Welcome back. I know what you’re thinking: “there hasn’t been a post on here for ages”. Well, you’re right. Sadly a combination of work and more work has had me locked away in a lab (insert mad scientist analogy of your choice), unable to find time for playing games or writing posts. But fear not, I’ve been allowed out for long enough to give a quick summary of my experiences at Halifaux; a tournament in Halifax (UK) last weekend.
It was a 3 round 50ss tournament, with Reckoning, Squatter’s rights, and Turf war being the strategies. Schemes were flipped immediately before each game. There were 22 (I think) players there, from all over the place, including three regulars from Sheffield (myself included)… more on that later.
For my first tournament game of second edition Malifaux, I had a delightfully warm baptism of fire. Playing Reckoning (my least favourite strategy, and the strategy I’m arguably worst at), against MythicFox and his Ramos crew (who had won a 20+ person tournament 7 days earlier, and is currently ranked second in the UK I think).
I went for Marcus, Myranda, Cerberus, Cojo, 2 RSRs, and a moleman, and went for breakthrough and frame for murder (on the Cerberus) for my schemes. James had Ramos, Joss, Howard (miss step), Johan, 2 molemen, and an electrical creation, and took breakthrough and power ritual as his schemes.
Everything started fairly rosy. In turn 2 the Cerberus did what it does, and killed off Johan and a spider (I was knee deep in summoned spiders already) to get the point for the strategy. It then also got punched to death by Ramos (getting me 3 points for frame for murder). Unfortunately, that was where my VPs stopped. My crew just couldn’t get through all the armour and defense, and a spider swarm ruined my breakthrough. Meanwhile, Miss step reduced Cojo and an RSR to assorted BBQ meat, and Ramos and Joss took out everything else except a single RSR which was still standing at the end. The game ended 10-4 to James, and he thoroughly deserved it.
I think my major issue here was not having a firm plan from the start. I was essentially attacking in waves, and James just mulched each wave in turn. In hindsight (of course hindsight is 20/20), I should have redeployed Marcus and maybe some other bits to deal with Miss step. I had a big speed advantage (though James had the activation advantage from the start) and didn’t make good use of it. I also suffered a 5 turn moron moment and just forgot that law of meat even existed. Stopping Joss or Miss Step from attacking for 1 or 2 turns could (note: “COULD”) have made a big difference. Long story short, even by my standards, I don’t think I really gave James a challenge. Nonetheless, it was a really fun game, and my increasingly risky attempts to decrease the points margin gave great amusement all round. Hopefully I’ll be able to play James again soon, and put up a bit more of a fight.
So after losing by 6 points, my hope was that I’d be matched up with someone who’s as utterly hopeless as I am in the second round. My hopes turned into reality, as I was matched up with Jimmy Balderstone, one of the other guys from Sheffield (for reference, I’d walloped his Tara crew twice, less than a week before). OK, so Jimmy and I have lots of friendly banter, but he’s actually rather good at Malifaux (currently ranked joint 3rd in the UK I think… so a pushover compared with James), and is still getting the hang of Tara.
We were playing squatter’s rights, and both went with cheaper models for our crews. I had Marcus, Myranda, 2 RSRs, 2 Waldgeists, a moleman, a canine remains, and the Jackalope, with deliver the message and protect territory as my Schemes. Jimmy had something along the lines of Tara, 2 necropunks, bete, a canine remains, a flesh construct (or 2?) a belle, and a nurse, and took deliver the message and frame for murder (on a necropunk).
I won’t go into the game too much, it was much as you might imagine, with lots of petty bickering and locked combats. The key point of the whole game was a single necropunk. It sat on a marker, and between a waldgeist, an RSR, and Myranda, managed to weather the storm of attacks long enough to prevent me from getting the point for the strategy for 1 turn when Jimmy got it. This turned out to be the difference between us, giving Jimmy a 7-8 win… or maybe a 6-7 win… my memory isn’t too good… could have been a 9-8 win.
Side points to the game:
1) we learned (retrospectively after the tournament) that leaders can’t deliver messages. Jimmy delivered his using Tara, and I think had we known that she couldn’t deliver at the time, that might have made some kind of difference to how things went… but it might not.
2) The Cerberus’ trigger to make another melee attack is hilarious. Jimmy’s flesh construct had shambled all over the board, looking for something to attack. When it became clear that I couldn’t get back that lost VP, I decided to kill things. The Cerberus managed to kill the construct (from 13 wounds to none) in 4 or 5 attacks, all from one AP (there’s no clause on the trigger to say you can’t do it repeatedly) in a very laid back manner.
So now I was on 2 losses, and -7VP difference, surely this time I’d be against someone who isn’t ranked in the top 3 of the UK? Well indeed I wasn’t against any of the top 3, I was against Adrian Mills… the 3rd person of the 3 people from our Sheffield group. Ah well, Adrian and I always have good games, and this promised to be a classic. Marcus vs Ophelia in turf war.
I went for what is increasingly becoming a standard turf war crew: Marcus, Myranda, Cerberus, Cojo, RSR, Moleman, Canine remains, and jackalope, I took outflank and breakthrough. Adrian took Ophelia, Raphael, Rami, francois, Lenny, a slop hauler, 2 young LaCroix… maybe something else. He took line in the sand and outflank.
The game started as it meant to go on. First activation of the game, Rami focussed, and shot Marcus, getting a red joker to hit, this left me unable to cheat, and Marcus took 8 damage. Of course I did a soulstone prevention flip… and found the black joker. Marcus then redeployed (HE DID NOT RUN AWAY!) next to Myranda, who healed him up for a few turns.
A bit later there was a pile of Gremlins coming in from the flank, so I slithered an RSR over to block their advance. As slither gets a free attack on the end, I figured I’d test Ophelia’s defences. The RSR hit and on a double negative damage flip managed to get a red joker – 8 damage and poison 2… not bad for a “testing the defences” attack.
Cojo and the Cerberus managed to kill (or push out of the scoring zone) enough Gremlins to stop them getting turf war points after turn 2. Then the RSR activated again, still stood next to Ophelia… surely it couldn’t do the same thing again (with 2 attacks this time). It went for the bite. Double negative flip. Red joker pops up again. Bye bye Ophelia.
Marcus and a Myranderus (Myranda turned into a Cerberus) then proceeded to wipe all of the remaining gremlins off the board in pretty short order. In the end, it was 10-1 to team Marcus. Adrian had managed to kill the original Cerberus and the jackalope (which couldn’t return, because none of my stuff died).
And with that, I ended the day in 15th place, out of 22 participants, with 1 win, and +2VP difference (if my maths is correct). Sadly still not breaking through my 14th place glass ceiling (I can get to 14th place, but not above it), but not bad for my first competitive showing in 5 or 6 months, and the first one of second edition Malifaux.
The next post will be a look at my post-tournament thoughts, with a view to another tournament I’m attending in a couple of weeks.
Again, apologies that it’s been so long since the last post. Work is totally bonkers at the moment, so don’t expect a regular release schedule for a while at least.
Until next time