Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tournament After Action - Malifaux

Have no fear, my intrepid readers, I did not change over to Lucius at the last moment before playing in the tournament this weekend. I stuck with the Dreamer / Lord Chompy list that I outlined previously. Why did I go with the Lucius puppet then? Well, honestly I just like him. He is one of the pictures in the new Rules Manual that just released from Wyrd Miniatures. On the Rules Manual, we will be discussing it on the next Gamers Lounge podcast, but up front let me just say it rocks. Kudos to the rules developers and kudos to the artists, great work!

So, the outstanding question is how did the tournament go? Let me jump right into that. So, I had sent out some feelers to see if anyone in my local store and club community was interested in car pooling up to this. I like to drive, so it was not for free ride potential, but more for the camaraderie at and after the tournament. It completely blew my mind when not only did we have 8 other people interested in heading up, but only 1 dropped out. For a group of gamers, that's incredible. The 8 of us loaded up the cars and headed an hour north into the state of PA to find Neverland Games and attend the tournament. I can imagine it may be a little overwhelming, as we brought 8 people to up the whole tournament to 12 total.

The store is very nice, and the town is a typical quaint small town, similar to where I live. Overall, very nice. Now, this is also a good time to point people to a couple other blogs that also cover the tournament.
Ok, onto the crazyness. The format of the tournament was 4 rounds, flip for strategy from the core strategies each round, choose your schemes each round. Schemes could not be duplicated through the tournament. This is a challenge scenario in the best of times, since you are then choosing 8 schemes form the list, which gets pretty small when your playing a fixed list tournament. Not every scheme is something every crew can accomplish. On top of that, some schemes can no longer be taken in conjunction with certain strategies. As everyone was getting their models out and ready to play, I had the crazy idea for a side bet. What if a bunch of us chose our schemes blind? Then, we would measure through the tournament who best accomplished their schemes and the loser would buy a round of beer for the winners. Yup, that's what we did. Four of us (Myself, John, Jay, and Chris) all participated in the side bet.  Crazy!!!

With that out of the way, we got our round 1 pairings and we were on our way.

Round 1 - Dreamer vs Nicodem
Round 1 I was paired up with Dan, running Nicodem. This was the match I expected to have the largest challenge with, so I was happy to get it settled turn 1. To be honest, going into the tournament I considered Dan my toughest competition. So, Dan rolled out with:
  • Nicodem +5 Stones
  • 2 vultures
  • 2 Rotten Belles
  • 2 necropunks
  • Bette Noir
  • Convict Gunslinger
 We were on a fairly rocky board, very reminiscent of a badlands or desert setting. In addition, we had the Earthquake special scenario rule in play, which allowed each of us to push the opponents models 1" in a single direction at the start of the turn unless they had float or fly. I flipped Reconnoiter for my strategy (most models in at least 3 quarters of the board at the end) and had pre-chosen Kidnap and Hold out. I looked over Dan's list and decided on both Belle's and the Convict for my kidnap. Dan had slaughter, grudge (lilitu) and kill protege (coppelius)

I started the game with everyone but Chompy on the board in a back corner near the dreamer. The new Rules Manual specifies that no effects clear if the models are buried at the end of the turn. This is great, as not only can the Alp's put up their -1 wp bubbles but Dreamer can make everyone terrifying, then bury them. This way everything comes out terrifying 13 when I drop the nightmare bomb.I proceeded to do this, and Dan moved up the board. I did let Lilitu lure one of the Vultures who came to close, giving a nice snack to her brother Lelu. Not a bad first turn, everything was going well.

Turn 2 had Dan moved forward into a fairly tight little format, which gave me a fair amount of hope. I drifted up the board a bit, staying out of range, and popped the twins out to play around a bit. I was able to lure one of the belles close, but did not get much damage on her. Dan used his other bell to bring the hurt belle back to his lines, keeping his formation tight. This brings us to the infamous turn 3, and a critical fail on the dreamer. I look at my hand going into turn 3 and I am happy. I have 3 masks in my hand so I should have no problems moving up, bringing out Chompy and "all My Freinds" to drop the bomb on Dan. Dreamer moves forward, over extended a bit, and flips his cast. All I needed was a 3 of Masks, which was sitting in my hand to be cheated. Up comes the Black Joker. Hrm, bad things do indeed happen. I stepped back from the table for a moment at that point, as I needed to come up with a strategy to recover. I did not like my chances with just a day dream protecting Dreamer, and I did not think I could do much summoning 2 single models with magical extension. I decided to sacrifice a day dream to bring out my entire crew into his lines. That was a tough call, and certainly set the tone for the game.

