This post will be covering the most recent Jimmyfaux (Sheffield tournament). I’ve lost track of the numbers, so we’ll go algebraic and call this one “Jimmyfaux X”. Jimmyfaux X was a 22 person, 3 round tournament, once again featuring many of the “regulars” and many “new” folks (i.e. people I’d never met before).
The strategies were turf war (normal deployment), reconnoitre (close deployment), and reckoning (corner deployment), and there were…some schemes (I’m afraid I only remember the ones I/my opponents took). Due to circumstances slightly beyond my control, the only crews I have with me at the moment are a very basic Marcus crew, and an even more basic Perdita crew, so my choice of “faction” was somewhat limited. In the end I decided to go with the mighty #TeamMarcus… because I took Perdita to my last tournament (way back in March), well, ok, not only because I took Perdita last time, but that featured in my decision.
My pool of available models was:
So to start out with in turf war I was drawn against Connor Barker. Connor is someone I vaguely knew from the world of twitter (@proximocoal), but we hadn’t met before, so that’s always a good start in my book. Connor was using Gremlins, and took:
a bunch of bayou gremlins (maybe one or two odd types of gremlin, I don’t remember)
a slop hauler
There were some upgrades in there, but I didn’t really know what they were at the time, so I won’t even try now.
I went for:
Marcus – trail of the gods, feral instincts, the hunger cry
Myranda – imbued energies, pack leader
Joss – imbued energies
Connor took vendetta (Francois vs acolyte), and plant evidence. I took bodyguard (Joss) and plant evidence.
Turn 1 was a fairly nondescript advance on all fronts. Of course Connor had about a million more activations than me. I ended up using Alpha on the jackalope who leaped and charged a gremlin, only to red joker the damage and kill it. Connor then did some gremlin trickery which resulted in Gracie getting reactivate, dragging Francois half way across the board, and the. Francois charged in to kill the acolyte, getting full points for vendetta. Ah well…
Turn 2 started with a bit of a surprise for me. My hand contained both jokers, a 13 of tomes, 13 of masks, an 11 and a 9… Which was nice. I got initiative, and after a bit of contemplation decided to turn François into a beast (with feral), then alpha him (with a 13 of masks), then make him reckless, and have him charge Gracie. Francois helpfully comes with a ram inbuilt in his attack, so always has the “dumb luck” trigger (deal double damage to the target, and half of that damage to yourself). Also, as I was controlling him, I could choose whether to prevent damage to him using my soulstone pool… Unfortunately Marcus wasn’t feeling that kind. Suffice to say, 3 attacks later, dealing double damage to Gracie and dealing damage to Francois, both of them were dead… Which was nice. Other than that, the rest of the field was pretty much a stalemate. I’d burnt my good cards on that manouver and Connor was struggling to get past terrifying and +ve flip defense 6 on the RSRs stood next to Myranda. Though Connor managed to get Trixie to push Myranda out in the open, and Myranda then got blasted by Somer’s gun (which is horrendous!). Fortunately she survived.
Turn 3 and 4 blend into 1 in my mind, so I’ll give an overview. Myranda showed why she’s appaulingly good, by charging and killing the skeeter, then shape changing into a Cerberus, thus getting me a massive hand and a Cerberus on full wounds. in the following turn the cerberus managed to leap neatly between 2 gremlins who were trying to plant evidence and tore them assunder. Marcus, an RSR, and Joss tag teamed (with Alpha) to kill Trixie and a gremlin (it took 2 attacks from Marcus, 2 from a nearby RSR, and 1 from Joss to kill the gremlin!) allowing Joss to get a point from bodyguard. An RSR and the jackalope successfully held up 3 gremlins for a while too so they couldn’t start planting evidence.
Turn 5 rolled around, Joss and the Cerberus managed to plant my evidence for me (you’ve gotta love leap). 2 Gremlins managed to get free to plant evidence, but Marcus successfully used his “best master in the game” ability to walk twice to get to one of them, then use a melee expert attack with +2 damage to smash it into the middle of next week, and use his final AP to remove the evidence.
The game ended 10-8 to me (due to Marcus stopping one piece of evidence) but it was a phenomenally close and very fun game. I look forward to facing Connor again sometime. I suspect if I hadn’t got a hand of death in a crucial turn it would’ve ended very differently.
Chatting with other players, I quickly discovered that John Wharton (my new Mali-nemesis) had also won with a +2 VP difference… Uh oh….
