After much anticipation, 7 Scotland-based gamers climbed into the War Rig on Friday evening and drove down to York for the Malifaux UKGT 2015. We made a proper weekend of the thing, arriving for a delicious dinner and beer before sleeping in our surprisingly luxurious hostel on the night before the event. Saturday morning saw us up and registered early, among the 88 like-minded players converging on York from around the country and beyond.
Game 1: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (Graham Bursnell)
Strategy: Stake A Claim
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Distract, Cursed Object, Assassinate
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Cursed Object
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Assassinate
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Hunters, Austringer, Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, Brutal Effigy
Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento), Shang, Shadow Effigy, 2 Ten Thunders Brothers, Yamaziko, Sensei Yu (Wandering River Style), Shadow Emissary (Conflux of Thunder)
With seven games to play I was hoping to start off with something reasonably straightforward to get me warmed up, so I think that Graham and I both had the same thought when we were paired in the first round: why you? Still, with a field as tough as the UKGT you can’t avoid other good players for long. I find my Guild can sometimes be a bit slow to get moving so I picked Perdita pretty much solely in order to have access to the Enslaved Nephilim. I took Nino to make Graham either play around him for the Strategy, Distract and Cursed Object, or to force him to send something over to drop Nino. Thinking that I might as well go for a bit more Family if I was going to take advantage of Spotter I also took Francisco; of course it is obvious in retrospect that he would spend most of his time next to Perdita. Protect Territory is a simple scheme to score so I chose that first. I did consider picking Assassinate on Misaki as she would surely be coming to get me, but eventually I felt that Cursed Object would be a better option. Not a great photo to begin with!
Turn 1: Yu Airbursts the Emissary forward and Mighty Gusts Misaki to make her Fast. Nino Rapid Fires a few wounds off the Emissary and the double Focussed return attack flips the Black Joker; the Emissary scuttles back behind a rock. The Nephilim Shackles the Austringer and a Hunter forward. Misaki Stalks the latter, charges and kills both it and Nino. Perdita fails to do much of anything to the Emissary in return. At some point I realise that I’ve forgotten to do El Mayor.
Turn 2: Perdita ignores cover and blows away the Emissary in two shots; she puts a bullet into Shang for good measure. Even though there was no reason not to do it, I only notice partway though the activation that I could have used the Brutal Effigy first to pick myself up a card. The Shadow Effigy moves to engage the Watcher. Misaki kills the Austringer and hurts Francisco. The Nephilim Shackles Francisco towards my Hunter; Sensei Yu Airbursts him right back so he activates and swings wildly in Misaki’s general direction. The Watcher gives the Effigy a Cursed Object then flies away. Yamaziko Nimbles into my half of the board and drops a Claim marker. The Hunter on the left charges one of the Brothers and kills him; the other moves to engage. Graham scores for the Strategy and I score for Cursed Object.
Turn 3: Francisco uses Finesse, forgets once again to do El Mayor (I am bad at this today) and cuts a few wounds out of Misaki. Misaki wafts her bisento in Perdita’s direction but doesn’t achieve much. The Watcher Stakes a Claim; the Shadow Effigy does likewise. The Nephilim Shackles my Effigy and Francisco in the hope of getting them into the right half of the board. The Brutal Effigy uses Fear Not The Sword on Perdita and hands the surviving Brother a Cursed Object since he’s inconveniently sitting with a 4″ melee range stopping me from dropping Claims. Perdita guns Misaki down to a single wound. The Hunter makes a break for the top of the board but is Airbursted once again back to the scrum by Sensei Yu. I score for Cursed Object and Graham scores Stake a Claim.
Turn 4: I get initiative; Francisco finally remembers El Mayor and cuts Misaki to bits, chewing through her last Soulstones on the way. Yamaziko charges into Perdita but can’t make anything hit. My Effigy Curses Sensei Yu. The Hunter finally finds itself free to drop a Claim Marker. Shang hilariously charges the Nephilim and kills it, dying to Black Blood in the process. Perdita guns down the last Brother. I score a final point for Cursed Object and the Strategy is a draw.
