Jump to content

Nico and Mindless Zombies


Recommended Posts

The prevailing wisdom on the forums seems to be that you're not supposed to kill your own models for corpse counters. That it takes too much time and in the current Malifaux world, speed is king and Ressers need to be running full tilt for the first couple of turns to stand a chance against the faster crews.

Now, this is all fine for everyone else but Nico kinda needs those Mindlesses. Without them, he is the squishiest Master and since the only way of reliably getting corpse counters is from your own forces, this poses a sort of an impasse.

Now, I used to think that getting four dogs and a Datsue-Ba is the way to go about getting those Mindless Zombies. The first turn the dogs maul one another in a circle around the Datsue-Ba, which gives you a very good activation advantage. Then Datsue-Ba, depending on your hand, either Harvests them all or Weighs their sins creating a couple of Gaki (or even Onryo) and a good amount of corpse counters. Nico raises the four corpses as Mindlesses and the whole thing slows you down only minimally (in that the summoned Spirits are only Slow and Datsue-Ba can even try to guide herself so she won't be left too far behind).

But apparently this is the wrong way of going about things. I'm interested in knowing what the right way is, so I turn to the collective wisdom here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to be fine for corpse counters with Mortimer. Exhume is reliable enough to have at least one corpse counter by turn 2's end. However I haven't been using Mindless Zombies for a while, Reanimator is too tempting.

A Grave Spirit attached to Nicodem should add significantly to his defence if you're willing to go that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to be fine for corpse counters with Mortimer. Exhume is reliable enough to have at least one corpse counter by turn 2's end. However I haven't been using Mindless Zombies for a while, Reanimator is too tempting.

A Grave Spirit attached to Nicodem should add significantly to his defence if you're willing to go that way.

My perspective might be a bit skewed in that I've been playing against the Dreamer a lot lately, but even with the Gravespirit I feel that Nico is very squishy without a couple of MZs around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prevailing "Wisdoms" are all based on the metagame of their environments.

IMO, with the avatar, I AUTOMATICALLY kill 3 dogs and arise them turn one.

Does this slow me down? Well, slowing nicodem down is hard to notice. Burning 6 soulstones that you are just going to kill does slow you down. You are also slowing down whatever you use to kill the dogs with their AP spent on that.

So, to me, its simply a question of HOW MUCH you slow yourself. No getting around the 6SS for the 3 dogs. But this dog-killer can be an important choice. The three best that you are ever likely to have are Sebastian, Punk Zombie and Rafkin. Sebastion and Punk pulses go against defense of the models in the pulse, so there is always the chance that you could have a number of flips that need to be cheated. So, for me Rafkin is the ideal dog killer because you just have to deal with 1 attack and then make sure that you blast template the poison. (And hit Rafkin to as he can have poison tokens) He can then use his second action to get body parts from the coming arise and reanimation. And he can use his (0) to heal himself the wound he took from his own blast.

So, you SHOULD come out of turn 1 with body parts and poison counters on him...

Now if only I could make him more useful to me the rest of the game he would be auto-include with Nicodem.

As far as including both Rafkin and Mortimer... Thats a lot of points IMO and it has not worked well for me. Nicodem wants as close to 8SS as it is and to burn 14 of the remaining SS on a corpse factory means that you have not much doing anything for you the first few turns meaning that you are VERY VERY slow.

Now, does that matter if you have shared claim jump with bodyguard and holdout? Probably not. But if you have any intention of stopping your opponents schemes that may be on his side of the board, you have little chance.

So, as it ALWAYS does in Malifaux, the strategy and schemes are the #1 consideration as to whether your list is "fast" or "too slow".

