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Lilith vs McMourning (50SS) - The Doctor Dances


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Lilith vs McMourning (50SS): The Doctor Dances


  (Although every attempt to recreate the battle accurately has been made, the exact sequence of events within the turn may have been slightly altered to fit the more descriptive form of the narrative. Any infringement on rules or numbers of actions performed by models is likely to be due to this.)


Strategy: Turf War

Schemes: LITS, Bodyguard, Murder Protégé, Assassination, Plant Explosive





Mature Nephilim

Young Nephilim

Young Nephilim


Terror Tot





Zombie Chihuahua



Flesh Construct

Rotten Belle

Rotten Belle

Canine Remains

Canine Remains


  So, another day, another battle report. This time it was serious, McMourning was reeling from his last encounter with the Mother of Monsters and had to do some serious scraping up of body parts to replace the decimated crew he fielded that time. He’d learned some new tricks though, and nobody gets one over on Dr Douglas McMourning ME (Medical Examiner? Maniacally Eccentric? WE JUST DON’T KNOW).


  The field of battle this time was the small outlying town of Borl’s Ark, a one-horse cluster of buildings on a dirt road, used by the legendary Marshall Francis Borl as a hideout during the Nephilm War in ‘99. A Neverborn had recently been caught and lynched here, and rumour has it that the wretch’s neck had been slashed and the body left in a burlap sack, left under the gallows. McMourning wanted that corpse for his experiements – if he could synthesize it and pump one of his constructs full of its foul fluids it would be a huge coup for the Resurrectionists and their hold on the area. Lilith, of course, wanted the secrets of the Black Blood to be kept within the Neverborn, and so set out to stop him. You may want to put on your waterproof ponchos now, it’s about to get messy.


  For the sake of clarity subjective phrases like ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are avoided here, instead we’ll refer to the NB having deployed on the North side of the town and the Ressers on the South. The Neverborn deployed long, stretching across the North edge of the town, Barbaros surveying from the hill behind the Sheriff’s office, silently cursing his cut wing tendons. Lilith and the Teddy up tight to the rear of the Bank, watching the Nephilim all sneaking out to the West around the remains of the old town wall, the Mature Nephilim trying very hard to make itself inconspicuous by hiding behind a tree.



  Dr McMourning arrived a little earlier to the party and had got his entire crew up behind the General Store, with one of his Nurses and a Belle peeking around the East wall of the store, backed up by one of the slavering Canine Remains he had whipped up after a quick midnight visit to the Guild Kennels. The rest of the crew comprised of himself and his trusty servant Sebastian, a Zombie Chihuahua, another Nurse/Belle combo and the  Flesh Construct. Another hastily stitched dog carcass stood on the hill behind the Saloon, bloody drool dripping from its lopsided muzzle.


  So Turn One started innocently enough, the two factions slowly crept up on the town from opposite sides Lilith sent out a Terror Tot in a reconnaissance mission, scuttling out from between the town wall and the deserted town bank, the door swinging open and the occasional smoke-stained scrip drifting out into the street on the arid wind.

  McMourning spotted the Tot creeping out towards the gallows and immediately countered it by sending out one of his Rotten Belles, staggering on her spoiling yet shapely ankles down the narrow alley between the Borl’s Ark Saloon and the General Store. Unfortunately she ran out of steam before she reached the street, slumping against the side wall of the General Store with a grunt. McMourning screamed at her to keep moving, but she was done. This was disastrous as it meant that the Flesh construct, ordered to follow her to the gallows and eat anything that tried to kiss her, ended up walking into the back of her and creating a pileup in the narrow gap between buildings. The Nurse and Chihuahua could do little more than edge up behind the now thoroughly confused Fleshie, the Nurse finding herself at a loose end sticking a poison-filled syringe into the Fleshie’s bottom and loading him up a bit more with the foul green ichor he loves so much.



  Meanwhile, the Neverborn were being busy. Lilith ordered the Teddy and the Nephilim to charge on the gallows, intending to get firsties to the gallows and get a strong defensive position. The Mature Nephilim and a Youngling descended on the East side of the gallows with a flap of their leathery wings, and eyed the undead intruders warily.


