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Waldo's Weekly - Carrion My Wayward Son

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Hey Wyrdos,

Waldo’s at it again. This week, we found him in the warehouse putting on a puppet show. After rattling off his nonsensical play for five long hours (eight acts? Really?), he demanded that we either watch it again or talk about Malifaux Third Edition. So here we are.

Let’s talk about Puppets!  Or, more specifically, let’s talk about Effigies.  As always, remember that we’re still in beta testing, so some things might change between now and release.

In the story, the Swamp Witch Zoraida created the Effigies as a means of spying upon and manipulating the various Factions of Malifaux. When Governor-General Kitchener attempted to ascend and become a Tyrant, Zoraida had planned to use the Effigies as a means of leeching away much of that power for herself. Unfortunately, her plan backfired and the Effigies retained the power they stole from Kitchener, becoming stronger entities known as Emissaries.

The Effigy and Emissary models are still around in M3E, so let’s take a look at one of them to see how they’re looking in the new edition.

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The Carrion Effigy has many traits that are common to its Effigy brethren, such as Hard to Kill and Accomplice. Hard to Kill works the same as it did in M2E, but as you can see, Accomplice now comes with a cost attached to it, namely that the player has to discard a card or a Pass Token. The ability to chain activate models is very powerful in a game of alternating Activations, so attaching a bit of a cost to that ability helps to level the playing field a bit. Also of note is that the rulebook limitation on Chain Activations is no more; if you have multiple models with Accomplice or Companion (which works similar to Accomplice) together, you can potentially get multiple Activations in a row… if you’re willing to pay the cost of doing so.

Armor is also common to all of the Effigies. The big difference between M2E and M3E is that Armor doesn’t say that it reduces damage “to a minimum of 0,” because that’s just a general rule in M3E: any sort of reduction can only reduce damage to a minimum of 1, unless the reduction effect says otherwise.

Finally, we have Helping Hand, which we’ve mentioned before. Helping Hand effectively turns the Effigy models into generic Totems for Henchmen models, which helps those Henchmen stand their ground against Master models. Masters will usually have a bit of an edge in games against Henchmen, just by virtue of having very powerful Actions, but this bonus helps to close the gap a bit.

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On the back side of the Carrion Effigy we can see its Actions. Entropic Siphon is its only Attack Action. The Attack gets better when targeting models that are already wounded, and if it hits, it also weakens the target for subsequent attacks. The stat is only a 4, true, but that’s not quite the death knell that it was in M2E; stats of 4 and 5 are more common (even on Masters), and Defense and Willpower stats in general are down across the board. One of the goals of rebalancing M3E was ensuring that we had a broader spread of stats, since having everything at stat 6 just doesn’t provide the spread that the game needs to feel dynamic.

Stitch Up is the Carrion Effigy’s next Action. Since the Carrion Effigy is a Resurrectionist, the Ability to heal Undead models is usually pretty useful, though it might see less of a use in Crews led by Kirai, who generally don’t associate with Undead models all that much (on account of Kirai being a ghost summoner). Still, a fairly reliable source of healing for a majority of the Faction’s models is pretty good!

Finally, we have the Effigy’s Aura of Decay. All of the Effigies have at least one Aura ability, and the Carrion Effigy’s Aura is very strong, allowing it to shut down the ability of enemy models to both Heal and to reduce damage with Soulstones. For veterans of M2E, it’s worth noting that there’s no more divide between “preventing damage” and “reducing damage;” it’s all “reduce” in M3E, as the distinction was one of the more confusing elements of M2E for players to grasp.

Now that we’ve had a look at an Effigy model, let’s talk about the Effigy of Fate Upgrade.

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The Emissary of Fate Upgrade allows an Effigy model to replace itself with its corresponding Emissary model at the start of Turn 3 or any subsequent Turn, mimicking how the Effigies turned into Emissaries in the story. “Replace” is a new game term in M3E that does pretty much exactly what it implies: the Emissary is placed in base contact with the Emissary, sets its Health to that of the Emissary, and gains any game effects that were affecting the Effigy model (which includes counting for any Schemes that might have chosen the Effigy as their subject) before the Effigy model is removed from play.

This can be a bit of a gamble – the Effigy of Fate Upgrade makes the Effigy into great, big, glowing target – but being able to access an Emissary model for a reduced Cost is often worth the risk. This is even better for Henchmen Leaders, who can hire the Effigy model for free!

