A group of the Scotland Malifools (Maria, Meech, Alastair and David) made our way down to Durham over the weekend to take part in a new gaming convention organised by the local club. Kings of the North was advertised as a residential gaming weekend, with tournaments being run for a variety of systems. Since the Malifaux events were being organised by Nate Zettle I was very pleased to get enough Wife Points to be able to attend; the other events I’ve attended that Nate has run have been terrific. The events on each day were considered separate, with Quest for the Mojo (45SS) on the Saturday and Enforcers of the North (50SS) on Sunday. I did manage to leave my camera at home (I got it out to charge, then forgot to actually pack it) so the photography is even worse than my usual.
Quest for the Mojo (45SS)
Game 1: Guild (me) vs Neverborn (Johnny)
Strategy: Turf War
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Protect Territory, Deliver a Message, Spring the Trap
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Assassinate
Neverborn: Spring the Trap, Assassinate
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, 2 Hunters
Neverborn: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger, Woke Up With a Hand), Hungering Darkness, Mr Graves, Beckoner, 2 Illuminated, Doppelganger
I quite arbitrarily decided that I fancied playing Perdita here, though considering the board and strategy I think that Sonnia with the Malifaux Child and Cherufe’s Imprint could have been fine. My main goal for the weekend was to try to learn what to do with Hunters so they made the choice and the rest of my crew was just a mish-mash of what I have available. Protect Territory is an easy scheme to score and so is a good option for the first game of a day where I’m still trying to get my game running smoothly. Looking at the other schemes I considered Deliver a Message but thought that Lynch could too easily hide himself to avoid giving it up. So I went instead with Assassinate as it isn’t announced so I could try to fake something else if it looked like I would need it.
Turn 1: The Doppelganger gets Johnny off to a good start by flipping the Black Joker trying to copy Lure. Nino Rapid Fires quite ineffectually into the Beckoner, who is then pushed forward by Mr Graves. The Nephilim Shackles the Austringer and Perdita forward, then the latter chain activates. She Relocates toward Nino then shows him how shooting is done properly, gunning down the Beckoner before the Lure-train gets going. Hungering Darkness Heeds My Voice to make Nino shoot Perdita.
Turn 2: Nino Rapid Fires a few wounds and soulstones out of Hungering Darkness, then Perdita companions and charges, killing the big beast easily. She walks back toward the centre to reduce the possibilities for vengeance. Mr Graves pushes one of the Illuminated forward. Both Illuminated gang up to kill off the Death Marshal at range. One Hunter shoots Lynch and the other shoots an Illuminated; sadly the terrain doesn’t allow the drag to get the target into melee. Both Witchling Stalkers get Shackled forward by the Nephilim. The Doppelganger Mimics Nino’s gun and shoots the Hunter before being charged by a Witchling Stalker for no effect at all. Lynch pings a little damage onto the Stalker by reply while the Austringer and other Stalker fail to hurt the Illuminated. We both score on the strategy.
Turn 3: In the centre the first Illuminated and a Stalker maul each other a bit. The Hunter drags in Lynch and Perdita companions and finishes him off; I score Assassinate. Both Stalkers are killed, one by an Illuminated and the other by the Doppelganger Mimic-ing the Hunter. Johnny starts dropping scheme markers that look like he’s going for Spring the Trap so the Nephilim Shackles himself forward, then Shackles Perdita out of range. We both score for Turf War.
Turn 4: One Hunter kills an Illuminated; the other fails to make much of an impression on Perdita. The Austringer hurts it, then Perdita finishes the job. Mr Graves swings away at the Hunter, but Johnny has seen enough. Guild win 10 – 2 (full score for me; 2 for Turf War for Johnny).
I enjoyed playing against Johnny, he’s really enthusiastic about Malifaux and takes everything with a fun attitude. Unfortunately for him, I know how to take apart a Lynch crew having played Lynch myself many times (though I used Ten Thunders) so I had a big experience advantage over him. Hopefully he’ll continue to come along to tournaments and I’ll get another chance to play Johnny after he has a few more games under his belt.
