Monday, 15 January 2018

Malifaux Battle Report: Neverborn Collodi vs Guild Justice (GG2018)

One of my Things for the New Year (I'm avoiding calling them Resolutions) is to get much fitter, and one of my friends is a personal trainer, so I decided to pick his brain about all this Health stuff, and he cunningly suggested we get in a game of Malifaux at the same time. We sorted a suitable time and booked a table at Dark Sphere.

Spinning up the Bad Things Happen app, it generated a Standard deployment, with the Strategy Ply for Information and the Schemes Surround Them, Undercover Entourage, Show of Force, Take One For the Team, and Vendetta.

I selected Undercover Entourage and Take One for the Team while unbeknownst to me, my opponent selected Show of Force and Vendetta.

There were all sorts of interesting new folk with the Guild, such as The Jury and some Monster Hunters.

Meanwhile, I had my usual crew of meddlesome puppets. The plan was to send a few sacrificial models up the right, while Collodi made a push up the left side for Undercover Entourage.

To start off the annoyances, the Mysterious Emissary left some Hungry Land right in the way of the Guild advancing into the centre.

A ?Thallarian Queller? put down a marker that gets rid of your built in suits on your stats. I don't like this new Guild stuff, it seems good! ;-)

Push Teddy forward just a little, trying to tempt the Guild towards him...

Then send a little Marionette Fast and send it careening into a Monster Hunter. The first hit causes some solid damage.

The second hit gets a massive hit, with a double positive damage flip, and . . . black Joker. No damage at all. Bother.

He manages to destroy the Marionette in revenge, while Collodi Slows him up and a Changeling gets ready to mess him up next turn.

The other Monster Hunter is somehow failing to kill my Marionette with Take One For the Team on it, and is annoyingly scoring the Strategy. (White stones are the models who've scored the Strategy, while the clear stones are my opponent's activated markers.)

Francisco and Justice head into the middle... I believe they are scoring for Show of Force at this point. And then it all gets a bit frantic! We rejoin the action a little later...

Justice rushes the left flank and starts pureeing poor innocent puppets!

A Wicked Doll poisons her from range, teleports into close range with her and Interacts to score the Strategy...

The Monster Hunter gets healed up a bit and makes a break for the centre, while the Thallarian Queller tries to deal with the Changeling - both scoring the Strategy strongly.

Collodi comes out and pulls his party trick of "become Slow and your action belongs to me". The Jury potters over and removes the action theft condition, because The Jury hates Fun.

Meanwhile, the struggle on my left flank means that the Monster Hunter on the right is activating late and losing the Strategy. I try and bait them into killing the blasted Take One For the Team target, but no dice!

The Emissary swings up in to the centre, and Teddy pulls right to Hug his friend the Brutal Effigy. Then his puppet friend from the Guild gets all tired and needs to have a long lie down... (I'm trying to bait some more models to come over to nearer the Schemed Marionette so it can become a convenient target of opportunity.)

The Monster Hunter Stalks Teddy and puts him down, revealing his Vendetta against the monstrous child's toy.

Meanwhile, I'm properly, properly bogged down on the left hand side and need to get Collodi free.

Pulled this way and that by his puppets, Collodi is pulled up the board...

Before finally managing to shoot up the board by going Fast, and suddenly the penny drops as to what one of my schemes must be...

I was all set up to remove the Strategy condition from The Jury when it goes and makes the Emissary Slow, so I can't get into range and complete the condition removal. Curses! Foiled!

Justice chases after Collodi, but can't quite take him out. He Runs Away Home into the deployment zone to end the game...

In the end, I lost 8-4. We scored the Strategy 2-1 (with the 2nd turn tieing, me grabbing a point through sneakiness and weasel, and the Guild getting two points through appropriate application of force). Meanwhile, the Guild scored the full 6 off their schemes, while managed to mess up Take One For the Team badly (I'm usually excellent at Frame for Murder-like schemes) though I did still score the full 3 for Undercover Entourage.

I was pleased to do so well given how long it's been since I've last played. It loved that we both played with fully painted crews and it gave me a lot of enthusiasm both for getting some more Malifaux in and also for getting more of my stuff painted!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

War of the Worlds VI at ibuywargames

Infinity is definitely the game of choice at the moment, and last weekend I headed down to Woking again for "War of the Worlds VI", hosted at ibuywargames. This time it was planned to be at the store so we all just about squeezed in there!

First on the sheet was "Capture and Protect", and gamma ray had put out a challenge to anyone he'd not faced before, and I accepted. He was running an Onyx Contact Force list while I was running Vanilla Nomads, with a ten order list concept I've been wanting to give a go for ages.

I forced him to set up first with the intention of weathering the first turn of fire and then hitting back on my first turn. Sadly, it didn't go to plan. An Intruder Sniper was critted off in his first turn, leaving me short one of my major hitting pieces from the start.

My Intruder HMG then emerged under smoke to shoot up the Rodok link team. Unfortunately, I'd messed up my positioning so he was able to heal up his missile launcher, reform the link and open fire again. With a crit and a second hit, my Intruder vanished in a puff of smoke, and the bad positioning caught the Jaguar and Clockmaker as well, turning them all to a light dusting of ash.

That done, an Umbra Something was able to run up the field, grab my beacon and high tail it out of there. With a mere handful of orders left, there were too many casualties for my Iguana Operator to make the run for his beacon - and even failing in a suicidal run to get an "Extreme Prejudice" Classified Objective. The loss of the Iguana left me with a solitary Jaguar left alive on the table, and a 9-0 defeat as gamma ray had just not quite managed to make it all the way back to his deployment zone.

