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Stribog - Master & Crew Concept


TeaCrusader
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So, I had a bit of inspiration and over the Christmas Holidays made another homebrew crew. This one's based on the idea of an Arcanist Crew built around Wind Gamin's demise ability. Naturally the Wind Gamin would be considered GALEFORCE minions.

STRIBOG - Keyword: GALEFORCE

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GAMEPLAY

Stribog and his Crew are centered around high mobility and shock tactics. They are adept at moving both themselves and the enemy and have a lot of control over the positioning of all models on the board. They are however a fragile crew, with the majority of their defenses coming from their signiature Tailwind ability, giving them Shielded when they move beyond a Walk or Charge action. Stribog himself is shackled to his indestructible totem, and the two force each other to Place near the other when they move out of range. Stribog is easily moved by his own crew and the opponent.

LORE

The Creature now named Stribog was once a Witch Hunter. During the pursuit of yet another rogue magic user, a group of Sonnia Criid’s hunters found themselves facing a Golem of roiling wind in an Arcanist’s study. In the face of this terrible foe they used an injured member of their number as an auger to seal the creature into a book of stories. The Arcanist was apprehended, the book was stored into a Guild vault, and the fallen Witch Hunter became just another name on a Guild report written along with the words ‘killed in action’.

It would be years before the Winds changed and this story became important. With the new governor general coming into power and the Arcanist raids increasing in frequency and ferocity some sites were deemed unsafe by the Guild auditors.

The Governor General was no fool however, the caravans of artefacts would be targets. So Marlow set the trap, caravans of the objects deemed least important or least dangerous would be most heavily guarded, by disposable men. A target Kaeris would be unable to resist, they would lose some men, and some pointless trinkets but would take some heads in return.

Sure enough the bait was taken and the caravans were targeted. During one fateful raid in which Witch hunters and their Witchlings had been deployed, the Guild began to overpower the attacking mages. That was until a mage got to a book, pulling it open in the hopes of finding a spell that could help or a source of power she found only stories of old earth myths. Until the seals snapped and the creature erupted.

The furious storm that came from the fluttering pages of the book tore the hunters apart, everything with a ram-head pin upon it was shredded by the hurricane. The Arcanists however were untouched. To everyone’s shock, after the battle was done, the Wind spoke, and it asked to join them.

The creature dubbed itself Stribog, a name found in the book that it is still bound to. Adorning a mask to give those it communicates with something to focus on it has joined Kaeris’ Arcanists, becoming somewhat of a general for her. The Oxfordian Mage who freed him has taken the role as something of a Personal Assistant for the new Arcanist, keeping an eye on him and helping him adjust to his new existence.

 

CREW

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NOTES

So the concept of this was based on the idea that the other Elementals that are part of a non-sandeep crew all have a crew that isn't so much based around the element as much as around their demise ability. (Mei Feng and Scrap markers, Kaeris and Pyre Markers, Raspy and Ice Pillars) so I figured that it could be interesting to try making a Wind based crew that made use of the Wind Gamin's Demise ability, and thus, a crew based about movement.

I am aware that due to the positioning based nature of many of the Schemes and Strats a mobility based crew has the potentially to on a very passive level be absurdly strong. I've been aware of this and I think they are generally on te curve (though please bear in mind I have not done an appropriate amount of testing of the crew to ascertain this, and won't ever be able to myself)

I am much happier with this crew than the previous one I designed. I feel like I have a much stronger grasp on the game at this point and the cohesion of this crew is much more effective, thematic and closer to the actual Malifaux crews.

I feel like I may have broken some unspoken rule of Malfaux Design by making Stribog so inhuman, as I have noticed that every Master in the game is very distinctly humanoid... hmmmmm... There is an alternate concept in my head of Stribog looking a lot more Human but.. I didn't draw it.

 

I have done a couple of playtests, and my main takeaways are this:

Stribog is very strong as a model on his own, he has absurd mobility and having Shielded + Incorporeal can make him very difficult to damage, though he does still go down under focus fire, especially if you can remove his shielded condition. I don't really play double-master (being british) and he definitely works on his own as a model, and offers more support /to/ his crew than he recieves /from/ it. However Because you have to buy him with his Totem he becomes a 20SS investment as a second master. Which is likely waaay too expensive to ever be used, but oh well.

Generally the crew wants to go first, the earlier they go the more likely they are to have shielded stacked, and the order of activations feels very vital to the crew. 

They have high potential damage but no min3s so while they /can/ do a lot, it is unreliable as to whether they deal it.

The Wind Golem has felt a little weak in the games i've played, he goes down fast and doesn't feel like he quite has the impact that I expect of a Golem. However, I'm reluctant to change it right now, as the crew as a whole seems to operate well and I am aware my sample size is small.

Leda has seen a few changes, mostly to make her feel like a part of the crew rather than just a tac-on ranged beater, which is what she felt like in her original variation. I've been considering the idea of giving her Run and Gun since currently she feels like a static turret, which hardly works for the crew.

A few people i've mentioned it to have shown concern around the indestructible totem. From playing, I haven't found it to be a problem at all, primarily because it doesn't have any damage or scoring potential (at least directly) though it is a lynchpin for the crew.

I personally think they are fun as all hell to play.

 

I do have some additional ideas/lore/doodles for this crew which I will likely post in due time. 

I'd love to hear any and all critique, thoughts and feedback on them.

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