Sunday, 26 May 2013

Malifaux: Jazzed up Pandora Crew

I've got a tournament coming up which uses the "Lost Love" format:  Starter box, totem, one blister and one model to summon at 25SS.  I thought about going with Hamelin since I can summon rats.  However, I don't like Hamelin as much at smaller point sizes and the round time limits are 80 minutes which I don't think I can play him in that time.

As such I've decided (at the time of writing) to go with the Pandora box set, Primordial Magic, Coppelius and Alps as my summon.  My Alps still need painting so they're next and the Primordial Magic hasn't arrived yet.  I painted Pandora and Coppelius about a year ago, so I thought I'd get them out and spruce them up a bit:

I've just been over them and added some extra highlight layers, re-done the OSL on Pandora's Box and made Coppelius' eye a bit more gory.  I'm reasonably happy with them for now.

Game-wise, I've played a couple of games with the crew and it is pretty filthy.  Coppelius paralyzing stuff combined with Pandora triggering Mental Anguish is just nasty.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Malifaux: 70SS hiring pool

A couple of weeks ago I attended a tournament at York Garrison.  The hiring rules for the tournament were fixed faction using a 70SS hiring pool (they were 35SS games) as per the 2013 Gaining Grounds document.  I hadn't played in one of these type of events before as all the previous tournaments I'd played in were fixed faction so drawing up the pool was interesting.  I went with Outcasts as they're mostly my tournament faction of choice for 2013.  Outcasts suffer a little in this format, as there is almost no overlap between the crews.  For example, I went with Viktoria and Hamelin.  Viktoria can only hire Mercenaries, whereas Hamelin specifically can't hire Mercenaries at all.

If you've not read the selection rules from Gaining Grounds for hiring pools they're basically these:

  • Masters don't cost anything to hire into the pool, but they must be listed
  • You can spend 2SS from the pool for the option to manifest avatars for any master in the pool
  • Models can only be included in the pool if they could be legally hired by at least one of the masters also in the pool
  • Models hired into the pool cost their printed SS cost regardless of what they would cost when actually hired into a crew.

For the York tournament, the strategies were (all shared):  Land Grab, Line in the Sand and Beatdown.  The task was to come up with a pool which could cover all those eventualities.

I knew I wanted to take Hamelin to his first tournament so he was in.  However, Hamelin sucks at Beatdown so I need a second master; the Viks came into the pool just for Beatdown.  That was self contained, strategy specific, crew and looked like this:

Student of Conflict
Freikorps Librarian
Jack Daw

This was a slight gamble, as Jack Daw can really suck in some match ups (Collette's Mannequin Replacement and Levi's Entropic Transformation both ruin him), but I went with it.  That was the first 27SS.

Next was Hamelin's crew for Land Grab and Line in the Sand.  My plan for Land Grab is lots of models, move to the middle and have Hamelin stand there making the crew significant, and move between quarters as required.  So, into the pool went a basic Hamelin crew:

Hamelin the Plagued
Nix, the Bull Terrirer
Obedient Wretch
The Stolen x1
Malifaux Rats x5

That's another 27SS into the pool and gives pretty much everything you need for Hamelin.  I didn't add any more rats or Stolen to the pool as summoned models don't have to be included in the pool, so this was just what I wanted to start the game with.  It gives me 10 significant models for Land Grab, provided they all stay together.

I then need to add what I would need for Line in the Sand.  Essentially for this I go for dominating one half of the board, which Hamelin is quite good at, so the list above gave me most of my options already.  I added into the pool 2 Night Terrors to give me some speed for grabbing dynamite.  I had 11 points left at this point so I stuck a second Rat-Catcher and Baby Kade, neither of which I ended up using in the end.

The final pool was 70SS on the nose.

I had mixed success at the tournament.  I'd played 9 games with Hamelin up to that point, but only 1 on the tabletop.  Managing alot of rats can be time consuming in a tournament setting so we went short on time in Land Grab and I lost it 4-1.  Another turn might have helped me here, perhaps not to win, but maybe pick up another VP or 2.

Game 2 went better with Line in the Sand, and I went onto win that one 5-3.  The Night Terrors made the difference as they went down the opposite side of the board to Hamelin, flipped a marker and then sat in my opponents deployment zone getting my Breakthrough and denying him Hold Out.

