Goonhammer’s Ashes of Malifaux Review Part 7: The Resurrectionists

Credit: Wyrd Games

Home stretch!  We’re leaving behind the arid Badlands for the dank and dripping sewers – it’s time to see what the Resurrectionists are up to.


it can harmonize quite beautifully with itself. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

McMourning and von Schtook are both artists, and dead flesh is their canvas.  Like all creative types, they have their share of failures and bad ideas.  Pobody’s nerfect!  When you literally live in a sewer, it’s easy to flush your miscreations down the drain, where they amalgamate into blobby Leftovers.

Let’s not bury the lede: the key mechanic here is Demise (Bisected).  When your Leftovers dies, you get two 4-hp Bisections; each of those turns into two 2-hp Last Bites.  The net result is twenty-four wounds for 8ss, a rate that’s really hard to beat, especially since Perverse Metabolism packs in some healing.  But by the same token, if your opponent can cancel the demise – and anti-healing tech is the easiest way to do so, though be careful of that “enemy model” rider in the face of Obeys – then you are definitely overpaying.

The Leftovers isn’t embarrassing for 8ss, at least.  Df 4 isn’t great, but it’s typical for Ressers, and the requisite Hard to Wound means Min 2 attacks will take a while to chew through this thing.  Bloated Stench also lightly punishes opponents who try to take this thing out in melee.  Actually, melee is where enemies really don’t want to be – Futile Struggle does a good impression of applying Staggered (though remember that it requires base to base contact, while the Leftovers technically has a 1” engage.

Another Mouth to Feed is a reasonable action with a great top end, especially with two outstanding triggers.  That and the On Your Heels trigger on Lecture Notes make this thing a lot faster than it looks.  Pair that with Oozing Mass – a 6” push, with no TN, that ignores models and even hands out Poison – and the Leftovers can get pretty much wherever you want them to be.  Rancid Smell is cute, but I think usually you’ll be attacking and Oozing around.  Your opponent can’t exactly ignore the Leftovers, especially with that fat 50mm base.  And when they kill it…


so where does he actually keep those “lecture notes?” Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

You end up with two Bisections!  These guys are very similar to their dad, a little slower and with lower Wp (and half the health, obviously).  Revolting Swipe is pretty unimpressive attack, although again, the triggers are solid, and McMourning will be grateful for the Scrap.

Mostly, these guys are just two more Significant Oozing Mass models that can score Strategy points (since they’re not Summoned, they Replace the biggun).  Nothing too special, but having one speedy Hard to Wound model disintegrate into two speedy Hard to Wound models is pretty great.  And when your opponent takes them out…

Last Bites

it’s the best part of the sheep, a grave insult to refuse it. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

Last Bites are odd.  They can’t move at all outside of Oozing Mass (although they should ideally be in position to score by the time they show up, and I guess other models in your crew can push them around).  They’re still Significant, and while they die to a stiff breeze, you do get four of them for free.  And while Projectile Vomit at stat 4 isn’t lighting the world on fire, it is very annoying when it hits, and See No Evil is great.  Your opponent doesn’t want to spend four AP killing models that they’ve already killed three times, but they may have to, because a Last Bite camping a Strategy Marker shuts off scoring until dealt with.

really like Leftovers.  I mean, I hate it, because I play Bayou and we don’t get anti-healing tech, but I think it’s very strong.  As long as your opponent can’t no-sell the Demise, you’re going to get a lot of scoring work out of this thing.

The Strange Lady

i’m sure that her eyes are glowing for Normal reasons. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

The relationship between Seamus, Molly, and the strange soulstone known as the Gorgon’s Tear is a big ambiguous.  The Gorgon was a Tyrant, we know that much, and her (?) Tear is a Soulstone of surpassing power and purity.  Is the Strange Lady the Gorgon?  Her avatar?  Or is she interested in the Tear for her own reasons?

