Monday, 8 February 2016

Malifaux Tournament Report: Wayland Games "Welcome to Malifaux"

So, back in January, I pottered down to Wayland Games for "Welcome to Malifaux", a 3 round tournament intended for beginners. It was 40SS (the game size) with a you only allowed to declare a single Master over the games, and you could only take models, either in your list or summoned, from a 60SS pool.

Game 1
Flank Deployment
Strategy: Reconnoitre
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Protect Territory, Plant Explosives, Spring Trap

My opponent, a fellow new player, declares that he's playing Guild. I discount Assassinate and Spring Trap as unnecessarily hard. I select a list of swarms of little puppets and changelings to hopefully run around and get lots of markers so he can't shoot everyone.

It turns out I'm facing Sonia, which means I'm at risk of having everything set on fire. I sent out a couple of sacrificial minions to stall her and clog up her table quarter, while solidly claiming two of my own.

In the end, I lure a couple of models to stand by scheme markers for plant explosives, have solidly protected my territory, and scored every available round for Reconnoitre. An 8-0 win and I'm now worried about wandering up the tables to get a thorough kicking by someone experienced...

Moment of the game
Having Collodi zap a poisoned Witchling Handler so it was slow and would use its action for him, and getting it so it was on it's last wound - it treacherously shot up it's colleague and an Executioner before expiring from poison!

Game 2
Corner Deployment
Strategy: Turf War
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Distract, Power Ritual, Entourage

An experienced player. Playing Gremlins. And he has a magnificent hat. I'm proper for it. Turf War is a serious knock down fight in the middle, so I pick out Teddy and the Emissary. I'm pretty set on declaring Power Ritual (both easy and obvious) and going for Distract on the other one as I'm not convinced I'm not going to be beaten to tar and at least this way they'll have to spend actions un-Distracting themselves...

So, it's Mah, with Trixiebelle and two Rooster Riders. This is going to Proper Suck. He runs a Rooster Rider out to each corner for points - I send out some sacrificial puppets in the hope that one set make it (they do). The Emissary just won't die for a while with a mix of Collodi's healing and sitting in it's own dangerous terrain. Mah goes down after the Emissary gives her a surprise "lose all your conditions", but Trixie is an absolute pain. I manage to hold on pretty well in the centre for a while, getting three points there and the full allowance for Power Ritual after a Rooster Rider rushes back to help in a fight leaving some puppets unobserved. Nothing for distract - just nothing left to score it! Meanwhile, the Gremlins knock out full points so I go down to a 10-6 loss.

Moment of the game
Teddy jumps the Gremlin wrestler Mancha Roja and eats him "in one gulp". The badly wounded Teddy is then charged by a berserk Rooster Rider and is pecked to death by a chicken. At least with Gremlins you're always laughing...

Game 3
Corner Deployment
Strategy: Reckoning
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Protect Territory, Frame for Murder, Plant Evidence

So, a fellow Neverborn opponent and a scheme that involves you killing your opponents models... This is going to be bloody! I go with Teddy and the Emissary again, and decide that setting Frame for Murder on Teddy will be an excellent idea, because if Teddy is in your face you'll be busy panicking about the killer teddybear and not thinking about giving up points. Protect Territory because I've done it before and I've got enough to worry about.

The survivors. It's pretty bloody. Turns out Lilith is really good at murdering stuff dead! Double that when she brought Nekima! The sole survivor scores a point for Protect Territory, I got a couple of points through Reckoning, and I get the full points for Frame for Murder... Final score ends up being 6-3 to me.

Moment of the game
The Frame for Murder. Nekima is up on a building because she can fly, and I sneak a Changeling off and drop a Scheme marker, apparently intent on getting markers and not paying her any attention despite the fact I just saw her move some massive amount the previous turn. Teddy is nearby, but not all that close...
Nekima takes the bait and swoops down - the Changeling dies a messy death. And then a Marionette helpfully pushes Teddy just a little bit closer... A brutal series of attacks follow, with Teddy Peek-a-boo-ing Nekima over hazardous terrain to get the kill, conveniently scraping the odd wound off him while I'm at it - and leaves him remarkably close to Lilith. After the brutal demonstration, she charges in and cuts him down to discover she's been set up!

Overall results

I was really pleased to come in overall fifth as someone who was only playing their third, fourth and fifth games at the event! There was a little mix up and I was included in with the veterans so I didn't get a certificate for placing as a newcomer, but I got a 'make up' certificate later.

So, I did well at the games, but its important to note that the community (many of whom I sort of know from twitter) were lovely and friendly, and very welcoming. It was pretty much the perfect tournament experience, and I'm keen to get more models assembled and painted up so I can make more tournaments!

Monday, 1 February 2016

Malifaux Battle Report: Collodi vs Ten Thunders Lynch

 With a "starter tournament" due at Wayland Games, I decided to head down to my local store to get a practice game in so I'd played more than one game of Malifaux before the tournament...

