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Nathan Caroland Nathan Caroland

Auswin

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About Auswin

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    Peon
  • Birthday 01/17/1985

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  1. Monday Preview - Yan Lo

    I need this in my life as a model.
  2. 10T Misaki vs. Von Schill, GG18 test

    Yes, we played that you couldn't pick up the ones on our side of the board -- as there were some posts saying that was the intention. Correct. I should have mentioned this. We decided to play it as if the first point could be scored and revealed if nobody dropped a marker by bottom of 2. It made no sense trying to test it otherwise. Personally I think it's okay to have it be variable based on WP, but I might say the TN needs to be even higher or there needs to be another layer of protection. I think a flat number might only punish factions that don't have access to leap or a lot of movement tricks.
  3. Thought I'd share my experience from testing last night. 50 SS, Wave 5 upgrades. Crews Misaki Misaki (7 cache) - Stalking Bisento - Risk and Reward Sensei Yu - Wandering River Style Shadow Emissary - Conflux of Thunder - Death Contrac Mr. Tannen - False Target Shang Ten Thunders Brother Ten Thunders Brother Von Schill Von Schill (4 cache) - The shirt comes off - Clockwork Arm - Oath of the Freikorps Lazarus - Oathkeeper Strongarm Suit - Oathkeeper Freikorps Trapper Freikorps Specialist Freikorps Librarian Steam Trunk Deployment, Strats and Schemes Standard Deployment Symbols of Authority Claim Jump Collect Evidence (Taken by Schill) Eliminate the Leadership (Taken by Schill and Misaki) Make 'Em Suffer (Taken by Misaki) Dig Their Graves Deployment Misaki (me) deployed first, focused on the left flank. I placed my first symbol just outside my deployment zone behind a tree, the second just past mid board. My opponent placed one on the opposing back right flank, meaning the two "home" markers were placed as far apart as possible -- the other he put on the left flank to direct the game that way. I deployed in a bit of a bubble with Tannen and the Brother broken further out. Schill counter-deployed with the majority of his crew directly across from mine. Librarian and Strongarm were more at the middle of the table, trapper was protecting the far flank and set up in a sniping position. Turn 1 Cashed in all 7 stones for Risk 7. A lot of moving. Trapper killed Shang. Yu made Misaki fast and stalked Lazarus. Misaki had enough range to charge the Trapper on 1 -- two crows in hand, and he let it die. Misaki stalks Schill. Thunder Bro drops scheme marker around mid board for safety, in case Schill took Collect Evidence. Turn 2 Cashed in all 7 for Risk 7 again. Strongarm Suit charges Misaki, dealing 5 damage. She charges and kills steam trunk, securing max points on "Make 'em suffer." Schill charges a thunder bro, killing it. Also dealing 4 damage to Sensei Yu. Bad flips cause Lazarus to deal no damage. Yu deals 5 damage to Schill and 1 point of poison, which scores 1 on Eliminate the Leadership. Misaki heals back to full from risk. Turn 3 Tannen, who has been on his own walking up the flank all game, finally makes it to the strategy marker and removes it. Scoring 1. Schill heals with the shirt, but Yu, Emissary and Misaki (who has wheeled around the board) kill him, securing 3 VP on Eliminate. Thunder bro and emissary die for 10T. These were the important activations. Turn 4 Schill player now down to 1 stone. Can't keep remaining models up from all the misaki assasinates. Thunder bro walks and removes the final strategy marker mid-board. We call the game 10-0. End Game Thoughts We both really liked the strategy, and it was very fun to force the game to really spread out over time. However felt that there needed to be some better way to protect the strategy marker removal. A 1" interact requires a model on a 40 or 50 mm base with a reach of 3" or greater to stop the marker being removed from the far side. The WP duel mechanic is a great addition that adds a level of forethought, but protecting the marker is a big one -- especially considering a removal is a 2 VP swing. My opponent felt Collect Evidence was too difficult in the pool. The combination of schemes meant that I had no motivation to place any markers, other than babysit the one I dropped early game with a thunder brother, effectively denying 3 VP for almost no effort. Obviously there are crews that can force marker drops, but they are few and far between. In our discussion post-game, we also realized this scheme is essentially a free 3 VP for any crew containing Aionus. At the cost of a 10 he can drop an enemy scheme marker as a 0, walk and remove it. Park him back board and the entire game for the opponent comes down to killing Aionus. Feels like a negative play experience, and most players will trade the 12 or 13 stones in crew building for an almost-guaranteed 3 VP. Everything else felt solid.
  4. July 2017 Errata

    As someone who owns every faction (except Arcanists and Outcasts) and love my Malifaux children equally (except Ressers, you know you're my first love boo), the change to Stuffed Pigs is a mixed bag. I liked to be able to use the Pigapult when I felt like being semi-compeditive but still have a bit of a laugh, because it was never the strongest shooting model -- but that's made more difficult with 3 SS pigs. That said, the implications for Wong are absolutely warranted and it's an excellent thing for the health of the game as it pertains to him being a master. Everyone's experience is different, but especially after the release of Swine Cursed it was very difficult to justify being able to run the Gremlin All-Stars (Trixie and Burt), McTavish AND Swine Cursed and still have a way to out-activate most of my opponents, or drop one of those models and get 13 activations with ease. They'd ask post-game how they should adapt to deal with that and I didn't have an answer, to me that says a lot. Ultimately I think it will lead to more creative list building and less excuses for people to say Gremlins are OP. That is great for the faction.
