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  1. Hello there! It's been a little while since my last Malifaux battle report, it's been awhile since I recorded a game too. That said, I finally completed a battle report for Malifaux that's been sitting on my to do list for quite a while. The game is a bit older, but I think it turned out interestingly enough to warrant the editing and effects. So check it out if you have about forty minutes to spare =) edit: Fixed the YouTube link.
  2. Concerning C. Hoffman and his assimilate. I read that the talents that he gains through this end at the end of the turn. One is this true and two why does this happen?
  3. Here's another narrative battle report, from a game of Nicodem vs C. Hoffman at 30SS. My opponent was really damn good, and it was one of the few times I've ever played against Hoffman, so it was quite an interesting match. I hope you enjoy reading this, as I enjoyed writing it. The units, strategies, schemes, and other events should be fairly clear. ------------------------------------------------------------------ "A Death In The Family" p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } Nicodem's cane beat a steady counterpoint to the creaking of the wagon as he wandered into the Gremlin village. The wagon he was guiding contained a number of interesting corpses he intended to perform a few necrotic experiments on; certainly not the kind of cargo a man in his position should be caught with. The book in his possession was also remarkably illegal, detailing some interesting variations on the necromantic arts. Thankfully, the only companions who could testify against him were the undead creations he himself had animated, and he couldn't think of a single courtroom that would suffer the testimony of dead men such as these. He smiled at the thought of a lawyer attempting to cross-examine his Crooked Men, fuming at their groaning responses and demanding that they be held in contempt. The ridiculous image was almost enough to make him laugh. Night was falling fast as he walked along, and he could faintly see his vultures circling overhead. He delved into their minds for a moment, hijacking their vision to scan the roads ahead. Most of the upcoming village was clear, deserted by the uneducated Gremlins for some superstitious reason. It was why he took this route to his lab out near the bayou; no inbred simpletons to block his progress, and few Guild patrols to intercept hi- “Hmm . . . what's this, my shambling friends?” He furrowed his brow in concentration for a moment, taking full control of the eyes of one of his vultures. A flash of bronze caught his eye, soon resolving into the form of a Guild Watcher. It appeared to spot the vulture at the same moment, and began raising an alarm. Suddenly, a group of figures passed into sight. Leaning heavily on his cane, he tried to make out the leading figure. A small man, strapped into some kind of harness was clearly directing the automatons. “It seems that we've stumbled onto a Guild patrol,” he muttered to himself. “That Hoffman gentleman should not suspect me of any wrongdoing, so perhaps a quick escape would be in order. Wait . . . what is that beautiful creation?” Through the eyes of his vulture, he noticed a hulking figure trailing behind Hoffman, human only in origin. A large Gatling gun was strapped to one arm, and the other was a giant mechanical fist, hissing steam. The man, clearly disturbed at the presence of others, looked to be some wonderful fusing of man and machine. “An interesting experiment. I'd love to examine the magics used to reanimate it,” he remarked, turning to his undead escort. “Kill him. The body will make a most interesting object of study.” Nicodem paused for a moment, realizing that the large tome would only slow him down. He deposited it in the hollow of a stump, silently praying that the natural depression would both hide the book from a casual search and keep the delicate pages protected from the damp and chill of the approaching night. Standing up straight and brandishing his cane in one hand, he surveyed his troops. “Very well, men. The object is simple; protect this wagon, kill that beautiful fusion of man and machine for study, and prevent those prying eyes from locating this rather valuable book.” His creations groaned in agreement, hefting their weapons. The undead driver spurred on the rotten horses which pulled the wagon, and all of his creations seemed eager to please him. Though he knew these creatures had only the dimmest glimmering of thought, Nicodem was amused by their eagerness to follow the orders of their master and creator. It was now time for a bit of a scuffle. He swept his long coat around him, and prepared to face off against this setback in his quest for necromantic knowledge. --------------------------------------------- Hoffman was not enjoying this particular patrol. The original quarry, a rumored Arcanist spy, had escaped into the bayou. The sight of his brother, his form warped and distorted by the surgeries done at the hands of Doctor Ramos. He was far from the proud man he once was, and Lucius's orders to take him along on this patrol only served to deepen his hatred for the Arcanist scum who had