Malifaux tournament report: Autumn’s End 2018 (50SS); 22Sep2018

After a bit of a break, I attended another of Kai’s Malifaux tournaments at Common Ground Games in Stirling. There has been a long period this year where I haven’t been very enthusiastic about Malifaux but lately I’ve been missing it and was very glad to have the opportunity to get back into the saddle. I borrowed some Horrors from Gareth so that I could test out how I fare with Forgotten Life on Molly with a plan to use a more-or-less fixed crew for all three rounds. I hadn’t actually tried the crew before so it would be a learning experience all the way.

Game 1: Resurrectionists (me) vs Ten Thunders (Michael Arnott)

Strategy: Ours, Standard Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Guarded Treasure, Dig Their Graves, Set Up, Take Prisoner, Public Demonstration
Resurrectionists: Guarded Treasure, Dig Their Graves
Ten Thunders: Set Up (Yin the Penangalan), Public Demonstration (one Illuminated, Ten Thunders Brother, Wandering River Monk)

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Life, Take Back The Night), The Valedictorian, Necrotic Machine, Rogue Necromancy, Yin the Penangalan, Kentauroi, 2 Guild Autopsies
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Wanna See A Trick, Woke Up With A Hand, Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness (Smoke Grenades, Endless Hunger), 2 Katanaka Snipers, 2 Illuminated, Ten Thunders Brother, Wandering River Monk

My first round opponent is Michael; funnily enough we’d been messaging each other on the way to Stirling and he had hoped to face me again to make up for forgetting how to play the strategy during our last match-up. So he got his wish in round one. With Ours as the Strategy, I intended to use the Kentauroi to fire Molly forward and gum up the Ten Thunders crew as far back as possible and force them to spend their AP dealing inefficiently with my summons. This should allow me to use the Guild Autopsies to stand just in my two quarters and either twiddle their thumbs while scoring (they’re only 4SS each, after all) or take shots of opportunity as needed. I took the other three big Horrors in the Valedictorian, Rogue Necromancy and Yin simply because they’re cool and I could possibly do some tricks with Molly’s (0) action. Also, Black Blood makes me happy… at least as long as it is on my models. Nothing in the scheme pool looked very promising so I took Dig Their Graves (I’m going to try to kill things anyway, and in a pinch I can summon Drowned to get the scheme markers out) and Guarded Treasure. The requirements for Guarded Treasure are needlessly restrictive, but my hope was to use the Autopsies to move around and drop scheme markers near enough to my heavy hitting pieces on the assumption that the line of engagement would be somewhere close enough to the centreline.

Turn 1: The Snipers get started by putting some wounds into the Necrotic Machine and the Rogue Necromancy. Much of the turn is spent moving to position; Hungering Darkness uses Heed My Voice to make the Valedictorian walk directly back toward my board edge; so much for my threat ranges. Eventually the Kentauroi pulls Molly forward enough that she can summon a Punk Zombie, a Kentauroi and a Drowned right in the middle of the biggest group of Ten Thunders. Sadly this cost me enough cards that they don’t actually achieve anything of note when they arrive. Still, they should take a bit of time to put down.

Turn 2: Hungering Darkness flails at Molly. She doesn’t take much damage after Masterful Dead and Soulstone use, but frustratingly I flip the Black Joker on her Horror duel from Consume Brilliance. Amusingly, this costs Michael enough cards that the nearby Illuminated also fails his Horror duel; still, I think that I’ve come out worse in the trade here. The Kentauroi charges into the Ten Thunder Brother but misses twice. Lynch comes forward and drops a four ace 52-Card Pick Up on Molly, she ends up on a single wound remaining. Ouch! That’s a good way to get round her defensive trigger, though I don’t think I had any cards left anyway by that point. Yin pushes in to engage the Ten Thunder Brother and gives him Gnawing Fear. The Drowned gets Lynch down to a single wound and then a Kentauroi charges an Illuminated, landing close enough to Lynch that the Black Blood will kill him. Meanwhile the Guild Autopsies position to be just inside my quarters and drop scheme markers for the Rogue Necromancy and the Valedictorian to rather sheepishly stand on top of. I score for Ours and Guarded Treasure and Michael declares Public Demonstration for the full three VPs.

