Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book 5 Model Pre-Previews: Neverborn

I'm moving over the next couple of days, so you get your Neverborn preview early. Congratulations!


-The Monday preview was a model we're reviewing in this article (not a coincidence) so we'll get to her later.

-In lieu of any other news, let me give a plug to a newish podcast, High Fauxdelity. They have a unique take on the podcast format, selecting a Soulstone value and debating the best and worst models at that soulstone cost. Every host nominates a model, and the only rule of the debate is that the other hosts are not allowed to agree with any nominations other than their own. Other than their bloody April Fools episode, which tragically I started playing while driving and couldn't safely turn off, I enjoy their show very much. Check them out!

-And speaking of podcasts, Arcane Reservoir, the most consistent and longest running UK Malifaux podcast, has launched a brand new homepage. Check it out, too. They've done a great job of branching out into a full multi-media experience. The podcast is very much oriented towards competitive tournament play in the UK meta and are unapologeticly firm in supporting their opinions (I still smart from their assessment of Titania's abilities as a master, fair though they may have been), so it may not appeal to all listeners, but I'm betting the website should have something for everybody. 


Hinamatsu-9ss Henchman-Obviously a melee oriented henchman, as it has melee master to give it two additional AP for melee attacks. That means potentially four (4!) attacks per turn. Yowza. Has some armor and an ability that prevents Hinamatsu or enemy models within 6” from taking actions outside of their activation, so will not be Zoraida or Collodi’s friend, despite being a puppet. It gets a + to attack flips and initially does only a weak 1/2/3 damage spread. However, each hit also adds a condition that stacks on additional damage on additional hits until Hinamatsu hits them for at least 4, at which point the condition falls off. To keep from overextending him, you can snatch enemy models from 6” to him, and with its 0 action it gets to cheat fate on any attack with a + flip (like its melee attacks) face down. Df 5, armor 1 and 9 wounds isn’t exactly invincible, but Hinamatsu looks like he could put some hurt on the enemy in the right circumstances.

Cyclops-8ss Enforcer-A new Fae for the Queen! This one gets to pitch a card on its activation and gain either a bonus to its ranges with a mask or a small heal with a ram. It has frozen heart, which is usually handy, and the Santiago Ortega suite of “Hits you harder when it’s taken some damage and has hard to kill," which also has potential to be useful. Has a pretty decent melee attack (albeit with only a 5 ML stat, but what’re you gonna do) that can gain blasts off of a ram trigger (see also the Santiago abilities.) It has a very random 0 action ability where it targets nearby scheme markers (which Titania will likely be creating, remember,) flips the top card of the fate deck, and generates some kind of effect based on the card. Could be interesting with Zoraida or some other model that lets you know what card is there, but a bit too random for my tastes, particularly when its other 0 action is to summon Ice Pillars, which is always helpful. I’ll let you guess which one I’ll be using more often…

Bultungin-5ss Minion-A fitting introduction of the Abyssinian folklore (they’re about to become a big deal in Malifaux/The Other Side, after all,) the Bultungin is a werehyena from various East African cultures (presumably. It’s what came up from my Google search, anyway.) You’re going to need to be careful with these guys, as Df 5 Wp5 Wd6 and no defensive abilities doesn’t inspire confidence. Everything with these guys is built around trying to get off their 2 AP Savage Mauling attack. If the enemy drops a scheme marker within line of sight of them, they gain a condition that lets them move an extra inch per instance of the condition at the end of the turn. If they move into melee range through something other than a walk or charge action they can discard a card to take the Savage Mauling attack. Their 1 AP melee attack has a trigger to then take their 2 AP melee attack. So the 2 AP attack must be pretty great, right? Well, 3/4/5 Ml6 is not exactly overwhelming, though a 5ss minion doing it is alright. I guess it seems like a lot of set-up to pull it off. I could be wrong. 

Adze-7SS Enforcer-Some more African folklore, the Adze is a vampiric sort of creature that can be either a firefly or take a humanoid form. They’re a 40mm incorporeal model that has a souped-up version of the Primordial Magic’s ability to count as a Scheme Marker, as you can discard a card to avoid having to discard it for the Scheme in question. It has a Melee 6 attack with a built in trigger to heal itself for the amount of damage dealt. It can also use the Will-o-the-Wisp’s Wisp call ability to dictate the enemy’s movement to them. Their 0 action can lock a non-leader model out of their 0 actions for a turn, which could be situationally useful. Finally, they have a tactical action that looks an awful lot like an attack action, a 2 AP Ca attack that forces the target to pass a TN12 WP duel or take a 3/4/5 damage flip. Something for the aforementioned Wisps to borrow and use, I suppose. 7SS for this guy might be a little steep, but I’m interested in the scheme marker ability and the synergy with other Wisps.

I am Grootslang.

Grootslang-6SS Minion-Yet more African folklore, this creature is truly unique, essentially being a creature created by the gods that is part Elephant and part Snake (realizing their mistake, the gods split them into the two creatures after their creation.) This model is built around using Terrain to its advantage, gaining a + to all non-damage flips when in contact with a marker that counts as Terrain (Waldgeist trees, Lillith forests, etc.) Additionally, they do more damage when in base-to-base with a Lair marker. What’s a Lair marker you ask? They’re a ht0 50mm marker that you place 3 of anywhere on your half of the table at the beginning of the game. Grootslangs ignore penalties for severe or hazardous terrain when moving, which is handy, and can hop from lair to lair as a 1 AP action (no interacting after they do so, of course. That would be pretty crazy.) They have a harder hitting rg 1 attack with their claws or a slightly weaker rg3 melee attack. When they take the lair to lair action they can use a mask trigger to take a free melee attack. And, finally, they can discard a corpse or scrap marker with which they are in base to base as a 0 action to make a new Lair marker. It’s an interesting model, to be sure. I’ll want to see it in play a bit more to be sure of what it can really do. The mobility seems handy, however, and 6SS is relatively cheap for all of these abilities.

