Monthly Archives: September 2014

Malifaux tournament report: Last Round in the Chamber (50SS); 27Sep2014

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to attend two tournaments this month. This time was the final tournament to be run at the soon-to-be-closed Worlds at War in Livingston – Last Round in the Chamber. Joe, Jonny and I drove over, and as luck would have it my first round was against Jonny West.

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

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Frame for Murder, Breakthrough, Protect Territory, Make Them Suffer
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Make Them Suffer
Gremlins: Breakthrough (announced), Make Them Suffer

Crews
Ten Thunders: Yan Lo (Reliquaries), Soul Porter, Toshiro the Daimyo (Command the Graves), Yin the Penangalan, Izamu the Armour (Recalled Training), Rail Worker, Illuminated, Mr Tannen
Gremlins: Wong (Explosive Solutions, Three Demon Bag, Gremlin’s Luck), Lovely Assistant, Burt Jebson (Dirty Cheater, Glowy), Francois LaCroix (Stilts), Raphael LaCroix, Slop Hauler, Lightning Bug

Turf War looked like a job for Yan Lo, and I feel that Mr Tannen should be a good option in Turf War where it is hard to escape his aura of ‘hard to cheat’. I gave Toshiro Command the Graves as the threat of bringing in an extra body on Turf War ought to be strong, though in practice I never seem to have the cards available to actually use the upgrade. Anyway, I like Toshiro to make my minions fight better and generally put a bit of damage out himself so it is more about having the summoning option. I figured that Yin could make life awkward for some low WP Gremlins, in case I ended up facing a horde of Bayou Gremlins. Looking at the scheme pool I figured on planting my big pieces in the centre and dropping scheme markers for Protect Territory. Jonny didn’t have too many minions so it seemed achievable to either kill one here or there with Yan Lo or Toshiro, or just wipe them out to score at the end of each turn.

Turn 1: The Soul Porter pushes Izamu and Yin forward. Francois and Raphael both go Reckless, race up and shoot him (down to one wound after a massive hit from Raphael). Fearing to lose the big chap before he’s even activated once, I throw Izamu forward where he smites Raphael down to his hard to kill wound. The Lovely Assistant stacks the deck and accomplices over to Burt, who goes Reckless and shoots into the melee hitting Izamu (of course with the stacked deck) and killing him. Yan Lo shoots some wounds off Francois and takes Ash Ascendant, and Wong zaps the Rail Worker a little for surprisingly little effect after some luck flips from me.

004

Turn 2: The Slop Hauler heals himself, Raphael and Francois. The Rail Worker charges the right hand Lightning Bug; they trade hits and the Bug buries a card with Tinkerin’ With The Unknown. The Illuminated charges Wong, mainly to engage Burt; the master Squeals away. Toshiro is pushed up by the Soul Porter. The Lovely Assistant uses Crackerjack Timing to clump up the Rail Worker, Illuminated and Toshiro, them companions to Wong who zaps them hard (down to a single wound for both minions; Jonny was unlucky not to score on Make Them Suffer here). Toshiro charges Burt but misses both swings before the Lightning Bug goes Reckless and moves round to finish him off. Oh well, at least there are plenty of corpse tokens lying about. Yin hurts Raphael and gives him Gnawing Fear; this proves effective as Raphael is paralysed trying to move into fight her. Francois masters his fears but misses a focussed swing on Yin. Mr Tannen moves to the centre and fails to Bore to Tears the last-but-one wound off Raphael (so that poison from Yin would kill him). Yan Lo move forward, kills the unengaged Lightning Bug (with a lucky Red Joker on the damage flip) for Make Them Suffer and resurrects Izamu in the centre (healing him in the process). The big warriors polishes off Raphael. Finally, the Lightning Bug’s hidden card turns out to be a Crow, killing off both the Rail Worker and Illuminated. We both score on the strategy.

005

Turn 3: Izamu hits Francois (who Squeals away) and charges the Slop Hauler but can’t quite finish the job. Francois goes Reckless, charges Izamu and kills him (again); Izamu knocks the Gremlin off his Stilts in return. Yin kills the Slop Hauler before any more healing shenanigans can occur. Burt uses Reckless but fails his Horror duel against Yin. The Soul Porter pushes Yan Lo again and then moves to be as far as possible from any attacks since killing him will allow Jonny to start racking up points for Make Them Suffer. The surviving Lightning Bug runs to start Breakthrough. Yan Lo summons and heals Toshiro and kills off Francois. The Lovely Assistant uses Crackerjack Timing to put Yin and Yan Lo together, and Wong zaps them both for some fairly good damage. Mr Tannen Bores the last wound off the Lightning Bug and drops a scheme marker. I score on Turf War.