The Strange Lady is costly at 10ss, but I think she gets there.  Her stats are excellent, with 6/6/10 Df/Wp/Wds and Hard to Kill keeping her alive a good long time.  She can pitch cards to cancel out of activation actions (which include Disnegage), but the most powerful rule on her card isn’t on her card.  Scarlet Temptation puts enemies at a negative flip to resist her melee attack, which for those who remember pre-nerf Maxine2, is immensely strong.  The Gorgon’s Kiss isn’t that strong an attack, but being able to build in Onslaught if your hand is small enough means she can do a ton of damage very reliably.  And if the enemy survives, they’ll get Distracted, which makes it even harder to remove the Lady.

You really do want to be below the hand threshold to use her, which is manageable in both crews (though in Redchapel you’ll have to go down on cards by using them on Seamus’s gun).  Not only does it build in that Onslaught, it adds the required suit for Obey and for The Healing Dark, which is a pretty nice Heal 3 (and sometimes get a Scheme) for a relatively low card.

And yes, she has Obey.  Obey is one of those actions that generates a lot of spilled ink, and I think it’s generally pretty overrated, especially when it doesn’t have triggers that multiply the AP transfer.  A stat 6 offensive Obey is kind of uninspiring, but if you really, really need to transfer an AP somewhere else in your crew and have an 8, you’ll be glad you have it.

Ten stones is a lot, but the Strange Lady has a nasty attack and is pretty durable.  I don’t think I’d hire her without access to Scarlet Temptation, so maybe not as much in Forgotten, but she’ll surprise people who aren’t ready for her in Redchapel.

Keepside Strangers

surprise! sleeve snake! Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

The Strange Lady can’t do everything herself.  In her mysterious quest, she’s co-opted the aristocratic coven of necromancers known as the Keepside Strangers.  The Strangers live to serve her now, even if they can’t quite remember exactly why…

Forgotten is incredibly strong on the back of Crooligans’ By Your Side, so it might be correct to think of the Strangers as sort of Crooligans’ big brother (and sisters).  Sidekick is a lot worse than By Your Side, but on some boards, in some pools, it’s an acceptable tradeoff.  In return you get a model that’s capable of a lot more than a Crooligan.  Strength in Numbers is very good, as long as you have the healing to keep them at or above four health (and look, the Strange Lady can do that!).  Getting to a straight flip on Handful of Snakes is going to generate some surprising damage, especially with that Unexpected Ferocity trigger.

I don’t think I’d want to Venomous Strike very often, but I guess it’s there.  Mostly, I think you’re taking these guys for their Tactical Actions.  Serene Silence is a bit of survivability for a Forgotten crew that also serves to give the Strange Lady another action (and I think I would try very hard to always have that 6+ of rams to hit that trigger), while Suffocating Sound is more offensive: you can basically force an enemy to choose between Slow and Distracted (plus losing a card).  Not a fun choice, especially if you’re staring down the barrel of the Strange Lady’s Finisher.

I would not underrate a model that can teleport 12” + 50mm + the target’s base width, without spending an AP.  I don’t know if you’ll be able to squeeze these guys in, but being able to jump to Seamus after he Secret Passages, or to Archie after he leaps, gives them board coverage.  Crooligans were already doing it, which is perhaps the biggest strike against the Strangers, but Redchapel has not yet had access to these tools and the Strangers are both a lot harder to remove and, often, a lot more dangerous than a Crooligan (though don’t underestimate those kids – the inability to cheat defensively hurts!).

Batsch & Amalie

well, at least they’re happy, that’s the important thing. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

Batsch and Amalie came to Malifaux during the time of the first Great Breach – not to get rich, but to investigate the flora of the new world.  The University of Jena’s mycological expedition went looking for ‘shrooms in the Bayou and, predictably, found a bit more than that, including a sticky end.  But death is just the beginning in Malifaux, especially when magical fungus finds such ripe bodies to exploit.

Ressers finally get their starter box, and it’s mushroom-themed!  Who woulda thought?

Batsch has Hard to Wound and Regeneration, a solid suite of defensive abilities.  Endless Waltz is mostly just a slightly weaker version of Butterfly Jump, in that you have to actually suffer damage and must Push instead of Move, but Butterfly Jump is really strong so there’s lots of room for an ability to be weaker than that and still be good.  The really interesting front-of-card ability here is Fruiting Bodies.  Some enemies will totally ignore it, and usually there aren’t that many random Corpse or friendly Scheme markers around (and the fact that they do have to be friendly is definitely a limitation), but if you can spread enough gore around, you can really make life difficult for your opponent.  Individual patches of Severe Terrain are easy enough to avoid, but in multiples they can ruin charge math and make positioning a real headache.

