Arcanists vs Guild / Malifaux test game
Mei Feng Crew vs Sonia Cridd Crew
Having been persuaded to have a go at Malifaux, I had spent some time creating a Arcanist crew (army/warband?) led by the legendary Ninja and steam railway enthusiast (erm... go figure..) Mei Feng. In the rather deep back story of Malifaux characters, Mei is some sort of half-renegade kung-fu expert and scion of an Oriental family, but she is also a bug fan of worldwide international socialism and workers rights... however those rights might technically at times veer towards "if you suffer a horriffic work-related injusy you can become ahalf-man-half-machine un-person and keep your job, although I will of course take that as your acceptance that it's OK for me to draw you into a life of crime and servitude as well". Anyway, in game terms she can kick 7 bells of sh-te out of most things, and her posse are all built like tanks - whats not to like ?
The list for the Mei Feng Crew is:
Arcanists Crew - 50 SS
Sonia Criid is some sort of really fit semi-robot cowboy who is also a witch and can set things on fire. She doesn't like the Arcanists apparently - maybe she's not so big on those workers rights, or perhaps it's the ninja crime syndicate stuff she's not so keen on ? The list for Sonia Cridd Crew from this game was;
Guild Crew - 50
The Crews are 50-point lists and include a mix of figures and upgrade cards who's effects only really apply to those figures. Any spare points (Soul Stones) can also be spent to do cool stuff in the game
This was my crew, ready to go - lots of very tanky models who can lumber forwards and dish it out - and take it - toe to toe with the enemy. I had selected Assasinate (kill the enemy Master) and Line in the Sand (place 4 scheme markers on the half way line) as my two objectives, with Adam having chosen Breakthrough (place 2 scheme markers in the enemy deployment zone) and Murder Protege (kill the most expensive no-leader figure in my team - the Rail Golem). The Crew can also be seen in more detail here
This was the Sonnia Criid crew - less models, but many cards stacked up on Sonia to give her some long range shooting and spell-casting powers.
Sonia on Youtube
The game got underway with my Metal Gamin and Rail Workers inching their way forwards, after the Gamin had each given the other a Metal Protection attribute, bringing their defence up to 6 (from, erm, 5?). My aim was to create a chain of models to allow Mei feng to do her really cool thing - railwalk. More of that later...
Malifaux hint - Every figure can do about 2 actions each turn - move, shoot, attack, cast a spell or do something to a game-marker. Some also get a specific-to-them freebie action too, and the Masters can do three things anyway
The rest of the lumbering robot army lumbered forward, and then the smaller Cridd crew also moved its core fighting force up, although Some Bloke With The Pet Eagle was hiding in a corner and another Spindly Looking Birdy Robot Thing with Leathery Wings had started hopping along the left hand board edge, clearly intent on doing some scheme-marker stuff. The Emberling (kinda like an on-fire ghost) was doing the same for me along the right.
For some reason Sonia had brought her own streetlamp with her, something she was now starting to regret as looking a lot like a hooker wasn't really workin with the whole "cool female gunslinger of vengeance" vibe she had clearly been going for with the rest of the outfit choice that morning... Her trusty Big Ass Brass Robot Knight Thing (it does have a proper name, but hey...) swordsman was also starting to look a little nervous (well, as nervous as a 10' high Big Ass Brass Robot Knight Thing with an enormous sword can look) as he realised that most of Mei Feng's crew probably had the ability to do nasty things to Constructs like him.
Malifaux hint - Yep, everything has a "class" - Living, Construct, Beast, Human, Undead (Neverborn - maybe some licensing issue there..?) and lots of others. They also have other characteristics too, and the effects you can do often depend on the nature of the target - or of folks on your team who are standing near you as well. Basically its a complex rules-based system that is designed to appeal to geeky peoples brains, sort of like how children get obsessed with the taxonomy of Dinosaurs between the ages of 6 and 8. But with robots and magic and tigers and stuff instead.