  McMourning decided to take a more direct role in his troop movements, running around the back of the General Store with Sebastian and ordering the Belle and Nurse there to move forwards, and the Dog to sprint forwards, after stuffing a mysterious package into its mouth. It duly obeyed, sprinting forwards to the puzzlement of the enormous Teddy, watching on from behind the stairs of the gallows. The second doggy made a similar sprint towards the town walls, but was stopped in his formaldehyde scented, leaky tracks by the second Young Neph, hiding behind the wall to scupper any undead flanking attempts. This ended the first turn with no bloodshed and everyone feeling pretty good about themselves. No VP scored by either faction as yet.



  Turn Two begins with some very odd happenings. The Rotten Belle on the West side of the General Store pulls up her petticoat, showing a bit of decomposing thigh to the Mature Nephilim guarding the gallows. Inexplicably he responds positively to this, lumbering forwards towards her with a confused lust in his eyes. He comes to his senses as he gets within arm’s reach of her, when he realises that a) She’s a half-animated shell of rotten flesh; and B) He’s a twelve foot tall winged demon, and could probably do better. So he responds by belting her with a huge taloned hand, and she scuttles back out of his way, with a new set of gaping wounds to show for her daring attempt at daemon-seduction. Now unable to take out his irritation on its source, the Mature turned to notice Sebastian, hunching over and eyeing his buzzsaw. With a mighty swing the Neph takes a large chunk out of Sebastian’s midsection. Seb looks down dejectedly. It’s nothing he can’t replace, but he’d had that spleen for ages.




  At this point the Neverborn take the full offensive, a Young Nephilim bounds forwards and takes on the other Belle, Barbaros and Lilith get within close range of the gallows, and between them flank the dog who was waiting patiently there for his master to arrive, having dropped his package on the floor. Good Dog. Good Dog Spot. Good Dog Spo…THWACK. The dog goes down in a wet splat of canine disappointment. In what would turn out to be a bad turn for the undead dogs of Malifaux, the Young Nephilim that surprised the other dog up on the East side of town killed his prey just as smoothly, but again not before the he dropped a small package on the floor, which the Young Nephilim barely sniffed at before bounding through a hole in the fence.


  The Teddy, disappointed with not getting a chance to kill anything yet, lumbered forwards and came up against Sebastian, who held up his Buzzsaw defensively. Of course, he was but a fat hunchback with bitching sideburns, and his foe was an anthropomorphic manifestation of a nightmare made flesh, so he didn’t fare too well, being mauled into several chunks. Dr McMourning, knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, decided to fold ‘em with some speed, backing off behind the general store to provide backup to the undead gridlock in the alleyway.


  At this point it would be fair to say that the Resurrectionists had had a poor start, given that their henchman and two of their dogs were dead, one of the Belles was missing several quite essential bits, and half of the team were stuck in an alley. But they are nothing if not determined, and they press on. Unable to move any further forwards due to the presence of a Terror Tot and a Youngling in the street at the end of the alleyway, they position themselves strategically, the Belle drops the package she’s been keeping in her petticoats whilst enduring a vicious attack from the Young Neph, and the Fleshie reaches past her and gives the terror tot a good wallop, giving him a nice dose of poison as he does so. The tiny yapping Chihuahua, livid at the fact that he’s stuck at the back of the pack and that he’s got such a ludicrously tiny and unmanageable tail, decides to expunge the poison in the Terror Tot’s veins, causing just enough damage in conjuction with the Fleshie’s meathook attacks to take him out, giving the Ressers their first (Black) blood of the game. This is a mixed blessing, however, as the spray of corrosive and oily blood from the dying Tot sprays all over the Belle and she is unable to remain animated in the face of such severe injuries, dropping to the floor in a pile of lifeless limbs.


  And so ends the second turn, and with it a cluster of Victory points. Lilith and Barbaros being within range of the gallows gives 1VP to the Neverborn, and the myseterious packages being dropped by the Ressers turn out to be dynamite, giving the Neverborn a big surprise and McMourning and co. a hearty 3VP. Lilith’s not finished yet though, as she had decided to Murder McMourning’s Protégé, and Sebastian falling so early was another 2VP for them, making it 3-3 at the end of the turn.



  Turn Three began with the Ressers at low morale. Unbeknownst to the Neverborn, the assassination of Sebastian was a four-pointer in real terms, as it make them unable to gain any VP from the Bodyguard scheme that they had hatched to get Sebastian deeper into the town and keep him safe to get to the loot once the Neverborn had been pushed back.