Hey good lookin'.

Serena Bowman-7SS Enforcer-Finally, our second Divergent Paths model, the Trickster, joins the ranks of the Neverborn. The flaying she endured has resulted in her gaining Disguised and a Thick Skin ability that prevents her from taking pulse damage. Perhaps most eyebrow-raisingly, when she dies she doesn’t drop a marker and you resummon her in your deployment zone at the end of the turn. Wow! She has an ok melee attack with a fun trigger when she kills someone to put on their skin and make it harder to attack her with melee actions, but I have a suspicion this won’t see as much use as her other attack, Black Blood Tendril. This one lets her work as a sort of poor-man’s Reva or Rasputina, giving her a range 3 melee attack that she can have pop out of any model with Black Blood within 12” and LoS of her. She can give a Nightmare model Black Blood for the rest of the game, and with a trigger can then give it to a Non-Nightmare within 3” of the original target. Finally, she has a healing spell that needs a ram to cast unless she casts it on herself, which is handy if nothing else because Neverborn don’t have a ton of healing in-faction. I like her. I like her a lot. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Book 5 Model Previews: Guild

Just a couple of mini-musings this week, then we'll do a quick look at the upcoming Guild models.


-Wyrd needs volunteers for Gencon. This is always a ton of fun, and I'm very sad I won't be able to help out this year. More room for you, though! 

-Just in time to be too late for my blog, here's the image of the Self-Righteous Man after Divergent Paths/in Book 5. Werewolves with top hats: always a crowd pleaser.


As usual, all of these models are still being tested and are thus subject to change by the time the book finally comes out. 

Jury-8ss Henchman-First mentioned all the way back in the fluff from Book 1 of 1st Edition Malifaux, The Jury finally joins the Judge and Executioner in the law sub-faction of the Guild. Has some utility by allowing models within 6” to discard a card and add a mask to their duels (like if, oh, I don’t know, you wanted to Riposte for instance.) He/she/it has an interaction with the fees condition through handing it out on defensive or offensive triggers and can force you to discard a card for each point of your Fees condition with a trigger on the ranged “Throw the Book At Them” action. Finally, the Jury can find you innocent, guilty, or libel as a 0 to put some nasty conditions on enemy models or give some healing to friendly ones.

Guild Investigator-6ss Minion-I’m a big fan of the idea of these guys: detectives that are investigating stuff that’s going on in Malifaux. Its attack is nothing to write home about (though at least the gun has a claw symbol so it can be used for melee.) However, it has some interesting potential in terms of denial of enemy scheme marker stuff, by eating one every turn (or a corpse or scrap marker) to draw a card, locking the enemy out of using any scheme markers near the investigator for their actions or to complete schemes, and by pushing models that are near where a scheme marker is placed. Cool.

Thalarian Queller-6ss minion-For non fluff-heads, the Thalraian doctrine is one of the many magical methodologies in Malifaux, in this case one that focuses on suppressing other spellcasters and creating enchantment/long running effects. This is embodied by this model, who can toss out markers to create a sort of mobile version of the “Removes suits from Ml, Sh, Ca, Df, etc.” effect that models like Hannah have. They can enchant friendly models weapons to make their damage unreducable, which is handy, and can use a ranged attack to reduce enemy’s attacks and possibly give them slow. An interesting tech piece, but time will tell if it's useful enough to see play in most games.

Monster Hunter-6ss minion-Reflecting presumably some members of the Latigo posse who also do monster hunting (how many Ortegas are there?), these guys interact with the Stalked condition (which they can apply with a 0). In addition to the free moves generated from it, models with the condition have to discard a card to cheat fate against them, the Monster Hunter can get a free attack on them after taking a “Stalked” move, and the Monster Hunter can heal itself and draw some cards after killing a model with the condition. In addition, they deal extra damage and take less damage from models with higher soulstone costs than them.

Domador de Cadaveres-7ss Enforcer-The real headline on this model is, obviously, the Special Dispensation ability that lets the crew hire a 6ss or less undead model for each model with the ability (so, you know, Rotten Belles. There are other choices but…come on.) They can hand out free attacks to a friendly living model within 6” of them that is dying, so that’s fairly thematic. They have a few attack actions, in that they can make the opponent discard a card, do some damage (and heal any friendly models that are beneath pulses generated by their ranged attack) or use an Obey-like effect on non-leader undead models. Handy and flavorful but, goodness, the new Governor General must have some interesting policies…

Riot Breaker-6ss Minion-So a new Guild construct that has been a minion in the Through the Breach roleplaying game for a while now (that's where the above art comes from), oddly enough, these guys seem to be peacekeeping models of some kind. They block models near them from gaining any extra AP from fast or casting expert, which could be situationally useful. They’ll probably be used mostly for their Riot Gun attack, that adds some cheap blast damage and gives models damaged by it Insignificant for the rest of the turn. Its Tactical Action seems like it could be useful for breaking up clusters of models, as a Wk duel of 13 requires a 7 or an 8 for most models to pass, but I’m personally not a huge fan of these type of abilities, as they tend to not do anything significant when I’ve tried them. Not sure on this model, but we’ll see. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Book 5 Model Pre-Previews: Arcanists


-Book 5 playtest is open, and you can be a part of it! Aaron is posting a file with the new models every Wednesday to this thread on Wyrd’s forum. The models in the file are Henchman, Enforcers, and Minions (notably, no masters. Hmm) for each of the factions, including the three Divergent Paths models. Go test them out and send in some feedback!

