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Masters and where the fit in the Strats and Schemes

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So I am looking at the outcasts to determine  who I want to focus on learning for the next couple months. Fun is obviously gonna be a factor, but I also want to bring masters who can cover the strats and schemes effectively. I am thinking focussing on 3 masters to start: Parker, Hamelin, and Daw. I am not going to play Tara or Levi for awhile because they are missing important models and I don't like to proxy. I am not playing von Schill (right now) because I am still missing several models for him (namely Hannah). I am not playing Viks because I am not enticed by their look nor their playstyle. Will try them for fun at one point but not right now. I dont own Zipp and he would just be a "for giggles" master because pianos.. What do you guys think about each master and their potential? What about good vs bad matchups? preference for picking vs faction x? I have played only 2 games this edition so far, one with Hamelin and one with Parker.

 

Parker and Hamelin bring the mobility for many scheme between Run and Gun and Hamelin's mobility tricks.

Parker is great for when i need to spread out and Hamelin and Jack Daw work very well in a bubble, Hamelin being a bit more flexible.

Jack Daw has more more debilitation and control built into his crew and I cannot determine where is shines. It seems to be a good answer to Reckoning or just facing a heavy killy crew (Guild). Good durability between Daw and Montrssor with the guilty being expendable.

Hamelin has a lot of kill denial tricks too but isnt as innately durable as Daw.

Parker and Hamelin bring good scheme marker power, Parker being  a bit stronger at the counter scheming.

All Crews bring damage but Bandits do reliable moderate damage, Plague do explosive late game damage, and Tormented can kill 2-3 models very well while controlling the rest.

 

What other thoughts do you have?

 

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I haven't played Hamelin myself yet, but from what I've seen the biggest thing with him is to avoid the rat engine trap. It's not as effective as it once was, so you're better off using the rats to block charge lanes, provide cheap activations, and get eaten to heal your other models.

As for Parker, yeah, he's really good at counter scheming, and any strat where you need to spread out. He doesn't really care where his models are, so they can cover the whole board pretty easily.

Daw likes to create a big ol' misery stew and pull enemy models into it. He doesn't have a very widespread board presence, but where he, Montresor, Lady Ligeia, and one or two other models are gathered, the enemy will get nothing done. You might not kill much, so avoid him for Reckoning, but anyone stuck near him will be pretty useless. He's countered by anyone who can break up that bubble (I've had success with Tara burying his important models and un-burying them way off in a corner).

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The Bandit keyword’s best feature is their versatility.  If you bunch them together, you get all sorts of synergies; if you send them on their own, they will still flourish.  Run & Gun’s economy of actions gives them a big advantage in overall damage across turns:
If you just happen to have someone in your sights when you’re going be moving to do something else, you can also take a shot.   
If the big melee beater is bearing down on you and you have to run if you want to live, you can also take a shot.   
Move towards the Turf War Marker, shoot someone on the way, kill them, turn the marker neutral when you get there, switch it to your side with your second action.  
 
Economic AF!  
 


PS:  Zipp is not just for laughs; he is a serious tactical threat on the table covered up by a candy coating.

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6 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

The Bandit keyword’s best feature is their versatility.  If you bunch them together, you get all sorts of synergies; if you send them on their own, they will still flourish.  Run & Gun’s economy of actions gives them a big advantage in overall damage across turns:
If you just happen to have someone in your sights when you’re going be moving to do something else, you can also take a shot.   
If the big melee beater is bearing down on you and you have to run if you want to live, you can also take a shot.   
Move towards the Turf War Marker, shoot someone on the way, kill them, turn the marker neutral when you get there, switch it to your side with your second action.  
 
Economic AF!  
 


PS:  Zipp is not just for laughs; he is a serious tactical threat on the table covered up by a candy coating.

I just have no interest in zipp other than the “for laughs” aspect 😛 

 

i agree parker seems to be a highly versatile crew. 

 

Where do you see daw flourishing vs failing in schemes and strats  

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Okay, just don't sleep on Zipp when he's across the table from you...

 

I started the game with my friend who played Jack Daw from the beginning in 2nd, and the major thing with Tormented is your opponent spends so much time dealing with what you've done to their models and what they're allowed to do and not do around your models, you're always reacting and never acting.  I want to go over here, but this model will make me spend this resource to actually do something, then I have to figure a way to heal after I do that action or he'll die. 