As it happened though, there were tons of people on +2 VP difference, and so for round 2 I found myself matched against Bucky, another person I vaguely know from twitter (@bigboybucky) but had never met before, so I was very happy with that (playing new people is always my favourite bit of tournaments).
Bucky had a fantastically painted 10 thunders crew (which won best painted, well deserved in my opinion) and so I was slightly ashamed to line up my distinctly “meh” painting skills opposite him.
Round 2 was reconnoitre but using close deployment (12 inch deployment zones), which pretty much just guaranteed that I would play it very much like beatdown (watch out for my technical use of molemen).
A pair of peasants
2x low river monks
A fermented river monk
Again, with a sprinkling of upgrades
Marcus (the usual setup)
Myranda – imbued energies
Joss -imbued energies
For schemes, bucky took frame for murder (tengu) and distract, I took entourage and frame for murder (acolyte).
We pretty much lined up across the board in a grand match up of “wild ferocity vs martial skill”.
I got the initiative and set out as I intended to continue. Jackalope activates, leaps, charges the fermented river monk, uses half of my hand to kill it… Worth it. This also had the added benefit of tying up Shenlong in melee. OK, we all know that’s not true, but I basically gave him slow (because he’d have to kill the jackalope). The acolyte then focussed and obliterated Mr Tannen (I don’t know what Tannen does because I assume it’s nasty, so I kill him quickly every time I face him). Joss then conspicuously failed to kill off the tengu, despite discarding his imbued energies for fast (in the hope that he’d 1 shot the tengu and then charge Mr Graves). On Bucky’s side, there was enough distract spread around at the end of turn 1 that it wasn’t worth me trying to prevent the 3 VPs for that… I’m getting used to being massively behind at the start.
Turn 2 saw Joss kill off the tengu (another 3 VPs to Bucky) and then continue to mince about ineffectually (maybe he resents not having his construct friends around). Bucky then said “well I’m pretty sure you’ll have frame for murder on the December acolyte, so I won’t kill that”… Bugger.
I’ll just summarise the rest of the game, as the turns all blur together. The molemen charged up one flank, killing off a monk of low river, and then holding table quartets/getting in a fight with Shenlong (neither side particularly hurt the other). Myranda and the RSR charged up the other flank, killing the other monk of low river. Myranda then Cerberised herself (resurrecting the jackalope at long last) and the Cerberus chowed down on sensei Yu (though it was a charging Jackalope which was the final nail in the coffin for him too… That thing is badass). The acolyte took advantage of the fact that it was still alive (despite this being after turn 1) and shot both peasants dead in a single activation. Then Marcus did what Marcus does, and ran 24” from my deployment zone to the back of Bucky’s to get entourage.
This was another phenomenally enjoyable game, which taught me to think long and hard about my opponent’s schemes (if a tengu attacks Joss in turn 1, something’s fishy). It ended 7-6 to me, thanks to playing it like beat down (Bucky basically never had enough models to contest quarters), however I was slightly irritated with myself for A) being sufficiently predictable that Bucky didn’t attack the acolyte, and B) being sufficiently stupid to hack away at an inconsequential minion who quite clearly had frame for murder. Lessons learnt.
So after 2 games I was on 2 wins and +3VP difference. I was very happy with that. Only one game left. I popped over to John to see how he got on in his game… A win by 1VP… Uh oh.
Sometimes fate just says “you’re destined to face John’s Viktorias until you beat them” (fate is very specific), and so it proved in this case. You may remember my first meeting with John at a previous Jimmyfaux, when I took the Perdita starter box to the top table… and then got pasted by his viks. You may also remember my encounter with them at MCC when I successfully killed his master vik with a jackalope… And then got pasted. This time was surely the best opportunity I’d have. Using my favourite master in a competitive manner (well, as competitive as I get). Let’s find out how I got on…
The strategy was reckoning with corner deployment, the schemes were… Awful.
The two viks
Student of conflict
2 friekorps trappers
Again upgrades were scattered about
Marcus (the usual)
Myranda (imbued energies and pack leader)
Joss (imbued energies and imbued protection)
John went for breakthrough and protect territory, I took breakthrough and take prisoner (Strongarm).
As always with reckoning, I had less than no idea what I was doing at setup, so I ended up with the Marcus/Joss side, and the everyone else side. John had a fairly even setup (a vik each side, a trapper each side, other stuff reasonably central).
