Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Goin' Down the Bayou

One of the things I've been asked before when playing Malifaux, aside from "Eless can I have a cookie please?" is "Why do you play Gremlins? They're not a REAL faction."

The short (ha) answer to this question is simply that they're FUN. I mean, in what other faction can you fling exploding pigs, blow up your own models and kill the opponent with giant chickens, hungry gators and large wooden spoons? But to go a bit more in depth with the answer is going to take me a bit longer. So go get a drink, get comfy and settle down for story time with Auntie Eless.

When I'd started with Malifaux back in the mists of 1.5 edition, I'd been drawn to the Viks boxset. Their theme and fluff was really intriguing to me - the twin aspect of them and the bounty hunter angle too. I'd also picked up a cheap Leveticus box on Ebay so that Rich could play too (yes I made him play Levi in 1.5, I'm a terrible terrible person) and we'd been gradually learning about the game and how the rules worked. Because poor Rich had been struggling a bit with playing Levi I'd been keeping an eye out for other crews that he could use without frying his brain.

I finally managed to score a joblot of Gremlins - a Som'er Teeth Jones crew with Lenny, several Bayou Gremlins and a metal Ophelia LaCroix. In 1.5 Ophelia wasn't a Master, just a Henchman but she did have her own crew box which was pretty much the same named models as the plastic set is today. I'd mostly picked up the Gremlin set because they were at that time still part of the Outcast faction, so it made sense for me to buy more things in the same faction. However, once I had a proper look at the models, I absolutely loved the look of the Gremlins, especially Ophelia with the jeans, the duck lips - she was just hilarious to me. So I sourced the rest of her box from a local store (back when metal models were still available in individual blisters and a 99 icecream was still under a fiver) and then....mostly forgot about them.

The First Lady of the Bayou

During the transition from 1.5 to 2 edition I'd mostly been sticking with Outcasts. But with the new simpler  rules and new cards it seemed like the best time to begin learning a new crew. So I started playing more and more with Ophelia and she was so much fun to play. She had a nice simple playstyle, some fun tricks and was just a decent Master to get to grips with. In addition to this the new book had come out with lots of new fluff and stories, including some extremely funny Gremlin centric stories. It all seemed to cement my decision that the faction was a lot of fun, both in their fluff and their playstyle.

My first tournament was using Ophelia and her Kin which netted me 3 losses and a draw - not bad for a first attempt. But the more I played Gremlins in the early days of 2E, the more I began to feel that they didn't have as many options as the other factions, mostly due to the fact that they were a new faction and many of the cool new toys had never existed in metal so the choice was proxy or go without if you were going to be a Gremlin player at that time. Many people chose to proxy and there have been some very cool and imaginative proxies around. But for me, making proxies seemed like far too much hassle, especially when I had several painted Outcast crews sitting around. So the poor old Gremlins went back in the box, waiting until there were more options for crews.

That brings us to 2016. I've had a lot of fun with Outcasts in 2015, mostly Hamelin and the Viks. But with the arrival of the last 4 Gremlin Masters (Mah, Ulix, Wong and Brewmaster) as well as the availability of some key models like Sami and Merris LaCroix, Gremlins suddenly seem like they have enough options to deal with anything that might be thrown at them. Add to that some amazing Rooster Rider proxies and I'm now feeling confident that I can put a competitive crew on the table.

So I've thrown myself fully into the Bayou this year and I'm quite excited to try out some of the new Masters and models that the murky swamps of Malifaux have to offer.

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