Monday, 18 January 2016

Story (Event) Time!

One of the things I'd wanted to try since starting to play in Malifaux tournaments was to play in a Story Event. What's a Story Event? Well I'm glad I pretended you asked me that. Ahem.

A Story event is essentially a tournament with an emphasis on either an overarching story or theme that links all of the rounds. It's also less focused on who can score the most tournament points as the winner is often the person who completes the objectives laid out in the narrative. Examples might be that you get points for finding the treasure, killing the monster guarding the entrance to something or successfully rescuing the princess from the castle. Although if she's anything like Princess Peach she'll be in another damn castle entirely.

I had wanted to go along to the Story event that the lovely Dave Brown was running at the Colours Wargaming Show but sadly family commitments had scuppered that idea and there had been something of a dearth of story events that I could get to. So once I heard the mighty Ben Harris was planning something of a bonkers Christmas themed story event just after Boxing Day I was hellbent on getting there - even if it meant I had to persuade the other half to drive. And then play Malifaux in a room full of people he didn't know. My powers of persuasion were about to be tested.....

To cut a long story short (too late) I did manage to convince Rich that he would have a good time - and if he didn't then he never ever had to go to an event again. So on a fairly dull and drizzly Sunday, just after Christmas, we headed into the wilds of the Midlands in search of our venue, Warzone Workshop in Northampton.

The venue itself was very nice - as it's in a shopping centre the amount of space is a bit limited but the stock selection was nicely varied, the upstairs gaming space didn't feel cramped or claustrophobic and there seemed to be plenty of ways to arrange the tables in order to give everyone enough space. The staff were very friendly and kindly provided some free food for lunch as well as having a small fridge with drinks - but as the store is in the town centre then there's no shortage of places to buy food and drink. Would definitely be up for visiting again!

The event itself was a lot of fun and being a story event there were some neat twists thrown in for each round,as well as the scenarios themselves being pretty funny.  

Round 1 - It's the Wrong Present!

I think we've all at times had a present we've secretly been a little bit disappointed with. Maybe it's the wrong colour, wrong size or even the wrong faction. That was the theme of this round. The setup for this round was simple but effective. Everyone hired a 35SS Henchman led crew and then were randomly assigned a Master from a different faction. I had decided to play Gremlins for this event, so my crew ended up being led by the tiny green murder machine Francois La Croix. For my random Master I was assigned Perdita Ortega. Rich had brought his Arcanists and the random Master he was given was Lady Justice, which he was quite pleased about.

Once the Masters had been handed out, the schemes were dealt with as normal but a special Strategy. 

At the start of every Turn after the first, before we flipped for  Initiative, both players had to flip a card. The suit of that card determined the objective that we had to achieve with the new Master.

Crow: Make them suffer! Kill or sacrifice 1 enemy model with the Master
Mask: Breakthrough! Get the Master into the enemy half of the table
Tome: Hold ground! Keep the Master in your half of the table
Ram: Defend me! Finish the turn with no more than 2 Wounds fewer than the model started the turn with
Red Joker: The player chooses an objective for their Master from the list
Black Joker: The opponent chooses an objective from the list.
If the player achieved their objective then they scored 1VP for that turn.

There was also a spot prize of a crew box this round for anyone who could flip 1 of each suit when determining their Master's strategy for each round, which was a nice touch.

My first round opponent was a lovely guy called Huw who was running Ressurectionists. I won't go into too much detail on each of the games as the focus of the event was more about having a laugh than positions - but Huw was a very nice opponent and the game was a lot of fun - especially having Perdita Obeying Gremlins around which amused me greatly! I ended up with a win at the end of the game - as did Rich, which was enough to have him in the lead after the first game, much to his surprise!

Onto the lunch break and the painting contest! I decided to enter my Mah Tucket crew as well as my 2 Rooster Rider proxies. I'm quite proud of the standard of painting I achieved on this crew but was rather gobsmacked to finish up second behind Huw's lovely entry!

