Posts Tagged With: Arcanists

Malifaux tournament report: Spring Breach (50SS); 23Apr2016

Joe, Furycat and I drove over to Common Ground Games in Stirling for another one of Kai’s excellent Malifaux events. The format was the basic game at 50SS, no doubles or anything. The only twist was that Steve had graciously offered to run the actual event, thereby allowing Kai a rare opportunity to play in his own tournament. Strategies and schemes were announced ahead of time (which I approve of) but I don’t usually give them more than cursory thought until I know who I’m playing against and have seen the table.

Game 1: Outcasts (me) vs Arcanists (V West)

Strategy: Reconnoitre, flank deployment

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Covert Breakthrough, Public Demonstration, Leave Your Mark, Exhaust Their Forces
Outcasts: Covert Breakthrough, Convict Labour
Arcanists: Public Demonstration, Leave Your Mark

Crews
Outcasts: Leveticus (Tally Sheet, Desolate Soul), 2 Hollow Waifs, Rusty Alyce (Desolate Soul), Freikorps Trapper, Freikorps Librarian, Johan, 2 Ronin, Hodgepodge Effigy
Arcanists: Colette Du Bois (A Lady’s Secret, Practiced Production, Arcane Reservoir), Cassandra (Smoke and Mirrors, Imbued Protection), 2 December Acolytes, 2 Gunsmiths, Union Miner

Funnily enough, despite having known V ever since meeting her at my very first tournament, we had never actually played a proper game of Malifaux together until 2 weeks ago. However, the strategies and schemes that day were pretty similar to these, so we ended up playing largely similar crews. I chose Leveticus partly because he’s good for Reconnoitre as he’s good at destroying an enemy piece and replacing it with one of mine, and partly because I’m trying to get to grips with the interesting positioning he seems to need. Alyce comes in with Desolate Soul in order to get more Abominations out, and the rest of the crew are generalists who can act as anchors, thereby making it less likely that I accidentally strand myself out of Waif range. Tally Sheet combines well with the Hodgepodge Effigy; it means that I can use a soulstone for a crow (if needed) on the killing shot and then immediately get it back. Covert Breakthrough seemed quite easy in flank deployment since I’d have to get my pieces out there anyway, and I thought that Convict Labour could be an simple one to complete simply because I’d be starting so close to the centreline.

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Turn 1: An Acolyte shoots Leveticus… how I hate those guys. I use one of my two Soulstones to prevent a second card discard. The Effigy puts Loyalty To The Coin and then chain activates Leveticus. He attacks the unactivated Acolyte, but for some reason I think that they have 7 wounds (they really have 8) and waste my last Soulstone on a crow when I can’t possibly kill him. Leveticus creates a Waif and disappears. Cassandra charges the Trapper and gives him a fairly effecting stabbing, so I take advantage of the delay in Acolyte activation to kill the wounded one with a focussed shot from the Librarian. The Trapper blows away a Gunsmith with a remarkably lucky first shot (double severe plus Critical strike on my first attack). The Union Miner does some False Claims and is then Prompted by Colette to do it some more, liberally scattering scheme markers around. A Ronin double walks to engage the surviving Acolyte.

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Turn 2: The Acolyte stabs the Ronin a couple of times and pushes away on the second attack. Leveticus kills Cassandra to make me very relieved man. Rusty Alyce guns down the Miner and summons an Abomination from him. Colette uses Disappearing Act to get right in my face (and surrounded by scheme markers, so tricky to kill), Sabre Tricks the unwounded Ronin down to Hard To Kill and Prompts the Acolyte to take a couple of ineffective shots at the Librarian. The Trapper finishes the Acolyte and Johan pulverises the Gunsmith. The rest of my crew drop scheme markers. I score for the strategy and Convict Labour.

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Turn 3: Colette Sabre Tricks Leveticus to death and polishes off the Ronin for good measure. Some of my stuff heads for the backfield to drop scheme markers for Covert Breakthrough, the rest flails uselessly at Colette. The game is already over, but it’s fun to see how long Colette can last; I score again for Convict Labour and Reconnoitre.

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Turn 4: Leveticus fails to kill Colette, so she runs off to drop a scheme marker. The Librarian finally kills her so we agree that I can rack up the remaining points; V scores one for Leave Your Mark. Outcasts win 10 – 1 (full score for me; 1 for Leave Your Mark for V).

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That was a highly entertaining game, and I think that we both had fun with Colette as an action hero at the end. V is only just getting back into the game after a long absence and I’m sure that she’ll soon be back to her old powers.

Game 2: Outcasts (me) vs Arcanists (Jamie Clark)

Strategy: Extraction, normal deployment

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Detonate the Charges, Occupy Their Turf, Hunting Party, Exhaust Their Forces
Outcasts: Hunting Party, Convict Labour
Arcanists: Detonate the Charges, Occupy Their Turf

Crews
Outcasts: Leveticus (Tally Sheet, Desolate Soul), 2 Hollow Waifs, Taelor, Freikorps Trapper, Freikorps Librarian, Johan, 2 Ronin, Hodgepodge Effigy
Arcanists: Ramos (Arcane Reservoir, Under Pressure), Howard Langston (Imbued Protection), Joss (Bleeding Edge Tech), Arcane Effigy, Mechanical Rider, Steam Arachnid

I was really pleased to get an opportunity to play Jamie as I’ve dodged him for pretty much the whole of last year; he had predicted earlier that this would be his chance to play me. I guessed that Jamie would pick Ramos for this strategy (flooding the centre with Steam Arachnids is quite an effective way to work) so I chose Leveticus again. Not only is Leveticus an effective counter-summoner, but he also ignores most Arcanist defensive abilities. I swapped Alyce out for Taelor so that I could threaten Welcome To Malifaux occasionally but also make use of her tasty Relic Hammer. When I saw that Jamie’s plan would indeed be to summon Arachnids I picked Hunting Party (pretty easy to score with Taelor here) and then also chose Convict Labour on the grounds that it would give me most freedom to operate without worrying about Jamie’s moves.

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Turn 1: Joss smacks the Steam Arachnid into scrap, and Ramos turns it into a pair of new Steam Arachnids (we discussed afterward that Jamie could do this slightly more effectively by moving the Arachnid up first then charging with Joss; probably people who play Ramos can give better suggestions). One of them advances into Leveticus’s range and is duly vapourised and turned into an Abomination. The Mechanical Rider, apparently concerned about Johan’s Relic Hammer, takes the unusual step of heading into the centre and therefore within range of Taelor’s. The Trapper shoots the Rider to get started on dropping it before the defensive trigger gets going.

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Turn 2: Ramos summons another two Steam Arachnids. Taelor stonks across and smites the Rider into scrap with a timely cheated Red Joker. Langston kills the Waif on my left and the nearby Ronin pokes him gently in retaliation. I start dropping schemes on the centreline, but sadly forget to drop the third one (was going to do it with Johan but moved him to engage instead). The Librarian fails to kill one of the many Steam Arachnids, thereby preventing me from scoring on Hunting Party. Leveticus, aided by the Hodgepodge Effigy, turns the Arcane Effigy into an Abomination but Black Jokers a chance to do the same to an Arachnid. We both score for the strategy but I get to move the marker back toward my table edge.

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Turn 3: Langston somehow fails to kill the pesky Ronin. Johan squashes an Arachnid to score me Hunting Party. Ramos summons three more Arachnids and shoots Johan. A huge scrum erupts in the middle with big chunks of each crew involved. The Ronin stabs a few more wounds out of Langston and commits Seppuku to clear a shot for Leveticus to kill him, which he duly does (and turns him into an Abomination, not because it would be useful out there but because it is entertaining to do it). The Trapper and Librarian take shots of opportunity at Ramos. I score on Extraction and Convict Labour while Jamie scores two points for Detonate the Charges.

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Turn 4: Taelor beats two more Arachnids back into scrap (for Hunting Party, and also just to keep them in check) then Joss kills Johan. Ramos summons another two Arachnids; the Librarian kills another. I score again for Extraction and Convict Labour and we run out of time. Outcasts win 7 – 3 (3 for Extraction, 2 for Convict Labour and 2 for Hunting Party for me; 1 for Extraction and 2 for Detonate the Charges for Jamie).

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That was another really fun game; it felt like whack-a-mole trying to keep the Arachnids under control. I was happy to keep the dog-pile in the centre going as I was able to move the Informant marker back far enough that Jamie could only score on turn 2. I should really have picked up Convict Labour in turn 2; in a 5 round game I would have probably been able to get the last points in the final round but it was a little sloppy anyway.

Game 3: Outcasts (me) vs Arcanists (Lewis Philips)

Strategy: Collect The Bounty, close deployment

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Catch and Release, Undercover Entourage, Hunting Party, Leave Your Mark
Outcasts: Hunting Party, Undercover Entourage (Tara)
Arcanists: Hunting Party, Leave Your Mark

Crews
Outcasts: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity, Obliteration Symbiote), Killjoy, Malifaux Child, Johan, Rusty Alyce, Freikorps Trapper, Nothing Beast (Void Shield)
Arcanists: Marcus (Hunger Cry, Trail of the Gods, Feral Instincts), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Cassandra (Practiced Productions), Cerberus (Pack Leader), 2 Malifaux Raptors, Jackalope, Blessed of December

I’ve played Lewis a few times lately and he’s getting really good. I was quite surprised to see that he’d moved to play Arcanists now as I think I’ve previously only seen him using Neverborn. Still, I change factions from time to time, it’s quite nice to have a change. Close deployment and Collect The Bounty feels like it could be a good call for the Viktorias but I’m pretty bad at using them so I decided to use Tara for this one (also, I’d be quite worried at shipping so many Bounty points on them as they’re not hard to finish off). I planned to throw Killjoy at a few big things and hope to keep enough stuff distracted while the rest of my crew picked off any stragglers. Undercover Entourage would be good for Tara since she can cover plenty of ground when she needs it, and I was hoping that I could do enough damage to the Raptors and Jackalope that I could score easily on Hunting Party.

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Turn 1: Tara makes the Nothing Beast and Alyce fast. The Trapper shoots a few wounds out of Marcus. The Blessed moves up toward the centre and the Nothing Beast charges it and Red Jokers the damage to end it in one go. I’d planned to soften it up a bit for the next turn. Marcus gets stuck into Johan, making him a beast and Domesticating him. Alyce beats him up and inconveniently also drops double severe damage onto one attack that it passed over to Johan. Tara unburies Killjoy, drops (some good) cards to make everyone nearby fast, then chain activates into Killjoy. He charges into the Cerberus but makes a total mess of his attacks. This was a massive play error on my side. Firstly, I dropped 3 good cards (my last in hand) to get a few more AP; I was hoping to get lucky off the deck but didn’t. The right move was definitely to make use of the cards to have an impact on the actions I actually did use. I also dithered about finishing off Marcus; he was vulnerable but it would have cost me Johan and also possibly my ability to score on the strategy in the following rounds. I’m still on the edge about the bounty points, but I’m currently thinking that it would have been worthwhile to just let Johan go and probably finish Marcus while the opportunity was there. Anyway, Myranda turns into another Blessed which Leaps in to finish Johan anyway. A Raptor lands near Marcus too so he has both it and the Blessed to pass attacks off to.

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Turn 2: Alyce punches Marcus who uses Soulstones to pass the damage around and avoid dying. He turns Killjoy into a beast, domesticates him and moves out of Black Blood range and hurts both Alyce and the Trapper. He then accomplices to the Cerberus who takes a few bites out of Killjoy. The Nothing Beast kills his second Blessed of December and one Raptor swipes at the Trapper. The other is sitting far off in a corner to have scheme markers thrown at it by Cassandra. The Trapper pushes out of melee and shoot Cassandra. Tara Slows Marcus but he stubbornly refuses to be buried (it does draw some cards out of Lewis’s hand though). Killjoy heals himself and takes an ineffectual focussed swing at the Cerberus. Cassandra drops a scheme marker and misses a stab at the Trapper. I score on the strategy; Lewis scores Leave Your Mark.

Turn 3: Marcus again makes Killjoy a beast, Domesticates him and kills him before stabbing Alyce. The Cerberus chain activates and finishes her off. Cassandra kills the Trapper (scoring for Hunting Party) and drops another scheme marker, while Practiced Production lets another fall out of a Raptor. Tara buries Marcus who has one wound left and no soulstones. The Nothing Beast kills the Jackalope (scoring for me on Hunting Party) which causes Marcus to fall out of the Void; the Nothing Beast kills him too (finally!). The Malifaux Child makes a run for it. Lewis scores for both Collect the Bounty and Leave Your Mark.

Turn 4: Tara finishes the Cerberus and starts running for the far side of the board. Cassandra drops a final scheme marker and manages to get the child (double moderate damage on a negative flip for the single attack she could make; I tried my best to keep the little chap alive!) to collect all the remaining Hunting Party points. The Nothing Beast swings fruitlessly at her. I score Collect the Bounty and Lewis gets the last point for Leave Your Mark with the Raptors staying nice and safe.

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Turn 5: The Nothing Beast eats Cassandra. The game ends in a draw at 7 – 7 (3 for Collect the Bounty, 1 for Hunting Party and 3 for Undercover Entourage for me; 1 for Collect the Bounty and 3 for each scheme for Lewis).

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That was a very close game, and very enjoyable too. Lewis is becoming a really strong player and making good use of his experience at tournaments in the wider community now and it’s a big challenge now to play him. That said, I’m annoyed with myself for my poor play in turn 1. It might have been the right decision not to kill off Marcus (but I’m currently feeling like the game control would have been worth it even if it ended up denying me a Collect the Bounty point) but it certainly wasn’t the right decision to pitch 3 good cards to give out fast. Still, this is the reason that I write these things – they make me think about what I should have done differently.

Game 4: Outcasts (me) vs Resurrectionists (David McGuire)

Strategy: Reckoning, corner deployment

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Exhaust Their Forces, Take Prisoner, Covert Breakthrough, Inspection
Outcasts: Convict Labour, Inspection
Resurrectionists: Take Prisoner (Freikorps Trapper), Inspection

Crews
Outcasts: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity), Taelor, Johan, Rusty Alyce, Bishop, 2 Freikorps Trappers
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Life, Terrible Knowledge), Philip and the Nanny (Take Back The Night), Madam Sybelle (Bleeding Tongue), 2 Night Terrors, 2 Dead Doxies, 2 Crooligans

With Reckoning I decided to go with a very small crew (something I don’t normally play well); Outcasts are spoiled for great options at 10 soulstones so it feels like a bit of treat to be able to take 3 in the same game. I went with Tara again thinking that I could possibly use her to leverage the best out of my elite models. I picked the Trappers with the idea of just sitting them in the corners for Inspection, dropping scheme markers for Convict Labour in turn 2 and generally just taking shots at targets at they presented themselves. I was quite surprised at David’s crew as I thought that quite a few of his models could end up presenting cheap kills, and Molly is usually played as a summoner of disposable minions too. On the other hand, I knew that David was too canny to give up strategy points too easily.

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Turn 1: Tara makes Johan, Taelor and Alyce fast. Both Crooligans take double Defensive Stance, a Doxy pushes Philip around and he eventually does some card cycling at the cost of some scheme markers. The Trappers shoot at a Doxy to soften it up a little. Sybelle moves forward and Calls Belle on Molly, who moves up and summons a Punk Zombie out of Taelors sight. She fails to Paralyse Johan with Obscene Truth.

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Turn 2: Molly summons a pair of Punk Zombies and makes one of them Slice and Dice in the middle of my bunched up models, doing nasty things. It also hurts the other one to start Black Blood splashing around. She chain activates the one from last turn which kills Johan. Alyce Rapid Fires into Sybelle, hurting her badly and using up most of David’s soulstones. A Doxy pushes Sybelle forward then Taelor smites the two newest Punk Zombies before they activate (but getting more Black Blood everywhere). Tara Slows Molly and Sybelle, then discards the trash out of my hand for a lot of Fast. Sybelle puts Attend To Personally on Bishop, and he’s only too happy to oblige, beating her to death (again) and getting covered in more Black Blood for his trouble. The Trappers drop scheme markers in the corners then the Night Terrors and Crooligans jump on one of them to make it a waste of time. I score Reckoning and Inspection.

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Turn 3: Taelor charges Molly and kills the last Punk Zombie. Molly uses Terrible Truth on Bishop then Paralyses him. Philip continues to cycle cards. The Trappers shoot at Doxies with varying results and Tara finishes them both off with Sympathetic Echoes (more Black Blood though). I score for Reckoning and we both score Inspection.

Turn 4: Taelor hits Molly, finishing Bishop with the Black Blood splash. Molly then kills Taelor, Alyce and Tara, who were all on only a few wounds after the bathing they’d been doing in Black Blood. David scores for Reckoning and Take Prisoner; we both score for Inspection again. Outcasts lose 5 – 6 (2 for Reckoning and 3 for Inspection for me; 1 for Reckoning, 3 for Take Prisoner and 2 for Inspection for David).

However, when we’re discussing the game afterwards, David rechecked some rules and realised that he’d accidentally made an important error in how we’d played Black Blood (I think that it was that Sybelle actually shouldn’t get it but I may have misunderstood). He was really embarrassed at the time and I hope he won’t mind me mentioning it – after all it was a simple mistake. We discussed with the Tournament Organiser and David offered to reverse the score to 6 – 5 to me on the basis that Bishop could have Haymakered Molly without dying (I had the needed cards in hand), denying his point for Reckoning and allowing my crew in the centre to get on with the business of dropping enough scheme markers to score me a point for Convict Labour.

