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Diceman87 goes to Capital City Winter Murderland 2018 - A Tournament Report

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I had the pleasure to attend the Capital City Winter Murderland tournament, held at The Historic Haven in downtown Frederick, MD on January 13th and 14th.  It was a trios event, and you can find the tournament pack here.  The team aspect came into play where each team would declare Factions, select Masters, then go through a pairing process to determine whom played whom.  Team rules were light, with the exception of no doubling up on faction, and no doubling up on cross-faction masters in a round (ex. no Resurrectionist Tara and Outcast Tara in the same round).  My team was the Vegan Zombies, named after a pun ("What to we want?"  "GRAAAAINS") and consisted of myself playing Outcasts, and two of my regular opponents bringing Guild and Resurrectionists.  

Leading up to the tournament, we each decided to focus on a small pool of masters.  We figured that by focusing on a few masters, we'd be more familiar with them in the context of the tournament.  I brought Parker Barrows, Tara and the Viktorias.   Our Guild player brought Nellie and Perdita, and our Resurrectionist player brought Molly, Kirai and Yan Lo.  

I'll be posting each round below as a separate post, but will be linking them all here.  Then, I'll have a post for my final thoughts on the event.  Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I appreciate any input/ comments you may have!

Round 1 - Parker Barrows vs. Pandora

Round 2 - Parker Barrows vs. Wong

Round 3 - Parker Barrows vs. Lady Justice

Round 4 - Tara vs. Ulix

Round 5 - Parker Barrows vs. Lilith

Final Thoughts

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In Round 1, we were paired up against the Back Alley Smashers.  I pulled Pandora as my opponent, as my teammates were not comfortable playing into Neverborn (we don’t have a regular Neverborn player in my local meta).

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Close (using 9” deployment zone as opposed to 12”)
Strategy:  Public Execution
Schemes:  Eliminate the Leadership, Set Up, Hold Up Their Forces, Inescapable Trap, Take Prisoner

My Crew
Parker Barrows + 6 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • Hidden Steel Plate

Doc Mitchell
Anna Lovelace

  • Oathkeeper

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Sue

  • Return Fire

Dead Outlaw
Dead Outlaw

My Opponent’s List
Pandora + 7 SS 

  • Aether Connection
  • Fears Given Form
  • The Box Opens

Primordial Magic
Doppleganger
Hooded Rider
Iggy

  • Enraged Tantrum

Lilitu
Mysterious Effigy
Sorrow

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Due to the pairing process, I knew that my opponent was bringing Pandora.  Knowing how devastating Paralyze-Dora could be (especially with Take Prisoner), I wanted Sue to be able to shut down all but the most dedicated cast actions.  Anna was there to keep my opponent from pushing and placing things around.  I took Hidden Steel Plate on Parker because I planned to use the (0) offensively, to stay up on Shed Blood.  It would also help clear me of Mood Swings if needed.

Seeing the list opposite, I knew that I was going to have trouble with the Hooded Rider.  On one hand, I knew it had the ability to pulse away my scheme markers - on the other hand, I was relying on him getting stuck in and living, so I figured I’d be able to drop markers around him after he activated.  So I took Set Up on the Hooded Rider.  For my other scheme, I opted for Inescapable Trap - my logic being that my opponent would be clumping up with me because he was playing Melee Dora.  

Deployment
I lose the cut, and deploy first.  I select the deployment zone that gave me the most open fire lanes I could, and took a refused-flank approach.  My opponent hid most of his models behind terrain, but I knew he’d have to come through one of several choke points to reach me.  

Turn 1
I stone for cards this turn, and he wins initiative.  He has me activate first, so I open with Sue casting Man in Black, walk up and drop a scheme marker.  I do it to threaten/ bluff both of my schemes, to see what my opponent does about it.  I forget to Hurt, a minor mistake but one I shouldn’t have made.  My opponent walks the Primordial Magic, passing it back to me.  I have the Emissary cycle cards and an enemy scheme marker off of Sue, giving him a Vitality Potion, before using the Weary Road to push up the board and drop another marker.

We trade activations walking up at this point, with him walking up the Effigy, Iggy and the Doppleganger.  I walked up my Dead Outlaws and Anna, having her take up position behind the wall so she wouldn’t be lured by Lilitu.  The rest of my crew was clustered around Sue for the Man in Black protection, but Anna was further up to put her anti-push and place auras far up the board.  Lilitu used Lure to pull Pandora back towards the center of the board.

I go with Parker next, using Fast Getaway to walk up the board.  I Five-Finger Discount the marker the Emissary gave me, attaching High Noon.  I put Dead Man Walking onto Pandora, with the Ram trigger to slow her.  With his remaining AP, Parker pushes Sue and the Emissary further up the board.  The Sorrow goes for my opponent, using Misery Loves Company to place and walk up the board.  Doc Mitchell goes last for me, healing Parker with the Hard to Wound trigger.

My opponent had the last two activations, sending the Hooded Rider up the field first.  For his last activation, he sent Dora up and gets Mood Swings onto a Dead Outlaw.  Sue takes a shot at her after she completes her activation thanks to Dead Man Walking, and I stick two damage after her stone for prevention. 

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
I stone for cards this turn.  My opponent wins initiative, and opens with the Effigy to give Pandora Rapid Acceleration before chain activating Iggy, who walks up twice.  My opponent makes me activate my Dead Outlaw, who I walk up and take a shot at Iggy, but fail to connect.  Pandora goes next, using Incite on the Dead Outlaw and Doc Mitchell, pushing up to the edge of Anna’s auras.  She then walks into the middle of my crew, and uses Inflict twice to pulse out damage on most of my crew.  

He makes Doc activate next thanks to Mood Swings, and he heals my Dead Outlaw twice, getting the trigger for an additional Hard to Wound.  My opponent keeps the pressure up by sending the Rider in next, getting two minimum damage hits in on Sue.  I activate Sue next (the Dead Outlaw with Mood Swings had already activated this turn), casting Man in Black, then shoot the Hooded Rider twice, getting a Red Joker on one of the damage flips.  I end by remembering to draw a card from Hurt.  

He walks Doppleganger up and copies the Hooded Rider’s attack with the Perfect blend trigger, but fails to connect with Sue.  My Emissary takes some damage from Dora’s Fears Given Form, cycling a Pretty Floral Bonnet on my healthy Dead Outlaw, before pushing up towards the Hooded Rider.  My opponent walked his Sorrow, using Misery Loves Company to place outside of Anna’s aura range.  I walk my Dead Outlaw up and drop a marker for the Hooded Rider thanks to Don’t Mind Me.  Lilitu walks behind the wall, and I then go with Parker.

Parker uses Dead Man Walking on the Sorrow, ditching the upgrade for a stone.  He pushes himself behind the Emissary (to block Pandora’s engagement of him), then Five-finger Discount into Crate of Dynamite.  He uses his last ap to kill my Dead Outlaw with Mood Swings, taking advantage of his Stolen Goods ability to drop a third scheme marker for Set Up.  I declared the mask trigger, but forgot to actually move Parker.  My opponent passed the Primordial Magic’s activation, having exhausted his crew for the round.

Anna ends the turn for me by passing her Fears Given Form test, walking up and punching Pandora but failing to do anything.  At the end of the turn, I score full points for Set Up on the Hooded Rider.

