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  1. Rasputina is a very polarized Master, in that her strengths are brutally powerful but her weaknesses are painful to deal with. She is the equivalent of a tactical nuke in the game, able to do massive damage to clumps of models from huge distances. She has access to Slows and Paralyzes to shut down what she can’t kill. She can make her models much more durable or block off massive amounts of the board. However, she’s painfully slow (Wk 3 and no Cg), and getting into engagements can be a serious problem for her, as most of her attacks are . She has ways of getting around both of those weaknesses, but they are only workarounds and rely either on taking certain models or upgrades. So we're all on the same page here, let's take a look at her card, as per Wyrd's website: CARD FRONT So that sounds cool and all, but what does Rasputina actually do? Well, primarily she kills things dead. Her crews are a bit unique in that she interacts not with a Characteristic like M&SU but instead with the Ability Frozen Heart. This Ability is pretty good on its own, giving the model immunity to Horror Duels and Paralyzed, but it’s the interaction Rasputina (and her Silent Ones) have with it that’s the real winner here. Rasputina (and her Silent Ones) have another Ability called Ice Mirror, which allows you to use an unengaged Frozen Heart model within 10” and LOS for determining the range and LOS of their Actions, massively extending the range of your abilities and allowing you to basically shoot around corners! Players of WM/H will feel comfortable with this ability by thinking of it like an Arc Node. If you choose to use Ice Mirror the Action gets -1 to Ca and can’t use triggers though. Since you're using the other model as the point of LOS, picking a Ht 3 or 4 model for this lets you also see over things Raspy wouldn't otherwise be able to! The synergy between these two Abilities really are Rasputina’s shtick, and they allow her to do enormous damage from half the board away and out of LOS of any enemy models. Rasputina’s stats range from bad to pretty okay, nothing really stands out here. Wp 6 is good, same with Wd 12, but the aforementioned terrible mobility and Df 4 is pretty painful when it matters. The other two abilities on her card help out a fair bit here though. She has a Df trigger called Sub Zero (it's not built in sadly) where if she takes damage from a Ml Action, the attacker's activation then immediately ends – so if an enemy Flurries on you and you get this on the first attack, they don’t get the other two attacks! Her last Ability, Counterspell, is a bit more niche: Ca actions against her lose their built-in suits. This is useful against other spellcasters like in the weird Raspy v Raspy game, but this won’t come up in most games. CARD BACK Now, while we’re going through her Actions, remember all of these can be Ice Mirror'ed to have ridiculous range. Her first Attack Action, Freeze Over, does no damage at all. Instead, the target and any non-Leaders in base contact with them immediately gain Paralyzed! Base range is 6, and it requires an 8. This is best used when targeting a friendly Frozen Heart model, as the opponent can’t defend against it (except by killing the model first) and your model’s immune to the Paralyzed so it loses nothing! Keep in mind you can't give Paralyzed to a Leader in base contact with the target, but you can Paralyse them if the Leader is the target. Her other main attack, December’s Curse, is the real winner though. Ca 7, Rg 12, and a 2/4/5 spread lets you put out some very nice and reliable damage. This comes with two triggers, both of which are amazing! They are Surge on a to draw a card, and Overpower on a to take the action again with no more triggers. Her last attack is also her (0), Biting Chill. Unlike all of her other Actions this is only Ca 5, bad range (2 and no ), and bad damage (1/2/2). On a trigger she gets to do it again though, and unlike Overpower this one can trigger repeatedly. This is essentially going to be used only if she gets stuck in melee. Her only Tactical Action, December’s Touch, lets you give a friendly model Armor +2 and Frozen Heart for a 4 at Rg 12. I'll be touching more on this one in the model synergy section, but for now just note that giving out both of those is really good! This also has the Surge trigger on a . PERSONAL UPGRADES The last things to go over with Rasputina herself are her upgrades, and hoo boy are they wonderful! They are very expensive though, with two at 1ss, three at 2ss, and one at a crazy 3ss. Like with most Arcanist masters, you're very likely going to be taking 3 upgrades on her every game, and each slot is quite competitive. Child of December is her Paralyze upgrade. It gives her the Ability Bearskin Armor, making her immune to damage from and which can be nice to have against certain crews and stops your own models’ Explosive Demise from hurting her. It also gives her another (0) called Shatter. This has a good Rg but can only target a Paralyzed model, and gives it an incredible to all duels for the turn! On a trigger you also get to do a flat 4 damage, and on a trigger you do 3 damage for every Upgrade the model has (yes, that can be 9 damage and on the enemy Master if you Paralyze them first)! Cold Nights is her control upgrade. She gains the Ability Ice Shield, letting her go to Df 8 against one Action but only if she then trashes this upgrade (very rarely worth it unless she's about to die). The real reason you take this though is for the Tactical Action Ice Pillars. These are Rg 12 (with a secondary restriction that they also have to be within 12” of the user so you can’t throw them super far forward) and they put down two 50mm Ht 5 Blocking Impassable markers in base contact with each other, effectively shutting down the enemy’s charge lanes and LOS without giving them Cover. It also has the Surge trigger on a . This is just such a great upgrade, I take it almost every game. December’s Pawn is a bit of a gamble. For 2ss you get only one Ability, with the same name as the upgrade, but it lets her count the Black Joker as if it was a Red Joker (note: it’s only her, so if another model flips it they’re still screwed). This is sometimes incredible, but it’s not very likely to have an effect most games. Enveloped in Ice is her melee upgrade. She gets +1 Wk and Armor +1, both of which are just flat out great to have. She also gets the ability In My Clutches, which is basically a once-per-turn Pounce. But why would that matter if she doesn’t have any actions, you might ask? Well, the upgrade also gives her one! Frozen Spear isn’t a super amazing attack, 95% of the time you’re still going to want to use December’s Curse. However, if the enemy is Slow or Paralyzed then they can’t reduce or prevent the damage from it! On a trigger it also Slows the target, so with this she’s surprisingly good at killing high Armor models in melee (she still has a Cg of - though). Frozen Servants is her summoner upgrade. This gives her and all other Living Frozen Heart models a (0) Consume the Fallen, which lets them eat nearby Corpse Markers for a surprisingly decent heal. The big thing here though is a pair of Actions called Icy Minions and December’s Fist. The first lets her summon a 3-wound Ice Gamin off of a Scrap Marker for a mid-, and the other summons a 6-wound Ice Golem for a high- and a Soulstone. She’s not really a Scrap Marker user outside this, but dropping little critters into the enemy’s crew is very nice, and this is generally believed to be the best way to make sure that your Ice Golem get engaged with your enemy. More on this in Tips & Tricks. Shattered Heart is her ranged upgrade, and is also the most expensive one in the whole faction. It replaces her Ice Mirror Ability with Shattered Mirror, which acts the same but doesn't have the -1 to Ca and it does let you use triggers (Actions that come from her triggers are at -2 Ca). This is the core of her “never move, only kill” playstyle and it turns her into one of the biggest ranged threats in the game thanks to the Overpower trigger on December’s Curse. It’s also a limited upgrade. OTHER UPGRADES Armor of December is the other limited upgrade she has access to, though it’s actually not exclusive to her – it can be taken by any Frozen Heart models (so her, Snow Storm, Blessed of December, and Ice Golem). It gives the tactical action Guarded Advance which pushes the model 3" and gives them Armor +1. This is what you'll take for her safer playstyle, since not having Shattered Heart makes her less of a ranged terror but also harder to pin down thanks to these pushes. Most of the time if you’re taking this, you won’t be taking Enveloped in Ice as they both kind of serve the same spot of getting Raspy out of engagement. The other upgrades she has access to go from solid to meh: Arcane Reservoir and Seize the Day are especially good, but neither is mandatory. Sub Zero is okay, but she really shouldn’t be near the frontline enough to be using this so someone else should be taking it if you want it. Imbued Energies for a turn of Fast is okay, but she already has a lot of really good upgrades. Imbued Protection, Recharge Soulstone, and The Philosopher’s Stone are all a bit crap for her so I don’t recommend taking them. FROZEN HEART MODELS Basically every Frozen Heart model is good in a Rasputina crew just because of that ability, but several of