Monday, February 20, 2012

Pied Piper

This past Saturday was the Pied Piper Tournament over at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA. This tournament featured a host of newbies or experienced players, depending on skill level. If you were an experienced player, you showed up with nothing but your fate deck, soul stone counters, and your tape measure. Maybe a few other odds and ends, but no models. You drew your crew from a hat at the start of the tournament and that was your list for the day. If you were a newbie, you showed up with your list and played that. As previously discussed, and because I am skill less (also previously discussed) I showed up with a list and had at it. My list for the tournament was as follows:
Guild Crew - 25 - Scrap
Lady Justice -- 7 Pool
Nino Ortega [7ss]
Watcher [3ss]
Witchling Stalker [4ss]
Witchling Stalker [4ss]
Witchling Stalker [4ss]

I believe there were 12 players for a total of 3 games each.

Game 1: Shared Slaughter
In this one, I had the unfortunate draw of going against Dreamer with 3 Stitched Together. It was a good game where the Dreamer player spent the whole time slingshotting the Lord Chompy into my face and eating a model. After turn one, he had downed my Watcher. I got a luck draw for turn 2 and had 3 masks and a high card in my hand so I figured my best shot was to put Lady J out there and hope I could absorb the blow. Well, he cast some spell that caused me to have negative flips to my Df, Ca and Wp. He flipped really well and then added another high stone. I threw down my high card and needed a 7+ to resist and flipped a 3 or something. It was downhill from there as everything I seemed to flip was low. Even then, I was able to turn it around on Chompy once for 6 damage. If I managed to get a second shot in, I am pretty sure I could have downed him. Needless to say I lost Game 1, 5-3

Game 2: Shared Turf War
I played against eChris in this one and it was an interesting match up. Chris was playing a resser list with like 6 or 7 dogs, Sebastian and a nurse. He basically carved up the dogs for other more powerful models. I think I had to kill the Rogue Necromancy 3 times and another Flesh Construct another time. This game went fairly well for me and I felt in control the whole time. Most of this was due to Chris being completely new to the list and having no real idea of how it works. I think if we played again, the game would be much closer. I ended up winning 8-0.

Game 3: Shared Claim Jump
I was fortunate enough to be matched up on Table 2 and playing for 2nd place. My opponent from Game 1 was on Table 1 along with another Neverborn players (I know broken right!?!). My match up was against a Gremlin player who took Ophelia and Sommer. The game was pretty interesting as I figured we were going to have a battle royal over the center area. Turn 1 was the typical positioning and moving in. Turn 2 rolled around and I had a SICK hand. I think I had 2 9's, 10, 11, 13, and RJ. My eyes nearly popped out of my head thinking that I was going to be able to hold onto this for a while. Well, his first activation, he sent a mosquito over to me and knocked all those cards out of my hand. Talk about a bummer! I threw away so many high cards! From there Nino stepped out and started mowing down Gremlins and I was able to set up a nice little kill box. His guys had a bit longer range so he was able to stay out of it. Fortunately for me, he got bogged down trying to keep Nino alive. I was throwing all my high cards for his defense since none of my other stuff was engaged. We ended up reaching Turn 5 before we knew it and I was positioned to grab the center point. I made a dash for it and had 3 people positioned for it on Turn 6. I moved in and my Witchling Stalkers were all piled up on top of the thing. Turns out, Sommer came over and blasted the crap out of them. Fortunately for me, they did not die in an orgy of self-destruction and two managed to live through the turn. Lady Justice had 2 left I think. All in all a very close call and a bad move on my part putting all those guys there when I only needed one. Fortunately for me, I pulled out a victory 7-3.

At the end of the day, I managed to end up in second place. I was pretty thrilled with my showing and happy that I could pull out a second place finish. I definitely had some lucky moments on my side, but that's the way it goes in Malifaux I guess.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Newbie or Experienced? That is the question...

Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous peer pressure,
Or to take Arms as an experience player
against a Sea of newbies
And by opposing them: to win, to lose


The Pied Piper tournament is coming up at Huzzah in Ashburn on Feb 18th. The wrinkle to this tourney is that you can enter as either a newbie and come with a fully fleshed out 25 SS list or show up as an experienced player and be randomly assigned a pre-determined list. When I say random, I really mean drawing it out of a hat and playing that list. The Tourney Organizer, Bill, is going to provide all of the experienced players models and lists for the tournament. All in all it is a pretty cool concept and should be a fun tournament.

