Random Thoughts 13 - Pandora in Malifaux 2.0

So, I'm going to try a strange tactic... I'm going to discuss my thoughts on how to run something in Malifaux openly, a few months away from a tournament. Admittedly, I'm not in this to win, but I'm pretty sure this is listed close to the top of The Art of War Do Not Do list. But, it's all in the name of fun...

For those of you who have been with the blog a while, you'll probably know that my first steps into Malifaux were under the watchful eye of Pandora. Originally I had trouble using her, but when I managed to figure out how she worked, I started to get really good with her. I wasn't perfect, and my friends new my plans well enough to devise their own counters, for which I had to counter, and at the end of the day, I really like a game that lets that evolving concept grow, especially when I find use for models I have little to no previous interest in.

So with the Beta for Malifauc 2.0, I was a bit shocked by the changes to Pandora: missing abilities! Reduced 'damage for failed WP test' bubble! I can only Incite, and even then, only twice! Where will my huge movement paths come from? My aura of absolute terror at the centre of the board! Justice hasn't changed much, right? Argh!

In fact, I didn't react *that* badly. It was a shock at first, but I generally agreed with a lot of the changes. Pandora still works the same from what I can see, you just have to pick the upgrades you want for the situation, and play a bit smarter. I'm in favour of the upgrades, as they let you tailor your team, and let's face it, there was always one upgrade that was in 1.5 as a spell you never used anyway...

Meanwhile, over the weekend I was talking to a friend about what I potentially could take to a tournament in Canberra in a few weeks. Justice and I have a love/hate relationship lately (I've thrown her into a demo death, and real one, many a time now) , so I decided I couldn't do that to her. I have Sonnia and Seamus, but they would require major time to build up the number of models so that I could seriously take them, and I don't have the time. So I settled on Pandora, and while I will have to (want to) add a few new models, I thought that the first hurdle I need to cross is how to move her...

Previously a lot of my tactics relied on Pandora moving somewhere. Need to get to the deployment zone? Pandora can do that. Want to kill the big thing on the other side of the table? Pandora can swing over there and do that. Want to tempt a Gremlin gunline? Pandora can do (and has done) that. Look at the rules for 2.0? Pandora can't do a lot of those things seemingly as well anymore. Hrmmm... Time to think...

Pandora shifts whenever she wins a WP duel, same as last time. Targeting her no longer triggers a duel in the same way, and her damage bubble is smaller. TO use her in the same way, I need to figure out how to get her across the table and closer to the enemy. WP 7 is a great bonus, and because I can use it in defence it means I won't play scared anymore. She can get right into the thick of the fight, and escape if needed. I just need to get her into the fight sooner, and for that, I need her moving sooner.

Previously my first turn was to shift up a bit, cast a few spells or appearance sake, and wait for something to move into LoS for me to start zooming along. Not only are people going to be wary of this, but I also have to do so quicker to take advantage of her abilities. Which means she needs a big boost in movement in the first turn.

So how does she move now? When she wins a WP duel. And she gets those on her DF flips as well, if she chooses to use her WP instead and wins the duel. SO in a way her old 'target me and see if you hit' rule is still in effect, just hidden in a sly way. I just needed a way of getting my enemies to target her early on...
Wait, this is Malifaux...
*I* can target my models early on. I just need to control the situation...

Remember when I said I like finding a use for models I haven't paid attention to before? I found two new friends today.

The first is the Desperate Mercenary. Despite looking cool, I have always been wary of a model that flails around a bit and then falls down. I never really understood peoples use for them, despite the whole Drain Souls mechanic, and a few other Masters that had a good use for them. But now... I can hire hire to shoot at Pandora!

The Merc is SH4, but if i target something else, I get a shot between two things for 1AP at SH2. With stats that low, I can barely count on a kill, and can also cheat up or down to suit myself. So if I target Pandora and say Baby Kade (DF7) they should both be safe, and Pandora can move 4". I can do it again, and move her another few inches. Not all the way, mind you, just less than 8" from my new friend...

Sorrows! Really, in 1.5 I rarely took them. I mainly used them as wound cushions for my main Woes, and with them letting Pandora get targeted by blasts, I quickly replaced them with things like the Insidious Madness. But now! Oh, I can move the 8" to another model, and then hit it! Great! I can do that to Pandora, who can then resist and move again, so all of a sudden she is 12" out into the board.
And
she
hasn't
activated
yet....

With Pandora sitting practically on the centre lie, I can start making a big threat early on. Sure, I need backup, but that's what I like about this game. Well, that, and the nasty looks Pandora gets when she plonks herself somewhere unexpected. Sure, this tactic might only work once, but it's going to be great fun! And I can't wait to see what other models I can try it with.

So far I am looking at a 'basic' 55ss crew in this manner. Obviously things can be swapped out later and changed for situations, but going from Wave 1, alone, I can field something like this...

Pandora (+3ss Cache)
Upgrade: The Box Opens (2ss)
Candy (9ss)
Upgrade: Best Behaviour (1ss)
Kade (7ss)
Teddy (11ss)
Sorrow (5ss)
Sorrow (5ss)
Desperate Mercenary (5ss)
Oiran (6ss)
4 extra Soulstones

So, any thoughts? Has Pandora driven my power hungry? Will it be fun while it lasts, and Pandora is ripped to shred with no support?

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