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We got an Obey Hamelin! Whoo! Wait, hold on-


Azahul
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So the new Hamelin is real interesting, but Obey on friendlies in Plague has a lot of little traps. I'm trying to see if I've caught all the actions in Keyword that Hamelin cannot Obey friendly models to take because they mention models (usually rats) by name. In large part because I know I'm going to need to reference this list or else I'm going to accidentally cheat with it at some point, there's just so many exceptions.

-Rat Catcher melee attack
-Rat Catcher and Stolen with Moldy Cheese
-Obedient Wretch thrown rat attack
-Benny Wolcomb's Derringer attack
-Benny's Loyal Rats in Tiny Hats
-Malifaux Rat's Tangle Together (mentions Rat Kings, not being able to do this is pretty big)
-Rat King's Rat Problem

The Hodgepodge Emissary's heal is also out because it attaches upgrades.

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That bonus action was a big part of why I played Hamelin before. I like the look of new Hamelin a lot but I think he'll be primarily an offensive obey master - he's got two enemy only triggers on that attack after all.

I think this Hamelin does more rat summoning throughout the turn and notably doesn't blow the things up so I think you're more likely to eat them as snacks, kill them for scheme markers, that sort of thing. You also probably don't Inevitable Fate your stolen much with this version.

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I think this version leans much more heavily on OOK choices too. I can see myself hiring Nix and the Wretch because this Hamelin puts out ranged Blight more efficiently and the Bleeding Diseases should have value, but beyond that the only Plague model I think I'd hire would be maybe the DCU? After that it's all OOK and Versatile.

 

Conversely I'm starting every list with Mad Dog. Best friendly Obey target in faction, Eyes in the Wall can't remove a Blown Apart Marker so you can focus rats and pulses on a single spot if you want, and Obeying enemies into clumps sets up AOE damage beautifully. Something like this is what I plan to play first:

 

This is where I'm at for new Hamelin:

New Hamelin Crew (Outcasts)
Size: 50 - Pool: 7
Leader:
  Hamelin
    Servant of Dark Powers
Totem(s):
  Stolen
  Stolen 2
  Stolen 3
Hires:
  Nix
  Mad Dog Brackett
  Obedient Wretch
  Hodgepodge Emissary
  Disease Containment Unit
References:
  Malifaux Rat
  Rat King
  Rat Catcher
  Memento
  Pretty Floral Bonnet
  Vitality Potion

I'm strongly considering a Scavenger over the Emissary too, since getting Focus on the AOE guns plus Tools to secure severes for cheating damage seems good.

 

I have a lot of minor gripes with this Hamelin title. Obey being so clunky with Plague as a Keyword for example. Piper's Influence should be an awesome action but most of Plague gets their important triggers built in (it mostly buffs up Rat Kings and Hamelin himself, but an extra crow on Nix's bite isn't bad). Spreading Death only goes off when enemy models die but it doesn't just spread Blight to enemy models, and yet there still isn't a way to get any use from Blight on friendly models (which will also be accumulating there from Spray of Filth triggers), meaning I'm still tracking all the busywork of friendlies with Blight solely in case a Bleeding Disease needs to target one of my own models for whatever reason. And there's just so much shared text between Hamelin's two cards. Same blight aura, same demise, Nihilism returns, has a new, albeit more niche, effect that removes Blight from an enemy within 6, and both have the same offensive attack.

 

Oh, and this might just be me, but the TN on Eyes in the Wall seems very high. It's a huge pulse and marker removal is cool, but relative to the damage dealing unresisted Pustulent Tumours pulse (with an AP efficient trigger) needing an 8 feels really awkward to work with.

 

The result of this is that I'm inclined to focus in on the Obey, which means in turn minimising the amount of Plague in his crews and just bringing along classic Outcast all-stars. Which is fine, it's a different way of playing compared to how I run OG Hamelin, and the differentiation can come from list design rather than much on the Master's side. But all the same it doesn't strike me as a terribly well designed Master.

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I think that the Obey is the most obvious thing on the Piper's card, but I'm most excited to fuss with The Piper's Influence. Guaranteed Infestation triggers on Rat Catchers and the Obedient Wretch seem pretty good, y'know. Spreading Death seems like an interesting ability as well, as, if you ensure that only one other enemy model is within 6 inches of the enemy, you can dump 3 Blight tokens on them for 0 AP.