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As always, I had a wonderful time playing against David. It’s a particular treat when he’s using Molly since he’s also her creator and it makes me smile to think of how cool it must be to play a character that you wrote yourself. I need to get much better at spreading out against Molly crews as I always get suckered by the combination of summoned Punk Zombies, Black Blood and Slice and Dice. Or maybe I just need to play more Freikorps. As it turned out, taking Crooligans and Night Terrors didn’t harm David at all in Reckoning since I didn’t manage to kill any of them.

So once the (revised) scores are added up, I came in first place. For my troubles, I got one of the new Mystery Boxes, but it wasn’t for a faction I play so I gave it to Joe; hopefully he’ll get plenty of use and fun from it. I had a wonderful time, and I have to thank V, Jamie, Lewis and David for four fun games of Malifaux, Kai for organising the event and Steve for running the show on the day.

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Malifaux tournament report: Scottish Doubles GT 2016 (2x25SS); 05-06Mar2016

Furycat and I headed along to Common Ground Games in Stirling again, this time for a Malifaux doubles tournament. I’ve never played doubles before, but it seemed like an excuse to be silly and not worry too much about the game balance; the main Malifaux rules don’t really cover doubles so there are some odd cases of things not working as normal. Furycat and I took Ten Thunders Misaki and Outcast Tara respectively for the simple reason that those were the masters we were in the mood for playing when we drove over.

Game 1: Outcasts / Ten Thunders (us) vs Outcasts / Ten Thunders (Greg and Maria)

Strategy: Interference

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Take Prisoner, Leave Your Mark, A Quick Murder, Inspection
Our Outcasts / Ten Thunders: A Quick Murder (Bishop), Convict Labour
Their Outcasts / Ten Thunders: A Quick Murder (Rusty Alyce), Inspection

Crews
Our Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity), Freikorps Trapper, Johan, Rusty Alyce; Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Recalled Training), Sensei Yu (Wandering River Style), Katanaka Sniper, Monk of the Low River
Their Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento), Sensei Yu (Wandering River Style), Mr Graves, Shadow Effigy; Viktoria of Ashes (Sisters in Fury, Synchronised Slaying, Oathkeeper), Viktoria of Blood (Mark of Shezuul, Oathkeeper), Bishop (Oathkeeper), Hodgepodge Effigy

So, game one and we come up against the strongest pairing in the event. Not the straightforward start I was hoping for to get a feel for how doubles play would work out in practice. Still, it did at least mean that (in theory) every game after this one would be easier. I don’t think we even put a lot of thought into our crews; the masters got our favourite upgrades and the rest were selected mainly with a view to being able to put damage out at range. Clearly with the amount of pushing available in the other crew we would be facing a turn 1 onslaught. Seeing the schemes, we figured to drop Bishop quickly (for a Quick Murder) and hope to have anything live long enough to score Convict Labour. We planned to put some shooting downrange in turn 1 with the Trapper and Sniper then brace for impact, hopefully deploying our own Misaki missile at some point.

Turn 1: The two Effigies do their things on the masters and head off in cover. Tara makes Alyce Fast. Our long range shooters put some damage into Viktoria of Ashes, drawing a couple of Soulstones to prevent damage, while Sensei Yu fails to Stalk the Sniper but does push Misaki up and make her fast. She then crashes into the Sniper and does a little damage. Mr Graves pushes both Viktorias forward (due to one of the many doubles quirks about friendly models). Our Yu pushes Alyce, stalks Viktoria of Blood and makes Misaki Fast. The Viktorias then power up and Viktoria of Blood wades in to kill Misaki and Johan. Alyce bounces some bullets off Viktoria of Blood in return and Tara charges in and ends up burying her.

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Turn 2: Tara makes Alyce Fast again and Slows Viktoria of Ashes. Misaki offs the Sniper, bringing Viktoria of Blood back, then Alyce guns down Bishop (scoring our Quick Murder). Viktoria of Blood kills the Trapper then the Monk climbs up to engage her and Misaki. Our Yu hides behind the building (there was nothing useful to do with him) and their Yu has a terrible run of cards and fails to do anything whatsoever. Mr Graves charges Viktoria of Ashes and pushes her into range to swing on Tara and Alyce. Greg and Maria score on Interference and Inspection.

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Turn 3: Alyce kills Viktoria of Ashes; Viktoria of Blood kills the Monk. Tara Slows Misaki and makes Alyce Fast. Their Yu pushes Mr Graves forward and Stalks Tara. Miaski then kills her. Greg and Maria score on Interference and Inspection again.

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Turn 4: Misaki kills Alyce for a not-especially Quick Murder. We have Sensei Yu left but there is nothing left he can do so we concede the rest of the game. Our team loses 3 – 9 (3 for Quick Murder for us; 4 for Interference, 3 for Inspection and 2 for Quick Murder for them).

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As always, games against Greg and Maria are terrific fun, so getting them both in a single game was excellent. We made some pretty big mistakes here; probably the biggest was not revving up Misaki with Sensei Yu earlier in the turn so that we could have the option to drop them onto the Viktorias after they’d been pushed forward by Mr Graves (though there were other options available to Greg and Maria so they didn’t need to walk into that trap). Anyway, the game was over so quickly that we could go out for lunch, have a wander round the shop and still come back to find that the other teams weren’t finished at all.

Game 2: Outcasts / Ten Thunders (us) vs Outcasts / Resurrectionists (Ali and Dave)

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Hunting Party, Show Of Force, Detonate The Charges, Public Demonstration
Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Hunting Party, Show Of Force
Outcasts / Resurrectionists: Hunting Party, Public Demonstration (Hodgepodge Effigy, Dead Doxy, Student of Viscera)

Crews
Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity), Rusty Alyce (Desolate Soul), Taelor; Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Recalled Training), Yin the Penangalan, Illuminated, Katanaka Sniper
Outcasts / Resurrectionists: Von Schill (The Shirt Comes Off), Hodgepodge Effigy, Johan, Convict Gunslinger (Oathkeeper), Freikorps Trapper; Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Life), Student of Viscera, Dead Doxy, Rogue Necromancy

Needless to say, the thrashing we received in game 1 sent us right down to the bottom table for the second game. This one had a much more favourable scheme pool from my point of view. I took Alyce with an upgrade with the idea of dominating the centre and Taelor in the hope that one day I would actually get to use Welcome To Malifaux against Molly. Furycat notably took Yin as our plan was to take firm control of the centre with Misaki and my Outcasts, then harass anything sent to the flanks with the rest of our crews. With the other crew packing minions and likely to summon more we selected Hunting Party, and had picked Alyce specifically to give us the option of Show Of Force. We deployed second and had no hesitation in parking the Sniper in melee with the Trapper, being careful not to give him space to push free without either going off the tower or remaining in melee.

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Turn 1: Molly Imbues Vigour onto the Doxy then Tara makes Misaki, Taelor and Alyce Fast. The Doxy uses Take The Lead twice to move the Student toward the corner marker. The Sniper pokes gently at the Trapper and Misaki charges in to generally make no impact on the poor Freikorpsman.

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Turn 2: The Gunslinger Rapid Fires Alyce to burn a good number of our Soulstones away keeping her well. Yin moves to cover the corner marker and puts Gnawing Fear on the Student. The Doxy pushes it forward again. Tara makes Alyce Fast again. The Rogue Necromancy shoots Alyce and Stalks her. The Sniper continues to trade blows with the Trapper, and some fantastic cards from Ali has the Trapper coming out ahead. Alyce shoots the Effigy (trying to score Hunting Party) but completely fails to do anything significant; she flips her marker. Misaki kills the Gunslinger and pushes into Molly who attacks her for no meaningful effect. Taelor and Tara flip the other two markers in the middle. Von Schill misses a couple of shots at Alyce, then we score Squatter’s Rights and Show of Force.

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Turn 3: Tara makes Alyce Fast and fails to Slow Von Schill. The main moustache charges and hurts my master a lot. Alyce guns down the Rogue Necromancy, summoning an Abomination which is then killed bt Johan for Hunting Party (oops!). Misaki and Molly continue to flap at each other. The Doxy fails a horror duel on Yin, then Taelor steams over to smite the Student of Viscera (scoring a point for our Hunting Party). Yin pokes the Doxy a bit while the Sniper finally manages to win his sword fight with an unarmed man, dispatching the Trapper on his 6th attack (and after help from Misaki). Tara buries Von Schill. We score again for Show of Force and the strategy; they reveal Public Demonstration to score a point from the Dead Doxy.

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Turn 4: Yin finishes the Dead Doxy for Hunting Party, bringing out Von Schill who wastes no time polishing off Taelor. Misaki drops Molly and Johan misses the Illuminated which kills the Effigy. This guarantees us the final Hunting Party point in turn 5 since it was the last minion. Everything we have left pours attacks into Von Schill, leaving him on a single wound left. We score for the strategy and pick up the last Show of Force point.

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Turn 5: Tara kills Von Schill. It had no impact on the game, but I wanted it for completeness. Johan fails to do enough damage to the Illuminated to score another Hunting Party. Our team wins 10 – 2 (full score for us, 1 each for Hunting Party and Public Demonstration for them).

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That was a hilarious game and we were all especially enjoying the epic duel on the rooftop between the Sniper and the heroic Trapper. From our point of view, everything went perfectly according to plan, so not much more to say. I think that Ali and Dave dithered a little too much, being unduly cautious with Molly and not committing Von Schill to the centre early enough on to matter.

Game 3: Outcasts / Ten Thunders (us) vs Ten Thunders / Ten Thunders (Callum and Dave)

Strategy: Headhunter

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Exhaust Their Forces, Show Of Force, Neutralize The Leader, Catch And Release
Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Show Of Force, Neutralize The Leader (Lucas McCabe)
Ten Thunders / Ten Thunders: Show Of Force, Neutralize The Leader (Misaki)

Crews
Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity), Johan, Freikorps Librarian, Freikorps Trapper, Hodgepodge Effigy; Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Recalled Training), Sensei Yu (Wandering River Style), Izamu the Armour (Recalled Training)
Ten Thunders / Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Glowing Sabre, Badge of Speed), Luna, Shadow Emissary (Elixir of Life, Conflux of Exploration), Mounted Guardsman; Shenlong (Wandering River Style, Recalled Training), Sensei Yu (Smoke Grenades, Promising Disciple), Peasant, Katanaka Sniper

We went into this knowing that we were going to give up 3 points for Neutralise The Leader on Misaki, and resolved just to get on and enjoy doing what she does best (i.e. doing just the same thing to the other master); Lucas McCabe felt like an easier choice of victim than Shenlong, at least to score a point. Furycat took Sensei Yu to turbo-charge Misaki, score Show of Force and generally get our crew on to head markers as needed and Izamu to be a colossal roadblock that might not even surrender his head in the end. For my part, I took cheaper stuff that could pick up heads but didn’t need to commit too far forward. The Librarian was there to mitigate any Sniper shenanigans and the Trapper was there to provide our own. Johan was hungry to get a chance to swing that Relic Hammer at Shenlong, or otherwise just to be a handy second wave threat with Yu to push him around. Some of the cover options on the board aren’t very obvious, but we did pick some pieces to stop it being like playing on an empty field.

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Turn 1: The Shenlong phase starts with the Peasant reproducing by binary fission. Tara makes Yu and Misaki Fast and a Peasant makes the Sniper Focus. The Hodgepodge Effigy puts down some Mist to mitigate the incoming gun fire. The Sniper guns a pait of Focus shots into Misaki while our Trapper has only one shot at McCabe. The Emissary pushes their Yu forward while our Yu pushes Izamu up and makes him Fast. Their Yu then Airbursts Izamu forward and fails to Mighty Gust him back and Slow him. The attentive among you may notice that their Yu didn’t actually have Wandering River Style at that point; an activation or so later Dave realises this and we put the high card we cheated to avoid the Mighty Gust back into our hand. Izamu, barely able to believe that Yu’s clone was so helpful as to bring him even closer, happily charges in and beats the big chap to within an inch of his life, relieving the crew of all Soulstones in the process. McCabe Black Flashes the Sniper and charges Izamu, beating a Soulstone out of him in the process, then passed the Sabre to the Mounted Guard. The Librarian heals a couple of wounds off Misaki, then the Sniper shoots them right back off again. Shenlong heals some wounds on Sensei Yu, then Misaki tears off up the board and kills Yu anyway. She pushes into a clump of Ten Thunders models to keep the Mounted Guard off Izamu. The Guard does stab a few wounds off her to score a point for Neutralise The Leader.

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Turn 2: Shenlong narrowly fails to kill Misaki. She races over to knock McCabe off his horse (scoring a point for Neutralise The Leader) and eventually pushes further away from the bulk of their crew. The Emissary picks her off with a blast from an attack on Izamu (scoring the last points for Neutralise The Leader), who in turn smacks all but one of McCabes wounds off him. The Mounted Guard kills Izamu with the Sabre, but the Armour hits him back and doesn’t drop a head thanks to A Warrior’s Death. Tara fails to do anything to McCabe. The Sniper shoots Johan down to his Hard to Kill wound, then Yu pushes him around a wall and makes him Fast. Johan gets into the Mounted Guard, killing him and picking up a previously dropped head right at his feet. Tara, slightly sheepishly, finally drops McCabe with her gun to score our remaining Neutralise The Leader points. This Reactivates the Sniper who blows away a Peasant who had ended up engaged with Johan before killing the renegade steamfitter with the second shot. We score for Show of Force.

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Turn 3: Tara Slows the Sniper and Shenlong. The latter switches to Wandering River Style and picks up a head. Yu Airbursts him back and Mighty Gusts the Librarian forward. The Emissary passes the Elixir to Shenlong to push him back to the middle. Our Effigy picks up a nearby head. The Sniper knocks the Librarian to a single wound with one Focussed shot, the Black Jokers the damage on the second. She uses Furious Casting plus Fast to take the Emissary to 1 wound before Black Jokering the last shot in her own turn. Luna bites the Effigy, the Trapper finishes the Emissary and Tara vapourises Luna with a timely Red Joker. We score again on Show of Force.

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Turn 4: Shenlong changes to High River Style and hurts Tara. The Librarian picks up another head and we run out of time. Our team wins 9 – 4 (3 for Headhunter and 3 for each scheme for us; 1 for Headhunter and 3 for Neutralise The Leader for them).

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It was lovely to play against Dave and Callum, but once Dave had made his mistake with Sensei Yu they were right on the back foot for the whole game. Not just because it let us take Sensei Yu almost for free, but because it shook Dave’s confidence in his choices. We had an interesting quandary at the start of turn 2 with Misaki. We ultimately decided to go directly for points by throwing Misaki into McCabe, but we could have dropped three Thunder attacks over the crew which would probably have picked up the Sniper, both Peasant and Luna, with some nice damage on Shenlong and the Mounted Guard. That would have given us some interesting activation control for the rest of the game.

Game 4: Outcasts / Ten Thunders (us) vs Resurrectionists / Resurrectionists (Dave and Robert)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Exhaust Their Forces, Leave Your Mark, Occupy Their Turf, Take Prisoner
Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Exhaust Their Forces, Leave Your Mark
Resurrectionists / Resurrectionists: Exhaust Their Forces, Take Prisoner (female Illuminated)

Crews
Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity), Taelor, Rusty Alyce (Desolate Soul); Misaki (Stalking Bisento), Kang, 2 Illuminated
Resurrectionists / Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Life), Valedictorian, Carrion Emissary (Conflux of Molly-ness), Graveyard Spirit; Seamus (Sinister Reputation), Bishop, 2 Rotten Belles, Copycat Killer

Our plan here was to accept that we’d be out numbered and Lured around and just go directly for the throat, trying to keep the line of combat far enough back that it would be hard to put two pieces into the Turf War area. I took Alyce’s upgrade thinking that Molly might summon some pieces that we could gun down into Abominations, and Taelor for her general utility, bad-ass-ness and possibility of getting off Welcome To Malifaux. Furycat’s plan was to apply early pressure with Misaki and then back it up with a wall of Kang-assisted Illuminated. None of the schemes looked very appealing, so we picked Exhaust Their Forces (thinking that there would be plenty of force to exhaust) and Leave Your Mark with the aim of dropping markers when we were right up the table.

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Turn 1: The Emissary flaps over the building and drops a pair of Shard Markers right in our way, then flaps back. Tara makes Misaki and Taelor Fast. We sacrifice an Illuminated to the inevitable chain Lure, and it is indeed pulled right into the death ball Misaki charges the Emissary for no effect at all. Molly summons a Punk Zombie, makes it attack Misaki then summons a Drowned. Eventually Bishop drops the Illuminated and Seamus Exhausts Misaki to score a point.

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Turn 2: We end up with a hand full of high crows and decide to try to burn their resources. She Stalks Seamus and Assassinates him three times. Sadly, we only get weak damage on all three flips and one of them is stoned away to nothing so ultimately we probably ended up hurting our own hand and cache more than theirs. Oh well. Molly puts Terrible Truth on Misaki and Bishop puts the final blow into her a few activations later of things poking at our Master. Tara Slows the Valedictorian. Taelor charges in and Hammerfalls to move a few things around. Alyce can’t get a clear shot on anything and ends up dropping a scheme marker. Kang smites Bishop and Seamus Exhausts Taelor. The Illuminated does kill off the Mindless Zombie though. Tara ends up burying the Valedictorian and a Belle Slows both Tara and Taelor. We score Leave Your Mark, they score Exhaust Their Forces and we both score Turf War.

