Join Craig and his guest, Matt Peterson, as they discuss The Dreamer in Malifaux 3rd Edition. Matt reveals how he runs Dreamer and his crew, what upgrades are essential and the models that make up his crew. Near the end we learn how to counter this potent keyword.
Once you finish the episode, check out the below. Matt sent an addendum that goes even deeper into The Dreamer and the Nightmare crew:
Matt Peterson: More on Dreamer
Boy howdy that podcast went fast. Its amazing how much information there is to cover when talking about some of these masters. Its not enough to just hit the high points and talk about a few of the heavy hitters of a keyword when 3E offers a level of variety Malifaux hasn’t seen in terms of each model’s tactical viability. I felt like I was unable to cover everything in this podcast and Craig has graciously given me the opportunity to accompany the Dreamer Deep Dive with a blog post. I’d also like to continue the conversation on AWP (Matthew Peterson), Wyrd Forums (Fixxer), or even here on The Third Floor Wars if possible.
Craig and I were able to cover a lot of Dreamers capabilities and play style in terms of his card and what he’s doing in a game. He is versatile in terms of varying his activation depending on the board state and resources available but also needs to make summoning and getting his summons out the focus of his crew. The extra AP brought to the table is paramount to getting the most out of a Dreamer crew and tipping the odds in your favor.
The two-tier approach requiring an enemy model to fail a WP means that you have got to build a crew around making your opponent fail WP duels where you want them to. It’s a choice on whether you chose to unbury the models, so you can be opportunistic in deciding when and where to unbury, but it can be risky if you don’t have the card to cheat in order to force the failure. Looking for ranged WP attacks at a stat 6 or higher will ensure that a 12-13 in hand will get the job done as most models have WP5 in this edition.
A lot of focus is put on Stitched together and Daydreams in the episode. I didn’t have the time or opportunity to talk about Dreamer’s other 2 minions.
Alps; these guys are fantastic summons. Requiring a 9 of masks is a light cost considering that you’ll need to save higher cards to force WP duels. They have 5’s across the board for stats and have abilities that make them better summons than hires (I never hire alps). Most notably, their ability to deal a point of damage to any model it unburies in B2B with. In addition, they get to take a free claw attack action any time they are placed. There are few actions that allow places in a Nightmare crew other than an unbury. I look to summon these guys mid to late-game for some extra damage output and when the opponent lacks models to easily kill these guys. They are significant and the easiest Nightmare to kill with that station. They do also have a natural musk aura which gives negatives on damage flips within aura 2” which is a bit of DF tech, but that’s all they got. Still a solid 5ss model. A very strong combo for late game assassinations or early aggression to soak a lot of enemy actions. I do this a lot with Dreamer.
Insidious Madness are models that I tend to hire and summon as early in a game as I can. Their actions are very valuable as they offer a lot of versatility and toughness in their kit. These guys can cause problems for models that rely on Df triggers as they have a claw attack that targets Wp on a stat 6. This makes them one of the better models in the keyword for healing friendlies and themselves while engaging models due to the crews keyword ability Feast on Fear. They can run schemes with their high movement and incorporeal or they can go straight in and tank enemy models with Terrifying (11) and their Incorporeal ability to reduce damage. If they aren’t killed in an activation, they’ll heal up pretty quick with retaliation and even have a trigger (Siphon life) to heal an additional point of damage on a successful melee attack and deal +1 damage. This makes them rather tanky when they’re on the table engaged in combat with enemy models. Scatter is an ability that is more useful than I ever gave credit. I find myself using it in games often enough to mention. It’s a valuable tool that shouldn’t be overlooked in pools that you need to get across the board or position for VP. You can disengage a lot of models with one action or push an enemy exactly where you need them. Lastly, when they are buried they have a tactical action available to them that auto distracts enemy models within 3” of friendly nightmares on a stat 5 TN 10. Icing on the cake for them when summoned and you’re unable to get unburied. Makes them very good turn 1 summons when you might not have the opportunity to force WP duels but could possibly get one model within 3” of an enemy.
I missed on a few enforcers as well. So much talk about Serena and what she brings to the table that I might’ve glazed over a few of the others. Coppelius: This dude is the versatile henchman that really offers a bit of damage, a bit of movement with his bonus action, and good scheme running with a Mv 7 and Agile. He can just walk away from any model if they don’t kill him and disappear into the back field or wherever scheming is needed. 2 Walks being 14” means, he’s going places. He also brings a stat 7 attack that has a built in trigger to add +1 damage taking his track to a monstrous 3/5/6. He also brings a unique range attack that dreamer had in 2e where enemies take damage based on how many friendly nightmares are within 3” then, all nightmares within 3” heal one. A pretty nasty ranged attack that can be utilized from the perimeter. All in all a solid model for things like breakthrough, power ritual, or search the ruins. He can get in an opponent backfield fast and hold his own.
Bandersnatch: One of the coolest models in the game. This guy is unique on all fronts. His ability to bury in an enemy model and attack others around them is just carnage. Some great triggers on his claw attack and some tricky moves can be pulled with the “dart out action”. Simply put though, the Bandersnatch has a 6” range stat 6 WP duel. He can walk 6 meaning at least an 18” threat range if you have a lane. This coupled with Daydream pushes or another web marker from Widow Weaver means Bandersnatch is usually buried in an enemy model turn 1 with an insidious or stitched popping out of whatever he buried in as they failed a WP duel. This causes early game disruption and can easily start soaking a lot of actions on turn 2 if you pull this move late in the turn. I take him into pools with take prisoner, whatever he’s buried in tends to want to stay away from other enemy models and if he can survive their attacks and unbury in B2B with the last activation of the turn, boom, you’ve taken a prisoner. I tend to take this model in tandem with Widow Weaver or not at all as the web teleport really gives him the range he needs to ensure he buries. Super squishy model for 7ss otherwise. Simply has Df5 and 7 health, that’s it. Be careful with this one, he’s a scalpel.
Teddy: Big nasty beater, tends to come along in games where I need a little more beef on the table. He does exceptionally well in certain match ups and horribly in others. Being a big and slow model some crews have ways to shut him down with ease if you aren’t careful. He can be killed or bogged down with conditions easily. I’ve seen McCabe stagger him 3 turns I a row, nothing I could do to stop it. He is a source of flurry and min 3 damage. Bringing a 2” engagement range really helps if utilized properly in this crew. All in all teddy makes maybe 25% of my Dreamer crews, definitely a tech choice dependent on opponent and board state.
Carver: This is a model I haven’t put on the table much unfortunately. I don’t have him painted and just don’t see a lot of viability unfortunately. There are some niche opportunities when facing crews that I know are going to be using a lot of focus. I think Breath of Fire is underrated too. But, I just don’t know about a 10ss hench that’s wk 5 on a 50mm in a crew that already has Teddy as an option. I just don’t see much of a reason to bypass teddy in favor of the Carver. In a Pandora crew he would be considered for the overall condition overload, but not so much in Dreamer.
There is so much to say about any master in Malifaux that I feel like I could just keep going and going. Hopefully this will be a good conversation starter and we can continue to discuss ideas in the comments below.
Thanks again to Craig and the Third Floor Wars for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on my favorite master in the game.