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Monday, June 20, 2016

6/18/16 Malifaux Tournament Report


So last Saturday there was a local tournament at the illustrious Montag's. There were a total of 10 participants, two of which were from Austin. Those guys are pretty cool and were locals from the last tournament I attended.

I hadn't really practiced much between the last one and this one, and hadn't touched a paint brush since before then either so I hadn't really been mentally prepared as I usually am. I planned on using my same Leveticus crew as before, so really the only factor would be with matchups I hadn't seen before.

I didn't take many pictures in this tournament, so I apologize in advance. I was concentrating on trying to get my games done quicker and get as many 5th turns in as possible.

Game 1 against Jack Daw deployment (Ashes already activated)

So game one was against Nick, a local Outcast, using his Jack Daw crew. He brought Envy, Taelor, Guilty, and Crooked Men to the table. The table had Flank Deployment with Reconnoiter as the strategy. The scheme pool had Convict Labor, Search the Ruins, Leave Your Mark, Hunting Party, and more I can't remember honestly. As always I took Convict Labor and added Leave Your Mark. I think. Man I really need to post these with my notes on hand.

I deployed Ashes and Dust as far toward the right corner as possible, with the Necropunk on the opposite end in cover. The rest of the gang was close toward the center to provide Leve the best LOS options while negating cover as much as possible.

Turn one had Ashes dash toward the corner for some Convict markers, he was relatively unopposed as Nick ran two Crooked Men toward him. Ashes could easily handle them, and later Nick would retreat one back toward his deployment as he had forgotten about Recon (on more than one occasion, actually, always keep your strats and schemes in mind kids!) The Necropunk went out in the open for another Convict marker, but he responded with Envy pushing toward him and shooting him down to one wound with the help of Taelor. Seeing as how he had two identifiable linchpins in the list - Envy and Taelor - I decided it was worth the risk and sacrifice to attempt to take Taelor out early (her Welcome to Malifaux ability can be devastating to summoners if done right). Leve used his (0) action to sacrifice the Necropunk and jump out in contact to him before dying. He shot Taelor down to a few wounds, but really if I had not blanked out and remembered that Leve ignores Hard to Wound she would have been dead. That's on me for being spaced out, really.

Turn 2 had Ashes placing one more marker before charging the lone Crooked Man, who lived. It wasn't a big deal as he could kill him next turn and be on his way. Envy proceeded to shoot up the place and did some damage to my Flesh Constructs and exposed Waif. He then jumped in with Taelor, a Guilty and Jack Daw. This got him within 6" of the center though, and I knew that this would place me in a better position for the Strategy. Leve proceeded to wipe Envy and Taelor off the board, and a Flesh Construct was putting some wounds on Jack.

I think this was around turn 4... I told you I didn't take many pictures

By mid game I knew I had the win and proceeded to try and get as many points as possible. Reconnoiter seems to be difficult for me to get points in for some reason using this current list, as it doesn't summon nearly as much as my old list used to. I also didn't want to feed minions to him for Hunting Party in case he had it, he hadn't scored from any Schemes by turn 4 so I didn't know exactly what he took. I had a suspicion of Convict Labor, which is why I denied one of his three markers by placing mine next to it.

Jack Daw charging past Leveticus

He tried killing Leveticus with Jack, but was unable to do so.

In the end I was able to get the win 6-3. He scored one Recon point and two points for Search the Ruins. I thought this was a bad combination since Recon scores when models are outside of 6" from the center, while Search the Ruins scores with markers inside the 6" bubble. It's quite difficult to score Recon while setting up Search the Ruins, but not impossible. He also was only able to get 2 points from it. 

I got all three Convict Labor points, one from Leave your Mark and two from Recon.

Game two was against Travis, and this never goes well for me

The next game had me against Travis, one of our best locals, using Arcanists. He mentioned wanting to use Mei Feng but not having the models with him, which would have done pretty well against me honestly. He instead used Rasputina, and this proved to be pretty deadly.

My deployment line

Using Standard deployment the Strategy was Extraction, a (usually) great one for me. The schemes had Convict Labor, Inspection, Show of Force, Exhaust Forces and something else. I took Convict Labor as always. Since I couldn't really pull off any other schemes I picked Inspection, which is one I don't like using but I foresaw his crew not dedicating anything toward the flanks to deny my points.

Ashes cowering... I mean scoring for Inspection

The game already started off pretty bad for me. I already start games playing against him feeling like I lost... he's that good. He's extremely familiar with both the game and my list, as it's inspired by his play style. He's pretty good at dismantling Flesh Constructs. After I cautiously approach the center he proceeded to fire one shot into my crew from Rasputina and killed a Waif, did 8 damage to one FC and 5 to another. From one shot. My previous games against Rasputina did not prepare me for how he plays her.

Getting his crew ready to pound on my face

He then sends Snow Storm in to score for Show of Force while dismantling my crew near the marker. My Necropunk was on the left side and Ashes was on the right side setting up markers for Convict Labor and preparing to score for Inspection. Essentially though they were out of the game, while the rest of the crew had to deal with his entire crew on their own.

