Monthly Archives: May 2014

Malifaux tournament report: The Good, The Bad and The Fated (41SS); 24May2014

Joe, Paul, Mark and I made another Malifaux road trip, this time down on the train to Sunderland for The Good, The Bad and The Fated.  It was a four round affair which is unusual in one-day events I’ve played in, at a somewhat arbitrary seeming 41SS with fixed masters.  I’ve played a lot with Jakob Lynch and Mei Feng, and used Lucas McCabe in the last fixed master event I entered so this time I chose to lead my Ten Thunder crews with Yan Lo.  Admittedly, I wasn’t totally certain and did consider a swap while on the train but stuck with the old man anyway.  We arrived at the venue and were greeted with bacon butties and as much tea as I could take (which is quite a lot); I was still trying to process the sandwich when the first round pairings were called.

Game 1: Ten Thunders (me) vs Gremlins (Connor)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Plant Explosives, Assassinate, Murder Protege
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Plant Explosives
Gremlins: Murder Protege (Izamu, announced), Plant Explosives

Crews
Ten Thunders: Yan Lo (Reliquary), Soul Porter, Izamu, Chiaki, Ashigaru, Yin, Thunder Archer, 5SS
Gremlins: Somer Teeth Jones (Liquid Bravery, Encouragement, Dirty Cheater), Trixibelle (A Gun For A Lady), Gracie (Saddle), Francois (Dirty Cheater, Gremlin See), Slop Hauler

We were playing on a lovely cemetery board that we agreed had impassible fences that could be shot through, which made things rather tricky for our slow, large based melee fighters, Izamu and Gracie.  I took Yin because she’s difficult to get rid of and frequently seems to annoy people into spending huge effort to hurt her; that she can fly over the walls was a bonus.  The Archer provided a little ranged threat to force things to stop simply standing off me and of course in this shooting gallery I felt that I needed something to return fire with in case of a gun line crew.  Chiaki has incorporeal to allow her to get around the maze as well as being fast, annoying to kill and handy for scheme markers.  It probably bears noting that the markings on the board correspond to the deployment types for the game.

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Turn 1:  Gracie gives herself reactivate and uses Saddle to more Francois and the Slop Hauler.  There is the usual positioning on both sides, with the Soul Porter pushing Izamu and Yin forward since they’re so slow.  Gracie uses Saddle again and Francois double focuses to shoot Yin, missing anyway when I cheat in a high card.  Yan Lo shoots back and and adds Ash Ascendant.

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Turn 2:  Somer uses Do It Like Dis to add Rams to nearby models but neglects to move far enough to affect Francois or Gracie when they engage.  He then double focuses to hit Yin for moderate damage and splash some onto Izamu (I’m not sure why he didn’t do it the other way round since shooting Izamu would have been a lot easier).  The Archer Rapid Fires at Trixibelle to slow her and burn through a few Soulstones.  Gracie gets reactivate, charges Yin and achieves nothing of significance then companions to Francois who charges Izamu and takes a good chunk out of him.  Yan Lo heals the big suit of armour back up and shoots Trixibelle three times and forces her to eat a lot of Soulstones to survive.  Gracie focuses and eats Yin, then Izamu drops Francois and starts on Gracie.  Trixibelle takes a futile shot at the Ashigaru. The Soul Porter pushes Chiaki toward Somer and she moves in to drop a scheme marker near him and Trixibelle; the Ashigaru plants one next to Gracie.  I reveal Plant Explosives for three VPs; the photo below has the scheme markers still visible.

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Turn 3: Somer moves towards Gracie, uses Do It Like Dis for Rams again and misses a shot at the Ashigaru.  The Archer fails again to drop Trixibelle though he does drain the last Soulstone and few good cards from Connor’s hand. The Slop Hauler finally makes it over to Trixibelle and heals her.  Izamu cuts Gracie into bacon, then Trixibelle picks up the nearby scheme marker, moves over into a cluster of my miniatures and drops it again.  Chiaki uses The Calling on Trixibelle (not much damage, but it’s her only (0) action so I use it whenever I can) and starts moving up to drop markers for Breakthrough.  The Soul Porter, who is surprisingly handy in melee, charges in and finishes off Trixibelle and the Ashigaru gets rid of her scheme marker.  Yan Lo resurrects and heals Yin then shoots Somer, who Squeals away.  Yin simply moves to engage both remaining Gremlins and I score for the strategy.

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Turn 4: The Slop Hauler heals up the crew and takes pointless swing at Yin before the Archer focuses and puts an arrow into the poor little chap.  To my great surprise Somer decides to back off from Yin, taking two wicked hits from disengaging strikes before escaping on the third attempt.  The Soul Porter charges in to deal with the Slop Hauler and Chiaki starts dropping scheme markers near the Gremlin deployment zone.  Finally Yan Lo attaches Spirit Ascendant and the melee parts of my crew converge on Somer’s location / deployment while the Benny Hill theme tune starts to drown out the banjo playing.

