Friday, April 15, 2011

Adepticon Malifaux 35ss Scrap - Round 4

Round 4, the final round of the tournament, and I find myself at the top table competing against the so-far undefeated Dixon. Funny enough, Dixon is actually from my local play group and we had carpooled to Adepticon. It was also nice to see that across the top 2 tables, 3 of the players were from my local Malifaux play group.

So, the game was Shared Claim Jump, and our lists were as follows:

Me: Pandora, Jack Daw, 2x Hanged, Stitched, 7 stones
His:Viktoria, Von Schill, Convict Gunslinger, Freikorps Librarian, Taelor, 6 stones
My Schemes:Bodyguard (Pandora), Steal Relic
His Schemes: Gather Soulstones, Bodyguard (Von Schill)

After seeing 3 games over the past 3 days played with the Dreamer, I have to imagine your wondering why I chose to switch things up in my final game. First, I had tested this list against Dixon in our local store prior to coming to Adepticon and he was simply terrified of what it could do. Even with the small model count, the list can be fairly devastating.  Secondly, the mission was shared claim jump. I was also taking Steal Relic in the game. This list is really good at board control, with Jack Daw taking away cheating and soul-stones and Pandora making things run. Jack is really tough to take down as well. Add to this Pandora and Jack's high willpower and the added damage from failing Steal Relic, and I thought things would work well.

As a note, Dixon and I replayed the game once we got back to VA, with me using the Dreamer list I had envisioned before Adepticon. I should not have switched up, as the game was clearly in my favor, and the flips were not far off how they played in the tournament.

Turn 1 & 2

The game starts out with me moving from behind some terrain toward the center of the board, using the Stitched creepy fog to stop any stray shots or charges from occurring. Dixon moved his line forward, setting up for a turn 2 frenzy. He was cautious however, keeping just far enough back to force me to extend myself should I get initiative. Turn 2 kicks off with him getting initiative. He begins to shift forward, keeping his Vik's in reserve and working to out-activate me. I am in a tidy little ball of terror, carefully blocking all his approached to force terror checks on any charge or move toward me he makes. He tries to position some targets to entice me out, but I see the Vik's primed for the charge so do not take the bait. Instead I move up to about 6 inches from the center marker and dig in. Defensive Stance's all around, cloaked with Terror. I am all activated and the Vik's launch into thier attack. Vik's run up, switch, and pop into combat with Jack, Hanged, Stitched, and Pandora all within range of his Whirlwind. Attacks start flying and the Hanged drops first, Stitched drops and grabs Reactivate, and then the Vik's turn thier attack on Pandora. Whoops, Pandora stops the attack cold and Vik takes a quick point of damage. Dixon has burned a whole load of Soul Stones by this point, but clearly he is betting the farm on this round. He starts up the Whirlwind shenanigans again (he has nearly drained his hand, but what a load of cards he had to cheat with) putting the first attack into Stitched and then whirlwind onto Jack. I flip Jack's defense, not terribly worried, and the Black Joker makes an appearance. Ouch, this might hurt a bit. Dixon smartly works through the his stonesand remaining hand to whirlwind away as much of my hand as possible, bringing me down to 1 card. Last, Dixon takes control of Jack and attacks my other hanged, flipping into a high mask and killing the Hanged. Stitched pops some damage into Vik and Dixon uses his last stone to survive the gamble from Stitched, and Stitched sacrifices at the end of the turn.

Turn 3-5

Turns 3 through 5 played out in a nearly identical fashion for the rest of the game. Pandora would activate and force as much as possible to flee. Dixon would activate and rally what he could, moving back in after rallying. Jack would try and kill anything he could. I spent the game burning through my stones to keep things fleeing and occasionally kill a model. We had a couple questionable rules calls from the judges (Fleeing models who rally cannot take any actions... not correct) but overall it was 3 turns of the same.

Turn 6

We had a bit of an audience at the end of the game. I had chosen to not steal the relic from the Vik's during 1 turn due to a bad initial flip on my cast, so was hurting from a VP standpoint. Pandora was alive, but I could not get over to the Vik's with enough AP to steal their relic. On the final turn I worked to push everyone possible out of the circle around the objective. First cast stoned a low card and Von Schill resisted. Second Cast was also resisted by Schill, leaving Schill within the area of control. I had to choose to cast on the other 3 models (Convict, Librarian, Taelor) to force them to flee, cast, stones, and they start flipping resists. Librarian flees, Taelor Flees, and the Convict flips a red joker, the only card in the deck that can keep him in the game. Game ends and we measure up. At this point I find out that one of my pushes from Incite was not enough to get me completely within the required control zone, giving Dixon 1 model completely within, and me 0. The game ends, I have 2 points and Dixon gets 6. A fantastic and challenging game (my 2nd most challenging all weekend, behind one of the Wyrd Developers, Zee) and a very solid win to Dixon.

