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Let's ramble about Mama Z


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Mama Z, the queen of the Bayou.

She's a cool mama. Let's talk about her and Swampfiends and good versatiles and OOK stuff from the Bayou. Let's talk about Strats and Schemes. Let's talk about experiences and highlights and stuff.

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I'll start with some OOK picks.

First of all, I think that Swampfiend has excellent support models and scheme runners. So I haven't felt the need for those OOK. But on the beater front Swampfiends are sorta lacking. Bad Juju is, true to his name, bad IMO, and First Mate's beating power was (justifiably) nerfed. Which leaves McTavish who is quite potent in melee but a bit squishy. So getting durable OOK beaters is something I find myself reaching for.

Whiskey Golem. It's no secret anymore that Whiskey Golem is a top-notch beater and Zoraida likes big beaters and she cannot lie. Armor works nicely with the Crows Trigger on her Obey to make Golem Fast and Bokor healing the Golem makes it remarkably durable. An excellent beater pick.

Francois is on the other end of the size department but also works nicely enough. His only weakness is that his damage isn't all that high without Triggers so Zoraida's Obey's Mask Trigger isn't quite as potent. Still, he is a remarkably angry little dude who can put out a lot of damage and is reasonably durable as well.

Then there's Gracie, who can haul Mama Z herself a bit and a Bokor healing Gracie is very nice. The 0" melee reach with a 50mm base is an absolutely massive drawback, however, so I've never been very impressed by Gracie.

Finally, there's Mancha Roja and Emissary both of whose strength is removing Markers. Definitely worth it when the opposing Master is someone who enjoys dropping markers but otherwise I haven't found them to be better than the other choices above. Especially as Zoraida doesn't tend to drop markers of her own to help Mancha.

That's my quick two cents about OOK beaters for Zoraida.

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I'm a big fan of Francois, but if the table has a lot if concealing terrain, or you want to save more stones for Zoraida, Raphael is a good option. If you feel lucky, make him fast with Zoraida twice - it will drop him down to half health and switch on his Grit. Raphael's long-range gun with [+] to attack and damage flips can be deadly. And with Htk he has a good chance to live long enough to get healing from bokor.

Another beater that works well with Zoraida is Lenny. He is a perfect target for Obey, because he has +1 to all duels outside of his activation. 

And don't forget about Alphonse. High damage track, 2" engagement range, easy access to nice triggers and damage reduction.

P.S. If you don't want to win the game, but want to have fun, take Lenny in Ghillie Suit, Alphonse and make them play dumb tennis with the Emissary, tossing it to each other through enemy models. 

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On 8/11/2020 at 7:13 AM, Scoffer said:

I'm a big fan of Francois, but if the table has a lot if concealing terrain, or you want to save more stones for Zoraida, Raphael is a good option. If you feel lucky, make him fast with Zoraida twice - it will drop him down to half health and switch on his Grit. Raphael's long-range gun with [+] to attack and damage flips can be deadly. And with Htk he has a good chance to live long enough to get healing from bokor.

Another beater that works well with Zoraida is Lenny. He is a perfect target for Obey, because he has +1 to all duels outside of his activation. 

And don't forget about Alphonse. High damage track, 2" engagement range, easy access to nice triggers and damage reduction.

P.S. If you don't want to win the game, but want to have fun, take Lenny in Ghillie Suit, Alphonse and make them play dumb tennis with the Emissary, tossing it to each other through enemy models. 

That does sound like fun. I was thinking I'd taking them with Zorida for multiple Tosses a turn. If you Toss something then make it walk, or double walk away it could be out of the action for the rest of the game. 

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I've been looking forward to Alphonse getting released as he seems to be quite an interesting addition to many crews. I already have Wong, though, so I'm waiting for the special order.

Lenny, however, is an interesting suggestion that I hadn't considered. Being outside of Big Hat removes quite a few synergies but he does still offer quite a bit.

On the Swampfiend front - have people tested Adze? The more I look at him, the better he looks.

He's crazy fast with Mv 7 and Flight and Ambush. (Admittedly Ambush can be sorta weird without Unimpeded but Zoraida has easy access to cards for discarding.)

His melee attack is surprisingly potent due to Poison so a single hit is sortakinda min damage 3 and the built-in healing is good. Especially needed since Adze isn't durable at all.

His Lure has two fantastic triggers on it and naturally combines nicely with Shimmering Lights. Finally, Firefly is pretty cool when you get the trigger. With it and a single attack (getting a positive to the flip, even), he can sort of do 5 damage to a model which can kill a Scheme runner pretty reliably and Armor negates only one point of it.

