Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Ten Rippling Thunder Fates

Well I may not post often these days but when I do, I end up writing lot. :P This article came to around 4500 words so yeah – prepare for a wall of text interspersed with pics of my proxy models. ;)

Rippling Fates is out and I thought I’d give a run-down of the new models and upgrades for my current Faction of choice – the Ten Thunders! Thus far I’ve had a few games with most of the models, so my thoughts below reflect what I are my initial impressions with them, based on early experience.

Be warned that this is written on the assumption that you have the Rippling Fates book in front of you. Most of the time I’ve not gone out of my way to describe specific stats or what each action/ability does (mainly because this blog post is long enough!). Nonetheless if you don’t have their rules on hand, you should still get an idea from reading this as to how these models play. Anyway, enough talk, on with the models!

As awesome as she looks, my proxy-Asami will become my new Chiaki just as soon as I’ve painted the official model.


As the new 10-Thunders Master, Asami probably warrants an article on her own. And once I get a few more games with her, I’m sure I’ll write one. :) But since we’re talking about the rest of the Ten Thunders faction in Wave 4 I think Asami deserves at least a brief look…

Asami is a summoning Master, and arguably the first of her kind in the Faction (Yan Lo doesn’t really count, since his summoning is entirely about bringing back hired Ancestors!). That said, thanks to the Flicker condition her summons are always temporary. In the few games I’ve played with her she’s capable of bringing out one, occasionally two models per turn depending on how many corpse or scrap markers are around to power up that Flicker condition. But bringing out models with Flicker +1 and no way to boost it (ie. they’ll die at the end of turn) just hasn’t been worth it in my experience. In practice, this means that in the absence of corpse/scrap markers I’ve usually only summoned Yokai or Jorogumo. The former starts on Flicker +2 at minimum and has ways to boost their own Flicker, while the latter are worth going to the effort of boosting their Flicker with Asami's totem, Amanjaku. Tengu, Obsidian Oni and Akaname might have their place as occasional summons (especially if you’ve got a few corpse/scrap markers handy), but I think in practice they’re the exception to the norm. As far as I’m concerned it’ll be Jorogumo or Yokai as Asami’s standard summons.

That said, I’ve heard talk about people wanting to embrace the limited lifespan of Asami’s summons and treating them like fire & forget missiles. I’m not convinced this is a worthwhile approach, but I guess time will tell whether it’ll be viable.

Either way Asami’s not going to be spamming summons like Nicodem or Ramos. So I’m not convinced she’ll be the go-to Master that everyone’s hoping for in Strategies like Interference or Reconnoiter. Fortunately, the lack of summoning spam is made up for by the quality of minions she can bring out (specifically, they’re summoned on full wounds!) and the support she provides. Wrath of the Oni gives friendly Oni (1) Charge actions (handy when those summoned models are Slow) and Oni’s Strength (Focus +2 on an Oni or Minion) can be thrown around to boost the damage of a friendly model or two. Asami herself is a little brittle (Df 7 only goes so far), but she’s got the potential to seriously hurt or outright kill models with her melee attack. She also has some great mobility, with various abilities and upgrades enabling her to teleport/push herself, or push other models around.

Asami’s biggest fundamental weakness is arguably her card dependence. Most of her actions have a moderate TN, her Df 7 is only good if you’re flipping well, and of course, she’s a card-hungry summoner. Having access to both Rush of Magic and her Nefarious Pact upgrade should help improve her control hand somewhat. Nonetheless, carefully managing Asami’s control hand is still going to be a significant factor in using her well.

He’s pretty obviously a Soul Porter, but at least for an Asami crew there’s no mistaking what he should be. ;)


There’s not a lot you can say about Amanjaku without also talking about how Asami plays. Basically though, he seems to be there almost entirely for increasing Flicker on summoned models - something that requires a 9 of any suit to cast. He’s got a melee attack and a suit-specific anti-shooting Aura but really, that’s not what you take him for.

I’m still undecided as to whether Amanjaku will be a consistent auto-include for Asami. At the moment I think he is, but it’s possible he’ll end up being more like Asami’s “Training Wheels” – good when you’re starting her, but ultimately unnecessary.

Lazy? Yes. Functional? Certainly. ;)

Ohaguro Bettari

As the Ten Thunder’s newest Henchmum, Ohaguro Bettari (henceforth known as Betty) brings some great options to the Ten Thunders. First and foremost, she’s quick! Being able to place herself next to summoned models and charge through ANY terrain and model, LoS or not, gives her gives her some great manoeuvrability. Asami or a Pathfinder can use newly summoned models to set up some unexpected charge angles, or even just get Betty out of trouble if she’s about to get pounded. There’s also her Ploughed Over trigger on her attack, which lets her push her current target aside and charge another model, much like the Mature Nephilim.

