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Monday, March 21, 2016

Malifaux Tournament 3/19/16, WIPs, Relic Knights

Howdy folks!

So I hadn't done much the last few weeks in regards to painting, but I have been trying. On Saturday I attended another local Malifaux tournament, but I hadn't planned on going originally so I didn't prepare mentally like I usually do. This was especially daunting as I was using a new list, including Ashes and Dust, and didn't know how the interactions would go in a real world environment. The list was as follows:

  • Leveticus
    • Desolate Soul
    • Pariah of Iron
    • To the Earth Return
  • Hollow Waif x2
  • Ashes and Dust
    • Scramble
  • Mechanical Rider
    • Oath Keeper
  • Freikorps Trapper
  • Freikorpsmann
  • Hodgepodge Effigy
I do want to note that I preferred to swap the Freikorpsmann for a Necropunk, however I did not have the model in time. I made the swap as it was equal in points and he can technically run schemes, but not nearly as well as the Necropunk can.

A pick of 3/4 tables, the one at the end that's hard to see was my favorite

A pic of all the players, including some weirdo in the white shirt

So knowing that I'd be playing this list for the fist time I didn't feel too much pressure to do well, although as always I still want to win and will try my hardest. I also decided to try going Mono-Master throughout the whole tournament and used the exact same list all three games.

Round 1 against Rasputina

So my first round was against Doug's Rasputina crew, a crew he's very familiar with. I loved the table set up, it was very balanced and interesting. The PlastCraft Post-Apocalyptic terrain looked really good, and that was one of the sets I was least impressed with when the pictures came out. I never thought I'd ever want the set, but after seeing it in person it made me think twice, although I have one of the Malifaux Swamp buildings (the big one) and it turned me completely off the line when I tried building it twice.

The deployment was standard and the strategy was Interference, perfect for this version of Leveticus. I saw that the terrain wasn't too compromising on LOS and cover for Leve either. He deployed first and put almost everything in one corner while Miranda and a Wendigo were at the opposite side. I deployed in three areas, the right had Ashes and a Waif, the middle had the Trapper and the Freikorpsmann, the left side had the Mech Rider, Waif and Leve toward the center. I figured Ashes could deal with the right easily enough on his own, the Trapper can lend a hand if I held his activation off until he pops into LOS, and worst case scenario Leve can pop out for next turn there. The middle was going to be left alone, as I didn't want to lose models for the strategy if within 6" of the center, but if a scheme marker could be placed there early on it could bait some models to come into the center to deny the scheme, and if they don't then that's a good placement for Convict Labor. The left was where I thought the bulk of the action was going to take place as the Ice Golem, Silent One, Snow Storm, Ice Gamin, and Rasputina were all there.

Overall the game went very smooth for me, as I got to set the tempo early on and made him reactionary from the get go. I picked Convict Labor and Covert Breakthrough (I think), while he had Leave Your Mark and a Quick Murder - all hidden of course. At the start of turn one I moved my Freikorpsmann out early to bait a lot of his attacks to him rather than anything else, as I didn't really need him to run schemes necessarily. I made it where it was just out of range where it required additional moves on his part for Rasputina to attack him. He moved his Ice Golem in range to do so but failed to kill the Freikorpsmann by one wound. With him in range I got one shot from Leve off on him taking him down by half wounds, setting it up for a kill next turn. I've found it's really hard for Leve to get 2 shots off on first turn, so knocking a big model down is a good alternative if you can get the range. On the other end he moved his Wendigo into LOS for the Trapper - which he didn't notice was there - and got shot down to low wounds. Ashes and Dust then charged it for the kill and managed to poop out an Abomination, who just went forward to try and tie up Miranda. Miranda killed the A-bomb and the Mech rider just walked up the other side to anchor.

Over the next few turns it pretty much went my way, I systematically killed everything and all that was left was Snow Storm, Ice Gamin  and Rasputina. I lost two Waifs and a few others along the way due to Miranda's sneakiness and stuff, I also accidentally moved the Trapper in the 6" bubble but luckily it didn't help or hurt. I also lost Leve for the first time at the end, due to my dumb assumption that my anchor didn't have to be in LOS. Luckily it didn't change anything. I ended up winning 7-3 (I think, I don't have my notes with me).

