These are the first Malifaux Gremlin miniatures I got round to painting. I used Rooster Riders a lot during my brief time playing Gremlins, but I won’t write much about them here because the rules have changes since I last did so. Gremlins as a faction just didn’t really excite me after a dozen games or so and since then I’ve moved on to a different faction for my gaming pleasure.
Rooster Riders are an absolutely lovely concept and I really enjoyed the idea of crazed Gremlins frantically clinging onto the back of the giant chickens and just hoping for the best while steering them in roughly the correct direction. I’ve seen a lot of vividly coloured Roosters but I preferred to keep a rather darker tone for the mount in order to make the green of the Gremlin skin stand out more.
Next on the painting table: Viktoria of Blood.
Here’s another painted master for my Malifaux Outcasts; this time it is the tormented spirit Jack Daw. Jack is mainly a control master, handing out the Tormented condition by various methods and using it to push friendlies and enemies alike around as seen fit. Enemies who get the Tormented condition by means of Jack’s not-really-an-upgrade cards also have penalties when they try to take certain actions. His main defense is that all attack actions against him are at negative flips; for this reason Jack Daw really hates anyone with a built-in positive flip, or any player who remembers to use the Focus action. In particular there are a lot of these in Ten Thunders and I find him a really risky pick against that faction. I love to play Jack Daw in Headhunter where his ability to push friendly models around is great for picking up heads. He is also pretty nice in any scenario where pieces need to be in particular spots around the centre (for example in Extraction) as it this allows him to keep his own crew within his control auras while disrupting the other crew.
Jack Daw was a bit fiddly to paint as I had to work around the rope coiled about him. But overall I found the miniature to be rather satisfying to paint and not only characterful but a good representation of his appearance in the stories. There isn’t a lot of scope for complex paint schemes with these large blocks of unbroken texture (i.e. skin, shirt, hood and trousers) which would probably have been highly frustrating for a skilled painter; luckily I do not have that problem. Many have pointed out that he looks like he’s playing air guitar, and you can see a (much better painted) version by the highly skilled Maria taken to the next level here.
Next on the painting table: Rooster Riders.
This is Taelor, the iconic Outcast henchman (henchwoman?) from Malifaux. She wields a massive hammer with great effect, and can activate an ability that lets her charge any summoned models in range. Not only that, be she is also extremely difficult to get rid of, having both hard to wound and hard to kill abilities. Taelor’s main weakness is that she is extremely slow; and spending so many points on a model that will probably spend her first few turns walking is occasionally quite frustrating. Still, Taelor brings a lot to the table, as long as all you really want is for things (especially constructs) to be hammered into the ground like tent-pegs.
The miniature is very nice and dynamic, posed partway into smashing her hammer down. I’ve seen one particularly nice conversion where she is astride Lazarus applying the hammer to his head. The observant might note that her pony tail is on upside-down as I knocked it off while gaming and reasoned that this way round was less likely to catch on things. I like the contrast of the light shirt and dark skin. Her hair is pink partly because I’ve put some pink on all of my Outcasts and partly because I like the way it ties her in with Rusty Alyce with whom she’s often competing for space.
Next on the painting table: Jack Daw.
Here is Montresor, the thematic Henchman for the Outcast master Jack Daw in Malifaux. On the table, I’ve really struggled to get much use out of the big chap since his abilities all revolve around bringing pieces in close to him and keeping them there, but do nothing to stop them from simply killing him once they arrive. He can occasionally get a cheeky Paralyse off on non-Soulstone users but overall the opportunity cost for using Montresor is really high. For a single additional soulstone I could use Taelor, Rusty Alyce or Bishop, all of which I rate much higher than Montresor even with the cost difference. That said, Montresor does have a new free upgrade (i.e. functionally an errata fix) to improve him. I haven’t used it so I can’t comment on how effective it has been.
In contrast to how lacklustre Montresor is on the gaming table, the miniature is really nice. I think he’s meant to be part of the Hammer Horror style canon of creepy hangmen, but to me I can’t help but think of Lurch from the Addams Family. Despite his ragged appearance I deliberately kept the painting tidy as I think he looks a lot better that way. As usual for my Outcasts Montresor sports some pink attire; his tie in this case.
Next on the painting table: Taelor.
This is Von Schill, another Outcast master for Malifaux; he is thematically the leader of the Freikorps sub-faction. Funnily enough, despite being one the first masters I bought for Outcasts I have almost never played him. I don’t think he’s bad or anything (Joe has regularly demonstrated his power against me), but somehow I’ve just never really been excited to put Von Schill on the table.
I do really like the plastic version of Von Schill as it has a bit of the dynamism suggested by his rules; the old metal one was very static in comparison. I’d already laid out my colour scheme with the rest of the Freikorps earlier in the year, so this was a simple case of sticking with the plan of grey and pink. I like the way the old chap looks.
Next on the painting table: Montresor
Here are the iconic Malifaux mercenaries, the Ronin from the Outcasts faction. They’re a cheap toolbox of handy skills whose biggest weakness is a pitiful resilience to incoming attacks. Otherwise, they’re mobile, ignore armour and can Flurry if the opportunity arises. They also have the convenient ability to Seppuku if needed, killing themselves for either cards or Soulstones. This is sometimes handy to get resources, but can also be a good way to deny someone points for Distract or similar schemes. They have a place in any Outcast crew, and can probably offer something useful to any crew in the game.
