Sunday, 30 November 2014

Year in Review / Plans for 2015

So as 2014 draws to a close its time to reflect on the year and thoughts for the future.

At the start of 2014 it was all about 40k. I attended Caledonia Uprising and through no fault of the organiser it wasn't the greatest of weekends. My army faced a series of opponents it just couldn't handle and 3 of the 5 games played were very one sided, the type of game I just don't enjoy. That said I had a blast at the Caledonia Open on the Friday night messing around with 1000pts of Tyranids with Dave Williams as a double act. We still lost most of the games but had a laugh doing it.

Yorkshire Open was next and with Forge World, Escalation and Stronghold Assault allowed it further eroded my enjoyment of 40K. I've said it before but if you want to play Apocalypse, play Apocalypse! Titans (and I'm counting Knights in that) and AV15 buildings have NO place in 40K.

However after that was Adepticon XII, and although I didn't do as well as the previous year in the Championship, I did enjoy the games and my opponents. What really made Adepticon for me was the team tournament. Teaming with Brian, Lee and Dano has to be one of my all time 40K highlights. I had a blast, the games were fun (even some of the one sided ones) but it was the team banter that really made the event. Team Supertrooper was a blast to be part of and I'd happily team with them again, even it meant going back to 40K (more on that later). However I think next time Brian won't be so keen to volunteer to paint over 200 marines, mind you it looked stunning as an army and with a few vehicles to round it off I imagine will be a great sight in Brian's game back in Canada.

Coming back from Adepticon and it was the release of 7th edition of 40K. They didn't fix any of the broken stuff, introduced the bullsh!t which is Eldar summoning Daemons, forced apocalypse units onto people and basically finished off the rot of 40K they'd started with 6th edition. Basically GW ruined a game I've loved for over 20 years, sad times.

I very briefly toyed with 30K (and I've still got 20 Iron Warriors to build) but since it's core is still 40K's rule set I wasn't held.

However it's replacement wasn't far behind it. After a demo at the Garrison by our local Henchman (Chris) I fell in love with Malifaux.

I picked the Ten Thunders as a faction since I love the visuals of ninjas and samurai in model range. I started off taking part in a few fixed master leagues both a Garrison and then Guppies. For the first I used Misaki, for the later Mei Feng. This gave me a good grounding in the rules and my masters but I think Mei Feng won the battle as she has become my go to master.

So armed with my new skillz I entered some tournaments. First off was Not a Bad Thing. An awesome tournament and well organised. I enjoyed the games but its fair to say I was terrible! I finished 26th out of 27 players. Not the greatest start to my Malifaux experience, but the fact I still had fun at the games was a good sign. I struggled to finish game in the allowed time and didn't really seen the tricks to the Thunder.

There were a few more tournaments, Malifaux Station @ Santuary Games and Halifaux. I slowly got better, starting to win games as well as finish them within time, but my faith in them was tested and I did get fairly negative. It was all building towards the largest Malifaux tournament in the world ... the GT!!

So in November I attend the Malifaux UK GT 2014. The highlight of the Malifaux season and another highlight of the year for me. Taking place in my home town made travel and accommodation simple. It was 66 players of awesome win, well run and a joy to take part in. I had six really enjoyable games and somehow managed to scoop top Ten Thunders player in the awards ceremony too. It was an awesome end to the tournament year which had seen me loose faith in one system only to find another one.

So what had 2014 taught me? Well for one team or doubles games are awesome with the right mates. I had a blast at both Caledonia Open and Adepticon Team tournaments and definately need to get more team action in.

2015 has some great times install for me. Mike (the GT organiser) is putting together a team leagues across the country and Yorkfaux have stepped up. Myself, Bennett, Graham, Martin, Sam and Nathan (oh and the team Mascot Chris ;) ) We've already got team t-shirt (another fun part of the Adepticon team tournament too) and the inter team banter has already started.

I'm definitely going to the GT in November as well as travelling to Adepticon again, this time for Malifaux rather than 40K, but also to catch up with friends made from previous years, and hopefully make some new ones.

I'll probably do another post later in the month with more aims for 2015, but for the time being I'll end this one.

