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Tournament Report - 11/24/2019 - 35 ss event at Comic Quest in SoCal

James Dyson

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Pre-event thoughts

On 11/24/19, I attended a small 35ss event at Comic Quest.  There were 6 players, including the TO, present.  Three rounds were planned for; unfortunately, due to time constraints we only got through two of them.  Gaining Grounds Season 0 was in effect.

A link to pictures of the rounds is here

Prep for the event
The event was billed as being directed towards newer players, as the community at Comic Quest is still new to Malifaux.  I drove down from LA, and another one of my locals (shoutout to @LeperColony!) also made the trip.

Going in to this event, I decided that I wanted to stick to one keyword for the event - namely, Big Hat.  I want to get more reps in with Somer, and I had just gotten my Good ol’ Boys painted up and wanted to see them on the table. 

Due to the size of the crews being at 35 stones, and having very little time between rounds, I ended up running the same crew in both games:

SS Pool:  3
Som’er Teeth Jones (Leader)
Skeeter x2
Lenny Jones
Big Brain Brin
Good Ol’ Boy
Bayou Gremlin

I’ll talk about why I made these selections now, and in a later post I’ll dig into how the crew actually performed.  

As I mentioned above, I went into this event with the plan to run Somer for all three rounds.  On paper, I think Somer is a flexible master who can swap between summoning and damage dealing while also having a reliable card draw engine.  Skeeters look to be alright totems, able to be sacrificial speedbumps that draw me cards.  As abilities go, Somer has a nice set and I was keen to see how much use I could get out of Pig Eating Grin and Bigger Hat than You.

In the Henchman slot, I ran both Lenny and Brin.  I feel like Lenny is a lynchpin to the Big Hat crew - Gremlin General. Bodyguard and Toss bring so much to the crew.  He does bring a solid melee attack, but I feel like his actions are best spent positioning and increasing the mobility of the rest of the crew.  Brin is chock full of useful actions and abilities, and worth every stone - even with the out of keyword tax.  Arcane Reservoir is great in any crew, but especially in a summoner crew.  Additionally, two of the rounds in this event had Claim Jump, and I felt like his Serene Countenance and Protected (Bayou) would make Brin a great choice for that scheme.

In the Minion category I ran a Good Ol’ Boy, a Banjonista and a Bayou Gremlin.  The Good Ol’ Boy is the best gun in keyword for Big Hat that isn’t named ‘Georgie and Olaf’, and unfortunately I haven’t gotten that model yet.  This meant that I wanted one to take advantage of Pig Eating Grin.  At 7 stones and with a bunch of abilities to mix it up in melee and ranged, they also felt like the kind of all-rounder model that would do well at 35 stones.  The Banjonista was a significant model that brought crew mobility in Foggy Bayou Hoedown, Condition removal in Rebel yell (so I wouldn’t have to use Brin for it), and a model who could spend it’s actions moving and interacting and not feel like I’m losing value. The Bayou Gremlin was there to help keep the Bayou Bash numbers up.

I was concerned about running three stone users and only 3 soulstones, and considered dropping the Bayou for 2 more stones, but in the end opted to have him in and rely on triggers and sacrificial models to keep my big 3 models alive.  

Round 1
My first round opponent was someone who is also in the Facebook Bayou chat (which, if you aren’t in, you should totally join for some solid discussion).  

The pool was:
Standard Deployment
Turf War
Detonate Charges, Power Ritual, Deliver a Message, Breakthrough, Claim Jump

Opponent’s Crew:
Captain Zipp
First Mate
Mancha Roja
Merris LaCroix
2x Flying Pigs

When it was time to select schemes, I chose Detonate Charges and Claim Jump on Brin.  This pool was a hard one to pick against Zipp - he was a great denial choice by my opponent.  Deliver a Message would be very hard against a Mv 8, Chatty Master who could drop blocking terrain so I dismissed that.  Breakthrough would be hard, as shoving one of my models into his deployment zone would leave it exposed, and Big Hat models are on the whole squishy.  Likewise, Power Ritual would be hard to both set up and score, as well as protect.  I felt it would be safer to keep balled up, have him come in to me with either Mancha or First Mate, and then use Obeys/ cheap models to drop markers.  I figured I’d get one point on Detonate.  Claim Jump on Brin was my safest bet, as with Serene Countenance, Protected (Bayou) and stones, it was unlikely that he was going to be moved by my opponent.  

My opponent took Breakthrough, and I believe his second was Detonate Charges as well (although I didn’t note it, and it didn’t come up due to time).   

We got through three turns this game, with the end of 3 being a bit of a rush.  It was a tie at 3-3, with me scoring the strategy twice and my Detonate Charges once, and my opponent scoring the strategy twice and Breakthrough once.  Highlight of the game for my crew would be turn 2, where I started with Somer.  He summoned three Bayou Gremlin in Mancha Roja’s engagement, and proceeded to blow them all up, proccing three Pig Eating Grin shots to seriously injure Mancha, followed up by Somer finishing the deed with his own Boomer.  Highlights of my opponent’s play has to go to him using Zipp to single-handedly control the center of the board, between his gun and pianos.  

