Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tournament Season

Malifaux Tournament season is underway on the East Coast of the US. We are starting to see Adepticon prep tournaments spring up along with the scheduling for Adpeticon in just a month or so from now. After that comes the regular tournaments over the summer until we hit Gencon in August. I have it on good authority that the Malifaux Tournament planning for Gencon is already heavily underway!

With that said, I am going to be not only running my own tournaments but will be jumping on the road to attend some local and other not-so-local tournaments. I have also been starting to weave some tournament preparation games into my line-up of weekly games. Things were going real well until the Tuesday Main Event at Huzzah last week. I was tagged for the TME vs eChris and we decided to play a tournament prep game looking toward the Adepticon Masters tournament. I knew he was rolling up with Arcanists and our strategy was Shared Line in the Sand, and I had the misfortune to flip the defender. honestly, this was good for me as I typically play as the attacker. The game turned against me when eChris threw aRamos into aSonnia and ended up pulling out a Red Joker to kill her after prevention. Bleh. On the bright side, he took his "foot off the gas" after that, which almost let me recover the game. He pulled it out though, to a 8/0 loss. Ouch, that was not only my first Tournament Prep game I lost this year, but also a game I went into confident of the win.

So then Tuesday of this week rolled around and I was able to squeeze 2 additional tournament prep games into the line-up of other games going on. The first game vs Brian, with Shared Distract as the mission. I rolled out a Lady Justice list I have been thinking about for specifically this mission while Brian fielded Perdita and the Ortega family. The game went very heavily in his favor, ending in another 8/0 loss. Brian mentioned at the end of the game that he felt I kept him heavily involved and thinking through the whole game, feeling like he could lose it with even one wrong move. That is comforting, but not as much as winning the game would have been. I need to do some thinking about how to deal with Distract before the tournament this Saturday.

My second game on Tuesday was vs Pierre, a recent addition at our store but a regular at another local store nearby. We have begun building some back-and-forth with the other store and it was great to have Peirre out to begin building a rivalry with. This was our second game and Pierre is a good foil for me to play again, as he is a no-hold-barred, victory focused player. I let him know I was planning to use the game as preparation for the upcoming Adepticon prep tournament and let him pick the Strategy. He chose Shared Deliver the Message, taking Arcanists, and let me know he had something to try out. I put together a Lucius list and set-up ready to go. His crew was Colette, Mechanical Rider, Kaeris, and Cassandra. I was intrigued, and grabbed Bodyguard on Lucius then flipped through my schemes to figure out what I had not tried in a while. I figured it would not be bad to try Steal Relic, as its not a common scheme for me. Pierre announced Colettes Master specific scheme and Sabotage as his schemes.

The game started with Cassandra moving up to a tree on the board and sabotaging the tree. I proceeded to let loose with 2 Austringers and Lucius, killing Cassandra. This is important for tournament players to keep in mind. While Sabotage is an incredibly solid scheme to pick for Arcanists, its not a certain victory. If your opponent can kill the model that sabotaged the terrain before the end of the turn, you do not get points for sabotage. Pierre then moved Kaeris forward, putting up Flame Pillars. He followed some of my activation burning by using the Mechanical Rider to kill Colette off after she made a couple Soul Stones. At this point it was impossible for me to accomplish my strategy and impossible for me to accomplish one of my schemes. Pierre had successfully tied the game (as long as he did not burn any Soul Stones) and now could play to deliver the message to me and keep trying to sabotage the tree.

Turn 2 and 3 the Rider and Kaeris kept trying to sabotage the tree and I kept trying to kill them. I was able to take out the Rider (after she sabotaged the tree) on turn 2, then fight down Kaeris on turn 3. I brought Kaeris to 4 wounds but was unable to take her all the way down, giving him a 4 point win. I grabbed first activation turn 4 and finished her off, locking the game as a 4/2 win to Pierre.

I learned a valuable lesson in my last game. When the strategy is locked to the opponents master, it is a bad idea to tie your scheme to them as well. Its a situation of putting too many eggs into the same basket. This gives your opponent the choice to possibly tie the game just by killing off thier own master before you can do anything. Going into tournament season, this will certainly influence my scheme decisions.

Now to break this 3 game losing streak. I am now 3/3 win/loss on my tournament preparation games this year. With a tournament coming up this weekend, I have some work to do.