Jump to content

Adepticon 2014 Battle Reports: Masters of Malifaux


Recommended Posts

Adepticon Masters of Malifaux Battle Reports
So! I'm Archmage! This is my first year at Adepticon and my first organized Malifaux event. I got into Malifaux in 1.5E, and I started at GenCon 2012 with the Rasputina box, the Kaeris box, and a bunch of Terraclips. My partner and I played Viks/Misaki in the Adepticon 2014 Malifaux Team Tournament, and I played Masters declaring Arcanists.
I fell in love with Kaeris when I first assembled her model--the aesthetic just resonated with me, and Rasputina/Kaeris was fun and flavorful even if I feel like it performed less well than I would've like in 1.5E. What I really wanted was to run a Kaeris crew, but her henchman status and limited hiring list made that largely unworkable in a serious game; when Mei Feng was released, I ran Mei with Kaeris, and I eventually picked up Marcus to run the Kaeris-oriented "Marcus holds Kaeris's purse full of soulstones" list for our local round-robin escalation league (not an official Wyrd event or even Henchmen-run league, just four friends throwing something together for the lulz).
Kaeris being released as a wave 2 master is officially my favorite part of M2E to date. So it will surprise absolutely no one that I have opted to run her as my crew's leader in three out of three games at Masters.
Game 1: Turf War
Scheme Pool: Line in the Sand, Protect Territory, Bodyguard, Entourage, Frame for Murder.
My "all-purpose" 50 SS Kaeris list for Masters:
Kaeris (Cache 4+1)
 -Imbued Energies (1 SS)
 -Blinding Flame (1 SS)
 -Grab and Drop (1 SS)
Howard Langston (12 SS)
 -Imbued Energies (1 SS)
Mechanical Rider (12 SS)
 -Imbued Energies (1 SS)
Gunsmith (7 SS)
Union Miner (5 SS)
Metal Gamin (4 SS)
Mobile Toolkit (3 SS)
My opponent declares Neverborn. He's running the Dreamer with Restless Dreams (melee Chompy upgrade). The rest of his crew consists of Nekima (with Fears Given Form), Coppelius, Teddy, and Window Weaver, plus a Daydream or something.
I select Frame for Murder (Howard Langston) and declare Protect Territory. My opponent declares Entourage and has a hidden scheme (Bodyguard Widow Weaver (not Nekima, as I originally stated)).
The terrain is a graveyard full of fences and small buildings that block movement, but there's actually lots of long lines of sight (if you're willing to deal with cover) because nearly everything consists of iron bars that can be seen through. We decide to treat the low tombstones and grave areas as severe terrain. The center of the board is pretty dense with grates and buildings, whereas my right side has a hill with some open graves and the far left corner is the actual "grave plots" portion that is all little tombstones and holes. 
Standard deployment. Opponent deploys first. We both wind up deploying more or less in the center third of our deployment zones, but he puts Nekima off in the table quarter on my far right (to keep the scary Fears Given Form Nekima from wrecking his own crew when they activate). Teddy was in the far left table quarter. I've got Howard Langston on the left side of my deployment zone, facing down Teddy (sort of, there was lots of terrain in the way).
Turn 1:
So I have already potentially made an error--I probably should've put Howard on the right and sent him to tie up Nekima as long as possible (ideally to be killed by her on turn 3 for full Frame for Murder points). Instead, I planned for Howard to do as much damage as possible before ideally dying to Lord Chompy Bits.
My opponent, incidentally, was one of the two teammates we played in the final round of the team tournament--they rolled us pretty hard with Misaki/Leveticus, and then he and I played a casual 25ish SS game afterward (which taught me that Mei Feng does not in fact have the ability to steamcloud tank a Guild rifleman gunline while advancing--a valuable lesson). Anyway, I'd lost two games to this guy already. I was not feeling great about my odds. I believe his Wyrd forum name is TheGodlyness.
