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Hamelin vs Nellie


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Turf War
Corner Deployment

Dig Their Graves
Harness the Leylines


Benny Holcomb
Obedient Wretch
Winged Plague
Winged Plague
Winged Plague
Rat Catcher
Rat King
3ss Cache


Nellie Cochrane
Printing Press
Lone Marshel
Brutal Emissary
+Lead Lined Coat
Undercover Agent
+Lead Lined Coat
Field Reporter
+No Prisoners
Field Reporter
+No Prisoners
3ss Cache

Crew Explanation

I played the Hamelin Crew, while my opponent played Nellie. The general thoughts were to blanket the area in blasts to drain my hand and keep the rat population down. Lone Marshel and No Prisoners have shockwaves/bursts aplenty. Brutal Emissary was also a counterpick, since not only is it a good beatstick but the Crowd Control ability would prevent Hamelin from swarming rats as effectively. Lone Marshel serves as a mobile and semiindependent beatstick, Field Reporters complete the strategy, and Undercover Agent bounces any weak attempts to claim a table quarter.

I played mostly to get a feel for the different things Hamelin can do, so I decided to play all in keyword and get a nice variety of models. Winged Plague x3 + Benny Holcomb is something I've been wanting to try anyways. Winged Plague can, with Hamelin's help, effectively threaten table quarters from near the center of the board. King is a beatstick. Catcher adds to Malifaux Rat's mobility and keeps the sumoning engine going.

We both went for Outflank and Vendetta, not trusting our ability to keep Scheme Markers on the field with Rat King, Benny, Field Reporters, and Nellie on the field. I choose Obedient Wretch vs a Field reporter, while he choose the other Field Reporter vs Rat King for Vendetta.

The Terrain

I didn't take pictures, sadly. We creates a simple town. On the left side was a train with a train station. A long street was in front of the train station, although it was peppered with four Ht 3, Impassable, Blocking, Destructible terrain to prevent long sight lines. There was a T intersection going away from the train station. The streets were lined with buildings that had enough room for a 50mm base to pass through. There was a Ht 5, Climbable, Blocking water tower on the right far corner. All buildings were Ht 3, Blocking, Climbable. The Train was Ht 3 Blocking, Impassable except for one train car in the middle (unloaded) that was Ht 2 Blocking, Climbable. We also ruled that 30mm bases could slip between the train cars. Overall, about 40-50% of the board was covered in terrain with a nice mix of long sightlines in some areas, but plenty of places to maneuver around.

The Strategy Markers were placed on either side of the train, in the middle of the T intersection, immediately next to the water tower, and in the only bare square patch of land in the bottom right.

Turn Synopsis

My opponent picked the corner with the water tower, while I deployed opposite. He deployed on either side of the water tower, while I kind of clogged everything of mine facing the main street running the length of the train.

Turn 1
No real interaction between crews. Nellie flipped the marker in her quarter, sent the Lone Marshel to the marker to the left, and sent the Brutal Emissary to follow, but closer to the center of the board. The two Field Reporters went around the right, circling in towards the center. Nellie shoves the Printing Press in to position in the center of the board and hides behind a building slightly to the right of that. The Printing Press winds up only a few inches from the center.

I have my two of my Winged Plague move up and drop a scheme marker. The third Winged Plague moves 10" forward. Obedient Wretch moves forward and drops a scheme marker. All three Stolen move forward and try to give the Rat King Fast, having to pitch a card on the last attempt to make it land. Benny moves up and turns those three Scheme Markers in to Malifaux Rats. Nix moves up. Ratcatcher moves up and clumps the rats together, pulling them forward. Hameline goes, flips the home Strategy Marker, moves forward, uses Lure on the Printing Press, and makes all Vermin move 3" and take an action. The Winged Plague move up 3" and drop scheme markers behind them, setting up Benny for the next turn. Malifaux Rats swarm the center marker and the Printing Press, making two attacks for +1 Blight and Zero Damage when all flips were done. Rat King moves an impressive 23" total (Hamelin then 3 Move Actions) towards the top left corner, where the Lone Marshal would later go.

My intent was to start summoning rats while placing Winged Plague in areas where they could threaten the other corners while also moving my bubble to claim the center of the board. Nellie's was also setup for next turn. Nellie used all but one of her pass tokens this turn to see what I was doing and where I was deploying.

Turn 2
Nellie wins initiative and goes first. The Lone Marshal charges and destroys the Rat King in a single activation with gunfire. I start having my rats attack the Printing Press, learning it deals 1 damage to modesl in an aura when they end an activation there in the process. The Brutal Emissary moves. Nellie positions herself on high ground and makes my Rat Catcher charge Hamlin. The Printing Press eats a rat. Both Field Reporters skirt the far edge of the central conflict on the right, tossing bombs in and kill a total of one rat in the process. Undercover agent does nothing.

I have two Malifaux Rats chomp at the Printing Press. Benny moves and makes 3 more rats. The Ratcatcher moves, repositions all my Malifaux Rats, and then charges the printing press. My last Malifaux rat that can activate Swarms Together to make a Rat King, which charges the Printing Press. Nix moves towards the marker with Lone Marshal, as does a Stolen. Hamelin moves up, causes all Vermin to move. The Winged Plague scatter, one staying in the center and dropping a marker, while one each goes for a marker on the sides. The Rat King eats the Printing Press. Hamelin lures a Field Reporter near the central marker. Winged Plague flips the marker to the close right of me, while the other Winged Plague plops down somewhere it has cover, within interact distance.

