Monthly Archives: November 2014

Malifaux tournament report: Fate Fading (50SS); 29Nov2014

David, Joe and I headed out to Stirling for (I think) the last Malifaux tournament of the year in Scotland. As tournament attendance has been gradually increasing here, the number of rounds was upped to 4, and we stayed at the ‘tournament standard’ size of 50SS. Coming into this event I’ve been really enjoying Mei Feng, partly because discussing her at the UK GT with another enthusiast really got me interested in her again, and partly because Mei Feng is highly entertaining to play. I vaguely decided to myself to play all four games with Mei Feng, unless the mood took me to do otherwise at some point of course. The first round pairings had me up against the infectiously enthusiastic Mark.

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

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Frame For Murder, Spring The Trap, Bodyguard
Ten Thunders: Bodyguard (Kang), Frame For Murder (Izamu)
Arcanists: Bodyguard (Lazarus), Frame For Murder (Joss)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Vapormancy, Recalled Training), Kang, Izamu the Armour, Thunder Archer, 2 Illuminated, 2 Metal Gamin
Arcanists: Ramos (Under Pressure, Field Generator, Kill Switch / Decoy), Joss (Open Current, Kill Switch / Decoy), Lazarus (Imbued Protection, Kill Switch / Decoy), Electrical Creation, 2 Rail Workers, Mobile Toolkit, Metal Gamin

I guessed that Mark would take either Ramos or Marcus for this match up so I put Kang in to benefit against constructs, save me from taking terror duels or just to hit things with a spade as appropriate. In any case I expected him to be able to stay slightly further back and hence took Bodyguard on him (maybe I should learn from my mistakes of game 4 of the UK GT). Izamu is a fine choice in Reckoning, but hardly anyone is able to resist the temptation to kill the big chap off. In particular with Joss on the table I expected that Izamu would be killed early, so took Frame For Murder on him. Otherwise I took things which hit hard (Illuminated, Archer) or make convenient Rail Walk points (Metal Gamin).

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Turn 1: The Electrical Creation moves forward as usual, so I decide to mess with Mark a little by killing it with Magnetism from one of my Gamin. Ramos turns it into two Steam Arachnids anyway of course, but he has to waste an AP walking himself forward to do it. By way of vengeance, Ramos uses his own Magnetism right back at the Metal Gamin. Otherwise this is just a turn of jockeying for position, though I do spread out around Mei Feng with Vent Steam up in case of any Electrical Fire.

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Turn 2: One Metal Gamin kills a Steam Arachnid, and the other Gamin hurts the other Spider nearby. The Toolkit puts armour on Ramos to stall for time before our two lines of mostly melee-based forces clash. Joss charges in and finishes off the wounded Gamin; I’m a bit suspicious how easily Joss is being given up, but on the other hand I’m pretty much resigned to losing a few points for Frame For Murder at some point. Kang polishes off the other Arachnid (scoring a point for Reckoning) and then Lazarus auto fires into the Vent Steam aura for no real effect. The Archer shoots Slow onto Joss and otherwise gently tickles a few wounds off him then the Illuminated charges in and Red Jokers the damage on Joss. I actually end up not cheating to hit with my second attack to avoid the reactivation. Mark’s Metal Gamin puts Protection of Metal on Ramos. Izamu charges in to deal with Joss, putting him down without much of a fight and giving up two points for Frame For Murder in the process. The Illuminated on the right knocks a couple of wounds off a Rail Worker after some careful placement to keep in range of Workers’ Champion. Ramos zaps the left Illuminated who has strayed out from under the Vent Steam, then summons an Arachnid which Mei Feng promptly smites before Venting Steam again. I score for the strategy.

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Turn 3: On the right, the Illuminated kills the first Rail Worker. The other Rail Worker hits him back. My Archer Rapid Fires Slow onto the Rail Worker, then the Tolkit gives Ramos some more armour before being killed by my Metal Gamin (scoring for the strategy). Ramos summons a pair of Arachnids in base contact with Mei Feng then uses Soulstones to counteract the negative flip from Vent Steam to zap her with Electrical Fire twice, getting severe damage both times. Izamu swats both new Arachnids. Lazarus charges in and takes the Metal Gamin down to its Hard to Kill wound. Kang beats Lazarus with his spade, but Mei Feng fails to achieve a great deal even after discarding Recalled Training. I’d been trying to spread some damage around with Scalding Breath but just couldn’t land a hit even with double positive flips. Oh well. The female Illuminated takes the final wounds off Mark’s Metal Gamin and I score Reckoning again.

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Turn 4: Lazarus heals, then misses attacks on the Metal Gamin and Mei Feng (who Leaps Aside after the first attack as she has very few wounds left). Izamu repeatedly misses Ramos, who summons one Arachnid and wafts his Clockwork Fist ineffectually at Mei Feng. Over in their own little fight on the far side of the forest, the Illuminated drops the Rail Worker to its last wound, survives the return attack and then watches a Focused shot from the Archer finish the job and get all the glory. Kang kills Lazarus (scoring Reckoning for me and denying Bodyguard), but the big robot explodes from Kill Switch causing damage to Kang and Ramos, and killing the Metal Gamin. Mei Feng ends it all killing off the new Arachnid and Ramos in one go. Ten Thunders win 7 – 2 (4 for Reckoning and 3 for Bodyguard for me; 2 for Frame For Murder for Mark).

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That was a fun game to get the day started. Mark’s a really nice opponent and could probably be quite good if he played a few more times with his crew rather than constantly swapping masters. We were swiftly onto the next round where I matched up with Scott, another from the North East contingent who I’ve seen at a few events but never had the pleasure to play.

Game 2: Ten Thunders (me) vs Guild (Scott)

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Power Ritual, Take Prisoner, Distract, Protect Territory
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Distract

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Vapormancy, Recalled Training, Wings of Wind), Emberling, Izamu the Armour (Recalled Training), 2 Rail Workers, 2 Metal Gamin, Illuminated, Yamaziko
Guild: Lucius (Surprisingly Loyal, Legalese, Watch My Back), Mr Tannen, Scribe, Brutal Effigy, 2 Guild Lawyers, 2 Death Marshals, 2 Guild Guard

Even though I had been planning to use Mei Feng all day I probably would have picked her on this board anyway since it was so open and I feared seeing Perdita Ortega. My plan was pretty simple: move onto the Squat markers, claim them, then defend them for the rest of the game with the huge melee range of Izamu, Yamaziko and Mei Feng. The Emberling would be on Power Ritual duty on the assumption that the rest of my crew would take enough work to get through that no-one would have the opportunity to stop it. I was really pleased to see Lucius across the table as I think I’ve only played once against him during the beta. It’s always interesting to see new masters, especially ones with so many potential shenanigans as this one.

