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Lets Talk about Crew Building


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So I plan on doing a podcast in the near future on crew building and I've been formulating my outline for the show (see below). I figured I would get the ball rolling by getting input from the general forums on the matter before speaking specifically to some individuals (so I can cover a larger basis of theories and ideas). So first off, what topics/questions do you feel are missing that should be added to the outline? Second, what are your personal opinions and answers to the topics I'm addressing?


Methods to building a crew

 (1) Fixed List

· All comers list

· Group of fixed lists, choose one that fits the pool

 (2) Based on Strategy/Schemes

· Modular crews (take this set of models for this strategy/scheme)

 (3) Core Crew with flex spots

· Typically 10-25 points after core

What are Pros and Cons of each method?

Does Terrain affect your choices? If yes/sometimes, when does it change the list?

Does the opponents faction affect your choices? If yes/sometimes, when does it change the list?

When building to the scheme pool, how many of the schemes to you try to build towards?


Model Choices
What factors do you consider when choosing a model?

(1) Model synergizes
(2) Damage dealing potential
(3) Survival potential
(4) Scheme running potential
(5) Board control potential
(6) Denial/disruption potential
(7) Absorption/Trade potential
(8) Activation Control
(9) Specialist job

Do you always try to bring something to cover each of these factors? If not which ones do you ignore and why?

When choosing models, do you have any guidelines you follow (scheme runner must be cheap, beaters expensive, ect)? Do you often break what would be considered conventional wisdom in model selection?

Do you build in redundancy into the crew? If so, what factors do you build redundancy for?


What factors do you take into consideration when picking one model from a group of several that do similar things?
- It’s the Best?
- Cost of the model?
- Other?

How do you determine the “good” models from the “bad” models?

How often to you consider mercenaries for your lists? If so, why? If not, why not? How do you determine if a mercenary is worth taking into a crew?

If your playing a synergistic crew that likes to be within each others auras, Do you go all in with the "bubble" or do you try and take some solo operators as well? 

Do you try and always take resource sharing into consideration when choosing models? What I mean by this is if you take a stone hungry master, do you avoid taking henchman that will want the stones as well?

What are you thoughts on model count? Do you build lists that always have at least X models? Does this affect how many stone and upgrades you take as well?



Playing the List
When playing a "bubble" list, what do you change/do when you see a blaster master dropped across the table?

How successfully can you play away from a crew weakness to minimize it?


How do you assess the lists performance and adjust/refine it? Or is it better to just learn the models you like and focus on them?


That is all I got for right now, I'll add more as I think of them or good ones get suggested.

 

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Great idea and addition to this podcast inventory.

I'd consider these ideas or points need to be addressed:

  • Sticking to the theme, why, when and the traps it can entail.  Outside theme or outside the box thinking.
  • Mercenaries and working out the cost/benefit analysis.
  • Building and playing to specific strengths and weaknesses.  By which I mean building lists where the weakness is known and you plan to play away from this and into specific strengths (this can often be and is an aspect of all-comers builds - scheme/strat builds - opponent builds).
  • Spreading out or double down.  An extension of model synergy, do you have models which can/do/need to work solo or do you go for synergy 'whole greater than sum' calculation?  In particular do you build to have both considerations in a list?
  • Model role, cost and fulfilling its task.  So do you get a low point scheme runner (or other task such as damage, anti-scheme, tank) or a higher point one who can do other things (or do the single thing better but risk being the only model you have which does and thus easily neutralized), including kill/defend against other scheme runners/prevention.
  • Assessing list performance.  I think this is an essential, as building a list is as much, if not more, about evaluating and refining as the initial creation.  So how did models do, did they perform the intended role (well?), were they forced into another role (well and is this reasonable?), dealing with the 'always a better model/list for this because of this' concept.
  • I think Conditions and Condition removal needs its own little section, poison and burning builds (is a little of this worthwhile or is it an all/nothing equation) - dealing with slow and paralysis etc
  • Card manipulation and card resources - so cycling cards in you list, card resource intensive vs non-intensive and can/should you build to try and spread around 'Trigger' demands (so have some models need crows vs others rams and others still books or masks), how important?  This could also include Soulstones as a mentioned resource (how many, model strats to get more etc)
  • Upgrades and how to select and manage them is also an area of importance I think could warrant its own section.  Selecting a upgrade pool and what goes where, especially with limited upgrades and such is very important to list creation.

