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Found 7 results

  1. retnab

    M2E Ironsides

    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.
  2. 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
  3. Frozen Feet

    The M&SU and what else?

    Hello Ramos Experts I am the owner of a Colette, a Marcus, a Raspy and a Kaeris Crew. Thinkin about to purchase a Ramos Crew box.. Mostly because of 2 things: - want to summon like a god damned Resser -Hank & Joss So what models do i have to add, for a generalist 50SS Game?? .....and is anybody out there playin Large Arachnids??.. and when, because of what??.. Greetings, Tobi aka Frozen Feet
  4. Sparksman

    M&SU Emblem

    Hi, This might be a newbie question, but I've not seen anything on it yet. So, the Guild certainly have a legitimate emblem. The Outcasts sort of do (in that they're sort of legitimate). The Arcanists have a logo, but they're not legit, however they do pull some of the their ranks from the Miner's and Steamfitters Union. Given the M&SU's power, and that they seem to be a legitimate body on both sides of the Breach, do they have a Union Seal, or logo, or emblem, or..? I'm relatively new at Malifaux, so I may just have missed it.
  5. Words: 1733 Theme: The Price of Progress, Item :Incomplete Deck of Cards Miner’s Bluff Rick looked down at the mismatched cards in his hand, and at the mix of cards layed out on the table. He had one pair of sixes, and from the looks in the eyes of his young opponents they thought they had something a lot better. Gazing at them he made eye contact with his one good eye, the other half of his bald skull was a dull steel that went down his side and replaced what had once been an arm as strong as his muscled right side, but was now only mix of steel and gears. He chuckled, his poker hand probably looked like him, a jumble of different cards slammed onto the original deck to fix the damage from blood spilled a year ago. Flexing his arm a little it made a series of clicks and a slight hiss. This always unnerved the younger members of the chapter house, they talked big about how tough they were and what they’d fight for, but the sight of the cost of standing up to the Guild to make life better always made them queasy. “I’ll Raise you two guilders,” Rick said, and threw in the chips with his good arm. He saw the hesitation in the others eyes, it was a steep bet for a greenhorn. He chuckled in his head, they had never known what it was like to not have anything. Before him and the boys had stood up and helped make the union, they were lucky to make as much money as was in that bet after six months of labor. They hadn’t been around long enough to deal with the guild, and Rick hoped they never would, but in his soul he knew that sooner or later they’d each have their own run ins with them. Two of the kids threw their cards in, sighing and leaning back in their chairs. The last one threw in two chips, “Call,” was all he said, and grinned at Rick. The smile reminded him of himself back before the riot, or “incident” as the guild preferred to call it, at this very same chapter house a year ago. He hadn’t believed the guild would ever show up, they had won the fight, the union was established. Their pumping station had just come on line and everyone was heady with the feeling of unity and power that they had shown to the guild. It had all been shattered in an instant. Rick watched the next card flip over, but his mind was elsewhere, remembering the door bursting in, he had been playing poke then too. No one had expected them, the red and black clothed guards filling the room by the door in an instant, leveling their pistols and ordering everyone to lay down. They claimed that the Union was hiding Arcanist rebels in the place, something completely ridiculous and trumped up as a reason to arrest everyone there. All of them had stood up and squared off against them, it didn’t matter that they weren’t hiding anyone, this wasn’t going to stand. “You gonna bet old man?” the kid asked, pulling Rick back to the present, he thought the kid’s name was Jackson or something. “Hold your horses, man’s gotta think things over.” Rick replied. After a moment all he did was knock on the table, signaling his check. The kid just grunted, knocking on the table as well, and flipped over the last card of the of the hand. Before either of them got a look at it there was a bang on the door. “Guild, open up!” came a shout through the door, and a repeated blow came on the wood of the door. The kids all jumped up and reached for whatever weapon they had nearby. “Sit back down you idiots, do you want to end up like me?” Rick glared at them all, and they slowly sat back down. “It’s unlocked, you can come in any time officers.” He shouted back. The door clicked and in walked a memory a year old. There stood the same Officer who had walked in the first time and read them the charges leveled against them. It was the same bastard who had cost Rick his arm and part of his face. The memory came rushing back, as he read off the exact same charges. “You are all accused of conspiring