Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tuesday Main Event - Dreamer v Mei Feng

Slaz and I agreed to throw down for our groups semi-regular Tuesday Main Event on the most recent Tuesday night. Slaz really wanted to get Mei Feng on the table, but was lacking clockwork traps and some other goodies. Due to this he decided to field her as an Arcanist. I have not played many Dreamer games this year, and after bringing him out for a game at Gencon I was hankering to get him back on the table. We agreed to 30 stones and got ready for the game. I missed a couple pictures (like the board set-up) for the Battle report, but grabbed all the turns. I also marked out where models died during a turn with a variety of markers, which I will note through the report.

I did not grab any good pictures of the complete table, which is a shame. I am out of practice on grabbing pictures for battle reports, and this shows part of it. On the bright side, I did grab pictures of the crews and the end of each turn. The board had a number of rounded buildings set-up across the board, mixed with some regular small houses and barns. There was a river running on the right of the board, through my deployment zone, and a giant skull in the middle "town square". Then there were small hedge rows and low stone walls scattered around the board.

We flipped strategies, with me ending up with Plant Evidence and Slaz flipped Claim Jump. We had corners deployment (12 inch square in each corner) so shuffled around some terrain so there were at least 2 pieces in Slaz's deployment zone and at least 5 pieces on his half of the board. After that we hired crews and he ended up picking corners and deploying first. I only deployed Dreamer and the Day Dreams while he deployed in a block.

Our crews were:

30SS Scrap
Bill - Dreamer, Coppelius, 2x Stitched, 3x Day Dreams, Insidious Madness, 6 Stones
       - Plant Evidence, Eye for an Eye, Kidnap (Emberling, Metal Gamin, Large Spider

Slaz - Mei Feng, Emberling, Kaeris, Rail Golem, Metal Gamin, Large Steampunk Arachnid, 6 stones
       - Claim Jump, Stake a Claim, Kill Protege (Coppelius)

Turn 1

Slaz grabbed initiative turn 1 and the game got started. Slaz started out with the Emberling using Magical Extension to Seismic Punch, giving his crew a bit of a boost on the movement in the first turn. I expect this to be a fairly normal first activation for a Mei Feng crew. With all the models pushed 3 inches directly away from the emberling, it then moved up to Mei Feng and linked to her. I started with moving the little bat-eared Day Dream to hide behind the long-house. Slaz moved his Large Spider up the table into a nicely parked position about 5 inches away from Mei. He was clearly setting up the rail-path for Mei Feng to first turn Rail Walker, which was not unexpected. I moved Duncecap Day Dream to the near side of the building, a bit forward up the building. (the forward Blight token near Coppelius). Slaz then double walked the Metal Gamin all the way forward to sit on the corner of the long house, staring at my day-dream. (the scrap counter near the corner of the house). In response I had the cards in hand to unleash Chompy on the Metal Gamin and cancel the end of Slaz's Rail Line plan, so I companion activated Dreamer and the remaining Day Dream. Dreamer chose to fly, bounced forward (double walk) and brought out his nightmare friend. Chompy attacked the Metal gamin, hitting hard and taking it to its Hard to Wound. Not bad, now to finish things off. I flipped the second attack and cheated to get a high Tome involved, with plans to All Done and bring Dreamer back out. On flipping damage the Black Joker came up, leaving Chompy on the board and failing to kill off the Metal Gamin. I knew this would be a mess. The companioned Daydream saftey moved up (rear most Blight Counter) and put Chompy away, bringing the Dreamer back out. He then used Magical Extension to place a Stitched in front of the Dreamer as a bodyguard.

At this point Slaz decided to make his attack run with Mei. He declared the activation, flipped to cast Rail Walker, and realized he did not have a sufficient Tome in hand to do what he wanted (Terminus Trigger). Despite this and my offer for him to take back the action, he launched Mei forward to sit in front of the Metal Gamin. He then used his first AP to cast Scalding Breath and was able to knock out both Day Dreams with the spell. In return, I brought out Coppelius on the far side of the Metal Gamin, and a second Stitched ahead of Dreamer. Mei proceeded to put up her armor and kick into the Stitched, putting some damage on him and sitting herself right next to Dreamer. I activated Coppelius, attacking the Metal Gamin twice and killing it on the second atack (plucking out an eyeball). Coppelius them moved forward to get near Mei. The Rail Golem double moved forward, starting his collection of burning tokens. The Stitched tried to take out the Emberling, but only ended up putting 2 wounds on it. Kaeris jumped to the top of the skull, and the second stitched shifted sligthly to get LOS but ended up with the Emberling winning the Gable your Life and turning the damage back on the Stitched (not killing it).