  5. Hi gang! This is James, the henchman in Greenville, NC to share the results and some info from our 14 person tournament on Saturday 7/29 at Blue Ox Games here in town. Results 1. Erik Lodal, Gremlins 2. Kemp Lambert, Ressurectionists 2. Alfredo Pupperino, Neverborn 4. Sam Newman, Neverborn 5. Patrick Healy, Guild 6. Elliot Triebenbacher, Ressurectionists 7. Craig Shipman, Guild 8. John Lilley, Neverborn 9. Chris Blue, Outcasts 10. Jim Ortiz, Arcanists 11. Samuel Leu, Guild 12. Braelyn Wagoner, Arcanists 13. Kelly Smith, Resurrectionists 14. Mike Metcalf, Outcasts Master Breakdown Guild (3 players) Nellie 58.3%, Perdita 33.3%, Sonnia 8.4% Neverborn (3 players) Collodi 33.3%, Titania 25%, Lucius 16.6%, Zoraida 16.6%, Lilith 8.4% Ressers (3 players) Reva 58.3%, Molly 16.6%, Tara 16.6%, Seamus 8.4% Outcasts (2 players) Viktorias 50%, Tara 50% Arcanists (2 players) Ramos 50%, Marcus 25%, Collette 25% Gremlins (1 player) Somer 100% Strategies and Schemes Round 1 Standard Deployment Strategy: Extraction Schemes: Claim Jump, Dig Their Graves, Accusation!, Hidden Trap, Recover Evidence TO's thoughts: Whenever I build a scheme pool I like to make things difficult -- because I'm evil. Actually, it's more that I like to build counter-intuitive pools that force people into difficult situations. I thought Recover Evidence would be a natural choice, given the centralized nature of Extraction, but it surprised me how many players went for Hidden Trap this round. I often feel it's a difficult scheme to pull off, and this resulted in some major final turn swings. Average Player VP: 5.5 Round 2 Flank Deployment Strategy: Headhunter Schemes: Claim Jump, Frame for Murder, Leave Your Mark, Hunting Party, Set Up TO's thoughts: I felt before the event that this was the second-most difficult round. I felt the trap players would fall into would be to build excessively kill-focused crews to force heads being dropped and score Hunting Party, with the risk that a interact-heavy crew could breach the backfield and score Leave Your Mark, potentially also having their scheme runner be the "sucker" for Frame for Murder. Scores were higher in Round 2, but it was the only round where no player was able to score a full 10. Average Player VP: 6.1 Round 3 Corner Deployment Strategy: Interference Schemes: Claim Jump, Eliminate the Leadership, Accusation!, Show of Force, Search the Ruins TO's thoughts: This was my favorite round when I created it, and the one my local players said they found the most difficult in preparing for the event. I liked the opposing forces of trying to score Interference with the center board-heavy Show of Force and Search the Ruins. The players who did best this round found creative ways of matching their opponent in models and finding interesting ways to accuse enemy models controlling quarters. Average Player VP: 6.1 Round 4 Close Deployment Strategy: Stake a Claim Schemes: Claim Jump, Dig Their Graves, Leave Your Mark, Undercover Entourage, Tail 'Em TO's thoughts: Watching the round unfold this was by far the most fun to watch. The top two tables saw Somer play Neverborn Zoraida and Nellie play Collodi, which was fascinating to see all four players use their control elements and tricks to try and stop the trickiest pool of the day (in my opinion). The combination of Leave Your Mark and Undercover Entourage could potentially result in huge VP swings either way, depending on how they were countered -- but it was also a potential trap considering the AP investment Stake a Claim requires. This was a blast. Average Player VP: 5.71 Final TO thoughts: I consider a total scheme pool a success if I see a wide variety of schemes chosen, paired with an average VP lower than 6.5 on the day. In total players averaged 5.85 across all four rounds, which I hope they felt like was a decent challenge. The amount of control masters taken made games fascinating to watch, particularly in the later rounds when players were more-closely paired. Top 10 Interesting Observations From The Day 1. No Ten Thunders is fairly rare in our meta. Two tournaments ago we have six 10T players in a 16-person tournament. 2. So. Much. Burt. At this point many of us know just how strong Burt Jebsen is, and there's no sign of that slowing down. Burt was used in a total of 18 games on the day, for an average inclusion rate in lists of 32.1%. 3. Wait ... is that FINGERS?! Voted Gremlin Henchman most-likely to induce opinions, Fingers appeared in two games on the day. These were the first two games I've ever seen him in compeditive play. His chatty aura is situationally incredible, especially in a pool like Round 4 with close deployment and interact-heavy schemes. Maybe it's time to consider clipping him from your Brewmaster sprue. 4. Sometimes you need a third tiebreaker. The finish for second and third was so tight that Best Coast Pairings gave up and put two players in the second spot. They tied on Swiss, Diff and total VP -- which took it to head-to-head. 5. Tara vs. Tara means that nothing happens. Outcast Tara and Resser Tara met in Round 2 and tied 7-7. May nobody ever be able to settle which is the better Tara. 6. I don't like to make sweeping generalizations, especially based on one tournament -- but it was interesting to see a potential Neverborn meta shift in the works with two players finishing 3rd and 4th with the faction with 3rd playing Collodi four rounds and 4th playing Lilith in just one round, Titania in one and Zoraida in two. Great to see the faction open up. 7. Weird science. Two Arcanist players in a four round tournament and no Sandeep just felt ... wrong. 8. Games with Reva predominantly featured her out-and-out kill combo of "Littany of the Fallen" and "Decaying Aura," but she had a 3-4 record on the day. 9. BREAKING NEWS: Somer is still good. Erik absolutely deserved the win on the day, and nothing should take away from that. He was masterful with Somer throughout the day, but the depth of the scheme pool showed just how adaptable he is as a master. Somer's ability to slot himself in where needed and fill multiple roles in a game continue to show his strength inside the Gremlins faction. 10. Far fewer rules queries. At this point people are fairly familiar with the FAQ and errata docs, which made for an easy day as a TO. I got to enjoy the games and answer less questions. If you're reading this far: Thank you for ensuring my rambling wasn't in vain. The event was a blast and I hope everyone had fun. I can't wait for Wave 5 and see how things change by the next time we host an event in Eastern NC.
