of using canine remains.

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A quick question for you. Does law of meat prevent attack actions? The way that I read the effect, it prevents the charge but does not specifically state that those models cannot attack. (I am new to Marcus and M2E.)

Theres a second half of that sentence:

"...and while this model is engaged in melee, it may only take Walk Actions.”

If it may only take walk actions, then it cannot make attack actions, or anything else for that matter.

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A model with the Prey condition shouldn't be able to make any kind of close range action, given the way the engagement rules work, ie, you're engaged even if you are engaging the enemy and they aren't engaging you.

Edit: Ninja'd

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A quick question for you. Does law of meat prevent attack actions? The way that I read the effect, it prevents the charge but does not specifically state that those models cannot attack. (I am new to Marcus and M2E.)

It does not prevent attack actions. If the model has a ranged attack, it is free to use it. That's why I like to cast on models that are already engaged or are about to be engaged. I will cast it on a strong melee model....like a Rail Golem....when not engaged.....as long as the model is a melee model it works fine.

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Ah, that is where my disconnect was. I was thinking that it was only preventing charges, therefore, I didn't use it.

I will give it a try next time.

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I think Imbued Protections isn't given quite enough credit there. If you have The God's Domain, Marcus is quite a bit slower, so protection becomes more important. There's a number of Cb6 models that can really threaten Marcus if he gets engaged, and Df8 means they'll be wasting more attacks to hurt him rather than hurting something else. And without any protection besides his raw defence (and regen), I think the one-use quasi-armour is really handy for a turn if you get caught out of position (once again - more likely without the extra speed). Overall, whether it's worth it or not is a question of what other upgrades you want.

Even with Trail of the Gods, it increases Marcus from average defence to slightly better, and provides that one shot get out of jail free card. It ranks a lot lower, but is definitely solid with Trail of the Gods, as opposed to being great with the God's Domain.

With Darzee's Chaunt on friendly models, I think it's reserved for models that can get unengaged reliably, either with an automatic ability (Cojo's rude sign language, Rattler if you can succeed with a melee strike) or if you have the required card in your hand for a leap (cerberus most likely, but silurids could work in a pinch).

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Sabertooth Cerberus

He fits the mold for the classic Arcanist Beast. Hard-hitting and squishy as hell.
A good Ml stat with plus flips to hit and damage gives him a good shot at dishing out that excellent damage track. And if you have the card or can flip it, his trigger gives him a free attack against the same target. His Df and Wp are slightly above average (by tenths of points) so if you leave him exposed he won’t be feeling well.

Fortunately he can be played defensively….even though he is on a 50mm base, he is still only Ht 2….so if you’re playing with the proper amount of terrain with a nice variety he should be able to hide. Going with that, he of course has Leap, he doesn’t have the suit required but it’s only a 5….so hopefully by turn 2 when you’re ready to do it you should have something.

Speaking of Leap, if you’re clever enough to line him up for a Charge, you can blast something and Leap away….hopefully out of LoS. Even if you fail to put the target down, you can freely Leap out of melee now without incurring a disengaging strike.

Helping you line up that charge is the virtually beast-standard Unimpeded. So sneaking a look around a corner you can still charge through the right terrain.

For yet more defense, he has Terrifying. It’s only for Living models, but it helps against some crews.

Crew synergy is not to be over-looked for defense. Myranda’s Huntress ability allowing plus flips can help and utilizing Marcus’ Howl can increase your Wp resistances while making it harder for Living foes to overcome your Terrifying.

Let’s expand on his attack ability a little. I mentioned his trigger, Maul, at the start….if you spend you’re time building up your Tomes, you can really lay out some pain on two models that are close together. Maul is one of the few triggers that can be repeated off of its self. Leap into engagement range; hit the first model and trigger, trigger…..then hit the second model and trigger, trigger. It’s resource intensive, but it can really help you get your points back off of this model.

It’s important to keep him safe before attacking with him so you can maintain his Three Headed buff….again remember synergy. If he is under the cut-off for this rule, have Myranda go first and heal him then use her Accomplice ability to let him go right away.