His Ice Pillars pigeon-holed me while he picked my crew off one at a time

Essentially I had not seen a Raspy crew being used the way he did. He was much more aggressive with her and had her close to the center as fast as possible, which locked down my avenues of approach. He had the ice pillars blocking Leve's LOS while dictating where I had to go, and also letting them disappear when he needed them.

Raspy has her sights on Leve

From the start I could tell this wasn't going my way. I figured I'd be able to score once from Extraction, so I concentrated on tying him up while I scored the rest of my schemes.

Every turn had my crew dwindling down model after model

I also had made a few errors in target priorities. I'm very used to trying to take out key models, preferably point heavy linchpins, as early as possible. This makes my game easier from the start and demoralizes the opponent, as when they lose a key model early it starts to fall apart on them. This time I not only was unable to do this, I didn't change my plan and attack other models instead. Both Rasputina and Snow Storm had Counterspell on them. This makes Leve lose a lot of punch and essentially can neuter him. Instead of changing up focus and shooting little guys I decided to continually attack them. He then proceeded to heal them up constantly, making my efforts fruitless. Had I kept my head on straight I could have slowly taken his smaller models apart, leaving him only with Raspy and Snow, which I could feed model after model.

Snow Storm demonstrates truly how to control the game

Notice in the picture that Snow Storm blocks one side of the well, while ice pillars block the other, funneling my whole crew into Snow Storm's reach while protecting his more squishy models.

It was a brilliant display of how to play Malifaux, and it taught me a few lessons on mistakes to avoid in the future. The lessons I took away were target priority when Counter Spell is on the table, along with Cheating in the Red Joker for damage if possible. Next time I will need to be more aggressive with my crew, and to keep my Waifs further away from Blast damage.

I ended up losing 9-7. I scored full points for Inspection and Convict Labor while getting one point from the strategy, so although the score wasn't terrible it was definitely one that felt terrible.

The only picture I took of game three

So Game three I was paired with Nick AGAIN. This shouldn't happen in a tournament, so when we heard it we questioned the TO. Turns out round one I was supposed to play one of the Austin guys, and for some reason he announced that we were supposed to play. Since we played each other he put in the scores into the tournament app incorrectly, which led to weird round 2 matchups without anyone noticing. When we pointed out the mistake he did the scores by hand, which is how the app came to matching us up anyway, and we were still paired up. It's an honest mistake, but it definitely took the wind out of my sails as I prefer to play different people as much as possible to learn more. He was also upset at the match up. I took the same crew, which may be a mistake as he knew exactly how it operated from before. He took Jack Daw again, this time with Bishop, Johan, Envy, Taelor and a Student of Conflict.

It was Close deployment, the Strategy was Collect the Bounty, and the schemes were Convict Labor, Leave Your Mark, Frame for Murder and other stuff I can't remember. Forgive me for not taking more pictures, I was not in the mood to take pictures.

My deployment was the exact same as usual. He had most of his crew near the center with Envy closer to the right, so I deployed my center portion slightly to the left to offset his range. 

He started by moving Johan closer to me. I then activated the Belle to lure her closer and Leve shot her off the table with one attack cheating the Red Joker. This was his Frame For Murder target and he got three VP right off the bat. He then had Envy gain Fast, push and walk toward the center and shot my Flesh Constructs. The blast damage killed two of my Waifs - again I had everyone too close together - and damaged my Flesh Constructs heavily. He had Jack Daw run to the center and attacked my other Waif, killing her and essentially killing Leveticus all in turn one.

This sucked, but I actually didn't feel too phased by it. I knew that my schemes would probably go off unopposed, and I'd still be able to get Activation advantage since he brought so few models to the table.

Ashes and the Necropunk layed down plenty of markers to get Convict Labor without being able to be denied, so the Necropunk went off to start scoring Leave Your Mark while Ashes went into the fray. Eventually Ashes and the Flesh Constructs were able to take down everything in his crew except for Jack Daw. He was able to get points from the Strategy easily, though. He did however learn how Convict Labor can be denied by his own markers the hard way as he let one of his dying models use "Finish the Job" to lay a marker down before dying right next to one of his Convict Labor markers, thus denying him from being able to score.

I got three points from Leave Your Mark, three points from Convict Labor and one from Collect the Bounty. He got three from Collect the Bounty and three from Frame For Murder, ending in a victory for me 7-6. This isn't bad considering I lost my master on turn one, which goes to show you that you can recover even from a devastating early turn.

All in all the tourney was fun, just a bit disappointing that I had to play the same guy twice. I ended up in fourth place, but still managed to win a Mystery Box with Miss Step inside. She's a cool model but not one I see using any time soon. Afterward we hung out at our Gremlin Player's house to play some board games with my wife tagging along, which was pretty fun. Splendor is an awesome game to play at the house, try it out if you ever get a chance!

Right now I'm tinkering with my Leve list. I've used this exact list for 10+ games now, and I'm starting to see that I had more fun with my list that included the Mechanical Rider. I may just bring her back to have more fun again.