to hide Arcanist rebels, and aid them in the downfall of society! Submit yourself for arrest, or suffer the consequences.” The Officer was reading from a scrap of paper held out in front of him, a giant red rams head emblazoned on the back. That had set the group in the house a year ago on fire, and they all had surged forward to pummel the guards into the ground. The first round of fire killed all the men in front, and Rick was in the next line, he leaped over the man in front of him as he fell and tackled the nearest guard before he had a chance to get his next shot off. They rolled on the floor for a brief moment before Rick got the upper hand by ending the roll with him on top. He had punched the man’s face until it turned bloody, and his eye was swelling shut, the man’s arms crossed in front of him in a futile attempt to fend off the blows. Suddenly Rick felt a horrible pain shoot through his left side, looking down he saw a sword poking through his shoulder, slick with blood. He grabbed at the blade, trying to push it out of him, but before he could reach it he felt a boot planted in his backside pushing him off. As he fell, he twisted around to get a look at his attacker saw the Officer smiling down at him, the rest of the fight had stopped, the miners had been defeated, only Rick had been left wailing on this guard. The officer sneered at him, and raised his pistol, “Scum” was all he said and the next thing Rick felt was a rush of warmth, followed by darkness and the cold. When he woke up, he was looking at the top of a ceiling that wasn’t his own, and he’d been given his new arm, a new face, and his deck of cards lay on his chest, ruined by his own blood that covered it. Snapping back to the present as the Officer read off the charges for the second time in a year, Rick stood up and stared at the man. Everyone in the room froze and looked at him, the kids hesitantly reaching for their weapons, the Officer stopping what he said, eyes slowly going wide with recognition as he saw Rick’s face. “You came here a year ago and said the same thing, you remember what happened that day, same as I.” Rick slowly spoke the words, trying through clenched teeth to hold his anger in check. His arm hissed and clicked as the his metal fist clicked open and shut in agitation. “We aren’t as helpless as we were back then, and we damn sure won’t let you beat us into the dirt this time. There’s still no Arcanists here, just like your last walkthrough, but if you try and make us submit again you won’t make it out of here.” While he said this he had slowly come around the table, stopping only a few feet from the Officer, the other guards alternating their aim from his chest and back to the others in the room. Slowly the other miners of the house lined up behind him, those who hadn’t been in the room before had come down when they heard all the noise. As the Officer looked around Rick could see him adding up the number of men present, and the realization that him and his men wouldn’t survive a second encounter. The Officer opened his mouth to speak, but Rick cut him off, “Go now, before you make a bad decision.” “We’ll be back Miner, and next time you and your kind won’t be able to hold us back!” With that the Officer slowly backed out of the door, and waved for his men to join him. As they left, Rick stepped forward and slammed the door shut behind them. Then he turned to the room full of friends, and his brothers in arms. “Well, time to get ready boys, send a message to the Pump Station, let them know we’re gearing up for a fight and there’ll be blood if Old Ramos can’t get the Guild to settle.” With that the room burst into action, men running to lockers to get their guns, others running to make sure the windows got boarded and to rig explosives. During all the hustle Rick walked over to the book case full of Union reports and forms on the wall behind the poker table. He stepped on a panel hidden in the bottom of the shelf, and gave a gentle push against a book, labeled Union vs. Guild, a Report on the Progress of the Common Man, in the Uncommon Malifaux. With that there was a click and the shelf swung back to reveal an opening into a tunnel headed down into the earth. The rest of the chapterhouse staunchly ignored what was happening and he went down the stairs dug out of the earth. Reaching the bottom he looked around at the small group sitting down there reading by candlelight, and nodded at each of them. “The guild seems to think we’ve got some Arcanists holed up here, where they got that idea I’ll never know. Either way, you had all better get ready for a fight if they find that shelf. I don’t think when they come back they’ll be particularly chatty after what me and the boys are gonna say to them.” He smiled as he said it, noticed a few of them smiling back, and then he headed back up the stairs. He heard some chanting and felt heat, cold and electricity fill the air as he shut the shelf behind him. There might not have been Arcanists here a year ago, but the Guild would be in for more than they bargained for if they decided to push the issue this time around.
