Friday, January 16, 2015

Neverborn for 2015


I will be starting off this year as I begin to explore the Neverborn faction. When I started my journey into Malifaux in late 2013, I grabbed all the discounted metal boxes they had at Cape Fear Games. I got all the Wave 1 Rezzer masters, Pandora and Zoraida. As it's hard to resist the lure of zombie streetwalkers (See what I did there?) I put the Neverborn in their box and focused on the Resurrectionists. Now it's 2015 and with interest in Malifaux being renewed, I've decided to try a new faction. Lucky for me, Pandora and Zoraida were staring me right in the face. So far I have 2 games with Zoraida and 5 with Pandora under my belt.

What have I learned?
Neverborn is a tricky faction to grasp. While Nico, McMourning and Seamus play fairly straight forward and are easy to figure out just by looking at their cards, Zorida and Pandora are a bit trickier to master. Pandora can dish out some serious damage to anyone with a big attack and low WP, but most minions aren't really packing a lot of firepower. She tends to stall out versus anyone who doesn't hit hard UNLESS she's surrounded by the Sorrow Posse. These guys when clumped up can really toss out some damage when WP duels are lost. When she's in trouble, Pandora's ability to push 4" on a failed WP duel can be a life saver, especially considering that she can choose all DF duels to be WP duels. Meaning a failed attempt to attack her can get her out of melee range for most models.

 Candy is so far an important part of my strategy as well. Her Manipulative ability can force cards out of my opponent's hand and her Sweet and Sour abilities along with Pandora's Incite gives me some control over how my opponent activates their models.

 These things alone are not enough to win a game of Malifaux. Coming from a background of Miniature games that reward model trading and removing as many pieces from the board as possible, it took me a while to start to understand the nuances of Malifaux. Actions are limited, most models will get 2 each round and masters will get 3. Depending on your schemes and the scenario AP spent putting some damage on a model rather than getting closer to achieving your objectives is possibly wasted opportunity. This is by far the most important lesson I've learned. While playing Ressers, especially Nicodem, it is easy to out AP your opponent by summoning more models than they can deal with. Each model you remove from the table is a possible extra model for you, and each model they remove from the table can come back to haunt them. This isn't so with most Neverborn masters. I have realized that summoning was something of a crutch I had to shake off when I switched factions. Each model's actions count doubly when you don't have waves of undead at your command.

For the next month I'll be focusing exclusively on Pandora and Zoraida, finding out what makes them work, where they balance best and I'll be recording it here at least once a week. I'll add to it some battle reports with pictures and post my thoughts on what worked and what didn't. After I feel like I have the two of them pretty well discovered, I plan on moving to Lilith, Dreamer or Lucius. Wish me luck!

-John Fox

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