Just passing through, thought I'd drop some comments on m3e McMourning as he doesn't seem much discussed so far. This really is just me thinking aloud to organise my thoughts.
Caveates: I haven't played in a year or so, these comments are entirely theory. I haven't read many of the rules/cards for other factions. Summary: I can be safely ignored if it pleases you.
First, some asides:
1) Mad props to Wyrd for the 'Experimental' keyword. Perfect 👌
2) The m3e rules generally seem to be a bit of a mess, I get this is a beta, but it seems a way off being done. Still a myriad of different rules that require reference to others spread around in various places. I can see effort has been made to try to make interpretation easier, but many explanations seem over-long/complicated and end up obscuring the meaning.
e.g. I had to re-read Zoraida's Obey ability so many times to work out what the double mask trigger did that was different from the default ability. Why does it not just say "this action may target masters"? Lots of this kind of thing, and it is irritating.
On to McM and his friendly friends!
A frontline scalpel piece with a versatile toolbox. His melee attacks bypass most standard defences. The ability to dish out 2+ injured or discard, on top of damage and poison per hit is brutal. He is quite independent, high attack stat and able to do some decent self-setup by putting out poison and injured/hand drain, translates to reliable damage. With investment (stones for suits, poison set up) he has some serious output.
An ideal attack run looks like: rancid transplant (mask trigger) for 3 poison + whatever you transfer from McM or another friendly (we are likely at 5+ already) and 1 injured and place in base contact. Alternatively, just charge for less poison, but more damage/healing. Saw at the enemy (who is now -1 to duels) a couple of times, beating cards out of their hand or wrecking their defence. If the enemy is good and poisoned (5+) I can see the argument for hitting the crit strike trigger to soften it up for the blood poison finisher. Its not the nuke that expunge was, but 5 damage is half of a lot of big beaters’ health. In all, we are looking at a very reliable 9 damage per activation (and very likely more) barring SS use or some esoteric defensive trait. The poison chaser from catalyst or end of phase is mostly a cherry as McM is looking to one round stuff, but in the past has had VP denial potential and maybe still does.
McM has some decent abilities to keep him in the fight, and why I dare to consider him a front-liner. Hard to wound is no big whoop, but its better than nothing. He heals 2 health per successful attack, and he heals when he takes poison (1 when activating from catalyst, and 1+ in the end phase). In m2e he used to heal a maximum of 5 from his attack run and take damage from poison, now he can reliably heal himself 8 or more over a turn. However, this isn’t the straight improvement it seems. As illustrated above he may want an AP or two for other things like transplant or movement, ultimately meaning this greater healing can be more spread out across the turn than it used to be (more vulnerable to big hits). Also, with the loss of “that’s the stuff” movement he is far less mobile, and so less able to maximise is attack AP (though see Kentoroi), or retreat out of danger. 12 wounds (less than m2e) is at the high end, and alongside Df6 (so happy) and healing, he is definitely tough – though given the fire power he will attract he is going to need it.
In terms of support, McM gives certain friendlies 2 poison when they deploy or are summoned, important for getting the poison machine rolling. Rancid Transplant gives him versatile ranged condition removal, which always used to be one of the major tools a crew should have, and probably still is. Similarly, out of activation movement is always gold and Doctor’s Orders allows him to move a friendly 4” (I don’t think he can target himself?) though this sacrifices Blood Poison (though you have redundancy for this). How this works with disengaging I’m not sure, but very useful, particularly in the first turn.
Finally, McM can summon. All it takes is an AP and 3 corpse markers within a 7” diameter of McM, no cards to bite you in the arse or SS wasted, and you have yourself a slow (but fast) Flesh Construct at full health. However, its not all rainbows. Corpse markers can be useful resources, and getting 3 into that area takes some planning. Furthermore, the glorious majesty of this Frankenstein’s abortion leaves McM distracted (very un-good), and negatively affects your pass token ratio, basically decreasing your chances of winning initiative (extra un-good). To get rid of distracted you will want one of your guys to assist McM (use the fleshy’s AP, or ideally a flatulent chihuahua chewing his ankle). Basically, its okay, but not going to come up in every game. I’d set this up Turn 1 if I intended to play defensively, otherwise it’s an opportunistic late-game desperation play to get schemes done (summon, doctor order, fleshy interacts).
The Doc wants the killer instinct upgrade for ruthless and soulstone gain. The whisper would provide card draw
Everyone’s favourite pooch. Its attacks are mostly for show, the effects are nice but not reliable. Though with infect baked in and a 1/1/3 damage track it may sometimes be worth biting friendlies to put more poison on the table. However, Blood Poison with a stat of 5 and a TN10 it’s a credible threat, especially if something has been injured by McM. Companion can help you finish the job, or snap the doctor out of his summoning daze. Horrific Odour to put out poison for free is the staple ability. With 3 health it will die as soon as looked at poison regen or no, though Df6 is nice. Its less good leading the charge as a poison missile than it was, and more for tagging along, lurking at the back ready to troubleshoot.