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Turn 3: Kang kills Bishop, releasing the Valedictorian which Exhausts him in reply. Tara removes Slow from Taelor and Exhausts a Belle. Taelor fails a Hammerfall that would have caught almost the entire Resurrectionist crew (they flipped high and the highest card we’d drawn was a 7). The Illuminated charges the Belle, splashing Black Blood over just about everyone, so Seamus kills her to do a bit more. He companions to the other Belle who Lures Alyce into the scrum; she responds by Exhausting Seamus. Various things attack Tara who tries to disengage so she can put down a scheme marker, but fails. My notes fail me at this point, but somewhere in here Taelor died (possibly to Black Blood) and the Illuminated gets Lured right into the back of the crew. When time runs out, we both score Exhaust Their Forces and Turf War, and they reveal Take Prisoner on the surviving Illuminated. Our team loses 4 – 8 (2 for Turf War and 1 for each scheme for us; 2 for Turf War and 3 for each scheme for them).

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That was another really interesting game, and I always enjoy playing against a Malifaux legend like Dave. Our planning and strategy was completely wrong though; we should have taken more cheaper stuff and aimed for crowd control. Certainly Alyce was wasted, her job could have been done just as well by a 4 Soulstone Void Wretch. We also wasted more resources on Misaki in the middle of the mosh pit than we cost Dave and Robert; she’d have been better moving to force them to react and maybe taking out a few lesser pieces rather than going all in on Seamus.

Game 5: Outcasts / Ten Thunders (us) vs Arcanists / Arcanists (Andy and Michael)

Strategy: Stake a Claim

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Hunting Party, Show Of Force, Search The Ruins, Public Demonstration
Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Show Of Force, Search The Ruins
Arcanists / Arcanists: Hunting Party, Search The Ruins

Crews
Outcasts / Ten Thunders: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity, Obliteration Symbiote), Killjoy, Freikorpsman, Hodgepodge Effigy; Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Recalled Training), Dawn Serpent, Sensei Yu (Wandering River Style)
Arcanists / Arcanists: Ramos (Seize The Day, Bleeding Edge Tech), Brass Arachnid, Large Arachnid, Howard Langston (Imbued Energies); Colette Du Bois (Arcane Reservoir, Shell Game, Nothing Up My Sleeve), Mechanical Dove, Myranda, Cassandra (Practiced Production, Imbued Energies)

We took one look at the scheme pool, terrain and close deployment here and decided to end the event by going all in for fighting. I picked Killjoy to aim for the first turn, or even first activation, beast bomb, and Furycat got Sensei Yu set up to do a full on Misaki missile. I took two cheap activations; the idea was to gum things up so much with Misaki and Killjoy that the Effigy and Freikorpsman would have a free reign on the fringe of the action. The Dawn Serpent was partly because Furycat loves it, and partly to avoid giving up 3 points on Hunting Party too easily. We picked Show of Force and Search the Ruins with the idea of getting Yu to score the former on his own and with Tara’s help for the latter if we could successfully push the Arcanists right back. As it turned out, they deployed too cagily for me to fire Killjoy in activation 1.

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Turn 1: The Large Arachnid kills the Dove for scrap. Tara makes the Dawn Serpent and Yu Fast. Ramos summons a pair of Steam Arachnids; the Dawn Serpent breathes fire over them. Sensei Yu charges Misaki with Fast and pushes her forwards, then Stalks Howard Langston. Langston drops Imbued Energies and attacks her, drawing some of our stones. Interestingly, I advise Furycat not to attack back this point as I’ve forgotten about Colette behind her wall, but luckily so has Andy so he makes the Brass Arachnid Stoke Langston instead. That mistake costs Langston his life as Misaki tears him apart then charges in to bounce off the Large Arachnid. Cassandra prompts Myranda to move, then advances herself. Tara moves up, unburies Killjoy, pulses Temporal Shift (catching one Steam Arachnid, Killjoy, Yu and the Dawn Serpent) and chain activates Killjoy. The big beastie lumbers into Ramos, positioning so any push away will leave him braced up against a monument. Colette Prompts the Large Arachnid to bite Misaki.

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Turn 2: Colette Prompts Ramos to summon 3 Steam Arachnids, then Prompts the Large Arachnid to attack Misaki until she has only a single wound remaining. Misaki stabs Ramos repeatedly and draws out all their cards and Soulstones; Ramos misses her back three times. The Dawn Serpent Focuses and clears out all the newly summoned Arachnids. Cassandra attacks the Effigy and Myranda attacks the Freikorpsman, then turns into a Cerberus to do it again; both survive. Sensei Yu Airbursts the Effigy free, drops a scheme marker from the Focus he gained, walks up and drops another scheme marker. Tara uses Temporal Shift again to speed up almost our whole crew, then drops another scheme marker to take control for Search the Ruins. The Large Arachnid hurts the Dawn Serpent then the Effigy puts down a Claim marker. Killjoy turns Ramos into a stain on the ground then saunters off to line up an Arachnid as its target. The rest of Andy and Michael’s crew improbably bounce off Misaki. We score Stake a Claim and Show of Force.

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Turn 3: Misaki hurts Colette and Cassandra kills the Effigy (scoring for Hunting Party) while the Cerberus finishes off the Freikorpsman. The Dawn Serpent heals and eats the Large Arachnid. Yu Airbursts the Cerberus back into its own half of the board. Tara buries a nearby Arachnid (actually I was just trying to burn a card out of their hand) and uses Temporal Shift again. Colette finally kills Misaki to cheers all round, so Killjoy kills her in return, and squashes the Brass Arachnid for good measure. Again, we score Stake a Claim and Show of Force.

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Turn 4: The plucky Steam Arachnid bites Killjoy. The Dawn Serpent charges into hurt Cassandra and she gets away from it on the second attempt. Yu fails to Airburst the Cerberus, so luckily gets through Southern Charm to Mighty Gust her back to the Dawn Serpent. The Cerberus fails to Leap over the centre line and walks sadly instead. Our team wins 9 – 1 (3 each for the strategy and both schemes for us; 1 for Hunting Party for them).

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That was a very funny game and we were all laughing and groaning as yet another attack bounced off Misaki’s seemingly perfect dance of death in turn 2 and 3. We could very easily have lost Misaki to prompted Langston attacks in turn 1 (I think we had the cards in hand to survive but it wasn’t a sure thing) but all of us missed the opportunity. After that, it was just clean up as Misaki and Killjoy effectively paralysed their entire crew apart from Myranda and Cassandra for three turns, allowing our crew to go about the business of scoring all the points.

So in the end we somehow come in 2nd place; seemingly Greg and Maria destroyed everyone else as easily as they did us, and the other teams in the top half of the table took results off each other. Playing doubles was quite an instructive experience as I had to be able to explain my reasoning for my choices to Furycat and have him make me understand why he chose various courses too. As a team we seemed to work quite smoothly together with general agreement on how to proceed and even which cards to cheat; by contrast some teams did appear to spend a lot more time discussing strategy. Thanks to Greg, Maria, Ali, Dave, Callum, Dave, Dave, Robert, Andy and Michael for 5 terrific games of Malifaux, and to Jamie and Kai for their great work organising and making the whole event run smoothly.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Malifaux tournament report: Vapnartak 2016 (45SS); 07Feb2016

I’ve had some good times at the previous Vapnartak events I’ve attended and so when tickets were on sale for the 2016 iteration I was very happy to buy one from Chris, the organiser, at some tournament we met at. Normally I’m very lucky that Joe drives me around to these far-flung locations, but this time Joe’s car broke down and I was obliged to drive. The effects of my driving can be seen in the results that Joe and Furycat managed at the tournament. Still, I was really excited for this, not only the first singles event of 2016 but my first ever games using the new Gaining Grounds 2016 schemes.

Game 1: Outcasts (me) vs Resurrectionists (Connor Barker)

Strategy: Extraction

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Leave Your Mark, A Quick Murder, Hunting Party, Covert Breakthrough
Outcasts: A Quick Murder (Izamu the Armour), Hunting Party
Resurrectionists: A Quick Murder (Taelor), Hunting Party

Crews
Outcasts: Jack Daw (Writhing Torment, Twist and Turn, Firing Squad Injustice, Guillotine Injustice, Drowning Injustice), Freikorps Librarian, 2 Freikorps Trappers, Taelor, Guilty, Rusty Alyce [edit: as pointed out by Viefaux this is actually 48SS, so I cheated Connor here. I’ve already apologised to him, and as a true gentleman he’s accepted my apology]
Resurrectionists: Yan Lo (Reliquary, Fortify The Spirit), Izamu the Armour (Spirit Beacon), Toshiro the Daimyo (Command the Graves, Corpse Bloat), Soul Porter, Philip and the Nanny (Take Back The Night), Dead Doxy

So after 4 hours of driving South, my first round match up is exactly the same opponent and strategy as the first round of my previous event. Lucky for me that Connor is such a great chap to play against. I picked Jack Daw to hope that the pushes on Tormented pieces could allow me to keep my own models near the Marker and possibly push Connor’s away (but it didn’t; I forgot about it entirely on the other crew). Alyce and Taelrr are both very good for killing so I took Hunting Party, and I realised that I would have to drop Izamu at some point so took A Quick Murder on him so that I could score some points for doing so. It appears that I forgot to take picture of the start of the game.

Turn 1: The Guilty Torments Taelor. The Soul Porter pushes Yan Lo and Toshiro forward while keeping carefully out of sight of my Trappers. Toshiro brings up a corpse marker and summons an Ashigaru from it, then drops a scheme marker. Philip then discards the marker for some card cycling. Both Trappers put bullets into Yan Lo to put a bit of pressure on the old man. The Doxy pushes Yan Lo forward with Take The Lead, then he heals Toshiro and shoots a Trapper. Alyce, who has been made Tormented and moved forward by Jack Daw, puts another bullet into Yan Lo but he Red Jokers the prevention flip.

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Turn 2: Yan Lo double focusses and shoots Taelor, then picks up Spirit Ascendant. Luckily for me I flip like a champion on defense and stop Connor from cheating in the Red Joker. The Librarian uses Furious Casting on the Doxy, killing her and scoring me a point for Hunting Party. Izamu steams up the right side and smites the Trapper, starting Connor’s own Hunting Party and summoning a Seishin in the process. Alyce Rapid Fires to kill Toshiro who is helpfully standing out of cover. The Ashigaru charges into the Librarian and is charged right back by my Guilty. Taelor charges Izamu; luckily top-decking the Red Joker on the first swing so I stone in the Tome to make sure of the kill on the second; this scores me 3 points for A Quick Murder. Jack Daw puts Guillotine Injustice on the Ashigaru and lands Philip with Firing Squad Injustice (but I made a mistake and should have charged in to use the Noose instead of Suppressed Memories for the better weak damage; I was hoping to make use of the lower willpower on Philip). We both score on the Strategy; I move the marker a toward my board edge.

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Turn 3: Taelor charges into Yan Lo, missing one swing then Black Jokering damage on the second. The Ashigaru finishes off the Librarian while the Guilty pokes gently at Philip. The Soul Porter moves Yan Lo toward the Guilty. Alyce shoots the last wound off the Ashigaru for Hunting Party and Jack Daw charges in and drops a Red Joker damage flip to kill Yan Lo. I score on the strategy. We look at the board state and agree that either Alyce or Taelor will be able to drop either the Soul Porter or the Seishin next turn for a final Hunting Party point, and therefore that we can call this here and spend more time looking round the rest of the show. Outcasts win 10 – 2 (full score for me; one for Extraction and one for Hunting Party for Connor).

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All games against Connor are fun, and I was glad to get a win against him after a couple of defeats in a row. The board was quite open (not as much as it looked; we treated the cactus bases as forests to have a bit more line of sight blocking) and the Trappers and Alyce were able to get a lot of work done. We ended up picking the same schemes for the same reasons; I would have been quite interested to see what else was popular in the rest of the field. I met up with my old mate Rob and spent the rest of the lunch break looking round the show and catching up before we were onto round 2. [edit: obviously, winning is a bit easier when you field a bigger crew than your opponent. Probably not much to learn here apart from that I need to count better.]

Game 2: Outcasts (me) vs Outcasts (Maria Wieland)

Strategy: Head Hunter

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Hunting Party, Catch and Release, Show of Force, Occupy Their Turf
My Outcasts: Show of Force, Hunting Party
Maria’s Outcasts: Convict Labour, Hunting Party

Crews
My Outcasts: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity), Freikorps Librarian, Rusty Alyce (Desolate Soul), Hodgepodge Effigy, Johan, Bishop (Scramble), Malifaux Child
Maria’s Outcasts: Hamelin (Piper, Infectious Melodies, Oathkeeper), Johan (Oathkeeper), Hodgepodge Emissary (Conflux of Plague), Stolen, Taelor (Oathkeeper, Scout the Field), Obedient Wretch

In theory I like Jack Daw a lot in Head Hunter since the pushes from Writhing Torment can make it quite easy to collect the head markers. In this case, I was worried that we would end up with a ridiculous ‘Jack Daw off’ where everyone gets pushed this way and that before any action takes place. So I decided to take Tara instead since being Fast can make quite a lot of difference too. On such an open board I’d normally be thinking about Trappers, but they would be counter productive in Head Hunter as they’d just end up showering heads around Maria’s deployment zone for her to score. Having Show of Force in the scheme pool made me deviate from my normal style too; I’m not really a fan of taking lots of upgrades but in this case I felt that I had to do so to avoid just giving up three points to Maria if she took some upgrades. Once I’d taken them, I felt that I might as well go all the way and select that scheme. With so many expected minions cycling through the Hamelin crew I thought that Hunting Party should be very achievable.

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Turn 1: Various combinations of vermin and children get thrown about and turned into each other; my notes don’t allow me to replicate the actual sequences. Tara makes Alyce Fast and my crew advance to hold the centre of the board. Hamelin uses a soulstone to summon a pair of Stolen, Obeys Taelor forward and Obeys the Emissary forward. The latter moves toward the centreline and drops a scheme marker.

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Turn 2: More rats and children waste activations. Tara taps both Alyce and Bishop for Fast; the Child does the same for Johan. Alyce Rapid Fires Johan down to his Hard to Kill wound and Bishop rushes over to finish him off then scramble back into the centre since Alyce is too far away to score Show of Force. The Effigy uses the Mist and drops a scheme marker to try and fake like I’m doing Convict Labour and not Hunting Party. Hamelin Obeys my Effigy toward Taelor’s waiting embrace and summons another Stolen (the previous ones are probably a Rat Catcher by now, certainly there is one around somewhere). Taelor smites the Effigy into matchwood (scoring Hunting Party in the process) and the Emissary picks up the head. I score for Show of Force.

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Turn 3: Tara makes Alyce, the Librarian and Bishop Fast. Johan picks up the head of his fallen twin and the Librarian shouts most of the wounds off the Emissary. Bishop kills a Rat Catcher who fell out of a Rat King at some earlier stage (scoring for Hunting Party) and Alyce puts a couple of bullets into Hamelin to keep him cautious. Hamelin Obeys Alyce to kill off my Child, getting round Manipulative cleverly. I actually cheated high enough to put her on a negative damage flip but the Red Joker blew the little chap away. If he’d survived on one wound I could have hidden him safely behind some rock pillars. Tara kills the Emissary and Taelor uses Oathkeeper to pick up its head. I score Show of Force again.

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Turn 4: Tara Slows Taelor and makes Alyce and Johan Fast. The Rat Catcher goes Fast, walks over to Bishop and picks up the head of his predecessor then rudely dies before Bishop could punch him. Alyce guns down a Rat King (Hunting Party) and summons an Abomination from it in the hope of making Maria work to score another Hunting Party point. Another child rushes over to pick up the head to stop me from collecting it and sacrifices itself. The Librarian shouts at Taelor and eventually Johan charges in to her, getting her down to Hard to Kill and knocking her out of range of the centre (because I still thought that Maria might have Show of Force herself). Hamelin repeatedly Lures my new Abomination over, eventually killing it. Maria scores for Hunting party at the end of the turn since I have no minions left again, and I score a final point for Show of Force.

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Turn 5: Tara finishes off Taelor. Hamelin kills his own last Rat with Useless Toys then runs off to the corner. I’m not really sure why Maria killed the rat herself since it scored me the last Hunting Party point for free. Johan picks up Taelor’s head and revels in wielding the last Relic Hammer on the table. My Outcasts win 8 – 6 (2 for Head Hunter and everything for the schemes for me; 3 for Head Hunter and 3 for Hunting Party for Maria).

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As always, that was a terrific game against Maria. On my side of the table, I felt that I managed to keep on top of the summoning cycle by forcing Maria to expend pieces from time to time just to keep me at bay. Scoring Hunting Party was much trickier than I expected since Maria played her crew very cagily, but I had the mobility and power to get some kills and some heads where I needed them. Having all schemes unrevealed at the start made the whole game very interesting because I wasn’t sure what to try to counter; having said that I think that maybe Convict Labour was not really the right strategy for Maria.

