Friday, December 25, 2015

A Malifaux Carol

Tis the season, and yesterday we were watching George C. Scott’s “A Christmas Carol” movie. For whatever reason, I saw the Ghost of Christmas Present with the two children Ignorance and Want and thought of him summoning them onto a Malifaux game board, and my imagination was off to the races. So, I made this. They’re not balanced in any way shape or form, I’m sure, but I like the thematics of facing all three of them in sequence, and how each can fill a very different role on the field. Here goes.

Ghost of Christmas Past

Outcast: Spirit, Mercenary, Enforcer, Rare1, 12SS
Wk6 Cg8 Df4 WP6 Ht2 Wk6
Flight, Incorporeal
The first spirit- Ghost of Christmas past cannot be summoned by friendly models. If the Ghost of Christmas Past is killed or sacrificed, place a Ghost of Christmas Present in base contact with it before removing it from the board.

Attack Actions
(1) Embers of the Past-At. 4 vs. Df Ml1” 1/2/4 After damaging, target gains the condition “Burning +X” where x is the current turn number.
(1) I can only show what has come before-Ca 6 Res. Wp Range 6 Damage special – The damage profile for this attack is the same as one of the targets attack actions which it has previously used during one of its activations this game.

Tactical Actions
(1) Look upon your past works – CA 6 TN 14 Rg 6 Target a scheme, corpse, or scrap marker within range. Place a second identical marker into base contact with the first. Useable once per turn.
(0) Smother with your own cap-Sacrifice the Ghost of Christmas Past

Ghost of Christmas Present
The ghost of Christmas present is kind of a pedo...

Outcast: Spirit, Mercenary, Enforcer, Rare 1
Wk5 Cg – Df 3 WP 5 Ht 3 Wd 8
The Second Spirit-Ghost of Christmas Present cannot be hired or summoned by a friendly model during the game. When the Ghost of Christmas Present is killed or sacrificed, place the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in base contact before removing it from the board.
Empty Scabbard-Models within aura 4 must pass a TN 13 WP duel at the beginning of their activation. If they fail, they may not declare attack actions this turn.
Manipulative 13

Tactical Actions
(1) Come and know me better man- Ca 6 TN 12 All models within aura 8 must pass a TN13 WP duel or immediately move their walk towards the Ghost of Christmas Present
(1) Children of your cruel age- Ca 6 TN 14 Rg. 6 Summon either Want or Ignorance.
(1) I see a lonely corner with an empty chair…-Ca6 TN14 All models w/in 6” must pass TN 13 WP duel or suffer 2 damage.
(0) 12th hour of the 12th night-Sacrifice the Ghost of Christmas Present.
50mm base


Peon, Vision, Rare 1
Wk3 Cg- Df4 WP5 Wd 3 Ht 1
Visions of the Present- May not be hired. May only be summoned by the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Gaunt and Weak-This model generates only 1 general AP on its activation.
Manipulative 12
Aura of Ignorance- Targets beginning their activation within aura 4 must pass a TN 13 WP test. Those that fail may not declare tactical actions this turn.

Attack Actions
(1)On his brow is written doom Ca 1 TN 10 Rs. WP Rg 6 Sacrifice target model that fails the WP duel.
30mm base


Peon, Vision, Rare 1
Wk3 Cg- Df4 WP5 Wd 3 Ht 1
Visions of the Present- May not be hired. May only be summoned by the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Gaunt and Weak-This model generates only 1 general AP on its activation.
Manipulative 12
Aura of Want- Targets beginning their activation within aura 4 must pass a TN 13 WP test. Those that fail may not declare interact actions this turn.

Tactical Actions
(1)Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons? – CA2 TN 10 Rg 6 Target a scheme marker. All models w/in 2” of the marker must pass a TN12 WP duel or gain Paralyzed. Discard the Scheme Marker.
30mm base

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

And Christmas Yet to Come is a ring wraith?

