Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers! I hope you have enjoyed all the content we have put out this year and we are looking forward to providing you with much more in the new year. We will be breaking for the holidays, but expect to see some 2016 in review posts and some 2017 plans coming up in January (as well as my predictions for how Masters will go). Thank you all for continuing to support us and I hope everyone gets lots of new hobby stuff for Christmas.

Finally a word from our resident Santa Clause:
Santa says "Have a Merry Fauxmas!"

Friday, 16 December 2016

High Fauxdelity

Plenty of you will already have heard that a couple of local players along with myself and fellow Abnormalifaux Conor have started a podcast.

Image result for high fidelityThe idea behind the show is for it to be a debate, we each choose our best and worst within a particular category then we argue our case. The main rule is that there can be no agreement, all models have good and bad points our job is to pick these out  and weaponise them to prove our mates wrong.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Welcome (back) to Malifaux

Well after too long an absence, I've finally had a game of Malifaux. I thought I might jot down some reflections on how it felt after a 6 month break. Luckily my good friend Francois stepped in to give me a game. He ran:


Sensai Yu
The Shadow Emissary
The Lone Swordsman
Wandering River Monk
A peasant
A TT Brother.

The strategy was extraction.

The first thing that struck me was how rusty I was at crew selection. I went with Pandora as my go to Master. She is just so good and super fun to play. Plus people get nervous when you activate her because he actually has an impact on the game. Just the threat of know she can activate is worrying for an opponent. 

I took 

Pandora (The Box Opens, Wings of Darkness, and Fears Given Form). I like my girl to be up and hurting people.
Widow Weaver
Primordial Magic
Terror Tot.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Ho Ho Ho merry fauxmas

So this weekend was my first ever story event. Down to sunny Hockley I went for (another) day at Wayland games.

I was treating the event as a bit of an end of year office party type day, so I loaded up the car with my stupid elf hat and a few Christmas crackers plus an untried or tested crew lead by young Miss Tara.

After a quick breakfast in the cafe (I strongly recommend this a fried food is the key to a long happy life) it was over to Wayland to pull my hat on and stand about talking nonsense for a while.

Game one rolled up and instead of the usual random first round draw this time you had to find someone you've never played and face them.

I ended up playing someone I regularly see at events but never get to play (mainly because we are so far apart in skill, he gets top tables while I get spoons) Mr Joe Wood who shockingly wasn't running Kirai.

The story with this game was that we we're trying to collect parts to build a present. This was
done by picking up randomly placed markers to fit our plans (handed out by TO)

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Rush Goalie 3: Finale Event of Season 2

So while the vast majority of Guildball players were over at Steamcon for the weekend, I attended a small (10 person) tournament at one of my favourite venues the Tanelorn Wargaming Club. The last time I attended an event there it was for a Malifaux event which was an absolute blast, and my second ever Malifaux tournament win. Would this day be as successful? Read on to find out!

I took my usual tournament lineup bar subbing in Siren for Fangtooth (Shark, Salt, Sakana, Jac, Greyscales, Angel, Siren, Gutter). The other captains in play were Ox (3 of them!), Fillet, Smoke (2), Midas, Corsair, and Theron. So 7/10 were alchemists or butchers, my two least favourite matchups for Siren... guess she may not get her first tournament action after all...

Game 1 vs Jay (Butchers)

I took my standard lineup for facing Butchers of Shark, Salt, Sakana, Greyscales, Jac, Angel. I don't like Siren into Butchers because they are so fast and she is so easy to kill, and I don't want to get in a fight with Butchers so Gutter was out as well. Jay took Fillet, Princess, Boiler, Meathook, Rage and Tenderizer leaving Shank and Brisket on the sideboard. I think this lineup was a pretty big mistake as the two players I find frustrate me the most in Butchers are Shank (cause he is so hard to escape from with his high speed and 2" reach) and Brisket (cause she is great at keeping a hold on the ball, especially as my team is very male heavy and the two female players I have either have 1" reach, Angel, or no low tackle result, Siren). Tenderizer was a good choice though as I find him very tough to deal with and scoring on a 5+ sucks.

Monday, 28 November 2016

The Bayou's Most Wanted - Francois LaCroix

Welcome back to the Bayou y'all! Last time we stopped by, I gave a quick overview of Burt Jebson and his amazing mullet and at the end of that post I mentioned that he and Francois LaCroix often compete for the same role in Gremlin crews, that of a beatstick. Up until very recently I tended to take Francois over Burt 9 times out of 10 but this ratio has begun to shift as I've seen what Burt is fully capable of as well as realising some of the shortcomings of the tiny green Clint Eastwood look alike that is Francois.

The Gremlin With No Name.....wait.

When you take a look at Francois' card then the first shortcoming is pretty easily seen necause his Df stat is a very lowly 4. This is mitigated a bit by having the Squeel Defence Trigger on a Mask (this is very common on Gremlin models, making them hard to pin down with melee attacks) as well as the ability to use Soulstones, being a Henchman. His Wp is a very respectable 7 (the same as Burt Jebson) and he boasts a fairly healthy 10 wounds.

Francois definitely falls into the beatstick category for the Gremlins. Like Burt Jebson he has both a decent melee and ranged attack, although unlike Burt, his melee attack (a Dueling Sword) has a slightly better damage spread of 2/3/5 as opposed to 2/3/4 on his Rough Rider shooting attack. But his real damage dealing strength (and his built in self-destruct button) is the Dumb Luck trigger. This occurs on a Ram (which comes built in on his Duelling Sword melee attack) and essentially doubles the damage taken by the opponent. The down side of this is that Francois has to take damage equal to half the damage that the opposing model suffers. So what are a few ways to keep him alive to carry on poking things with the pointy end of the sword?

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Competitive side

I wanted to talk about a side of the game I don't usually mention, competition. Usually my posts are either all building community focused or straight up shouting at squirrels rants so this time I'm going to try and find a balance between the two. 

Now anyone who has played me knows I'm far from competitive, I take fluffy, pretty, and sometimes stupid lists because it's fun. I like to win games when I can but I don't put too much energy into that side of things. This doesn't mean I have any problem with other people being competitive and putting their time into playing the best game they can. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Arc 17

As I've mentioned before 2017 is the year of the Arcanists for me. As a little taster I thought I'd share what I've painted up so far. (cough, filler!)

