So after thinking about it for a while, I've decided to start a new blog here to track my progress for 2015, with an entry after every event and some thoughts on crew selection, schemes and the UK tournament scene in general. Just to put that into context, I attended 20 tournaments and 2 story encounters since starting to play in March last year. If all goes to plan, there should be a lot going up!
After finishing last year in 19th place on the UK Malifaux rankings (www.malifauxrankings.com - thank you to the man, the legend, that is Mike Marshall for keeping these going!), I missed out on qualifying for the Masters event by one place. To be honest I'm pretty happy about that - although I've been playing games in general since I was 11, I've only been playing Malifaux for 9 months and it's a complete departure from the style of games I was used to.
That said, my aim is to go one better this year and qualify for the Masters. After coming so close I want in! It's being able to point to myself, a man frankly known for moments of utter bone-headed incompetence, and say that I deserve my place amongst the best players in the country. That would mean a lot to me.
The first job was to choose a faction to focus on.
I started out with Neverborn, my decision heavily influenced by being a member of the Leicester Squigs gaming club with luminaries including Joel 'Undisputed Number 1' Henry and Graham 'BluTack' Bursnell as regular opponents.
The Neverborn served me well and I still enjoy them, but I moved onto Outcasts for the last 6 months of 2014. This was for two reasons - I wanted a more damage-orientated faction to match my playstyle, and there weren't many Outcast players out there at the time. Six months later, whilst I've done pretty well with the Outcasts, I still don't feel I've 'clicked' with them entirely.
Looking at the other factions, the Guild and the Resurrectionists caught my eye. The idea of raising shambling hordes of Undead has always appealed, and Ressers as a faction, with a couple of exceptions, seem to do appallingly badly at events and I can't understand why that is. Guild are woefully under-represented, and I've identified with the models in the fluff. Whilst the evil overlords of the Guild are growing rich, the actual guys on the ground come across as trying to do their best in a deeply flawed system. Anyone with a day job knows how that feels!
And if I ever feel all imperious and superior, I can play Lucius, call everyone 'lackey' and thump them with a cane.
After playing a few games with both factions the Guild were my decision, and it's these guys that I'll be starting 2015 with. I've always been a very aggressive player, and I like to impose my game on my opponent and try to make them play on my terms. It became clear very quickly that the Guild were an awesome match for me and playstyle.
The best way I can think of to explain this, is if you encounter a problem model in an enemy crew. Neverborn will run around it or block it off with trees. Resurrectionists will hit it with nasty conditions and summon zombies in the way. Guild? Guild will kill it until it's dead. Their favourite trigger is Critical Strike for extra damage. Of their 7 Masters, Lady Justice, Perdita, Sonnia Criid, McMourning, Hoffman, Lucius and McCabe, I would argue that only the latter 3 aren't primarily focussed on destroying the enemy, and even then they tend to achieve their aims by making their crew better at doing the destroying for them. That's a very good thing for me!
Of course, smashing stuff in the face to the exclusion of all else won't win you many games of Malifaux. And there I still feel the Guild have much to offer. Guild Hounds and Watchers are fantastic, cheap scheme runners. There are a number of fantastic little tricks you can pull with the Henchmen - my current favourite is using them to propel Lady Justice 10" up the board before she's even activated, without using a single AP. And we haven't even mentioned what shenanigans you can get up to with Austringers, Hunters, Witchling Handlers and the like...
So, decision made. I'm spending the start of 2015 playing Guild. I'm not going to make any big sweeping statements that I won't use anything else for X number of months. That's not going to happen - I enjoy Lilith, Leveticus, the Viks, Seamus and others, so they'll get some table time. But my primary focus will be the 'thin red line'.
I've already attended one tournament this year, at the Grid in Doncaster, and will report on that in a separate post. There are the two League of Extraordinary Henchmen events this coming weekend, followed by Frostbite at Sanctuary in Mansfield, and that's just January! My new Guild models will be getting some serious exercise.
Hopefully this ramble will give you some idea of how I chose a faction to play with, and I'm intending later entries to actually include some useful tactical nuggets that other players can learn from.
Well. As much as I ever say anything useful...