I was playing Collodi, because that's the Master I own and have painted and assembled. For a strategy, we drew "Squatters Rights" (claim two of five objectives) and from the available schemes I chose "Protect Territory" and "Line in the Sand" (place a bunch of markers all over the place).

 Crew wise, I was running with a Mysterious Emissary, a Teddy, and a Changeling on top of Collodi and his Marionettes. This was mostly to learn the rules of these things before I played them at the tournament!

I was facing Jacob Lynch working for Ten Thunders, with a Beckoner, a couple of Illuminated, Mr Graves and the Crossroads Seven member known as Lust.

I started off by running the Mysterious Emissary up the flank to drop a Hungry Land marker into the Ten Thunders lines so their advance would be disrupted.

Ah. It turns out Lust and the Beckoner are both masters of movement shenanigans, and the Mysterious Emissary is  dragged out into the open...

And then the Hungering Darkness potters over to have a polite word...

 I'm trying to run models up as quickly as possible to get someone in place to heal the Emissary before it's too late...

 ... but it's too late!

Teddy claims a Claim marker to start trying to get to the point of scoring...

The Changeling tries to do something super clever involving teleporting and stealing Teddy's attack to take out the Illuminated, but it doesn't go so well...

I do manage to grab two Claimer markers to grab some points, but it's looking like I'm in trouble...

Teddy goes down to Mr Graves, leaving only a bunch of doll parts.

Things move around, trying to get some control back with both of my heavy hitters down.

The Changeling copies Mr Graves ability to throw people around to smack the Beckoner miles away from everyone else, and the Hungering Darkness is brought down...

But it's immortal at the moment, and with the dead of one of my Brilliance infected puppets, he's back at full pelt.

More and more models turn to scrap, and soon it's all over!

Some hindsight

I was in trouble in this one from the beginning - my opponent's crew had an excellent movement shenanigans based list (Graves, Lust and the Beckoner all throwing people around), while mine was relatively straightforward. I left things a bit piecemeal and was picked apart by the more mobile crew. The Emissary should not have been so bold early on - it allowed an entire crew to focus on it unbothered while I was in early moves with the rest of the crew. I probably should have committed more to one side and stuck with that.

Still, lessons are learned, and on to the tournament!

Monday, 25 January 2016

Assembling some bits and pieces

Having had a bit of a problem with assembling Miss Ery, and with two days scheduled to actually play Malifaux (battle reports to follow), I thought it wise to take a little break from assembling Malifaux stuff, and do something different.

So, I went through the "to do" list and pulled up every easy to assemble single model listed, resulting in the impressive pile of stuff above (and actually not including Hasslefree Minature's "Blanche", which I found while digging through boxes for the others).

It's not all done - I had a pretty late start on Saturday, and Sunday was taken up with a little beginners Malifaux tournament over at Wayland Games. The intention isn't to paint all of these, just get them cleaned up, based and undercoated, so if I do get enthused about that particular figure, it's easy and ready to go.

I don't recall if I mentioned - I've now sorted my unpainted stuff into three clear lists. The first list is the "to do" list. This is anything I want to do myself, that I have a clear plan for. The second is the "for gaming" list, where I'm OK with painting it, but also happy sending it to a commission painter should the budget allow. Finally, there's the "Stash". That's stuff I haven't worked out what I want to do with yet, or don't have a plan for. Long term, the plan is to make the stash very very small...

Still, happy with Saturday's progress. There's a bunch of dudes (and ladies) closer to seeing paint!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Modelling in the mainstream

I was in John Lewis the other day and spotted a whole end shelf of Revell Star Wars model kits. They're relatively affordable, and are marked as "easy assembly", but I don't know if they're any good.

It struck me that we don't often see modelling stuff in the mainstream. It clearly takes something with as big an impact as Star Wars to get enough momentum to carry such things into the shops...

Monday, 18 January 2016

Keeping up the pace in the New Year

This post is a little late today as later this week I'm off to play a game of Malifaux, and I needed to spend some time finding tape measure, cards and all that other good stuff I'd put somewhere "safe" after the last time I played!

So, this was the original plan for last week - get the Coryphee and limited edition Performer assembled so I have more than one build for my Malifaux crew. But I ordered the wrong base sizes for the Coryphee, and I need a thinner drill bit and pinning wire for their tiny, tiny feet. So these are put to one side for now.

I have instead finished off my Scheme markers. They are 30mm "Shrine" bases by Micro Art Studio. They were undercoated white, then washed with the new clear blue Forge World airbrush paint (with a brush). Then the tops of the miniatures (but not the recesses) were carefully darkened with the GW blue wash. Once this was all dry, successively lighter drybrushes of Steel Legion Drab, Zandri Dust and a bone colour were then applied. Finally, the edges were painted around with Chaos Black to tidy them up.

I'm quite happy with the result, as the "glow coming from the earth" effect I wanted has been achieved with only a little effort. I'm extra pleased, as that's something finished this year, and from the "pile of stuff I was halfway through", at that!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Commission Painted Vendetta by @vidpui

Photo by @vidpui

This is the last of 2015's completed commissions.This time, it's a Valkyrie, painted for me by @vidpui after he did such an excellent job on my Valkyrie.

