Malifaux tournament report: Scottish Grand Tournament; 16-17Nov13

This weekend was the first of a hopefully long line of Scottish Grand Tournaments for Malifaux.  This was held at Common Grounds gaming in Stirling and was apparently a big enough event to attract players from a much wider Malifaux tournament community.  Showing my class, I took a wrong turning on the way and rocked up about 10 minutes late.  Fortunately, the first games hadn’t quite started (probably they were delayed waiting for me) so a quick reshuffle occurred and we were off.

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

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Distract, Cursed Object, Make Them Suffer
Ten Thunders: Line in the Sand (announced), Breakthrough (announced)
Neverborn: Line in the Sand (unannounced), Make Them Suffer

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Seismic Claws, Price of Progress), Emberling, Kang, Rail Worker, 2 Illuminated, Thunder Archer, 3SS
Neverborn: Jakob Lynch (Rising Sun), Hungering Darkness (Nexus of Power), 3 Illuminated, 2 Beckoners

Since I arrived late, Andrew already had his crew out on the table so I deliberately picked Mei Feng (and not my own Lynch) to make it more interesting.  Thinking about it now, I reckon that Lynch vs Lynch had the possibility to be hilarious as everyone is suddenly on huge bonuses to attack anything.  I pretty much just dropped the first set of miniatures that came to hand onto the table so as not to waste any more time than I already had.  Andrew was a gent and helped me get my cards sleeved etc.  I had actually been present for Andrew’s first game and (hopefully) gave him some useful hints on playing Lynch at the time; it turned out that this would be his second game.  I took schemes by the highly strategic method of ‘ones I could remember how to score on without recourse to the rulebook’.

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Turn 1: Nothing too clever, we just moved forward into position.  That massive building in the centre was going to make things a bit more challenging.

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Turn 2: Andrew’s male Illuminated on the right moves up and takes a shot at Mei but misses thanks to Vent Steam.  I can’t resist a pack like that so Mei charges the female Illuminated and puts a few wounds on the nearby Beckoner and Illuminated, then the Beckoner Lures her even further forward.  My own female Illuminated charges his on the left hoping to take advantage of that tasty damage bonus against Brilliant models but I Black Joker one attack and leave it alive.  It then fights back but also can’t do enough to kill mine.  My Archer Rapid Fires on the rightmost Illuminated for minimal effect and Lynch takes a shot at Mei Feng and moves toward the forest to get away from her.  Disappointed by the Archer’s performance, my other Illuminated charges and takes out the other Illuminated on the right.  The other Beckoner Lures Mei Feng toward the forest where the Hungering Darkness lurks but bad cards prevent either of his charge attacks from connecting.  Now that I’ve cleared up the right side the Emberling and Rail Worker move over there to start dropping scheme markers.  I score a VP for the strategy.

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Turn 3: The Hungering Darkness attacks Mei Feng but I cheekily cheat in the Red Joker on the first attack so she can Leap Aside to safety so it moves to the forest instead.  My female Illuminated tries and fails again to take out the final Neverborn Illuminated and the return attack is similarly ineffective.  What is it with that pair?  With minimum damage of 4, one of them should be a fine mist by now.  Kang charges the nearer Beckoner but can’t quite put her down and she wounds him back a little.  Mei Feng is taking no such nonsense, easily killing the one nearer to her and then Vents Steam while Lynch finally puts down my Illuminated on that side of the building (and scores a VP for Make Them Suffer in the process).  The rest of my crew, trapped on the far side of the building, move around and drop scheme markers.

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Turn 4:  Kang kills off the Beckoner and puts a few wounds on the Hungering Darkness.  Lynch advances, kills off the Archer who has unwisely advanced into his range (scoring another for Make Them Suffer) and drops a scheme marker on the centreline.   After two turns of watching my Illuminated’s bumbling attacks, Mei Feng kills off the final Illuminated and Vents Steam to thwart Hungering Darkness (due to a weird interaction with the way it attacks).  Hungering Darkness is unable to resist the temptation anyway and charges her so I again drop a high mask and Leap Aside again.  I score another VP for the strategy, and we’re out of time to have another turn.  Ten Thunders win 6 – 2 (2 for Reckoning, 3 for Breakthrough and 1 for Line in the Sand for me; 2 for Make Them Suffer for Andrew).

