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Hi y'all. I'm a wyrd-o and decided that the release of the new edition would be a great time for me to start detailing my experiences with Malifaux. Given that I am currently in school with a family size that is quickly expanding, updates may be sporadic and content lacking a unifying theme. My plan is to detail the misadventures between my wife (10T/Arcanist) and I (Outcast). I hope you guys enjoy! For this first post I will detail our upcoming game on 8/30 between Mei Feng (10T) and Hamelin. I was determined to play Hamelin regardless of scenario as some questions were still nibbling at my thoughts after my first game with him. How many rats do I actually need? How generous do I have to be with Blight? How bad is the Winged Plague really? Why am I so in love with the metal Obedient Wretch? The Scenario Plant Explosives Harness the Leyline Outflank Vendetta Claim Jump Dig Their Graves With this scenarios I flip-flopped between a few different lists, though each one was intended to be built for Harness and Graves. I also wanted to build to try to answer my lingering questions detailed above. Ultimately I decided on the crew here: The Crew Hamelin 3x Stolen Hodgepodge Emissary Obedient Wretch 2x Rat King- Servant of Dark Powers 2x Prospectors Cache 5 Justifying my Build Hamelin I gave serious consideration to paying for SoDP as I loathe walking with my Master and this would allow him to try to Lure enemies into the Blight bubble more quickly. The heals are also nice for keeping him around longer. I ultimately decided to forego giving Hamelin the upgrade as I thought it would be better suited on a Rat King. I plan to stack Blight quickly on select models with Lure and stones with priority being the Rail Golem and Mei Feng herself. Hamelin's bonus will be focused into the Rat Kings to try and cripple as many models as early as possible. Though corner case, Injured from his staff will help make the Rat Kings' Terrifying duels harder to pass. 3x Stolen The Stolen I plan to use mainly for out-activation and for Hamelin's Agony. One I intend to utilize as a flex piece for the Emmisary's free scheme marker and for opportunistic damage from Vomiting Disease. Hodgepodge Emissary I hired the Emissary with the idea that he gives a free marker with no flip and that his trinkets would allow me to get the most out of the Rat Kings before they lose their to damage. Both his Regeneration Trinket and Accomplice/Companion (cannot remember which one it gives) would allow them to deal much more reliable damage through chain attacks with each other or the Wretch and hopefully trigger Spray of Filth. Obedient Wretch The metal Wretch is why I bought the crew so she is a mandatory hire. Upon my initial reading of her rules I believed her to be a great assassin model through the combination of Analyze Weakness, Bleeding Disease, and Tummy Aches but I think she operates best as a hard to target flex piece. Tummy Aches works on any opposed duel meaning it works to her benefit defensively as well as with the Disengage action so when she is not being used to soften up or finish key models I will use her to drop scheme markers and explosives. 2x Rat King- Servant of Dark Powers The Rat Kings are going to be my chief vector of Blight for this game. I intend to missile them up Turn 1 and hopefully kill a model to trigger Spray of Filth. If I see that it is unwise to do so I will instead stack Focus on them. SoDP was given to them for the defensive benefit and healing primarily to keep them above half wounds for that great to damage. 2x Prospectors I was conflicted on whether or not to bring a Prospector over a Winged Plague as I love having a good concentration of Vermin to take advantage of Hamelin's bonus action. When I evaluate the Prospector though I always expect to get about 3 stones out of them which ultimately persuaded me. Their Appraise action would allow me to better dictate where the Foundry could be Ride the Rails as well as help deny Claim Jump, Harness, and Graves. They can also circumstantially drop 2 scheme markers a turn. Cohesively, this selection of models allows me great control over my opponent. I have 3 potential sources of Slow (Kings and Emissary), 4 potential movement effects (Hamelin, Emissary, and Prospectors) and 2 sources of Injured (Hamelin and Emissary). In addition, every member of my crew is a pain to try and target for damage. Hamelin has Agony and Soulstones; Stolen have Stealth and Serene Countenance, Obedient Wretch has Stealth, Manipulative, and Tummy Aches; Emissary has Hard to Kill and both him and the Prospectors have Manipulative; and the Rat Kings have Terrifying. Where my crew is lacking is with consistent damage. I absolutely need to stack Blight on problem models and FAST. If my Rat Kings don't kill above their weight before they die then my crew will lose its bite. In addition, while my crew is a pain to target they are still able to be killed quite effectively by indirect damage such as from Hazardous Terrain, Shockwaves, and Blasts. What's worse is that this weakness of my crew is one easily telegraphed by the design of Hamelin's keyword so there will be plenty of it. It will take good target priority and a little luck for me to win. Well that is enough word vomit from me today. Hopefully none of you readers contracted a disease from reading this and I hope you enjoyed. Next time I will hopefully detail my wife's crew and the grief it brings. Have a good day!