McM’s faithful walking accident is much less passive than he was in m2e. This is largely due to the loss of induction, which I am a little sad for. However, he acts as a credible secondary threat piece, basically a mini McM. His attack is essentially a clone of McM’s with injured/discard traded for a blast trigger which I don’t anticipate using. He throws poison grenades which seems cute, until you appreciate the benefits of hitting friendlies which makes it actually pretty good. I’m not sure if I care about wicked, disengaging looks like it could be a bigger part of this game, but I probably don’t. Ruthless is nice though. Having a third Blood Poison is great versatility if McM fails to finish the job or you need activation flexibility. He summons slow uninjured dogs like in m2e, they can interact but are otherwise worse and give up a pass token. Its only one corpse so much more likely to come up than McM’s summon. Once McM falls (and he will) Sebastian has enough to keep carrying the crew’s momentum.
Rafkin’s damage output has dropped and now seems to be more a set-up piece and secondary beater. The lucky knife is a bit meh, lack of baked in suits (especially the crow for infect) HURTS. However, his poison spreading is top notch, Open Vials, Formaldehyde, and Embalming Fluid make it easy to put out poison to everyone nearby. If engaged by enemies it might be best to concentrate (triggering Embalming) then wack something. For friendlies the Formaldehyde is the way to go as it gives 2 poison and you can potentially do it again with the mask trigger. Stacking poison high on enemies deals chip damage and opens them up for easier Blood Poisoning. Stacking poison on friendlies basically gives them regen, and a resource to transfer onto enemies. Case-in-point – the Transfusion bonus action. Rafkin can transfer up to 3 poison from anyone to anyone within 6” (13" diameter). 3 poison is essentially 3 damage in a turn on an enemy (1 near catalyst, 2 end of phase), that will then tick down for 2 damage (1 for catalyst and 1 for end of phase) next turn unless replenished. This translates to healing for friendlies. Stacking lots of poison on an enemy is asking for condition removal to undo all your hard work, so Transfusion or McM’s rancid transplant are best used offensively just before you intend to Blood Poison. Transfusion on friendlies is easier to control and allows you to shift stacks to help set up a strong Transplant, or to give something damaged some extra regen.
Lets stop here and consider friendly poison a bit more. Its turn 1, McM just gave 2 poison to all Peverse models as a reward for turning up. If the team doesn’t see any blasters across the table they might like to form a huddle. Rafkin can activate, (catalyst triggers but does NOT tick down poison), and give everyone poison (poison 3 for unactivated, poison 2 for rafkin). He can then drop some formadehyde, he could get super lucky with masks and deal 8 poison right here, but lets say just 4 (poison 7 for unactivated, 6 for rafkin), then maybe we transfer some poison off a back-liner (e.g. chihuahua) to a lucky someone who could put it to better use. Sebastian activates, drops 2 formaldehydes (11 for all, 10 for rafkin). Chihuahua goes, farts (12 for all, 11 for rafkin). Kentauroi can at this point ride e.g. rafkin and sebastian upfield. Finally, McM can activate, order something forward and stroll off happily sozzled with 12 poison. Several important models are now regen 3-4, and ready to spread delicious death juice (collectively 47+) among the enemy.
Love me some rogue necromancy. Decent beater that hits fairly hard, pouncing strike is what you are looking for that AP efficient extra attack. 10 wounds HtW HtK is good, but Df4 sucks. It will be attracting and taking big hits that mean it won’t be around for long if not protected. Terrifying 11 is okay, it seems to trigger on each attack now so is a bigger card drain, it won’t stop dedicated killers, but it costs them more. This thing wants its poison regen. Spending a card with ambush for fading poison might be too much considering that many others in the crew can provide and McM doesn’t have great card draw, but any little extra movement can be good. Projectile vomit is great for spreading poison and distracted, few players bunch their stuff up if they know blasts are around, but the baked in blank stare is pure money. So good. Necrotic decay trigger, meh. My biggest problem with this guy is I can only take one, I WANT TO USE MY DOUBLE ROGUES 😠
I wish I liked these sculpts, as it is I am totally on the pay to win waggon. These are really good. For 8 stones they hit like the 10 stone rogue necro on the charge, can charge multiple times and have a means of escaping engagement to do it. In melee, anything they hit gets poisoned, anything that hits them gets poisoned. They have a lot of health, poison regen and a terrible defence that works out to being able to take 3 or 4 average hits. Ride with me is the super ability. The ability to move models outside of their activation is always stellar, and my little pony can bring anyone short of the Rogue Necro and the Emissary. McM's "that the stuff" poison pushes were SO strong in m2e, I will REALLY miss doing it. Having Kentauroi do a poor-man's mimic of it will likely be crucial to getting the most out of Dougie. This is where you put grave spirit’s touch, killer instinct, or the whisper upgrades
NUUUUURSE! Okay the panic button isn’t as awesome as once it was, and they lost the glorious 4 poison no damage ability. However, manipulative is nice, even if I’d wish for Df6. Bedside manner is very interesting. For the cost of a card whisking a model out harm’s way is strong, and has interesting application against ranged attacks. I'm concerned she will struggle to keep up with McM once he enters wrecking ball mode though. Note: you can use weak damage track friendlies (chihuahua, effigy, little gasser, canine remains, rafkins big boom trigger) to damage your own guys and slingshot them around the nurse. I don’t think we care about the 0” melee attack. Seduction debuff with an obey trigger on the other hand is pretty good, but with the distracted condition (and stripping focus) it can’t really be used on friendlies except in desperate circumstances. Pain killers would be great, but the short range really limits it considerably. Being able to pick up a discarded card and then discard any card to add the suit (choose masks) to all duels is excellent, and a great way to get extra use out of good cards if you can wangle it. The nurse seems to want to follow closely behind something big and offer support, so maybe Wyrd have hit the theme just right. Could benefit from grave spirit’s touch upgrade.
