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New Player Looks for Advice

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Hey all! I've been painting and collecting Malifaux on and off for awhile, but I've only played the game once or twice (with the starter set, and I entered a tourney with Sonia and gang)
This weekend, I'm going to a 50ss tourney at my FLGs, and I'd like to play a resser crew (the obvious best faction in the game.) I'm looking for advice on crew build and play tactics for a newbie. I've thumbed through the guides, but I don't have the table experience to picture it all in my head, and apply it to my situation. I figure I will lose a few games, and I'm fine with that, but I want to be able to put up a fight. 
These are the models I have at my disposal:

Nicodem set

Transmortis set

Grave Spirit

Crooked Men

Mindless Zombies

Guild Autopsies

Bette Noir

I also have a set of three Rotten Belles and  three extra Punk Zombies, but I don't know if I'll have them painted in time. (I'm currently working on the Guild Autopsies)  

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Tbf dunno what to tell you at this point. If reading the guides doesn't help you much bc, you're lacking table experience then what you should do is obvious, isn't it? It won't help if we tell you about nice little tricks you pull of once or twice if you do not have the general game play in 110%. Read your cards, read your cards again and make sure you know them. Don't hesitate to ask your opponent for information and make sure you get something for yourself out of every game.

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First, welcome to the greatest faction! Second, before we dive in, I want to make sure that it's said that you are missing a few options to really make nicodem shine. Because of this, it's not going to work as well as it could. But, you have a great start to get a feel for how this master works.

If I were you, I would use this list:

Nicodem (reaper grin, undertaker, maniacal laugh)

Graveyard spirit

The valedictorian (decaying aura)

Bete noire

Rotten belle

Rotten belle

Crooked man

Crooked man

This will leave you with a 7 SS cache to bring in, and I would use it to cycle cards at the start of each round, to keep valedictorian alive, and occasionally for the suit to summon a couple of things with nicodem.

First off, rotten belles are some of the best models in the game, so I would stop working on the autopsies, and make sure to get these done first. If you can, do the punk zombies next. After both are done, then you can work on the autopsies. Autopsies just don't have much synergy with nicodem, and certainly don't have much synergy with the pieces you have.

Here is how I would deploy:

Bete noire starts buried. 

Crooked men start on a flank opposite of your opponent's models. If you deploy first, then I might split them.

Belles, nico, valedictorian, spirit, all start deployed somewhere in the middle. They are your main fighters.

Tactics for the game:

Use the crooked men to drop schemes for claim jump (if you are using gaining grounds 2017). Just keep them near the edge, preferably behind some cover. This will make it hard to chase them. It is also going to be difficult for your opponent to shoot them down, and even if they do, they still drop a marker, so you will have some time to replace them. They only have a walk of 4, so you won't be able to get them deep enough to run other schemes, so I would just focus on making sure they accomplish claim jump on their own. If there are other models on the flanks, make sure to throw up the shafted aura. Your opponent will have to kill the crooked man or risk losing their model.


Valedictorian, Nico, and graveyard spirit are your killing team. Belles are here to help them. First turn, I would use the belles to lure something into valedictorian's charge range. Generally you are looking to try and lure some support piece or maybe one of their scheme runners. If you're not sure what model to go after, try and pick something that doesn't hit back hard. 


Nicodem can go before or after the belles. Use 1 AP to position Nico so that whatever you're targeting will allow valedictorian to be within 6" of Nico when she charges. Also, use 1 AP to give the valedictorian fast. You want valedictorian to be able to charge and still be in range of Nico's corpse conductor aura. The remaining AP on Nico can be used on whatever's helpful, maybe giving a belle fast? Use it however it seems useful. Just to be clear, fast is coming from the rigor mortis action.

Once the belles have lured, and Nico is positioned, then charge with valedictorian. 2 attacks on + flips (3 if you gave it fast and didn't need that AP to get into position) should make a dent in something. Don't forget the 0 action if the model you're going after has defensive triggers.


After you swing, move the graveyard spirit into base contact with valedictorian. This will give it armor 3, so she should be pretty safe.


You generally want to unbury bete when she is in range to kill something of her own as a followup to the valedictorian. Alternatively, you can wait until a crooked man dies, unbury bete, kill whatever killed the crooked man, and then have her continue scheme running.


Once you get a few corpse markers on the board, use the mwahaha action on the maniacal laugh upgrade to summon some mindless zombies. These are either fodder for reaper grin's defensive trigger, or you can summon in the student that counters the most of your opponent's things (or both). If you summon, as long as you have 2 mindless zombies floating around, you can use an additional zombie to heal your summon to full strength (or use a corpse marker that hasn't been zombified yet). Remember the card draw off of undertaker. Other than this, use nicodem to heal valedictorian and to hand out fast to whoever needs it. Most of the time, I am using the belles to position Nico, so he can use his AP on other stuff. Just don't give the belle fast so that the belle can lure Nico, as you are wasting cards to make it happen. It's fine to give belles fast, as long as there is a reasonable expectation that they can do something else with the AP.


