Diary: 21st of August, 2016

Date: 21st of August, 2016

Opponent: Hayden

Factions: Gremlins vs Outcasts

Strategy: Headhunter

Schemes:

  • Convict Labour
  • Exhaust Their Forces (me)
  • Leave Your Mark
  • Undercover Entourage (me, opponent)
  • Search The Ruins (opponent)

Deployment: Flank

Terrain: Desolate Wasteland from VASSAL:

VASSAL game 21st Aug

Crews:

Som’er Teeth Jones, Can O’ Beans, Encouragement
2 x Skeeter
Trixiebelle, Gun for a Lady
Gracie, Saddle
Lenny
Burt Jebsen, Dirty Cheater
Bayou Gremlin

vs

Leveticus, Desolate Soul
2 x Hollow Waif
Rusty Alyce, Scout the Field, Desolate Soul
Johan, Oathkeeper
Desolation Engine, Oathkeeper
Freikorps Trapper

My plan: His lack of blasts meant I could bunch up and benefit from a bevy of auras, so I was going to move all my heavies up together popping heads and picking them up. Somer could be delivered safely to the other side of the board while I also took opportunities to exhaust the other crew. I didn’t give much thought to my opponent’s plans – might need to work on this!

How it worked out: The board was quite odd and forced all the action to occur in one small area, the gap between the large rock and the barrels in the bottom right. This worked out okay for me at the start – Hayden’s emphasis on shooting attacks wasn’t that good for Headhunter so I was happy to bide my time there. The Desolation Engine came screaming in and Gracie only just survived thanks to her armour 2 and Lenny’s damage prevention. I was able to turn the Engine into a head marker and two abominations, one of which was exhausted and another turned into a second head marker. Things were looking pretty good.

I lost Gracie and Lenny quickly thanks to Leveticus and the trapper. Leveticus was able to jump around a lot, I understood this in principle but hadn’t seen it before. Despite this I was able to exhaust him a couple of times (turns out when he dies he doesn’t lose it, useful!). His damage wasn’t as apocalyptic as I was expecting (praise be to the errata) however he did damage Somer enough to get below half-health which cost me a crucial VP.

In the last few turns the damage dropped significantly, the only major event was me foolishly throwing Burt into Leveticus to try to exhaust him one more time. All this did was occupy a few more AP and deliver a head marker straight to the enemy. We were easily able to get into each others’ deployment zones and were too focussed on this to try to stop each other from doing so!

Score: 7-8 loss.

Lessons:

  • Gracie with Lenny behind her becomes a serious tank. She was only taking 1 or 2 damage each hit from the Desolation Engine.
  • If I’m taking Undercover Entourage, I really need to take some healing. One bad damage flip is all it takes to knock off at least 1 VP, if not all 3. At the moment I only have slop haulers, I could look at some lightning bugs.
  • I finally got to use Somer’s Bigger Hat Than You. Amazing ability! Won initiative, used my high cards on Somer’s activation, and saved a high card to guarantee this action would succeed. Bayou Two Card meant I was still able to cheat (sort of) in defence and the rest of the turn went much easier on me because we each had no hand. Coupled with Survival of the Fittest it’s a pretty mean combo.
  • Leveticus is incredibly mobile, but quite predictable. If I took something to take out the waifs *cough*pigapult*cough* it would be harder for him to get where-ever he wanted.
  • If I’m sacrificing models in Headhunter, it has to be worth more than 1VP. Otherwise it’s only an even trade at best.
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Diary: 17th August 2016

Date: 17th of August, 2016

Opponent: Anna

Factions: Gremlins vs Guild

Strategy: Extraction

Schemes:

  • Convict Labour
  • Show of Force (opponent)
  • Leave Your Mark (me)
  • Mark for Death (opponent)
  • Inspection (me)

Terrain: Plenty of blocking terrain around the edges of the board. Quite open in the middle around the informant marker but with some obstacles to give hard cover.

