Friday, 22 July 2016

+++Hold the press!+++

Well this is a Guild blog and some pretty big Guild news happened yesterday so in the time honoured tradition of newspapers I shall bring you yesterday's news, today!  Now admittedly there was largely the same news for all other factions as well but....nevermind them.



Nellie Cochrane; intrepid reporter, pithy journalist and propaganda machine of the imperialist dictatorship that he Guild have come to represent best friend to all of the citizens of Malifaux.


Front card stats



6s for DF and WP make me happy as well they should you. High but not game breakingly so (naughty Perdita) and with the Francisco upgrade this can become a mighty 8/8 should you so wish.  11 wounds is certainly hardy, not the toughest by a long stretch but solid certainly.  A wk of 5 is enough to keep her moving and maintains the Guilds usual slow feel. No CG is a little disappointing, no moving her around with Mounted Guard but fair enough really. Charging into a fight isn't really her thing. Solid stats, not silly, not OP, not weak. Solid.  DF trigger does have a tome built in but this is principally used for the upgrade Transparency (see below, waaaaay below)



Front Card Abilities



Revisionist History, certainly a new and interesting defensive mechanic allowing you to always cheat damage flips against Nellie. Always. Doesn't matter if it's a joker or how many neg flips were involved you can always cheat damage flips against her. Combined with Soulstone useage for prevention Nellie will be able to very reliably reduce the amount of incoming damage directed against her in a massively frustrating manner for your opponent which currently has absolutely no hard counter beyond the usual ways of preventing Soulstone prevention. It's not NPE but it could well be enough to put an opponent off giving a concerted effort to bring Nellie down. I'm going to talk more on Nellies control hand and card useage later but needless to say this ability will be a significant contribution to how one uses her hand.


Evidence, all other front card abilities she has are directly related to Evidence so probably best to discuss exactly what that does and how one gains it.  Evidence is a stacking condition that lasts till the end of the turn.  It can be gained in one of three ways that we currently know about:

  • At the beginning of her activation Nellie may use her Creative Reporting ability to toss a card and gain a stack of Evidence. Any even remotely familiar with Yan Lo will find this familiar
  • If an enemy model with aura 8" of Nellie takes an interact action of any kind or Ap cost, Nellies In Plain Sight ability will allow her to gain a stack
  • The attack action Scathing Review (naturally more on this later) has a built in trigger to gain a stack of Evidence

There is then a very wide way of using the Evidence condition to Nellies advantage.


  • Run From the Truth, opponent wiffed an attack action within aura 8"? Why just reduce Evidence by 1 and push her upto 4" in any direction of your choosing. Yes, you read that correctly, movement shenanigans right on the front of a Guild masters cards. Hell if one of your own models misses including Nellie herself you can do this! Phenonemally powerful, just think that last AP trying to take an opponent model down, the attacks fails but instead of being left arse in the breeze you can just push 4" away to safety!
  • If at the end of the turn Nellie still has Evidence the condition will end and she will place a single scheme marker into base contact with Nellie
  • Her Propaganda attack has three built in triggers, and by reducing Evidence she can trigger more of these triggers on a 1:1 basis. Typically, more on this later. 




This is an incredibly versatile condition, it buffs attacks, it drops scheme markers and it pushes the Master around giving her both survivability and mobility and with an upgrade you can even use it not acticate a model and make your opponent go again! The only thing more this condition could do is make your opponent get a round in. Fantastic Swiss Army knife of a tool.


Rear card actions


 One thing becomes immediately apparent when looking at Nellies attack actions. No not the high Ca, not the built in Ram for each of them but more on that later. Every attack is Vs WP, every single one. Previously unheard of in Guild, opponents will now not be able to entirely discount putting WP and WP buffs into crews, it's no longer all about the DF. This is bigger than most will think in my (never) humble opinion.