Game 3: Outcasts (me) vs Arcanists (Mark Shepherd)

Strategy: Collect the Bounty

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Exhaust Their Forces, Leave Your Mark, Search The Ruins, Mark For Death
My Outcasts: Search The Ruins, Mark For Death
Arcanists: Leave Your Mark, Mark For Death

Crews
My Outcasts: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity), Freikorps Librarian, Rusty Alyce, Hodgepodge Effigy, Taelor, 2 Freikorps Trappers
Arcanists: Marcus (Hunger Cry, Feral Instincts, Trail of the Gods), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Rogue Necromancy (Imbued Energies), Sabretooth Cerberus (Imbued Energies), Waldgeist, Jackalope, Arcane Effigy

I was absolutely delighted to be drawn against Mark. We’ve spent most of the 2015 tournament playing at adjacent tables so it was lovely to finally get in a game with him. I chose Tara again for this to try to make the most of flank deployment and the central terrain. Basically I intended to use the middle for cover and shoot things as they came at me; Tara making things Fast or Slow means that I either have longer to do it or more shots per turn. The Trappers were intended to whittle things down and force the incoming Arcanists to spread out to get to them. I took Taelor in case I ended up looking at Joss, Howard Langston or some other equally nasty armoured construct across the table. Search The Ruins felt good since I was aiming to take the centre anyway, and I figured that Mark For Death was basically what I was aiming for in the first place; albeit with an additional step of marking the target first.

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Turn 1: The Waldgeist comes up and Germinates. One Trapper shoots it anyway and the other one shoots the Arcane Effigy, which spends the rest of the game hiding out of my line of sight. The Rogue Necromancy Stalks Taelor. Marcus takes his fast walk and rushes over to the cover of another building. Alyce Focusses and shoots some more wounds out of the Waldgeist. We finish the turn classily with the Cerberus failing to Leap and Tara missing a double Focus shot at the Necromancy.

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Turn 2: The Cerberus discards Imbued Energies, Leaps onto the roof, Marks the Trapper for death and duly eats him, scoring a point in the process. Tara Slows the Rogue Necromancy and runs away from Marcus who is sitting looking threatening in the corner; the construct shoots some nasty poison onto Taelor. The surviving Trapper misses the Waldgeist twice and Myrand heals it. The Effigy drops scheme markers, then Alyce shoots the Necromancy before Taelor rushes over to kill it. Marcus charges Taelor with melee expert and extra damage and I blow through my cards and soulstones to keep her alive on one wound. Tara moves even further away from Marcus and makes the rest of my crew Fast with Temporal Shift thanks to the Jackalope having come up too far. Taelor finally succumbs to the Poison but I do score for the strategy.

Turn 3: Marcus steams over with a load of extra powers and, to my great surprise, attacks the Librarian (I thought he’d just kill off Tara). She survives but is a Domesticated beast. Tara Marks Marcus, Slows him and pokes him gently with her sword, drawing a couple of cards from Mark to stop me Burying him. The Walgeist comes into the scrum, the Trapper misses Myranda (a terrible choice of target but I think the was the only option) who piles in as well. She heals Marcus a little and turns into a Blessed of December. The Librarian Focusses and hurts Marcus. My Effigy drops another scheme marker and is then charged ineffectually by the Jackalope. Alyce charges Marcus and eventually kills both the Librarian and the Walgeist with redirected attacks. The Cerberus moves well into my side of the board and drops a scheme marker which is later revealed for Leave Your Mark. Tara’s second activation has her slapping Marcus a bit with her sword. I score for Collect the Bounty.

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Turn 4: This is called as the last turn. Marcus Marks Alyce, takes melee expert and additional damage and swing at her. She’s unwounded so he needs better than weak damage on at least one swing. The second one brings out the Red Joker, vapourising the girl and scoring Mark For Death. Tara taps Mrarcus for Slow and he conveniently Black Jokers the resist for Glimpse the Void, thereby scoring me for Mark For Death finally. She also Slows the Jackalope and Blessed. The Cerberus schemes again. The Effigy Marks the Blessed, which Leaps away to remove a scheme marker. The Trapper takes a couple of shots at it and on the second I cheat low to get a triple negative flip, hoping to luck out and draw the Red Joker I’d need for the kill. I do indeed get lucky and gun down the Blessed for another Mark For Death point. The Jackalope blocks Tara so she kills it and drops a scheme marker. Mark scores on the strategy. Outcasts win 7 – 6 (2 for Collect the Bounty, 2 for Mark For Death and 3 for Search The Ruins for me; 1 for Collect the Bounty, 3 for Mark For Death and 2 for Leave Your Mark for Mark).

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The game did indeed live up to the expectation; Mark is a much of a gent to play as he is to chat with. My only gripe is to play a man called Mark when there were also two schemes in the pool with ‘mark’ in the name! I was in general quite happy with how I played; I gave Taelor away a little cheaply but being my main melee threat in this crew I was sure to lose her eventually. I clearly need to play more games against Marcus as I always struggle against his crews; the threat range is huge. The last turn of that game got quite silly with Red and Black Jokers coming up just at critical times.

When the scores are counted up I came in with second place which I am very pleased with in that field. Most importantly I got three fun games against three very strong players, so thanks to Connor, Maria and Mark for enjoying my day with me. Thanks too to Chris and his helper team for putting on a very smooth event and keeping everything running like clockwork.  I’m already looking forward to the next Vappafaux.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Malifaux team tournament report: Breach Buddies (50SS); 09Jan2016

It’s a new year, but the Malifaux scene here in Scotland continues triumphantly onward. This event, held again at Common Ground Games in Stirling, was set up as a team format. We formed trios (Joe, Furycat and me in our case) and the team captains (Joe for our team) did some kind of jiggery-pokery to determine the match-ups. I deliberately stayed out of the process but it seemed to be smooth and clear to all involved. I’m happy to play anyone so I didn’t want to bias anyone’s choices.

Game 1: Outcasts (me) vs Resurrectionists (Connor Barker)

Strategy: Extraction

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Murder Protegé, Protect Territory, Spring the Trap
Outcasts: Bodyguard (Librarian), Protect Territory
Resurrectionists: Murder Protegé (Rusty Alyce, announced), Spring the Trap

Crews
Outcasts: Jack Daw (Writhing Torment, Twist and Turn, Firing Squad Injustice, Guillotine Injustice, Drowning Injustice), Freikorps Librarian, 2 Freikorps Trappers, Hodgepodge Effigy, Guilty, Rusty Alyce, Johan
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Take Back The Night, Forgotten Life), Valedictorian, Philip and the Nanny, Madame Sybelle (Bleeding Tongue), 2 Dead Doxies, Rotten Belle, Necrotic Machine

In our first round we were drawn against one of the toughest teams and I ended up matching up against Connor’s Resurrectionists again. I decided rather arbitrarily to play Jack Daw, not because he has any special cleverness in Extraction but simply because I was in the mood. The board was quite open so I put a pair of Trappers in the list, the rest was just a load of cool stuff I could flood the board centre with. Hopefully Jack Daw would work fairly well in the close confines of the area around the Informant marker. I considered taking Murder Protegé against the Valedictorian but ultimately decided that she would be too mobile and hard to take down reliably. Instead, I swithered and eventually chose to Bodyguard the Librarian; it could easily have been Alyce but I was quite glad when Connor revealed that he had Murder Protegé on her.

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Turn 1: The Necrotic Machine moves up and pushes most of the crew towards me with Brethren. One Trapper misses shots on Molly; I was trying to put a little early pressure on her. The Belle and one of the Doxies drop scheme markers that Philip discards for the card draw before the other Trapper shoots him. The Valedictorian double moves into the right Trapper and attacks him via the trigger on Lecture Notes. On my side, the Guilty makes Johan Tormented, and Jack Daw does the same for Alyce before making the latter move up. Sybelle gets moved by the second Doxy’s Take The Lead and then advances and Calls Belle on Molly. In an effort to keep some control over Molly I throw Alyce into her for some trivial damage; forgetting of course that she was the Murder Protegé target. Molly puts Whispered Secret onto Alyce, Imbues Vigour onto the nearby Doxy and slaps Alyce with Revelation a couple of times. Johan charges the Doxy but can’t kill her before she reactivates and gently pokes Alyce.

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Turn 2: The Doxy move into Johan with Take The Lead and hurts him a little. Alyce Black Jokers an attack on Molly and the Valedictorian easily kills the Trapper. Jack Daw charges Molly knocking her down dangerously low on wounds and leaving her with Firing Squad Injustice for her trouble. Molly summons a Punk Zombie in the midst of my crew and makes it Slice and Dice with Whispers of Past Life. She spends the rest of her activation in Penance to flip the ‘upgrade’ from Jack Daw. Johan kills one Doxy and pushes the other out of range of the Informant. Sybelle charges Alyce but achieves nothing apart from drawing some of my soulstones. The Guilty Torments the Librarian and flaps uselessly at the Punk Zombie. The Necrotic Machine again pulls Connor’s crew towards the centre with Brethren. The Librarian takes the push for being Tormented near Jack Daw and kills Molly. Philip and the Belle drop scheme markers for Spring the Trap (scoring 3 VP at the end of the turn). We both score on the strategy but I move the marker towards my board edge.

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Turn 3: The Punk Zombie uses Slice and Dice twice for limited effect considering the amount of targets. Johan Flurries Sybelle leaving her with a single wound left; she hits Alyce down to a single wound and Complies her to hit Jack Daw (a clever way around Oldest Magic). The Trapper hurts the surviving Dead Doxy which kills Johan. The Guilty hurts the Punk Zombie and the Necrotic Machine kills Alyce (scoring Murder Protegé).  It was a mistake on my part here not to activate Alyce earlier since she was so clearly a target. The Hodgepodge Effigy drops a scheme marker and gives Jack Daw Loyalty to the Coin. My master then goes wild and kills Sybelle, the Doxy and the Punk Zombie. The Librarian hurts Philip but flips the Black Joker on the second damage flip to leave him alive and he remove my scheme marker. The Valedictorian swoops in to hurt the Librarian. We both score for Extraction.

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Turn 4: The Effigy drops a scheme marker then Jack Daw kills Philip and makes the Guilty drop a scheme marker. The Valedictorian kills the Effigy and the Librarian, before we run out of time. Outcasts lose 4 – 9 (3 for Extraction and 1 for Protect Territory for me; 3 for Extraction and both schemes for Connor).

I had a lovely time playing Connor, as usual of course. I think that the difference here was the good choice and clever application of schemes from Connor’s side compared to mine. I gave away Alyce quite cheaply, though I did use her to keep Molly busy for a couple of turns and save myself from being overrun by summons. I also should have been rather less aggressive with the Librarian since I had her as my Bodyguard choice, but again I felt that I needed her in action to keep other things in check.

Game 2: Outcasts (me) vs Arcanists (Michael Arnott)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Distract, Entourage, Vendetta
Outcasts: Assassinate, Entourage (Viktoria of Ashes, announced)
Arcanists: Assassinate, Entourage (Marcus, announced)

Crews
Outcasts: Viktoria of Ashes (Sisters in Spirit, Sisters in Fury, Synchronised Slaying), Viktoria of Blood (Oathkeeper, Mark of Shezuul), Freikorps Librarian, Johan, Malifaux Child, Bishop (Oathkeeper), Taelor (Oathkeeper)
Arcanists: Marcus (Arcane Reservoir, The God’s Domain, Seize The Day), Myranda, 4 Sabretooth Cerberuses (one has Pack Leader)

So despite Joe’s heroic victory in round 1, Furycat and I both lost so we were down already in the rankings. After the team captains picked the match-ups I was set up against Michael’s Arcanists. Seeing the frankly ludicrous bowling green of terrain my first thought was to use Alyce, 2 Trappers and Lazarus and just let my victims come into the teeth of my guns. I decided that was not really in the spirit of the team event and so picked out the Viktorias. I had only just assembled them but one test game earlier in the week made me think that they should be plenty of fun. Seeing Michael’s crew it was clear that he was taking the same approach. Considering the scheme pools I thought that Assassinate was an easy choice; Marcus was going to have to get his hands dirty if Michael wanted to win here. If I’d used a Trapper I would have been all over Vendetta but in the end I picked Entourage on my master.

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Turn 1: The Malifaux Child casts Sisters in Fury and our crews advance on each other from our corners. I advance Viktoria of Ashes too far and Marcus is able to Alpha and Darzee’s Chaunt a Cerberus. Only Michael’s terrible cards save me from losing my master in turn 1. Assassinate, Entourage (Viktoria of Ashes, announced)Blood, stranded far from her sister, has to use Oathkeeper to catch up. She does blend the offending Cerberus quite effectively upon arrival.

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Turn 2: I win initiative and power up Viktoria of Ashes with Sisters in Fury, advances and places her sister with Sisters in Spirit. Viktoria of Blood chain activates and charges into a perfect position between Marcus, Myranda and one Cerberus. Sadly, Michael flips the Red Joker to make the first attack miss and I Black Joker the second so the single Whirlwind I pull off is depressingly ineffective. Myranda heals the wounded Cerberus and companions it to miss Viktoria of Blood. Marcus misses her as well and one final Cerberus is able to get her down to a single wound. The rest of my crew are running to get involved. This was a very silly turn with all the good cards coming out on defense flips.

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Turn 3: Viktoria of Ashes again casts Sisters in Fury, moves round into companion range of Viktoria of Blood and swings once at the Cerberus engaging her. Viktoria of Blood kills Marcus (scoring Assassinate) and hurts Myranda and both Cerberuses nearby. Myranda heals a cat and transforms into a Cerberus herself. Taelor uses Oathkeeper and hurts yet another giant cat. It Leaps into Viktoria of Ashes, misses the first attack and then top decks the Red Joker on a negative flip for the second, scoring Assassinate in the process. So since we both have Assassinate in the bag and can’t score Entourage, this will now been decided by Reckoning score. Bishop kills a Cerberus, one of them finally polishes off Viktoria of Blood and the Librarian softens up yet another one. We both score for Reckoning.

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Turn 4: The left-most Cerberus Leaps and kills off the Malifaux Child. Taelor kills one Cerberus and Johan combines with Bishop to drop the second-last one. The survivor flees from Taelor and gets hurt by Furious Casting from the Librarian. I score Reckoning.

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Turn 5: The Cerberus is able to flee out of my range, so we call the game there. Outcasts win 5 – 4 (2 for Reckoning and 3 for Assassinate for me; 1 for Reckoning and 3 for Assassinate for Michael).

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That was a very silly game with ridiculous flips on both sides of the table. I don’t think I’ve played that badly with my positioning for a long while, but it was quite instructive in using the huge threat range of the Viktorias. I ended up with them engaged with the whole of Michael’s crew while the rest of my crew ran to keep up. My choice of schemes was quite silly too; with Assassinate in the pool I shouldn’t have put all my eggs in the same basket by taking Entourage on Viktoria of Ashes. Taelor would have been a far better option, partly since she’s much more survivable and partly because there were no Assassinate VPs riding on her too. I had a nice time and I was quite glad not to have taken a shooting crew against Michael’s hilarious cat crew.

Game 3: Outcasts (me) vs Gremlins (Kenny Hall)

Strategy: Stake a Claim

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Outflank, Plant Explosives
Outcasts: Breakthrough (announced), Plant Explosives
Gremlins: Bodyguard (Francois LaCroix), Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
Outcasts: Tara (Obliteration Symbiote, Knowledge of Eternity), Freikorpsman, Freikorps Librarian, Freikorps Trapper, Hodgepodge Effigy, Johan, Killjoy, Ronin
Gremlins: Ophelia LaCroix (Dirty Cheater), Old Cranky, Lenny, Francois LaCroix (Dirty Cheater), Rami LaCroix (Hide in the Mud), Slop Hauler, Merris LaCroix, 2 Bayou Gremlins

Despite my win in round two, both Joe and Furycat lost their games so we went further down to the bottom tables. I ended up paired with Kenny, a player returning from a hiatus since Malifaux 1.5, to take on his Gremlins. I took Tara for her large number of AP since there wasn’t really anything needing killing. Since we were using close deployment I took Killjoy hoping to catch the Gremlin crew unawares, perhaps as soon as the first activation with a Tara bomb. I fancied trying out a Ronin since I only just put them together the night before the event; from this choice you can see the highly tactical approach I was taking. Breakthrough is simplest in close deployment, and I thought that with my relatively un-killy crew (except Killjoy) that Plant Explosives would be the best option from the rest. I set up first and Kenny loaded his entire crew on one side, which put paid to my plans to launch Killjoy at them right at the beginning of the game.

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Turn 1: The Bayou Gremlins surprisingly don’t go Reckless, but do shoot my Ronin who takes the damage despite cover. Rami Focuses and blows away the Freikorpsman (on the left; not visible in my photo due to the terrain) with a Dumb Luck Red Joker; the Trapper drops him in return before he can be healed. There is some fairly ineffective shooting around the board. Ophelia moves up, uses Ooh a Girl to pull Lenny into a nice clump with Old Cranky, Francois and Bayou Gremlin before shooting the Ronin. Tara moves up, unburies Killjoy and makes him, Johan, the Librarian and a Bayou Gremlin Fast with Temporal Shift. Killjoy rockets into the Gremlin crowd but fails to kill Lenny thanks to Old Cranky’s aura. Lenny Tosses Ophelia upfield and pokes Killjoy. The Slop Hauler uses Reckless and moves up to heal some Gremlins.