Game 2: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (Peter)
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Plant Explosives, Bodyguard, Spring the Trap
Guild: Line in the Sand (announced), Plant Explosives
Ten Thunders: Distract, Plant Explosives
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos de Armas), 2 Hunters, Death Marshal, Austringer, Witchling Stalker, Watcher
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Badge of Speed, Glowing Sabre, Promises), Dawn Serpent, 2 Tengu, Luna, 3 Guild Hounds, Shadow Effigy
I decided to try my strategy for Turf War of killing everything on the other crew so that they don’t have anything to contest table quarters with. I expected a load of easy-to-kill models like Guild Hounds to be running at me so put down Sonnia Criid with the usual package. The Watcher came along so I could attempt to score Line in the Sand, a scheme I’m generally terrible at; I didn’t really fancy anything else in the pool though. I was even worried about Plant Explosives as I was really intending to kill everything… but I had to take something so that seemed reasonable.
The big cliff terrain was excellent to play on, but a bit awkward for photography. Most of Peter’s crew is deployed completely out of sight behind various bits of scenery.
Turn 1: The Shadow Effigy puts Remember The Mission on a pair of Guild Hounds. Papa Loco gives Sonnia dynamite, moves up through the trees and pulls her in with Cover Me. One of the Hounds moves near to an activated Stalker, dropping a marker at the end of its movement… but ending almost exactly 14″ from Sonnia. I figure that this is my best chance to use Sonnia, so she begins the trail of devastation, first killing the visible Hound and trailing the blasts back across the rest of the crew behind the cliffs while making sure to set everything ablaze for the next action. Two more shots later and two Hounds and the Effigy are dead, McCabe is dismounted and the Dawn Serpent has taken some damage. McCabe leaves his charred horse, Black Flash-es the Dawn Serpent and hands it the Badge. On the right, a Hunter polishes off the final Guild Hound between the Chain Spear and Leap On Chest. The Dawn Serpent comes in and does some nasty damage to Papa Loco, splashing blasts over Sonnia, so the Marshal goes in to tuck the old man safely in his Pine Box. Except I have trash in hand and fail to top deck the 5 needed to do it on either attack. This is looking pretty bad. Peter has a difficult decision to make with the Dawn Serpent. Either he can drop a scheme marker and lock in three VP for Plant Explosives, or he can focus a shot at Papa Loco, probably killing him and doing damage to Sonnia in the process. He opts for the scheme marker. My Austringer pushes the DM and makes him drop a scheme marker near the Dawn Serpent as I’m resigned to only scoring one for Plant Explosives already. The Tengu races over and drops a card to remove my marker. You would think I’d have seen that coming since Peter did exactly the same thing to me at Vapnartak a couple of months ago. The other Tengu Distracts a Hunter. Peter scores his three points for Plant Explosives.
Turn 2: I win initiative, and Sonnia vapourises the Dawn Serpent and nearby Tengu. McCabe Distracts the Stalker. One Hunter drops the Tengu on the right, the other drags in Luna, fails to kill her and gets a couple of nibbles for its trouble. I manage to get a scheme marker near McCabe thanks to the Austringer. I score Reconnoitre and one for Plant Explosives; Peter scores Distract.
Turn 3: The Hunter shreds Luna. McCabe takes triple defensive stance, and I throw everything I’ve got at him. Eventually, between the Austringer and Sonnia firing into combat (I don’t care if I kill my Stalker, in fact I want it dead to avoid giving up the point for Distract) I kill off McCabe. The Stalker, incredibly, has a single wound left after all this, so the Death Marshal caps him. Guild win 8 – 4 (4 for Reconnoitre, 3 for Line in the Sand and 1 for Plant Explosives for me; 3 for Plant Explosives and 1 for Distract for Peter).
