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m3e Hoffman Tactica. STOMPY BOTS ASSEMBLE!

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Hoffman is a tanky support master, who brings healing, condition removal and other benefits to constructs. he also is a fairly reliable damage dealer with 3 stat 6 attacks, although one of them is mainly used as a heal. Hoffman works best in a construct heavy crew, and although there is a variety of constructs in keywords who almost all have a role, the additional non keyword constructs in arcanist in my view make him the better master in  arcanist over guild. 

so lets break down his card a bit further


Defensive tech

while only having 10 wounds which is low for a master and having a poor defensive, hoffman pritty tanky as a master between his ability to get positive flips from his power nexus, his armour 2 and his protected constructs. in addition there is decent amount of healing available in a hoffman crew, so unlike some masters who may be passing every hit off with protected, hoffman can realy choose weather or not to take the hit and save the card and allow the mechanical attendant or the mobile toolkit to heal him later, or pass it off to another model within 2 inches.  


obviously there are lots of things to consider when doing this but generally, unless there is a risk of hoffman dying, or taking so much damage it can't be healed off by the above mentioned model, or it inflicts an effect such as a condition or a blast on to our smaller constructs i tend to take the hit with him and rely on armour and stones to keep him alive. also with will power of 7, any attack hitting that you can generally contest with hoffman assuming cards in hand, better than our other constructs that generally have low to average wp 


Power nexus

This is a realy important ability for hoffman, and correct use of power tokens is what makes the crew tick, correct power token usage can be the difference between a average hoffman player and an great one. power nexus is hoffman main way of giving his crew power tokens as it gives every construct within 6 inches, this includes any non keyword constructs in your crew that might be taken.  in addition he can use a power token off any construct within 6 to give him either a suit or a positive flip, which means that the power tokens on these non keyword constructs can be used to give him extra chances to get the duels off he needs or any triggers he might need although, 4 out of the 6 suits for triggers available to hoffman are built in which generally means your using them for positive flips.  its also a good way to set up emergency power transfer later in hoffmans activation. at only move 4, hoffman is very slow, but the built in advance trigger on his free action, means you can be using this to get hoffman moving.  its a good idea have a construct that doesn't need power tokens in the front line such as say the emissary or a spider swarm. that way you can use the positive flips removing the power token it got from hoffman activating to give something else fast and then transfer power to said front liner so its got a power token back and hoffman gets a free push towards it. it can also be used this way to set up emergency power transfer to hoffman to get rid of a condition on one of your model. lastly it also means that you can increase the chances of your actions going off, so your losing less cards cheating so more cards to use for protected later on. for example if you have the emissary say who already has a power token on him from nexus, why not use the power token it doesnt need to get a positive to your over charge. 


Creative salvage

this ability is a bit more situational as you generally don't use hoffman to kill something, his healing and support are the main things you bring him for although he does have some hitting power between his two melee attacks, although certainly not enough to compete with our premium damage dealing masters in Ironsides, meifeng and kaeris. scrap markers are useful for a hoffman crew, but i'd be reluctant to commit him to the front lines just on the chance he will kill something, unless he's safe from retaliation. 



Enhanced fists

The first of hoffman's attack action is his main source of damage dealing. At stat 6 its got a decent chance of hitting and has a good damage spread at 2/4/6 which means you might want to be focus swinging with it, if you do find hoffman in combat to facilitate damage spikes. with built in spool up, unless you need to generate power tokens for hoffman you can generally just consider this to have a built in positive as well as long as you hit your getting a power token back as long as you don't need to the knock aside trigger which has its uses. it's a perfectly fine attack for a support master, however he's got so many other options, that punching someone in the face generally isn't the best option for the hoff. 