-A company called Dog Might is Kickstarting some cool woodenboxes to transport your crews, decks, and tokens for a Malifaux game. The boxes can be ordered with Malifaux’s faction logos on them. They’re pretty cool. Go check ‘em out.

-Kimberly and Kai have joined the Wyrd staff. Pop into this thread and say hi.

-A new Penny Dreadful One-Shot adventure, Til Death Do Us Part, has been added to DriveThru RPG. The Fated are hired to solve a murder…by the person that was murdered. It’s $5. Go give it a look.

-New Bios have been posted for some Book 1 Enforcers, Henchmen, and Minions for each of the factions on Wyrd’s website, along with some lore about the factions themselves.

-Finally, the last Monday Preview contained an image of one of the Divergent Paths characters, the orphan who ended up with Leviticus. And it looks like this!


              Since I’m not going to a ton of tournaments at the moment (I have a move coming up soon and I’ve been busy with some writing projects, more on this soon) I thought I would go through some of the new stuff coming in Book 5. Obviously, all of these are still in testing, so I’m not going into much detail, as they all can change. This week, here’s the Arcanists.

Paul Crockett-A henchman with some beast synergy/antipathy abilities. He’s immune to hazardous terrain, can give friendly beasts free attacks when he hits someone, and is terrifying and can trigger for extra damage against beasts. Fortunately, can turn models into “beasts” with a (0) action, so these abilities will stay relevant even when legitimate beasts are unavailable. There’s a pretty good chance he’ll be most useful for his gun, which does reasonable damage and ignores cover and randomization when firing into melee, but I imagine he'll have some nice use with Marcus.

Kandara-A henchman to run around with Banasuva. Kandara doesn’t take damage from the jealous firelord ability. Some decent attacks, a self-healing condition than can be applied when she is hit with blasts/pulses or flips severe damage on her ranged and melee attacks, and can shuffle upgrades with other Gamin (allowing you to remove some of the hindering upgrades from the models Sandeep summons, at the cost of Kandara having to hold it for a turn.)

Neil Henry-7SS Enforcer that synergizes with constructs (despite apparently hating them). He’s from the foundry, so he will play nice with Ramos and Mei Feng crews, among others. He has a decent melee attack, can gain free attacks when a construct hits something near him, and can put a “Fragile” condition on models that give damage flips a +. Finally, he can take a McCabe-esque reactivation, after which his heart bursts and he dies. I like the two folklorish characters joining the game. 

Medical Automaton-5SS minion construct that grants some healing. Can grant a 1/2/3 healing flip to a model within 3” and give a model Hard to Kill as a 0 action.

Union Steamfitter-6ss minion. Most interesting ability is to draw the top card of the discard pile and then discard one when it activates and to grant a model that doesn’t have armor the Armor+1 condition for the rest of the game. Has an OK melee attack and can move scheme markers (not just friendly scheme markers) into base-to-base with him/her, so there’s some utility there, but still kind of a hodgepodge of abilities.

Ferdinand Vogel- 8ss minion. The end result of one of the Divergent Paths models. He has the Mimic trait now, so that means he can play with Lucius from time to time as well. He has a decent melee attack that can apply the red-tape condition. Can eat scheme markers within 3” of him after taking a walk to draw a free card. Probably the most useful ability is Censure to lock enemy models out of their tactical actions until after their next activation (there’s an option to lock them out of their attacks, instead, but they can discard a card to ignore it.) He can heal beasts, and use a trigger to give a non-beast living model the Beast characteristic and a free attack. And then, of course, at the start of his activation he can discard a card to turn into…

The Beast Within-0SS Enforcer. The beast is a somewhat fragile looking beater model that has a 3/4/6 damage spread melee attack. The fragility, of course, is offset by the fact that you can always sacrifice the Beast or Ferdinand on their activation to summon a full-health version of the alter-ego, but if you leave him exposed you could lose him pretty easily. There’s some decent triggers to bounce around and get a bonus attack or ignore armor. Finally, as a 0 action they can put a condition on beasts within 5” that basically lets them take a Stalk movement whenever an enemy model takes a walk or charge action, which has some interesting possibilities. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

A small report for a small tournament

                No mini-musings this week, so let’s jump straight into the article, a brief story of running a tournament that didn’t quite turn out as planned.


                If you’re like me, you look at events like those run weekly in the UK or in the Southeasetern Malifaux Players Group (the greatest play group in the world, just fyi) and think to yourself “Hey, I want to run some tournaments like that.” Maybe you came from a place that had a pretty awesome player base that you helped build. And after watching all of these cool tournaments and remembering the good old days, you dream a special dream about running your own tournaments and building your own community in your new home. You join the henchman program. You submit a pre-event report to Wyrd. You coordinate with the local game store owner to get some extra prize support in addition to a standard Wyrd tournament pack. And when the time comes to run your tournaments…you get disappointed.

                It happens, and I should have seen it coming. There’s a phenomenon that’s appeared in the age of social media where you get the idea that other people’s lives are much better than yours because what you see of them on their Facetwits or Instachat pages is always the very best, most photogenic and envy-inducing parts. The great gourmet meal they cooked once in between McDonalds outings. The awesome vacation they went on to a place they really can’t afford and will spend the rest of the year paying off their credit card. There’s something similar when you follow tournament podcasts and writings like I do, and I fell victim to it. So, to combat this, I thought I’d share what starting out building a community in a small-town part of the world can look like. Maybe it’ll give people a more realistic view, and maybe let you know you’re not alone in your struggles.

