Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ripples of Fate Preview: Sandeep Desai

I’m running a bit behind this week, what with the American Society of Virology conference coming up and a manuscript being prepared for publication, but let’s get to the Monday Preview…on Thursday.

So, this is Sandeep Desai, a new master for the Arcanist’s faction. This continues a trend of a master working with a new Tribe in the faction, in this case the Academics. I think we all figured there would be some master eventually who interacted with them (currently they’re the Oxfordian Mages, Iron Zombies, and Freikorps Librarians only, but I’m sure there will be more,) but this is hardly the stuffy professor I expected. Sandeep appears to be an Indian Sikh (hurray for more diversity!) who channels magic that his crew can tap into and use for themselves. Also, his break-down in the Monday Preview itself mentions that he uses Gamin friends, so hurray for the little elemental dudes getting a boost (cut to a sad-faced Iron Gamin suddenly perking up and smiling a metallic smile.) Let’s peek at the stat card real-quick.

Well, 12 wounds, Arcane Shield, and Impossible to Wound. These Ripples of Fate masters are pretty tough on average, it seems. The rest seems pretty standard, though Df5 is nothing to write home about. The real interesting mechanic with this guy seems to be the Beacon and Student of All abilities. Beacon lets friendly non-peons within 12 of him take one of his Ca actions at -1 Ca during their turn. Once they do this, that ability is locked out for Beacon until the next turn, so no spamming the same spell over and over through multiple little weenies, but it still makes for some interesting force projection possibilities. Then, Student of All allows Sandeep to take a (1) action once per turn when someone uses one of his spells and ends up with a Tome in the final duel total. This leads me to assume that Sandeep won’t have said Tome built in (although if he does, good lord) but still creates some good ability to get bonus AP outside of activation. This leads me to think Sandeep is going to want to be in the mid board where he can project his Beacon out into the action, but isn’t quite tough enough to survive long term in the middle of melee (though being engaged won’t lock other models out of using his spells with a gun symbol, so it’s not the worst thing ever for him to mix it up with that big hittin’ stick he’s carrying around.) Of course, we don’t know what spells he’ll have, not seeing the backside of the card, but still cool.

Overall, his presence in the Arcanist rebel scum reminds me of Nemo from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, so he’s automatically awesome for that. Here’s hoping he has a cool submarine hidden somewhere. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

BK Faux... The Planes, Trains, and Automobile addition

I'm not even sure where I begin with this one.  I will do my best to trim it down for expediency.  The original plan was to get some friends I knew from online gaming who lived in Florida to drive up Memorial Day weekend to visit my brother.   Then a couple months out I touched base to see how their side of the plan was going and they were forced to drop out.  Hooray 17 hour car trip on my own.  Although I do have a way station at my friend Adam's place in Va so at the end of the day it wouldn't be so bad (and probably easier than the actual visit).  I'm going to leave out the politics and religion that led to my selection of memorial day and bring this back around to the games as quick as possible.

So hey.  BK faux is in May.  Since I am now solo all I have to do is slide my days off a couple weekends up and I'm gold.  Was a good idea until the only guy who could cover me had that weekend scheduled off first.  And there is a concert I really wanted to go to in VA Sunday night I could make (in theory) if I drove.  So now if this had any chance to work at all, I would have to sacrifice the concert, voluntarily go into an airport on Friday the 13th, take the last flight out, and hope the weather cooperates just to have a chance of making it. I could give you long running history of how I don't get along with airports but trust me when I say I would rather drive 17 hours then fly just on principle.   And somehow that went off without a hitch (minus the part where I was out til 2 am).

So without further ado... BK faux!

Sign in: 10 Thunders

Round One:
Deployment: Corners
Strategy: Interference
Schemes: Convict Labor, Exhaust Their Forces, Detonate the Charges, A Quick Murder, Occupy Their Turf
Opponent: The R train.

This is probably hands down the most embarrassing loss I will ever suffer.  I grew up in upstate NY.  I am better than most at reading maps (before gps was a thing).  So I read the directions at 2 am found a subway map and looked for my stop and thought I found it.  Since I didn't zoom out of the driving directions and they were not over-layed I found myself in Queens instead of Brooklyn at 10 am.  Recorded as as 0-10 loss (i think?)

- As a side note I came ill prepared to record any of these games.  I didn't print off more record sheets that I used for previous games.  The copier at work wasn't working so I couldn't print off the emissary in case I wanted to put it on the table, and I packed Austringers but forgot to pull the cards and add them to my McCabe section.  The only thing I recorded is who I played, the schemes I chose, and the outcome.  Everything else is 2 week old memory so this may not be 100% accurate.

Round Two:
Deployment: Close
Strategy: Head Hunter
Schemes: Convict Labor, Show of Force, Search the Ruins, Mark for Death, Take Prisoner
Opponent: Greg (Arcanist)

The Lists:
McCabe w/ Glowing Saber, Badge of Speed, Promises
2 x Austringers
10 Thunders Brother

Rasputina + upgrades
Snow Storm
Blessed of December
Silent One
2 x Ice Gamin
Ice Dancer

Things I learned from this game.  I can not show up to a tournament with a master I have never put on the table and expect to do well.  My hubris is partially a result of running Lynch well and the crew I run around him functions pseudo independently from him.  Even when Lynch is not mixing it up he still draws and cycles cards.  The other part being there was no way I was going to place so I might as well try to learn new tools so I can use them better when I really need them.

