Monday, September 17, 2012

Dark Debts Game

This past weekend I was able to get in a game with fellow Wyrd Henchman Merbak (Shawn), the Grove City PA Henchman. One of my locals, Tim, and I headed up to Grove City to partake in Shawn's first Malifaux tournament. It was a 20ss tournament and I had a lot of fun playing Arcanists across the three rounds. I realize that at this point your wondering how playing Arcanists in 3 rounds of an event equates to a blog post about the Dark Debt's crew. Well, after the tournament Shawn and I were able to carve out time to sit down and play a game. I had just finished painting up the bases and a fair amount of my 10 Thunders models before leaving for the event, so I was very happy to get the chance to get them on the table. Shawn said he would not be taking 10T, but would be going Arcanist instead, which made a nice fit overall. We agreed to 35ss for the game size and I settled in to picking my crew.

Ok, it wasn't really picking a crew because I had just a bit more than 35ss to take Jakob as 10T. I knew I could throw some Stitched in if I needed to, but I wanted to try out a solid 10T crew led by Jakob. Missing a lot of the solid Orange models, I ended up with the following list:

Ten Thunders Crew - 35 - Scrap
Jakob Lynch -- 8 Pool
Hungering Darkness [0ss]
Beckoner [5ss]
Beckoner [5ss]
Mr. Graves [7ss]
Ten Thunders Brother [5ss]
The Illuminated [6ss]
I was playing with a full SS pool, but somehow when I added it up it came out to an even 35 stones (the crew creator has be losing 1 stone). There has been some discussion locally about how the Illuminated function, and as I had just painted mine up I really wanted to try him out.

Shawn pulled his crew out across from me and I saw I was facing Fellow 10T Mei Feng, with her crew. He was playing her as Arcanists, but it was still Mei. If my memory serves well, his crew was:

Arcanists Crew - 35 - Scrap
Mei Feng -- 7 Pool
Emberling [2ss]
Kaeris [8ss]
Student of Conflict [4ss]
Metal Gamin [5ss]
Metal Gamin [5ss]
Steampunk Arachnid [3ss]
Willie, the Demolitionist [6ss]
The crew creator has Shawn sitting at 7 stones, but he somehow calculated it as 6 stones in his pool. I am not sure what his plan was for the small spider, but it was on the board.

We had flipped for strategies and I had ended up with Contain Power while Shawn had Line in the Sand. Looking at his crew I moved on to picking my schemes. I wanted to pull out and try some of the new 10T schemes to see how tough they really were. I went full bore and picked up Save Face and Spread the Light. Spread the Light was the Jakob Lynch with Huggy on the board scheme where I need to have two enemy models alive at the end of the game, both infected with brilliance. Save Face meant that if Shawn and I both did not get a full 4 points on our strategies, then I picked up an additional 2 points for my scheme. It basically constrained me to a max 6vp game. His schemes were Hold Out and Kill Protege on Mr. Graves.

Now, I would love to give you a play by play recounting of the game, but I did not grab pictures and my memory is not that great. Keep in mind this was the fourth game of the day, with the previous 3 being during a tournament. With that said, let me try and recount some high-lights of the game and some things I learned or picked up. I will say, at the end of the match I won 6/2. Shawn picked up Kill Protege by killing off Graves with Willie's blasts, and I was able to pick up all my schemes while parking Jakob in his deployment zone to break his hold-out. The game was an incredibly fun time, and Shawn was a great opponent. Mei is a ton of fun to play against and Jakob and Crew were certainly a huge enjoyment.

So, observations and thoughts after the game.

10 Thunders Brothers - I had a brilliant plan with this guy. I am learning that after Saturday, anytime I have a "brilliant plan" I need to stop and rethink the plan, because its not so brilliant after some analysis. So, I deployed my crew in two groups, seperated by a building in between them. On one side I had placed the 10T Brother carefully positioned along with the Illuminated and a Beckoner. I figured this would be fantastic, as the Brother could companion the 10T models in that group and I could get off an Alpha-strike. This plan is brilliant until you look closely and notice that both neither the Beckoner nor the Illuminated are dual faction models. Both are pure Neverborn. Bah.

So, lesson learned. 10T Brothers cannot companion Beckoners or Illuminated.

