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I just want to share with you some thoughts and opinions we recently had. So, currently we got into some discussions in our community and had the feeling that something was just changing in the development department at wyrd. We saw the intentions on every faction and what their strenghts, but also what their general weaknesses were. For example Arcanists got much armor, gremlins cheap models and many AP to work with but pretty weak, neverborn have many casts and evil slaughtery models, etc. The masters in that specific faction included different playstyles, the option to switch something up and play a bit different. Marcus e.g. just was an outstanding master and didn`t follow the usual rules for arcanists. And then, all of a sudden this changed in a weird fashion. Suddenly Sandeep appeared, a supporting master, that is also good hitting things, while also being able to summon minions in. He was one of the first masters you had the feeling, is capable of doing everything very well! He was hated among many and feared in tournaments. And there was confusion, where is weakneses are. Whie it just takes some time to find the weakness of a master, it was hard to find one for him. Then the new upgrades arrived with new models along. While many upgrades opened a different playstyle or made certain masters finally to their job as intended, some others just got the nuts and went crazy. Nowaydays, we were discussing if the kentauroi were changing the ressurs in a way they should not change at all. Ressers in general normally need corpsemarkers to do something very good and that is totally fine, because they did something for it or sacrificed some health. Another weakness on the other hand was mobility. Except for necropunks, ressers are slow! All of a sudden there was a model, that was summonable, and filled multiple holes in the bucket of ressers. They carry guys around, which opens up even more AP for resser, they normally have plenty of, because they got many summons. They have a HUGE charge range and attack range and the option to charge out of engagements and combine that into one minion. Was this inclusion really healthy for the game? I don`t think so, because ressers just had an insanely good minion, that filled thos gaps at once! So, we tried it out and we nearly always experienced the same over and over again. For nearly everything (except lucky Alpha and it HAD to be LUCKY!) Nicodem got the answer just around the corner. That was an interesting observation and we asked ourselves: "Is that the way it`s gonna be? Will all factions just get models that will fill the gaps in every faction?" That would be pretty boring after a while and i think would just flatten out the interesting differences between the factions. A perfect example for a master that can do alot, but not too much to be all balanced out for example is Zipp. He is fast, he is controlling, but he has no opportunity to interact and that is great! He has a very obvious disadvantage and people use that against him with succes. That is a very good way to balane things out. So, i would like to know from you guys: - Do you share our concerns to flaten out the anti-symmetric playstyle and make it kind of boring with filling the cracks each faction has? - Did you observer similar or maybe opposite things like that? - What do you think should be checked before releasing different new models? Maybe it is possible to fill a gap for a faction with new upgrades/models, but that should COST! It should costs a lot in any imaginable way, however that turns out. I am very interested in your experiences and opinions :). See you in the Bayou!
So a few weeks ago someone mentioned that they thought the Brewmaster was not a gremlin master. To which I explained my view on why he is, this started be thinking about the feel of factions. To get this out of the way, this is most defiantly an opinion on my take on feel and fluff. I will try to avoid spoiler’s warnings. I will talk about 2 things that strike me as feel for each faction’s ability and I will discussed my thoughts on fluff list. Gremlins 1: I see gremlins as a high risk with hopefully high reward faction. This goes into their dumb luck triggers, the fact most pigs can charge as a 1 action, the amount craziness that can go on with there must trigger a trigger attacks. Gremlins 2: To go along with the gremlins high risk is their ability to manage AP. Most gremlins seem to have a way of cheating there AP allotment, weather it is reckless, 1 action charges or out of turn activations such as the bushwacker boost their confidence ability. So how does this line up with the Brewmaster. Amazingly well, you want to activate him early and stick him in a high risk area with drinking contest to drain your enemies AP by having them fail the duals and gain poison even if it heals them. The risk comes from what happens if they pass and what about the next turn. Guild 1: Piece through superior firepower. So there is a high probability that you have heard the either the guild or gremlins are the best faction at dealing damage, well this is not so much about that but more over the feel of the guild faction as being one filled with range attacks. I do not know what the current number is but excluding masters in totems at the end of mark 1 there where a grand total of 3 models that did not have