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About Mastershake

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  1. I keep 2x Mature Nephilim, 4x Young Nephilim and 3x spare Tots in terms of extra models. You need 4x Young Nephilim, you can probably get by with 1 mature and it's rare, but not unheard of to have more tots than you started with (either because of casualties or becoming Young), so you can get by with 6 most games. I had one game where I couldn't make a Mature Neph because I already had two out, but that game was pretty much over, so I didn't care. General Tactics are what you would do with any Lilith list. It's easy to get the false impression that Lilith is all about face beating, but some of the hardiest Neverborn are still going to be hard pressed to kick in the door and there are easily crews that will match you in terms of damage output. So, with that in mind, Lilith will pretty much always boil down to 1- Isolate 2- Destroy 3- Repeat With Tangle Shadows and Beckon Malifaux you can easily isolate any model that wanders away from its crew proper and with Wicked Wines it's often possible to isolate a model even when it's surrounded by friendlies by simply crippling their allies' ability to move (assuming your opponent lacks consistent condition removal or easy push effects). That being said, Nekima is hard for a lot of things to take down quickly and her healing and damage output is not trivial, so being able to gauge when she's going to be mostly unopposed and can just go crazy is important to being able to tear apart a weakened crew. You should also look to engineer these scenarios whenever possible. A good example was the last game. Ultimately, I gambled a lot on one initiative flip, but it was flip where the game would still be playable if I failed or effectively over if I won. Nekima was able to remove the firestarter with no reprisals followed immediately by the Rail Golem and at the point I had a Mature Nephilim in the fight who killed the gunsmith and Nekima with Lilith's help made quick work of Kaeris. It was a series of power plays that not only removed key models from my opponents line-up, but added a major damage piece to mine in the process along with even more activation control where needed. The Collodi game was also a pretty good example of something else you can do with the list. Ultimately, I don't want to be in a position where I have to kill Collodi or lose, his defensive tech is pretty stout, so as soon as I saw his positioning on the far side of the battlefield I counter deployed and used superior speed and LoS control with the forest to avoid him until he couldn't contribute enough to turn the tide. I also took advantage of the opportunity to remove one of the coryphee before they could merge to scalpel one of the big potential speed bumps. General rules (not just for this list, but for Malifaux in general) 1- VPs trump everything- It's important to note that if sacrificing VPs now can get you position to garauntee VPs later that can also be viable i.e. if you can get far enough ahead of your opponent on the points trading to where they can't hinder your VP progress, it might be worth it to sacrifice a VP or 2, but that's a major judgement call. In game 2, I skipped 2 opportunities to grow because it didn't feel like his attrition presence would be unmanageable, so I was willing to trade not having Young for VPs. 2- Favorable Trading trumps everything but VPs- If you can kill the enemy power pieces that threaten Nekima's board dominance, do it and don't worry about growing. Now, realistically, growing with the True Mother upgrade is so easy, you shouldn't be stumbling on this, Nekima's pass off range for the kills is generous and neither that or Rapid Growth require LoS on top of Nekima's large melee range giving her a lot of options in terms of where to stand. Even in game 3, where I went all in on an opportunity to rapidly dominate the game, I still had models in position to make a Mature Nephilim. I've seen versions where there are less tots and I'm not really a fan. In this list, there are so many Tots they become and entirely disposable resource. The more you drop from the list, the more losing individual tots hurt and the higher payoff if your opponent can snipe them out. I've also tried the Primordial Magic, but most games it just Rush of Magic and nothing else whereas the Cherub has a passive ability that makes all interacting easier, the Rise Up action that creates areas of Sever and Hazardous terrain around models and a bow that is absolute BS. Seriously, I know it's Sh stat isn't spectacular, but it automatically tags targets with slow and has a built in trigger that pushes them 5" in any direction. That is absolutely crazy on so many levels. You can throw Rise Up on Lilith and shoot someone dragging them into the Hazardous terrain and giving Lilith a free attack if they end within 1". You can also use it as a control piece on heavy hitters, by slowing them and pushing them into forests or mess with people on elevated terrain by pushing them off. The Cherub really is fantastic on many level, and I've never really been happy with substituting it with the PM mostly because you're trading a lot of interesting tactical and strategic options for basically 1 more card drawn and discarded which never felt at all worth it.