The original metal versions of the Ronin were based on the characters from Kill Bill, so I’m not really sure why they’re now dressed like they are on their way to cosplay at an anime conventions. Still, if giant teddy bears doesn’t break my suspension of disbelief in the world of Malifaux then I suppose I shouldn’t complain about fighters wearing high heels. Considering their slightly ridiculous clothing, I took the opportunity to apply some brighter colours here; each Ronin has a different one assigned. Of course, they all have pink ribbons to match the rest of my Outcasts.
I borrowed a lightbox for these photos, so the lighting is slightly better than normal from me. The photography is just as awful as usual though.
Next on the painting table: Von Schill.
Here is Leveticus, another of the Outcast faction masters for Malifaux. He has a lot of strange rules in the game that make him play very differently to most options. Leveticus uses his wounds as a resource to fuel his attacks (though somewhat less so after a rebalancing errata from Wyrd) and is very hard to permanently kill. Upon death he is instead buried and can unbury from a Hollow Waif at the end of the turn. This leads him to a very interesting forward planning game style where you need to think in advance where you’ll want Leveticus to appear in the following turn and place your pieces accordingly. The high mobility and survivability this affords is really useful for some schemes, especially Undercover Entourage. In addition, Leveticus has a fairly easy trigger to turn enemy models into Abominations upon death, which makes him really strong for the Interference strategy. I’ve yet to dabble in Leveticus’s wide hiring pool from the Pariah of Iron / Bone upgrades, partly because I don’t really own the miniatures that would make it useful, partly because everyone else seems to consider that to be the optimum play for him, and mostly because I really like the Outcast options.
Considering that Leveticus is, at heart, a part of the ‘mad scientist’ style of miniature, I felt that a white lab coat was the way to go for him. Unfortunately, this meant that my camera simply would not focus properly on him against the white background so my photos are, if possible, even less good that usual. I really like the way the pink details contracts with the white coat.
Next on the painting table: Ronin.
These hapless ladies are Hollow Waifs; they are the totems for the Malifaux Outcast master Leveticus. There isn’t much to say about them in game; you might as well hire two with Leveticus most games since they’re free and no-one else can hire them at all. They provide the mechanic for Leveticus’s fairly entertaining in-game life and death cycle. Hollow Waifs are not very hard to kill, which somewhat inconveniences Leveticus, but on the other hand they don’t really contribute much to a game other than a bit of activation control so they’re rarely fully in harm’s way. Positioning them to be safe but allowing Leveticus to unbury out of them into a threatening part of the board can be a challenge, especially considering that they additionally need to be close to a six (or more) soulstone model when it happens.
I decided to make them very visually distinct from each other with completely different dress colours. Of course, each still has a little pink on them to make them fit in with the rest of the Outcasts. I have to admit that I spent very little time on them, as befits their role in Leveticus’s grand scheme.
Next on the painting table: Leveticus.
Here are the Abominations (formerly Steampunk Abominations) for my Malifaux Outcasts. They’re thematically aligned with Leveticus, and though they can be hired by any Outcast master I almost never find that I want to. Instead, they can be summoned by various models’ triggers on attacks, notably Leveticus himself and Rusty Alyce, when a victim dies. Needless to say, they’re not especially good in their own right. Instead, they are quite annoying to be near, stopping the use of (0) actions and removing built-in suits for some actions. This means that summoning them near priority enemy models can be a form of causing Slow as they need to spend AP to clear themselves of the irritating Abomination. I’m often conflicted on doing this as some schemes and strategies score point for killing things, and summoning a load of weak minions right next to their hardest pieces can be a way to haemorrhage points. Therefore it needs consideration about whether this is actually valuable in each game.
The miniatures themselves are a pleasingly eclectic bunch. As befits a group of cheap irritation pieces, I kept the painting as simple as possible, with minimal colours on each. They were really enjoyable to put paint on though, as each is an individual quite unlike any of the others.
Next on the painting table: Hollow Waifs.
This is the Malifaux Outcast faction effigy, the Hodgepodge Effigy. Like the Brutal Effigy, which which it shares a statline, the Hodgepodge Effigy is a highly effective scheme runner which is far more annoying to kill than its low cost would suggest. It does have a fairly rubbish melee weapon in case it is ever required to shank anyone but I generally don’t find it making attacks. The two selling features of the Effigy (beyond an ability to survive and drop scheme markers cheaply) are creating cloud cover and allowing Masters to gain soulstones. Using the Mist action to put some soft cover can be important in some match-ups if there are critical open areas that you want to sit in and not be shot so much. The Hodgepodge can also put a condition on a master to allow them to discard a card and gain a soulstone if they kill anything. I’ve found this most useful with Leveticus in combination with the Tally Sheet upgrade so far as he often kills a couple of cheap minions in a turn. It should be really good with the Viktorias but I find that I use Viktoria of Blood to do the fighting far more than Viktoria of Ashes; it also telegraphs the intention if you need to use the chain activation as that stops you chain activating both Viktorias instead.
The photos are even worse than usual today. I liked assembling this little chap but found him quite dull to paint as there just isn’t that much detail to pick out. I deliberately kept him in muted colours as befits his supporting role, with the exception of the bright pink neckerchief.
Next on the painting table: Abominations.