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  1. TL;DR--read the bold stuff. Key crew components are Molly with horror/spirit upgrade and Take Back the Night, Philip & the Nanny, and Mortimer with Corpse Bloat. Thought some feedback could help my development. I've put Seamus up for Molly at the moment, specifically horror Molly. I know spirit Molly is likely better at this point from a general point of view, and I've said as much, but I want to experiment with horror Molly because she's fun, thematic, and I think there may be some tricks with her that spirits don't have as great of access to. I ran this list the other day against a summoner dreamer crew in interference with flank deployment. Schemes were convict labor, leave your mark, hunting party, mark for death, and frame for murder. I went with convict labor and leave your mark. My opponent went with frame for murder on widow weaver and hunting party. I ran: Molly with Forgotten Life, Terrible Knowledge--starts with 7 SS in this set up Grave Spirit Philip & the Nanny with Take Back the Night (should have put this on Molly) Mortimer with Corpse Bloat and Transfusion Crooligan 2x Night Terrors Guild Autopsy Flesh Construct You'll probably notice this is a re-activate list. I didn't to commit too much to it, as I needed night terrors for the strategy, but the threat of re-activate on two of my hired models for turn 1 with the ability to summon more autopsies would mean the threat is greater in later turns if I didn't have the high cards for punk zombies/drowned. I don't own the students yet, so I don't have any other choices for summons beyond punks, drowned, and crooligans essentially. I also own all the spirits, so it's not that horrors is more convenient for me to go--I'm going horrors because it seems more fun, and more appropriate for this kind of play style I'm going for. If the strategy was something other than interference, I'd switch out the night terrors for a dead doxy or strategy appropriate model--flesh construct and guild autopsy might be changed out as well, turning the list into a non-re-activate one. Probably a dead doxy, but I could very well have gone for a second crooligan and dropped transfusion for tear--while I generally don't like paying 3SS for the upgrade just for two 0s, horror Molly can really make use of Terrible Knowledge's 0 by giving an AP to someone and following up with a horror pulse, provided I'm within range. I won't give a full battle report, as this thread is for commentary on the list for general purposes, but I will describe the basic workings for feedback on what could be trimmed out to make it more adaptable to different situations. After hearing about Joe's Kirai, listening to the Schemes and Stones spotlight on Molly, and deciding I wanted to get into a new master, specifically horror Molly, I decided I wanted to create a crew concept that potentially mitigates Molly's major weakness: card control. Molly eats cards and SS for her Masterful Dead ability and summoning. As to the ability, I feel it's good, but a trap without a card draw engine. Molly has very few defenses, and what she has is fairly minimal compared to other resser masters, when considering that she has no healing mechanic. The set up doesn't really care if it deploys first or not, though deploying second is generally better, as it's nice to be able to deploy crooligan within LoS and 12" of Mortimer, but not within range of enemy models turn 1. Crooligan will usually be vulnerable for the first couple activations, so avoiding that is better, but shouldn't be impossible if there is a good amount of terrain available. Turn 1 activations went as such and hopefully follow as such in other situations, though I think there's some room for improvement generally speaking, and there may have been a different order depending on the models I was using. 1. Activate Philip, who drops a marker and eats it for 2 cards, discarding 1. 6 card hand now. 2. Activate Mortimer who starts by transfusions all the poison from guild autopsy to flesh construct. He then double shoots crooligan with fling rot (relent, 0 damage), moving everyone but the night terrors, grave spirit, and himself--you can maintain LoS by keeping all the undead models exactly at the edge of an 18" line, with grave spirit at one end so that Philip is in the back but can see over the grave spirit to see the crooligan. Exact movement order will change depending on who you want to move the furthest, as everyone In my particular game, because it was flank deployment, crooligan's position was fairly ideal, being far out of range for anything Dreamer had, and being fairly close to the center line when within 12" of deployment. I first pushed the flesh construct, as he was in