Turn 5: Perdita shoots Yamaziko down. Everything rushes around dropping scheme markers; neither of us can manage to get a Claim marker down so the Strategy is a draw again. Guild win 6 – 5 (3 for Cursed Object and 3 for Protect Territory for me; 2 for Stake a Claim and 3 for Protect Territory for Graham).
A very fine, close game against a very fine and fun opponent. I was glad to win against a player of Graham’s skill, especially considering the basic errors I kept making (notably forgetting to do El Mayor repeatedly). My positioning and target priority was OK, and I had a spot of luck when I needed it.
Game 2: Guild (me) vs Neverborn (Scott Weldon)
Strategy: Head Hunter
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Breakthrough, Plant Explosives, Deliver a Message
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives
Neverborn: Protect Territory (unannounced), Plant Explosives
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting, Aura Ancestral), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Hunters, Death Marshal, Austringer, Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, Brutal Effigy
Neverborn: Lilith (Wings of Darkness, Living Blade, Beckon Malifaux), Primordial Magic, Baby Kade (Depression), Teddy (Retribution’s Eye), Silurid, 2 Illuminated
I love Head Hunter. It’s probably my favourite Strategy with a really interesting mix of killing and interacting; I think it exemplifies Malifaux at its best. I picked Perdita again, partly because she excels at single target damage and partly because the Enslaved Nephilim is beautiful in Head Hunter. The Austringer was included for similar reasons; a push and interact is great in this Strategy. I picked Aura Ancestral as it can be handy against certain Neverborn crews. I can’t even remember why I picked the Death Marshal; probably I wanted a cheap activation for picking up schemes that wouldn’t drop its own head without a fight. I considered Breakthrough but discounted it; not only is it quite hard to score in corner deployment but I also had no intention of crossing the board anyway.
Turn 1: The Silurid Leaps right up into the centre of the board and drops a scheme marker. Nino can’t resist the opportunity to Rapid Fire into it. The Nephilim Shackles the top Hunter and the Austringer forward. Teddy lumbers up the middle and Kade teleports to him. The Austringer plinks another couple of wounds out of the Silurid. Lilith Tangle Shadows my Effigy into the central melee, leaving an activated Illuminated hanging around just outside my deployment zone. Perdita Relocates to Nino then shoots the Illuminated; the Hunter kills it. The top Hunter Chain Harpoons the Illuminated to make it Slow. At the end of the turn the bottom Hunter pushes onto the Illuminated’s head.
Turn 2: The Hunter at the top vapourises the Illuminated with a timely Red Joker on damage. Teddy kills the Effigy and I’m trying to think of ways to stop everything moving away from the dropped scheme marker. The Watcher schemes to buy me some time; Kade helpfully spends his activation picking up the Effigy’s head. On the right, the Death Marshal picks up another. The Silurid Leaps and drops a scheme marker near my Death Marshal (looking back, I think that Spotter should have stopped that); Nino kills it. The second Hunter Slows Lilith, who uses the Red Joker to Tangle Shadows to put Perdita in melee and send the Primordial Magic to me. Perdita hurts Teddy. I attack the Primordial Magic with the Austringer, which was quite silly since I could have Delivered Orders to the Death Marshal to pick up the scheme marker near him. We both reveal Plant Explosives and score three; we also both score for Head Hunter.
Turn 3: Perdita cold-bloodedly drops Teddy then Kade and hurts Lilith for good measure. Lilith hits her back to limited effect. The Austringer polishes off the Primordial Magic. Both Hunters close in on Lilith and bite her. The Death Marshal picks up another head and the Watcher, satisfied that all is going well, drops another marker and moves to sit between two of them. I score for Head Hunter.
Turn 4: Scott declares his new objective: kill Perdita Ortega. Sadly I win initiative and one of the Hunters mauls Lilith to death. Guild win 10 – 4 (full score for me; 3 for Plant Explosives and 1 for Head Hunter for Scott). I apparently forgot to take a final picture, but the only change was removing Lilith and putting yet another head marker in the centre.
I was much more comfortable throughout that game; I think that Scott is relatively inexperienced. I hope to meet him again when he has played a few more games as he was very enthusiastic about his Malifaux. I did make quite a big mistake in wasting the Austringer’s activation on turn 2 messing about with the Primordial Magic instead of making the Death Marshal pick up the nearby scheme marker and therefore save me from conceding 2 points (Perdita was still in range of the one in the centre).