At this point Nico kept Coppelius under constant rigamortis, letting Chompy take a dose of his own medicine. Dan's convict cleared off Chompy with some incredible trigger happy flips. I have to admit that its a lot of fun to see good luck and cool actions like that, even if I am on the receiving end of the pain. I was able to clean off the convict and the other belle, gaining my kidnap but it was incredibly hard fought. I ended up with little Max running for the back of the board to hide on the last turn of the game. apparently Dan thought I had bodyguard, but even with that mistake he was out of position to make a break for my hold out. He successfully wiped off everyone but the dreamer, giving him 4 full points for slaughter.

Round 2 - Dreamer vs McMourning
Round 2 saw me rocking up to the table to face off against another member of our group, Bryan. Bryan runs a very ugly McMourning list that utilizes dogs and Datsu Ba to nearly double the size of his crew on the first turn. Basically the dogs fuel his crew with corpse and body part counters for McMounring to summon Frankensteins and Datsu to summon Gaki and Onroyo. This board was setup with building ruins and an impassable castle wall along one side. We flipped shared "Remove the Evidence" as our strategy, and I had pre-selected Grudge, which I chose Sebastian and Breakthrough. His list was:
McMourning +8 stones
Datsu Ba
3 Dogs
Crooked Man

Deployment was pretty much the same, with everyone but Coppelius on the board. A key here was I setup Lilitu approximately 1.5 inches back from the front of my deployment zone. During the first turn I started putting up my Alp WP bubbles and Bryan starting out putting damage into his dogs to get them low on health. I am familiar with the strategy and saw he has dropped Datsu right on his deployment line, in a place I could move up to get a clear line of sight on her. I measured and moves up my 10 inches, thinking I could lure Datsu out of range of Weigh Sins and throw off his cycle. I did not want to get too far away from the dreamer, as I still wanted to bury Lilitu when he activated. I set Lilitu down and declared the Lure with my casting expert. Quick measure and I was 1 inch out. Bryan looked a little rattled, but not too badly. I completed my turn by putting up terrifying and burying all my nightmares, then moving forward with the Dreamer and a Day Dream.

Turn 2, I pop out an Alp onto the neutral objective (with the day dream), and then proceed to sac the objective. Bryan moves up and takes a shot at the Alp, but misses. Bryan moves most of his crew up to engage mine, using McMourning to take a shot at the Day Dream and killing it. In return, I pop out Chompy in melee with McMourning. McMourning proceeds with his remaining AP (rule clarification in the rules manual) and tries to land Wrack with Pain on Chompy to stop his summoning another day dream. I flip like crazy and succeed through cheating and stones to resist all the casts. Excellent! Chompy goes to town and flips fairly average, doing decent damage to McMourning leaving him with ~6 wounds. Chompy summons a Day Dream, and the shenanigans start. New Day Dream leads Chompy out of combat with lead nightmare, then tell him to go to sleep and puts the Dreamer in play. Dreamer decides he wants to play with all his friends, and drops the entire crew into a grand melee. Lilitu/Dreamer/Daydream all sat in a ball just outside of the scrum and there was a big mess of McMourning, Sebastian, 1 Gaki, Chihuahua, Crooked Man, 3 Alps, and Coppy all in combat. Slightly to the side was a second Gaki and Lelu. I do not remember the whole order of activation, but Lilitu lured Sebastian into the melee, and also lured Datsu into the melee. Sebastian activates at one point and goes slow (taking 2 damage from Alps) and fails his terrifying checks twice, taking coppelius's damage and dying. Grudge taken care of.