Jack is a grinding crew... there is no instant death quick alpha strike table your opponent mentality (which ironically is the best way to kill Jack), you put him on the table and you pretty much announce "Oh, we're gonna be here a while."  It's a grind.  A slow, painful, agonizing grind of a game where you strip away away hope activation after activation after activation.

Tormented messes with your opponent's models; Tormented meses with your opponent's planning; Tormented messes with your opponent!

However, once you're familiar with Tormented, you can see your way out, so repeat games with the same people and crews have deminishing returns.

 

I have not played against Jack Daw this edition very much (my friend has been perfecting Levi), so some nuances may have changed, so I can't say how he works with the schemes and strategies.  Also, I have yet to get Hamelin to work right so I can't really speak on him.

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12 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

Okay, just don't sleep on Zipp when he's across the table from you...

 

I started the game with my friend who played Jack Daw from the beginning in 2nd, and the major thing with Tormented is your opponent spends so much time dealing with what you've done to their models and what they're allowed to do and not do around your models, you're always reacting and never acting.  I want to go over here, but this model will make me spend this resource to actually do something, then I have to figure a way to heal after I do that action or he'll die. 

Jack is a grinding crew... there is no instant death quick alpha strike table your opponent mentality (which ironically is the best way to kill Jack), you put him on the table and you pretty much announce "Oh, we're gonna be here a while."  It's a grind.  A slow, painful, agonizing grind of a game where you strip away away hope activation after activation after activation.

Tormented messes with your opponent's models; Tormented meses with your opponent's planning; Tormented messes with your opponent!

However, once you're familiar with Tormented, you can see your way out, so repeat games with the same people and crews have deminishing returns.

 

I have not played against Jack Daw this edition very much (my friend has been perfecting Levi), so some nuances may have changed, so I can't say how he works with the schemes and strategies.  Also, I have yet to get Hamelin to work right so I can't really speak on him.

First of all, hamelin has been doing well for me so far so not worried there. Already figuring out where he is good or not to good.

 

as for daw.. that description sold me. Now I just gotta get my models fully assembled and painted! 

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I'm attempting to unbury this topic, if I can .. :D

This is very interesting ! I just started last week, with Parker Crew, and I've got the Viks' crew too. And I am looking for a third ... Do you guys have more inputs to share ? :)

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1 hour ago, TheJoyInGaming said:

Hamelin calls for you...

I'm curious now.. Reading all about Hamelin. Tell me more senpai :) Why this guy ?

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To preface, Hamelin’s play-style isn’t suited for everyone. If you like more elite crews, or detest having your models die, then he isn’t the Master for you. I am also unsure if key models are available right now. To start you will need Hamelin’s core box along with the Brotherhood of the Rat encounter box. The core box gives you Hamelin, 3 Stolen (his totems), Nix, Obedient Wretch, and 4 Rats. The encounter box gives you 2 Rat Kings, 2 Rat Catchers, and 8 more Rats. I have had trouble locating the encounter box but was lucky to snag the last one off of a site several weeks ago.

All that being said, onto how he actually plays. Hamelin’s crew will be leveraging 2 resources throughout the game to control and wear down their opponent through attrition: Blight, and their very lives. Your models are intended to be expendable (some even have a Demise ability named as such), and each of their deaths are supposed to waste the opponent precious resources, usually by way action inefficiency. For example, I may block off a model with a Rat or two so that the model will first have to kill a Rat to move freely. As your models meet their inevitable fate (which is the name of a  :ToS-Fast: action in the crew) you should also be gaining more resources. In the above example, when my Rat dies so that the model I blocked off can finally move, I will be able to draw a card because of its Demise ability. So not only did I cost the enemy model an action in the above example, I gained a card for doing so.

Of course, it doesn’t matter how slow the opponent is going if you are not doing anything at all. This leads us to the most important resource: Blight. Whilst the  resource disparity described above begins to grow, the enemy models should be accumulating Blight which helps to strengthen the crew. Hamelin’s crew can use Blight for a wide variety of effects such as Bleeding Disease for damage, Tummy Aches to deny cheating, Voracious Rats to spawn Rats, and Loose Bowels to deny Interact actions. If played well, both of these should snowball into an insurmountable advantage by Turn 3. 