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Turn 1: Lucius walks up, dragging a Death Marshal with him, then swaps places with one of the Lawyers using What Lackeys Are For to get them into a forward position. The Lawyer accomplices next to put Fees on my Illuminated with Special Damages. I can see that one of the Death Marshals is angling to put Izamu in a box (and actually I’m expecting Take Prisoner on him) but with a few chain activations already from Scott I’m able to keep Izamu until last. Instead, I use Yamaziko as bait, triple walking her onto a marker but forgetting to put up Brace because I’m silly. The Death Marshal decides to make the best of it, charging Yamaziko and then taking a beating in return from Izamu who has been pushed forward by Mei Feng. Meanwhile, the Metal Gamin are able to race up the field thanks to the presence of an enemy construct to magnetise toward.

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Turn 2: Lucius makes the Death Marshal Distract Yamaziko, the Lawyer move to one of the Metal Gamin and uses Guild Intelligence. He accomplices to the Lawyer who Distracts the Gamin, drops a scheme marker and hands out Hard to Wound to a few pieces nearby. Izamu finishes off the first Death Marshal and moves in to hurt a nearby Lawyer. Tannen moves into the fray and uses Chatty to keep me off the central marker. Yamaziko claims both the markers on the right side and the Lawyer staring down Izamu puts Fees on the big chap twice. A big scrum develops over on the left as the Gamin first take out the Effigy then engage in a ridiculous slap-fest with the pair of Guards with the Illuminated joining in too. Eventually Mei Feng has to go in like a responsible grown-up to sort things out, setting one guard ablaze so she’ll die at the end of the turn. I did briefly consider killing my own Gamin too to deny Distract but it looks like more work than it would be worth considering how the rest of the game is playing out. I score on the Strategy, Scott scores for Distract.

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Turn 3: Yamaziko drops the second Death Marshal. It hadn’t occurred to me before but with their weak damage of 3, both she and Izamu are perfect for taking out Death Marshals since two shots of weak damage will kill them and the Hard to Wound doesn’t help at all. Lucius Issues Commands a few times to make the Lawyers a bit tougher and one of them makes Izamu Slow. A Rail Worker finally finishes slogging into position and kills the Lawyer on the left (the other Rail Worker is covering the central marker) and Mr Tannen just uses Chatty again to make my life awkward, especially as I don’t have many ways to get him with this crew. The Illuminated kills the last Guard, the Emberling continues its lonely run to the corner and the Scribe heroically charges Izamu. Sadly for the little totem, Scott is all out of cards at this point and Izamu evades the attacks before squashing both the Scribe and the Lawyer. The Metal Gamin removes Distract and Mei Feng launches herself at Mr Tannen but can’t quite finish him off; happily I’m also out of cards at this point so Cooler does nothing. I score for Squatter’s Rights.

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Turn 4: Izamu smites Mr Tannen. Lucius looks lonely, takes up defensive stance and moves to stand on one of the many scheme markers dropped by his minions with Finish the Job. The rest of my crew gangs up on him, with the Illuminated delivering the killing blow. Various of my minions drop scheme markers as needed. Ten Thunders win 10 – 1 (all points for me; 1 for Distract for Scott).

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That was a really interesting game. Scott told me later that he had only played a game or two previously with Lucius so probably he would be very stong with the benefit of more experience. I was certainly glad to see some of these pieces on the table as I don’t think I see much Guild around; no-one in my regular gaming group plays them so I’m pretty much reliant on tournaments to see most crews in action. Even then I feel like I see a lot more Hoffman and Perdita Ortega being played. After a break for lunch, I’m inevitably drawn against Greg. We seem to get each other in just about every tournament (there was even a recent one where we only avoided each other to break up two other players on the same record getting paired up for a second time in the same event) and Greg very much has the upper hand. I always look forward to such games as I learn so much more from playing against the very strongest players like Greg.

Game 3: Ten Thunders (me) vs Neverborn (Greg)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Bodyguard, Cursed Object, Deliver a Message
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Cursed Object
Neverborn: Breakthrough (announced), Cursed Object

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Vapormancy, Recalled Training, Wings of Wind), Emberling, Izamu the Armour (Recalled Training), 2 Rail Workers, 2 Metal Gamin, Mr Tannen, Yamaziko
Neverborn: Pandora (The Box Opens, Fugue State), Primordial Magic, Doppelganger, Mr Graves (Retribution’s Eye), Mysterious Effigy, Nekima, Widow Weaver

I decided to try out Mr Tannen here. Turf War should be a natural place for him as crews are forced to enter Cooler range, and in theory I had the tools to deliver him (Wings of Wind) and keep him alive for a while (Vent Steam, and presenting higher priority targets). I took Yamaziko in the hope of dissuading a few charges with Brace. With Flank deployment we both announced Breakthrough; it is really easy to score on since the deployment zones are huge. I didn’t fancy trying to Deliver a Message to Pandora or guaranteeing keeping anyone alive for Bodyguard so went with Cursed Object.

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Turn 1: A Metal Gamin Magnetises the Effigy so it hides before I can get the other one onto it. Pandora kills the lead Gamin (or anyway makes it kill itself) and makes the other one Insignificant and gives it Mood Swings. The Widow puts a Web marker right in the middle of the board, Mr Graves pushes Nekima forward and the Doppelganger copies Show Ya The Door to do the same. Nekima hurts a Rail Worker pretty badly but can’t actually put him down after a couple of lucky Metal On Metal triggers. Mei Feng hurts Nekima a couple of times, killing the Rail Worker with Black Blood and hurting the Doppelganger with Black Blood and a blast from Scalding Breath. She also pushes Izamu to get a charge lane onto Nekima, but my hand is trash (I spent the first turn with a 5 as my highest card in hand) and Nekima remains unhurt.

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Turn 2: I win initiative, but sadly my joy is short-lived as Greg makes me activate the Metal Gamin first. He puts Protection of Metal on Izamu (I did consider Yamaziko, but figured Greg would prioritise killing Izamu). Nekima focuses and cheats in a 13 to allow a straight flip on Izamu, dropping the Red Joker on damage and finishing him off with her second swing. I saw it coming but with Nekima’s high Ml stat and evidently a 13 and Red Joker in hand there wasn’t anything I could do about it. He does at least hurt her back with A Warrior’s Death. Mei Feng and Yamaziko beat most of the Soulstones out of Nekima and kill the Doppelganger with splash damage but can’t actually finish off Nekima. Pandora makes the surviving Rail Worker Insignificant and gives him Mood Swings. He’s forced to act next and moves round to use Shovel Faster on Nekima, luckily getting her on the randomisation and forcing yet more damage on. The Widow puts another Web in the middle of my crew and Mr Graves comes in to put Cursed Object on Yamaziko; Mr Tannen puts it on him right back. Over on the right the Emberling drops a Scheme marker and the Effigy and Primordial Magic close in on it. Nekima uses her last Soulstone to avoid burning to death and we both score on Turf War and Cursed Object.