At this point the best occurence in the tournament (for me) happened. I activated an Alp and actually got a hit off on McMourning. I flip my cards and the red joker comes up. I flip weak damage to follow up and set of this chain:
  1. Alp hits McMourning with Red Joker + Weak damage
  2. McMourning takes 4 damage and goes recieves slow
  3. McMourning takes 3 points of damage from the Alp's for recieving slow
  4. McMourning dies
  5. Alp next to McMourning summons a new Alp with McMournings face
This was the first time I got the Alp Cascade to spawn a new alp. At this point, the game was in a dire situation for Bryan. Turn 2 ended with 1 Gaki, Bete, and Datsu surrounded by 4 Alps (all slow and failing tests) and coppelius. Lilitu, Lelu, Dreamer, a Day Dream, and a Gaki at 1 WD are to the side of the combat, and 2 corpse tokens left are on the board. Turn 3 we alternate activations, with Bryan activating Datsu, going slow, taking damage, and healing. I activate Lelu and start attacking the Gaki, Making him eat the last 2 counters before dying. Bette activates and dies to slow. Time was called, so we had 1 turn to complete our game. Day Dream and Dreamer companion activate, Day dream jumps to the middle of the scrum and buries all the nightmares. Dreamer flys over the battle and lands, bringing out all his friends with everyone on 1 of the 3 remaining objectives. Everyone activates and destroys an evidence, giving me 8 and Bryan 0.

Round 3 - Dreamer vs Lady Justice
Round 3 I got to play the Lady Justice crew in the tournament. I very happy with this match-up as I am very familiar with Lady J. In addition, he was running a very different crew than I have previously tried out, focusing heavily on high damage output and melee. This was going to be a challenge for me, as I truly believe one of the best match's for Dreamer is Lady J and her hard to kill crew. We played on a forest table, where the entire table was forested granting cover and reducing line of sight to 3 inches. I knew from the start this would be to my benefit. I flipped Claim Jump, with Assassinate and Stake a Claim pre-selected. He had slaughter, and chose kill protege though I do not remember his second scheme. His crew consisted of:
Lady Justice +7 Stones
Samael Hopkins

I started in the same way, putting up terrifying and the alp bubbles then putting my toys away. I drifted up the board and he moved forward on turn 2. Turn 3 I saw an opening and dropped out LCB on Lady J. My first attack was stoned and missed, letting Lady J riposte on me, dealing 4 damage. I followed that up with a round of LCB getting good flips, Lady J with bad flips, and Lady J dieing. Chompy gets put away, Dreamer comes out and drops the crew onto the remaining crew. I was not thinking and dropped Coppelius out as well, which gave him the opportunity to have Sanitago go crazy with trigger happy and take him down. Coppelius was the protege, giving him 2 points to tie my 2 point scheme. Then a grand melee launches between the executioner and Lelu. Lelu was very hurt but was able to kill the Executioner. Executioner turns with his slow to die and kills one of the Alps, healing up. At that point I realized this was not going to go well. I needed to split his crew up and gang up on them one at a time, which was going to be tough with only a 3 inch LOS limiting Lilitu's lure.

Turn 3 I got initiative and the Dreamer decided the big Guild men were no fun to play with. He promptly picked up all his toys and ran for the back corner of the board. I used the day dream to put out the twins, with the hopes of healing up Lelu at the end of the turn. Watching his movement over the turn, I realized I had positioned them wrong, and put Lelu away before he could be picked off. 2 turns of movement brought the guilders on top of Dreamer and his dreams, so Dreamer stomped his feet again and ran for the objective. Turn 5, I drop everything on the objective. Turn 6 Ryle pops off a second Alp and game ends. I claim 8 points, he gets 2 for slaughter and 2 for kill protege.

Final Tally
At that point, the TO decided to wrap up the tournament and cancelled the 4th round. Points were totaled and I ended up with 20 points and in first place. Overall, our crew took the top 3 places in the tournament, with John taking second with Marcus and Dan taking third with Nicodem. Prop's go to Dan for being the only player all day to keep me from winning, and keep me from maxing my score.

At the end of everything I was also the only person to land all 6 of his pre-declared schemes. Go me! It was a very fun day, very much due to the camaraderie in our group. We had a lot of fun and there was a whole lot of jesting going on through the day. I will also admit its nice to land first place against a fairly challenging field.

So whats next? Adepticon. I now have my eyes on a top 3 finish at Adepticon, I just need to figure out if I am running with Neverborn or going back to Guild to do it.


  1. Run with Neverborn at Adepticon. It's the best faction out there.

  2. Great read. I vote Neverborn.