  6. I'm a Lady Justice and Lucius player, but I've accumulated a fair amount of constructs and am planning on picking up a Hoffman Box from my FLGS next time I drop in to get a third Master online. After purchasing the crew box and the Mechanical Attendant, my construct pool will look like this Hoffman Ryle Mechanical Attendant Hunter Guardian 2x Watcher Warden Peacekeeper I was looking through some of the various Arcanist Constructs, and I wanted to pool some of the more experienced players with some questions I had regarding them, and what situations they are more useful than their guild construct counter parts. 1) Metal Gamin: These guys seem like an awesome choice, mainly for their CA value which Helps Hoffman spread his abilities around with lower cards, and they have pretty decent defense as well. Only costing 4 ss seems like a huge advantage as well, as Hoffman crews seem like they can get very elite very fast, and having some cheap minions would be helpful. How many Gamin are typically worth running? 2) How many beat sticks are generally recommended in a 50ss Hoffman list. So much of Hoffman's damage potential comes from buffing up and puppeting a beat stick construct, and I worry that by not including a back up heavy hitter can lead to the crew collapsing after one model goes down. On the other hand, Hoffman's crew already leans towards being more elite, and having 2 very expensive punchy constructs seems dangerous 3) What situations are Howard Langston / the Rail Golem worth it over the Peacekeeper and Ryle? - Howard Langston: packs Mi7, which reduces the need for the crew to loop in the Guardian. He also packs some awesome Triggers, and Steam Cloud can be used via OSA to give some added protection from ranged attacks while the Hoffball surges forwards. He also doesn't need the Nimble Modification. Armor +1 is a downside, but Langston + Patchwork Plating is equivalent to Peacekeepr + Hydraulics in terms of armor and speed. - Peacekeeper: has Armor +2, which helps it tank hits better than Howard, and can get similar melee stats by looping in a Guardian. If speed isn't needed, he can take patchwork plating to give himself and Hoffman Armor +3. For people who have played both, how does he compare? - Rail Golem: I don't know much about it, but it seems like it could be a solid choice. Power loop fixes its mediocre stats by boosting him up to MI7 and df6 from the Guardian, and he can get some bonus activations from locomotion. Have people used him to good effect in a Hoffman crew, and what situations would he be preferable to a Peacekeeper or Howard? - How do people like Ryle? His desire to eat soulstones for Rams pressures the crew into taking a larger pool- in a crew already leaning to be more elite, and with his signature upgrade he starts competing with Hoffman for scrap counters as well. I also worry that his smaller base size makes it harder for him to hide important models like the Mechanical Attendant who provide the only real protection from blasts- here's looking at you Rasputina and Sonnia. I could see using Ryle as the Henchmen Leader in smaller games of a Constructs of Order crew, but I feel like he competes too much with the resources Hoffman needs to keep models under the loop and upgraded. 4) Is the Mobile Toolkit worth it? its zero action seems solid, especially since Hoffman can use it too via OSA, and with Hoffman it *can* do objectives via Programmed Directive. Furthermore with little utility outside of moving and his 0 action, he seems like a prime target for Tap Power and providing increased activation count in general. On the other hand, 3 soul stones seems like a pretty steep cost for another support model in a crew where Hoffman himself is dedicated to Support. Are the benefits he brings worth his 3 ss tag compared to another Metal Gamin or Watcher for only slightly more points? 5) Soulstone Miner, what do people think of it for Hoffman? Enemy from below and unimpeded seem like powerful tools for objective running, but how often is he better than a second Watcher or Warden for his 6 soulstone price tag? He seems like he'd be best in a Hoffman + Ryle crew, where he can help power the soul stone pool if needed and have Hoffman Heal him with various abilities. 6) What situations warrant the use of other Guild Models. As noted, I have a fairly large selection of Guardsmen, Marshals, and a few other assorted guys. Is an Austringer still an auto include for Hoffman, and under what situations is a Death Marshal or other Guild model a better choice than other available constructs? 