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Turn 3: I stone to win the initiative and Yamaziko polishes off Nekima and puts another Cursed Object in one of Mr Graves’ natty waistcoat pockets. Mr Graves hurts Mr Tannen (how could he!?). The Metal Gamin fails to magnetise the Effigy. The Widow Weaver kills off Mr Tannen then the Rail Worker goes in and takes a chunk of her wounds. The Effigy saunters over to remove the Scheme marker that the Emberling put down and Pandora makes my totem Insignificant to stop me from just dropping another one. She also gives my Metal Gamin a Cursed Object to hold. Mei Feng ensures that the Widow will burn to death and Vents Steam. We both score again for Cursed Object and Turf War.

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Turn 4: This is announced as the last turn. Mei Feng pushes the Rail Worker away from Mr Graves (to avoid the Black Blood) then sets the skinwalker ablaze and knocks him down to his Hard to Kill wound. He smites Yamaziko, getting severe damage on the first but I top-deck the Red Joker on damage prevention to avoid the lot. The second swing looks rather half-hearted after that. The Rail Worker fails to do anything to Pandora apart from give her a free push (she didn’t need it anyway to get where she was going; I was just hoping to force at least one high card out of Greg’s hand). She in turn races away to drop markers for Breakthrough. My Metal Gamin critically Black Jokers the Magnetism shot on the Effigy; he charges in but only hits once and so leaves the Effigy alive; it gives both the Gamin and Emberling Cursed Objects. If I could have hit with Magnetism and one attack then I could have avoided giving up a Cursed Object this turn at least. Yamaziko gets away from Mr Graves and drops a marker for Breakthrough. I score for Turf War and Greg scores for Cursed Object. Ten Thunders lose 6 – 8 (3 for Turf War, 2 for Cursed Object and 1 for Breakthrough for me; 2 for Turf War, 3 for Cursed Object and 3 for Breakthrough for Greg).

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Wow, what a game. As regular readers know, I always have a great time playing Greg; he’s a real gentleman and a great ambassador for everything Malifaux gaming should be about. I’m sanguine about losing to player of his ability and I feel like I did make him work hard to beat me (probably he would be too polite anyway to admit that he found it easy). If either of my two Magnetisms on the Effigy in turns 3 or 4 had come off I might have closed the gap (or maybe more in turn 3) but on the other hand I got crazy lucky to keep Yamaziko fighting against Mr Graves on turn 4. I felt that Greg was running out of pieces to work with by the end so if we’d managed a fifth turn I might have been able to score more. Notably I made a few bad choices in turn 4; in particular I probably should have just pushed Mei Feng out of melee at the end of turn 3 using Wings of Wind so she could go and actually score me some points then used Yamaziko to give Mr Graves a Cursed Object instead of trying to kill him at all. Of course, this is why I write these battle reports in the first place: to give me an opportunity to review and improve my game. If, if, if. Greg rightly beat me in the game that actually happened so I’ll just have to learn from this. After all that we were onto the final game where I would play James.

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

Strategy: Reconnoitre

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

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Vapormancy, Recalled Training, Wings of Wind), Emberling, Kang (Blot the Sky), Thunder Archer, Illuminated, 2 Rail Workers, 2 Metal Gamin
Arcanists: Ramos (Combat Mechanic, Arcane Reservoir), Joss (Imbued Energies), Electrical Creation, Arcane Effigy, Large Arachnid, Myranda (Imbued Energies), Cassandra (Practised Production)

So, Arcanists in Reconnoitre? I was certainly expecting to see Ramos here and James didn’t disappoint. In the same vein, I don’t imagine that he was very surprised to see Kang in my crew. I had been taking a pair of Metal Gamin all day for utility Rail Walk points as needed, but of course against Constructs they’re very nice with a free attack in the form of Magnetism. I figured that the Archer would be hanging around Kang all the time anyway to pick off targets of opportunity and I had a spare SS at the end so took Blot the Sky. I took Protect Territory thinking that I’d probably want some models sitting still a lot to count for the Strategy, and then thought I might be able to lure a few attacks of opportunity onto my crew when they were sitting on scheme markers which I could re-purpose for Plant Explosives. As soon as I saw Cassandra with Practiced Production I knew I’d have to keep my crew spread apart.

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Turn 1: Ramos does the now-familiar routine of Magnetising his own Electrical Creation and turning it into a trio of Steam Arachnids. One Metal Gamin magnetises Ramos (mainly for the movement) and other does it to finish off one of the Steam Arachnids that had been wounded by the Archer. Mei Feng walks into a cluster of my pieces and Vents Steam. Finally Myranda moves up and turns into a Cerberus (surprise!) which pokes a Metal Gamin rather toothlessly. The Arachnids scatter.

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Turn 2: The Archer Rapid Fires the Cerberus to drop it out of Three Headed. It kills off the Metal Gamin anyway and Leaps to safety. Kang scraps another Arachnid and Mei Feng ensures that the Cerberus will burn to death at the end of the turn. Ramos summons another three Steam Arachnids from the increasing pile of scrap counters on the centreline. The rest of the turn is jockeying for position but James outplays me and only he scores on the strategy. Of course, having a swarm of Steam Arachnids around doesn’t hurt him, but I ended up leaving my Archer in the no scoring zone which didn’t make my life easier.

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Turn 3: The Archer kills a Steam Arachnid and the Metal Gamin gets another. The Large Arachnid eats its Scheme marker, moves very slightly and drops another; I’m not sure what this achieved or if James just wanted to make use of its abilities while it was sitting in the back. The Arcane Effigy also drops one and I see an opportunity to at least get two points on Plant Explosives so the Rail Worker climbs the wall and drops a Scheme marker that will catch both the Large Arachnid and the Effigy while only being in range of one of their markers. Cassandra moves in to drop a Scheme Marker near the Archer and Metal Gamin (who have both already gone). Mei Feng makes a total mess of hitting the Spider she’s near and ends up just Rail Walking away to push the Archer away from Cassandra’s marker. The rest of the turn is a very complex dance of positioning as we both tried to arrange a third victim of our own Plant Explosives while not giving up a third point ourselves. Sadly my notes and writing ability aren’t adequate to describe it in a way that would help anyone, but it was highly entertaining. In the end we both have to settle for two points on Plant Explosives and neither of us gets anything for Reconnoitre.

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Turn 4: Mei Feng hurts Ramos who summons another three Steam Arachnids then Magnetises away to one of them, perhaps to escape Kang’s spade. The Archer shoots a hefty chunk of Cassandra’s wounds off; she uses Southern Charm, Nimbles away from Kang (who can’t stop her thanks to the negative flip of course) and charges the Archer, easily skewering him. Time is running out and we agree to just theory out the rest of the turn; neither us of could see a way for me to catch up that missed Reconnoitre point from turn 2 (but for those reading along at home please let me know if you can think of a realistic one considering the board state). Ten Thunders lose 6 – 7 (1 for Reconnoitre, 2 for Plant Explosives and 3 for Protect Territory for me; 2 for Reconnoitre, 2 for Plant Explosives and 3 for Protect Territory for James).

