Saturday, 17 May 2014

Catchup Week - Neverborn Lynch

My aim with the Rainbow Challenge this year has been threefold – Play all the masters (going well), Paint lots of crews (falling behind, but not a disaster yet) and keep up to date with this blog. That last part has been….um, a bit of a challenge, made all the worse by my insistence that I write 2000+ words every time I post something up!

At this stage I’ve played no less than 6 Masters for which I haven’t yet written anything for my Blog! This simply won’t do, so to recitfy this I thought I’d make this a bit of a Catchup week. So for the next 6 days I’m going to post up one article each day for each Master I still need to write about – Lucius, Pandora, Collodi, Lynch, Rasputina and Kaeris! In order to make this feasible I’m restricting myself to no more than one hour of writing per article. Well, hopefully not much more than an hour at least. :P So here goes…

The happiest Tyrant you'll ever meet.

The Master

Much like the other Wave 1 Neverborn Masters, I’ve already played Jakob Lynch and wrote an article on my thoughts about him late last year. Back then I used him as Ten-Thunders at a small local tournament, but only in name. The only non-Darkened models I took was 1-2 Rail Workers (who are great with Lynch, BTW) and maybe the recalled Training upgrade on the Hungering Darkness on one game.

For this game I instead stuck with him as Neverborn, and played once again against Chris (last seen tackling my Pandora Crew with the Viktorias). In this game he went with Hamelin. The last time I faced Chris with Hamelin he flattened my Tara crew in very short order. Sure Tara’s a tough Master to use, but I was still somewhat nervous about once again facing this Master.

Honestly, I'm as surprised as you are that the yellow didn't suck...

The Paint Job

Fate deck bases are some of the easiest and most effective basing schemes I’ve done for my crews. Lynch was my second attempt at this (the first being Dreamer) and together with the purple transparent bases and the yellow/purple colour scheme, I think they turned out quite nicely!

Today's table. 

The Game

40SS, Standard Deployment
Strategy: Squatters Rights
- Line in the Sand
- Bodyguard
- Assassinate
- Cursed Object
- Power Ritual

Not a single Illuminated in sight.

The List

Jakob Lynch
- Endless Hunger
- Woke up with a Hand
Hungering Darkness
- Useless Duplications
Mr Graves
Terror Tot

I’ve already used Jakob with a “Brilliance focused” crew build, so I thought it would be interesting to try a different kind of list. I jotted down a few different possible iterations and what I ended up with is actually a kind of Mimic crew, with Graves as the muscle, the Beckoner for movement tricks and a Doppelganger to help achieve the interact-hungry Squatters Rights Strategy. Then there was the Waldgeist to hold ground and the always handy Terror Tot to grab unguarded markers.

For schemes I went with Bodyguard and Assassinate. With so many peons, Hamelins crew seems naturally good at foiling Cursed Object, plus the rat kings can really mess with enemy scheme markers so that really just left the two kill-focused schemes. Not ideal, but I figured why not? ;)

40 SS Hamelin. It starts off so "small".

The Result

Chris and I agreed on 40SS for a relatively quick game. However it turned into a really cerebral affair, with both of us wrestling for VPs from both the Strategy and our respective schemes.

In the end, the Hungering Darkness skirted past Hamelin (who was apparently too happy to leave him be) to tackle Hanns and ensure I achieved Bodyguard, while the Terror Tot tied up a chunk of Hamelins crew on the flank. The Waldgeist held the centre for a few turns, but was taken down by Nix and Hamelin thanks to obsene levels of Blight. The other flank, however, was where all the action happened. There, a struggle played out for Squatters Rights markers between Hamelin and his various rats/rat catchers against Lynch, the Beckoner, the Doppelganger and Graves. In the end Hamelin fell to the combined might of Graves and a Graves Lookalike (yay Doppelganger!), which earned me enough VPs to win the game.

Never bring a gun to a Monster fight.