  6. Hi! We're doing a Three round, 50 SS, fixed faction tournament on 7/29 as part of the NC tournament circuit. Date: July 29, 2017 Where: Blue Ox Games 2713 E 10th St Greenville, NC 27858 Time: 11 a.m. Entry fee: $10 towards store and prize support. Prizes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, best painted
  7. Storied Soundtracks

    Life, afterlife. Her eyes sprung open without blinking. The world immediately came into focus. Light seeped through the ornate windows, as particles of dust waltzed in the errant sunbeams which somehow found a way to pierce the dense curtains. Three steps. It took three steps to walk from the bed to the window. With each came an overflow of anticipation. Perhaps there would be something different outside the walls; a new person, a new place -- a piece of unfamiliar landscaping or a hare -- anything. Imagination swirled with every step and hope renewed where it was unwarranted. The young woman pulled apart the velvet-like drapes and saw the same lawn as always, with the same trees and shrubs, as always. Elizabeth McMillan was intelligent, inquisitive and utterly empty. A stately home can become the cruelest prison to an inquisitive mind. This concept might seem ludicrous, but it was real to Elizabeth. Her days were occupied with nothing of consequence or interest. She’d stroll down to the lake in the hopes of seeing a tortoise, or read one of father’s books about Borneo or Saigon, but nothing more. Never anything more. Elizabeth was a disappointment. Those were Lady McMillan’s words. The family’s matriarch was was far too censorious and craggy than her fifty-six years should give purchase. The mother of three had two children who found an acceptable place in high society -- Elizabeth had not. On the precipice of thirty, her middle child didn’t marry, had no suitors and seemed utterly disinterested in every opportunity the family presented her with. She lasted two weeks as a teacher at the preparatory school in town, just ten days as a research assistant and failed to make it until teatime after her father pulled considerable strings to have her learn the family business in one of the factories in their holdings. “How many times must I tell you, Elizabeth,” he mother scowled, “You are not to come downstairs whilst my visitors are over.” These “visitors” were friends -- but that didn’t sound formal enough for mother. They would gather in the drawing room every Wednesday to play cards and gossip, braying like prodded donkeys as soon as one would make a quip that contained little-to-no wit, and even less cleverness. Elizabeth had a stern warning she should never come downstairs during these visits. Her dinner would be delivered to her room and she would remain there until they left, but on this night she heard a rustle in the leaves below the window and thought it might be interesting so she walked outside, and through the drawing room as a result. “I just don’t know what to do with you anymore, Elizabeth.” Her mother said pointedly. “There isn’t a day that goes by where I didn’t wish you were more like your brother or sister instead of -- you.” Of course Elizabeth’s married older brother was sharing a bed with the pub owner’s daughter, which was never mentioned, and her sister spent most of her afternoons in an opium den -- this was never discussed either. They were married, that showed success and appearances were everything to Lady McMillan. “We’ve given you every opportunity and you’ve hastily ruined them all.” Her mother continued. “You cannot keep living under this roof without finding something to occupy your time. It’s just not proper.” Elizabeth pretended to listen to the ceaseless prattling and gave an air of interest to satiate her mother, but her mind was elsewhere. Plans began to permeate in her head and the promise of possibility fired synapses like tiny controlled fireworks. For the first time in a long while she was excited. The disappointing daughter who amounted to nothing was leaving, perhaps forever. *** The old mahogany desk was more than the place father conducted business, it was his sanctuary. Immaculately organized, the only wear it showed was a small strip of worn away veneer near his chair where meticulously brushed varnish had disappeared from years of shuffling papers in precisely the same way for a decade. Elizabeth knew Lord McMillan would be in his office, just as he was every morning. Once known simply as Edward McMillan, he was a self-made man of immense stature. From an early age he rebuked any offerings the family name and title gave him. He instead chose to make it on his own. Edward spent time in the Royal Navy, where he learned not only discipline but became worldly -- qualities he one day hoped to instill in his children. He took a wife upon returning, and Lady Jane Sinclair was his betrothed. Long before she became the stern matriarch of the McMillans, Jane Sinclair shared Edward’s passion for the world. She painted, wrote poetry -- dabbled in a great many things that expanded her creatively. Though they differed in how they viewed their lot in life, the two shared enough commonality that they were prepared for running a household, or so it would seem. Shortly after marrying the now Lady Jane McMillan changed. She treated the family’s servants with disdain, her creativity evaporated, and soon so did the relationship between the couple. They did their duty and gave the family heirs, but their lives had become separate. Like ships passing in the night, Edward sank his energy into his work, while Jane clung to her title and filled that role classically. On paper the pair were together, but there was no passion for each other. Though he’d never mention it, Edward was ashamed of what his family had become. His wife seemed only interested in ensuring the family moved in the right circles, two of his children followed their mother’s path -- far more interested in appearance that substance. There was a single beacon of hope. One person who brought Lord McMillan happiness -- Elizabeth. She inherited his spirit in a way the others didn’t, she hungered for life and experience and it didn’t matter to her if her pockets weren’t heavy with coin. Being around his daughter let Edward remember who he once was, as if he was staring into a reflecting pool and saw his younger self. Every moment with her made him happy, and precisely for this reason Edward would find himself devastated in a few seconds -- he just didn’t know it yet. “Father, I need to leave.” “Where are you off to today, dear? Walk into town? Trip to the woods?” he replied, taking a short puff on his pipe and only briefly glancing up from his newspaper. “Father, I need to leave,” Elizabeth’s voice trembled ever so slightly, knowing that if she didn’t spit out the next words the courage would never fill her again. “I need to go. For a while. Maybe forever.” The emotion creeping into her voice undermined Elizabeth’s confidence, but it wasn’t for worry of her father’s reaction, but rather the inescapable fear that she was disappointing him. Lord McMillan put the paper down, let out a long sigh before wiping the newsprint off his fingers with a handkerchief, and folding it neatly back into a square. He was planning, thinking -- Elizabeth knew it. Her father had a tendency to mask his own nervousness with exactness, a trait he likely picked