2014 - Had highs and lows, lost one system but found a new one.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The UK 2014 Malifaux GT

Been a month since my last post but I've been busy building and painting for the 2014 UK Malifaux GT. I'd actually signed up for this after only playing Malifaux for a month, but it was being held at my home club of York Garrison so it seemed rude not too.
In the end there were 66 players at the event, which I'm led to believe made it the largest Malifaux tournament in the world.
The event was run awesomely, there was a HUGE pile of prize support and in my favourite move most of it was being given away as spot prizes or in a raffle giving everyone an opportunity to win something. That's not to say there weren't prizes for the winners, there were trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd as well as best in factions, two best painted and a best costume award too. Once again I epically failed with the camera, totally forgetting to take pictures in half my games.

Before going to this tournament I'd set myself some goals for the weekend. I knew I was never going to win the thing, I'm just not that good, but I wanted something to aim for and set a bar for what could be accomplished. So I set myself three simple goals.
  • Get two win (out of six matches)
  • Complete a game within the allotted time without being tabled
  • Finish the weekend with a diff of -10 or better. 
To give some context to these, in my first three tournaments I've only two games, so two wins in one weekend isn't straight forward, especially as everyone would be bringing their A game to the biggest Malifaux tournament ever!
So with the overview complete its time to move onto the games.

Game 1 vs. Adam Wheeler (Tara) - Turf War / Standard

Never played against Tara, so an up hill struggle for my first game. I knew she has tricks involving buried models and was worried about a Killjoy bomb given my previous experience with him, luckily for me Adam declared her as Resurrectionist and didn't take Killjoy. I took a fairly standard Mei Feng crew with The Damiyo, Chaki, Rail Workers and Tengu. Mei Feng was a beast! but it was a Rail Worker who opened the door. Catching Tara with two severe damages after triggering it's (0) action knocked her down hard and allowed Mei to Rail Walk in and finish the job. She went on to drop the Construct, Hanged and a Crooligan and pretty much tear the heart of the crew. The trapper on the roof of very tall building did cause some issues, before a summoned Komainu teleported into base contact and gave Mei a route to railwalk into an attack. The game ended 10 - 3 to me and it started the weekend off on a high.

Game 2 vs. Greg Piskosz (Pandora) - Stake a Claim / Corner

Neverborn, I've never won a single game against Neverborn and from comments Greg is very good with them. After much back and forth debate I ended up taking Yann Lo. What cost me in this was the Strategy, Greg just ran away with it. I managed to slow him down a little when Chiaki turned a Silurid insignificant before it had the opportunity to drop a stake marker, and deny him a point on turn two, but by the end of turn three he had four claim markers to my one. The crew I'd chosen was too slow, so I just focused on the schemes. Yann Lo did manage to make them suffer with ease. Each turn melting the face off a minion with spirit barrage. I might have gotten away with it picking up three points for Make them Suffer and a further two more for Breakthrough, but unfortunately Greg was running Vendetta against Chiaki and on turn five caught her with his effigy to score two points (pandora had to finish her off). In the end it was 5 - 8 to Greg. A score which a few people told me wasn't to be sniffed at against a good opponent.

Game 3 vs.  Connor Barker (Somner) - Recon / Flank
Time to play another of the Malifools cast. Recon versus the Gremlin summoning engine and pigapult to throw them all over the board, this was an uphill struggle. There were a few tricked I'd come up with after facing similar and one was a Katanaka Sniper to take out the slop hauler. Sadly Connor foiled this somewhat by bringing two in his crew. Still with the first activation the sniper drew a bead and shot one stone cold dead. However Gracie using saddle and re-activate managed to deliver Francois LaCroix right into melee with the Sniper, however in a rather odd moment he red jokered the damage doing twelve points of damage to the sniper, who took five down to his hard to kill and watched as Francois took six himself. In the second turn the Sniper managed to finish off Francois in melee before being shot in the back by a Bayou Gremlin. Mei Feng swooped into to kill off Gracie for Murder Protege over two turns (after having spent the first turn failing to rail walk for all three APs). The major turning point was when Mei charged into the summoning engine in a round of combat using scolding breath managed to kill the three Bayou Gremlins, slop hauler and the Pigapult, effectively shutting down the engine. However a lot of the damage had already been done as Connor had scored most of the Recon points and denied me a few times. He'd also scored his Breakthrough and Plant Explosives despite a sterling effort from the two Tengu who were cleansing the earth of scheme markers all over the board. In the end I scrapped a draw from the game finishing 8 - 8 in an enjoyable game, and I was really glad to have faced Connor on day one and not day two when he was painted green and wearing a black tank top *shudder*

