Madness of Malifaux Part 4.5: The Clampetts and the Angler Keyword… Again

Hello again, Mali-folks!  So far in my Madness of Malifaux reviews, I’ve covered the Guild’s Harold Tull and his Cavaliers, the Arcanists’ Damian Ravencroft and the followers of Witness, the Neverborn/Resurrectionist Master Kastore and his Returned, and in an exclusive preview column, the Clampett family.  Wyrd provided us the cards for the Clampetts’ core box, but there’s a whole lot more happening down on the Bayou, so today we’re going to be doing the other half of the review.  Keep reading to find out what other options are available to the nautically-inclined Clampett family… including their Title form!

Fishin’ Up a Storm

The Clampetts have always kept themselves apart from the tussle and squabble of Bayou politics.  They stick to the shoreline, catching whatever they can and keeping anything too small, stupid, or dead to escape from a net.  Things don’t change much in the Bayou, and they change even less by the oceanside; humans don’t spend much time in Malifaux’s oceans, which are basically full of horrible monsters, so the Clampetts’ traditional way of life has been unchanged for a long time.

The first hint that something was changing was the arrival of a huge human ship.  The EV Superior docked by the Bayou for repairs after arriving in Malifaux.  Beau Fishbocker wandered over there and offered his help, but the Clampetts waited and watched from a distance.  They weren’t sure if the coming of the humans was good news or bad.

The Burning Man seems to have resolved that question, at least.  His return to Malifaux stirred up the inhabitants of its seas, most notably the Gibbering Hordes.  Many of the Hordes are Earthside, but they’re a horde and so there are plenty left to menace Malifaux’s most honest fisherfolk.  They come in their hundreds, lurching up out of the tides… straight into the nets and waiting knives of the Clampett clan.  The Gremlins don’t know what’s going on with the fishmen, but they’ve figured out there’s good eating on those things, even if sometimes you have to put away the rods and nets and pull out the dynamite and harpoons.

The Clampetts don’t realize it, but they’re the only thing standing between the Bayou and a fishpocalypse.  But a Clampett with a knife, a net, and a calculating expression is often the thing standing between a Gibbering Horde skulker and dinner.

The Clampett keyword, Angler, focuses on Tide Markers.  These 30mm Severe markers provide a +twist to Df duels for any Angler in base contact with them, and Anglers also ignore their traits (just Severe at baseline, but if you make them Hazardous or give them other traits, the Clampetts are unaffected by those too).

The Clampetts, Bally-Hoo Bucket


The sight of the Superior awakened something in the Clampetts’ little green hearts.  The Gremlin tendency to ape the tall folks is well-known and remarked upon at this point.  What’s a bit less known is their technological aptitude… but Mah Tucket’s mecharachnid works well enough, so why not a boat?  The Bayou is marshy and muddy enough that it’s sometimes hard to tell where land ends and water begins, so the Clampetts put a couple of wheels on the Bucket to cover all their bases.  It works – their fishing craft is the envy of all the other families, and the bane of anything with fins, scales, and teeth.

The Bucket is quite a bit easier to hit than Sally (the family’s pet Silurid), especially without Stealth, but it’s sturdy as heck with Armor +2, and Wp 6 is respectable.  It’s also likely to have permanent Concealment, thanks to Tides of Meridion – not only do you get three bonus Tide Markers just for showing up, but all of your Tide Markers are one-way concealing all game long (that is, your crew doesn’t care about them).  On top of that, you can move two Tide Markers per turn, and even deal damage if they bop into someone.  This is a great ability and a huge part of what makes the Bucket work – your crew can drop a ton of Tide Markers, but you’re usually constrained by the position of your models, and this lets you nudge the markers right where they need to be.  Eye of the Hurricane is another hugely potent effect, and one that previously has only shown up on Machinists (who are pretty frail).  There are a TON of powerful debuff auras in this game, and the Bucket just… doesn’t care about them.  Wilds of Malifaux?  Don’t care!  Heated Iron?  Don’t care!  Misery?  Oh, you know I don’t care.