Anyway, I have to go first, so I use my standard opener--the Union Miner sets a couple models on fire to set up Kaeris's abilities. Teddy flies over a building, Coppelius and the Widow Weaver move upfield, and Nekima is coming around to flank my right side. I keep the Mechanical Rider back to prevent it from being exposed during its weak (defensive) turns, and since I don't need to advance too far or to throw down scheme markers just yet, Kaeris uses Read the Flames to rip burning off my units in an attempt to build a hand (this does not work; I draw nothing of value).
Standard positioning stuff. It's turn 1.
Turn 2:
My memory's fuzzy on this, but I'm pretty sure I had to go first again, so I delay with the Union Miner and light up some of my own crew. Dreamer moves up on my left, spits out some more Daydreams, and calls Chompy. This is where I make error number two--I'm worried about LCB getting into the middle of my models and wrecking my stuff, so I toss Howard's Imbued Energies, move him around the fence, and go to town on LCB. Assuming I don't have an activation to spare here...I haven't even buffed him up with the Mobile Toolkit. LCB dies! Dreamer comes back. Whoops. Way to totally fail to understand how The Dreamer works. I have officially overinvested in something that doesn't actually accomplish a whole lot.
Teddy roars upfield at Howard. I panic somewhat, decide that I want to secure some VP, and decide not to spend any cards keeping Howard standing. Teddy rips his face off, I reveal my scheme, and I get a thumbs-up from my opponent (my "nah I'm not going to cheat or anything, you hit" behavior now being perfectly explained). 
The Mech Rider creates a Metal Gamin this turn with Revel in Creation, pushing into shooting range of Nekima. MR attacks Nekima. Don't think I hit her at all. Oh well.
Nekima and Coppelius move up more; a lot of my models are clustered just outside the 6-inch scoring zone, but are otherwise in the center third of the table. We both score a point for the strategy.
Turn 3:
Things go south very quickly as Nekima barrels smack into the middle of my circle of units...and I am horribly betrayed by the Mobile Toolkit's poor defenses, because Nekima completely murders it and everybody has to make Terror duels. Ugh. There goes half my control hand to secure getting any activations at all; Fears Given Form is going to be a huge problem. The Gunsmith, thankfully outside of Fears Given Form range, decides to charge Teddy and swing at him through the fence in melee rather than contend with cover. I think, in retrospect, the rules would've allowed me to avoid cover entirely had I been within one inch of the terrain object granting the cover in the first place, but charging allowed me to make two attacks...so whatever. Charging is what happened. Teddy sustained some damage, but mostly it was inconsequential.
The Mech Rider spawns another Metal Gamin and charges Nekima. I am all in on getting rid of her at this point, because from my perspective, I have to be. The alternative is her killing my entire crew. Do some small amount of damage, draw some worthless cards, shake my head. A Metal Gamin, who was protecting MR, charges Nekima as well, hoping to set her up with burning so Kaeris can accomplish something. Nope, not going to hit Nekima (Ml 4 is not inspiring, I was really reaching here).
Nekima is engaged with Kaeris; Coppelius comes into range, and Kaeris and Coppelius end up locked in a duel for Kaeris's eyes. Coppelius and Nekima's combined assault results in me spending most of my soulstone cache on keeping Kaeris alive to fight another turn. Dreamer is nearby, as are some Daydreams, and Widow Weaver is throwing down web markers to penalize my Wp. I can't push Coppelius or Nekima away because they've managed to cram themselves up against terrain in such a manner that they aren't going anywhere even if I can shove them away with Blinding Flame. Sigh. Kaeris tries Flare to set herself up for an Accelerant or some Immolates or, uh, well, anything to get me out of this mess. Pretty sure Coppelius and a Daydream are on fire. Nekima is notably not on fire. Black Joker my Accelerant flip. Awesome. Not going to clear the Daydreams, not any sense in trying to kill Coppelius. Put through some pointlessly small amount of damage on Nekima with Immolate.
I actually wouldn't have had enough bodies in the center area if I hadn't run the Union Miner up (carefully around Nekima's range), but Kaeris is still alive and within the scoring zone, so we both score the strat again.
