This weekend Furycat and I shared a ride with Joe to Common Ground Games in Stirling to play in A Mother’s Fury Malifaux tournament (presumably she is furious because her children are out playing wargames); Joe was the tournament organiser while Furycat and I were playing. In classic style Joe slept in so he was late to his own event. This was a 50SS affair billed as ‘beginner friendly’ which apparently meant fixed-master, slightly longer round times and pre-announced scheme pools. I’m not sure how much of an effect this had as most of the attendees were folks I’d seen at other events, but there was at least one newcomer to the scene.
Game 1: Guild (me) vs Outcasts (Allan)
Pool: Line in the Sand, Plant Explosives, Protect Territory, Take Prisoner, Breakthrough
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Breakthrough (announced)
Outcasts: Breakthrough (unannounced), Take Prisoner (Francisco Ortega)
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, 2 Guild Hounds Brutal Effigy
Outcasts: Von Schill (Engage at Will, Hard and Relentless), Steam Trunk, Freikorps Trapper, 2 Freikorpsmen, Hannah (Spoils of War), Lazarus, Freikorps Librarian
I’d been debating in the car on the way to the event whether to play Sonnia or Perdita. I finally settled on Sonnia as I know her fairly well (I’ve only played a handful of games so far with Perdita) but I was concerned about finding myself stuck against a lot of Freikorps models if I came up against an Outcast player. So I knew when Allan announced that he was playing Von Schill that this would not be a game in which I could rely on much help from Sonnia’s blasts since they’re largely immune to them. Considering the schemes and strategies I opted for a fairly high model count crew and figured that probably Allan couldn’t gun them all down before I got some points on the board. Protect Territory and Breakthrough are generally quite straightforward schemes to score on, and crucially don’t require anything of the other player.
Turn 1: Most folks just walk forward. I curse the Freikorps Suit rule. Sonnia does Flame Burst a couple of times off Hannah for some fairly paltry damage, but the blasts do remove the Steam Trunk, one of the few targets that was vulnerable to them. Nino shoots Hannah too.
Turn 2: A Freikorpsman walks round a lump of rock and shoots at one of my Hounds. Nino puts three bullets into Hannah, dropping her before she had done anything. Lazarus advances and fires ineffectually at Francisco due to the cover. The Freikorpsman on my left shoots one of my Witchling Stalkers, the Death Marshal shoots back and then the Librarian heals him to full anyway. Von Schill shoots at the Effigy, my Hounds gang up to kill the Freikorpsman on the right and everyone else seems to just flail around uselessly. I score on the strategy.
Turn 3: Nino Rapid Fires the Librarian to death. Von Schill uses Stand and Shoot, killing both Guild Hounds but missing both the Effigy and Francisco. The latter charges into Lazarus and uses Finesse to weather the retaliation. Lazarus helpfully Black Jokers the Self Repair. One Stalker hits the Trapper who pushes out of melee and shoots the poor little chap. The other Stalker charges the remaining Freikorpsman and they exchange blows; the Freikorpsman will burn to death at the end of the turn. Sonnia moves into range to turn him into a Stalker when this happens. The Death Marshal finishes off the Trapper. I score on the strategy.
Turn 4: Von Schill does his Stand and Shoot again, bagging him a Stalker and forcing Allan to cheat low to avoid hitting Lazarus in the back. Francisco kills Lazarus, then Nino and Sonnia join forces to drop Von Schill himself (technically he burns to death at the end of the turn but the effect is the same. The rest of my crew spends this and the next turn dropping scheme markers all over the place. Guild win 10 – 0.
That was a fun game, but Allan isn’t very experienced with his Von Schill crew; I believe that mainly he plays Warmachine, and his usual Malifaux fare is Arcanists. By luck his crew was almost the perfect counter for Sonnia but his lack of familiarity with it meant that I was able to capitalise. The board was almost comically sparse but since we were both playing fairly shooty crews it probably didn’t have much of an impact.
Game 2: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (David Laing)
Strategy: Guard the Stash
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Distract, Power Ritual, Deliver a Message
Guild: Assassinate, Power Ritual (announced)
Ten Thunders: Assassinate, Power Ritual (announced)
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, 2 Guild Hounds, Brutal Effigy
Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Wings of Wind, Recalled Training), Ototo (Smoke Grenades, Smoke and Shadows), Oiran, 2 Torakage, 2 Samurai (one with Favour of Jigoku, one with Favour of Earth)
I’ve been playing a lot against Misaki lately as she is Furycat’s current master of choice. However, I’ve never actually played this strategy, but I figured it was a bit like Turf War and therefore picked a another crew with a high model count. Papa Loco came back in as I wasn’t expected many blast-immune models this time, and the rest of the crew was based on the high strategy of ‘models I have access to’. I didn’t fancy any of the scheme pool too much, but I figured that Misaki would have to come to me if she wanted to do anything and so picked Assassinate (I did consider Deliver a Message on the same basis but didn’t want to pick them both). Power Ritual, while much harder in standard deployment compared to corner or flank deployment, does have the advantage of being scheme that didn’t rely on doing anything with or to the other crew. I made David deploy first and he wisely chose the side with the cover on it; we’d played in the last tournament (link) and David was much more wary of Sonnia’s power this time.
