Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The grand re-launch / Cheeky Swines tournament

So the great blog re-launch. Been a while since I posted on here and I thought I might try again. Brief catch-up, still playing Malifaux focusing more on Outcasts and Ten Thunders, but I’ve also played some Drop zone Commander and Drop Fleet Commander too. This blog will mostly focus on tournament write up rather than tactica style entries, but there may be the odd one of those. 

For my write ups I’m going to try less turn by turn re-hashing of what I did but try to focus more on what I took, why I took it, what worked and what didn’t.  That way, hopefully, people who play Faux might learn something new too.

 So for the grand relaunch I’ll focus on the tournament I played in last weekend, Cheeky Swine. Run by the ever cheerful Mcfauxish (seriously if you exclude Facebook rants about people driving without their lights on in fog, I think he’s always happy). Held in Sanctuary Gaming centre (which is inside an old church, looks epic but my god is it cold!!) This was a standard 50ss, three round tournament.  I’m getting some more practise in with Ten Thunders at the moment as I’ll be using them again at the first international team championships later this year (more on that in later blogs).
In typical Mid Table Obscurity blog fashion though I failed to take any photographs of the games. Something I must get better at.

Round 1 vs. Owen Pauling (Arcanists)
Extraction / Standard Deployment: Claim Jump, Dig Their Graves, Leave Your Mark, Undercover Entourage, Last Stand.

I’ve been on a bit of Lynch trip recently and unlike other factions I don’t think that any particular Ten Thunder master is significantly better at a strategy than another one, so I opted to play Lynch. I’ve been trying to come up with tactics for the various suited schemes as clearly they are going to crop up more. For Leave Your Mark I’ve found that the wave 3 Wandering River Monks are very strong. They’ve the speed to get into the heart of the enemy’s board half and drop a scheme marker in turn two, but are also fairly hard to pin down. Their butterfly leap meaning that attacking them at range can be tricky and they’re more than a match for a typical scheme runner. That said they’ll fold like paper to a mid-tier beater.  I used to be an advocate for the Endless Hunger upgrade for Huggy, but I’ve recently been trying out the Rising Sun one instead. 3AP Huggy was good but you had to be cautious not to expose him too easily, where as you can be more bold with burying Huggy, but I’ve found with only 2AP he sometimes doesn’t actually complete the job of killing. Arcanists can mean armour, so I added the Lone Swordsman into the crew for that too.  The shadow Emissary is good with Lynch for making Huggy fast. Then throw in some condition removal and healing. In the end my crew ended up being;   

Jakob Lynch – The Rising Sun, Woke Up With A Hand, The Peaceful Waters
Hungering Darkness – Recalled Training, Smoke Grenades
Shadow Emissary – Conflux of Hunger
The Lone Swordsman – Recalled Training
Shadow Effigy
Chiaki the Niece
Low River Monk
Wandering River Monk

Owen was playing Ironsides. He had a very enforcer heavy crew.  Without going into all the upgrades he took, because I can’t remember the various runes and ward that all the mages took he was running;  

3 x Oxfordian Mages
The Captain
Mechanical Rider

 A lot of casting attacks and a lot of counter spell on this crew, would make Huggy and Lynch’s job hard. I opted for Dig Their Graves, hoping the Shadow Effigy could chain activate before Lynch, Huggy or the Swordsman to drop a scheme marker ahead of them killing something, and Leave You Mark. The board had a lot of large buildings around the outside of the central square meaning the Wandering River Monk should have lots of cover to move down a flank into their deployment zone.  Owen also took Dig Their Graves and Last Stand, a pretty good choice given he had 6 models to count for the later one.    

From a game point of view it started badly. I lost both the Lone Swordsman and Low River Monk too easily to the furious casting mages. However this did have the advantage of tipping the model count in Owen’s favour which actually prevented him from scoring Last Stand on turn two.  Huggy did well despite the amount of casting attacks in Owen’s crew, and managed to recur once after Ironsides killed him. The Wandering River Monk was a star and single handily score Leave Your Mark as well as returning to the centre to drop two scheme markers turns 4 and 5 for Dig Their Graves. Poor positioning of an early scheme marker combine with Owen being careful never to go within 4” of it did hamper my early ability to Dig Their Graves until the Monk made a re-appearance from his trip into Owen’s board edge. However in the end I avoided Owen scoring more than 1vp on Last Stand by keeping my crew equal to or lower in model count than Owen’s and then eventually reduced him to below 3 enforcers.  In the end it was a narrow win for me. 

Round 2 vs. David Brown (Guild)
Head Hunter / Flank Deployment: Claim Jump, Accusation, Leave Your Mark, Undercover Entourage, Inspection.

