Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Catchup Week - Pandora

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 Master
I guess I should start by pointing out that I’ve talked about Pandora in great detail before, back when I was focusing on the Wave 1 Neverborn last year. She was my first Master in Malifaux and while I quickly moved onto Zoraida after realising how unfun she was at the time, I liked her enough in Wave 2 to actually paint an entirely new crew for her!

Anyway, for this game I was playing against Chris (Kadeton on the Wyrd Forums) with his Viktorias crew.

The Paint Job
Like I said above, this is the second version of my Pandora crew and I’m definitely happy with how it turned out. If I get back to playing her regularly I’ll probably need to add some more puppet versions of models she’d work with, like the Insidious Madness, Poltergeist, Lilitu and Barbie (yes, Barbaros…think about it. ;) ), but for now this is all I’ve got!

Todays table, this time part way through the game. 

The Game
45SS, Standard Deployment
Strategy: Stake a Claim
- Line in the Sand
- Breakthrough
- Deliver a Message
- Frame for Murder
- Protect Territory

As the Joker Strategy, Stake a Claim is not something you see often. It IS really fun, although you do want to take a crew that’s capable of achieving the strategy – (2) Interacts are not a walk in the park!

Effectiveness aside, that Hooded Rider is easily the coolest of the four. ;) 

The List (45SS Stake a Claim)
- Fugue State
- Depression
- Voices
2x Sorrows
2x Silurid
Hooded Rider
Primordial Magic

A depressingly small list, but I was insistent on trying the Hooded Rider so between him, Silurids for Stake a Claim and Sorrows for Pandora, there wasn’t a lot of space left in the crew!

With so many interact-based objectives in this game I figured Fugue State (for the Nullify attack) would be worth the investment, then I added Depression for the damage potential it gives the Sorrows thanks to the Wp-based Melancholy attack. Finaly, Voices was there because I wanted to paralyse stuff, plus I forgot how vulnerable to attacks Pandora can be if you’re not careful. ;)

Chris's crew for the evening

The Result
Chris’s Viks crew basically consisted of the Viks themselves, Bishop, and three Ronin. The turning point of the game was when Chris decided to burn Ash Vik forward and take out the Hooded Rider in Turn 1 (which gave me my frame for Murder Scheme). My response was to surround, Paralyse and kill her with Pandy and the Sorrows, although Pandora herself nearly died from the counterattack by Bishop (who left his flank specifically to take her out) and Sword Vik. Using the Sorrows and a Silurid to run interference, I managed to get Pandora out of danger and help my second Silurid plant markers to achieve both Breakthough and Stake a Claim to seal the win. The remnants of Chris’s crew (I can’t remember how many, if any, Ronin I killed) struggled to achieve Protect Territory and Breakthrough, on account of Pandora and the Primordial Magic having made them Insignificant earlier in the game. :)

The Sorrows cover Pandora's escape, before being cut down very quickly by Sword Vik.

Post-game Thoughts
Probably my biggest lesson for Pandora from this game is that she’s VERY killable. She came very close to getting wiped out in this game, mainly because I forgot I needed to succeed on a Wp duel to push from away with Fading Memory. With Wp 7 it’s not usually hard to so, but against the high Ml Viks that was a real problem. It definitely reminded me how well the combination of The Box Opens (for Terrifying) and Cry for Me (for the negative twist to all Wp duels) can protect Pandora. So even though Paralyzing models with Voices was nice, once again I missed not having The Box Opens.

The other thing – Incite is awesome! I found in this game that by using Incite on an activated, relatively unimportant model (like a flank-Ronin, as per this game), I could force that model to activate first in the next turn and effectively guarantee I’ll activate Pandora to escape/kill/generally just be a pain before my opponent can respond. And that’s regardless of whether I win initiative!

Other than that, Pandora and her Sorrows performed about how I expected them to in this game. Massed Wp duels, especially when you can layer multiple Misery auras over a target, will kill things very quickly! On that note, it’s worth pointing out that positioning for the Sorrows is key. On one turn, having two Sorrows in range of Ash Vik guaranteed her demise, but it also meant that next turn they were out of range of Sword Vik and Bishop. Thanks to the lack of Sorrow support Pandora’s killing ability just wasn’t going to see her through either models activation, so she had no choice but to flee.

Pandora’s tendency to function as an area denial tool never came into this game, mainly because Chris chose to charge headlong into the danger. That’s something that can work really well with the Viks (even if it’s often a gamble) and it’s Chris’s preferred style of play anyway, so no surprises there. ;)

Sadly, the Hooded Rider didn’t get much of a chance to shine, although as it turned out he did make a great Frame for Murder target! I’m assuming it’s mostly because of how insanely tough he can get in the late game, so Chris felt it was necessary to take it out as soon as possible. It was an expensive model to lose in turn 1, but it did put Ash Vik out of position, which allowed me to finish her off myself. Regardless of that, I feel like the Hooded Rider doesn’t quite feel as good as the other Riders. I don’t want to go into detail here, but his (0) actions in particular don’t feel quite as game-changing as what some of the other Riders can do (especially the Mechanical). Basically if I played this game again, I would gladly replace the Rider with something, anything, else.

So of the two Silurid I took, one of them held up Sword Vik for a turn (or at least enough AP to keep her fully wailing on Pandy) while the other slipped by the main brawl in the centre and helped me claim both Stake a Claim and Breakthrough. In retrospect I’m not sure I should have taken two. A terror Tot would have been just as good (better?) at holding up Sword Vik and really, I didn’t need both to achieve the objectives. My reason for taking two was for redundancy but really, I think I could have achieved the same by replacing one with a Tot or Insidious Madness.

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

Until next time,


No comments:

Post a Comment