That leaves me in a bit of a conundrum. I am basically a 'tweener. I don't know which side to pick. At this point, I know Guild pretty well and if I show up with them, I stand a decent chance of doing well in the tournament. If I choose the experienced player route, there is a very good chance I won't be able to do anything at all since there are a number of lists and models I have never played against before.

So with the start of the New Year I decided to keep track of my Malifaux games to get some idea of how I am doing in the game overall. Also, with the data I can get some idea of what I am good at and what I need to work at. That being said, I might be able to use this data to help me make my decision.

I decided to go all out with the tracking in this spreadsheet and I am tracking the following:
  • My Faction, Master, Avatar
  • My Opponents Faction, Master & Avatar
  • My Strategies & Schemes (and how I got points)
  • Opponents Strategies & Schemes (and how they got points)
From there I can add (its Excel, I might as well get the software to do something for me) up the VPs and figure out who won (Not me). It has taken some getting used to and on Tuesday nights when I play 2-3 games I can get confused and miss something. As such, I have taken to writing these things down so I can enter them when I get home. Takes about 10 seconds to enter each game into the worksheet.

At that point, I can use 1st Gen Awesome Mike's awesome excel skills to do things like pivot tables, graphs and the like. At some point I will get him to show me how to do it. In the mean time, I am just going to read it and cry...

So in preparation for the tourney, let's look at the data. So far this year I am 5-7-1. While that seems okay, most of those wins are against guys who are pretty new to the game. While most of my losses come against experienced players. Against new players I am 3-1, while against experienced players I am 2-6-1. So it really comes down to me beating up on people that don't know better. I am a big bully.

I now need to decide if I want to enter the tournament as a new player and be a bully or lose 3+ games to experienced players. The trouble is that I am not sure I am going to have fun if I spend 4-6 hours losing at Malifaux in a tournament. I think at the end of the day, I am going to register as a newbie and just accept the ridicule from my peers and beat them down (hopefully). This way, I can have fun during the tournament and not be upset and a chore to play against because I am petulant and losing.


With this regard my decision turns awry
And lose the name of newbie? Soft you say,
The fair Ophelia? Gremlin!?! in my GUILD!
Be all my noob-ness be remembered.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Two Down, One to Go!

So on our regularly scheduled game night on Tuesdays out at Huzzah Hobbies, in Ashburn, VA, I was able to take another step towards ridding myself of the moniker that has plagued me since that fateful day on the Gamers Lounge.

The week before, I challenged Chris, but played against some new players from Warrenton instead. The new player, Joe, was a blast to play. Good guy, I hope he keeps up with the game and comes out for the Tourney in Feb at Huzzah. Chris and I agreed that this past week, it was on like Donkey Kong!

Game 1:
Skill-Less Brian, Guild Crew - 30 - Scrap
Contain Power, Kill Protege, Eye for an Eye
Perdita Ortega -- 8 Pool
Governor's Proxy [2ss]
Nino Ortega [7ss]
Santiago Ortega [7ss]
Witchling Stalker [4ss]
Witchling Stalker [4ss]


eChris, Neverborn Crew - 30 - Scrap
Deliver a Message, Kidnap, Holdout

Pandora -- 5 Pool
Primordial Magic [2ss]
Doppelganger [8ss]
Insidious Madness [4ss]
Insidious Madness [4ss]
Insidious Madness [4ss]
Sue [8ss]

This was my third time against playing Pandora. The last two times she pretty well man-handled me. We played a very long game where I probably spent 3/4 of the time thinking about my moves and what was going to happen next and Chris would move and own me. He was able to Deliver the Message on Turn 1. So, taking the Proxy against Pandora...that sucks, don't do it. Or find a way to sac it on turn one. Or have it hide in a corner or something. It ended up killing Santiago on the top of turn 2 so he didn't do anything at all and cost me 7 points. From there I managed to basically ignore Pandora while burning down his Madness. Then Perdita jumped up and shot the Dopplganger in the face. Nino followed up by finishing off Sue. On Turn 5, Pandora finished off the last Stalker for Kidnap, guaranteeing Chris 6 points. On Turn 6, it came down to Pandora and the Magic vs. Perdita and Nino. I still needed to run all the way across the board and kill his master with Perdita, then with Nino, run half way across the board to break his hold out. Chris, sacrificed Pandora netting me 2 points and that left me free and clear to run across the board. A tough long, hard fought, great game ended as a 6-6 tie.

