Tactica Tuesday: The bite of winter – Malifaux Ice Gamins

I’m running another Malifaux event day this coming weekend in my capacity as a henchman. So, in anticipation of this I thought I’d talk about a unit that I don’t use in my own crews, but one that (due to using them in pretty much every demo I run) I’ve still used a lot – the Arcanist Ice Gamin.

IMGP0577Ice Gamins are a pretty decent and versatile unit, and one that (perhaps unsurprisingly) works very well alongside Rasputina. Most notably, she can channel nearly all of her spells through any other Gamin within 6″, offering not only additional range – which is a boon, given her slow movement – but also protection against enemy melee models. She can also benefit from their Bite of Winter, since she herself has the Frozen Heart special rule, for additional damage on her spells. Finally, she’s even immune to their Shatter, so you don’t have to worry about keeping them near her as a bodyguard. They’re an excellent pairing, which perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise, but still works very well on the table.

Having said that, Ice Gamins are no slouches when by themselves. While their movement is only average, their 7″ charge range is impressive, allowing them to quickly close the gap into combat – which is where I’ve found they want to be. They can boost each other’s damage capabilities with their Bite of Winter (0) action, encouraging keeping them close to one another, but their real trick in combat comes with the trigger Sub-Zero. Upon taking damage, the opponent’s activation immediately ends – leaving an unprepared or unwary foe stranded. This can be ideal to set up ambushes, or to hold enemy models in Rasputina’s line of sight for her deadly spells. I’ve found that it can sometimes be worth cheating in a lower card just to pull off this trigger even if it means the Gamin dying – they’re only 4 soulstones each, and not only will your opponent be held in place but s/he’ll also have to take damage from Shatter.

Statue is an interesting effect that I want to touch on while I’m talking about the little guys. It’s a rather situational ability, since some models will actually almost find it easier to take you down when this ability is in effect (Seamus and his hand cannon :D ). However, it’s very varied depending not only on your opponent’s faction but also their crew – some models will find Statue to make a Gamin far more trouble than he should be, and consequently ensuring that they have to divert more resources than they should to take down your 4 soulstone model. It’s a particularly effective action to use when on an objective, or at the end of a game if a Gamin’s holding a Strategy or Scheme like Claim Jump or Reconnoiter (since Gamin’s aren’t Insignificant). They’re also only little with a height of 1″, making them excellent objective holders where they can stand out of sight behind a wall, forcing your opponent to waste valuable time trying to line up a shot.

All in all, for four soulstones Ice Gamins are a pretty darn decent option :) They work particularly well with not only their mistress Rasputina but Ramos as well, since they are Constructs and so affected by a number of his abilities. I’d recommend giving them a go if you play Arcanists, as they’re great fun to use and can be really helpful.

I hope this has been an interesting little read. I’ll be running demo games all day this Saturday, as well as hopefully having some background books with me if you want to learn more about the dark and mysterious world of Malifaux. The event details are all here in case you’re thinking of popping along.

Anyway, thank you as always for reading – I’ve been undercoating all of my new lawmen, so hopefully I’ll be putting up some Legends posts over the next few weeks :)

Take care,

Ben

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