Monday, August 17, 2015

Cowboys v. Monks: Squatter's Rights 50SS

Friday night I was in my bed, having ushered the three kids to their room after watching part of The Dark Knight with my younger step-daughter (before you get on me, I warned her it was violent and to let me know if anything bothered her, earning me a "Come on, Adam, I'm almost nine now" look.) Jen was working until midnight and I'm getting old, so I went to bed by myself. An hour or so later, I was nudged awake by my darling wife and asked to come downstairs. I zombie shuffled obediently after her, and my old friend from the Omaha/Lincoln area Jon was there!

If you want to see comedy, surprise somebody after waking them up at 1AM and then watch them try to put together full sentences.

We hung out over the weekend, played some board games (Firefly is fun), and on Saturday Night drug out the old TerraClips terrain and my Mats by Mars to throw down for some Malifaux action, thus inspiring this battle report.

50SS Squatter's Rights
Guild (Perdita) vs. Ten Thunders (Shen Long)

The Good Guys square off with the gray armies of the Thunders


Perdita-Trick Shooting, 7SS
Francisco-Wade In
Nino
Abuela
Peacekeeper
Austringer
Enslaved Neph.
(Bodyguard-Francisco, Make Them Suffer)

Shenlong- some upgrades (I don't know Shenlong, and when Jon starts doing the Shen Shpiel on his activation, my eyes kind of glaze over. Sorry.) 2SS
Sensei Yu-Wandering River, Disciple
Amo No Zako
Hannah
Performer
Peasant
Maybe Some Other Stuff
(Line in the Sand, Make Them Suffer)

I wanted to get my big impressive arch/wall assembled and out onto the board, and in doing so may have basically added the main determining feature of the board. We tilted it diagonally and had the Squatter's Rights tokens running through the doorway. On a podcast I don't remember (please tell me which, if you know), I had heard a pretty solid gameplan to push the Ortegas (including the newly inducted Peacekeeper Ortega) to the squat tokens and push Nino up to the far right flank so he could see down the line and use spotter. The terrain plus the two fifty millimeter markers in the enemy crew was going to make it tough to lock him out of all the strategy points, but I knew how quick we were and planned to get through the door and lock down what I could with the Peacekeeper and Frank. Perdita was going to be back a bit, as Assassinate and Deliver the Message were in he pool. I had wanted to include Brutal Effigy, Hunters, and/or dogs but Make Them Suffer pretty much nixed front-line minions for this game. I was informed after the game that Jon hadn't really tailored his list to the scenario, but rather just wanted to get these models on the board and see what they could do.

Things pretty much went according to plan from the jump, with the Thunders shifting around and dropping some scheme markers and the Ortegas hauling ass up to go jump on the squat markers and hunker down. Tactically, I think we both had pretty good strategies, though my decision to jump out and try to delete scheme markers near Hannah with the Peacekeeper proved somewhat questionable since she deleted suits off of his cast and made it impossible. Jon's trick of the game involved Yu floating scheme markers into position, at which point Hannah would copy the Performer's Seduction spell and blow the markers up to pass out negative flips for Amo to exploit.

Unfortunately, the Jokers basically decided this one for me. We figured that on turn 4 we had seen six of them already, and I think I had caught four of those. The Peacekeeper should have been dead on turn two from the double negative defense flips, but kept hanging on from Red Jokers coming out or his hard to wound/armor combination. The whole combat bogged down on the archway, with the Ortegas scoring for the strategy and the Thunders being more or less locked down. Any damage I did to Amo or Hannah would be immediately healed away by Shenlong after I did it, so I had to drop them in one activation with companion if I was going to kill them and never quite pulled it off. PK was reduced to scrap turn 3 by Hannah, but Perdita and Franc still managed to lock down the archway through to turn four. One of the more important activations was when Jon sent his performer to go get a second squat marker on the left side of the board (Nino couldn't see her, as his view was blocked by 50mm bases) but my Austringer one-shotted her with a timely Red Joker damage flip before she could get it. I managed to score one for Frame for Murder when Perdita got a shot off at a peasant (Jon happily let it die so he could resummon it, do an interact, and net a soulstone) but otherwise I was playing cagey since I didn't know until turn five what Jon's hidden scheme was. Nino's job was to lock out interacts, so he did that but accomplished very little else due to the wall. Abuela did even less, and has me wondering if she looks impressive on the card but is perhaps not as good as I thought. I should have, in retrospect, used "Enfrentate a Mi" to hop out of combat with Amo and kill peasants/performers for Make Them Suffer points, but I did manage to keep him alive for Bodyguard despite being in melee with Amo No Zako from turn 2 forward.

I think the tactics of the game were sound, but I have a hard time gauging the combat results due to the Jokers swinging things all over the place. I didn't catch all of them, but I caught more than Jon and often in critical moments. At the same time, I made some very poor plays at points (Flurrying on a defensive Amo when Hannah was right there, etc.) which I'm going to chalk up to the late hour and helped out the enemy. So, I'm happy with the game, but not overwhelmed with my crew's performance. Knocking Amo or Hannah down to their last handful of wounds and then watching it all get healed back was fairly disheartening. The terrain wall really hurt Nino, and in Squatter's Rights he's invaluable for locking down the markers, so I'll give him a pass on this one. Abuela, on the other hand, did a whole pile of nothing, making this two games in a row. I might give her a rest for a little while and see what else can use those seven points.

At turn five it was 8 to 1. Jon had a few things he could do on subsequent turns (we flipped high enough to keep going) to get some points on the board, but we were both tired and didn't think it would be enough to get the win even with some unlikely flip results, so we called it. Chalk another one up for the good guys.

And, of course, the remodeling efforts have continued. The redrock basing is growing on me, though it sill needs highlights. I like the gray hat on Nino a lot, and Perdita's silver bling pants and hat. Skin tones are still not quite where I love them, but it'll do for now. Also, gotta live your height 1 effigy being almost as tall as your height 2 master.

Who you tryin' to get crazy with, ese? Don't you know we're loco?