Posts Tagged With: Battle reports

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Khador (75 points); 03Mar2019

Following on from the game against Colin, I got the chance to face Paul’s Khador. I think I’ve never played a Khador force in either Mk2 or Mk3 so I was really interested to see what they did.

Spread The Net (scenario 3) vs Paul’s Khador

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0PjP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Brun Cragback [16]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (max) [17]

No change to my list from the last few times. Once again, the Troll warbeasts are Swamp Horrors and Lanyssa is Orin.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b76kWkWkUjy8t8y87fS8e7S7V

Khador Army – 74 / 75 points

[Vladimir 1] Vladimir Tzepesci, the Dark Prince [+28]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Spriggan [17]
Kapitan Sofya Skirova [5]
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich [4]
Yuri the Axe [6]
Battle Mechaniks (max) [5]
Black Dragons (max) [17]
Widowmaker Scouts [8]
Winter Guard Infantry (max) [10]
– Winter Guard Rocketeer (2) [4]

Paul mentioned that this was intentionally an army of things he either owns or finds interesting. It’s not in Theme so no freebies for him (and either I’ve made a mistake with my notes or he’s also playing 1 point down). Still, there seem to be quite a lot of Khadorans facing me.

Paul wins the roll off and again makes me move first which is totally fine with me. I put Brun and Lug on the left hoping that Brun could camp on the flag while Lug abused the forest to threaten Pathfinder charges at whatever ended up on the other side. The Totem Hunter selects Yuri as his Prey, mainly on the grounds that with his bigger threat range he’d be able to drop one of the larger threats to him that Paul was fielding (apart from the Warjacks and Vlad himself, of course).

Turn 1: Minions
My whole list runs forward as fast as their feet, hooves or tentacles will carry them. Brun casts Stonehold, Jaga Jaga casts Battle Host on herself and Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk on the Boomhowlers so that they can clear the rough terrain.

Turn 1: Khador
Everything runs forward, staying out of my threat ranges apart from a couple of Black Dragons on the right. Kovnik Joe tells the Winter Guard to be Tough and Vlad casts nothing.

Turn 2: Minions
I Upkeep all my spells. Brun saunters onto the flag. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and moves forward to cover where the Totem Hunter is about to go. He goes through the rough terrain, shanks a Winter Guard and then Sprints back to hide in the rough ground again. Rorsh caps a couple of Black Dragons and the Valkyries all make sure that they’re in the centre zone.

Turn 2: Khador
Paul realises that I’ve put both Swamp Horrors and Lug in range of his Warjacks if he Feats, so Vlad allocates 2 Focus to each of the Warjacks on the right. The Winter Guard move forward and those close enough to the Totem Hunter put a big CRA into him and leave him on a single box. The Rocketeers shoot the nearer Swamp Horror for some impressive damage and the Widowmakers gun down a couple of Boomhowlers. Vlad Feats and camps the rest of his Focus. The Spriggan goes into kill one Swamp Horror and the Juggernaut gets the other. Ouch. The left Juggernaut goes into Lug and leaves him on a few boxes. I score the right zone and Paul scores his flag; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
Jaga Jaga and Brun upkeep all their spells (I’m not sure if that was the right move for Brun since the only things likely to attack him were the Juggernaut and the Widowmakers). The Totem Hunter charges into Yuri and one-shots him to proclaim himself King of the Woods then Sprints off to engage the Widowmakers. The Soul Slave casts Ghost Walk on the Boomhowlers who kill a few Winter Guard. Then Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Feats, using only a single Boomhowler to kill Kovnik Joe. The Valkyries chip some boxes off the Spriggan, then the Wrastler Rages itself and kills it off. Sadly it can’t get the Juggernaut too; this is not helped by missing a bite even under Signs and Portents. Brun heals Lug and opts to stay on the flag; Lug maxes out on Fury and leaves the Juggernaut on two boxes; one each for Cortex and right arm… oh dear. Orin misses a Chain Lightning into the Black Dragons so Rorsh shoots a couple of them. I send Brine in for entertainment and he Overtakes through a few more. The store is closing and we’re out of time. I’m pretty sure I lose this on Assassination (or scenario if I want my defeat to last longer) as I’ll be out of things to hurt the Warjacks once the Juggernauts kill the Wrastler and Lug. Minions lose by Assassination (probably).

It was really nice to play Paul again after such a long time and we had a really fun game. I made a lot of mistakes though. Overall, I think that the game was very playable but perhaps I need to make sure that a list pair has an answer for anything packing very heavy armour.

  • The most important was giving him a chance to take out three Warbeasts on Feat turn. I should have either only offered up one and make him spend his Feat for it, or use the Boomhowlers as a screen in front of my Battlegroup.
  • On the left, once Lug and the Juggernaut were engaged I should have used Lug’s Chain Attack to throw the Juggernaut out of Vlad’s control as that would have given me more time to score that flag. Alternatively, I should have abandoned the idea of scoring the flag that turn and charged Brun into the Juggernaut as well.
  • After I lost the Swamp Horrors, I should have spent Jaga Jaga’s last two Fury of turn 3 to put Rage on the Wrastler. It was clear that I would need to fill the Wrastler up on Fury if I was going to have any chance to clear those Warjacks so I wouldn’t have been able to transfer anything anyway. Two extra attacks might have made the difference.
  • I should have continued to keep Brine in the right zone since he was the one that was scoring it. On the other hand, perhaps denying Paul the flag was at least as effective (I could possibly have eaten Sofia too if we had the time).
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine, Hordes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Convergence of Cyriss (75 points); 03Mar2019

Although there is a competent tournament scene in my country, there is also a whole load of people here picking up Warmachine / Hordes for the first time. I met up with a group of friends I know from Malifaux events who are at about the same level as I am for the game (i.e. terrible); the first was against Colin.

Standoff (scenario 2) vs Colin’s Convergence of Cyriss

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0PjP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Brun Cragback [16]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (max) [17]

No change to my list from the last few times. I’m back to proxying Troll warbeasts as Swamp Horrors and Lanyssa is representing Orin this time because I left him at home again.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cc201c_-0id8dmd5d5d9d6dog5dCdfdfdgdgdz

Convergence Army – 71 / 75 points
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Axis 1] Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer [+30]
– Assimilator [16]
– Galvanizer [5]
– Galvanizer [5]
– Inverter [15]
– Mitigator [7]
– Modulator [10]
– Prime Conflux [37]
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex [2]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Optifex Directive [4]

I’m not familiar enough to comment on the contents of Colin’s army, though he did mention later on that he would have preferred to have a couple of the battle engines present. I think that this force is actually a little under on points because Colin swapped from Iron Mother to Axis when he realised that one of Iron Mother’s spells only works on Warjacks and not Warbeasts (or maybe I just missed something out in my notes).

Note that when I arrived the scenario had already been set up but with flags instead of objectives. Neither of us noticed so we just played it as they were. Colin wins the roll off and makes me move first. Nothing too special about my deployment but I did remember to put the Totem Hunter close enough to receive Grave Wind. The Valkyries are around my battle group on the right in order to catch any tow cables from the Prime Axiom. The Totem Hunter selects the left Reflex Servitors as his Prey.

Turn 1: Minions
Everything runs up. Brun casts Stonehold, Jaga Jaga casts Battle Host on herself and Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter. The Valkyries mill about in Shield Guard range where possible.

Turn 1: Convergence of Cyriss
One Focus is Allocated to the Diffuser. The Reflex Servitors all move up and Dig In a bit higher up the field and the Vectors follow them, sharing the Focus very neatly between them. Axis casts Onslaught, puts a Razor Wall in the middle of the forest and saunters up behind them.

Turn 2: Minions
Jaga Jaga and Brun Upkeep their spells. The Totem Hunter charges to the left and kills a pair of Reflex Servitors (engaging the third so it couldn’t Counter Charge) then Sprints back behind the forest. Brine kills the last one (Totem Hunter chooses the other set as Prey) and gets brought back with Souie, though I possibly mess up the positioning by keeping them too safe and both end up behind the cloud on the left. Brun misses a shot at one of the Reflex Servitors on the right so Lug charges in, tanks a Counter Charge from the one I couldn’t engage (which also blows up another of them), kills the last and uses Return to move back out of easy retaliation range. The Totem Hunter changes Prey to the left Elimination Servitors. Everything else just jockeys a bit for position. I don’t put anything in to contest the rear zone as it feels like it would be too easy to kill.

Turn 2: Convergence of Cyriss
Axis Upkeeps his spells and Allocates once to the Modulator. The left Elimination Servitors, Modulator and Diffuser gun down a few Boomhowlers. The Prime Axiom realises that ranged attacks are not a major strength under Axis as it misses both Tow Cable shots into Lug (though I probably could have covered them with the Valkyries anyway). A Galvaniser goes into my right Swamp Horror and Axis sits on his flag. We both score the rectangular zones and respective flags. 2 – 2. I did suggest that this might be a good time to use Axis’s Feat but Colin wanted to save it until he could use the bonus strength part.

Turn 3: Minions
Again Brun and Jaga Jaga upkeep their spells. The Boomhowlers move up; one of them tries to contest Colin’s zone but gets killed by the Counter Charge from the Diffuser. They do manage to kill all the Elimination Servitors on that side with their guns (Totem Hunter shifts Prey to the Diffuser). Rorsh uses Diversionary Tactics to move Brine somewhere he can actually see the Modulator and he goes in to cripple one of the arms and leave it knocked down. The Totem Hunter goes into the Diffuser and neatly leaves it with a single functional box in every system. Jaga Jaga moves round a bit (mainly I’m wary about the Prime Axiom) and casts Signs and Portents. I should have done this a couple of activations earlier but got carried away. The Soul Slave gives Orin Ghost Walk so that he can move through the Wrastler and kill all three Elimination Servitors on the right with Lightning. The left Swamp Horror charges into the Inverter but the counter charge from the nearby Mitigator cripples its Mind which is quite annoying. It does still take a good chunk out the Vector in the process though. Brun shoots the right Galvaniser hoping to kill the Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex behind it but misses the latter. Lug charges in, almost wrecks one of the light Vectors by throwing it onto the ADO (which does kill him this time) and actually finishes off the Galvaniser that Brun shot. My other Swamp Horror kills the Galvaniser right next to it and pulls in the Mitigator for the Wrastler to finish off. Finally, the Valkyries move into the right zone and deal the last few boxes to the knocked down Assimilator. I score three zones and we each score our flags. 6 – 3.

Turn 3: Convergence of Cyriss
Axis drops both Upkeeps and Allocates two to the Prime Axiom and one to the Modulator. He also Feats and beats Brine down to have only Spirit left, though the combined efforts of the Modulator and Diffuser don’t manage to kill my pig. The Inverter smashes the Swamp Horror down to a couple of boxes and the Prime Axiom walks over to kill it and Lug. I score my flag, my zone and the left zone. Minions win by Scenario; 9 – 3.

It was terrific to play Colin at a new game and I’m sure he’ll get much better as he gets more and more experience. I’m not sure how much the flag / objective scenario error affected play but I guess it was the same for both of us. Things I learned:

  • Lug is lots of fun to play when he actually gets to do stuff.
  • I need to think about how early I can afford to activate Jaga Jaga in order to get more value from Signs and Portents.
  • Not using Jaga Jaga’s Feat didn’t feel like a big disadvantage. In this match-up there aren’t any suitable targets. Perhaps this is an indication that I should use a second list to cover such a match-up.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 28Feb2019

Joe and I ran another game of Warmahcine / Hordes as we’re both really enjoying it. He got a big load of second hand Cephalyx this week so that was an easy choice for him on what to play. I have a few ideas about things that I might to change from last week’s list but I plan to play this one a few more times to see where I think it is weak (other than the player, of course).

Spread The Net (scenario 3) vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0PjP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Brun Cragback [16]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (max) [17]

No changes from the list I played last time; it seemed to play well enough and anyway, there is not much point changing it up too often or I’ll never remember anything.  Orin, who I own but have left at home, is proxied by one of the Witch Coven.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_Z07enelememei6iejehehcjcjckckchej

Mercenary Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Operating Theater

[Thexus 1] Exulon Thexus [+29]
– Warden [10]
– Wrecker [14]
– Wrecker [14]
Cephalyx Agitator [3]
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen [10]
– Cephalyx Dominator [1]
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max) [11]
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max) [11]
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max) [12]
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max) [12]
Cephalyx Overlords [0(8)]
Cephalyx Overlords [0(8)]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
– Cephalyx Dominator [1]

Well, that is a lot of bodies, and if I kill them then they’ll come back as Risen. I’m not really sure how I’m going to deal with them for scenario. On the other hand, Joe has to be super careful about his positioning otherwise I can abuse Overtake and munch my way through loads of them at a time with the Swamp Horrors. The Cephalyx Overlords are represented by Thorn Gun Mages.

I win the roll-off and opt to go first. Joe chooses the table side that he’s already sitting at, further demonstrating the depth of our tactical play.

Turn 1: Minions
Brun casts Stonehold, Jaga Jaga casts Battle Host on herself and Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter (who I remembered to put close enough to cast it on this time). Everything else rushes forward as fast as their legs / tentacles will carry them. I’m not too worried about Joe’s threat ranges here; if he’s willing to put Thexus up in range to TK something then he’s welcome to do so.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Thexus Allocates a Focus to each Monstrosity. All three move up and are followed by Eliminators, Overlords or the Agitator and poked gently to fill up on Focus for next turn. The infantry rush up and spread out to cover Joe’s side of the board in a sea of bare-chested weirdos. Exulon Thexus floats up behind them and casts Psycho Surgery to heal up the chip damage that the Monstrosities took.

Turn 2: Minions
I upkeep all the spells. The Totem Hunter charges through the forest to punk a Mind Slaver Drudge and Sprints back. Rorsh and the Valkyries cap another couple on the right and the Boomhowlers gun down a few more on the left. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and sends in one of the Swamp Horrors which eats a few more of the leading Drudges on the left, though an annoying number of them Tough. Careful observers will note that I’ve neglected to contest Joe’s flag or the right zone. Oops.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Nothing is Allocated since all the Monstrosities are full anyway. Thexus TKs the right Wrecker forward a bit and Feats. The Totem Hunter gets moved into the forest, my clump of support models is pulled apart so neither the Soul Slave nor Orin are in range to do their thing for Jaga Jaga and the Boomhowlers are tidied up into a neat cluster. He ends activation camping 6 since he is so far forward. Both Mind Benders turbo charge a trio of Mind Slaver Drudges. On the right they hurt Brine (and contest my flag) and miss the Totem Hunter. On the left, join the Risen (and later, a Thrall Warrior) in punching the Swamp Horror but helpfully leave it with all aspects functional. My joy at having the Totem Hunter available is short lived as the Wrecker comes over and smashes it to paste. The other Wrecker gets buffed up by the Agitator and comes into leave Lug on three boxes and Beat Back in to contest my zone. The positioning required does mean that the Agitator isn’t on the flag though. Finally, the Warden lumbers in front of Thexus to make it harder to assassinate him. Joe scores the right zone; 1 – 0. I’m not really sure why Joe clumped up all the Boomhowlers with Thexus’s Feat; presumably he planned to spray them somehow.

Turn 3: Minions
Since the Soul Slave got moved away from Jaga Jaga, I have to pay to upkeep Battle Host like a peasant. On the plus side, I think I can take out Exulon Thexus this turn even through 6 camp. The Soul Slave moves across and puts Ghost Walk on the Boomhowlers. They mostly charge into the morass of Drudges and Risen in front of them but a few run through as deep as I can get them. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents, walks round the Wrastler and attacks the Risen in front of it. Sadly it Toughs and I can’t buy an attack as I need to cast Rage on the Wrastler. Instead, she Feats to kill off a couple of Cephalyx officers, a few Drudges in awkward positions and the blocking Risen. She hurts Thexus too because why not? The back Swamp Horror charges into the Warden at an angle to pull it clear of the Wrastler’s charge lane and leaves it on about five boxes; Orin fries the Swamp Horror in the back and finishes the job. The other Swamp Horror kills a couple more Drudges and Risen to Overtake closer to Thexus and pulls him in for a good Beaking. Finally the Wrastler charges in and kills Exulon Thexus with the first bite. Minions win by Assassination.