For a really stupid combo you could give him Two Gremlins in a Ghillie Suit since Disguised is potent with Shimmering Lights. Of course that would be 9 SS and he'd still die extremely easy to shooting so, like I said, a stupid combo. But it is pretty hilarious.

So yeah, I can see him being used for Lures as well as for Schemes and even as a damage dealer suitable for some situations and targets. Should make an excellent counter scheme runner at the very least.

Put mine onto the painting table in order to test him out in the (hopefully) near future.

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1 hour ago, Math Mathonwy said:

I've been looking forward to Alphonse getting released as he seems to be quite an interesting addition to many crews. I already have Wong, though, so I'm waiting for the special order.

Lenny, however, is an interesting suggestion that I hadn't considered. Being outside of Big Hat removes quite a few synergies but he does still offer quite a bit.

On the Swampfiend front - have people tested Adze? The more I look at him, the better he looks.

He's crazy fast with Mv 7 and Flight and Ambush. (Admittedly Ambush can be sorta weird without Unimpeded but Zoraida has easy access to cards for discarding.)

His melee attack is surprisingly potent due to Poison so a single hit is sortakinda min damage 3 and the built-in healing is good. Especially needed since Adze isn't durable at all.

His Lure has two fantastic triggers on it and naturally combines nicely with Shimmering Lights. Finally, Firefly is pretty cool when you get the trigger. With it and a single attack (getting a positive to the flip, even), he can sort of do 5 damage to a model which can kill a Scheme runner pretty reliably and Armor negates only one point of it.

For a really stupid combo you could give him Two Gremlins in a Ghillie Suit since Disguised is potent with Shimmering Lights. Of course that would be 9 SS and he'd still die extremely easy to shooting so, like I said, a stupid combo. But it is pretty hilarious.

So yeah, I can see him being used for Lures as well as for Schemes and even as a damage dealer suitable for some situations and targets. Should make an excellent counter scheme runner at the very least.

Put mine onto the painting table in order to test him out in the (hopefully) near future.

your aware only 5/12 models with ambush have unimpeded (or planted roots)

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I never hire Adze, just because a Silurid can do almost everything better, costs less and has Stealth. Lure is not that important in Zoraida crew - double Obey from 25" distance is enough to break enemy positioning. 

Adze can be a situational counter pick, when you expect enemy models with Laugh Off: it can quickly Lure such a model, while it is surrounded by other enemy models, and use Quicksand trigger to make the whole enemy crew pass high TN or get slow. This can be a painful surprise, but don't expect it to work twice.

The main problem of Adze (and Wisp as well) is that it doesn't have Stealth and the rest of useful swampfiends do. So it automatically becomes the fire magnet, when there is no other targets for enemy shooters, and has no chances to survive.

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On 8/14/2020 at 4:23 PM, Scoffer said:

I never hire Adze, just because a Silurid can do almost everything better, costs less and has Stealth. Lure is not that important in Zoraida crew - double Obey from 25" distance is enough to break enemy positioning.

I dunno that I would agree that comparing Adze to a Silurid is a good idea. Silurid is all about Schemes and he's superb at it and if all you're using Adze for is the Mv 7 Flight + Ambush to Scheme, then yeah, a Silurid is obviously better. So if you use an Adze, you should make use of his damage potential and other abilities like Lure. A Silurid will never threaten enemy Scheme runners but an Adze can.

As for the Lure - in GG1 (and, well, Malifaux in general), a Lure at the end of the turn can oftentimes deny a VP, which is huge. Especially when the thing that Lures is as extremely mobile as an Adze is. I don't usually like leaving Zoraida for last, so I don't think that Lure is completely useless in a Zoraida crew due to Obey.

But I do agree that the lack of Stealth is a huge, huge drawback, no doubt about it. And that is my main concern and why I'm asking about him.

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37 minutes ago, Math Mathonwy said:

A Silurid will never threaten enemy Scheme runners but an Adze can.

Silurid has Onslaught on it's attack so it's up to 4 attacks with stat 5 and 2/3/4 damage with 13" threat range. It is threatening enough for most schemerunners. 

Adze has higher stat and built-in poison (which is very good), but it's only 3 attacks from 8" or 2 attacks from 11". 

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2 hours ago, Scoffer said:

Silurid has Onslaught on it's attack so it's up to 4 attacks with stat 5 and 2/3/4 damage with 13" threat range. It is threatening enough for most schemerunners. 

I agree with you in theory but I have never had a Silurid kill anything by himself (his attack can be reasonable in finishing stuff off). Might be a user error on my part, though, admittedly.