The second mission was Power Pack, and continuing the trend of playing people I've not played before, I got matched up against sam2064, who writes the excellent Strategos Level 3 blog. He was running his ISS for the first time at a tournament.

I had a very different list, designed specifically for Power Pack. It relied on the Kriza Boracs armed with a Mk12 and 360 Visor to be able to get onto the hard to reach objective in the enemy half of the field, and also had a Hellcat with Spitfire to cause some damage due to the terrifying deployment set up in the board corners that left you open to drop troops.

With the Kriza Boracs on one side and a Reaktion Zond (which also has a 360 fire arc) on the other, I'd firmly nailed down the deployment zones. The ISS drop remote, borrowed from Aleph, ran around with a Boarding Shotgun causing carnage. The powerful Core Fireteam, meanwhile, handily took out the Reaktion remote.

I did get one small happy moment when the advancing link team got a little careless about zones of control and walked too near one of my camo tokens - which turned out to be a Zero Killer Hacker, who promptly melted the brain of the link team's hacker.

Major Luna was absolutely brutal this battle - picking off various units and leaving me rather badly pinned down.

My Hellcat, in turn, managed to put a Sophotect onto No Wound Incapacitation, but was promptly taken down before they could cause too much damage.

In the end, the Crane Agent from the Fireteam was able to get properly locked in to the objective, and I wasn't able to dislodge him.

My remaining Zero Minelayer did manage to neatly murder a couple of bounty hunter types hanging around on one of the antenna, but without being a specialist, couldn't get the objective back and left me with a thorough 10-2 kicking.

I felt like I did quite well at dislodging some quite troublesome units, but they weren't the ones I needed to get rid of to hit the objectives - sam2064 was fundamentally much better at focussing in on the objective and actually getting the mission done.

Final game! I was very much in the contention for the wooden spoon, and I was up against Ironclad's Bakunin force at Acquisition. I decided to go for my ten order list again, mostly because Bakunin sometimes means a lot of ODD, and if so, double Intruders would be what you might refer to as a "hard counter".

Again, I managed to win the WIP roll and chose deployment, and tried very hard not to do a happy dance when I saw Ironclad putting down a full Moira link. There were some worrying camo tokens in the midfield - I reckoned two Zeroes and a Prowler - and probably at least one Hacker, and a moderator lying down in an impossible to reach spot in the deployment zone who was almost certainly the Lieutenant.

The Necromunda terrain wasn't perfect for Infinity. Due to the terrain shortcomings, there was a house rule that gaps in the walls smaller than S1 were in fact solid. This gave a lot more line of sight blocking terrain and prevented horror.

First up, a Vertigo Zond dropped to within eight inches of my poor TAG. Now, I didn't know if an assault hacking device was hiding under camouflage at this point, but I really didn't want a possessed TAG.

I had one Hacker hack the transport aircraft (unsuccessfully) while the other one smacked the landed Remote in the face with Oblivion and Isolated it - although on reflection I don't think that would have dealt with the Repeater. Oh well!

As a camo token ran across the board to get into Repeater range, I guessed it was a Killer Hacker. It came out of camo to do something horrible to the Hacker I was running as a Lieutenant with surprise, so the Lieutenant dropped Breakwater (the one time it's useful!) and the other Hacker melted the Zero's brain before it could do any more damage.

In my turn, I ran the Iguana and Lunokhod up into the mid field, and deployed the Koalas. This left a big ugly pile of repeaters and horrible AROs for my opponent to deal with. I shot the Vertigo Zond to death on the way up field - no need to leave it lying around unattended...

With most of my opponent's models hiding out of sight, and short of useful things to do with orders, I ran a Jaguar up the field to get into a better spot to throw smoke and cause mischief in the midfield.

So, up came the Moira link and speculative E/M grenades rained down on my TAG until it was immobilised and isolated. This was definitely "sub-optimal".

Remember how I said I reckoned one of those mid field camo markers was a Prowler? It was indeed a Prowler, and the Spitfire Prowler I'm so found of running. He turned my poor Jaguar into a small bloody mess.

He then came around the corner and shot the Lunokhod into double unconscious. He was, for some reason, super spooked about the Heavy Flamethrower it carries...

The counter punch was appropriately brutal. I threw smoke over the Intruder HMG and took out the Prowler, the E/M Grenade Launcher Moira and Kusanagi, leaving the link as just 3.

My engineer then ran up and restored the Iguana to full power and patched the Lunokhod back up to full health.

The game then swung in Bakunin's favour! The Moira team came around the corner, carefully shooting the Lunokhod from out of Heavy Flamethrower range before coming around further and shooting down the Iguana. The pilot ejected to safety, as the Clockmaker dived into the cover of the damaged remote.

I was then a terrible person and co-ordinated an order between my Lunokhod, Custodier and still camoed Intruder. Everyone shot the Reverend Healer on the objective, and she didn't make it. It was then just a bit of mopping up on the surviving Moiras, and the Clockmaker managed to flip one of the antennaes back to my control.

Finally, I managed to run my Iguana up to the centre console to claim a 7-1 victory in the final turn. This left me a respectable 13th out of 20, and put poor Ironclad into last place for the wooden spoon.

In summary, I had a massive amount of fun at War of the Worlds again, with three entertaining games against three pleasant opponents. Venues are hard to come by, and ibuywargames is a little limited as it only has space for ten tables and is a little cramped. That's still worthwhile, though, as its such a good event with excellent people.