27 February 2012

Kirai vs McMourning

After a quick visit to the Cavalier 2012 show in nearby Tonbridge, myself and Bull negotiated the 'Annual Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon' disruption of the traffic to get back to his place and get a game going. Needless to say I took the scenic route and sat in traffic for an hour!

It's been quite a while since Bull last played Malifaux – against my Perdita crew – and I am still learning the finepoints of Kirai, so this was not going to be a quick game. He took the same crew as he did back in September, I took a fairly standard and by now familiar lineup.

We flipped for Strategies, Bull got Destroy the Evidence and I got Contain Power. There was no realistic way that Kirai was going to kill McMourning making it unlikely to get 4VP for that, so I had to choose Schemes that were achievable. I chose Bodyguard and Breakthrough – Bull had to come to me to destroy the Evidence token so was unlikely to have anyone remain behind; he was also unlikely to be able to kill my master without a concerted effort given his lack of experience fighting Kirai. Bull chose Grudge (or could have been Kill Protegee) on Datsu-Ba and Stake a Claim.

Bull's crew consisted of McMourning, Zombie Chihuahua, 2x Canine Remains, 2x Rotten Belles, Nurse, Sebastian and a Convict Gunslinger.

I had Kirai, Lost Love, Datsu-Ba, 2x Insidious Madness, 3x Seishin, Canine Remains and Desperate Merc.

The First turn started as expected with McMourning and his dogs killing each other to create enough bits to summon a Rogue Necromancy. On my side of the board the dog and merc hit each other to set up Datsu-Ba's summoning tricks. Unfortunately the Merc decided he didn't want to die today and took three turns to go down.

The Gunslinger headed straight for the Evidence token in the middle of the board; an Onryo summoned by Dasu shot him and he was finished off by a lurking Shikome who then moved off to the side to intercept Sebastian and the two Belles. The Necromancy mugged the Onryo and the fighting had begun in earnest.

Next turn the Shikome battered Sebastian, including a couple of poison tokens, before taking quite a few hits back. However, luck was to be on my side with the cards today and I flipped sufficient cards to prevent death. She was swirled back to Kirai and healed before being sent back in to face the Necromancy. I also summoned Ikiryo to the centre to take down the three headed beast, but McMourning saw the danger and came steaming in.

This set the tone for the game and the ruined church became a killing ground and as fast as I could hurt McMourning the Nurse just healed him, and as fast as Bull killed my Spirits I summoned more. It was a war of attrition he was unlikely to win without cutting off the source, and after a couple more turns of mayhem and death the Necromancy dropped, followed by the Nurse – Datsu-Ba had been swirled into the mix and managed to use Harvest Sinners on the grouped enemy, including a trigger hit against McMourning, and this broke the back of Bull's resistance.

Having already killed 2 Shikome, Ikiryo twice and having lost the Nurse, McMourning was on a downward spiral. The Insidious Madness lurking above made sure all his defending WP flips were negative and he still faced 2 (new) Shikome despite the Belles coming to his defence. Eventually he dropped to the Red Joker I had been holding for a couple of turns (as I said the cards were on my side this time). There was not much left to do so we called it at the end of Turn 4. The final score was a misleading 6-0 to Kirai.

A very enjoyable game, which was a lot closer that it seemed. The fact that my models did not drop Corpse Counters made a big difference to proceedings – McMourning would have been summoning monsters as quickly as I was! Lots to think about in the aftermath and Bull eager for a rematch I'm sure.

24 February 2012

Malcontent on hiatus

Yes, I've made the decision to take a break from the bases for a couple of months.

The reaction to the bases – Bamboo series especially – has been great in the main. I've come under some criticism for not having a pressure casting arrangement (seriously…in my kitchen?!) as well as not expanding the range quickly. This has been tempered by some great feedback from people who bought the bases and have used them.

