So, the game was Shared Claim Jump, and our lists were as follows:
Me: Pandora, Jack Daw, 2x Hanged, Stitched, 7 stones
His:Viktoria, Von Schill, Convict Gunslinger, Freikorps Librarian, Taelor, 6 stones
My Schemes:Bodyguard (Pandora), Steal Relic
His Schemes: Gather Soulstones, Bodyguard (Von Schill)
After seeing 3 games over the past 3 days played with the Dreamer, I have to imagine your wondering why I chose to switch things up in my final game. First, I had tested this list against Dixon in our local store prior to coming to Adepticon and he was simply terrified of what it could do. Even with the small model count, the list can be fairly devastating. Secondly, the mission was shared claim jump. I was also taking Steal Relic in the game. This list is really good at board control, with Jack Daw taking away cheating and soul-stones and Pandora making things run. Jack is really tough to take down as well. Add to this Pandora and Jack's high willpower and the added damage from failing Steal Relic, and I thought things would work well.
As a note, Dixon and I replayed the game once we got back to VA, with me using the Dreamer list I had envisioned before Adepticon. I should not have switched up, as the game was clearly in my favor, and the flips were not far off how they played in the tournament.
The game starts out with me moving from behind some terrain toward the center of the board, using the Stitched creepy fog to stop any stray shots or charges from occurring. Dixon moved his line forward, setting up for a turn 2 frenzy. He was cautious however, keeping just far enough back to force me to extend myself should I get initiative. Turn 2 kicks off with him getting initiative. He begins to shift forward, keeping his Vik's in reserve and working to out-activate me. I am in a tidy little ball of terror, carefully blocking all his approached to force terror checks on any charge or move toward me he makes. He tries to position some targets to entice me out, but I see the Vik's primed for the charge so do not take the bait. Instead I move up to about 6 inches from the center marker and dig in. Defensive Stance's all around, cloaked with Terror. I am all activated and the Vik's launch into thier attack. Vik's run up, switch, and pop into combat with Jack, Hanged, Stitched, and Pandora all within range of his Whirlwind. Attacks start flying and the Hanged drops first, Stitched drops and grabs Reactivate, and then the Vik's turn thier attack on Pandora. Whoops, Pandora stops the attack cold and Vik takes a quick point of damage. Dixon has burned a whole load of Soul Stones by this point, but clearly he is betting the farm on this round. He starts up the Whirlwind shenanigans again (he has nearly drained his hand, but what a load of cards he had to cheat with) putting the first attack into Stitched and then whirlwind onto Jack. I flip Jack's defense, not terribly worried, and the Black Joker makes an appearance. Ouch, this might hurt a bit. Dixon smartly works through the his stonesand remaining hand to whirlwind away as much of my hand as possible, bringing me down to 1 card. Last, Dixon takes control of Jack and attacks my other hanged, flipping into a high mask and killing the Hanged. Stitched pops some damage into Vik and Dixon uses his last stone to survive the gamble from Stitched, and Stitched sacrifices at the end of the turn.
Turns 3 through 5 played out in a nearly identical fashion for the rest of the game. Pandora would activate and force as much as possible to flee. Dixon would activate and rally what he could, moving back in after rallying. Jack would try and kill anything he could. I spent the game burning through my stones to keep things fleeing and occasionally kill a model. We had a couple questionable rules calls from the judges (Fleeing models who rally cannot take any actions... not correct) but overall it was 3 turns of the same.
We had a bit of an audience at the end of the game. I had chosen to not steal the relic from the Vik's during 1 turn due to a bad initial flip on my cast, so was hurting from a VP standpoint. Pandora was alive, but I could not get over to the Vik's with enough AP to steal their relic. On the final turn I worked to push everyone possible out of the circle around the objective. First cast stoned a low card and Von Schill resisted. Second Cast was also resisted by Schill, leaving Schill within the area of control. I had to choose to cast on the other 3 models (Convict, Librarian, Taelor) to force them to flee, cast, stones, and they start flipping resists. Librarian flees, Taelor Flees, and the Convict flips a red joker, the only card in the deck that can keep him in the game. Game ends and we measure up. At this point I find out that one of my pushes from Incite was not enough to get me completely within the required control zone, giving Dixon 1 model completely within, and me 0. The game ends, I have 2 points and Dixon gets 6. A fantastic and challenging game (my 2nd most challenging all weekend, behind one of the Wyrd Developers, Zee) and a very solid win to Dixon.
Overall I am very happy with how the tournament and Adepticon weekend as a whole worked out. I went from the mid-tables after a first turn loss to playing for 2nd place in the tournament. Had the score been reveresed (me 6, Dixon 2) I would have grabbed first place on the weekend. I ended up with 20 points, placing me in 6th place overall.
As a footnote, while I did not achieve a top 3 finish in the Malifaux tournament, I still feel I accomplished my goals for playing int he weekend. One of the other games I played was against Zee, one of the developers at Wyrd. I wish I could remember the whole game to post a battle report, but very simply I cannot. We played a 50 point scrap (single master), Dreamer vs Kirai. My game against Zee was easily the most challenging game of Malifaux I have ever played. I can comfortably say that without taking anything away from any of my other opponents. Over 2 1/2 hours we went back and forth with multiple small interactions each turn, each of which is equal to the challenging tactical interactions I normally see turn a game. I ended up defeating Zee 8 to 0. At the end of the game, Zee commented that he felt it was one of the best games of Malifaux he had ever played. That comment, plus the crowd of 10+ spectators will warm a place in my memory for quite a while.