Posts Tagged With: Malifaux

Painted Onryo

These unhappy looking chaps are Onryo, more Spirits to go in my Malifaux Resurrectionist crews. They’re cheap minions who don’t really do too much exciting except pass on fairly minor conditions when hurt. Still, they pack a surprising punch when needed and more importantly are quite mobile thanks to Incorporeal. I mainly use them as Black Blood bombs with Molly if I need to stack damage onto high defense enemies, or just send them off scheme running. Onryo are cheap enough that I don’t mind too much if they get killed (which will happen if anything actually seriously has a go at them since their defensive stats are terrible).

I hadn’t actually intended to paint the Onryo to match Molly’s colour scheme but now that it has happened I think it looks quite nice. As befits their status I kept a limited palette without any needless flourish. I’ve seen Onryo out there with amazing freehand work on the kimonos but that would be way beyond me even for a master, never mind doing it on a minion.

Next on the painting table: Harlequin Troupe Master.

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Painted Molly Squidpiddge

Here is Molly Squidpiddge, another Master for Malifaux this time representing the Resurrectionist faction. She’s a summoner with a side order of crippling enemies. Molly’s way of summoning is quite inventive, bringing in models with a number of wounds equal to the number of nearby enemies when they appear; in addition she grants Black Blood to nearby friendly models with the appropriate keyword. This, combined with the short range on the summoning action, indicates a highly aggressive playstyle that I very much enjoy. In terms of builds, Molly has two competing upgrades which align her either with the Spirit or Horror keywords. When I picked up the Resurrectionists for the first time I was drawn by the entertaining prospect of having ghosts that bleed over the other crew and I was highly gratified that this is an effective approach.

Molly is technically undead, but after my unsatisfactory attempts at zombie flesh painting I decided to do more of a living skin tone instead. I’m quite pleased by the look here as her skin tone works rather nicely with the red and white dress. I sort of feel like she needed to be leaning forward a little more but without some modifications around that ankle (that I wasn’t keen to try considering how slender it is) I couldn’t quite get it to work.

As an aside, I’m delighted that Molly was first introduced to the lore of Malifaux via the highly-talented hand of my friend David.

Next on the painting table: Onryo.

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Painted Dead Doxies

Here are a pair of Dead Doxies for my Malifaux Resurrectionist crews. I love these little ladies on the table and rarely leave home without one. The main draw is the (0) action to push things around; being able to hussle your master an extra walk up the table before they activate can be really useful in turn one. Since Malifaux is principally a game of positioning, anything that gives more control over this is helpful. They’re surprisingly good at fighting too, which is handy since mine often find themselves in harm’s way after repositioning something through the middle of the board.

For the painting I still couldn’t quite get the rotting skin tone to work as it looks in my mind. The one in the red dress is a bit better than previous efforts but the one in green just doesn’t really look very zombie-like at all. More work is required, but these are good enough to count as finished for now.

Next on the painting table: Molly Squidpiddge.

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Painted Shikome

Here are my Shikome, another part of my Malifaux Resurrectionists. They’re Spirits and so I got them to pair with Molly and Kirai as they both have uses for that keyword. Flying options with a situational minimum damage 3 attack is quite tasty, and they recently were errata-ed to be cheaper which makes them even more appealing. In practice, I rarely summon Shikome with Molly as they’re the same cost as Goryo which fit her needs better. Kirai loves them on the other hand; they can get Adversary very easily (which turns on almost all their cool tricks) and have an even number of wounds (relevant when you take half damage from summoning). The most amusing thing I ever do with them is to charge miniatures who like to bring their own Poison around (McMourning, Shenlong et al) since they can do so for a (1) action.

I’m not really familiar with the mythology of Shikome so I didn’t spend any time making them look like any kind of traditional representation of them; if anything, I ended up going more for the route of Greek harpies. I used these Shikome as a bit of a ‘palette cleanser’ between brightly coloured projects and painted them with more naturalistic colours. The one standing tall got glues on directly to the little pillar ruin on the resin base so that her contact point with the base was more than a single talon of one foot. If anyone can explain why scary vengeance ghosts wear no clothes at all but modestly cover their nipples with a saucer then I’ll be happy to hear about it.

