Monday, 28 March 2016

Boarfaux: What? No Neverborn?

Insidiously Mad

Well this weekend I will have done my first ever malifaux event using the Gaining Grounds 2016 schemes (having only played 3 games with them prior to the event) and, more importantly, played in my first event without my beloved Neverborn. As anyone who reads the blog probably knows, I am attempting to claim the rainbow badge this year by taking all the 7 factions to a ranked event. First on the lists is Outcasts as they are the only faction I actually have a fully painted master for with enough models to use them fairly effectively.

Rather than a straightforward battle report, I thought it would be cool to look at the (very limited) model selection I will be taking to the event, my hopes/plans in bringing them, and how they actually did. The parts in black were written prior to the event and everything in purple was written after the event had concluded. I've only got 18 models to choose from (including duplicates) so it should be easy to see how they all do in the event. We do not know the schemes in advance but the stratagies were announced as follows (schemes added in after event):
Game One: Guard the Stash (Standard)
Convict labour
Show of force
Search the ruins
A quick murder
Leave your Mark

Game Two: Squatters Rights (Flank)
Convict labour
Hunting party
Exhaust their forces
Undercover entourage
Set Up

Game Three: Headhunter (Standard)
Convict labour
Neutralise the leader
Take prisoner
Public Demonstration
Leave your Mark

Game Four: Recon (Flank)
Convict labour
Exhaust their forces
Hunting party
Covert breakthrough


Viktoria of Ashes (and Viktoria of Blood of course..)
This will be the first time I've taken one master to an event since attending a couple fixed master events in October of 2015. The last few events I've attended I've had (at least) Dreamer, Lilith and Pandora in the bag to choose between. As I only have 1 master it will at least make it easy to crew build. The real decision will come down to upgrades. Currently I've only used the slingshot build on ashes (Sisters in Spirit, Sync Slaying, Sisters in Fury) but would like to try out the more independent style as well (Sisters in Fury, Survivalist, Oathkeeper). Unsurprisingly with the Viks the main goal is target removal and area control. One thing I have to be careful with is not being too aggressive and losing them early, or not being aggressive enough with them and playing defensively, as it doesn't really suit their capabilities.

Well as the masters kind of define the games a lot of the time, I guess I better give a quick summary of how the event went. In a word: Poorly. I had a great time and my opponents were great fun, I really enjoyed my games. But I played like crap. I won my first game and was fairly happy with that result as I ran the independent viks upgrade for this first time to very good effect. Blood held the center of the board (helping me score public demonstration and GTS) and killed things (Think she killed a depleted, illuminated, wastrel and Lynch) that came near it while I flung Ashes aggressively down the board to kill off a wastrel and Toshiro, scoring A Quick Murder for me. Game 2 I lost 8-7 but the Viks (slingshot build this time) performed very well, my opponent just outplayed me and losing my Entourage target (Taelor) on turn 1 put me on the back foot. Vik of Blood ended up killing 2 dogs, Sensei Yu and a katanaka sniper, pretty good for a days work. She even survived the game. Was still an iniative flip away from winning the game as Ashes was in charge range of Mccabe (on foot) and killing him or even taking him below half wounds wouldve done it. Oh well, my opponent was great and I lost a close one. That's where the day fell apart though. Faced my most common opponent (James Reeves) in game 3 and got decimated by the pigapult and Ophelia, losing both Viks by early turn 2. In that game I took survivalist as well to keep Ashes alive, but it didn't really matter. His iniative control and long range damage output wrecked me. I did manage to pull a draw with some turn 5 shenanigans but was not impressed with my use of the Viks (they didn't kill a single model!). Needed to either be more aggressive or more conservative, i got stuck in the middle and paid the price... A good game four could have salvaged the day but I got absolutely smashed by Ramos (I hate him in recon) as my opponent had massive activation control and did a great job leveraging a reactivating Joss, making it difficult for me to get the Viks into his summoning center (despite again taking Slingshot build). This made Boarfaux the worst I have ever done in a Malifaux event at 1-2-1.

