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How to deal with Nekima


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I have already posted on the Bayou sub-forum, where, however, is not too active. Therefore I am posting here looking for more advises. I am playing Bayou and my main opponent is playing Neverborn, and love to hire Nekima as a second master, like every game I play him. She is too tough to handle and I have never win a single game against him. Actually I am so surprised that Nekima does not get as much attention as I would imagine in the forum.


What are Nekima's strengths:

1. Mobility

    The most depressed part imo. Mv 6 + Flight means Nekima can charge through the whole board in turn 1 without worrying any terrain.

    With the mobility she can choose where, when and who to start the fight with.

    Even I try to lock her with tarpit, she can easily get out with the pushing trigger. Let alone the butterfly jump upgrade.

2. Aggressivity

    Ml 7 + 2" Rg + 3/5/6 dmg. Already terrible attack for SS user, and even worse when she aiming at enforcer/minion.

    With the multi charge ability and correct targets, Nekima can remove 1~2 models in a single activation.

    Combine with the mobility mentioned above, she is able to avoid my heavy beater/master/henchman while killing other schemer/support models

3. Durability

    Sure, Nekima is not known as a durable model like Hoffman's robots. She, on the contray, has no real defense tech.

    With SS protection, Regeneration and healing on kill, however, she suddenly can survive some quality attackes.


How I failed to handle her:

I had tried all keywords I have but yet none can beat Nekima.

1. Ophelia/Kin

    The first crew I play with him, also the only crew that, with the serious attacks of Ophelia and Francois, almost successful to kill her.

    And since that match my opponent learnt to keep distance with my main beat-sticks.

    I have also tried debuffing her with Distracted and Injured from Ophelia but did not work well.

2. Som'er/Big Hat

    This is the most troublesome crew to my opponent according to his words.

    I have managed to lock her in place with GO Boys and a piece of terrain.

    But so much resources are invested into her and hence cannot handle other part of the opponent's crew.

3. Zipp/Infamous

    This is the crew when I try to avoid her and win by VP.

    Spreading out the whole crew can thinning the impact of her the most.

    Yet she is managed to remove 1~2 of my key models to stop me from scoring.


In fact not only Nekima, other masters like Justice, Viks and Misaki, though I yet have any chance to play with, may as well trouble me. Like justice maybe less mobile and offensive when comparing the Nekima, but much more durable. I will soon leave my city and move to a environment with more active Malifaux players. So I would like to, at least once, defeat my opponent and his Nekima, and in the meantime, be prepare for new coming challenges of the same kind of moblie melee master.

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I am interested in this myself as a Neverborn/Nekima player who usually faces Bayou, I'm sure Nekima can be defeated but I don't know what moves the bayou player ought to make. Clearly rushing to engage is suicide, but at the same time it's not easy to avoid combat with such a fast crew/ My games vs Wong have been incredibly one-sides (admittedly largely due to player error on the bayou side) 

To me Dreamer still seems like the strongest master I've played, but Nekima is not far off and her counters seem even less clear (Dreamer at least folds when you assassinate him quickly, which is possible if not probable). 


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1 hour ago, Rufess said:


1. Ophelia/Kin

    The first crew I play with him, also the only crew that, with the serious attacks of Ophelia and Francois, almost successful to kill her.

    And since that match my opponent learnt to keep distance with my main beat-sticks.

It is a bit tricky without seeing your games, but this sounds like the key here.

If she comes near your crew, blow her up. If she runs off, continue with your strat and schemes.

You can't have lone scheme runners zipping about. She will hunt them down. So need to do schemes and strats that allow your crew to stick together (though not so close she can engage 2+ at a time). Punish her when she comes near.

Also could always request a game without double masters. They are pretty ridiculous. You could try double masters yourself (taking Zoraida to obey your beaters to hit Nekima even more for example).

