Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Malifaux game, 11/27/12

This will be a short battle report, haha.

Rob and I played a game of Malifaux yesterday, over at DropZone games.  We chose to play a 21 Soulstone game, and I took my Lilith crew as well as a Cherub.  Rob has been real excited to play Hamelin, and even painted his army before putting them on the table (very nicely done, I might add!).  We flipped and got Shared Claim Jump as our Strategy, and I chose Breakthrough and Holdout for my schemes (this is our first time using schemes, I was going for simple ones).

So, we setup, and started to play.

Our first turn was pretty boring- we just moved everything towards the middle.  Rob had Hamelin sacrifice a rat to draw cards, and summon a Stolen.

Eager to come to grips with my opponent, I have my Mature Nephilim start the second turn by charging one of Rob's rats, killing it and a stolen.  Big mistake though.  The rat respawns, and in return, Hamelin makes my Mature Nephilim charge a Terror Tot, killing it, THEN proceeds to force the Nephilim to attack Lilith, although he missed.

At this point, I've killed a Stolen, and lost a Terror Tot.  Rob can keep bringing Stolen back, if need be, however, so it's not a big loss for him.  I decide to be aggressive, and have Lilith charge in, and manage to kill Nix (his doggie). 

In return, Rob's rats begin swarming Lilith.  And here's where it gets a little.. strange, I guess.  They take a point of damage to reposition themselves around her (they can't move then attack, because they are Slow), attack her, and on a hit, damage her, give her a Blight Token, and cause her Black Blood to trigger... killing all the rats, respawning them, and letting them attack her again during a later activation (they can't receive Slow a second time, after all).  By the end of the turn, they had easily killed Lilith (although it took them another respawn, I believe).

At this point, I looked at the board- I was outnumbered, I had no way to stop the rats from easily killing the Mature Nephilim next turn, and couldn't score enough VP from my schemes to win, so I conceded.

I'm... at a bit of a loss for what to do against Hamelin.  It doesn't feel like an even matchup, but I feel like I probably do have options to play against him to at least make the game... well, a game.  First, I need to stop being so aggressive.  Charging in like I did was extremely stupid.  Second, I need to take the advice I've been giving Rob every time he talks about the trying to beat Lilith with Rasputina- I probably need to spread out a lot more.  Hamelin needs all of his things within 6" of him.  If I spread out, I may be able to make it difficult.

Also, I need to add some versatility to my crew.  I need some ranged threat, and I'm guessing for now, that's going to be Tuco.  If I can get some damage on Hamelin with shooting, I might be able to make it a closer game, as well.

So, there's certainly options, but yeah, it felt ridiculous playing the game, once the rats started doing their thing.  Of course, I'm not alone in the concerns about the matchup. And there are a lot of threads about Hamelin himself, so one hopes that maybe a small tweak will be made (well, at least I hope so :) ).  But still, I'll give it another try, and try a bit more cautious approach before I get too worried about it.  Maybe hope for a different Strategy (something where the objectives are spread out?).

After this game, it should be noted, Rob and I taught BK how to play, and he took my Lilith crew against Rob's Rasputina crew, and pulled off a win.  BK seemed to enjoy the game, and hopefully will have his upcoming crew (Jakob Lynch) ready to go soon!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hobby progress for week ending 11/24/2012

This week, I really focused on painting.

My Slayer has two layers of green paint on it.

Overall, not a lot on the hobby front (darn holidays screw me up), but it's certainly nice to have done SOME painting!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Malifaux battle report, 11/20/2012

So, Minute purchased a Malifaux army, and wanted to learn the rules, so this past Tuesday, we played a small intro game at DropZone games.  I again used my Lilith starter box, and he used the Som'er Teeth Jones crew box.

After briefly going over the rules, we set up for a game.  Flipping for our Strategies, I ended up having Claim Jump (end more models near a certain point than Minute), while Minute had Treasure Hunt (grab an objective in the middle of the board, and walk it back).  We had diagonal deployment zones.

On the first turn, we both basically advanced the fullest towards the middle of the table.  I also had Lilith cast Illusory Forest in the middle of the table, near the Treasure counter.  I figured that the easiest way for me to win was to deal a ton of damage to him in the middle, then swing over on turns 5 and 6 to surround the Claim Jump marker.

In that photo, the black mini in the middle was Minute's Treasure marker, and the mini on the left was my Claim Jump marker.  My Illusory Forest in the middle of the template.

