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ToMB Month 1, Part 1: Steam Good, Brass Bad

3 Mar

I’m having a short break from playing Malifaux following Smogcon since we’ve been playing Malifaux every week since we started, and it is good to get a break from it. That being said, I’m still trying to get some painting done and last weekend I made some progress.

Steam Arachnids

IMAG0333

Fairly basic paint job here but I think they look decent enough. They were undercoated with Army Painter Gun Metal spray. Then, the bases were washed with Vallejo Rust, the spiders were washed with GW Nuln Oil and then washed with GW Ironbreaker to lighten them back up. I wasn’t sure what to do with the blue lights on the arachnids themselves – it is a pretty small detail and I’m not sure my eyesight and hands are up to the challenge of focusing on painting it well.

Brass Arachnid

No picture here because I think it needs revisiting. It was sprayed metal, then I put a blue ink on the pedestal and rust on the spider. I don’t think the blue ink worked well on the pedestal and spider looks a bit plastic. So I’ll revisit these again this coming weekend. I have a spare pedestal to test some paint schemes.

Not much to report other than that, no gaming in so far this month for stated reasons. Next week I’m hoping to get some work done on Howard Langston and revisiting the Brass Arachnid, and if I have time perhaps Joss and Ramos himself.

On an aside, I’ve also been painting some warjacks. Just working on the bases.

IMAG0339

These were a really fun change of pace after painting so many undead humanoid models the last few months! Sadly I’ve run out of warjacks to paint. 😦

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ToMB Month 0, Part 3: Over or Under Analysis?

15 Feb

First of all bases came in yesterday, so I can finally put all my models on bases.

msuIt isn’t entirely clear since they are not painted, but the bases look like pure clockwork, like the inside of a watch. This isn’t ‘realistic’, but I thought it’d make the finished models have their own flavour if they are on these very steampunk looking bases rather than sand or grass. They were purchased over ebay from http://www.foundationsofwar.co.uk/ – it took maybe a week or two for them to be delivered, and they definitely needed cleaning after I got them (they also smelt quite strong, so I’m guessing they might’ve been freshly made, not knowing anything about resin production!).

Alas I won’t get to paint them over next week since any free time for painting will be spent painting more models for Smogcon (which I can never get to the end of! I’ll be painting models for Smogcon long after the damn con!). However I’m really looking forward to doing so; painting metal monsters will be such a pleasant change after doing various forms of zombies, which my painting skill level struggles with.

But on to analysis – there’s an awful lot to think about with a new crew (and a new faction), so I’m going to go through the theory step by step. This will help me understand the crew better before going into my first game.

First up, a quick analysis of what I have already. I’ll go through each model in terms of Defensive, Ranged, Melee, Movement, Control and Support abilities, before going through the upgrades.

Ramos

art-ramos

Defensive: Has an okay amount of wounds and Armour +2, which is useful, plus WP6 which is quite good. However a lack of Hard/Impossible to Wound or Hard to Kill, which I’m used to my masters having, makes me feel a bit nervous. DF4 is also a bit low. However, his Repulsion trigger would be very useful for escaping charges, and whilst the trigger isn’t automatic it should be easy to soulstone in. I think so long as I pull him out of dodge when charged by particularly fearsome foes, he should be okay. Opportunist is a nice extra boost to health recovery, especially as Ramos has useful means of killing his own robots.

Ranged: His Electrical Fire attack doesn’t randomise targets and hits for a respectable 2/3/4 ignoring armour. That’s not bad in itself. Uncontrolled Detonation looks like mobile Corpse Bloat, and forcing DF duels instead of a WP duels. I’m not entirely convinced that sacrificing models I want handling schemes is all that good an idea, plus that’s one less potential scrap marker on the table and it won’t trigger Opportunist as that requires a kill. There are bound to be situations when that is useful, though. Plus, as I learnt with Corpse Bloat, it is always a good scare tactic.

