Monday, 9 November 2015

What's in the Box!!? - Ten Thunders Yan Lo

Settle down Mills

Whilst some may have the space or storage available to take their whole faction or even whole collection of Malifaux to their local gaming store, I personally only want to bring the minimum amount of what I'm playing at the time.
Think about a single master you play, then think about how many times in the last month that you've played with every single model that's available for that faction with that single master. It's a slim chance you're going to say everything, people have preferred lists, models that are staple to victory in some schemes and strategies and simply your favorite models to run with that master. Thus my reasoning, I like to travel light and I've only got one case with limited space. Here's currently what I'm bringing when playing the Master of the Paths:

Yan Lo - Hard to play a 50ss game without a master.

Soul Porter - I'm an advocate that totems aren't auto-includes for all masters, De La Soul Porter though is so useful from all angles that it would seem like madness to leave the little dude in the case, great movement, can push Tosh and Lo with no card flip, 3" melee range on his attack which triggers are beneficial to any casters in the crew and an emergency sacrifice if you have ever said to yourself "If only I had just one more Chi". Soul Porter is solid and there's never a game that I've never taken him in.

Toshiro - The one man minion buffing machine. Toshiro is a hard cut if I feel he doesn't suit the schemes or strategies but giving out +flips to melee attacks and passing out Fast or giving EVERYONE focus is just too good. That's not even talking about his summoning upgrade which can replace losses and give me more Ap to work with in the late game. Too good to not have.

Yamaziko - If I'm facing an opponent who is primarily using Wp as their main means for attack, Yama will see play. I have a soft spot for Yamaziko as I love the model and I love every letter printed on her card. It's her defense stat that lets her down which makes me hesitant to pay 7ss for nimble target practice but when she is facing those Wp focused crews, she's an unstoppable force of nature and nothing can touch her and then truly, she shines.

Chiaki - Chiaki is Chiaki and Chiaki is the best. A hell of a useful model and if the opponent is using conditions a lot such as most Neverborn or Resurrectionists do, she can wipe out whole activations of work with a single 7 card. Facing down a lot of burning or poison? Chiaki has your back. Need Toshiro to be an even more boss summoner, Chiaki has your back. Do you need key models in your enemies crew to be slowed or insignificant? Chiaki has your back. Such a great model.

Yin, the Penangalan - Just because Yan Lo "works" with Ancestors (he doesn't) doesn't mean the ancestor models themselves are duds. Yin provides that all important addition to a team of un-killiables being extremely Ap intensive to take down. Yin being able to stop walk actions is mega, her Gnawing fears ensures Thunder Dance goes off as well as other Ca & Wp attacks in the crew, add to that her slow trigger on melee and you have what some see as a pain in the neck to overcome, especially with Yan Lo healing her up.

The Lone Swordsman - Facing a shooty crew, here's the man for the job. There's a lot in Malifaux that ignore armor but nothing that ignores bullet proof and having bullet proof +3 is insane in that regard. Making an average damage track 1/1/1 means this is a guy who can take some hits. When he's in combat, it's a good chance he can take some non-shooting hits with every trigger being useful as a way to take care of business. Not for every list but when he has his moment, it's glorious.

Bert Jebson - A versatile little Ht1 dude. 3ap on a non-master without a card flip is awesome, despite only average stats on his shooting, it is a great shoot action and can lead to a lot of damage if the card gods shine in your favor. I've used him for scheme running, shooting, hitting 3/4 minimum damage in melee and Crackerjack Timing is yet another way for Yan Lo's crew to drain your opponent's hand.

Pathfinder & Clockwork Traps - Need range support or a way to get back those equally annoying yet easily killed traps you've set. Say no more. He's no Sniper but with Yan Lo's Thunder Dance giving traps easy prey, Pathfinder can take models down with ease afterwards, just don't get him in range of the enemy, with so many models that are difficult to take down, having a 6Wd regular dude in the crosshairs is simply too tempting, especially being that he's just so good as his job of shooting and drawing a card a turn.

Torakage - My first scheme runners of choice for the time being until Tengu rear their heads onto the plastic scene. Give them a buddy to walk with or get in the enemies face and once again we have a model that's card intensive to put down. Stacking One in the crowd and Works best alone against a charge target is filth and ensures that low weak damage is not seen as often. I never have them in the front lines as a Wk6 model is wasted in large melees but as runners and hunters of other scheme runners, they are awesome.

Ronin - My second scheme runner of choice. Being a little easier to kill and being a stone expensive and 1wk slower than Torakage it purely depends on who I'm facing. If I'm against armor and a melee focused crew, the Ronin are a lot better than Torakage for their ability to flurry through armor when necessary or push out of combat for those all important last minute marker drops and giving enemy models "slow" if they want to get back into combat with them. Being able to ditch a model who is likely to die anyway for soul stones or cards makes for a model that's a hard sell to include but very effective in the right list.

Katanaka Sniper & Thunder Archers - I've grouped these two together because they serve similar roles depending on what the game is looking like. If I need additional damage and I plan for everyone to be engaged, I'll take the Archers for their Threading the Needle and Rapid fire. If the game is looking to be more spread out, I'll take the Snipers for their range and extra damage. Both are Ranged support that Yan Lo desperately needs and both do their jobs very well when used properly.

Punk Zombie - What's there to say about an angry undead samurai slicing you up with Ml6 +flip attacks with flurry and a wicked card deplete action. A poor walk and an average 8" threat range is Punk zombies only downfall but when he's in combat with Toshiro buffing him he's death incarnate, give him a group of enemies when he's fast and Slice and Dice will give your opponent headaches. just amazing.

Komainu and Ashigaru - Toshiro's summons. More often than not I will hire Komainu as their re-positioning and slow trigger is what I like to see in my models. Ashigaru I have purely as summons, they are okay but very card intensive and whilst you can get 6 attacks out of them potentially, it takes too many cards to make it worthwhile. As a summon though, they have a protective brace aura for anyone who actually wants to take on Toshiro and a Punk Zombie in melee and a decent Wk to do some last minute scheme running. Komainu are simply amazing for their Rst Wp attacks with slow and burning. Their guard the Soul is epic against a casting crew.

Shadow Effigy - Need a scheme marker pool won, LITS, Breakthrough, Protect Territory, Planting Explosives and Evidence and Springing Traps become a lot easier when your models drop them as a nothing action. It is expensive though, don't aim to activate Remember the Mission more than once a turn unless it's crucial to winning that sweet sweet Ap. A 10 card keeps models alive and accurate so you have to ask yourself how lucky you feel or if that 10 is discardable.
Keep the little dude out of the way but if you find yourself in 7" of someone with 2Wds trying to meddle with your markers, Precision Blade not needing to flip damage with Ml7 is so damn cool if you can get it off.

There you have it Mills, you now know what's in the box. What would you include? What would take out? let me know and have fun out there.

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