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The Benny Bomb (or how I learned to make a 7focus rat king)


Chris P Bacon
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In the newest harlefaux show podcast I talk about my version of "The Benny Bomb" and how I go about making a rat king turn 1. There's a multitude of variations to this but this is the way I like to do it, take from it what you will, build upon it if necessary, I thought it'd be helpful for people new to the rat master to get a visual idea of the mechanisms.

The-Benny-Bomb.pptx

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4 hours ago, Chris P Bacon said:

I really want to..............

Happy to share! :D First of all, my starting list is basically always this:

 

Bungelosenstrasse (Outcasts)
Size: 50 - Pool: 0
Leader:
  Hamelin (Vintage)
Totem(s):
  Stolen
  Stolen 2
  Stolen 3
Hires:
  Benny Wolcomb
  Nix
  Obedient Wretch
  Malifaux Child
  Rat King
  Rat King 2
  Prospector
  Prospector 2
References:
  Malifaux Rat
  Rat King
  Rat Catcher

 

The Prospectors, Malifaux Child, and Rat Kings space themselves around Benny. The Rat Kings activate first, each taking an Interact Action, then using Malifaux Rat Problem to summon a Rat Catcher. This kills the Rat Kings, which means they drop both another scheme marker (by discarding a card with Benny) and a corpse (due to being beasts). You're now up to four Scheme Markers. They also give you some card draw. The Prospectors and Malifaux Child each take an Interact Action and Appraise, using the corpses and typically a scheme marker dropped by a sixth model like the Obedient Wretch that wouldn't be able to legally Interact inside the web. This gives you three chances to flip a Severe, to get you the eighth scheme marker you need, which is reasonably good odds. If you don't get it, you may choose to have a Prospector not gain Stunned, so that you can cheat in a 6+ of crows on Malifaux Mining Law to get the eighth. With the amount of cards you get between the Rat Kings' demises and all those Appraises, you have good odds of getting that.

 

Of course, given that this is reasonably prone to disruption, even though I do tend to deploy Benny and his knot of models rather far back in my deployment zone, you may prefer to just get the Soulstones on the board and go into Turn 2 with a cache of two. But if your opponent is being cautious and you aren't under immediate pressure, that eighth rat can set you up for some formidable attrition.

 

You also get two Rat Catchers on the field nice and early, though this has its downsides (no activating a Rat King on low health and just swapping it into a Rat Catcher to make the opponent have wasted a bunch of AP attacking it). The plus side though is all that Voracious Rat stacking you're able to achieve once the lines close, meaning the rat summoning in future turns is almost as ferocious as your Turn 1.

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I have only played one game, so I'll admit that all the finer nuances are lost on me. But when you've place all of those Scheme Markers what do you actually do with them? I'm guessing summoning a bunch of Rats with Benny. But how do you turn them into Rat Kings? They can't acitivate when they are summoned, right? I know I'm missing something, and I love would to find out what. Because this sounds really neat.

Edit: Nevermind, it turns out that actually reading things properly makes things a lot clearer. Haha.

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I should note, one thing I like about Benny having a support staff of the Child and Prospectors is that it means Benny gets to summon 3-4 rats *every* turn, instead of just Turn 1 as discussed on the podcast. Less scheming potential than a list with the Midnight Stalker, to be sure, but I've never found it all that hard to fling Rat Kings around the map to do what needs to be done. Especially when you're generating a Rat King's worth of rats every round, so you can afford to throw them away recklessly. And that's before you start stacking Voracious Rat auras with those Turn 1 Rat Catchers and start getting 2-3 rats per kill. This list runs away with the attrition game really quickly in my experience.

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IMO, planting four markers via two Winged Plague is too card intensive to do reliably. It's better to just know that you have the capacity to convert 10+ cards into an AP on Winged Plague, which usually lets you free up an AP on another model. You usually only want to do this with one Stolen, since the other two usually want to make Malifaux Rats (and thus Rat Kings) Fast.

In general, my goal with the Benny Bomb is to get two Rat Kings with 2 AP worth of attacks each into the enemy's face at the end of Turn 1. You can get Rat King activations on Turn 1 by actually hiring two Malifaux Rats. Give two rats you did not hire Fast with Stolen. Use Hamelin to reposition your Rats into two distinct clumps. Then activate the Malifaux Rats you hired and use their actual AP to Tangle together. Since the Replace effect happened during an Activation, you continue that Activation with the two remaining AP. You make up the extra tokens you can't place with shenanigans (Emissary, Prospector, sacrificing a Rat King, etc) or you pitch one of your Stolen for two Malifaux Rats. This has a conservative nonlinear strike range of about 18" plus some base sizes, with terrain potentially limiting its range. It can go farther if you are using the turn 1 Rat King -> Rat Catcher trick.