Turn 4:
I make error number three. Win initiative. My hand is terrible. Nekima needs to die. I need cards. Mech Rider can get me cards! Mech Rider spits out another Metal Gamin (in retrospect, a Steam Arachnid in base-to-base with Nekima to penalize her Df would probably have been better, and I think that was a possibility that activation). Revel in Creation pushes Mech Rider away from Nekima--then Mech Rider charges Nekima. I am...not sure why I did that. I should've just not moved, or...I basically done anything else. Anyway, Mech Rider is going to hit! I'm going to get some cards! Er...Black Blood happens. Well, whatever, it's more important that I do damage to Nekima than that my Metal Gamin survive, so attack two, hit again, more Black Blood. Both Metal Gamin die. If Kaeris can finish the job I can potentially turn this crap around.
Kaeris gets her eyeballs stolen by Coppelius. Daydreams and web counters are piling up; Kaeris is officially totally wrecked on Wp at this point, forcing me to cheat troublingly-high cards to avoid Terror duels when Coppelius goes for the eyes, because if she gets Paralyzed the game is literally over and done with no hope of salvage. Kaeris pitches Imbued Energies and goes all-in; despite my best attempts, she does not kill or even honestly seriously wound Nekima. Pretty sure another Black Joker came out on an Immolate in here.
Nekima kills Kaeris. Teddy kills my Union Miner, assuring that I will not be scoring any more points for the strategy without some kind of miracle, because all I've got left is Mech Rider. Even if I could've gotten the Rider into scoring position, my adversary has enough models to overwhelm a 2-wound Metal Gamin (Dreamer with Ranged Expert could easily kill it off).
At this point I am playing for differential, and I'm not even convinced I can pull any points out of Protect Territory without some kind of miracle. The Mech Rider pushes out of engagement with Nekima to spit out a Metal Gamin, then hoofs it up the hill on the board's right side (the angle from which Nekima had approached!) and drops a scheme marker just barely far enough outside of deployment. The Metal Gamin uses Magnetism to pull itself toward the Mechnical Rider and moves farther upfield.
My opponent reveals Bodyguard: Widow Weaver, scoring a point, and I slap myself in the face.
Turn 5:
Desperate attempts to claim Graveyard Hill and Protect it are stymied by Teddy flying over a bunch of buildings. He kills nothing, but the Dreamer is able to pile Daydreams into the area and consequently I am easily outnumbered, so those scheme markers aren't going to score me any points.
Dreamer wanders into my deployment zone. Yeeeeeep.
Flip for overtime. No overtime. Game ends 10-4, loss. Totally rolled.
Analysis and Conclusions:
I probably should've deployed Howard on my right side, facing down Nekima, and sent him to duel her--with intent to either kill her or do as much damage as possible before dying (either way, I would've essentially won that mini-engagement because I either tied up an expensive model or scored VP for my scheme). I screwed up horribly when I panicked and threw away Howard a turn early. If he had cleaned Teddy off the board, that actually would've done me a lot of good, and he could've gone on to join the fight with Nekima or really just accomplish anything aside from killing LCB and then "earning" his points by dying to Teddy, especially since if he had been able to join the fight with Nekima there was a possibility that Nekima would've killed him and earned me the full points on turn three.
My opponent obviously played perfectly. [/facetiousness] Seriously, he played very well, capitalizing on a huge weakness by smashing the Mobile Toolkit and draining my hand, which allowed Coppelius and the Widow Weaver to do...whatever they wanted, really. I was not going to be able to get sole control of the center. My bad decisions with Howard coupled with Kaeris flipping very poorly resulted in disaster. With any luck, my next game against Dreamer, assuming I play one, will go somewhat differently.
Fears Given Form + Coppelius Terror Duels + Alp/Daydream Wp penalties + Widow Weaver penalties is brutal resource drain. You are going to lose duels given iterative probability. You are will take damage, or you will get paralyzed, or you will pitch cards to prevent those things, and with paralysis especially, guess which one you're going to do? There's nothing that'll ruin your control hand like having to cheat an 11 to make a Wp 14 duel...