Overall I am very happy with how the tournament and Adepticon weekend as a whole worked out. I went from the mid-tables after a first turn loss to playing for 2nd place in the tournament. Had the score been reveresed (me 6, Dixon 2) I would have grabbed first place on the weekend. I ended up with 20 points, placing me in 6th place overall.

Goals Accomplished???

As a footnote, while I did not achieve a top 3 finish in the Malifaux tournament, I still feel I accomplished my goals for playing int he weekend. One of the other games I played was against Zee, one of the developers at Wyrd. I wish I could remember the whole game to post a battle report, but very simply I cannot. We played a 50 point scrap (single master), Dreamer vs Kirai. My game against Zee was easily the most challenging game of Malifaux I have ever played. I can comfortably say that without taking anything away from any of my other opponents. Over 2 1/2 hours we went back and forth with multiple small interactions each turn, each of which is equal to the challenging tactical interactions I normally see turn a game. I ended up defeating Zee 8 to 0. At the end of the game, Zee commented that he felt it was one of the best games of Malifaux he had ever played. That comment, plus the crowd of 10+ spectators will warm a place in my memory for quite a while.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adepticon Malifaux 35ss Scrap - Round 3

Game 3 I found myself facing off against my final WHFB opponent from Friday, Matt Birdoff. For those who are not familiar, Matt is part of the Warmongers club out of NY, and a top WHFB player. He is a fantastic opponent, and one of the top sportsmen I have played against. I was glad to face off against him, as I was making my way back to the top tables and was happy to see he was sitting up there as well.

The round was Shared Contain Power. Our lists and schemes were as follows:
Me: Dreamer/LCB, Lelu, Lilitu, 2x Stitched Together, Coppelius, Day Dream, 5 stones.
His: Pandora, Primordial Magic, Doppelganger, Stitched, Candy, Teddy, 8 stones.
My Schemes:Hold Out (Announced), Eye for an Eye (Announced)
His Schemes: Eye for an Eye (Announced), I do not remember his second scheme

Turn 1

During the Friday WHFB games, Matt made mention that he was not worried about beating me in WHFB, as I would have a chance to pay him back during the Malifaux tournament. I hope I kept him thinking this as looking at Pandora across the table is a bit intimidating to me. Pandora is simply a tough match-up for the Dreamer. Playing Neverborn, I beleive Dreamer is one of the best matches for Pandora, as Lilith and the Nephilim just do not have the WP necessary. With the dreamer, I am fairly confident I can pick apart Pandora's crew and Dreamer has at least some oppurtunity with WP 8 vs Pandora's WP 7.

I will also make note in the beginning that Matt chose his scheme well. It was amusing to have him listen to my schemes and then declare the same "Eye for an Eye", as that left him with 2 points for schemes based on me completing my own schemes. Typically opponents are supposed to pick their schemes prior to hearing what the opponent is choosing, but in this case we were joking around and I was not too worried about it.

Jumping into the game I deployed Lilitu and Lelu on the 6 inch deployment line, with the Stitched next to the Dreamer. As usual, I kept Coppelius buried for use later. Normal turn 1 tactics, defensive stance and terrifying. Matt pushed his doppelganger a bit too far up and I was able to jump forward with Lility and lure the doppelganger into my own lines. A quick snack alter and Lelu had cleaned up the doppelganger, taking her off the board. Not a bad start to the game. Matt shifted his models forward with caution after that, and popped the puking snake (Primordial Magic) into a building with nice line of sight to the center of the board. After burying the nightmares, Dreamer scooted a short way forward and prepared to start playing.

Turn 2-3

Its been a while since the games, so turns 2 and 3 ran together a bit for me. Essentially there was a fair amount of scooting around the center of the board. Pandora bounced around dropping damage and making things flee. Lelu, Lilitu, and Coppelius fought a grand melee vs Teddy, Stitched, and Candy in the center of the board. The key in this round was Pandora killing the day dream, popping out Chompy. Cards in hand kept me from putting chompy away again, chompy's wp kept him from actually attacking Pandora successfully (2 attacks, 1 made it though, did not kill her).

