Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Malifaux - Pandora first impressions...

Pandora Thoughts:

At this point, most definitely NOT tactica lol! I’m a noob…

Had my first game with Pandora (Lilith model as the P one sucks) and the creepy kids on Monday vs Steve and his Arcanists.

As I was looking for, this was something very different - I have very little overt damage output.

It’s there, but not easy to use or straight forward to access.

We are going to look at my thoughts on the master, Pandora.

At first she appears crap. Can only ‘walk’ 3”, poor defence, casting ability not that high naturally, her only physical weapon is the ‘Withering Glare’ – which, unsurprisingly, does very little in the way of damage.

Moving to spells, abilities and talents then – nothing that just nukes people – no firepower, no poison, no living lightning, no Jaws of the World Wolf certainly!

Hmm…ok so clearly more thought is required in her correct usage. Now, Steve and I are not expert players at Malifaux, so our game last night still took almost 3 hours to play a 25SS game (the equivalent of 1750/1500, whatever your ‘norm’ is in 40k) …of this time, it took me about 2 hours of playing with her to ‘crack it’. Not completely of course, but get a good idea of what it’s all about with Pandora and crew.

In turn 3, Pandora was threatened by a Sabertooth Cerberus (yes – it is a three headed sabertooth tiger…cool? I haven’t decided yet). It was close enough to pounce on her when the model activated and I had the next activation – I chose to activate Pandora and see if she could get out of harms way.

I had had some mild success preventing…scratch that – I had had NO success previous to this turn with trying to get her to do anything, primarily because she was out of range of stuff, but also because her spell books’ success is based on the Willpower (leadership 40k). The Arcanists that Steve uses have quite good willpower, especially when buffed by 3 points by their master Marcus – which Steve realised straight away he needed to do each turn, keeping a very nice 8” net (the Howl power has an 8” aura/pulse around the caster in all directions).

As a result of previous failure I was unsure if this would go off. So I tried to cast ‘Dementia’ on the Cerberus – this would make it need a WP>13 Duel before it did anything…except the Cerberus has WP5 +3(Howl)+2(Stubborn talent) = WP10…only needing to flip a 3 of any suit from his deck to make actions, yes this might burn some cards, but certainly not achieve its primary aim of near paralysis for a turn…so I tried it anyway…Pandora casts needing only a 6 AS (any suit) to pull it off. She gets it, but I cheat fate and replace the 7 C(Crow suit) with a 12C, and then burn a Soulstone (from my cache of 5) to add another card from the deck, giving me a huge total of 30-odd…including my natural Masque suit and my Crow suit from the drawn cards…Steve cannot beat this with his willpower and so the spell goes off.

Now we have already established that this spell will not do a great deal to the Cerberus, and statistically it will be acting more or less normally in its activation…However…. Pandora has a Casting trigger (an effect that goes off in addition to the spell/damage) that comes off with a Masque (which is naturally attached to her casting ability) and a Crow (from the drawn cards)…this is called ‘Mental Anguish’ – and it causes the defender (Cerberus) to ‘fall back’ after losing a WP Resist Duel – which it just has. So it falls back – no biggie?

Falling back is unlike 40k. The model does not fall back straight away, it waits until it activates (the models individual turn) then spends that turn moving double its Walk characteristic towards the closest table edge…Cerberus went straight to the edge and hit it… Now in 40K, we can’t touch the edge, we are over the side of our flat earth and dead.. but in Malifaux you stop on the edge and wait. In that models next activation it rallies, spending the whole turn rallying and doing nothing else.

2 turns wasted out of 6/7? Yes…yes…yes! Ok. Plus, if the model at edge of board falls back again whilst still touching the edge, it will finally, be pushed over it and die.

OK, so how did the rest of the turn come out? Well, as Pandora gets ‘pushed’ up to 4” after wining a WP duel, she slid around the board, bringing Marcus into range – and promptly did the same as above to him…Rinse and repeat…

By Turn 4 – every model in the opposing crew was falling back or rallying. During this period, my crew got into a safe position and my Teddy went from being on 1 wound and poisoned to being at full strength (9 wounds) Turn 5.

However, I made a tactical error, I consolidated rather than pushed on. I strengthened by position, where I should have carried on using my momentum. This being our second ever game, I did not realise that 2 turns would be wasted per model (fall back, rally) and as a result could have ‘pushed’ Pandora using her successful spells closer to the falling back models and re-cast the spell in relative safety – killing them by sending them off the board…

So, rookie errors in going for the killing blow aside, Pandora does have some power to her…as I am finding with Malifaux, this power is not hidden, but most certainly only viewable from the most oblique angles….this is why I am growing to truly like this game!

More soon on the rest of the Neverborn crew…



  1. That sounds incredibly complicated... which leads me to believe it is definitely similar to Warmachine.

    You can get the basic rules here... http://privateerpress.com/warmachine/the-game

    So what does your teddy and the kids do whilst this evil witch is scaring everybody off of the board??

  2. I think I make it sound more complex than it is!

    I'll have a look at Warmachine...I've heard some good things...

    As for Teddy etc...thats coming on Thursday...He is alot simpler than Pandora...smash stuff...but some neat tricks when combined with the litte kids...