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Who will run all these schemes..?


Kutslo
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So I've recently branched out into Ten Thunders from Neverborn (Mei Feng and Shenlong... and already have Lynch of course) and looking at the models that are currently available I'm not quite sure who to use for scheme running. Coming from Neverborn, things like Tots, Gupps and Silurids are great at getting markers down where you need them! As far as Ten Thunders go the Brothers and Tengu seem like the best options, but models aren't available yet and my modelling skills aren't great, so until they come along who would you suggest as useful scheme runners for these masters?

 

Low River Monks look like they could be useful, especially for things which involve looking after a marker, and Torakage (although I'd have to buy Misaki's box to get them) seem designed to be off doing their own thing on the flanks... but thought it would be useful to get some views from experienced Ten Thunders players on whether one or other of these are the models I'm looking for or if I'm missing any other good options! :)

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I have recently expressed my plethora of positive feelings re: TT Bros. If you can find the old metal models, get them. Otherwise, hopefully the plastics will be out soon.

Same thing with tengu, who are excellent at running up-field to drop markers and are fast enough to then get any where they need to get in order to gobble up your enemies markers. I use Hell Dorado corvus harriers as proxies for now, and hopefully those will be replaced with official plastics by the end of the year.

From wave 3, I think that the Wandering River Monk is going to be great as well. I haven't used him yet, but I'll be using a Low River to proxy for him soon.

So, because I'm a jerk, I'm recommending three minions who don't have official models available. Sorry, and good luck.

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So, because I'm a jerk, I'm recommending three minions who don't have official models available. Sorry, and good luck.

 

Well at least that confirms my thoughts on who the best options are that don't currently have models available :)

 

Maybe I'll check out the Tengu proxies as a stop gap...

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To add to the "the model isn't out yet" list (unless you've got an order in at Gencon or can wait til September), the Shadow Effigy makes scheme running ridiculously easy with Remember the Mission. It can be costly (since it needs a 10 to go off unless you use the Soul Porter to boost its Ca with Chi), but you can get a lot of scheme markers down in a very small space with it (for example, you can have a minion affected by it walk, interact to place a marker, then end its activation and place another marker immediately next to, or even on top of, the first - 4" spacing doesn't apply for non-interact scheming). Line in the Sand becomes extremely easy, and by having the Effigy itself sprint to the appropriate spot, it can score 3VP from Breathrough or Protect Territory all by itself in a single activation, with a 10 in hand. It's currently my runner-booster of choice.

 

Alternatively, Sensei Yu and/or Shenlong with the Wandering River upgrade (more models that aren't out yet, of course, but are/were at Gencon) allow you to scheme away from the intended location and then have a model pushed and "catapult" those markers into far more favourable positions. This one is ideal for Plant Explosives and Spring the Trap, but also allows you to place a stack of markers on one spot on the centreline for, say, a 10T Brother to sit on top of, for Line in the Sand. If you do this multiple times, you can move the markers an alarming amount due to the way that placing and removing from within 3" of a model that you push (and can move inbetween pushes) works.

 

As for individual scheme runners that are currently out, I recommend:

- Torakage (Agile is fantastic, and Wk6 as well),

- the Emberling (if you run Mei Feng, since Wk5 and incorporeal on a 3SS significant minion is excellent),

- Luna (for McCabe; another significant minion, this time with Wk7 and a master that can give her Nimble and Reactivate),

- Oiran (Disguised, Shadow-Stride and the Hidden Agenda upgrade's ability to give them Fast and Focussed make them fairly evasive and quick on their feet for 5SS models) and, at a push,

- Chiaki the Niece (she's the same cost as a Torakage without upgrades, has a lot of wounds except against Ca, mainly, and is another Wk5 Incorporeal model that can also make enemy scheme runners Insignificant, and provides strong support to any 10T crew - though technically she's not available at the moment, with Yan Lo's box not currently on sale).

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Yeah, as far as what's out in plastic now and not Master-specific, using Oiran with Hidden Agenda is probably what you'd be after at this point in time. Choosing who to put Hidden Agenda on can be tricky (will your Oiran be able to see the model with the upgrade, will the upgraded model be able to reliably cause damage most turns (ranged attacks can help here), are there other upgrades that the model could use instead) and you'd likely be wanting to use at least 2 Oiran to maximise you investment. As far as your expectations of their performance goes, think of their Lure as a bonus as the need for a :crow  for it to work puts them far away from what Rotten Belles do.

 

Wastrels can also be useful, if only because of their cost. McCabe and Lynch are really the only Masters who can maximise their potential (mostly due to their Bravado ability and Cast Offs action) so you won't often see them outside of these crews. If anyone has stories of other Masters using Wastrels with success though I'd love to hear them!

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I double-team tengu and 10TBrothers if the schemes are right for it - 1 team each side. Typical turn is 10TBrother walks drops scheme and  :mask Eagle Style forward. Tengu uses Shooting Star to jump immediately to the maker then has 2AP to activate. This allows quick movement and hopefully in position for Turn 2.

 

D.