range attacks in the guild, a dog, a man with no hands and a big sword and board robot. I believe the number has doubled to six with the inclusion of the starter box, but what matters is not the exact number but the feeling this leaves on the faction. Range combat is the guild mainstay with various ways to improve them through triggers or other models. Guild 2: this is a hard one as I was torn between 2 ideas but I decided to state that they guild tend to have very good all round models in there henchmen and masters. With the guild striking me less as the hunting of X faction I think it is important to point out how great they are with jack models, which would be jack of all trades and master of none. Another way would be multi-purpose models, such as Judge, Sidir and Ryle which are among the best combat models in the game because they are good at multiple ranges. I have seen more guild players run with no enforcers than any other faction often with them taking two or more henchmen because there henchmen are just that versatile on average. Arcanists 1: Take the hit. This faction has a lot of armor. This helps to add to the feel of the faction as technicians and constructs. This might also be because the faction feels dominated by the MS&U. Count up the number of non-construct models, those models do not have armor, though they may have a way to reduce the damage anyway such as bullet proof or arcane shield. Some models even have hard to kill, in fact I think it has more hard to kill then most faction but do not quote me on that. There are even some triggers like mettle on mettle that drops the damage. The faction is very solid about dropping damage down and surviving with limited health. Arcanists 2: Master dependent list. So this might be because I played them a lot in first ed but most of the time I feel that my master in the arcanist faction effects what I take more than most other factions. This helps with the fractured feel of the arcanist between there different orders, though some of that seems to be going away a bit with ice dancer and Scorpius. I personally would love to see an expansion on another named Order of Chimera or Cult of December character henchmen or master. Reser 1: Attrition. Going through killing resers and there models is like a slow grind that takes forever because of all the hard to wound and high wound counts, for instance a Belle has 8 wd. Then you through in that most masters have some form of summoning to make the grind even longer. So so long to kill all the mooks. Reser 2: Harmful Conditions. So this is like poison or giving of negative conditions to weaken you. From things like you cannot heal to making their attacks better vs one model or giving you a negative to your flips. I mean the list is large: Poison, Adversary, Paralyzed, No Escape… it is a long list. Some of these do not even do damage... IF SOMETHING DOES NO DAMAGE THEN BESURE NOT TO LET IT SUCCEED. Neverborn 1: Bending of rules. This is not to be confused with how they were in first edition which is braking the rules. Neverborn find ways to remove aspects of the game that would be inconvenient, you know such as terrain, choices of activations, shooting into combat. For every rule in your rule book Neverborn has an equal and opposite counter to it…. Get over it. This makes them a very trick base faction which has a lot away around things, too much cover get flight or too little well then we can make it. Neverborn 2: Brutality. So this is my favorite part of the Neverborn, speed + melee = death. There is no other faction that quite knows the power of speed and combat models more than the Neverborn. Why is this because sometimes the tricks do not work and you cannot finesse the brick wall so you just have to go through it. To help with this brutality they have models that even call enemies towards them. Outcast 1: Extreme Oddity. So the best way I can group something into the Outcast faction is by saying this model does something that would just not normally fit in with the other factions. A good example of this is the void wretches, rats, or even the freikorps which own mechanics would be a little odd in other factions. This is even true with the masters where they are a little out of place with various factions, Jack Daw is not a Reser in his feel, Viks are not a guild or arcanist flavor, Levy is all together to himself though he could have been a dual faction arcanist reser but I think by himself in the outcast feels right. This also has an effect on what master’s work well with what models. Outcast 2: Strong parts. The Outcast has a huge list of enforcers and a good size list of henchmen most of which are really good at what they do. This lends them to an elite feel but also a niche filling feel as you may need a model for X but only one or two such model fills it and it is a character model. They also have some very good minions that are I feel overly good, I am looking at you ronins. Ten thunder 1: I Am Barrowing This. So I will admit that in first ed and to an extent in second I have a hard time thinking of the Ten Thunders as a faction because 6/7 of their masters are from other factions and can bring there favorite toys with them. Though I am not to happy about that as a faction identity and can not wait for more pure Ten Thunders to come out it does open the faction up for a feel that emphasizes odd combinations such as