Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fire Gamin

I should name the little bastards......

I figured I would toss up a quick post with some not great pictures of my new fire gamin. I will be taking them for a spin tonight with Avatar Sonnia. Following that outing (or 2) I will be putting these little guys on the table with Kaeris in the upcoming Winter League.

Here are some other pictures. Honestly, I think they look better in person, so I need to get the light tent set back up to take some better pictures.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Battle Report - aSonnia vs Pandora - The Revenge!

One of the benefits to my job is I have days when things are slower and I can work from my iPad and iPhone. These opportunities have been very rare lately, so when it looked like such a day on Friday, I jumped at the chance to grab my bag of models and head over to Huzzah Hobbies. eChris also has a job that gives him a flexible schedule, so we were able to meet up and get a game in. Apparently he felt Pandora deserved a little bit of revenge after our Tuesday game, so she came out with one of eChris's full on tournament lists.

So, the board was set-up and we flipped for a Shared Reconnoiter. I knew eChris was bringing out Neverborn, and caught sight of him pulling out his tourney crew. I was wondering how aSonnia would run vs his very hard Pandora tournament list, so decided to put her to a harder test and give 'Dora a chance for revenge. Reconnoiter is one of my least favorite strategies, but I thought that Sonnia would work well on this mission as Violation of Magic could spit out significant Witchling Stalkers. I started with a fairly straight forward list and then became stuck on the last couple points. I made a last minute decision to drop my starting Witchling Stalker, pop in two guild hounds, and go with 6 soul stones.

Our Board

My Crew:
Sonnia Criid -- 6 Pool
+ Sonnia, Avatar of Conflagration [2ss]
Desperate Mercenary [2ss]
Desperate Mercenary [2ss]
Guardian [7ss]
Guild Hound [3ss]
Guild Hound [3ss]
Santiago Ortega [7ss]
Watcher [3ss]

eChris's Crew:
Pandora -- 6 Pool
Primordial Magic [2ss]
Insidious Madness [4ss]
Insidious Madness [4ss]
Insidious Madness [4ss]
Stitched Together [5ss]
Stitched Together [5ss]
Stitched Together [5ss]

Now it was down to selecting Schemes. I went through my list and settled on Breakthrough and Exterminate Spirits. I figured I had a really good chance to take out the three insidious madness plus the primordial magic so exterminate should not be too tough. I also figured I could camp out with my watcher and then shoot down the board to grab breakthrough. I announced both schemes. eChris took Spread Madness and did not announce the other, leading me to believe he took Kidnap. No surprise that I was correct here. I figured it would be tough for him to kill Sonnia or aSonnia with casting  Self Loathing on her, but it would be interesting to see how he pulled it off. We both deployed and flipped initiative for the start of the game.

Turn 1
I claimed initiative on turn 1 with a red joker flip. This was certainly not the time I wanted to see the Red Joker, but I tried to make use of it. I started out with the guardian trying to cast protect on Santiago. The flipped card failed to cast, and while I had a card in hand (an 11) that could cast the spell I really did not want to burn off a high card early. I tried again to cast protect and again the guardian failed. Not good tidings for the turn. Through the turn, I moved forward to get in position, tracking against eChris's cautious move forward. eChris was moving up and screening the board with Creepy Fog from the Stitched Together, keeping my LOS blocked to his crew. I finally activated Sonnia and moved forward, intending to put up a fire wall  to screen one approach vs Pandora, and cast inferno. I ended up black jokering the Inferno cast, leaving turn 1 a great disappointment. eChris finnished up the turn with casting Dementia on Pandora and scooting across the board from his deployment zone (my right hand side) to the left side of my crew. At the end of the turn the guardian snapped to the Desperate Mercenary with Overprotective, aiming to get close to Pandora is possible, but still be within 3 inches of both Santiago and Sonnia. Board positioning at the end of turn 1 was as such:

Turn 2
Turn 2 I grabbed initiative again and had a charge lane open straight at Pandora. I decided to try my luck and declared the charge. In the opposed WP duel, Pandora won and shut down Sonnia's charge. I In return I put up a wall of fire to block the approach on that side of the board and put inferno up. Pandora kicked off her turn with a chain of pacify hitting a couple models, then she used two self loathings to make the Watcher run off the side of the board. The Guardian protected Santiago, female desperate merc moved and tried to take a shot at Pandora, failed, and brought herself down another wound (2 remaining). Pandora pushed back behind a building out of sight to stop the second uncontrolled shot. My dogs moved forward, cautiously, to get in position to go after a madness next turn, and Santiago went defensive stance and held his ground (he had taken 1 wd from Pandora). eChris positioned some more, coming forward with his Stitched, hiding a Madness behind a house on my right, bringing out his primordial magic. The last move, which I found very smart, was to move a madness forward on the left and take a shot at Pandora. Pandora won the WP duel to resist the shot and pushed back around the house to start next turn in sight of my crew. At the end of the turn, Sonnia hurt the male desperate merc and Santiago with inferno and the guardian snapped around onto Santiago to make a move on the Stitched next turn.