Next on the painting table: Dead Doxies.

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Painted Hanged

These chaps are the Hanged for the Malifaux Resurrectionists faction. They’re helpfully Spirits among other keywords so can be summoned by both Kirai and Molly. I found them rather less effective as hired models rather than summoned since they’re such high priority to kill and so annoying when not killed that they’re almost always dropped at range by the other crew if at all possible. Their abilities mostly revolve around making the other crew take more Horror duels than usual, but the main draw is the Whispers From Beyond action that knocks half wounds off their target and stops it from being healed. Overall, they’re amazing when I use them and amazingly annoying when I face them. Being able to summon them into place with Molly and splash Black Blood on your hapless foes is probably the most satisfying way to use Hanged.

I decided to paint the skin tone for the Hanged as if they are freshly dropped through the gallows rather than greying zombie flesh. I see them as more like ghosts rather than the corpses of the condemned (the game rules slightly support this with their Incorporeal rule).

Next on the painting table: Shikome

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Malifaux tournament report: Broken Promises; 24Mar2018

As is our custom, Gareth and I took the train over to Common Ground Games in Stirling for another excellent feast of Malifaux laid on for us by Kai Young, this time in the form of the four round Broken Promises event.

Game 1: Resurrectionists (me) vs Resurrectionists (Stewart Herbert)

Strategy: Public Executions, Close Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Eliminate the Leadership, Dig Their Graves, Undercover Entourage, Vendetta, Public Demonstration
My Resurrectionists: Eliminate the Leadership, Dig Their Graves
Stewart’s Resurrectionists: Dig Their Graves, Public Demonstration (Hannah with Kentauroi and both Necropunks)

Crews
My 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
Stewart’s Resurrectionists: Reva (Guises of Death, Decaying Aura, Litany of the Fallen), Kentauroi, Carrion Emissary (Conflux of the Reaper), Anna Lovelace, 2 Necropunks, Chiaki the Niece

I picked Molly going into this match-up as I’ve found that she can afford to give up a point of Public Executions during turn 2 in order to get her engine running, then overwhelm the other crew in turns 3 to 5. Public Demonstration in the pool also adds to this as it encourages a certain amount of clustering from the other crew if picked. Seeing Reva across the board I realised that I probably wasn’t going to get much use of Izamu as he’s such an easy target for her, so I decided to take Eliminate the Leadership and use Izamu as bait to get her to activate early. Plus, I need to deal with Reva to stop her bossing the engagement range and scoring the strategy unopposed. Dig Their Graves seemed to fit well with the general plan of killing everything.

Turn 1: A Corpse Candle appears in front of Izamu, walks forward and sacrifices itself. The Doxy pushes Molly forward and the Carrion Emissary puts down Shards in one of the two choke points across the centre to keep me off Stewart’s crew. Reva summons another Corpse Candle but, to my huge surprise, doesn’t immediately vaporise Izamu; instead she puts down a scheme marker in midfield. Anna misses a shot at Reva but pushes the Corpse Candle back a bit. Hannah copies her sister’s attack and sticks it on Reva to start chipping through her wound pool. The Necropunks Leap toward Hannah and start dropping scheme markers and the Kentauroi follows suit. Molly moves around the wagon in the middle and drops a Goryo into the middle of the other crew; it then hurts Reva and, crucially, Slows her. Stewart reveals his Public Demonstration for three VPs.