Again, memory fails me, so I’ll go for vague and descriptive rather than turn by turn and accurate.
I started out by being very cagey, hugging cover, keeping models out of whirlwind range of each other, and generally not playing it like beatdown. This seemed to work fairly well as John was after a big win, and I was after anything I could get. The trappers proved reasonably ineffective, failing terror tests against RSRs pretty much everytime they targeted them.
I put out a big Joss shaped lump of bait which I was fairly sure would hook me a Vik (as Viks are designed purely to kill Joss, what with ignoring armour and hard to kill, and having huge melee and damage scores), and sure enough, over came henchman Vik. She did a ridiculous amount of damage, but through using most of my soulstones and discarding imbued protection, I managed to keep Joss alive. He and Marcus then threw everything including 3 kitchen sinks and a dishwasher at the Vik, who eventually went down (along with all of her soulstones), though Marcus and Joss died pretty shortly after that to a strongarm/Johan offensive.
Over the other side an RSR died to master Vik, but the loss of all of John’s soulstones and cards in trying to keep henchman Vik alive meant that master Vik was very easy prey for the obligatory Myranderberus. This equalled things up at 1 a piece for the strategy. Johan and the strong arm then headed off to get breakthrough and try to kill off the second RSR.
Meanwhile, the Cerberus leaped and charged Vanessa using it’s extra attack trigger to get 3 attacks from 1AP. On the last of those 3 attacks, I flipped a weak damage, moderate would kill her, but the cards in my hand might keep the RSR alive. I decided to leave it, and instead rely on the second AP. With a pretty good hand, anything but a black joker would see Vanessa die, getting me another point for the strategy, stopping John from scoring a point, and leaving the Cerberus reasonably free to get breakthrough with little effort. Anything but a black joker…
Suffice to say Vanessa then turned around and kicked the seven shades out of the Cerberus (she does nearly as much damage in melee as the Viks! WTF!?), I didn’t need the extra card to keep the RSR alive, and the game ended with John getting 2 reckoning points, breakthrough and protect territory, and me getting 1 reckoning point and take prisoner.
OK, so that was 4-8, not nearly as bad as my last tournament game against John (which was 10-1 I think), but a single choice cost me at the very least, a few VP difference, and I think a win wasn’t so far off either. Next time Wharton. NEXT TIME!!!
At the end of the day I was 10th out of 22 players, which I was very pleased with, and I also won best sportsmanship, which I was over the moon about. I’d had 3 awesome games (all of which were extremely fun and extremely hard fought, best of both worlds).
I think I’ve mentioned the major errors I made (largely being predictable, not thinking about my opponent’s schemes, and gambling when I didn’t have to), but a few other interesting points did come to mind.
While I was happy with my crew selections against Connor and Bucky, against John I felt very much like I was making the best of a bad situation. In that Viks match up, Joss is a chocolate teapot, the acolyte is a chocolate tea cup, and the RSRs, while better, hardly stand up to the trappers, never mind the Viks. The Cerberus however, was a ray of hope in an otherwise dark world, and I think perhaps hiring one (or two) of those might solve some problems.
One thing I wasn’t happy with in my crew selection was giving Myranda the pack leader upgrade. Oh sure, it’s an absolutely brilliant upgrade. It pays its cost ten fold over the course of a single game… If you remember it’s there. Unfortunately it turns out I seem to have some complex whereby I only remember pack leader once Myranda is already dead. I remember it everytime it would activate…once she’s dead, but only once she’s dead. I suspect recharge soulstone might be a better upgrade for me to take, simply because I remember that one.
Winning best sports also got me a lovely £10 voucher, with which I treated myself to a dawn serpent and some #WAAC dice. The serpent is something I’ve wanted to try for ages and never got round to, so hopefully I’ll be able to get it to a tournament or two before Christmas.
Joss’s utter failure to kill many things (a single gremlin in game 1, a tengu in game 2, anything in game 3) and general lack of influence in the games has made me seriously consider his position. The same goes for the acolyte who dies as soon as he pops his head out to shoot stuff with his ridiculous gun. This is therefore making me think perhaps I ought to go back to being a Marcus purist with only beasts. This would also mean that feral wouldn’t be a necessity (no need to alpha non-beasts), opening up other upgrades on Marcus. Definitely some interesting ideas flying around my head at the moment.
Until next time