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Turn 2: Tara pings Ophelia for Slow, gives Killjoy Fast and buries him, then unburies him again to companion for the charge. This time he kills Francois, fails to kill Old Cranky (due to Lenny’s aura of damage reduction) then finishes off Lenny. In retrospect I should have dealt with Lenny first. Ophelia kills the Ronin and shoots the Librarian. Johan kills Merris and the Slop Hauler makes a run for it to catch up with Ophelia. The Effigy deeper into Kenny’s half of the board and drops a scheme marker. Old Cranky, to my surprise, moves in and attacks Killjoy, killing himself with Black Blood in the process. The Librarian shouts a few wounds out of Ophelia with Ancient Words; the Gremlin Squeals into melee with her. One Bayou Gremlin escapes Killjoy’s clutches and wastes a couple of bullets shooting at Tara; the Trapper kills it in return. Tara Stakes a Claim, scoring me a VP for the strategy.

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Turn 3: Somewhere around here I realise that I’m meant to be doing Plant Explosives. Tara Slows Ophelia and makes Killjoy Fast, burying him in the process. Ophelia kills the Librarian and runs for my board edge. The Effigy and Slop Hauler put down Claim markers. Tara walks between the Slop Hauler and last Bayou Gremlin to put down a scheme marker which is immediately removed for Plant Explosives (2 VP). I score on the Stake a Claim.

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Turn 4: Tara misses two charge attacks at the Slop Hauler, but her main objective was to get far enough past him to deliver Killjoy into Ophelia. Good use of masks (for Squeal) and soulstones on Kenny’s side leave Ophelia alive with a couple of wounds after Killjoy is finished. Ophelia drops scheme and Claim markers. Johan kills the Slop Hauler, rather showing up Tara pitiful efforts from earlier in the turn. The Bayou Gremlin puts down a scheme marker and shoots Johan, killing itself with Dumb Luck in the process; Johan was saved by his Hard To Kill. The Trapper, who spent the whole of last turn walking, guns down Ophelia. Neither of us score for the strategy on turn 4, but since Kenny is out of Gremlins we agree that I spend turn 5 removing his scheme markers and putting down another Claim marker with Tara. Outcasts win 8 – 0 (3 for Stake a Claim, 3 for Breakthough and 2 for Plant Explosives).

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Kenny was a lovely chap to meet across a Malifaux table. I think his inexperience showed a bit here as I felt that he was a bit over-cautious when it came to things like Reckless and Dumb Luck. I did explain at the start of the game about the Tara / Killjoy bomb but I think it is the sort of thing that you need to have happen to you before you can counter it. On the one hand, concentrating his crew on one side did make it longer before I could deliver Killjoy, but on the other it meant that I could tie up half of his crew with a single piece. I really enjoy playing Tara; it always feels like I have options.

Joe also managed a win in the final round (Gareth got a hilarious Evidence Tampering sucker punch for a third narrow loss) so at least we as team managed one win. I think we were 6th or so out of 10 in the team rankings. Slightly to my surprise the TOs did put up individual ranking (surprising because I thought that the team format would make single rankings a bit weird) and I was somewhere in the upper third. Wherever we ended up, I had a great time out. I was really impressed with the turn out; 30 players for an unranked event right at the start of January is absolutely terrific. As always, it was terrific to catch up with old friends and new. Thanks to Connor, Michael and Kenny for three enjoyable games and to Kai and Jamie for their usual smooth organisation.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Malifaux tournament report: UKGT 2015 (50SS); 21-22Nov2015

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

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Distract, Cursed Object, Assassinate
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Cursed Object
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Assassinate

Crews
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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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

Schemes
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

Crews
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Frame For Murder, Power Ritual
Guild: Breakthrough (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Resurrectionists: Breakthrough (announced), Power Ritual (announced)

Crews
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

Strategy: Interference

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Breakthrough, Assassinate, Take Prisoner
Guild: Breakthrough (announced), Distract
Arcanists: Breakthrough (announced), Take Prisoner (Perdita)

Crews
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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

Schemes
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

Crews
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
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)

Crews
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.

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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.

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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).

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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

Schemes
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

Crews
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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]).

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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.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Malifaux tournament report: Middlefaux (50SS); 19Sep2015

Joe, Furycat and I drove down to Middlesbrough for the Middlefaux Malifaux tournament. We were part of a group of 8 travellers from the Scotland gaming scene which is probably the most people we’ve ever managed to drag to an event outside Scotland itself. After the usual nonsense to get us started (i.e. Joe picking me up half an hour later than planned) we arrived in time to chat with old and new friends and look around the rather nice venue.

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (Stephen)

Strategy: Head Hunter

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Power Ritual, Assassinate, Plant Evidence, Protect Territory
Guild: Plant Evidence (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Ten Thunders: Power Ritual (announced), Assassinate

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), 2 Hunters, Brutal Effigy, Death Marshal, Austringer, Watcher, 2 Guild Hounds
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Glowing Sabre, Badge of Speed), Toshiro the Daimyo (Blot The Sky, Command The Graves), 2 Thunder Archers, 2 Punk Zombies, Pathfinder

I had been intending to try Sonnia out making more use of Flame Walls to protect myself from retaliation but with this board I figured that just getting line of sight to anything would be enough of a problem and shelved the idea. The Austringer is great for Head Hunter because of the push and interact from Deliver Orders. I had some kind of vague plan about sending the Hounds for one corner and the Watcher to the other and hoping that one of them would make it to score for Power Ritual. Plant Evidence was picked over Protect Territory on the grounds that in corner deployment I’d have to move about as far to put down the markers, but Plant Evidence didn’t require my pieces to stay there until the end of the game.

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Turn 1: McCabe reactivates one Punk Zombie and passes the Sabre to the other then races forward, presumably to get into the Thick Of It. My Hunter plinks the Pathfinder for Slow to stop it from getting any funny ideas about shooting my clumped up pieces early on. Papa Loco tells Sonnia to Hold This and pulls her through one of the only open channels on the board; a Death Marshal follows him and tuck him into his Pine Box. Sonnia then saunters into the edge of the wood so that she can see McCabe and knocks him off his horse with a timely cheated Red Joker. The rest of the crews slog into engagement range.

Turn 2: Sonnia finishes off McCabe, the Pathfinder and the nearby Punk Zombie. She summons a Stalker from the latter simply because I find it amusing to use Reincarnation even when it’s not especially useful. Toshiro War Fans one of the Archer then summons an Ashigaru from the remains of the Pathfinder. The Hunter nearby kills it off. The Fast Archer knocks the Effigy down to Hard To Kill and hands out Slow. The Watcher and Hounds, having made it to their corners, start dropping scheme markers and finally the Austringer makes the Effigy pick up the head of the Pathfinder. I score Head Hunter.

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Turn 3: The lead Archer fails to drop the Death Marshal then the Effigy collects the Ashigaru’s head (not sure what it was using since I already picked up the one from the Pathfinder earlier). Sonnia immolates both Archers and hurts Toshiro with the blast damage. The Hunter and Stalker gang up to finish the second Punk Zombie. Toshiro summons another Ashigaru and my Hounds kill it again. I score for the Strategy.

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Turn 4: Toshiro summons an Ashigaru, then Sonnia turns both of them into expanding clouds of ash. Guild win 10 – 1 (full score for me; 1 point for Power Ritual for Stephen).

That was a fun game and Stephen was a very nice person to play with, but by his own admission is quite new to the game. I hope I explained what I was doing clearly and gave some advice to help him out. From my side, everything went swimmingly so there isn’t much more to say.

Game 2: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (Martin)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Entourage, Spring The Trap, Breakthrough, Assassinate
Guild: Line in the Sand (announced), Breakthrough (announced)
Resurrectionists: Breakthrough (announced), Assassinate

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Counterspell Aura, Cherufe’s Imprint), Malifaux Child, Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), 2 Hunters, Brutal Effigy, Death Marshal, Austringer, Watcher
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Life, Tear of the Gorgon), Madame Sybelle (Not Too Banged Up), Killjoy (Decaying Aura), Yin the Penangalan, 2 Rotten Belles

This was my time to try out the more defensive oriented Sonnia I’ve been thinking of. I’m normally very agressive with Sonnia and it often ends up with me losing her to a counterpunch because I spend all my resources attacking and not defending. The idea was to use the Flame Walls for stopping retaliation by putting them close to Sonnia to block line of sight rather than using them primarily for choke points. I took Counterspell Aura to keep Belles at bay.

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Turn 1: Sybelle moves forward and uses Call Belle to bring Molly to the very middle of the board. I think my suspicions were aroused here, but I didn’t do anything, partly because I don’t think that I could actually affect what I was expecting to happen (i.e. Killjoy to appear and maul me) and mainly because I forgot that Molly has Accomplice. Molly did indeed walk twice, summon a Necrotic Machine which died immediately to bring out Killjoy then use Whispers of Future Flesh to move the big lunk even further forward. Killjoy then chain activates and eats Sonnia (scoring Assassinate in the process) as not only is she pitifully easy to kill in melee but I couldn’t even prevent damage thanks to the Decaying Aura. Well, so much for that plan! A Belle Lures Molly back to relative safety. The other Belle Lures my Watcher up to Sybelle and the Austringer Delivers Orders to get it out of melee with her and drop a scheme marker. The Death Marshal puts Killjoy in his Pine Box.

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Turn 2: The Hunter on the left drops a scheme marker and Slows Yin. Molly summons a pair of Punk Zombies in the general area of Papa Loco, the puts the old man on negative flips. So he does the only thing his can do, which is blow up. All this achieves is knocking the Punk Zombies back to Hard To Kill; the Austringer kills both after one of them cuts the Death Marshal a little. Sybelle hurts my Watcher while my pieces run around trying to drop scheme markers all over the place. Meanwhile, the Belles Lure my Effigy back and forth but fail to do much to it. We both score for Turf War.

006

Turn 3: Molly gives the Death Marshal the Terrible Truth, then kills him anyway. Both Belles charge the Effigy, who admittedly has led something of a charmed life up to this point, and eventually kill it off. The Austringer uses Distract a couple of times (I must remember to make more use of that trigger) to drain Martin’s hand, then improbably survives a charge from Killjoy. Both my Hunters drop scheme markers but Yin removes one on the left. Martin score for the strategy.

007

Turn 4: Molly summons a Student of Steel near the Hunter and makes it mauls my robot close to scrap. One of the Belles finishes off the Austringer and my Watcher somehow escapes Sybelle’s attentions to continue showering scheme markers across the back of the board. My Child, who had rather rashly gone into melee with a Belle earlier on (I’m not sure what I had been thinking there, other than that it wouldn’t be able to help me much) fails to disengage; I had been hoping to drag Killjoy away from my deployment zone to stop him from dropping markers for Breakthrough (which he duly does). The Hunter knocks off the Student and drops another scheme marker; the Hunter on the left continues its ridiculous dance with Yin. Martin scores for Turf War.

008

Turn 5: The Hunter attacks Molly in the hope of drawing some cards from her to slow the summoning. The Watcher, which has somehow survived up to this point, flies back toward the centre. Sybelle beats up the left Hunter but still fails to kill it; the Belle Lures it away so that Yin can remove the last of my scheme markers over there. At this point I have 2 scheme markers left for Line in the Sand. Molly makes a Belle Lure the Hunter engaging her away so that she can walk over and remove one of them. Killjoy, deprived of any charge targets, walks around and drops another marker for Breakthrough. We both score for the strategy. Guild lose 5 – 10 (2 for Turf War and 3 for Breakthrough for me; full score for Martin).

009

Wow, that was quite a start to a game. I often lose Sonnia but I don’t think that I’ve ever lost her so early before – that was activation 3 of turn 1. It is such a clever move by Martin and he counterpicked me really well. Oh well, now that I’ve seen the trick I’ll be able to start thinking about how to avoid it happening again. Losing Sonnia, who I’ll admit was my main plan for firepower here, really put me on the back foot and made the game really interesting as I scrambled to pick up whatever points I could manage. Martin is always a lovely opponent and this game was just as enjoyable as previous times I’ve played him. We broke for lunch – a picnic on a tiny piece of grass in an industrial estate – then it was back to the gaming.

Game 3: Guild (me) vs Arcanists (Graham)

Strategy: Collect The Bounty

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Deliver a Message, Vendetta, Protect Territory, Bodyguard
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Vendetta (Nino on the Acolyte who ended up being on my left)
Arcanists: Protect Territory (announced), Bodyguard (Mechanical Rider)

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting, Aura Ancestral), Austringer, 2 Hunters, Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), Guardian
Arcanists: Rasputina (Cold Nights, December’s Pawn, Shattered Heart), 2 December Acolytes, 2 Ice Gamin, Malifaux Raptor, Mechanical Rider, Wendigo

I considered Sonnia here as I like her against Arcanists, but I thought that there was too much hard cover around to make her a great option. She’s also better at thinning out minions rather than dealing dealing with a smaller number of hard targets. More importantly, I decided that I wanted to try something that wasn’t Sonnia after the previous game’s demonstration of her vulnerability. Nino was mainly to dissuade Graham from taking Deliver a Message but I like him for opening up on Vendetta too if the right options are there.

010

Turn 1: Nino Rapid Fires into one of the Acolytes to get me started on Vendetta. It’s just as well he does, as Rasputina then kills him with a focussed shot followed up by a really good attack on a negative flip. The Austringer plinks at an Ice Gamin. Perdita sees her chance to drop the Mechanical Rider early and takes it. She Relocates to Francisco then walks over, ignores cover with Trick Shooting and twice gets the Witched Bullet trigger on shots to allow me to cheat in severe damage. I had debated letting it go so I could count the bounty for turn 2, but I decided on balance that it was worth losing out potentially on a point for the strategy to get the Rider out of my hair so early while it was still vulnerable.

011

Turn 2: Rasputina shoots Francisco for surprsingly little effect. On the right, my Hunter smites the Acolyte with a Red Joker damage flip, then on the left the surviving Acolyte does exactly the same to my other Hunter. The Raptor, which has landed next to the Austringer, rakes away at him for irony, then the Austringer knocks a couple more wounds off a Gamin. Francisco charges and kills the Raptor and Perdita polishes off the nearer Gamin. I score for Collect The Bounty.

012

Turn 3: Rasputine fires away at the Guardian but between hard cover and armour she might as well throw snowballs. The Austringer finishes the Acolyte (scoring me the second point for Vendetta in the process) and Francisco kills the second Ice Gamin. The Hunter finally gets a bead on the Wendigo and slows it. Perdita starts shooting at Rasputina. I score for the Strategy.

013

Turn 4: Rasputina continues to throw ice ineffectually at the Guardian. The Hunter kills the Wendigo and Perdita finishes things by gunning down Rasputina. Guild win 9 – 0 (4 for Collect The Bounty, 2 for Vendetta and 3 for Protect Territory for me; nothing for Graham).

That was a very funny board for shooting; there was line of sight all over the place but almost all models were in hard cover all the time. Of course, that was why I took pieces that could ignore cover. It was a funny comparison to the last game a played against Graham where there was very little cover at all. I think that Graham might have been expecting Sonnia; certainly I think that the Raptor was for her. Anyway, Graham was a gent throughout and it is a pleasure to be drawn with him.

Game 4: Guild (me) vs Arcanists (James)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Make Them Suffer, Murder Protegé, Bodyguard, Breakthrough
Guild: Make Them Suffer, Bodyguard (Sidir Alchibal)
Arcanists: Breakthrough (announced), Murder Protegé(announced; The Judge)

Crews
Guild: Lady Justice (Last Stand), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), The Judge (Lead-Lined Coated), Sidir Alchibal (Promises), Austringer, Guardian, Brutal Effigy
Arcanists: Rasputina (Cold Nights, Arcane Reservoir), Snow Storm (Imbued Energies), 2 Ice Gamin, Wendigo, Sabretooth Cerberus, Myranda (Imbued Energies)

I’ve never actually played a single game with Lady Justice before, but I have been looking for an opportunity to play some variation on this list. The idea is to use the Brute Squad and keep them together to benefit from Promises; The Judge can bring the otherwise rather slow Sidir along for the ride with Stand For Judgement. Playing against a strong opponent like James with a master I’ve never used before isn’t really a brilliant idea from the perspective of winning games, but when you’re in the mood for something it’s better to go with it for hobbies. We ended up declaring all the hedges as height 1 dense to make it practical to actually traverse the board. Hence a lot of these photos have my miniatures lying down because we couldn’t get them to stand nicely in the hedge.

014

Turn 1: Snow Storm uses Ice Tornado to shuffle the Frozen Heart stuff together; most of the rest of the turn is just James positioning to kill all my guys and not let me into his while I try to close the gaps without letting Rasputina kill my whole crew. Rasputina does eventually get a couple of shots at Lady Justice (who rather pointlessly had used Covering Fire instead of just getting into cover) and then raises some Ice Pillars to keep herself safe.

015

Turn 2: I win initiative and decide to throw Lady Justice at Myranda. She’s about the worst target in the crew but it’s better than standing in the middle of a field being shot by Rasputina. Sadly, I don’t get the dose of luck that would have been needed to drop Myranda, so she steps back a little and becomes a Blessed of December. The Guardian applies Protect to Lady Justice and heals her a little. Francisco takes a pot shot at Rasputina to keep her busy. Rasputina demonstrates that she doesn’t care by Paralysing Lady Justice, killing the Effigy and hurting The Judge. Sidir uses Empty The Magazine but only ends up hurting and putting Slow on the Wendigo; still, that could be enough to save Lady Justice from being eaten. The Judge Focusses and kills the little blighter (scoring for Make Them Suffer in the process). The Austringer gently tickles the Cerberus and Snow Storm can’t manage more better on Lady Justice.