To start the second turn, I send a Terror Tot with Defensive Stance forward, hoping to get into a good position without taking too much shooting damage.  Minute sends a Bayou Gremlin over to my left, and I happily send my Mature Nephilim into him, easily killing him.  Minute responds by having his Gremlins open fire- at the beginning, hitting his own guys more than the Mature Nephilim, but a Bayou Gremlin using Y'all Watch This and getting his Dumb Luck tripper puts enough damage into the Mature Nephilim that the random small shots end up bringing me down.    On top of that, Minute summons another Gremlin.  He finishes his turn by sending his Warpig forward, hoping for some scary Stampeding.

This is a picture of the middle of the board.  Warpig in combat with me, surrounded by the remainder of my crew.

And this is a picture of the left side of the board.  You'll notice- no Mature Nephilim.  Not good.

Turn 3 starts with Minute getting initiative, and Stampeding.  However, great cards in my hand combined with the Terror Tot's 6 defense mean that the Warpig ends up causing no damage, and in return, I have Lilith charge over and kill it, giving me a Blood Counter.  I spend the rest of the turn failing to Grow my Terror Tots into Young Nephilim, and Minute repositions near the wall near him, preparing to put some fire on my crew.

On Turn 4, I look at my hand- Two 13s, a 12, two 11s, and a Red Joker.  I shake my head, show Minute, and he concedes.  Most likely, I'm going to get my crew into him, and he has already expressed concerns for how to deal with Lilith here (8 defense is pretty rough for him).  Combined with his fairly mediocre hand (and Som'er reducing his hand size by one card), it probably wasn't going to be much of a game.

Once again, I really enjoyed playing this.  I find myself really enjoying the card mechanic (it really helps when I'm fairly consistently drawing good cards, and the activation system creates a lot of fun choices.

Malifaux is going to be a great time, especially when I add a few more models (ie, when me and my opponents all get up to maybe 25 soulstones or so, just so I can think some about army composition).  I do enjoy the miniatures overall, so there's certainly some extra incentive to get into painting so I can get working on them as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Painting frustration

I've been trying to paint recently.  This is surprising, given the low amount of models I've painted in my years and years of owning miniatures, but still- I'm really trying.

Monday, I take out a Slayer, prime it, and start painting it using a paint I have laying around, Citadel's Orkhide Shade Foundation paint.  I get the first layer on, but realize I'm running low on paint.

"No problem", I think to myself.  I'm at the game store tomorrow night (Tuesday), I'll grab another pot of it, and I'll put the second layer on.

I go to the store, only to discover that GW has changed their paint line (yes, yes, I realize this isn't recent, but I haven't exactly been painting, have I?).  Sure, using a conversion chart I found online, I can find what's an exact match, but it's still a very annoying way to go about things. 

This, plus remembering how annoyed I was about discontinuing Chestnut ink, from the last time I tried my hand at painting, meant I wanted to try something new.

In frustration, I picked up the Vallejo matching color.  It's cheaper, I'll get more use out of it, and I don't know that they've ever discontinued a paint color... but I struggle to use Vallejo paints well.  I'm supposed to mix them 1:1 with water to get a good ratio for layering... but I find that after it's mixed, it tends to slowly separate in the palette well, and I end up constantly using paint that is too thin to actually cover the model, meaning I have to remix the well. 

I feel like painting should be easier than this.  Maybe I need to switch to P3 paints, or something, are maybe I'm just really bad at this whole painting thing, but c'mon, what should I beginner painter do to find a set of paints that are both easy to use, and aren't likely to change names every year?

For now, I'm going to push through with the Vallejo paints.  I'm sure that once I get the hang of them, I'll really find them quite rewarding.  In the meantime, does anyone have any random suggestions for how to use them well?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hobby progress for week ending 11/17/2012

This week I:

- Assembled a Neverborn Cherub for my Lilith Crew.

- Attached the second wing to Terminus, leaving me only with his sword and a few spikes to assemble before he's completed.

- Assembled a Cryx Stalker.

- Continued work on Wraith Engine conversion, cleaning two more of the resin pieces.  I still have a lot of work to do, but might begin assembly of part of it this upcoming week.

- Re-primed my Slayer, with the goal to start putting paint on it, and determine my Cryx color scheme.  Something green based, most likely.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

First Games of Firestorm Armada!

Rob and I tried a game of Firestorm Armada yesterday, and despite several hiccups, had a good time doing it.

We started by getting our fleets ready- I was running a Directorate fleet, which was the Starter box and the Overseer carrier (640 points), Rob was running the Terran Alliance plus the carrier (665 points, I think?).

We set up, drew our hands (of various random events and things we could do to subtly influence the battle), and started playing.  Our random victory conditions involved me killing all of his medium-sized models (his cruisers and carrier), and him having to kill 70% of my fleet.

Turn 1:

First turn, we moved forward, and took long range shots at one another.  I led with my Enforcer frigates, and Rob obliged by having his Sentinel cruisers move up, and take a bunch of shots, killing two of them, and damaging the last one.