7) Finally, looking to the Beta, is Hoffman's Avatar worth it? Right now I would lean towards Delayed Manifestation, that way the Cyborg comes into play later when the original beat stick may have gone down, and lets you keep up pressure in the later turns when you probably have fewer constructs to support. The + flip to tactical actions also seems useful in general for a support master like Hoffman. On the other hand, Arcanist Ties, Field Mechanic, and On Sight Assimilation all look really good, and its hard to choose which one of them to drop for the expensive Avatar upgrade. Thanks for helping me out. I'm still pretty new to the new edition, and still grappling with the less obvious synergies. I'm also really at a loss as to what non guild models are truly capable of. Hoffman seems like a really fun master to use, and I really like the sculpts for a lot of the constructs. So any input on what models I should look towards acquiring cross faction and when they are more useful than equivalent Guild models would be incredibly helpful to me, and anybody else looking to play the Hoff.
  7. So something happened between v1 and 2E, where I fell out of love with Colette. Perhaps it's the fact that she lost her reactivate, or her slow to die, or her mannequin replacement, perhaps it's just a playstyle difference that I can't seem to overcome. In that vein, however, I've decided I want to love Colette again, and it's just a matter of looking at what she brings to the table, and diversifying around her. Her abilities synergize well with Showgirls of any rank, but they also work on all minions. -So perhaps a mixture of showgirl models with a presence of rockstar minions is what I'm missing. Colette: Strengths and tricks: Defensive Triggers: With "Now you See Me", and a scheme marker, or death defying and a model cost5+, she is very resilient. She may not be, doesn't die but gets to burn a soulstone to heal resilient, but she's still a pretty tough broad. Scheme Marker Manipulation: I use to think it was just because she and her whole crew use scheme markers to fuel their abilities. And that's definitely true, but her 8" aura that allows showgirls or minions take a 1 as a 0 is totally baller. Offense: Her best attack is a 0 action. If you get an upgrade, she can use it twice into and out of melee, with a great ca vs either wp or df. This thing is reliable. And with a mask she can cast it again at 8". Use your artificial soulstone, or know you've got the card to cheat and win, and that'ls pretty reliable too. Battlefield Presence/Manipulation: Almost all of the rest of her abilities are focused around manipulation: Positioning, buffing, and out of activation action. Her second attack has a trigger that gives a disguise aura. She has an ability to push a model (friendly anything) and then have them perform a 1 action (with a reactivate then sacrifice trigger.). She has away to teleport a model up to 14" away (provided there is a sheme marker there). She can use this on herself, so she can be damn near anywhere. Doves: And then there are the doves. Use to be that you had to sac a soul stone to make a dove. Use to be it was a 0 action, which fought with your reactivate- so you could only get 1 dove per turn. Use to be that a showgirl could just burn it like a soulstone. Well things change. Doves can now sacrifice themselves to give a friendly model (any friendly) a :pos to all casting until the end of turn (if you have something like a oxfordian mage who's about to get super magic-y), or a :pos to df duels (if you're afraid that bodyguard target is gonna need to weather a little bit more this turn...) or is can give them a :pos to damage flips, for when you get that beater in Juuuuuust the right position. Note these are all 'till the end of turn. And you can sac multiple doves to the same target to super charge them. Give a mage a postive twist to cast and damage, and watch the sparks fly. So. We have a master that is able to survive, manipulate the battlefield, both power level wise (deflecting enemy charges and prompting high potency models to get more out of them), do a little bit of damage herself, and create mobile buffing stations. What does she really need to win? Grunts. She's got a lot of stuff that makes other people better. So what she really needs is models that are able to get the most benefit from her ability to make