(1) Scathing Review anything with Ca 7 gets my attention and this is no different. 10" range vs WP (whoop!) which gives out two conditions. Firstly thanks to the built in trigger Informant (if your not now singing informer by Snow in your head we can't be friends anymore) Nellie gains a stack of Sweet sweet Evidence. It will also give the target model a surprisingly insidious condition called Humiliation. This lovely condition last until the end of the game in much the same way blighted does, sadly it doesn't stack like blighted does but that would be horrific so probably a good thing. What it does do if make the affected model take 2 dmg whenever it activates.   The opponent can get rid of this condition (once they've activated of course) simply by placing a scheme marker. Which combos beautifully with In Plain Sight to give Nellie even more Evidence.  Synergy! Synergy right there in the goddam card!

(1) Propaganda ooh what a beaut! Ca 6 Vs WP at 10" again.  Now the 1/3/4 damage track is nothing write home about but the triggers, oh the triggers! The built in Ram allows you to either push the target 5", give them slow or give a friendly model within 2" of the target a free swing at them. Critically you can lower Evidence to declare additional triggers, only ever needing the built in Ram and not additional Rams and even more critically (if such a thing is possible) you choose the order they happen. So yes you can ping something for 1dmg, push it 5" next to a Peacekeeper and then have the Peacekeeper batter it all for 1 stack of Evidence. That's board control, killing power, opponent ap manipulation all in 1 frankly awesome attack. Equally there is nothing to stop you using this to push your own models about. 1 Dmg for 5" push? Works for Queeg, works for Nellie.

(1) Hot off the Presses! As before Ca6 Vs WP but only 8" this time. Place enemy model 8" next to one of your friendly scheme markers. Ha! You, get on the naughty step. In a game of who can move the most efficiently this is hilarious. So many cases to shift models out of scoring zones, into wrong areas, next to massive beaters. Anytime your opponent needs to be in a certain spot or stack auras (looking at you Gremlins) this will straight up ruin their day. Oh and then mit does burning +3.


Lastly (0) Lead allows you to discard a scheme markers to push up to 6". Given how easily she can place scheme markers for no AP this largely means even more movement nonsense for Nellie, and she can't even walk this fast! In words of McPiggish, Absolutely Brilliant.



Upgrades




Well we've seen/heard a lot of updates of late so lots more to talk about and update here! Thank you to all Podcast producers for your sterling work in the lead up to this years Gencon.

So then:

Guild Funds
Evidence management upgrade.  
When successfully attacked, gives Nellie a trigger to build evidence. Evidence spent at end of turn can be used to either heal models or regain Soulstones, give models Hard To Kill as well an ability called Journalistic Spin allowing her to claim condition kills nearby as her kill in much the someway that the Firestarter does already for The Archaists.  

Potentially worth it purely for Evidence building but not my favourite by far.

Embedded
Hire Pool upgrade.
Allows Nellie to hire unto 4 mercenary models without paying the traditional mercenary tax.  These mercenaries may not be hired from either the Resurrectionist or Neverborn factions.
Also adds a trigger to Nellies Hot off the Presses! tactical action to add burning to the model moved, allowing Nellie to move her own crew via this ability without doing damage as well.

I can see a lot of folks using this, perhaps to their detriment.  Merck will only ever be useful when they fulfil a role not already performed by a Guild model.  Now this does bring Taelor in when facing summoners, it does bring in Johan/Johanna for a significant upgrade over Witchlings for condition removal and damage (still molasses slow of course, but Nellie can help out there massively) but this upgrade is not the autotake it will doubtless be labelled initially and it will only be as useful as the models it is used to hire and how effectively they are used.  

Again not my favourite.

Misleading Headlines
Activation Control upgrade.
By lowering evidence by 1 or by discarding a card allows Nellie to "pass" an activation.  Additionally (as if that wasn't enough!) gives Nellie the Incite action previously exclusive to the Neverborn previously!

THIS! THIS IS MY FAVOURITE! dear various gods it is beautiful.