Game 4 vs Matt Ledgerwood (Nicodem) - Reckoning / Standard
I'd never played Nicodem before but understood him to be a nasty summoner. However generally in reckoning you don't want to be summoning that much as it creates models to kill. Matt took an elite crew with Izamu, Rogue Necromancy, Valedictorian, Belle and a Shikome. Nicodem basically seem to give everyone a [+] to everything from attacks, defence casting, damage. It quickly became clear my Yann Lo crew simply couldn't affect them at all. All attempts to attack the crew were fruitless and I have to admit I became a little disheartened. However there were some moments. Matt's crew actually killed 4 models in a single turn, gutting my crew but effectively meaning he didn't score reckoning in any other turn. When the Valedictorian made an assassination run on Yann Lo he simply misdirected the attack onto the nearby Tengu who was my frame for murder target netting me three vps. Yann Lo then spent the rest of the game running from combat summon back ancestors to throw in the way of his attackers. We'd both taken Bodyguard so, for me Kang also went on the defencive, which included Yann Lo making him a sprit to give him Armour +2. He was reduced to below half wounds stealing a vp, but survived the game. Remarkably the final score was 5 - 4 to me. I really thought I'd lost this one and does show I need to get better at not being so pessimistic and fighting all games to the last activation.

Still it meant I finished Day 1 on two wins, a draw and a loss. So I'd already completed two of my goals and with a differential of +5 I was in a strong position for the other one.

Game 5 vs. Nate Zettle (Collette) -Squatters Rights / Standard
Day two and my original opponent may have partied a little too hard the night before and as such was late arriving for the event, as such there was a little last minute re-arranging and I was facing Nate. Side note- Nate ran Not a Bad Thing, the first Malifaux tournament I'd been to and until the GT it was the best of the tournaments too, its still sitting pretty at #2 for me against the GT (and lets face it any tournament is going to struggle to beat this monster). Nate was using Collette, another master I'd never seen, but the star in his crew were two Coryphee who quickly combined together. I simply couldn't handle them. Plus my deck REALLY hated me in this game, flipping terribly when ever I attacked, Mei Feng burning her recalled training failed to hit with any other her three attacks in one turn. Nate had quickly tied up six vps when Cassandra movement shenanigan'ed into my back corner and dropped two scheme markers for Bodyguard and Breakthrough. However an amazing turn from a Tengu being made fast by Damiyo, teleporting to a Scheme marker and then flying 15" to land between them and remove with cleanse away the markers did catch Nate out a little, but Cassandra managed to drop two more. In the end it was a draw which I was fairly happy with 8 - 8. I was just hoping my deck played nice on my final game.

Game 6 vs. Ben Halford (Molly) - Turf War / Flank
Finaly round and I was facing Molly, I've played against her seriously once (Sorry Bennett the early game against you doesn't really count as neither of us knew what we were doing), so I know her summoning of Punk Zombie is a royal pain. I was however facing ressers in turf war, time to break out Kang, two archers and blot the sky and see how it faired. It faired ok, it wasn't until turn four when Ben targetted the archers, prior to that they were causing some havoc with rapid fire and blot the sky. Ben easily delivered a message on Mei Feng as she leapt into combat only for a dead doxy to teleport to her. But a fast Ashigaru managed to deliver mine back, only I'd not announced it. We both scored three vps for breakthrough too, but it was turf war which decided the game and the archers shut ben out, killing anything that ventured into the centre, so I scored three and he scored zero on it. In the end it was a close 7 - 6 win to me.

So I finished on three wins, two draws and a loss and some how manage to get this, best Ten Thunders player. I'm still in genuine shock as to how I pulled this off, but I think a lot of my fellow 10T players were on three win, three losses.

This was a great way to top off what was a really enjoyable weekend of gaming. Much congratulations to all involved in running an awesome event and I already want to book my ticket to next years.

In other Malifaux related news, I'm writing this the night before another tournament in Stockport, having just booked onto two Malifaux events at Adepticon 2015, so plenty more tournaments to go (there's a chance there's three before Adepticon too). Plus I've been playing with Jacob Lynch recently and enjoying this new Ten Thunders master.