Outcast, Spirit, Enforcer, Rare 1
Wk4 Cg8 Wd8 Df5 WP6 HT2
Final Spirit-May not be hired or summoned
Shadows and Mist-Any attack from further than 4” away receives – to attack and damage flips.
Terrifying All 13

(1)One skeletal arm-ML6 Ram RS Special Rg2” 3/5/7
When attacking, decide whether opponent resists with defense or willpower.
Ram Trigger-Feed on your sorrow: Ghost of Christmas yet to come heals a number of wounds equal to the damage done with this attack
(1)Visions of the Future: CA6 Rs WP Rg. 6 Damage 1/2/4
Triggers: Ram- Visions of lost love-Upon damaging, target discards 2 cards.
Tome-Visions of Decayed Fortune-Attack deals +X damage where X=number of enemy scheme markers on the board.
Mask-Visions of Lost Potential-After damaging, target discards 1 soulstone.
Crow-Vision of your grave-Upon damaging, target gains paralyzed.
(0)Repent CA6 RS WP Rg 6 After failing, target must discard 2 cards, 1 soulstone, or sacrifice the target.
40mm Base

Then I thought of a Through the Breach scenario:

A Malifaux Carol

             The Fated are stopped in the streets of downtown Malifaux by a frantic Bob Cratchit. He needs someone to run to the home of his employer, a Mr. E. Scrooge, owner and proprietor of their moneychanging house. He has been missing for several days now, and the Guild is threatening to repossess it and leave Cratchit unemployed if Scrooge doesn’t appear with the payment for the mortgage.
              When the Fated arrive at Scrooge’s residence, they find the home haunted by the distraught spirit of Jacob Marley. He can relate that he sent three spirits to try and convince Scrooge to repent for his miserly ways, but he has yet to return and Marley fears the worst. If the Fated agree to help, he can let them into the spirits’ visions to go try and retrieve him, where they will have to face the spirits in turn and try to free the old man. The question for the Fatemaster to determine is: what went wrong? Did the spirits decide Scrooge was irredeemable? Did some other presence get in and interfere with the process (possibly Nytmare?) Or did Scrooge simply refuse to repent, and has gained some sort of dark power within the visions, leaving an even more dangerous foe waiting at the end of the gauntlet?

Thank you for reading and staying with my sporadic posts in 2015, and of course for supporting Malifaux and Through the Breach! Looking forward to some more exciting content in 2016! 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Nythera Wrap-Up

Well, here we are in Nythera. We all travelled here, right? Hung on with the campaign up to this point? I hope so, because if you opted out, you missed a pretty awesome event orchestrated by the folks at Wyrd, and you’re going to end up regretting it.

The Malifaux Campaign

I would assume that the majority of people who took part in the Road to Nythera did so in some fashion through the miniatures game. For those bums that sat things out at home, this was organized by having players sign up for their faction of choice from the beginning and duke it out over locations scattered throughout the Badlands area south of Malifaux city. Each faction started out controlling three locations worth 1, 2, and 3 campaign points. To play the games, you found someone from an opposing faction, flipped for who would be the attacker versus who would be the defender, and played out the match contesting either one of the defender’s territories or the neutral territory, Nythera itself. You had the option of either playing a standard game of Malifaux or, if you had Shifting Loyalties and were taking part in a campaign, using additional random events created by the Wyrd staff every week (ok, so they were based on the ones from the book, cut them a break) and even working towards building a stronghold for your faction during the process. Pretty cool stuff. Winners scored points for their side towards control of that location. Loser didn’t. Pretty simple, really. Hundreds of games were played, and in the end the winner was determined by a difference of one (1) campaign point. Talk about coming down to the wire.
My part in this would involve no actual moving of minis on a tabletop, sadly. Southwest Virginia continues to be a Malifaux desert. However, I tried to start an online campaign using the Vassal system. I signed up for the Guild from the beginning, as mentioned previously, and so entered the Liquid Courage League version 1.0 with Ryle’s Retaliators, a crew consisting of Ryle, Francisco with Wade In!, Abuela Ortega, a Death Marshal, and an Austringer. I posted to the Wyrd boards and got together a group of 8 people initially and even put together a rule set for setting up one weekly match between opponents based on a Blood Bowl League that I used to play in once upon a time. Early results were...somewhat less than stellar. I’m just saying, the Guild didn’t earn a lot of campaign points off the back of my efforts. However, in week 3 I managed a crushing win against my opponent, got myself one of the Red Joker upgrades, bought some cool stuff for my crew (my favorite part was Francisco with Instinctual and the ability to eat corpse markers around himself for healing. Franc went a little nuts over the course of this thing.) I bought the Pale Rider and added him to my team. Things were finally turning around for the retaliators. AAaaaaaand, of course the league folded immediately after this.

