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Malifaux tournament report: Spring Breach (50SS); 26Apr2015


Argentbadger
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I headed over to Common Ground Games for my first attendance at a Malifaux tournament run by the 2 Guys 1 Paintpot group. I think a modest attendence of about 12 players had been expected but actually there were a few no-shows and the event went ahead with only 8 people. Nevertheless, it was decided to go with the planned 4 rounds. I had finished putting the Guardian together and decided to use it as much as possible and see if I can make it work for me.

 

Game 1: Guild (me) vs Outcasts (Allan)

 

Strategy: Interference

 

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, Cursed Object, Outflank
Guild: Breakthrough (announced), Outflank (announced)
Outcasts: Cursed Object, Bodyguard (Freikorps Librarian)

 

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Nino Ortega (Hair Trigger), Witchling Stalker, Austringer, 2 Hunters, Watcher, Guardian
Outcasts: Von Schill (Shirt COmes Off, Engage At Will), Hannah (Ancient Tomes), 2 Freikorpsmen, Freikorps Trapper, Freikorps Librarian, Strongarm Suit, Steam Trunk

 

So for the second event at CGG in a row, I get paired with Allan in the first round. I strongly suspect that he’ll play Von Schill, but even if not there are just too many bad match ups for Sonnia in Outcasts so I choose Perdita. The Guardian looks to add a lot to Perdita to increase the chances of Quick Draw damage against any shooting attacks. I also think that it could be useful to leverage the big melee range to lock pieces down for Interference. With flank deployment and Outflank I pick the Watcher to simply rush a corner and hide to pick me up some points. Breakthrough also feels strong in flank deployment simply because the deployment zones extend so close to the centre. As it happens, Allan does indeed select his lovely Star Wars-themed Von Schill crew.

 

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Turn 1: A Hunter hurts the Trapper, who then pushes away and fires a Focussed shot back. Von Schill moves forward and is, to my great surprise, buried by Hannah. Nino Rapid Fires the Strongarm suit which has come tearing up the centre of the big shed, getting a handy Red Joker on one damage flip. Perdita Relocates to Nino, chooses to ignore armour with Trick Shooting and drops both the Strongarm Suit and the Trapper. The Guardian uses Protect on Perdita.

 

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Turn 2: The Hunter on the right attacks Von Schill and is chopped to bits in return after the mustachioed hero removes his shirt. Nino Rapid Fires a few more wounds off Von Schill before Hannah buries him to safety again. The Freikorpsman on the left moves up and shoots Perdita, taking damage from Quick Draw for his trouble thanks to Protect. The other Freikorpsman misses the Watcher which moves up to drop a scheme marker for Breakthrough. The surviving Hunter fails to do anything to the first Freikorpsman, so Perdita once more takes things into her own hands. Ignoring armour again, she guns down first Hannah (with some help from the Austringer) and the Steam Trunk. I score for Interference.

 

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Turn 3: I flip an ace for Initiative, and Allan flips a 2. I decide it is worth a stone to try again, and flip another ace. Von Schill charges Perdita, but can’t take her down. The Hunter kills the left Freikorpsman and the Librarian heals some of Von Schill’s manly wounds. The Watcher, not fancying it’s chances giving the Freikorpsman another shot at it, flies back to safety behind a building. Perdita pumps bullets into Von Schill and the Guardian finishes him off. The Austringer kills the surviving Freikorpsman and I score again for the strategy.

 

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Turn 4: With only the Librarian remaining, Allan doesn’t have many options. She passes the Guardian a Cursed Object and goes Defensive. Perdita kills her anyway and the Guardian removes the Cursed Object. With nothing left to stop me, we agree that I can spend the rest of the game moving and dropping markers for a full score. Guild win 10 – 0.

 

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Allan’s a lovely chap to play against, and his game was much improved from our previous meeting (though the score was the same). He needs to focus more on scoring VPs; in particular he only revealed Cursed Object in turn 4 so could only have possibly scored 2 points from it. But his positioning was rather better and he made better use of his AP this time round. From my side, the game was quite one-sided so not much to learn, except that Perdita with Protect on her is quite amusing if anyone shoots her.

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Game 2: Guild (me) vs Arcanists (Alistair)

 

Strategy: Collect The Bounty

 

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Distract, Protect Territory, Plant Explosives, Take Prisoner
Guild: Line in the Sand (announced), Protect Territory (announced)
Arcanists: [i didn’t actually note Alistair’s schemes down]

 

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Brutal Effigy, Death Marshal, Witchling Stalker, Austringer, Hunter, Watcher, Guardian
Arcanists: Mei Feng (Price of Progress, Seismic Claws), Kang (Imbued Protection), Emberling, Willie, 2 Steam Arachnids, 2 Rail Workers

 

I decided that Sonnia Criid would be a good bet for Collect The Bounty as in theory she can kill several models in a single activation. The Guardian got the nod again here mainly on the ground of being a minion (and therefore only worth a single point) which is tricky to get rid of. The rest of the crew was also minions so that I could give up as few strategy points as possible, except for Papa Loco of course who was included to turbo charge Sonnia’s spells. Given that my plan was to burn swathes of Alistair’s crew, I picked the only two schemes that didn’t require me to keep anything alive.

 

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Turn 1: Papa Loco does his usual routine of handing Sonnia dynamite, pulling her forward with Cover Me and being tucked safely into his Pine Box by the Death Marshal. Willie gets in range to be immolated by Sonnia so she hits him with a couple of moderate damages to start chipping away at a Rail Worker and Mei Feng behind him; Willie himself burns to death at the end of the turn. Probably just as well considering the havoc he can cause.

