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Hello!  
 

This thread will serve as a place for me to post battle reports so I don't end up flooding the board with them.  As the title suggests, the focus of this thread will be on my Outcast games with Parker Barrows, and a little Freikorp, Viktorias or whatever else I feel like playing on the side.  This OP will be updated with links to each Battle Report as I complete them.  

Any suggestions, thoughts, or comments are welcome!

Outcasts
Parker Barrows Games

Parker Barrows vs. Reva - 50ss

Parker Barrows vs. McMourning - 50ss

Parker Barrows vs. Reva - 50ss

Parker Barrows vs. Perdita Ortega - 50ss

Parker Barrows vs. Kaeris - 50ss

Parker Barrows vs. Molly - 50ss

Parker Barrows vs. Reva - 50ss

Parker Barrows vs. Molly - 50ss

Parker Barrows vs. C. Hoffman - 50ss

Von Schill Games

Von Schill vs. Zoraida - 50ss

Von Schill vs. Viktoria of Ashes - 50ss

Von Schill vs. Yan Lo - 50ss

Von Schill vs. Perdita Ortega - 50ss

Misaki (Outcast) Games

Misaki vs. Lilith - 50ss

Misaki vs. Sandeep Desai - 50ss

Misaki vs. Yan Lo - 50ss

Misaki vs. Lady Justice - 50ss

Misaki vs. Kirai Ankoku - 50ss

Yan Lo Games

Yan Lo vs. Seamus - 50 SS (GG17)

Gremlins
Zipp Games

Zipp vs. Reva - 50ss

Ulix Games

Ulix vs. Perdita Ortega - 50ss - Partial Game

Wong Games

Wong vs. Molly - 50ss

Mah Tucket Games

Mah Tucket vs. Kirai Ankoku - 50ss

Brewmaster

Brewmaster vs. Reva - 50ss
Arcanists

Rasputina Games

Rasputina vs. Yan Lo (Resurrectionists) - 50ss

Rasputina vs. Molly - 50ss

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Here’s a battle report for a game testing Gaining Grounds 2018 played at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 9/23/2017. This is using the GG2018 version released 9/12/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  Note that I forgot to take pictures for either turns 3 or 4.

Setup
Deployment:  Flank
Strategy:  Symbols of Authority
Schemes:  Leave Your Mark, Search the Ruins, Hold up Their Forces, Vendetta, Dig their Graves

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Neverborn.  

My list
Von Schill + 2 SS

  • Survivalist
  • Engage at Will
  • Nythera Aftermath

Steam Trunk
Anna Lovelace

  • I Pay Better

Strongarm Suit
Freikorps Librarian
Freikorps Trapper
Freikorpsmann
Hodgepodge Effigy

This is the list I’m tinkering with for Von Schill since the new upgrades came out.  I opted for Anna over Hannah in this game because I know Neverborn have a lot of push and place effects, and wanted to avoid a possible Nekima Alpha strike.  I opted for the 8th model with the Hodgepodge Effigy over a bigger cache, partially to keep activation control and partially because I wantd to see if ‘Loyalty to the Coin’ would make up the difference.

My Opponent’s List
Zoraida + 6SS

  • Hexed Among You
  • Animal Shape
  • Powerful Control

McTavish

  • A Thousand Faces

Doppelganger

  • A Thousand Faces

Iggy

  • Enraged Tantrum

Waldgeist
Waldgeist
Will O’ The Wisp
Will O’ The Wisp

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Seeing McTavish and the Doppelganger in my opponent’s list, I figured that I’d need to stay bubbled up to make the most of my ‘Legend to Live Up To’ aura.  The strategy forced my hand into making me want to advance, because with her obeys and repositions I felt sure my opponent would be able to get to one of my Strategy markers and remove it.  

I opted for Search the Ruins and Vendetta as my schemes.  I figured that if I cleared the center of the board, I would be able to drop enough markers over the game that I could get Search the Ruins.  I chose Vendetta on one of his Waldgeists with my Trapper, because of the Trapper’s range and relative lack of LoS terrain.

My opponent opted for Dig Their Graves and Search the Ruins.

Deployment

He won the cut, and made me deploy first.  I placed the Strategy Markers as close to my deployment zone as I could, and my opponent did the same.  I clustered my crew around Von Schill and the Steamtrunk, but sadly blocked LoS from Von Schill to the Librarian.  I kept my Freikorpsmann and the Trapper on my right flank.

He deployed Zoraida back from the edge of her deployment zone, and had the Doppelganger next to McTavish.  Wisps and Waldgeists were deployed From the Shadows to threaten my advance.

Turn 1  
I win the initiative flip, and have him activate first.  He went with a Wisp and summoned a Voodoo doll that proceeded to hem the Librarian.  I walked the Friekorpsmann up, and he countered by charging him with the Waldgeist that I had Vendetta on (curses!).  I moved the Effigy, giving Von Schill the Loyalty to the Coin.  He activates Iggy, and proceeds to put Mood Swings and Burning on the Voodoo Doll (and thanks to Hem, the Librarian).  He proceeds to force me to activate the Librarian, who uses the Steam Trunk’s ability to remove her burning and shot the Doll twice, killing it but leaving her pretty wounded.  He moved his other Waldgeist up, and it failed to Germinate.  

I activated Von Schill, moved him to get the Librarian into his Legend aura.  He popped two shots off on Iggy, killing him and earning me a Soulstone.  He responds by walking up McTavish, Gatorsnacked Iggy’s corpse, and leaves the Librarian on one wound (thanks to Von Schill).  The Strongarm Suit shot at the Waldgeist in the open, but failed to hit.  Zoraida went next, Obeyed McTavish to shoot the Librarian, but he fails.  She then Obeys the Doppelganger and the Waldgeist to walk further into my side of the board, towards one of my strategy markers.  

I activate Anna next, walked her up, and successfully fished up a Red Joker damage shot on the Waldgeist, summoning a Seishin.  The Doppelganger activates next, swapping Thousand Faces for Retribution’s Eye, and fails to kill the Librarian with her copied McTavish gun.  

At this point, the remaining Wisp, Seishin, and Trapper jockeyed for position.  Importantly, I moved the Trapper so he could charge his Vendetta Target.

Score:  0-0

Turn 2     
He wins initiative, and I don’t bother stoning.  He opens with the Doppelganger copying McTavish.  She kills the Seishin, and takes a shot at Von Schill to no effect.  I activate the Librarian, ditch a card for I Pay Better, heal her up thanks to the Steam Trunk, then walk and kill a Waldgeist.  He goes with a Wisp, once again summoning a Voodoo Doll and Hems the Librarian.  

I activate the Hodgepodge Effigy, walk him to position to give Von Schill the Loyalty condition and drop a marker.  He activates McTavish, who charges the Voodoo Doll and kills both the Doll and the Librarian.  He then used Gator snacks to shoot the Effigy, but Black Jokered the damage.  Seeing an opening, I respond by activating Von Schill, double walking and removing a Strategy marker.  

He goes with Zoraida next, summoning another Voodoo Doll, and failing to Hem Von Schill.  He then tries to Obey McTavish, but fails that too.  I activate the Strongarm Suit, and move him to engage McTavish.  He walks a wisp twice, to reposition it for the next turn.  I go with Anna, ditch a card for I Pay Better, take a shot at the Wisp, and walked forward.  He goes with the Voodoo Doll, and fails once again to Hem Von Schill.  

I walk the Steamtrunk into a better position, and burn him to his final activation with the Waldgeist.  It hits the Freikorpsmann it was engaging, and slowed him.  The Friekorpsmann fails his disengage, and so I charge the Trapper in to get my first Vendetta point.  

Score:  2 (Strategy + Vendetta) to 0 in my favor

Turn 3
He wins initiative, and opens with Zoraida.  She Obeys McTavish to attack the Strongarm Suit, then uses Animal Shape to reposition in my side of the board.  Taking a chance, I have the Effigy give Von Schill Loyalty to the Coin, then move and drop another scheme marker.  I then Accomplice into Von Schill, who charges McTavish.  Thanks to his new upgrade, Von Schill tosses both McTavish and the Wisp, killing the latter.  Lastly, he shoots the Voodoo Doll.  McTavish exchanges his Thousand Faces for Malifaux Provides, charges the Strongarm Suit, and doesn’t kill him.  Anna then goes, failing to use Vortex to push McTavish.  She does kill the Voodoo Doll, but then fails the Manipulative test on the Doppelganger.  Doppelganger returns the favor by copying McTavish’s gun and shooting Anna three times.  

With most of the significant activations over this turn, I go with the Friekorpsmann and punch the Waldgeist a bit.  The Waldgeist fails to hit the Trapper, while the Trapper manages to land a single attack back.    The Steam Trunk repositions again, and the Strongarm Suit charges away from McTavish to engage Zoraida.  

Score:  2-0

Turn 4
He wins initiative again.  He uses Animal Shape to escape from the Strongarm Suit, and uses Bewitch on Anna, triggering an Obey on her to move her out of position.  I activate the Strongarm Suit, ditch a card for I Pay Better, and charge McTavish.  Now in position, the Strongarm Suit is able to use it’s second (0) to heal up from the Steam Trunk.  

He goes with the Doppelganger, Blending in and dropping a scheme marker.  I activate Von Schill, charge into McTavish, but only succeed in getting “Pull!” off once.  McTavish returns the favor by using Gator Snacks to bite Von Schill three times.  

On the right flank, the Freikorpsmann, Trapper and Waldgeist continue to fail at killing each other.  Anna eventually finishes off the Waldgeist, summoning a Seishin for the trouble.  She also managed to use Vortex to push McTavish back into his deployment zone.  The Steam Trunk moves a bit, and the Effigy moves and again drops a scheme marker.

Score:  3-0 (+1 Vendetta for killing the Waldgeist)

Turn 5
He wins initiative again.  Zoraida opens with an Obey on McTavish to charge Von Schill, then summons a Voodoo Doll which successfully Hems Von Schill.  Von Schill goes, healing thanks to the Steam Trunk, then charges and tosses McTavish. He goes with Doppelganger, again Blending In and dropping a scheme marker.   At this point, the only significant activation was the Strongarm Suit killing McTavish.  

At the end of the game, we both score the point for having at least one friendly Strategy marker, and I score full points for Search the Ruins.  My opponent failed to score either of their schemes.

Final Score:  7-1

Thoughts
The combination of this Deployment and Strategy made scoring the Strategy incredibly difficult for both of us.  I liked this, because it means that in GG18 we can expect fewer 10-x or 10-10 blowouts.  We both took elite crews, and this strategy may call for faster, more interact-heavy crews.  

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Here’s a battle report for a game testing Gaining Grounds 2018 played at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 9/27/2017. This is using the GG2018 version released 9/22/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Public Execution
Schemes:  Guarded Treasure, Covert Breakthrough, Make Them Suffer, Hold Up Their Forces, Take One For The Team

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Resurrectionists.  

My list
Parker Barrow + 6 SS

  • Black Market
  • High Noon
  • Hail of Bullets

Doc Mitchell
Mad Dog Brackett

  • Lucky Poncho
  • Oathkeeper

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Sue

  • Return Fire

Dead Outlaw
Dead Outlaw

My immediate thoughts on seeing this Strategy and Scheme pool were that the two kill-based schemes really synergized well with the Strategy.  Moreover, I could score most of the schemes without having to get into his half of the board- and since Parker’s crew is a shooty one, I opted to build my crew with durability and range in mind.  All of the models have either Hard to Kill, Hard to Wound, or are insanely durable (Parker) or, well, Doc Mitchell.

A quick note on both Parker’s upgrades and Sue.  I chose Black Market to start because with it being a killy pool, I wanted to be able to maximize my Soulstones for prevention/ defensive uses.  I don’t rely on getting the Changing Plans trigger all that often, so the additional tactical wasn’t a major influence.  I like High Noon at the start of the game, because it gives Parker something offensive to use his AP for at the start of the game, and since I planned to play cagey I figured it’d help me get more free shots in.  Hail of Bullets was there mostly on the off chance my opponent ran a summoner, in which case I’d be changing gears to using Hands in the Air, and giving that ability the trigger to drop enemy scheme markers was one I wanted the option to tech to if need be.  

Sue with Return Fire is an auto-include for me against Resurrectionists due in no small part to ‘Man in Black’.  With so many Ca attacks, I feel it’s worth the 8 stones for that ability alone.  

My Opponent’s List
Reva + 4SS

  • Beyond Death
  • Decaying Aura

Yin the Penangalan
Bete Noire
The Forgotten Marshall
Draugr
Shieldbearer
Necropunk
Rotten Belle

My opponent is one of our newer players, and has been focusing on Reva lately.  His list is a work in progress, and some of the models here (Belle, Marshall) were new additions that he was trying out. 

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Seeing his crew, I went with Take One for the Team (hereinafter ‘Take One’) on a Dead Outlaw (the one with the hat) and Make them Suffer.  Reva would likely be summoning Corpse Candles, so I knew I’d likely have at least one Minion/ Peon that I could try and kill, and if not I’d still be gunning people down with Mad Dog anyway.  I picked the Dead Outlaw for Take One because it was cheap enough that most of his models would be above his SS cost, and because they were tough enough that I could try bluffing Hold Up Their Forces.  

I had no desire to get close to Reva, having seen what she can do with Decaying Aura.  With an elite crew like this, I didn’t want to spend AP on Guarded Treasure, and I wasn’t comfortable diving deep for Covert Breakthrough.  Lastly, Hold Up Their Forces was a no-go only because most of his models worked best solo.

He ended up picking Hold Up Their Forces and Covert Breakthrough

Deployment

I won the cut, and he deployed first.  He deployed on the Standard line, with Reva on my left flank, the Forgotten Marshall and the Necropunk on my right flank, and the rest of his models generally on the line.  

I deployed centrally, with Sue in the middle so that I could get the maximum number of models in his Man in Black aura.  The Dead Outlaws were on the flanks, since they were the most disposable.

Turn 1  
I win the initiative flip, and have him activate first.  Like most first turns, this one was mostly maneuvering.  He walks Yin up twice, hiding behind some dense terrain.  I go with Sue, getting Man in Black off and advancing up.  He walks his Forgotten Marshall up, and uses Madness Calls to speed up his Necropunk.  I activate the Emissary, who proceeds to give Sue a Vitality Potion, take it back, then give it to him for real (using Something in my Pack, It was only a Loan, and Something in my Pack a second time) to draw me three cards, and drop an Enemy Scheme marker near Parker.  The Emissary then pushed up with the Lonely Road.

He activates his Draugr next, shifts to Ht 1, and advances up to behind Yin.  I go with Parker now, walking up to get LoS on the Draugr and Yin.  He uses Dead Man Walking on the Draugr, and even hits the Slow trigger.  He lets it go off, and I ditch the upgrade for a Soulstone.  I Five Finger Discount into Stick Up, and drop some Hail of Bullet markers on my right flank.  Thanks to Black Market, I end with 7 soulstones.

He runs up his Shieldbearer next, choosing to Sword and Board for defense.  I move up Mad Dog, and topdeck the four of Rams to drop the Blown to Hell marker in the middle of the forest he was hiding Yin behind.  His Necropunk leaps, walks once, and goes defensive on my right flank.  I send a Dead Outlaw towards him, hoping to tie him up next turn.  He moves his Belle to the center of the board, to get better Lure lanes next turn.  I walk my sucker Dead Outlaw up, deliberately keeping him outside of Sue’s aura so he was more of a target for Reva.  

My opponent doesn’t bite, however, and only summons a Corpse Candle with her.  I want to note that we talked about this after the game, and he felt that he didn’t want to move Reva up because he had the range he wanted (he had coverage of half the board with that Corpse Candle) and didn’t want to go defensive with her.  I’m not sure what else he could have done with her AP, either.

Doc Mitchell goes, and heals up Sue to end my turn.  He moves the Candle a little bit.

Score:  0-0

Turn 2
I win initiative, and open with Mad Dog.  Mad Dog kills the Corpse Candle, pushing the model back before it dies.  This gets me my Make Them Suffer for the turn, so I then move him to behind the forest from his other models.  He responds by activating Yin, who puts Gnawing Fear onto my sucker’d Dead Outlaw.  He doesn’t do anything else with Yin, staying safe from Parker and Sue behind the terrain.

I go with Sue, cast Man in Black again, and do some damage to the Draugr.  He then goes with the slowed Draugr, changes to Ht 3, and walks to get out of LoS of Sue and Parker.  He does, however, end in LoS and Range of my Dead Outlaw, so the Outlaw shoots him thanks to the Dead Man Walking condition and triggers Reposition to get into Sue’s aura.  I next activate the Emissary, who does the Trinket -> Remove -> Trinket combination again, this time giving Mad Dog a Memento.  His Belle walks and tries to lure my Dead Outlaw, but thanks to Sue her charms don’t sway the Bandit.   

I activate Parker next, ditching Stick Up with Fast Getaway to move into the center of the board.  He reattaches Stick Up thanks to the marker the Emissary dropped, drops more Hail of Bullet markers, pushes the Dead Outlaw on my right flank with The Job’s Not Done, and uses his last AP to use Stick Up on Yin.  He opts to give me a Soulstone.  

His Necropunk goes next, scooting up the board with a double-walk and leap over my Dead Outlaw’s head.  Said Dead Outlaw then puts Curse of the Covetous on the Punk, and engages him in melee.  He then goes with the Marshall, who Steps into Oblivion.  

Next I activate my Dead Outlaw on the left flank, who fails to shoot the Draugr twice.  He moves up his Shieldbearer again.  Doc goes next, but can’t heal anyone.  He activates Reva, who makes another Corpse Candle, but still doesn’t want to take further action.  His Candle then walks up a bit, ending the turn.

Score: 1-0

Turn 3
He wins initiative, and walks his Corpse Candle up to Parker, then using Blind Sacrifice on the Shieldbearer.  The Shieldbearer chain activates and charges Parker with ‘To the Death’ up.  I stone defensively, and avoid taking damage.  I open with Sue, casting Man in Black, and kill Yin - scoring some Shed Blood for the strategy.

His Draugr charges my sucker’d Dead Outlaw, and kills it - netting me two points, because it wasn’t yet turn 4.  However, as he had taken a charge on his activation and had the Dead Man Walking condition, Mad Dog was able to shoot him and does so with gusto- killing the Revenant.  This occurred within Parker’s Go Through Their Pockets aura, so I managed to get a Make Them Suffer Point, a second Shed Blood, and some card draw.  

I go next with the remaining Dead Outlaw, and at this point he remembers that the Forgotten Marshall was, well, Forgotten - and had to unbury.  He unburies next to the Dead Outlaw and Necropunk.  The Dead Outlaw manages to Slow the Necropunk thanks to his pocket sand, and puts Curse of the Covetous onto the Marshall.

His Marshall responds by taking damage to remove the curse, casts Madness Calls, and starts choking the (un)life out of the Outlaw.  I activate my Emissary next, refreshing Sue’s Potion and attempting to attack the Shieldbearer, but failing.  His Necropunk activates, takes damage to remove the curse and becomes Fragile, and runs away into my backfield.  

With the right flank out of my hands for the turn, I activate Parker.  He ditches Stick Up with Fast Getaway again, managing to disengage from the Shieldbearer.  He reattaches High Noon for the ignores-armor trigger, and deals enough damage to the Shieldbearer to make her attach a Soulbound upgrade - he opted for Another Purpose.  Parker then pushed my Dead Outlaw out of engagement with the Forgotten Marshall.

He tries to Lure Parker in with his Belle, but that pesky Sue and his Man in Black aura prevent it.  I have Mad Dog activate next, and in my biggest mistake of the game move him between Sue and Parker to try and shoot the Shieldbearer.  This had the effect of blocking the Man in Black aura on Parker, with Reva still to activate in the turn. 

Wasting no time, my opponent goes with Reva.  She attacks Parker four times (once was with Drain Life), and I burn all of my stones on Defense (since I can’t use them for prevention due to Decaying Aura) and at the end am left with Parker down 6 wounds.  Doc manages to heal Parker a whole wound in return.  

At the end of the turn, I score the Strategy and both my Schemes, while he does not.

Score:  5-0

Turn 4
I win initiative here, and open with Sue.  I cast Man in Black, and charge the Shieldbearer and kill her, prompting my opponent to unbury Bete engaging Sue.  He does, and Bete flurries into Sue who Returns Fire in the exchange.  He takes a good bit of damage, but lives through the flurry.

I activate the Emissary, who refreshes Mad Dog’s trinket and fails to hit Bete.  On my right flank, his Necropunk leaps away from my Dead Outlaw and drops a marker, confirming Covert Breakthrough in my mind.  He then walks, so that next turn he’d get the scheme > leap > scheme combination.  

Giving up on the Outlaw for now, I activate Doc and have him heal Parker twice and give him Hard to Wound, hoping to survive a possible Reva activation before I could go with him.  I companion into Mad Dog (thanks, Emissary!) who ditches Oathkeeper, walks and Rapid Fires at the Belle (since I forgot that Sue’s kills didn’t feed me Make them Suffer points).  Mad Dog makes short work of the Belle.  

His Marshall activates, and kills my Dead Outlaw and drops a Scheme Marker thanks to their Stolen Goods.  Now I knew that I’d need to change gears for denial purposes - I’d also maxed out on my Schemes.  I activate Parker, and target Bete with Dead Man Walking.  I fail to hit, but all I wanted to do was to discard the upgrade anyway for a soulstone.  I reattach Stick Up, then target her with the Stick Up attack hoping to get more Soulstones.  He instead takes the damage, and uses One with the Night to bury her.  Now free of that threat, I walk Parker back towards his Breakthrough markers.   

He activates Reva, who pours her attention into Mad Dog.  Between my new soulstones being used defensively  and his Lucky Poncho, Mad Dog lives on one wound.   

At that point, my opponent conceded the game.  We agreed that I’d won the strategy that round, and it likely that he’d gain at most two points from Covert Breakthrough.  We didn’t feel it likely he’d gain any points from Hold Up Their Forces.

Final Score:  7-2

Thoughts
This Strategy is punishing in that only one player can score it - so I expect many of these games to be closer in diff than other games.  My plan to play a cagey game worked out for me, and MVP goes to Sue and the Dead Man Walking condition, both which scored me points or kept me safe in the game.  The Dead Outlaws did a good job as minions, and I look forward to testing them out more in future games.
 

Edited by Diceman87
Added bullets to listed upgrades; added corrections and clarity
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Here’s a battle report for a game of Gaining Grounds 2017 played at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 9/30/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  Note that the Malifaux Child is playing the part of the Copycat Killer because his had fallen off it’s base.

Setup
Deployment:  Flank
Strategy:  Headhunter
Schemes:  Claim Jump, Frame for Murder, Leave Your Mark, Hidden Trap, Search the Ruins

I declared Ten Thunders, and my opponent declared Resurrectionists.  

My list
Yan Lo + 6 SS
Awakening
Follow Their Footsteps
Reliquary
Soul Porter
Toshiro the Daimyo
Command the Graves
The Peaceful Waters
Shadow Emissary
Ancestral Conflux
Goryo
Monk of Low River

I had been painting models for my Yan Lo crew, so naturally I wanted to give them a try on the table.  Looking at the schemes, I was leaning towards Claim Jump, Search the Ruins and Frame for Murder.  Hidden Trap was not something I felt comfortable taking in this crew - if I had taken Sensei Yu, maybe - and I saw no need to try and get into his board half when I could Lightning Dance things back to my own lines.  

To that end, my Goryo would be making Seishin for activation padding/ Chi batteries, the Monk would be healing up my bigger models, and the plan was to just pick apart whatever I could.  

My Opponent’s List
Seamus + 3SS
Sinister Reputation
Do You Know Who I Am?
Red Chapel Killer
Copycat Killer
Yin the Penangalan
My Little Helper
Rogue Necromancy
Chiaki the Niece
Pull of the Grave
Kentauroi
Nurse
Rotten Belle

My opponent has been playing Resurrectionists for a while, and had been theorycrafting his Seamus list for a while.  I’ll admit, when I looked at it I saw a lot of pieces for Horror Duel Seamus, and was happy to not see a Hanged.

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
His crew was light on Soulstones, had relatively low Defenses, and had several significant threats.  Seeing this, I opted for Frame for Murder on the Goryo and Search the Ruins.  I picked Frame for Murder because of the Strategy, and because Seamus would likely be doing the killing early.  If he saw the Goryo as a juicy target, the more the better.  Search the Ruins was based on being able to drop 3 markers at the end of the game, maybe with help from the Monk.

He ended up picking Frame their Murder on the Kentauroi and Search the Ruins as well.

Deployment

I lost the cut, and he made me deploy first.  I chose the corner opposite the large piece of blocking terrain, where I’d have space for all of my large based models.  I deployed centrally, with Izamu out to my right due solely to lack of space.

He deployed most of his things on my left flank, with the Belle and Seamus on my right.  Naturally, Seamus was behind the blocking terrain.

Turn 1  
I win the initiative flip, and have him activate first.  He activates a Nurse who gives the Kentauroi Uppers, and then walks up.  I open with the Shadow Emissary, unpacking my deployment and using Rite of Strength on Izamu to bring him into range of the Soul Porter.  His Kentauroi goes next, and thanks to the Uppers drags Yin to threaten most of my board.  He then interacts, bluffing Claim Jump.  I go with the Goryo, walking up to the woods and summoning a Seishin.  His Belle goes, successfully luring the Goryo.  He fails to Undress on the Goryo.  I walk the Seishin after the Goryo, trying to jam up the middle of the board.  

He activates Yin, who kills the Seishin to my surprise, giving Yan Lo some Chi.  In the process he pushes Yin into base contact with the Seishin, and then is able to apply Gnawing Fear to the Shadow Emissary.  I activate the Soul Porter, and push Izamu and Yan Lo up the field.  

