Steampunk Horror in Darkfaux 2015
Marcus (Arcanists) vs all comers
Game 1 Marcus (Arcanists) vs Mei Feng (Ten Thunders)
Game 2 Marcus (Arcanists) vs A bloke in a hat (Gremlins)
Game 3 Marcus (Arcanists) vs Rasputina (Arcanist)
Game 4 Marcus (Arcanists) vs Ironsides (Arcanist)
Darkfaux, a "proper" 50S 4-round event at my new (other) local gaming club, Dark Sphere in Central London. The Strats had been published in advance of the event, and having looked over Squatters Rights, Turf War, Stake a Claim and finally Reckoning I had decided that this was a good weekend for deploying Tree Ents, sorry, Waldgeists, and Leaping Lizards (Silurids), neither of which were really Arcanists but which would be perfectly normal in a Marcus Beast crew. So, Marcus came out of the box with much trepidation, given how bleedin' complicated getting all of his zero action triggers and abilities off in the right order can often seem to be.
There is lot's more of this stuff on my Malifaux pages
Writing meaningful battle reports for Malifaux has proved to be something of a challenge - the small number of bases, the fact they are either there, or are dead and gone, and most of all the need to concentrate and engage with your opponent at all times in what is quite a short game time (both to be half competent, and also not to play slowly to deny a more practiced opponent a chance of victory) has all proved just too difficult for me to manage to replicate the other big-battle ruleset reports - so what I have attempted to do here is instead to summarise the games, and post a series of interesting and amusing pictures that also occasionally highlight what was going on of any importance. You can still expect the usual cockney-accented Metal Gamin, farting gorilla's and inane gibberish though - so fear not!
The first game was Squatters rights, with Corner deployment. This meant a very long centre line for the 5 contested markers to be set up on... and to make things even more interesting the centreline also happened to be difficult terrain, in the shape of a river. This to me screamed out for Waldgeists, who's engagement range would expand out to 4" when in contact with difficult terrain - they would move up first and prevent enemy models from interacting anywhere near the markers and preventing them being claimed. Each Waldgeist could therefore either deny a marker to the enemy forces, or hopefully cover one whilst my other models walked up to claim them myself. The river also worked for a Silurid, who would leap across it, followed by a burrowing Moleman to capture one of the markers in the corner.
The Scheme list to go with Turf War was:
I picked Plant Explosives and ALITS, on the basis that they were not entirely obvious and a lot of the action would involve markers in the middle of the board anyway. I also took the following list:
The Metal Gamin made a waldgeist even harder to shift, and would try to interact with the covered marker. Cojo can also walz through terrain and blow away enemy markers, Myranda turns into something more expensive, and the Jackalope is just funny - and can keep people engaged against their will for short periods of time too
The Waldgeists were soon off and running towards the two markers either side of the centre spot, with the Silurid/Moleman combo going for the marker on the far right hand corner. Cojo and the main hitters in the team were in the centre, aiming to contest and win the main marker. My opponent had Mei, Kang, a sharpshooter and some other models - Wastrels, and Rail Workers from what I remember.
Oh, and a Trapper who quickly took the marker on the far left, and started tossing out traps. By this time the Waldgeists were in position and were throwing out terrain markers to block and slow the advance of the Ten Thunders troops.