That was a highly satisfying win over a good player. Peter is always a gentleman to face across a gaming table, and I hope that he gets some cunning plans to get round Sonnia by the time we next meet up (of course, I’ll have to drop another master on him then). I really need to up my game when facing Plant Explosives as I always seem to score low and give up maximum points on it. After a short lunch break I was paired up with David Hamilton, a great player with whom I’ve shared many a close tournament game.
Game 3: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (David)
Strategy: Head Hunter
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Protect Territory, Plant Evidence, Entourage
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Evidence (announced)
Resurrectionists: Protect Territory (announced), Breakthrough (announced)
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, 2 Hunters, Brutal Effigy, 2 Witchling Stalkers, Austringer
Resurrectionists: Kirai (Bloody Shears, Absorb Spirit), Lost Love, Onryo, Flesh Construct, Drowned, Shikome, 2 Necropunks
I have to admit that I’m not really sure what is useful for Head Hunter, as you need pieces that can actually kill something, but also have to have scheme runners that don’t mind being in the thick of it to pick up the heads. And of course, those scheme runners inevitably end up being the targets for the next round of killing. I suspect that I might have erred a little too much on the side of ‘cheap and numerous’ here, but I figured that Perdita herself should be able to drop at least one enemy model per turn so I just needed to have something around to collect it, and also to avoid letting David maul my own minions too much. I’m not sure what I was expecting to see on the other side, but I guess it was probably not a summoning master who would be just feeding me half-wound models to finish off. The schemes pool also contributed to the scheme-runner heavy crews as it was all about dropping markers to score points; I picked the schemes that involved least movement (we ruled that the huge terrain piece in the middle counted as 2 pieces for Plant Evidence purposes, with the bridge as the split). Overall, a really interesting set up for a game.
Turn 1: Everything runs forward. Kirai summons a Drowned, a Shikome and a Seishin. My hand is dreadful so I Hero’s Gamble with Perdita at the start of her activation. She drops the summoned Shikome and wounds the other one, which causes the Ikiryo to appear behind her. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem since she could ignore Incorporeal, but of course this isn’t an option here. Luckily, Hero’s Gamble got me the Red Joker in hand, so Perdita is able to put in a high Mask for Witched Bullet then drop the Red Joker on the poor ghost before it even activates.
Turn 2: The Necropunk leaps and collects the first head of the game. The Stalker kills the Seishin and engages the Drowned. On the right, the Necropunk gets the scheme marker train going. The Hunter on the left kills the Necropunk, drawing out the Ikiryo in the process. I was hoping for that since it’s so far from the rest of my crew. Not surprisingly, the Ikiryo mauls the Hunter quite badly. A Stalker kills the second Shikome, and the Effigy picks up a head marker from the first Ikiryo. The Drowned hits a Stalker on the right and the Flesh Construct moves to engage Perdita. By the time Kirai activates David is out of cards so she achieves nothing apart from Swirling the Onryo forward. The second Drowned kills the injured Stalker, then Perdita drops the Flesh Construct and the summoned Drowned. We both score on the strategy.
Turn 3: The Necropunk leaps and drops more scheme markers. The Hunter kills the second Drowned. Running out of significant pieces near head markers, Kirai is forced to walk and pick one up herself. My Effigy collects a head marker for my side. Perdita drops the Lost Love, who had moved next to Kirai. Ikiryo has no trouble dealing with the wounded Hunter. We both get a point for Head Hunter. My notes get very sparse at this point as we realised that we would need to hurry along to make it to turn 5.
Turn 4: Perdita kills the Onryo, and Kirai puts a couple of wounds on the Hunter I’ve moved in to keep her in place (but I don’t want to hurt her either or I’ll get another shot of the Ikiryo). Most of my stuff moves around dropping scheme markers. Critically, David can’t get anything to pick up a head this turn; I score on the strategy.