He then activates Seamus, and full disclosure- I was ill prepared for what happened next.  He Back Alleys with the trigger to end within 3 inches of both my Goryo and Izamu.  He uses Boo!, and while both Goryo and Izamu pass the test, he gains Infamy off of the Goryo.  This pushes both of them out of engagement,  so that he can Focus and Flintlock the Shadow Emissary.

I breathe a sigh of relief, and activate Yan Lo.  I pitch a card for Chi, now sitting on Chi 2 (thanks to the death of the Seishin earlier).  With my first (0), I Instill Youth on my Goryo to feign trying to keep it alive, then walk.   I Lightning Dance to the Kentauroi, dropping it off next to Izamu.  

At this point, I made the single biggest mistake of the game.  I try to Lightning Dance back to the Kentauroi twice, but fail.  I have one more (0) left, and I choose to try and Lightning Dance a third time, with a soulstone for a positive rather than taking Ascendance.  

There are many things wrong with this choice - no Ascendant Upgrade to enhance durability/ trade in next turn, being isolated with no defensive upgrades while his Rogue Necro hasn’t gone, his Chiaki is nearby and I have no good cards in hand - and so I had to write off my master as soon as I failed that third Lightning Dance.

My opponent activated his Copycat Killer, fails at Shooting Yan Lo twice before teleporting to Seamus’ side.  Eager to make up for my mistake, I activate Izamu who purees the Copycat Killer and the Kentauroi - also giving my opponent Frame for Murder for 2 points.  His Rogue Necromancy walks up to Yan Lo and connects for a good chunk of damage.  

I activate Toshiro, who uses War Fan with the Lethal Lunacy trigger to speed up the Monk, then walks up and summons an Ashigaru.  He activates Chiaki, and as I feared she strips him of his Chi, then slows him.  To add salt to the wound, the Rogue Necro gets to Smell Fear and take another chunk out of my master, and leaving me with no soulstones at the end of Turn 1. My Ashigaru just Braces, and my Monk removes the Gnawing Fear effect from the Shadow Emissary.

Score:  0-2

Turn 2     
He stones to win Initiative.  He opens with his Nurse, giving Hallucinogens to the Rogue Necromancy, and gives Yan Lo Uppers to keep him from Dancing out of there.  As a result of getting his Uppers, the Rogue Necro Smells Fear and kills Yan Lo.  I am not to proud to admit that this tilted me, and I knew I had to try and keep focused if I wanted a chance of winning this game.

He Accomplices into Chiaki, who walks up and uses Calling on the Goryo, and Pull of the Grave on the Goryo as well to slow him.   My Monk of Low River picks up a Head, and heals the Goryo.

He goes with Seamus next, focusing and Shooting Toshiro, but I saved the Red Joker to deny it.  He then walks into the middle of my crew and uses Boo! again.  This time, he paralyzes the Goryo and my Monk of Low River, and Teaches the Shadow Emissary some fear to gain another Infamy.  I activate the Goryo to clear Paralyze.  He activates the Belle, luring both the Goryo and the Rogue Necromancy so that they were then engaged.  

The Soul Porter pushed Izamu and Toshiro around, trying to use their big bases to block some of his pulses and auras.   He activates Yin, who uses Gnawing Fear on Toshiro, then punches the Ashigaru to leave it at one wound with a poison, and uses Fear Behind the Eyes on the Monk, placing in base.  My Emissary goes next, ditching a card for Focus +2, using Rite of Strength on Izamu and then getting a cheeky Severe damage on Yin with the Angry Winds.  His Rogue Necromancy goes next, killing the Goryo easily and giving me Frame for Murder.  

Toshiro activates next, focusing in order to get around his penalty to casts and summons another Ashigaru, but fails his War Fan action.  At this point, I have the activation control and my Ashigaru collectively fail to finish off Yin, and land a hit on Seamus.  Izamu swings on Seamus four times...and hits once.  

Score: 3-2

Turn 3
He wins the Initiative flip, and opens with Seamus.  Seamus uses Boo! Again, gaining yet another Infamy (the maximum for purposes of increasing his Horror Duels, mind you) off of my Ashigaru, paralyzes Izamu and Toshiro.  He shoots the Emissary, then walks and uses Live for Pain.  After all the failed Horror duels, the damage I had put on him last turn is nearly healed.

My Shadow Emissary activates next, ditching a card for Focus +2 and then kills Yin, who drops a Mindless Zombie.  His Nurse activates, picking up a head.  He Accomplices into Chiaki, who Walks, uses the Calling on Izamu to gain some Chi herself, but fails to use Pull of the Grave on Izamu.  My Ashigaru activates, dropping a marker on his side of the board to try and defend for Search the Ruins.  His Belle responds in kind, walking and dropping a scheme marker.  I activate the Monk to clear his paralyzed.  

His Rogue Necromancy activates, Stalking Toshiro, then Shoots Toshiro before walking to a new position.  Izamu and Toshiro activate to clear their paralyzed, and his Zombie just passes it’s activation.  My Soul Porter pushes Izamu and Toshiro to block Seamus’ pulse from my Monk.

Score:  3-3

Turn 4
I win initiative here, and he uses his last stone to try and reflip the initiative, but still fails.  I open with Toshiro, who picks up a Head, gives the Monk Fast and pushes with the War Fan, and walks to get a better angle for the Peaceful Waters aura.  His Belle activates, Luring and killing the Ashigaru with a cheeky Pounce.  My Emissary activates, ditching a card for Focus +2, but for all his effort does a single Weak damage to Seamus. He does pass his effectively Terrifying 15 (thanks, Infamy!) and Seamus gets an unconscionable 4th Infamy in as many turns.  He also uses Rite of Strength on Izamu.  The Nurse walks up and gives Izamu some Downers, paralyzing him.  He Accomplices into Chiaki again, who uses the Calling on the Monk, then walks and drops another scheme marker.  My Soul Porter pushes the Emissary and Izamu again, just trying to find the best angle for next turn.

His Rogue Necromancy shoots into the engagement between the Mindless Zombie and the Monk, hitting the Zombie, then cheating the attack and damage flips to kill both of them.  I go with Izamu to clear his paralyze.

He responds with Seamus, using Boo! To paralyze both Izamu and Toshiro (again!), charges the Emissary and kills him.  He ends his charge such that he can use his last AP to remove one of my Search the Ruins markers.

At this point, I concede.  I have Izamu and Toshiro left alive, paralyzed, and somehow need to get three scheme markers/ pick up a head before he does, and I don’t see how I do this.  He reveals Search the Ruins.

Final Score:  3-8

Thoughts
So, firstly - this is my third game with Yan Lo since his new upgrades dropped, and the second game where I’ve grossly over-extended him early and lost him before he got Ash and Spirit Ascendant upgrades online.  After I lost Yan, I became fixated on trying to kill Seamus and couldn’t get there.  

Secondly, the Seamus player and I both agreed that him top-decking every Infamy damage flip in the game was unlikely, but I do believe it had an impact in the game.  He had me flipping TN 13’s and 15’s multiple times, and being out of stones from my first mistake meant he was paralyzing ~2 of my models every turn.  The extra damage, activation control, and healing that this upgrade gave him by increasing his Infamy was impressive to see.

To add to that, my opponent’s crew worked very well at providing control elements in the Nurse and Belle, delivery elements in Back Alley and the Kentauroi, and beaters in the Kentauroi, Seamus, and Rogue Necromancy.  My crew didn’t lack for beaters either, but their naturally low Willpower couldn’t handle his terrifying.

Despite my salt, it was a good game that taught me the value in not overextending my master, especially someone like Yan Lo that needs a turn or two to build up steam.
 

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lo

On 28/9/2017 at 4:14 AM, Diceman87 said:

He wins initiative again.  Zoraida opens with an Obey on McTavish to charge Von Schill, then summons a Voodoo Doll which successfully Hems Von Schill.  

Nice report, but Voodoo Doll cannot hem a Master.

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4 hours ago, Azkral said:

lo

Nice report, but Voodoo Doll cannot hem a Master.

So it seems!  My opponent hasn’t played much Zoraida, so it was an honest mistake.  Definitely something to keep in mind for the rematch.

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Here’s a battle report for a game of Gaining Grounds 2018 (9/29/2017 edition) played at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/04/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Flank
Strategy:  Public Execution
Schemes:  Guarded Treasure, Make Them Suffer, Eliminate the Leadership, Vendetta, Dig Their Graves

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Resurrectionists.  

My list
Parker Barrows + 5 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • Hidden Steel Plate

Doc Mitchell
Miss Deed

  • Scramble

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Sue

  • Return Fire

Dead Outlaw
Dead Outlaw

With my opponent being Resurrectionist, I expected either Reva, McMourning, or Seamus.  I gave Parker Black Market to maximize the number of Soulstones I was making, Stick Up to be my main ‘ditch to gain a soulstone’ enabler, and Hidden Steel Plate for the additional source of damage prevention and condition removal.  Doc is always a solid choice with Parker.  Sue is great in general, and the Dead Outlaws would make Dig their Graves that much harder for my opponent (because they can eat enemy scheme markers if wounded).

Hodgepodge Emissary was a choice for two reasons - first, as an Enforcer who can push and drop schemes, he’s a great enabler for Dig and Guarded Treasure.  Second, he lets me run the Parker Soulstone Engine without getting near my opponent’s crew - and with Resurrectionists being a slow and melee focused faction generally speaking, I figured I’d have more luck staying away from engagement.

Miss Deed took the place I normally save for Mad Dog, and Scramble made her have reasonable speed on the table.  Honestly, I built her not an hour before the game, so my main choice in taking her was new model syndrome.  

My Opponent’s List
McMourning + 6SS

  • Moonlighting
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Test Subjects

Zombie Chihuahua
Asura Roten
Sebastian

  • Those are not Ours!

Rafkin
The Scorpius
Guild Autopsy
Nurse
Rotten Belle

While I was happy to not see Reva or Seamus across the board, McMourning is a master I’ve not faced often, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.  

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
His crew was heavy on Minions and summoning Peon/Minions, with some punchy Enforcer and up models.  He also had some Willpower shenanigans, but was mostly going to be dealing damage in melee.  I opted then for Guarded Treasure and Make Them Suffer.  I figured Guarded Treasure was something I could score by running away from my opponent, and Make them Suffer would be doable with both Taelor and Parker able to put down Mindless Zombies/ Canine Remains.  

He ended up picking Make Them Suffer and Eliminate the Leadership.  He explained after the game that he didn’t want to do either of the Scheme Marker ones because he’d just be feeding me resources, and I don’t blame him.

Deployment

I win the cut, and he deploys first.  He picks a corner with a very large piece of LoS, Blocking, Hard Cover terrain.  He sets up mostly behind the terrain pieces, giving me no clear firing lanes which is fine by me.   I deploy mostly on my leftmost flank, huddled around Sue with the Emissary on the furthest side.

Turn 1  
He wins the initiative flip, and makes me go first.  Knowing he’s got activation control from the outset, I decide to save my heavy hitters for last, and start with my more utility pieces.  My first activation is the Hodgepodge Emissary, who uses “Something in my Pack…” to give Miss Deed a Pretty Floral Bonnet and draw a card, discard it with “It was only a loan” for an enemy scheme and another card, then give her the bonnet back for a third card.  To end, he used his second (0) to push and drop a scheme marker near the center line.  (From here on out, I’ll refer to this trinket-giving-and-taking sequence as ‘cycling’)

He activates the Zombie Chihuahua, moving a little and giving Rafkin and McMourning some poison.  I activate Sue, walk twice and put up the Man in Black aura for Belle protection, and Hurt for a card.  He activates the Nurse, who gives poison and Uppers to the Guild Autopsy.  I activate a Dead Outlaw, moving it up to behind some cover.  He activates Sebastian, puts up his own cover aura, and walks to a new position. 

With a hand full of cards, and not many activations left, I activate Parker.  He discards Stick Up with Fast Getaway, gaining a soulstone and walking towards the center of the board.  He uses his Five-Finger Discount on the enemy marker (earning a second soulstone) that the Emissary dropped off Miss Deed to attach Hail of Bullets, and proceeds to drop the Hail of Bullet markers in the gap between the buildings my opponent was hiding behind.  Now if he brought Doug (or anyone) out, they would have to take a hazardous terrain flip.  Parker then uses The Job’s Not Done Yet! To push both Miss Deed and the Emissary up the board.

He activates the Belle, who lures Rafkin towards her.  I activate my second Dead Outlaw, and walk him up as well.  My opponent activates Asura Roten, turns the Quarantine Marker into a zombie, and then walks closer.  I go with Doc, and stitch up both Sue and Parker, giving both the trigger for Hard to Wound.  He burns an activation with the Mindless Zombie.  With only Miss Deed left, I walk her up, use Welcome to Malifaux, and go Defensive +1.

The rest of his activations have the Scorpius infecting the Mindless Zombie and Creeping up, McMourning pushing Rafkin and going Defensive, and Rafkin repositioning behind Asura.  At the end of the turn, the Mindless Zombie dies from it’s poison, and turns into a Canine Remains.  

Score:  0-0

Turn 2

He wins Initiative, and forces me to go first again.  I have the Emissary cycle again, this time giving Sue the Vitality Potion.  He then pushes with the Lonely Road again, now far out on my left flank.  My opponent repeats Turn 1 by following with the Zombie Chihuahua, who gives McMourning some poison.  

I activate a Dead Outlaw, walk up and take a pot-shot at his Autopsy, but due to the cover I fail the shot.  He immediately goes with the Belle who Lures that Dead Outlaw, eating a card from my hand in the process.  He stops just shy of the Hail of Bullet markers.

I activate Sue, put up Man in Black, walk up and shoot the Autopsy, landing some damage.  His Autopsy then shoots my Dead Outlaw, getting some poison on him.  My second Dead Outlaw walks up twice to take a better position for next turn.  His Nurse, not being in range of anything wanting drugs, repositions by walking twice.  

Seeing an opportunity, I go with Parker.  I walk and shoot the Autopsy, Emptying the Chamber to kill it for Make Them Suffer and for some Shed Blood, and to get a soulstone.  I reattach Hail of Bullets by discarding the scheme marker the Emissary dropped off Sue and trigger Changing Plans, using Stare Down to remove the poison from my Undead Outlaw.  I end his activation by dropping the Hail of Bullet markers back into place in front of his bottleneck.

He responds with Asura, who walks up and uses Hands from Below to seriously debuff the Dead Outlaw, and summons another Mindless Zombie. I go with Miss Deed next, walking and dropping a Scheme Marker over 10” from my Emissary’s marker.  She then puts up Welcome to Malifaux.

His Mindless Zombine uses Hands from Below to further debuff my Dead Outlaw.  I activate Doc, walk him up and heal the poor Dead Outlaw to full with the Hard to Wound trigger, hoping against hope it would be enough, as that was my last activation.  He activates his fresh Canine Remains, and walks it to be in range for Sebastian to eat.

Sebastian then flips the Black Joker on trying to destroy the Canine Remains, walks up and settles for using Hands from Below on the Dead Outlaw.  The Scorpius walks up, and also uses Hands from Below on the Dead Outlaw, who is now so covered in zombie hands he’s effectively Df and Wp 1.  Rafkin walks twice around the far end of his deployment zone, possibly aiming to go after my Emissary.  

His final activation is McMourning, who pushes and charges the Dead Outlaw through the Hail of Bullets.  It takes all three of his attacks to kill the Dead Outlaw, but he does manage to do so to score his own Make Them Suffer and gain some Shed Blood.  He uses Injection to push Rafkin some more, now fully committing him to the other side of the board.

At the end of the turn, all of his models tic their poison, and McMourning pushes back to safety behind my Hail of Bullets.  I reveal Guarded Treasure, and since we both have one model with Shed Blood neither of us score the strategy.

Score:  2-1

Turn 3
I Red Joker the Initiative Flip so I choose to go first.  I open with Parker, because I realize that I’ll need as many stones as possible.  I shoot the Canine Remains twice, using both Drop It! and Empty the Chambers triggers to discard Hidden Steel Plate to kill it for my second Make Them Suffer and Shed Blood condition, as well as give both Doc and the Dead Outlaw inspired (and, of course, get more soulstones).  Parker then drops the Hail of Bullet markers, and reattached the Hidden Steel Plate.

His Mindless Zombie attacks Parker with Hands from Below, but I stone defensively to avoid the debuff.  I activate the Dead Outlaw who shoots McMourning twice with positives, doing some more damage.  He activates Sebastian, who destroys the Mindless Zombie, walks up and uses Hands from Below on the Dead Outlaw.

I go with the Hodgepodge Emissary, refresh the potion on Sue for some cards and a scheme marker, and push and drop another scheme marker.  His Belle goes, and lures Parker twice.  I stone defensively, but he still pulls Parker closer.  I see Parker is in danger, so I activate Sue, who walks and shoots Rafkin for some damage.  Critically, though, he Black Joker’s the Man in Black.  

His Nurse activates, walking up but not doing anything of consequence.  He accomplices into McMourning, who is engaged by Parker.  McMourning walks, then attacks Parker twice.  I stone on both attacks for defensive and prevention, and he Injects the Scorpius up the field.  Miss Deed Walks, schemes, and puts up Welcome to Malifaux again.  

Asura Roten activates, and attacks Parker with the Hands from Below as well as her other attack, and then summons a Mindless Zombie.  Thankfully, it was in Miss Deed’s charge range, so I was able charge in for my final Make Them Suffer point and be in position to charge in on McMourning next turn.  Doc walks up and heals Parker for some wounds as my last activation.

The Scorpius fails to Creep along, and charges Parker for some poison and negligible damage.  Rafkin walks and charges the now poisoned Parker, and eats the rest of my stones as I spend them defensively and on prevention.  I also discard Hidden Steel Plate to prevent the damage from Rafkin’s (0).  All that damage results in Parker dropping below half wounds, and he announces Eliminate the Leadership.

At the end of the turn, McMourning pushes closer to Parker.  Because he had failed to kill Parker, I managed to score the strategy as well as both of my schemes.

Score:  5 - 2 

Turn 4
This turn’s initiative flip was critical, given my lack of soulstones for saving Parker’s life.  He stones the flip, and wins the initiative.  He opens with the Nurse, who put Downers and Hallucinogens on Parker to pseudo-Paralyze him.  He accomplices into McMourning, and flips a Red Joker to kill Parker with no recourse to me.  The good doctor now charges Doc and hilariously fails to kill him, and is unable to finish him off with Expunge because Doc Mitchell is Drunk and Pathetic, thus couldn’t gain any poison.  Instead, he Inject’s the Scorpius up.  

To try and prolong his ability to get Make them Suffer, I have Doc activate next and heal himself up to nearly full wounds.  His Scorpius then goes, attacking Sue and giving him Hemotoxin, but with his (0) attack he kills Sue anyway, getting a second Shed Blood.

I respond with Miss Deed, swinging on the Scorpius to kill it for my final Make them Suffer as well as a Shed Blood, with Welcome to Malifaux to top it off.  The Zombie Chihuahua charged Miss Deed, but fails to hit her.  It settles for giving her Poison +2.  The Dead Outlaw activates next, dropping a scheme marker and shoots at Rafkin for some damage.  Rafkin activates, and charges Miss Deed, getting some damage on her but not to Hard to Kill.  

The Emissary activates, pushing toward the center of the board, attacking Rafkin and getting the trigger to attack again, but I can’t get enough damage to kill him.  The Belle activates next, and lures Miss Deed away from my scheme marker, but fails to use Hands from Below.  

Asura activates next, charging Miss Deed and Black Jokers one of her attacks, leaving Miss Deed above Hard to Kill again.  Sebastian then walks up, and fails to hit Miss Deed.

At the end of the turn, she is dropped to Hard to Kill from poison.  We tie on the Strategy again, but he does score 2 more points for Eliminate the Leadership and another point for Make them Suffer.  I score my final point of the game in my last Make Them Suffer.  

Score:  6-4

Turn 5
I win initiative here, and my options are limited.  I activate Doc and walk to be in LoS of Miss Deed, and heal her above Hard to Kill.  He responds with the Nurse walking and giving Miss Deed Downers.  She accomplices into Sebastian, who attacks Miss Deed and drops her to Hard to Kill.  

I activate the Emissary, and focus shoot at Rafkin, but he cheats to make me miss.  He activates the Zombie Chihuahua, but she fails to attack the good Doc Mitchell.  At this point, I activate Miss Deed so that she dies to poison, preventing a free Shed Blood for my opponent, but giving him a Canine Remains.

He activates Asura, who charges and kills Doc Mitchell, for Shed Blood and another Make Them Suffer.  I activate the Dead Outlaw, and shoot at Rafkin twice, but leave him on one wound.  With my last shot, I declare Reposition and push away.

He activates McMourning, who pushes and charges the Dead Outlaw, but spectacularly fails to kill him.  He injects the new Canine Remains up.

He activates Rafkin, who shoots into McMourning’s combat twice.  The first time he hits the Dead Outlaw, doing one point of damage but giving him poison.  The second shot hits McMourning for some damage.  The Canine Remains charges my Dead Outlaw, but fails to kill him.  Lastly, his Belle walks up twice.  

At the End of Turn, he scores the strategy and Make them Suffer.

Score:  6-6

Thoughts
So, gameplay wise, I was happy with how my crew performed.  Parker managing to tank nearly my opponent’s entire crew for a turn, and eating his Nurse’s activation on the next was a big AP sink for my opponent.  

I feel like my scheme choices were appropriate, and my opponent pointed out how my choice of Guarded Treasure forced him to come out and engage me faster than he wanted to, giving me time to shoot him on approach.

I don’t think I got as much work out of Miss Deed this game as I could have, due to poor positioning turn 1.  When she did get stuck in, she scored me VP which was nice, but if I replaced her with Mad Dog or McTavish I think I’d gotten more overall value.

As far as the Strategy was concerned, both my opponent and I liked how it would not score on ‘ties’.  Being an either/or scoring strategy really can put a dampener on scores in a tournament setting, and thus Diff.  

I feel that Guarded Treasure is appropriately difficult for an Always scheme.  I dedicated a 10 SS model to scoring half of it, and comfortably scored 2 points.  The third point I lost due to my opponent’s counterplay, which I think is fair.  
 

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Here’s a battle report for a game of Gaining Grounds 2017 played at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/08/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Extraction
Schemes:  Claim Jump, Dig Their Graves, Leave Your Mark, Recover Evidence, Inspection

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Resurrectionists.  

My list
Parker Barrows + 4 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • Hail of Bullets

Doc Mitchell
McTavish

  • Scout the Field
  • Oathkeeper

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Sue

  • Return Fire

Dead Outlaw
Dead Outlaw

I wanted to experiment with McTavish in the main damage dealer slot in my Parker crew, figuring that his ability to eat corpse markers with Gator Snack would be useful.  The rest of my crew was selected for it’s durability and generally being useful.

My Opponent’s List
Reva + 4SS

  • Beyond Death
  • Decaying Aura
  • Blood Mark

Philip and the Nanny

  • Corpse Bloat

Carrion Emissary

  • Conflux of the Reaper

Yin

  • Unnerving Aura

Shield Bearer
Shield Bearer
Necropunk

My opponent has been playing Reva pretty regularly, and has been tweaking his list with new purchases.  I’m always worried when I see Reva across the way, because she is one of the few masters that can really get past Parker’s main tankiness of soulstone prevention.

Scheme Selection & Gameplan

Given the Strategy, Inspection was immediately a no-sell.  I was not excited for the prospects of Recover Evidence with Yin around, and I didn’t feel comfortable getting into his back line for Leave Your Mark.  

So I chose Claim and Dig, figuring I’d be able to convert enough enemy markers to mine to get a few points on it.

My opponent chose Recover Evidence and Leave Your Mark.

Deployment

I lose the cut, and deploy first.  I chose to deploy on the front line, centrally located.  He deployed centrally opposite.

Turn 1  
We both stone for cards, and I win the initiative flip.  I chose for him to go first, since we are currently tied on activations.  I scout up with McTavish, then he declares Recover Evidence immediately, and I drop all 5 Evidence Markers behind the bulk of my crew.  He opens with the Carrion Emissary, who walks forward twice and drops Shards markers to block my Line of Sight.  I activate Sue, cast Man in Black, then walk up and Hurt.

He activates his Necropunk next, dropping a scheme marker, leaping behind the building, and dropping another scheme marker.  I activate my Emissary, use The Weary Road to push up the field.  I then use Something In My Pack on Sue to attach Vitality Potion and draw a card, discard it for a card and enemy scheme marker with It Was Only A Loan, then reattach the Vitality Potion for another card.  Hereinafter, when I perform this combination of actions (Attach Trinket > Discard Trinket > Attach Trinket) I’ll refer to it as “Cycling”.

He walks Yin up behind some cover.  I activate McTavish and drop my Hunting Screen, then focus and shoot at Yin for some minimum damage.  He goes with a Shieldbearer, declaring ‘Not Today’ for bonus defense, and walks up.  I walk a Dead Outlaw up, and he walks up his other Shieldbearer with ‘Not Today’.  

I next activate Parker, discarding Stick Up for a walk and a soulstone.  I use Five-Finger Discount on the marker the Emissary gave me to reattach Stick up, and trigger Changing Plans to use my other (0) to have my Dead Outlaw drop a scheme marker.  I try taking a pot shot at the Emissary and fail, and end my turn by dropping the Hail of Bullet markers.  He goes with Philip and the Nanny, eating one scheme marker then walking up, and I walk my other Dead Outlaw up.  

He activates Reva, summoning a Corpse Candle.  He uses Blood Mark to push the Candle, then walks up and uses Blood Mark to push Philip and the Nanny.  I activate Doc, push towards Parker and heal Sue.  His Candle walks to end the turn.  His Mindless Zombie comes out engaging Sue, Parker and the Dead Outlaw in the center of the board.