I must say there are a ton of moving parts in a McCabe list.  There are auras and order of operation that don't exist (for the most part) in a Lynch list.  While it is easy as day to see on paper it's another thing to have a firm enough grasp to do it calmly in the heat of battle.

Instead of a round by round for this one I'm going to switch it up and list things that went well and things I did poorly.  I took Convict Labor and Search the Ruins and Greg took Mark for Death and Search the Ruins.

Things that went well.  Austringer plus performer for head hunter = gold.  My opponent was somewhat new to the game and was learning the hard way about how engagement and interacts don't mix so I felt a little bad dancing in with the performer and making it look easy.  I read somewhere Torakage plus McCabe = amazing.  The jury is still out but most of that is the learning curve on positioning.  I can see the potential and he did good but I suspect he can do way better with a little more finesse. 10 TB did his thing.  Rock solid every time I take him.

Things that went poorly for me.  Greg knew how to attack around corners, and generally knew what he wanted everything in his crew to do.  Having a faster crew then I did the last time I shut down Raspy I'm embarrassed I didn't send something in to tie her up a turn or two.  Also I again failed to consider the scheme pool in greater depth.  With Show of Force and Search the Ruins in there I had no business taking the gamble for a battle in the middle. With the double Austringer set up Mark for Death would have been gold.  I played it correctly the last time two sources of points were funneling me to the center and stayed outside and this time I got burned.  The Austringers could have pulled it off if I did a little better in the battle for the center but Mark still would have been way easier. The Pathfinder and Chiaki did next to nothing in this set up.  In general there is nothing in this list that an opponent has to deal with or it's going to drop a ton of damage on you.  I know it sounds like blasphemy but I think I need to rethink the Saber. There are a ton of models in 10T that don't need it to be a threat.  But I really just need to play more games with McCabe and get comfortable. 5-9 loss.

Round Three:
Deployment: Flank
Strategy: Collect the Bounty
Schemes: Convict Labor, Leave Your Mark, Covert Breakthrough, Catch and Release, Frame for Murder.
Opponent:Jacob (outcasts)

The Lists:
Lynch w/ Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun, Recalled Training
Hungering Darkness w/ Recalled Training
Lone Swordsman w/ Recalled Training
Yin w/ Smoke Grenades
2 x Illuminated
10 Thunder Brother
Shadow Effigy

Vic of Ashes + upgrades
Vic of Blood + upgrade
Student of Conflict?
2 x Trappers
2 x Ronin

I will start by saying I feel like I am missing something with his list.  Lesson to self.  Write down the lists after the game to make sure I have it correct.  And this is my first outing vs. the Vics.  I took this pic on Sunday (not Saturday after playing)  and something feels off on the terrain as well (this is the board and all the elements are present but some buildings feel moved).  With all the personal stuff bouncing around my head I fell back to Lynch because I knew I would probably play distracted.

With flank deployment I set up on the right and my opponent on the left with a trapper up top next to the house and the other was near the middle but outside of a turn one charge.  I took Convict and Leave Mark, he took Frame for murder on Blood and Breakthrough.

Turn 1.  I send the swordsman to deal with the trapper up top and Yin to back him up.  He sent Vanessa and the Freikorpsmann off that way in response.  Everything else was maneuvering toward the other trapper with Ash hanging back a bit and my Brother waiting to break off and do his thing.  Score 0-0

Turn 2.  I have an Illuminated charge the trapper near the center (I don't think I killed it).  He counters with Blood leaving her exposed.  This should have been a red flag and may matter in future games but if I cede 3 points to remove a model of Bloods caliber, I take that action 99 times out of a 100.  With the swordsman on the other flank I popped RT, stone for ram for the envelop trigger (I don't think I had the card in hand) and threw Huggy at her and deleted her on the first swing.  He ceded me a point for collect bounty which in my opinion was a risky play which ultimately lost him the game.  I think he re-positioned the trapper to shoot at Huggy I sent the other Illuminated to charge him (I think I killed him. *We had a slight argument on if I even had the line of effect to pull it off.  (LOS laser on the list for my next purchase.  Nothing personal as these kinds of disputes are common and I should have the tools on hand to make my case.)  Having the proxy base ultimately won my case.  The swordsman made it to the trapper and dispatched him remaining completely behind the building forcing to sink AP into closing or taking pot shots at Yin.  I think he managed to kill Yin but I don't remember if it was turn 2 or 3. Convict markers down.  Score 2-3

Turn 3. Swordsman pops RT, 0 action 2" push to clear of the building and charges Vanessa taking her out.  He counters with Ash deleting the swordsman and moving to have range to Lynch turn 4.  A Ronin dropped a breakthrough marker, Lynch kills her and picks up the marker.  I think Huggy kills the other Ronin.  Leave Mark down.  Score 5-3

Turn 4.   I move Huggy in between Lynch and Ash as a speed bump she kills him and I think she moves to drop a breakthrough marker.  The Freikorpsmann also drops a marker.  I think Lynch kills the Freikorpsmann.  We miss the clause that says reduce to 0 to score on bounty so we didn't count Huggy burying as scoring so the game is reported as 8-5 instead of 7-6

I think Lynch still had RT but I could be wrong and I didn't record final resources to extrapolate possible outcomes for a turn 5.  I didn't unbury Huggy due to time but he would also be on the table for turn 5.  I finished convict, 1 point left to get on Mark which was unmolested. I think the effigy was just getting over that way as well.