The next round I played Travis and his absolutely disgusting Colette crew. We played on a beautiful table that was not very functional. I actually gave up deploying second just to make sure I wasn't on the worse side, although it didn't help me much.

There was so much hard cover on this thing I couldn't get a shot in, and LOS was tricky at best. Not only that it was Corner Deployment and Squatter's Rights, a terrible combination. Well, not only that, the scheme pool was awful. And Travis is a Beast. It was clearly stacked against me, and the game was an exercise of my flailing about and dying miserably. Situations like Cassandra locking me in melee with Southern Hospitality on her was cruel. It was the first game I ever used Leve's melee option, and it proved why I avoided it. 

Every time I play him I beat myself in my mind, I've got to stop going into a game feeling like I've already lost and making a self fulfilling prophecy. I lost 10-3.

The third round I felt pretty flustered, as we only had 90 minute rounds and absolutely no time between rounds for some reason. We played on a really cool table with PlastCraft's wild west buildings, and I thought the set up was very fair and balanced. I ended up playing against Jack Daw with a pretty standard build using Lady Legaia, Montressor, 3 crooked men and a Hanged. If I had given it a moment's pause in hindsight I think I should have gone with the Viks on this one. For one they have a good matchup against Outcasts, so even though I knew he'd play Jack Daw the Viks can handle most of the Masters in Outcasts. The Viks don't care about Jack's negative twists at all, and with all the LOS blocking from the buildings they wouldn't have to worry much about shooting, at which they'd most likely shoot Hannah who I use just to take that. Not only that, there's no difficult terrain between the buildings, making it perfect for them.

I did tell myself to try out a Mono-Master though so I stuck to my guns anyhow. There were ups and downs for this game, Leveticus hardly got to do anything since due to the LOS lanes everything got Hard Cover against him, which is his bane really. Not only that (I'm saying that a lot) Jack Daw has WP 7, which is not good for Leve.

Essentially all the tasty targets stayed out of Leve's LOS, and I was relegated to taking pot shots at Jack and managed to only kill a Nurse. I took Convict labor and Set up (for the first time), and had to leave Montressor (my Set Up target) alone as much as possible before being able to set up the scheme. Luckily I was able to pull it off in the last turn using the Mechanical Rider and the Freikorps Trapper, but I found out I much prefer to just kill them outright. Leve had plenty of opportunities to do so, but I didn't want to risk screwing up my scheme. I had Convict Labor going perfectly though and had 5 scheme markers to choose from at all times. I mostly learned that I suck with Headhunter as a strategy. We ended up drawing 5-5.

So what major lessons did I learn?
  • Although I love Leve now, I have to factor in the table terrain. I've been told this before but when you're in a controlled Meta you tend to see the same types of boards so I never had to experience it. But these boards were cover heavy, and mostly hard cover, so it was not a good day for Leve when he's usually damaging on a negative flip now
    • On the same token, I should remember to focus more often if ever shooting against hard cover. It may not have the same pizzazz, but at least it's consistent damage over time
    • If the terrain is to dense I may have to consider Viktorias
  • I love Convict Labor, I can't see doing two other schemes at the moment over including this one
  • Ashes and Dust rocks. It's too good. I tried avoiding using him since everyone uses him, but man can that dude rock markers. I did learn that using him in the center spells the end of him, and he pretty much is relegated to just Dust Storm if that happens, but it's always a good backup to have since there are usually plenty of scrap markers lying around. There's nothing like a surprise 10" push from a melee beast like him.
  • The Trapper isn't such a good anchor. I tend to want to deploy him far up a flank for fire support and scheme placement, especially in something like Squatter's Rights
  • Ashes and Dust is also a mildly bad anchor, mostly because he wants to do his own thing and can get really far ahead of the waif. He is a good backup anchor however, and if you ever push your Waif too far you can surprise the opponent with a leftover anchor in the Dust Storm
  • Freikorpsmann aren't good at anything. Specialist models and money over everything. I can't wait to swap out this guy for a Necropunk.
  • I lost more Waifs that day than I ever have in my life. This is probably due to the shift in my anchors from being as tanky as possible to attack driven, not to mention having a Trapper as an anchor means a small base not being able to block LOS like Hannah did.
  • I may swap out the Mech Rider for now as much as it pains me. I love this model, both as a game piece and a show piece. But with this tournament running only 90 minutes a round we hardly got past turn three, let alone turn four. The riders shine most when they can go all the way. I'll definitely keep her in Interference as that summon and push with the great movement and Oathkeeper are just gold for that strategy. But for others like Headhunter I may just go for something more killy or tanky, like Flesh Constructs.
  • So far I've played Leve spread out, with Anchor points on far flanks and the middle. If I swap out for tanks and Belles I may play centralized for consistency and best ranges of fire throughout the table
  • I need to work on getting more familiar with achieving the other schemes. I've realized the value of Leave Your Mark, and may take Soulstone Miners simply for that, or utilize the Hodgepodge Effigy as a good scheme runner. A four point speed 6 minion is priceless, regardless of what else he can do.
  • I definitely kept my schemes more in mind this time around, as I resisted the temptation to go and kill as much stuff as possible over scoring efficiency