Game 3: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (Paul Hansell)
Strategy: Squatter’s Rights
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Frame For Murder, Power Ritual
Guild: Breakthrough (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Resurrectionists: Breakthrough (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco Ortega (Hermanos De Armas), Guardian, Austringer, Hunter, Watcher, Death Marshal, 2 Guild Hounds, Brutal Effigy
Resurrectionists: Nicodem (Love Thy Master, Undertaker, Manical Laugh), Mortimer (Corpse Bloat, My Favourite Shovel), Datsue Ba (Spirit Beacon, [another upgrade that I forgot to write the name of]), 2 Necropunks, Bete Noir, Rotten Belle
Looking at the field, I decided to run Sonnia for a change. In general I like her for crowd control, but she is particularly weak against Kirai. I decided to risk it and was pleased when Paul chose Nicodem. The Guardian was there with the idea of using that lovely big melee range to engage a pair of Squat marker. The Hounds and Watcher would be on Power Ritual duty; if the opportunity presented itself to take a Squat Marker on the way then I would do that. We both picked Breakthrough and Power Ritual. I didn’t have anything worth using for Bodyguard and I didn’t expect Nicodem, Mortimer or Datsue Ba to be focussing on killing things directly.
Turn 1: We both drop scheme markers in our own corners. Datsue Ba moves up but fails to summon a Seishin. Papa Loco give Sonnia his dynamite and pulls her forward with Hermanos De Armas. Mortimer advances and puts out a pair of corpse markers. The Death Marshal charges and Pine Boxes Papa Loco. Nicodem uses Maniacal Laugh then summons a Dead Doxy and Punk Zombie. The latter charges the Brutal Effigy but can’t land a hit. Sonnia hits Mortimer with some Flame Bursts, dropping the Punk Zombie to a single wound in the process. I summon a Witchling Stalker when it burns to death in the end phase and Bete Noir also appears.
Turn 2: The Necropunk on the left takes a Squat marker. The Brutal Effigy does the same and gives Sonnia Fear Not The Sword. She blows up Mortimer and the Doxy, forces Bete Noir to bury and hurts Nicodem. The other Necropunk picks up the right hand Squat marker. On the left, the Hunter Slows Datsue Ba. Nicodem advances into the sea of corpse counters, turns them into Mindless Zombies then summons another Doxy and a Necropunk. The Doxy pushes the Necropunk and kills the Stalker to bring Bete back out. One of my Hounds charges her to stop Bete from getting stuck into Sonnia, which I definitely don’t want. The selfless act of loyalty does cost the poor dog its life. The Guardian pokes at the Necropunk on the left; the Death Marshal runs for a marker and the Austringer makes him claim it. The new Necropunk charges the lonely Hound and gets eaten in return. We both score on the Strategy.
Turn 3: Datsue Ba fails to hurt the Hunter then summons a Seishin. The Effigy Focuses and shoots Nicodem then companions to Sonnia who clears out the middle but is just short of killing Nicodem. She does draw an impressive number of cards thanks to Fear Not The Sword though. Nicodem heals himself with Chime of Sorrows, summons another Punk Zombie and makes a nearby Necropunk Fast. The Watcher makes it to the far corner and drops a scheme marker. The Punk Zombie kills the Effigy. Papa Loco frees himself from the box and tries (but fails) to blow up Datsue Ba and the Necropunk after the Death Marshal has moved off to drop a scheme marker. My Hound hurts the fast Necropunk then it Leaps to take the last neutral Squat marker and return to poke the Hound. The Guardian could choose to take a Squat Marker but instead kills Datsue Ba. This brings Bete back; she kills my Hunter. We both score on Squatter’s Rights.
Turn 4: Sonnia finally kills Nicodem. The Necropunk on the right continues to flail uselessly at my Hound. The Guardian moves to engage Bete Noir; the Seishin moves over to stand on a Squat Marker. The Death Marshal Focusses and hurts the Seishin. The Necropunk on the left Leaps and takes one of my Squat markers. Everything runs around scheming; Bete can’t manage to get free of my Guardian. Guild lose 8 – 9 (I get 3 for each scheme and 2 for the strategy; Paul scores 3 for everything).