up in the Navy. “What about Rhodesia? You uncle Benjamin is there. You could travel for the Summer, Elizabeth and return in time to come to Scotland with us in Autumn.” “That’s not what I had in mind, father.” “Or Australia. I know it’s far, but I have a few connections down there as well. It would take a long time by ship, but what an experience it would be.” He was stalling. Elizabeth knew he was stalling. With each suggestion Lord McMillan’s voice trembled a little more, a characteristic nobody but she would have noticed. He knew what she was saying, he just didn’t want to admit. He didn’t want to admit it out loud, or to himself -- he didn’t want his daughter to confirm his greatest fear. “I’m going through The Breach,” Elizabeth said matter of factly. Lord McMillan was an expert at hiding his emotion, it was one of his best and most devious skills -- but it was his eyes. His eyes never lied. They widened, and for a brief moment his pupils dilated. From head to toe he remained a stoic vision, but those eyes were full of something Elizabeth never saw, fear. The pause felt like hours, cogs turned in the patriarch’s head as he tried to muster an answer to a horrific suggestion. It wasn’t often that Edward found himself at a loss for words, but this was one of those moments. “You … you can’t,” he stated simply. His voice softer and more unsure than his daughter had ever heard. This was an answer of resignation. The man knew there was nothing he could do to keep his daughter earthside. She was too strong-willed. It wasn’t until this moment that his admiration for his Elizabeth’s independence and character had turned to disdain. It wasn’t until her suggestion that he wished she was nothing like him, wished she was more like her siblings and content to indulge on what earth provided instead of wanting to see beyond the streets and cities. His mind continued to race, strategizing, looking for some sort of exit plan -- but Elizabeth cut the silence. “I must father. Thank you for doing me the courtesy of lying about Malifaux and telling me it doesn’t exist. So many do, but you know that I have learned a great many things about your life, our family and those who travel through The Breach.” “Yes,” Edward continued. “I know that you probably understand that I used to make many trips there. The family name provided opportunity, but we did not live as we do until recently -- until I oversaw the family business and began bringing soulstone from Malifaux.” Elizabeth didn’t know this. She didn’t know her father had gone through The Breach. This realization stunned her, but she kept a straight face and simply nodded. To do otherwise would be a weakness her father could prey on, and twist into a justification why she shouldn’t go on her journey. “You might know about that place, but you don’t know what that place is. The way it absorbs those who venture into it and swallows the inquisitive. I will lose you forever, either to the allure of that wretched place or something far worse, and for my own constitution I must believe the former.” “Of course I’ll come back!” Elizabeth said earnestly, “One year abroad, then I’ll return. I’ll even apply what I learn over here. I just need something more in my life.” Her father stood up and tugged at his waist coast. “There are only two types of people who willingly travel to Malifaux, Elizabeth. The desperate and the hopeless. My only regret is that you don’t see this and won’t understand it until it’s too late.” “But father, don’t you see that I’m both?” *** Elizabeth preferred to pack light. A habit that routinely infuriated her mother. She didn’t believe it was necessary to have a different set of clothes for every day of a trip, and abhorred toting finery. It was a constant point of contention whenever the family would stay at their summer house. Elizabeth didn’t fill any of the large steam trunks they would normally strap to their carriage in preparation for her trip to to leave for Malifaux, instead she selected a small, well-worn suitcase her father would use on overnight trips to London. It felt appropriate. Anything she didn’t have she could buy through the breach, and with that every outing would be a new adventure. The morning Elizabeth set to leave was cold. Thick beads of due clung to blades of grass like passengers overboard on a ship, clinging to the mast for life. She loved these mornings and would often take a walk, to fill her lungs with air and appreciate the sensation of the droplets on her ankles as she traipsed down to the lake. This morning, however, wasn’t to be lazily appreciated slowly -- there was a bigger goal in mind. Life in the McMillan house had been decidedly different since Elizabeth announced to her father that she would be leaving. Her oft-surly mother failed at hiding her excitement. Her problem child would soon be out of her house, and it made her her sickeningly joyful. Her father, on the other hand, retreated from view like a recluse. Lord McMillan always gave the air that he was jovial, and consistently had an excuse as to why he was around less. It pained Elizabeth, though she didn’t show it. It hurt every time he left to hunt without asking her to join, as he customarily did -- and it was as if a dagger had been plunged into her heart when her father visited town without her at his side. This was a special, private time for them and moments like these didn’t come up enough. It devastated her when he efficiently removed his hat from the shelf in the foyer and climbed in the carriage without saying goodbye. The mood created a milieu where Elizabeth was more sure than ever that she was making the correct decision, and it fueled her to leave as soon as possible. It was mid-morning before she was finally ready to go, and she walked down the grand staircase to see her mother waiting, positively beaming that her festering wound was finally being cleansed. “Darling,” she said in a genuine but unsettling manner, “Do take care of yourself, will you? You father and I will miss you ever so much, but I know you will have a wonderful adventure. In many ways I admire you, Elizabeth. Have fun.” The words made Elizabeth’s skin crawl. They were so cold and clinical, as if Elizabeth was a visiting dignitary and not a member of the family. She quickly glanced around to lock eyes with her father, but he was nowhere to be found. Placing the suitcase in the middle of the floor, solely to be irksome to her mother, Elizabeth walked into his office where her father was parked, as always, at that worn mahogany desk. “Well, I’m off.” Elizabeth bellowed, trying to push the stagnant air out of the room with her exuberance. “You are coming to the train station to see me off, aren’t you father?” She already knew the answer. “No, I don’t believe I will.” He said, barely looking up from his paper. Glancing up he saw right through his daughter’s cheery exterior and could tell how upset she was. “Elizabeth, I need you to understand something. I admire you so very much, and this trip you are taking has hurt me more than anything. Naturally I want to spend every last second with you before you get on that train, but I can’t. To do so would be watching as my child dashes herself against the rocks.” “But father, I’m going to be back.” She replied quizzically. “No, you won’t. But I have to accept that.” Edward pulled pushed himself out of the