Malifaux tournament report: A Brave New World (50SS); 26Oct13

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Malifaux tournament, partly I suppose because of the change to the second edition.  I wasn’t really enthused about the game’s beta testing period but lately I’ve had a few very satisfying games with Joe and I was very much looking forward to the Brave New World tournament at Worlds at War.  As far as I know this is the first M2E tournament in Scotland.  Strategies and scheme pools were predefined by the organisers so if I had known what I was doing I could have theorised about them ahead of time.  So far I haven’t played enough M2E to make an informed choice so I didn’t bother.

Game 1: Ten Thunders (me) vs Arcanists (Sholto)

Strategy: Stake a Claim

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Protect Territory, Entourage, Plant Explosives
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives
Arcanists: Entourage (Ramos; announced), Protect Territory (announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Kang, 2 Rail Workers, 2 Illuminated, Beckoner, Archer, 2SS
Arcanists: Ramos (Arcane Reservoir, Under Pressure, Electric Summoning), Joss (Imbued Protection, Open Current), Howard Langston (Imbued Energies), Johan (Bleeding Edge Technology), Rail Worker, Brass Arachnid, Electrical Creation

So it’s a whole new set of abilities for pretty much every crew, and I don’t really know much about what my own crew does either.  Kang is good against things which are either scary or are Constructs or Undead as he allows nearby friends to ignore horror duels for the former and gives positive flips against the latter, so he was in.  The Archer and Beckoner give me ranged options and the Beckoner also adds a very useful Lure ability to the crew.  I did consider playing Mei Feng but I think I’ve only played a single game with her so far, so that made the choice of Jakob for me.  I had previously used the Rising Sun upgrade on Lynch to allow him to bring the Hungering Darkness back if killed but it’s not too easy to pull off in the new system, and with fewer turns it also means that there is less chance for it to matter.  So instead I selected Endless Hunger (which makes the Hungering Darkness more powerful) and figured that if anyone committed too heavily to killing off a beast like the Hungering Darkness then I should at least be able to take out something good in return.  A lot of the miniatures I want to use (and actually own and can play) in this crew are expensive so I deliberately avoided taking many upgrades in order to have more bodies on the table.

001

Turn 1: It’s still Malifaux so most of the first turn is spent moving into position.  I’ve got a couple of Rail Workers out of shot on the right intending to put down markers for Protect Territory and Claim Jump, or otherwise to distract something big enough to take them both on.  Langston makes a cloud and moves up in defensive stance; Joss follows and is Lured across the board by my Beckoner.  Sadly, attacks from most of my crew aren’t enough to kill him (though in fairness this does use up a lot of David’s soulstones) and even worse I then find out that Joss gets Reactivate when reduced to his Hard to Kill wound, which he duly applies by chopping his axe into Kang.  Meanwhile Ramos kills his Electrical Creation for some reason which I still cannot fathom.

003

Turn 2: Winning the initiative, Joss hammers into Kang who uses a soulstone to survive on one wound.  The Hungering Darkness charges Ramos but is pushed back by Ramos’s defensive trigger after the first hit, wasting the second attack; his last action finishes Joss.  Ramos kills off Kang with Electrical Fire and summons an Arachnid.  The Beckoner does an elaborate set of moves to Lure the Archer forward into a suitable position to shoot a useful target, which he does by Rapid Firing a few wounds off Ramos.  One of my Illuminated charges Johan after he moves forward for depressingly little effect and the Rail Workers both advance to allow a Claim marker to be placed next turn; one also drops a scheme marker.  The Brass Arachnid successfully gets Langston to Reactivate which he uses up by moving forward then charging and Decapitating the Hungering Darkness. I’m not sure how that works as the Hungering Darkness is almost entirely made of head, but anyway I only had a single card and single Soulstone left so that was that.  Lynch gets revenge by killing off Johan with Play For Blood.

004

Turn 3: The nearest Rail Worker uses Implacable Assault and charges Langston (the photo above is after this movement), then Langston discards his Imbued Energy upgrade and kills the Archer and wounds the Beckoner.  I got the rules wrong here, discarding two aces to avoid Decapitate then immediately picking them up again, as I thought that they could do this at any time other than Lynch’s activation but it turns out that it only works in their own activations.  Hopefully it didn’t affect the game over all too much.  The other Rail Worker puts down a Claim marker.  Sholto’s Rail Worker charges my Illuminated near the central tower, then my other Illuminated finishes off Langston.  At this point the TO tells us that this will be the last turn; it’s not been a fast game while we both spend a lot of time reading cards.  My Beckoner therefore changes plans and moves up to drop a scheme marker for Protect Territory.  Ramos, realising that he needs to get into my half of the board, detonates his own Rail Worker to get him out of the way, and is then stopped from moving by a couple of great disengaging strikes by my Illuminated.  Finally, Lynch moves up and drops a scheme marker near to Ramos and his Arachnid.  I reveal my Plant Explosives scheme, getting two VPs for it.  Ten Thunders win 6 – 1 (1 for the Claim Jump, 2 for Plant Explosives and 3 for Protect Territory for me, just the 1 for Protect Territory for Sholto).