Welding torch

This melee action on the other hand, is something that is great for hoffman, especially thanks to his trigger. a 2/3/3 and a burning damage track isn't amazing although i have used this offensively in the past to finish off a hard to kill model with the burning, it's in the healing mode that its great for hoffman as it essentially heals a construct for 3 and means it's armour can't be ignored. this is one of the best heals in the game and is certainly great for keeping a tanky front liner nice and healthy. the other thing is that hoffman can extend the range of it by 2 inches for each power token he expends on himself, which is one of the reasons to use other models power tokens when using power transfer so your able to heal from further back. the temper steel bit is a great trigger as making your armour unable to be ignored means that armour piercing, irreducible and any other armour ignoring effects are pointless against that.


Analyse weakness 

hoffman's last attack his is most situational. in certain match ups, this is a great tool and something that can be forgotten about as not many people remember he has it. its a simple enough attack, point in the direction of the big armoured nasty in your constructs way, and watch as its defense becomes nothing. it does come with a surge trigger for supplemental card draw if needed. note you can also do this late in the turn or on a model you have hit with his welding torch if you have a low tome or a pass token in order to draw a card  


Tactical actions



Overcharge is Hoffman's last regular ability is the action alongside welding torch hoffman is generally using. it requires a 6 to go off, so can be a little inconsistent and so could be a resources drain but it gives a construct fast and a power token. this is great aimed at any of our constructs regardless of keyword or not, as with a bit of set up emergency power transfer can set up getting the power tokens where they need to be and this is one way of doing it. it also pulses a mv 15 duel or a damaged and injured to enermy models, so if a construct if found piled into a pile of models, hoffman can make it painful for the opponent.

Emergency power transfer


Hoffman's last action and his only free action, emergency power transfer takes a little bit of forward planning to use as you can only transfer power from a model with more power tokens to one with less power tokens, so if your wanting to use the advance trigger to get where you need to be, you need to make sure you have less power tokens on the model in front of you.  there for its always a good idea to keep a decent stock on your backfield models where possible and try to use up the ones on your front liners where possible so you can keep hoffman moving forwards, without having to use his walk action. the other thing to remember is that emergency power transfer, also can remove a condition from a model so if your opponent sticks something nasty on one of your stompy bots you can use this to clear this as well.



Transfer power 

This is a action on all the majority keyword models other than hoffman so i'd thought id suggest it here. to someone starting out, a two inch push might not sound a lot for extra movement, but it's generally invaluable when used right. transfer power isn't generally used for moving things forward aggressively, or even moving power around i've found. its for maneuvering in and out of engagements by transferring power to itself. yes transfer power is any construct and so is a great tool to use on yourself. have a model that you were using for scheming tied up in combat, transfer power out of their and be on your way to dropping that scheme marker. engaged by but not engaging something with a greater reach, transfer power to get yourself in hitting range. engaged with something you rather wasn't because you need to charge something else, or shoot something or just its big and scary, transfer power out of their and be on your way with where you need to be. of course alternatively you can use it to transfer power from your little bots to your big bots, but i always try and keep a minimum of 1 power on everything so it can get out of engagements as needed 

Power converter

An ability on a lot of Augmented model, this allows you to turn a scrap marker within 3 in to power tokens, which is great way of using dead constructs, or models killed by models with Creative salvage in to power tokens. it also allows you to gain positive flips or suits to your duels just like a less powerful version of hoffman's power nexus. this is great if your wanting a certain trigger to go off, or if you need as positive flip to get round concealment, manipulative or something similar, or you just want more chance of hitting your opponent. note id generally suggest always leaving one power token on your model, just so it can transfer power to itself to get out of a poor situation if needed  





the mechanical tool kit is the first of 3 support bots in keyword and hoffman's totem, and one of the healers in the crew. like most other things in the keyword it's got tons of armour, and a power converter as well as power surge to move power tokens around, it also has companion which is great if you need to both hit with a model, and heal something up in an activation! 