them have some pretty amazing synergies beyond that. Most of the time, the majority of your crew is going to come from this pool of models just because of the extreme crew synergy that goes on. It’s hard to talk about Rasputina without her personal Totem, the Wendigo. This is almost a must-take, as it’s basically a better Malifaux Child at the same cost! It's Magical Extension action lets it use Raspy’s actions at -3 Ca. This is usually used for her tactical actions, either December’s Touch to pass out Amor +2 and Frozen Heart or Ice Pillars to block off more of the board. It also has Devour, letting it just delete a Ht 1 or Paralyzed model (and on a , it also gives Raspy Fast)! Making this even better, it has Companion so after someone Paralyzes a model it can charge right in for the cheeky Devour. Snow Storm is the most expensive Arcanist Henchman and is debatably worth that cost. She can be a monster in melee, and is decent at range with three 's on her Severe, but the real reason you take her is her (0) December’s Command, which lets you place another Frozen Heart model into base contact with her. Most of the time, this is the “get Raspy up the board” or “get Raspy out of engagement” move, but it’s also nice to get a Ice Golem within range of the enemy to Smash. Her price keeps her from being an auto-take, but she can definitely bring some good tricks to Raspy’s crew. The Arcane Emissary with the Elemental Conflux brings something very interesting to a Rasputina crew – the power to use Ice Mirror through the Emissary even if it's engaged. This is basically the only way Rasputina will use her Biting Chill through another model, giving her more AP value when it gets stuck into combat. The other Ability it gets from its upgrade, Ice Bridge, gives the Raspy crew an alternative mobility bump to your crew outside Snow Storm, not incredible but nice to have. The model itself is not a huge threat but it’s good at getting in your opponent’s face. Blessed of December is an interesting one, it being the only Arcanist model with Leap with the suit built in. This lets it jump around the board very comfortably, making it a surprisingly good scheme runner! Its attack is very nice as well, though it has a very hard time against Construct models with Armor, as its best triggers can’t be used against them. Another expensive piece (kind of a trend with Frozen Heart), but it’s good at what it’s built for. Ice Golem, the much maligned beater of the Frozen Heart group. It’s slow and hilariously easy to hit, but it has Melee Expert and two very good attacks! Its Tactical Action Toss is fun to use in a pinch as well, as you can whip an injured Ice Gamin into the enemy’s face for the double tap of damage from Toss and Explosive Demise if the Gamin dies! You’ll mostly summon this in, if you hire it you'll want either Snow Storm or another movement booster to get it into combat ASAP. December Acolytes are the queens of shooting in the Arcanists! From The Shadows lets you set them up for some damage on the first turn, but be careful not to put it too far forward or you’re going to lose her really fast. Her ranged attack is what you take them for with a fantastic damage spread, built-in Slow, and built-in forced discard trigger. Those Harpoon Guns are just amazing. Their Smell Weakness Ability also provides amazing anti-Armor and –HtW as well, making them surprisingly good against other Arcanists and Ressers. Take these. Ice Dancers are ridiculously fast scheme runners, arguably even better than the Blessed for 3ss less! Combining their great Wk, Forward Momentum Ability (pushing them if they walk or charge), and Work the Crowd Action (placing a scheme marker at the end of their activation), without Fast they can move 16” and still place a Scheme Marker! It’s kind of ridiculous, but amazing. Their other Tactical Action, Ice Path, messes with your enemy’s positioning by putting a slippery patch onto the ground, very nice against models who want to charge you. Ice Gamin are the support for your crew. Summonable by both Raspy and the Mech Rider, these should show up regularly. Their core Action Bite of Winter is what makes this whole crew work! By discarding a card, models with Frozen Heart around them get +1 to ALL of the damage they do, including on blasts! So suddenly December Acolytes and Raspy are min 3 at range, and anyone Raspy uses December’s Touch on gets it as well (meaning a Frozen Heart Rail Golem using Locomotion is min 6, if you really need something dead). They are also the suicide runners of your crew, as their Explosive Demise 2 regularly punishes the enemy for trying to kill them and if you shoot them to blast into the enemy crew, you won’t mind as much when they’re killed! Silent Ones are each like a mini-Rasputina, being the only other model in the game with Ice Mirror. Their attack is okay with some very nice triggers (attack again, get a free Ice Pillar, and heal all nearby Frozen Heart models), but the big thing they bring is their (0) December’s Favor, which with Ice Mirror is a super long range heal with a trigger to heal other Frozen Heart models around the target! They’re not quite as slow as Raspy but they are easier to hit, which is helped a bit with their built-in Df trigger Frozen Statue, which makes it so any other damage they take is capped to 1 damage at a time (the first hit still does full damage). They won’t survive if the opponent really tries, but the trigger slows down their death a bit which is nice. OTHER MODELS If you don’t want to bring the Wendigo for some extra casting and the potential for Rasputina to get Fast, your other real Totem option is the Essence of Power. Like Rasputina herself this is a very slow model but it has a great aura of +1 Ca, meaning that Rasputina can be Ca 8 from a huge distance away for very reliable damage! Mechanical Rider gets a call-out since it can summon in Ice Gamin for you, and if you’re using Frozen Servants then anything it summons which dies will drop Scrap Markers for you to summon off of later. It’s also just a really solid model, and Rasputina can solve its big problems (bad survivability early-game and low min damage for its cost) with December’s Touch. Sloth is a bit of an odd one here, as he’s arguably one of the worst of the Crossroads Seven. However, if you’re playing Paralyzed Raspy then he’s actually pretty synergistic here! If you get this model into your opponents face you can lay a ton of Slow on them with his aura, and his Lullaby can force the opponent to become Paralyzed if they’re already Slow. Arcane Effigy is honestly a 100% must-take every game. Its Arcane Radiance Action dramatically increases Raspy’s harassment power, as it lets her hand out Burning or force the opponent to discard cards (she does enough damage that the card discard is probably what you really want here, but either’s good). It’s also one of the extremely few Condition removal options Arcanists have, so that’s handy. Hoarcat Prides are really great value under Rasputina as well, giving her a fair bit of wounds at an amazingly low price, made all the better with Manipulative and Small Target. Their two attacks are also perfect for her, as Fangs and Claws can become min 4 with December’s Touch if they're above half wounds and Devour is great if you’re playing Paralyzed Raspy (it needs a much higher card than the Wendigo to do this though). Union Steamfitters are nearly auto-takes if you're taking the Frozen Servants upgrade, as you're really going to want their ability to drop Scrap Markers each turn. Also, it’s important to note that on anyone who doesn’t already have Armor, you can combine December’s Touch with a Union Steamfitter's Weld Metal Plate to suddenly give that Shastar Vidiya Guard or whoever else Armor +3! Also: literally any beater model. That might seem like a bit of a cop-out, but her ability December's Touch giving out Armor +2 and Frozen Heart (and thus access to an Ice Gamin's Bite of Winter) lets her really crank up both the survivability and the damage that anyone in the faction has access to! We have a lot of min 2 damage models, but with Raspy they’re basically all min 3. Just throwing out a few examples, an Oxfordian Mage can Furious Cast at 3/4/5 with their amazing triggers, the Shastar Vidiya Guard can suddenly be throwing out min 2 Chakrams (and they do love the extra tankiness), and if you want to get a bit fun with things even generally weaker models like Wrath can suddenly become serious threats (his weakness is how frail he is after all, Armor +2 really fixes that). TIPS & TRICKS The Biggest Boom (requires Ice Gamin and Arcane Effigy) This tip's a bit obvious, but as Rasputina's main job is to blow stuff up, if you can it's always best to set her up for success. Have a nearby Ice Gamin put up Bite of Winter and have your Arcane Effigy give her the Radiance condition before she goes. Also make sure that you have your LOS-giving Frozen Heart model in position, and to keep your enemy on their toes don't just have one - the more angles you have, the harder to defend against her attacks. New Angles (best with Wendigo) One thing to keep in mind is that you don't need to (and shouldn't) think only of your Frozen Heart models as your LOS angles. Having your Wendigo use December's Touch on a non-Frozen Heart model to give it that condition, then having that model run into a new LOS angle can really catch your opponent off guard. The more you force your opponent