Steampunk Horror in CroFaux 2015
Arcanist Ramos vs TT McCabe
After using Marcus at Darkfaux, and messing up badly when I tried to use Ramos at Wayland Games this event in rural Croydon was a natural opportunity to wheel out the spider master again and actually try to work out how to use him. Also almost all of the 4 Strats seemed to favour summoning, so that was yet again a great excuse. As usual I struggled to take pictures and play the game, and ended up just taking photos in the first 2 games. I'll do my best to remember what happened otherwise ...
There is lot's more of this stuff on my Malifaux pages
Game 1 Arcanist Ramos vs TT McCabe
The first game was against McCabe, with Guard the Stash as the strategy. Deliver a Message was in the pool, so I guessed that it would be a good one for the hyperspeed dog in the McCabe list to run at Ramos... he was going to be staying at the back! Breakthrough was also there, and Bodyguard, which screamed Mech Rider - the first time I think that I had dared to deploy such filth on the table in a competition game. All of my scoring eggs in one metal horse shaped basket...
With the two teams going to be clustered in the middle, my Willie made an appearance too - the rest of the list was fairly textbook, Ramos, Willie, Mech Rider, Large Arachnid (tough, hard to move, and extra scrap in turn 1), Johan (of course), Brass Arachnid (one day I'll work out how to use it I thought...) a mandatory Metal Gamin (waiting for his friends...) and the soon-to-be-erased Toolkit. McCabe had two metal dogs (oops), two real dogs, Kang, some sort of whitch-y lady thing, and a Samurai with a chain gun.
The terrain was lovely, if a bit blood-stained-looking (given I don't want to make the obvious and unpleasant reference to 1970's Cell Block H-style protests..), with some height on both flanks and some blocking pieces in and around the two markers that we both needed to have people with. My basic game plan was to spam spiders (nooooo! shocker!) and then Gamin (nooooh!!! huge shocker!!!) to trade point for point on the markers for most of the game, hopefully winning by attrition and maybe nicking a net +1 on the strategy by the end, then to whizz the Mech Rider over to the weaker flank mid game so she could make a break for the end zone in Turn 4 whilst using a screen of spiders to stop Speedy Doggie from tagging Ramos and this end up with a net win.
It soon transpired that the dogs were also doing a poop-ing based scheme of ALITS, which was presumably before rushing Ramos later in the game. That laid down the gauntlet to the Spiders from Nowhere, who started their process of serial irritation by engaging everything they could find in close combat. Even if they weren't actually attacking they were preventing the dogs from moving around and dropping more markers, as well as waiting fairly obviously for them to move away so they could hoover up the markers themselves
Mr Gatling-Ninja Man in his fetching purple skirt had found a vantage point high up on a cliff face dominating the battlefield... but he had not expected how easy it would be for my Willie to reach out and slap him around the face from an impressive ten inches away! Ninja-gatling-man was soon having to spend points restoring his own health rather than spraying the increasingly redundant gatling gun at the increasingly hard to spot Spiders
The Komainu had a bit of a total nightmare for McCabes' crew, as first the Gamin and then Ramos himself demonstrated the impressive effect of Magentism, swiftly (in the case of the Gamin) followed by engagement with a model with Protection of Metal. With two of McCabe's anchor pieces erased, Kang and the lady with an umbrella were starting to lose heart as the spider spam swept up and over them
With Ramos now deep into three turns of spider-spamming, all healed up to full strength by Johan's Bleeding Edge Tech the table was starting to be covered in 4-legged (no idea...a design choice I guess, but an odd one) creepers, leaving McCabe and his dog very few places to go. With everything packed in tight the healing from BET was taking effect every turn on all of the Spiders too, making them even more resilient and even more irritating.
