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Monday, October 3, 2016

Montag's Grand Opening and Malifaux Terrain!

I've got a massive update lined up for you folks!

So it was a pretty big weekend for gaming in the Houston area! One of our local (and frankly, my favorite) gaming stores, Montag's, was having a grand opening event for their new location. The new location not only offered a much bigger space it also segregated the areas for gaming and retail, which is a great idea so that we aren't piling on top of one another.

The Malifaux group was designated to have a 4x6 table reserved for demos, meaning we'd have space for two tables running. Our resident Gremlin player (now turned Resser) volunteered to host demo games throughout the day, and I volunteered to provide the terrain which is why I'd been working hard to paint up the pieces I showcased earlier on the blog.

So first up is the Garden of Morr!

I absolutely love this kit from GW

I've had this set for a while now, and have always loved the way it looks. I made sure to get my hands on it before it went out of print, since they went the direction of Age of Sigmar I worried I wouldn't get another chance - I've already missed out on their previous awesome sets and didn't want to miss this. I even painted the statue a long time ago and featured it on the blog.

Getting down to crunch time I had only primed the unpainted pieces by Friday, with the next day being the opening. So I had to figure out a way to crank these guys out to a presentable standard for the demo. I got them all lined up and quickly zenithal sprayed them with VMA Light Grey over the black primer. I then haphazardly sprayed the roofs and fencing. I mean, really haphazardly. I sprayed VGA Fire Orange trying to lay down a base for rust color, but it turned out more yellow than I had anticipated. I added patches of VMA Burnt Umber to vary the colors, but because I was rushing to get them done it was spotty. Really, though, it's just a foundation for me to use pigments later to do the rust, so it works out fine enough for the deadline.

I had left the building footprint pieces alone as they didn't add anything to the playability of the pieces and would make them harder to transport when they're glued on. I think the stone work looks well enough as it is, the only other things I'd need to do is use black pigments in certain areas that lost its shading as well as drybrush grey and white for highlights.

You can really tell the difference between my usual painting and this quick work from how much brighter the statue is from the buildings. In the statue I also sprayed white for a final highlight, although I may not do that at all for the rest of the buildings as I don't think it's necessary.

Overall though I'm glad I got the motivation to at least start this terrain, now I can use it for games and demos and they're really a very versatile set for Malifaux.

On Friday night I got a text from Mike to confirm that I had the two tables ready to go. TWO?! It was a funny moment of miscommunication, but with what I have in the hobby department works out perfectly for terrain in a pinch.

I decided that I could fill up a table quickly enough using the Battle Systems kickstarter I recently received. I'd have to be careful not to go overboard with the modern and sci-fi elements. I purchased the Suburban house specifically for its usefulness in Malifaux, so once I got my Garden of Morr painted up I started working on this.

I already had started working on a two story house that could fit into Malifaux, I just added a yard to the mix.

In the back you can see an Art Deco building I quickly cobbled together, I imagined it to be a central station for the Guild or something with the Sheriff's house right next to it.

I had made the other large building with a run down apartment complex in mind. The walkway seemed like a cool idea to add on as well. The last tiny little building was made to be a shack, I just needed some more big elements to block line of sight. Add in some trees and crates for soft cover, and fencing and dumpsters for flavor, and you've got yourself a quick table! By the time I was done it was super late and I had to get some rest for the big day.

The calm before the storm

We arrived prior to the opening to get everything set up. I had set up the Battle Systems board pretty much the same as I had at home, and Mike added some needed extra soft cover to fill the board. The painted board needed more thought as I hadn't set it up for a game before, but I think it turned out rather well. Mike had taken out his Gremlins for potential players and I brought out my Von Schill, both at 35ss. I figured that crew is straightforward enough for players to grasp, as well as Hannah being an attention grabber for the game.

Travis and I went to get lunch at a nearby Thai restaurant and came back to the store, and our tables, being in full swing.

Mike during a demo

Clay joined in and was teaching the game as well

Hannah creeping up on the Gremlins

Everyone seemed to get how Ophelia worked well enough

Clay's demo on the other table

There were plenty of other games going on as well. Warhammer 40k had a table with some cool armies to use.

The Chimera brought back some nostalgia, nothing like the good ol' Chim Chim

I really like how the Tau army was painted, well done!

The classic Dark Angels, I still have my Ravenwing army

Of course the cool Grey Knights made an appearance

It wouldn't be 40k without some Chaos!