Afterwards Chris was chatting about the Perdita Obey list, which is one I have not been hugely fond of. He decided to play it against me to show me how it works.

Game 2:
Skill-Less Brian, Outcasts Crew - 30 - Scrap
Slaughter, Holdout, BodyGuard (Gun Vik)
Viktoria -- 7 Pool
Student of Conflict [3ss]
Convict Gunslinger [5ss]
Ronin [5ss]
Ronin [5ss]
Ronin [5ss]

eChris, Guild Crew - 30 - Scrap
Escape and Survive, Family Justice (He was pretty cocky), Assassinate (Sword Vik)
Perdita Ortega -- 5 Pool
Enslaved Nephilim [2ss]
Abuela Ortega [7ss]
Guild Austringer [5ss]
Nino Ortega [7ss]
Papa Loco [6ss]

I had played the Viks one time way back in May or something when I first started playing Malifaux. The first game I played was against Mike (1st Gen) where he built a Vik Crew v. a Lilith crew with Shared Claim Jump. This is the first and only time I have beaten Mike. It also did not include schemes or all of the rules. I think we didn't discuss focus striking or channeling among many others.

Well eChris says he is going to show me how well an Obey Family list works because I have never personally been a fan. Since I wanted to see it, that made sense. Dixon (Pharaoh) put together the Vik list, for me and eChris and I threw down. Well after turn one of moving up and positioning, I was able to win initiative on turn two and slingshot the Sword Vik into melee with Perdita. I managed to out cheat / stone and did away with Perdita early turn 2, which then really reduced the effectiveness of teaching me how eChris plays the Obey list. He retaliated by flinging Papa Loco forward and boom goes Papa. I focused on saving Gun Vik and let Sword Vik take some wounds. He then proceeded to mow down Sword Vik, getting Assassinate (or did he?!?). Next turn, I used my last 2 stones to sac a Ronin and re-create Sword Vik. Then I threw Sword Vik back into the fray. She essentially acted as a missile I expended to throw at his models. I did away with Abuela, Papa and the Austringer at this point too. Leaving him with only Nino sitting on a high pillar in the corner. Realizing I had the game in hand, I backed off out of range since I was only up on Slaughter 15-12 and did not want to give Nino the chance to even things up. Game ended 6-0 with a victory for the good guys!

So with that, I have defeated two of the people who I had to in order to rid myself of the Skill-Less moniker. Next up is Mike, who I almost had except for the unfortunate flip of a Black Joker on my part. I have a feeling my first win is going to come against him shortly. I can feel it, the fates are going to late me cheat and win!

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year's

So I figured since everyone who is skilled is doing it, also doing it must make me skilled too right? Right?

Nerding resolutions for this year:

Read 5,000 pages
I actually have no idea how many pages I read during the course of a year. It seems to me like 100 pages a week is up my alley. I am not a fast reader, but I did resolve last year to focus on increasing my speed. Also, I need to spend more time actually reading. I figure I can knock a lot of this out with the Robert Jordan books. I stopped reading those after Rand healed the male half of the source and then there was the one book where everyone else in the world relived those three days. I figure if I start now (actually back in August) I can finish most if not all the books by the time the last (yeah right..) is actually released. Since I read mostly sci-fi and fantasy this counts as a nerding topic.

Paint all of my models before I buy new ones
For some reason I have never been one to get excited or enjoy painting up my models. I always loved playing the games but never enjoyed the tasks of sitting down to paint them up. I think life-time I have actually painted only about a half dozen models to completion. Well not true anymore, with these Malifaux models from Wyrd, I am very excited to paint them up and get the crew / faction looking really nice.

To that end, I have resolved to get all of my stuff painted and not purchase any more models (except maybe the Warden) until I have everything painted. While this seems pretty daunting, I am not sure it is.

Here is my list of painted stuff:

Sonia Criid
3x Witchling Stalkers
Lady Justice
3x Death Marshals
Papa Loco
Guild Guard Captain

On the painting table:
3x Guild Guard
Drill Sergeant
2x Guild Austringer
2x Guild Hound

The list of unpainted is:
Enslaved Nephlim
Scales of Balance
Purifying Flame
Mechanical Attendant
2x Watcher
Large Steampunk Arachnid
Mechanical Rider

Wow, that's a lot more than I thought...hopefully I can get all of this done by I don't know....2013...