006

Turn 4: Toshiro hurts the Lovely Assistant. She stacks the deck then accomplices Wong who hits Toshiro, finally escaping melee with Poof! after I thwart a couple of attacks with the ridiculous cards in my hand. He then uses BOOM!, getting rid of my scheme marker in the middle and putting some damage about. Yin eats poor Burt. Yan Lo finishes the Lovely Assistant to score again on Make Them Suffer and drops a scheme marker. Mr Tannen follows suit and the Soul Porter keeps fleeing Wong. I score again for the Strategy.

007

Turn 5: Wong focusses, hits Yin and Poof! gets away to scheme. I score again for Make Them Suffer and Turf War. Ten Thunders win 10 – 2 (all points for me; one each on Turf War and Breakthrough for Jonny).

008

I always love to play Jonny, who takes each game revelling in the Gremlin mayhem and seems to have fun whether he wins or loses as long as some shenanigans occur. After a break for lunch, I am paired with Connor Barker for another Gremlins match up.

Game 2: Ten Thunders (me) vs Gremlins (Connor)

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Deliver a Message, Murder Protege, Distract
Ten Thunders: A Line in the Sand (announced), Distract
Gremlins: Deliver a Message (announced), Murder Protege (Yin, announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Eternal Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Yin the Penangalan, 2 Rail Workers, 2 Illuminated, Beckoner, Thunder Archer
Gremlins: Som’er Teeth Jones (Liquid Bravery, Dirty Cheater, Family Tree), Pigapult, Lenny (Love It and Pet It), Skeeter, 3 Bayou Gremlins, Slop Hauler, Stuffed Piglet, Rami LaCroix (Dirty Cheater)

As soon as I saw this match up, I knew I was going to see Som’er with a pile of Bayou Gremlins and the Pigapult, and that Connor would announce Deliver a Message. I took Yin in the hope of forcing a few critical horror duels, and the rest was just a crew I was familiar with in the hope of Connor making a mistake that I could exploit. None of the schemes looked very enticing, so I selected A Line in the Sand as the corner deployment makes it a bit more forgiving to score on, and Distract on the theory that I could at least make use of the inevitable rain of Gremlins.

009

Turn 1: Som’er summons three more Bayou Gremlins which the Slop Hauler heals to full behind the house. Lenny throw Rami forward but I’ve managed to block his shot to Yin, so Rami one-shots the Beckoner instead. Once I’m out-activated the Pigapult drops three Bayou Gremlins in base contact with Lynch.

010

Turn 2: Connor wins the initiative, so a Bayou Gremlins hands Lynch a letter and takes the three VPs. The Illuminated kills one of them. Som’er summons forth another three Gremlins. Lynch Distracts a pair of Gremlins, then moves to get further away from the centre (so he can at least contribute for Reconnoitre). Sadly, in doing so (and coupled with poor placement of Yin) I’ve opened up a sliver of a shot for Rami. He duly focusses twice, Red Jokers the attack flip (so he can get the Ram and stopping me cheating up to bring things back to a negative flip) and vapourises the Penangalan, and himself thanks to Dumb Luck. This scores another three VPs for the Gremlins. The Pigapult drops Bayou Gremlins to ensure that I won’t score for Reconnoitre, and that Connor does. I do at least score a point for Distract.

Turn 3: Hungering Darkness charges Lenny (he was the only one I had a line to) and places itself to tie up a good chunk of the Gremlin horde. Lenny is hurt a little but heals himself back up. Lynch kills a Gremlin and much of my crew moves to drop markers for A Line in the Sand, but foolishly one of them is the Illuminated at the bottom. This frees up a Distracted Gremlin to remove the condition from himself. The Stuffed Piglet explodes for disappointingly little effect. Som’er summons yet another three Bayou Gremlins, and the Pigapult places them appropriately for Reconnoitre. Gremlins score on the strategy.

011

Turn 4: Hungering Darkness chews his way through three Bayou Gremlins, giving Connor a frankly ludicrous hand of cards. One Bayou Gremlin removes a scheme marker, but my crew are able to put enough down to score the full points for A Line in the Sand. Lynch polishes off Lenny, the Illuminated kills a Skeeter and the mob of Gremlins behind the house (including Som’er himself, who finally gives up on Git Yer Bro) unload onto Hungering Darkness, which survives on one wound after judicious use of Soulstones. But all that was just us amusing ourselves with our models’ abilities as the game has long since been over. The end is called for time and Gremlins win 9 – 4 (three points for each scheme and the strategy for Gremlins; three for A Line in the Sand and one for Distract for me).