My name is Gruesome, and I ALWAYS kill dogs turn 1 with Nicodem... :)

Edited by Gruesome
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, to me, its simply a question of HOW MUCH you slow yourself. No getting around the 6SS for the 3 dogs. But this dog-killer can be an important choice. The three best that you are ever likely to have are Sebastian, Punk Zombie and Rafkin. Sebastion and Punk pulses go against defense of the models in the pulse, so there is always the chance that you could have a number of flips that need to be cheated. So, for me Rafkin is the ideal dog killer because you just have to deal with 1 attack and then make sure that you blast template the poison. (And hit Rafkin to as he can have poison tokens) He can then use his second action to get body parts from the coming arise and reanimation. And he can use his (0) to heal himself the wound he took from his own blast.

Why isn't Datsue-Ba on the list? She can turn some of those dogs into something more useful (depending on your hand - in the ideal case you might end up with four Gaki/Onryo, though that needs a pretty amazing hand). Is there some downside I'm not seeing to using her?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why isn't Datsue-Ba on the list? She can turn some of those dogs into something more useful (depending on your hand - in the ideal case you might end up with four Gaki/Onryo, though that needs a pretty amazing hand). Is there some downside I'm not seeing to using her?

Well. I have tried her twice and both times my game was glacial slow. I thought there would be this awesome wave of gaki and onryo coming from slaughtered MZ that aNico churned out. Instead, it was slower and Nicodem could not manifest early because he was too busy trying to keep me alive in general. I think that her ability to hit all dogs surrounding her with her (2), I think, might make her a good dog killer. I would have to try more.

Two games are not a valid test though, so by all means, play with it. I was speaking from my experience and for me she did not work out yet.

I have been mostly cheating on Nico anyway lately with McMourning and aSeamus. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There really is no easy way to do it without making your crew really slow. Mortimer helps with Fresh Meat and Exhume but like most Resser models they are too suit dependent. You could use a Dead Rider to Mounted Combat and one shot a dog and have Rafkin poison another. That is 21ss to get 2 corpse counters for MZ's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my take on the whole killing your own models. I've seen neverborn and ress are the only ones that do this. I could be wrong. But a great way to stop that is to take Bete Noir. I had this proven to my oppentent. He was neverborn witn a triangle of Blackblood shaman, the Lu's(male and female. I don't want to get in trouble for what i really call them) and 2 desperate mercs. The BBS started off by killing one of the desperate mercs, then I brought forth Bete with drawn to death. So first turn i had bete on the board 1st turn and on the other side of the board with a target friendly enviroment. It made me giggle. So I know is I'm facing res or neverborn I'm taking Bete(I know it's sort of meta gaming but I don't care.)

That is my two cents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm usually outspoken against killing own models, but that is only in the turn 1. Both in Lilith crew and in Nicodem crew I have nothing against killing own models in later turns, as needed. The models one typically brings for their bodies - Canine Remains, Desperate Mercenaries etc. tend to be very useful for the first 2-3 turns of the game, so why kill them immediately? A DM in Lilith crew brings early game ranged attacks and can provide some cover fire for Tots as they advance towards objectives. Dogs are fast enough to grab an objective or Treasure Counter and drag it a bit before they have to go... if you're lucky your opponent will kill them for you and save you some APs (and the counters will already be where you need them, as long as they don't have capacity to destroy the counters).

I have 2 guidelines I follow very losely:

1. Opportunistic killing - there's no need to spend ton of SS on a model only because it can kill your own models fast. If you kill as you advance with your spare AP, any minion can do it.

2. Mortimer's Corpse Counters are usually enough for the first Mindless Zombie or two - and you can place them forward on Nicodem's path, so that he moves first and then gets the MZ up.

The later is problematic against all the crews that can attack turn 1, so there's need for some creative deployment and adaptive tactics, but even then I hardly ever raise more than 2 MZs immediately.

Nicodem needs them for defense, but he sacrifices them only on hits - that means a MZ goes down only when the attack is strong enough to get through the Resist/Defense flips and beats my cheat/SS (if I want to use them).