Turn 1: Both Torakage drop scheme markers in the corner then disappear in a puff of smoke; one of my Hounds drops a marker in my corner and starts pacing up the board. Papa Loco tells Sonnia to Hold This then moves up the board and brings her to him with Cover Me. The left Samurai (Favour of Jigoku) puts a couple of wounds on Nino. I should have had Nino return fire here but instead the Death Marshal puts Papa Loco in his Pine Box. Misaki pushes the Samurai out of Nino’s line of sight with Wings of Wind and moves far to the right out of sight of just about anything. Nino just moves around for a better shot. Sonnia focuses and starts setting the right Samurai (Favour of Earth) ablaze; any blasts are splashed over Ototo. The Torakage reappear.
Turn 2: Sonnia kills of the Earth Samurai and one of the Torakage nearby; she also puts some serious damage onto Ototo in the process. He heals himself up (but is still Enraged) and moves to engage a good chunk of my crew. Nino shoots the Jigoku Samurai down to a single wound and Misaki pops out from her hiding place and charges my rightmost Stalker. She’s foiled by the black joker on one attack, then she ends by Stalking Sonnia Criid. The Stalker moves into range and hits her back. Papa Loco gets out of the Pine Box and the Death Marshal moves around Ototo’s melee range to get close enough to the left Stash for scoring. My crew throws everything they’ve got at Ototo, finally they get him down to Hard to Kill and out of soulstones so he burns to death at the end of the turn and I turn him into a Witchling Stalker. We both score on the strategy.
Turn 3: Misaki wins the initiative and is clearly sick of Sonnia’s nonsense. She easily kills the witch hunter, scoring Assassinate in the process and dances off into the middle of my crew laughing. Nino finishes the last Samurai. The Oiran hits my Hound, triggering No Witnesses, so the Hound moves out of the way and the Death Marshal strolls over and kills the Oiran with a fortuitous Red Joker. One Stalker charges the Torakage before being killed in return; the explosion puts the ninja down in a mutual destruction. The Effigy walks over to the right Stash, the other Hound makes a run for the far corner and rest of my crew does their level best to try to hurt Misaki.
Turn 4: Misaki charges the Austringer, kills him without fuss, pushes toward the corner with Next Target and drops a scheme marker. The nearest Stalker charges in and puts some more damage onto Misaki, then the other one moves up to within 100 mm of her. Papa Loco throws dynamite at the unengaged Stalker, cheating so that I can get a straight flip and then putting in severe damage to lay the blasts over Misaki and the first Stalker. Misaki survived the dynamite thanks to Bullet Proof but then died when my Stalker exploded. Over in the far corner my Hounds set to do scheme things and in the next turn my Stalker cleans up Misaki’s scheme marker while the Hounds do what the came for. Guild win 10 – 5 (full score for me; 3 for Assassinate, 1 for Power Ritual and 1 for Guard the Stash for David).
I really enjoyed playing against David. He’s a really nice chap and he always seems to enjoy learning from his defeats. It was notable how much more he was able to work around my crew this time compared to only a few weeks ago. I was quite happy to remember that I could throw dynamite at my own Witchling Stalker at the end to finish off Misaki; that move was the difference between a win and draw in this game.
Game 3: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (David Hamilton)
Strategy: Collect the Bounty
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Outflank, Plant Evidence, Breakthrough
Guild: Bodyguard (The Judge), Plant Evidence (announced)
Resurrectionists: Plant Evidence (announced), Breakthrough (announced)
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Disrupt Magic, Counterspell Aura), Papa Loco (Hermanos de Armas), The Judge, 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, Brutal Effigy
Resurrectionists: Nicodem (Undertaker, Love Thy Master), Necropunk, Rogue Necromancy (Decaying Aura), 2 Punk Zombies, Crooligan, Flesh Construct, Nurse
I played David’s Nicodem crew in the final game of the previous tournament and was well beaten. But this time the strategy was about killing things, which I felt was something that I was set up to do well with Sonnia. I put The Judge in for Bodyguard purposes, and with the idea that it might be useful to have both Stand For Judgement and Cover Me as options for moving around out of activation. I was very close to including the Purifying Flame since it wouldn’t give up any stratgey points, but in the end I decided that a bigger cache of soulstones would be helpful. After deciding on Bodyguard (probably a silly choice in this strategy in retrospect) I had to choose between Plant Evidence and Breakthrough; Plant Evidence won because the terrain I was planning on using was rather closer than the line for Breakthrough.