as far as offence goes, thats not what this little guy as he doesnt have a melee attack and his shooting is only stat 4, although the daze trigger can be real helpful when it goes off but isn't something to rely on. what the little bot does so well is its tactical actions. internal magnet allows to to push scrap and friendly models with power tokens around to where they need to get too, which can great in the right situations and again another reason to keep a power token on your models. its then got a decent heal on a 7 which on a ram drops a scrap marker in to base contact, just what you need to get a model back up to fighting health and give it a scrap ready to eat up for a power token to do its thing 


the other thing to note which is overlooked is the fact this is significant totem, which is generally a bad thing as hoffman tends to be used in recover evidence and public enemies (though could do symbols or leylines) though does mean it can go score some points when needed, though tends to be busy healing stuff up and pushing scrap/your models around

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so the first of two in keyword model, joss is out more punch in face henchman though does have few support abilities 

Armour 1 makes him slightly tanky and his ruthless ability means he's a good pick in to Ressers and Neverborn (He ain't afraid of no Ghost....... or teddy bears) with with dynamic generator he's fairly self sufficient at generating power tokens, and gets to make scrap out of his kills to support any other stompybots. however he doesn't have a power converter himself, so be aware that there is no positive flips or suits for him sadly 

His last ability is his demise, which can be horrifying vs bubble crews if you go all in on it, but even if its not gone all in on, can still cause some worry, if a couple of key models are in the way of the blast. note this can mean that Joss can be power tokened up turn 1 and thrown in middle of the enemy crew like a cruise missile, but he has enough other abilities going on that makes him able to be used as a more regular beater rather than going all in cruise missile style.


As for the back of his card,  Arc Axe is his main attack action and is a stat 6 attack, that has the optional cost to discard a power token, why because if you gain or discard a power token, your doing irreducible damage, which is great vs armoured targets or masters or henchmen who may look to stone damage off, his damage track is fine, though nothing amazing though comes with 3 great triggers, crit strike for extra damage, hyper reactor which gains Joss a power token, and electroshock which gives all models within 2 stunned and injured in exchange for a power token (note both the last two triggers make the damage irreducible) 


His electric discharge is his ranged action, and does come with the limiter that you have to lose a power token to use it, Joss isn't realy a shooty model (she's up next), but this attack does have a few blasts attached to it and a decent trigger, so if you are in a position where shooting is better than throwing him in for whatever reason, it may be worth focus and shooting to conserve power tokens and get up to the blasts at the top of the damage track.


His last attack is a free action and is a pusdo obey for constructs, great for getting extra actions out of your friends or going after an opposing construct to make them do something nasty


as for tactical actions he has transfer power which is mentioned above, but also an action that pulses out shielding to other friendly constructs. shielding is great for armoured targets as you can reduce damage with the armour first and then the remaining damage of with shielding which means the most heavily armoured of hoffman's crew can ignore up to 3 damage at a time.

Melissa K.O.R.E


Melissa is Hoffman's brand new henchman for third edition, and where joss loves to hit people in the face with his axe, melissa has one of the biggest guns in Malifaux!

With armour 2 and power converter, she follows the usual rules for augmented models, however with dynamic generator and run and gun she's also fairly mobile as you want to be charging with her every activation, even if you don't go anywhere just for the power tokens. (note, maybe not do this is your affected by hazardous)


Here melee option is fine and has a trigger to ignore armour, but thats not the reason you take melissa, your wanting to fire her big gun! at range 12 its got good range and has a trigger to do blasts or to draw cards if you cheat damage, its damage track being min 2 isn't great, but ramps up to 6 at the top end, so if you have the right cards or even cards and power tokens, you can focus and shoot and do some decent damage as well. 


Clockwork grenade his her last action, and while shockwave 1 m12, damage 2 isn't amazing, her trigger, can sow absolute havoc to bunches of models. 