At the end of the turn, this was the board layout. As a reminder, Scrap token near the corner of the building was the Metal Gamin, Blight tokens were Day Dreams.

Turn 2
I really needed initiative on Turn 2, but did not get it. Slaz activated Mei and the Emberling and geared up to wipe me from the board. The Emberling tried to scalding breath but failed. Mei was a lifer so ignored how scary Coppelius was, then she started with putting up Iron Skin, making sure she was armored before starting the attacks. He opened with Tiger Claws attacking Coppelius, hitting, and cheating the trigger in to Tigers Fury. We both tried to figure out how he could shift 2 inches to only have the dreamer in range, but could not quite make it work to pull Mei out of range of the Stitched. Instead of that, he shifted slightly and dropped an attack on the wounded (closer) stitched. The Stitched died (activating Does not Die but no reactivation yet), and Tiger Fury back into Coppelius. Hit Coppelius, damage, and bounce through Dreamer to attack the other stitched, missing the attack. Second AP let loose on the second stitched, triggering and bouncing back to Coppelius, hitting and killing Coppelius. Slaz drew his card for Price of Progress, Vented Steam and failed to get superheat off. He then shifted through Dreamer again to stay in melee range of both stitched but be to the right of Dreamer and behind the Stitched (two scrap tokens together are Mei in front, emberling in rear).

This did not go as badly as I had thought, but was not great as Slaz had just grabbed his 2 points. Dreamer and the Day Dream activated on Companion (at the end of the range), and Dreamer started by first casting Frightening Dream to place the Insidious madness on the riverbank, with only Mei and the Emberling within 4 inches. He followed up by casting his (0) Inflict Dreams on Mei. I cheated in a 13, setting the initial total to 20, then stoning to try and push it as high as possbile. The Red Joker jumped up, setting my total at a fairly tough to reach 34 on the WP resist. Slaz shook his head and flipped, not even trying to match the total. Things were looking up, and Dreamer then brought out his Nightmare Friend with 3 AP to attack with. LCB burned out all his attacks and a couple soulstones (I was down to 2 at the end) attacking Mei, but only got her to half-way. She is tough with her DF and Armor. At the end the Daydream lead LCB back toward itself, then calmed him down to bring Dreamer back out next to the Daydream and hiding from Kaeris and the Rail Golem.

This brought us to the wrap-up of the turn. Slaz had the large spider run up on the building, aiming to get a next-turn attack sequence on Dreamer. I had the Insidious madness use Danger to Yourself to put 2 more wounds on Mei, then brought up the extra negative flip on WP duels. Kaeris jumped down from the skull to the far side of the Rail Golem, then put some Flame Wall between the Stitched and her, blocking LOS.  I activated the Stitched to the far right and used Gambler with Mei, netting be two additional cards. I GYL with Mei, cheating a 2 to fail and gaining Reactivate. I then did it again to start piling on some wounds. The Rail Golem passed his activation, only picking up 1 more burning token. The second Stitched activated, Gambler with Mei to grab 2 more cards, then GYL with Mei, cheating the black joker to fail and gain reactivate. He did it one more time to kill Mei off. Slaz had nothing left, so the first Stitched reactivated and walked to try and kill off the Large Spider. He failed to do GYL, taking some meaningless damage back. The second Stitched reactivated and tried the same, putting wounds on the spider but not enough to kill it.

The end of turn 2 was a far lonlier board than the start of turn 2. Both stitched were getting Sacrificed, the corpse counter was Coppelius, and the Scrap counters were Mei and the Emberling.