Cojo was enjoying Protection of Metal from the Gamin as he advanced down the middle, but Mei certainly wasn't hanging about - she jumped into action and started having a fairly unsuccesful go at the Waldgeist in the river, shortly after having a much more succesful go at the Jackalope, who was not really designed to stand up to a Master NInja Multi-attack Samurai Kickboxer Warrior (being a small rabbit, admittedly with horns)
The Katanaka Sniper one-shotted the Silurid with Red Joker early in the game, which also scored a full 3VP for Vendetta as the Sniper/Silurid combo was teed up for Vendetta. That then put a stop to the Moleman/Silurid procession - but it did bring the Jackalope back onto table ! The Moleman kept a low profile and started dropping markers on the centre line for ALITS
Mei then flurried into action and kicked 7 bells out of a rather surprised Myranda, who proceded to carelessly die without actually managing to shapechange into anything worthwhile. Towards the end of the game Cojo started rampaging across the middle of the board, and Marcus also got into action as I worled out how to use his multiple zero actions and effective 4 Min damage to great effect and by the end he had pretty much mopped up all of the enemy models on my right on his own - however my opponent had taken Distract as a scheme, which rendered the immobile, massive engagement range Waldgeists somewhat of a sitting target as they were rooted in place and were also impossible to get into a spot where they were unengaged, so could not lose the Distract.
The Waldgeist tactic did however mean that I was winning overall on Squatters Rights, but in terms of schemes my opponent had nailed on full VP with Distract and Vendetta, so with ALITS looking nailed on due to the Moleman's good work and some more markers dropped by Cojo I needed to score heavily with the Explosives. Unfortunately however it turned out that I was playing my own personal mis-read version of Plant Explosives, in which I thought that I could only blow up one marker, and needed to get 3 models near it to achieve the required result. Right at the end of the game I rushed forward with Cojo and triggered what I thought was Plant Explosives ... only to find out that it blows up every one of my own markers that are within 3" of an enemy base, not just the one marker
I therefore lost an additional ALITS marker which was also, just, within 3" of the enemy I thought I was blowing up with another marker, and I lost an ALIT point in the process due to only having 3 ALITS markers left on table .... that mean I ended up going down something like 6-7 in a game that if I'd read the rules properly I would probably have been able to at least draw. Meh. I did however seem to get the hang of Marcus as a fast-moving beatstick master, racing across the table unimpeded and taking multiple attacks against enemies with Trail of the Gods turning his melee attack into a min damage 4. Wow that's good.
Game 2 saw me pitted against Gremlins - this was an opportunity to use (for the first time) the Hoarcats, who can eat HT1 Gremlins in one bite. The game was Turf War, so having plenty of tanky models was important. I took:
I picked Protect Territory, planning on achieving this with the cheap 2-dog combo, and also Make them Suffer, as killing tiny Gremlins sounded easy. Rogue Necro came out as he'd not really had many outings before, and having a big ranged attack model seemed like a great idea.
The Moleman/Metal Gamin combo was pretty much the definition of an unmoveable object, and hunkered down in the 6" bubble to score Turf War points each turn - but a phenomenal Gracie was quickly up to try and dig them out of their bunker.
The Necro had a dreadful game, shooting really poorly every turn against one of the Gremlins, who shot back much more effectively
Gracie had gotten rid of one Metal Gamin and was getting stuck into the Moleman when Myranda did her thing and turned into the Cerberus shortly after attacking Gracie herself.
By the end phases of the game the Gremlins had gotten pretty thinned out, but somewhat surprisingly so had my own forces - Marcus and the Hoarcat were off to the right chasing down Gremlins who'd been thrown into my back zone by the Pigapult and were dropping markers over there that needed eating up. The Hoarcat did OK, but the as the "eat a HT1 enemy that you wound" attack is incredibly hard to pull off, with Scissors (Crows?) triggers needed, a high TN of 13 and a low melee value of MI 4, it meant that their basic nasty attack was the one I tended to stick with anyway
This felt like a lot of big models to be killed by tiny ones... At the end it turned out to be another very narow loss, in which I simply ran out of models to claim all the points for Turf War and Protect Territory, but the more numerous summoned Gremlins still had warm green bodies to throw into the mixer.