Cagey play is important to making the crew work so positioning and target priority are key. Knowledgeable opponents will bring models that negate Demise triggers, hurt multiple models, or do indirect damage. You will need to play around these models whilst you grind the opponent down. Or you could just kill them. Its up to you.

Edited by TheJoyInGaming
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1 hour ago, Grooty said:

I'm curious now.. Reading all about Hamelin. Tell me more senpai :) Why this guy ?

<gasp> Senpai noticed you!

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Just now, Phinn said:

Good read, @TheJoyInGaming :)

One thing though, and I might have misunderstood you, Malifaux Rats do not have Engagement Range due to their Puny Ability.

That is correct.

They do take up space though, and can’t be walked through unless shenanigans are involved, so you will have to be resourceful to block models. Use multiple Rats to block one from moving, block an important charge lane, or cause a model to be stuck against blocking or severe terrain. Rats are the ultimate nuisance model (not counting Zipp).

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I played Hamelin only 4 times so far, but I always have the same problems, @TheJoyInGaming. Your insight would be much appreciated.

  • Winged Plague
    As a scheme runner the model has nothing to defend itself - no defensive abilities, Df 5, Wp 4, 4 Health.
    As a Pustulent Tumors missile it is too expensive and, once again, too soft to get to where it is needed.

Do not get me wrong, I am not complaining about these models' rules, just trying to get better at using them :)

  • Obedient Wretch
    Is she supposed to be taken only against Crews that have a lot of Armored/Shielded models?
    I do not understand her role otherwise. She is quite survivable but doesn't have a :meleeAttack Action to tie weaker models. Infestation?
    Also Analyze Weakness suggests that you would like to activate her early in the turn, but she doesn't have Severe Countenace, only Manipulative.
  • How much do you focus on summoning Malifaux Rats, Replacing them with Rat King etc.?
    I don't, at all. I practically focus only on Blight and take it as an incidental bonus.
    Do you keep :tome for Infestation Triggers?
    Have you ever sacrificed Stolen or Obedient Wretch to summon Rat King?
    Have you ever replaced Rat King with Rat Catcher?

Thank you in advance :)

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No problem @Phinn. Happy to help. I do ask you take my advice with a grain of salt though. I am also an inexperienced Hamelin player, and though I believe my conclusions to be correct on how to play Hamelin, it is always best to test advice against others’, and especially against tabletop experience.

The Winged Plague

Boy do I love these sculpts! Unfortunately, I think that is the last positive thing I can say about this model. Due to the WP’s squishiness, it lacks the durability to be able to make it to the far off objectives the crew already struggles to get to. Ideally, the WP would have had some sort of evasive ability that would permit Hamelin to complete objectives like Power Ritual or Breakthrough more easily. Instead, it appears to have been designed to be a midfield scheme runner that can complete Harness the Leyline or Dig Their Graves.

It looks like the best use of them is to hide them behind some tall Blocking terrain while the rest of the crew stacks tremendous amounts of Blight. Then, at an opportune time, it will emerge to spam Festering Wounds to drop several scheme markers. Afterwards, it can push into the melee with The Plague Spreads so that the enemies just cleansed of Blight will have it reapplied by Diseased when they activate.

This play-style is ultimately what turned me off of them as it comes at a great opportunity cost. Why use up so much Blight when it can be used for so many more powerful things in the crew? And why not just hire a Prospector instead if I need a mid-field schemer? The Prospector will likely end up costing 3 SSs, has some defensive tech, can card cycle, has a situational pseudo-Lure to complement Hamelin’s Lure, can be solid counter tech against some crews with its corpse and scrap removal, and can occasionally drop 2 scheme markers a Turn without using Blight.

The Obedient Wretch

I’ll be up front, her metal sculpt is what originally drew me to the Plagued in the first place so I may be a bit biased. I absolutely love this model due to Tummy Aches. The power of the ability to turn off cheating from an enemy with Blight cannot be overstated. This, combined with Manipulative, Diseased, and Stealth, makes her far more annoying to remove with targeted actions than most opponents’ feel comfortable with. 

It is for this reason that I don’t actually make much use of Analyze Weakness at all. Don’t get me wrong, it is a powerful action, but it must always be considered against the use of Bleeding Disease as it is not a :ToS-Fast:. In situations where you cannot affectively capitalize on AW, whether it be lack of follow up damage or counter-play from the opponent, it is not worth the action. I have had more success with her being a hard to pin down assassin (Tummy Aches works for Disengage actions) than using her as a counter for armor/Shielded. I have used her gun in the past for Infestation, though it isn’t why I bring her.