In terms of damage output, Betty’s melee attack only gets impressive on a severe damage flip. That’s not great  for a melee-oriented Henchmum …until you realise she can give herself an automatic flay trigger with The Flaying Song. Asami’s cheap focus with Oni’s Strength will also help with that, but what this all ultimately means is that if you really want to lay out the damage, you’ll need to put some resources into her. She does, however, have her Bird and Snake ability, an aura (AURA!) that prevents all enemy Wp or Df triggers. This is a game-changer for the Ten Thunders, and it makes Betty and her crew a serious threat against any model who relies on those triggers for survival (Arcanist Masters especially!).

Unfortunately resilience is not Betty’s strong suit. She’s a SS user with got a decent Df and Wp, and Eat your Fill from her Taste for Flesh upgrade can help out. But without anything else to mitigate damage she really needs to rely on her manoeuvrability to stay alive.

I’ve heard talk that Ohaguro Bettari might be best used as a flanking-type model. She’d probably do fine in such a role but personally, I feel that she’s more of a team player. She needs the help of her crew and control hand to keep her evasive and boost her damage. But in exchange she offers A LOT to the rest of her crew in terms of enhancing their lethality. Basically, I feel like she’ll be at her best when she’s got a few friendly models to work alongside.

More lazy proxy work but believe it or not, I did find myself needing more than three! I really should make a Puppet-Resser crew with all these guys. :)


“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.” – Tyrell, Bladerunner

Yokai are a minion that I’m very excited about! I suspect a lot of people are going to be turned off by Flicker and the limited life span it allows. But much like the Replicants in Blade Runner, they’re able to punch well above their weight over the short time that they’re alive.

Thanks to Ephermal Wariors granting a 3” place (=4” of movement) every time Flicker or Poison counts down, the Yokai are FAST. They move a minimum of 14” each turn, and potentially 18” if they use Corrupting Essence to Interact and burn another point of Flicker. Hell, stick Poison on them from someone like an Akaname and you’ll get yet another 3” place per turn, bringing their maximum movement to an incredible 22”.

In melee they’re a little fragile for their cost, but between Frenzied Charge (for positives to their charge attacks) and no less than 5 different triggers for a variety of useful effects they’ve got the potential to hit very hard for a 5SS model. Any of the triggers that increase their damage output also tend to cost Flicker, but they’ve also got triggers to drop a corpse (great for summoners!) or increase their own Flicker for a bit of extra longevity.

While I’ve had great success using them as scheme runners or generally just cheap expendable beaters, I think Yokai will really find their place with schemes that require you to interact with other models, like Cursed Object or Distract. Thanks to Corrupting Essence they’ll have no trouble tagging an enemy model with a (0) and then teleporting away (to potentially then remove any such condition on themselves). Plus you can time their Flicker condition to ensure that if/when the Yokai is tagged, they’ll lose Flicker and be sacrificed at the end of turn, before the opponent scores any VP for them!

…Now this guy I’m proud of. Much like my Queeg and Wandering Monk poxies, he might even stick around after the official models are out.

Terracotta Warrior
The Terracotta Warrior is almost perfectly suited to helping out Lucius, but since he’s not a Ten Thunders Master I’m going to ignore him. :) Fortunately, he’s also pretty great in his home faction.
There's basically three things that the Terracotta Warrior has to offer the Ten Thunders – protection for key minions and enforcers, the ability to swap upgrades around at will and a surprisingly meaty melee attack.

Mold of the Other is like handing out ablative armour to your Enforcers and Minions. Being able to effectively ignore a single hit (for the cost of a card from your hand, if you want to keep the Terracotta Warrior alive) can be incredibly useful. That’s especially true when you consider how powerful some of our minions/enforcers are and ESPECIALLY considering you decide whether to ignore the hit after seeing the damage flip! It’s a one use only condition, but the Terracotta Warrior can keep applying it to a new model each turn, even if the original target hasn’t yet spent his Ancient Protection!

There’s some great potential applications for the Terracotta Warrior’s ability to swap friendly upgrades around with Ancient Treasures. At its simplest it lets you customise your crew’s upgrades on the fly. Facing Pandora or Titania? Swap some of those Recalled Training upgrades for Servant of the Five Dragons. Smoke Grenades no longer needed? Exchange it for Recalled Training or Equality. It won’t work with our many 0-cost upgrades (sorry Samurai!), but there’s more than enough 1+ cost upgrades to find some value.

In terms of specific Masters, Brewmaster will get a lot of value out of Ancient Treasures simply because it lets him take Running Tab to hire Wesley and his other Gremlin Tri Chi, then swap it out for something that’s actually going to be useful in-game, like Misdirection. Jacob Lynch’s Ace in the Hole might not work with the Terracotta Warrior’s discarding (they go to the bottom of your deck, not the discard pile). However it does give Lynch the chance to swap his Limited upgrades around to switch the Hungering Darkness between killing (Endless Hunger) and rebirth (The Rising Sun). McCabe could also use this to swap his own treasure upgrades around as needed and Shenlong could do the same with his Limited "River" upgrades. Of note here is Sensei Yu, who with Promising Disciple can actually pick up whatever upgrade Shenlong swaps out with Ancient Treasures. That’s effectively a free upgrade for him every turn you swap something!

