Merseyfaux 3: The Other Side

*Written by Emma*

So my significant other mentioned that some/one/loads/ish people wanted to know how I got on at Merseyfaux based on his quick synopsis of how I did.

I won’t lie to you, I can’t really remember specifics and I have a tendency to guess and or make things up and then end up believing that’s what happened… So take everything with a pinch of salt other than the scores, I legit know what they were! J

First game I was paired against Martin Wodehouse, hadn’t met him before our game but our Henchman, Kev, made a point of pointing out he was a former masters champ a few years back (maybe more than a few). I can however say with 100% certainty he was playing Neverborn with Lilith and there was a Rider and Nekima in the list! Other than that, I’m a little shaky on what other models he took… This is mainly because I played two Neverborn crews out of three games and there was some definite cross over model wise so they’ve blurred into one terrifying 100ss ish pool of killing.

I ran my ‘standard’ Sandeep crew, by standard I mean the only models I’ve got built and painted at the moment. Not only that but I’m definitely a creature of habit and solo’d Mr Schill for 18 months with the same 7 models more or less.

My crew for every game was as follows:

Sandeep

  • Arcane Reservoir
  • To Command Another Plane (the killy summon upgrade)

Miss Step

  • Imbued Energies

Shastar Vidiya Guard

Shastar Vidiya Guard

Medical Automaton

Arcane Effigy

Kandara

 

I don’t remember the full scheme pool but we both took Undercover Entourage and Covert Breakthrough with a Strategy of Ours but it was flank, making both those schemes pretty easy.

This game was so bloody close. There was some big gribbly offs, with Miss Step and Nekima being up in each other’s faces, and it was pretty cinematic tbh. Especially if you add sound effects to the card flips, but this wasn’t until after I royally buggered up one turn with Miss Step and effectively paralysed her just by being a tool. She’d been cursed by Lilith, something about not being able to walk or be pushed (I misheard the condition, no fault of Martins) and thought it said, she can’t move or be pushed without taking 2 damage, I was like SOUND she can take 2 to kick the shit out of someone. She tried to cast Sandeep’s (0) leap. Can’t remember what the action is called off the top of my head, just that it’s a (0), cast 6, target number 11 mask. When using Sandeep’s actions, the friendly model does them at -1 CA. So Miss Step needed a 6 of masks or higher, this would have placed her within 6inches. I had also dropped Imbued Energies to give her fast so was preparing to wreck someone’s face with her. But as we all know with Malifaux, bad things happen… Failed the leap, didn’t have the suit in hand so was just going to use my nimble to get into combat anyway. This is where my mishearing the condition comes into play… She couldn’t move at all. So I had dropped her upgrade to get fast, failed the only action she could do to actually move herself and just sat there. A fast Miss Step, sat there. Talk about being a muppet, am I right? Martin was very nice and offered to let me take it back but I’d already flipped cards and it was my fuck up (which I sure as hell won’t be doing again). And to top it all off she was also within 6inches of the centre, so I’d lost myself a 12ss model holding a table quarter for me.

The rest of that turn goes into a blur… Think we both scored the first point for Ours despite my buggery.

The next turn I remember being jammy as balls by denying Martin an Ours point, (this actually got me my win). By this point I’d sorted out the balls up with Miss Step and she was actually being useful and was clawing someone’s face in. At some point during this turn when things felt like my Ours point was slipping away because Nekima had activated and was denying me a corner for Ours I managed to get someone (I can’t remember who) to copy Sandeeps Lure attack action.

It’s CA6, target number something vs WP but friendly models are at -1 CA and says ‘push target model 6 inches towards this model’. I think it was the Effigy actually come to think of it who gave this a shot. I’d walked him towards the centre of the board and copied Sandeep’s lure on Nekima, I had a reasonably high card in hand to try and force it through but it wasn’t guaranteed. I ended up flipping a really high card and didn’t need to cheat fate so off Nekima pootled towards my Effigy.

My 4 point minion was in 6 of the centre so wasn’t scoring, but now his 13 point beat stick was also within 6, no longer denying my point, nor scoring his. This action won me the game although I didn’t realise it at the time.

At this point I think it was 2:1 to me. The following turn Nekima went down, as did Miss Step I believe. My guards were probably doing something useful and Kandara was helping Sandeep summon a Banasuva without any upgrades.  Skip to turn 5, score was 3:2 as we’d both scored Ours the previous turn. Was panning out that we’d both get 3 for Undercover and 3 for Covert (Sandeep had summoned some Wind Gamin who buggered off to start setting this up for me but hadn’t got all the scheme markers down yet) Lilith was on my half of the board, near my deployment, unactivated with her Puke Worm in tow, just had to drop a scheme marker, pootle a bit into my deployment and drop another. With the Puke Worm counting as the 3rd marker, that was her 6 points in the bag. I had Sandeep unactivated in a similar position. This was just as Kev popped his head over our shoulders and shouted last activation, on my turn.

With the last activation of the game, Sandeep leapt into the enemy deployment and dropped another two scheme markers for me and sat there looking pleased with himself.

We both scored Ours, making it 4:3, Lilith was on my half of the table, over half wounds scoring Martin 2 points for Undercover, and the Puke Worm was within 6 of my deployment counting as a scheme marker, scoring him an additional 1 for Covert.

Sandeep scored me 3 for Undercover and guaranteed my 3 for Covert, making the final score 10:6 to me. Had Martin got another activation, it would have been 10:9 to me. So it was a very close game right up until the last activation where timing meant Martin didn’t manage to score as many points as he deserved. Martin was really nice to play against which helped make the game thoroughly enjoyable.

At this point I’d had about 3 cups of coffee and half a bag of pick and mix and had just won my first game at a tournament on my birthday weekend against a former Masters champ. If you knew me you’d probably already be envisioning the excited twitchy dancing I sometimes do, needless to say I was pretty much bouncing off the ceiling.

On to Round Two!

