Doppleganger, Neverborn Enforcer


Overview

Malifaux doppleganger (2).jpgAn incredibly versatile model, the Doppleganger can be almost anything you need it to be. Its signature (0) Action Mimic can copy almost any (1) Action in the game, friendly or enemy. Doppleganger also brings a good selection of Scheme-running tools and the powerful Ill Omens Ability, which allows you to Cheat Fate on the initiative flip.


Mimic

Most Actions don't deserve their own section – but Mimic is hardly "most Actions." It's both so powerful and so central to Doppleganger that the Action must be discussed in detail.

Mimic allows Doppleganger to copy a (1) Action on any model or Upgrade card within 8", treating that Action as though it were on Doppleganger's card for the rest of the Activation. It's a Simple Duel, meaning your opponent can't flip or cheat to frustrate your plans, and needs a 7+ of any Suit. There's a few caveats:
  1. Mimic can't copy a Leader's Actions. (This includes ones on a Leader's Upgrades.)
  2. Mimic can't copy Actions that reference a model by name. (Actions that mention "this model" are up for grabs, though. When Doppleganger uses them, it's "this model.")

Finally, Mimic has a Trigger, Perfect Blend, that allows it to immediately use the Action it just copied. This is free AP, and it allows for some truly ridiculous combinations. Consider hanging on to midlevel Tomes specifically for this Trigger.

When you're building a list with Doppleganger, take a moment to consider how it will work with your other models. While its Abilities make Doppleganger a natural Scheme runner, it can fill most roles in the game if there's a suitable target to Mimic within 8". Unless you're running this model into the hinterlands as part of a critical, VP-scoring plan, don't let it get stranded in the wilderness – it wants to be in a crowd!


Mobility

Doppleganger has a very respectable Wk 6. Remember, though, that Dopplegangers can copy other Actions! If you have Terror Tots on your team (or the opponent does ...) you can copy their Sprint Action and move upfield in a hurry (up to 36" in a single turn!). Keep all other models' movement Actions in mind.

Doppleganger also has Don't Mind Me, which means it can take Interact Actions while engaged. Not only can this save AP for Doppleganger (by limiting its Walk Actions and exposure to disengaging strikes), this Action can save your other Scheme runners some AP by limiting how often they have to deal with 4" Scheme Marker limitations.


Offense

While not having a very good built-in offense with Fists (Ml 5 and damage track 1/1/2) the Doppleganger can bring the pain with Mimic. Mimic uses the Ml/Sh/Ca and damage track of the Attack it copies, so Doppleganger is every bit as terrifying as any model in 8". While you can alpha strike with a copied Attack – and should, if that will advance your game plan – remember that this Action is mind-bogglingly versatile. Mimic allows you to counterstrike opposing alpha strikes with just as much fury (and possibly more, if you score the Perfect Blend Trigger). Careful placement of this model can easily stunt opposing offenses: It brings as much pain to any engagement as the enemy does, and a wary foe will keep that in mind.


Resilience

The Doppleganger is fairly tough for a support piece: its Df and Wp 5 won't win it any awards, but its Wd 8 is a hefty amount to chew through. Its Manipulative 14 is the real winner here, though: Most models are going to need an 8 or a 9 to attack it, and they have to make that check every time they attack. (Unlike a Horror Duel, models don't gain immunity to Manipulative.)

Also, (0) Blend In can further increase the resilience of Doppleganger, giving opposing Ml or Sh Attacks a negative twist. This isn't something to count on: If you're using this, you're not using Mimic. Still, there are times when you're going to find yourself needing to go defensive and drop Scheme Markers, rather than copying an Action, and that's when this can be worth its weight in gold.

Finally, Which One is Real?! ensures that firing into a scrum will never hit Doppleganger. This gives the model a little more leeway while in melee (which can actually be an offensive bonus; check Tactics and Tips).


Upgrades

The Doppleganger runs perfectly well without any Upgrades. (It's not like it won't have access to half the Upgrades on the table, right?)

Nexus of Power

A defensive aura that can heal your Leader and Henchmen. If you plan to have Doppleganger shadow a Henchmen all game long, this might be a useful choice; still, Doppleganger's power lies in its flexibility, not so much in single-mindedly copying a single Action over and over. There are probably better candidates if you want this Upgrade in your list.

Pact

The Neverborn insurance policy. Seeing a Black Joker on a Mimic flip can be brutal, but it's rare. Many players don't feel this is worth the Soulstone investment.

