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.

No comments: