My opponent declared Rezers in a corner deployment, Guard the Stash with Hunting Party, Leave Your Mark, Undercover Entourage & Public Demonstration available as schemes. Whilst this isn't a battle report (it would be a very biased one) I shall go through my model selection and give observations, so in reverse SS order.
My original plan for the Soulstone Miner was for it to handle Leave Your Mark but I unburied it too close to my enemy to achieve this, however this peeled Yin away from one stash marker to deal with him which ultimately let me control and dominate that marker, so not all bad at all. Need to try again to get a better idea. 3/5
The Metal Gamin did his job, he gave Hoffman CA8 and was an activation. 4/5 but then his job was a simple one.
Now, the Guardian comes in for a lot of flack but god damn he was handy in this one. Throwing protect around like it was going out of season to an already activated Howard and then going defensive itself meant the other stash marker was locked down all game. Finished the game surrounded by the body of Izamu, the Copycat killer and with Seamus and a Belle not far away, all without a scratch on his armour. Absolutely superb and very well suited to the strategy, wouldn't use in anything that isn't a "go here and don't die" strategy but they fill this niche very well. Also theorised that Guardians have a large speaker and spew forth Guild Propaganda "Move along! Nothing to see here!", "Please disperse and return to your homes", "Vote Lucius Mattheson". 5/5
OH MY DAYS THE PEACEKEEPER IS A BEAST. 1st turn the Hoff attached targeting systems to it and I rather cautiously moved it forward, turn 2 I utterly wasted it's turn by firing the harpoon at a Belle in cover meaning the negative flips achieved nothing. Turn 3 onwards it went on what can best be described as "murder death kill rampage", minimum damage 6 (through flips, and discarding upgrades) making short work of Sybelle and a belle before being machine puppeted forward to top a scheme marker for Leave Your Mark. By my count it had a hand in five out of my eight victory points in this game. 5/5 can't wait to get this guy on the table again.
Howard did pretty much what you'd expect. He went over there, quickly, scored some points by killing stuff and then the opponent threw loads of resource at him to make him dead. Which I'm fine with. Where he was brilliant was down to Hoffman making him armour +2 and the Guardian giving Defensive +2 at every opportunity. He was his usual Howardy self but just more, but I can't give the credit to Howard for that. 3/5
Hoffman. Oh so very versatile. Much more than I was expecting. The usual power loop shenanigans went off, but I only cast it the once. Power looping as the first activation in turn 2, before I split my forces for the two stash markers got everyones stats good and silly, stoning for the trigger to repeat the action to get everyone looped for as few AP as possible and then not activating until as late as possible in turn 3 by which point many many things were dead. Well, deader than they had been, Ressers after all. Where the Hoff really began to shine was when I stopped power looping and started to use machine puppet. Everyone knows just how good Colettes prompt is and the Hoff is no different frankly. Ok I had to stone for the masks to get the push, but by this point the Soulstone miner was making new ones and that I guess is the counter balance to the fact it was getting cast on any 2+. Two plus! I can see people easily getting bogged down in constantly trying to keep power loop up or constantly using machine puppet, and the knack here is knowing when to break the power loop circuit. Now by perhaps more luck than design on my first time using him I achieved a good solid balance that spot on for this game. Must maintain that going forward. 5/5
How would I have changed the list? well that's an odd one. The Clockwork Traps are the first thing to be looked at, whilst I used them well and they were annoying for my opponent, they gave away points for Hunting Party. Perhaps a Watcher instead, it would've resisted lures well with stubborn and would do Leave Your Mark well, especially if Hoff can give it Nimble first. However that would largely make the Soulstone Miner pointless. Inserting a Warden for the Miner, letting the Watcher carry the scheme running load, would've made a great recipient for the targeting systems upgrade to start throwing paralyse around at range, but then again a dead model generates no AP either.