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Turn 5:  Somer moves back and places a scheme marker, presumably hoping to draw me onto it for a last gasp Plant Explosives.  Yan Lo kills him with Spirit Barrage and the Ashigaru again has to do the dirty work removing the scheme marker while Chiaki continues to drop mine.  With no Gremlins left on the table, I score on the strategy.  Ten Thunders win 8 – 0 (2 for Reckoning and 3 each for the schemes).

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After my initial surprise at outnumbering the Gremlin crew I felt like it would be possible to whittle down the number of relevant activations they could take by focusing on them one at a time.  Trixibelle took a lot more work to kill than I had expected but on the other hand she did eat 6 soulstones on the way.  Connor’s target priority seemed a little strange at times (notably shooting Yin instead of Izamu on turn 2 and shooting at the Ashigaru with Somer on turn 3) but I don’t know Gremlins especially well so I just assumed that he had some sort of cunning plan.  As soon as he lost Francois and Gracie in exchange for only Yin (who I can bring back anyway) the tide turned very much in my favour.  Still, Connor was a great opponent and I had a fun game.  He finished in 7th overall so this result evidently didn’t do him any harm.

Edit: Connor put up his thoughts from his side of the game on his excellent blog here.

Game 2: Ten Thunders (me) vs Arcanists (David)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Distract, Vendetta, Spring the Trap
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Vendetta (Archer on Howard Langston)
Arcanists: Protect Territory (announced), Distract

Crews
Ten Thunders: Yan Lo (Reliquary), Soul Porter, Izamu, Kang, 2 Ashigaru, Thunder Archer, 5SS
Arcanists: Ramos (Arcane Reservoir, Electrical Summoning, Under Pressure), Brass Arachnid, Joss (Imbued Energies), Electrical Creation, Howard Langston (Imbued Energies)

As soon as I saw that David was using Ramos as his master I chose Kang to be in my crew.  I picked Vendetta with the Archer against Howard Langston; the Archer is great for taking shots of opportunity and can put the finishing shot into many an otherwise hard to reach miniature.  I chose Langston as the victim because he’s too expensive and dangerous for most people to want to keep out of the range for the whole game and ‘only’ has armour +1, which is quite tame next to my other option, Joss who is not only armour +2 but hard to kill and can use soulstones to boot.  We’re playing flank deployment which leaves the crews remarkably close together at the start of the game.

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Turn 1: Both Ashigaru advance and Brace.  Just to mix things up a little the Electrical Creation is scrapped by Joss and Ramos begins the spider engine, summoning a pair of Steam Arachnids which scuttle into a nearby building.  He then shoots the nearer Ashigaru and summons another Electrical Creation.  I promptly forget about Vendetta and have the Creation shot by the Archer.  Yan Lo shoots Ramos who has strayed a little too close, dropping a Red Joker on damage simply because I could, before attaching Ash Ascendant.  The Brass Arachnid reactivates Langston who scurries about round the fringes of the engagement, apparently not keen to get involved in the tight murder ball I have set up around the Turf War marker.

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Turn 2:  The wounded Ashigaru drops a marker for Protect Territory (at the end we had to measure it really finely as it was surprisingly close to my deployment zone) as do both Steam Arachnids; the other Ashigaru Braces to at least make Langston and Joss pause before charging into me.  The Brass Arachnid reactivates Joss and the Soul Porter pushes Yan Lo forward so he can shoot most of the wounds off Langston and heal the wounded Ashigaru.  Langston is feeling a bit picked on and moves away to make sure that I can’t drop him this turn.  Ramos summons some more Steam Arachnids in the middle of my force; the Archer drops one and Izamu gets another.  Joss comes in and Distracts both an Ashigaru and Kang thanks to reactivate.  David scores for Distract and we both score on Turf War.

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Turn 3:  Izamu kills off another Steam Arachnid and smites Joss rather hard.  Joss does his super attack on Kang, flipping the Red Joker on damage for a mighty 15 wounds and paralysing him; David is not pleased to be reminded that Kang is Hard to Kill.  The further away Ashigaru hurts Joss some more but I’m nervous about giving him reactivate for nothing.  Ramos somehow fails to finish off Kang and creates even more Steam Arachnids and an Electrical Creation, the former of which are promptly killed off by Yan Lo (who has a silly amount of Chi by this point).  He also heals Kang; I’m not sure why I didn’t do that straight away instead of messing around with the Ashigaru first.  The last Steam Arachnid moves off unhindered and drops another scheme marker.  We’re about to run out of time so Langston takes massive end run round David’s side of the board which astonishingly leaves him within 17″ of the Archer on only three wounds left.  The Archer goes for it, getting a straight damage flip thanks to the marvel of Kang and I cheat in a severe card to finish off the big chap and scoring me on Vendetta.  David was understandably a little miffed as he hadn’t realised that it was possible to score Vendetta like that.  The Electrical Creation in the middle Bursts to drop Joss to a single wound and therefore let him reactivate so the last Ashigaru pokes him to death and drops another scheme marker for Protect Territory.  I score for the strategy; David scores for Distract.  Ten Thunders win 8 – 5 (2 for Turf War and 3 each for the schemes for me; 1 for Turf War and 2 each for the schemes for David).