-At this point I wish I had drove because I had a hour+1/2 subway up to the Bronx for dinner with my brother. I could have went straight to the restaurant in 40 minutes and back down in 20 minutes.   Had I drove I could have went to the bar with the guys because I would have had time off and not all these tiny windows to do everything.  Hindsight is 20/20 and all that BS.  Another allergic reaction to something cost me 2 hours sleep and then plans changed so moar subway antics.

I get on the subway just as the doors were closing and arrive to round 4 with maybe 2 seconds to spare.  I get paired with the ringer in case I was no show which is fair.  There also tends to be a little flux with these longer tournaments with people dropping and I think we had someone take over a slot in this particular event.

Round Four:
Deployment: Close Corner 16"
Strategy: Squatters rights
Schemes: Convict Labor, Hunting Party, Inspection, Neutralize the Leader, Public Demonstration.
Opponent:Andrew (Gremlins)

The Lists:
Lynch w/ Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun, Recalled Training
Hungering Darkness w/ Recalled Training
Lone Swordsman w/ Recalled Training
Yin w/ Smoke Grenades
2 x Illuminated
10 Thunder Brother
Shadow Effigy

Somer w/ Family Tree
3 x bayou gremlins
2 x Skeeters
Old Major
Slop Hauler

I'm pretty sure I got this list correct.  So in pulling the round Four packet the night before I noticed I wasn't fast enough to hit the corners and do all the things I need to do to score points with my standard set up.  With Inspection in the pool I figure I can probably cheat a convict marker towards the inside to score that round 2 and start scoring Inspection round 3.  Only Huggy and the 10TB would be fast enough to hit the corner strategy markers in time.  Provided I didn't want to try out McCabe again.  But the fear there was my opponent would roll over whatever I put in the center and then take out a corner and I would be done.  With the subway leaving me 2 seconds the list I know best is Lynch .

Turn One.  Hazardous terrain?  And I'm not on Vassal?  Crazy talk.  So I set up in the right with a puddle of acid adjacent and he sets up by the houses.  I send the 10TB down the right flank and an illuminated escort to discourage interception.  Huggy down the left with the effigy in tow.  The swordsman was angling to support Huggy but more toward the center.  Lynch, Yin, and the other illuminated pushed up the center.  Meanwhile the gremlins were busy multiplying, I think there was a saddle on the pig and it was moving up with Lenny to charge me turn 2.  The skeeters moved up behind the fence.   Then Trixy 'lured' Lynch and the Illuminated back the way they came into the acid.  That bitch!  Score 0-0

Turn Two.  Yin set up shop in the middle and got his Gandalf on.  'You shall not pass!'  and locked the pig down.  Realizing my hitters were coming down the left and Lenny's ride now has flat tires he walked Lenny over to hold that flank.  Swordsman moves more to the left drops a convict marker and 0 action pushes up to protect it.  Effigy tells Huggy to remember the mission since the effigy is to slow to contribute this turn on his own.  Huggy moves flips the squat and RTM drops a scheme.  the Bro dances to his Squat for a 0 action, flips that, and drops the 3rd convict marker.  His escort peel off towards the conflict and he sends a skeeter as a speed bump.  The other Illuminated leaves the spa saying 'Oh no she didn't' heals back to full and moves up to support Yin.  Lynch follows her up the board and I probably kill a bayou or something.  Somewhere in the he did suicide a couple bayou to flip squats.  I don't remember what Trixy was up to that turn but I think she was redirecting traffic around the broken pig.  Score 2-1

Turn Three.  Yin continues to hold the pig.  Then Trixy got behind the pig and I'm not sure I want to know what she was doing back there but the pig came flying in at Yin flat tire and all.  The swordsman dispatched a bayou and set up out of sight behind dense cover set up to charge next round.  Another bayou came up in the dense cover to occupy the swordsman.  Huggy came through the tree toward to land in range of another bayou and deleted it.  Effigy moved to the corner dropped an extra convict marker in the event I needed it.  !0 TB did likewise in defensive stance to lock up inspection.  I think the illuminated flayed the speed bump skeeter and moved to the unclaimed squat marker.I don't know why the other illuminated ended up next to Yin but there was some blast exploit going on so I moved her away at the next opportunity.  Old major failed to do anything of noted (I blame whatever it was that Trixy did).  I think I had Lynch delete Old major that turn.  I don't remember if he took convict labor or hunting party.  Which ever one it was he scored 1 on it either this turn or next.  Score 5-2(or 3)

Turn Four.  I think Yin moves up within 8 but outside of 6 and locks Trixy down.  The Illuminated from the right flank charges the Slop Hauler.  The Swordsman pops RT pushes out of engagement to establish LOS to Lenny but I don't think he dies here.  I think Somer kills my Illuminated fresh out of the spa. I think I send Huggy in to finish Lenny.  Trixy pushes the Illuminated and the Swordsman away.  Score 8-4

Turn Five.  Quick mop up turn and Somer moves, focused, and shot Lynch for 3 points on Neutralize (note to self.  Misdirection is good yo.  Find a spot for it next time that scheme is in there).  I flip one of his squats.  Score 10-7

And then there was this game.  I can't even begin to explain in words why this game went as lop sided as it did.