This was my second Neverborn match up, against Adam Bone (his name was definitely Adam, pretty sure it was Bone) and he was playing Collodi. Collodi is a master I own… However, I got him very early on in my Malifaux career, played one game with him and my brain melted and came out my ears. He’s since had pride of place, half painted on my Malifaux shelf… Fast forward 3 years and here we are! Thankfully Adam was running a lot of Neverborn models I had played against before. He had a Doppelganger, a Rider, Mr Graves, two Stitched Together, Brutal Effigy and another Effigy. He probably had more than this but these are the bits I can remember.

We were playing Ply for Information and I took Undercover Entourage and Recover Evidence. Adam also took Undercover but I can’t remember what his second pick was.

I think I might have switched the killy summon upgrade on Sandeep to the schemey one… Think this one is called to Behold Another World.  This was to give me a bit more flexibility to do interacts while engaged and to allow my summoned models to interact the turn they come in, it also has the ability to throw up an aura were the opponent has to discard two cards to interact. All of these really help with Ply, Recover Evidence and Dig ,which would make it harder for Adam to get the markers down or to Ply me.

I honestly don’t really know what happened on what turn with this game, it was just a whirlwind of things dying. Sandeep summoned a lot in this game, and I know that gave Adam more things to Ply, but I significantly out activated him by end of turn two so was just able to out Ply him. In addition to this, Miss Step and my Guards were wrecking face punching the Intel condition off people by hitting servers. Someone who did really well with one turn of this game was Kandara, at one point Adam had engaged Miss Step with his Rider and managed to get a point towards Ply. At this point, Kandara who was also engaged with him, switched to her 0 point upgrade which gives her positives to all damage flips and spent a soul stone to gain a positive flip. She gabbed at the rider with her knives and managed to hit the sever and remove the Intel from his possession and spent her last AP to Ply him back. After this, when Miss Step got to go she activated, copied Sandeep’s other (0) action which allows you to immediately perform a (1) interact action. It has two triggers, one which lets you do it while engaged and one which allows you to push before taking the interact. Neither mattered in this situation as Miss Step just wanted to Ply the Rider as well. Like all his copy CA’ sit was at -1 CA, meaning she needed a 6 to get it off. She succeeded, did the interact to Ply the rider and the proceeded to put him down. So from those two models alone, I removed Ply from Adam, gained it twice myself and took out a Rider. I was really pleased with how this played out. End of the first scoring turn, I scored for Ply and Adam didn’t.

The one key thing I can remember from turn 3 is Adam giving away his Take One for the Team sucker. I had a Guard drop a card at the start of his turn to focus, then copy Sandeep’s CA attack that does 2/4/5 damage, targeting Graves. Graves had already plied my Effigy so had the Intel condition and was otherwise unharmed, he’d mainly been hitting Adam’s other models up the board to get them a bit closer. The Guard hit Graves like a ton of Bricks, Red Jokering the damage for 7 putting him down to 1 wound. At this point, Adam asked (in my opinion a little to excitedly :P) who was actually doing the damage. I made it clear it was the Guard, but he was using Sandeeps attack. At this point, there was a penny drop moment. Graves was the target of Sandeep’s attack, but it was actually the Guard doing the damage. Adam was checking because Graves was the Take One for the Team target and had it been Sandeep doing the damage, it would mean I’d be close to giving away points for Take One for the Team.

The Guard then forfeited his next attack action, leaving Graves on 1 wound.

Skipping to end of turn 3, I’d killed quite a lot of Adam’s models with my Guards and Sandeep himself. Collodi had taken an accidentle Red Joker to the face, after injuring himself for one of his abilities so had to pass the damage off to his Effigy, which meant when I revealed Recover Evidence he only had 3 models on the board for my markers to go next to. Graves, Collodi and someone else who I forget.

Adam had yet to (formally) reveal any of schemes nor score any points from Ply so end of turn 3 it was 2:0 to me.

Turn 4, I got initiative, my Effigy which was the only model engaging Graves so walked round him to be in base with my Evidence, copied Sandeep’s (0) to immediately interact, I cheated to get the trigger to be able to do it while engaged and picked up the Evidence Marker, then targeted Graves with Ply. This stopped Graves from gaining the Intel from my Effigy as this would have prevented the rest of my crew from being able to Ply him.

Collodi mooched forward a bit but stayed on his half of the board behind some cover and did some CA, but without much success and was still in base with my evidence. Sandeep walked up to Collodi to be in base with the Evidence marker and to hit him with his Gada attack.

On top of Sandeep’s summon upgrades really helping my gamin interact, it also makes Sandeep’s Gada attack cause paralyse on moderate of server damage. Sandeep spent an Ap to focus and smacked Collodi in the face, dealing server damage and causing paralysis.

Sandeep then interacted to pick up the Evidence (as Collodi no longer had an engagement range) and leapt off up the board towards Adams deployment zone.

I was massively out activating Adam at this point so most of my crew that was in range walked up to Graves and interacted to gain Intel.

Someone else picked up an evidence marker this turn as the turn ended 6:0 but I can’t remember who or how.

Turn 5 we just played out real quick, I got initiative again (Doppelganger was long dead at this point) started off the Ply chain on Graves so he couldn’t Ply back. Collodi activated to end the paralysed and Sandeep made it into Adams deployment zone. This game ended 10:0 to me.

Adam was really great to play against, despite my murdering loads of his models and him not scoring he was still really fun and pleasant to play against. Adam got my favourite opponent vote at the end of the event because he took it all in good spirits and we had a good laugh while playing.

If I was a jittering excitable mess after game one, can you imagine how I was feeling now?!

It is at this point another penny drop moment happened. Having had a natter with my friends that’d come to the event with us, we worked out me and my fella were both on 2 wins with good differentials… Chances are we might be playing each other.

So, let’s have a flash back to the last Merseyfaux, I also got paired up with Alyx, who (as per tradition when I played Mr Schill) kicked my arse and ruined all chances of my placing. I was a little upset at this at the time…

Flash forward, new master, new year, new me! I got this shit! I give Alyx a good run for his money these days, now I’m not handicapping myself with a lower tier master. Game on, Mr Drake!