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David is a skilled opponent and I was sorry to beat him with a ‘gotcha’ moment because he hadn’t realised that I could score Vendetta like that.  Anyway, he took it in fine sport and went on to place 5th overall.  It was a shame that we only got to turn 3 but I felt that I had things in hand (even assuming that I hadn’t been able to deal with Langston at the end if we’d been playing on) as David would find it tricky to dislodge me from the Turf War area with the pieces he had left.  At this point we had a break for lunch, which was a pleasant chilli con carne, and the opportunity to admire the crews in the painting competition and catch up with some of the friends I only see when travelling to these events.

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

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Bodyguard, Cursed Object, Make Them Suffer
Ten Thunders: Cursed Object, Make Them Suffer
Resurrectionists : Breakthrough (unannounced), Cursed Object

Crews
Ten Thunders: Yan Lo (Reliquary), Soul Porter, Toshiro (Command the Graves), Chiaki, Ashigaru, Kang, Thunder Archer, 4SS
Resurrectionists : Nicodem (Maniacal Laugh, Reaper Grin, Undertaker), Rotten Belle, 2 Necropunks, Canine Remains, Vulture, Mortimer (Corpse Bloat, My Favourite Shovel)

My third round opponent was Ant who is among the strongest Malifaux players I’ve ever had the pleasure to face, so I knew I was in for a really tough game.  With Resurrectionists across the table I opted to take Kang for the aura of ‘kill dead things harder’ and Toshiro with his upgrade to try to summon a few pieces and make the most of Reconnoitre.  I have to admit I was a bit unsure about using so much support but I figured that both could hold their own in fighting if possible.  Also with Make Them Suffer it meant that I had three models who could kill things to score on it.  Cursed Object was a bit of an oddball choice for me but I suspected that killing the swarm of undead coming at me would be tough to do so this way I could hopefully score on those who I couldn’t dispatch.

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Turn 1:  Mortimer starts us off by fetching up a couple of corpse counters.  Nicodem summons a Necropunk and makes both it and the nearby Belle fast.  Toshiro does the same for the Archer.  Yan Lo advances and picks up Ash Ascendant then the Belle Lures him forward and a Necropunk races forward and drops a Cursed Object into his robes.

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Turn 2:  Nicodem summons another Belle and makes her fast then gives Yan Lo slow through the Vulture.  He companions to the Belle who Lures Yan Lo forward.  Yan Lo charges the Necropunk mainly to get further away from the impending lure into a ball of death that is being set up over in the woods, but doesn’t do much to it.  The Necropunk leaps away and gives the Ashigaru a Cursed Object and receives one straight back before the Ashigaru is Lured by the other Belle.  There is a lot of positional play going on with Ant using the forest masterfully to keep my forces at bay and force me to commit to moves, and me trying to block line of sight as much as possible using the central monolith.  In the end, he scores for Reconnoitre and we both score on Cursed Object.

Turn 3:  Yan Lo is Lured in to the crowd by the Belles in companion and I know it is all over for him.  He does manage to kill one of them for Make Them Suffer and attaches Spirit Ascendant to make the Resurrectionists work for it a bit.  Nicodem summons a Punk Zombie and hits him with Decay before companioning to the Punk which Flurries.  Toshiro sticks another Cursed Object to a nearby Necropunk.  Mortimer is forced to charge in and finish off Yan Lo personally with his spade.  Chiaki goes chasing the Necropunk who is heading for my rear right corner and Kang and the Archer continue to find targets hard to come by.  a good few of the undead are still behind the forest obliging me to come in and deal with them.  We both score for both the strategy and Cursed Object.

