Monthly Archives: February 2015

Painted Purifying Flame

Here’s the Purifying Flame, Sonnia Criid’s actual totem (no, it’s not the Malifaux Child after all). This happy chap never came in the original metal box and I didn’t feel obligated to pick up the blister so unlike the rest of the Witch Hunters this is the first time I’ve actually painted him. To date I have never actually fielded the Purifying Flame as I’ve generally gone with the Malifaux Child in non-killy strategies and scheme pools (so I can double up on Flame Walls) and no totem at all in games where killing weak stuff is useful. Its main role appears to be as a targeting beacon for Sonnia and Samael Hopkins since it can set things on fire with attacks and on death. But on the other hand, Witchling Stalkers also do that for only a slightly higher price and also hit really hard if they make it to melee.

The painting was very simple. First I did the bones in a dark colour for contrast, then painted all the flames yellow. The higher up sections of fire were done in orange and the final flame tips were painted a nice bright red.  As with all my painting the giant close up photo isn’t doing this any favours, but it works well enough at tabletop distance.

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Next on the painting table: Sonnia Criid.

Categories: Malifaux, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Painted Witchling Stalkers part 2

Continuing my painting of the new Guild plastics to replace the old metal ones I sold for Malifaux, here are a trio of Witchling Stalkers. These were ridiculously good in Malifaux 1.5, and so I expected their power to have decreased considerably in the change to M2E. I’ve been pleasantly surprised overall with how much they feel the same (or at least that they can do with the right crew) as they still hit hard and explode when killed. They helpfully now set things on fire when damaging which can allow Sonnia Criid and Samael Hopkins to shoot them more easily. Witchling Stalkers also bring a bit of condition removal which can be very handy in some match ups… but mostly I just use them to run up and hit stuff. They’re decent scheme runners in the sense that they are cheap and can actually fight a little in case someone tries to stop them, but they are not speedy by any stretch of the imagination.

I rather like these cheeky little single-piece miniatures, especially after seeing some of the more crazy construction required in Wyrd’s plastics. They got the deep red I’m using for a tie in colour with my Guild this time out, and I felt that the dirty cream robes looked nice on them. For comparison, my previous set can be found here.

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Next on the painting table: Sonnia Criid.

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

Painted Papa Loco part 2

Here is the first of my replacement plastic Guild for Malifaux after I cunningly/foolishly sold my old metals. This is Papa Loco, one of the models who has surely benefited most from the power level flattening coming from Malifaux 1.5 to 2nd edition. Previously he was something of a liability considering the huge prevalence (at least in Scotland) of Obey on soulstone users who would inevitably make him end up killing half of your own crew at an inopportune moment. Now he seems rather better, at least with a little help. Most importantly, he has ‘Hold This’ which gives a friendly model a positive flip to damage. Now with most masters this isn’t so important, but for Sonnia it is huge, as the difference between weak and severe damage isn’t so much the 3 damage points but rather the 3 blasts that can be put out. Added to her ridiculous Ca stat, this means that you’ll be able to cheat most damage flips and get those juicy blasts out. Thanks to changes to the Death Marshal’s Pine Box action, Papa Loco can then be safely stored and transported deep into the other crew where you can do most damage with his hilarious (self) explosive shenanigans.

I chose to put my Guild colour of red on his trousers, figuring that the strait jacket should be white/cream coloured. I think it looks nice enough, but it does stop the dynamite from showing up well. Of course I have no idea whether dynamite is really packed in red tubes (or even in tubes at all like that), but thanks to my childhood cartoons, it will always be that way for me. For comparison, the previous version of Papa Loco looked like this.  Edit:  I took a few new photos; they’re still not great but they are an improvement.

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Here is an example of the original terrible photos so that the comment from David Fraer makes sense.

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Next on the painting table: Witchling Stalkers.

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

Malifaux tournament reports: A New Day Dawns (50SS); 07Feb2015

Another week, another Malifaux tournament now. Furycat and I sauntered into the centre of town for the first Malifaux tournament at a new shop, and the first event run by a new Henchman, Andrew. Since (re)buying my Guild crews I don’t think I’ve played more than a single 50SS game so I felt like I had a lot of possibilities opened up after the tightness of 40SS games.