In the end I learned that I much prefer the slingshot Viks unless you are absolutely convinced you don't need them to get that far into the opponent's backfield. I also think they probably won't see competitive play for me again. I really enjoy playing them as a changeup to my normal style, but the hyper aggression you need to run them with just doesn't suit how I like to play the game and I think I just got a bit tired/bored of it by the end of the event. The Viks did kill a lot, which was fun, but I think I made a lot of incorrect decisions of what to go after with them. Target priority is key with them and I think I failed at that. Was still a really fun day, but don't think Viks will be threatening to become one of my go-to masters in events. They will probably stay as the occasional changeup game for fun.  On to the rest of the models!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

If you're Gaki and you know it...

Dr Walnut

The next in my posts about spirits will be about the sharknado of the spirit work the Gaki
(I hear some of you saying "what about night terrors surely they come first" true they do but I skipping them as a protest to them not being out in plastic still)

The Gaki is a cheap summon needing an eight to bring one in or four soulstones it you want to hire one.
They are tougher than they look with five wounds and two possible heals they can stick around if they need to.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Bringing Molly back from the dead

I have been somewhat absent on here of late. I do not get much time to do much gaming at the beginning of the year due to work. Plus my second daughter was born in December, so I have been juggling work and child rearing duties rather than gaming.

Boarfaux was my first tournament in 2016 and before the weekend I had actually only managed two games of Malifaux. Of those only one  was with the new GG2016 schemes. Nothing better than learning in a live situation though.

As usual John ran a great event. Between him and Warboar there were some fantastic tables and the Warboar staff were great. They even brought us drinks during games...apparently their booze license is in the works so hopefully next time I will have a couple of beers to improve my gameplay. This was their first Malifaux tournament at the venue and I am looking forward to the next one. It was also the biggest in London to date at 32 players.

I was keen to get Molly back on the table after such a long break. It was also good to go into the tournament with no expectations other than to learn more.

It was a great day and I managed to play against four fantastic opponents - none of whom I had ever played before. So how did it go?

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Bayou's Most Wanted - Mancha Roja

With the introduction of Malifaux 2E and the splitting out of Gremlins into their own faction (yes they're a Real Faction and yes that joke is getting old!) there has been an influx of new and interesting models, both from a fluff and a game perspective.

Over the next few blog entries I plan on looking at a few key models which might have slipped under your radar. Maybe you don't play Gremlins (what's wrong with you people?!) or maybe you've just not encountered them on the table yet. So I'm going to be taking a look at some models that I've had a lot of fun with while playing Malifaux.

First up! In the green corner, from The Bayous of Malifaux weighing in at far more than a Gremlin should, it's MANCHA ROJA!

The stat card for Mancha Roja can be found in the second book of the 2E series, Crossroads. He's the Henchman for Wong and is in stark contrast to the rest of that crew who rely on magic and ranged attacks. Mancha likes to get in there and smash your face in, possibly with another Gremlin. His Wk and Cg of 5 are average but being a wrestler he knows how to use the ropes. Thus when he is in contact with impassable terrain, his Cg increases to 12, thanks to the Rebound ability on the front of the card. This is quite handy, especially with models that can move him around to get him into the perfect position, like Trixie with Gremlin Lure, Mah with Horrible Hollerin' or even Gracie with the Saddle upgrade.

He has solid Df and Wp stats (and high Wp for a Gremlin to boot) of 6 and 5 respectively. Add on to that his Hard to Wound ability as well as being able to use Soulstones due to being a Henchman and he's not going to be the easiest guy to take down. Nor is he someone you necessarily want to send a model in to go toe to toe with. His offensive abilities are what make him a bit of an auto inculde at the moment, especially if there's killing that needs to be done!

