Ok. We don't have this. We need this. I've been maining Toni since the closed beta and I have knowledge to share. I've gotten my butt handed to me plenty of times too, so I hope I can learn from all of you. Let's start with the big bad boss herself, Toni Ironsides.
Nothing exciting for a stat line. Pretty average numbers outside of the max health for a model. If this is your first foray into the Queen of Fists, you first want to know that a lot of her 'oomph' comes from 'Adrenaline' tokens that she builds up on herself and then spends them for varying effects. 'Quell the Riot', her first ability, gives you Adrenaline regardless of what she's doing, so she's going to see at least 5 tokens if she survives a whole game. Any additional models you can clump around her will give you more. She HAS to be engaged by the model, not the other way around (so pull those 0" models into base-to-base if you can).
'Pumped Up' is one of her two ways of being survivable, allowing you to discard Adrenaline to reduce damage by the same amount. Note that this is when she's damaged, so her Df Trigger we'll get into will not have generated a token yet. This will catch some people off-guard, as Toni not taking ANY damage is a bit unexpected. I would not immediately reduce everything, though. Use your Soulstones for that as she has some decent healing options and her other uses for Adrenaline are SO good.
'Unionized' is her her Keyword ability. If you're close to a friendly M&SU, you both get positive flips for BOTH Df and Wp duels. Keep in mind it doesn't say anything about 'opposed duels' so things like Terrifying tests or some Shockwaves will still allow you to use these positive flips. HOWEVER, most of her keyword is designed around this as really their only defensive tech, and stuff outside of a Unionized bubble will die pretty fast.
"The Injured Workers Act' is a part of her other keyword ability. Namely, a lot of M&SU models have Grit (get additional stuff when at half wounds or less). Toni and one of her henchmen let this go off regardless of their health. If they are within 6".
Now we get to probably the most fun part of her card. She's brought back her 'I hit you back' trigger from M2E, but now it's a ton more reliable and will be the biggest thing your opponent has to try to work around. After resolving an opposed duel targeting her defense, she gains an Adrenaline token. If it was a attack, she automatically deals 2/3/5 back (uncheatable). Let's quickly unpack that. First up, "After Resolving" means it doesn't care whether or not she was successful in the duel. Regardless of getting hit, she's getting an Adrenaline token (which means all shooting will still be giving her resources). THEN if it was a she gets to hit them back (again not caring about success or not). That 2/3/5 is no joke, and since it's a flat flip most of the time you're going to be seeing moderates and severes more often than normal attacks. Mind you, Hard to Wound will put a negative flip on that! It is also not considered part of an attack, so it's a way around things like incorporeal and defensive triggers. Another thing to remember is that range means absolutely nothing here. If Reva stabs at Toni from 10 inches away, Toni is just going to teleport a knuckle sandwich into that smug teenager's face. Void Hunters or Death Marshall Recruiters think they can just safely claw and stab at her while she's tucked away in the aether? THINK AGAIN. Toni's rage transcends space-time to teach those goons a lesson about playing with portals. Lastly, some super secret tech! Currently, the wording on Focus only specifies 'subsequent damage flip'. I've checked with a few other Henchmen and we all agree that, as it stands, if Ironsides spends a focus to give her a positive flip to her defense, she'll also get a positive flip on this damage flip!
Her last ability does a very good job of keeping your opponent off of your squishier pieces. If she engages something, it HAS to target her if it declares attack actions. It's Ironsides' one weird trick that every Zoraida hates!
Now to the back and how Toni will specifically be hurting things.
'Brass Knuckles' are her one attack action, targeting Defense and hitting for 2/3/5 damage. Gone is her uppercut from M2E, but they more or less worked it into this attack instead. Her range got shortened to 1" which is understandable considering that happened to a lot of models, and her acting value got toned down a little too. She has two triggers built-in, which is quite nice of Wyrd. On a Tome, she gets more Adrenaline per suit. No ceiling on this, so you could technically stack up to four suits if you absolutely positively need that much Adrenaline (built-in, card, stone, and Mechanical Rider's Aura, if you were wondering). If you are burning resources, make sure you hit as this one DOES require a success to go off. Her other built-in trigger lets you discard up to two Adrenaline tokens to deal extra damage of the same amount. This effectively makes Toni a 4/5/7 damage track (Hello Uppercut!) which will also blend just about anything if she gets to put all of her actions into attacking it and you have enough Adrenaline. Her last trigger is a bit corner-case, I believe, mostly because Adrenaline is so versatile. She can hand out Injured per Crows in the duel total (max 2). If you need to soften something up for the rest of your crew to take down, it's not a bad choice, though I'd save your Soulstones and just use opportune crows as they come up.
I skipped over the innate ability of her knuckles besides the damage. She hands out Staggered to anything she punches. This might seem not that useful, as things are already close enough to Toni to hit her, but here's probably the biggest reason why it's there: To stop models from running away. Sadly, in M3E it a whole ton easier for models to run away from fights like the cowards they are. This is doubly bad for Toni because that means they can start targetting her bros. so she slaps some Staggered on them and voila! They can't be moved by friendlies, AND disengaging attacks are now more likely to stop them cold (needing a moderate to completely stop most models from pushing at all). It also has additional benefits for any Shockwaves you bring, as most target movement which is now suddenly two less.
Next up is possibly Toni's ultra best friend (even moreso than her beloved brass knuckles). Bring It is a taunt that is almost exactly like her old "You Lookin' At Me?" from M2E. Since Charges are no longer a thing, she helpfully adds two to a model's movement instead, which was roughly what charge values were, anyways. An extra nice thing is it is a move instead of a push, so no more worrying about bases, walls, or other terrain stopping Toni's goad. Then they are forced to take a Against her with no triggers, and an extra negative flip to any damage. This. Is. Fantastic, as it really helps Ironsides stay planted where she wants to and still be able to affect the enemy at range. She picks who she wants to fight and pulls apart any bubbles your opponent might have set up. With a stat of 7 she's rarely not going to have at least 1 up on her opponent. The TN is negligible as your opponent isn't going to just allow you to ruin their plans with something as small as a 12 total or less. As a bit of extra goodness, if you hit a ram, you can discard an Adrenaline to heal 2 damage. This is technically more efficient than spending on a 1-for-1 basis with 'Pumped Up' so don't be forgetting it. Now, Most often, models' attacks are going to be targeting her Df, so this 'aggressive lure' will often pop her 'Good Shot' trigger, dealing damage to the model you just lured in. Ok, there are two VERY important things to keep in mind. 1. always check your targets card to be absolutely sure they will be targeting her defense. It feels real bad when you've pulled in something big and scary, only to find you won't be dealing damage to it or getting additional Adrenaline. Plenty of attacks out there target Willpower, and more than a few target Movement which she absolutely does NOT want to deal with. 2. Consider if this a better option than Brass Knuckles. While BK is a good attack with good triggers, you might be up against a model with a good Df trigger, incorporeal, high defense and low willpower, one who you need to be base-to-base to help prevent disengagement, or you just need better odds to hit the moderate of 3 or severe of 5. Bring It is a higher stat and as long as you can weather the return attack, can technically be more reliable damage.
