Saturday, 8 February 2014

All Your Base are Belong to Neverdita

For day two of Cancon I was playing in my second tournament for the weekend. The format was roughly the same as day one – Single Faction with one henchman led game and two Master led. This time I was planning to take Guild as my Faction, and the first Guild Master to tick off my list for the Rainbow Challenge was Perdita. Funnily enough, my opponent Mike was also taking Perdita. In four years of playing Malifaux I’ve NEVER faced a mirror match so I was interested to see how it played out, with Mikes “Good” Perdita against my “Neverdita”.

Gotta love those purple bases. :)

The Paint Job

The inspiration for my Perdita crew originally came from Perdita’s new perspective on things after “The Event” (it’s in the fluff – look it up!) and in particular a comment attributed to Perdtia herself – “We’re all Monsters here”. The idea of a Neverborn version of Perdita really appealed, so I painted her crew up accordingly! Nino got a barrel extension (thanks Hats and Guns of Malifaux pack!) and Fransisco and Santiago were replaced with Franscesca (formerly Miss Sterious) and Santana, both limited edition plastic figures from Wyrd. Perdita was originally on a resin Victorian street base, but as I started painting the rest of the crew I transferred her over to the metal Wyrd Ghost Town inserts with purple translucent bases. The Brutal Effigy, having Neverborn origins and all, was a natural inclusion for the crew and when I get the chance I’ll be adding the Pale Rider and Avatar Perdita (who’s been sitting on my painting desk for months) as well.

The Advice

You know, there’s really not a lot of talk on Perdita around the internet. I’m guessing that means everyone thinks she’s pretty simple to use, or people are just taking more interest in the newer, flashier Masters! Still, here’s a few threads that might help;

It is worth mentioning, however, the recently started Tale of Malifaux Bloggers. I wasn't able to get in on it myself (the Rainbow Challenge doesn;t really give me a chance to concentrate on a single crew this year!), but there is at least one guy doing Perdita (Dave/sssk again!). So while it's early days, he should have a few things to say about Perdita as the Tale progresses.

Dave's Intro page;

...and the list of bloggers with their respective Masters;

The Game

40SS, Corner Deployment
Strategy: Turf War
- Murder Protege
- Plant Explosives
- Bodyguard
- Assassinate
- Line in the Sand

Looking back, this crew actually feels pretty small, That's 40SS games for you.

The List

Perdita (aka Neverdita)
-Trick Shooting
- Os Veo
- Badge of Office
- Wade In
Brutal Effigy
2x Pistolero de Latigos

For the most part I was just intent on sticking with the themed models for my Neverdita crew. So that meant no Austringers, Guild Hounds or other nonsense. In any case I wanted to avoid taking too few models in this crew, so rather than stick with just the original family I threw in the Brutal Effigy and two Pistolero de Latigos. In addition to being low-cost minions, all three offer some form of protection to the rest of the crew so I figured they’d prove useful when facing another high-damage Guild crew.
For upgrades, Fransisco got Wade in to help out in case he was picked for Murder Protégé, while Neverdita got Trick Shooting (to ignore cover), Os Veo (for Bullet Proof) and Badge of Office (for some Assasinate protection)

For schemes I chose Murder Protégé (announced, Judge) and Line in the Sand (announced).

I don't have a pic of my opponent's crew, so here's another crew I painted for a friend!

Opponent’s List

-Trick Shooting
- Os Veo
- Wade In
- Rapid Fire
Enslaved Nephilim

Mike’s list was broadly the same as mine, except he replaced Santiago with Judge for more melee power, and replaced the Wave 2 models with Nino, the Austringer and an Enslaved Nephilim.

For Schemes Mike chose Murder Protégé (Announced, my Fransisco) and Bodyguard (his Fransisco).

Neverdita rebased


I started the game hiding my Fransisco up behind a building moving a Pistolero and Santiago up a flank in preparation to plant Line in the Sand Schemes later on (and also outside LoS of Nino). Thanks to Relocate and a well positioned Pistolero, Neverdita managed to push up far enough to shoot and kill Mike’s Austringer (who’d advanced earlier in the turn). Mike responded by advancing and shooting Neverdita with Perdita, only to miss and receive a quick draw trigger for her efforts, flipping a Red Joker for damage! Other than that, both crews cautiously advanced, keenly aware of the other crews shooting potential.
In turn 2 Nino started out with a Rapid Fire on Neverdita, only to miss to a Quick Draw trigger with Neverdita, once again, flipping the Red Joker for damage and killing him! After that, the game became a bit of a meat grinder as Neverdita most of the rest of the game killing Judge and taking Fransisco below half wounds, while Mike worked his way through my models to try and deny me Turf War. Between the Pistoleroes, Santiago and the Brutal effigy I also planted more than enough scheme markers for Line in the Sand. Late in turn 4 I pulled Fransico out of his hiding spot to help secure Turf War for the last VP, however my positioning was not great so when Mike claimed initative in Turn 5, a companioned activation betwee his Perdita and Fransisco allowed him to take my Fransisco down. Still, it was too little, too late and I managed to win the game by something like 10-5.