But, Sonia was still able to do some stuff to distract attention from the streetlamp faux-pas and threw some very impressive long range magic attacks at my hard-guy Kang (like a shop steward crossed with a butcher and an Asiatic Vinne Jones), setting him on fire a little bit as well.
Malifaux hint - ranged magic attacks are called Casting. Quite a neat choice of words for Wyrd Games to create their own IP in-game guess. But, we all know that it's still magic really..
The two crews were now quite close, and so, keen to actually remember that there were objectives in the game before bloodust and red mist descended a Metal Gamin did a magical magnetism thing (although I guess magnetism is real, so maybe it was a science thing?), sucking itself towards the Big Ass Brass Robot Knight Thing and then using an action to poop out a Scheme marker, in the shape of a storage box (painful..) on the half-way line. Sonia Criids little pet dead-person-on-fire Totem unwisely moved up to investigate this oddity, and found itself the recipient of a massive locomotion charge from the Rail Golem... keen to see how combat worked, the biggest ugliest beast on table, the Rail Golem, kicked things off by hitting the thing with a huge metal bar. The ghost-like ghosty thing suffered some damage, but as the Rail Golem hadn't built up much of a head of steam as yet it managed to get away...
Soniaa then used almost all of the cards in her hand, and plenty of special abilities too to launch a Fabulous Fireball (no, it's not really called that either) long range spell, sorry, Casting Attack on Kang and his buddies - this spread lots of extra damage around and soon all of my Rail Workers were smoking like extras from a Mad Men/Walking Dead crossover episode as they caught fire and sucked up damage markers. This put a bit of a dampner on their ability to rush forwards and do constructive stuff as they basically all had to spend one of their two activations slapping themselves furiously in an attempt to put themselves out, as being on fire was not really a good thing...
Malifaux hint - If you are on fire, you take extra damage at the end of a turn. So, if you've not activated yet you have a chance to put it out and avoid the damage. Unless of course you actually like being on fire.. in which you can just stay on fire. Like the Rail Golem, who LOVES being on fire...!
But, with a chain of Metal Gamin and Rail Workers now spread across the table it was time for Mei Feng to Do Her Thang... the Rail Walk / Mega-Ninja Jackhammer Punch followed or preceeded by the rather bitchy Tiger Claw "would you like fries with that ass-kicking?" McDonalds Happy Meal Combo. This allowed her to "railwalk" (jump) between 2 friendly Construct models up to 6" apart, then launch a series of very complicated and sequential attacks.... The Railwalk put her right in the middle of the enemy posse, and the target was a rather surprised Sonia Criidd !
Malifaux hint - Getting some of these combos is reasonably easy, getting all of them is rather harder - you need to win a series of combats and do so by drawing cards with the right suits. Getting them in the right order, and remembering the defensive effects that Sonia herself has is brain-bendingly tough ... but will probably be easier in, say, the second time I try it. Doing the most complex thing imaginable in turn 2 of my first ever game was always a bit ambitious I guess... but, hey, wargamers... !
Mei dished out a wok-full of attacks on Sonia, with side orders of noodles and a good dousing of soy sauce. Sonia responded with a flurry of Soulstones, helping mitigate the impact of the flurry of attacks but using up her get-out-of-jail free cards at the same time.. each attack ended up doing minimal damage, but there were so many of them that Sonia was now reeling badly. Mei however was on fire... not just because she had been wick-wick-wickedly effective, but because someone on the Guild crew had literally set her on fire. Ooops!
Top 10 Kung Fu Moves Ever
With both Masters more than a little battered and bruised (and, of course, on fire), who went first in the next turn would be vital....
Malifaux hint - The game has sequential activation, one model of each side takes turns to activate, with a "duel" each turn to see who starts. You only dish out damage in your own activation - when you are "attacked" you just defend and can't harm your attacker. Well, usually...
Mei's Crew won the card duel to go first... Sonia cast her last Soulstone to draw another card and try and cheat fate... but to no avail. Mei got to move first... and waded into Sonia yet again in a flurry of cool kick-ass kung-kuthulu-fu moves!
