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Dita got smashed by Pandora...what did I do wrong?


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So yesterday I had my third game of Malifaux. Perdita (me) vs. Pandora. I was very curious about this game as Dita is labelled as the Anti-Neverborn Master and my opponent just had one game on his record.
The game started with an absolute blast for me and then turned into my biggest nightmare...
I'll try to describe the game as good as possible. Maybe one of you discovers some great mistake I made or that I just had very bad luck.

SS: 35
Strategy: Turf War
Schemes: We decided to pick only 1 Scheme out of the generated pool so that we wouldn't overload our brains. Both of us decided to go for Assassinate. The other Schemes were: Protect Territory, Spring the Trap, Make Them Suffer and A Line in the Sand.
Deployment: Standard
Terrain: 4 Buildings circled around the middle of the board, so that the Turf-Marker was in the open space in the middle of the "village". A good amount of Ht1 walls scattered around the place and some other terrain like hills, swamp on the outskirts of the table.

My crew:
The full Dita-Box. Trick Shooting for Perdita and Wade In for Francisco

Enemy crew:
Pandora
Teddy
3 Sorrows
Doppelganger
and some Upgrades I don't remember

My opponent deployed everything hidden behind one of the buildings and I deployed everything in the gap between the building on my side, so that I could shoot him as soon as he moved something around on either side pf the building.
Since he positioned himself more on the right side (from my perspective) I put Nino on the left flank, so that had a good look on the centre of the board and into the enemy deployment.

After the first turn I was totally stoked. I moved everything up the middle to get into a good position for scoring and shooting. Hold this and El Mayor on Dita. Francisco up front.
My opponent hugged the building with everything except Teddy. Teddy was right up my face in an instant and engaged Francisco. Bad for him as Francisco and Dita got rid of him really quick.
Nino could bring a Sorrow down to 1 Wd and with some Wd transfers the enemy did and a bit of shooting from Dita I managed to get Pandora down to 5 Wd.

Now all I had to do was to get these last 5 Wds off of her and the game would be set...well so I thought...

After the first turn shit hit the fan and the family dropped like a hot knife cuts through butter.
With the Sorrows right in front of me, paralyse, telling me when to activate and many lost Wp duels (which means Hard to Kill was just useless...) I ended up with just Papa, Nino and the Nephilim.
Papa was forced to shoot on himself...exploded...and took the last Sorrow with him leaving my opponent with the Doppelganger (some missing Wd) and Pandora (4 Wd left) and myself with the Nephilim (full Wd) and Nino (full Wd).
Since he just hugged one building out of sight of Nino, but within 6" of the Marker and Nino standing on the other end of the table I called the game and ended this misery (since he got his Assassination before turn 4 he had more VP anyway).

The game ended with a 2:7 loss for me.


Our evaluation is that it was the Strategy that doomed me. Being forced to get at least 2 models to the centre (with my opponent doing the same) I couldn't keep my distance without loosing VP.

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After looking over the upgrades I think you're right. I should have kicked the Nephilim out to get Aura Ancestral and Os Veo.

Regarding the crew box. Availability here in Germany is quite bad at the moment. I'm still waiting for my Scheme deck and rulebook (nearly 4 weeks now) and most of the items tend to have at least 4 weeks delay in shipping.
Right now I'm waiting for the Lady J Box to be on stock. Second master with a different playstyle and DMs. Should me give a bit more flexibility and the ability to step the game up to 50ss.

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I would kick out Papa instead of Nephilim, as it's pretty difficult to get good mileage out of him without a Death Marshal. I also wouldn't take Os Veo against Neverborn, unless I know I'm facing Pandora. The extra SS I would use to increasing the SS pool and taking Vengeance Bullet on Perdita, Hair Trigger on Nino and Hermanos de Armas on Santiago.

You might or might not also want to consider ordering Malifaux minis from UK if the availability is bad in Germany. That's what everyone in Finland does. Firestorm Games for example has Lady Justice box in stock, and they have free postage for orders over £30.