The 40k table

Right next to the Malifaux tables was a demo table for Bolt Action. I actually took part of a demo game for it as I've always been curious as to how it plays. He had a cheat sheet printed up and I took control of ze Germans while he operated the elite British Paratroopers. We had a simple goal in mind, which was to capture a model near the center right of the board. The demo ran pretty smoothly and I understood the mechanics at play. It made me seriously consider getting into this game, if only at a small entry point. I'd definitely play 'Murrica.

There were other demos going on for Warmachine, X Wing and Infinity too. Being that I've played all of them I didn't feel like trying to take up someone's time when a prospective new player could have had a spot. I did however catch this model on one of the Infinity tables and it is stunning!

Whoever painted this, I hate you...

It is a gorgeous representation of Infinity, and follows very closely to Angel Giraldez's technique and style. It's just so clean! I'm jealous.

Due to the crowd Travis and I were left to our own devices, so I busted out a new game called BattleCON: Fate of Indines for us to play. It's a small card game that is inspired by fighting games like Street Fighter and it's pretty good.

Once it died down a bit and the second table was available Travis and I played a pick up game. Lately I had been really into Viktorias, but since I was loaning out Hannah for demos I decided to play Leve again, this time including Mad Dog Brackett instead of the Mechanical Rider to see his viability. Travis brought his Asami crew.

Opening moves, with Ashes towing Leve around

So we're officially in Q4 of Gaining Grounds 2016 (this year has flown by!). The deployment was standard and the strategy was Collect the Bounty. The scheme pool: Convict Labor, Inspection, Show of Force, Exhaust their Forces and something else. I chose Inspection to see if it could work with Leve and Convict Labor, he ended up choosing Show of Force and Convict Labor.

The well painted Asami crew take a stroll

It was certainly a pretty battle! As simple as I kept the terrain it still looked excellent, and his crew is fully painted and looks pretty cool on the table. 

The Flesh Constructs help hold the side for Inspection, their bases protect Mad Dog from engagements

The game started out fine enough, although I had to deploy a little differently than usual. Because I chose Inspection I knew that I would have no poker face, I had Leve and Ashes deploy to one side and the rest of the crew to the other so it was pretty obvious as to what I chose. I figured that if there is a chance he chose Show of Force it could actually work in my favor, as I can shoot toward the middle and had a lot of models who could stick around so any attempt to deny my VP would require a lot of commitment.

Lately I've started to have Leveticus utilize his other (0) action to teleport to Ashes and Dust. Ever since the Leve Nerf (make channel great again) I've explored his other options as now his AP is even more precious than it was before. Although it can be very risky his ability to teleport is pretty powerful. Having Leve use his Teleport has the positives of saving his AP for shooting rather than movement, and it can help Leve get out of engagements. It also adds in activations as long as you use it after Ashes has already gone, since you'll be getting the Core and Storm in there as well. The risks are that Leve can be vulnerable for next turn, as anything that can kill him will prevent him from summoning another Waif and may stop him from doing anything that turn. The other risk is making Ashes vulnerable before he becomes resummoned. The trick is to make sure you mitigate these risks by taking out the big threats on the same side before they activate, or not using it if you don't believe you can properly take the risks out before they attack Leve. Activation advantage and initiative are a huge factor in using this ability. However the pair can take on a whole flank themselves and Leve can pop up on the other side if he needs to.

Asami hunts down my scheme runner

The game was going really well for me and terribly for Travis. My deck was hitting on all cylinders and his deck seemed like it added in 5 black jokers when he wasn't looking. We ended up calling it on turn 3 as it seemed like he wouldn't be able to deny any of my VP while I whittled away his crew model by model.

What was once Ama No Zako is now an Abomination taunting the Oni

It was still a fun game though and I've been discovering new ways to utilize Leve in a tournament environment. I'm still working on my replacement for the Mechanical Rider, and haven't decided if Mad Dog is useful enough for the crew or if I should go with my gut instinct and replace him with the Strongarm suit. It all will depend on the table coverage as Mad Dog's ability to ignore cover will be powerful, but if I continue the trend of following Ashes around it may not be utilized by Leve at all and the Strongarm would be a better model to dish out damage while the Constructs anchor the waifs safely.

That was my hobby weekend! I'll update more once I figure out my next project, I've gotta knock out some priority paintjobs soon!