For me this is the first thing on my calendar every year (11 years in a row and counting). I get to hang out with friends from college and play games for 4 days?!? Yes please. So the expense is kinda skewed since I would be there even if I wasn't playing Malifaux. For those of you considering Gen Con it is something you should find a way to experience even if its just once. They did just raise their 4 day badge to $90. The hotels within walking distance run about $200 a night or more but if your willing to commute 15 minutes most of the outlying hotels are reasonable but then you are paying for parking downtown as well. I think there was a $50 4 day parking service offered but I defeated parking previously and again this year so I ignored the details. I'm spoiled on downtown hotels so I will more than likely always spring to stay close. Opposed to some conventions (the pop culture/media based ones) this one is is run on event tickets. So if you want to do something you get a ticket and you don't have to wait on a line for hours (other then if seating matters but 45 minutes early is generally a good seat for shows) they cut tickets at capacity and then they run a separate line for generics in case there are no shows and they have room. I think the airport isn't too far (20-30 if I remember correctly) if driving isn't feasible. It sounds like a lot of money but if you take a few friends to share a room you can split most of the expenses. And as Adam has said previously you can always sign up to volunteer.
On to the Malifaux events! All the events were well run by Joseph Girard aka. Cheated Fates Joe. (Please forgive me if I misspell anyones name)
I was busy during the Enforcer brawl so I missed out. I was going to play in the 16 man tourney but I was at BK Faux when tickets went on sale and when I got to a computer they were sold out. I didn't want to jump in with generics and spend time waiting and end up not playing. I wasn't in any condition to play anyway so that worked out. Next year my job ought to be stable and I will buy tickets for all of the Malifaux as soon as they are on sale.
I did play in the henchmen hardcore. It was kinda an on the fly thing since Adam and I had to crash it on generics. As such I didn't take any notes but I play that format just to meet people. Some people play it competitively but I don't think it will ever be something I take serious as the game balance was not designed with this format in mind.
So the Malifaux Open was capped at 32 but I don't think everyone showed up (as will happen at Gen Con). I ran Jacob Lynch for all of my games (surprise I know). I do a quick highlight reel of these 3 games and then I will jump into Tyrants. If you want pics, Cheated Fates Joe promised me he would put some up (I assume they are on Twitter somewhere).
Round 1 - Guard the Stash; Convict Labor, Leave Your Mark, Show of Force, Mark for Death, and Public Demonstration. Corner Deployment. James was my opponent and he ran an awesome McDonalds themed Molly crew. I wish I took pictures but my phone was busy crapping itself (I finally upgraded so future blogs ought to have better quality pics). I pulled out a win 3-2 at the end of turn 3. I'm pretty sure I had CL, LYM and I don't think I asked what his schemes ended up being. He also has a side project I will plug later on.
Round 2 - Turf War; Convict Labor, Take Prisoner, Hunting Party, Search the Ruins, and Neutralize the Leader. Standard Deployment. I played Paul who was relatively new to this game but he knew what he was doing and put me on me heels activation 1. He took Raspy and like a newb cake I deployed in a line on the line not in cover so he hit me with from the shadows, ice mirror, 24 points of damage to my models. Somehow he failed to kill anything with the opening salvo and that's where it went horribly wrong for him. I went through my whole deck turn 1 and flipped the black joker for damage twice. I also flipped it for damage turn 2 and turn 3. He had Raspy and laughed at his black jokers. And despite all that I managed to win 10-5. My Low River Monk was healing like a boss with the new upgrade and a lot of his stuff was in charge range turn one. He only needed to park one acolyte close enough to blast me but I guess he underestimated my charge range or something. He did play very well for having only played a few games.
Round 3 - Reckoning; Convict Labor, Exhaust Their Forces, Leave Your Mark, Inspection, and Covert Breakthrough. Flank Deployment. This happened to be a round 3 rematch from Origins against Jay. He took Pandora. He beat me at Origins and we officially tied here at 6-6 but Wyrds boards measure 37" (mistake made by whomever framed the boards) and when we did the final measure with the TO my extra scheme marker I dropped because I had nothing better to do ended up being a millimeter out for the win because we measured as the board being 36". I'm happy with the result either way as the game was well played and I had fun. More importantly placed well enough to make the cut for Tyrants.
With a little bit of work I can go track down the pics and do a more in depth report on these games upon request.
Tyrants was an 8 man qualify to play single elimination bracket.
My first opponent was John Hartigan.
Lynch with Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun, and Recalled Training
Huggy with Recalled Training, and Peaceful Waters
Lone Swordsman With Recalled Training
Yin with Smoke Grenades
2 x Illuminated
Ten Thunder Brother
Low River Monk
Pandora with Voices, Depression, Wings of Darkness
Nekima with True Mother and Rapid Growth
3 x Terror Tots
Reckoning; Convict Labor, Take Prisoner, Leave Your Mark, Covert Entourage, Search the Ruins. Flank Deployment.