Finally, it’s worth taking note of the Terracotta Warrior’s Clay Fist. On the face of it it’s a pretty average attack with 1/3/5 damage, but the Ram trigger brings that up to a much more serious 3/5/7. The Terracotta warrior takes 2 damage in the process, but he need only spend a card from his control hand to prevent that. It's unlikely to win you games, but it's the kind of thing nobody will really expect from what's supposed to be more of a support model! 

I have a Bushido model that matches the art much better (he’s at least got the right hat). However I quite like my own take on Sun Quiang…

Sun Quiang

Sun Quiang is the Ten Thunder’s new all-round support model. He’s got some very easy healing, can place and remove scheme markers at will, removes corpse or scrap just as easily and has a great, if subtle array of debuffs to mess with the enemy crew and score/deny VPs. Despite initially being underwhelmed by his stats, after just one game with this guy I’ve started to see A LOT of potential. Hence why this guy gets an even bigger wall of text than the rest of the models I discuss here. ;)

The first thing you’ll notice about Sun is his healing. Between Absolute Sincerity and the Duality Trigger on his melee attack (with a 6” non-melee range, you’ll note), he’s quite capable of healing up multiple friendly models, which is all the more effective if you’ve taken a crew with lots of hard to kill or armour. The former also heals enemy models within the aura, but smart positioning and activation can minimise the benefit. In any case if they’re close enough to heal they’re also close enough to take a potential Wp duel for Slow from Thirteen Measures, so it’s not so bad.

Speaking of which, while most people will primarily see Sun Quiang as a healer, his control and debuff-type tricks are arguably much more valuable. In addition to Thirteen Measures, Sun Quiang has two melee triggers that will either grant them Adversary (making him very scary with Spirits like Izamu or a few Komainu to back him up), or place them 6” away. The latter might actually be the strongest trigger available to Sun Quiang – a 6” place has the potential to basically remove an enemy model from the action for a turn, placing them out of melee and/or out of sight while you deal with the rest of the crew. Or alternatively you can isolate an enemy model from the rest of the crew, removing potential synergies (screw you Lenny!) and/or making sure you can kill them dead. Then, of course, there’s the potential to deny VPs with the placement. You can throw a model away from Guard the Stash, for instance. Basically it’s a very effective (if suit dependent) placement effect, and placement effects are arguably one of the most powerful things you can do in Malifaux!

Then there’s also the “Peon aura” that Sun Quiang can give himself with Recitation of the Essential Formulae. This has no resist, and with the right schemes on the table it’s got some huge potential for scoring/denying VPs. For instance making an enemy model a peon prevents them from tagging your models with Exhaust their Forces or Catch and release, and as peons they’ll count as kills for Hunting Party, even if they’re also an Enforcer, Henchman or Master. That last part has me especially excited – there’s nothing quite like ruining your opponents attempts to deny that scheme by just irresistibly making the model you’re killing peons anyway! There’s also the potential to combine this with Sue’s The Man Comes Around trigger (ie. discard or die if you're a Totem or Peon) to auto-kill those peons. There might be more model-specific synergies, but I’m not yet aware of them.

For an old man trained in medicine, Sun Quiang's remarkably hard to hit...

The final aspect to Sun Quiang are his scheme marker tricks. The Cleanse trigger on his melee attack lets you remove corpse, scheme and scrap markers within 2” of the target and his (0) Study action can exchange a nearby corpse, scrap or scheme marker for a scheme marker of your own. When you consider he’s also got Don’t mind me to let him interact while engaged it shouldn’t be too hard to keep enemy scheme markers away from his vicinity while also placing markers of his own.

While not super-resilient, Sun’s Df 7 at least acts as a great deterrent for your opponent. Even if they’ve identified how disruptive he is, they’ll often prefer to target someone in your crew who’s easier to hit. Sun Quiang’s low mobility is offset somewhat by his “King of Medicine”. So long as he’s got cards to discard he should be able to push up to wherever models are getting damaged, which is pretty much where he wants to be anyway.

Sun Quiang’s main weakness is his card reliance. All of his actions have a moderate TN, you’ll want specific suits for the triggers on his melee attack and even King of Medicine will demand your low cards. I suspect there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to do everything you want with him, every turn, unless you flip well or dedicate a good chunk of your hand to powering his activation.
Overall though, Sun Quiang seems to like the kind of crew that tends to bunch together in the middle. He can't realistically flit around every turn and remain effective, but for the likes of Yan Lo in a strategy like Turf War (and preferably with Hunting Party and Search the Ruins in the scheme pool!), he should definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

He's a Work in Progress and he doesn’t match the art, but you get the idea…


So the Yasunori is *sort of* our version of the other Faction’s “Rider” models. Well, in so far as he’s a 12SS dude on a horse-thing with some solid resilience and excellent damage output. I’ll admit he’s the only Wave 4 10-T model I haven’t yet tried, but he definitely looks promising.

