Monday, June 17, 2013

Malifaux 2nd Edition Beta Playtesting and Game Thoughts

I’ve begun playtesting Malifaux 2nd Edition, playing two games with the 6/7 rules set and one game from the most recent. I will try to keep these brief so that we aren’t here all day, and try to wrap up with some points on the matter.

Date of rules played 6/9/13
SS Amount 40
Deployment Type Standard
Strategy Reconnoiter
Available Schemes Assassinate, Line in the Sand, Cursed Object, Breakthrough, Capture

Master 1 McMourning (Guild)
Scheme 1 Line in the Sand
Scheme 2 Cursed Object
VPs earned, Reconnoiter 1, Line in the Sand 3, Cursed Object 0

Master 2 Sonnia
Scheme 1 Line in the Sand (Hidden)
Scheme 2 Cursed Object
VPs earned, Reconnoiter 4, Line in the Sand 2, Cursed Object 0

Additional optional information:
Time it took to complete the game 90 Minutes
Crew compositions 
McMourning (The three mcmourning guild upgrades) , Sebastian (Lead-Lined Jacket), Zombie Chihuahua, 2 Nurses, Death Marshal

Thoughts on the game
Key Turn(s) in the game

Turn 2 Sonnia was whittled down nearly to nothing between McMourning and Sebastian, Sebastian's catalyst was going to finish her off, due to initiative lined it up so McMourning would push out of 6 damage blast but blast kills Sebastian, Witchling, and a Death Marshal. Was in good shape at this point and was going to weather a rapid-fire from Sam Hopkins the next turn, but a red joker damage flip kills McM and leaves me playing for schemes.

Date of rules played 6/12/13
SS Amount 40
Deployment Type Flank
Strategy Reckoning
Available Schemes Line in the Sand, Distract, Entourage, 

Master 1 Pandora 
Scheme 1 Distract (Hidden)
Scheme 2 Entourage (Revealed)
VPs earned Reckoning 0 Distract 2 Entourage 0

Master 2 Perdita 
Scheme 1 Line in the Sand
Scheme 2 Entourage (Revealed)
VPs earned, Reckoning 1, Line in the Sand 3, Entourage 3

Additional optional information:
Time it took to complete the game 2 Hours (playing against someone relatively inexperienced with M2E stuff.

Thoughts on the game
-Ancestral Aura was key for Perdita. I spent most of the game dancing around a 4 Ortega bubble, trying to lure them out or find a way to do any damage. Pandora's AOE spell on the four of them failed to do any wounds twice in a row. 
-Was playing on a board with not enough area terrain to prevent Ortega shooting advantage. Candy was getting plinked by Nino on turn one. Burned through most of our soulstones turn one, rest on turn 2. Candy dead before anything could really happen on turn2.
-Sorrows were good! Admittedly, opponent seemed more concerned about Pandora but more than once it took some fancy footwork to avoid Francisco dying when activating. 8" move is very good. Was how I put distract up.

Rules: 6/13

Deployment: Flank
Strategy: Turf War
Schemes: Bodyguard, Plant Explosives, Breakthrough, Entourage

Line in the Sand (Announced), Plant Explosives 
VPS 7 (4 from Turf War, 3 from Plant Explosives)

Somer Teeth
Line in the Sand (Announced), Bodyguard
VPs 5 (2 from Turf War, 1 from Bodyguard, 2 from Line in the Sand)

Thoughts on the game
Mcmourning-Badge, On the Clock, Plant Evidence
Francisco-Wade In, Healing
Sebastian-Lead Lined Coat
Witchling Stalker
2 Austringers

Somer with Can O' Beans, Quality Mash, Family Tree, and a soulstone cache of 6
Lenny with I'll Love It and Pet It
4 bayou gremlins
2 mosquitos
1 hog whisperer
3 piglets