I’d had too many people drop out over the course of the thing to keep going in any meaningful way. I learned a lot of lessons from this, including making sure to get people who can commit the time and effort to put this thing together on a weekly basis, and to potentially look at making them shorter or freeing people up to play in a more freeform fashion rather than specific match-ups every time. C'est la vie. It happens. In the meantime, I got busy with another gaming project (also related to why the blog has sat silent for so long) and regrettably my contribution to the noble Guild’s efforts ended there, with my contributing maybe two wins total to the campaign. I was still happy to be a part of it, and I was thrilled with how organized the Guildies were in our sub-forum. Every week we had a solid strategy of attack, often coming at things in very sideways fashion rather than directly to optimize our points output. Which payed off pretty well, I guess, since….THE GUILD FRICKING WON! WOOOO! NIGHTMARE GUILD BOX AT GENCON THIS YEAR.

Year of the Ram, baby.

Through The Breach

One of the really innovative parts of this worldwide event was the integration of the roleplaying game with the overall storyline. As initially advertised, the players would be paralleling the progress of the miniatures campaign by exploring the consequences of the race for Nythera in Malifaux City itself. Players got to choose from 14 pregenerated player characters (2 associated with each faction) ranging from a gunslinging black-sheep of the Ortega family, to a pair of Cyborgs (from two different factions), to a hatchet-wielding mad necromancer and a girl raised by pigs (seriously.) The characters rubbed elbows with some of the real movers and shakers of the miniatures game, getting caught at one point in a crossfire between Kirai and Kaeris, being subtly threatened by Lucius Matheson (does he do it any other way?), having tea with the Mistress of the Ten Thunders, and going toe-to-toe (sort of) with the leader of the Nephilim. Each of the characters had a personal goal they were trying to accomplish during the session. Sometimes they were simple (kill this many of this type of creature, earn this much scrip, etc.) Other times they were down-right bizarre (convince all the other players to call you by your nickname rather than your real name, oink enough times during a conversation that someone eventually tells you to speak English, etc.) Additionally, the players’ actions would play a role in determining [SPOILER ALERT IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T READ SHIFTING LOYALTIES] who would take over the Guild now that the Governor-General has blown himself up. Players had four candidates to support: a military general, a bean counting union-breaker (unsurprisingly, this one has been consistently the least popular throughout), a smooth politician looking to soften the Guild’s image, and a sorceror associated with Sonnia’s Witch Hunters who honestly reminded me of Rasputin.
I really had no complaints about the roleplaying campaign whatsoever. As a Fatemaster, I found them to be interesting, relatively diverse, and an interesting journey from the slums of the city to a journey by covered wagon through the Badlands (which my players, of course, dubbed “Malifaux Trail” and spent the whole time making “Float the Wagon” and “You just died of dysentery” jokes.) Highlights included 1) My players building Phillip Tombers’ head a fake Aethervox case to hide in and pretend to be a radio announcer (he enjoyed singing dramatic musical accompaniment to the party’s fight scenes) 2) Vin Pham (a Ten Thunders artificer) deciding she was tired of being manipulated by the Guild and just starting to execute people Tarantino style in the second module and 3) the gunslinging Ortega character intentionally experimenting with Brilliance and then trying to set up a three-way between herself, a working girl, and a Friekorpsman from whom they were trying to get information. Finally, the bonus was that though the roleplaying event ends on Monday, we are getting one additional chapter of the campaign to serve as an epic conclusion! And, just between me and you, a little birdy told me that finale is going to be freaking epic. So, look forward to that, malifolk.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Cavalry Is Here! (and a quick update on the Campaign League!)

Just a brief one today taking a look at a roster list I’ve been mulling over recently (Author’s note: I thought of this before the impromptu Malifools episode where Joel Henry brought it up. That said, Joel is smarter than me, and was likely thinking about this before Book 3 came out, or something, and was just keeping it to himself.)

Let’s start with the list:

Cavalry Charge!