Score:  3 (+3 Set Up) - 0 

Turn 3
We both stone for cards this turn, and I manage to flip the Red Joker for initiative.  I open with Sue, who Regenerates above Hard to Kill before flipping the Black Joker on his Fears Given Form test, dropping back to Hard to Kill.  He shoots the Sorrow twice, but between Incorporeal and Iggy’s Martyr Sue doesn’t put down the Woe.  I decide to use Hurt to kill Sue, denying my opponent an easy Shed Blood.  

My opponent has the Hooded Rider go next, attacking Anna. I burn stones on Prevention and Defensively to keep her up.  Doc goes next, healing Anna twice.  My opponent has the Sorrow go next, and in a clutch move uses Doldrums to paralyze Parker.  

The Emissary kills the Sorrow, then rips the upgrade off of the Dead Outlaw for a card before pushing up the board for an Inescapable Trap marker.  My opponent has the Doppleganger copy the Rider’s attack, getting a single hit in on Anna.  My remaining Dead Outlaw takes some damage from Fears Given Form, and proceeds to fail his Horror Duel to attack Pandora.  Dora responds by spending all of her AP killing Anna, tying us up on Shed Blood for the turn.  

Parker takes some damage from Fears Given Form, and clears paralyze.  My opponent walks the rest of his crew into positions for the next turn.  At the end of the turn, I score one point for Inescapable Trap.

Score:  4 (+1 Inescapable Trap) - 0

Turn 4
We both stone for cards this turn.  I win initiative, and my opponent doesn’t cheat to take initiative from me.  I open with Parker, passing Fears Given Form to shoot Lilitu, dropping a marker.  I use Empty the Chamber on my second attack (discarding Crate of Dynamite) to kill Lilitu for Shed Blood, and Five-Finger Discount for Stick Up. 

Doppleganger walks up and mimics the Hooded Rider again, but only hits once on the Emissary.  Doc heals the Emissary up with the Hard to Wound trigger.  Iggy punches the Emissary, leaving him at Hard to Kill.  I have the Emissary go next, pushing away with the Weary Road and using his attack to leave the Sorrow on one wound.  

The Rider goes next, attacking the Emissary and kiling him with the Reclamation trigger to pulse away my scheme markers and score Shed Blood.  The Dead Outlaw puts some Curse of the Covetous on Iggy, and fails to do the same to the Rider.  Dora kills the Dead Outlaw, for another Shed Blood.

At the end of the turn, my opponent scores Shed Blood and Hold Up Their Forces. 

Score:  4 - 2 (+1 Public Executions, +1 Hold Up Their Forces)

Turn 5
With only two models left on the board, I believe my opponent is going for Eliminate the Leadership or Take Prisoner on Parker.  I go first, and open with Parker.  I use a Fast Getaway to walk within the Hooded Rider’s engagement, killing Iggy for Shed Blood and promptly picking up the marker he dropped with Five-Finger Discount to reattach Stick Up.  I then push Parker out of engagement, walk away and ditch Fast Getaway at the end of his activation for a further walk away.  My opponent realizes he can’t score Hold Up Their Forces any more, and has the Effigy charge Parker, getting minimum damage.   

In my favorite play of the game, I have Doc walk away from the Hooded Rider, and the Rider lets him go.  Doc then uses Hidden Flintlock, failing the shot - but importantly, being sacrificed afterwards because Parker can see him.  Having denied my opponent any easy Shed Bloods this round, I figure I have at worst tied the game (5-5 if they have Take Prisoner).  

I burn my stones to keep Parker up and above half wounds for the remainder of the round.  At the end of the turn, my opponent reveals that he took Eliminate the Leadership, but since Parker was still healthy and alive, did not score any points.  I score my final point for the Strategy.

Final Score:  5 (+1 Public Executions) - 2

Thoughts
This was a good start to the tournament, as I have historically had issues with Pandora in the few times I've played her.  I knew the Hooded Rider was going to be a beast in combat, and Doppelganger adding to the mix meant I could expect models to fold quickly.  I feel like Anna was the MVP here - denying Pandora's free pushes with her dress really slowed down my opponent getting stuck in.  Once he did, though, I definitely felt the pain of his massive engagement ranges.  Set Up is a strong pick for Parker in my experience, given his ability to manipulate scheme markers in a single activation.  Saving him to the end of a turn, or just priming the pump with the Emissary, lets you get that spike of VP early.     
 

I did about as well at denial this game as I could have hoped for - and my favorite play has got to be killing Doc Mitchell with Hidden Flintlock.  I don't like killing my own models - by my count, I killed nearly half of my own models this game - but I think doing it to deny your opponent Shed Blood is incredibly valid.  

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In Round 2, we were paired up against the Malipals.  I drew Wong as my opponent, as I was comfortable playing into him (Gremlins are my other main faction).

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Close (using 9” deployment zone as opposed to 12”)
Strategy:  Ply for Information
Schemes:  Surround Them, Dig Their Graves, Vendetta, Take One for the Team, Show of Force 

My Crew
Parker Barrows + 4 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • Hidden Steel Plate

Doc Mitchell
Anna Lovelace

  • Oathkeeper

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

The Midnight Stalker
Big Jake
Bandido
Bandido

My Opponent’s List
Wong + 3 SS 

  • Ooo Glowdy

McTavish

  • Mud Toss

Trixiebelle

  • Dirty Cheater

Burt Jebsen

  • Dirty Cheater

Swinecursed
Swinecursed
Lightning Bug

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Due to the pairing process, I knew that my opponent was bringing Wong.  The core of my crew - Parker, Anna, Emissary, and Doc - were taken for the same reasons as Round 1.  I took Hidden Steel Plate on Parker again, hoping to use the (0) to stay up on Gathered Intel.  I took Big Jake and the Midnight Stalker precisely because I knew I’d be going for Surround Them.  I swapped the Bandidos in where the Dead Outlaws were to save points and get up on activations, which I’d need against Gremlins.  

Seeing the list opposite, I knew that I was going to have to slow down my opponent.  He had four models that hit really hard in melee, two really good shooting actions and a solid lure.  I opted for Surround Them since the Midnight Stalker could get me two points on it by being super fast, while my Bandidos would drop markers on my side of the board.  For my other scheme, I chose Take One for the Team on the Blonde Bandido.  I figured if I played her like I was going for a corner, or to run in and Gather Intel, my opponent would be fine just killing her in response given how squishy Bandido’s are.  Since they are also cheaper than almost every model in my opponents crew, I banked on at least 2 points from them.    

Deployment
I lose the cut, and deploy first.  I select the deployment zone that gave me a ton of cover and two natural bottle-necks my opponent would have to advance up.  I make the mistake of not establishing the elevated space as Vantage Point terrain before deployment, so it ended up being a big hassle in the game.  I spread out my Bandidos, putting them on either side to drop my Markers.  I place the Midnight stalker so his initial place will still be within range of my Emissary for cycling on the first turn.

My opponent deployed his crew aggressively, as he clearly wanted to get into my face as quick as possible.    

Turn 1
At the start of the turn the Midnight Stalker is Reborn up the board, but still within range of my Emissary.  I end op going first, and have the Emissary push up the board with the Weary Road, and proceed to cycle the Pretty Floral Bonnet onto the Midnight Stalker.  Trixie goes reckless for my opponent, pushing McTavish up the board with a Lure before walking and pulling Burt behind her.  We alternate activations where we each drop a scheme and move - I with my two Bandidos (getting ready for Surround Them), and he with his Lightning Bug.  