chair and walked around the table. “I’m going to miss you.” These were the last words her father uttered. On the verge of tears, but terrified to show them, Elizabeth strode out of the room, picked up her suitcase and left the house for good. Clambering into the family’s carriage, the driver took her on the familiar route to the train station. All the while Elizabeth soaked up every part of the scenery during the trip. She began to wonder if he father’s words were accurate. Was this the last time she’d see this land? The lake at the bottom of the hill, the lemon tree she climbed as a child. It was a thought that simultaneously excited and terrified her. The train station was more sparse than usual, likely a product of the time she was arriving. The mid-morning train was a vestige of an era where people leisurely took their time in travel, now it was only the early or late train that was sufficiently busy. The driver retrieved the suitcase and said “Goodbye Miss McMillan, have a good trip.” As she climbed the iron steps of the locomotive she turned back one last time, half-expecting her father to be there. The platform was empty. At that moment there was no excitement about her trip to Malifaux, no joy at a new adventure -- only the familiar feeling of emptiness. Elizabeth wasn’t one to get emotional, but she could feel thick tears welling in her eyes as if their viscosity was a product of not being used enough. She sat on the deep maroon colored leather bench and the tears began to flow more quickly. She opened her suitcase in search of a handkerchief and found a small parcel, no bigger than a journal, which was carefully wrapped in paper and tied with a simple piece of twine. Curiosity dried her tears as she began to read the handwritten letter, written earnestly and without flourish. Dearest Elizabeth, I am sorry I didn’t see you off. I hope you understand it was too hard for me. When you get to Malifaux you’ll understand why I believe I won’t see you again, but I need to know this: I am immensely proud of the woman you are and the person you have become. Your energy and zest for life will be sorely missed, as will your constant visits to my office to borrow a book or catch up on the day. I hope you weren’t too upset that I left for town without you. There were a few things I needed to get and couldn’t have you present. In this package you will find a few things I hope you will find useful. You are valuable. My greatest achievement. I am devastated you are leaving, but sincerely hope you find what you’re looking for. All my love, Father Elizabeth had never heard her father like it, and it caught her off guard. For a moment she forgot entirely about the contents of the parcel and instead ruminated on the words in the letter. After a time she glanced down and saw what he had left. The first, predictably, was a stack of crisp bills. Easily enough to keep her comfortable in Malifaux for several months until she was on her feet. The second, an ivory pocket knife. It was meticulously fashioned and razor sharp. She had been hunting long enough to know a good blade, and it worried her slightly that her father believed she needed a weapon of this quality. There was a small piece of paper that appeared as if it has been torn hastily out of a book. It read “Stephen Dunn, Malifaux Exploration Society.” Finally there was a plain, seemingly boring brass pocket watch. Immediately Elizabeth realized it was her father’s. As a child she’d spent hours gazing at its hands shift across the face and begged her father to play with it. He always said the same thing “In due time, Elizabeth. In due time.” The watch had never been ornate, perhaps that’s why she loved it so. Something was different about the watch, however. It had been changed. A rose had been engraved in its casing, and on the back some simple words etched into the metal. One final message from her father. Never lose yourself. *** The train to Malifaux was oddly juxtaposed with its surroundings. It was like nothing Elizabeth had ever seen before. It was sleek, futuristic and its passengers were the oddest collective of characters she had ever seen. There were businessmen in expected attire, surely traveling through The Breach to attend to one venture or another. Some looked like explorers or archaeologists -- perhaps they were scientists or even anthropologists. Whatever they were they felt important, and exciting. There was a final subset of people who looked like they didn’t belong at all. Unkempt, almost menacing. They weren’t surly, nor were they warm. These people made her uncomfortable. Elizabeth made the conscious decision to keep to herself and pretend to be asleep to garner as little attention as possible. Soon fake sleep gave way to exhaustion and she woke after a bright flash started her, even through her heavy eyelids. She quickly realized the train had hurtled through The Breach while she was asleep. The light outside was bright, the landscape desert-like. She took out the pocket watch to check the time, it said 8:55 but there was no way it was night time. It dawned on Elizabeth that things would be different here, more different than she even anticipated. The plan was simple: Get off the train, take a carriage to some lodging, get settled and then … there was no plan. That was the exciting part. As the coach pulled in to Malifaux Station immediately the mood on the train changed. Everyone was nervous. As if a spectre was creeping through the carriage and suffocating any remaining goodwill amongst the passengers. She saw an armed guard patrolling the platform, then another, and another. They were surveilling anyone who got off. As the train slowed she heard man’s voice whisper in her ear. “Don’t turn around. Keep looking out the window. When you get off the train don’t look at anyone and just keep walking. Even if there’s a commotion, don’t look.” It caught Elizabeth off guard to such an extent that her natural curiosity caused her to spin her head around. There was nobody there. The man obviously gave her the warning in passing, and upon exiting she was soon happy for the advice. Guild guards were rounding up anyone who showed signs of being against their decree. Elizabeth began to retrieve her bags when about a hundred yards down the platform an older man yelled “I saw her. Her eyes. They started glowing blue just after we passed through the breach.” He pointed a long, gnarled finger at a girl of about 20, who seemed utterly confused by what was happening. Immediately a crowd gathered. The woman was screaming, pleading for mercy, desperately telling them the traveler has been mistaken. The only response were muffled voices of the guardsmen, who had no interest in her plea. The cries trailed off and nobody around Elizabeth seemed concerned with what they saw. It was deeply unsettling, but was met with such a lack of care that it must be commonplace in these parts. Why were they dragging her away? Perhaps, more importantly, why were that woman’s eyes glowing? None of this made any sense. As far as she knew, Malifaux was a place where people made their fortune -- and soulstone had innate power, but how could an ordinary person change this much simply from arriving in this place? The questions swirling in her head were quickly snuffed out by the realization that things had to keep moving forward. Elizabeth loathed