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It was a very fun game and Andrew has the potential to become a very good Malifaux player, as evidenced by his eventual 8th place finish; a great result for someone playing games 2 to 6 of their life.  For my part, I was happy to get the tournament off to a straightforward start after the stress of getting lost and arriving late at the venue.  With no disrespect to Andrew intended, I was always confident to win this game.

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

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Plant Explosives, Deliver a Message, Assassinate
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives
Arcanists: Deliver a Message (unannounced), Assassinate

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Kang, Beckoner, 2 Illuminated, Thunder Archer, 2SS
Neverborn: Lilith (Beckon Malifaux, Wicked Mistress, Rapid Growth), Cherub, Barbaros (Nexus of Power), 2 Waldgeist, 2 Terror Tots

I love to play Jakob Lynch, so I was planning on using him for most of the tournament.  Also with Deliver a Message as an option I thought he would be a stronger choice than Mei Feng, who tends to get hung up on miniatures from time to time if I get her to bite off too much.  Not too much thought went into this crew; it is simply the miniatures I like well enough to play at 50SS, but with 2 Rail Workers removed so it actually fits.  I don’t actually have that many Ten Thunders miniatures that have rules at the moment as half of them are still in beta testing.  Any changes I make are just changing the proportions of what is in the crew.  Plant Explosives is a very amusing and tactical scheme to play so that was always in; Protect Territory is a good scheme to score on with the Beckoner and the Archer.

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Turn 1: Everyone moves forward, of course.  Sadly for the Cherub and one of the Tots, that turns out to be too far and the Beckoner Lures them both forward to be killed by the Archer and Hungering Darkness respectively.  For some reason which escapes me now, I moved Lynch right up in front.

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Turn 2: Barbaros comes in and attacks Lynch, taking a bit of damage in return from Hold ‘Em.  The female Illuminated charges the other Tot and wounds it; a counter charge from the Waldgeist on that side is similarly ineffective.  My male Illuminated resists the temptation to also charge in and claims the leftmost strategy marker; the Beckoner takes one on the right.  The right Waldgeist moves onto its own nearest marker but hasn’t enough AP to do anything with it.  Lilith hits my female Illuminated but Barry’s cards betray him and she lives on a single wound.  My Archer Rapid Fires Barbaros and Kang beats him back out of melee with Lynch, who strolls over to the furball with Lilith et al and casually drops a scheme marker.  Hungering Darkness drops Barbaros and then charges the lonely Waldgeist leaving it on a single wound.  My scheme marker is indeed used for Plant Explosives and scores me three VPs (Lilith, Tot and Waldgeist); I also score for Squatter’s Rights.

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Turn 3:  The Terror Tot kills the wounded Illuminated and promptly Grows into a Young Nephilim.  My other Illuminated charges and puts some wounds on the Waldgeist, and the newly created Young hits Lynch, taking damage in return from Hold ‘Em.  My Beckoner Lures the Archer forward, partly to get him back in the action but mainly to Push to get line of sight to the right hand Waldgeist which she kills with Despicable Promises.  The Waldgeist and Lilith both attack the Illuminated but somehow don’t quite kill it (I didn’t note anything about it but I suspect that Lilith may have spent a couple of AP doing something else this turn).  Lynch kills off the Young, moves away from the fight and drops a scheme marker.  Barry mentioned at this point that he’s never successfully Grown a Tot into a Young and had it survive the turn.  I score on the strategy.

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Turn 4:  Lilith kills the Illuminated and wounds Kang, then Kang kills the Walgeist.  Lilith is feeling lonely.  Lynch makes her Brilliant with Play for Blood, and the Hungering Darkness eats her alive.  Ten Thunders win 10 – 0.

I enjoyed that game but I have to admit that I overcooked it a little bit.  I know that Barry is also very new to the game and I wasn’t really intending to make it so brutally one sided (I only lost the two Illuminated in the whole game; Barry lost two models on the first turn) but I just kept finding myself in positions to score or kill his pieces.  Still, I believe that Barry enjoyed it too as he certainly has the right attitude to enjoy all his games.  I’m looking forward to playing him more in the future as he gets a better feel for how to use the crew.

