Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Bayou's Most Wanted - Mancha Roja

With the introduction of Malifaux 2E and the splitting out of Gremlins into their own faction (yes they're a Real Faction and yes that joke is getting old!) there has been an influx of new and interesting models, both from a fluff and a game perspective.

Over the next few blog entries I plan on looking at a few key models which might have slipped under your radar. Maybe you don't play Gremlins (what's wrong with you people?!) or maybe you've just not encountered them on the table yet. So I'm going to be taking a look at some models that I've had a lot of fun with while playing Malifaux.

First up! In the green corner, from The Bayous of Malifaux weighing in at far more than a Gremlin should, it's MANCHA ROJA!

The stat card for Mancha Roja can be found in the second book of the 2E series, Crossroads. He's the Henchman for Wong and is in stark contrast to the rest of that crew who rely on magic and ranged attacks. Mancha likes to get in there and smash your face in, possibly with another Gremlin. His Wk and Cg of 5 are average but being a wrestler he knows how to use the ropes. Thus when he is in contact with impassable terrain, his Cg increases to 12, thanks to the Rebound ability on the front of the card. This is quite handy, especially with models that can move him around to get him into the perfect position, like Trixie with Gremlin Lure, Mah with Horrible Hollerin' or even Gracie with the Saddle upgrade.

He has solid Df and Wp stats (and high Wp for a Gremlin to boot) of 6 and 5 respectively. Add on to that his Hard to Wound ability as well as being able to use Soulstones due to being a Henchman and he's not going to be the easiest guy to take down. Nor is he someone you necessarily want to send a model in to go toe to toe with. His offensive abilities are what make him a bit of an auto inculde at the moment, especially if there's killing that needs to be done!

My Mancha getting ready to lay the smack down!

He has 2 (0) Tactical Actions, one of which can be used as a buff and one that can be used to protect a nearby model, say a Master if you suspect your opponent has taken Assassinate. Challenge is the defensive ability and it means that any enemy model within 8 inches of Mancha Roja have to pass a TN14 Wp duel if they declare a model other than Mancha as the target of an Attack action.otherwise the Action fails. This is handy against crews that may not have the best Wp stats - such as Ressurectionists or even other Gremlin crews. His other (0) Tactical Action is his buff - One Thousand Masks. This ability llows you to discard a card and then gain a buff for Mancha depending on the suit discarded. He can increase his Wk, gain immunity to Paralysed and Slow, increase his Df or even increas his Ml stat.

So what can Mancha do to your models after he's closed in on an enemy? Well being a wrestler he has only Melee attacks, Grapple has a cost of 1 AP and the other, Whacked With A Gremlin has an AP cost of 2. While Grapple has a very slightly less terrifying damage track (2/5/6) than WWAG, it has 4 built in Triggers that can make sure your model has a bad time:

Ram Trigger - Crushing Strike. This is basically the same as Critical Strike allowing Mancha to do 1 extra damage per Ram in the final duel total. Useful but fairly standard.
Tome Trigger - Arm Lock. This is where it gets interesting. This Trigger states that after succeeding, the target gains the "Fracture" Condition which puts them on - Df flips for the rest of the turn. This is insanely useful, denying your opponent the ability to cheat on the Df duel.

Mask Trigger - Pile Driver. Another interesting one although it is quite easy for your opponent to ignore. After damaging, the target must pass a TN12 Df duel or become Paralyzed. Even with the - Df flips from Fracture, this isn't a terribly hard duel to beat for the majority of models.
Crow Trigger - Finisher. This may not seem a great Trigger in isolation, but when you combine it with Pile Driver, then on paper it's a nasty little Trigger. It states that after damaging, if the target has the Paralysed condition then the target is killed. No discarding cards or Soulstones - just dead.

His last ability, as mentioned earlier, is Whacked With A Gremlin. It's his 2 AP attack and has a pretty scary damage track (4/6/7) with one Trigger on a Tome allowing you to push the target up to 4" in any direction. So you might be thinking "Well OK, that's quite a lot of damage but he can only do it once and hitting a Moderate or Severe isn't THAT easy." This is where 2 things come into play - the Fracture Condition I mentioned earlier and Mancha's own Upgrade called Extra Gremlin. If you're on -Df flips from Fracture, hitting that Moderate or Severe for damage is suddenly looking more likely, meaning a potential damage of 6 or 7, which will be a serious cramp, even on a Master or Henchman. Then there's that Extra Gremlin upgrade which costs 2 Soulstones and  adds an extra Trigger onto WWAG. This Trigger goes off on a Ram and allows Mancha to take the Whacked With A Gremlin action again immediately against the same target. Suddenly you're staring down the barrel of a potental 14 wounds - enough to kill pretty much anything in the game. Now of course, this doesn't ignore armour, Hard to Kill or Hard to Wound, but it's enough to make you reconsider sending something up against Mancha. He also has a bit of utility if you give him the Mud Toss Upgrade which allows either him or McTavish to take a Ca action to end a Condition on a target model. In a faction which doesn't have a bunch of Condition removal this is useful, but I tend to run Mancha as a murderin' machine.

To sum up, I freaking LOVE Mancha. He works well with pretty much any Master but I have special fondness for him in my Mah crew. With the extra +1 Ml stat from Chores plus the +1 Ml from One Thousand Masks, you suddenly have a Mancha with a Ml stat of 8 staring you in the face. And that's not something to be taken lightly. Because he can be brutal. He's best summed up by a friend of mine's comment: "He's that big motherfucker who hits motherfuckers with another motherfucker." And he does it very very well.

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