Turn 3: Molly summons a Drowned then kills Hungering Darkness herself, makes the Punk Zombie kill an Illuminated and chain activates the Kentauroi to drop the Wandering River Monk. These activations pretty much break the back of Michael’s crew and my attrition advantage is so big now that I’m pretty much certain to close out the game; of course, we still need to decide the margin. The Punk Zombie takes out the other Illuminated to score Dig Their Graves and a Drowned finally finishes the Ten Thunder Brother. I score for the strategy and Guarded Treasure and Michael announces Set Up on Yin to score two VP.

Turn 4: The Drowned puts down a scheme marker and Yin kills the Sniper on the left for Dig Their Graves. I’m ready to call it here but Michael helpfully moves the other Sniper closer to me to get a shot off at Molly so I send all I have left toward him in case I can pick up the final point for Dig Their Graves. I score Guarded Treasure and Ours again.

Turn 5: The Sniper flees into his own corner but the Kentauroi carries the Drowned toward him so he can drop a scheme marker. Molly finishes the Sniper off for the final points. Resurrectionists win 10 – 5 (full score for me; 3 for Public Demonstration and 2 for Set Up for Michael).

That went pretty much according to plan. As ever it is a pleasure to play Michael and we both took our good cards and bad with smiles. I hadn’t understood quite how deep I could pin Michael’s crew so in the end the Valedictorian and Rogue Necromancy were pretty much reduced to standing around scoring for Guarded Treasure (the latter contributed a few long range shots with Acid Breath). On the other hand they did guarantee me seven VPs for Guarded Treasure and Ours, so perhaps I shouldn’t overlook their contribution.

Game 2: Resurrectionists (me) vs Gremlins (Ross McGinness)

Strategy: Public Executions, Flank Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Eliminate the Leadership, Hold Up Their Forces, Undercover Entourage, Search the Ruins, Vendetta
Resurrectionists: Undercover Entourage (Asura Roten), Search the Ruins
Gremlins: Eliminate the Leadership, Undercover Entourage (Zipp)

Crews
Resurrectionists: Reva (Decaying Aura, Maniacal Laugh, Beyond Death), Asura Roten, Anna Lovelace, Carrion Emissary (Carrion Conflux), Dead Doxy, 2 Shieldbearers
Gremlins: Zipp (Dread Pirate Zipp, Gift of the Gab, Stilts), Burt Jebsen (Dirty Cheater), Raphael LaCroix (Dirty Cheater), Iron Skeeter (Hovering Airship), Lightning Bug, 4 Bayou Gremlins, Student of Conflict

For this round I had originally intended to stick with Molly but I got paired up with Ross. We played a very similar game in the Scottish GT and he beat my Spirit Molly crew with some clever Zipp plays. Over lunch I decided that it was likely that Ross would play Zipp again, and that it might be more effective to mix things up a little. So I took a Reva crew which is probably a better fit for Public Executions anyway (long ranged damage versus summoning in disposable minions seems like the better strategy to score points and deny them). The combination of Reva herself, Maniacal Laugh, Anna and the Emissary should ensure that there are good number of Mindless Zombies in play (not to mention Corpse Candles) so I decided to take Asura so that they would have something useful to do. Asura is a pretty good pick for Undercover Entourage since she’s a low priority target who can easily spare some AP to move in the late game. I picked Search The Ruins as my other scheme mainly because my general ‘kill them all and ask if anyone has any questions later’ approach fits in well with a scheme that I can score in turn 5 and partly because I didn’t expect the Gremlins to contest the centre unless Ross took the same scheme (and in that case, I would aim to kill everything, then drop scheme markers).

Turn 1: The Student makes Zipp Fast and the Doxy pushes Reva forward. After a few timewasting activations on both sides (Bayou Gremlins doing nothing much, most of my crew moving forward) Zipp goes in for Reva. I’m hoping that the combination of Ht 3 for Reva and the presence of Anna’s auras will mitigate the damage here but Ross helpfully top decks 13s for Zipp’s first two attacks and sends Reva way back from my intended angle of attack. He then turns into a Bayou Gremlin. Reva summons a Corpse Candle and places next to it. She charges the Lightning Bug and kills the Iron Skeeter (this also ensures that the Bug will die to Burning at the end of the turn). Burt stabs Reva and Raphael takes a pot shot at Reva but misses.