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That was a really fun game that needed a lot of thinking and careful positioning. James is a treat to play against and I hope that I can learn to keep up with his high quality of play. Like my previous game against Greg I wasn’t unhappy to have lost as I achieved my goal of making my opponent work hard to get the victory. James’ positioning was stronger than mine for much of the game and believe that I can see a few things now looking back that I need to watch for in future games.

When the results are announced I’ve come in 9th (of 20) which was pretty much expected based on winning two and losing two.  I really enjoyed the event and I’m happy with my performance over the games; my two losses were close and were to very strong players. Overall I think I’ve learned a few more things about how to play Mei Feng (mainly I was trying to get a handle on Vapormancy which I hadn’t used much previously) and I find her a very satisfying master to put on the table. I’d like to thank Mark, Scott, Greg and James for joining me in four really good games of Malifaux, and Joe and Andrew for their hard work running a successful event.

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

Painted wargaming terrain part one

I’m very lucky that I play in a group where we have a couple of skilled makers of terrain, so all I need to supply are my own forces and an ample quantity of beer.  But I do occasionally play games at my place, either with Mrs Argentbadger or with the rest of the group when circumstances make me the host, so having a little terrain could come in handy.  I got a few pieces in the door bags at the Malifaux Scottish GT both in 2013 and 2014 and I decided it had languished long enough without attention.  I’m fairly sure that these are from Ainsty Castings.

I painted them very simply because I found painting terrain to be pretty unrewarding compared to the characterful miniatures I usually spend time on.  The sandbags and barrels are just brown paint with a wash over the top to give a little depth.  They’ll do for now.

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Next on the painting table: more terrain

Categories: Painting and modelling | 2 Comments

Malifaux tournament report: UKGT (50SS); 08-09Nov2014

About half a year ago Joe and I (and a big chunk of the rest of the UK Malifaux tournament scene) bought tickets for the 2014 Malifaux UKGT, selling it out in some ridiculous amount of time. I didn’t give it a great deal more thought for a long time, except for Joe working out our accommodation. Then suddenly, the weekend was upon us! Joe picked me up at about 4.30 on Saturday morning and we drove down to the venue in York to take part in what the TO claimed was the biggest Malifaux event ever. It was certainly an impressive sight to see so many like-minded gamers from up and down the country in one place, and so many nicely laid out tables of terrain, just waiting to be played on. As this was a properly organised event, the first round pairings had been done way in advance; I was up against the excellent Connor playing his Gremlins. Not the nice easy start I could have done with!

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

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Spring The Trap, Protect Territory, Power Ritual
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Gremlins: Protect Territory (announced), Assassinate

Crews
Ten Thunders: Yan Lo (Reliquaries), Soul Porter, Toshiro the Daimyo (Command the Graves), Yin the Penangalan, Izamu the Armour, Chiaki the Niece, Ashigaru, Thunder Archer
Gremlins: Ulix (Hunting Bow), Old Major (Corn Husks, Saddle), Gracie, Sow, Penelope, Hog Whisperer, 2 Piglets

Knowing the match up and strategy in advance I had considered various options which would depend on the scheme pool. In the end I felt that Yan Lo would give me the staying power in the centre to hold Turf War. I took Chiaki to pick up Power Ritual, and the rest of my crew was just tough bodies to throw at the strategy. The Archer can be useful to finish off wounded models who get stuck on Izamu, and Turf War meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about moving too much to get shots out. Looking across the table, I saw a wall of pork ready to flatten my crew.

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Turn 1: The Soul Porter gets me underway by pushing Izamu and Toshiro forward round the choke points between the houses. Old Major saddles the Hog Whisperer forward and Ulix rides along. Chiaki schemes and starts her long run up for Power Ritual. The Hog Whisperer uses Sooey! to move the Sow up then reactivates both the Sow and Old Major. Gracie moves up and reactivates herself. Yan Lo shoots a few wounds off Old Major and picks up Ash Ascendant. The Piglets both walk and scheme, Toshiro War Fans the Archer and also schemes. He wasn’t far enough up to use the marker for Protect Territory, but I didn’t want to expose him too much and I figured I might have a chance to use it for Daimyo’s Price at some stage. Old Major moves up again, bringing the Whisperer and Ulix with him and moves Gracie. Izamu charges the Hog Whisperer and kills him, putting some damage onto Old Major too. Ulix uses Sooey! to bring the pigs round him, heals them all and pokes Izamu ineffectually. The Archer rapid fires Gracie for a little damage plus slow. Penelope pushes the Sow toward Yan Lo, then she charges and uses both activations to attack the old man. Ouch! So at the end of turn 1, I have much of the Gremlin crew almost in my deployment zone and I’m about to lose Yan Lo.

Turn 2: Connor wins the initiative, and the Sow eats Yan Lo, scoring all the points for Assassinate. She then walks over to engage more of my stuff. Izamu pokes Old Major again but doesn’t actually kill him off. Ulix heals his pigs again and makes Gracie attack Izamu. The Soul Porter hits the Sow, giving Chi to Toshiro. Gracie reactivates herself and chews a bit on Izamu. Toshiro and Yin hurt the Sow, the former War Fans the Archer (the Ashigaru being out of range anyway), the latter puts Gnawing Fear on Gracie. Penelope pushes Gracie away from Izamu. The Archer successfully disengages from the Sow but fails to shoot Gracie anyway. Gracie finishes Izamu at the second time of asking and the Piglets continue to drop scheme markers. The Ashigaru makes a mess of attacking Penelope. We both score for Turf War, the Sow dies of poison from Yin and turns into a couple of Piglets (but the photo was taken before we remembered about the poison).

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Turn 3: Ulix heals his pigs again, makes Old Major charge Toshiro. The Archer rapid fires Old Major in the hope that eventually I’ll kill him off. Old Major pushes Gracie and eats the scheme marker that I’d so helpfully dropped on turn 1 to heal himself. The Soul Porter pokes Old Major a couple more times for more Chi on Toshiro and Yin and the Ashigaru drops Penelope to a singel wound plus poison. Yin finally kills Old Major and moves to get in Ulix’s way. Chiaki continues her run for the corner, pausing to zap a piglet who has run over to try and stop her with The Calling. Toshiro kills one of the new Piglets and summons an Ashigaru, which Gracie promptly eats. We both score on the strategy and Penelope keels over (again, slightly after I took the photo).