Finally, on his card, is Stalk………ummm….I’d be happy if someone could give me some pointers on this. I’ve never used it, nor can I see a reason to except in a very rare situation. Fortunately, it’s a ‘may’ so you don’t have to take the movement, but in most cases I’m following my own above advice about playing him defensively and staying out of LoS and range. I can’t see walking my expensive squishy model 5” directly toward someone and leaving it exposed.

Saber Upgrades
There are three for me to consider but I haven’t put any on him personally. I don’t want to increase his cost considering how squishy he is and that I’ll be throwing him in harm’s way. Imbued Energies implies I’d be okay with letting him die and I’d rather not if I can help it……of course opposed to that would be Pack Leader…but I’m too afraid that he will die, despite my best efforts and I’ll lose the bonus………I know, I don’t make much sense there.

The third is obviously Imbued Protection, which would probably help, but I don’t feel like it’s worth the 2ss on this guy.

 

(EDIT: 11-27-14) After playing Marcus for quite some time, my position on his Upgrades has changed quite a bit. There is one that I take with him almost as an auto-include - Imbued Energies. The ability to discard it to gain Fast is just so good on a missile-type model like him. That one extra AP turns him from a conventional missile to a tactical nuke.

 

Next I’ll be Marking my Territory, so see ya then.

---------- Post added at 05:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:48 PM ----------

Cojo

Aside from how fun it is to pound on your chest making various grunts and howls, there’s quite a bit in this model.

He is and he isn’t a standard beast. His average Df and low wounds, Unimpeded, and a decent damage track are where the similarities end.

He is not very fast and his standard attack has a low Ml for his cost….fortunately there are other things that make up for this.

He’s one of the first beasts designed as a football (American football) line-man….we haven’t seen the mauler yet. Hard to Kill……..very unusual on a beast….hints at some staying power. Combined with Myranda for plus flips on Df and some healing keeps this guy going for a while.

His standard attack is average, but has a massive 3” reach….looking at his Charge he seems a small threat to quicker models, but this reach makes that a bit deceptive.
The trigger gives him some control ability with its any direction push.

His Rampage is a bit different, with a great damage track and a very high Ml stat. Again, it has that same massive 3” reach. It’s a (2) action, but Loping Charge lets him use it on the charge….of note, is that it can be used for disengaging strikes….not much escapes from that Ml stat.
Again, nice controlling trigger on this one…..a push directly away that he can follow up on. This could give him a nice boost in speed and can help him to get into the position you want him in. Pesky 10T Archers hiding behind a blocker? Push that blocker back into them, follow up and engage them all.
The other trigger is great if you need to insure some good damage....granting a plus flip on damage.

His tactical actions are both great. Mark Territory, needing only a 5 of anything to cast, is an excellent way to get rid of enemy scheme markers….and it’s a (0) action, so he can move into position first….it has the bonus of giving him Defensive +1 for each marker removed. It’s only a 3” pulse, so it’s unlikely that you will catch more than 1 or possibly 2. The danger is that it removes ALL scheme markers…friendly ones too.

Rude Sign Language is another area control ability…..pushing all enemy models close to him 4” away. It’s another (0), so you can’t stack up with Mark Territory, but it’ll be great for strats like Turfwar. Again, you can use it at the end of an activation so you could move into position or beat someone up then get them out of there…….or, defensively, use it first so you can get out of dodge…or even push someone away from a friend.

Cojo appears to have two jobs. Hold back, then charge in and clear an area……or move in quickly and hold an area, kicking out anything that gets too close. Alone, he is very good at his first job and utilizing a little synergy with Myranda, he excels at the second. I don’t think he’ll be right for every game, but choosing him for the right strats and schemes will be the trick.

Cojo Upgrades
About the only one I consider for him is Imbued Protection….and that’s only if I plan on using him to hold his ground. Unlike the Cerberus, the 2ss cost for Df 6 makes sense on him…..he doesn’t have the speed of the cat to help protect him, and his Hard to Kill makes it even more worthwhile.


Next up; sssssssssssssssssssssss.

Edited by dgraz
card change update
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I've put Imbued Energies on the cerberus with the plan to discard it to gain fast for that turn when I really need a guided missile. It comes the the advantage of if I get it wrong and he dies before then I get the 4 cards, but my main use for it is the extra AP.

