Malifaux tournament report: Bayou Brawl II (30SS); 16Mar13

Aramoro, Forkbanger, Furycat and I made the trip out to Livingston for another Malifaux tournament, the Bayou Brawl II. As a brawl, it was clear that this wasn’t going to be too serious since all sort of ludicrous combinations become possible (notably the ‘auto mannequin replacement’ trick for Ramos and Colette), though keeping the game size relatively small (at 30SS) made sure that there were some tricky choices to be made in crew selection. Furycat had only played 3 games of Malifaux ahead of the tournament, all of them against me, so it was going to be an interesting day for him. He was using my Guild forces so I got to try out my Ten Thunders crews; I am still somewhere between the ‘remembering what is says on the card’ and ‘working out how to get anything done’ stage with these guys.

Game 1: Ten Thunders (me) vs Neverborn (Joe)

Strategy:
Master of the Hill (points at the end of each round after the first for having more significant miniatures within 6″ of a marker in the middle of the board).

Schemes:
Ten Thunders: Hold Out (stop the other side getting models in your deployment zone), Kill Protegé (just kill the most expensive minion; the Illuminated in this case), Infiltrate Malifaux (finish the game with at least 2 dual faction minions)
Neverborn: Spread the Light (finish the game with all surviving enemies having brilliance), Seeds of Betrayal (have the enemy master killed by a model under the effects of Obey), Frame for Murder (get a specific minion killed by the enemy master; one of the Beckoners in this case)

Crews:
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch, Hungering Darkness, Mei Feng, Emberling, Kang, 2 Beckoners, 2 Rail Workers
Neverborn: Jakob Lynch, Hungering Darkness, Zoraida, 2 Beckoners, 2 Silurids, Illuminated, Insidious Madness

I pretty much made the decision before the tournament just to stick with a single crew for all three games as I don’t really know what any of the Ten Thunders miniatures do. Loosely, my thought process went: 1) it’s a brawl, so use two masters 2) Jakob Lynch wants Brilliant miniatures, so take some of them 3) Mei Feng wants constructs, and I only have Rail Workers and 4) Kang is pretty amusing. I took Hold Out as it synergised well with the strategy, and Kill Protegé because the Illuminated is at its best in close combat (where I can kill it). Infiltrate Malifaux was just because I’ve never tried it before and I always figure I might as well have more potential VPs. Joe asked me to choose his schemes for an achievement, so I tried to select ones that I didn’t usually see.

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Turn 1: We both have Lynch, Hungering Darkness and Beckoners, so this might get confusing. Joe’s Beckoners move each other and the Illuminated around a bit with Come Hither (we forget that they should be on negative flips against each other thanks to Don’t Bite the Hand). I get Mei Feng right in the middle of the pack and put up Vent Steam to stop line of sight to most of my crew, and the Emberling links to Kang and pushes him forward with Seismic Punch. If I ever get into the alcopops business, I will make a drink called Seismic Punch. On the left flank the Silurids are moving around fast, but one of them is brought into my crew by a Beckoner using Come Hither and Kang duly beats it to death. Zoraida summons a Voodoo Doll (of course), conduits to one of my Beckoners and gets it to charge Jakob Lynch for a couple of wounds. When I get it back under control, I reel in the Illuminated with Come Hither and my Hungering Darkness eats it to complete Kill Protegé.

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Joe wins initiative and his Hungering Darkness charges Mei Feng, soulstones his attack flip out of sight and drops the red joker on the damage flip. Judicious use of soulstone from Mei Feng keeps her clinging onto life even after a Rail Worker is forced to charge her with Heed My Voice. Mei Feng gets revenge by putting down the Hungering Darkness with some help from the Emberling. In some ways it was not ideal to attack a model that had already activated, but I didn’t have any other great targets as most of the rest of the Neverborn were lurking outside my engagement range. Also, I thought I was likely to lose Mei Feng so I decided I might as well get some use out of her. Indeed a Silurid is next to try and finish her, but I am able to fend off more attacks. Various combinations of Beckoners push / pull each other around the table to minimal effect. My Hungering Darkness mauls one of them, and my Rail Workers put down the other Silurid. I score a VP for the strategy.