                To provide some background, I live in Blacksburg, Virginia. I moved here in late 2013 from Omaha, Nebraska which, despite what you may think from its location in fly over country, actually counts as a relatively large city. Blacksburg, on the other hand, is basically Virginia Tech with a town built up to support it and a few other small towns within driving distance. It’s not that no one knows what Malifaux is, here. Indeed, one woman that lives nearby helped with the initial playtest for Malifaux 1.0. However, she and her significant other don’t play anymore (didn’t make the jump from 1st to M2e.) I know another player in the local area who plays gremlins as a break from 40k. AAaaaannnddd….that’s pretty much it. I’ve tried setting up demo days that no one comes to before now. Other than playing games online with Vassal, there was a point in time after my daughter was born when I didn’t play a game of Malifaux for almost a year and a half. Since she’s gotten older and my schedule's become more free, I’ve dipped my toe into the Wandering River style of my blogging partner, Phiasco, and have traveled to some Southeastern Malifaux tourneys nearby. However, when I heard about a local gaming convention (NRVFaux, you might have heard me advertise it on here previously) I thought I would run a small tournament for it. The game store owner was happy to get me to join in and offered some convention money that people could use at the vendors. I did all the stuff I mentioned above to start promoting it. I traveled to other tournaments in the region and tried to promote mine there (and it’s a good thing I did, as the two folks that traveled from Bristol were the majority of my player base.) When the week of the tournament came around, I was expecting to have 6 people show up: two from Atlanta, two from Tennessee, and two locals (one of the locals was iffy, so I was preparing myself to ringer if necessary.) Not a huge tournament, but not bad for a start. If it went well, then maybe I could build from there.

                However, the day before the tournament one of the Atlanta people dropped out, so it was just Phiasco making the trip, and I learned day of that neither of my locals were able to come either. So my tournament was cut in half, and I was basically going to have to step in and ringer to allow the people to have the full 3 games that they drove all the way to play. This was not great. I was not happy.

I tried my best to stay positive, however, and kept things moving forward. And the bottom line is, the tournament (such as it was) was a success. I had Andrew playing Arcanists (Rasputina each round,) Rich playing Ressurectionists (Seamus, I believe,) and Phiasco testing out Ten Thunders Brewmaster. The first round, one person who had traveled from Tennessee with Andrew and Rich sat in the Ringer’s chair with me coaching him how to play Andy’s Ramos crew (a bit of a joke, as I’ve never played that master before, but I think he enjoyed himself.) Second round I ran a demo with my own models for someone who wandered by and seemed interested before taking over the Ramos chair (might as well learn a new crew) and fighting to a draw against Jon’s Brew Crew (because that’s what happens when we play each other in tourneys, apparently.) Last round I squeaked out a win despite a near tabling by Rasputina (Rich looked down at the table at one point, saw no spiders on board, and said “Well that must not be going well.” But remember kids, just like we Henchmen tell you in every demo we run, Malifaux is a game you can win even when you lose the combats. Play the objectives!)

Winner of the tournament was Rich’s Rezzers, scoring him a mystery box with an alternate Gator in it. Andrew won 2nd place and got a Barbaros, as well as winning the painting for a very nice Malifaux Raptor which would be pictured at the top of the article, except my phone's SD card broke and took all my pictures into the cyber grave with it. And the raffle drawing for the Doctor Dufresne Phiasco had put up went to Rich also, which was great since he didn’t own McMourning and played Rezzers. Everyone seemed to have a good time, which is great. I learned a new crew (must…resist…urge…to…buy…Ramos…) And, best of all, Andrew let me know that his area wants to learn Through the Breach and at some point in the future we’re planning on having me go out and run a module game for them, which counts for my Henchman program requirements. Perhaps they’ll get to run through Bad Moon Rising, the module I ran at Gencon? We’ll have to see. So, while the tournament didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to go, it was an overall positive experience. I don’t think I really made any progress towards building an oasis in the midatlantic Malifaux desert, as no locals participated, but I had fun, and I put together an event for three other people to have fun as well. And, really, that’s what being a Henchman is all about (beyond promoting Wyrd, obviously.) 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Guest Battle Report 2: Electric Boogaloo!

We’ve already had one guest battle report this week from Phiasco, but now here’s a second one, featuring a new contributor to the blog! But first, some quick mini-musings.

-Act IV of the Through the Breach worldwide event, A Stitch in Time, launched on the 17th. Will the Fated make it back to the present? And how much damage have they done during their trip to the past?
-Game Designer Lindsey is leaving Wyrd. That sucks, as she is lovely, brilliant, and nice. Go say goodbye to her, dang it!
-There was a small mix-up with the render for alternate Titania available from Wyrd’s Easter Sale. Turns out it has legs. Don’t worry, the one you ordered is this render, not the other one. And if you wanted the other one, they’ll give you a refund. Also, you’re weird.
-In case you missed it last week, I wrote the tactics article in this month’s Wyrd Chronicles. It was really cool to write for the company I’ve been supporting as a fan for the last several years, and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do so again in the future.