What a game. I really enjoyed every part of that match and Paul was a warm and friendly opponent. It felt extremely satisfying having Sonnia clearing out swathes of the undead from the centre while Nicodem was constantly raising them back up. I made a mistake in attacking Datsue Ba with the Guardian instead of taking the Squat marker in turn 3. But looking back at the game, I think I still could have scored if I’d thought properly. The Austringer could easily have killed the Seishin and let Papa Loco take that Squat marker instead. Or even I could have done it the other way round by using Deliver Orders. Anyway, for whatever reason I didn’t think of it at the time. It could have been a very interesting game to take to turn 5 too, but we ran out of time; it was a very busy game (I probably wrote about 50% more noted than usual).
Game 4: Guild (me) vs Arcanists (Martin Wodehouse)
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Breakthrough, Assassinate, Take Prisoner
Guild: Breakthrough (announced), Distract
Arcanists: Breakthrough (announced), Take Prisoner (Perdita)
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Guardian, 2 Hunters, Austringer, Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, Brutal Effigy
Arcanists: Marcus (Hunger Cry, Feral Instincts, Trail of the Gods), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Sliurid, Canine Remains, 2 Molemen, 2 Night Terrors, 3 Malifaux Raptors, Jackalope
I was really unsure what kind of crew to take here. On the one hand, I like Sonnia in theory against Arcanist due to her excellent crowd control and access to Disrupt Magic. But on the other hand, she really suffers against the kind of hard-hitting mobility that Arcanists can bring, like the Cerberus in particular. The board was covered in line-of-sight blocking terrain that would make almost any form of ranges attacks tricky too. In the end I selected Perdita so that I could ignore some cover if needed, or ignore armour if something heavy was deployed. I hoped to use the Guardian to tie up multiple enemies with its big melee range, and Nino to cover the central square. Seeing Martin’s crew I was glad not to have picked Sonnia as she would have been almost their perfect prey. I picked Distract hoping to tag the Night Terrors early if possible, and Breakthrough because it is nice and easy to score in flank deployment.
Turn 1: The Raptors all waste activations by Taking to the Sky. The Austringer puts some damage on the Canine Remains sneaking up the right. The Jackalope charges in and hurts Nino; he Red Jokers a damage flip in return after pushing out of combat to blow it to bits. Dang thing’ll be back soon enough. Perdita Relocates to Nino, kills the Canine Remains and drops a scheme marker. Myranda advances and turns into a Cerberus, which fails to Leap. Marcus steams over and kills the Austringer. The Raptors reappear in a corner.
Turn 2: Marcus makes Nino a Beast, put him on negative flips and makes him Prey before offing the Brutal Effigy. The Hunter on the right kills a Moleman and the Jackalope pops back up. The Siluris fails to kill my Watcher. The other Hunter hurts the Night Terror. The Cerberus eats the Nephilim. Nino shuffles out of Perdita’s way and she charges Marcus, acheiving little except to draw some soulstones for Tomes; she also Distract him and the Watcher does the same to the Silurid. The rest of the Arcanists shuffle to score and the Raptors come in to engage anything I have that might be close to scoring (which is nothing anyway). Martin scores Interference, I score Distract.
Turn 3: Perdita hurts Marcus. Nino pushes out of melee, misses the Jackalope and is eventually eaten by the little monster. The Hunter at the top Distracts its Night Terror; the other misses a Chain Harpoon into the Cerberus. One of the Raptors is finally killed by the Guardian (how I hate that weak damage of 1) and another finishes off the Watcher. Marcus beats Perdita suspiciously gently. The little Beasts move to score again. I score Distract and Martin scores on the Strategy.
Turn 4: Perdita kills Marcus and the Jackalope. The Cerberus moves toward Perdita, confirming my belief that Martin had Take Prisoner on her. The rest of both of our crews flail uselessly at each other; the Silurid takes the opportunity to remove Distract. I am again swamped with Raptors at the end of the turn. Martin scores on Interference again.