All-in-all, though? Fun game. Lessons learned. We talked the game over afterwards a fair bit, which was extremely helpful, and while I was getting out my models for the next game to speed up prep time we talked a little bit about round two's strategy and scheme pool and our respective plans for how to approach it. The fact that he seemed convinced I had a good battle plan going into round two (without knowing my adversary's faction or crew, of course--just my general list and approach to the strats/available schemes) gave me some much-needed confidence.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Game 2: Reckoning
My 50ss Reckoning list for Masters:
Kaeris (4+1 cache)
-Arcane Reservior (2 SS)
-Imbued Energies
-Grab and Drop (1 SS)
Rail Golem (11 SS)
-Imbued Energies (1 SS)
Howard Langston (12 SS)
-Imbued Energies (1 SS)
Mechanical Rider (12 SS)
-Imbued Protection (2 SS)
Johan (7 SS)
My opponent declared Neverborn. Yay, more Neverborn! He puts Lillith on the table. Lillith is accompanied by Lelu, Lillitu, Baby Kade, Barbaros, the Primordial Magic, and Hans. I know for certain that Lillith had her Living Blade melee upgrade (increases her range to 3") and Barbaros was running with Nephilum Gladiatus (AoE for 0 vs. Wk that deals 1/2/3 and hands out knockback with Slow for being pushed into terrain) and Obsidian Talons (all Nephilim gain Flay).
The terrain was really rather open--picture a grassy field that curves down into a large depression in the center of the road. The bowl-shape was approximately 24" across and had no cover to speak of with the exception of a two or three-inch wide tree smack in the center. The edges of the field were littered with tombstones and a ew small buildings. With corners deployment, this meant that there was no way for me to advance upfield without getting plinked at by Hans.
Hans aside, I had no intention of doing that. My opponent declares Breakthrough and a secret scheme (Distract). I declare Deliver a Message and a hidden scheme (Spring the Trap). With Breakthrough declared, my strategy is made even more obvious. I was already planning to let Lillith come to me. Now I had certainty that it was going to happen.
I deploy first, so I stick everybody pretty close to the corner...probably no farther than six to eight inches out. Lillith's forces bunch up near the edge of her deployment zone closest to me.
All according to keikaku.
Turn 1:
Opponent wins initiative and opts to go first.
Hans can shoot the entire table. So he just does that, wounding Johan for five before any of my models have gotten to do jack. I should've hidden him behind the Rail Golem or something. There are fortunately some small buildings in my corner, so I run Johan behind one of those (delaying time and getting him out of the line of fire). Hans isn't getting any more free shots at him.
From my own perspective, I'm in the bottom right corner of the table. Lillith's army starts crawling upfield, more or less right to the center of the table; Barbaros is sent off to my left, presumably intending to flank me, and the Primordial Magic comes more or less with him. I am not entirely sure why my opponent moved the Primordial Magic upfield at all instead of having it hide in a corner somewhere; 2 stones for Rush of Magic isn't a bad deal. If he was going to use it for Breakthrough--which actually makes a fair bit of sense--I think it would've made more sense to wait a bit instead of exposing a Reckoning target. I have Kaeris light up some members of her crew and eat the fire with Truth in Flame so I can draw some cards. Howard and the Rail Golem move to the left and take "cover" by getting behind some short tombstones to guarantee that any damage Hans can do is minimized. The Mechanical Rider goes upfield directly away from me and does the same.
By the end of turn one, I've done my best to create a cone of deadly units that can all be lit on fire and then sail on burning wings over their cover to converge on a single point and murder it. Come and get it, Lillith.
Turn 2:
I forget who wins initiative--it was probably my opponent. Hans plinks the Rail Golem a couple times, ignoring armor, which adds up  No problem. I'm still delaying, so Johan--who is safely out of Hans's line of sight and not planning on moving anywhere for a while--uses his (2) action to heal some of his wounds (and the RG's, too). Kaeris loads up the Rail Golem with burning because she can't actually reach any enemies and I'm perfectly happy to wait until they come to me.