Score:  0-0

Turn 2
He wins initiative, and activates a Shieldbearer first.  He uses ‘Not Today’, then walks twice to engage my leftmost Dead Outlaw.  I go with Sue, cast Man in Black, kill the Mindless Zombie and walk to get as many of my models in range of Man in Black as I can.  His Carrion Emissary Walks to my right flank, dropping Shards to split my rightmost Dead Outlaw and McTavish off from the rest of my crew, then walks again to hide behind a tree.  

I activate the Hodgepodge Emissary, cycling on McTavish for the Memento, and Weary Road to my left flank.  His Corpse Candle walks up, flails impotently at the Emissary, then uses Death Omens on him to eat a card from my hand.  My leftmost Dead Outlaw uses Sand in the Eyes of the Shieldbearer to push out with Reposition, then shoots him to drop an enemy scheme marker.  This reduces the Shieldbearer to 0, so they drop a corpse and attach ‘My Fight is Not Finished’.  Philip and the Nanny activate next, eating another scheme marker and walking up, and make some new friends off of one of my scheme markers.  

I activate Parker next, making another Fast Getaway for another Soulstone, shoot the Revenant Shieldbearer twice for some scheme markers, then use Five-Finger Discount to reattach Stickup.  With my last AP, I use Stick Up on Philip and the Nanny, and get a soulstone for my troubles.  At the end of his activation, I use Fistful of Scrip to convert one marker to my side.

His remaining Shieldbearer uses ‘Not Today’, then walks twice to engage Sue on my right flank.  I activate McTavish, Focus, then discard Scout the Field to shoot the wounded Shieldbearer and kill them, scoring my first Dig Their Graves point.  I then Gator Snack off the scheme marker next to me, getting the push into position to score on the Strategy.

Yin walks up next, focuses but fails to get Gnawing Fears off on McTavish.  My remaining Dead Outlaw walks up next and drops another marker for Claim Jump.  On my left flank, his Necropunk leaps and walks twice into my deployment zone, and I realize that he’s likely going for Leave Your Mark.  Doc goes next, Stiching Up both Sue and Parker, hitting the trigger for Hard to Wound for both.  

He activates Reva next, summoning a Corpse Candle.  He then arcs through a corpse into the Hodgepodge Emissary, getting a Red Joker on the damage with the trigger for +1 damage, dropping him to Hard to Kill with his first AP.  When the dust settles after two more attacks, the Emissary is dead.  She then fails her (0) on my Dead Outlaw.  

The Candle walks up, and at the end of the turn he summons a mindless Zombie to engage McTavish on my right flank, and more importantly denies me Claim Jump. We both score the Strategy.

Score:  2 (Extraction, Dig) - 1 (Extraction)

Turn 3
I stone for cards this turn, and stone on the Initiative flip - and Black Joker.  I am relieved when he activates the Necropunk first, Leaping, walking and dropping a Leave Your mark marker.  I go with Sue, put up Man in Black, and fail to put any wounds on the Shieldbearer engaging him.  He activates Philip and the Nanny, using Unforgiving Stench to blow up a corpse marker next to Parker and the Dead Outlaw on my left flank, eating a stone on Parker’s defense flip.  He uses New Friends on my scheme marker, then walks behind a tree.  

I activate Parker, making another Fast Getaway for a stone and to position myself within 8” of his Leave your Mark marker.  I use ‘Hands in the Air!” on his Shieldbearer, dropping a scheme marker.  I eat it with Five-Finger Discount to attach Crate of Dynamite, then use it to blow up his Leave your Mark marker.  His Necropunk passes it’s test, and I discard a stone to keep the upgrade.  I end by dropping Hail of Bullet markers.

His Corpse Candle walks and uses Death Omens on Sue, eating a card from my hand.  My leftmost Dead Outlaw walks and drops a scheme marker for Claim Jump.  He activates Reva, summoning a Corpse Candle.  She attacks the Dead Outlaw on the right flank, killing him on the third attack.  She fails her (0) on Sue.

I activate McTavish, discarding Oathkeeper this turn.  His gator bites the Mindless Zombie in half, and he then charges the Shieldbearer.  Even after Gator snacking for another attack, McTavish can’t finish off the Shieldbearer.  I do force him to attach the ‘Damage a model that kills this model’ upgrade.  His Emissary then walks, dropping Shards to isolate Doc Mitchell, and fails to attack Sue.  I walk Doc around the Shard markers, and make a desperate melee attack on the Shieldbearer but predictably fail.  

With his remaining activations, he walks up his Corpse Candle and Yin.  Yin fails to put Gnawing Fears on Sue, but does get some damage in with Fear Behind the Eyes on Sue.  The Shieldbearer hits Sue, but he no longer has the cards to use Sword and Board.

At the end of the turn, he summons a Mindless Zombie engaging McTavish and Doc Mitchell.    We both score the Strategy this turn, and I am able to score Claim Jump.

Score:  4 (Extraction, Claim Jump) - 2 (Extraction) 

Turn 4
We both stone for cards this turn, and I win the initiative flip.  I open with Parker, using Hands in the Air on the Carrion Emissary, getting a Scheme Marker out of it.  My Six-Shooters waste his Corpse Candle and give me another scheme marker and draw a card with Go Through Their Pockets.  I use Crate of Dynamite to force some Defense tests on Philip and the Emissary - and a stone for me - then I use Five Finger Discount on the other marker for Stick Up.  I hit the Changing Plans trigger, and have my Dead Outlaw drop a Scheme Marker.  As I end his activation, I use Fistful of Scrip for another friendly marker.

I companion into McTavish, who kills the Shieldbearer for Dig Their Graves and another round of Go Through Their Pockets at the cost of some return damage from the Revenant upgrade.  He kills the Zombie for even more Go Through Their Pockets, then Gator Snacks to heal.

He activates Reva, summoning a Corpse Candle, then proceeds to kill Doc Mitchell.  She then attacks Sue and drops him to Hard to Kill. I activate Sue next, healing back up above Hard to Kill and shooting Yin twice, then casting Man in Black.  I do not use Hurt, wanting Hard to Kill protection.  His Corpse Candle walks, and I activate my Dead Outlaw who shoots his Corpse Candle, declaring Reposition to push into range to cast Curse of the Covetous on his Emissary, succeeding.

With the rest of the activations being his he goes with the Necropunk first, Leaping to a Evidence marker, which he picks up for a point, then drops a scheme marker.  Yin tries to put Gnawing Fear on Sue, who Returns Fire for no effect.  Yin then charges McTavish, putting some wounds on him.  His Emissary opts to take damage to end the Curse, then attacks my Dead Outlaw.  I luckily Red Joker my first defense flip, but his second attack blasts onto Parker and I spend a stone to reduce the damage.  He lacks the cards to discard in order to take any tactical actions.

At the end of the turn, he declares Leave Your Mark, and we both score the Strategy.

Score:  6 (Extraction, Dig) - 5 (Extraction, Leave Your Mark, Recover Evidence)

Turn 5
I win initiative this turn, and open with Sue.  I cast Man in Black, and kill Yin then opt to Hurt, since I was still above Hard to Kill.  He goes with his Emissary, dropping Shards to protect himself and kills the Dead Outlaw.

I go with Parker next, making a Fast Getaway so I can use Hands in the Air on his Necropunk.  I use Five Finger Discount to attach Crate of Dynamite, then shoot the Emissary to drop a Scheme Marker I then blew up with the Crate of Dynamite for some damage on Philip and the Nanny.  I ditch a card for Fistful of Scrip.  

He activates Philip and the Nanny, who tries to make New Friends but flips the Black Joker.  He then walks and eats a scheme marker for cards.  McTavish then goes, but even with Gator Snacks leaves Philip and the Nanny on one wound.  

He goes with Reva, summoning a Corpse Candle and then using Death Shroud to jump to it.  He tries to kill Sue, but fails.  At this point, he concedes as he lacks the cards in hand to do any scheming with this Necropunk.

We both score the Strategy.

Score:  7 (Extraction) - 6 (Extraction)

Thoughts
Crew-wise, while I liked the range that McTavish brought, I really felt the pain of that minimum 2 damage on my dedicated ‘beater’ model.   The rest of my crew performed about as well as I hoped it would.  Sue was once again MVP.

My opponent made really solid use of the Shards of Kythera over the course of this game, regularly inserting the wall in the middle of my crew and disrupting my lines of sight for friendly actions.  The Shieldbearers were really tough to chew through, and Yin is always a pain.  Corpse Bloat on Philip and the Nanny was unexpected, and proved very disruptive.

Scheme-wise, I’m not sure that I would have done any better with any of the other schemes.  This pool was just a tough one for Parker’s crew, and I only managed to deny him enough because of Crate of Dynamite.  My opponent’s decision to reveal Recover Evidence Turn 1 was in part to split my crew, and my choice to leave them behind nearly cost me 3 VP.  

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Here’s a battle report for a game of Gaining Grounds 2017 played at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/08/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  I apologize, as I missed photos from Turns 2 and 3.

Setup
Deployment:  Corner
Strategy:  Turf War
Schemes:  Claim Jump, Eliminate the Leadership, Frame for Murder, Hunting Party, Tail ‘Em

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Guild.  

My list
Parker Barrows + 6 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • Hail of Bullets

Doc Mitchell
Mad Dog Brackett

  • Lucky Poncho
  • Oathkeeper

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Sue

  • Return Fire

Dead Outlaw
Dead Outlaw

Given the board being full of hard cover, I opted for a conventional Parker Bandit crew.  Mad Dog came back in for his ability to remove that cover.

My Opponent’s List
Perdita Ortega + 4SS

  • Fastest Draw in Malifaux
  • Trick Shooting

Enslaved Nephilim
Phiona Gage

  • A Debt to the Guild
  • Numb to the World

Abuela Ortega

  • A Debt to the Guild

Nino Ortega

  • A Debt to the Guild

Guild Pathfinder
Pistolero De Latigo
Pistolero De Latigo

My opponent plays a mean Perdita crew, and this version was changing things up from his usual practice of including Santiago and Frank.  

A quick aside - my opponent’s Pathfinder has been such a pain in my side, I nearly tilted on seeing it. 

Scheme Selection & Gameplan

With Perdita across the board and three Debts, I picked Frame for Murder on Mad Dog nearly immediately.  He’s my biggest threat, and Perdita kills threats dead like no other.  I didn’t want to try for Tail ‘Em with only Perdita as a legal target, doubly so with Hunting Party meaning my Minions were especially valuable.  Since he had a Pathfinder, I chose Hunting Party as my second option hoping to get some points off of a trap or two.

My opponent chose Hunting Party and Tail ‘Em.

Deployment

I lose the cut, and deploy first.  I chose to deploy on the corner that had the densest concentration of terrain, hoping to block as many firing lanes as I could.  He deploys opposite with Nino and the Pathfinder closer to the center line.

Turn 1
We both stone for cards, and he wins the flip to make me go first.  I activate the Hodgepodge Emissary first, using Something in my Pack to give Mad Dog a Memento and draw a card, discard it for a card and enemy scheme marker with It Was Only A Loan, then reattach the Memento for another card.  Hereinafter, when I perform this combination of actions (Attach Trinket > Discard Trinket > Attach Trinket) I’ll refer to it as “Cycling”.  To end my activation, the Emissary uses The Weary Road to push up.

He opens with Abuela, who uses Shotgun Wedding to welcome Phiona to the family.  She then walks up to some hard cover.  We then alternate activations where we walk our minions (both of my Dead Outlaws and one of his Pistolero’s) up, with mine hugging cover.  His Nephilim goes next, Chaining Perdita to his Pistolero, then Phiona to Perdita.   

Wanting to unpack my deployment, I activate Parker next.  He makes a Fast Getaway for a stone and a walk, and uses Five-Finger Discount to attach High Noon off of the scheme marker I got from the Emissary’s Cycle.  I give Abuela the Dead Man Walking condition with the Slow trigger, discarding a stone to keep the upgrade.  I use The Job’s Not Done Yet to push Mad Dog into a better firing position, then drop the Hail of Bullet markers for soft cover.

He goes with his Pathfinder next, focusing twice and failing to summon a trap.  I next have Mad Dog walk up, topdeck the five of rams to drop the Blow it to Hell marker, then walk back behind cover.  Nino focuses and shoots Mad Dog, but fails to hit.  I walk Sue up twice, casting Man in Black and Hurting for a card.  His last Pistolero goes next, walking twice towards Nino.  Lastly, I activate Doc and walk him up, failing to heal Sue.

With the rest of the activations in his court, he walks Phiona behind some hard cover and Commands Stone to block any LoS I may have had on her.  Perdita follows suit, pushing to her and then walking around the pillar.  She uses Bullet Bending to ignore Mad Dog’s cover, taking a shot at him but flipping poorly and failing to hit.  She ends by using Finger on the Trigger to punish my entire Crew from trying anything. 

Score:  0-0

Turn 2
I stone for cards again this turn, and have a hand full of 10+s, most of them Severes.  I win the Initiative Flip.  Feeling confident, I activate the Emissary, using the Cycle on Sue to give him Vitality Potion and pushing up again.  He activates his Nephilim, needing to walk once before Chaining itself to his Pistolero.   

The Dead Outlaw on my left flank walks twice, bluffing like I’m going for Claim Jump away from his Spotter aura.  He has Abuela activate next, using Listen Up Young’n on Nino who walks to a better position.  She then goes Defensive +1.  

I activate Parker next, walking up so that I can give his forward Pistolero the Dead Man Walking condition, discarding High Noon and using Five-Finger Discount to reattach Stick Up.  I end by dropping Hail of Bullet markers back down for the soft cover.

He responds by activating Perdita, who walks to be within 12” of Mad Dog.  She Obeys him to walk through the Hail of Bullet markers, and flips Severe damage on the markers, which I stone away one.  She then shoots him, but between Bulletproof and soulstone prevention I only take 2, but it does drop him below 4 wounds (thus activating Frothing at the Mouth).  

Not wanting to give up Mad Dog before he does anything, I burn Oathkeeper this turn, walking Mad Dog to be in position to shoot the Pistolero.  This pays off as I one-shot the Pistolero, earning me a point for Hunting Party.  With his last AP, Mad Dog walks back behind the wall he was behind originally.

Nino goes next, popping Debt to the Guild and taking a Focused shot on the Dead Outlaw on my left flank, but leaves him on 2 wounds.  Doc Mitchell goes next, walking and Black Jokering the heal on Mad Dog.  His Pathfinder walks twice to hide behind some terrain on my right flank, and fails to summon a trap again.  At this point, I opt to send Sue after his Pathfinder, figuring I would be able to get a point for Hunting Party in a turn or two, and being the best model to give up the fewest points if it was a Frame for Murder target.  

His remaining Pistolero goes next, walking twice.  With nothing specific to do, I activate my second Dead Outlaw, taking a Defensive Stance for 2 AP.  He ends his turn with Phiona walking up and dropping a Stone Pillar with a commanding presence on the Turf Marker.  

At the end of the turn, we both score the Strategy. 

Score:  2 (Turf War, Hunting Party) - 1 (Turf War)

Turn 3
I stone for cards, he does not.  He stones to reflip initiative, but even with Fastest Draw he doesn’t win.  I open by walking the Dead Outlaw on my left flank up to hide behind some terrain and drop a scheme marker, continuing my Claim Jump bluff.  

He wastes no time and activates Perdita.  She walks to be in range of Doc Mitchell, and casts Obey on him.  She succeeds, and has him pull out his Hidden Flintlock on Mad Dog.  He fails to hit Mad Dog, but because Parker could see him the good Doctor is sacrificed.  For her last AP, she uses Finger on the Trigger and Bullet Bends to ignore cover.

Seeing an opportunity, I activate Parker next.  He makes a Fast Getaway, walking to engage Perdita in combat.  He pushes Mad Dog to have Line of Sight on Phiona, then shoots Perdita to drop a scheme marker.  She fails to hit him with her Finger on the Trigger.  He uses Five Finger Discount to reattach Stick Up, and then drops the Hail of Bullet markers again.

I then companion into Mad Dog.  He spends a soulstone to move his Blow it to Hell marker, but fate was clearly smiling as I Red Jokered the Blow it to Hell flip, now denying Phiona cover.  I proceed to Rapid Fire on Phiona, and thanks to my Frothing at the Mouth Mad Dog drops two Severe and one Weak shots on Phiona, blasting twice onto Perdita.  Phiona burns stones to live, and leaves Perdita on 2 wounds.  On his last shot, Mad Dog pushes Phiona back and away from the center.

His Pathfinder goes next, walking to try and get a shot off on Parker, but randomizing onto Perdita.  He doesn’t relent, and fails to hit.  He also fails to summon a trap.  The Dead Outlaw in the center of the board walks around the terrain, and manages to land a Curse of the Covetous on Perdita.  

He activates Phiona next, and pops A Debt to the Guild.  She Charges the Dead Outlaw, killing it in one severe hit.  She Swings Wide on Parker for 3 damage.  I activate the Emissary next, walking up, and kill Perdita.  Sue walks up, fails his shot on the Pistolero, then turns on the Ring of Fire and Hurt.  Abuela activates next, uses Listen Up on the Pistolero to Tail Parker, then she walks and uses her Shotgun on Mad Dog.  She hits and declares the Slug trigger, but thanks to Bulletproof and soulstones he is left just above Hard to Kill.  Because she took a walk with Dead Man Walking, Mad Dog returns the favor  and shoots her, dealing damage to her and the Pistolero due to her Matriarch ability.

Nino doesn’t take kindly to this, focusing and shooting Mad Dog, leaving him at Hard to Kill.

At the end of the turn, we both score the Strategy, 

Score:  3 (Turf War) - 4 (Turf War, Tail ‘Em, Hunting Party)

Turn 4
I stone for cards.  He Red Jokers the Initiative flip, and goes first.  His Pistolero Tails Parker, then shoots at Mad Dog but fails.  

I activate Mad Dog, who kills the Pistolero for Hunting Party, blasting onto Abuela.  His second shot kills the Matriarch, giving him a soulstone back.  These kills both enable Parker’s Go Through Their Pocket’s aura for a few cards.  Nino goes next, and finally puts down Mad Dog, and I reveal Frame for Murder.  His second shot hits the Emissary for some damage.  

I go with Parker next, using Fast Getaway to move to be near the scheme marker my Undead Outlaw dropped the previous turn.  He uses Five Finger Discount to discard said marker and attach Crate of Dynamite, then use The Job’s Not Done Yet on Parker himself to push out of engagement.  He attempts Hands in the Air on Phiona, but fails.  His last AP is spent walking out of Line of Sight of my opponent’s crew, thus removing the Spotted condition.  

His Pathfinder walks twice to be near the Turf Marker.  My remaining Dead Outlaw walks towards the center, as insurance for the Strategy.  Phiona drops a pillar and walks, threatening my Dead Outlaw and Emissary.  Sue walks twice towards the center, and uses Ring of Fire and Hurt again.  

His Nephilim goes next, taking a Focused Influence on Nino, but fails to get it off.  The Emissary tries to hit Phiona, but can’t land a hit.  

At the end of the turn, we both score the Strategy. 

Score:  6 (Turf War, Hunting Party, Frame for Murder) - 5 (Turf War)

Turn 5
I stone for cards.  He stones the Initiative flip, and wins.

He opens with Nino, who walks up and shoots the Dead Outlaw, killing him and scoring Hunting Party.  I activate Sue, charge the hated Pathfinder and kill him for my own Hunting Party.  Sue ends his activation with Ring of Fire and Hurt.  

The Nephilim again takes a focused Influence on Nino, but fails to get it off.  The Emissary goes next, failing to hit Phiona.  Phino swings on the Emissary, but can’t kill him back.  

At this point, my opponent is out of activations and concedes.  

Score:  8 (Turf War, Hunting Party) - 6 (Hunting Party)

Thoughts
My opponent’s crew had a lot of damage, and me having to deploy first was a blessing in disguise.  Bulletproof may be a situationally useful defense, but it was definitely important in this game.  

As far as play choices, I think moving my remaining Dead Outlaw towards the center at the end of the game was a poor play.  It would have been better to stay out of reach of his crew and deny the Hunting Party point.  

My opponent recognized the choice to move the Pathfinder and fire into the engagement containing Perdita as a mistake as soon as he did the randomization flip.  Other than that action, I don’t think he made any misplays.

Scheme wise, I’m happy with my choice.  Sue and Mad Dog can really crank out the damage on Minions for the Hunting Party.  I may have gotten more points off of Frame for Murder on Mad Dog if I didn’t try so hard to keep him alive, but given the work I got out of him I’m not too upset.

Tail ‘Em is a great scheme against Parker, because he wants to be in the thick of it and it really forced my hand and Parker’s activation to deny that scheme point.  

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Here’s a battle report for a game of Gaining Grounds 2018, 10/10/2017 version, played at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/11/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Symbols of Authority
Schemes:  Guarded Treasure, Show of Force, Eliminate the Leadership, Set Up, Search the Ruins

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Arcanists.  

My list
Parker Barrows + 6 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • Hail of Bullets

Doc Mitchell
Mad Dog Brackett

  • Lucky Poncho
  • Oathkeeper

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Sue

  • Return Fire

Dead Outlaw
Dead Outlaw

I stuck with my standard Parker crew, as I’m finding it adept at dealing with most threats.  I also figured that with Eliminate in the pool, I’d want as many soulstones as possible.

My Opponent’s List
Kaeris + 5SS

  • Grab and Drop
  • Flaming Angel
  • Arcane Reservoir

Eternal Flame
Joss

  • Recharge Soulstone
  • Imbued Energies

The Firestarter

  • Imbued Energies

Johan

  • Imbued Energies

Gunsmith
Gunsmith

My opponent also had a 7 activation crew, with some mean damage dealers in Joss and Johan.  Kaeris’ Grab and Drop is a mixed blessing here - it gives her crew mobility that cuts down the turns I’ll be shooting them, but it means they’ll drop Scheme Markers for Parker to steal.  

Scheme Selection & Gameplan

Looking over his crew, I centered my plan around Joss.  I figured there was a low chance that I’d ever kill Joss, so he’d be a great target for Set Up, which is probably my favorite scheme for Parker.  He’d also make killing Kaeris too hard, so I didn’t want to go for Eliminate.  With two Hard to Kill models that had access to pulse healing, I didn’t want to bet on having more upgrades in the center than he did for too long, so Show of Force was out.  I considered Guarded Treasure, but ended up going with Search the Ruins and planned to just maximize my incidental scheme marker dropping.  As far as the Strategy was concerned, I hoped to score at most 2 points off it - one from a Dead Outlaw on the flanks, and one for keeping one of mine up by the end of the game.

As far as my opponent’s schemes are concerned, I’ve found that when going up against someone with Parker, they tend towards the non-scheme marker schemes.  As such, I had an idea that my opponent would opt for some combination of Show of Force, Eliminate the Leadership, and maybe a cheeky Set Up if he could get activation control on me.  I’m not terribly worried about Eliminate, because Parker is built to tank.  Show of Force would be tricky, but if I could bluff it and pull his crew towards mine, I figured I’d open up space for my Dead Outlaws to try for the Strategy.    

My opponent chose Eliminate the Leadership and Show of Force.

Deployment

I lose the cut, and deploy first.  The table was full of hard cover (only the trees were soft cover), and was laid out fairly uniformly.  I opted for the side that I was closest to out of convenience.  I don’t feel that picking any other side would have given me any greater advantage.  I deployed my crew centrally, with the Dead Outlaws to each flank.  I placed my Strategy Markers skewed to my right side, putting buildings between them.  

My opponent also deployed centrally, with his Firestarter on my right flank.  His markers were also placed as close to his deployment as he could, with buildings between them.

Turn 1
I stone for cards, and proceed to win the initiative.  Seeing as we are equal in activations, I have him go first.  He opens with Kaeris, who uses Flare to light his crew - sans the Firestarter - on fire.  One good thing is that he flips the Red Joker during this, so I know I don’t need to worry about it the rest of the turn.  One of his Gunslingers flips a ram, and gains fast.  She then walks up, and goes defensive.  

I open with the Hodgepodge Emissary, and proceed to use ‘Something in my Pack’ to give Mad Dog a Memento, drawing a card in the process.  Hodgepodge then strips the Memento from Mad Dog, dropping and enemy scheme marker and drawing a card.  I then repeat the process of giving Mad Dog the Memento.  Hereinafter I’ll refer to this process as ‘Cycling’.  The Emissary then uses Weary Road to push up the board.

He goes with his not-Fast Gunsmith, flying up and dropping a scheme marker thanks to Kaeris’ Wings of Fire.   I walk Sue up, Cast man in Black, and Hurt to draw the Black Joker into my hand.  

At this point, we begin trading activations consisting of double-walking.  He walks Johan up, I walk a Dead Outlaw.  He walks the Eternal Flame, I walk another Dead Outlaw.  His models were dropping scheme markers thanks to Wings of Fire.  

He then walks his fast Gunsmith up, and with the additional AP takes a shot at my Dead Outlaw, but flips the Black Joker on damage.  

I opt to activate Parker at this point, discarding Stick Up with Fast Getaway (+1 Soulstone) and walking up.  Parker then uses Five-Finger Discount, discarding the marker I dropped from the Emissary, hitting the Changing Plans trigger.  I attached the Crate of Dynamite, and used the (0) from Black Market to have Mad Dog take an Interact, and he dropped a scheme marker.  I then used The Job’s Not Done Yet to push Mad Dog up.  With my last two AP, I walk Parker around Sue and use High Explosives on one of the scheme markers that his Gunsmiths had dropped, forcing cards from his hand.  I spend a stone to keep the Crate of Dynamite.

