Beyond the Forest

“Looks like you have much to learn.”

The wizard said to me as I failed the spell once again. I wondered why it went wrong. In the months I had been the apprentice to the wizard, I haven’t gotten the ability to even cast the simplest spell right. I could gather the power with easy, but using it was something I haven’t managed yet.

“Yes, it looks like it” I forced the words out of my throat.

I hung my head in shame, feeling the dissappointed glare of my teacher.

The apprentice hung his head in shame. Being send away would make me lose my last chance. Ihad nowhere else to go. With my head hung low, I scuffled back to my chair, looking for the book I found yesterday. The seller claimed it would help me learn magic, but I doubted it. Yet, at this point I was desperate enough to almost try everything. I opened the book, and started to read the runes near the vivid, almost living illustration of a forest. Continue reading Beyond the Forest

Wicked Doll Tactica

Cheap puppet minions belonging to the Neverborn faction, they aren’t used widely among many neverborn players. However they do have certain useful tricks that can make them attractive to a variety of crews. They certainly shouldn’t be underestimated.

Overview

At a glance, the Wicked Doll boasts similar stats to the Terror Tot, only having lower Cg. It does less damage on it’s attacks, but this offset by the ability to hand out Poison on it’s attacks. Wicked Dolls benefit a great deal from having additional Poison sources, but these aren’t widespread in the Neverborn faction. So, if you want to benefit from them the most, it is most practical to take them in pairs. This also helps to utilze their “First Comes One, Then Comes Two!” trigger.

Mobility

Wicked Dolls aren’t limited to just walking. They have two powerful placement triggers on their attacks. Their ranged attack, Over the Needle, has the “Straight to You” trigger, which can be used to place the Wicked Doll within 2″ of  an enemy. This can be used to get close to an unsuspecting enemy or to get away from an unfavorable engagement by going towards another enemy.

On the other hand, with Malicious Toys on their melee attack, the Wicked Doll can be placed within 6″ of the target. This allows for great mobility and can be used to get in position to drop a scheme marker. Unlike the other trigger, this one requires you to play or flip a tome. This makes this trigger a bit harder to use.

Both of these triggers require the Wicked Doll to hit an enemy, it can be a bit hard to get these triggers off. However, because these are placement effects, they ignore a lot of terrain, vision, and other tricks that are used to deny models from going where they want.

Offense

The Wicked Doll brings several offensive tools to the table. Their basic melee attack, Sewing Claws, deals average damage, and has a trigger to inflict Poison on the target.

Their more important attack however, is Over the Needle. This is a ranged attack without a gun icon, so it can be used to shoot into combat without randomizing, in cover based targets, or while the Wicked Doll is engaged. It’s doesn’t do any damage, it just poisons the target. However, it has two important triggers on it. As mentioned before, “Straight to You”, can be used to place the Wicked Doll within 2″ of the target. This can be used to jump into an engagement, or to engage a pesky cover hugging gunline model. You can also use it to pop out of an unfavorable engagement by jumping towards another target. If properly utilized, the Wicked Dolls can go all over the place, making for a hard to pin down target.

The second trigger on this Attack is, “First Comes One, Then Comes Two!”, this trigger gives a conditon to the target when there are 2 or more Wicked Dolls near the target. It gives the target a condition so it can only take walk actions, but the model can remove it by discarding two cards. This can make it a fairly effective card drain. It can be used to make models not being able to take specific actions, but this can only be done if they are out of cards or have cards they would rather not discard. It’s also important to remember that you need several Wicked Dolls to use this trick, so unless you use Collodi or the Widow Weaver, make sure of this from the start.

Aside from attacking itself, it can also buff others with Sewn in Poison. This small aura causes enemy models within 2″ that suffer damage from a Ml attack gain the Poison +1 condition. While this seems small initially, it can help plinking away at tougher targets. The Wicked Doll’s second aura, Wicked Intention, makes Poison tick down when a nearby enemy model activates. (No this doesn’t stack with other Wicked Dolls, nice try) This can make the Poison tick more regulary and make the Wicked Doll more scary when it is up close.

Resilence

Wicked Dolls don’t have special resilence. As such it is better to put them in combat with less scary enemies or to use them in conjunction with a more powerful model. Accomplice can really help other models acting right on the setup that the Wicked Doll created.

Tricks and Synergies

Wicked Dolls have one more trick up their sleeve that isn’t mentioned yet, All Sewed Up. This (0) action deals 1 damage to the Wicked Doll, but heals a nearby friendly model for 1 wound and gives it a conditon that grants positive twists for all Attacks it makes during this turn OUTSIDE it’s activation. Aside from being able to heal models above their Hard to Kill threshold or heal them outside the danger zone. The condition greatly improves command and Obey like effects many neverborn masters posses.

Specific model synergies.

Collodi has special synergies with Puppets, and as Wicked Dolls are puppets, they benefit from his various buffs and tricks. As most of his low cost Puppets don’t hit that hard, they can be improved with damage with Sewn in Poison. All Sewed Up can heal fragile Puppets and make the scary ones hit even harder. Collodi can also summon Wicked Dolls from scrap, replacing them.

Zoraida has some effective hand control with the Crystal Ball. This can be useful to manage Wicked Doll triggers. She can also apply Poison to targets using her Hex Bag and Voodoo Doll. She also has access to the effective Nurses, which can deal a great amount of Poison in short time. She also has Obey to make use from the New Strings condition. Wicked Dolls can also heal the Voodoo Doll, if it needs to live longer.

Lucius has various command effects to make use of New Strings. In addition, he can hire the Lawyers, which can give targets Poison close and on ranged.

Widow Weaver has an attack that gives Poison, and is capable of summoning Wicked Dolls when she takes her Handbag upgrade. She also increases the walk of nearby Constructs, allowing the Dolls to walk more around.

Performers are great inclusions when you are taking Wicked Dolls. She can inflict Poison with her Ml attack, but more importantly her Siren Call, a weaker Lure, has a trigger, Sip of Wine, that deals damage equal to the targets Poison condition. This can deal quite a lot of damage if you managed to inflict a lot of Poison on various targets.

Leveticus breaks everything

Leveticus has his ongoing theme of taking other people’s stuff and pushing it beyond imagining. This even applies to the Wicked Dolls. The initial weakness of not being able to spread much poison with the rest of the crew is resolved because Leveticus can take several Ressurectionist Constructs that can spread poison with ease. In addition to this, he can hire the Arcanist Basilisk. This Wave 3 Construct is specifically built to take advantage of the poison condition. With Neurotoxins, it gives Slow to models that suffer damage from the Poison condition. (Which, with Wicked Intentions, will trigger at the start of the Poisoned model’s activation, instantly slowing it before it generates AP.) It also has The Feeding, which it can use to deal damage based on the targets Poison condition, and healing that amount. Because this is a Ml attack, it will give the target Poison +1 courtesy of Sewn In Poison. If the target is already slowed, then it can also Paralyze the target.

As such, by including a few Wicked Dolls, the Basilisk, and a Performer, Leveticus can unleash a powerful poison based crew that has various nasty tricks at his disposal.

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