April Tournament at Gaming Underground

By John Fox
                So this past weekend I loaded up my models and drove an hour to Gaming Underground in Highpoint, NC. I have been experimenting with Hamelin and Leviticus lately and so my Arcanist enthusiasm was down quite a bit and I was heading into things feeling pretty undecided all the way up until the start of the first round. Never the less, all of my Arcanists are painted and I haven’t slogged through the 16 models I need to have a fully painted Hamelin crew. Also, I’ve set myself on a personal achievement of a tournament win with every Arcanist master this year and as I’ve only gotten a win in with Marcus so far, I had a lot of work to do.

Round 1:
Standard Deployment
Guard the Stash
Claim Jump, Accusation, Leave Your Mark, Mark for Death, and Set Up

My opponent was Andrew McGrady from Bristol, TN. He called Arcanists and I knew it was going to be an interesting match.  My list was:

Colette (Nothing Up My Sleeve, Arcane Reservoir)
Carlos Vasquez (Practiced Production, Stunt Double)
Joss (Warding Runes)
3 Oxfordian Mages with all the trimmings
Malifaux Raptor

My opponent ran:
Ramos (Arcane Reservoir, Field Generator)
Joss (Bleeding Edge Tech, Powered by Flame)
Brass Arachnid
Electric Creation
Howard (Imbued Energies)

Highlights from the game: We both took Leave Your Mark and Accuse. I knew I couldn’t beat Ramos in Guard or Accusation! with so many activations so I focused on Leave Your Mark. On turn 2, I paralyzed the soul stone miner. On turn 3 I seduced the marker with my Performer. Carlos Vasquez managed to take a full turn of Howard and survive, this was a theme that continued into game three. My opponent managed to blow up Carlos, denying my 3rd Leave Your Mark.  I managed a mage turn that knocked enemy Joss back to the edge of the board, effectively removing him from the game. On the last turn I didn’t have my Accusation! and my opponent had 2 spiders left with 1 AP each. Both spiders were engaged with Joss who was at 2 Wounds and had already gone. When he attacked my Joss my opponent was surprised when I cheated down so that his spider hit Joss. Joss got reactivate and regened 1 wound thanks to the nearby mage. I Accused his last remaining spider, who only had 1 AP and couldn’t kill joss thanks to the regen and hard to wound.  Final score was Colette 8- Ramos 6. It was a very fun game and it’s always great to play someone new. The game really made me feel much stronger about Colette in GG17 after her Prompt cuddle.

Round 2:
Standard Deployment
Claim Jump, Frame For Murder, Hunting Party, Eliminate the Leader, Recover Evidence.

My opponent in this round was my good friend Ray Flynn who I drove down to the tournament with.  We’d played together enough that we knew what was coming. 

I ran:
Rasputina (Shattered Heart, Cold Nights)
Snow storm
Arcane Emissary (Elemental Conflux)
December Acolyte
Silent One
Arcane Effigy

He ran:
Kirai (Unforgiven, Absorb Spirit, Spirit Beacon)
Archie (Doc Found a Squid Today, Hulking Leap)
Datsue Bae (Spirit Whispers, Wronged Spirits)
Phillip and the Nanny (Haunting Cries)
Flesh Construct
Night Terror

I took Frame on the Acolyte and Hunting Party. I deployed to take advantage of a tree near the extraction zone to block LOS to Kirai. My goal this game was to use terrain and ice pillars to keep him off the extraction point. It didn’t go so well.  

Game Highlights: I walled off his forces and got into position, making him have to come around the terrain to get to me. He moved Archie up and between Snow Storm and the Arcane Emissary. I killed him, scoring my opponent all his Frame Points. Archie killed my Acolyte as well, scoring my Frame. I got the first turn of extraction and a single Hunting Party. However, I placed Raspy very badly and when Ikirio came out she had Raspy pinned against a rock. Game went from being close to going downhill after that. Kirai 10- Rasputina 5.

Round 3
Corner Deployment
Claim Jump, Frame For Murder, Leave Your Mark, Search the Ruins, Last Stand
I was playing another good friend, Jim Oritz and as I wasn’t going to place with a loss I decided it was time to try for a Kaeris win and see what she can do with the GG17 scheme pools. I brought:

Kaeris (Grab and Drop, Arcane Reservoir, and Seize the Day)
Carlos Vasquez (Stunt Double, Practiced Production)
Mech Rider
Arcane Effigy
2 Performers
Firestarter (Imbued Energies)

My opponent took:
Colette (Cabaret Choreography, Nothing up my Sleeve)
Cassandra (Practiced Production)
Silent One
Howard (Imbued Energies)
Malifaux Raptor

Our board was a crazy mix of severe water terrain and buildings on raised walkways providing a lot of cover and hard to get through terrain. This game was a bit of fun for me as I have played Jim a lot and I knew he had Leave Your Mark and Frame on Howard. I took Search the Ruins to bluff frame and Leave Your Mark. Highlights of the game: Carlos tanked another Howard turn and didn’t die until turn 3 with a combined effort of Cassandra and Howard. Howard died to burning, denying Jim 3 points for Frame. Mech Rider scored 3 points pretty much by himself for Search the Ruins. I left a performer in the back that denied a few leave your mark points. Final score Kaeris 8- Colette 4. 

I ended up coming in 6th place and got a foil Kaeris card (the best looking card) as a prize. I got 2 masters closer to my achievement for the year and got a recharge on how I feel about the Arcanist faction as a whole in GG2017. As always it was an excellent tournament put on by one of our fantastic NC Henches.  