 

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Turn 2: Sonnia notes that Mei Feng is within 14″, so she barbecues her and Rail Worker, and drops Kang to his Hard To Kill wound. Kang charges the Watcher and smashes it with his spade. The Hunter, which has been carefully positioned at 10″ away from the Metal Gamin and Steam Arachnid on the right, puts Slow onto both of them and pulls them closer. This develops into the world’s most disappointing fight as the Witchling Stalker and Emberling also get involved but nothing of significance occurs to anyone. Papa Loco escapes from the Pine Box and puts the final wound into Kang. The Effigy puts the last wound on the Rail Worker who had been softened up by Sonnia in turn 1. I score for the strategy.

 

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Turn 3: The Hunter takes out the Arachnid and is killed off by the Gamin in reply. Sonnia kills the other Arachnid, splashing a blast over the Metal Gamin on the left. The Guardian finishes the job, the Stalker kills the Emberling and the Austringer kills off the last Metal Gamin. Guild win 10 – 0.

 

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Alistair is a really nice chap, but I could see in his eyes as soon as we were paired up that he didn’t believe he could beat me here… and of course that became a self-fulfilling prophecy. It was a shame, because I think he can be a pretty decent player on his day, but I didn’t really get his best effort. Oh well. Everything worked nicely for me, and indeed I could have done more damage on turn 1 but for the need to keep things alive until turn 2 for the Strategy.

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Game 3: Guild (me) vs Neverborn (Lewis)

 

Strategy: Guard The Stash

 

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Bodyguard, Plant Explosives, Deliver A Message
Guild: Assassinate, Bodyguard (The Judge)
Neverborn: Deliver A Message (announced), Bodyguard (Mr Tannen)

 

Crews
Guild: Sonnia Criid (Reincarnation), The Judge, Papa Loco (Hermanos De Armas), Death Marshal, Witchling Stalker, Austringer, 2 Hunters, Watcher
Neverborn: Pandora (The Box Opens, Fugue State), Depleted, Silurid, Illuminated, Mr Tannen, Teddy, Hans

 

Perdita and Sonnia both have plenty to offer against Neverborn, but I was in the mood for Sonnia and went for her this time. The Judge was included purely for Bodyguard purposes since I can never rely on Papa Loco making the end of any game. This time I couldn’t think of any real use I could get out of the Guardian so left him out. Killing Pandora seemed both necessary and achievable with Sonnia so I also picked Assassinate.

 

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Turn 1: Hans Focuses, ignores armour with Reference the Field Guide and cheats in the Red Joker to kill my Hunter with the first activation of the game. Apparently this happened in the first turn of 3 of Lewis’s 4 games today. Papa Loco tells Sonnia to Hold This and moves to hide from Hans behind a forest, and Sonnia then unleashes her Flame Bursts to kill the Silurid obligingly standing in the middle of the deployment zone. She also kills Mr Tannen, who is hiding behind a tree on the right of the picture above, with the blasts. A brawl develops around the Stash on the right, with the Illuminated, Depleted, Hunter and Stalker all involved to little effect. Pandora scoots past, dropping Incite on Hunter as she goes. Teddy moves in and uses his (0) to take an attack on the Death Marshal, who then buries the big monster. The Austringer sends his bird to peck a few wounds of Pandora.

 

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Turn 2: Pandora hurts the Austringer and kills the Death Marshal, releasing Teddy. Thanks to Incite I activate the Hunter, which puts some more damage on the Illuminated, though of course it’ll all be regenerated shortly. Teddy Delivers a Message to Sonnia then uses Gobble You Up to attack the Judge and push him away from the Stash on the left. The Judge walks back and pokes Teddy. The Austringer pushes Sonnia out of melee with Pandora, and she shows her appreciation by firing wildly into the combat. The first two shots helpfully randomise onto Pandora (and I cheat the Red Joker on the first), the third lands on the Austringer, killing him but allowing me to put the finishing blast on Pandora (scoring Assassinate for me). Just to rub it in, I turn Pandora into a Witchling Stalker. Hans finds that due to the placement of forests, Stash markers, and his own crew he has no targets to shoot, so has to actually walk before shooting Papa Loco. We both score on the strategy.

 

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Turn 3: Teddy Flurries The Judge, but he survives on his Hard To Kill wound. The Hunter, realising that it is getting hammered by the Illuminated sooner or later anyway, kills the Depleted. Predictably, the Illuminated does scrap my robot. Papa Loco moves, tries to blow up himself and Teddy but Lewis is able to flip the face card needed to avoid death by dynamite; Papa Loco himself is left on a single wound. The Judge kills Teddy and uses Stand For Judgment to pull the Stalker to him. The Stalker then moves round to block a shot from Hans. Sonnia walks to the left Stash marker so I can score on the strategy.

 

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Turn 4: Hans shoots Papa Loco, hurting Sonnia in the explosion. The Illuminated kills the Stalker, but sadly finds himself in range of Sonnia while on fire. Luckily, this state doesn’t last long, as Sonnia turns him into charcoal, she also puts some light damage onto Hans. The Judge runs for the right Stash and as far from Hans as possible so I can score both Bodyguard and Guard the Stash this turn.

 

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Turn 5: Hans shoots Sonnia so she immolates him for his impudence. I score again for the strategy and Bodyguard. Guild win 9 – 4 (4 for Guard the Stash, 3 for Assassinate, 2 for Bodyguard for me; 1 for Guard the Stash and 3 for Deliver a Message for Lewis).

 

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That was more like it! Lewis put up a really good fight there and I very much enjoyed our game. Playing against Pandora can be really hard, but Sonnia has the tools to deal with her, either directly thanks to her high Ca value or indirectly by splashing blasts off nearby victims. Ideally these are in the enemy crew but I have no problem targeting my own minions if the situation calls for it. Lewis told me at the end about having Bodyguard on Mr Tannen, who I’d killed in turn 1. I had considered sending my blasts the other way instead (i.e. to get the Depleted) since Mr Tannen didn’t seem so threatening way out on the right, but he’s such a pain that I figured I needed to get him when I could.

