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.
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