  2. I'm not gonna lie, Malifaux is not my primary game. That being said, I do still enjoy it and find the game is still pretty unique among the ones I play, so I always come back every so often. We had a local 50ss tournament using the gaining grounds packet (mostly anyways), so I decided to come back after not paying for...I dunno like 5- 6 months ish. With such a long hiatus, I wanted to take an autopilot crew, one I could run in my sleep and that handled the various strats and schemes pretty well, so I decided to just play my favorite Lilith lost and see what happened. Lilith (Beckon Malifaux, Living Blade, Rapid Growth) Nekima (True Mother, Mimics' Blessing) Cherub 6x Terror Tots Round 1, Interference vs. Collodi, Standard Deployment One of my Schemes was the Undercover Entourage on Lilith. I'm blanking on the other, but it definitely involved scheme markers. My opponent deploys first and immediately notice something I can abuse about her deployment. Collodi is really far on my left. In turn I drop heavy on the right with only a few tots holding the left. Turn 1 I also see something else I can take advantage of. A coryphée double walks to engage a tot. If the duet forms, I'm going to lose a lot of momentum trying to kill it, so I immediately have Lilith activate, chop the lone coryphée down in one hit and make a Young. The rest of the match isn't hugely interesting. Collodi spends too many turns chasing down tots and throwing scheme markers down while Lilith and Nekima do what they do best. As it turns out, effigy's are pretty perfect for Nekima since 1 slap drops them down to 1 hp, then she can cut herself for a point of damage and get a new tot. I ended the game with 13 models on the table and she only had Collodi. Victory 9-4 If my opponent had deployed Collodi more centrally and combined the right away, I think she had a good chance to put out the damage to give me serious problems. Round 2, Stake a Claim v. Pandora, Corner Deployment. I went with Convict Labor (at least I think that was it, had to put scheme markers within 2" of the centerline) and Take Prisoner on Dora herself. If I need to, I can usually kill Dora, but it's rarely worth it, so taking that scheme frees up some firepower as long as he doesn't suspect I'm doing it. My opponents crew only had 7 models and none of them were crazy fast or hugely damaging. Meanwhile, I had 6 tots and a Cherub on corner deployment, so right away my thought was "4-0 on strategy". Schemes seemed pretty easy as well. There wasn't really anything explosive or crazy this game, I actually turned down some grow opportunities so I could keep the tots around to interact. Lilith, ultimately died getting my opponent some points for the new assassinate (or whatever it's called now). I was able to remove the Poltergeist and Widow Weaver in a timely fashion and without those two Nekima's high Wp made her pretty resistant to everything else. Nekima did have a chance to kill Lilith and take over the crew but we couldn't figure out an interaction with Birthright and the way the new assassination scheme is worded (we played it as he would get the points anyways and because of that there didn't seem to be a point in wasting the AP). Game ended with 4 hp Dora fighting 5 Tots, Cherub and Nekima Victory 10-5 Last Round, Headhunter v. Kaeris, Standard Deployment. Quickly wished I had picked different schemes, I went Inspection and the one where you put down Scheme markers one the enemy table half, 6" away from the centerline a more than 4" from enemies. It wasn't undo able, but I did trip over myself a lot. Anyways, at the end of turn 1 I saw a way to potentially establish an immediate and untouchable attrition lead. The only models left to activate on either side were Lilith and Nekima. I could use Tangle Shadows to have Nekima and a tot switch places, then Lilith gets 12" away from the Rail Golem and a Gunsmith, then Nekima charges Firestarter and gets 9" away from the Rail Golem. The Rail Golem isn't a huge threat to Lilith since I'm holding Red Joker, so if he tries to hit her she just disappears on the first swing and now it's Ml 3 v. DF 7, but he could easily kill Nekima. I'm losing initially on Initiative, but I stone up to a 9 or 10, he opts not to stone for initiative and...that's basically game. I think it just didn't register with him what I was planning. Lilith proceeds to root both the Rail Golem and a Gunsmith and uses Illusionary Forest to block the Gunsmiths' LoS to everything he has range to. Nekima proceeds to kill the Rail Golem and my opponent simply can't muster enough firepower to stop her from carving up his crew. His last model, a Gunsmith was turned into a terror tot on turn 4. Unfortunately, the tripping over myself I mentioned earlier meant losing a VP and my opponent most decidedly got full VP for his Frame for Murder on the Rail Golem. Victory 9-5 so 28 total points with a 14 differential...seems legit. I dunno what it is I like most about this list. It has good speed, accomplishes schemes and strategies pretty easily and more importantly giant vampire demons, but I guess a huge reason is that I can practically play it in my sleep with little practice and still do pretty well. Also a pair of sexy murder machine sisters because why not right? Lilith is a fun master, Nekima is an immensely fun henchman and eating your opponents stuff is just fun. Also I think I summoned more tots today than in my last year or so of play (6 total across all 3 games although at least 2 were completely unnecessary and done exclusively for my own amusement).