This game passed in a whirlwind of swearing, laughing and more pick n mix which I think Alyx has recounted quite well in his previous blog about the event. There was a point in this game I knew I’d lost it. I failed to score a really easy point and buggered it up. Not saying I’d have definitely won but my chances had vastly decreased after that point.

Ended the game 8:10 to my Fuzzface, who ended up winning the tournament. J

I would like the point out, the only points I lost during the entire tournament were against him, the buggerluggs.

Alyx took first but because of my good diff, I managed to get 3rd and was absolutely made up! 😀 I also got runner up for best painted and was voted best opponent by everyone I played against which was so lovely. I do worry sometimes I can be a bit of a shit to play against but was really pleased everyone enjoyed playing against me. J Was a really good end to a birthday weekend. The next stop on the way to Nationals prep is Faux and the Forge 3! ;D

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Creating a Monster

It’s bank holiday weekend, the sun is out, and all across England people are complaining that it’s too hot. I am not one of those people, blessed with a constitution that can handle the heat, Read: a skinny bastard. I am spending as much time as I can in the back garden, fending off rogue plants, drinking tea and witnessing some form of turf war between the new and old chickens. Unfortunately, when it comes to hobbying, the garden isn’t as welcoming as the gaming room. The heat and air dry up paints before you can even look at them and if you think scrabbling around on the carpet for that missing arm is difficult, grass is hardcore mode.

However i’m not one to back away from a challenge, and so armed with a deep tray and some makeshift shade I set out into the wilderness to create a monster. Thinking about my latest malifaux crew; Leveticus, i’ve been wanting to try out a Desolation Engine. Now on paper they don’t look particularly good, but they do look fun, and that’s an important aspect of my gaming decisions. Model wise, I like it! I really do, but it just doesn’t feel right to me. It’s meant to be this nightmare of flesh and metal, constructed out of abominations. In fact, in the actual game you can combine four Abominations into a Desolation Engine and when it dies, you get two of those back.

desolation-engine

I want my Desolation to look like it’s made out of Abominations. The easiest way to do that I thought, is to literally make it out of the little guys. Also I do love these sculpts, like really love them. The horrific body horror, like something from ‘The Thing’ really inspires me, and it helps that simply looking at them slightly creeps out my partner.

Abominations

Now they’re pretty spindly, and I did spend a fair amount of time puzzling over the logistics of which bits would be where. In the end, after some brainstorming with a friend of mine I came up with a basic premise. It wasn’t going to be as big as I wanted, but I was also working within the self imposed limit of trying to make the vast majority of the model purely out of abominations, I didn’t want to use anything as a basis. My hope was that people will look at the model and immediately recognise it for what it is.

I’ve been told that people are actually interested in the specific process for some of the things I do, so here goes:

  1. I cut off some of the spiked ‘ribs’ of ‘chest bursting man and attached them back on using guitar wire. The aim here was to give the monstrosity more width and a more imposing stature. I’m hoping that it looks like the ‘rib spikes’ are lashing back and forth.
  2. I unattached the chainsaws from… well ‘chainsaw man’ (I was working with models I had previously put together) and put the front two back on, also extending them with guitar wire, a common theme. This was also to make the model take up a greater area of space.
  3. The back arms/chainsaws were then removed and replaced with a nice cleaver that I found and an outstretching hand. Again they were extended using guitar wire and the chainsaws were saved for later (I need to still have 4 Abominations after this).
  4. ‘Chest bursting man’ had his head removed. Chainsaw man’s legs were removed and his body attached to the ‘neck’ of ‘chest bursting man’. You guessed it, I used guitar wire too.
  5. Finally, I stuck the head with spikes coming out of it’s eyes onto the body of ‘chainsaw man’. I did this for no other reason than I particularly like that head.

I was left with this hodgepodge construction.

Now this is the base frame and isn’t finished yet. I intend to greenstuff every flesh to metal join so that you can’t see the pinning hole and i’ll be completely covering the wire join between each of the two body’s and attempting to sculpt something fleshy there. It does take up most of a 50mm base and so I’m fairly pleased with it, considering the limitations I imposed on myself

With regards to the left over bits and making four abominations. I still have ‘snake man’ left untouched and i’ll glue ‘chainsaw’ head onto the tripod left over for a second. I like the idea of making some strange leg giraffe out of chainsaw man’s legs and the head from chest burst man.  Finally I have two chainsaw arms; I might try and make another tripod and attach the arms and a Through The Breach head on top.

Anyway, if you liked this and want to see more crafting posts then let me know. Conversely if you thought it was terrible, then you can either bugger off and not read my blog, or show me pictures of you doing better.

That’s it for now, those chickens have gone quiet and I think they’re plotting something.

Delving back into the Underhive

Today one of my friends asked me if I’d be interested in joining a Necromunda campaign that’s he’s planning on running. It went something like this:

Sam: “I’m contemplating starting a Necromunda campaign. Would you at all be interested in maybe joining in?”
Alyx: “YES! WHEN? NOW?”

Now I don’t see this friend very often, and thought I’d would be a good excuse to meet up with him once a month at his place for a game or two and take advantage of his new gaming board (he rarely leaves his house to visit others).

For context, Necromunda is probably my main Games Workshop weakness. Ever since the spring of 1997 when my grandma mistakenly bought me the game for my birthday (best birthday present I ever got from her) I have been hooked. Repeatedly over the years I have been drawn back to the underhive, to delve for ancient technology and carve out territory for my budding gangs.

For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure of playing Necromunda, it’s a Skirmish game set in the 40k universe in an industrial hive city (think 2000AD). You take control of a gang of miscreants trying to make ends meet battling monsters and mutants, other gangs and struggling for survival in an environment that might be the most dangerous of your foes. You need somewhere between 3-25 models, though usually more like 10-15 and I think it uses the 2nd edition of 40k as a foundation for it’s ruleset (I think so anyway, my memory of different 40k editions is hazy at best).

The campaign itself was to be a slow burning campaign, looking at each person playing just one game, maybe two per month. The results and story would then be fed back to Sam, and he planned on producing a newspaper with all the highlights. Along with extra bogus articles and advertisements. I was very excited.