My Mancha getting ready to lay the smack down!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Valentines Day Romance

Insidiously Mad

Like any true romantic, I spent Valentines day with my lovely girlfriend Pippa tick. Unlike most people, we spent a large portion of the day lazing about the house and playing malifaux. Truly a romance of the ages. I decided to try something new out so I declared Gremlins for my first ever game with that faction. Although I was playing a Master I've played 6 games with before, 4 of the 7 models in my crew had never been used by me before (excepting Zoraida, the Nurse and Lazarus). Philippa also decided to try out something new as she took Aionus for the first time. Also this was only my second time using the new schemes so that was interesting. The set up was as follows:

Collect the Bounty (Standard)
Convict Labour
Exhaust their Forces
Hunting Party
Public Demonstration

My Crew:
Zoraida with Animal Shape
Burt Jebsen with Dirty Cheater
Gracie with Saddle
War Wabbit
Bayou Gremlin
4ss cache

Pippa's Crew:
Ironsides with Seize the Day
The Captain with Patron's Blessing
Mechanical Rider
Soulstone Miner
Soulstone Miner
5ss cache

As the new schemes can not be announced we moved on to set up. I had taken Hunting Party and Inspection and Philippa took Hunting Party and Convict Labour. I thought hunting party could be difficult with only soulstone miners to score against, but there was so much speed and redeployment capability in my list that I thought I could get to them no matter where they dropped in. Below is the game after deployment. My plan was to send up Burt and Gracie on their own to take the left flank and hold that side of the board and send the War Wabbit up the right flank (followed by the bayou gremlin who was gonna hide and hold that side for inspection, with the rest of the crew going up the centre. Philippa put one soulstone miner on her right flank (the other started off the board) with the captain/Ironsides holding the center and Aionus and Mech Rider on the left flank.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Paint by numbers

Dr Walnut

From a few of my other posts you'll know I try a bit harder with the hobby side of 'faux than I do the gaming side. This isn't due to any particular talent in that area (but I am a better painter than I am a player but not saying much) it's more because painting is on my terms, I say what I want a model to look like, I say when it's finished and if I want to repaint something ten times trying to get it right I can.
The same can't be said for playing there are rules, times restrictions, points to score and talking to people (none of which sit well with me traditionally).

So what happens when these two things cross? Painting requirements are something I don't see too much of currently in Malifaux but I'd say they are coming. Currently the only painting clause in most rule packs is a painting competition, which seems to be won by the same few people. I have no problem with that fact by the way, the best voted painter is the best painter on the day, same as the best player on the day gets the trophy.
The issue I have is does this discourage people from even trying? Do people think that I won't win so I won't try? I hope not but painting is quite a personal thing and people often don't like to feel that they are being judged so they find it safer to just do the bare minimum.

Personally I try to always enter the painting competitions and I always make sure I vote. This isn't because I expect to do well but because it's part of the "tournament experience" (for want of a better term).

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Goin' Down the Bayou

One of the things I've been asked before when playing Malifaux, aside from "Eless can I have a cookie please?" is "Why do you play Gremlins? They're not a REAL faction."

The short (ha) answer to this question is simply that they're FUN. I mean, in what other faction can you fling exploding pigs, blow up your own models and kill the opponent with giant chickens, hungry gators and large wooden spoons? But to go a bit more in depth with the answer is going to take me a bit longer. So go get a drink, get comfy and settle down for story time with Auntie Eless.

When I'd started with Malifaux back in the mists of 1.5 edition, I'd been drawn to the Viks boxset. Their theme and fluff was really intriguing to me - the twin aspect of them and the bounty hunter angle too. I'd also picked up a cheap Leveticus box on Ebay so that Rich could play too (yes I made him play Levi in 1.5, I'm a terrible terrible person) and we'd been gradually learning about the game and how the rules worked. Because poor Rich had been struggling a bit with playing Levi I'd been keeping an eye out for other crews that he could use without frying his brain.

I finally managed to score a joblot of Gremlins - a Som'er Teeth Jones crew with Lenny, several Bayou Gremlins and a metal Ophelia LaCroix. In 1.5 Ophelia wasn't a Master, just a Henchman but she did have her own crew box which was pretty much the same named models as the plastic set is today. I'd mostly picked up the Gremlin set because they were at that time still part of the Outcast faction, so it made sense for me to buy more things in the same faction. However, once I had a proper look at the models, I absolutely loved the look of the Gremlins, especially Ophelia with the jeans, the duck lips - she was just hilarious to me. So I sourced the rest of her box from a local store (back when metal models were still available in individual blisters and a 99 icecream was still under a fiver) and then....mostly forgot about them.

The First Lady of the Bayou