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McTavish + Marcus = <3 ?


Nephalumps
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There's been a fair amount of discussion about good minions for Marcus in Book 3, and there are definitely some standouts - the Slate Ridge Mauler is a fantastic "core" beast for him, the Spawn Mother is a model that dials up Silurid shenanigans, and the Arcane Effigy makes Alpha tricks potentially easier to pull off.

And while I read a little bit about McTavish, I was wholly unprepared for how good he is for Marcus. When I read his actual rules in the book, I just about keeled over. McTavish has a lot of the same benefits of a Freikorps Trapper, but with the additional benefit of a beast only Obey!

Quick breakdown on why McTavish is a great asset for Marcus:

- Hunting Rifle: Great range, decent damage, and a bonus versus Nightmares and Beasts. Good synergy with Marcus' ability to make enemy models into Beasts for extra damage, and it has Critical Strike to bump up the damage if you happen to flip/cheat another :rams. McTavish has a decent Cb with it and Hunter to keep his shots accurate, but he probably still won't be sniping out Perdita or Lilith. :P

- Guide: Gives Scout to friendly models in a pulse, same as the Trapper. I'm a big fan of this ability, because Marcus crew heavily relies on mobility, but he doesn't have a lot of models with inherent Scout to mitigate terrain. Having a model that can hand that out can do a lot to keep his crew mobile, and since its a (0) action, it isn't competing with any other "key" actions.

- Wrangle Critter: A non-Master, Beast/Vermin/Pig only Obey. You need a 7:masks+ to pull it off, but its potentially a huge range increase for any beast you can do it for. Combine that with Guide, and you have a psuedo-leap you can use for any beast. Huge, huge threat ranges for things like Rattlers and the Cerberus (who can make it potentially ridiculous with Leap, though that requires a fairly loaded hand.) Extending threat ranges on Shikome will also be nasty. As McTavish can only use it once himself, I think this will be most often used on one "big" beastie, versus "pack" beasts (Guild Hounds, Silurids, etc.)

- Reckless: McTavish doesn't have a ton of Wds, but being able to conditionally make him Fast allows for him to chip in good damage with a flurry of gator/gun attacks, or double move then Wrangle Critter for unpredictable charges. Much better to have it than not.

- Myranda synergy: With a little bit of set up, you can get two Wrangle Critters a turn. Malifaux Raptor to turn McTavish into a beast, then Myranda can copy Wrangle Critter and cast it herself! Plus, Myranda has a better casting value than McTavish, so she extends the range of :masks you can use to cook off the spell.

- Not Special Forces: The biggest downside to the Trapper is that it uses up your one Special Forces "slot," which means you can't take it and a Gunsmith or the new Arcane Effigy. McTavish is just a regular 'ole Outcast model, so you can take him with whatever you want!

- Decent backup brawler: While he doesn't have fantastic combat stats, McTavish is able to get a 3" melee reach with a Cg 7, with decent damage on his gator, so he can mix it up pretty well if he needs to. McTavish is kind of a "support" model, but he's still pretty dangerous on his own (especially with Reckless.)

- Reasonable cost: Including the "hiring out of faction" increase, McTavish is as much as the Trapper, so he's not a gouge into the SS wallet, especially considering what he's capable of.

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All things considered, I'm incredibly excited about McTavish and what he offers Marcus (and slightly regretful of my recent Trapper purchase. :P)

He's no panacea, and he's fairly card dependent for maximum output, but I think he'll be another huge inclusion for Marcus crews.

Any other thoughts/impressions/combos that people have noticed? I know the book isn't "full release" yet, but for those that have it, we can start brainstorming now in preparation for when everyone has access to McTavish.

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Damn good point. I was originally thinking of using Marcus to Companion the beast, but that still doesn't get around the lapse in activations between the extra charge (when your beast will be ass-out in front of the enemy crew, most likely,) and when the beast will get to activate.

Myranda definitely gets around that. I forgot she even has Companion, its been so long since I've used her!

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Damn good point. I was originally thinking of using Marcus to Companion the beast, but that still doesn't get around the lapse in activations between the extra charge (when your beast will be ass-out in front of the enemy crew, most likely,) and when the beast will get to activate.

Myranda definitely gets around that. I forgot she even has Companion, its been so long since I've used her!

McTavish and Myranda eat up a big chunk of your soulstones, though, especially since most beasts are so pricey. You'd be looking at two decent-sized beasts with them, or maybe three or four smaller ones.

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McTavish and Myranda eat up a big chunk of your soulstones, though, especially since most beasts are so pricey. You'd be looking at two decent-sized beasts with them, or maybe three or four smaller ones.

OTOH, both MT and Myranda are able to be effective in combat (as anyone who has ever transformed into a Myran-erberus and chomped heads can tell you), so it's not like they're ONLY there for the combo.

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McTavish and Myranda eat up a big chunk of your soulstones, though, especially since most beasts are so pricey. You'd be looking at two decent-sized beasts with them, or maybe three or four smaller ones.

I was thinking of that too - to really make use of McTavish, one would probably want to go with a "big beast" build, instead of lots of "little" beasts (which is probably the easier way to run Marcus.)

Its a riskier setup because, unless you're playing a bigger game, you're going to have a low model count. Once you get comfortable with how each piece works (and how they work together collectively,) you could have a pretty effective "big critter" configuration.

Which is pretty cool, because its a build that has been harder to run with Marcus in the past due to beasts being so ultra-reliant on the alpha strike, and "big" beasts being squishy for their points. With McTavish for ultra far alpha strikes (plus some shooting to help early/mid-game attrition,) and the Mauler for better mid/late game (which also works well w/Myranda,) its definitely a more doable option.

The biggest pain now is waiting for all this stuff to come out. ;)

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