Retribution's Eye

At Rare 1, this is unlikely to end up on Doppleganger all that often. It's generally better served on a model dedicated to killing enemies. Still, if you're light on Enforcers and you know your opponent's bringing plenty of Armor, this isn't a terrible choice: Doppleganger can potentially hit hard and has no built-in way to handle Armor.

The Mimic's Blessing

Another cheap defensive Upgrade. Unfortunately, it's not a great fit with Doppleganger. Like Manipulative, this Ability fades after Doppleganger has Activated. Because it only provides defense bonuses to Sh and Charge Actions, it's got limited use for a wetwork-oriented Doppleganger. A dedicated Scheme-running Doppleganger is going to be using Blend In a lot. Still, thanks to the on-death drawing effect, this isn't the worst way to fill a point at the end of your list-building.

Useless Duplications

A strange Upgrade that works best in Mimic-heavy Crews. The other mimics available to a Neverborn Crew are Beckoners, Mr. Graves, Mr. Tannen and Lucius; if you have to defend one or more of those models and have the mooks to soak up the hits, this is worth considering. You might also get some mileage out of this if you give Doppleganger an Illuminated or Waldgeist escort who won't mind taking hits for her. The defense against close attacks puts a strain on your hand but can be useful when the Doppleganger's other defenses are down.

Tactics and Tips

The Doppleganger brings another copy of your biggest guns, sneakiest Actions and fastest moves. It's an incredible force multiplier – whatever your Crew's good at, Doppleganger will make it better.

For mobility, it's hard to beat the sheer insanity of a Terror Tot-Doppleganger duo. If you spot the Perfect Blend Trigger while copying the Tots' Sprint, Doppleganger has a potential 36" move. The silly synergy with Jakob Lynch's Ace in the Hole applies here, too, of course.

Getting to use Mr. Graves' Show Ya the Door twice also gives a frankly disgusting boost to Neverborn mobility. Graves and Doppleganger can both move a friend once per turn with this Action, and they can target the same friend; with some careful placement, it's trivial to move terrifying (or even Terrifying) models into position for Turn 1 or Turn 2 Charges. (Just be careful not to overextend. It's easy to let the giddiness of a turn 1 Nekima Charge go to your head.)

Offensively, Mature Nephilim not only offer a stomach-churning melee Attack, but they bring (1) Wing Buffet: an unresistable 4" push that hits all enemies. With Mimic's 8" range, you're going to be able to control a massive amount of the board with this pair. (Assuming, of course, that you can keep them alive.)

In Zoraida Crews, Doppleganger gets dozens of new tricks. Because Zoraida's mercenary pool is so deep, you're going to have access to a lot of strange interactions. If Z's sporting Rami LaCroix, it's trivial to shoot multiple, Focused 36" shots per turn. (You can go to four with a little luck.) Hire a Nurse – as you tend do in a Zoraida list – and you're going to be throwing around a lot of Conditions. (A quick note: While it would be hilarious to Mimic Voodoo Doll's Hem, it doesn't seem to be possible: In its description of the Sewn Fate Condition, Hem mentions the little bastard by name.)

Remember that Which One is Real?! exists. The Ability is perfectly serviceable to make a Doppleganger in melee immune to Projectile Attacks, but it brings some silly rules interactions to the table. Get your Doppleganger engaged and you can shoot it – but because of Which One is Real?!, you won't flip to hit Doppleganger. You can use this to snipe annoying models that thought they were out of LoS, as long as they're within 2" of Doppleganger. Add Tuco and his double blast damage, and you can potentially hit models that were about 7" away from the Doppleganger. Just remember that your Doppleganger has a 1" engagement range: Any longer-range Attacks you're copying fade away at the end of its Activation. If you can't set up a complicated web using an opposing model's 3" engagement, you're stuck with Fists.


Playing Against Doppleganger

At Df 5 and Wd 8, Doppleganger will go down to most dedicated assaults. Its chief defense is Manipulative, which you can get around by attacking with high-Wp or Ruthless models – or by simply out-activating the Doppleganger's player.

Be aware of Doppleganger's tricks. Mimic has an 8" range, which means that it can steal a lot of tech at any point in time. With a Wk 6 and the Perfect Blend Trigger, it's difficult to predict what the Doppleganger's going to do next; keep your fragile models out of LoS and don't let your bruisers (particularly ones with glass jaws ...) get stuck in counter-charge range.

Dopplegangers can't do much if they have no one to copy. Sometimes it's easier to kill Mimic targets than the Doppleganger itself.


Ownership

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