Their Actions are pretty potent, too, in a straightforward way.  Caught in the Motor is a beefy melee attack, especially if you can hit that trigger.  To help you set it up, there’s Drawn to the Seas, which is in most cases a superior Lure.  Crash Against the Waves isn’t the best Shockwave in the game, but here it’s mostly just a way to pinpoint-drop a Tide Marker right where you need one; if you get some damage and Distracted, that’s great, and in a pinch you can use it as marker removal.  But Oh No! Ogopogo!, in addition to having the best name of any Malifaux attack so far, is where this card goes from good to great.  It does a hefty chunk of damage for a bonus action, has infinite range, and displaces enemies.  Best of all, if you’ve pre-arranged a Tide Marker touching the enemy (say, through Crash), you can abduct your target a long way.  With proper setup, this can be devastating; have Bruce standing by to Drool a marker into position, then use Ogopogo to snatch an unsuspecting enemy and start whaling on them with an effective Stat 7 3/4/6 with a built in positive twist.  Not much lives through that.

The Bucket is going to take a lot of hits, but they can weather them well with Armor +2, and the crew has plenty of healing.  Just be aware that Armor isn’t a panacea, and if your opponent can ignore it they’ll go down fast… and you’ll need to arrange some card draw, since without Use ‘Em As Bait you don’t have much.

Uncle Bogg

gator king – coming soon to netflix. Credit: Wyrd Games

Every family’s got that one uncle – he doesn’t know when to shut up (or how to shower), he never brings a dish but eats twice as much as anyone else, and he has Opinions on everything from the upcoming election to those damn Packers.  Bogg is all that, plus he never goes anywhere without his gator Lawrence (and Lawrence’s brother Richard).  Bogg is the worst.  And now your opponent has to deal with him too.

Bogg is an absolute lynchpin of the Clampett crew.  Let’s start with the mobility tricks – your crew is full of 50mm bases that don’t ignore terrain.  Well, between Weary Road and Off the Path, Bogg is an expert at moving your models around.  Especially when we reach the next entry, you’ll be really grateful to have Bogg around.  He also fixes your hand and drops Schemes while advancing your models!

The other thing Bogg is incredibly good at is just being unbelievably annoying.  He sits there, with his fat 50mm ass and his gator.  You can’t Interact near him without discarding a card.  You can’t make attacks near him without suffering a -twist to damage.  Every time he activates, all of your nearby models have to test or gain Distracted (as long as he’s at least partially over the centerline.  And you can’t even move him!  Plus, he spews out Tide Markers every time he activates, for free – so attacks against his hefty Df 6 have to deal with a built in +twist, too.

And even if you do hit him… he’s a Henchman, so he has Stones, and his melee attack has a built in Tear Off a Bite trigger.  Bogg is super hard to remove.  True to his name, he’ll sit there and bog down an area of the board, making it a no-go zone for your opponent while shouting the rest of your crew into position.  And once per game, Lawrence’s brother Richard shows up on a ten or more of crows.  That is a hilarious ability and one you should never forget you have.  Richard is a pretty serious threat, even Slow… Bayou gators have built-in Puncture and Flurry, so he can make a lot of attacks and deal a lot of damage.  And he even adds to the crew’s hand pressure!

Bogg is essential.  I can’t imagine playing an Angler list without him.  Nothing he does is keyword locked, either, so you’ll see him out of keyword a lot.

Sir Vantes

does Malifaux even have windmills? Credit: Wyrd Games

Good old Sir Vantes Clampett is the other kind of uncle.  The wiry one with the car covered in incomprehensible homemade bumper stickers.  The one whose “business ventures” never quite work out.

Well, one of them did.  Vantes fell headfirst into adventure, or at least into the ruins beneath the Bayou, which is almost the same thing.  What did he find there?  Treasure?  Glory?  No?  A giant snail?  That’s cool too.

Sir Vantes wins a special prize: he is the coolest model in the entire book.  Armor 2 with good defensive stats and built-in self-healing?  Sure.  Stat 7 attack that goes to a 3/4/5 on the charge, or a 4/5/6 with a mask?  Awesome.  Free charge, even if you’re engaged, even if you’ve already charged this turn, whenever that beefy attack kills someone?  Uh, wow.

Mv 3?  Now we’re talking.

Vantes is actually not quite as slow as he looks (though you better look out for Shockwaves).  On the Move is a very, very powerful ability, and that means if he walk-focuses, he’s effectively Mv 6 for the turn.  Which is pretty cool.  Heroic Intervention also gives him an effective 6″ “charge” range, but with a significant caveat: both the Shell Shocked trigger and the native +1 to his damage both require him to actually charge.  So you can On the Move and then Intervention for a very dangerous 9″ charge threat, but you’ll miss out on the bonus damage… though enemies beware, once he actually kills something he’ll pinball like crazy through your army.