Turn 5: The Necropunk is decisively blown away by Perdita. Kirai can’t one-shot the Hunter like she’d need in order to walk over and pick up the head. The Effigy collects a fourth head for the Guild. Guild win 10 – 8 (full score for me; 2 for Head Hunter and 3 for each scheme for David).
As mentioned in the preamble, this had the makings of a very interesting game and it did not disappoint. The combination of the scheme pool, the strategy and an opponent of David’s calibre meant that this could easily have gone either way right up to the end. The first few turns took a while, and indeed the 30-minutes-to-go warning was called while we were on turn 3. But by that point I’d killed most of Kirai’s crew and the rest of the game went very swiftly.
Game 4: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (Martin)
Strategy: Squatter’s Rights
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Bodyguard, Make Them Suffer, Cursed Object
Guild: Make Them Suffer, Cursed Object
Resurrectionists: Make Them Suffer, Cursed Object
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Watcher, 2 Hunters, Witchling Stalker, Austringer
Resurrectionists: Dr Douglas McMourning (Moonlighting, Plastic Surgery), Flesh Construct, Madame Sybelle (Transfusion, Not Too Banged Up), Zombie Chihuahua, 2 Rotten Belles, Sebastian (Transfusion), Nurse
I was torn between Perdita and Sonnia here. On the one hand, Sonnia provides all the killing power I could need in a single piece and would protect me against Belles with the right upgrade. But on the other hand, Perdita can bring the Nephilim to Shackle my pieces around, which is of course helpful for getting onto the markers early. She also cares less about the likely swathes of Hard To Wound floating around. Make Them Suffer went in because I didn’t think I could rely on killing McMourning and Cursed Object seemed like it would be quite easy to score against Flesh Constructs.
Turn 1: The two Belles companion and Lure Nino right across the board into the middle of the Resurrectionist crew. He pushes away and takes a shot a Sebastian before his expected death… which doesn’t come (though he is taken down to a single wound quite easily). Sybelle Calls Belle to get one of them further up the board, and the Nurse charges the Flesh Construct to rack up the Poison on it. The Chihuahua puts some Poison on McMourning and Sebastian uses Under Cover to make my life awkward. My own crew advances with the Watcher heading over to take a corner marker. The Austringer makes a Hunter flip the nearest Squat marker.
Turn 2: McMourning Expunges the left Hunter into a Flesh Construct, scoring himself a point for Make Them Suffer, and reflips that marker. My other Hunter charges Sybelle to stick some nice damage on her; in return she passes it a Cursed Object and hatful of Poison (I think it reached 19 tokens at one point). The lead Belle takes another Marker and Nino pushes out of combat again and Black Jokers a shot on the Chihuahua. My Watcher flips the end marker and the Stalker puts a Cursed Object in the pocket of the new Flesh Construct, which has moved to engage the Stalker and Austringer. The Nephilim pulls the Austringer out of melee. Perdita guns down the lead Belle (for Make The Suffer) and the Austringer Delivers Orders to make to retake the central marker. The surviving Belle Lures Nino back into melee. I score on the strategy and we both score both schemes.
Turn 3: The Hunter polishes off Sybelle and companions to Perdita. She stones for a ram and shoots the Chihuahua, cheating in another ram (to ensure that I’d get the weak damage to kill it with a single shot)… and top deck the Red Joker on damage. Bits of dead(er) dog rain down across the board. Perdita then charges McMourning, mainly to stop him from wandering about and messing with the Squat markers. The Belle Lures the Hunter over and passes another Cursed Object to Nino. He hands her one right back and pushes away. McMourning pushes Sebastian toward the marker on the Watcher’s side of the board and Rancid Transplants the Stalker. In a move made of pure awesome, the Nurse moves toward Perdita and Paralyses her with Take Your Meds, then companions the Flesh Construct who saunters over and Devours her. Beautiful. The Austringer Delivers Orders to the Watcher to pick up another Squat marker. We both score Squatter’s Rights and Cursed Object; I also score for Make Them Suffer.