Hey Everyone! I have been a Malifaux player since early in M2E and my favorite master thematically has always been Hamelin. The challenge has been dealing with his changes in M3E and learning to adapt the crew to the new edition. Here I want to document a breakdown of Hamelin and the Plague keyword and document my findings and thoughts as I continue to delve in the tyrants gameplan. I will also share my games and their results when I remember to post them. Playing the plague keyword means you are stepping into the shoes of Malifaux's greatest alchemist-turned-tyrant, Plague. Playing this crew means you view your pieces as but expendable pawns in your grand strategy in a game that your opponents do not even know they are losing. You are cruel, calculating, and devastating as you command the vermin and wretches of Malifaux to do your will. Just as Plague takes the unassuming form of his victim, Hamelin, so too does your plan veil itself until your opponent realizes too late what it is. So lets talk about the "feel" of the crew, or how the general style of play goes. The plague keyword is not one of upfront durability. Most models are rather easy to kill. They make up for this in a couple ways, first of all being 'Demise' abilities. The majority of models in the keyword have extra effects upon their death. Hamelin considers all other creatures to be pawns in the great game of the tyrants, and it is very much reflected by how the crew doesn't mind dying as much. Another strength that this crew has to balance their fragility is their speed (more about that later). The main "themes" of the crew is Blight and rats. Over time, blight builds up allowing you to do large amounts of damage and several abilities use the blight as well. Rats will slow start to spawn over time. Rats are useful for summoning Rat Kings and getting in the way. They give you a card when they die so never be sad when that will inevitably happen. Other uses will be explained later. This crew is a late game crew. You need to make it to turn 4-5 to fully realize what your crew does. Hamelin rewards you for playing with the long game in mind. The crew can both kill and scheme effectively, but you are not playing the Victorias, or Parker, or any master that has a clear broadcasted strength. Plague is about playing the game, and that means your opponent is playing YOUR game, whether they know it or not. Through explanation of the mechanics you will understand how this is a crew that plays to the point and focuses their efforts around that. The first piece to talk about is Hamelin himself. He is a master that plays a pivotal in the crew. For stats, he has solid defenses for a master with plenty of wounds so he wont go down easily. Figuring in his totems, Hamelin is the most durable part of the crew. This matters as the crew will quickly fall apart without him. **Remember Hamelin is not a "living" model so does not drop a corpse marker nor can he take the Soldier For Hire Upgrade. His abilities start to paint a picture of his role for the crew. He is a center of control and disease while also filling the role of a beater. Source of the Contagion make Hamelin want to be near the action (although maybe not directly as the center of it). This ability stacks with the rest of the crew, meaning a model activating near both Hamelin and another plague model will gain 2 stacks of Blight right away. Voracious Rats is something that will eventually happen as models die near him. The rats are a discussion later, but this is a good way to start the tide of vermin. Demise (Agony) is the key to keeping Hamelin alive under pressure. You kill your totem in order to live. Do not overly rely on this as bad positioning can compromise the stolen. Coughing Fit is the real reason you want to be near the action. Shutting down triggers is incredibly useful and it works on both attack and resistance triggers. Don't always use it as you need blight to stack up for Bleeding Disease, but it can shut down a lot of models reliant on triggers. Nihilism is an ok ability that comes in really only in specific matchups. Use it if you are trying to avoid a critical condition. For attack actions, Hamelin has a couple layers. The Black Staff has an underwhelming damage track for a master, but that's not the value of it. It automatically gives Blight if successful and has three very good triggers. Infestation is more incidental if you don't need the injured, but it is still not bad. Terminal is built in and can completely neuter an opponent. This alone makes Hamelin tend to go early to set up the rest of your crew. Skittering vermin is the underestimated trigger. This is actually something worth stoning for. You just need line of sight to the vermin (Rat King, Winged Plague, Rats). I have sent my model well across the board with this to score points. It has many applications and shouldn’t be forgotten. Lure is back but like the rest of the lures in the game, it is now only 12". This is still very strong with a high stat. it again can trigger Skittering Vermin and has Taint built in to add Blight to the target. This action is ideal to pull out a model from your opponent's crew to tear apart with your own. Also great to pull enemies off of objectives. Bleeding Disease is the crew's signature damage ability. This can absolutely nuke a model turn 3 and later. This is the first indicator of when damage is viable in the crew. Turn three you are likely to have several stacks on multiple models and if you attack twice, their blight will be high enough along with what ever damage you did (plus injured from the trigger) that you will almost guarantee a kill. The tactical actions are where Hamelin's power is hidden. First, Pustulent Tumors is not an attack action so it does not suffer from things like incorporeal. This is the spot where having rats around is very strong. Do not feel bad about stoning for the trigger as doing 4dmg in a burst +2 blight is very, very good. It has caught my opponents off guard on several occasions. If you are about to loose a Winged Plague or you have no more use, they also make a great target as they add an addition Blight with their Demise ability. Unclean Influence is where this crew will surprise an unsuspecting opponent. The actiion can be a walk, charge, interact, attack, assist.. it goes on and on. I normally turn this into at least 2-3 actions making it very useful. You can also have rats turn into rat kings with it, get multiple attacks in with Rat Kings if you have the Onslaught trigger, and the list goes on. pay attention to your bubble as this will make sure you can dish out both damage as will as good amount of utility. This is a breakdown of just the master. Next I will describe where the keyword excels and I will be doing the rest of the crew, but I am running out of time now. Let me know if you liked the breakdown as well as if you agree/disagree with the things I am talking about. I am limited in my own time and play group so if you have found other results please let us all know!