Compared to a Rider he’s generally more mobile (with Flight) but his resilience doesn’t scale with the turn number – arguably a good thing since you at least won’t be so reluctant to poke his head out in the early turns! With his Wind/Water/Earth/Fire Triggers you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting 4 attacks off on the charg - great considering the 3/4/5 damage output. His obey-style, (0)Kodoku action only adds to that – so long as you’ve got a decent minion handy (friendly or enemy) then you’re able to pull off a potential 5th attack in his activation. The Ram-specific Wrath of the Heavens Trigger it grants on that attack is crazy-good too. So long as your opponent has scored a few VP (and it’s likely they would have after turn 2) it can really ramp up the damage.

Yasunori has some card draw/manipulation in the form of Scales of the Heaven and Great Sage, and defensively Stubborn can limit his chances of being neutralised by a Wp-based debuff-style attack. But otherwise that’s all there is to Yasunori. He’s basically a very high damage beater. You’ll want a good minion to pair with him and some healing to counteract all the attacks that are likely to come his way, but otherwise he’s not a particularly complicated model!

Let’s face it – Pig Demon isn’t a huge stretch from Poo Demon. ;)


Woo! Poo Demons! As you might expect, Akaname is very much Brewmaster’s minion. His attacks allow him to throw Poison around at will, he can siphon Poison off friendly (ie. drunk) models with Filth Eater and then he can use that poison to place scheme, corpse or scrap markers with The Oni’s Gift. That last part makes him a worthwhile replacement to the Tengu, so long as he’s got poison to siphon off to keep placing those scheme markers! There’s also some potential with a Brewmaster/Toshiro crew, using the Akaname to drop scheme/corpse markers (he’ll need a Mask for the relevant trigger though) and summoning Komainu/Ashigaru as needed with Tosh.

Outside of Brewmaster, the Akaname’s going to be a major thorn in the side of Resser Masters and  especially McMourning’s crew. It’s a trivial matter for him to strip poison off other models and use it to dump a scheme marker, so long as you can make sure he starts within 6” of the victim (not hard with all the pushes Ten Thunders have!).

Compared with the Tengu, the Akaname has some better resilience and damage output. But combat potential isn't really why you take most 4SS models! So outside Brewmaster I don’t think he’s really going to be worth taking over other 4SS models with more specific roles, unless you can consistently feed him poison (or at least ruin McMourning’s day!). Fortunately there’s a few ways to do that – an Akaname should pair pretty well with the Fermented River Monk, and an easy way of dumping corpses or scrap everywhere can give you easy pushes and poison from Lick their Corpses (Mei Feng’s Emberling, Mechapig and Emissary come to mind). Beyond that, Akaname really does seem to be a minion who’s custom-made for Brewmaster.

The Seishin are magnetised, making this a pretty functional proxy!


Recipe for the Goryo: Take an Illuminated, swap the Brilliance synergy with Adversary synergy and Armor with Incorporeal.  Drop the healing in exchange for the ability to summon Seishin, add Fast whenever a nearby friendly dies and then swap the Scintilating Cloud attack with a ranged (0) attack that can add Adversary to the target. Ensure it ignores armour with melee attacks, Incubate and apply evenly to one (1) Yan Lo.  

That’s pretty much it. The Goryo is a functional clone of the already amazing Illuminated, but repurposed for Yan Lo. Like the Illuminated, he’s great in combat with the same Ml and Dg stats, but the raw damage potential offered by Brilliance repurposed to simply ignoring armour on all his attacks. Even without the consistent healing he remains quite tough thanks to Incorporeal

In short, the Goryo is the model you take with Yan Lo when you need a nice, chunky, minion-level killing machine. This is something I’m especially happy about since it gives Yan Lo the chance to take a more minion-heavy crew. That should help a lot when schemes like Public Demonstration are in play. They’ll also synergise really well with the other new Retainer, Sun Quiang, since it’s quite trivial for him to heal up some of the damage they lose from summoning the odd Seishin.

He’s nowhere close to matching the art, but he’s doing a good enough job while I build a more suitable replacement.;)

Woku Raider

As an Outcast-Last Blossom minion, the Wokou Raider is a new option for Misaki. I’ve never been a fan of taking Last Blossom models for the purpose of using the Smoke and Shadows Upgrade (it’s never been worth it for me). But I think it will make for a great addition to Miaski crews.

Stone for stone, the Wokou Raider is a pretty solid melee fighter. The positive on attack makes them pretty card efficient and they’ve got a good damage spread with the chance for Critical Strike. But they’re at their best when paired with another friendly melee model, where their Coordinated Raid trigger can give a nearby friendly model a free attack on the target.

Defensively, Combat Finesse (which prevents the opponent cheating melee attacks vs Df) can be a major deterrent to taking them out in favour of other models and together with Bulletproof, helps their average Df go a long way.