Melee: Just one action here, Clockwork Fist. 1” engagement range, MI5 which is respectable, very wild damage of 1/2/7. Extreme damage is rare enough that I won’t bank on it unless I’m using Focus. Situational, but then melee isn’t why you play Ramos.

Movement: He has a slow Walk but his AP0 attack Magnetism lets him push 6” towards a target Construct. I can see this working well in conjunction with Opportunist and Summon the Swarm – Magnetize towards an injured Arachnid, killing the Arachnid and healing Ramos, then summoning MORE Arachnids straight afterwards. I don’t see him being very good at scheme running, though.

Control: Nope, other than the threats of the described powers I don’t think he has much board control shenanigans.

Support: Naturally summoning this is Ramos’s strongest suit. For 1AP, he can summon up to three Arachnids upon just one scrap marker; the more Arachnids summoned the harder the cast (from only needing a 5 of tomes for 1, 8 for 2 and 11 for 3), and they take one wound per arachnid summoned minus armour when they do. That seems like a good deal, only needing 1 scrap marker to make three Arachnids, even if they would be one half health.

Overall Ramos looks powerful but not necessarily as powerful as his reputation might suggest. He seems slightly tricky to kill but no worse than some other masters I’ve seen. His ranged combat abilities are respectable. Whilst he is a slow walker, Magnetism could prove rather useful to get him to places, or out of places! Summoning is his main strength, and combined with his upgrades that push him more into the group-buffer territory, I can see him being very similar to Nico in playstyle.

Joss

art-joss

Defensive: Armour +2, Hard to Kill, 9 Wounds, can use soulstones. Sounds good enough to me, even if his Df is only 5. WP is 6, which is pretty good.

Ranged: Arc Blast is an average enough attack doing 2/2/4. Not a lynchpin power but could find use if there’s a low wound target I can quickly turn into a corprse marker out of range.

Melee: Arc Axe is MI6 and does 3/4/4, ignoring Armour, Hard to Wound and Hard to Kill and ignores DF triggers. That sounds fantastic. Pneumatic Fist does 5/8/10 but doesn’t have the ignores and costs 2AP, so I’m less excited about that. For an additional crow it could cause Paralysis though. Overall Arc Axe looks more like a staple, but with the right setup a hard hitting Pneumatic Fist attack could prove a real problem. I can imagine one-shotting a Viktoria if Joss is Fast, Focuses and then does extreme damage; leaving no room for damage reduction unless a red joker is hit.

Movement: No tricks but WK5 is okay.

Control: Paralysis on Pneumatic Fist is the only option Joss has.

Support: Nothing.

Ramos’s number one bodyguard; like most henchmen, Joss has some obvious synergy with his associaed master, in particular his ability Creative Salvage, which drops an additional scrap marker whenever he kills a target. How I’m expecting Joss to work is Joss will head forward, be a difficult foe to take down whilst taking plenty of foes down himself, and producing plenty of scrap markers in the process. Whilst he is taking the lead, Ramos will clean up and produce Arachnids to either handle schemes and objectives, or ultimately become Arachnid Swarms to add more offense. Overall Joss looks like a key player in any Ramos list, and his hitting power probably makes him desirable in other Arcanist lists too!

 Howard Langston

art-howard

Defensive: Armour +1 is less exciting than the Armour +2 given to Ramos and Joss, but he has a sizable 11 wounds. However being an Enforcer, and not having Hard to Kill, makes him less sturdy than Joss in my opinion. The nice addition of Steam Cloud, which gives soft cover to him and everyone in 4”, will be useful during early turns where I expect to take fire from ranged types. Terrifying (Living) 12 is a high number, but obviously will only be effective against certain crews. Again, WP of 6, which is very good. Ramos only hires strong-willed individuals apparently.

Ranged: Does not exist.

Melee: Can Flurry which is always good, and his single attack Executioner Claws is MI7 and does a heavy 4/5/6. Rams will cause a Decapitate that is also useful. Pretty much a melee machine!

Movement: Walk of 5 AND has Nimble so can move pretty damn quick for such a big guy. That makes him useful for schemes in a pinch, but more importantly lets him move in and THEN Flurry; that’s very handy!