Game three and Marcus and his beasts were facing Raspy - a game my opponent Pippa and I had played as a practice on the previous Monday. Having already played the game once, Pippa wisely decided to leave Raspy's not-so-tame Cerberus in the box, as earlier in the week Marcus had Alpha'ed him and proceeded to eat half of the enemy crew with one of their own models. The crew instead had loaded up on December Acolytes, 2 Soulstone Miners, Special Edition Mexican Wrestling Joss and a monstrous Snowstorm. With Stake a Claim as the Strat, I picked:
I picked Frame for Murder, as that is what Willie is for, as well as Breakthrough - again planning on achieving this with the cheap 3-dog combo and the leaping Silurid/Moleman train. The RSR arrived as I didn't have the points for Cojo, and I didn't see what he would be able to do either.
There was a lot of blocking terrain which had escaped from a 40k competition some time earlier in the week, but the Silurid planned to leap over it and susprise someone. The dogs just lurked at the back and prepared to mop up any Soulstone miners, hoping they would be dropping markers so they could do the charge someone near a marker for 1 AP trick.
Willie was pretty keen on being killed by a Henchman for 2 VPs for Frame for Murder.
By now I was concentrating a lot on the games, and generally forgetting to take photos, however I still managed to get proof that my dogs had done their trick properly. As the game developed a wave of dogs washed up against the remarkably resilient SSM's, and were picked off piecemeal as a result of some poor cards - however in the process the SSM's were unable to really lay down any serious markerage and so I edged the Strat and got some points for Breakthrough as well. Willie got his wish of being killed, but Marcus got suckered into killing a very aggressive December Acolyte who was repeatedly paralyzing the RSR to level things it out in Frame for Murder, leaving me as a relatively narrow winner
The final game saw me facing off against another Arcanist Master - Ironsides. I was hoping to find out how Ironsides played, having bought the box set some time ago but not having had a chance to deploy her as yet. The name of the game here was RReckoning, so lots of death-dealing ability was needed. The scheme pool also included a number of things where leaping around might be good, so there ended up with plenty of bouncey models.
With all of my leaping and an in-yer-face enemy Master I immediately picked Deliver a Message, backed up by Protect Territory with my fast moving crew. Ironsides had 2 Mages, a Mechanical Rider, Johan and Howard - expensive models I knew well.
Ironsides really showed her abilities, charging down the middle at the start of the game and drawing in most of my models into a punch-the-union-rep-in-the-face brawl that would have made George Osborne a happy man. This gave me Deliver a Message straight off the bat, and then the parts of my crew who weren't engaged concentrated on picking off the Mages and taking down Howard in order to rack up reckoning points - which we both traded fairly equally. Ironsides probably went down a turn too soon for my opponent, freeing up my beatstick models to join in with beating up the rest of the enemy crew fairly early on and this left me with stacks of time to achieve Protect Territory - or so I though, as I had forgotten the need to be near the markers at the end of the game and so nearly lost all the points on offer for this by sheer incompetence. With my opponent trying to steer the Mech Rider towards a corner for Power Ritual, I was wildly out-activating his crew which should have allowed Cojo to wait to the very end and wipe out any markers the Mech rider spat out... but a stupid bit of unnecessary chain activation earlier on in the 5th turn left the Mech Rider free to poop out another Gamin and nick the Power Ritual point too - leaving the game a very close win to me, which should have been much greater if I had remembered the victory conditions !
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 the Marcus (Arcanists) Commander
When parts of Malifaux's cities first erupted in riots many years ago, I asked Ramos to release me to walk the jungle paths of Malifaux. After three weeks of listening, questioning, and eating a lot of raw meat and deeply unpleasant vegetables it became clear how politically impoverished our great city had become. There was no shortage of opportunities or ideas. What was missing were people willing and able to take responsibility. Or more frankly, steal it, usually in a fashion involving extreme violence.
Those of us who served our factions through this period, remember all too well the influence of the Guild in this process of centralisation. The reversal of this process culminated in the great battles of the last few years, certainly since V2.0 came out. The return of Soulstones as a currency of crime and dark magic, and the return of industry to the fetid sewers and undercrofts of our great city. Tax levels that enabled enterprise to flourish were achieved by the simple expedient of building an economy almost entirely on crime.