 

Gang creation

So with the ‘new game passion’ burning through my veins I had a quick route around in the gaming room and came up with a couple of options for gangs. I could use some chaos cultists, they looked fairly ragtag and had already been roughly ‘painted’ up in a nurgley colour scheme. I dug out some of the ‘new’ resin Warzone stuff but they looked too uniform and were armed with the same weapons. I found some actual pit slaves and was all set for starting the slave revolution when my friend informed me that two other players were already making pit slave gangs, that would just not do. Finally, I stumbled across some battered Skaven holding lasguns! In the depths of my mind I vaguely remembered creating these terrible monstrosities for (yet another) Necromunda campaign many years ago. That was it, I was sold, Ratskin Renegades it would be! Thematically a Ratskin’s are a spiritual Native American’esc outlaw gang that literally wear the skins of giant rats as cloaks, but it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine literal giant mutated humanoid rats scurrying around the underhive.

So I got to converting, the ruleset we were using didn’t allow Ratskins to use lasguns…boo, so I had to find a fair number or autoguns and pistols. Here they are, ignore the paint that’s currently on them, they’ll soon be getting a makeover.

20180503_133214_001

The gang roster will look something like this:

Name/Type Equipment Cost XP
Chief Sitting Rat ‘Redge’ Shotgun, manstopper rounds, sword, knife 180 62
Dancing Spider
Shaman
Spirit totem, knife
Ghost Dance Lore
150 61
Falling Brick
Ganger
Autogun, sword, knife 95 22
Rusty Grate
Ganger
Autogun, knife 80 21
Dripping Pipe
Ganger
Autopistol, sword, knife 90 23
Deep Acid Pond
Ganger
Autoppistol, sword, knife 90 25
Yelling Rebel
Ganger
Autopistol, sword, knife 90 24
Tunnel
Brave
Blowpipe, knife 40 0
Girder
Brave
Scattergun, knife 40 0
Rocks
Brave
Scattergun, knife 40 0
Sump
Brave
Scattergun, knife 40 0

 

Naming convention wise, I thought I’d name all my inexperienced Braves the first thing that their mother saw after they were born, as is mentioned in the Necromunda fluff. Then when/if they make it to ganger status i.e. when they come of age, I’d give them a more descriptive name that had something to do with their achievements or failures to date. I have about 65 creds left, but thought I’d save that for after the first game, to either replace any dead gang members or buy some exciting loot.

That’s all for now, if anyone’s interested in hearing about the first game then let me know. I’ll leave you with ‘The Mun(da)’ tabloid’s first advertisement.
Short on creds? Struggling to save for that new bionic leg? Have no fear! Pop on down to your local ratskin store. We deal in antiquities and curios of all kinds.
Bagged yourself a guilder, only to find he was carrying a load of ‘useless’ equipment? Bring it down to Redge’s Wonder Emporium and we’ll take it off your hands and reward you for the effort.

Merseyfaux 3

I took Leveticus to a malifaux tournament this weekend; Merseyfaux 3! This was to be my first tournament with Levi and I intended to play him in every round, no matter what the schemes or strats. Now before I get into any crunchy details, I must say that Kev Gillett ran an excellent event and the venue; ‘Just Play Games’ in Liverpool was pretty good also, I’ll definitely be attending a Merseyfaux again next time one is scheduled.

Anyway, I think there were 14 or 16 people at the event,  originally a few more were scheduled but some of the local players couldn’t make it on the day. When I arrived I’ve got to say I was a little intimidated by some of the players there, I recognised names from some of the podcasts I listen to, and also from the malifaux rankings. It was all rather exciting for a relative tournament noob such as myself.

Round 1
I played a nice chap called Kyle. It was flank deployment OURS and he was playing the Victorias.

Leveticus, Pariah of iron, Scout the field, Desolate Soul, cache 5
2x Waifs
Big Jake
Rogue Necromancy, Oath Keeper
Sue, Return Fire
Terracotta Warrior
Midnight Stalker
Desperate Mercenary

Both Vics with loads of upgrades
Malifaux Child
Scion of the Void
Lazarus, Return Fire
Midnight Stalker
Librarian
Desperate Mercenary

I’d taken Undercover Entourage on Levi and Covert Breakthrough because it’s easier in flank deployment. I guessed he’d taken the same schemes because the Scion is really good at Entourage and he had his Midnight Stalker set up on a flank. I knew this game was going to be pretty bloody and so I took a couple of risky plays during the first few turns. The last activation of the first turn I managed to charge Lazarus (thank you scout the field) and after hitting him for two lots of eight he was no more. The focus got me the first and stoning for the suit that lets you discard cards for positive flips got me the second. I’d played a little conservative with the rest of my crew and so the Vics hadn’t got into them yet.

I got initiative on turn two and my Rogue Necromancy managed to kill Vic of Blood before she activated, he died in return to Ashes but I thought it was a valuable trade. End of this turn I managed to place Levi in a way to control three of the quarters.

Turn three I managed to get initiative again and killed his Midnight Stalker with Levi by using the last of my stones for positives.  At this point it mainly became about cleaning up. Sue managed to damage Ashes and then finish her off in combat with a Return Fire trigger. I won the game 10-0 as it turns out my opponent took Show of Force. I think if a couple of crucial activations had gone differently, the score would have been much closer.

Round 2
This round I was playing Luke Cocksedge in Ply for Information, standard deployment. Luke was a great opponent, and even though it looked a little grim for him at the start, his spirits were high and he was a pleasure to play against.

Leveticus, Pariah of Bone, cache 4
2 waifs
2 Rotten Belles
2 Dead Doxys
Rogue Necromancy, Oath Keeper
Big Jake
Sue

Pandora, Aether connection, Woe is me, Fugue State
Hooded Rider
Iggy
Baby Kade
Tannen
Insidious madness
Field Reporter
Wisp

I took Dig their graves and Undercover Entourage on Levi. Luke spent quite a bit of his first turn setting down four scheme markers, two in each of his deployment corners. I’ve actually never seen anyone do that and thought it was a pretty good idea to ensure some redundancy for surround them. I also suspected he had Undercover Entourage on Pandora as he had seven stones and Aether Connection to keep her safe. Turn one I managed to push a belle into line of sight of the insidious madness and lure it into my lines and score Dig.