Turn 2: Molly summons another Goryo and but fails to achieve anything else attacking the Carrion Emissary (I was hoping to get the push trigger to move to a better position but the cards didn’t work out). Hannah Chain Activates and drops a Focus attack on the Corpse Candle. This causes a pleasing raft of Horror checks, Paralysing one of the Necropunks, scoring a VP for Eliminate the Leadership and draining Stewart’s hand quite effectively. Reva Focuses and hurts Hannah right back. The Goryo from the previous turn Slows both the Kentauroi and Reva again, critically stopping the Kentauroi from just charging off into the sunset; meanwhile the Emissary puts Shards in Izamu’s way then kills the unactivated Goryo for Dig Their Graves. My Anna finishes off Reva (for the rest of the points on Eliminate the Leadership) and drains the rest of Stewart’s hand with the Horror pulse; I do paralyse my own Goryo in the process but that doesn’t matter as the Kentauroi kills it in the next activation anyway. I’m doing quite a lot of damage simply by spraying Black Blood about the place in the massive scrum. The Onryo knocks the Kentauroi down to a couple of wounds left and is wounded in turn by Stewart’s Anna. The Doxy pushes Izamu back toward the centre and Chiaki fails to remove the strategy condition on Hannah. Izamu shows his worth by dropping a Mindless Zombie and the last Corpse Candle pokes Molly, dying to Black Blood in the process. We draw on Public Executions.

Turn 3: Stewart uses the Emissary cleverly to put down Shards stopping the Onryo from getting Black Blood from Molly, then hurts Izamu. Molly summons a pair of Hanged (probably not really needed but I had the cards, felt that the game was in hand and enjoy summoning Hanged when I can) and misses yet another attack on the Kentauroi. She does make one of the Hanged hit it to force another card out for the Horror check. I chain activate Izamu who finally contributes by killing Anna Lovelace. The surviving Necropunk Leaps clear and drops a scheme marker. Hannah finishes the Kentauroi, drops a scheme marker and copies from Anna to shoot the Emissary; the Doxy then Takes the Lead to push Molly out of her way then charges in to kill the Emissary and score me a VP for Dig Their Graves. Chiaki fails to deal with the Onryo, who pokes her back equally ineffectively. I score for Public Executions.

Turn 4: Chiaki kills the Onryo (for Dig Their Graves). The Hanged drops a scheme maker then Molly kills Chiaki to score Dig Their Graves for me. I should have left it there, but I forgot (again) how Public Executions is scored and so have Molly finish the Necropunk and hence not get the Shed Blood condition. Oops. My Resurrectionists win 6 – 5 (1 for Public Executions, 3 for Eliminate the Leadership and 2 for Dig Their Graves for me; 3 for Public Demonstration and 2 for Dig Their Graves for Stewart).

As always it is a pleasure to face Stewart; his skill is constantly improving and I think that he’s really only hampered by the relatively small and inexperienced Malifaux scene in Aberdeen not getting him the opportunities to test his mettle against stronger opponents so often. I felt that I had the game in control and then let a couple of points slip through my fingers right at the end; that could have been costly but fortunately I was still able to squeak out a narrow victory. I’m not sure why Stewart didn’t just go in for wiping Izamu straight away in turn one; he had all the tools with Reva to do so and unless his hand was catastrophically bad it would have been very possible to force through.

Game 2: Resurrectionists (me) vs Ten Thunders (Michael Arnott)

Strategy: Ply for Information, Standard Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Surround Them, Covert Breakthrough, Dig Their Graves, Inescapable Trap, Show of Force
Resurrectionists: Covert Breakthrough, Dig Their Graves
Ten Thunders: Covert Breakthrough, Dig Their Graves

Crews
Resurrectionists: Kirai Ankoku (Wronged Spirits, Unforgiven, Maniacal Laugh), Asura Roten, Anna Lovelace, Rotten Belle, Dead Doxy, 3 Shieldbearers
Ten Thunders: Shenlong (Peaceful Waters, Yang, Wandering River Style), Peasant, Tengu, Yasunori (Recalled Training), Yamaziko, 2 Ten Thunder Brothers, Monk of Low River, Monk of Wandering River

I chose to try Kirai for this match-up, not because I think that she is especially good for the strategy, but because the board here was wide open in the middle and I was expecting a lot of ranged attacks to come in. I was hoping that Kirai’s ability to bring Ikiryo into play might be a bit of a deterrent to this. With that in mind, I took a crew with mainly Living or Undead characteristics to force the issue. The Rotten Belle (and, to a lesser extent, the Dead Doxy) were there intending to bring Michael’s pieces to me so that I could Ply them effectively from my side of the board. With that in mind, I chose Dig Their Graves, so that once I had completed sufficient Plying, I could kill the model in question for another VP. Covert Breakthrough felt like the least bad of the rest of the bunch; hopefully I’d be able to get an attrition lead with Kirai’s summoning and score at the end. Michael did put down Shenlong, but slightly to my surprise he didn’t include much in the way of long ranged force projection. On the other hand, Yasunori in that crew was going to be able to reliably delete one of my key pieces within turn one if Michael chose to pull the trigger.