He has both Swinecursed go Reckless, then Regenerate the wound (which he does for every following activation for a Swinecursed, so I’m not going to repeat that each time) and walk up the board three times, taking position behind soft cover.  In between I move up Big Jake and Consult the Ancestors.  

I go with Parker next, discarding Stick Up with Fast Getaway to walk to the marker I dropped from the Midnight Stalker.  I Five-Finger Discount into High Noon, then use Dead Man Walking on his Swinecursed, getting the Slow trigger and ditching a stone to keep the upgrade.  I spend my next two AP pushing Anna and the Midnight Stalker up.

Burt goes Reckless, walks twice and drops a scheme marker for McTavish to snack on later.  Anna walks up, and uses Vortex to push a Swinecursed back, which forces a Lightning Bug to be pushed away as well.  She then attacks the remaining Swinecursed with The Swirling Damned, spending a stone to negate his cover.  I declare the Screaming Damned trigger, and in a lucky break McTavish flips the Black Joker on his Horror duel.  McTavish passes his activation to clear the paralyze, and I follow up with Doc pushing towards Parker and healing Big Jake.  Wong walks up three times, using What Goes Up to pick up a marker.  I end the turn with the Midnight Stalker walking twice towards my opponent’s half of the board.  

At the end of the turn, the Marker comes down near Big Jake to no real impact, and no one reveals any schemes or scored any points.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2

He stones for cards this turn.  The Midnight Stalker is Reborn further up the board, now firmly in my opponent’s half.  He flips the Red Joker for initiative, and opens with McTavish.  McTavish uses Gator Snack for an attack Big Jake, and after a second shot scores his first Dig Their Graves point.  On his  last shot against Anna, he flips the Black Joker on damage.  

Not wanting to extend to far, I have the Emissary activate and use the Weary Road to push up and see Anna, then Cycle the Vitality Potion onto her.  My opponent has Trixie go reckless and walk into range to use Gremlin Lure on Parker twice, and has the card to secure it.  Parker is pushed back, and well out of range to be useful this turn.  I walk a Bandido up the board, and his Swinecursed charges Anna, and I spend two stones to prevent damage.  


Parker activates, walking and pushing the Emissary so he has a line to use Dead Man Walking on a Swinecursed, but I Black Joker the attack flip.  I choose to discard the upgrade, netting a stone for Anna to survive the next charge.  Instead, he walks the Slowed Swinecursed and drops a scheme marker.  I activate Anna, healing and using Vortex to push the Swinecursed away from her, allowing her to take a Focused Swirling Damned attack on him for Moderate.

Wong walks up and shoots Doc twice, but can’t land a hit.  Doc takes this opportunity to heal Anna twice, getting her nice and healthy again.  Burt walks up to the center of the board.  The Midnight Stalker activates with Fast, opts to charge the Lightning Bug, and guts him.  My remaining Bandido discards a card for Run and Gun, getting moderate on Wong.  

At the end of the turn, he scores Show of Force.

Score:  0 - 2 (+1 Dig Their Graves, +1 Show of Force) 

Turn 3
The Midnight Stalker is Reborn closer to a corner, and my opponent stones for cards.  He cheats the initiative flip with Trixiebelle in order to go first, charing a Swinecursed into Anna, flipping the Black Joker on the first damage flip and the Red Joker on the last Attack flip.  Anna lives.  

Parker goes first for me, healing and then charging the Swine Cursed and declaring Drop It off of the Six-Shooters, getting moderate damage twice.  I then use my Five-Finger Discount for a stone and Stick Up.  The last Ap I spend on Gathering Intel from the Swinecursed.  McTavish respons by shooting Anna twice, hitting once and me spending a stone for severe prevention.    Doc goes next and heals Anna twice, hitting the Hard to Wound trigger.  The other Swinecursed charges Anna, missing and drawing a stone from me.  He spends his last AP gathering Intel from her.  

Anna Gathers Intel from the nearly dead Swinecursed, fails to hit it with her melee attack, and fails to Vortex it away.  Trixie walks and drops a scheme marker.  The Emissary removes Anna’s Vitality Potion for a card and a scheme marker, Gathers Intel from the woudned Swinecursed, then kills it with his attack, triggering a second attack that fails to connect.  Burt goes Reckless and walks to Crackerjack Timing on Doc, getting the Emissary, Parker and Anna - all of whom pass the test.  He then drops a scheme marker.  

I walk my Take One for the Team Target twice to engage Wong and McTavish, verbalizing that I’m trying to lock them in place.  Wong attacks her twice with his Iron Fan, killing her for Dig Their Graves, and giving me two points for Take One for the Team.  Wong then uses Lightning Jump on Doc with Fzzzap, but does minimum damage and only gets bonus damage on Parker.  I walk my living Bandido into the far left corner, and the Midnight Stalker walks three times towards the other corner.

At the end of the turn, I score the strategy.  My opponent scores another point for Show of Force.

Score:  3 (+1 Ply for Information, +2 Take One for the Team) - 4 (+1 Dig Their Graves, +1 Show of Force)

Turn 4
The Midnight Stalker is Reborn in perfect position to drop a marker in the corner he’s in, and my opponent cheats initiative to go first.  He has a Swinecursed Gather Intel from Anna, then attack Anna twice, leaving her at one wound before healing himself to full.  I respond with Anna, discarding Oathkeeper for fast.  I Vortex the Swinecursed, then charge him, and spend my last AP to walk further away from his attacks.  Trixie goes Reckless and walks, then using her Lure to pull the Swinecursed to safety and push the Emissary away.  

I go with Parker next, discarding Stick Up with Fast Getaway, then Five-Finger Discount a marker for a Crate of Dynamite.  I shoot the Swinecursed and declare Drop It!, placing the marker in the middle of his crew.  I then use High Explosives on it, getting damage onto Trixie and Wong.  Burt failed his test as well, but was immune to the damage.  Wong goes next and uses Lightning Jump on Doc twice again, finally killing the good doctor for his final Dig Their Graves.  He tries to shoot the Emissary, but misses.  

I send my Bandido up and drops a marker in her corner.  Burt walks twice to hide behind a building.  The Emissary kills the Swinecursed, then pushes to block my opponent’s line of sight on Anna.  He then cycles the Vitality Potion back onto her.  McTavish walks and takes a pity shot on the Emissary, but misses.  The Midnight Stalker drops his marker, then walks twice.  

At the end of the turn, my opponent scores his final point on Show of Force. 

Score:  3 - 6 (+1 Di Their Graves, +1 Show of Force)

Turn 5
He stones for cards this turn, and the Midnight Stalker is Reborn closer to the action in the center.  Big Jake is summoned back next to his pal the Midnight Stalker.  I flip the Black Joker for initiative.  He opens with Wong, who walks twice and Gathers Intel from Parker.  Parker replies by using Five-Finger Discount to reattach Crate of Dynamite.  He shoots Wong with his Six-Shooters, declaring Drop It! and following that up with a High Explosives to pulse tests onto Wong and Trixie, only damaging Wong.  Parker fails his third attack.  

