Sunday, 31 August 2014

Malifaux: Using Bad Cards

I have wined an awful lot recently about how I am struggling with Ulix compared with Som'er, today I would like to avoid that and talk about a way I am thinking of trying to improving my ability in Malifaux; using bad cards in your control hand.

 Som'er has got it good, a combination of 'Do it like 'dis' (Discard a card to add that suit to all Gremlins and pigs with 8") and the ability to Bayou Two Card (cheat from the deck) with a large part of the crew means that he is strong with card manipulation and when I moved to Ulix I missed that dearly. I think what I need to do is see the strengths of each card.

Whenever I see a couple of low cards in my hand (that I don't have a use for) I'll stone for cards which means by the end of the game I have no stones and I am at the mercy of my opponent, particularly if my hand is poor! I think what I should be doing is looking through my hand and then at the table and then seeing where I can apply the cards. For example, putting defensive stance on a piglet is pretty good, Def 6 with positives is hard to crack. Old Major can also use 'nudge them on' by discarding a card to add a suit and push a pig its walk, sweet stuff.

That's all well and good, you might be thinking, but not everyone has Old Major or flurry etc. in their crew. The other thing I realized I should be aware of is things that make you discard cards in the enemy crew. There is no point spending resources to craft your hand if it's just going to be stripped from you anyway! I often see horror duels in this way, you don't need something that high, but you need that card in your hand so don't chuck it away for something higher!

I'm not saying I am never going to stone for cards, it's a very good ability, but I think I may need to work on changing my tactics depending on what cards I have in my hand, playing more defensively if they're low for example (without being obvious!)

That's basically it from me, I know it wasn't much of a post but it's been my head for a bit so I thought it's worth saying. Chat later.

Monday, 25 August 2014

WAAC Paintathon Results

Sorry this is terribly written, my brain is still not functioning!

 Between 09:00 on the 24/08 and 09:00 25/08 I stayed up for 24 hours to paint 100 models in order to raise Sponsor money for #WAAC, Wargamers All Against Cancer, which raises money for MacMillan to support people with Cancer. I was supported by Chris King, who stayed up for the 24 hours and painted 12 models in the time, and: Chris Hay, Dan Johnson, Joel Henry and Pete Rees who all supported me and Chris at various points. 

You'll be glad to here it was an amazing success. We raised an amazing total of £265, as you can see here. A massive thankyou to everyone who donated. David Truby won the competition to get the custom display board made by donating the most amount of money in the set period of time. Congratulations to him, I will set up contact between him and Chris shortly. 

It was a close run thing, with a few last minute changes on what I will paint, but I successfully got the 100 models painted. Below you can see the pictures of the 100.

Once again thankyou for everyone who helped out and donated, I am so impressed with the how much support people have given and I really can't thank you enough.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

WAAC Paintathon - The Last Charge

I have a bunch of family events going on for the next week, so I will probably not be online for a little while now, but before I disappear I wanted to do a final shout out for WAAC and the Paintathon.

 To quickly repeat what WAAC is, it's Wargamers All Against Cancer. It's a massive and successful campaign made by Dave Wilkinson to raise money for MacMillan, who support those who suffer from Cancer. I know I have said this multiple times, but I think it's worth reiterating how great a cause this is. Almost everyone I have ever met has been effected by Cancer, either directly or through people they know. It's impact is huge, through the number of people it effects and how much it changes their lives, so any support we can give people during that difficult time makes a real difference.

 In order to try and do my bit, I am undertaking a paintathon to raise sponsor money. That is, I, supported by a number of great people such as Chris King, Dan Johnson and Chris Hay and I think a few others, will be painting solid for 24 hours with no sleep in order to paint 100 models. I start 9am Sunday the 24th, which is the day after I drive back up to Durham for 5 hours. It's going to be intense.

So far I have managed to raise £85 for the cause and for that I truly am grateful. It really means a great deal to me that people have given there hard earned cash to support this cause and I cannot thank you enough.

However, I want more.

I know, I'm greedy, but what can I say? That £100 mark is so close that I can almost taste it and it will just take a few people to chip in just a little bit to smash it. Remember that I am only after people to give as little as 1p per model I paint, so £1 in total. I think almost everyone can afford that and if enough people do it we can really make a difference. Unfortunately I don't know how to change the standard values on the donation bit on 'just giving' but you can change it yourself.