Turn 2: Burt swings at Reva and flips the Red Joker on damage; Ross announces Eliminate The Leadership. Reva kills him in return and charges away from the action to kill off a Bayou Gremlin on the left. Despite this distance, Zipp’s mobility allows him to get over to Reva and throw her back toward the rest of the Gremlin crew before turning into a Bayou Gremlin again. The Emissary kills this new Gremlin and then a random Bayou Gremlin kills off Reva to wrap up the points for Eliminate The Leadership. I’m out of cards so my attempt to get the Doxy to Take The Lead with Anna into range to contribute doesn’t work; she’s obliged to walk up. A Shieldbearer puts down another Bayou Gremlin but she’s out of sight of any other Gremlins so we draw on the strategy.

Turn 3: For the third time, the Student of Conflict makes Zipp Fast. The Carrion Emissary hurts Raphael but I Black Joker the damage flip that would have killed the Gremlin. Asura puts Grasping Hands on the Student but even so the nearby Mindless Zombie can’t land a hit. Raphael hurts the Carrion Emissary and then the Dead Doxy succeeds and pushes Anna Lovelace close enough to the Bayou Gremlin at the top of the board to kill the little chap. I score for Public Executions.

Turn 4: Zipp looks at the board state and decides to triple walk to hide in my deployment zone. The Carrion Emissary finally gets Raphael and I move Asura into Ross’s deployment zone. My Shieldbearers finish laying scheme markers round the centre of the board. It’s clear that we’re not going to be doing anything in turn 5 so we call it there. Resurrectionists win 8 – 6 (2 for Public Executions, 3 for Search The Ruins and 3 for Undercover Entourage for me; 3 for Eliminate The Leadership and 3 for Undercover Entourage for Ross).

I love to play Malifaux with Ross. His style of cagey hit and run attacks is very much in contrast to my ‘go for the throat’ approach and his positional play with Zipp in particular is really good. This game was very tight and could have gone either way. Burt’s Red Joker against Reva on turn 2 made quite a big difference as it really affected how I played Reva that turn; I had to be a bit more careful and hope to survive by distance (though of course, it didn’t help) rather than taking the initiative and making Ross react to my plays. I was quite glad that my choice of schemes paid off as this has been one area of my game that I feel has especially suffered from lack of practice. Asura as Undercover Entourage target is quite risky as she hasn’t really got any defenses apart from being surrounded by more important targets. I was quite close to taking Eliminate The Leadership instead and was glad I didn’t since Zipp is so hard to make damage stick on.

Game 3: Resurrectionists (me) vs Gremlins (Jamie Gemmell)

Strategy: Interference, Close Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough, Set Up, Inescapable Trap, Show of Force
Resurrectionists: Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough
Gremlins: Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Life, Take Back The Night), The Valedictorian, Necrotic Machine, Rogue Necromancy, Yin the Penangalan, Kentauroi, 2 Guild Autopsies
Gremlins: Mah Tucket (Know The Terrain, Manifest Destiny, Liquid Bravery), Sammy LaCroix, Francois LaCroix (Dirty Cheater, Stilts), Trixibelle, Gremlin Taxidermist, 2 Survivors, Slop Hauler

With Interference as the Strategy, this is really Molly’s area of expertise so it’s a really easy choice to go back to plan A and use the Horror Molly crew again. In particular, with close deployment I can unleash Molly in a single activation if there is an inviting cluster of models to summon from (though I don’t expect Jamie to give me anything so easy as he’s quite experienced). Looking at Jamie’s crew I decide that Punish The Weak is a good option as I’ll want to deal with the three Minions anyway and even if I don’t get them with Molly or the Valedictorian I can probably do it before the end of turn 3 to wrap up all the points. My crew will give up Punish The Weak quite easily but that’s just something I have to accept and play round. Covert Breakthrough is quite easy to score in close deployment and, like Search The Ruins from round 2, can be scored entirely in turn 5 when I have hopefully killed off all the other models. I did consider putting Unnerving Aura on the Valedictorian and/or Yin to pick up Show of Force instead but it doesn’t really work well with Interference and I’m happy enough with my two chosen schemes.

