Saturday 29 February 2020

Saturday Smackdown

An irregular series, showcasing photos I took at February's St Albans Smackdown tournament.

Thursday 27 February 2020

HATE Infinity League Game 1

Shortly before I went to EIC last week I had my first game in this year's HATE Infinity League. This year it's being run by Yashar, and its been decided not to run it as an ITS League to allow a bit more flexibility than the system would take.

First up was Capture and Protect, with the "Tactical Window" special rule in effect. I was up against one of the club regulars playing Combined Army.

I ended up getting first turn and, as I feared, was not allowed to deploy any reserves, meaning I was likely facing an Avatar.

It was indeed an Avatar, and set up with a commanding view of the battlefield.

I knew that my best chance was having my Intruder HMG shoot at it from under smoke.

... and on my second order, he took a critical hit and exploded. It then turned out the Avatar could see the back of my Kriza Boracs HMG, so I had it break for full cover, firing back as it went. The Avatar hit, I failed all three armour saves, the Kriza was permanently dead, and the first Combined turn hadn't even started.

It then turned out that my opponent had also bought a Sphinx as a second attacking piece, which proceeded to put a hole in my list.

The Avatar then ran down and picked up the box and retreated to it's own side, Sepsitorising an unfortunate Zero along the way.

I had my doctor use my three remaining orders to knock the Zero unconscious and run into base to base with it to score my classified.

This was a brutal and rather demoralising game. I needed to deal with the Avatar and instead ended up with implausibly bad luck (3.64% followed by 6.32%) taking out a third of my army in my own turn. After that it was really just mop up.

The thing is with Infinity is that sometimes the dice just aren't on your side, and as you play more games, eventually you'll get that one that's statistically unlikely in isolation! The only way from here is up...

Monday 24 February 2020

A short update post EIC

This weekend I was away at the European Infinity Challenge, a satellite tournament held in Mallorca. It’s hosted in an all inclusive spa hotel which is super reasonably priced as it’s held in the off season.

It’s a five round tournament, with three games on the first day and two on the second. If you aren’t in the top half of the players after day 1, you don’t play that tournament on day 2, but can play in another small tournament with three games.

Like last year, I didn’t make the cut for the top half and played in the “low” tournament on day 2. I came away with two wins, two losses and two draws over the two days, and finished fifth out of twelve players in the low tournament. I’m really pleased with how I did and feel like I’m improving and putting on a stronger showing as I improve as a player.

More importantly, my games were amazing fun against a wide variety of players and lists. I made a bunch of new friends from across Europe and I hope to get to more events where I can play Infinity with them in future.

Saturday 22 February 2020

Saturday Smackdown

An irregular series, showcasing photos I took at February's St Albans Smackdown tournament.

Thursday 20 February 2020

Malifaux Slow Grow League Game 2

I headed down to Dark Sphere again for another game in the Malifaux Slow Grow League. This time, the Soul Stone limit was set to 40, and from the two options available, we drew the strategy "Reckoning", where you score points for killing enemy models, and the schemes "Power Ritual", "Take Prisoner" and "Claim Jump". Power Ritual requires you to put markers down in the corners, Claim Jump requires you to have models near the centre, and Take Prisoner requires you to have models standing near enemy models.

My opponent was running Perdita, a Guild crew with lots of shooting. I'm still running the Viktorias, who run at things and stab them. Broadly, most of this game would come down to whether or not the Viktorias' charge landed - if they were shot down before I got there I'd probably lose, if they were both alive when I hit the Guild's big hitters, I'd probably win.

I did not trust my activation control in any way to score Take Prisoner, so I selected the other two. With a corner deployment, I sent one Desperate Mercenary off to one corner, and a Desperate Mercenary to the other, this time accompanied by Bishop to beat up anyone who got in their way.

In the middle, I got the Student of Conflict set up with a scheme marker behind Taelor. The Student has an ability that allows her to remove a nearby scheme marker to grant another model fast.

Perdita came forward and shot Big Jake off the table. He was standing in that gap where there isn't a model any more . . .

I had two choices with the Viktorias. I could either slingshot one of them up the table, get into combat with Perdita and get maybe one hit off, or I could go a little slower, focus, and try and weather the shooting. I realised after the game that I missed an opportunity to put "Shielded" conditions on the Viks as they moved, which would also have probably helped.

Perdita sensibly focused her fire on one of the Viks and shot her down. Life definitely just got harder.

The other Viktoria shot into Perdita and caused some damage, but the Proxy snuck in behind her - if he's killed, the model doing it takes a huge amount of damage, and it did risk killing Vik if she landed the blow.

Bishop handily took out the model that the Guild were sending to score the corner.

Taelor took the job of smushing the Proxy, then headed in further to try and take out Perdita, who wisely legged it.

I tried to push into the centre, but the surviving Guild were tougher and shootier.

I did at least get some a marker down in a corner, but it wasn't really enough.

In the end, I got gunned down and lost thoroughly. I was 5-2 down overall. All in all, it was a fun learning game and I felt like I was starting to get a bit of a handle on what some of the crew can do. I definitely want to get more games of Malifaux in!

Monday 17 February 2020

Hobby Progress: Prepping for EIC

With the European Infinity Challenge next weekend, I settled down this weekend to sort out all the models I'm taking. There were two real categories of work to be done on the models - making the base rims consistent over a few different commission painters, and tidying up paint chips so they look their best.

Off screen, I also fixed the magnets in my Antenociti's Workshop Order Organiser. (One day after it fell onto the "Shelf of Shame", so it's both been added and crossed off...)

With the base rims done, this was what was left that needed fixing. I also took the opportunity to glue my camouflage and smoke silhouettes together.

Currently, this is the stage the fixes are at. All the chips have been re-undercoated, then based black. What remains to be done is drybrushing Grey Seer and then Ceramite White, before I carefully blend the fluorescent blue and pink in to the surrounding areas. I've got ten models and three evenings to do it in, so its definitely achievable.

Also, last week, I managed to assemble a Malifaux Prospector in time for my last game of the Malifaux Slow Grow League.

I got two games in this week - my first HATE Infinity League against Combined Army, and the aforementioned last Malifaux Slow Grow League game. This was to "clear the decks" for this week so I could focus on the hobby prep for the EIC.

I also have a "token box" that I should really try and assemble, but we'll see if I manage to find the time or not. After EIC, life gets a teensy bit busy again. I'll have a weekend to recover before launching into two back to back weekends of LARPing. I do not think I will book myself into doing that again. It does not seem to be a smart move.

That said, I have a pretty busy blog schedule sketched out until the end of March. The aim is to get three posts a week up, which is going to take a bit of pre-writing and scheduling to get it all to land! The EIC is my last "Hobby deadline" of the year, and I am really looking forward to pausing, taking stock and then focusing on whichever project I fancy rather than committing in advance to a particular date for a particular project.

Saturday 15 February 2020

Saturday Smackdown

An irregular series, showcasing photos I took at February's St Albans Smackdown tournament.