012

I enjoyed that game, and I have hopefully learned some things I need to be more careful about; my positioning wasn’t strong in this game, and I gave away a few points too cheaply (in particular strolling the Illuminated away from the Distracted Gremlins, allowing them to remove the condition). But overall, the game went pretty much as I expected. The Pigapult makes it easy for the Gremlins to score Deliver a Message and I’m not really sure how to avoid it short of keeping my master sitting in the corner of my deployment zone for the whole game. It did occur to me later that Mei Feng with Seismic Claws could be an option, but that still relies on winning the initiative at the right time (which I didn’t in this game anyway, not that it mattered). The Pigapult also makes scoring Reconnoitre quite easy, and again I’m not really sure how to deal with it apart from taking a suitably killy crew and just wiping out the Gremlins as quickly as possible when they land; this is my general plan against Ramos (who is another master I feel excels at this strategy). I did try to get Hungering Darkness into the mob hiding behind the building as quickly as possible but with the range on the Pigapult it is a really long slog across the board. Connor pointed out that in theory I could have taken Mr Graves to push it forward still further. As ever, I welcome any advice. Anyway, my final game I was paired up against David McGuire.

Edit: here’s how this one looked from Connor’s side: link.

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

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Protect Territory, Plant Evidence, Spring The Trap
Ten Thunders: Plant Evidence (announced), Bodyguard (Kang)
Resurrectionists : Plant Evidence (announced), Protect Territory (announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Eternal Hunger), Hungering Darkness, 2 Rail Workers, 2 Illuminated, Beckoner, Thunder Archer, Kang (Blot The Sky)
Resurrectionists : Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Life, Spare Parts), Madame Sybelle (Corpse Bloat, Bleeding Tongue), Necrotic Machine, 3 Crooligans, Rotten Belle, Necropunk, Bete Noire

As soon as David announced Resurrectionists, I decided to use this crew which I’d been considering since Joe acquired the wave 2 Ten Thunders deck for me at the start of the week. The basic premise is to have postive flips everywhere. The nature of Squatter’s Rights means that there is often a brawl round the middle three markers where Kang can sit and make everyone punch zombies harder, and the range for Blot The Sky is conveniently the same as the range for Kang’s aura. So the Archer can follow Kang and (depending on how the game goes) the rest of my force except the Rail Workers can go up the middle smiting all in their path while the Rail Workers can take the edge markers and use Implacable Assault as needed (hopefully for free thanks to Lynch’s Ace in the Hole ability). Flank deployment means we’re starting right on top of each other, which I’m fine with.

013

Turn 1: The Archer Rapid Fires Slow onto Sybelle, who uses two Soulstones on damage prevention to boot. Not bad for the first activation of turn 1. The Belle Lures him forward once (missing the first try after I flipped high). Kang smites a Crooligan who foolishly deployed From the Shadows into spade range. The Necrotic Machine advances and pulls Molly after it with Brethren. She summons a pair of Punk Zombies next to Kang and the Archer, uses Whispers of Future Flesh to get one of them to hit the Archer and accomplices over to it. I spend a high card to make that attack miss the Archer, who is already feeling a bit poorly. The Illuminated charges and kills the Punk which hasn’t activated. Lynch kills another Crooligan, the Beckoner Lures the Archer away from the Punk (doing enough damage to kill it would also kill the Archer with Black Blood) and the Hungering Darkness charges in to drop the Punk Zombie. It then makes Bete Heed My Voice to attack Molly, Slowing the latter and putting a wound from Black Blood on the former. The Archer takes his free shot to put some more wounds on the Sybelle.

014

Turn 2: Sybelle casts Unforgiving Stench twice on the corpse markers from the deceased Punk Zombies, catching Kang, the Illuminated and Hungering Darkness. Lucky flips and some cheating fate sees me avoid the rather nasty attacks. Hungering Darkness charges Molly, hitting her three times. Each time she uses Masterful Dead to avoid the worst damage but it uses up David’s entire control hand (and splashing more Black Blood onto Bete Noir). It then uses Consume Brilliance, and without a hand to cheat fate with, Molly fails her horror duel and is paralysed. The last Crooligan flips the Squat marker and moves past the Rail Worker. In the opposite corner, my other Rail Worker takes that Squat marker. Bete moves into range to attack Hungering Darkness but fails the horror duel. The Archer Rapid Fires more wounds onto Molly, killing Bete Noire with Black Blood in the process (she fails to cast One With The Night). The Necrotic Machine charges Hungering Darkness before being smashed to pieces by Kang. The male Illluminated and the Necropunk trade blows before the Necropunk leaps toward the Squat Marker, where Lynch is waiting to blow it away and claim the marker for the Ten Thunders. The female Illuminated kills Molly, and the end of turn shot from the Archer polishes off Sybelle. Seeing that he’s down to a single wounded Belle against my entire crew, David concedes. Ten Thunders win 10 – 0.