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It’s all getting a bit thin now for the Neverborn in the centre. My Hungering Darkness kills the Insidious Madness, and out comes Joe’s Hungering Darkness. Mine isn’t able to finish off his, so his Hungering Darkness moves over and kills off my Jakob Lynch. Dang it. So my Hungering Darkness is removed from play too, despite having taken no wounds. He then casts Heed My Voice on Kang who beats up a Rail Worker rather severely. My Beckoner puts down his surviving Beckoner to reduce the number of Brilliant models that Joe’s Hungering Darkness could come out of if I can kill it again. Zoraida summons a fresh Voodoo Doll (which conduits my Rail Worker) but somehow fails to Obey him to do anything. Kang puts the Hungering Darkness down again by throwing hot coals at the monster, and I score another VP for Master of the Hill.

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The game is about to end due to timing so I mostly just cluster my models down under the cover of Vent Steam from Mei Feng and the Emberling. Zoraida and Jakob Lynch make a run for my deployment zone (to deny me Hold Out) but are stopped by the clock. I end up taking a 9 – 0 victory, getting full points for my schemes and 3 of a possible 4 for the strategy.

Game 2: Ten Thunders (me) vs Neverborn (Barry)

Strategy:
Supply Wagon (various points available for escorting a wagon to the centre of the board).

Schemes:
Ten Thunders: Bodyguard (keep your master alive, Jakob Lynch in this case), Stake a Claim (nominate a terrain piece on the other half of the board and end with a model touching it), Save Face (points available if neither player can maximise points for the strategy)
Neverborn: A Mother’s Love (Lilith must finish the game with 4 blood tokens), Steal Relic (win a willpower duel against my master when in melee), Frame for Murder (again on a Beckoner)

Crews:
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch, Hungering Darkness, Mei Feng, Emberling, Kang, 2 Beckoners, 2 Rail Workers
Neverborn: Lilith, Nekima, Beckoner, Cherub, 6 Terror Tots

Once again, I took Bodyguard and Stake a Claim because I find them fairly easy to score on. I’m still trying to get the best out of Save Face but it seemed unlikely that this game would be anything other than an unholy blood bath in the middle so I thought the strategy might end up being ignored for most of the time. Like Joe, Barry asked me to choose his schemes for an achievement, apparently I wasn’t paying attention on the Frame for Murder scheme.

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Nekima does something to the Terror Tots which will apparently turbo charge them, then flies really far forward. Far enough, in fact, for a Beckoner to bring her into attack range with Come Hither. Barry does a great job protecting Nekima with an Illusionary Forest from Lilith, but I am still able to get Mei Feng into her with a bit of Rail Walking and a Jackhammer kick. After I had done this, I realised that I was really reliant on winning the initiative for turn 2 as otherwise Mei Feng was trapped away from the rest of my crew with a raging murder machine.

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Sadly, I don’t win initiative, and Nekima unleashes her full fury upon Mei Feng. I use soulstones like they’re going out of date and Mei Feng somehow survives on a couple of hit points (note: Barry remembered some additional ability after the turn that might have been enough to finish the job so perhaps I just just lucky here). Mei Feng then turns Nekima into a fine red mist and Rail Walks back to my lines looking rather battered and bruised. As in the first game, I was using this activation to play for activation control and force the Neverborn to come into my engagement range. Lilith and a Young Nephilim charge into the Hungering Darkness but leave it on a single wound. The Cherub then goes for a very long shot to Transposition Lilith out of danger but it doens’t come off. I use a Beckoner to move Hungering Darkness out of melee with Lilith so he doesn’t get killed off by Black Blood (actually, as he’s dual faction Neverborn I think he would have been immune anyway…). A Rail Worker then drops two outrageous hits on Lilith with Implacable Assault, red joker-ing the second to kill her off in highly improbable style. Barry tries a cheeky move getting a sacrificial Tot near to Mei Feng so that the nearby Young Nephilim can move into Black Blood range due to brood as I inevitably kill the little chap. Kang swats him out of melee with a spade, but Mei Feng is using up a lot of soulstones just staying alive.

