This is the Doppelganger for my Malifaux Neverborn crews. She has a number of useful toolbox abilities such as Ill Omens allowing one to cheat initiative and particularly the always-valuable Don’t Mind Me to enable interactions even when engaged. Her basic attacks are terrible but she can copy the attacks of nearby models so depending on what is nearby she can sometimes turn out to have something impressive like Nekima’s sword hidden under her sheet. Reading the forums one might think that the Doppelganger should be the first option taken in all crews and that Ill Omens is so powerful as to overshadow other options. I certainly like to play the Doppelganger in some crews but generally find that in few cases would the cost of a high card be worth it to cheat and win initiative; I prefer to set up so that I can play my turns whether I win or lose the flip.
The Doppelganger is a really nice sculpt and I like the story it tells with the skin and exposed muscle as if it is half-way through a change of forms. I used red ink (rather than wash) to give a shiny wet look to the muscles.
Next on the painting table: Gupps
This big chap is a Mature Nephilim for my Malifaux Neverborn. As you can probably tell from the appearance, Mature Nephilim are unsubtle murder machines best suited for use as some kind of linebreakers. They’re fast on the charge and can fly so my most effective use of them has been simply throwing them into enemy crews and letting them get on with it while the rest of my crew goes about scoring points. They can grow from Terror Tots and Young Nephilim and I find it far more amusing to try to do that rather than hiring these guys right from the start. Even if it never happens, players get careful when there is a possibility that a wounded Young Nephilim could suddenly turn into a fully-healed bruiser like the Mature Nephilim.
I like the aesthetic of the Mature Nephilim, being a straightforward demon amalgamated from many familiar sources, though I would state that it looks bit squat. Probably that is a good thing; with that wingspan it is quite hard to fit neatly into my case anyway. Painting it was quite dull though since almost the whole model is skin. I could have livened it up with tattoos or a variable skin tone but they didn’t really fit with the way that I’d painted the other Nephilim so I just left it.
Next on the painting table: Doppelganger.
Here are the Young Nephilim, the next up in the chain started by Terror Tots for my Malifaux Neverborn. They’re pretty reasonable generalists in their own right, being mobile (due to Flight) and punching somewhat above their weight class but are pitifully easy to kill. They do make for acceptable scheme runners for this reason as they can usually put up a creditable fight against any enemies sent for that purpose as well as being able to mostly get where they are needed. I rarely hire them, preferring to hire Terror Tots (cheaper and at least as good for laying scheme markers) and something with the Rapid Growth upgrade which allows the Tots to grow into Young, then eventually in Mature Nephilim. In practice, I don’t even succeed in doing this some games for various reasons but have found the threat of this occurring to be worth cost of the upgrade.
The miniatures are really nice looking ‘teenage devil’ styled sculpts. The one standing up was assembled as intended, but the flying one is supposed to be holding a skull which is attached to the ground only by a bit of dangling spine. Reasoning that the chance of that staying attached to the base for long was rather slim I did some minor work with putty to make it look like it is vaulting this pillar. Hardly perfect, but good enough for my purposes. The painting was intentionally the same as the other Nephilim: white/blue skin and purple clothes and hair. Simple but effective on the table.
Next on the painting table: Mature Nephilim
Here are Waldgeists for my Neverborn in Malifaux. They’re quite agnostic about which Master they play in, bringing some simple but effective abilities to a crew. On the defensive side, Waldgeists have high armour to make them likely to suffer only 1 damage per attack (though it means that they really hate anything that ignores armour) and are hard to attack from range before they activate. Their attack does nothing exciting in terms of damage but has triggers to either Slow their victims or stop them walking. Waldgeists can also create little patches of cover for themselves and when sitting in them (or any other terrain) get a massive 4″ melee range. All this combines to make Waldgeists highly effective speed-bumps that are hard to ignore or remove. I particularly like playing them with Bad Juju (more on that later) so that even when the Waldgeists finally die they unbury the big compost heap right in the most annoying place I can find.
I deliberately kept the colours simple and naturalistic on the Waldgeists, as seemed appropriate since they are walking trees. Brown for the bark, creamy grey for the fungus and some green for moss.
Next on the painting table: Young Nephilim.
This is Barbaros, one of the Nephilim Henchmen for the Neverborn faction in Malifaux. Unlike Nekima (more on her later), Barbaros is a tanking and control piece. His main ability, at least for me, is to make enemy models take a fairly tricky willpower check if they are near him and target someone else with an action, otherwise they fail. Ideally they’ll be in a position where actually attacking Barbaros is impossible or undesirable so they would need to take the test all the time. Helpfully, it even affects things like healing friends. Naturally, passing one willpower duel is easy (notwithstanding the Black Joker, of course) but with some clever positioning I’ve had opponents taking more than a dozen in a single turn. Eventually, they start to fail and have run out of good cards to cheat in. Even when Barbaros is attacked he has armour, Black Blood and a tasty (if rare) defensive trigger to keep him in the game. Overall, Barbaros is one of my favourite pieces in the faction.
I stuck with the same Nephilim skin tones as before, pale blue all over for skin and purple hair. At least Barbaros is wearing more than one item of clothing so I was able to mix up the colours a bit with his armour. I like the pose, though I’ve knocked his left arm off quite a few times now (the spikes on his weapon keep sticking in the foam of my carry-case). The only frustrating thing is that the miniature has wings but the rules of the game don’t give him flight. It took me quite a few games to get that correct, especially as the Young Nephilim have almost identical wings but can fly.