Toni's Tactical Actions are a mix of teamwork and rage powers. 'Intimidation' pulses out a TN 14 Wp duel to all enemies within 6" that gain Adversary (M&SU) if they fail. 14 is a pretty stinkin' high number, needing a 9 for the average Willpower of 5. This is a decent way to burn your opponents hand and set up some models for some pretty good pain from your friendlies. What's this? Fantastic triggers you say? Yes on a ram she can go right ahead and hit someone too, giving you lovely action efficiency (though you can't declare triggers on a action generated by a trigger!). On a tome that's built in, however, we generate our best friend Adrenaline again! FYI if you need quick fix, just pump this action out a few times. As long as you're hitting the TN, it doesn't matter if any enemy is even in the 6", you'll still get Adrenaline for your troubles. I don't recommend doing this very often, but there are times where you want to keep her still and have already focused (mostly on turn 1).
El Presidente has two bonus actions (but really, only one most of the time), I've Got Your Back will help you get a friend out of an emergency if they are engaged and within 6. However, Second Wind is what you'll be wanting to use most. Yes for the low cost of two Adrenaline, Toni get's another action OR can end any conditions on her she wants. While I haven't had need to wipe conditions away very often, a 4 action Master is nothing to sneeze at. In magical Christmas land, Toni (with a big fat stack of Adrenaline) can deal 16 damage to any models engaging her through 4 attacks, and that's hitting MINIMUM damage.
Upgrades? Toni can only take two of the three, and Soulstone Cache only benefits her in that she can pick up Soulstones from killing. Magical Training definitely has its uses. You already want your opponent to be concentrating on Toni, so why not make things even MORE difficult by draining their hands? The Shielded is also a nice little bonus.
Next up is Toni's totem, Mouse. Mouse starts with a pretty weak stat line, Df 5 Wp 4 Mv 4, Sz 1, and 4 health. Now that Defense is going to be good enough to not have him immediately be taken out the second your opponent targets him, but any effort above attacks of opportunity will end him real quick. The low willpower hurts a little more but both Df and Wp need to take the plus flips from 'Unionized' into consideration before you turn your nose up to this guy. That being said, that low wound pool needs to be taken into consideration, and you should be providing enough of a threat that your opponent isn't going to be getting the easy kill off of him. Speaking of 'Unionized', it the first ability on his card. Exactly the same as everyone else so I won't repeat what I said in Toni's description.
Accomplice is next, which lets him chain-activate into another friendly model at the cost of a pass token or card. I mostly find myself with a more elite crew, so I often have pass tokens lying around for this. This is one of the few ways you can safely stretch your stuff outside of the Unionized bubble without fear of attacks targeting that unprotected model. Move Mouse up, then accomplice into another model that moves up next to him and redeploys the 'Unionized' protection.
I'm going to skip the next one real quick in favor of his Grit ability, which works off of his accomplice. If he's at half wounds (or within 6" or Ironsides or Amina Naidu) when he uses Accomplice, the accompliced model gains focus +1. Focus is REALLY good in this game, so use this as much as you possibly can to really beef up your damage output.
Now back to Expert Shot. This let's him ignore Friendly Fire on his ranged attack. This makes his ranged attack, which is far better than his melee attack, much more usable in a typical Toni bubble. You don't want Mouse to ever have to rely on his Melee for anything.
WHICH leads to the back of the card and his one melee attack, Rope Lash. It's Frantic Flailing in all but name, 0" range and 1/2/3 damage track. Don't get into melee unless you absolutely have to with this guy.
His ranged attack Toss the Noose (I'm noticing a 'Rope' theme) is the same stat, but at 10 inches and has a built in Ram. The damage track is a much more satisfying 2/3/4 as well as hands out Staggered and the built in trigger allows Mouse to pull models towards him by 3". It's a neat way to surprise your opponent with nudging their stuff out of position. The Staggered is also a great compliment to Toni is she didn't manage to put it on the target herself. If you manage to hit with a Crow, you're rewarded with slowing your target, which is getting a lot of work out of a 4ss model.
Mouse's Tactical actions are where I think you'll be spending most of your time. He has a single action 'Emergency Surgery' which heals a nearby Living model for 1/2/3 damage. This is very similar to his M2E action 'Shot of the Good Stuff' (yes he's healing them through the power of alcohol), but now it doesn't need a ram to go off. Nope! Now he only needs a 5 to dole out healing goodness. Happen to have a 5+ Mask in hand or top-deck? You're taking this action again! That's 4 potential healing actions for one 4ss activation (and 4-12 health on anyone in his keyword). He doesn't mind the Living restriction much at all, as all in-keyword models have the Living Characteristic.
Lastly, he has 'Fight for the Union'. This simply gives Toni Ironsides an Adrenaline token, plus another additional one if she happens to be below half wounds. Remember to take this bonus action as the first thing you do! I've accidentally run Mouse outside of 6" of Toni and regretted not getting the easy adrenaline. It would also kind of suck if you healed her past half health with Mouse before taking the action and miss out on an extra token.
One thing of note for the few folks working off of muscle memory from M2E. Mouse is no longer insignificant! That's great because it means he can scheme in an emergency. That's also bad new because he is an easy kill and something your opponent could score off easily, so watch out!
Gotta love a man in uniform! The Captain is the arcanists foremost Wind Wizard and Toni's first henchman (the one she was originally packaged with in M2E). Cap here packs a mean punch and brings a lot of tools and tech to help the M&SU out. Looking at the stat line, he sporting above-average Defense and Move along with Health matching his cost. That Mv 6 tied with his abilities makes him one of the more mobile models in the crew and a surprising tool for late-game scheming.
His first ability is a nifty piece of defensive tech that's been modified from M2E to work the way it should have in the first place. You will notice a trend with Toni's henchmen that they all bring a unique aura to help protect the rest of the crew ('Union Strong'!). Captain's is call 'Middle of the Storm'. This magic cloud lets every friendly within three of him reduce the damage from actions by 2. That's REALLY good. If a crew model is within Unionized with him, they are effectively armor +2 for all attacks! This guy is a MUST into shooting crew, as the Union's combat prowess lies almost entirely in Melee. Keep an eye on your opponent's attack actions. Things like Shockwaves are usually actions, and though they don't target a model, MotS doesn't care.