He goes with his Firestarter next, walking twice to hide behind a building on my right flank.  I activate Mad Dog, and ditch Oathkeeper for Fast.  He walks, casts Blow it to Hell to remove the Gunsmith’s cover.  With two more AP, Mad Dog used Rapid Fire to kill one of the Gunsmiths, and dropped a scheme marker with Loot Their Corpses.

He finally goes with Joss, who ditches Imbued Energies to take three walks and engage Parker, dropping a marker with Wings of Fire.  I end the turn by walking Doc up and healing Sue, getting the trigger for Stitch Up.   

Score:  0-0

Turn 2
He stones for cards, but I do not.  I do stone to reflip initiative, but do not steal it from him.  He opens with Joss who walks around Parker to engage Mad Dog, Parker, and Sue.  He then took an attack on Sue, hitting for some solid damage.  

With most of my crew ‘safely’ engaged in melee with Joss, I first activate the Hodgepodge Emissary.  I Cycle the Vitality Potion onto Sue for some cards and another scheme marker, and then use the Weary Road to push up and drop a marker with Set Up range of Joss.  

He goes next with Kaeris, using an ability on her new upgrade to push over Johan and give him burning.  He then casts Immolate into the melee in the center of the board, but randomizes on Joss.  He doesn’t relent, and the attack fails to hit Joss.  He tries again, this time randomizing onto the Emissary, spending a soulstone to negate his cover and gets the trigger to pulse Burning onto Parker and Sue.  He ends his turn by ending Burning on Johan and drawing a card.

I then go with Parker.  I push Mad Dog out of engagement, then use High Explosives on a scheme marker near Kaeris and the Eternal Flame.  Both of them pass, and I opt to discard the Crate of Dynamite, then use Five-Finger Discount to attach Stick Up.  While I get the Changing Plans trigger off, I fail the (0) interact.  With one AP left, I end up using Hands in the Air on his Eternal Flame, succeeding and dropping a scheme marker.  At the end of Parker’s activation, I use Fistful of Scrip to convert two of his markers to mine near the center of the board - and more importantly, Joss.

I then Companion into Mad Dog, who Rapid Fires into his remaining Gunsmith, getting the Red Joker on one of the damage flips and killing her and dropping even more markers.  

He passes an activation with the Eternal Flame, not wanting to ditch 2 cards for it to move.

I go with Sue next, put some damage on Joss, and Hurt for a card.  He goes with Johan next, burning Imbued Energies and walk-charging Sue, engaging Parker and Mad Dog at the same time.  I trigger Return Fire off of his first attack flip, and he Black Jokers the second attack, leaving Sue alive.  

I activate Doc next, and he does his job of healing Sue back up twice, hitting the trigger for Stitch Up once.  

For his last activation, he burns Imbued Energies and goes Reckless with the Firestarter, rockets 15” up the board and tears down one of my Strategy Markers.   

I have my Dead Outlaw on the left flank walk twice again, being in range to get his Strategy Marker on that side next turn.  On my right flank, I walk the Dead Outlaw around and into the Firestarter’s engagement range, and try to put Curse of the Covetous on the Firestarter.  Instead, he flips the Red Joker for defense and gives me burning for my troubles with Smouldering Heart.

At the end of the turn, I reveal Set Up on Joss and he scores one point for the Strategy.

Score:  3 (Set Up) - 1 (Symbols of Authority)

Turn 3
We both stone for cards this turn, and I again spend a stone to reflip initiative.  I get a tie, but in the reflip he wins and I’m not comfortable spending a second stone.  

He opens with Joss, and even though I Red Joker my first defense flip he still kills Sue, gaining a soulstone from Charge Soulstone.  My first activation is to send my Dead Outlaw on the left flank up to tear down his Strategy Marker.

 He goes next with Johan, who flurries into Parker.  He Black Jokers the first attack, and I stone away 4 damage over the next two hits.  With his main damage dealers activated, I try to pin down his Firestarter with Curse of the Covetous again, but for the second time in a row he Red Jokers the defense flip, giving me more burning.  I opt to just walk and engage him with my 1” engagement.  His Eternal Flame goes next, walking up to heal Joss.  

I go with Parker at this point, making a Fast Getaway for a soulstone.  I use Hands in the Air on Kaeris, getting Pay Up on her and a scheme marker dropped.  I use Five-Finger Discount to reattach Stick Up and get a soulstone, and trigger Changing Plans to successfully have the Emissary drop a scheme marker.  My last two AP are spent pushing Mad Dog and Parker out of engagement with Johan and Joss.  

He goes with Kaeris next, who uses Halo on Parker three times, only successfully getting Burning +2 on him.  I respond with Mad Dog using Rapid Fire on Johan, but flipping spectacularly poorly and failing all three attacks.  

For his last activation, he has the Firestarter go Reckless, and successfully disengages from my Dead Outlaw on the first try, so is able to get another Strategy point.

WIth my remaining activations, I have Doc heal a few wounds on Parker.  I end with the Emissary taking a few attacks on Johan, but failing to hit.

At the end of the turn, he reveals his other scheme to be Show of Force.

Score:  4 (Symbols of Authority) - 3 (Symbols of Authority, Show of Force)

Turn 4
At the start of this turn, he stones for cards.  He wins the initiative flip, and I have now learned my lesson and opt to not stone to reflip.  He opens with the Firestarter, going Reckless and triple-walking to my last Strategy marker, which he thankfully cannot remove this turn.  

I see the only way to tie my opponent on the Strategy at this point is to devote Parker to it, so I activate him next.  I make a Fast Getaway for a stone, and use Hands in the Air on Johan to get a scheme marker.  I use Five-Finger Discount to reattach Stick Up and get a soulstone.  I push myself out of engagement towards his central Strategy marker, and remove it.  At the end of my activation, I ditch a card for Fistful of Scrip to convert one of his schemes to mine.

He responds with Kaeris, who uses Flaming Angel to push to the other side of Parker and light him on fire.  She then Immolates Parker twice, hitting Red Joker damage on one of the attacks.  I burn stones for prevention, but even then he is able to drop me below half and declares Eliminate.  He ends his activation by using Grab and Drop to chuck Parker back into the loving arms of Joss and Johan.  

I go with Doc next, using Get Over Here to push so I can spend both AP desperately healing Parker for 4 wounds.  He then goes with Johan, pitching three cards to flurry (thanks, Pay Up!) and I spend the rest of my stones on prevention.  

I choose at this point to body-block Joss by charging Johan with Mad Dog, even though I fail to hit with my Burning Cigar.  He passes an activation with the Eternal Flame.

Next I activate the Emissary, and have him use Weary Road, then walk and engage the Firestarter.  I attack him, and flip the Red Joker on the attack.  When the dust settles, the Firestarter is left at one wound, and my opponent is out of stones as well.

For his last activation, he has Joss walk twice to get around Mad Dog and engage Parker. 

I walk both of my Dead Outlaws twice this turn.  My leftmost Dead Outlaw coming to get stuck in the scrum in the middle, and my rightmost one desperately hoping for a Turn 6 to get the third Strategy marker torn down.

Score:  5 (Symbols of Authority) - 5 (Show of Force, Eliminate the Leadership)

Turn 5
We are both out of stones at this point, and in a crushingly fitting initiative flip he wins it again, this time a 2 to my 1.

He opens with Joss, and while it costs me my two best cards I force him to miss both of his attacks on Parker.

I immediately go with Parker, using Fast Getaway for a stone and to move to the edge of my many engagements.  I then push Parker out of engagement, and use Hands in the Air on the Eternal Flame to get a scheme marker to eat.  Sadly, I Black Joker my Five-Finger Discount, which would prove fatal to Parker shortly.  My best bet at this point is to use Hands in the Air on Kaeris, and end my turn by converting the two new markers to my own with Fistful of Scrip.

He goes with Kaeris, discarding to use Flaming Angel to get to Parker. He uses Immolate twice, the first one dropping Parker to one wound, and the second doing moderate damage - so that I would need to get a severe to survive on my one stone.  I give up Eliminate at this point, wanting to save the stone for Mad Dog.

The Emissary goes next, but fails to hit the Firestarter.  The Firestarter goes immediately after, and fails to disengage.  

I go with Mad Dog next, and spend my soulstone on Burning Cigar on Joss, declaring Say Hello to my Little Friend.  It goes off, and I manage to get Severe damage, blasting on to Joss and dropping him to Hard to kill while pushing Joss away with Blow Back.  With my second AP, Mad Dog attacks Joss with Burning Cigar and naturally flips the trigger for Say Hello to my Little Friend, gets it and kills Joss for a marker.  

His last activation is the Eternal Flame discards three cards in order to heal Joss for three with Weld, and passes.

My rightmost Dead Outlaw walks twice, now base to base with the Strategy marker in case we go to Turn 6.  My other Dead Outlaw shoots Kaeris twice, putting some damage on her but getting some burning for his troubles.

My last activation is Doc who walks and takes a spiteful shot at Joss with his Hidden Flintlock, but he Red Joker’s the defense flip.

At the end of the turn, he flips for the next turn, and the game is over.  I declare Search the Ruins for full points.  Since we both have a friendly Strategy marker left, we both score the Strategy.  


Score:  9 (Symbols of Authority, Search the Ruins) - 9 (Symbols of Authority, Show of Force, Eliminate the Leadership)

Thoughts
There are a few lessons that this game has crystallized for me with my Parker play:
Soulstoning for initiative has consistently burned me in the past, and if I had those stones for defensive/ prevention, I would be much less likely to give up Eliminate.  If I think it’s in the pool, I should really only consider reflipping initiative against a five or lower card.
I really need to be using Stick Up more often.  There were a few moments in this game where I could have either earned additional soulstones, or gotten cheeky damage off of Johan, where instead I took Hands in the Air when I already had a scheme marker to discard.  
I misplayed my rightmost Dead Outlaw pretty poorly, and it cost me a strategy point.  Curse of the Covetous is a condition that doesn’t actually stop the Firestarter from doing what he wants to be doing - walking and scheming.  I should have made a beeline for his strategy marker instead, as I had initially planned.
Generally, I’m spending an awful lot of my Dead Outlaw’s AP on Walk actions.  I could probably get the same work out of a Bandido in these cases, and save a few stones. 

All that said, several things performed at or above my expectation.  Set Up and Search the Ruins were a wonderful pairing of schemes for my crew, and scoring a 9 was better than I had hoped to do.  Mad Dog absolutely earned his keep this game, killing a full half of my opponent’s crew and being a disruptive piece all around.  He definitely earns MVP title for this game.

My Opponent played very well, taking advantage of my misplays. His ability to reposition Parker into two very solid beaters was something that I hadn’t given enough credit to.  I absolutely underestimated the Firestarter, and that model nearly won him the game single-handedly.  

And for the record - while that Black Joker on the Five-Finger Discount was back-breaking on the last turn, I don’t believe it cost me the game.  It didn’t help, but if I had played smarter earlier in the game and conserved stones, I wouldn’t have been so exposed.

Strategy and Scheme-wise, I think my opponent chose wisely.  Joss and Johan have the damage output to put Parker down, but getting a Red Joker damage flip in there didn’t hurt things at all.  The Firestarter was an all star in this Strat, and I get the feeling that other fast models like him (Silurid, Fingers, etc) are going to be prime choices in future games.  I really wish I had the Midnight Stalker this game!

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As the Kaeris Player in that last game, here are some thoughts from the other side of the table:

Originally, my crew was intending to go for search the ruins and either set up or show of force, due to the sheer amount of scheme markers available in a Kaeris crew. Upon seeing Parker, I realized that any scheme marker based plan was going to be extremely difficult. This forced me in to eliminate the leadership, and show of force.

Winning Initiative so often was an incredible stroke of luck, and likely contributed to my success, since it allowed me to move key pieces or disrupt Parker's plans. 

In this strategy, the Firestarter was a great choice. I suspect many arcanist players will be bringing him in this strategy in the future, although wind gamin may be another option to consider. 

Kaeris has been described as an underwhelming master to play as, and as someone with a fair amount of games with her, I simply don't see it. In addition to being an extremely mobile buffing and supporting piece, she offers options to shepherd and control the flow of battle, and disrupt opponents plans. Her new wave 5 flaming angel offers even more mobility, and can set people on fire. While not as powerful as Sandeep or Marcus, Kaeris certainly holds her own on the table. 

Similarly, Parker is considered to be among the worst of the outcast masters, but I believe he is extremely solid. His upgrade cycling, and ability to replenish both cards and stones throughout the game is incredibly useful. When facing him, I can guess at what Parker will do during his activation, but it rarely aligns with what he actually does, simply due to the flexibility that he offers. His crew also effectively denies scheme marker based schemes, meaning that he can force players to select schemes they would not necessarily choose. 

The loss of both gunsmiths so quickly is causing me to reconsider their inclusion in a Kaeris crew. In retrospect, Amina Naidu would have offered another control model and debuff model. Other options included rail workers, whose mobility issues are somewhat mitigated by grab and drop Kaeris, and performers, whose counter scheming abilities would have been wonderful. 

 

 

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Here’s a battle report for a game of Gaining Grounds 2018, 10/10/2017 version, played at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/14/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Flank
Strategy:  Ours! (hereinafter ‘Ours’ or ‘The Strategy’ to avoid autocorrect headaches)
Schemes:  Guarded Treasure, Covert Breakthrough, Undercover Entourage, Hold Up Their Forces, Take One for the Team

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Neverborn.  

My list
Misaki + 7 SS

  • Risk & Reward
  • The Storm
  • Survivalist

Shang
Yamaziko

  • Smoke & Shadows
  • Oathkeeper

Big Jake

  • Oathkeeper

Wokou Raider
Wokou Raider
Wokou Raider

I wanted to try Misaki out today, as I’ve never tried her with either her new upgrades or as Outcasts.  A crew with high base stats and random tech abilities against close attacks and Willpower also meant I had a lot of niche advantages against the Neverborn faction as a whole, who I find rely on Wp attacks and alpha-striking.

I took both of Misaki’s new upgrades, partially to try them out, and partially  I wasn’t sure how they’d do.  Survivalist was an experiment in whether or not Hard to Kill would synergize well with the Risk condition (Spoilers - YES).

Yamaziko was added to carry Smoke and Shadows, since I wanted the ability to reposition my Wokou Raiders to different board quarters if the situation demanded it.  Since Ours rewards high SS cost models, and Wokou Raiders are pretty durable minions, I figured going for the trio would be suitably obnoxious for my opponent.  I had the option of going for three Jorogumo instead, but wanted to see if I could use their Coordinated Strike to give Misaki even more attacks.

Big Jake was added because of his ability to count as two models for the strategy, and for being an option for Guarded Treasure if I felt I needed to go for it.

My Opponent’s List
Lilith + 4SS

  • Aether Connection
  • Beckon Malifaux
  • On Wings of Darkness

Primordial Magic
Barbaros

  • Malifaux Provides

Mr. Graves
Johanna
Illuminated
Illuminated
Insidious Madness

My opponent has not been playing as often as he used to, and his crew was based on his memory of how he used to build Lilith crews.  From the outset I realized he had several tanky models in the Illuminated, Barbaros and Lilith herself.  Johanna would be a pain if she could Flurry on me, and the Madness gave him an out for Covert Breakthrough.  All in all, I didn’t see any obvious schemes from his build.

Scheme Selection & Gameplan

Seeing his crew, I opted against Covert Breakthrough and Hold Up, since I didn’t think I’d last long against how punchy they were.  Instead, I chose Take One, selecting a Wokou Raider as my ‘sucker’, and Undercover Entourage on Yamaziko.  Given she is Wp 7, Stubborn, and Nimble I felt comfortable that she’d be able to get into his deployment zone if I made a mad dash on the last turn, and Lilith would be hard pressed to Tangle her out.

My opponent chose Hold Up Their Forces and accidentally chose a scheme that was not in the pool in Inescapable Trap (it was his first game with GG18, and he got lost when writing down his scheme).  

Deployment

I lose the cut, and deploy first.  We declared all the fences as Ht 2, Hard Cover, Climbable, while the rest of the buildings were Hard Cover.  The Trees were Soft Cover, but even so the board was just full of disruptive terrain and lines of sight.  I chose the corner I did mainly because I was already on that side of the board, but also because I had some rather clear channels for running up both flanks, and put him in a corner with two layers of fencing that would slow his advance.

I split my crew into three clusters - Misaki, Yamaziko and Big Jake, each with a Raider.  The Raider with Yamaziko was my sucker, and Shang would follow Misaki around.   

My opponent clustered his crew around Lilith, with his Illuminated poised to go into my right flank, and his Madness far out on my left.

Turn 1
At the start of the turn, I ditch all of my soulstones for Risk +7.  He stones for cards.  He wins the initiative flip, and opens with Barbaros.  Barbaros walks up, issues his Challenge, and goes defensive.  

We take several turns double-walking models (Big Jake, Primordial Magic, one of my Wokou Raiders, one of his Illuminated) until I activate my second Wokou Raider (the sucker).  I walk him up once, and drop Smoke Bombs.  I then re-read Smoke and Shadows, and realize I failed to have the suit I needed to trigger the bury effect (Lesson: Read your cards!).  He double walks his second Illuminated.

Running low on models to burn activations with, I go with Misaki.  She walks twice to be within range to cast Downburst on Barbaros, cheating to declare Rolling Thunder.  Sadly, he proceeds to Red Joker the Defense flip, and I end her activation by Deadly Dancing.  

He walks up his Insidious Madness, and takes a pot shot at Misaki, failing to hit.  I double-walk my last Wokou Raider to be by Misaki.

He then goes with Lilith, who walks towards Misaki, and spends a soulstone to Tangle Shadows on her.  He succeeds, swapping her with Johanna who engages my Wokou Raider.  He then uses her Greatsword to hit Misaki, and on a negative twist to damage manages to land Severe damage.  I run Shang up, but am out of range for healing Misaki this turn.

He activates Graves next, but at this point is unable to land any Fenceposts onto my master.  I activate Yamaziko, nimble into charge range of his Illuminated, landing two hits.  I end by Bracing Yari.

He activates Johanna, and flurries on my Wokou Raider, hitting with all three attacks to kill her.  

At the end of the turn, Misaki heals to full with her Risk, then drops to Risk +5 to regain two stones.
 
Score:  0-0

Turn 2
We both stone for cards this turn, and I win the initiative.  I open with Misaki, using Deadly Dance before using The Thunder on Graves, taking a point of Black Blood but using Next Target to push away.  I use Downburst on the Primordial Magic, cheating so I can declare Rolling Thunder.  The resulting attack kills the Primordial Magic, and blasts on to Graves and Lilith, and I push further away.  For my last AP, I use Downburst on Graves again, cheating for Rolling Thunder again and declaring The Coming Storm on the resulting attack, only to Black Joker the damage flip.

He wastes no time in having Graves charge Misaki, and fails both attacks.  Notably, I spend my one stone defensively on the first attack, reactivating Risky Ventures.  He then activates his Keep the Peace aura.

I go with Yamaziko next, killing the Illuminated after a pair of attacks, then using Nimble to walk up and Brace Yari.  He walks his Insidious Madness to get Yamaziko into his debuff aura.  I walk Big Jake back to my deployment zone, and Consult the Ancestors.  

He goes with Lilith next and says he needs to kill my source of healing.  So he drops Forests in front of Lilith, uses Sudden Darkness, then charges Shang through the forest.  She kills my totem, as expected.  She fails to cast Entangling Roots on my sucker’d Wokou Raider.

I charge the sucker at Lilith, as if I were trying to kill his master.  He gets her defensive trigger off on my first attack, and I fail to land a hit.  His remaining Illuminated goes next, walking and shooting the Wokou Raider on my right flank.  In response, I charge that Raider into the Illuminated, but failing to land any hits.

He has activation control at this point, and has Johanna walk and drop a scheme marker, then has Barbaros scheme, nimble, scheme.  They were not near the Center Line, so I knew it wasn’t Guarded Treasure.  He reminds me he has Malifaux Provides, though I think he was trying to accomplish his second scheme - the one not in the pool.

At the end of the turn, I heal Misaki again and reduce Risk to +4 for a stone.  We both have two quarters, and neither have scored any of our schemes.

Score:  1 (Ours!) - 1 (Ours!)

Turn 3
I stone for cards, and at this point realize I had been forgetting Rush of Magic on Shang.  He realizes he’d been forgetting Lilith’s Rush of Magic.  We have a laugh about it.

He wins Initiative, and opens with Graves.  Mr. Graves Keeps the Peace, and lands some solid hits on Misaki for 6 damage.  Misaki activates in response, using Deadly Dance and charging Mr. Graves (thanks, Diving Charge!), jumping behind him and out of Black Blood range.  I attack him with the Thunder twice, and the Red Joker was flipped to hit at one point.  When the dust settled, Misaki had killed Mr. Graves and blasted onto Lilith and the Madness, killing the Madness.  

He activates Lilith, who attacks my Wokou Raider three times.  He is only able to get 4 damage on him thanks to my Combat Finesse.  My other Wokou Raider then goes, attacking the Illuminated but only dealing minimum damage on the first hit, and Black Jokering the second.  His Illuminated then attacks my Wokou Raider back, hitting once.  I activate my sucker’d Raider, getting Moderate damage on her once.

He charges Misaki with Barbaros, getting one Weak hit in.  He then uses Challenge.  I have Big Jake Walk some more and Consult more Ancestors.  He has Johanna go Defensive +2, having no real need to get her involved at this point.  

I see an opening, and activate Yamaziko, burning Oathkeeper for fast.  She hustles deep into his deployment zone, engaging Barbaros in order to keep him from Charging if I got Misaki out of his engagement next turn.  As usual, she ended her turn by Bracing Yari.

At the end of the turn, I heal again from Risk, and reduce it to Risk +3 for another stone.  We both score the Strategy this turn, but it’s pretty clear that the attrition is helping me more than him.  He surprises me by declaring Hold Up Their Forces with Barbaros engaging my Master and Henchman.


Score:  2 (Ours!) - 3 (Ours!, Hold Up Their Forces)

Turn 4
I stone for cards here, while he does not.  I win initiative.  

I open with Yamaziko, walking twice and going Defensive +1 and Bracing Yari, being now deep in his deployment zone and about as hard to remove as I could be.  

He opens with Lilith, who kills my Raider with her first attack.  This scores me a full 3 points of Take One for the Team.  He then tries to Tangle Shadows Barbaros out of engagement with Misaki twice, but doesn’t have the cards or stones to make it go off.

I go with Misaki, using The Thunder on Barbaross to push up for a Black Blood hit.  I attack him a second time, and he gets his defensive trigger to Knock Misaki away.  I then use Downburst on him, getting Rolling Thunder.  On the follow up Thunder attack, I use The Coming Thunder to cheat Moderate so I can blast onto Lilith.  I end her activation with Deadly Dance.

He has Barbaros walk three times towards my Right Flank, hoping to take that quarter from me.  I activate my remaining Wokou Raider, who attacks the Illuminated she’s been fighting all game.  On both hits, I declare Drop It as I’m comfortable that he’s not going for any of the Scheme Marker schemes.  This pushes her 6”, and I cheat my last card to use A New Horizon to push a further 3”, being now out of charge range of the Illuminated.  He walks his Illuminated so he can take a shot, but fails.  He then heals with Brillshape.

I walk Big Jake twice, staying as far away from the fight as I can.  He walks Johanna as far from Misaki as he can.  

At the end of the turn, I heal with Risk then end it completely for three more stones.  I figured I’d use one for cards, one for initiative (if needed) and have one more for prevention on Yamaziko.  I score full points on Take One for the Team, and we both score the Strategy.

Score:  6 (Ours!, Take one for the Team) - 4 (Ours!)

Turn 5
I stone for cards, and I end up using a stone to reflip initiative.  In a twist, it goes well for me and I go first.

I open with Misaki, using Deadly Dance before walking and charging Lilith, killing her and blasting some damage onto the Illuminated with The Thunder.  His Illuminated fails it’s Brillshape, but successfully charges and kills my Wokou Raider.  

At this point, the action is over.  I burn an activation with Big Jake.  He has Barbaros walk further into the table quarter to a marker and heal off Malifaux Provides.  I walk Yamaziko even further into his deployment zone, and he walks Johanna further into the corner she’s on.

At the end of the turn, I flip and the game ends.  We both score the Strategy, and I score full points on Undercover Entourage.

Score:  10 (Ours!, Undercover Entourage) - 5 (Ours!)

Thoughts
We were discussing schemes, and it is at this point my opponent realized he picked a scheme that wasn’t in the pool.  He was frustrated by that, and understandably so.  

He felt that Hold Up Their Forces was very difficult to score, and felt that it would not be to bad if it was scorable even if you had other friendlies in the engagement.  His opinion was that if you want to do it, you need to bring a dedicated ‘tanky’ model, and at that point it was likely telegraphing your scheme choice to your opponent.  

I think he had the tools to accomplish Hold Up Their Forces, it just didn’t end up going his way.  

For my schemes, I feel very comfortable in my selection.  Yamaziko performed admirably this game, and I’m definitely going to use her more frequently in the future.  For only 7 stones, I feel like she brings a lot to Misaki’s crew.  Misaki’s upgrades were bonkers this game, and I really enjoyed playing her in a blaster-master way who can take ludicrous amounts of damage.  She healed approximately 18 wounds through Risk this game, which effectively more than doubled her actual wound total. 

Forgetting Rush of Magic on Shang was a pain, as there were a few cards on each turn that I would have enjoyed pitching.  Smoke and Shadows didn’t really come up, and I’ll have to try it some more to see if I want to keep it.  Three Wokou Raiders was alright, but I don’t think they want to be used alone like they were in this game.  