Turn 3
I won initiative for turn 3, the turn when things got ugly. Sonnia was facing two Stitched together in front of her, and then had another ST and the totem in a line behind. I knew I could reach them with my double blast, and I had a severe in hand. I activated Sonnia, burned a stone for Confiscated Lore, and let loose with a fireball. One stitched was behind a wall while the other was in the open, so I let loose with a fireball onto the stitched not in cover. Flipped, stoned, and the resist leaves me with a straight flip. I flip straight and get moderate damage, cheat to severe to drop 3 blasts but more important to do 3 damage on the blasts. First blast does 5 damage to the darker Stitched, 3 to the rear stitched, and kills the totem. I know I need to violate the mercenary or Pandora is going to scoot around the corner and ping him dead, so I launch that spell next, bringing out a witchling stalker in the house and engaged with the Madness just outside the window. With my last AP I place a set of fire walls between the stitched together and my crew. eChris activates Pandora and starts pacifying models. First pacify kills the female mercenary, second pacify hits the Guardian, third hits Sonnia. Pandora uses self loathing on one of the dogs, doing damage, walks once to get LOS, then pacifies Santiago and passes her third action. I have a witchling stalker and two dogs to activate outside of pacify. I activate the dogs in companion and move the first over next to the madness on the far right of the board (I did not have LOS to charge) and the "front" dog moved with his free walk then charged the madness, missing the attack due to the negative flip.  eChris brings activates his madness next to the stalker, puts up the neg-WP bubble, and moves inside the house next to the stalker. The Stalker activates and kills the Madness, and puts up his neg-cast bubble. Stitched in the rear activates, walks forward next to his closer stitched. Guardian activates, heals himself, and shifts around to block LOS next turn between the Stitched and Sonnia. The other stitched activate and do some gambling with Santiago, lose Gambler, and position for turn 4.

Turn 4
Turn 4 was the single most important turn in the whole game. I started turn 4 with one manifestation requirement met and the ability to manifest for 1ap. We flipped initiative and I was able to grab initiative again. I planned out my turn and started with Sonnia. Sonnia manifested, replaced with aSonnia and putting the Madness beside the building within melee range (along with Pandora). I had a completely crap hand (nothing above a 5, 3 books) but started with Light em Up on the Stitched. I failed to cast the spell, but wanted to save my stones for the next spells. Second was to place two pyres, which successfully cast, placed in range to push onto the two Stitched standing next to each other. That was 2 casts (Casting Master) down, so I followed up with 1AP to push one pyre positioned in base to base with both Stitched behind the wall. My last action was to use my (0) to cast Searing Wave and use a soul stone to push the spell to be irresistable by everything. I had the trigger on the Ram and flipped 4 damage for damage. This put 3 wounds onto Pandora, killed the nearby Madness, put the darker Stitched on Does not Die, and pushed one of the other Stitched to does not die and hurt the third. Essentially all three stitched together would be sacrificed at the end of the turn. eChris activated his madness, put up the neg wp bubble, and activated terrifying. I activated the guardian, healed, and moved toward engaging Pandora, failing to swing at her. Pandora activated and pacified the Guardian and Santiago, pushing around to hide from aSonnia behind a house. I activated my first dog, failed the terrifying check, and ran to the board edge. The first stitched activated, gambled with aSonnia and failed, then gambled her life and failed. His last Gamble your life succeeded after I burned my last soulstone for a tie, then flipped the red joker on the double negative flip and followed up with another severe. That took aSonnia off the table and turned the game. The second dog failed his terrifying check and ran to the board edge, the second stitched started in on the guardian, killing him, the Stalker came out of the house and walked forward, Third Stitched tried its hand at Santiago but was unable to break through his stubborn WP. Reactivating the Stitched killed off the Stalker and Santiago ran down to hide on the far side of the house that Pandora was on. At the end of the turn the three Stitched sacrificed and Pandora chose to take the wound instead of going slow.