Score: 1 vs 1

Turn 3
Nellie wins initiative, sporting her 7 or so Pass Tokens on the flip. The Brutal Emissary goes first and swings towards the center, moving and then charging the Rat Catcher. A severe damage is flipped, along with a built in Blast, and I am suddenly down a Rat Catcher with both my King and Hameline damaged. A rat or two dies, too. That changes my gameplan, and I have the Rat King attack the Emissary before summoning a Rat Catcher. Nix run over and charge the Brutal Emissary, doing some damage and putting down two Blight, then another Blight with his bonus action. Rat Catcher that I just summoned puts down a damage, a blight, and a rat. Obedient Wretch goes and lays down Bleeding Disease on the Emissary to kill it, as it can't cheat, and then tosses a rat at the Field Reporter in the center (wherein we learn that Malifaux Rats and Field Reporters can never engage one another), although it misses. At some point during this I plant a Stolen on the top left corner marker and the Lone Marshal kills the Winged Plague there while charging into position to get outflank. Undercover Agent pops up in the bottom right corner, sending that Winged Plague back to home. The other Field Reporter tosses a bomb and flashes some rats, not really being able to get in range to do anything else (models were completely blocking that street). Benny activates, Concentrates, and uses his bonus action to kill the field reporter near the center, flipping Nellie's home marker. Nellie activates, makes my models charge each other, and flips the central marker. The Stolen actually get a lot of damage on Nellie through their ranged attack. One Moderate and two Weak damages hit her out of four attacks, thanks to no one having cards in their hand by this point.

Nellie scores Strategy but I do not.

Score: 1 vs 2

Turn 4
I win initiative. My opponent flipped a two, meaning they had to cheat first, and they cheated in a 5, which means I needed a 13 to win. I cheated in a 13. Benny goes and uses his bonus action on Nellie, which takes another 13 on my part to get off. However, it is enough to kill her. My opponent retreats the final Field Reporter (the one I had Vendetta against!) to his home marker to flip it. Hamelin goes, chases her down with about four Malifaux Rats, and puts himself in cover to take on the Lone Marshal.

My opponent calls it here. I was going to get another 2 points from the Strategy, one from Outflank (maybe two), and one from Vendetta (Obedient Wretch was never going to catch up, but that Field Reporter was rat food). He was going to get one point from Outflank. We called it 5v3, Hamelin's win.

- Hamelin is not weak to shockwaves, a tactic my opponent overcommitted to. I was surprised to learn this as well! Each Shockwave killed 1 or 2 Rats, which mostly served to fuel me with cards.
- Clogging areas with models is something to take advantage of and something to be wary of. I lost a lot of movement moving around my own models, although I was also able to block my opponent by clogging chokepoints.
- Winged Plague are not Necropunks. They can not independently be splintered off from the bubble and sent to complete objectives on their own unless I am sure the opponent isn't committing there. They have to remain a part of the central bubble, getting value of their 3-4ap per turn, in order to get value out of them.
- Benny Holcomb Rat Generator strategy works, at least in Turf War. Winged Plague are almost tailor made to support it. You can easily generate 3 Malifaux Rats per turn for the first 2-3 turns. Once you have 8+ Vermin flying around, it's pretty hard to not be within 3" of 3+ of them, at which point his bonus action starts doing work as well. My only fear is his fragility.
- Nix didn't really get to do much, but I will say that Incorporeal is a godsend in this crew, mostly for the whole getting in each other's way, thing. 
- Rat King hits like a truck, and damaging it doesn't produce a lot of value because it can summon a Rat Catcher. However, it can die in one activation, which stings.
- Rat Catchers are fragile, but they hit hard and are really an important part of wrangling your Malifaux Rats.
- Malifaux Rats have value on their own. If you are facing Hamelin, and that Hamelin has only one or two Malifaux Rats in a cluster that haven't activated, consider killing them so they don't become a Rat King.
- Obedient Wretch's Tummy Aches makes her extremely reliable on offense and defense; and Bleeding Disease means she can hit like a truck when she needs to.

Hamelin's entire Keyword seems to be balanced around Unclean Influence existing. Unclean Influence is, coincidentally, disgusting and should be abused at every opportunity. Otherwise he is a lurebot and a beat-stick. Stacking Blighted isn't really hard, it's entirely possible to take down big models with some focus fire. Hamelin's game seems to be a whole lot about positioning, setup, and payoff. You have to expect your opponent to go first and predict their first turn. You need to spend AP not killing something before you can kill it. Everything Hamelin's crew does is profoundly AP intensive, and only mitigated by the fact that Unclean Influence exists. Hamelin is definitely a Turn 3 Master, and can't really go for those early Turn 2 Schemes. That said, his mobility and reach is so huge that I don't think the opponent really can either. There's also an element of... other than Hamelin and Benny, the entire rest of the keyword is expendable and replaceable. Your opponent can hit you, but you deny value by respawning those models. Your opponent can plant Schemes, but you can just eat those markers.

Pass Tokens, especially en masse are an interesting choice for the opponent. They can either see what I do by spending them, giving up first turn, or they can hoard them and let me actually out-activate them. That is key when it comes to schemes, since I really want Benny and my Rat Kings activating after they place any Scheme Markers.

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