Turn two Luke continued to play very defensively and cautiously, managing to keep most of his crew out of line of sight of mine. In the first turn I’d pretty much stayed in my deployment zone and so he was unable to get Pandora in without her being unsupported. With some Doxy pushing shenanigans I managed to lure Iggy over and get my second point for Dig and also the first Ply. At this point it was 3-0, but I was far from complacent as I predicted h’d be able to get full points for surround them and Entourage.

Turn three, Luke was able to dictate my turn order significantly after insighting both a Doxy and a belle at the end of turn three. He killed the Rogue Necro with Pandora and forced me to take successive activations with the belles. I wasn’t particularly concerned though and just continued to get the Ply condition and attempt to slow his models. Big Jake put down a scheme marker and attempted to finish off the Wisp but failed, only to be killed by it in return! (scoring Luke his first dig point). When Luke announced Dig their Graves I was pretty happy, thinking that it would be easier to deny him these points than it would be to deny either of the other schemes I thought he had. I managed to get my own last Dig point by Levi finishing off the Wisp.

Turn four pretty much saw the majority of my forces die to Pandora, Hooded Rider, Baby Kade and summoned poltergeists. I still managed to get Ply though due to a lone waif and a Doxy on the far left flank having a run in with his lone Reporter.  This was no fault of Luke’s though, he was having to kill my models in the middle who had already ply’d him. Hard to would on the belles makes it really hard to severe the condition off them.

Turn five I was pretty sneaky. I just had one Rotten Belle on one wound in the midst of his crew, so when I got initiative I purposely failed the Fugue State WP role and let her die. This denied him a point of dig and any opportunity to Ply me. Luke went and got a scheme in my bottom left corner with the Hooded Rider. I then proceeded to kill both my waifs and Big Jake who were hiding in the bottom right corner. Never before have I killed four of my own models in one turn to deny points. Finally, Levi who was in Luke’s deployment zone and together with the Doxy that got him there, removed two of the scheme markers from one corner. This ended the game with a score of 9-3 to me.

Round 3
Things were getting tense as I headed to table one for the last round. The question was in my mind, which malifaux giant would I be pitted against for podium! As it turns out I was to play by beloved partner Emma Newham for first place. You see, she had been smashing face in the first two rounds, winning 10-6 vs Martin Wodehouse and 10-0 against Adam Bone. The game was set! one of us would be sleeping in the dog house, but who would it be. The game was corner deployment Supply Wagons and I took Guarded treasure and Recover Evidence.

Leveticus, Pariah of Iron, Desolate Soul, cache 4
2 waifs
Howard Langston, Oath Keeper
Rogue Necromancy, Oath Keeper
Big Jake
Sue, Return Fire
Terracotta Warrior

Sandeep, Arcane Reservoir and the schemey summoning upgrade
Howard langston (Miss Step), Imbued energies
Kandara
2 shastar Vidiya Guard
Arcane Effigy
Medi Bot

Emma's Sandeep

Kev took some pictures during the day; this is one of Emma’s crew.

I won the flip to choose deployment, which I think is pretty important in Wagons, and especially on this board where there was some particularly bad corners. Obviously I choose a wonderful corner for myself with a short, straight route to the push the wagon over the centre line. I left Emma a tricky corner with lots of walls impeding her progress. Turn one was mainly the two of us pushing our respective wagons up the board. One thing that Emma did that I thought was pretty good was getting Miss Step to single handedly push her wagon 12 inches up the board, (by copying Sandeep’s 0 interact and popping energies for effectively 4 AP). At the end of the turn Levi managed to put 4 damage onto the medi bot and Sandeep summoned a wind gamin on one flank and a chatty metal gamin near my wagon… eep.

Turn two started pretty well for me, I got the initiative and went first with Levi, killing both the medi bot and the chatty metal gamin and turning both of them into Abominations! The rest of the turn was both of us actually getting our wagons over the centre line and killing each other’s summoned creatures. Both Aboms died pretty quickly, while Sue killed a newly summoned Banasuva with his trigger. I think Emma’s deployment continued to make things difficult for her this turn and I think she did well to keep up positioning and wagon wise. Big Jake did one half of guarded treasure for me, and the Rogue Necro had to pop Oath keeper in order to get the other half. Emma managed to get half of her Guarded Treasure but failed to get the other half, it was at this point she proclaimed that this would loose her the game.

Turn three got messy. We both declared Recover Evidence before the Rogue Necro went into Miss Step and failed to kill her. She in return killed the Rogue Necro with a flurry of assassinate triggers. Levi then killed Miss Step, made an Abom in the process, teleported to and sacrificed it with his zero action and then picked up an evidence marker. Then in a pretty crucial activation Sandeep failed to kill or paralyse Levi but did summon Banasuva to block off Howard Langston and threaten him. Banasuva died to Howard, Jake placed a scheme marker and stood on top of it and the evidence to stop the wind gamin from picking it up. Kandara walked through some engagements and picked up an evidence marker. We both ended up scoring guarded treasure, one evidence and the supply wagon this turn.

Turn four Levi did his trick again by killing a Shastar Guard, teleporting to the abom and then picking up the evidence marker.  This made it incredibly difficult for Emma to get another guarded treasure as Kandara and her other Shastar Guard were in the middle together. My Terracotta warrior got the last evidence marker I needed then Sandeep did some shenanigans, picking up two more evidence markers for Emma and then pulling her remaining Shastar Guard into a position to score guarded treasure. I was left with the decision of either scoring the last point of treasure for myself with Jake, or using him to deny Emma’s second point. I decided to deny the point, reasoning that I would be able to score my last point on turn five and that Emma wouldn’t be able to get all her points unless the game went to turn six. Loads of other stuff happened this turn, with lots of back and forth vying for points with Howard, wind gamin and the arcane effigy, but for this summery I just included the main decisions.

Turn five a surprisingly large number of models died (many of them had been injured during the game). The main result of this being that Emma couldn’t score any more guarded treasure. The game ended 10-8 and I was in for it!