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Awesome write ups dgraz! Thanks very much for putting these together.

I've put Imbued Energies on the cerberus with the plan to discard it to gain fast for that turn when I really need a guided missile. It comes the the advantage of if I get it wrong and he dies before then I get the 4 cards, but my main use for it is the extra AP.

I'm 100% on board with this. I've taken Imbued Energies every time with the Cerberus, and it's always come in handy. What I really like about it is that it ends up giving you a way to hide, then hop out and charge without needing to Leap (if you don't have the card, or if you don't want to spend it.) Fast to move out, then charge.

Or, if the stars align, you can Fast yourself, Leap, eat something (theoretically using the trigger here to give you a really good shot at it,) then charge something else (and probably eat that too.) Or Fast, move out, charge, then Leap back to safety.

All kinds of shenanigans, and it's always been worth the 1 SS for me.

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Razorspine Rattler

Kinda hoping this guy gets a little change between the final Beta version and the official release, but let’s work with what we have.

So, we have slightly above average movement with a Wk of 5 and the obligatory Unimpeded. Cg range is…..okay, but the 2” Ml range helps. Acceptable.

Great Df and a pretty high Wd stat makes him more survivable than some beasts. Hanging around Myranda for the plus flips on Df really suits this guy well. His Wp is average, but can be helped by Marcus’ Howl.

His Terrifying is so low that not many models will struggle to overcome it….again, Howl would make this respectable. It’s a card drain more than anything.

He has Wicked, combined with his Constriction to ensure any disengaging strike is going to hit. I feel like the two abilities actually work against each other. And dropping one would help this model. I could see risking the Wicked if there was a chance to escape, but the Constriction stacks that deck…..and I could see risking not being able to escape if I didn’t take damage for it. But risking the damage and not having much chance to escape makes me just want to go Honey Badger on that snake. Suffice to say, not much is leaving this guy’s engagement range.

His standard attack is good. Average Ml and damage, but it comes with automatic Poison which is a great bonus. It also has an automatic Reposition trigger……not entirely certain why this was added to him….it seems situational at best.

His Slither is a great ability though. Allowing him to engage an enemy he can’t even see and still get an attack….it’s almost a walk/walk/melee expert……sweet. It also does not initiate a disengaging strike, so if he needs to get away from someone he can….or if he gets blocked, he can use this to get around to the target you need to get to.

Even with some of the strange abilities, I still like this guy a lot for his cost. I’ve used one in almost every list I’ve run so far. His movement, Df, and attack ability make him worth about 6.5ss, but if you use him well he’s still good. If those little issues I have get addressed then he’ll be perfect.

---------- Post added at 02:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:15 PM ----------

Hoarcat Pride

I’ll be honest I haven’t used these guys yet, so I’ve got nothing but theory.

Average stats across the board expected for its cost. Ht 1 lets them hide a bit, but they lack Unimpeded and their 40mm base means they can’t hide behind much….including friendly models which hampers their Pass Through.

If you can hold off on activating them for a while, their Manipulative is a great defensive ability…..again, even better with Howl. But, whether you activate or not, another ability forces enemy shooting attacks to suffer a neg flip against these little guys.....which sorta counteracts their '40mm base that can't hide much' from above.

 

(EDIT: 11-27-14) I've used these guys a bit more now and have a much greater respect for Manipulative. If you can out activate your opponent so the Hoarcats can wait to activate then they're really annoying. Positioning them as blockers for your crew.....leaving few options but to attack them.....and just letting them sit there for most of the turn can really hold up a foe.....making them waste cards and/or AP to get through or past them. That alone is very useful for their cost.

 

Eat Your Fill may only be useful if you’re actually still alive, but with 6 Wds, if you can make an opponent miss just once on a charge, you have a great chance of surviving.

Standard attack is average and isn’t going to be killing much on its own, but it’s respectable for this models cost and if you can get the Rip Throat trigger, you have a great chance of doing damage on par with a more expensive model’s weaker hits. Don't forget, that if he has 3 or more wounds, he does +1 damage....that pushes his damage to nice levels.