Melissa might not look flashy, or have access to the irreducible damage joss does, but she's a solid and dependable model, able to function on her own as the crew move up the field, just find her somewhere safe to lay down covering fire. she doesn't do massive damage generally, but she offers something different to a lot of the crew at being to operate at a distance and with power tokens and stat 6 shes reliable. when I first started playing hoffman i wasn't impressed but the more I play her, the more I can rely on her to do reliable and consistent damage at long range with decent mobility, which makes her a great vedetta model. also being 8 stones, means she's at a sweet spot for public enemies, and isn't as susceptible to melee as some shooting models



While envy isn't in keyword, being a construct means that he has addition synergies with hoffman.

essentially a tech piece envy is great vs any crew that relies or generates conditions on friendly modes, especially fast, focused or shielded. while it does solid damage and giving him fast means he can put out two focused shots a turn with his organ music, its realy his pipes of envy and his ram triggers on his melee nd shooting your taking him for, and if your unlikely to get use out of them, there are better models at a similar cost (melissa for example). not a model for every game, but if you find yourself going up against Kaeris, Sandeep (especially if they bring a fire golem, envy loves nothing better than shooting them with rams!) or Mcmoring, envy can be a solid pick in to them. 

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enforcers for hoffman carry on the same trend as henchmen, generally big scary and hard hitting, although we do now hit the first of the support bots 


Howard langston

So old spider legs is the first enforcer construct for 













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  • 2 months later...
On 7/6/2020 at 10:42 AM, dannydb said:

its also a good way to set up emergency power transfer later in hoffmans activation. at only move 4, hoffman is very slow, but the built in advance trigger on his free action, means you can be using this to get hoffman moving

Is a Guardian's toss not a good way to get Hoffman upfield? 

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On 10/3/2020 at 12:59 AM, Madsvg said:

Ah, ok.

I have most of the arcanist constructs from having a Ramos crew back in ye olde M2E days, and finding a way to use them in M3E would be nice.

Do you have the old Hoff box or are you getting the new one? I think most of Ramos' stuff is pretty neat for Hoff so I'd just start with that. 

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On 10/5/2020 at 6:05 AM, dannydb said:

You can do that but the guardian is fairly slow as well so it's some times hare for him to keep up 

I find the Mechanical Attendant (not Toolkit as stated in the first post!) and the magnet helps with the guardians movement.  3" from the Magnet and 2" from Transfer power, plus 4" Mv as standard and the Guardian can cover a fair bit of ground when you need it to.


Of course, I've never won with Hoffman so take it with a pinch of salt!

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Agree with @theamazingmrg i find the Guardian not too bad to get moving with help.

I played a game vs McCabe into Leylines the other day and lost 8-6. Mainly because i didnt get 2 of the start points. Looking back I think I should have taken the mechanical rider. I think she offers a lot on Hoffman. She can go and get vps while the rest of his crew can focus on interdicting and stomping

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On 10/5/2020 at 12:17 PM, Ludvig said:

Do you have the old Hoff box or are you getting the new one? I think most of Ramos' stuff is pretty neat for Hoff so I'd just start with that. 

I'm getting the new one.


13 hours ago, Cranky Old Man said:

Agree with @theamazingmrg i find the Guardian not too bad to get moving with help.

I played a game vs McCabe into Leylines the other day and lost 8-6. Mainly because i didnt get 2 of the start points. Looking back I think I should have taken the mechanical rider. I think she offers a lot on Hoffman. She can go and get vps while the rest of his crew can focus on interdicting and stomping

I already have the Rider, and seeing as Arcanists have great versatile constructs either way I'll focus on Arc Hoffman to begin with.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/8/2020 at 10:26 AM, Madsvg said:

I'm getting the new one.


I already have the Rider, and seeing as Arcanists have great versatile constructs either way I'll focus on Arc Hoffman to begin with.

Rider and Ramos stuff covers a lot to be honest. Arachnids are decent schemers depending a little on your board. Watchers may be necessary in some situations, being able to transfer power to push themselves is invaluable sometimes, they're hard to lock down. 

I haven't played soulstone miners since they were nerfed so not sure on them anymore. 

I love the guardian and a riot breaker can be good in certain matchups. The new box with five models where you're likely to only use two is a tough sell for me though. I'd honestly look at a proxy or just limit myself to the stuff you already have. If you can split that box with someone, do it! 

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