Turn 4:  Somewhere in the middle of here last turn was called.  The Necropunks continue to leap away from my engagement range and drop scheme markers and is killed off by Chiaki.  Mortimer uses Fresh Meat to propel the zombie horde toward the Ashigaru and therefore to mess up my chances in Reconnoitre.  Toshiro skewers the Vulture for Make Them Suffer and the Ashigaru Braces to hopefully pause the onrushing zombies and passes the Canine Remains and Cursed Object.  Nicodem doesn’t value his minions that highly though and the Belle Lures the doggy back and the Punk Zombie carves it up.  One Necropunk has leaped back into my left hand quarter; I can’t give it Cursed Object but I can possibly kill it to claim a point for the Strategy.  The Archer moves round and drops the thing to its hard to kill wound then the Soul Porter sidles up and pokes it with his spear.  Meanwhile Nicodem summons a Crooked Man near my deployment area and then immediately kills it so that a scheme marker is dropped.  I am in awe at such a clever move – so simple but effective.  Finally the last Necropunk races forward to deny me a table quarter where I only have the Archer scoring.  As it turns out, I score on Reconnoitre anyway (that Punk Zombie is slightly too close to the centre) and Ant scores on Cursed Object.  Resurrectionist win 7 – 6 (2 for Reconnoitre and Breakthrough and 3 for Cursed Object for Ant; 2 for the strategy and 2 each for the schemes for me).

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What a great game.  I think that the closeness of the scores probably flatters me a little as I didn’t have much left that could face down the encroaching Nicodem mob if we’d gone a further turn.  Playing against Ant is such a challenge; he is so good at the positional game that every move I can take feels like the wrong one.  My hopes are that I learned a bit more from this, and that I put up enough of a fight to make it a bit of a challenge.  Ant won the event overall, going undefeated through the day which was quite a feat in what seemed to me to be a fairly strong field.

Before the final round there was a short break for everyone to rush to their phones and frantically try to order tickets for the much-hyped GT in November.  It was hilarious to see the focus of so many intently peering at their phones punctuated periodically by the cheering of those who succeeded.  Thanks to Joe for sorting mine out; he’s like my Malifaux dealer.

Game 4: Ten Thunders (me) vs Outcasts (Greg)

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Assassinate, Outflank, Power Ritual
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Outcasts : Protect Territory (announced), Power Ritual (announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Yan Lo (Reliquary), Soul Porter, Toshiro (Command the Graves), Izamu, Chiaki, 2 Ashigaru, 5SS
Outcasts : Jack Daw (Writhing Torment, Twist and Turn), Drowned, Guilty, Taelor (Oathkeeper), Freikorps Trapper, Johan

I didn’t put too much thought into the faction match up here as I know practically nothing about Jack Daw, instead taking a crew based only on the strategies and schemes.  I selected Protect Territory and Power Ritual because I knew that the game would come down to sitting on the Squatter’s Rights markers and so sending off only one model (Chiaki because she’s tricky deal with when she’s right away from the action) to drop a Power Ritual marker wouldn’t affect the rest of the game too much.  As it happened, Greg chose the same schemes, and so did both of the players on the next table.  In the end, my crew was made of of things which are awkward to shift when they get into position; all the Ancestors can take a hit and the Ashigaru can Brace if it comes to it to add to their wounds, armour and hard to kill.

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Turn 1:  The first activation is the Trapper focusing and taking a shot at the Soul Porter but the little chap takes only a single wound.  The Guilty drops a scheme marker and makes Taelor Tormented; Jack borrows this ability and makes Johan (disguised here as a Ronin with a hammer) Tormented and moves him forward.  Toshiro makes the Ashigaru fast and moves up toward the Squatter’s Rights marker; the Ashigaru drops a scheme marker and catches up.  Johan smacks Toshiro with his huge hammer for having the temerity to advance so close.  The Soul Porter pushes Chiaki and Izamu; the former claims the first marker and the latter fails to hit the Drowned (hidden from view behind the building) after Yan Lo has shot him.  It’s evidently near the end of the day as I forget to attach Ash Ascendant to Yan Lo.

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Turn 2: Izamu fails to achieve much against the Drowned and Johan does the same to Toshiro.  The Ashigaru on the right and the Drowned both flip markers for the strategy; the only unclaimed ones are being sat on by Izamu and Johan.  Toshiro uses the War Fan on the Ashigaru to push him into stabbing range of Johan and stabs a few wounds off the Outcast.  Jack obeys Johan to bash the Ashigaru after failing twice to put a curse on it.  Taelor drops Oathkeeper to go fast and charges Izamu using a Soulstone to get the suit to ignore armour but black jokers the damage on one attack and leaving him standing.  The Ashigaru polishes off Johan and flips the Squatter’s Rights marker.  Yan Lo charges Taelor but in a flurry of low cards fails to even tickle her.  To compound my error from turn 1 he then fails to pick up Ash Ascendant, instead trying (and failing anyway) to heal Izamu.  It’s probably superfluous anyway; either Izamu will kill Taelor next turn or Taelor will kill him regardless of how many wounds he has.  The Trapper decides against shooting Chiaki and drops a scheme marker instead for some reason that isn’t really clear to me.  I score on the strategy.