He also brings back 'Agile' from M2E, which is more crucial in this edition with how disengagement works. Here he can take walk actions while engaged. This means this strapping lad can always pop out of engagement to lay down a scheme marker or charge a better target (or just keep running if you need!). Really the only thing stopping him is impassible terrain or a wall of models he can't squeeze through. If you need to hunt down a specific model in the back or middle of your opponent's crew, Captain can get it done.
Next up is his defensive trigger, Quick Getaway. When he flips a Mask, Cap can push up to 5" after the action resolves. Note that it has to be an enemy actions, so no farting him up the board with your own bullets! It's yet another M2E ability that was 'fixed' to be more useful (now you don't have to have him take damage or even get hit). This is a really good ability to mitigate multiple attacks on him. If he's charged, the model can't follow him with another charge. If he's shot, he can tuck out of sight or into cover. My favorite is to push into their face if they're shooters or out an inch so that he's engaging them and they aren't engaging him. This is likely to ruin their second action. It's so reliable that sometimes it's actually a good idea to cheat in the mask EVEN IF that will turn a miss into a hit (watch your opponent's extreme confusion). Obviously you don't want to get hit if you don't have to, so stones are a decent use here if your high card's aren't Masks.
El Capitan brings a Grit Ability that let's him scoot 2" when he activates. While this might seem like not much, until you remember the shenaniganry of engagement and his already quality threat range. Now he doesn't have to walk out of engagement first when he wants to charge. Speaking of charge, his threat range goes from 8" up to 10"! Nearly the crazy range he had in 2nd edition. Better yet, if he walks first, this boi can hammer time something 16" away (well gosh, it sure would be swell if there was another model in the Keyword that could push him even further and give him fast so he can radiate his mighty metal magnificence on the opponent in their deployment zone).
Lastly, we see the familiar 'Unionized', so when he isn't skipping across the entire board he can protect his fellows. Df 6 with positive flips is extra silly.
Going to the back of his card, we see his trusty Relic Hammer. Tasty 2" reach and stat 6 makes this a very reliable weapon. 3/4/6 Damage track is the the best in the keyword too! Cap is a very good target for models to give focus to, because hitting that severe 6 will plow through just about anything in a few swings. The hammer comes with the side benefit of ignoring Shielded. While Shielded would only have prevented one damage anyways, it's not a bad benefit. The Relic Hammer comes with two triggers: On a tome he doles out Burning +2 (yay! MORE damage!), and Mask will allow him to man-handle his target 4" of his choosing. Burning synergizes well with other crews, though extra damage is welcome everywhere. The 'Knock Aside' on the Mask is potentially even better as it allows yet more ways to break up your opponent's setup and push them into danger ("Danger" being Toni) or out of cover/concealing.
His other attack is Cyclone, the only Shockwave in the crew and another showcase of his wind wizardry. The base stats on this ability are a bit disappointing compared to your average Shockwave. He needs an 8 for it to go off, and the Move TN is a 12. It's a good 2" pulse from the marker, however, and besides the 2 damage all models that fail the Mv check will be pushed 3" away from the marker. His triggers are one of the explanations for the base stats. On a ram, he jacks that TN to 14 (needing a 9 to pass). Anyone passing that has just ditched a high card from their opponents deck or hand. On a Tome he instead hands out Burning +2 if the model is pushed at least 2". Hey that's a lot better, isn't in? Now let's get into the tactics. First up, this is much more of a toolbox piece than a 'spam the boom booms!' kind of attack. It would be difficult anyways as if you did damage models in a cluster, they are now 3" further away and likely more spread out. Like most Shockwaves, you get a lot more work from them the more models you target. Next, you need to take the TN into context with the two models above. Staggered affects Mv, and that means it also affects the TN test for this Shockwave! Now if you hit the ram trigger, an average Mv model will need a face card to not get hit! Lastly note that the Shockwave marker can be placed under models. This means it can occupy the same space as a 30mm model base. In this case, you can push them 3" in any direction you want, potentially isolating the model from it's crew.
Lastly is his only Tactical Action and only Bonus Action: Wind Barrier. For the low low cost of a 4, The Captain puts out two 50mm markers that must be touching and count as concealing terrain. This has a long distance of 12" that stretches to nearly 14" when you consider the size of a 50mm base. As it is a 'Drop', you may place these under models, too. Concealing works at infinite range as long as one sight line passes through it, but you probably don't need to punt it out that far unless Cap has rushed off to go hunt something down. While the obvious use is to protect your own stuff, you need to be both smart and careful with what seems like a pretty easy-to- grasp ability. First off, it extends his protection outside of Middle of the Storm. While it might seem really good to double up with the pseudo +2 armor AND imposing negative flips, your crew usually isn't so compact as to hide behind the wall AND be within 3" of Cap. This means some Miners will be exposed and thus the obvious choice as a target. It's often better to hide the models that aren't within 3" behind the wall, so your opponent has to decide between dealing reduced damage or having to mitigate a [-] flip. Also you HAVE to remember it goes both ways. While you don't have a lot of shooting in the M&SU, gunsmith still want their 'Easy Target' as often as possible, and will get quite testing if The Captain is obscuring their next victim. Also it affects more than guns, and nothing screws up a turn more that suddenly removing Toni's ability to pull models in effectively. Lastly keep an eye out for enemies that like to use actions on each other. Suddenly obscuring their favorite obey target is a fun way to mess with their game plan!
Amina Naidu is wonderful representation of one of the greatest things about Malifaux: the fact that the most terrifying model in a crew can be a lawyer with a clipboard. She brings a Df and Wp flipped from the Captain, and a very normal Move of 5. Her health is one less than her cost at 8 (She's a lawyer not a fighter!).
From here on out, I'm only going to cover abilities not previously mention unless there's something I want to point out. Amina's first ability is Extended Claims which lets her discard a card to gain a Soulstone if she can see an enemy model take an interact action. That's right 'SEE'. There's no range limit on this. If she in the corner of the map and your terrain is poor enough to not block her sight to a Crooligan dropping a scheme marker, in the opposite corner, she can get a Soulstone. It's even better because it's ANY interact, so while you can get stones back from the typical scheme marker dropping/picking up, every Turf marker flip, every Explosive drop, and every Idol pushed is an opportunity for you to make bank. Stones are pretty important in a M&SU crew because of the top-heavy nature of the in-keyword models (4/9 models can use Soulstones).
We've already seen The Injured Workers Act on Toni, but I want to point it out real quick that Amina is the way you can effectively bring two independent groups to the table. Ironsides runs one, and Amina does the other. Keep in mind that you NEED to make Amina's group as unpleasant as possible otherwise they will be the obvious target most of the time. No one want's to play with Toni, it seems.