With an increasingly dangerous Mech Rider coming along the back of the table and then (reactivated) flying off to the left and stabbing normal doggie with her Chain Spear, Speedy Doggie eventually had to make a run for the other side of the board to try and get to Ramos, but simply ran out of room with the tide of spiders almost everywhere. Mech Rider then scored her touchdown points, to leave Ramos with something a 10-4-ish win in a contested Strategy and a clean scheme sweep
Game 2 Arcanist Ramos vs Guild Lady J
This game was interference - again a good spamming scheme. Given the details, I added a raptor to the list this time, and also gave the Essence of Power a try-out as I wasn't sure that I'd gotten full value from the Brass Arachnid, and I had just painted the Essence of Power anyway. The rest of my list was a bit of a dogs breakfast of table-occupying models and other stuff, including a couple of Gamin, a Rail Worker (Frame for Murder may have been in the pool?) and again the Mech Rider. My opponent was Ben Harris, making the experience of playing someone who I've listened to on podcasts an odd one given that I could actually see him this time, and by the time the game was over I would not be getting off a plane in a foreign country.
The table was pretty open, and with Lady J and her big sword, as well as an Austringer or two, and some other people I had no real plan other than barrel a hit team of Gamin, Johan and Railworker up one flank to take a second quarter whilst spider spamming with Ramos to backfill the quater I started in, and eventually move into another one later in the game. I have no recollection of the schemes I'm afraid, although it may well have been a Rider-friendly one and possible also Distract for me. @Panzerharris appeared to be doing the same as me, but in the opposite corner.
Lady J made a bee-line for Ramos (and the Mech Rider) which sort of put a big dent in their minion-spamming plans, as they were now both forced to deal with Lady J ... which took an inordinate amount of time, turns and Soulstones. Meanwhile the Gamin Train was running into something nasty that probably ignored armour, making it tricky to get out of my initial quarter never mind outnumber anyone in the far one.
At least Ramos had no shortage of scrap, as he reverted to summoning Electrical Creations as offensive weapons rather than more spider scrap - and the Mech Rider joined in with shooty-Fire Gamin instead of more usual Metal Gamin too. Eventually Lady J was taken down (possibly in turn 3?), and the Spider factory managed to start up again allowing me to start at least contesting some of the table quarters again, and denying the enemy some quarters with the dropping-in Raptor and fast moving spiders. However, in the end it was a narrow-ish loss where I think I did UK on schemes, but lost out on the strat. Despite the Lady-J bomb to the face Ramos did sort of start to work properly in this game. Unlike....
Game 3 Arcanist Ramos vs Outcast Leviticus
No pictures of this one, as my models were not on table long enough even for autofocus to pick them up... another Ben, this time Ben Crowe
This game was supposed to be Extraction, which in theory was another one where spamming models might work to my favour. But having been spanked by a Leviticus at Wayland Games, and down at the club too I was psychologically on the back foot with no real plan about to to deny the enemy the ability to just kill all of my models with long range zapping. And, with close deployment making this actually a game of just kill everything quickly, Mr Crowe and his Levi crew were in fighting mood...
The Strongarm Suit (charging and ignoring terrain!!), Levi's magic ++ Zap Gun Spell, and most of all Welcome to Malifaux on Taelor decimated whatever sad temporary collection of models (I think the Captain was in there, along with Johan, the Brass Arachnid, a couple of Gamin and the Big Spider... ) I had deployed on table, with all of my big hitters gone inside the first two turns. It was pretty much a game of seeing if I could score any points at all after that - I might have managed one, which was as many as the number of models I was left with by the end of the game too...
I know the theoryfaux is that you are supposed to kill the Hollow Waifs, and then try and fight willpower duels, but I struggled to see what synergistic models I had that could do those tasks in a Ramos list - short of taking the Blessed, Myranda-bus and the Cerberus, or maybe some shooty stuff that I'm still not very good at using yet it seemed hard to see how I'd even get into range to shoot the waifs anyway... maybe the alternative is to block line of sight to 6 SS models - but again not something Ramos is great at doing. Anyway, one to mark down as a learning experience, even though I didn't stay on table long enough to learn very much!