Guild 50SS

Lucas McCabe-Badge of Speed, Glowing Sabre, Promises
3x Mounted Guard
Pale Rider
The Lone Marshall

So, obviously this list is built to capitalize on the Book 3 guild minion the Mounted Guards. Individually, these horsemen provide a lot of good abilities. They’re fast; relatively tough with armor +1, 8 wounds, and a 0 action to give themselves and everything near them a + to defense flips; and a Melee 6 saber and ever popular Guild Peacebringer (both with critical strike built in, of course) to dish out punishment. Their real value to the crew, however, comes from their interaction with other models in the crew. Whenever they declare a charge against a target, they can bring any other friendly model with a Cg of 7 or more that’s nearby along for the ride, placing within 2” of where the Mounted Guardsman ends up, creating the titular “Cavalry Charge!” effect on the game board.  This creates some awesome maneuverability, especially since their other front of the card ability, “Reinforcements” lets them push friendly models engaged with their charge targets away. This bonus movement is a key advantage for the crew, and can help overcome its lower model count.
So obviously this crew needs a mounted master to lead them, and that brings us to Lucas McCabe. He’s fast enough, and since Mounted Guardsmen are all minions, his upgrade tossing shenanigans grant them the full benefits of the thrown upgrades as well as "Promises." A glowing sabre being tossed to someone with a cavalry charge action could lead to some very injured faces. Also, its not like anyone doesn’t take Badge of Speed anyways, but its clutch for this crew as a means of overcoming their reduced number of activations. As for the rest of the crew, the options for staying within the Cg of  7+ theme are a little limited in Guild (there are more if you take Lucius with his upgrade and hire Mounted Guards into the Neverborn, but that’s for somebody else’s blog post.) Just to stay with the mounted combat theme, I went with Pale Rider and The Lone Marshall. Lone Marshal is no slouch in melee and can tank, but I sort of envision a bubble of McCabe and Mounted Guards taking the fight directly to the enemy while Lone Marshal and/or Pale Rider take flank sweeping duty followed by scheme running. Once you reach later turns, Pale Rider will be better suited to get into the mix and try to capitalize on his big-time damage outputs, but as usual with the Riders its best to keep him distant early on until he can protect himself. Also, his zero action lets him drop scheme markers rapidly as well, filling what is very obviously a gap in the crew. There are some other models you can take in their place that make the charge numbers (Lady Justice is one slightly terrifying option, surprisingly Sonnia’s Purifying Flame totem is a less frightening one.) McCabe has always had strong synergy with Guild Hounds using his totem, Luna, and they can charge right along with the Guardsmen as well.
Is it a great crew? I don’t really know. The only model I’ve ever used on the tabletop was a Lone Marshall once in the early days of Wave 1, and he got mulched by a Red Joker damage flip with Lady Justice that left a bad taste in my mouth. The big risk, as I’ve kept mentioning, is that you’re going to get out activated in most games so you’re going to have to make those activations count by having a plan, sticking to it, and executing it. Chances are, a more mixed force with some elements of the cavalry mixed with strong support models like Austringers will end up being more competitive, but I still think you could beat some people with this crew. Be the bullies (this is the Guild, after all), and pick on the weaker models to get them out of the way so you can focus fire the big-bads down as a team. Use McCabe to protect the other members of the crew, as he’s much more tanky and frankly if you start losing models your crew is going to fall apart in chunks. I think they’ll be very good for some scheme pool/strategy combinations, less effective for others where they have to split up to claim quadrants, but I love the theme, so I want to see what they can do.

You know, after I get done with this narrative campaign thing, that is.

Speaking of which, time for a quick update!

MMNCL Week 2 Standings

Ryle's Retaliators
Hannah's Hellions
Anna's Executioners
Wu Kang
Rolling Thunder
Big Hats

The Outcast and Restrictionist crews are both off to strong starts thus far, with both winning by healthy margins in the first two games. A lucky injury flip on a belle has resulted in a belle that drops multiple corpse markers when it dies, which is troubling since Anna’s bringing Spare Parts. The Outcasts have notably made it through the first two weeks with a clean slate for injuries, and Hannah’s suit currently sports a fearsome steam gatling gun for ranged support. Bringing up the rear are the brave forces of the Guild (clearly their defeats coming due to treachery and deceit,) but early reports from Week 3 suggest that Ryle’s Retaliators’ fortunes may have changed.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Malfaux Musings Week 1: Four Quadrants, A Funeral, and an Information Broker

The mysterious stranger stood amongst the abandoned ruins, immaculately dressed despite the dust and grit that seemed to blow its way into everything in the Badlands. His masked face was unreadable as he stared into the bloody charnel pit, still smoldering with the remains of whatever poor souls had been ritualistically destroyed here some time in the past. He reached into his vest pocket, retrieving a gold pocket watch. He flipped it open and nodded. "Ten minutes to midnight," he said to himself, nodding. "They'll be here soon." He looked up, eyes peering unnaturally into the gloom. They would come for Nythera, the fools. They would come thinking they could claim for themselves that which was unclaimable, and what once was would be again. And, as always, he would profit from their sorrow. That was his nature.