Turn 4

Going into turn 4 the board was cluttered in the center. Chompy is standing alone to the right of the center of the board. Pandora is 4 inches away after pacifying him, Teddy and Candy are engaged with Lilitu and Coppelius, My remaining stitched is mid-way between the center of the board and my deployment zone, Puking Snake is sitting in the building just out of Chompy's reach. Pandora activates on initiative and throws out a Self Loathing on Chompy. Chompy stones to meet her cast and fails to resist, and kills himself. Dreamer pops out, waiting for Pandora to complete her activation. Pandora pacifies Coppelius and scoots back toward her deployment zone. Dreamer activates and I realize I cannot get to Pandora. Dreamer flys into the building (no cover here... big mistake) and shoots at the puking snake. I fail to hit it, snake activates and fails to cast. Lilitu activates and lures Candy forward, then takes 2 shots at Teddy. Teddy is floating low on wounds, but stays there until the end of the game. Teddy activates and rips Coppelius apart, taking damage but living with 1 wound due to his regenerate. Stitched activates and tried to duel with Pandora. He fails, takes some pings, but Matt cheats to keep my damage low enough to keep me from reactivating. I will admit that at this point of the game Matt appeared to have unlimited soul-stones, although that had more to do with his flipping well than anything else.

Turn 5

Turn 5, initiative again goes to Matt and Teddy activates. Duelling flips between Lilitu and Teddy result in no damage on Lilitu. Dreamer activates, decides to fly, shifts around a bit, and takes another shot on the puking snake. Pandora activates, she moves for LOS and tosses out Self Loathing on Dreamer. Dreamer burns off the last soulstone but fails to resist, getting hit for 2 damage (reducing to 1 due to spirit). The tough part here was Pandora's flee trigger went off, and Dreamer runs to the edge of the board. On the plus side, Pandora has no line of sight to Dreamer, so cannot force him off the board for the points. Instead Pandora shifts around to get line of sight on Dreamer for the start of turn 6. Stitched activates and gambles with Pandora, failing, dieing, and gaining reactivate. Candy does something but does not really affect the game. Stitched reactivates, Gambles with Candy to kill her, then gambles with Pandora and brings her to 1 or 2 life remaining.

Turn 6

I am worried here, going into the end of the game with Dreamer falling back and on the edge of the board. I win the initiative flip, rally dreamer, and take a gamble. I cannot move, but it looks like Pandora is within 12 inches. I take the shot with Twist Reality, pass the WP duel, hit Pandora, and flip for damage. Red Joker on the damage guarantees death, and Pandora leaves the board with her puking snake. Teddy proceeds to clean up Lilitu, leaving the board with Dreamer on the board edge and Teddy in the center. Game ends.

Scores are added up with Dreamer and Teddy are alive (2 points for Eye for an Eye), Teddy is in the middle of the board (2 points for Hold Out), and Dreamer got the kill-blow on Pandora, giving me 4 for Contain Power. Another 8 point round and a very challenging game. I look forward to playing Birdoff again, as he is a fantastic player. For someone new to Malifaux, he seems to be getting the grasp fairly quickly! If the rest of the Warmongers play similarly, they will be a club to watch out for on the upcoming Malifaux Tournament Scene!

Battle report for my final game will be posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Adepticon Malifaux 35ss Scrap - Round 2

Round 2 found me at mid-field with my 2 point loss coming out of round 1. I was surprised that I was only mid-field, as that meant there were a fair amount of 0's and 1's scored on the first round. Regardless, I knew I had to push hard for a max score on this round if I wanted to get back to the top tables. Round 2 was shared Destroy the Evidence, which is one of my favorite strategies with the Dreamer, so I once again dug into my Dreamer bag of Tricks. My opponent this round was a young gentleman (10 years old) who had played in the Cake tournament Friday night against some of my local club. He was playing Perdita and an Ortega crew. To be honest, my biggest worry at this point was that maxing my score was going to make me a bad guy for beating up a kid. The day was just not going my way.

