Posts Tagged With: Ten Thunders

Malifaux tournament report: Scottish GT 2016 (50SS); 23-24Jul2016

This weekend was the biggest Malifaux event of the calendar in Scotland, the Scottish GT. Each year surpasses the last with a record 44 players from across the UK and beyond signed up. Joe, Ben, Gareth and I drove out to Common Ground Games in Stirling and for perhaps the first time ever, actually managed to arrive on time. With so many players, it was not possible for the TO to keep people from regular gaming groups apart, so my first game was against my most regular opponent: Gareth.

Game 1: Outcasts (me) vs Ten Thunders (Gareth)

Strategy: Guard The Stash, corner deployment

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Frame for Murder, Leave Your Mark, Undercover Entourage, Show of Force
Outcasts: Frame for Murder (Jack Daw), Show of Force
Ten Thunders: Frame for Murder (female Illuminated), Show of Force

Crews
Outcasts: Jack Daw (Writhing Torment, Twist and Turn, Firing Squad Injustice, Guillotine Injustice, Drowning Injustice), Freikorps Librarian, Freikorps Trapper, Taelor (Scramble), Guilty, Rusty Alyce (Desolate Soul)
Ten Thunders: Misaki (Recalled Training, Stalking Bisento, Hidden Agenda), Sensei Yu (Servant of Five Dragons, Wandering River Style), Oiran, 2 Illuminated, Yamaziko, Kang

Considering that there were 43 other players, it was a bit of a weird start to the day to get matched up with Gareth as we play each other very frequently. I had big doubts about this game as the strategy and scheme pool looked really good for Jack Daw, but I’m wary of playing him into Ten Thunders as they can kill him so easily with all their positive flips. In the end, I decided to go for it with a slightly elite crew to score on the strategy. Taelor got Scramble to get her through all those forests. When I saw Gareth’s crew, I knew I’d be losing pieces left and right to Misaki (he’s pretty good at killing my miniatures with her) so I went for Frame For Murder on Jack Daw – I might as well make the best of it. With upgrades on both Alyce and Taelor I opted for Show of Force as the other scheme.

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Turn 1: The Guilty makes Alyce Tormented. Sensei Yu fires Misaki across the board, making her Fast in the process. My Trapper guns down the Oiran. Jack Daw makes Taelor Tormented, she moves up and is promptly cut in half by Misaki. Ouch!

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Turn 2: Jack hurts Misaki, she pokes him back a bit. My Guilty kills Misaki off (no points for it, but it’ll be a short game if I can’t get her under control). The female Illuminated moves up and is eventually killed by Alyce, giving up 3VP for Frame For Murder. In retrospect I should have seen that coming, but I suppose I needed to kill her at some point. The other Illuminated moves up in clear sight of the Librarian; I opt to use Furious Casting for some minor damage instead of moving the Librarian up to actually score on the strategy. Yamaziko comes round the corner and smites Jack Daw a few times since I’d forgotten that she also got positive flips on masters. I guess I’m not going to have to fake Frame For Murder on him anyway. I score for Show of Force but neither of us get anything on the strategy.

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Turn 3: Yamaziko finishes off Jack Daw, scoring me the points on Frame for Murder, nimbles over to the Trapper and drops some damage on him and the Guilty. The Trapper pushes free and pings a couple of pointless shots off the Illuminated along with the Librarian but still fail to kill it; it charges in to keep the Librarian pinned away from the Stash markers.  The Guilty is unable to escape from Yamaziko and Alyce and Kang trade punches on the left.  Gareth scores for Guard the Stash and Show of Force.

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Turn 4: Kang kills Alyce. The Trapper shoots Yu a couple of time for minimal impact and the Illuminated makes much easier work of the Librarian the she was making of him. The Guilty moves to make sure I score the strategy and Yu Airbursts the Illuminated back into the fray. We both score for the strategy and Gareth scores Show of Force again.

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Turn 5: This’ll be short as all my stuff is dead! The Trapper misses Yu again; I was hoping for a lucky shot to drop him and deny Gareth the points for Show of Force at least. Yamaziko kills the Guilty and the Illuminated polishes off the Trapper. Gareth again scores for the strategy and Show of Force. Outcasts lose 5 – 9 (1 for Guard the Stash, 3 for Frame for Murder and 1 for Show of Force for me; 3 for Guard the Stash, 3 for Frame for Murder and 3 for Show of Force for Gareth).

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Gareth played a great game to deny me on what I needed. The funny thing is that although we play all the time, the record is very much in my favour and we’ve never met in a M2E event. So in the car, Gareth had joked that he wouldn’t go easy on me if this was the day we did get matched up… and indeed he did not. I probably should have selected a different master as Jack Daw is a bit too much at the mercy of Ten Thunders, but Gareth is pretty experience now at using the Misaki missile to kill whatever he wants dead. I made a big mistake with the Librarian in attacking the Illuminated; I should definitely have gone for the points in turn 2; in the end it might not have mattered but in a close game I couldn’t have afforded to let that go. So after a defeat, I was down the tables to meet Mark. Operation: Submarine was on.

Game 2: Outcasts (me) vs Arcanists (Mark)

Strategy: Turf War, standard deployment

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Hunting Party, Mark for Death, Set Up, Show of Force
Outcasts: Hunting Party, Show of Force
Arcanists: Hunting Party, Mark for Death

Crews
Outcasts: Viktoria of Ashes (Sisters in Spirit, Sisters in Fury, Synchronised Slaying), Viktoria of Blood (Oathkeeper, Mark of Shezuul), Freikorps Librarian, 2 Freikorps Trappers, Johan, Malifaux Child, Taelor (Scramble, Oathkeeper)
Arcanists: Kaeris (Seize The Day, Blinding Flame, Purifying Flame), Firestarter (Imbued Energies), Howard Langston (Imbued Protection), Johana, Willie the Demolitionist, Gunsmith, Union Miner

I went for the Viktorias here in order to leverage Mark of Shezuul for the expected tide of Steam Arachnids, with Taelor and Johan in the crew for their powers against constructs. I’m not sure why I bothered with Scramble on Taelor as I don’t usually find the extra movement worth it without needing the Unimpeded too; probably I should have put Scout The Field up instead simply to score Show of Force. The Malifaux child is a handy option for activation control and sometimes can save an AP from Viktoria of Ashes by casting Sisters in Fury for her. The Trappers were in to take advantage of the relatively open board. In the end, I was quite surprised not to see Ramos here, but at least Langston would be worth trading Taelor for. Since Mark had only two minions I took Hunting Party (and anyway, Viktoria of Blood is pretty good at incidentally carving down minions via Whirlwind).

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Turn 1: We move up, the Trappers taking pot shots mainly at the Union Miner. Langston moves up and makes his steam cloud and Kaeris sets the Union Miner on fire so that he’ll heal up at the end of the turn. The Malifaux Child casts Sisters in Fury. When the Firestarter moves up quite close to Langston (to take advantage of the cloud I suppose) I realised that it hadn’t occurred to me that Mark might not have seen the Viks Slingshot before as he’s been a regular at tournaments since Malifaux 1.5. It’s a bit late now so I demonstrate the principle by launching Viktoria of Blood into Langston, killing him and the Firestarter and making Mark burn a few Soulstones fruitlessly trying to keep the latter standing. Lucky for me that Mark is such a cheery chap as it ended up being a bit of a ‘gotcha’ moment.

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Turn 2: Kaeris sets Viktoria of Blood on fire and the follow up attacks from the Union Miner leave her on one wound. That’s enough though as she vaporises the Miner (scoring for Hunting Party in the process) and puts a few wounds on to Willie. Willie closes up the distance to drop some blasts. The Trappers ping a couple of shots into Johana and the Gunsmith misses Taelor. The Malifaux Child puts up Sisters in Fur and , improbably, manages to cast Misplaced Sympathy on Viktoria of Ashes, thereby healing her sister. Johana uses Open Revolt to heal some nearby Arcanists before the Librarian kills the Gunsmith. Taelor uses Oathkeeper and smashes Kaeris; she’s followed by Viktoria of Blood who leaves the Arcanist master on one remaining wound. I score for Show of Force and Turf War.

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Turn 3: Willie Marks Viktoria of Blood for Death and hurts her a bit. Viktoria of Ashes blends Johana and Kaeris. The Librarian heals Viktoria of Blood (so she won’t die in the explosion when Willie dies), then the latter carves down the Demolitionist. Outcasts win 10 – 0.

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As always, playing Mark is a lovely experience as he’s always smiling and enjoying the game. He took the Viks Slingshot in his stride and, though I am still quite surprised he’s never seen it before, I should have offered to tell him about the crew before we started. There’s not a lot to be learned from this as an Outcast player I think. With one game of the first day still to go, I was happy to be drawn against Conor who had traveled up from England to take part. I love to play against new faces at tournaments; variety is the spice of gaming.

Game 3: Outcasts (me) vs Ten Thunders (Conor)

Strategy: Reckoning, flank deployment

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Exhaust Their Forces, Leave Your Mark, Occupy Their Turf, Search the Ruins
Outcasts: Convict Labour, Search the Ruins
Ten Thunders: Leave Your Mark, Occupy Their Turf

Crews
Outcasts: Viktoria of Ashes (Sisters in Spirit, Sisters in Fury, Synchronised Slaying), Viktoria of Blood (Oathkeeper, Mark of Shezuul), Freikorps Librarian, 2 Freikorps Trappers, Johan, Malifaux Child, Rusty Alyce (Oathkeeper)
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Glowing Sabre, Badge of Speed, Promises), Kamaitachi, 3 Torakage, Yamaziko (Smoke Bombs, Smoke and Shadows), Lone Swordsman (Recalled Training)

I was very close to taking Jack Daw again here and playing a very defensive game but I learned from game 1 and went instead for a full on offensive approach with the Viktorias again. The terrain has some sparse areas so I put a pair of Trappers and Alyce in my list to abuse that; I only hoped not to face Shen Long and a pair of Katanaka Snipers. On seeing Conor’s list I assumed that he was planning to buy the Torakage and them gum me up with them while forcing me to deal with the Lone Swordsman cutting all my people to bits. Convict Labour and Search The Ruins felt like good choices here as I could score them without having to engage. Therefore if Conor played a stand-off kind of game then at least I could get on with laying scheme markers all over the place. Additionally, if I place the markers well and score Convict Labour in turns 2 to 4, then the same ones can also do for Search the Ruins in turn 5.

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Turn 1: The Torakage disappear in clouds of smoke, one of them taking a Trapper bullet to the face before this; the other Trapper misses a focused shot at Yamaziko. McCabe Black Flashes the Kamaitachi then uses a soulstone to give both the Badge and Sabre to the Lone Swordsman. He then saunters out into some cover on the left. For reasons I am still not clear on, the Kamaitachi then pushes him past a tent on the left to engage (but at more than 2″) the Trapper while also not being close enough to count the cover. Alyce, unable to believe her luck, Rapid Fires into him, drawing more soulstones, most of Conor’s good cards and still leaving him on a single wound. The Lone Swordsman Nimbles up and, to my astonishment, kills McCabe to dismount him (hilariously, he Black Jokered the first damage flip and had to try again). Viktoria of Blood, fully charged with Sisters in Fury, is launched into the Lone Swordsman, dropping him easily and polishing off McCabe and the last of the Ten Thunders soulstones via whirlwind. The Torakage pop out of thin air near to Viktoria of Blood.

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Turn 2: I win initiative. Viktoria of Ashes casts Sisters in Fury, blends two of the Torakage and companions to Viktoria of Blood who kills the last. Conor has seen enough and concedes 10 – 0.

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I felt rather sorry for Conor; he’d just finished a very hard game in round 2 and told me that he had not really managed to get his head right to play our game. I believe that his plan was to swamp my side of the board with Torakage and start scoring for his schemes, leaving the rest of the crew to pick off anything I left in range. But he ended up using too many resources burying the Torakage and was consistently a half inch out on his critical positioning throughout the game. I took Conor out for a couple of pints to commiserate him since we had almost the entire round time left by the time we got finished. Anyway, Conor was a total gentleman throughout this rather one-sided game and was quite apologetic that he’d capitulated so easily. Round 4 on the Sunday was against a contender for top Gremlin; a local I’ve never played before.

Game 4: Outcasts (me) vs Gremlins (Callum)

Strategy: Headhunter, standard deployment

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, Exhaust Their Forces, Inspection, Neutralize the Leader, Take Prisoner
Outcasts: Convict Labour, Inspection
Gremlins: Convict Labour, Neutralize the Leader

Crews
Outcasts: Jack Daw (Writhing Torment, Twist and Turn, Firing Squad Injustice, Guillotine Injustice, Drowning Injustice), Freikorps Librarian, 2 Guilty, Johan, Rusty Alyce (Desolate Soul), Hodgepodge Effigy, Void Wretch
Gremlins: Ophelia LaCroix (Jug Rocket), War Pig, Lenny (Hide in the Mud), Rami LaCroix, Gracie, Francois LaCroix (Hide in the Mud)

Headhunter is definitely a Jack Daw kind of game as I can push my own pieces around if I’m careful with deployment. Seeing Inspection in the pool I thought it would be worth taking a couple of really cheap minions (the Effigy and the Void Wretch here) and detail them just to sit and score for that scheme while also dropping two of the needed markers for Convict Labour. Guilty can be a bit of pain to deal with for Gremlins with decent defense and not much to challenge their terrible willpower; Hard To Kill is often relevant too. Seeing Callum’s crew I though he’d probably push right up the centre in one big ball of death around Lenny, so I was pretty surprised when he set up the War Pig and Gracie somewhat to my right and the rest on the far left.

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Turn 1: Rami starts us off by shooting the Librarian for weak damage. The Guilty make Alyce Tormented but fail to do the same to the Librarian. Lenny walks forward (I was really expecting him to Toss Ophelia and Francois) and Ophelia walks up next to him, Jug Rockets Francois forward and shoots a Guilty. Francois chain activates and kills the Void Wretch. So much for that plan. Alyce is moved forward by Jack, guns down Lenny (but critically, we forgot about Hide In the Mud) and summons an Abomination. I considered whether that was worth it or not as it would leave a pretty easy head marker right next to Ophelia, but I figured it was probably worth it to cost her AP.

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Turn 2: The Librarian shouts her Ancient Words at Francois. Ophelia kills the Abomination and shoots Alyce. She companions Francois who picks up Lenny’s head and shoots again at Alyce. She’s had enough of this, killing Francois and summoning another Abomination. The Guilty start to drop scheme markers for Convict Labour. The War Pig charges into the Effigy which survives and escapes to get in place for Inspection. Rami knocks the wounded Guilty down to its Hard To Kill wound. Jack Twists and Turns to make a Guilty pick up a head and puts down a scheme marker. Gracie moves further back from my crew. We both score for Headhunter and I score for both of my schemes.

Turn 3: Jack Daw charges and hurts Ophelia badly, giving her Firing Squad Injustice to keep her honest. Callum then notices a weird (but seemingly legitimate) rules interaction as Ophelia uses Plink! to get rid of it; she also shoots a good number of wound out of Jack Daw (scoring a point for Neutralise The Leader). I throw stuff at Ophelia until eventually a Guilty drags her down; the Librarian picks up her head. Johan charges Gracie, achieves almost nothing and is eaten in return. The War Pig continues to bounce off the Effigy which tries to stay safe. Alyce puts some bullets into Gracie. I score for the strategy, Inspection and Convict Labour.

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Turn 4: Jack Saw uses the Ghost Of Malifaux trigger to get up to Rami, killing him with a couple of swings. Gracie picks up Johan’s head and my Abomination picks up Francois’. The War Pig drops a scheme marker for a belated attempt at Convict Labour. Alyce kills Gracie, summoning another Abomination simply because I can. I score for the strategy and get the last points for my schemes.

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Turn 5: The War Pig fails to kill the Effigy. One of the Guilty picks up one of the many heads lying around the place. Outcasts win 10 – 3 (full score for me; 2 for Headhunter and 1 for Neutralise The Leader for Callum).