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Game 4: Guild (me) vs Ten Thunders (Dave)

 

Strategy: Guard The Stash

 

Schemes
Pool: Line in the Sand, Entourage, Breakthrough, Power Ritual, Protect Territory
Guild: Power Ritual (announced), Protect Territory (announced)
Ten Thunders: Power Ritual (announced), Breakthrough (announced)

 

Crews
Guild: Perdita Ortega (Trick Shooting), Enslaved Nephilim, Austringer, 2 Hunters, Watcher, Guardian, Death Marshal, 2 Guild Hounds
Ten Thunders: Misaki (Stalking Bisento, Smoke and Shadows), Ototo, Yin the Penangalan (Smoke Grenades), Chiaki the Neice, Lone Swordman (Recalled Training), 2 Torakage

 

I’ve played Dave at the last couple of tournaments in Scotland and I think he’s getting pretty sick of seeing Sonnia. Since this game wasn’t going to affect the standings (I had such a ludicrous VP difference by this point that losing 10 – 0 and having Lewis win his last game 10 – 0 would still leave me ahead of him) I told Dave up front that I would use Perdita. I had some kind of vague idea about using the big melee range on the Guardian to lock up a couple of Squat markers, but the corner deployment made them rather more spread out than usual. My crew was filled with cheap minions as there would be no particular benefit (apart from activation control) for Dave to kill my stuff. Interestingly, he took a much more elite crew.

 

The board was good to play on, but the huge frontings and narrow streets meant that the photographs are quite useless for anything in the middle.

 

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Turn 1: A Guild Hound and both Torakage drop markers in the corners for Power Ritual; I guess Dave wanted a bit of insurance. Misaki Stalks the Hunter. The Austriner plinks a few wounds off Misaki and Perdita ignores cover to knock her down a few more.

 

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Turn 2: The centre Hunter moves onto the central Squat marker and shoots Misaki, missing. Perdita chain activates and shoots Miskaki down to a single wound. She speeds away, killing my Watcher then the Death Marshal takes the central marker while bravely hiding behind the Hunter. Yin puts Gnawing Fear on Perdita and Ototo misses the Hunter in a display of the martial prowess for which he is most famous. With the demise of my Watcher, the other Hunter heads for the corner to get the marker and Power Ritual; the Austringer fittingly avenges the poor winged robot by killing Misaki with his Raptor. The Swordsman comes in and knocks a few chunks out of the Guardian, which has Perdita under Protect. Chiaki floats through a wall and takes one of the Squat markers in the house. Neither of us scores on the strategy.

 

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Turn 3: The Death Marshal pushes Ototo into a Pine Box and the Lone Swordsman epically kills Perdita; he didn’t even need to use You Shall Not See Another Sunrise to do it. Even with defense 7 and double positive flips I still couldn’t keep her alive. My Guild Hounds and Hunter in the corner drop scheme markers and claim their Squat markers before the Torakage get to them. Yin and Chiaki hurt the Death Marshal but can’t release Ototo. The Hunter, Guardian and Austringer all put a little damage into the Lone Swordsman, finally taking him down by sheer weight of attacks it seems. I score for Squatter’s Rights.

 

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Turn 4: This will be the last turn. We both have shocking hands, and agree to show each other. We each have one moderate card, and the other 10 cards between us hold nothing higher than a 5. The Guild Hounds fail to kill their Torakage. The ninja on the other side of the board walks away from the Hunter and drops a marker for Power Ritual. The Austringer drops a scheme marker. Chiaki moves to stop me messing with the Squat marker Dave has already claimed, then Yin tries to leave melee with the Hunter, which has moved round to force a disengaging strike as she goes for the last marker. But I top deck the Red Joker to stop her getting away on the first attempt. Guild win 8 – 3 (2 for Squatter’s Rights and 3 each for both schemes for me; 3 for Power Ritual for Dave).

 

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Dave is always a great chap to play against, and I really feel like he’s improving as a player each time we meet. This game was full of ludicrous flips and terrible hands all round, and we both had a good laugh whenever something else went awry. I think Dave made a really interesting choice to go for Perdita with the Lone Swordsman in turn 3. Of course, it worked and stopped Perdita from laying waste to his crew, but I felt that the Death Marshal would have been an easier target, and would also have allowed him the use of Ototo again. The Guardian probably earned its place in the crew. It may be slow but I think it adds an interesting option for Perdita’s defense against some ranged attacks. In normal or close deployment, that 3″ melee range could have been more effective in Squatter’s Rights too.

 

So once the final scores are called, I come in first place. It wasn’t the strongest field ever, but I was happy to get 4 fun games of Malifaux against nice people and I’m really pleased whenever a tournament is run near where I live. Thanks to Allan, Alistair, Lewis and Dave for playing this great game with me, and thanks to Kai and Jamie for running the event. I’m already looking forward to the next one.

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Hooray - a tournament report! An ArgentBadger Monday is the best Monday!

Now that's a fine amount of terrain, I think. And, as ZFiend predicted in the last thread, your success wasn't hanging on terrain :D

I thought you weren't supposed to be able play this game like that ("I'll just kill all the enemies on turn three as this Strategy and Scheme malarkey is a lot easier afterwards.") but you seem to make it work. It is a pretty brutal strategy though so my hat's off to your opponents for being mostly excellent sports about it all :)

Also, I noticed that you even used a Henchman in one game! I have to say that I find your lists somewhat unorthodox. I rate the Guild Henchmen extremely highly yet you find glorious success while using practically none. Interesting for sure. I also really liked your Guardian with Perdita - that makes her a tough nut to crack for sure.

The Pandora game was for sure the most interesting one as the other three felt like a bit of a routine performance but you pulled the third one off with a flourish as well. Congrats on a well-earned win!

