I started Malifaux in April after our local henchman said he was struggling to find a game on the way back from Smogcon, I'd played the Bushido Masters there (finishing my usual halfway after introducing my opponents to the Bakemono hug=draw equation) and he'd been throwing his gremlins at people. On the whole I enjoy Malifaux, it does have some strange rules (oblique charges, odd terrain and LoS and very strange rules on fighting on different heights) but the game fluff is excellent, the models generally beautiful (though where they and Bushido cross I tend to prefer the Bushido versions- the Penangallan is a good example, the Malifaux one is nice, but the Bushido model is horrifically fantastic) however in this battle report I'm going to write up me not having as much fun- in fact me getting taken apart horrifically by Nicodemus, the evil Mortician and his seemingly unending horde of evil. I apologise for not having game photos, but I wasn't going to write this up except I asked for advice on A Wyrd Place (a really spectacularly friendly and useful Malifaux Facebook group) and they said a report would help them give me better advice- so here it is, advise away:) most of the Arcanist models used are in the slideshow to the right if you want some illustrations:) I also apologise for my terrible spelling of the Resser names- not my faction so I care not:)
strategy- Turf war
schemes- Vendetta, Assassinate, Cursed object (both), Breakthrough (ben), A line in the sand (me).
Unfortunately the terrain made Turf war difficult as the centre of the table was on top of height 4 stepped terrain piece, with steps approaching it from the corners facing our corner deployment, so there was always going to be a bundle on the roof at some point. (one of my regrets is calling the game before Ironsides got stuck in to the bundle, but with two hanged she would have spent the whole turn taking horror duels)
Ironsides with message from the union, frontline leadership and challenge the crowd. 6 Pool
Joss with Imbued Energies
2x union miners
My Theory- Union miners to lay down heavy scheme markers on whichever flank was unopposed off the plateau, Ironsides and the rest to bum rush the roof and smash face whilst setting fire to things and shooting them down with gunsmith, Willie to secure my rear with bombs. Mouse to make stuff slightly wounded to gain the benefits of handpicked men and maybe making the gunsmith fast.
Nicodemus (unsure of upgrades, 7 pool)
Mortimer with his favourite shovel and corpse bloat
Datsu Ba with whatever upgrade allows her to summon sheishin
2x Flesh constructs
I think that's it, it was a late game and there was so much on the table by the end (all proxies) that It's a little blurry, there may have been one more model?
First turn for me was as expected, I wounded Joss and Johanna with mouse (and then had to heal Johanna as I managed to cause severe damage to both of them with a pair of insane double neg damage flips) and the main group advanced, the miners took the flank that didn't contain Datsu Ba. Ben's vulture and Datsu Ba went wide and summoned a seishin whilst the flesh constructs stumbled forward onto the plateau with Bette backing them up, Mortimer moved once then dropped two corpse tokens with found a bone and corpse bloat from which Nico raised a shikome and a Punk zombie, as they started within 6" of Nico they both had two actions, enabling the punk to catch up to Bette and the Shikome to take a wide flank toward the deployment zone.
Turn Two was a bit more interesting, Johanna stripped poison from the closest Flesh construct to stop it healing whist the union boys got on with laying markers, mouse got caught in the backfield with Willie waiting for the rest to move, but did manage to wound the Gunsmith, giving it fast in the process. Ironsides moved up and firebombed one Construct who then got blasted to one wound by the Gunsmith only for the Sheishin to move up and sacrifice itself for the heal. Datsu ba continued to move down the flank supported by the shikome and created another Sheishin, which starting within 6" of the vulture wasn't slow, moved up and made the centre immune to blasts from willie. The constructs reached within 6" of the centre and ground to a halt, blocking Bette's path but staying far enough away to deny Ironsides any Adrenaline next turn. Mortimer repeated his antics of last turn after another walk, then Nico attempted to summon another shikome but Black Jokered the draw- he tried again and succeeded, then created another punk Zombie, the shikome followed it's compatriot down the flank and the punk joined the scrum in the middle. Willie couldn't move or see anything so he blew some ruins up. That'll learn em.
Turn 3 is where it got silly, Ironsides needed to get close but couldn't see to charge and had no adrenaline to teleport, so she moved to within 3" and firebombed the hell out of a flesh construct, Johanna moved up with her and smashed another construct down in one hit (love that girl) whilst the gunsmith laid down enough damage on the flaming construct to kill it and the end of the turn. Bette leapt over the dead construct and beat Johanna pretty badly but hard to kill kicked in, Joss retaliated by taking Bette off at the neck (here we messed up- he didn't flip to she if she came back, we just assumed she did) Mortimer moved up and dug around some more whilst the vulture came in from the flank to support the centre and through it Nicodem brought the construct back, as well as two fresh hanged from Mortimer's markers. The shikome reached my deployment and started dropping breakthrough markers whilst my Miners carried on laying a thick line of scheme markers. Datsu Ba moved up next to willie after he had activated and failed a shot at her, then dropped another sheishin to make her immune to his damage, and the first punk zombie ran up the ladder to charge joss, doing a couple of wounds whilst the fresh flesh construct finished off Johanna, bringing Bette back. The hanged saw joss injuries and decided to finish him off, 8 wounds became 4, became 2, became 1, became dead. Not so scary after all.
At this point I called it, yes Ironsides would be getting enough adrenaline to be useful next turn, but with two hanged and no condition removal left, two dead M&SU members, 114 soulstones of enemy on the board and Datsu ba and Shikome moving in from the rear it seemed a bit pointless to carry on.
I scored 6 (3 for Alits, 3 for Turf war) he scored 9 (3 for cursed, 2 for breakthrough and 4 for turf war)
Thoughts: Possibly one of the most demoralising games I have played in any system, though I can see where I could have improved with hindsight. I played very cagey, nowhere near aggressive enough for the force I had, but the terrain and the unknown factor of never having played this variant of Ressers before didn't help (I have been reminded I played Yan Lo, but that was much more fun, despite the painful " I'll just send my rail golem into that student of steel and see how nasty they actually are"...). I made a few mistakes (blocking the ladder preventing Mouse and Willie from moving up) and was too focused on dropping the Constructs to realise how easily they were replaced, I should have sent Joss with his energies up the unopposed flank for a run at Mortimer or Nicodem to stop the summoning horror, but with 7ss worth of damage prevention I'm still not sure I could have pulled it off. My opponents's luck was incredible, he had at least two 12+ feathers in his hand every turn, and the red joker twice, his summons (bar one) worked perfectly, even getting two off from a straight flip, and the hanged pretty much finished me off without any real problems.
being out-activated every turn was a real issue as it meant Ironsides just couldn't get in a good position, and I have no idea why I chose Cursed Object- should have gone for vendetta with the Gunsmith or assassinate really, a poor scheme choice is what finished this game for me. Next time I play this top hat wearing jackass I'm bringing the mages and probably some SS miners. and be more aggressive, much more aggressive.
Ironsides herself is still a mystery to me- toe to toe with Nicodem she would have little adrenaline as he was so Isolated, her 2/3/4 damage track is so poor she would struggle against his impossible to wound, so without any good/bad luck and ignoring his 7 ss of prevention it would take around 7 activations to drop him (2 full turns and a bit) Ironsides really isn't a killing machine, she is great at buffing and staying alive, but for actually dishing out the damage pretty much every Arcanist master bar Collette is a better choice. But I do love Ironsides so I will persevere.