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Callum was really fun chap to play with, always with a smile on his face and a witty comment. He even brought a prop: a tube of lube; apparently my reputation precedes me. Obviously, forgetting about Hide In The Mud on Lenny was important, but I think I had the advantage. Callum seemed overcautious with Gracie; considering that I didn’t have any good way to get round armour he could possibly have benefited from ramming her into my crew and taking advantage of the confusion. I felt that the Gremlin crew was a bit too elite as there was nothing that wanted to spend its AP picking up heads dropped by the LaCroix.

Game 5: Outcasts (me) vs Resurrectionists (Josh)

Strategy: Extraction, close deployment

Schemes
Pool: Convict Labour, A Quick Murder, Covert Breakthrough, Hunting Party, Show of Force
Outcasts: A Quick Murder (Valedictorian), Hunting Party
Resurrectionists: A Quick Murder (Taelor), Covert Breakthrough

Crews
Outcasts: Viktoria of Ashes (Sisters in Spirit, Sisters in Fury, Synchronised Slaying), Viktoria of Blood (Oathkeeper, Mark of Shezuul), Freikorps Trapper, Johan, Malifaux Child, Rusty Alyce (Oathkeeper), Taelor (Oathkeeper)
Resurrectionists: Dr Douglas McMourning (Decaying Aura, Plastic Surgery, Moonlighting), Zombie Chihuahua, Valedictorian, Sebastian, Flesh Construct, 2 Rotten Belles, 2 Canine Remains

Close deployment in a game where the other crew can’t afford to hang back has Viktoria written all over it, especially with that scheme pool saying ‘come into the middle and be blended’. I put Oathkeeper on both Alyce and Taelor figuring that I could possibly use them to deny Show of Force if I hadn’t burned the upgrade by then. Taelor is a good bet against Resurrectionists as there is always the threat of Welcome to Malifaux spoiling their day. The board was ridiculously open but I felt that I’d be better served with a ‘take and hold’ approach to the centre rather than using Trappers to force the other crew into my arms. Nevertheless, I picked up one Trapper to act as spot removal of anything awkward that was left on a few wounds. I set up first and put everything right at the front (except the Child, who was hiding to avoid giving up Hunting Party if picked). Josh took the most cautious possible approach, lining up his crew almost on his own board edge.

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Turn 1: The Trapper has line of sight and range to the Chihuahua and blows it off the table. The Belles respond by Luring him forward. The Canine Remains come in and poison the poor chap too. Viktoria of Ashes moves forward, puts up Sisters in Fury (the Child had previously failed to cast it) and places Viktoria of Blood in a threatening position. It works well as an area denial tool as Josh is careful to measure her threat range whenever he moves anything. Unfortunately this distract him from the rest of my crew. Sebastian moves into the open so Alyce drops Oathkeeper, walk up and Rapid Fires him, burning some good cards and soulstones out of Josh’s hand. In the end, Viktoria of Blood just drops a scheme marker to fake starting Convict Labour. Playing those good cards to keep Sebastian alive costs McMourning as he is unable to connect with an Expunge on the Trapper.

Turn 2: Sebastian is clearly sick of being shot so he puts up Undercover and moves to get more of the Resurrectionist crew under it. I think that Josh had forgotten about the changed threat range on the Viks slingshot now that I could activate them both again; Viktoria of Ashes casts Sisters in Fury, walks over and places her sister in contact. Viktoria of Blood chain activates, drops Oathkeeper and walks to line up a charge on McMourning. She blends McMourning himself, Sebastian and an incidental Canine Remains (scoring me for Hunting Party in the process). The Flesh Construct finishes the Trapper and Alyce puts down the other Canine Remains. Johan hurts the Flesh Construct and the Belles Slow Viktoria of Blood and Taelor. The Valedictorian comes forward but Taelor can’t get to her. We both score for the strategy; I move the Informant marker toward my board edge.

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Turn 3: Taelor puts some big dents in the Valedictorian; the Flesh Construct hits her back. The Malifaux Child fails again to cast Sisters in Fury though at least this time it does draw the Black Joker out. The Valedictorian Flurries to take Taelor down to a single wound with poison on her. Viktoria of Ashes puts Sisters in Fury up and finishes the Flesh Construct. She companions to Viktoria of Blood who walks over and one-shots a Belle (another point for Hunting Party). Johan hits the last Belle and Alyce Rapid Fires to finish the Valedictorian and score my points for A Quick Murder. Taelor soulstones away the poison damage. I score for Extraction.

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Turn 4: Viktoria of Ashes finishes the last Belle. Outcasts win 10 – 1 (full score for me; 1 for Extraction for Josh).

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Josh was a very nice opponent, always very clean and clear about what he was doing. I think that he was too cautious in his approach (or didn’t out activate me by enough) to get a win in the game; his deployment alone gave me a massive positional advantage that he would always have to work to overcome as the game went on. As it turned out, he made a mistake in his estimation of Viktoria of Blood’s threat range in turn 2 that allowed me to get such a big attrition advantage that the game was pretty much over by the time she was finished. From my side, of course, everything went swimmingly and I was quite happy with my positioning.

When the final scores are in, I have successfully submarined my way into second place and top Outcast. I had a wonderful time playing the games and socialising with some very lovely people during, between and after the gaming. Thanks to Gareth, Mark, Conor, Callum and Josh for five terrific games of Malifaux and thanks again to Kai and his team for their hard work to make the event the huge success that it has been.

As a small addendum to the weekend, I accidentally packed Mark Elwood’s winners trophies in my bag when leaving, so I also had an unexpected bonus night out to go into Edinburgh to find him and return them.

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Interference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Headhunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Turf War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Stake a Claim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After much anticipation, 7 Scotland-based gamers climbed into the War Rig on Friday evening and drove down to York for the Malifaux UKGT 2015. We made a proper weekend of the thing, arriving for a delicious dinner and beer before sleeping in our surprisingly luxurious hostel on the night before the event. Saturday morning saw us up and registered early, among the 88 like-minded players converging on York from around the country and beyond.

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (Graham Bursnell)

Strategy: Stake A Claim

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

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Hunters, Austringer, Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, Brutal Effigy
Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento), Shang, Shadow Effigy, 2 Ten Thunders Brothers, Yamaziko, Sensei Yu (Wandering River Style), Shadow Emissary (Conflux of Thunder)

With seven games to play I was hoping to start off with something reasonably straightforward to get me warmed up, so I think that Graham and I both had the same thought when we were paired in the first round: why you? Still, with a field as tough as the UKGT you can’t avoid other good players for long. I find my Guild can sometimes be a bit slow to get moving so I picked Perdita pretty much solely in order to have access to the Enslaved Nephilim. I took Nino to make Graham either play around him for the Strategy, Distract and Cursed Object, or to force him to send something over to drop Nino. Thinking that I might as well go for a bit more Family if I was going to take advantage of Spotter I also took Francisco; of course it is obvious in retrospect that he would spend most of his time next to Perdita. Protect Territory is a simple scheme to score so I chose that first. I did consider picking Assassinate on Misaki as she would surely be coming to get me, but eventually I felt that Cursed Object would be a better option. Not a great photo to begin with!

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Turn 1: Yu Airbursts the Emissary forward and Mighty Gusts Misaki to make her Fast. Nino Rapid Fires a few wounds off the Emissary and the double Focussed return attack flips the Black Joker; the Emissary scuttles back behind a rock. The Nephilim Shackles the Austringer and a Hunter forward. Misaki Stalks the latter, charges and kills both it and Nino. Perdita fails to do much of anything to the Emissary in return. At some point I realise that I’ve forgotten to do El Mayor.

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Turn 2: Perdita ignores cover and blows away the Emissary in two shots; she puts a bullet into Shang for good measure. Even though there was no reason not to do it, I only notice partway though the activation that I could have used the Brutal Effigy first to pick myself up a card. The Shadow Effigy moves to engage the Watcher. Misaki kills the Austringer and hurts Francisco. The Nephilim Shackles Francisco towards my Hunter; Sensei Yu Airbursts him right back so he activates and swings wildly in Misaki’s general direction. The Watcher gives the Effigy a Cursed Object then flies away. Yamaziko Nimbles into my half of the board and drops a Claim marker. The Hunter on the left charges one of the Brothers and kills him; the other moves to engage. Graham scores for the Strategy and I score for Cursed Object.

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Turn 3: Francisco uses Finesse, forgets once again to do El Mayor (I am bad at this today) and cuts a few wounds out of Misaki. Misaki wafts her bisento in Perdita’s direction but doesn’t achieve much. The Watcher Stakes a Claim; the Shadow Effigy does likewise. The Nephilim Shackles my Effigy and Francisco in the hope of getting them into the right half of the board. The Brutal Effigy uses Fear Not The Sword on Perdita and hands the surviving Brother a Cursed Object since he’s inconveniently sitting with a 4″ melee range stopping me from dropping Claims. Perdita guns Misaki down to a single wound. The Hunter makes a break for the top of the board but is Airbursted once again back to the scrum by Sensei Yu. I score for Cursed Object and Graham scores Stake a Claim.

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Turn 4: I get initiative; Francisco finally remembers El Mayor and cuts Misaki to bits, chewing through her last Soulstones on the way. Yamaziko charges into Perdita but can’t make anything hit. My Effigy Curses Sensei Yu. The Hunter finally finds itself free to drop a Claim Marker. Shang hilariously charges the Nephilim and kills it, dying to Black Blood in the process. Perdita guns down the last Brother. I score a final point for Cursed Object and the Strategy is a draw.

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Turn 5: Perdita shoots Yamaziko down. Everything rushes around dropping scheme markers; neither of us can manage to get a Claim marker down so the Strategy is a draw again. Guild win 6 – 5 (3 for Cursed Object and 3 for Protect Territory for me; 2 for Stake a Claim and 3 for Protect Territory for Graham).

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A very fine, close game against a very fine and fun opponent. I was glad to win against a player of Graham’s skill, especially considering the basic errors I kept making (notably forgetting to do El Mayor repeatedly). My positioning and target priority was OK, and I had a spot of luck when I needed it.

Game 2: Guild (me) vs Neverborn (Scott Weldon)

Strategy: Head Hunter

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Breakthrough, Plant Explosives, Deliver a Message
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives
Neverborn: Protect Territory (unannounced), Plant Explosives

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting, Aura Ancestral), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Hunters, Death Marshal, Austringer, Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, Brutal Effigy
Neverborn: Lilith (Wings of Darkness, Living Blade, Beckon Malifaux), Primordial Magic, Baby Kade (Depression), Teddy (Retribution’s Eye), Silurid, 2 Illuminated

I love Head Hunter. It’s probably my favourite Strategy with a really interesting mix of killing and interacting; I think it exemplifies Malifaux at its best. I picked Perdita again, partly because she excels at single target damage and partly because the Enslaved Nephilim is beautiful in Head Hunter. The Austringer was included for similar reasons; a push and interact is great in this Strategy. I picked Aura Ancestral as it can be handy against certain Neverborn crews. I can’t even remember why I picked the Death Marshal; probably I wanted a cheap activation for picking up schemes that wouldn’t drop its own head without a fight. I considered Breakthrough but discounted it; not only is it quite hard to score in corner deployment but I also had no intention of crossing the board anyway.

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Turn 1: The Silurid Leaps right up into the centre of the board and drops a scheme marker. Nino can’t resist the opportunity to Rapid Fire into it. The Nephilim Shackles the top Hunter and the Austringer forward. Teddy lumbers up the middle and Kade teleports to him. The Austringer plinks another couple of wounds out of the Silurid. Lilith Tangle Shadows my Effigy into the central melee, leaving an activated Illuminated hanging around just outside my deployment zone. Perdita Relocates to Nino then shoots the Illuminated; the Hunter kills it. The top Hunter Chain Harpoons the Illuminated to make it Slow. At the end of the turn the bottom Hunter pushes onto the Illuminated’s head.

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Turn 2: The Hunter at the top vapourises the Illuminated with a timely Red Joker on damage. Teddy kills the Effigy and I’m trying to think of ways to stop everything moving away from the dropped scheme marker. The Watcher schemes to buy me some time; Kade helpfully spends his activation picking up the Effigy’s head. On the right, the Death Marshal picks up another. The Silurid Leaps and drops a scheme marker near my Death Marshal (looking back, I think that Spotter should have stopped that); Nino kills it. The second Hunter Slows Lilith, who uses the Red Joker to Tangle Shadows to put Perdita in melee and send the Primordial Magic to me. Perdita hurts Teddy. I attack the Primordial Magic with the Austringer, which was quite silly since I could have Delivered Orders to the Death Marshal to pick up the scheme marker near him. We both reveal Plant Explosives and score three; we also both score for Head Hunter.

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Turn 3: Perdita cold-bloodedly drops Teddy then Kade and hurts Lilith for good measure. Lilith hits her back to limited effect. The Austringer polishes off the Primordial Magic. Both Hunters close in on Lilith and bite her. The Death Marshal picks up another head and the Watcher, satisfied that all is going well, drops another marker and moves to sit between two of them. I score for Head Hunter.

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Turn 4: Scott declares his new objective: kill Perdita Ortega. Sadly I win initiative and one of the Hunters mauls Lilith to death. Guild win 10 – 4 (full score for me; 3 for Plant Explosives and 1 for Head Hunter for Scott). I apparently forgot to take a final picture, but the only change was removing Lilith and putting yet another head marker in the centre.

I was much more comfortable throughout that game; I think that Scott is relatively inexperienced. I hope to meet him again when he has played a few more games as he was very enthusiastic about his Malifaux. I did make quite a big mistake in wasting the Austringer’s activation on turn 2 messing about with the Primordial Magic instead of making the Death Marshal pick up the nearby scheme marker and therefore save me from conceding 2 points (Perdita was still in range of the one in the centre).

Game 3: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (Paul Hansell)

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

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

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco Ortega (Hermanos De Armas), Guardian, Austringer, Hunter, Watcher, Death Marshal, 2 Guild Hounds, Brutal Effigy
Resurrectionists: Nicodem (Love Thy Master, Undertaker, Manical Laugh), Mortimer (Corpse Bloat, My Favourite Shovel), Datsue Ba (Spirit Beacon, [another upgrade that I forgot to write the name of]), 2 Necropunks, Bete Noir, Rotten Belle

Looking at the field, I decided to run Sonnia for a change. In general I like her for crowd control, but she is particularly weak against Kirai. I decided to risk it and was pleased when Paul chose Nicodem. The Guardian was there with the idea of using that lovely big melee range to engage a pair of Squat marker. The Hounds and Watcher would be on Power Ritual duty; if the opportunity presented itself to take a Squat Marker on the way then I would do that. We both picked Breakthrough and Power Ritual. I didn’t have anything worth using for Bodyguard and I didn’t expect Nicodem, Mortimer or Datsue Ba to be focussing on killing things directly.

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Turn 1: We both drop scheme markers in our own corners. Datsue Ba moves up but fails to summon a Seishin. Papa Loco give Sonnia his dynamite and pulls her forward with Hermanos De Armas. Mortimer advances and puts out a pair of corpse markers. The Death Marshal charges and Pine Boxes Papa Loco. Nicodem uses Maniacal Laugh then summons a Dead Doxy and Punk Zombie. The latter charges the Brutal Effigy but can’t land a hit. Sonnia hits Mortimer with some Flame Bursts, dropping the Punk Zombie to a single wound in the process. I summon a Witchling Stalker when it burns to death in the end phase and Bete Noir also appears.

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Turn 2: The Necropunk on the left takes a Squat marker. The Brutal Effigy does the same and gives Sonnia Fear Not The Sword. She blows up Mortimer and the Doxy, forces Bete Noir to bury and hurts Nicodem. The other Necropunk picks up the right hand Squat marker. On the left, the Hunter Slows Datsue Ba. Nicodem advances into the sea of corpse counters, turns them into Mindless Zombies then summons another Doxy and a Necropunk. The Doxy pushes the Necropunk and kills the Stalker to bring Bete back out. One of my Hounds charges her to stop Bete from getting stuck into Sonnia, which I definitely don’t want. The selfless act of loyalty does cost the poor dog its life. The Guardian pokes at the Necropunk on the left; the Death Marshal runs for a marker and the Austringer makes him claim it. The new Necropunk charges the lonely Hound and gets eaten in return. We both score on the Strategy.