I was very happy with the win, especially against such a strong player as Sholto, but I was particularly pleased to have the privilege of playing on the amazing board he made. Even better, the win meant that (as this board had been designated as the top table) I could play on it again.  My terrible photos simply don’t do justice to the quality of the board.

Game 2: Ten Thunders (me) vs Outcasts (Mark)

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Breakthrough, Outflank, Make Them Suffer
Ten Thunders: Outflank (announced), Line in the Sand (announced)
Outcasts: Make them suffer (unannounced), Breakthrough (unannounced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Kang, 2 Rail Workers, 2 Illuminated, Beckoner, Archer, 2SS
Outcasts: Viktoria of Ashes (Survivalist, Sisters in Fury, Synchronised Slaying), Viktoria of Blood (Howling Wolf Tattoo), Taelor (Scramble), Student of Conflict, 3 Ronin, Convict Gunslinger

I consider changing up my crew selection but they did well enough in the first game that I decide I’ll be better off sticking with what I have and learning how to use this lot better.  I don’t fancy any of the schemes too much but figure that cheap, tough to kill pieces like the Rail Workers might be a decent choice for Outflank as they’ll be too much work to get rid of by most things in the Viks crew considering that most of their damage is done in melee.  While they’re out there, they can also put down a Line in the Sand Marker.

006

Turn 1:  We start to move to engage; the Convict Gunslinger gets first blood taking a couple of Trigger Happy shots at the Illuminated on my right after I moved it too far forward.  The Ronin move up and take defensive stances but my Beckoner Lures one in anyway and, after the debacle trying this on Joss, I am quite pleased when she’s put down without much fuss.  The Student of Conflict uses Sisters in Spirit to move the Viktoria of Blood forward, and finally the Hungering Darkness moves to attack Taelor on the edge of the central forest but misses completely.

008

Turn 2: Hungering Darkness and Taelor trade hits but neither goes down so the male Illuminated charges and kills her.  The Viktoria of Blood charges the Hungering Darkness and obligingly fails her Horror duel, though my relief is short lived as the Viktoria of Ashes follows up and delivers the killing blow anyway before using Setting Sun.  Poor paralysed Viktoria of Blood is Lured round the tower by my Beckoner, then the Archer and Lynch combine to kill her off.  On the left, the Ronin shoots my Rail Worker while the one on the right charges the Illuminated for little effect in either case.  I score 1 VP for the strategy.

009

Turn 3:  Viktoria of Ashes kills the Illuminated on the left, putting some damage on Kang thanks to the Whirlwind trigger (and scoring a VP for Make Them Suffer) and being placed back in the forest by the companion-ed Student of Conflict.  My Rail Worker kills the Convict Gunslinger and the Ronin in the forest continues to chip away at the surviving Illuminated.  Lynch moves up to shoot the other Ronin who responds by charging him.  The second attack misses and Lynch pushes away with Squeal and the Archer shoots down the offending (and now unengaged) Ronin.  Kang charges Viktoria and kills her as all the Soulstones are used up.  Finally, the Rail Worker on the left moves into position for Outflank and puts down a scheme marker on the centreline for Line in the Sand.  I score a VP for the strategy again.

010

Turn 4: The last Ronin fails to kill off the Illuminated, who makes no mistake in return.  The Student of Conflict, last member of the crew, somewhat optimistically moves up and pokes Kang who, amazingly, is unable to kill her off in his own activation.  Considering how he managed with the Viktoria of Ashes last turn, this is a bit disappointing.  Still, Lynch moves in and takes the final wound from the Student with Play For Blood.  I am able to use the rest of this turn and the next to score any remaining VPs so the Ten Thunders win 10 – 1 (maximum for me, 1 for Make Them Pay for Mark).

That was quite nasty for Mark, who I think was probably not expecting his crew to fold so quickly.  I was certainly surprised by how quickly the Viktorias themselves died, but most of the crew’s Soulstones had been used by Taelor staving off the Hungering Darkness in turn 2.  The Ronin couldn’t seem to put out enough damage to clear the Illuminated who could keep healing with Brillshaper and of course I had a small advantage from the start by taking out a Ronin during turn 1.  Anyway, I was expecting to get a third game on that marvelous board (as I was still on the top table) but the TO moved things around so that someone else could have a play on it, which is fair enough.  For the final game I’m up against David Hamilton who is surely the best Malifaux player I’ve actually played against, and probably the best Malifaux player in Scotland.  Regular readers will note that he’s beaten me in several previous tournaments, generally going on to win them overall.

