Malifaux Tactics: Numbered Schemes part 1
Who likes schemes? We all like schemes. If you don't, then you don't count. Poo poo on you.
Distract, Cursed Object, and Deliver a Message all have a very important thing in common; they involve using an interact action while engaged with an enemy model. All three function differently in their specifics, and the devil lies in the details when it comes to your schemes.
First we have Distract. Any non-peon model can interact (1) with any enemy non-peon model within an inch to give them the Distracted condition until the end of the game. A model can remove the distracted condition by spending 2 AP with an interact action. As long as you've got two enemy models distracted, you earn 1 VP per turn. Now, there are a few things to note about this for both scoring and denying. First, if you distract an enemy model and chill in engagement range, they can't remove the condition as you can't interact while engaged. Some piddly scheme runner with a decent defense can make that distracted condition stick, and I'll frequently sacrifice a canine remains to make sure the condition doesn't go away. Second, if your opponent does decide to begin removing the condition it costs 2 ap, a very steep price. Third, the condition doesn't go away when you score from the scheme. If you manage to time yourself correctly and set up for it, your opponent will likely just have to consign that three VP to you. It's only one VP per turn, so make sure to get that distraction out there by turn three at the latest. I don't have a problem dropping it on turn one if I can, I've found that denial for this scheme causes more of a headache than seeing through a bluff.
Cursed Object has many similarities, but enough key differences to call out on its own. The condition is placed in the same way, but removal only costs a 1 ap interact and requires a TN 12 walk duel. This means it's likely to drain a hand more than AP. Also, cursed object requires you to end the condition to score VP from it. This means you only need one model cursed, and something good at disengaging strikes can pretty much score your full compliment of VP by itself. I enjoy getting some poor shmuck of a scheme runner by itself and just repeatedly cursing it over and over again. It's still worth throwing the condition on multiple models, just beware of the denial strategy listed below.
Deliver a Message is the odd man out of this trio, it requires a full 2 AP, and can't be done by a leader. It also only targets the opposing leader, and benefits from being revealed. Giving Fast to a minion is worth its weight in gold as is often the case, as are forced movement effects and everything else that winds up being universally good. The challenge lies in engaging the master, and keeping the model alive until the following turn. Activation control is key, I'll probably write an entire blog post or five just on that topic. If your opponent picks a master who belongs in the thick of things, and you've got the models to back it up, Deliver is a fantastic scheme. Especially in the congested world of Turf War.
All three of these schemes share a single, simple denial strategy. Kill the affected model. One of the things that makes Malifaux so different is the choices it forces you to make. If your opponent has one of these schemes, you may need to shoot one of your own guys to deny them that VP. If you take them, you need your opponents models alive. I've seen lots of newer players screw themselves over by ushering in too much destruction and not leaving anybody left to curse or distract. Be mindful of this, you can actively hurt yourself in this game by killing your opponent.
That's all for today, keep gaming.