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Turn 3: Datsue Ba fails to hurt the Hunter then summons a Seishin. The Effigy Focuses and shoots Nicodem then companions to Sonnia who clears out the middle but is just short of killing Nicodem. She does draw an impressive number of cards thanks to Fear Not The Sword though. Nicodem heals himself with Chime of Sorrows, summons another Punk Zombie and makes a nearby Necropunk Fast. The Watcher makes it to the far corner and drops a scheme marker. The Punk Zombie kills the Effigy. Papa Loco frees himself from the box and tries (but fails) to blow up Datsue Ba and the Necropunk after the Death Marshal has moved off to drop a scheme marker. My Hound hurts the fast Necropunk then it Leaps to take the last neutral Squat marker and return to poke the Hound. The Guardian could choose to take a Squat Marker but instead kills Datsue Ba. This brings Bete back; she kills my Hunter. We both score on Squatter’s Rights.

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Turn 4: Sonnia finally kills Nicodem. The Necropunk on the right continues to flail uselessly at my Hound. The Guardian moves to engage Bete Noir; the Seishin moves over to stand on a Squat Marker. The Death Marshal Focusses and hurts the Seishin. The Necropunk on the left Leaps and takes one of my Squat markers. Everything runs around scheming; Bete can’t manage to get free of my Guardian. Guild lose 8 – 9 (I get 3 for each scheme and 2 for the strategy; Paul scores 3 for everything).

What a game. I really enjoyed every part of that match and Paul was a warm and friendly opponent. It felt extremely satisfying having Sonnia clearing out swathes of the undead from the centre while Nicodem was constantly raising them back up. I made a mistake in attacking Datsue Ba with the Guardian instead of taking the Squat marker in turn 3. But looking back at the game, I think I still could have scored if I’d thought properly. The Austringer could easily have killed the Seishin and let Papa Loco take that Squat marker instead. Or even I could have done it the other way round by using Deliver Orders. Anyway, for whatever reason I didn’t think of it at the time. It could have been a very interesting game to take to turn 5 too, but we ran out of time; it was a very busy game (I probably wrote about 50% more noted than usual).

Game 4: Guild (me) vs Arcanists (Martin Wodehouse)

Strategy: Interference

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

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Guardian, 2 Hunters, Austringer, Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, Brutal Effigy
Arcanists: Marcus (Hunger Cry, Feral Instincts, Trail of the Gods), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Sliurid, Canine Remains, 2 Molemen, 2 Night Terrors, 3 Malifaux Raptors, Jackalope

I was really unsure what kind of crew to take here. On the one hand, I like Sonnia in theory against Arcanist due to her excellent crowd control and access to Disrupt Magic. But on the other hand, she really suffers against the kind of hard-hitting mobility that Arcanists can bring, like the Cerberus in particular. The board was covered in line-of-sight blocking terrain that would make almost any form of ranges attacks tricky too. In the end I selected Perdita so that I could ignore some cover if needed, or ignore armour if something heavy was deployed. I hoped to use the Guardian to tie up multiple enemies with its big melee range, and Nino to cover the central square. Seeing Martin’s crew I was glad not to have picked Sonnia as she would have been almost their perfect prey. I picked Distract hoping to tag the Night Terrors early if possible, and Breakthrough because it is nice and easy to score in flank deployment.

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Turn 1: The Raptors all waste activations by Taking to the Sky. The Austringer puts some damage on the Canine Remains sneaking up the right. The Jackalope charges in and hurts Nino; he Red Jokers a damage flip in return after pushing out of combat to blow it to bits. Dang thing’ll be back soon enough. Perdita Relocates to Nino, kills the Canine Remains and drops a scheme marker. Myranda advances and turns into a Cerberus, which fails to Leap. Marcus steams over and kills the Austringer. The Raptors reappear in a corner.

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Turn 2: Marcus makes Nino a Beast, put him on negative flips and makes him Prey before offing the Brutal Effigy. The Hunter on the right kills a Moleman and the Jackalope pops back up. The Siluris fails to kill my Watcher. The other Hunter hurts the Night Terror. The Cerberus eats the Nephilim. Nino shuffles out of Perdita’s way and she charges Marcus, acheiving little except to draw some soulstones for Tomes; she also Distract him and the Watcher does the same to the Silurid. The rest of the Arcanists shuffle to score and the Raptors come in to engage anything I have that might be close to scoring (which is nothing anyway). Martin scores Interference, I score Distract.

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Turn 3: Perdita hurts Marcus. Nino pushes out of melee, misses the Jackalope and is eventually eaten by the little monster. The Hunter at the top Distracts its Night Terror; the other misses a Chain Harpoon into the Cerberus. One of the Raptors is finally killed by the Guardian (how I hate that weak damage of 1) and another finishes off the Watcher. Marcus beats Perdita suspiciously gently. The little Beasts move to score again. I score Distract and Martin scores on the Strategy.

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Turn 4: Perdita kills Marcus and the Jackalope. The Cerberus moves toward Perdita, confirming my belief that Martin had Take Prisoner on her. The rest of both of our crews flail uselessly at each other; the Silurid takes the opportunity to remove Distract. I am again swamped with Raptors at the end of the turn. Martin scores on Interference again.

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Turn 5: The Hunter kills a Raptor but misses a critical Chain Harpoon into the Cerberus. Perdita makes a run for it, but the Cerberus is able to Leap and catch up to her. Martin scores again for the Strategy and also picks up all the points for Take Prisoner. Guild lose 5 – 10 (2 for Distract and 3 for Breakthrough for me; full score for Martin).

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That was a really interesting game. I don’t have a lot of experience playing against Marcus or a crew like that and it probably showed. I wasn’t able to whittle down the activations fast enough to make any difference and in the end there were still a lot of the little Beasts moving about in places where I would never be able to reach them. I’m still thinking about how I would handle such a match-up in the future and I’m not certain I have a good answer yet. The Raptors are a very strong pick in Interference as they can get into position to stop me scoring and then Take to the Sky again before I have much of an opportunity to retaliate.  Overall I was quite comprehensively outplayed through the match. Martin was a lovely chap to play against; one of the draws of such an event is that it is big enough to pull in players from further afield than I normally encounter.

After the conclusion of day one there were some folks settling down for card games and so on, but I was a bit too tired of gaming to partake much. I enjoyed a chance to catch up with some of my friends whom I only see at tournaments, then my group headed back to the centre of town for some beer and a very fine curry. After a refreshing rest we were back even earlier for another three games.

Game 5: Guild (me) vs Guild (Paul Butler)

Strategy: Turf War

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Assassinate, Plant Evidence, Vendetta
My Guild: Line in the Sand (announced), Plant Evidence (announced)
Other Guild: Plant Evidence (announced), Assassinate

Crews
My Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), Papa Loco Ortega (Hermanos De Armas), Austringer, Hunter, Watcher, Death Marshal, Witchling Stalker, Brutal Effigy
Other Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting, Os Veo), Hunter, Francisco Ortega (Wade In), 2 Guild Hounds, Abuela Ortega, Enslaved Nephilim, Brutal Emissary (Conflux of the Hunt)

I have surprisingly little experience playing Guild vs Guild games and I had no idea what Paul might choose here. In the end, I opted for Sonnia Criid with the idea that I might be able to blast stuff coming in for Turf War. I was expecting some amount of shooting incoming so picked Francisco to make Sonnia herself a slightly less appealing target. I didn’t really fancy any of the schemes much so I picked Line in the Sand and Plant Evidence pretty much entirely with the idea that I was in full control of them.

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Turn 1: Papa Loco give Sonnia some dynamite and pulls her forward. This was a bit of a mistake; I should have put Hermanos De Armas on Francisco instead so that he could use El Mayor. Papa Loco is later tucked away into the Death Marshal’s Pine Box. The other Francisco does indeed use El Mayor on Perdita. Abuela Shotgun Weddings the Emissary into the Family (actually I’m a bit surprised that Conflux of the Hunt doesn’t do that anyway) and it eventually Buries the Hunter. The Nephilim pushes it and Abuela forward. Perdita Relocates to Francisco and guns down my Witchling Stalker which I have stupidly left wide open (though I guess she could have ignored any cover anyway). Sonnia walks up and hurts Abuela; the other two Ortegas Soulstone away their damage.

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Turn 2: Sonnia kills Abuela, walks and hurts the Emissary. This was a mistake as I didn’t really need to expose Sonnia at that point; I’d have been much better off using the Hunter to attack Abuela and saved Sonnia for later. I also forgot to use the Brutal Effigy before activating Sonnia. Perdita kills my Hunter and Obeys Francisco next to the Emissary. The Brutal Effigy and Watcher drop scheme markers and both Hounds run for my half of the table. The Emissary Buries Francisco moves to within 6″ of the Turf marker and Unburies both Francisco and the Hunter; the latter next to the scheme marker I’d conveniently just dropped (looking back I’m not sure that Francisco should have been Unburied at this point as it was the same activation he’d been Buried). His Francisco charges Sonnia, doing some rather nasty damage and using Finesse. My Francisco Flurries the Hunter but can’t do enough damage to kill it. With no cards in either of our hands, Paul top decks high Rams on both attacks to trigger critical strike and kill Sonnia perfectly, scoring Assassinate in the process. The Death Marshal Pine Boxes the Hunter so that I can Unbury Papa Loco and hurt his Francisco. We both score for Turf War.

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Turn 3: Perdita Relocates to Francisco and kills Papa Loco who explodes and hurts the Death Marshal. She companions to Francisco who rather charges and rather easily kills the Death Marshal, Unburying the Hunter in melee with my Francisco. He stabs the last wound off the Hunter and guns down the imposter Francisco. The Hounds and Watcher drop scheme markers and the Nephilim Shackles itself to one of the Hounds in order to engage the Watcher. The Effigy continues to drop scheme markers and the Emissary Red Jokers a damage flip on Francisco. We both score again on the Strategy.

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Turn 4: The Emissary kills Francisco and does its Tyranny Lights The Way action. One Hound gently tickles the Watcher while Perdita improbably fails to kill the Austringer. The Effigy is runs round to be near the Turf marker and the Austringer Delivers Orders to get it close enough. We both score for Turf War.

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Turn 5: My Effigy engages a Hound to make it a bit harder to remove my scheme markers. Perdita makes no mistake this time killing the Austringer and removes a scheme marker; the Emissary removes another. The Watch takes double Defensive Stance and somehow survives. Paul scores on the Strategy again. My Guild lose 7 – 10 (3 for Turf War, 3 for Plant Evidence and 1 for Line in the Sand; full score for Paul).

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Paul was a lovely gentleman to play against; it was the perfect start to a second day of gaming. I’m a bit annoyed with my play overall here as I felt that I made things far to easy for him though. In particular I was needlessly aggressive with Sonnia in turn 2. I have gotten into the habit of using her (if possible) twice in a row, i.e. once at the end of turn 1 and then as soon as possible in turn 2. But in this case only Abuela was even in range to attack by Sonnia. A much stronger play would have been to put the Hunter into Abuela as she didn’t have many wounds left, then use Sonnia when more targets were available. Oh well, live and learn.

Game 6: Guild (me) vs Guild (Adam Hutchison)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Protect Territory, Outflank, Power Ritual
My Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Power Ritual (announced)
Other Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Power Ritual (announced)

Crews
My Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), Guardian, 2 Hunters, Austringer, Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, Brutal Effigy
Other Guild: Hoffman (Arcanist Assets, Field Mechanic, On Site Assimilation), Brutal Emissary (Conflux of the Amalgamation), Peacekeeper, Ryle, Metal Gamin, Mobile Toolkit, Warden

I have to admit, I was hoping to face either Gremlins or Outcasts here as I had gone up against the other five factions already. Normally I’d be happy to put down either Sonnia or Perdita for Reckoning, but with close deployment in the mix and Assassinate on the cards I felt much more comfortable with Perdita. I’m not a fan of super-elite Reckoning crews with only a few activations so while I looked for tougher options I did make sure to get enough pieces in my crew to allow me to actually compete on the schemes too. In particular, Slowing big hitters with the Hunters can be very useful. I picked Protect Territory because it is a scheme that can often be scored once the dust has settled and Power Ritual because I was hoping to keep my Watcher out of harms way and score a cheeky 3 points. Looking at the horrifying wall of metal facing my crew I was very glad to have chosen Perdita.

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Turn 1: The Toolkit gives the Peacekeeper positive flips to melee attacks. The left Hunter Chain Harpoons it for Slow. Hoffman Loops the Metal Gamin, gives it Slow in exchange for Fast (not sure why Hutch didn’t use the Peacekeeper for this since it was already Slow) and knocks some scrap out of the Peacekeeper. He then puts Patchwork Plating on the Emissary and Targeting Systems on the Peacekeeper and Machine Puppets the Peacekeeper to Focus and lose Slow. Finally he Machine Puppets the Emissary to Bury the Peacekeeper and walk to my right. Francisco moves over to give Perdita a Relocation target that will allow her a straight shot at the Emissary. Perdita takes her shots at the big robot but can’t drop it. It moves further to the right and Unburies the Peacekeeper. The Hunter fails to Chain Harpoon it, so the Peacekeeper shows it how this is done by using the Focus to put Slow on my Hunter and then missing the Brutal Effigy. Ryle heals the Peacekeeper. The Effigy Focuses and shoot Slow onto the Peacekeeper yet again. The Austringer plinks a couple of wounds off the Toolkit and the Watcher and Warden both drop scheme markers and take the long walk across the board. Finally the Guardian charges the Peacekeeper, being careful to keep outside its melee range.

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Turn 2: Hoffman Power Loops the Metal Gamin and makes it Slow again before creating a scrap counter which is used to heal the Emissary and the Peacekeeper. He Machine Puppets the Emissary to push toward him then walk back so he could be dragged to it. Since Hoffman is now in range of the Peacekeeper he Machine Puppets it to push out of melee and shoot the Effigy. The Emissary is then Machine Puppeted to Bury Ryle. The Guardian charges the Emissary and re-engages both it and the Peacekeeper at maximum melee range. The latter just walks deep into my crew, engaging most of my constructs on that side. The Hunter on the left Slows the Emissary, then it walks and pokes at my Effigy, then Unburies Ryle. The Austringer kills the Toolkit and Ryle scraps the Hunter on the right. I use Francisco to set up a ridiculous Relocate option but then realise that I have only 1 card in hand and it is pretty good. Instead Perdita just walks then charges the Emissary, killing it after ignoring Armour. The Metal Gamin tries to finish the Effigy with Magnetism but, with no cards in hands, Hutch obligingly flips a 1. I score Reckoning.

Turn 3: The Peacekeeper Flurries the Guardian, dropping Targetting Systems in the process. Hutch has awful cards though and it survives easily. Perdita kills the Warden and puts some damage into Hoffman. He heals himself and Machine Puppets the Peacekeeper to keep hitting the Guardian but my robot just doesn’t want to go down. The Metal Gamin tries to Magnetise the Brutal Effigy again but flips the Black Joker this time. Ryle charges Perdita since I don’t have El Mayor up but he can’t land a hit. The Austringer and Hunter combine to kill the Metal Gamin and Francisco charges Hoffman and wafts his sword uselessly at him. I score for the Strategy again.

Turn 4: Francisco puts El Mayor on Perdita and prods a few more wounds out of Hoffman. Perdita Companions and guns down Ryle and hurts Hoffman. Hoffman Machine Puppets the Peacekeeper to kill the Effigy at last. The Guardian Protects itself, hitting the trigger to heal a couple of wounds, then the Peacekeeper bounces off it again. Hutch has seen enough so we agree that I’ll be able to pick up my schemes and stop him scoring his, but that I won’t be likely to score more Reckoning points. My Guild win 8 – 0 (2 points for Reckoning, 3 each for Power Ritual and Protect Territory).