Turn 5: The Hunter kills a Raptor but misses a critical Chain Harpoon into the Cerberus. Perdita makes a run for it, but the Cerberus is able to Leap and catch up to her. Martin scores again for the Strategy and also picks up all the points for Take Prisoner. Guild lose 5 – 10 (2 for Distract and 3 for Breakthrough for me; full score for Martin).
That was a really interesting game. I don’t have a lot of experience playing against Marcus or a crew like that and it probably showed. I wasn’t able to whittle down the activations fast enough to make any difference and in the end there were still a lot of the little Beasts moving about in places where I would never be able to reach them. I’m still thinking about how I would handle such a match-up in the future and I’m not certain I have a good answer yet. The Raptors are a very strong pick in Interference as they can get into position to stop me scoring and then Take to the Sky again before I have much of an opportunity to retaliate. Overall I was quite comprehensively outplayed through the match. Martin was a lovely chap to play against; one of the draws of such an event is that it is big enough to pull in players from further afield than I normally encounter.
After the conclusion of day one there were some folks settling down for card games and so on, but I was a bit too tired of gaming to partake much. I enjoyed a chance to catch up with some of my friends whom I only see at tournaments, then my group headed back to the centre of town for some beer and a very fine curry. After a refreshing rest we were back even earlier for another three games.
Game 5: Guild (me) vs Guild (Paul Butler)
Strategy: Turf War
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Assassinate, Plant Evidence, Vendetta
My Guild: Line in the Sand (announced), Plant Evidence (announced)
Other Guild: Plant Evidence (announced), Assassinate
My Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), Papa Loco Ortega (Hermanos De Armas), Austringer, Hunter, Watcher, Death Marshal, Witchling Stalker, Brutal Effigy
Other Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting, Os Veo), Hunter, Francisco Ortega (Wade In), 2 Guild Hounds, Abuela Ortega, Enslaved Nephilim, Brutal Emissary (Conflux of the Hunt)
I have surprisingly little experience playing Guild vs Guild games and I had no idea what Paul might choose here. In the end, I opted for Sonnia Criid with the idea that I might be able to blast stuff coming in for Turf War. I was expecting some amount of shooting incoming so picked Francisco to make Sonnia herself a slightly less appealing target. I didn’t really fancy any of the schemes much so I picked Line in the Sand and Plant Evidence pretty much entirely with the idea that I was in full control of them.
Turn 1: Papa Loco give Sonnia some dynamite and pulls her forward. This was a bit of a mistake; I should have put Hermanos De Armas on Francisco instead so that he could use El Mayor. Papa Loco is later tucked away into the Death Marshal’s Pine Box. The other Francisco does indeed use El Mayor on Perdita. Abuela Shotgun Weddings the Emissary into the Family (actually I’m a bit surprised that Conflux of the Hunt doesn’t do that anyway) and it eventually Buries the Hunter. The Nephilim pushes it and Abuela forward. Perdita Relocates to Francisco and guns down my Witchling Stalker which I have stupidly left wide open (though I guess she could have ignored any cover anyway). Sonnia walks up and hurts Abuela; the other two Ortegas Soulstone away their damage.
Turn 2: Sonnia kills Abuela, walks and hurts the Emissary. This was a mistake as I didn’t really need to expose Sonnia at that point; I’d have been much better off using the Hunter to attack Abuela and saved Sonnia for later. I also forgot to use the Brutal Effigy before activating Sonnia. Perdita kills my Hunter and Obeys Francisco next to the Emissary. The Brutal Effigy and Watcher drop scheme markers and both Hounds run for my half of the table. The Emissary Buries Francisco moves to within 6″ of the Turf marker and Unburies both Francisco and the Hunter; the latter next to the scheme marker I’d conveniently just dropped (looking back I’m not sure that Francisco should have been Unburied at this point as it was the same activation he’d been Buried). His Francisco charges Sonnia, doing some rather nasty damage and using Finesse. My Francisco Flurries the Hunter but can’t do enough damage to kill it. With no cards in either of our hands, Paul top decks high Rams on both attacks to trigger critical strike and kill Sonnia perfectly, scoring Assassinate in the process. The Death Marshal Pine Boxes the Hunter so that I can Unbury Papa Loco and hurt his Francisco. We both score for Turf War.