A lot is luck dependant in this game, but in general, when the opponent is making an attack that strong, he cheats himself and uses an SS on the top of that. I can negate it with a single MZ. How many more cards will he have to conduct an attack of the same power? Maybe my opponents aren't as aggressive as elsewhere, but usally it means they target more imminent threats in these early turns (Dead Rider for example) and Nicodem ends up not needing more than 1-2 MZs.

After all he's still a master with Soulstones and Healing flips (not to mention his crew tends to have more healing available than anyone else in the game) and a solid Wd pool to soak in some of the early damage.

Edited by Q'iq'el
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you do not intend to use Nicodem's avatar, then I can understand not trying to get three MZ up on the first turn.

All my comments about killing your dogs revolve entirely around getting that requirement out of the way, while also giving Nicodem some needed defense and allowing him to "full time" Bolster from turn two until he chooses to manifest.

Not taking advantage of Bolster every opportunity is a mistake, IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not taking advantage of Bolster every opportunity is a mistake, IMO.

Agree with that completely, but at the same time there are times when Bolster can be skipped. I'm trying to be adaptive about it. Turn 3 is probably a bit late, but turn 2, against many crews, is still OK - so moving first and casting Arise 2 times (1 for Mortimer's Corpse Counter in turn 1, 2nd time for the turn 2 Mortimer's counter + eventual kills) is also quite feasible.

That allows Nicodem to move 12" in the initial turns and get considerably better position for the rest of the game. His crew can move even further out and possibly secure several objectives. It simply wouldn't be possible if they spend turn 1 on killing own models and rising Mindlsess Zombies.

Then if you actually plan to kill stuff with Decay, to meet that requirement too, you'll get MZs from these casts too. Doesn't count for the other requirement, but it does increase the amount of MZs you can get (again, not from all crews).

Obviously Nicodem's avatar does change quite a bit in the entire setup, but I don't have enough experience with it to speak definitively. Since it is faster, you can probably afford not to spend all the APs on Walk in the initial turns. Since it does require MZs to manifest and to accelerate later on, it probably makes sense to kill own dogs in turn 1 and get as many as possible. But if you manifest him early, you lose ability to replenish your ranks with utility models and have to rely on MZs and Punk Zombies for the rest of the game. That may not be the perfect solution in every Encounter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I try to almost never walk Nico unless he is aNico.

I almost always have a rotten belle in my list whose job is to move him and occasionally lure an enemy.

I will also use Dead Rider to drag Nico 10 inches somewhere if necessary.

And Fresh Meat, of course.

For me, using Nicodem AP on 3 inch walks is as bad as the 6SS of dogs that are killed turn 1.

For me, if he is likely to be using a lot of AP walking in a game, I'd rather have killed 3 dogs turn 1 and then used (all) to manifest turn 2. After that, AP used on movement are not a waste as his base walk is 4 inches and with some MZ around, he really starts motoring.

Relying on crows in hand for Mortimer has burned me. Heck, I have started with TWO dogs instead of three and not been able to cast exhume until turn 3, when my crew really needed bolster.

I understand that killing the dogs is seems wasteful, but:

1. Its Guaranteed 3 MZ turn 1 to keep Nico safe or to use as turn 1 summon.

2. You still activate each before they die so that you win "activation" order and see what your opponent is doing before being forced to move your more substantive models.

3. Free up the rest of the turns for Bolsters if needed.

4. If you still took Mortimer and can successfully exhume turn 1, you can leave a dog alive if you want for corpse retrieval or bete noir delivery, etc. You could also exhume for the 4th counter and drop a turn one Rogue Necro if you want.

I am not suggesting that with Bolster that I will never Arise again after turn 1 as sometimes I still do if it could pull in 2-3 MZ for me, but what I like about the turn 1 guarantee is having manifest in my back pocket for the optimal time as of turn 2.

Turn ONE if you bring a Nurse... (Which I have not tried, but would be interested in giving a whirl)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use Belles and Dead Rider too... but there is very little Nicodem can do in turn 1 other than walk and Arise. Sure, he could reanimate some minions from the killed dogs or Mortimer's Counter, but then he won't have MZs out of them.