I foresee some pretty wicked Bleeding Disease chains in the future...

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2 minutes ago, Avatar of Butter said:

I think that the Obey is the most obvious thing on the Piper's card, but I'm most excited to fuss with The Piper's Influence. Guaranteed Infestation triggers on Rat Catchers and the Obedient Wretch seem pretty good, y'know. Spreading Death seems like an interesting ability as well, as, if you ensure that only one other enemy model is within 6 inches of the enemy, you can dump 3 Blight tokens on them for 0 AP.

I foresee some pretty wicked Bleeding Disease chains in the future...

Spreading Death sends Blight to your models too, so you need the enemy model completely isolated save for one other model to get all three Blight to move across.

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I would have really appreciated a way to use blight on friendlies. Otherwise I like it. I've been hiring Rat Catchers with Ham1 since the summon changes and I'll continue to do that. Maybe Benny too... I think I'll use the various vermin pushing triggers to jam up the crew sort of thing. The truck will be on getting value from the rats as rats.

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59 minutes ago, Zebo said:

I was thinking, you cannot obey a Rat Catcher to do a melee attack, but you can obey him to charge right? Then he could do his melee attack. 

That is correct, to my understanding. Which doesn't help make it any easier to track the different things new Hamelin can and can't force models to do with Obey :D

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It would be a lot better if there were any Discard effects at all in Plague, but even so it had a pretty decent impact in my one game with the new Hamelin. Between Nix and the Eyes in the Walls action it is possible to put a decent amount of hand pressure on the opponent.

 

Unfortunately the downside is that new Hamelin is really quite card hungry himself. I don't know why Eyes takes an 8 to work, that seems insanely high to me. It's a decent action but it's costing more than a friendly Obey and on par with a Loyal Rats in Tiny Hats. Even with the much bigger area of effect it's still not remotely as impactful as Pustulent Tumours the tumours not only cost you a 6 but gave you card draw in return. And without rats to detonate the card draw in new Hamelin feels generally rare to nonexistent.

 

Doesn't help that the Disease Containment Unit also requires a 7 for its bonus action. Those two TNs feel very high for what they do...

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On the Irresistible Dance front, it's worth noting too that it may come up a lot more than you expect. My default crew for my first few games have had the Hodgepodge Emissary (melee zero) and Mad Dog (melee zero), which when coupled with the Stolen (melee zero) and himself (no melee range) is a significant number of models likely to get engaged by but not be engaging enemy models. 

 

Now, ordinarily, this is a bad thing. But on a Stat 7 Obey Master it means you can usually Obey enemy models of your choice to charge as they won't be engaged, sending them off to fight one another. So turn after turn your opponent is forced to discard just to regain board position. Most turns it'll just cost them a few weaks, but it's not nothing.

 

Also my first game with him was against the new Titania and it turns out against someone with monstrous card draw sculpting hands of all severes that forcing the trade-off of either 2-3 discards or effectively gaining a bunch of slow is pretty funny.

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4 minutes ago, Jordon said:

Does the pipers influence give suits during that action? As in would I be able to declare Infestation despite not flipping the appropriate tome? Or does it not work until after you resolve the action?

Since you declare triggers before you decide who has won the duel, you can't have a suit to use to declare triggers from pipers influence before you resolve pipers influence. 

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I'll admit that I'm new to Hamelin1. However in looking at Hamelin2, I'm not really seeing much difference between the two. What I mean is that this and the previous version seem to mostly focus on building up rats/blight with the eventual goal of bleeding disease. 

Seems like Hamelin2 is more blight focused and Hamelin1 is a bit more rat focused. From there things seem to be mostly variations of each other. Obey is a superior version of Lure. Bleeding disease is shared, as is Demise (Agony), Nihilism, and Source of Contamination. Both have a ranged blight pulse (one targeting a rat the other a marker).

The major difference between the two seems to be in their free action. I do think Hamelin2 has the superior version but it does require him activating early to make good use of it.

I don't really see one version better than the other (which is good) but I also don't know when your hiring one over the other. I do with Hamelin2 utilized blight in something other than damage. Obedience seems very niche.