016

Turn 3: The Cerberus continues its advance toward my deployment zone. Francisco charges the Gamin on the left but an unfortunate Black Joker keeps it alive. Sidir opens fire on Rasputina and the other Gamin and The Judge finishes the latter for Make Them Suffer. Rasputina shoots The Judge down to a single wound; the Guardian Protects him but I can’t get the trigger to heal him. My robot also pokes at Snow Storm a little. The Blessed finishes off The Judge for Murder Protegé and finally the Austringer knocks the Gamin down to a single wound.

017

Turn 4: Francisco kills the Gamin to score me the rest of the points for Make Them Suffer. Rasputina Paralyses Lady Justice again, then the Austringer and Sidir gang up to kill off Snow Storm. The Guardian finishes Rasputina and the Blessed and Cerberus drop scheme markers for Breakthrough. Sadly, we run out of time at this point so it is a draw at 6 – 6 (1 for Reckoning, 2 for Bodyguard and 3 for Make Them Suffer for me; 3 for Murder Protegé and 3 for Breakthrough for James).

018

That was a really enjoyable game; James is such a gentleman to play Malifaux with I would love to play him more often. If only we’d had time for another turn I could finally have racked up a win against James; I’ve never managed to beat him yet. Anyway, the game itself was quite an interesting experience. Lady Justice didn’t really do a great deal as she was Paralysed for 2 of the turns that actually mattered but I suppose that she did provide a good distraction for my Henchmen. The Judge in particular felt really effective despite dying in the end; in the past I think that perhaps I haven’t really used the resources on him that he wants. Overall I liked the way that the crew played and I think with a bit of practice I got get to grips with the peculiarities of positioning it requires. I’ll try to get a few more games in with Lady Justice and see where they take me.

I didn’t actually make a note of where I finished, but I think it was around 8th of the 24 players which is a result I’m very happy with. We’ll certainly be back if there is more Middlefaux. Thanks to Stephen, Martin, Graham and James for 4 fun games of Malifaux, and also to Andrew for being a great tournament organiser.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Malifaux tournament report: So It Is Written (50SS); 22Aug2015

I like to take the opportunity to visit tournaments outside Scotland whenever possible, partly as I like to reciprocate the visits that other gamers give to my local scene, and partly because I love to play against a wide variety of opponents. Since Joe is so kind to drive when we make these road trips, it’s very pleasing to be able to just sit in his passenger seat and enjoy the ride even if we do all have to set off early. For this event, Dave L joined us in the car. Sunderland obviously makes quite an appealing location for an ‘away trip’ partly since it’s among the nearest possible destinations and partly because the local Henchman, Nate, runs terrific events.

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Arcanists (Graham)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Assassinate, Plant Evidence, Entourage
Guild: Plant Evidence (announced), Line in the Sand (announced)
Arcanists: Plant Evidence (announced), Distract

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Disrupt Magic), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), 2 Hunters, Witchling Stalker, Brutal Effigy, Death Marshal, Austringer, Watcher
Arcanists: Ramos (Arcane Reservoir, Bleeding Edge Tech, Combat Mechanic), Brass Arachnid, Arcane Effigy, Electrical Creation, Howard Langston (Imbued Energies), Mechanical Rider, Metal Gamin

The board was quite open here so my basic plan was to either use Sonnia from further back to clear the centre each turn if Graham was aggressive, or take the centre myself and just blast anything that came near. There was nothing in the scheme pool that I fancied the look of much; Distract was going to make my plan for Turf War hard to execute, Entourage with Sonnia in corner deployment looked improbable and I didn’t really like my chances of catching Assassinate in Ramos if I was also going to keep the centre open. Tidying up Langston and the Mechanical Rider early was going to be the main challenge; then I would have to concentrate on dealing with the inevitable swarms of spiders.

055

Turn 1: We start with the predictable set plays; the Metal Gamin using Protection of Metal on itself; Papa Loco using Hold This on Sonnia, pulling her forward and being Pine Boxed by the Death Marshal, and Ramos zapping the Electrical Creation. But then, to my great surprise, Ramos didn’t summon loads of Steam Arachnids. I had thought at the time that maybe Graham was wary of giving Sonnia targets out in the open, but actually it ws just that his hand was terrible. The Brass Arachnid fails to Stoke Langston, and the big chap uses his steam cloud and moves into some cover. Sonnia Flame Bursts him anyway (without the benefit of Confiscated Lore on the first shot since I’m an idiot and forgot to use it), splashing some damage over the Rider.

056

Turn 2: I was expecting Langston to come racing over to kill my stuff, but instead he hides and creates another cloud of steam. My Effigy drops a scheme marker and Ramos summons a trio of Steam Arachnids before retreating to cover. Sonnia immolates 2 of the spiders and takes the opportunity to splash a couple more blasts over Langston. The Brass Arachnid fails again to Stoke Langston and my Death Marshal pops the last spider. On the far right, a Metal Gamin Magnetises over to my Hunter and is gently poked in return. The Rider summons another Metal Gamin and joins it in a slap fight with my other Hunter. The Austringer dinks a wound off the Gamin on the right. Somewhere in here my Watcher drops a scheme marker on my far left. I score for Turf War.

057

Turn 3: The Brutal Effigy shoots a Gamin on the left, killing it. The Mechanical Rider summons another and kills off my Watcher, dropping a couple of scheme markers in the process. Over on the right, the Hunter prods ineffectively at the Metal Gamin and the Austringer finally kills the dang thing. The Brass Arachnid Stokes Langston at the third time of asking and he sets off toward the centre with a murderous look in his eyes. So Sonnia vapourises him, and splashes the Brass Arachnid down to a single wound and on fire while she’s at it. Ramos summons three more spiders which swarm together and are pushes into a Pine Box by the Death Marshal. I score again for Turf War.

058

Turn 4: On the left, my Hunter drops a scheme marker and shoots Slow onto the Rider. She summons a Steam Arachnid and scraps the impudent Hunter. Sonnia uses the newly-summoned Arachnid as a target from which to aim her blasts, killing it, the Rider and the nearby Arachnid. Ramos summons another trio of Arachnids and kills my Effigy. Papa Loco Focuses and shoots Ramos, cheating in severe damage to kill off all three spiders. The Death Marshal manages to keep the Swarm in his Pine Box and I start the slow process of plinking away at Ramos’ wounds. I score for the Strategy.

059

Turn 5: Ramos kills my Hunter on the right and summons another couple of spiders. We look at the game and agree to call it as it stands. Guild win 10 – 1 (full score for me; 1 for Plant Evidence for Graham).

060

Graham was a lovely chap to play against, and thanks to him I have a new-found understanding of the timing rules (hopefully I didn’t come across as too rude when we were discussing it). From my side everything went swimmingly, but the board was very much in my favour. Indeed, we did mention it to the TO and there was some scatter terrain added before the beginning of the next round. After a break for a delicious chilli, I was paired up with the Chosen One himself.

Game 2: Guild (me) vs Neverborn (Greg)

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Bodyguard, Deliver a Message, Murder Protegé
Guild: Murder Protegé (Nekima; unannounced), Line in the Sand (announced)
Neverborn: Murder Protegé (Guardian; unannounced), Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting, Aura Ancestral), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Guardian, 2 Hunters, Austringer, Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, Brutal Effigy
Neverborn: Lilith (Beckon Malifaux, Wings of Darkness), Primordial Magic, Doppelganger, Johan (Retribution’s Eye), Mr Graves, Mysterious Effigy, Nekima, Terror Tot

I’ve been in a habit of using Sonnia against Neverborn, but with Squatter’s Rights I decided that maybe the extra movement afforded me by Perdita and the Enslaved Nephilim would be more helpful. I had some kind of vague plan about keeping a couple of the markers covered by the Guardian’s massive melee range, but also I do find that Perdita plus Protect is quite entertaining. I was hoping to spread out with the Watcher and maybe one of the Hunters to pick up the outermost markers, then swing inward and keep the centre tied up in a huge scrum.

061

Turn 1: Lilith fails to Tangle Shadows on Nino thanks to Aura Ancestral, she then drops an Illusory Forest in front of herself. Nino breathes a sigh of relief and pings a few wounds off the Effigy. Mr Graves pushes Nekima forward and she then scraps the lead Hunter. I knew I was going to lose something so I wasn’t too surprised that Greg pulled the trigger so early. Perdita shoots away about half of Nekima’s wounds.

062

Turn 2: Greg takes the opportunity to cheat initiative and Nekima swats Nino, paralysing the Guardian with Teach Them Fear. The Watcher takes the right marker and drops a scheme marker and the Hunter follows suit on the right. Lilith charges the Austringer but Black Jokers one of her attacks to leave him alive. Johan scraps my Effigy, then the Austringer and Perdita gang up to finally drop Nekima (scoring me two VP for Murder Protegé in the process). The Doppelganger takes a Squat marker. I score on the Strategy.

063

Turn 3: After cheating the initiative, Johan smites the Guardian for a couple of VP on Murder Protegé before being finished off by the Austringer. Perdita narrowly fails to kill off the Doppelganger (just one wound short!). She, or maybe it, moves to take the centre marker. My Hunter hurts Mr Graves and the Tot flips like a hero to kill off the Watcher. The Nephilim fails to Influence my Austringer to kill the Doppelganger, then Lilith kills the bird-man. The Mysterious Effigy reflips the right-most marker. Greg scores for the Strategy.

064

Turn 4: Lilith kills Perdita after a lucky initial damage flip then some clever use of resources by Greg. The Hunter and Mr Graves bounce off each other. Looking at the board state, I call it here. Guild lose 3 – 8 (2 for Murder Protegé and 1 for Squatter’s Rights for me; 3 for Squatter’s Rights, 3 for Breakthrough and 2 for Murder Protegé for Greg).

065

Greg is a tough match-up and I need to be at my very best to beat him, which was plainly not how I played this game. Still, I don’t think I made any catastrophic errors; a few instances of poor placement at the end of turn 1 and a couple of bad choices of activation order in turn 3 in particular. Greg got a bit unlucky in a couple of key points but I didn’t take advantage and in the end this was a pretty routine win for him. In many ways this was like playing against a better version of myself – Greg is particularly adept at killing off unactivated pieces for example to get a pseudo-activation advantage. The difference is that Greg is also great at denying retaliation which is an area that I need to work on a lot. Indeed after this game, I did get a few ideas about a different way to play Sonnia which I am looking forward to trying out to see it works out.

Game 3: Guild (me) vs Arcanists (Ant)

Strategy: Collect The Bounty

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Breakthrough, Take Prisoner, Spring The Trap
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Breakthrough (announced)
Arcanists: Protect Territory (announced), Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Disrupt Magic), Papa Loco, 2 Hunters, 2 Witchling Stalkers, Brutal Effigy, Death Marshal, Austringer
Arcanists: Rasputina (Arcane Reservoir, December’s Pawn, Shattered Heart), Snow Storm (Imbued Energies, Warding Runes), Blessed of December (Imbued Energies), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Essence of Power, Ice Gamin

So after losing to the number 1 ranked player in my country, I got the ‘soft’ final round of playing against the reigning Masters champion. I went for Sonnia on the grounds that Disrupt Magic can be quite brutal against some Arcanists build, and the rest of the crew was mainly minions with the idea of giving up as few points for Collect the Bounty as possible. Protect Territory is a bit of pain in Flank deployment but I still preferred it over the other options, and anyway figured that I was heading over to that side of the board either way.

066

Turn 1: Papa Loco does his usual thing and is put in a Pine Box. The Blessed heads one way out of the little frozen fortress and Myranda goes the other way. This is really good play from Ant as it puts a really high range attacker with leap on either side of me to box in Sonnia’s options. Rasputina softens up a Hunter and Stalker and Sonnia kills off the wounded Stalker to get another one a little further up.

067

Turn 2: The Hunter on the left attacks Snow Storm, then Rasputina channels snowballs through the Blessed to kill off the Hunter (which you can clearly see I’ve managed to put in no cover whatsoever) and puts armour on Snow Storm. It then smites the other Hunter and Witchling that I’ve stupidly blundered into melee with it. Myranda turns into a Cerberus which the Austringer plinks away at. Sonnia splashes some damage onto the Effigy and Rasputina via the Effigy, which of course dies and drops a scheme marker. The Blessed Leaps and attacks Sonnia; the Cerberus does the same to close down the Austringer. Ant scores on the Strategy.

068

Turn 3: I use a stone to beat a four on the initiative flip, and manage to replace my 2 with a 1. The Blessed doesn’t need to be asked twice and kills Sonnia. The Death Marshal moves up and unleashes Papa Loco, who blows up himself, the Death Marshal, another nearby Stalker and the Ice Gamin, not to mention some nice damage on Snow Storm and Rasputina. Sadly, that is pretty much it for my offensive capability. The Cerberus easily kills the Austringer and we call it there as Ant will have no trouble polishing off the remains of my crew and picking up all my scheme markers. Guild lose 10 – 0 (nothing for me and full score for Ant).

That could be the worst I’ve played in Malifaux second edition. Beating a player as good as Ant would have been a huge ask anyway, but I didn’t really do anything right in this game. Even basic stuff like using cover was entirely beyond me. Oh well, Ant was a gentleman and I still enjoyed the game despite my poor playing of it.

After all that, I think I came in 14th or so of 22 players (in retrospect that seems a bit generous considering my scores so maybe I noted it down wrong) and had a really enjoyable time. I really wish I could play against the likes of Ant and Greg more often; I learn more in general from a loss than a win and it hopefully did me good. Nate always puts on a good tournament and this was no exception. Thanks again to him and rest of the Worhamma folks for running the show and to Graham, Greg and Ant for three fun games.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Malifaux tournament report: Spring Breach (50SS); 26Apr2015

I headed over to Common Ground Games my first attendance at a Malifaux tournament run by the 2 Guys 1 Paintpot group. I think a modest attendence of about 12 players had been expected but actually there were a few no-shows and the event went ahead with only 8 people. Nevertheless, it was decided to go with the planned 4 rounds. I had finished putting the Guardian together and decided to use it as much as possible and see if I can make it work for me.

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Outcasts (Allan)

Strategy: Interference Schemes Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Cursed Object, Outflank

Guild: Breakthrough (announced), Outflank (announced)
Outcasts: Cursed Object, Bodyguard (Freikorps Librarian)

Crews Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Witchling Stalker, Austringer, 2 Hunters, Watcher, Guardian
Outcasts: Von Schill (Shirt Comes Off, Engage At Will), Hannah (Ancient Tomes), 2 Freikorpsmen, Freikorps Trapper, Freikorps Librarian, Strongarm Suit, Steam Trunk

So for the second event at CGG in a row, I get paired with Allan in the first round. I strongly suspect that he’ll play Von Schill, but even if not there are just too many bad match ups for Sonnia in Outcasts so I choose Perdita. The Guardian looks to add a lot to Perdita to increase the chances of Quick Draw damage against any shooting attacks. I also think that it could be useful to leverage the big melee range to lock pieces down for Interference. With flank deployment and Outflank I pick the Watcher to simply rush a corner and hide to pick me up some points. Breakthrough also feels strong in flank deployment simply because the deployment zones extend so close to the centre. As it happens, Allan does indeed select his lovely Star Wars-themed Von Schill crew.

016

Turn 1: A Hunter hurts the Trapper, who then pushes away and fires a Focussed shot back. Von Schill moves forward and is, to my great surprise, buried by Hannah. Nino Rapid Fires the Strongarm suit which has come tearing up the centre of the big shed, getting a handy Red Joker on one damage flip. Perdita Relocates to Nino, chooses to ignore armour with Trick Shooting and drops both the Strongarm Suit and the Trapper. The Guardian uses Protect on Perdita.

017

Turn 2: The Hunter on the right attacks Von Schill and is chopped to bits in return after the mustachioed hero removes his shirt. Nino Rapid Fires a few more wounds off Von Schill before Hannah buries him to safety again. The Freikorpsman on the left moves up and shoots Perdita, taking damage from Quick Draw for his trouble thanks to Protect. The other Freikorpsman misses the Watcher which moves up to drop a scheme marker for Breakthrough. The surviving Hunter fails to do anything to the first Freikorpsman, so Perdita once more takes things into her own hands. Ignoring armour again, she guns down first Hannah (with some help from the Austringer) and the Steam Trunk. I score for Interference.

018

Turn 3: I flip an ace for Initiative, and Allan flips a 2. I decide it is worth a stone to try again, and flip another ace. Von Schill charges Perdita, but can’t take her down. The Hunter kills the left Freikorpsman and the Librarian heals some of Von Schill’s manly wounds. The Watcher, not fancying it’s chances giving the Freikorpsman another shot at it, flies back to safety behind a building. Perdita pumps bullets into Von Schill and the Guardian finishes him off. The Austringer kills the surviving Freikorpsman and I score again for the strategy.

019

Turn 4: With only the Librarian remaining, Allan doesn’t have many options. She passes the Guardian a Cursed Object and goes Defensive. Perdita kills her anyway and the Guardian removes the Cursed Object. With nothing left to stop me, we agree that I can spend the rest of the game moving and dropping markers for a full score. Guild win 10 – 0.