Turn 5
I needed initiative and the right card for this turn to swing in my favor, and thus the game swing in my favor. If I was able to grab initiative again and had a 10 in hand I could get off Leadstorm, putting 4 damage on Pandora remaining 3 and forcing her to use her last soulstone to try and survive. I drew my hand and had an 11, 13, 10, and three other cards in hand. I had the hand, no I needed the initiative. eChris and I flipped initiative and my deck punished me for earlier initiatives by serving up the black joker. Damn. eChris started with Pandora, Walking once to get LOS, Pacifying to push closer to the dogs, keep LOS, and bring Santiago down to Hard to Kill (1 wound remaining). He then hit Santiago with Self Loathing, punching through his stubborn WP, followed up by pinging the dog who was already at 1 wd remaining and killing it, then casting self loathing on the remaining dog and running it off the board with his trigger. His last action was for the madness to speed up the board to grab a second table quarter.

Final score:
eChris Reconnoiter 2, Spread Madness 0, Kidnap 2 for a total of 4
Bill Reconnoiter 0, Breakthrough 0, Exterminate Spirits 0 for a total of 0

eChris wins the game and Pandora gets revenge for the loss earlier in the week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Battle Report - aSonnia vs Pandora

Ok, so I snuck out of work on Monday and grabbed a game of Malifaux late in the afternoon. Not a bad thing, the day was a bit stressful and I needed a break. While I was out, local eChris (who also appears on Gamers Lounge from time to time) shared that he was really anxious to get his Pandora crew back on the table. See, eChris has been playing an awful lot of games lately with the Arcanist, and he had not brought out his Neverborn in probably a month or more. With that said, the way he asked me led me to believe we were looking at a "Hard" or "Tournament Style" game. You know, no hold barred face smashing goodness. I thought that sounded fun, as I love playing eChris and I had not tried aSonnia out in a tournament setting yet. We agreed to the throwdown during out regular Tuesday night gaming, and went to our corners.

So, that brings us to Tuesday night gaming and this Battle Report. I have had some requests on the blog for more battle reports, along with a fair number of requests to the podcast (for both battle reports and pictures of our painted models). I rolled into the store and eChris was ready to go. We picked out our crews and started setting up. He had just completed painting up some of his NB models, so pulled them out to play. I will say this, now, before the battle report. While his list was good, it is not fully up to the Tournament level of list he typically runs.

So, first the basics:
30 Soulstone game
Shared Destroy the Evidence
Standard Deployment

eChris's crew:
  • Pandora -- 6 Pool
  • Doppelganger [8ss]
  • Lelu [7ss]
  • Lilitu [7ss]
  • Lilitu [7ss]
Schemes: Hold Out & Assassinate

My Crew:
  • Sonnia Criid -- 7 Pool
  • + Sonnia, Avatar of Conflagration [2ss]
  • Desperate Mercenary [2ss]
  • Desperate Mercenary [2ss]
  • Guardian [7ss]
  • Santiago Ortega [7ss]
  • Watcher [3ss]
  • Witchling Stalker [4ss]
Schemes: Subjugate & Raid

And that brings us to the board and the deployments. The crew pictures above (sorry for the blurry picture of my crew) show how we deployed, but here is the board as a whole.
 You should be able to make out the wooden tokens at the center of the board then spread onto his side (these are my Evidence markers and the Neutral marker) and then the black bases on my side of the board (his evidence). One of his evidence markers is behind the ruins on the right of the board and cannot really be seen.

Turn 1
We flipped initiative and got underway. Turn 1 was, as is typical, a fair amount of maneuvering. I would be able to out-activate eChris, so I started conservatively by moving a witchling stalker forward, protecting Santiago with the Guardian and then shield bashing Santiago for 1dg, and drifting up with the mercs. I did not want to have Pandora run wild with incites/pacify or be grabbed (easily) with the Lilitu lures. For my crews, first turn positioning is important, while I can loosen up a bit starting turn 2. eChris had his doppelganger copy Dementia and Casting Expert, he cast Dementia at Pandora then walked forward a bit. The triplets shifted around, with Lelu positioning himself just inside the door of the ruins, Lilitu luring the Witchling Stalker forward to the fence, and the other Lilitu shifting to my left, sitting just outside the left side of the ruins. Pandora shot up the board by passing a number of dementia checks (requiring eChris to cheat 3 cards from his hand), got himself onto his closest objective to the right, but was out of range to cast anything when he got there. I moved forward with Sonnia, put up inferno and tried to throw a fireball at my witchling stalker. I measured range and found the Stalker was ~1 inch too far, so held onto the 10 of Tomes I was planning to cast with. My last move was to move up with the Watcher, sitting smack on the neutral center evidence marker. At the closing phase inferno knocks the two mercs down to a single wd and Santiago down to half wounds. Here is the board at the end of Turn 1.