Besides, if you want a minion rather than a MZ, it's almost always better to pick up the counter and reanimate directly into melee with the opponent (so the Slow doesn't affect the game that much, the opponent is tied up in combat immediately and cannot use ranged attacks to weaken the minion).

There are 6-12" of movement to get on the top of the lures and Dead Rider to position Nicodem in the best possible spot for the game, so that the opponent cannot ignore him and has to fight on his terms. How is that a waste of APs? In the game where movement wins and loses the game, 3" of Walk can be more powerful than Rigor Mortis or Decay. Especially in the early turns where you won't be casting these spells anyway.

I think the problem with the type of analysis where you rank the cost-efficiency of every ability and decide some are useless is that every now and then you will completely miss an obvious opportunity to advance your goals, only because you'd have to use a very inefficient ability to do it. Inefficient abilities are not useless - sometimes it is a penalty attached to the model strong in different areas, sometimes it is because the ability is extremely powerful and the cost is there to discourage spamming (not that common in Malifaux I think). Either way, I think it is better to use whatever little movement Nicodem has to get the positioning right, than to spend these APs on Reanimating early and slowing down the entire crew (because some models will get killed rather than do anything, some will be spending APs on the killing, some (Nicodem most likely) will spend AP on summoning, and some will get summoned Slow, so they won't do much).

Obviously the Avatar changes the game here quite a bit, but if you don't take it, then Nicodem gets less and less chance to move as the game progresses (spells are needed more, the models which add to his movement die, opponent threatens too many positions).

Sure, Nicodem's Walk is terrible. It still wins the games if you grab good position with it. And you don't need to Walk more than necessary.

Coincidently, this approach is the reason why I still value Molly so much, when using non-avatar Nico crew. I play her almost every game now. She adds to this initial movement making it quite decent, she improves Mortimer's Corpse Counter generation rate well enough to make the Canine Remains unnecessary (though there are no SS to save here as she costs more than the Dogs anyway) and she brings in a worthy ability or two herself. The only problem I have is that at 35SS I cannot fit Bête in the crew.

Edited by Q'iq'el
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fair enough.

I do actually walk a bit turn 1, I suppose.

I also do not typically summon turn 1 unless I have Rafkin and want to finish getting him a stockpile of body parts from the arise and the summon. I prefer leaving them as MZ for protection and if I do wind up summoning before Manifest it is usually on top of an enemy model or objective.

Played him 3 days ago and funnily enough I could not even spare an action to manifest until the automatic turn 6, let alone consider walking anywhere. I managed to have LadyJ and Judge within 10 inches and basically spent 3AP an activation (Along with ALL my cards and stones) to keep them paralyzed while my other models won the game.

They were paralyzed the last 3 turns of the game. His only movement was a lure from a double lure from a belle and the final turn manifest where I got the equivalent of a 50MM base closer to ladyJ, which let me drop two punk zombies on his head. :)

As far as what a waste of AP's is, if you are going to frame the question like "If by taking a 3 inch movement puts Nicodem in the perfect place to win the game, then how is that a wasted AP?"

Well, then, OF COURSE its not wasted.

But, I would put it different. I would say that anytime I can arrange for all 3 of his actions to be casting actions because of whatever other arrangements I have made with models and positions, then that's better. You'd no doubt agree, so, not really sure that there is an argument here.

For me, it always comes back around to whether I want a guaranteed manifest requirement and three MZ coming out of turn 1, and the answer, thus far, is yes, I *ALWAYS* want that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thing about forums is, don't take everything the masses say as cannon. Let your own games and local meta determine what is powerfull. This isn't Magic where netdecking is the norm if you want to compete. You can takes the winning Viks list to a game with the exact strats and schemes and against the same crew, and the game will turn out completely differently.