Another fun game with Joe. I think that he really suffered from this being his first time with Cephalyx and I don’t expect that I’ll get him playing Thexus so far forward again. On the other hand, if he’d played a bit further back I could have afforded to be a bit more cavalier with my own placement and could have cleared out a lot of his infantry in turn 3 instead of going in for the kill. Jaga Jaga’s feat allowed me to scalpel out some of the tasty Cephalyx unit leaders which I think would neuter their impact quite nicely. I almost want to play turn 3 again and go for attrition instead to see where we end up.

  • Swamp Horrors are highly amusing into victim stat infantry like Risen and Drudges but Tough is really annoying when you want to use Overtake.
  • The Totem Hunter really needs to stay away from things that cast boost to hit.
  • Another bad day for Lug since the Wrecker out-threats him. I would have been interested to see what he could do in return once Brun healed up his crippled aspects.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 14Feb2019

When I first started this blog I wrote up a lot of battle reports but as time went by I found that I was only doing tournament reports. So here is a one-off report for Warmachine, a game I love to play even though I’m quite awful at it.

I’ve had a hankering to run Minions again in Warmachine, but this time we were using (mostly) the correct miniatures so I thought I’d set up another thread to document my ineffectual flailing through this wonderful game. Joe wanted to try out some of the CID Pirate stuff so we threw down.

Invasion (scenario 4) vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0PjP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Brun Cragback [16]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (max) [17]

The basic idea of the list is to leverage Rage-d, Signs and Portents, Overtake Swamp Horrors because that sounds quite amusing. My main dilemma was what infantry to take for Jaga Jaga’s Feat turn. In the end I settled on Boomhowlers as they have decent armour and could possibly contribute in a jamming role even if I couldn’t get a good Feat turn out. I probably slightly prefer Nyss in the role but in this case the high defence / low armour is obviously less helpful. I had a Dr Arkadius list as a back-up that I’m also quite excited to try out but never really intended to use it here. Thanks to the extensiveness of Joe’s collection, Calaban is a proxy for Jaga Jaga and a pair of Trolls are representing the Swamp Horrors.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-0QnTnV8jnQnQnQnM8SnPnPnP8Mca

Mercenary Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Talion Charter

!!! This army contains CID entries.

[Rahera 1] Captain Rahera, Terror of the Wailing Sea [+28]
– Blockader [35]
– Freebooter [9]
– Swashbuckler [8]
– Swashbuckler [8]
– Swashbuckler [8]
Bosun Grogspar [0(5)]
Lord Rockbottom [0(4)]
Powder Monkey [0(2)]
Powder Monkey [2]
Powder Monkey [2]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
The Commodore Cannon & Crew [7]
Scharde Pirates (max) [14]
– Scharde Pirate Officer [4]

I think almost everything here is in CID one way or another. I’m not going to comment on any CID game balance matters because a) I’m terrible at WarmaHordes and b) I have no idea what the Pirate stuff did before so any change is meaningless to me. Needless to say, there are a ton of proxies here but I think that most of them are quite straightforward; notably the Scharde Pirates are represented by some of my old Press Gangers and the Commodore Cannon is played by a Road Hog.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Captain Rahera casts Escort and Rough Seas, then pretty much everything runs forward. Slightly to my surprise, Joe has the light Warjacks screening his Scharde Pirates and not the other way around.

Turn 1: Minions
I also run my stuff forward, though I’m a bit more circumspect about it in order to respect the threat ranges of Joe’s front line. I’m not so worried about the shooting elements as that has me outranged anyway. I’ve deployed the Totem Hunter in a stupid place so it has to run over to the middle to get Grave Wind (I’d planned to start with it in the centre and run to hassle the flanks). Battle Host is also cast.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Rahera upkeeps Escort and allocates one Focus to the Swashbuckler on my left. The Commodore Cannon slams Lug back and knocks it down. Various Powder Monkeys Empower the left Swashbuckler and the Blockader so they’re both full. The Blockader saunters forward and vaporises the poor Totem Hunter (100% player error on my side) and a couple of random Boomhowlers. The Swashbuckler charges through the Blockader and kills another.

Turn 2: Minions
The Soul Slave upkeeps Battle Host on Jaga Jaga’s behalf. Lug stands up and runs toward the action. The Soul Slave puts ghostly on the Boomhowlers; four of them run deep in preparation for their untimely death at the hands of their employer (they’re mercenaries, they knew what they were signing up for) and the rest move to get in the Blockader’s way. Boomhowler himself sings Cacophony. I have a slight activation order issue in that I’ve blocked Jaga Jaga from moving forward so the Wrastler puts Rage on the right Swamp Horror and takes a nice chunk out of the Freebooter. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Rages the second Swamp Horror. She also Feats on four Boomhowlers, killing Aiyana, Holt, Lord Rockbottom and putting a little damage onto Rahera. The Swamp Horrors go in with crazy dice; the one on the right finishes the Freebooter and drops the Swashbuckler while the one on the left kills its Swashbuckler and smacks the Blockader a little. Finally, the Valkyries ding up the last Swashbuckler and Brine finishes it off. Sadly, I’m an idiot and don’t move the third Valkyrie into the right zone which would have allowed me to score. 0 – 0.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Rahera allocates nothing but upkeeps Escort. The Monkeys fill up the Blockader again and the Commodore Cannon slams Lug to the ground again. Rahera Feats, charges Boomhowler through the Blockader and sprints back behind the house where she started. The Blockader repositions slightly and kills the last Boomhowler, Lug and the Swamp Horror. The Scharde Pirates use No Quarter and slam into my front line. 0 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
Battle Host is upkept. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and backs nervously away from Rahera and the Blockader. The Valkyries begin the process of clearing out the Scharde Pirates (and are careful to all end up in the right zone this time) and Rorsh contributes too. Brine charges across and kills Bosun Grogspar and overtakes nicely around to deal with some more of the Pirates. The Wrastler kills even more to heal up and clear the Swamp Horror. Orin hits the Objective with Chain Lightning and the electroleaps kill all three Powder Monkeys. One of them kills him in return after falling from the sky from halfway across the board which was quite surprising. The Soul Slave puts Rage on the Swamp Horror and it goes all in on Rahera [edit: actually this isn’t allowed. Oops!]. Sadly for me she toughs the last attack and I have nothing left to finish her with.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
Rahera drops Escort and stands up. She then charges Jaga Jaga and burns through all my transfers. The Commodore Cannon slams the Swamp Horror but I’m less annoyed this time because at least the Horror has Steady. The Blockader walks round but can’t finish Jaga Jaga. 2 – 0

Turn 4: Minions
Brine annoyingly Frenzies into the Wrastler, taking out its mind. We discuss whether it is worth casting Signs and Portents and eventually decide that it is not. So Jaga Jaga kills Rahera on the first attack; she doesn’t get tough this time. Minions win by Assassination.

I really enjoyed that game, and of course each time I play Joe it is a pleasure. The Swamp Horrors were just as entertaining as I had hoped, though the dice were really on my side in my turn 2. Things I learned:

  • Lug is probably best when he is actually standing up instead of being constantly knocked down and slammed back. I’ll try him again.
  • My deployment and positioning need a lot of improvement. In particular it cost me the Totem Hunter before it could do anything more useful than waste some precious Fury casting Grave Wind on it.
  • Boomhowlers were adequate as Feat targets in this list; they were good enough to contribute while also being high enough armour to make the Feat effective.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: Southside Steamroller (75 points); 03Nov2018

I recently attended my first ever Warmachine / Hordes (or WarmaHordes, or whatever… just Warmachine from now on) in Glasgow. Apparently this was the first Steamroller in Glasgow for something like five years, so it wasn’t only a first for me. I’ve got to admit that I was a little nervous for two reasons. Firstly, the Warmachine event scene has a bit of a reputation for taking their gaming seriously and I was worried that by going along and being really bad at the game that I’d be effectively denying one player per round a decent game. Secondly, competitive Warmachine is played on a Death Clock, meaning that it is possible to lose the game just by playing inefficiently. Joe helped me with the latter by giving me a timed game to practice, and I’m pleased to report that the clock was not an issue as he’d finished beating me long before time was up.

https://conflictchamber.com/#c7201b_-0b0g0r9DiRjpiXjq7d6R750k0m

Trollbloods Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Power of Dhunia

[Skuld 1] Jarl Skuld, Devil of the Thornwood [+30]
– Dire Troll Bomber [19]
– Dire Troll Mauler [15]
– Earthborn Dire Troll [14]
– Mulg the Ancient [22]
– Troll Basher [7]
– Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)]
Janissa Stonetide [0(4)]
Troll Whelps [0(4)]
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (max) [19]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) [6]
– Stone Scribe Elder [3]

My list is mainly put together as a combination of things I own, things I think look fun to play and things I think look good in an army. The only concessions to playing competently are the Runebearer (seems like a no-brainer choice for Jarl Skuld but has a boring miniature) and the Nyss Hunters (useful jamming unit in a theme force that doesn’t have any units, and anyway I already own them). The basic game plan is to move aggressively at the start and use Jarl’s Feat to block much significant attacking that turn. Then ram Warbeasts in with Rage applied and hope that the other force runs out of pieces before I do. The Nyss usually either jam or take shots of opportunity as needed.

Having a single list is a bit of a disadvantage as the other player can choose whichever of their lists will be best placed to face it. I did consider taking a second list but decided that would be a waste of time. I don’t have any experience with another list and even if I did, I’m not really sure yet when I would drop one or the other anyway.

Once I arrived in the admittedly rather ropey looking pub that was hosting us, I chatted with some other players and was pleased that I wasn’t the only attendee who was hopelessly inexperienced. I will note that I prefaced each game with an apology to each of my opponents for the likelihood of me getting some of the complex rule interactions wrong and they were all very cool about it.

Game 1: Andrew Murchie, Convergence of Cyriss

Scenario: Recon 2

https://conflictchamber.com/#cc201b_-0ilIdndndBd9d9dbdCdedfdfdgdz___-0id8dndBd9d9d9dedfdfdgdgdzdFdF

Convergence Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Locke 1] Aurum Lucanum Athanor Locke [+29]
– Conservator [12]
– Conservator [12]
– Corollary [6]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
– Prime Axiom [38]
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex [2]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Optifex Directive [4]

Convergence Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Axis 1] Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer [+30]
– Conservator [12]
– Corollary [6]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Optifex Directive [4]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]

Andrew selects the Axis list, presumably on the basis that it is better for dealing with a smaller number of tough targets. I choose to move first.

Trollbloods turn 1: My Theme Force benefit allows me to start the game with my Warlock’s upkeep spells cast. I have Quicken on the Bomber, Tactical Supremacy on the Krielstone and Weald Secrets on Jarl himself. Most of my force runs forward at top speed; Jarl dumps most of his Fury into the Krielstone.

Convergence turn 1: Many clockwork robots run at me. Iron Aggression is cast on one of the Inverters and a cloud of Servitors spread out to make my impact shooting irrelevant with all the Shield Guards.

Trollbloods turn 2: I think that I can take out the right side Transfinite Emergence Projector. The Nyss drop some Reflex Servitors on the left (they’re quite good at this since they ignore Concealment) and try not to line up too many nice sprays from the second battle engine. Jarl Feats to put his cloud wall in the way of Andrew’s central advance and casts Quicken on the Mauler. The Runebearer then casts Rage on it and the Mauler smites the Transfinite Emergence Projector with some Fury to spare. This does mean that I can’t manage to get the Runebearer onto my flag as I had originally planned.

Convergence turn 2: Axis Feats and swaps Iron Aggression on to the Inverter on the right; it makes short work of my Mauler. The remaining Transfinite Emergence Projector lines up shots on Nyss via the Conservator and kills a few. Convergence score a point from the flag and the right zone; 2 – 0.

Trollbloods turn 3: There’s not a lot that I can do this turn thanks to Axis’s Feat. I back off a bit to limit the damage those Inverters can do to me. Jarl kills a couple of Servitors with Magic Bullet to at least allow me to score my own flag but I can’t get anywhere near the other one. 3 – 1.

Convergence turn 3: Andrew could kill a load of my stuff here but he realises that he can just win the game via scenario instead. Axis casts Bulldoze. The Transfinite Emergence Projector clears the rest of the contesting Nyss. The Conservator pushes the Bomber out of the zone and the central Inverter kills the Runebearer; this allows Andrew to score both zones and his own flag. Trollbloods lose on scenario; 1 – 6.

Despite the one-sided nature of the game, I really enjoyed this. Andrew didn’t have to do anything particularly clever but he was very clear in his explanations as to not only what he was doing, but why he was doing it. This was really helpful – I learned a lot, and hopefully I can apply it in future games. In particular, it seems that I need to be a lot more aggressive against this kind of control list and just suck up the damage that inevitably comes after it.

Game 2: Stuart Fraser, Cryx

Scenario: Spread The Net

https://conflictchamber.com/#c4201b_-0B0WkA1u1hi22nf0f0dWhZh-h_h-h____-0UbY1k1f1t1e1u1u1v1v1v1h2k2nf02B2B

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Dark Host

[Terminus 1] Lich Lord Terminus [+27]
– Barathrum [15]
– Seether [13]
– Stalker [8]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Necrotech [2]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
Bane Warriors (max) [16]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Bane Warriors (max) [16]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Black Industries

[Asphyxious 3] Asphyxious the Hellbringer [+24]
– Cankerworm [9]
– Nightwretch [0(7)]
– Reaper [13]
– Ripjaw [0(7)]
– Seether [13]
– Seether [13]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
– Stalker [8]
Machine Wraith [2]
Necrotech [2]
Soul Trapper [1]
Warwitch Siren [4]
Warwitch Siren [4]

Discussing before the game, it seemed that Stuart was rather more at my level of experience than other players attending, so I had high hopes to make him work for his victory here. He selected Asphyxious and I ended up with the first move again.

Trollbloods turn 1: Once again I start with Quicken on the Bomber, Tactical Supremacy on the Krielstone and Weald Secrets on Jarl. This looks like quite a live scenario and I know that Asphyxious can make his Warjacks move very fast so I need to get some table position before I get locked out of scenario. Jarl fills up the Krielstone.

Cryx turn 1: Everything moves up but the advance is rather more cautious than I was expecting.

Trollbloods turn 2: With help of Magic Bullet, the Bomber and Jarl clear out the solos on the right. The Nyss do a couple of massive Combined Ranged Attacks and cripple movement on the Stalker and drop Vociferon. I have no idea what Vociferon actually does, but it looked like something that was worth getting rid of while I had the opportunity. Especially considering the Carapace rule on all the Warjacks making the Nyss shooting a bit less effective. Jarl Feats too, covering the centre of the board.

Cryx turn 2: On the left side the Warjacks come in and clear about half of the Nyss; the Stalker and Ripjaw position to contest my flag too. Asphyxious uses his Feat. On the right, Stuart seems curiously reticent to engage Mulg, so I get to score my zone with the big chap; 1 – 0.

Trollbloods turn 3: Janissa charges in and drops the Stalker in one shot while the Earthborn wrecks the Ripjaw. The Nyss ding up the Nightwretch, Seether and Slayer and generally gum things up. The Runebearer puts Magic Bullet on the Bomber which scratches the paint on the central Warjacks and takes out the Warwitch. The Basher gets both Quicken and Rage and rushes over to smack the central Slayer. I’m not actually expecting to kill it; I just want to keep those Cryx Warjacks away for another turn. The Krielstone move into the central zone and I score 3 points; 4 – 0.

Cryx turn 3: The Seether tries to position for a drag on the Mauler but can’t because I explain the Whelp placement will stop it. The Seether comes in and hurts the Mauler anyway and contests. The Basher remarkably survives the attentions of the Slayer due to some bad dice on Stuart’s side. On the left, the remaining Nyss are killed off by Warjacks. I still score 2 point this turn to Stuart’s 1, so I get a rather surprising scenario victory. Trollbloods win on scenario; 6 – 1.

Well, that certainly went better than I expected. Stuart probably was too cautious with his movement, especially in turn 1. I don’t think that I have enough good attacks to deal with so many Warjacks coming across the board at me. By slowing down his advance, especially on my right, I was able to deal with the Warjacks in more manageable chunks. I was quite pleased that Jarl did what I expected of him, i.e. kill off some annoying solos and stop them from scoring or contesting. This was a nice, relaxed, fun game between probably the two worst players in attendance.

