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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Austin Malifaux Tourney 7/29/17

I guess I gave away the best part immediately...
Howdy guys!

Again, long time no post. Work has been getting crazier and crazier, with each new success comes a new responsibility or project, so real life is taking priority over my hobby stuff lately. I think I'll be able to gather some more free time soon enough, the end of the quarter usually helps with less office time. But I've also started traveling for work, and it's sounding like there might be more of that in store so who knows.

Anywho, even though I haven't done anything new with painting I managed to make it to a Malifaux Tournament in Austin last week! Sadly it's the last one being hosted by their resident Henchman Robert Stull - he's been incredible with support for both his community and the Houston community, and his presence will be sorely missed, but he's going for bigger and better things so we all wish him luck!

Pre Tourney

I hadn't played very many games prior to the tourney, probably about a month straight of not playing so I knew I'd be pretty rusty. I stuck with only bringing my Viktorias again, as I'm used to the meta and feel that the crew is working so well now with the Hodgepodge Emissary. I was pretty confident they could do a good job.

My wife and I planned on visiting my in-laws that live nearby, so we thought we'd drop her off prior to the start of the tourney. Traffic was worst than we anticipated, and we left a little later than planned, which resulted in me running about 15 min after the start time. Luckily (or unluckily) my first opponent was Houstonite Travis so he was understanding, plus we play each other so often that our games go very fast.

Game 1

Vs. Travis (Reva)
Turf War

  • Claim Jump
  • Frame For Murder
  • Leave Your Mark
  • Set Up
  • Tail 'Em
Chosen: Claim Jump and Set Up
Travis: Frame For Murder and Leave Your Mark

A very pretty table, that just so happened to create a choke point

So Travis pulled a fast one on me and decided not only to swap from Ten Thunders - the faction he's been playing for about a year or more) - back to Rezzers, and on top of that Reva! I had never faced his Reva before and was instantly worried. He seemed less confident though, as he thought this was probably his worst kind of match up. Rezzers tend to be very packed together, and this map had an obvious choke point in the middle, and his crew didn't have nearly the resilience he's used to with Rezzers. It seemed to be in my favor.

Things didn't go that well, though...

At first the game seemed to be doing well. Without the Yasunori from his Asami crew I didn't feel that threatened about my Viks making it to his crew. I did the usual creep with the Viks, with terrain and the big models blocking avenues to the sisters. He threw Reva right into the scrum and killed one of my Winged Plagues.

Crucial turn 2 set up and initiative...

So, as with most of our games together, it all really came down to initiative of turn 2. I stoned for cards in case, and even after stoning to re-flip initiative I still lost it. The first activation he ran his master away after hitting the Hodgepodge, then I proceeded to do what I always do turn 2...

Lets blend some models in a whirlwind...

I managed to get Blood into a good clump, despite Big Jake being lured by a Belle into the choke point blocking my movement. In the first hit I managed to get everyone in Whirlwind range down to 1 wound left! It was looking great...

...but Travis managed to make me miss my second attack on Sybelle, ending another Whirlwind. And with my last attack from Melee Expert he threw out the Red Joker in defense.

I just couldn't believe it. It was such a magnificent play I couldn't even be mad about it (par for the course when playing against Travis).

Well it goes without saying, with this kind of level of play, Blood died almost immediately afterward due to being in range of about 4 very angry and almost dead models.

It went pretty downhill from there. Reva was cleaning up model after model, with Corpse Candles blocking lanes and getting in the way. Travis played the crew like clockwork.

Big Jake and Hannah trying to save what they could...

It was just grasping at VP for my crew, I knew he was getting his full 10VP after Blood whiffed. It wasn't all that bad considering, as we ended the game 6-10. I managed to get 2 rounds of Turf War, a VP for Claim Jump, and all points for Set Up.

This game, though, probably knocked me down a tier in standings and I felt that I should be able to pick it up in round 2.

Game 2

Vs Steven (Sandeep)
  • Claim Jump
  • Accusation!
  • Leave Your Mark
  • Show of Force
Chosen: Claim Jump and Leave Your Mark
Steven: Claim Jump (don't remember the other one)

Steven is a relatively new player, and I think Sandeep was his first crew. I was a little worried as usually he's extremely solid, but I saw that he didn't have Cassandra so I knew this would be easier than usual - Cass is just messed up with Practiced Production.

A bit of a weird way to stand...

I set up Winged Plagues on opposite ends to prepare for Leave Your Mark. Either Hannah or the Hodgepodge were going to take Claim Jump into their hands as they were probably going to stay in the middle. Viktoria was going to take care of Headhunter for sure.

In the beginning moves he took a shot at Big Jake who didn't get hurt. I set up the rest of my crew as usual (I can't recall a game where I don't move in the block formation I usually do outside of close deployment).