Turn 1: As if by magic, the Peasant reproduces by binary fission. Asura puts down a scheme marker and summons a Mindless Zombie to get my ghost factory rolling. The Doxy pushes Kirai and the Zombie moves to be just within range to summon from. Moving the Zombie just wastes another activation and I can always hope that Michael would fall for over extending to kill it early in the hope of slowing down the summoning; of course he’s far too good a player to fall for this. Meanwhile, the Peasants hand Focus to Shenlong and poke Yasunori to move him forward a little; eventually the Monk of Low River heals the rider too. The opening moves are quite cautious and I realise that with the threat range on Yasunori so large (especially once Shenlong inevitably makes him Fast) I’m going to have commit pieces. The Shieldbearers move up to be just within range to get Fast from Kirai when she uses a Soulstone for summoning. The Belle Lures Anna forward and Shenlong pushes Yasunori up and gives him Fast as expected. Kirai summons a Hanged off the Mindless Zombie and then a Downed and a Shikome off one of the Shieldbearers. Yasunori uses Recalled Training and comes in to kill Kirai; I do summon Ikiryo off the first attack so at least it is on the board. Yamaziko kills the Hanged and sets up Brace in an annoying position. The rest of my crew beat up Yasunori and eventually he dies of Poison. I’m left with the uncomfortable feeling that trading Kirai for Yasunori might not have been in my favour.

Turn 2: Yamaziko kills one of the Mindless Zombies. Anna shoots her down to a single wound and pushes her back to remove Brace, then Shenlong swaps in Low River Style and heals Yamaziko right back up. The Drowned puts some damage into the Wandering River Monk (I’m trying to deal with him before he Leaps off into my backfield and starts dropping scheme markers everywhere). The Doxy pushes Ikiryo forward a little and uses Grasping Hands on Yamaziko. The Ten Thunder Brother on my left kills my Drowned, scoring Michael a VP for Dig Their Graves, then Ikiryo uses her ludicrous charge range to kill Yamaziko to get me a VP for my own Dig Their Graves. The Tengu hurts Ikiryo and even a Peasant charges in. The Belle Lures the left Ten Thunder Brother over and one of the Shieldbearers kills it after Plying for Information. The others hurt the Wandering River Monk and Peasant. I score for the strategy.

Turn 3: Shenlong picks up Fermented River Style in the Shenlong Phase. Ikiryo kills the Tengu (another VP for Dig Their Graves) and the nearby Peasant. The Wandering River Monk Leaps away from the Shieldbearer and runs for the board corner. The Shikome takes advantage of Shenlong having Poison on him to charge in, but fails to actually achieve anything useful. In return, Shenlong kills it (scoring Dig their Graves in the process) and Ikiryo. The central Shieldbearer plies the Monk of Low River for information and the Doxy pushes Anna around. The Monk of Low River puts down a scheme marker by healing Shenlong. I realise that I need to drain Michael’s hand if I am to deal with the Wandering River Monk; luckily I have a couple of decent crows in hand so the Belle Lures the Ten Thunder Brother to her, getting the discard trigger both times. A Shieldbearer knocks him down to a single wound and Anna kills the Wandering River Monk now that he can’t Butterfly Jump to safety. I score again for Ply For Information.

Turn 4: The Ten Thunder Brother flees and drops a scheme marker, presumably for Covert Breakthrough. A Shieldbearer Plies Shenlong for Information but is immediately killed by him. Asura and another Shieldbearer move up and put down scheme markers for my own Covert Breakthrough. The Doxy Plies Shenlong, and the Belle Lures the Ten Thunder Brother back, killing him with a Pounce to get Dig Their Graves. I score again for the strategy.