Reach of the Union is her unique henchman defensive aura. Unlike the other two, this doesn't reduce damage, but makes your opponents action efficiency worse. Within 6" around her, enemy models can't take the attack portion of their Charge action. While Captain makes shooting a pain for the enemy, Amina makes melee combat also distasteful. Now the big scary beaters usually only get one attack on their activation. Note that this doesn't stop the Charge entirely. Certain jerks (I'm looking at you Von Schill!) will have abilities that let them charged while engaged. Now if they end the charge still within Amina's bubble, they won't get the attack, but they'll probably do something incredibly mean anyways like leave engagement with Toni to go pick on a defenseless lawyer with a clipboard.
Now to the back of her card and why she's an insufferable heap of utility that you're going to love teaching your opponent to hate. First up is Impassioned Defense. You may be asking why I'm starting with literally the last action on her card. Well, It's because it's the first thing you should do every time you activate her. Yes, you might have to move first and then use it (I didn't mean LITERALLY every time), but I can't tell you how often I forgot this piece of tech and it cost me! What it does is for a five or higher, you put Shielded +2 on a friendly model. It's her only bonus action so you have no reason NOT to use it, or at least try. "But Kaiser Senpai! What's so special about 'Shielded +2?!" you would say. I just told you it's free and I constantly forget about it and I want you to learn from my Mistakes! Also it has another specific use that we'll get into later.
Amina doesn't really have 'Attacks' per se, just thinks listed under 'Attack Actions'. First is her Sharp Wit which is her one Melee attack. It hands out slow and on a Tome you give out Adversary (M&SU) You don't really want to be doing this unless you're out of high cards and/or Soulstones. She just has better stuff to be doing than handing out philosophical beat-downs. There is a niche use for this, though, and it's to cut down on an opposing model trying to make a break for it. Last turn Prisoners and having only one action to run away is much more in your favor than having two actions.
On to the best/worst part of Amina, depending on your side of the board. Yes she's packing a pretty potent punch in the form of arguably the most hated action in early M3E, Obey. Obey let's you take and control a single action of the target non-leader that doesn't attach upgrades, list specific models (mostly summoning) or are bonus actions. If you haven't been on the receiving end of a Zoraida, you might not yet know how good this is. You know what's a single action? Charge. You know what else? Interacts (being able to force your opponent to score YOU plant Explosives or Cursed Idols) and the mostly free Soulstone you'd get from Extended Claims. Unlike 2E, you can declare TRIGGERS this time around, tacking on additional pain you weren't able to before. You can also gladly use enemy Focus on these attacks to drain their resources too! It's so great. And that's not even considering using your own models. You have Howard and Captain as great targets, even Gunsmiths or Union Miners are sometimes worth it. As a final insult, you can add Adversary (M&SU) if you're willing to part with the stone. This is one of those abilities that gets exponentially better the more clever you are. Now there are some limitations that need to be taken into account. While stat 7 is great, you still need a mask for it to go off. If you don't draw one, you're spending a precious Soulstone to get it off. Targeting your own models is a bit easier as they won't try to stop you, but you still need a 7 or higher which is not nothing. This makes her more reasonable than Zoraida, which can compound the seeming unfairness with extra actions, damage, and a built-in suit. OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND: As of the current rules, if you obey an enemy model to attack another enemy model, they can relent the attack and force a double on your damage. Not very cash money. I don't agree with this rule. I think both models should have to be under control of the same player for you to relent, but that's me, and that's how it works currently. Maybe just don't tell your opponent they can do that 😀.
Amina's last action is Walk the Line. It's kind of an obey, pushing your friendlies up to 5" towards a scheme/scrap/corpse marker for only a 5. Not too bad. If they're at half health, you get a card. What you're really looking for is that sweet sweet Crow trigger. The target takes 2 damage and gains Fast. This essentially turns your one action into two (move and Fast). Hey, remember what I said about Impassioned Defense? You slap that on your target before throwing them up the board and now they're taking 1 less damage. Let's be honest here, though, there's ways around this. The last henchmen will knock that single damaged down to 0, armor +1 too.
So overall, Amina is a hugely useful tech piece. She can't do a whole lot without friends to Obey/push, so make sure she doesn't get caught out or her friends all die around her. She's not going to last too long with Df5, 8 wounds, and no damage mitigation solo.
Look at this grumpy b*stard! Look at him! If Toni Ironsides is the angriest person in Malifaux (she is), then Joshua Fitzsimmons is by far the grumpiest. Rumor has it that in 1905 a Guild patrol brazenly stood on Josh's lawn without permission and ruined his prize-winning petunias. He's been on a mission of vengeance ever since. The last of Toni's henchman, Josh is the cheapest and comes with the cheapest stat line: a very vanilla 5 Defense, 5 Willpower, 5 Move, and Health matching his cost. As we already know, those middling stats are deceptive in a Toni crew.
If you have sleeves on your cards, I want you to do something right now. Pull out all the M&SU cards, and put a nice little tic right at the half wounds point. This is because you don't want to forget the benefit from his first ability: 'Solidarity'. This gives all friendly M&SU models within 6 of him Hard to Wound. I should specify TECHNICALLY Hard to Wound, as models that ignore HtW won't ignore this. I've forgotten this ability multiple times, and have resorted to marking my sleeves to help me remember. It's also useful for Grit if you aren't around Toni/Amina and is kind to your opponent who can see it from across the table and doesn't have to give away schemes by asking for wound counts.
Now we get to the best thing about Fitzsimmons (besides mad scarf game). 'Protected by the Union' is the most versatile defensive henchman aura. It simply reduces all damage by 1 for all M&SU models within an 6 inch aura of Fitz. This. Is. Fantastic. It's even better because it's so simple. Any damage. Any damage at all gets knocked down by 1. Don't care if its shooting or melee, attack or tactical actions, just drop a point of damage (can't go to zero, though). It'll stack with Cap's aura too, so your opponent is looking at losing 3 damage from shooting attacks. Possibly one of the best things is that models that ignore armor/shielded/incorporeal don't ignore this. The only thing that'll get through is irreducible damage.
Alright! Attacks. Fitz and the Tantrums has one standard attack called 'Picket Line'. Picket Line looks pretty basic, stat 6 and 2/3/4 damage is not the most exciting on an 8 cost henchman. It does gain a positive flip if the target is within 3 inches of a friendly model. Since that's what you want to be doing anyways, you're almost always going to have this. Heck I'd almost say it should just be stapled on the stat. The one unique thing of note, is that this is technically (mathematically) the most reliable way to smack 2 damage on a model in this crew. Gunsmiths are in second place only because Easy Target isn't as reliable. You're not always going to find yourself in that situation, but it's nice to know. Now as far as triggers go, he has...nothing. In fact, Fitzsimmons doesn't have triggers. Anywhere. My best guess is that triggers are a newfangled invention and he got along just fine without them 'back in the day' and kids nowadays don't know the value of a dollar or how to solve all of their problems by slapping people with a sign and setting them on fire.