015

Of course, that was highly satisfying (but hard to learn more from) as everything I did went perfectly to plan. Hopefully it wasn’t too much of grind for David as it seemed quite brutal; Kang is hellish against Resurrectionists if they’re forced to engage. Anyway, he seemed to take it all in his usual cheerful way, and I can only hope that I can be so gentlemanly in defeat.

When the scores come in it turns out I’m in second place, so I’m back to my usual tournament case of winning a couple of games and losing to the eventual overall winner. I really enjoyed all three games, so thanks to Joe for running the show, and to Jonny, Connor and David for playing with me.

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Malifaux tournament report: Not a Bad Thing (45SS); 13Sep2014

On Saturday Joe, Forkbanger and I piled into Joe’s car at silly o’clock in the morning to drive down to Sunderland and take part in the Not a Bad Thing tournament. Some of us have previously attended an event run by this group (The Good, The Bad and The Fated, back in May) and it was a great day out so I’d been trying to sell this to other locals for ages. We arrived early and were greeted with friendliness and bacon rolls, not to mention all the tea I can drink. I had some vague thoughts about trying to use four different masters again, and decided to see how the games went before committing myself to it. My first round draw was against Martin Jones, who I’ve never played before.

Game 1: Ten Thunders (me) vs Guild (Martin)

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Assassinate, Deliver a Message, Make Them Suffer
Ten Thunders: Distract, Deliver a Message (unannounced)
Guild: Deliver a Message (announced), Assassinate (unannounced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Strangemetal Shirt, Glowing Sabre, Badge of Speed), Luna, Toshiro the Daimyo (Command the Graves), Rail Worker, 2 Illuminated, Thunder Archer
Guild: Hoffman (Field Mechanic, On-site Assimilation), Guardian, Peacekeeper, Warden, 2 Watchers

This seemed like a decent opportunity to play McCabe, but it took me ages to come up with a crew I fancied for the scheme pool. In retrospect I probably would have been better served without the Archer and one of the Illuminated, and loaded up on Rail Workers and a Wastrels instead. Of course, as soon as I saw Martin’s crew I wished I’d taken Kang instead of Toshiro, especially as I don’t own anything that could be a Komainu so I wouldn’t be doing much summoning with him. In the end I chose Distract, figuring that the odds of killing everything in the field was quite low, and an unannounced Deliver a Message as casting Black Flash on nimble Minions makes it pretty easy to score. I did swither over whether to announce it or not, and decided to play it safer.

001

Turn 1: Hoffman starts us off by Power Looping the Guardian, then knocks some scrap off the Peacekeeper, gives it Hydraulics, puts it in the Loop and Machine Puppets it forward and Fast. I decide I need to stop it just rampaging into me and run an Illuminated into engagement range. The Guardian promptly swats the Illuminated away with its shield and gives the Peacekeeper a defensive condition. McCabe shoots the Peacekeeper twice to at least knock the Fast off it and also slow the Guardian, then Reactivates the female Illuminated and passes the Badge to the male to push it back into the way of the Peacekeeper. The big robot uses its Nimble move to get past the Illuminated then charges McCabe for a chunk of damage. The Rail Worker, Archer, Toshiro and the other Illuminated flail against the Peacekeeper rather ineffectively while the rest of our crews move about.

002

Turn 2: Hoffman Puppets the Guardian forward again to pull himself into range of the Peacekeeper, heals it, and Puppets it to hit McCace. McCabe swings back at the Peacekeeper, pulling a couple of Soulstones out of if and stoning for a crow on the last swing (with only 2 wounds on the thing) but then black jokers the damage when literally any other card would have got the Peacekeeper out of my face. He passes the Sabre to the female Illuminated. To my great surprise, instead of activating the Peacekeeper and either delivering the message or beating McCabe to death, the Guardian moves up and makes the Peacekeeper slightly harder to hit. It doesn’t help as the Illuminated cuts it down with McCabe’s Sabre. The Warden pokes the male Illuminated for minimal effect, the Archer shoots down the nearer Watcher and is then vapourised by the chain spear from the Hunter. Toshiro swings a few times at the Guardian, the Illuminated delivers my message and distracts Hoffman while Luna distracts the surviving Watcher. The Rail Worker charges the Hunter to knock off a chunk of wounds. Martin scores for Reconnoitre, I score for Distract.