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (David Laing)

Strategy: Extraction

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Frame For Murder, Outflank, Vendetta
Guild: Assassinate, Outflank (announced)
Ten Thunders: None announced; I forgot to write them down after the game.

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), 2 Witchling Stalkers, 2 Death Marshals, Austringer, Brutal Effigy
Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Misdirection), Fuhatsu (Hidden Agenda, Blot The Sky), Yamaziko (Smoke Grenades, Smoke and Shadows), Shang, 2 Oiran, Torakage, Thunder Archer

It feels like I’m seeing a lot of Ten Thunders across the table from me now that I’m not playing them myself. I chose Assassinate here on the basis that Misaki was going to have to come into the trick of my crew if she was going to actually achieve anything, and I didn’t fancy any of the other schemes much so selected Outflank on the basis that at least it would be within my control. The majority of my crew was just intending to be moderately annoying to kill off so I could mob the Extraction marker and start moving it somewhere favourable.

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Turn 1: Both crews move up and spread out a bit. Papa Loco tells Sonnia to hold this and pulls her forward with Cover Me before a following Death Marshal hoovers him up into a box. The Brutal Effigy also puts Fear Not The Sword on Sonnia. Misaki uses Stalk on Francisco, but opts not to approach him when he walks. Sonnia then unleashes Flame Blasts onto the lead Oiran, killing her, the other Oiran and the Archer with the first two shots, not to mention putting a little damage on Fuhatsu. For her third AP she drops severe damage on Misaki, taking Shang down to a single wound in the process.

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Turn 2: I win initiative, so Sonnia targets Misaki and trails the blasts over Yamaziko to set them both ablaze. She then swaps targets to Yamaziko (a much easier target even with Smoke Bombs now that she’s on fire) and kills off both master and pupil. This scores me Assassinate in the process, and I cheekily turn Yamaziko into a Stalker. Fuhatsu shoots a Stalker for minimal effect and heals himself. The Austringer focusses and finishes off Shang, and the Torakage knocks the Stalker down to a single wound with poison remaining. The rest of my crew shoots Fuhatsu for dismayingly little effect (though the Brutal Effigy does manage to ping the big chap for slow), and finally the poisoned Stalker expires and explodes. I score for the strategy and move the marker slightly further away from Fuhatsu, not that he’s going to achieve much with only the Torakage for company.

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Turn 3: Fuhatsu heals 4 damage and pushes the Stalker out of melee. The main effect of this is to allow all my ranged models to shoot him with impunity. The Torakage fails to deal with the Stalker in the forest and is vapourised by a lucky Red Joker damage flip in return. Fuhatsu is finally plinked to death, and then I spend the rest of the game scoring all the points. Guild win 10 – 0.

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David was a fun chap to play against, and he can become a force in Scottish Malifaux with a bit more experience. I think he was a little unprepared for the Sonnia experience, though I did try to explain to him about the blasts. Anyway, I hope he enjoyed himself as much as I did; he certainly seemed to be keen to learn. In fact since we finished so quickly, the TO and David racked up for a quick 30SS game with Andrew using Sonnia so David could test out a few options. After a nice pub lunch with Furycat, we were onto round two where I was facing a second David.

Game 2: Guild (me) vs Guild (David McGuire)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Plant Explosives, Plant Evidence, Bodyguard, Protect Territory
Guild: Plant Explosives, Protect Territory (announced)
Ten Thunders: Plant Explosives, Bodyguard (Peacekeeper)

Crews
Good Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Disrupt Magic), Samael Hopkins, Papa Loco, Francisco Ortega (Wade In), 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer
Evil Guild (maybe it’s the other way round, who knows?): Hoffman (Aracanist Assets, Field Mechanic, On Site Assimilation), Peacekeeper, Watcher, Mechanical Attendant, Steam Arachnid Swarm, Metal Gamin, Howard Langston, Mobile Toolkit

I’ve never been very successful playing the very elite, denial-based crews that I see a lot of in Reckoning, so I still ended up with a good number of activations. I decided to use Sam Hopkins as dealing damage would be the order of the day here and he’s usually pretty good at it. After my hopeless failures of Plant Explosives at Vappafaux last week I decided to try it again. Protect Territory is a good playing-it-safe bet as it isn’t time-dependent and can be controlled on your own rather than relying on the other crew to do something (probably Plant Evidence would have been about as good, but I picked Protect Territory anyway).

