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   So I've played a few games with Hamelin now and have some thoughts I figured I would share about how he and his crew interact, and some things to avoid. My games and end results were as follows: Hamelin w/ 3 stolen, 2 rat kings, 1 rat catcher, obedient wretch, nix, a few rats and 6ss vs Nekima won 5 to 3. Hamelin w/ 3 stolen, benny, nix, wretch, 2 rat kings, 1 rat catcher, hodgepodge effigy, 3ss vs jack daw loss 4-1 . Hamelin w/ 3 stolen, benny, nix, wretch, 2 rat kings, 1 rat catcher, 1 rat, 5ss vs somer draw 3-3. (lists may be off by a few ss, didn't double check just typed what I remembered. 

   A few general tips I want to state before I get into a few nitty gritty things: 

1) Turn three is when you should be swinging at full force and causing some massive damage. Surviving until then without falling too far behind in points can be the difficult part.

2) Don't focus to heavily on the rat engine (I'll bring this up again later) 

3) STACK BLIGHT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT

4) Hamelin is pretty squishy when cornered, but the stolen offer some level of protection. Let them die when needed.

5) The crew bubbles to some extent, but if you work out your bubbles the right way you can easily divide and conquer.

   The points I really want to discuss in depth involve how to bubble up your crew properly, and what I mean by don't rely on the rat engine. Most of the other points are self explanatory and a bit more obvious from the get go.

 BUBBLES!!!!!!

   Lots of crews have to bubble, and Hamelin is really no different. My suggestion is to bubble Hamelin, Obedient Wretch, 3 Stolen, and nix together from the get go, and bubble up 2 rat kings, benny, and a few rats. Benny will normally break off when he needs to in order to go do other things, but starting him there is a good idea in order to not have him get singled out. When it's time to split up, the rat kings can slingshot themselves to some extent, and your other crew members can help out with that if needed. Hamelin needs to be with the stolen at all times, and leaving him with the wretch helps support him and provide an additional source of rats and blight. Nix can be used wherever, I've just preferred starting Nix with Hamelin and breaking off later if needed. These smaller bubbles keep the board from getting too clogged up, and allow you to separate your early game from your late game without risking being the target of repeated hit and runs. 

Why the rat engine isn't all I had hoped it would be

   It's really easy to get caught up doing wild summoning with all of your fun abilities, but they really aren't as great as they seem. Loyal rats with tiny hats eats up way too many of your schemes in a crew that can summon to scheme run efficiently. Use it when you have scheme markers that you aren't planning to use, or when you can target enemy schemes. If neither of these applies, avoid the ability. A usable scheme marker is not worth trading for a rat. Tangle together is probably the best summoning in the crew, as sacrificing 4 rats for a rat king is amazing, Setting it up can be tricky, as can getting enough rats close together without dedicating your turn to it. If it happens it happens, if it doesn't just keep playing. Rat problem is situationally better than tangle, as being able to kill an injured rat king and surrounding rats for a full health slowed rat catcher not only gives you an awesome new model but also allows you to draw cards. Just be careful using it, as it can unintentionally kill rats your forgot were there. 

What to watch out for

   Hamelin's crew is afraid of a handful of things. Terrifying is big. WP 5 only pretty much everything and WP 2 on rats is really tough, especially if you are low on cards to cheat and have been flipping poorly all day. In my game against Daw my opponent's hanged held position against a rat king, a rat catcher, nix, and 2 rats for 2 turns because I had very few cards to cheat and couldn't flip above a 7 for my terrifying duels. Armor and hard to kill are tough to keep up with early game since so many of your attacks that do decent damage rely on blight which takes some time to stack. Slowed and stunned are also difficult to fight through. The biggest thing when playing Hamelin is carefully selecting your schemes. Pick ones like harness the leyline or assassinate that don't require you to break up too much.

Final thoughts

   Hamelin definitely has potential to be a good master, but suffers from how wide the variety of abilities and potential strategies. Don't get lost in the rat engine, be careful with your scheme selection, and don't get too broken up and you should be fine. 

 

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Thanks for the insight. My personal favorite with Hamelin is actually The Midnight Stalker as he is extremely mobile, difficult to kill and still packs a decent punch thanks to free Fast. He also opens up the scheme pool to schemes like Breakthrough. Ever thought about adding him to the mix?

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36 minutes ago, whodares said:

Thanks for the insight. My personal favorite with Hamelin is actually The Midnight Stalker as he is extremely mobile, difficult to kill and still packs a decent punch thanks to free Fast. He also opens up the scheme pool to schemes like Breakthrough. Ever thought about adding him to the mix?