Results
Those of you that are any good at maths my have worked out quicker than I did, but I managed to finish in first place! The day didn’t finish there though, Emma came third with her great differential and also picked up both best sportsman and also second best painted! She’s claiming the overall win of the tournament over me as she came away with 3x as many awards as I did 😀

I wanted to take this moment to congratulate my friend Danny for getting the wooded spoon. Even though he failed in his mission to not lose every game, he’s redoubled his efforts to improve at malifaux and maybe one day get his allusive win.

I know that these last two posts have been a bit lacking in the picture department. I promise i’ll try and include a few more to break things up next time.

Plying for Information: Levi vs Ulix

I’ve been threatening to write a battle report for some time now, and so for my first attempt I shall be recounting a recent game of Malifaux. There won’t be any pictures in this post, that’s mainly because the one’s I took were awful.

It’s a rainy afternoon and we’re sheltering in my gaming room. We’re both excited to continue our forays into Malifaux with new masters. The strategy and schemes are flipped and we’re playing: Standard deployment, Ply for Information with surround them, set up, public demo, hold up their forces and another scheme that I can’t remember but neither of us chose.

The scene is set, lets introduce the players, I’m using:
Levi with Pariah of Bone, Tally Sheet 4 cache
2 waifs
Rogue Necromancy with oath keeper
Convict gunslinger with return fire
2 belles
Dead doxy
Ronin
Hodgepodge effigy
I took ‘Public demonstration’ with the Belles and Doxy and ‘Set Up’ on Gracie.

My close friend ‘G’, is using:
Ulix with summoning upgrade and 7 cache
Penelope
Fingers
Gracie
Old major with corn husks and saddle
Slop hauler
Hog whisperer
G took ‘Hold up their forces’ and ‘Set Up’ on The Rogue Necromancy

Pre-game thoughts:
My plan was to lure Gracie in and get a quick public demo and set up, before Fingers could get stuck in and be a pain in the arse.
I suspected that my opponent would hang back for at least the first turn doing some summoning shenanigans, and considering that Gracie can reactivate and didn’t have any of the important support upgrades, thought that he’d be more aggressive with her.

Turn 1
The board was really packed with terrain and so the luring didn’t actually work out. I was made to go first and with his activation control of two summoned piglets and reactivate on Gracie the luring was doubly difficult. G was able to hold her back until almost the end of the turn before going into the Rogue Necro on his last activation. The main things of importance this turn was probably the Rogue Necro killing Penelope with a severe acid breath and blasted onto the hog whisperer.

Turn 2
This turn was a bit weird, mainly because I was trying to make it look like I was attempting to kill/stop Gracie without actually killing her. I think my G won Ply for info but I got my full three for Demo and Set up… leaving Gracie on one wound at the end of the turn. I managed to put a bit of damage on fingers and threaten him, but I’m pretty sure he just healed up. It was tricky to get all the schemes markers down but I managed to do some on one side of Gracie while line of sight to fingers was blocked. Then I used Levi to sac and place next to one of the waifs and shoot fingers up a bit. He used his ‘squeal’ to push out of line of sight and I was able to put the last one down with Levi himself.
Score at end of turn two: 6-1 to me.

Turn 3
I won initiative and went with the Ronin (engaged with both Gracie and fingers. I had a 13 of crows in hand and hoped to kill fingers in one hit (they have a trigger for +ve damage and he was on four). Even if he survived and pushed away I could still Ply or kill Gracie with my second AP, I hadn’t decided yet. Unfortunately G was able to dodge both of the Ronin’s attacks using two 13’s and so left me with a bit of a dilemma. I ended up using the Ronin’s 0 action to seppuku for two cards. I think this was a mistake, but I didn’t want to leave him with an easy Ply target. I think at this point he retreated with fingers and healed him up some. Overall I think this was a big mistake on my part. I think I should have gone with the Rogue Necro, popped Oath Keeper and killed Gracie and Fingers, but I was being greedy, thinking I could do the job with the Ronin and save the big Rogue Necro for later in the turn.
I cant remember what Levi did… it cant have been very much.
I think I won ply this turn as Fingers had run away. This was mainly due to the Rogue Necro shooting at him and then charging Old Major with Oath Keeper, (though all three AP were pretty awful as he failed to damage either of them). G got a tasty 3 points from Set up on the Rogue Necromancy, utilising the 0 action interacts after i’d mostly activated I guess G got hold up their forces with either a piglet or the hog whisperer.
7-5 to me

Turn four
I got initiative and went with my effigy, Plying and going defensive before accomplishing into a Doxy who pushed about and then also got Ply (I had to take advantage of Fingers being away from the action).
There were some more general shenanigans including lots of healing from the Gremlins. I think this turn Ulix got a Warpig, but it charged my Doxy who pushed away, and then a belle killed it on the return charge.
I got Ply, G got hold up
8-6 to me

Turn five
This is where the game started to slip away from me,  the numerous piglets chipping away at my forces had started to take its toll and I didn’t have many models left. Also fingers was back in business on full wounds and being a dickhead.
Levi charged the Hog whisperer while trying to get to fingers to stop the chatty aura. I knew it was all about who could score Ply this turn and fingers was on 5 wounds with no stones. I squashed the Hog whisperer and used my focused attack on Fingers while also spending a stone for the tomb to enable an extra positive flip in case we drew (also to increase my chances of hitting as my hand consisted of an 12, 9 and then lower. I ended up using the 12 to hit and then hoping to flip the severe on a positive flip for damage… I flipped moderate and didn’t have the severe to cheat. It was at this point I forgot that I hadn’t been drawing for my Tally upgrade… that’s the main lesson for this game, remember to draw your cards! Cards are good.
Fingers proceeded to be awesome and G got ply this turn. I managed to stop the hold up by using my Belle to kill a Waif
8-7 to me

Turn 6
The cards decided we would have another turn. By this point I really didn’t have very much left. Levi didn’t come back on the board because I only had one Waif and one anchor (Gunslinger) and they were on opposite sides of the board. I’d killed my last Waif with a Belle the previous turn to stop him from getting hold up (I only had three very spread out models). G saved Fingers until last to get Ply so that I couldn’t focus and try to punch it off him. Gunslinger failed to kill him in a hail of bullets (that was my other option for a win).