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Adze has higher stat and built-in poison (which is very good), but it's only 3 attacks from 8" or 2 attacks from 11". 

Adze also has the pulse that, on a Trigger, can cause one damage and one Burning with no resist.

Edit: Oh, as a note, in my meta the very squishy Scheme Runners like Terror Tots or Hounds and such are extremely rare which might account for differences in experience!

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Spawn Mother. What do you think of her?

I've used her with Mah Tuckett pre-nerf as Spawn Mother's damage track is such that she absolutely adores Focus. She is also very good at spawning Gupps and I usually got one on the first turn and then two more on the second. 

Now, the problem is that Gupps are kinda useless. The combo of Mv4 and Mindless means that they actually kinda suck as Scheme runners so their usual MO is just to get in the way of things and hope that the enemy can't somehow benefit from killing soft targets.

And Spawn Mother really doesn't do much else. If she doesn't hit Severe, her attack is really lackluster, she is very squishy and I wonder has anyone in history of the game made use of Nourish the Young. Using eggs to heal is also very AP intensive.

I believe the idea is to make use of Annoying on Gupps and Mother's Rage when the enemy kills them but that is very difficult to set up in a way that works.

Have you gotten her to work? Any specific Schemes/Strats where she would shine? Am I missing something?

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So I'm about to play my first game with Spawn Mother M3E but I have some IDEAS about the value of gupps.

40mm base gives some increased board coverage so they're slighty closer to other models than a 30mm. I'm gonna experiment with them in corrupted leylines as a cheap 2 AP for utility purposes, handing off the lodestone and such, so I can use my more valuable models to do the real work.

They can stand on a marker and completely obscure it daring an enemy to kill the Gupp for access and invoking SM's ire.

They are, albiet not ideal, nodes for Zoraida. 6-9ss worth of Gupps get you more avenues for Eyes in the Night that one comparably priced model would. Granted, they're size 0...

They can spread out to make things like Take Prisoner and other schemes and abiIties that require no models to be "within x and LoS" a pain.

I'm trying to think of them as annoying as opposdd to effective and play them as such.

We'll see how reality matches up with theory :)

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The very few times I've played her, I got a lot of value from her. Having 3 extra scheme runners in turn 2 is amazing. I wouldn't consider a Df/Wp 5 + Stealth + SS user squishy. She's not a beater neither a tank, she can take care of other scheme runners and she's a great scheme runner herself.

Specially with Zoraida, where you don't have any card issues, most of those Gupps are going to be leaping all the time and Spawn Mother will be able to use Ambush most of the time.

Regarding Nourish the Young, totally agree with you, I never used it and I never faced anyone that was playing her and used that.

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I don't know how it works, but Spawn Mother ond Gupps attract enemy attention. Every time I put them on the table, my opponent spends a lot of actions to kill them. And it's very good 🙂

10 hours ago, Math Mathonwy said:

Using eggs to heal is also very AP intensive.

I did it only once and it saved me a scoring model. This is not something to build a plan on, but it can be useful.

 

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When I was devising my Henchman lead Swampfiend crew, I played all the possibilities available.   Every time I used Spawn Mother, she got the least results out of the other Henchmen.  Her summoning minigame is just not powerful enough.

However, there was someone on Discord who had a great time playing both Spawn Mother AND The Sow at the same time... I think that might have an overwhelming number of legs in Ulix... but not for Swampfiend.

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I've WISHED I had used Poison Fate after the fact and next time, I'm gonna!

I attempted a concentrated assault (4 total attacks) vs an enemy model and came away having done no damage at the end, partially due to my opponenet cheating the defense flip.  Poison Fate woulda guaranteed 2 damage for each of those. Though I guess if I couldn't make the attack hit, I couldn't have made Poison Fate hit...

Anywho, I'm in the middle of a vassal game (we can only get about a turn in at a time) ans I'm planning on trying out Z's actions other than Obey. Poison Fate is definitely one so I'll try to report back. Also eager to hear what others have to say.

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On 8/25/2020 at 6:48 AM, Jesy Blue said:

 

However, there was someone on Discord who had a great time playing both Spawn Mother AND The Sow at the same time... I think that might have an overwhelming number of legs in Ulix... but not for Swampfiend.

I love the Sow. The Spawn Mother seems like she fills a similar niche, but less well. 

Taking them both seems interesting, since they can both summon scheme runner annoyances and might do more to force you opponent to do something. I think I might take them both with Ulix or Somer though were they add even more summoning pressure. 

Zorida seems to only want Spawn Mother and Gupps for Eyes in the Night and not much else. 

