Friday, 15 April 2011

Stargazer's Painting/Malifaux Corner - Nicodem Tactica

So here we are. It's been a while and time for a change of topic. Today will be my Nicodem Tactica giving my thoughts on how he is best played.

So an overview, Nicodem is a very defensive master who although is best near to your crew for support shouldn't be too near to the front because with a meagre defense of 3 and no defensive triggers or tricks to get him out of melee he just dies fast. Activation wise I find Activating the big man first is a good plan as it allows you to get up the bolster aura straight away and with The Fog he will be pretty safe as long as he isn't out in the open on his own. I will always take Nicodem with a Cache of 6+ as any less means he can struggle to summon or get off Rigor Mortis when he really needs to. They are also useful for if he does come under attack giving him a little defence.


Embrace Death - Pretty handy although situational allowing him to be affected by spells that effect undead can be nice such as Mortimer's Zombie Companion and Fresh Meat!.

Hard To Wound 1 - Pretty self explanatory really although if you end up using it Nicodem is probably dead already.

Undead Master - Allowing you to hire undead from any faction at no additional cost is quite nice however I don't seem to use this very often. I find you already have a tool to do most jobs inside the Ressurectionist Faction although for future releases this may come in handy...

Zombie Control - This is where things really begin to get interesting ;) Being able to take control of Mindless Zombies at the end of the turn is very useful especially combined with Arise allowing you to swamp the opponent and tie up the enemies models. Not to be underestimated!

Zombie Fodder - This is also very important. It allows Nicodem to sacrifice a Mindless Zombie within 2" to just cancel an incoming hit. This means that you can increase his survivability greatly by surrounding him with zombies. Also remember that the zombies still count as corpse counters so they have a dual function to Nicodem.


(+1) Casting Expert - Definitely useful either allows you to stand still and cast 3 times a turn or cast just once and walk twice. With his walk being only 3" you really want to be walking at least once most turns to keep your crew within bolster range.

(0) Arise - All corpse counters within 10" become Mindless Zombies, this allows you to either walk corpse counters towards you or to move Zombies into 2" of Nicodem as mentioned earlier.

(0) Bolster Undead - This is my favourite (0) action to use it gives friendly undead within 10" +2 Cb and Df this turns you already decent Punk Zombies into combat monsters with a Cb of 9 and a Df of 7 combined with their paired Katanas means they turn into minions that can challenge masters in melee. When your crew is getting stuck in this is really what you should be using turning the tide as your resilient horde becomes both tougher and harder hitting.


Empty Vessel - This replaces a model killed by either your Cane or Decay with a Mindless Zombie, useful for Decay not so much for the Cane as you really don't want to be in melee.

Putrefy - Pretty useful although not something to rely on, pretty solid overall.


Decay - One of Nicodems best spells period. Both heals your models and does damage to the enemy, yes please! lock your opponent in melee then cast this at your own models as the blasts generated can damage the opponent without being able to defend. Do this lots and watch your opponent squirm as they can do nothing to counter it.

Reanimator - Nicodems other awesome spell. You can summon any non-unique non-spirit Undead model. This allows you to start with low cost models and just summon higher cost minions when needed. This also makes Nicodem one of the most flexible masters as he can bring pretty much anything needed to do a job mid game where most crews are stuck with their crew selection. If there are corpse counters about and you have the cards try to use this alot.

Rigor Mortis - A very situational spell but one which can be devastating. Cheated high and soulstone'd means it's unstoppable allowing you to paralyze a model within 10" by doing this you can stop threats or slow them before moving in something like a Punk Zombie to deal with them. Good for buying time.

The Fog - Very useful defence for Nicodem this is not a piece of terrain so even Hunters cannot see through it. Use your last cast on this and you are safe from shots and charges for a turn.

So we now know what Nicodem is about but it isn't just down to the master in Malifaux, what do we take in a crew with him?

Mortimer - In my opinion Mortimer is a must if only for the fact that he can dig up a corpse counter a turn for Nicodem to summon off. Along with his other buffing abilities he is very useful.

Punk Zombies - These are the backbone of Nicodems crew. Very good in Melee but I normally summon them during the game as they are quite slow and easy to shoot down before arriving in melee.

Vultures - Definitely take one. They are great for bringing corpse counters to Nicodem and also Nicodem can cast through them very useful.