The plan was always to expand the range – and still is – but the project has got to the point where I'm spending what little hobby time I have making bases for other people and not actually spending time on my own hobby. That was never the deal. In addition, after long hours at work and juggling domestic duties, etc. I spend my evenings packing and posting orders. Basically it has become a second job at a time when I don't have the time.

I'd like to say a big thank to you folks for buying the bases and all the interest shown in the Malcontent project generally. The response since New Year has been phenomenal and the bases I had in stock sold out in 3 weeks.

I will be taking the next couple of months – or so – away from the base selling. I will be expanding the range a little and casting up some new stock, then around Salute 2012 time – at the end of April-ish – I will post some more sales up on Ebay. Ideally I need to find a third party to cast up the bases in bulk and take that responsibility away from me so that I can concentrate on designing new stuff, but that is more of a long term goal.

Over the coming weeks you should see more general hobby posts, painting, etc on the blog. I will post any new base designs I've done and keep everyone up to speed on progress so stay tuned.

22 February 2012

Kirai vs Rasputina

After a week's break from gaming – I had taken some time off work – it was game time again. Fugs threw a curve ball into the mix by fielding Rasputina instead of his current mistress Lilith.

I had had plenty of thinking time (and time to buy more stuff) and decided to try a mix of new and old.

Strategies were flipped: I got Slaughter and took Bodyguard and Kill Protegee as Schemes; Fugs also flipped Slaughter and took Bodyguard and the Raspy mirror specific Scheme.

My crew consisted of Kirai, Lost Love, Canine Remains, Deperate Merc, Datsu-Ba, 2x Insidious Madness, 2x Seishin and 1x The Drowned.

Fugs took Rasputina, Essence of Power, 2x Silent Ones, 1x Gamin …and Taelor.

The game itself was intense and quite a blur to me now. It ebbed and flowed and it was impossible to predict who would win. I started with my usual shenanigans – taking the Merc and Dog down to one wound so Datsu could create Gaki, although I was hoping for Onryo with the trigger. Alas my starting hand was devoid of any crows which would hamper my opening activations.

By the end of turn one I had two Shikome on the board hunting the Gamin. They tried to cast Guaranteed Fate on him with no luck and tucked back into cover to avoid any reprisals. In turn two Datsu managed to create a Gaki and an Onryo and Kirai summoned a second Onryo. By the end of the turn I had 12 models on the board to Fugs' 6. It was still very cagey though – I was nervous about Taelor and all the magic spells facing me, Fugs wary of the sheer numbers facing him.

I threw out a couple of bait models and Taelor went for it, killing an Insidious Madness and leaving the Gamin and a Silent One unsupported. I moved The Drowned into a clearing in melee range of Taelor and the other Silent One and cast Drag Under successfully, moving Taelor 3" nearer to my awaiting troops. The Drowned was then killed, dealing 2 Damage to these nearby enemies.

A series of mistakes undermined my strike at this point. I swirled Dasu into melee with Taelor, having already activated her (doh!). There was a tiny slither of a Seishin base visible from behind cover which exposed Kirai, Lost Love, a Gaki and 2 Seishin to a December's Curse blast. Kirai and the Gaki managed to survive but this threw a spanner in the works. On the plus side the Onryo in base with Taelor manage to land 5 wounds in one hit which was something of a silver lining.

The following turn saw Taelor engage with Datsu, the old dear managing to frustrate her opponent by  taking all three melee hits to die. I summoned Ikiryo who managed to NOT kill Taelor, the heavyweight Onryo finishing off the job he'd started earlier. Alongside all this Rasputina (and the EoP) was having a field day blasting the rest of my crew to pieces – even killing her own Silent One in order to polish off an Insidious Madness and Onryo out of LoS.

The game went to turn 6 and by the end I had wiped Rasputina and her crew off the board, but Fugs had killed over 50ss worth of my models!!… not bad for a 30ss game.

The final score was 6-4 to Raspy.