Mostly, though, you don’t need to slow enemies down – you just need to tag them for a built in positive twist to Mushroom Cloud.  As we just saw with Bura, a stat 5 vs. Movement is deceptively strong, and while the damage track on Mushroom Cloud isn’t too substantial the blasts help a lot.  Just one blast off a moderate is 5 damage total, a respectable amount, and if the enemy is clumped up things can get silly fast.  And that’s before factoring in Unexpected Ferocity, which can ramp damage up to a 4/5/5 and make this a decent single-target nuke.

Revolting Swipe isn’t much to write home about, though the trigger here is stronger than some standard 2/3/4s.  I’m really interested in Spore Spurt, though.  As a bonus action it’s effectively “free” and a discard is a pretty solid payoff, especially later in the turn when your opponent doesn’t have too many bad cards left.  Alone, it’s not much, but alongside other sources of hand pressure it can give opponents fits as they decide whether to cheat or lose a card anyways.  The Distracted it can hand out is fun, too, synergizing with Mushroom Cloud.  It’s very short-ranged, so you’ll have to be close in, but at least you can get some Shielded to protect yourself.

The Power of Dance is a fairly unimpressive tactical, so much so that I’d wager most readers don’t even realize it’s an existing ability (from the Coryphee Duet – which usually has better things to do with its AP).  The triggers here are fairly nice, though.  The TN on the Cordyceps duel is too low to really be reliable, but Fancy Feet is a great trigger.  Moving Markers can do all kinds of fun things: you can position Schemes to score or deny, you can push Tide Markers or Pylons out of your way, and you can move your own Pyres or Sludge Markers to where your opponent really wishes they weren’t.  The TN on this ability isn’t free, but it’s low, and you can stone for the trigger if you really need it.

I am a bit less impressed with these two than I was with the Guild’s Bura; a lot is going to depend on the other models in the Fungal keyword, and how many Corpses or Schemes your crew can generate.  But if you’re running a master that wants Markers in a specific location, like Reva, these two are worth a look.


look, he answers to oskar, so it’s his name. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

When Batsch and Amalie’s team found themselves returned to a semblance of life, they decided to pick up where they left off, though it was somewhat difficulty to identify who was who (what with all the mycological growth).  This fungal titan was lined up with everyone else, so he must have been part of the team, and they didn’t see old Oskar around (along with a few others), so they had to be the same, right?  Probably.  So this is “Oskar” now, or “Button” to Batsch and Amalie.  He’s very helpful, especially when swatting people with those massive paws.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Df 4, Armor, Hard to Wound, Regeneration?  Yup, sounds like a Resser enforcer – I’m frankly surprised at Wyrd’s restraint in giving him just 7 health.  He’s got the by-now-standard 6” aura for a card draw if he’s near a Master or Henchman, plus more if that Henchman is Batch & Amalie – and this is a really good bonus, giving you an effective extra AP (but better, since you can interact even if engaged).

Oskar’s melee attack is actually solid, if unexciting, and his ranged attack is surprisingly strong as well: the range isn’t great, but it ignores Cover, Concealment, and Friendly Fire, and Stat 5 vs. Mv isn’t so bad when you think about how much of the game is Mv 5 (and how easy Staggered is to pass out).  A built in positive to hit and Draw Out Secrets mean you’ll actually be shooting with this a fair bit.

Spore Spurt is a solid bonus, though the stat is a bit low – you might as well take the shot, for a potential damage, Distracted, discard, and healing.  Or you can just create a large bubble of one-way Severe Terrain, which incidentally improves his gun!