When David declared Guild I was tempted by Mei Feng, since I really hate Sonia and Perdita, but I’m not feeling the love for her as much at the moment, but Huggy is a really bad match into Sonia as she gets +2 Ca due to his WP and then targets his Def 3 with a cast attack which negates his incorporeal. It typically ends in a dead Huggy in very short order. So I opted for for Shen Long. Half of Shen Long’s crew is self-picking, Sensei Yu is really strong with Shen and magnifies the pushes and shenanigans which he does with the Shadow Emissary and a Low River Monk for obscene card draw. I added Ohaguro for some killing power and a Wandering River Monk for scheme running. My final crew was;

Shen Long – Wandering River Style, The Peaceful Water
Sensei Yu – Promising Disciple
Shadow Emissary – Conflux of Dawn
Low River Monk
Wandering River Monk
Ohaguro Bettari – Recalled Training, A Taste For Flesh

 David actually declared Lady Justice and quite a nasty killing crew, An Executioner, Two Death Marshals and a Death Marshal Recruiter. His crew was;

Lady Justice
Death Marshal Recruiter
2 x Death Marshals
Witchling Stalker
2 x Guild Hounds
Brutal Effigy

I ended up selecting Undercover Entourage on Sensei Yu (with a walk of 7 and the potential for fast he can fly across the board late game to score from the relative safety of my side of the board) and Accusation, the plan being the Wandering River Monk could walk, leap then accuse. David had taken Leave Your Mark and Accusation.

David split his force on the two extremes of the flanks, Lady J and Executioner on one side, the Death Marshal trio on the other. I opted for a more central deployment. The first couple of turns was a feint down one flank to draw out Lady J and then the fast’s and pushing of Shen Long quickly redeployed away from her. We engaged the Death Marshals and through weight of attacks managed to kill all three before turn three, which gave me a lot of heads. I also perfected the trick of moving a peasant onto a head marker, so at the start of the following turn they picked it up after initiative. I also got the timing on making my models fast so that at the start of my turn two I had a fast ShenLong, Shadow Emissary and Ohaguro Bettari. Effectively moving three of my AP from turn one into turn two. Without realising it, by staying close to my deployment zone I’d prevented David from scoring his Leave Your Mark as his Watcher and Dogs were scared to enter the scoring zone. Turn four Sensei Yu sprinted from just outside my deployment zone into David’s for the full points. In the end it was a solid win for me.

Round 3 vs. Graham Allington (Arcanist)
Guard The Stash / Close Deployment: Claim Jump, Frame For Murder, Leave Your Mark, Hunting Party, Hidden Trap.

I’d dodge my fellow team mates in the previous round (there were two Yorkfaux vs Yorkfaux games in the round one winner bracket) but with three of us in the four people with two wins I ended up playing Graham. I switched back to Lynch for the game and took a similar crew to the first time but tried adding more darkened in the form of an illuminated. My final crew was;

Jakob Lynch – Woke Up With A Hand, The Rising Sun, Expert Cheater
Hungering Darkness – Recalled Training, Smoke Grenades
Shadow Emissary – Conflux of Hunger
The Lone Swordsman – Recalled Training
Chiaki The Niece
The Illuminated
Wandering River Monk

Graham took a fairly typical Ramos crew. The first 35 ish stones of the list is fairly fixed only alternating which model you take to generate the initial scrap.  Graham’s list was;

Howard Langston
Electrical Construct
Brass Arachnid

I pretty much know how the first turn goes against this crew. Joss turns the electrical construct into two scrap, Ramos summons two or three spiders, the Arachnid reactivates itself then typically Howard and Joss and finally once you’ve activated you crew Howard will delete a model of his choosing. My tactic was to try to choose who Howard deleted and then make sure I kill him. So the Wandering River Monk with Frame for Murder on it made a play to look like he was going for Leave Your Mark. I also took Hunting Party as all those spiders are good targets for that. Graham has also taken Frame For Murder of Howard as well as Hunting Party.

As I hoped Howard charged the Monk, but amazingly left him on 1 wound, so had to finish him off turn two before nimbling next to Huggy. Then Huggy failed to kill Howard but left him on one wound. The Emissary had to finish him off, which was lucky since it turned out to be Graham’s Frame For Murder, meaning we’d both scored 2vp. Graham also declared Hunting Party off the kill. This resulted in the Illuminated basically hiding the entire game to prevent Graham scoring the remaining two vps. However attrition wasn’t going well. Johan  killed the Swordsman before being killed by Lynch and Joss killed Chiaki. I lost control of one stash marker and only scored 2vp for the strategy. However I’d denied 3vp from Graham by only giving him two for Frame and hiding my remaining minion. In turn 5 I just needed to kill a single spider, with the Shadow Emissary for Hunting Party and I’d force the draw. Then the black joker happened. In the end I suffered a minor loss by 1vp. 

Overall I finished 4th, a little frustrated to have lost the last game due to the black joker (the draw would have seen me finish 2nd) but it was a good day with three enjoyable tactical games. There were some learnings from the day.
  • The Wandering River Monk is strong for scoring Leave Your Mark especially on a standard or close deployment. It easier to sneak down a flank in these deployment types to score. 
  • I really need to think more about what schemes my opponent is taking, Graham almost scored 3vp for Frame For Murder on me because I never considered Howard would be Frame For Murder and almost killed him with Huggy. 
  • I do want to try to get some more table time with Yasunori, past experience is I’ve over extended him too much and lost him early. 
  • Sensei Yu is strong for Undercover Entourage as long as you can keep him out of harms way for the first half of the game.
So that’s my first blog post for quite some time. Let see how long it is before my next.

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