Lastly, don’t forget that my tournament, NRVFaux, is this weekend. I’ve posted the scenarios for each of the three rounds here. Watch out for Round 3, it’s kind of a bitch. I hope I’ll see some of you there. And, when you’re registering for the event (registration starts at 9AM), say “Malifaux Musings” to me to get an extra raffle ticket for a drawing for fabulous prize(s) at the end. 

Adepticon part 2 (general tournament prep and Masters)

  I want to take the time to recognize all the hard work and sacrifice to run events.  Thank you to all of the judges and organizers for cramming this much Malifaux awesomeness into a 4 day window.  Thank you to the sponsors and Wyrd games for their tournament support.

  So last year before Adepticon I was more or less a casual player.  I would play Adam on Vassal and maybe dip my toe in GenCon tournaments (since that is the first con on my calendar every year and I'm going to be there anyway).  Then one day Curtis (a guy I never met until I got in his car to drive 13 hours to Adepticon) gets on our local facebook group and asks if anyone was interested in going.  So we set up the trip kinda at the last minute and the Wandering River Dojo was born.  Lifetime hours hanging out with Curtis 96ish (if you discount sleeping in a shared room and playing at different tables in an event) and more than half of those hours are driving to and from exotic events.  I could use more friends like him and I'm sorry he couldn't make this trip.
  Needless to say this trip was kinda of in a state of flux up until Curtis informed me he couldn't make it.  I wanted to fly and I was almost willing to buy him a ticket so we didn't have to drive and time not in the car is time spent playing the games.  I got to ration my time off to attend all the events I make it out to.  So I got a hold of Chris and his room situation was kinda at capacity but he was going to make it work.  I had this gut feeling I should just get my own room for this trip.  Not sure what it was but it was kinda intangible and it felt good to come and go without worrying about other peoples schedules and such.  Bonus is it helped me locate a 7-11 for my hydration needs.
  Part of my decision for getting my own room is I would dictate how much sleep I would get.  Or so I thought.  I don't know what it is about this game we play but when I am done my brain tries to think of all of the things I can do to play the game better.  Resource economy, synergies, how to handle tricks my opponent(s) used in the future... and so on.  Needless to say restful sleep for the most part didn't happen until tuesday after I got home.  Just the bare minimum to function.  Better than getting up at 4 am and driving 6 hours to play since distance driving in itself is an endurance test so for the most part I was ready to play.  Normally I will think ahead and bring snacks because it's better to have them and not be hungry than the alternative.  But the convention center food service was 30 seconds from where we were set up so in between games if I wanted something it was right there.  I bought tea and used the bottle for water the rest of the day.  So what I am trying to say is it is better to know that these out of game basic human functions are covered because if your body is suffering from hunger, sleep, over or under dressing, and such it can sometimes subconsciously affect your personality or slow down your decision making.  Maybe I'm just getting old and beginning to feel it but I figure I would pass along what little wisdom I have on such topics.  Also con crud is a thing.  If you have an 'I feel a cold coming on so I better get ready to attack it' plan be prepared to implement it at the first sign even if you are over reacting.
  Arrive early if it is within your ability to do so.  The flip side is have a list you know like the back of your hand that you can put on the table and be ready to play 2 minute after you walk in if you are pulling up at table announcements.  Know who your TO(s) are and communicate any change of schedule.  Being early gives you time to organize your thoughts and make sure you have everything you need to play.  I recommend buying or making a tray.  I always use to see people using them and thought they look nice but it is way easier to get to the next table if you put everything you need on your tray.  Admittedly I got my tray for playing in the TFL and attending the TFL tournament (add link) but had I knew before I got mine for free how convenient having one was I would have bought one.  When I say free I imply if I exclude the travel expenditures since I was going anyway.  I feel you should have all the models you might possible summon or use within arms reach and ready to go as well as the cards to use them.  I also just learned there is such thing as option overload.  Example... while playing in a campaign terracotta warriors can flip an upgrade to any campaign upgrade legal for the target to start with at the beginning of the game much in the same way summoners can pull in model not in their arsenals.  If what you want to do is not committed to memory make a cheat sheet.  If I want to damage I want X and Y and what need to happen to do it.  If I want to run schemes do A or B and need this and so on.  Sometimes you will find making the cheat sheet is kind of like taking notes in class and the action of writing it down helps you learn it.  The less time you spend reading your cards is the more time you can spend playing the game or finishing faster.  Sometimes I find myself weighing options I don't have available trying to find a way out of a situation I might be missing.  At the end of the game you ought to respect your opponent if they out played you.  All of this rambling is basically saying is be mindful of time.  If given the choice I prefer games that finish to games that get cut by the clock.

Without further ado...

Masters of Malifaux 2017 at Adepticon quick and dirty recap.

I did most of the lists with pictures.  I will probably continue this method and try to improve it in the future.  If there are any questions on any games I will try to answer to the best of my ability.  I intended to save the names off the best coast pairings app but I don't know how to go back to a previous month for data or if that is even an option.  I will remember to screen grab those next time.

Round 1
Headhunter with close deployment
Claim Jump, Eliminate the Leadership, Frame for Murder, Hunting Party, A Quick Murder

  So my plan was to have Huggy tell Nekima to give me points for Frame and then Lynch would get me Quick Murder.  I put the Effigy in for padding since Leader was a potential target.  I figured if I could weather the potential assault I could counter punch my way to a win.  I made Yin my 'quick' target so I could limit his scheme selection.  I think he opted for Hunting Party if memory serves.
  I put the Effigy on 1 wound probably telegraphing my Frame target.  Nekima came in as predicted turn 2 and parked where it would bleed on Lynch, the Effigy and the Terracotta.  So I sent huggy in to delete her knowing I was probably trading points but I was getting at least 7 (Quick, Frame by bleeding, and a head marker) to his potential 3 so I was good with the trade.  The voodoo doll had a hard time landing hex on Yin.  Spent 3 turns trying and it finally landed.  Then Iggy did his thing but by then I had 3 heads and cruised to a 9-6 victory.

