Master of Malifaux (in the UK) – Part 1

Hi folks,

Welcome to another lovely edition of Play It Like Beatdown. Today we’re joined by the master of UK Malifaux (having played somewhere in the region of 20 games of M2E), Mr Craig Johnson (UKrocky90 on twitter). He’s going to be telling the tale of his journey through the UK masters event, over the course of 3 posts (all good things come in threes). So without further ado, I’ll shut up and let Craig take the helm (p.s. Don’t forget the BIG COMPETITION, 2 weeks left, win yourself a Marcus crew).


Welcome to my first ever blog post, written entirely under the steely eyed gaze of Mr Sssk, who might as well be stood over me threatening to pummel me with his metal Marcus if I don’t write anything!
So what am I going to be writing about on this and the following blog post or two (If I’m allowed!)? Well, the majority of it will be ramblings, findings and discussion from the Malifaux Masters a couple of weekends ago, meanderings on Ten Thunders as a faction, and my hopes and dreams for the coming year of Malifaux-ness.

Prior to the event, I had the Warhammer Fantasy Masters the weekend before, a game I had been playing far too much of, and had been spending almost all of my gaming time playing that particular system. Malifaux had very much taken a back seat ever since the Malifaux GT way back in August, with myself only playing 6 tournament games prior to this event, with all 6 of them being at tournaments.

Ever since Gencon 2012 (Sounds ages ago right?), when Mr MythicFox lugged back some extra toys and I threw some English bank notes at him (A regular occurrence at the Harrogate gaming club, though normally not for the purchase of toys…) for the spare Neverborn/TT stuff he had, I’d found myself obsessed with Ten Thunders, and for 90% of that time, Mr Jakob Lynch.
My love affair with Marcus had been ended by a card wielding maniac with his pet ghost and a few ninjas following him around, and I’d used him plenty in Malifaux 1.5. With the dawn of m2e, I flicked through the book, saw very few crews I wanted to use and had played all 6 games using Mr Lynch, finding him to be utterly filthy, something which I was actually unfamiliar with in Malifaux, having often focused on using that which no one else used.

At the two events I’d been to, I’d managed a grand total of 4 wins, 1 draw (A 10-10 draw with Ant Hoult/Stryder) and a loss to Mr Luke Cocksedge and his very own Jakob Lynch in a  Neverborn vs Ten Thunder off. I’d also noticed that I was the only person at both events running the Ten Thunder faction, and had had issues with them in all 6 games which led to much lamenting from me about the state of the faction, something I’ll come onto in a later blog post. Or you can listen to me whinge on pretty much every episode of Bayou Broadcast. Ever.

Going into the event I had 4 different ideas;


1)      Borrow Marcus from someone, have a glorious return of the beast master himself, but have no clue what he does, how he plays, or what any of my models did.

2)      Dig my Gremlins out of my loft, top them up with a couple new toys, have a glorious return of pigs and moonshine, have no clue what the new stuff does, or what any of the old stuff did.

3)      Borrow/Purchase a Perdita crew, have a glorious introduction with a new crew, have no clue what the lady herself does, or what any of her models do.

4)      Use Jakob. Be boring.


I went with number 4. This was down to a few reasons.


1)      I wanted every faction represented at the UK Masters, and after posting on the forum, realised that Arcanists, Gremlins and Guild would all be there, and it looked like no one else would bring Ten Thunders (Which no one else did).

2)      I would actually know what some of my stuff did, which would mean I might actually finish games and not try and do stuff like charge with a pigapult or accidently glue Perdita on her base upside down.

3)       I’m super lazy.

Mainly number 3 to be honest…

So I packed up my Ten Thunders. And by that I mean I didn’t check they were in the case and assumed I’d have what I needed. I found my arsenal deck at 11pm the night before, glued a Fuhatsu proxy together at 12am, and undercoated him at 9am on the morning of the masters. Such preparation.

Before I go into a spiel on how all my games went, my thoughts on the faction (Hey look, my next 2 blog posts!) I’m going to give my honest thoughts on how I thought I’d do at the masters, based on my group, my faction, and my ‘viewing’ of the tournament tree.

Prior to the event, we knew our groups for the group stage of the masters (Groups of 4, top 2 progress into quarter-finals and thus knockouts), and I was with the following lovely people:


–          Martin Wodehouse. The 2013 UK Master, who beat me in the final in a Collette vs Marcus match up, and I had yet to beat.

–          Jimmy Balderstone. One of the seeds for the event, played plenty, obviously not bad if he’s in the top 4.

–          Timmy Brown. Been at every Masters since the game began and well renowned for using filthy neverborn to the utmost filth that can fit in. Super duper.

My thoughts on the group stage quickly became filled with thoughts on if/how I could get out of this so called ‘group of death’, with group 1 looking similarly ‘deathlike’. The good news, was that the prize for getting through Group 3, (aka ‘Group of Death 1’), was a match up with a member from Group 1, (aka ‘Group of Death 2’). Great. So even those that managed to get through would likely face either Joel Henry (Mr. 300) or Ant Hoult, with Mike Taylor (Mike3838) or Rob Smith (@Derby_Malal) the underdogs in that group.

My honest thoughts going into the day, with a  mighty 6 games of m2e under my belt was that I’d love to come through the group stage with one win, crash out, wake up late Sunday (my new career means lie ins are much appreciated!), plod back, learn puppet wars, and applaud the winners. Weekend plan sorted.

On the outside chance that I managed to squeeze through the group (possible on 1 win!) either Ant or Joel would ROFLSTOMP me, with Ant’s massive experience giving him such a massive boost over our normally close games, and Joel’s incredible form and similar experience meaning I would struggle to keep in touch. I wasn’t fussed at the prospect of crashing out early, as Dave (Closseau) was willing to show me the way of the puppets, a game which I’ve been eyeing for a while.

After driving myself down on Saturday morning after hosting Ant and James on the Friday night, I was super tired, and found my match ups would be:


–          Game 1 vs Martin Wodehouse. Recon. Arcanists.

–          Game 2 vs Timmy Brown. Capture the Middle one. Neverborn.

–          Game 3 vs Jimmy Balderstone. PLAY IT LIKE BEATDOWN (You’re welcome Dave). Ressers. (Dave’s note: for new folks to the game, he means reckoning, it used to be called beatdown… and I could do it then)

So mass summoning in Recon, mass kill and push effects in capturing the middle and big ol’ beat sticks and masters in killing stuff. Optimism x 1000. Find out how the games went on the next blog post!


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