020

Allan’s a lovely chap to play against, and his game was much improved from our previous meeting (though the score was the same). He needs to focus more on scoring VPs; in particular he only revealed Cursed Object in turn 4 so could only have possibly scored 2 points from it. But his positioning was rather better and he made better use of his AP this time round. From my side, the game was quite one-sided so not much to learn, except that Perdita with Protect on her is quite amusing if anyone shoots her.

Game 2: Guild (me) vs Arcanists (Alistair)

Strategy: Collect The Bounty

Scheme Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Protect Territory, Plant Explosives, Take Prisoner
Guild: Line in the Sand (announced), Protect Territory (announced)
Arcanists: [I didn’t actually note Alistair’s schemes down]

Crews Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Brutal Effigy, Death Marshal, Witchling Stalker, Austringer, Hunter, Watcher, Guardian
Arcanists: Mei Feng (Price of Progress, Seismic Claws), Kang (Imbued Protection), Emberling, Willie, 2 Steam Arachnids, 2 Rail Workers

I decided that Sonnia Criid would be a good bet for Collect The Bounty as in theory she can kill several models in a single activation. The Guardian got the nod again here mainly on the ground of being a minion (and therefore only worth a single point) which is tricky to get rid of. The rest of the crew was also minions so that I could give up as few strategy points as possible, except for Papa Loco of course who was included to turbo charge Sonnia’s spells. Given that my plan was to burn swathes of Alistair’s crew, I picked the only two schemes that didn’t require me to keep anything alive.

021

Turn 1: Papa Loco does his usual routine of handing Sonnia dynamite, pulling her forward with Cover Me and being tucked safely into his Pine Box by the Death Marshal. Willie gets in range to be immolated by Sonnia so she hits him with a couple of moderate damages to start chipping away at a Rail Worker and Mei Feng behind him; Willie himself burns to death at the end of the turn. Probably just as well considering the havoc he can cause.

022

Turn 2: Sonnia notes that Mei Feng is within 14″, so she barbecues her and Rail Worker, and drops Kang to his Hard To Kill wound. Kang charges the Watcher and smashes it with his spade. The Hunter, which has been carefully positioned at 10″ away from the Metal Gamin and Steam Arachnid on the right, puts Slow onto both of them and pulls them closer. This develops into the world’s most disappointing fight as the Witchling Stalker and Emberling also get involved but nothing of significance occurs to anyone. Papa Loco escapes from the Pine Box and puts the final wound into Kang. The Effigy puts the last wound on the Rail Worker who had been softened up by Sonnia in turn 1. I score for the strategy.

023

Turn 3: The Hunter takes out the Arachnid and is killed off by the Gamin in reply. Sonnia kills the other Arachnid, splashing a blast over the Metal Gamin on the left. The Guardian finishes the job, the Stalker kills the Emberling and the Austringer kills off the last Metal Gamin. Guild win 10 – 0.

024

Alistair is a really nice chap, but I could see in his eyes as soon as we were paired up that he didn’t believe he could beat me here… and of course that became a self-fulfilling prophecy. It was a shame, because I think he can be a pretty decent player on his day, but I didn’t really get his best effort. Oh well. Everything worked nicely for me, and indeed I could have done more damage on turn 1 but for the need to keep things alive until turn 2 for the Strategy.

Game 3: Guild (me) vs Neverborn (Lewis)

Strategy: Guard The Stash

Scheme Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Bodyguard, Plant Explosives, Deliver A Message
Guild: Assassinate, Bodyguard (The Judge)
Neverborn: Deliver A Message (announced), Bodyguard (Mr Tannen)

Crews Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), The Judge, Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Death Marshal, Witchling Stalker, Austringer, 2 Hunters, Watcher
Neverborn: Pandora (The Box Opens, Fugue State), Depleted, Silurid, Illuminated, Mr Tannen, Teddy, Hans

Perdita and Sonnia both have plenty to offer against Neverborn, but I was in the mood for Sonnia and went for her this time. The Judge was included purely for Bodyguard purposes since I can never rely on Papa Loco making the end of any game. This time I couldn’t think of any real use I could get out of the Guardian so left him out. Killing Pandora seemed both necessary and achievable with Sonnia so I also picked Assassinate.

025

Turn 1: Hans Focuses, ignores armour with Reference the Field Guide and cheats in the Red Joker to kill my Hunter with the first activation of the game. Apparently this happened in the first turn of 3 of Lewis’s 4 games today. Papa Loco tells Sonnia to Hold This and moves to hide from Hans behind a forest, and Sonnia then unleashes her Flame Bursts to kill the Silurid obligingly standing in the middle of the deployment zone. She also kills Mr Tannen, who is hiding behind a tree on the right of the picture above, with the blasts. A brawl develops around the Stash on the right, with the Illuminated, Depleted, Hunter and Stalker all involved to little effect. Pandora scoots past, dropping Incite on Hunter as she goes. Teddy moves in and uses his (0) to take an attack on the Death Marshal, who then buries the big monster. The Austringer sends his bird to peck a few wounds of Pandora.

026

Turn 2: Pandora hurts the Austringer and kills the Death Marshal, releasing Teddy. Thanks to Incite I activate the Hunter, which puts some more damage on the Illuminated, though of course it’ll all be regenerated shortly. Teddy Delivers a Message to Sonnia then uses Gobble You Up to attack the Judge and push him away from the Stash on the left. The Judge walks back and pokes Teddy. The Austringer pushes Sonnia out of melee with Pandora, and she shows her appreciation by firing wildly into the combat. The first two shots helpfully randomise onto Pandora (and I cheat the Red Joker on the first), the third lands on the Austringer, killing him but allowing me to put the finishing blast on Pandora (scoring Assassinate for me). Just to rub it in, I turn Pandora into a Witchling Stalker. Hans finds that due to the placement of forests, Stash markers, and his own crew he has no targets to shoot, so has to actually walk before shooting Papa Loco. We both score on the strategy.

027

Turn 3: Teddy Flurries The Judge, but he survives on his Hard To Kill wound. The Hunter, realising that it is getting hammered by the Illuminated sooner or later anyway, kills the Depleted. Predictably, the Illuminated does scrap my robot. Papa Loco moves, tries to blow up himself and Teddy but Lewis is able to flip the face card needed to avoid death by dynamite; Papa Loco himself is left on a single wound. The Judge kills Teddy and uses Stand For Judgment to pull the Stalker to him. The Stalker then moves round to block a shot from Hans. Sonnia walks to the left Stash marker so I can score on the strategy.

028

Turn 4: Hans shoots Papa Loco, hurting Sonnia in the explosion. The Illuminated kills the Stalker, but sadly finds himself in range of Sonnia while on fire. Luckily, this state doesn’t last long, as Sonnia turns him into charcoal, she also puts some light damage onto Hans. The Judge runs for the right Stash and as far from Hans as possible so I can score both Bodyguard and Guard the Stash this turn.

029

Turn 5: Hans shoots Sonnia so she immolates him for his impudence. I score again for the strategy and Bodyguard. Guild win 9 – 4 (4 for Guard the Stash, 3 for Assassinate, 2 for Bodyguard for me; 1 for Guard the Stash and 3 for Deliver a Message for Lewis).

030

That was more like it! Lewis put up a really good fight there and I very much enjoyed our game. Playing against Pandora can be really hard, but Sonnia has the tools to deal with her, either directly thanks to her high Ca value or indirectly by splashing blasts off nearby victims. Ideally these are in the enemy crew but I have no problem targeting my own minions if the situation calls for it. Lewis told me at the end about having Bodyguard on Mr Tannen, who I’d killed in turn 1. I had considered sending my blasts the other way instead (i.e. to get the Depleted) since Mr Tannen didn’t seem so threatening way out on the right, but he’s such a pain that I figured I needed to get him when I could.

Game 4: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (Dave)

Strategy: Guard The Stash

Scheme Pool: Line in the Sand, Entourage, Breakthrough, Power Ritual, Protect Territory
Guild: Power Ritual (announced), Protect Territory (announced)
Ten Thunders: Power Ritual (announced), Breakthrough (announced)
Crews Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Austringer, 2 Hunters, Watcher, Guardian, Death Marshal, 2 Guild Hounds
Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Smoke and Shadows), Ototo, Yin the Penangalan (Smoke Grenades), Chiaki the Neice, Lone Swordman (Recalled Training), 2 Torakage

I’ve played Dave at the last couple of tournaments in Scotland and I think he’s getting pretty sick of seeing Sonnia. Since this game wasn’t going to affect the standings (I had such a ludicrous VP difference by this point that losing 10 – 0 and having Lewis win his last game 10 – 0 would still leave me ahead of him) I told Dave up front that I would use Perdita. I had some kind of vague idea about using the big melee range on the Guardian to lock up a couple of Squat markers, but the corner deployment made them rather more spread out than usual. My crew was filled with cheap minions as there would be no particular benefit (apart from activation control) for Dave to kill my stuff. Interestingly, he took a much more elite crew. The board was good to play on, but the huge frontings and narrow streets meant that the photographs are quite useless for anything in the middle.

031

Turn 1: A Guild Hound and both Torakage drop markers in the corners for Power Ritual; I guess Dave wanted a bit of insurance. Misaki Stalks the Hunter. The Austriner plinks a few wounds off Misaki and Perdita ignores cover to knock her down a few more.

032

Turn 2: The centre Hunter moves onto the central Squat marker and shoots Misaki, missing. Perdita chain activates and shoots Miskaki down to a single wound. She speeds away, killing my Watcher then the Death Marshal takes the central marker while bravely hiding behind the Hunter. Yin puts Gnawing Fear on Perdita and Ototo misses the Hunter in a display of the martial prowess for which he is most famous. With the demise of my Watcher, the other Hunter heads for the corner to get the marker and Power Ritual; the Austringer fittingly avenges the poor winged robot by killing Misaki with his Raptor. The Swordsman comes in and knocks a few chunks out of the Guardian, which has Perdita under Protect. Chiaki floats through a wall and takes one of the Squat markers in the house. Neither of us scores on the strategy.

033

Turn 3: The Death Marshal pushes Ototo into a Pine Box and the Lone Swordsman epically kills Perdita; he didn’t even need to use You Shall Not See Another Sunrise to do it. Even with defense 7 and double positive flips I still couldn’t keep her alive. My Guild Hounds and Hunter in the corner drop scheme markers and claim their Squat markers before the Torakage get to them. Yin and Chiaki hurt the Death Marshal but can’t release Ototo. The Hunter, Guardian and Austringer all put a little damage into the Lone Swordsman, finally taking him down by sheer weight of attacks it seems. I score for Squatter’s Rights.

034

Turn 4: This will be the last turn. We both have shocking hands, and agree to show each other. We each have one moderate card, and the other 10 cards between us hold nothing higher than a 5. The Guild Hounds fail to kill their Torakage. The ninja on the other side of the board walks away from the Hunter and drops a marker for Power Ritual. The Austringer drops a scheme marker. Chiaki moves to stop me messing with the Squat marker Dave has already claimed, then Yin tries to leave melee with the Hunter, which has moved round to force a disengaging strike as she goes for the last marker. But I top deck the Red Joker to stop her getting away on the first attempt. Guild win 8 – 3 (2 for Squatter’s Rights and 3 each for both schemes for me; 3 for Power Ritual for Dave).

035

Dave is always a great chap to play against, and I really feel like he’s improving as a player each time we meet. This game was full of ludicrous flips and terrible hands all round, and we both had a good laugh whenever something else went awry. I think Dave made a really interesting choice to go for Perdita with the Lone Swordsman in turn 3. Of course, it worked and stopped Perdita from laying waste to his crew, but I felt that the Death Marshal would have been an easier target, and would also have allowed him the use of Ototo again. The Guardian probably earned its place in the crew. It may be slow but I think it adds an interesting option for Perdita’s defense against some ranged attacks. In normal or close deployment, that 3″ melee range could have been more effective in Squatter’s Rights too.

So once the final scores are called, I come in first place. It wasn’t the strongest field ever, but I was happy to get 4 fun games of Malifaux against nice people and I’m really pleased whenever a tournament is run near where I live. Thanks to Allan, Alistair, Lewis and Dave for playing this great game with me, and thanks to Kai and Jamie for running the event. I’m already looking forward to the next one.

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

Malifaux tournament reports: Kings of the North (45 and 50SS); 18 and 19Apr2015

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

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Protect Territory, Deliver a Message, Spring the Trap
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Assassinate
Neverborn: Spring the Trap, Assassinate

Crews
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.

003

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.

004

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.

005

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.

006

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).

007

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)

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
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

Crews
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.

008

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.

009

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.

010

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).

011

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

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Protect Territory, Plant Evidence, Entourage
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Evidence (announced)
Resurrectionists: Protect Territory (announced), Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
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.

012

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.

013

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.

014

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.

015

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.

016

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).

017

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

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Bodyguard, Make Them Suffer, Cursed Object
Guild: Make Them Suffer, Cursed Object
Resurrectionists: Make Them Suffer, Cursed Object

Crews
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.

018

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.

019

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.

020

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.

021

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.

022

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).

023

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

Schemes
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)

Crews
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.

024

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.

025

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.

026

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.

027

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.

028

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).

029

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)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
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)

Crews
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.

030

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.

031

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.

032

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).

033

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

Schemes
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)

Crews
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.

034

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.

035

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.

036

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.

037

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.

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Malifaux tournament report: Fate Fading (50SS); 29Nov2014

David, Joe and I headed out to Stirling for (I think) the last Malifaux tournament of the year in Scotland. As tournament attendance has been gradually increasing here, the number of rounds was upped to 4, and we stayed at the ‘tournament standard’ size of 50SS. Coming into this event I’ve been really enjoying Mei Feng, partly because discussing her at the UK GT with another enthusiast really got me interested in her again, and partly because Mei Feng is highly entertaining to play. I vaguely decided to myself to play all four games with Mei Feng, unless the mood took me to do otherwise at some point of course. The first round pairings had me up against the infectiously enthusiastic Mark.

Game 1: Ten Thunders (me) vs Arcanists (Mark)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Frame For Murder, Spring The Trap, Bodyguard
Ten Thunders: Bodyguard (Kang), Frame For Murder (Izamu)
Arcanists: Bodyguard (Lazarus), Frame For Murder (Joss)

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Vapormancy, Recalled Training), Kang, Izamu the Armour, Thunder Archer, 2 Illuminated, 2 Metal Gamin
Arcanists: Ramos (Under Pressure, Field Generator, Kill Switch / Decoy), Joss (Open Current, Kill Switch / Decoy), Lazarus (Imbued Protection, Kill Switch / Decoy), Electrical Creation, 2 Rail Workers, Mobile Toolkit, Metal Gamin

I guessed that Mark would take either Ramos or Marcus for this match up so I put Kang in to benefit against constructs, save me from taking terror duels or just to hit things with a spade as appropriate. In any case I expected him to be able to stay slightly further back and hence took Bodyguard on him (maybe I should learn from my mistakes of game 4 of the UK GT). Izamu is a fine choice in Reckoning, but hardly anyone is able to resist the temptation to kill the big chap off. In particular with Joss on the table I expected that Izamu would be killed early, so took Frame For Murder on him. Otherwise I took things which hit hard (Illuminated, Archer) or make convenient Rail Walk points (Metal Gamin).

001

Turn 1: The Electrical Creation moves forward as usual, so I decide to mess with Mark a little by killing it with Magnetism from one of my Gamin. Ramos turns it into two Steam Arachnids anyway of course, but he has to waste an AP walking himself forward to do it. By way of vengeance, Ramos uses his own Magnetism right back at the Metal Gamin. Otherwise this is just a turn of jockeying for position, though I do spread out around Mei Feng with Vent Steam up in case of any Electrical Fire.

002

Turn 2: One Metal Gamin kills a Steam Arachnid, and the other Gamin hurts the other Spider nearby. The Toolkit puts armour on Ramos to stall for time before our two lines of mostly melee-based forces clash. Joss charges in and finishes off the wounded Gamin; I’m a bit suspicious how easily Joss is being given up, but on the other hand I’m pretty much resigned to losing a few points for Frame For Murder at some point. Kang polishes off the other Arachnid (scoring a point for Reckoning) and then Lazarus auto fires into the Vent Steam aura for no real effect. The Archer shoots Slow onto Joss and otherwise gently tickles a few wounds off him then the Illuminated charges in and Red Jokers the damage on Joss. I actually end up not cheating to hit with my second attack to avoid the reactivation. Mark’s Metal Gamin puts Protection of Metal on Ramos. Izamu charges in to deal with Joss, putting him down without much of a fight and giving up two points for Frame For Murder in the process. The Illuminated on the right knocks a couple of wounds off a Rail Worker after some careful placement to keep in range of Workers’ Champion. Ramos zaps the left Illuminated who has strayed out from under the Vent Steam, then summons an Arachnid which Mei Feng promptly smites before Venting Steam again. I score for the strategy.

003

Turn 3: On the right, the Illuminated kills the first Rail Worker. The other Rail Worker hits him back. My Archer Rapid Fires Slow onto the Rail Worker, then the Tolkit gives Ramos some more armour before being killed by my Metal Gamin (scoring for the strategy). Ramos summons a pair of Arachnids in base contact with Mei Feng then uses Soulstones to counteract the negative flip from Vent Steam to zap her with Electrical Fire twice, getting severe damage both times. Izamu swats both new Arachnids. Lazarus charges in and takes the Metal Gamin down to its Hard to Kill wound. Kang beats Lazarus with his spade, but Mei Feng fails to achieve a great deal even after discarding Recalled Training. I’d been trying to spread some damage around with Scalding Breath but just couldn’t land a hit even with double positive flips. Oh well. The female Illuminated takes the final wounds off Mark’s Metal Gamin and I score Reckoning again.