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Turn 3: Taelor does indeed kill Izamu.  I figure that I’ll soon be awash with corpse counters anyway and let him take his retributive strike which does at least hit home.  The Ashigaru charges the Guilty for minimal effect but does poison him then Jack obeys it away, gives it Guillotine Injustice and takes back the Squatter’s Rights marker.  The other Ashigaru moves over to engage the Trapper (I’d forgotten he could just push away but at least it forced him to do it) and the Drowned places a scheme marker.  Chiaki moves close to the corner and drops a scheme marker and then the Trapper tiptoes round her and takes it away again since their melee ranges aren’t big enough to engage each other across it.  Toshiro drops the Guilty to his hard to kill wound (so he dies of poison at the end of the of the turn) and Yan Lo and the Soul Porter tag team Taelor down to the same state.  We both score for Squatter’s Rights.

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Turn 4:  The Soul Porter kills Taelor; I love that little guy.  The Trapper shoots Chiaki then moves in to engage her and goes into defensive stance.  Yan Lo kills the Drowned then resurrects and heals Izamu in fighting range of Jack Daw (this was probably a mistake as I didn’t need to kill Jack for this game).  Jack Daw hands out Drowning Injustice to Toshiro and Firing Squad Injustice to Izamu then obeys Izamu to hit Toshiro but flips the black joker on the damage flip that would have killed him.  We’re about to run out of time so the left Ashigaru pitches the cards to not die of his curse and puts down a scheme marker, the right Ashigaru moves to put down the marker for Power Ritual and Chiaki moves off to place another scheme marker.  Ten Thunders win 9 – 4 (3 for Squatter’s Rights and 3 each for the schemes for me; 2 for the strategy and 1 each for the schemes for Greg).

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That was another fantastic fun game.  Greg is a great advocate for the game, full of enthusiasm.  We’ve seen each other a lot of events lately but somehow have never actually faced off across the table in a proper game (I lost to him in a Hardcore match at the 2013 Scottish GT) so it is a real pleasure to finally play the man in a full match.  I think that we were both slightly starting to lose focus in this game, for example me totally failing to attach any of Yan Lo’s upgrades; Greg also felt that he hadn’t played his best.  In fairness, he also black jokered a couple of important damage flips (Taelor on Izamu in turn 2 and Izamu on Toshiro at the end, though the latter came too late to affect things) so perhaps the cards just weren’t falling his way.  Anyway, he still finished in 8th place so the rest of his day must have gone quite well.

When the scores are announced at the end I turn out to be in 2nd place which I’m really satisfied with considering how many good players were attending.  My fellow travellers also seemed suited with their final rankings with Paul in 9th, Joe in 12th and Mark in 17th; I felt that as a group we’d acquitted ourselves well.  As a final bonus, I also won a cake in the raffle; there were seven with ribbons for each faction and I was lucky enough not only to win but for the Ten Thunders one to be left.  Sadly I wasn’t smart enough to take a photo before we headed home and the handling on the return journey didn’t do any favours for the cosmetics of the icing.  Still, I can say that it looked nice before I ruined it, and tasted lovely when it was consumed over several sittings at Chateau Argentbadger.  The event as a whole was run fantastically well, the food was good, the tea plentiful; thank you to Nate and the rest of his team for putting on such a good time for us.  Thanks also to Connor, David, Ant and Greg for four terrific games of Malifaux, and to Paul, Joe and Mark for being great travelling companions.  As Joe later put it: 10/10, would do again.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Painted Toshiro, the Daimyo

It’s been a long while since I painted a Malifaux miniature.  First the advent of Malifaux second edition made me want to stop spending money on the system in case I didn’t like it, then the fact that I had all these new exciting rules to go with my old miniatures meant that I didn’t want to buy more, then the second wave of new rules came in and I played with them a lot too.  But while all that was happening, Joe decided that he was getting out of Ten Thunders and Resurrectionists and very generously gave me his unpainted Toshiro.  So, here he is.  I’m not really sure why I decided to give him a pink coat; it seemed like a good idea at the time (and was fun to paint) but it does seem a bit garish in retrospect.

In game I’ve found he’s lots of fun.  Of course, he synergises nicely with Yan Lo who can bring him back from the dead (again) with the Reliquary upgrade and brings the Soul Porter to push him round as needed.  But in fact Toshiro feels like a good fit in any crew with a lot of minions as he improves their melee attacks and can give them Fast or Focus as needed. Naturally, as I favour crews with a lot of minions this means that I can see plenty of opportunities to get Toshiro into action.  I’ve generally taken his upgrade Command the Graves as for a single Soulstone the ability to summon in an Ashigaru (or Komainu, though I haven’t actually done this yet) feels worth it for the threat even if I rarely actually get it off.  He won’t often take more than weak damage due to Hard to Wound 2 so his main worry is either a lot of incoming attacks or a small number with high weak damage.