Turn 3
So turn 3 was a time to start focusing on objectives and do some cleanup. I was down to a Day Dream, the Insidious Madness, and Dreamer/LCB. Slaz had a wounded large spider, the Rail Golem (with burning tokens), and Kaeris left. We both figured we still had a game and flipped initiative, with Slaz getting it again! We checked the shadow of the building and both the Daydream and Dreamer were hidden in the shadow. Due to this, the Spider had to double walk to get in range to attack. Slaz picked the Daydream over Dreamer due to my stones remaining, and made his Melee Expert attack, missing. In return, I activated the Insidious madness and moved over next to the Spider, then did Danger to Yourself and was able to put 2 wounds on the spider, killing it. (Ice Pillar). Slaz moved Kaeris forward to tempt me out to attack her. I didn't take the bait, knowing the big ChooChoo train was waiting to come barreling down on me. Instead I companion activated the Day Dream and Dreamer, and Dreamer flew over to near the wall and brought out LCB to plant some evidence on the wall. The Day Dream flew over near Chompy, staying within 6 inches of the Insidious, told Chompy to go to sleep then with the return of Dreamer, magical extensioned Calm Dreams to bury the Madness. Slaz double walked the Rail Golem over near Dreamer, intending to stage to harrass Dreamer/LCB on turn 4, and ending with 5 burning tokens. At the end of the turn the ChooChoo took the wound.

Turn 4
I drew my hand on this turn, holding a 12 of rams, 13 of tomes, and the red joker. I really needed initiative on this turn and luck was with me. I smiled, shrugged a bit at Slaz, then started my turn. Companion activate Day Dream and Dreamer, Dreamer flys up to the end of the stone wall next to the building and brings out his nightmare friend. LCB uses Melee Expert on the Rail Golem, hitting and using a SS to push the attack to a straight flip. Red Joker and Flay pushes the Golem to its Hard to Wound despite its armor. Second attack hits and kills the Golem, spilling 3 damage and a burning token onto LCB. LCB then walks over to the house so Dreamer can pop out behind the house. Day Dream double walks to next to LCB, then brings Dreamer back out.

In response, Slaz did not have many choices, so Kaeris moved behind the hedge he needed to camp on and prepared for turn 5.

Dreamer end of turn:

Kaeris End of Turn:

Turn 5
At the start of Turn 5 Slaz and I spent a couple moments analyzing the board. The game was in an interesting position. I already had my 2 points for Kidnap, and 2 points for Eye for an Eye if the board did not change. It would also be very easy within the next 2 turns to plant evidence on two pieces of terrain in his deployment zone for 4 points, to get a total of 8. In return, Slaz had his 2 points from Kill Protege, and if I did not come over to challenge Kaeris he had 4 points for his Claim Jump, and 2 points for his Stake a Claim, also totaling 8. I suspect he wanted me to call it as a tie there, but I really thought I could pull out a win on this.

We drew up our hands and started the turn. Slaz grabbed initiative, which benefited me. Kaeris stayed where she was and put up a flame wall blocking the clear line to get to her. I activated my Day Dream, moved into his deployment zone and used magical extension to pull out the insidious madness in B2B with one of the terrain featured. The Insidious planted evidence on the terrain and moved to the second piece for turn 6. Dreamer then flew 14 inches across the board, sitting himself just behind the long house. Now it came down to how turn 6 went.

End of Dreamer Turn 5:

End of Kaeris Turn 5:

Turn 6
Turn 6 rolled in with Slaz getting initiative again, much to his chagrin. Kaeris popped up a Flame Wall, blocking the most direct approach for Chompy. Slaz would have been a bit better putting up Defensive Stance here, but it did not make a huge difference. The Insidious madness planted evidence on the building, then the Day Dream magical Extensioned to bury him in case I killed Kaeris. Dreamer flew 14 inches across the board, avoiding the Flame Wall, and then brought out his Nightmare Friend. Kaeris was only down 2 wounds, so I did not have a big hope I could finish her with 2 AP, but we were both out of stones. LCB attacked three times, thanks to Melee expert and onslaught, but only dumped a little damage on Kaeris. I flipped the card to see if we would have a turn 7, and the game ended.

At the end of the game it ended up a win to Dreamer 8/4.

Dreamer: Plant Evidence - 4, Eye for an Eye - 2, Kidnap - 2
Mei Feng: Claim Jump - 0, Stake Claim - 2, Kill Protege - 2

Final Thoughts
Overall it was a really fun game. This was Slaz's first outing with Mei since assembling her and she can definitely bring the pain. I think Slaz was a little too aggressive railwalking across the board without the Tome's in hand for Terminus, but it worked ok for him. If it wasn't for Dreamers insane movement Slaz would have had a tie game overall. He also could have camped the objective with both Kaeris and the Rail Golem, forcing me to choose a pretty tough confrontation at the end of the game.

For me, I was happy to get Dreamer back on the table. I enjoy playing Dreamer and do not feel like the Errata handicapped him at all. Even without the insane cross-table slingshot, Dreamer is still very viable and now you have to play his crew.
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