Thursday, 20 February 2014

Malifaux – Nicodem vs Viktorias




“There’s no law in Malifaux. Men will lie, cheat, steal, and even cannibalize their fellow man for even the most meager gain.” 
 Leveticus, Into the Breach (Book 1)

Introduction
As Kevin wasn’t able to make today’s session, and with no demos to give, Chris and I battled it out again, this time with our newly painted crews. For the last two games we’ve had between us, Chris has managed to beat me by about 3-4 VP. Time for the undertaker to get some payback on those accursed mercenaries!

Setup
Soulstones: 50
Deployment: Close
Strategy: Squatter’s Rights
Available Schemes: A Line in the Sand, Distract, Assassinate, Protect Territory, Plant Explosives

Crews


James’s Resurrectionist Crew:
Nicodem (+3ss cache)
+ Shadow Embrace (1ss)
+ Necrotic King (2ss)
+ Decaying Aura (2ss)
Sebastian (7ss)
+ Corpse Bloat (2ss)
Flesh Construct (6ss)
Flesh Construct (6ss)
Nurse (5ss)
Nurse (5ss)
Rotten Belle (5ss)
Rotten Belle (5ss)
= 46ss, 7ss Cache

As normal my Master was Nicodem, and today I decided to pair him with Sebastian. He’s the cheapest Henchman I could bring, but I think in retrospect Mortimer would be more useful for this particular setup even if I would be spending 2-4ss more on him. With close deployment I felt I needed a good amount of wounds guarding Nicodem, so I brought in 2 Flesh Constructs. As typical for me, I brought 2 Nurses and 2 Belles to offer support and control options.


Chris’s Outcasts Crew:
Viktoria of Ashes (+1ss cache)
+ Synchronized Slaying (2ss)
Viktoria of Blood (0ss)
+ Mark of Shez’uul (2ss)
+ Oath Keeper (1ss)
Taelor (10ss)
+ Oath Keeper (1ss)
Bishop (10ss)
+ Oath Keeper (1ss)
Johan (6ss)
Hans (8ss)
Student of Conflict (4ss)

Chris’s crew wasn’t selected for optimum performance but to have only painted miniatures on the table, and that’s easy to respect! With lots of Oath Keeper about, it was clear he was looking to go for an immediate blitz. We agreed afterwards that the list lacked the great support abilities of Ronin that had helped him win games easily in the past.

Schemes
Nicodem went with Assassinate and Plant Explosives, both unrevealed. Assassinate was an easy choice as Viktoria of Ashes is an easy kill. In retrospect, I think Protect Territory would’ve been a better choice than Plant Explosives.
The Viktorias went for A Line in the Sand (revealed) and Plant Explosives (not revealed). With this particular crew setup, these were odd choices as both need mobile models un-distracted by combat.

Deployment
Viktorias won the flip, so Nicodem deployed first. I placed him and Sebastian just behind a house, with the Flesh Constructs and Belles forming a wall around them. Nurses were placed behind.
Most of the Outcasts were assembled near a forest and just outside 12” of the Flesh Construct/Rotten Belle wall. Hans hid behind several crystals, looking to snipe at the undead.



First Turn
Hans opened up the battle by taking a potshot at the Flesh Construct wall to soften them up, before Sebastian could put up Under Cover. Under Cover turned out to be pretty useless, as Hans was the only model that would shoot at the Undead all game, and he ignored the effect. Sebastian placed a Corpse Marker on the ground using Corpse Bloat.

Taelor next discarded Oath Keeper to gain Fast and charged into the undead wall with Hammerfall. Most of the models were unmoved as they just pushed into walls and other models, though one Belle went flying. Taelor managed to deal a good amount of damage, but caused no casualties. The dead, after all, are hard to dispose of.

Nicodem reacted by using Undead Crowning for damage flip boosts, summoned a Necropunk and then made it fast using Rigor Mortis. My original intent was to have the Necropunk start work on Squatter’s Rights as soon as possible.

Taelor was joined by Bishop, who likewise discarded Oath Keeper and made an assault on the Flesh Constructs. One was down to only 2 wounds by the end of his attack, making a counter attack dangerous thanks to Bishop’s Chain Fist reaction.

Taelor was then paralysed by my first Nurse. Over the next few Outcast activations, the Sisters would enter the fray, taking out the first Nurse in the process. The second Nurse gave the less wounded Flesh Construct Uppers, and the Flesh Construct wailed on Bishop enough that Bishop was looking in poor shape.

Belles attempted to lure Bishop away from his position so he could be pounced, and the second Flesh Construct could charge Taelor. The first attempt failed, but the second managed to pull him away and multiple Teeth and Nails finally took him down.

The heavily wounded Flesh Construct charged Taelor, not doing too much damage to Taelor but adding Poison. Unfortunately Johan showed up at this point and cleared all conditions off Taelor – but on the plus side, Johan didn’t join the assault! Foolishly, I sent the Necropunk at Taelor instead of working on the Strategy. This was a bad decision, even if it wasn’t a fatal one at this point.

Dead Models:
Nicodem: Nurse.
Viktorias: Bishop.