Part of the appeal for me when I decided to switch factions was the opportunity to have a who faction painted to a decent standard as the quality on my Ressers swing quite a lot from when I started them. I'm assuming that when I look back at these in a couple of years time I'll think the same thing, but that the benefit of improving.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Grandest Nationals

I want to start by saying a huge thank you to Mike for putting in so much time and effort, all of the people giving up their time to help out on the day, and all the people that set up tables (including the man with a city worth of terrain in his van Mr Dave Brown). Also a shout to the staff at Battlefield hobbies, it's a great venue and they worked non stop for the whole weekend.

All my opponents were amazing and everyone I chatted to was great as well.

Lastly thanks to everyone who helped out and those that pulled in enough favours so that I could finally make it to what was The Biggest Ever Malifaux Tournament. Just to let that sink in The Biggest Ever Malifaux Tournament!!!






Thursday, 10 November 2016

Competitive Fishermen: Shark and Friends after 3 Events.

Prior to my first event I wrote this article detailing my though processes on choosing my 8-man lineup:

Having now played in 3 events I thought it would be a good time to look at my lineup again and how it has worked out. In all 3 events I have run the same 8: Shark, Salt, Sakana, Greyscales, Jac, Angel, Gutter and Fangtooth. I have played 14 games and won 11 of them, which I am pretty darn happy (and surprised) with. This article I'm going to go over these 8 players and look at who has been making me 6-man lineups and how they have done. I'll start with some quick comments on how Shark and Salt have been doing, but since I have no options to sub them out during an event, and I have neither Corsair nor Tentacles painted anyway, I'll mostly be focussing on the 6 players and if/when they see play. I'll go in order of games played as this seems the most logical

Shark (Played in 14/14 Games)
Shark is awesome fun. He is the star of the show and the whole team really revolves around him. He basically takes 6 inf every turn and my first thought at the start of every turn is "can Shark score". I've found that in competitive play he has consistently done more for me than he ever did before I started playing on events. I assumed that opponents would key on shutting him down and I would have to rely more on my team, but in fact the opposite has happened, where he has been even more of my rock than he was in casual games. For example Shark has 25(!) goals in these 14 games compared to 7 by the rest of the team (with no player having more than 2). Comparatively, looking at my casual games Shark has 35 goals in 32 games. That means his scoring average has soared from 1.09 GPG in casual games to 1.79 in tournament games. Also the rest of my team's scoring is much higher in those 32 games where Angel alone has scored 22 goals in 24 games and the rest of the team has scored 15. Shark also has never had a 3-goal game in casual play but has done it in two tournament games. What a star. He is also a captain that is very easy on the clock, until you time out. Trying to do a 6 inf Shark activation in 1 minute is a nightmare but I tend to find clocking out doesn't occur too often with this team (unless I miss a gimme goal chance). The biggest relevance all this has to my team construction is that I've found Shark is such a reliable goal scorer, it lowers the necessity of having another pure goalscorer (Angel) in the team for most matchups. I will cover this more under Angel. In short, Shark is amazing and I look forward to continuing to take him as my Captain to events (although I do need to learn how to use him against Corsair, the one matchup I still haven't won).

Monday, 7 November 2016

I Falldown, but I get up again.

On Sunday I headed down to Wayland for another in the showdown series of events, this time Falldown (get it, get it?).

A few days before the events it was touch and go if I'd actually make it due to work joys followed by a run of car problems, but I managed to cheat fate and come Sunday morning off I went to sunny Hockley.

As always when I get there first stop is the cafe down the road grab a tea (just a tea this time no full English for once I'm cutting back to just one breakfast a day) then back to Wayland to take part in the most sacred of showdown traditions. Standing around outside talking shit and waiting for the venue to open.

Once the doors were open we rushed in to queue up and register, then stand about talking shit again but this time inside (variety is the spice of life).

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Bayou's Most Wanted - Burt Jebson


Who in the world thinks that combining several guns together to create a weapon that's somewhere between a gun and pipe organ is a good idea? The same person that thinks that loading up your giant murder machine of a pig with scrap metal (and a teapot helmet) is a good idea I guess. And by that I mean Burt Jebson, once a lowly rag and bone man Gremlin and now a freedom fighter, waging a one-Gremlin war against the forces of the Ten Thunders. Never far away from his trusty steed Gracie, Burt Jebson trundles through the Bayou with his Lucky Knife, his Backwater Pepperbox and his trusty mullet. Rumours swirl that it's the mullet that is the source of all his power...
For those young people reading - this is a mullet. Pure sex no?

Burt is something of a rarity among Gremlins as he has very high WP, at a very decent 7. His Df is 5 which isn't awful but he does have a nifty Df trigger to supplement his Df stat. If Burt succeeds on a Df duel with a Ram, he hits his All in the Reflexes trigger which allows Burt to make a 2/3/4 damage flip which cannot be cheated. This is particularly hilarious when he gets this trigger against a Sh attack from a model that is otherwise out of his range - it gives him a much larger threat range than his attack would suggest. I find this quite potent when combined with Lenny for the free Rams, it makes people think twice about attack Burt, even from range!

Burt's other 2 defensive tricks are Hard to Kill, which is standard in a lot of models, but nice to see on him because being an Enforcer he can't use Soulstones to prevent any damage, so the Hard to Kill gives him that little bit more survivability. His last ability is a bit dependent on your crew selection and placing. It's called Slippery and it allows Burt, when targeted by an Attack action, to select a friendly model within 2 inches to become the target instead, as long as the chosen model is also a legal target of the Attack action. This is a great example of how well Burt and Gracie work as a team as Burt can pass the Attack onto Gracie who has the ability to heal herself up with her Attacks and Triggers.

Best. Gun. Ever.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Step into the light. Painting target.

As I've mentioned before I enjoy having a goal to work towards when painting, a new skill to try and learn. It helps me keep motivated and focused on painting instead of just knocking out models.