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Here’s a battle report for a Standard (i.e. Book) game played at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/14/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Stake a Claim (Claim Markers are Orange)
Schemes:  A Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Protect Territory, Plant Explosives, Spring the Trap

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Arcanists.  

My list
Misaki + 7 SS

  • Risk & Reward
  • The Storm
  • Survivalist

Shang
Ototo

  • The Bigger They Are

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Thunder

Torakage
Torakage
Torakage

My opponent is new to Malifaux, and was playing with the two boxes he had - Sandeep and the Shastar Vidiya Guard.  So, I took Misaki’s box and added the Emissary as a quick, roughly equal crew.  

I gave Misaki her upgrades as I am testing the synergies between Risk and Survivalist, as well as the synergies between Risky Ventures and The Storm.  I tried Ototo with The Bigger They Are to make up for his minimum damage 2, as he otherwise has respectable damage output.


My Opponent’s List
Sandeep Desai + 5SS

  • To Behold Another World
  • Enlightened Soul

Kudra

  • Free of Mortal Shackles

Shastar Vidiya Guard
Shastar Vidiya Guard
Shastar Vidiya Guard
Poison Gamin
Poison Gamin
Poison Gamin

 As mentioned above, my opponent’s crew consisted of all of his owned models.  

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
I opted for Breakthrough and Protect Territory here, revealing both.  I wanted to be able to spend my AP early moving up the board and dropping claim markers, and figured that with my Torakage able to leave engagement I’d be able to drop Breakthrough with them.  The Emissary was one marker for Protect Territory with all the Weary Roads I could get off, so it would be down to having at least one model alive to get near another marker.   

My opponent chose A Line in the Sand and Protect Territory, revealing both.  

Deployment

I lose the cut, and deploy first.  The table was full of hard cover (only the trees were soft cover), and was laid out fairly uniformly.  We decided that the walls were Ht 2, Climbable, hard cover.  I spread out in a line, with Misaki and Ototo near the middle.  The Hodgepodge was on my left flank, at the only opening big enough to push through. 

My opponent deployed centrally, with most of his crew in the middle 12” of his board.

Turn 1  
I discard 6 soulstones for Risk + 6.  He wins the flip, and opts to go first.  He has Kudra walk up twice, and summons a forest marker in the way of Ototo and my Emissary.  I activate my leftmost Torakage, walking behind cover and in range to get a trinket from my Emissary (I had erred in deployment and thus lost a walk’s worth of AP).

He walks a Poison Gamin up, using it’s (0).  I activate the Hodgepodge Emissary, giving Ototo a Vitality Potion and the Torakage a Pretty Floral Bonnet before pushing up with Weary Road and the Call of the Storm.  

He walks a Guard up, using it’s (0) to push Sandeep as well.  We alternate activations here, with me moving my remaining Torakage up and him moving his remaining Guard up, pushing Sandeep as they go.  I then walk Shang up twice, to be in range to heal Misaki next turn.  

He has other plans, though, and has Sandeep walk up, then use his (0) to get an interact.  He tries luring Shang but fails, and succeeds at Luring a Poison Gamin up the board.  I walk Ototo up, and he walks the lured Gamin up.  

Seeing him clumped, I decide to educate him on Blast markers.  Misaki activates, using Deadly Dance before walking twice herself.  She spends her soulstone on a Ram for Rolling Thunder off Downburst on his Guard, drawing a few cards from his hand to keep from being pushed away.  She gets Moderate damage on the Guard, and blasts onto Sandeep, Kudra, a Poison Gamin and another Guard.  He walks his remaining Gamin up to end the turn.

At the end of the turn, Misaki lowers her Risk by 1 for a stone.

Score:  0-0

Turn 2
We both stone for cards.  He wins initiative, and opens with Sandeep.  He uses Formless Mantra on Kudra, planning to charge her into my Emissary or Ototo this turn.  He then successfully Lures Shang, before summoning Banasuva off his Poison gamin and attaching the Vision of Earth upgrade.  He ends by failing to Arcane Storm Misaki.

I have one of the Torakage on my right flank drop a Stake a Claim marker just over the centerline on his side of the board.  He activates Banasuva, copying Armor +1 from his Poison Gamin.  He then kills Shang.

I activate Misaki next, using Deadly Dance before Downbursting into Banasuva, declaring Rolling Thunder.  The Thunder attack hits Severe damage, and the blast (again on Sandeep, Kudra, a Guard and a Gamin) get hit by one of the markers, drawing a soulstone from both Kudra and Sandeep.  Kudra’s Good Student recoups some of this.  The Poison Gamin dies, exploding and poisoning the other three models near it.  The other marker hits the Poison Gamin and Guard on my right flank.  I Downburst on Banasuva again, cheating to declare Rolling Thunder again.  This time, I Red Joker the attack flip, and the blast kills one of the Poison Gamin on my right Flank and drops a Guard to Hard to Kill.  I remember my Emissary’s ability to give Misaki an additional general AP at this point, and having two left charge into Banasuva.  Sadly, my luck doesn’t hold and I fail to kill the big guy.

Kudra goes next, copying Sandeep’s place ability to reposition and drop a scheme marker on the center line, before shooting the Emissary.  I have Ototo charge Banasuva, finishing him off but the explosion puts wounds and Burning on Misaki.  

He has one of his remaining Guard charge Misaki, getting two solid hits for a total of 8 damage on her, including flipping his Red Joker during this.  I activate my leftmost Torakage, Walking twice.  His second Guard charges Misaki, failing to connect.  He ends the activation by pushing Kudra with his (0).  

 Wanting to avoid Misaki dying to the third Guard, I have the Emissary Walk, push with Call of the Storm, and walk again to engage both Sandeep and the remaining Guard.  He walks his remaining Poison Gamin up and drops a marker on the center line.  On my right flank, I walk my last Torakage twice to be in position to drop a Claim marker next turn.

His last activation is to have his remaining Guard push Sandeep out of the Emissary’s engagement, and then to punch the Emissary, getting the Slow trigger.

At the end of the turn, I score the Strategy and heal from my Risk.  I lower Risk for one soulstone.

Score:  1 (Stake a Claim) - 0

Turn 3
I stone for cards, he does not.  He stones to reflip initiative, but does not get it.  I open with Misaki, using Deadly Dance before attacking the least wounded Guard.  I get a Moderate, and blast onto the Poison Gamin and Guard on the right flank, killing both.  My second attack hits and I blast onto the other Guard on one wound, killing him.  My final attack hits for min, leaving the Guard at Hard to Kill.  Critically, I forgot the Emissary’s ability to give Misaki another general AP this turn.

He goes with Sandeep, using a stone to summon a Poison Gamin with the Vision of Flame, then uses the Red Joker to summon Banasuva off that Poison Gamin with the Visions of Earth, engaging Misaki.  He tries to hit the Emissary with his Gada, but only gets weak (so no Paralyze).  He tries to use Path of Salvation in the end, and fails.

I have my left Torakage drop a Claim marker.  He has his new Poison Gamin attack ototo, getting moderate damage and some poison on him.  I have the slowed Emissary activate next, and fail in his attack on the Poison Gamin.  I then use my two (0) pushes to reposition and drop another scheme marker.

He activates Kudra, dropping another Tree marker to block off my Torakage and charges into Ototo.  She hits all four times, filling him with poison and dropping him to four wounds.  Ototo activates in response, forgetting his Potion but succeeding in killing Kudra on the first hit.  His second swing on the Poison Gamin fails, however.

Banasuva activates next, copying Armor from the other Gamin before attacking Misaki.  I luck out and even with flipping the Black Joker on one of my defense flips, and am left at Hard to Kill (Thanks, Survivalist!) with Burning +1 from earlier. 

I have the forward Torakage on my right flank drop a Claim Marker.  He has the remaining Guard charge Misaki, but can’t land a hit thanks to flipping the Red Joker.  He uses his (0) to push the Poison Gamin.  

At the end of the turn, I resolve Risk first to heal above Hard to Kill before resolving Burning,  and opt to reduce it for another stone.  I score the Strategy again.

Score:  2 (Stake a Claim) - 0

Turn 4
I stone for cards this turn, he does not.  I flip the Black Joker for initiative, so he opts to open with Banasuva, who finally puts down Misaki.  He also copies Armor from the Gamin.  I walk one of my Torakage on the right flank and drop a scheme marker for Breakthrough.

He has Sandeep activate, summoning a Poison Gamin with Visions of Wind, then throws two Arcane Storms at Ototo, droping him to Hard to Kill.  I go with Ototo next, healing up and walking away.

His fresh Gamin walks into my half of the board.  My Emissary focuses and attempts to kill his remaining Guard, but fails to hit.  I then push twice to reposition and drop more schemes.  His remaining Poison Gamin Walks and drops a marker on the center line.  

I walk my leftmost Torakage and drop another Breakthrough Marker.  His remaining Guard walks and attacks Ototo, dealing minimum damage.  My remaining Torakage walks and drops another Breakthrough Marker.

At the end of the turn, Ototo ticks down to one wound from Poison.  I score the Strategy.

Score:  3 (Stake a Claim) - 0

Turn 5
We are both out of stones at this point.  He wins the flip, and goes first.  He opens with Deep, who fails his place action.  He then walks instead, getting two moderate damage results from Arcane Storm on my Emissary.  

The Emissary goes next, pushing onto one of his markers on the center line and interacting to remove it.  He then attacks the Guard, getting a high card with the suit for Word of the Emissary.  I kill the last Guard and take the free attack on his Visions of Flame Gamin, but fail to hit.  I end with yet another Weary Road.  His Visions of Flame Gamin interacts to remove one of my scheme markers, and kills Ototo by spitting on him.   

At this point, the action for the turn is over.  I spend the rest of my Torakage’s activations walking and dropping scheme markers, while he spends his walking and scheming, or in Banasuva’s place failing the (0) place and being unable to do anything else.

At the end of the turn, I score the Strategy.  He flips, and the game ends.  I score full points on both Protect and Breakthrough.  He scores one point on A Line in the Sand - he has two markers on the center line - and full points for Protect Territory. 

Score:  10 (Stake a Claim, Protect Territory, Breakthrough) - 4 (A Line in the Sand, Protect Territory)

Thoughts
My opponent admitted that he focused so much on the schemes and killing Misaki that he forgot to go for the Strategy.  That meant that while we were fighting in the middle, I was able to secure those 4 VP’s with little contest.  

I’ll admit - I generally played sloppier this game than I normally do.  Forgetting the Emissary’s free AP to Misaki was significant, as she may have been able to kill that Guard that was engaging her and push away with one more AP, or push and then take a walk to get even further away. Likewise, forgetting the trinkets on Ototo meant that he was down wounds that he shouldn’t’ve been down, and he may have survived in the end of the game.  

That said, I am very much impressed with Misaki’s new upgrades.  The ability to dive in and throw Blast Markers around to snipe out minions is really strong for her gaining activation parity.  Not only that, but there were points in the game where I had the option to switch gears to Bisento and do single-target elimination, and I appreciated that.  Survivalist is becoming a staple for me in Outcast Misaki, and I’m thinking that I can see a place for her in the Outcast Toolbox that differentiates her from the Viks.  

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Here’s a battle report testing the GG2018 TestV2 document at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/22/2017.  Both my opponent and I agreed to test these rules, understanding they were a concept draft.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Corner
Strategy:  Ply for Information
Schemes:  Surround Them, Dig Their Graves, Hold Up Their Forces, Inescapable Trap, Public Demonstration

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Resurrectionists.

My Crew
Misaki + 7 SS

  • The Storm
  • Risk and Reward
  • Survivalist

Shang
Yamaziko

  • Oathkeeper
  • Smoke and Shadows

Wokou Raider
3x Torakage
Hodgepodge Effigy

With this pool, I wanted a crew that would be able to be mobile and get in/ out of engagements at will.  Torakage are fast and Agile, which meant that they could engage models/ leave engagements to frustrate Hold Up their Forces.  I had enough minion stones for Public Demonstration.  The Effigy was an 8th activation that could potentially give me stones back, given how killy Misaki has proven to be.  Yamaziko was another model who could carry Smoke and Shadows, and engage multiple enemies.

My Opponent’s List
Yan Lo + 4 SS

  • Awakening
  • Follow Their Footsteps
  • Unnerving Aura

Toshiro the Daimyo

  • Command the Graves
  • Corpse Bloat

Philip and the Nanny

  • Haunting Cries

Datsue Ba

  • Spirit Whispers

Sun Quiang
Goryo

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Seeing this crew, I decided immediately to go with Public Demonstration.  I chose two Torakage and my Wokou Raider, planning to teleport them into key positions to get points after Turn 2.  Given that we had Corner deployment, I figured that just like with Power Ritual, Surround Them would be a solid option.  Doubly so given that I would be able to send my minions to the flanks, then teleport them back with Smoke and Shadows.  

My opponent ended up taking Inescapable Trap and Dig Their Graves.

Deployment
I win the cut, and he deploys first.  He deployed mostly at the edge of his zone, with the exception of Datsue Ba and the Goryo hiding behind a building.  I matched his deployment by putting my models on the edge, with both Public Demonstration Torakage on the 12” mark, ready to run up for Surround Them.  I left my Hodgepodge Effigy within range to drop a marker for my deployment zone.

Turn 1
I chose to discard 6 soulstones for Risk +6, and stoned the last one for better cards.  He wins the flip and opts to go first, summoning a Seishin with the Goryo and dropping a scheme marker.  I have my Effigy go, dropping a scheme marker and walking, giving Misaki Loyalty to the Coin.  

He goes with Datsue Ba next, Calling Forth a Seishin before walking and dropping a scheme marker.  I have a Torakage walk twice towards the corner on my left.  He goes with Philip, and eats the two scheme markers for some card draw.  I walk my rightmost Torakage up along the right board edge.  

He goes with Toshiro, who rips out his Spleen to drop a corpse marker, and summons an Ashigaru off of it, then walks up.  I walk Shang, burning an activation.  

He activates Yan Lo, and Focuses his Chi.  He proceeds to use Spirit Barrage to kill both Seishin, gaining two additional Chi from his built in trigger.  He then walks and Instills Youth in Toshiro for 3 before Ascending for the Spirit Ascendant upgrade.

I activate the Wokou Raider, and cast Shadow Stride to bury.  He activates Sun Quiang, healing Toshiro, the Ashigaru and the Goryo.  He then walks and uses his attack to heal the Ashigaru again.  I walk my remaining Torakage twice, keeping to cover.  His Ashigaru Braces.

I have the remaining activations, and have Yamaziko walk twice and drop a scheme marker, bluffing Dig Their Graves.  She ends her turn by Bracing Yari.

Misaki ends the turn for me, walking twice and going Defensive+1, and using Deadly Dance.

At the end of the turn, I drop the Wokou near Misaki and reduce my Risk condition for a soulstone. 

Score:  0-0

Turn 2
This turn, I stone for cards.  He wins initiative, and has me activate first.  I open with the Hodgepodge Effigy walking twice to be in range of putting Loyalty to the Coin on MIsaki.  He activates the Goryo next, who drops a scheme marker and walks past the building.  I have the Torakage hugging my board edge walk and drop a scheme marker for Surround Them, and he has Datsue Ba walk and scheme, and Calls Forth another Seishin.

I walk the Torakage on my right flank up, and drop my third marker for Surround them.  He activates Philip, eats the scheme markers for more card draw.  I walk my final Torakage up, and drop Smoke Bombs.  I flip into the Vanish Trigger, and succeed at taking the Shadow Stride action.  He walks the Seishin to burn an activation, and I reply by burning and activation with Shang.

He walks his Ashigaru and Braces.  I opt to walk my Wokou Raider up twice to engage Datsue Ba, hopefully bluffing Hold Up Their Forces.  He doesn’t care, as he activates Toshiro who walks, rips out another Spleen, and summons another Ashigaru (but spends a Soulstone to do so).

I activate Misaki, have her use Deadly Dance, then walk and Charge Toshiro.  Thanks to the Coming Storm trigger, my two Thunder attacks drop blasts on the Braced Ashigaru and Seishin, and I ditch a card for killing the Seishin for a stone.  I hit a second time and declare Next Target, but he stones away the damage and I don’t push.

His fresh Ashigaru attacks my Wokou Raider and lands a weak hit with Infect.  I triple walk Yamaziko and Brace Yari again, this time to protect Misaki.  

He has the activation control at this point, and activates Sun Quiang, who heals the Ashigaru and Goryo around him.  He then walks and heals Toshiro with his attack.  Yan lo goes last, focusing Chi before using his new upgrades to swap to Blood Ascendant.  He walks up, then uses a (0) Lightning Dance on Misaki, and I spend my new stone defensively. Sadly, this pulls the Black Joker for me, and he declares the new trigger to damage her and give her slow.  He then attacks Misaki with his Wierd Glowy Mouth Light for some damage before Gathering some Intel from her.  He ends his activation by attaining the Ash Ascendant upgrade.

At the end of the turn, I unbury the Torakage engaging both Philip and the Nanny and Datsue Ba, and I heal from Risk before discounting it for another soulstone.  He scores the strategy.

Score:  0-1

Turn 3
This turn, I soulstone for cards.  He wins Initiative, and opens with Yan Lo.  Yan Focuses Chi, and then Lightning Dances with my Wokou Raider.  He uses his new trigger to damage and Slow her, before killing her with his Weird Glowy Mouth Light.  He uses Spirit Barrage on Yamaziko twice, but only hits once for some damage.  He ends his activation by Instilling Youth on Toshiro and regaining the Spirit Ascendant upgrade.

I then go with my master, using Deadly Dance before charging his Goryo, thanks to Diving Charge.  I attack him with Thunder, and get the Red Joker on damage of the first attack.  I blast onto Yan Lo, Datsue Ba, both Ashigaru and Sun Quiang.  Datsue Ba spends a stone to prevent the damage.  My second attack, sadly, fails.

With the big hitters out of the way, he has Datsue Ba focus before Weighing Sins on the Torakage engaging her, getting his own Red Joker on the attack flip.  He cheats Severe damage, killing my Torakage and summoning an Onryo off of his trigger.  He uses her (0) to push the Onryo.

I have Yamaziko go next, easily passing Sun Quiang’s Thirteen Measures test before Nimbling up and Plying for Information from Sun Quiang.  She then attacks the Ashigaru, getting Severe and blasting onto Sun Quiang with the Sweep trigger.  She ends her activation by Bracing her Yari.

His Goryo Plies Misaki for Information, then fails to hit her with his attack.  My next two activations were the same, with both remaining Torakage burying with Shadow Stride.  In between, he has an Ashigaru drop a scheme marker and walk.  Philip and the Nanny eat the scheme marker, then walk down the board.  Shang, with not much better to do, focused and shot the Onryo for minimal damage.  

Toshiro walked up to Yamaziko (to avoid her Braced damage), but fails to hit her with his one attack.  He tries to use War Fan on the Ashigaru, but fails.  I walk the Hodgepodge Effigy twice as my last activation this turn.  

He activates Sun Quiang, healing his Ashigaru and Toshiro, before walking and healing his other Ashigaru.  His Onryo walks towards my Effigy.  

At the end of the turn, I unbury my Torakage and declare Public Demonstration for two points.  I heal with Risk, before reducing it for a stone.  We are tied for Gathered Intel, so neither score the strategy.

Score:  2-1

Turn 4
I have a god-hand this turn, and win the initiative flip.  To make matters worse for my opponent  he stones to reflip but doesn’t get it.  I open with Misaki, using Deadly Dance before charging his non-Braced Ashigaru.  I make two Thunder attacks off of him, and by the time the dust settled I had killed the Goryo, both Ashigaru, and left Toshiro on one wound.  With my last AP, I use Downburst on Toshiro and cheat for the Rolling Thunder trigger, and kill Toshiro and put blast damage onto Yan Lo and the Onryo.  The Downburst does push Yamaziko back, ending her Braced.

He then activates Yan Lo, who had gained a ton of Chi from Misaki’s activation, but also Focuses Chi.  He starts by attaching Bone Ascendant, and Hunpo Assaults into both of my remaining Torakage.  He pulls the Black Joker on one of the attacks, but by the time he is done he kills both Torakage.  

I walk my Effigy up and Ply for Information from the Onryo.  The Onryo attacks the Effigy in return, and lands a cheeky Red Joker damage flip to leave him at Hard to Kill.  Shang Charges the Onryo, and kills her in a moment of personal triumph.

Datsue Ba, unimpressed, walks up and uses her (0) to push Philip and the Nanny before Weighing the Effigy’s Sins, killing it and turning it into another Onryo.  I activate Yamaziko and ditch Oathkeeper this turn, and quadruple walk into the back of his deployment zone, hoping to drop a marker next turn for Surround Them.  

He walks Philip and the Nanny up, and between all the pushes he was in range to use New Friends to Talk To to remove one of my Surround them Markers, before walking back towards the center of the board.  His new Onryo fails to swing at Shang.

At the end of the turn, I score the strategy from my Gathered Intel from Yamaziko.  Misaki heals up, and ends her Risk condition for 3 soulstones back.

Score:  3-1

Turn 5
I stone for cards and initiative this turn, but he still goes first.  He opens with Yan Lo who focuses Chi again, walks, Focuses and Lightning Dances Yamaziko before Plying her for Information.  He then uses Spirit Barrage on her several times, and while I use a stone for prevention he still manages to kill her.

My chance at full points on Surround Them gone, I switch to ‘denial’ mode.  After reading Ply for Information and realizing that it can be done on Peons, I charge Shang with Misaki.  I Relent on the first attack, using the Coming Storm trigger to blast Datsue Ba for two damage, and with the second attack end up blasting onto both Philip and Datsue Ba, killing Datsue Ba (and Shang, of course).  With her last AP, Misaki Plys the Onryo for Information.  She ends by using Deadly Dance.

Philip and the Nanny walk and drop a scheme marker within 4” of Misaki.  His Onryo fails to end her, however.

At the end of the turn, we’re tied on the Strategy so no one scores it.  I flip to determine end of game, and it does end.  I declare Surround them for two points.  My opponent reveals he took Dig Their Graves and Inescapable Trap.

Final Score:  5-1

Thoughts
We both felt that having a different ‘always’ scheme was fine, as it added a layer of difficulty to this scenario.  In particular, the Smoke and Shadows ability to reposition was the main reason I was able to pull it off - otherwise, we both felt that any scheme runners would be out of the game after dropping the far corner markers down.

We agreed that the turning point of this game was in Turn 4 when Misaki was able to land several Severe damage hits on Thunder and blasted onto a good chunk of my opponent’s crew.  Once I had regained activation control, he was hard pressed to get points.

I feel like the Strategy is in a good place- it was very doable, certainly easier with activation control, but not so easy that I could afford to spend too many AP collecting Gathered Intel.  I am a fan of the tendency of these Strategies being scoreable by only one player at a time.

I feel like the crew did OK, but that I spent too long getting my Torakage into position for Public Demonstration.  Inescapable Trap may have been a better choice.  My opponent, sadly, didn’t have a chance to drop enough markers near me - I either died or was able to jump out of the engagement.

On a side note- we played Yan Lo’s new upgrades as giving him only 1 Chi during the End of Turn Score Step where I scored points, regardless of how many of my schemes/ strategies I scored.  He still ended the game with a ludicrous amount of Chi - he had all the upgrades, plus ample extra.  

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Here’s a battle report testing the GG2018 TestV2 document at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/22/2017.  Both my opponent and I agreed to test these rules, understanding they were a concept draft.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Ours
Schemes:  Punish The Weak, Set Up, Hold Up Their Forces, Show of Force, Vendetta

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Guild.

My Crew
Misaki + 7 SS

  • The Storm
  • Risk and Reward
  • Survivalist

Shang
Yamaziko

  • Smoke and Shadows

3x Jorogumo
Hodgepodge Effigy

I really wanted to try the Three Spider list, and I figured that this would be as good a time as any.  Given that Ours cares only about soulstone costs, having Hard to Wound, Hard to Kill, Eat Their Fill minions would be good.  

My Opponent’s List
Lady Justice + 4 SS

  • Swordfighter

Francisco Ortega

  • A Debt to the Guild

Brutal Emissary

  • Conflux of Judgement

Executioner

  • Ready to Work

Executioner

  • Ready to Work

Death Marshal
Death Marshal

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Seeing only two minions I snap-chose Punish the Weak.  I felt very comfortable with killing them with Misaki’s blasts.  I ended up going all-in on the killing plan and selected Vendetta, with one of my Jorogumo against the Emissary.  I figured I could Shadow Stride them into position and get an early turn 2 Charge off.

My opponent ended up picking Punish the Weak and Hold Up Their Forces. 

Deployment
I win the cut, and he deploys first.  We both deploy centrally, but I have a Jorogumo on each flank to encourage him to spread out before I bury them. 

Turn 1
I discard 6 soulstone for Risk +6, and we both stone for cards.  I flip the Red Joker for initiative, and have him go first since we are equal on activations.

We trade activations where he double-walks his Executioners, and I Shadow Stride or walk, Smoke Bomb with Vanish into Shadow Stride my Jorogumo, except for the one on the left flank.  

He then activates Frank, giving Lady J El Major, and walks up and drops a scheme marker.  I go with my final Jorogumo, just walking up, Wandering the Earth and dropping Smoke Bombs.  

His next two activations feature his Death Marshals charging his Executioners and Pine Boxing them.  In between, I have the Effigy walk to secure my right table quarter, and put Loyalty to the Coin on Misaki.  I then have Yamaziko walk three times and Brace Yari, staying out of Lady J’s Charge range.

Lady J goes, walking up and using Justice at the end of a Blade on Misaki, before going Defensive.  I walk Shang twice, trying to bait out one of his beater models.  His Brutal Emissary charges Lady J, and buries her.

With the last activation, I have Misaki Deadly Dance, walk twice and use Downburst on Frank, cheating for Rolling Thunder.  The resulting attack blasts onto one of his Death Marshals, and I declare Next Target to push into Yamaziko’s Braced range.