003

Turn 3: The Rail Worker bounces off the Hunter. Hoffman summons some scrap, puts Programmed Directives onto the Guardian and Patchwork Plating onto the Warden. He then Puppets the Guardian to deliver his message. The Illuminated with the Sabre uses it to smite the Guardian, who heals and knocks McCabe off his horse zebra. Luna misses the Watcher, the Hunter misses the Rail Worker, McCabe misses the Guardian and the Warden misses the Illuminated. Sometimes the cards just tell you to give peace a chance. The Illuminated does manage to land a couple of hits of the Warden, and Toshiro scraps the Guardian. Again Martin scores for Reconnoitre and I score for Distract.

004

Turn 4: Toshiro fails to deal with the Warden then makes the male Illuminated Fast. Hoffman Puppets the Warden forward and pulls after it on the push, it hits McCabe. The Rail Worker finishes the Hunter, the Warden can’t make anything stick on McCabe and is turned into scrap metal in return; he passes out some of his stash to push minions around to make sure I’ll actually score on the strategy this turn. I score again for Distract and this time also for Reconnoitre. Ten Thunders win 6 – 5 (3 for Distract, 2 for Deliver a Message and 1 for Reconnoitre for me; 3 for Deliver a Message and 2 for Reconnoitre for Martin).

005

That was quite the game. I still can’t quite get to grips with McCabe and I probably got off quite lightly in a few places here. In particular, my placement in the middle turns was terrible, clumping most of my pieces up in the middle where they didn’t score on the strategy. Round 2 sees me up against the gentlemanly Greg Piskosz.

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

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Plant Evidence, Murder Protege
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Bodyguard (Yin the Penangalan)
Neverborn: Murder Protege (Izamu the Armour), Plant Evidence (announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Yan Lo (Reliquaries), Chiaki the Neice, Izamu the Armour (Recalled Training), Yin the Penangalan, Rail Worker, 2 Ashigaru, Soul Porter
Neverborn: Collodi (Threads of Fate, Breath Life, Fated), Nekima, Waldgeist, Brutal Effigy, Arcane Effigy, Carrion Effigy, Shadow Effigy, Lucky Effigy

Turf War on a fairly open board felt like a decent opportunity to play Yan Lo. I decided to stick Bodyguard on Yin this time as I always seem to choose Chiaki and I believed that Greg might guess it; Yin is a tricky piece to kill off and she can’t do anything without moving forward so it’s not bad option. Basically the plan was to throw Izamu at the middle of the board, blow Recalled Training as soon as possible to smite stuff and then bring him back once the big chap is inevitably offed and do it again. I’ve never played against almost anything in Greg’s crew before so I was expecting a tough game here as he would be able to take full advantage of any mis-steps by me.

006

Turn 1: The Shadow Effigy uses Blend Into Shadow on Collodi, who passes it out to the rest of the crew, and basically all the other Effigies stick their own effects on him too (though he keeps those for himself). The Soul Porter pushes Yin and Izamu forward. The Waldgeist Germinates some bushes into a choke point I was forced through. The Carrion Effigy pokes Collodi to trigger his push to move toward me. Yan Lo misses a couple of shots at the further forward Effigy (Lucky) and picks up Ash Ascendant. Collodi uses his Pull Strings attack to take control of the first AP for Izamu and one of the Ashigaru and makes Izamu slow.

007

Turn 2: Collodi hits Izamu a little more with Pull Strings, makes the Waldgeist his Personal Puppet, then Accomplices to Nekima who come flying in to kill Izamu (though he does hit her back on death), scoring Murder Protege in the process, and missing a fairly optimistic swing at Yin.  I had some kind of a plan to use Chiaki to remove the conditions from Izamu, but having him killed seemed plenty effective enough The left Ashigaru hurts the Arcane Effigy. The Brutal Effigy move up to drop a scheme marker on the ice block just behind Yin, then Chiaki kills of the Arcane Effigy and moves to do Breakthrough. The Shadow Effigy gives its condition to Collodi, who shares it out. The Rail Worker, Yan Lo and Yin all fail to finish Nekima, though she is in a bad way with no Soulstones left. We both score on Turf War.