Turn 1: Mah pushes up, walks and swings ineffectively at Yin before going disguised. The Necrotic Machine pokes her back for just as little impact before Trixibelle pulls Mah back to relative safety. The Kentauroi moves up and pulls Molly forward and she summons two new Kentauroi in places where Black Blood will be most annoying. The Taxidermist hurts one of them and drops a corpse marker; it immediately eats the marker to undo the Taxidermists work and pokes Mah gently. Yin charges Francois and puts Gnawing Fear on him; he obligingly fails his Horror duel to attack back. The Slop Hauler is rather braver and knocks a good chunk of Yin’s wounds off despite Mass of Viscera; Black Blood is not kind to the little Gremlin though. The last Kentauroi gets the Rear Up trigger off Rotting Hooves and kills both the Slop Hauler and the Survivor on the left. Meanwhile, the rest of our crews slowly converge on this scrum with the exception of the right side Guild Autopsy who is content to find a spot where he can claim my quarter and not get killed too easily.

Turn 2: Trixibelle cheats the initiative flip. Mah charges in and kills Yin (I have to say I don’t think that I’ve ever lost Yin so easily) and chain activates Francois who kills one of my summoned Kentauroi. Molly kills Francois in return and summons a fresh Kentauroi, thus restoring the natural order of the universe. Sammy Jinxes the Rogue Necromancy to stop it from moving and Molly to make her scary for friendlies. The Rogue Necromancy reminds Sammy that it is not only a melee beatstick by showering her in Acid Breath and killing the Taxidermist with the blasts. Trixibelle pushes a Kentauroi around and Slows it. The Valedictorian puts a rather disappointing number of wounds on the surviving Survivor. I score for Interference and Jamie scores Punish The Weak.

Turn 3: Sammy Jinxes Molly to stop her from declaring triggers (uh oh!) and makes her scary to her friends again. In return, Molly kills Sammy. How do you like that de-buff, Sammy? She then chain activates a Kentauroi that totally fails to even hit Trixibelle. Mah kills the Necrotic Machine and the Rogue Necromancy shows the Valedictorian how things are done by eating the Survivor. Trixibelle kills another Kentauroi and Slows the one while incidentally putting about 20 Poison on it. I score for the strategy and we both score Punish The Weak.

Turn 4: Trixibelle kills a Kentauroi and Molly kills her. Mah makes it to my board edge and starts dropping scheme markers. It’s clear that the game is done now so we just agree that we can drop the required number of scheme markers for Covert Breakthrough. Resurrectionists win 10 – 6 (full score for me, 3 for Covert Breakthrough and 3 for Punish The Weak for Jamie).

Jamie is a really fun opponent and I had a great time playing with him. I think that he got too bogged down in the scrum caused by Molly and her summons to have a chance of scoring for Interference; of course, that was my intention but he didn’t seem to have any plan to break out of it. I was quite surprised by his choice of victim for Mah’s first turn attack; she could easily have killed the Necrotic Machine or Guild Autopsy just to control my activation count whereas she was highly unlikely to do anything substantial to Yin. From my side the game went quite nicely to plan. The Valedictorian was a bit disappointing in that the only time I threw her into combat the cards didn’t fall my way. However, she was on the far side of the board from most of the action so perhaps I’d have been better loading the centre during deployment rather than spreading out (I had to deploy first so I couldn’t react to Jamie’s positioning).

Once the scores are in I have done well enough to take second place, somewhat behind the mighty Lewis on VP difference. I was very glad to get out to this event and I feel like I’m perhaps out of my ‘Malifaux funk’ now. Thanks to Kai for his hard work running the event, and to Michael, Ross and Jamie for three very fun games of Malifaux. I will be back!

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “Malifaux tournament report: Autumn’s End 2018 (50SS); 22Sep2018

  1. Looks like a really fun game, and well done on second place!

    • Thanks! I really like Malifaux as a competitive game. It stands out from other games by (among other things) not only requiring you to kill off all the other side’s models, but rather to score by doing various other things.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: