Friday, 31 October 2014

Chris Hay - Storage Solutions

Here's another entry from Chris, hope you like it:

 I have recently been thinking about upgrading my storage and transportation for my minis.
One of the main draws of getting into Malifaux was the low model count and my initial perception that I wouldn't need to lug loads of stuff around.
 Over time though with picking up more models, and realising how many counters and accessories one needs (especially, if like me, you want different ones for the different masters / crews you play) then the stuff I need and carry around does start to add up. I currently use a big carry all and a games workshop foam carry case. See pic.

 This was ok for a time when just attending my local club in the car but now I am attending more tournaments I thought it was about time to look around for other options.

 There is a current deal on at KR Mulitcase where if you order a transport bag, backpack or metal case you get another standard card case for FREE. It is only on till midnight 31st October (so tonight!)
So I was put off at first by the prices (I don't think I would have gone for it if I wasn't getting a free £35 case).

 I ended up buying the backpack (£59.99 with free postage) and now it has been delivered I must say I am impressed. The backpack itself seems durable enough and it has a big pouch on each side which will fit my accessories (tape measure, cards decks, markers, pens etc). It has has a large zippy pocket on the front that is more than big enough to hold crossroads and the large rulebook and a further smaller pocket on the top of that for the mini rulebook and a notepad.

 So instead of having to carry around a big shoulder bag AND a games workshop carry case full of my models it should all just go in the backpack making carrying things around much easier.
So inside the bag comes a card case which is filled with foam. The one I got was for Malifaux specific and had 2 bits of foam that can be plucked out to fit 40mm or 50mm models and 3 bits of foam ready cut to fit 60 x 30mm models.

Free Case!

 So what I think I will do is have 1 cardboard box for each Malifaux faction I play (Neverborn and Outcasts at present!). That way I can just switch the box around depending on what I plan on playing that tournament / club night and don't have to worry about switching models and repacking all the time etc. There seems to be plenty of room in one standard cardboard case for a full faction. Just to give you an idea I have Nekima, Bad Juju, Mature Nephilm, 3 Young, Barbaros with converted sword that makes him another inch wider and 2 waldgeists just on 1 of the pick and plug foams so got another still to fill!
 So thumbs up from me over all. But think it was partly for getting £95 worth of stuff for £59.99. I needed to upgrade and the main priority was for it to be easier to carry and all fit in one bag.
So that has been achieved.

 Until next time.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Myth - Initial Thoughts

Yesterday one of my Kickstarter projects arrived. Myth. For those that don't know much about it, Myth is a co-operative dungeon crawler game that was on KS some time ago. America has had the game for some time but there were some problems with shipping in Europe so there have been massive delays (it's a KS, what do you expect?). When the box arrived we were pretty surprised, there had been no e-mail to let us know or anything. It was so long ago now it had fallen out of the back of my mind, so a package of toys was always a nice surprise.

 Wow, that's a lot of models! The sheer number of models is pretty intense, particularly when you consider what you get in the basic game. Sorry for the lack of pictures, btw, me and my partner spent the whole evening trying to wade through it all and I can't be bother to rip it all out now!

 So what did I think of the models? Honeslty, I'm a little disapointed. The box says 'Hobby Quality Miniatures' and I think that's stretching it. What we got were board game quality figures. It's not like the sculpting is bad, they're actually pretty good, it's the material used. The plastic is really bendy, resulting in many floppy swords and staffs. Ultimately, however, for the price we payed through KS and what we got I'm happy overall.

 We even managed to get a little game in last night. Before my partner got home I read the main rulebook. The concepts are fun and I like the mechanics, but the layout of the rulebook is confusing at best. It also feels like there are massive oversights. Where are the rules for courage? Thankfully there are some quickstart rules also included in the set with some errata and FAQ (which is probably because of the delay after the Americans got their hands on it) so we actually managed to get through a game without too much scratching of our heads, though there were definitely some problems. All this being said, both me and Jen had a great time looting the dead and being traditional gung ho adventurer types. I have never really got into the whole dungeon crawler thing, but the co-op nature of this one along with the extremely flexible encounter set up is most enjoyable.

 So final thoughts? I'm happy I got it through KS but I don't think I'd buy it without all the free add on stuff, it wouldn't be worth it. Hopefully soon will throw so cartoony paint jobs on the models and you can see what I mean.

If you have also got the set, I'd love to know what you think. Until next time.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


Here's another entry by Chris Hay. I really should get round to doing some of my own at some point!


So anyone that follows me on twitter will already know that I am not the best painter in the world. So when coming up with a theme for Malifaux crews I try and do something a little unusual / different instead to hopefully add a little fun to the tabletop and a smile to my opponents face.

For my Dreamer crew I have themed it around Lego..... Now I am sure there are some haters out there (probably those awesome painters) who feel it takes something away from the painting side of things but up until this point most people I have met have had a positive reaction.