Control: Just his Terrifying; otherwise not much.

Support: Providing some cover is useful.

At 12ss Howard Langston is incredibly expensive, whether he is actually worth that high cost is definitely a big question. He does a devastating amount of damage and even works quite well as an over-priced scheme runner when he isn’t engaged. How I’d use him is as a flanker for Joss, perhaps blocking LOS paths to Ramos and providing soft cover. We’ll see if this high priced beatstick is worth the cost.

Brass Arachnid

art-brassarachnid

Defensive: Armour +1, DF 6; a low WP which could be an issue, and poor wounds. This model might spend a lot of time hiding.

Ranged: Nope

Melee: Buzzsaw is a weak MI4, 1/3/3. I’m not expecting this to be in combat unless I’m desperate.

Movement: Only WK4, no tricks to speak of.

Control: Nope

Support: Brass Arachnid may as well be called ‘Reactivate Bot 9000’. Stoke lets me reactivate a construct, and Rewire lets me do that without needing the right suit. I still need a 10 or more to do this though.

Overall the Brass Arachnid is a bit disappointing, especially considering how creepy and terrifying the model is. However being able to reactivate Joss or Howard is incredibly valuable – both of those models are worth at least 2ss per activation, so if the Brass Arachnid can get at least 2 Stokes in a game, it has earned its SS back. At the very worst, it is a mobile scrap marker ready to be turned into more Steam Arachnids.

Steam Arachnid

art-arachnids

Defensive: Exactly as Brass Arachnid; because the Steam Arachnids can be summoned in the need to hide them is less; creating more scrap markers just adds more resources to Ramos. What the Steam Arachnid does have over the Brass Arachnid is it does have Evasive, protecting it from damage caused by pulse effects (which itself can produce)

Ranged: Nope

Melee: Iron Claw is similar to Buzz Saw, but for an extra tomb I can overheat the Arachnid and sacrifice it, causing models in 2” to take 2 damage. This is a pulse, so other Steam Arachnids are not affected.

Movement: WK5; okay. Does have Unimpeded so can run through severe terrain without any trouble.

Control: Nope

Support: Latch On lowers the DF by 1 of any enemy model in base contact with, so there is the potential to assist Howard/Joss should they not be needed elsewhere. In addition, 3 Arachnids can combine together for 1AP and become a Swarm. However, for month 1 I won’t have any swarms, so I’m ignoring this for now.

At only 4ss, and the possibility for Ramos to mass produce them, Arachnids are pretty much the building blocks of a successful strategy. Joss and Howard might be dealing the damage, but the Arachnids will be needed to offer support through lowering defences, adding additional models and running schemes.

General Upgrades

Imbued Protection (Pass)
Neither Ramos, Joss or Howard are at a loss for defensive strength and at the high price of 2ss, whilst this upgrade would have benefit giving an additional +1DF it doesn’t seem like the benefits are good enough to warrant a slot or the price.

Imbued Energies (High Consideration)
A one-off use of Fast is pretty good for when Howard or Joss need to really hit hard, and giving 4 cards when the model is killed is rather nice too. At only 1ss seems worth taking. Imaine the possibilities of a Howard suddenly getting Fast, then sprinting 10″ across the board and THEN flurrying! Imbued Energies giving me 4 cards if the model is killed is just a bonus on top.

The Philosopher’s Stone (Low Consideration)
I’m not too sure on the Echo of Souls ability that the Stone upgrades have, but Moment of Insight looks vaguely useful for when Ramos doesn’t have a good hand. Worth thinking about, but I’m not terribly convinced.

Arcane Reservoir (High Consideration)
2ss is a lot but drawing 7 cards per turn sounds incredibly good and worth the cost, especially as I’m wanting a lot of high Tomes cards.

Recharge Soulstone (Moderate Consideration)
Gives me a soulstone when the model kills a living target of 4SS or more. As it only works with living models this is of situational use, and wouldn’t be worth taking when fighting Rezzers, nor against some Neverborn crews. However it might work well for Joss who I expect to be in the thick of it a lot.