  3. I would love it if McMourning Expunged Lucius, instead all he does is Expunge everything else until Lucius is surrounded by Flesh Constructs
  4. I'm going to be blunt, McCabe has been much harder for people to kill than Lucius. McCabe can usually hit Df7 Wp6, has the Dismount so some damage usually gets wasted (and if the target is in melee he can usually dismount out of their melee range) and easily get armor 1 or built in healing. As much as I like Governor's Authority, it just makes Lucius' problems even worse i.e. now you're losing even more cards and if you do luck into a good draw you don't want to use it. Secret Service also never happens, let's face it, it's a double suited Df trigger and neither are built in and at the end of the day all you're doing is moving the damage to a minion...on a master who literally does nothing if all his minions are gone. I appreciate the intent and story behind passing off the wounds, but it's back @$$wards to have Lucius pawning damage to the models who he needs to be effective. "Haha, I've suckered you into killing all of my minions, now I'll punish you by hitting you with my cane and doing nothing else whatsoever...why am I doing this again?"
  5. My problem with the McCabe v. Lucius is that, yes you can certainly give some Riflemen or Pathfinders extra shots (although giving them focused extra shots has a finite cap and doing so beyond turn 2-3 more than once a turn is often problematic), but that's all your master is doing, literally it except maybe throwing a Hidden Sniper shot (which also requires a Ram, so for those counting you're at 4 rams to do all of this). McCabe in my experience amplifies his crew a lot, but uses very little of his own AP doing it. Attaching upgrades is a (0) and McCabe himself hits reasonably hard at Ml 6 with a built in ram and Critical Strike. He's also much less card intensive personally and with his crew since Promises gives you very consistent performances for no real investment and he has very few suit requirements. I'd argue even with those three Riflemen getting three extra shots, McCabe is still doing just as much if not more work with his activation and non-activation related buffs. Playing the two masters a fair bit, I'd say McCabe is better at doing what Lucius tries to do and doesn't completely fall apart late game when the minions or resources could be running thin, but that's just been my experience trying and failing to like Lucius as a master.
  6. Even with the ability to cycle the deck, the BBS is not a healer and shouldn't be taken with that expectation. After making this mistake a few times I realized the healing with that guy is nothing more than a bonus. Consider: You need a 6 of crows, so already you've eliminated 3 fulls suits and the Black Joker, plus the 1-5 of crows. That's 45 cards out of a 54 card deck that don't work. Then figure that you probably don't want to cheat a face card or red joker just to heal 2 unless it's an emergency (and even a 10 for that can be a bit iffy) and you're only looking at 4-5 cards in the entire deck that are high enough and properly suited that you wouldn't mind cheating. That, by itself isn't fatal, but if your model needs healing Black Blood Pustule does the opposite without that trigger. The ability natively only does damage, so if you desperately need the heal, trying to top-deck the suit is likely just making it worse (chance to top deck and get the right suit to heal is only a 1 in 6 not accounting for cards already flipped). That being said, Black Blood Illuminated is completely mean and you should totally do it if given the opportunity.