Photo by @vidpui
Another excellent paint job for a really good price. I'd definitely recommend people looking to get some commission work done get in contact with @vidpui on Twitter!

Photo by @vidpui
I haven't yet had a chance to try the Vendetta out in a game, but I'm looking forward to it!

Photo by @vidpui
In the meantime, the Vendetta can fly off into the distance...

Monday, 11 January 2016

Preparing and assembling some Malifaux Changeling proxies

Operation "assemble all the things" is now well underway. The main task for the weekend was getting some proxy Changelings ready. I decided to get these done because the Mysterious Emissary can summon them.

(I've also been slowly working on green stuffing all the mould lines on Miss Ery, the Nightmare Teddy, but that is not very interesting to look at, and also not finished.)

I decided to go with non human looking critters, on the basis that they could be the Changeling's "natural" forms. I went with two familiars and a halfling from Heresy Miniatures, as I liked the look of them.

They are all now pinned to their bases. With the middle one (Familiar with Knife) I wasn't too comfortable with the idea of pinning into his teeny legs and feet. I remembered something I'd heard on the Mayacast podcast as a tip for assembling Infinity figures. The idea is not to cut off all the tab on a miniature, and use some of that as an integral pin. I'm pleased to report it worked very well!

The bases are Scibor "rocky" bases. I picked mine up from Dark Sphere for convenience sake. I'm planning on doing the rest of my Neverborn on Micro Art bases, but given the ones I was planning on using were out of stock, and these are proxies until the proper models come out, I thought that would be OK.

This mini project will give me a full 50 soul stone list for Malifaux that I can play. I'm waiting for the bases to come in for two Coryphee and a Performer, who will be my first "alternative" models for crew selection.

Friday, 8 January 2016

A change in focus for a new year

With last year not being as productive as I'd have liked, I've been having a bit of a think about how I work on my painting and modelling.

Firstly, I've identified that I'm a bit burned out with so many committed to and half finished projects that I'm trying to push myself to complete. It's just discouraging me from going to my painting table. So, to solve that, I've taken everything 'in progress' and either put it into a holding box to be picked up as I get motivated about them again. A couple of exceptions to this were made where I had no longer got a clear idea of what I was trying to do with the model. These got dropped back into my stash. Out of sight, out of mind.

Secondly, I'm going to making my focus be more about larger projects this year. I've previously described individual models or squads, which are a single item on my kanban board, as 'projects'. That's a bad term for them. They're basically 'work items' - projects are much larger.

So instead of focussing on, say, a particular model or unit, I'm going to try and get some significant pieces of work done, involving multiple models and squads. I think getting one a quarter done is a reasonable thing to aim for - we'll have a look in a few months to see how  that went.

Finally - I'm getting a bit put off by the lead time between me getting enthused about something and me getting to apply paint to it. I also end up buying stuff and it just sitting around in boxes for ages, never seeing the light of day.

The planned solution to this is to try and move towards immediately assembling anything I get, getting it undercoated, then packing it away ready for me to get enthused about painting it. I'll get a better visualisation of what there still is to do, and less lead time if I want to get something finished. This means one of my early projects is going to be starting to get some of my existing, massive "to do" list assembled at a reasonable pace.

Beyond that, goals really come down to "try and paint more stuff than last year" and "actually, thinking about it, two items completed a month doesn't sound too bad as a basic target".

Lets do this thing.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Review of the year - 2015

Well, that was this year.

I set myself a few goals for this year. The core goal was to complete two projects a month. There were also some stretch goals:

- Finish more than two projects in a month, and limit purchases the following month to however much I beat the target by
- Finish "Operation: Complete Other People's Stuff". (only 3 items left!)

- Clear the Hall of Shame of anything started before 2014. (5 items)

- Finish anything I started before the start of 2015. (20 items)

How did I do?

(I am not counting work commissioned out in my productivity), as I was aiming to get stuff done myself!)

Two projects a month: Done in January, March, April, June, July, August and October. (7/12)

Twenty four projects in a year (16/24)

Finish more two more things than you buy each month (complete failure)

Operation: Complete Other People's Stuff (2/3)

Hall of Shame (2/5)

Finish anything started before the start of 2015 (6/20)

What got done?

Here's the stuff I got painted this year:



(Also completed: some assembly for my wife, counted as a project, but no photo taken!)





Original paint job: Inquisitor Steve
Touch up and rebasing: The Responsible One

Original paint job unknown
Touch up and rebasing: TRO





I'm not too unhappy with the progress. I've not managed to hit my core goals, but looking back, there's still a reasonable amount painted. It is sadly mostly single figures, with none of the big projects done, but there's still some nice pieces I'm proud of here.

Given the amount of content here, I'm going to leave my plans for this coming year to a separate post. Suffice to say, I've got some ideas for how to change things up a notch!