Nix, Outcast Henchman
"They don't come when you call / They don't chase squirrels at all / Dead puppies aren't much fun." - Ogden Edsl

Overview

IMG_20140525_203522.jpgNix is a control piece that has bite. He has a large base and a variety of debilitating auras that he uses to make life miserable for your opponent. He is also difficult to hurt and can heal himself, so it's not uncommon to throw Nix into the middle of things and be fairly confident that he will survive.

Nix can spread the Blighted condition to models around him and also benefit when hitting targets with Blighted, so he is most often found in Crews with Hamelin.

Mobility


As an Incorporeal model Nix, has some speed to him that may not be readily apparent, since he can ignore terrain and other models. With a Wk 5 and Ch 7 Nix has the potential to cover a lot of ground quickly and since a lot of his utility comes from his Auras and (0) actions he's often pretty happy spending all his AP on walks if it means getting into engagement range.

There are a several upgrades which can further enhance Nix's mobility that are duiscussed below.


Offense

Off the bat it looks like Nix's primary Attack Action would be (1) Feed on Anima, primarily because this is his only attack with a Damage track. This attack has a reasonable damage spread and good attack stat, it also provides the Blighted +1 condition.

Nix's other attack action is (1) Bleeding Disease which turns the Blighted +1 condition into direct damage on a failed Opposed Duel against the victim's Wp. If the target has Blighted +3 or more then Bleeding Disease is probably more damaging that Feed on Anima, although in some situations you might want to keep biting the target to tag more blight onto it anyway. Bleeding Disease also has a nice range and can be used freely in engagements, so it's quite good for killing models that got a bit of blight from Nix but then managed to get away.

Not an Attack Action but certainly offensive (0) Drink Spirit is a pulse that gives everyone within 4" of Nix blighted unless they pass a quite difficult duel. This is probably the easiest way of getting blight across several models and makes Nix's Bleeding Disease and Plague Pit actions much better later on. Bear in mind you need an 6 card or better to use this action, but you might as well try it if you don't have a 6 in hand any round you aren't using Plague Pit.


Resilience

Nix has several special abilities to help keep him on the table for the duration of the game.

With Incorporeal, he cuts damage from Sh and Ml attacks in half.

It's impossible to deal severe damage when within 3" of Nix thanks to his Weakness Aura, even the Red Joker will only deal moderate damage.

Normally condition based damage would be a good way around these defenses but with Nihilism Nix can just choose to not gain any condition that might hurt him.

Sweet Taste of Failure heals Nix 1 Wd whenever a nearby enemy fails in a duel. Don't forget this ability! It comes up often and can heal Nix back to full health quickly.

On top of that Nix is a Henchman and can use Soulstones for damage prevention and defense flips. This is what makes him really, really annoying to get rid of as you can spend stones to keep him from dying and then heal back up.


Upgrades

As a Henchman Nix can take up to two upgrades.

Hollow
Nix's personal upgrade allows you to hire models with the Hound Keyword through Release the Hounds, take a (2) Charge action as a (1) through Drawn to Contagion versus models with the Blighted +1 condition. Lastly, Nix can make models around him including himself) immune to damage from Aura, Pulse and Blast damage as a (0) action.

Protecting against area attacks is a nice way to keep your rats from dying en masse, but this Upgrade is quite expensive. Usually it's best to take this only if you're certain to be able to take advantage of at least 2 of the abilties it grants.

Infectious Melodies

Nihilist Rare 1. Friendly models in LoS may gain the Fast condition, however at the end of the model that gained the Fast conditions activation it must be sacrificed. This is a very versatile upgrade that can potentially win or deny VP late game or help set up some sort of combo early on. Usually it's best to take it when you have a plan for it, and it's generally very strong when you do.

Oathkeeper

If Nix has a spare upgrade slot and you have a spare soulstone take this upgrade, it's that good. You're not too likely to make use of the Finish the Job ability on Nix but that extra AP from fast increases his threat range and can often mean getting his de-buff Aura game on a whole turn earlier.

Scout the Field

Kind of similar to Oathkeeper in that it gives him an extra AP, but is more limited in terms of application. The discard benefit is actually quite good with Nix though, since it can let him charge someone through a solid wall or get a crucial kill with Bleeding Disease.

Scramble

This upgrade is pretty pricey, and might not get that much more movement out of it over the course of the game than Scout the Field or Oathkeeper since Nix tends to get to a good position and then stay there for a number of turns.


Tactics and Tips

Tactically speaking it is perfectly acceptable to have Nix in the thick of things spamming Bleeding Disease or preventing enemy models from taking interact actions, but he can be killed if he gets too overwhelmed, especially by Ca models.
Hamelin benefits from spreading Blighted around as much as possible, mostly on enemies models but also on friendly models.

Nix is vulnerable Ca Attack Actions, and ranged attacks can get around Weakness and Sweet Taste of Failure. Try to avoid taking hits from these sources by staying out of their line of sight or engaging them to stop projectile attacks. Soulstones are Nix's only defense against ranged Ca actions and it's usually best to spend one on the Def flip to stop your opponent cheating their damage and getting rid of most of Nix's wounds in one chunk.

The key to really tanking with Nix is to go after models that can't deal more than 2 damage to him with an attack. This basically means any model with no way of getting around Incorporeal and a moderate damage of 4 or less, which is quite a lot of things. If he's only taking 2 or less damage at a time it's quite easy for Nix to stop himself dying with soulstones and heal back up. If something can hit him for 5 (usually because it's a cast action, but also really high moderate damage) then it's far more likely that Nix will go down.

