Actually 88 players in one space. Which is a very lucky number for the Chinese. Also for Insidiously Mad as he...Spoiler alert....came 8th! I was also very lucky in getting to play 7 great opponents plus me = 8 great players ;)
So more on the positives, I won two games on day two which came down to the wire. Basically as both opponents took assassinate against Ironsides and she managed to survive by one wound by leading a merry dance around the board (not so proud of running away but nonetheless). I know had we reached 5 turns it would have been a different story. Often having to cut the game short to fit the 2 hour tournament window negatively impacts on some schemes, notably Bodyguard as that can only be achieved on turn 4 onwards. I know most players are amazed that I rarely reach turn 4 but I play unbelievably slowly. I don't like it either.
Having the 10 min deadline for crew selection was good for me, stressful...but good. It meant I chose similar crews more often. The Blessed of December saw the table a lot for its leap ability and reasonable toughness. I took Seize the Day as often as I could fit it in (I think once I took Arcane Reservoir instead and proceeded to forget I had it until my opponent noticed). And took Snow Storm, coz SNOW STORM with Raspy is the best mix. It made me realise that there are some popular pairs for master and henchman. Francisco is almost always found next to Sonnia and Perdita. I used to think henchmen could go off on their own, but it seems to work best when they have combos with close proximity to the master. Obvious in theory maybe but nice to see in action.
Also it was particularly good to play against three crews by Mike Hutchinson, Bruno Santos and Ben Halford whose painting was jaw-droppingly awesome. Being around such talented and sporting people makes me adore Malifaux all the more.
However on the first day I wasn't feeling the Malifaux love. That's an understatement. I swore to never play again. Ever. Let alone the very next day. I fell down the tables like a peasant being stripped of their disguise at a royal feast. Thanks to all those kindly players who came to ask me how I was doing - which made me feel better. I ended up in the basement under the stage. As my final player on Day 2 can attest, I was very flakey in the last game. Still with pep talks and sheer determination I am proud of myself for coming back. It is only a game after all.