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Talking through Hamelin


SoulGambit
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Ressuractionists

This is another troubling matchup, to the point that you debatably don't ever want to bring Hamelin against them, a fact I am ignoring for someone who wants to play Hamelin moreso than Outcasts.

Datsue Ba - She has a trigger where, when they kill a model, they summon an Onryo. They kill Malifaux Rats on a minimum damage flip, and they are probably hitting. Datsue Ba is such a powerful tech piece against Hamelin that you will probably see her OOK. Datsue Ba also shuts down Demise abilities.

Terrifying Proliferation - You will see this a lot with Seamus and Jack Daw, where everything has Terrifying. Malifaux Rats can not punch through terrifying effectively.

Seamus - He can assassinate a model from 20" away and be back at the end of his activation. He threatens assassinating Benny t1, easily.

Reva - Can throw Pyre Markers at you by t2 at the latest, and cause fairly large Blasts eminating from them. 

Yan Lo - If he takes Ash Ascendent he becomes mostly immune to Malifaux Rats. His Totem has an anti demise aura.

Anna Lovelace - She prevent summoning near her, and she has a good long range Burst if she sacrafices an undead.

Manos - Has Lantern of Souls, prevents Charges, and can strike hard and far away.

Sloth - His Anti Healing Aura can really mess up Hamelin.

Dead Rider - Has Ramp Up and a powerful late game Burst. Not only will it kill all Rats in range, the opponents get one soulstone per!

Drowned - They have a lot of blast / burst aoe damage.

Ashigaru (and Toshiro) - Take the Hit really messes up Hamelin's assassination runs. Extended Reach stops charges, which could eat a lot of AP from Hamelin's crew.

Goryo - These guys have one hell of a bonus action to whittle down your crew and kill all of your rats.

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Take Arik, period. Play your Malifaux Rats within 5" of him with almost no exceptions. He is the only thing that can really stop a well supported t2 Datsue Ba or Kirai summoning spree.

Otherwise, you are kind of predicting what the opponent will bring and countering. Taelor plays well in to Kirai and Terrifying heavy crews. She also does well if you predict the Emissary or Toshiro will be in play.

Hans plays well in to Terrifying, and Slow/Staggered/Stunned can do a lot to mitigate the bit beaters.

The Nighting Beast plays well against Kirai. Johan plays well against McM.

When you are facing Kirai, try to have Hamelin go after Kirai and eat the Goryo she summons before it can activate. Rat Kings will be essential for this purpose. Against Kirai, you will probably want convert some Stolen in to Rat Kings. She has a lot of anti healing tech.

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For you Hamelin players; how does entangle (make a king out of rats) exactly work? When a rat uses it during it's activation it's clear: continue the activation. But what if I make a rat do it through Hamelins unclean influence?

Say I have 4 rats, and 2 of them activated already, two didn't. Can the new rat king still activate, or not? And what if none of those rats had activated yet, or all of them?

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Unclean influence makes every rat to take an action. 

Entagle is an action that must be taken by a specific rat.

In your example, if 4 rats are affected by Unclean Influence, and two of them have already activated, you must choose wich rat makes the Entagle action. If it's one of the activated rats, the new Rat King cannot activate. If it's one of the unactivated rats, the Rat King can activate.

If you are smart, you will make the two activated rats to do other actions, along with one of the unactivated rats, and then the remaining unactivated rat Entagles and the new Rat King can be activated.

I'm quite sure you cannot Entagle first and then make the new Rat King to take the remaining actions from the rats that were replaced and still had not used their Unclean Influence actions, but I'm not sure since I'm not an english speaker and it may be some strange loophole that would allow to do such a broken move.

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By the most RAW reading of the rules, if you use Unclean Influence to Tangle Together then the resulting Rat King can not activate if amy of the Malifaux Rats Replaced have activated. I am not sure if that is the intent (I suspect it is not), but until I hear otherwise it is how I play.

So long as one model has activated, it fulfills the requirement of "if the original model has already finished its activation."

This gets even more muddy when we consider Malifaux Rats that have been summoned, since they only count as having activated due to Mindless, which the Rat King loses.

I err on the side of ruling not in my favor.

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I have always played it as if at least one Rat is Activated when they tangle together outside of Activation, the Rat King is considered Activated. 