Ramos Upgrades

Field Generator (Low Consideration)
1AP for +1 flip to DF duels within 6″ of Ramos, Pulse. Seems rather useful but quite costly when compared to Nicodem’s similar Necrotic King upgrade, which does more for his crew than this does. I suspect I won’t be using this early on, but once I’ve gotten a better idea as to how Ramos’s crew fares it would be worth considering further.

Combat Mechanic (Moderate Consideration)
Accomplice is always good to have, healing is good to have as well especially with the low target number. Fairly costly though, and I think there are upgrades of higher priority.

Electric Summoning (Pass)
Without an Electrical Creation model, this isn’t worth considering yet.

Under Pressure (High Consideration)
Counterspell will greatly enhance Ramos’s defensive abilities, especially against annoying abilities like Lure. Overdrive is a nice bonus on top of that giving +1 flip to MI duels, and since (for now) everything I’m fielding is a construct everything will benefit. Also this is an abliity not an action, so always on unlike Field Generator. Worth 2ss.

Other Upgrades

Open Current (High Consideration)
A 0AP action that has the chane to give a negative flip to DF duels should a TN15 WP duel be failed to all non-constructs in 5″. Obviously less useful against construct crews like Arcanist Mei Feng or even against a Flesh Construct-heavy Rezzer crew, but otherwise this sounds utterly devastating. A Joss who is affected by Ramos’s Overdrive, is fast from discarding Imbued Energies and then hitting targets who may not be able to cheat could make him extremely dangerous.

Bleeding Edge Tech (Moderate Consideration)
New Research, givin Regen to all models in 8″, is obviously a very nice boon that will benefit all my models. Disruption Field is a 0AP action that makes models in 3″ have a -1 flip to CA actions. This could be good in some instances without being particularly negative to my own models (since most CA actions would be at a distance, as is from Ramos or the Brass Arachnid). I can see this being put on Howard Langston, who could use Disruption Field regularly (as opposed to Joss who I want using Open Current)

Powered by Flame (Low Consideration)
A bit expensive, and could backfire in Reckoning if Burning manages to kill a model. Worth thinking about, but I don’t think Burning gives me that much of an advantage beyond small amounts of extra damage.

Warding Runes (Moderation Consideration)
Counterspell for Joss could turn out to be rather good, and it is pretty cheap.

So in conclusion, assessment of each of these models, what upgrades I’d pick first for them, and what roles they’ll fill in my initial strategies:

Ramos: Buffing; AP generation through summoning; Secondary Damage Dealer
Brass Arachnid: AP generation through reactivation.
Joss: Damage Dealer; Tank; Resource generation through creating scrap markers.
Howard Langston: Damage Dealer; Tank; Anti-Ranged Support; Secondary Scheme runner.
Steam Arachnids: Support; Scheme runners.

A very rough plan, without considering strategies or schemes, would be for Joss and Howard to lead in with the Brass Arachnid hidden behind, and Ramos following slightly behind. Arachnids would either be running schemes (most likely in the later stages), or adding flank support and ensuring successful duels for Joss and Howard.

For my first game, which I should hopefully have before March 17th, will only be using the above models. More than likely my Month 2 purchases will be a couple more boxes of Arachnids and an Electrical Creation; seems pretty much required!

Intro to Malifaux

10 Feb

The following was a Malifaux primer I wrote for East Grinstead Wargaming. Since I wrote it, damnit, I see absolutely no reason not to cross post it here.

—–

Malifaux is a 32mm Skirmish-level miniatures game from US company Wyrd Miniatures. Introduced in 2009, the game has recently seen a second edition of the ruleset that came out late last year. This is a highly tactical, highly competitive game played in a world full of wild west gunslingers, victorian necromancers, steam punk cyborgs, gruesome monsters and scheming bureaucrats.

A few of us have been playing Malifaux outside the club since the second edition came out, and over 2014 we hope to introduce new players to the game at the club. I’m also planning on writing several articles over the next few months on what you need, background information and how to play.