Yah, I  was thinking about giving him a try, just cant find my model for him 🤣

He seems super effective for his points. Was also considering Hans as an out of keyword pick

 

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Thanks for sharing your experience! 

I was thinking of Bishop as my beater/scheme runner. With fast and option to double drop scheme markers whilst potentially punching hard, he seems a lovely choice. Hamelin does lack an in keyword beater, and I think Bishop could deliver whilst multitask.

I thought for the second bubble, having Nix to cast blight and beat, bishop to beat and rat catcher to summon rats when enemy models die might work?

 

Power to the Plague!! 😁

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52 minutes ago, poulpox said:

I was thinking of Bishop as my beater/scheme runner. With fast and option to double drop scheme markers whilst potentially punching hard, he seems a lovely choice. Hamelin does lack an in keyword beater, and I think Bishop could deliver whilst multitask.

 

I also had some really good games bringing Barbaros. Especially with "Bring It!" to get enemies into the "death zone" with all the blight auras as well as Nix' no-severe damage aura and into range of the Rat Kings (and Barbaros himself of course). You have to be a bit careful with placement due to Black Blood, though. Together with Hamelins lure there is literally no escape.

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Hello folks!

So, this a long way away for me but food for thoughts and wallet budgeting, but how do people feel H. fares in tourneys? Is he a master you'll feel confident to use for any strategy and against any crew? If not what would be a second master you would consider bringing, to have a chance given the strat at hand and/or your opponent?

I was considering getting Jack Daw because I love the theme, but have no idea if he would be a good supplement to the Plague crew. 

Thanks for your wisdom, and Plague On!

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I'm really only finding Plague success in Reckoning currently, due to so many Insignificant models; I'm finding it the worst in Cursed Idols because you give up so many Pass Tokens you cannot Manipulate where the markers drop.

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17 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

I'm really only finding Plague success in Reckoning currently, due to so many Insignificant models; I'm finding it the worst in Cursed Idols because you give up so many Pass Tokens you cannot Manipulate where the markers drop.

Interesting, even if you don't take any rats and split in 2-3 bubbles to cover the board on both sides of the centerline?

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18 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

I'm really only finding Plague success in Reckoning currently, due to so many Insignificant models; I'm finding it the worst in Cursed Idols because you give up so many Pass Tokens you cannot Manipulate where the markers drop.

I thought Hamelin would be best in Idols given he has Blight, the self healing his crew has access to, Don’t Mind Me on the Rat Catcher, Lure, Hamelin’s :ToS-Fast: for the extra actions from Vermin, and Nix’s :ToS-Fast: to deny Interact Actions.

How many pass tokens are being given that you have no chance at determining initiative?

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Well, I play old school still:  12 Malifaux Rats.  I just can't bare to give them up (unless I'm playing against Qi & Gong because that's impossible).

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2 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

Well, I play old school still:  12 Malifaux Rats.  I just can't bare to give them up (unless I'm playing against Qi & Gong because that's impossible).

Lol

Do you use a Stolen to block one of the edges where an Idol will be placed?

Moldy Cheese one Rat with a Mask to put the Stolen 7” up, walk, and the use Inevitable Fate to place two Rats on the edge. Now there are only four contested spots for an Idol to be placed and Hamelin should be able to comfortably fight over the center.  I would deploy my bubble center-right and block the right table edge to avoid having to use Masks for Initiative. 

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17 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

Well, I play old school still:  12 Malifaux Rats.  I just can't bare to give them up (unless I'm playing against Qi & Gong because that's impossible).

It does feel that the rats are now more of a side note to Hamelin, rather than a viable crew building option. I think that's actually nice (and possibly what was originally intended?) as whilst I love the theme of his crew, I just found taking many of the same model not to my liking. I'd rather take other stuff and see the rats just pop up occasionally 😊 and/or when needed, as with the stolen ability.

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17 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

Well, I play old school still:  12 Malifaux Rats.  I just can't bare to give them up (unless I'm playing against Qi & Gong because that's impossible).

Each rat can "forfit" its activation to remove a pass token, so you don't actually have to have them give away any pass tokens if you don't want to. It does mean your rat is just sitting there, but if they are saving the past tokens  you should be getting the activation control.

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13 hours ago, Zebo said:

What models would you say are the better to put Blight on enemies?

Hamelin and Nix would be the best for sticking Blight on enemies. 

Hamelin has Source of the Contagion and Taint on Lure. He also has Blight on his Staff, and can use Pustulant Tumors to pulse Blight. Bleeding Disease, Coughing Fit, Voracious Rats, and Terminal allow him to take advantage both in and out of activation.