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Turn 1: Hoffman Power Loops the Metal Gamin, drops some scrap and then passes Patchwork Plating to Langston and Programmed Directives to the Watcher. Finally he Machine Puppets the Peacekeeper to walk forward. Papa Loco passes explosives to Sonnia and is later popped into his usual transport of the Pine Box. I’m looking for an opening to blast his bunched up crew but the opportunity never really arises without hugely exposing Sonnia, and then the Mechanical Attendant gets back in the mix and stops any possibility I had. The Watcher advances a bit too far and I pop it with a focus shot from the Austringer. I decided on this option to make it harder for David to score Plant Explosives (I’ll want to use my AP next turn to kill stuff, not to worry about moving away from any scheme markers it drops. The other possibility would have been to walk twice this turn and try to take out the Mechanical Attendant next turn.

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Turn 2: Sam Rapid Fires at Langston for depressingly little effect as I’d forgotten about Patchwork Plating. Hoffman Loops the Metal Gamin again, slows it, adds Langston and the Swarm to the Loop (David Black Jokered his first try at this after spending a Soulstone to get the tome for another shot), fails to Machine Puppet the Swarm and then despondently creates some more scrap to put Hydraulics on the Swarm. The Swarm, thus empowered, charges Francisco and eats him far more easily than I would have liked. Sonnia targets and kills the pesky Mechanical Attendant then splashes a bit more damage around the crowd of constructs. The Austringer pecks rather ineffectually at the Swarm, then Langston and Hoffman decide to really go for it and wedge themselves right into Sonnia. The Death Marshal releases Papa Loco and shoots some nice damage onto the Swarm, and Papa Loco finishes it off and splashes some damage over Hoffman and Langston. My Stalker on the right takes one look at the onrushing Peacekeeper and runs off to hide; the machine follows implacably. I score a point for Reckoning.

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Turn 3: Langston unleashes some nastiness on Sonnia but she somehow survives (luckily I have a terrible hand and have no problem at all discarding to avoid a couple of Decapitates). She in return puts some damage onto Hoffman, healing and drawing some cards to make me feel a bit happier then setting up Inferno. Hoffman looks sadly at his card full of Ca actions and then at the Disrupt Magic upgrade that Sonnia is toting. He Loops Langston, slows him, and heals twice from Improvised Repairs, then focusses to Machine Puppet Langston right into the middle of my crowd of miniatures. The Austringer kills the Toolkit and the Gamin charges the Stalker on the left; both indulge in some very ineffectual slapping. The Peacekeeper shows them how it’s done, easily killing the other Stalker. Sam and Papa Loco both fail to disengage so instead hit Langston, and the Death Marshal slips away from him and drops a scheme marker. Sonnia’s Flaming Demise goes off for damage to lot of nearby pieces. I reveal Plant Explosives for two points.

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Turn 4: Hoffman puts Langston in the Power Loop and slows him again (but for no downside since he’s already slow). He then strolls over the Sonnia, focusses and smashes his Soulstone Torch into her, dropping a Red Joker in on damage and splattering her across the countryside. He then uses Frantic Repairs to discard the Arcanist Assets card that the ability is on to heal a little more. Langston Flurries Sam, killing him on the first shot. The Stalker kills the Metal Gamin and drops a scheme marker for Protect Territory. The Peacekeeper, a little too slow to engage the Austringer, moves to threaten Papa Loco. The Death Marshal runs through the gap between Langston and Hoffman and the Austringer Delivers Orders to get another scheme marker down. Finally, I get to live the dream with Papa Loco. He’s surrounded by three tough models (Hoffman, Langston and the Peacekeeper) so he uses Te Llevare al Infierno Conmigo twice, killing himself, Hoffman and Langston, and taking the Peacekeeper down to two wounds. We’re out of time now, though I don’t think that another round would have made much difference. My Guild win 7 – 2 (2 for Reckoning, 3 for Protect Territory and 2 for Plant Explosives for me; 1 for Reckoning and 1 for Bodyguard for David).

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Playing against David is always a great experience. He’s a very fun chap with a ready smile on his face, and makes moves that I wouldn’t ever think of (like moving Langston directly into Sonnia instead of charging the nearby Stalker instead). We’re on to the final round where I get to face my third David of the day.