Let’s take a look at the Carrion Emissary, shall we?

WaldosWeekly_CarrionEmissaryFront_11.7.2018.jpg

The Carrion Emissary boasts a couple of strong defenses. As with all the Emissaries, it retains the Hard to Kill Ability from its Emissary days, and it’s also gained Terrifying (12), which makes it difficult to be targeted by weak-willed models. Here we get our first look at the new Flight Ability, which contributes to the Carrion Emissary’s great movement (remember, it’s on a 50mm base, so that place effect makes it more mobile than its Mv 5 would otherwise suggest). The Flesh Crawls rounds out the package by providing a movement buff to friendly Undead models around it, which carries forward the theme of “Undead support” possessed by the Carrion Effigy.

WaldosWeekly_CarrionEmissaryBack_11.7.2018.jpg

On the back of the Carrion Emissary, we can see that it has a Beak Attack that does respectable damage. The range of 0” means that it has to be in base contact with its target to attack it, which is only a minor inconvenience, given the mobility offered by Flight.

Rot and Rend is the reason to keep the Carrion Emissary out of melee range if at all possible. It not only does solid damage but also debuffs those it injures, echoing the debuff abilities on its former self. My Loyal Servant and Infect are both useful Triggers, and Zombify rounds out the package by allowing the Emissary to turn a Killed target into a Mindless Zombie.

The Carrion Effigy’s Aura of Decay returns with a higher stat, but now it has stiff competition with Exhumation, which creates Coffin Markers nearby. The Unexpected Zombie Trigger can exchange a Marker for a Mindless Zombie, but the Markers themselves can be quite useful for providing cover or blocking Line of Sight to the advancing Resurrectionist forces. The “Destructible” Trait means that a model within 1” of the Terrain Marker can spend an Action to destroy it, which in general helps to mitigate the M2E issue of creating terrain to block off portions of the board. In M3E, that’s still possible, but it’s not a permanent solution, as those barriers can be destroyed.

What you won’t find on an Emissary is a Master-specific Upgrade. In M2E, the Emissaries could take Upgrades specific to the Master leading its Crew, each of which changed its behavior in various ways. We’ve done away with those Upgrades in M3E, as they were generally used as patches to sub-par Masters and were either not impressive enough to see the table or (more rarely) so strong that they became mandatory hires with their respective Masters.

By removing Emissary Upgrades from the game, we’re able to focus upon making each Emissary good on its own merits instead of dependent upon the strength of its Upgrade. This also helps new players by ensuring that each Emissary plays the same in each game, instead of being an entity whose Abilities, Actions, and role change depending upon the Master.

Next time, we’ll be taking a break from Malifaux Third Edition to take a peek into Titans in The Other Side!

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I love the more lore accurate effigies but oof... getting rid of master specific upgrades makes the emissaries feel less special. I'm sure it's more balanced this way but part of what was special about them is that they played so differently depending on who hired them. I won't even tey to pass judgement on whether it's better or worse gameplay until 3E releases but emotionally it's the most feel bad moment since the Dead Man's hand announcement.

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I understand why some may be disappointed by losing the master specific upgrades for the Emissaries.

I am quite ok with the change, it’s fluffy to see the Effigies grow.

If Masters have an edge over Henchmen leaders, shouldn’t  the Effigies the Henchmen get for free be upgraded ones or would that be too powerful?

Shouldn’t  there a rule forbidding to have the Effigy and the Emissary into the same crew?

 

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Man...idk...the suggestion about emisarry upgrades meerly being "patches" kinda felt like they were trying to force feed us something they knew we would disagree with. This reveal kind of blows. I mean... I know there was a lot of game knowledge involved in knowing the upgrades etc....but now these are just kind of 40 dollar enforcers. They don't seem all that special all of a sudden. Why bother when I can pick up most other enforcers for 15 dollars or so? I didn't see anything on carrion's card that blew me away. 

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3 hours ago, rober695 said:

Man...idk...the suggestion about emisarry upgrades meerly being "patches" kinda felt like they were trying to force feed us something they knew we would disagree with. 

It's not really a suggestion. It's pretty clear from a lot of the emissary upgrades currently in 2e and they've said it multiple times ever since wave 3. That's why we didn't get emissary upgrades for the wave 4 masters in wave 4.
 