I'm just gonna bombard you with Neverdita pics today...

Post-game Thoughts

One of the great things about the Perdita mirror match is that I got to see how Mike’s playstyle and crew choices compared to mine. Whereas I took a family-heavy crew to benefit from their inherent synergies, Mike instead took the Austringer and Judge, the latter in particular to add some extra melee punch to an otherwise shooty crew. Mike himself is a big fan of Nino, however I dropped him in favour of Santiago – a model that Mike actually isn’t keen on. Nino would have been great to deny scheme marker placement with his Spotter ability but I wanted Santiago for his ability to shoot into melee (helping to make up for my relative lack of melee models) and because he was tough enough to help claim turf war. Well, that was the theory at least. It turns out even Santiago could stand up to some serious shooting from Mike’s Perdita! Personally though, I’m happy with my choice of crew compared to Mikes, the reasons for which I’ll discuss in more detail below.

I initially considered myself very lucky to kill Nino so quickly with the Red Joker damage flip on Quick Draw. However when I think about it, Nino’s days were numbered the moment he decided to Rapid Fire at Perdita. Thanks to Quick Draw you just can’t use shooting attacks against Perdita. Between Quick draw and possibly bulletproof (if she’s taken the requisite upgrade) she’s just too dangerous in a gun fight. If Nino hadn’t shot Perdita, I still would have used Perdita to kill him off in my own activation, it just would have meant fewer AP spent on targeting Judge in the early turns.

I really love how Perdita herself now plays. Her shooting has always been something to fear – Both her Critical Strike and Witched Bullet upgrades ensure that every hit is going to deal a good chunk of damage and while she’s a little more vulnerable in melee (thanks to the lack of anti-Ml defences), that extra Ram gives her the kind of damage output that starts to rival Lady Justice. But I think the hidden gem on Perdita’s card is Relocate. This ability gives her some amazing mobility, so long as you’re smart with the placement of your family models. In this game I was able to use Relocate to push up to a Pistolero and kill Mike’s Austringer early on. I’ve heard people say that Perdita doesn’t really need a lot of family models in her crew but honestly, I think Relocate is all the reason you need to fill out on Family. With a network of cheap family minions, you can have her racing around the board from turn to turn, hunting down those targets you need dead. At least in theory that should also make her pretty damn good at protecting a flank from those cheap, fast objective grabbers like Silurid or Necropunks.

In this game at least, I didn’t get a lot of use out of Perdita’s actions other than her Peacebringer. Being a Zoraida player I know how good Obey can be, what with the granting extra attacks to your damage dealers or repositioning them to claim/deny objectives. But without the required mask it’s not an easy spell to cast, plus Perdita’s already a serious damage dealer herself so it’s tougher to justify spending that AP and mask to let someone else take a hit. It’s funny, Obey is a large part of what makes Zoraida as good as she is, but stick it on Perdita and it’s suddenly relegated to being a situational, if useful, option.
Other than that, Faster ‘n You seems the kind of action to use in Turn 1 if Perdita couldn’t get the drop on the enemy (again, Relocate is awesome for that!). Heroes Gamble has the potential to be great, ditching your remaining bad cards for something hopefully better. The chance to cycle through you deck like that is definitely good, but it’s also competing with Perdita’s (0) actions from her Trick Shooting upgrade…

Santiago/Santana. Such an awesome sculpt. 

Speaking of which, at the moment I’d consider Trick Shooting almost essential – cover is usually a decent way to mitigate ranged attacks so being able to ignore that with a (0) action is just amazing. The fact that it comes with the (0) True Mark action to ignore Armour and Incorporeal is a great bonus, and really improves her damage potrential against a wide variety of targets. In this game I chose Os Veo for the Bullet Proof (I knew I’d be facing Guild, after all), but together with Stubborn this actually becomes a very flexible upgrade. Ressers and Neverborn both feature Wp-based attacks fairly heavily, Gremlins tend to have alot of shooting and Outcasts are varied enough to make this a solid good choice against them too, so that’s already five out of seven factions in which Os Veo is probably worth taking. I wouldn’t say that both of these upgrades are auto-includes, but they definitely aren’t bad choices.
So that leaves the possible third upgrade. At least in this game, Badge of Office was a natural choice with Assassinate as a scheme although it does feel as though it might be unnecessary otherwise. Perdita was never in any real danger this time around (thanks to Bullet Proof), but at least in theory Perdita’s ranged playstyle and mobility *should* keep her safe from getting killed. Mind you I might consider it against Ressers, simply because the Decaying Aura upgrade is so damn good for assassinating Masters.
As for what else to take, the two remaining options I’d consider are Vengance Bullet. Giving a one-off damage bonus on Perdita’s gun seems like a good option, so if she’s playing a Strategy or Scheme that will require her to take down a Henchman or Master, this would be the logical choice. Aura Ancestral seems, well, okay. I’d take it against Neverborn (where she’ll really want to protect her crew against Wp-based attacks), but otherwise it feels like the most situational Perdita-specific upgrade.