That's my thoughts.  Looking forward to the Podcast.

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8 minutes ago, Gorsk said:

At a high level, the factors in choosing a crew depend on what models you own.  Perhaps add a topic that focuses on building out your collection (i.e. what to look for in your first hand full of masters) for folks just getting into Malifaux.

He has been doing a series of articles just about that. Here's a link for the one focusing on Guild and you can find the others in the recent articles. Thus, I feel like it probably wouldn't be such a good idea to try to include it here, because it's a pretty huge topic in itself.

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2 hours ago, Gorsk said:

At a high level, the factors in choosing a crew depend on what models you own.  Perhaps add a topic that focuses on building out your collection (i.e. what to look for in your first hand full of masters) for folks just getting into Malifaux.

I'm operating on the basis (for this show) that you have access to all the models that you want/need for your options.

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13 hours ago, Khyodee said:

Methods to building a crew

 (1) Fixed List

· All comers list

· Group of fixed lists, choose one that fits the pool

 (2) Based on Strat/Schemes

· Modular crews (take this set of models for this strategy/scheme)

 (3) Core Crew with flex spots

· Typically 10-25 points after core

What are Pros and Cons of each method?

Depending on how you want to look at it, every method is basically just the road to (1) Group of fixed lists.  A core crew with flex spots is generally just 3-4 fixed lists.  Your group of fixed lists might grow to 50+ options, but ultimately you're playing games, finding what works and what doesn't and pairing down possible lists into a set of lists you find successful.

I do think the best strategy can be faction and master dependent though.  I'd probably argue every master has a Core crew, but how many stones that is varies greatly.  

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14 hours ago, Khyodee said:

What factors do you take into consideration when picking one model from a group of several that do similar things?

· It’s the Best?
· Cost of the model?
· Other?

How do you determine the “good” models from the “bad” models?

Personally, I think this is the more important topic to cover.  I think the first step to improving your ability to build better crews is to organize your toolkit.  A lot of that is just going through your collection and deciding what models you really, actually need.  Realistically speaking, a Master and say 70-75? stones worth of models is enough to leave some of that pool unplayed.  It just doesn't take that many models to fill a list.

Probably the first and most important step is recognizing that, for the most part, even among very good models, there just aren't very many you want 2 of.  Building lists where you treat (most) everything as Rare 1 is a good early rule.  The list of models you may want a second of is pretty short; probably short enough that someone could make a post of it all on its own.

Next up its all about grouping models and finding which ones fill a niche and which ones are redundant.  There's no perfect strategy for this, but generally you're just looking to find different groups of models and decide what among them fills a niche and what is rather redundant.  Stones is a good way to slice it, though I find often its worth doing a little bit of grouping.  For example, I consider 5 SS models to arguably be either premium 4 SS models or discount 6 SS models (example: I think the Showgirl is a premium 4, while a Witchling Stalker is a discount 6) so I'll often compare everything 5 and under for one slice, but also compare everything 5-7.

Overall though, I'm a big believer in building better crews by working with a smaller pool of options.  If you can settle on the best say 100 or so SS worth of models available to your faction, its pretty hard to build a bad crew.

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3 hours ago, LunarSol said:

Overall though, I'm a big believer in building better crews by working with a smaller pool of options.  If you can settle on the best say 100 or so SS worth of models available to your faction, its pretty hard to build a bad crew.

Cutting it down to 100ss isn't exactly a small pool, because you can fit half a faction in that if you only take one of each model.

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23 minutes ago, Myyrä said:

Cutting it down to 100ss isn't exactly a small pool, because you can fit half a faction in that if you only take one of each model.

That's kind of my point. :)

It's not a small pool, but its probably a lot smaller than most people work with.  It's also not that hard to hit with any variety in high cost models.  Emissary, a couple henchmen, and another heavy hitting enforcer is almost half of that.

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