Devour is fun. Unfortunately, it’s low Ml stat and suit requirement make it tough to pull off. There aren’t any ways for a standard Marcus crew to hand out Paralyzed and there aren’t a ton of Ht 1 models out there. You really need to wait until the enemy makes a mistake and fails one of the few Terror tests in the crew. But it’s a great ability to capitalize on a mistake and really make them pay for it.

Overall, they seem like a solid minion and fully capable of holding their own while helping accomplish objectives. The only reason I haven’t used them is a lack of games and the desire to play with some of the other shinies.

Edited by dgraz
card change update
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Nice write-ups, dgraz!

For the Razorspine Rattler I found there to be good Synergy with Marcus' The Law of Meat. Casting that on something in melee with the Rattler, means that it's almost a paralyze. An opponent can choose to do nothing (stay within melee range), or move out of it, almost impossible (and dangerous!) with the stacked effect of Wicked and Constriction.

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Nice write-ups, dgraz!

For the Razorspine Rattler I found there to be good Synergy with Marcus' The Law of Meat. Casting that on something in melee with the Rattler, means that it's almost a paralyze. An opponent can choose to do nothing (stay within melee range), or move out of it, almost impossible (and dangerous!) with the stacked effect of Wicked and Constriction.

Thanks. Great point with Law of Meat. I'm so used to focusing Law of Meat to protect my Cerberus and such I hadn't thought of that.

Moleman

Alone, the fact that they are a 4ss, significant Minion makes them useful for objectives and activations.

Base stats are meh....but on par for his points, he’s very slow and easily hit and he can’t take a lot of hits. On the upside of that, he has Armor +2 which should extend his life a little. His Df trigger, Burrow, allows his Armor to reduce damage to 0…..great, he can shrug off weak hits with this. And he is Evasive so can ignore Pulse damage.

His attack is on par for his cost, but he has a Trigger, Rake, that lets him take a bonus attack against another target……I can’t see it happening often, but it’s there.

Tunneling is a fantastic ability. A (0) action to jump up to 8” to a friendly scheme marker makes them very maneuverable mid to late game, and deceptively fast even early game if set up properly…..I like to set them up with a Silurid or two. If they need to place more markers, they can just make the ‘more than 4” away’ requirement….so, Tunnel, move, interact…nice.

Dug In is excellent in some situations…..especially for something like Turf War that many beasts will struggle with because they don’t have the staying power….bumping this guys Df up a little, combined with his Armor and his Df trigger can let him contest a marker for a while.

A great little model for his cost. Don’t expect him to be winning any speed races, but he’s excellent for your half of the table……Marcus has plenty of choices for speed.

That wraps up the actual Arcanist beasts (until the next wave). Next I’ll start looking at the beasts that Marcus can hire out of faction.

Edited by dgraz
card change update
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Synergy

I’ve used this word, or at least hinted at it, quite a bit. There is a lot of it available with Marcus. The player that can utilize it the most will be extremely tough to beat. Marcus can buff his beasts, de-buff the enemy to help protect them, get extra activations out of them….and they can protect him.

Myranda can heal them, buff their Df, and give them extra attacks. The rattler can lock-down enemy models.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Keep synergy in mind when building your crew. For the new player, several of Marcus’ abilities are easy to see and use…this makes him fun. For the serious gamer, digging into the synergy between these models will make you extremely competitive.

That said; let’s start digging into some out of faction beasts that Marcus can hire. In V1, the absolute best beasts he could hire come out of which faction? That’s right, Neverborn…..so let’s see what they have to offer us now.

Silurid

At 7ss, you pay quite a premium for this guy. His cost is pretty high compared to his stats. His stats are fairly average across the board except for his below average Wp. His melee attack is average with a 1/3/4 spread…. but he does have two triggers. Neither are built in, but two choices is good. One gives Poison and one allows an extra attack....it's also one of the very few in the game so far that allows you to trigger it again (most of these extra attack triggers are...'this action can not declare triggers'). Both are good and I’d be happy to flip either one.

Silurids don’t really run in packs anymore…….I suppose you could, but I’ve found it cost-prohibitive for what they do. They have Companion which might be good early game, but by mid-game they’re usually pretty far from the crew off doing objectives….that’s why you take them.

Perfect Camouflage makes it tough for the enemy to hit the Silurid…forcing neg flips on the attack if you haven’t activated yet.