done this to Ryle. The only gain had been the recovery of the spy's book of contacts, hastily left in his flight from justice. “Damn that Lucius, and damn that Arcanist spy,” he said to the Guardian with him. He knew it wouldn't respond, but was comforted by its reassuring bulk. His toolkit scuttled behind him, eager to assist in any spot-repairs he might require, returning a measure of peace to his mind. At least these machines would never betray him. The Watcher he had set on a wide scout patrol suddenly dived down, and he knew that something had to be wrong. There was no rumored Arcanist presence in the area, so he wondered for a moment what it could be. Landing lightly on his arm, the Watcher proceeded to display an image from across the village. Undead. There was no mistaking that shambling gait. Six figures stood around a large wagon which trundled slowly forward along an ancient and rut-torn path. Three of them appeared to be wearing straw hats, a pair of swords strapped to their sides. Most likely reanimated Nipponese corpses; Hoffman vaguely recalled a report from Lady Justice to the effect that these were prized soldiers to the Resurrectionist movement. The other two looked to be miners, their bodies still twisted by the fatal accident that had likely killed them. The last man was . . . Nicodem? Hoffman reviewed the image. Yes, the man walking along was clearly the Guild's chief undertaker, his mechanical leg poking out slightly from his long, black coat. That cane of his tapped on the ground as he turned to the reanimated corpses, apparently giving them some sort of orders. He was enraged. Was it not enough that one movement sought to undermine the authority of the Guild, nearly killing his brother and creating hidden enemies at every turn? This truly was a rotten city, and the corruption clearly went to the very center of the only organization willing to keep order. “Kill them,” he spat at his constructs. “Kill them all! Don't let a single one of those monstrosities escape from the justice of the Guild!” Hoffman dropped the book and the remainder of supplies. These foul creatures and their traitorous master would likely be uninterested in these items, but it would be best if they remained out of the hands of the enemy. “Advance!” he cried, spurring on the hounds he had been reluctantly convinced to take along. He was thankful for the assistance they could give; their ability to bury the corpses of the freshly dead might forestall the magics of that Resurrectionist monster. Ryle groaned, shambling forward, and the battle was joined in earnest. ---------------------------------------- Nicodem walked forward, maneuvering past the low wall the blocked most of his forces from a clear line of sight to the Guild patrol. He was unsure whether or not he'd been spotted yet, so as a precaution, he muttered a few words of power and tapped the ground with his stick. Responding to his call, a sickly fog rose from the ground, covering him from prying eyes and likely ruining the aim of anyone attempting to take a quick shot at his lanky frame. The rest of his forces advanced behind him, fanning out to protect the wagon and its precious cargo. His creations would protect it to the end of their un-lives, sacrificing their pointless existence to keep this safe. He enjoyed this loyalty; so much more dependable than any death-fearing human minions. He watched as Hoffman's forces advanced. True to his reputation, Hoffman was surrounded by the constructs whose presence he reportedly enjoyed more than humans. Less witnesses to his crimes, he supposed. That magnificent brute Ryle, however . . . he was advancing into the ruins of an ancient building. Nicodem was impressed at the creature's movements; whoever rebuilt that man clearly had a skill and passion for his work that might exceed that of his companion, Doctor McMourning. He desperately wanted to examine the corpse after neutralizing the threat it might pose. Hoffman appeared to be drawing strength from the constructs around him, and the man turned to face the wall of fog that hid Nicodem's form from prying eyes. “Damn you, Nicodem! How could you betray the Guild like this?” Nicodem cursed. He'd been recognized. No matter. He'd simply leave as few living witnesses as possible, then animate the corpses for convenient disposal in this god-forsaken bog. Might as well respond to the man. Even though he needed to kill the man and circumspectly dispose of the body, there was no need to be impolite. “Mister Hoffman, I presume? And I believe that you've come with the remains of your brother?” Hoffman, clearly agitated at the mention of his brother's reduced form, immediately yelled back, “So, you were a viper in our midst the entire time! I'll kill you, and put an end to those disgusting abominations!” “I welcome you to try, good sir. Personally, I would be satisfied with you allowing me on my way, but as you seem to be quite insistent on my death at your hands, I have no choice but to defend myself. I must also state my intentions to examine the corporeal remains of that wondrous fusion of man and machine that is your brother.” Hoffman was silent, his rebuttal choked down at the shock and anger he felt at the threats against his