Game 3: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (David Hamilton)

Strategy: Headhunter

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Cursed Object, Spring The Trap, Breakthrough
Guild: Spring The Trap, Breakthrough (announced)
Resurrectionists: Cursed Object, Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Disrupt Magic, Cherufe’s Imprint), Papa Loco, Francisco Ortega (Wade In), 3 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, Malifaux Child
Resurrectionists: Nicodem (Undertaker, Love Thy Master, Maniacal Laughter), 2 Necropunks, 2 Dead Doxies, Rogue Necromancy, Ana No Zako (Decaying Aura)

Playing Headhunter the round after Reckoning seemed like a slightly odd choice from the TO since they’re so similar, but presumably he knew what was doing. Looking at the board I felt like I could hamper David’s options a little with Flame Walls over a few choke points so I took the Malifaux Child and Cherufe’s Imprint. I’m still not really sure what the best option would be for this strategy as it needs capable killers to make the head markers drop in the first place but also scheme runners to pick them up after. I didn’t fancy any of the scheme much here, and eventually selected Spring The Trap and figured I’d only get one or two points for it, and Breakthrough to hope that I could power through on either the left or the right and start dropping markers.

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Turn 1: There is some general advancing, both Doxies use Take The Lead to push the leading Stalker toward the Rogue Necromancy. Papa Loco, Sonnia and the Death Marshal go through their usual routine. Nicodem makes the Rogue Necromancy and the right Necropunk Fast; the Austringer Delivers Orders to push the Stalker far enough back that the Necromancy will have to use the extra action point to reach it. The Necromancy does indeed kill the Stalker; Sonnia kills the first Doxy. The Child fails to top deck the needed card to put a Flame Wall in the way of the Necromancy.

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Turn 2: Sonnia throws everything she has at the Necromancy, but finally can only flip double weak damage on a positive flip when it only had three wounds left. Nicodem then heals it to full using the trigger on Decay. He summons a Hanged and companions in to it. The Hanged hits Francisco with Glimpse the Inevitable. The Child makes a wall to cut the Rogue Necromancy off from getting a simple charge on Francisco and moves to block another lane of attack. The Doxy picks up a head, one of my stalkers does the same. Both Necropunks hand Cursed Objects to my Witchling Stalkers and the Rogue Necromancy moves over to pester the Austringer. Francisco kills one of the Necropunks and the Austringer Delivers Orders to make one of the Stalkers get rid of the Cursed Object. We both score on the strategy and David scores for Cursed Object.

Turn 3: The Rogue Necromancy easily kills the Austringer, and Sonnia kills both the Hanged and the Dead Doxy, not to mention splashing some damage over Nicodem himself. She also puts a Flame Wall up to keep Nicodem away from the corpse and head markers all over the centre of the board. The Necropunk puts another Cursed Object in the Stalker’s pockets, and in return the Stalker flails back uselessly. I must remember to start putting the propoer effort into killing the little blighters some day. Ama No Zako fails to Promising Whisper the nearby Stalker. The Marshal shoots the Necromancy for a surprisingly good hit. Nico summons a Necropunk, makes it Fast and chain activates it to leap the Flame Wall and kill off Francisco. The Child makes a new wall a bit closer to Nicodem and the Stalker over there walks up and drops a scheme marker. I reveal Spring the Trap for one point (I can’t believe that I still outnumbered David at this point, but there you go), he takes another Cursed Object for a point and I score Head Hunter.

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Turn 4: The Necropunk curses the Stalker on the right again. The Stalker on the left fails to kill the other Necropunk which then leaps away and drops a scheme marker. Papa Loco finally comes out of his box; the Death Marshall shoots ineffectually at the Necromancy then both it and Papa Loco pick up heads. In retrospect I’d probably have been better getting Papa Loco to kill the Necropunk and letting the Marshal deal with the head, but that’s in hindsight. Nicodem summons a Punk Zombie right next to Papa Loco and companions to make it Flurry him; in the end the Red Joker is cheated on damage, killing a swathe of models round the centre of the board. On the right, the Stalker finally kills the Necropunk. Sonnia immolates Nicodem and Ama No Zako moves to contain the Stalker on the right. Last round has been called. We probably have time to play the fifth turn, but we run through the options and it looks like I won’t be able to get better than a one point loss so we don’t even bother. Guild lose 4 – 8 (3 for Headhunter and 1 for Spring The Trap for me; 2 for Headhunter and 3 each of Cursed Object and Breakthrough for David).