Post-game Thoughts

As I said above, I was interested to see whether Jakob Lynch and the Hungering Darkness could do well without the usual complement of Illuminated and other Brilliance-focused models. And as it turned out, he didn’t disappoint! The Hungering Darkness more or less went it alone in this game and while having some other models around to hand out Brilliance could have helped, he ultimately didn’t need it to ensure he remained a sizable threat. If nothing else, he was threatening enough for Chris to want to avoid him for the game, which worked to my favour since it allowed me to take out Hanns (whom I thought might be a Bodyguard target…it was actually Nix) and achieve Bodyguard for myself.

Jakob Lynch gets some great benefits from having Brilliance on enemy models, especially when taken with his Woke up with a Hand upgrade. But with Pay for Blood and his Pistol he’s good enough at putting it on models himself, so I never felt as though he was unnecessarily restricted by the lack of other Brilliance models around. He still hits like a truck when he wants to and it was thanks in no small part to him that I eventually brought down Hamelin. 

Mr Graves was a model I really enjoyed using. Armour, Hard to Kill and Black Blood makes him tough as nails, he does some great damage with Fence Post With the Hungering Darkness going AWOL for most of the game, Mr Graves provided my crew with the melee power it needed, and he kicked arse and took more than a few names in the process! But most importantly, Mr Graves has an excellent push effect in the form of “Show ya the Door”. If you want to know what I think of push effects, you need go no further than the article I wrote in Wyrd Chronicles 10. Suffice to say that they’re awesome, and I used it to good effect to push both friendly and enemy models into better positions.

 So much sleeze right there

The Beckoner was taken mostly for Lure, and she didn’t disappoint. Early in the game she pulled enemy models out of position and into danger, and later on she was able to pull the likes of Jakob Lynch out of danger and Graves into danger. She even managed to use Sales Pitch to kill a pair of Stolen next to Lynch before he activated to take some Blight. To be honest none of this was a surprise. As above, I’ve found Lure and other push effects to be invaluable in any games I’ve used them!

This is arguably the first time I’ve really appreciated having a Doppelganger in my crew. As per my original Pandora blog post I’ve always been a little wary of her. She just seemed so resource intensive and I’ve often had trouble justifying her over other models with better defined roles, like an Illuminated. This game, however was the first time I really started seeing the value in her flexibility. For the most part she paired up with Graves, mimicking Show ya the Door to push herself and another model (often Graves) into better positions or borrowing his Fence Post to deal serious damage to Hamelin and co. There wasn’t a single turn in which I felt the Doppelganger was wasted space. Adding Useless Duplications was a great trick too. It took me a bit to explain (and understand) exactly how it worked with Chris, but it certainly gave both her and Graves a measure of protection throughout the game, which was quite nice.

Just in case you're considering alternative schemes...apologies to the original owner, I never caught his name when I took the pic of his crew.

One of the key characteristics of the Neverborn Masters is that they all tend to have a lot of specific synergy with other models. For instance Pandora has her Woes, Dreamer has his Nightmares and Collodi has his Puppets. For some this synergy feels like an essential part of their playstyle. For instance I can’t imagine playing a Collodi or Dreamer game without a sizable complement of Puppets or Nightmares, respectively. But other Neverborn Masters have much less reliance on their model synergies – Lilith (Nephilim) and Zoraida (Swamp Fiends) being key examples.

As I’ve already said in my Dreamer and Collodi posts, I’m a little wary of Masters that feel tied to taking certain model types to work well. So by extension, I’m quite glad that Jakob Lynch is not as reliant on Brilliance as I thought he might be! In this particular game I went heavy on the Mimics, but I can imagine he’d actually slot nicely into most other crew builds too, be they Neverborn or Ten Thunders.

Anyway, I think I’ve said enough. Suffice to say that I’ve quite enjoyed playing Jakob Lynch. :)

As usual, I’m happy to field any questions or comments. :)

Until next time,



  1. Great post. I play Lynch in Ten Thunders, where he is great too. Not only do Rail Workers go nicely with him but all the other options with a 'discard a card to do X' ability like Thunder Archers, Wastrels, Torakage etc. I'm in total agreement that he can be played very effectively without Brilliance; all it does is dial up the damage for the most part which is often overkill.

    I love the paint work too.

    1. Thanks...Bovine? ;)

      If I had more 10-T models I'd love to give him a try in that faction - as you say, there's definitely alot of potential in there!