There we go 8-8 draw.

Thoughts from the game
Piglets are really good; with def 6, -ves to shoot and the ability to heal, they are surprisingly difficult to shift off the table. Add to this a load of useful triggers and 0 AP interact actions from corn husks and they are solid. Fingers as usual is my nemesis, and I imagine him being an auto take for Gremlins in Ply. This is especially true if the scheme pool includes some other scheme marker schemes. I think that Ulix probably wants his hunting bow, as sometimes G wasn’t so sure what to do with his AP once he had loads of piglets and the big pigs were down or not nearby. I think the shoot 7 attack and ability to shot in the rear gives him a lot more flexibility. (though I was really surprised by his 4 inch melee range (and the ability to hit people over the top of his piglets). I love Doxys… like really love them, a zero push for themselves and another is incredibly useful, let alone being surprisingly killy at melee 6 with a trigger for +ves, and then giving out fast when they die. I haven’t been impressed with the Ronin so far, though in this game I didn’t give her much chance as I sacked her start of turn 3. I think with her built in push trigger, armour ignoring and disguised I think I’ll grow to love her. I do like all the undead that I can bring into Levi, but I am looking forward to trying out some constructs with him.

Right, that’s all for this week, time to get some tea and ponder the next encounter.
Any thoughts or comments on the game or even the write up itself; too much detail? Not enough detail? Am I talking gibberish? Feel free to speak up and offer advice or ask questions.

Malifaux; A New Hope

Ah Malifaux! My one true love. I’ve been playing Malifaux since the second edition was released and I stumbled across the plastic Ramos and Marcus crew boxes. To say the least I was awed by the models and immediately bought ‘The MSU’. I had no intention of playing the game, and if I’m completely honest I didn’t really have any intention of actually painting the crews. I just liked the aesthetics, and if that meant I got to put together a load of mechanical arms and cyborgs I’d be happy. Within the week I’d read the rulebook front to back multiple times and even managed to have a trial 25ss game against my partner who had also bought her first crew (The Torch and the Blade).

Fast forward to the beginning of this year and I had decided to put aside my faction ADHD and try to focus on one thing for a whole 12 months. I simply finished the first month playing Ironsides (placing 3rd at Merseyfaux 2) and went back to my beloved Ten Thunders. I’d previously spent a year mostly playing Yan Lo and I’d played a handful of games with Misaki and McCabe and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get my game on and start attending some more tournaments.

I think I managed to play 8 games over the next month and generally felt… disappointed. Most of my experiences were revisiting Yan Lo. I’d had a lot of success with him back in 2016, and objectively I knew that he was better with his new wave 5 upgrades than without. Despite this I was really struggling. I was still maintaining a good W/L/D record, but I just felt that I was generally failing at most actions and only managing to achieve good results with simple things such as moving and scheming. Now I know some of you will be saying “Alyx! That’s what Malifaux is about, what are you complaining at?”, but I think I just missed some of the fun cavorting and looks of shock on my opponents’ faces. I raised some of my concerns with the local Malifaux scene and was met with the resounding opinion that: A, Yan Lo was still underpowered, especially when compared to some of the ‘wave four filth’ and B, it’s best to take a break from something you love, in order to not have it became tainted. Now I’ve always believed that Yan was as competitive as the next master but they may have had a point considering that most of my games that month had been against Sandeep.

I decided to put the fates into others’ hands and asked the local Malifaux group to vote on which master I should play next, they answered resoundingly! Needless to say the year of the Ten Thunders came swiftly to an end! and so began the ‘arbitrary amount of time with Leveticus!’

So I had a root around on the gaming shelves and in various boxes that are scattered in the far corners of the gaming room and managed to gather an assortment of outcasts, undead and constructs that I wanted to try using. This process actually took a lot longer than you’d imagine as I kept getting distracted by other things that I found. I managed to piece together the following:

Leveticus himself
3x Waifs
Rusty Alice
4 Abominations
1x Ronin
Hodgepodge Effigy
1x Convict Gunslinger
Howard Langston
1x Terracotta Warrior
1x Stitched Together
Rogue Necromancy
2x Rotten Belles
2x Dead Doxy

I bought some bases from ‘Bases for War’ which has become my go to internet shop for cheap thematic bases. They are reasonable quality, arrive in the post within a day or two and for £0.35 for a 30mm base you can’t ask for much more. I wish they had a few more styles of bases, but that’s probably just because I’ve ordered from them for multiple spontaneous hobby projects.

I then had a couple of days of prolific painting (for me it was practically speed painting) and managed to get where you can see in the picture. As usual half of those models are only part finished.

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I managed to get 5 games under my belt with Levi and I think I’m starting to get the hang of what’s going on. I might put up a battle report later if people are interested in seeing one of these.

A lot of what I’d heard about Levi himself was that he was this nigh unkillable, killing machine, popping up where ever he’s needed and deleting models left right and centre. My experience of this has been mixed, he certainly has the potential to remove models when needed, however I think some of this opinion is still a holdover from before his errata days. His main strength for me has been a flexibility of application of force. He is usually able to position himself where he can see 1-2 models and spend all of his AP (including the channelled focus) into shooting or sometimes getting a timely charge depending on the circumstance. I need to try and focus on those enemy models with either a low wound count or defensive abilities that I can ignore. On those rare occasions that Levi gets left out by himself, either because I didn’t bury him the previous turn or because I didn’t place my waifs effectively enough, I found that his activations can feel almost completely wasted. Walking around tends to do him no good as he can easily bury and reposition, and if he isn’t attacking things, well then I’m not sure what he is doing.

He is quite squishy and easy to take down. I’ve been a little fearful of my opponents attacking him before he’s activated and forcing him to bury. In this way they’re taking away one of his lives and effectively paralyzing him by denying his activation for the turn. As a result I’ve been activating him quite early in a turn, which also has the benefit of ensuring the targets that I’d lined up at the end of the previous turn are still relevant. I may try to experiment a little with this, pushing his activation a little later in the turn and see how this affects my games. Though I suspect the outcome of this will depend on the mindset of my opponent and how fruitless/beneficial they feel attacking Levi is.