Trixie goes next, luring Wong away from Parker and trying to slow the Emissary, but I flip the Red Joker on defense.  Big Jake goes next, opting to Consult the Answers and kill himself.  McTavish goes next, shooting the Emissary twice, hitting once for moderate.  He then uses Gator Snacks, drawing cards from it.  The Midnight Stalker walks and Gathers Intel from Burt Jebsen.  Burt tries to attack the Midnight Stalker, but misses.  The Emissary walks and pushes up to Trixie and Gathers Intel from her.  My Bandido walks towards the center, having nothing else to do.  Anna walks and tries to shoot Trixie, but fails.

At the end of the game, I score the strategy, and earn full points on Surround Them.      

Final Score:  7 (+1 Ply for Information, +3 Surround Them) - 6

Thoughts
This was a nailbiter of a game, coming down to the very last turn.  It also came down to being mindful of the strategy, and when and how to gather intel.  My opponent definitely could out-damage me in this matchup, and I feel that I played the kiting game as best I could given terrain.  The MVP this game was the Midnight Stalker, who single-handedly scored me 4 VP and helped secure activation control by killing the Lightning Bug early.  Anna was amazing (as she was throughout the tournament), and refused to die despite all the Glowy attacks.  

I certainly did get lucky- my opponent missed a lot of shots, and paralyzing McTavish turn 1 was a real bonus.  If I had to do it again, I think I would keep my scheme selections.  I would probably have gone in a turn later with the Bandido, as that third point of Take One for the Team would have been nice.  I could have done more to deny his Dig Their Graves (by discarding schemes with Parker’s Fistful of Scrip), but I never had junk cards with which to discard.   
 

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In Round 3, we were paired up against Team Haven.  I drew the “Iceman” himself, @4thstringer, playing Lady Justice.  He was going for the ‘Cool as Ice’ challenge, which in this round was to play your master and “one other unique model”, and he opted for Guild Guard.  To that end, he had been approved to use all the models shown in the photos below as proxies for Guild Guard.

Note - due to how drastically out-activated I was, I am going to be more general in terms of what activations occurred when than in other games.  

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Corner
Strategy:  Ours!
Schemes:  Guarded Treasure, Show of Force, Search the Ruins, Take Prisoner, Inescapable Trap

My Crew
Parker Barrows + 4 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • Coordinated Heist

Doc Mitchell
Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Wokou Raider
Wokou Raider
Dead Outlaw
Dead Outlaw
Bandido

My Opponent’s List
Lady Justice + 5 SS 

  • Swordfighter

16x Guild Guard

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
I went into this game knowing that my opponent wanted to do the Guild Guard spam list.  I decided to go all Bandits as partially for theme - the Lawmen coming in to eliminate the criminal ring - but mainly because I woefully underestimated how strong the list was.  I figured the Bulletproof that most Bandits have would be useful in toning down damage before I got stuck in with the Raiders, who I fully expected to mow through the Guardsmen.  I took Coordinated Heist to help this, as getting a good You Were Told To Duck off would give me up to 6-7 free AP, if I did it right.  

I chose Inescapable Trap because I figured I’d be able to drop enemy scheme markers and convert them to my side.  My second choice was Search the Ruins, because I could drop a ton of markers on the last turn (ideally with few Guard remaining alive).

I was definitely worried about Lady J, and hoped to be able to slow her down or kite her with my pushes/ dodges/ stones to tank her.  

Deployment
I win the cut, and opt to choose the deployment zone.  I picked a corner that I thought would force my opponent to split his army in half.  Given how dynamic the board was - and admittedly, I was not used to alot of terrain with this many stairs/ ledges/ vantage points - I wanted to use it to my advantage.  

Turn 1
I win initiative, and have him activate first.  In the most exciting first turn of the tournament, we both spend all of our AP walking our crews up the board.  I get spicy by cycling a Vitality potion onto a Wokou Raider, who then uses A New Horizon to push herself and her twin up a bit further.  I walk the other Wokou Raider twice, thinking I was out of the range of the Guild Guard’s guns, and able to walk into engagement with them the following turn.  I was woefully wrong.  


Parker activates for me second to last,  pushing some models around and swapping Stick Up for Hail of Bullets, dropping the markers in the way of the Guild Guard coming towards the center.  Doc gives Parker hard to wound.  Lady J moves her way towards me, and I start to realize just how much trouble I’m in.

At the end of the turn, no one scores any points. 

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
His early activations are spent nickel-and-diming my overextended Wokou Raider, and eating cards from my hand.  Parker swaps for Crate of Dynamite, thinking I can get some explosions off next turn.  Doc pushes up to heal the Wokou Raider, and my other bandits try to get close and engage the Guard blob coming into the center.  My Wokou Raiders both get stuck in, and I move to ensure that I have my two nearest quarters.  I fail to land a significant hit with any of my attacks.  Lady J charges Parker and takes off 8 of his 14 wounds, despite my stones.  

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

Score:  1 (+1 Ours!) - 1 (+1 Ours!)

Turn 3
He wins initiative again, and Lady J finishes off Parker and a Dead Outlaw.  I charge my other Dead Outlaw into a Guild Guard, killing the only model that I managed to kill all game.  Props go to my Bandido who Run and Guns into Red Joker damage on Lady J.  My Emissary fails to do anything of value against Lady J.

The Guild Guards put more damage out, and kill a Wokou Raider and Doc.  

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

Score:  2 (+1 Ours!) - 2 (+1 Ours!)

Turn 4
I win initiative, and the Emissary attacks Lady J, but she stones the damage away.  In return, she kills the Emissary.  I have a Wokou Raider drop an enemy marker to heal the Dead Outlaw, and generally stay stuck in.  

The Guild Guard kill my Dead Outlaw and Wokou Raider, but fail to pick up one of my markers.  They spread out, claiming three quarters.

At the end of the turn, I score Inescapable Trap while my opponent scores the Strategy.

Score:  3 (+1 Inescapable Trap) - 3 (Ours!)

Turn 5
Having only a Bandido left, I run her into the center of the board.  I hope that I’ll be able to convert any markers to my side for another point of Inescapable Trap or deny Search the Ruins, which I’ve sniffed out.  

At this point, he had the game tied up.  He drops markers for Search The Ruins and makes sure to Take Prisoner for full points on my Bandido.  He scores the strategy, for the single greatest blowout I suffer all tournament. 

Final Score:  3 - 10 (+1 Ours!, +3 Search the Ruins, +3 Take Prisoner)

Thoughts
I underestimated how powerful Guild Guard spam can be, but that doesn’t excuse my poor play.  I overextended a Wokou Raider early, and spent cards from my hand to keep her alive against an avalanche of gunshots from his Guild Guard.  I would have been much better served by completely avoiding his list, and going for Guarded Treasure and Take Prisoner on Lady Justice.  That many Df 6, 5 Wd, Armor +1 models with 12” guns just takes a toll on any crew.  Lady J herself was no joke, getting back-to-back activations to wipe Parker off the table, in one of the few times he’s died over the course of my playing him.  

I will say that despite all this, @4thstringer was a gentleman and a great opponent.  

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In Round 4, we were paired up against the Perfect Strangers.  This was the only round I didn’t play Parker in, opting for Tara instead.  When I saw an opportunity to play against Ulix, I jumped at it. 