At the end of the turn, I unbury my Jorogumo aggressively so I can charge the Emissary if I get initiative.  I lower Risk by one for a stone.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
I stone for cards this turn.  He stones to reflip initiative, and wins.  He goes first with Frank who pops Debt, and charges the Jorogumo that is part of Vendetta.  Thankfully, he neither declares Vendetta himself nor kills my Spider, leaving him at Hard to Kill.  I immediately activate that Jorogumo and Shadow Stride away, wanting to avoid losing my Vendetta scheme.

He activates the wounded Death Marshal next, opting to keep the Executioner buried.  He walks and drops a scheme marker in my far right table quarter.  I see an opportunity, and activate the Hodgepodge Effigy.  I reposition him so he can give Loyalty to the Coin and be in Companion range on Misaki, but still holding my near right table quarter.

I Companion into Misaki, and start by Deadly Dancing.  She charges Francisco, and between the Coming Storm triggers and a Red Joker’d attack flip, she kills both Death Marshals and Francisco  (we both forgot Finish the Job here).  I declare Punish the Weak, and am happy that I’ll get full points from it.  To make matters worse, I discard two weak cards for a pair of soulstones from Loyalty to the Coin.  I declare Next Target on the second attack,  pushing to be in range of Downburst on his freshly unburied Executioner, but fail the TN.

He goes with the Executioner on my left flank next, who walks and uses Ready to Work to charge and brutally murder Shang.  On my right flank I charge a Jorogumo into his Executioner, but fail to connect enough hits to end him.  I do cover his Scheme Marker, so that Lady J can’t unbury next to him.

He goes with the Emissary, dropping Lady J in front of him.  He then charges Misaki, but thanks to Bulletproof I only take four damage.  He ends by using Condemnation.  I walk Yamaziko up to block an easy charge range for Lady J, and Brace Yari.

The Executioner on my right flank activates and tears into my Jorogumo, getting Bloody Exhibition off and I opt to kill the spider rather than discard my two new soulstones.  He heals 5 thanks to Loving the Job.  I charge my remaining Jorogumo into the Executioner on my left flank, but only land one hit, including the bite attack.  

He ends the turn by activating Lady J, who decides to take the damage from Yamaziko and charges Misaki.  I spend both stones on prevention and defensive on the first attack, but thanks to an untimely Black Joker on my Risky Ventures Lady J lands some solid damage.

At the end of the turn, I heal Misaki and lower Risk for a stone.  I unbury my Vendetta’ing Jorogumo in position to charge his Emissary.  I score Punish the Weak and the Strategy.  He does not score the Strategy because of the Emissary straddling two quarters.  He scores neither strategy as I’m either doubled-up in engagements, or it’s one on one engagements.  All the models that died this turn were to Enforcers.

Score:  2 (Ours, Punish the Weak) - 0

Turn 3
We both stone for cards this turn.  He wins initiative, and opens with Lady J.  She does what she does best, and deletes Misaki.  With my main damage dealer gone, I scramble to shore up my remaining points.

I go first with the Vendetta’ing Jorogumo, who charges the Emissary.  I drop it to Hard to Kill, but can’t finish it off.  On my right flank, his Executioner is Ready to Work and walk-charges my Effigy, easily removing it from the field.  On my left flank, my remaining Jorogumo lands one hit on the Executioner it’s engaged with out of three attacks.  Said Executioner hits back, but only doing one dose of weak damage.  

Yamaziko nimbles to lock down my near left table quarter, and attacks Lady J with her Yari.  Thanks to her Honorable bonuses, she is able to land a moderate damage hit and blast onto the Emissary, killing it for a second point on Vendetta at the end of the game.  She ends her activation by Bracing Yari.

At the end of the turn, I score Ours thanks to my Jorogumo in my far left table quarter, Punish the Weak and Vendetta.  My opponent scores Hold Up Their Forces.

Score:  5 (Ours, Punish the Weak, Vendetta) - 1 (Hold Up Their Forces)

Turn 4
He wins initiative this round, and has Lady J go first.  She cleans up the Jorogumo securing the far left quarter, heals from Juggernaut and lands a solid hit on Yamaziko.  I go with my remaining Jorogumo, desperately hoping to kill the Executioner and Eat my Fill to heal, but fail all three attacks.  

His Executioner then activates, and kills my Jorogumo for it’s troubles.  With only Yamaziko left, I attack Lady J twice for some damage and Brace Yari.  His other Executioner stays put, securing him my near right quarter.

At the end of the turn, he scores Ours as I have one model left.  We both score Punish the Weak.  He can no longer score points from Hold Up Their Forces.

Score:  6 (Punish the Weak) - 3 (Ours, Punish the Weak)

End of Game
We decide to end the game here, as we are both maxed out on our Schemes.  He scores a second point each for Ours and Punish the Weak, and I score the second point of Vendetta.

Final Score:  7 (Vendetta) - 5 (Ours, Punish the Weak)

Thoughts
My opponent thought having a variable always scheme was different, but fun.  He really enjoyed playing his Death Marshal themed crew, and being able to see Lady J get work done.  

I like how Ours has turned out - elite crews in a table quarters mission is a welcome paradigm shift.  Punish the Weak is a solid scheme that maybe plays too well with the strategy - or at least, it did in this pool.  Then again, Misaki’s ability to snipe out minions with the Storm is exceptionally good, and my opponent had one of the killiest crews I’ve gone up against in Guild.

I am happy with my scheme selection, but not my crew selection.  The Jorogumo list really suffered from having no cards to support the Jorogumo’s attacks.  With no small models to beat up on and eat, the Jorogumo’s durability never really came into play.  Multiple times I wished I had taken Wokou Raiders instead.  That would have also freed up several stones, and I could have taken Big Jake and/or another model.

Yamaziko was the star of the show for me this game.  She has so many useful abilities, I am really appreciating what she brings to Misaki’s crew - at least in theme.  I’m not sure if I’d continue to bring her if I start phasing out the Last Blossom models.

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After playing with it for a while, how are you feeling about Smoke & Shadows? Gimmicky silliness or competitive choice? Do you mind the tax it puts on your hand? I'm always put off by its suit requirement, though part of that is me playing TT. Why spend good Misdirection masks on self bury shenanigans :lol:

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1 hour ago, Nikodemus said:

After playing with it for a while, how are you feeling about Smoke & Shadows? Gimmicky silliness or competitive choice? Do you mind the tax it puts on your hand? I'm always put off by its suit requirement, though part of that is me playing TT. Why spend good Misdirection masks on self bury shenanigans :lol:

Smoke and Shadows is a “sometimes” pick.  I definitely don’t use it every time, but I appreciate it when I do.  I think I take it more because in my meta, we have an abundance of Resurrectionists making Yamaziko a generally great choice, and at its cost Smoke and Shadows easily staples to her.  I’m also a sucker for theme crews, and like the Last Blossom minions.

I do think Misdirection is a better use of your masks in Thunders.  

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Here’s a battle report testing the GG2018 document, 10/23/2017 at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/25/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Corner
Strategy:  Ours
Schemes:  Punish The Weak, Undercover Entourage, Take One for the Team, Recover Evidence, Public Demonstration

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent also declared Outcasts.

My Crew
Von Schill + 2 SS

  • Nythera Aftermath
  • Oath of the Freikorps
  • Survivalist

Steam Trunk
Strongarm Suit

  • The Bigger They Are

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Conflict

Freikorps Librarian
Freikorps Trapper
Freikorpsmann
Hodgepodge Effigy

I’ve been reading the threads on Von Schill lately, and wanted to see how the combination of his new upgrades did.  Given that Ours is a killy strategy, I figured this would be a good chance for it.  I opted for the Emissary to try giving Von Schill the Shirt for added healing/ paralyzing if I got stuck in, and because I figured the trinkets would make the schemes easier.  I made sure to have 15 stones worth of Minions to bluff Public Demo if I needed to.

My Opponent’s List
Viktoria of Ashes + 1 SS

  • Sisterly Bonds
  • Sisters in Fury
  • Synchronized Slaying

Malifaux Child
Viktoria of Blood

  • The Soaring Dragon
  • Mark of Shez’uul

Rusty Alyce
Miss Deed
Ronin
Ronin
Void Wretch 
Void Wretch

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
With his crew being as heavy on beaters but light on stones, I figured I could play reactive this game.  With Corner deployment, he would be hard pressed to get an end of turn 1 alpha on me.  I didn’t expect my minions to survive contact with his Enforcer, Henchmen or Master models.  I opted for Punish the Weak as I figured I would be able to hunt down his minions with Von Schill, or clean them all up with the Strongarm Suit.  I also took Undercover Entourage on Von Schill, since I would have recurring Shirts to rip off for healing, with Librarian/ Steam Trunk if needs be.

My opponent ended up picking Punish the Weak and Take One for the Team on Viktoria of Bloo. 

Deployment
I win the cut, and he deploys first.  He puts Miss Deed and Alyce on my left flank, and the Viktorias further towards his board edge.  I cluster my forces around Von Schill, with my Trapper and Freikorpsmann positioned to run along my board edge into my near left quarter.

Turn 1
I get the Red Joker on initiative this turn, and have him go first due to the number of activations he had.  He focuses the Malifaux Child, and casts Sisters in Fury.  I have the Effigy give Von Schill ‘Loyalty to the Coin’ and drop a scheme marker to bluff Surround Them, completely blanking on the fact that it wasn’t in the pool.  

Alyce walked towards the center of the board, and I walked the Freikorpsmann into my near left quarter.  He walks a Ronin up next to Rusty, behind cover from the Trapper.  

I activate the Emissary, giving Von Schill his Shirt back, and giving out Vitality Potion to the Strongarm Suit and Memento to the Librarian.  With my second (0), I have the Emissary push up towards my far right quarter.

He double-walks his Ronin on his board edge towards my far right quarter.  I go with Von Schill next, and use Oath of the Freikorps to give himself and the Strongarm Suit Oathkeeper, before throwing the Strongarm Suit up the board with his Clockwork Arm.  

My opponent and I then pass activations just walking models up (Void Wretches, Librarian, Steam Trunk, Miss Deed) before I have my Trapper take a Focused shot on Miss Deed, failing to hit.  He walks Viktoria of Ashes twice towards my Trapper, and goes Defensive.  I end the turn by having the Strongarm Suit walk into range to shoot Alyce, and take a moment to  Charge Up for bonus to Sh.  The shot hits and gets the Slow trigger.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
On this turn my opponent flips the Red Joker for Initiative, and he begins by activating Viktoria of Ashes.  He uses a (0) to make the Ronin a Sister model, before walking and shooting the Trapper.  Thankfully, she fails to hit due to cover.  I respond by having the Trapper focus and shoot her back, and he fails to hit her too.

My opponent double walks a Void Wretch to hide behind a stand of trees in the far right quarter.  I walk my Effigy up, giving Von Schill Loyalty to the Coin.  Alyce takes a single shot at the Strongarm Suit, but fails to hit.  I walk my Freikorpsmann twice, hiding behind a building from Viktoria.  He activates the Ronin who has the Sister characteristic, and she walks up and unburies Viktoria of Blood in charge range of my Trapper.

At this point, I activate the Strongarm Suit and burn Oathkeeper for Fast.  He walks to have LoS on Viktoria of Blood, uses Charge Up for the bonus Sh, and takes two shots on her.  He stones once to prevent some damage, but I Red Joker the  attack flip on the second shot and thanks to The Bigger They Are I have enough damage to kill Viktoria of Blood.  He declares Take One for the Team, scoring two points.

He passes an activation with a Ronin hiding behind terrain in my far right quarter.  I have the Emissary go next, cheating a card to use Call of the Lost to pull Von Schill up the board before walking and pushing into the far right quarter.

We spend the rest of the turn repositioning models with walks, with the only other cards flipped being me healing Von Schill to full (after the Emissary had dinged him to pull him).

At the end of the turn, we both score the Strategy.

Score:  1 (Ours) - 3 (Ours, Take One for the Team)

Turn 3
He wins initiative this turn, and opens with Viktoria of Ashes.  He has her make the Ronin near her a Sister, and walks before charging my Trapper, but I cheat to force negatives through and he lives on one wound.  I respond by activating the Trapper and Retreat to Cover out of engagement and take two shots at Viktoria of Ashes, landing a cheeky Severe with Critical Strike bonus on the second shot.

He has the Malifaux Child Focus and cast Sisters in Fury again.  I have the Freikorpsmann take a Focused Shot on Viktoria, and get another cheeky Severe damage with Critical Strike, killing her.  My opponent has Alyce walk and shoot at the Trapper, but I am able to cheat to make the attack miss.   

I move direction to the far right quarter now, and have Von Schill charge a Void Wretch.  He tosses it, giving it Priority Target and triggering his own Target Practice, and I managed to declare Reposition on the resulting Clockwork Seeker shot to push into range to repeat the sequence with the Ronin.  This combination let me kill the Void Wretch for a Punish the Weak point and pull the Ronin out of cover, but I do Black Joker the shot on my second Clockwork Seeker.  I spend his last AP walking to engage both the Ronin and the remaining Void Wretch.

He has Miss Deed walk twice to engage my Librarian, clearly planning to kill her next turn.  Instead, I have the Strongarm Suit Charge Up his Fists before charging Miss Deed, and he leaves her on Hard to Kill.  

He has the Ronin engaging Von Schill Flurry into him, but only lands one hit for three damage.  I go with the Librarian next, and she walks into range to attack and kill Miss Deed, drawing a card off Surge.

At this point, the turn was done.  He tries to slow Von Schill with his Void Wretch, but fails.  The rest of our models just move around the board, and I deny him the strategy this turn.  

Score:  3 (Ours, Punish the Weak) - 3

End of Game
We decide to end the game here, as my opponent felt he was no longer able to contest my scoring more points than him.  Between the two models he was engaging, Von Schill would be able to score full points on Punish the Weak, and was on track to be healthy enough for full points on Undercover Entourage.

I think it was likely my opponent would still score a point off Punish the Weak, but with only Alyce able to score it I don’t know that she’d be able to catch any of my other minions.  It was unlikely he’d be able to score more than one more point from the Strategy as I had models positioned to chase down either Alyce or the Ronin on my near quarter and kill them by the end of Turn 5.

Projected Final Score:  10 - 5

Thoughts
Ours is definitely encouraging durable, punchy crews - which I like for a ‘spread out’ mission.  The Scheme Pool was a tough one, as it pushed me to get out of my deployment zone and wanted me to engage with the enemy - four of the five schemes required me heading towards the enemy models in some way, which is good for making the game more interactive.  I think the fact that it was Corner deployment, and we were so far away from each other, made some of the schemes harder than expected - namely Punish the Weak.

Punish the Weak has interesting counter-synergies with Public Demonstration - pushing you towards at least fifteen stones on Minions in a crew to bluff Public Demonstration, which at the same time ensures you have targets for the opponent to score Punish off of.  

Crew-wise, I think the Von Schill crew definitely needs tweaking.  The Emissary was nice, but with no real scheme marker based scheme in the pool, I feel like he wasn’t terribly useful.  I can see swapping him for an Anna or a Hannah.  Von Schill’s combination of new upgrades makes him really scary when hunting weaker models, and if the board wasn’t Corner deployment/ if my opponent didn’t have so many Disguised models, I can see where he’d wreak serious havoc.

Strongarm Suit did serious work this game, and I can finally see what others have seen in him.  The Librarian, Trapper and Freikorpsmann all were ok this game, but need to pick up the book and check out the Engineer.  I get the feeling I’d happily trade the Trapper for an Engineer in this list.  The Effigy was great filler, and I see the opportunities for Loyalty to the Coin being useful with Von Schill taking care of things personally.

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Here’s a battle report testing the GG2018 document, 10/23/2017 version, at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/28/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Public Execution
Schemes:  Guarded Treasure, Undercover Entourage, Search the Ruins, Take One for the Team, Take Prisoner

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Resurrectionists.

My Crew
Misaki + 7 SS

  • The Storm
  • Risk and Reward
  • Survivalist

Shang
Miss Deed (Taelor)

  • Scramble
  • Oathkeeper

Freikorps Librarian

  • Oathkeeper

Ronin
Ronin
Ronin

Public Execution seems like a good strategy for Misaki, given how killy she is as a master.  I wanted to experiment with her a bit this game, so took Miss Deed to counter any summoning with Welcome to Malifaux (and to be a second beater to Misaki) and a Librarian for more heals and Ca for Incorporeal models.

The three Ronin were chosen for their Disguised ability, and because I could in theory deny my opponent a Shed Blood if he dropped them to Hard to Kill by Seppukuing them in return.

My Opponent’s List
Kirai Ankoku + 6 SS

  • Ectoplasm
  • Swirling Aether
  • Unforgiven

Datsue Ba

  • Spirit Whispers
  • Wronged Spirits

Philip and the Nanny

  • Haunting Cries
  • Take Back the Night

Carrion Emissary

  • Conflux of Spirit

Goryo
Goryo

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
When I made my list, I was essentially giving up that I was not going to pick Guarded Treasure.  Seeing his list, I decided that Take One for the Team was a risky choice as it would be giving up a Shed Blood, and I was already running an elite crew.  Additionally, he has access to Shikome and Goryo - who could kill most of my crew without giving me full points on Shed Blood (at least, that was my thought at the time).  Likewise, Take Prisoner was not desirable because of his push/ place effects with Kirai and Datsue Ba.  

I opted for Undercover Entourage on Misaki and Search the Ruins.  I felt comfortable that Misaki would have enough healing to stay topped off, and could charge in and out of engagements as necessary for Undercover Entourage.  Search the Ruins could be done incidentally over the game, or Misaki could drop two markers as a last ditch effort on the final turn.

My opponent ended up taking Undercover Entourage on Philip and the Nanny and Take One for the Team on Datsue Ba.

Deployment
He wins the cut, and makes me deploy first.  Take the side that was more heavily obscured by terrain, so that I’d have more lanes for LoS to drop blast markers with Misaki.  I deploy Ronin on the flanks, and my main beaters in the center behind the LoS blocking terrain.  

He deploys on his line, with Kirai having LoS down a long corridor towards my deployment zone.  His Incorporeal/ Flying models are put behind the terrain.

Turn 1
I discard all of my Soulstones for Risk +7.  I win the first flip, and have him activate first.  He has Datsue Ba walk up, drop a scheme marker for Philip to eat, and then summons a Seishin.

We trade activations at this point, with me walking up two Ronin - the one on my left flank going Defensive- and him walking up his Goryo, who drops a scheme marker.  Philip goes next, eating the two scheme markers for cards.  I walk Miss Deed up twice and use Welcome to Malifaux, projecting threat in most of the open area between our crews.

He activates Kirai next, who calls forth a Seishin outside of Miss Deed’s charge range.  Kirai then casts Blood and Wind twice, summoning an Shikome and a Drowned off of the two Seishin, killing them both.  She ends her activation by using Comfort Spirit to heal the Shikome.

At this point the rest of the activations are spent walking, with us positioning for the fight next turn.  His Emissary fails to drop Shards of Kythera, and opts to drop a scheme marker.  His Goryo also drops a scheme marker.  

Misaki uses Deadly Dance, walks twice into Downburst range on the Drowned, and successfully casts Downburst with Rolling Thunder on him.  Sadly, I Black Joker the resulting attack flip.

At the end of the turn, I reduce my Risk by 1 for a Soulstone.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
On this turn, I stone for cards.  I win initiative, and open with Misaki.  She charges the Drowned (who is outside of Malevolence range) and with two Thunder attacks kills the Drowned for Shed Blood, blasting damage onto the Carrion Emissary.  She uses Next Target on the last attack to push to have LoS on one of his Goryo.  She Downbursts, and I cheat the Ram for Rolling Thunder in.  He fails the Df duel on his other Goryo, which pushes through the trees.  The resulting attack blasts more damage onto his Emissary.  I declare Next Target, and push away from his crew.

He has Philip and the Nanny go, and they eat the two new scheme markers for cards.  I have my middle Ronin drop a marker to bluff Guarded Treasure (but really for Search the Ruins) and go Defensive.  He has Datsue Ba call forth another Seishin, drop a scheme marker and walk up.  On the right flank, I walk up a Ronin to take a pot shot at his Goryo, but fail.  

He activates Kirai, who uses Into the Spirit World to move up to her Shikome, and then eats a Seishin for bonus cast and uses Sunder three times on Miss Deed, getting a Red Joker on damage once.  The end result is a dead Miss Deed, a Scheme Marker from Oathkeeper on Miss Deed and Shed Blood on Kirai.

My Librarian walks up and shoots at Datsue Ba, but fails.  He responds by having the Shikome walk and Shriek at the Librarian, getting Adversary on her and charging her.  The attacks leave the Librarian on one wound.  I walk a Ronin up on my left flank to engage the Shikome, hoping to flurry next turn.  He has his Emissary walk up and kill the Librarian for a second Shed Blood, and drops Shards.

I walk Shang, and am out of useable activations.  He sends his two Goryo after my right Ronin, but due to Disguised is unable to land more than one attack on her, slowing her.

At the end of the turn, he scores the strategy.  I reduce Risk for a soulstone.  
  
Score:  0 - 1 (Public Execution)

Turn 3
He stones for cards.  I hold on to my stone, as I have a hand full of high moderates and severes.  I Black Joker the Initiative Flip, and he goes first.  On my right flank, he opens with a Goryo who kills the Ronin for a Shed Blood.  

Seeing the full weight of his crew coming towards me, I have Misaki go first.  She charges the Emissary, killing it for Shed Blood.  With blasts I also kill the Shikome and the Goryo with Shed Blood.  She Pushes to be in range of Datsue Ba, hitting her and pushing further away with Next Target.

He replies by activating Kirai, who summons a Seishin.  She promptly uses that Seishin and a stone to summon a Shikome with the ‘Don’t Blink’ trigger.  With her remaining AP, she kills my leftmost Ronin with two Sunders, the Red Joker getting flipped.  This gives her Shed Blood again.  

I charge my remaining Ronin into his Goryo, dealing a massive one damage after all was said and done.  To avoid another Shed Blood, I Seppuku for cards.  He has Datsue Ba walk and Weigh Sins on Misaki, but fails.  He then uses Guide Spirit to push Philip and the Nanny up the board, telegraphing that he has Undercover Entourage.    

I walk Shang twice to body block for Misaki.  He walks Philip and the Nanny into my half of the board.  His Shikome shrieks at and charges Misaki, but fails to do anything to her.  I flip my Red Joker on defense here.  His remaining Goryo - fast from the death of the other Goryo - walks and Charges Misaki past Shang, but doesn’t do much to her. 

At the end of the turn, no one scores the strategy.  I reduce Risk for a stone.

Score:  0 - 1

Turn 4
I stone for cards.  He wins initiative, and Kirai uses Into the Spirit World to teleport to Datsue Ba, and then Sunders Misaki for some solid hits.  I respond with Misaki, who Deadly Dances before charging Kirai.  I try to Assassinate her with my Bisento, but she passes it off onto Datsue Ba and reveals Take One for the Team for full points.  He also summons Ikiryo.  

At this point, I realize my only hope is to kill Kirai (as she holds Shed Blood) and to protect my scheme markers for Search the Ruins.  I also realize this is unlikely, as I’m down to Misaki and Shang.  I don’t see how I can kill Philip and the Nanny while also getting points on Undercover Entourage for Misaki.  The best I can try for at this point is getting a one point loss.

Misaki’s second charge attack on Kirai is Thunder, and she predictably shunts it to Ikiryo.  I blast onto the Shikome and Kirai.  I then Downburst Kirai, cheating for Rolling Thunder.  I’m hoping to push her friendly spirits away before I attack next, so that she can’t shunt the damage off.  I successfully push Ikiryo away.  My second thunder attack does moderate to Kirai, and blasts onto Ikiryo to kill her.  I declare Next Target and run away, hoping to lure his models away from my Search markers.  

His Shikome walks and charges Misaki (who has Adversary from Ikiryo) and lands both hits with Infect.  Shang walks to heal Misaki before the Goryo butchers him.  Philip and the Nanny walk twice again, cementing their position.

At the end of the turn, I reduce my Risk condition for a stone.  

Score:  0 - 4 (Take One for the Team)

Turn 5

I stone for cards, and win Initiative.  I go with my only model in Misaki, who Deadly Dances before Thundering the Shikome, Red Jokering the attack flip.  This kills the Shikome, and I push from Next Target.  I drop a third marker for Search the Ruins, and walk to engage Kirai.

With no more activations from me, and the game already a win for him, we call the game there.  In the end, I score 2 from Undercover Entourage, 2 from Search the Ruins, and nothing on the Strategy.  He scores Maximum points on Undercover Entourage, and doesn’t score the strategy.    

Score:  4 - 7

Thoughts
We both liked the strategy, and felt that it is in a solid place with lots of ways to play around it.  The Scheme pool was varied and offered many hard choices, which I’m really appreciating.  Specifically in this game, I chose two end of game schemes when progressive schemes may have been a better choice - or one-off riskier schemes.

My opponent’s list was solid and had a lot of neat interactions.  I especially appreciated how he only needed to summon Shikome to get work done - I was worried that a single Hanged would ruin my dreams of Undercover Entourage.  I also did not respect Kirai’s damage output nearly enough.  Goes to show you that Summoner’s aren’t 100% Summon-bots after all.

Crew-wise, I was not impressed with my own crew.  The Ronin suffered the same problems as the Jorogumo did, in that Ml 5 just was not enough when I needed to hit things.  I most likely overextended Miss Deed, but feel that if my opponent hadn’t Red Jokered one of the damage flips on her I’d have been able to heal her with the Librarian and go to town.  