I must say however that at a recent tournament I did get a bit of stick for the fact that a large chunk of the model / base isn't technically painted, but to be honest I am not sure how different it is to people sticking on some sand, maybe a little water effect and some grass or foliage. There isn't too much "painting" that goes into that either! And you would be surprised how long it actually takes to cut a circle out of a lego base board using a Stanley knife, sanding the edges smooth, sticking it to a wooden disc etc etc. Probably in comparison to other basing a lot longer! But I do appreciate that it isn't as "painted" as some and happy to exclude it from any painting competitions at tournies if people would prefer.

One cool thing I have found is that because of the way some models are stuck to Lego bricks and the bricks just clicked onto the bases it allows me to easily change them around and add different bits of Lego etc as and when the need arises. For example I have some web markers for the widow weaver but if I need a scheme marker instead I can just remove an unused model or marker and hey presto! So very multi purpose if needed!

I have also decided that at future tournaments either the tournament organiser, my opponents, or both will get a lovely Lego monster as a momento! The two lucky people currently in possession of said toys are Joel Henry for running joelfaux 2 and Greg Pizzzzzcocxkzcsz for being one half of the most fun malifaux game I think I have ever played at Joelfaux 2.

So without further ado here are some pics for those that have not seen.

Hope you enjoyed and at least something made you smile!

Also here is a peak at my Collodi crew that is up next for the non-painted basing magic.

Feel free to follow me on twitter @cdhay if you want more random Malifaux goodness (or badness).


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Iron Quill - Progress

Some of you may already be aware that I try and take part in a monthly writing competition on the Wyrd Forums called the Iron Quill. You can find a link to this month's competition here. Anyway, here is my entry for this month.


 The fires of hell roared around her, a great serpentine hiss harrowed her ears, her nose was full of smoke and the sickeningly sweet smell of slowly roasting human meat, yet nothing could thaw the cold aching abyss in her gut. A monster, more frog than man, stormed over to her; the sweat beads flicked off his sagging additional chin as his base bellows bombarded her. Behind the metal strapped to her face, she could hear little. Normally she would have tried to pay heed, desperate for approval, but the darkness in her heart had devoured her and she was deaf to all but her own misery.

 What did it matter now anyway? It was her last day trapped in this living inferno. Friendships had been forged in the great industrial labyrinth, it’s true, but then they had been swallowed whole in the ever hungry maw of progress. She would always remember the haggard features of the old man who had given her half of his pasty when she had first started. She hadn’t had enough money to bring her own lunch in the early weeks and had near collapsed on the canteen table as the factory sweated the life from her. One day, the man - she never knew his name - had approached her and offered the sweet morsel. His face was cracked like dried-out clay, sweat dripped from his scruffy moustache and lust filled his eyes, but for her they were the features of an angel. She could still remember his screams now, when she closed her eyes, as his sleeve had pulled his arm into the great cogs. It was the sick pop of his arm being pulled from its socket that had saved him, she knew: without that he would have been crushed instantly, ground like flour. The pasty had returned to haunt her when she was forced to remove the gore from the machine, but she refused to give up the kindness and had swallowed the burning vomit again.

 Somehow Fran’s heart sank further as she thought about what cruel fate had befallen him after narrowly escaping with his life. With his arm he had lost his job and was cast from the fires and onto the cold hard streets. One day on her way to work she had seen him, half hidden in the shadow and slush of an alleyway. She had resolved to come back the next day with a pasty - it was the least she could do and she could surely afford to go hungry for one day? When she had returned though, all she found was a corpse. A black taint had spread from his shoulder, and she fled. She could not afford to get infected, for Philip’s sake.

 Is that what would happen to her, she wondered? Would she end up dead and unnoticed in some dank alley? Would her open grave on the street be the last memorial for her endless toil to build the foundations of the new world? It was then that her inner sorrow twisted into a hard lance of hatred. Each of these iron ingots was amassing to crush her under the weight of her own labour. How could she be replaced so casually by what she had brought into this world? Her suffering had made these machines, and from the fire had emerged these cold, heartless monsters that crushed her hope. She had made herself obsolete. Together this swarm of people had constructed their own doom.

 The bell tolls. The signal ends the last shift.

 The bustle of workers returning to their families is more akin to the macabre shamble of the living dead. No one hurries to abandon their posts. Can they just cling on for another moment? Maybe if they work a bit longer, a bit harder, they would get that little bit more pay to keep their family going for a few more days. She stares at the scrip clutched in her bony fingers, thrust into her hands as she is expelled into the cold winter evening. At least tonight her Philip would eat. Her heart sings with joy as she envisions the twinkle of his eyes. Almost running, she makes her way to the baker. Behind his chubby cheeks and waxy moustache the baker smiles, his eyes of sadness giving her a little something extra to go with her last meal. Tears spring from her eyes as she coughs a heartfelt thanks.