So I've played a few games with Hamelin now and have some thoughts I figured I would share about how he and his crew interact, and some things to avoid. My games and end results were as follows: Hamelin w/ 3 stolen, 2 rat kings, 1 rat catcher, obedient wretch, nix, a few rats and 6ss vs Nekima won 5 to 3. Hamelin w/ 3 stolen, benny, nix, wretch, 2 rat kings, 1 rat catcher, hodgepodge effigy, 3ss vs jack daw loss 4-1 . Hamelin w/ 3 stolen, benny, nix, wretch, 2 rat kings, 1 rat catcher, 1 rat, 5ss vs somer draw 3-3. (lists may be off by a few ss, didn't double check just typed what I remembered. A few general tips I want to state before I get into a few nitty gritty things: 1) Turn three is when you should be swinging at full force and causing some massive damage. Surviving until then without falling too far behind in points can be the difficult part. 2) Don't focus to heavily on the rat engine (I'll bring this up again later) 3) STACK BLIGHT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT 4) Hamelin is pretty squishy when cornered, but the stolen offer some level of protection. Let them die when needed. 5) The crew bubbles to some extent, but if you work out your bubbles the right way you can easily divide and conquer. The points I really want to discuss in depth involve how to bubble up your crew properly, and what I mean by don't rely on the rat engine. Most of the other points are self explanatory and a bit more obvious from the get go. BUBBLES!!!!!! Lots of crews have to bubble, and Hamelin is really no different. My suggestion is to bubble Hamelin, Obedient Wretch, 3 Stolen, and nix together from the get go, and bubble up 2 rat kings, benny, and a few rats. Benny will normally break off when he needs to in order to go do other things, but starting him there is a good idea in order to not have him get singled out. When it's time to split up, the rat kings can slingshot themselves to some extent, and your other crew members can help out with that if needed. Hamelin needs to be with the stolen at all times, and leaving him with the wretch helps support him and provide an additional source of rats and blight. Nix can be used wherever, I've just preferred starting Nix with Hamelin and breaking off later if needed. These smaller bubbles keep the board from getting too clogged up, and allow you to separate your early game from your late game without risking being the target of repeated hit and runs. Why the rat engine isn't all I had hoped it would be It's really easy to get caught up doing wild summoning with all of your fun abilities, but they really aren't as great as they seem. Loyal rats with tiny hats eats up way too many of your schemes in a crew that can summon to scheme run efficiently. Use it when you have scheme markers that you aren't planning to use, or when you can target enemy schemes. If neither of these applies, avoid the ability. A usable scheme marker is not worth trading for a rat. Tangle together is probably the best summoning in the crew, as sacrificing 4 rats for a rat king is amazing, Setting it up can be tricky, as can getting enough rats close together without dedicating your turn to it. If it happens it happens, if it doesn't just keep playing. Rat problem is situationally better than tangle, as being able to kill an injured rat king and surrounding rats for a full health slowed rat catcher not only gives you an awesome new model but also allows you to draw cards. Just be careful using it, as it can unintentionally kill rats your forgot were there. What to watch out for Hamelin's crew is afraid of a handful of things. Terrifying is big. WP 5 only pretty much everything and WP 2 on rats is really tough, especially if you are low on cards to cheat and have been flipping poorly all day. In my game against Daw my opponent's hanged held position against a rat king, a rat catcher, nix, and 2 rats for 2 turns because I had very few cards to cheat and couldn't flip above a 7 for my terrifying duels. Armor and hard to kill are tough to keep up with early game since so many of your attacks that do decent damage rely on blight which takes some time to stack. Slowed and stunned are also difficult to fight through. The biggest thing when playing Hamelin is carefully selecting your schemes. Pick ones like harness the leyline or assassinate that don't require you to break up too much. Final thoughts Hamelin definitely has potential to be a good master, but suffers from how wide the variety of abilities and potential strategies. Don't get lost in the rat engine, be careful with your scheme selection, and don't get too broken up and you should be fine.