Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Better Know Your Malifaux 005: Papa Loco

Once a powerful and wise leader, the man now known as Papa Loco is no longer in complete control of his mental faculties.  The reasons for his break with reality are unspoken, but whatever the cause there seems to be no cure - even an extended stay in the Malifaux Sanitarium was unable to provide relief.  Due to his mental infirmity he no longer leads his family, either on the battlefield or in the homestead, but has instead handed over control to his daughter Perdita.  Even still, Papa will often insist on going along with the family when they go to battle, arming himself with a variety of homemade explosives.  Out of respect for their patriarch emeritus the Ortegas never say no, but they are smart enough to not stand too close when he starts flinging the dynamite.

In his delicate state, Papa Loco wins the contest for least defensive Enforcer in the game.  With a combined Wp and Df of eight no one else has stats that low without also having a defensive trigger or ability.  Whether it's a complete lack of self-preservation, or whether the demons in his skull demand that he end his own life, Papa Loco offers very little resistance to anyone who dedicates themselves to taking him out.  Crossing the great open table to get within range of his foes is the hard part.  Luckily his Crew is well-equipped for the challenge with several abilities to help him get a head start on his activation.  Papa himself has Companion so can launch the assault right after he is given a boost.  Hold This returns the favour, giving his ally within 2" a rare bonus to attack that lasts past the end of the turn until the start of Papa's next activation.

Although uniquely vulnerable at before he gets there, once Papa closes to short range he owns his space.  Both Throw Dynamite and the close combat Dynamite Punch attacks have significant blast effects that can do a lot of damage close up while "Te Llevare al Infierno Conmigo" can hit everyone within 4" for a whopping six damage, including mandatory damage to Papa himself.  This is more often than not part of the plan since his ability Boom! has him do five damage to everyone within 3" when he expires.

As of the content of book one, the Upgrades available to Papa are not of the highest calibre for his play Hermanos De Armas and Diestro are both at odds with his armament and Torementa De Plomo is a watered-down version of his own "Te Llevare al Infierno Conmigo" (although it would be nice to avoid the self-inflicted wounds).  Papa can get some use out of Lead Lined Coat to help him get up the battlefield unmolested - it also provides some protection for when he inevitably blows himself up.  Plant Evidence seems tailor-made for a model that wants to get into the enemy's face and expire and is a good situational pick-up should the Scheme pool call for it, otherwise it seems that Papa Loco might find himself on the field with an empty Upgrade slot.

Regardless of how you use him, Papa Loco is unlikely to see the end of turn five, so the trick is to make sure your Crew makes the most of his sacrifice.  Capitalizing on the Family's many movement and out-of-activation Abilities, Papa Loco can rapidly launch up the field to the point where his proximity can disrupt your opponent's plan and force him to make difficult decisions.  Does he take out the walking bomb and suffer the consequences, or does he burn multiple AP to reposition his entire Crew to avoid the madman?  Either way Papa exerts his will on the table, influencing everyone within his significant radius. 

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