 Philip’s eyes shine like the stars of old Earth, devouring the cherry tart. Small hands break the delight in half and thrust it into their mother’s face. Her stomach leaps, just one more bite? Perhaps a little nibble? She wraps her skeletal fingers around the boy’s own, his digits lightly pressing into the sticky morsel, the baked wonder pushed back towards his chest. Eyes, like dinner plates in the small boy’s head, reflect the sorrow in his mother’s tears. Her heart dances a little in pride. Philip’s a smart boy, he knows something is wrong. Philip gives his mother the greatest gift a child can give. She is hugging him so tight he is running out of breath, but, once released he smirks with small boyish charm. Even at his age he says exactly the right thing. His mother tells him she loves him too.

 In the dark of night they share the stained mattress and grubby sheets, as they always had. They huddle up with the futile notion of keeping warm in the dank, damp ridden, wooden apartment. She trembles, holding back the tears, realising that it is only going to get colder and harder for her darling. She clutches her son tightly for strength.

 The sun has already burned off most of the smog when she rises. It is still early, but she leaves for work as she always has. Without the promised heat of the furnace, she dons all the clothes she owns to brave the unrelenting winter winds. Philip shivers in his sleep and she surrenders her shawl, tucking it around the boy. The great cast iron gates of the factory are closed; even without them she doubts she could make it past the mob of desperate, angry workers or the large automatons guarding their master. The lean businessman mounts a crate to look down on his former employees.

 ‘Good people, please return to your homes, there is no work for you here.’ The icy cold courtesy is like a dagger to her heart: did he not realise they had no homes to go to?

 ‘There’d be work if you’d send dose’ ‘bots home!’ An unknown voice calls from the crowds and a great jeer of agreement erupts from the mob.

 ‘You people disgust me.’ Spits the aristocrat, face twisted in spite, ‘here, on the eve of this glorious epoch, you cast down the labours we all worked so hard to achieve. These machines are the future, can you not see? They will make the new world a better place. The future will wait for no man.’

 At that moment she thinks of Philip, thinks of his future, tucked into rags and shivering in their home. Her own shivers turn to trembles of uncontrolled rage as she imagines the man’s expensive thigh high boots pushing her son’s face into the snow.

 She doesn’t know where the rock came from, but the hatred inside her channels into the stone like a raging torrent. Her scream feral, she launches the stone with all her might towards the smug entrepreneur. The crowd is silenced in horror. The rock collides with the man’s face, spilling blood onto his immaculate shirt collar and almost knocking him from his podium.

 Her breath is in her mouth as she is thrown back violently. She looks down to see a large harpoon piercing her abdomen, though it could not possibly be real. The metal is cold and stings her fingers as she wraps her hands around it. It seems real enough, so why can she not feel it in her stomach? Where did it come from? She wishes she hadn’t asked herself as she is lurched off her feet and dragged across the cobblestone. Her left cheek spreads like butter along the floor, gravel embedding in her face. Could that much blood really have come from her?

 ‘This ‘wabble ‘wowser will be an example to all of you!’ the businessman spits in incoherent rage, a lisp escaping his well taught eloquence.

 A shadow engulfs the woman on the cobblestone as the peacekeeper lifts its large metal hoof for the finishing blow. ‘Philip’ whispers from the savage remains of her lips. Life is instantly crushed from her.

 ‘If this is the pwice’ of pwogwess, so be it! Now weturn home or face the consequences!’

 The spirit of the mob dies with the woman, eyes not daring to look upon the gore under the behemoth. The remaining workers slowly filter away, yet more unnamed casualties of the annals of history. 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

A Guest Blogger: Chris V Pete

So a good friend Chris Hay has been feeling like starting a blog and wants to 'try before he buys'. I thought this battle report was a good read and I hope you will to. Feedback always appreciated!

PS: He now knows he can't take retributions eye on Nekima, this is why we practice!

Over to Chris:

My first blog post so a little into I guess. I’m Chris Hay and one of the Elementals playing out of the NWGC in Stockport, Manchester, UK. Been playing Malifaux since March 14 so relatively new compared to these old 1.5 players :P Today I have for you a battle report from a recent game I’ve had!
I arrived at the Rees Residence (another one of the Elementals) early Sat morning and as Pete is historically a Gremlin player I brought the customary bacon so after a quick bacon butty we got down to business.
Outcast v Neverborn Battle Report
50ss Turf War
LITS, Make Them Suffer, Assassinate, Cursed Object, Bodyguard
Outcasts Crew – 50ss (Pete)
Von Schill -- 3 Pool
 +The Shirt Comes Off [1]
+I Pay Better [1]
Bishop [10]
Freikorps Librarian [7]
Freikorps Trapper [6]
Freikorpsmann [5]
Lazarus [10]
Vanessa [8]
Neverborn Crew – 50ss (Chris)
Lilith -- 4 Pool
 +Beckon Malifaux [1]
 +Living Blade [2]
 +Rapid Growth [1]
Primordial Magic [2]
Black Blood Shaman [7]
Doppleganger [7]
Nekima [13]
+Retribution’s Eye [1]
Terror Tot [4]
Young Nephilim [6]
Young Nephilim [6]