There are probably more lessons I can put down, but this post is long winded as it is.

In other news, I've done a quick test paint scheme on a Zombicide model:

I managed to do this in about 30 minutes, including primer time. I sprayed zenithal highlights and painted entirely in washes. I've still got to finish his base as I sloppily put on some grey in my haste, but I like him a lot for what he is. There are 72 models in the box. There's no way I can spend any time on these individually. I plan on fixing up the base eventually and making it look like pavement using paints only, no flock or sand. All in all it's not terrible, it looks good enough for the game.

Also theres this...

I recently discovered the Relic Knights miniature line and got bitten by the bug. I had been planning on getting Arena Rex models for the longest time, and just when I decided I was going to do it I saw these and changed my mind. 

I bought these purely for painting. I love models in an Anime style, that's why I got into Infinity before giving up on it for now lol. Not only were they cool minis, they were extremely cheap on Amazon as it's a semi-old game with little interest in comparison to other miniatures games. They had a fairly rocky Kickstarter and people complained about the quality of work in the sculpts as compared to their CAD designs. But man, they still look awesome. I can't wait to paint these bad boys up, there are a few others I haven't even built yet that just kick ass.

I got excited just thinking about painting these, as they'll be a good break from the normal paint jobs I do with Malifaux and Warmachine, although really my style for Malifaux can fit right on these bad boys, just with a different color scheme using bright pinks and yellows and stuff, maybe a splash of white. I miss painting armor panels, and in Malifaux I got to do that on Hannah and the Mech Rider, my favorite models I've done for that game. I'm really tired of cloth right now, as it's not my strongest area and Malifaux is full of it. Sometimes I need a dose of Sci-fi, which is my all time favorite genre. Anime just scratches so many itches right now.

I do plan on using them in game, however. I've had the rules to SuperSystem 4 for a long time now. It's a Superhero game where the main deal is that you get to custom make any superhero you want. It's basically scratching the conversion itch for me, as well as how I miss making custom characters like in an RPG or in Warhammer. There's a lot of flavor in SS4, and the powers in that system can envelop virtually any hero you can think of. Just for these models alone I've thought of their power set and how they can be translated into the game. I figure it would be fun to do even if I never get a game in that system with them, but if I already have models and stats done I can probably do a demo with some friends and maybe get them into it. The rules are only $10 or so, and you can use literally any model you like for it, which just begs for good conversion work.

Also, check out that Chun-Li. How can I resist?!

An example of a sweet model, I got this bad chica too

The game actually looks really interesting too. It uses cards rather than dice like Malifaux, but it's more akin to Magic the Gathering than Malifaux and uses custom cards. It's a lot more streamlined, however it takes a lot of conventional tabletop gaming mechanics and flips it. Deployment, for example, doesn't use any zone of any kind. You just plop them where you want one after another, which reminds me of the old terrain rules for 40K which is a mind game in itself. There's also the activation queue mechanic, where you choose the models you want to activate ahead of time so that planning is crucial, especially when you can see your opponent's queue as well. 

Although I only got models I wanted purely on aesthetics it turned out I got a lot from the Cercei Speed Circuit faction, so really all I'd need to do is get a starter for another faction like Star Nebula Corsairs (totally Japanese) to get a demo going for it as well. You should check this game out, it's not very active but it seems like a fun project.

Anyway, that's it for now!