Public Execution strikes me as a Strategy where you want to have at least three beater type models.  Having only one (like Misaki) makes it hard to exceed an opponent, and being tied on one each meant we were both starved for strategy points.  

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Here’s a battle report testing the GG2018 document, 10/23/2017 version, at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/28/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Corner
Strategy:  Ours
Schemes:  Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough, Hold Up Their Forces, Undercover Entourage, Recover Evidence

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Resurrectionists.

My Crew
Von Schill + 4 SS

  • Nythera Aftermath
  • Oath of the Freikrops
  • Survivalist

Steam Trunk
Anna Lovelace
Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Conflict

Strongarm Suit
Freikorps Librarian
Hodgepodge Effigy

I wanted to give the Super-Solo Von Schill another test, and figured a ‘spread out’ strategy like Ours would work.  I opted for only two Minion/ Peons in this list because with Ressurectionists as slow as they usually are, I wasn’t afraid of them getting ‘caught out’ early.  I was also confident because I had taken Anna, whose Gravity Well and Clockwork Dress would hopefully shut down my opponent’s push and place effects nicely.  

My Opponent’s List
Yan Lo + 7 SS

  • Awakening
  • Follow Their Footsteps
  • Necrotic Preparation

Datsue Ba

  • Spirit Whispers
  • Wronged Spirits

Philip and the Nanny

  • Haunting Cries

Toshiro the Daimyo

  • Command the Graves
  • Corpse Bloat

Sun Quiang
Goryo

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Seeing he took his preferred Yan Lo crew, I expected my opponent to be summoning Seishin.  If he didn’t he only had one minion - the Goryo - so I chose Punish the Weak.  I didn’t want to go for Recover Evidence when he would be so spread out, and Covert Breakthrough is always rough with Philip and the Nanny in the pool.  It was between Hold Up Their Forces and Undercover Entourage, and I went with Undercover.  Between ripping his shirt off, Survivalist, the Librarian and the Steam Trunk I felt confident Von Schill would live to the end of the game.

My opponent chose Hold Up Their Forces and Undercover Entourage on Philip and the Nanny.

Deployment
I win the cut, and he deploys first.  He deploys on the edge of his corner, mostly pointed towards the center.  The Goryo was on my far left flank, already far away from me.  I deploy clustered around the middle of my Corner edge as well.

Turn 1
He wins initiative here, and makes me go first.  I have the Emissary activate and give Von Schill his shirt back, a Vitality Potion to the Strongarm Suit and a Memento to the Librarian.  I end by pushing up the board.  He has Datsue Ba drop a marker for Philip, walk up and summon a Seishin.  

I activate Von Schill, and he gives himself Oathkeeper.  He then charges the Strongarm Suit, ending within 2” of both Anna and the Strongarm Suit.  Using his ambidextry, he throws both of them up the board.  I Black Joker the damage on the Strongarm Suit, but thankfully Pull is an ‘after succeeding’ trigger.

His Goryo drops a scheme marker and summons a Seishin.  My Librarian walks up and heals Anna.  He has Philip and the Nanny eat the two scheme markers for cards.  I walk Anna up twice, to threatening my far right quarter.  He walks Toshiro up, rips out his spleen, and summons an Ashigaru off of it.  I walk the Effigy up and cast the Mist.  He has Sun activate and heals a bunch of models, and then uses his Yin and Yang with Duality trigger to heal the Ashigaru to full.  Sun then walks up.  I walk the Steam Trunk twice to keep up with my crew.

Yan Lo activates, Focusing Chi.  He Spirit Barrages both Seishin, earning himself two more chi.  He then uses Instill Youth on Toshiro to heal him to full, before Ascending to Spirit Ascendant.  I walk the Strongarm Suit twice into my near left quarter.  He ends the turn walking up his Ashigaru.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
I stone for cards here.  He wins initiative, and opens with the Ashigaru who walks and Braces his Yari.  I walk the Steam Trunk again, to get it into position to be useful.  He drops a scheme marker with Datsue Ba, then walks her before summoning another Seishin.  I have the Effigy give Von Schill Loyalty to the Coin before walking up and casting the Mist again.  

Von Schill chain activates from the Effigy, and walks forward twice to bein range to shoot the newly summoned Seishin, which he does and earns the kill.  I discard a card for a soulstone thanks to Loyalty to the Coin, and earn a point for Punish the Weak.  He gains a Chi on Yan Lo.

His Goryo drops a scheme marker and walks.  I walk my Librarian twice, getting her into position to support Anna.  Philip eats the two scheme markers for more card cycling.  Anna walks twice, and attempts Vortex on Datsue Ba.  He cheats to make it fail.  

Toshio walks up not, repeating last turn by ripping out another spleen and turning it into an Ashigaru.  I walk my Emissary twice, not having anything of value to do.  His fresh Ashigaru walks once.  I want to be cagey with my Strongarm Suit, so he walks twice behind a building and puts up Polarity Shield.  Sun Quiang activates, healing a bunch of models before restoring the new Ashigaru to full wounds.  I’m out of activations at this point, and he goes with Yan Lo.  

Yan Lo Focuses his Chi, and Instills Youth on Toshiro before walking and casting Spirit Barrage on Anna, getting Severe damage and a Chi on one hit.  I stone away the second Spirit Barrage attack’s damage.  With his last (0) he Ascends to Ash Ascendant.

At the end of the Turn, I am holding three quarters to his one.  

Score:  2 (Ours, Punish the Weak) - 0 

Turn 3
He stones for Cards.  He also Black Joker’s initiative.  

I opt to go first with Anna, stoning for a crow (and naturally flipping a high crow) to cast The Swirling Damned on his Ashigaru.  I declare the horror duel trigger, paralyzing the other Ashigaru and getting a severe damage hit.  She copies the Steam Trunk’s heal.

Datsue Ba commands Philip to walk, then walks herself before trying to Weigh Sins on Anna, but fails.  I walk the Effigy into range to give Von Schill Loyalty to the Coin, but stay in my near right quarter to hold it for the strategy.  

I chain activate into Von Schill again, and this time I charge the paralyzed Ashigaru, taking some damage from the Braced Yari.  I chuck him with the Clockwork Fist, and shoot him getting Reposition to repeat the process on his other Ashigaru, pushing after the second shot to be unengaged with his crew.  My last regular AP is spent shooting and killing the non-paralyzed Ashigaru, getting another Punish the Weak and a Soulstone from Loyalty to the Coin.  With his (0), Von Schill rips off his shirt and heals up, paralyzing Sun Quiang and the Goryo.  

Toshiro charges Von Schill, and I spend two soulstones preventing 4 damage.  He gives the Goryo Fast with War Fan before I remind him that Goryo is paralyzed.  I walk the Emissary twice, trying to get him to a place where he can be relevant this game.  

He goes with Yan Lo, focusing his Chi.  He then fails to Dance with Von Schill, and opts to ascend to Blood Ascendant.  He charges Von Schill, and a few Weird Glowy Mouth Lights later, Von Schill is at 4 wounds remaining.  I walk the Librarian up to put some damage on Datsue Ba, but Black Joker my terror duel.

He activates Sun, clearing paralyze and yet still pulsing out a heal.  I walk the Steam Trunk twice, hoping to get into range for Von Schill to charge to and heal off of.  Philip and the Nanny walk up and shoot the Steam Trunk, for a few points of damage and getting Terrible Whispers off.  

I have the Strongarm Suit go, and realize I’m just out of range of charging any enemy models.  I walk him out instead, give myself +2 Sh and hit the Goryo for some damage.  At this point, he activates the rest of his paralyzed models.

At the end of the turn, I score the Strategy and Punish the Weak again.  He scores nothing.

Score:  4 (Ours, Punish the Weak) - 0

Turn 4
He stones for cards, and wins initiative.  He opens - predictably - with Yan Lo, who focuses his chi.  It takes every AP and (0), but he is finally able to kill Von Schill.  This puts me on the back foot, as I now have to kill all of his minions in a turn, and am permanently capped at 7 VP.  

I walk the Steamtrunk away from him, in case he has Punish the Weak.  Sun turns Von Schill’s corpse into a scheme marker with Study, and then heals the Goryo.  I activate the Strongarm Suit, Charging his Fists before charging the Goryo.  I miss with one attack, but land a solid hit with the no reduction trigger.  

His Ashigaru goes, walking and dropping a scheme marker.  I have Anna Activate, but can only manage to drop the Ashigaru to Hard to Kill.  I take the heal from the Steam Trunk.

Toshiro walks twice to take away my near left table quarter.  I walk the Effigy twice to hide him in my near right table quarter.  Datsue Ba activates, and charges Anna.  She Red Jokers the first damage flip on her, but fails the second.  She then pushes Philip again.  I activate the Emissary, who focuses and kills the Ashigaru.  I companion into the Librarian, who heals Anna twice.  

Philip eats some scheme markers for cards.  His Goryo walks and tries to sunder the Strongarm Suit’s spirit, but fails.  The resulting attack does 4 damage and slows my Strongarm Suit.

At the end of the Turn, we both score the Strategy, and he scores one point for Hold Up Their Forces.  

Score:  5 (Ours) - 2 (Ours, Hold Up Their Forces)

Turn 5
He stones for cards.  He then stones to reflip initiative, and gets the Red Joker.  He goes first with Datsue Ba, pushing Philip before taking a Focused Weigh Sins on the Librarian, killing her outright.  

I go with my Strongarm Suit, Charging my fists but failing to kill the Goryo.  Philip walks twice, telegraphing that he has Undercover Entourage on him.  I walk the Steam Trunk out of the way.  The Goryo Black Joker’s his Sunder Spirit on the Strongarm Suit, managing only 2 damage after all his attacks.

I realize I need to get wounds onto Philip and the Nanny if I want to tie the game, so I use the Emissary next.  Emissary uses his first (0) to push out of engagement with Datsue Ba, then uses his Destined (0) to push himself and Anna further out of engagement.  I then walk him and take a shot on Philip with the Word of the Emissary trigger, but he stones the damage away, so I get no additional shot.  

Yan Lo goes next, walking three times so he can Lightning Dance onto the Emissary, using the Emissary’s Ht of 3 to block the Aura from Anna’s Gravity Well.  He gets the Slow and damage trigger on the Emissary.  I manage to disengage the Effigy from Yan Lo to deny his Hold Up Their Forces.  

He walks Sun up and heals the Goryo again.  I walk Anna up and cast Swirling Damned on Philip, but he spends a stone and prevents 3 damage.  Toshiro walks over the fence to give the Goryo positives on his melee actions with his aura.

We flip to see if the game continues and it does.  He scores the Strategy, and I do not.  

Score:  5 - 3 (Ours)

Turn 6
At this point, I have another turn to maybe kill Philip and the Nanny.  If I do, I can secure a win.  If not, the game will be his.  

He spends his final soulstone to reflip initiative, and it goes in his favor.  He immediately has Philip walk twice to hide behind a building.

I go with the Strongarm Suit, and kill the Goryo.  With my last AP, I go Defensive.  At this point, my best bet is to somehow get enough models to get the Strategy, and deny his Hold Up Their Forces, and I can tie the game.  

He goes with Datsue Ba who Focuses, weighing Sins on Anna but I cheat to avoid it.  I walk the Steam Trunk up, but fail to notice that I place it where it blocks Anna’s path to my near left quarter.  

Yan Lo goes next, and we both spend most of our hands as he tries to kill the Emissary but leaves it on Hard to Kill.  He flips the Black Joker on Damage on one of those hits.

I push the Emissary out of engagement and walk him into my far right quarter, holding that for me.  He charges my Strongarm Suit with Toshiro, but fails to kill him.  Sun also charges the Strongarm Suit, leaving him alive.

At this point I activate Anna, and realize that I blocked her path with the Steam Trunk.  If it wasn’t there, she would have been able to get into my near left quarter for a strategy point.  As it was, she had to burn too many inches going around him/ terrain.  

We flip, and the game ends.  He scores Undercover Entourage for full points on Philip and the Nanny, and the Strategy.  I score one point for Punish the Weak, as he has no minions or peons left.  

Score:  6 (Punish the Weak) - 7 (Ours, Undercover Entourage)

Thoughts
This was a hard fought game, and my opponent played to his schemes well.  I didn’t feel like Von Schill was a great pick for this strategy, as he lent himself to being overextended and as a result I lost 3 Scheme points.  I also feel like I spread myself out too far this game, and had to waste AP walking early game or mid-game to correct for my cautious plays.  I’m also not sure how I want to open with him - I feel like charging and tossing models is an alright choice, as he lacks a dedicated push model to move him up out of his activation.

No real comments for the Strategies and Schemes, as they felt really solid and gave lots of ways to play this matchup.  I think Covert Breakthrough may have been doable, as the Emissary was already dropping a ludicrous number of scheme markers.  Even so, this game would have been better served by a different master in my opinion.

I also tilted a little on realizing how I’d blocked Anna with the Steam Trunk.  It was a mistake made after a long game, but it was still an easily avoidable mistake.

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3 hours ago, Nikodemus said:

If you were to do that Schill game again, who would you go with instead?

I think I would have gone with Misaki.  She has a similar threat range as Von Schill, but her ability to toss Blasts around that don't get reduced make her better for sniping Peon/ Minions for Punish the Weak, and she is generally OK operating solo.  Von Schill's crew tends to like to bubble, which is anathema to a spread out game.  I was also missing the ability to Shadow Stride and move my soulstones to the quarters where I wanted them, to make up for 'wasted' AP walking.  She's also good for Undercover Entourage with Risk healing probably outpacing Von Schill's shirt coming off. 

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Here’s a battle report testing the GG2018 document, 10/23/2017 version, at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/28/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Ply for Information
Schemes:  Surround Them, Covert Breakthrough, Show of Force, Take Prisoner, Public Demonstration

I declared Outcasts, and my opponent declared Resurrectionists.

My Crew
Parker Barrows + 6 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • Hail of Bullets

Doc Mitchell
Mad Dog Brackett

  • Lucky Poncho
  • Oathkeeper

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Sue

  • Return Fire

Dead Outlaw
Dead Outlaw

With this scheme pool, I decided to go with my standard Parker list.  I thought about swapping Sue for a pair of Bandidos, but ended up erring on the side of Man in Black being useful.  

My Opponent’s List
Molly + 4 SS

  • Forgotten Life
  • Back on the Job
  • Tear of the Gorgon

Philip and the Nanny

  • Haunting Cries
  • Take Back the Night

Carrion Emissary

  • Conflux of Horror

Rogue Necromancy
Dead Doxy
Crooligan
Crooligan

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Seeing his crew - and especially Back on the Job - I got a bit tilted.  Knowing that he’d know my schemes, I opted for Show of Force and Public Demonstration.  Public Demonstration as he had many Enforcer, Henchmen and Master level models, and Show of Force because that would draw those models to a specific location on the board.

My opponent ended up taking Surround Them and Take Prisoner.

Deployment
He wins the cut, and I deploy first.  I deploy mostly behind the line of sight blocking terrain, making sure to have push lanes for the Emissary and Parker.  He deploys opposite, with Molly in full view of my crew, and the Rogue Necromancy on my right flank.

Turn 1
I stone for cards, and win initiative.  I have him go first.  He opens with the Dead Doxy, who drops a scheme marker, Takes the Lead on Philip and the Nanny, then drops a second scheme marker.  Sue walks up twice, and casts Man in Black.  He ends by Hurting for a card.  Philip eats the two scheme markers for cards.  

I activate the Hodgepodge Emissary, and have him use Something in my Pack to give Sue a Vitality Potion and draw a card, rip it off with It Was Only a Loan for another card and an enemy scheme marker, then give it back for a third card.  Hereinafter, I’ll refer to this as ‘cycling’.  The Emissary then pushes up with the Weary Road.  He activates his own Emissary, dropping another scheme marker before walking up and dropping Shards of Kythera.  

I go with Parker next, discarding Stick up with Fast Getaway for a stone.  I immediately remove the enemy scheme marker with Five Finger Discount for Stick Up and another stone, then walk up to be in line of sight to push Mad Dog with The Job’s Not Done Yet.  I end by dropping Hail of Bullet markers down for some cover.

He walks up his Rogue Necromancy twice, getting line of sight on a Dead Outlaw, which he proceeds to Stalk.  I move up Mad Dog, cast Blow it to Hell to remove any cover he’d have coming up towards me, and walk behind hard cover.

He walks his rightmost Crooligan up twice, and I respond by walking my un-stalked Dead Outlaw twice.  He has Molly whisper on Philip and the Nanny to get him to eat the third scheme marker for cards, uses Gorgon’s Cry and walks three times to hide behind a building on my left flank.  

I go defensive +2 with my Stalked Dead Outlaw, and Doc walks up and heals Sue, giving him Hard to Wound to boot.

At the end of the turn, he summons a Mindless Zombie off his shards.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
I stone for cards, and win initiative.  I have Sue go first, walking to take a shot at his Emissary.  I get minimum damage, cast Man in Black, and Hurt for a card.  He walks his Mindless Zombie to engage Sue.  

I go with Parker here, and make my first (of many) mistakes this game.  I make a Fast Getaway for a stone, but realize I have no enemy scheme markers to eat.  Moreover, I have no enemy models worth a damn in range to give me one, except for his Mindless Zombie.  Parker puts Pay Up on Molly with his trigger for a scheme marker.  I Five-Finger Discount with a soulstone to attach High Noon, triggering Changing Plans for Mad Dog to gather intel off of his Mindless Zombie.  I then put Dead Man Walking on his Rogue Necromancy.  I end Parker’s turn by dropping Hail of Bullets.

He activates the Dead Doxy, who drops a scheme marker before Taking the Lead on Philip, then walking to a new position near my far left corner.  I walk the Stalked Dead Outlaw twice, and he opts to not walk his Necromancy.  Philip goes and eats the two scheme markers he has nearby (including the one I dropped off of Molly) for cards.

I activate the Emissary, and cycle on Mad Dog for Memento, before pushing up again.  His leftmost Crooligan drops a scheme marker and places, then walks.  At this point, he’s fully telegraphed he’s going for Surround Them.  Mad Dog attacks the Mindless Zombie, getting the trigger on his Burning Cigar to take his Chesterfield Shotgun attack as a Close action, and kills the model.  I draw a card from Parker’s Go Through Their Pockets aura, and drop a friendly marker with Loot Their Corpses, hoping to make it hard for him to drop Shards near me.

His Rogue Necromancy goes next, walking up before spitting at a Dead Outlaw, doing minimum damage.  I walk said Dead Outlaw twice, getting him away from my right flank.  Molly  goes next, and he burns 4 cards and a soulstone to take a walk action and summon a Student of Viscera in the middle of my crew, healing to full and pulsing out a lot of damage.  He then attacks Sue, and I Black Joker my defense so he is able to hit for moderate damage, slowing Sue.  

Doc goes next, pushing and healing Sue for 3 damage.  He goes with the Student of Viscera next, who puts 3 damage back on him.  His Emissary walks up next and attacks Parker, and gets two poison on him through my Soulstone prevention.  On my right flank, he ends his turn by walking and scheming with a Crooligan.  

At the end of the turn, I score the Strategy and Show of Force.  He scores nothing.

Score:  2 (Ply for Information, Show of Force) - 0 

Turn 3
We both stone for cards this turn.  He stones for Initiative, but fails.  I open with Parker, who uses Dead Man Walking on his Emissary, getting the Slow Trigger and discarding the upgrade for a soulstone.  I Five-Finger Discount for Stick Up and trigger Changing Plans, having Mad Dog Gather Intel again. I put Pay Up on Molly again, and Stick up the Emissary for 4 damage.  At the end of his activation, Parker ditches a card to convert the marker I dropped from Molly into one of mine.

He goes with his Dead Doxy, dropping a scheme for Surround Them before Taking the Lead on his Crooligan and dropping a second scheme.  Sue goes next, casting Man in Black, but fails to shoot Molly twice.  Philip goes next, eating two scheme markers for cards.  I have a Dead Outlaw go next, focusing before casing Curse of the Covetous on his Student of Viscera, hoping to turn off his damage and walk out of engagement.  Naturally, I Black Joker here.

He goes with the Student next, who flurries into Sue, and even with a Black Joker on his first hit, he has enough attacks to kill Sue.  I go with the Emissary next, who cycles the Vitality Potion onto the Stalked Dead Outlaw, and the scheme marker that drops heals both Dead Outlaw thanks to their Too Greedy to Die aura.  I end by pushing to engage Molly.

Molly goes next, and attacks Mad Dog with her Whispered Secret, giving him the Terrible Truths condition.  She follows this up with two Revelations, and while I stone one of them away, she Red Jokers the other damage flip leaving Mad Dog Paralyzed and at Hard to Kill.  I go with Doc, and Stitch Mad Dog up a few points.

His Emissary goes next, attacking Parker but missing.  He then uses his (0) to give Philip and the Nanny Fast.  I pass Mad Dog’s activation, clearing Paralyzed.  He walks his leftmost Crooligan and drops a scheme marker, placing behind a building.  I walk another Dead Outlaw up and fail to cast Curse of the Covetous on the Student.  His Rogue Necromancy walks twice, and shifts it’s Stalked condition to Parker.

At the end of the turn, I score the Strategy and Show of Force again, and my opponent scores nothing.

Score:  4 (Ply for Information, Show of Force) - 0

Turn 4
He wins initiative, and opens with the Rogue Necromancy charging Mad Dog, leaving him on Hard to Kill.  I go with Parker, making a Fast Getaway for a stone, and put Hands in the Air on his Carrion Emissary.  I Five-Finger Discount into Stick Up, triggering Changing Plans for my Emissary to Gather Intel from Molly.  I try to cast Stick Up on the Necromancy, but fail.  I manage to land Hands in the Air on Molly.

I companion activate Mad Dog, figuring he was dead at this point.  Mad Dog burns Oathkeeper, and promptly fails his Horror duel to attack the Student of Viscera.  The Rogue Necromancy proceeds to pull the Red Joker and kills Mad Dog with extreme prejudice, and preventing me from scoring any more Show of Force.

Molly goes next, and she discards two cards to get the Student of Viscera to Gather Intel from Parker.  She attacks Doc Mitchell with Revelations twice, killing him.  She spends her last AP to put moderate damage on the Hodgepodge Emissary, slowing him.  

I go with a Dead Outlaw and put a Curse of the Covetous on the Student of Viscera, then for some reason attack it with Sand in the Eyes to push away, and for some reason push away from his Public Demonstration-able models.  

His Dead Doxy goes next, failing to Take the Lead on Philip but walking and giving him a scheme marker to eat.  I go with my second Dead Outlaw next, walking up and putting the Curse of the Covetous on Molly.  He activates his Student of Viscera and ends the Curse of the Covetous, bleeding on my Dead Outlaw.  He then flurries said Dead Outlaw, killing him.

I go with my Emissary next, attacking his Student of Viscera twice.  I fail the first attack, and manage to get weak damage and the slow trigger off on the second attack.  At this point I realize I misplayed as the Emissary was slow, but my opponent said it was a wash as the first attack failed.  I offered to go back, as at this point I was playing very sloppy, but he was ok with continuing.  

Philip went next, eating a scheme, then dropping one to eat thanks to Fast.  He passes the Carrion Emissary’s activation to save cards, and his two Crooligans drop schemes and move in my back field to make it hard for me to pin them down.  

At the end of the turn, no one scores any points, but it’s clear that the game has swung into his favor.

Score:  4 - 0

Turn 5
We both stone for cards, and he wins Initiative.  He opens with Molly, ending the Curse to bleed on the Emissary.  He fails to Whisper Secrets at the Emissary, and attacks the Emissary twice with Revelation, getting Severe to Paralyze him.  She becomes terrifying, and has her Student attack the Emissary as well, but doesn’t put him to hard to kill yet.  

I go with my remaining Dead Outlaw, charging the Student and finally killing it.  His Dead Doxy goes next, charging the Emissary and killing it.  This confirms for me that the Emissary wasn’t a Take Prisoner Target - but sadly now I’m down to just Parker and a Dead Outlaw.  

I activate Parker, making a Fast Getaway to get a stone.  I push out of engagement with Job’s Not Done Yet, and Five-Finger Discount into Crate of Dynamite.  I walk to blow up his scheme marker behind terrain, but his Crooligan survives the blast.  

With no more activations for me, we opt to talk through the rest of the turn and call it there.  He reveals Take Prisoner on Parker for full points, Surround Them for full points (he has two Crooligans who can drop another marker to replace the one I blew up),  and gets the Strategy this turn.  I get one point from Public Demonstration.

Final Score:  5 (Public Demonstration) - 7 (Ply for Information, Take Prisoner, Surround Them)

Thoughts
I really like Ply for Information.  It forces interaction between crews, and blends the fighting and interacting parts of the game nicely.  Scheme wise, this pool introduced a lot of hard choices, which I appreciated.  My opponent picked his schemes wisely, and I gambled on a strategy that ultimately didn’t pan out this game.  

As I mentioned above, I made many mistakes this game.  The biggest, though, was clumping up once I saw Molly was his master.  I’ve played against Molly before - I know she wants me to clump up, and that engagement is the enemy of the Bandit crew.  Even so, I tunnel-visioned on my ‘hold the center and shoot what comes at me’ plan to my detriment.  The Student of Viscera was a great play, and it took way too much effort and resources to kill.  It prevented me from getting any mileage out of Dead Man Walking, which I was hoping to use to discourage his approach.  

If I were to do it again, I’d probably opt for the two Bandido version to discourage him going for Surround Them, as Bandidos probably beat Crooligans.  Public Demonstration is a fine scheme, but it is absolutely not the right scheme for this crew - I should have chosen something like Take Prisoner as well.  

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Here’s a battle report testing the GG2018 document, 10/23/2017 version, at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/29/2017.