Silent stops people from targeting him if outside LoS even if they ignore LoS.

Those last two make him much more defensive than his stats would imply.

His final ability is what you’re paying the premium for. Especially with such a great emphasis on Strategies and Schemes, and placing Scheme Markers and such. Leap allows the Silurid to freely leave combat, ignore terrain and models. It allows the Silurid to move up to 12” and still perform an Interact action. This is what you’re hiring him for. If you don’t need to perform Interacts, don’t bring him……but if you do….this guy is worth every SS.

He works great to get some big first turn movement out of the Moleman. Silurid Leaps, drops a Scheme Marker then walks 5……the Moleman can (0) to that Marker and still have two AP to do whatever.

---------- Post added at 03:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:44 PM ----------

Waldgeist

Need a beast with some staying power? Here ya go. Relatively cheap at 6ss this is an awesome addition for any of the Strats and Schemes Marcus used to struggle with.

He’s not fast, but does have the Unimpeded…he’s about average (slightly better) for Df and Wp and has a fair number of Wounds.

Those wounds go a long way with his Armor +2, along with his Perfect Camouflage like the Silurids.

His (0) Germinate increases his defensiveness by allowing him to give himself some soft cover. It has a pretty decent range on it, so he could use it to provide cover elsewhere. It also helps his attack.

His normal attack has a 2” reach, but if touching severe terrain, he extends it out to 4”. This allows him to engage models far from himself. Average Ml stat and damage is fine with his other abilities.

The attack has two triggers….each requiring different suits which gives him options. One of which hands out Slow, and the other prevents models from walking or charging…and if someone tries to push them out of there, they take damage. Nice.

This model is excellent for holding a position and controlling the area around it. Combine with Cojo for some serious area lock down.

After that, and looking at the actual Arcanist beasts I’ve covered, it looks to me that Neverborn are no longer the best beasts we can bring. Hooray for Arcanist beast power. Don’t get me wrong, these Neverborn are awesome additions to any Marcus crew and they should be considered for just about any mission…but they are not the go to beasts any more.

---------- Post added at 05:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:47 PM ----------

Canine Remains

Our first and only additions from the Rezzer faction. I love them. I try to take 2 in all my lists so far. These guys add some awesome synergy with the Marcus crew.

At only 4ss, they give us a decent Df and Wp stat. Low wounds are mitigated by the classic Rezzer Hard to Wound. An excellent Wk stat makes them very speedy and perfect for Objective grabbing.

Their attack looks mediocre at best, but combined with the Df de-buff of Hunting Dogs it becomes more respectable….also excellent to follow them in with a heavier hitter to take advantage of the de-buff.

Two triggers…..built in is Poison, and if you have the suit, you can turn the enemy into a Beast that suffers Wp-1 for the rest of the game. The really nice thing about that is that it’s a suit the rest of the crew isn’t using much of. How’s that for Marcus synergy?

For yet more synergy, with Scent of Death they can charge for (1) AP against a poisoned enemy….not only is this effective if they work as a pair, but there are three other potential models handing out poison….two of which are automatic.

His final ability, Found a Bone, is not yet useful to us. Perhaps later there may be a model that can heal be eating corpse markers or something like that, but for now he’s still very useful to us.

Edited by dgraz
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Thanks Justin......just doin' my part.

Dawn Serpent
Look…it’s a little dragon. Well, at 10ss it isn’t too little but it’s only Ht 2 and on a 40mm base, so how big can it be?

For a winged monster, it’s only as fast as the Canine Remains…which is still pretty quick, but it does have Flight.

Henchman level wounds and decent defensive stats with an above average Wp. Enhance these defenses against magic with Counterspell which is very effective against a lot of spells…..not all, but there are many and, there’s no possible triggers off of them.

Hard to Kill……’nuff said.

He has a great (0) heal, Calls Unto the Chi, that heals a point for every model with a Ca Action nearby. Which is great, because there are several of those available in your average Marcus crew….you can reliably get 2 or 3 wounds back. This also makes it a great target for a mid- to late turn Alpha.....if it's been beat up a bit early on and you think you might lose it, Alpha it for an extra activation so it can heal again.