SEGUE! 'Arson' is Fitzsimmons' only other way to deal damage. It's a Shockwave of sorts, but HAS to target a scheme marker (which is why I still count Captain as the only model with a true Shockwave). For the low cost of a 6, Fitz designates a scheme marker and makes it go boom. The result is a 2" pulse of the marker with a TN 12 Move duel that doles out 2 damage and 1 burning. The real kicker is that the marker is then removed. Oh yeah, Arson is going to mine some salt! Heck I consider the damage/burning as a side bonus to this. Every schemer will be quaking in their boots when Old Man Fitzsimmons comes to town. Now this has a little more space for shenanigans than the picket smack. Sometimes, your opponent isn't dropping schemes, or they're disgusting cowards and dropping them out of view. Thank goodness it doesn't specify ownership. We'll get into it later, but you have some very kind minions that can put out scheme markers right in the middle of your opponent's models. Also you can use Amina to force them to put one down.
Yet another reason for Amina to obey them to drop a scheme, 'Interrogate' is Fitz's last attack. It's not an 'attack' per se, as it is yet another way to annoy your opponent. On a successful stat 5 Willpower duel, you force your opponent to discard a card. Not bad! Anything to get rid of their cards isn't a waste. What makes it a lot better is the additional text. If they're within 3 inches of one of their team's scheme markers, you get to draw a card. I would suggest using this only when you can get the extra card, but there's always those corner cases when they are down to one or two cards. A player without a hand is a very good thing!
'I Didn't Start the Fire' is a Billy Joel reference. It's also Fitzsimmons' only tactical and only bonus action. 8" out and NO RESISTANCE (YAY!)! You turn the Burning condition off of the target. If they're an enemy, you place a scheme marker next to them. Keep in mind the first part. You can use this in a pinch if a friendly got Burning on them (bypassing Assist actions). I kind of wish it dropped an enemy scheme marker to synergize with 'Interrogate', but you can instead use it for scheming. So, best possible round with Fitz. Blow up a scheme marker next to some mouthy teen (Dreamer fits the bill). Dreamer gets set on fire. Fitz rips the burning off, places a scheme, and then hits him with the Arson again. Not once did he have to deal with an opposed duel, and he's probably hitting other models. Stick it to those youths!
It's Hank! Howard Langston is Toni's one and only Enforcer (not counting Mouse) and tied for Captain as the most expensive model in-keyword. When he's not trying to buy a Turbo Man action figure for his son, he's still doing the Union's dirty work and retains his status as a blender on five legs from M2E. While not as overt of a damage dealer, he now requires a little more finesse to get the killing potential out of him, but that's what I'm here for! Another thing of note is he'll have some abilities that don't necessary gel all that well with the M&SU crew, but that's because Toni has joint custody of Hank with the new(ish) master, Charles Hoffman.
We start off with a very OK stat line: A weak defense of 4, Willpower 5, 5 Walk, Health equal to cost, and the only Size 3 in the keyword. Couple that with a 50mm base, and reach of 2, and he can get his claws on a surprising amount of models a more standard character would have difficulty with. He's more than happy to use Toni or Captain as particularly violent meat shields as they are much more survivable. Keep in mind that Size 3 is going to make him awfully visible to every shooter in your opponents. crew.
Armor +1 is great. If he's in the same crew as Fitzsimmons, that's basically armor +2, and with Captain that's 3-4 damage reduction from shots!
We'll skip the Grit ability for now, as I'll get into it when we visit the back of his card.
Power Converter is an ability Howard gets from his Arcanist dad. Toni can make good use of in her crew, though, if you bring along another minion that's also shared between the two masters. For now, all you need to know is if he gets to activate near scrap, he Hoovers it up to be used as a resource to gain positive flips or a suit to an action (Basically a soulstone). I would primarily use it for suits, as he has GREAT triggers and you can get Focus on him in other ways.
Hank's other unique defensive ability is Terrifying. It only needs an 11, which is a 6 for most models. So you won't be seeing it protect him TOO much, but playing a hand drain strategy will bump up that usefulness.
Howard's last ability is Unimpeded. While you won't be needing him to move too fast in a Toni bubble, if you need to shoot him out to go hunt something down, this will be useful.
Now to the Meat and (thoroughly mashed) Potatoes of Howard Langston, his attack. The steamborg brings back his trusty Executioner Claws, albeit a bit dulled from M2E. His reach is a very useful 2" and the damage track is now a 3/4/5, which is still pretty good. The additional effect is what really makes you stand up and pay attention. Hank ignores all Defensive Triggers. Against some crews (including this one) that is absolutely killer. Pay good attention to the opponent's declared master, it might be a real big indication you should bring this guy. Howard is sporting some real tasty triggers as well.
'Heave' might secretly be the best of the bunch. It takes a Ram, and lets you place the target anywhere within 3" of this model. "Why would I want to place the model outside of my reach?" you may ask. Well, you might very well have a whirling hate-tornado of brass knuckles in the crew just itching to punch the crap out of your target, and now she doesn't have to spend Actions on her lure (and some times she just can't use it). It also goes real well with another action he has. Lastly, that is 8 (count 'em) to 9 inches of possible movement! If you attack while they're just in your 2" threat, than that's 2" to Hank, 2" for his base, 3" inches further away from him, and then the length of the target's base (give or take a few millimeters). That's one of the longest ways to move an enemy in the game. I'm surprised they don't take fall damage at that point!
On a Mask he has 'Like the Wind' which let's him push 5" while ignoring models. It's not as crazy as 'Heave', but if he's already charged and killed the opponent or you want to hurt more models with his tactical, this is a great move. Keep in mind he's a bit of a fatty, so his butt will be taking up 2" of that new move. Since he can't stop while overlapping, you may have to do a bit of pre-measuring with proxy bases first before deciding to spend resources on the trigger.
The last trigger is an old favorite, 'Execute'. Your opponent is forced to discard a Soulstone or a card, or the model dies immediately. It also ignores Demise abilities or any healing effects that trigger when the model is killed. Due to the cost being a step down from M2E, you shouldn't expect this to actually KILL things very often, but resource drain is always good. Lucking into 1 or 2 cards or stones out of your opponent's hand/cache is going to give them a headache. I would suggest keeping your opponent informed of the downside to letting it go through, though. While in a competitive tournaments anything goes, but usually I wouldn't suggest souring a game by killing Leveticus permanently because your opponent wasn't aware Execute ignores Levi's Demise (actually, if it's Levi, he kind of deserves it). Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the effect of the trigger occurs before the effects of the model being killed goes off. If so, than you can still declare the trigger even if you reduce the model to 0 health (in the case of Demise abilities).
