It will come as no surprise to many of you that I've completely missed the deadline when it comes to getting my initial crew painted. Total proportion of models completed = 0%.
However, it isn't all bad! I did manage to slap some colour on 7 out of 9 of the models, and almost finish Misaki herself. She's had to be put on hold temporarily while I order up some new thinner drill bits. I had hoped that the weapon swap would hold with plenty of Liquid Poly glue, but every time I repair it, it falls off a couple of turns into the very next game. I'm therefore going to take the plunge and drill out Misaki's hand, replacing the weapon with something more solid like a brass rod.
I've taken the unusual (for me) decision to paint this crew all at once, instead of my usual system which is to focus on one model at a time. I've found this has helped with getting a feel for what the entire crew is going to look like, allowing me to plan and balance colour schemes on each individual model.
As you can see, I'm going predominantly turquoise and yellow, both colours that I have zero experience of so I'm way out of my comfort zone here. That being said, I'm enjoying the challenge of working with something new, and the vibrancy of the colours on the tabletop makes my crew really stand out.
I'll talk more about colour choices and specific painting techniques in future posts, however given the lacklustre progress I think it's necessary to motivate myself to get more painting done in Month 2. Part of the difficulty with #ToMB is that the painting is frontloaded into Month 1 with more than twice as many figures to complete in the same time period, so with the pressure easing in future months I think I should be able to catch up. To make this ambition a reality though, I'm going to commit to producing a painting diary for Month 2. I'll report back with a daily record of what I achieve - hopefully that will give me the kick up the arse to stop procrastinating and progress faster...
I've had a fair few games with Misaki over the last month, and I really feel like I'm starting to get the hang of her and her crew. I'll save a more in depth analysis of individual models for a future post, so for now I'll just touch on some of the main things that I feel like I've learned as a complete beginner to the models.
- Many Ten Thunders upgrades have the requirement that you must discard the upgrade at the start of your activation to get a bonus, and coming from a faction that had none of this type of thing, I'm finding I forget *consistently*. More than one game has been lost due to sending Misaki on an assassination run half-cocked, only for her to come within a hair of killing her target and then falling over herself. Solution? I've started leaving a bead/marker on the table next to Misaki that follows her around, so that I see it before I move her anywhere and consider my upgrade options first!
- If Deliver the Message or Assassinate is in the scheme pool, they seem to be very attractive options for your opponent to choose. Deliver the Message is reasonably easy for Misaki to dodge though - she can charge into melee and then make sure she pushes out of engagement range on the last attack using the automatic Next Target trigger.
- Deadly Dance seems very situational - I've never felt it a worthy enough contender for her APs to use it. That being said, I can see it being used in conjunction with the Disguise upgrade to prevent any enemies engaging Misaki that she doesn't want to be engaged by. At 2SS for Disguise though, that becomes a costly tactic that I'm not yet sure how to maximise.
- Smoke and Shadows is a very nice upgrade indeed - I haven't yet managed to pull anything tricky with it, but I can see the potential.
- Cutpurse and Untouchable I've also not yet used - Stalking Bisento and Recalled Training seem like stronger upgrades overall, but I plan to experiment with different loadouts in the coming months.
- Shang has been a nice extra when I have SS to spare - the extra card draw each turn practically pays for his hiring cost, and the extra activation is useful to stop me getting swamped by larger crews. I've been told of some filthy healing combos in a Misaki Outcast crew that I may get around to testing out in the future too.
- Torakage are solid 6SS minions. I love the thematics of their Rapid Fire combined with automatic Leaf Steps triggers to get them where they need to be, and with Wk6 they've made excellent objective runners. Sneaking one down a flank has worked a couple of times to drop scheme markers for Breakthrough or similar, then bury using Smoke and Shadows only to reappear in the thick of the action once they'd achieved their mission.
- I'm yet to see Ototo do anything impressive, unfortunately. At 10SS basic he's very pricey, and his 1SS upgrade gives him a trigger that, while synergistic, isn't especially that much more powerful than to Critical Strike and still relys on you to be sitting on a high Ram in your Control Hand to get the most out of. Admittedly the (0) action it also grants is powerful in it's own right, but that's 11SS in one package - almost two Torakage! I haven't given up on him though - I'll be making a point of trying to get more out of him in Month 2 games.
- I'm loving Thunder Archers, particularly for getting themselves situated with LOS to the objective in something like Turf War and just pincushioning any enemies that try to claim it. Shooting into engagements is golden, their Slow trigger is very easy to pull off, and their Leap Aside Df trigger has made for some of the most cinematic moments of my games so far.
|Ototo attempts to take most of a McMourning crew by himself. There's poison everywhere!|
For Month 2 of the Tale, I'm allowed an extra $25 to put towards new stuff for the crew, which added to my remaining budget from Month 1 gives me $29 to spend.
My preference at the moment is to try and remain 100% plastic, but thankfully for the Ten Thunders this is less of a restriction as the majority of their models are already released in plastic. Less handy is the fact that many of the juiciest minion choices - Illuminated, Rail Workers, Wastrels - are only found in crew boxes that I don't have the budget for. In addition I'd rather focus on Misaki for the time being instead of seguing in to a different Master so soon.
Plastic Ten Thunders available outside of crew boxes are a bit thinner on the ground - Oiran would be nice for slightly cheaper minions to bulk out my activation count and to provide the ever-useful Lure spell, whereas Yamaziko or Ama No Zako would make alternative Henchmen for games where I didn't fancy breaking out Ototo. Alternatively they could be used when I wanted an ultra-elite crew of heavy hitters with multiple Henchmen.
On the bright side, the Ten Thunders range is about to see significant expansion! Fuhatsu, Low River Monks, Samurai and the Dawn Serpent all slated for release in Q2 of this year, which makes me very happy indeed! Fuhatsu in particular looks like he's going to make an incredible model. All the new stuff on the horizon means I'm erring on the side of spending a little less this month, just in case my options open up in Month 3 and I can go wild. With that in mind, my Month 2 spend is therefore:
Previously this lovely lady was an Outcast, but following the conclusion of 2nd Edition Beta she has been given dual faction status - Ten Thunder/Outcast. This is ideal for me because it means she can follow Misaki to whichever faction she declares. Ama brings an attack with a great damage spread and an Obey-type ability which gives me some out-of-activation movement options and control, as well as being nice and survivable with several self-healing effects. Plus she can Swallow gremlins whole!
That being said, I'll admit to being driven mostly by the rule of cool here, I want a big centrepiece model for my crew, and Ama is a huge model that completely fills her 50mm base.
She costs me $16, meaning I can carry forward the remaining $13 to next month for a whopping $38 spending spree! Watch out shops!
Tale of Malifaux Bloggers is a group project in which a small group of players document the process of collecting, painting and playing with their new Malifaux crews over a period of several months. For further information, check out Episode 10 of Chasing Bacon or the introductory post on Play it Like Beatdown . A list of participants can be found on the Wyrd forum thread