I usually agree with not killing your own models. But that does seem the most reliable way for rezzers to get counters. Then again, don't rely on counters. Make a few with nico first turn for protection, them move out. Go against the grain and take a few voltures. Those damn things kept my VS paralyzed for 3 turns the last game I played against Nico.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to kill my dogs right away, then stopped for a while because dogs actually do quite a bit of damage for 2 points, plus they have rabies and give the penalty to defense. Sending a horde of dogs over and being offensive with them, then just letting your opponent do the work of killing them can really be a good way to go.

Recently though, I was reminded of why I used to kill my own dogs early. My local Neverborn opponent likes to kill Rezzer masters on the first turn, and he is good at it. The last way he did it was by using lilith to transpose a dog and a buffed up Nekemia, who promptly killed Nicodem and all the dogs around him despite his 8 SS.

So I was reminded that against alpha strike crews, mostly Neverborn, I pretty much have to make mindless Zombies or certain players will just kill Nicodem first turn.

---------- Post added at 12:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:09 PM ----------

I should add that Nekema can still pull this off with Mindless zombies, so you have to be really careful how you place them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vs. rezzers, you stand the risk of not getting the counters yourself.

And against the cursed Guild, LadyJ in particular, but anyone that can include an Exorcist, they may get destroyed.

I think there are very good arguments for not killing your own dogs, though. They are great when bolstered and a lucky shot with triggered Rabies is money.

Were it not for my desire to have Avatar ready ASAP, I would seldom do it and if someone is NOT running the Avatar, I would say that McMourning is the only rezzer master that I would still regularly chop up dogs on turn 1 with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is we don't have any reliable way to generate corpse counters in the first few turns, other than killing our own models. It really is sort of unfair when a model like the Weaver Widow can just pop out corpse counters without relying on :crows...in hopes to summon a Teddy. However, I think with some crafty positioning you can get away with not having MZ's turn 1 or 2, especially in turn 1.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vs. rezzers, you stand the risk of not getting the counters yourself.

And against the cursed Guild, LadyJ in particular, but anyone that can include an Exorcist, they may get destroyed.

I think there are very good arguments for not killing your own dogs, though. They are great when bolstered and a lucky shot with triggered Rabies is money.

Were it not for my desire to have Avatar ready ASAP, I would seldom do it and if someone is NOT running the Avatar, I would say that McMourning is the only rezzer master that I would still regularly chop up dogs on turn 1 with.

I still dont get why anybody fears the Exorcist. I've faced it many times with rezzers and never had a problem with it. Wk3...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen neverborn and ress are the only ones that do this.

There is a master in every faction that benefits from killing its own stuff. For instance Sonnia Violates her Desperate Mercenaries, Ramon Scraps out the large Steampunk Arachnid, Lilith Grows her tots on the blood of the D Mercs, Resers... well you know, and Levi recycles himself as well as almost everything else on the board. In Malifaux sometimes you just have to kill your own S***.

Anyway for whats its worth I still like dragging Mortimer around and having him pop out corpses.

Edited by Twisted Metal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like to preface anything tactic based I say with this; "these are my opinions formed from my experiences"

I don't like Mortimer. He is 7 stones and I rarely feel like he made up those points. When I play Nicodem without the avatar I don't take dogs, and I dont kill my own stuff. I don't like slowing down my crew down to kill my own stuff, and honestly if you take the time to kill your own guys then you are in some way slowing yourself down.

When I play Nico, I don't tool a crew for him. I tool the crew to the mission. Some Belles, Crookedmen, and usually the Deadrider and Grave spirit are a strong Core, along with speedy guy for objectives or hitters for kill missions.

When I take the Avatar I do take some Dogs, but they aren't there just to be killed. Your opponent will handle that if you let him. Use them to lead your attack and do some small damage, but get your opponent out of position. They will die and then you cna make some Zombies.

I agree that Speed is king, which is why your can't sit around in your DZ waiting to kill your own models.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information