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The First Mate


Pyrflamme
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I don't think I've seen much discussion about The First Mate here, so I thought I'd start the topic.

He's Gremlin-faction only, but has the Swampfiend typing, which allows Neverborn Zoraida to bring him in with her upgrade.

Outside of the interesting synergies with NB Zoraida, he has a pretty solid defensive statline for a Henchman, and he brings the "typical" Sluirid abilities of Perfect Camouflage and Leap, which are always great.

Moving on to specific synergies, he has Pounce, which plays well with Zoraida having the option to Obey and use the Voodoo doll to shove something around. We've seen the combo before with Lelu and Lelitu, but this gives us another piece to use it with, even outside of bringing the twins package.

He also has some interesting abilities that interact with the Slow condition. He can hand it out on a non-built-in trigger, Paralyze a Slow model with another non-built-in trigger, or simply devour whole a Paralyzed model with a high Tome. This set of abilities gets especially interesting with the models that come in Titania's box, as the henchman and minions have an aura which force tests against gaining Slow. They're also compelling choices in any crew since they're great for dropping and playing around with scheme markers.

Any of you play with First Mate in Zoraida yet? How was he?

 

 

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I love the First Mate, but as a gremlin.  To be honest, a lot of his extra use for me comes from his being able to reliably devour scheme markers as a (0) action, but he can't do that in Neverborn.  In that regard, I think you're better off using a normal Silurid.

On the other hand, it's not that he doesn't have his uses.  He can not only scheme run, but his damage allows him to reliably take down opponent scheme runners, and his drigger on Menacing Croak means he can keep his camouflage after activating, giving him some extra survivability against opponent scheme runner hunters.  He's not difficult to take down without his upgrade, giving himself a ton of armor is really his best bet at staying alive.

On the other other hand, I feel like Neverborn have this pretty well set.  The Rider is good at hunting scheme runners effectively, normal Silurids can do 2 markers a turn if you need them to, and we have plenty of fast cheap models for taking down runners if the horseman is too expensive.  Problem is that you're investing pretty heavily to bring First Mate along, and at that point I think you're better off with a fast runner that can take down opponent cheap models and then a cheaper scheme runner like an Insidious Madness, instead of putting all of it into the First Mate.

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Played my first game with the Mate with NB Zoraida last night, and he shone well. Ultimately, his demise brought about Bad Juju, but because of his leap, it was right in the middle of the opponent's batch of models, but the first three turns were spent getting to where he needed, pushing enemies away (and giving them slow as needed) and ended up getting the "final" blow on mounted McCabe, which was handy. Against snipers (my opponent was running TT Sniper and an Austringer), it was very helpful to be able to push them out of range and give them slow, effectively eating up 2 AP for them to walk back in place and set up again. I never effectively used the slow/paralyze/eat chain, but I could see that being good in the future, especially with Zoraida's obey. I ended up using Obey more on McTavish.

That said, for 2 SS's more than the basic Silurid, you get:

- A better Ml attack

- SS Use and two upgrades

- an even MORE reliable leap, if that was possible, with the same Ch

- better stats (more Df, Wp, Wd's)

- an auto-kill potential with a heal (might be cool to have a Gupp escort and have him spend an AP to devour it to bring about Juju just where you want.

- a push Ca action (when coupled with Leap, is more reliable than it looks, given the range)

- card cycling on destroyed SM's (NB's new upgrade Malifaux provides helps with this, as does his Grem upgrade)

- Pounce

- Abilities to give slow or paralyzed, which even in a vacuum is very useful.

He's gonna be a staple in my crew, for sure.

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13 minutes ago, Sybaris said:

Just to further the discussion, but on a different level (henchmen lead) i wonder how he'd do in combo with the Spawnmother. His name takes on a different meaning, as well.

My girlfriend doesn't play, but loves the characters and the fluff, and came up with the idea that the FM is a dirty old bastard who says incredibly sexist remarks with no context or provocation. One of our favorites is, "Gr... that Zoraida... she's been hit with the age stick a few too many times, but get me drunk enough, and I'd probably... he he he, y'know what I mean? I mean, when fate calls you to your encounter, you gotta obey, y'know? He he he..."

Strange we hadn't made the connection with the Spawn Mother, but that's a great (terrible) new level.

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