to consider all of your models' board positioning, the more likely you'll catch them off guard in some direction! Peekaboo (requires Cold Nights) The really cheeky thing about Ice Pillars is that they last until the model who placed them next activates. So for turn 1 you can have Raspy move up and put some down to block LOS and enemy charge lanes so that your crew can safely get into a good position. Turn 2 you can get yourself all set up, have Raspy go (removing the Pillars) and fire off her spells into the enemy's crew, and finish it off by having her put down Ice Pillars again! You could do this each turn of the game, always moving the Ice Pillars to wherever you need to block LOS and charges lanes at that time. Turn 1 Explosions (requires December Acolyte or a fast model and a movement effect) If you take a very fast model like Blessed of December or Ice Dancers, or aggressively place December Acolytes, then have Snow Storm pull Raspy nice and far forward you can have Raspy fire into the enemy's deployment zone potentially (really depends on cover and LOS here) to really force them to rush out and do some nice, mostly safe damage! You're probably going to need to put some Ice Pillars down to block LOS to the fast model, or use December's Touch to help it survive the inevitable counterattack. Carpet Bombing (requires Snow Storm and Ice Gamin/Golem) If Snow Storm is about to die and you get her within Explosive Demise range of (ideally several) enemy models, you can use her December's Command to pull forward a 3 wound Ice Gamin or 2 wound Ice Golem into base contact with her and within Explosive Demise range of those same enemy models. This makes it so when Snow Storm dies, the Ice Gamin/Golem also dies, causing two Explosive Demise's to trigger and do some serious mass damage to the enemy! Gone Bowling (requires Ice Golem, best with Ice Gamin) One thing you can only do with the Ice Golem is throw your smaller models around, either to get new Ice Mirror positions or to throw an Ice Gamin into a clump of enemy models. You can then randomize Raspy's December's Curse into the combat - if you end up targeting an enemy, do your duel as usual, but if you hit the Ice Gamin then try to cheat its Df as low as possible to ideally give Raspy a straight or positive flip. If you can hit that moderate or severe damage, your opponent will be forced to take your Blast damage followed by more damage with the Ice Gamin's Explosive Demise! Do You Want to Build a Snowman (requires Frozen Servants, best with Scrap Marker generators) Frozen Servants is enough of a game-changer to really get its own call-out here. The most important thing to keep in mind is that to be able to use this upgrade, you need to have some way of putting Scrap Markers on the board. The common choices for Arcanists can all work here: either having a Union Steamfitter placing a Scrap Marker with its (0), or having Joss, a Large Arachnid, or The Beast Within kill a model for bonus Scrap Markers. While these will help the engine get a-rolling, other options include hiring a Mechanical Rider to summon low-wound units with the intent on having them die and drop Scrap Markers, or just hiring extra Constructs and have them die during the game. Now, the models that you'll be summoning are both very handy to get on the board for just an AP. The most obvious power move here is to drop one or more into a clump of enemy models, forcing them to deal with them (and when they do, deal with its Explosive Demise). Amusingly, the summoned models coming in damaged is actually beneficial: the lower wounds, the closer they are to their Explosive Demise. The other major perk to summoning in these models is that you'll be putting new Ice Mirror angles on the board. Using Raspy's first AP to create a new Frozen Heart model disengaged and with Cover-free LOS to enemy models can be wonderful, and really increases the amount of attack angles you'll force the opponent to think about. The Ice Golem requiring a high as well as a Soulstone means it's not going to happen too often, but getting it off and summoning in a free 9ss model with Melee Expert can be a real swing in your favour. It has to survive to its second activation, but getting a summoned Ice Golem use its (3) Smash on an enemy model can put a lot of damage out! Summoning in some Ice Gamin is going to be a much more common choice, with it needing just a mid (also, the Wendigo can do this on a high ), both to give you more ways to get Bite of Winter on your friendly models as well as putting cheap new Ice Mirror angle targets wherever Scrap Markers are. Since both of these models drop Scrap Markers when they die, you're not really giving anything up by summoning them in (oh, they killed your Ice Gamin? Turn its Scrap Marker into an Ice Golem next turn!). It might initially look like the only spell you’ll be using with Rasputina is December’s Curse but between her control over the board with her Ice Pillars, her support with December’s Touch, her powerful Paralyzed combo of Freeze Over and Shatter, and her summoning options with her Frozen Servants upgrade she actually has a surprisingly deep amount of playstyle options. Regardless of how you play her, she’s still not really going to want to be engaged most of the time, but the flexibility she has makes her a legitimate choice and a threat the opponent can never ignore. If you have any tips and tricks on things you do or models you hire with Raspy that I didn't mention above, please post it below!
  2. Toni Ironsides is a character who has a very interesting place in the Arcanists, both on the board and in the story. She is the only Arcanist Master whose primary tricks aren't focused on Magic, instead focusing on protecting her crew and providing excellent enemy control and denial. She is also one of the Masters who can get the most out of bringing M&SU models, as she can massively increase both their accuracy and damage! However, an enemy who can pull her out of position, stop healing, or remove Conditions will give her a very difficult time. So we're all on the same page here, let's take a look at her card, as per Wyrd's website: CARD FRONT Now, Ironsides has a lot going on with her stat card so let's break it all down. First, she has a very decent stat line! Df 5 is okay, but for reasons we'll get into later getting hit is not a problem for her. She has an incredible Wd 14 (the most in the game) and a Cg of 8, meaning she can take some serious damage before going down and she's quite mobile as well. A core part of her kit is her first Ability, Quell the Riot, which gives her Adrenaline +1 for every nearby enemy when she activates. This is so, so important for her, as she can do some incredible things with Adrenaline! On its own though, all it does is go down by 1 and heal you for 1 at the end of the turn (note that this is a MUST, so it goes down even if she's at full wounds). Her second Ability is Hard to Kill, which just adds into her tankiness. Between HtK and Adrenaline, ending the turn with 1 wound remaining means she'd have to take at least 2 more hits before she can be taken out! The last of her defensive tricks is her Df trigger Good Shot, My Turn which, if she takes damage from a Ml Action, gives her a free uncheatable damage flip against the target and she gains a free Adrenaline. As of the Jan 2017 errata, this is built-in as well! The final part of the front of her card is something you can easily build your entire crew around: Hand Picked Men. This ability gives all other friendly M&SU models within a decent range 's to ALL attack and damage flips as long as they're at less than full health! There's no TN, no AP has to be spent, it just happens. This alone can turn Ironsides into a huge threat for your enemy. CARD BACK So the back of her card is simpler in some ways. She has two Ml Attack Actions, which conveniently can combo into each other! The first is Brass Knuckles, which is very accurate at Ml 7, has decent range and damage, and gets built-in 's against Disengaging Strikes (which, if you're playing her a certain way, is very important). This has two triggers: Warm Up gives an Adrenaline if it dealt damage, and Follow Through lets you spend 2 Adrenaline, push 2", and take a (2) Ml Action. Conveniently, her other Attack Action Uppercut is a (2) Ml Action! It sounds bad at first, with it only being Ml 4, but she gains +1 to its Ml for each Adrenaline on her, maxing at Ml 8. It also has a huge 4/5/7 spread and gives the enemy Slow as well. This only has one trigger, Who Wants Some? which is exactly the same as Follow Through but lets her take a (1) Ml Action instead. When she combines those two Attack Actions together, she theoretically can take nearly infinite AP in a turn if she has enough Adrenaline and enemies! Her only non-Ml Attack Action is You Lookin' At Me? and it is amazing. It's a Ca 7 vs Wp giving decent accuracy, and at a good range too. It basically does two things: forces the target to push its Cg towards Ironsides, and then take a (1) Ml Action against her (if it's in range to) at and without triggers. Now, while the enemy can't declare triggers Ironsides can, meaning she can force the enemy to come closer to her and then punch them in the face for the effort! It also has the trigger Next! which lets her do it again without triggers. The final Action on her stat card is also her only Tactical Action and (0) Action, Rush 'Em which reduces her Adrenaline