Playing on a great looking board (looks epic now and still a WIP so can’t wait to play on it when finished). My initial thoughts about the scheme pool, strat and Pete playing his outcasts was that it was going to be a very killy game which if I am honest I thought would be ok for me. So with that in mind and definitely deciding to take assassinate I knew I needed some highly offensive models (take a bow Nekima). I also took the new Neverborn upgrade that allows her to ignore armour making her weak damage always 4 (brutal) but that did cost me a whopping 14 points. With Assassination in the pool I tend to always take Nekima due to her built in birthright trigger on her attack meaning that she can kill Lilith during the game and turn into the leader herself for encounter purposes denying the opposition the Assassination points. I also thought that mobility was going to be important to try and shut down all his shooting otherwise a lot of my models would be dying very quickly hence why I opted for a terror tot and 2 young Nephilim with flight. I also made a mistake with crew selection taking a black blood shaman forgetting that Freikorp tend to ignore any auras so not effected by black blood. I blame this on Aidan Kirk who always raves about the black blood shaman so thought I would try one out as not really used one before.
After revealing crews we both decided on schemes and both of us kept them hidden making it a very cagey game. I opted for Assassinate and Make Them Suffer and it turns out Pete had done the same.
So onto the game, Pete won deployment so I had to set up first which wasn’t ideal as I couldn’t then position Nekima to get a clear run at Pete’s minions for MTS. I opted to deploy most things central and was also aware of Lazarus’s blast grenade launcher so didn’t bunch up too much. Pete deployed fairly central with a trapper and Lazarus out on one flank with good lines of site to the centre turf war area.

I didn’t take detailed notes due to time constraints so will bullet point the main points each turn.
Turn 1
·         I won initiative (think I did every turn in fact so didn’t need the doppleganger much in the end for this) and decided to go first as I had an extra model so activation control and also was a little worried at the tapper looking straight at Nekima so moved her out of harms way.
·         The rest of the round we just moved models up with the only two moments worth mentioning were Petes trapper focusing twice (once as a 0 action from Von Schill and 1 normal) and doing 5 damage to a young Nephilim.
·         Lilith tried to tangle shadows on Lazarus but failed due to Pete flipping a 13 and Laz having WP 7 due to being in Von Schills awesome bubble!
Bishop trying to sneak up on Lilith

Turn 2
·         I won initiative again so Lilith tangled shadows to bring Laz right into the heart of the Nephilim brood to prevent his blasty shooting and sending the damaged young the other way (basically sacrificing him). In hindsight was a bad idea as allowed an easy kill for von schill and a point for MTS. Lilith finished by rooting both Von Schill and Bishop.

·         Schill finished off the young for a point for MTS which Pete then revealed.
·         Dopple mimics Nekima and takes a lot of wounds off Laz.
·         Laz only manages to hits Lilith once.
·         Nekima finishes Laz off with 1 hit and closes in on the rooted Bishop.
·         The Librarian does a bit of healing up on nearby friendly models.
·         Both score for Turf War and Pete for MTS.
·         Current score Schill 2 v 1 Lilith

Turn 3
·         Nekima charges and kills Bishop.
·         Von Schill kills off the 2nd Young Neph (taken down to 2 wounds in an earlier round) for another MTS point for Pete.
·         Lilith charges Von Schill and they trade blows with the Librarian then healing Von Schill back up and Von Schill ripping his shirt off for more healing goodness.
·         Trapper shoots into the Lilith Von Schill scuffle and due to poor placing of Lilith on my part the trapper didn’t have to randomise as not within 2” of Schill. Fortunately for me the trapper black jokered doing no damage.
·         Both score Turf War again and Pete MTS. Current Score: Schill 4 v 2 Lilith.
Turn 4
·         I win initiative again and kill Von Schill (announcing assassinate for 3 points) but Lilith down to 3 wounds taking the score to Schill 4 v 5 Lilith!
·         Nekima disengages from Vanessa to lock up Pete’s un-activated models who could finish off Lilith but fails to kill either so still no score for me for MTS.
·         Vanessa charges Nekima killing her and freeing up the Freikorpsmann and Librarian.
·         Then concentrated pressure from the Librarian and Freikorpsmann on Lilith.  Lilith dies in the last activation of turn 4 giving Pete 3 for Assassinate (very close call!) with 1 focused shot doing severe damage!
·         Both score for Turf War and both Assassinate!
·         We wrapped it up there due to running out of time!
·         Final score: Von Schill 8 v 6. Win for the core but not many models left on either side. Vanessa will be washing the blood off her clothes for a very long time!
Most valuable player for me was Nekima and the dud of the day was the Black Blood Shaman who did absolutely nothing.
Lessons learnt for me: When assassinate is in the pool I need to be more cautious with Lilith. Make sure Nekima is close enough and remember to use birthright trigger on Lilith when she is nearly dead. Make them suffer is hard to do against Von Schill minions due to armour and hard to kill in Schills bubble. Should have taken cursed object instead! Also don’t take black blood shaman when the whole opposition crew ignore damage from pulses! STICK TO THE PLAN. Nekima was there to kill minions not kill juicy targets like Laz and Bishop who got me no points. Also don’t use tangle shadows with Lilith turn 1 or 2 just because I can. It uses all my high cards and a lot of resource so make sure I only do it when necessary and to score me points.
Petes thoughts: After the game I asked Pete for his thoughts going into the game and any post match. He went for an elite crew and his plan was lots of healing potential to minimise deaths, shoot lots and keep as many as possible in Schills bubble for the boosts to WP. He is always a bit nervous about facing Neverborn as always feels like he struggles so was a bit apprehensive. He tried to focus on killing my squishy models like the young and thought about trying to take out Nekima early if the opportunity arose. Bishop was to go straight for Lilith if possible. With crew set up and plans he opted for both killy schemes which proved a good option. With hindsight as Bishop did nothing he would perhaps go with Taelor next time and perhaps swap out Lazarus for Sue or a Strongarm.