To make things worse, Shared Destroy the Evidence is an ideal strategy for the Dreamer Alp Bomb, as alps give the dreamer number and are significant, allowing them to destroy the evidence markers. Our lists and schemes were as follows:
Me: Dreamer/LCB, Coppelius, 2x Stitched, 2xDay Dream, 4x Alps, 5 stones.
His:Perdita, Abuela, Nino, Francisco, Santiago, Papa, 5 stones.
My Schemes:Breakthrough (Announced), Kidnap (Papa, Abuela, Santiago)
His Schemes: I do not remember his schemes

Turn 1

We get underway with me deploying at the center of the board, putting all my nightmares out and keeping Coppelius buried. He puts the Ortega's out in a line across the middle of the board and I can see this is going to be a face-off at the Adepticon Corral! I take the initiative and start out with some typical shenanigans. Defensive Stance and the Alp Neg Willpower bubble starts popping up, and the stitched go defensive stance. On his side, Papa runs up toward the middle of the table, with some support from Santiago and Francisco. Mid-way through my turn the dreamer activates (2 alps plus the stitched in Def Stance, 2 alps not), pop the terrifying bubble, buries everyone, and flys 7 inches up the board. Companioned Day Dream heads forward 6 inches and unburies one of the non-activated Alps out onto the neutral evidence marker. Second Day Dream pops up the board and unburies Coppelius next to Papa. Over the end of the turn, the Ortega's shift around a bit, alp destroys the neutral evidence, and Coppelius paralyzes Papa.

Turn 2 & 3

Turn 2 and 3 were a flurry of activity. Essentially, I win initiative again on turn 2 and activate dreamer to shift around a bit and bring all the nightmares out. 2 alps cover two of my mid-field objective markers, Chompy pops out and eats Sanitago before triggering "Alll Done", Coppelius eats Papa, triggering boom and killing 1 alp, and the Alps pop out and slow/damage Abuela and Francisco. Over the turn Perdita and Coppelius are shot at by Perdita and Francisco, Abuela and Nino fall to terrifying and begin to run away, and things are looking grim for the Ortega's. Come the end of Turn 3, I have destroyed all my evidence markers and Chompy has killed Abuela and is threatening Perdita. Of the Ortega clan, 3 turns has sown their downfall, with only Perdita left alive. Of the nightmares, 1 Stitched and 2 Alps have fallen. Coppelius grabbed 2 eyeballs however, successfully summoning 2 additional Alps to keep me at 4.

Turn 4-6

My opponent wins initiative on turn 4 and starts running away from the nightmares toward the end of the board. I let him scoot away and after a double move he takes a shot at the big guy. I look over the board and want to give my opponent a good game, so take a moment to think through how to do that. I bury Chompy, bury the nightmares on the table (leaving 2 day dreams and a stitched on the board), and then dreamer scoots to the far corner of my opponents deployment zone. One daydream pops out a stitched next to Dreamer and then moves toward Pedita. The other dream and Stitched move forward as well, giving her some targets to shoot at. Turns 5 and 6 consisted of Perdita, 2 Day dreams, and Stitched sparring around the middle of the board, with Perdita successfully killing all 3 nightmares.

End of the Game

Come the end of the game, I had claimed a full 8 points (2 for Breakthrough, 2 for Grudge, and 4 for Destroy Evidence) and my opponent had 0. Despite the score, he appeared to have enjoyed the game and I was happy. Preparation for round 3 began in my head, as I was headed back toward the top tables with 10 points vp across the 2 rounds. Battle Report for round 3 will be posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Adepticon Malifaux 35ss Scrap - Round 1

Round 1 of the Adepticon 35ss Scrap started with me facing a great opponent playing Rasputina. I am horrible with names, and as such I cannot remember my opponents name, probably because I am getting old.

My first round was Shared Slaughter. Our lists and schemes were as follows:
Me: Dreamer/LCB, Lelu, Lilitu, 2x Stitched Together, Coppelius, Day Dream, 5 stones.
His: Rasputina, Wendigo, 2x Hoarcat Pride, Ice Golem, 2x Gamin, December Acolyte.
My Schemes: Kill Protege (Golem) - Announced, Assassinate (Tina) - Announced
His Schemes: Grudge (Coppelius), Kill Protege (Coppelius)

Ok, so first off notice he did not announce his schemes. No worries here, as he was a great guy and told me up front that he had only played 5 or so games prior to the tournament. So, we start out the game, I deploy everything on the board in the middle of the right side of my deployment zone except Copperlius who I keep buried. He deploys everything on the line across from me and drops the December Acolyte in my deployment zone, behind a building and out of sight.

