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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Pool: Line in the Sand, Plant Explosives, Plant Evidence, Bodyguard, Protect Territory
Guild: Plant Explosives, Protect Territory (announced)
Ten Thunders: Plant Explosives, Bodyguard (Peacekeeper)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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)
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Cursed Object, Spring The Trap, Breakthrough
Guild: Spring The Trap, Breakthrough (announced)
Resurrectionists: Cursed Object, Breakthrough (announced)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.