Can you do a bit of analysis on what your opponents could've done differently to end up with a different outcome? Or if you'd rather not, I understand (not giving out trade secrets but also it is often really difficult to do when you don't know their hands and such and especially now that it is very after the fact).

Are you leading the UK Guild stats, out of interest?

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Thanks for the reports.

 

Rankings comments

I think He is running 3rd in guild at the moment, but one of the players above him isn't playing guild at the moment, so as results drop off he'll probably get number 2 by default. (Or a couple more good results in big fields and he'll be top, but most of his results are in fields too small to overtake the others).

 

Ben "Panzer"Harris is top guild at the moment, and I think he is largely Justice, Joe "Tarentio" Wood is Second, with Sonnia, but hasn't playered her competatively this year.

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Its a Guild version of "Apply Viks to the face" :D

 

I think if I played you I`d take... Frame for Muder and Bodyguard if possible just for the 6 points even if I didn`t manage to score the strat which would make me lose 10:6 which wouldn`t be THAT BAD considering your opponent scores :D

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I thought you weren't supposed to be able play this game like that ("I'll just kill all the enemies on turn three as this Strategy and Scheme malarkey is a lot easier afterwards.") but you seem to make it work. It is a pretty brutal strategy though so my hat's off to your opponents for being mostly excellent sports about it all :)

 

This is my understanding too. Once the opponent is tabled you lose the opportunity to play on and score.

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This is my understanding too. Once the opponent is tabled you lose the opportunity to play on and score.

I didn't mean that he wasn't allowed to play that way, just that the common wisdom seems to be that a playstyle like that leads to defeat. As Dirial said, the game continues for the as many rounds as it does no matter if the opponent has no models left. You even flip for Initiative each round :)
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Ototo proved to be a master of infiltration in our game, as I'm pretty sure the Death Marshall accidentally went home with him still in that pine box. It must have been pretty comfortable, I guess.

 

Good games again, and another great write-up :)

 

Thanks!  Our game was great fun, as always.  The Pine Box is definitely comfortable - Papa Loco spends much of his time in there.  Getting Ototo out of Pine Box is pretty hard without killing the Death Marshal, though I think in our case I didn't even activate the Marshal again before the game ended anyway.

 

Yay, we get reports two weekends in a row. :)

 

Congrats on the win.

 

Quite a bit more terrain than last report, at least on board 2-4.

 

Thank you.  The terrain was pretty fine for me.  Game 1 was also OK, I thought, but anyway I was playing against another shooting crew so probably it didn't matter much.

 

No tournaments this coming weekend though!

 

Hooray - a tournament report! An ArgentBadger Monday is the best Monday!

Now that's a fine amount of terrain, I think. And, as ZFiend predicted in the last thread, your success wasn't hanging on terrain :D

I thought you weren't supposed to be able play this game like that ("I'll just kill all the enemies on turn three as this Strategy and Scheme malarkey is a lot easier afterwards.") but you seem to make it work. It is a pretty brutal strategy though so my hat's off to your opponents for being mostly excellent sports about it all :)

 

Thanks, as always, for your very kind and encouraging words.  The terrain was busier compared to other recent tournament games, but my experience has been that neither Sonnia nor Perdita are really too bothered by cover.  I'm still waiting for ZFiend to post that they wouldn't play against me on such a board though ;)

 

I also find it funny about playing games killing everything first, as one of the things I always say to sell Malifaux to potential new players is 'it isn't only about killing stuff'.  All I can say is that has been an effective strategy for me.  The trick, of course, is to know when to kill things and when to do whatever else scores points - basically denial versus active scoring.  There are reams of pages on this board about various ways to deny your opponent options (Paralyse, make them a Peon, engage them with Izamu or whatever) - I just aim to apply the next level of debuff: dead.  My opponents are generally really fine about this (it is a game, after all) and I can only hope that I'm a nice enough opponent that it doesn't upset anyone.

 

Also, I noticed that you even used a Henchman in one game! I have to say that I find your lists somewhat unorthodox. I rate the Guild Henchmen extremely highly yet you find glorious success while using practically none. Interesting for sure. I also really liked your Guardian with Perdita - that makes her a tough nut to crack for sure.

 

There is certainly nothing wrong with the Guild Henchmen, though I don't find them too easy to use for the most part.  Sam Hopkins feels redundant as he mainly brings damage which is something I'm not really lacking anyway, and he dies really easily.  Francisco brings a really good melee attack (and El Mayor, of course) but I find that I can get a similar bodyguard role by tight positioning and spending those soulstones on something else to achieve my schemes.  He also makes Perdita even more vulnerable to blast attacks if you go with the El Mayor thing, and finally I'm terrible at keeping the poor chap alive.  Arguably, you could say much the same about the Guardian, and I admit that not totally sold on the big robot either (but the Guardian doesn't have to stay so close, and Df7 with double :+fate  defensive flips is quite amusing).

 

Overall, I just find that I get better mileage out of having a bigger crew and having a bigger number of meaningful activations.  I say meaningful because all my pieces can actually do something, as opposed to just hiring the rat ball and messing around for a dozen AP in turn 1.

 

One of many things I love about Malifaux is that the balance is tight enough that all these options are viable.

 

The Pandora game was for sure the most interesting one as the other three felt like a bit of a routine performance but you pulled the third one off with a flourish as well. Congrats on a well-earned win!

 

Can you do a bit of analysis on what your opponents could've done differently to end up with a different outcome? Or if you'd rather not, I understand (not giving out trade secrets but also it is often really difficult to do when you don't know their hands and such and especially now that it is very after the fact).

 

Lewis played a pretty good game, and Pandora can carry a lot of weight.  Actually I feel that Sonnia causes a real uphill struggle for Pandora (I was really expecting to see the Dreamer) so I thought that Lewis did terrifically well considering.  But I think you're doing David (Misaki, game 4) a bit of a disservice here too.