Moving on! What's an innocent Steamborg Executioner gonna do besides aggressively petting everyone he meets? Why, it's fart a deadly cloud of superhot steam! That's right! Now can you not only mince literally everything into hot dogs, you can cook them too! Howard can take the Vent Steam action to put up an aura of concealment for everyone within 3" of him. It also acts as Hazardous terrain for all enemies that aren't Constructs. Now, I was kind of down on Howard for a while until I realized he should be using this every activation. In my defense, I seemed to luck into a lot of constructs/incorporeal whenever I hired him. STILL it's fantastic just for the defensive aspects. Concealment is going to save your team's behind just as much as the plus flips to your Df and Wp. The best part is it affects all non-claw attack actions (including spell-like attacks). It also gets around the 1" rule for Concealing terrain. The enemy model could be base-to- base with yours and they'd still be on a negative flip. Don't discount the Hazardous, either. This will be a huge pain for most opponents you run into. While one damage might not seem like much, you have to take into context the fact that it trips EVERY action they take while in it, OR when they move in it. Guess what's a move? A walk! Guess what's a move? A charge! Guess what's another move? a push! Gimmie one more? A place! Alright, which of those can you force your opponent to do? ALL OF THEM. Yes, probably the best thing about Hank is that he's a focal point for slowly boiling your opponent's models alive. Amina can force any move, Captain can push, Toni lures, and Hank himself has that glorious Heave trigger to just do it himself. Even Mouse gets in on the party. It goes away at the end of the turn, so activating Hank early will get the most use out of the action. Sadly this is counter-productive to the Execute trigger, but the Steam is more important. If only there was some kind of, I don't know, Lawyer in the crew that could...like...tell him to take the action before he actually activates.
Ok. Howard's one and only bonus action. I cannot perceive a point where he'd actually want to use Transfer Power. Maybe with Hoffman, but Charles only gets custody every other weekend and this is Toni Time. Trail of Gore is the only bonus action you'll be using in an M&SU crew. It allows him to discard an ENEMY scheme marker to take a walk or melee attack. Nice. Howard is rocking the triple attack with this, or sprinting really far to go stab something important 17" away. While the requirement seems a little strict, we will be getting this for FREE with his Grit ability. And since he's hanging out with Arcanist Mom and the single good lawyer in Malifaux, he's effectively a 3 action model for most of the game. This also means using the Vent Steam on his activation is less painful since he still gets to attack twice. DON'T FORGET THAT REQUIREMENT THOUGH! You could get trapped into always just taking your third action because you can, but there are times where there are actual enemy schemes lying around. Grit doesn't FORCE you to use Trail of Gore for free, you can still 'pay' for it and deny your opponent the marker.
Gunsmith's are the M&SU's most expensive minion and the first that we'll be covering. Same middling stat-line as Fitzsimmons, but sporting one less health than their cost (something I JUST now noticed as a change from the Beta), BUT we already know M&SU stats are going to be blase what with all the plus flips. Let's move to the abilities.
'Hard to Kill' is an ability that just about every model in Toni's entourage had in M2E, but now the Gunsmith is the only model to retain it. It's a very good thing, as being the only reliable ranged damage dealer in the crew is going to put a target on their back. If you don't remember, it says that, as long as you are above 1 wound, damage can only ever take you down to 1 wound. Forcing your opponent to make one more attack to kill the Gunsmith gives you more of an opportunity to save them with either Mouse or a Medical Automaton.
'Easy Targets' is their next unique skill, which says if the Gunsmith is unengaged, and the target does not benefit from Cover or Concealment, you gain a flip to your attack. This has very swingy benefit determined by the terrain density of your board. When you have it, it's great for the added likelihood of hitting. When you DON'T have it, the downside is compounded by the added effects of the Cover/Concealment. Unlike snipers, Gunsmiths still have to play by the rules 😢. So, 'Easy Targets' will be sort of dictating your targets for you. That's not too bad of a problem, as your crew has more than a few ways to put models where they don't want to be. Another benefit you might have realized is 'Easy Targets' also negates Friendly Fire. Yes, technically they could still be in Cover/Concealing (Vent Steam and Sputtering Exhaust affect ALL models), but that's usually your decision and something you can work around. It's nice to know that the Gunsmith can still reliable shoot at things Toni has pulled in without having to get up close and personal.
'Gunfighter' lets you use your guns in melee. Pretty straightforward. This might be a good time to point out that Wyrd has really streamlined the whole Ca/Sh/Ml and / relationship from M2E into a much more understandable state. 'Gunfighter' simply turns the shoot action into a melee action. SO, it ignores Concealment as well as stuff like Captain's Aura if we're talking about enemies with the ability. Also (to our benefit) 'Gunfighter' models will get hit back from Toni if they charge into her.
The last ability is one that really starts to show why they cost 8. 'Grit (Resourceful)' lets you tack on a suit of your choice to final duel total of any action it declares. While that only matters for one action, it's a doozy of an ability. If you're in the Toni/Amina bubble, you're getting whatever trigger you want on your attacks at all times. I have been corrected and will specify that you must declare the suit before you flip any cards.
Let's get to the murder! Gunsmiths bring their Custom Firearms to the beatdown which sport a hefty 2/4/5 damage track. The real kicker, as I mentioned, are the FOUR triggers on the gun. One for every suit. This means that even without the Grit ability, you are technically able to always declare a trigger on a successful attack. The first trigger is Puncture, and is likely the one you'll be declaring the most. You get a to damage per suit in the total (max of 2). A Tome will let you ignore armor, and a Mask will let you shoot someone else. Crows are another stacking trigger, this time doling out Injured +1 per suit.
Let's talk tactics. The Rams trigger is default due to the damage track and 'more damage' almost always being useful. Some times things don't have armor, some times you don't have another target to shoot (especially when engaged), and some times you don't have anything to take advantage of Injured before the turn ends. Since moderate is twice the amount as minimum, Rams is more ideal into a lot of armored opponents too. Assume a negative flip is usually weak damage, and a straight flip is more likely to be NOT weak, the Ram will likely break even on an Armor +2 model just if you hit moderate, and do better on a Severe as opposed to Weak with a Tome trigger. Now none of this is guaranteed, but I feel much more secure getting a straight flip with no armor reduction, than a negative with it. Now the Puncture stacks, so if you're lucky to win with a Ram, you're looking at a . That's still a straight flip on a tie and that ROCKS. The Mask trigger, I think, is best used when you're finishing off a model, that way you're not wasting high damage on something with 2 wounds anyways, and can start taking down something else. EDIT: Spend that second shot of Toni if there's nothing good to shoot! She'll get an adrenaline and it's pretty easy to force a miss. The second attack can't declare triggers, mind you, so you're not going to have a lot of chutzpah on it. Injured is great in a lot of situations, but it depends a lot on context and the board state. If you don't have anything to take advantage of it, you're better off with another trigger. That being said I would almost always use it if I get the double suit and I have at least one model to threaten the injured model, as I rate Injured +2 to be exponentially better than Injured +1. Also, if you really want Injured, it's better to use these guys than Toni. She wants to always be dealing more damage or picking up Adrenaline if she can. It also means you don't have to activate Ironsides early to get use out of Injured. The ranged Injured really gels well with Toni, as it affects Willpower and makes her 'Bring It' and 'Intimidation' that much more effective.