brother. This monster needed to die, along with the horrible forces he brought with him. ----------------------------------------------- The combat began in earnest as one of Nicodem's vultures fluttered to the ground. Concentrating briefly, he channeled a spell through the bird, and felt as the waves of decaying energy washed through it. It opened its beak in a harsh croak, spitting forth a beam of corruption and filth at Ryle. The beast, startled by the sudden assault from an unexpected angle, failed to dodge in time, his flesh visibly withering. A wave began to spark off of him, but a quick gesture from Hoffman suppressed the energy. Whatever passed for a mind in that tortured creature was enraged. He knew that the birds had harmed him, and so the birds must die. Opening up with a salvo of automatic fire, he shot at the other vulture, the bullets ripping into it and sending gore-soaked feathers flying everywhere. The beast died instantly, a croak silenced by Ryle's weapon. He then turned his weapons on the nearest targets. The first to be shot at was one of the reanimated miners, hiding behind a low wall. The shots went wide as the Crooked Man twisted, its broken spine bending far past what a living human being would be capable of. Ryle then turned his gun to one of the zombified samurai standing near Nicodem. This shot rang true, and a spray of ichor and necrotic fluid arose. The trained Guild hounds were quick to run to the corpse of the vulture, burying it to deny Nicodem access to the creature's fleeing spirit and body. They growled, defending the creature's body from the horrifying magics of the Resurrectionist's art. The other constructs were spurred on by Hoffman, walking into full sight of Nicodem and his undead cohorts. Concentrating, Hoffman sought the mechanical portions of his brother's mind and spurred them on, urging him to take a few more shots at those foes. They sparked wide, causing nothing more than a minor injury to one of the Crooked Men. Finally, Nicodem acted. He walked forward, shooting a spray of decay and death at Ryle. The shot went wide as he dived to the left, successfully avoiding the painful magics streaming forth from his cane. One of the Crooked Men suddenly surged forward, aiming its pick at Ryle. Calling upon the pain of its final memories, buried deep beneath the earth and screaming for help, it collapsed the ground leading to Ryle. The ground collapsed beneath him, driving sharp splinters of stone into his legs. More ground collapsed around him, almost striking Hoffman and his constructs. Ryle charged, grabbing the vulture who had struck him with a spell and crushing it in his mechanical fist. He was on a rampage, having finally killed the irritating creatures which had struck him. His torn psyche was blinded by rage, and it was only with the greatest of effort that Hoffman could control his brother. The rest of Hoffman's forces advanced forward, moving as a single body thanks to his mental control. The Guardian, spurred on by his orders, sent up an anti-magic aura, disrupting the spellcasting of the Resurrectionist and his dead minions. The two hounds, moving to the flanks, charged towards Nicodem and his bodyguard. One of them was intercepted by the sword-wielding zombie advancing towards Hoffman, and the other engaged Nicodem and his remaining Crooked Man. ----------------------------------------------- Thing were not going well for Nicodem. He was surrounded, the Guild was proving more resilient than he had expected, and the wagon, though well-protected, was stalled in its progress through the village. That damnable Guardian had ruined his last attempts at spellcasting; he took the time to silently curse Criid and her influence on the Guild's tactics against magic-users such as himself. He'd spent a bit of energy to strengthen the fragile connection between the bodies and spirits of his reanimated forces. That, at least, was a familiar enough action to him that even the magic-oppressing aura of that Guardian was unable to stop him. The dog snapping at his heels was certainly an annoyance. He took a moment to smack it with his cane, giving it a savage blow. The blow would have likely felled the creature, but the Guardian intercepted most of it, diverting most of the force into the construct's heavy armor. Finally, he tried to focus his energies into a spell, attacking the very life force of Hoffman and attempting to freeze the blood in his veins. The magics died as soon as the final syllable left his lips, disrupted by the Guardian's warping force. “A fine force you've brought today, Mister Hoffman. I applaud their hardiness, but I must protest their accursed tenacity.” “The abominations following you are putting up a fight,” came the quick reply. “Surrender now, and I'll kill you before you need to face the Guild's justice.” “I must respectfully decline your generous offer; I'm quite fond of my continued existence.” With that, one of the reanimated samurai charged the Guardian, seeking to destroy the construct. The other two split up, the first running towards Ryle with a groan on its decaying lips, and the second striking at the Guild hound snapping at it. A quick swing at the hound brought a cry of pain to its