 

Analysis of the other side is a really interesting way to put this, though I'm shockingly bad at seeing even simple counterplays to my game until they get done to me.  So, with the benefit of hindsight, and without knowing what my opponents could see in the hands, let us try this.  Feel free to join in at home if you have anything to add.

 

Game 1:  Allan's biggest things to work on are to make use of cover and keep his models within an appropriate range of each other (in particular, the Librarian repeatedly was struggling to keep up with the things she wanted to heal).  Allan got fixated on trying to kill Perdita with Von Schill, but he would have been better off ignoring her (or better, tying her down/burying her with Hannah) and killing off the rest of my crew.  He also needs to give a bitmore consideration to his schemes, as Cursed Object wasn't even revealed until turn 4 and anyway we both had almost no reason to close up.

 

Game 2:  Alistair just didn't really make any attempt to avoid the barrage from Sonnia, he simply marched his crew up without keeping any of them in cover.  He would have been better served deploying much closer together and keeping everyone in Kang's aura.  This in one of the few cases where a slow advance under double Vent Steam could have been useful (though I have ways around that of course).

 

Game 3:  Lewis played a much tighter game.  I think he made the right choice taking out the Hunter with Hans in turn 1 (rather than Papa Loco) but I think Teddy would have been better served going for Papa Loco in almost all cases, partly because he can survive the explosion, and partly because Papa Loco has such abysmal Wp that Gobble You Up is almost sure to work.  Pandora dithered a little bit, and I think she would have been better served either guaranteeing the Neverborn won the fight around the right Stash, or racing straight into Sonnia and locking her down with her big Ml range.  The Silurid should definitely have started in cover; with Leap there was no reason to have it in sight at all.  Leaving aside that Mr Tannen had Bodyguard on him, I'm not sure what he would achieve way out on his own on the far right.

 

Game 4:  Dave could have easily scored 3 more VP simply by picking the much-easier-to-score Protect Territory over Breakthrough, which he never got close to scoring on.  I was a bit surprised that neither Torakage buried themselves on turn 1 as that would have allowed them to unbury much nearer the corners rather than having slog across the board for 3 turns.  Yin could have denied me claiming the central Squat marker by activating sooner.  I'm not sure it would have made a difference, but I think that having the Lone Swordsman attack the Death Marshal in turn 3 (rather than Perdita) could have given more AP by unleashing Ototo.  On the other hand, he did get Perdita so maybe it was worth it.  Dave - if you're reading this, what is your take on it?

 

Are you leading the UK Guild stats, out of interest?

 

Thanks for the reports.

 

Rankings comments

I think He is running 3rd in guild at the moment, but one of the players above him isn't playing guild at the moment, so as results drop off he'll probably get number 2 by default. (Or a couple more good results in big fields and he'll be top, but most of his results are in fields too small to overtake the others).

 

Ben "Panzer"Harris is top guild at the moment, and I think he is largely Justice, Joe "Tarentio" Wood is Second, with Sonnia, but hasn't playered her competatively this year.

 

Thanks!

 

I haven't followed the rankings this year (last year I did keep an eye on them as I wanted to be top Ten Thunders) so I'm quite surprised that I'm so high up.  As you point out, winning in small tournaments doesn't really affect the rankings, so unless I attend and place highly in a few big events then I'm unlikely to overtake anyone.

 

I think it very interesting that Guild looks nearly unbeatable in these reports.... which is totally not my experience.  :D

 

If I may sound immodest, I would say that this demonstrates that the game is tolerably balanced, and that it is the player who makes the difference ;) .

 

Its a Guild version of "Apply Viks to the face" :D

 

I think if I played you I`d take... Frame for Muder and Bodyguard if possible just for the 6 points even if I didn`t manage to score the strat which would make me lose 10:6 which wouldn`t be THAT BAD considering your opponent scores :D

 

Hahaha, yes, I do often give up points for Frame For Murder (unless it's really telegraphed, in which case I try to tie up with cheap models or Pine Box it).  Bodyguard isn't such a strong bet though: the model has to come at least 8" toward me!

 

This is my understanding too. Once the opponent is tabled you lose the opportunity to play on and score.

 

Thanks for commenting.

 

As Dirial and Math Mathonwy have rightly pointed out already, this is not correct.  If this were the case, you would see ridiculous scenarios of single models being left alive and penned in, trying to kill themselves to end the game early.  We don't go as far as Math Mathonwy's light-hearted comment about flipping for initiative, of course.  The local culture is to just agree what points can be scored and accept that there is no reason that the player wouldn't do so.  I guess if there was anything needing flips we'd probably make those too, but it's almost always just saying 'this model moves here and drops a scheme marker, this one moves here and drops another; I score 3 for Breakthrough' or similar.

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Re: Breakthrough and Shadowstride; I didn't have the mask in hand. It's the one thing that stops my Torakage from being roughly 21" up the table at the end of the first turn. As for protect territory, I'd prefer to take that with 10T Brothers, since they can sit on a scheme marker, as opposed to the Torakage who have Df6 and Wd6 between them and oblivion. Since all I usually need is a 6 of masks on turn one to get my Torakage up the table and (pretty much) safe (I prefer to either interact and smoke-bombs, chaining in the shadowstride which then only needs to top-deck any 4+, or do the same with a walk).

 

Honestly, I was more upset that I didn't just use all of Ototo's movement on the first turn to block line of sight to Misaki (I hid him behind Yin, because Ototo is famously a coward, right? - I think I had it in my head that he would charge through her next turn, with Shove Aside, or something... I was tired, hah!). I'd much rather he was shot than her, since he has hard-to-kill and a self-heal, and I'm not sure even Purdy could manage to kill him in one go (and failing to leaves him enraged).