Turn 4: The Stalker passes another Cursed Object to the Flesh Construct and the Belle Lures the Watcher away from the markers. Nino Rapid Fires the Nurse but I forgot she has a defensive trigger to push to safety, which of course she does. The Nurse fails to make the Austringer Take Your Meds. The Nephilim trudges onto the marker recently departed by the Watcher to block Sebastian from taking it too easily. McMourning somehow fails to kill the Hunter and pushes Sebastian toward the Nephilim, which also inexplicably survives. The Hunter finally explodes from some Poison interaction. The Watcher slips away from the Belle to take back the central marker. The Flesh Construct fails to be so agile and can’t get away from the Witchling Stalker and so hands him another Cursed Object. The Austringer uses Deliver Orders to push the Stalker out of melee and interact to remove the condition. But I’m unable to top-deck the required card, and only have one card left in hand (which would have been good enough) so I can’t cheat it in or I’ll let both Constructs reactivate. We both score Squatter’s Rights and Cursed Object.
Turn 5: Nino Rapid Fires at McMourning. He hits 3 times, getting him down to 2 wounds on the last shot (triggering Critical Strike)… and I Black Joker the last damage flip to leave McMourning alive. McMourning is able to polish off the Nephilim so the Austringer moves in to body block the marker. Sebastian moves in and flips it anyway since the Austringer has no melee attack with which to engage him. Actually, now that I think about it, I suppose that Sebastian was engaged due to his own melee weapon so he couldn’t have done that, but whatever. The game ends in a draw at 8 – 8 (3 for Squatter’s Rights, 2 for Make Them Suffer and 3 for Cursed Object for me; 2 for Squatter’s Rights and 3 each for both schemes for Martin).
Wow, what a close game. I felt that I’d taken enough of a lead when I kept Martin off the strategy for two turns in a row but he came back strongly and right down to the last thing it could have gone either way. This sort of game, where the result isn’t decided until the very end, is absolutely my most fun kind. Martin was a great chap to play against, really strong but a real gentleman too. Also, I tipped my hat to him when his construct ate Perdita… I know it’s a possible thing in the game but it’s hilarious to pull off.
So when the results come in, I’m just behind Martin on VP difference, getting myself a nice trophy in the process. Also, our draw was the only possible result to keep David Hamilton out of the trophies so there was plenty of banter about us fixing it! We were well looked after in the evening by the event staff, and I got to complete a personal hobby goal by finally playing Nate at Malifaux. We took a 53 soulstone game, and those who get the joke of this will share our amusement when we noticed part way through turn 1 that Nate had accidentally fielded an extra miniature in his crew to put him over the agreed game size.
Enforcers of the North (50SS)
Game 1: Guild (me) vs Arcanists (Vince)
Strategy: Guard the Stash
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Cursed Object, Breakthrough, Frame For Murder
Guild: Assassinate, Breakthrough (announced),
Arcanists: Line in the Sand (announced), Frame For Murder (one of the December Acolytes)
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Cherufe’s Imprint), Malifaux Child, Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Hunter, Austringer, Death Marshal, 2 Witchling Stalkers
Arcanists: Toni Ironsides (Iron Determination, Seize The Day), Cassandra (Smoke and Mirrors), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Angelica, 2 December Acolytes, 2 Union Miners
Taking a look at the terrain, I felt that this would be a reasonable place to try some Flame Walls and block off lanes about the place so I took Sonnia and the Malifaux Child. I didn’t give a lot of thought to the rest of the crew, it was pretty much just a selection of the pieces I own (apart from Papa Loco and the Death Marshal of course). I chose Assassinate with the assumption that Ironsides would have to come into me to get anything useful done, and Breakthrough because it didn’t rely on anything from Vince. Vince deployed second, putting his Acolytes right on top of Nino.