procrastination, especially when a situation was dangerous. It’s how animals were caught during a hunt. They became locked in indecisiveness. She needed to get away from the station, into town, and continue with her plan. There was nothing that would be achieved by standing around Malifaux Station watching people get dragged away screaming. Finding a carriage was surprisingly easy. Elizabeth had barely made it to the street before a black gilded buggy pulled up and the door swung open. It almost felt as if it knew she was coming. Climbing in the back a hauntingly familiar voice called out. “Heading downtown, are we?” Elizabeth was slow to reply, “Why yes, I am.” The voice sounded strangely familiar. It couldn’t be. No, that didn’t make any sense. But she had to know. Elizabeth paused for a moment, questioning whether it was foolish to ask her question or not. In the end curiosity gave way once again. “This will sound ridiculous, but did you speak to me on the train just now?” “Yes m’lady I did. I hope you didn’t think it was too forward of me.” The timber of the voice sounded friendly, but oddly forced -- as if they were lines rehearsed in front of a mirror for hours and honed to perfection. “The name’s Sebastian. My business is identifying promising young women.” A arm shot into view. Elizabeth never caught a glimpse of the driver’s face. The well-manicured hand held an impressive looking business card between its slender middle fingers which read: Sebastian Baker Agent. Muse. Advisor. Turning dreams into reality and reality into fantasy. Elizabeth paused for a moment before replying, caught quite off guard by the exchange. “I think you must have me confused. I’m not interested in becoming an actress, I …” “You want to explore,” Sebastian curtly finished her sentence. “Come now, don’t look so shocked. Your riding pants gave that one away. Far too utilitarian for the stage. You see, I don’t merely work with actresses. I am attracted to potential, and you have that in spades my dear.” Elizabeth wasn’t accustomed to compliments, but that didn’t mean she would blush or swoon the way other countless other women might had a charming man said the same. Instead she rummaged around in her coach pocket for the watch her father gave her and stared at it’s message -- “Never lose yourself.” “Is that why you spoke to me on the train?” Elizabeth asked cautiously. “That it is. That it is. The Guild loathe potential you see. They recognize it and snuff it out. Potential scares them. It’s bad for business -- that is, if your business is keeping people under your thumb.” This made perfect sense. Elizabeth was relieved she’d crossed Sebastian’s path. Having a guide to understand this strange new place wasn’t a bad thing. In fact, it was very helpful -- and if nothing else she’d clearly met someone with extraordinary connections. This could be an unexpected boon, a chance to do even more than she expected and -- suddenly the carriage lurched to a stop outside the Knotwood Arms. It was a charming enough inn, at least for Malifaux. The door swung open, seemingly on its own, and she climbed out. “If I decide to take you up on your offer,” she asked “where will I find you?” Sebastian tipped his tall hat, frustratingly keeping his face from view. He replied, “I will find you. It’s what I’m good at.” *** Day became night. Mornings passed. Elizabeth began to think less about exploration and more of Sebastian in the coming days. Instead of than breathing in her surroundings she couldn’t stop thinking of the timber of his voice, his intoxicating demeanor. The more people she encountered the more intriguing he became. People had a tendency to be unwelcoming in Malifaux, but Sebastian’s kindness and warmth was anything but expected in such an unforgiving environment. Elizabeth finally began to shake the cobwebs from her head and soon realized that she had wasted time. She must venture into the slums and find the Malifaux exploration society. That’s where the innkeeper said her destination was. Surely there she would be able to find some purpose. An archaeological expedition perhaps, or maybe meet some scientists studying native people. Despite everything Elizabeth knew of Malifaux she’d never read about the land’s native inhabitants. Surely there was life before humanity arrived, and encountering it would be fascinating. The old haggard man at the inn’s desk told Elizabeth to take a carriage, but she wanted to walk. Her odd obsession with Sebastian had kept her in her room for much of the week and she needed to reconnect with her surroundings. Walking long distances was never a problem for her -- hunting expeditions with father groomed her for them, and she had that pocket knife should anything happen. As Elizabeth walked down the street there were things that kept feeling … not quite right. Small children lurked in alleys and seemingly glared their pupil-less eyes in her direction. Surely she was wrong, the idea was preposterous. Soon the sanitized walls of downtown began being replaced with run down, ramshackle buildings barely clinging to life as their foundations waned and creaked with every gust of wild. Wanted posters adorned lampposts. They warned of hideous monsters and unthinkable beasts. Elizabeth was unsure whether these were real, or a byproduct of Guild propaganda, stories told to a vapid citizenry so they could be controlled and herded into the “safer” parts of the city. Soon even the friendliest looking curio shops took on a menacing aura. Storefronts changed, and placed which once sold cameos and letter openers were replaced with those offering haunting fetishes made of desiccated bone, and what looked like organs, suspended in thick glass jars. Who would want these horrible items? Perhaps more importantly, who was attracted to them? It was late afternoon before Elizabeth found herself staring at the large oak door of the Malifaux Exploration Society. The building was smaller and more run down that its official sounding name suggested, and the operation looked unsanctioned by any government entity. Perhaps this was why the society was in the slums and not closer to the seat of power, or maybe its members wanted it this way. The door knocker barely moved, rusted in place from what felt like years of neglect. Finally she managed to create enough of a sound that she heard the shuffling of feet from behind the door. It opened just enough for Elizabeth to see an eye peering outside. “Who is it?” The voice said gruffly, carrying with it an indescribable stench of halitosis. “I am Elizabeth McMillian. Here to see Stephen Dunn,” she replied confidently -- feeling that bravado was the best approach to hide her unfamiliarity with how to act in such an occasion. The door creaked open revealing a slight elderly man who seemed grizzled from his surroundings. He gestured for her to come inside before looking both ways outside, seemingly to ensure his new guest wasn’t followed. “What do you know about Dunn?” the man asked gruffly, interrogating Elizabeth before introducing himself. “Well, not much I’m afraid. You see my father told me to meet him, and I just arrived in Malifaux you see. So, I …” “Another one of them, eh?” He replied dismissively. “I’m tired of you silver spoon types coming down here for an adventure because London or Paris or wherever the hell you’re from is suddenly too boring for