Malifaux on eBay
Game 4 Arcanist Ramos vs TT Misaki
A nice table here with a Japanese theme that I really shoud have taken some photos of, against Misaki with some of those hard 6-everything models, and Tannen with Chatty in a game of Stake a Claim. Stake looked draw-ey with abig open table and so my thought was again to look to win on schemes and draw on Strats. Like Game 2, but more succesfully this time my Gamin / Rail Worker / Johan combo barrelled along one table edge, this time with Hank reactivating to unleash a torrent of attacks to clear their path, and a Mech Rider as well as the Brass Arachnid lurking with Ramos t the back and sending Spiders off in all directions to contest the ground. Misaki was going for the one where you drop markers in the corners and had only dropped one marker on her own base edge as her crew raced pretty much unopposed except by a few desultory spiders to the other corner, racking up points for that and Stake a Claim as well fairly early doors.
Spotting this, with my powerful supported Hank Combo I worked out that there was a pretty good chance that I coudl get to the back corner and remove Misaki's marker by turn 5, denying 3 VPs and then also spam out a load of my own markers as the Spiders and Mech Rider started to make a lot of space - and this is pretty much what came to pass, with the added bonus that the Metal Gamin, with Protection of Metal managed to inflict enormous amounts of buring on Tannen whilst trying to clear him out of the area where I needed to be dropping markers, meaning that he died in the upkeep step and didn't score any points for Frame for Murder (more by luck and laziness than pre-planning it must be said)! The end result was a win, with a fairly narrow VP difference along the lines of 7-5
I ended up on 6 VPs, with a score of 25 and a -2 goal difference - not bad given two of the players I played. Read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from Ramos Commander
I am truly delighted to be invited to lead this Crew today, because for the past two weeks, as you’ve probably known I’ve had a very easy, relaxing time. Hardly anything of any importance at all has happened to me. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I want to talk about the Guild. The Guild talk about Soulstone Mining, economic and Crew security being at risk from us the Arcanists, or perhaps even more particularly, from me. I say this to them. How dare these people talk about security for crews and people in Malifaux? Where’s the security for crews shuttled around the private tables for six-turn batterings - with models endlessly having to be put back in the box when they are erased by Levi?
Where’s the security for those Spiders afraid to ask a Henchman to fix their legs back on when they have been broken, so they are worried that they might be evicted because they’ve gone to the local Guild rep to to seek the justice they’re entitled to? Where’s the security for the Peons struggling to support older lower soulstone count family members as Guild cuts destroy their card stack and take away the suits they need?
Where’s the security for young minions starting out on careers knowing they are locked out of any prospect of ever becoming an Enforcer and buying their own home by soaring house prices?
There’s no security for the 2.8 million new models released by Wyrd, forced into bad paint jobs by stagnant ex-GW-systems players and the Guild record of the longest fall from a great height when pushed off a cliff in Malifaux since records began. And that’s the nub of it. Guild moral, economic and cultural failure. A Soulstone economy that works for the few, not for the many.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Sire, you make no sense - yes, you, and your madcap coalition of trots, Islamists and anti-West fury chimps! Here you came out of an event with a half-way decent overall result, almost literally and mathematically, and were spanked only by two highly competent players, the current UK #3 and #11, when you are still only taking baby steps at this game. How on earth can this be a bad weekend, you well funded, dull minded, cash carrying bit faker!
I do believe your corset has been laced too tight; the thoughts flowing from your mouth best belong in your chest where they can stay quietly until you regain your sanity. The first game and the last, you even showed the inklings of sanity and planning, which is fairly rare in other games and other rulesets. Sometimes, even in success, you complain like a doe-eyed ditch digging deviant!
You did also learn something in this matchup - that close deployment is a scheme and a strat in itself, that playing Levi needs you to learn how to shoot 4-wound, unarmoured and easy to kill waifs from distance - which surely cannot tax the brain of e'en you. This is not difficult to work out - I must ask have you no time to invest your own abilities, aside from the thieving of other's creations?
But, enough is enough - get back to the test table and try again. If you ask me to create something you will get 26 possible successes, ask you and you will get 100 proud failures and 1 possible manageable solution. Those odds need to improve for you to progress further in this game...
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?