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The Plague of our time


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Hey all, I figured since I've been doing battle reports of my games in my local Discord group (local being Brisbane, Australia) it might be worth tossing them up here. I predominantly play Hamelin, though I have all of the Outcast faction. Something about the Plague keyword just really speaks to me though, so I end up playing it for the overwhelming majority of games and often only play other Masters when opponents ask to not face that bloody Hamelin crew again or if the pool is really bad for him.


Anyway, to kick things off, here's a game I played yesterday:


The game was Pandora vs Hamelin. Strategy was Turf War with Corner Deployment. Scheme pool was Vendetta, Detonate Charges, Bait and Switch, Spread Them Out, and Let Them Bleed.


My crew was Hamelin, the Stolen, Benny Wolcomb, Nix, Pride, the Obedient Wretch, Hodgepodge Emissary, Prospector, Catalan Rifleman, and a one Soulstone Cache.


The Pandora crew had Pandora, the Polstergeist, Candy, Hinamatsu, the Mysterious Emissary, the Bandersnatch, two Sorrows, and a five stone Cache.




Hamelin's schemes were Vendetta (Wretch vs Candy) and Detonate Charges.


Pandora's were Vendetta (Bandersnatch vs Pride) and Bait and Switch (Nix).


Turn one saw the Sorrows run for the corners while the rest of the Pandora crew hung back and tried not to get into Hamelin's lure range. Hamelin's crew summoned six rats and Hamelin made a Fast, Focus +2 Rat King before luring Hinamatsu forward a little and getting some Blight on her.




Turn 2 saw the Bandersnatch get itself killed immediately, diving into the Rat King's Shadow, missing its own attack, and promptly getting blatted dead by the Rat King, who then turned himself into a Rat Catcher with his last AP. With that done I was mainly hanging back and eating Pandora's pass tokens with my rats, and failed to respond when Pandora landed a Mass Hysteria trigger with Fears Given Form that pushed Hamelin into Severe terrain. That meant Hamelin was flipping at a negative flip when the Mysterious Emissary walked up and attacked him. I spent a Soulstone so that I could cheat against the attack... but I flipped the Black Joker and Hamelin and Pride ended up swimming in Hungry Land.


My Emissary was able to heal Pride back to full and give a Vitality Potion to Hamelin, and the rest of the turn was basically just sending Nix off to fight the Sorrow on the top-left, making a few more rats, and Hamelin getting out of the Severe terrain and luring in the Sorrow on the bottom-right so that a Stolen could take out half its health with a Vomiting Disease. 


Turn 3 saw the Polstergeist rush in to get both Pride and Hamelin in range for its Distraction aura. This time I was on the ball though. Hamelin killed the Sorrow near him with a Red Joker on damage flip from his melee attack, and used the resulting rat plus another unactivated rat to Pustulent Tumours (stoning for the Quick Reflexes trigger) and Bleeding Disease the Poltergeist off the table.


Candy secured the central Strategy Marker for the Pandora crew, and the Mysterious Emissary was able to blast Pride pretty severely with another wave of Hungry Land Markers though. Nix was able to kill the top-left Sorrow in the meantime, flipping the middle marker back to neutral, and I was able to create a new Rat King and set up a Detonate Charges on Hinamatsu with the Emissary and some Rat shenanigans... but only after Hinamatsu Red Jokered Pride off the table.



Turn 4 kicked off. At this point Pandora was making my activation order pretty inefficient, making me activate the Catalan Rifleman early (who promptly shot Hinamatsu for Severe damage) so that Hinamatsu could kill the Rat King before it activated. The Wretch then killed Hinamatsu and Hamelin secured the bottom-right strategy marker, while the Mysterious Emissary moved up and blasted Benny Wolcomb with even more Hungry Land. Candy and Nix secured the Strategy Markers in the centre and the top-left respectively, so at the end of the turn the score was 4-2 in Hamelin's favour.


Turn 5 saw Nix run to the centre and get a Blight on Candy, while the Mysterious Emissary dropped Benny and the Hodgepodge Emissary to near the brink of death. I had a Stolen become two rats, used Hamelin's bonus to run those rats next to Candy, killed them with Pustulent Tumours and then killed Candy with a Bleeding Disease. Pandora made sure the Emissary and herself were well away from my Scheme Markers and I ran the Wretch to the back of the table for safety.


Boy that ended up being a lot of markers.


Final turn saw me score the end point of Vendetta with the Wretch (Candy was dead and the Wretch was not, even if she never got her "you killed my father" moment), and a Strategy point. Pandora scored the end point of Bait and Switch for a final score of 6-3.


I got very lucky at several points there, consistently getting Severe heals on my Emissary's healing, and the Red Joker for damage on Hamelin's attack on the Sorrow allowed him to kill off the Poltergeist as well before Pandora could capitalise on its presence (though we had worked out that had the Sorrow lived, I'd still have been able to kill both models with Pustulent Tumours so long as I was willing to hit Hamelin with one of the pulses). Hamelin did get relatively shut out of the game besides that moment and killing Candy Turn 5 though, and of course I was helped immensely by the Bandersnatch dying straight up Turn 2.


The Bandersnatch vs Pride Vendetta was definitely a huge missplay on my opponent's part though. One of the benefits of the Bandersnatch in Turf War is that you can throw it away without it hurting your marker control and potentially losing points, so making it worth points in schemes sort of defeats its purpose as a throwaway model. He considered Emissary vs Emissary but it's always a bit of a crapshoot on whether the Hodgepodge would even come forward into range to get hit in a game, so he didn't want to risk it. Probably a difficult scheme pool for Pandora overall.