Unfortunately, I left Kaeris in line of sight to enemy models because I wasn't worried about Hans and I hadn't given a whole lot of consideration to Lure. Lillith is basically in the center of the board; Lillitu, then, tries to Lure Kaeris. Unfortunately, I fail to resist that and can't do anything about it, so Kaeris gets dragged out into the open--nearly to the middle of the board. She's now more than six inches from the RG, so I'm not going to be able to activate, gain flight, and chugga chugga choo choo my way to the center to go on a rampage--I'd need to go the long way around. Kaeris has already activated, so she's stuck there, but I'm confident that she can survive Lillith for a while as long if I have SS to burn. My hand is pretty good--specifically, I have like four Rams to trigger Howard's Decapitate and at least one non-Ram 11+ card, and my opponent has used at least one card Luring Kaeris.
Barbaros is a pain to kill and might just push me out of melee--so instead I activate Howard, nimble-walk and Fast AP-walk to the Primordial Magic. Get a straight flip, cheat severe, rip the vomiting worm monster to shreds, and go for the encore by charging Baby Kade with the remaining general AP. Between flips and cheats I trigger decapitate a couple times; my opponent can't just let Baby Kade die and give me the point, so he's forced to toss some cards trying to keep him alive. Howard does what Howard does, though, and
Hand drained, Lillith's ability to threaten Kaeris is greatly reduced. Howard's mission is a success--he scores me a VP and protects my Leader by eating up enemy resources.
Lillith's player apparently wants to get three attacks instead of two with positive damage flips, so Lillith charges Kaeris and parks such that Kaeris is at the extreme edge of her 3" range so that Kaeris can't swing back. Kaeris takes a few wounds, but it's nothing she can't handle.
I score the strategy and we're 1-0.
Turn 3:
I lose initiative; I am pretty sure my opponent flipped an 11 or 12 and I wrote off the possibility of winning--the stone was better saved to keep Lillith from ripping Kaeris's face off. I burn stones and my defensive expenditure of resources results in my getting good enough flips that even with Lillith's built-in positive twist my opponent can't get a straight flip, which was the entire goal; I have a couple high cards in my hand and manage to deflect one of his attacks by cheating and mitigate some of the damage that gets through with more soulstone use. Kaeris takes more wounds than I would've liked, but she survived Lillith's onslaught and that's cool--another model is going to have to activate if Kaeris is going to die this turn, and she's going to get a chance to escape.
Kaeris pitches Imbued Energies for Fast, but she unfortunately fails her most of her disengage attempts despite my cheating a few high-ish cards and winds up locked down in the blood bowl because she can't get far enough away to avoid Lillitu Luring her back into the center. Hans and Lillitu finish the job Lilith started. That's a lot of effort required to kill Kaeris, so I can't feel too bad about how much she's accomplished.
Howard goes next. Since my opponent's models are all clustered around the tree in the center of the board, after killing Kade, Howard's easily close enough to just take a nimble-walk in and Deliver a Message. Howard Langston has totally earned his stones and anything extra he achieves for me is just gravy at this point. I forget the exact order of activations, but Lelu and Barbaros (who has deigned to return to the center of the board from his flanking curve approach) manage to kill him. 
I might not get a chance to set Lillith up the bomb properly at this point, because she's managed to bring the fight to her in the center. So I decide to take the points I can get. Mech Rider activates, Revels in Creation to create a Metal Gamin and get a push, then charges Lillith. My opponent burned cards killing Kaeris, so his hand isn't going to save him--and I only need to hit once and tie Lillith to be completely happy. Declaring the trigger to create scheme markers, Lillith suddenly finds herself next to two of them having already activated, and there aren't any unactivated models over there to clean them up.
Opponent's response: "Spring the Trap! Niiiice!"
My opponent scores the strategy; I don't, but I've earned five points from schemes, so we're 6-1.
Turn 4:
The score turnaround, contrary to his enthusiasm for my scheme choice, seemed to frustrate my opponent a little. We wind up having a humorously-long conversation about the Mechanical Rider because he indicates that he's going to scrap it with Lillith. Paraphrased, it was something like:
"I'm not worried. You're not going to kill it."