A great melee attack with respectable damage…and is another model that hands out auto-poison.

And, an above average ranged attack…..the damage is average but has blasts on moderate and severe…it also gives out auto-burning.

Not a lot of tricks to this guy….it is what it says on the tin…..it’s a little dragon. He does a little of what big dragons do. I haven’t used him often due to his cost, but I always consider him.

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Bacooooonnnn!!!

Now that everything that should be a beast is a beast….we have some piggies.

I haven’t had a chance to play with them yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them. The biggest barrier for me is the Set’er Off ability. If there’s no Gremlin within 2”, the pig charges anything nearby….friend or foe.

Now, the Hog Whisperer allows them to ignore it if within 8” of him…..but he’s not a beast….which ruins my all beast list.

I don’t really want to discuss these guys too much because I’m not a Gremlin player, and until I really have a chance to play them a couple of times, I hesitant to commit. I invite any Gremlins out there to come in here and tell me how good these three models can be together and if they think it would be viable to run a couple of pigs (of any size) and a Hog Whisperer in a Marcus crew.






That said, I’d like to invite anyone and everyone that has any experience with any of these out of faction models to share some wisdom with the Marcus players out there. Other Marcus players, please post any thoughts you may have here as well. I’d really like to get a good Marcus tactics thread going here

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Could use it to keep up with Marcus, have him (1) charge marcus to move up 8", use eat anything, marcus flips it in to take the damage, but it then gets an immediate healing flip after damaging.

Or eat the damage and get a free 4" push for both.

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The Arcanists have left me a little cold (pardon the pun) so far this edition, but these writeups have really made me want to get Marcus on the table. Thanks dgraz. :)

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The Arcanists have left me a little cold (pardon the pun) so far this edition, but these writeups have really made me want to get Marcus on the table. Thanks dgraz. :)

You're welcome. You should definitely play him. I think he's better than he ever was. I was always a Perdita player first and a Marcus player second....but I really can't say that anymore....I think I may actually like him a little more than Perdita, but I waffle a little sometimes.

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Bacooooonnnn!!!

Now that everything that should be a beast is a beast….we have some piggies.

I haven’t had a chance to play with them yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them. The biggest barrier for me is the Set’er Off ability. If there’s no Gremlin within 2”, the pig charges anything nearby….friend or foe.

Now, the Hog Whisperer allows them to ignore it if within 8” of him…..but he’s not a beast….which ruins my all beast list.

I don’t really want to discuss these guys too much because I’m not a Gremlin player, and until I really have a chance to play them a couple of times, I hesitant to commit. I invite any Gremlins out there to come in here and tell me how good these three models can be together and if they think it would be viable to run a couple of pigs (of any size) and a Hog Whisperer in a Marcus crew.



That said, I’d like to invite anyone and everyone that has any experience with any of these out of faction models to share some wisdom with the Marcus players out there.

Throwing Marcus' Darzee's Chaunt on a Warpig could really up their damage potential (the :+fate to both the attack flip and damage flip really allows their higher CB to shine). Myranda also has some potential due to her Accomplice ability (allowing a chain activation) and Hunting Call spell allowing a Warpig to Charge out of activation (Warpigs Pigcharge ability) avoiding the unpleasantness of Set'er Off (and when combined with Accomplice allowing for a bit more control of those errant Pigcharges thru pre-positioning). Add in her spell Primal Flame allowing the healing of pigs if they receive Reactivate from a Hog Whisperer and she is pretty good with them.

Unfortunately a Hog Whisperer is pretty much a requirement for fielding either of the pigs in any controlled type of manner. Due to that added cost it is some thing that is probably not as useful as staying in faction.

If bent on working it though I would definitely recommend hiring Myranda, Hog Whisperer and Warpig and utilizing a version of the Pig Boomerang (minus the skeeter air traffic controllers) that was a staple of 1/ 1.5 edition Som'er. You should get more mileage out of the Warpig than the piglets in this build since the crew cant really buff many of them and piglets are best used in squadrons (where their lower CB is made up for by volume of attacks).

It is too bad they cant benefit from the Arcanist Upgrade Imbued Energies though as that could present some interesting options.

Hope it helps.

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