Turn 1: The Acolytes slow everything in sight (Sonnia, Nino, the Hunter and the Austringer). Cassandra rushes up and Breathed Fire on Papa Loco but can only get weak damage on a straight damage flip with no fate hand left. I dally too long before using Sonnia and Ironsides walks up, charges Nino (killing him off) and uses Rush ‘Em to place in engagement range of Sonnia. This is a bit annoying, so Sonnia stabs Ironsides repeatedly with a flaming sword.
Turn 2: Ironsides punches Sonnia a lot, but to my great surprise, not fatally. The Hunter Black Jokers a shot on an Acolyte, which then shoots the Stalker on the right. The left Stalker charges the other Acolyte, fails to achieve anything and is killed for its trouble. The Austringer pushes the Death Marshal into the centre of the group of Acolytes, Cassandra, Angelica and Ironsides. Papa Loco gets out of his box and blows himself up twice (I took care to place him with no line of sight to Sonnia). By this point, Vince has nothing in hand and loses both Acolytes and Cassandra, though annoyingly Ironsides top decks a pair of kings to save herself from all but the last explosion. Needless to say, the Death Marshal doesn’t survive either. One of the Acolytes has Frame For Murder on him, so I concede two VP. Sonnia puts a large amount of damage onto Ironsides. Myranda fails to do much to the surviving Stalker. The Union Miners are standing next to each other dropping millions of markers for Line in the Sand with False Claim. The Child uses Flame Burst to put a little damage onto Angelica. We both score for the strategy.
Turn 3: Ironsides and Sonnia trade blows, but crucially Sonnia gets Ironsides down to her Hard to Kill at the end of her activation so that when the killing blow is delivered the Witch Hunter explodes from Inferno, taking both off the table. I score for Assassinate. The Hunter eats one of the Miners. Myranda kills the Stalker and turns into a Cerberus (actually, this is probably the longest I’ve ever seen Myranda stay on the table before doing that). The Austringer takes out Angelica and the last Miner knocks the Hunter down to a single wound. Vince scores on the strategy.
Turn 4: The Hunter fails to kill the Miner and Vince cheats in a Red Joker to put burning on it so it will not survive the round. Actually, it doesn’t anyway as the Miner offs the Hunter with his pick anyway. The Austringer finishes the Miner and the Cerberus makes a surprisingly difficult time of eating the Child.
Turn 5: I make a really big mistake here. For some reason, I think the Vince only has 4 markers out for Line in the Sand, so even though I win the initiative I let him go first, hoping that he won’t be able to get the leap off or otherwise will somehow fail to kill the Austringer. I would them remove a marker and deny him some points for that scheme (I could do that if I went first, of course, but the Cerberus could simply drop another one if he saw it coming). But there are clearly 5 markers, so it wouldn’t matter. Vince is delighted to get to move first, and sends the Cerberus Leaping over to mangle the Austringer. Thanks to some crazy flips, the Austringer does indeed survive, but can only push out of combat and drop a single Breakthrough marker. Guild lose 5 – 7 (1 for Guard The Stash, 3 for Assassinate and 1 for Breakthrough for me; 2 for Guard The Stash, 2 for Frame For Murder and 3 for Line in the Sand for Vince).
It was a very amusing game, and I was particularly glad to play against Ironsides in a tournament, as I really need to be on the receiving end of a crew to get an understanding of what it can do. It was an interesting lesson in placement using Sonnia against Ironsides, and I was amazed by how long my master held up. I was a little annoyed at making such a big and obvious error at the end, but overall, it probably didn’t matter unless I’d gone first, dropped the marker and then somehow baited Vince into killing the Austringer and getting a second one for Finish The Job. Even that would have only resulted in a draw. I was outplayed throughout.
