Friday, 26 December 2014

Those Left Behind - Molly, Leveticus, Von Schill

While the Rainbow Challenge is finished for 2014, there were still half a dozen Masters I had played but not written about. It felt a little unfair to ignore those Masters when all the others got a full article devoted to my experience with them, so I thought I’d at least play a bit of catch up and write about them here! Obviously I’m not going to go into the same detail as I did with the others, but I thought you’d at least like to know what I thought of the final 6 Masters I played in 2014!

NOTE: Because this wound up being a 3000 word post I decided to divide it into two articles. The first will be devoted to Molly, Leveticus and Von Schill while the second will address Jack Daw, Outcast Misaki and Hamelin. Part two should be available in the next day or two!

My Molly starter was originally a gift from my old Brisbane group when I moved to Perth - thanks guys!


First things first – I quite like the choice of crew types Molly has between her two limited upgrades – Forgotten Life and Forgotten Path. It makes me feel as though she’s got a lot of replayability as to the type of crew she can take. The reality might not be so great – they’re practically the same aside from one keyword (Spirits of Horrors), so how drastically her playstyle changes will probably depend on how different the spirit/horror models are from each other.

The game I played with Molly wound up being a three-way against a Ramos and Collodi crew. With Turf-war style mission I went for Molly with Yin, the Necrotic Machine, Bete Noire, a Rotten Belle and a Necropunk. That last minion was purely taken to achieve Deliver a Message, and it didn’t disappoint - Reactivating him with Imbue Vigor gave me an easy 2VP on turn 1. With my crew moving quickly up to a commanding position on the Turf War marker it didn’t take long for it to become a 2v1 match, with Molly attempting to hold off both crews over the course of the game. I eventually lost Molly herself but with the models she summoned and the VPs gathered, I still tied for the win at 5VP.

With both crews making use of hordes of cheap minions this seemed like the ideal situation for Molly’s unusual summoning style, and that certainly proved to be the case. The Punk Zombies summoned from The Ones Left Behind utterly devastated Collodi’s puppet swarm and while the Steam Arachnids were immune to the spells pulse damage, it was nevertheless effective in keeping Ramos at bay too.

 The summoned punk zombies take their toll on the Collodi and Ramos crews...

The Necrotic Machine didn’t do a lot in this game, although for a 2SS totem I wasn’t expecting much anyway! Even with Insignificant, as a minion it was able to help me hold my Turf War marker for a few turns, plus it got in the way of a flanking Joss (who was otherwise out to get Molly). Near the start of the game its (0) Brethren action was great of course. It required a crow to work (or a corpse, not that there’d be one around on turn 1), but the 4” push really helped get my crew up the field and into a commanding position to dominate the Turf War Marker.

One thing that became clear throughout the game was aside from the Necrotic Machine, Molly really didn’t have a use for her corpse counters. This almost seems a pity, since she can generate them very easily (Summoning a model away from the enemy will essentially create a corpse counter for her). For that reason I feel like it’s worth including some option for using all those corpses. Molly already has a lot of great (0) actions so Maniacal Laugh probably out, but Corpse Bloat and Spare Parts both have potential, especially since Molly’s likely to have plenty of corpses clumped together or around enemy models. Other corpse-utilising models might work too, although Molly’s likely to hog all the good crows in your hand.

While I’d acknowledge that this game went pretty well for Molly, I’m still undecided as to whether I really like Molly’s playstyle. She’s a summoner of course – something I’ve already said I’m not keen on. Her crew support and debuff attacks are great though, so I sort of feel like the jury is still out on Molly.

You can tell the crew's age by how vivid the pink is!


My game with Leveticus was against local Paul with his new McCabe crew, and it was an unmitigated bloodbath. Levi himself just destroyed one target after another while the Ashes and Dust bulldozed up a flank, killing everything in it’s path before planting the required scheme markers for Breakthrough. After the game, I was left with no doubt that Leveticus is a powerhouse and he’s certainly able to lay the smackdown on just about anything that gets in his reach. However that said, I’m still not sure I like him, and I think my reservations about him all come down to the Hollow Waifs.

The Hollow Waifs have a big influence on how Levi plays. Most obviously their existence is essential to keeping Levi alive, thanks to Eternal Shackles. But if you position them right it also gives him some excellent mobility, letting him unbury himself where his skills are needed the most. Levi can only summon one per turn so long as he sacrifices himself, so while he can always replace the Waif he unburies to at the end of a turn, he can’t replace the ones his opponent kills. From a balance perspective this makes Leveticus very killable, which is a refreshing change compared with how he tended to be in v1.5. Although just like Voldemort, it requires his enemies to go on a bit of a “quest” to kill the Waifs before tackling Levi proper.

The requirement for a 6SS model to bodyguard the Waifs definitely has a large influence on crew design. In one sense it’s not a big issue, since in most games you’ll want a few half-decent models to back Levi up anyway. However it does mean that you can’t hide a waif on a flank somewhere, and that your opponent can prevent Levi unburing next to one by killing or pushing the 6SS model out of range. It’s a weakness that can be mitigated, sure, but it’s a weakness nevertheless, and quite an obvious one at that.

 They might look like ass, but god damn they're nasty. 

I must admit that it’s something that makes me a little uncomfortable using Levi. With enough practice I’m sure I could mitigate the risks that those Waifs present, but I feel like a good enough opponent will have little trouble picking those Waifs off unless I play conservatively with them (which in turn limits Levi’s effectiveness). So overall then, Levi is good. But I don’t think his playstyle is one I enjoy.

Yes most of them are converted. No I can't help myself. ;)

Von Schill

Of all the Outcasts, Von Schill was the one I was least interested in. My Kirai game against local Chris, aka Kadeton (who was using Von Schill) did not improve my opinion of him either – he seemed like a Jack of all Trades, with rules that lacked a sense of purpose or clear strategy for him to adopt.

I ended up playing two games with Von Schill. In the first my fears seemed to be confirmed. Von Schill and his crew sort of flailed about uselessly, able to neutralise my opponents offensive abilities but otherwise ill-equipped to do much more than that. In my second game I veered away slightly from Von Schill’s in-theme crew and added some hard hitting elements like Bishop and Johan. Against Hoffman, the flexibility of Bishop in particular complemented Von Schill’s crew perfectly, especially with his push effect able to line up targets for Von Schill to finish off. Perhaps all the anti-construct, armour ignoring tricks made facing Hoffman somewhat easier than it should have been, but it still felt as though the additional hitting power gave Von Schill what he needed to work well. The Man himself even managed to look useful, Finish the Cur worked supremely well with a high-damage model around and Augmented jump kept him mobile, able to both chase down key targets and keeep himself out of danger.

The crew I used vs Hoffman - Gooo Bishop!

In the end, it seems to me that while Von Schill remains a Jack of Trades, he is first and foremost a crew Support Master, who works best while close to the bulk of his crew. Push effects like Bishops also help a lot, since it gives him a better chance to use his more damaging attack, the clockwork seeker, against enemy models.

As for the crews paint job, I’m kind of okay with it. I’m really happy with Von Schill (whom I converted with a top hat and massive-ass gun), Lazarus and more recently, Hannah, but the rest feel a little plain. The paint job itself is alright, although I think they’d benefit with a little more battle damage like I’ve done with my two “robot” Freikorps. 

My recently finished (and somewhat evil) Hannah. :)

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