You will need to spend soulstones to keep Nix alive, accept this. If he gets hit with a high damage cast attack spend a soul to give them a negative damage flip and try to get away. If he is in a crowded melee and taking a lot of small hits spend a stone for damage prevention whenever a hit that would take him down to two wounds so he can reliably heal back up. The fact that he relies on soulstones to stay in play is kind of a hidden cost on Nix, but the trade off is that he is one of the few models in Malifaux that can actually stand somewhere taking hits for a whole game without dying.

While a 1" engagement range is usually a disadvantage for Nix it's often a good thing. Models engaged by Nix have far less options to move around without triggering a disengaging strike and with his 40mm base he can still engage a fair area. Since he can move through models with it's a good tactic to charge or walk Nix to the far side of an enemy model to stop them getting closer to objectives or your other models.

Nix is a great model for causing Blighted and can also benefit from it himself, this makes him particularly at home in a Hamelin crew but he can also effectively support himself. If you're taking Nix outside of Hamelin then you might want to bring along some other models that feed off Blight like Rat Kings and the Obedient Wretch. Then again, if you're going to take all of that you might also want to consider bringing Hamelin himself. For more general information on what Blighted means to you check out Hamelin's page.


Leading a Crew

Nix is generally seen working for Hamelin, but in a Henchman-led game he can lead a Crew. Such a Crew usually operates a lot like Hamelin. You'll want to hire some Rat Catchers and an Obedient Wretch to keep the synergies working.

Strategies and Schemes

Nix is decent at most Strategies and Schemes when leading a Crew. None really stand out.

Building a Crew


Obedient Wretch: Like an amped-up version of The Stolen. Has a decent ranged attack, can cast Bleeding Disease, gives out Blighted, and can summon many rats.

Malifaux Rat: Almost inevitable when you're playing Hamelin. They appear on their own in the crew, give Blighted, get better in a fight the more of them you have, and will turn into Rat King when you get enough of them. One common trick is to hire a number of them to use up activations to out-activate an opponent.

Rat King: Can charge Blighted models, heal by eating up nearby Malifaux Rats, spreads Blighted widely, and has a very nasty melee attack that gets a positive flip when the Rat King is healthy and can continue attacking with Overwhelm. Great at destroying enemy Scheme Markers. Can summon a Rat Catcher and a Malifaux Rat if not needed.

Rat Catcher: Gives Reactive to Rat Kings, has a nasty melee attack, and can summon many more Malifaux Rats. Gains defensive abilities when rats are in base contact, and can pull Malifaux Rats into base contact to make sure this happens.

The Guilty: A fairly sturdy objective-grabber with some decent defense and mobility tricks. It doesn't have a lot of synergy with Nix, but it's handy all the same, and if things go wrong you can always blame The Guilty.

Convict Gunslinger: A really tough and dangerous ranged attacker, which can shore up a ranged vulnerability in Hamelin's Crew. Using Obey to generate a lot of attacks can be very powerful.

Ashes and Dust: Provides a high-price heavy melee model. Hamelin has some synergy in that he can sacrifice Ashes and Dust with (0) Useless Toy (from the Sewer King Upgrade) to draw two cards and trigger the cycle of growth and rebirth.

Killjoy: Another model that loves to wade into your opponent's models, killing and healing with abandon. Nix can protect Killjoy with Weakness and Killjoy can heal Nix by bashing enemy model to death, they're like best friends. Slap Infectious Melodies on Nix and take a few disposable rats and you can also have Killjot in your opponent's face on turn 1 no problem.

Hodgepodge Effigy: Can help Hamelin to regain Soulstones from killing enemy models, especially late in the game.

Guild Hound: Guild Hounds are cheap, fast, and strong missles that aren't insigificant while within :aura 5 of another friendly Hound. Overall, they are very useful models due to their cheapness and speed. No wasted points there.

Canine Remains: Undead hounds, Canine remains reduce df of enemies by 1 within :aura 1. Their digging of corpses is not that useful for Hamlin or Nix. Overall Canine Remains are useful scheme runners and good at babysitting their living cousins, the Guild Hounds. Not a bad choice for objective runners.



Playing Against Nix

Casting attacks, passive damage, and concentrated attacks from high-attack models are the way to go. Don't try to overwhelm him with attacks that might miss! You'll just heal him.

You need to be able to do 3 damage or more per attack to kill Nix reliably. This means either ignoring Incorporeal, hitting him from more than 3" away or having a moderate damage better than 4. If you can't do this your attacks will drain a few of your opponents Soulstones and tick his damage bar up and down a bit. Do not fall for the trick of trying to kill Nix with models ill-equipped to do so, his entire MO is to pick a bunch of models that can't hurt him and lock them out of scoring positions for the whole game. You're much better off trying to disengage with some of them and using the others to keep him locked away from the action.

Do not try to help models kill Nix in melee by Obeying them, it gives him free hit points. Bouncing blasts off your own models does the same thing, but might be more worthwhile if you can get in a good chunk of damage on him.

Great as Nix is at taking hits he can't usually kill something on his own very quickly and ends up stuck in melee himself. Engaging him first with a fairly tough model can be a good way of neutralising Nix before he walks over to your mooks and starts eating their AP.


Ownership
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