you. You don’t have the right to mention Stephen Dunn’s name. He was a true pioneer, a real explorer -- not like you Lords and Ladies with your titles. Dunn didn’t want treasure, he wanted experience. Something you wouldn’t understand.” “Wait … Was?!” she replied emphatically. “You mean …” “Dead. Deader than dead. Torn apart by a Peacekeeper a couple of months back after trying to visit a home in the Quarantine Zone. Dunn said he had a lead on something big, and … why the hell am I telling you this? I don’t even know your name!” “Excuse me, but you do. I stated it as soon as I arrived. Elizabeth McMillan, daughter of Lord Edward McMillan and I was told to come here.” The old man’s eyes widened and his complexion changed immediately. “Oh God, no. You’ve made a terrible mistake. You’re going to get us all killed.” *** Elizabeth had been at the Explorer’s Society for what felt like a few minutes, but in reality it had been hours. Tome after tome was retrieved off old forgotten shelves by Fitzpatrick, the ornery old man who she learned was the society’s caretaker. He broke the difficult news that the society was nothing like it had once been. Started as a refuge for the curious, it had become a plaything of the wealthy and influential. There were no more adventures, no grand expeditions. The building may as well have been a tavern where sad old men shared their tall tales and stupid fishing stories to entertain the young and vacuous. These days the “expeditions” were to visit a cathouse in the Southern Slums or a different saloon where new stories could be stolen and told to fresh travelers looking for excitement. Every revelation crushed Elizabeth a little more. “Surely there’s someone trying to learn more about this land,” she postulated, hopefully. “You just don’t get it, do you?” He responded. “There is no ‘exploring’ Malifaux. There is surviving, living and a few things in between. You best learn to do the former if you’d like to continue doing the latter.” “Why would anyone want to kill me? Frankly, I’m not that interesting.” Elizabeth said earnestly. “Yeah, not that interesting. Definitely.” He muttered with thick sarcasm. “It’s not like your father has one of the biggest collections of soulstones known to Malifaux, now is it? Or that he learned about the cache he’s sitting on when he discovered an abandoned mine full of corpses as part of an expedition was back when.” He didn’t stop. It was if he was prepared for this moment and resolute that every line of his rant would be listened to. That or Fitzpatrick just liked the sound of his own voice and didn’t get enough opportunities to use it. “Right now the mere mention of the name ‘McMillan’ would cause every treasure hunter, bandit and thief in the city to descend on this rotten dwelling like buzzards and tear the walls off their foundation for the opportunity to blackmail your father.” Elizabeth couldn’t move. The room started spinning. None of this made any sense. She thought her father had just romanticized his trips to Malifaux as a warning before she left. There was no way this part of his life was so hidden from her. They shared everything. “Come now,” Fitzpatrick said, “Did you really think Edward left the navy and magically became one of the wealthiest men on earth by his own? He’s a fine man, but ‘fine’ doesn’t mean sucess. You need an edge to you.” None of this made any sense. Why hadn’t her father told warned her more clearly? He knew that coming to Malifaux without a new persona would be a death sentence. Did he want her to be killed? Was that the plan all along? Send her to Malifaux and let her disappear. Perhaps he didn’t know the danger, that’s all Elizabeth could hope for. The realization that she was fodder and he father knew it was too upsetting. Everything flooded back in an instant. The emptiness, the hopelessness. The feeling that nothing would ever be better. She was wrong about Malifaux, wrong about all of it. This place didn’t offer adventure or excitement, it was a pit of disease and decay without meaning or purpose. Conjured in the mind of a higher power as a sick joke for those who dared to think hope for something better outside their station. “Thank you for your time. I’ll be going now.” Elizabeth announced, turning for the door. “You can’t! Stay for the night, walk home in light. It’s too dangerous,” he pleaded. “I just don’t care anymore.” The door slammed shut. *** There was no moon lingering in the cold sky of Malifaux on this evening. Everything was dark and still. Dusk fought to spread its tenuous light as long as possible, but the darkness won out -- just as it always did. Elizabeth walked in a daze. Unable to feel the uneven cobblestones beneath her feet or noticing her surroundings. She pulled out the pocket watch and checked the time, it was 11:02. Elizabeth turned the watch in her hand and was disgusted by the phrase carved in it “Don’t lose yourself.” What a joke. You can’t lose something that’s never been found in the first place, she thought, before she heard a familiar, yet eerie voice. “Lizzy, Lizzy, Lizzy. What are ya doin’ here?” It was Sebastian, he found her -- but this time things were different. He sidled out of an alleyway so the street lamp shined on part of his face. Elizabeth saw him for the first time. It was a strange visage. He stood well over six feet tall, and wore clothes that would have been finery -- in a past decade. Instead they draped over his sinewy body like clothes hung ona branch to dry. Sebastian’s airs were different. His traditional charm was replaced by a more sinister kind, an air that would only appeal to the kind of people who sought only to sew misery. Long mutton chops stretched down the man’s face, as if scared by his head and trying to run. His skin was an unhealthy pallor, striated with bruises and scars. The proportions of his body were unnatural. Nothing seemed to fit together in a way that made sense. “Did you follow me?” Elizabeth asked timidly. “Nup. Try again sweet’eart.” “DId someone tell you I was here?” “‘Fraid not. C’mon now. I thought you’d be betta at this.” “You … found me?” She asked, hoping this game would end. Sebastian smiled a horrific grin, the yellow of his teeth captured in the fleeting light of a streetlamp which illuminated only a small sliver of the street. “There we go! I found you. Just like I said I would. I always keep a promise Lizzy, you’ll learn that about me. Now I’ve just one more request. Tell me a secret, something you wouldn’t tell anyone else.” He got no response. Instead Elizabeth gritted her teeth is disdain. It was clear the man was used to getting his way, and while his demeanor was one of frustration, his voice was still hauntingly sweet. “Come now, Lizzie. I promise that if ya tell me a secret I’ll tell you one, deal?” Elizabeth had no intention of telling him anything, but this fog in her mind kept building. It was terror, the likes of which she’d never felt before -- but there was something else. It was almost as if someone had put their fingers through the back of her skull and was pushing thoughts out through her mouth without her will. The expression on her face slackened and she said in a monotone drawl. “I was planning to take the knife from my pocket and stab you with it if you took a step closer.” As soon as the words left her mouth she was paralyzed with the fear of what this threat