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At a recent event I attended, there was another, far better painted, Toshiro in attendance courtesy of Tattyted.  I am in awe of the freehand work on the trousers and jacket in particular. The comparison doesn’t show my effort in a great light!

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Next on the painting table: Typhon.

Categories: Malifaux, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Malifaux tournament report (40SS); 03May2014

Aramoro, Forkbanger and I went along to a tournament at a relatively new venue in Edinburgh, the Games Hub.  Joe is still the tournament organiser which is good because it means it’ll be smooth event, but bad because it means that he probably doesn’t get to play himself.  The event itself was 40SS with fixed masters which I believe is partly to do with a vague escalation strategy at the store while it builds up a Malifaux scene; the previous event was 30SS.  Originally I was going to use Yan Lo, but some pre-event chat on our Facebook group showed that someone else was taking him and I wanted to avoid mirror matches / repeated rounds in such a small event.  I didn’t want to just rock up and destroy the inexperienced players with my practiced crews so I decided to use the only Ten Thunders master I own but haven’t really played yet: Lucas McCabe.  I got a couple of turns of a test run against Tiggs (who doesn’t even really play Malifaux) in the days leading up to the event so that there might be some danger that I would remember what McCabe can do on the day.

Game 1: Ten Thunders (me) vs Resurrectionists (Tattyted)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Plant Evidence, Make Them Suffer, Protect Territory
Ten Thunders: Make Them Suffer, Bodyguard (Kang)
Resurrectionists: Line in the Sand (announced), didn’t find out the other one

Crews
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Strangemetal Shirt, Glowing Sabre, Badge of Speed), Luna, Kang, Wastrel, Thunder Archer, 2 Rail Workers, 3SS
Resurrectionists:  Yan Lo (Reliquary, Brutal Khakkhara), Student of Viscera, Izamu, Yin, 2 Ashigaru

I’ve been playing a lot of Yan Lo myself lately so for the most part I feel like I know what to look out for, but at the same time I was looking forward to seeing the old man piloted by someone else.  The McCabe build is based on the ‘looks cool’ factor as I just haven’t had any games to find a build that works.  Kang is a simple pick when facing Resurrectionists as he is so good against undead or constructs.  As for the rest, it was just a bunch that I most felt comfortable with though notably I had dreams of passing the Glowing Sabre to the Archer to wreck someone’s day.  With only two minions in Yan Lo’s crew (the Ashigaru) I chose Make Them Suffer feeling that it should be simple to either kill them with McCabe and Kang for the points, or kill them off with anyone handy and rack up point in the subsequent turns.

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Turn1: Everyone runs forward, of course.  McCabe fails to either Black Flash the Archer or pass him the Badge itself, though he does give Izamu slow with the Netgun.  About half way through the turn we realise the Tattyted has only put out a 30SS crew so adds Yin and a couple of soulstones in the cache.

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Turn 2:  The Student of Viscera advances and drops a marker for Line in the Sand.  My Wastrel takes a shot at the lead Ashigaru but misses; these are really just time wasting activations hoping that the other player will be the first to commit something into a killable position.  Yin moves right up into McCabe’s face to try and drain my hand with horror duels, but luckily Kang lets me ignore all that nonsense.  The right-hand Rail Worker uses Implacable Assault and drops Yin in two glorious hits, getting round the negative flips on attack and damage with his own abilities plus Kang’s encouragement.  Izamu advances but can’t get range to anything because he has slow so the Archer rapid fires to cause slow again.  The first Ashigaru advances then Lunges to hurt the Rail Worker; McCabe kills it off to score on Make Them Suffer.  He again fails to cast Black Flash but does pass the Glowing Sabre to Kang so he can carve up Izamu.  The other Ashigaru repeats the moves of his fallen comrade but cleverly uses the Wall of Steel trigger to push my Rail Worker in Kang’s way.  Yan Lo rebuilds Yin then heals her back to full health.  Luna bites the Ashigaru, keen to bury the bone, then Kang kills it.  Yin hits McCabe and we both score on the strategy.

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Turn 3:  McCabe kills Yin again (getting a couple of Soulstones from the Forbidden Runes trigger after retrieving the Sabre from Kang), then Opens the Stash again to hand it right back to him.  Izamu advances and hits Kang with his melee expert action before Luna woofs ineffectually at him.  The Student of Viscera moves closer to the centre and drops another scheme marker and is shot by the Wastrel.  Yan Lo attaches Bone Ascendant then Hunpo Assaults a huge mob of my miniatures in the middle.  It was a great move which I should have seen coming… but didn’t.  When the dust settles, the Wastrel is dead and there are wounds on Kang, the Rail Worker and McCabe.  The left Rail Worker charges the Student for a little damage, while the Archer and right Rail Worker pile into Yan Lo for a good chunk of damage and most of his soulstones.  I debate having Kang join in but eventually decide I’d be better to make use of the Glowing Sabre to polish off Izamu, which he does with aplomb.  I score again for the strategy and Make Them Suffer.

