Today Joel Henry, UK no. 1 on the Malifaux rankings posted up a little blog post on about making lists. I think it's focused around making a pool of models. It's something a few tournaments do, admittedly not ones I have ever been to, where you have to make a list of so many (normally 100) stones worth of models and that's what you're restricted to across the entire event. It makes sense and also makes new challenges which is cool.
So what does the lovely Mr. Henry have to say. Well you might aswell read his words here but I will try and summarize. Ignoring upgrades etc. you generally have 42 stones to spend on models, divide this by 7 (not sure really why) and you will have 6 stones which should thus be your average "go to" model. Anytime you spend more on a model you should then spend less on another.
Personally I find that a very strange way of thinking. I don't try and make sure I have 8 models in a crew, I try and make sure I have models to get the job done. When I look at models I also don't tend to think about whether it can kill or hold ground or go fast, I think about how it's going to score me VP (or stop my opponent). I can understand you can extrapolate those abilities to do that, but just because something is generally good at one job doesn't mean it will be suited to the job at hand.
For example, if I had to pick a model to "Hold Ground" I'd be hard pressed with Gremlins, but I'd think of Wild Boar. 8 wounds and the multiple abilities that heal is pretty nifty so that makes them "Hard to Kill"... for a 6 stone minion at any case, but because they have to charge "Hard to Kill" is not the same as "Hold Ground".
Also I tend to find the named character Gremlins are the models that shine. If I wanted a model that could hold ground I'd name Burt. 7 stones but much better at it, in my opinion, than a wild boar. I can't take multiple of him so it doesn't really help much.
So if I had to make a list for any strat what would it include? That's a difficult one, but I'd guess I'd have to go through and tick all of Joel's boxes. Kill, Survive and Speed.
O.K. this is really basic, but I haven't got many stones to work with so bare with me! Trying to work with Joel's framework I will try and look for good 6 stone models. For Speed the model that stands out is the rooster rider. WK 7 and the ability to reckless gives it masses of speed! Excellent. Survive is a difficult one but for that I am going to pick the slop hauler. A bit cheaper at 5 stones but with access to mass heal it makes other things survivable, kind of. Surviving isn't what gremlins are good at! For 6 and kill stones it would either have to be the Lightening bug for it's ability to ignore armour and incorporeal or, controversially, the Moon Shinobi, because drunken kung fu will generally give them positive to damage flips.
So if I went for a list of 2 Rooster Riders, 2 Slop Hauler a Lightening Bug and a Moon Shinobi what have I got left? that comes to 33 stones and that gives me 9 left. What else? Well for me it would have to be 3 Bayou Gremlins. The Bayou Gremlin is simply just excellent. It won't be killing anything, unless you are jammy, because of it's terrible stats, but because there are lots of them they will take some AP to kill (helped also by Bayou two card) they are swift, aided by drunk and reckless. It also gives the slop haulers plenty of models to heal!
I don't think I'd ever use that list. Goblin characters are too good. It was fun to give it a go though.