 

Later, your suggestion about killing the Death Marshall with the Lone Swordsman was a good one; I think the terrain blinded me to the possibility (literally!), but I was pretty satisfied with top-decking such a beefed-up Purdy to death in two attacks (admittedly, Recalled Training and our terrible, terrible control hands helped a bit...).

 

As for using Yin as a blocking piece, I think this is the next basic thing I need to work on with my Malifaux play - I am really, really cautious, to the point where my super-fast crew are always second to the places they need to get to. I don't have a lot of low-cost minions in my collection at the moment (I have monks of low river, which I used three of in my first game and was actually quite impressed with in such a large number, and Orian, who are specialised for certain games and who I like because of Hidden Agenda, but who tend to get one-shotted a lot), and tend to fill up the space they would occupy with another henchman or enforcer (or one of the 10T's expensive specialised minions). Essentially, I need to have a bit more confidence in my minions to get in and secure ground so that when my beatstick does rock up to the middle, they're not trying to clear four enemy models off a point as much as stopping them from re-taking it from me.

 

But that's what I'll be working on. I was previously practising being faster; I'm at a point where I'm happy with how fast I play now, since I'm getting more familiar with my own models and just need to learn other factions' more intimately (for example, you remembered that Chiaki was Innocent long before I did!). So next up is getting bolder with my pieces. Which will probably be promptly followed by learning how not to telegraph my schemes, but then I tend to announce very often these days, so that rather mitigates it.

 

Hopefully we'll get to play again in a couple of weeks in Edinburgh, and hopefully I can continue to be better again :)

 

Oh, and P.S. I think one of the reasons I'm so cautious with my models right now is our first game together, and Sonnia nuking my entire crew in two activations... :P

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Well since it was so kindly put up that I'd have something to say I feel like I have to now. :P

Table 1. Nope I wouldn't play.

Table 2. Eh, it's better, but would benefit from some smaller scatter terrain

Table 3. Same as the table 2.

Table 4. Looks better.

There we go zFiend terrain whine done. :P

Congrats on the win. As Math pointed out your crew builds are just great. They are unorthodox and something rarely seen. And again, I'm not here to dismiss your skill. ;)

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Thanks, as always, for your very kind and encouraging words.  The terrain was busier compared to other recent tournament games, but my experience has been that neither Sonnia nor Perdita are really too bothered by cover.  I'm still waiting for ZFiend to post that they wouldn't play against me on such a board though ;)

 

I also find it funny about playing games killing everything first, as one of the things I always say to sell Malifaux to potential new players is 'it isn't only about killing stuff'.  All I can say is that has been an effective strategy for me.  The trick, of course, is to know when to kill things and when to do whatever else scores points - basically denial versus active scoring.  There are reams of pages on this board about various ways to deny your opponent options (Paralyse, make them a Peon, engage them with Izamu or whatever) - I just aim to apply the next level of debuff: dead.  My opponents are generally really fine about this (it is a game, after all) and I can only hope that I'm a nice enough opponent that it doesn't upset anyone.

Yeah, I can see that about Sonnia and Perdita. Even if there is a lot of blocking on the board, some of the opponent's models usually want to see you as well so there will be targets and with them ignoring cover/easy access to  :+fate things will die. If one compare Rasputina, one of her "things" is that she can potentially shoot six times, but if there is cover it gets cut back to one focused attack and one shitty or just use the last AP for utility. Sure, sometimes you can mirror past the cover but that depends on what kind of terrain it is.

 

I think people sometimes goes a little too far towards the other side and swap around "not only about killing" to "only about not killing" as a way to differentiate the game, which like most exaggerations is misleading. But I guess it's hard to get a short accurate sound bite since even 40k isn't only about killing, in many scenarios you have to stand in the right spot while killing. :P

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I also find it funny about playing games killing everything first, as one of the things I always say to sell Malifaux to potential new players is 'it isn't only about killing stuff'.  All I can say is that has been an effective strategy for me.  The trick, of course, is to know when to kill things and when to do whatever else scores points - basically denial versus active scoring.  There are reams of pages on this board about various ways to deny your opponent options (Paralyse, make them a Peon, engage them with Izamu or whatever) - I just aim to apply the next level of debuff: dead.  My opponents are generally really fine about this (it is a game, after all) and I can only hope that I'm a nice enough opponent that it doesn't upset anyone.

Killing is indeed the ultimate debuff. But yeah, Sonnia and Perdita are especially well suited for it since their zone of influece is huge and Sonnia (with Papa in the box) can kill huge swathes of the enemy while Perdita can kill just about any single target. That has a huge effect on how the enemy can proceed with their gameplay.

 

There is certainly nothing wrong with the Guild Henchmen, though I don't find them too easy to use for the most part.  Sam Hopkins feels redundant as he mainly brings damage which is something I'm not really lacking anyway, and he dies really easily.  Francisco brings a really good melee attack (and El Mayor, of course) but I find that I can get a similar bodyguard role by tight positioning and spending those soulstones on something else to achieve my schemes.  He also makes Perdita even more vulnerable to blast attacks if you go with the El Mayor thing, and finally I'm terrible at keeping the poor chap alive.  Arguably, you could say much the same about the Guardian, and I admit that not totally sold on the big robot either (but the Guardian doesn't have to stay so close, and Df7 with double :+fate  defensive flips is quite amusing).

I like Judge as a simple, very durable damage dealer with a nice Push. Something that I can rely on. One of the better beatsticks in the game, IMO.

Sidir is similar in that he makes, e.g., Deliver a Message really iffy for the opponent to try and he very durable and dependable. Interesting ranged option that forces your opponent to adjust to him.

And finally Francisco - really powerful counter element for, e.g., Sonnia. Someone ties her up in melee - well, Franc can kill most things in melee. He isn't as durable as the others so shouldn't be alone in the front but I find he does his job really well when not overextended.

