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Hello Puppet-Lovers! This is going to be my first attempt at writing a Tactica for use with my favourite Master: Collodi. I used Collodi a lot in the Wave 2 Beta and think I have a good grasp of the tactics and abilities you can make use of in a Collodi crew, which I would like to share with New Players and old alike, as well as maybe give Collodi's Opponents a leg up if they are finding him a difficult Master to go up against in their local group. Let's begin with where we came from: In M1E Collodi's tactics involved spinning a small ball of marionettes into anything and having that thing die rather brutally, from just about anywhere on the board. While maintaining a lot of the same flavour in 2E Collodi is not going to fly across the board with his entire crew, that said he has never felt more like a PuppetMaster in my opinion, and I'd like to show people why, especially if theyre having trouble transitioning. StatBlock First off Collodi is a Low-Wound Master. His Df is average at 5, with good WP at 6. 5Wk makes him a little faster than average, but is going to leave some players missing his old 40" moves. However, he can push 3" after any Df targeting attack, so if youve got some low cards to toss you can attack him with your own models to push him up the board. We've also got Accomplice so he can always have a friend go after him and Puppet Friends, which gives him access to any out of faction Puppet model, which is currently Mannequins, Coryphee and the Effigies. The 6" Bubble Collodi's abilities and buffs all center around a 6" bubble around him. This makes him more vulnerable to blast-heavy crews, but also makes it much easier to buff your entire crew at once. Of note is that Collodi's buffs do not require you to STAY in this bubble. Learning when to venture from the bubble is going to be an important skill for 2e Collodi players. Personal Puppet This is one of Collodi's (0) actions and marks a friendly Minion as the Personal Puppet until he uses the ability again. This grants the PP a (1) action any time Collodi suffers damage from an enemy model while within THE BUBBLE, so long as they take 1 damage themselves. It also grants Collodi the ability to kill (not sacrifice, so it will drop Corpse/Scrap) the Personal Puppet to negate all damage from whatever just hit him. This gives us 2 courses of action with PP. 1) We can throw it on something menacing, like an Illuminated, Young Neph or Ronin, and furiously punish things for hitting Collodi (or stalk the PP closer to priority targets and mark something else PP on out next turn. Nothing says dont hit my Master like a magical crack addict clawing your opponent's Master's face off.) 2) We throw it on something throw away, most notable the Marionette totem, and kill them when a Seamus Flintlock RJ dmg flip appears. The nice thing about the Marionettes is that when they die they may transfer positive conditions off to other minions. So you can face-tank a number of hit equal to your marionettes +1 before taking any damage. Assuming they are all in THE BUBBLE. Ideally you will get a chance to gauge your opponent and pick a tactic that most messes up their gameplan. I usually start off now by putting it on something big unless I guess my opponent is a "kill the master at all costs!!!" kind of player. Beater tends to deter pot shots, chaff tends to deter people from concentrated efforts. Collodi Hates Mind Bullets Ok, so Collodi has Df 5 and WP 6, why does he hate WP duels more? Well, first off you'll only usually only be taking one hit from a Df duel due to the auto-triggered Run Away Home; letting you push 3" in any direction, usually good enough to push out of melee or into cover/out of LoS against shooting attacks. Against WP? He's a sitting duck if the attack makes it past his WP6. So prioritize those nasty WP targets, or just avoid them if you can. But Hates His Opponents More Lets talk about what Collodi does to your Opponent's crew before we get into what he can do for his own. Collodi's lone offensive skill is Pull The Strings. It is highly accurate, extending 4" past THE BUBBLE and best of all, isnt actually a ranged attack, so does not scatter and does not care about cover. The attack itself has a... poor damage profile for a master: 2/3/4, but comes with a positive twist to damage, so you can cheat in those middle of the road cards if you want the 3 damage. But no, where this attack shines is in its triggers. SO first of all we have a build in Mask. That Mask gives the opponent slow. A crow lets us damage AND obey the opponent's non-Leader model, as many times a turn as we have AP and fancy crows to throw at them. The last trigger; Idle Hands, requires a second maske. On that model's activation, you control one of it's AP, and spend it. Now, that on its own is great, but you can shut down nearly any model in the game with 2AP and some good cards. Slapping a model once for slow and then a second time for Idle Hands means they are Paralyzed, without being able to Frozen Heart Immunity their way out of