He had Sandeep and some other models relatively close to each other past the river, so I knew that I should be able to take care of the master next turn as long as the Banasuva doesn't block my lane.

Om nom nom...

Well, I won initiative and proceeded to run directly to Sandeep. I managed to easily kill him and the two models close by with AP to spare, all before the Banasuva came out. All in all it was a good play, and left Steven on the reactive side while I had no opposition to my VP.

Hannah acts as Janitor and cleans up some heads...

I believe at the end of the game I had managed to only lose a single model. I ended up winning 10-2 and was going to the third round strong.

Steve was pretty flabbergasted at how I was able to kill effectively, but I told him that now that he's seen the trick he can better prepare for it. Plus it's a bit stacked against him, as I've been playing the Viktorias almost exclusively for 3 years, and he's a new player. He appreciated the game though, as he has the same mentality as me when it comes to learning games - get absolutely pummeled often, and soon enough you'll be doing the pummeling. 

Game 3

Vs Hans (Neverborn Collodi)
Close Deployment
  • Claim Jump
  • Eliminate the Leadership
  • Dig Their Graves
  • Search the Ruins
  • Recover Evidence
Chosen: Claim Jump and Search the Ruins
Hans: Eliminate the Leadership and Dig Their Graves

What, you don't want to come closer?! Aww...

So this game had me facing Hans, who I've previously played before with my Viks against his Lilith. After our last game he quickly decided not to use Lilith and repeat what happened last time, although I was more scared of him using Lilith than he was of my Viks!

It was close deployment, and I got right on the line while he stayed waaaaay in the back. I knew with close deployment it would be easier to run certain schemes and so I chose Claim Jump and Search the Ruins, knowing he'd want to stay away from my crew in the middle as well as keep getting VP from Interference. I knew with Big Jake I could claim a weak corner while running schemes.

I did my usual walk forward, and ended up getting my Winged Plagues engaged by a Changeling - for the rest of the game hahahaha!

I was preparing for the best use of Whirlwind and figured I should get Envy and the Mysterious Emissary - mostly because they were close together, and I remembered that Collodi is actually pretty tough to kill with his dolls nearby. The route to them was much easier as well.

Turn 2 board state

As you can see I spread out pretty far due to Envy's ability to obliterate stuff. He ended up missing the Hodgepodge so I came out smelling like roses.

I didn't get initiative, but due to an unsuccessful attack it was like I did!

So what do I usually do on turn 2?

Om nom nom... (that used to be Envy and the Emissary)

I managed to catch a few models in Whirlwind and eat them right up. It seemed like it was easy pickings from this point on.

But I was wrong...

Apparently not playing against Collodi often showed me how good he could be with this game. He ended up picking apart my crew one by one every turn, starting with Viktoria of Blood and Ashes...

Oh no...

...and managed to kill enough of my crew to have me sweating!

Not as weak as I thought, huh?

In the end he managed to pick up from the loss of his key models and score a bit of VP. It was looking like he may get a win after all, but then he realized that I had markers around the center ready for Search the Ruins. This is when he decided to get to the middle, but it was too late! He picked up one marker, but then the Hodgepodge went and put one in its place.

The game was mine 10-6, but it was pretty eventful!

The scoring came down, and at Top Table Travis was playing against a very good Lilith player and ended up losing. This, coupled with my large win in round 2 and decent win in round 3 bumped me up to second place! I got some Descent miniatures with my winnings as I don't need any more stuff for Malifaux.

All in all it was a great sendoff tourney for Robert, we'll miss him dearly but he said he's coming to the next Houston one before he leaves.

Oh, did I say earlier that I don't need any more Malifaux stuff?

I think I died and went to heaven when they released this announcement for GenCon. Anyone who knows me knows I'm nuts for cats (we own five and yes we know that's crazy we regret it too)!

The fact that this is a crew proxy for Hamelin makes it sooooo much sweeter! Hamelin is the only other Master I'm interested in right now in terms of competitive play, and making a kitty crew just makes me want to learn him so badly! I got a practice game with him this week and it was awful, so I've got a lot of work ahead of me!

I can't wait to get this crew, and I'm definitely going to paint it. I mean, usually I want to paint stuff, but rarely do (I haven't even put together last year's GenCon crew!) but I'm painting this whole crew no matter what. I want to paint my cats as models hahahahaha!

I mean, they're so awesome. Look at that Nix proxy! I'm going Cheshire Cat with a little acid trip on him, blues, greens, yellows, pinks, the whole works - like a Tzeentch model. The Stolen even have cats on them!!!

So... yeah... I'm cat crazy. Also, they're called the Sisterhood of the Cat, while Hamelin's other box is called The Brotherhood of the Rat. It's just so darn clever.

Oh, and litter box scheme markers. And yarn ball markers. So many ideas.

Anyway, before I get even weirder, I'll let you go!