Nix has Diseased and Taint on his Bite. Drink Spirit allows him some additional coverage for potential Blight whilst Bleeding Disease and Loose Bowels act as good pay offs for the investment. 

Rat Kings can also spread Blight decently with Diseased, the built-in Blight on Swarm of Yellow Teeth, and the Spray of Filth trigger. I don’t usually get to use the Blight from SoYT though as my Rat Kings usually kill their targets, not that I am complaining about that.

Edited by TheJoyInGaming
Typo

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Then, as I was afraid, the main source of Blight are the same who benefits the most of it (the highest Bleeding Disease stats, thought)

I think it would have been better designed if some models stack Blight and others exploited it, like Vermin being the best source of Blight and humans more focused on summoning/buffing vermin or taking advantage of  Blight on enemy models.

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I think it depends on how you look at it. Hamlin is the best at adding Blight, but he is the master. He probably isn't better at adding blight than 15ss worth of blight adding minions, (So 3 winged plague or 2 rat kings for example). 

I can see an argument for the way Zebo would prefer it, but also can see arguments for this way. Blight is a crew choice. You can build to try and maximise blight effects, or you can largely avoid them. I think if you had half a crew that produced blight and half a crew that used it, you would feel that you had to mix the two together because other wise you either have no use for blight, or you have no blight and lots of ways of trying to use it.  We only have 3 models that produce blight but have no use for that blight ( and two of those (Rat and rat king) can be used to get a model that does use it (ratcatcher)), (And the third, Benny, can get you into that cycle if you want, )

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Well, in my insane mind I don't mind at all how is built Hamelin, but I've would preferred to optimize Rat's Blight, and increase a bit Rat Catchers summoning (for example with a :crow, wich is already in-built in their attack).

Feeling that Hamelin's crews doesn't need rats at all feel weird.

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So my problem  with the crew is that while I hold that it isn’t bad, other crews do what it does just better. What do you guys think? Is there something hamelin does far better than other masters and crews?

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8 hours ago, LexLock said:

Lose initiative in cursed Idols.

The game after next for my Wife and I is Cursed Idols, and spoiler for absolutely no one ever, I will be playing Hamelin.

Any tips? Does he lose Initiative because of Rats or just because of Stolen?

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Pass tokens.... you'll almost never not outnumber your opponent, so they will have free reign to cheat in, for example, an 8 of whatever suit helps them and they'll still have an initiative total of 15+ to choose where the strategy marker goes.

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5 minutes ago, Jesy Blue said:

Pass tokens.... you'll almost never not outnumber your opponent, so you they will have free reign to cheat in, for example, an 8 of whatever suit helps them and they'll still have an initiative total of 15+ to choose where the strategy marker goes.

I wonder then if it is best to play hard for the 1st Idol before Pass Tokens factor in and then work for schemes instead. Aim for 5 points and deny the opponent other Idols with Nix?

So the scenario to come for me is:

Idols- Standard Deployment

Harness

Search

Detonate

Deliver

Power Ritual

 

The crew I want to bring is:

Hamelin- SoDP

3X Stolen

Nix

Rat King- SoDP

Rat Catcher- S4H

Prospector

5X Rats

Cache 5

 

Rat Catcher can interact with Idols and stay standing do to his heal and HTK. Rat King and Nix can tie up the enemy. While there Nix can stall with Loose Bowels. Prospector is there to give a decent option for Detonate or Harness. Rats are there to be in the way of Idols to deny them from dropping at all, or to be health potions for the Catcher/King. Stolen are there to self destruct for more Rats as is their Inevitable Fate.

In theory Nix should be able to deny 2 Idols in Standard with Loose Bowels if he is placed properly, and they have Blight, so he is my key model this game.

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50 minutes ago, Jesy Blue said:

Pass tokens.... you'll almost never not outnumber your opponent, so they will have free reign to cheat in, for example, an 8 of whatever suit helps them and they'll still have an initiative total of 15+ to choose where the strategy marker goes.

Then either you have out activated the enemy significantly or have chosen not to use your rats to eat all the pass tokens. If you choose, your very first activation of the turn can remove as many pass tokens as you have rats. 

You may well have a use for your rats, but that is your choice, and of you do then you ought to be getting the last few activations of the turn which is potentially even better than dictating the idol location. 

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I mean you can get a lot done with Rats if you plan on Unclean Influence-ing a wave of Vermin before you, have them all take an action during Hamelin's activation, then run the Just A Rat Engine on a Rat Activation, but I find it more useful to use Rat Activations for Activations... except vs Qi & Gong; get rid of all them pass tokens asap!

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