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I had a very nice time playing Hutch but his deck really didn’t like him at all that game. I felt that I had things in control even allowing for the inexplicable failure of the Peacekeeper to deal with the Guardian. The Hunters did great work for me putting Slow on his big hitters and I was very pleased to get such good mileage out of them. I knew when the Warden got diverted from his job of scoring Power Ritual that I would win the game, though the margin was bigger than I expected. That is one good thing about Watchers: they have no offensive power so it is not easy to get distracted from their scheme running.

Game 7: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (Ant Hoult)

Strategy: Collect The Bounty

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Protect Territory, Make Them Suffer, Spring The Trap
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Make Them Suffer
Resurrectionists: Protect Territory (announced), Make Them Suffer

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Counterspell Aura, Cherufe’s Imprint), Papa Loco Ortega, Malifaux Child, Guardian, Austringer, 2 Hunters, Death Marshal, Brutal Effigy
Resurrectionists: Tara (Knowledge of Eternity, Obliteration Symbiote, Eternal Journey), Dead Rider, Void Wretch, Nothing Beast (Void Shield), Necropunk, Toshiro the Daimyo (Decaying Aura, Unnerving Aura)

I was quite pleased to get another try to beat Ant, who has comfortably beaten me every other time we’ve played. Neither of us were even close to in the running for winning, so in our own ways I think we both took our foot off the pedal a little. I decided to just go wild with the Flame Bursts and enjoy Sonnia setting the world on fire; Ant took, in his words ‘a fun and silly crew’. The funny thing is that I’ve generally avoided playing Sonnia into Outcasts all year in case I get Tara who can counter my usual play with Papa Loco; it didn’t occur to me even for a moment that I might see her here. I thought that I might have a chance to take out both minions early and so picked Make Them Suffer, and Protect Territory is a favourite of mine even in flank deployment (where, admittedly, it is harder than usual). It isn’t very clear in the photo but the whole Resurrectionist crew is hiding behind some buildings at the back of their deployment zone.

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Turn 1: The Necropunk fails to Leap, the shuffles around a bit. Tara Buries Toshiro after making him Fast. Papa Loco does Hold This and is buried by the Death Marshal. Yes, this was stupid; I know what Tara can do to Buried things. For some reason my mind just blanked on what I was doing. My stuff advances. I have a pretty awful hand so the Child fails to create a Flame Wall and Sonnia Black Jokers hers.

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Turn 2: Sonnia walks up, Flame Bursts the Nothing Beast who discards Void Shield to avoid a big first hit; I cheat in the Red Joker on the second to kill it anyway. The Dead Rider is badly hurt in the blasts and the Necropunk dies (scoring me a point for Make Them Suffer). Those paying more attention than I apparently was will note that I forgot yet again to activate the Brutal Effigy first. Tara Unburies Papa Loco and makes him fast. He then walks out and blows up, doing nasty damage to Sonnia and killing a Hunter. I am an idiot. The Dead Rider charges the other Hunter and drags it back towards the corner where Toshiro kills it for Make Them Suffer. I had tried to use the Malifaux Child to block the charge route with a Flame Wall but Toshiro’s Fast allowed him to reposition. Ant scores for the Strategy.

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Turn 3: Tara Buries Toshiro, making him fast, then Unburies him and fling him at Sonnia. She is not able to survive the onslaught. The Dead Rider is down to a single wound at this point. The Austringer Focuses and misses a shot at it. The Dead Rider attacks the Death Marshal but can’t make much of it. Almost everything I can muster attacks the Dead Rider but I can’t finish it off. In retrospect, I wasn’t going to score the Strategy anyway this turn so I might as well have attached Toshiro instead to try to bring his wounds down a bit. Ant scores for Collect The Bounty again.

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Turn 4: The Death Marshal kills the Dead Rider. We both have awful cards and everything flails uselessly around (all the good cards get flipped on defense); a few attacks do get through on Toshiro but he Soulstones most of the damage away. Tara Slows the Guardian and Effigy. I score on the Strategy.

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Turn 5: Ant rather unluckily Black Jokers the initiative flip having used his last Soulstone on Toshiro last turn. The Death Marshal kills Toshiro. Tara gives herself reactivate and runs to get in position to drop scheme markers. The Void Wretch gets pinned in place by the Guardian. The Death Marshal gets Delivered Orders by the Austringer so I have enough scheme markers down. Tara drops markers but doesn’t have enough AP to stand between them. I score for the Strategy and Guild win 6 – 5 (2 for Collect the Bounty, 3 for Protect Territory and 1 for Make Them Suffer for me; 2 for Collect the Bounty, 1 for Protect Territory and 2 for Make Them Suffer for Ant [writing this up I think I made some error in my notes as I can only see 1 point for Make Them Suffer for Ant but we were sure of it at the time]).

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That was a very pleasant way to end the tournament. I’m very glad to finally have a win against Ant, even if he was taking it a bit easy on me. My own play was quite sloppy, but I guess that I am in some ways quite pleased to be able to demonstrate why you should not Pine Box Papa Loco when playing against Tara.

Overall I had a fantastic time at the UK GT 2015. It was terrifically well run, everyone was a perfect gentleman or lady as applicable, and most importantly I had 7 terrific games of Malifaux. When the scores came in I was 31st out of 88 players which I happy with; the field was very strong. I feel like I was at least in with a chance of winning each game if only I’d played a little more cleverly and I did beat some good players in the process. I have only two disappointment for the event. Firstly, there were a group of Swedes who had travelled over to join in the fun but I didn’t get drawn against any of them. And secondly, after 5 games I had played against 5 different factions. It would have been wonderful to ‘complete the rainbow’. As you can tell with the trivial nature of my concerns, I have almost nothing bad to say about the event. Thanks to Graham, Scott, Paul H, Martin, Paul B, Hutch and Ant for giving me 7 fun games, and to Mike, Lee and Chris for their tireless work to make everything run smoothly.

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Head Hunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Turf War

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

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

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

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

005

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

006

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

007

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

008

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

009

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

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

Strategy: Collect The Bounty

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

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

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

010

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

011

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

012

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

013

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

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

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

Strategy: Reckoning

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

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

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

014

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

015

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

016

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

017

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

018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

016

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

017

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

018

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

019

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

020

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

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

Strategy: Collect The Bounty

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

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

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

021

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

022

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

023

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

024

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

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

Strategy: Guard The Stash

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

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

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

025

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

026

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

027

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

028

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

029

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

030

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

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

Strategy: Guard The Stash

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

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

031

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

032

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

033

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

034

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

035

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

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

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

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

A group of the Scotland Malifools (Maria, Meech, Alastair and David) made our way down to Durham over the weekend to take part in a new gaming convention organised by the local club. Kings of the North was advertised as a residential gaming weekend, with tournaments being run for a variety of systems. Since the Malifaux events were being organised by Nate Zettle I was very pleased to get enough Wife Points to be able to attend; the other events I’ve attended that Nate has run have been terrific. The events on each day were considered separate, with Quest for the Mojo (45SS) on the Saturday and Enforcers of the North (50SS) on Sunday. I did manage to leave my camera at home (I got it out to charge, then forgot to actually pack it) so the photography is even worse than my usual.

Quest for the Mojo (45SS)

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Neverborn (Johnny)

Strategy: Turf War

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

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, 2 Hunters
Neverborn: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger, Woke Up With a Hand), Hungering Darkness, Mr Graves, Beckoner, 2 Illuminated, Doppelganger

I quite arbitrarily decided that I fancied playing Perdita here, though considering the board and strategy I think that Sonnia with the Malifaux Child and Cherufe’s Imprint could have been fine. My main goal for the weekend was to try to learn what to do with Hunters so they made the choice and the rest of my crew was just a mish-mash of what I have available. Protect Territory is an easy scheme to score and so is a good option for the first game of a day where I’m still trying to get my game running smoothly. Looking at the other schemes I considered Deliver a Message but thought that Lynch could too easily hide himself to avoid giving it up. So I went instead with Assassinate as it isn’t announced so I could try to fake something else if it looked like I would need it.

003

Turn 1: The Doppelganger gets Johnny off to a good start by flipping the Black Joker trying to copy Lure. Nino Rapid Fires quite ineffectually into the Beckoner, who is then pushed forward by Mr Graves. The Nephilim Shackles the Austringer and Perdita forward, then the latter chain activates. She Relocates toward Nino then shows him how shooting is done properly, gunning down the Beckoner before the Lure-train gets going. Hungering Darkness Heeds My Voice to make Nino shoot Perdita.

004

Turn 2: Nino Rapid Fires a few wounds and soulstones out of Hungering Darkness, then Perdita companions and charges, killing the big beast easily. She walks back toward the centre to reduce the possibilities for vengeance. Mr Graves pushes one of the Illuminated forward. Both Illuminated gang up to kill off the Death Marshal at range. One Hunter shoots Lynch and the other shoots an Illuminated; sadly the terrain doesn’t allow the drag to get the target into melee. Both Witchling Stalkers get Shackled forward by the Nephilim. The Doppelganger Mimics Nino’s gun and shoots the Hunter before being charged by a Witchling Stalker for no effect at all. Lynch pings a little damage onto the Stalker by reply while the Austringer and other Stalker fail to hurt the Illuminated. We both score on the strategy.

005

Turn 3: In the centre the first Illuminated and a Stalker maul each other a bit. The Hunter drags in Lynch and Perdita companions and finishes him off; I score Assassinate. Both Stalkers are killed, one by an Illuminated and the other by the Doppelganger Mimic-ing the Hunter. Johnny starts dropping scheme markers that look like he’s going for Spring the Trap so the Nephilim Shackles himself forward, then Shackles Perdita out of range. We both score for Turf War.

006

Turn 4: One Hunter kills an Illuminated; the other fails to make much of an impression on Perdita. The Austringer hurts it, then Perdita finishes the job. Mr Graves swings away at the Hunter, but Johnny has seen enough. Guild win 10 – 2 (full score for me; 2 for Turf War for Johnny).

007

I enjoyed playing against Johnny, he’s really enthusiastic about Malifaux and takes everything with a fun attitude. Unfortunately for him, I know how to take apart a Lynch crew having played Lynch myself many times (though I used Ten Thunders) so I had a big experience advantage over him. Hopefully he’ll continue to come along to tournaments and I’ll get another chance to play Johnny after he has a few more games under his belt.

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

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Plant Explosives, Bodyguard, Spring the Trap
Guild: Line in the Sand (announced), Plant Explosives
Ten Thunders: Distract, Plant Explosives

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos de Armas), 2 Hunters, Death Marshal, Austringer, Witchling Stalker, Watcher
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Badge of Speed, Glowing Sabre, Promises), Dawn Serpent, 2 Tengu, Luna, 3 Guild Hounds, Shadow Effigy

I decided to try my strategy for Turf War of killing everything on the other crew so that they don’t have anything to contest table quarters with. I expected a load of easy-to-kill models like Guild Hounds to be running at me so put down Sonnia Criid with the usual package. The Watcher came along so I could attempt to score Line in the Sand, a scheme I’m generally terrible at; I didn’t really fancy anything else in the pool though. I was even worried about Plant Explosives as I was really intending to kill everything… but I had to take something so that seemed reasonable.

The big cliff terrain was excellent to play on, but a bit awkward for photography. Most of Peter’s crew is deployed completely out of sight behind various bits of scenery.

008

Turn 1: The Shadow Effigy puts Remember The Mission on a pair of Guild Hounds. Papa Loco gives Sonnia dynamite, moves up through the trees and pulls her in with Cover Me. One of the Hounds moves near to an activated Stalker, dropping a marker at the end of its movement… but ending almost exactly 14″ from Sonnia. I figure that this is my best chance to use Sonnia, so she begins the trail of devastation, first killing the visible Hound and trailing the blasts back across the rest of the crew behind the cliffs while making sure to set everything ablaze for the next action. Two more shots later and two Hounds and the Effigy are dead, McCabe is dismounted and the Dawn Serpent has taken some damage. McCabe leaves his charred horse, Black Flash-es the Dawn Serpent and hands it the Badge. On the right, a Hunter polishes off the final Guild Hound between the Chain Spear and Leap On Chest. The Dawn Serpent comes in and does some nasty damage to Papa Loco, splashing blasts over Sonnia, so the Marshal goes in to tuck the old man safely in his Pine Box. Except I have trash in hand and fail to top deck the 5 needed to do it on either attack. This is looking pretty bad. Peter has a difficult decision to make with the Dawn Serpent. Either he can drop a scheme marker and lock in three VP for Plant Explosives, or he can focus a shot at Papa Loco, probably killing him and doing damage to Sonnia in the process. He opts for the scheme marker. My Austringer pushes the DM and makes him drop a scheme marker near the Dawn Serpent as I’m resigned to only scoring one for Plant Explosives already. The Tengu races over and drops a card to remove my marker. You would think I’d have seen that coming since Peter did exactly the same thing to me at Vapnartak a couple of months ago. The other Tengu Distracts a Hunter. Peter scores his three points for Plant Explosives.

009

Turn 2: I win initiative, and Sonnia vapourises the Dawn Serpent and nearby Tengu. McCabe Distracts the Stalker. One Hunter drops the Tengu on the right, the other drags in Luna, fails to kill her and gets a couple of nibbles for its trouble. I manage to get a scheme marker near McCabe thanks to the Austringer. I score Reconnoitre and one for Plant Explosives; Peter scores Distract.

010

Turn 3: The Hunter shreds Luna. McCabe takes triple defensive stance, and I throw everything I’ve got at him. Eventually, between the Austringer and Sonnia firing into combat (I don’t care if I kill my Stalker, in fact I want it dead to avoid giving up the point for Distract) I kill off McCabe. The Stalker, incredibly, has a single wound left after all this, so the Death Marshal caps him. Guild win 8 – 4 (4 for Reconnoitre, 3 for Line in the Sand and 1 for Plant Explosives for me; 3 for Plant Explosives and 1 for Distract for Peter).

011

That was a highly satisfying win over a good player. Peter is always a gentleman to face across a gaming table, and I hope that he gets some cunning plans to get round Sonnia by the time we next meet up (of course, I’ll have to drop another master on him then). I really need to up my game when facing Plant Explosives as I always seem to score low and give up maximum points on it. After a short lunch break I was paired up with David Hamilton, a great player with whom I’ve shared many a close tournament game.

Game 3: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (David)

Strategy: Head Hunter

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

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Watcher, 2 Hunters, Brutal Effigy, 2 Witchling Stalkers, Austringer
Resurrectionists: Kirai (Bloody Shears, Absorb Spirit), Lost Love, Onryo, Flesh Construct, Drowned, Shikome, 2 Necropunks

I have to admit that I’m not really sure what is useful for Head Hunter, as you need pieces that can actually kill something, but also have to have scheme runners that don’t mind being in the thick of it to pick up the heads. And of course, those scheme runners inevitably end up being the targets for the next round of killing. I suspect that I might have erred a little too much on the side of ‘cheap and numerous’ here, but I figured that Perdita herself should be able to drop at least one enemy model per turn so I just needed to have something around to collect it, and also to avoid letting David maul my own minions too much. I’m not sure what I was expecting to see on the other side, but I guess it was probably not a summoning master who would be just feeding me half-wound models to finish off. The schemes pool also contributed to the scheme-runner heavy crews as it was all about dropping markers to score points; I picked the schemes that involved least movement (we ruled that the huge terrain piece in the middle counted as 2 pieces for Plant Evidence purposes, with the bridge as the split). Overall, a really interesting set up for a game.

012

Turn 1: Everything runs forward. Kirai summons a Drowned, a Shikome and a Seishin. My hand is dreadful so I Hero’s Gamble with Perdita at the start of her activation. She drops the summoned Shikome and wounds the other one, which causes the Ikiryo to appear behind her. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem since she could ignore Incorporeal, but of course this isn’t an option here. Luckily, Hero’s Gamble got me the Red Joker in hand, so Perdita is able to put in a high Mask for Witched Bullet then drop the Red Joker on the poor ghost before it even activates.