So I have a few requests. If you do feel like you can afford to donate, that would be fantastic and I will be very grateful. Whether you donate or not, please share this/retweet/tell your mates/whatever you need to do to get the word around. With enough people, we can make a real difference.

The link to my Justgiving page is here

You can find the main WAAC page here

Thanks for taking the time for reading and remember to spread the word.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

How To... Make Swamp Bases

Recently I was asked in a direct message how to make the bases I have for my Gremlins and I decided if one person wanted to know I am sure others might be interested also. Thus, today's blog post is how I make the bases for my Gremlins. I hope it's useful.

First of all, as you should be able to see above, I make the muddy banks. I use putty, specifically Magisculp for this. I try to make small mounds where possible, whilst still trying to keep variation throughout. Keeping smooth is key, I think.

Next I drill holes into the clay for the stilits. You could just press it in whilst the putty is wet, but don't expect them to stick. The Stilts themselves were made from bamboo skewers. Sometimes when you cut them to size they will split, but just try another skewer, you tend to get more than you'll even need in a set anyway.

I used PVA to stick the stilts to the base.

I make the board walk to go on the stilts separately because it is easier to paint that way. This is simply randomly cut small sections of coffee stirrer PVA'd together perpendicular to each other. Some models will need some made specifically made for them because other their stance or size *cough* Skeeters *cough*

Next up I stick some small chunks of cork up to be rocks. I got this from Antenocitis Workshop, which is my go to store for hobby supplies.

After spraying the bases, I first of all paint the rocks. I base them skavenblight dinge and then drybrush them administratum grey. The reason I do them first is because it involves drybrushing, which easily gets onto other parts you don't want it to.

Next up I paint the wood. I went for a red colour because it will contrast with the Gremlins. The basecoat is Doombull brown, you'll probably need a couple of coats.

Next I try and follow the lines of the wood wherever possible with a highlight of Tuskgor fur and then finally deathclaw brown.

I try and keep the mud pretty muted, so it's painted dryad bark which is highlighted up with mixes of Gorthor Brown and Dryad Bark. I don't normally go all the way to Gorthor, however.

At this point I stick the board walk to the stilts using PVA.

Next I use this stuff in the above picture. Unfortunately it belongs to Jen, so I have no idea what it's called or where it comes from. Jen thinks it might be from a model railway shop. The cool thing about us both being long time hobbyists is that we now have an extensive shared collection of stuff to use and that keeps on expanding!

With this stuff I cut off a few strands and then superglue one end and squeeze it together with my fingers. This gets you covered in superglue, so be warned!

I drill small holes into the putty for the pointy-tufty-bits to go in and then use superglue to make it stick. You will often leave a small amount of the putty colour visible, but you can touch this up afterwards. Although not in the pictures, I also now paint some Castellan green where the mud isn't, again trying to blend between the two colours.

Next up, water effect! This takes forever. Let it dry before you put more coats on. I tend not to worry about spilling over the edges because it's not clear when you tidy up the bases afterwards anyway. Remember, patience is key and don't expect to get it done the day before a tournament!

In between the first and second layer of water effect I put a wash of coelia greenshade onto the water effect to try and make it seem to have multiple layers of colour, it doesn't work that well but the colour is good over the green.

And finally, ignoring the actual attachment of models and the tidying up the rims by going over them in black paint, is gluing on the leaves. Once again these were got from Antenocitis and just stuck on with PVA.

There we have it, my Gremlin bases. I hope that was useful. any questions just give me a shout, or if you want me to go over anything else in the blog, again just say. Chat soon.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Gremlins is Awesome: Ulix getting the chop?

 If you read my tournament report yesterday, you saw that I did not do well. Why do I think this was? Will I make any major changes? Is this the end of the pig master? That's what I am going to talk about today.

 So what went wrong? I mentioned it yesterday, but one of things I felt was missing was that I simply did not own enough piglets to summon. This meant I couldn't make the most of the pigapult, which meant I spent 8 stones on a model I used for one turn. It was very useful for one turn, but it's still a waste. It could have been good buying some stuffed piglets to fire, but again I don't own the models. Summoning piglets also needs pigs on large bases, so I'd like to take the Sow... who I don't have the models for. Basically I am feeling I don't have the models to put Ulix to play effectively. This is not the only reason I didn't do well, I did also make some major mistakes, but that was my resounding impression. 