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It was a good game, and better choices could probably have seen me at least get closer to David’s score. I think that my choice of schemes was probably a mistake here, and looking back I shouldn’t really have expected this rather slow crew to get much joy from Breakthrough against a summoning master pilotted by as strong a player as David. Cursed Object might have served me rather better with hindsight. I did think I would likely be outnumbered enough to score a second point from Spring The Trap.

When the scores are all counted I’ve come in third place, which I’m very happy with. Furycat, pilotting a simple Ten Thunders crew we’ve worked on together, seemed to have a good time too, so hopefully I’ll be able to drag him along to more of these events. I enjoyed my games against my hat-trick of Davids, and I’d also like to thank Andrew for all his hard work organising it all.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Malifaux tournament report: Vapnartak 2015 (40SS); 01Feb2015

After a dry tournament spell over the new year period I was pleased to get my 2015 off to a big start at Vapnartak 2015. Joe and I drove down to York having risen rather early; more accurately Joe drove down and sat and enjoyed the conversation. After using Ten Thunders for the whole of 2014 I had decided to play Guild for this event. This is because I’m a fool. Long time readers of my blog may remember that I used Guild in my first tournaments before moving over to Ten Thunders. At Fate Fading last year I sold my metal Guild to Greg, one of the local players who apparently isn’t too worried about the quality of paintwork on his second-hand miniatures. About a week after that, I got a urge to play Guild… so yes, after having them languishing in my bag for over a year, I sold the miniatures and immediately after wanted to use them again. Oh well, at least it gave me an excuse to pick up the very lovely plastic boxes instead. Excuse the partially painted nature of my miniatures in the photos; I’m still working on them, and a few were borrowed from Joe for the event.

In order to avoid the madness of over 50 players in a three round event, TO Chris had split the pack into two sections. Due to a drop out I ended up swapping over before round one; it was just as well I didn’t spend any time worrying about my potential opponents. As it happened, I was matched up with Lee who had been preparing for a specific match up. Hopefully he wasn’t too disappointed with the last minute change.

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Gremlins (Lee)

Strategy: Extraction

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Spring The Trap, Protect Territory, Take Prisoner
Guild: Assassinate, Protect Territory (announced)
Gremlins: Assassinate, Protect Territory (announced)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Cherufe’s Imprint), Papa Loco, 2 Witchling Stalkers, 2 Death Marshals, Austringer, Malifaux Child
Gremlins: Ophelia LaCroix (Dirty Cheater, Liquid Bravery), Lenny, Raphael LaCroix, Francois LaCroix (Dirty Cheater), 2 Bayou Gremlins, Slop Hauler

I’ve only played a handful of games with Guild in M2E and all of them have been with Sonnia, so it wasn’t a hard decision to take her. The board seemed to offer some choke points so I took Cherufe’s Imprint and the Malifaux Child in order to block some angles of getting to the Informant marker. My testing so far has suggested that Papa Loco and a Death Marshal make for a highly entertaining accompaniment for Sonnia, and the rest of my crew was just intended to be mobile blockers and marker droppers. At 40SS it seems to be very hard to keep non-summoning masters safe so I tried Assassinate; Protect Territory usually feels like an achievable scheme under normal deployment.

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Turn 1: We generally advance towards each other. Papa Loco tells Sonnia to Hold This and advances, followed by a charging Death Marshal who scoops him into a Pine Box. Francois goes Reckless and rushes me on the left faster than I was expecting, which puts a bit of a crimp on my plans to keep him out of the way with a Flame Wall. Ophelia picks up My Threatenin’ Gun and pulls the Slop Hauler up with Ooh A Girl! before taking Defensive Stance. Sonnia moves forward into range and Flame Bursts all over the little green guys, killing the Slop Hauler, dropping Raphael down to a single wound (which he loses to burning at the end of the turn) and splashing some hefty damage over Lenny and Ophelia. The Bayou Gremlin over there, missed by all the blasts, looks quite alarmed.

