Time for the grand finale of Malifaux Nationals 2016. So far I’m on 2 losses, 3 wins and a draw. Can I live the dream and actually win more games than I lose? Let’s find out.
Stake a Claim
Leave Your Mark (Me)
Search The Ruins (Keith and Me)
Show of Force (Keith)
A Quick Murder (neither of us chose this, both of us arguably should have chosen this)
So as predicted, Keith and I were on exactly (or almost exactly) the same score in terms of both Tournament Points and Victory Points, so we found ourselves having a re-match of game 6. Frankly if I had to replay anyone I’d already played over the weekend I would’ve been very happy. However Keith and I had exactly the same casual try-hard approach to games, and (as proven by our draw in game 6) were exceedingly well matched in terms of skill level. This I suppose is the benefit of playing more games in tournaments, by the end you play against people who are exactly at your skill level (in theory) and so games are very close.
Keith and I had chatted about switching to our other masters (Pandora and Kaeris respectively), but in the end we both independently decided we were too exhausted, and stuck with similar crews to last game, with Lilith and Marcus taking to the stage again. I switched a few things in my crew, dropping a Razorspine (!!!???), Willie, and a Performer, and replacing them with 2 molemen and Cassandra (because I’m a terrible, powergaming, human being).
To start with Keith moved most of his stuff toward the centre of the table, while I spread out, with the Rattler and Cerberus on the left, Cassandra and Myranda on the right, and Marcus, the molemen, and the Jackalope moving toward the centre. The crux of the game was pretty clear from the middle of turn 1 onwards: Either I could hold up Keith’s crew long enough in the centre to stop them breaking through to my side, or they would smash through and run rampant on my side of the board.
In turn 2 the Rattler moved forward, then got lured toward Kade, and then Marcus Alpha’d it to drop a Claim Marker. I was quite impressed with myself here, as I actually used resources which could have been spent killing things, scoring points instead. My approach to the game had certainly changed for the better by this point in the tournament. To make up for this moment of intelligence, Cassandra and Myranda (alright, Cerberus) set about beating the living daylights out of a Terror Tot and the Cherub. Keith kicked my Rattler and Cerberus into the middle of next week with his pile of powerful models (Lilith + Nekima + Mr Graves + Kade + Doppleganger = Meat Grinder) while the Jackalope got in the way spectacularly well (love that Jackalope).
In turn 3 Marcus proved two things to me. 1) He’s a melee monster if he wants to be, 2) He’s a defensive tanky monster if he wants to be. He charged Nekima, and could have killed her, but chose not to as she was a Beast (Melee trigger), and he turned Lilith into a beast using Feral, so with a stack of Soulstones and a few tomes in hand, I knew that I could keep Marcus alive through a lot of attacks, while dishing out damage onto either one of those two. As it happened, this simply shut down Keith for the whole turn. His models couldn’t attack Marcus, and Nekima and Lilith couldn’t disengage, blocking off the rest of the crew. Meanwhile Cassandra and the Myranda-Cerberus got me points for the turn (I should’ve brought one of them back to the centre really, didn’t need them both out there).
Turn 4 was the final turn of the game (we were both concentrating pretty hard while simultaneously exhausted, and so played a bit slow), and fundamentally came down to a game of chess, with me desperately trying to get my 2 scheme markers on Keith’s side of the centre of the board, while he desperately tried to clear them up. Unfortunately Keith simply didn’t have the activations, and though Marcus finally fell, so did Nekima, and the molemen managed to tank when they needed to tank, and drop scheme markers when they needed to drop scheme markers, leaving me with an 8-6 win. As it turned out, using Alpha to make the Rattler drop a Claim Marker in turn 2 won me the game, as Keith never managed to get a Claim Marker down.
So with that, the best tournament I’ve been to in my Malifaux playing time came to an end, on 2 losses, 1 draw, and 4 wins. After the dust settled, I was 32nd/124 players, and for once, actually ended above everyone I played except for Mark (who won the whole event).
Next post will be some reflections on various aspects of the tournament, but I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the game summaries.
Until next time