I really, really like Oskar.  It seems like he does a lot for not very much cost.  He’s hard as heck to remove, he has solid attacks, he draws cards and generates extra AP, and he has a variety of disruption tools.  I don’t know if even that is enough given how intensely synergistic a lot of lists are these days (and how much you really want the Batsch & Amalie synergy may factor in) but I think this is a very defensible hire, even if he doesn’t reach the heights of pre-nerf Frodsham or Yannic.


this model is legal in oregon and colorado. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

The University of Jena expedition had plenty of helping hands – research assistants, gofers and the like.  They reanimated with the rest, but now they’re connected by a mycelium that makes sure that what one learns, they all know.  That makes them effective researches… and dangerous opponents.

Batsch, Amalie and Oskar may have a hard time finding their way into already-tight lists, but Dapperlings are going to show up a lot.  Demise (Eternal) is a huge pain in the ass, forcing you to kill these guys twice in a single turn to remove them, and at 4 health and HtW they’re actually kind of annoyingly difficult to kill with one attack… so if your opponent can’t cancel the demise, they’ll have to invest a ton of effort in removing these cheap scheme runners.

If that was all they did, it would be enough, but they’re actually kind of solid – sure, their attacks are only Stat 4, but you throw enough mud at a wall and some of it will stick (and Latch On helps).  Creep Along is great, basically giving them three AP for a very modest TN, and Fungal Bloom lets them mess with enemy scoring by pushing markers around.

I am already sick of facing Dapperlings.  If you can’t cancel their demise, you are just going to have to bite the bullet and chew through 8 wounds in a single turn.  It sucks, but the alternative is to let them run riot, and that sucks worse.


still a little salty that this guy has turned his back on his Brown Brothers. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

Next up in the Bayou, we have…

Wait a second.  A green Gremlin?  Not just green, like, literally, but green in faction?  Heresy!  I shan’t be reviewing this guy on principle.

If I must, though…

Ezekiel’s cheap for an Enforcer, but brings some interesting tricks to the table.  He seems a bit like a bargain Asura Roten – he’s more fragile (though Protected helps a LOT) and his summons are still Insignificant, but Intuition is a big deal for a model like this: you don’t have to waste cards on him since you can just stack for your TNs.  Protective Spirits is a pretty strong action if you can set it up right, although there’s an interesting tension here because you need it to fail in order to blow up one of your zombos.  Similarly, there’s some lenticular design with his Healing Energy, since he can either heal an ally or force an enemy to eat a scheme marker (or force an ally to eat a friendly scheme marker, a bit cornercase but occasionally useful).

Fresh Meat is mostly useful for its triggers, though it can be a neat way to squeeze a little bit of extra movement out of your crew.  I don’t think you’ll do damage often, but that’s a cute trick if you want to go all-in on Mindless Zombies.  The dream of spamming zombies is probably not going to happen, even if you put both this guy and Asura in the same list, but 1) it’s certainly possible and would be funny to try, so you should try it and 2) lots of resser masters don’t have that huge a list of core hires (Seamus, for example, kinda does his own thing and lets his crew do its thing), so there’s ample room to experiment.

I am surprisingly bullish on Ezekiel, though the fail case (he eats two min 3 attacks and just dies in one activation) is real.  Have a plan for him, don’t just toss him in a list, but don’t be surprised if he does work.

Kari Zotiko

“two gold doubloons!” Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

Kari Zotiko was not a nice lady.  Nice people generally don’t end up part of Jack Daw’s carnival of carnage.  Once a ferry captain, she had a side hustle selling bodies to people who don’t appreciate lots of questions, and business was so good she decided to cut out the middleman (so to speak).  That drew retribution, hence her current ghostly condition, but she’s still in the business of making corpses… just for a different master than the almighty coin.

Kari’s got the standard suite of Urami abilities (incorporeal, Vengeance, anti-healing tech), with bog-standard stats.  That actually makes her a bit fragile for her cost, especially by Resser standards – Incorporeal is nice, but it only goes so far.  Peer Through Fog lets her hide in Concealment, at least, and she generates her own with Twisting Mist.  Remember that this isn’t enemy only, so you can both self-heal and keep yourself safe from potshots, but the TN is kind of oddly high.

Her Stygian Hook is a bit odd.  The damage track is nothing too special, but You’re Coming With Me is a really strong trigger to build in.  Obviously this triggers in the mirror match, but she really wants to be attacking enemy models that you’ve gotten a Tormented upgrade onto (or a friendly Guilty).  Once the upgrade is in place, she can either yank them around the board or get some extra damage, either of which is nice.