it. They lose 1 AP and you're spending the other. Even models with specific AP like Nekima can be forced to move out of position so they can't make use of their extra AP. Or just stab away with them, your pick. Nasty Ability. Collodi Loves His Children Collodi has two more actions on his -base- card, both of which are for helping his wonderful friends out. Collodi has a deep affinity, like many buffing masters, for Minion and -Keyword- models. His keyword characteristic is of course, Puppets. The first, My Will, allows him to transfer some AP out to his minions/puppets giving them a positive twist to any DUEL they make during the action. So this allows for more easily passed Horror/Manipulative duels, as well as just flatly being more likely to hit. Often you'll be better off attacking with your own strings, but this ability should not be overlooked. It doesnt work on Collodi so dont try. Second, he can summon back his totem, the marionette, or wicked dolls from scrap left lying around from killing all your decoy personal puppets or killing whatever mechanical beasties your opponent brought. This requires a 9 of Masks, making it one of the worst return-on-investment summoning powers in the game. But only by a TN difference of 1 so, its not the end of the world. This ability is one of the reasons you might pause on taking some of the NB minions I mentioned because they will all be dropping corpses, save the Coryphee. But you should have plenty of scrap from marionettes dying and effigies getting taken out. Fated VS Props Collodi's two Limited upgrades are going to change how you're playing with him. Both provide Creep, a handy little 3" push (0) action, good for getting out of engagements and moving up the board. What they differ on is key though: Do you want to Buff Your Crew or do you want to Buff Your Master? Fated was my go-to during the playtest. Effigy buffs are very powerful and will be covered in more detail in their own section. But suffice to say, being able to grant your Puppinions healing on causing damage, burning on every attack unless your opponent discards, etc and being able to do so -without activating Collodi- is very powerful indeed. When Collodi activates he can also grant a second buff to the crew by taking an action. This is usually defensive stance or more notably: Focus. If you have been reading game dev Justin's blog, you'll know how valuable AP is as a resource and I found myself on average granting it to 4-7 Puppinions, which is a heck of a lot of AP saved. Props is the contrast. It allows Collodi to sap off Defensive Stances and Focus conditions from friendlies as required. Now on the surface this seems much less useful, but having Out of Position models ending their turn on a Defensive Stance or Focus can free up a LOT of Collodi's AP, let him stand a higher chance of drawing suits he needs and just generally let him be more effective while chaff models secure you activations and are no less effective at being in your opponents way. If you find yourself thinking Marionettes are not useful, this may be the upgrade to try. Especially with Avatar Collodi's attacks (covered in the third post) You'll also get the option to summon Effigies! You dont get their buff across your whole Puppinion base, but if there's scrap around they can be more useful than a Wicked Doll and Collodi certainly does still get to benefit from the Effigy buffs! I Heard There Are Other Upgrades? Right you are title! My favourite/always taking of the remaining upgrades is Strum The Threads. This allows Puppinions Puppets-Only in THE BUBBLE to take 2 unavoidable damage to gain fast. Now Puppets tend to have low wounds high defences, so if you dont have a way of healing (which you do! See: Effigies) you can quickly wipe yourself off the board, but Illuminated could heal that back same turn. And now they are FAST magical crack addicts. It should be noted this is NOT an action, its just an ability so you cant spread Fast to your Puppinions with Fated. Stop doing so, take your 2 damage like a... man puppet? Like a muppet. Breathe Life exists! Its another option for a (0), letting you toss 2 wounds back on a model, but it can't be you, so probably pass? Pushing Puppinions 2" is actually more useful than it sounds. You can unlock a lot of models from combat or manage some extra distance. If you're hitting 8 models with it, it is 16" of free movement? I dunno, I still haven't got it to be as useful as I think it COULD be. Threads of Fate. Not to be confused with Fated, this makes Collodi immune to forced movement, which is pretty dang super. You also get a (1) to give yourself Armor. Now, aside from the obvious interaction with Fated and giving that armor to your Puppinions, did you consider making yourself Fast with Strum, giving yourself Armor +4 and then not caring so much about the Beatstick in your face? Especially since that 1 minimum damage still lets your PP get free AP. Im sure I can do more with the Collodadillo. Next we'll be discussing Collodi's best pals the doll friends, followed by some Avatar Collodi pondering!