In the longest apology note in Malifaux history the Guild tore up its historic manifesto, accepted our Arcanist agenda and pursued our reforms as though they had thought of them in the first place. I have perhaps become too tolerant as the years went by. But my tolerance is stretched to breaking point as I listen to the announcement of one more Guild Labour initiative, another name change, as yet another Arcanist idea is relabelled and recycled.
Winston Churchill once famously rallied his country with his exhortation to fight on the beaches, the fields and the streets. In very different circumstances and with very different weapons we must fight with thaumaturgical dark energies. We must offer a new, a fairer, an exciting partnership for both criminals and thieves, animals and humans. Set the people free - and then entrap them in complex protection rackets for their own good. I say, let us start by giving our cities back to the people.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
You sir, are a pigeon plucking pauper! A lazy game, lazy planning, and a lazy, if admittedly bizzarre, recycling of one of Heseltine's speeches in order to hide the fact you had no real idea about what you did in this event so could not offer your own analysis. Filling space is surely better than what tripe you woud have come out with, but a blank page would better reflect your paucity of thought and feebleness of mind.
Taking Marcus was a good plan for the Schemes on offer in this event, and you sort of seemed, on occasion to have taken the right upgrades on him - well, at least you managed to use them properly. But in a first game to lose Myranda before she could transform into a deadly beast, to a fast-moving Mei Feng (who you own yourself) was just frankly poor. And the Waldgeists, with their huge engagement range suddenly become the world's easiest targets for Distract, as it is impossible for them to avoid engagement to undistract themselves. These are concepts that pass my mind in simple flight, but clearly tax the capacity of your abilities beyond all mortal bounds. But, finally, not understanding the conditions which trigger Plant Explosives and allowing some of your ALITS markers to be destroyed, costing you the game... what idiocy! There are ways to win, and foremost among them is to have worked out what you need to do to win before embarking on a strategy designed to carry you over a line.
In game two, you were undone by your unwillingness to even open the Malifaux rule books and look at what your opponent was capable of - and having paid so hansomely for these same tomes, to ignore them is the height of folly. I have seen this folly before, and I could explain this to you once more however I will only do so once my time-traveling machine is built, as maybe then I would have time to waste my breath with you, though even that is questionable. And that Rogue Necro - taking a model because it is cool is no substitute for taking one with a plan how to use it. If this is the extent of your mechanical planning, I do believe your gears may need a bit of oiling, as I can hear the grinding from here.
Game three almost ended as a loss as well - your scheme was so obvious with the way you thrust your willie forwards, but in retrospect did it not cross that open expanse that passes for a mind of yours that perhaps your opponent would have the same scheme? And that an overly-aggressively positioned model, dealing out paralysis, would be a perfect vehicle? Your crew was hardly short on killing machines, so quite why Marcus himself had to do anything but support here is beyond me. I dream one day you will know what you are doing, and in time I may suffer for my belief in my dreams, but that is surely better than now when all of us suffer as we follow your nightmare.
Game four was similarly plucked nearly from the mechanical jaws of incompetent self inflicted defeat. How can someone forget that a Mech Rider poos out Gamin? How can one forget that having more models than the enemy only allows you to out-activate them if you don't chain activate multiple models for no beneficial reason at all? You were barely able to work out the scheme mechanics yet again, and I suggest strongly that you go away from here and buy the currently OOP Schemes and Strats deck so you can at least keep a visual reminder of what you are supposed to be doing close to hand... and also a reminder of what your opponent might be trying too. The science of Malifaux may be something to which you believe you have been contributing for many years young Marcus, but to my mechanically assisted mind I fear that perhaps you contributed more to this scientific community whilst you dug ditches in the service of the Giuld? At least this is an improvement on last time, but last time was zero points, 4 defeats from 4 and a flat last place finish, so this achievement is not one to be celebrated long... .
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?
Or, go back to the Wyrd forum thread about these reports and add your own comments?
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