Round Five:
Deployment: Standard
Strategy: Guard the Stash
Schemes: Convict Labor, Exhaust Their Forces, Leave Your Mark, Undercover Entourage, Set Up.
Opponent:Adam (Neverborn)

The Lists:
Lynch w/ Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun, Recalled Training
Hungering Darkness w/ Recalled Training
Lone Swordsman w/ Recalled Training
Yin w/ Smoke Grenades
2 x Illuminated
10 Thunder Brother
Shadow Effigy

Collodi w/Bag of Props, Strum the Threads
Primordial Magic
Mysterious Emissary
Lucky Effigy
2 x Stitched Togethers

I won deployment and made him set up on the top side.  He put the Primordial Magic up top by itself, the Doppleganger and Lazarus off on my right flank, and everything else kind of in the middle.  I put 10 TB and the effigy on the left flank and everything else kind of toward the center with Huggy and the Swordsman more to the right.  I took Convict Labor and Leave Your Mark, he took Entourage and Leave Your Mark.  We played the two light brown area terrain as dense.

Turn One.  I was kinda ok with Lazarus getting one shot if he moved up into terrain so I crashed the right side hard.  So I sent Huggy through the building toward the center line on the far right.  Swordsman came up beside the house.  Effigy put remember the mission on the Brother then moved up.  One Illuminated went down the left flank but more toward the stash marker.and the other made a bead for the other marker.  The Brother moved up to the left centerline edge and RTM dropped the first convict.  Yin moved up the center and Lynch right behind him.  He moved Primordial Magic up where it would be out of LOS on my left.  The effigy went toward my illuminated on the left, the Emissary toward the left stash.  Both stitched moved up but didn't participate.  Doppleganger moved up and copied Lazarus' launcher to no great effect.  But between Collodi taking damage for fast, Lazarus coping Collodis' attack and 3 13's in my opponents hand, My swordsman and Huggy were both slow, down to 1 wound, and the first AP the swordsman was taking was Collodis' to use.  Score 0-0

-Right about here is when Lynch probably said to himself 'Wait a minute.  I realize you brought a Doppleganger but I am the master of manipulating fate.  How dare you have the audacity to use that better than me."

Turn 2  I had my right side Illuminated move up to the stash and in range of the Swordsman and the shoot at huggy who relented to bury heal and remove conditions.  I don't remember the order of activations this round but I know a Stitched moved up to the right side stash and failed a gamble for moderate damage (hello Huggy target) Lazarus and the Doppleganger combined for almost  no damage but I think he killed the Swordsman out of fear of my 0 action reactivate.Yin double moved up to support the right from the center.  My Illuminated on the left dropped a marker and moved up to threaten his effigy.  My effigy hid behind the left stash marker.  Brother danced dropped the third marker and moved up to set marks next turn.  His effigy charged my Illuminated to no effect.  His Emissary dropped a land marker and moved up to the stash marker on the left. Collodi moved over to support the effigy and senT my Illuminated into the land marker.  Lynch moved up to be in unbury range. paid for blood twice on the stitched and Huggy came back.  Then I charge him to occupy Lazarus and the Doppleganger putting damage on the Doppleganger.  Score 2-0

Turn 3  With Lynch I never stone for cards.  So we flip initiative we both flip moderate cards but I win.  He cheats a 10.  Normally I wouldn't burn a stone here but with red joker in hand if I win this flip I can probably completely neuter his crew this turn.  So I stone and get a 12.  Pop RT  finish the Doppleganger, then stone for ram and swing at Lazarus for 7 (armor+2 takes 5) no way to remove him this turn and it seemed a waste of the joker there so I held it.  Collodi creates a brutal effigy making the Emissary fast.  Well that's no bueno.  Time for Lynch to shut him down.  Activate, pop RT, mulligan, move, stone for ram shoot and hit for 10 damage (cheated the joker)but HTK, then pay for blood and poof no more Emissary.  Brutal moved up to the stash The Illuminated charged it got a lucky moderate on the first swing to bring it to HTK then finished it in the second swing.  I think the other stitched failed a gamble as well so Yin charged it and occupied Collodi as well removing the stitched.  He moved the Primordial magic up to cancel my Convicts but he was in Dance range of the Brother who focused and removed him but denying me Mark.  Score 4-0

Turn 4  I never used wicked on Yin in all the games and to score Entourage he had to leave engagement.  With all the damage he ate to be fast this finishes him off and we call the game because he is out of things to score points with. Score 9-0  I probably owe this poor guy a drink.

So I'm off for birthday cake, hang with friends from high school I haven't seen in 4/5 years and another trip to the airport.  At least I get to drive to May Day in NC the following weekend... Until next time.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ripples of Fate Preview: Asami Tanaka

This week’s preview is Asami Tanaka, a new master for the Ten Thunders faction. Continuing with the precedent established by Shen Long, she is single faction (apparently the infiltration part of the Thunders’ plans has now passed) and seems to be an interesting mix of traits that makes for a unique, Oni themed crew.

But what is she? Other than a walking, talking bad-hair day (rimshot) a speculation has been made, based on that hair and the description provided by Wyrd that she is a support master but doesn’t “lack her own bite.” This led to some speculation as to what sort of horrible thing she may actually be, which was tantalizingly teased by Nathan that the community was on the right track. So let’s go with the assumption that the speculation is right and present the monster Tanaka may actually be: a Futakuchi-onna.