by 1 to place into base contact with an enemy within 6", giving her even more mobility. PERSONAL UPGRADES Ironsides has a good variety of upgrades, some are good and some are less so. Thankfully, they're all quite cheap though with four at 1ss and two at 2ss! Several of her upgrades are fairly simple, but as most also just provide passive buffs it works in her favor. Challenge the Crowd is her tanking upgrade. It provides a single Ability, Bring It! which gives her to all Df duels as long as she has at least two enemies within 2". This gives a significant amount of control over if and when she gets hit, letting you choose whether you want to avoid the hit entirely or take the damage to get your Df trigger and strike them back. Frontline Leadership is her mobility denial upgrade. It's one of her pricier upgrades, and it provides two interesting options for her. The first is the Ability Protective, which lets her discard a card to gain an Adrenaline when a nearby friendly model is damaged by an enemy. The second is the (0) Tactical Action Come Get Some which forces all enemy models in a decent range who want to use a Walk or Charge Action to take a moderate Wp duel. If they fail, they have to end the Walk as close to Ironsides as possible or take the Charge Action against Ironsides. This can really help to mess up enemy positioning/targeting, and is especially good in Strategies that are based on table quarters. Iron Determination is her tankiness/healing upgrade. This gives the Ability Sleep Now In The Fire which means if the enemy flips the Red Joker in a damage flip against her, it's immediately discarded and the enemy has to flip another card to replace it! Note that it's ONLY if they flip the RJ, if they cheat it then it stays. It also provides her a (0) Tactical Action, Stand Up, Stand Tall which lets her discard all of her Adrenaline to heal as many wounds as she had Adrenaline. This can really help keep her alive, especially if she's been in the front lines! Message From The Union is her ranged upgrade. It provides her with another ranged Attack Action, Flaming Bottle. It deals no damage, but just gives Burning +3 to the enemy. This is really only worth it if you're building a Burning crew, or if you're taking a couple Gunsmiths. Union President is her Action denial upgrade. This is her other pricier upgrade, and has two great reasons to bring it. First, Slow Burn lets her choose to not reduce her Adrenaline at the end of the turn. The big reason to take it though is the (0) Tactical Action Challenge, which forces all enemy models in a good range who target anyone but her with an Action to take a tough Wp duel. If they fail, the Action fails entirely. This works no matter who is targeted, so it can even deny enemy healers or buffers from doing their jobs! Veteran Fighter is her Adrenaline/healing upgrade. Its Keep Your Fists Up Ability gives her a free Adrenaline when she activates, and it gives her Brass Knuckles the built-in trigger See It Through To The End which heals her equal to the damage it dealt before reductions! OTHER UPGRADES Warding Runes is technically a personal upgrade for Ironsides, but it's going here because it's also available to any of your Henchmen. It's pretty simple, just giving Counterspell, which removes built-in suits from Ca Actions that target this model. However, if you have any nearby Oxfordian Mages with the Blood, Doom, and Nemesis Ward upgrades this gets far, far better! A nearby Blood Ward gives this model Protection from the Blood for immunity to Conditions that come from enemies and damage from 's, Doom Ward gives this model Regeneration +1 to heal when they activate, and Nemesis Ward gives this model Protection from the Nemesis for a in any Df duels against the enemy Leader (yes, taking this with Challenge the Crowd can give her to Df duels, hilariously)! Seize the Day can be a good upgrade for Ironsides as well, as it can let you activate Ironsides before the enemy can try to escape her and gain a bunch of Adrenaline - and thus, roll out the pain train on them (or heal a ton from Stand Up, Stand Tall). You can definitely make an argument for Imbued Protection if you're wanting to go all-in on tankiness, but it's probably 2ss that could be spent better elsewhere. Bleeding Edge Tech and Powered By Flame are also legitimate options if you're hiring Minion Constructs, but otherwise are to be ignored (and are probably better on your Henchmen anyway). The other upgrades available to her, Arcane Reservoir, The Philosopher's Stone, Recharge Soulstone, and Imbued Energies can for the most part just be ignored here. THE HAND PICKED MEN (M&SU) Ironsides' personal Totem is Mouse, who is... niche. He's an above-average cost for an Arcanist Totem, and is an Insignificant Peon. He does have a good statline and Hard to Kill though. He does bring a Attack Action Rope Lash with meh accuracy, range, and damage but with a built-in trigger to pull the target to him and a (0) heal, but as it requires a suit that's not built in only 9 cards in the deck will make this succeed. Overall you can make him work and his Rope Lash can help set up Hand Picked Men for you, but personally I never find him worth his cost. Amina Naidu's denial game becomes hilariously good when you're playing Ironsides in her denial role. Getting you extra Soulstones when enemy's interact, damaging herself to give the enemy when attacking a model under half health, forcing them to gain Slow (and on a trigger only target her on their next activation), pull the enemy towards her (and on a trigger not target any models who aren't on max Wounds, which stacks hilariously with her previous trigger), turn the enemy into Peons for the rest of the game... she has it all (except for her below average Wd anyway)! The Captain is her personal Henchman, and he's great with her. His Airburst can push friendly or enemy models around, really helping Ironsides out with her positioning control, Wild Wall is very nice Soft Cover on demand, and his Relic Hammer is always solid - especially against Constructs or the occasional Tyrant. If you're going to bring him, you should 99% of the time bring his personal upgrade Patron's Blessing for the free Ca each activation. Joss is a solid inclusion into an Ironsides killcrew thanks to her Hand Picked Men, as Joss is very hard to take down so losing a Wd or two to get the bonuses won't slow him down much at all. Because of his Hard to Kill, he's also a great model to give Warding Runes when you have Oxfordian Mages, so he can benefit from Regeneration +1 to get even tankier. His Pneumatic Axe ignores so many defensive techs as well that he becomes a huge threat here. Howard Langston, much like with Joss, is included here because he is a terrifying threat under Hand Picked Men. His job is murder, pure and simple, and getting the 's to attack basically doubles the odds of getting the he needs for his Decapitate trigger. There's not much else to say here, if you want things dead then hire him. Johan is a slightly cheaper Captain if you're looking only as a melee threat, but instead of Airburst and Wind Wall brings mass healing and Condition removal instead. Taking both is an option, otherwise grab whichever works for the situation you think you're going into more. Oxfordian Mages are always a serious consideration for Ironsides, as with their Furious Casting they can become ranged monsters under Hand Picked Men. If Ironsides is using Warding Runes, they also buff her significantly which is always great. If you're going to hire less than the full three then the priority list for their Wards is typically Blood, then Nemesis, then Doom although you can always fiddle with that as needed. The Shastar Vidiya Guard have a damage track that greatly appreciates 's, and since their primary attack has a trigger on each suit then the 's to attack also massively increases the chances of getting the trigger you want against each target. They're also decently tanky, and their (0) gives a guaranteed short range push which is nice. Gunsmiths are a bit of a contentious issue. Some people think they're not worth their cost (especially compared to December Acolytes), and some people disagree. They're probably at their best under Ironsides since they benefit from Hand Picked Men when December Acolytes don't, but their meh damage spread isn't particularly impressive still. Large Arachnids are actually really decent with Ironsides! They're quite tanky, and their high severe damage really benefits from 's, especially since combined with their Temporary Limbs they can get straight damage flips even if they tie the attack. Medical Automatons don't benefit particularly from Hand Picked Men, but they are a fantastic option with Ironsides. Being able to hand out Hard To Kill as needed is very handy, and besides that they can do several heals each activation. Considering you'll want your crew damaged if you're doing a Hand Picked Men setup, making sure they're not too damaged will be pretty important. Plus, their Bedside Manner pulling friendly models away from threats can deny attempted charges or Flurries, which is great. Steam Arachnid Swarms are okay for their cost, but with their built-in to damage when they're above half health and also from Hand Picked Men you can guarantee their good moderate damage pretty comfortably. Plus they have the best Scheme Marker removal in Arcanists, so in pools where that matters it's very handy. Much