The opponent can, of course, kill the Malifaux Rats you have hired to stop this. You will not stop an opponent who has a list made for diving your deployment zone T1. However, killing your Malifaux Rats is almost always a bad idea. Use terrain to hide them from ranged and make the enemy work as hard as possible to get that kill. If the enemy killed both of your hires, that just means you have two Fast Rat Kings next turn, and you probably have those Rats back, too. It also means they didn't go for someone actually important, like Benny.

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20 hours ago, Azahul said:

I should note, one thing I like about Benny having a support staff of the Child and Prospectors is that it means Benny gets to summon 3-4 rats *every* turn, instead of just Turn 1 as discussed on the podcast. Less scheming potential than a list with the Midnight Stalker, to be sure, but I've never found it all that hard to fling Rat Kings around the map to do what needs to be done. Especially when you're generating a Rat King's worth of rats every round, so you can afford to throw them away recklessly. And that's before you start stacking Voracious Rat auras with those Turn 1 Rat Catchers and start getting 2-3 rats per kill. This list runs away with the attrition game really quickly in my experience.

Doesn't this make you very vulnerable to shockwaves and blasts?

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3 hours ago, touchdown said:

Doesn't this make you very vulnerable to shockwaves and blasts?

Which part? I often have Benny wait until very late in the turn to convert the scheme markers into Rats, since the scheme markers are far safer unless the opponent has something like Target Practice or Arson. I use a mix of the other 13+ models in the crew to then go and put the opponents with AOE damage under as much pressure as they can muster to get them to go earlier in the turn, and I usually can put quite a lot of pressure on them since Benny is usually so far behind the front lines that a model with a 14" range blast weapon would have to be just about in melee with my front line to be drawing range to the rat engine.

 

Getting a triple Voracious Rats out of killing an enemy model certainly does make whatever did the killing really susceptible to attacks blasting off the rats, but your opponent had to lose a model in the first place to set that up and then gives you an insane amount of card draw if they try and punish you for that. Not to mention that if Rat Catchers or Hamelin get the kill they can sometimes have an opportunity to scatter the rats and somewhat minimise the amount of damage they take.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/29/2020 at 11:05 AM, Mike_Skadog said:

Hi Chris, just submitted to the forums to find this presentation, I've listened to your really nice podcast.

Thanks for the tips and for the battlereps of youtube, we do need a hamling one 😍

Cheers

Only just seen this! Thanks for the lovely comments! Once the UK stops having lockdowns we're gonna be filming season 3 where Tom's using Nellie and I'm probably gonna use Hamelin for this! Dunno how that's gonna go, should be an interesting game though!

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12 hours ago, Chris P Bacon said:

Only just seen this! Thanks for the lovely comments! Once the UK stops having lockdowns we're gonna be filming season 3 where Tom's using Nellie and I'm probably gonna use Hamelin for this! Dunno how that's gonna go, should be an interesting game though!

Covid it's a big pain for us over here too, no worries, we all can understand, Hamelin report will be well worth the wait! thanks again for the effort. I'll paint it up in the meantime :)

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/14/2020 at 8:54 PM, Azahul said:

Getting a triple Voracious Rats out of killing an enemy model certainly does make whatever did the killing really susceptible to attacks blasting off the rats, but your opponent had to lose a model in the first place to set that up and then gives you an insane amount of card draw if they try and punish you for that. Not to mention that if Rat Catchers or Hamelin get the kill they can sometimes have an opportunity to scatter the rats and somewhat minimise the amount of damage they take.

As much as I love this idea, and got ruined by a Hamelin recently (I'd never played against it before and did not bring enough blast support) this doesn't work. Each thing can only be affected by 1 aura of the same name if it changes game state.

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41 minutes ago, Higgybeans said:

As much as I love this idea, and got ruined by a Hamelin recently (I'd never played against it before and did not bring enough blast support) this doesn't work. Each thing can only be affected by 1 aura of the same name if it changes game state.

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You've not quite got your rules right. A model is only affected by 1 thing of the same name that alters its game state.  The rules then go on to show multiple scamper auras happening from1 card cheat. In voracious rats each aura only alters the game state of 1 rat. 

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Aye, Adran's got the rationale correct there. The model experiencing the game state change from the aura is the rat being summoned, not the model with blight dying that is having a rat summoned base to base with it, so Voracious Rats does stack. I definitely played a fair few games without that being the case before I realised that was how it worked :D There's a topic floating around the rules forum from when I did figure it out and raced to get confirmation.

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I've largely stopped focusing too much on Benny's summoning. I think hiring a rat and getting a rat king with two ap on turn one is the sweet spot as far as RoI.

I'm experimenting with sans-Benny lists as well which has been fun. The lists aren't that different from the ones I built around Benny, but they play very differently on the table. 

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