Malifaux hint - oh - in case you've not spotted it already, there are no dice in the game. Everything is done on playing cards - adding your base score to the turn of a card to see who wins in each situation. Theres complicated stuff about sometimes drawing additional cards and chosing the lowest or highest, but thats detail. The cards can be a standard pack, but the ones Wyrd sell are really nice and are easier to use for the game - like SAGA dice really, but, erm, cards. And no Viking runes. So far anyway...although we are probably only moments away from a Half-man, half robot Viking undead Ninja game coming out on Kickstarter, aren't we..?
Everyone froze (as only plastic models can do) as the kicking continued - Sonia was by now well on fire as well, casting a pall of smoke across the battlefield that did little to obscure the flurry of telling blows that Mei continued to rain in on the lamppost-loving Ms Cridd.
Mei used pretty much her whole suite of interlocking clever abilities yet again (in a sequence that only now took both Adam and myself just under an hour to work out) as she battered the hapless Cridd back towards the edge of the table as her crew looked on in horror!
Sonia was dead - smashed into pieces so small they were not even worth including in a Pot Noodle never mind a proper stir fry! The Big Ass Brass Robot Knight Thing was stunned, although whether this was because it was shocked to see Sonia die, or it had just realised that it was probably next in line for a right proper rough and ready train-based ninja-ing from Mei Feng was hard to tell - well, Big Ass Brass Robot Knight Thingys are not exactly known for their range of facial exprerssions, which generally run the full gamut from "stern angry robot" to "implacable metallic foe" - a gamut which would requires a technology akin to electron microscopy to be measured, and even had such a thing been discovered in Malifaux, it would have found far better uses than measuring Big Ass Brass Robot Knight Things facial expressions.
Mei by now was on just one hit point remaining - having been badly burnt by the exploding Ms Criid. After giving thought to railwalking away, and realising that even the most ambitious railwalk woudl still leave her in range of That Bloke With The Pet Eagle she decided to take down the Big Ass Brass Robot Knight Thing instead in her next turn - which quickly happened, after which That Bloke With The Pet Eagle threw it at her, and she was gone...
But with things evaporating all across the table, there was now space for the Rail Golem to make its' move. It had been gradually building up a good head of steam as the turns progressed, and with all of the enemy damage being directed at Kang (who was by now also sadly passed away, recipient of too many ranged attacks including a very impressive Magic Bullet of Doom attack from The Rather Camp But Still Somewhat Menacing Cowboy on Sonia's crew) the Golem was still intact - his Bleeding Edge Technology added card had also been very handy so far, healing most of my Rail Workers and Metal Gamin by 1 hit point each turn as they were all reasonably close to him as he advanced. Now, with all of this going on, the Guilds two Witchling Stalkers (think those things from the beginning of Lord of the Rings, but with a different name to avoid IP issues) were in the path of a veritable onrushing freight train of ass-whupping Golemization!
Malifaux hint - The Rail Golem builds up a head of steam as the game goes on, a bit like Jomsvikings do with Wrath in SAGA. It means late in the game he can really hit even harder than normal...and his "normal" is starting fairly far down the track towards most people "holy f--k that really hurt!" anyway
Hiding in the corner still, That Bloke With The Pet Eagle was still throwing it around at various Arcanist models, causing an irritating 1 damage every turn. But with relatively few other models left on table he suddenly realised that he was only a couple of Witchling Stalkers away from being slapped by a Rail Golem. His eagle wasn't so worried, but for That Bloke With The Pet Eagle himself that lack of an ability to fly the f--k away was a real concern
One Witchling Stalker ran away, the other was flattened by a swing of the Rail Golems big blunt instrument as he started to cut loose the caboose and search Google for other railway-related phrases of varying relevance to his current situation in a vain attempt to describe his repeated batterings with a big iron bar in a slightly original manner each time they happened.
