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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Malifaux Battle Report (of sorts)

Hey folks!

So last night yours truly got to play another game of Malifaux at the wonderful shop named Montag's. With newly built models I put together a list that I find much more rounded for most Schemes/Strategies. I played against Mike, who I hadn't played in over a year despite seeing him more regularly. He uses Gremlins, which I've never gone against but have seen enough of his games to get the gist of their abilities.

Strat/Scheme Pool:

Standard Deployment

  • Turf War
  • ALitS
  • Breakthrough
  • Outflank
  • Assassinate
  • Deliver a Message
So it's a pretty Vik-centric pool, if I do say so myself. Assassinate is always good for the Viks, as they can easily kill most - if not all - things in the game. The problem is that when it's in the pool and they see Viks, they can pretty much rightly assume that it's what was chosen. I've tried breaking away from this, but with a Strategy like Turf War it's hard not to have a killy type scheme such as Assassinate, since it's going to be a bloody scrum in the middle for VP.

Here's what I brought:

  • Viktoria of Ashes
    • Synchronized Slaying
    • Sisters in Spirit
    • Sisters in Fury
  • Viktoria of Bloodz
    • Mark of Shez'uul
    • Scramble
  • Malifaux Child
  • Killjoy
    • Oathkeeper
  • Convict Gunslinger
    • Oathkeeper
  • Johan
    • Scramble
  • Freikorpsmann
  • 6 Soul Stones
(I'll do my best to recall what Mike brought)

Ulix, Bayou Bushwhacker, Gracie, The Major, piglets and stuffed piglets, Merris.

I don't know the upgrades well enough to recall them.

Mike announces both his schemes as Assassinate and Deliver a Message. I announced Assassinate and Breakthrough.

I deployed first and kept my core of the Viks and Malifaux Child in the center, slightly to the right of terrain. There's no secret about having them beeline toward the center marker, and their threat range keeps away models wanting to go over the center line. I deployed the Convict further right to provide shots for the Viks, as well as get rid of any potential scheme runners or flankers. I then deploy the Freikorpsmann as far left as possible while keeping the potential of readjusting to the center if needed, then put Johanna right next to him closer to the center. Mr. F (Mistah Eff - Arrested Development anyone?) was going to either run Breakthrough or threaten scheme runners, and Johanna was the bodyguard. Should Mike abandon that flank, Johanna can easily run toward the center as a counter strike element - where he slow speed, even with scramble, can actually help as she will hit the center after the scrum begins. 

Mike deployed his entire force dead center practically in base-to-base with one another. I mentioned how I wish I had blast templates, but then he said that they're all immune to it so it's a pretty good formation.

Turn one we all move forward. With no opposing models on my left I ran Mr. F straight forward, while Johanna started going toward the center to flank incoming models. The Convict went straight forward to line up shots for the bottleneck of the huge pig brick that's coming. The Viks and Child went up the center, lining up charges for next round's bloodbath.

His bacon brick moved forward and birthed a bunch of other bacons while I shouted lines like, "Get this thing out of me!" and "I want the drugs!" while pondering the idea of the Major, a male pig, giving birth to several other pigs, mid-battle. Also there were lots of Beggin' Strips commercial impersonations and a song Puumba sings from the Lion King. You can be a big pig too, oi!

On turn two I spent a SS to win initiative and had Vik of Blood charge in...

All you can eat...

With all the buffs on she was getting 3 +Flips on Attack (+1 built in, +1 Sisters in Battle, +1 Fate's Pariah), +1 Flip on Damage (0 Ability) and +2 Damage with Whirlwind trigger, which lets her attack all enemies in her Melee Range after damaging. That means with 2 attacks on the charge and 1 attack from Melee Expert that's 3 chances to swing at everyone in her range! With minimum 5 damage each attack that's a lot of dead folk...

I ate too much bacon...

This is what it looked like by turn three. The Viks (mostly Blood) whirled through Gracie (a tank), the Major, 2 war pigs, several piglets/stuffed piglets, the Bushwhacker and almost killed Merris.  It was brutal. I think I went through my whole deck with her activation alone!

As for retaliation, which almost always happens afterward, Blood was eventually killed... which then popped Killjoy right out (which he forgot about). Johanna came into the fray after all the bodies dropped to kill Merris, who then passed out 4 burning tokens (!) to everyone in range - an amazing ability - after Merris flew in and did a (0) interact to distract Ashes. That's a pretty potent ability if I do say so myself.

Then Mr. F popped his Breakthrough marker and Convict shot the Slop Haulers dead, at which point we called it. Killjoy was going to start messing up Ulix, who then had to look forward to Ashes and Johanna. With only one model left he wouldn't be able to get Turf War VP, and Mr. F was going to get full points from Breakthrough so it was an obvious win for me.

Overall it was a great game, we both had a lot of fun. The Viks are among the highest damage dealers in the game and are very efficient with their Melee AP. We then went on to discuss the finer points in Malifaux, and how it all comes down to AP efficiency.

One of the things we discussed was the stigma of how standardized lists aren't much of a factor in the game, and it all depends on the Strats/Schemes flipped. While true to a point, it was discussed that a good core set of models should be sufficient for most Strats/Schemes, and you can play with just a model or two being switched out if needed. The main focus should be what factions you will be playing against when it comes to crew creation rather than the Strats/Schemes. I completely agree with this sentiment, as I've limited myself to playing only with my Viktorias up to this point. I've kept my crew essentially the same, working around automatically bringing in my painted models and working around that. The models I've painted were done so because I like their abilities being able to handle most situations. The trick I've been having is that against some factions there are obvious drawbacks to what I've been bringing, not so much being able to achieve what pops up in the pool. Every pool created thus far I've been able to successfully accomplish, whether it's ALitS, Breakthrough or Deliver a Message (etc., etc.). It's the matchups that give me the longest pause. This crew worked wonders in my last few games, but completely froze up against Pandora's shenanigans. I haven't had a chance to test them out against Ressers, and I hear that in our Meta it's one of the factions that you definitely have to have a hard counter with or your game will be very lopsided. I don't have enough experience or firsthand data to back this up with, but when a player who placed Best in Faction at GenCon, as well as the group who regularly take top placement in every tournament they attend, I'm inclined to listen. 

Anyway, it was a great experience for learning. A few months ago I had no idea how my TheoryFaux would translate to the table. Now I feel like I've got a crew well handled with enough games under its belt that I could use it in tournaments without making my head spin. The next objective is to have another crew for Outcasts that I could use to fill in the gap of what my crew currently cannot do. Currently the only other master I have for Outcasts is Misaki, and I feel convinced that her playstyle (let alone her options as an Outcast master) are well out of my league. I will either start to practice with her, or get another master such as Von Schill to get a bead on.

Until next time!