My last target was to get the basics of NMM down and while it's far from perfect, I've got a handle on the idea and know enough to see my own mistakes.
My best attempt at NMM

My next project is a bit more vague. I want to try and get a better handle on lighting and how it effects models.

When I started painting highlighting was simple if it was higher it was lighter, light came from above and nowhere else.
As I painted more and looked at better painters work (always a great inspiration) I've learned that light can have many sources on a single model. Think of areas like the underside of a chin by the logic of a single vertical light source under the chin would be in complete darkness, but of course we don't get this because light is coming from lots of other angles and also with different strengths.

So if my clumsy chin (great name for a band) explanation makes any sense you get a rough idea of what I'll be working on.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Batman: my first time

Following on from my last post, I've had my first demo game. I played the lovely James Crook at Darksphere.

It was a 200 rep (rep=points) game. It had Batgirl in it and she is super awesome:

I ran

Batman (Dark Knight Returns)
Female Cop.

James ran
2 Henchmen (one of whom was a medic)

Monday, 24 October 2016

Analysis Paralysis and Tournament Fatigue

Not really any point to this article, just wanted to share my thoughts and talk about one of the reasons I haven't been blogging as much in the last few months (though personal reasons have contributed to that as well).

When I first started playing Malifaux 2 1/2 years ago (give or take) I only had a very small selection of models. Basically all the Nightmare models and a Hooded Rider conversion I made. This made deciding what to play very easy as I just didn't have many models to debate between. I later added silurids, waldgeists, terror tots, illuminated etc, but was still sticking to one Master (Dreamer). I liked to mix up his limited upgrades rather than solely playing Summoning Dreamer. When I started playing competitively in earnest in 2015 I began to expand my collection more to the point where I had a pretty solid setup of models, which I felt covered all the schemes/strats pretty well. However, I was still only playing Dreamer so there was only so much to think about. This was also probably the peak of how much I was thinking about and playing Malifaux as it was the only game I was playing at the time and I was getting a game a week in pretty consistently.

However as I started doing better at events I noticed that one major weakness was holding me back, my inability to win in Reckoning. Therefore I decided it was time to bring on a second Master to compliment Dreamer. By this point I'd played a few games with Viks (who were actually the my second masters) but obviously I couldn't take them in an event with Dreamer. I decided on Pandora as I always thought she was cool and as a damage oriented brawler she proved a perfect counterweight to Dreamer. By the time I got her into an event I had been playing her locally for a month or two (and had been playing Malifaux for over a year) and felt pretty confident with her. I did so-so in my first event running both masters, but did think it was a good combo and I focussed on those two for a while. At a point though I got tired of smashing everyone locally, so I decided to try some new masters in casual play (while sticking with Pandora and Dreamer in events). However none of the Masters I played really called to me the way Dreamer, or Pandora to a lesser extent, did. I gave Lynch, Zoraida and Lilith a good run but only really felt that Lilith was worth taking to an event. I did take Lilith to a fixed master event and used her Nationals but she still felt a distant third to the other two.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Get back in your box

Last hurrah of the Ressers!

A little while ago I decided that next year I was going to make the switch from Resurrectionists to the rebellious bookworms that are the Arcanists.

The reasons for the switch are wide and varied and clever and ... Okay really I just want to paint some monsters and robots and they have both plus I'm tired of painting dead things.

As I'm full of imagination I'm going to start on book one when it comes to Masters, Rasputina, Marcus, and Ramos. Unlike when I play Ressers I'm going to try and be a bit more specialist and try to match the Master to the game (you know play it like it's supposed to be played). I'll probably do a post in the new year about where I see each Master and my flailing attempts at list building. Also expect plenty of "I painted a thing" posts as I will need to paint all the things. With painting the stuff if anyone has painting based targets or challenges to throw at me feel free. Always keen to push the painting up a notch, This year I attempted to learn NMM. Last year was painting patterns.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Prep time with Batman

Well, as some of you know I'm in hobby hell at the moment. Most of my stuff is packed into boxes, I'm in a tiny rental for much longer than expected, my wife still hates gaming and I'm not living in London. 

On the upside, I have decided to play a smaller game whilst I'm in moving hell. The game is Batman. Why Batman? Well it is a lovely skirmish game so appeals to the Malifaux side of me, and it has a small model count. It also has worryingly complicated rules and I'm not sure how many people play it, but I've decided to take the plunge.

Batman has always been a favourite hero of mine. I love Man of Steel and Batman v Superman but even more than that, I adored Batman Begins and the Dark Knight Returns. Such iconic performances. 

That's why I'm pitching into the game.....well that and the fact that I love the Arrow TV and especially Malcolm Merlow and the League of Shadows.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Shared Scheme pool week 3

As last week seemed to be a success looks like we might as well try this again for next week.

This time I'm using the wonderful twitter bot @malifauxschemes  to generate the schemes.

  • Extraction.
  • Schemes: Convict Labour, Take Prisoner,Leave Your Mark,Set Up,Search The Ruins. 
  • Deploy: Flank
Enjoy, let me know how you get on or if you want to do a quick battle report to guest on the blog.

*Edit as I realised that I didn't actually explain anything this time...

The basic idea is this,

  • I'll post a scheme pool each week
  • Use it just like you'd preflipped before a game
  • People taking part can chat tactics and crews before they play
  • After people can compare results and look for advice

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Shared scheme pool

Last week the Abnormalifaux mob decided it would be fun to all use the same strategy and scheme pool, flipped the week before while everyone was looking for a game.
It turned into a really fun idea as we could all chat about the schemes and then compare results afterwards. A bit like a really relaxed tournament game

The scheme pool was this
schemes generated via the awesome Crewfaux app

Monday, 3 October 2016


So Peter (Dr Walnut) and I had both recently painted up Marcus models and hadn't really had a chance to get them on the table yet, so we decided that a Marcus-off would be a fun way to spend an evening of gaming. With neither of us actually playing Arcanists (yet) though we decided rather than the highly competitive games we normally play (cough cough), we would go for some silly list ideas. Thus Ressur Marcus vs Neverborn Marcus was born. Peter would take a (mostly) Ressur-only list and I would take a (mostly) Neverborn-only list. We both included Henchmen that didn't fit into this category but did fit in thematically.  Without further ado, here are the schemes and the lists.