Game 3: Ten Thunders (me) vs Resurrectionists (Mike)

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Murder Protege, Breakthrough, another one that I didn’t note for some reason
Ten Thunders: Bodyguard (Kang), Murder Protege (Sebastian, announced)
Resurrectionists: Murder Protege (Kang, announced), Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Kang, Beckoner, 2 Illuminated, Thunder Archer, 2SS
Resurrectionists: McMourning (Moonlighting, Plastic Surgery, Evidence Tampering), 2 Nurses, 2 Necropunks, Zombie Chihuahua, Sebastian, Flesh Construct

I was really looking forward to this game for several reasons.  Firstly, Mike is famous.  Secondly, I’ve never played him before and he obviously loves Malifaux enough to not only do a lengthy podcast about it but also to drive hundreds of miles to play it against me.  Thirdly, he’s apparently pretty good at the game, and as much as I enjoyed playing Andrew and Barry, I was not in any real danger of losing to them.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from his crew since I’ve never played McMourning before but I know that they can mess with scheme markers so there’s no way I’ll take anything that involves those.  Lynch is a good bet against McMourning since I’m expecting to face several Flesh Constructs and with Ace in the Hole it’s not likely that I’ll run out of cards.  Bodyguard and Murder Protege seemed reasonable choices at the time though in retrospect I guess that Bodyguard on Kang is probably not optimal since he provides such good bonuses against Undead that he’d have a huge target on him.

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Turn 1:  A Nurse hits the Flesh Construct to pump it up to about a million poison tokens and speed it up, and the Necropunks leap forward.  My Beckoner Lures the nearer one and the Archer takes it down to its Hard to Kill wound; Lynch finishes the task with Play for Blood.  Everyone else just moves forward; the Flesh Construct is far enough forward  that the Hungering Darkness can smack it a little with the benefit of Kang’s Worker’s Champion ability.

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Turn 2:  The Flesh Construct starts us off killing the female Illuminated.  The other one charges Sebastian for a few wounds.  The Nurse uses Take Your Meds on Sebastian and leaves him able to only take melee actions this turn (I presume that they were also improved in some way).  So the Beckoner promptly Lures the Illuminated right back out of his range.  The Chihuahua moves into the middle of a group of my pieces and poisons a load of them, and the surviving Necropunk heads for a safe place in the back corner of my deployment zone.  My Thunder Archer finishes off the Flesh Construct freeing Hungering Darkness to charge Sebastian and put a few good wounds on him.  Kang kills the Chihuahua and then McMourning zooms in, killing off the other Illuminated and turning him into a Flesh Construct.  Lynch, not liking the look of McMourning much, heads after the Necropunk and wounds it a little.  Throughout this game one of Mike’s Nurses is loitering in the back left corner of his deployment zone to secure him that quarter.  We both score for the strategy.

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Turn 3:  Mike wins this crucial initiative flip (Hungering Darkness will certainly kill Sebastian if I go first) and the Nurse throws pills into Sebastian’s mouth from a mile away, healing him up to full but paralysing him.  She then does the same to the Hungering Darkness with a 13 of crows; the only card I can’t defend against this turn (I’d need a Red Joker to stop that).  The Archer Rapid Fires the new Flesh Construct, killing it on the last hit with a lucky Red Joker.  McMourning drops a scheme marker then hurts Kang pretty badly and Lynch finishes off the Necropunk that’s messing about in my deployment zone then Plays for Blood to wound McMourning.  Kang and the Beckoner join in to really crimp McMourning’s style.  Again, we both score a point for the strategy.

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Turn 4:  This time, I win the critical initiative flip and stop McMourning from easily killing Kang by beating him to death with a spade before he has a chance.  Mike noted at this point that he should have pushed McMourning out of combat at the end of last turn with one of his abilities which could have had a pretty big effect on the game.  To make up for it, that pesky Nurse paralyses the Hungering Darkness again and Sebastian makes a run for it.  Mike scores on the strategy this turn but I don’t because I very stupidly move the Archer too close to the centre of the board, though I do reveal Bodyguard at this point.