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Then I'll have to train a bit more in using the Nephilim. All he has done until now is one or two pushes.
Getting rid of Papa and putting the SS in all these upgrades is something I'll consider next time. It should push their survivability and damage output quite a bit.

Ordering in UK is not that lucrative as the prices are quite a bit higher than here.

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I agree with Myyra's sentiment on Papa Loco.  In smaller games, you don't want too many high priced Enforcers on the crew.  Perdita does great with her family, but you need to be careful of being outactivated at times, especially when you have a lot of the named "Family" members.  That said, Aura Ancestral and Trick Shooting are 2 upgrades I ALWAYS take with her.  And if I knew I was going against Pandora (or any Master that brings models that target Wp), Os Veo is her best defense.

Keep the Nephilim.  Always.  I've yet to see a game where he didn't contribute in a major way.  If you intend on sticking to smaller games with Perdita, I would stick to 2-3 Enforcers tops (Nino and Papa Loco being the two "maybe's" out of her crew box) at most.  Pick up a couple of Pistoleros and Abuela, and you'll have a strong crew for 50 ss games in the future.

Edited by Rurouni Benshin
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Rurouni and Myyra covered it pretty well.  

Another thing worth noting is that Pandora is a very strong Master, and even if you were both playing 50SS and building and playing your crews well, the game could easily go either way!  Don't be fooled by the "anti-this-or-that" backstory... Perdita doesn't have an easy win against Lilith or Pandora crews, though when you get your Nephilim game honed you can work around their LoS trickery somewhat.  But both of those Neverborn Masters have a great ability to inflict harm without exposing to Perdita's deadly counter-attack.  

I've personally had more success with Sonnia against those two actually, thanks to Counterspell Aura (which impedes Tangled Shadows) and Cherufe's Imprint (for cover against Pandora, and SS suppression against either one blitzing her).  But then again I find Sonnia to be Guild's strongest Master for most Strats and Schemes, so maybe I'm biased.

Welcome to Malifaux, good times ahead!

Edited by Dogsplosion
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I realized I didn't mention this before, but I will also say that Francisco is her biggest contributor.  Keeping him close to her and healthy is partially the key to winning with Perdita.  Not saying that her base Df and Wp need the boost, but when most things cap at a Ml, Sh, or Ca 7, it greatly discourages models targeting her.  She's usually going to be last or next to last to activate on the 1st turn, but probably one of the first to go on all subsequent turns.  Keeping her and Francisco close provide a great "1-2 Punch" for your crew.  If any pair of Masters and Henchmen can take down Pandora, it's these two for sure.

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Francisco actually works great with most of the Guild Masters.  For Lady Justice, they're almost inseparable, since "El Mayor" makes her Riposte trigger all the more likely to happen when she's got Df 7 on her.  McCabe would be on par with Perdita on Df (while he's engaged, anyway), and he in turn provides excellent support for Francisco as well. 

Nimble + Flurry = Most things hurting badly/ending up dead. :D

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I am not convinced taking papa out would be better than taking the neph out here.

After all we are talking turfwar here and Pandora. With the setup he is talking about how much does the push really do here.. the wp attack is also pretty unlikely to go off against anything useful. Especially with ter and manu around. 

On the other hand besides his wp weakness which the upgrade could somewhat offset.... papa seems really good here. 

The misery hangs on quite a few incorp models which pappa can get around with blasts. They also have to somewhat bunch up in the turfmarker area. Blasts also get around wp action denail like terrifying. In addition even if he dies the turf area he clears nearly all of it off sorrows with his pulse. Pandoras crew also seems meele heavy.

Running into the turf zone and blowing himself up may very well be worth it. 

Also its cleary better to put him in than perdita or francisco at the start. So they dont just melt.

I am pro pappa in this setup.

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If any pair of Masters and Henchmen can take down Pandora, it's these two for sure.

It's been much easier for me to kill Pandora with Sonnia thanks to Dampening (either Sonnia or Flame) locking down that damage prevention.  And Sonnia's wall can block Pandora from pushing out of range/LoS.  And Sonnia can so easily drop the support staff efficiently (using fewer AP than Perdita).  