Things being hit by trains on Youtube
Whilst all of this had been going on, the Spindly Looking Birdy Robot Thing with Leathery Wings had finally made it to the endzone and was frantically pooping a row of Scheme Markers in the woods to achieve Breakthrough.
The Rather Camp But Still Somewhat Menacing Cowboy, in theory one of Sonia's best crewmembers, had gotten bogged down fighting a Metal Gamin for several turns and since using his Magic Bullet Of Doom to nail Kang earlier hadn't really contributed much to the game. Finally, he sorted out the Gamin and minced across the table to try and remove one of the more unsightly Arcanist Scheme markers from the centre line. This could be a problem as 4 were needed for maximum victory points..
But, with the turn count on 5, the game then ended with the Rail Golem having run over and splattered yet another Witchling Stalker at full tilt on the way towards That Bloke With The Pet Eagle, and the Rather Camp But Still Somewhat Menacing Cowboy being shadowed by the Emberling as he sashe'ed towards yet another Scheme Mmarker. A victory for the Arcanists, 7 points to 5 (so somethinmg like that) with both Schemes succesful and 2 turns of killing 2 models, vs the Guilds' two turns of killing 2 models and one Scheme achieved.
Post Match Summary from Mei Feng
Bourgeois class domination is undoubtedly an historical necessity, but, so too is the wearing of small thin slippers which are all the better for kicking the bourgeois fascists of the Guild with in the face, multiple times and at very close range. I am proud to have killed so many people, and also at least one Big Ass Brass Robot in the process of historical inevitability and supporting the rise of the working class against oppression. The Guild may be a historical necessity, but so too is its grave digger, the socialist proletariat, especially so when they have been transformed into steam-powered mechanical automatons only capable of doing my bidding, like many of my crew today
This game was all about me, although of course as a defender of the interests of the working class I muct at least in public pretend that some other people did contribute. Particularly the Rail Golem, who I would like to publicly thank for his role in articulately putting forward a very clear-cut socialist alternative policy which not only gave full expression to the views of the trade union movement in parliament, but also involved a large amount of dishing out some of the most impressibe beatings ever seen , many of them with a large iron bar which of course had been produced by the same proletariat he was representing. That's what you call irony, although the people he hit with it won't be calling it anything for quite some time, will they, mostly on account of being very dead indeed.
As we move forwards with the aim of expanding people's democracy and building a drug-running criminal infrastructure, sorry, socialist paradise under the rule of laws in keeping with Malifaux's national conditions, we will also pursue the ongoing political restructuring of our foes, with the aim of both advancing the self-improvement and development of the socialist political system, and leaving anyone who opposes me in a physical state which will require scraping off the surface of the road with a spatula
Bring it on I say, bring it on...
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - why can't we have some good, honest poking each other with sticks and rolling D6 for Pete's sake? I can only imagine that this game must depend far more on luck that any other you play, as yu appear to have won. Do not however bask in your 100% record here, as you did manage to come out victor in a game in which your character actually died fairly spectacularly. If yur opponent had actually made any effort whatsoever to attack the Rail Golem, who's death would have led to him scoring VPs, perhaps the victory would not have been yours?
You also paid no attention to the possible effects of the enemy cards, apart from to work out that Sonia is good at a distance and your men (and half-man-half-robot things) should not bunch up... but that's what you did, and so the Fabulous Fireball Attack nearly did for 4 of your models at a stroke! One thing to learn, you learnt it... and then forgot it!
I did however enjoy the sight of you puzzling over whether to use the Tiger Claw or the Jackhammer Kick first - again this is your only important combo, and the Internet is surely available Through The Breach in Malifaux (or if not, perhaps you can borrow someones iphone and get on wifi?) so perhaps you could have looked it up in advance and saved us all some time and effort? Although to be fair, some of it seems like it relates to another game entirely...
Anyways, this has been a day or bloodshed, dark magic, roilling clouds of evil sweeping across a kitchen table and no dice at all. What's not to like eh?! Now, go and buy some more stuff so I can see you do badly with a different crew!
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?
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