Turn 2 kicked off with a really good draw on my part. I had held onto the 10 of tomes from turn 1, and drew into my hand another 11, 12, and red joker. I took a look at the board and was ready to take initiative, and luckily flipped two high cards even with the negative initiative flip from the doppelganger. I started the turn with the Stalker charging Lelu, cheating high enough for a straight flip, tossing down the red joker, and doing enough damage (with Critical) to kill Lelu. I knew this would set eChris onto his back foot, but not push him out of the game. I still had to subjugate 2 models to turn them into Witchlings for my scheme, and had a ways to go on my strategy as well. The outside Lilitu moved forward and engaged the Watcher with her 4 inch reach, stopping him from destroying the neutral evidence. The Watcher jumped forward onto the evidence in eChris's deployment zone, getting out of melee with the Lilitu and opening her up for some shooting. The second Lilitu lured the witchling forward and smacked him around a bit. The male desperate merc moved over the wall to take a bead on the outside Lilitu, and let loose with some uncontrolled fire. Thanks to For My Family, and some judicious flips, he was able to get both shots off, hit with 1, and knock her down 2 wounds. The rest of the turn had Pandora ping some damage onto the guardian, Santiago, and kill both Merc's before I could turn them into Stalkers. eChris walked with his Doppelganger, mimic'd the Watchers walk, then walk again to sit on top of my evidence and engage the Watcher so he could not destroy it next turn. Sonnia pushed out a fire ball into the Lilitu, dropping her to 3 wounds remaining. This put me in a touch position, as I had the AP to kill the Lilitu, but could not do it with Violation of Magic to get the Subjagate. I decided to pass my last action, leaving Lilitu to slowly waste away, taking 1 wounds and dropping her into Violation territory.

Turn 3
Turn 3 started with my negative flip making me go second. I realize I cannot count on luck every turn. First activation went to eChris, who had the nearly dead Lilitu run behind the shacks to my left and try to hide from Sonnia. Sonnia moved forward (double walk), burned a soulstone to study her confiscated lore, and then let loose Violating the wounded Lilitu. Lilitu shriveled into a hooded Witchling Stalker, who was set in melee with Pandora. Lilitu lured the watcher away from the evidence, dropping wounds on him from Pandora, and killed him with her whip. My newly summoned Stalker put up his bubble of Magic hate and then tried to hit Pandora, only to suffer a point from emotional trauma and let Pandora push 4 inches away. The doppelganger copied the Stalkers sword and charged the Stalker engaged with Lilitu, but missed the attack. That Stalker activated, put up a bubble of magic hate, and turned his sword on the Doppelganger, bringing the skinless girl down to 2 wounds remaining. Pandora activated, put another wound on the slow stalker via pacify and pushed toward the rear evidence marker, back into his own deployment zone.  She pacified Sonnia to push again to get out of the magic hate bubble, then cast self loathing at the witchling stalker. The Witchling hit himself with his own sword, taking him down to 1 wound. Pandora them finished her turn by pinging the Witchling, pushing onto the rear evidence marker, and causing the witchling to die and blow up, taking the doppelganger with him. This left the poor Lilitu in a fair amount of pain, but not dead. Santiago and the Guardian moved forward, took some pot-shots, but did not really swing the game any one direction. At the end of Turn 3, the board looked as such.

Turn 4 - 6
Turn 4 started with no negative flip as the doppelganger was dead. Even so, Chris won initiative and started the turn by Sacrificing his Lilitu for a soulstone, forcing me to focus on Pandora for my Subjagate scheme. The end of the game was fairly straight forward once that happened. eChris burned out my hand casting at Sonnia and Santiago, forcing me to play off the top of my deck after dispelling her spells. Sonnia cast inferno and then manifested, becoming aSonnia and moving down the board. Santiago and the Guardian positioned to destroy the center evidence, and the witchling ran for the rear evidence. Pandora successfully held off my ability to destroy the evidence and stayed as protected as possible from Sonnia, so I could not Violate her. I did a lot of positioning, resulting in Sonnia moving forward to destroy the rear evidence, Santiago and the Guardian destroying the neutral evidence and the other forward evidence, but I was unable to destroy the third evidence by the end of the game. Pyres could have killed Sonnia several times, but I was too focused on moving and trying to Violate her for my Subjugate scheme to just simply kill her with them. Here is the board at the end of the game, (that's a burning counter on Pandora).

