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About ezramantis

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  1. I agree with everything Regelridderen said. I always pad my list out with as many of the same minion as possible when playing new players. That way they have to remember the capabilities of fewer models. I used von schill and friekorps vs new players in M2E. My neverborn crew relied too much on trickiness. With friekorps I wouldn't use abilities that broke the basic rules (like being able to charge out of engagement) until the new player had a grasp of those rules. Most of their abilities were pretty utilitarian and straightforward. Things like armor, a decent attack, etc. Of course when playing a Rasputina player it met with some problems because the old friekorps were imune to blast efffects and it negated one of the things that made Raspy cool. So I now look out for that when choosing a counter crew for teaching. Abilities that negate the coolness of the noob are a no no for me. I think it's less about the crew and more about the choices to play somewhat suboptimally and instead set up teaching opportunities. A simple killy crew isn't quite as killy if you don't cheat from your control hand. Heck, a tricky crew is often not as tricky if you let the flip determine whether or not you get your suits. If I found myself too far ahead, I'd sigh at my draw and act like I had shit for a hand, only cheated a few 8s or 9s, and was sure to discard with a low card on top the next round to reinforce my ruse. This also served to weaken my deck if I was discarding high cards. Also maxing your Soulstone pool and then all but ignoring it is an effective handicap. Picking difficult schemes for your list will let you play to the max and put you at a disadvatage that's hard to be called out on. (I've played with people who, right from the start get mad if I look like I'm taking it easy on them. They don't catch this one as quick as a pile of untouched soulstones or consistantly under utilized control hand). The added benefit of this is that you can gauge a players understanding post game, when they mention "yeah, assassinate was a hard one for you. There's no way your guys could pin down my master" or something similar. Those three things helped me not absolutely devastate the only guy I had to play with last year and still let me play who I wanted to (Zoraida) against him (who admitted wasn't strong, but pretty tricksy). They also let me feel challenged and taught me to play better. Sorry if that turned into a weird, rambling lecture. I just kept remembering all my experiences playing vs mostly new players haha. But to answer your question: Von Schill
  2. Oh, and if you grab a 3×3 piece of felt for your table, the felt terrain grips it nicely amd the area terrain ties together visually.
  3. What morgan said. I love using clear plastic to base things. I really like the idea of using it for a fog area. For my area terrain I use a piece of felt. It's cheap at the craft store, can be cut easily to make a variety of shapes, sticks enough to my rough table surface to prevent it from moving during play, and is flat to make play easy. I get heathered felt and do a litttle light painting on it to make it look more terrain like (but not so much that it stiffens). We then "decorate" the area with appropriate terrain that can be moved freely to accommodate model placement. For fog banks decoration you can easily glue stretched out cotton balls to 50mm bases (i cut them out of cereal boxes but clear plastic is cooler. Just might have to use ca glue instead of pva) and use them to fill your area terrain. I've actually been thinking of making a steam vent/pipe/chimney to set in the middle of a fog bank to visually explain it's presence. Not that weird stuff needs to be explained in Malifaux....
  4. You are my hero for the day!
  5. There used to be a wiki called Pull My Finger that had an excellent page on terrain, but I can't find it now. This is what I remember from the page and it has served me well in laying out my tables. approx 1/3 of the table covered in terrain of some type. 1/3 of the terrain should be blocking (so that there are places for models to hide from shooters). 1/3 of the terrain should be severe/impassable (to give shooting models something to "hide" behind and slow the advance of the melee models). And...I don't recall it's suggestion for the remaining 1/3. I've always tried to give a good balance of these two terrain types in M2E because some abilities ignore severe terrain and if there is no severe terrain that ability is worthless. Likewise my brother's meta was heavy on impassable blocking terrain and the tables constantly hindered models with push abilities and helped models like Seamus with his Back Alley tactical action creating unbalanced games. I like throwing in a few pieces of dense terrain like woods (severe,dense) or fog banks (dense) that will totally block line of sight unless one of the models is in the terrain but can still be moved through. Open Severe terrain (like rivers, ponds, or sand/gravel pits) are neat too because they don't provide any concealment or cover but do slow movement.
