So, Jakob Lynch and his crew are interesting to say the least. Based on my reading in the Wyrd forums and discussions with some of my local players it appears I am headed in a different direction than others. The prevailing early wisdom is to keep to the brilliant theme and models presented in the Storm of Shadows book. There is lots of discussion about playing Jakob as a Neverborn master, and most of the thoughts on using him as a Ten Thunders master start with him as Neverborn. People really like Illuminated and Depleted with him, and a couple folk have discussed his teaming with Tannen. I have moved to taken none of those.
Mike was siding on teaming Jakob up with Beckoners and Ten Thunders Archers, building a ranged focused crew and using Illuminated as a "guard" for the back line ranged models. I have not had a chance to play against this configuration, apparently it has been effective based on the feedback from the others in our group. In one of my games last night I had the chance to play around with an Archer and Beckoner team in a Jakob crew, and while its interesting I did not find it as useful as using 2 Beckoners.
This is a really good time to make the point that there are many ways to build effective crews within Malifaux. More importantly, Jakob has abilities which can benefit many different crew builds. Jakob has a couple key capabilities working toward benefiting a very general crew. Judicious use of Dead Mans Hand allows Jakob to build up a very strong hand. The Hungering Darkness (Huggy) is a threat that must be dealt with, then he can be brought back after being killed (under the right circumstances) creating a key game turning moment. These two capabilities together can allow Jakob to work with many different types of crews, and none are wrong. What I am presenting in this article is simply what has been working really well for me over the past 6 games.
So, what do I like in my Jakob crew? The core of my crew starts to look as follows:
- 2x Beckoners
- A second melee/damage threat
- Crew support
- Board Control
|I really need an Alternate|
That leaves us with the rest of the crew. I have mentioned it briefly before, but will dive a bit more into my thoughts on the models I am currently liking in my crew. My first focus after hiring my core is to look for an alternate "Beater" or threat for Huggy. While Huggy is a big threat, I find that its useful to have a second threat on the board for my opponent to worry about. In addition, this second threat can also serve as the killer of an enemy brilliant model if I need to bring Huggy back out after he is killed. I started playing around with Graves, but Graves is really a control model with strong Beater tendencies. He was not enough of a threat and not enough of a beater for my comfort. I have since moved over to Kang and Ototo. Both of these boys come in at 8 points and serve the same role, in slightly different ways. Basically, they both bring big damage with incredible survivability to the table. It really puts my opponent into a bind when they have to choose between eating through Huggy's spirit based defense (halving damage) or trying to take down a Hard to Kill healing model that will mash your face if you ignore it. On top of that, both models have the key ability of Melee Expert, allowing them to move then still attack after moving. This is what was missing from Graves, making him tough to fill the beater role.
Then we move to my second focus, which is some type of crew support. I find myself using Yamaziko more and more for this role. She is a straight swap out (from a cost perspective) for the Illuminated that was not really doing much in my crew. She brings with her Immune to Influence, healing, and some WP buff's which really help the crew. A judicious heal on one of the Beckoners (who are targets) can really set back my opponents plans for dealing with my crew. I find that although I am not overly aggressive with Yamaziko, I am still too aggressive (I think) for making the best use of her. I need to practice holding her back even more than I already do. With Use Soulstones and healing she is fairly survivable but doesn't need to be in the front lines. Her healing ability has a 6 inch range, so she can hold back and still support the crew.
Then that leaves me with the final choice. Additional board control really fits into my preferred playstyle and further compliments what I have in the crew. This level of hiring doesn't really come into play until we get to the 35ss and higher level. For this I will begin looking at Stitched, Archers, and Torekage to fill the slot. Stitched and torekage can block off lines of sight. Torekage can swap around parts of my crew as needed, along with hopping out into combat with the enemy. Archers provide additional ranged punch to my crew, adding to the ranged threat.
Overall I really like Jakob and his crew. I have heard some rumblings that people believe he is possibly the weakest of the new masters in Storm of Shadows, but I do not agree. His crew doesn't look like it, but it certainly has a degree of finesse to playing it well that I believe has not been picked up on yet. I am at the point I would be comfortable bringing Jakob out in a tournament setting, so now I am moving onto the next step in my Ten Thunders masters, which is Misaki. I am 2 non-proxy games in and starting to wrap my head around what she does well and what she does not do well. I have gotten the bulk of my commission from Convy, so will be playing with Misaki and her crew more over the coming weeks. On that note, I have plans to pull together a new set of pictures and will be doing a Book 4 picture week with the new crews I have. I need to set-up the light tent and get the camera back out, but its coming. Also, I cannot give more praise to how fantastic Convy is with his painting. If your looking to get something commissioned, check out 13th Hour Miniatures, his Bronze Crystal Brush was well deserved!!
I would love to hear your thoughts/comments/experiences on how Jakob is working out for you. Leave me some comments here or shoot me an email for the podcast (firstname.lastname@example.org)