A decent minion, 7 points is quite steep though. Gives out and heals from poison, average damage track with stat 6. Projectile vomit gives flexibility, shame no blank stare trigger. Ruthless is nice and needed considering its terrible stats. 8 health is going to keep it on its feet for 0 time, considering how quick its 13 health m2e incarnation would bite the dust. This thing would be hideously over-costed if not for one thing – reckless. The ability to take 1 damage for fast is exceptionally good, enabling credible scheme running and beating. Will I hire some? Probably, but I will want to seriously consider the summoning option.
I think this is a decent 5 stone minion, could be wrong I haven't really looked at the competition. The autopsy seems to be what passes for McM’s basic scheme runner. Its going down in a couple of hits HtW and poison heal or no. Its attacks don’t set the world on fire (although reliably puts out poison in melee). However, it has some interesting tricks. Being able to trade corpses for SS is nice. Maybe a distraction, but maybe a godsend. Creep Along bonus action is also interesting. AP efficient movement (making up for move 4) to help them get to melee faster, move up shoot and pull back, and importantly conduct multiple interacts. VP is king. Needs a 7 6+ [edit: maths is hard] though so not going to happen every time, but is more likely than the m2e necropunk leap.
The sculpts look fun, I should probably pick some up at some point. These seem like a harassment piece to me. They put out poison reliably with horrific odour and then they will die. With flight they are deceptively fast and will be worth giving extra consideration in heavy terrain. 3” places and pushes could get them or the enemy into useful positions I guess, but really their use appears to be as a poison missile to charge and infect, pull finger and fart to spread 2-3 poison on as many of the enemy as possible. Could also help out with turn 1 poison party.
My faithful hounds! Given how awesome these were in m2e I can’t help but be disappointed. Basically does a similar harassment job to the Gassers but cheaper and worse. Its power is cheapness, but you can’t spam (limited to 3? My other 4 just get to cheerlead from the shelf? Sucknuggents) and even if you could it would be bad due to pass tokens. They run in and miss, until the last one gets in there and starts hitting with stat 6 and irrelevant damage. No one cares about that occasional time you flip a crit strike, WHERE IS MY INFECT TRIGGER? Hunting Partner… hmmm…You know who cares about shooting into combat? The guild autopsy... with its pathetic gun and AP much better spent scheming or charging in with its sword. You know who doesn’t care? Everyone else. Trying not to be overly negative (and failing), annoying does give out the distracted condition, which is unpleasant to have. However, it only applies if they use certain tactical actions, and at 3 health (with the mighty HtW) it is a swat away from not mattering anyway. I haven’t looked at many models from other factions, it may be they are bursting with string tactical actions that would be worth spending AP on to tax in this way. You decide. Carrion Away, solely there for the great pun, and to make McM’s tough summoning requirements waste more of your time.
Non-Experimental (but worth the tax)
Carrion Emissary – (Versitile) terrifying, HtK, mv 6 with 50mm base and flight, ranged blasts, good damage tracks with built in infect, summons, LOS blocking terrain or decaying aura bonus actions. SO GOOD.
Carrion Effigy – (Versitile) a heal, decaying aura and accomplice – can become Emissary with upgrade.
Phillip and the Nanny – Manoeuvrable, Great for scheme denial, roll over trigger spreads damage and poison
Toshiro – makes minions hit better (even when he dies), can summon and heal
Asura Rotten – Super good for certain schemes (significant mindless zombies), can summon and heal, HtK
Crooligan – hyper mobile scheme runner
Grave Digger – recent funeral + grave robber + dismember on something that will just heal from poison = controlled placement of 3 corpses for McM’s fleshy summon. End of game corpses to scheme markers
Mindless Zombie – allowed to have 5, don’t give up pass token on summon, built in infect, pack mentality is bad given how slow they are but could be hilarious