This preference could be due to my play style though. I generally have fewer enemy models with Blight, though the stacks are bigger. Think 7-9 Blight on a few models by Turn 3.

Misc Questions

I treat Rats as circumstantial bonuses to use rather than to focus on. I generally produce Rats through Voracious Rats, or the death of my Stolen, rather than trying to summon them. I have used them to make a Rat King, though not at every opportunity. Sometimes it is more beneficial to leave the Rats there then it is to gain a King. I have not yet made a King a Catcher, though if it would get me more points or deny my opponent I would not hesitate in doing so.

I have used my Stolen’s :ToS-Fast: to die and gain 2 Rats, though more often than not I use 1 to pressure an enemy model and hope it dies, and hide the other 2 for Hamelin until later in the game. I don’t think I could bring myself to kill the Wretch...

I like to play Hamelin very aggressively with a large Cache and Servant of Dark Powers. I try to Lure prime targets in to stack large quantities of Blight and love to Stone for extra :crows for Taint or extra :masks for Skittering Vermin Turn 1. Most of the time I also have Rat King upgraded with SoDP to charge in and get an early kill. This should help widen that resource gulf and trigger Spray of Filth to Blight a couple more enemies. Other suits I am not concerned with so I will also card cycle at the beginning of each Turn to make sure I have the :crows and :masks needed.

Hope this helps!

 

Edited by TheJoyInGaming
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7 hours ago, TheJoyInGaming said:

I like to play Hamelin very aggressively with a large Cache and Servant of Dark Powers.

What's your opinion on Prospectors in this keyword?

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Thanks a lot for all of this @TheJoyInGaming ! 

In my store, I can have both boxes ! The objective of snowballing damage with the Blight seems really fun to play ! But I'm not sure about my skill on positionning, and I don't have enough experience to get the good focus.. I will think about it. Maybe I will look to some YT videos !

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1 hour ago, Jesy Blue said:

What's your opinion on Prospectors in this keyword?

Realistically, I always try to evaluate them as 3 Stone models when hiring them. This enables me to not be as disappointed if/when they die, and it frees me mentally to not get so preoccupied with Mine Soulstone that I miss out on the :crowTrigger of their :ToS-Fast:action. Viewed at this cost, or even at their actual 6 Stone value, I think they bring a lot more value to the Plagued as a mid-field scheme runner than Hamelin's own WP.

To elaborate, I have felt more freedom to use a Prospector's actions when hired with Hamelin than I have with other crews because in others I can tend to get a "little" Appraise-happy.  Don't get me wrong; Appraise is still a great action for the crew as they have no use for the corpse markers they will naturally Drop from the deaths of Stolen and Rat Kings. I just find that the crew's inherent card draw is usually enough to maintain a strong hand, and I find that Mining Tools and "I've Struck Soulstone!" can be very useful for Hamelin, albeit situational. The former complements Coughing Fit well, and the later complements Lure.

Their Manipulative also pairs well with the crew due to the Plague's usual activation advantage. Speaking of, Manipulative is also the single point I have against the Prospector since I am always a little hesitant about hiring a model that can be countered by tech the opponent is already going to be bringing. Then I remember this is basically a 3 Stone model and I feel better.

To summarize, I think the Prospectors are great with the crew if I am going to be using their full toolbox since it complements Hamelin nicely. I would NOT bring them solely for their Appraise action, and I don't think I would ever bring more than 1. Most importantly though, I would bring them only if the scenario called for it. Synergy doesn't matter if it doesn't earn you VP.

Hope this helped!

Shalom. 

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43 minutes ago, Grooty said:

Thanks a lot for all of this @TheJoyInGaming ! 

In my store, I can have both boxes ! The objective of snowballing damage with the Blight seems really fun to play ! But I'm not sure about my skill on positionning, and I don't have enough experience to get the good focus.. I will think about it. Maybe I will look to some YT videos !

No problem. I just hope some of what I said ended up being correct. 

The good news is that Outcasts is not lacking when it comes to fun Keywords to play so if you do choose a different 3rd Master you should have a blast regardless. Well, that is unless you choose Jack Daw. I've heard it is an absolute Torment to play against.

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