Key Turn(s) in the game
My witchling did very little in the game, as I underestimated the long range bayou gremlins now have and he was shot to death on the first couple turns. I did, however, enjoy the drawn to pain trigger as a means of running them into the enemy before they blow up. Nurse ended up tied up by a skeeter. Austringers owned this game, as no shooting symbols and long ranges with no LoS meant they could peck the enemy crew to death from the other end of the board, while engaged, with almost no effort. Skeeter farts are resisted with WP for some reason, and they have 7WP to resist. Legit, possibly too good. Sebastian was ok, but again I was not overwhelmed by his contributions. I was denied turning the enemy’s scheme markers into my own to accomplish Line in the Sand by getting caught by disengaging strikes from Somer and the gremlin player accidentally putting one of their markers off of the center line, meaning after I flipped it to friendly it still didn’t give me two markers. Also, Francisco tanked three piglets and the hog whisperer all on his own. Francisco is also very legit.

Malifaux 2.0 So Far
I’ve been trying to play McMourning since I just completed my own Mad Doctor’s degree and, as such, it’s a way to live vicariously in the troublesome world of Malifaux. What this is doing to me now, however, is making it so I’m playing with a very different character every week. I’m supposed to be staying out of melee with him, I’m told, and use him as a support master…yeah, that hasn’t happened so far. He doesn’t lay the beatings out like he used to, but I needed to get him up into the enemy’s face to get the mission done in both games. I think having the Badge of Office may have changed the first game with Jon’s ultimate result, as I could throw that red joker shot down to 1 and then dash up and cut Sam to pieces. I’m almost to the point of just throwing out the Poison mechanic as something I’m even going to bother with at this point, as even with catalyst I’m not seeing enough damage go by to actually make it worthwhile. That said, I haven’t really gotten the chance to see it shine yet, and Sebastian’s ability to make it tick for 3 damage a click might make a difference (it didn’t happen that way in the third game, as yet again Sebastian was pummeled to death early and stupid Lenny is immune to conditions, so no poison.) I can see the viability in the nurses and I’ve done some cool things with them, but it just hasn’t fallen together in the games I’ve played with her so far. More meaningful testing will be required before I can really make a conclusion there.

Pandora was a real mixed bag of a game. First of all, I was in the worst case scenario as I was going up against a Perdita opponent who KNEW I WAS PLAYING PANDORA. As such, I have the Ancestral Aura upgrade, which is mediocre when you don’t know who you have to play against, making the enemy Ortegas all at least a WP of 7, meaning I’m running uphill from the word go and would find myself at various points in the game failing to successfully cast anything during certain turns of the game (I did her AoE spell twice in a row hitting all four non-explosive Ortegas, along with an Incite, and the enemy failed no WP duels.) Pair that up with playing on a forested board with not a ton of area cover to protect my crew from shooting and flank deployment where the Ortegas will be shooting at us on turn one, and we have a formula for trouble. This is confirmed when Nino and Perdita are shooting Candy immediately and she is dead at the beginning of turn 2. That said, I still came within a breath of pulling this thing off, with Santiago pulling Francisco out of 2 Sorrows’ grasp that would have killed him upon activation on Turn 3. The Neverborn upgrade where they heal with soulstone use would have been pretty clutch in this game, but I put it on Candy instead of Pandora since I was unaware that auras now affect the model emitting them. Whoops, lesson learned for next time. Sorrows were a rather pleasant surprise in this game, as their Misery Loves Company gives them some impressive mobility, particularly paired with Distract. The real key to this crew seems to really be controlling enemy activations, a lesson I didn’t exactly glom onto until I was about halfway into the game. I didn’t want to be the ambush guy and take over Francisco with Candy and, so, allowed the player to finish their activation and was going to explain the rules for that afterwards. This, of course, didn’t happen since Francisco and Perdita then companion chained to kill Candy. Oh well, another lesson learned. This game was also when I discovered the real potency Francisco brings to the game, between his additional mobility granted to the crew, his difficulty in killing, and the passing out of defenses to the crew. Very, very impressive model now, and very nearly an auto-include for most Guild crews I would have to think.  

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