Fortunately, he has another way to engage: Bait the Waters lets him yoink an enemy  towards him, and the way the math on the ability works out, as long as the push wasn’t slowed by terrain or other models he’s guaranteed to be in charge range of the target.  The triggers on it are pretty sweet, too.  Drawing a card is always nice, dropping a Tide Marker is appreciated (though, admittedly, not that big a deal with how many this crew makes passively), but Captain’s Challenge is sick. Vantes is already pretty durable, with the +twist to Df, Armor +2, and self-healing.  Adding Challenge makes him unreasonably hard to remove for an Enforcer.

Judd and Honey


He’s not even a Clampett!  What’s he doing here?!

Jebsens show up in some odd spots.  We’ve got Burt, he of the pepperbox and the crackerjack timing; we’ve got Wong, Burt’s cousin, once Obadiah Jebsen.  And now we have Judd Jebsen, who had the Gremlin luck to be in the right place at the right time when an experimental Ten Thunders weapon fell off the back of a cart.

A cursory glance at Judd’s card should make one number really stand out: 18.  18″ is an absolutely enormous range in Malifaux, reminiscent of 240″ range Basilisks – between that and the fact that Spray and Pray lets him ignore LOS, in practice Judd can get your opponent just about anywhere.  The gun’s not especially high-damage (although the built in Clustered Arrows triggers gives you a not-shameful 2/3/4), but the ability to spread around Blasts makes it impressively capable at knocking off Shielded or just whittling down several models at once.  More importantly, the Compressed Nets trigger – and the fact that it’s after resolving – makes it trivial for you, once per turn, to drop an extremely disruptive Staggering shockwave right into the middle of the enemy crew.  If you do this before the enemy unpacks – which should be easy, since on Wedge Judd can shoot straight from one deployment zone into the other – you can really strip their hand.

It’s not like the rockets are his only trick, either.  Shootin’ Fish in a Barrel is harder to trigger than you think it’s going to be, because Clampetts tend to drop tide markers close to themselves and Judd is firing at distant targets, but on later turns it’ll be an option.  Remember that the 8s it draws are just high enough for Judd to hit all of his TNs when he’s using Spray and Pray.  Stand and Fire is not that hard to trigger (but remember to keep him unengaged) and the ping damage adds up.  Signal Flare is the other really spicy rule on his card, though – that’s a massively long-range heal or movement, and if you have an 8 or higher it even ignores LOS.  Finally, both of his bonus actions are great.  Aunty Mel in particular likes it when her Adversary target can’t benefit from Cover.


“hosiah! you get down off that thing afore-” *CRUNCH* “ah, never mind i guess.” Credit: Wyrd Games

Gremlins like riding things.  It’s in their DNA.  Many of these experiments fail due to the prospective steed being too dangerous, difficult to hold onto, or inanimate to function as a mount.  Sometimes, though, a gremlin will manage to hang onto a silurid long enough that the beast stops trying to eat its rider (or at least takes a break).  It would make sense that the Clampetts, fishermen that they are, field a higher-than-average share of these daredevils.

Buckaroos are, basically, scheme runners.  They’re even faster than Silurids, with Mv 6 and Onward making up for the lack of Leap.  They can even plow right through models, though they don’t ignore terrain.  Silurids are famously fragile, though, and these guys are even moreso – one more health does not make up for the lack of Stealth.  In melee, Chum the Waters might help them stay alive a bit longer, and they do have the cute interaction of being able to Butterfly Jump through the thing that just hit them and force a test to avoid damage, but mostly you don’t want them in melee.  Ain’t My First Rodeo is a cute action, with an S tier trigger name, but giving your opponent the choice means that it’s hard to see it really working out.  And while they can drag Tide Markers around, they can’t make them.

I don’t love these guys.  Scheme running is just not really a thing you do a lot of in GG3.  This GG rewards durability and sitting in one place, two things Buckaroos are pretty bad it.  There’ll be a place for them in a new GG (or in GG All events – which are great, and which I strongly recommend), but for now they’re a bit too pricey for what you get.

Still, there are only a couple of misses in the whole Angler keyword.  These guys are awesome!  A lot will depend on how your local meta plays Use ‘Em As Bait: if it doesn’t trigger from Tide Marker drops (i.e. Inclement Weather and Gone Fishin’), Fisherfolk probably doesn’t get there power-level-wise.  If it does, though, I think they’re very competitive.  And the title is a lot of fun… just be careful about Armor Piercing.

That’s all for this week!  Join us next time as we visit the Library of All Things and get to know Linh Ly and the Red Library and Story keywords.

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