Game 3: Shane Frost, Circle Orboros

Scenario: Standoff

https://conflictchamber.com/#c8201b_-0p5v4QjGjF4H4H4Hg4g45gmVmV0U5e5e5f5f___-0WgM4B4B5H5H5H5H5H5H5HmO5g5g5f5f

Circle Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Bones of Orboros

[Wurmwood 1] Wurmwood, Tree of Fate [+27]
– Megalith [20]
– Wold Guardian [16]
– Woldwarden [14]
– Woldwyrd [9]
– Woldwyrd [9]
– Woldwyrd [9]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Gallows Grove [2]
Gallows Grove [2]
Farrow Bone Grinders (min) [5]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Shifting Stones [3]
Shifting Stones [3]

Circle Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Call of the Wild

[Una 2] Una the Skyhunter [+29]
– Gorax Rager [7]
– Gorax Rager [7]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Storm Raptor [34]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Shifting Stones [0(3)]
Shifting Stones [0(3)]

During the pregame discussion phase, Shane decided that he would treat this as a teaching game. I get the impression that he’s pretty good (anyway, much better than me) but was having a bit of a bad day at the office with results so far. He chose to use Una on the basis that it would make for a more entertaining game. I get to go first again.

Trollbloods turn 1: I start with Quicken on the Bomber, Tactical Supremacy on the Krielstone and Weald Secrets on Jarl. Jarl fills up the Krielstone and everyone rushes forward as fast as possible. No reason to change a ‘winning’ formula.

Circle turn 1: Shane’s force unpacks. It has a much bigger threat range than my army so the actually movement forward is not so much. Everything is still in range to do horrid things to me next turn though.

Trollbloods turn 2: The Nyss take a massive 10 person CRA into the lead Griffon but roll 1,1 to hit. That’s quite annoying as they could have done some rather good damage if they’d landed it. The Bomber and Jarl land a few hits on the Griffons on the left and Jarl Feats. Shane spends a good amount of time explaining and advising on good places to put my clouds to mitigate the effect of his next turn.

Circle turn 2: Una Feats and puts Hand of Fate and Primal on a couple of Griffons. Despite the inconvenience of the cloud wall I lose the Bomber and Janissa (though I expected to lose her easily) but otherwise get off quite lightly. The Storm Raptor moves to my right in preparation for electrocuting all my Nyss next turn. Circle score 1 points (back zone) while contesting my zone. 1 – 0.

Trollbloods turn 3: It takes a bit of work to unjam myself from the centre Griffon since it dodges away from my first couple of attacks. The Nyss put some damage onto the Storm Raptor. On the left, the Mauler finishes a Griffon and Jarl puts Weald Secrets back on himself and continues to shoot chunks out of the Griffon lurking behind the wall on the left. We both score for the rectangular zones; 2 – 1.

Circle turn 3: The Storm Raptor wipes out all the Nyss in a single go. One Griffon comes into the Mauler to trigger Flank but the Primalled one can’t get the job done and the Mauler survives on a couple of boxes. Shane scores the right and back zones while I score my rectangular zone; 4 – 2.

Trollbloods turn 4: The Mauler heals up by eating Whelps and kills the first Griffon and leave the Primalled one on a couple of boxes. Jarl takes a few wounds off Una with Magic Bullets bouncing off Shifting Stones and the Basher charges in to start hurting the Gorax in the middle. Mulg commits and smacks a Blackclad. Finally, the Earthborn is powered up with Quicken and Rage and rushes over to take a good chunk out of the Storm Raptor. We both score for the rectangular zones again; 5 – 3.

Circle turn 4: The Storm Raptor and Griffon make short work of the Earthborn but a Whelp survives to contest and even the Blackclad misses it. On the left, the Frenzying Griffon fails to finish the Mauler. The Gorax hurts the Basher rather inconsequentially. Once again we both score for the rectangular zones; 6 – 4.

Trollbloods turn 5: The Griffon on the left leads a charmed life; avoiding all my attacks to survive to contest again. Mulg goes in to kill the Objective and contest the rectangular zone and Jarl continues taking potshots at Una (I think I forgot that he has Black Penny so I could possibly have killed that Griffon). I score my rectangular zone and one for the Objective; 6 – 6.

Circle turn 5: The Griffon and Storm Raptor come in and attack Mulg but he turns out to be quite tough. The Mauler finally goes down but the Whelp improbably survives another round. Una pushes Mulg out of the zone so we both score our rectangular zone; 7 – 7.

Trollbloods turn 6: Mulg can’t quite finish the Storm Raptor; the Basher drops the Gorax. Jarl continues to pump bullets ineffectively into the Griffon on the left. We score a point each; 8 – 8 .

Circle turn 6: The scrum in the centre continues without any kind of resolution. The Griffon attacks Jarl but can’t make anything stick. The Whelp gets ignored in favour of the Blackclad desperately trying to deal with Mulg but failing. More scoring rectangular zones; 9 – 9.

Trollbloods turn 7: My last turn. The Basher attacks Una, killing the Gorax through transferred damage. Jarl kills the Griffon and moves to cover both the circular and rectangular zones. Mulg finally offs the Storm Raptor. I score both rectangular zones and the left circular zone. 9 – 12.

Circle turn 7: Una and the last Raptor flail ineffectively at the Basher and Mulg respectively. Scoring is the same as last turn so Trollbloods win 15 – 10.

I know that Shane was going very easy on me, but it still felt nice to come out of that with a win. I was quite close to running out of clock (less than one minute left) but since I had no actions left it didn’t really matter. I got cocky with Jarl a couple of times and Shane did point out twice when he had reasonably good chances to win by assassination so I definitely have some more to learn about keeping my Warlock safe while still being relevant. I’m very appreciative for the teaching opportunity, and I hope that Shane enjoyed the game process as much as I did.

So, in the end I got listed with two wins and one loss, though that should really have been two losses since I’m pretty sure that Shane could have beaten me if it had mattered at all. Either way that far exceeds my expectations for performance here. Overall I had a really good time and I’m especially pleased that the Warmachine gaming scene is indeed not as hardcore competitive as I had heard. Thanks to Andrew, Stuart and Shane for three fun games and of course to Allan for running the event and making it all happen.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Tournaments, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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

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

Strategy: Ours, Standard Deployment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Public Executions, Flank Deployment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Interference, Close Deployment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Malifaux tournament report: Scottish GT 2018 (50SS); 21-22Jul2018

This weekend was the Malifaux Scottish GT for 2018 and Gareth and I traveled over to Common Ground Games in Stirling to take part. I hadn’t really been in love with Malifaux lately (the last event was back in March, four months ago) and neither of us had played since then. Indeed, I was considering pulling out entirely but we decided to attend and make the most of seeing the many friends we’ve met through Malifaux. Gareth and I put in a couple of practice games to remind ourselves how to play and I realised that I’d forgotten too much to attempt multiple crews. So I chose to play single master all weekend with Molly, with only minor crew variations, in order to give myself a chance to remember at least my own models’ abilities even if not those of everyone else.

Game 1: Resurrectionists (me) vs Guild (Colin McCrae)

Strategy: Ours, Standard Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Guarded Treasure, Take one for the Team, Recover Evidence, Vendetta, Public Demonstration
Resurrectionists: Recover Evidence, Vendetta (Rotten Belle on Pistolero De Latigo)
Guild: Recover Evidence, Vendetta (female Guild Guard; I forgot to note the intended victim)

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour, Datsue Ba, Anna Lovelace, Onryo, Dead Doxy, Rotten Belle, Graveyard Spirit
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Fastest Draw In Malifaux, Trick Shooting), Peacekeeper (Numb To The World), Pistolero De Latigo, Guild Pathfinder, Brutal Effigy, 2 Death Marshals, Enslaved Nephilim, 2 Guild Guards

This is my basic Molly crew. The upgrades are easy picks; Forgotten Path is needed to make her Spirit Molly in the first place, Take Back The Night gives some very nice card draw (when I remember it) and Wronged Spirits is free and is occasionally relevant whether I start with or summon Onryo. Izamu and Datsue Ba give a bit of damage, and some nice utility and summoning in the latter case. Anna also does quite reliable damage with her ranged attack, has Rush of Magic for some card-cycling and her aura of no pushing / placing is critical in some games. Indeed, it would even more useful if I remembered it more often. The Belle and Doxy are there for movement utility and (along with the Onryo) scheme running, incidental damage etc. Finally, the Graveyard Spirit can make Molly a bit more survivable when she’s in harm’s way (which is pretty much all the time) and, being a Spirit, can in a pinch act as a Black Blood bomb. The general idea is to ram Molly and Izamu down the other crew’s throat as rapidly as possible in order to gum them up working through my summons and taking incidental damage from Black Blood through the process. The rest of the crew can contribute or get on with the business of scoring as needed.

Considering how far shy I felt of ‘fighting weight’ I was quite glad to get picked against Colin for the first round. Not only because he’s a really nice, fun guy to play against but also I will admit that he’s far below me in terms of experience and therefore I could have a fairly straightforward game to warm-up. I mean no disrespect to Colin in this, and if he reads it I think that he’ll probably agree with the assessment. I had absolutely no idea what Colin would pick since he’d choose anyway based on his own amusement rather than for any particular schemes. I took Recover Evidence since it matches what I want to do with this crew (i.e. engage turn 1, drop Evidence Markers turn 2, blend entire crew turns 2 to 4, collect Evidence turn 5) and Vendetta since Belles make it a pretty straightforward 2 VPs. For those paying attention to the photos, initially Francisco Ortega was deployed on my left but Colin realised that he’d made a mistake with the crew builder application and replaced him with a second Death Marshall. In addition, the Trapper is a proxy for the Pathfinder, and some random model that I don’t recognise is representing the Pistolero.

Turn 1: The Doxy pushes Molly and Datsue Ba makes Izamu walk forward. In general the first turn movement is a bit cagey as Colin doesn’t want to give me easy summons and I don’t want Perdita to vapourise my crew. The Pathfinder summons a Trap and the Belle Lures in the Pistolero to score me a VP for Vendetta. Eventually Molly gets close enough to the Peacekeeper and Death Marshal on the left and summons in a Hanged and a Goryo, then makes Izamu advance again. The Goryo does some sterling work stabbing wounds past the Peacekeeper’s armour until Perdita Obeys it to get rid of my ghost.

Turn 2: Molly hurts the Pistolero mainly to get the push trigger on Revelation and move to a better summoning location. She then summons a replacement Goryo which kills the Peacekeeper and chain activates Izamu to drop the left Death Marshal. The Pistolero helpfully fails a horror duel on the Hanged which itself fails to get Whispers From Beyond on Perdita (I do draw the Red Joker on defense though). Anna eventually kills the Pistolero; it was more convenient than having the Belle do it. Perdita kills the new Goryo and the Doxy pushes Izamu into a big clump of Colin’s models. Datsue Ba get the Effigy down to its Hard To Kill wound and the Onryo misses the Death Marshal a couple of times. I score Ours.

Turn 3: We both declare Recover Evidence. The Death Marshal hurts Izamu and gets him down to a single wound. In return, Izamu kills the Death Marshal, the Effigy and the Enslaved Nephilim, dying to Black Blood in the end since he was too far from Molly; it was a warrior’s death (but not a Warrior’s Death, of course). Perdita kills the Hanged and Anna kills one of the Guild Guard. The Belle and Onryo pick up Evidence since its now just lying around unattended after Izamu’s killing spree. Molly puts Slow on Perdita. I score for Ours again.

Turn 4: Perdita shoots Molly, but she’s in cover and protected by the Graveyard Spirit so it’s not very effective as Perdita can’t ignore both cover and Armour. Datsue Ba kills the second Guild Guard and collects my last piece of Evidence. The Pathfinder continues his long-running duel with Anna and she returns fire this time. Molly sticks Whispered Secret on Perdita but can’t actually wound her, and finally the Onryo fails to kill the Pathfinder. I score for the strategy.

Turn 5: Perdita fires a few more bullets ineffectually into Molly, and the Onryo kills the Pathfinder. I score Ours for the last time. Resurrectionists win 9 – 0 (4 for Ours, 3 for Recover Evidence and 2 for Vendetta for me; nothing for Colin). It looks like I forgot to take one last picture.

That was a nice game to get us started. It was a bit of a mismatch in terms of skill, but Colin is a really great guy and I had a lot of fun chatting with him while we played. Not much to learn from my side about the game; I probably could have scored the last point for Vendetta with a bit of effort but I think it was not very important.

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

Strategy: Public Executions, Flank Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Eliminate the Leadership, Hold Up Their Forces, Undercover Entourage, Take Prisoner, Take One For The Team
Resurrectionists: Undercover Entourage (Molly), Take One For The Team (Dead Doxy)
Gremlins: Eliminate the Leadership, Take Prisoner (Graveyard Spirit)

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour (Unnerving Aura), Hannah (Unnerving Aura), Anna Lovelace, Rotten Belle, Dead Doxy, Graveyard Spirit
Gremlins: Zipp (Gift of the Gab, Stilts, Dread Pirate Zipp), Student of Conflict, Burt Jebsen (Dirty Cheater), Raphaelle Lacroix (Dirty Cheater), Swine-Cursed, Lightning Bug, 4 Bayou Gremlins

For game 2 I got paired with Ross. He’s a very strong player, having taken top Gremlin in this event in 2017. He’s much more in practice than me so I knew that this would be a really hard test. With this slight more killy game I dropped Datsue Ba and the Onryo (both pretty easy to kill) and replaced them with Hannah and two copies of Unnerving Aura. I love the combination of Hannah, Anna and Molly. Seeing 8 cards a turn and holding 7 of them is amazing for a summoner and Hannah copying Anna’s ranged attack is beautiful. Hannah is also conveniently immune to Black Blood, and her 3″ melee range works nicely with Unnerving Aura. Ross picked Zipp, a master I hate to see across the board as his main attack ignores pretty much every defensive tech in the entire game and is very hard to pin down. I took Undercover Entourage on Molly thinking that I would be sending her forward anyway, and Take One For The Team on the Doxy since they usually end up in harm’s way in the late game and are very attractive targets for models with weak damage of three like Burt. I seem to have forgotten to take a photo at deployment.

Turn 1: I look at my hand in horror; even after stoning I have a 10 and then the rest is weak cards. So much for Hannah and Anna! The Student makes Zipp Fast and the Doxy pushes Molly. Ross wastes activations with the Bayou Gremlins while I move up cautiously. In the end I commit Molly to summon a Drowned engaged with a big chunk of Ross’s crew and it drops the Lightning Bug. Burt hurts it a little and Zipp finishes it easily with Up We Go, then does the same to Molly three times. Fortunately I can use all the rubbish in my hand to reduce the damage… oh wait, it’s Zipp so I can’t. Zipp then turns into a Bayou Gremlin which Incites the Graveyard Spirit.

Turn 2: My hand is even worse than last time, this might hurt. The Student makes Zipp Fast again and the Graveyard Spirit charges a Bayou Gremlin (sometime you can get lucky with it). Zipp bounces Molly around like a basketball (scoring a point for Eliminate the Leadership in the process) and then traps her in an alleyway behind his smoke markers and turns into a Bayou Gremlin. Hannah copies Anna’s ranged attack to hurt Raphaelle and then walks to hit and engage the Swine-Cursed. Raphaelle double Focuses but misses Hannah anyway. The Doxy pushes Izamu up and kills a Bayou Gremlin, and Izamu polishes off the Swine-Cursed. Molly spends all her attacks and fails to even wound the nearby Bayou Gremlin, and Anna likewise misses one. Burt kills the Doxy, evening us up on the strategy but scoring me 2VP for Take One For The Team.

Turn 3: Zipp finishes Molly to pick up the rest of the points for Eliminate the Leadership, hides himself with clouds and turns into a Bayou Gremlin. Izamu kills Burt and Anna nearly gets her Bayou Gremlin. Hannah gets Raphaelle and the rest of the Gremlins take pot-shots at Anna to limited effect. I score for Public Executions.

Turn 4: Anna Black Jokers damage on her Bayou Gremlin and it plinks away at her in return. In the end I have to commit Izamu to kill the annoying little chap so that I could have a chance to score for the strategy. Zipp shoots Anna and Hannah copies her sister to shoot back. I score for the strategy.

Turn 5: Izamu kills another Bayou Gremlin and Anna shoots Zipp. Zipp shoots her back (to push her in case I had Undercover Entourage on her) and move to confirm Take Prisoner on the Graveyard Spirit. Resurrectionists lose 5 – 6 (3 for Public Executions and 2 for Take One For The Team for me; 3 for Eliminate the Leadership and 3 for Take Prisoner for Ross).