"Does it have armor?"
"No, it doesn't, it has a Df trigger that reduces damage by 1 for each Tome in the total, and it gets an automatic +3 tomes because it's turn 4. If I flip or cheat a tome, even a low one, that's going to be 4 less damage."
"Hans can ignore armor." 
"You can't get around it by bypassing Armor, because it's not Armor, it's a Df trigger. You'd have to negate enemy triggers. So...yeah. Not worried."
Mech Rider takes some damage, but it's (as expected) not a big deal because Lillith is seriously swinging for 1/1/3 (or 1/1/2 even if I flip a low tome). It disengages from Lillith using Revel in Creation so that it can push into melee with Lelu and proceeds to kill the glass-cannon nephilim twin with a couple hits for moderate damage. Thanks to the card-draw trigger I end up card neutral on the deal--I think I got a 4+ tome out of it, to boot--which was excellent. I think Barbaros came around and tried his hand at the Rider--the Gamin was created on the far side of the Rider, so there was no way for Barbaros to get around and hit it twice to kill it (hooray for Hard to Kill). Wounds are adding up, but it's seriously going to take like eight or ten AP worth of actions to kill it at this point in the game--not realistically happening.
The Metal Gamin runs around to join the other Metal Gamin that got created when I had the Rider join combat and set the trap--they're both hiding in the back corner of the map behind cover taking defensive stances. Hans can ignore armor, but not Hard to Kill, and Johan can heal them, so they're honestly just securing activation supremacy at this point.
Johan activates and heals himself and the Rail Golem. Dude has played medic for four turns now. The big hammer is obviously just for show. The Rail Golem, having been denied the ability to fly over the gravestones, pitches Imbued Energies. The thing has Burning +8, four from Kaeris loading it up earlier and four from activating every turn, and I've got a tome in my hand, so the RG walks out from behind cover and proceeds to Locomotion its way up the field (two castings). It's had to move 12" getting into position, but now it's close enough to charge Barbaros.
Unfortunately, RG proceeds to whiff like crazy and can't really hit Barbaros much less kill him, so there's no way I'm getting a Reckoning point this turn, but neither is my opponent.
Turn 5:
Pretty sure I win initiative. The Rail Golem completely fails to do anything to Barbaros. Sad day. Barbaros damages the Rail Golem a bit, but doesn't kill it. Mech Rider can't kill Barbaros either, but I pull the Red Joker into my hand off the card draw trigger. I could have Reactivated the RG...but I didn't have a tome in my hand, didn't want to chance it (in retrospect, I'm not sure why I didn't try), and didn't want to cheat in the RJ to do it just in case I needed it to make some critical last-minute Df flip to avoid my opponent scoring Reckoning or something.
I am totally unsure what my opponent's hidden scheme is. If it was Spring the Trap, that's over and done with. Unrevealed Line in the Sand? 
Anyway, Lillith goes and uses her ability that swaps the position of two models to put Lillitu where the RG is (just outside my deployment zone). Lillitu runs in and drops a scheme marker. Johan wanders over and clubs her in the face, but he doesn't kill her and we don't go into OT, so the game ends.
Opponent scores a point for Breakthrough. Game ends 6-2.
Turns out my opponent's other scheme was Distract. 
Analysis and Conclusions:
The decision to bring the Mech Rider to Reckoning was based on the scheme pool, and it paid off. I didn't get full points for Spring the Trap, but I was happy to settle for 2. Summoning a few Metal Gamin secured activation control, and my opponent had no particularly good way to kill them for points--they were way backfield, and there was no way around my hitters; Hans had to contend with Hard to Kill and if he had started shooting at them Johan could've healed them, so there was no way I was losing a Gamin without a ton of effort.
I also really think that the game was decided when schemes were chosen--Distract and Reckoning are really anti-synergistic, and I'm not sure why my opponent chose it. As it turns out I fed him one model at a time, so there was not really ever any point where he would've been able to distract two models and score.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information