The game ended with me achieving 3 points for Destroy the evidence, 2 points for raid, 0 for Subjugate while eChris scored 0 points on Destroy the Evidence, 0 for Assassinate, and 0 for Hold Out. Final score, 5-0 in Sonnia's favor.

Overall a great game, with some fantastic moves on both sides. I spent a lot of time trying for my Subjagate scheme, and ended up out of position to grab my last marker. eChris proves again that Pandora can hold off another crew handily even while all alone on the board.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Caw! Caw! MF'er

There are honestly a whole number of things I could and should be writing about in this blog post. I could be finally putting together my thoughts on how Malifaux gamers graduate through different "Phases" of understanding the game balance. I could be waxing poetic about my love for Twisting Fates. I could even be writing a deeply intellectual comparison on 40K vs WHFB vs Malifaux vs Wm/H. Am I going to do that, hell no.

Simply put, I figured I would write up a quick little blurb about the Austringer. As my friend Zee would put it, Caw Caw Mother Fucker. Yeah, that's an expletive. I will not even blame it on the after-gaming beer I had. Nope, dinner kept that well in check. Simply put, I had 2 great games during my weekly game night tonight and one of them returned the Austringer to the table (after a fair long absence) to a truely triumphant return.

After some minor harassment on the Malifaux IRC room today, I caved to some pressure and decided to try out Lucius as a Henchman vs Henchman as master. I do not prefer to play him this way, I honestly think he does better as a Henchman as Master.  Regardless, I teamed him up with Sonnia Criid and her fiery avatar and went to town. Local player Dan dropped down some Marcus love and we had a fun game. What???? did you think this was a battle report. Go back to the top, this is about the Austringer! Check out the sweet Alternate Sonnia Criid over to the right though. Thats who Lucius was running around with all game. So, at the end of the game, Lucius, Sonnia, the Gov Proxy, and a Witchling were still alive and won me the game. Overall a pretty fun game and Dan is always a great opponent. Hell, check out his blog as he may actually put up a battle report.

Did I mention playing my second game with Lucius and the Austringers though? No? I thought I had. So my second game was against another local player, Brian. Brian is fairly new and picked up a bunch of Guild. He has been working through his new guild collection and really seems to be enjoying the game. He has been trying to catch me for a game for a while now, and we just got the chance to play each other tonight. I wanted to take something different, and had not played Lucius in a while. Since I had played him as a Henchman in my last game, I decided to bring him back to the table running a crew of his own. Brian and I decided to play a 35 point game and I spun up the Guild Guard/Special Forces crew. Guardsmen, Guild Hounds, Guild Guard Captain, and 2 amazing Austringers. Now, let me be fair here and point out that only 1 time in the past 6+ months have I brought an austringer back to the table. They just have not fit with my crews lately. Add to that the fact they have not really done much for me in the games I have played them. Well, they came back with a bang tonight.

I had taken my second Austringer out of my Malifaux bag to make room for Sonnia's Alt, so had to borrow one from Brian for the game. I got the two dudes on the table and both Brian and I were joking about Anemic under-performing birds. Well..... let me tell you. Caw Caw Mother Fucker indeed! In the first 3 turns of the game my two Austringers flipped severe damage at least 7 times. Even on negative flips these boys were whipping out the Severe/Moderate flips and tossing in the odd critical strike to boot! Granted, they could not deliver orders to save their lives, but they sure dished out the damage. Between the two austringers, the Drill Sergeants' Shooting Range, and Lucius buffing and giving orders.... DAMN! The Austringers took down Sam Hopkins, Ryle, an Executioner (nearly twice), and dropped damage on both Perdita and Nino. It was a fairly glorious game for them.

So, here is a little love for my friend Zee, who constantly espouses the value of the humble Austringer. It looks like I finally fed the birds the right bird seed.

So whats coming up on a serious note for the DTP? More Puppets (the set is nearly complete), and I owe a lot of pictures (Malifaux and 40K) to the blog. I need to get my light tent set back up here at home, pull out the SLR, and get some pictures taken. I have a rough plan for doing so, along with getting back to painting. Now that I am at the end of the year I am starting to get back to the hobby side of the hobby.