With a diagonal center line Convict Labor is somewhat easy to do since there generally a corner your opponent will ignore. I deploy where I have the option to split my force and clear a path for the scheme runner or press the center reacting to what the opponent looks to be doing. And also with Flank leave your mark is normally very easy to do. Conventional Neverborn wisdom is Doppleganger + Covert Entourage = profit so I kept hat in the back of my mind. Three of the schemes use markers so I just had to wait to see where they were going and move in to mitigate VP.
With all of that the game came down to a turn 2 charge by Nekima on Lynch. I was going to SS prevent all 3 attacks and all I would need is one of them to be a moderate and sf she flips 3 weak damages I had a chance. I think I prevented 5, made him cheat 3 times so it cost him 6 damage (and he didn't charge within 2 so no black blood). I managed to heal him up with the Low River Monk next activation and took out Nekima the activation after that. Stitched can be scary but I don't fear them with Lynch's card cycle. Later on Pandora did manage to land Paralyze on Lynch but then I just had the monk charge in and remove it. The doppelganger copied Huggys Ca tentacles and beat him to bury and Lynch got him back on the table pretty quick. End result I took this game 9-0. Normally Reckoning is hard to score but it just lined up where I was able to score it three times. John believes he went in a turn too early and should've put a couple wounds on Lynch before applying Nekima. All in all it was a pleasant, well played game. I know the result doesn't reflect well played but that's not how I measure how the game is played. He knew what he was doing and fate could have swung the game his way. I tend to try to mitigate my deck as much as possible but I don't control his deck in any way.
My second Opponent was James Hanrahan.
I ran the same list (which in hindsight was a mistake).
Sandeep with Arcane Reservoir Enlightened Soul, and To Behold Another World
2 x Metal Gamin
Joss with Imbued Energies
Howard with Imbued Energies
Rail Golem with Imbued Energies
Head Hunter; Convict Labor, Show of Force, Hunting Party, Neutralize the Leader, Frame for Murder.
So while I was selecting schemes it occurred to me I had very little idea as to what Sandeep does for a crew. I read his rules and I knew he could take academics and models could cast his spells (which I mistakenly thought was limited to academics but this wrinkle didn't impact the game in a way I couldn't manage). I read that he could summon Gamin but two things happened here I didn't account for. I failed to make the connection that the totem is almost always worth summoning, and why would anyone summon gamin to potentially cede 3 points for hunting party? I generally shy away for Neutralize the Leader because that requires my opponent to cooperate and play in a manner where that is feasible. Frame for murder would be easy enough with Huggy telling Joss to kill my patsy. Yin might have gotten me Show of Force but I was already behind not knowing what to expect and I didn't need to lose Yin when I wasn't expecting to. I like to tar pit with him when I'm not afraid of whats attacking her but there were too many variables and Convict is generally easy if I'm not going up against summoning. So I went with Convict and Frame on the female Illuminated. And I need to put defense triggers on Lynch when NtL is in the pool or play him from the back. I'm still refining the core list and its options and I'm chomping at the bit for the terracotta warriors.
So the first thing I did was run my patsy up into hard cover. He ended up killing her with Sandeep pretty early so I didn't need to obey Joss to do it. Huggy melted the Rail Golem. I got lucky and had my illuminated kill Howard and only ceded him 2 points for frame. He got to Lynch for 3 points and normally that isn't a bad thing but I need to learn to play more defensively with Lynch and not use him as another hitter. Or at the very least change my approach. I also failed to put a performer in the list as I intended and Thunder Brother Steve black jokered the dance of the heavens and cost me a point for Convict. I made many mistakes in this game so I can't really pin it on Steve. It was a well played game and I enjoyed playing James.
After the game it is natural for me to ask myself and sometimes bounce ideas off others what I can do different. In speaking to Joe I mentioned I wonder how this game would have gone had I taken Hunting Party instead of Convict that I scored 0 on in the first time ever. If this came across as I felt like I was cheated I didn't mean for it to. There are masters in the first to books I haven't seen on the table yet so really this isn't too far different had I instead I played Kirai for the first time. There was discussion about Gencon allowing the book 4 masters and Nova not allowing Book 4 with the exception of Aionus. I don't want to stir that up here. I came to play and have fun and if I win great and if not I get to meet new people and learn from players I haven't played before. I'm happy with my third place finish and if fate is on my side I shall do better next year.
And now for the side project. If you have the foam that comes in the model boxes lying around give it to someone going to Adepticon and have them come find me. Or if you happen to be at an event in Ga or NC you can just give it to me in person. I will forward the foam for the mystery project and I will let you in on the secret for a foam donation.
Until next time.