008

Turn 3: Yan Lo kills off Nekima in person, resummons Izamu from her corpse and heals him. The Shadow Effigy gives its condition to Collodi, who shares it with the rest of the crew, pokes him (to trigger the push) and Accomplices to Collodi. The master moves away to kill off Chiaki with his spells. Yin gets the Brutal Effigy down to hard to kill with a poison token on it. The Lucky Effigy hits Yan Lo for a surprising damage track, and the Soul Porter charges in and achieves nothing of substance. The Carrion Effigy fails to escape Izamu’s clutches. The Ashigaru ensures that the Lucky Effigy will die of Poison at the end of the turn, Izamu smashes the Shadow Effigy down to hard to kill and the Rail Worker does nothing at all against the Carrion Effigy. The Brutal Effigy drops a scheme marker when it dies. We both score on Turf War again.

Turn 4: Izamu kills the Carrion and Shadow Effigies. Collodi Focuses and Pulls strings on Yin, top decking the Red Joker to really put on the hurt, then summons a Marionette. The Ashigaru on its own drops another scheme marker, then we run out of time. We both score on Turf War again. Neverborn win 8 – 7 (2 for Murder Protege, 3 for Plant Evidence, 3 for Turf War for Greg; 1 for Bodyguard, 3 for Breakthrough and 3 for Turf War for me). Actually looking back, we scored Plant Evidence wrong (the score is for the number of terrain pieces, not the number of scheme markers).

I actually felt that things were going my way that game and I didn’t make many terrible mistakes; the problem this time was the clock. One more activation would have allowed me to heal Yin for another VP which would have been enough for a draw (or indeed a win if we’d scored Plant Evidence correctly) and I think I could have been a comfortable winner if we’d got to the end of turn 5 as Greg was running out of stuff to do anything to me. Oh well, games with Greg are always close and always fun; he’s just such a nice guy to play against. We broke for lunch (a lovely chilli) and the surprisingly sparsely-entered painting competition before moving to the third round where I was paired against John Wharton.

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

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Power Ritual, Protect Territory, Entourage
Ten Thunders: Power Ritual (announced), Protect Territory (announced)
Outcasts: Entourage (Viktoria of Ashes), Protect Territory (announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Recalled Training, Seismic Punch, Price of Progress), Emberling, 2 Illuminated, 2 Rail Workers, Thunder Archer, Yin the Penangalan
Outcasts: Viktoria of Ashes (Oathkeeper, Survivalist, Sisters in Fury), Viktoria of Blood (Oathkeeper, Mark of Shez’uul), Freikorps Trapper, Freikorps Librarian, Lazarus, Vanessa (Oathkeeper), Malifaux Child

I’ve got to admit, I looked at this board and didn’t really know what to take. It’s full of awkward charge lanes and choke points, with no scatter cover on the village, and the rest is severe terrain, also with no cover. I was expecting a shooty Von Schill crew to blow me off the board, and did end up facing most the crew I expected except with the Viks at the helm. I took Illuminated, Rail Workers and Yin to hopefully survive the barrage of fire and hoped that Mei Feng would either protect them more with Vent Steam or use her mobility to put threats where I needed them.

009

Turn 1: The Trapper focuses and misses Yin anyway. The Child states his intent by sitting the far corner casting Sisters in Fury. Vanessa uses Command Construct to move Lazarus further forward. Mei Feng lands on one of the platforms and drops a scheme marker, using Vent Steam to hopefully reduce the incoming fire. The Emberling drops a scheme marker in one corner to start up Power Ritual.

Turn 2: The Child casts Sisters in Fury and the Archer rapid fires Slow onto Lazarus. Then everything goes horribly wrong. Vik of Blood discards Oathkeeper to open up a charge lane onto Mei Feng and blends her way through her, the Illuminated and the Rail Worker there. Mei Feng herself survives on a single wound after burning all my Soulstones. Mei Feng duly butchers her in revenge, but is forced to drop Vent Steam in the process. The Illuminated gets into melee with the trapper, who had moved forward to get a shot on Mei Feng. Vik of Ashes uses Oathkeeper and ends Yin (John wisely uses the final soulstone on a positive flip to get past the horror duel). Lazarus, Vanessa and the Librarian blast away at my unengaged stuff. John scores on Reckoning.