Round 2

Interference w/ Standard Deployment
Claim Jump, Accusation, Leave Your Mark, Covert Breakthrough, Hidden Trap

  So McCabe vs Asami.  I think this was my favorite game of the whole convention.  I found a way to play vs a summoner, deny, and score interference all in the same turn with a non summoner.  Granted this will become way easier when Sun Quiang finally gets a model.  The plan fell apart when I tried to flip an upgrade into a second Badge of Speed after I moved the first one off McCabe.  We called the judge and he ruled against me.  I think the decision was fair and I played on but I now had a model out of position and I wasn't able to recover.  It was a hard fought match but inevitably I lost 5-7.

Round 3

Squatters Rights w/ Flank Deployment
Claim Jump, Dig Their Graves, Frame For Murder, Recover Evidence, Search the ruins

  Things that worked.  Sadir shooting the bad guys and milling the deck to get all 4 aces.  Beckoner showing McMourning the goods and made him come running.  Pay for Blood 2 damage.  Final debt 10 damage.  52 Pick Up 8 damage.  No more McMourning  turn 1.
  Things that didn't work.  Selecting the wrong Frame target on my side(but still scored 3). Sadir shooting all the bad guys and giving away Frame turn 3.  Underestimating Phiona on a squat marker Steve was holding.  My deck going cold so the nurse could more or less neutralize Lynch.  Phiasco gaining evidence +2.  Somehow managing to lose this game 6-9.
  This game will change the way I approach the game in the future.

Round 4

Extraction w/ Standard Deployment
Claim Jump. Dig Their Graves, Eliminate the Leadership, Undercover Entourage, Last Stand

  This was a bad match up for my opponent.  I more or less ignore all of Yan Lo's defensive tech with Lynch so all I had to do was survive the punch and my counterpunch should take him out.  I was able to peel a model every round with the beckoner and have Huggy eat it when it was on my half of the table.  Then run Sensei Yu for entourage at the end.  I won 6-3

Round 5

Collect the Bounty w/ Flank Deployment
Claim Jump, Accusation, Leave Your Mark, Tail Em, Inspection

  I'm pretty sure my list was the same from game 4 and I was back on the table I played at round 1.

  So Hamlin is a pain in the rear if you don't have an answer for the rats.  Need to include long range blasts and/or Misaki.  It was near impossible for me to maneuver to score Bounty.  I did ok on my schemes but it wasn't enough.  5-7 loss.

  Story encounters on Sunday.  I was worried if I played all 3 games that I would possibly miss my flight and be screwed because I needed to be at work Monday morning.  These games are generally a little chaotic but they almost always have optional rules for scoring so each story is more or less different in that regard.  I went 1-1-1.  I didn't take many notes (mental or otherwise) due to sleep deprivation but I will endeavor to do better in the future.

  Adam and I will be hosting a 50ss tournament in Blacksburg Va. Saturday April 22nd.  $5 admission.  9am check in, round 1 starting at 10.
  I will be running a team tournament at Giga Bites in Marietta GA July 1.  It will use the same format as the team event at Adepticon with only slight changes if any.  It will likely be 3 rounds.  Details will be posted to Georgia Malifaux and Southeastern Malifaux facebook groups when I have them.
plug our event(s)


   In the meantime, don't forget to visit our our sponsor's website Leodis Games. Pre-orders of Malifaux items are 20% off. They are one of the best distributors in the UK, and they'll do right by you, and kick a little bit of support our way in exchange. So go check 'em out! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Mold of the Other

                Phiasco’s still typing up his Adepticon report part 2, so I’ll be putting up something today taking a closer look at a Book 4 model that has introduced a very powerful ability to Malifaux. But first, as always, mini-musings.

Mini Musings

-Wyrd’s Easter Sale is Live! That’s probably the biggest news, I would imagine. As mentioned last week, the sale will not be offering pre-releases as it has in the past as part of Wyrd’s efforts to improve relations with brick and mortar game stores. However, as far as I can see, all the limited editions you would win from mystery boxes, Nightmare Edition Dark Carnival, and the dayglow and translucent sets are available, along with the posters, and an alternate sculpt of Titania that looks to be having a bit of a bad day.

-Speaking of Alt Titania, the person responsible for the artwork you see above has joined Wyrd’s staff. Alyssa has become the new in-house artist for Wyrd, the first for the company. Follow the link to see some examples of her work. She certainly seems to have the Wyrd spirit in her!

-Finally, the Guilder store has been updated as well. You can now spend those poker chips you’ve got piling up for some alternate plastic Miss figures (Ery, Step, Terious, and Anne Thrope), the newly released Dr. Alexei Sokolov (from Wyrd’s last Through the Breach event), and a Wooden M2E Card Box.

-Wyrd Chronicles Issue 29 has come out, featuring a Through the Breach scenario where players wake up in Dr. McMourning's laboratory, an Easter Egg Hunt game for the minis, and the usual allotment of cool fiction. Oh, and there may be a strategy article in there written by your humble bloggist, Adam. Go check it out! 