I really enjoyed that game! Of course, it helps that Ross is a real gentleman and a pleasure to play, but it was very close all the time. I actually was convinced that he would have taken Undercover Entourage on Zipp so when he revealed Take Prisoner on the Graveyard Spirit I was impressed. My biggest single mistake was taking Undercover Entourage on Molly. With Eliminate the Leadership in the scheme pool Ross had a big incentive to kill her, and with Zipp he had all the tools needed to do so easily. I gave away Take Prisoner too easily, it shows that I’m out of practice as I never considered it at all. None of this takes away from Ross who clearly had a plan of what to do, and cleanly delivered it; well done to him.

Game 3: Resurrectionists (me) vs Gremlins (David Hamilton)

Strategy: Guard the Stash, Close Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Guarded Treasure, Covert Breakthrough, Set Up, Show of Force, Search the Ruins
Resurrectionists: Covert Breakthrough, Search the Ruins
Gremlins: Set Up (Hannah), Search the Ruins

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour (Unnerving Aura), Hannah (Unnerving Aura), Anna Lovelace, Rotten Belle, Dead Doxy, Graveyard Spirit
Gremlins: Wong (Explosive Solutions, Behold My Effervescence, Ooo Glowy), Sammy LaCroix (Sparkly Lights), 2 Swine-Cursed, Burt Jebsen (Dirty Cheater), 3 Lightning Bugs

Game 3 sees me up against David Hamilton. We’ve played Malifaux many times and he’s one of the people I consider to be closest to me in terms of ability; neither of us have an advantage. Another game where survival is key so I stuck with the same build as last time. Molly really loves close deployment as she can throw her summoned models into the other crew right from the get go. I was really worried about David’s beautiful (but apparently coincidental) counter-picking of my crew. I’m looking to utilise Armour and Incorporeal to keep my pieces around for longer than usual, and his entire crew ignores Incorporeal and most of them ignore armour too. I realised that this game would be decided in the early engagement and hoped that my summoning would be instrumental in surviving the attrition. Therefore I picked schemes that I could score at the end, i.e. hopefully after I had already wiped the Gremlins from the board. I could also summon Drowned to get markers out where I need them most. Again, I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of the start.

Turn 1: In a surprise move, Wong makes Burt Magical. I win initiative but for some reason don’t take my chance to go on the offensive. Wong comes up and zaps Izamu. I cheat high enough to get a negative flip but he gets double moderate anyway, splashing damage over Molly, the Graveyard Spirit and the Doxy. He does it again, and the same thing happens (killing the Graveyard Spirit this time). I’m quite frustrated by this and I actually say to David that I think that this might be enough to win him the game eventually (because we’re so well matched, a bit of good luck at a critical point can be enough to decide the eventual result). Realising my mistake, I go for full aggression. Molly gets moved up by the Doxy who also attacks Wong to make hims Squeal back into his lines. The left Swine-Cursed takes the bait and kills the Doxy. Molly uses the push trigger on Revelation (against the Swine Cursed) to move further up, then summons a Hanged and a Goryo. The Hanged kills the central Lightning Bug, but sadly everyone passes the resulting Horror duel. The other Swine-Cursed pushes Burt forward and Hannah charges Burt to engage both. Sparkly Lights lets Magical things ignore disengaging strikes too so Burt strolls over and nearly drops Izamu. Izamu gets him down to Hard To Kill and the Belle finishes Burt. The Lightning Bug kills my Goryo, Sammy kills my Hanged and Anna kills the left Swine-Cursed. What a turn! Fortunately some of my losses are (replaceable) summons so I’m feeling better about the attrition situation.

Turn 2: Molly summons another Hanged and Goryo. Izamu chain activates and he hurts Wong but Black Jokers the killing damage flip against the Lightning Bug. The Swine-Cursed attacks Hannah and my new Goryo hurts the right Lightning Bug and gets killed in return. Anna kills the second Swine-Cursed and gets Sammy down to a single wound. The Lightning Bug that Izamu couldn’t kill shows him how it is done. Hannah misses attacks at Sammy and Wong misses Hannah. The Hanged moves over to make sure I score for Guard the Stash.

Turn 3: Molly summons another Hanged and plinks a few more wound off Wong. She makes the new Hanged kill the Lightning Bug and chain activates Hannah who gently tickles the Hanged to kill Sammy with Black Blood. The Lightning Bug kills the Belle and the Hanged gets Wong down to a single wound. We’re not quite done with the turn but David has seen enough (he has only 2 wounds left on the table) and calls it. Resurrectionists win 10 – 0 (full score to me; nothing for David).

That didn’t go quite as I expected. I genuinely thought that the game was effectively decided at the very start, but after that I had good luck and great hands, and David didn’t have good cards when he needed them. In addition, a ‘knock down, drag out’ brawl in the centre suits me very well and is good for Molly if she can survive the initial impact. I was able to keep Wong engaged for most of the game which really limited what he could do. Crucially, David had to spend a lot of resources dealing with my summons while every model of his that I killed reduced his ability to keep fighting.

The evening meal was a really good burger and chips followed by some lovely beer. One thing I like about these two day events is that there is an opportunity for socialising in the middle evening. Ultimately, a lot of the chat is about Malifaux (obviously since that is what brings us together) but it still feels like we can get to know each other better than when we’re only facing across the table.

Game 4: Resurrectionists (me) vs Resurrectionists (Callum Palin)

Strategy: Symbols of Authority, Corner Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Punish the Weak, Dig Their Graves, Set Up, Hold Up Their Forces, Take Prisoner
My Resurrectionists: Punish the Weak, Dig Their Graves
Callum’s Resurrectionists: Punish the Weak, Set Up (Izamu)

Crews
My Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour, Datsue Ba, Anna Lovelace, Onryo, Dead Doxy, Rotten Belle, Graveyard Spirit
Callum’s Resurrectionists: Dr Douglas McMourning (Plastic Surgery, Moonlighting, Decaying Aura), Archie (Hulking Leap, Corpse Armour), Sebastian (These Are Not Ours), Zombie Chihuahua, Canine Remains, 3 Rotten Belles

Game 4 was against Callum. We’ve played quite a few games over the last couple of years but none for a while, and it’s always been a fun experience. Back to the classic crew for this one as I needed the extra activations and mostly didn’t care if I lost cheap pieces as long as I could do it on my terms to some extent. When I saw Callum’s crew I almost got PTSD flashbacks to the horrendous mauling delivered to me by the mighty Josh Leak in game 6 of the last Scottish GT. Fortunately, I know better how to deal with the McMourning crew now, and anyway my game plan this time is to rush him rather than hang back. At some point I’d have to deal with the Belles, Canine Remains and probably Flesh Constructs so I took Punish the Weak, and decided to double down on the killing game by making Dig Their Graves my second scheme.

Turn 1: The Canine Remains digs up a corpse marker, and to my great surprise Callum cheats in the Red Joker to make it work. Sebastian turns it into another Canine Remains. McMourning uses Injection to push a Belle. Molly gets pushed forward by the Doxy, double walks and drops a Hanged into a nice clump of models. It then successfully sticks Whispers From Beyond on McMourning, making him a much easier proposition to deal with. The Belles Lure Izamu around and eventually Archie puts a little damage into him.

Turn 2: McMourning does Rancid Transplants and Expunges my Hanged into a Flesh Construct (scoring him for Punish The Weak). A Belle chain activates to pull him slightly back from the fray. Molly uses the push trigger on Revelation against a Belle the drops a replacement Hanged and a Goryo into the scrum. She then chain activates Izamu who smacks a nice number of wounds out of Archie. Anna hurts the right Belle, paralysing her and drawing cards to avoid Sebastian and the Canine Remains getting the same treatment. The Chihuahua farts on Molly and is killed off by the Doxy. Archie Leaps over Izamu and smashes Molly with a frustrating double severe damage on a negative flip; sadly I don’t have enough cards to drop for Molly’s trigger. Datsue Ba turns a Belle into an Onryo to score my Punish The Weak and it hits McMourning. Callum reveals Set Up on Izamu for 3 VP.

Turn 3: Molly summons another Hanged and puts Whispered Secret on Archie. She makes the Goryo attack McMourning (on his last two wounds at this point) then chain activates to continue attacking but a combination of Black and Red Jokers and a heroic flip from Callum means that the doctor survives untouched. McMourning Rancid Transplants the Hanged into a Flesh construct, doing enough incidental damage to also finish off Izamu and also scoring for Punish The Weak. The Onryo on the right completes its long walk to the first Symbol and removes it, taking advantage of Incorporeal to saunter through the building on the way. Sebastian hurts Datsue Ba and applies Poison so that the nearby Canine Remains can also sharge her. The Doxy kills Archie and Takes the Lead to move Sebastian, but unfortunately not enough to get Datsue Ba out of his Induction aura. Datsue Ba hurts the Canine remains and both she and an Onryo die to Poison at the end of the turn. Somewhere in here Anna finishes off a Belle for my own Punish the Weak.

Turn 4: Molly drops the last Belle to score for Punish The Weak then chain activates the Hanged who kills the first Flesh Construct. The trigger Paralyses the second Flesh Construct and Sebastian who helpfully flips the Black Joker; this also scores Dig Their Graves for me. The Doxy kills the Canine Remains in the centre then pushes Anna back toward the other one (which has been making a long run to my Symbols) where she kills it. My Belle collects the left-most Symbol.

Turn 5: The Flesh Construct hurts the Doxy. Molly takes advantage of an unfortunate Black Joker from Sebastian to Paralyse him with Revelation. The Onryo takes the final Symbol. We spend a while trying to work out if I can possibly get a scheme marker near enough to Sebastian to score Dig Their Graves and eventually conclude that I can’t. My Resurrectionists win 8 – 5 (4 for Symbols of Authority, 3 for Punish The Weak and 1 for Dig Their Graves for me; 3 for Set Up and 2 for Punish The Weak for Callum).

A very nice game with Callum. Luck certainly played its part here, in Callum’s favour keeping McMourning alive for an activation of turn 3 and then in my favour with Sebastian getting two important Black Jokers. I didn’t really have much of a game plan to score Dig Their Graves; in retrospect I probably should have summoned a Drowned at some point. On the other hand, Callum’s plan to score the Strategy seemed to revolve around a single Canine Remains so perhaps I was never likely to lose that part. I think his crew was probably better suited to staying still and bringing its victims in piecemeal rather than either being rushed or needing to go across the board (or both as in the case here).

Game 5: Resurrectionists (me) vs Arcanists (George Hollingdale)

Strategy: Interference, Close Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough, Undercover Entourage, Take One for the Team, Vendetta
Resurrectionists: Covert Breakthrough, Undercover Entourage (Anna Lovelace)
Arcanists: Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour, Datsue Ba, Anna Lovelace, Dead Doxy, Rotten Belle, 2 Night Terrors, Graveyard Spirit
Arcanists: Sandeep Desai (Arcane Reservoir, To Command Another Plane, Enlightened Soul), Joss (Imbued Energies, Bleeding Edge Tech), Howard Langston [Miss Step] (Imbued Energies), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Medical Automaton, 2 Malifaux Raptors

This was my first games of the event against a new opponent, and who better than the famous George. I was really glad to be able to get a game in as I’ve heard much about him and the rest of the Flippin’ Wyrd team. For this strategy I dropped the Onryo for a pair of Night Terrors. They’re quite inefficient to kill considering their cost, and as Minions they score quite nicely for Interference. George obviously decided that an ‘all in’ aggressive approach was also indicated, and this suited me quite nicely. Covert Breakthrough felt like a good idea as I could score it at the end once the dust settled. I then picked Undercover Entourage on Anna, partly because I’d learned my lesson from game 2, and partly because no-one ever bothers to attack her. It looks like I once again forgot a picture of deployment, which is a shame since the board looked a lot different by the time turn 1 ended.

Turn 1: I decide that this game will best be played with full-on aggression so Molly walks up, drops a Hanged in Langston’s face and sticks Whispered Secret on him. She then makes Izamu walk forward and chain activates the Hanged which Paralyses Langston. Myranda charges Molly and turns into a Cerberus, a trick I feel haven’t seen in a long time considering how popular it once was. The Doxy pushes Molly back into Anna’s Gravity Well so that the Cerberus can’t Leap after her. The Medical Automaton removes both conditions from Langston. Oh dear. I hadn’t been aware that was possible (I’ve never seen it before) and I think I might have possibly taken a different approach if I’d known that was possible. Anna shoots the Cerberus to remove the Three-Headed bonus and summons an incidental Seishin in the process. Langston copies one of Sandeep’s abilities in order to let Sandeep do something himself; needless to say he takes the opportunity to kill the Hanged. Langston comes steaming into Molly and kills her. I throw the Seishin and Graveyard Spirit into the Cerberus and knock off a couple more wounds. Joss fires himself across the board into the Belle. Datsue Ba hurts the Cerberus but sadly can’t finish it off (which would have got me a Gaki) so Izamu kills it and charges Langston. Sandeep hurts the left Night Terror. Finally the Belle Slows Langston. Wow, what a turn!

Turn 2: Izamu kills Lansgton and I breathe a small sigh of relief. Sandeep finishes the Night Terror to score Punish The Weak, then summons a Wind Gamin. The Doxy applies Confused Feelings to Joss and pokes him a bit. Raptors team up to kill the other Night Terror. Anna pushes Joss so I can get a second Pounce on him from the Doxy and knocks a few more wounds off. Datsue Ba gets Joss down to a single wound but can’t get the triggered Weigh Sins attack to land due to the negative flips from Bleeding Edge Tech (in retrospect I’m pretty sure I had a Soulstone to counter this and the card to make the target number; if so it was pretty big error on my side). Joss Reactivates and kills the Doxy. No-one scores for the strategy.

Turn 3: Anna kills Joss. The Gamin on the left puts down a scheme marker. Datsue Ba kills the Medical Automaton, then Sandeep runs far away from Izamu. Izamu is relegated to scheme running duties. I throw the Graveyard Spirit into Sandeep and the Raptor unbury to deny us both the strategy. I didn’t have it in my notes but presumably Sandeep killed something else (probably the Seishin) to score Punish The Weak.

Turn 4: Datsue Ba Focuses and casts Weigh Sins on the Raptor in front of her. On a straight flip she Black Jokers the damage, not only leaving the annoying bird around for another turn (to certainly deny me strategy points) but also stopping me from summoning another minion of my own. Sandeep summons another Gamin and kills the Graveyard Spirit for Punish The Weak. George scores for Interference.

Turn 5: Datsue Ba repeats the process, this time getting an Onryo out of the Raptor. Anna saunters into the Arcanist deployment zone. We both score for the strategy. Resurrectionists lose 7 – 8 (1 for Interference, 3 for Covert Breakthrough and 3 for Undercover Entourage for me; 2 for Interference, 3 for Covert Breakthrough and 3 for Punish The Weak for George).

Wow, what a game! I really enjoyed the whole thing, starting out with a brawl and ending with us both scrabbling round to deny the other points. It was an absolute joy to play against George and I hope that I’ll get to do so again. I was a bit frustrated by the Black Joker intervening on Datsue Ba attacking the Raptor on turn 4 as this literally cost me a point and therefore a draw. Still, I suppose that what the Jokers are in the game for. I had a bit of a rude shock when I found out that the Medical Automaton could remove conditions as I thought I’d safely locked down Langston for a turn to keep him out of my hair. Still, that sort of thing was probably to be expected at least once in the course of the event since I’ve not been getting exposed so much to wave 5 stuff. I possibly missed an opportunity to kill Joss in turn 2 rather than giving him a free Reactivate but I didn’t note it down so perhaps that is just wishful thinking. Anyway, George played very well and was a real gentleman, so he deserved the win.

