Played Rob in Malifaux last Tuesday, over at DropZone. I had finally assembled Lelu and Lilitu, so was pretty excited to finally have my 'goal' 35 Soulstone list up and running.
We flipped for our strategy, and ended with Shared Deliver a Message- basically, a member of our crew had to take a (2) action within 2" of the opponent's master. The earlier we did it, the better.
Lilith, Mother of Monsters -- 5 Pool
Terror Tot Nephilim
I chose to announce Bodyguard (Lilith) and Breakthrough as my Schemes.
Rob's list (I think):
Rasputina -- 6 Pool
Essence of Power
Blessed of December
Rob's schemes were Bodyguard (Rasputina) and Sabotage, both of which he announced.
We actually had a decent amount of terrain on the table, looking like a nice outpost town.
I win initiative, and we basically all walk towards the middle of the board, getting into position. I had Tuco over on Rob's far left, hoping to get a little behind him and cause some annoyance. Rob threw up some Ice Pillars right in the middle of the board, and I gladly had Lilith walk up and kill one of them. We ended the turn pretty far apart... but definitely close enough that next turn was going to get ugly.
Rob won Initiative, and sends an Ice Gamin forward and has him turn into a statue (making him really easy to hit, but much more difficult to damage).
I have Tuco activate from the side, Veil up, and Run and Gun back, shooting at the Ice Gamin. After a decent flip, Rob decides to play the Red Joker from his hand to cause me to miss. I give him one of my 'huh?' stares, which he ignores, and we move on. For the record: it turns out I didn't explain my abilities correctly, and when I said Run and Gun let's me shoot then get a charge move, it wasn't clear that it wasn't an actual charge. I really need to work on this, to save poor Rob his high cards sometimes ;).
The rest of the turn involves me moving pretty much centrally to the table, around the ice pillar that's left (which my Terror Tot fails to kill), and Lilith walking up and dropping an Illusory Forest in front of my forces, then using my Mature Nephilim to carry Lilith back to safety.
Rob's activations involved him moving forward as well, and throwing Ice Pillars off to my left you can see the edge of one of them in the following picture. He then had the Blessed of December move into the cover the Ice Pillars provided. I was a little concerned about this- but for the wrong reason. I had this feeling that he was going to have the Blessed use his Jump, and get into position for a really early message delivery. Turns out... not so much.
Rob wins Initiative, and again sends his Ice Gamin up to statue.
I, again, have Tuco Veil and Run and Gun, and finally get a hit (my first EVER hit with Tuco), putting two damage on the dastardly Ice Gamin. Then, Tuco runs behind cover.
Rob advances his Ice Golem up, parking him just past the far right of the Illusory Forest (from my perspective).
The Terror Tot finally manages to kill the Ice Pillar facing me. Now, you might be thinking, "Hey Asmo, isn't it only Breakable 3? Your Terror Tot kills is on a 4+ flip?". You're right. It took the Terror Tot three tries (one last turn). That was a tough pillar of ice.
Rob's Silent One advances next to the Ice Golem, and does it's healing thing, helping the poor Ice Gamin.
I finally get in on the action, and activate Lilitu and Lelu. Lilitu begins casting Lure on the Ice Golem, and after several casts, have moved the Ice Golem close enough forward that Lilitu can attack it, and on doing so, fails to hit it. Lelu follows up with a vicious charge, and again, I fail to hit. Not such good flipping this turn.
Rasputina activates, and throws Ice Pillars in front of Lilith and the Mature Nephilim, most likely to prevent both of them from being able to charge (and probably kill) the Ice Golem this turn.
I, of course, am perfectly happy sending Lilith forward to kill Ice Pillars, killing one, then move back and use Brood Mother to activate the Mature Nephilim, who charges up and kills the Silent One and an Ice Gamin. I'm pretty happy with this, of course...
...until Rob activates his Blessed of December, who Jumps forward and Sabotages the building he had targeted (and then moving into the back of the Mature, hoping to damage it next turn). I find myself ending Turn three down 4-2 (we're each +2 because of the Bodyguard Scheme).