Post game thoughts were positive. I made some shocking mistakes – I blame the week's break – and I was far too cautious for the opening half of the game; when I was bold (especially with the Shikome) things started to die. Considering my Terrifying was negated by the opposing crew and I was facing all Magic attacks I was pleased with how things went overall. It was a good alternative to facing the Lilith melee crew, and even Fugs saw Raspy in a different light after being Sonnia's punchbag for such a long time.

09 February 2012

More Inspiring Terrain

I spotted this post on Rob Jedi's Miniatures Blog and just had to post it on in case you hadn't seen it. I have posted on great Wild West terrain before but this collection looks absolutely amazing.

As you can see from the photo they have used some Malifaux miniatures in there so it is perfectly sized. Rather than re-post all the pics here, go visit the original source…

Rob Jedi's Miniatures Blog

08 February 2012

Game 4: Kirai vs Lilith

So last night was the long awaited next chapter in the Kirai vs Lilith war. There had been plenty of time to read up and research. I had pretty much made my mind up what I would take, but there's always time for a last minute change.

I flipped Distract for my Strategy and took Hold Out and Breakthrough. Fugs flipped Slaughter and took Bodyguard and Stake a Claim. I knew I needed to move fast.

My starting lineup consisted of Kirai, Lost Love, 3x Seishin, 2x Insidious Madness, Canine Remains, Desperate Merc and The Hanged.

Fugs took a compact but devastating crew of Lilith, Cherub, Mature Nephilim, Taelor and Lelitu. Half way through Turn 1 he realised that Lelitu takes wounds at the end of every turn Lelu is not on the board so would likely be dead by the end of Turn 3. Seeing as she had not activated yet we agreed a swap for a Doppelganger.

Turn 1 involved a lot of shuffling around. Kirai summoned Shikome and Onryo, Lost Love summoning a second Onryo. The Merc and Canine Remains killed each other producing two new Seishin and two Gaki. At the end of the turn I had 12 models on the table to Fugs'  5.

I spent Turn 2 moving up the board and setting up an alpha strike against Taelor who was pretty isolated in the middle of the board. Fugs crew were pretty much heads down in cover not committing to anything.

Shikome had chosen the Cherub as its Prey to try and disrupt Fugs' thinking and force him to hide his totem rather than being the linchpin behind all the Transposition tricks. Whilst this tied up one of my better models the mind tricks worked and the Chreub ran back to his deployment zone and hid behind the Mature Nephilim.

Turn 3 I launched my strike as Fugs' crew were still noncommittal. The Doppelganger had copied Taelor's Hammer and the Mature's Diving Attack and swept into the nearby Shikome. I had managed to construct a very good hand of cards by this time and stalled the attack with no damage inflicted.

I had thrown a Gaki forward (to swirl spirits) but Taelor stepped in and walloped him leaving nothing but a puddle of goo. I sent a Seishin forward then swirled in an Insidious Madness. Ikiryo was then summoned into melee with Taelor. The Lost Love stepped up and cast Chill of Death, Taelor already being on a negative WP flip. She failed the resist and everything was going to plan. The Hanged stepped up and blew away half of her Wounds in one fell swoop with an unresisted Beyond the Grave.

However, I had forgotten three things: the Ikiryo was Slow as he had just been summoned; Taelor has Hard to Wound as well as Hard to Kill.

Ikiryo pulled all nearby spirits closer (except Kirai who had failed her Into The Spirit World). He wasn't able to do a Focused Strike so had to do two normal ones. First attack Fugs flipped the Red Joker in defence. I couldn't match without blowing the Red Joker in my own hand so I passed – mistake. The second attack came in and only managed Moderate Damage, leaving Taelor on 2 wounds. This would mean she wouldn't die this turn. A nearby Onryo charged and did more damage – would have killed her except for Hard to Kill. I had nothing else in range.