Willie and a Metal Gamin - Holy crap is this guy a whole lot of fun! Shawn had a great move at one point of the game where Willie and his pet Metal Gamin found themselves facing the Beckoner/Illuminated/10T Brother team. Willie was locked in combat with the Illuminated and the Metal Gamin was protecting Willie. Willie down to 1 wound, and all three of my models were hurt as well. Willie and the Metal Gamin activated in companion, with the Metal Gamin going first. The Metal Gamin put up Hard Case, allowing him to grab 2 wounds from models in his aura, and then moved to the far side of Willie, keeping Willie in his aura. Willie then used his (0) action to drop a charge counter within 2 inches of him, but in a fair range of all my other models. He then proceeded to walk less than an inch, triggering the charge, and cheating in a black joker to cause a 5 inch explosion doing 5 damage. The damage killed off all three of my models, while Willie's armor reduced it to 2 damage which the trusty Metal Gamin then soaked up for him. At the end of the turn, the Metal Gamin had taken only 2 wounds, Willie was still at 1 wound remaining, and all three of my models were dead.

Incredibly cool!

Saving Face -  This was an interesting scheme to take. It had a couple effects on my game, and I think it was particularly suited to playing against an opponent who has Line in the Sand. Due to how Line in the Sand works, I only had to keep Shawn from flipping 1 marker to keep him at 2vp and give me a chance for my scheme. The trick was then to kill Mei Feng with a model that was not my master. On the bright side, Huggy works like a master but does not count as a master when it comes to schemes. This let me kill Mei with Huggy, which is a fairly even matchup, while still only getting 2 VP for the contain power kill. Even knowing this, I still killed Mei with Graves.

Spread the Light - This was another fun scheme. I really had to spend time thinking what I was going to leave alive in the game to get this. I ended up choosing the Metal Gamin and removing everything else. There is also the challenge of how to assure that the 2 target models are kept brilliant through the end of the game. There are really only 2 ways to do this. The first is have a Beckoner parked within 6 inches of the brilliant models at the end of the game. This is not hugely effective and can be a challenge. The more reliable way was to give out Permanent Brilliance with Huggy. I found that his Brilliance Granting spell was a good one to use for this, as it auto-triggers the perma-brilliance.

Graves - I really enjoyed using Graves in the game. I think that he is a great control piece who can be really dangerous when the enemy closes in. I got some decent use from Bar's Closed to move my own crew up turn 1. I am looking forward to getting him into a couple more games, but to be honest I need to consider his long term use. I have some decent control pieces in Jakob's crew already and I can see an additional beater melee model being helpful to the crew. Once I get him in hand, I am going to try swapping Graves out for Ototo and see how that works. At this moment, Ototo is still in the box and on his way to me, so Graves will be my go to model for now!

Illuminated - I think these guys look really good on paper. Really good. I even like a couple of the models and am looking forward to painting them up. Honestly, I am not sure how much they will make their way into my crews. At 6 points I believe there are better models that could fill thier slot. Both Torekage and Archers come to mind pretty quickly. The Illuminated were not bad, they just did not perform as well as they looked. I think this is a theme for this book, where there are models that are just different in performance than how they read on paper. I expect a fair few surprises coming up over the next year. The Illuminated did not deliver as well as expected, but they are not horrible. Again, my replacements are not available to me at the moment so I will probably keep 1 illuminated around for a while.

Those are the real big thoughts from the game. I loved playing Jakob and Huggy and they both delivered as expected. I was able to get a fair number of cast's for DMH through the game, and even got an excellent use of Mulligan where I replaced a hand with a high card of a 5 with a hand that had a low card of a 9. Huggy delivered as expected, making models brilliant and even re-summoning in with a pair of 13's. He was very resilient but did not heal up as much as my local group has mentioned. I found myself not often using his (0) consume brilliance spell as it would do more damage to my crew than my opponent.

I am certainly looking forward to more games and need to get some pictures of my crew uploaded.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bill,

      I realized that Mei's cache is 5, not 4, the next day.  That is what caused the SS discrepancy.
      As far as plans for the lone little spider: I was originally intending for him to be a cheap jump-link, as traps are not out yet.  I planned to move him more toward center and have him link the two halves of the board for a surprise overload of the Willie/Metal Gamin side.  However, when I way over-comitted Mei, and subsequently pulled a big win on the Willie side (after the itsy bitsy spider sacrificed itself to absorb the 10T brother's activation and kept him from killing Willie prematurely), that ended up not happening.