Delegation
AP support upgrade.
Allows Nellie to give her crew the Fast condition through the ability Assignments People! Fast Peacekeepers? why not! Fast Judge allowing him to get off a whopping (and resource exhausting) 12 attacks in activation? This ability has 2 triggers built in, one placing a scheme marker in base contact (so I for one will be using this to give the opponent crew fast and then popping out buried models from the Emissary right next to them then! just as long as the target has activated already of course).  The other trigger will let Nellie lower her evidence to perform some more minor healing.  Having the option to heal will always be welcome.  May not always be used each round, but great to have nonetheless. 

Transparency
Scheme marker upgrade.

Adds a tome trigger to all Journalist that when attacked they will drop a scheme marker in base contact with them. Situationally useful and bottom of the list for me.  Nellie has plenty of other ways of dropping markers, although it does have potential for some schemes.


Other Nellie Thoughts 


Control hand/Resources

This, for me, is where Nellie is weakest.  Nellie wants a lot of cards and preferably bad ones.  Pitching cards for activation control or sweet sweet Evidence to pass activation, cheat damage etc. She is going to run out of resources quickly and this is where the skill level of players will be the largest determining factors.  Those that can quickly take to her resource management style will be the head of the curve.

Models I want to try with Nellie 

Peacekeeper, because I can throw models at it and make it take more ml actions. Because reasons.

Death Marshall, as above and because throwing enemy models into range of pine box will be both a) hilarious and b) will be keeping my fragile Death Marshalls safe whilst still being effective.
Brutal Emissary; no Specific conflux card for Nellie sure, but with a Master that can make the opponent throw down scheme markers and the Emissary being able to unbury models next to any scheme marker in LoS? Well now, that is a beautiful Executioner delivery system!
Hannah, More cards! MORE CARDS!
Austringers, Push Nellie 2" and drop a scheme marker, use scheme marker for 6" push.  Moving a Master 8" without spending any of her AP? Who said Guild don't have movement nonsense?!
Her crew box in general now that we know more! more information on that below.

Crew box models.

Phiona Cage, Henchmen.

Originally intended as an Arcanist Master and now a Guild Henchmen.  Make of that what you will.  Enormous Scythe wielding beatstick.

Has a Smell Fear like ability, previously not very useful in a faction with limited (at best) WP attacks, but Nellie has of course changed all of that. So that Propaganda push will result in 2 attacks from Phiona Cage once per turn.

Gains Positive flips to attacks vs models that have already activated this turn.  Read that again in conjunction with the above.  Yup. You read that right.

Oh and she gains +1DF whilst in base contact with terrain, and is unimpeded. Yes, an unimpeded beatstick in Guild.

No terrain on the board? well she can just make some for you. Her Command Stone ability lets her make a ht5 impassible blocking terrain piece. 

Are we sure she's not still an Arcanist master model?

Oh and she pushes friendly models away when she charges in (like Mounted Guard/Francisco do I am presuming).  Oh and she cleaves in melee.

Phenomenal sounding Henchmen.

Field Reporters, Scheme running minion.

Disguised, Unimpeded, WK5, Manipulative 12. Attacks hand out slow, push models away.  Can target enemy scheme markers, place a friendly one in base contact, and then remove enemy markers.

It's as if Performers, Fingers, Nurses & Ronin were all combined into one amazing model and then had it's cost reduced to 5ss.  Can not wait to get these on the table. You should be excited for these if you are Guild player. Yes you should.

Printing Press, Totem

Armour +2, Arcane Reservoir! (no really). That enough already makes this thing worthwhile as Nellies Totem.

It has an attack that hands out slow to enemy models? Sounds fantastic, but I'm not sure I want it anywhere near the enemy as I want to keep all of the front card abilities in play.  The Arcane Reservoir upgrade is 2ss in Arcanists, for 3ss this Totem is that upgrade but without having to take up an upgrade slot and being an early turn activation.  That is an enormously efficient use of 3ss.

It can also hand Nellie Evidence.  Could this be the best Guild Totem ever?

Closing

In short, I am very curious about this Master and loving the Evidence condition and Propganda attacks.  The ability to move people around 8" is huge in Malifaux and has so manuy applicaiatons to Strategies.  Another one for the Gencon order then!

Normal McCabe service will resume shortly.









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