But first, why play Malifaux? Here are five good reasons why you should be getting into Malifaux.

  1. A Theme for Every Player
    Perhaps one of the most apparent aspects of Malifaux is the wide range of styles and themes the game covers. With the game being set in 1902 and taking place in a universe filled with both magic and machines, a game of Malifaux will see models reflecting everything from Victorian Horror, Dark Fantasy, Western, Steampunk, Wuxia and beyond.So one player might field a crew of undead hookers …

    Primer-Belles… against a magical kung fu master …

    Primer-MeiFeng… or a gang of Mexican gunslingers …

    Primer-Ortegas… or against a seemingly innocent girl.

    Primer-Candy
    Whilst this all seems far-fetched, Malifaux’s setting brings context to somewhat unusual and diverse looking groups.

  2. Cards, not Dice
    Unlike most miniatures games, Malifaux does not use dice. Instead each player has what we call a Fate Deck – this is a standard 54-card playing card deck, the only difference are the suits. Instead of Hearts, Spades, Clubs and Diamonds, a fate deck will have the suits Rams, Crows, Tomes and Masks instead. The game can still be played with a normal set of cards with some minor translation, though there are a variety of colourful and flavourful fate decks available made by Wyrd and fans of the game. For the beginner, the standard fate deck is always the best place to start.Primer-StandardDeck
    During a turn, each player will have 6 unrevealed cards from their deck in their hand, with the rest of the deck face down. When a player wishes to perform an action that has a chance of failure, then the player flips a card from the fate deck and places it down for both players to see. An action might need the card to be higher than a certain number – for example, a Necropunk will need at least a 7 to jump over a building. In some cases, the card might need to have the correct suit as well – for example, Nicodem will need a 10 of Crows in order to summon a hulking Flesh Construct. Should the flipped card not be enough, the player has the opportunity to Cheat Fate – the player takes a card from the control hand, and replaces the flipped card with it.

    When targeting an enemy model with an action, such as an attack, both players flip cards, and it becomes a matter of who has the highest result. Once again, players have the opportunity to Cheat Fate – so a defending player can stop an incoming attack simply by taking a higher card from the control hand, and using that instead.

    Primer-PuppetDeck
    Cards are used in this manner for all random chance, from determining success through strength of damage to how much a model can heal for. By using a single deck of cards, each player’s lucky streaks are slightly more balanced than with dice.

    At least, that’s the theory. I still end up with hands of only 3s and 4s.

  3. Smaller model counts, Lots of variety.
    Malifaux is a skirmish-level game, so if the only type of miniatures game you’re interested in involves massive amounts of models and huge strategic war between two armies, this is perhaps not the game for you.Instead, a typical game of Malifaux will see between 7 and 10 models for each player on a 3” x 3” board. Each side will have a Master – a charismatic individual who more than likely prescribes the style of play for that Crew. The player then fills the Master’s crew with other models from that Master’s chosen Faction – these include Henchmen, Enforcers, Minions and lowly Peons.

    Primer-MeiFengCrew
    The game has seven factions to choose from – The Guild, The Resurrectionists, The Arcanists, The Neverborn, The Outcasts, The Gremlins and Ten Thunders – and each has seven different Masters available to them. Some Masters are also dual-faction – such as the Guild-by-day, Resurrectionist-by-night Dr Douglas McMourning, the scheming Neverborn Zoraida organizing the Gremlins, or the Ten Thunders protégée Mei Feng infiltrating the Arcanists – each offering a very different playstyle based on which faction they are currently leading.

    Primer-RezzerCrew
    So whilst there are fewer models on the table, there’s still a very wide range of possible crews to build, develop and play against. Less models means that for the player that struggles to find time to paint there is less to get done in order to field a painted crew, and for the devoted painter there is more time to focus on unique and interesting models with their own style and charm. There is also no denying that a game that requires less models is far cheaper to get into than a full-on wargame – getting started with Malifaux might set you back as little as £50 for a full size game, as opposed to a game like Warhammer 40k where it can be around £300.