010

Turn 3: The Archer Rapid Fires Vanessa, but can’t do enough to kill her. She makes Lazarus kill the Archer, and hurts the Rail Worker. The Illuminated does kill the Trapper and Lazarus bombards the Emberling to finish his forlorn run for the far corner. Viktoria Red Jokers a gun shot on the Illuminated taking him down to a single wound. Mei Feng continues to sprint for the corner in the hope of getting a marker down before she gets shot. Vanessa finishes off the Rail Worker for another Reckoning point.

Turn 4: Vanessa finishes Mei Feng. The Illuminated charges Viktoria but (of course) can’t kill her and is chopped up in return. Outcasts win 10 – 0.

011

Ouch! It’s been a while since I was on the wrong end of a pasting like that. John was really apologetic about the manner of his victory, claiming to have lucky flips etc, but the truth is he outplayed me by a huge margin. I got my positioning all wrong at the end of turn 1 which allowed the Vik of Blood to kill my stuff far too easily in turn 2. I probably should have jumped Mei Feng down her throat before she moved, though I might not have had the line of sight needed (and helpfully I forgot to take a photo that turn). Once I lost so much stuff to the pair of Viks in one round the game was pretty much over. But actually I think the game had finished as a contest even before that. John had the Librarian, Vanessa and Lazarus sitting on a platform where it was inconceivable that I could have got any melee piece to them and they could have simply spent the game shelling me until I lost a couple of pieces a turn and gave up a Reckoning point. I was probably too concerned about this happening that I crowded up too much (to keep my crew under Vent Steam)… which of course made them a perfect target for Whirlwind. I’d be very happy to hear from anyone how they would have handled this game; it is evident from the score that it would not be possible to do worse than me! Anyway, game 4 saw me slide right down the tables where I came upon a fellow Ten Thunders player, Peter Sidaway.

Game 4: Ten Thunders (me) vs Ten Thunders (Peter)

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Cursed Object, Frame for Murder
My Ten Thunders: Bodyguard (Kang), Frame for Murder (Hungering Darkness)
His Ten Thunders: Cursed Object, Breakthrough (unannounced)

Crews
My Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Kang, Rail Worker, 2 Illuminated, Beckoner, Archer
His Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Recalled Training), 2 Torakage, 2 Tengu, Toshiro the Daimyo (Command the Graves), Yamaziko (Recalled Training)

Since I’d already used my other three masters, I decided to make the simple choice and play the fourth and final one I own, Jakob Lynch. Also, I am slightly ashamed to admit, my pride was hurting a bit after the pasting John had just administered and I wanted to use my best crew and rack up a respectable score. Hungering Darkness is such a big threat that he’s a good target for Frame for Murder as the other crew simply must deal with him or be locked away from scoring anything. Similarly, Bodyguard on Kang is a solid if unsurprising choice; he is hard to hurt and heals up easily if needed.

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Turn 1: Pretty much everything legs it forward toward the squat markers at top speed. The Beckoner Lures the nearest Torakage, but it’s more out of habit than because his position is significant. Misaki uses Stalk on the Archer and Lynch shoots her. Hungering Darkness moves up but can’t land the hit on Misaki; mainly I’m trying to make it look like enough of a threat that Misaki will try to kill him off for Frame for Murder.

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Turn 2: Misaki saunters over, casually kills the Archer (who admittedly I had far too far up the board), charges the Rail Worker for a little damage after I get tomes for both defensive flips and pushes away deeper into my deployment zone. The female Illuminated moves up to flip the first squat marker. Toshiro uses Daimyo’s price on a handy scheme marker to give the Focus to a Tengu and a Torakage then advances and raises an Ashigaru from the remains of my poor Archer. The Rail Worker charges Misaki, putting a chunk of damage on her thanks to Implacable Assault and forcing her to burn Soulstones. Yamaziko charges the Illuminated for no effect, and the other Illuminated turns the Ashigaru back into a corpse counter. The Tengu in the centre moves onto the central squat marker and is promptly eaten by Hungering Darkness. The Beckoner takes a few more wounds off Misaki and the Torakage shows Yamaziko how it is done, dropping the Illuminated to a single wound with poison. Lynch flips another squat marker and Kang bludgeons Misaki to death with his spade. I score on the strategy.

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Turn 3: Lynch charges and kills the second Tengu. A Torakage charges Hungering Darkness. The Beckoner slightly unwisely Lures the other Torakage toward her, and the ninja obliges this apparent death wish by putting her down to a single wound with poison. The Rail Worker fails to kill off the centre Torakage, so the Illuminated does it instead. Hungering Darkness puts the hurt on Toshiro to convince him to actually kill it; Yamaziko gets into kill off the Rail Worker and takes out Hungering Darkness with the blasts from her sweep trigger. Kang beats up the last Torakage. I score again for Squatter’s Rights.