Quite possibly I'm playing Perdita wrong in this matchup, but I don't see how she's a hard counter for a Master who can SS Dmg Prevent at +1, and then Push 4" to cover or out of sight against Perdita's first shot!

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Sonnia is definitely better equipped to take on Pandora & Co., primarily since she can have Ca 9 attacks.  Her Ca attacks are also the best to take out her minions too (not that Perdita needs to worry about them much more, but Ca 9 vs Sh 7 can make a difference). 

That all said, players usually don't reveal crews until they're about ready to play.  If you know ahead of time who you're facing, then that obviously makes the game easier to prepare. 

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If any pair of Masters and Henchmen can take down Pandora, it's these two for sure.

It's been much easier for me to kill Pandora with Sonnia thanks to Dampening (either Sonnia or Flame) locking down that damage prevention.  And Sonnia's wall can block Pandora from pushing out of range/LoS.  And Sonnia can so easily drop the support staff efficiently (using fewer AP than Perdita).  

Quite possibly I'm playing Perdita wrong in this matchup, but I don't see how she's a hard counter for a Master who can SS Dmg Prevent at +1, and then Push 4" to cover or out of sight against Perdita's first shot!

Pandora needs to win the duel if I am not mistaken so as long as you make sure you hit she isn't pushing anywhere even if you do 0 damage.

I am not convinced taking papa out would be better than taking the neph out here.

After all we are talking turfwar here and Pandora. With the setup he is talking about how much does the push really do here.. the wp attack is also pretty unlikely to go off against anything useful. Especially with ter and manu around. 

On the other hand besides his wp weakness which the upgrade could somewhat offset.... papa seems really good here. 

The misery hangs on quite a few incorp models which pappa can get around with blasts. They also have to somewhat bunch up in the turfmarker area. Blasts also get around wp action denail like terrifying. In addition even if he dies the turf area he clears nearly all of it off sorrows with his pulse. Pandoras crew also seems meele heavy.

Running into the turf zone and blowing himself up may very well be worth it. 

Also its cleary better to put him in than perdita or francisco at the start. So they dont just melt.

I am pro pappa in this setup.

Papas blast attack is a sh action so you will still reduce from incorporeal. 

I think Perdita should work very well against Pandora. Sonnia also works well. McCabe hit squads can also do a good job if you can keep your hounds safe. Executioners with + to melee flips from Promises will really put some stress on Pandy ;) 

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If any pair of Masters and Henchmen can take down Pandora, it's these two for sure.

It's been much easier for me to kill Pandora with Sonnia thanks to Dampening (either Sonnia or Flame) locking down that damage prevention.  And Sonnia's wall can block Pandora from pushing out of range/LoS.  And Sonnia can so easily drop the support staff efficiently (using fewer AP than Perdita).  

Quite possibly I'm playing Perdita wrong in this matchup, but I don't see how she's a hard counter for a Master who can SS Dmg Prevent at +1, and then Push 4" to cover or out of sight against Perdita's first shot!

Pandora needs to win the duel if I am not mistaken so as long as you make sure you hit she isn't pushing anywhere even if you do 0 damage.

Yes that's true, she doesn't get to dodge out of the way until you miss once, so trying to destroy Pandora's cheat hand by attacking lower Df models with Austringers before going after her sure helps.  

But I think it's a lot easier for Pandora to hold one good Wp cheat back, than it is to line up several successful attack cheats.  If you win and don't cheat, she cheats out of the way and you don't get to shoot again.  If you lose and don't cheat a 13, same result.  If you win and cheat a 13, then okay you get to hit once before repeating the same thing next shot.  

I dunno, seems like I have to entrap her to kill her off, but we play with a *lot* of blocking terrain, so that could be the culprit.

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Maybe I focused a bit too much on her after she was down to 5 Wd after the first turn. After Teddy went down and Pandora got that amount of damage I got a bit of a tunnelvision.

I'll keep all your advice in mind and focus on the rest of the crew in future games.

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