3 hours ago, rober695 said:

They don't seem all that special all of a sudden. Why bother when I can pick up most other enforcers for 15 dollars or so? I didn't see anything on carrion's card that blew me away. 

Because the model looks cool. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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4 hours ago, rober695 said:

Why bother when I can pick up most other enforcers for 15 dollars or so? I didn't see anything on carrion's card that blew me away. 

Other 10-SoulStone-Enforces cannot emerge from a 4+2 Soulstone Enforcer.

Also what @santaclaws01 said.

Also, if you make a 40-Dollars Enforcer stronger than cheaper enforcers (while costing the same in-game ressources), just because they are more expensive, you pretty much end up with the pay-to-win problematic. I think the monetary value of a miniature should correlate to its size and Details etc. and not its competitiveness.

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2 minutes ago, Small Mek said:

Old avatars sculpts used as emissary proxies make much less sense now. Shame. Is this the final blow for them? 

Final blow for the avatars?  Dead and buried under salted earth.  Probably fire involved somewhere, too.

Emissaries are just fine.  But you'll be taking the model because you want to take it, not because you're being forced to do so in order to unlock some ability on your leader model.

 

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5 hours ago, rober695 said:

Man...idk...the suggestion about emisarry upgrades meerly being "patches" kinda felt like they were trying to force feed us something they knew we would disagree with. This reveal kind of blows. I mean... I know there was a lot of game knowledge involved in knowing the upgrades etc....but now these are just kind of 40 dollar enforcers. They don't seem all that special all of a sudden. Why bother when I can pick up most other enforcers for 15 dollars or so? I didn't see anything on carrion's card that blew me away. 

I think that was the stated intent during the public playtest of them to allow playstyles to work that hadn't worked. I  I always viewed M2E emissaries as a patch to allow you to use your avatar sculpt once they decided Avatars weren't going to make the cut. And I would expect that to continue, but there is now a smaller percentage of the players that have avatar sculpts so its less the point of them.

And, I agree with the other comments about cost. Something that cost $40 shouldn't automatically be better than something that costs $20. The Sculpts do look very good. in most cases as Impressive models to build and paint, and I'm as likely to use them now as I was before.

I do like the flavour of them doing what they do in the story, that seems cool.

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34 minutes ago, Small Mek said:

Old avatars sculpts used as emissary proxies make much less sense now. Shame. Is this the final blow for them? 

they neither made sense before. The Old Nicodem Avatar Walking side by side with Nicodem?

 

also I'd like to Quote Question 12 from the official wyrd M3E-FAQ:

Quote

12. Will rules for Avatars be in M3E? 
No, Avatars have been removed from Malifaux by story events. 

 

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5 hours ago, Davie said:

Also, if you make a 40-Dollars Enforcer stronger than cheaper enforcers (while costing the same in-game ressources), just because they are more expensive, you pretty much end up with the pay-to-win problematic. I think the monetary value of a miniature should correlate to its size and Details etc. and not its competitiveness.

I totally agree. You can't make it inherently stronger. But there needs to be some factor that makes it cooler than just your average $11-21 enforcer when its 2-4 times that price. I pwrsonally don't think the effigy upgrade alone makes a $51 pair of models feel like there's a payoff when a crewbox is $50 or less. There's something to be said for how cool the scuplts are, for sure, but for me there really needs to be something to set them apart to make them worth $40. They don't have to be pay to win. I don't think the 2E Emissaries were. But they should be something special or else frankly it just sucks to have spent $40 a faction to get a somewhat decent beater that costs 10 and has decent stats and no customization.

Like you don't have to break the game to not have that much of a feel bad moment.

Again, you don't have to agree, and like I said before, I won't even judge the gameplay until I see how it works on the table, but you do kindof have to admit that that this is the second big consumer confidence wammy we've been hit with so far with this edition.

I don't know if the beta will keep these as is, but since nothing's finalized now I just know that I for one want to make it clear that while the change may be good for gameplay it sucks emotionally and as a consumer. It doesn't make me want to finish my collection of Emissaries honestly, and if I do it'll only be for play in 2E.