Game 2: Guild (me) vs Outcasts (Kai)
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Distract, Outflank, Frame For Murder
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Frame For Murder (one of the Hunters)
Outcasts: Protect Territory (announced), Frame For Murder (Freikorps Trapper)
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), 2 Hunters, Brutal Effigy, Austringer, Death Marshal, 2 Witchling Stalkers
Outcasts: Viktoria of Ashes (Sisters in Spirit), Viktoria of Blood (Mark of Shezuul, Sisters in Fury), Killjoy, Convict Gunslinger, Taelor, Freikorps Librarian, Freikorps Trapper
On such an open board, with Reckoning as the strategy, it was an easy to choice to use Sonnia again. The rest of the crew consisted mainly of either ‘things to make Sonnia nastier’ or ‘things to block the Viks from getting into Sonnia’. I took Protect Territory as I wanted at least one scheme that was completely under my control, and Frame For Murder because it’s highly likely to get you some points in a game of Reckoning.
Turn 1: The Trapper Focuses and shoots Sonnia. The Viks do some movement stuff, then Sonnia gets fully loaded by the Brutal Effigy and Papa Loco, pulled forward by the latter and gets another push from the Austringer. Sonnia unleashes hot fury over the Trapper, Librarian and Viktoria of Blood, being careful not to kill them so I could score points next turn. I was also careful not to get too close to Viktoria of Blood.
Turn 2: The Librarian heals the Trapper and Viktoria. Sonnia then vapourises all three of them (conceding three VP for Frame For Murder on the Trapper); Killjoy pops out of Viktoria of Blood. Viktoria of Ashes moves round and find herself in charge range of Killjoy. Kai is extremely young (he’s here with his Dad, Johnny, my first round opponent from day one) and is extremely unhappy about what I’ve done to his crew already. I was going to just let him off with the positioning thing since it isn’t material and she could easily have been out of Killjoy’s range, but Nate chooses this moment to walk past and insists on doing things by the book. There is a considerable amount of dismay expressed by Kai, which was masterfully handled by Nate as he showed Kai what to do. By the time this is over, Kai is so irritated by the whole game and my part in it that I offer to concede the game 10 – 0 to him so we can end it quickly and do something fun instead, but this seems to bring him back to sense and we carry on. The Gunslinger drops a scheme marker and is attacked by the Hunter. I score on the strategy.
Turn 3: Taelor easily kills the Hunter (giving me three VP for Frame For Murder). Sonnia immolates Killjoy and puts some damage on Viktoria who is eventually brought down by a Witchling Stalker. Kai concedes and we agree to score it as though the game ended and not have me rack up points for the last two turns. Guild win 8 – 4 (2 for Reckoning, full points for both schemes for me; 3 for Frame For Murder and 1 for Protect Territory for Kai).
For the first time in a long time that was a game of Malifaux I didn’t really enjoy so much and was glad to finish. I suppose that Kai felt the same. We spoke again afterwards and I believe that we’re OK now; I tried to give him some advice on the game too, hopefully that will help him in future events. I also spoke with Nate and Johnny in case they wanted to reproach me for any behaviour on my side. This specific episode aside, I’ve got a lot of time for such a young player coming to play against adults in a tournament situation. With a bit more experience he could be quite a force at future events.
There were 6 of us on 1 win and 1 loss and I’d already played against 3 of the other 5, so I asked if Nate would shuffle the pairings to give us each an opponent we hadn’t played in any of the preceding 6 games. No-one objected, and Nate duly made the adjustment to pretty much the only permutation that allowed this to work. I figured that since we were all out of the running it wouldn’t matter much who we played. As it happened, I think that the top tables also made a similar arrangement.