 Am I going to make any major changes? I might give him a go without the summoning upgrade, which I am beginning to feel I don't really have the models for. This will mean I will be putting more effort to turn up the heat early game. I think I will give the hog whisperer more of a go, which I had struggled with before. I also think I will try play reckoning without Gracie and with Wild Boar or Warpigs, so it's less all or nothing. 

 So I have already answered whether it's the end of Ulix for me. I don't think so, not quite yet. I am going to try a couple more ways of playing, but to be honest I think his days are numbered. I don't think I'll never use him again, I just think I need to wait and get some more models. I don't really want to buy anything else until we get some more plastics. I'm also yet to see anyway that he does a scheme or strategy better than Som'er, who is still my favourite by far. 

 Well that's me for today! Hope that was kind of interesting to read. Hope to post again soon, hopefully with a 'How to' for my Gremlin bases. Until then.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Tournament Report: Som'er's End

Before I start, I am just going to apologize for the lack of pictures. Using a relatively new master for me meant I was pushed for time in all my games and basically I forgot.

Yesterday was my second tournament I have been to in Scotland, Livingston. Unfortunately the store, Worlds at War, is closing down, so the event was free so that people could spend there money on stock instead. It's a real shame, but having a quick chat with the owner you can see the reason why.

 So, anyway, I had already decided going into the day that I was going to play Ulix in all three games. I wanted to get some serious practice in with him. I will try and keep my review of the pig master to a minimum for now and do another blog post with that in tomorrow.

 My first game was against David H with some Gremlin on Gremlin action. The game was recon, a game I hadn't played at all with Ulix yet and not something that I think is his bag. I figured the piggapult, however, would help save the day. We both took deliver a message, which he did not reveal, and he took breakthrough (as it was flank deployment it made sense) and I took distract (which because pigs have to charge sometimes and I took corn husks to allow piglets to interact for a 0 in LoS).

 I was initially surprised that he took Som'er without Family Tree so he could summon Gremlins, but it seemed fair enough. We both delivered a message turn one because of reactivating pigs for the hog whisperer. I launched my piglets from the piggapult so that Som'er could not get out and then reactivated them, he used lenny to throw the hog whisperer, who then sooeyed the pigs forward and reactivated them so it could walk, charge and deliver a message. The following turn, I put distract on Som'er and the slop hauler with the piglets and he put breakthrough markers on my right flank. On my left flank I had to move Old Major, and thus also Ulix, into to maintain 2 quarters because I failed to kill piglets with a war pig. The next turn, using shot in the rear, my War Pig charged and killed: his Hog Whisperer, 2 piglets and my Bayou Gremlin, he then charged my hog whisperer but failed to hit. Unfortunately, I had plans for the Bayou Gremlin which obviously fell apart then. The slop hauler then used 'Watch this Pa' to blow himself up and deny me Distract, leaving the final score, because we ran out of time, 7-6 to Dave. It was a good game and very silly. Unfortunately, I felt hampered because I didn't own any more piglets to summon, so the piggpault was utterly useless after turn one, whilst he could have decided recon. Also I think Trixxie was possibly a bad choice because Gremlin Lure was not useful with all the terrain on the board.

The second game was against a guy called Alun who declared Guild. For this I took Assassinate and Plant Explosives, my opponent took Bodyguard and Vendetta with Nino vs the Piggapult. This game I got to do something I had wanted for ages, Nino used 'from the shaddows' to delpoy on the top of a large building in the centre, my wild boar then also used 'From the shaddows' to deploy in melee! Stealth pigs for the win! He managed with his first ap, however, to get just out of melee range to take a shot at a piggpult and score vendetta, but due to flipping the black joker on defence, my boar then devoured him for his troubles! I used the piggapult to launch some piglets into his half of the board, one in a safe place for stake a claim and the other engaged with his riflemen. In the first turn I also made a really stupid mistake, I postioned trixxie to plant my explosive marker next to three models and then Gremlin lured one of them away! It was the peacekeeper, which I think was worth getting out of the soon-to-be grind in the middle but I still can't believe I was so stupid! I decided to announce anyway and keep the 2 vp. The next turns, however, were basically just grind. Ulix and Old Major soaked up damage from lady J, but I positioned poorly and couldn't get Old major engaged with her so just killed his minions. The Wild Boar, forced to charge, took 6 falling damage as he charged the Lone Marshall. With all that going on, however, he didn't get anyone into my half so I safely scored stake a claim. That is basically the same tale for the rest of the game. Lady J killled Ulix and I only get her down to 5 wounds remaining when time was called. Lone Marshall killed the boar, but not quick enough to get stake a claim. His body guard still clutched to life to get him one point. So the final score was 5-2 to me. I think me main mistakes here was just positioning. I put Trixxie in the way and then didn't put Old Major in the right place afterward.