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Turn 5: Hungering Darkness chases after Sebastian, then the Nurse inevitably paralyses him again.  Lynch moves round and puts some damage onto Sebastian, who charges right in to return the favour.  My Beckoner has one chance to wound him with Despicable Promises: I hit then, on a double-negative flip get the Red Joker, some card and then the Black Joker.  So close!  No one ends up scoring on the strategy this turn, but for the first time that I can think of in a tournament game we both have enough time to flip for a further turn and it would actually be relevant.  I flip, but the game ends anyway.  Ten Thunders win 4 – 3 (2 each for Reconnoitre and Bodyguard for me; 3 for Reconnoitre for Mike).

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It was great to play Mike.  He plays a very tight game and kept me right on the rules a good few times.  He has a reputation for being a nice chap to play against and I’m pleased to be able to extend it further.  I was delighted to be able to test myself against someone who is ranked very highly.  Amazingly I was in the lead after day 1 of the main event and was scheduled to play against James Doxey, who has an excellent blog in which he appears to travel the country outclassing people at Malifaux.  That was a challenge I was looking forward to on day 2.  In addition, the two games on day 2 increased in size to 50SS.  We had the Hardcore event on the evening of day 1; more on that later.  I went home and filled up on tasty curry with Mrs Argentbadger while most of the rest of the players fruitlessly wandered the streets of Stirling in search of a pub that sold food.

Game 4: Ten Thunders (me) vs Arcanists (James)

Strategy: Stake a Claim

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Outflank, Distract, Deliver a Message
Ten Thunders: Outflank (announced), Protect Territory (announced)
Arcanists: Protect Territory (announced), Distract

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Kang, Beckoner, 2 Illuminated, Thunder Archer, 2 Rail Workers 2SS
Arcanists: Ramos (Arcane Reservoir, Field Generator), Joss (Bleeding Edge Tech, Imbued Energies), Miss Step, December Acolyte, Electrical Creation, 2 Molemen

Again, I was very much looking forward to this game.  James is famous for being good at playing Malifaux so I was interested to see if I could compete in his league.  Also, his crew is absolutely beautiful.  Luckily, I’m used to putting my crew on the table against miniatures with vastly superior paint jobs on them.  I didn’t give too much thought to my crew; the extra 10SS is exactly enough for 2 Rail Workers and I thought I’d need every activation I could get here.  The rest of my Ten Thunders are pretty expensive so Rail Workers are my cheapest options to get objectives and they’re also dangerous enough that people have to put in the work to kill them off.  I picked schemes I felt confident I could score on and both Outflank and Protect Territory are quite straightforward if you can avoid getting overrun.

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Turn 1: Ramos does the now-famous trick of killing his own Electrical Creation to turn it into a Van Neumann-style swarm of Steam Arachnids.  The Beckoner Lures forward the Acolyte but the Archer can’t do anything to him.  I decide to commit Hungering Darkness to the centre and kill off the first of many Arachnids.

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Turn 2:  My Rail Worker on the left charges an Arachnid but achieves nothing, as does the one on the right at the leading Moleman.  The Acolyte shoots the nearest Illuminated to give him Slow (and prevent a charge) so the female one charges instead and kills him.  Ramos pours out yet more Arachnids around the Hungering Darkness but fails to cast Arcing Screen.  Lynch and the Archer both kill Arachnids in an attempt to clear out the Hungering Darkness but the Archer Black Jokers an attack on one.  In a move that makes me love Malifaux, Miss Step chooses not to attack anything but instead moves forward and drops a scheme marker so that Molemen can use their Place effect to move to it and get away from the Rail Worker.  One of them does so and puts down a strategy marker.  I can see this coming but can do nothing to stop it.  Hungering Darkness offs the last Arachnid pestering it and drops a strategy marker of my own but Joss simply advances and drops another, erasing mine.  James scores a VP for the strategy.