Turn 1

The game starts with him getting initiative. He begins moving up and I begin the dreamer shenanigans by activating the Stitched and putting them in defensive stance. He cycles through a bit of his turn, and I finally come to Dreamer. Dreamer and the Day Dream activate on Companion, Dreamer makes all the nightmares terrifying, then "I can Fly" over toward the December Acolyte, popped out Chompy and Coppelius, and Chompy proceeds to eat the Acolyte. Day Dream activates from the Companion, shifts slightly to the side, calms nightmare to put Chompy back to sleep, then magical extensions to bury all the nightmares on the board, leaving Dreamer and a Day Dream out.

Turn 2

Turn 2 kicks off with my activation. Dreamer scoots up the board and drops the Coppelius, Lelu, and Chompy into combat with the Ice Golem, dropping a Stitched out next to Dreamer, and Lilitu on the other side of Dreamer. Chompy activates and uses Melee Expert and 1 attack to put some damage on the Golem. Golem activates and drops some damage on Coppelius. Coppelius activates and paralyzes the Golem, returning to attack and grab an eye counter. With that done, Coppelius hits a nearby Gamin, paralyzing it as well. I eat the eye and flip 2 healing flips for a total of 3 wounds healed. He activates a Hoarcat and walks in toward Coppelius to try and make an attack. He ends up in both Lelu and Coppy's terrifying range, fails his flip, takes damage from Coppelius for fleeing. Lelu activates and goes wild on the Golem, killing it. I check off my Kill Protege and start to look at how to line up on Rasputina. He activates Rasputina and brings her up the board slightly, then starts blasting into Coppelius. After a number of biting chills and two big Decembers Curses, Coppelius and Lelu both drop, giving him 14 points. At this point he announced he has accomplished both his schemes by killing Coppelius. I advise him this is not possible, as he cannot declare two schemes targeting one model. He looks shocked, a judge is walking by, and we ask the judge for how to rule this. The judge rules that you can target two schemes at the same model, so I make a note to chat with the judge after the tournament. I am grumpy, but we can still push though. There was a little more moving around, but nothing too intense at this point.

Turn 3

So I head into turn 3 with my eye on the prize. I draw my hand and am fairly confident I can end the game right here. Score going into the round is:
  • Him: 2 scheme points, killed 16ss so far
  • Me: 2 scheme points, killed 14ss so far
I gear up and start the turn, winning initiative. Dreamer and Day Dream activate, Day Dream  picks up everything (magical extension) and moves 6 inches up the board toward Rasputina. Dreamer flys up the board and casts frightening dreams, cheating to get "All My Friends". Chompy comes out 3 inches out from Rasputina, 2 Stitched come out within 3 inches of Rasputina, and Lilitu comes out next to Dreamer. Chompy activates and launches his attacks on Rasputina. Through a series of onslaughts, Chompy drains his hand to 1 card remaining and all his stones to keep Raspy alive with 2 wounds remaining. Chompy uses his 0 to summon a Day Dream, the new Day Dream activates and pulls Chompy back next to a Stitched and puts Chompy to sleep, returning Dreamer to the table.

My opponent is a bit rocked at this point. At some point during the onslaught the judge had called 10 minutes remaining so we were looking to finish our turn. Raspy activates and tries to walk away. She walks once and shoots a bite of winder and a blast toward a stitched together, dropping him to 1 wound but I cheat to stop the overpower. I activate the hurt Stitched and Gambler with Rasputina to get rid of the card. At this point I smile as I have a 13 in hand, and he has no hand, and I have already flipped the black joker during Chompy's attacks. I have 2 actions left, declare "I Gamble Raspy's life" and put my hand on top of the deck and time is called. With my hand on top of the deck I shockingly look at the judge and ask if I can complete the flip and duel. Ruling is no, game ends immediately, add up points as things stand.

Final score is 2 points for me, 3 points for him. I smile and congratulate him on the game and keep reminding myself (in my head) that I need to be a good sportsman and not get grumpy. Granted, I would not have maxed my score but the Stitched killing Raspy would have put me at 4 scheme points plus 3 strategy points (24ss killed vs 16ss, he has no leaders left), for a total of 7 after my first game. No worries, on to my second game (posted tomorrow).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I have returned

Adepticon was fantastic, easily as good if not better than last year. I am back and mostly unpacked, but now I have to catch up on the work I missed over the 4 day hiatus. Post-Adepticon reports will be coming this week and next.