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Turn 4:  McCabe takes back the Glowing Sabre and uses it to kill Yan Lo.  The Student kills the Rail Worker in his face and is dropped in return by the Archer.  That’s the last of Tattyted’s pieces so we call it there.  Ten Thunders win 10 – 2 (full score for me, one each for Line in the Sand and Turf War for Tattyted).

I think my experience with Yan Lo helped out here, but not as much as putting Kang on the table did.  He is just brutal against undead.  Anyway I was glad to get a full game in with McCabe as I feel like there are plenty of tricks to learn.  So after a lovely lunch provided as part of the event fee, we were onto round two against none other than my regular gaming partner Aramoro.

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

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Take Prisoner, Murder Protege, Assassinate
Ten Thunders: Line in the Sand (announced), Murder Protege (Izamu; announced)
Resurrectionists: Line in the Sand (announced), Murder Protege (Kang; announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Strangemetal Shirt, Glowing Sabre, Badge of Speed), Luna, Kang, Wastrel, Thunder Archer, 2 Rail Workers, 3SS
Resurrectionists:  Leviticus (Pariah of Bone, Desolate Soul, To The Earth Return), Rusty Alyce (From the Aether), 2 Hollow Waifs, Izamu (Oathkeeper), 3 Abominations

I decided just to stick with the same crew as game 1 to get a bit more familiarity with McCabe; also Kang was again an easy choice to add as I expected crew of constructs and undead following Levi.  I have to admit that I didn’t much fancy any of the schemes in combination with the strategy so in the end I took Murder Protege on Izamu, figuring that he would have to send such a piece forward.  Line in the Sand is a bit of a gamble with Squatter’s Rights – if I can score on the strategy I can probably score on the scheme, but if I’m kept off the centreline then I’ll miss out on both.  It’s also quite interesting that we’ve chosen the same schemes.

008

Turn 1:  Of course, we all run forward.  McCabe casts Black Flash on the Archer then passes him the Badge of Speed pushing him forward.  The Archer moves forward into Kang’s aura with nimble then Rapid Fires twice into Izamu, who has helpfully moved up just far enough to be in range.  He hits a frankly outrageous number of times and drops the Red Joker on one good shot, leaving Izamu on a single wound and looking like a hedgehog.  All those arrows sticking out of the Izamu miniature were perfect to represent that moment.  The Abominations muck about hurting each other a little for some cards.

Turn 2:  I win initiative and briefly debate doing something with one of my squishy scheme running miniatures like Luna before Levi vapourises them.  Then I remember that not only am I only one wound away from killing Izamu, a raging murder-beast, but that doing so will be worth 3 VPs.  So without further ado, the Archer drops him.  In return Alyce rapid fires at Kang getting him down to his hard to kill wound then creates an Abomination.  McCabe hands the Badge to Kang then charges Levi and kills him for the first time and Kang retreats away from Alyce.  The Abominations form Voltron a Desolation Engine and move to engage McCabe.  Luna, the Rail Workers and the Wastrel all handle the Squat markers and make a start on dropping scheme markers.  I score on the strategy.

009

Turn 3:  The Desolation Engine hurts McCabe, who hurts it right back before passing the Badge to a nearby Rail Worker.  Alyce shoots into the melee but kills off the Desolation Engine instead.  The nimble Rail Worker fails to kill an Abomination so the Archer shows him how it’s done, dropping both with a single activation.  The rest of my crew drop scheme markers and move around to line up more attacks, except for Kang who moves to be far away from any possible Levi unburying shenanigans.  I score again on the strategy.

010

Turn 4:  The Rail Worker kills Alyce and we call it there.  Ten Thunders win 10 – 0.

Again Kang was the real key piece here but it was highly satisfying getting the Archer moved up and two goes of Rapid Fire out of him in turn one with the Badge of Speed.  Losing Izamu like that really took the wind out of Aramoro’s sails which was a shame, and he made a few moves toward the end to finish things sooner rather than drag out the inevitable.  Anyway, he won his other two games which cheered him up I imagine.  So with two wins I was paired up with the only other undefeated player – NinjaBreadMen and his hordes of conversions.  Actually this time it was hordes of proxies since the crew he was playing was almost entirely unreleased miniatures.