Victory Points: Nicodem 0-0 Viktorias



Second Turn
Viktorias won initiative on the second turn despite Nicodem spending a soulstone to try and change the tide. VIktoria of Ashes immediately pressed her advantage, using Dragon’s Bite to swarm one of the Belles and take her down easily. Viktoria of Blood then struck out at the second Belle.
Whilst this looked like the Outcasts were winning, they had actually fallen into a trap – all three sisters were sitting in a cluster of corpses. 

Sebastian activated and immediately used the Corpse Bloat upgrade to explode two corpses. Whilst this took out one of the Flesh Constructs and risked harming Nicodem, it still managed to kill the Student of Conflict and Viktoria of Blood (who was near enough to Nicodem she couldn’t use a soulstone to prevent some of the damage thanks to Decaying Aura). 

Sebastian chained to Nicodem, who increased his CA for one corpse, and summoned three punk zombies into the corpses, 2 at full health. Chris attempted to use Welcome to Malifaux to charge one of the summoned punks, but I politely pointed out it was no longer active as it’s effect ended at the end of the turn – let this be a lesson, make sure you know when your powers and conditions expire!

Hans made some more potshots but they didn’t have much effect. I had my Necropunk make a hasty escape from Taelor using Leap, and it rushed to a Squat Marker. Johan took exception to this and tried to engage, but the Necropunk was lucky and survived.

With Outcasts now out of activations, I sent the punk zombies to clean up Viktoria of Ashes and won 3 VP got Assassination on Turn 2. The Nurse dropped a Scheme Marker outside of Taelor’s engagement range, but close enough to score me 1 VP for Plant Explosives. The remaining punk zombie made a few attacks on Taelor to soften her up, without killing her outright.

Dead Models:
Nicodem: Nurse, 2 Flesh Constructs, 2 Rotten Belles
Viktorias: Bishop, Student of Conflict, Viktoria of Blood, Viktoria of Ashes

Victory Points: Nicodem 4-0 Viktorias



Third Turn
At this point it had become clear sailing for Nicodem, as Taelor didn’t pose much of a threat on her own. The Necropunk fled from Johan and planted another Squat Marker, whilst Johan simply changed the first one and continued to pursue.

The Punk Zombies finished off Taelor, and Nicodem raised another Necropunk. Hans took another ineffectual potshot.
With little to fight, the rest of the dead took control of two more Squat Markers.

Dead Models:
Nicodem: Nurse, 2 Flesh Constructs, 2 Rotten Belles
Viktorias: Bishop, Student of Conflict, Viktoria of Blood, Viktoria of Ashes, Taelor

Victory Points: Nicodem 5-0 Viktorias

Aftermath
At this point we called the game to an end; Johan on his own with Hans supporting wasn’t going to achieve much and it was clear I could steam-roll through any scheme or claim markers he placed. So at Turn 5, a 7-0 seemed assured.

As is always the case with Close Deployment, the game was very bloody very early, but after the fighting stopped the game pretty much ran itself.
Chris lamented simply sending his mercenaries at the dead rather than splitting up, which is his usual appropach. Had he split up his forces, he could have worked on getting some victory points even if the forward assault failed. In fact, if Viktoria of Ashes had stayed on the other side of the board, I’d have a very hard time to get an actual win. The fact that he was painting Ronin that night says a lot!

I certainly made mistakes too, though. Going through the photos made me wonder if I had made some actual mistakes: namely whether I had discarded a corpse marker when I should have (though I believe I did), whether the nurse who placed the scheme marker was in Taelor’s engagement range (though she would’ve been able to regardless), and whether I had cleared wounds off Sebastian’s card due to mixing up his poison-catalysting and Mortimer’s regeneration. None of these potential mess ups would have affected the outcome of the game, thankfully.

From a tactical point of view, I think Mortimer was better suited for this game as he could do more corpse explosions and could prevent interact actions (very useful in Squatter’s Rights!). That being said, Sebastian’s Accomplice ability was quite vital for my Turn 2 turnaround, as one more activation and Taelor could’ve used Welcome to Malifaux. Shadow Embrace added nothing to the game, and Undertaker would have been much more useful – I’d be 4 more cards richer. Decaying Aura was useful but was not worth 2ss; Viktoria of Blood would have died regardless. Sending the Necropunk to attack Taelor was also a mistake; I could have managed a 8-0 win if I hadn’t done that. I also should have picked something other than Plant Explosives, or at the very least planted a scheme marker in my deployment zone ASAP so I could score the VP quickly. 

Ultimately Protect Territory would have worked much better, and if I had picked and announced this scheme I could’ve gone on to a 9-0 victory; with the Necropunk setting up Squatter’s Rights, this could’ve gone to 10-0.
Learning to pick the right schemes in Malifaux can often be very important, and failing to work to those schemes or pick schemes that don’t work well together can ultimately cost the game.

Interested in Malifaux? We’re always interested in playing new players! We always have spare models and crews and can help you get set up with a demo game. If you’re interested, get in touch with either James or Kevin who can show you the ropes.

1 comment:

  1. Realized over this weekend I made a mistake summoning punk zombies at full health - can only do this with Undertaker. Oops. Again, didn't affect the result (the punk zombies took no damage) - if anything, it'd have given me a slight advantage.

    Undertaker isn't an upgrade to drop.

    ReplyDelete