Charon’s Toll is pretty sweet, too.  Sure, the range is rather short, but you’re forcing a really difficult choice on your opponent: making them discard, even a weak card, is pressuring their hand, and the weaker the card, the more damage they take.  The fact that they can completely no-sell the damage by pitching a Severe means it’s not a hugely reliable damage dealer, but stripping a Severe out of the opponent’s hand is a win all on its own.  And you get some compensation: you’re automatically marking them with Adversary.

Finally, the Silver Whistle has a nice and low TN and doesn’t have the “non-charge” rider many of these actions do, making it a pretty solid bit of friendly AP transfer for the low cost of a bonus action.  The suit requirement is non-trivial, so there’s an active incentive to bring the Ferryman here – getting your third AP for the price of a suitless 5 is quite strong.

The Ferryman

clearly that’s a Ferrywoman. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

The first Ferryman was a construct Kari created to harvest bodies from the murky depths.  It learned to make its own, and that in turn led to the death of its mistress.  Oops.  But she’s back, and she’s summoned the creature’s essence and learned to re-bind it into host constructs using the silver whistle.  Now the Ferryman is back to doing what it does best: stacking bodies for Kari.

Rather unusually for Urami, it’s not Incorporeal, though it does have armor and Terrifying to keep it alive (and Depths of Malifaux does a good Incorporeal impression, at least when it comes to terrain).  Otherwise, it has a very Urami looking card, with Mark of Vengeance and a reasonable but not earth-shattering attack.  The 2″ engage is actually very nice, especially with Mv 6 – this thing is surprisingly speedy.  I also really like the Flay trigger, which is pretty rare but very potent.  I think with Kirai2 you’re going to see a lot more of this thing, since her ability to bake in suits gives you access to your nasty suite of triggers.

Like Kari, the Ferryman wants enemies to have upgrades; unlike Kari, it can give them out!

jack sparra, do ye fear death? Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

The Black Spot is a neat little trick, a way to give the Tormented upgrade synergy to Urami crews.  It’s pretty standard as far as Cursed upgrades go: gives a little penalty (in this case, giving your crew mobility) and can be passed around for a cost.  I actually think the upside of this upgrade is kind of mixed, since there are some targets that would be thrilled to have you pushing towards them.  But simply turning on Weigh Down and Torment is probably worth it.

Handing this out might be the tricky part- Lost in the Fog is a fairly short-ranged, Stat 5 attack.  It’s pretty good when it hits, though like most “punisher” effects, giving your opponent the choice makes it worse than it looks: they’ll always pick the option that’s better for them in the moment.  Both effects are pretty strong, so you’ll never be too sad to have either, but I don’t think I’d take the action purely to get the upgrade out – I’d have to want both effects, such that I don’t mind which one the opponent picks.

The Kari/Ferryman package is cute, but it is rather pricey at 15ss.  I wouldn’t hire just one of the two, most likely (maybe in Daw, you can get away with just Kari, since her kidnap is very strong).  But together, they my be too expensive to justify.

Ghost Eater

sometimes two of them slurp the same ghost like in Lady and the Tramp. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

Ghost Eater isn’t a name – it’s a title.  These sorcerors directly interact with chi, harnessing and channeling its power.  They can pull the chi right out of a spirit, effectively “destroying” it and creating a reservoir of power they can tap.  This is obviously of interest to Yan Lo, who knows more about chi than any person, living or dead, but Reva has attracted the attention of these practitioners as well.

Ghost Eaters’ whole mechanic revolves around their Ghost Lights, so we can’t really consider them separately.  Ghost Eater summons them, typically two per activation: one from In the Spirit World, and one from the Blinding Light trigger.  I think you are going to try to get that latter every activation if you can.

Ghost Lights

these guys kinda remind of the ghost taxi driver from the original Ghostbusters. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

Once summoned, Ghost Lights do technically have Actions, but I think it’s pretty rare they’ll take them, since they’re mindless and they’ll often die the turn they’re summoned.  Basically, they’re Soulstones.  You can kill one to get a Soulstone (though you can’t do so if you’re out of Soulstones – you have to have one to spend, then you kill the Ghost Light and get one back).