Turn 5: The Doxy Plies Shenlong again, so he kills her. Anna Plies him instead. The Monk of Low River removes one of my scheme markers and my Shieldbearer puts down another to replace it. Resurrectionists win 10 – 5 (full score for me; 3 for Dig Their Graves and 2 for Covert Breakthrough for Michael).

That was a tough game right from the start; I thought I was in for a very rough ride when I lost Kirai in turn one. I had considered trying to leave Yasunori alive at the end of turn one so that I could possibly Ply him at the start of turn two, but on balance I think that was probably too risky. I was able to hang on for the rest of the game, but I think that Michael might have forgotten that Peons can be Plied For Information which would probably have impacted the margin if not the result. Michael’s game is getting better and better, but I do slightly wonder about some of his crew picks; notably the Tengu didn’t really seem to serve much purpose here.

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

Strategy: Ours, Corner Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Guarded Treasure, Set Up, Take one for the Team, Recover Evidence, Hold up their forces
Resurrectionists: Guarded Treasure, Take one for the Team (Dead Doxy)
Guild: Guarded Treasure, Set Up (Asura Roten)

Crews
Resurrectionists: Reva (Maniacal Laugh, Beyond Death, Decaying Aura), Asura Roten, Carrion Emissary (Carrion Conflux), Guild Autopsy, 3 Shieldbearers, Dead Doxy
Guild: Nellie Cochrane (Guild Funds, Misleading Headlines, Delegation), Printing Press, Phiona Gage (Wrath of the Guild, Debt to the Guild), Alison Dade (Transparency), Executioner (Ready to Work), Big Jake, Thallarian Queller, Guild Guard

I have very little experience playing Ours, but I decided that a summoner would probably be wasted here since Lewis is too experienced not to just leave my summoned models alone and instead kill the scoring pieces. So with that and the corner deployment I decided to try out Reva as she can project damage a long way across the board. I went for both Asura and Carrion Emissary not only to summon Mindless Zombies but also to give them something to do once they were suitable gumming up the Guild crew. I didn’t like any of the schemes here and it showed. I chose Guarded Treasure but I read the rules wrong and didn’t realise until we were part way through the game that I was making it very hard for myself to score on it. After a bit of indecision I also picked Take One For The Team on the Dead Doxy; it was nearly on the Guild Autopsy instead and I got mixed up about which I’d chosen.

Turn 1: The Press gives Nellie Evidence, the Doxy pushes Reva forward and the Queller drops a Suppression marker in the middle of the board. Nellie makes both Phiona and the Executioner Fast and passes some activations so that she can get the drop on me. The Emissary puts Shards down in the middle of the board and eventually Lewis decides that he won’t get the alpha strike he’s looking for and moves up the Executioner rather more cagily.

Turn 2: The Executioner drops a Mindless Zombie who has wandered in to engage him then charges the Emissary leaving my big bird feeling rather poorly. Reva fails to kill Phiona thanks to a timely Black Joker on her last attack. The Press again gives Nellie Evidence and she chain activates; I’m forced to use my good cards to stop her from making the Executioner kill the Emissary. In fairness I’d somehow forgotten that she could do that or I might have used the Emissary earlier. We move our cheaper models around to score and I start to get a weight of Mindless Zombies into annoying positions. Big Jake saunters over into a corner and starts dropping scheme markers. Phiona eventually spends her activation mowing down Corpse Candles and Mindless Zombies. We both score for Ours and Lewis scores Guarded Treasure but I don’t because I didn’t read all the requirements… oops!

Turn 3: Reva finally kills Phiona. The Press again gives Nellie Evidence and she kills the Emissary between her own attacks and free swings from the Executioner. The Executioner kills the Doxy and I forget to announce Take One For the Team (I’d got in my head that it was instead on the Guild Autopsy); more on this below. Asura and one of the Shieldbearers gang up to kill the Executioner in return. Once again both score for Ours and Lewis scores Guarded Treasure.

Turn 4: A Shieldbearer makes a start attacking Nellie, mainly in the hope of draining Lewis’s hand. Reva completely fails to do anything at all to her. The rest of the turn is just moving our models about to try to score Ours, which we both do and Lewis gets his third VP for Guarded Treasure.