Turn 3: Perdita Relocates to Francisco and kills Papa Loco who explodes and hurts the Death Marshal. She companions to Francisco who rather charges and rather easily kills the Death Marshal, Unburying the Hunter in melee with my Francisco. He stabs the last wound off the Hunter and guns down the imposter Francisco. The Hounds and Watcher drop scheme markers and the Nephilim Shackles itself to one of the Hounds in order to engage the Watcher. The Effigy continues to drop scheme markers and the Emissary Red Jokers a damage flip on Francisco. We both score again on the Strategy.
Turn 4: The Emissary kills Francisco and does its Tyranny Lights The Way action. One Hound gently tickles the Watcher while Perdita improbably fails to kill the Austringer. The Effigy is runs round to be near the Turf marker and the Austringer Delivers Orders to get it close enough. We both score for Turf War.
Turn 5: My Effigy engages a Hound to make it a bit harder to remove my scheme markers. Perdita makes no mistake this time killing the Austringer and removes a scheme marker; the Emissary removes another. The Watch takes double Defensive Stance and somehow survives. Paul scores on the Strategy again. My Guild lose 7 – 10 (3 for Turf War, 3 for Plant Evidence and 1 for Line in the Sand; full score for Paul).
Paul was a lovely gentleman to play against; it was the perfect start to a second day of gaming. I’m a bit annoyed with my play overall here as I felt that I made things far to easy for him though. In particular I was needlessly aggressive with Sonnia in turn 2. I have gotten into the habit of using her (if possible) twice in a row, i.e. once at the end of turn 1 and then as soon as possible in turn 2. But in this case only Abuela was even in range to attack by Sonnia. A much stronger play would have been to put the Hunter into Abuela as she didn’t have many wounds left, then use Sonnia when more targets were available. Oh well, live and learn.
Game 6: Guild (me) vs Guild (Adam Hutchison)
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Protect Territory, Outflank, Power Ritual
My Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Other Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
My Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), Guardian, 2 Hunters, Austringer, Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, Brutal Effigy
Other Guild: Hoffman (Arcanist Assets, Field Mechanic, On Site Assimilation), Brutal Emissary (Conflux of the Amalgamation), Peacekeeper, Ryle, Metal Gamin, Mobile Toolkit, Warden
I have to admit, I was hoping to face either Gremlins or Outcasts here as I had gone up against the other five factions already. Normally I’d be happy to put down either Sonnia or Perdita for Reckoning, but with close deployment in the mix and Assassinate on the cards I felt much more comfortable with Perdita. I’m not a fan of super-elite Reckoning crews with only a few activations so while I looked for tougher options I did make sure to get enough pieces in my crew to allow me to actually compete on the schemes too. In particular, Slowing big hitters with the Hunters can be very useful. I picked Protect Territory because it is a scheme that can often be scored once the dust has settled and Power Ritual because I was hoping to keep my Watcher out of harms way and score a cheeky 3 points. Looking at the horrifying wall of metal facing my crew I was very glad to have chosen Perdita.
Turn 1: The Toolkit gives the Peacekeeper positive flips to melee attacks. The left Hunter Chain Harpoons it for Slow. Hoffman Loops the Metal Gamin, gives it Slow in exchange for Fast (not sure why Hutch didn’t use the Peacekeeper for this since it was already Slow) and knocks some scrap out of the Peacekeeper. He then puts Patchwork Plating on the Emissary and Targeting Systems on the Peacekeeper and Machine Puppets the Peacekeeper to Focus and lose Slow. Finally he Machine Puppets the Emissary to Bury the Peacekeeper and walk to my right. Francisco moves over to give Perdita a Relocation target that will allow her a straight shot at the Emissary. Perdita takes her shots at the big robot but can’t drop it. It moves further to the right and Unburies the Peacekeeper. The Hunter fails to Chain Harpoon it, so the Peacekeeper shows it how this is done by using the Focus to put Slow on my Hunter and then missing the Brutal Effigy. Ryle heals the Peacekeeper. The Effigy Focuses and shoot Slow onto the Peacekeeper yet again. The Austringer plinks a couple of wounds off the Toolkit and the Watcher and Warden both drop scheme markers and take the long walk across the board. Finally the Guardian charges the Peacekeeper, being careful to keep outside its melee range.
