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.

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

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