Not sure if this blogging malarkey will continue but thanks for reading and if it does then see you next time!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Open Combat

Recently I have become very excited about a new rules set that has just come out called 'Open Combat'. It's a skirmish game which can be used for either pre-gunpowder historical or fantasy settings the idea being you can use any figures you want for those periods and make the stat lines to fit your image for them.

 I managed to get a game in last night against one of my locals, Dave Golden. I used a halfling warband, the miniatures are from Arcworlde which currently don't have a rules set so it seemed a perfect opportunity to get some table time. Dave rekindled his love for chaos warriors, even putting some paint on one of his models before the game!

 The game play itself was as I expected. The mechanics are pretty simple and without objectives, which both me and Dave have had drilled into us from Malifaux, it seemed strange to just bimble into each other and start swinging. The turn mechanic is excellent, however, and adds loads of tension and thought to the gameplay. If one of your guys does very badly, your turn can abruptly end and be passsed to your opponent! The game really was short, it lasted about 20 mins maybe 40 mins art most (I wasn't really keeping track of time) and laughs were had all round. The highlights were probably when Dave's leader three turns in a row was distracted by his image in his mirror shield and did nothing (cavalry rules can have your mount disobey you but it was more fitting to think of him taking selfies) and Pod making the first attack in one of my turns and surrendering the initiative straight away! You had one job!

Balancing didn't seem too bad. Dave had an elite crew of 4 models to my 7 and it was a very close game. Having less models means your less likely to lose the initiative and make the most out of what you have, but it's easy to get swarmed and rapidly lose FOR (essentially wounds)

 So what are my thoughts? It's not a game you can play competitively, the designers made it very clear that was not their intent. I'm not sure it has the depth of play to really give any back if you tried to do that and making your own stats would become a chore (maxing this or that stat could get to some weird rock, paper, scissor situations, I think). It has, however, give me loads of inspiration for different warbands, scenarios and progressive campaigns. It's crying out for a progression system, for example, because you can change the stats of your models so freely to represent how well they have done.

I'm really quite looking forward to getting some more games in. I'm thinking that it can work quite well as a little additional game to be played at clubs. It's great to get those random minis you love onto the table, I highly recommend it. You can find the rules here

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Should schemes be announced before tournaments?

There is a lot of talk at the moment on twitter and the Wyrd forums about the structure of UK tournaments. Lots of this is about the way that rankings works, and I'll save that discussion for another day, but today I want to talk about how I'd like to try and make more time for games during the day.

 The problem is, if you can really call it a problem, the Malifaux scene has exploded with new people and events are now becoming loads bigger. This is obviously awesome, but it means that you can enter a tournament, win all your games and possibly not even podium! In order to prevent that from happening, events have tried to put on 4 games in a day. There have been a number of ways of doing this, from decreasing the size of all the games to having the games build up over the day from henchman lead (and the value of these is yet another discussion). I propose that instead we announce the schemes and strategy for each game before the day, in the rulespack.

 This isn't a completely new innovation, I am not claiming to invent the wheel. Soon Malifolk, for example, will be announcing it's scheme pools once everyone has declared their fixed master. I am simply arguing that we should see it more.

 So why do it? Well it means that you gain 10 mins for each round, probably at least, with people not faffing with their lists. It means people already have an idea of what schemes they want to do so they take less time picking that. You might not think those minutes will make much difference, but that can be difference between turn 5 and turn 4 end games and that is key to some games.

 There are, as with everything, pros and cons. When I first proposed this on twitter I was met with debate, understandably. Some people said that announcing schemes beforehand would lead to lists becoming too tailored for each scenario and that part of the challenge was making lists in 5 mins. I have a couple of issues with these points, however. First of all it has been argued by many that there is not an optimal list for each specific scenario, it's the reason open faction wouldn't be that bad. Secondly, if the only thing stopping people from having these awesomely tailored lists is time, then the people with the most experience will have a vastly easier time than new people because they will have made the same sort of lists before (though the number of options you can get in Malifaux for scenario make it rare that you will play exactly the same game, though not impossible). Lastly, enforcing the list building in 5 mins is next to impossible. I never want to rush people and their list building, it's not fair on them, but obviously the more time they take the less time there is for a game.

