The last of my new plastic Witch Hunters (though of course they’re Torch and Blade now) is Samael Hopkins. In Malifaux 1.5 he was a damage output specialist who was incredibly easy to kill. After a fairly good number of games using him with Sonnia Criid and Perdita Ortega in M2E, I would say that he is the same. I have to admit that I’m not really very good at using Sam. His high damage output feels like it ought to be near the front so he can either kill things or deny the area. But his lack of meaningful defense means that this is a (so far) sure-fire way to have the big chap killed. I’ve had a little more luck using him as a bodyguard for Sonnia, but this has been limited for a couple of reasons. First, Sonnia is also quite easy to kill and Sam has no way to actually intercept the attacks other than standing in the way, so often he ends up as a bodyguard standing next to his client’s gently cooling corpse. Secondly, to turn on his melee damage output he really needs his victims to be on fire already, which means sinking even more resources into the bodyguard role; a Witchling Stalker is probably the cheapest way to do the job. The final nail in his coffin is that Sonnia and Perdita (the only Guild masters I’ve played so far in M2E) are also damage specialists and therefore I don’t really need to spend additional soulstones on more of the same. So now I find that I prefer other options over poor neglected Sam.
So to make up for the rather negative review of Samael’s in-game performances, I would like to say that I loved painting him. Every part of this miniature has nice detail over it; and he has such a determined look on his face that I can’t help but like his attitude. I was very close to not using red at all on Samael as I felt he deserved a more moody cowboy look, but by the time I picked up the paintbrush I went back to keeping the overall Guild colour scheme. In case anyone hasn’t seen this on the sprue, Sam’s sporran (OK, I know it’s meant to be a mantrap really) comes in more pieces than all three Witchling Stalkers combined. My previous version of Samael Hopkins can be seen here for comparison.
Next on the painting table: the Enslaved Nephilim.