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I've actually stopped using Tengu to run schemes, they're just a little too squishy, but they make excellent scheme defenders, hang on back behin LOS blocking and wait to disrupt all the marker based schemes but easily picking them up.

 

My votes got with 10T brothers and Torakage, and obviously the wandering river monks from wave 3, pretty easy to proxy out of existing monk models, bit of green stuff and their paint scheme.

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I've found Torakage to be pretty decent scheme runners. They can hold their own, and their ability to disengage at will means the opposing models won't stop them from placing markers as needed. 

 

Once they're out though, Wandering River Monks should be the business. Unless they've changed since the Beta, they're basically Silurid for Ten Thunders. ;)

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Misaki's crew box was my first box into Malifaux, and the Torakage were my go-to scheme runners for a very long time.  As others have noted, their Wk 6 is great, and being able to ignore disengaging strikes makes it that much easier to get away when you need to finish a scheme.  If you're running Last Blossom Henchmen or Misaki herself, having Smoke & Shadows makes them all the more mobile.

 

Oiran are another Last Blossom choice too, and with Hidden Agenda on a reliable damage dealing model, they'll be Fast and Focused very often.

 

TT Brothers are great for objective protecting as well as placing.  If you can flip the :mask for Dance of Heavens and jump around when you need to, it makes scheme running that much easier.

 

Have not tried Tengu or Komainu yet, simple because I never bothered to proxy them, but after reading this thread, I'd be interested in trying.

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Lots of interesting options then. May just have to get Misaki for the torakage by the sound of it. Oiran, while useful, sound like they need a bit more set up and investment at the crew creation stage. Was planning on getting low river monks anyway so maybe use one of them as a wandering river monk as well.

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If you eventuallly opt to pick up Brewmaster, Fingers is an excellent schemester. Chatty prevents your opponents from doing their own thing, his ability to discard enemy scheme markers and replace them with your own is excellent, and Reckless lets you absolutely jet to place when needed. I had a victory once where I set Fingers up in Breakthrough range turn 4, then turn 5 I went Reckless, dropped scheme marker 1, walked, dropped scheme marker 2, and scored full Breakthrough.

 

I'm sad Fingers isn't playable outside of Brewmaster TT, and kinda want to get Zoraida just to have another master to use him with.

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Yeah, when I'm playing brewmaster, fingers does most of the work.

 

High River monks with that 2 inch push have earned their share of VP for me lately as well! on top of that, low river monks and 10T brothers have all been used with great results.

 

I tried the Brother/Tengu team a time or two. that works great, but does take a bit of an investment when building your crew. 4 models devoted just to schemes is a bit much for some setups and I have had just a good of results with one pairing and torkage or high river monks doing what they can in the mean time.

 

That being said, I tend to shy away from having too many schemes and strats tied up in markers. so fast things to do stuff like distract and deliver message (high river monks and smoke and shadow torkage!) or extra killy things like lone swordsman and izamu for assassinate or vendetta.

 

even Samurai with the fast upgrade has ended up a pretty reliable scheme runner (as long as no one on the other side of the table has obey...)

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I love using Chiaki as a scheme runner. Harmless means she is often ignored, many wounds, and she can heal/remove conditions. I find her to be an awesome all around model, but as a scheme runner she excels at getting where she needs to be by turn 3-4 and can then hold up well when the opponent realizes what she's up to.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Master-specific, Huggy is my favorite.

 

Non-master specific, I just grabbed the last 10T Bros our FLGS apparently still had, so that's exciting, and got Shadow Emissary from GenCon orders. I have a suspicion that Shadow + Toshiro + 10T Brothers has the potential to be a very upsetting package, though it is a bit expensive.

 

Ama no Zako is another fast, Flying beater who can just go off on a flank with Recalled Training to discourage anyone messing with her while she tends to a scheme.

 

Toshiro and Graves aren't great runners themselves but they can support your Scheme Runners with pushes in addition to their main roles.

 

Also, with Cast-Offs and Petrified Feather, Wastrels are okay Scheme defenders if they tail your main runners and then port to the markers.

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To add to those, if you're looking for a more expensive model that can help with scheme running, Sensei Yu (with or without Wandering River Style) can do a lot of work. He gives additional pushes, like Toshiro and Graves, and has walk 7, and can lower his focus by 1 to take an interact for free. So, he can Mighty Gust somebody to push them 5", get Focus +1 from the built in trigger, walk 7", drop a scheme marker (or pass out a Cursed Object/Distract) and still perform one of your master's 0 actions. Obviously, with Wandering River, this can get even crazier.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Before anything else, consider the masters you have and the models they bring with them. Given that you started with Neverborn and are now exploring Ten Thunders I can definately relate and hopefully my experience will be useful.

In Neverborn, most of your models have a precise role, something that they do, and that they do rather well - as the fraction is HEAVILY dependent on synergies between the models above all. In addition, strong points of Neverborn are strong melee - this is where you wreck face; speed - you need it for good positioning and to be able to melee well; willpower attacks - allowing you to control the flow of battle through psychological warfare and resource denial (card flipped and cheated). For this reason, Neverborn -require- dedicated melee models as well as scheme runners - and the latter can be thrown in the melee when or if the need arises. The Neverborn masters are mainly specialists that lay their own rules and control the environment and enemy models.