  But lo! – who is this coming around the corner to kick ass and take names? It’s Doctor Douglas Veronica McMourning, Guild Coroner! He grabs a syringe and some rubber tubing and hastily performs a blood transfusion between the Flesh Construct and the Young Nephilim, who is transfixed with surprise that such a delicate and complex medical procedure could have been performed so speedily and without his cooperation. Unimpressed by the treatment that he’s getting, the Teddy bumbles over and does his bit attacking the Fleshie with some force. Due to the fact that he’s got no blood left and he is the unluckiest pile of re-perfused limbs in the whole of Malifaux, Fleshie drops down to the floor, his bits mingling with all the other corpses in what is rapidly going to have to be declared Severe Terrain due to the sheer amount of body parts that must be littering the alleyway. What would be the best way to avenge the death of the poor Fleshie? Getting to do 7 damage on a heavily poisoned Nephilim?



  Diddle-a Dah-dah-DAAAH! PUPPY! POWER! Taking the initative, the Zombie Chihuahua ran around the back of the Saloon, intending to expunge the poisoned Neph. Unfortunately for him he had forgotten that he’s only 18 inches tall and doesn’t check his six often enough, and so the flanking Young Nephilim that he was running past bit his head off. He would have eaten its tail as well, but it had dropped off onto the floor and was too small for him to find [satire].


  One of the two Nurses, who had been standing outside the Store and desperately throwing syringes of uppers, downers, strangers and charmers at everyone in range finally gained the unwanted attention of the Mature Nephilim, who made very short work of her by smashing his giant claws straight through her midsection.  At this point Lilith had become to wander forwards, just to spectate on the circus of disasters befalling her enemies. Barbaros stood next to the gallows and bellowed a challenge, declaring that he and only he would taste battle this turn. Given the dwindling numbers of Ressers still in the fight at this point, it may have been an empty boast, but it at least caused the remaining Belle to have to back up a little before she attempted to attack the Mature Neph, who took but minor damage from her teeth and nails.


  Lilith whispered some arcane words under her breath, and the very fabric of Malifaux shifted, and suddenly one of McMourning’s nurses who had thought herself safely hidden behind the Store found herself out in the open, in direct battle with a Young Nephilim, and ended Turn Three on a cliffhanger.



  No VP for the Resurrectionists this turn, but another one for the Neverborn due to them still having control of the gallows in the town centre. 4-3 and not looking great for McMourning.



  Turn Four turned out to be rather disappointingly the final hurrah for the Ressers, starting off poorly when the Rotten Belle that had been bothering the Mature Nephilim all game foolishly attacked him again despite being near death herself. Yet another poor Belle bit the dust because she’d forgotten how dangerous Black Blood could be. This left poor McMourning in a bit of a pickle, and he did what he could do, expunging the poisoned Young Nephilim and then doing what can only be described as ‘A Runner’, bolting around the back of the Saloon with all of his might (And AP) and coming round the other corner. His only chance now at clawing back some victory was to get close enough to the gallows that he and his Nurse could maybe get a sample of the Neverborn’s corpse.


  Seeing the opportunity to seize victory completely, the Young Nephilim that had been gifted the Nurse by Lilith at the end of the last turn used her surprise to great advantage by tearing her apart with a barrage of melee attacks, leaving the good Doctor with absolutely nobody (or bodies) to help him. He came around the corner of the Saloon to the sight of the poor Nurse’s body dropping to the ground, and he did the most sensible thing. He conceded the town of Borl’s Ark to the Neverborn, and ensured that he would live to fight another day.



  At the end of Turn Four some totting up was required. Neverborn got 2VP for the fact they had protected Teddy (Bodyguard) sufficiently and would do so for the fifth turn too, another 1VP for him being above half health and a final 2VP for the fact that Turf War was going to be uncontested for this turn and the notional fifth turn. A strong win for the Neverborn with a final score of 9-3 and a resounding slamming of the Resurrectionists.



  As the Resser player, I think that I made two major mistakes. The first of these and without doubt the largest, was to send several quite important models down a narrow alleyway, where they promptly got stuck. Several quite gamechanging actions couldn’t be performed because there was no line of sight for the support models at the back of the pack. The second major mistake was spending too long trying to set up long synergies, like poison-transfusion-expunge chains, where one failure meant the chain breaks down and three models spent a whole turn failing to do something.


  It was a difficult game as the Neverborn crew was a real brute squad, lots of big hitters and all but two on 40mm or 50mm bases, so lots of engagement ranges and lots of area control to work around, and the only real chance for the Ressers would have been to keep back and work sneakily, not try and contest the centre in a straight fight.

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