Game 6: Resurrectionists (me) vs Guild (Lewis Phillips)

Strategy: Supply Wagons, Standard Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Guarded Treasure, Hold Up Their Forces, Inescapable Trap, Recover Evidence, Public Demonstration
Resurrectionists: Hold Up Their Forces, Recover Evidence
Guild: Hold Up Their Forces, Inescapable Trap

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour, Datsue Ba, Anna Lovelace, Dead Doxy, Rotten Belle, Onryo, Graveyard Spirit
Guild: Nellie Cochrane (Delegation, Guild Funds, Misleading Headlines), Printing Press, Phiona Gage (Numb To The World, Transparency), Executioner (Ready To Work), Thalarian Queller, Sanctioned Spellcaster, Hunter, Guild Investigator

For the last game I’m happy to be up against Lewis. He’s an extremely good player and a good friend, and it’s quite nice to be able to round out the event with a friendly match-up (we’re both 3 – 2 at this point so nothing meaningful is riding on the result). I’m not sure that this was the best iteration of my crew to play Supply Wagons; possibly using Hannah as a large base to push the Wagon forward at the start would be better. Anyway, I decided that I could afford to have the Belle, Doxy, Onryo and maybe Datsue Ba spend a few AP moving it around, then use them as a second wave once Molly, Izamu and the summons were despatched. Recover Evidence fits my ‘kill them all and score at the end’ plan, but I didn’t like any of the others at all. In the end I took Hold Up Their Forces on the grounds that I would probably end up engaging something and could possibly find some way to kill off any spare summons that would stop me from scoring it. Lewis’s crew was more or less what I expected, but I did like the use of the Hunter to push the Wagon.

Turn 1: The Sanctioned Spellcaster casts Singularity and teh Queller puts a Suppression Marker in my face. Nellie makes the Hunter, Executioner and Phiona Fast. The Hunter fires Lewis’s Wagon way up the board, meanwhile the Doxy, Belle, and Onryo heave away at mine for minimal effect (though the Doxy pushes Molly forward of course). In the end I leave the Wagon sitting on top of the Suppression marker to make my life a bit simpler. Nelly can wait me out by passing activations so I’ll have to make the first move. Molly walks twice and drops a Goryo into the crowd loitering almost in the Guild deployment zone. She makes it hit the Executioner, then chain activates to do the same again which rather nicely gets the Slow trigger on both shots. Phiona charges through a gap and starts smacking Molly.

Turn 2: Molly summons a Hanged and another Goryo more or less into the same mosh pit of ghosts and Guildies. She chain activates Izamu who lays into Phiona and gets her down to her Hard To Kill wound and bleeds a load of Soulstones off her. The Queller gives the Executioner enchanted weapons. I don’t like the sound of that so the Goryo kills the Executioner. Nellie makes Phiona Fast so Datsue Ba kills her with Weigh Sins and turns her into a Gaki. The Sanctioned Spellcaster commits suicide. We both score for the strategy and Lewis scores for Inescapable Trap. In the first of many errors that we only noticed later, he forgets to declare Hold Up Their Forces.

Turn 3: I announce Recover Evidence. The Press charges up Nellie and the Hanged moves to engage both it and the Investigator. Izamu kills the Queller and Nellie Slows the Onryo and pushes it away. The Gaki and a Goryo collect Evidence markers and various things bounce off Nellie, getting her eventually down to a single wound. We both score Supply Wagons and Hold Up Their Forces, Lewis also scores Inescapable Trap. Nellie has about 100 Evidence at this point so she heals and does some other shenanigans.

Turn 4: The Hunter attacks Anna. I have a clever plan to kill Nellie by attacking my Goryo with Datsue Ba and splashing her with Black Blood. Unfortunately, only after when I’m flipping the damage on my first attack do I remember that the Goryo is not close enough to Molly to have Black Blood. Oh dear, it seems that the weekend has taken more than I thought! Eventually Nellie does die to the Goryo, but not before she’s pushed Datsue Ba over to engage the Press and Investigator and therefore deny me my scheme. The other Goryo makes a run for Lewis’s wagon, getting a third walk thanks to Molly’s (0) action. The Doxy pushes the Hunter away from Anna and picks up the last piece of Evidence. Anna kills Datsue Ba, but she drops a corpse marker and so the Investigator pushes away from the Hanged. Looking back, he was close enough to Anna that there were no legal pushes and should have stayed where he was, but I forgot about it. We both score for the strategy.

The Goryo pushes Lewis’s Wagon back into his side of the board. We do a lot of movement shenanigans to avoid giving up points for the schemes while scoring our own, but the upshot is that Lewis gets another point for Hold Up Their Forces while denying mine (again, I think that this might have involved a push which Anna would have stopped if I had remembered it). I score for Supply Wagons though. Resurrectionists win 8 – 7 (4 for Supply Wagons, 3 for Recover Evidence and 1 for Hold Up Their Forces for me; 3 for Supply Wagons, 2 for Inescapable Trap and 2 for Hold Up Their Forces for Lewis).

As always, a super game against Lewis and a highly entertaining way to finish the event. In the end I think that we were both a bit frustrated by our play errors, but we were both a bit burned out by this point so I imagine that they probably evened out. I’m not going to assess my own errors in this section, partly because I mentioned the biggest ones in the report itself and partly because there were so many of them that it would boil down to ‘don’t play badly’.

I played a few games next to Ali Ferguson, though never actually against him this time out. We were both playing mono-Molly but he was doing the Horror version so we decided to make this event the definitive conversation on whether Spirit or Horror Molly was superior. We both finished on the same record (won 4, lost 2) but I had a slightly better points difference. I was also amused by the fact that our Mollys were wearing the same dress completely at random (as far as I know neither of us have ever seen the other’s painted Molly). Talk about a fashion faux-pas.

Once all the results were in, we were all asked to go outside; I had assumed it was for a group photo of us all. I assumed wrong. The awesomeness of Malifaux in general, Scottish Malifaux specifically and the Scottish GT in particular knows no bounds. Prizes were given out from the back of a unicorn, and I can hardly express how entertaining I found this.

Once all the scores are in I am delighted (and a bit surprised) to come in sixth place. I had an excellent time and I was certainly glad that I had not chosen to pull out. Thanks to Colin, Ross, David, Callum, George and Lewis for six wonderful games of Malifaux, and of course to Kai and his team of helpers for putting on a really special event.

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Malifaux tournament report: Vappafaux; 04Feb2018

Joe drove Gareth, Mike and me down to York for our fifth Vappa in a row. I have a soft spot for Vappafaux as it’s been quite a happy hunting ground for me and indeed gave me my first big tournament win back in 2014. The locals and other travellers are always most welcoming and the standard of play has always seemed quite high in general. After a colossal pie dinner and beer on the Saturday night we rocked up to York Racecourse (not getting lost on the way for the first time ever) early and ready to roll. First round pairings put me with the mighty Ant Hoult, so no chance of a nice easy run into game one.

Game 1: Resurrectionists (me) vs Outcasts (Ant Hoult)

Strategy: Supply Wagon, corner deployment

Schemes
Pool: Guarded Treasure, Inescapable Trap, Undercover Entourage, Public Demonstration, Vendetta
Resurrectionists: Public Demonstration (all three Shieldbearers), Vendetta (Rotten Belle on Bandido)
Outcasts: Inescapable Trap, Undercover Entourage (Parker Barrows)

Crews
Resurrectionists: Kirai Ankoku (Wronged Spirits, Unforgiven, Maniacal Laugh), Asura Roten, Anna Lovelace, Rotten Belle, Dead Doxy, 3 Shieldbearers
Outcasts: Parker Barrows (Coordinated Heist, Oathkeeper, Stick Up), Mad Dog Brackett (Lucky Poncho, Oathkeeper), Sue (Oathkeeper), Wokou Raider, Bandido, Hodgepodge Emissary (Conflux of Stolen Goods) [note that this was proxied with Ant’s Carrion Emissary], Doc Mitchell

I picked this crew in a fairly back-to-front way. I was looking for something that could efficiently push the Wagon and settled on Asura as she has a big base (so can push it further) and doesn’t really do much with her own AP. Since I was taking Asura, it made sense to take the Maniacal Laugh upgrade so that there would be plenty of Mindless Zombies to make use of her abilities. Then, as I was going to do that, I took Kirai because I like her with that upgrade. I got the idea of using Mindless Zombies for Kirai’s summoning from the excellent Dave Laing and liked it well, especially with Asura. Anna got into the crew simply because she brings so many solutions to problems and I love to play her. The Belle acts as a spare battery of wounds for Kirai’s summoning and the Doxy is to make sure that I get Kirai into a relevant part of the board at the start; this is especially important in corner deployment. The Shieldbearers work well for Public Demonstration since they are quite mobile and it is very easy to get them Fast for turn 2 by using a Soulstone for Kirai to summon something. Having taken the Belle I thought it would be rude not to abuse her huge range for Vendetta.

Turn 1: Almost the whole of Ant’s crew take a move forward thanks to Coordinated Heist. Sue pushes the wagon forward, and Asura pushes mine and summons a Mindless Zombie. The Emissary gives Sue the Vitality potion and some other upgrade to the Bandido, then immediately takes the latter back to draw cards. Finally, it drops one of my scheme markers to let the Wokou Raider move up. My Doxy pushes Kirai forward with Take The Lead, then moves my wagon. Parker discards Stick Up, moves the Bandido, uses Five Finger Discount to attach Black Market and makes the Bandido push the wagon. Finally he guns down the Mindless Zombie and gets Ikiryo in the middle of his crew for his troubles. My Shieldbearers all move up to end within 6″ of Kirai. The Wokou Raider kills Ikiryo; I’m not sure whether the impact on Ant’s AP use was more effective than just using Ikiryo to start attacking something. Mad Dog moves up and puts a Blow It To Hell marker in the middle of the board and Doc Mitchell heals Sue. The Belle, unable to see the Bandido, moves my Wagon and Kirai summons a pair of Hanged from the Doxy (I couldn’t use the Belle since I needed her for Vendetta) which float forward to get in the way next turn. The use of Soulstones makes all three Shieldbearers Fast.

Turn 2: Parker uses Oathkeeper, Focusses then Black Jokers damage on the Hanged. This frustrates Ant immensely (chatting before the game he’d mentioned that flipping the Black Joker on Parker’s activation is tantamount to suicide) and he almost concedes there and then. Fortunately we agree to continue playing, but this does end up eating quite a chunk of the round time. Parker then uses Five Finger Discount to attach Stick Up and uses Black Market to make the Bandido push the Wagon. The Hanged breathes a sigh of relief and does Whispers From Beyond on the Hodgepodge Emissary. In turn, it cycles another trinket to the Bandido and pulls it back for cards then kills the other Hanged. Ikiryo comes out and misses the Emissary, then disappears again as I was hoping to be able to summon it again later. Sue, Asura, the Bandido and my Belle all take turns at pushing their wagons forward; the Belle still didn’t have a line of sight at the Bandido to start on Vendetta. The Wokou Raider drops a scheme marker in the midst of my crew and before I can do anything about it, Mad Dog comes rushing in to stop me removing it, thereby telegraphing Inescapable Trap. Still, that did make it easier for me to score Public Demonstration. Two Shieldbearers charge into Mad Dog and burn through a good number of Soulstones while the last pushes my wagon just over the halfway line and stands near the Hodgepodge Emissary. Anna and Kirai both attack Mad Dog too, for relatively little effect. I score for Supply Wagon (Ant’s wagon is just out of my half of the board) and 3VP for Public Demonstration; Ant scores for Inescapable Trap.

Turn 3: The Hanged moved into a somewhat annoying position and gently tickles the Emissary. The Emissary hands the Bandido the Pretty Floral Bonnet and the Memento, she chain activates and pushes the wagon. Kirai kills the Wokou Raider and puts some more wounds into Mad Dog. He attacks the Belle, then Asura and one of my Shieldbearers hit him; I still can’t actually finish him off by the end of the turn. Sue puts down a scheme marker near my models in the centre that I won’t be able to avoid for Inescapable Trap. Parker finds the Black Joker again, this time on Five Finger Discount, then runs to hide behind a forest so that he can score for Undercover Entourage since between the discussion at the start of turn 2 and a brief interlude for a fire alarm, this will be the last turn. The Shieldbearer near the middle pushes Ant’s wagon back across the centre line (i.e. where it won’t score) and also opens up a line for the Belle to see the Bandido. The Belle fails to Lure the Bandido due to Sue’s Man In Black, but the point was to score one for Vendetta anyway. I score again for the strategy and Ant scores Inescapable Trap. Resurrectionists win 6 – 4 (2 for Supply Wagons, 3 for Public Demonstration and 1 for Vendetta for me; 2 for Inescapable Trap and 2 for Undercover Entourage for Ant).

I had a very enjoyable time playing against Ant, and it’s a mark of his skill that he was able to work around the critical Black Jokers to keep this close. I think that if the game had gone on longer I probably had enough of an attrition advantage that I could have stayed in the lead, but some of the last turn actions were played with the knowledge that we were nearly out of time so perhaps things might have gone differently with the full turns. Overall I was quite pleased with how my plans went, and I felt that I should be able to score at least 9 VP if we went to turn 5 (it was unlikely that the Belle would have personally killed the Bandido). I would have been interested to see how survivable the Shieldbearers were in practice but in fact Ant never had spare AP to even attack them so I only got to experience their distinctly average offense.

As is customary at Vappa, a long lunch break was arranged so that we could go and see the rest of the Vapnartak show so Gareth and I wandered around looking at all the other shiny wargames we could get into, if only we somehow had an infinite amount of time in which to play them.

Game 2: Resurrectionists (me) vs Resurrectionists (Greg Piskosz)

Strategy: Symbols of Authority, flank deployment

Schemes
Pool: Punish the Weak, Set Up, Dig Their Graves, Hold up their Forces, Take Prisoner
My Resurrectionists: Punish the Weak, Dig Their Graves
Greg’s Resurrectionists: Punish the Weak, Dig Their Graves

Crews
My Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour, Anna Lovelace, Datsue Ba, Onryo, Rotten Belle, Dead Doxy, Graveyard Spirit
Greg’s Resurrectionists: Reva (Guises of Death, Decaying Aura, Blood Mark), Asura Roten, Anna Lovelace, Lampad (My Little Helper), Rotten Belle, Valedictorian, Necropunk

I was a bit concerned going into this match-up. I had intended on playing Spirit Molly since she fits my preferred aggressive style and loves the flank deployment options to get her summoning early and effectively. I decided that I would just be able to ride out giving up points for Punish The Weak and try to deny the other scheme. But when I was paired with Greg, I started worrying that he would counter-pick me very effectively since we’ve been discussing Molly back and forth over the last few months. In the end, I decided that I’d be best served by playing to my own strengths rather than worrying about what was coming from the other side of the board. The basic plan was to have the Belle, Doxy and Onryo head for the Symbol markers while everything else jumped down Greg’s throat as quickly as possible to keep them in a ball. With Asura and Reva on the other side of the board I felt comfortable in taking Punish The Weak and eventually decided that Dig Their Graves was better for my game plan that the other options. Critically, Greg didn’t take the Litany of the Fallen upgrade on Reva that would have let her ignore armour.

Turn 1: I have an awful hand; even after using a Soulstone I have the Red Joker and then my highest card is seven. Asura summons a Mindless Zombie which Datsue Ba turns into and Onryo (mistake here, I think that a Gaki would have been a better call); she also order Izamu to move forward. Greg’s Anna nearly kills the Onryo, getting the trigger to summon another Mindless Zombie which then annoyingly finishes off my Onryo. So we’ve both spent several activations and the only upshot is that there is an extra corpse maker in the middle of the board. The Belle, Necropunk and Onryo all start the long slogs out toward Symbol markers on the corners. The Doxy pushes Molly forward and she moves up aggressively to summon a Goryo in the middle of Greg’s crew. I chose a Goryo over a Hanged even though I had the card for the latter since the bigger base meant I could get more wounds on it. Greg’s Belle Slows Izamu to stop me charging him into the fray and the Valedictorian uses Lecture Notes to turn off Molly’s triggers. Oh dear. The Graveyard Spirit moves to cuddle up to Molly and Izamu and makes Greg discard a card. This turned out to be critical as I dropped a weak card myself and forced Greg to use a card he’d been relying on having access to for the rest of his cunning plan. The Lampad misses a shot at the Graveyard Spirit and my Anna pushes him and Asura back. Reva summons a Corpse Candle, attacks Molly once and realises that she’s not going to achieve anything with so much Armour on Molly. We discussed this after the game and think that he was probably in range to just kill the Graveyard Spirit with the first attack which would have opened the game up a lot more. Instead, Reva turns a nearby corpse into a scheme marker then kills the Goryo for Dig Their Graves. At least it got to splash a bit of Black Blood over her.

