Malifaux – Nicodem is the summoner, he can summon any non-unique undead model and has buff spells that make undead models better. His major drawbacks are a low speed, low defense and limited offensive capabilities. I’ve found he works best with lots of low costed models necropunks, dogs etc. The reason for this is they are cheap and die quickly which means you can turn them into better options like Flesh Constructs, Punk Zombies etc without paying the premium. The vultures help to keep him in range of the corpses since his crew will definitely outpace him. Casting arise is essential once there are some corpse counters around and try to keep the mindless zombies within 2” of him. He definitely doesn’t have the durability of Seamus unless there are multiple zombies to sacrifice to prevent the damage.
At 30SS I like him for reconnoiter and treasure hunt. A typical list would be 3 dogs, 3 necropunks, a Belle, a Punk Zombie and the grave spirit. The plan here is to split the necropunks up and grab the table quarters or treasure token as quickly as possible. Move the dogs up as a pack keeping within 10” of Nicodem, this is tricky since he has to walk twice to keep up. Link the totem and use it to cast the fog. The armor and soft cover should protect him until you can start making more models. The Belle and punk Zombie work in tandem to eliminate threats or cull the weak. If you need to luring Nicodem can get some extra movement out of him. I’ve had good success with the list detailed above and think he works best with lots of cheap models.
His box set is very solid. The Punk Zombies are glass hammers and being able to bring them back is very useful. Mortimer can soak quit a bit of damage and has a decent ranged attack. As with my previous article do not waste time casting exhume, you have a 1 in 4 shot of getting it off. If you get so lucky as to flip a graveyard as your special feature have fun and get there ASAP.
Once you get the hang of the box set you’re going to want to buy two of the vulture totems and 2 flesh constructs (if you don’t plan on buying McMorning). That way you have some useful things to summon and can make the most out of his casting expert ability. The constructs are easy to summon and you’ll here “That thing does what...” over and over again. From there you’re going to what to pick up a gunslinger, the ranged power he brings to the table will help to make up for the lack of ranged attacks. The gunslinger is really a no-brainer for any competitive list, trigger-happy alone has turned the tables for me more times then I can count.
Once the dogs are released Nicodem players are going to want at least 2 packages of them (4 dogs) I would go so far as to say pick up 4 packs just in case. They are cheap fast and have an amazing trigger. Bette Noir should be amazing with him +2Cb/Df takes her over the top. The issue I’ve had is she’s to far away usually to take advantage of it. I imagine with more practice she will be a bigger asset. Again the need to hold onto a high crow forces you to make hard decisions.
[edit: Bette doesn't need a high crow, it just so happens that every time I've used her the only high card I had in my hand was a crow. So she's potentially much better than I give her credit for I just haven't had success.]