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Turn 2: Ophelia moves forward, uses Ooh a Girl to bring Lenny to her (for the built-in Rams I suppose) and shoots Sonnia once with My Threatenin’ Gun and once with her normal guns. I cheat high enough to survive with a few wounds; the Austringer is paralysed by the side effect of My Threatenin’ Gun though. Sonnia cracks her knuckles and says ‘my turn’, then vapourises Ophelia, Lenny and the nearby Bayou Gremlin in gouts of flame. This scores me Assassinate in the process, and I turn Ophelia into a Witchling Stalker for the badness. Francois charges the nearby Death Marshal and kills him, and rest of my crew fails to do anything of significance in return. The lonely Bayou Gremlin on the left drops a scheme marker. I score on the strategy and move the Informant Marker further from Francois.

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Turn 3: Francois uses Showdown and kills a Witchling. It turns out that fire doesn’t care about Showdowns as Sonnia happily blasts away into the melee; I’m perfectly happy to kill off my own Stalker to splash more blasts if needed over the Gremlin. In fact, Francois unwisely Squeals out of melee on the first hit and Sonnia barbecues him for his trouble. I think it would have been the same result over all, but this actually allowed me to splash the blast over the Bayou Gremlin to kill him with fire. With nothing left on the table, Lee concedes me the 10 – 0. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the barren table, but it’s not like it would have been much different from the previous shot.

Finishing so early allowed me lots of time to wander round and see what else was being played in the event; this appeared to be a lot of Hoffman, Dreamer, Leveticus and McCabe. Lee was a gentleman to play against, and it was lovely to face him across the table after seeing him around at a lot of events. Despite him telling me that he uses Sonnia as him demonstration crew for new players he seemed rather surprised by the fate of his crew on turns one and two. Anyway it evidently didn’t do him any harm as I believe that Lee won his other two games. I think we both enjoyed the game (it was fun for me at least) although I was a little sorry that it had been so one-sided. I had a good look round the rest of the convention, enjoyed a lunch and chat with the rest of the gamers and then it was on to the next round.

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

Strategy: Headhunter

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Murder Protege, Distract, Plant Explosives
Guild: Murder Protege (unannounced), Plant Explosives
Ten Thunders: Murder Protege (unannounced), Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Counterspell Aura), Papa Loco, 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, The Judge
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger, Woke Up With A Hand), Hungering Darkness (Recalled Training), Lone Swordsman (Recalled Training), 2 Illuminated, 2 Tengu

I’ve played Peter in an event half a year ago when he was very inexperienced at Malifaux, but he seems to be a real tournament regular now and very handy with his Ten Thunders by all accounts. Unfortunately for him, I also know Ten Thunders quite well and I’m fairly good at unpicking them. I decided that Cherufe’s Imprint wouldn’t be too useful on this board as we’ve agreed that the platforms would be climbable. With Murder Protege in the scheme pool I knew I needed someone quite substantial to avoid giving up the points too lightly; hence the presence of the Judge. Actually he’s probably not that good in Headhunter as any of his victims wouldn’t actually drop heads, but in this case his job was just to not die too easily, hopefully while drawing out the Lone Swordsman. I didn’t fancy Distract with this strategy and I also didn’t like the idea of trying to cross the board quickly enough to pick up Breakthrough, so I picked Murder Protege (unannounced because I didn’t want the Swordsman hiding; looking back I’m lucky he didn’t end up killing himself with You Shall Not See Another Sunrise) and Plant Explosives thinking that it might be a simple move for the Austringer to Deliver Orders.

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Turn 1: Things move up. Papa Loco again passes Sonnia some dynamite before being scooped into a coffin by the Death Marshal. The Judge pulls Sonnia forward with Stand For Judgement. Hungering Darkness hides as well as it can but on this board there isn’t anywhere really safe, and Sonnia puts a few wounds on the big tadpole.

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Turn 2: To my great surprise Hungering Darkness scoots away and hides in a corner far from the nasty burny lady. The Austringer shoots an Illuminated mainly just to waste time before I’m forced to engage. The Illuminated on the left heals up and moves forward; one of my Stalkers drops a scheme marker near her. The other Illuminated kills my other Stalker; in return Sonnia kills it and has the head drop near my crew. I also summon a replacement Stalker. Lynch shoots the Stalker who had dropped the scheme marker on the walkway; it advances with Drawn to Pain. The Judge saunters over and picks up the Illuminated’s head, scoring me one point for the strategy.