Game 3: Ten Thunders (me) vs Outcasts (David H)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Breakthrough, Take Prisoner, Vendetta
Ten Thunders: Line in the Sand (announced), Vendetta
Outcasts: Take Prisoner (Kang, unannounced), Distract

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Kang, 2 Rail Workers, 2 Illuminated, Beckoner, Archer, 2SS
Outcasts: Tara, Herald of Obliteration (Dead of Winter, Knowledge of Eternity, Obliteration Symbiote), Nothing Beast, Karina, 2 Death Marshals, 3 Void Wretches, Desperate Merc

I am a big fan of Vendetta on the Archer as his range means it’s quite easy to ensure that his first attack is on the right target; in most crews that doesn’t matter but I don’t have many ranged options at the moment.  In this crew the only viable target was the Nothing Beast, and I figured that such a miniature would have to come to me to make itself useful.  I know nothing at all about Tara’s crew, so this’ll just have to be done playing by ear.

013

Turn 1:  I forgot to take a photo at deployment, so this is taken after a few moves up for position; there’s another Rail Worker out of shot on the left.  The Beckoner Lures a Death Marshal into the open but I can’t put enough damage on him with Lynch to take him out.  The other Death Marshal Pine Boxes the Nothing Beast then , right at the end of the turn, everything kicks off.  Tara unburies the Nothing Beast in the central building and gives everyone fast (including the nearest Illuminated), discarding all her cards.  The Nothing Beast then charges the Illuminated and puts a couple of attacks onto Kang but with nothing to cheat (and me with a full hand from not much happening on turn 1) nothing happens.  Hungering Darkness charges up and takes the Nothing Beast down to a couple of wounds in the battle of the big scary monsters.

014

Turn 2:  I flip a 2 for this critical initiative, but David trumps me by flipping out a Black Joker on his positive twist, so the Archer uses Rapid Fire to end the Nothing Beast.  This not only scores me 3 VPs for Vendetta but makes me feel a lot more comfortable in the game with that massive nasty out of the way.  Tara charges the male Illuminated and uses Soulstones to guarantee the Sympathetic Echoes trigger and put some wounds on the other one.  My left hand Rail Worker charges up and kills off the Desperate Mercenary.  Karina takes a shot at the badly wounded female Illuminated but can’t quite take her out so she heals up with Brillshaper and charges Tara for a few wounds.  The wounded Death Marshal takes a shot at the Hungering Darkness then thinks better of it and moves back behind the building wall and the other on shoots at the Rail Worker.  On the far side, the other Rail Worker moves to put down a marker for Line in the Sand.  The male Illuminated makes use of the fast status that Tara gave him to put a few more wounds on her, then a Void Wretch makes him fast again and charges for a little damage.  I need to get rid of Tara before she makes more of a mess so the Hungering Darkness charges in and ends her while Kang takes out the leading Void Wretch.  The Rail Worker on the left gets the Distract condition from a Void Wretch, the Beckoner Lures Karina into the Hungering Darkness’s waiting arms and Lynch polishes off the wounded Death Marshal.  We both score 1 VP for the strategy.  I never like to count my chickens before they’ve hatched against a player of David’s calibre but I have to admit that I’m feeling like I’m in a strong position here.

015

Turn 3:  The Archers kills Karina with another volley of arrows and the Hungering Darkness moves up and attacks the Death Marshal on the hill.  To my slight surprise, the Death Marshal responds by moving up and Distracting it; the Void Wretch with the Rail Worker takes a double defensive stance to make it hard for me to remove the Distracted condition.  The Rail Worker kills him anyway and Lynch moves round the building to drop the last Void Wretch with Play for Blood.  The rest of my crew move into position to put down scheme markers except Kang who goes to assist the Hungering Darkness (not that it should be needed).  I score a VP for the strategy, David scores 1 for his scheme.

017

Turn 4:  The Hungering Darkness eats the final Death Marshall.  The Rail Worker removes Distract from himself and everyone else drops scheme markers as needed.  Ten Thunders win 10 – 2 (maximum for me, 1 each for Distract and the strategy for David).

The scores are counted and I am in first place – hurrah!  I had three very fun games against three nice players which is all I’m really looking for, but I have to admit that it’s a little nicer to end by winning three games than losing them.  My children have adorned my trophy (a very pretty looking gold-painted Silurid) with stickers, surely the universal mark of Being A Good Boy so all is well in the world.  Thanks to David and Joe for running the event, and to my three opponents for having fun with me.

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Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Malifaux tournament report: A Brave New World (50SS); 26Oct13

  1. Topmost one is a really neat board. Love it.

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