Track my Malifaux games
So, I would like to know if I am getting better over time or if there are certain strategies / schemes I struggle with or if there are certain people I can not beat. To that end, I have decided to track all of my Malifaux games. It should be fun and I will probably report the results here every once in a while.

Well, that's it for now. If I decide to add something in the next week or two I probably modify this but right now, I think that's good enough!

Friday, December 23, 2011

One Down For Reals This Time!

Had the day off today and "convinced" the wife it was a good idea to let me go off and play some games. I ran up to Huzzah and played Mike for my first game. He has been picking up Ressers lately and so I figured I might actually have a chance to beat him. I continued my Hoffman play and he played McMourning. It was his Slaugther vs. my Supply Wagon. Things were going as expected, I was dancing around charge range, letting him come closer. As he got into range I zipped up and engaged him. Followed up likewise with McMourning and it was an orgy of destruction in the middle. Luck was with me for two turns in a row where I manged to win initiative. I dropped McMourning after he put quite a bit of damage into the PeaceKeeper and Hoffman. Things were looking good as I dropped is Sebastian and a Crooked Man right after than, leaving him down to one wounded Crooked Man. Next turn, I won init again and attacked the Crooked Man, killing him. He slow to died, I shunted the damage from my PeaceKeeper (his Kill Protege) to Hoffman, expecting to flip to heal with my stone. I flipped....BLACK JOKER! Horrible, Hoffman dies, Bete Noire pops up and basically proceeds to wreck my whole crew. The game ended in a tie 4-4. We managed to exactly tie on Slaughter so no points for him. Alas, still haven't beaten Mike!

Second game was against Bill, he played Arcanists:
Turf War, Kill Protege (Peace Keeper), Sabotage
Kaeris -- 5 Pool
Fire Gamin [4ss]
Fire Gamin [4ss]
Fire Gamin [4ss]
Gunsmith [6ss]
Gunsmith [6ss]
Soulstone Miner [6ss]

I rolled out with, shocker, Hoffman:
Line in the Sand, Grudge (Male Gunsmith), Steal Relic
C. Hoffman -- 6 Pool
Guardian [7ss]
Hunter [6ss]
Peacekeeper [9ss]
Watcher [3ss]
Watcher [3ss]

I hadn't been very effective with the Mechanical Attendant so I decided to leave him home. Besides, I could use an extra Watcher for objective grabbing Line in the Sand. We started out doing a bit of jockeying for position, playing a bit of cat and mouse. Finally, I decided to go for it and charge at a group of his consisting of the female gunsmith, and 2 Fire Gamin. The PeaceKeeper was able to take out them out eventually along while Kaeris was beating everyone up. Bill got in a few shots with his Male Gunsmith on Hoffman and was whittling me down pretty well. Initiative came up and I think I flipped a 6 or 7, Bill flipped a 4, stoned and followed it up with a 2. The Peace Keeper charged at Kaeris and did some mighty damage to her, only to be beat back in the end. Kaeris fled off to a corner but the Peace Keeper followed and finally finished her off. Meanwhile, Bill managed to take down my Hunter and Guardian leaving a big pile of scrap in the middle. I was down to a heavily damaged Peace Keeper and a heavily damaged Hoffman and a Watcher. Bill was left with a SS Miner, Fire Gamin and the Male Gunsmith. My watcher was just running around pinging points, doing his job so he was basically out of the fight. At the end of the turn, Bill was able to position his SS Miner to melee Hoffman and the Peace Keeper. Popping him up, he won initiative and laid into the Peace Keeper. Hoffman shunting some of the damage off. At one point, Hoffman was damaged for his last 4 health, after flipping a Black Joker for defense and ended up flipping a Red Joker for the prevent! (Makes up for the bad luck against Mike). I was able to get my Peace Keeper away and we played some Cat and Mouse again. I managed to get both his Male Gunsmith and his remaining Fire Gamin (after it tagged the terrain for Sabotage) and with Hoffman's machine puppet was able to take them both down. His Miner was able to move up and exact revenge against both of them. The watcher basically flew as far and as fast as he could into the back corner of the board. I ended up with a 2 VPs for Line, 2 for Gurdge and 2 for Steal Relic (Hoffman stole it before Detonating scrap to kill her). Bill ended up with 0 for Turf War, 2 for Sabotage and 2 for Kill Protege. Which means I was able to get a legit 1/3 of the way towards removing the Skill-less moniker with a 6-4 victory!