004

Turn 4: Lazarus heals, then misses attacks on the Metal Gamin and Mei Feng (who Leaps Aside after the first attack as she has very few wounds left). Izamu repeatedly misses Ramos, who summons one Arachnid and wafts his Clockwork Fist ineffectually at Mei Feng. Over in their own little fight on the far side of the forest, the Illuminated drops the Rail Worker to its last wound, survives the return attack and then watches a Focused shot from the Archer finish the job and get all the glory. Kang kills Lazarus (scoring Reckoning for me and denying Bodyguard), but the big robot explodes from Kill Switch causing damage to Kang and Ramos, and killing the Metal Gamin. Mei Feng ends it all killing off the new Arachnid and Ramos in one go. Ten Thunders win 7 – 2 (4 for Reckoning and 3 for Bodyguard for me; 2 for Frame For Murder for Mark).

005

That was a fun game to get the day started. Mark’s a really nice opponent and could probably be quite good if he played a few more times with his crew rather than constantly swapping masters. We were swiftly onto the next round where I matched up with Scott, another from the North East contingent who I’ve seen at a few events but never had the pleasure to play.

Game 2: Ten Thunders (me) vs Guild (Scott)

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Power Ritual, Take Prisoner, Distract, Protect Territory
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Distract

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Vapormancy, Recalled Training, Wings of Wind), Emberling, Izamu the Armour (Recalled Training), 2 Rail Workers, 2 Metal Gamin, Illuminated, Yamaziko
Guild: Lucius (Surprisingly Loyal, Legalese, Watch My Back), Mr Tannen, Scribe, Brutal Effigy, 2 Guild Lawyers, 2 Death Marshals, 2 Guild Guard

Even though I had been planning to use Mei Feng all day I probably would have picked her on this board anyway since it was so open and I feared seeing Perdita Ortega. My plan was pretty simple: move onto the Squat markers, claim them, then defend them for the rest of the game with the huge melee range of Izamu, Yamaziko and Mei Feng. The Emberling would be on Power Ritual duty on the assumption that the rest of my crew would take enough work to get through that no-one would have the opportunity to stop it. I was really pleased to see Lucius across the table as I think I’ve only played once against him during the beta. It’s always interesting to see new masters, especially ones with so many potential shenanigans as this one.

006

Turn 1: Lucius walks up, dragging a Death Marshal with him, then swaps places with one of the Lawyers using What Lackeys Are For to get them into a forward position. The Lawyer accomplices next to put Fees on my Illuminated with Special Damages. I can see that one of the Death Marshals is angling to put Izamu in a box (and actually I’m expecting Take Prisoner on him) but with a few chain activations already from Scott I’m able to keep Izamu until last. Instead, I use Yamaziko as bait, triple walking her onto a marker but forgetting to put up Brace because I’m silly. The Death Marshal decides to make the best of it, charging Yamaziko and then taking a beating in return from Izamu who has been pushed forward by Mei Feng. Meanwhile, the Metal Gamin are able to race up the field thanks to the presence of an enemy construct to magnetise toward.

007

Turn 2: Lucius makes the Death Marshal Distract Yamaziko, the Lawyer move to one of the Metal Gamin and uses Guild Intelligence. He accomplices to the Lawyer who Distracts the Gamin, drops a scheme marker and hands out Hard to Wound to a few pieces nearby. Izamu finishes off the first Death Marshal and moves in to hurt a nearby Lawyer. Tannen moves into the fray and uses Chatty to keep me off the central marker. Yamaziko claims both the markers on the right side and the Lawyer staring down Izamu puts Fees on the big chap twice. A big scrum develops over on the left as the Gamin first take out the Effigy then engage in a ridiculous slap-fest with the pair of Guards with the Illuminated joining in too. Eventually Mei Feng has to go in like a responsible grown-up to sort things out, setting one guard ablaze so she’ll die at the end of the turn. I did briefly consider killing my own Gamin too to deny Distract but it looks like more work than it would be worth considering how the rest of the game is playing out. I score on the Strategy, Scott scores for Distract.

008

Turn 3: Yamaziko drops the second Death Marshal. It hadn’t occurred to me before but with their weak damage of 3, both she and Izamu are perfect for taking out Death Marshals since two shots of weak damage will kill them and the Hard to Wound doesn’t help at all. Lucius Issues Commands a few times to make the Lawyers a bit tougher and one of them makes Izamu Slow. A Rail Worker finally finishes slogging into position and kills the Lawyer on the left (the other Rail Worker is covering the central marker) and Mr Tannen just uses Chatty again to make my life awkward, especially as I don’t have many ways to get him with this crew. The Illuminated kills the last Guard, the Emberling continues its lonely run to the corner and the Scribe heroically charges Izamu. Sadly for the little totem, Scott is all out of cards at this point and Izamu evades the attacks before squashing both the Scribe and the Lawyer. The Metal Gamin removes Distract and Mei Feng launches herself at Mr Tannen but can’t quite finish him off; happily I’m also out of cards at this point so Cooler does nothing. I score for Squatter’s Rights.

009

Turn 4: Izamu smites Mr Tannen. Lucius looks lonely, takes up defensive stance and moves to stand on one of the many scheme markers dropped by his minions with Finish the Job. The rest of my crew gangs up on him, with the Illuminated delivering the killing blow. Various of my minions drop scheme markers as needed. Ten Thunders win 10 – 1 (all points for me; 1 for Distract for Scott).

010

That was a really interesting game. Scott told me later that he had only played a game or two previously with Lucius so probably he would be very stong with the benefit of more experience. I was certainly glad to see some of these pieces on the table as I don’t think I see much Guild around; no-one in my regular gaming group plays them so I’m pretty much reliant on tournaments to see most crews in action. Even then I feel like I see a lot more Hoffman and Perdita Ortega being played. After a break for lunch, I’m inevitably drawn against Greg. We seem to get each other in just about every tournament (there was even a recent one where we only avoided each other to break up two other players on the same record getting paired up for a second time in the same event) and Greg very much has the upper hand. I always look forward to such games as I learn so much more from playing against the very strongest players like Greg.

Game 3: Ten Thunders (me) vs Neverborn (Greg)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Bodyguard, Cursed Object, Deliver a Message
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Cursed Object
Neverborn: Breakthrough (announced), Cursed Object

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Vapormancy, Recalled Training, Wings of Wind), Emberling, Izamu the Armour (Recalled Training), 2 Rail Workers, 2 Metal Gamin, Mr Tannen, Yamaziko
Neverborn: Pandora (The Box Opens, Fugue State), Primordial Magic, Doppelganger, Mr Graves (Retribution’s Eye), Mysterious Effigy, Nekima, Widow Weaver

I decided to try out Mr Tannen here. Turf War should be a natural place for him as crews are forced to enter Cooler range, and in theory I had the tools to deliver him (Wings of Wind) and keep him alive for a while (Vent Steam, and presenting higher priority targets). I took Yamaziko in the hope of dissuading a few charges with Brace. With Flank deployment we both announced Breakthrough; it is really easy to score on since the deployment zones are huge. I didn’t fancy trying to Deliver a Message to Pandora or guaranteeing keeping anyone alive for Bodyguard so went with Cursed Object.

011

Turn 1: A Metal Gamin Magnetises the Effigy so it hides before I can get the other one onto it. Pandora kills the lead Gamin (or anyway makes it kill itself) and makes the other one Insignificant and gives it Mood Swings. The Widow puts a Web marker right in the middle of the board, Mr Graves pushes Nekima forward and the Doppelganger copies Show Ya The Door to do the same. Nekima hurts a Rail Worker pretty badly but can’t actually put him down after a couple of lucky Metal On Metal triggers. Mei Feng hurts Nekima a couple of times, killing the Rail Worker with Black Blood and hurting the Doppelganger with Black Blood and a blast from Scalding Breath. She also pushes Izamu to get a charge lane onto Nekima, but my hand is trash (I spent the first turn with a 5 as my highest card in hand) and Nekima remains unhurt.

012

Turn 2: I win initiative, but sadly my joy is short-lived as Greg makes me activate the Metal Gamin first. He puts Protection of Metal on Izamu (I did consider Yamaziko, but figured Greg would prioritise killing Izamu). Nekima focuses and cheats in a 13 to allow a straight flip on Izamu, dropping the Red Joker on damage and finishing him off with her second swing. I saw it coming but with Nekima’s high Ml stat and evidently a 13 and Red Joker in hand there wasn’t anything I could do about it. He does at least hurt her back with A Warrior’s Death. Mei Feng and Yamaziko beat most of the Soulstones out of Nekima and kill the Doppelganger with splash damage but can’t actually finish off Nekima. Pandora makes the surviving Rail Worker Insignificant and gives him Mood Swings. He’s forced to act next and moves round to use Shovel Faster on Nekima, luckily getting her on the randomisation and forcing yet more damage on. The Widow puts another Web in the middle of my crew and Mr Graves comes in to put Cursed Object on Yamaziko; Mr Tannen puts it on him right back. Over on the right the Emberling drops a Scheme marker and the Effigy and Primordial Magic close in on it. Nekima uses her last Soulstone to avoid burning to death and we both score on Turf War and Cursed Object.

013

Turn 3: I stone to win the initiative and Yamaziko polishes off Nekima and puts another Cursed Object in one of Mr Graves’ natty waistcoat pockets. Mr Graves hurts Mr Tannen (how could he!?). The Metal Gamin fails to magnetise the Effigy. The Widow Weaver kills off Mr Tannen then the Rail Worker goes in and takes a chunk of her wounds. The Effigy saunters over to remove the Scheme marker that the Emberling put down and Pandora makes my totem Insignificant to stop me from just dropping another one. She also gives my Metal Gamin a Cursed Object to hold. Mei Feng ensures that the Widow will burn to death and Vents Steam. We both score again for Cursed Object and Turf War.

014

Turn 4: This is announced as the last turn. Mei Feng pushes the Rail Worker away from Mr Graves (to avoid the Black Blood) then sets the skinwalker ablaze and knocks him down to his Hard to Kill wound. He smites Yamaziko, getting severe damage on the first but I top-deck the Red Joker on damage prevention to avoid the lot. The second swing looks rather half-hearted after that. The Rail Worker fails to do anything to Pandora apart from give her a free push (she didn’t need it anyway to get where she was going; I was just hoping to force at least one high card out of Greg’s hand). She in turn races away to drop markers for Breakthrough. My Metal Gamin critically Black Jokers the Magnetism shot on the Effigy; he charges in but only hits once and so leaves the Effigy alive; it gives both the Gamin and Emberling Cursed Objects. If I could have hit with Magnetism and one attack then I could have avoided giving up a Cursed Object this turn at least. Yamaziko gets away from Mr Graves and drops a marker for Breakthrough. I score for Turf War and Greg scores for Cursed Object. Ten Thunders lose 6 – 8 (3 for Turf War, 2 for Cursed Object and 1 for Breakthrough for me; 2 for Turf War, 3 for Cursed Object and 3 for Breakthrough for Greg).

015

Wow, what a game. As regular readers know, I always have a great time playing Greg; he’s a real gentleman and a great ambassador for everything Malifaux gaming should be about. I’m sanguine about losing to player of his ability and I feel like I did make him work hard to beat me (probably he would be too polite anyway to admit that he found it easy). If either of my two Magnetisms on the Effigy in turns 3 or 4 had come off I might have closed the gap (or maybe more in turn 3) but on the other hand I got crazy lucky to keep Yamaziko fighting against Mr Graves on turn 4. I felt that Greg was running out of pieces to work with by the end so if we’d managed a fifth turn I might have been able to score more. Notably I made a few bad choices in turn 4; in particular I probably should have just pushed Mei Feng out of melee at the end of turn 3 using Wings of Wind so she could go and actually score me some points then used Yamaziko to give Mr Graves a Cursed Object instead of trying to kill him at all. Of course, this is why I write these battle reports in the first place: to give me an opportunity to review and improve my game. If, if, if. Greg rightly beat me in the game that actually happened so I’ll just have to learn from this. After all that we were onto the final game where I would play James.

Game 4: Ten Thunders (me) vs Arcanists (James)

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Distract, Plant Explosives, Bodyguard
Ten Thunders: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives
Arcanists: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives

Crews
Ten Thunders: Mei Feng (Vapormancy, Recalled Training, Wings of Wind), Emberling, Kang (Blot the Sky), Thunder Archer, Illuminated, 2 Rail Workers, 2 Metal Gamin
Arcanists: Ramos (Combat Mechanic, Arcane Reservoir), Joss (Imbued Energies), Electrical Creation, Arcane Effigy, Large Arachnid, Myranda (Imbued Energies), Cassandra (Practised Production)

So, Arcanists in Reconnoitre? I was certainly expecting to see Ramos here and James didn’t disappoint. In the same vein, I don’t imagine that he was very surprised to see Kang in my crew. I had been taking a pair of Metal Gamin all day for utility Rail Walk points as needed, but of course against Constructs they’re very nice with a free attack in the form of Magnetism. I figured that the Archer would be hanging around Kang all the time anyway to pick off targets of opportunity and I had a spare SS at the end so took Blot the Sky. I took Protect Territory thinking that I’d probably want some models sitting still a lot to count for the Strategy, and then thought I might be able to lure a few attacks of opportunity onto my crew when they were sitting on scheme markers which I could re-purpose for Plant Explosives. As soon as I saw Cassandra with Practiced Production I knew I’d have to keep my crew spread apart.

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Turn 1: Ramos does the now-familiar routine of Magnetising his own Electrical Creation and turning it into a trio of Steam Arachnids. One Metal Gamin magnetises Ramos (mainly for the movement) and other does it to finish off one of the Steam Arachnids that had been wounded by the Archer. Mei Feng walks into a cluster of my pieces and Vents Steam. Finally Myranda moves up and turns into a Cerberus (surprise!) which pokes a Metal Gamin rather toothlessly. The Arachnids scatter.

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Turn 2: The Archer Rapid Fires the Cerberus to drop it out of Three Headed. It kills off the Metal Gamin anyway and Leaps to safety. Kang scraps another Arachnid and Mei Feng ensures that the Cerberus will burn to death at the end of the turn. Ramos summons another three Steam Arachnids from the increasing pile of scrap counters on the centreline. The rest of the turn is jockeying for position but James outplays me and only he scores on the strategy. Of course, having a swarm of Steam Arachnids around doesn’t hurt him, but I ended up leaving my Archer in the no scoring zone which didn’t make my life easier.

018

Turn 3: The Archer kills a Steam Arachnid and the Metal Gamin gets another. The Large Arachnid eats its Scheme marker, moves very slightly and drops another; I’m not sure what this achieved or if James just wanted to make use of its abilities while it was sitting in the back. The Arcane Effigy also drops one and I see an opportunity to at least get two points on Plant Explosives so the Rail Worker climbs the wall and drops a Scheme marker that will catch both the Large Arachnid and the Effigy while only being in range of one of their markers. Cassandra moves in to drop a Scheme Marker near the Archer and Metal Gamin (who have both already gone). Mei Feng makes a total mess of hitting the Spider she’s near and ends up just Rail Walking away to push the Archer away from Cassandra’s marker. The rest of the turn is a very complex dance of positioning as we both tried to arrange a third victim of our own Plant Explosives while not giving up a third point ourselves. Sadly my notes and writing ability aren’t adequate to describe it in a way that would help anyone, but it was highly entertaining. In the end we both have to settle for two points on Plant Explosives and neither of us gets anything for Reconnoitre.

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Turn 4: Mei Feng hurts Ramos who summons another three Steam Arachnids then Magnetises away to one of them, perhaps to escape Kang’s spade. The Archer shoots a hefty chunk of Cassandra’s wounds off; she uses Southern Charm, Nimbles away from Kang (who can’t stop her thanks to the negative flip of course) and charges the Archer, easily skewering him. Time is running out and we agree to just theory out the rest of the turn; neither us of could see a way for me to catch up that missed Reconnoitre point from turn 2 (but for those reading along at home please let me know if you can think of a realistic one considering the board state). Ten Thunders lose 6 – 7 (1 for Reconnoitre, 2 for Plant Explosives and 3 for Protect Territory for me; 2 for Reconnoitre, 2 for Plant Explosives and 3 for Protect Territory for James).

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That was a really fun game that needed a lot of thinking and careful positioning. James is a treat to play against and I hope that I can learn to keep up with his high quality of play. Like my previous game against Greg I wasn’t unhappy to have lost as I achieved my goal of making my opponent work hard to get the victory. James’ positioning was stronger than mine for much of the game and believe that I can see a few things now looking back that I need to watch for in future games.

When the results are announced I’ve come in 9th (of 20) which was pretty much expected based on winning two and losing two.  I really enjoyed the event and I’m happy with my performance over the games; my two losses were close and were to very strong players. Overall I think I’ve learned a few more things about how to play Mei Feng (mainly I was trying to get a handle on Vapormancy which I hadn’t used much previously) and I find her a very satisfying master to put on the table. I’d like to thank Mark, Scott, Greg and James for joining me in four really good games of Malifaux, and Joe and Andrew for their hard work running a successful event.

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