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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Malifaux League Game 1

Not looking good for Ramos...

So last night we started a local Malifaux League for a 4 week duration. Each week you're paired up with another player for two games alternating between attacker and defender using the story encounter rules and specially made strategies and predetermined deployment. You also hand pick your schemes which include the faction specific schemes (FYI the Outcast one is absolutely terrible).

This week I got paired up with Travis, locally renowned as being one of the best Malifaux players who consistently steals first place in tournaments with ease. I (of course) chose Outcasts for the league while he is using Arcanists.

The strategy was called "Black Friday," in which the Attacker has to put "Great Deal" markers on layaway (pretty much Squatter's Rights) while the defender has to perform what is essentially Turf War.

The most interesting aspect of this week's game is that everyone is utilizing Blind Deployment, a rule I was completely unaware of being in the book!

Blind deployment creates a temporary deck of red and black cards. Each player gets one card of their associated color for each model in their crew and shuffles it together - so in the case of our game we each had 8 models, took out 8 crows (me) and 8 rams (Travis) and made a 16 card shuffled deck. We then each took turns placing a card on the table, representing areas that a model can deploy, face down. Once all cards are placed you then flip each one individually and whoever's card shows up a model from that crew is placed in the area of the card. No card can touch when being placed. The sheer craziness that occurs from this random placement made the game fun almost immediately!

The best part of this is what took place for this kind of deployment. He used a Ramos crew, including metal and fire Gamin, Joss, and several arachnids. I used my Vik crew, slightly altered to try a new configuration but with the same models I generally use. In our podcast I explain why that is, and it's actually a technique used by the majority of our Meta here.

  • Viktoria of Blood
    • Synchronized Slaying
    • Sisters in Spirit
    • Sisters in Fury
  • Viktoria of Blood
    • Mark of She'zuul
    • Scramble
  • Hannah
    • I Pay Better
  • Malifaux Child (the change I made to give him another go while keeping almost fully painted)
  • Convict Gunslinger
  • Johana
  • Friekorps Trapper
  • Friekorpsmann
Pretty standard list for me, I'm very comfortable knowing every bit of this list for the most part. The main change I used was switch the Student of Conflict back to the Malifaux Child. It started with the idea that I painted him, loved the result, then used him once and went back to my old ways. Then I thought of the original reason I used him, which was to save two stones, have the same 1AP of Master efficiency, and upgrade another model in the crew - in this case, upgrading the Desperate Mercenary to Johana (which worked out since she rocks against Arcanists!).

Anyway, back to deployment...

I used an old trick I loved back in my Warhammer 40k 4th Ed days. Most people would over analyze the possibilities of where models would end up and space everything evenly to minimize the random effect. I however always chose to completely eliminate it by putting everything in one clump, dismissing any chance of it going against me. I can't count on the worst case scenario where I only have one model in the clump while he has his whole crew as the odds of it are very small. Then all it takes is the opponent placing his first card even remotely close to where I plan to put the clump and I'm at the advantage, and this usually occurs before they realize it.

In 40k I used to do this with terrain placement, as the old rules used this alternating placement for each piece of terrain. With my army specializing in close combat and using terrain to deploy as close as possible I used to place the first piece of terrain in their deployment zone where they most likely would deploy. Then they place theirs in any location, usually spreading out to make the sides even - which almost everyone does to give themselves more options. Then I place another piece directly in front of or behind my previous piece, and if I was lucky their first piece was next to my first. Essentially every piece I place is on top of each other, making one big clump. All the opponent's pieces were essentially useless as it forced him to deploy either in the open (as at most half of the terrain is just scattered) or in the "safety" of the clump, where I can deploy even closer to them. If they chose the open I was still within range of a turn 2 charge and do not have cover to hinder my assault although I took more casualties (but with half my army being summoned I never lost half my army, which was more than enough to take out 3 times their numbers in CC). 

If the opponent deployed first, I just put my piece next to theirs and instead of half the terrain in the clump I added one more. In one game almost all the pieces were in the clump and before we even deployed the opponent was in shock!

So anyway, back to the point, again...

I essentially did the same tactic for this game, as my crew excels in close quarters and wants to be engaging the Master as quickly as possible.

I placed first, as close to the middle as possible. He then puts his next card about a card's length away from mine, then I put my next one right next to it, creating a clump of three. After his second card he realized what was happening and started placing cards in the corners, but by that time it was too late. We already had 4 out of the sixteen cards right next to each other, meaning at best he can have 6 out of 16 spread out, with a 50/50 shot that it's his crew spread out while the others get creamed.

This was the result:

It may be a bit hard to see and some models aren't pictured. In the top left corner behind the rocky pillar is my Malifaux Child, who doesn't need to be close to anything to do what he does. On the bottom left is my Friekorpsmann, my most disposable minion. On the bottom right is my Trapper, who likes to be out of the way anyway, and my Convict is on the top right behind cover. My core group of beatsticks are smack dab in the middle, engaging almost everything that got deployed.

Predictably it was a steamroll, and within two turns everything in the middle was dead with my crew losing only Johana who killed a spider and got Joss down to one wound from Hard to Kill. Turn three was cleaning up the remaining models and positioning to deny his schemes. Turn four left him with one model left and no Strategy points in which we called it as I showed him how on turn 5 I could get rid of his Breakthrough markers. The game ended 10-2 and was great fun, although I know that in a standard game this guy could whoop me something fierce.

It was fun, and even if I lost I would have called it a victory simply from the deployment shenanigans. We didn't have a chance to play another to switch up sides, but I think now that he's wise to my deployment I would have a much harder chance at winning.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to for Malifaux. I've also been painting a Mercs model but hit a standstill, once I get to be able to sit down and paint I should be nearly complete with him. I'll post up pics as soon as it's done!

Also I got a Leviticus crew to try out as I wasn't liking Von Schill that much. Granted I only played one game with him, but I can tell whether or not I want to keep pushing a Master by one game if they seemed fun regardless of winning or not. I just didn't see anything amazing about him, nothing that just popped out with a Wow factor. Sure he's tanky, but that doesn't cut it for me. I'll try him out again later but for now he's being shelved. Luckily Von Schill's box comes with all sorts of useful models like the Trapper and the Librarian. I'll update you once I give Levi a go!