the center of my line facing crooligan, and has the greatest movement need. Next was guild autopsy to provide ranged support as needed or take hits. Molly's next, to get decent movement still but be behind a couple models. Philip is last, because he plays a 0 combat role--he's the card draw engine and anti-scheme marker model as needed. Additionally, Philip's Pram ability means that he ensures maximum movement as the last model to move each time. In my particular game, because a terrain piece blocked off a good 3" of space on the 18" edge I started on, my models formed pretty much a straight line by the time the second fling rot went off. This was not ideal, as a slightly greater spread between my models would have allowed the later models to move farther, but because Dreamer's crew was favoring the opposite facing 18" edge, this edge kept me farther away and would allow me to do more Turn 1 set up in peace. If I had more room, I would have gotten a little more movement. As a result, I got 2AP of movement for Flesh construct, with varying lesser amounts for the rest of my models. 3. Activate night terror, throw up -Ca ability and pass. 4. Activate other night terror, move to potentially contest a quadrant, throw up -Ca ability 5. Activate Guild Autopsy, move behind appropriate cover and drop marker within range of Philip to eat or have it count towards convict labor 6. Activate flesh construct have him walk and drop a scheme marker for convict labor or bring food for Philip 7. Activate grave spirit, to move and push to Molly, giving her armor and set up for moving appropriately Turn 2. 8. Activate Crooligan, who moves to set up for following turn--in my game crooligan actually attacked a stitched that moved too close, but if there were no enemy models, I would have kept it near me to drop another marker for convict Turn 2 before running out for leave your mark. 9. Activate Molly, who (0s) to have Philip eat a marker for 2 cards, discarding 1. 7 card hand now. Depending on enemy set up, either summon punks for fighting or summon drowned to get out more markers and defensive corpses for the eventual corpse bloat. In my game, because there was a stitched that ran up too close, I summoned a guild autopsy and punk zombie with 1 Wd each while summoning a drowned in the corner to drop a scheme marker and otherwise useless corpse. This stitched's movement wasn't ideal for Dreamer, as I was able to essentially get a free punk zombie and guild autopsy with no risks of retaliation, especially with embalmed putting Autopsy at 2wds immediately and punk having a chance to get first activation Turn 2, but I had planned on just summoning drowned for extra markers for the rest of the game to keep Philp happy or ensure I got convict labor. From here, I basically had my new corner controlled fairly well, with two ranged models to soften targets before flesh construct charge with Molly summoning. Mortimer provided Molly and other models movement by flinging rot again from relative safety. Philip always had 2 markers to eat, between my autopsies and crooligan dropping markers, later my initial punk zombie summon who couldn't make it to the other battles after killing the stitched I mentioned. I should have put Take Back the Night on Molly, as she was always the one closer to battle for her 6" black blood bubble, and Philip never moved from his spot after Turn 1. Philip only triggered my Take Back the Night twice, from my punk zombie killing the stitched and later an flesh construct getting a kill nearby that I mistook as a horror--neither of us caught it until after the game. Molly would have triggered it more often. List Analysis By the end of Turn 1, I had drawn 2 cards effectively to make a 7 card hand, but I had seen 10 cards. In Turn 2, which was the big turn, I had done the same via activation control through Molly summons and my still living summons denying AP via killing non-activated models, e.g. the stitched. As summoner Dreamer needs high crows or high masks to summon/summon in without slow, I knew that Dreamer's crew couldn't really cheat without sacrificing summoning or having a better than average hand. Flesh construct, guild autopsies, and later punk zombie summons into constant slice and dices took care of those cards, allowing me to trigger a triple re-activate with grave spirit discard for extra scheme markers to again ensure convict labor points and food for Philip at little cost to myself. Crooligan took care of leave your mark between Molly 0 and From the Shadows. The primary advantage of this list seems to be the ability to mitigate the need for lucky draws or stoning for cards. Philip's ability to give access to 10 cards per turn is good, and the loss of henchmen AP for his SS is