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Turn 4: The Piglet engages Chiaki. The Archer rapid fires Ulix, and I am amazed that he kills the Gremlin master on the first shot (admittedly double severe on a negative flip but I did have 2 more shots on him and only needed to land weak damage twice); I hadn’t realised that Ulix apparently heals his pigs by feeding bits of himself to them, and all the Soulstones had been used up keeping Old Major in my face. Gracie reactivates herself and fails a few attempts to get away from Yin, allowing herself to be mildly tickled by Wicked disengaging strikes in the process. The Soul Porter pokes a Piglet for minimal effect, and a different Piglet charges Yin (because of the lack of remaining herders) for no effect at all. Toshiro kills another Piglet and makes the Archer fast. The Ashigaru schemes and Chiaki, to my great amazement, kills off her Piglet. We both score on the strategy again. Last turn is called just as we end this one but we agree to press on as there’s not much left any more.

Turn 5: Toshiro (or possibly Yin, I stopped taking notes at this point so we could finish up) kills Gracie. The final Piglet takes double defensive stance. The Archer and Chiaki both drop scheme markers. I score on Turf War. Ten Thunders win 10 – 7 (all points for me; 3 on Turf War, 3 on Assassinate and 1 for Protect Territory for Connor).

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I always love to play Connor, and I thought I was in a lot of trouble after Yan Lo died so early. But the Ancestors can be a quite a lot of work to get through even without Yan Lo on board and the Pigs got taken down one at a time. I don’t think that Connor realised that Ulix was in danger from the Archer until the firing started; from my side I didn’t realise he was so close to death (I was just hoping to start whittling him down). That pig-based crew looked hilarious to play and Connor really made it do what it did well, pulling things out of melee to allow them to charge in again and keeping all the wounds topped up. Connor has posted his own thoughts on the game on his own blog: here. We’re swiftly on to the second round where I meet JP.

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

Strategy: Stake a Claim

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Assassinate, Vendetta, Make Them Suffer
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Vendetta (Archer on Raphael)
Gremlins: Breakthrough (announced), Vendetta (Rami on Toshiro)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Glowing Sabre, Badge of Speed, Strangemetal Shirt), Toshiro the Daimyo (Command the Graves), Luna, Wastrel, 2 Illuminated, Rail Worker, Thunder Archer
Gremlins: Ophelia LaCroix, Francois LaCroix (Teamwork), Burt Jebsen (Dirty Cheater), Raphael LaCroix (Dirty Cheater), Rami LaCroix, 2 Young LaCroix, Bayou Gremlin, Mancha Roja

I’m terrible at using McCabe, and I’m terrible at Stake a Claim. The latter is partly because I don’t own the miniatures that I think are best for it in Ten Thunders (Torakage, probably Tengu), the former I just can’t seem to get to work the way I feel like he could. But McCabe supplies pushes and reactivates which are both very handy in Stake a Claim, so off we go. Also, I rather like to use each of my masters in a tournament environment if possible, so this was a golden opportunity to get McCabe on the table. Toshiro also brings pushes and fast minions, and anyway likes to be around the minions who fill up my McCabe crews. I hoped to use either Luna or the Wastrel to get somewhere innocuous at the start of turn 2 to drop a claim marker and put JP under a little pressure, perhaps with the help of a push, fast or reactivate. The Archer is good for Vendetta because of the range, plus it just always performs well for me.

006

Turn 1: Various things trudge across the table at each other. A Young LaCroix hands Ophelia the Jug Rocket and My Threatenin’ Gun. McCabe Black Flashes Luna before moving up and shooting slow onto Mancha Roja. Luna rockets across the board into cover… and I forget that Ophelia has a native positive flip on her gun. Poor Luna is sent to the kennel in the sky.

007

Turn 2: Raphael shoots the male Illuminated, which heals and charges right back at him, taking the Gremlin down to 2 wounds. The Archer focuses and takes a shot at Raphael (scoring me a point for Vendetta) but Black Jokers the damage flip. Actually I’d forgotten that Raphael is hard to kill anyway so it wouldn’t have killed him, but it was still annoying. Mancha Roja deals with the male Illuminated and Burt charges and kills the Rail Worker. McCabe charges into the scrum in midfield, hitting Francois a couple of times and triggering That’s New once to hurt everything else close to him, which seems like a lot of Gremlins. Toshiro War Fans the Illuminated then charges and kills a Young LaCroix in the middle. Ophelia charges Toshiro, taking a little damage from Bloated Stench for her trouble and Rami shoots him (one point for Vendetta) but also Black Jokers the damage. The fast Illuminated strolls over the halfway line and drops a Claim marker. Meanwhile on the left of the board, the Wastrel and Bayou Gremlin show why they’re cheap minions and fail to do anything of substance. I score for Stake a Claim.

008

Turn 3: Toshiro stabs Ophelia and triggers Next Target to get into the scrum which includes Mancha Roja (so that Rami will have to randomise into combat if he wants to shoot Toshiro). Rami does indeed shoot into the melee, getting one shot on Toshiro (stoned the damage away) and cheating his attack flip down to miss Mancha Roja. The Wastrel fails to kill the Bayou Gremlin with his guns and the Illuminated takes Burt down to his hard to kill wound. McCabe drops Francois and fails to hand his sword to the Wastrel (I wanted to push him nearer to the Bayou Gremlin). Mancha Roja knocks McCabe off his horse; I place the dismounted version out of melee with the big Gremlin. This time McCabe kills the other Young and passes the sword to the Wastrel, pushing him into melee with the Bayou Gremlin. The Archer moves to get a clear shot at Raphael (who is now down to a single wound thanks to another That’s New trigger from McCabe) but flips the Black Joker on damage for the second time in a row. Ophelia lines up a shot on the Illuminated fighting Burt Jebsen but fails the horror duel with nothing left in hand to cheat. I score again on the strategy.

009

Turn 4: The Archer finally puts Raphael down (I actually rapid fired to make absolutely sure) scoring me the rest of the points for Vendetta. Rami, determined to do the same, fires into Toshiro, hitting Mancha Roja both times instead. For those keeping score at home, I Black Jokered 2 shots on Raphael and JP Black Jokered one of Rami’s shots at Toshiro and randomised onto Mancha Roja three times out of four. He then companions to Ophelia who shoots the surviving Illuminated down to a single wound and uses Ooh a Girl to push Mancha Roja towards Toshiro. The Illuminated kills Burt and moves up to think about scoring for Breakthrough at some point. The Bayou Gremlin easily escapes the Wastrel’s disengaging strikes and drops a marker for Breakthrough. Toshiro pokes Mancha Roja and pushes over to Ophelia with Next Target, stabbing her down to a single wound. He also War Fans the Illuminated in case things get a bit sticky with McCabe and Breakthrough. Mancha Roja finishes off Toshiro on his second (another point for Vendetta) and walks back over toward McCabe who cheerfully kills the big Gremlin. I score for the strategy again.