My final game, amazingly, was on table 2. This was because me and David had already played so we hat to swap opponents. This meant I was up against Joe in reckoning. despite originally planning to use Ulix in reckoning this was the game I was looking forward to the least. I took Assassinate and Plant Evidence and he took the same. He had take Collette, not normally a good assassinate target, but I had taken Sammy so had supposed that if I could deny her triggers then she would be easy to kill. I was absolutely thrashed in this game. Collette hung back and just prompted people to walk so they were in a better position to threaten later. Unfortunately, I did not get the card I needed, despite stoning, to summon a warpig and without much else to do I just attempted three times and failed. I used Trixxie in the second turn to Gremlin lure Langston out of range of anything, who just walked back. Lenny charged Cassandra, and failed to do anything. Collette prompted Joss into melee range of Gracie. Gracie walked into range of Lenny and attack Joss and failed. Bishop then dropped the arcanist fast upgrade, walked and charged Lenny. Because of a Red Joker, I won one of my Wp duels! But then he proceeded to black joker and still hit me! I think this is the biggest mistake of the game, possibly losing it for me, when I chose not to cheat. Lenny had to be alive to trigger both Ulix's and Gracies Triggers. He didn't die at this point, but when Cassy charged, I could not cheat high enough to keep him alive. Old Major had charged Joss by this point, but I don't think he had done much damage and I had decided to was basically all or nothing. With three attacks from Ulix, stoning twice for the suit, I made both Gracie and Old Major attack Joss 3 times each but to no avail. I only managed to get him down to his hard to kill. He then promptly killed Gracie and his reactivate severely damaged Old Major also. Basically, from there, the game was over. A last ditched summon from Ulix made a War Pig, but it could not cope with everything he had left. I had put down a token scheme marker. Joe won 8-1.

To be expected I dropped along way after that crushing defeat, leaving my 3 from bottom. I did have a great time though and played some really nice friendly people. You can see the results from this tournament on the Wyrd Forum page. Big thanks to all my opponents and also for David Golden for driving us up, and also Paul for putting up with rants on the way up on down!

Look out for the blog post tomorrow!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Malifaux 100SS pool

Alot of people have been chatting about Malifaux model pools on their blogs recently. To briefly explain, there's a tournament way down South which you have to submit a list of up to 100ss worth of models and upgrades which are the only thing you are allowed to use through the tournament. Because I am sad, I thought it'd be fun to go over what I would include in my list if I was to go to an event like this.

First of all I am going to pick a single master to take. Then, if I have the spare stones, I will pick another. The main reason with this is because I think Som'er can do every scenario and I really like him and have loads of practice with him. Also, I think it's better to have one master who can do everything than more that can't quite match up, you only get to use one in a game after all!

 Anyway, as I have already said, I have chosen Som'er. If the game isn't reckoning, my list almost always contains the following models:

3*Bayou Gremlins [9] (I vary between taking 2 and 3 in a crew)
Slop Hauler [5] (one of the best models in the game imo, last night he managed to kill huggy!)
Get 'Yer Bro [2] (because summoning models is cool in the first turn)
2*Dirty Cheater [2] (I know at the moment I can only take one, but I normally always take the cap of this)
Liquid Bravery [1] (Very useful just to make Som'er stubborn)

So this puts me on 19 stones, I have loads left! There are a few models that a regular players in my crew aswell, often swapping between them depending on schemes.