Many are going to recommend using Mortimer in your lists. I almost always bring him, but if I were you I would wait until you get a few more options. The hanged, flesh constructs, and necropunks are probably the next things you would want to have available before you start using him. You have probably already read this, but I want to make sure it's always said: Nico can be a wonderful toolbox and incredibly versatile, but you need to have a lot of models to really get the most out of him.


One last thought: if you don't have the upgrades I've mentioned, look for the arsenal decks at your flgs. If you can't find them anywhere, then pm me, and I can send you pictures that you can print out and use.


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Thanks, Jolly Green!
The idea of dropping my autopsies and working on the belles is just the kind of advice I am looking for. The crew list is helpful too, since i don't have the kind of optimal set-up that the guides assume. I have been buying models based on what i think looks cool or might be flavorful to my Through the Breach games, not necessarily for Malifaux play, so my collection is wonky.

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You're welcome!

As long as you're playing Ressers, you're doing it right! It doesn't matter how many of which models you have.

If you ever plan on getting into McMourning, you will find that the autopsies work a little better. They aren't bad on their own: with walk 5 and ceaseless advance, it's not unreasonable to think you can get them deep onto the other half of the board for scheme running. And, they can summon mindless zombies if there is a situation that calls for it. And, they have a shoot action, which you don't see a lot of in Resser models. For 4 SS, you're not doing too bad. It's just that rotten belles are arguably Ressers best model, even after their cuddle, so they are going to have a higher priority.

I personally don't like taking autopsies unless I have something that can utilize the poison aspects of the model. For 2 SS more, you can bring a flesh construct which has almost 3 times the wounds, hits harder, has a bigger base, and also has ceaseless advance, or for 1 SS more you can bring a necropunk which can run claim jump by itself (which I guess is 3 SS less, as you only need 1 necropunk versus 2 autopsies).  Guild autopsies occupy this weird spot where they are outshone by other models in almost every way, but if you want a model who can do a little bit of everything and you only have 4 or 8 SS to spend, then there are worse things to grab.

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There is a place for Autopsies with Nico, but it's for quite specific builds; exploiting Shikome's access to 1 AP Charges. It's not something you'd want to play when you're going for your first tournament, but perhaps it might be something to expand to further down the line. Full credit to zFiend:

So I had a while back an epiphany about a whole new Nicodem build. Stealing the thunder of McMourning and focusing around Poison Shenanigans. It worked really well, I liked it a lot. But then I got on my Guild run and had to leave my beloved Rezzers in the shelves. Anyway here it goes, the basic core is this, season to schemes and strategy with the 8ss that you have left, 2 Night Terrors for Activation control is a nice touch and also you need to pick up one more upgrade. Reaper Grin, Necrotic King is always good:

Nicodem -- 6 Pool
 +Maniacal Laugh [1]
 +Undertaker [1]
Malifaux Child [3]
Guild Autopsy [4]
Guild Autopsy [4]
Mortimer [9]
 +Corpse Bloat [2]
Rafkin [7]
Sebastian [7]
 +Transfusion [1]
Idea is to abuse poison with Nicodem and take advantage of the (1) action charges with Rafkin and Shikomes (Canine Remains have it too) that you will be summoning. I got in a full wounded Shikome on turn 1 and turn 2 thanks to Patchwork trigger. Guild Autopsies were there to dish out Poison at range, Sebastian would give out Poison with either his ml or by Transfusion and hurt people with his auras and Mortimer also was there to give out Poison if needed, move models around and dig up corpses (Also don't forget to use Corpse Bloat offensively if you don't need the corpse markers!).
I summoned: Two Shikomes on turn 1 and turn 2. Mortimer drops a Corpse with You Don't Need a Spleen Right? and digs up another one. Nicodem Manical laughs them up, summons from one of them and declares Patch Work sacs the other one and gets card from both, first full health Shikome right there, repeat turn 2 and if you happen to lose either one of them. Mainly Nicodem was there to give out Fast to either the Autopsies or Shikomes and Malifaux Child was there to help with that, share the Fast to those winged gods of death.
It actually works quite well. A Fast Shikome with a (1) Charge to Poisoned models and still having 2 AP after that is brutal! With their triggers they really tear models to shreds. On top of Shikomes being really fast with wk 6 they really are the key models to this. Guild Autopsies with sh5 and Infect can really put the Poison in quite reliably with Fast as well as you can move, focus shoot, shoot 3 times or double focus and shoot.
This was in my mind one of the funniest ways of playing Nicodem. You get the engine rolling with his buffs and debuffs and Nicodem is actually running across the board instead of just standing and summoning. I encourage you to try it and please, leave me feedback how it went. Once I get back to Rezzers I will start experimenting more with this list! 
This was where this idea was presented.
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Thanks for the advice guys! I got my Belles painted last night, just have to get some finish coats on them today, so they'll be ready to go tomorrow.  I also go a hold of a scanned copy of the Belle's card, so I can use that. ( My Belles are 1st ed, and I never got the cards because at the time I wasn't playing)
I'm very excited because my FLGS that runs Malifaux on a regular basis is actually about an hour and a half drive for me, so between that and a demanding work schedule, I don't get there very often (which is why I don't play)  This has been a big help to me. As I said earlier, I don't expect to win. but if I can have fun, and be challenging enough to be fun to play against, it will be worth it. thanks again guys.

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