My List:                                                        Peter's List:

I decided that I could probably keep McTavish safe enough if I played carefully to score at least a couple Show of Force points so I took that and Exhaust. Peter took Exhaust and Leave your Mark, but when he realized it wasn't in the pool (oops!) we decided he could switch it for Convict Labour. This was also my first game trying out the new Rougarou so I was looking forward to that.

Turn 1 and Peter has gone for the aggressive Alpha-Strike

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Band on tour!

In the recent past, last Sunday to be precise I took on the epic journey of driving forty minutes down the road to sunny Hockley. To take part in the first (but not last hopefully) Bending fates run by Bendyboards with the ever gracious Wayland games as hosts.

And against all my better judgement (there's not a huge amount of that) I took the forever cool if just a bit poor (sounds like me) Crossroads Seven along.

As before all events, late to bed and early to rise seemed like a solid plan. First breakfast and a few cuppas and I was ready to go.

Drive down was uneventful apart from the car overheating but she's a tough old thing and I employed the tried and tested method of drive faster and ignore the problem which seemed to get me there in once piece.

Once there it was time for a second breakfast this one involving plenty of fried stuff, and another tea to keep me going.

Next up the classic stand in front of Wayland talking shit and shaking hands with everyone.

Next up we were in and registering which involved a lot of me say yes I'm taking the Crossroads Seven, yes really, no I didn't lose a bet, stop laughing it'll be fine, etc and so on.

Once registered and with the very nice gift of a measuring widget from Bendyboards I nipped off to grap a much needed tea then we were ready for game 1.

First game was against a charming fella called Gavin from Wales. (No I didn't "do the accent", I'm a grown adult I don't go around mimicking people's accent... Yes I really wanted to).
Great game of Ophelia vs Wrath in head hunter. I threw Greed and Pride in early in the hopes of giving him something to worry about while the rest of the crew got into position. This half worked, the rest of the crew got to roughly where I wanted them but Ophelia and friends didn't even pause while killing Greed and Pride and strolling on forward now with a few points for the heads in the bag.
The game carried on like this with me losing a couple of models a turn while scraping a few points together where I could.
Finished 10-6 to Gavin. Really fun game and I was happy with how I play despite the lack of VP.

Time for lunch!

Start of lunch I drop down my crew for the painting comp, this may have involved a display
board, yes I know I'm a wanker. (Still a bit gutted I never got a good look at the painting crews as I was too caught up chatting, fingers crossed there will be some pictures floating around of them soon)
Next a classic Wayland meal deal.
Chat about the first round with people, compare emotional scaring from the beatings we received then back to the fun.

Game two was against fellow Dark Sphere club mate Ross running his Gremlins. So Ulix v Wrath in Extraction. As always a fun if crazy game against Ross. Lots of carnage in the middle of the board with Pride trying to act as scheme runner up one flank (also this crew needs a leap or similar, on Pride or Greed would work great). This was a game of paper cut damage by me while pigs had a picnic on the bands guts and also on any scheme markers that I managed to drop. Ended up pulling five VP from the game, which took every resource and trick I had. Ross took the Win 10-5 and well deserved.

Quick dash for tea and to check how everyone else was getting on then straight into game three. The final and as chance would have it I was in line for a prize. The much coveted and desired wooden spoon awarded to the most generous gifter of tournament points. (the loser)

The final game was against the comedy legend, the happiest man in Malifaux Sir Matt of Spoons.
Matt was running Ramos v Wrath in Collect the bounty. (Did I mention my crew was all enforcers?)
Figuring I needed to put the pressure on early I threw Wrath forward and took out Johan start of round 2, I took out a few spiders as well. Then I got hit by a train! The rail golem killed whatever it looked at before Lust could push it into a corner for a turn. This just meant that Joss took over with the face smashing.
As you would expect from Matt it was an enjoyable game with plenty of swearing to keep things moving. Despite the score I honestly think I played it as well as I could, I forced some tough choices and got in strong positions I just didn't have the tools to finish the job, while Matt kept the pressure on each turn and made sure he scored his points. The game ended with a loss of 9-2 but both of us happy with how we played.

So that's it, there was some cheering as people won trophies that weren't as good as my spoon, If you want to know who they were check out the rankings as I will probably get the names wrong.

There was a raffle with cheering as well. Then it was time to thank the TO's Bendyboards and the hosts Wayland games. Then I just had to drive home, scrub the gamer stink off me, and maybe put the band in a little box at the back of my hobby cupboard for a while.

Thanks for reading (if anyone still is) next event should be Falldown II where I think I'll be back to running Molly maybe with a bit of Yan Lo thrown in for good measure.

Monday, 26 September 2016

First thoughts on the Crossroads Seven

As I spent so long painting up these lovely models I decided that I should actually run them so the plan is two club games and then a proper test at Bending Fate, a three round tournament happening at the end of the month.

I've read the cards and tried to get the auras triggers and tricks set in my head but I am very much a trial and error type player (heavy on the error) so the best way for my to learn is at the table.

First of the practise games down and I have to say I really like the Seven. They're far from perfect but I'm far from skilled so it's a good match.
The games was against fellow Abnormalifaux Brad with Rasputina in a very themey list. I'd come to terms with the fact I was going to lose models fast and hard but fingers crossed I could score a few VP on the way.
I ran the band as "outcast" just so I could hire the Malifaux child and with the full seven that's the crew.
The strat was extraction and I took hunting party and frame for murder (on Pride, seemed apt). Greed was ideal for smacking minions with her ranged action as 4 damage or discard soulstones is an easy choice for most players.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Asami Tanaka: First thoughts & tactics

Why yes I would like a new Master please.

The release of some new masters has got the Abnormalifaux Crew very excited.

I’m currently running Pandora so I’m excited to see Titania coming to the Neverborn. I’m also really excited about Asami Tanaka. It is always great to have new models and new masters. Hats off to Wyrd for giving us some great new stuff.

I didn’t manage to get Titania in my Gen Con order but I did manage to get Asami, the Shadow Emissary and a pack of Wandering River Monks. Good stuff.

This article is supposed to be about Asami though. It is purely my first thoughts on reading the cards and opening the box. I haven’t played her yet.