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Turn 3: The Stalker in the middle moves to be engaged by Lynch and the Illuminated, hoping to set them ablaze when it inevitably dies. The Illuminated does indeed kill it on the first attack, then pats down to remove the fire; Lynch sensible Soulstones the damage away. The newly summoned Stalker picks up the head of his fallen brethren on the far right and one Tengu picks up the most recently fallen Stalker head. Hungering Darkness uses Recalled Training, moves up and puts one attack on the Death Marshal. The damage is weak but it does heal up. The Judge pulls the Death Marshal out of the fight with Stand For Judgement, then the Death Marshal drops a scheme marker next to it. Lynch kills the last Stalker, the Austringer’s bird pecks the Lone Swordsman a little and Sonnia immolates the Hungering Darkness. Finally, just when I think I’m going to pick up Plant Explosives, the Tengu rushes in and removes my marker with Still The Earth. I forgot it had that ability! We both score on the strategy.

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Turn 4: The Lone Swordsman uses Recalled Training and charges the Judge; luckily I’d managed to position such that he had to Wander The Earth to get the angle, so at least I only had a single activation of damage to suck up. Two nice chops take the Judge down to 2 wounds left. Sonnia climbs onto the walkway and carpet bombs the assembled Ten Thunders crew, killing a Tengu, the Illuminated and the Lone Swordsman (scoring Murder Protege) not to mention putting some serious damage into Lynch. The Ten Thunders master picks up a head and moves to my right. My Death Marshal lets Papa Loco out of the box and picks up one of the many heads lying around. Papa Loco chain activates and bombs the Tengu back to the void. The Austringer sends his bird to peck at Lynch and the Judge runs as far from Lynch as he can manage. We both score a point for Headhunter.

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Turn 5: Lynch collects a head, Papa Loco collects a head, then the Austringer drops a scheme marker next to Lynch for Plant Explosives. Guild win 7 – 3 (4 for Headhunter, 2 for Murder Protege and 1 for Plant Explosive for me; 3 for Headhunter for Peter.

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That was a very fun game against Peter, but I think that the sheer power of Sonnia against Hungering Darkness put Peter on the back foot. I was confident of the win from the moment Peter moved his Hungering Darkness right out of the game in turn 2 as it meant that I could concentrate on other parts of his crew. The Lone Swordsman getting into the Judge was a bit of a hairy moment but short of getting the Red Joker I think he would struggle to finish the job in a single activation. With that, we were onto the final round. I was paired up against Mark, another gamer I’ve seen around at a few events but never actually played against.

Game 3: Guild (me) vs Neverborn (Mark)

Strategy: Stake a Claim

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Protect Territory, Outflank, Plant Explosives
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives
Neverborn: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Cherufe’s Imprint), Papa Loco, 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, 2 Guild Hounds, Malifaux Child
Neverborn: Dreamer (Dreams of Pain, On Wings of Darkness), 2 Silurids, Doppelganger (Mimic’s Blessing), Gupps, 2 Daydreams

The board we were playing on was quite strange, with large open spaces that should favour the shooting options, but also very large line-of-sight blocking sections that offered good hiding places. Stake a Claim is my worst strategy; I seem to struggle with it no matter which crew I take. However, the close deployment made this game a very interesting proposition. In this case, I decided to try out a pair of Guild Hounds as they’d be fast enough to get across the halfway line early and start dropping Claim markers. I also decided that there should be enough choke points to make it worth using the Malifaux Child and Cherufe’s Imprint to deny some movement.

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Turn 1: The Malifaux Child starts things off by putting a Flame Wall as far down the right hand choke point as I can manage. There is a bit of activation wasting on both sides; Papa Loco gives Sonnia explosives and is boxed up by the Death Marshal on my side while the Daydreams mess about for Mark. The Dreamer resummons the lost Daydream, then brings in an Insidious Madness and makes it Fast. Since it is still on a single wound, the Austringer Focuses and kills the Madness. The Silurids leap and drop scheme markers near my Stalkers. Rather than give up Plant Explosive so easily, Sonnia kills off the Stalker on the right, using him to chain blasts that kill the Silurid and badly wound the Gupps. If only I’d had a severe in hand (or top decked it on a double positive twist) I could have had the Gupps too.