  7. Regrettably, I think I'm getting to this conclusion the more I put him on the field. He's got a cool idea that's knee-capped by a lot of limitations (some of which feel very unnecessary). Commanding Minions is a cool concept, but why is Issue Command once per turn and why do I need a 7 for it to go off? Collette can Prompt anything three times every turn and casts Prompt on a 6. Lucius also doesn't buff minions, he just gives them some extra AP, which I'm not sold is worth it (he does have secret service, but that comes up once in a Blue Moon). He also needs to burn cards getting the minions to do things, but often just getting the extra AP to go off eats the cards needed to make the actions he's giving work. It's annoying because I can see the bare bones of a good master, but it feels like the designers never had a great idea what direction to go with him to make him truly distinct, so he ends up with a loosely tied set of abilities that feel about on par with what I'd expect out of a slightly above average henchman (and to be fair I'd take Nekima leading my crew over Lucius at this point). Why is "What Lackeys are For" suited, only goes off on a 7 and limited to once per turn? Why is an ability that can only give minions extra AP also limited to once per turn (and non-austringers although I know the answer to that) where similar abilities have gotten away with multiple uses? Why does this master do nothing to buff minions outside the extra AP? Why is the trigger on Suprisingly Loyal double suited? Why is Hidden Sniper also suited (with a double suited trigger)? If all of these limitations were removed I still don't see Lucius dominating the games he plays. I guess the old saying "familiarity breeds contempt" is the most apt since my dislike has grown the more I've used him. As much as I like the idea of Lucius, he's probably going to get shelved for McCabe because McCabe buffs his crew like a boss and is just loads of fun to play whereas Lucius usually sits on the frustrating end of the spectrum where you realize that all of those cool things aren't happening because all of them are suited.
  8. A RAT 5 model shoots at a DEF 13 model. You need an 8 and always will need an 8 unless outside factors increase that. This means you can apply a relative value to things like boosting or adding a die and removing the lowest/highest that suitably incorporates your increased probability. A Ml 5 attacks a Df 6 model. The number your card needs to show to hit will vary with each attack and your likelihood of landing that number will vary with each card removed from the respective decks even before factoring in cheating. None of this is perception related. I appreciate the point you're trying to get at and the need of the internet to quantify things, but at the end of the day I don't think there's a good numerical value to apply to a positive twists. Trying to think of a Sh 5 model with a positive as being effectively Sh 7 is going to lead to a lot of disappointment when you're popping shots at Df 6 or 7 models.
  9. You are incorrect. If I have Ml 4 and my Df 6 opponent flips a 13, the duel is over, his result did affect my chances of success and in fact made it impossible. Having a moving target along with the fact that no deck will ever be complete (some cards will be in your hand, flipped for initiative on previous duels or trashed from last turn etc) means trying to apply a static value to something like a positive is, at best misguided.
  10. For a master that already demands a lot of resources, adding something that demands more is situational for me. Even with some of his efficiency tricks, I usually find myself in top-decking mode with Lucius remarkably fast so if the choice is a 2ss upgrade that needs more resources or 2 more ss, the upgrade usually gets the boot (especially since the really good trigger for Hidden Sniper is double suited neither of which is built in)
  11. In Warmachine there's a static value you're trying to hit, in Malifaux it changes with every attack. Even if you don't factor cheating in a model with a higher stat can simply flip unbeatable numbers off the top of the deck. Where in WM I know I have an X% chance of hitting a DEF X model with a RAT X model and modifiers change that by a static amount, in Malifaux a positive twist working out to a roughly a +2 could still mean missing every attack whereas an actual +2 may be able to hit...if that makes any sense.