013

Turn 2: The Necropunk leaps and collects the first head of the game. The Stalker kills the Seishin and engages the Drowned. On the right, the Necropunk gets the scheme marker train going. The Hunter on the left kills the Necropunk, drawing out the Ikiryo in the process. I was hoping for that since it’s so far from the rest of my crew. Not surprisingly, the Ikiryo mauls the Hunter quite badly. A Stalker kills the second Shikome, and the Effigy picks up a head marker from the first Ikiryo. The Drowned hits a Stalker on the right and the Flesh Construct moves to engage Perdita. By the time Kirai activates David is out of cards so she achieves nothing apart from Swirling the Onryo forward. The second Drowned kills the injured Stalker, then Perdita drops the Flesh Construct and the summoned Drowned. We both score on the strategy.

014

Turn 3: The Necropunk leaps and drops more scheme markers. The Hunter kills the second Drowned. Running out of significant pieces near head markers, Kirai is forced to walk and pick one up herself. My Effigy collects a head marker for my side. Perdita drops the Lost Love, who had moved next to Kirai. Ikiryo has no trouble dealing with the wounded Hunter. We both get a point for Head Hunter. My notes get very sparse at this point as we realised that we would need to hurry along to make it to turn 5.

015

Turn 4: Perdita kills the Onryo, and Kirai puts a couple of wounds on the Hunter I’ve moved in to keep her in place (but I don’t want to hurt her either or I’ll get another shot of the Ikiryo). Most of my stuff moves around dropping scheme markers. Critically, David can’t get anything to pick up a head this turn; I score on the strategy.

016

Turn 5: The Necropunk is decisively blown away by Perdita. Kirai can’t one-shot the Hunter like she’d need in order to walk over and pick up the head. The Effigy collects a fourth head for the Guild. Guild win 10 – 8 (full score for me; 2 for Head Hunter and 3 for each scheme for David).

017

As mentioned in the preamble, this had the makings of a very interesting game and it did not disappoint. The combination of the scheme pool, the strategy and an opponent of David’s calibre meant that this could easily have gone either way right up to the end. The first few turns took a while, and indeed the 30-minutes-to-go warning was called while we were on turn 3. But by that point I’d killed most of Kirai’s crew and the rest of the game went very swiftly.

Game 4: Guild (me) vs Resurrectionists (Martin)

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

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

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Watcher, 2 Hunters, Witchling Stalker, Austringer
Resurrectionists: Dr Douglas McMourning (Moonlighting, Plastic Surgery), Flesh Construct, Madame Sybelle (Transfusion, Not Too Banged Up), Zombie Chihuahua, 2 Rotten Belles, Sebastian (Transfusion), Nurse

I was torn between Perdita and Sonnia here. On the one hand, Sonnia provides all the killing power I could need in a single piece and would protect me against Belles with the right upgrade. But on the other hand, Perdita can bring the Nephilim to Shackle my pieces around, which is of course helpful for getting onto the markers early. She also cares less about the likely swathes of Hard To Wound floating around. Make Them Suffer went in because I didn’t think I could rely on killing McMourning and Cursed Object seemed like it would be quite easy to score against Flesh Constructs.

018

Turn 1: The two Belles companion and Lure Nino right across the board into the middle of the Resurrectionist crew. He pushes away and takes a shot a Sebastian before his expected death… which doesn’t come (though he is taken down to a single wound quite easily). Sybelle Calls Belle to get one of them further up the board, and the Nurse charges the Flesh Construct to rack up the Poison on it. The Chihuahua puts some Poison on McMourning and Sebastian uses Under Cover to make my life awkward. My own crew advances with the Watcher heading over to take a corner marker. The Austringer makes a Hunter flip the nearest Squat marker.

019

Turn 2: McMourning Expunges the left Hunter into a Flesh Construct, scoring himself a point for Make Them Suffer, and reflips that marker. My other Hunter charges Sybelle to stick some nice damage on her; in return she passes it a Cursed Object and hatful of Poison (I think it reached 19 tokens at one point). The lead Belle takes another Marker and Nino pushes out of combat again and Black Jokers a shot on the Chihuahua. My Watcher flips the end marker and the Stalker puts a Cursed Object in the pocket of the new Flesh Construct, which has moved to engage the Stalker and Austringer. The Nephilim pulls the Austringer out of melee. Perdita guns down the lead Belle (for Make The Suffer) and the Austringer Delivers Orders to make to retake the central marker. The surviving Belle Lures Nino back into melee. I score on the strategy and we both score both schemes.

020

Turn 3: The Hunter polishes off Sybelle and companions to Perdita. She stones for a ram and shoots the Chihuahua, cheating in another ram (to ensure that I’d get the weak damage to kill it with a single shot)… and top deck the Red Joker on damage. Bits of dead(er) dog rain down across the board. Perdita then charges McMourning, mainly to stop him from wandering about and messing with the Squat markers. The Belle Lures the Hunter over and passes another Cursed Object to Nino.  He hands her one right back and pushes away. McMourning pushes Sebastian toward the marker on the Watcher’s side of the board and Rancid Transplants the Stalker. In a move made of pure awesome, the Nurse moves toward Perdita and Paralyses her with Take Your Meds, then companions the Flesh Construct who saunters over and Devours her. Beautiful. The Austringer Delivers Orders to the Watcher to pick up another Squat marker. We both score Squatter’s Rights and Cursed Object; I also score for Make Them Suffer.

021

Turn 4: The Stalker passes another Cursed Object to the Flesh Construct and the Belle Lures the Watcher away from the markers. Nino Rapid Fires the Nurse but I forgot she has a defensive trigger to push to safety, which of course she does. The Nurse fails to make the Austringer Take Your Meds. The Nephilim trudges onto the marker recently departed by the Watcher to block Sebastian from taking it too easily. McMourning somehow fails to kill the Hunter and pushes Sebastian toward the Nephilim, which also inexplicably survives. The Hunter finally explodes from some Poison interaction. The Watcher slips away from the Belle to take back the central marker. The Flesh Construct fails to be so agile and can’t get away from the Witchling Stalker and so hands him another Cursed Object. The Austringer uses Deliver Orders to push the Stalker out of melee and interact to remove the condition. But I’m unable to top-deck the required card, and only have one card left in hand (which would have been good enough) so I can’t cheat it in or I’ll let both Constructs reactivate. We both score Squatter’s Rights and Cursed Object.

022

Turn 5: Nino Rapid Fires at McMourning. He hits 3 times, getting him down to 2 wounds on the last shot (triggering Critical Strike)… and I Black Joker the last damage flip to leave McMourning alive. McMourning is able to polish off the Nephilim so the Austringer moves in to body block the marker. Sebastian moves in and flips it anyway since the Austringer has no melee attack with which to engage him.  Actually, now that I think about it, I suppose that Sebastian was engaged due to his own melee weapon so he couldn’t have done that, but whatever. The game ends in a draw at 8 – 8 (3 for Squatter’s Rights, 2 for Make Them Suffer and 3 for Cursed Object for me; 2 for Squatter’s Rights and 3 each for both schemes for Martin).

023

Wow, what a close game. I felt that I’d taken enough of a lead when I kept Martin off the strategy for two turns in a row but he came back strongly and right down to the last thing it could have gone either way. This sort of game, where the result isn’t decided until the very end, is absolutely my most fun kind. Martin was a great chap to play against, really strong but a real gentleman too. Also, I tipped my hat to him when his construct ate Perdita… I know it’s a possible thing in the game but it’s hilarious to pull off.

So when the results come in, I’m just behind Martin on VP difference, getting myself a nice trophy in the process. Also, our draw was the only possible result to keep David Hamilton out of the trophies so there was plenty of banter about us fixing it! We were well looked after in the evening by the event staff, and I got to complete a personal hobby goal by finally playing Nate at Malifaux. We took a 53 soulstone game, and those who get the joke of this will share our amusement when we noticed part way through turn 1 that Nate had accidentally fielded an extra miniature in his crew to put him over the agreed game size.

Enforcers of the North (50SS)

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

Strategy: Guard the Stash

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Cursed Object, Breakthrough, Frame For Murder
Guild: Assassinate, Breakthrough (announced),
Arcanists: Line in the Sand (announced), Frame For Murder (one of the December Acolytes)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Cherufe’s Imprint), Malifaux Child, Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Hunter, Austringer, Death Marshal, 2 Witchling Stalkers
Arcanists: Toni Ironsides (Iron Determination, Seize The Day), Cassandra (Smoke and Mirrors), Myranda (Imbued Energies), Angelica, 2 December Acolytes, 2 Union Miners

Taking a look at the terrain, I felt that this would be a reasonable place to try some Flame Walls and block off lanes about the place so I took Sonnia and the Malifaux Child. I didn’t give a lot of thought to the rest of the crew, it was pretty much just a selection of the pieces I own (apart from Papa Loco and the Death Marshal of course). I chose Assassinate with the assumption that Ironsides would have to come into me to get anything useful done, and Breakthrough because it didn’t rely on anything from Vince. Vince deployed second, putting his Acolytes right on top of Nino.

024

Turn 1: The Acolytes slow everything in sight (Sonnia, Nino, the Hunter and the Austringer). Cassandra rushes up and Breathed Fire on Papa Loco but can only get weak damage on a straight damage flip with no fate hand left. I dally too long before using Sonnia and Ironsides walks up, charges Nino (killing him off) and uses Rush ‘Em to place in engagement range of Sonnia. This is a bit annoying, so Sonnia stabs Ironsides repeatedly with a flaming sword.

025

Turn 2: Ironsides punches Sonnia a lot, but to my great surprise, not fatally. The Hunter Black Jokers a shot on an Acolyte, which then shoots the Stalker on the right. The left Stalker charges the other Acolyte, fails to achieve anything and is killed for its trouble. The Austringer pushes the Death Marshal into the centre of the group of Acolytes, Cassandra, Angelica and Ironsides. Papa Loco gets out of his box and blows himself up twice (I took care to place him with no line of sight to Sonnia). By this point, Vince has nothing in hand and loses both Acolytes and Cassandra, though annoyingly Ironsides top decks a pair of kings to save herself from all but the last explosion. Needless to say, the Death Marshal doesn’t survive either. One of the Acolytes has Frame For Murder on him, so I concede two VP. Sonnia puts a large amount of damage onto Ironsides. Myranda fails to do much to the surviving Stalker. The Union Miners are standing next to each other dropping millions of markers for Line in the Sand with False Claim. The Child uses Flame Burst to put a little damage onto Angelica. We both score for the strategy.

026

Turn 3: Ironsides and Sonnia trade blows, but crucially Sonnia gets Ironsides down to her Hard to Kill at the end of her activation so that when the killing blow is delivered the Witch Hunter explodes from Inferno, taking both off the table. I score for Assassinate. The Hunter eats one of the Miners. Myranda kills the Stalker and turns into a Cerberus (actually, this is probably the longest I’ve ever seen Myranda stay on the table before doing that). The Austringer takes out Angelica and the last Miner knocks the Hunter down to a single wound. Vince scores on the strategy.

027

Turn 4: The Hunter fails to kill the Miner and Vince cheats in a Red Joker to put burning on it so it will not survive the round. Actually, it doesn’t anyway as the Miner offs the Hunter with his pick anyway. The Austringer finishes the Miner and the Cerberus makes a surprisingly difficult time of eating the Child.

028

Turn 5: I make a really big mistake here. For some reason, I think the Vince only has 4 markers out for Line in the Sand, so even though I win the initiative I let him go first, hoping that he won’t be able to get the leap off or otherwise will somehow fail to kill the Austringer. I would them remove a marker and deny him some points for that scheme (I could do that if I went first, of course, but the Cerberus could simply drop another one if he saw it coming). But there are clearly 5 markers, so it wouldn’t matter. Vince is delighted to get to move first, and sends the Cerberus Leaping over to mangle the Austringer. Thanks to some crazy flips, the Austringer does indeed survive, but can only push out of combat and drop a single Breakthrough marker. Guild lose 5 – 7 (1 for Guard The Stash, 3 for Assassinate and 1 for Breakthrough for me; 2 for Guard The Stash, 2 for Frame For Murder and 3 for Line in the Sand for Vince).

029

It was a very amusing game, and I was particularly glad to play against Ironsides in a tournament, as I really need to be on the receiving end of a crew to get an understanding of what it can do. It was an interesting lesson in placement using Sonnia against Ironsides, and I was amazed by how long my master held up. I was a little annoyed at making such a big and obvious error at the end, but overall, it probably didn’t matter unless I’d gone first, dropped the marker and then somehow baited Vince into killing the Austringer and getting a second one for Finish The Job. Even that would have only resulted in a draw. I was outplayed throughout.

Game 2: Guild (me) vs Outcasts (Kai)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Distract, Outflank, Frame For Murder
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Frame For Murder (one of the Hunters)
Outcasts: Protect Territory (announced), Frame For Murder (Freikorps Trapper)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), 2 Hunters, Brutal Effigy, Austringer, Death Marshal, 2 Witchling Stalkers
Outcasts: Viktoria of Ashes (Sisters in Spirit), Viktoria of Blood (Mark of Shezuul, Sisters in Fury), Killjoy, Convict Gunslinger, Taelor, Freikorps Librarian, Freikorps Trapper

On such an open board, with Reckoning as the strategy, it was an easy to choice to use Sonnia again. The rest of the crew consisted mainly of either ‘things to make Sonnia nastier’ or ‘things to block the Viks from getting into Sonnia’. I took Protect Territory as I wanted at least one scheme that was completely under my control, and Frame For Murder because it’s highly likely to get you some points in a game of Reckoning.

030

Turn 1: The Trapper Focuses and shoots Sonnia. The Viks do some movement stuff, then Sonnia gets fully loaded by the Brutal Effigy and Papa Loco, pulled forward by the latter and gets another push from the Austringer. Sonnia unleashes hot fury over the Trapper, Librarian and Viktoria of Blood, being careful not to kill them so I could score points next turn. I was also careful not to get too close to Viktoria of Blood.

031

Turn 2: The Librarian heals the Trapper and Viktoria. Sonnia then vapourises all three of them (conceding three VP for Frame For Murder on the Trapper); Killjoy pops out of Viktoria of Blood. Viktoria of Ashes moves round and find herself in charge range of Killjoy. Kai is extremely young (he’s here with his Dad, Johnny, my first round opponent from day one) and is extremely unhappy about what I’ve done to his crew already. I was going to just let him off with the positioning thing since it isn’t material and she could easily have been out of Killjoy’s range, but Nate chooses this moment to walk past and insists on doing things by the book. There is a considerable amount of dismay expressed by Kai, which was masterfully handled by Nate as he showed Kai what to do. By the time this is over, Kai is so irritated by the whole game and my part in it that I offer to concede the game 10 – 0 to him so we can end it quickly and do something fun instead, but this seems to bring him back to sense and we carry on. The Gunslinger drops a scheme marker and is attacked by the Hunter. I score on the strategy.

032

Turn 3: Taelor easily kills the Hunter (giving me three VP for Frame For Murder). Sonnia immolates Killjoy and puts some damage on Viktoria who is eventually brought down by a Witchling Stalker. Kai concedes and we agree to score it as though the game ended and not have me rack up points for the last two turns. Guild win 8 – 4 (2 for Reckoning, full points for both schemes for me; 3 for Frame For Murder and 1 for Protect Territory for Kai).

033

For the first time in a long time that was a game of Malifaux I didn’t really enjoy so much and was glad to finish. I suppose that Kai felt the same. We spoke again afterwards and I believe that we’re OK now; I tried to give him some advice on the game too, hopefully that will help him in future events. I also spoke with Nate and Johnny in case they wanted to reproach me for any behaviour on my side. This specific episode aside, I’ve got a lot of time for such a young player coming to play against adults in a tournament situation. With a bit more experience he could be quite a force at future events.