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Turn 2: Another Daydream goes away to give masks to the Dreamer. One Hound drops a Claim marker. The Dreamer summons Lilitu, removes Slow from her and summons a replacement Daydream before turning into Lord Chompy Bits. The Malifaux Child recasts the Flame Wall in the same place, taking the Gupps to a single wound and the Stalker on the left drops a Claim Marker. Sonnia tries to shoot Lilitu but Mark top-decks the Red Joker to deny me. Lilitu moves up to engage the centre of the board; my Death Marshal fails to hit her. The Austringer uses Deliver Orders to make the first Hound drop a scheme marker just out of Lilitu’s huge melee range. The other Hound bites the Doppelganger. Lord Chompy Bits moves around in the backfield, presumably for some good reason that I can’t fathom, the Gupps drop a scheme marker that near both Hounds and the Doppelganer removes my own scheme marker nearby as I’d forgotten about Don’t Mind Me. Overall, not a very successful tournament for Plant Explosives for me. Finally, the Silurid on the left leaps into my half of the board and drops a Claim marker, removing my own on that side. Mark reveals Plant Explosives for all three points and neither of us score on the strategy.

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Turn 3: Lilitu moves forward to be in the most annoying place possible, engaging most of my crew. The Stalker again drops a Claim Marker. Sonnia uses Confiscated Lore to increase her defence, then moves just out of Lilitu’s melee range. She shoots at Lord Chompy Bits but Black Jokers the first damage flip. The second shot Mark uses a Soulstone in defence and I can only get weak damage on the big monster. Lord Chompy Bits walks up and easily eats one of my Hounds before turning back into the Dreamer, wisely hidden behind the rock outcropping. I fail to kill Lilitu with the Austringer, so the Death Marshall walks up and Pine Boxes her. This pops out Papa Loco, who moves up and uses Te Llevare al Infierno Conmigo, killing the pesky Doppelganger. He nearly scares the Dreamer too, but Mark uses a Soulstone for a postive flip and makes it on the second card with nothing in hand. The Silurid again puts down a Claim marker, removing my own. Neither of us score for Stake a Claim.

Turn 4: Sonnia shoots Papa Loco, splashing the blasts over the Dreamer and then blowing up the Ortega for good measure (this also finishes off the other Guild Hound). Mark’s out of Soulstones anyway, but that would have needed some impressive damage prevention to avoid. Then she walks over halfway and drops a scheme marker. The Gupps leap into my half of the table and scheme; I try to kill them off (only one wound remaining remember) with the Malifaux Child but it’s not to be as a 13 is cheated in to avoid the hit. The Death Marshall heads upfield to drop a scheme marker. I nearly get lucky as one Daydream rushes over to try and stop me scoring Protect Territory, but Mark remembers about Plant Explosives before committing the second one and is able to Lead Nightmare to get the first away again. The Stalker drops a Claim marker, then the Austringer helps him drop a scheme marker too; the Silurid also drops scheme marker in their little corner. I score on the strategy but it’s not enough. Guild lose 4 – 6 (3 for Protect Territory and 1 for Stake a Claim for me; 3 for Protect Territory and 3 for Plant Explosives for Mark). Sadly I only remembered to take a photo after we’d started clearing up so there are a few missing markers etc.

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That was a truly terrific game, surely of the best I’ve played in months. Indeed, this is one reason I like to travel to tournaments – to test myself against players better than I am. I think I saw a few order of activation and placement errors that I could fix, but of course the big mistake was clustering the Hounds close together and then forgetting Don’t Mind Me on the Doppelganger. Even with that I think if I’d played a little more cannily on the last turn I could possibly have eeked out a draw or better. Mark did everything he needed to for the victory, and was an absolute blast to play throughout. I’ll be delighted if I get to face him again.

Once all the scores were counted I came in 5th place of the 28 players in my division, which I’m really happy about. I had 3 very entertaining games against 3 very nice players, so I’d like to thank Lee, Peter and Mark for spending their day with me. I also want to mention the organisers Chris and Josh for putting on a fantastic event again. Finally, Joe, Maria and I drove back North, stopping for our now-customary terrifying fast food portion and with Joe and me trying to learn pearls of Malifaux wisdom from the foot of the expert.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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