First up is her card

And the back

So let’s look at what she can do.

Monday, 19 September 2016

A lodda work for cheriddy mate.....

Lo, it is I! I have returned from another trip to an event although this time instead of heading into the wild lands north of the M25 car park, I went south. Into the wretched hive of scum and villainy known as Kent.

The very awesome Dave Hill had decided to take the plunge and run his own Malifaux event with the aim of raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities, an excellent organisation that provides accommodation for families with a child in hospital care. A very worthy cause indeed and Dave had come up with some excellent stretch goals to help raise as much money as possible. The event was held at Grumpy Goblin in Ramsgate which is a lovely store over 3 floors with a shop, cafe and gaming area. Jake, who owns the business, had very kindly donated the use of the large gaming area for free. Awesome stuff.

Not only did we have the obligatory raffle (which had a ton of prizes donated by people in the community) but there were baked goods for sale and the ability to pay a £5 fee to grudge the person of your choice in the first round, as long as they agreed of course! The charity shenanigans didn't stop there however; Dave had pledged to TO the whole event dressed in costume (Radioactive Man from The Simpsons) but the brave soul had also agreed to take a cream pie to the face at the end of the event. Joe Wood had promised to dress as a Rotten Belle for the event as well as playing a joke crew made up of Leviticus and 9 Belles, which has been a long running joke in the UK scene as a "broken" crew. Ben "Joffrey" Crowe had also joined in with the fund raising by allowing his opponents to pick his Master for each game. As he was playing Guild I suspect Lucius came out to play at least once.....

I had travelled down the night before with THE Joel Henry and we'd had a lovely evening with Lee Battrick and the Lord of Malifaux himself Mike Marshall. Truly we were humbled. Dinner was acquired at the hotel and then Joel and I took ourselves off for the very serious business of studying crews for the next day Pokemon hunting in Ramsgate. So many electric Pokemon on the seafront.......

First round is underway and I had been grudged by Lee Battrick as we'd never had the opportunity to play. Lee has currently left the Bayou for the Guild and had chosen Sonnia for this game of Collect the Bounty. It was a fantastic game, Lee was very patient and helpful as I am not at all familiar with Sonnia so there might have been a bit of coaching going on. A super fun game that ended 5-4 to me with huge thanks to Lee reminding me Ophelia can shoot in melee. Doh!

Second game and I'd decided I was going to take a different Master in each game as I am trying to practice with Wong and Mah so as not to become too reliant on Ophelia. The second strategy was Extraction and after taking one look at the amount of cover and severe terrain on the board, I decided to go with Mah, hoping that being able to ignore severe terrain with chores and being a more melee focused Master would help me in the match up with Paul Dean's Ten Thunders Misaki. Misaki is another Master I don't know too well and Paul had taken some other unfamiliar models such as Ten Thunders Archers, Fuhatsu and The Lone Swordsman. Ultimately the Archers being able to take a free shot at the end of every turn thanks to Blot the Sky and having the ability to ignore cover and not randomise was more than my crew could handle. Paul played really well and came out the 10-5 winner of another fun game. Note to self. Kill the damn archers next time!

Last round and yet another new player - Grant Dickinson. This time however it was a more familiar Master, the mad undertake himself, Nicodem. This was the first time I'd seen the Carrion Emissary on the table against me so I was keen to find out what it could do in the game of Guard the Stash. Turns out, it's really bloody annoying! For the last game I was using Wong as I've been having fun with him and want to try and use him to his full potential. Given the Emissary's ability Shards of Kythera, which places big LoS blocking pillars all over the shop, it's more than a little frustrating!

Another really good game of Guard the Stash that resulted in a 10-6 loss for me. Lots of horribleness ensued from Nicodem which involved summoning over the course of the game, 3 Hanged, 2 Flesh Constructs, a horde of Mindless Zombies, a Punk Zombie, a Crooligan and a couple of Shikome. Bloody Ressers. I simply didn't have the firepower to take them down and some clever use of Shards of Kythera helped keep Grant's key models safe from Wong's blasty magic. Lots of fun but my Gremlins were simply overwhelmed!

End of the event and there were a couple of things to attend to before getting down to the business of results. First the raffle, which had so many prizes that I think most people went home with something. I was lucky enough to come away with a Miss Step, which my Arcanist playing partner was very pleased with. Then we had the very important matter of Dave bravely taking a cream pie to the face, which was duly applied by Ben Crowe who I think enjoyed it far too much....

Pie time!

As for the results the Best Painted award went to Mike Hutchinson (author of the very cool Gaslands game, go check it out!) for his lovely Miaski crew. The wooden spoon went to Al and then we had 3rd place of THE Joel Henry, 2nd place for John Burgess (moving onto Outcast filth instead of Neverborn filth!) and our 1st place prize went to George Hollingdale from the Flippin' Wyrd team. But the real winner of the day was Ronald McDonald House Charity who will be receiving a total amount raised by this event of over £1000 which is amazing. Huge congratulations to Dave for running such a fun event and to everyone who donated and everyone who did daft things in the name of charity. And I still think Joe enjoyed the tights way too much......
Next years Miss model perhaps.....?

Monday, 12 September 2016

My Problem with prereleases

Now that the GenCon wave four new shiny excitement has died down I'm going to have a little moan (shock and horror).

The whole GenCon big prerelease thing is bullshit!

Now I'm fairly new to the whole miniature gaming world so I can only talk from my own recent experience and observations, but every summer the big GenCon show comes around and is used as a showcase for all the new shinies coming out which is great 
I have nothing at all against the GenCon show it's self, in honesty I don't know enough about it to have a real opinion either way.
And I don't have a problem with showing off pretty bits of plastic crack for us all to enjoy.
What I have an issue with is the whole pre-release idea. I think it's a negative for the community and a huge kick in the balls to all the friendly local games store.

I'll start with the quick one. Community- having a prerelease creates a divide between players who can and can't order a big box of toys from the show. I know the idea is that "well everyone has the same opportunity to buy it" but that's not always the case. To make the customs and postage worth it you really need to be putting in a fair sized order and you have to do it over a set few days. Most people have non-gaming lives to deal with as well as a plastic addiction. And time and budgets won't always allow you to order there and then.
We've had the wonderful wave 4 at events issue recently (which I don't fancy getting back into) which wouldn't have happened if the new toys had a proper release instead of a prerelease.