like the Swarms, Union Miners benefit strongly from Hand Picked Men as they also get the to damage. They do need to get a to do decent damage, but if you do and it's under the Hand Picked Men benefit then this can punch pretty well above its cost would suggest. Their False Claim action also makes them legitimate schemer options in things that involve placing Scheme Markers near enemy models. Union Steamfitters are nearly an auto-take for a bit of a different reason. They're actually more in the spot of Medical Automatons or Johan, as they help protect your allies. Their special Condition Reinforced Sheet Armor can protect allies from taking Severe damage by turning it into Moderate instead, and they can give allies Armor +1 for the rest of the game as well. You do either need a way to place Scrap Markers or discard two cards to have this model do it with its (0) though, so there is a cost. Ironsides, The Captain, and plenty more M&SU models really love to get that Armor +1, it's a real game changer for them! Now, Willie is a fun one. Hand Picked Men more reliably gives him the on his Severe damage, which can really mess your enemy's crew up. His Wheelbarrow of Doom ability also can do a bit of damage in an area, which makes him the simplest and most reliable way to get the Hand Picked Men aura going. Lastly, his Dropped Load means that even if he dies he can all but guarantee he's going to still do damage to the enemy's crew, which is always nice. OTHER MODELS Personally, I think the best Totem that Ironsides can take is the Malifaux Child. Its heal is even less reliable than Mouse's, but it's able to Just Like You! to borrow Ironsides' You Lookin' At Me?, and since the ability doesn't have a damage track the 's it would have to deal with doesn't come up at all. The Arcane Emissary isn't bad with Ironsides. If you do take it you'll want the Ironclad Conflux upgrade, as it gives Ironsides an extra Adrenaline when she activates (if it's nearby), and it gains a (0) to pull enemy models into base contact with Ironsides. It's really just hiring a model to give Ironsides Adrenaline, but it's an option. I really love Lust with Ironsides. Her movement tricks can really mess with enemy positioning, and she's the best model you can hire to reliably keep heavy hitters off of Ironsides. Also, if you're taking Frontline Leadership then it can become really hard for your opponent to avoid her Looking For A Soul To Steal aura. Neil Henry unfortunately doesn't benefit from Hand Picked Men, but he does does the next best thing: give even more 's to your crew's damage! This is done with the Fragile Condition he hands out, making him one of the best debuffers you can hire. He's pretty tanky too, as he has a really good Wd count for his cost and heals whenever a nearby Construct dies. The Arcane Effigy, like always, is just great. Tanky for its cost, gives Ironsides extra damage via Burning, and guaranteed Condition removal are all reasons to take this. Wind Gamin are a legitimate choice for Scheme runners here. The real benefit here is if they get taken out early (and their average stats for their cost makes it not unlikely), a friendly model gets a decent and free push, helping you get into a better position. TIPS & TRICKS Know When To Fight If you're going to remember anything from this article, let it be this. Ironsides is not built to be DPS. She is not built to be a tank. She can be okay at either of those roles, but she's more of what some other game systems would call a "bruiser," but personally I prefer the term bully. Ironsides is at her best when she's getting deep into your enemy's backlines, beating the hell out of the enemy's squishy support, and holding the enemy in place. If the opponent is running their own Howard or Nekima, DO NOT charge her into them. Dance around them, use Rush 'Em to bounce past them, and leave the enemy heavy hitters for your own to deal with. Ironsides is powerful support and harassment, but if she dies she's going to do nothing for you. Keep her safe, and make sure you have other threats you can tempt your opponent's threats away from her with. "I Choose You!" (requires M&SU models) So one of the biggest things about Ironsides is her Hand Picked Men, and as it only works on other M&SU models this does mean you need to consider if you're going to focus on this or not when you're list building. You're also going to have to decide whether you want her to be in the midlines with ranged M&SU models or in the frontlines with melee. If you're playing her in the midlines, then bringing upgrades like Message from the Union and Warding Runes are probably going to be better for you, and if you're going frontline then you should be looking at ones like Challenge the Crowd and Veteran Fighter. No matter which position you choose, you should almost always bring one of her 2ss upgrades, depending on the situation. Union President is what you're going to want most of the time, but Frontline Leadership is a legitimate choice in Strategies that rely on table quarters as you can stop models from getting where they need to go. Lastly, have a method of both damaging your models slightly (Mouse, Willie, Oxfordian Mages shooting each other, etc.) and also of healing them (Johan or Medical Automatons). Having the buff is nice, but having a dead model isn't going to help you too much. The Gravity Well (requires Challenge the Crowd, Frontline Leadership, and Veteran Fighter, best with The Captain and/or Lust) So, if you're not planning on building around Hand Picked Men then the other option you have (and personally, my favourite playstyle) is to go full-on bully mode and lock down your opponent's crew while yours does all your scheming. With a Cg 8, Rush 'Em giving a 6" place, and several pushes in your crew, it should be simple for her to get into your enemy's lines by the start of turn 2. Once she's near enemy models it's really easy for her to start what I call the Gravity Well style: put up Come Get Some, use You Lookin' At Me? against any weak enemy models she's not already engaging, and just generally pull all your opponents into one big ball of despair. So why would you do this, you ask? Well, a few things: if your opponent tries to walk away, they have to pass the TN for Come Get Some. Once they do that, they have to pass a Disengaging Strike against your Ml 7. Then, and only then, do they get to move away. If they decide (rightfully) that it's unlikely they'll get away and decide to attack you instead, Challenge the Crowd giving her to Df duels makes it very hard to hit her with any threatening attacks. Not only that, but with the non-threatening attacks you can intentionally let yourself be hit for her Good Shot, My Turn trigger to give out free damage and gain free Adrenaline. And remember, while all of this is happening your crew is doing their job, and on Ironsides' next activation she can use her Brass Knuckles' See It Through To The End trigger to heal up plenty (and she'll have a ton of Adrenaline at this point, so you can go into her combo punches if you want as well). The Ol' (1) (2) Punch (best with Union President, Veteran Fighter, and Arcane Emissary with Ironclad Conflux) While Ironsides is not necessarily DPS, she can put out a lot of damage if you're building her to have lots of Adrenaline. Taking the above required things gives her Adrenaline +2 per activation on top of what you get from nearby enemies, which conveniently can be arranged with the Conflux's (0) Raging Challenge. After a turn or so of being engaged, it's completely possible to have 10 or more Adrenaline. Once that's happened, you can comfortably combo between her Brass Knuckles and Uppercut multiple times, as long as you hit. The combo trigger is built-in on Uppercut but not on Brass Knuckles, so stoning in the suit on your (1) is an option if you're confident you can hit. We Can Rebuild Her. We Have The Technology. (requires Union Steamfitter) Remember how a few paragraphs up I said Ironsides is not a tank? I lied. Her kit on its own isn't super tanky, but as soon as you add in a Steamfitter she becomes a nightmare for your opponent to kill. I've already covered most of the reasons in the Steamfitter's section (card cycling increases the odds of good cards in hand, Reinforced Sheet Armor to block Severe damage, and permanent Armor +1), and while any of those would be solid options on most of our models anyways, combining them with Ironsides' own very decent durability makes her the tank the Arcanists have always wanted. Df 5 with a built-in anti-Ml trigger, the highest Wd count in the game, Hard To Kill, Armor +1, 1-3 different healing methods depending on your upgrades all combines into something beautiful and nearly unkillable. So, Ironsides might just seem like a brawler, but she's so much more than that. She has one of the best buff auras in the game built-in, a very strong Lure-like ability, and a combo potential that competes even with a Tremors-oriented Mei Feng. If you want to have a crew that is hyper-accurate and damaging, or if you just want to throw her at your enemy and drink their delicious despair as they try to escape her, Ironsides is the lady you want. I hope you all found this helpful, Ironsides is one of the Masters I personally find the most enjoyable to play and I hope this inspires you to give her a go as well! If you have any tips, tricks, or any model combos that I've missed, feel free to post it below.