Turn 2: Hoffman Power Loops the Metal Gamin and makes it Slow again before creating a scrap counter which is used to heal the Emissary and the Peacekeeper. He Machine Puppets the Emissary to push toward him then walk back so he could be dragged to it. Since Hoffman is now in range of the Peacekeeper he Machine Puppets it to push out of melee and shoot the Effigy. The Emissary is then Machine Puppeted to Bury Ryle. The Guardian charges the Emissary and re-engages both it and the Peacekeeper at maximum melee range. The latter just walks deep into my crew, engaging most of my constructs on that side. The Hunter on the left Slows the Emissary, then it walks and pokes at my Effigy, then Unburies Ryle. The Austringer kills the Toolkit and Ryle scraps the Hunter on the right. I use Francisco to set up a ridiculous Relocate option but then realise that I have only 1 card in hand and it is pretty good. Instead Perdita just walks then charges the Emissary, killing it after ignoring Armour. The Metal Gamin tries to finish the Effigy with Magnetism but, with no cards in hands, Hutch obligingly flips a 1. I score Reckoning.
Turn 3: The Peacekeeper Flurries the Guardian, dropping Targetting Systems in the process. Hutch has awful cards though and it survives easily. Perdita kills the Warden and puts some damage into Hoffman. He heals himself and Machine Puppets the Peacekeeper to keep hitting the Guardian but my robot just doesn’t want to go down. The Metal Gamin tries to Magnetise the Brutal Effigy again but flips the Black Joker this time. Ryle charges Perdita since I don’t have El Mayor up but he can’t land a hit. The Austringer and Hunter combine to kill the Metal Gamin and Francisco charges Hoffman and wafts his sword uselessly at him. I score for the Strategy again.
Turn 4: Francisco puts El Mayor on Perdita and prods a few more wounds out of Hoffman. Perdita Companions and guns down Ryle and hurts Hoffman. Hoffman Machine Puppets the Peacekeeper to kill the Effigy at last. The Guardian Protects itself, hitting the trigger to heal a couple of wounds, then the Peacekeeper bounces off it again. Hutch has seen enough so we agree that I’ll be able to pick up my schemes and stop him scoring his, but that I won’t be likely to score more Reckoning points. My Guild win 8 – 0 (2 points for Reckoning, 3 each for Power Ritual and Protect Territory).
I had a very nice time playing Hutch but his deck really didn’t like him at all that game. I felt that I had things in control even allowing for the inexplicable failure of the Peacekeeper to deal with the Guardian. The Hunters did great work for me putting Slow on his big hitters and I was very pleased to get such good mileage out of them. I knew when the Warden got diverted from his job of scoring Power Ritual that I would win the game, though the margin was bigger than I expected. That is one good thing about Watchers: they have no offensive power so it is not easy to get distracted from their scheme running.
Game 7: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (Ant Hoult)
Strategy: Collect The Bounty
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Protect Territory, Make Them Suffer, Spring The Trap
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Make Them Suffer
Resurrectionists: Protect Territory (announced), Make Them Suffer
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Counterspell Aura, Cherufe’s Imprint), Papa Loco Ortega, Malifaux Child, Guardian, Austringer, 2 Hunters, Death Marshal, Brutal Effigy
Resurrectionists: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity, Obliteration Symbiote, Eternal Journey), Dead Rider, Void Wretch, Nothing Beast (Void Shield), Necropunk, Toshiro the Daimyo (Decaying Aura, Unnerving Aura)
I was quite pleased to get another try to beat Ant, who has comfortably beaten me every other time we’ve played. Neither of us were even close to in the running for winning, so in our own ways I think we both took our foot off the pedal a little. I decided to just go wild with the Flame Bursts and enjoy Sonnia setting the world on fire; Ant took, in his words ‘a fun and silly crew’. The funny thing is that I’ve generally avoided playing Sonnia into Outcasts all year in case I get Tara who can counter my usual play with Papa Loco; it didn’t occur to me even for a moment that I might see her here. I thought that I might have a chance to take out both minions early and so picked Make Them Suffer, and Protect Territory is a favourite of mine even in flank deployment (where, admittedly, it is harder than usual). It isn’t very clear in the photo but the whole Resurrectionist crew is hiding behind some buildings at the back of their deployment zone.