Rotten Belles - Again I always take one just for the Lure, it means you have a much greater board control. You can always summon one though so not always necessary.

Canine Remains - These are the main choice for me as they are cheap and drop corpse counters for Nicodem to summon off as well as being able to bring them back to Nicodem. Get them stuck in fast and don't worry about them dying as they can always be turned into bigger nastier things.

Crooked Men - Worth an honourable mention. Can give some much needed shooting to the melee heavy ressurectionists and an give good area denial with shafted markers. I wouldn't start with them but remember they only cost one corpse counter so can be useful later in the game in regards to objectives.

The rest is mainly personal preference for summoning really big hitters I usually go for a Rogue Necromancy although I want to try summoning a Desolation Engine as I think it could work quite nicely. The most important thing is to not worry about things dying as Nicodem is the best out there at bringing things straight back.

So what would a 30ss list look like? Well my "usual" list is outlined below however in Malifaux with widely ranging strategies there really isn't such a thing as a fixed list.

Ressurectionists Crew - 30 - Scrap

Nicodem, The Undertaker -- 8 Cache
1 Vulture [2ss]

Canine Remains [2ss]
Canine Remains [2ss]
Canine Remains [2ss]
Canine Remains [2ss]
Canine Remains [2ss]
Canine Remains [2ss]
Mortimer, The Gravedigger [7ss]
Rotten Belles [4ss]

The idea with the list above is you have a large activation advantage allowing you to out activate the opponent, gang up on something with the Dogs and if they die so what? Mortimer digs up Corpse Counters for Nicodem to summon off and the factory continues churning out models until the end of the game.

I think that's it for this installment hope this was useful or has given some insight or some shit like that.. If you are interested in Malifaux and happen to be at Salute this weekend pop by the Malifaux stand where I'll be running intro's all day.

Until next time

Stargazer out.


  1. very good introduction/tactica to Nicodem, I've never looked at him personally so this was great for me to identify weaknesses and playstyle...

    just what the doctor ordered bro.

    whats the most outrageous summoning then? what sort of crazy crap you summoned from the grave?

  2. Me personally that's a whole new quesstion... :p I think the most I've managed in a game was 2 Punk Zombies, a Rogue Necromancy and a Crooked Man. Although his playstyle will change quite a lot with forthcoming releases ;)

  3. interesting read. i am going to buy some stuff in about two weeks when i get paid, as i'm still feeling abit of 40k burnout and just want to paint some cool stuff :)

  4. Well there's definitely lots of cool stuff mate!

    Yeah I have to say I've got to that stage in 40k and both me and Mark are clearing out any of our excess 40k and just keeping barebones

  5. lol, i'm not going to go that far, probably ever, but the lack of time i have right combined with the lack of dedicated hobby area combined with lack of decent gaming club means 40k is just not really that viable. i need something smaller, and learning a few painting bits and bobs has to be a good thing. still undecided on what to get, though i'm just going to pick my favourite models, rules be damned.

  6. Andy I am up for that, I love the look of some of the models.

    SG, what sort of size table do you need for it? Assuming you dont need a 6x4?

  7. the rulebook recomends a 3 by 3 or a 4 by 4, with quite a lot of terrain.

  8. Pick up a few models and have a bash over at mine Andy? Sounds like a cool game.

  9. 'get rid of my 40k stuff' Man up Stargazer!!

    @Atreides and is a great game for fun, I built a 3'x3' table last year with a snow theme and loads of buildings...its a great, fun game...I don't play it enough..but then this blog and tournament 40k has reinvigorated 40k for me from a place where I was a little burnt out last year...

    Its cheap to start..I can solidly recommend getting a crew that is the complete contrast of your 40k'll keep it fresh for you.

  10. yeah a 3x3 is all you need but lots of terrain! otherwise shooty crews get a massive advantage. For a low outlay it really is a great game.

  11. Was looking at some of the models last night - some are amazing - really crazy painting ops on each model - lots of variation.

    Any chance on a sort of "break down" on what faction does what/when and where? Would love to have a little bit of a clue about what I am buying! lol.

  12. Well can you wait for my next post or do you want me to put it here in the comments? I have a post this Friday I think...

  13. sorry make that a week on Friday

  14. Do it next post mate, it's a great idea and would help alot of our readers who aren't Mali-experts yet...