Turn 3:  The male Illuminated charges Miss Step, and she decapitates the poor chap in return on the first hit; she’d already dropped the card to Flurry so it wasn’t worth paying out the cards when he was surely going to die anyway.  On the left, my Rail Worker continues to chase after an Arachnid to stop it getting to far into my territory and putting down markers freely, though he can’t actually kill the thing.  One Moleman Distracts the right Rail Worker while the left one is Distracted by the Arachnid he’s chasing.  The Beckoner Lures the other Moleman in and makes it Brilliant as I forget that they can easily get away from her.  My surviving Illuminated places a strategy marker which removes the one James put down on the right and the Archer takes a few wounds off Joss.  Ramos manufactures another piles of Steam Arachnid, places a scheme marker and uses Arcing Screen again to help his numerous minions.  Miss Step is killed by the Rail Worker on the right and Lynch makes Joss Brilliant with Play For Blood before blowing up yet another Arachnid.  The Brilliant Moleman teleports to the nearby scheme marker and puts down a strategy marker, removing the one that my Illuminated just placed, so Kang comes over to play whack-a-mole with him.  The Hungering Darkness wounds Joss, then switches targets to an Arachnid since I’m in danger of only wounding Joss and letting him Reactivate.  It’s probably worth noting that Joss was using his ability to give negative flips to cast action near him to hamper the Hungering Darkness, but with Brilliance and Kang nearby it didn’t help much.  James scores again for the strategy and for Distract.

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Turn 4: The other Moleman is killed off by the Rail Worker, giving me complete control of the right side of the board.  Joss hits the Hungering Darkness, and the left hand Rail Worker kills the Arachnid he’s been chasing for several turns and moves to the centreline.  Another Arachnid Distracts Hungering Darkness and Ramos moves round toward my right, using Magnetism to get up into the Rail Worker’s face and throws out another pile of Arachnids.  Hungering Darkness finally eats Joss and the rest of my crew move around to place markers for Protect Territory or the strategy.  I score for Stake a Claim and James scores for Distract.

Turn 5:  Ramos kills off the Rail Worker and summons yet more Arachnids.  Lynch moves over to get me Outflank and pretty much everything else drops markers for schemes or strategies as needed.  The game ends up as a draw at 8 – 8 (both scored maximum points for both schemes, and both scored 2 for the strategy).

Wow, that was an intense game of Malifaux.  I can certainly see how James is so well thought of as a player, and he’s a lot of fun to play with too.  I was very happy to be able to manage to keep him to a draw.  For the final game, strict tournament standings would have us playing each other again so it’s decided that we should mix it up with the players in 3rd and 4th place currently.  I am paired up against Ant, who I’ve also heard of through the general Malifaux community and is therefore presumably very good.

Game 5: Ten Thunders (me) vs Resurrectionists (Ant)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Plant Explosives, Bodyguard, Distract, Vendetta
Ten Thunders: Plant Explosives, Bodyguard (Kang)
Resurrectionists: Plant Explosives, Distract

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Kang, Beckoner, 2 Illuminated, Thunder Archer, 2 Rail Workers 2SS
Resurrectionists: Nicodem (Maniacal Laugh, Undertaker, Necrotic King), Mortimer (Corpse Bloat, My Favourite Shovel), Vulture, 2 Crooked Men, Rotten Belle, Nurse, Flesh Construct

It’s the last game of the tournament, and I’m playing yet another person who is famous (for a given value of ‘famous’) for winning lots of Malifaux tournaments, so I am a very happy gamer.  I have no idea by this point what is good to take, and the only Resurrectionists I’ve played against previously in Malifaux second edition were Mike’s crew a couple of games ago so I just go for the same crew as before and hope for the best.  I choose Plant Explosives because I think it’s a funny scheme, and Bodyguard because it doesn’t require much thinking about.  Ideally I’ll be able to keep Kang off the front lines and in a position to just help my crew against the expected horde of Undead.  Of course, it never works out that way; apparently I hadn’t learned my lesson from game 3.

Turn 1:  The Flesh Construct advances and is charged in the back by the Nurse to leave it on about a million poison tokens.  Mortimer produces a couple of corpses which Nicodem turns first into Mindless Zombies and then into Necropunks which rush forward with the Vulture; one of them leaves a scheme marker invitingly in the middle of the board.  Lynch wounds the latter and Hungering Darkness the former.  My Beckoner Lures a Crooked Man forward and a Belle Lures him right back.  It must be nice to be so popular.