So my question to you all is when are you taking one Hamelin over the other? How do each of these different versions play differently? Does it change up how you counter Hamelin?  

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I agree that they read very similarly, but I've been building them very differently. I wouldn't overemphasise Hamelin2's bonus action all that much honestly, it's fine, it doesn't generate any more Onslaught attacks than Hamelin1 does by just tanking an opponent's stats to zero so that even weak Masks in hand are usually going to chain attacks. And outside of Onslaught nearly every Plague model has their best trigger built in anyway.

 

To me the best thing about new Hamelin is Obey and considerably better long range Blight generation. This leads to him playing more like a gunline and being a lot more comfortable spreading out. Hamelin1 usually wanted all his squishy Plague models clustered within 6, increasing the vulnerability to AOEs but letting you turn the centre melee into a meat grinder sure to be littered with the corpses of friend and for alike. Hamelin2 by contrast is happy to bring basically zero of those squishy Plague models. Nix and the Wretch are enough, though the DCU adds to the Blight gunline vibe. And rather than clumping up new Hamelin doesn't care about the positioning of his models at all. Someone like Mad Dog being within the 12" Obey range is neat but it kind of begins and ends there.

 

So personally I'm bringing Hamelin1 into pools with a lot of points focussed on the centre, and Hamelin2 into pools where I think a gunline would be better. Hamelin2 also has better game if I think my opponent will be packing a lot of AOEs and other anti-Hamelin tech, since I can happily bring basically zero stuff for it to get work off of. In terms of factions I like new Hamelin more into Guild (Obey is much better than Lure when faced with Leadlined Coats, and zero rat builds don't care about the Jury so much) and Neverborn (my opponents nearly always hire the Mysterious Emissary when I declare Hamelin, and it is markedly less effective into Hamelin2 with the more spread out game plan, marker removal, and ability to actually move the Emissary with Obey).

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I guess we're supposed to obey stuff in, give it stunned, and then let our crew wail on it to spawn a pile of rats, turn those rats into a king, and go.  Janky.  The blight is always a bit janky.  Overall I think I like the old Hamlin handing out injured with his staff much better.  Oh and it went off easier (TN 8 really?)

OTOH this has Obey.  Stat 7.  Two triggers.  Both of them good.  Dayum.  I can see obeying something to drop a scheme marker, giving it two blight counters, and then blowing it up with bleeding disease.  

Eyes in the Walls is 6" scheme marker removal, but everything about it is a waste of a master action.  Especially at TN 8.  I wish it did something.  

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5 hours ago, Azahul said:

To me the best thing about new Hamelin is Obey and considerably better long range Blight generation.

I'm not sure I agree with this. Hamelin1's lure can put out three blight in a single action at the same range with the same stat. There is higher variance in the amount of blight, but you can set up to get the high end pretty easily. The bonus action on Hamelin1 can also put out a ton of blight before a final bleeding disease. I guess, there is a higher variance in Hamelin1's blight output than Hamelin2's, but also potential for a higher top end. The explosion of rats on Hamelin1 doesn't allow for you to resist and puts out blight (cheap way to get card draw too). I don't see either Hamelin as needing to cluster up really. 

5 hours ago, Jordon said:

So my question to you all is when are you taking one Hamelin over the other? How do each of these different versions play differently? Does it change up how you counter Hamelin?  

Hamelin1 has a better defense stat and I like his aura (coughing fit) for defense better than Hamelin2's. Hamelin1 poses a greater threat to masters (lure can target them, obey cannot), whereas Hamelin2 can make opponents scared to bring certain beaters, slow models, or models that can blow up their own with an action. Hamelin2 has better scheming shenanigans. This can influence your opponent's crew selection, but not as drastically as some other titles. 

Generally, Hamelin1 for killing heavy (especially assassinate) and Hamelin2 for more scheme heavy (in my opinion). I do still think that they should have made the titles feel less similar in terms of play. They both still play as control masters while many other titles move masters into completely different categories.  

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It seems like they were wanting him to go into a card denial direction but then stopped half way. Forcing discards to charge and being able to stop card draw via blight. However nothing else on the card or within the keyword seems to lean into this mechanic at all.

It still seems like your doing the rat engine or blight nukes for the most part. However I do agree that Obey opens up some scheme options that may have been otherwise difficult for Hamelin1.

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