Om nom nom

This is a creature from Japanese myth, a woman with a mouth on the back of her head. Created in most myths by a miserly husband who fails to feed his wife, this creature’s hair acts as tentacles that feed the mouth on the back of the head which will end up consuming twice as much as the mouth on the front. Personally, I always love these new Ten Thunders style creatures, mostly because I’m not familiar with Japanese folklore at all, so things like Yin the Penanggalan and the Kamitachi are always a fascinating look into an unfamiliar culture. Also, as a dungeon master for other roleplaying games, they’re always good to crib and use for other things to make my pcs miserable. If Tanaka really is one of these onna monsters, then she is a very cool addition to the faction.

But what is she in Malifaux? Let’s see what we can glean from the card.

Her stats are pretty strong, in my opinion. She diverges from the Ten Thunders pattern of 6’s all over the place, but with Lillith’s defense stats, 10 wounds, and Hard to Kill she has some decent staying power. The rest of her stats and her cache are fairly middling, but this may not be a huge surprise given that the preview mentions that she can call forth Oni onto the field of battle, which sounds pretty much like she’s a summoner. This fills a gap in the faction and puts her in an odd place, as she has Lillith-y stats but will likely want to be midfield, since she’s summoning and giving her Oni the ability to charge as a (1) action. Rush of magic is always a good thing, especially for summoners which can tend to be card (and suit) intensive.

Just for reference, the list of Oni in Malifaux are: Ama No Zako, Obsidian Oni, Jorogumo, Kamaitachi, and Tengu. I’m sure she’ll have other synergies with Oni, but I can only see the first three getting much use out of the Charging buff. Still, I’m sure there will be new Oni coming with her release, and it should make for a very cool and very weird looking crew!

All of these masters have been pretty strong, in my opinion, and I don’t know who I’m more excited to see (ok, it’s Titania.) Ripples of Fate is going to be a pretty awesome book, if this trend keeps going. See you next week! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A sincere apology and where have all the hills gone?

Hello all.  It's Jon aka Phiasco (my new asshole persona).  So I need to go on the record and publicly offer my sincerest apology to Kevin (my last opponent from Cmon).  Just because I don't like a rule and chose to ignore it doesn't give me the grounds to assume everyone needs to play the game the same way.  Every comment I made about his character or assumptions I made of cheating was completely unfounded and here I am with egg on my face.

So how did this even happen in the first place?  Let me go back to when I first heard about vantage point rules.  Coming into 2e I didn't play a lot of games year one.  I had my feet in a few other long running games, I was working crazy hours, and didn't really have a ton of time for gaming in general.  I did however listen to many different podcasts.  If I knew the one that was talking about how vantage point worked I would link it here.  (maybe someone knows what I am referring to and can help me out).  Anyway I will paraphrase the talking points if I remember them correctly.

- the vantage point rule ignores basic math and geometry.  As someone who passed a quantum physics class with an A, this bothers me almost to my core.  I think the example was imagine Hans standing on the ground shooting at something 3 inches deep on height 2 vantage point terrain 30 inches away (33 inches total).  Assuming the bullet leaves Hans at height 1.8, then it follows 99% of the model is visible but not targetable.  Hans can see the target from the waist up 5 tables away. And if you prescribe to rules as written and say the bullet leaves from his foot Hans can still see 80% of the model and not be able to target it.  I can find where Justin Gibbs (2e game designer) was interviewed and says the thing he hates the most about the game is vantage point and I can link it in the comments if requested.  For these reasons I have chosen to never use the vantage rules and they faded from memory.  It still doesn't give me the right to make someone not use those rules.

I am fairly certain this did not come into play in the game in question as the vantage height was 3 and I was using Lynch with his range 8"

==> But Phiasco... rules as written blah blah blah... why are you crying like a bitch?

If it is your perception that I'm crying and complaining where there is no room for argument then I really don't know why you are here.  You hate me and nothing I can do at this point will change your opinion of me.  Most of what I did deserves that but if you got this far and are more open minded then you come off as (speaking to my hecklers of course) please allow me to present the other half of vantage rules that I feel may have been ignored.

-  If you are shooting down from vantage, you still measure from the closest edge of one base to the closest edge of the target base and if 2.01" (for a ht 2 model) of that measurement is up on the vantage the shot is blocked.  You don't get to ignore the entire edge because you're within 2" of it.

I want to make it perfectly clear I was beat fair and square but at the same time following this rule was never made clear for any of the shots taken.  To be completely fair I didn't even know we were using vantage point until turn 3.  I'm certain we are not the first to clash on vantage and we won't be the last.  It is no excuse for my behavior, I'm sorry.  I intend to lay this to rest and move on.  I understand your reservations on me continuing to blog.  I have learned I need to go to the source and iron out what happened if there is any room for misinterpretation.  I agree the community is more important than my blog.  So if I continue to treat the community in an unfair manner by all means let me know.

The other side of the coin there are problem players in every game and I am bound to run into one eventually.  If I fail to work it out with the player I will work with the TO (or I may have to go to the TO first depending on circumstance).  But you can be sure I will not post another blog on raw emotion.

Also I realise my social media presence is lacking and I am very slow to respond.  I will work on it but I make no promises as I tend to be busy and sometimes have no say in when I can get online while traveling.