them better. When they opening all of these abilities up to friendly or friendly minions, they increased her versatility by a ton! So my new goal is to find those models that are able to take the fullest of advantage of Colette's generous help. Oxford Mages (The Magic show): You give a henchman warding runes and it increases their resiliance. But the real coolness is that a) their 0 action can net soulstones. There are very few models and upgrades in the game that can create soulstones. Mages are on, Colette is another. Put them together, and want not for the stone. They also have a ca6 2/3/4 with some amazing triggers potentially built in (For instance, Burning, slow, Pushes, or armor passthrough) which they can cast on their turn 3 times with furious casting. And Colette can make them cast it s'more. Add to those 4+ attacks a positive twist to ca and/or damage, and you're lookin' pretty beastly. Pew pew. Gunsmiths (The Wild West show) Great when paired with Mages who can place burning on a model to light 'em up for "The Hard Way" (by the way... can I say how much I love "Easy Target" over "Hey, you're the one who's on fire"? 'Cuz I do.) You're not gonna get the positive twist to ca like the mages get, but you also have access to a better damage track (2/4/6 with experimental) and can get a double positive against burning targets. Spend some time getting a target painted early in the turn, and then have a dove give the smith a buff that'll make it count. And then have Colette reposition him and make it hurt s'more. Willie (The Pyrotechnic Show) See you've got a bunch of scheme markers there. What if I told you that was actually a mine field? William brings a lot of stuff to the table. Passive damage incurred by him walking. The ability to force duels without LoS. Another way to drop burning. A way to move friendlies away from an exploding enemy, and a way to turn the large number of scheme markers within 8 of him into a 3" pulse of death. Throw a manaquin in the mix and he can start poppin' off a bunch of scheme markers at range, just flooding the field with explody goodness. Set him up at a choke point, and watch 'em scramble. Mechanical Rider (The Pony Show) There's been a lot of talk about the rider. 12 stone model that can move, an evolving armor (that's not armor, so it's harder to bypass!), the ability to summon arcanist constructs, and potentially give something reactivate? Pretty rad. Not to mention the SH6 attack that spews out scheme markers like candy, and allows for an extra bit of card draw. So, it's giving Colette cards to use or discard for an extra S.S. (if she gets the soulstone manipulation upgrade), more scheme markers near weakened enemies for jump points. Both great. But it's also giving her cheap models that both help with activation control, tie up enemies, can be reactivated with prompt without as much fear as doing it to your higher SS more important models. Why yes, I would like an extra manequin. Or an ice gamin that's been weakened. Which I will now shoot into engagement with and blow up. It's a big investment, so the returns have to be good. And much much more! The number of henchmen and enfocers that can't benefit from "Friendly Minion" type abilities is pretty high, but the return you get for the more broad abilities is as high- consider giving The Captain (Sergeant Pepper's Magical Mystery List) a pos twice to casting for airburst, or damage for the relic hammer. Or Joss. Or Howard. Or run a total beast list with Myranda and a bunch of animals. The more I come to terms with what she can actually do, the more exited I get about the sheer number of lists she can run. Fixed master variable list? The woman can be anything she wants. Promotional Considerations Brought to You By: The Miner and Steamfitter's Union. You run a list of Mages, Gunsmiths, Willy, and bring a Johan to go with? Colette may not be a M&SU, but the Captain, Joss, and the Firestarter are. Colette can stay alive on her own dime, and just make any/all of those models better through extra actions, and empowered actions. In conclusion, the days of my two favorite lists are mostly over. I don't see me playing pure showgirls. Of course I should supplement, but it just feels too specific. I'm not allowed to play my favorite Colette list (Colette and the M&SU Allstars- Kaeris, Willie, Gunsmiths, Kang, Johan). But the future of Colette is still exciting. Adapt and evolve. The show much go on. Wall of text over. Thoughts?