To start with, my crew:
Sonnia Criid -- 6 Pool
I don't really have a lot to say about my list- it's her starter box + Fransisco (I figured I could use some extra ranged options) + a Watcher (to help offset bad luck).
Mei Feng -- 8 Pool
Willie, the Demolitionist
Admittedly, although I've read the Ten Thunders book, I only had a minimal amount of knowledge of what all the models did. I did know Mei Feng could combo a lot, however, so I needed to keep an eye out for that.
After flips, we ended with Shared Claim Jump as our Strategy (whoever had more models within 3" of a counter in the center of the table scored points). We each had two Schemes, which we both announced: I chose Bodyguard (Sonnia) and Raid. Rob chose Bodyguard (Mei Feng) and Grudge (Fransisco). We deployed in the corners, and the only thing notable about our terrain was that there was a lot of buildings.
I win Initiative, and basically move everything towards the center. I send my Witchling Stalkers forward as a sort of picket line, hoping to create a wide area of Disrupt Magic auras everywhere. The rest of my models end up moving behind them.
Rob's activations involve Willie using Clear Out off Kang to move everyone forward a few inches, but Rob basically decides he had screwed up his deployment, and ends up just moving everything towards the center instead of more fanciness.
Rob wins Initiative, even though I start by flipping a 12 (he manages to flip a 13). Grrr!
Willie starts off the turn by double walking towards the middle of the table, to catch up to the action. In addition, he puts a bomb up close to my forces. I respond by having the central Witchling Stalker use Defensive Stance and his Disrupt Magic aura before moving a little towards the middle, hoping to make life a little difficult for Rob's force.
Rob activates Mei Feng and the Emberling next. The Emberling walks up and tries to throw up a Vent Steam... but is sadly is in range of the aura, and fails. Mei Feng is able to move up, stay out of the aura, and cast it, however, providing her with some protection. I respond... by having my Witchling Stalker on my side of the building do the exact same thing as his brother.
Rob has a Rail Worker move in front of Mei Feng, presumably to block line of sight to her. I activate my Watcher, who lets me look at the top two cards of my deck. One of them happens to be the Black Joker, which I gladly throw on the bottom of my deck.
Rob parks his Metal Gamin next to Mei Feng. If only I had decent blast shots! I have my last Witchling Stalker do the same thing as his buddies, creating quite the area of magicless-ness.
Kang ends up going after the closest Witchling Stalker to me, but with Defensive Stance up, isn't able to put shovel to flesh. Finally, given that I have all the activations left in the round, I attempt to go a little offensive. Sammael starts taking shots, and manages to kill Willie, who unfortunately explodes, damaging the two closest Witchling Stalkers and Fransisco for two. Fransisco follows up by firing at the Rail Worker, doing a few points of damage.
Sonnia spends the turn... basically doing nothing. I don't know that I have a good early game plan for her, haha.
Rob wins Initiative again.
Rob starts by having his Rail Worker charge a Witchling Stalker, and detonates the previously placed bomb, killing the two central Witchling Stalkers, himself, and Fransisco. That is really really unpleasant. Needing to delay for an activation, to get his guys into range, I have my remaining Witchling Stalker use Defensive Stance, Disrupt Magic, and have him take a swing at Kang, dealing two damage... which doesn't really matter since he recovers from it whenever he activates.
Rob's Metal Gamin activates, and double Walks over to my side of the board. I use the Watcher to move forward and help prepare my deck for the inevitable- revealing a 13, which I leave on top of my deck.
Rob then activates Mei Feng and the Emberling. The Emberling walks up and Vents Steam, just staying out of the Disrupt Magic aura. Mei Feng walks forward, casts Iron Skin on the Metal Gamin, and walks again.
I start salivating, hoping to put a ton of damage on Mei Feng. Eagerly, I activate Sammael, and declare I'm going to Rapid Fire, and make the first flip... then remember that I haven't used his Flaming Bullets spell. I also forget about his Arcane Hunter ability (so a net +2 Cb and +3 Dg I screwed myself out of). As it was, Rob is forced to spend a few Soulstones, but even so, I still put 2 damage on him. Honestly, had I remembered to use these, it would've probably cost him another Soulstone, which may have made a significant difference.
Sonnia ends the turn by activating, and throws a bunch more spells at Mei Feng, which force her to spend MORE Soulstones, but I still end up putting another two damage on her.
I thankfully win Initiative.
For some reason, I activate Sonnia first, even though Sammael could've either killed Mei Feng, or forced her to spend every Soulstone she had. I don't really remember why I did this. Regardless, Sonnia starts throwing spells at Mei Feng, fails to kill her (but does manage to kill the Emberling), but does do a few more points of damage.
Mei Feng charges up, uses a string of Tiger's Claws strikes with the Tiger's Fury trigger, and kills Sonnia (but see below). I end up conceding (although I guess Sammael could've made an attempt at killing her and playing for less of a loss).
Rob would've won the strategy (4 points), Mei Feng survived (2 points), but he didn't kill Fransisco in melee, meaning the final score was 6-0. Quite a beating!
I can't really say if this will end up being a good matchup. Having some experience with her now, Rob says he should be taking more Rail Workers with her to exploit Express Line, and move her around more, which will probably make her a lot scarier. On top of that, he did have some maneuvering issues that he'll be able to fix with a few more games of practice.
One big thing we DID screw up, however, is Mei Feng's trigger. The end reads "perform a melee Strike against another target in melee range." We played it that the target could be the same person (ie, Sonnia), which let him belt off the 5 attacks it took to kill her (she missed once). With the trigger, she'd have had to kill Sammael as well (she certainly had the range), but maybe would've killed him quickly enough to save Sonnia. Hard to say. I started Mei Feng's activation with more Soulstones than her, so it's possible.
Of course... Sammael would've been dead, Sonnia would've already activated, and I wouldn't have had any way to kill Mei Feng this turn, so it's hard to think the result would've changed at all.
If I remembered all of Sammael's rules, who knows what the result would've been as well. Extra damage plus a higher stat value is really sweet, and definitely makes me eager to see him on the table again!
Regardless, the game was a lot of fun, and it's nice seeing Ten Thunders models on the table. Also, Rob has been working extra hard to get his models painted, and the effort shows- his side of the board looked beautiful. Definitely something to make me more eager to paint, when I have the time to do so.
We should have another game of Malifaux soon- hopefully I'll have more Guild stuff assembled, giving me some options in the game. Maybe I can the next one a closer match :).
Until next time!