7 hours ago, Zebo said:

I'm quite sure you cannot Entagle first and then make the new Rat King to take the remaining actions from the rats that were replaced and still had not used their Unclean Influence actions, but I'm not sure since I'm not an english speaker and it may be some strange loophole that would allow to do such a broken move.

Regarding the quoted section, I was actually going to post this to the Rules Forum to see, as  I can see someone using Step 4 of the Replace rules (PDF pg. 32) to argue that you can do just that. I hope you wouldn’t be able to as that seems broken.

Edited by TheJoyInGaming
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1 hour ago, TheJoyInGaming said:

Regarding the above, I was actually going to post this to the Rules Forum to see, as  I can see someone using Step 4 of the Replace rules (PDF pg. 32) to argue that you can do just that. I hope you wouldn’t be able to as that seems broken.

The issue has been posted in the rules forum a few times.

Both rats and puppets encounter the situation.

And the sequence:

  • Coryphee duet activates and uses Dance Apart.  End result one of them has activated, the other hasn't.
  • Vanilla uses Pulling the Strings to make one of the Coryphee use Dance Together.
  • Coryphee duet activates again, does some stuff, and then uses Dance apart.  End result one of them has activated, the other hasn't.
  • The unactivated Coryphee uses Dance together.

for the Coryphee Duet triple activation sequence fir the 'Maybe the new model hasn't activated yet' interpretation results.

What do that rats do compared to that?  🤔

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@solkan

Sorry, I could have worded that more clearly. I was going to ask what happens when you use Unclean Influence on 4 Rats and the first Rat tangles together. Does the resulting Rat King get 3 more Actions to take (1 for each pending action that was remaining between the Rats), or does it take no more Actions as it is already considered to have take one with the tangle Action?

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In the threads @solkan linked is that issue. Doing this out of activation is an uncovered case right now,.

Considering other interactions in this game I think if at least 1 replacing model is unactivated, the new model should be inactivated and that would be balanced. Howvever that's my opinion, right now there is no official answer.

But let's analyze the particular cases:

Hamelin's case:

  • 3 rats activated and the last one generate a king, then Hameling obey the king = 2 rats activations + 1 Rat activation that become the king (king perform only 1 action) + Hameling activation that force the king to make 1 action = 4 activations, 5 rats actions, 2 king actions, Hameling 2 Actions
  • 2 rats activated and 1 inactivated, Hamelin obey the rats to generate a king, Rat king activated = 4 activations, 4 rats actions, 2 king actions, Hameling 2 actions.
  • Neat gain 0 AP

Coryphee case:

  • In normal conditions a coryphee duet that is allow to dance together and appart can get 2 activations = 4 actions.
  • Vasilisa may give them an extra 2 actions with her bonus action. However that bonus action may also give 1 normal action to any other model and require placing a scheme marker nearby so it's not easy to set up and the net gain it's not that good.
  • So neat gain 1 AP or 0 AP (depending on how hard is to place the scheme marker) and 1 extra activation without giving pass tokens

Now let's check the best legal case without using these rules: Hoffman + Mechanical Rider + Coryphee duet + Cassandra Felton

  • Hoffman may give fast to the coryphee, transforming their 4 actions into 6 actions over 2 activations.
  • Cassandra may give fast to the now activated Coryphee duet Mimicking Overcharge
  • Then the Rider may activate again the Duet using the revel ability, allowing another 6 action from the duet (and he can do this from anywhere)
  • AP expend 2 + 1 bonus action (2 Overcharges and rider revel ability).
  • Neat gain 8 duet AP that turn and 2 extra activations without giving pass tokens.

That's why I think generate unactivated models would be fine. If the Mechanical Rider + Duet + fast may generate 8 AP and the equivalent to 2 pass tokens and is legal and fine, the other options that generate far less APs and is also harder to execute than the above combo should also be fine.

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33 minutes ago, SoulGambit said:

The Rat King would not get to act 3 times. They only gain the rest of their actions if they are Replaced during their activations.

I am not following your logic.