  3. retnab

    M2E Ramos

    Victor Ramos is the one of the most efficient summoners in the game, has access to some excellent support auras in his upgrades, and he typically likes to surround himself with lots of Constructs. He’s hard to take down or out-activate, and all it takes for his summoning engine to get a-rolling is a single Scrap Marker. However he can be slow, he’s extremely card greedy (gotta have those 's), and every turn he doesn’t have access to Scrap Markers is one he’s massively going down in efficiency. If an enemy model has a way to remove Scrap Markers then he’s in for a real bad time. So we're all on the same page here, let's take a look at his card, as per Wyrd's website: CARD FRONT As the founder of the M&SU (the Miners and Steamfitters Union), it’s not surprising he has that Characteristic himself. He doesn’t do anything for other M&SU members specifically, but there’s so much synergy in that group that just being a member is a plus. Moving to his stats, one of the first things you’ll see is his unfortunate Df of 4, but I promise you it’s not as bad as it sounds since all of his Abilities are built around keeping him alive! His Df trigger Repulsion increases his Df for each in the duel and also pushes the enemy away (hopefully out of range if they charged you), he has Armor +2 which is just generally great to have, and his Opportunist Ability heals him 2 wounds each time a nearby Construct is killed (NOT Sacrificed) – and spoilers, that will happen a lot. His other stats are decent besides his hilarious Cg of 4, but if he needs to charge something you’re probably already in a bad spot. The front of his card is admittedly a bit boring, but with it all being defense oriented it’ll take some real effort for your opponent to kill him. CARD BACK The back of his card is where things get really interesting! One thing that might be a bit of a shock is Ramos does not have a single trigger on ANY of his actions, not even from his upgrades. This means he doesn’t personally care at all about suits outside his summoning and Df trigger. His attack Clockwork Fist is frankly not great, but it does have a Severe of 7 which can give you a sneaky knockout if luck’s on your side. The attack you’re far more likely to be using is his Electrical Fire. It only has a 2/3/4 spread and is Rg 8, but it ignores Armor, doesn’t randomize, and has a respectable Ca 7! His only core (0) is Magnetism, which can only target a Construct but has a Ca 8 and huge Rg 16! On a success it pushes Ramos towards the Construct and does 2 damage, ignoring Armor. He can use this on his own models to zip around without wasting AP on walking, but also gives him an easy way of taking out enemy Constructs. His real bread-and-butter Ability (and the reason he’s so infamous) is his appropriately named Summon the Swarm. This can only be used once per turn, but summons 1, 2, or 3 Steam Arachnids off of a single AP and a Scrap Marker! One Arachnid only costs a 5 and it comes in on 3 wounds, two Arachnids needs an 8 and they both come in on 3 wounds, and three Arachnids needs an 11 and they each come in on 2 wounds (yes, three Arachnids requires spending a Soulstone). You do need to declare how many Steam Arachnids you’re summoning before you make your flip unfortunately, but since this only costs 1 AP his efficiency in summoning is unparalleled in any faction. His final Action is a bit of a “screw you” move, Uncontrolled Detonation. It Sacrifices a friendly Construct and forces nearby models to win a Df duel or take an impressive 4 damage each! Since this is a Sacrifice, the Construct does not drop a Scrap Marker afterwards and it doesn’t count for Opportunist. One EXTREMELY important thing to note is that because of this ability, dropping Ramos into Arcanists is a huge risk – if your opponent takes Marcus, he can use Alpha on Ramos, forcing him to Sacrifice himself! PERSONAL UPGRADES Ramos has a strong mix of upgrades that really change up how he plays, but they can be a bit pricey as there are three that cost 1ss and three that cost 2ss. Most of his upgrades are pretty support focused, but they have some nice variety in the kinds of support he provides. Combat Mechanic is his healing upgrade. It gives him Accomplice, letting him Chain Activate into another model after he’s finished which has a few nice synergies, but what you’re mostly taking this for is the Combat Mechanic Ability. This gives Ramos a medium range heal for a Construct, but it spends a Scrap Marker to do so. Electric Summoning is his summoning upgrade. It gives a single Action but as it’s a (0) it doesn’t compete much with what else Ramos wants to be doing. Electrical Creation summons the explosive model of the same name at the cost of a mid , which comes in at full health. Not huge, but it's not bad if you think your opponent’s going to be clumping up! Just be careful about the cards you're using on it, as this Ability competes for those mid 's with summoning in two Steam Arachnids. Field Generator is his tanking aura upgrade. It gives the (1) Action Arcing Screen, which gives Ramos a medium ranged aura that gives all nearby friendly models ’s to Df duels. Unlike most of his other actions and abilities, this one is NOT restricted to Constructs so anyone can benefit from this! Leviathan Power Core is his stat boost upgrade. It has the Ability Powering Up, which gives him the Powering Up Condition every time any model spends a Soulstone (so whenever a stone is used except for cards or initiative), which increases his Electrical Fire’s range by 1” per stack of the Condition. The really exciting thing here though is the Bleeding Off Power Ability, which lets you spend some of your Powering Up stack for bonuses that last through his activation! This can be a to his first opposed duel, increase his Electric Fire’s damage by 1 (min 3 ignoring Armor, pretty nice), give him +1 Ca, or Fast. The value of this upgrade takes a while to get going and relies somewhat on your opponent spending Soulstones as well, but since gaining the Condition is passive it’s mostly just free buffs for him! Under Pressure is his melee aura upgrade. It gives Counterspell, a small but handy bit of anti-Ca which removes the enemy’s built-in suits whenever they target Ramos. More importantly though, this provides the Overdrive Ability which gives all friendly Constructs in a decent range aura ’s to Ml attacks! If you’re going to be fighting over a small area of the board, handing out a ton of ’s to your attacks with this can be huge value. Vox Populi is his control upgrade. He gains the short range (0) Shout Them Down, which makes a model count as a Peon until its next Activation (which can really mess with your opponent’s Strategy goals). He also gains the Strike! Action which places two 50mm Markers for the turn that can’t be touching each other or models. These Markers count as Hazardous Severe (but ONLY to your enemies), with a very nice Hazardous damage spread (they are removed if they do any damage though). Dropping two in an opponent’s charge lane gives them two bad choices – charge anyways and take 6+ damage, or waste AP going around them. Win-win for you! OTHER UPGRADES Arcane Reservoir should be considered essentially mandatory for Ramos. It only has one Ability of the same name, but it lets Ramos draw an extra card each turn. This significantly increases the chance of being able to summon 2 or 3 Steam Arachnids each turn, and is absolutely worth the 2ss cost if you compare it to stoning for cards. If you want to play Ramos as an aura bot, Bleeding Edge Tech or Powered by Flame both significantly strengthen his Steam Arachnids. However, they’re both probably better on other models, as Ramos’ upgrade slots are pretty competitive. The other upgrades he has access to are okay to poor: Seize the Day, Imbued Energies, Imbued Protection, and Recharge Soulstone can be used with him but realistically there are better options most of the time. Like the above, Recharge Soulstone is good for his crew but you don’t want Ramos himself taking them. Joss is a great candidate for this if you’re not filling him with aura upgrades. M&SU CONSTRUCT MODELS Ramos’ personal totem, the Brass Arachnid, is a contentious topic. It has the incredibly powerful Ability Stoke which gives non-Leader Constructs Reactivate at the cost of a high (can you say turn 1 Howard Langston alpha strike?), and the can become built-in for the rest of the turn with his Rewire Ability. One common trick if you have a really good hand is to use Rewire, then Stoke itself, then on its next activation use Stoke on two more Constructs for huge activation control! However, the combination of it being a 4ss Insignificant Peon, having a low Wk, and needing high cards to give out Reactivate keeps this from being