Next on the painting table: Waldgeists.
Here is the Black Blood Shaman, part of the Malifaux Neverborn faction. Arguably more than most pieces in Malifaux, the Black Blood Shaman has a fairly narrow niche. It supports models with Black Blood, gives them Black Blood and has some synergy with the Nephilim tag (almost all of whom have Black Blood). Luckily, I also love all these things, so I take this beaky chap fairly often. Most obviously, it makes a nice support piece in a Nephilim-heavy crew, allowing some un-resisted damage to be splashed on anyone standing near your Black Blood models. More than that, being able to hand out Black Blood for a tiny damage cost can be hilarious for options that can heal themselves. Wise scholars have often asked ‘what is more annoying to deal with than an Illuminated?’ To which the answer is surely ‘an Illuminated with Black Blood.’ Similarly, I really enjoy giving Collodi Black Blood (this also allows the use of the Run Away Home trigger to move the Puppet around), then making the Shaman its Personal Puppet. So when Collodi takes damage, it can push up to the most annoying position possible, then make the Shaman hit it with Black Blood Pustule for some area damage and a possible heal or buff for Collodi itself (living the dream, you could also theorise that the Shaman is itself engaged with something and bleeding profusely over it in the process, but I’ve never actually had this happen).
The miniature was somewhat fiddly to assemble and paint. The former is due to the rather spindly arms and the tiny contact points at both wrist and shoulder, though this is rather standard fare for Malifaux. The latter is because of the folds of the wings making it a bit tricky to maneuver the paint brush around the model. Nonetheless, I like the miniature’s pose and did find it fun to colour. The scheme was a simple copy of all the other Nephilim, pale blue skin and purple clothing; the beak (I assume; for all I know it’s meant to be a mask) allowed a bit of divergence from the norm.
Next on the painting table: Barbaros.
Here are some iconic Wyrd miniatures to go in my Malifaux Neverborn crews. Wicked Dolls have the Puppet keyword and hence have some slight synergy with their master, Collodi, who can also summon them. But I have to admit that I have been unable to get much value out of mine, so if anyone has any clever idea about what to do with the cute little dolls then I’d be happy to read it. They are a cheap activation, but they’re in the same cost bracket as the Effigies, Terror Tots and Gupps who I’ve had much more success with. Indeed, if I only wanted cheap activations (and was playing Collodi) I’d probably take Marionettes as they are even cheaper.
For painting I wanted a sack-cloth look with brighter point colours. So these Wicked Dolls have mainly ended up brown and purple, with their cute button eyes picked out in primary colours for more contrast. They were quick to paint (even for me) and it’s nice to get them out of the queue, even if I am not really sure how best to utilise them.
Next on the painting table: Black Blood Shaman
Here is Kade (formerly known as Baby Kade for obvious reasons) for the Malifaux Neverborn faction. Kade is the ultimate ‘glass cannon’ in that he can hit ridiculously hard with that knife, reaching minimum damage 5 in some cases, but has few wounds or defences. He’s pretty fast considering his short legs and seems to principally have two roles. Firstly, to go in and shank something that the other crew would rather didn’t die, then take a few resources to be killed in return. Alternatively, to use his Pounce ability to have things pushed into him and stab them without even needing to activate. Actually I have very little experience with Kade, not because I think he’s bad but rather because there always seems to be something else that I’d put in the crew first.
Painting Kade was very simple as he is mostly bare skin (and not much of that really) plus a nappy and a knife. He got to the front of the painting queue on the grounds that he represents something of a ‘low-hanging fruit’ for me to move from the ‘to be painted’ pile. That’s a 30mm base, in case you’re interested in scale.
Next on the painting table: Wicked Dolls.
Here is Lilith’s totem for the Malifaux Neverborn faction, the Cherub. I love this little chap and would happily take it with other masters if only I could. It is highly mobile thanks to flight and has some small utility to help other miniatures with interact actions if they are nearby. Occasionally this ability can be critical, though it often leaves the Cherub in a vulnerable position. Even better than that, it has a reasonably effective ranged attack with does fairly trivial damage but also causes Slow and pushes things around. Against melee crews in particular this can be really amazing, allowing you to push their fighters away and stop them charging back in again.
The paint scheme is really simple, matching the other Nephilim I did already or have in the works. I had originally planned to go with white wings but they made the Cherub look a bit too monotone with the white skin too, so I made them a creamier colour instead. My nice new lightbox shows off the many flaws in my painting to a depressing extent.
Next on the painting table: Kade.
These little chaps are Terror Tots for my Malifaux Neverborn crews. They have the Nephilim keyword and synergise with some other Nephilim to be able to grow into larger and scarier forms, specifically the Young Nephilim which are still in my painting queue. In this form, they are fast scheme runners with a fairly dire attack; the main defense for a Tot (apart from its stats, which are not terrible for the cost) is that they will damage nearby models with Black Blood when wounded so in desperate times I have used them as small bombs to finish off wounded enemies.
I picked white skin mainly because I’d used it previously for the Enslaved Nephilim, and because I think it looks quite reasonable at tabletop distance. The clothes are purple mainly for contrast, though it is also the case that purple is the ‘official’ colour for Neverborn. I’m not sure if I’ll use it across all models in the faction.
Next on the painting table: Cherub