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Ply for Information
Schemes:  Surround Them, Dig Their Graves, Search the Ruins, Take Prisoner, Vendetta

I declared Gremlins, and my opponent declared Resurrectionists.

My Crew
Zipp + 4 SS

  • The Gift of Gab
  • Hovering Airship
  • The Dread Pirate Zipp

Earl Burns
The First Mate

  • Where the Captain Can’t See
  • Treasure Map

Burt Jebsen

  • Dirty Cheater

Rami LaCroix

  • Dirty Cheater

Iron Skeeter

  • Poorly Handled Explosives

Bayou Gremlin
Bayou Gremlin
Bayou Gremlin
Bayou Gremlin

I decided to bust out the Gremlins today to get a change of pace from the Outcasts.  I wanted to try out Zipps new upgrade for spamming Mood Swings and being essentially Leveticus.  With three schemes that required scheme markers, I thought that First Mate would make sense.  I chose four Bayou Gremlins to pad activations, and to give me maximum options to cover the board with a teleporting Zipp.  

Burt with a Skeeter was in there to add some punchiness with Vendetta and Dig Their Graves being an option.  Rami was an experiment - I wanted to see how he would do with Vendetta, and if I could encourage my opponent to deploy conservatively to avoid his massive 36” range with a focused shot and respectable damage track (with Rams, anyway).

My Opponent’s List
Reva + 4 SS

  • Beyond Death
  • Decaying Aura

Philip and the Nanny

  • Corpse Bloat

Bete Noire
Yin the Penangalan
Shieldbearer
Rotten Belle
Rotten Belle
Necropunk

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Seeing that my opponent took Reva, I figured he was going to go for Dig Their Graves, and possibly Search the Ruins.  I thought he might be going for Take Prisoner with Yin and the Belles.  With that in mind, I opted for Surround Them and Take Prisoner on Reva.  Surround Them would force him to spread out his crew, which would - in theory - allow me to hunt them down piecemeal with Burt.  Take Prisoner on Reva was due to her being a sit-back-and-attack type Master, and Zipp’s ability to just move 24” on the last turn to get in position for it.  I also had the option of using Up We Go to toss her away from her friendlies, if I needed to do that.

My opponent ended up taking Dig Their Graves and Vendetta, with Bete and the First Mate being the models involved.

Deployment
He wins the cut, and I deploy first.  I deploy strung out on my whole deployment zone, with Bayous on the outside.  Burt and the Skeeter were half hidden by a building, and Zip, Earl and the First Mate were front and center.  I put Rami in a spot where he’d be able to see most of the board. 

He deploys with a refused flank to my right side, with Reva hiding behind hard cover.

Turn 1
He wins initiative, and makes me go first.  I drop a scheme marker for Surround Them with my leftmost Bayou Gremlin, then walk up.  He has his Necropunk scheme, leap and scheme again, the second one being in position to bluff Surround Them.  I have my rightmost Bayou Gremlin drop a scheme for Surround them and walk up.

He has a Rotten Belle activate, and she Lures the Bayou Gremlin on my right flank once.  I walk another Bayou Gremlin up twice behind some terrain, and he goes with his second Belle.  She lures my rightmost Bayou Gremlin twice, getting him just out of Pounce range.  I walk my final Bayou Gremlin up twice.

His Shieldbearer walks up and chooses ‘Not Today’ from Sword and Board.  He drops a scheme marker within 4” of my Bayou Gremlin.  I go with my Iron Skeeter, cheating for the Tome trigger on Hop Aboard to make Burt Fast, then walk twice.  On the second walk, I flip for a cloud of Smoke and drop Burt into it.  

Yin walks up and tries to put Gnawing Fear on my Bayou Gremlin, but fails.  He then uses Fear Behind the Eyes, and he topdecks a 13 to my Red Joker, thus still hitting me for Min damage.  I have Earl use Regular Maintenance for a Mask.  He has Philip eat a Scheme Marker and walk behind a tree, continuing the bluff of Surround Them.  

I decide to have Rami show what he’s made of.  He goes Reckless, walking up and taking a Focused shot on Philip, and fails to hit (Editors note:  get used to the words ‘Fail to hit’ after Rami activates).  I do cheat to heal the damage from Reckless.  Reva goes next, summoning a Corpse Candle, and repositioning behind hard cover from my crew.  

I activate Zipp, and walk up twice, carrying Earl with me.  I leave him behind some hard cover, and Drop Pianos on his Corpse Candle, getting the trigger to walk but Black Jokering the damage flip.  Thanks to the trigger being ‘on succeeding’, I still walk Zipp up to behind another building near Reva.  I then reveal that he Wasn’t the Dread Pirate Zipp, summoning a Bayou Gremlin.  My opponent walks his Corpse Candle, and is out of activations.  

I walk the fresh Bayou Gremlin away from his crew.  I have Burt go Reckless, walk out of the smoke he’s in, and use Crackerjack timing on a Rotten Belle.  I cheat to heal the damage, but everyone who gets hit by the pulse passes due to cheating or flipping every severe in his deck.  Rather than unleash Bette this early, I walk Burt twice to get near Philip and the Nanny for next turn.  I walk and Leap the First Mate up, and try to use Menacing Croak on his Candle - but he Red Joker’s the defense flip.  

At the end of the turn, I unbury Zipp in place of the precariously placed Bayou Gremlin in the middle of his crew.  He opts to not unbury Bette.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
We both stone for cards.  I win initiative, and open with Zipp.  He uses Up We Go on the Corpse Candle, throwing him away and killing him.  My opponent chooses not to unbury Bette.  I then try the same trick with his Shieldbearer, but he denies me the first attempt.  I get the trigger on the second attack though, and am able to move and summon another Bayou Gremlin and bury.  

His Shieldbearer then goes, once again choosing ‘Not Today’ for defense before charging Burt.  They trade some blows.  I activate my slowed Bayou Gremlin who was acting as Zipp before, and attempt to put Mood Swings on Philip, but fail.  I then walk to be next to Burt as a friendly Slippery target.  Yin goes next, attempts to put Fear Behind the Eyes on Burt, but he slips it off onto my Bayou Gremlin and both fail thanks to Bayou Two-Card.  

I go with Burt next, opting to not go Reckless as he’s rather low on wounds.  Burt uses Crackerjack Timing on Philip, getting a second card to cheat for more healing on the Manipulative test.  Both the Shieldbearer and the Rotten Belle fail and push to Philip, but inadvertently this blocks line of sight to my Bayou Gremlin from the rest of his crew, turning off my Slippery defense.  Burt then Gathers Intel from the Shieldbearer.

His Necropunk leaps, drops a scheme for Philip, and walks.  I walk a Bayou Gremlin twice, and put Mood Swings on his Necropunk. He goes with a Belle, who Lures Burt, failing the Pounce.  She hits on the second swing, though, and drops him to Hard to Kill.  She Companion activates into the other Belle, who succeeds on her second attempt to Lure Burt, but fails to hit him on the Pounce.  He does get to declare his All in the Reflexes trigger, giving her some damage for her troubles.  

I send the Iron Skeeter in to save his good pal Burt, attempting to drop a Smoke cloud on his second walk - but naturally, I get a crow and suffer damage instead.  I fail to topdeck what I need for Hop Aboard on Burt.

My opponent activates Reva, and unleashes all manner of hell.  She summons a Candle, then attacks Burt who promptly Slipperies the attack onto the Iron Skeeter.  With the Withering, she one-shots the Skeeter to score Dig Their Graves.  The resulting explosion gives Burt and both Belles burning.  As if making a point, her next attack on Burt has me flip the Black Joker on defense, and she flips the Red Joker on damage.  Burt is killed with extreme prejudice.  I walk my leftmost Bayou Gremlin twice.  He walks his Candle towards Philip, and uses Gift of Death to cycle a card and unbury Bette.  

I activate Rami, who is eager to make up for last turn.  He goes Reckless, walks and takes a Focused Shot on Bette, but fails to hit.  I do get to cheat for a heal, for what that’s worth.  Bette shows him how it’s done by charging my Bayou Gremlin next to Philip, killing him.  She then tries to be One with the Night, but Black Jokers her attempt.   

I activate the Gremlin who was Zipp turn 1, and go Drunk and Reckless.  He scrambles out from behind the building he was hiding behind, over the fence, and Gathers Intel from Reva.  He fails to put Mood Swings on her for kicks.

Philip goes next, eating a scheme marker and walking.  I go Drunk and Reckless with my remaining Bayou Gremlin, who triple-walks and puts Mood Swings on Yin.  Earl walks twice, hugging hard cover.  I walk and leap the First Mate up again, and fail to Menacingly Croak his Necropunk.  

At the end of the turn, burning happens.  I unbury Zipp off of the wounded Bayou Gremlin who does not have Gathered Intel.  I then score the Strategy thanks to the plucky Gremlin engaging Reva, and he scores his Dig Their Graves point. 

Score:  1 (Ply for Information) - 1 (Dig Their Graves)

Turn 3
We both stone for cards this turn, and I win initiative again.  I open with my rightmost Bayou Gremlin, who walks up and Gathers Intel from his Necropunk.  I force him to activate his Necropunk next, and he leaps away and runs towards my deployment zone.  I figure he’s going for Surround them at this point, so I go with Zipp.  Zipp drops Pianos on a Belle, and gets the move trigger despite Black Jokering the damage flip.  He walks to be in range to drop Pianos on the Necropunk, landing a solid hit that puts him to Hard to Kill.  I get another free walk off of that, and walk to engage Bette.  I toss her with Up We Go, getting her away from my more sensitive models but not killing her.  Zipp then summons a Bayou Gremlin and buries.  

Yin goes next, walking before getting Gnawing Fear off on the engaged Bayou Gremlin and dropping a scheme marker.  I activate Rami, who goes Reckless and takes a Focused shot at his Necropunk, and by some miracle (read:  My opponent flips the Black Joker on defense) he hits and kills the Punk.  To celebrate, Rami tries to drink from his Lucky Flask, but fails that too.

My opponent activates his first Belle, luring the First Mate twice, pouncing for some damage.  He companions into the other Belle, getting a Red Joker on the first Lure and making me discard a card.  The pounce attack fails, but he successfully Undresses the First Mate.  I go with the First Mate now, spending a soulstone for a tome and leaping.  Naturally, I flip a tome on the Leap, and declare Slurp.  I eat a scheme marker of his, getting Armor from Down the Gullet, and triggering both his built-in aura and the Treasure Map aura, getting a soulstone back for my troubles.  He then Croaks the Belle to block Bette’s charge angles, and recovers his Perfect Camouflage as a trigger.

His Shieldbearer Gathers Intel off of my Bayou Gremlin, then smacks him for some damage.  He ends by regaining defense with Sword and Board.  I go with a Bayou who fails to put Mood Swings on the Shieldbearer, and then walks to get cover.  

My opponent gets tricky here, activating Philip.  He attacks Bette, killing her and declaring Touched to drop a scheme marker.  She gets to take One with the Night and buries instead of ding, and Philip eats the Scheme Marker she dropped.  On the left flank, my plucky Bayou Gremlin engaging Reva Gathers Intel from her, but fails to walk away.  He opts to put Mood Swings on her out of spite.  

Reva goes next, summoning a Corpse Candle.  She uses Life Drain to kill the Bayou Gremlin engaging her, then attacks the First Mate through his Candle.  I flip the Red Joker on my first defense flip, and on the second I cheat to avoid it.  With his final AP, he stones for the Tome trigger on an attack on a Bayou Gremlin to get to charge the First Mate for free, but due to my Perfect Camouflage he fails to connect a hit.  Earl runs behind a wall on the left flank.

His Candle walks up and uses his (0) on the First Mate, popping out Bette.  I have a Bayou Gremlin go Drunk and Reckless and walk three times, but fails to put Mood Swings on Bette.  Bette Flurries into the First Mate, but I am able to survive with Soulstone usage.  

At the end of the turn, we are tied on Gathered Intel, and I unbury Zipp off of the wounded Bayou Gremlin engaging the Shieldbearer.

Score:  1 - 1

Turn 4
He stones for cards, and I win initiative again.  I open with Zipp, who has to try to toss the Shieldbearer twice, but gets the Red Joker on the damage flip.  I did not write down what upgrade he gave the newly-spirit Shieldbearer.  Zipp moves with his third AP, and uses his (0) to have the First Mate Grab a Rope, pulling him away from Bette and Reva.  

He has Philip eat a marker and walk behind the fence.  I walk Earl into the far left corner and drop a scheme marker for Surround them.  He activates Yin next, who fails to put Gnawing Fears on the First Mate.  He puts one or two damage on him with the rest of her attacks.  I walk a Bayou Gremlin to engage Bette and Gather Intel from her.  He goes with a Belle and lures the First Mate, hitting the Discard Trigger.  He then Undresses the First Mate, forgetting he was already slow.  I then activate the First Mate, who fails to Leap out of engagement.  He opts to Gather Intel from Yin instead.  

He activates Reva, who summons a Candle.  She kills the Bayou Gremlin engaging Bette, but Black Jokers his next attack on the remaining Bayou Gremlin.  He opts to walk to a new position.  

I activate Rami, who is full of himself after last turn.  He goes Reckless and takes a double focused shot on Bette, and Fails to hit.  I do cheat to heal the Reckless damage.  Bette goes next, charges the First Mate and leaving him barely alive.   

I take a Focused shot with my last Bayou Gremlin at his Belle, getting Dumb Luck but not killing her.  His Belle Lures the First Mate twice, but only eats card from my hand. 

At the end of the turn, I score the Strategy.   

Score:  2 (Ply for Information) - 1

Turn 5
He Red Jokers initiative, and gives me the first activation because, in his words, he wants me to burn activations.  I open with the First Mate, who leaps away from engagement and walks into the far right corner, dropping a scheme marker.  I didn’t think to cover it with him, as he promptly has Philip walk over and turn it into a corpse marker.  

I try to walk my Bayou Gremlin out of engagement, and fail - so I opt to Gather Intel instead.  He activates a Belle and Lures my First Mate, who ends a walk in Yin’s engagement and fails his Terror duel and is Paralyzed.  

Rami activates, deciding it was time to be a hero.  He goes Reckless, and takes a double-focused shot into the melee, hoping to kill my First Mate to deny Vendetta.  He randomizes onto a Rotten Belle instead, and my opponent flips the Black Joker on defense.  Rami fails to kill her, however, when he flips the Black Joker for damage.  

His Shieldbearer goes next, using her (0) for Not Today before Shield Bashing the First Mate down to his last wound and pushing him into Bette’s loving embrace and drops a scheme marker.  I run Earl towards the right side of the board, figuring at worst I may be able to get a scheme marker down in a theoretical turn 6.  

Bette Flurries into the First Mate, and finally puts him down.  She scores full points for Vendetta.  At this point, I need to maximize my points on Take Prisoner, so I activate Zipp and walk into range of Reva, and toss her away.  I cheat the trigger to walk after her, and position myself so I can engage her and drop Noxious Smoke clouds to block her escape.  

He has a Belle lure my Bayou Gremlin, but I Red Joker the resist.  He gets Lured on the second hit, but avoids the Pounce.  Yin then goes, but fails to put Fear Behind the Eyes on the Bayou twice, thanks to Bayou Two-Card.  Reva activates, and spends two AP but finally kills the charmed Bayou Gremlin, scoring Dig Their Graves.  She then uses her last AP to Gather Intel from Zipp.

At the end of the turn, we flip and the game does not continue.  He scores the Strategy this turn, as well as full points on Vendetta and a point for Dig Their Graves.  I score two points on Surround Them and full points for Take Prisoner on Reva.

Final Score:  7 (Surround Them, Take Prisoner) - 6 (Ply for Information, Dig Their Graves, Vendetta)

Thoughts
As with previous games of Ply for Information, this was a fun Strategy.  I felt much more comfortable in it with Gremlins, as the many Bayou Gremlins being able to run in and snag the condition as needed was helpful.  I liked the schemes I selected, and having the allways/ Strategy-tied scheme be more reliably 2 VP instead of 3 VP feels right.  

He played a dangerous game on Vendetta on the First Mate, hoping to finish him off with Bette.  That said, it played out for him in the end.  It was very close, which is the best kind of game. 

Crew and playstyle wise, I like the new upgrade for Zipp.  I don’t think Mood Swings was great in this game, as my opponent’s crew didn’t really have a set order that I could interrupt with the condition.  The First Mate was a serious tank with just one Armor, eating a lot of AP from my opponent.  Likewise, shoutout to the little Bayou Gremlin who refused to die, taking multiple attacks from Reva at the end there.  

I pity Rami.  I felt like he contributed next to nothing this game except laughs.  I will try him again in future games, but I really don’t like a sniper with only Sh 5.  

I had considered running Sammy LaCroix with the Dread Pirate upgrade instead of Zipp, so that he could put his Constant Yammering aura to good use, and I think that would be a better use of the Rami slot.  Additionally, extra soulstones would have been helpful.  

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Here’s a battle report testing the GG2018 document, 10/23/2017 version, at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium on 10/29/2017.

This game was called on Turn 3, as the store was closing.  

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Supply Wagons
Schemes:  Guarded Treasure, Covert Breakthrough, Hold Up Their Forces, Undercover Entourage, Recover Evidence

I declared Gremlins, and my opponent declared Guild.

My Crew
Ulix + 6 SS

  • Pig Midwife
  • Huntin’ Bow
  • Husbandry

Penelope
Old Major

  • Corn Husks
  • Dirty Cheater

Gracie

  • Dirty Cheater

The Sow
Slop Hauler
Slop Hauler

I wanted to give Ulix a go with his new upgrade, and I thought that when base size matters, it doesn’t get better than a crew full of 50mm Pigs.  I opted for the three-big-pig build (my preferred) to maximize Piglet summoning turn 1.  Two Slop Haulers are there to spread the healing around.

Also, with Guild I figured Piglets would be great at avoiding their Sh actions and tying up his models.

My Opponent’s List
Perdita Ortega + 4 SS

  • Fastest Draw in Malifaux
  • Trick Shooting
  • Curfew

Enslaved Nephilim
Francisco Ortega

  • Wade in
  • Numb to the World

Nino Ortega

  • A Debt to the Guild

Abuela Ortega

  • A Debt to the Guild

Guardian
Guild Pathfinder
Clockwork Trap

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
He had brought a crew that had a lot of damage, but also wanted to gum me up with traps.  With that in mind, I opted to take Hold Up Their Forces, figuring that I could get a Piglet stuck where it needed to be to engage his models.  For my second scheme, I opted for Covert Breakthrough.  My plan there was to use Corn Husks and litter my opponent’s side of the board with schemes.

My opponent ended up taking Hold Up Their Forces and I neglected to record his second scheme.

Deployment
I win the cut, and have him deploy first.  I place my Wagon marker on my far right flank, with a clear shot up the side of the board.  He decides to place his wagon opposite mine, and we realize we are going to be fighting over a narrow strip of the battlefield.

He deploys his crew around the Wagon marker, and puts his From the Shadows models up to give Nino line of sight to most of my crew.  The Trap is put to discourage my charges, but also to be repositionable to hamper my own Wagon efforts.

I deploy clustered around Ulix, with Gracie in base contact with the objective.  My goal with her was to get her Reactivate off, and between all of the pushes Ulix’s crew has and Reactivate, to get the Wagon marker up the board.

Turn 1
We both keep our hands, and he flips the Red Joker for a 16 Initiative.  He forces me to go first.  I open with Ulix, and use Birthin’ to summon a Piglet off the Sow, Old Major, and Gracie each before using Proper Care to heal everyone.  I make sure to have the Piglets come into play within range of Ulix’s Midwifery aura, keeping them from being slow.  Sadly, this does take three of my best cards from my hand.

He has his Guardian push the Wagon, then roll Abuela closer and walk up.  I have Gracie push the wagon, reactivate, and walk up to be in base contact with the Wagon again.  Abuela uses Shotgun Wedding on the Guardian before pushing the Wagon herself and walking.  I have Old Major walk up, dragging Ulix with Hitch a Ride.  He then uses his (0) ‘The Old Pig Knows the Way’ to pull a Slop Hauler along.  He ends by pushing the Wagon.  

His Nephilim pushes Frank to Abuela, then Perdita to Frank.  I have one of my Slop Haulers go reckless and drop a pair of scheme markers, setting up to summon a Warpig next turn.  He goes with Nino who focuses and shoots at my unactivated Slop Hauler, but thank to Bayou Two-Card I avoid the shot.  I walk up a Piglet at this point, who then Pigcharges his Pathfinder but fails to land a hit.  This is ok with me, as now his sniper model cannot shoot.

He goes with Francisco, giving Perdita El Mayor before walking to engage my Piglet and using Finesse.  My remaining Slop Hauler goes reckless and Feeds Piggies to heal all of my wounded models before walking behind cover.  His pathfinder summons a Clockwork Trap and knifes my Piglet down to one wound.  Penelope activates and pushes the Sow up, then walks.  He activates Perdita, who pushes towards Frank.  She shoots at the Sow twice, dropping her low.  Her last AP is spent on Finger on the Trigger.  As she ends her activation, she uses Curfew.  

With the rest of the activations mine, I walk my Sow, Piglets and Grace.  Gracie herself manages to push the Wagon again.  At the end of the turn, no one scores any points.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
I stone for cards this turn.  He wins the initiative, and opens with Nino.  Nino shoots at the Sow, easily passing the Terror check, and I flip the Black Joker for defense.  My opponent then courteously flips the Black Joker on his damage flip.  The second shot is not so lucky, and the poor Sow dies, but not before birthing two more Piglets.  Additionally, she was in range to heal my Piglet engaged with his Pathfinder thanks to Ulix’s Pig Midwife upgrade.

I open with one of my Piglets who drops a scheme marker thanks to Corn Husks and then Pigcharges his Clockwork Trap, getting the Push trigger and drawing out his Red Joker on a defense flip.  With my remaining AP, I go Defensive.  His Nephilim pushes himself to Abuela, then pushes Perdita to Nino.  Penelope walks twice and pushes Gracie to be in base contact with my Wagon marker.

His Guardian walks up and pushes his Wagon marker, then rolls Abuela closer.  I have Gracie go and push the wagon, gain reactivate and then walk to my Wagon marker.  His Pathfinder attacks my Piglet again, killing it this time before moving his Clockwork Trap to the other side of the building.   Old Major nudges Gracie with a Ram, walks up with Ulix and (0)’s the Slop Haulers up.  Abuela goes and pushes her own Wagon, then uses Listen Up on the Guardian before walking.  

Grace Reactivates now, walking up and taking a bite out of Abuela, but he has the card in hand to avoid the hit.  Frank goes next, giving El Mayor to the Pathfinder and walks to engage my Piglets and uses Finesse.  I have my rightmost Slop Hauler go reckless and triple walk to body-block his Wagon from pushing any further.  He has Perdita push to Abuela, then walk to engage Gracie.  She chooses to Ignore Armor and shoots twice, leaving Gracie at Hard to Kill.  

At this point, I have the rest of the activations.  I walk a Piglet to open up a charge lane for a Warpig.  Ulix Calls Forth the Pork, and shoots the Warpig in the Rear.  The resulting charge on Frank results in him burning the rest of his cards, giving Old Major Reactivate.  I then Sooey to pull the Warpig back, and promptly charge back in (this time with bonuses from Old Major’s Riled Up aura).  I eat two of his stones on this charge.  The last Piglet engaging Frank attacks him, and he burns his last soulstone.  I have my last Piglet walk twice, dragging Ulix along for one of them, and have the remaining Slop Hauler go reckless to heal and drop a scheme marker.  Old Major’s reactivate involves walking twice, expecting Gracie to die next turn.  

At the end of the turn, I score the Strategy and he scores Hold Up Their Forces.

Score:  1 (Supply Wagons) - 1 (Hold Up Their Forces)

Turn 3
I stone for cards this turn and win the Initiative Flip.  I open with Gracie and pass my walk duel from the Clockwork Trap, and try to kill Abuela with a pair of attacks.  Sadly, I settle for healing a few wounds from Dirty Cheater as he avoids both attacks.  He opens with Frank, healing three from Just a Flesh Wound, before Flurrying the Warpig.  A lucky Red Joker on my defensive flip at the end keeps the Warpig alive.  I have a Slop Hauler go reckless and heal himself, Gracie and Ulix before dropping a scheme marker.  

He activates Perdita, who opts for True Mark and pours her attacks into Gracie, and I flip the Black Joker on the last Defense flip, killing her.  I Pigcharge a Piglet into Nino, hit Stampede, and the resulting charge slows the Pathfinder.  Nino goes and pops Debt, taking a shot at Old Major.  Sadly, Old Major was engaged with a Clockwork Trap, and Nino randomizes onto the trap.  He cheats to miss the attack.  

Penelope walks twice and pushes the Warpig out of engagement, hoping to get a charge off on Frank.  He activates Abuela, using Listen Up Young’n on the Pathfinder for an action that I didn’t note down, then she shots at Old Major, hitting him (and flipping both Jokers during his randomization), but only getting weak damage on him.

Sadly, at this point the game had to end as the store was closing.  

Thoughts
While this game ended way too soon before a final score could be tallied, I wanted to include it because I really felt like Ulix has serious play in this strategy.  With so many ways to reactive his big pigs, and them pushing the Wagon maker the farthest, I hope to see more of this Strategy in the future.  Besides, any excuse to write about Ulix is a good excuse.

My opponent had a good idea for his crew - using Nino to prevent me from pushing the Wagon marker - but with my ability to get it up the board before he could get within range for Spotter, it ended up being less useful.  

If the game had continued, I’m not sure how it would have gone.  Perdita is very hard to put down, but I felt like I had nearly put the final nail in the coffin for Frank, and all I needed was one good Shot in the Rear from Ulix onto the Warpig to rampage through his crew.  

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