Fixed lists: Inherently flawed, or essential for learning?
For the umpteenth time this year, I suck at Malifaux. Yep, still sucking away like a vacuum but I enjoy the game and the models that come with it. Some advice given to me about a month ago included choosing a master that I loved using/the background of, etc and make a fixed list under that master. Then, proceed to lose game after game until I know which schemes and strategies I can accomplish; when to activate which models; which models to pick fights with and how good the models I’m currently using are. This advice came from the best chap in my local group who’s practically unbeatable but every game is fully enjoyable. It was surprising to hear that, like me, he started out losing essentially every game until he just kept playing the same list until everything was second nature.
Once you know what the individual crew members can do, it’s easier to accomplish schemes and strats. So far, I’m getting there though, I just need to figure out what to use the last 6ss on. A trip to one of the faction groups on the Book of Faces for advice soured me a bit. Nevertheless, I’ll think of something. In any case, other advice from my local group included not using a fixed list due to not knowing factions beforehand (really only my henchman who plays multiple factions) and that strats/schemes/terrain will all be different. It’s solid advice, but I need to learn the following: Activation order, deployment, which models excel at <insert role> and scheme selection. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see which schemes I should’ve picked and can see when and how I could’ve gotten at least 2VP from them.
This irks me but at least I can make a note of things to differently in future games. An example of this is selecting ‘Mark for Death’ over ‘Exhaust their forces’ as the former isn’t AP/activation dependent. Mark a model, kill it, score VP. Another game had me select ‘Hunting Party’ and hire only one model that could get the VP for me- Hunting Party gives VP when either a Henchman or Enforcer kills something. I took just a single henchman. My brain is a traitor to the cause.
While I do see the obvious downsides in sticking to one list, I do feel it’s necessary for me to grow better at the game and start the road to winning. Other advice given to me was instead to make a core crew of 30ss and tweak from there. I might do this, as it gives me a decent amount of fixed crew to gain familiarity with.
The proposed core crew:
- Lilith (4)
- Beckon Malifaux
- Wicked Mistress
- Living blade
- Angel Eyes (10)
- Strange alliances
- Scion of Black Blood (8)
- Terror Tot (4)
- Terror Tot (4)
Which is 30ss and gives me 5 activations, A Master, 1 Henchman, 1 Enforcer and 2 minions. If this was used in a 35ss game, I’d probably add in a totem and gain extra stones. As it stands I see I have a bit of ranged support, 2 scheme runners and some condition removal. To me, it feels like a solid enough list, though I need to put that to the test. Unsure if I should replace the tots with bloodwretches and just build the core from the starter set models to have a 35ss core but we’ll see.
Tis a short post, but I’d much rather hear your thoughts on whether or not having a large portion of a crew being fixed is a good learning tool.