 There have been other solutions suggested, such as having a deadline for the list building and punishments put out if you don't make a list in time, but I feel this suffers from exactly the same problems as previously listed. What sort of punishments would you make? How many TOs would want to inflict such harsh times and cold rulings? Wouldn't it just punish beginners even more?

 Of course, there are issues with announcing schemes before hand. The two main ones I can see are that people will end up getting the best local player to make lists for them, or that people will practice those specific scenarios with those specific schemes. The latter doesn't feel like that much of an issue, to be honest, but people might feel compelled to do that to give them the best possible chance... but then it makes their game boring and will make the event less entertaining for them. I guess you could mitigate this somewhat by announcing the schemes relatively close to the event, say a week, but ultimately I think it will be up to the players seeing this happening beforehand.
 The second issue is that main one, in my view. It becomes a bit like net-listing and might make the game not enjoyable anymore. There are, of course, issues with this. People will be restricted by their pool and also what they know how to use, but it could still be an issue.

 At the end of that day I don't think that we'll ever have all tournaments with pre-announced schemes or with same rulespack. Neither do I think we should ever get to the point where every event is the same. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. I think the gain is pretty good, it's the best of the possible solutions and the problems with it can be overcome.

 As always, I'm up for debate, so leave a comment or message me on the various social media platforms. I look forward to getting a response. Until then.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Gremlins is Awesome: More Learnings

Yet another report on what I learned from the tournament? Surely not? This might come back as a thing. I'll try anyway.

 So what did I learn at Halifaux? Pigs aren't as rubbish as I thought, the pigapult can be killed and new toys are great.

 Pigs aren't rubbish? Well when you take a silly crew that has to charge all of the time, manage to win games AND get called filthy and broken by your opponent you know something is working. Even in the second game I lost I only lost by one point and in that game I didn't even take Gracie who doesn't have to charge! Admittedly the having to charge thing was a real pain in the pork but if I was to put Ulix back on the table, a hog whisperer and penelope, I can still get all of the awesome silly times of pigs but with some semblance of control! Looks like the bearded master may getting the dust blown off sooner than I thought!

 It's not actually particularly surprising that the pigapult can die, it seems quite an odd thing to put as something I learned, but really what I mean is that my established lists are getting challenged and that's really cool. I still managed a win but Ben is the first opponent that I feel has really shut down the crew effectively since it's early inception. This seems an odd thing to be happy about, but a crew that I can put on the table and just win is rubbish and no fun and I am glad it's getting a seeing to.

 Which is basically what makes me happy about the last point, which is new toys are great. In my last game I put Mancha to the field and it was really exciting to have something so fresh on the table. It's really easy to get stuck in a rut with your model selection and I'm glad that these new models are breathing fresh life. I spent my journey home dreaming of new lists with Zoraida and Ulix.

 O.K. This does seem pretty similar to the last review, to be honest. New toys are great pretty much sums it up, but they say you can't have too much of a good thing?

I'll shut up now, chat soon

Tournament Report: Halifaux

 For those that are keeping up to date with my posts, I was feeling quite a build up to the even in Halifax on Sunday 5th October. It's a bit silly really, I've been to loads of events through the year, but it was because of it's peculiar(ish) rulespack. It was 4 rounds to the day and in order to try and make sure there was enough time the first two games (played at 30 and 35 soulstones) were henchman led. I'll write another article more on the pros and cons of this, but for me it meant I could play silly buggers and take an all pig crew. It was also, however, a good opportunity to try and reclaim 'the big hat', that is best Gremlin in the UK. So would I play silly buggers or go for gold?

 My first game was against Jimmy Balderstone. I have played against Jimmy a few times now and his complaints about 'filthy gremlins' are getting steadily louder. However, Jimmy is a strong opponent, he made it to the Masters last year, so would I really just throw down the pork for the first round?

The scheme pool was:

Stake a Claim-standard deployment
Power Ritual

 In the end I decided to just go for it and my list was:

Old Major
+ Corn Husks
+ Liquid Bravery



Jimmy went for, approximately:

Widow weaver
Stitched together
2*terror tot

Of course, I thought, the obligatory 2*siliurids, I have lost the game. Jimmy announced Outflank and Power Ritual and I announced Breakthrough and took bodyguard on Gracie.