==> But Phiasco... you are still an asshole and you suck.

Thank you for the compliments.  A I agree and B very well the ladies say.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ripples of Fate Preview: Reva

Continuing with the Ripples of Fate previews, this week’s sneak peek reveals a master from the Resurrectionist faction. Reva appears to be a woman wearing what resembles a nun’s habit, riding a horse. I know I, for one, enjoy the mounted characters, so that’s always fun. I wish I had more details to share on the character’s background, as I did with Titania last week, but alas Reva hasn’t appeared anywhere to give us some information on who or what she is (at least, not that we know.)
So, let’s take a look at the stat card, shall we?

We have the first appearance of the Revenant keyword, so apparently Reva will come along with her own new type of creatures. With 13 wounds she has some survivability, but perhaps not as much as we’re used to seeing from Rezzer masters since she is only Df 5 and has none of the usual defensive keywords (armor, Hard to Wound, Hard to Kill, etc.) This appears to be less of an issue for Reva, however, as she is able to cast her spells out of any corpse markers she can see within 18”. As such, it seems she’s going to want to stay back a bit rather than leading from the front lines. Her horse seems to embrace the “Slow and steady wins the race” mantra, as it only has walk 5, though with Unimpeded and a charge of 10, I wouldn’t exactly call her slow either.

Reva definitely seems to draw power from the dead a bit more directly than the other Rezzer masters, both from her ability to use corpses to draw line of sight and her The Final Veil ability, which lets her heal whenever a non-peon is killed within 8” of her. She can summon a corpse candle (whatever that is. Probably some sort of dead totemy thing like a daydream or a marionette) by discarding a card at the start of her activation.

"Careful now! Or Hobbits go down to join the dead ones, and light little candles of their own."

Looks like a cool model, and potentially a new flavor for the Rezzers (wait, we don’t want to get the corpse markers back up again?). I’m quietly hoping she doesn’t have an awesome (0) action, as Maniacal Laugh to turn corpse markers into Mindless Zombies creates some interesting possibilities to give her Rasputina-like force projection abilities. Of course, we don’t know what the spells she would be casting out of these corpse markers will be, but I doubt they involve cuddling the enemy and giving them a nice box of candies. In any case, as a sort of sideline fan of the Resurrectionists (I’ll get around to playing them some day) I’m interested to see more of who Reva and her Revenants are and what they do on the battlefield. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

CMON expo. A tale of an almost first place finish.

Greetings all.  This is Jon.  Adam asked me to report my exploits and shenanigans.  So instead of sending him bits and pieces I figured I would give this blogging thing a whirl.  Writing is not something I do often so if I am somewhat vague feel free to ask questions or leave constructive criticism.  Also my phone takes crappy pictures.  I am very aware of this.  I will upgrade in the near future.  With the disclaimers out of the way on to the tournament!

Game one:

Normally I would name opponents but I misplaced a sheet so I'm doing that round by memory and there may be some content that can be construed as a negative play experience.  While it is relatively easy to extrapolate who I am talking about, I will leave all names out as I feel its a polite thing I can do.  I'm not angry.  There are several things I did wrong to lose that game and it was a hard lesson in tournament scheme selection.

Round one:
Strat: Guard the stash.  Schemes: Convict Labor, Set up, Undercover Entourage, Leave your mark, Exhaust their forces.  Deploy:  Corner

Going into this one I was going to use Brewmaster because his defensive trigger is debilitating in corner deployment.  But my opponent told me he was relatively new to the game (less then 10 games played if memory serves.  So I figured a more straight forward master like Lynch would A. play faster on my side and B. not be so confusing and be a NPE for a newer player by making his models do nothing all game.

So the lists: 10 Thunders Vs Arcanists
Lynch, Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun, Recalled Training
Hungering Darkness, Recalled Training
Yin, Smoke Grenades
Illuminated x 2
10 Thunder Brothers x 2

Rasputina, Child of December, Decembers Pawn, Shattered Heart
Ice Golem, Armor of December
Hoarcat Pride
Ice Gamin x 3
Sabretooth Cerebus

I don't remember who won flip or who deployed first.  There was no from the shadows I started by the building with the grey roof, and my opponent in the opposite corner.  I sent a brother down each flank to complete convict labor and then to peel off for leave your mark, an illuminated toward each stash marker (hugging cover), Huggy to support one and Yin the other.  Lynch set up behind a fence where he could not be seen between both strat groups.  He came up kinda in a cloud formation and I'm not really certain if there was a plan other then to try to win combat and sweep past me.  This was probably one of his first games since Huggy's incorporeal was frustrating him.  So much so he used smash when Huggy was on one wound top of turn two (probably unaware he was only buried).  Removing Huggy left a lane for my illuminated to skirt past the golem and charge Raspy. He tried to harass one of my thunder brothers with the hoarcat.  Lynch deleted the cerebus releasing huggy who charged the hoarcat and deleted it so my markers on that flank would count.  With Raspy effectively neutralized (don't remember if I killed the golem somewhere in there) he decided to call it.  We both failed the strat turn 3 so I got that game 9-1.  I don't particularly enjoy beating brand new players this bad.  I only hope he sticks with the game and gives it a chance.