an auto-take. Joss is an amazing Henchman for several big reasons: he has good, reliable damage, he’s extremely tanky, and his Creative Salvage Ability is one of Ramos’ major sources of Scrap Markers. Even if you’re not taking him as your Scrap Marker engine he’s a solid model to take, especially if you’re planning on giving him Bleeding Edge Tech and/or Powered By Flame since he wants to be in the action at all times and having those upgrades’ auras on such a tanky frontliner is very handy. Howard Langston is an absolute monster in general, and if you need to kill the enemy dead he’s usually the right choice. Especially since the Brass Arachnid lets you do the notorious turn 1 alpha strike or keep him in your reserves and buff the heck out of him with Ramos’ various auras so he can be a danger to your opponent at any point in the game The benefits of the Rail Golem are the same as Howard, but it needs a bit more setup (a Burning provider and a bunch of low 's). However, if you do then his Locomotion provides your crew with even more damage than Howard can put out (this is the only model in-faction with access to min 5 damage without outside support). He can also carry the Hard Worker upgrade which can buff any Rail Workers you might be taking as well. Large Arachnids are some of the tankiest Minions you can hire, and if what you want is something to hold down a point for cheap they’re the models for you. They have a trigger in melee that removes the enemy’s Armor which can be amazing in the Arcanist mirror or when you’re facing Hoffman. Like Joss they have Creative Salvage, so they also provide plenty of Scrap Markers for you no matter what they’re killing. Finally, they also eat Scrap Markers and Scheme Markers for ’s for their Activation, which can be great value if you can get them near an enemy Scheme Marker you want to get rid of. Another contentious choice is the Metal Gamin. These are decently tanky with 4 wounds and Armor +2, they have Ramos’ incredible anti-Construct Magnetism attack (and they share his Ca 8 at it too!), and they have a really fantastic buff called Protection of Metal which gives a friendly model Df 6 and makes it so their Df can’t be changed from that. The downside though is the buff only lasts while the Gamin is in a very short range from that model, so it’s only really valuable to something largely immobile with low Df. They have their purpose and they’re only 4ss, but they’re not for every list. On the flip side, the Mobile Toolkit is to be taken in nearly every list. They’re a common sacrifice for Ramos’ Scrap Engine and they have some of the best Construct buffs Arcanists have access to (an extra Armor, to Ml Actions, or to ALL damage flips). They also have their Time Bomb attack which frankly a lot of people forget about, and on turn 5 having this suddenly walk up to a bunch of enemies and say “everyone pass a TN 16 Df or take 5 damage” can really stun a lot of players (and blow up half their remaining crew or totally drain their hand) Soulstone Miners are another one of these models who have some niche value but are great at what they do. They can start Buried and pop out at the end of any Turn (not near an enemy or the enemy deployment zone though), giving them great access to your opponent’s back lines. They have a good Ml attack that ignores Armor too, with a trigger to mess with enemy positioning or get a Soulstone on a kill. What really makes them unique is their (2) Action which lets them hurt themselves to give you a Soulstone. If you’re running Leviathan Power Core, these models can keep you filled up on Soulstones – just make sure you give them a way to heal if you do this! The noble Steam Arachnid is the bread and butter in any Ramos crew – but usually not as a hire, since they’re so much more efficient to summon in. Their defenses are excellent with above average Df and Wp and Armor +1, but they also make great scheme runners with a great Wk and Unimpeded. Offensively they’re bad, but they can blow themselves up for extra damage, and any models they’re in base contact with get -1 Df and that does stack! Compared to the individuals, a Steam Arachnid Swarm loses a bit of Df and the ability to reduce the enemy’s Df in exchange for fantastic offense! If they’re half Wds or higher they get ’s to damage and they have a built-in trigger for more attacks at the cost of accuracy. They can also remove all Scheme Markers within 4 or eat a Scrap Marker or friendly Steam Arachnid to do a really good self-heal. You’ll see these less than just spamming single Arachnids, but these absolutely have value in your crew and are a legitimate option to hire. OTHER MODELS Ramos doesn’t give any particular synergy with M&SU models, and he also works fine with non-Constructs (just not as well). Some of the other models you’ll typically see in a Ramos crew will include the following: Amina Naidu is the queen of denial and control and she works great in a Ramos crew. Her Summons Ability can either bring friendly or enemy models closer, as needed, with a trigger to give out her incredible Liable which means the opponent can’t target anyone missing any Wds – like your new summons!. She can also hand out Slow in melee with a trigger to make it so enemies can only target her. She can also permanently make an enemy into a Peon and stop it from doing Interact Actions, which combined with Ramos’ Vox Populi can really stop your opponent from scoring VP. She’s a good model to give Bleeding Edge Tech to, since she likes to be surrounded by friendly models for her auras. The Captain is the Henchman to take if you think your crew is going to need extra movement (it's pretty easy to take a lot of Wk 4 models with Ramos after all). His Relic Hammer makes him solid in melee, and his Air Burst is excellent at repositioning your crew, especially since his personal upgrade Patron's Blessing (which should be considered a must take) gives him an extra Ca each activation. He can also bring Bleeding Edge Tech, but if you do then make sure you're not pushing any models that need those heals out of its range. Johan (or Johana) is the only non-Arcanist member of the M&SU so he does take a Mercenary slot to hire, but he is just SO worth it (even with the price nerf)! He’s pretty tanky, he has a (2) Action that heals ALL nearby M&SU models which is just amazing, and he has one thing that is extremely rare for Arcanists: condition removal. His Relic Hammer is really strong as well, especially with his Solidarity Ability that gives him ’s to Attacks when he is near another M&SU model. Just be careful not to leave him within 3” of a friendly if your opponent has an Obey or you’re in for a bad time. He’s an excellent model to have carry your Bleeding Edge Tech to make him a dedicated healer, or give him Well Rehearsed for that good ol’ double Hard to Kill. Lazarus is the man (or machine?) to hire if you want to drop some blasts on your opponent. He doesn’t bring a lot else to a Ramos crew, but with his Auto-Fire letting him take 3 shots against the same target he can sure blow the heck out of the enemy’s crew at range. Neil Henry adds a really strong Condition to a Ramos crew – Fragile, which is like a reverse Hard to Wound. He’s otherwise a tankier Rail Worker with a better Ml, the Ability Man Over Machine that lets you discard for more attacks against models a friendly Construct damages, and his own version of Ramos' Opportunist called Better Than A Machine, which is pretty nice overall. Like the Rail Golem, he can also carry Hard Worker if so desired. Sue is a personal favourite of mine, as he makes it into most of my Ramos crews for two reasons: he has min 3 shooting which is always nice, and also at the cost of a wound he can draw a card each turn! He also has some powerful anti-Ca with his Man In Black Action, which is very nice against caster-heavy crews. Electric Creations are typically only ever hired if you plan on killing it to start your Scrap Engine. They're not the cheapest, but they are the most fragile of the options to kill (as long as you don't mind them blowing up in your face). As summons they can be very handy, as all their methods of doing damage don't rely on opposed duels - Shocking Touch does damage just for ending their activation in base contact with something, Explosive Demise deals area damage when it's killed, or they can use their Burst Action (needing a high card) to sacrifice itself and do even more damage. Ferdinand Vogel and The Beast Within each give Ramos something he loves, but you do have to choose which you want each turn. Ferdinand can draw extra cards each turn by ending a Walk near a Scheme Marker, and his Censure Action can give a Vox Populi Ramos crew even more denial gameplay. On the other hand, The Beast Within gives min 3 melee and the