lips. Finally, the Crooked Man acted, summoning forth its pain once again. It channeled that pain into another spell, this time digging a dangerous pit next to Hoffman and his constructs. They were all nearly sucked into it; the Guardian's feet were trapped, seizing some internal mechanism and paralyzing it. Ryle's response was nearly instantaneous. He charged the Crooked Man, pulping its skull in a single massive blow. Before the undead creature fell to the ground, it swung a savage blow at him, the rusty pick finding purchase in Ryle's armor-plated hide. As its body slowly cooled on the ground, the pick remained embedded in Ryle's body, catching on some important mechanism and freezing him in his tracks. The Crooked Man guarding the wagon struck at the hound attacking Nicodem. Its shovel struck home, staving in the skull of the hound and throwing its battered body to the ground. The zombified samurai, seeing an opening, struck at the other hound, cleaving its head from its shoulders in a single blow. Nicodem was enraged at the loss of his precious undead creations. Calling upon a magic that was deeply familiar to him, he seized the fleeing spirits of the dead dogs and his undead minions, forcing them into long-buried bodies of men who had been claimed by the bayou before. They rose up from the ground, clawing away at the choking mud which had once buried them. Several of them immediately fell victim to the trap laid by the Crooked Man before its death. Three undead feet were trapped in the muck, frozen in place by the mud. Nicodem himself tripped, his mechanical leg failing him and causing him to catch a painful blow to his arm. “Stupid undead creature,” he muttered to himself, not caring if Hoffman heard his annoyance towards his undead minions. “Beginning to see the error of your ways, undertaker?” Hoffman spat, keeping himself propped up in the arms of his ambulatory toolkit. “Not at all, my machine-loving friend. Beginning to worry about your precious constructs?” “I'll kill you yet, and remove the taint of your foul magics from the soil of Malifaux,” he shot back, almost calm in the face of the dangers he faced. Nicodem was impressed that the man could remain so controlled this near to his death. He gestured, sending his minions towards the Guardian that had so vexed him. Ryle had managed to finish off one of his zombified samurai, so he called upon the magics to reanimate its body and send it against the paralyzed Ryle. Its sword came around in a vicious arc, stabbing into Ryle and cutting his unnaturally-prolonged life short. His hulking frame collapsed to the ground, provoking a cry of outrage from Hoffman. “You killed my brother, you bastard! Never mind Guild justice, I'll end your life myself!” His other samurai zombie rained a torrent of blows upon the Guardian, finally managing to chip away its armor and sending the construct crashing to the ground. It was clearly broken beyond repair, and Hoffman saw this. Pushed to the limits of his endurance, something inside Hoffman snapped. Surrounded by the undead, filled with rage, and distraught with the death of his brother, he let forth a cry of primal fury and reached out with his mind to the remains of the his brother and the Guardian. Seeking the self-destruct mechanisms, he tripped them, setting off a chain of explosions. All of Nicodem's reanimated samurai were consumed by the blasts, falling to the ground with their unlife extinguished. Nicodem himself was nearly caught in one of the explosions, saved only by the timely intervention of one of the mindless undead he had raised. Hoffman was engulfed in several minor blasts, the shrapnel leaving several bleeding furrows across his arms. He ignored them, too intent on murdering the man who had led to his brother's death. “Kill my creations, would you? Then die, you crippled fool!” Nicodem aimed his cane at Hoffman, firing wave after wave of necrotic energy towards the frail mechanic. He crushed a pair of soulstones, each one of them strengthening the deadly waves streaming towards Hoffman. He managed to deflect one of them, saving himself from the worst of the damages. Hoffman was badly injured, and so he reached out with his mind, grabbing the will to survive from his attending Watcher just as the pick of a Crooked Man smashed its wings and dropped it to the ground. Surrounded by the undead, half-dead, and with nothing to survive, he held up his hands. “I surrender, you bastard.” Nicodem paused. The mindless undead were swarming Hoffman, but he called them off with a wave of his hands. It appears that the day was won. He'd managed to kill that brother of Hoffman's for examination, his wagon was proceeding to its destination, and it appears Hoffman hadn't even had a chance to look for his tome of forbidden lore. A wave of his cane, and the undead forces began wandering towards the wagon. Hoffman, his toolkit attending him, uncurled from the crouch he had adopted and glared angrily at Nicodem. Walking forward, leaning on his cane, Nicodem stopped in front of Hoffman, offering him a hand. He smiled, content in his victory. “Perhaps a short word is in order, Mister Hoffman,” he said, a genial tone entering his voice. “Why should I speak with you, monster?” “I possess