would mean. She was also terrified that now he would tell her something of himself, and she didn’t want to know anything. Sebastian strode forward and reached out his hand. Elizabeth lost her free will and felt as if there was no choice but hand over the knife she had tucked away. “Not bad this one. Nice balance. Solid steel. Right proper blade this is. Don’t get many of these down ‘ere.” He menacingly tossed the blade from hand to hand, judging its weight with each throw and catch. He evaluated every inch of the knife with the exactness a musician uses when determining whether an instrument is any good or not. “Where are my manners?” He responded after a while. “You told me your secret and gave me a gift and I’ve given you neither. Shame on me, bad me.” The man paced back and forth, building tension before delivering his crescendo. “Sorry to say I lied to you Lizzy-wizzy. I know it’s bad and m’sorry. I’m not an agent, or a muse or any of that other guff. Allow me to introduce myself. The name’s Seamus. Feels so much better to say it. I’m Seamus, and I didn’t lie to you about one thing my sweet. I see potential.” Elizabeth was frozen in place. He mind was fighting, racing, running -- but her body simply couldn’t be willed to move. “You gave me two fings. You told me a secret and gave me a gift. I gave you one in return, now it’s time for the other.” Seamus strut towards Elizabeth with confidence, reaching into his coat pocket to retrieve something. She stared at the lapel of his coat, unaware that he was misdirecting her gaze before using his left hand to plunge cold steel between her ribs. Somehow she felt her heart puncture before collapsing on the rain-soaked cobblestones. “A GIFT LIZZY! THE GREATEST GIFT! Fools think that death is the end, but they’re so very wrong. It’s the beginning!” The last thing Elizabeth saw was Seamus, circling her body like a gleeful child playing “Ring around the Rosie.” Her eyes shut. *** The parlor of the old boarding house was dusty, decrepit and oddly comfortable. Elizabeth’s eyes sprang open and tried to parse her surroundings without luck. Where was she? Perhaps more importantly, how was she or what was she? Seamus strolled into the roof like a proud farmer showing off his prize sheep at the fair. “This, is Lizzie.” He was flanked by women, dressed like performers in a macabre cabaret show. Their eyes were rotting and teeth clung to their skulls despite their missing jaws. It was the kind of horror most people would recoil in, but Elizabeth didn’t. Everything felt -- normal. Her shirt was blood stained from where Seamus had stabbed her, but the wound was remarkably perfect. She couldn’t help but admire it’s shape and the deft hand with which it was executed. Physicians would dream of cutting into a body as cleanly as Seamus had done to her. “I love a woman who appreciates good knife work.” Seamus quipped. “I was so right about you dearie. So very, very right.” This praise was comforting to Elizabeth. It felt right. For some reason this felt like … home. Seamus was so sweet to recognize her and give her a chance to live again. He didn’t need to. He could have just killed her. He could have tortured her or eviscerated her -- but he didn’t. “You ‘ave potential my sweet. More potential than I ever ‘oped for. Lizzie, you’re not one of them brainless things like the other lot. You’re special. We’re gonna do amazin’ things together you and me.” Seamus said with a grin, reaching out to take her hand. Lizzie held on tightly and mirrored his smile. The pair stood together, and she was ready to see what would happen next. She felt alive, for the first time.
  8. Hello! Greenville, NC is hosting its first Malifaux tournament and we'd love you to be there! When: 11 a.m. Saturday, March 11. Where: Blue Ox Games, 2713 E 10th St, Greenville, North Carolina 27858 Format: 50 SS, Fixed faction, Gaining Grounds 2017. Three rounds. Entry fee: $10 Prizes for: 1st place 2nd place Best painted Best sport If you have any questions feel free to respond here, or send me a private message. Thank you!
  9. Wanted to touch base with everyone. Things are moving along really well in the area and we have a lot of new players. I've also had some of you reach out from surrounding areas explaining that Tuesday isn't the best night for you. This is fine! We now have additional game time by arrangement. Feel free to message me here and you can be added to a Facebook chat we use to arrange games with other eastern NC players. Happy gaming!
  10. Hello all! Eastern North Carolina Malifaux players are partnering with The Grand Guignol Campaign League to play a Shifting Loyalties-style campaign league beginning on 1/29. Whether you're a new player or just in the area, please come join us! Where: Blue Ox Games, 2713 E 10th St, Greenville, NC 27858 When: Tuesday nights at 6 p.m., or by arrangement Entry fee: $10 payable to The Grand Guignol Campaign League for prize support. If you have any questions feel free to ask here, or by DM. Hope to see you at the store!
  11. Am I the only one?

    The process seems identical to Malifaux... so I'm a little confused. 1. Agree to play 2. Announce faction/allegiance 3. Flip for strats and schemes/ operation. 4. Hire crew/army from inside the declared faction/ allegiance. What am I missing?
  12. Hi everyone! Malifaux is continuing to grow at in Greenville, NC and we've hit the point where new players are getting ready to begin playing in events. We have a relaxed, learning meta with the end goal being tournaments both in Greenville, and traveling to play with the rest of the NC meta. Don't worry if you're new to the game or returning after a lapse -- new players are developing together. Here's are the details and we hope to see you soon! Time: Tuesday nights, 6 p.m. - Close also by arrangement. Where: Blue Ox Games, 2713 E 10th St, Greenvile, NC 27858 Bring: Just yourself! We can lend you crews to learn while you decide on a faction.
  13. Hi gang! I'll be joining Blue Ox Games in Greenville, NC for their yearly 24 hour marathon for Extra Life. If you're not aware of the charity it benefits the Children's Miracle Network and raises funds to provide games and video games to children who are stuck in hospital and need distractions during treatment. Every year Blue Ox Games does 24 hours of streaming, demos, game playing in the local community. I will be doing a block of Malifaux demos to teach people the game, lend them some crews to try and have some fun -- all while raising funds for charity. Date: Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 Time: 8 PM until late Location: Blue Ox Games, 2713 E 10th St, Greenville, NC 27858. Bring: Yourself! If you're an established player I'd love to play a 50ss game, but if you're new or know someone in the area who hasn't played before I'd love to teach a game. Hope to see you there!
  14. Divergent Paths: Ten Thunders Edition

    I won games for the Self Righteous man and Trickster with Lynch.
  15. Divergent Paths: Ten Thunders Edition

    I dropped in here to chat strategy and already like where this is going. From what I'm seeing Outcasts are going hard after the Trickster thinking she can become a sister for the Viks. I see Neverborn and Gremlins fighting over the child. We have the chance to make the Self Righteous Man BRILLIANT.
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