That’s really strong!  Soulstone use is really, really potent as an ability.  Ghost Eater pushes it further, letting you get a +twist to any duel to which you applied a Soulstone (effectively double-dipping when you spend a stone for a suit).  Beyond that, he’s a reasonably strong support model: Instill Youth is a good heal, even when you’re not zorching the friendly for more Ghost Lights, and Ghost Eater is surprisingly durable (since he can spend Soulstones to prevent damage, and if he kills a Ghost Light to do so, he heals from The Final Veil).

Tear Apart is sort of a replacement-level attack, though Exorcism is a very strong trigger.  Remember, you can stone semi-freely for triggers with this guy because of Ghost Lights.  Spirit Barrage is a solid ranged attack, and Spiritual Weakness is a devastatingly strong trigger: Injured +2 is often a death sentence on a target.

My only beef with Ghost Eater is that he’s an Enforcer with Attuned, rather than a Henchman, which kind of makes no sense.  It affects hiring (but you were never going to declare this guy as a leader, were you?) and a few random Schemes, but it’s a rules choice without any flavor.  I wonder why they set him up that way.

Old Hob

the elevator pitch: Chappie meets Saw. Credit: Danger Planet Brandon

Corpse Picker constructs were a good idea, in theory.  Malifaux is, unfortunately, rather overrun by bodies, and something has to be done about them.  Not only is it unsanitary, but to the necromancers skulking in the sewers and alleys of the Quarantine Zone, a corpse is just a friend you haven’t made yet.  In practice, the constructs were difficult to wrangle and often had difficulty distinguishing a corpse from a living person… which is a problem, because they were programmed to impale corpses on their handy spikes to keep them off the streets.  Most of them are out of service now, but Old Hob still wanders the Zone, chasing butterflies and the occasional person who doesn’t hear him coming.

The Resurrectionists’ ten-stone enforcer is a corpse machine.  Quite literally.  It’s Raining Corpses means that once you get into combat, you’ll rarely want for Corpses, and Corpse Picker can turn those corpses back into health.  Couple him with McMourning and some other marker-generators and he can heal an annoying amount – if your opponent doesn’t have Armor Piercing, they’ll really struggle to put him down.  (Of course, if they do, his Df 5 and 9 wounds will mean he disappears quickly, so be careful).

Wicked is a pretty rare rule, but I like it here.  The Construction Claw displaces enemies, so if someone does try to disengage from you, you can both bonk them for some damage and reposition them to make their Disengage push awkward.

That said, a 2/4/5 damage track isn’t that inspiring for a ten-stone beater, and the triggers here are just so/so (although Dismember is better on Hob than on many other models who have it).  Hurl Corpse is pretty appealing, especially at Stat 7 – sure, the damage isn’t great, but Collision is a nice trigger, and there are upsides to bonking a Corpse into an enemy (such as setting up a summon in their face).

I dunno about Temper Tantrum.  In general I’m not a big fan of this type of effect, since your opponent can burn the cards if they really have to, although Wp 14 is a high enough TN that they might not actually be able to get around it.  Still, you’ll have to be Slowing more than one model to really make this worth it – otherwise, you’re just trading a 10 stone model’s AP for one AP from a model that probably cost less.  I really like the triggers on Temper Tantrum, but you do have to beware of Territorial, since enemy Obeys can ruin your day.

Old Hob seems a little underwhelming to me – for a model that mostly just does damage, he doesn’t do that much damage for 10 stones.  And his durability is good, but not out of the ordinary for Ressers, and starkly vulnerable to armor piercing.  But in some matchups, just having a corpse-spewing pile of Armor +2 wounds may be enough.

Not Easy Being Green

The Resurrectionists got some very good stuff this round, especially Ghost Eater – Reva is one of the top crews this season, and Ghost Eater is a scary strong upgrade.  I also love everything about the Leftovers (and friends), though probably not the experience of playing against it.

That’s it for the Ressers!  We’re almost done!  Just one more faction – the mysterious, shadowy Ten Thunders…