Gracie in this game basically claimed every vp I got. Jimmy had split his leapers and sprinters to either flank and the stitched and widow weaver in the centre to try and deal with issues. My first turn saw the piglets just advance and old major throwing Gracie forward so that she could give herself reactivate and devour a siliurid. Next turn his other siliurid lept and staked a claim and my piglets then tried to either kill him or give him slow, fortunately I got the latter. Gracie staked her own claim but was engaged by a terror tot to stop another. The widow weaver began chipping away at Gracie. Old major sets Gracie up for next turn to Stake. First turn was a draw on claims.
 Second turn the piglets continued to cause shenanigans on my left flank, his stitched got a claim down early but he could not get another down because the Siliurid had slow. Gracie got attacked by multiple things, but still managed to get her 2 claims down meaning I had 3 to his 2. One claim point for me.
 In what turned out to be the final turn of the game, Gracie rushed off and laid two breakthrough markers. Old Major pushed a piglet so it would engage his terror tot and thus deny outflank and his other terror tot ran failed to kill the piglet so could not get his other power ritual in place.
 Final score 6-1 to me (2 claim, 3 breakthrough and 1 Bodyguard (Gracie was on one wound!) to Jimmy's 1 for power ritual)

So surprisingly effective for the all pig crew! This meant that my second game was on table 2 against another seemingly regular opponent of mine Neil Golden. Niels a really nice guy, and we have had some nice friendly games and particularly after the success in the first round I was not going to deny the all pig list again!

The scheme pool was:

Turf War-close deployment
Spring the Trap
Break through

My list was:

Old Major
+corn husks
+liquid bravery

2*War pigs

subtle as a brick, Neil took:

+anti suit upgrade

Mech Rider
+regen upgrade (it might have been on Johan?)

large steam punk arachnid

We both announced breakthrough and took spring the trap as our second. First turn Neil was, understandably very cautious and went defensive with many things. Obviously I didn't have that luxury and just launched my War pigs forward and caused mass damage to the LSA and Johan. Second turn saw Johan flurry the warpig that charged him for 10? wounds but then get killed in the following activation so it could heal all of its lost wounds. A Piglet then went nuts, thanks to positive attack and damage from Old Major and killed the Large Arachnid and Small arachnid in one AP! He then charged Joss because he had to and did nothing of note. With only Joss in the turf and pigs in the way, I was free to start laying down markers and got 2 down for spring the trap. A Last minute dive from the Mech Rider brought her back into the turf with a new baby spider, which a piglet failed to kill on its charge due to two 13 flips for defence. 2 points for spring the trap for me and 1 each for turf.
 In the final turn of the game the Mech rider charged old major and layed some markers next to him for spring the trap and his last original spider secured breakthrough. I spent ages trying to work out how to get a second breakthrough marker down and ran out of time to lay my first, but Old mjaor did eat the scheme markers next to him through ap or corn husks (because a piglet push the mech rider back into his half of the board (I hadn't realised you couldn't take entourage on the Mech rider and wanted to make sure!)
 Final score 5-4 to Neil (I got 2 for spring and 2 for turf and Neil got 3 for breakthrough and 2 for  turf)
 Honestly I was gutted by that, some more turns and I think I had it, but it was a great game and Neil was an excellent opponent as ever.

 After an amusing drive to KFC and some rather lack-luster greasy cat-chicken, we moved onto round 3. This was 40ss and master led. For this game I was matched up against Ben Halford. I haven't played Ben since my first game of my first major tournament for Malifaux and it was pleasure to see him across the table again. His models are fantastic and he was a really friendly guy, a perfect introduction to the scene and great gamer and talented painted (claiming best painted, deservedly).

Recon- Flank (though Ben got confused and deployed as if it was corner!)
Murder protege
Deliver a Message
Protect territory

Deliver a message in recon again, says I, well that's the piggapult in my crew! I took:

+Liquid Bravery
+Family Tree
+Dirty Cheater
+gun for a lady
4*Bayou Gremlins
Slop Hauler

Ben took approximately:

+summons horrors
Philip and the Nanny
+her specific upgrade
dead doxey

We both announced protect territory and I announced deliver a message whilst Ben took murder protege on the Piggapult, but not revealed.

First turn I make lots of Gremlins, and passed with most of them. Trixxie begins setting up her pile of markers for protect territory. Molly races forward. Philip, as he does for the rest of the game, cycles many cards. End of the turn I put 3 gremlins in base contact with Molly. Next turn I cheated for initiative to claim my deliver a message. Molly summons 2 punk zombies, black jokering her first attempt, which proceed to cut up my gremlins in contact with her (apart from one, who squeals away). Som'er makes more Gremlins. Trixxie lines up more markers, Philip gets more cards and the Piggapult ensures I score for recon whilst Ben doesn't.
 Next turn Molly starts her run on the piggapult and summons a student of steel and punk zombie in combat with it. She reactivates the student of steel and companions the punk zombie to attack the slop hauler, who squeals away. The only way out, I saw, however, was to go with the big guns, Som'er goes and shoots into combat, killing the student of steel and putting the punk zombie on its hard to kill. The slop hauler goes and heals everyone back up, including the pigapult for 3 wounds. The punk zombies in the contested quarter chase after the gremlins who repeatedly fail to double tap the bad guys to get them off their 2 wounds (in all fairness, what do you expect?!). I fail to kill the punk zombie engaged with the pigapult, however, but the air delivery service does deny Ben some points again.
 Final turn of the game the punk zombie kills the piggapul, claiming 2 for murder protege, using flurry for his last 3 wounds. There is some faffing as I attempt to keep Gremlins alive in both contest quarters, using Trixxie's Gremlin lure and finally grabbing me one of the sword wielding undead chaps. In the final activation, Molly then summons 3 models to deny my point.
 Final score is 8-3 to me (2 recon, 3 protect, 3 deliver against Ben's 1 Recon and 2 Murder Protege) despite the look of the score it was a really close game and loads of fun, probably the best in the day. The problem was running out of time, Ben was beginning to turn the tide and needed the later turns to secure his points. A real shame the score doesn't reflect the game.