Diestro is an upgrade Mike and I debated – there’s no doubt that having a model that can wade into melee and let your shooters blast the engaged models to pieces is amazing. But thus far the 3SS cost has kept me away for it. Still, Mike believed it was well worth the cost and in fact, he would have given it to Fransisco if he was willing to drop the Enslaved Nephilim. At least for now I remain unconvinced. If I want to shoot into melee I’ve got Santiago for that job and as above, Perdita’s no slouch in melee either. I don’t doubt that the negative flip against shooting it provides is powerful but again, it comes with a very steep cost!

My biggest complaint with the Pistolero de Latigo is that their name used to be so much easier to say

So the Family Enforcers/Henchman I took this game were Santiago and Fransisco. Unfortunately Santiago didn’t get much of a chance to shine - he really should have been advancing along side Perdita instead of skulking around the flanks and thinking about scheme markers. As the announced target for Murder Protégé, Fransisco didn’t really do much either and when he did, putting him flurry range of the other Fransisco was definitely not the smart thing to do! Anyway, despite their respective performances these games I don’t doubt their value. I’ve used them both in previous games (a henchman-led game, in fact) and they’ve proven themselves pretty useful. Santiago himself can put out some serious damage with Trigger Happy, and as the token melee guy Fransisco seems almost mandatory in the shooter-heavy Perdita crew. Unfortunately (and thanks in no small part to his impressive El Mayor buff) it also makes him a big target for enemy attacks. It’s why I think his Wade In Upgrade to boost his resilience is so important. Lead Lined Coat for Armour +1 might make him a little too expensive but if there’s one model I’d give it to, it’d be Fransisco.

I’ve really like the Pistolero de Latigos. For 5 soulstones you get a minion who directly supports your other Family members with a positive flip to Df, is okay in the damage department vs activated models and perhaps most importantly, are cheap enough to claim objectives and lay down scheme markers while the big boys do the killing. They’re also great targets for Perdita’s Relocate ability, or at least they were in my game! In future games with Perdita, I can see myself taking at least one Pistolero de Latigo quite often. They just offer too much to the crew to ignore.

Turns out Neverdita loves her some Brutal Effigy. :)

I’ve come to the conclusion that the Brutal Effigy is a great choice for Perdita. As the sort of master that seems to damage/kill models on a regular basis she gets a lot of use out of Fear not the Sword, plus the Effigy itself is a decent package in its own right. It’s a cheap, resilient minion with Finish the Job, making it great for placing scheme markers and making interacts on Perdita’s behalf. I’ll admit I never actually used it’s Chastiser attack, but it’s not a terrible use of its AP.

This blog post is already pretty long, but it feels wrong not to at least mention some of the other Family members and potential crew choices for Perdita. So in no particular order;
The mobility offered by the Enslaved Nephilim is solid gold – Mike got a lot of good use out of it in my game against him with So’mer, and the only reason I didn’t take it this game was because I felt I needed the Badge of Office more, which in hindsight was probably a mistake.
Papa Loco feels like the combination between a tactical nuclear missile and an area denial tool. However his ability to give positive damage flips to a friendly model makes you want to keep him near one of your own models. At least at first. ;) I can see him doing horrible things to the enemy if you can get him pushed up quickly (hello Enslaved Nephilim & Obey!)
I’d take Nino for his ability to deny Interact actions with Spotter, but only if he could get in a good position for it. Mike swore by the Hair Trigger for Nino but I remain unconvinced – I think I’d rather Focus-Strike with him.
People have said that the Austringer is always a good choice in a Guild crew, but I don’t think that’s usually the case for Perdita. Tricks related to Deliver Orders aside, she just doesn’t need another shooter.
I’ve barely even looked at Abuela, so I might leave that to someone else. ;)

Yep, I've painted three Papa Locos. It is NOT my favorite sculpt. :P

Final Impressions

In Malifaux v1.5 Perdita was one of my least favourite Masters. She shot things to hell and she could companion her entire crew to do the same all at once, but that was about the extent of it. It just felt pretty flat. Fortunately, M2E Perdita is a lot more interesting. When it comes down to it, she still does much the same thing. The Companion and shooting is still there, but now she and her crew offer a lot of direct synergy between family members and other friendly models, as well as more than a few movement tricks to get them around the table. And when it comes down to it, those synergies and tricks are what turns her from a boring Master to one with a lot of depth to her playstyle. So despite the fact that she still basically just shoots things, in the few games I’ve played with her I’ve found Perdita much more enjoyable to play.

Of course, the paint job I did for my Neverdita crew remains one of my favorites. So I have to admit that it plays no small role in her appeal for me!

Next on the list is McMourning, the last Master I used at the Cancon Tournament. After that it's Mei Feng and then the Lady Justice game I played last night. Then just maybe I'll have caught up on my blog posts by then!

Till next time,


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