mitigated with Mortimer creating so much AP via Fling Rot. I spent 17SS on two essentially non-fighting henchmen, excluding any corpse bloat opportunities, but they created hand advantage and movement AP to make up. The secondary advantage of this list is that it can deal with Terrifying models and anti-pulse. Black Blood plus slice and dice does great non-targeting damage against Terrifying models, denying the SS spent on getting terrifying. It creates a great ability to avoid needing to cheat two attacks vs. cheating one pulse flip. Against anti-pulse, e.g. Ramos and Freikorps models, Punk Zombies become are good for being above average and efficient beaters, at least until I buy the University box and have student of steel as a pocket option. Am I more AP and SS efficient than what I spent? Not enough experience to really tell, but I'm efficient enough that dropping a marker and walking with all the moved models is no longer extremely inefficient. Flank deployment is the best deployment for this set up--fling rot carries the least risk here, and puts me so close to the center line convict labor becomes almost auto take. Worst Case, Molly summons extra drowned to ensure the scheme while Philip becomes less efficient by forcing other models to drop markers--hence my inclination to using a re-activate list. But, I can say I make up a lot of the activation control I lose from hiring two expensive henchmen. They also provide great potential support. Mortimer provides the AP efficiency to make up for 17SS in mostly non-fighting models and opportunity cost. Obviously summoner dreamer is not the greatest person for corpse bloat, as I relied mostly on my own models dying for it, but it is a generalist measure so that Mortimer can do something meaningful when the opportunity rises--blowing up corpses presents little risk to Mortimer, as he doesn't need to worry about horror checks and dueling opposing models--plus a 9 is fairly easy to come by with this set up. Corpse bloat leaves the table if I know I'm going against an anti-pulse crew. Chatty also negates certain scheme choices. Philip provides the card draw, and presents a scheme denial model. Because of the draw, I found myself needing summoning SS much less, and that would allow Philip some room in eating SS for the crow to eat multiple scheme markers with his (0). Since my opponent didn't take scheme maker oriented schemes himself, I didn't need this, but Philip is a great scheme denial piece, both for markers and a potential chatty aura if Mortimer can't cover everyone. Plus creating more corpses means corpse bloat gets better. The card draw engine greatly relieves the stress on spending SS on each summon. In my game, I spent two stones between Turns 1 and 2 to summon models I needed--I drew the crows for the rest or got the flip. My options of summoning a 4 (autopsy), 6 (drowned), or 7 (punk zombie) costed horrors means I need an 8, 10, or 11 crow to summon. By being able to see 10 or more cards a turn, at least 7 of which I get to keep, I generally see two high enough crows to get them off. Worst case, I use Molly's other abilities--this assumes I didn't already want to. This ultimately means I can use stones for initiative flips, pre-turn card cycling, Philip, etc. Pre-turn card cycling on Molly is huge in this list, as it greatly increases my deck knowledge once Philip starts drawing cards. One thing I'm going to try in the future is put in Big Jake over two night terrors. He counts as two minions, and costs the same once factoring the merc cost, plus his fate manipulation only increases the draw engine's efficiency. He would probably only come in for interference/reconnoiter, but it's possible he might come out for others, depending on how comfortable I get with this set up and if it seems viable as a general starting point vs. more traditional Molly builds. While I put up the whole list above, the key models and upgrades I used were Molly with Forgotten Life, Take Back the Night (on her in the future), Philip, Mortimer with Corpse Bloat, and 4SS reserved to have 7SS. Everything else is mostly salt to taste for the situation. BUT, see next paragraph for the exceptions on Mortimer and 4SS reservation. The 4SS reservation, and to some extent Mortimer, is subject to change depending on the set up. For example, if I had to do reckoning/headhunter, I would likely be satisfied with 5-6SS so that I could basically copy Stryder's Nico set up with Dead Rider, RN, and Bete with at least 2x Unnerving and 2x Belles. In such a case, I'd probably drop Mortimer to get the beefy fighters and keep Philip there, giving up the AP efficiency factor in exchange for card draw. Molly might take Tear so that she could grant extra AP with (0) and attempt to