Crews:

Som’er Teeth Jones, Can O’ Beans, Family Tree
2 x Skeeter
Gremlin Taxidermist
Slop Hauler
2 x Piglet
3 x Bayou Gremlin
Pigapult
3 x Stuffed Piglet

vs

Sonnia Criid, ReincarnationCounterspell Aura
Samael Hopkins, Witch HuntVengeance Bullet
Witchling Handler, Disrupt Magic
Guardian
Guild Rifleman
2 x Witchling Stalker

My plan: Send out the taxidermist with the piglets and a skeeter to take one table corner for Inspection. Have everyone else huddle behind some cover while summoning more gremlins, lobbing exploding piglets, and flinging gremlins over to the other table corner. I’d feed gremlins into the centre to contest the strategy, expecting them to die every turn. Som’er would have to move into the centre on turn 3 or 4 (depending on the aggressiveness of my opponent) to make use of his boomstick.

How it worked out: The taxidermist was able to advance to the corner almost uncontested, his only opponent being the witching handler who engaged a piglet for three turns without killing it! Very lucky pig. Sonnia flamed the other piglet and injured the taxidermist but then had to move into the centre. So they claimed that corner from turn two on.

The pigapult performed wonderfully: lobbed three gremlins into the other corner, one of which also ran into the opponent’s half and placed scheme markers for Leave Your Mark. Its fire was mostly ineffective except for turn four in which it finished off Samael, a stalker, and killed the rifleman outright.

Som’er and the gremlins did their part too. He got eight bros in the first three turns, then moved into the centre to damage Samael, Sonnia and the Guardian. He helped to contest on turn five.

Score: 10-6 win.

Lessons:

  • The pigapult is a wonderful, wonderful thing. For strategies which you have to contest the centre it intimidates your opponent no end. And being able to lob minions all over the board is great for breakthrough-style scheme pools.
  • Som’er (or any model with a powerful ranged attack) pairs up very well with the pigapult. Som’er damaged quite a few models which the pigapult was able to finish off very easily.
  • The guardian is a real spoiler – Ml 7 with a 3″ range. I have a very poor understanding of the Guild robots so after the game I read up on all the models that I faced and he stood out as a particularly good one. Still, only eight wounds, so unless he gets his Df trigger off he’s not too tough.
  • I ignored Show of Force because I wasn’t planning on taking it, however that just encourages your opponent to take it because it’ll be easy points. Even with Anna sending off the handler into one of the corners, just leaving Hopkins to score it, she still earned two points and nearly three from it. Even taking a single 1SS upgrade on a tough enforcer can be enough to deny the points.
  • Piglets are very good at staying alive if you’re prepared to cheat. They are awful to control however! I would have been better off either swapping them for bayou gremlins, or taking a hog whisperer instead of the taxidermist.

Diary: 10th August 2016

Date: 10th of August, 2016

Opponent: Valerii

Factions: Gremlins vs Outcasts

Strategy: Guard the Stash

Schemes:

  • Convict Labour
  • Exhaust Their Forces
  • Hunting Party (me) (opponent)
  • Search The Ruins (opponent)
  • A Quick Murder (me: Montresor)

Terrain: Fair bit of blocking terrain but a mostly open centre. Crews would be able to advance under cover but to contest the stashes they would be exposed in the middle of the board.

Crews:

Som’er Teeth Jones, Can O’ Beans, Encouragement
Skeeter x 2
Bayou Gremlin
Francois LaCroix
Lenny
Burt Jebsen
Gracie with Saddle
Slop Hauler

vs

Jack Daw, Writhing TormentTwist and Turn
Montresor, The Creeping Terror
Ama No Zako
Guilty
Hanged
Crooked Man
Nurse

My plan: Split up into two forces: Burt, Gracie, Lenny and a Skeeter on one side, and Som’er, Francois, the lone Bayou Gremlin, the Slop Hauler and a Skeeter on the other. Each would attempt to hold their stash marker. Burt, Gracie, and Lenny would aim to also take out Montresor and any minions they could.

How it worked out: Burt, Gracie, and Lenny worked wonderfully well. They took out Montresor easily and one minion a turn while contesting the stash marker. Gracie was able to dance around a bit and get the boys into position, however she did get paralysed by the Nurse so didn’t have as much direct impact as she would have liked. Lenny’s immunity to conditions made him perfect against the Nurse and Hanged. Burt was just enjoying Lenny’s ram and hitting with 4/5/6 damage.

