Saturday, December 15, 2012

Malifaux battle report from 12/11/12, or 'How I manage to have things go badly, but still pull out a win'

This past Tuesday, Rob and I played two games of Malifaux over at DropZone.

Our first game was a 30 SS game.  I chose to run my Neverborn, and ran this list:

Lilith, Mother of Monsters -- 6 Pool
Malifaux Cherub [2ss]
Mature Nephilim [10ss]
Terror Tot Nephilim [3ss]
Terror Tot Nephilim [3ss]
Terror Tot Nephilim [3ss]
Tuco [7ss]

Tuco was a new addition for me- I finished his assembly last week, and was eager to get him on the table, and see how he played.

Rob chose to run an Arcanist crew:

Rasputina -- 5 Pool
Essence of Power [2ss]
Blessed of December [8ss]
Ice Gamin [4ss]
Ice Golem [9ss]
Silent One [6ss]

I had never seen some of these models (the Silent One or the Blessed of December, in particular), so I was excited to see how they'd play.

After flipping for Strategies and deployment, we ended having Shared Turf War (basically, get your models on the opposing side of the table) with a Diagonal deployment.

I chose Bodyguard (Lilith) and Breakthrough as my Schemes, and announced Breakthrough.  Rob announced that he has chosen Reflections of December.

Turn 1:

Here's my setup.

The ruined (greenish) building was being played as a Creepy Structure, so we could go up, spend actions, and get random effects.  We're trying to add more interesting terrain to the table, but in this game, we didn't use the Creepy Structure once.

Sorry about the blurry photo, but you can see that I had my Mature Nephilim off to my right, Tuco off to my left (due to the diagonal deployment, Tuco's strange deployment rules didn't end up accomplishing me anything), and everything else sort of centrally.

My game plan was simple.  Send everything up, get it into combat, and hopefully trounce Rob.  Tuco was there to be an annoyance, and hopefully draw at least some of Rob's attention.

Rob won the initiative first turn, and really, all we did was move all of our models forward.  Lilith spent two of her Soulstones to get a Blood Counter.

Turn 2:

I win initiative, and send a Terror Tot forward, towards the middle of the table, and have him grow into a Young Nephilim.

Rob sends an Ice Gamin towards the building.  I activate Tuco, and hope to start being annoying.  I use Veil Appearance to get pushed forward a little, walk up (using Nimble), and Run and Gun, letting me shoot (at a negative), but letting me move backwards 6"- hopefully out of range of Rob's army.  I try to shoot at his Silent One, which was the closest target, and after some cheating, manage to get a hit high enough to cause no modifier to damage.  With a card in my hand to guarantee Severe damage, I get excited about spreading some damage out... and then flip a Black Joker off the top of my deck.  No damage, no possibility of cheating the damage flip, and a very (VERY) disappointing development).

Rob, however, has no issue dealing damage, and sends Rasputina forward, to give her a view into the gap between the buildings.  She starts dropping spells, and when the dust (ice?) settles, she's managed to kill both of my Terror Tots, as well as my newly grown Young Nephilim.  As an aside- Rob misread his Scheme, and didn't use Ice Mirror to get the kills, which was a bit of a downside for him, but given the new board state, I figured he'd get over it.  His Essence of Power followed up on Rasputina by throwing some Ice Pillars in front of Rasputina to defend her.

Following up on Rob's very damaging activation, I have my Mature Nephilim charge his Blessed of December, and after both of us throwing a LOT of cards down for cheating, I manage to put four damage on it. 

The only other activation of note for this turn was that Lilith put an Illusory Forest into play, in between Rob's Ice Golem and his Blessed of December/my Mature Nephilim.  The Ice Golem isn't exactly fast, and although the Mature Nephilim can handle each of his two models individually, he certainly can't tackle both at once.

Turn 3:

I apologize for how blurry that picture is.  Lilith is over on the right, protected by the building.  That red ring on the top of the picture is my Illusory Forest.  Rasputina, the Silent One, and the Essence of Power are over on the left.

I win initiative, but Rob spends a Soulstone a wins the reflip.  Continuing with his steamrolling of me, he activates Rasputina and his Totem, sends them forward, and kills my Cherub (unfortunate because part of my plan to get back in this game was to Transposition Lilith into combat with Rasputina).   Casting some Ice Pillars and December's Touch on Rasputina let her sit pretty safely.

Tuco activates, and I do the same things as before.  Veil Appearance, walk up, Run and Gun at the Silent One, and Rob drops a 13 on the table to save her.

Rob responds by having his Blessed of December start tearing into the Mature Nephilim, and after triggering an additional attack plus the additional attack from Melee Expert, manages to put four damage onto it.

I have my Mature Nephilim kill the Blessed, and walk away, attempting to reposition him towards the middle, and try to salvage that part of the game.

