Malifaux – The Ortega Family


During our recent weekend shenanigans when Servitob flopped his Daemon Prince on the table (this time he didn’t get arrested for it either) nBreaker and I decided to scratch our Victorian Horror/Wild West/Steampunk itch with some more games of Malifaux.

We re-enacted our first battle with the Cult of December taking on the Death Marshalls. I dropped two soulstones from Tina’s pool to grab the Essence of Power totem. Luckily totems are on the cheap side for adding to you crew and the +flip on the damage is rather useful when you try to melt people’s faces off with December’s Curse. I’m not going to report on this fight as things went similar to our first game with Tina using Ice Pillars to control the board and then chucking out damage with December’s Curse, however, it was the Ice Golem that finished off Lady Justice this time by punching her into oblivion.

The real event was the following game, nBreaker stuck with what he knew rather than switching to his Outcasts and I cracked open the Ortega family for my first try at the Guild. The one downside I noticed to start with is that family comes to exactly 25 stones, leaving me with only Perdita’s cache to power my soulstone use, as she has a cache of 2 I was going to have to really manage their use for them to be of any benefit.

Rather than give a blow by blow account of the battle I’m going to give a run down about how they perform as a Crew. This was the third time I’d faced Lady Justice and her posse and I’ll say that even though I eventually won it was a much closer battle than we have had previously. I have heard the comparison that the Ortegas are kind of like the Eldar in 40k, pretty powerful offensively but once they start to take a beating they will go down fast. I agree with this to a certain extent but seeing nBreaker chuck stuff at Perdita and watching her survive a lot with her Df of 8 was as relieving for me as it was infuriating for my opponent.

Nino has a Rg 16 gun and this is his greatest strength, I stuck him in cover on one side of the battlefield and let him mow down whatever came his way. He did eventually run out of wounds but he dealt a lot of straight damage as well as using his Headshot trigger to cause nBreaker to discard his Control Cards to prevent stuff from dying. Whether this was a good trade-off or not I can’t be certain (I had the Assassinate Strategy) but forcing your opponent into decisions of this kind can put them on edge enough to hand you a psychological advantage.

I can never remember which one is which out of Francisco and Santiago, one of them bought the farm early on after taking bullets from the Death Marshals, I may have just played him out-of-place, this was my first game with them after all. The one with the paired Peacebringers (I think Santiago) effectively won me the game. I’ll get to this later.

Papa Loco was an oddity for me, I wasn’t sure how to play him but after chucking him out there he is a board control piece. Once your opponent gets wind of the fact that you want him to die he will start to try to avoid the model, you are either going to be taking 5 or 6 damage from the guy when he does eventually go nuclear. I hid him behind a building and he ended up getting shot for a turn before moving into melee with the Judge. This forced nBreaker to try and escape melee to shoot at the old man but he got stopped on one occasion. I spent Soulstones to try to cast Obey onto Lady Justice to get her to charge Papa Loco at one point but failed, if I had have cast this Lady J would have certainly finished him off and a crater would have been the only thing left. It didn’t work but the strategy was there, nBreaker has “the fear” regarding Papa Loco and using him in this way is great and puts your opponent on the back foot reacting to how you are playing thus increasing your options.

Eventually Lady J went for Perdita, some decent flips and a nice control hand saw me survive to chuck Papa Loco into melee range, I then activated Santiago and passed the Willpower duel for shooting my own model, I cheated fate to make sure it hit and that caused Papa to combust taking the last wounds off Lady J and sending her to a KFC family bucket sized grave. Perdita took some damage but her Evasive 2 ability was awesome at helping her walk out unscathed. nBreaker certainly wasn’t expecting me to willingly take out one of my own models in order to complete my strategy.

We fought out the last few turns and it came down to just Perdita and the Judge, both sporting various cuts and bruises, nBreaker needed to kill my entire crew to complete his Strategy whereas the smoking boots formerly belonging to Lady Justice signalled I had already completed mine. Perdita won out and I claimed another victory but there were several occasions that I was saved by a good flip or the use of a Control Card. I feel sorry for nBreaker because he deserved a draw if not an outright win.

I learned that this crew is a lot more fragile, whether this is down to their wounds and Df stats or because it is actually quite hard to cast spells without spending stones or Cheating Fate makes them seem that way compared to my Arcanists I’m not decided yet. However, I am inclined to think that we may be needing more terrain on the battlefield to help cover melee models as they weather the firepower I have on my side to chuck out.

I’m really looking forward to getting another game in, I have some more models waiting to be assembled which should change things around a bit, I still have a lot to learn about this game and I think nBreaker might be looking into changing some stuff around for himself as well. As his crew is designed to fight Undead I think they are going to struggle against Arcanists. I am expecting Sonnia or some Witchling Stalkers to appear soon enough.

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