But I think what sets them apart from their main competition in a Misaki crew (ie. Lone Swordsman), is their scheme marker-related tricks. So long as they have a lowish tome on hand, their (0) New Horizon action lets them throw nearby scheme markers, friendly or enemy, a massive 6” anywhere they want. It’s an easy way to put a friendly scheme marker where you want, without the hassle of exposing your crew too badly by physically moving models up there. For instance it’s the kind of thing that makes schemes like Detonate the Charges almost trivial. I’ve also used one to throw a scheme marker up the board for Leave your Mark, without my Wokou Raider leaving the centreline.
Overall, I feel like the Wokou Raider is sort of a combination melee fighter/scheme runner for Misaki. Coordinated Raid discourages you from running up a flank on their own, but New Horizons should prove excellent at moving existing scheme markers into position for scoring VPs.

Just your typical, Death Contract-loving Misaki crew. ;)

The Upgrades

Death Contract

While I’m not quite convinced this will have value in most 10-T crews, as a “Discard or Die” effect this is practically an auto-include for Misaki. Our Assassination-happy Ninja Master loves anything that makes your opponent discard their cards, so Death Contract offers an easy way to encourage that.

Outside of Misaki, there’s probably some value in pairing Death Contract with Misdirection, for what I hope are obvious reasons!

Brewmaster's a strong believer in equality...or at least sharing his moonshine around until everyone's off their face...  


I’ve found Equality to be a great little upgrade. All three effects (draw a card, heal 2 dg or drop a scheme marker) have their uses but most importantly in my mind, it gives the Ten Thunders an upgrade that they’re not going to discard at the first opportunity.

We all know Recalled Training is amazing. But on a model without any other upgrades, once you use it they lose any possible synergies with upgrade-dependent actions like the Obsidian Oni’s heal or Shadow Emissary’s push & Fast. I used to take Smoke Grenades on one of my models when I wanted an upgrade that would stick around for the game, but now Equality has mostly taken its place.

For the same reasons, Equality is also another upgrade we can use instead of Recalled Training for the scheme Show of Force – something I’ve otherwise had trouble achieving compared to some of the other factions!

I don't have a Fuhatsu to show off, so here's some archers instead. :)

A Memory of Honor

Fuhatsu is the only model I don’t yet have for the Ten Thunders, and I’m not quite convinced this upgrade will change that. It’s nice to see that he’s no longer useless once engaged, but it really only addresses one half of what was wrong with him. His other issue is his inability to be pushed or moved by other models, and in a Faction that’s packed to the brim with push effects, that’s unforgivable. I still feel like an Earth Samurai or even Envy is the better choice over Fuhatsu. With the upgrade I might finally buy him and try him in a crew, but I don’t hold out hope for the poor guy.

This is my only Low River monk and honestly, he's the only one I'll ever need. ;)

The Peaceful Waters

I didn’t think the Low River Monk needed an upgrade. Being able to remove conditions for 4SS was enough for me, but the community decided otherwise. So here we are. Fortunately, The Peaceful Waters is a great upgrade. It basically adds Healing and placing scheme markers to the Low River Monk’s in-game roles, so there’s now even more reason to take one.

Until next time,


Sunday, 22 May 2016

An A-proxy-mate Replacement

Once again, it’s been an age since my last blog post. :( Hopefully I’ll get back to some regular posting at some point but until then, it’d be foolish of me to make promises!

One day, future generations will sing songs about this cat...

Anway, so what have I been up to in the past few months? Well last I spoke, my gamer ADD was in full effect and I was ready to give up on my Faction of choice at the time – Ten Thunders. Over January I decided to try out a few random Masters for my collection, swapping between Lucius and Perdita for a bit, then dabbling with Ressers. It was entertaining for a while, but before long I felt the urge to stick with a single faction again, even if only because I wanted to bring a Faction I was familiar with to Gencon this year! As it turned out, this led me back to the Ten Thunders, so yes – I’m back to playing with ninjas and samurai and other glorious Asian-themed stereotypes again!

So for this blog post I could wax lyrical about what I think of the Faction, my love of Samurai and how Misaki and Yan Lo are somehow still my favourite 10-T Masters. But instead, I thought I’d take a different tack and discuss something a little more hobby-related!

Misaki, shortly before she mauls face...

In addition to mauling innocent players in the face with Misaki, I’ve also been working away at filling out my model range to ensure I have every unit entry for the Ten Thunders. Of course even with Wyrd’s very fast release pace as of late there’s still a bunch of entries without an official model (especially from Book 3). So I’ve been forced to fill those gaps with proxies. Fortunately, conversions and proxies are something I love doing! So today I thought I might show some of those proxies off.

At least for today I’m leaving out the conversions I’ve done to official models, and the non 10-T models I’ve used for proxies. As usual this article is long enough as is, so perhaps that will be for another blog post.


Rail Golem
I’ve never been a fan of the official Rail Golem model. Perhaps I’ll one day figure out a way of converting it to become more to my liking but until then, this has been my proxy for him! A converted Khador Warjack - one of the few models I actually like from the Warmachine range. Dubbed the “Cake Golem”, this guy belongs to one of my few non-pink crews  - the Mei Feng Cake Crew.