Next issue is the one that really annoys me. Retail sales- Now some of us are lucky enough to have a friendly local games store or if not we at least have a preferred online retailer. Most of these are lead by the market to sell at a discount to rrp, it's too easy to shop around if they don't. This means that every sale really counts and a big new release should be a light in the darkness for them, but then comes the GenCon excitement to piss on the candle.
Big shiny prerelease well there's most your customers gaming budget gone for that month. Following months when the toys are actually released people already have them which means stock sits on the shelf longer instead of the quick return it could of been.
And it's not only the shinies the shop misses out on. Imagine no prerelease, Wave four comes into your local. You buy a book, a crew and a few extras to round out a crew, already great for them. But as you're there you grab some bases to go with the new toys. Maybe some new paints and a fresh superglue. Oh and if you're  getting new models you'll need a bigger case. Etc etc. Sounds extreme but that exactly how retailers survive.

A big in store release could mean a big injection of funds which can be put back into the store and the stock. A good run of releases and the excitement that follows could make or break a store.

I understand that a lot of these issues apply to Wyrd as well and I'm sure the love the big cash injection that comes from the big prerelease weekend and I'm sure it goes a long way to fund the next wave. But I don't think it's a great long term strategy.

Make specials and limited and Miss* (*that's a separate issue I'll moan about next time). Use the show to excite people about the coming release, use the show to reward players with amazing alternative models. But don't use the show to act like a retailer instead of a games company.

Okay rant over, everyone go and enjoy your new toys and books.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

What I do

This is different from my usual type of blog post as it isn't aimed at fellow gamers and geeks but at the people outside the hobby.

For short hand let's call you muggles.

For a while I've been wondering what the muggles, be you family, friends or colleagues must think when I share pictures of little toy soldiers on facebook or when I have a calm and reasonable twitter rant about an FAQ (frequently asked questions, a way of solving small issues with the rules of a game) so I thought it was about time I explained.

First off let me say that when I describe myself as a geek I do it with the up most pride in that fact. Everyone is a geek about something it's one of the joys of living live. If you are a massive football fan, you are being a football geek. If you get really excited about what's happening in Enders or Corrie you are a soap geek. There are food geeks, art geeks, gym geeks and every other type of geek you can imagine. I am among other things a tabletop gaming geek. So once we admit we are all massive geeks I'll go on and explain my particular type of geekness.

I play tabletop games. This term covers a huge range of systems and ideas but to make it simple I'll keep it to three areas of interest.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Lets go Wild.

A brief post to go with a brief break from the wonders of Malifaux I've been painting up something different lately which I thought I'd share.

Earlier in the year I backed a Kickstarter for Wild in the Streets, a low model count skirmish game based around youth couture and street gangs.

As soon as I saw the miniatures pop up on corehammer's facebook page I was in. Great character filled sculpts that you could easily relate to. For me there was no choice it had to be the skinhead gang, I could see how I was going to paint them as soon as I looked at them

A few months later the kickstarter showed up correct and on time (a small miracle compared to some I've heard about)

A great set of models I painted them up straight away and here they are

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Who's in the box?

It feels like forever since I've written a blog post or played Malifaux. Now I'm back to blogging or at least trying to be. This isn't a "I burned out of Malifaux and I'm trying to recapture the love" post. I stopped playing Malifaux because I decided to put my house on the market and move out of London to Basingstoke. Various disasters have happened along the way and most of my collection remains in boxes in storage. I do have a crew packed in a KR multicase so hopefully I can actually get some games at a new club once I'm settled. This article is actually about why I chose  the only master I did to keep out of storage to play with. A "if you could only choose one master, who would it be and why?"

Thursday, 25 August 2016

When is a Resser not a Resser.

For most of my time through the breach I've been in camp Resser but as a change is always good I decided to change it up a bit... a little bit... a very little bit.

So I decided decided to give Marcus a Resser twist, the old beast master can already hire a decent handful of undead beasties so its just a case of fitting him into the recycling way of thinking.

Fluff wise its not too far of a stretch, Marcus is an old professor revived by his studies in the wilds of Malifaux. He's already experimented with bringing beasts back from the dead resulting in the jackalope. (an experiment he'd never been able to repeat, proving that ressers are the most cleverist).

Monday, 22 August 2016

State of the Project Queue!

Hey guys! I had a few (OK one) request on Twitter to see more of the projects I'm working on currently. So as I'm never one to dissapoint my literally tens of fans, I thought I'd do a quick round up of what what projects I have going on and in what state they're in.

1. Ponies - Status:  Mostly Completed.

The "Mane" Six
If you follow my Twitter at all (@Elessarion30) you've probably seen pictures of these! They are from 2 Kickstarters run by a very small but awesome company called Slap Miniatures. The first one was called Pewter Ponies and was a very simple set of sculpts, mostly generic ponies although if you're a fan of a certain magical cartoon about friendship, you MIGHT think a few of them look familiar. The second Kickstarter was named The Evil Ponies, because if you've got good ponies then you have to have villains too! This campaign was certainly more ambitious with the sculpts and included the 4 ponies of the Apocalypse (yes Death has got a small Death of Rats on his back, it's awesome), a necromancer and skeleton ponies and 3 witch ponies. There was also Dr Pones (Best. Pun. Ever) and his faithful assistant Rocquefort. There's also a D&D type group from the first campaign, including a bard, thief, paladin, wizard, enchantress and a barbarian.

Pony adventurers
Ponies. Why'd it have to be ponies?

Ponies of the Apocalypse!
These were a really fun painting project as they gave me a chance to go wild with some bright paint schemes and also a chance to practice my fairly terrible freehand to try and paint on cutie marks for some of the ponies. They're mostly finished, I just need to add grass and flowers to some of the bases.