Game 3 was Beatdown with the Viks, against Marcus.  I made a big mistake which cost me the game in the end.  The Viks had killed a Ronin and Willie, but Gun Vik had been wounded by Willie in return.  What I should have done at this point was move back to the support group of the Student and the Librarian but I didn't.  I pushed on towards the Gunsmith (which Jack Daw was capable of killing and did so) and didn't realize I was now in Marcus' line of sight.  He then killed both Viks over two activations.  The game finished 6-4 with Jack Daw scoring 3 points for Stake a Claim and being alive at the end.

I finished 15th of 22 overall, and I'd won a game so it wasn't too bad.  My VP diff was only -2 which was also OK.  I'm definitely going to push on with getting more games in with Hamelin now after the tournament. I feel like I'm getting the hang of Nix, the rats and the Rat-Catcher, but it's Hamelin himself who still feels like I'm not using him to the best of his abilities.  I need more games in with him so I can work out which of his capabilities he needs to apply at which points in time.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Malifaux: (Almost) Finished Hamelin Crew

Hamelin the Plagued and his crew are pretty much done now.  I've still got a couple of Stolen and 3 rats left to do when I get chance.  I entered them in the best painted competition at the last tournament a week ago in York and they were pretty well received (didn't win, but came pretty close to the top):

Hamelin himself, on his fancy base.  This is my most successful attempt at OSL as well:

Nix, complete with drool (see one of my earlier posts on how I did this):

The Obedient Wretch and Rat-Catchers.  I wasn't fond of the sculpts for the Rat-Catchers when I bought them, but they've sort of grown on me as I've painted them up:

6 Malifaux Rats.  The rats are colour coded and have corresponding colour blobs on their stat cards so I can track which is which.  Honestly, it's not that easy to keep track of them, especially when alot are dying and coming back.  There will be three more in brown of these.

The picture I took of the little girl Stolen came out blurry, but you can see her in the group picture anyway.  I'm pretty happy with her, she adds alot of character and colour to the crew.

Overall, I'm very happy with how these came out.  I think they're better overall than any other crew I've painted.  These are also the first crew I've painted from start to finish using my new Games and Gears Pro-Studio brushes which I got on Kickstarter, and also much of the paint is now Vallejo as I begin to transition further and further away from the GW paint line.

Game-wise,. I've got in around a dozen games with this crew now against lots of different crews and masters  including some power house masters like The Dreamer and Colette.  I'm still trying to get the hang of it and the complex interactions between the models so I'll post up some thoughts on how the crew plays.

On a related note, I've spent a bit of time on updating and expanding Hamelin's Pull My Finger wiki page so any comments or feedback on that would be handy.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Malifaux: Finished Hamelin the Plagued

Hamelin the Plagued surveying his horde of plagued minions:

The base is from Model Display Products.  I've used their sewer bases on all my Hamelin models, but this one is part of their Diorama Display Bases.  The base gives Hamelin extra height, like he's looking down on his horde of rats and Stolen as they surge past him.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Malifaux: Stolen Sacrifice Sheet

As threatened in my last post, here's a quick reference as to what happens when a The Stolen is removed from the game:

The only thing I'm not 100% on the whether the rat arrives before or after the 6" pulse.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Malifaux: Rat Removal Result Reference

I've played 8 games with Hamelin now, and it can be hard to remember all the different interactions between Hamelin/Rat Catchers/Nix/Rats/Stolen, especially when one of the them is killed.  To help me remember what happens when a Malifaux rat is killed, I put together a quick flow chart:

I think this pretty much covers it.  Hopefully someone else might find it handy.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Malifaux: Jack Daw and Sue

These two guys form the basis of my new Viks Beatdown crew:  Sue and Jack Daw:

For Jack Daw, I've gone for an bit of an experimental monochrome paint scheme which has come out reasonably well.  I was kind of imaging him like a horrible black and white spirit from a Japanese horror movie like Ringu.

My current Viks Beatdown crew looks something like this:

The Viktorias
Student of Conflict
Freikorps Librarian
Jack Daw

The Viks and Jack Daw do the heavy lifting in this list.  Jack Daw is going to draw alot of attention, so he needs cards to keep him alive and that's where Sue comes in.  Sue has a (1) action called Hurt where he can take up to 3 Wds to draw the same number of cards.  Combined with Arcane Reservoir, you've got up to 10 cards in your hand giving you more chance of masks for Whirlwind and Heart Stopper, and chaff cards to discard to keep Jack Daw alive.