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Starting a McCabe Crew


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I got hooked by a introduction game and want to start playing malifaux with McCabe because I like the look and feel of his crew. 

I know that there are models missing because of his switch to 10T. But what are the models I should get right now (don't really want to wait till E3 releases). 



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My response is for m3e not m2e, someone else will have to answer there.

McCabe is a bit hard.  In theme in M3e he has Sidir, Desper, Wastrels, Hucksters and Luna.  Of those Desper and Hucksters aren't released and the rest are in his starter box.  When I play him I proxy a lot of stuff (I use other company's steam punk minis or wyrd alts like Cherry Bomb or Miss Anne Thrope for Desper and the Hucksters).  If you don't have time to track down alts McCabe's starter box ruffians are all pretty distinctive, so it would be easy to take one and just say 'this is my Desper / Huckster' proxy.

Outside of theme, there's 2 ways I'd go, more scrap generation (so Obsidian Oni's or Obsidian Statue), or big / lasting minions for upgrades (Kabuki warrior proxies, Crime Bosses, Jorogumo).  I haven't brought Oni yet (cause I was playing before Luna could only dig once a turn and didn't need the scrap).  I have brought both Kabukis and Crime Bosses to good results.  If you wanted to stay versatile Samurais could be good too.

Another thing that could be good would be some heals / support.  Tanuki are cheap way to get foul mouthed motivation for some heals.  Ten Thunder brothers could also be nice, i guess, but I haven't played with em yet, so can't comment.  Shadow effigy also has 'remember the mission' and 'storm of shadows' which are nice if you need to interact / want some concealment.

Personally, I'd start a few games with his base box and see what you think you're missing out on.  A 35 stone game with Sidir / Desper / Ruffians / Hucksters should give you a good idea on what you like and what you'd like to add to his team.  It's kinda a shame that he's one of the masters where you can't just buy his keyword and be happy, but I'm optimistic about his future releases.  I'm also not sure how much you feel like you'll be 'losing out on' taking out of theme henchmen / enforceres who can't take upgrades.  It could be that you find yourself only putting out 2ish upgrades a game, in which case, it doesn't matter that your whole team can't take upgrades.

I also don't want to mention it (since you said McCabe, so I assume McCabe main) but other people have been enjoying bringing him as a secondary master into other crews (specifically Mei Feng) since her crew puts out a lot of scrap for him to use.  If you were also interested in her, she could be a nice avenue for some additional models.  I haven't played her yet, so I can't vouch for whether she's enjoyable / what her best models are.

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If you wanted to play m2e McCabe there's a good 'starting Ten Thunders on a Budget' article in the 27th wyrd chronicle that has some ideas for McCabe.  Just remember some of the stuff (like guild hounds) is no longer accessible, and others (dawn serpent) can no longer take upgrades, so your enjoyment may vary when you switch to m3e.



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  • 1 month later...

Muraki pretty much nails it.


Just so you have a list of versatile TT models (in 3e), TT models that are versatile are: Dawn Serpent, Shadow Effigy, Shadow Emissary, Samurai, Fuhatsu, Lone Swordsman, Tanuki, Ten Thunder Brothers, Obsidian Statue, Terracotta Warriors, Wanyudo, Yasunori, and Lust.

While I want to check out McCabe, I haven't yet in 3e, but I expect you'll want to supplement his thematic crew with a heavy beater from the versatile list or one of the other thematic crews.

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Okay, so I've played a few games with McCabe, and have really enjoyed him. I won't profess to being an expert (nobody is at this point!) but I do feel like I've got a decent handle on how he plays. 

Basically, McCabe seems to be a very fast and versatile Master - able to pull allies along, buff them with upgrades, disrupt enemies with his netgun and generally just help out wherever he's needed. His crew tends toward mobility, card draw and gaining the focused condition like there's no tomorrow. The latter is great for boosting attacks and avoiding damage, but beyond that their killing power and resiliance is pretty average. 

So, onto McCabe's crew;

Ruffians (formerly Wastrels) are there to push your bigger models around, draw cards with looted supplies, plink off damage with their focused shooting and drop scheme markers as needed. Basically, they're great because they're cheap and versatile, so I feel it's always worth including at least 1-2 in your crews.

Hucksters are your scheme runners. and they're GREAT at this role. Secret Passage lets them teleport across the board, before dropping ridiculous numbers of scheme markers with False Claim. Combine with the Trained Ninja Upgrade, and he can do this from turn 1 anywhere on the board! Obviously there's no model currently available for these guys, but they're absolutely worth finding a proxy for while you wait for an official release.

Sidir is the Crew's only in-keyword killing machine but oh man, he's worth it. Between his Machine Gun and stripping cover with his Blown Apart marker, he's quite capable of tearing holes into anyone who gets close enough. Plus he can strip Armor and Shielded, allowing you to deal with models that might otherwise prove near-impossible to kill. In summary, Sidir is as close to mandatory for McCabe's crew as you can get. 

Luna and Desper Laraux I don't really want to talk about - The former I've only really used to drop scrap and die (for a corpse) and the latter I've yet to put on the table. 


So that covers the core of McCabe's crew. Beyond that, there's two Versatile models I'd absolutely recommend, and those would be Samurai and Tanuki

Samurai are great at almost everything. They're very tough with Armor +2 and healing, and are brutal both at range and up close (he even ignores armor in melee!). Their main weakness is that they're slow, but that's easilly fixed with a Ruffian or McCabe to push them along. But what seals the deal for Samurai, is that they're minions. That means McCabe can give them artefacts, with all the benefits that comes with. Basically if you need some muscle for your crew, Samurai are your answer. 

Tanuki are mainly there to plug the remaining two holes in your crew - condition removal and healing. He does other stuff, but you don't care about that. You care about Condition removal and Healing. ;)


In regards to generating corpse and scrap markers, this isn't something I've gone too deeply into with my games. Luna and the odd dead Ruffian has usually been enough for my card draw/artifact needs but again - I've only played a few games so maybe I've just lucked out. In any case another potential source of scrap is the trigger on the Hucketer's False Claim, so that might be worth pursuing. I've heard people talk about an Obsidian Oni or Obsidian Statue. Both of those might work too, though I've not looked too deeply into how well they'd work beyond just generating scrap. 


That's it for now. If you want the TL:DR version here it is in point form;

1. Proxy Hucksters

2. You definitely want to buy some Samurai and Tanuki. 

3. The core crew might generate enough Scrap/Corpses for your needs, but I can't be sure yet. 

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