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Turn 2:  One Necropunk Distracts the Hungering Darkness and the nearest Rail Worker, and the other Distracts the male Illuminated which has advanced to drop a scheme marker.  The Beckoner Lures the Necropunk on the right round a little and wounds it with Despicable Promises.  Mortimer drops a few more corpse counters and puts a pile of poison on the Illuminated in the centre.  The Archer Rapid Fires into the Flesh Construct for a good number of its wounds and Nicodem summons another Rotten Belle and uses Necrotic King to give even more bonuses to his crew.  The right Necropunk is finished off by a Rail Worker and then the Belles Lure both the Beckoner and Archer right next to the scheme marker in the middle of the board.  Lynch finishes off the Vulture and the other Necropunk and Hungering Darkness kills the Flesh Construct.  The Nurse then Paralyses it.  I’m starting to get a little irked with Nurses throwing pills into Hungering Darkness’s admittedly enormous mouth and I’ll have to think of a clever way to stop it happening all the time.  Sadly, I haven’t done so yet.  A Crooked Man blasts away at the clump of my pieces in the centre of the board putting good damage and lots of poison on them.  The turn ends and, of course, Ant has Plant Explosives and scores 3 VPs for my Illuminated, Archer and Beckoner next to his scheme marker in the middle.  We both score on Turf War, and what little photographic skills I have apparently desert me utterly.

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Turn 3: Kang kills the Nurse (it’s either that or inevitably get Paralysed) and moves into the thick of things just to make life awkward.  Unfortunately, I didn’t know that Crooked Men have a trigger for Paralyse on their melee attack, so Kang gets Paralysed anyway.  The Archer advances and puts down a scheme marker, then the Belle removes it since he has no melee range with which to stop her.  A couple of activations later we realise that I couldn’t have done this anyway (as it was too close to my other marker) but cards have been flipped and it probably won’t affect the result anyway so we agree to just stick with it.  The Beckoner Lures Lynch forward before the Crooked Man kills both her and the Archer.  The Illuminated on the left drops a scheme marker in amongst a load of activated miniatures as I desperately attempt to actually score some points and the Rail Worker on the right does the same.  Nicodem raises a Punk Zombie and 2 Necropunks which band together to kill an Illuminated.  Lynch kills one of the Necropunks.  I score 3 points for Plant Explosive, Ant scores a VP for distract and we both score on the strategy.

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Turn 4: Last turn is called not long after we start this, so we agree to just theorise the important bits of the turn.  Basically, I won’t be able to keep Kang alive and I won’t be able to clear out anywhere near enough of the horde of zombies to prevent Ant scoring again on the strategy.  We did move some miniatures around a little just to make an interesting photo though.  Resurrectionists win 9 – 6 (full score for Ant, less the turn on the strategy that we didn’t play at all, compared to 3 for Plant Explosives and 3 for the strategy for me).

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It was a lovely game against Ant, and I can safely say that I was outplayed.  Ant’s positioning of his miniatures was very precise and constantly kept me reacting to him instead of the other way round (which of course I would prefer).  He arranged it so that I also ended up moving to him constantly, meaning that I was spending AP on movement while Ant’s crew could use all theirs doing what he needed to win the game.  I have a lot to learn.

In the evening of day 1, immediately after game 3 there was a Hardcore event.  There were three rounds, 20SS, only Henchmen, all strategies are Turf War and all schemes are Assassinate.  Crucially, only 20 minutes for each round.  I took Hungering Darkness with Misdirection, Illuminated, Beckoner, Terror Tot.  Since there wasn’t long to play I didn’t take photos or notes so this is just a brief write up for completeness.

Game 1 vs Victoria (Kang with People’s Champion, Thunder Archer, 2 Rail Workers): we ran at each other in the centre of the board, then ran out of time during turn 2.  1 – 1 draw.

