In the last 24 hours I have put some serious thoughts into running Henchmen as leaders in smaller point games. Typical games in Malifaux tend to be either 40 or 50 soulstones with your leader being free. This leaves the entire amount of points available to spend on models to tie in with the Henchman and that can grab you scenario points.
With a henchman you have access to a less powerful model than a master naturally. You also give up a valuable AP as only Masters have 3AP generally. Masters will generally also have more synergy with more models than a henchman.
So what’s the upsides?
Well as most people generally take a Master you can have a surprise advantage of only throwing down a henchman. This could lead your opponent off his game from what he was expecting to face. As all models are simply pawns in your grand scheme (or they should be) you should be able to adapt your overall plan to cope with the loss. The upside can also be for introductory games and playing against opponents of different levels to you. Purposefully handicapping yourself can provide a quick way to level the playing field. And if you can pull out a victory with a Henchman led crew against an opponent running a Master, well then victory tastes that much sweeter.
I think there could be times when it is fun to run a henchman-led crew. It could be for a story encounter or in conjunction with a campaign. Regardless the open playstyle and crew composition of Malifaux 2.0 allows many different combinations to be tried, tested and enjoyed.