 2. Small Female Warband - Status: In Progress

Another ongoing project that I've thrown myself into this year is to do a warband for various skirmish games (Frostgrave, Open Combat etc) made up entirely of the smaller races. Yeah sure, elves may LOOK all willowy and graceful but honestly, they go through WAY too much conditioner. And lying around languidly on tree branches gets boring after a while. Plus splinters. So. Many. Splinters. So I decided that my warband should be something of a self portrait band and be made up of female dwarves, gnomes and halflings.

This project all got started when I came across another cool Kickstarter campaign by the fabulous team of Oathsworn Miniatures called Heroines in Sensible Shoes - which was to raise funding for a smallish range of sculpts, all female adventurers but without the "chainmail bikini" look which has become a bit of a trope in fantasy. All these female miniatures were clad in sensible adventuring gear and no high heels allowed!

I eventually pledged for the female halfling rogue from the first Kickstarter and from the second campaign I went for the gnome wizard, dwarf queen and a forest gnome ranger from the first campaign that I'd missed the first time around. To flesh out the band I've bought some amazing miniatures from other places like Reaper (care of the fab Bad Squiddo Games), Hasslefree Miniatures and Otherworld Miniatures. While I've only painted one of the miniatures so far, the band is looking in great shape and I can't wait to get more done.

3. Malifaux Resurrectionists - Status: In Progress

Don't panic, I've not gone over to the filthy green side of Malifaux. One of my fellow Abnormalifaux bloggers (Bad Luck & Blood) is in the process of moving house and so has had his hobby time cut for the forseeable future so I offered to step in and paint some miniatures for him. There's a nice mixture of Resurrectionists as well as parts of his plastic Leveticus crew so it's a chance for me not only to do a favour for a hobby pal but gives me a chance to paint some new miniatures I wouldn't otherwise get the chance to put a paintbrush to.

In our little group of bloggers we have a running joke that his favourite colour is pink so I've been trying to incorporate that into some of the miniatures. While it doesn't work for every mini, I've tried to find places where it seems to fit.

There's a whole bunch more small projects I've got on the go - an ongoing stream of Batman miniatures for my friend Lori, some Sisters of the Thorn and an Artemis stand-in for Of Gods and Mortals, Greeks, monsters and knights for 7th Voyage and that's not to mention so many of the random minis I bought just for painting!

2 Boudis from Hasslefree Miniatures

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Into the Warzone!

Yes it is I, your intrepid explorer! I have returned from a perilous and harrowing journey to Outside of London and into the Middle Lands North of the M25. Basically, I went to a tournament in Warzone Workshop, located in the exotic location known as Northampton.

For those playing along at home, I'd been to a Story Event run at Warzone Workshop at the tail end of last year and had a great time. This time it was a standard 50SS Fixed Faction event run by the local Henchman Ben Harris. And I'd volunteered my services as an assistant TO and spare player for the day. Let the games begin!

We ended up with 25 players after having a last minute drop out so Ben and I decided to rotate playing and being admin, which gave us both a chance to relax and get a drink given it was shaping up to be a very warm day and while the venue is perfectly fine, being on the top floor of an indoor shopping centre means that there's not a lot of options for ventilation. We did our best with strategically placed fans but the hard truth is that putting 27 people in any confined space for a long period of time on a hot day and it's inevitable that the temperature is going to be on the high side!

 We had a good mixture of players from different areas - there was a strong showing from the local meta, including my frequent travel buddies Karl McConnell and Craig Woods, Graeme Nicholls and a few new faces I hadn't met before. We were fortunate also to have amongst us The Man, The Beard, The Legend that is Ritch Keeling. Ritch is currently fufilling a bet to play this year's Nightmare Edition crew at Nationals so he was getting some McCabe practice in. If you'd like to find out a bit more about his bet and the road to Nationals then make sure to check out his blog Brutal Efficacy for more details. Tis a good read. And last but not least we were all blessed by the presence of the Lord of Malifaux Mike Marshall (aka Captain Troy Tempest) who had made the trip over from Norfolk with the ever-lovely Lee Battrick. Truly, we were honoured.

First round and due to the drop out, poor Graeme drew the short straw and had to play the first ringer - me. As the strategy was Reckoning, I decided to take Ophelia and a fairly elite crew including Mancha, Trixiebelle, Merris, and Francois. For my schemes I decided on Leave Your Mark (between Merris and Trixie this seemed doable) and Undercover Entourage on Trixie. Graeme had moved onto Arcanists for this event and had picked Kaeris for this game. Ultimately I couldn't do enough damage to his crew to score for Reckoning (bloody Joss. Stupid Armour. Sodding Johana with a sodding heal!) and Graeme played very smart to kill Trixie when I moved her too far forward and left her in range of the Oxfordian Mages. The game ended in a very decisive win for Graeme but it was a very fun game, despite me still being half asleep and flustered so apologies to Graeme for that!

Next up was lunch and the painting contest. The standard was incredibly high from all the entrants and out of the field of 25 players, we had 14 entries for the contest. That's pretty incredible and really good to see so many people making the effort to have nicely painted minis!

Round 2 and I'd tagged in Ben as ringer so I could take a break and have a sit down, which was quite welcome at this point of the day! I also managed to have a wander round and see how everyone was getting on - the atmosphere was very relaxed and there was a lot of laughing from various tables which is always a good sign everyone's enjoying themselves.

Amusing table numbers are a common theme at Ben's events!
 Onto the final round and I jumped back in to play Nick, who was a local I hadn't met as he'd been taking a few months break from Malifaux and had only just started attending events again. This round was Extraction and just for ease of playing I decided to go with Ophelia again, but a slightly different crew including Gracie to tank some damage and a Rooster Rider to try and get 3VP for Leave Your Mark/Convict Labour which were the two schemes I picked. I was a little worried as Nick was running Von Schill, a Master I don't have a lot of familiarity with. Plus his chosen crew had an awful lot of bulletproof models in it, not ideal against a shooty Master like Ophelia! It was another fun game and Nick was a really lovely opponent to play against, even though the game went fairly definitively my way, he managed to keep laughing and joking - especially when he managed to get the Abomination summoned in by Rusty Alyce to kill Mancha Roja. Gutsy little guy! Finished up 8-0 to me.