Gracie [10] (though I am trying to free myself from taking her non-stop...)
saddle [1] (...but this upgrade is so good!)
Trixiebelle [8] (a tool box, so good in so many situations that I cannot say no most of the time)
A gun for a lady [1] (I have not been using the upgrade so much recently, but getting double pos. damage flips when Som'er is giving out rams is hard to say no to)
Burt Jebson [7] (synergises beautifully with Som'er and Gracie)
Fracois Lacroix [7] (he almost makes a way in for Vendetta, Assassinate or Murder Protege)
Skeeter [2] (I normally only take the one and only if I have spare stones, but they are fantastic)

At that point I am on 55 stones and laughing. Now I can start trying to focus on specific strategy models.

Lenny [9] (he really only makes an appearance because...)
I'll love it and pet it [1] (...of this upgrade, which means I can summon piglets to go with...)
Piggapult [8] (... this model! It's just amazing in recon so I couldn't say no)
Sammy Lacroix [7] (I don't always find space for her, but she often comes out for killy schemes and strats)
Encouragement [2] (I tend to only take this on Sammy so that Som'er can gain the benefit, nice for make them suffer)
Old Major [9] (I have written about him multiple times but here he is to replace Gracie against Outcast and Joss)
Merris Lacroix [6] (I don't rate her as highly as other Gremlin players, but she finds a space sometimes)

O.K. I am pretty much reaching my cap of things I need with Som'er now and I am at 97 stones, not bad! The list does now include many of the models I would use with Ulix, however. Gracie, Old Major, Lenny, slop hauler and trixxie is one of my lists. Preferably I would like to have the option of taking Wild Boar but I don't want to lose anything from the list for it. 3 stones is also not enough to cover upgrades for the pig master. At this point, to allow for maximum flexibility, I think it makes sense to lose something to allow for Ulix though.

- Merris Lacroix [-6] (I told you I didn't rate her as highly!)
Husbandry [3] (summoning 9 stone models is pretty mint)
Hunting Bow [2] (making models charge for 1 ap is also pretty mint)
Corn Husks [2] (a very nice upgrade for certain scheme pools)
Penelope [2] (just for the 0 action push!)

And there we go, exactly 100 soulstones. To be honest, I didn't find it that restrictive. I suppose the idea is if you single master it's not but any more than that is more of a struggle. I didn't get everything in for Ulix after all. Hope it was a mildly interesting read.

Gremlins is Awesome - Ulix Continued

For those who don't regularly read, I have challenged myself to play exclusively with Ulix, the pig master for Gremlins, in my games of Malifaux recently to see if I can get him to work. I have had mixed luck with the master, but things are definitely improving. Today I think I will just go over my thoughts on him so far.

 The more I play not reckoning, the more I think that summoning piglets is amazing. They were instrumental in my last game, particularly as I took the upgrade 'Corn Husks' so they could interact for 0. They are, however, a bit of a headache to play with. You have to be prepared for every trigger, or be prepared to have your hand drained of cards. There are ways around this, but it's not worth Old Major's 'nudge them on' for a 4 stone minion. They are really interesting to use, however, and I look forward to getting a bit more used to their mad activations!

 One thing I found is that I was getting locked into a set list with Ulix. I had decided that he would only work with Lenny and that thus Gracie was then next natural option. Last night I forced myself to take neither of those two models and found that it worked fine. It just means I have to be more careful with the cards I keep and use, but also gave me many more options for the models I used.

 For many, many reasons Ulix likes to clump his crew together. This is a major disadvantage, however, in many scheme pools. Thus I took a random Bayou Gremlin in the crew last night. I think it was a great idea. Normally when I make a crew I have constantly got my eye on how things will synergize and the Bayou Gremlin simply does not. It does mean he can act independently, however, which is a real boon. If I had the models I'd be tempted to try rooster riders with him, but unfortunately not.

 Another new model in my arsenal is the lovely Penelope, Ulix's totem. I hadn't looked at this model properly before because I had only been considering Ulix for reckoning, but the more I look the more I like. She helps the pigs low walk stat, which is really useful, and a free 6" push for not cost as a 0 action is fantastic! She can also stop 'set er off' within 8" and can 'from the shaddows'. Not bad for 2 stones!

 I haven't really got a conclusion to this post, just sharing my enjoyment for the bearded wonder. I was starting to feel a bit stuck in a rut with him because I was using the same list, but I feel a lot better now I am swapping things around. I looked forward to demonstrating from across the gaming table soon.