Overall, I just find that I get better mileage out of having a bigger crew and having a bigger number of meaningful activations.  I say meaningful because all my pieces can actually do something, as opposed to just hiring the rat ball and messing around for a dozen AP in turn 1.

Aye, this I can get behind 100% - outactivating with meaningful models is a powerful thing in this game. And when you do that outactivation with something like Death Marshalls that can box up anything (well, Zoraida, Bete Noire and Killjoy aren't very good candidates...) and is therefore a threat to anything - it's really powerful.

 

One of many things I love about Malifaux is that the balance is tight enough that all these options are viable.

Agreed!

 

But I think you're doing David (Misaki, game 4) a bit of a disservice here too.

That is a personal failing of mine, but I really don't rate Misaki very highly as a Master. I think that David did play her well (even while hindered by his hand, apparently!) but I find her somewhat lackluster. Didn't mean to sell David as a player short, though.

 

Analysis of the other side is a really interesting way to put this, though I'm shockingly bad at seeing even simple counterplays to my game until they get done to me.  So, with the benefit of hindsight, and without knowing what my opponents could see in the hands, let us try this.  Feel free to join in at home if you have anything to add.

What a fantastic write-up! Seriously awesome stuff - thank you taking the time to write all that!

 

Game 2:  Alistair just didn't really make any attempt to avoid the barrage from Sonnia, he simply marched his crew up without keeping any of them in cover.  He would have been better served deploying much closer together and keeping everyone in Kang's aura.  This in one of the few cases where a slow advance under double Vent Steam could have been useful (though I have ways around that of course).

I have been playing Mei lately and my usual opening is that I make a two model Railwalk string for Mei and then jump her there (about midfield) and put down a double Vent Steam. This makes a big bubble that is, if not impervious, then at least really annoying to shoot or cast into. If using Emberling's Companion for this, it can be done in quite few Activations if needed but usually the big guns tend to go late in the round in order to have the best choice of targets.

 

We don't go as far as Math Mathonwy's light-hearted comment about flipping for initiative, of course.  The local culture is to just agree what points can be scored and accept that there is no reason that the player wouldn't do so.  I guess if there was anything needing flips we'd probably make those too, but it's almost always just saying 'this model moves here and drops a scheme marker, this one moves here and drops another; I score 3 for Breakthrough' or similar.

Aye, this is how it goes here as well. I guess in theory Mah Tucket might care about the Initiative Flip even when alone (as it can give out Unimpeded) but that is a really long shot and would require really unsual circumstances.
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Re: Breakthrough and Shadowstride; I didn't have the mask in hand. It's the one thing that stops my Torakage from being roughly 21" up the table at the end of the first turn. As for protect territory, I'd prefer to take that with 10T Brothers, since they can sit on a scheme marker, as opposed to the Torakage who have Df6 and Wd6 between them and oblivion. Since all I usually need is a 6 of masks on turn one to get my Torakage up the table and (pretty much) safe (I prefer to either interact and smoke-bombs, chaining in the shadowstride which then only needs to top-deck any 4+, or do the same with a walk).

 

Thanks for the really detailed and thoughtful post.  I'm always interested to see how things looked from the other side of the table.  I'm cutting the rest of the quote as I pretty much agree with you, but I did want to go into the Breakthrough thing here (sorry if this takes anything out of context, but I think that your paragraphing was very neat).

 

I believe that you were asking too much of your Torakage as it appears that you were relying on them to score Breakthrough, Power Ritual and pick up the two outermost Squat markers.  The pair of Torakage (and Misaki, I suppose, until her untimely death) were the only things you didn't throw into the scrum in the centre.  So, assuming that I understood your intentions right, the Torakage had to:

 

  • Drop the first scheme marker in your own corner for Power Ritual
  • Each cross the entire board edge to the far corner (not a small amount of AP even with Shadowstride)
  • Drop another scheme marker for Power Ritual and flip both Squat markers in the neutral corners
  • Kill anything I've sent to do that task, otherwise I'm just going to take back the Squat marker and remove your scheme marker
  • Cross half of the next board edge
  • Drop another scheme marker each for Breaktrhough.

For me, this is more than they could achieve with 10 AP even without me trying to stymie your plans.  Protect Territory has its own risks of course, but you can spend more AP keeping the Torakage alive rather than moving.

 

Well since it was so kindly put up that I'd have something to say I feel like I have to now. :P

Table 1. Nope I wouldn't play.

Table 2. Eh, it's better, but would benefit from some smaller scatter terrain

Table 3. Same as the table 2.

Table 4. Looks better.

There we go zFiend terrain whine done. :P

Congrats on the win. As Math pointed out your crew builds are just great. They are unorthodox and something rarely seen. And again, I'm not here to dismiss your skill. ;)

 

Hahaha, thanks ;).

 

I don't really have a feel for what would be an orthodox crew build for either Sonnia or Perdita (unless you mean taking the thematic approach of all Family or all Witch Hunters).  In fact I don't see a lot of Guild at tournaments in general, which was part of why I got back into them anyway after a year or so of playing Ten Thunders.  I'd be really interested to read what you would consider to be the commonly seen crew builds?

 

I like Judge as a simple, very durable damage dealer with a nice Push. Something that I can rely on. One of the better beatsticks in the game, IMO.

Sidir is similar in that he makes, e.g., Deliver a Message really iffy for the opponent to try and he very durable and dependable. Interesting ranged option that forces your opponent to adjust to him.

And finally Francisco - really powerful counter element for, e.g., Sonnia. Someone ties her up in melee - well, Franc can kill most things in melee. He isn't as durable as the others so shouldn't be alone in the front but I find he does his job really well when not overextended.

 

Thanks, probably you're right about the uses of the Henchmen.