    (Mei Feng Crew pictures courtesy of von evilstein / Kevin)

  4. It isn’t all about killing… mostly.
    Most games have objectives, but usually it is just an excuse to send models to a central point so they can have a bit of a brawl. In Malifaux, individual objectives are the key to winning the game. Some of those objectives might require nothing more than outright slaughter, but some are more devious and nefarious, ranging from springing traps, planting explosives, taking models prisoner, and even framing the other player for murder!
    Primer-ViksIn a Standard Encounter game of Malifaux, after terrain has been set and players have announced which factions they’ll be playing, a card will be flipped from one player’s fate deck that will determine the Strategy. This is a single goal that both players share and will be scoring points for from Turn 2, with the game normally ending on Turn 5. A maximum of 4 victory points can be earned from completing the objectives of the Strategy, one victory point per turn. Strategies include needing models in specific zones (Turf War, Reconnoiter), killing at least 2 models per turn (Reckoning) and controlling objective markers (Stake a Claim, Squatter’s Rights)In addition the players will pick two other objectives called Schemes. These are objectives that are not shared between the two players, and are picked from a pool of five schemes generated by two card flips. These schemes might be overt and revealed to the other player once selected, or they might be sneaky and remain unrevealed until the player is ready to spring them. Such schemes range from simple marker placement (A Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Plant Evidence, etc.) through to defeating models (Assassinate, Murder Protégée, Make Them Suffer), to more outlandish schemes (Distract, Frame for Murder, Cursed Object, etc.)

    With both Strategy and Schemes in play, Malifaux offers a very involved tactical experience. Certainly different strategies and schemes suit different models, but unlike many other games, Malifaux lets you pick your crew after you know what Strategies and Schemes you’re going to be using. Your crew is built once you know what type of game you’re playing – after all, your faction is going to send the best guys for the job, aren’t they?

  5. A well balanced game.
    Finally, one of the most outstanding elements of the game is how balanced it currently is. In the right hands, any crew of almost any set-up can prove to be a formidable foe. It is still possible to make a bad crew, but doing so is far more difficult than it is with less well balanced games.Primer-Lucius

    One of the reasons why the game has become so balanced is that Wyrd will often beta-test their new rules with the public, and openly communicate with their players regarding the direction of new rules and models. The process Wyrd have used has let all its models feel powerful and useful, but because your opponent’s models are also powerful and useful it feels more like a clash of the titans rather than an overwhelming slaughter.

    Having an unbalanced game isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there’s fun in an uphill struggle after all. But for a highly tactical game like Malifaux that involves many factions, multiple objectives and tight gameplay, having the factions, masters and models well balanced against each other makes for a game that can be enjoyed from a purely casual perspective all the way up to a competetive level. This also means you can pick any Master or Faction knowing that they aren’t going to suck against every other opponent!

So that’s five key points for why Malifaux is as fun as it is. In my next post in this series, I shall be discussing what you need to get started in Malifaux. If you’re interested in having a game of Malifaux at the club in East Grinstead – even if you have no models or don’t know the rules – feel free to get in touch with either James, Kevin, Dod or Chris as we’re all eager to play against new people.

Further details: http://eastgrinsteadwargamers.blogspot.co.uk/

Brass Arachnid, Interrupted.

9 Feb

I realized I didn’t have to wait for my new bases in order to solve the Brass Arachnid dilema, as my solution would work better with a normal plastic base. So here are some images of the Brass Arachnid crawling along a magical/tech pillar.

BrassArachnid-4

The piece of scenery it is mounted on is a piece of resin Micro Art Studio scenery designed for Infinity (an Info Hub, apparently). I bought a few of these a while ago and have never done anything with them. Here are some closer shots:

BrassArachnid-5

And from the side. If this was Bushido or Warmachine, I think this type of mounting would be very problematic. However as Malifaux doesn’t have facings, should a model charge into the Brass Arachnid from the side, it can simply be spinned round to make room. In reality it is no more of a problem than The Nothing Beast is.