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Standard
Strategy:  Symbols of Authority
Schemes:  Punish the Weak, Take Prisoner, Take One For the Team, Recover Evidence, Public Demonstration

My Crew
Tara + 4 SS

  • Emptiness
  • Dead of Winter
  • Knowledge of Eternity
  • Out of Time
  • Survivalist
  • The Bigger They Are

Malifaux Child
The Nothing Beast

  • Void Shield
  • Oath Keeper

Scion of the Void

  • Scramble
  • Oath Keeper

Talos

  • Oath Keeper

Void Wretch
Void Wretch
Void Wretch

My Opponent’s List
Ulix + 5 SS 

  • Husbandry

Fingers
Merris LaCroix
The Sow
Hog Whisperer
Slop Hauler
Bayou Gremlin
Pigapult

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
I really like playing Tara in Symbols of Authority, due in no small part to her ability to influence activations/ AP in the board.  While not leaning heavily into ‘spam’ territory, I really like the hitting power that having Talos, Scion and the Nothing Beast in the same list brings to Tara.  When I was paired against Ulix, I knew I could rely on him having a lot of low Wp Pigs - which meant all the passive WP duels I’d be making him take would drain valuable resources.  The Pigapult was a threat to be sure - and Fingers was my number one target.  

I chose Punish the Weak, because between having a large number of easily killed Minions already, Ulix would be summoning in more minions for me to feed into the Nothing Beast.  For my second scheme, I chose Take Prisoner on Ulix.  Ulix is not fast by a long shot without a Pig, was not Toss-able due to being Ht 2, and would likely be stationary most of the game.  I figured I could make a late game run for him with Tara, and bury or kill any models near him to secure the third point.

Deployment
I lost the cut, and deploy first.  I split my crew into roughly three groups - a Void Wretch, the Child and Talos on my left flank; Tara, Nothing Beast and Scion in the center, and the remaining Wretches on my right flank.

My opponent deployed centrally, focused around the Pigapult.  I neglected to get a photo of his deployment.  

Turn 1
He declares Recover Evidence at the start of the turn, and I drop the markers in places where they are furthest from my Symbol markers.  Now that I know vaguely where he’ll be catapulting his people, I felt pretty confident in how to approach the early stages of the game.  I flip the Red Joker on initiative, and go first with Tara.

Tara uses Eternal to gain Reactivate later, Pull the Void on the Nothing Beast and the Scion, giving them both Fast and burying the Nothing Beast.  I also ditch a card for each to prevent the damage.  I then walk once.  Merris goes Reckless and walks three times, shooting towards my right flank.  I have the Child use Pull the Void on Talos for Fast, then he uses Misplaced Trust to heal Talos.

Ulix goes next, using Birthin’ three times on the Sow to create a bunch of Piglets, then using Proper Care to heal all the pigs.  On my right flank, I run up both Void Wretches and fail to Slow Merris, while his Slop Hauler heals the Sow, Ulix and some pigs.  We trade some activations walking my remaining Void Wretch and some Piglets, until I go with Scion.  Scion walks three times and, thanks to Scramble, is able to unbury Nothing Beast in Charge range of Merris.  Another Piglet burns an activation an the Nothing Beast charges in, killing her on his third attack.  He uses his final AP to pat out one of the Burning she gives off upon dying.  

The Sow taxis up Ulix and goes Defensive.  Talos Walks three times to threaten the center of the board.  The Pigapult goes Reckless and tosses the Bayou Gremlin, Fingers and Hog Whisperer up the board.  The Bayou gets into my Right flank, while Fingers and the Hog Whisperer are in my left.  Now seeing their placement, I begin to plan countermeasures.  

Tara reactivates, and walks three times to be able to deal with Fingers/ the Hog Whisperer next turn.  He has the remaining activations with Paralyzed models, and I opt to ditch the Void Shield upgrade to prevent the Burning damage.  In hindsight, I should have walked the Nothing Beast up rather than waste an AP on patting him out.

At the end of the turn, no one scores any points.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
I stone for cards this turn, and I win initiative.  Tara goes first, charging the Hog Whisperer, only hitting once.  I spend her third AP on Pull the Void to Slow the Hog Whisperer, but he passes the test to avoid being buried.  I then choose to use Lost Instants here, to deny interacts.   He goes with the Bayou Gremlin, going Drunk and Reckless and walks to a perfect position to remove both a Strategy marker and an Evidence marker.  I go with Talos next, burning Oath Keeper to walk twice and engage Fingers, then focusing.  I had no desire to attack Fingers and give him a chance to escape with Loudest Squeal, until I had thoroughly boxed him in.  The focus was there to help keep him from escaping.

 My opponent walks and charges a Piglet into the Scion, getting some hits in.  I decide to not show my hand too early, and walk my Void Wretch on the left flank up towards the Strategy marker there.  He has Ulix go next, and summons three more Piglets off of the Sow, followed up by Proper Care.  I activate the Nothing Beast, discarding Oathkeeper for Fast, then charge into the Sow, killing her for a Punish the Weak point.  The Pigapult goes Reckless and eats a Piglet, and lobs three shots at my Void Wretch on the left flank, leaving it at half wounds.  

The Scion burns her Oathkeeper, and walks up to tear down a Symbol of Authority marker for the strategy this turn.  My opponent goes Reckless with his Slop Hauler and moves to heal the piglets and himself.  On my right flank, I charge a Void Wretch into his Bayou Gremlin, but fail to connect.  I do manage to Slow him.  He fails to disengage with a Piglet, and my remaining Void Wretch kills the Bayou, scoring my opponent two points for Take One for the Team. The Malifaux Child walks up and boxes Fingers in, but fails to use Pull the Void on Talos.

The Hog Whisperer gets away from Tara and hides, hoping to be able to pick up a marker next turn.  Fingers throws some poison on the Malfiaux Child.  

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

Score:  2 (+1 Symbols of Authority, +1 Punish the Weak) - 4 (+1 Symbols of Authority, +1 Recover Evidence, +2 Take One for the Team)

Turn 3
He stones for cards, and wins Initiative.  He opens with the Hog Whisperer, who goes Reckless and walks twice to remove one of my Symbols.  I go with Tara, forcing a test on Fingers with her new upgrade before giving her Eternal.  She then kills the Hog Whisperer with Clock is Ticking for Punish the Weak, and gives Fast to Talos.

The Pigapult goes Reckless and eats another Piglet, and kills my leftmost Void Wretch.  It then chucks attacks at the Scion, who I opt to not bury just yet.  The Malifaux Child goes and stabs Fingers, but fails to hit.  Ulix attacks the Nothing Beast three times, failing each time.  The Talos kills Fingers before resuming his trek towards my opponent’s deployment zone.  With my backfield now clear, I figure it’s time to apply the pressure.  A Piglet charges the Scion, who opts to bury.  The Pig then Charges the Nothing Beast.  I fail a heal on the Scion with one of my Wretches, while a Slop Hauler goes Reckless and covers the poor Nothing Beast in a Red Joker’s worth of damage.  The Nothing Beast goes next, killing two Piglets and whiffing on the Slop Hauler.  

A Piglet attacks the Nothing Beast, and in response I kill it thanks to Voided.  My last Void Wretch heals the Scion for two.  A Piglet fails to disengage from the Nothing Beast.  Tara goes next, walking twice and unburying the Scion.  She tries to hail-mary Pull the Void to give the Scion Fast, but fails the TN.  I opt to just walk the Scion up, so that she’d be in range to tear down an objective next turn. 