Turn 5: As usual, the Press gives Nellie some Evidence and she scoots over to my right corner of the board. Reva kills the Guild Guard and the Shieldbearers kill the annoying Printing Press. I score for Ours and, finally, Guarded Treasure. With the last action of the game, Nellie drops a scheme marker near Asura to pick up a point for Set Up on her.

Wow, what a game. Lewis is a really strong opponent and I’m always pleased to play him. He used Nellie to her strengths and had a clear plan to wipe out my big stuff early on with her, Phiona and the Executioner, then play defensively for the second half of the game to deny me any chance for Take One For The Team. I was especially impressed by his play of Set Up; he left it to the last minute to score it so that the threat of me handing over two or even three VPs for Take One For The Team was always there. From my side, my inexperience with Reva showed. I spent too much effort getting rafts of Mindless Zombies around and not enough time actually doing anything useful with them. I would have been better served focussing Reva’s attacks on the Executioner as his raw stats are worse than Phiona’s but I got too caught up in getting use out of Decaying Aura. The Shieldbearers were really good; nothing flashy but they were always an annoying threat to do a bit of damage and they are such a pain in the neck to remove without a really dedicated fighter that it just wasn’t worth the bother of anyone attacking them.

The big point of this game was my forgetting to declare Take One For The Team when the Executioner killed the Dead Doxy. When I realised at the end of the game I discussed this with Lewis as, obviously, I wanted to have the VP for it. We agreed to ask Kai as TO and he ruled in my favour. Having had time to think on this now, I believe that actually Kai should have ruled in favour of Lewis in this case; the rules clearly state that the scheme should be revealed once it is scored. And while I don’t think that there was any big impact on the rest of the game play (Lewis didn’t have anything that could really have killed my stuff by that point so it wasn’t like he had to work hard to avoid killing anything else and risking me having the scheme still active) it still meant an unpleasant surprise for Lewis at the end as he thought that he had the game in the bag. Lewis took this frustration admirably and we’ve spoken since so that I could apologise for this. I think that Kai ruled in my favour partly because he understood that it was a genuine mistake on my side but also because he didn’t want to be seen to favour his club-mate; I’m very grateful to him to have made a ruling at all. Fate restored itself as Lewis went on to win his last game and take first place overall.

Game 4: Resurrectionists (me) vs Ten Thunders (Dave Laing)

Strategy: Symbols of Authority, Standard Deployment

Schemes
Pool: Punish the Weak, Set Up, Inescapable Trap, Take Prisoner, Public Demonstration
Resurrectionists: Punish the Weak, Take Prisoner (Kamaitachi)
Ten Thunders: Set Up (Izamu), Public Demonstration (Izamu with all three Yokai)

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
Ten Thunders: Asami Tanaka (Nefarious Pact, Borrowed Time, A Heavenly Design), Katanaka Crime Boss (Equality), Monk of Wandering River, Ten Thunder Brother, Tanuki, Kamaitachi, 3 Yokai

I was feeling quite tired here so I chose to pick my round one crew (except removing the Onryo for a Belle) simply on the basis that I might be able to autopilot my way to some VPs due to familiarity. The main plan was to push up the centre then send summoned models out to pick off the side Symbols. I picked Take Prisoner on the Kamaitachi as I figured it would be something that I could safely not attack, then summon something to it at the end. Punish The Weak was chosen since it plays into my normal style of killing things first and asking if anyone has any questions later on.

Turn 1: The Doxy pushes Molly forward and the Wandering River Monk puts scheme marker precisely in the middle of the semicircle of Yokai. This is so that when they activate they’ll also pick up a Poison from the Tanuki and therefore enable extra jank with their end-of-turn placing. The Kamaitachi pushes Asami forward. Molly moves up and drops a Goryo near Asami who kills it with a Focus attack and summons a Yokai. The hired Yokai crowd round Izamu, placing here and there due to the Poison and scoring Public Demonstration for an easy three VP.

