One of the best games I have played in a while, ended up being a 3 hour slog with what looked a clear winner, suddenly turned on its head in one activation!
You also get the pleasure of watching me start blankly at Sandeeps card for most of that time going "wtf am I doing here!"
Enjoy... Thanks for reading
I have copied and pasted the whole report below, but it is much better presented on the blog
Good evening!So today, I crash built Sandeep and went over to a mates for a game! Beware, this contains a few unpainted models!The game used the new (and soooo much better) Gaining Grounds 17 pack! If you aren't playing it, then get playing it! It makes Malifaux feel fresh again!The Strategy was Extraction with Corner DeploymentSchemes were:Claim JumpFrame for MurderDig their GravesSearch the RuinsA Quick MurderI am going to start by saying that Claim Jump is almost 100% without doubt, the most taken scheme of the last 2 months for me! It has been a guaranteed 3 VP in every game I have played! I think it is a little too easy, especially with Arcanists, but you know it got through play-testing! To be honest, I pretty much always took Convict Labour and Line in the sand, so perhaps it's just old habits!The rest of the pool I was a little less sure about... I have had good success with search before, but with Mah and Extraction I didn't fancy it, so settled on Frame for Murder...My opponent picked exactly the same schemes so... Great minds and all!
My Crew:SandeepRecharge SoulstoneUnaligned SageTo Command Another PlaneThe ValedictorianImbued EnergiesCassandraSmoke and MirrorsPracticed ProductionArcane EmissaryArcane ConfluxPerformer (Frame for Murder)Wind GaminWind Gamin
My Opponent:Mah TucketKnow the TerrainOld CrankyTrixyGracieDirty CheaterBurtDirty CheaterSlop HaulerPiglet (Frame for Murder)Bayou Gremlin x3
So we were both very front loaded with our crews... This match was going to be a meat grinder of big bad beaters.And that was pretty much the theme of the game!
My opponent won the flip to deploy first and took the best side of the board, meaning I was funneled into the gap between the impassable rock and the forest, or I had to go around the rock... Fortunately, I was packing alot of flight so it wasn't a massive issue, but keeping LoS for beacon would prove to be a problem.
This is how things looked at the end of Turn one... A turn that proved to be incredibly eventful... As you can see, both Gracie and Burt had bitten the dust at this point... Also my performer had been killed and I had summoned (and lost) Banasuva...Mah had given her crew a massive mobility boost and so had the piglet, keeping the pressure on early, and allowing Burt to charge the Performer on his first activation... Obviously she didn't live very long when being wailed on by him... Sadly for Burt he ended his turn stood next to Cassandra who destroyed him... He will still be feeling that this morning! I was a little concerned that him and Gracie would be frame for murder, but decided to bite the bullet and finish them before they could heal up, and was glad I did... The Emissary killed Gracie with his Negation ability, stopping her hard to kill.Valedictorian tried to flurry Mah, but did not alot with her 3 attacks, and my pants hand...End of T1 2-0 to me.
This is the end of turn 2... And it was pretty much a continuation of the melee in the middle... My Wing Gamin are out of shot, but they were running Claim Jump unopposed... I summoned a Poison Gamin, who killed a Bayou and then bit the dust when Trixy slapped him down.The Piglet failed his terrifying check and sat paralyzed next to VallyD... Who again flurried Mah, and achieved a couple wounds... Mah extended her Melee range and hit the Emissary, scoring a Red Joker and instantly killing him... Cassandra sat on his Claim Jump Marker to deny him points and Sandeep was plinking away with his spells.At the end of the turn scores were 4-1 to me... But he had more models so moved the marker.
Turn 3 I didn't take a picture of, but it was more of the same! The meat-grinder in the middle got more bloody and eveyone took a battering.End of T3:6-3 To me... But he still had one scheme (frame for murder) unrevealed.He got back to scoring Claim Jump... But with a lead of 3 VP I was feeling ok.I was playing this whole game after killing Burt and Gracie thinking he had search the ruins... So got abit more liberal with my killing... I would be proven wrong pretty quickly...