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I personally like the lack of master specific upgrades.  Yes, there were some cool ones in M2E, but looking at the forums there was a lot of 'x emissary is trash with x master, only bring him with y master'.  I can only assume they were nearly impossible to balance against each other, since you needed to check a whole host of upgrades before tweaking something.

Will I bring them less in M3E? Probably, but I'm ok with that, rather than a list that always has a 10ss tax.  I'm also hoping that they're buffed/balanced such that I want to bring them for their own abilities, rather than how they work with my master.

As for the price, emissaries are way bigger than your usual enforcer model, so they cost more to produce / package / ship.  You can't really compare their cost to that of a regular enforcer / hench that's on a 30mm base and in a 11 - 15 dollar box.  If you want to compare cost, compare it to hannah / the whiskey / rail golem or other models that require a full sprue + to build.  They're at 35, to the 40 for the emissaries, so I don't see the issue.

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6 minutes ago, Thedeadclaw said:

but you do kindof have to admit that that this is the second big consumer confidence wammy we've been hit with so far with this edition.

as a Gremlin Player I cannot agree. M2E-Emissary was not playable in my opinion, or at least not very well. We don't know if M3E-Emissary will be any good, but from my perspective as a consumer and from what Infos we find on this page, the opportunity to Play a 10SS-Enforcer for the cost of a 4+2SS-Enforcer alone seems to be worth it. As a consumer, this feels reassuring and good.

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10 minutes ago, Thedeadclaw said:

I totally agree. You can't make it inherently stronger. But there needs to be some factor that makes it cooler than just your average $11-21 enforcer when its 2-4 times that price. I pwrsonally don't think the effigy upgrade alone makes a $51 pair of models feel like there's a payoff when a crewbox is $50 or less. There's something to be said for how cool the scuplts are, for sure, but for me there really needs to be something to set them apart to make them worth $40. They don't have to be pay to win. I don't think the 2E Emissaries were. But they should be something special or else frankly it just sucks to have spent $40 a faction to get a somewhat decent beater that costs 10 and has decent stats and no customization.

One thing you may have missed is that they are Versatile. so every master can use that 10SS enforcer with no penalty. So if you have multiple masters in a faction it is still a good value purchase. Until we know How many versatile models there are that might not  make much of a difference, but if there are only 10 or so, then the emissary might be the most cost efficient beater for your master combinations. Is that cool? I don't know,  that's up to you, but its certainly got the possibility to be nearly as cool as the conflux upgrades

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1 minute ago, Adran said:

Until we know How many versatile models there are that might not  make much of a difference, but if there are only 10 or so, then the emissary might be the most cost efficient beater for your master combinations. Is that cool?

I certainly hope Versatile models are not the most cost efficient in any role in a vaccuum or it will invalidate other thematic models.

I hope that they have enough "versatility" to bring something different but not "compulsory" to each theme (eg not always the same thing and not something that is badly needed by a given theme) or else it will kill list diversity and/or reduce design space.

It would become similar to the Merc issue from M2E.

The Versatile trait is imho a hard one to balance for M3E.

20 minutes ago, Thedeadclaw said:

There's something to be said for how cool the scuplts are, for sure, but for me there really needs to be something to set them apart to make them worth $40.

I am ok with paying 40 USD for the sculpts of the Arcane or Mysterious Emissaries alone. As a matter of fact I did :D.

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This looks fun! I like the growth mechanic for effigies. Not sure if you'll be able to hire the emissary with the effigy and then grow it so you have two emissaries but that was my first thought. :D 

I don't mind picking the emissary because I actually like the emissary rules and not because I need some ability for my master. Master patches and upgrades to open up new playstyles should go on the master themselves or optional totems in my opinion. I'll happily keep using my old avatars as the new generic emissaries, it makes more sense for avatar Sonnia to join Lady Justice than to have Sonnia in two different states of time on the same board. I did greatly appreciate the option to still use my avatar models so I hope they stay legal as proxies.

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Not a fan of summoning an Emissary (actually not a fan of summoning but that's another discussion:P). Feels like I might be "forced" to buy one just because I like fielding effigies. But who knows how that'll play out when 3e rolls around. I'll save my pitchfork for launch :) And legal proxy or not I know my avatar Marcus will continue to see play as Marcus Emissary far as my local scene is concerned, so that's assuring. Would of course be nice if it was officially recognised as such.

Liking the previews so far.