Anyway, a great game either way, and had my opponent gone Emissary vs Emissary he probably would have found a way to kill my Emissary on Turn 5 and flip a marker neutral, which could have been a three point swing in his favour. Closer than the final score suggested really.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This was the last game I played in 2021 (New Year's Eve no less):


The game was Hamelin2 vs Titania1.


The pool was Standard Deployment, Break the Line, Catch and Release, Outflank, Detonate Charges, Claim Jump, and Let Them Bleed.


The Hamelin crew had the Stolen, Rusty Alyce, Pride, the Disease Containment Unit, the Catalan Brawler, and a Scavenger with a six stone cache.


Titania had Gorar, Aeslin, a Malisaurus Rex, a Mysterious Emissary, two Autumn Knights with Inhuman Reflexes, and a four stone cache.


My schemes were Claim Jump (Rusty Alyce) and Let Them Bleed. 


My opponent's were Claim Jump (Mysterious Emissary) and Catch and Release (Autumn Knight 1, at the top of the map).


This picture was meant to be of deployment but I took it a few activations in:




My Turn 1 hand was appalling (1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 6) before stoning gave me a severe card. As a result I wasn't able to do most of my tactical actions and everything on both sides just walked and Interacted. Hamelin was thrown up the board by the Brawler and was able to get four Blight on Autumn Knight 2.




This may be the closest thing I have ever seen to an orderly battle line in a Malifaux game.


Titania had dropped the Scavenger to two health at the end of Turn 1 so I won initiative and ran the poor chap to the back of the board. Titania tried to do a murder on Rusty but missed every attack thanks to Pride's presence and a lucky Red Joker. Hamelin Obeyed the Autumn Knight to run away (making it Blight 6) and threw the bottom strategy marker across the line. The other Autumn Knight pushed the top of the board Strat Marker across. The Malisaurus Rex engaged the DCU and Brawler who both failed all their attempts to Disengage. So did Alyce, who was rendered slow and staggered by the Emissary and was stuck in Hazardous Terrain and engaged with Titania. She was chipped down to half health at this point. 


End of Turn we each scored the strategy and the Mysterious Emissary revealed Claim Jump.




Turn 3 saw the Autumn Knight push the bottom marker back to my half. Hamelin pushed it back and tried to Bleeding Disease the Knight but it flipped too high for him to contend with and he missed his attacks. The Wretch and Emissary each pushed the second from bottom and second from top markers respectively across the line. Rusty Alyce disengaged from Titania and put two shots into the Emissary, dropping it below half health. Titania dropped both Rusty Alyce and Pride in turn to two health while the Autumn Knight moved to engage Alyce and took a damage from the unmaking trigger when it tried to challenge her. Pride charged the Malisaurus and landed a hit with his Guitar Bash and followed it up with a Destructive Performance to drop the dinosaur to half health. The Rex tried to fight back but kept missing and needing to cheat, with the Sin then being used to make it keep missing. The DCU tagged Grolar with a flamethrower attack, nearly killing Grolar and setting both him and the Emissary alight.




At the end of the turn we both scored the strategy. I revealed Let Them Bleed and my opponent revealed Catch and Release. Score was now 4-3 in Titania's favour.


Turn 4 started with Titania murdering Alyce with her first attack and then flying off to move a strat marker. Hamelin killed the Autumn Knight and moved up to his own marker. The Malisaurus used two tail whips to try and kill Pride but he passed the checks, though a Stolen died. The Brawler punched the Malisaurus to death, at last over his fear, and the DCU moved the central strat marker to Titania's table side. That forced Gorar to move and push it back rather than turn into one of the dead models this turn. Aeslin moved back towards the centre fight and everything else in my crew just moved up to be relevant next turn. I popped my remaining Stolen into rats for activation control Turn 5.




Nobody scored.


Turn 5 saw my opponent cheat to win initiative (with +3 from Pass Tokens) and use the Emissary to move the central strat marker further onto my table side. I used my rats to burn out his pass tokens, barring two which I used to make a Rat King close enough to run and summon a Rat Catcher in melee with his Catch and Release Autumn Knight. That Knight charged out of melee with the Catcher thanks to Inhuman Reflexes and moved the top strat marker far enough to count as two markers. I had my Scavenger push itself with its bonus action and get to the central Strategy Marker, moving it close enough for the DCU to push back onto Titania's table side. Around this point Aeslin realised she shouldn't have come close to the combat as she needed to stay undamaged to deny Let Them Bleed so she ran behind a building to hide with Titania. Titania made an Underbrush Marker and attacked her own Autumn Knight to pull it across the nearby pond and out of range of the Rat Catcher being able to engage. We called the game there.




The rest of the Titania crew were all hiding behind the building near the pond in the top-right.




With it being impossible for me to get Let Them Bleed and Claim Jump being impossible with Rusty dead, I could only score the strategy for 4 points total. Meanwhile Titania was going to go to 5 with her Autumn Knight safely unengaged for Catch and Release.


A really close game. In hindsight Alyce was a bad pick, I couldn't afford to make Pit Traps lest Titania throw me in them and all the concealing terrain was a problem for her. Nix would have been a better pick and a safer Claim Jump model, not to mention also letting me get Blight on the board once Hamelin got bogged down with a single Autumn Knight for the whole game.

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