Tonight I'm going to take a brief respite from posting about Warhammer or Warhammer 40k and go over one of the projects I'm working on for a different system.  Diversity can be fun, right?  So tonight I'm going to discuss Malifaux and walk through my Rasputina crew, explain my typical 35 soulstone crew, and show off the models I'm currently working on or have completed at this stage.

So first, let's start with Malifaux in general.  It is a narrative skirmish game that uses a deck of cards for random determination instead of dice.  This means that both the player and the opponent can work out the odds as long as they keep track of what their opponent has played, very much like any other card game like poker or blackjack.  So every model has a statline that gives base values for Walk/Charge, Height, Willpower, Casting, Defense, Wounds, and Combat.  Next each model has a set number of talents.  Some of these talents might be stock rules like Hard to Wound, Slow to Die, or Terrifying and many of these can have multiple levels.  Some are completely unique and described with block text.  Next they may have Spells or Actions.  These all take a number of action points to use or give free action points for certain actions.  Next all models have some form of attack and the description will state the range and the damage.  Lastly, many models also have triggers.  These are special effects that take place if certain suites of cards are played while performing specific actions.

The general method for performing actions is to declare an action and then you flip a number of cards depending on the action and any bonuses or penalties (known as "twists of fate").  You may then substitute cards from your hand which is known as "cheating fate".

So with that little primer I'll move along to describing my crew.  Currently I own four crews the Viktorias, Lady Justice, Rasputina, and Colette.  We'll cover Rasputina today since she's my favorite and my first crew.    Rasputina is affiliated with the Arcanists and the cult of December, an enigmatic power in Malifaux.

The standard crew size is roughly 35 soulstones (points).  Any extra soulstones will be added to the soulstone cache which can be used in game to add "flips".

For my typical list with Rasputina I don't go for extra soulstones and my list appears below;

Essence of Power
Ice Gamin
Ice Gamin
Snow Storm
Silent One
Sabretooth Cerberus

Rasputina is essentially a range caster combined with area denial and control.  She uses her crew as essentially arc nodes (to steal the term from War Machine) to cast her damage spells Biting Chill and December's Curse.  She can then lock down terrain pieces so opponents need to stay out of area terrain or take damage and become paralyzed and then when opponents get close she can make it difficult to reach her by springing up ice pillars in front of her and making it difficult for enemies to reach her.  Her weakness is that once she gets into melee combat, she really can't defend herself and even with good luck, she hits like a kitten.

Essence of Power is a totem so it attaches to the master (rasputina) and activates when she does.  The Essence of Power allows Rasputina to become a serious damage dealer with his empower ability that allows Rasputina an extra flip for spell damage.  He can also mimic one of her 1 action spells and thus throw out a little damage of his own, cast ice pillars if Rasputina can't, or boost the defense of nearby models with December's Touch.

Ice Gamin are essential to a good Rasputina crew in my opinion.  The models may be uninspiring and they may not win wars, but, they do allow Rasputina an extra 6" of range without her using a 0 ability to give nearby models Frozen Heart.  In addition, they allow Rasputina to further increase her damage output by using the Bite of Winter ability (which works on them as well).  Even in death these buggers are useful as they shatter upon death and cause damage.  Despite their small stature and point cost, they really are an impressive pick on the tabletop.  They have decent stats, a good melee and ranged attack, and great resonance with Rasputina.

Snow Storm represents two individuals combined on a single base.  Snow is a Silent One with a special attachment to a spirit named Storm.  Their statline is impressive to say the least but the real advantage is the massive amount of support they bring to the crew.  As mentioned previously Rasputina works with area denial and control and Snow Storm only adds to the repertoire.  They can push all models back towards a chosen board edge, provide soft cover to units in base contact, pull ice gamin or ice golems into base contact (and out of combat), provide sleet cover which makes it harder to hit anything in melee or range, and like Rasputina, can cast Ice Pillars (although this is limited to once per turn, per crew) which frees up Rasputina to concentrate on other spells.  All that and Snow Storm can beat face in combat as well and even has abilities to increase the damage of it's melee attack.

The Silent One adds staying power and support to the crew.  She can heal models with Frozen Heart, allow models to turn to ice and become harder to damage, and also grant frozen heart to all models with a massive 8" range.  For support she can add 3" of range to friendly spells and ranged weapons.  With Rasputina it's all about Synergy and this model provides synergy in spades.

I love my Sabretooth Cerberus.  I don't know how many times I've caught opponents off guard by including this model since he doesn't have the Frozen heart mechanic naturally and doesn't necessarily fit the Rasputina theme.  That being said, I use him as an alpha striker.  He prowls up the flank and hides behind terrain before literally pouncing on his prey.  When unseen he gets free movement, he gets 2 free melee strikes in melee and can literally jump over terrain by using its leap spell.  Throw in the ability to one-shot height 1 models with Devour and this model is pure gold.  Usually he will take out a few models and cause enough confusion tha tmy opponent has to make a decision, wheel back and deal with the sabretooth cerberus while weathering ranged attacks or hold up the cerberus with bait while continuing onto the objective.

I have many other models that really don't see a whole lot of use anymore.  These include more ice gamin, a december acolyte, an ice golem, and a hoarcat pride.  I was never too keen on the ice golem.  It seemed like all it ever did was die (albeit slowly) but overall caused minimal damage.  The December Acolyte is largely a gimmick.  Deploy him in terrain and don't move him until the opponent opens up a flank and he can't be targetted.  The Hoarcat Pride is useful, but not overly so and it's efficiency only goes down as combat drags on.  He's better with a silent one nearby but since he's largely melee I'd rather go with the proven melee specialists.

So that's my crew in a nutshell.  Next time I touch on Malifaux I'll hopefully have more finished on my crew and maybe I'll explain some basic tactics I use with this group.  Otherwise I have updates planned for the Landship Screaming Bell, The Exalted Verminlord, and a variety of other hobby articles.  I'm trying to work up a backlog of posts as I will be on hiatus for a couple weeks due to family stuff (good stuff!).