I win initiative, and promptly activate my Mature Nephilim, who quickly dispatches the Blessed of December, and attempts to attack the Ice Golem with his last action, but deals almost no damage.
Rob activates his Ice Golem, and finds himself having no problems hitting, dealing quite a bit of damage to the Mature Nephilim, but not quite killing him.
I have a bit of an issue here, unfortunately, as killing the Ice Golem will cause it to explode, bringing my dear Mature Nephilim down to like 2 Wounds, meaning it'd be easy to bring down. However, I can't afford NOT to kill it, activate Lelu, and do so, damaging quite a bit of my models.
Rasputina wastes no time taking advantage of things, and flings some spells, killing the Mature Nephilim and damaging my Lelu, which his Essence of Power quickly finishes off.
With Lelu gone, my Lilitu is in a bad spot, and I figure my best bet to give myself a shot at the endgame is to move Lilith forward, sacrifice four Soulstones for two Blood Counters, and hope to summon a Lelu, sacrificing my Terror Tot. Lilith moves up, does so, and Lilith easily makes the flip, giving me back my Lelu.
I've put myself into a pretty good position, overall. Rob is down to just an Ice Gamin, Rasputina, and the Essence of Power, where I still have Lilith, Lelu and Lilitu, and Tuco. If I can get to him, it's a decent match-up.
This turn was fairly unremarkable. Rob moves his guys back, to hide behind the building, and I move forward, trying to close the distance. Lilith also throws an Illusory Forest off to my left, just in case Rob tries to go over there and fling spells at me... again.
Rob wins the initiative, moves Rasputina out from behind the building, and tries to throw spells at Lilith, but is just out of range.
I'm salivating at this point, since Lilith is FAST. And, she has the Fast Ability, so go figure. I walk Lilith forward, and charge in, swinging happily, and deal pretty weak damage to Rasputina, and end Lilith's activation, pretty pleased with how things are turning out.
Then Rob activates his Ice Gamin, delivers the message to my now REALLY close Lilith, and goes up 7-2. Bastard tricked me!
*sigh. I'm a little displeased at this turn of events, but to my credit, I think I only swore once. I do some thinking. I'm actually right where I want to be- up in his grill. I still outnumber him, and should have no issues killing Rasputina, I think, if the game goes another turn. Fine, that denies him his other Scheme, keeping him to five points. If I keep Lilith alive (not too hard to do), and get all of my guys into the zone, I can get up to four points, which is better than being shut out. Of course, that involves the game lasting another turn- I'm not close enough with most of my guys to get them into the deployment zone this turn. Still... 5-4 is still a loss. Then I remember- Oh! I can deliver a message too! That would tie us up, and frankly, that's the best I can do at this point.
So... everything moves forward, hoping to get in on the action early next turn. If there is a next turn.
We flip to continue the game (needing a 10+), and thankfully we flip a 12. Whew! One more turn.
I win initiative. I'm stuck having Lilith activate, and using Brood Mother on Lilitu. I can't have Lilith attack Rasputina yet, because that would make me unable to deliver the message, so Lilith herself delivers it, bringing the score up to 7-3, then I swing with my last action, and almost kill Rasputina, but thankfully Lilitu is there to help, killing Rasputina AND the Ice Gamin, removing all of the Arcanists from the board.
My guys all move into Rob's deployment zone, and we end the game, tied 5-5.
Well, that was certainly a tough game. Rob seems to have gotten a handle on Rasputina, and although I think I have a decent handle on Lilith, she's so one-dimensional that it's hard to really handle some of these games. I mean, Rob knows my game plan right away- he just needs to keep me at range long enough to beat me into submission.
Of course, I still have some new options I can try with Lilith, to maybe add some surprises. There were a couple of times I thought about Transpositioning the Mature Nephilim into a place, and using Brood Mother early to get a decent charge into Rasputina. I don't know how viable something like that is (it might just be a way to make Rasputina spend Soulstones early to save herself), but it's something I should try.
I also could try running Nekima or the Black Blood Shaman, which could give me some fun in-game choices.
Still, I'm having a blast with Lilith as is, and Rob seems to be having a great time with Rasputina. At this rate though, he's going to be stomping me pretty soon!