Turn 4: The Illuminated kills Yamaziko, then Torakage hurts Kang and pushes away. Lynch charges in to kill Toshiro and Kang, mindful of the impending end of the game and the Bodyguard scheme, heals and makes a run up the table. I score again for the strategy.

Turn 5: Kang keeps running up the board. The Torakage drops a scheme marker and I score on the strategy again. My Ten Thunders win 10 – 1 (everything for me; 1 for breakthrough for Peter).

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That was quite a satisfying game, but it was a little one-sided. Peter was a fun opponent and I think with a bit more familiarity with his crew, and a bit more focus on the schemes and strategies (instead of just trying to kill all my pieces), could have really competed in the tournament. Peter posted his thoughts on his own blog.

So in the end I finished 14th overall which was more than satisfactory. My fellow travellers also placed well, with a heroic 3rd place for Joe and 19th for Forkbanger. I had a really fun time, with four great games against pleasant opponents. I’ll have to work on my play a bit after the hiding on round three, and I’m already looking forward to the next event. Thanks very much to Nate and the team for running another wonderful event, and to Martin, Greg, John and Peter for playing enjoyable games with me.

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

Painted Izamu, the Armour

Here is Izamu, the Armour, the last of the (currently released) Ancestors, a keyword linking him to Yan Lo thematically. In the previous edition of Malifaux Izamu was a Resurrectionist model so I could only take him in Ten Thunders crew with Yan Lo leading. Happily, Malifaux second edition has lifted some of the most irritating hiring restrictions on the Ten Thunders faction and made Izamu dual faction into Ten Thunders for good measure so I can play him under any master now.

On his own, Izamu is pretty hard to kill and hits really hard; he is a simple piece with few options that don’t relate to either attacking or being attacked. Of note he’s one of few non-master options where I would routinely take him with an upgrade, in this case Recalled Training to make one turn an unholy killing spree. Needless to say, this puts an even bigger target on Izamu’s head, an arrangement I can sometimes use to my advantage. Yan Lo has the strongest obvious synergy with Izamu; an easy to cast healing power makes Izamu a nightmare to dispatch and use of the Reliquaries upgrade means that he can be brought back (again) from the dead. Not only that but access to the Soul Porter who can push Izamu around gets rid of one the biggest weaknesses, Izamu’s slow pace. Lucas McCabe can also speed Izamu up by passing him upgrades via Open the Stash, notably the Badge of Speed to give the big chap Nimble. Neither Mei Feng nor Jakob Lynch have much to offer Izamu, but I like him with the former (Mei Feng doesn’t synergise hugely with anyone apart from a handful of constructs) and not so much with the latter (as Lynch would much prefer a boatload of cheap minions with ‘discard a card to do X’).

I kept to a dark colour scheme with Izamu, mainly keeping to dark browns for the wood and dark blue for the cloth. Of course, my usual light brown was used as a contrast to the darkness for the ties on the armour. I’ve seen a few good paint jobs on Izamu with lighting effects coming out of the helmet, but I don’t have the skills or inclination to try it out.  The faceplate was left off as I like the idea of an empty suit of armour fighting in my crew.  The photography hasn’t been kind to the paint I put on the studding on the lower armour; it doesn’t look nearly that bad on the tabletop.

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Next on the painting table: Yamaziko

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

Painted Mr Tannen

Here is Mr Tannen, the other half of the ‘I can’t believe it’s not Neverwhere’ combination with Mr Graves. After only a few games, he’s quite tricky to use well, or at least well and for more than a single turn. The main thing you’re looking for is to drop that aura of hard-to-Cheat-Fate (from the Cooler ability) on a lot of enemy pieces at once, ideally without being killed in the process. I’ve found that he wants to move into position at the end of the previous turn, because killing him after he activates is very easy to do. Luckily, there is no particular need to activate him early in the turn as Cooler is passive, and in any case Ten Thunders as a faction are not short on excellent body-blockers, especially Illuminated and Izamu. He has some special synergies with Mr Graves that I haven’t fully explored yet, but they should mean that activating Mr Tannen early wouldn’t be the death sentence it normally is. Needless to say, Mr Tannen makes for an excellent option in strategies that force close engagement, particularly Turf War.

I painted him up in the same style as Mr Graves to tie them together thematically.  I went for the orange detail just to brighten up the otherwise rather dull colours.

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Next on the painting table: Izamu, the Armour

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

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