There were 6 of us on 1 win and 1 loss and I’d already played against 3 of the other 5, so I asked if Nate would shuffle the pairings to give us each an opponent we hadn’t played in any of the preceding 6 games. No-one objected, and Nate duly made the adjustment to pretty much the only permutation that allowed this to work. I figured that since we were all out of the running it wouldn’t matter much who we played. As it happened, I think that the top tables also made a similar arrangement.

Game 3: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (Alastair)

Strategy: Stake a Claim

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Make Them Suffer, Deliver a Message
Guild: Make Them Suffer, Breakthrough (announced)
Ten Thunders: Breakthrough (announced), Deliver a Message (unannounced)

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Watcher, 2 Hunters, Austringer, Death Marshal, 2 Guild Hounds
Ten Thunders: Lucas McCabe (Elixir of Life, Badge of Speed, Strangemetal Shirt), Luna, Dawn Serpent, Lone Sowrdsman, Yamaziko, Thunder Archer, Oiran

I am notoriously bad at Stake a Claim so I went for all the fastest things I could hire, in case I needed them. The Guild Hounds are excellent in Stake a Claim, of course, as is the Watcher. I chose Perdita for a change, since I’d played Sonnia the previous two rounds. She’s an obvious choice for Make Them Suffer, and I went for Breakthrough since it seems to fit the idea of what I was trying to do anyway (i.e. cross the board as quickly as possible). I was not surprised to be facing McCabe considering the scheme pool and strategy, but I was quite surprised not to see any Guild Hounds.

034

Turn 1: Nino Rapid Fires the Archer to death. McCabe Black Flashes the Oiran, passes her the Badge of Speed the misses Nino with his Net Gun. The Oiran Lures my Death Marshal around a bit and is plinked lightly by the Austringer. Perdita and the Hunter are Shackled forward. Perdita then pitches a card to Relocate to him too and opens up on Luna (killing her) and wounding the Oiran. The Hunter finishes the Oiran.

035

Turn 2: McCabe Black Flashes the Dawn Serpent and passes it the Badge. He shoots Perdita, slowing her and Nino. I have a hand full of high crows and sense the opportunity to be cheeky. The Death Marshal charges the Dawn Serpent and pushes it into the Pine Box. The Lone Swordsman rushes over to try and kill off the Death Marshal but has to settle for double walking into melee and is attacked by The Hunter in return. This allows my Hounds on the right to drop Claim markers without fear of being blended by an irate Samurai. Everything shoots McCabe, eventually knocking him off his horse. Dismounted McCabe charges Nino but can’t kill him. I score for the strategy.

036

Turn 3: The Hunter can’t finish off the Lone Swordsman , but the Lone Swordsman Black Jokers his second damage flip against the Death Marshal to leave him alive and the Dawn Serpent still buried. The Austringer and Perdita gang up to kill McCabe, the Death Marshal polishes off the Lone Swordsman and, over on the left, Yamaziko and the Hunter settle down for what looks likely to be a long slap-fest. The rest of my crew drop Claim and scheme markers. I score Stake a Claim.

037

Turn 4: The Hunter and Yamaziko poke each other ineffectually again. The Dawn Serpent is let out of the box (I think Alastair suspected something bad would happen when I didn’t make any attempt to stop this) and killed between the Death Marshal and Perdita. This scores me a point for Make Them Suffer. With only Yamaziko left, stuck in an interminable fight against my Hunter, Alastair is happy to call it. Guild win 9 – 0 (4 for Stake a Claim, 3 for Breakthrough and 2 for Make Them Suffer for me). It seems that I forgot to take one final photo, but it was pretty much identical to the previous one as the Dawn Serpent didn’t last long enough on the table to get its picture taken.

I had a lot of fun playing Alastair, and we were able to joke around throughout the game. Probably there’s not much to note from my side on that one since it all went swimmingly. Alastair has a lot of potential, but he owns so many crews that he’s not that familiar with any of them.

So the scores are counted up and I’m marked as 3rd. That means nothing though since we messed around with the final round pairings and I could have easily got a tougher opponent than Alastair. Still, 2nd and (a disputable) 3rd are very satisfactory results, and more importantly I played 7 fun games of Malifaux… 8 if you count the game with Nate.  I got to acheive my goal of getting familiar with Hunters, and I have to say that I like them a lot.

I had a terrific time and I really want to thank all my opponents for playing this wonderful game with me, Nate for organising the tournaments so smoothly, and the event team for looking after us all so well. I should also thank Connor who not only drove David, Maria and me back to the train station, but then drove me back again to the venue since I’d left my miniature case there like the dipstick I am, and then back again to the station.

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Malifaux tournament reports: A Mother’s Fury (50SS); 15Mar2015

This weekend Furycat and I shared a ride with Joe to Common Ground Games in Stirling to play in A Mother’s Fury Malifaux tournament (presumably she is furious because her children are out playing wargames); Joe was the tournament organiser while Furycat and I were playing. In classic style Joe slept in so he was late to his own event. This was a 50SS affair billed as ‘beginner friendly’ which apparently meant fixed-master, slightly longer round times and pre-announced scheme pools. I’m not sure how much of an effect this had as most of the attendees were folks I’d seen at other events, but there was at least one newcomer to the scene.

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

Strategy: Reconnoitre

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Plant Explosives, Protect Territory, Take Prisoner, Breakthrough
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Breakthrough (announced)
Outcasts: Breakthrough (unannounced), Take Prisoner (Francisco Ortega)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, 2 Guild Hounds Brutal Effigy
Outcasts: Von Schill (Engage at Will, Hard and Relentless), Steam Trunk, Freikorps Trapper, 2 Freikorpsmen, Hannah (Spoils of War), Lazarus, Freikorps Librarian

I’d been debating in the car on the way to the event whether to play Sonnia or Perdita. I finally settled on Sonnia as I know her fairly well (I’ve only played a handful of games so far with Perdita) but I was concerned about finding myself stuck against a lot of Freikorps models if I came up against an Outcast player. So I knew when Allan announced that he was playing Von Schill that this would not be a game in which I could rely on much help from Sonnia’s blasts since they’re largely immune to them. Considering the schemes and strategies I opted for a fairly high model count crew and figured that probably Allan couldn’t gun them all down before I got some points on the board. Protect Territory and Breakthrough are generally quite straightforward schemes to score on, and crucially don’t require anything of the other player.

001

Turn 1: Most folks just walk forward. I curse the Freikorps Suit rule. Sonnia does Flame Burst a couple of times off Hannah for some fairly paltry damage, but the blasts do remove the Steam Trunk, one of the few targets that was vulnerable to them. Nino shoots Hannah too.

002

Turn 2: A Freikorpsman walks round a lump of rock and shoots at one of my Hounds. Nino puts three bullets into Hannah, dropping her before she had done anything. Lazarus advances and fires ineffectually at Francisco due to the cover. The Freikorpsman on my left shoots one of my Witchling Stalkers, the Death Marshal shoots back and then the Librarian heals him to full anyway. Von Schill shoots at the Effigy, my Hounds gang up to kill the Freikorpsman on the right and everyone else seems to just flail around uselessly. I score on the strategy.

003

Turn 3: Nino Rapid Fires the Librarian to death. Von Schill uses Stand and Shoot, killing both Guild Hounds but missing both the Effigy and Francisco. The latter charges into Lazarus and uses Finesse to weather the retaliation. Lazarus helpfully Black Jokers the Self Repair. One Stalker hits the Trapper who pushes out of melee and shoots the poor little chap. The other Stalker charges the remaining Freikorpsman and they exchange blows; the Freikorpsman will burn to death at the end of the turn. Sonnia moves into range to turn him into a Stalker when this happens. The Death Marshal finishes off the Trapper. I score on the strategy.

004

Turn 4: Von Schill does his Stand and Shoot again, bagging him a Stalker and forcing Allan to cheat low to avoid hitting Lazarus in the back. Francisco kills Lazarus, then Nino and Sonnia join forces to drop Von Schill himself (technically he burns to death at the end of the turn but the effect is the same. The rest of my crew spends this and the next turn dropping scheme markers all over the place. Guild win 10 – 0.

005

That was a fun game, but Allan isn’t very experienced with his Von Schill crew; I believe that mainly he plays Warmachine, and his usual Malifaux fare is Arcanists. By luck his crew was almost the perfect counter for Sonnia but his lack of familiarity with it meant that I was able to capitalise. The board was almost comically sparse but since we were both playing fairly shooty crews it probably didn’t have much of an impact.

Game 2: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (David Laing)

Strategy: Guard the Stash

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Distract, Power Ritual, Deliver a Message
Guild: Assassinate, Power Ritual (announced)
Ten Thunders: Assassinate, Power Ritual (announced)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, 2 Guild Hounds, Brutal Effigy
Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Wings of Wind, Recalled Training), Ototo (Smoke Grenades, Smoke and Shadows), Oiran, 2 Torakage, 2 Samurai (one with Favour of Jigoku, one with Favour of Earth)

I’ve been playing a lot against Misaki lately as she is Furycat’s current master of choice. However, I’ve never actually played this strategy, but I figured it was a bit like Turf War and therefore picked a another crew with a high model count. Papa Loco came back in as I wasn’t expected many blast-immune models this time, and the rest of the crew was based on the high strategy of ‘models I have access to’. I didn’t fancy any of the scheme pool too much, but I figured that Misaki would have to come to me if she wanted to do anything and so picked Assassinate (I did consider Deliver a Message on the same basis but didn’t want to pick them both). Power Ritual, while much harder in standard deployment compared to corner or flank deployment, does have the advantage of being scheme that didn’t rely on doing anything with or to the other crew. I made David deploy first and he wisely chose the side with the cover on it; we’d played in the last tournament (link) and David was much more wary of Sonnia’s power this time.

006

Turn 1: Both Torakage drop scheme markers in the corner then disappear in a puff of smoke; one of my Hounds drops a marker in my corner and starts pacing up the board. Papa Loco tells Sonnia to Hold This then moves up the board and brings her to him with Cover Me. The left Samurai (Favour of Jigoku) puts a couple of wounds on Nino. I should have had Nino return fire here but instead the Death Marshal puts Papa Loco in his Pine Box. Misaki pushes the Samurai out of Nino’s line of sight with Wings of Wind and moves far to the right out of sight of just about anything. Nino just moves around for a better shot. Sonnia focuses and starts setting the right Samurai (Favour of Earth) ablaze; any blasts are splashed over Ototo. The Torakage reappear.

007

Turn 2: Sonnia kills of the Earth Samurai and one of the Torakage nearby; she also puts some serious damage onto Ototo in the process. He heals himself up (but is still Enraged) and moves to engage a good chunk of my crew. Nino shoots the Jigoku Samurai down to a single wound and Misaki pops out from her hiding place and charges my rightmost Stalker. She’s foiled by the black joker on one attack, then she ends by Stalking Sonnia Criid. The Stalker moves into range and hits her back. Papa Loco gets out of the Pine Box and the Death Marshal moves around Ototo’s melee range to get close enough to the left Stash for scoring. My crew throws everything they’ve got at Ototo, finally they get him down to Hard to Kill and out of soulstones so he burns to death at the end of the turn and I turn him into a Witchling Stalker. We both score on the strategy.

Turn 3: Misaki wins the initiative and is clearly sick of Sonnia’s nonsense. She easily kills the witch hunter, scoring Assassinate in the process and dances off into the middle of my crew laughing. Nino finishes the last Samurai. The Oiran hits my Hound, triggering No Witnesses, so the Hound moves out of the way and the Death Marshal strolls over and kills the Oiran with a fortuitous Red Joker. One Stalker charges the Torakage before being killed in return; the explosion puts the ninja down in a mutual destruction. The Effigy walks over to the right Stash, the other Hound makes a run for the far corner and rest of my crew does their level best to try to hurt Misaki.

008

Turn 4: Misaki charges the Austringer, kills him without fuss, pushes toward the corner with Next Target and drops a scheme marker. The nearest Stalker charges in and puts some more damage onto Misaki, then the other one moves up to within 100 mm of her. Papa Loco throws dynamite at the unengaged Stalker, cheating so that I can get a straight flip and then putting in severe damage to lay the blasts over Misaki and the first Stalker. Misaki survived the dynamite thanks to Bullet Proof but then died when my Stalker exploded. Over in the far corner my Hounds set to do scheme things and in the next turn my Stalker cleans up Misaki’s scheme marker while the Hounds do what the came for. Guild win 10 – 5 (full score for me; 3 for Assassinate, 1 for Power Ritual and 1 for Guard the Stash for David).

009

I really enjoyed playing against David. He’s a really nice chap and he always seems to enjoy learning from his defeats. It was notable how much more he was able to work around my crew this time compared to only a few weeks ago. I was quite happy to remember that I could throw dynamite at my own Witchling Stalker at the end to finish off Misaki; that move was the difference between a win and draw in this game.

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

Strategy: Collect the Bounty

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Outflank, Plant Evidence, Breakthrough
Guild: Bodyguard (The Judge), Plant Evidence (announced)
Resurrectionists: Plant Evidence (announced), Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Disrupt Magic, Counterspell Aura), Papa Loco (Hermanos de Armas), The Judge, 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, Brutal Effigy
Resurrectionists: Nicodem (Undertaker, Love Thy Master), Necropunk, Rogue Necromancy (Decaying Aura), 2 Punk Zombies, Crooligan, Flesh Construct, Nurse

I played David’s Nicodem crew in the final game of the previous tournament and was well beaten. But this time the strategy was about killing things, which I felt was something that I was set up to do well with Sonnia. I put The Judge in for Bodyguard purposes, and with the idea that it might be useful to have both Stand For Judgement and Cover Me as options for moving around out of activation. I was very close to including the Purifying Flame since it wouldn’t give up any stratgey points, but in the end I decided that a bigger cache of soulstones would be helpful. After deciding on Bodyguard (probably a silly choice in this strategy in retrospect) I had to choose between Plant Evidence and Breakthrough; Plant Evidence won because the terrain I was planning on using was rather closer than the line for Breakthrough.

010

Turn 1: The Crooligan uses the Mist, the Nurse puts Uppers on a Punk Zombie (which soon races over to my side of the board near the Crooligan) and moves behind a house after measuring Sonnia’s threat range. Papa Loco does the usual Hold This and Cover Me routine with Sonnia. Nicodem, lacking corpse counters, makes the Flesh Construct, Punk Zombie and Crooligan Fast. The Death Marshal Pine Boxes Papa Loco and Sonnia expends a few Soulstones spreading blasts over the Flesh Construct, Punk Zombie and Crooligan.

011

Turn 2: Sonnia wins initiative and kills off the nearby Flesh Construct, Punk Zombie and Crooligan; a Stalker is summoned from the former. However, because I’m a fool I forgot to use the Brutal Effigy to put Fear Not The Sword on her first. The other Punk Zombie kills my Stalker on the left, while on the right the other one puts some damage onto the Rogue Necromancy and remarkably survives the return attacks. My Austringer’s bird pecks at the Punk Zombie. The Necropunk does leaping and scheme marker things over on the right. Nico uses Decay to heal the Rogue Necromancy and kill off the Stalker, then makes the former Fast. The Judge shoots Nicodem and The Effigy shoots the Punk Zombie so that it will die when the Burning resolves; another Stalker pops out of it. I score on the strategy.

012

Turn 3: The Rogue Necromancy walks then charges The Judge for some nice damage. A nearby Stalker charges Nicodem, flipping the Red Joker on one damage flip and nearly finishing the old chap. More importantly he is now in the Disrupt Magic aura). Nicodem uses Chime of Sorrows to heal himself then focuses an attack on the Judge but Black Jokers it. The Necropunk continues to leap around dropping scheme markers and the Austringer takes a shot at it to minimal effect. The Nurse puts Downers on the Judge; he focuses to hit the Rogue Necromancy but I forgot about the Horror duel which (of course) he fails and gets another bite taken out of him. Sonnia moves round to take a Focussed shot at the pesky Necropunk and ensures it’ll burn to death at the end of the turn. Much of the rest of my crew drop markers. Neither of us managed to kill anything this turn so no scoring on the strategy.