Turn 2: Molly summons another Goryo and a Drowned, then kills a nearby Corpse Candle for Punish The Weak. The Goryo hurts Reva, Slowing her, but not enough to stop he from easily dispatching the Drowned for Punish The Weak. This does helpfully leave a scheme marker in the middle of Greg’s crew for future attempts at Dig Their Graves. My Anna kills the Lampad, then the Necropunk Leaps over to pick up my first Symbol. Eventually, the Doxy puts down a scheme markers, pushes the Necropunk up to Pounce on it (applying Confused Feelings in the process) and despite all that it still takes the attentions of Datsue Ba and my Onryo to kill it for Dig Their Graves. The Grave Spirit pokes Izamu to kill off another Corpse Candle to clear his way. Asura and a horde of Zombies pile Grasping Hands onto Izamu but he is still able to drop the Mindless Zombie engaging him and charge Reva, killing her and allowing me to breathe a big sigh of relief. In return the Valedictorian kills the Goryo for Punish the Weak but she’s feeling a bit hurt due to the sea of Black Blood that’s been sprayed over her. My Belle can’t quite make it to the Symbol on the right so she hides behind it instead. Greg scores for the strategy.

Turn 3: Molly kills a Mindless Zombie for Punish The Weak, then puts Whispered Secret on the Valedictorian and kills her with a lucky Red Joker on damage. This also scores me Dig Their Graves thanks to the scheme marker left behind by the Drowned. Quite a good activation, so Izamu chain activates and shows how it is not done by failing to hit the Belle on three attempts. She Slows him in return. Mindless Zombies put Grasping Hands on my Anna, then Greg’s Anna makes a break for a Symbol marker as she’s the only thing he has that is likely to reach them. My Anna pushes away a Zombie engaging her, then charges her doppelganger. This doesn’t have any effect but it does make it very hard for Greg to get to the marker. My Belle finally takes Greg’s first Symbol marker. I score for Symbols of Authority. We look at the board state and agree that it is unlikey for Greg to get anything else out of the game, nor for him to stop me from getting all my points so we call it there rather than playing out the inevitable. My Resurrectionists win 10 – 4 (full score for me; 1 for Symbols of Authority, 2 for Dig Their Graves and 1 for Punish The Weak for Greg).

What a tight game. I really love to play Greg because he looks at the board state and acts in a completely different way to me. He’s very good at attacking from angles that I just don’t see (probably because I’m focusing on a more direct play) and as such I have to be on my guard for every activation. Of course, he is also a very friendly and fun gentleman to play against so in that regard is surely one of my favourite opponents. The game hinged on my being able to keep Molly alive and pressure Reva and the Valedictorian with summons. When Molly survived turn 1 and I got initiative in turn 2 I felt that I had enough power to just attrition my way through the game. Killing the Necropunk early was also important because it was the only thing in Greg’s crew that was really suited to collecting my Symbol markers. I believe that Greg’s plan was to use Reva’s sheer damage output to cripple my crew early then pick up any point he could after all my pieces were dead.

Game 3: Resurrectionists (me) vs Outcasts (Nathan Chenery)

Strategy: Public Executions, close deployment

Schemes
Pool: Eliminate the Leadership, Search the Ruins, Take One for the Team, Show of Force, Recover Evidence
Resurrectionists: Search the Ruins, Show of Force
Outcasts: Search the Ruins, Recover Evidence

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour (Unnerving Aura), Hannah (Unnerving Aura), Anna Lovelace, Onryo, Dead Doxy, Graveyard Spirit
Outcasts: Hamelin (Plague Pits, Survivalist, The Piper), Hodgepodge Emissary (Conflux of Plague), Midnight Stalker, Nix (Hollow), Stolen, Obedient Wretch, 3 Malifaux Rats

The crew here is the same as when I played a similar scheme pool for Public Executions against Jamie Clark in round 5 at Gaining Force last month. The general plan was to take the centre early and hold it with Hannah (and Izamu if needed for Show of Force) then project damage out as required. Since I was going to be in the middle anyway, I took Search the Ruins too. Molly’s general plan to summon in models with few wounds would be a concern in the strategy but my experience has been that eventually a critical momentum builds up and attrition starts to favour the Resurrectionist crew. On the plus side, being unable to charge near Hamelin wasn’t going to be a problem since I could just summon next to him instead.

Turn 1: Nathan announces Recover Evidence so I choose the models that are in the centre of my crew. The Doxy pushes Molly up and removes the central Plague Pit. Molly summons a Goryo and a Hanged next to Hamelin, killing the Stolen and Rat nearby and hurting Hamelin himself. The Emissary gives the Pretty Floral Bonnet to the Midnight Stalker then Hamelin kills the Hanged before it does anything useful, though there is a significant dent in Hamelin’s wounds already thanks to Black Blood. He also summons a pair of Stolen. The rest of our crews move for position. The Obedient Wretch throws rats about the place, eventually summoning a Rat King.

Turn 2: Molly summons another Hanged and Goryo. The Goryo kills Hamelin but I forgot that he could sacrifice the Stolen to ignore this. That was a big mistake on my part as I am fairly sure that I could have dropped the Stolen before hitting Hamelin. Hamelin summons another pair of Stolen but stops short of killing the Hanged as he’s drowning in Black Blood by this point. Izamu charges the Hodgepodge Effigy, cheats in the Red Joker for damage on the second attack to get it to Hard to Kill then frustratingly flips the Black Joker on damage for the killing blow. More Rat Kings start to appear. Hannah finally kills Hamelin after both Stolen are dropped with a cheeky spray of Black Blood from something; she Makes A New Entry to copy The Swirling Damned from her sister. A Rat Catcher appears from a Rat King and reactivates another Rat King. This one kills the Hanged and starts attacking Izamu. The Midnight Stalker collects Evidence markers. I score for Show of Force but we draw for Public Executions.

Turn 3: The first Rat King attacks Izamu, but thanks to Armour and Black Blood they are doing more damage to themselves as to Izamu then turns into a Rat Catcher to avoid giving up an easy kill; the Obedient Wretch comes out to kill Izamu with Bleeding Disease instead since he’s sitting on Blighted +9 or something by this point. The Goryo kills the first Rat Catcher and comes back to put down a scheme marker. The Doxy pushes Hannah into range of Nix then puts out another scheme marker. My Onryo goes to hurt the new Rat Catcher and gets beaten up a bit in return, then Molly kills the Rat King and my own Onryo, finally pushing into range to chain activate Hannah. Sadly Hannah does nothing useful to Nix except copy Anna’s Vortex to push Nix further back. This turns out to be important because Nix can’t then get far enough into the middle to clear Hannah’s massive engagement range to put down scheme markers so he just settles for getting close enough to deny Show of Force. Somewhere around here we get the call for last turn, we were both quite surprised at how little we’d got done but the turns were very busy. Anna drops a scheme marker herself then uses the Red Joker to Vortex Nix clear of the centre. The Midnight Stalker collects a third bit of evidence and puts down a scheme marker, and the Hodgepodge Effigy comes steaming round the corner and uses its (0) action to push and put another scheme marker out (in retrospect, this wouldn’t have worked as Anna’s Clockwork Dress would have stopped the push). I score for the strategy and Show of Force again. I also have three markers out for Search The Ruins and Nathan could only get two. Resurrectionists win 6 – 3 (1 for Public Executions, 3 for Search The Ruins and 2 for Show of Force for me; 3 for Recover Evidence for Nathan).

Wow, that was a hell of a game! I was delighted to get to play with Nathan as I’ve seen him around at tournaments for years but we’ve somehow just never been drawn together. He was a terrific opponent, a gentleman throughout and the whole game was played with smiles on both sides. I must also admit here that I had underestimated Nathan; I had considered him before in the ‘good but not great’ category but on this evidence he is a truly strong player of Malifaux. In terms of the game itself, I was happy that Molly was the right Master here as her aggressive playstyle fits the strategy and deployment well. Being able to bombard Hamelin with Black Blood seemed like a fairly effective way to deal with him. I did wonder if Eliminate the Leadership would have been a more suitable scheme to pick but in the end I think it was more of a gamble than those that I actually selected. Flipping the Black Joker on the killing blow against the Hodgepodge Emissary was a crucial moment and that could have lead to a very different result. I would have been very interested to see how the game would have gone on if we had enough time to play the full five turns. I felt that I had the advantage in attrition and could probably have held on to win via strategy points but it would have been extremely close; probably Nathan would disagree. Playing against Hamelin and Nix’s Nihilism was the same exercise in frustration as usual.

Once all the scores are in I’m delighted to find that I took first place, beating Lewis Phillips by a single point of VP differential and I got a very nice engraved beer glass to bring home with me. As always I had a lovely time meeting friends both old and new. Thanks to Ant, Greg and Nathan for three hard-fought fun games of Malifaux, and of course to Graham for stepping up and running the event this year.

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Malifaux escalation event report: Gaining Force; 13Jan2018

The first Malifaux event of 2018 at Common Grounds was Gaining Force. It was described as a story event but I would say it is more like an escalation since the story didn’t go further than ‘an Enforcer went for a walk and gradually found friends while being attacked’. The format was to select one Enforcer and play two Enforcer Brawls, then add that Enforcer to a Henchman Hardcore crew and play two games of that. The entire Henchman Hardcore crew was then to be included in a regular 50SS Malifaux crew for one final game using the new Gaining Grounds 2018. I will admit that I’m not a big fan of Henchman Hardcore but Kai’s events are always excellent so I wanted to attend anyway.

I selected Izamu as my Enforcer for the highly tactical reason that he is the only Enforcer I have available (the Carrion Emissary is still part-built on my painting tray and Ikiryo isn’t eligible anyway). Izamu’s Warrior’s Death ability does mess with the scoring in a fairly amusing way so it’s not like I would have chosen anyone else.

Enforcer Brawl 1:

For the first round I was set up with Gareth, Martyn and Mark. We got the rules slightly wrong; killed Enforcers should be able to return to the game at their own initiative step and not just at the end of each round. Also, to make the overall event scoring practical we were capped at 5VPs at any one time.

Me: Izamu the Armour
Gareth Henry: Yin the Penangalan (Unnerving Aura)
Martyn Nicol: Lone Swordsman (Recalled Training)
Mark Watson: Ice Golem (Armour of December)

Turn 1: The Lone Swordsman charges into the Ice Golem and declares that it Shall Not See Another Sunrise. This doesn’t help as the Ice Golem swats him and Yin polishes him off. Izamu kills the Ice Golem.

Turn 2: Izamu smacks the newly-returned Lone Swordsman but incredibly the Ice Golem fails to kill the plucky chap. Yin, who is left too far away to participate, floats back toward the action. The Lone Swordsman declares (again) something about Ice Golems and Sunrises, and kills the big construct. The resulting explosion is fatal for the Lone Swordsman too.

Turn 3: The Ice Golem moves up and is gently tickled by Izamu’s Dadao. Yin puts Gnawing Fear on Izamu and hurts him.

Turn 4: Izamu smacks the Ice Golem again. The Lone Swordsman uses Recalled Training but Black Jokers one attack on Yin. To keep up with the action, the Ice Golem Black Jokers an attack on her too. Yin attacks the Golem.

Turn 5: Yin kills the Lone Swordsman. The Ice Golem attacks Izamu and is killed in return.

Turn 6: The Lone Swordsman uses Recalled Training (such a good upgrade when you can use it all the time!) and kills Yin. Izamu and the Ice Golem are too far apart to do anything meaningful.

The final scores are:
Me: 5
Gareth: 2
Martyn: 5
Mark: 0

Enforcer Brawl 2:

The second Enforcer Brawl sees the model I expected in abundance in this format. I just had to hope that the Langston players didn’t get too lucky with their Decapitate triggers, then counter-punch them. Note that the photos are a bit weird for this one; the big buildings were constantly in the way of one model or another so some were taken from different angles.

Me: Izamu the Armour
Andy Bush: Howard Langston (Imbued Energies)
Jamie Clark: Howard Langston (Imbued Energies)
Martyn Nicol: Lone Swordsman (Recalled Training)

Turn 1: Andy’s Langston comes in for Izamu but can’t kill him so Izamu stabs the big construct right back. Jamie’s Langston fails to drop the Lone Swordsman in one go and is easily taken down in return during the second activation after declaring that he Will Not See Another Sunrise.

Turn 2: Jamie’s Langston appears and immediately ends the Lone Swordsman who reappears on the far side of the board. Andy’s Langston kills Izamu and Nimbles away from his imposter. Izamu gently tickles Jamie’s Langston.

Turn 3: Jamie’s Langston kills Izamu. The Lone Swordsman declares Sunrise on Andy’s Langston but is killed in return before getting a second activation. Izamu helpfully reappears on the edge of the board furthest from anything, and girds himself for a long walk.

Turn 4: After flipping an ace for the previous two turns of initiative, I flip the Red Joker for this turn, ensuring that Izamu can get straight on to the business of double walking toward the action. The Lone Swordsman reappears and kills Andy’s Langston having declared Sunrise on him. Jamie’s Langston shows up but fails to off the Lone Swordsman, and is shanked back to death immediately by Andy’s copy.

Turn 5: Andy’s Langston kills the Lone Swordsman and hurts Jamie’s Langston badly. Jamie then fails the horror duel for his Langston to attack back. Izamu trudges across the board.

Turn 6: Jamie’s Langston recovers his wits and kills Andy’s Langston before being murdered in turn by the Lone Swordsman. Andy Langston reappears in range to come and try his luck with Izamu, but after 3 turns of nothing but hand sculpting Izamu easily survives and kills him in return.

The final scores are:
Me: 5
Andy: 0
Jamie: 2
Martyn: 5

Henchman Hardcore 1: Resurrectionists (me) vs Ten Thunders (Martyn Nicol)

Crews
Resurrectionists: Anna Lovelace, Izamu the Armour (Unnerving Aura), Dead Doxy, Graveyard Spirit
Ten Thunders: Sensei Yu (Low River Style), Lone Swordsman, 2 Monks of High River

I realised that I could approach this whole event by either picking a Henchman Hardcore crew that I thought was good, and then hoping that it would lead nicely into a 50SS crew in the end, or largely pre-select my 50SS crew and pick the Henchman Hardcore models as a subset of that. In the end, I took the latter approach mainly because I vastly prefer 50SS Gaining Grounds as a format, especially over Henchman Hardcore. Nonethless, I did put some thought into it. With Eliminate the Leadership as the always scheme I decided that Anna Lovelace’s preference for range, good stats and armour would be a good selection; I had considered Datsue Ba instead but thought that she would be too easy to kill in this format. The Dead Doxy can get a chance at a third attack if she Pounces after Take The Lead, and while one of my main criticisms of Henchman Hardcore is the decreased importance of positional play, her ability to move things around is never not useful. Finally, the Graveyard Spirit was added simply because it fit the points. Being able to add Armour is useful but I did think that only having 3 non-Peons to score for the strategy would be a concern. I expected Sensei Yu to move my models out of scoring position, and then the Lone Swordsman to come in and try to kill Izamu by ignoring armour on one of his triggers.

Turn 1: The Monks move up and take Defensive Stance and the Dead Doxy pushes Izamu forward. Yu Airbursts him back but not far enough and I’m able get a swing on the right Monk (though it misses anyway) and Anna fires a barrage of ghosts at Sensei Yu which scores me the first point for Eliminate the Leadership. We both score for the strategy.

Turn 2: Sensei Yu realised that if he doesn’t heal himself, he’ll not get another try, so he punches himself better. The Doxy pushes Izamu into the guts of Martyn’s crew, then charges the right Monk for no effect whatsoever. The Monk then kills her straight out in return, not even needing the huge stack of Burning he had applied. Izamu smacks Sensei Yu a little, allowing him to pick up a few Defensive conditions when I missed. The Lone Swordsman declares the Izamu Will Not See Another Sunrise but can’t kill the big chap even with a second activation and kills himself to expunge the shame. Anna misses a couple of shots at Sensei Yu. We both score again for Extraction.

Turn 3: Sensei Yu heals himself again. Izamu again fails to do anything useful to him and instead switches attention to the Monks. One of them Focuses but misses Izamu and in desperation I throw in the Graveyard Spirit which kills the wounded Monk (only had to do one damage due to the Unnerving Aura). Anna continues to attack Sensei Yu who Soulstones all the damage away. We both score for Extraction once again.

