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Monday, August 1, 2016

Malifaux Coppelius WIP and Arena Rex!

Something something something Cthulu...

Hello one and all!

Just a few updates, including this work in progress here for the Dreamer crew! He's part of a commission I've had in my hands for far too long, and I've recently decided that nothing else of mine will be painted until this is finally complete.

I was pleasantly surprised at how he started off, considering all the colors I've used so far are entirely experimental. I had the idea of how to start him in my head but wasn't sure if it would work, it looks like it should do just fine!

Over a black base coat I sprayed Vallejo Game Air Scorpion Green fairly heavily, leaving black in the shaded areas. I then sprayed 3:1 White/Scorpion Green and highlighted, then lightly shaded areas with GW Caliban Green. I fixed up spots with a touch of Scorpion Green to reclaim the main color. I really like it, it gives a radiation-like glow. Very otherworldly.

I then repainted any black that got overspray. I used VGA Scarlet Red over the black for his coat to give a sort of maroon color. I didn't know quite how this would work over black but it seems to do the trick.

Once I spray the pants he'll be ready for the detail work, just thought I'd share my progress so far.

On Friday I finally got to play a game of Arena Rex with my buddy Mike. We used my still incomplete arena and some simple obstacles for the game. It was a 3v3 fight, with Legio XIII and Ludus Magnus.

The opening moves

Although it was a new game for both of us, the rules are simple and intuitive enough to get a grasp on immediately. Within a few activations we just steamed right through the game. My initial strategy with Ludus Magnus was simple: use Otho Mentulus as a big tarpit, only moving him through reactions, while Hermes did the grunt work and Septimus picked off stragglers to hopefully get pushed into pits.

Hermes stares down Urien

The combination of Otho's ability - which prevents Favor use and gain - with Hermes' ability to force Favor use to attack him seemed tremendous. I wanted to use Septimus as my third as he's my favorite sculpt out of the range.

Mike was getting the hang of Legio and wasn't able to capitalize on their strengths as much in this game. Their displacement ability is tricky but powerful in the right instances. He also decided to swap out Ban-Luca for Urien from the starter, which may have worked better had he kept her. Urien was quickly dispatched from Hermes as the champion's damage track is amazing for power attacks.

Septimus eventually fell followed by Aquila, but Gaius was able to defeat Otho. This left a basically unhurt Gaius against Hermes.

Last Men Standing

At first I thought I had the advantage as my damage tree is pretty spectacular, but I realized that Hermes definitely relies on his ability (which has no effect when he's the Last Man Standing) and teamwork to divert attacks from him. He has fewer damage boxes than average, and Gaius was built for attrition. With his Regrowth and the fact that you have to kill him twice he was able to withstand Hermes' attacks just enough to deliver the killing blow and win.

Arena Rex is amazing, there's a ton of depth in decisions to be had considering the brief page count for the rules. Every choice had meaning, and there wasn't more than a breath's pause between decisions for each player. Down time is not something that occurs often in this game, as there's an elegant solution for players who are getting steamrolled in the game. You may be at an advantage early on and outnumber your opponent at times, but with the resources not being used up by additional models and how Last Man Standing makes your remaining man fight ferociously to the death quickly evens out the odds.

I've read about several other peoples' experience with this game, and it's almost never a one sided affair and almost always ends with a close game - that seems to me like a good sign of balance that forces player engagement for the end game. There have been many instances in other games where you can tell who's going to win from the second turn or earlier, but in this game it means nothing until the blood is on the sand.

I'll leave you with a few pics of a play test game, using proxies for both sides.

Finding excuses to use this building in a game...

Finding excuses to use this model in a game...