Turn 2: A Yokai hurts Hannah. Molly summons a Goryo and Hanged then chain activate Izamu who fails to kill the Katanaka Crime Boss when I flip a Black Joker on the second attack. This turns out to be quite important as I’d forgotten that they have Calls Unto The Chi, so most of that good work is immediately undone and Izamu takes a thorough beating for his troubles. The Doxy kills one of the Yokai and pushes Hannah, but Asami teleports over and kills Hannah in a single go. Anna shoots at the Ten Thunder Brother on her side and the Yokai flail rather ineffectively at the Hanged. Somewhere in there the Ten Thunders dropped a few scheme markers and score Set Up on Izamu for two VPs.

Turn 3: The Katanaka Crime Boss finishes both Izamu and the Goryo. Molly drops Whispered Secret on Asami to make her a bit more manageable and summons a second Hanged which chain activates to Paralyse Asami. Sadly, the Kamaitachi dies as a result of all of Molly’s summoning (and probably some incidental Black Blood). A Yokai collects my Symbol in the middle. The Doxy drops a second Yokai and the other Hanged kills the Crime Boss. Even the Graveyard Spirit gets in to stack a few wounds on Asami. My notes confirm that I score Punish The Weak here but I can’t work out how.

Turn 4: Molly puts Whispered Secret on Asami again and hurts the Tanuki. The Hanged kills Asami and the Tanuki stabs the Hanged, dying to Black Blood in the process (I think that this was deliberate to avoid giving up Punish the Weak). The Hanged and Ten Thunder Brother get Symbols.

Turn 5. The Ten Thunder Brother hides so that Anna can’t kills him for Punish The Weak, then the Dead Doxy and Wandering River Monk both remove a Symbol each. Resurrectionists lose 3 – 9 (2 for Symbols of Authority and 1 for Punish The Weak for me; 4 for Symbols of Authority, 3 for Public Demonstration and 2 for Set Up for Dave).

A well-deserved win for Dave who outplayed me quite thoroughly. As always we were joking and chatting through the game and I’m delighted for any opportunity to match up with him. I took the wrong crew for this encounter entirely as it was just too easy for Dave to spread out and deny my summoning. I didn’t have anything fast to go for the outer Symbols and should have realised that I would be held up in the centre for too long to go for them after mopping up. I don’t own any Necropunks but perhaps I should have tried Crooligans to work the edges (though I don’t have any experience with Horror Molly). Or maybe even just hired a pair of Goryo to make use of their crazy speed and gone up the flanks; they could have probably outfought the Ten Thunder Brother and Wandering River Monk on the way if needed. Clearly the Kamaitachi was a poor choice for Take Prisoner so that is a lesson that I can learn.

So once we’re all done I come in 8th place (of 20) which feels quite good considering that I don’t think I played particularly well in any of the matches. Thanks as always to Stewart, Michael, Lewis and Dave for four fun games of Malifaux and of course to Kai for his tireless work to promote the game here and run the events.

I’ve been feeling a bit unenthusiastic about Malifaux for the last few months (probably this is why it’s taken me so long to write up this tournament report) and I’m not sure if I’m burned out on the game or the competitive aspect. I’ve also had the feeling lately that the current edition is quite bloated with confusing rules and could probably benefit from another round of flattening such as the way that the ME1.5 to ME2 was handled; it is quite hard to teach the game to new people in my gaming group as there are so many moving parts for them to learn. In the short term I’m going to take a bit of a break from events and play a couple of other good systems with friends so we’ll see if my mojo comes back. I already have my ticket for the Scottish GT so I’ll surely be there.

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

Painted Asura Roten

This is Asura Roten, a henchman for the Malifaux Resurrectionists. Asura’s main trick is to create Mindless Zombies and let them (and other nearby Undead) use her actions rather than their own terrible attacks. I’ve found it quite hard to decide how much work she can get done, since a lot of the benefit she brings is filtered through other pieces. Still, she has generally made the cut if I’m looking to bring the Maniacal Laugh upgrade on my master (which summons even more Mindless Zombies) so I guess I must be getting some use out of her. In practice this means that she’s mainly been useful for Kirai, as I can use the Mindless Zombies as wound pools to summon other, more effective, Spirits out of. My experience with Reva is limited at this point, but she certainly does appreciate more corpse markers on the board so Asura is definitely still on the list for consideration.

