Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gaining Ground Malifaux Tournament - After Action

Lets see, its Wednesday now so its been 4 days since I ran my second Malifaux tournament. Not bad, only 4 days and so far a post every day on the blog. So on Saturday, November 6 I ran the local Gaining Ground Malifaux tournament at Huzzah Hobbies. Overall the tournament ran smoothly, with 7 players showing up.

Let me provide a bit of context to start out, then I will get to the pictures and after action reports. To start with, Wyrd is currently working on putting together an official tournament system. Toward this end, a test system was provided to a select group of people in order to get feedback on it and help improve the overall system before its released broadly and officially. I was one of those select few, and this tournament provided a solid chance to give the rules a Beta run. I have to say that the rules are solid with (in my opinion) only a few area that could use improvement. While I will not likely run all my tournaments using this system, it is certainly a solid system for competitive tournaments.

So the basics are:
  • Each player chooses a faction at the start of the tournament. 
  • Games use Standard deployment for each game (6 inch deployment zone per side)
  • Players flip strategies at the start of the round. There are 4 strategies possible, and if the same strategy is flipped by both players then its shared
  • Players "buy" their crews at the start of each round, within the faction they picked.
  • Players pick 2 schemes each round. 
  • Round Matching is determined by Victory Points
  • Awards are given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place based on VP
  • In the case of an odd number of players, a bye (buy?) system is in effect
Now, I will happily say that the "pick a faction, buy your crew each game" system worked out in the tournament on Saturday. I am still unsure if I like this system overall, as I truly believe it gives the person who has the most models in his/her faction a distinct advantage in the games. To be fair, the winner of the tournament played the same crew all 4 games. Second and Third place each changed their crews every game. Last place switched his crew up, and the middle of the field guy played the same crew all the way through. As such, the results do not demonstrate my belief in an advantage.

The biggest challenge we had with the games was the time-limit in the current Beta system. The time limit was set-up for 1 hour games, with a 15 minute window at the start of the game to determine strategy, schemes, crews, and deployment. 60 minutes of play time was not enough time for players to complete their games. We had some very experienced players who were only able to knock out 4 turns before time was called. This being the case, I strongly recommend 90 minutes of play-time for the rounds. I think solid players can knock out a good game of 6 turns in 90 minutes. On the other side, I believe the "start of round" time of 15 minutes could be brought down to 10. In our case, the first round took up the full 15 minutes as people learned the system, but after that the average was around 7 minutes before people started playing.

One other addition, which I really liked and received some solid positive feedback on was related to schemes. In Malifaux, each scheme (you pick 2 per game) is worth 1 point if accomplished, and an additional point if announced. In this system, if you announced your scheme and did not accomplish it, then your opponent scored a bonus point.

All in all, the day was a success and there were great games played throughout. The end of day standings were:
  1. Resurrectionists (Kirai & fixed crew) - 29 points (our of a possible 40)
  2. Guild - 28 points
  3. Arcanists - 26 points
  4. Neverborn (Pandora & Fixed crew) - 20 points
  5. Resurectionists - 14 points
  6. Outcasts - 14 points
  7. Resurectionists - 11 points
 Here are some quick shots of the boards. I did not grab pictures of 2 of the boards, the Bog board from the previous tournament and a new board set-up as a "Religious Village" board.

We had a new Scrubland Board (all fixed terrain board)

The Ruins board

And John's very excellent City of Malifaux board

Players Choice
Even though it is not an official part of the Gaining Ground format of the tournament, I did include a separate prize and contest for Players choice. I asked that any of the players with a fully painted crew from within the faction they were playing display thier crew for a players choice vote. 6 f the 7 players set their crews out.

At the end of the voting, there was a tie between 2 crews. After a tie-breaker judge was brought in, this was the second place choice:

 And Dan with his Kirai crew took the Players choice award (along with 1st place in the tournament)

Dan has a good writeup on his blog about the day, I recommend checking it out.

I want to close out this post with a couple action shots I took through the day:

These were cool, as one if the Witchling Stalker in the building looking toward the Onroyo, and the second is the Onroyo waiting for the Stalker to charge through the building, and meet up with all the other spirits outside!

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