013

Turn 4: The Nurse Paralyses my Stalker near Nicodem, who walks off, heals and makes the Judge Slow, causing the Rogue Necromancy to eat him with Smell Fear. Papa Loco runs up to the Rogue Necromancy to keep it busy. One Stalker un-paralyses the other which then charges in to deal with that Nurse before she caused any more mischief. The Death Marshal follows the trail of markers left by the Necropunk to try and remove some of them. The Austringer moves into range to see Nicodem and then Sonnia has a few attempts to spark flames off him and onto Nicodem. Sadly, my hand is terrible and devoid of the Tomes I would need so I just end up charring the coat of my minion. David scores on Collect the Bounty.

014

Turn 5: Nicodem moves up to make the Rogue Necromancy kill Papa Loco with Smell Fear, then heals it to full after the explosion. One of my Stalkers rushes over to engage it so that the Rogue Necromancy can’t do anything important. After failing the first disengaging attempt, the big beast takes a big bite out of the Stalker. The Austringer knocks a few wounds off Nicodem then Sonnia is finally able to get burning on the old man and finish him off at last (killing the Austringer in the process). The Death Marshal carries on clearing up after the Necropunk. Guild win 5 – 4 (3 for Plant Evidence and 2 for Collect the Bounty for me; 3 for Breakthrough and 1 for Collect the Bounty for David).

015

What a close and fun game. I love it when I get to play games like that where I’m not sure even very close to the end what the result will be. I realised afterward that I could have used Sonnia to move over and remove another scheme marker rather than killing Nicodem but I was conscious that we might have gone another turn and I didn’t want Nicodem at me for another turn if I could help it. I need to get better at remembering that the Brutal Effigy is meant to use its (0) action on Sonnia each time, and not just to be a cheap Minion (though it works well at that too).

So after all the scores come in, I’m in first place and receive a lovely voucher that I’ll use next time I’m in the shop. I learned a lot about placement of my miniatures that hopefully I can remember and apply in future games, and of course there are plenty of abilities that I forgot to use (but that is always the way for me). I had three very fun games against Allan, David and David, and I’d like to thank Joe too for running the show.

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Malifaux tournament reports: A New Day Dawns (50SS); 07Feb2015

Another week, another Malifaux tournament now. Furycat and I sauntered into the centre of town for the first Malifaux tournament at a new shop, and the first event run by a new Henchman, Andrew. Since (re)buying my Guild crews I don’t think I’ve played more than a single 50SS game so I felt like I had a lot of possibilities opened up after the tightness of 40SS games.

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (David Laing)

Strategy: Extraction

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Frame For Murder, Outflank, Vendetta
Guild: Assassinate, Outflank (announced)
Ten Thunders: None announced; I forgot to write them down after the game.

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Francisco Ortega (Wade In), 2 Witchling Stalkers, 2 Death Marshals, Austringer, Brutal Effigy
Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Misdirection), Fuhatsu (Hidden Agenda, Blot The Sky), Yamaziko (Smoke Grenades, Smoke and Shadows), Shang, 2 Oiran, Torakage, Thunder Archer

It feels like I’m seeing a lot of Ten Thunders across the table from me now that I’m not playing them myself. I chose Assassinate here on the basis that Misaki was going to have to come into the trick of my crew if she was going to actually achieve anything, and I didn’t fancy any of the other schemes much so selected Outflank on the basis that at least it would be within my control. The majority of my crew was just intending to be moderately annoying to kill off so I could mob the Extraction marker and start moving it somewhere favourable.

001

Turn 1: Both crews move up and spread out a bit. Papa Loco tells Sonnia to hold this and pulls her forward with Cover Me before a following Death Marshal hoovers him up into a box. The Brutal Effigy also puts Fear Not The Sword on Sonnia. Misaki uses Stalk on Francisco, but opts not to approach him when he walks. Sonnia then unleashes Flame Blasts onto the lead Oiran, killing her, the other Oiran and the Archer with the first two shots, not to mention putting a little damage on Fuhatsu. For her third AP she drops severe damage on Misaki, taking Shang down to a single wound in the process.

002

Turn 2: I win initiative, so Sonnia targets Misaki and trails the blasts over Yamaziko to set them both ablaze. She then swaps targets to Yamaziko (a much easier target even with Smoke Bombs now that she’s on fire) and kills off both master and pupil. This scores me Assassinate in the process, and I cheekily turn Yamaziko into a Stalker. Fuhatsu shoots a Stalker for minimal effect and heals himself. The Austringer focusses and finishes off Shang, and the Torakage knocks the Stalker down to a single wound with poison remaining. The rest of my crew shoots Fuhatsu for dismayingly little effect (though the Brutal Effigy does manage to ping the big chap for slow), and finally the poisoned Stalker expires and explodes. I score for the strategy and move the marker slightly further away from Fuhatsu, not that he’s going to achieve much with only the Torakage for company.

003

Turn 3: Fuhatsu heals 4 damage and pushes the Stalker out of melee. The main effect of this is to allow all my ranged models to shoot him with impunity. The Torakage fails to deal with the Stalker in the forest and is vapourised by a lucky Red Joker damage flip in return. Fuhatsu is finally plinked to death, and then I spend the rest of the game scoring all the points. Guild win 10 – 0.

004

David was a fun chap to play against, and he can become a force in Scottish Malifaux with a bit more experience. I think he was a little unprepared for the Sonnia experience, though I did try to explain to him about the blasts. Anyway, I hope he enjoyed himself as much as I did; he certainly seemed to be keen to learn. In fact since we finished so quickly, the TO and David racked up for a quick 30SS game with Andrew using Sonnia so David could test out a few options. After a nice pub lunch with Furycat, we were onto round two where I was facing a second David.

Game 2: Guild (me) vs Guild (David McGuire)

Strategy: Reckoning

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Plant Explosives, Plant Evidence, Bodyguard, Protect Territory
Guild: Plant Explosives, Protect Territory (announced)
Ten Thunders: Plant Explosives, Bodyguard (Peacekeeper)

Crews
Good Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Disrupt Magic), Samael Hopkins, Papa Loco, Francisco Ortega (Wade In), 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer
Evil Guild (maybe it’s the other way round, who knows?): Hoffman (Aracanist Assets, Field Mechanic, On Site Assimilation), Peacekeeper, Watcher, Mechanical Attendant, Steam Arachnid Swarm, Metal Gamin, Howard Langston, Mobile Toolkit

I’ve never been very successful playing the very elite, denial-based crews that I see a lot of in Reckoning, so I still ended up with a good number of activations. I decided to use Sam Hopkins as dealing damage would be the order of the day here and he’s usually pretty good at it. After my hopeless failures of Plant Explosives at Vappafaux last week I decided to try it again. Protect Territory is a good playing-it-safe bet as it isn’t time-dependent and can be controlled on your own rather than relying on the other crew to do something (probably Plant Evidence would have been about as good, but I picked Protect Territory anyway).

005

Turn 1: Hoffman Power Loops the Metal Gamin, drops some scrap and then passes Patchwork Plating to Langston and Programmed Directives to the Watcher. Finally he Machine Puppets the Peacekeeper to walk forward. Papa Loco passes explosives to Sonnia and is later popped into his usual transport of the Pine Box. I’m looking for an opening to blast his bunched up crew but the opportunity never really arises without hugely exposing Sonnia, and then the Mechanical Attendant gets back in the mix and stops any possibility I had. The Watcher advances a bit too far and I pop it with a focus shot from the Austringer. I decided on this option to make it harder for David to score Plant Explosives (I’ll want to use my AP next turn to kill stuff, not to worry about moving away from any scheme markers it drops. The other possibility would have been to walk twice this turn and try to take out the Mechanical Attendant next turn.

006

Turn 2: Sam Rapid Fires at Langston for depressingly little effect as I’d forgotten about Patchwork Plating. Hoffman Loops the Metal Gamin again, slows it, adds Langston and the Swarm to the Loop (David Black Jokered his first try at this after spending a Soulstone to get the tome for another shot), fails to Machine Puppet the Swarm and then despondently creates some more scrap to put Hydraulics on the Swarm. The Swarm, thus empowered, charges Francisco and eats him far more easily than I would have liked. Sonnia targets and kills the pesky Mechanical Attendant then splashes a bit more damage around the crowd of constructs. The Austringer pecks rather ineffectually at the Swarm, then Langston and Hoffman decide to really go for it and wedge themselves right into Sonnia. The Death Marshal releases Papa Loco and shoots some nice damage onto the Swarm, and Papa Loco finishes it off and splashes some damage over Hoffman and Langston. My Stalker on the right takes one look at the onrushing Peacekeeper and runs off to hide; the machine follows implacably. I score a point for Reckoning.

007

Turn 3: Langston unleashes some nastiness on Sonnia but she somehow survives (luckily I have a terrible hand and have no problem at all discarding to avoid a couple of Decapitates). She in return puts some damage onto Hoffman, healing and drawing some cards to make me feel a bit happier then setting up Inferno. Hoffman looks sadly at his card full of Ca actions and then at the Disrupt Magic upgrade that Sonnia is toting. He Loops Langston, slows him, and heals twice from Improvised Repairs, then focusses to Machine Puppet Langston right into the middle of my crowd of miniatures. The Austringer kills the Toolkit and the Gamin charges the Stalker on the left; both indulge in some very ineffectual slapping. The Peacekeeper shows them how it’s done, easily killing the other Stalker. Sam and Papa Loco both fail to disengage so instead hit Langston, and the Death Marshal slips away from him and drops a scheme marker. Sonnia’s Flaming Demise goes off for damage to lot of nearby pieces. I reveal Plant Explosives for two points.

008

Turn 4: Hoffman puts Langston in the Power Loop and slows him again (but for no downside since he’s already slow). He then strolls over the Sonnia, focusses and smashes his Soulstone Torch into her, dropping a Red Joker in on damage and splattering her across the countryside. He then uses Frantic Repairs to discard the Arcanist Assets card that the ability is on to heal a little more. Langston Flurries Sam, killing him on the first shot. The Stalker kills the Metal Gamin and drops a scheme marker for Protect Territory. The Peacekeeper, a little too slow to engage the Austringer, moves to threaten Papa Loco. The Death Marshal runs through the gap between Langston and Hoffman and the Austringer Delivers Orders to get another scheme marker down. Finally, I get to live the dream with Papa Loco. He’s surrounded by three tough models (Hoffman, Langston and the Peacekeeper) so he uses Te Llevare al Infierno Conmigo twice, killing himself, Hoffman and Langston, and taking the Peacekeeper down to two wounds. We’re out of time now, though I don’t think that another round would have made much difference. My Guild win 7 – 2 (2 for Reckoning, 3 for Protect Territory and 2 for Plant Explosives for me; 1 for Reckoning and 1 for Bodyguard for David).

009

Playing against David is always a great experience. He’s a very fun chap with a ready smile on his face, and makes moves that I wouldn’t ever think of (like moving Langston directly into Sonnia instead of charging the nearby Stalker instead). We’re on to the final round where I get to face my third David of the day.

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

Strategy: Headhunter

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Cursed Object, Spring The Trap, Breakthrough
Guild: Spring The Trap, Breakthrough (announced)
Resurrectionists: Cursed Object, Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Disrupt Magic, Cherufe’s Imprint), Papa Loco, Francisco Ortega (Wade In), 3 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, Malifaux Child
Resurrectionists: Nicodem (Undertaker, Love Thy Master, Maniacal Laughter), 2 Necropunks, 2 Dead Doxies, Rogue Necromancy, Ana No Zako (Decaying Aura)

Playing Headhunter the round after Reckoning seemed like a slightly odd choice from the TO since they’re so similar, but presumably he knew what was doing. Looking at the board I felt like I could hamper David’s options a little with Flame Walls over a few choke points so I took the Malifaux Child and Cherufe’s Imprint. I’m still not really sure what the best option would be for this strategy as it needs capable killers to make the head markers drop in the first place but also scheme runners to pick them up after. I didn’t fancy any of the scheme much here, and eventually selected Spring The Trap and figured I’d only get one or two points for it, and Breakthrough to hope that I could power through on either the left or the right and start dropping markers.

010

Turn 1: There is some general advancing, both Doxies use Take The Lead to push the leading Stalker toward the Rogue Necromancy. Papa Loco, Sonnia and the Death Marshal go through their usual routine. Nicodem makes the Rogue Necromancy and the right Necropunk Fast; the Austringer Delivers Orders to push the Stalker far enough back that the Necromancy will have to use the extra action point to reach it. The Necromancy does indeed kill the Stalker; Sonnia kills the first Doxy. The Child fails to top deck the needed card to put a Flame Wall in the way of the Necromancy.

011

Turn 2: Sonnia throws everything she has at the Necromancy, but finally can only flip double weak damage on a positive flip when it only had three wounds left. Nicodem then heals it to full using the trigger on Decay. He summons a Hanged and companions in to it. The Hanged hits Francisco with Glimpse the Inevitable. The Child makes a wall to cut the Rogue Necromancy off from getting a simple charge on Francisco and moves to block another lane of attack. The Doxy picks up a head, one of my stalkers does the same. Both Necropunks hand Cursed Objects to my Witchling Stalkers and the Rogue Necromancy moves over to pester the Austringer. Francisco kills one of the Necropunks and the Austringer Delivers Orders to make one of the Stalkers get rid of the Cursed Object. We both score on the strategy and David scores for Cursed Object.

Turn 3: The Rogue Necromancy easily kills the Austringer, and Sonnia kills both the Hanged and the Dead Doxy, not to mention splashing some damage over Nicodem himself. She also puts a Flame Wall up to keep Nicodem away from the corpse and head markers all over the centre of the board. The Necropunk puts another Cursed Object in the Stalker’s pockets, and in return the Stalker flails back uselessly. I must remember to start putting the propoer effort into killing the little blighters some day. Ama No Zako fails to Promising Whisper the nearby Stalker. The Marshal shoots the Necromancy for a surprisingly good hit. Nico summons a Necropunk, makes it Fast and chain activates it to leap the Flame Wall and kill off Francisco. The Child makes a new wall a bit closer to Nicodem and the Stalker over there walks up and drops a scheme marker. I reveal Spring the Trap for one point (I can’t believe that I still outnumbered David at this point, but there you go), he takes another Cursed Object for a point and I score Head Hunter.

012

Turn 4: The Necropunk curses the Stalker on the right again. The Stalker on the left fails to kill the other Necropunk which then leaps away and drops a scheme marker. Papa Loco finally comes out of his box; the Death Marshall shoots ineffectually at the Necromancy then both it and Papa Loco pick up heads. In retrospect I’d probably have been better getting Papa Loco to kill the Necropunk and letting the Marshal deal with the head, but that’s in hindsight. Nicodem summons a Punk Zombie right next to Papa Loco and companions to make it Flurry him; in the end the Red Joker is cheated on damage, killing a swathe of models round the centre of the board. On the right, the Stalker finally kills the Necropunk. Sonnia immolates Nicodem and Ama No Zako moves to contain the Stalker on the right. Last round has been called. We probably have time to play the fifth turn, but we run through the options and it looks like I won’t be able to get better than a one point loss so we don’t even bother. Guild lose 4 – 8 (3 for Headhunter and 1 for Spring The Trap for me; 2 for Headhunter and 3 each of Cursed Object and Breakthrough for David).

013

It was a good game, and better choices could probably have seen me at least get closer to David’s score. I think that my choice of schemes was probably a mistake here, and looking back I shouldn’t really have expected this rather slow crew to get much joy from Breakthrough against a summoning master pilotted by as strong a player as David. Cursed Object might have served me rather better with hindsight. I did think I would likely be outnumbered enough to score a second point from Spring The Trap.

When the scores are all counted I’ve come in third place, which I’m very happy with. Furycat, pilotting a simple Ten Thunders crew we’ve worked on together, seemed to have a good time too, so hopefully I’ll be able to drag him along to more of these events. I enjoyed my games against my hat-trick of Davids, and I’d also like to thank Andrew for all his hard work organising it all.

