Sunday, 14 September 2014

'Not a Bad Thing' Tournament Report

Worhamma, my local gaming club, hosted it’s second ever Malifaux tournament named ‘Not a Bad Thing’ Yesterday. We managed to convince 27? Players to brave intelligible accents and attend. I say ‘We’, what I really mean is Nate, Andy and Victor did all the hard work and organising whilst I added a few boards worth of terrain and got to play with my toys!

 The rulespack was pretty standard. 4 round, starting a bit early at 9 and finishing, because we ran late, at about 6:30, 45 soulstone games. The one unusual element was that you could either player as fixed faction or fixed master of dual faction (i.e. play McCabe as Thunders in one game and Guild in the next, but use no other master). I know a few people took advantage of this and I don’t think it caused any real issues, though I have not been on the internet for a little bit due to fighting off invading Welshmen so couldn’t guarantee.

Though further extending this substantial intro, I think it’s important to set the scene from my perspective. Some of you may be aware that last weekend I lost the position of best Gremlin in the UK to Rob Smith. I had worked out, however, if I was to get 3rd in this event I would have reclaimed the big hat. I didn’t expect to do that well, it was a very strong field, but I felt like the pressure was on. 

 What of the games? Well round one saw me randomly drawn to play on my Bayou Board, which I had made for the last event and had still not played on! I was pretty happy with that! My opponent was someone I hadn’t met before, Matt Abbot (or ‘Mad Abbot’ as he was dubbed) who came up with the sguigs.

 I’ll be honest, I was pretty confident of a strong game knowing I wasn’t a big name and seeing the strategy and schemes. Som’er in recon with a piggapult is pretty amazing, I can pretty much guarantee my own points and likely deny my opponent at the end of each turn. Deliver a Message makes it even worse, particularly as I took Trixxie to secure the initiative!

 Unfortunately for Matt, the game went almost as planned. I lost a couple of points because of a mistimed black joker and because we basically ran out of time, but equally part of Matt’s problem (which he astutely pointed out afterwards) is that he gave too many jobs to his Necropunks. The Drowned Lady (not going to try and spell her name) was pretty effective at grabbing Trixxie and not letting go… but it was not enough. Final score was 6-2 to me at the end of turn 3. Matt bagging 1 for Recon and Distract and I got 3 for Deliver a Message, 2 for Recon and 1 for Make them suffer.

 After this first strong game I knew this was going to be a tough tournament. Next I was matched against Jimmy Balderstone, who I have played once before in York in my first Gremlin event (I think it was his first game against Gremlins aswell, we broke our cherry together man :P). He repeatedly accused me of taking what he referred to as ‘Gremlin Bullshit’

 Not to disappoint, I decided to field Pere Ravage for this Turf War game, reasoning a fair number of the enemy would head to the middle first turn and would be ripe for a bit of ‘oopsie’. This was perhaps, however, the most infuriating game I had ever played. Pere got almost all of Jimmy’s crew into range and blew himself three times, including his death blast, but the top deck and hand of a god saw Jimmy emerge largely unscathed. Later Gracie needed to kill teddy to grab my murder protégé and black joker her damage flip, very dangerous as it meant she couldn’t heal. No matter, thought I, I will cheat to go first and make Gracie kill him then… but she bloody red jokered again! With that Jimmy got Murder Protégé and denied me a turf war point when I black jokered again to not kill his Wendigo and deny him some turf also! When the dust had settled, however, my extra points from announcing schemes secured me the win at 8-7 to me.

 So, two wins? That’s pretty good going! What’s next? Well after a bit of chilli and banter it turned out that I was faced against Mr Joel Henry himself in Reckoning. Damn, just going to go home! Well no, I decided I was just going to play less risky than I normally like to. I took Merris, who is absolutely useless in reckoning but can confidently secure protect territory by hiding. I took entourage on Som’er and decided that I would only go for the kills if I was in a real strong position and wouldn’t get much flak back. The game started pretty well, Som’er managed to get three clean shots at McCabe and unhorse him, putting pressure on him because he was his announced entourage, and causing blasts on Izamu in the process. My bad positioning had cost me a mass of wounds on burt though. Second turn saw Izamu die from a double focus boomer shot from Som’er putting Joel firmly on the back foot, but the rest of my crew could not kill the strong arm in that turn to score reckoning, or get in range of anything else (unhorsed McCabe had fled) meaning that neither of us scored strategy and got full for schemes. 6 all draw.

 Wow, I thought, a draw against Mr. Henry! I can do this! First is gone, but 3rd is definitely doable now! The pressure is on. My last opponent was Joe Taylor. Anyone who has a good memory and follows my tournament reports will know that my last game against  Joe saw Ulix get absolutely ruined by Collette in reckoning. It couldn’t happen again, however, I needed the win. Anyway, Reckoning has gone, Squatter’s right isn’t so bad… though it is Collette’s game!

This is where I made the most stupid mistake. Even simply typing it makes me gnash my teeth in frustration. When making my crew I thought to myself ‘Gracie always dies, frame for murder should be fine on her’. Like an absolutely hero, however, I wrote the name ‘Trixxie’ on the card. It was the other model I was considering, but I decided she was too valuable to get killed in this scenario. Of course, I only realised this as I deployed and by that point it was too late. A very elite crew saw me swamp the markers and score 2 for cursed object and 2 for strat, as we only got to turn 3. Denied the squat markers, Collette in the last turn reactivated a mole man to get 2 for breakthrough (unannounced) and 3 for line in the sand.  By this time Gracie had been killed by Langston, Trixxie was still alive and kicking meaning the final score was 4-5 to Joe… which meant he got 3rd in the final rankings... which is exactly where I would have ended up if I hadn’t put the wrong name on the card… which is what I needed to get my big hat (top Gremlin position in the UK) back.

 Fuck this game, I’m going to go play tiddlywinks

 In all seriousness though congrats to Joe for the great game and big thanks to all my opponents for some great games. Joel went on to win his game and thus claim second, with Blutac defeating the local Greg and claim the gold. It seemed like loads of people had a great time and 8 people went home with cakes. All of this seems pretty win.

 My final thought, however, is that I don’t think I actually managed to get to turn 5 on any of my games, which is not great. I know it seemed last time that we had enough time to add an extra 5 soulstones on the crews, but it might have been a touch too far for the time limit. Just my thoughts and suggestion to the big Ned and Worhamma lads for the future.

All said and done though they did an absolutely amazing job putting on the day and I just hope we can continue having such awesome. Thanks again guys. 



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