Game two:

This table was interesting.  The stairs up to the platforms didn't seem set up in any logical way and I knew I was taking 3 models that don't care.  This guy was running Outcasts but also said he was relatively new.  So we agreed everything was climbable.  Since he showed up with a box that didn't look like it could hold the rat engine and if it did all my stuff can act independent and it was standard deploy sooo...

Round two:
Strat: Turf War.  Schemes: Convict Labor, A Quick Murder, Public Demonstration, Show of Force, Exhaust their forces.  Deploy:  Standard

The lists: 10 Thunders Vs Outcasts
Lynch, Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun, Recalled Training
Hungering Darkness, Recalled Training
Yin, Smoke Grenades
Illuminated x 2
10 Thunder Brothers x 2

Von Schill
Strongarm Suit

I don't remember his upgrades as I didn't write them down but every model had an upgrade.  With Turf War and Show of Force having obvious synergy I didn't expect I could compete in Show with just Yin.  As an aside with his crews only threat to my scheme runners being Hans I knew I had 3 points locked up for convict labor (or he would have to potentially lose a stat point and a scheme point to contest my markers).  Public Demonstration while this being the easiest set up I will ever get the list is not built to do it and it relies too heavily not picking off an Illuminated before I spring it.  In hindsight a quick murder on the Strongarm was probably the way I should have gone but somewhere in the back of my mind what if he plays cagey with an obvious melee model and stands back shooting people?  So I settled on Exhaust.  The Brothers didn't have to guard markers anyway as he was obviously all in on a rush to the middle.

Something that didn't happen is I didn't stop to think what he probably took for the second scheme.  I can rule out Public Demonstration seeing as how he had 0 demonstrators, not enough models to attempt Convict, and Exhaust is difficult if you are being out activated (but not to be ruled out) so it was almost certainly a Quick Murder (which my list inadvertently thwarts with attacking Yin at a double negative outside of 6"). But had I did this step I would have deployed Yin in cover for an extra negative.  Even though it turns out Hans doesn't have a built in positive like the other snipers these are the kinds of mistakes I'm going to need to eliminate from my game.

Turn 1.  I deploy on the closer side in the picture.  Brother on each flank and everything else aiming to support the fight for the middle.  He takes a pot shot with Hans (set up on the walkway behind the building for cover) at Yin which misses (still not triggering my spidey senses).  I advance everything into cover except the Brothers.  I send Chiaki to support the thunder brother on my left flank so I can get the markers down quick to maybe get him into the scum turn 3 for Exhaust.  He brought the Strongarm and Librarian down my right flank but angling for the center.  I think he got Hannah and Schill up to or on the walkway towards the center.  I still don't know what the plan for Lazarus was but he was back by Hans on the ground.  Score 0-0

Turn 2.  He advances Strongarm and Hannah up to score.  I charge Huggy in to melee range of both putting some damage on Hannah so the Librarian would have to think about randomizing.  I advance an Illuminated to score.  Between Hans and Schill they kill that Illuminated.  So I advance the other one and Yin in for scoring.  I start running the left flank bro toward the center and advance the other to cover to maybe make a run at Hans.  Score 2-2 (Convict for me, Show for him).

Turn 3.  This where my opponent says 'That's where it all went horribly wrong really'.  I win imitative pop Recalled Training stone for the envelop trigger.  I hit the Strongarm for a straight damage flip and top deck the red joker for 11 damage.  Then I stone for envelop and hit Hannah for 7.  And suddenly there were 2 less models.  (turns out he forgot a legend to live up to which is basically hard to kill.  The math as I see it is I would have killed both of those models with Lynch next activation if he skipped the librarian to get rid of Huggy and in the end of that turn he might have scored 2 less)  He jumps Schill into Huggy burying him.  The Librarian moves up to score.  Still no clue what Lazarus is doing.  I move Yin and the Illuminated up on the walk to go after Hans next turn.  Chiaki and the thunder bro came up to score the strat.  I score exhaust somewhere in there I think it was Yin on Lazarus.  Score 5-4

Turn 4 .Pick off the Librarian, exhaust Lazarus, and engage Hans.  Turn flew by pretty quick.  Score 8-4.  Called the game here 10-4 me.

With a +14 differential and at most 5 undefeateds barring ties (which there is very likely at least a few) means I'm probably playing for first place next game.  There were no table numbers and match ups just picked a table, set up, and go.  So outside of the final standings there is no way for me to tell at this point if I'm playing for 1st or the second place table (where 1st is possible if the the first place table ties and being in 5th at this point being highly unlikely but mathematically possible).

Game three:

This was the table my opponent suggested.  When you see his list it will be obvious why but someone beat us to it.  This is Shenlong, Hans, and two snipers all day.  I will gladly trade my 6 shot to his 3.  But instead of dwelling on what almost was a completely different game...


This table seemed relatively balanced.  More outcasts and 'kinda new player'.  I'm going to hedge against ratjoy and bring Aionus.  Somewhere in the chaos I put an element in my list for Reconnoiter and not Reckoning.

 Round three:
Strat: Reckoning.  Schemes: Convict Labor, Take Prisoner, Detonate the Charges, Covert Breakthrough, Hunting Party.  Deploy:  Standard

The lists: 10 Thunders Vs Outcasts
Lynch, Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun
Hungering Darkness, Recalled Training
Aionus, Recalled Training
Illuminated x 2
Torshiro, Command the Graves

2x Waif
Rusty Alyce
2x Trapper
2x Convict Gunslingers

I lost the deployment flip.  This wasn't as debilitating as it could have been considering he had 2 models with from the shadows I failed to account for in my set up.  I chose the corner with the small square building.  He deployed both Trappers together one one the ground behind the rectangle building on my side and one up on the roof in the corner as close to the corner of the board as you can get* (I'll touch back on this as I got cheated).  Hans was up on the building in the middle of the other side.