Game 3: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (Alastair)
Strategy: Stake a Claim
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Make Them Suffer, Deliver a Message
Guild: Make Them Suffer, Breakthrough (announced)
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Deliver a Message (unannounced)
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Watcher, 2 Hunters, Austringer, Death Marshal, 2 Guild Hounds
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Elixir of Life, Badge of Speed, Strangemetal Shirt), Luna, Dawn Serpent, Lone Sowrdsman, Yamaziko, Thunder Archer, Oiran
I am notoriously bad at Stake a Claim so I went for all the fastest things I could hire, in case I needed them. The Guild Hounds are excellent in Stake a Claim, of course, as is the Watcher. I chose Perdita for a change, since I’d played Sonnia the previous two rounds. She’s an obvious choice for Make Them Suffer, and I went for Breakthrough since it seems to fit the idea of what I was trying to do anyway (i.e. cross the board as quickly as possible). I was not surprised to be facing McCabe considering the scheme pool and strategy, but I was quite surprised not to see any Guild Hounds.
Turn 1: Nino Rapid Fires the Archer to death. McCabe Black Flashes the Oiran, passes her the Badge of Speed the misses Nino with his Net Gun. The Oiran Lures my Death Marshal around a bit and is plinked lightly by the Austringer. Perdita and the Hunter are Shackled forward. Perdita then pitches a card to Relocate to him too and opens up on Luna (killing her) and wounding the Oiran. The Hunter finishes the Oiran.
Turn 2: McCabe Black Flashes the Dawn Serpent and passes it the Badge. He shoots Perdita, slowing her and Nino. I have a hand full of high crows and sense the opportunity to be cheeky. The Death Marshal charges the Dawn Serpent and pushes it into the Pine Box. The Lone Swordsman rushes over to try and kill off the Death Marshal but has to settle for double walking into melee and is attacked by The Hunter in return. This allows my Hounds on the right to drop Claim markers without fear of being blended by an irate Samurai. Everything shoots McCabe, eventually knocking him off his horse. Dismounted McCabe charges Nino but can’t kill him. I score for the strategy.
Turn 3: The Hunter can’t finish off the Lone Swordsman , but the Lone Swordsman Black Jokers his second damage flip against the Death Marshal to leave him alive and the Dawn Serpent still buried. The Austringer and Perdita gang up to kill McCabe, the Death Marshal polishes off the Lone Swordsman and, over on the left, Yamaziko and the Hunter settle down for what looks likely to be a long slap-fest. The rest of my crew drop Claim and scheme markers. I score Stake a Claim.
Turn 4: The Hunter and Yamaziko poke each other ineffectually again. The Dawn Serpent is let out of the box (I think Alastair suspected something bad would happen when I didn’t make any attempt to stop this) and killed between the Death Marshal and Perdita. This scores me a point for Make Them Suffer. With only Yamaziko left, stuck in an interminable fight against my Hunter, Alastair is happy to call it. Guild win 9 – 0 (4 for Stake a Claim, 3 for Breakthrough and 2 for Make Them Suffer for me). It seems that I forgot to take one final photo, but it was pretty much identical to the previous one as the Dawn Serpent didn’t last long enough on the table to get its picture taken.
I had a lot of fun playing Alastair, and we were able to joke around throughout the game. Probably there’s not much to note from my side on that one since it all went swimmingly. Alastair has a lot of potential, but he owns so many crews that he’s not that familiar with any of them.
So the scores are counted up and I’m marked as 3rd. That means nothing though since we messed around with the final round pairings and I could have easily got a tougher opponent than Alastair. Still, 2nd and (a disputable) 3rd are very satisfactory results, and more importantly I played 7 fun games of Malifaux… 8 if you count the game with Nate. I got to acheive my goal of getting familiar with Hunters, and I have to say that I like them a lot.
I had a terrific time and I really want to thank all my opponents for playing this wonderful game with me, Nate for organising the tournaments so smoothly, and the event team for looking after us all so well. I should also thank Connor who not only drove David, Maria and me back to the train station, but then drove me back again to the venue since I’d left my miniature case there like the dipstick I am, and then back again to the station.