Ten Thunders are somewhat similar as the also require finesse and speed. However, they are more geared towards individual value: Most of their models can do two or three things, rather then specializing. This 'jack-of-all-trades' attitude leaves them sometimes, as the saying goes, 'master of none'. However, this makes them more unpredictable and often, more flexible then other factions. You mind find most models' lack of a distinct direction or purpose disturbing at fist (as I did). However, this frees you to use tactics to work towards your goals - instead of working to reach synergy so what -afterwards- you can achieve your goals. In Ten Thunders, everything goes - a heavy-hitter becoming a scheme runner, or a lowly minion sacrificing itself to hold down an important enemy and give more time to it's brothers.

Let's talk about masters next. You have three of them already: Lynch (my first guy), Mei Feng, Shenlong.
- Lynch himself is slow and has trouble getting somewhere fast. However, his thematic crew has a number of ways to increase mobility - Beckoners can lure other models and then push, Mr. Tannen can push Mr. Graves with a trigger on his attack, and Graves himself can push a friendly model up to 6' once per turn AND push himself base to base. Plus, he is a solid beater and bodyguard. Most importantly, you have Hungering Darkness - and oh boy, is it fast! I have not qualms using him or the Illuminated to drop scheme markers if this is going to earn me some delicious VP. Similar models in 10T include the Dawn Serpent (10SS walk 6, flight minion) and Ama No Zako (SS walk 6, flight she-henchman oni).
- Mei Feng on the other hand has outstanding mobility herself and could very well run scheme - if, similar to Neverborn, you position her cew well so she can zip between them with Railwalk. The others guys in the crew are solid, but slower, so limited as scheme runners. Mei Feng thus require support for scheme running, similar to Misaki (at least in my opinion).
- Shenlong can do everything - except kill the toughest mooks, but he doesn't really need to do this personally, he is an extremely versatile commander. Great speed from him and his crew, which is further enhance by the options to push models (and even markers) and give them either slow or fast. He and McGabe are probably the two most versatile masters in the faction. So much goodness here.
These masters are all fun to play and support different crew compositions (not that Ten Thunders need much support, anyway). Try to pick a master that would accomplish your strategy and schemes best, or to test all of them in different strategies to understand how and they work, or don't work. A great leader only upgrade is On Wings of Wind (arsenal 2), which allows the leader to push a friendly model up to 3" for a (0), and then pushes -the leader- up to 4" end of turn.

Having said all this, if you still feel you need scheme runners, here are some options:

- Oiran - 5SS, ninja geishas that are a grab-bag of effects that you will at most use sparringly. With Smoke and Shadows they are great both to block LoS (protects from ranged attacks, auras *cough*Misery*cough*, charges and what have you; their 0 upgrade does make them more useful - put it on a model with a ranged attack that you expect will be able to deal damage (so the effect activates and so that there is greater chance the Oiran will be able to see it). My favorite here is *drumroll* Fuhatsu!!! as he can easily ignore the - flip from cover. However, he is difficult to use well, slow, and, well, most games will do no more then 2 dmg or so. He is a GREAT bodyguard though if they opponent does not ignore armor and hard to wound). Also a henchman and can thus use soulstones. Others decent carriers of the (0) upgrade are Jacob Lynch (as always be careful with him so he doesn't bite the dust) and Mr. Tannen (who doesn't have any better upgrades to take in 10T).
- Torakage - better then Oiran, still Last-Blossom, 6SS ninja break-dancers. Way more maneuverable and better at taking care of themselves. They require you to buy the Misaki box though and that is yet -another- master in a fraction full of fun ones to play.
- If you opt for any of the Last-Blossom ninjas, you will need a model to carry the Smoke and Shadows upgrade. For me, rather then Misaki and Ototo, the best one for the job is Yamaziko - and she also comes in a solo box. This is a great model with a number of utility abilities - situational discard, charge protection (which the Oiran don't need as they are Disguised), solid (albeit mediocre) damage profile with potential for blasts, gets better when facing masters, and a Henchman (or in this case - Grandma) with !Nimble!. A great all-around model, for a bargain price (7 SS/11 $).

- Dawn Serpent - you might think a 10SS minion is too expensive for scheme running, but this is wrong. If the model scores you the VP you needed it was worth it. Flight with walk 6 makes this a great 'runner. Also has superb attack strength with mediocre damage spread and some potential for self-healing.
- Ama no Zako - 9 SS, Outcast/Ten Thunders oni mercenary henchman. She can fly as much as the dragon AND has other tricks (that require setup and finesse, though). Also quite survivable Bodyguard if you don't run her in the middle of the enemy models.

To summarize, if you really feel the need for scheme runners, pick either one of the flying models or Oiran with Yamaziko (whichever you like more as playstyle or think can make work better). 

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