 So in my final game I am matched up against Chris Hay, a good friend of mine who I have played on vassal a good few times but never in 'realfaux'. Of course, the last round at a tournament is not the most congenial to friendly banter and relaxed gaming! The scheme pool comes out at:

Squatters- Corner (50ss btw)
Make them suffer (greeted by a Ooo from the crowd :p)
Protect Territory
plant explosives

This threw me a curve ball as it meant I had to severely change my 'normal' squatters crew. It meant dropping the bayou gremlins and the slop hauler and hulking out with Mancha Rocha. I wasn't sure about this, it was only going to be the second time he hit the table and Chris is a strong player (despite what he may think). I took

+Liquid Bravery
+Dirty Cheater
+gun for a lady
Mancha Rocha
+dirty cheater
Merris Lacroix

Chris took:

+make forests
+flying and better card stoning thing
Bad Ju Ju
+infiltrating waldgeists
terror tot
mature nephilim.

Chris announced line in the sand and protect territory and I took make them suffer (in retrospect protect would have been the better option) and plant explosives.
 First turn I began using trixxie and Gracie to move my death train forward. Chris went defensive with his Waldgeists and advanced his other group. Once the waldgeists had gone I was free to put the Skeeter ontop of one of them to try and deny them an easy squat. Lilith tangled the Mature Nephilim up and herself to the doppleganger. Som'er went and started blasting away at Bad Ju Ju... only to red joker him for 12 wounds! The blasts causing 4 to Lilith and 5 (because of black blood) to the Doppleganger. Deciding the doppleganger was still the one that needed to die (again, probably not the best choice when Chris had no cards left, should have gone for Lilith) Mancha charged the doppleganger and killed it in one swing, using his melee expert for 7 damage on Lilith.
 The next turn saw me draw an abysmal hand, but still got the initiative and Som'er dropped  the tot for make them suffer, he then moved and tried to top the cherub (which was very stupid as he should have just claimed) Lilith attempted to keep herself alive and teleported away and companioned the cherub with her. Gracie delivered Mancha and then claimed a marker (thus wasting her ap when she could have gone for Lilith) but Mancha could not hit Lilith. The skeeter went double defensive but still got killed in one hit.
 Next turn Mancha finally got Lilith, she had no stones and I had the cards I needed. Negative defensive flips is harsh! Trixxie delivered a scheme marker and Burt another on the other side of the board for 3 points. Unable to shoot the cherub because it would lose me a point for plant explosives, Som'er inneffectively shot the Waldgeist which had dropped markers for line in the sand.
 In what was the final turn of the game, Som'er failed to kill the Cherub, so Mancha finished it. Trixxie ran off with a marker (again foolish, I should have Gremlin lured the Mature off his). The other Waldgeist failed to escape Burt.
 Final score 8-6 to me (3 for squat, 3 for plant explosives and 2 for make them suffer. Chris got 3 for Squat and 3 for protect territory)

 So at the end of the day the prizes and raffle was announced. I missed wooden spoon, I was busy packing up the terrain I brought with me, but Maria got 3rd, Joel (nobody really believes that using Gremlins is going to make you lose :p) 2nd and Greg 'The Chosen One' claimed first on 4 wins. With 3 wins and one loss I got 5th (losing out by one or two difference to 4th). The raffle prizes were absolutely amazing, I won something and couldn't make up my mind! I ended up taking the TtB female sprue. I wanted to make performers out of them for the Brewmaster and Ronin for Miskai, so I know it was something I was going to use immediately. I almost feel bad for not taking the Gremlin deck, but I love my arcane deck and I was worried it wouldn't be plasticoated.
 All in all an absolutely amazing day, sorry for not taking any pictures, it was pretty hectic day and as you can see, I didn't finish any of my games.

 Before I go I just want to do a big shout out to Mike who ran the day. Despite none of his pledged helpers turning up and also tragic computer failure resulting in everything running by hand, he still put on an absolutely fantastic event. I know it mustn't have been easy, but the results were spectacular so serious kudos to him.

I have plenty more plans and learnings from today, so expect a tirade of more posts soon! Until then.