Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Malifaux Tournament a Success

Saturday October 2 I ran a Malifaux Tournament at the local store, Huzzah Hobbies, in Ashburn VA. Overall I am very pleased with the turn-out and the results of the event. My wife and I took several pictures through the day and I thought I would share a couple here.

Some readers may be aware of the efforts I have put into making the board and preparation for this tourney over the past two months. There is not a lot of information out there for people putting together Malifaux tournaments, and Wyrd is still working on coming up with an official tournament recommendation. With this in mind, I stepped out and asked a fair number of questions on a number of board to try and prepare for a good tourney. I settled on running a tournament targeted at new players, as most of the players in my area are fairly new to the game. To this end, I chose 25SS with fixed lists for the tournament. This is a departure from the recommended method of playing in the rule-book, which is to choose your faction first, then after the Strategies are decided to pick your crew. My thoughts were that fixed lists would be simpler to grasp for new players and the local community.

I published all the missions in the players pack, and only had to make minor tweaks leading up to the tourney to keep things in balance. I received some very solid feedback overall, and I believe the feedback and my willingness to adapt added to the overall enjoyment of the players. I put together the players pack announcing that there would be 4 prizes available through the day, Overall, Tactics, Players Choice, and Sports. I decided I wanted to have Tactics, PC, and Sports all equally weighted to determine Overall, taking on a theme from Mike Brandt and his NOVA Open. To be clear, I did not adapt NOVA Open scoring, but I do like the idea of Hobby, Sports, and Competition all being equally weighted for an overall prize.

We did end up with an odd number of players at the tournament, so had to have a proxy/ringer crew played through the day. The ringer was intended to be played at the bottom table and not be a spoiler army, being fun to play against but not highly optimized. The results indicate this may not have been achieved, as the ringer army placed second overall in competitive scoring (Tactics). As there were multiple players through the day, I did keep the proxy/ringer army at the bottom table, and only had to do a bit of shuffling in the match-ups on turn 4 to keep everyone playing someone different. The Ringer army was the Lady Justice starter box plus an Austringer.
Here is Lady J waiting for Viki to leave protection

The winner of the day was playing the Ortega Starter box. He had played a lot of practice games preparing for the tournament, and it really paid off. He ended up going 4/0/0 and missing only 3 of the total points for the whole day. This added to both PC votes and a slightly above average sports score to give him best overall for the day. The Tactics winner was using a Leviticus, although not his new starter box. He ended up going 3/1/0 on the day, losing only to the Ortegas in a game. He was hurt overall by not having his crew completely painted, but still came in average on Sports.
The Ortegas facing Marcus' Razorspine Rattler

Analysis on the day was pretty interesting overall. The missions were laid out as follows by round:
  1. Supply Wagon
  2. Claim Jump
  3. Treasure hunt
  4. Slaughter
Ignoring the proxy/ringer army, we have 4 Arcanists, 2 Guild, and 3 Outcasts, with Collete showing up twice, then Marcus, Som'er, Sonia, Perdita, Vicki's, and Ramos as the other Masters. Not a bad spread across the two books. Only 1 scheme was to be taken per round, with no scheme being duplicated through the day. Round 1 had "Bodyguard" being taken 4 times and Round 2 and 3 were a fairly even spread among the schemes. Round 4 has "Kill Protege" show us 5 times, and Assassinate show up 3. I expected that turnout on round 4, as both those schemes work very well with the Annihilation strategy, but round 1 was a bit of a surprise to me.

Sonia makes the move on Collette's crew

I would like to provide everyone a glimpse at the tables. Tables 1 and 2 were built with fixed scenery on foam boards. Boards 3, 4, and 5 were all flat foam boards (flocked) with mobile terrain on them. Board 6 was brought by one of the players, and was a fantastic 4 piece board with mobile houses.

Board 1 was a bog board, with a whole bunch of Water Effects on the board. The clouding in the Water Effects was used as Bog Mist, providing obscuring terrain. The Islands were close enough to jump onto, and then the bridges provided a path over the water without incurring severe terrain. At the end of the day, most players just rushed through the water.
Board 2 was a ruins board, with a lawn in the center that is clearly affected by some sort of magic. We did not use special terrain in the tournament, but I can foresee this being used as such in the future.

Board 3 was setup with mobile terrain on a flat/flocked board. The chapel and the Tower canot be entered, however the house behind the tower can.

Table 4 represented the "Badlands" of Malifaux. This was setup as a desert board with lots of blocking and severe terrain.

Table 5 was a small village. All the terrain is mobile, and all the houses have removable roof's so models can enter the houses.

Table 6 was a fantastic table brought by one of the players. The black side-bars were placed to bring the 4x4 board down to the 3x3 size used in Malifaux games. The houses are all custom built with removable doors and roofs. This made a fantastic "Streets of Malifaux" board.

Thats about all I have for this post. I am going to close out with a couple random pictures from the day:


  1. The game tables look fantastic. It's great that one of the players could provide such an awesome city board for you to use. Congratulations on putting together a successful Malifaux tournament, thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Check out that amazingly painted Collette crew with the bubblegum wrapper/tumble weed! =)

    It was a blast! I loved the swamp table. Next time I will have to sacrifice a chicken or something to my cards....

  3. Love the boards. I really need to finish painting my Malifaux and start pushing it around here.