give re-activate/horror pulse as appropriate (if I take Terrible Knowledge). I've only tried to come up with a reason for change for headhunter and reckoning, as those are common strategies with a mentality mentality that can more or less transfer to Collect the Bounty. Turf War, Extraction, Guard the Stash, and Stake a Claim would likely use similar lists to the above, substituting Night Terrors for other appropriate choices, likely a Dead Doxy to maximize Philip's efficiency. Help me section starts here: This list trades Molly's card hungry state for a new weakness: a weak initial fighting force (all strategies except reckoning, headhunter, and collect the bounty) with minimal ability to hire enforcers, or AP inefficient card draw engine (the aforementioned 3). This is where I want to see how I can shore up the two above weaknesses as best as I can. Wyrd balances the game, so I'm not expecting to fully get around it, because that would mean the game is broken and/or needs some fixing, but I want to hear more about why this list cannot work or might only work in casual play so that I can decide if going the traditional route is better suited. After hearing about Joe's performance, I'm wondering what he does, and more importantly for this topic, what I can do, to make this work, though I'm not expecting to win a major tournament--I've mentioned the weaknesses, so I know conceptually what hurts, and I'm hoping for advice and commentary on how to mitigate the worst of the hurts, e.g. Hans shooting off my key upgrades or (gasp), Seamus coming for his dear Molly. Outside of reckoning, headhunter, and collect the bounty, the list has 21SS reserved for two henchmen, horror upgrade, take back the night, and corpse bloat. Unless I know I'm playing against Ramos or mostly freikorps crew, e.g. Von Schill, corpse bloat stays in. So, models like Yin are tough for me to hire because they cut into either my SS pool or mean I have to give up the Re-activate tool to gain AP efficiency and force my opponent to play a 4 card hand. In those three kill oriented strategies, the card engine is important enough to give up AP efficiency for two reasons: (1) I need to be able to fight with better than average cards since I'm running high cost enforcers with 6 Ml for the most part; and (2) I won't have activation control barring a larger than normal number of summons survive until the next turn, so I feel I need Philip's flexibility in drawing me cards, denying opponent scheme marker schemes, and running my own schemes, since the rest of the crew is pretty much committed to killing all teh things. While I mentioned getting 2 belles, I might, depending on the schemes, run a doxy and a crooligan to help mitigate ap inefficiency and provide scheme running. I would lose the ability to pull people into a triangle of death which is a heavy loss, but it might be worth it depending on the schemes and terrain set up--I might just give up having more than cache in SS for a belle--just not sure. Lastly, the following two particular situations are particularly scary: 36"/high mobility shooters and Ratjoy. I have almost no answer to 36"/high mobility shooters such as Seamus, other than hiding, crooligan, meat shielding, and Bete. The first is an issue because ensuring I push into cover is difficult. Crooligan and Bete similarly may not get everyone. Meat shielding just puts a different model at risk. My only thought on the issue is sacrificing a model and hiring a second crooligan who will do his/her best to get into the shooters face and take a hit for the team, or hire a belle and drag the shooter off a building. Against ratjoy, my only answer is to have bete summon at the same time as Killjoy to take the hits, mitigating his AP efficiency and hopefully survive. But, I don't like using this as a maintsay strategy since that means I have to run it against every outcast master. Why not run Spirits? Personal taste for horrors; spirits have few anti-pulse and anti-Terrifying elements; no re-activation threat to gain AP efficiency; Mortimer's movement trick is less useful (only moves Molly, Philip, Datsue-ba and any undead spirit, most of whom are terrible hires); and Corpse Bloat is significantly less useful. This doesn't mean I would never use Spirits. While I haven't had a chance to test the theory, I feel spirits would probably be better against Arcanists for many of their crews heavily relying on armor. The anti-pulse factor essentially trades for anti-armor, the second defensive measure that tends to come with anti-pulse. Part of the reason I would prefer horrors is because while armor +1 turns pulse into an 8 cost flip for 1 damage, it can generate a full 2 or more between hitting my own guys and crooligan. But, more