T4 The piglet charged Sandeep and achieved nothing... He used his (0) to teleport away, then summoned Banasuva, trying to gain an upper hand in the melee that was going on... Trixy pushed Cassie away with her Gremlin Lure and made her slow, hampering her into the next turn, but she took out Old Cranky... Slop Hauler was keeping his models in the fight, and just wasn't going down!Vally D hit Mah with her pillow fists and did some damage, but it was pretty negligible... She stoned alot of it away anyway...We both scored Claim Jump, and I maxed it out, we both scored Extraction, so I was left with 1 possible VP I could score going into T5... He still had a potential 5... I was kind of stuck for what he would have... If he had Search, even Collette would struggle to get it here... I still hadn't bitten his Frame for Murder trap, and was pretty sure that I could win if I didn't screw up.Score at the end of T4 - 8-5.
T5 was carnage... There were so few models left on the board at the end of the game... And I almost lost the game at this point...Vally D finally did something, she flurried Mah and hit red joker damage, finally taking her out.. Sandeep killed the piglet, because he could... And gave him 2 VP for Frame for murder... Taking his total to 7 and with a possible 2 left... I HAD to score the strategy, or I would lose the game that I had been in control of for 4 turns...Cassandra came to my rescue... She killed the lone Bayou that had been running Claim Jump and meant that I could now at worst draw... Which would be abit of a shame... But it's better than losing.I secured the point for extraction and ended the game, a little bit relieved, at 9-8... Having thown away a commanding 3 VP lead because I got cocky...So that was my first game with Sandeep... I have decided that he is pretty good, but need a lot more serious practice! Beacon is surprisingly powerful, but also at times underwhelming... Sometimes I found myself using it for the sake of using it!Then his summoning... I can't quite decide what it is about it, but Gamin are pretty pants... I think I summoned 3 times in the whole game, and 2 were Banasuva... I think if I had access to Metal Gamin I could see uses for alot of the upgrades that have to be attached to the summoned Gamin on them, but on the other Gamin, they are much less exciting, and often crippling... I will try the other Limited upgrade next time and see how that plays, but Banasuva is an exceptional summon, and even if he is expensive and a little bit conditional, he never disappointed when he came in, and made use of most of the upgrades.Unaligned sage I am torn on... I like the fact I can bring in the Valedictorian... But I will probably never bring the rest of the students... They don't seem like the best hires... Especially with how exceptional the Arcanists hiring pool is!I never used the actions... And I could have got alot of cards from the Valedictorians flurry with the (1) action to take a damage and draw a card, I feel like that ability is made for Oxfordian Mages though... She made pretty extensive use of the (0) teleport on beacon, allowing her to re position and flurry, but I pretty much never did anything with her except sit there and flurry. Was she worth 10ss and the 1ss for the upgrade? Ermmm... I have no idea... I feel like there is a better way to spend 11ss...Wind Gamin though, they scored 3 VP by themselves, and I didn't even find out they had leap till the end of the game! These are going to be staples of Sandeep crews... Even the after death push means you always get value out of them.The Emissary did what it needed to do, but was lost too early... I feel like he doesn't have the synergy with Sandeep that he has with other masters, and he might hit the bench until his conflux is released... But he has worked well for me last year, so may earn a second chance... and vs Ressers, he is an auto include.My opponents crew was much better built and thought out, it covered all bases and was set up to contest this game... And it probably should have won... My luck in the first couple turns meant that I had a pretty un-catch-able lead very early on and gave me a buffer. My advantage in engagement range and mobility ultimately let me come out on top, but even into T5 it was never clear cut... The fact I went from sure victory to almost defeat is a testament to how good Malifaux and the new 2017 pack is.Would I make changes? Yes, perhaps I would drop the Emissary and Valedictorian, but in the end VallyD pretty much single handedly kept me in the strategy... Even if she didn't do it with much style.So all that remains is awards and accolades:MVP - This was a hard one, there is an argument for Wind Gamin, Valedictorian has a case for both MVP and Bad day at the office... But for me it goes to Slop Hauler... This model was slippery enough to avoid my big beasties... and it also kept his models in the fight long after they should have been destroyed. This model is the reason VallyD felt soft, and the reason Banasuva couldn't beat down Trixy... All in all, he was so well played and used that I find it hard to give it to anyone else.So Slop Hauler... Here's to you!Bad day at the office - This is a hard one, alot of models under-performed here... Mostly on my side, Vally D, Emissary... All expensive models... On his side, Burt and Gracie both died on T1 and gave away 2 VP wth a reckless T1 charge... But I think it goes to Burt, as he was eaten by Cassie and gave away 2 VP all on T1.Well done Burt.So that's Sandeep vs Mah... One of the oddest game I have played in a long while...Thanks for reading