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

Malifaux tournament report: Vapnartak 2015 (40SS); 01Feb2015

After a dry tournament spell over the new year period I was pleased to get my 2015 off to a big start at Vapnartak 2015. Joe and I drove down to York having risen rather early; more accurately Joe drove down and sat and enjoyed the conversation. After using Ten Thunders for the whole of 2014 I had decided to play Guild for this event. This is because I’m a fool. Long time readers of my blog may remember that I used Guild in my first tournaments before moving over to Ten Thunders. At Fate Fading last year I sold my metal Guild to Greg, one of the local players who apparently isn’t too worried about the quality of paintwork on his second-hand miniatures. About a week after that, I got a urge to play Guild… so yes, after having them languishing in my bag for over a year, I sold the miniatures and immediately after wanted to use them again. Oh well, at least it gave me an excuse to pick up the very lovely plastic boxes instead. Excuse the partially painted nature of my miniatures in the photos; I’m still working on them, and a few were borrowed from Joe for the event.

In order to avoid the madness of over 50 players in a three round event, TO Chris had split the pack into two sections. Due to a drop out I ended up swapping over before round one; it was just as well I didn’t spend any time worrying about my potential opponents. As it happened, I was matched up with Lee who had been preparing for a specific match up. Hopefully he wasn’t too disappointed with the last minute change.

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Gremlins (Lee)

Strategy: Extraction

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

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Cherufe’s Imprint), Papa Loco, 2 Witchling Stalkers, 2 Death Marshals, Austringer, Malifaux Child
Gremlins: Ophelia LaCroix (Dirty Cheater, Liquid Bravery), Lenny, Raphael LaCroix, Francois LaCroix (Dirty Cheater), 2 Bayou Gremlins, Slop Hauler

I’ve only played a handful of games with Guild in M2E and all of them have been with Sonnia, so it wasn’t a hard decision to take her. The board seemed to offer some choke points so I took Cherufe’s Imprint and the Malifaux Child in order to block some angles of getting to the Informant marker. My testing so far has suggested that Papa Loco and a Death Marshal make for a highly entertaining accompaniment for Sonnia, and the rest of my crew was just intended to be mobile blockers and marker droppers. At 40SS it seems to be very hard to keep non-summoning masters safe so I tried Assassinate; Protect Territory usually feels like an achievable scheme under normal deployment.

001

Turn 1: We generally advance towards each other. Papa Loco tells Sonnia to Hold This and advances, followed by a charging Death Marshal who scoops him into a Pine Box. Francois goes Reckless and rushes me on the left faster than I was expecting, which puts a bit of a crimp on my plans to keep him out of the way with a Flame Wall. Ophelia picks up My Threatenin’ Gun and pulls the Slop Hauler up with Ooh A Girl! before taking Defensive Stance. Sonnia moves forward into range and Flame Bursts all over the little green guys, killing the Slop Hauler, dropping Raphael down to a single wound (which he loses to burning at the end of the turn) and splashing some hefty damage over Lenny and Ophelia. The Bayou Gremlin over there, missed by all the blasts, looks quite alarmed.

002

Turn 2: Ophelia moves forward, uses Ooh a Girl to bring Lenny to her (for the built-in Rams I suppose) and shoots Sonnia once with My Threatenin’ Gun and once with her normal guns. I cheat high enough to survive with a few wounds; the Austringer is paralysed by the side effect of My Threatenin’ Gun though. Sonnia cracks her knuckles and says ‘my turn’, then vapourises Ophelia, Lenny and the nearby Bayou Gremlin in gouts of flame. This scores me Assassinate in the process, and I turn Ophelia into a Witchling Stalker for the badness. Francois charges the nearby Death Marshal and kills him, and rest of my crew fails to do anything of significance in return. The lonely Bayou Gremlin on the left drops a scheme marker. I score on the strategy and move the Informant Marker further from Francois.

003

Turn 3: Francois uses Showdown and kills a Witchling. It turns out that fire doesn’t care about Showdowns as Sonnia happily blasts away into the melee; I’m perfectly happy to kill off my own Stalker to splash more blasts if needed over the Gremlin. In fact, Francois unwisely Squeals out of melee on the first hit and Sonnia barbecues him for his trouble. I think it would have been the same result over all, but this actually allowed me to splash the blast over the Bayou Gremlin to kill him with fire. With nothing left on the table, Lee concedes me the 10 – 0. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the barren table, but it’s not like it would have been much different from the previous shot.

Finishing so early allowed me lots of time to wander round and see what else was being played in the event; this appeared to be a lot of Hoffman, Dreamer, Leveticus and McCabe. Lee was a gentleman to play against, and it was lovely to face him across the table after seeing him around at a lot of events. Despite him telling me that he uses Sonnia as him demonstration crew for new players he seemed rather surprised by the fate of his crew on turns one and two. Anyway it evidently didn’t do him any harm as I believe that Lee won his other two games. I think we both enjoyed the game (it was fun for me at least) although I was a little sorry that it had been so one-sided. I had a good look round the rest of the convention, enjoyed a lunch and chat with the rest of the gamers and then it was on to the next round.

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

Strategy: Headhunter

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Murder Protege, Distract, Plant Explosives
Guild: Murder Protege (unannounced), Plant Explosives
Ten Thunders: Murder Protege (unannounced), Breakthrough (announced)

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Counterspell Aura), Papa Loco, 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, The Judge
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Endless Hunger, Woke Up With A Hand), Hungering Darkness (Recalled Training), Lone Swordsman (Recalled Training), 2 Illuminated, 2 Tengu

I’ve played Peter in an event half a year ago when he was very inexperienced at Malifaux, but he seems to be a real tournament regular now and very handy with his Ten Thunders by all accounts. Unfortunately for him, I also know Ten Thunders quite well and I’m fairly good at unpicking them. I decided that Cherufe’s Imprint wouldn’t be too useful on this board as we’ve agreed that the platforms would be climbable. With Murder Protege in the scheme pool I knew I needed someone quite substantial to avoid giving up the points too lightly; hence the presence of the Judge. Actually he’s probably not that good in Headhunter as any of his victims wouldn’t actually drop heads, but in this case his job was just to not die too easily, hopefully while drawing out the Lone Swordsman. I didn’t fancy Distract with this strategy and I also didn’t like the idea of trying to cross the board quickly enough to pick up Breakthrough, so I picked Murder Protege (unannounced because I didn’t want the Swordsman hiding; looking back I’m lucky he didn’t end up killing himself with You Shall Not See Another Sunrise) and Plant Explosives thinking that it might be a simple move for the Austringer to Deliver Orders.

004

Turn 1: Things move up. Papa Loco again passes Sonnia some dynamite before being scooped into a coffin by the Death Marshal. The Judge pulls Sonnia forward with Stand For Judgement. Hungering Darkness hides as well as it can but on this board there isn’t anywhere really safe, and Sonnia puts a few wounds on the big tadpole.

005

Turn 2: To my great surprise Hungering Darkness scoots away and hides in a corner far from the nasty burny lady. The Austringer shoots an Illuminated mainly just to waste time before I’m forced to engage. The Illuminated on the left heals up and moves forward; one of my Stalkers drops a scheme marker near her. The other Illuminated kills my other Stalker; in return Sonnia kills it and has the head drop near my crew. I also summon a replacement Stalker. Lynch shoots the Stalker who had dropped the scheme marker on the walkway; it advances with Drawn to Pain. The Judge saunters over and picks up the Illuminated’s head, scoring me one point for the strategy.

006

Turn 3: The Stalker in the middle moves to be engaged by Lynch and the Illuminated, hoping to set them ablaze when it inevitably dies. The Illuminated does indeed kill it on the first attack, then pats down to remove the fire; Lynch sensible Soulstones the damage away. The newly summoned Stalker picks up the head of his fallen brethren on the far right and one Tengu picks up the most recently fallen Stalker head. Hungering Darkness uses Recalled Training, moves up and puts one attack on the Death Marshal. The damage is weak but it does heal up. The Judge pulls the Death Marshal out of the fight with Stand For Judgement, then the Death Marshal drops a scheme marker next to it. Lynch kills the last Stalker, the Austringer’s bird pecks the Lone Swordsman a little and Sonnia immolates the Hungering Darkness. Finally, just when I think I’m going to pick up Plant Explosives, the Tengu rushes in and removes my marker with Still The Earth. I forgot it had that ability! We both score on the strategy.

007

Turn 4: The Lone Swordsman uses Recalled Training and charges the Judge; luckily I’d managed to position such that he had to Wander The Earth to get the angle, so at least I only had a single activation of damage to suck up. Two nice chops take the Judge down to 2 wounds left. Sonnia climbs onto the walkway and carpet bombs the assembled Ten Thunders crew, killing a Tengu, the Illuminated and the Lone Swordsman (scoring Murder Protege) not to mention putting some serious damage into Lynch. The Ten Thunders master picks up a head and moves to my right. My Death Marshal lets Papa Loco out of the box and picks up one of the many heads lying around. Papa Loco chain activates and bombs the Tengu back to the void. The Austringer sends his bird to peck at Lynch and the Judge runs as far from Lynch as he can manage. We both score a point for Headhunter.

008

Turn 5: Lynch collects a head, Papa Loco collects a head, then the Austringer drops a scheme marker next to Lynch for Plant Explosives. Guild win 7 – 3 (4 for Headhunter, 2 for Murder Protege and 1 for Plant Explosive for me; 3 for Headhunter for Peter.

010

That was a very fun game against Peter, but I think that the sheer power of Sonnia against Hungering Darkness put Peter on the back foot. I was confident of the win from the moment Peter moved his Hungering Darkness right out of the game in turn 2 as it meant that I could concentrate on other parts of his crew. The Lone Swordsman getting into the Judge was a bit of a hairy moment but short of getting the Red Joker I think he would struggle to finish the job in a single activation. With that, we were onto the final round. I was paired up against Mark, another gamer I’ve seen around at a few events but never actually played against.

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

Strategy: Stake a Claim

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Protect Territory, Outflank, Plant Explosives
Guild: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives
Neverborn: Protect Territory (announced), Plant Explosives

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation, Cherufe’s Imprint), Papa Loco, 2 Witchling Stalkers, Death Marshal, Austringer, 2 Guild Hounds, Malifaux Child
Neverborn: Dreamer (Dreams of Pain, On Wings of Darkness), 2 Silurids, Doppelganger (Mimic’s Blessing), Gupps, 2 Daydreams

The board we were playing on was quite strange, with large open spaces that should favour the shooting options, but also very large line-of-sight blocking sections that offered good hiding places. Stake a Claim is my worst strategy; I seem to struggle with it no matter which crew I take. However, the close deployment made this game a very interesting proposition. In this case, I decided to try out a pair of Guild Hounds as they’d be fast enough to get across the halfway line early and start dropping Claim markers. I also decided that there should be enough choke points to make it worth using the Malifaux Child and Cherufe’s Imprint to deny some movement.

011

Turn 1: The Malifaux Child starts things off by putting a Flame Wall as far down the right hand choke point as I can manage. There is a bit of activation wasting on both sides; Papa Loco gives Sonnia explosives and is boxed up by the Death Marshal on my side while the Daydreams mess about for Mark. The Dreamer resummons the lost Daydream, then brings in an Insidious Madness and makes it Fast. Since it is still on a single wound, the Austringer Focuses and kills the Madness. The Silurids leap and drop scheme markers near my Stalkers. Rather than give up Plant Explosive so easily, Sonnia kills off the Stalker on the right, using him to chain blasts that kill the Silurid and badly wound the Gupps. If only I’d had a severe in hand (or top decked it on a double positive twist) I could have had the Gupps too.

012

Turn 2: Another Daydream goes away to give masks to the Dreamer. One Hound drops a Claim marker. The Dreamer summons Lilitu, removes Slow from her and summons a replacement Daydream before turning into Lord Chompy Bits. The Malifaux Child recasts the Flame Wall in the same place, taking the Gupps to a single wound and the Stalker on the left drops a Claim Marker. Sonnia tries to shoot Lilitu but Mark top-decks the Red Joker to deny me. Lilitu moves up to engage the centre of the board; my Death Marshal fails to hit her. The Austringer uses Deliver Orders to make the first Hound drop a scheme marker just out of Lilitu’s huge melee range. The other Hound bites the Doppelganger. Lord Chompy Bits moves around in the backfield, presumably for some good reason that I can’t fathom, the Gupps drop a scheme marker that near both Hounds and the Doppelganer removes my own scheme marker nearby as I’d forgotten about Don’t Mind Me. Overall, not a very successful tournament for Plant Explosives for me. Finally, the Silurid on the left leaps into my half of the board and drops a Claim marker, removing my own on that side. Mark reveals Plant Explosives for all three points and neither of us score on the strategy.

013

Turn 3: Lilitu moves forward to be in the most annoying place possible, engaging most of my crew. The Stalker again drops a Claim Marker. Sonnia uses Confiscated Lore to increase her defence, then moves just out of Lilitu’s melee range. She shoots at Lord Chompy Bits but Black Jokers the first damage flip. The second shot Mark uses a Soulstone in defence and I can only get weak damage on the big monster. Lord Chompy Bits walks up and easily eats one of my Hounds before turning back into the Dreamer, wisely hidden behind the rock outcropping. I fail to kill Lilitu with the Austringer, so the Death Marshall walks up and Pine Boxes her. This pops out Papa Loco, who moves up and uses Te Llevare al Infierno Conmigo, killing the pesky Doppelganger. He nearly scares the Dreamer too, but Mark uses a Soulstone for a postive flip and makes it on the second card with nothing in hand. The Silurid again puts down a Claim marker, removing my own. Neither of us score for Stake a Claim.

Turn 4: Sonnia shoots Papa Loco, splashing the blasts over the Dreamer and then blowing up the Ortega for good measure (this also finishes off the other Guild Hound). Mark’s out of Soulstones anyway, but that would have needed some impressive damage prevention to avoid. Then she walks over halfway and drops a scheme marker. The Gupps leap into my half of the table and scheme; I try to kill them off (only one wound remaining remember) with the Malifaux Child but it’s not to be as a 13 is cheated in to avoid the hit. The Death Marshall heads upfield to drop a scheme marker. I nearly get lucky as one Daydream rushes over to try and stop me scoring Protect Territory, but Mark remembers about Plant Explosives before committing the second one and is able to Lead Nightmare to get the first away again. The Stalker drops a Claim marker, then the Austringer helps him drop a scheme marker too; the Silurid also drops scheme marker in their little corner. I score on the strategy but it’s not enough. Guild lose 4 – 6 (3 for Protect Territory and 1 for Stake a Claim for me; 3 for Protect Territory and 3 for Plant Explosives for Mark). Sadly I only remembered to take a photo after we’d started clearing up so there are a few missing markers etc.

014

That was a truly terrific game, surely of the best I’ve played in months. Indeed, this is one reason I like to travel to tournaments – to test myself against players better than I am. I think I saw a few order of activation and placement errors that I could fix, but of course the big mistake was clustering the Hounds close together and then forgetting Don’t Mind Me on the Doppelganger. Even with that I think if I’d played a little more cannily on the last turn I could possibly have eeked out a draw or better. Mark did everything he needed to for the victory, and was an absolute blast to play throughout. I’ll be delighted if I get to face him again.

Once all the scores were counted I came in 5th place of the 28 players in my division, which I’m really happy about. I had 3 very entertaining games against 3 very nice players, so I’d like to thank Lee, Peter and Mark for spending their day with me. I also want to mention the organisers Chris and Josh for putting on a fantastic event again. Finally, Joe, Maria and I drove back North, stopping for our now-customary terrifying fast food portion and with Joe and me trying to learn pearls of Malifaux wisdom from the foot of the expert.

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

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

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

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

Strategy: Reckoning

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

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

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

001

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

002

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

003

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

004

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

005

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

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

Strategy: Squatter’s Rights

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

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

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

006

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

007

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

008

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

009

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

010

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

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

Strategy: Turf War

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

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

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

011

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

012

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

013

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

014

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

015

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

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

Strategy: Reconnoitre

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

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

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

016

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

017

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

018

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

019

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

020

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

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

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