On the 14th June I attended 'Into The Breach', the first tournament in a growing Malifaux scene in Waugh Games (in Middlesborough). I learned many things at this event, so I am going to be writing a couple of blog posts on it, so as to try and not ramble about too many subjects. So, taking a one action to focus (I'll get my coat) let's try and talk about the dirt of the day.
I apologize for the lack of pictures, but the game felt tightly squeezed in and I felt like I didn't have the time.
Waugh games itself has a decent amount of space, based in an industrial unit, and a decent amount of very nice terrain. Some of the tables were, in my honest opinion, a little sparse. There were, however, some very nice tables. I even got a custom scheme marker for the day which I always love. Seriously, after that I felt I was really chuffed (I know I am sad).
My first game was against Greg Piscosz, our local Malifaux powerhouse who came second in last years masters. A few weeks ago we had both played exactly the same scenario so we had a knowing look on our faces. It was a good thing we hadn't played in our last session!
It was fixed list. Greg took:
3 Bayou Gremlins
We both took Frame for Murder (him on Mech. Rider and me on Fran) and I took plant explosives when he took breakthrough. Both announced.
It was a very cagey game. I made my first mistake letting Greg going first where his trapper topped a bayou gremlin, making it hard for Som'er to summon and thus out-activate Greg. We spent much of the game darting around with out crews, worried about over extending ourselves. Francois then jumped into the middle and took down the Mech. Rider, scoring Greg 3 points. Leviticus then charged Fran making the game even again but at the same time summoning a abomination. In the end he was able to hold off Old Major to make me lose a recon point and get his Necropunk to score his 3vp for breakthrough. The crews having spread out meant I could only bag 2 points from plant explosives. Final score 8-6 to the ginger dark horse of the north.
Second game I played on the same table, fortunately different deployments, against a beginner called Steve Atkinson who declared it was his 5th game of Malifaux. He took:
Honestly I can't remember of that exactly right. Sorry.
Mine was the same list as before.
He had Breakthrough (Revealed) and Make them Suffer. I had Plant Evidence (revealed) and Make Them Suffer. When we revealed schemes I tried to explain to him how Plant Evidence in this scenario was basically like Breakthrough but easier, but he said he liked to make his own mistakes but he was happy for the advice. I breathed a sigh of release at this, it meant my ideas behind playing beginners (written up in a previous blog post) applied.
We had a great game. Nicodem used the corpse markers made by the dog and Mortimer to summon some mindless zombies and then another construct. Som'er summoned loads of Gremlins who were pulled along by old Major and then fanned across the board. My heavy hitters dived into the middle and he did likewise, attempting to close down Som'er. Unfortunately, by summoning lots of minions and then forcing them down my throat played into my hand a little because it meant Som'er could squeal (my own gremlin shot into combat, it's a awesome trick!) and then bag make them suffer repeatedly. My opponent had focussed to much on killing stuff and summoning stuff to try and place his own markers, however, and easily gained dominance of stake a claim early on. Unfortunately, because Mortimer had spent too many AP making corpses, he never really got stuck in which I think was the biggest mistake. Chatty is amazing and if he is cleaving Gremlins he is also making many corpse markers. The game ended with me scoring 8 and my opponent 0.
I felt a little bad coming out with that result, I didn't want to crush the fun for my foe, but my opponent seemed happy enough. He said he fully expected to lose lots in the tournament, but had enjoyed his game and felt he had learned something. I really hope you meant that Steve. I had a great game and if there was a best sportsman, he would have got it from me.
After Lunch I played against the tournament organizer Andrew Newton, a lovely and cheerful chap. I am just going to apologize now if I felt a little short with him sometimes (scheme marker scoring was the bit I feel bad about). It was hot and I don't do well in the heat (this is the North for gods sake!) but there is no excuse. I hope you enjoyed our game anyway, I did. We played Reckoning, always a strategy I hate, and the lists were the following:
2 Canine remains
This was the strategy I had been tearing my hair out over, as anyone who has spoken to me recently would know, as the scheme pool was very scheme marker focused. We both took announced Plant Evidence and my opponent took Breakthrough where I had protect territory (again, both announced). Mass reactivating pigs, a very open board and a penchant for Nicodem's summon ability meant that I was able to score some easy reckoning points early on, whilst my opponent really had to focus his crew to take down one of my pigs. However, after the initial gambit things started to crumble. My mistake was not activating Gracie first (very foolish of me) letting him drag her down. After that my master could not kill the undead horde quick enough because of hard to kill. Som'er admirably held back the tide though, preventing Andrew getting too many scheme points whilst I managed to grab a couple by dominating my right hand side. 6-3 to me. A well played game and I must say very well enjoyed.
My last game of the day was against John Wharton, another major player on the Malifaux scene who has won a few events. Last time I played John he tabled me on turn 3 so I'll be honest and say I wanted revenge. Bad, I know, but I can't help it.
It was Recon again so I returned to my first list. John took the following:
Freikorps librarian and trapper.
It was the standard list I expected from John. I took Assassinate and protect territory (revealed) as did he. Early game I was in control. I deployed second and deployed away from the trapper with Som'er and his mass gremlins. I spent the first turn mass summoning. John castled up in a ruin on one of his quarters and Old Major dragged Francois forward ... for him to decide caution was the better part of valour and defensive stance.
I find one of the main strengths of the Viks and John's crew is the ability to get the jump on people. The threat range of the Viks is large and you are forced forward by the present of his big guns. However, having activation control by a massive margin (I summoned 3 gremlins previously) meant I had stripped that to some extent. Vik of Ash was forced to charge out of her cover, using Oath keeper, to attack Fran... who promptly squealed away and meant she wasted Oath Keeper. Holding the red joker in my hand, Fran focused and charged, using the focus on the second to take the master to one wound and top himself (she had survivalist). This left Old Major to claim Assassinate before he had a chance to heal (this was at the end of activation). Some poor positioning on my part left Vik of Blood able to kill 2 bayou's using her Oath Keeper. Som'er failed to capitalize on the fact she was in the open. Despite this I still had the corners so I grabbed recon.
Next turn blood charged and Som'er squealed away. Deciding the main threat to him was now gone, Som'er decided to hold off his activation. John's entire crew through everything at him to no avail... until against all odds a trapper fired from the complete otherside of the table, weaving LoS through walls and models, at him... and I Black Jokered. At that point the game was over. John scored 3vp and the upcoming punishment John had left himself wide open for was gone. I couldn't hold back his forces anymore.
John won the game 8-6.
I was not the best sport after that, I am afraid to say. Victory was in my clutches and then suddenly, because of fickle fate, it was gone. There were many things I could have done to stop it though and John played well in being able to see his opportunities. I did apologize to John for a grumpy git, but I do again. Sorry.
So overall, I came 4th (I think, there was some confusion). Unsurprisingly the more experienced players from Sunderland and Newcastle did the best, with Greg winning. I hope the local gamers still had a great time because I did and I look forward to seeing them across the table soon. Thanks for Andrew Newton for running the event and getting things organized. It was a blast.
Before I go, I am just going to say please leave me info if this is the sort of thing you like to hear about. I can try and focus on other stuff in future if it would be more useful. Now off to right the next installment!