Mold of the Other

                 There’s really no other way to put it: Ten Thunders got an awful lot of juice in Wave 4. They added a summoner to their stable of masters. They got a nasty beater model in Yasunori, which the faction has sort of lacked up to now. Ohagaru Bettari and Sun Quiang are both solid models that can find a role in many different Thunders crews. But, beneath all of that bright and shininess, one simple 5ss minion has probably had the greatest effect on the faction as a whole, the humble Terracotta Warrior. But why, you ask? Well I’m going to tell you. Jeez. Don’t be so pushy.

                On paper, a 4 Wd 6 Df 4 Wp model is not that impressive. Its melee isn’t that good (though with its ram trigger it can surprise you, as one of my Sillurids found out.) While unimpeded, it isn’t going to set any speed records with a walk and charge of 5. What’s the big deal with this guy? The answer, for those who haven’t seen them in action, is quite simply that he changes one of the fundamental truths of Malifaux: that you’re stuck with whatever upgrades you buy at the beginning of the game. As a 0 action, a Terracotta warrior allows any friendly model to discard any non-0 cost upgrade and replace it with another that it could have legally taken at the beginning of the game. This, along with the Neverborn Thousand Faces upgrade, are the first examples of this kind of flexibility to be introduced to the game, and their power can’t really be overstated. When you pick your upgrades, you don’t know what your opponent is bringing to the game. The only information you have is their faction, and that probably doesn’t tell you enough to truly know what you’re going to face (particularly with the introduction of the Wave 4 masters.) Now, this is much less of an issue. Realize mid-game that you bought the wrong limited upgrade? No problem, just switch it out (and pay the difference in soulstone cost, if the new one is more expensive.) Bring along a defensive upgrade that you don’t really need? Turn it into a Recalled Training! Speaking of which, use your Recalled Training earlier in the game? No problem, just turn one of your other upgrades into a second one and use it again! Mccabe’s in trouble and getting pummeled? Turn his saber into the strangemetal shirt after he activates, and give him some more protection. You can always change it back next turn to let him dish out some hurt! Asami Tanaka’s Feigned Weakness upgrade gives you an interesting boost when you’re behind on Victory Points, but does nothing when you’re ahead. Being able to choose when that upgrade is attached versus when it’s not based on the game state improves it immensely. For a little extra zip, pair this up with the faction's generic totem, the Kamaitachi. If the super weasel manages to stay within range of the model whose upgrades you’re flipping, you get to heal them a bit, give them a 3-inch push, and draw a card along with the upgrade swap. Brilliant!
Oh super weasel. Is there anything you can't do?

                That would probably be enough in and of itself, but there’s another big piece to what makes this thing so special. There’s a good chance you’ll have an important minion or enforcer you’ll want to keep alive somewhere in your crew. This is where the Terracotta Warrior’s 1 AP Tactical action, Mold of the Other, comes into play. It places a condition on the model called Ancient Protections that lets them pass the damage from a single attack onto the Terracotta warrior, who can promptly place a card from their hand under their deck (none of your shenanigans, Mr. Lynch) to prevent it. This may not be necessary for your average model, but when you’re keeping your souped up Dawn Serpent or Izamu alive a turn longer, sometimes that could be the last bit of resilience you’ll need to get a chance to hit them back. I just thought of Yin having this and made myself sick and annoyed (to be fair, Yin has that effect on me most of the time.) And it can even make something a little bit less resilient better able to hold a point for you. Seems like a pretty good deal.

                While being able to flip around some of Mccabe’s gear cards or bring back Recalled Training are all useful, where this model has the potential to be really interesting is when a master has a set of limited upgrades that drastically alter their playstyle. I did an article a while back called the Misaki Switch that discussed how you can change her from a defense oriented counter-charge model with Disguised to the (admittedly more frequently seen) Stalking Bisento murder-bot that we all know and lo(athe)ve. Well, with a Terracotta warrior, now you don’t have to pick! Start out with Disguised, walk up with your crew, and when the appropriate target presents itself, switch upgrades and launch off like a missile. If you’re really lucky, you may even be able to switch back on subsequent turns if you can get the Warrior close enough, though his limited speed and 6” range makes this less likely to work. A build that Phiasco has experimented with is combining this with Jacob Lynch’s limiteds to switch between Casting Expert and Survivable Hungering Darkness, though this requires being able to spot when the big purple tadpole is in trouble in advance to pull off safely. Not for the beginner, I’d say, but potentially very potent.

                So, this model has made a huge contribution to Ten Thunders becoming a very tactically flexible faction that can adapt to what is happening on the board, defensively flow to negate what the opponent’s crew is doing, and switch into offense mode to deliver a death blow. It’s kind of hard to think of a crew that wouldn’t benefit from including one, so it’s nice that they’re cheap. Their one significant weakness is their relatively short range, which can make them vulnerable. They’re a bit brittle (perhaps fittingly, they are terracotta after all), with only 4 wounds and Armor 1, though Thousands Strong can be used to negate any damage that doesn’t come directly from an attack action targeting them, so they ignore damage from poison or burning and aren’t vulnerable to blasts the way some other small minions can be. Still, if you get a chance to put one down, I’d recommend doing it. It’s likely they’re an important part of your opponent’s strategy, and you'll be slowing them down or jamming them up by doing so. 


                That's all for now, but I want to remind people in the Southeastern US (or, hell, anybody really) that my tournament NRVFaux is coming up next weekend. Come down to the New River Valley, play some Malifaux, and check out some cosplay and various other geeky vendors at the con itself. It's just $5 to enter the con, and your badge is your entry to the tournament. Phiasco assures me that the Wandering River Dojo will be making an appearance here, and your humble bloggist will be there to chat or jump in as the ringer. Hope to see you then!