 

I certainly don't think that any of the Henchmen are bad by any means, rather it is the case that I'm not great at using them.  There will always be an element of personal preference in a game with so many viable options.  For example, the rest of Malifaux community seems to be in agreement that McCabe is very strong, but I find him very hard to use well and would rarely choose him for any game unless I'd commited to it for some other reason.  It's not that McCabe's not good, but simply that I am not good at using him.  And so it is with the Henchmen.

 

That said, I do like the Judge a lot, even though I almost never trigger the additional attacks from his weapons.  He's reasonably likely to hit twice, and minimum damage 3 (with the baked in :ram) is enough to get the job done that I need.

 

I think you've nailed my problem with Francisco neatly there - I probably expect him to be able to take more punishment that he actually can.  Even with Finesse he's not too hard to take down with focussed attacks.  Maybe I need to use him rather further back to sweep up incoming enemies with his gun first and sword later.

 

Great write up.  After a few games of running 2 hunters what are your thoughts?  If you had all the models to choose from would you still run 2?  What are your thought on just 1?

 

Thanks for the nice words.

 

I really like Hunters; the drag and slow on the ranged attack plus the end of turn push give them a lot of utility.  2 versus 1 is just a question of what else I want in a crew I think; I generally don't use them to support each other so 1 Hunter plus 7 soulstones of other useful stuff is just as viable.  They basically have no synergy with Perdita or Sonnia (except the ability to survive severe damage plus a burning from Sonnia, which is handy sometimes) but I feel that they stand on their own merits.  Turn 1, including the push, the Hunters can be over the halfway line in normal deployment which allows a good set up for turn 2.

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My plan for the Torakage didn't initially involve the corner squat markers. One would score Power Ritual, the other Breakthrough (I pull this particular combination off pretty well when I don't massively forget about where I have to place the markers, etc - I mentioned during our game that I brain-farted on the deployment zones and where they had to place their markers to score. Human error on my part there), which requires a lot less AP than both stopping off on the way to contest squat markers. Misaki would contest the left one (which she half-succeeded in, but leaving her exposed early meant she couldn't get the hunter as well, or even the austringer), and - the part of my plan that did work - I had Chiaki to steal the marker that should have been yours (due to the placement of the doors that led to them) by using her Incorporeal.

 

But yeah, overall I lost focus, and a lot of this is easier to talk about in hindsight than up front. The Torakage ended up staying in the corners due to my realisation that they couldn't score Breakthrough at all after my initial errors - the one that had a Hunter to deal with wasn't in a great situation, but the other one had a slim chance of killing both hounds (though of course this means turns 4 and 5 would need to be played fully for them to actually achieve anything, and in 1.5 hour tournament games, relying on turn 5 is silly).

 

Lesson learned, though, this was one game where more minions would have really helped me; swap Ototo for two Oiran and give Chiaki Hidden Agenda and my mid-game had a lot more AP to utilise (and more potential smoke and shadows users to mess with Perdita by blocking line of sight, or swap to running shemes by teleporting).

 

It's super useful to get such awesome feedback, and it's massively appreciated, by the way. Always look forward to our next game; every loss is a learning experience :)

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Great report!

Just a small thing, you mentioned Hans LoS being blocked by a stash marker? Doesn't he ignore markers which effect Los?

 

Thanks!

 

You're right, of course.  I'm not really very familiar with Hans (I don't own him, and I see him across the table surprisingly rarely), but anyway I suppose we both just treted the Stash markers as terrain and not a marker.  It sounds pretty obvious now that you say it.

 

My plan for the Torakage didn't initially involve the corner squat markers. One would score Power Ritual, the other Breakthrough (I pull this particular combination off pretty well when I don't massively forget about where I have to place the markers, etc - I mentioned during our game that I brain-farted on the deployment zones and where they had to place their markers to score. Human error on my part there), which requires a lot less AP than both stopping off on the way to contest squat markers. Misaki would contest the left one (which she half-succeeded in, but leaving her exposed early meant she couldn't get the hunter as well, or even the austringer), and - the part of my plan that did work - I had Chiaki to steal the marker that should have been yours (due to the placement of the doors that led to them) by using her Incorporeal.

 

But yeah, overall I lost focus, and a lot of this is easier to talk about in hindsight than up front. The Torakage ended up staying in the corners due to my realisation that they couldn't score Breakthrough at all after my initial errors - the one that had a Hunter to deal with wasn't in a great situation, but the other one had a slim chance of killing both hounds (though of course this means turns 4 and 5 would need to be played fully for them to actually achieve anything, and in 1.5 hour tournament games, relying on turn 5 is silly).

 

Lesson learned, though, this was one game where more minions would have really helped me; swap Ototo for two Oiran and give Chiaki Hidden Agenda and my mid-game had a lot more AP to utilise (and more potential smoke and shadows users to mess with Perdita by blocking line of sight, or swap to running shemes by teleporting).

 

It's super useful to get such awesome feedback, and it's massively appreciated, by the way. Always look forward to our next game; every loss is a learning experience :)

 

Thanks very much.  I think that the one thing that all this shows is how hard it can be to determine the other player's plan even after the game is over and we're talking about it.  I'm really impressed with how quickly you've improved in the three games we've had already, and of course it is very much in my interests that you (and everyone else coming to these events) continue to become a stronger player; after all, a game where I almost certainly win (e.g. in this very tournament, the game against Alistair) is far less interesting than one where I have to use every trick I can think of in order to edge a close game.  Of course... I'm still trying to win!

 

One nitpick though is that I don't really rate Chiaki highly as a potential carrier of Hidden Agenda.  It is really hard to set things up to get a kill with her.

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One nitpick though is that I don't really rate Chiaki highly as a potential carrier of Hidden Agenda.  It is really hard to set things up to get a kill with her.

You only need to damage an enemy for Hidden Agenda, though even that isn't a given with Chiaki (at least not without some Chi).

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