Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gencon 2011 - Master of Malifaux Round 3

I have to apologize to my 3rd round opponent, I do not remember his name. As an admission, I was doing really good with names until about 3am Saturday night/Sunday morning and then they slipped right out of my damn head. Its thanks to Dixon that I remembered Stan's name. So, if this is you, please post on here and let me know!

Round 3 strategy was Shared Claim Jump, and my opponent had declared Outcasts. In pre-con planning, this was one of the strategies which I felt was ideal for the FILTH list, plus outcasts were one of the fair matchups for the list. With that said, I jumped back to the same list that served me well on round 2.
Pandora -- 8 Cache
Primordial Magic [2ss]
Desperate Mercenary [2ss]
Lilitu [7ss]
Lilitu [7ss]
Nekima, The Dark Sibling [13ss]
Terror Tot Nephilim [3ss]
Terror Tot Nephilim [3ss]
My opponent busted out Leviticus with the following list:
Leveticus, Steampunk Necromancer -- 2 Cache
Guardian [7ss]
Killjoy [11ss]
Rusty Alyce [8ss]
Steampunk Abomination [3ss]
Steampunk Abomination [3ss]
Steampunk Abomination [3ss]
Steampunk Abomination [3ss]
One of my local players played Levi pretty heavily for the past year plus, so I am very familiar with his threat range and other nastiness. With this, I was very comfortable going into the game.

I do not remember his schemes, but I took Kill Protege on Killjoy, and bodyguard.

At the start of the game my opponent and I discussed the terrain set-up and agreed that the Sewers drawn on the Terraclips mat would all serve as difficult terrain. Bridges and such were all open terrain, and the buildings stuck to the pre-defined terrain rules. The Claim Jump was set-up in the center of the board, with an "arched bridge" to the right of it. Basically this was a set of walls with an arch facing me and an arch facing him. Anyone on the claim jump could not see into the "bridge" or to the other side, but people on the "bridge" could see through.

My set-up was nearly identical to my round 2 set-up, with the puking snake on my left instead of my right. He set-up with a Waif inside a building on my right, 4 SPA's in diamond formation to pull themselves forward, Rusty Alice to my left, and Levi behind the SPA's. The guardian was behind the SPAs and next to Levi.

The first couple activations of turn 1 for me worked out the same, with the exception that I had a 12 in hand. Merc Defensive, Nekima defensive, smacks the merc, cuts for blood, gives out masks, moves forward, Tot kills the merc, gains blood, Nekima gains blood, grows.

This time I remembered to have my Merc hand out some healing with Last Noble Deed to Nekima, giving her a 2 point bump back toward full. I then have my Puking Snake move forward through some buildings, staying out of sight.

During all my set-up actions, his SPA's had moved forward and sheltered behind the bridge building, near the claim jump. He had moved in such a way that on the 3rd move forward he ends up leaving one of the SPA's behind and lonely. I am not sure what happened here, as I have not seen someone misplace SPA's before, especially not a player who could make it to the 3rd round of the masters with wins. That said, I saw the separation and knew I had to capitalize on it and stop the Desolation engine from coming on the board.

I activate Lilitu #1 and flip to summon her brother (Lelu), cheating the 12 from my hand and sacrificing the Tot. Now I have a chance to fire up the bond/super lure combo starting turn 2. Lilitu moves forward 1 time, and lures the "tip of the spear" SPA into B2B and kills it. Now there are 2 SPA in B2B at the corner of the "bruidge", and 1 SPA ~4 inches further back. My opponent starts inching Alice up on my left flank, keeping her behind buildings and out of sight. I move forward with my second Lilitu and chain-lure the remaining 2 SPA behind the bridge, killing them both. Levi activates and moves to the left side of the board, sacrificing himself to bring out KillJoy on the far-side of the "bridge" from the claim jump marker. The rest of the turn was a little positioning.

End of turn 1, I have a ball of nastiness mid-way between my deployment zone and the claim jump, he has Alice to my left (hidden out of sight), Killjoy and a guardian to my right (with the bridge between them and the claim jump), an SPA sitting near mid-board about 10 - 12 inches in, and Levi comes back to the Waif at the far side of the bridge from me.