On 8/28/2020 at 4:09 AM, Math Mathonwy said:

Let's talk a bit about Zoraida herself. Do you have any sneaky tips for using her?

Has anyone ever used Poisoned Fate?

Also, whose Fate deck do you generally prefer to check with Reading the Cards?

Akename seems like great ook tech for Zoraida. Poison, chip damage and slow easier than the Will-o'-the-wisp with the Voodoo Doll. 

Read the cards seems like it's probably sightly better on your deck.  Both have bluff options. But, you have more control over resources going in to your flips than thiers. Like you can save focus if you know a high card is coming. If you leave a bad card on thier deck they can try to focus past it, or burn it on an unimportant duel. Intentionally leaving a good card on top of thier deck seems like an unnecessary risk.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Let's move on to the next Swampfiend then: Waldgeists. The new Zoraida box comes with three trees and, well, I must say that I haven't been impressed with them. They are sortakinda passable with Titania but I haven't found a niche for them with Zoraida.

Have you had success with Waldgeists? When would you take them? Specific Schemes or Strat or opponents or something?

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I would honestly like to know too. Looking at the cards I can't figure it out. Maybe in a very severe terrain heavy board. But even if they had a free 3 inch push and Regen 1 all the time, I'm not sure I'd take them. 

I could definitely be missing something though. I'm not a very bright man. Lol

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I often take waldgeists, but that is admittedly because I love the models and they are some of the few that I own.

Against crews that rely on movement effects against your models they can be quite disruptive to your opponents plans thanks to their Planted Roots ability.

Their attack action triggers all impede your opponent's positioning, whether it be to apply slow, staggered, or just flat out place them in an unfavorable position. I like using the Heave trigger to feed models to Bad Juju so he can use his actions to murder rather than move. Or to daisy chain the pain (oh man that's a sweet ass rhyme) by tossing a target to the next Wally that has yet to activate.

Germinate helps provide Concealment to advances against shooty crews, and a launching point for Ambush where you don't have to toss a card for the cost. My biggest beef with this action is that it is a "create" rather than a "drop". A drop would allow the Waldgeist to make more use of the italics texts on Tangling Roots by extending the range of the attack, engaging a model without being engaged itself. It would provide a way to slow models down with severe terrain by growing severe terrain right under their feet. And it would make the Ambush easier since models wouldn't have to move into the undergrowth, it could just grow up around them. So much utility curtailed by one little word. And just try to convince me that tree mosters growing underbrush around a target, be it friend, foe, or scheme/strategy marker, isn't thematic as hell.

Still, Planted Roots does let most of the crew box heal 1 at the start of their activation if in severe terrain (undergrowth markers). But again, it takes a bit too much orchestration to get benefit from this, having to move a model into it rather than drop it on top of them.

One trick is to attack Bad Juju and Heave him into a strategically placed underbrush marker. Assuming min dam (a decent bet, though not guaranteed on a :-flip:-flipRelent) BJ can heal 2 at the start of his activation, be up to 7.5" from where he started (1" range + 40mm base + 3" Heave + 50mm base), concealed, and ready for an Ambush.

Armor +1 and that Planted Roots regen combined with them not being able to be moved lets them plant (haha) themselves on the board and hold a position pretty well for a 6ss model.

And this is all not including Zoraida using them for her purposes, or them adding slow or staggered to models with the Wanga Mojo upgrade.

All in all, I think the new crew box has alot of teamwork avaliable between it's models. Maybe it's too reliant on it. It takes a fair amount of strategery, preplanning, and brain stamina to get them to optimal synergy. And in a game where there are plenty of other drains on my mental faculties, Waldgeist's inclusion might be dependant on enough familiarity with all the potential that I can focus on the rest of the game. Lord knows I'm not there yet, but I have stubborn hope for my little tree monsters.

 

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1 hour ago, ezramantis said:

Their attack action triggers all impede your opponent's positioning, whether it be to apply slow, staggered, or just flat out place them in an unfavorable position.

This is a good point. 

Slow means Zorida could walk or double walk the unit out of position and it would be out of play for a turn. Heave is good to for getting a model out of engagement so you can obey charge it. 

Any tips for getting the walk4 slow pokes up the board?

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43 minutes ago, Thatguy said:

Any tips for getting the walk4 slow pokes up the board?

You can always waste a good obey with a crow to make them fast and walk. Or take two, obey one to charge another and hit with a ram for a place, then obey the second one to hit and place the first one. If you have a nice piece of severe terrain near your deployment, they can go really far this way. As far as a silurid can leap without masters help )

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