From Left to Right: High River Monk, Sensei Yu, Shang, Shenlong, Lone Swords(wo)man and 2x Peasants

Shenlong & Friends
I bought these guys, all from the Bushido range, about two years ago when M2E book 2 originally came out at Gencon. Shenlong was apparently a long way off so I decided these would make for suitable proxies for his crew! As it turned out it was a full year (and shortly before Shenlong was officially released) until I finally got them all painted. My proxies for Sensei Yu, the Lone Swords(wo)man, the Fermented River monk and Shang all saw table time in other crews, but the rest never saw a single game before they were replaced with their official versions.

I almost forgot to include a pic of this fine fellow...

The only model still in use as a Malifaux proxy is my Fermented River Monk. At this stage, they're the only models I still need to paint for the 10-Thunders. So until that happens, this guy continues to see table time when I’m messing about with Brewmaster.

Master Queeg
You just have to love the Through the Breach character kit, right? :) Master Queeg was a necessary addition when I wanted to play McCabe, and at least from my one game with him, he didn't disappoint. Aesthetically I’m really happy with how this guy turned out, to the point that I may not even bother getting his official replacement when it comes out.

I recently finished painting my official Tengu models, but until then these were my proxies of choice. The tiny flying piglets were originally Night Terrors for my Dreamer crew (back when Dreamer could actually take them). Sadly M2E rendered them obsolete (I already have some perfectly fine official Night Terrors), so they sat in my case until I discovered a need for Tengu. Thematically they’re a little out of place with the rest of the faction. But as tiny winged Demons it wasn’t too hard for my opponents to remember what they are, especially when they tend to leave a trail of scheme markers behind them!

Shadow Emissary
Other Factions might have some easy options for official Emissary Proxies (ie. the old Avatar models), but the Ten Thunders remain pretty lacking in that regard. I know a lot of people have turned to the Bushido range for a suitable model. But for better or worse, I’m trying to stick with Wyrd models as much as possible. Aside from the Dawn Serpent, the availability of Wyrd Dragon-type models is pretty low, so I went for the only option available – Avatar Sonnia, sans Sonnia. It’s a chunky piece of metal and Resin, but it works pretty well – certainly nobody’s going to mistake it for anything else!

Wandering River Monk
I’ve always been a big fan of the humble Silurid, so you can imagine my excitement when the Ten Thunders got their own version! With almost exactly the same stats as their Neverborn counterparts, the natural proxy for them seemed pretty obvious…

The two models I made are basically a man in a Silurid suit (shh! don’t tell anyone!), and a genuine trained Silurid Monk. The latter is my favourite by far, to the point where I’ll probably not bother getting the official models if I can avoid it. :)

Komainu/Obsidian Oni
The Puppet Wars range has consistently been a great source of potential Malifaux proxies, and so this was where I turned when I needed to field some Komainu. The puppet Executioners are the chunkiest models available and fit quite well on a 40mm base, so they were quickly painted up and became my amazing, go-to minions for Yan Lo. :) It wasn’t long until I got the official Komainu models but rather than retire them, the puppet Executioners have found new life as proxies for Obsidian Oni. They’re a little less appropriate for what the Obsidian Oni are meant to be, but until I decide to go nuts and convert up some Samurai (or just wait for the sweet-ass models on their way), they do the job well enough.

The Bunraku really seems like more of a Collodi minion, but as a dual Faction 10-T model it seemed necessary to at least come up with a model for him. Puppet Vik seemed the logical (and easy choice) and even seems to match thematically, so that was a bonus. The paint scheme is a notable deviation from my usual Pink, but it matches my Mei Feng crew (like the Rail Golem, above) and as a construct that’s the one crew I’m most likely to use him with.

Tentacles make everything better...

For a long time I struggled with what I could use to proxy the Jorogumo. The Wyrd range is pretty low on Giant Spiders and my next best idea – converting up an Oiran, wasn’t really going to cut it for a Ht 3, 50mm based model. In the end, I’ve decided to forget about what they’re “supposed” to look like and go in a very different direction… I’m adding Teddy to the 10-Thunders. ;) More specifically I’m adding Miss Ery with heaps of creepy tendrils coming out of her, but with a decent paint job I think it will work. In terms of matching her with the rest of the Faction, having Puppet Executioners as my Obsidian Oni will help. And once the Jorogumo do officially come out I’ll be able to keep using this model as a Teddy for my Neverborn (because the 3 teddies I already have isn’t enough?).

Mali-Pony Proxies. Not 10-T related, I just like dragging them out. ;)

The Rest…
So between the above proxies and my existing collection (both old metal and new plastic) there’s still just a few models I need to find Proxies for. At least until Book 4, that list consists of the Mounted Guard, Mechanical Porkchop and Sparks. I’m not too fussed about not having the Mounted Guard or Sparks, but the Mechapig is another matter. I’d love to add one to my Mei Feng crew but unfortunately I’m pretty stuck on how to make one. At the moment I’m not really using Mei Feng so for now, I’m happy to leave it be.