010

Turn 5: Rami and Ophelia fire all their guns to finish off McCabe. The Wastrel finally kills the Bayou Gremlin he’s been stalking for the entire game. It’s a good job I don’t hire them for their combat skills. The Illuminated takes advantage of fast (from Toshiro last turn) to drop two scheme markers for Breakthrough. I could finish off Ophelia with the Archer (probably) but it wouldn’t affect the game so we agree to call it and get to the lunch a little sooner. Ten Thunders win 10 – 3 (full points for me; 2 for Vendetta and 1 for Breakthrough for JP).

011

That was the first time I’ve played JP, though I’ve met him a couple of times at other events, and I do love to play new opponents and see what tricks they can show me. He played a good game, but took his mind off the strategy to focus on trying to get his Vendetta and break through me line somewhere meaningful. Of course, I was trying to keep it that way, and it allowed me to score all four points for Stake a Claim with only a single marker out. After a lunch provided as part of the event (a pretty decent baked potato), I was drawn against a really great player in Greg.

Game 3: Ten Thunders (me) vs Neverborn (Greg)

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Distract, Plant Explosives, Murder Protegé
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Plant Explosives
Neverborn: Breakthrough (announced), Murder Protegé (male Illuminated)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Beckoner, 2 Illuminated, 2 Rail Workers, Thunder Archer, 2 Wastrels
Neverborn: Lilith (Beckon Malifaux, On Wings of Darkness), Primordial Magic, Doppelganger, Johan (Retribution’s Eye), Mysterious Effigy, Nekima, Terror Tot, Mr Graves

Any game against Greg is always going to be tough. I decided to go with a really big crew and basically hope to whittle the Neverborn down by weight of numbers while retaining enough of my own crew to keep scoring on the strategy. Breakthrough is pretty easy under flank deployment since the zones are so big (by contrast, Protect Territory is trickier than usual) and I took Plant Explosives mainly because I find it amusing. Murder Protegé on Nekima felt like a tall order if I announced it and might not be worth it for only 2 VPs if I didn’t against a player of Greg’s quality.

012

Turn 1: We mostly rush each other. Mr Graves pushes Nekima along and the Doppelganger copies Show Ya The Door to move her even further along. Lilith creates a forest right in front of my Archer and Tangles Shadows to move Johan and the Rail Worker. Nekima easily kills off the bait Wastrel but good positioning means that I can only get a single attack from Hungering Darkness in return, and she top-decks the Red Joker to avoid any damage. Lynch hits Lilith with a single shot, triggering unload but Black Jokering the damage anyway.

013

Turn 2: Nekima hurts Hungering Darkness down to a couple of wounds left then the Illuminated starts beating up Johan. Lilith casts Wicked Vines on Lynch, stranding him in the centre zone and moves the forest to block his line of sight to anything. Hungering Darkness does massive damage to Nekima but she pulls three severe cards on three healing flips to keep her alive on a single wound; even one less wound prevented would have sufficed. The big tadpole is feeling a lot better now though. Mr Graves charges Nekima for two chances to flip the card he needs to push Nekima out of range of the Rail Worker and succeeds on the second shot. Johan kills the Rail Worker on the left and the Archer moves up to drop a scheme marker right next to Johan and Lilith, scoring me 2 VP for Plant Explosives. Neither of us score on the strategy.

014

Turn 3: Nekima finishes the Rail Worker, then the Illuminated takes Johan down to his hard to wound before being smashed to bits in return (scoring 2 VP for Murder Protege in the process). The Beckoner makes Nekima Brilliant with Despicable Promises and Hungering Darkness kills her off at last, then makes Mr Graves Brilliant and paralyses him. Lilith shreds the Archer and Lynch and my surviving Illuminated drop scheme markers. Neither of us score for Reconnoitre.

015

Turn 4: Lilith flies over to Lynch and kills him. Hungering Darkness makes a mess of attacking Mr Graves. Johan moves up to get ready for a last turn scheme marker. The Beckoner lures Lilith into the centre zone of no-scoring and most of the rest of our pieces jockey for position on Reconnoitre so we both score on the strategy.

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Turn 5: Lilith incredibly fails to kill the Beckoner. Sadly my elation is short lived as the Doppelganger copies Hardened Brilliance and murders the second Illuminated. Hungering Darkness finally kills off Mr Graves. Johan drops a scheme marker and the Primordial Magic flies over into range to count as a scheme marker. Neverborn score Reconnoitre and Ten Thunders lose 7 – 6 (3 for Breakthrough, 2 for Plant Explosives and 1 for Reconnoitre for me; 3 for Breakthrough, 2 for Murder Protege and 2 for Reconnoitre for Greg).

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What a game. I felt like I made Greg work for it, which is always my hope when I come up against really great players. I didn’t see it at the time, but I should have moved the Wastrel in the bottom right corner, who had been faithfully scoring that quarter on Reconnoitre all game, across to block Johan on turn 4. Then on turn 5 I could have either shot him (he was down to his hard to kill wound at that point after a couple of turns of mauling from an Illuminated) or moved into melee depending on the range. I let my pieces get taken down a bit too easily and piecemeal; of course I expected to lose them quite fast but Greg’s strong positioning meant that I found it hard to capitalise on any times he took one out. Still, I enjoyed the game and was happy with my performance. We were on to the final game of the day and I was paired against Pete. I was very happy with this as Pete comes from the opposite end of the country (note for the geographically inclined: this isn’t strictly true) and so it took the gravity well of an event as big as this to draw us into the same pool; under normal circumstances we just live too far apart to end up in the same tournament.

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

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Bodyguard, Take Prisoner, Frame For Murder
Ten Thunders: Bodyguard (Kang), Frame For Murder (Hungering Darkness)
Arcanists: Assassinate, I didn’t find out the other one (I vaguely think it might have been Take Prisoner on the Archer but I’m not sure)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness, Kang, Beckoner, 2 Illuminated, 2 Rail Workers, Thunder Archer
Arcanists: Marcus (Hunger Cry, Feral Instinct, Gods’ Domain), Blessed of December (Imbued Energies), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Howard Langstrom (Imbued Energies), Rail Golem

I picked Lynch again as I generally feel his crew can do well in Reckoning. This crew gives up points a little easily for my tastes but it makes full use of Ace in the Hole and it can really put out damage. Kang went in as I was expecting to see a few constructs. I figured on keeping Kang behind the main lines and so put Bodyguard on him, meanwhile I was planning to throw Hungering Darkness forward to cause mayhem and hopefully require Marcus’s attention to deal with.

018

Turn 1: We move up but I commit Kang a little too early. Langstrom had already activated but it hadn’t occured to me that Marcus could make him a beast and use Feral to get another shot; Langstrom is duly fired into Kang. He doesn’t get the kill but Kang takes a few wounds already. The rest of my crew pull down Langstrom. I did consider leaving him until turn 2 in order to increase my chances of scoring Reckoning, but I didn’t fancy him simply activating first and mauling my crew.