With regards to upgrades I’ve tried both Pariah of Iron and Bone and think this probably comes down to preference and a person’s model collection. I’m sure as I get more games under my belt I’ll develop some stronger opinions but for now I’m fluctuating between each depending on my whims at the time. I’ve been taking desolate soul during strategies that aren’t Ply for Info or Public Execution, mainly because I haven’t wanted to be summoning easy points for my opponents. I’m not completely sold on it yet as I’ve only managed to summon 1 Abomination in each game I’ve had it, but I’m hopeful, and I like the thematics of the upgrade, so I’ll persevere. I’ve liked the idea of running a Terracotta Warrior in order to swap out the Pariah upgrade into something more useful. So far I’ve I had a go with tally sheet though and didn’t get much use out of it, I’m not sure if drawing 1-2 cards extra per game is better than say Oathkeeper.

Anyway, that’s probably all for now; before I start waffling and loosing track. I’ll most certainly be doing another post about the various models I’ve used with Levi to date, and in doing so I’ll keep you updated with their painting progress as well.

Grubby Gold Grabbing Greenskins

What better way to spend your Easter weekend than to write an article about gaming. So, while my loving partner is putting some base layers on some of our scenery I will be introducing my latest hobbying endeavour, Frostgrave! Published by Osprey.

Let me apologise for the poor quality of pictures in advance, I’m still getting used to most forms of technology.

Eight of us started the campaign about four weeks ago, and we’ve managed to play between 2-5 games each. I have owned the Frostgrave book for some time now, but never actually got around to starting a campaign, I suppose this comes from the dynamic of everyone playing so many different games and the difficulty in trying to coerce some unity within the group. Frostgrave was an easy sell; not needing to buy any specific models, a simple rule set that’s easy to pick up and minimal numbers of models to be painted. So, without further ado, let me introduce the gang!

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This is Gazathor’s Motley Goblin Rabble, a rag tag crew of deviants and misfits. I’ve been wanting to do something with the old fantasy gnobblers for some time; as I love their cheeky viciousness, and there’s some real diversity of models within these basic rank and file plebs. You’ll notice that none of them are actually finished, and in fact some of them have only been given base coats of some colours. This is standard procedure for me, as I quickly get distracted and peter off…

Gazathor the ‘unbroken’ (named by one of the other players) is a Witch, and currently knows the following spells: Animal Companion, Brew Potion, Fog, Leap, Bone Dart, Telekinesis, Write Scroll and Miraculous Cure. I tried to pick a wide variety of spells that would be useful in a range of situations, from the offensive Bone Dart, to the defensive Fog, all the way to utility leap and telekinesis for treasure grabbing. I liked the idea of having several out of game spells, mainly because you only get so much ‘time’ in game for successful casting. (I must note at this point for those of you not involved in the campaign, we are implementing some house rules not only to try and establish some balance between the types of spellcaster, but also to add some randomness to the after game buying of items. I might write about this in a future article if people are interested). Gazathor has survived to reach level twelve and has spent most of his upgrades on increasing his health to 20 and his fight +5. This was in the vague attempt at creating an intimidating monster of the frozen ruins. The bonus health makes him unlikely to be killed by a stray shot and gives him plenty of leverage when empowering spells, while the fight makes him a dubious prospect to fight in combat.  He has managed to salvage an Orb of Power and a Staff of +1 fight.

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My apprentice (and some would say the real power behind the warband) is Niblet the ‘wise’. He has spent most of the games hiding behind buildings, leaping his comrades into the fray and stealing treasure for himself. In doing this he has managed to amass himself a mighty treasure trove, without Gazathor being any the wiser. He currently has a Staff of Power +3, a Horn of Destruction and Robes of Arrow Turning.

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This is ‘cheap shot’ Steve; wizard scourge of the white wastes. A Crossbowman, he’s been in the warband from the very start and has amassed a number of take outs, including two enemy wizards. Despite my thoughts that Archers were better than Crossbowmen he hasn’t disappointed. I should probably ‘upgrade’ him to a Marksman soon.

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‘Big nose’ Tim on the other hand is my ‘Archer’ and he’s been a constant source of disappointment. Consistently failing to know which end of the sling to put the rock in, it’s only a matter of time before he gets eaten by a giant worm, if I’m lucky.

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‘Red handed’ Earl is my Infantryman who has ended up being one of my main treasure runners. With fight +3 he has tended to survive a bit longer while ‘running’ away with whatever goods he’s found. I think this is one of my favourite models out of the gnobblers; mainly because he’s carrying a pie on his back.

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‘Weasally’ Gary is my Thug and chosen meat shield. He has missed as many games as he’s participated in and has only been on the table for a grand total of 3 turns.

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This is ‘Captain’ Pablo, a Thief. He picks up treasure and throws explosive cocktails at people. This is mainly because I like the idea of a tiny monkey throwing powder kegs at the enemy.

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This is Gnasher, an Ice Squig (ice toad). He was lured to the warband with the Animal companion spell and has to date failed every one of his fight rolls. I’m pretty sure the model is from Mantic, and is their version of a Games Workshop Squig.

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Finally we have ‘2’ new recruits to the gang; Sir Hu’man my Templar and Bert & Ernie my ‘knight’,  this is following the loss of Ug the Barbarian and Ratigan the ‘hound’.  I found this strange model in the gaming room (I think it might be an old fantasy chaos warrior) and thought it fit with the ‘older’ style of Frostgrave, while giving me a larger model that could reasonably represent a 100gc hire. I had to use Bert & Ernie as a Knight because I found the concept of a gnobbler riding another gnobbler as a mount hilarious.

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If anyone is interested in hearing more about the adventures of Gazathor and his band of reprobates, drop me a comment below. Likewise I will endeavour to take better picture next time, but if anyone has any advice I would much appreciate it.  Right… now its time for a cuppa.