Score:  3 (+1 Punish the Weak) - 5 (+1 Symbols of Authority, )

Turn 4
He spends his last stone for cards, and wins initiative.  The Slop Hauler goes Reckless and smacks my Nothing Beast around some more, killing him.  Tara opens for me with Eternal, giving the Talos fast and walking up.  A Piglet drops a scheme marker and walks.  The Scion tears down the Symbol she’s next to, walks and uses her Blink to engage the Pigapult.  A Piglet drops a Scheme and walks.  The Talos walks up taking Severe damage on the Terrain, and I ditch a card with Tara to keep him kinda healthy.  He then charges the Slop Hauler and kills it, pulsing out a Horror duel to no effect.  

Ulix drops a Scheme, then summons a Warpig before walking away from my threats. My Wretches walk to cover the rest of my backfield while the Warpig whiffs on the Scion.  The Pigapult does a whole lot of nothing.  Tara reactivates, killing a Piglet with Clock is Ticking for a Punish the Weak point, before walking to be adjacent to his last Symbol marker.  

Score:  5 (+1 Symbols of Authority, +1 Punish the Weak) - 5

Turn 5
He Red Joker’s the Initiative Flip, and has Ulix go first.  Ulix attacks the Scion three times, and I opt to keep her engaging the Pigapult.  Tara opens for me, giving herself Eternal and the Talos Fast, while removing the Symbol and walking to engage Ulix.  The Pigapult does nothing, while the Scion drops 3 wounds onto the Warpig.  In a strange turn of events, the Warpig opts to attack the Pigapult (I think my opponent thought I had Taken Prisoner on it), killing it.  

With the rest of my crew to go, I kill the Warpig and secure Take Prisoner on Ulix.  
Final Score:  10 (+2 Symbols of Authority, +3 Take Prisoner) - 5

Thoughts
Lost Instants likely saved my bacon this game.  Using it Turn 2 to shut down both Hog Whisperer and Fingers was huge, denying them the points they would have otherwise gotten.  As it was, my opponent’s MVP was certainly the Bayou Gremlin, who I will consider more in the future as a Take One for the Team target.

Admittedly, I opened myself up for the Pigapult this game, and it’s due mostly to never seeing a Pigapult on the other side of the board.  When I play Gremlins, I don’t use it.  I may have to revisit it for this strategy.

My opponent’s crew is very different from how I normally run my Ulix crews (lacking Old Major, had Fingers), so I can’t help but feel he was at a disadvantage.  Tara, on the other hand, did everything I could have asked her to do and more.  Her Wave 5 upgrades are simply excellent for her, and while she does have a lot of bookkeeping, I appreciated how well her crew synergized with itself. 

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In Round 5, we were paired up against the TN (Tennessee) Tyrants.  I was paired up against Neverborn again, this time against a Lilith.  I brought Parker as my last Hurrah.  

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Flank
Strategy:  Supply Wagons
Schemes:  Guarded Treasure, Covert Breakthrough, Set Up, Undercover Entourage, Inescapable Trap

My Crew
Parker Barrows + 4 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • High Noon

Doc Mitchell
Anna Lovelace

  • Oath Keeper

Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Sue

  • Return Fire

Bandido
Bandido
Hodgepodge Effigy


My Opponent’s List
Lilith + 7 SS 

  • Beckon Malifaux
  • Aether Connection
  • On Wings of Darkness

Cherub
Nekima

  • Malifaux Provides

Mr. Graves
Lilitu
Mysterious Effigy
Terror Tot
Terror Tot

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
Just like my first round opponent, I immediately put Sue and Anna into my usual Parker crew.  Those two really help shore up Parker’s issues with Neverborn.  I went with High Noon instead of Hidden Steel Plate since I didn’t need to walk up with Fast Getaway immediately thanks to the deployment, and could afford to dump it turn 1.  I opted for the cheaper Bandido and Effigy as well, since I wanted to have more models to clutter up/ push the wagons around.  

Seeing as we’d be near the center line anyway, I opted for Guarded Treasure and Set Up.  I put Set Up on Nekima, figuring that even with Malifaux Provides, I’d be able to drop enough markers down to convert them and score it early.  I figured I had enough qualifying models for Guarded Treasure to be ok.

Deployment
I lose the cut, and deploy first.  I deploy with the Emissary on my Wagon marker, with the rest of my crew close to the two ‘points’.  I chose my deployment zone so as to force my opponent into sending his Wagon over a bridge, which I figured I could hold with it as a choke point.  

My opponent deployed centrally, with his big models in place to push his Wagon.  

Turn 1
He stones for cards this turn, but I win initiative.  I have him go first so as to have a more even activation game.  He has Nekima push the wagon as a (0) thanks to the Cherub, then walks and does it again.  Sue uses Man in Black and walks to where I want the rest of my crew to be, Hurting for a card.  Graves shows Lilitu the door, and I make a mistake and Cycle with the Emissary, giving Sue a Vitality Potion.  The Cherub repositions, and I go with Parker.  

Parker opts to Fast Getaway anyway this turn, getting a walk and a stone.  Parker uses Five-Finger Discount to attach Crate of Dynamite, triggering into his second zero to force the Emissary to push the Wagon.  I then shoot Nekima with his Six-Shooters, declaring Drop It and hitting Red Joker on damage.  He stones away 2 of the damage.  I then use High Explosives on the marker I dropped, hitting most of his crew who subsequently all pass.  With my last AP, I push the Emissary back into base contact with the wagon.

Lilitu goes next, pushing the wagon as a (0) and hits the Red Joker on a Lure on Sue. Anna walks up, and stones for a crow on her attack on Lilitu, declaring the Horror pulse trigger.  Sadly, he passes all of these tests as well.  He sprints both of his Tots, hitting the Black Joker on one of them.  I have my Bandidos attack Lilitu, but get my own Black Joker out.  

Lilith goes last, walking up and using a Soulstone on Tangle Shadows on my Effigy, but I force it to fail.  She then drops her Forest markers and tries to Tangle Shadows again, but fails.  I walk up Doc and heal Sue.   

At the end of the turn, no one scores any points.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
We both stone for cards this turn, and I win initiative again.  Sue goes first for me, getting Man in Black off and fails at shooting a Terror Tot, Hurting for a card.  Lilith goes first for him, using Wicked Vines on my Emissary, but failing to cast Tangle Shadows twice more on my Effigy.  She then tries to recast her forest, but Black Joker’s it.  

My Effigy gives Parker Loyalty to the Coin before walking and pushing my Wagon.  I accomplice into the Emissary, who pushes into base with the Wagon.  I push the Wagon again, getting it onto the enemy side of the board, and use my remaining AP to give the Effigy a trinket and rip it away for two cards and a scheme marker.  Lilitu walks and pushes his Wagon as a (0), then walks again.

Parker goes next, walking and shooting the Mysterious Effigy, declaring Drop It.  I then blow up that Marker with High Explosives, killing the Cherub and ditching the upgrade.  I then Five-Finger Discount into Hail of Bullets, and proc Loyalty to the Coin. A Tot sprints to push the wagon, and I have a Bandido shoot at Lilitu.  Nekima walks twice and drops my Effigy to Hard to Kill thanks to Melee Expert.  She then uses Blood for Blood to kill it, and eats my marker with Malifaux Provides.  My other Bandido attacks Lilitu, doing some more damage.  His Effigy gives Lilith Rapid Acceleration and walks.  Anna ditches Oath Keeper and walks, punching Lilitu some and failing to Vortex her away.  He sprints his other Tot, while Doc heals up Anna and my Bandido.  Graves walks up, and at the end of the turn Lilitu dies from the Poison she received from Anna.  

