Wow, what a weekend! I am absolutely exhausted after attending what was the biggest Malifaux event in the world ever! By some freak of chance this also is my 100th blog post! Thanks to everyone who has the patience to read through my ramblings and who have helped Mr. Hay get his blogging thang on. I am going to split the report into multiple posts, however, because it's so long. Sorry about that.
I'm sorry this has taken so long for me to write up but there was loads going on at the event, so it took a while, and I had stuff to sort out at home. I am also sorry there are no pictures to go with this, I went with the best intentions to get some but either forgot or felt like I didn't have the time. However here is a picture of me revealing more flesh than anyone ever wanted to see 'wielding' the UK no.1 player Joel Henry.
Going to the event I really had one major goal. I wanted to reclaim best in faction on the rankings! It's been my goal for a while now, as people who have been keeping up with this will no doubt attest, but it's a seriously difficult one to achieve. Mr. Rob Smith, along with being a really nice guy and an absolute mess on both mornings, no offence intended at all, is a cracking player. He wasn't taking Gremlins to the event so it was worked out that I needed to place 7th to snatch the big hat.
Of course there was a large amount of the best players in the country to stop that from happening!
First on the list was the mighty Paul Campbell. If you have never had the chance to meet him he really is a cracking gent and a stellar player. Me and Paul have played against each other a few times now. The first leading to me being tabled in reckoning and the second leading to a strong win in Recon to me. This game was to be a mixture of the two with turf war.
I took the following crew:
Paul took something along the lines of:
+command the graves
Yin the Pangalangalangalangalangalan
ten thunder archer
The draws had been announced before and I suspected that Paul would be using Yan Lo so after a bit of research (it was the master he had tabled me with and I didn't want it to happen again!) I knew I had to jump on Yan Lo as early as possible. Thus I took assassinate and revealed protect territory. Paul took power ritual and protect territory revealed.
Terrain proves a massive inhibitor to Ulix because he needs open spaces to push his large based pigs around thus when I won the deployment I grabbed the side with slightly less narrow passages and deployed first.
The first turn had all my pigs get pushed quite some way forward whilst the soul porter made Yin and Izamu push forward. All the pigs get reactivate and old major pushing the boat out by walking and pushing Gracie forward, easily now in Izamu's threat range. Izamu gets to grips with Old Major and red jokering damage against him! His archer also gives Gracie slow, removing the threat of her now stocked up on rams. Yan Lo also takes a swipe at Old Major (it may have been him who red jokers, or it was a while ago now!) and harvests some Chi giving himself impossible to wound. The unmolested sow now makes a charge on Yan Lo, however, and takes him down to one wound after using her reactivate! At some point the hog whisperer is killed, I had to place him far forward to make way for the pigs in the small gaps.
Turn two sees me finish Yan Lo with the Sow to score full for assassinate, but with her last action I think I make my first major mistake as she moves to engage the rest of Paul's crew. I had intended to engage the archer, forgetting that Toshiro can push with the right trigger, and what I should have done is put a scheme marker down or move back to get a charge, and all the bonuses, next turn. Old Major and the Sow take a beating, Old Major surviving through soulstones and healing from Ulix but the Sow dropped due to poison at the end of the turn. The Pangalan puts the negative WP doo dad on Gracie, flipping a thirteen so there is nothing I can do about it.
In the next turn I set everything up for a charge with Gracie on Yin, forgetting that she is terrifying so I have to avoid doing that to begin with. This gives Yin the chance to drag down Old Major so that Gracie does not get the positives from charging and has no way past mass of viscera. The game is basically lost when the archer flips a severe on negative flips and kills Ulix! He might have got him anyway, but I was saving cards for when he had flipped less. This meant all the piglets had to charge and thus couldn't act defensively or run schemes. I was forced to try and disengage with Gracie from Wicked Yin... to no avail. The piglet I sent to interupt Chiaki's run on power ritual was killed by the neice herself so she could freely put her markers down. This meant that the final score was 10-7 to Paul.
This was an absolutely fantastic game and I really enjoyed it despite the result. I always have a good time when I play Paul, we can play in a competitive manner and still feel relaxed and enjoy ourselves, it really is great. At least that's what I think anyway.
My next opponent was Bennet wielding ressers. I was a little concerned by this game because all my practice for stake a claim recently had been using Zoraida who I had recently decided was not a master that I enjoyed using. Instead I fielded the following:
Whilst Bennet had (roughly):
+loads of upgrades
2* flesh constructs
I took Vendetta with Francois against Sebastian and Breakthrough. Bennet took Make them suffer and Breakthrough. We both announced the latter.
So the game was a little crazy but mainly involved me mass summoning Bayou Gremlins and then Launching them into his half of the board with the Piggapult. I was able to wait until the majority of his models had activated when I did this so he could not react immediately. Old Major Delivered Francois into range of Sebastian and I did something a little unusual for me. I used Francois' gun. It was effective. In the first activation of turn 2 I killed Sebastian and placed a claim marker! McMorning tried to retaliate but flipped absolutely abysmally with his thrown scalpel. From then on he simply was not able to keep up with the number of claim markers I was throwing down in his half of the board. In order to try and fix the root of the problem his crew ran towards my corner fairly rapidly, but I was actually able to use the slop haulers to kill the necropunks and Francois, due to cheating in the red joker for damage, killing the rider. I may have had some bad luck myself, Som'er black jokered every turn from the third, but Bennet's luck was truly woeful. Still he did manage to get his breakthrough markers down and get McMorning to dissect a lowly Bayou Gremlin leading to a 10-4 victory to me.
