Recently you have seen that I have been working on an old major proxy for my Malifaux Gremlin crew. I have been using him repeatedly in games lately with Som'er and I thought I'd have a quick discussion of what I found.
I have been primarily using him in the reckoning strategy alongside a bunch of other large pigs, on the basis that many 12 wound models are difficult to drag down. By himself he has a few useful abilities for this. Firstly he gives positive attack and damage flips to charge actions made by pigs activating within 4". This is pretty mint. Anything that gives you positive damage is great, stacking with charging as a 1 action and rampage a war pig can do. Next on the card is the 'eye on the young 'uns' which means pigs can declare friendly pigs as targets of a charge action, which is not as useful as it would first appear... they can still charge Som'er! None of this gels well with Som'er specifically, but obviously helps if you are taking a pig crew.
There are a few things where Som'er and Old Major together really do work to make an effective pig crew. The name of the game is reactivate. Hog Whisperers, as a 1 action, can cause a pig to take 3 wounds and gain reactivate. However, to do this he needs a mask. Som'er can obviously dish out masks as his zero action. Pig feed is also an awesome upgrade for Som'er. If successful all pigs
in Line of Sight are pushed 4" toward the target and if they finish in
base contact make an attack. Very useful. Finally, Old Major has got Ceaseless advance, so if your opponent has
no cards left and you have models left to activate he gets reactivate.Som'er has an ability where if he successfully wins a duel with an enemy leader both players discard their hands, giving Old Major reactivate for no wounds.
This is where things get tricky, however. One of old major's main abilities is that he can discard a card to make a friendly pig within line of sight push 4" and gain the suit of the card to all duels this turn, which I hope you agree is pretty amazing... if it wasn't for the fact that Som'er can also dish-out a suit. They are competing for rubbish cards to chuck! Also, if you have used Som'er to get rid of the enemies hand to reactivate old major then you can't use this ability.
So where does this leave this awkward pairing? Yay or Nay? Honestly I am not 100% sold, but I am going to go with Yay. I think part of the problem at the moment is I am only playing with a 41 stone crew with him. I think the pair will work best when I have pigs and gremlins to play with, rather than just a few big pigs. I think though, rather than attempting to force things, you can do certain things when necessary. Discarding your hand to give Old Major reactivate can work when desperate and/or you have a poor hand, but doesn't have to be done all of the time. The same applies with his push. He is, after all, still a 12 wound model with a min 3 damage attack and an ability to make other pigs brutal on the charge, that's pretty decent.
I am going to a tournament in Middlesborough tomorrow where you have to submit two lists to be used across the 4 games. Old Major is in both lists so he is going to get plenty of table time. Wish me luck! Regardless, I should write a review of how things went in the next couple of days so keep your eyes peeled.