Turn 2 starts and I pull 3 high crows into my hand and get initiative. Pandora starts, tags the SPA with Pacify, pushing forward down the board. I get LOS onto Levi, toss out a PE with a crow and stone it. Levi fails to resist (burning a stone), the waif makes her resist, Levi runs for the board edge. Pandora drops PE on the guardian, then I tag it with pacify and push back up the board, leaving myself out of charge range from anyone. Rusty Alice moves forward and takes a bead on Pandora. Opposed WP duel stops her shot and leaves her in the open. Nekima activates, defensive stance, gives out masks, and moves forward toward the claim jump. Levi activates and clears his falling back, but does not do anything else (specifically does not do anything to kill himself). My young nephilim moves forward toward the objective. Waif activates and passes. Primordial magic moves forward. Killjoy comes out on my side of the bridge, lining up for a charge next turn. I see my chance and activate both Lilitu's and Lelu. Lilitu #1 moves forward, chain lures the last SPA, and fails a cast which I let go. Second Lilitu stands still, chain lures Rusty Alice to her death, chain lures Killjoy to his death, Killjoy tries to smack her with his slow-to-die and fails vs her irresistible, then she walks toward the objective. Lelu activates and moves toward the objective. My opponent is looking pretty frustrated at this point. His guardian shifts around a bit to try and hide and the turn ends.

Turn 3 my opponent does not draw a new hand due to Levi not dieing. I activate and run through the Nekima standard operating procedure (SOP), able to now move her on top of the claim jump marker. Levi activates and walks back toward the Waif, keeping a bit cagey. Pandora scoots forward a bit, pings the guardian, and tosses out PE to give it a neg flip before coming to rest on the wall of the bridge closest to the Claim Jump and within the 3 inch target. Guardian activates and moves up the bridge, Lilitu moves slightly and chain lures the guardian to its death. Waif passes, I move the rest of my crew to strategically position around the claim jump marker, all within 3 inches and most out of sight of Levi, but with good LOS to cover the approaches.

Turn 4 starts, Waif activates and passes. Nekima activates, DS, gives out masks, passes. Levi passes. Primordial magic passes. My opponent looks at me and points out if we are both going to keep passing, then we might as well call the game as he cannot do anything and I already sit on 8/0. We call the game. Game ended 8/0 win for me. Record was now 7TP / +16 Diff / 22vp

His list was not the typical Levi list that I am used to seeing, and I think was at a disadvantage from the start. I was able to throw out my lures with 6's several times and he had little chance to resist. (guardian within 6 inches of Nekima is at WP 4, looking for an 11 to resist the 14 cast on the lure). Levi could have jumped into my line turn 4 and after to do some damage, but I am not sure it would have gone in his favor or he would have been able to turn anything. I have time to throw Nekima, Young, and Lelu at the waif to kill her, and could easily take down Levi. By turn 4 he had no stones left and I was still sitting on 5.


  1. It's called Filth for a reason I see – absolutely brutal – I'm cringing just reading this.

  2. I had a friend watch the end of round 2 through the end of the game. His comment after the game was "Bill, that was so demoralizing that I don't want to play Malifaux the rest of the day".

    Big reason I will be very unlikely to play this in another tournament, and certainly would not bring it out in anything close to a friendly game.

  3. Would you be likely to used a dumbed down version of it at all or just put it on a shelf and forget about it like some alien experiment at Area 51?
    I have to say I do like the combos and the models all playing off each other to that extent. Being a former tournament player I love the fact that you 'discovered' this killer combination – the holy grail of all tourney gamers?!

  4. Thats a tough call, its a truly negative play experience (NPE) to face this. I may use it here and there in moderation, but certainly not the whole list.

    My real hope is they errata Double-take to fix the combo and make it good but not nasty.

  5. Few months back I ran into this very same decision - whether to play this list anymore or not.  I decided not to as well, pretty much for the exact same reasons Bill did.  It's just not fun for your opponent.

    Funny enough when Bill said he had a new list to test for GenCon and that he wanted me to bring my best list, I polished off this list to put down against him.  Only to find out that he was planning this exact list.  Evidently he and Dan were talking earlier in the week about it (Dan's the guy I played against a few months back with this list) and how nasty it was.

    This list occupies a spot that Hamelin also does for me - I'll play them if my opponent specifically asks to face them, but outside of that, they'll just collect dust.  It's not that they can't be beaten.  It's that my opponents are usually pissed by the end of the game, win or lose.

  6. How would you counter such a list if you were prepping for a tourney?

  7. There's a thread over on the Guild forum that's talking about this now too.  It's a little Guild-centric, but the basic ideas are solid.

    Best suggestions: keep as much out of LOS as you can, kill Nekima as fast as possible, and make sure you're not too overwhelmed with shock and awe that you forget to do your own strategies and schemes if you can achieve them without engaging the list.