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2 minutes ago, yool1981 said:

I certainly hope Versatile models are not the most cost efficient in any role in a vaccuum or it will invalidate other thematic models.

I hope that they have enough "versatility" to bring something different but not "compulsory" to each theme (eg not always the same thing and not something that is badly needed by a given theme) or else it will kill list diversity and/or reduce design space.

I'm guessing masters that need corpse markers will have some way of generating those in theme. The emissary creating cover and zombies is a super good thing for most ressers in m2e so anyone using corpses or thinking they'll need some mobile cover in m3e would probably still consider the emissary a pretty good model. I guess that is the point of having versatile models, if everyone have everything in theme there isn't much point of having versatile models in the game. Hopefully there will be a tradeoff in versatility vs survivability/damage output/etc. so that the emissary will be a good pick in certain setups but the in theme models will have a role in other setups.

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10 minutes ago, yool1981 said:

I certainly hope Versatile models are not the most cost efficient in any role in a vaccuum or it will invalidate other thematic models.

I hope that they have enough "versatility" to bring something different but not "compulsory" to each theme (eg not always the same thing and not something that is badly needed by a given theme) or else it will kill list diversity and/or reduce design space.

It would become similar to the Merc issue from M2E.

The Versatile trait is imho a hard one to balance for M3E.

I am ok with paying 40 USD for the sculpts of the Arcane or Mysterious Emissaries alone. As a matter of fact I did :D.

lets assume all 10 SS beaters are equally balanced, and each key word has 1. If you want to use a second beater you have to go outside your key word, so are looking at one of the seven 11ss beaters or the one remaining 10 ss beater in addition to the 10 ss beater you have in keyword already.

I doubt all keywords will have a 10 ss beater (I don't think I could name 9 possible ones in each faction) but hopefully it shows how it could still eb a good option for each keyword without automatically replacing keyword themes

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8 hours ago, santaclaws01 said:

Because the model looks cool.

In the case of the Shadow, Arcane, and Lucky Emissaries, hell yeah they do!

So I don't have any effigies, and this is not making me lean towards the effigies.  6ss to get an Emissary, maybe, by 3rd turn, can sort of be cost efficient (if you're looking at getting 2ss worth of the model a turn, but then you're spending 6ss of a model you'll only have 2 turns in the effigy, if that; math is hard), but i dont see anything in the effigy that makes me want to even use it for the 2 turns.  Perhaps the ones for the factions I actually use will change my mind, but currently I see myself staying effigyless. 

As for the Emissaries, if Shadow stays similar to what it is now I'll still use it most times; with the rumored limiting of upgrades in general and no master specific ones, I'm curious how Hodgepodge will fiction as his whole purpose was upgrades.

As for Versatile, I'm pretty sure they are gonna only be for the Effigy/Emmisary models, sounds like their thing.  Also, weird tangent, makes me wonder if the Mercenary keyword will still be one of Viktorias' things or will they just be effecting Sister keywords.

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1 minute ago, Jesy Blue said:

As for Versatile, I'm pretty sure they are gonna only be for the Effigy/Emmisary models, sounds like their thing.

Nope, each faction has a couple of different Versatile models that they can draw upon.

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10 minutes ago, Mason said:

Nope, each faction has a couple of different Versatile models that they can draw upon.

If I remember the spoilers correctly, the Horsemen should also be Versatile.

What is the reasoning motivating having other Versatile models?

Won't it be a bit counterproductive with a theme driven M3E?

Won't it limit future design space?

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And here I think, I love my effigy enough to hire it (Brutal forever, and Hodgepodge sometimes), I want it to hang around for as many turns as it can. The one good thing is, I hire effigies for their auras*, and at least this emissary also has the same aura on tap. I won’t have to lose the aura for which I hired it, and get a slightly higher hitpoint package to carry it.

It is my headcanon that the emissary sculpt is what most people see, but that people close to the master leading the crew instead see it as the avatar sculpt (Rusty Alyce hasn’t ‘seen’ the Hodgepodge Emissary properly since the night it was born; Abuela Ortega perceives the authority of the Brutal Emissary as her granddaughter riding as a royal over her domain).

 

*I have lost so many VP to the shadow effigy action, it’s absurd (surprise scheme marker right where it’s needed!), but that is the only time I have seen a non-aura aspect of an effigy be its reason for hiring.

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