Turn 4: Sensei Yu heals himself. Izamu kills the second Monk and Anna finally finishes off Yu to get me the rest of the Eliminate the Leadership points. I score for Extraction too. Resurrectionists win 7 – 3 (full score for me; 3 for Extraction for Martyn).

I always have a nice time playing Martyn as he is just such a cheerful gentleman. He had me worried here with his crew selection and I thought that the combination of Sensei Yu pushing my models away from the scoring area plus the threat of the Lone Swordsman just carving through Izamu would have been possibly a winning strategy. As it happened, the high minimum damage on Anna’s ranged attack forced Yu to play passively to stay alive for almost the whole game, and Martyn just didn’t get the cards he needed for the Lone Swordsman’s Perfect Cut. I was really impressed with the Monks of High River at their new cost.

Henchman Hardcore 1: Resurrectionists (me) vs Resurrectionists (Gareth Henry)

Crews
Resurrectionists: Anna Lovelace, Izamu the Armour (Unnerving Aura), Dead Doxy, Graveyard Spirit
Resurrectionists: Valedictorian (Unnerving Aura), Yin the Penangalan (Unnerving Aura), 2 Rotten Belles

I knew what was coming here as Gareth and I had been discussing crews on the train to Stirling, but it didn’t make this easier to deal with. Gareth basic game plan was to apply crippling conditions with Yin, put one model per turn where he needed it with the Belles (and Slow everything else as needed) and then kill it with the Valedictorian. Having one model locked down by Yin each turn would be a big problem with only four in my entire crew (and one of them a fairly useless Totem). My plan was to throw Izamu up as aggressively as possible, using the Doxy to push him into melee if Yin gave him the No Escape condition, and then hit things with him and Anna until they went away. Weak damage of three can solve a lot of problems.

Turn 1: The Belles Lure and Slow Izamu, and the Doxy Takes The Lead to push him into melee with the left one. Yin gives Izamu both Gnawing Fear and No Escape, but he’s able to drop the Belle in two hits which felt quite fortunate. The Valedictorian comes in and puts a bit of damage onto Izamu, then Anna hits her twice with the Swirling Damned. I trigger Screaming From The Aether once and Gareth helpfully fails the resulting Horror duels for both Yin and the Valedictorian. This stroke of luck pretty much ensures that I’ll win the game right there. I score Extraction.

Turn 2: Izamu smites the Valedictorian, scoring me a point for Eliminate the Leadership, then the Belle Lures him to my right and Slows him again. Anna kills the Valedictorian to get the rest of the points for Eliminate the Leadership and I score for Extraction again. I do rather unwisely keep pulling the marker back toward my table edge even though I would have been better served leaving it in the middle.

Turn 3: Izamu Black Jokers his chance to Reform, the misses a speculative swing at Yin. She kills him (though she does flip the Black Joker herself on my Warrior’s Death attack so some damage does get stacked up) then puts various conditions on Anna. I waste some Soulstones to get round all the negative flips attacking Yin with Anna and miss the shot anyway, apparently because Gareth has a truly heroic control hand this turn. The Belle Lures Anna and Pounces on her. No score for the Strategy.

Turn 4: The Belle Slows Anna. The Doxy Focuses and lands Take The Lead on Yin, getting me the Confused Feelings trigger. With us both on negative flips it just comes down to luck whether I can actually do anything to Yin, but have the better stat and only need to draw. Between the pounce and the second AP, Yin goes down and I breathe a big sigh of relief. Anna pushes the Belle away and shoots her. Neither of us score for the Strategy.

Turn 5: Anna fails to kill the Belle who hurts her back, but not by enough to get a point for Eliminate the Leadership. My Resurrectionists win 5 – 0 (2 for Extraction and 3 for Eliminate the Leadership for me; nothing for Gareth).

Gareth is my main opponent at Malifaux (and indeed, all wargames) and it’s always a fun experience. I think that we were both a bit sad that this one was pretty much decided by luck in turn 1, but I guess if Gareth hadn’t been so keen to fire all his good cards into locking Izamu down with Yin he would have had something left to pass the Horror duels on Yin and the Valedictorian. My main error was to move the Extraction marker way back then commit my crew too far forward to actually score from it.

Game 5: Resurrectionists (me) vs Arcanists (Jamie Clark)

Strategy: Public Executions, close deployment

Schemes
Pool: Eliminate the Leadership, Dig Their Graves, Undercover Entourage, Show of Force, Take One For the Team
Resurrectionists: Dig Their Graves, Show of Force
Arcanists : Dig Their Graves, Take One For the Team (Wind Gamin)

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour (Unnerving Aura), Hannah (Unnerving Aura), Anna Lovelace, Onryo, Dead Doxy, Graveyard Spirit
Arcanists : Viktor Ramos (Arcane Reservoir, Philosopher’s Stone), Joss (Open Current), Howard Langston (Imbued Energies), Mobile Toolkit, Metal Gamin, Wind Gamin, Brass Arachnid, Arcane Effigy

I extended my Henchman Hardcore crew to be lead by Molly with my preferred Spirit build. I’ve been trying Hannah lately with Molly, partly because I just love to use her, partly because of the amusing theme of having both Lovelaces in the same crew, partly because of Arcane Reservoir and partly because she doesn’t have to worry about Black Blood thanks to her Freikorps suit. Having Anna around also means that Hannah is never short of something useful to copy with Make A New Entry. I considered taking a Belle instead of the Onryo but the latter won out because we defined the canals as difficult terrain, and I decided that Lures would be a bit less critical in close deployment. The two copies of Unnerving Aura were specifically for Show of Force, and I have to admit that I forgot about them for much of the game otherwise (to be fair, Jamie mentioned at the end that he had forgotten about his Arcane Reservoir for some of the turns). Jamie surprises me with a very cautious deployment.

Turn 1: The Doxy pushes Molly and the Toolkit turns Langston up before Joss kills it to get the spider engine going for Ramos. I was expecting to get Langston right in Molly’s face instead of Joss activating, so I take advantage of still actually having my Master unmolested by moving her forward and summoning a Goryo and a Drowned. I had the card to have a Hanged instead of the Goryo but I felt that the larger base of the Goryo made it a better option considering the board state. Molly makes the Goryo hit Langston and then chain activates to do it again, Slowing the big chap in the process. Ramos summons a pair of Steam Arachnids then kills both the Goryo and the Drowned which leaves Molly feeling again a bit exposed to Langston, though the Drowned does leave a scheme marker in quite a nice place. The Graveyard Spirit moves to Molly to make the inevitable arrive of Mr Langston a little less unpleasant. The Brass Arachnid Reactivates Langston and Hannah moves up to copy her sister’s ranged attack but it misses Joss. Langston gets stuck into Molly but between armour from the Graveyard Spirit and having milled all teh good cards out of Jamie’s hand earlier, I get away with only a relatively mild beating.

Turn 2: Langston fails to kill Molly. She summons another Goryo and kills Langston to score for Dig Their Graves, pushing back to relative safety in the process. Hannah chain activates to kill a Spider and again copies Anna’s Swirling Damned attack which draws a lot of Jamie’s cards avoiding the resulting Horror duel in his bunched up crew. Joss misses a couple of attacks on the Goryo and my Onryo totally fails to land anything on the right-most Steam Arachnid. Ramos summons three more Steam Arachnids then the Goryo misses Joss who gets Reactivated by the Brass Arachnid. The Doxy pushes Izamu forward then charges in to kill one of the Steam Arachnids. Joss goes again and kills the Goryo, this time scoring for Dig Their Graves. Izamu charges into Joss; I’m thinking that if I can get him down to one wound it won’t trigger the Reactivate again since each model can only get that condition once per turn, but it doesn’t matter and the attacks are not particularly effective. The Spiders chip away at Izamu and Anna continues to miss shots at Joss. I score for Public Executions and Show of Force.

Turn 3: The Arcanist crew have very conveniently formed a crowd around where the Goryo was just standing, so Molly summons in another Goryo and a Hanged, getting the former on full wounds and the latter on six. I’m not sure that was the best play, but it is not everyday that one gets an opportunity to do that so I wanted to take advantage while I could. She makes the Goryo stab Joss down to his last wound then chain activates Izamu who kills Joss and 2 Steam Arachnids. A highly effective couple of activations if I do say so myself. Jamie is getting sick of the Graveyard Spirit but only has the Effigy in a good spot to deal with it, resulting in a fight between two of the least effective combatants in the entire game. The Goryo kills the Brass Arachnid, mainly to get it out of my hair. Ramos summons a pair of Steam Arachnids to replace the ones despatched by Izamu, magnetises to one of them just to get clear of the scrum and shoots the Goryo. Anna kills the Wind Gamin, giving up 2VP for Take One For The Team and Hannah gently tickles the Metal Gamin which has finally completed its epic run round the side of the building. I throw everything I have left at the Effigy and finally kill it with the Hanged to score Dig Their Graves. I also pick up points for Public Executions and Show of Force.

Turn 4: One of the Steam Arachnids and my Onryo both drop scheme markers. This is one of the many things I love about Malifaux: that sometimes a decision has to be made between activating a big fighter and just stabbing stuff versus using the smaller models to do things that will score points. A Steam Arachnid bites the Goryo. Izamu hurts Ramos, who summons a single Steam Arachnid, blows up the old one and magnetises to the new one. Anna and Hannah combine to kills the Metal Gamin which took a lot more work than I would have liked. The Goryo kills Ramos for Dig Their Graves and the Hanged kills the last Steam Arachnid. I score for the strategy and Show of Force again, and I won’t be able to get Public Executions next turn as there is nothing left. Resurrectionists win 9 – 3 (3 for Public Executions, 3 for Dig Their Graves and 3 for Show of Force for me; 1 for Dig Their Graves and 2 for Take One For the Team for Jamie).

Jamie is a really top chap to play against, he know his Malifaux really well (apart from his inexplicable failure to remember Arcane Reservoir) and all in all I had a very enjoyable game. We were both joking and laughing together at various happenings on the table and with the card flips, while at the same time playing a tight game and trying to win. In other words, how Malifaux should be, in my opinion. I think that Jamie made a mistake with a very defensive deployment that gave me access to control the choke point on the bridge and as a result his pieces were very clumped together while he tried to deal with the models I sent in. Clumped up opponents are what Molly loves to see. I liked the addition of Hannah instead of Datsue Ba [and 3SS of other stuff] and I certainly plan to try her in similar crews again.

Once the scores are all counted, I’m in first place (based on VP for as otherwise the Enforcer Brawl messes things up, though I think it would have been the same based on other measures). I still prefer standard 50SS games but this was an enjoyable change of pace and I think it could be a good format for introducing new players, at least as long as no-one is too abusive on the Enforcer Brawls. Thanks to Gareth, Mark, Martyn, Andy and Jamie for the fun games, and as always to Kai for doing all the work of running the whole show.

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Malifaux tournament report: Masters of the Path (50SS); 25Nov2017

Gareth and I took the train to Common Ground Games in Stirling for our last Malifaux event of 2017. As is my habit, I’ve swapped from Neverborn to play a new faction for the coming year or so; in this case I’m picking up Resurrectionists. I’ve long noticed that despite Molly being a common enough sight I have never seen anyone use the Spirit version. So I decided to start with her and see how I get on with this option. I will admit that I looked at the strategies and schemes and the ‘try hard’ part of me considered playing Neverborn for one last event since they are mostly not very friendly to a master who summons in models on low wounds near the enemy crew, but in the end I figured it would be an interesting pressure test.

Game 1: Resurrectionists (me) vs Neverborn (Ian Gemmell)

Strategy: Collect the Bounty, close deployment

Schemes
Pool: Claim Jump, Recover Evidence, Search the Ruins, Dig Their Graves, Eliminate the Leadership
Resurrectionists: Search the Ruins, Eliminate the Leadership
Neverborn: Claim Jump, Eliminate the Leadership

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour, Datsue Ba, Anna Lovelace, Goryo, Onryo, Dead Doxy, Grave Spirit
Neverborn: Collodi (Fated, Strum The Threads, Aether Connection), Mannequin, Shadow Effigy, 2 Stitched Together, 3 Marionettes, Baby kade, Burt Jebsen

The crew above is more or less the ones I’ve used to get used to Resurrectionists. When I pick up a new faction I usually start with a couple of masters but will run a few games with a pretty much fixed list approach until I see what works for me and what doesn’t. Since I’m still in that learning process I’m just making minor changes to the core here. In summary, Molly goes toward the biggest patch of the other crew and bombs Black Blood ghosts into them as allowed by my hand. The Doxy gives her a nice push forward at the start, and Izamu, Datsue Ba and Anna are there to do actual work until I can get the attrition rolling in my favour (I almost always lose one or more of these three by the end of turn two). The Goryo and Onryo are there for a bit of all-round hitting or scheming as needed, and also because I like the models. I’ve preferred the Grave Spirit over the Necrotic Machine mainly because it seems to fit the theme. For this match up I picked Search The Ruins as it would suit my attrition plans and Eliminate the Leadership because, having played Collodi, I knew that I would have to deal with it before the game was out.

Turn 1: The Shadow Effigy gets us underway by giving Collodi Blend Into Shadow; Collodi kindly shares this out to its minions. The Doxy pushes Molly forward. We jockey for position a bit and eventually I send Izamu forward to poke a Marionette. A Stitched comes forward and manages to land severe damage on the Ancestor. Molly moves up further and summons a Hanged which somehow manages to get the Stitched to Reactivate; it then hurts Izamu a bit more. Collodi makes one of the Marionettes a Personal Puppet, My Wills the Stitched to finish off Izamu and Slows Molly.

Turn 2: Molly summons another Hanged and companions the other one to hurt the untouched Stitched. The wounded Stitched together Gambles Your Life with Molly but loses. Datsue Ba kills a Marionette to turn it into a Gaki and Collodi hurts Molly rather badly. It also attacks the Hanged and makes the Spirit attack Molly but luckily Molly doesn’t take the hit. The Hanged puts Whispers From Beyond on Collodi who blows up its Personal Puppet to avoid the damage. We ruled that Collodi still got the Glimpse The Inevitable condition as it didn’t seem to be related to the damage. The Gaki misses the Mannequin and a Marionette goes Fast to charge Molly, helpfully dying to Black Blood in the process. The Stitched puts more damage onto Molly (scoring Ian a VP for Eliminate the Leadership) and is killed by Anna in return. Kade charges into Molly and top decks the Red Joker on damage to kill her (I didn’t have any cards left to use Masterful Dead), scoring the rest of the points for Eliminate the Leadership in the process. My Goryo pokes Kade after the Onryo failed to get Adversary onto him as usual. Burt moves around and drops a scheme marker. We end up drawing on the strategy.

Turn 3: The Hanged kills the Effigy, then Collodi kills the Grave Spirit and hurts my Goryo. Anna kills Baby Kade then the Onryo and Burt drop scheme markers around the place. The Goryo drops the Mannequin mainly to get it out of my hair, and Datsue Ba starts the long process of pinning Collodi down long enough to kill. I score for the strategy and Ian gets Claim Jump.

Turn 4: The Goryo gets Collodi down to a single wound. It summons a Marionette to make it a Personal Puppet and then finishes off the Goryo. Datsue Ba puts a wound onto Collodi to force the Marionette to die to Decoy. The Onryo hurts Burt after he has put down some more scheme markers, then Anna drops Collodi. I score for Collect the Bounty. Ian has seen enough (and anyway only has Burt left on a single wound) and agrees to call it there. Resurrectionists win 8 – 4 (3 for Collect The Bounty, 2 for Eliminate the Leadership [in retrospect I think I should have had the full 3 here] and 3 for Search the Ruins for me; 3 for Eliminate the Leadership and 1 for Claim Jump for Ian).

I really enjoyed that game. Having played Collodi quite extensively myself recently I felt that I had an idea of how to handle it, but Collodi is such a versatile master that almost anything is possible. I gave away Izamu quite cheaply but two Stitched were always going to get something so probably it was best to try to blunt them on Izamu’s armour since they ignore all the defenses on the rest of my crew. Ian’s crew was quite interesting and I was rather surprised by the inclusion of Kade who doesn’t seem to gain much from Collodi (or vice versa). Burt seems to show up all over the place so it was not so unexpected to face him but I was quite glad that he wandered off to do Claim Jump rather than getting in my way.