Unclean Influence gives each Vermin an Action to take so in the example I am using it is used in range of 4 Rats meaning that each Rat would then get 1 Action queued. My question concerns what happens if the first Rat uses its Action to tangle together and create a Rat King whilst the other Rats still had an Action queued. It is still considered the same model, and each Rat still had an Action queued, so would it be allowed to take the queued Actions? The only rules reference I can see that would pertain to this would be Step 4 of the Replace rules, but I am not sure if this would fall under that:

"If the new and original models belong to the same Crew, the new model becomes the target of any effects that targeted or chose the original model, such as Schemes, Leader designation, or lasting game effects. The new model is always considered a legal target for those effects."

What I think you are quoting is Step 7 which pertains to what to do if the Rat King is made during the Rats own Activation, so Unclean Influence would not fall under that. No wording exists in the rules, as far as I am aware, that states that queued Actions only carry over to Replaced models if the original model was replaced during its own activation. 

I do agree that it should not be able to take the queued Actions, but I see nothing in the rules that back that interpretation up. 

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2 hours ago, TheJoyInGaming said:

I do agree that it should not be able to take the queued Actions, but I see nothing in the rules that back that interpretation up. 

Ah ok, I see the doubt now. It's not about the activation state but about the actions itself...

I see 2 posible ways to resolve this, but I'm not sure if the rules back up one of the other:

  • Each model has 1 action queued, so the rat king get the 3 extra actions
  • The ability gives only 1 action per model, when the rats get replaced for the rat king the rest of the action are lost because that model already took the action granted by that ability (however it'd be ok making 3 actions with the rats and becoming the rat king with the last rat action)

I'd also say the number 2; but it's not 100% clear.

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"If the original model was Replaced during its activation, the new model continues the Activation using any remaining Actions."

We do not satisfy the condition of this sentence, as the original model was not Replaced during its activation. Other than this sentence, which does not apply, what in the rules say the Rat King would get the actions?

Edit:

Ah I see. The issue is Step 4. Unclean Influence is a game effect and the new model would be subject to it. So at most it would give a Rat King one move + action though, not one per rat (not capped at 3 btw, if you have 12 rats thats 12 actions) which is less of an issue.

Are we sure that Unclean Influence targets models?

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Thing that somehow just donned on me:

The Nothing Beast's bonus action can target Malifaux Rats, who easily have Fast. That means with a handy 5 of Crows or better you can place The Nothing Beast in base contact with a Malifaux Rat.

I really need to get more The Nothing Beast reps in with Hamelin :x

I also need to get some reps in without Benny. I have been deliberately taking him, especially when I know the opponent is going to "counter" the engine to get a feel for it.

To date the only real counter to Benny is to kill him turn 2. If the engine makes it to turn 3-4, the engine has worked.

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6 hours ago, SoulGambit said:

Thing that somehow just donned on me:

The Nothing Beast's bonus action can target Malifaux Rats, who easily have Fast. That means with a handy 5 of Crows or better you can place The Nothing Beast in base contact with a Malifaux Rat.

I really need to get more The Nothing Beast reps in with Hamelin :x

I would recommend it as I have enjoyed the Nothing Beast with Hamelin for just that reason. Don’t forget Storm of Shadows doesn’t need to be used just defensively either. Putting up Concealment near enemies who like to target one another applies a decent amount of pressure to their resources.

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Neverborn

Butterfly Jump - Butterfly Jump via the Inhuman Reflexes upgrade is usually a huge advantage to the Neverborn, but for a Melee Crew Hamelin is pretty able to counter it. Malifaux Rats that deal a minimim 0 damage won't trigger it, you can clog up their models so they can't move, and Unclean Influence means you are still getting off two attacks per turn against affected models.

Wrath - His bonus action will mess our rats up, and watch Sin Tokens on models about to perform Bleeding Disease.

Aversions - These are good general models against Hamelin, who will have a real hard time getting close to them.

Markus

His Camoflage and Wings upgrades offer some nice defensive tech, but overall Markus is going to be asking how to go after you, not the other way around.

Lucious

Can you say 5-8 Execute Triggers per turn? Lucious does other things well, mostly Obeying their own elite models, especially Agent 76, and accomplishing schemes in weird ways via obey. Alan Reid also turns off rats in a 6" Aura as a bonus action: Wp vs 10 to take any action is no joke at 2 Wp.

This comes down to who can murder the other's key models first. Pride is manditory in this matchup. Consider The Nothing Beast if you take another beater.

Titania

Although mobile, Hamelin's Crew can't ignore Severe Terrain. That is going to be factored in. Beyond that, although string, there is nothing particularly anti Hamelin.