Rob's Ice Gamin moves towards the rounded building, and I have Lilith go up and kill it (I can attack through walls, since I can draw LoS through them with Lilith's Master of Malifaux ability).

Rob starts moving his Ice Golem back deeper into his deployment zone, hoping to stop my Breakthrough Scheme. 

Finally, Rob's Silent One walks over, and starts dumping damage on Tuco, bringing him down to 2 remaining Wounds, I believe.

At this point, this are looking pretty bleak.  I'm down to three models (Mature, Nephilim, Tuco), and I've only killed one of Rob's.  I can't seem to get things placed correctly to seriously threaten his group of models, and most of my guys already are wounded.  With that said- it's certainly not over yet.  Lilith is not easy to kill, especially with a stack of Soulstones, and my Bodyguard Scheme means I will get some victory points.  If I can deny Rob from scoring too many, I can still pull this off.

Turn 4:

Rob wins initiative, and activates his Silent One.  The Silent One is already in range, and has no issue killing Tuco (even with his Hard to Kill).  Yay for spending the stones on a model that did no damage all game.  *sigh.

I move Lilith back behind the Creepy Structure.  I figure if Rob is going to make a play for my side of the board, I can have her pop out and try to wreck some havoc.

Rob responds by moving most of his models towards my Mature Nephilim, who was threatening his side of the board, and who I end up moving FURTHER into his side of the board, hoping to win the Turf War Strategy.

Turn 5:

I win Initiative. My Mature goes into Defensive Stance, and moves further into Rob's zone.  Of course, Defensive Stance is worthless against all of Rob's spells, but I did have some concerns about him having his Ice Golem taking shots at me.

Rob again moves most of his guys kind of centrally, somewhat towards the Mature, somewhat towards my side of the board, and attempts a long range spell, but is slightly out of range of the Mature.

I back Lilith further up, and cast Illusory Forest closer to me, blocking any Line of Sight onto me.

Turn 6:

I win Initiative, and realize that with Fast, I have enough activations and speed to get onto Rob's side of the board, and that there isn't much over there to threaten me.  First though, I decide to try to save the Mature Nephilim, in case the game goes longer, and have him back up, attempting to hide him behind a forest.

Rob starts moving his crew to my side of the board, but his guys are not very fast, and they do not get very far.

And Lilith books it, and gets pretty far.  I'm not sure it's enough... but if the game goes another turn, I'll definitely have plenty of distance (of course, Rob might as well...)

We flip to continue the game... and flip a 10, adding another turn!

Turn 7:

Rob wins Initiative.  Not a very exciting turn- I move Lilith into his zone, Rob attempts to move his crew into mine.  We flip to end the game, and this time it's a low number, ending it.


We start by checking out the Strategy.  Turf War gives a player two points if they have models completely within his opponent's side of the board.  We measure, and I easily do for 2 VP.  Rob however, wasn't able to get over quickly enough, and doesn't score here.  I also get an additional VP for having more models in the opposing deployment zone than my opponent (I had one to his zero).  However, Rob has more models on my half of the board than I do on his, and scores a VP.  So far, 3 VP for me, and 1 for him.

On to Schemes.  Rob failed to achieve his Scheme (although, only because he misread what he had to do.  He easily could've accomplished it on the turn he dropped all my Terror Tots), whereas with Lilith alive, I achieved my Bodyguard Scheme, giving me 1 VP.

Final score: 4 VP - 1 VP.  Neverborn win!


Given that Lilith is my primary crew, and Rasputina is Rob's primary one, I imagine this is a matchup I'll see a lot of.  It seems fairly well balanced- I have a lot more speed and more close combat advantage, but Rasputina certainly has me beat at range.

When Lelu and Lilitu are assembled, I'll have fewer fragile models on the table, which may help me survive some of that initial magical damage, but as Rob gets more experience with his guys, who knows how that will balance out.  I'll have to practice more with my movement tricks to get guys into combat, against someone who has the tools to keep his crew well defended, and a playstyle that focuses on it.  It will be interesting!

Second game (brief):

We had a little bit of time after our first game, and tried to fit in a second game.  I won't write a full report for it, however.  I was trying out Sonnia Criid's box against a smaller version of Rob's Rasputina crew.

We only ended up going four turns, and Rob had managed to kill all of my Witchling Stalkers for relatively light damage in return, so it wasn't look good at game end.  I just couldn't get flips to go in my favor (Sammael at one point Rapid Fired into Rob's Blessed of December, in combat with one of my Witchling Stalkers- a favorable shot, since the Blessed draws twice as many cards as the Witchling when we determine who I hit... and hit the Witchling all three times, killing it).

Mercifully, I suppose, we didn't play a full game.  This game, Rob definitely had his guys moving up the table quicker (despite us being deployed further back- we had Corner deployment this time), and I had no idea how to respond.  However, I'm eager to get Sonnia back on the table, so this will be something I'm sure we'll see a rematch of at some point.

Thanks for reading everyone!

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