My other squad of Enforcers was hammered by his Battleship as well.  In return, my Judgement class battleship and Overseer carrier managed to kill two of his frigates... and then I got to be appalled that his last squadron of frigates damaged one of my Vanquisher class cruisers.

So, Turn 1 tally: I had 2 dead frigates and 3 damaged ones, and a slightly damaged cruiser, to Rob's two dead frigates.

Turn 2:

Rob and I roll for initiative, and I play a card giving me an extra 3 to my initiative roll.  Even so, I lose, and Rob activates his carrier first, which shoots and kills one of my damaged Enforcers.

I decide that, with their limited life span, I need to be bold with my remaining Enforcers, and sent them into the middle of the board, firing wildly, and resulting in damaging his cruiser as well as two frigates.

We traded shots back and forth, generally to little effect (my Vanquishers all linked fire at one of his Sentinels, and failed to do a point of damage, sigh), but my Judgement-class battleship DID manage to get a critical hit on his battleship, dropping his shields (which he failed to repair for the remainder of the game) and dealing two damage, although I then took a point in return from his shooting.  The battleship also accounted for a few frigates.

Also, we tried using Wings this game, and my carrier launches a flight of 3 bombers (Rob's had done the same earlier in the turn).

Finally, his carrier fired into my damaged Vanquisher, getting a critical hit, and causing a raging fire, which I immediately repair.

Turn 3:

I start turn 3 by playing a card to repair my Vanquisher, bringing it down to having a single damage point on it.  His battleship lays into mine, causing a critical hit (Decompression, which gets repaired at the end of the turn).

I line my squadron of Vanquisher cruisers up to get a full linked broadside into his cruisers, and get a total of 17 hits, causing a double critical, killing his cruiser.  My other shooting for the turn ends up dropping 3 points of damage on his carrier.

Our bombers get into action... and do nothing.  It turns out, reading the FAQ/errata, that we had been using them a little wrong (no PD against the torpedo shots themselves), but if anything, it may end up weakening them.  We'll see.

Aaaaand that was all that we accomplished this turn.

Turn 4:

I was running a little short on time, so we had to call the game mid-turn, although we did throw a few random shots early on, just for fun.  Rob's battleship dropped another point onto my battleship, and I shot to no noticeable effect.


So, we didn't finish the game, and since we were just trying to get the rules down, we didn't really figure out the results.  But regardless, we did have a good time.

I played a lot of Battlefleet Gothic in college, so I can't help but compare it to that in some ways.  Ships in this game shoot a LOT.  I mean, we were regularly throwing 10+ dice at a time, and then re-rolling a few of them every time we saw sixes.  As a man who loves to roll dice, I can't help but love this.  With that said, ships didn't really die all that fast.  Rob fired shots at my carrier and battleship every turn, and managed to get a total of 5 damage between the two of them.

Also, the Firestorm Armada rulebook is TERRIBLE.  I don't know who they had write this thing, but it really feels like they just half-assed it.  The rules may be among the worst organized (and there's no index!) that I've ever seen.  And this is their second edition rulebook?  Are you kidding me?

Torpedoes strike me as a little peculiar- they don't enter the map, and can travel whatever distance instantly.  In a sense, it's nice (fewer things to keep track of, and the torpedoes get to the target without issue).  But I do miss the tactical implications of throwing a spread of VERY scary torpedoes down, and watching my opponent have to maneuver to get around them.

The rules for boarding assaults are a little hard to understand (FAQ/Errata fixes this some), so we didn't use them yet, so I can't compare.  I don't remember caring for the BFG boarding rules at all, so I can't see how they wouldn't be an improvement.

Wings are very strange, but don't seem very strong.  Of course, we played with them wrong, so it's hard to say (I imagine 6 bombers would be a terrifying thing).  The equivalent in BFG wasn't much stronger, so it's comparable.

We didn't play with terrain.  We will next time.  As I understand it, you use a lot more terrain in Firestorm Armada than you do in Battlefleet Gothic.

The cards for Firestorm Armada don't do a whole lot for me, truthfully.  Rob says they add a cinematic feel, and add some epic-ness.  I mostly played cards to repair ships (which, combined with ships not taking too much damage means ships stick around), and once or twice we dropped cards to enhance our attack rolls.  Mostly, I kept cards around to cancel cards Rob played, if I could.  I can take them or leave them, however.

The game is in some ways a lot simpler- in a good way.  In BFG, you had to deal with a whole order structure to be able to reload torpedoes, change the way your ships move or shoot, any of that.  It worked, but it slowed the game down at times.  You also spent time looking up firepower in tables, which took time (for most batteries).  In Firestorm Armada, you move up, you shoot, then you move on.  Space games should be more fun, I feel.  Adding too much work to a game makes it less enjoyable, and Firestorm Armada did a good job here.