In other news, I think I am really starting to get the hang of Hoffman. I am still a little inefficient in the beginning, I am not sure what to do with Hoff Turn 1, I think I waste 1-2 actions each time. I heard about a neat trick of having the Guardian Protect Hoffman, then Hoffman Protect the Peace Keeper. This keeps the PK alive long enough for the Guardian to catch up. That being said, the crew is not very survivable with its low defense if the enemy bypasses armor. It seems in my last 4-5 games that every major attack bypasses armor. Probably sticking in my mind because they are the ones that hurt the most but still.

Hoffman is good overall, I think he has quite a few good tricks and can really move around the board well, when taking advantage of the Drawn to Metal ability. That leaves him able to Machine Puppet the Peace Keeper left and right, taking advantage of the paired ability. Very deadly, damaging combination.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Huzzah Malifaux Winter League and Going Forward

Played for the past 6 weeks or so in a Malifaux Achievement League over at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn. Pretty cool deal run by Bill. You get points for doing cool things, like killing a master with a totem or mundane things like winning a game (though if you are me, it is losing a game). In the end, I was able to win King of the Guild. I racked up a total of 90 or so points. I think I won mostly by default as there wasn't another Guild player in the league that played regularly. The Over Achiever was Mike who ended up with something like 150 points. Some of that comes down to him winning more games and some of it comes down to him getting a few achievements that were hard to get, oh, also, he is really good. Probably not much to do with the last one.

So, that was a long way around to getting to my next point. I am biting the bullet. I am trying out Hoffman and I am going to learn him. I have played 2 or 3 games with him so far and he is a tough one. That being said, I can see the potential because I can tell I am not being efficient enough and as a result, I am not being as effective enough. I finally got a chance to play with a PeaceKeeper and that changed things for me. He has good movement tricks, but needs constructs around him to really be effective. Taking him harkens back to my WarMachine days. I feel like I am taking a caster and decking him out with 'jacks.

This should be a fun adventure. I will let you know how it goes!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One down!*

Well, kinda. I played Bill over at Dead Tau Project / Gamers Lounge in a skill-less match as he is one of the three I have to play to change my nickname, or at least make it my own. This being the second time I have played Bill and the first time in the league, it was a lot of fun. He brought Kaeris, I layed down Sonnia.

Bill's List was (something like):
Arcanists Crew - 30 - Scrap
Kaeris -- 5 Pool
3x Fire Gamin [4ss]
Gunsmith [6ss]
2x Soulstone Miner [6ss]

I brought out (something like):
Sonnia Criid -- 7 Pool
Purifying Flame [2ss]
2x Guild Austringer [5ss]
Samael Hopkins [8ss]
3x Witchling Stalker [4ss]

I know the stones don't match and I may have been cheating because I counted wrong or something. I swear that is what I remember. There could have been something more in Bill's List and it could have been something less in my list.

Long story short, Bill and I wandered up and engaged. Fighting over a shared Claim Jump. Sonnia did her best to stave off the Fire Gamin but they came in too strong. Having so many things in the game do damage on death was very interesting. Bill played it well by making sure the engagement occurred at Sonnia's feet and not Kaeris'. I was able to take out Bill's Gunsmith from range before it did much damage. From there it was an orgy of destruction, the Gamin and Stalkers wiped each other out. The last few turns ended up being Kaeris, and a Fire Gamin v. 2 Austringers. After much jockeying, I was able to take out Kaeris and use their Quick Retreat push to disengage from the Fire Gamin over and over again and take him out from range. Bill was able to stop both of my schemes but I was able to take over Claim Jump. I think I ended up winning 4-2.

So that being said, I should be down one person on the trip our of Skill-less-dom. However, there was lots of help from the Awesome Generation Peanut Gallery (Mike and Dan) and there appears to be some shenanigans with the points. So, I asked Bill if we could have a re-match, this time without help from the peanut gallery. So while I beat Bill, it doesn't count.

But that's okay. I will beat him next time, because I am better than him :)