Anyway, that’s it for now!


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

2015 – Rathnard’s Year of the Rage Quit…

So here’s the deal. I want to get back to regular updates on the blog but whether it’s real life, painting or other writing commitments, there’s always something that tends to take priority. So instead of delaying it even further, I’m just going to blurt out a blog post in one hour, add some pretty pics and post it up. :) So here we go…

Word Vomit...well, just imagine the rainbow is words...

2015 – The Year of the Rage Quit

So for those who’ve been following my exploits, 2015 started with a decision to focus on the one Malifaux Faction I’ve given the least attention to over the years – Resurrectionists. I won’t go into too much detail as to what I did or didn’t like about them, suffice to say I managed to get at least one game in with every Master bar Nicodem (still hate that guy) and then quit. Yes sir, there’s definitely reasons why I initially kept away from them, and those same reasons drove me away from them after just a few months of playing them on the table!

That’s not to say it was a total disaster – I got a better handle on some Masters I’d rarely played before, and there were still a few I quite enjoyed playing with (McMourning being the main one…Tara too if you ignore the fact that I prefer her as an Outcast!). Thanks to the “Tale of Bloggers” challenge last year, I also ended up building a sweet Bayou McMourning crew. It’s probably one of my favourite crews I’ve made and at some point I’d love to expand it with even more Gremlin/Resser kit bashes and conversions.

Arguably the best thing I did for Malifaux in 2015... :)

So with Ressers done with, I packed my undead minions away and decided on a new Faction – Ten Thunders. I lasted much longer with the Ten Thunders, but as of the end of 2015 I’ve now quit the Faction and moved on (more on that later). But as of last blog post this was still a thing that I’m doing, so let’s add another arbitrary heading and go from there…

A few of my most recent painted 10-T models - Lust and a proxied Master Queeg. 

Ninjas. Ninjas everywhere…       
For someone with just about every Malifaux model in the game, Ten Thunders seem like a logical choice to play. After all, the Masters draw from each and every Faction in the game, and their individual playstyles tend to reflect that variety. It also gave me a chance to play some Masters I’ve been dying to get on the table again, namely Misaki and Shenlong, as well as try some Masters I was less keen about (Yan Lo and Brewmaster). So how did it go? Let’s add some more headings and find out;

Ninja flipping to victory!


As I said in my blog post last year, Misaki was the Master I’d played and enjoyed as an Outcast. Switching her to 10-Thunders shifted her playstyle a little, but at least in my opinion, it was for the better. Ten Thunders have so many things that synergise very well with her (especially ways to strip the opponents hand!), so I quickly settled into a crew that worked incredibly well with her. In short, she remains my favourite Master in the Faction. :)

Yan Lo

The other Master I wrote an article on, the evolution of my attitude toward Yan Lo was a little like Rasputina in 2014. After my experience with Resser-Yan Lo I thought very little of him – a mediocre Master with a bag of minon level tricks. But after some thorough research and a few more games with him in the Ten Thunders, my opinion on him has changed dramatically. I talk about this in much more detail in my last blog post but in short, Yan Lo is awesome! At this stage he’s become my second-favourite Master in the Faction and if I went to a single-faction Tournament, Yan Lo and Misaki would be the firt two Masters I’d pack.

My brother took this photo (and a few others later). He's got a much better camera than mine!

Lucas McCabe        

Once I finally painted up my Warden I set about giving McCabe a few games, and I liked what I saw. While McCabe himself is somewhat fragile, his buffing-via-upgrades playstyle was really fun to mess around with. The Glowing Sabre alone means you don’t need to worry too much about taking hard-hitting minions, since you can just pass the Sabre around to turn whoever you want into a killing machine! Luna and the Guild Hounds were great for Reconnoiter of course, but their fragility means that outside of those games I’ll probably replace them with something else…like the simply amazing Kamaitachi. 

Also pictured: My proxied Shadow Emissary! :)

Austringers were also quickly dropped from my list, It’s not that they’re bad, just that McCabe doesn’t need the shooting and push effects they offer. Other than that, Master Queeg proved to be a very flexible Henchman – respectable in combat but surprisingly quick and great for helping to put down schemes with his “Welcome to Hell” action. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with how McCabe played. If anything, the only negative about him was his lower-than-usual resilience. Sure he’s got a horse to take the first few hits, but he’s still not that tough.

Lynch in Brilliance mode. I only wish I'd remembered to take a pic of him in 10x Ten Thunders mode! 

Jakob Lynch

Speaking of fragile Masters, we also have Jakob Lynch! I played a few games with him, but I think the easiest (and laziest) way to describe my feelings on him is to copy & paste a recent post I made about him on the Wyrd forums;

I think a Lynch crew can go in two different directions - bringing lots of models with discard effects or sticking with the Brilliance mechanic.