We'll get this game back on the table soon, hopefully getting more of the rules correct.  When we do, I can see this being very enjoyable.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hobby progress for week ending 11/10/2012

Not a whole lot done this week, due to a last minute dog - sitting arrangement, but did start filing some more Malifaux minis. Hopefully, will get them done in time to use them on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First Games of Malifaux!

Well, Rob and I finally got the Malifuax minis out, and threw down for some games last night, over at DropZone Games in Glen Burnie.

I was running my Lilith crew, which was the only one I had assembled.  She basically consists of herself, 3 Terror Tot Nephilim, and a Mature Nephilim starting on the table.  Lilith's crew seems to be pretty straight forward.  Advance, get into combat (where I'm harder to shoot AND Black Blood lets me gradually wear down my enemies), kill things, move on.  Lilith, particularly, is pretty nasty in combat, with her 3/4/6 DMG line on her sword, and a (+) flip using it.

Game 1:

For the first game, Rob tried out Rasputina's crew box against me.  Rasputina runs with a bunch of Ice-based Constructs that cause all sorts of annoying things to happen.  For instance, when one of my models kill one of his ice dudes, my model's activation ends.  It makes it tough to use certain abilities.  Also, Rasputina has this annoying ability to freeze terrain pieces, which locks people in place.  Ugh.

Anyway, we flipped for our strategies (our scenario).  I ended up flipping the one for recovering a treasure in the middle of the table, Rob flipped the one for destroying evidence.  For him to get VPs, he had to get to my side of the board, and interact with objectives.  For me to get VP, I had to get a token in the middle of the board, and have it on a model when the game ended.  As this was our first game, we skipped out on Schemes.

 Then we went at it.  Right away we both basically moved our guys to the middle as quickly as possible.

Rasputina started the second turn freezing that large terrain piece in the center, locking Lilith in place for the turn (d'oh), but I got some major revenge later in the turn when after moving an Ice Gamin up, I proceeded to kill it with my Mature Nephilim.

Next turn, I win initiative, and eagerly move Lilith off the terrain piece and into combat with the Ice Golem, dealing about 4 damage to it.  I then use my Brood Mother action to immediately activate the Mature Nephilim, charging him in and dropping another 3 damage on the Golem (normally, we each activate a model at a time, alternating players, but some abilities give you the ability to activate more than one thing at a time).  Rasputina decides to exact some vengeance, and starts dropping spells into the combat, eventually killing the Ice Golem semi-accidentally (Rob certainly wasn't unhappy doing this, as a dying Ice Golem deals damage to models close to him).  With the Ice Golem dead, she threw another spell at Lilith, dealing a total of 5 damage to her on the turn.

Next turn, Lilith and the Mature Nephilim kill Rasputina, and the following turn, I grab the treasure counter on the middle of the board edge, leaving me the winner of the game 2VP to 0VP.

Game 2:

Rob decided to try his other assembled crew, Sonna Criid,  for the second game.  Rob's strategy ended up being something about controlling board quarters (really difficult to do when you only have 5 models), and mine involved being close to a counter at game end.

We set up, and again, went at it, running things in at one another on the first turn.

That's right, we basically lined up on opposite sides of the street.  We're super tactical players.

I started turn 2 by getting things into action, my Nephilim taking down two Witchling Stalkers, letting me grow 2 Terror Tots into Young Nephilim (making them stronger).  However, I actually took a beating as well, as Sonna Criid unloaded into me, killing the Mature Nephilim and a Terror Tot.

On Turn 3, the Young Nephilim takes down Sammael, and Rob deals a decent amount of damage to everything I have on the board.  Lilith charges into Sonna, but fails to kill her.  At the beginning of the next turn, Rob kills Lilith, but leaves Sonnia too close to a badly wounded Witchling Stalker, allowing me to kill her by killing the Witchling (who explodes when he dies).  Having removed all of Rob's models, nothing stops me from getting the 4 VP from having models close to the counter you see in the pictures.

So yeah, two games in, and I personally had a blast.  There's a lot of interesting interactions in this game, but it's going to take a LOT of practice to get the hang of things here.  We'll need another model or two apiece, just to give our crews some versatility, but we'll get there, I have no doubt.  I love the use of cards instead of dice, and I love how hand management influences the games in so many ways.  Definitely looking forward to playing this again!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hobby progress for week ending 11/3/2012

Not a whole lot this week, unfortunately, since I was given a dog to take care of by a coworker, kind of last minute.

I did get a least one thing done though- I started work on my Wraith Engine!  More specifically, I started work on a great Wraith Engine conversion, that hopefully will turn out pretty well.  Once I get some more progress done, I'll put up more details.