the art to save your brother, but only if you are willing to work with a 'monster' such as myself,” he replied, wandering over to Ryle's cooling body, torn and shattered from the explosions. “With your mechanical expertise and my mastery of life's arts, we can repair his body.” Hoffman stood silently, pausing to turn and watch the undertaker's wagon as it trundled off into the distance. “Now, now, Mister Hoffman,” Nicodem continued, clicking his tongue. “Time is of the essence if you wish for your brother to live. I cannot recall the spirit in any recognizable form if it has departed for a lengthy period of time. I see now that he is mainly a creation of the mechanic's art, and so bears little interest to a man such as myself. Now, what do you say?” “What do you want from me in return, monster?” Prodding the body with a cane, Nicodem answered without turning. “Only your silence. Keep my secret, and he lives. Warn the Guild or jeopardize my position, and you will find my cooperation to be somewhat less than complete.” Torn between his desire for justice and loyalty to his brother, Hoffman hesitated before replying. “What's to keep me from betraying you?” “A little necromantic trick. The spell will be complex, and require periodic renewal. In return for my assistance, your brother lives. If you betray me, his time will run out quickly.” “I've no choice, monster. Save him, and I'll let you go. Betray me,” he finished, “and the Guild will be looking for a new undertaker.” “Very well, Mister Hoffman. Let us begin,” Nicodem replied as both men set to work repairing the remains of Ryle. ------------------------------------------------ Several weeks later, Nicodem decided to pay a visit to Hoffman. He'd been bluffing when he claimed additional magics were required to keep Ryle's shattered body going, but it was a good opportunity to study the creature without fear. It also kept Hoffman from revealing him to the Guild, and a man would remain loyal so long as he had fear. He stepped into the man's workshop, ducking under the remains of the Guardian which had vexed him so. Hoffman was hunched over a dog-like construct, elbow-deep in its innards and fiddling with some no-doubt damaged mechanism. Hearing the click of Nicodem's cane and the whine of his mechanical leg, Hoffman stood up, assisted by the powered frame attached to him. “Mister Hoffman, I assume our arrangement stands?” Hoffman sighed. “I have no choice. I hate you for what you've done, but we'd both be doomed if news of this gets out.” Nicodem smiled. “I'm glad to hear that. Now, let me have a look at your brother . . .”
  4. From the rules it looks like when you take a Henchman as the leader of your forces it basically gets upgraded to a Master. (The rules say the lead the force but does not actually say they become Masters). Kaeris has the Special Forces Leader (M&SU Asset) ability which allows you to only hire M&SU Members and M&SU Assets so it look like she can only be paired with Ramos, Colette, and C. Hoffman masters. Has anyone attempted to do this? If so how well did it work out? It looks like Ramos couldn't start with his Steampunk Arachnids, Colette couldn't take any of the Showgirls, and how does Special Forces Leader (M&SU Asset) interact with C. Hoffman's Arcanist Ties?
  5. As far as the rules go you can hire Masters across Factions according to Sketch. These lists may not be something you would take to a tournament, but are all legal lists that use specific model's abilities to hire across factions. These are all bare bones lists and may benefit from adding constructs. [Guild 32ss Scrap List] ** C. Hoffman (Guild) 04 Mobile Toolkit (Arcanist) 09 Coppelius (Neverborn) 10 Jack Daw (Outcast) 09 The Hanged (Resurrectionist) Choose the Guild as your Faction and hire C. Hoffman. C. Hoffman can hire Mobile Toolkit via Arcanist Ties. C. Hoffman can then hire Coppelius via Unexplained Connection. Jack Daw is hired as a Mercenary and The Hanged are hired via Jack Daw's "The Apple Never Falls..." This list is interesting because The Hanged, Jack Daw, and Coppelius are all Terrifying and C. Hoffman and Mobile Toolkit are Constructs which count as non-living models and are immune to Morale Duels. Remember, Coppelius loves it when you inflict Morale Duels. [Arcanist 28ss Brawl List] ** Colette (Arcanist) ** C. Hoffman (Guild) 09 Coppelius (Neverborn) 10 Jack Daw (Outcast) 09 The Hanged (Resurrectionist) Choose Arcanists as your faction and hire Colette as your first master. Colette can hire C. Hoffman via her Union Labor ability. The rest of the crew is hired just like the list above. This next list only uses 3 Factions, but follows the theme of Tales of Hoffmann. You can add Hamlin and have him recruit Canine Remains or go for Jack Daw and The Hanged again if you really want all 5 factions. [Tales of Hoffmann List] ** Colette ** C. Hoffman 09 Coppelius 07 Coryphee A Tales of Hoffmann List is any list containing C. Hoffman, Copelius, and a dancing Mechanical Doll (Coryphee) which are characters in the Opera and models in Malifaux. I'd recommend adding a Mobile Toolkit, another Coryphee, and other constructs to this list and keep Colette away from Coppelius.
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