Monday, 6 October 2014

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.

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