ability to drop up to THREE Scrap markers on a trigger if he kills an Armored model, for the highest Scrap Marker generation available! Rail Workers only cost 1ss more than a Steam Arachnid, have less Df, Wp, and Wk, but gain Hard to Kill, can discard to gain ’s to all attack and damage flips for the turn(!), and get a much better damage spread. They absolutely love having Johan and/or Bleeding Edge Tech nearby to get even more value out of Hard to Kill, and if you can get past their low mobility they’re a great cheap melee option. Union Steamfitters are another fantastic option for Ramos for two reasons: they have card draw (sort of) in the form of drawing the top card of your discard pile when they activate, but you must discard a card immediately afterwards. If you're bringing the Combat Mechanic upgrade and Ramos ends his activation with an awesome card on top of your discard, using Accomplice to pick it right back up is very useful! They’re also the ONLY model available to Ramos that can create Scrap Markers without killing models. It does cost you 2 cards from your hand though, so it’s not something to do too much. They can also permanently give Armor +1 to your Armor-less models, such as Johan. Overall, a solid choice. TIPS & TRICKS Law of Conservation of Mass? Never Heard of It It’s important to remember that all it takes to start Ramos’ summoning engine is a single Scrap Marker. Honestly it’s kind of hilarious how many models he ends up making just from that one Marker! There are plenty of options to get that first Marker though, and frankly they’re all pretty good so it comes down to personal preference. Your options are: the Union Steamfitter at the cost of their (0) and two cards, Joss / Large Arachnids at the cost of any model killed (two Scrap if it was a Construct), and The Beast Within at the cost of any model with Armor killed if he gets a trigger for two Scrap (three Scrap if it was a Construct). If you choose one of the kill options, your best choices are: Mobile Toolkit for the cheapest option, Electrical Creation for the easiest kill, or a Steam Arachnid for a moderately easy kill that doesn’t blow up when you kill it. All of these have pros and cons, and no one option is inherently better than the rest. They Keep Coming... and Coming... and... One of the most important choices Ramos has to go through every turn is whether to summon any Steam Arachnids, and if so how many. Since you have to declare how many Arachnids to summon before you flip (and you NEED to spend a Soulstone on a Tome to get three), you really shouldn’t leave it to chance. If you’re not certain you can get three Steam Arachnids, declare two instead. It’s typically not worth it to only summon one, and that should only be done if you absolutely need the activation. Big Things Have Small Beginnings It can be a hard thing to decide whether you would rather have three Steam Arachnids or a single Steam Arachnid Swarm. Losing out on two activations, the Df debuffs, and (if you’re playing Aura Ramos) giving up a lot of force amplification is a hard pill to swallow. However, the Swarms being able to wipe out bunched up Scheme Markers, getting ’s to damage when above half health, having a much better damage track, and the ability to heal themselves all makes them legitimate choices. I Herd U Liek Auraz (best with Amina Naidu) One thing Ramos can do that’s not seen elsewhere in Arcanists is to just cover your crew in a ton of beneficial auras. Any crew can take Amina Naidu, Bleeding Edge Tech, and Powered By Flame, but only Ramos can add Field Generator and Under Pressure to that. All of that combined means that even a tiny Steam Arachnid becomes very tanky and can actually put out some decent damage, and in your full crew becomes a huge force amplifier if you choose to play it this way. Ride The Lightning (requires Leviathan Power Core and Soulstone Miners, best with Johan and/or Bleeding Edge Tech) One of the coolest things to come out of Wave 5 for Ramos is Leviathan Power Core, which actually gives him the ability to go a bit “super-solo” and be really awesome in one specific direction each turn – if enough Soulstones get used. To make sure that happens, you can bring one or more Soulstone Miners and have them use their Action Mine Soulstone to constantly feed you new Soulstones to spend. To keep them from dying turn 3, bringing Johan and/or Bleeding Edge Tech to heal them up will comfortably give you 10+ extra Soulstones. With that much spare, Ramos can really go to town with his Electric Fire and give it some pretty wild range! Since he only needs to spend Powering Up +2 to gain the +1 damage to Electric Fire, you’re not giving up much range for the turns you want him to start killing things too. Tyranny of the Masses (requires Vox Populi, Amina Naidu, and Ferdinand Vogel) Ramos’ other new playstyle in Wave 5 is all about shutting the enemy down. Amina can permanently make enemy models into Peons, stop enemies from targeting anyone but her, stop them from targeting anyone missing wounds (friendly or enemy, this shuts down healers very well!), and lets you trade cards for Soulstones when an enemy Interacts near her. Ferdinand’s “It was self-defense!” trigger giving to enemies when they target Minions makes it absurdly hard for the enemy to kill your Steam Arachnids, and his Censure being able to stop enemies from taking any Tactical Actions on its card or upgrades, or making them discard any time they want to attack can really screw with the enemy’s gameplan. Lastly, Vox Populi giving Ramos the (0) Shout Them Down is just amazing in several ways. You can make an enemy model into a Peon until the end of the turn, stopping it from scoring, or you can use it on a friendly model the enemy’s about to score on and deny them points that way! It retains its other level in addition to Peon, so it won’t stop something like Buried Treasure, but you’d be surprised how many Strats and Schemes specify “non-Peon.” One of these on its own can be annoying, but bringing all 3 makes the game hell on your opponent – especially since this can comfortably happen while Ramos gets his Arachnid engine going effortlessly! Let's Start A Riot (requires Vox Populi and models with pushes/places/Lures, best with The Captain, Lazarus, and Malifaux Child) Ramos' Strike Markers are really excellent damage, but a smart opponent's not just going to walk into them if there's an alternative. So to fix this, you can have your other models push or lure the enemy models into the Markers! The Captain is the best at this, since his The Eye of the Storm Ability does mass pushes with no resists, but anyone else who can move the enemies (Amina Naidu, Lust, Performers, etc.) can do this just fine. If you take the Combat Mechanic upgrade then you can Companion straight into these models as well. Making this even better, if you decide to take the Malifaux Child and Lazarus then they can each drop another set of two Strike Markers, for a total of 6 on the board at a time! This can really make it hard for the enemy to move without dealing with Severe and the really good Hazardous damage. As you can tell from all of this, while Ramos may seem like a fairly simple Master between multiple “once per Turn” abilities and a pretty dull card front, he actually has several interesting and legitimate playstyle options which all greatly benefit from him being the most efficient summoner in the game! If you know of any model synergies or tips & tricks I haven’t mentioned above, feel free to post them below
  4. Hey all, so I'm sick at home so me being me I decided to make a spreadsheet showing the distribution of characteristics found in the Arcanist faction (and ONLY them, so Johan's not listed in M&SU and Kang's not in Foundry), divided between Stations and cost as well. Hope you find it interesting, I certainly did to see how often some things appear compared to others (*cough* M&SU *cough* Beast *cough*)! Academic Beast Foundry Frozen Heart Gamin M&SU Showgirl Other / None All Arcanists
  5. I've seen some discussion on the neverborn forum about what they're wanting from broken promises, specifically what new master upgrades. What do our little green men and women want from the book? Im hoping for an upgrade for Ophelia which gives her instinctual and possibly a better way to cycle upgrades (been playing against Parker and he makes me jealous with his efficiency). Somer might have fun being able to boss his clan around through pushes or obey effects. And Wong might give some sort of new conditions through the use of MAGIC! Mah needs card draw....that's all I want. What other ideas could be cool? Broken ideas welcome.
  6. Either Somer Tooth Jones has let himself go or Lenny is a new master
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