To keep from getting into a rut with always declaring Puncture, and this may seem counter-intuitive, but these guys are a pretty decent recipient of Focus. You only need so many positive flips, and if you're already getting those from Focus, you can use the other tech in the Gunsmith arsenal to better and more powerful effect. Likewise, Counterspell and Hard to Wound are going to severely weaken the Gunsmith's effectiveness. I would be very careful of my targets against such crews, and rely more on Concentrating than I normally would. Your Henchmen and Master need to declare triggers more than the 'Smith does, so getting that focus and shooting once means only one card needs to be pitched.
When the Gunsmith isn't pouring dozens of custom rounds into bad guys, they can also counter-scheme in a pinch. They come with the tactical action of 'Target Practice'. This lets you simply remove an enemy scheme marker off of the board. The target number is the distance between the Gunsmith and the marker. You start with a stat of 2, so anything within 2" is guaranteed. Note that it still has a so you sadly can't do this while engaged. I get a lot of use out of this ability. I don't usually have to even shoot very far, either. I think most of my opponents just don't expect the Gunsmith to do anything besides....gun. Unlike Fitzsimmons, the 'Smith can safely pop schemes next to your friends, and a high card means you can rush out and explode one from 15" away. Well technically 20", because of their bonus action.
'Creep Along' is their other tactical action and only Bonus action. It makes the Gunsmith incredibly efficient, because it basically gives them a free move and saves all their actions for aerating your opponent's crew. It's arguably better than Nimble, because the push ignores disengaging strikes and so pulls you out of engagement where you don't really want to be. However, it requires a 5 and a friendly to push towards. Don't worry, though, after a bit of practice you'll get used to having a set-up model to push towards every time.
The Union Steamfitter is the second-to-last model in the keyword, and one of the two dedicated mostly to support and scheming. These gals (and guy) have changed quite a bit from M2E, and anyone looking to do the same kind of tricks is going to be fairly disappointed. Not to say they're bad, but it took me a LONG time to unlearn what I was used to doing.
Vanilla stats, move along!
First ability is 'Grit (Steel Patch)' which lets you give a friendly model within 2" Shielded +1. Hey this is just a good little bundle of utility. You can always just give it to yourself, or prime a model to take no damage from Amina's Burnout (assuming Armor +1 or Fitz's aura). Remember this is upon activation, so don't forget to apply it immediately! Most opponents are kind enough to let you do it retroactively, but try to avoid that.
The other two abilities we've covered, but keep in mind Steamfitters can generate the scrap needed for power tokens, so you'll more often have access to these benefits. It is quite possible to just feed those to Hank, though. He's a growing boy.
Now to the back and their only attack, 'Welding Torch'. Boy, that's a lot of words. The first part assumes you actually have power tokens to toss around. That might be true in a Hoffman list (yes, more joint custody children), but here you're not going to be generating a lot, so they're precious. IF you ABSOLUTELY need to hit something without moving, go ahead. It increases your Melee range by 2 for every power token discarded. Just think of it as a 2/3/3 attack with Burning +1. That's...actually a decent damage track for a 6 Cost model. You're usually looking at at least dealing 3 damage overall, more if they don't clear it and survive another turn. The burning also works well with Fitzsimmons who can turn it off to get a free scheme marker. In addition to decent damage, the action can outright heal a friendly construct for 2 instead! Since there's no TN, this is really efficient. While, sadly, the only in-keyword Construct is Hank, you will OFTEN be bringing other constructs to flavor your crew. The Triggers are really nice as well. For a ram, you gain a positive to damage AND generate a blast off of your opponent. While you don't have a big Severe damage to salivate over, a severe card will still blast 3 damage onto any schmuck dumb enough to be close to your target. Even if you get saddled with weak damage you still get the blast, so plink away! There are two different triggers on a Tome. The first is Blaze, which will net you an additional Burning for every Tome. While your crew doesn't have a lot of Burning synergy, if you spend a power token and flip/cheat into putting Burning +3 on an opponent, you're now threatening extra burning damage. The other Tome trigger is probably the one you'll be declaring more often. It generates you another power token. Do this as much as you can because you really want these.
The Steamfitters' first tactical action is 'Encase in Steel'. Range of 3", needs a 6 and a Tome to go off. This hands out a very weak single point of Shielded. The triggers make this worth the action, though. On a Ram, you can discard a scrap within 3" to instead give out Shielded +3. On a Tome, you can give a friendly M&SU model Focus +1 in addition to the Shielded. The Tome gets built in if you're targeting a construct but SOME game company that won't be named decided the number of Constructs in one of the most construct-sounding keywords should be a big whopping ONE. I would venture to guess the Ram trigger is more for Hoffman as he tends to bring scrap generation AND have a lot of constructs that will get you the first of the two suits needed.
Before we get into the strategy of 'Encase in Steel' let's cover the Steamfitter's Bonus action, 'Discarded Tool'. This lets you pitch a card or a scrap marker within 2 to place a scrap or scheme marker in base contact with yourself. This has a ton of utility for most of your crew, and is a lot to unpack. First up, is the obvious synergy with yourself. End a turn by placing a scrap, next activation you got a marker to gain a power token from. You can instead feed one to Howard, who will gladly take it for his own fun triggers. The scheme marker has equal use in scoring you schemes that need you to be close to the enemy like Dig Their Graves or Detonate Explosives since it doesn't care about engagement. It's also just generally useful for all scheme marker schemes, as you can take a full two actions of movement before putting one down, giving you a wider range to put them down. I've even used it to cheekily score the second point of Dig Their Graves. I managed to pop one down before being killed, and since I'm the one who places the corpse, I made sure the markers touched. Steamfitter is almost always my first activation. Walk them up, focus, and drop a scrap. That scrap is a target for Walk the Line (Amina), and the Steamfitter is a target for Creep Along (Gunsmiths). Highly efficient double-duty there!