  6. If it grows the scene I'll certainly be happy. And thanks for the site gnomezilla!
  7. Glad many of you like the new packaging but I, for one, do not. If I end up wanting to buy a single model outside my crew's keyword (or even within the keyword) but have no interest or use for the other models it's packaged with? Now I'm payin' for plastic I ain't playin'. And what's the word on buying models included in the starter boxes? If i want one of the Vics starter minions to supplement my Von Schill crew do I end up paying $50 for that model?
  8. I'm all for having the occasional hidden TN (and in the situation above feel it adds to the game rather than detracts from it). The guys I game with are smart enough to know the odds based on cards in the deck and the typical range of modifiers. So they'll know when cheating leaves them with reasonable assurance that they're not being followed. With even a basic understanding that the possible flips are 1-13 anyone can guess whether it might be worth cheating just to be safe. If it's important enough that they not be followed, it should be worth the cheat card, reguardless of whether or not they know the TN. Is it a 5 important to them, or an 11? It's often said that this rule system is more about narrative and less about "rules lawyering" or "power gaming" by those defending it's sometimes wishy washy explanations and guidance. Having an occasional hidden TN seems in line with this interpretation of the spirit of TTB. What better way to create a narrative of uncertainty than to have ACTUAL uncertainty? If you think your players are the type to stage a revolution and storm out in a huff if you try to introduce a bit of occassional tension and uncertainty into the game, you could use margins of success and failure to "soften" the result. If the hidden TN is 10, maybe a margin of failure would allow them to make another check a few blocks closer to their destination, or give them a hint that doesn't tip them off one way or another. A success would assure them they are (or are not) being followed. If your players are aware that this is how hidden TNs are handled at your table, it may not leave them feeling as uneasy about being denied that knowledge. I do kinda like slokan's suggestion of using the "avoiding the patrols" ongoing challenge as an alternative.
  9. Challenge rating isn't as important to non combat encounters. With a social challenge the rewards and consequences are more abstract, easier to fudge, and less likely to end a characters life (at least directly). And it's pretty simple to look at the AV of a NPC's relevant skill and decide whether it will be a suitable challenge for the party's talker. Besides, when most people ask this question, the discussion is about combat encounter balance. Good point about NPC average. Especially since you could skew that number even further by adding a large number of peons, which could actually result in the fated being at an AP disadvantage as well. Ok, so rather than avg the NPC's, their rating can start based on their individual att/def AV. I still think the Fated can be averaged to get a general strength for the party, since a thug SHOULD have an easier time in combat than, say, a lawyer. If the party is heavy on thugs then the lawyer knows to rely on them and stay out of the way. If it's heavy on non combat types then the party avg will go down and the thug(s) will end their opponents and move on to help their pals. A party average also creates 1 number to deal with (after it's calculated) when planning encounters, at least on the Fated side of things.
  10. You know, this isn't the first time this has come up on this forum and it isn't the first time the answer has amounted to "figure it out. Good luck". So since Wyrd can't give us any better guidance maybe if we put our heads together we can work out a rough CR system. What do ya think of this for starters? Average the defenses of the fated. Lets say it's 3. Add 6 or 7 (the average of card values in the fate deck) If that number is equal to the average (AV) of the attacks on the foes being faced, theoretically the foes will land attacks 50% of the time. The same could be done in reverse with the attack skills of the fated and the defense of the NPCs. Increasing the average values of the NPCs makes a harder encounter and decreasing it makes an easier encounter. I recognize that this doesn't take plenty of other factors into account (like damage tracks or comparitive numbers of activations/AP), but it's a starting concept. I'd love it if we could brainstorm this together.