  12. This kind of gets of to the heart of the matter because unlike a game like Warmachine where it's easier to check the math on something like +1D6 remove the highest there's a lot of variables involved that can dramatically improve or degrade the value of a positive twist. An example would be if you had a mob of Guild Guards with Dashel. They can easily get single and even double positives, but their attack stat is only a 4, so anything Defense 6 is going to be problem to hit even with all the bonuses. OTOH, those Guild Guards will start a fair number of their duels beating their targets even at Defense 6, so they can certainly force the other person to give up cards they normally wouldn't. Negative twists also have a huge impact on the value of a positive twist since you can get back to neutral without having to spend AP focusing. Rule of thumb 6-8ss or less, you want positives. Most of these models don't have OMG damage tracks and you usually aren't relying on them to carry your game so positives give them a good chance of participating even if you don't feel like spending cards for it and in turn give you a better chance of having a good return on investment. 9+ss are usually models you buy for their ability to wreck other models (obviously there are always exceptions), so a higher base stat often has more value (if they also get a positive great), but I've seen Rail Golems fall apart a lot on key models because of their somewhat mediocre Ml stat. Anything that gives out twist though, a simple is worth it's weight in gold, just ask anyone who's ever played against Yin or Jack Daw.
  13. Honestly I'd argue even Hidden Sniper is situational. You have a master who already needs cards and suits (more specifically often wants Rams) and you're adding another action to compete for those rams. Back in the playtesting when it didn't need a Ram just to go off, Hidden Sniper was great, but now that it does all it ends up doing is competing for cards on a master who's already hungry for them. I'm kind of at the point where I pass on most upgrades for Lucius now.
  14. You're friend isn't first. As soon as I saw Glowing Sabre, I looked around at anything that got extra rams. It takes a turn to get it going (Turn 2 he's effectively weak 3 even without flipping a ram). That being said I can't help but sigh a little when engaging isn't wise and I pop off some shots from his gun and realize how awful his native attacks are for his cost. I'm still a little baffled the pale rider made it through playtesting at 12pts, but if you actually want him to feel worth it, the McCabe is the way to do it. Elixir of Life giving him Regen 2 is also pretty solid. Warden's have been universally solid with McCabe as well since they also have a way to get their built in rams and turns 1 and 2 do the same damage as the Pale Rider as long as the target has already activated. Wardens can also get Reactivate from the badge of speed. 2 Wardens or 1 Pale Rider is a tough choice with McCabe. I like the rider's speed and his survivability gets great late game, but the warden just starts with Armor 1 and a trigger that brings him up to Armor 3. Turn 3 onwards is really where the pale rider starts to pull ahead of the warden, but that leaves both of them pretty similar on the bigger combat turns and the turns where the Warden or rider is clearly better is either before the major fighting starts or after a lot of the fighting has cooled down. 6 of one or a half dozen of the other, but at the end of the day there's nothing quite like being able to say "Triggering Critical Strike with 5 Rams" and the audible sigh from the other person.
  15. So for me overly broad questions like "Can model X kill model Y" deserve overly broad answers. If I was asked this during a game, my likely response would involve a shrug and a confused expression with the word "Yes". If asked to explain this, I'd probably say "Anything is possible with the right cards". This question involves a lot of things your opponent is not entitled to know like what's going to get flipped, what's in your hand etc. In theory most damage tracks can kill most models on a charge especially with a Red Joker, so a question like this is very deserving of a non-answer. This I can't get behind. Your opponent ask you a very direct question with a numerical value for the answer and all of the information is something he's entitled to. It's like asking how many wounds a model has left and responding with "Figure it out". I could waste both of our time figuring it out, or you could just tell me. I've already asked the question, the deception is over unless I can't do math. Continuing playing charades with your opponent is just wasting time. Now if Protect Territory was unrevealed, then my answer would be "So far X for the strat plus unrevealed schemes". That's kind of the point of revealing a scheme, it's not a secret anymore, but you get more VPs. EDIT: If you want to know whether you're deception is acceptable or if you're just being a douchebag ask two questions: 1. Is my opponent entitled to this information? If they aren't anything you give them is free and you should never accept freebies from an opponent. 2. Is not giving the other person this information just wasting time? If you're opponent ask you about a model's defenses and you're deliberately vague or give a remark like "Would you like to know more?" you're basically wasting time. They've asked about the model and they're going to find out even if you're unhelpful, so there's not much incentive to being evasive here. At the very least think of it as lulling them into a false sense of security that you'll be upfront. At the end of the day I don't volunteer everything to my opponent (in fact I'll rarely give anything that isn't asked for), but if they asked a directed question and everything about the answer is things they're entitled to by the rules, being evasive at that point just burns away any good will you may have with that person.
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