Nekima

Black Blood males a Malifaux Rat Swarm difficult. Remember when you deal 0 damage Black Blood does not trigger. Stick to Rat Kings. Hans to kill at range and 2" Melee Beaters are advised.

The Dreamer

Everything will have Terrifying and the Dreamer will have pretty free reign in regards to placing Summons by targeting your Malifaux Rats. Protected makes killing the Dramer proper difficult, although Lure can help. Bleeding Disease is pretty good at killing Dreamer's bigger models. Your Malifaux Rats won't do much work, make them Rat Kings asap. Widow Weaver is going to have all of the stuffing markers they want or need.

Bring Hans and Arik. Taelor is worth considering into killy pools.

Euripedes

Lots of shockwaves can be a pain. Malifaux Rats are good fodder to destroy Ice Pillars.

Zoraida

Bring The Nothing Beast and Pride to mitigate spamming Obey against your models. Be careful about bringing other powerful beaters.

Pandora

This is the problem matchup. The Box Opens is going to wipe out most of your Malifaux Rats and drain your hand. Grasping Tentacles lowers Unclean Influence's threat range by 4". Mood Swings can be havok on your crew. Hamelin, Nix, Obedient Wretch or Benny activating at the wrong time is almost as bad as removing their activation all together. Candy's aura is going to drain your hand further. If Carver and Kade reach your core models, you are going to lose them to Execute. Aversions also keep you from actually staying in melee with her crew.

Bring Hans. Kill Poltergeist and Candy early. Making a run for Pandora herself is difficult. Hans' Tomes Trigger to get Pass Tokens is going to see a lot of work here, to mitigate Mood Swings.

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1 hour ago, SoulGambit said:

 

Pandora

This is the problem matchup. The Box Opens is going to wipe out most of your Malifaux Rats and drain your hand. 

Surely if it kills your rats it won't be draining your hand, it will be refilling it. Pick the order you take the tests sensibly and you should keep your important models safe. You may want to be prepared to not have many rats available to you. 

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51 minutes ago, SoulGambit said:

Doesn't Pandora choose the order since it is her activation?

It doesn't work like it used to in M2E.

Because M3E unified all of the timing into Simultaneous Effects.  What happens when you resolve a pulse effect is "This group of models here are all subject to 'must take a TN 13 Wp duel or suffer 2 damage and gain Staggered.'  In order to resolve that, you go to Simultaneous Effects and it's an 'Enemy models within range' pulse, you skip directly to section 2 and the non-Active player goes through their models in the order desired.

The person generating the pulse doesn't choose the order in which those tests are performed.  

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Bigger picture is, so...

 

Yes, I have it stuck in my head that big aoe damage counters Hamelin. It really doesn't. The enemy probably wants a source, *maybe* two in case the Hamelin player tries to get cute with Malifaux Rats and something lole Benny, but by and large all you accomplish by bombing rats is wasting your AP to give Hamelin card draw. If I need those rats to be useful, it is too easy to turn them in to Rat Kings. I use this in my games, I even deliberately bait aoe to get card draw, or draw attention off of my key models, yet I still feel concerned about it.

Good AoE combined with Lantern of Souls or similar is slightly bigger problem. Otherwise, every action not harming a key support piece is a win for Hamelin.

It still feels weird to lose 2-4 rats in an activation and realize that means you are winning.

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10 hours ago, SoulGambit said:

It still feels weird to lose 2-4 rats in an activation and realize that means you are winning.

The point, I think, is that the rats were designed so that killing them whenever possible isn't the best choice.

If it's the start of the turn, or the Hamlin player's hand is full, and you can kill four rats, you're choosing between the Hamlin player going

  • draw a card, discard a card

four times, or

  • make Rat King
  • then the Rat King takes Rat Problem action, they get to draw a card (or several cards if any rats are killed by the pulse), and make Rat Catcher that's going to scheme

Those rats are like Mindless Zombies for a Ressurectionist.  If they need a corpse marker in a specific spot, you need to kill the zombie before it arrives.

Similar thing for the rats.  You just need to make sure that spending one AP to kill one rat, and give the Hamlin player a card when they have room to keep the card is better than the alternative, and try to avoid the situations where the Hamlin player would rather have another card.

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