Well this is loads shorter than the previous report. This is because Bennet's luck was appalling so there wasn't really much back and forth. I am also quite conciouss that this is getting a little long now! I think I just need to say, however, that this is not a short report because it was a bad game. Bennet is a really nice guy, his laugh is infectious and he kept a smile on his face through the grit his deck was ramming down his throat. If there was a best sports for the weekend then Bennet would have got my vote.
Next up Lunch! Jacket potatoes all round, which I was pretty chuffed with. Good carb stodge with the option for easily mass cooked extras (beans and chilli) makes a lot of sense and was pretty tasty. Jen also returned from her trip round York, which was cut short by the rain which is a shame. She had managed to get splashed by traffic so was not in the best mood, but everyone was really friendly and had a great time whilst there despite her sogginess. She was very happy with the generosity of the TOs aswell so I would just like to thank them for giving her some swag despite her not having a ticket. Stars.
Third game I lined up vs someone I know from twitter and skype but have never met in person, Peter Siddaway. I took the same crew as last time but changed Old Major for Gracie and dropping liquid bravery. Peter took roughly
+loads of triggers
Pete took Murder Protege on the Gracie and Breakthrough a secret. I took Breakthrough announced and Plant Explosives a secret. First turn the sniper killed the Slop Hauler. This meant I drew the mask I hadn't got in the card draw (even after stoning) that I needed to summon... but I still black jokered one of the flips! Pete's emberling dropped scrap, which Toshiro turned into a giant robot cat. At this point he has run out of cards so Mei fails to rail walk three times. Leaves on the track I'm afraid. I have sent Gracie with Fran to go deal with the sniper, but Fran red jokers damage and causes 6 to himself, after stoning, and only 5 to the hard to kill sniper! To rub salt in the wound, the sniper then shanks Fran and kills him! A plucky Bayou Gremlin who had been fired in the previous turn by the piggapult kills him however. I begin mass placement of scheme markers for Breakthrough. Mei launches herself across the board and near kills gracie. A rail worker is taken down to his hard to kill by random bayou gremlin shots and a scheme marker placed nearby to capture both Mei and the worker for plant explosives... only for the Tengu to remove it! That was a nasty surprise! The rest of his crew fans out so that he has three models in each section, more than I can stop him with anyway. The next turn sees Mei kill Gracie for Murder Prot. The wounded worker dies. The other worker engages my Bayou Gremlin to try and stop breakthrough... but getting to close to one of his previous markers. I dash out with a couple of Bayou's to place enough markers needed for plant explosives. I deny him a point this turn for recon. Although the Tengu devour more markers than I have ever seen, with some help, I still have enough bayou gremlins to ensure I get 3 for breakthrough. The game is lost for me, however, when Mei Feng charges a random Bayou Gremlin and gets blasts from her attacks, flipping moderates and 2 successive negative damage flips, killing four models in one go and loosing recon for me! It makes the final score a 9 all draw.
In all honesty I was a little disheartened by that game. Losing the win a the last minute threw me. Having said this Peter was a gent and it was a good game.
My last game of the day was reckoning. I'll be honest and say that I can't remember the guy's name who I played. I was pretty exhausted at this point. I did write down my crew, however:
Gun for a lady
and he took, though I didn't write this down so this is roughly
+expert chompy and dreamer
+more stuff I think
He announced line in the sand and took frame for murder on the stitched. I took Frame for Murder on Francois and Assassinate because the Dreamer only had 3 stones
In the first turn I went hell for leather and killed a stitched (though he forgot to get out kiljoy, who I had forgotten was in his crew!) with Francois and charged the Dreamer with Mancha, who passed wounds onto teddy. in the next turn Fran killed teddy, releasing kiljoy and then companioned Mancha to attack the Dreamer. Kiljoy attacked Fran, who understandably squealed away and then through a chain at him. My other models failed to do much damage to the madness' who had begun dropping line in the sand markers. Though Gracie did kill one to grab my reckoning. In the next turn Kiljoy killed Fran for Frame. Mancha smashed some bells out of the dreamer, who failed to summon chompy because of his lack of cards and poor flips. The rest of my crew then wails on the dreamer to kill him and get all the points for assassinate, having killed the couple of summons he made with redirected attacks to get reckoning. At this point there is very little left other than killjoy... who tanks likes a boss. With a combination of black blood and some pretty brutal damage he manages to drag most of my crew to a few wounds left and heal himself back up. His last insidious madness doesn't want to carry on putting markers down because he is pretty sure he'll just get shot so just hides. On the 5th turn I finally kill kiljoy and take out his last model meaning I win the game 8-4
Now a large number of us migrate to the brewery. It was a decent enough place, we all tucked ourselves into wherever we could and had loads of banter and fun. There was an issue with the buffet not really providing enough food for the people who went, unfortunately, but the quiz was loads of fun. Big thanks to David Brown for running it. At the point where we are kicked out of the brewery Jen is feeling pretty Ill and Nate tired so we decide not to join the migration to find another drinking ground and just go try and find the hotel, which was a bit of adventure because the road it was on was closed and Nate's satnav wanted us to drive on turnings that didn't exist.
So at the end of the first day I am on 2 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw. Not a bad showing, overall. I also had an absolutely fantastic time. The next day, however, was both to prove make or break for my gaming but also was when I was to face the world green and belly out. Sat tuned for the next blog post for more!