The Brilliance Mechanic is simple enough - Take a core of 2-3 Illuminated, supported by a Beckoner, a Depleted or two and possibly an Emissary. It's basically Lynch's in-theme crew. It will hit like a truck but is a little lacking in mobility (although the Emissary can help with that).

Going down the discard route allows you to take advantage of Lynch's recycling Ace mechanic to get maximum value out of models like the Ten Thunders Brother, Stitched, Terror Tot, Wastrel, Tengu, Lone Swordsman, Rail Workers and basically anyone with actions like Rapid Fire or Flurry. It lets Lynch take a much more varied crew, usually with a higher model count and almost certainly with more shooting and mobility.

Both approaches work well and while you can focus on one at the expense of the other, I feel that taking a mix is usually the best approach. Whether I focus on side over another usually comes down to whether I need to focus more on killing (Brilliance) or numbers/mobility (Discard).

So Lynch is basically a great enabler. He’ll either enable his Brilliance-focussed models to deal even more damage, or he’ll enable his models with Discard abilities to gain all the benefits without the negative of losing a Scard from their hand. Ten Thunders have a lot of the latter type of model (you could almost say it’s a theme of theirs…), but all the core models for a Brilliance crew is available to 10-T Lynch anyway. So he can very easily play both styles. The only two things I’ll add is that Samurai are great at fishing for Aces, and that a Lynch a crew with 10x Ten Thunders models was oddly appealing and not at all bad in practice! :)

Mei Feng, ready to kick ass and take names...if I can be bothered playing her. :P

Mei Feng

Of the Ten Thunders Masters I have painted (ie. everyone but Brewmaster) Mei Feng is the one I played least in 2015, with just one game under my belt. I’m not sure why that is, since on paper she seems pretty decent. Vent Steam is just amazing for protecting your own crew from Ca/Sh actions and adding Misdirection makes her even more of a kung-fu style melee brawler than she already is. 

I do love my precious Cake Golem!

In my game with her the latter was very frustrating for my opponent, as Mei Feng Misdirected and burnt soulstones to completely blunt the attacks from both Viktorias, before killing them herself. Anyway, for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint she just never called out to me, so she quickly fell out of favour to other Masters.

 Oh ShLong. I had such high hopes for you. :(


I played two games with Shenlong. In one my opponent forfeited early after a Samurai with fast and a (0) Focus action unleashed his Gatling Gun to take out a pile of Riflemen and Guild Hounds. In the second my opponent was taking Mei Feng, and I’d foolishly decided to go with Shenlong in a Reconnoiter strategy. From that game I quickly learnt that 1 – Shenlong much prefers his crew to stick close by and 2 – Mei Feng can beat the everliving crap out of Shenlong!

The last surviving model of my Shenlong crew...soon to be crushed between a Train on Legs and the Rail Golem...

My experiences with Shenlong didn’t leave me feeling great about him. He seems to like bunching up (a playstyle that I don’t particularly love) and aside from his buffing abilities, he’s really not much of a fighter. There’s also a lot of book-keeping with all the conditions Shenlong accumulates, which is one of the reasons I didn’t like Collodi either. Some day I’ll give him another try though. He feels a lot like Yan Lo back when I thought Yan Lo was crap, so I’m sure there’s something I’m missing about him.

Still no crew to show, so here's a replacement


The one Ten Thunders Master I’ve yet to play! For a long time I’ve been reluctant to put Brewie on the table. I’ve heard that he’s a pain to play against and boring to play with, plus his tendency to suck everone into his bubble of alcoholism sounds an awful like the kind of Master who likes his crew to bunch up. But a few months back I took another look at him, and I now feel like he might not be so boring after all. He’s still got his vortex of doing nothing. But in Ten Thunders he can at least combine that with a solid lineup of models who can both benefit from the debuffs he sticks on enemy models and go out alone if the crew needs to spread out. As of Black Friday I also now, finally, have the Brewmaster box, so once I get around to painting them I’ll undoubtedly give him a try.

I never liked the Warden sculpt... until I converted up my Death-Warden. :)

The end of the Thunder? (aka Adventures in ADD…)

So this brings me to the end of the year and wouldn’t you know it, I was already thinking about what I could play instead of the Ten Thunders! To be honest I never stop thinking about what I’d rather play. In fact, a week doesn’t go by without me latching onto a new Master or Faction and thinking “I could switch to these guys!”. I think what it comes down to is that I like to keep trying new things. It’s not enough for me to keep playing the same crew, the same tactics, for more than a few games at a time. Once I’ve tried a certain crew build or Master, I feel the need to move onto another.

This...is absolutely part of my problem...

So what should I do now? To be honest I’m not sure. I could switch to a new faction, but if my record last year is anything to go by I doubt I could keep that up for more than a few months. Part the problem is that I’m going to Gencon this year, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what crews I’d want to bring!

For the time being though, I’ve come up with a new plan for 2016. But with my hour almost up (yes, I wrote this in an hour…) you’ll have to wait until next week before I talk about it. That is, if my plan lasts the week!

Until next time,