Round 2 – We’ve Forgotten Something....

Round 2 was basically playing the Dolly Makin' Time encounter from the Crossroad book. Any time a model kills another model with an Attack action, the Attacking model may instead choose to Paralyse the Defending model and reduce it to 1 Wound. Any model from the Attacking model’s crew may take a (1) Interact action with the Paralysed model to place a 30mm Dolly marker in base to base with it. For the purposes of this scenario, the Little Lass model may ignore Insignificant, and places 2 Dolly markers when taking this Interact action. So the theme of the encounter was that someone had forgotten to get the boss a Christmas present, so decided to frantically make him something. Dollies to be precise... There was also another crew box prize for whoever made the most dollies.

So for this game I decided that I HAD to run Mah with the Little Lass. Partly because dollies and WHONK but partly because I needed some Mah practice. As a "reward" for winning my first game I got a game against Godzilla himself, Mr Matt Ledgerwood. Matt's normally a filthy Resser player but this time around he was using Shen Long. There was much peasant-related shenanigans, plus the threat of the Katanaka Snipers definitely made getting across the board hard work. With hindsight I suspect Ophelia might have been able to deal with them better, but I was still finding my feet with Mah, so it's possible she could have done a much better job if I'd played her properly! By the end of the game I'd failed to make any dollies at all (the shame, it burns!) and Mr Ledgerwood had taken the win.

Round 3 –You’re Fired!

The final round was in essence a tweaked version of Deliver A Message. It was a 50SS crew game but in addition to their regular crew, we had to take a Sinister Emissary model. The model was considered friendly to each player's crew but it wasn't considered as an enemy to the opposing crew. The Sinister Emissary had it's own unique rules with no Attack or Tactical actions.But it did have the following: 

On a Mission: The Sinister Emissary has no special Attack or Tactical actions. Once per game, when within 2" of the enemy crew’s Leader, it may take a (2) You’re Fired! action against the enemy Leader.

The Sinister Emissary models were supplised by the players - any proxy on a 30mm base would be acceptable but there was a prize for the best one. Most of the players used some form of Effigy, which all worked very well. But me being me, I'd decided that I WAS going to go home with a prize and this was the most likely I could achieve. So I painted a Reaper miniatures wizard for Rich and for myself I bought a Discworld miniature of the scariest boss I could think of - Lord Vetinari! Needless to say this was a pretty decent choice in a room full of geeks and I was promptly handed a nice shiny medal for Best Sinister Emissary.
No I didn't wear this for the rest of the day....maybe.
The first player to achieve the You're Fired! action against their opponent scored  4VP. If the other player also managed to achieve the action then they received 2VP. The spot prize this round was a Kaeris crew box (ver appropriate given the name of the round) and it was awarded to Rich, who was actually the only person at the event running Kaeris (he has the old metal crew) as his opponent, Mr Ledgerwood, managed to once again use many peasant shenanigans to move his Sinister Emissary into position to Fire Kaeris extremely rapidly.

My final round opponent was a lovely chap called Graeme who was running Kirai. This was a learning curve for me as I hadn't come across Kirai before, always fun to see a new Master on the table and learn what they do. Graeme managed to get his Emissary close enough to Fire Mah but there was no way I was going to get to Kirai as Graeme had positioned her very well behind a wall of nasty gribblies! The game was pretty close right up until the end when it swung definitively in Graeme's favour, resulting in a loss for me. But it was a really good game and we spent a lot of time chatting and laughing!

The event overall was won by Matt Ledgerwood and I think everyone had a great time. It was lovely to meet some of the players at Warzone Workshop and it seems to be a healthy Malifaux scene there. I'd definitely go to more events there and I most definitely would go to more story events. So if anyone thinks that a story event might be for them then give it a go! It was a lot of fun, had a relaxed atmosphere and it's good to see some other types of events being run in the Malifaux communty.

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