We both score the Strategy.

Score:  1 (+1 Supply Wagons) - 1 (+1 Supply Wagons)

Turn 3
He stones for cards, and yet again I go first.  I charge a Bandido into one of his tots, killing it and dropping markers with Drop It.  His Effigy drops a scheme and gives Lilith Rapid Acceleration.  Sue casts Man in Black, hitting Graves twice for minimum damage.  Nekima goes into the Emissary, flipping the Red Joker and dropping him to Hard to Kill.  The Emissary goes next, shooting Graves twice forcing a discard.  

Lilith goes next, using Sudden Darkness before charging into Parker.  I burn stones to survive, and he drops Forests at the end.  Anna focuses and stones for a positive on her Vortex on the Effigy, pushing it back into Hazardous terrain to kill it.  He walks a Tot to punch a Bandido, who makes a Quick Getaway out of engagement.  That Bandido then walks and drops a scheme marker.  Doc heals up Parker.

Parker goes last for me, using High Noon on Nekima with the Slow trigger, ditching the upgrade for a stone.  I am out of cards at this point, so Focus before using Five-Finger Discount, and fail to cast it.  I then fail to push out of engagement with Lilith.  At the end of the turn, I score Guarded Treasure and we both score the Strategy.

Score:  3 (+1 Supply Wagons, +1 Guarded Treasure) - 2 (+1 Supply Wagons)

Turn 4
I stone for cards, and win initiative again.  Doc heals Parker twice again, hitting the Hard to Wound Trigger.  This would be his downfall, because thanks to that modifier Nekima hit the Red Joker on damage for Parker, killing him.  The Emissary drops a scheme marker, then pushes to drop a marker with the Weary Road, then lastly kills the Mysterious Effigy.  He ends by doing his last (0), the Piecing Together, drop push himself and drop yet another marker. 

A Tot walks and pushes his Wagon some more, while my Bandido pushes it back after dropping a scheme.  Lilith walks and drops a scheme, and my other Bandido walks twice, as I somehow thought I could convert my opponent’s markers to mine.  Anna focuses to use Vortex on Lilith, but fails.  Sue shoots at Lilith twice, Black Jokering the first attack and getting Severe on the second, although my opponent stones most of it away.  

At the end of the turn, we both declare Set Up and score the Strategy.

Score:  7 (+1 Supply Wagons, +3 Set Up) - 6 (+1 Supply Wagons, +3 Set Up)

Turn 5
He wins initiative this turn, and has Nekima kill the Emissary and walk twice to attack Sue, but a flurry of Black Jokers leave him alive.  Recognizing that Undercover Entourage on Lilith is his most likely second scheme, I have Sue cast Man in Black before shooting Lilith but failing to kill her.  Lilith goes Defensive, and fails to Disengage.  Anna walks up and tries to hit Lilith, but fails.  The rest of the models walk about, but the game is over at this point.
  
At the end of the turn, we both score the Strategy.  He scores two points for Undercover Entourage on Lilith.

Final Score:  8 (+1 Supply Wagons) - 9 (+1 Supply Wagons, +2 Undercover Entourage)

Thoughts
This was a solid game, as it reminded me of just how Parker’s survivability is never certain.  He’s normally really hard to kill - but models like Nekima (i.e., those designed to obliterate everything they touch) are still a threat.  In hindsight, Set Up was a lot more work than it was worth, at least on Nekima.  I think in this pool, either Inescapable Trap or Undercover Entourage may have been passable alternatives, although Parker clearly didn’t survive and would have been my choice.

I feel like Sue and Anna did their jobs admirably this game, and that my plan of slowing down my opponent with the bridge was not as well executed.  Parker dying to the Red Joker off of Nekima was a pain, but something that just happens when a massive beater gets involved.  

In Turn 4, I walk a Bandido twice because for some reason, I thought it was turn 5 and I could use it’s aura to convert enemy markers to my side at the end of the game on my opponent’s Set Up markers.  If I had used my AP better there, I may have been able to get another Guarded Treasure point and tied up the game.

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Final Thoughts

First off, the weekend was a blast and all of my opponents were lovely people.  It never ceases to amaze me just how great the majority of Malifaux players are.  The venue was great, both in size and in accommodations.  

We enjoyed the team format, and the pairing process was easy enough to follow.  I do feel that knowing your opponent's master was a huge advantage, because taking known tech choices against those masters really could swing the game in your favor.  

On Parker

Going into this tournament, one of my primary goals was to play Parker into as many rounds as possible.  As readers of my reports may know, I'm a big fan of Parker, and so I wanted to see how well I could do with him at a competitive setting.  To that end, going 2-2 with him in the tournament felt like a proof of concept to me.  Round 5 was a very close game, and I could have done better with different scheme selection.  Round 3 was the only round I feel was definitely not in my favor.  That said, 2-2 at a competitive setting seems pretty good for a master who is as tricky to use as Parker was.  

As far as playstyles go, I definitely feel like I got more usage out of Crate of Dynamite this weekend than I have prior.  I know that I'll be adding it to his rotation more regularly.  I also feel like I'm going to need to address his alpha-strike denial a bit more - as it stands, I still don't have all the tools I need to deal with a Nekima or Lady J hitting my lines.  I'm thinking I may need to bring the Dead Outlaws in a punchy capacity in those games, or games where I think I'll have to deal with that.  As far as keeping Parker alive is concerned, I do want to try out Marleena with him, probably in the Sue spot.  

MVP (beyond Parker, Doc and the Emissary who made all of my lists) has got to be Anna.  She's such a solid model at her cost, and while I know I didn't get nearly the value out of her actions that I should have, she is a threat and presents massive board control options.  Honorable mentions go to the Midnight Stalker, whose mobility is beyond compare and is able to take care of my scheming needs if I want him to.  

I'm taking a short hiatus from Parker to explore some of my other factions (Ulix is presently on my mind), but once Marleena comes out and I get my hands on some Desperate Mercs, I plan to bust him back out.  

Thank you all for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!

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Great writings man! Really waiting for remaining rounds and final thoughts. And i must say this Guild Guard spam list is scary. Really really scary...

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On 1/28/2018 at 7:03 PM, Fetid Strumpet said:

Which is one of the reasons just reducing them in cost wasn’t really a good idea to my mind. 

I'd like to see a universal Rare Limit for initial crews.

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On 1/25/2018 at 10:26 PM, Diceman87 said:

In Round 3, we were paired up against Team Haven.  I drew the “Iceman” himself, @4thstringer, playing Lady Justice.  He was going for the ‘Cool as Ice’ challenge, which in this round was to play your master and “one other unique model”, and he opted for Guild Guard.  To that end, he had been approved to use all the models shown in the photos below as proxies for Guild Guard.

Note - due to how drastically out-activated I was, I am going to be more general in terms of what activations occurred when than in other games.  

Photos from the game are here.  