Game 2 vs Ant (Sybelle, Hanged, Bette Noir, probably with some upgrades): we ran at each other in the centre of the board, then ran out of time during turn 3.  For some reason, perhaps due to mental tiredness, I couldn’t get it through my head what effects all that stuff had on my crew so poor Ant had to repeatedly explain it to me.  He probably thought I was going prematurely senile or something.  I was one activation away from losing the Hungering Darkness, and therefore the game.  In turn 1 of this game I realised that I couldn’t take Misdirection as it is a Ten Thunders upgrade when I was using a Neverborn crew so I played the remaining time without.  Sadly, I can’t even remember why I wanted to use the Tot, which was kindly donated by Barry.  2 – 2 draw.

Game 3 vs Greg (Bad Juju, Teddy, Illuminated, more upgrades that I can’t recall): : we ran at each other in the centre of the board, then ran out of time during turn 3.   By that point Hungering Darkness had actually fallen and I failed to flip the required Red Joker to down Bad Juju at the end.  Thanks to Greg for keeping my spirits up on this one as I have to admit that I’d pretty much had enough by that point in the evening. 5 – 2 loss.

I didn’t particularly think that the Hardcore format was very well-suited to Malifaux.  What I like about the game is that it isn’t all about killing things; there are other ways to score points and plenty of cool movement shenanigans to be used.  In Hardcore, it is all about running into the middle and trying to kill things, and there’s no point trying to do anything clever with movement as the strategy obliges everyone to be in the middle.

So after the scores were counted up, I am in 3rd place over all for the main event (and 7th of 8 for the Hardcore) which I’m really happy with.  I got to play 8 games of Malifaux in close succession, all against people I’d never played with before, unless you count playing Ant twice.  I want to thank David for working hard and stressing hard to make it such a successful event, all the traveling players for making the effort to come and play, and all my opponents for having fun with me.  David has numerous photo galleries here, here, here, here, here and here for your enjoyment, though only members of the Society of Scottish Malifools FB group will get to enjoy the witty commentary on them.

There are a couple of further things which are probably of interest only to me, but it’s my blog so I’ll post whatever nonsense I please since probably no-one reads this tripe.  Firstly, Joe had mentioned off-handedly to me during the week that Lynch was regarded as a bit too good by the Malifaux community, and I was surprised since I’d never heard that.  I asked at one point while we were setting up a game whether this was indeed a truth universally acknowledged, and was answered by a very resounding chorus of ‘yes!’ from all around.  That seems pretty clear cut then, so I can say now that I’ve reached these giddy heights by riding on the back of Lynch filth.  Time to put him in the case for a while and concentrate on not being so hopeless with Mei Feng for a while, I think.

Secondly, I sometimes wonder how good I really am, and how good the groups I play in really are.  Indeed, I even mentioned it in my very first post about tournaments, before I ever played in a tournament at all.  Am I actually any good at playing, or is it just that I play in a group which is really terrible?  As I took my first steps into the Malifaux tournament community here in Scotland, my general experience was that my small gaming group is approximately a microcosm of the larger tournament group, in that those of us who do well in the weekly gaming also do well in the tournaments, and those who tend to lose more than they win in our group have the same results at the tournaments.  As I’ve become more involved in the tournament scene, I started to have the same wonderings about how the Scottish groups fit in with the rest of the UK scene given that we’re slightly geographically isolated (most people aren’t keen enough on their toy soldiers to drive hundreds of miles to play with them).  Again, I think that from this weekend it can be said that the Scottish tournament scene is probably about as good on average as the rest of the scene.  Those who traveled up from England did do terrifically well and took home most of the prizes, but those who love the game so much that they travel so far to play it are definitely above the average player in skill level.  I look forward to more cross pollination in future events.

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

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2 thoughts on “Malifaux tournament report: Scottish Grand Tournament; 16-17Nov13

  1. Wow, this sounds as a lot of fun. I’m eager to play some Malifaux, too bad here the game has no followers…

    • Thanks for commenting. It was indeed a lot of fun; the Malifaux community here make great events and everyone seems to be in with the right attitude to enjoy themselves.

      It’s a shame you have no one to play against. If you have the rules and a couple of crews (or are willing to proxy) then perhaps you could get a game against one of your regular group for other systems. Alternatively, I believe that it’s possible to play over the internet using the Vassal engine though I haven’t actually done that myself.

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