Saturday, 1 November 2014

Bale of Hay: Gallery of Nightmares

Chris is here again, this time to tell us about a cool story encounter. Hope you all enjoy:

Hi Everyone (hope you are not getting bored of me yet),

This week me and a good friend of mine Matt decided to move away from the uber competitive style of match-up that so often now takes up our Malifaux time and try one of the story encounters from crossroads. I think it is good to do this once in a while to inject some fun back into the game and to have a less brain intensive game for a change. I so often find myself focusing on tournament style games that it can start to suck the life out of games (and make them a bit samey) after a while.

So as I am always drawn to the Neverborn fluff first, because I wanted to play my themed Hamelin crew and because I have access to all the dreamer models too (as you may have seen in my earlier LegoFaux post) this story encounter seemed like a good place to start.

The story is about coming across dreamer in the middle of the forest and him going a bit mental creating a gallery of all the gruesome things he is imagining doing to you!

So in a nutshell you take it in turns to place a "painting" marker anywhere on the board at least 6 inches away from a table edge or another marker. During the game you can then do a 1 interact to turn the "painting" into a random nightmare from dreamers crew to join your crew (BJ Teddy controlled by opponent, 1-4 Alp, 5-8 Madness, 9-10 Stitched, 11 Lelu, 12, Lilitu, 13 Coppelius and RJ Teddy). You scored 1 VP for this strategy either by turning a "painting" into a nightmare or for killing an opponents summoned nightmare, up to a maximum of 4 VP.

Schemes were selected by Matt to try and fit into the strategy. So we had:

Power Ritual
Murder Protege

Factions specific scheme
Rezzer - Score 2 VP at the end of the game if there are 2 corpse markers or 2 undead in each table quarter, 3 VP if revealed.
Outcast - Strange one as no VP available but gives you 4 more soulstones which presumably is supposed to help you achieve your other VP points or deny the opposition.

My list

Outcasts Crew - 50 - Scrap

Hamelin -- 7 Pool
+Sewer King [1]
+Survivalist [1]
+The Plague [2]
The Stolen [2]
Crooligan [4]
Crooligan [4]
Crooligan [4]
Nix [8]
Obedient Wretch [4]
Rat Catcher [6]
Rat King [8]
I took distract and power ritual announced.

Matts list
Resurrectionists Crew - 50 - Scrap
Nicodem -- 5 Pool
+Love Thy Master [1]
+Undertaker [1]
Bete Noire [8]
Canine Remains [4]
Canine Remains [4]
Mortimer [9]
+My Favorite Shovel [2]
Punk Zombie [7]
Punk Zombie [7]
Rotten Belle [5]

Matt took the rezzer specific scheme announced and distract too.

We played on a suitably foresty board to reflect the scenario. See pics.

The game actually was really close and ended up with a 10-9 victory for Hamelin and me. It was looking like a 10-10 draw for a good while until the last few activations of the final turn. By turn 5 I was out-activating Matt by about 3 models due to him not trying to kill that many things due to having distract. This is rare for me with Hamelin as only every seem to have Hamelin himself left at turn 5!

This meant that at the back end of turn 5 I had the advantage as Matt was fully activated and I still had a rat king, Hamelin and an obedient wretch (wench) left to activate. The rat king and obedient wench had distract on them but my only 2 models that did as Matt had helpfully killed the other 2 models with it on earlier in the turn. Therefore I used the rat kings first AP to kill the paralysed obedient wretch and then his second AP to sacrifice himself and turn into a rat catcher and rat thus removing distract from both. This meant Matt failed to score distract that final turn which proved the decider.

Overall it was a fun game and provided a bit of light relief. The strategy actually didn’t seem to do that much in the course of the game and was scored pretty easily (I think Matt had all 4 points turn 2). So we were a bit underwhelmed with the story as not sure it added too much. Matt did manage to summon a stitched, an alp, coppelius and a madness and I summoned a madness and a stitched so that added something unusual to the crews but that was about it.

I think Matt did really well to even score 2 VP for distract as Hamelins crew is a nightmare to score distract on. With Hamelin and Nix being Nihilists meaning they can choose to not take conditions (distract being one), the vast majority of the rest of the crew being rats (which are peons which you can’t distract), rat catchers being able to interact when engaged (so don’t need to disengage to remove distract), rat kings and obedient wretch being able to sacrifice themselves (therefore removing distract) and finally usually being able to out-activate crews (leaving your distracted models to activate at the end after the opponents crew are all out) means that it is nigh on impossible to get it off. In my list the crooligans were about the only models that you could reliably distract. So I commend Matt for that.

I think the one thing it did do though was allowed us to both throw off our competitive list building tendencies and both go for themed crews and just play for fun.

So although this particular strategy story encounter was a bit underwhelming (it may have been different if some Teddies had popped out!) I would still encourage people to give them a go if you are feeling a bit jaded from playing the normal strats and schemes and want to just try something a little different.

We will be trying a few more story encounters I am sure so will report back when we do!
Chris @cdhay

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