So the end of another event and another fun day. Time to hand out the prizes! As is usual at the Warzone events, the prize support was excellent, with a selection of boxes and other goodies for the raffle as well as some lovely trophies for the top 3 in both painting and playing.

So once the dust had settled we had a top 3 in the painting of Hayden Smith (3rd) The Lord of Malifaux Mike Marshall (2nd) and in 1st place was Craig Woods with his gorgeous Whiskey Golem. Sadly I didn't get a picture as I was rushing around during lunch but it looked amazing, as did all the entries. It was a really high standard contest and everyone's entries looked great.

For the Best Sport we had Karl McConnell who is starting to make a habit of being in the running for these awards. Not sure why.....(I kid I kid!). So well done to him as well, despite struggling with a bad back all day!

Finally we had the gaming prizes. Starting with the medal for Best Loser we had my 3rd round opponent Nick, who seemed thrilled with his medal and promptly put it round his neck. He told me later he'd had a really fun day and was planning to come down to the local gaming nights more often so it'll be good to see him at more events in the future. 3rd place we had one of the local guys Steve Wilson, 2nd place was the ever lovely Stuart Snares (even if we did give him a bit of abuse about it, all in good fun!) and our overall winner was Rich Bream, another local lad who has been using Neverborn recently.

In summary, I can highly recommend the events at Warzone Workshop. The shop is in Northampton town centre so there's plenty of parking nearby and it's not a terribly long walk from the train station, which gets a regular service from Euston for all you London type people. I had a lot of fun and I'm hoping to be able to come along and help out again someday (hey someone has to get Ben to events on time :p).

Can't please everybody but... need to be a dick about it.

It's time for another squirrel scaring rant, take a deep breath and hide the nuts.

At an estimate the UK population is 65,164,534 and the UK malifaux tournament population is roughly 390 which amounts to around 0.0006%. Now within this tiny group of like minded people we have some how developed a hundred sub groups and a twisted class system.
Now coming into to gaming I expected some divide. Assuming between different game systems and then between factions within that system. Growing up in a sports mad environment this made sense football fans think rugby fans are toffs, rugby fans think football fans are animals and football and rugby fans agree cricket fans are dull gits. Then within that Spurs fans don't mix well with Gooners and Chelsea fans don't mix well will anyone.
All this I expected, some piss taking, some friendly rivalry but still a general community (anyone who's stayed with my rants for a while knows I use that term a lot).

Monday, 15 August 2016

We're all going on a summer showdown...

So yesterday (all my troubles seemed so...) I headed down the Southend arterial road to Wayland games to take part in the warmest of the showdown series. For those that are unaware the showdown series of events are a run of four seasonally named 50ss tournaments hosted by Wayland and run by Mike "Lord of Malifools" Marshal. The events always draw a nice crowd and are a great mix of new and old players.

The morning routine for showdown is fairly set now; wake up, tea, breakfast, wash, dress, drive, more tea, second breakfast, one more tea... And we're in time to register "Ressers please Mike" and say hello to people.
The saying hello to people seems to be part of the day that gets longer every time, loads of new faces, either people completely new to the game or just new to showdowns which is great to see. Then the regulars who it's always good to see. Some of the regular faces were missing this time whether this was due to the wave 4 ruling, other commitments or alien abduction we may never know (my money is on aliens)

Friday, 12 August 2016

So you're thinking of going to a tournament...

I'm going to do a quick (cough filler cough cough) guide to going to tournaments. Its not a guide to winning as I wouldn't know where to start, it's just a guide to not embarrassing yourself too much.

Step 1. Is simple anyone can do it. Buy a ticket, if at all possible buy it early. The earlier you buy a ticket the easier you make life for the TO and the more time you have to be excited.

Step 2. Make sure you can make it the event: get a pass, book the holiday, be out on bail.

Step 3. Read the rule pack. If there is a rule pack read it, if there isn't read the event description and ask any questions you have before the event. If on the day you are surprised by something that was clear in the rule pack you deserve for a wasp to land in your pint.

Step 4. Know where you are going. In the age of google maps and smart phones it doesn't take too much to work out in advance how you're getting to an event.

Step 5. Know when you are starting. Get there on time, early is better but at least get there in time to register

Step 6. Not vital but sleep the night before, and maybe don't have a night of hot curries and vodka. No one will thank you for being tired, hungover and stinking.

Step 7. Wash everything, wash it again if you're not sure. Clean body, clean hair (if you have it), clean clothes, fresh underwear. Antiperspirant, deodorant, perfume, or an air freshener if thats what it takes. Brush your teeth as well remember people will what to take to you don't make them regret it.

Step 8. Read your cards, know your crew and read the strats and schemes. Basically know your shit. You don't need to be a top flight perfect mind wonder kid just don't spend 10 minutes reading something that you should just need a reminder of.

Step 9. Show up. Seems simple but you'd be surprised

Step 10. Talk to people. Its supposed to be fun you're in a room of like minded people. Chat, say hi, ask questions. Most people aren't dicks.

Step 11. Don't be a dick and if you find yourself being a dick, stop it. General rule of thumb is if you saw what you're doing on a soap opera would you think that person need to be mysteriously hit by a bin lorry on a sunday night? if yes then calm it the hell down.

Step 11.b Remember: Don't be a dick and if you find yourself being a dick, stop it.
Step 12. Win or lose gracefully. This fits into not being a dick but don't sulk or gloat or be a child (even if you are one).

Step 13. Help pack up. It doesn't take much but a TO has given up their day to run something for you the least you can do is help them pack stuff away (nicely don't just throw stuff in a pile).

Well I'll leave it there I'm sure I missed plenty but that can always go in another post. Enjoy.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Hey boy, Hey girl, superstar Nico here we go...

A couple more games with Nciodem done and a couple more learning experiences (losses). So out of six games with the one legged wonder I'm up to two win and four losses. I'm getting the hang of Nico's various different abilities and upgrades but not quite there for how to convert that into VP. I'll get to that and where I'm head after I give a brief run down of the most recent games.

This was a rare bit of non event day faux when a few of us decided to bunk off being adults and head to town to play toy soldiers. There ended up being eight Malifaux players on a random Wednesday afternoon at Dark Sphere, which was great fun having loads of 'faux chat going on.