Round 2
The pool was:
Corner Deployment
Plant Explosives
Hold Up Their Forces; Take Prisoner; Vendetta; Breakthrough; Claim Jump

Opponent:  Octave (T.O.)
Opponent’s Crew:
Colette DuBois
3x Doves
Carlos Vasquez
2x Coryphee
Soulstone Miner w/ Magical Training

In this round, I was paired up with the TO who was running a set Colette crew.  This was the round I was most concerned about with Somer, because I wasn’t sure how he would do with getting bombs into the backfield.  Corner deployment was a mixed blessing - it gave me a lot more space to put bombs closer to the centerline, but a much farther path to go.  I chose to go with Hold Up Their Forces and Claim Jump on Brin again.  

I felt that Take Prisoner would be tougher than Hold Up Their Forces because every one of his models had ways of getting out of engagement - so trying to pin one specific model down was going to be hard.  Likewise, I considered Vendetta but ultimately chose against it, as it would be a one-point scheme (Opponent could just run away with the chosen model, and there was little chance I could catch it).  

However, he would have to commit at least some of his significant models to contest my bomb dropping, so I felt that I could get cheeky Hold Up Their Forces on models after they moved - and while Colette can rescue a single model, it’s a lot more taxing to reposition her entire crew multiple times a turn, especially with the Obeys, Foggy Bayou Hoedowns, and Toss effects of the Big Hat crew.  Plus, most of his crew was more expensive than my summonable models, so I figured I could go late with Somer and summon into position to score if I needed to.  Again, Claim Jump was taken on Brin because he’s hard to shift, especially with Protected (Bayou).  

My opponent chose Breakthrough, and I didn’t recall his second scheme, either.  

We made it through four turns this round.  I assigned two bombs each to Somer and Brin, and one bomb to my Banjonista.  I wanted to put bombs on my tougher models, and I the actions on Lenny and the Good Ol’ Boy were too valuable to spend on bomb dropping.  My last bomb went on my Banjonista, who was perfect for the role.

Much like the previous game, my early game was spent using Foggy Bayou Hoedown and summoned Banjonistas to push my bubble into the center of the board.  I summoned two more Banjonistas and a Gremlin Crier this game, along with another turn where I summoned four Bayou Gremlin and blew them up to almost kill the Coryphee Duet while it was split into two Coryphee.  

I didn’t bother attacking Colette, as I didn’t want to give her a chance to bury.  Colette, for her part, tried to Sword Trick Brin twice, but each time he passed the attack off onto a nearby Bayou.  She did manage to bury Somer - but I then dropped a marker before his activation, thus getting him up the board to drop two more bombs for me.

In the end, I only killed his doves but won the game 7-6.  I got full points on my schemes and three on the strategy, and my opponent missed one of his scheme points (the one I didn’t record).   

Post-event Thoughts

All in all, I had a good time at the event.  While it was only two games (and only 7 turns of play at that), I did want to put my thoughts down here.  

Time is valuable - probably the most obvious takeaway from this event.  Many of the comments I see and hear from folks attending tournaments is about playing for Turn 3 or 4, not for a full game - and when you play for early scoring, it absolutely changes the risks you take.  I was definitely the biggest time hog of the event - both of my games went to time, when the other games had all finished.  

Even at 35 stones, running a summoner will eat up the clock.  I need to get more reps in with Somer to shave down how long my activations take.

Somer’s Summons are very Toolboxy - Over the course of 7 rounds, I summoned 2 Gremlin Crier, 3 Banjonista, and twice I summoned a mess of Bayou Gremlins to immediately blow up and get a bunch of shots through Pig Eating Grin.  I always felt that my summons had a purpose, and answered a question that my opponent was posing.  Banjonistas really helped my crew’s maneuverability, and the Criers were clutch for Obey Interacts.

A moment to talk about summoning 3+ Bayou Gremlin in one go - I saw the value when it resulted in massive damage to an enemy model, but on the whole I’m not sure I’d make it a habit to summon so many models turn after turn.  This might change at higher stone levels, where I can afford a Crier/ second Banjonista, but I felt that I needed those utility piece models over getting a few extra shots on a single target.  Giving my opponent 3-4 pass tokens is also a big ask for Turns 3 or 4, and feels like a risky venture.  

Incidental movement is very strong - Going in to this event I was concerned about being able to get further than mid-table, and having enough actions to move and score my schemes.  Between Foggy Bayou Hoedown, Toss, and a plain old walk or two, I always felt that I had the range to get a model where I needed it to be.  I’ve been gushing about Banjonistas in this post, but I really do feel like they were the stars of my games.  Lenny made a single attack at an enemy all day - the amount of value I got out of him tossing and buffing my crew far outweighed making an attack.

If you’ve read this far - thank you very much.  I hope to add some less-rambly tournament and game reports in the future, as I settle down into 3E. 

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