Turn 1: The Necropunk fails to Leap, the shuffles around a bit. Tara Buries Toshiro after making him Fast. Papa Loco does Hold This and is buried by the Death Marshal. Yes, this was stupid; I know what Tara can do to Buried things. For some reason my mind just blanked on what I was doing. My stuff advances. I have a pretty awful hand so the Child fails to create a Flame Wall and Sonnia Black Jokers hers.
Turn 2: Sonnia walks up, Flame Bursts the Nothing Beast who discards Void Shield to avoid a big first hit; I cheat in the Red Joker on the second to kill it anyway. The Dead Rider is badly hurt in the blasts and the Necropunk dies (scoring me a point for Make Them Suffer). Those paying more attention than I apparently was will note that I forgot yet again to activate the Brutal Effigy first. Tara Unburies Papa Loco and makes him fast. He then walks out and blows up, doing nasty damage to Sonnia and killing a Hunter. I am an idiot. The Dead Rider charges the other Hunter and drags it back towards the corner where Toshiro kills it for Make Them Suffer. I had tried to use the Malifaux Child to block the charge route with a Flame Wall but Toshiro’s Fast allowed him to reposition. Ant scores for the Strategy.
Turn 3: Tara Buries Toshiro, making him fast, then Unburies him and fling him at Sonnia. She is not able to survive the onslaught. The Dead Rider is down to a single wound at this point. The Austringer Focuses and misses a shot at it. The Dead Rider attacks the Death Marshal but can’t make much of it. Almost everything I can muster attacks the Dead Rider but I can’t finish it off. In retrospect, I wasn’t going to score the Strategy anyway this turn so I might as well have attached Toshiro instead to try to bring his wounds down a bit. Ant scores for Collect The Bounty again.
Turn 4: The Death Marshal kills the Dead Rider. We both have awful cards and everything flails uselessly around (all the good cards get flipped on defense); a few attacks do get through on Toshiro but he Soulstones most of the damage away. Tara Slows the Guardian and Effigy. I score on the Strategy.
Turn 5: Ant rather unluckily Black Jokers the initiative flip having used his last Soulstone on Toshiro last turn. The Death Marshal kills Toshiro. Tara gives herself reactivate and runs to get in position to drop scheme markers. The Void Wretch gets pinned in place by the Guardian. The Death Marshal gets Delivered Orders by the Austringer so I have enough scheme markers down. Tara drops markers but doesn’t have enough AP to stand between them. I score for the Strategy and Guild win 6 – 5 (2 for Collect the Bounty, 3 for Protect Territory and 1 for Make Them Suffer for me; 2 for Collect the Bounty, 1 for Protect Territory and 2 for Make Them Suffer for Ant [writing this up I think I made some error in my notes as I can only see 1 point for Make Them Suffer for Ant but we were sure of it at the time]).
That was a very pleasant way to end the tournament. I’m very glad to finally have a win against Ant, even if he was taking it a bit easy on me. My own play was quite sloppy, but I guess that I am in some ways quite pleased to be able to demonstrate why you should not Pine Box Papa Loco when playing against Tara.
Overall I had a fantastic time at the UK GT 2015. It was terrifically well run, everyone was a perfect gentleman or lady as applicable, and most importantly I had 7 terrific games of Malifaux. When the scores came in I was 31st out of 88 players which I happy with; the field was very strong. I feel like I was at least in with a chance of winning each game if only I’d played a little more cleverly and I did beat some good players in the process. I have only two disappointment for the event. Firstly, there were a group of Swedes who had travelled over to join in the fun but I didn’t get drawn against any of them. And secondly, after 5 games I had played against 5 different factions. It would have been wonderful to ‘complete the rainbow’. As you can tell with the trivial nature of my concerns, I have almost nothing bad to say about the event. Thanks to Graham, Scott, Paul H, Martin, Paul B, Hutch and Ant for giving me 7 fun games, and to Mike, Lee and Chris for their tireless work to make everything run smoothly.