experienced players won't bunch up against Molly, so Spirits will generally have a slight advantage in doing better damage before they die between adversary and sometimes ignoring armor. The hanged also comes into play. Datsue-ba also comes into play, and she can be an extremely valuable support piece for scheme marker--I'd use the spirit upgrade that gives scheme markers on a spirit dying, which Molly can do by summoning drowned for 2x scheme markers, perfect for Philip while still setting up convict labor. However, this means my card draw will be less efficient in ensuring I have a great hand going into Turns 2 and 3, the key turns of the game; the major trade off being I have an easier time setting up marker heavy schemes, filtering my deck, and summoning seishin. I will rarely want to summon a non-hanged, or drowned. Hanged requires a 13 crow, thus changing my curve to something less manageable considering I can't force myself to draw one of 5 cards, whereas drawing one of 13 cards is far more likely. A Shikome only improves the draw curve to 1 out of 9 cards. Lastly, while I said Mortimer's movement trick is less useful, that doesn't mean it's not useful--it's just less useful for the initial double walk, given I'd probably have to hire more expensive models barring a night terror. Mortimer's trick changes to really getting my hanged and other models out of fights--Fling Rot can push my hanged, Shikome, and any enforcers (all desireable hires being undead & spirit) out of battle. An added advantage for this trick is that some of those models are incorporeal, and can almost always extricate themselves from melee even if normal movement is blocked--Hanged are at their best when shooting from afar while maintaining enemies in their aura, and Jakuuna is rarely considered a good scrum model. Spirits aren't inferior for my set up, but I feel they are slightly more niche. I will be testing horrors before using Spirits, unless I'm going into a match up favoring them over horrors. There is a mentality shift that is certainly better suited to certain set ups, but I think that between the two, horrors at the moment meet more needs than Spirits, and are thus more "general." Where is Sybelle the bus driver? Seems unnecessary when I have Mortimer/dead doxy push options--Molly only needs to be within 8.1811" of the nearest enemy model to provide a meaningful Black Blood aura with 1 model, and barring terrain issues, 2-3 models at 8" with some leeway--summoning within 6" means I summon at 6" with the rest of the 1.1811" of base past that, plus 1" for black blood for the furthest up I can get. If I have dead doxy instead of Sybelle, dead doxy can give additional precise movements to a greater number of targets for the same AP efficiency. Doxy also brings the ability to satisfy Philip's marker hunger by herself, While Sybelle cannot. Doxy also costs 2SS less, which is huge considering how many stones I reserve for my tricks. Sybelle just doesn't bring enough to the table to make her worth it--without an upgrade, she's a sub par beater, and since my list doesn't normally start with Belles, Sybelle literally only moves Molly. Her shriek is decent, but doesn't make up for lack of versatility in support targets and the extra 2SS cost. Why not run Nico or Kirai instead of mish mashing Stryder's Reckoning crew, Joe's Kirai support crew, and the Mortimer idea from the guy on the schemes and stones Molly spotlight? I want to learn Molly's tricks and ins and outs for what I can do and cannot do with strengths, weaknesses, ad mitigations. Most important, I want to play Molly. I like her backstory, and I like that she has explosive aggression once the enemy comes at me--it's a very different feeling from Seamus's play style and I want to learn a summoner. I'm don't think it's bad to net-list and play high tier masters for their relative power rankings. While not exactly a good thought, there's no need to re-invent the wheel from good ideas people have. People are getting results from their versions, and I want to see if I can make my own versions of those ideas. Since I'm attempting my own versions, I don't think I'm mish mashing terribly. I won the game against my Dreamer opponent, albeit he is a newer player and I had the advantage of flank deployment with a strat/scheme combination requiring 0 interaction with the enemy. With the exception of the Mortimer trick, I've used similar ideas to Stryder and Joes' crews with Seamus and had good results. I'm trying this with Molly because I think it may work and want to see if it is worth the trade for traditional Molly play. Any and all comments, criticisms, and advice welcome. Apologies for reading for the long post.
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