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Turn 2: Marcus selects extra damage and melee expert, fails to Feral Kang then strolls up and kills him anyway. Well, so much for Bodyguard. He also hits Lynch and makes him a beast. Myranda turns into a Cerberus, apparently mainly to get away from an Illuminated I’ve thrown at her (Pete mentioned after doing this that he’d have been better off forcing Marcus to swing a few more times). The Beckoner Lures Lynch out of melee to stop Marcus from passing hits to him with Defend Me. One Illuminated hits the Blessed while the rest of my crew gangs up and takes down Marcus. The Rail Golem smites a Rail Worker, scoring a Reckoning point for Pete.

020

Turn 3: The Blessed tries to kill Lynch but fails and dies from Hold ‘Em, so the Cerberus leaps in and does the job instead scoring 3 VP for Assassinate. The Hungering Darkness smashes the Rail Golem down to a single wound and is then killed by it using Red Line a lot; I pick up 2 VPs for Frame For Murder. The Rail Worker finishes the Rail Golem. Everything else I have leaves the Cerberus on a single wound. We both score on Reckoning.

021

Turn 4: The Cerberus murders the Beckoner before being killed in turn by the Illuminated. I score for the strategy as Pete has nothing left, and then again on turn 5. We end up with a 5 – 5 draw (3 for Reckoning and 2 for Frame For Murder for me; 2 for Reckoning and 3 for Assassinate for Pete).

022

That was a fun game, and surely the fastest I’ve ever played in a tournament; it only took us about 45 minutes to play the whole thing including picking crews and set up. There were a lot things I felt I did wrong there, starting with not taking Assassinate. With only 5 pieces on the table there was no way that Marcus was going to survive the attentions of my crew. I gave up Kang too easily to Langstrom, though this mistake was compounded by having Bodyguard as a scheme at all instead of Assassinate; without that I probably would have been OK using the big chap as bait. I also failed to move Lynch to safety even when it became obvious that Pete was gunning for him and probably had Assassinate himself. Still,talking with Pete after the game he felt that he had also made some play errors, so probably a draw is a fair result anyway.

Joe and I went to check into our bizarre hotel / curry restaurant in the middle of nowhere before heading back to the centre of York for the evening event in the taproom of a brewery. That sounds pretty fine to me, especially as Joe was driving. There was a hearty buffet, a Malifaux pub quiz run by Dave which was lots of fun, nice beer and general socialising with like-minded gamers. I had a lovely time putting faces to (forum)names. Our quiz team ‘An Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotsman and the Wintons walked into a pub’ were made up of GT regulars apart from me and I felt very welcomed although we didn’t too so well at the actual quiz. As it happened I was paired up with Andy from the quiz team the next morning. Actually I was paired up with Connor, but since we’d already played each other in round one I was re-paired with Andy.

Game 5: Ten Thunders (me) vs Andy (Neverborn)

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Entourage, Outflank
Ten Thunders: Entourage (Mei Feng, announced), Breakthrough (announced)
Neverborn: Breakthrough (announced), Line in the Sand(announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (On Wings of Wind, Recalled Training, Seismic Claws), Emberling, Yamaziko, Izamu (Recalled Training), Thunder Archer, 2 Rail Workers, 2 Metal Gamin
Neverborn: The Dreamer (Dreams of Pain, On Wings of Darkness), Widow Weaver, Teddy (Retribution’s Eye), 2 Stitched Together, 2 Daydreams, Mysterious Effigy

I decided to play Mei Feng on this one as her large melee range and range of movement tricks make her really nice for Squatter’s Rights. Yamaziko and Izamu were picked pretty much on the same basis of having big melee ranges. I’ve fairly recently got a couple of Metal Gamin and wanted to play them, it turned out that much of the Dreamer’s crew is construct-based (if only I’d also brought Kang!) so that made them slightly more than just durable Rail Walk points. Breakthrough seemed like a good option with my mobility, and I figured that as long as I was going towards the Neverborn deployment zone anyway I might as well take Entourage on Mei Feng too. We agreed to play the water as normal terrain so that there would be some chance of movement from non-Unimpeded models, and the middle of the bridge was also climbable.

023

Turn 1: Daydreams push things around and one sacrifices itself to give the Dreamer a mask for this turn. The Effigy turns out to be really far forward after a couple of pushes and so a Metal Gamin uses Magnetism and charges it down to its hard to kill wound. The Widow drops a web marker by the right markers, Teddy lumbers toward Yamaziko and the Archer pings a shot off it. The Stitched Gambles Your Life with the first Metal Gamin while the second finishes the Mysterious Effigy with Magnetism. The Dreamer summons Lelu and Lilitu then heals them. By luck there is a line of constructs plus the scrap marker from the Effigy ending in Jackhammer Kick range of a Stitched. I consider for a moment – firing Mei Feng into the scrum will almost certainly mean her death (unless I get lucky with Leap Aside), but on the other hand it’ll pin the Neverborn back away from the Squat markers and more importantly will be hilarious. So she pushes Izamu with On Wings of Wind, discards Recalled Training and rockets across the board, landing with a boot in the face of the Stitched Together. She finishes that one off and follows up into the Widow Weaver. Lilitu and the surviving Stitched do some damage to her, and Izamu misses a swing at Teddy. Both Izamu and Mei Feng are hiding behind trees in this photo on the left and right respectively. As this turn ends, the entire hall stops to meticulously observe two minutes silence for Remembrance Sunday.

024

Turn 2: The Stitched hurts Mei Feng again with Gamble Your Life, and in return she bounces hits off the Widow and Lelu (in retrospect I’m not sure why I didn’t just end by Rail Walking to safety again). Teddy walks in and punches Yamaziko. The first Metal Gamin claims a Squat marker and finishes Widow Weaver with magnetism. Lilitu gets Mei Feng to her last wound and a Rail Worker flips another Squat marker before Lelu finishes my master off. The Archer fails a horror duel on Teddy; I had nothing good in my hand by then. The Dreamer summons another Daydream and makes Lelu attack a Metal Gamin. The Gamin and Stitched mess about in their own little fights to not much effect. Izamu kills Teddy, Yamaziko claims that marker and heads off round the shed. I score for Squatter’s Rights. The Dreamer is actually sitting on the roof of that building but kept sliding off so we just put him next to it.

025

Turn 3: A Gamin takes out another Stitched, then Lelu misses it; this marks the beginning of a ridiculous run of defensive flips from the Metal Gamin to keep them alive much longer than they had any right to expect. The Emberling gets in range to drop a marker for Breakthrough. Lilitu flails ineffectually at the other Gamin and Yamaziko come round from behind and hurts her. The Dreamer summons two Stitched and Daydream, turning into Lord Chompy Bits at the end. The other Metal Gamin takes down one of the new Stitched before Lord Chompy Bits eats it and a nearby Rail Worker, then disappears back into the Dreamer. I score again on the strategy.