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Take this with a pinch of salt as I have not faced her yet and unfortunately I don't know Bayou well enough to point specific answers in that faction, but some general tips I hope help you:

  • Butterfly Jump and range 2 is a very good defense versus mele range 1. So either include range 2 beaters, range 1 with jump/pushes as bonus action or rely on spells and guns to take her down. Several range 2 will also make harder for her to do multiple charges as she can't charge if she is engaged denying her the blade rush damage.
  • If the main beaters are range 1 without an eficient ability to disengage to a range 2, include some pushes to displace them so they can attack her without losing AP.
  • She is light in defensive tech so bring damage to punish her if she decided to commit to attack and use Focused versus her. SS helps but when she is in the receiving end of 5 and 6 damage hits (not hard taking in count she has Df5 with no other defensive ability), those SS and jumps will have a harder time keeping her alive and you'll also get less black blood damage. Irreducible damage is also a threat for her.
  • Bodyguards, chaff and anti-charge tech... something that make her attacks less efficient, she will kill something but forcing her to waste attacks in models she is not interested or make her spend extra AP to be able to attack is a win for you.
  • Area control models: Those are tanky with low mobility, cheap and pack a punch. Those will create an area she won't be interested in diving that you may use to score.
  • Debuffs, things like slow + stunned and be able to remove Focused will make her less dangerous and will give you time to kill her or scare her before she can deal enough damage; she costs 18SS with IR so each condition you can inflict will be hindering a big part of the other crew's damage. Removing Focused is also a high priority taking in count her damage track.
  • Hard to Wound, same idea as above; she has a very good moderate damage so making harder for her to reach it is good.
  • Pick schemes accordingly, don't pick things that force you to split too much because she will pick off isolated models and deploy your damage in a way they can punish her if she commits. She is very mobile and will be able to hit unprotected target, avoid leaving models exposed unless she is too far away, is dealt with or attacking that target will be very action ineficient for her. The main rule is If she commit to attack she should be punished somehow.
  • In this same line, make her actions as infeficient as possible; if she is clearly positioning to pick off a scheme runner, activate that scheme runner and run away from her; if she chases it down she will have wasted an activation doing so, if she go toward the core of your crew you can still later use that model to scheme.
  • Initiative, if she get double activation (end of a turn, first activation of the following one), she will deal a ton of damage before you can react; try to avoid this, make ineficient the first activation or soften her before if she position too close.

She seems a tricky model to play against and is a master that will kill something, the key is not offering good targets and make her pay the price after it or make her actions ineficient.

1 hour ago, Rufess said:

Actually I am so surprised that Nekima does not get as much attention as I would imagine in the forum.

People are too busy complaining about Zoraida and Stitcheds to worry about her :D

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Ogid has great points above, but be careful of trying to hit her with conditions if the crew has condition removal (such as Serena).

Focus is always a good answer to tricky beaters like her.

Also avoid bloodlust- I see this all the time with Archie, where opponents get him down to 2 life and then chase him around the board. You can't chase down Archie or Nekima. You can just get them low enough in life that if they come near you again, you kill them. That is enough that they become less of a problem.

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So specifically when it comes to Bayou, I feel that Nekima is good vs most of the factions in there (other than Mah which I'll get into in a minute):

Somer uses summoning and a lot of low cost minions (generally), which is exactly what her kit is designed for.  Things like a pigapult may as well be Door Dash for her.  This also holds true for Ulix and his pigs.

Ophelia can easily 1v1 Nekima in a straight fight, provided she doesn't get stuck in that gap between gunfighter range and nekima's engagment range.  She should easily survive, however the fight is even enough that you're going to dump a lot of AP into it barring some luck, which will cause issues with that crew (not to mention whatever else he's playing).

Zip and Zoraida unfortunately also play into her strengths, since the thing she wants most is a 1v1 vs a weak model, and she is one of the few able to keep up with Zipp's shenanigan.  Zoraida doesn't really have enough oomph in her crew to deal with it either, so while Zoraida won't (usually) die, the rest of her crew will.

Mah has the speed and the control to make her go places she doesn't want, along with several models in keyword that are somewhat difficult to kill efficiently.  She also has some good long range threats that ignore cover, which makes that df5 sz3 a massive target, and ss are a very unreliable defense.  Mah can also go toe to toe with her and hold her up for the rest of the crew to murder her.


In my experience, Nekima is the go to crew when playing vs Bayou, since she's kitted well vs most of them with the exception of Mah.

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