I kept the painting simple, with at least slightly realistic colours on Asura. I switch between painting and not painting the pupils of miniatures’ eyes, but in this case it was a deliberate choice to suggest her magic powers over the undead. The kits comes with a pair of zombies flanking Asura but they got left off and will eventually appear as Mindless Zombies in their own right.

Next on the painting table: The Hanged.

Categories: Malifaux, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Painted Philip and the Nanny

Here is (or are?) Philip and the Nanny for my Resurrectionists in Malifaux; they are part of the thematic Molly crew. For those not following the game, Philip is the surprisingly talkative disembodied head who now has the indignity to be pushed about the streets of Malifaux by a zombie Nanny. The pair seem to be a highly popular inclusion in Ressurectionist crews I see, and I can certainly agree that they have a lot going for them. Of note, Philip can discard a nearby scheme marker to draw two cards and discard one which is obviously an excellent card engine. While some top players get a lot of mileage from this approach I find it quite dull to have Philip (and whatever I’m using for the scheme markers) just messing about in my own deployment zone for much of the game and have moved on to more aggressive pieces. Philip can also activate Chatty which is situationally superb and has surprisingly good defenses for a head in a pram. They do have both the Spirit and Horror keywords which give them some interesting utility with Molly and Kirai; indeed I’ve had most success using them with Kirai as she’s more defensive than Molly and is a good way to get the Take Back The Night upgrade into an otherwise Horror-less crew.

I picked a deliberately muted colour scheme here with mostly blacks and whites; this is the look that the miniature immediately suggested when I assembled it. The zombie flesh was not a success as I had hoped though. I wanted to have a slightly greying, green-tinged look to their skin but I just couldn’t seem to get the colour balance right and grey has dominated far more than I had intended.  More work is needed there I think, though I have hope as I’m finally starting to feel satisfied by the more healthy skin tone I’ve achieved for other miniatures lately.

I don’t think that Philip is supposed to have a giant head, so I assume that this is another of Wyrd’s famous scale inconsistencies (in this case it does make the painting a bit more straightforward).

Next on the painting table: Asura Roten.

Categories: Malifaux, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Painted Hannah

Here is Hannah, Chief Freikorps Archivist for Malifaux. She’s strictly part of the Outcast faction and I originally bought her when I was playing them, but as a Mercenary can appear in any crew. I really enjoy playing Hannah. She brings Arcane Reservoir to the crew which is pretty much always awesome, and also has a huge base and melee range. Her main trick is being able to Make A New Entry to copy Cast actions from nearby miniatures which opens up all sorts of entertaining options. In Neverborn she can partner up with Lazarus to copy the latter’s Assimilate action which itself can be then used to make Collodi take a sixth (!) AP with My Will. In practice, I never really got much value out of that approach (too costly in terms of cards and positioning) but it is funny. In Resurrectionists I’ve been having fun using Hannah with her sister, Anna Lovelace, who brings two excellent Cast actions in addition to being wonderful in her own right. Presumably this means that Hannah’s surname is also Lovelace though that isn’t explicit that I’ve ever seen.

I painted Hannah in the same colour scheme of grey with pink trimmings that decked the rest of my Freikorps crew. My brushwork looks even less adequate on these large curved surfaces than normal, but nonetheless I did enjoy finishing her off after a long delay. This particular version of Hannah is not the standard release; I actually spent extra money to source the limited edition Through The Breach kickstarter version. I’m not normally bothered with limited editions, but this miniature is so much better then the normal version that I considered it worthwhile.

I’m a bit late to the party but I would dedicate this miniature to both Leadballoony‘s Fembruary and Azazel‘s “Finish a neglected model” month. Both are truly excellent blogs and you should check them out. I think that I started painting Hannah sometime in autumn of 2016, so she definitely counts as a neglected model. I was also rather inspired by reading about Ann‘s own journey to completing these internet challenges. I hope that she enjoys her internet cookie or whatever one gets for this endeavour.

As a final aside, Hannah is the name of my younger child. She doesn’t wear a giant robot suit though… yet.

Next on the painting table: Seekers (for real this time).

Categories: Malifaux, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 11 Comments

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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