Game 2: Resurrectionists (me) vs Ten Thunders (Gareth Henry)

Strategy: Extraction, corner deployment

Schemes
Pool: Claim Jump, A Quick Murder, Inspection, Dig Their Graves, Leave Your Mark
Resurrectionists: A Quick Murder (Kang), Inspection
Ten Thunders: Claim Jump, Inspection

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour, Datsue Ba, Anna Lovelace, Onryo, Dead Doxy, Grave Spirit, 2 Night Terrors
Ten Thunders: Asami Tanaka (A Heavenly Design, Grasping Strands, Peaceful Waters), Amanjuku, 2 Ten Thunder Brothers, 2 Katanaka Snipers, Kang, Monk of Low River, Mr Tannen

A big majority of my games of Malifaux are against Gareth as he is my regular opponent for our little gaming group, so we came into this match-up with interesting expectations of what the other would bring. I took the same list as round one, swapping the Goryo for a pair of Night Terrors. I wasn’t too surprised to see Asami on the other side of the board though I did consider that Gareth might have picked Misaki instead. Not that Misaki is a strictly better pick for this strategy and scheme pool, but rather because Gareth is very effective at using her and I thought he might have decided to go all in on just killing all my stuff and picking up the pieces later. Kang would have to come into my clutches to get any work done so I decided I might as well score points for killing him with A Quick Murder. I love a pair of Night Terrors as cheap ways to collect points for Inspection, though when the Ten Thunder Brothers also telegraphed going for the same scheme I was a bit worried that they would simply kill the Night Terrors and leave me without a way to get anything to the corners.

Turn 1: The Snipers take pot shots at my crew for pleasingly little effect, then the Doxy fails to push Molly; I had a weird control hand with only low and high cards and didn’t want to cheat a really good card in simply to save Molly from walking. Asami teleports forward with A Heavenly Design, pulls Kang to her with Reaching Tendrils and summons a pair of Yokai. Molly advances and drops a Goryo into the middle of this scrum which then achieves nothing whatsoever attacking Kang, though it is tying up the Yokai. Kang helpfully misses the Goryo so Mr Tannen kills it off with Bore To Tears. Datsue Ba moves Izamu forward and moves into position herself. One of the Yokai charges Izamu who one-shots it in return and charges Kang. The Monk heals Kang to undo my good work and Anna puts some nice damage into the left Sniper. Meanwhile, The Night Terror and Ten Thunder Brothers start their long and obvious journeys to the corners.

Turn 2: Molly summons another Goryo and a Hanged, makes Izamu hit Kang and chain activates to really hurt the big chap. Then the Monk heals him again. Maybe I should actually deal with the Monk instead. The Onryo and Sniper on the left trade blows; the Sniper is left on a single wound and in Black Blood range. The Goryo makes Asami an Adversary; Asami then teleports away again and pulls Kang clear of the fray. She then summons a Jorogumo and an Obsidian Oni. The Doxy Takes The Lead on Izamu to push him into range to just engage Kang and the Obsidian Oni, then charges the other Sniper. This goes poorly and the Sniper cuts her down easily. Mr Tannen goes again with Bore To Tears on the new Goryo but doesn’t kill it this time. Datsue Ba kills the Yokai and the Hanged puts Glimpse The Inevitable on Kang. Ananjuku top decks the needed card to increase the Flicker on the Obsidian Oni and Kang kills the Goryo. Anna drops Kang to his Hard To Kill wound. I score Extraction and we both get Inspection.

Turn 3: The Monk of Low River removes Glimpse The Inevitable from Kang and heals him. Molly Black Jokers a Whispered Secret on Asami then summons a second Hanged and a Drowned. She chain activates Izamu to kill Kang (scoring me 3VP for A Quick Murder). Izamu also walks over to engage the Sniper. Datsue Ba hurts Asami who teleports away and charges into Izamu for minimal effect. The Onryo polishes off the Sniper while the Night Terror and Ten Thunders Brothers poke at each other gently. The Drowned gets double severe on a negative flip to kill the Monk of Low River in one go, then the Hanged and Anna get Asami down to a single wound. I score Extraction, Gareth scores Claim Jump and we both get Inspection.

Turn 4: Molly does Whispered Secret and Revelation to finish off Asami, then chain activates Izamu to deal with the Sniper. Mr Tannen puts some wounds onto the Hanged while the Night Terror and Ten Thunder Brothers continue to flail at each other. The Hanged kills Amanjuku. I score Extraction and we both get Inspection. Looking at the board state we agree that Gareth will certainly get Claim Jump next turn and I’ll get the last point for Extraction so we call it there. Resurrectionists win 10 – 5 (full score for me; 3 for Inspection and 2 for Claim Jump for Gareth).

I always have a great time playing Gareth and this was no exception. We play each other so often that there are sometime little games-within-games to play around taking expected pieces or counter-picking and I think that this adds an interesting extra dimension to our encounters. The game went well for me; it was the only strategy and scheme pool that I felt really comfortable with coming into the event. This allowed me to do the things I think that Molly does well: flood the centre of the board with disposable but dangerous chaff. I’m still working on the relative benefits of using a good card to summon compared to using it to make an attack land but hopefully this will come with experience.

Game 3: Resurrectionists (me) vs Guild (Lewis Philips)

Strategy: Reckoning, standard deployment

Schemes
Pool: Claim Jump, A Quick Murder, Show of Force, Leave Your Mark, Eliminate the Leadership
Resurrectionists: A Quick Murder (The Jury), Eliminate the Leadership
Guild: A Quick Murder (Izamu the Armour), Show of Force

Crews
Resurrectionists: Kirai Ankoku (Wronged Spirits, Spirit Beacon, Unforgiven), Izamu the Armour, Datsue Ba, Anna Lovelace, Madame Sybelle (Bleeding Tongue), 2 Rotten Belles
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Aura Ancestral, Trick Shooting, Fastest Draw In Malifaux), Francisco Ortega (Debt To The Guild, Wade In), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), The Jury (Debt To The Guild, Numb To The World), 2 Monster Hunters

This was the round that I really had no good plan for. Theorising with Gareth on the way over I had planned more-or-less the crew above, but with Molly at the helm. But when Lewis declared Guild as his faction I started to expect either Sonnia or Perdita and decided that maybe with Kirai I could leverage Ikiryo to give me a bit of time to close the range. The plan was to Lure in whatever I could using the Belles and then kill it. If anything looked particularly vulnerable on my side then I had intended to summon something healthier off it with Kirai. For schemes I decided to go all in on the killing and chose A Quick Murder (on The Jury as she looked a bit more vulnerable than Francisco) and Eliminate The Leadership. The latter scheme is sometimes really hard against Perdita but with only six models in Lewis’s crew I figured I would probably have to deal with her somehow anyway.

Turn 1: The Monster Hunters Stalk Madame Sybelle. One Belle Lures the other forward; it then Lures the activated Monster Hunter towards me. Kirai eventually kills it; not that it was helpful for scoring but I felt that a bit more activation control might help me. The rest of our movement is very cagey. Perdita Obeys Izamu to walk out of cover.

Turn 2: I figure I’ll have to go all in with Izamu if I want to get any work done so I throw him into The Jury for not much impact. Nino and Perdita join forces to kill him. The Belles Lure in the other Monster Hunter and after some Pounces and Madame Sybelle’s impact it is left on a single wound. Kirai moves up and knocks Nino down to one wound too. Lewis scores for Show of Force.

Turn 3: The Monster Hunter Stalks then kills a Belle, healing himself to full. If I’d known that they could do this (on top of their improbable list of other abilities) I would have made a bit more of an effort to deal with him last turn. Ikiryo does come out to hurt him again before Sacrificing with On The Wind. Anna shoots the Jury and I get lucky and Paralyse Perdita with the resulting horror duel. Francisco returns fire and is rewarded with Ikiryo again. The Belle kills the Monster Hunter and The Jury hits Ikiryo, which hits her right back and disappears again. I throw everything else I have but can’t deal with either Nino or The Jury. Lewis gets Show of Force again.

Turn 4: Sybelle finally puts down The Jury (scoring me 2VP for A Quick Murder). Francisco and Nino fail to kill Datsue Ba. I try my best to drop Perdita but can’t quite manage it. I even double focus with Kirai and eat the Seishin to have a go at Perdita, but Lewis (with an empty hand) top decks a queen and forces me to burn the Red Joker to hit at all. If he’d flipped a jack or less I could have killed Perdita and might have had a chance to take the game (probably only to a draw though). Oh well. He scores Show of Force for the last time.

Turn 5: Francisco Flurries to kill Datsue Ba then chain activates Perdita who guns down Anna with a timely Red Joker flip on damage. Kirai kills Perdita, getting me the rest of the points for Eliminate The Leadership. Nino thoughtfully kills Francisco to stop me from getting Reckoning, though I think it would have been quite unlikely anyway considering I’d have had to do it with just Sybelle at that point. Lewis scores Reckoning this turn. Resurrectionists lose 5 – 7 (2 for A Quick Murder and 3 for Eliminate the Leadership for me; 1 for Reckoning, 3 for A Quick Murder and 3 for Show of Force for Lewis).

Wow, so close… a really enjoyable game. Lewis played a really nice tight game to his strengths here and took great advantage of the terrain so that I was always having to react to him. I think that Kirai was still the right choice over Molly, though neither of them were really ideal I think. Perhaps a bit more familiarity with Kirai would have improved my chances (and actually, I’d never used Sybelle or the Belles before this game either) but to beat a player of Lewis’s skill I would need to be really on top of my game. If I had this match-up again I think I would stand by those scheme picks; none of the others looked very appealing. Perhaps the biggest mistake was that we played the central gallows as not blocking line of sight – as it was this provided a perfect place for the Guild guns to sit behind and pick my crew off while scoring for Show Of Force.

Game 4: Resurrectionists (me) vs Arcanists (Jamie Clark)

Strategy: Headhunter, flank deployment

Schemes
Pool: Claim Jump, Tail ‘Em, Show of Force, Accusation!, Frame For Murder
Resurrectionists: Claim Jump, Frame For Murder (Izamu the Armour)
Arcanists: Claim Jump, Show of Force

Crews
Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Path, Take Back The Night, Wronged Spirits), Izamu the Armour, Datsue Ba, Anna Lovelace, Onryo, Dead Doxy, Grave Spirit, Rotten Belle
Arcanists: Toni Ironsides (Warding Runes, Union President, Veteran Fighter), 2 Wind Gamin, 3 Oxfordian Mages (Nemesis Ward, Blood Ward and Doom Ward, plus a copy of Temporary Shielding each), Angelica (Practiced Production), Johan [Johana in this case] (Well Rehearsed), Arcane Effigy, Malifaux Raptor

Headhunter is my favourite strategy and I think that it really showcases all that is best of Malifaux; you need to kill the other crew but you can’t do it indiscriminately, and you need to have your own cheap pieces around to pick up their heads. I took again the same core Molly crew, this time losing the Night Terror (who are a total liability in Headhunter) for a Rotten Belle with the idea that if Jamie was very cagey I could bring a victim over and kill it at my leisure. With flank deployment I thought that Claim Jump could be quite useful since the line along which to lay the scheme markers is long. Izamu had been an easy victim in my other games this event so I thought that I might try to get some points out his inevitable (second) demise. With Molly liking to be in the thick of things plus two other Henchmen I was quite expecting to have Jamie pick Tail ‘Em so I planned to try to give him so much to do that he couldn’t afford to spend the AP on it (in retrospect he didn’t actually have many Minions so maybe it wasn’t so likely but that didn’t occur to me at the time).

Turn 1: There is a lot of very cagey moving around. The Doxy pushes Molly forward with Take The Lead while the Raptor Takes To The Sky. The Mages push each other around a bit. Eventually I realise that I’m not going to get a nice ball of enemies to summon off and resign myself to a single Goryo between Johana and a Mage. Ironsides moves so that the injured Mage is in Hand Picked Men range, then helpfully fails a Horror duel targeting Datsue Ba. The Mage does strip a few wounds from Izamu with Furious Casting.

Turn 2: The Mage Furious Casts again to kill Izamu and I pick up 2VP for Frame For Murder. The Goryo gets Johana down to her Hard To Kill wound, and the nearby Mage suicides by Black Blood to kill it. This also forces Johana to discard Well Rehearsed to stay in the game, so the Doxy pushes Molly again then kills Johana as there is no way I’m going to miss an opportunity like that. The Mage that killed Izamu is Lured closer to me so that it is in a better place for Molly to summon. The Raptor, which had unburied next to Anna, pecks her a bit. Molly summons a Hanged and Goryo, then makes the Hanged put Glimpse The Inevitable on Ironsides. She companions into the Hanged which kills the Mage and the resulting Horror duels Paralyses Ironsides as Jamie cheated his last card in to stop Angelica from failing from the same pulse. Anna pushes the Raptor clear so that she can shoot Angelica and gets another pulse of Horror duels which this time Angelica and the Effigy fail. It is better to be lucky than good. Datsue Ba picks up a head in midfield and the Onryo misses some attacks on Ironsides. Jamie scores Claim Jump thanks to the Wind Gamin which have flown off to the corners pretty much unopposed and I score Headhunter.

Turn 3: The Mage hurts my Goryo and fails to disengage. Anna kills Angelica and the Onryo gently tickles Ironsides. Interestingly Jamie often chose not to take her Good Shot, My Turn trigger, presumably because he didn’t want me to splash Black Blood all over Ironsides. Ironsides kills the Hanged, uses a trigger to push over to where its head lands and picks it up, then charges and hurts Molly. Molly summons a replacement Hanged, puts Ironsides on negative flips with Whispered Secret then Paralyses her with Revelation. The Doxy picks up a head and Datsue Ba turns the Raptor into a Gaki. We both score for the strategy and Claim Jump.

Turn 4: Datsue Ba charges into the Effigy but can’t quite kill it. The last Mage kills the Goryo and picks up its head. The Doxy picks up a head and hurts the Wind Gamin after giving it Confused Feelings. Molly makes the nearby Gaki poke Ironsides then hits the Gaki to splash Black Blood onto Ironsides and kill her. She then moves over and kills the Wind Gamin. The Onryo finishes the Effigy and the Hanged drops the final Mage. We both score Claim Jump and I get a point for the strategy too. With only a Wind Gamin left, we agree to end it there. Resurrectionists win 9 – 5 (4 for Headhunter, 3 for Claim Jump and 2 for Frame For Murder for me; 2 for Headhunter and 3 for Claim Jump for Jamie).

Every time I play against Jamie I enjoy it and I feel that our games are even more fun as Jamie has consistently improved his skill over the last year or so. This was a particularly interesting match-up as it was not only my first event playing Molly but Jamie was also playing his first event with Ironsides after swapping Masters with Joe (though of course he’s experienced with Arcanists in general). I was very fortunate with Jamie flipping low on some crucial Horror duels in turn 2, though I would say that I’d done some work to drain his hand so it wasn’t pure luck. The Belle didn’t really do a lot but it was an extra activation, Lure is always good and it was cheap enough that I didn’t really mind if it just dropped scheme markers anyway.

Once the scores are all in I get second place overall behind Lewis so I’m very pleased. I’ve really enjoyed playing Molly and will admit that I find Black Blood highly entertaining on Spirits. I’m planning to get in a few more games with Kirai so that I’m not telegraphing that I’m going to play Molly in every game. Thanks to Ian, Gareth, Lewis and Jamie for four fun games of Malifaux, and of course to Kai for his continued excellent running of events. I’m looking forward to 2018’s gaming experience already.

Since this is my last event of the year, I thought it would be interesting to see how my record breaks down. I feel like it was a comparably successful year with Neverborn as with my previous years of playing with Factions (roughly: 2013-2014 for Ten Thunders, 2015 for Guild, 2016 for Outcasts) which supports my general theory of tolerable inter-faction balance in Malifaux. I hope that anyone reading these enjoys them and gets as much benefit from it as I do from writing them, and in particular that this adds a bit of ‘actual-faux’ to the vast amount of ‘theory-faux’ on the Wyrd forums.
Overall: 34 wins, 6 losses
Neverborn: 31 wins, 5 losses (Collodi: 8 wins, 1 loss; Dreamer: 4 wins, 0 losses; Lilith: 7 wins, 1 loss; Jakob Lynch: 5 wins, 1 loss; Pandora: 7 wins, 2 losses)
Resurrectionists: 3 wins, 1 loss (Kirai Ankoku: 0 wins, 1 loss; Molly Squidpiddge : 3 wins, 0 losses)

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