Turn 1: The Crooligan uses the Mist, the Nurse puts Uppers on a Punk Zombie (which soon races over to my side of the board near the Crooligan) and moves behind a house after measuring Sonnia’s threat range. Papa Loco does the usual Hold This and Cover Me routine with Sonnia. Nicodem, lacking corpse counters, makes the Flesh Construct, Punk Zombie and Crooligan Fast. The Death Marshal Pine Boxes Papa Loco and Sonnia expends a few Soulstones spreading blasts over the Flesh Construct, Punk Zombie and Crooligan.
Turn 2: Sonnia wins initiative and kills off the nearby Flesh Construct, Punk Zombie and Crooligan; a Stalker is summoned from the former. However, because I’m a fool I forgot to use the Brutal Effigy to put Fear Not The Sword on her first. The other Punk Zombie kills my Stalker on the left, while on the right the other one puts some damage onto the Rogue Necromancy and remarkably survives the return attacks. My Austringer’s bird pecks at the Punk Zombie. The Necropunk does leaping and scheme marker things over on the right. Nico uses Decay to heal the Rogue Necromancy and kill off the Stalker, then makes the former Fast. The Judge shoots Nicodem and The Effigy shoots the Punk Zombie so that it will die when the Burning resolves; another Stalker pops out of it. I score on the strategy.
Turn 3: The Rogue Necromancy walks then charges The Judge for some nice damage. A nearby Stalker charges Nicodem, flipping the Red Joker on one damage flip and nearly finishing the old chap. More importantly he is now in the Disrupt Magic aura). Nicodem uses Chime of Sorrows to heal himself then focuses an attack on the Judge but Black Jokers it. The Necropunk continues to leap around dropping scheme markers and the Austringer takes a shot at it to minimal effect. The Nurse puts Downers on the Judge; he focuses to hit the Rogue Necromancy but I forgot about the Horror duel which (of course) he fails and gets another bite taken out of him. Sonnia moves round to take a Focussed shot at the pesky Necropunk and ensures it’ll burn to death at the end of the turn. Much of the rest of my crew drop markers. Neither of us managed to kill anything this turn so no scoring on the strategy.
Turn 4: The Nurse Paralyses my Stalker near Nicodem, who walks off, heals and makes the Judge Slow, causing the Rogue Necromancy to eat him with Smell Fear. Papa Loco runs up to the Rogue Necromancy to keep it busy. One Stalker un-paralyses the other which then charges in to deal with that Nurse before she caused any more mischief. The Death Marshal follows the trail of markers left by the Necropunk to try and remove some of them. The Austringer moves into range to see Nicodem and then Sonnia has a few attempts to spark flames off him and onto Nicodem. Sadly, my hand is terrible and devoid of the Tomes I would need so I just end up charring the coat of my minion. David scores on Collect the Bounty.
Turn 5: Nicodem moves up to make the Rogue Necromancy kill Papa Loco with Smell Fear, then heals it to full after the explosion. One of my Stalkers rushes over to engage it so that the Rogue Necromancy can’t do anything important. After failing the first disengaging attempt, the big beast takes a big bite out of the Stalker. The Austringer knocks a few wounds off Nicodem then Sonnia is finally able to get burning on the old man and finish him off at last (killing the Austringer in the process). The Death Marshal carries on clearing up after the Necropunk. Guild win 5 – 4 (3 for Plant Evidence and 2 for Collect the Bounty for me; 3 for Breakthrough and 1 for Collect the Bounty for David).
What a close and fun game. I love it when I get to play games like that where I’m not sure even very close to the end what the result will be. I realised afterward that I could have used Sonnia to move over and remove another scheme marker rather than killing Nicodem but I was conscious that we might have gone another turn and I didn’t want Nicodem at me for another turn if I could help it. I need to get better at remembering that the Brutal Effigy is meant to use its (0) action on Sonnia each time, and not just to be a cheap Minion (though it works well at that too).
So after all the scores come in, I’m in first place and receive a lovely voucher that I’ll use next time I’m in the shop. I learned a lot about placement of my miniatures that hopefully I can remember and apply in future games, and of course there are plenty of abilities that I forgot to use (but that is always the way for me). I had three very fun games against Allan, David and David, and I’d like to thank Joe too for running the show.