Ok, back to the Encase in Steel. At first, I thought that I should be focusing on this ability as the primary action of my Steamfitters. That's not going to work in this edition. You need to have those suits to get use out of this, and Howard is your only construct and thus the only one you can reliably get Focus on without lucking into Tomes. Now if you have those mid-level Tomes, go right ahead. Generating Focus using the actions of cheaper models is a very good strategy in M3E. Sadly we can't cheese it out unlike other keywords, but we're the Arcanists and the good guys shouldn't be taking cheap shortcuts to victory. No, you'll probably be using your power tokens for this quite a bit. You won't be generating them right off the bat, so don't think about boosting your friends turn one, as much as setting up to help them in other ways like my first activation I mentioned earlier. Then, as you generate the tokens from scrap or attacks, you can start passing them off as Focus and Shielded to your M&SU buds. Even if you're really lucky and get a lot of Power tokens or mid-range Tomes, the Steamfitter and the Union Miner (which we'll get to) are your main schemers in keyword. Focus on scoring first and foremost, and trust your bigger siblings can still lay out the hurt without the additional focus.
Last up in the keyword is the lowly Union Miner. I say 'lowly' but they're 5 stones. No cheap activations here! These guys are your other schemers and bring their own tech to the table that separates themselves from the Steamfitter. As we can see, another 5-5-5-2 stat line. This time they bring an extra wound over their cost (though if you're anything like me these guys are a magnet for getting Red Jokered off the table by a Severe 5 model).
Their first ability is 'Companion' which operates just like 'Accomplice' except you trigger it after a friendly ends their activation, not forcing another to activate after you. Not a lot of overt use for this initially as their abilities don't really scream "I need to do this before my opponent can react", but hear me out. The first and probably most common use for this is keeping 'Unionized' on all of your models. Unless you want to inch your bubble along at an excruciating pace, you have to run models outside of 3" from a friendly. Instead of leaving that model out to suffer at the hands of Freedom-hating thugs, you can Companion into a Union Miner to also walk up and reestablish 'Unionized'. While they can't lay the hurt on nearly as well as more expensive models in the faction, there are times when you've accidentally left an unactivated enemy alive on a wound or two. Instead of giving them a chance to activate and do something nasty (or run away like a coward) you can Companion into your best buddy Chuck (he looks like a Chuck) and Chuck can give them a good whacking with a pickaxe to put them down for good. My last secret tactic (feel free to mention your own or point out something obvious I missed!) is to Companion from Amina who has pushed and made the Miner Fast. This prevents your opponent from reacting to the sudden movement, and allows your miner to take off quickly and go do what they need to do. Coupled with their Grit and Tactical action, this Lawyer-Client duo can spit out a scheme marker 18 inches from where the miner originally started!
Demolitionist is a handy ability into a handful of crews. When you activate a Union Miner, they can destroy all destructible terrain within 1". Raspy's gonna hate them. Yet another time to use their Companion ability after being pushed by Amina to deny the use of any destructible terrain against them.
'Grit (Dash)' is their last ability. Same as the Captains, but unlike him, they can't just walk out of engagement. This is all the more important because engagement turns off their favorite Tactical Action, SO if you want to toss out some schemes, make sure to always remember to use this to guarantee they won't have to disengage. It also bumps up their movement to 7"/12" which is pretty speedy for a bunch of drudges. Lastly, it pairs well with Demolitionist as they occur at the same time, so if you're JUST outside of 1" from destructible terrain, you cab get in there and bring it down.
Union Miner's come with two attacks. One you'll use. One you'll forget is on the card until you do a write-up about the Keyword on the Wyrd Forums. Mining Tools is their Melee action with a respectable 1" Stat 5 and 2/3/4. Just like big brother Hank, they also ignore defensive triggers. Any opposing crew bringing a heavy investment on defensive triggers is going to have a BAAAD time playing against the Union. On top of this, you got some great triggers to go with your Mining Tools. First up is Critical Strike. This tacks on another point of damage, bringing you to a 3/4/5 damage track (just like Howard!). The other trigger is on a Crow and hands out slow. Both of these aren't necessary but a good surprise when they show up. You're opponent isn't going to expect a solid hit from your schemers so feel free to teach them a lesson if the opportunity arises.
The other attack they have is a ranged...thing. Modified Welder is a stat 5 against Df and range 10. It hands out a point of Burning. I would only use this if you can't move and can't scheme, as by itself it's not going to do much. However, it's good for topping off any enemy model sitting on 3 Burning so they can start taking 2 damage each turn. It also pairs with Fitzsimmons' Billy Joel reference, so there's some set-up for Mr. Grumpy.
The (arguably) most used Action you're going to see from these guys is their Tactical Action, "False Claim". For the cost of a 7 and not being engaged, you can place out two scheme markers within 3" of this model. At the end of the turn, you must remove a friendly scheme marker in play. Ok, let's get into this amazing action! First up, you shouldn't be worried too much about engagement due to your Grit, the only thing you need to worry about is the up front cost (7s aren't terrible) and the back end cost (removing a marker at the end of the turn). Markers are removed before scoring happens, so you'll need to plan this out. A relatively simple solution is to dump a few scheme markers in your deployment zone at the start of the turn. You don't have to remove one of the schemes you placed via False Claim, just A friendly scheme marker. Make sure you space them out, as well. If your opponent picks both of them up, you'll be forced to remove a scheme marker anyways. The 3" is a bit misleading too, because they just have to be touching within the 3" so if you include the base size and the distance you can be from whatever you need the schemes next to to score (usually 1-2 inches), you can score from pretty far away. Since they don't have to be near each other, you can safely score things like Detonate Charges, Harness the Leylines, Search the Ruins, or Dig Their Graves with just one of Union Miner. These guys really open up with other models in the faction that use Schemes for resources or other things. Fitz and the Saboteurs can pump out a lot of explosions, Cojo can eat them all for Focus (just one Miner activation will get Donkey Kong 4 Focus!), Willie's Set Charges can blow up as many times as you can pack markers in the same area, it has SO much versatility.
See anything I missed or have input? Let me know! I'm going to cover strats and schemes in more detail, as well as some often takes. I know I'll do Mecharachnids, Emissary, and Soulstone Miners at the bery least, but let me know what else you think needs covered.
M&SU Strategy and Schemes? While I will go into more detail below, if you need to know RIGHT NOW what they're best at, look at Reckoning and Turf War first. M&SU does not like to spread out too much and is lacking the mobility to chase down Idols, while Plant Explosives is much more doable, but the mobility is still a bit of a problem. As far as Schemes, Toni wants to see Detonate the Charges, Dig Their Graves, and Claim Jump. Detonate and Dig are sort of 'danger close' schemes where some of her minions are very good at dropping scheme markers very close to enemy models. Also if your opponent takes these schemes, they'll be coming into your bubble to do it, which you want. Claim Jump is very good because the M&SU want to own the center of the board in the first place.
So that's my quick(ish) breakdown of the best girl in the whole game. I'll be filling out models in her crew below using the same format, as well as other models in the faction that she loves to bring. I'll also go over strategies, schemes, and tactics to use in more detail. Please use this thread to discuss the M&SU keyword and get a discussion going about how best to literally punch all of our problems away! If you have something to add to these breakdowns, I'll be happy to add it.