As the shadowy forms became visible on the horizon, eight small groups dashing towards him at full tilt, he let out a quiet, high-pitched titter of laughter. "Time to let the killing start..." 

The arsenals have been assembled, the rules are finalized, and we are underway with the Malifaux Musings Vassal Campaign League (MMVCL? sure, we'll go with that.) And the week one scenario is...

Deployment: Standard
Strategy: Interference
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Assassination, Bodyguard, Cursed Object, Plant Explosive
Vassal Map: Funeral Home
Weekly Event: 
The Information Broker
Tales tell of a masked information broker, in a dapper suit and top hat, who seems to know a little too much... Reports have sighted him all over Breachside, telling tales in the city and through the Badlands. Whether it is one man or many is uncertain, but only a fool would pass up this chance...

An Information Broker joins every Encounter this week. Place a 30mm Information Broker Marker in the center of the table (or as close as possible). This Marker is Ht 2, impassable, blocking, and it may be attacked. When it is attacked it is considered to have Df and Wp of 6 and 8 Wd. The Crew which is not Attacking it flips and cheats for it. It can only be damaged by attacks which directly target it.

Any model within 1” of the Information Broker may make a (1) Interact Action targeting it to ask it for guidance. When this happens, flip on the following chart (this flip may not be cheated): 

Black Joker
The model is immediately killed.
Heal all damage on the model.
The model’s controller may place a Scheme Marker anywhere on the table.
The model’s controller gains 2 Scrip.
The model’s controller gains 2 Scrip.
Red Joker
The model’s controller makes an additional Barter flip at the end of the game.

Alternately, any model within 1" of the Information Broker may make a (1) Interact Action targeting it to ask it for information. The player may spend 1 Scrip to gain 2 LP in any non-Nythera location controlled by another Faction. A player may not earn more than 6 LP from this event during Week 3.

Wanted to use Wyrd's weekly event, but of course there's a hiccup because we're only in week 1 and nobody has any scrip to spend on the information broker. Solution: add in the ability to use the action this guy is based on from Shifting Loyalties and get some scrip or other bonuses from him, which you could theoretically use later in the game to get some LP for your faction. 

And here are the week 1 crews. 

Player NameAndrew CasterlineScripCurrent BountyDo the job. Get paid.
Crew NameHannah's HellionsProgress0/3
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Hannah10Survivalist – 1SS
Hodgepodge Effigy4
Freikorps Librarian7
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39

Player NameDoctorWhatScripCurrent BountyHit-List
Crew NameAnna's ExecutionersProgress0/2
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Anna Lovelace9Spare Parts (2 SS)
Canine Remains4
Carrion Emissary10
Rotten Belle5
Rotten Belle5
Total Models33
Maximum Game Size38

Player NameBrian SchonerScripCurrent BountyCovert Operations
Crew NameRolling Thunder0Progress0/2
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Ototo10Call the Thunder
Katanaka Sniper7
Yin the Penangalan8
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39

Player NameJoe BScripCurrent BountyLessons learned in Blood 0/4
Crew NameFlash of BrillianceProgress
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Hungering Darkness8Nexus of Power (1)
The Illuminated7
The Depleted4
Total Models33
Maximum Game Size38

Player NameAdam RogersScripCurrent BountyStrange Times
Crew NameRyle's Retaliators0Progress0/2
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Ryle10Wade In!
Francisco Ortega8
Death Marshall Burns6
Brutal Effigy4
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39

Player NameTravis DeVollScripCurrent BountyClean up crew
Crew NameTokkun0Progress0/3
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Yamazaki7Blot the Sky [1]
Takehiko (Thunder Archer)7
Yuuto (Thunder Archer)7
Jorogumo Takaide9
Tengu Asuka4
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39

Player NameJon / Sensei PhiascoScripCurrent BountyMark our Territory
Crew NameWu Kang0Progress0/2
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Chiaki the Niece6
The Thunder Brother 5
Katanaka Sniper7
Guild Pathfinder6
Total Models33
Maximum Game Size38

Player NameLittleGreenGuyScripCurrent Bounty
Crew NameBig Hats0Progress
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Francois (Leader)7I'll Love It And Pet It (Lenny) (1)
War Pig9
Hog Whisperer5
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39