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Hoffman v The Dreamer


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Hey gang,


This is gonna look like a slapdash battle report, but it is really a little fishing for advice. Maybe seeing how I played might give people some suggestions a bit more tailored to my style. Of course, I don't have a style yet, because this is only my second M2 game. I played a bit in 1.5, mostly Arcanist, but because of the old models I couldn't really pick a faction. I liked a little arcanist, a little guild, a little outcast etc. But the switch to second kinda lost me cause I was falling in love with Leveticus and Collette, who weren't in the first round. So I gave most of my stuff to a friend who really loved the setting and called it a day. Life goes on, had too many games anyway. And that would have been fine, but he used all those models to draw in a good chunk of one of my gaming crowds. I was still able to resist until I saw Lady Destro. How could I resist? So I was back.


I played a game with the old Criid box, ordered the new one, and waited patiently for her to arive. While I was waiting patiently, I found and bought hofman's box. I loved his fluff, didn't care for the old models. The new ones are sexy and a half. So I built and painted, and today I played. Let's see if I remember how this went.


The game was Squatter's rights my schemes were Bodyguard and Cursed Object. I did not reveal bodyguard


My crew was:

  • C. Hoffman

Arcane Assets

Field Mechnic

Remote mines

  • Mechanical Attendant
  • Guardian
  • Guild guard
  • Hunter
  • Hunter
  • Rail Golem

Tesselating Magnet

  • Watcher

My opponent was using:

  • The Dreamer
  • Lelu
  • Lilitu
  • Coppelius
  • Widow Weaver
  • Possibly a teddy. He was running summoning heavy and it may have been summoned but IIRC it started on the board
  • daydreams (not sure how many, but he didn't have a lot of soulstones)

I was a little over focused on getting Hofman out so I didn't pay too close attention to his list. It was very summoning focused.


Turn 1


So turn one was some maneuvering and honestly, my first mistake. My Wartcher and Hunters split up to grab squat markers. In my first M2 game I completely forgot how Malifaux worked so it was straight to the markers. My second mistake was misunderstanding magnetic. I though a contract had to start and end within 3 inches of the Hoff otherwise I could had the markers earlier.

Daydreams pushed everyone around and the widow weaver through a web. He was actually very conservative with his Widow Weaver, which shoulda been a clue.


Turn 2

I grabbed a marker and got a Hunter on Lilitu (that’s the boy one right?) Hunter tags L with the harpoon, perfect I should real him in and pounce… except I pulled him within 2 inches. No problem, I will just claw… 1. I need to read the cards again. The other Hunter attacks, shoulda gone for objectives because even with the + from Prey, I miss a lot. Not he cheats and I miss, I just draw terrible.


But I got a big bad rail golem with a burning, so he goes up and wiffs away, gently fanning L. My hand was bad and my draws were worse. Seriously, how many 3s are in this deck? Teddy counter attacks the Rail Golem using some Netherborne shenanigans. No problem, I used up all the low cards right? Nope, there’s more. After drawing what had to be 9 twos, the rail golem is dead. Not a good sign.

Hoff gets some scrap on the table, the Widow gets excited, it doesn’t last.


Turn 3

I get the second squat and remember object, when I no longer have a numerical advantage. Summoning happened. The cats throw harpoons around like they’re mardi gras beads, but miss way too much. The guardian gets in the way of teddy, and protects a paralysed Hunter. Hoff and his attendant are pinned behind a building with a threatening Teddy, so I try to go the long way but fall short. Coppelius intercepts. I get a curse token out, which eats an action, but I am still falling behind.


Turn 4

Summonings happen, everywhere. Squat markers are claimed and I have no chance to stop the widow weaver. I blow up scrap so she can’t collect them and almost kills a lot of things, but almost.

But Hoff is still cut off from the game and can power anything but his attendant, who retreats to get the Hoff away from squid face. Plans are falling apart.


Turn 5

Lord Chompy kills the Watcher, lelu gets a cursed item, Hoff is still in the corner. Guardian shield bashes and… well stun isn’t as sexy as I though, so teddy is back in the action right away.

The VPs are looking at 3 to 5, and my numbers are dwindling. More importatnly, food is offered and is smells much better than my impending defeat, so we call it without a draw. I congratulate my opponent, shake hands, and fondly contemplate what Criid is going to do to that kid when she gets here.



So, knowing how magnetize works, remembering power loop, and remembering I have Soulstones seem like my biggest problems. The second is, keep Hoff in a place where he can play. Scrap tokens went unexploded, he couldn’t magnetize anyone and unlike Criid, he is not a powerhouse in his own right. Still, many lessons learned I like the speed of this crew over Criids, but miss the firepower. Still, once Criid gets some paint and I get a few more games with each, they can get some serious backup. Sorry for the scatter, I didn't plan a battle report, but I figure I can use the help.

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I think your analysis is pretty reasonable.  If this is one of your first games then you're going to forget plenty of possible interactions, but the main thing to remember in Malifaux compared other games is that your goal isn't (necessarily) just to kill stuff.  Whatever schemes you pick, try to score them.  From seeing Hoffman played on the other side of the board he seems rather unforgiving of positional errors as you want him to push to your constructs rather than walking around himself.  The only thing I'd note in your crew is that two Guild Guards feel a lot more than twice as good as one alone.

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I played some first edition, and for some reason I had the idea of schemes first, murder second down then. I may have just got too excited by the new stuff. Anything that is not the Hoff Box was borrowed, so I just kinda grabbed without thinking. I am not really sure which way I am going to grow Hoff's crew. I got Criid on the way, and decided to grab Death Marshals cause, well they look awesome. Figure I will hammer on them for a while while I get them built and painted, then figure what I need next. The guild guard didn't wow me, but I could see how a pair throwing arrests around could get fun. It's just that pose on the Guild Guard Gal...


Hoffman positioning is tricky, but still pretty fun. Since I am taking some video production courses this year, I will do my best to make time to record a game or two with him.

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Hoffman is a little tricky at first, but he's really rewarding once you get it down.  He's all about activation order and giving out bonuses either with Power Loop or with the Modifications he can give out.  Typically first couple turns, I'm activating him first to power up the crew and then once you get stuck in, you want to activate him later in the turn to preserve the power loop as long as possible, heal your guys, and maybe machine puppet to take the last few wounds off or get a model into position for the next turn.


Field Mechanic and On Site Assimilation are pretty much auto-includes for me now, with Arcanist Assets as the third upgrade if I'm taking any M&SU constructs.  Once you get the hang of him, he can be quite powerful as he can get his crew moving quite fast, makes everyone better than they are individually, and can keep them going even after they've taken some damage.  His biggest drawback is that his models have to stay fairly close (the "Hoffball"), which makes some schemes and strats more difficult, and that model positioning is key.  In my first few games, I kept blocking  myself with my own damn models so make sure you leave a gap for all those big bases to fit through!

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