Instead of doing a play by play or turn by turn I'll just run the highlights.  Not taking any bros cut Convict out of contention.  So I went with Breakthrough and Detonate because Chiaki could probably score me 2 on that.  I tie up Hans with Huggy turn 2 after killing a Gunslinger to get him back.  I tied up Levi with Torshiro for a couple turns.  He scored the strat turn 2 and had I ran my Illuminated down the right flank and pretend it was dropping convict markers I could have stopped him from scoring 3 (for the game) on hunting party.

Where this game went sideways for me is when I tried to shoot the Trapper on the roof (who had move up turn one cause it was out of range or something but it was still more than 2 inches from the edge of the building facing my deployment zone)  He was running the other Trapper to do break through but he hadn't dropped any markers yet.  So he told me I'm pretty sure you can't shoot that guy because vantage point rules.  I didn't bother to check the rules at this point because this guy was slow playing me weather he intended to or not.  So I just changed target to the scheme runner and cheat to what would have been a tie unless he cheated the red joker and he cheated the joker.  I had the red joker in hand and I tie/win the game had I played it there.  I was saving it to one shot a buried Levi with Aionus.

So there is this last round call at 15 mins and we are seconds from the end of 4. score going into 5 is 4-6.  And he calls the game with some lame excuse of I have to be ready to drive 3 hours after this.  If that's the only way you can win buddy have at it.  Top of 5 I have Lynch w/ 5 wds, huggy full and in charge range for Levi, unwounded Aionus, and Chiaki.  Levi had one wound, 2 Waifs hiding in a puddle of piss and the Trapper on the roof who at this point had been cheating the entire game to shoot at me as it turns out that the vantage point rule runs both ways.  Chiaki could still score me detonate for 2 or 3, Lynch could pick up a marker. And I would have scored strat for killing Levi twice that turn.  I turned in the sheets with 12 minutes left and there is no way we would have not finished with 8 models on the table.  But whatever.

So what did I learn from all that?  Take models to do the schemes I chose, have a fall back model, and score a fast as possible.  I don't mean for this to sound salty but I'm sure it does.  I learned several things from all three games, generally had fun (I can't prove the last guy meant to cheat me but you can be for certain I have vantage point seared into my brain and that won't happen again).  I need to slow down and focus at the selection step because this is not the first time I made this type of error.

And a week from this tournament is BKFuax (last weekend at the time of posting this).  So more tournament reports to come.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ripples of Fate Preview: Titania

This week’s Monday preview brought us the first in a series of reveals for the masters in Malifaux’s next book, Ripples of Fate. Confidentially, I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, as the first preview was…Titania!

With a name that hearkens to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” it should be no surprise that Titania is the Queen of the Fae. The resemblance ends there, however, as details revealed from the Nythera Penny Dreadful (stop reading if you plan on playing this or don’t want this spoiled) let you know that she was once ruler of the Neverborn before she made a pact with the Grave Spirit to defeat the Tyrants by shattering their physical forms. The Neverborn were not thrilled with this (their hatred of the undead continues to be one of their defining traits, as Hayreddin can likely attest) and they locked her away beneath Nythera before she could bring the Grave Spirit fully into the world. Since then, she has leeched the energy from the Badlands, turning them into the wastes that they currently are, before being released by Fated at the end of this summer’s events (assuming that your Fated released her. I am aware that not all are as impulsive as others but, as my players put it “We’ve come this far, there’s no way we’re NOT going to find out what’s locked under here.”
Fluff-wise, I like this character a lot from the little bit we have so far. Someone who is an enemy of the Neverborn from the inside, who is returning and going to make the other masters decide how they feel about this person being back, could lead to some very interesting stories going forward. Also, it occurs to me that all of us should feel some sort of affinity for her, as Titania is one of the first characters any of us ever saw in Malifaux and one who many of us have spent games praying would appear in our favor.

Look familiar?

But what about in game? Let’s take a look at the front of the stat card.

For Neverborn players, it should be apparent that this is something very new and different for the faction. This character is very tough. With twelve wounds, Impossible to Wound, and the ability to heal two wounds every time her crew drops a scheme marker within 6” of you, it’s going to take some doing to bring down our new Undead queen. Additionally, enemy models that activate within 6” while in base contact with her scheme markers have to make a WP duel or take some damage. This seems like it would be sort of difficult to set up, but still makes some interesting possibilities for using her to defend markers in schemes like Convict Labor. Walk 5 and flight on a master usually means speed, though that’s nothing new for Neverborn. Still, good to see she will be able to keep up with other members of the faction if she needs too. And, frankly, nobody is likely to say no to a 4 cache. That’s good stuff, and will let you feed stones into the crew without having to save them for her (usually.) It’s tough to gauge anything past that without seeing the flip side of the card and her upgrades, but so far I like what I see.

As an aside, I’m happy to officially announce that roving reporter Jon has joined the blog as an official coauthor, and should be posting soon about his experiences at the Cool Mini Or Not Expo tournament.