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One of the Young Nephilim charges Mei Feng but still can’t quite seal the deal, while the other one kills off the Hungering Darkness. Kang kills off a convenient Brilliant Terror Tot and Hungering Darkness pops right back into the game, scaring a few Nephilim for good measure. A Terror Tot does eventually kill the Hungering Darkness again, but by the end of the turn I’ve finished off the last of the Nephilim. Of note is my forgetting about Frame for Murder and getting Mei Feng to kill the Beckoner as part of spree where she also took out two Terror Tots. We run through the activations for the rest of the game and I get a 9 – 2 victory.

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Game 3: Ten Thunders (me) vs Outcasts (Jonny)

Strategy:
Land Grab (various points available for controlling more sections of the board each turn).

Schemes:
Ten Thunders: Alternate Route (put markers down in a line across the board), Breakthrough (have more models in your opponent’s deployment zone than they do), Frame for Murder (Hungering Darkness)
Outcasts: Assassinate (kill enemy master; on Mei Feng), Grudge (kill Kang in melee with a minion), Eye For An Eye (end the game with the same number of models as the other crew)

Crews:
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch, Hungering Darkness, Mei Feng, Emberling, Kang, 2 Beckoners, 2 Rail Workers
Outcasts: Hamelin, Leviticus, Nix, Obedient Wretch, 2 stolen, 3 canine remains

With 6 of the possible schemes already used up, I was way outside my comfort zone here, and pretty much just chose whatever seemed amusing. Alternate Route is always entertaining as you build a little railway across the board, and I thought that Breakthrough went fairly well with it. As for Frame for Murder, I figured that since both Hamelin and Leviticus are so powerful there was a decent chance that they would put the final blow on Hungering Darkness.

Various members of Jonny’s crew attack each other or are sacrificed to turn into Rats, Waifs of just generally into corpse counters for later use. My Rail Workers get started on my Alternate Route Scheme.

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This turn is where I make a lot of big mistakes. Leviticus uses up a lot of soulstones on Mei Feng, who is forced to use a lot of her own to stay alive. My Hungering Darkness charges Nix but achieves very little due to Nix’s aura of negative flips. I then spend most of the turn trying to put Nix down with no effect as he mauls my crew and then is Obedienced by Hamelin to do it all again (I hate Obedience, as it is like Obey but with all the restrictions removed). In the end, Mei Feng and Hungering Darkness are both down. I should have just left Nix alone and concentrated on getting some points for my schemes, or moved up for position next turn. A Stolen sacrifices Levi since he forgot to die.

Nix attempts to charge Kang but gets held up on a Rail Worker’s disengaging strike, so Hamelin just casts Obedience until he gets away and kills Kang. Jakob Lynch finally shoots Nix to death while my Rail Workers put down more Alternate Route Markers.

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Hamelin casts Obedience on my Rail Workers to attack each other and move them out of position to put down the last Alternate Route marker but they don’t die quickly enough to stop me from achieving it. Levi kills one one of them, who finishes off the last Canine Remains with his Slow to Die action. I get desperate and make a Rat Brilliant with a Beckoner and then kill it to bring out Hungering Darkness on a single wound. Embarrassingly, a rat then kills the big beastie.

In turn 5, Leviticus finishes off the last Rail Worker and smites Jakob Lynch with a couple of Unnatural Wastings. Time is called but with only two Beckoners against an almost untouched crew, it is all over anyway. Jonny takes the win 5 – 2. I had a great time but I didn’t really put up the fight I was hoping for as I was fixated on getting Nix and he just mangled me. It didn’t help that I lost initiative in every turn, allowing Nix to get his negative flip aura running before I could attack him.

The scores are in and I come in third behind Jonny and Gareth who made a great foray into the world of Malifaux. As a group, we made out pretty well as I also got best painted single for Mr Graves (who I haven’t yet taken a photo for) and Forkbanger took best painted crew and an award for getting the most achievements from a list. So all in all a good day of playing with toy soldiers with three fun, close run games and plenty of hilarity all round. Thanks to Joe, Barry and Jonny for three great games and to David KS for doing all the work to organise the whole thing.

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Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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