Turn 4 would be our final turn. Lilith ran the length of the board to tag a piece of terrain near my Deployment Zone but hadn't gone far enough to be in the zone herself. Taelor did a Hammerstrike to push all the models (except the Insidious Madness) away then killed the Madness then Ikiryo. Shikome intercepted the Cherub and killed it before being charged by the Mature Nephilim and dying to the attacks. Something (can't remember what) took the last wound off Taelor, turning her into a Gaki.

With nothing else in range my remaining activations involved getting as many models into Fugs Deployment Zone as I could. End of Turn 4, end of the game.

A final assessment showed a 6-6 draw. A much more interesting (and close) game and a lot more to think about.

Whilst Fugs had taken the crew from hell it didn't actually do much; he later admitted to being rather intimidated by the size of my crew that was moving up the table en mass. I was very pleased with how the first half of the game had gone but again the alpha strike had fizzled and left me vulnerable to reprisals. Had Fugs come at me with his big hitters from Turn 1 I am convinced he would have wiped me out within a couple of turns.

The Hanged had finally delivered his payload, but didn't do much else except threaten from distance. Similarly Shikome didn't actually do much except chase the Cherub around and keep a 2pt model out of the game. The Gaki and Onryo helped fill out the numbers and do the grunt thing. I was quite impressed the with the Insidious Madness – both of them – as they seemed to fulfil their role well. Struggling to decide on a Man of the Match this time as nobody stood out.

07 February 2012

Painting Beauty and the Beast

More painting progress was made on Kirai over the weekend.

Some more washes were added to her dress and green scarf. This will need to be tidied up slightly where it has overspilled at some point. I also worked up her skin tones – I wanted something quite pale but she started to look ill so I pulled it back. Unfortunately the  build up of paint layers on her face combined with her dark eyes makes her look rather like Amy Winehouse, but on the tabletop the effect is sufficient. I added basecoat colour to her hair to make her look a little more human for our game this week.

I also started work on Ikiryo, with the intention of painting her in a similar style to the master – Kirai gone bad if you will. Being that Ikiryo is a spirit I wanted to paint her up in slightly lighter tones than Kirai so that there was a visual difference on the tabletop.

The hope is that these two models can be finished over this coming weekend and I can then move on to the rest of the crew. The models chosen to be painted next will depend purely upon their performances on the battlefield – step up or stay white!

03 February 2012

Blogshare: White Rabbit's Legendary Blog

White Rabbit's Legendary Blog

Mike (aka WRabbit37) hails from the same part of the US and LFGS as Bill and Jay from the Gamers Lounge podcast and Dan from the Mongoose blog. As a regular on the aforementioned podcast he's quickly establishing himself as a key part of their celebrity in the online gaming community.

Aside from being an authority on Malifaux, in particular the Neverborn, his blog reveals that gaming is just a part of his DNA  – boardgames, videogames, roleplaying, you name it – and he enjoys it all. He's a competitive gamer, likes to win and is pretty successful at it. He has a rule not to go to tournaments as he gets too competitive, which is a fantastic level of self-control for someone so "pretty much awesome all the time". On the odd occasion that he has broken this rule he often goes on to win the tournament. To round all this off he's a really nice guy and actually comes across as very modest, enjoying a challenge.

I can count myself quite privileged to have my own blog on Mike's reading list and he has chipped in with comments and advice on several occasions, often adding a bit of experience and common sense to my ramblings.

His latest post talks about his approach when selecting crews at the beginning of a game of Malifaux. It breaks down his thought process and highlights some good points that I hadn't appreciated, adding a bit of logic and clear thinking to something that is often rushed and not thought through properly, in our games at least. It's little gems of insight and experience such as these that makes the blog a great resource as a fellow Malifaux player.

Despite a particular leaning towards Malifaux, Mike's blog incorporates a lot of non-related posts, making it a great read generally. It's always light reading, often commenting on his current tv or dvd viewing – even sports results. Whenever I see a new post on WRLB I'll always stop what I'm doing and have a read – I suggest you do the same.