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,