On the other flank Francois went screaming into Ama No Zako in an attempt to kill both of them with Dumb Luck. It took a couple of turns, some soulstones, and some healing from the Slop Hauler but he did succeed eventually. The exchange was worth it as it nixed his Hunting Party. Jack Daw cursed Som’er and the Slop Hauler which decreased their effectiveness, especially when Som’er got paralysed by the Nurse. Luckily he was standing by the stash marker the whole time! At the end of turn 4 he just managed to remain on it despite the best efforts of Jack and the Crooked Man.

We called it near the end of turn 4 as it was getting late and the outcome was fairly obvious by that point.

Score: 6-4 win, probably would have been 9-5 at end of turn 5.

Lessons:

  • Lenny, Burt, and Gracie make an amazing team with a ton of synergy. Main thing I need to work on is positioning Burt and Gracie so that he can pull her into combat with his built-in trigger. As she’s on a 50mm base it can be hard to get it to work.
  • Skeeters are good at taking off the last few wounds off incorporeal models with Pull My Finger, however I need to remember that they can shut down triggers from 13″ away and this can be far more useful. If I’d done that to Jack on turn 4 it would have been impossible for him to leap around and threaten Som’er.
  • Nurses are awesome and I can’t wait to get some into my Zoraida crew! Nurse/Lenny seems too good to be true.

Dear Diary

I’ve decided to start recording all my games of Malifaux to note my successes, failures, and, most importantly, my learnings. A large part of the fun I get from games stems from learning and mastering their systems, so it makes sense to do what I can to improve that.

It’s a good time to start too because I’ve just ended my sabbatical with the Viktorias and am returning to my primary faction, Gremlins. I’ve been playing them since I got into Malifaux at Gen Con 2011 with Ophelia and picked up Som’er Teeth Jones a year later. I’ve used those two for five years now, mainly Ophelia in v1 and Somer (sans apostrophe now) in v2.

Miniature pool

Where I’m sitting at now is with a collection of about 50 miniatures to choose from. They’re mostly original metals with a scattering of plastics. I’ve got everything from v1, including 13 Bayou Gremlins, except for McTavish because I wasn’t a fan of the original model. Unpainted I have the new Zoraida box set and the Nightmare Whiskey Golem, and I’m making eyes at Brewmaster. I’m not a fan of Wong or Mah, but Zipp and Ulix interest me, especially after reading previews of the Iron Skeeters.

Gremlin pool

My gremlins, in all their green and pink glory. Greek mercenaries for DBMM to the left, Outcasts crew to the right.

I haven’t picked up any new models for a long time for a couple of reasons. First, I find the new models difficult to paint due to the incredibly fine level of detail. Secondly, I don’t like having a backlog of painting projects so have spent the last couple of years not buying anything. I’m getting to the end of my pile of minis so am looking forward to expanding my collection again soon!

Modus operandi

I consider myself a fairly competitive player, I can beat most of my opponents on a good day but am far from guaranteed a win! I have a few models that I rely a lot on (Burt, Gracie and Saddle as anyone would tell you). I only have a couple of regular crew types: Somer the Summoner, or Somer leading a crew of ram-intensive heavies. My only regular mercenary is a convict gunslinger for taking out hanged.

Gremlin rider

The Pork Rider! The most expensive of the riders, weighing in at 18SS. Capable of rendering down most opposition to a meaty pulp in a matter of seconds.

Goals

I’ve got a few goals for keeping a diary.

First off, I want to think more about the scheme pool and come up with a plan each game, and then look back and see how that plan worked out. I can be pretty sluggish when playing and most of the delay comes from me not coming up with a plan beforehand.

Secondly, I want to learn some more finesse with synergistic models I already use together. Malifaux can be a very fussy game and I often activate models in the wrong order, or get them in the way of each other, and by writing down what went wrong I can make sure I don’t repeat the same mistakes.

And lastly it’ll help cement the knowledge of the crews I face. I don’t play that often (maybe 2-3 games a month) so I often have forgotten what a particular model does before I face it again. The best games are the ones in which both players know all the models on the table so this will help me get up to speed faster.

First entry coming soon!