  11. I like this advice. One of the things I LOVE about malifaux is that winning isn't about killing your opponents force (necessarily), it's about the objectives. I'm gonna try and keep this in mind when I'm doing my planning. Often times when I'm feeling out the combat effectiveness of a group, I plan my encounters with the possibility of reinforcements. Start with what you think might be an even challenge for the group. If the NPCs start going down too easy, surprise! there was another squad in the next room, a wandering patrol heard the skirmish, one of the peons calls for his "big brother", or the noise awakens a beastie that was sleeping nearby, etc. This works well for "dungeon crawls". In fact the next session I have planned is basically the Fated clearing a house of zombies. If the first room they clear proves not enough of a challenge, I'll pepper in a few bigger baddies in the next room. The whole session is for me to get a feel for the strength of the group. If the NPCs are wrecking the players, you can have reinforcements show up for the Fated. Or maybe a roar echoes through the sewers, the baddies stop, look at eachother, and flee. What is the sound? Maybe the players would be wise in their battered state to leave the mystery for another day. (I'm suddenly imagining Obiwan Kenobi scaring off the tusken raiders in A New Hope.) I've had villians laugh at the vanquished players and spit on them claiming they were too pathetic to bother killing. I've had sections of floor collapse taking a brutal threat out of reach of the party, saving them at the last minute. All that said, I'm kinda dissappointed that this game doesn't have a "challenge rating" system like 3rd ed d&d or Pathfinder. I kinda expected a company that is used to balancing wargame units with a point system to have SOMETHING in place for their RPG, at least as a starting point for encounter planning.
  12. As someone with little disposable income, I can relate to this. I've lucked out in that my meager collection will actually benefit from the rules changes. I've purchased based on a theme (swampfiends) reguardless of the utility of the models in competitive play and even my models that jumped faction stayed in theme. For me, the specific character lore is secondary to the game. The idea that a fiction author could just kill off one or several of my key models (masters) or have them switch allegiances and that ends up invalidating my purchases is annoying. The type of changes and growth that make good fiction aren't neccessarily the same changes and growth that help a game like this. I played for years with paper proxies but felt that I should buy some models partly because it was a way to support a game I'd like to see gain prominence. I imagine it'd feel like a slap in the face if the company then scattered my models across different factions and keywords based mainly on story. Or at least make me feel like giving them my money is a bad personal investment when I have little money to invest. Sorry for your luck Bago. Sincerely. Maybe Wyrd will hear your plea and be able to accomadate customers like you. Or maybe there are unrevealed elements of 3E that will address concerns (like a simple ugrade for your master that allows the hiring of specific models previously in the faction in M2E. A "legacy" ungrade if you will). Hopefully the new edition will at least bring new players who you can sell to/swap with. I'm hoping for some scene growth in my area.
  13. My thought was that a soulstone headed arrow would be ideally saved for the kill shot, probably on a minion or peon, which would have a cheat card waiting in hand. Wouldn't want to waste the opportunity or lose the stone. That, of course, is the advantage a Fated bowyer has over a chump like me stomping around in the woods, cheating fate. Even so, what a fun moment when a gremlin with that precious arrow in it's tush manages to survive and goes screaming off into the swamp in the middle of a battle and the bower abandons the group to run it down haha.
  14. If a soulstone works more like a computer than a "stone", what's the deal with soulstone dust? I get that it can't be recharged but it must retain some charge if it can power limbs and constructs. It seems like, from what's being said, if you break a bowling ball sized soulstone in half it effectively becomes extremely course grain soulstone dust rather than two huge soulstones. So at that point you'd get more use out of it if you ground it into dust and used it to power constructs, right? Because a soulstone powers a construct for a number of weeks equal to it's lade but soulstone dust will power a construct for a month. And you'd get a good amount of dust out of a bowling ball sized "stone". Unless soulstone dust also comes in grades of some sort that effectively equal it's lade. So you'd need more opaque dust to achieve the same fuel value as a small amount of transparent dust. Basically whatever amounts to 4 lade worth of dust. When buying dust your 5 scrip could get you anything from a small dufflebag to a pinch depending on the quality of the dust.
  15. - I'll have to check that story out. - I have been bow hunting (in the woods). I'm nowhere near as good as a ten thunders archer though . (I'd be eating well if I was.)
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