026

Turn 4: Izamu smites the Dreamer, who pawns one off onto a nearby Stitched (killing it) and takes a good chunk of damage; if only I’d had a couple of high masks in hand. He wisely summons another Stitched as extra protection before I can get a Rail Worker into him. Yamaziko finishes Lilitu off at last, and the new Stitched kills the Rail Worker and hurt Izamu. Lelu kills off my mobile suit of armour and finally the Emberling drops another scheme marker. I score on Squatter’s rights again. Ten Thunders win 6 – 0 (3 each on Squatter’s Rights and Breakthrough).

027

Andy was a really fun opponent, and I was very glad to have a chance to play him after having chatted with him in the pub the previous evening. I’m still not sure whether firing Mei Feng off on turn 1 was a good idea (except in so far as I won, so it must have been at least an OK idea) but it was highly entertaining and did cause Andy a lot of problems getting her out of his hair in the first couple of turns. In the final round, I’m up against Rob.

Game 6: Ten Thunders (me) vs Rob (Arcanists)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Breakthrough, Plant Evidence, Deliver a Message
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Distract
Arcanists: Plant Evidence (announced), Line in the Sand (announced)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Yan Lo (Reliquaries), Soul Porter, Toshiro the Daimyo (Command the Graves), Yin the Penangalan, Izamu the Armour (Recalled Training), Chiaki the Niece, 2 Rail Workers
Arcanists: Colette du Bois (Seize The Day, Arcane Reservoir, Shell Game), Cassandra (Practiced Production), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Mechanical Rider, 2 December Acolytes.

I’ve never played against Rob before, but I took a look at the scheme pool and knew he’d be putting down Colette. For my part, I was pretty tired out from the previous five games and just plonked down Yan Lo with all the ancestors and a couple of Rail Workers to pad out the list (I figured if I really needed Ashigaru I could summon them in later on). I had some kind of vague plan to rush the centre and just suck up the damage for a few turns, distracting the tougher models while Chiaki walked away to drop scheme markers.

028

Turn 1: The Acolytes, aided by four Prompts, shoot Slow onto half of my crew and drain my hand completely. The Soul Porter pushes Izamu and Yin forward; Yin fails to get one of the Acolytes with Fear Behind The Eye and Izamu misses it with his melee expert attack. Cassandra also breathes fire onto Izamu and the Mechanical Riders finishes him off with the chain spear. Yan Lo zaps a few wounds off the Mechanical Rider before it powers up into indestructibility. Myranda turns into a Cerberus (surprise!) and leaps over to eat the Soul Porter. Chiaki removes Slow from Toshiro and I slog my crew forward into the teeth of the Arcanists.

029

Turn 2: Cassandra Prompts Colette to Prompt the left Acolyte to shoot Slow onto the nearest Rail Walker (presumably the push for Colette was useful) and Breathes Fire over my crew. Toshiro charges the Acolyte while he actually has two AP and the Cerberus kills Yin. She really hates things with built-in positive flips to attack. The Mechanical Rider shoots the Rail Worker down to hard to kill and in return it misses both swings at the Acolyte. Colette Prompts more stuff around and kills the Rail Worker with Sabre Trick. Chiaki schemes and the other Acolyte finishes off the other Rail Worker. Finally Yan Lo puts some tasty damage onto the Mechanical Rider. While all this is going on there is a sea of scheme markers appearing. We both score on the strategy.

030

Turn 3: The Acolyte Slows Chiaki. Toshiro distracts Colette and summons and Ashigru. Cassandra Prompts Colette away from Toshiro (I knew this would happen actually, but I was running out of ideas and models with which to anything at all and pokes the new Ashigaru. In return, it hits her. The Mechanical Rider hurts Toshiro now that he’s unengaged and spawns a Metal Gamin. Yan Lo brings back Izamu and distracts the Metal Gamin. The Acolyte also shoots Toshiro before Izamu kills the Mechanical Rider. Colette removes Distract and prompts the Acolyte to Smell Weakness, then the Cerberus takes advantage of that to kill Izamu (again). We both score on Turf War again.

031

Turn 4: The Ashigaru stabs Cassandra, and she Prompts Colette to Prompt her out of melee and Breathe Fire killing both the Ashigaru and Toshiro. She then walks over to remove my scheme marker when Colette Prompts her later. Yan Lo brings back Yin, Lightning Dances the Acolyte out of the way and walks onto the marker to stop Cassandra from being Prompted onto it. So instead Colette Prompts her to walk into melee with Chiaki. She also Prompts the Cerberus a couple of times to kill Yin again. Needless to say, Chiaki is unable to get away on her first action so I can’t get another marker down for Breakthrough. Time is called; Rob scores for Turf War. Ten Thunders lose 3 – 9 (2 for Turf War and 1 for Breakthrough for me; 3 for everything for Rob).

032

That was a fun game, but I was never really in it. Rob’s strategy kept me on the back foot for the entire game and I need to get some real experience against Colette to work out how to unravel that crew. I think out of a possible 16 AP that could have been spent on Prompt (4 turns, 3 per turn for Colette and 1 per turn for Cassandra, not including a few times they were Prompting each other to Prompt again), it happened 14 times; the only thing that stopped the last two was Colette removing Distract from herself on turn 3. Still, Rob was a fun opponent who clearly knew his stuff, and I was only sorry not to have been able to push him a bit more.

In the end, I came in 21st (I actually thought it was 29th at the time, but according to the scoring posted it was higher) which I’m really happy with.  I got a chance to play 6 fun games of Malifaux against top players from across the country and I got to see some crews on the table that I don’t see much in my usual area.  My favourite part of this wonderful game is learning new things, and I hope that I did that over the weekend. I’d like to thank Connor, JP, Greg, Pete, Andy and Rob for playing highly entertaining games with me, and Mike, Lee, Matt and Chris for great work organising such a fun event both during the day and the night. I’ll definitely be back next year for another go!

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

Painted Feora, Priestess of the Flame

Here is the mighty Feora, Priestess of the Flame (Feora1 for those keeping count at home), the last of the Protectorate of Menoth miniatures I currently own. I played most of my Protectorate games with Feora1 and in general I really enjoyed using her as my Warcaster. Her main draws from my point of view were her Feat (which sets nearby enemies on fire and is therefore highly entertaining even if far less effective in practice that I wanted it to be) and her spell Engine of Destruction (which gives a huge bonus to her combat stats and allows her to scrap things with ease). I didn’t really find the more general play from the Protectorate to be especially enjoyable as all the best abilities seemed to revolve around stopping your opponent from doing very much during their turn. Or perhaps it would be closer to the truth to say that I felt that those I played against had less fun when I played the Protectorate for that reason. Still, I do like the miniatures so I might very easily decide to dip back into the army at some point in the future.

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Next on the painting table: Press Gangers.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warmachine | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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