Friday, February 19, 2016

Malifaux Bat Rep: Ophelia vs. Lynch

Last week I did one of the nerdiest things ever and played a game against myself. Obviously you can't keep secrets from yourself, but I have found it can be useful for practicing game mechanics and just seeing how things work in-game. The game ended up extremely low scoring in part because I knew exactly what was being attempted, but also because I just wasn't very good at playing to the Schemes and Strategies. Finally, it was a fun way to break out my recently painted minis and push them around a bit.

First off, I set up the board using my AngryMojo and PlastCraft Games ColorED terrain. It's a bit mismatched, but made for a pretty dense board, which is how Malifaux should be played, or so I've been told. I randomized for the Strategy and Scheme and got the following pool and deployment:
  • Deployment: Standard
  • Strategy: Interference - control 2+ board quarters by having the most models in a quarter not overlapping or within 6" of the center of the board. 
  • Schemes:
    • Convict Labor: Have 3 Scheme Markers within 2" of the center-line, not within 2" of another marker or enemy model.
    • Leave Your Mark: At the end of the turn after turn 1, remove a friendly scheme marker on the opponent's half, not within 6" of the centerline and not within 4" of non-Peon enemy model.
    • Show of Force: Have more non-0SS upgrades on non-master models within 6" of the board center
    • Catch and Release: Target non-peon enemy with (1) Interact action to tag the model, which can be removed by a (2) action that cannot be taken while engaged. Score 1VP if 2 or more enemy models are tagged at the end of the turn.
    • Set Up: Note an enemy master, henchman, or enforcer. At the end of a turn, score a number of VPs equal to the number of scheme markers within 4" of the target. 
I opted to use only mostly or completely painted models, meaning the crews might not have been ideal, particularly for this scheme pool, as both crews were pretty killy and not great for interact/marker based schemes. 

Lynch's crew was:
  • Jakob Lynch: The Rising Sun, Woke Up With a Hand
  • Hungering Darkness: Fears Given Form, Addict
  • Mr. Graves
  • 2 Illuminated
  • 2 Bloodwretches
  • Scion of Black Blood: Nexus of Power
    • Schemes: Catch and Release and Show of Force
Ophelia's crew was: 
  • Ophelia: Gremlin-See, On Yer Tip Toes
  • Old Cranky (proxied with a Bayou Gremlin)
  • Burt Jebsen
  • Lenny
  • Francois LaCroix
  • Raphael LaCroix
  • Slop Hauler
  • 2 Piglets
    • Schemes: Convict Labor, Set-up
I had actually planned on using a list with several upgrades on Burt, Lenny, and Francois, but put an extra piglet on the table, so pulled the upgrades once I realized my mistake. I also pretty much forgot most of the upgrades I took in the Lynch crew; there was a lot to keep track of running two crews. 

Lynch set up first, with Lynch, Huggy, and Mr. Graves in the center, the Bloodwretches and Scion on the right, and Illuminated on the left. The majority of the Ophelia crew went center-left, with two piglets spaced out on the right.

Opening moves were mostly double-walks. The Piglets and Illuminated ran up at each other. Mr. Graves pushed Lynch up toward the center of the board while Lenny tossed Ophelia. Ophelia then activated, pulled Lenny up close and, being just in range of Mr. Graves, unloaded, killing him easily despite shooting through a fence.

In turn 2 Huggy charged into the blob of models around Ophelia but wiffed on his attacks. Despite this, Fears Given Form dealt some damage around as models activated, before he was taken down through a combination of Lenny, Ophelia, and Francois. On one flank, the piglets killed an Illuminated and survived retaliation, while on the other one Bloodwretch tagged Raphael. To end the turn, Lynch activated and killed both piglets, unburying Huggy in the process. At the end of the turn, Lynch's crew scored a point for Interference while no Scheme points were scored.

Turn 3 Lenny tossed Francois up to try to take out Lynch, but Francois largely wiffed. Raphael and a Bloodwretch smacked each other around a bit. The other Bloodwretch ran up to Burt Jebsen and tagged him. Burt Jebsen wiffed on his attacks, taking the Bloodwretch down to one wound but unable to extricate himself. Francois paid for his failed assassination attempt and died to Huggy and Lynch. Lynch's crew scored 1 VP for their scheme, but no one controlled 2 quarters, so no other points were scored.

Turn 4 I remembered Raph could push out of combat, and did so before unloading a shotgun point blank. Burt Jebsen killed the other Bloodwretch and then ran at the Scion of Black Blood to tie him up, which was a mistake as the Scion promptly killed Burt with a sacrificial blade. Huggy charged Ophelia and did some damage, and then Lynch finished her off to end the turn. The Gremlins got on the board by barely holding two quarters with a Slop Hauler and Lenny, and removed a scheme marker near Huggy, tying the game 2-2.

Turn 5 continued to be bloody with Old Cranky, a Summoned Piglet, and an Illuminated all biting the dust. The last ditch effort of Lenny throwing a piglet at Lynch failed to take down the enemy master, but distracted him a bit. The game ended with neither side scoring any points in the last turn.

The game ended at turn 5 in a 2-2 Tie. In reflection, I made plenty of mistakes, including putting models out of position and in harm's way. The schemes I chose were poor choices on both sides, though that was as much due to crew construction as anything. Both crews had one scheme which they didn't score any points for. When played right, both crews could dish out a ton of damage really quickly, but when they went without their support, they largely plinked off and then were taken down when isolated.

That said, the idea was to learn the game a bit better, the mechanics, and how these crews and models work on the table. The alternating activation is something I still struggle with sometimes - I move one model to set up the next, but that move is quickly or easily countered by the following activation of the opponent. I'm hosting a gaming weekend in just over a week, and looking to get several games of Malifaux in; we might even record some, or the demo games from the starter.

As I wrap up this Malifaux battle report, it strikes me that it's a good bit more difficult to detail and follow, in part due to the alternating activation. This would be even more apparent in a video battle report, which is why I think they're fairly rare (at least in short form). In the next week I'm going to look around to see if there are any that do a better job of capturing the flow of the game than others. If you know of any, let me know! I would love to check some out.

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