Sidir and Ototo synergizing to give slow and then do more damage. Ten thunder 2: If you thought I was going to say that they are Asia then you are wrong, I will instead point out the amount of bonus flips they get through various means. There are many ways for the Ten Thunders to get bonus flips from extra focus from focus action, cheaper defensives, or recall training just to name a few. This leads to the less action to more effect feel. Fluff lists: Warning this will sound like a rant but I will try and keep it sort. I do not personally play them often but I respect those that do as long as they are truly playing fluff lists. Where if you ran Karies with all the MS&U Asset models I am all for it as a fluff list but once you through in the Mech Rider and try an claim being fluffy I start to have a problem. Why, well it is not because the Mech Rider is that good but more over the fluff for the riders is that they randomly appear to help there faction. They do not owe the faction any loyalty and if you were to accurately portray it in your list you would do something that represent this randomization such as flip a card. This is just as I do not see a fluff reason for Nekima to be in Lilith list, one sister openly hates the other and would kill her if she could. One thing that really got me out of the current edition of 40k is fluff abuse when it came to list creation and allies, yes by rules the Dark Angels and Space Wolves will work together but by fluff they would not help each other and probably not be in the same battle and defiantly not the same commander even if they are in the same war. I will say this, there is one master that can always run the 3 of the riders if not all 4 and be a fluff list: Leveticus. If you want to know why then read his avatar story in Twisting Fate, it is worth the $7 on http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/133311/Malifaux--Twisting-Fates-Expansion--15 If you do not claim to play fluff list then this is not a problem for you. I tend to find fluff list or one subtyped list as ones that have their own problems. This is because a single type of model will rarly cover everything you might want to do, it is similar to fitting a round peg in a square whole. Now some of them such as the Freikorps can work very well, so it really comes down to your master and how you want to limit yourself. Note I do think there is a different between fluff and theme lists, a fluff list has something in the world that justifies it such as when Lady J and the Ortagas teamed up to go somewhere in Twisting Fate vs a theme list which tend to fit together because some shared commonality such as McMorning with Grimwell, orderlies, and nurses with the theme of medical staff. There is some overlap in-between the two.
I am not sure if there is a running tally of condition removal by factions but I saw no reason not to start one. I do not play ever faction nor do i no them all but that is why there is a forum, I will start it off. Neverborn: Dreamer Ten Thunders: Monks of Low River, Chiaki Guild: the Family Arcanists: Arcane Effigy Outcast: Johan, Freikorps Specialist Resurrectionists: Chiaki
One of the aspects of Malifaux that I find interesting is the step in which crews are hired. The way Malifaux does this has a great impact on the game. As you know, factions are declared during Step 2 of setup, and crews are hired at Step 6. Thus opposing factions are known prior to choosing a master, but not the opposing master and crew. I am torn as to how to view this. On one hand, it injects a great deal of unknown factors into the game, which makes it interesting. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. You now might be faced with a totally different set of circumstances and challenges than when you chose your crew. This is exciting and means no two games are the same. Afterall, from a fluff standpoint it fits, as a crew has to deal with what is in front of it. On the other hand, is this TOO much chaos? What could have been an interesting game might turn into a one-sided beat down because the crew you chose just can't complete with the particular opposing master. I think the poster child for this type of matchup would be gremlins v Hamelin, but it also happens in other match-ups to a lessor extent. All of a sudden your options become limited because you have to take one certain crew to counter what your opponent MIGHT take based only upon the faction they chose. I think the best argument against this concern is to change your mindset. Once you start reacting to your opponent, they already have the upper hand. Play your game and stop trying to second guess your opponent. I struggle with this. I guess its my Guild focus. The Guild is kinda considered the 'counter' faction as they obviously have masters that directly counter the other factions. Thats why I find myself trying to maximize the match-ups in my favor. I am never happier than when I see the opposing crew already lined up on the table prior to me picking my crew. It just makes me feel as if I have a little edge when picking mine. Of course, that could always be a decoy, but I've not had anyone pull that on me yet. =) So how do others see this? Is it good as is? Or does the hiring process have to be changed to inject a little more certainty in the set-up? What if masters were announced at the same time as the faction? Thanks for the discussion.