Setup
Deployment:  Corner
Strategy:  Ours!
Schemes:  Guarded Treasure, Show of Force, Search the Ruins, Take Prisoner, Inescapable Trap

My Crew
Parker Barrows + 4 SS

  • Black Market
  • Stick Up
  • Coordinated Heist

Doc Mitchell
Hodgepodge Emissary

  • Conflux of Stolen Goods

Wokou Raider
Wokou Raider
Dead Outlaw
Dead Outlaw
Bandido

My Opponent’s List
Lady Justice + 5 SS 

  • Swordfighter

16x Guild Guard

Scheme Selection & Gameplan
I went into this game knowing that my opponent wanted to do the Guild Guard spam list.  I decided to go all Bandits as partially for theme - the Lawmen coming in to eliminate the criminal ring - but mainly because I woefully underestimated how strong the list was.  I figured the Bulletproof that most Bandits have would be useful in toning down damage before I got stuck in with the Raiders, who I fully expected to mow through the Guardsmen.  I took Coordinated Heist to help this, as getting a good You Were Told To Duck off would give me up to 6-7 free AP, if I did it right.  

I chose Inescapable Trap because I figured I’d be able to drop enemy scheme markers and convert them to my side.  My second choice was Search the Ruins, because I could drop a ton of markers on the last turn (ideally with few Guard remaining alive).

I was definitely worried about Lady J, and hoped to be able to slow her down or kite her with my pushes/ dodges/ stones to tank her.  

Deployment
I win the cut, and opt to choose the deployment zone.  I picked a corner that I thought would force my opponent to split his army in half.  Given how dynamic the board was - and admittedly, I was not used to alot of terrain with this many stairs/ ledges/ vantage points - I wanted to use it to my advantage.  

Turn 1
I win initiative, and have him activate first.  In the most exciting first turn of the tournament, we both spend all of our AP walking our crews up the board.  I get spicy by cycling a Vitality potion onto a Wokou Raider, who then uses A New Horizon to push herself and her twin up a bit further.  I walk the other Wokou Raider twice, thinking I was out of the range of the Guild Guard’s guns, and able to walk into engagement with them the following turn.  I was woefully wrong.  


Parker activates for me second to last,  pushing some models around and swapping Stick Up for Hail of Bullets, dropping the markers in the way of the Guild Guard coming towards the center.  Doc gives Parker hard to wound.  Lady J moves her way towards me, and I start to realize just how much trouble I’m in.

At the end of the turn, no one scores any points. 

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
His early activations are spent nickel-and-diming my overextended Wokou Raider, and eating cards from my hand.  Parker swaps for Crate of Dynamite, thinking I can get some explosions off next turn.  Doc pushes up to heal the Wokou Raider, and my other bandits try to get close and engage the Guard blob coming into the center.  My Wokou Raiders both get stuck in, and I move to ensure that I have my two nearest quarters.  I fail to land a significant hit with any of my attacks.  Lady J charges Parker and takes off 8 of his 14 wounds, despite my stones.  

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

Score:  1 (+1 Ours!) - 1 (+1 Ours!)

Turn 3
He wins initiative again, and Lady J finishes off Parker and a Dead Outlaw.  I charge my other Dead Outlaw into a Guild Guard, killing the only model that I managed to kill all game.  Props go to my Bandido who Run and Guns into Red Joker damage on Lady J.  My Emissary fails to do anything of value against Lady J.

The Guild Guards put more damage out, and kill a Wokou Raider and Doc.  

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

Score:  2 (+1 Ours!) - 2 (+1 Ours!)

Turn 4
I win initiative, and the Emissary attacks Lady J, but she stones the damage away.  In return, she kills the Emissary.  I have a Wokou Raider drop an enemy marker to heal the Dead Outlaw, and generally stay stuck in.  

The Guild Guard kill my Dead Outlaw and Wokou Raider, but fail to pick up one of my markers.  They spread out, claiming three quarters.

At the end of the turn, I score Inescapable Trap while my opponent scores the Strategy.

Score:  3 (+1 Inescapable Trap) - 3 (Ours!)

Turn 5
Having only a Bandido left, I run her into the center of the board.  I hope that I’ll be able to convert any markers to my side for another point of Inescapable Trap or deny Search the Ruins, which I’ve sniffed out.  

At this point, he had the game tied up.  He drops markers for Search The Ruins and makes sure to Take Prisoner for full points on my Bandido.  He scores the strategy, for the single greatest blowout I suffer all tournament. 

Final Score:  3 - 10 (+1 Ours!, +3 Search the Ruins, +3 Take Prisoner)

Thoughts
I underestimated how powerful Guild Guard spam can be, but that doesn’t excuse my poor play.  I overextended a Wokou Raider early, and spent cards from my hand to keep her alive against an avalanche of gunshots from his Guild Guard.  I would have been much better served by completely avoiding his list, and going for Guarded Treasure and Take Prisoner on Lady Justice.  That many Df 6, 5 Wd, Armor +1 models with 12” guns just takes a toll on any crew.  Lady J herself was no joke, getting back-to-back activations to wipe Parker off the table, in one of the few times he’s died over the course of my playing him.  

I will say that despite all this, @4thstringer was a gentleman and a great opponent.  

I really enjoyed your list and our game.  The themeyness of it was really enjoyable, and you were great to play against.  Hopefully we will meet again!

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Thanks for sharing these Diceman, as you and I seem to share common interest in factions and masters, I've taken a lot of insight from these reports.  In retrospect, do you think Parker could field a list to deal with so many guards? 16 with lady J doing the mop up seems really rough.

 

I look forward to the next posts!

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I would have thought that good use of "you were told to duck",  and "High explosives" ought to clear away large clumps of Guards. But Lady justice in the face at the end of turn 2 stopped that happening here. From the sounds of it, if Parker got to go first in turn 3, he might have put a large dent in the number of guards. (Depending on the amount of Clumping that there was). 

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On 1/31/2018 at 1:47 PM, 4thstringer said:

I really enjoyed your list and our game.  The themeyness of it was really enjoyable, and you were great to play against.  Hopefully we will meet again!

Same to you!  I hope we have a rematch soon- the trick is finding the time to get out to you guys.

7 hours ago, Sol_Sorrowsong said:

Thanks for sharing these Diceman, as you and I seem to share common interest in factions and masters, I've taken a lot of insight from these reports.  In retrospect, do you think Parker could field a list to deal with so many guards? 16 with lady J doing the mop up seems really rough.

 

I look forward to the next posts!

Thank you!  I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the posts.  To your question, I agree with @Adran that with proper use of his tools to deal with hordes, I’d have been able to whittle down the guard.  

If I had to do it again, I’d swap the wokou Raiders out for more ranged firepower- I’m thinking some combination of Sue, Mad Dog and Anna.  To be honest though, I think the Viks or Tara would deal with the horde better than Parker - the Viks for obvious reasons, Tara because of her dropping a Nothing Beast or getting her sympathetic echoes trigger off would do wonderful things to them.

I plan to get the rest of the write ups done this weekend.  Thanks for reading, everyone!

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I know it's been a bit longer than anticipated, but I've finally posted writeups for Rounds 4, 5 and my Final Thoughts.  Thank you for reading, and please let me know if you have any questions/ comments/ suggestions for improvement!

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Great reports--i like your style. I was your Rd 5 opponent and that was a very enjoyable, nail-biter of a game. Anna and Sue were super annoying to play around. It was a mistake for me to take Set Up on Sue but I was fortunately able to still get full points for it.

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