Game 3: Ten Thunders (me) vs Gremlins (NinjaBreadMen)

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Assassinate, Plant Explosives, Frame for Murder
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Plant Explosives
Gremlins: Breakthrough (announced), Plant Explosives

Crews
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Strangemetal Shirt, Badge of Speed, Barbs), Luna, Toshiro (Command the Graves), Wastrel, Illuminated, 2 Rail Workers, 3SS
Gremlins:  Wong (Three Demon Bag, Gremlin’s Luck, Explosive Solutions), Lovely Assistant, Burt Jebsen (Dirty Cheater), 4 Lightning Bugs

So I’m not expecting any constructs or undead so I drop Kang for Toshiro as I figure that improving my minions’ melee attacks could be good in this crew.  I take out the Archer for an Illuminated (which I love but don’t seem to have used much lately) and also decide to try my luck with Barbs instead of the Glowing Sabre.  The Archer could have been useful but I felt that he’d be a bit too easy to splash damage onto from Wong’s big blast attacks.  Again we picked the same schemes.

011

Turn 1:  Not at all surprisingly, most of this turn is advancing.  McCabe casts Black Flash on the Illuminated and passes him the Badge.  The Lovely Assistant stacks the deck then Wong drops a huge Red Joker Lightning Jump on McCabe, nearly dismounting him in one shot.  The Illuminated charges Wong who Squeals away after the first hit.  That was a mistake on my part, I forgot about Squeal.  I originally planned to go for a group of Lightning Bugs and Burt near the edge of the forest.

Turn 2:  The Lightning Bug on my right dismounts McCabe.  Toshiro hits Burt and War Fans the Illuminated into Wong again.  Wong teleports out of melee with the Poof! trigger then shoots Lightning into the melee with Toshiro.  There followed an extremely long sequence of chained actions between Wong and the Lightning Bugs which ended up with Toshiro on two wounds left, one of the Lightning Bugs dead and a little damage on the other.  The Illuminated gives up chasing Wong and flattens another Lightning Bug.  Burt tries to escape the Illuminated but keeps failing to dodge the disengaging strikes.  The Wastrel misses the Lightning Bug on the right then the last one on the left finally drops Toshiro who uses up the last of soulstones failing to survive it.  McCabe charges and kills the Lightning Bug on the right.  Luna drops a scheme marker right next to Burt, the last Lightning Bug and Wong and we both reveal the Plant Explosives scheme (the picture below has the markers still in place to show where they were) scoring three for me and two for NinjaBreadMen.  I also score on the strategy.

012

Turn 3:  The Lovely Assistant tries to bunch up the two Rail Workers onto Luna with Crackerjack Timing but they both resist.  Wong blows up Luna anyway and splashes a little damage onto the Rail Workers before moving up and using BOOM! to hurt them some more.  The Illuminated finally swats the last Lightning Bug and starts on Burt Jebsen who makes a run for it.  McCabe saunters round his table quarter dropping scheme markers, the Rail Workers put a little more damage on Wong and Burt and the Wastrel sits around dreaming of milk bars and/or ultraviolence while keeping that table quarter firmly under my control.  I score again on the strategy.

013

Turn 4:  The Gremlins are running out of options now and although Wong has been carving a swathe through my own crew he can only do so much.  The Lovely Assistant Stacks the Deck again then the Rail Worker kills off Burt.  Wong uses the Poof! trigger again to escape the Rail Worker’s attentions and runs off to place a scheme marker.  The Illuminated kills off the Lovely Assistant leaving Wong feeling rather lonely.  I score on the strategy.

014

Turn 5:  The Rail Worker gets the Pin trigger on Wong but he just gets away again with Poof! and drops another scheme marker.  I don’t bother moving any of my pieces as it won’t affect the game.  Ten Thunders win 10 – 5 (full score for me, three for Breakthrough and two for Plant Explosives for NinjaBreadMen).

015

I’ve never played against Wong before and I was really impressed with how much damage he was able to put out and the interactions with the Lightning Bugs.  An interesting thing in that game was that my Wastrel did almost nothing all game but was able to keep the table quarter secured for me.  I didn’t get much value out of Toshiro but with all the firepower coming in I felt that I didn’t have much option but to throw him into melee and hope for the best.  At least he kept the attention off the Illuminated and the Rail Workers for a turn!  Similarly I didn’t get to use Barbs on McCabe but that was partly because he lost the Netgun early when he was dismounted and then only needed to make a single attack to deal with the Lightning Bug on the right.

The scores were added up and I came in first, which I’m really happy with.  To my surprise and delight there was a voucher for store credit which I put to use ordering more Ten Thunders toys for me to play with.  Aramoro came in fourth (by one VP!) and Forkbanger put in another heroic effort to enlarge his prized collection of wooden spoons.  Overall I had three good games against three fun opponents and I can’t ask for more than that.  In the end I didn’t play against any of the really new players so my choice of master was pretty much irrelevant.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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