Thursday, 14 November 2013

Malifaux: Learning Lessons

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants - Sir Issac Newton

Let me preface this post by saying much of what I am talking about here has been said in one form or another by others, particularly the gaming legend Joel Henry on his blog and on twitter hence the quote at the top of the post.  

I wanted to talk about a game I played on Wednesday night this week against my friend and clubmate Sam and some things I took from that game on both sides which I'd like to apply to more of my Malifaux gaming.

The game was 50SS Squatters Rights with a scheme pool of Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Bodyguard, Cursed Object and Murder Protege generated by everyone's favourite lazyfaux panda @malifauxschemes.

Jakob Lynch (Rising Sun, Expert Cheater, Woke Up With a Hand)
Hungering Darkness (Fears Given Form)
2 Illuminated
1 Beckoner
Mature Nephilim
Schemes:  Bodyguard (Huggy, unannounced), Breakthrough (unannounced)

The Doppelganger I took as she can Interact when engaged, the Mature was there to fly about Wing Buffeting people away from markers and going for Breakthrough.

Rasputina (Arcane Reservoir, Black Joker is Red Joker, Super Ice Mirror)
Ice Golem
3 Ice Gamin
2 December Acolytes
Schemes:  Line in the Sand (unannounced), Murder Protege (Mature Neph, unannounced)

I got off to a really bad start when I lost the Mature and Huggy on turn 1 due to some bad positioning which Sam punished me for, quite rightly.  This then developed into one of the closest games of Malifaux I've had for a long time.

I wanted to pick up on some things from the game in the way we both played and how they relate to things that Joel has talked about in the past on his blog and on twitter about being a better Malifaux player.

The best laid plans
My plan for the Mature Nephilim went out of the window by the end of the first turn (it was probably a half arsed plan anyway).  That meant I needed to re-focus and re-plan what it was I was doing.  The Doppelganger had to switch away from the Squat markers and on to getting Breakthrough leaving Lynch, Beckoner and the Illuminated to get my Squat markers and guard them.

Mr Henry's Lesson:  Have a plan but be prepared to change it.

Don't ease up
After the first turn, Sam was destroying me.  He'd killed Huggy (who buried) and his Murder Protege target.  My crew was reeling, on the ropes.  What did he not do?  Let up on me.  I was battered but he didn't stop pressing his advantage.  His crew moved up to the Squat Markers and started to lay his Line in the Sand markers.  He pressed home his advantage, eventually leading to Lynch getting killed by a December Acolyte and most of my crew being mopped up.

Mr Henry's Lesson:  Don't ease up off the gas.
My Extra Lesson:  December Acolytes are awesome.

Play to the last flip
Related to the point above, both of us played hard to the last flip of the game.  Turn 5 I was down to Huggy, Doppelganger and 1 Illuminated.  Huggy was alive but on less than half wounds, denying me a VP.  So last turn Huggy spent hitting the Doppelganger and trying to heal himself up to get VP.  Sam spent the last turn trying to get my Squat markers flipped and throwing an Ice Gamin at Huggy to try and getting him either dead or more wounded (which he did).  Both of us played hard down to the wire.

Mr Henry's Lesson:  Want it.  Push yourself to win.
My Extra Lesson:  Remember Huggy has a trigger to heal 2 wounds...

I had Bodyguard on Huggy who I foolishly got killed on the first turn.  With some effort on turn 2 I managed to Lure over the Wendigo and Lynch made it Brilliant and killed it bringing Huggy back.  Hooray!  Just needed to keep him alive now for the VP.  With that in mind, what was the first thing I did?  Charged him back into Sam's crew to attack a December Acolyte.  I iz dumb.

I didn't focus on what was important:  scoring VP by keeping Huggy alive.  I realized this quite quickly and was lucky enough to win Initiative on the next turn (yay for Doppelgangers) and get Huggy to safety.

Mr Henry's Lesson:  Focus.

The conclusion of the game was a surprise, neither of us genuinely knew who had won.  It shook out as:

Me:  Squatters Rights: 3VP, Breakthrough: 3VP, Bodyguard: 2VP
Sam:  Squatters Rights:  3VP, Line in the Sand:  2VP, Murder Protege: 2VP

8-7 win to me.  A close finish and a result that was very much against the run of play in the game.


GamingMonkee said...

I thought Sam was using Mei?!

Tigerstyle said...

It may have looked like Mei Feng, but he was proxying it as Raspy as someone sold the Raspy crew he was planning on using :P