BrassArachnid-6I have a few more of these, so if this looks good painted, I may do Arachnid Swarms in the same manner.

ToMB, Month 0, Part 2: Arachnids Assemble!

9 Feb

I had some time out from getting all my models painted for Smogcon (at this stage, I’m considering running Nicodem without Maniacal Laugh, since I have no zombies painted) that I thought I’d spend my evening putting together my new M&SU box set. The perfect accompaniment to this task was watching the original Robocop film on Netflix. Even in the ’80s, I’m pretty sure the original Robocop looked like a massive special effects failure – was the man’s face soaked in acid scary at the time? Cause it looked really, really silly. As did the the stompy robot thing… and why did it make animal noises? Did Omni Consumer Products attempt to hire an Arcanist to help make ED-209, only to accidentally get Marcus instead of Ramos?

Ed209
Coming in Wave 4…

So anyhow, whilst they are fresh in my mind from last night, some thoughts on the construction of the models from M&SU. You’ll notice from these pictures that none of them are actually on bases; that’s because the resin bases I ordered have yet to arrive. Cue inconspicuous wall leaning!

Ramos

 ramos

 Not much to say here. Ramos was easy enough to put together – his arms were a bit loose and limp and I found the head’s position didn’t click but otherwise Ramos fit together without any major difficulty.

I’m not terribly impressed by the model itself, and must admit that his visor is faint and small enough that I really have to squint in order to be able to see it. This may be an issue when it comes time to paint the old man.

Joss

Joss

For the most part Joss glued together without any problem at all. The only issue I had were with the wires. The wire to his axe was fine, although I did spent a fair amount of time trying to make sure it glued into the right position since the plastic really wanted to be in another position.

The main problem I had was with the wires to his pneumatic arm though; these were small and spindly enough that it took a massive amount of focus and squinting just to put one on. Over night one end seems to have come loose – you may or may not be able to see that in the photo above. Whilst putting on the second, it managed to fall out of my hand… and I’ve yet to see it since. I do love Malifaux miniatures but the amount of models with these incredibly tiny parts is frustrating. Don’t get me started on that damn Chihuahua.

Otherwise I like the look of Joss. He’s a cool looking model and I’m looking forward to painting him.

Howard Langston

HowardLangston

Now we’re talking. Howard Langston took a while to build (approximately half of Robocop), what with having so many different parts and being a fairly large model by Malifaux standards. However, these parts aren’t too small and the instructions were pretty clear for putting him together. A few of his Doctor Octopus tentacles were a little tricky to get into the finished model, but overall he was a very fun model to put together and the finished result is outstanding. By far the pick of the box.

Brass Arachnid

BrassArachnid-1

I must admit that I got myself a little confused putting together the totem as I kept moving the sprue around. As the sprue has no markings as to which leg is which piece number, and I was using the online instructions as a key, I sometimes thought I was using the wrong leg in the wrong place. It would not surprise me if I put the back two left legs in the wrong places.

Overall though it put together well and it is an awesome looking model. It doesn’t quite fit on its 50mm base, but then neither does Howard Langston, and I don’t think either will be a problem.

BrassArachnid-2

… wait, what? It is meant to be a on a 30mm base???

BrassArachnid-3

Well…. damn.

I can only assume there has been a mistake somewhere as I can’t imagine how this model could ever practically fit on a 40mm base, let alone a 30mm base. One thing I’m considering doing is having the Brass Arachnid based on some sort of pillar (like the one pictured with Ramos and Joss), so it looks like it is about to leap off at an opponent (even though it has no leap ability)

Steam Arachnids

SteamArachnids

These were pretty nice and simply to put together, which is good as it was getting fairly late. Some of the legs wouldn’t fit correctly first time, but simply shedding off some plastic helped and they assembled well after that.

I did wonder if there’s some cool tricks with magnets that would let the arachnids be used as both swarms and single units. Something to look into before putting them on their bases.

So that’s it for now. Hopefully between now and the 17th I’ll have time to really think about how to actually play Ramos (I’m trying to abstain from reading up on the boards about him, and simply work this out for myself).

ToMB, Month 0: Unite or Die!

7 Feb

ramos-blog1

So over at http://eastgrinsteadwargamers.blogspot.co.uk/ I’m planning on writing some blog articles that should act as an introduction to Malifaux, since a few of us are taking Malifaux out of my living room and into our local bi-weekly club. We’ve been playing Malifaux pretty solidly since we kind of stumbled upon it around the release of M2E, and so far it looks like people at the club have liked the looks of it too, so hopefully these articles will increase interest in the game. One of the articles I’m planning on writing is a ‘How much you need to spend to start a 50ss crew’ article, with a few case studies for different types of crews. Whilst writing this article, I came upon the following revelation:

Ramos is a massively cheap starting point.

Most of the starter sets that have been released for M2E so far have normally included between 25 and 35ss of models, excluding upgrades and caches, so to play at 50ss you need to combine a starter pack with a blister or two. So for Viktorias I might add Vanessa, or Pandora I might add Teddy or some Dopplegangers. Ramos, on the otherhand, is a minimum of 42ss straight out of the box. That’s 12ss for Howard Langston, 10ss for Joss, 4ss for the Brass Arachnid and 8ss for two Steam Arachnid Swarms. Chances are you’ll change one or both of those swarms for 3 Steam Arachnids instead (at 4ss each), so we’re looking at 50ss in the box, excluding upgrades and cache. How’s that for value?

We talked about this at the club last week and we agreed that it was an awfully tempting master (even ignoring that the crew itself is very powerful), even though we all had other projects we were working on. We all took a deep breath, and put ideas of buying this boxset out of our minds and resisted. I successfully managed to resist temptation for all of about a week, at which point I saw a boxset going on ebay for much less than the asking price at Dark Sphere. I mean, I can use these models for demos at the club, right? That’s a good reason for having them, right? This has absolutely nothing to do with low willpower at all! Maybe my low willpower is why I need a master with a WP of 6?

At the same time as this is going on I noticed the Tale of Malifaux Bloggers project going on over at http://taleofmalifauxbloggers.blogspot.co.uk/, the forums, blogs, twitter, yadda yadda. So since I’ve bought this starter set anyhow, and would not want Ramos and company to just sit on the shelf with all the other miniatures I’ve bought and not painted or play with, I’ve decided to take part. This should hopefully give me the motivation to keep up with painting the M&SU, get them out at least once a month, and maybe even improve my (lacklustre) painting skills in the process. This also works out quite well timing wise – the ToMB project doesn’t want any painting started until Feb 17th, and I can’t do any painting until then either due to my commitments with painting the last of my models for Smogcon.

So with the $60 model budget I have for month one I’ve bought the M&SU starter set for $50… and that’s about it. The remaining $10 can be saved for next month once I’ve gotten a handle of how many Arachnids I really need.

ramos-blog2

So this gives me the following:

1 x Ramos
1 x Howard Langston
1 x Joss
1 x Brass Arachnid
6 x Steam Arachnids

I don’t know if Steam Arachnid Swarms are worth having vs. 3 Steam Arachnids. I think that is something that comes with experience; thankfully a Steam Arachnid box is fairly cheap, and will likely be the highest priority of my Month 2 purchases. I should hopefully get some action in with Ramos and his crew before that though.

On top of this, I’ve bought some resin clockwork bases since I’m too inexperienced to make bases more exotic than simple sand and grass. These haven’t arrived yet so I won’t link where I got them from, but once I have them I’ll give my opinions. As well as keeping track of the ‘virtual budget’, I’ll keep track of the actual cost of putting together this crew, to give a better idea of how much it’d cost to go from having nothing to having a painted Ramos crew.

I’m really looking forward to both painting and playing Ramos and the M&SU. As much as I’ve had fun playing with Seamus, McMourning and (especially) Nicodem, it’d be nice to have a completely different change of visual style, going from zombie horde to mechnical horde.

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