Saturday, 24 January 2015

Malifaux battle report- The first war at the Docks.

Malifaux battle report- The first war at the Docks.

The Oxford Mages look on as Lilith corners the infatuated Willie...

As Ben was an absolute star last weekend at getting more of the docks painted than I could have managed on my own, (my lovely wife helped too) I was able to spare the time for a game on Thursday, as I'm a bit under the weather at the moment and could do with playing at home we decided to give the table it's first outing to give me an idea of scatter terrain and the interior layout at the same time.  

50ss Arcanist vs Neverborn

My Crew
Ironsides with Seize the day, Challenge the Crowd and Warding Runes
Lazarus with Imbued energies
December Acolyte
Oxford Mage- Blood Ward
Oxford Mage- Doom Ward
Mobile Toolkit

Ben's Crew
Lilith with some upgrades (wings and fears given form and another...)
Primordial magic
Widow Weaver
3 Tots

Deployment- Flank
Strategy- Turf War

Schemes- AliTS, Breakthrough (both announced) Bodyguard, Cursed Object (both), Deliver the Message.

Ignore the unpainted terrain in the factory, it does not exist...

Turn 1
The tots spread to the flanks, two jogging acros the long bridge towards the toll booth,  the one in the east scuttling through the factory supported by coppelius, The Ox mages headed along the gremlin skiff to the supply boat, trying to stay within ward range of the boss whilst hitting the flank. Widow Weaver skittered out though the main dock door in the centre and dropped a web, seemingly safe for next turn, but after the toolkit tinkered with Lazarus' bullets a little, he dumped Imbued energies to gain fast, stepped up and Rapid fired into the nightmarish beast, forcing her to use two SS for prevention after some meaty damage flips. The Acolyte hidden round the sdie door of the factory was less successful against the tot, missing clean twice (Ben's hands were strong due to 2x rush of magic). Willie and Johanna headed over teh crane into the small dock in the centre only for the lilitu to draw willie across the dock and onto the transport barge towards her, the Doppelganger morphed into another lilitu to keep willie moving until he was close enough for Lilith to fly through the dark factory windows onto the barge and threaten him next turn (she also raised trees between WW and Laz to stop his surprisingly efficient barrage), this forced Ironsides to move up in support- Ironsides also got some small vengeance on the Lilitu, taunting her in and dumping her into the filthy water by the boat.

Them tots are FAST

Turn 2-
Initiative was won by the Neverborn- the Doppelgangers ability to cheat the initiative beat Seize the day hands down every turn this game (until she died), at best it could be said that I was draining good cards from his hand.  Coppelius stated the turn off by beating the tar out of the acolyte in the doorway with a severe slap followed by an entirely unnecessary red joker to the face, gaining two eyeballs in the process. The toolkit sharpened Laz again, but he couldn’t get a clear shot at Coppelius or the Tot so instead he jogged along the wooden jetty to the turf war zone, hoping his armour and self-heal would keep him scoring for a while. The two Tots on the bridge sprinted through the customs house, across the barge and into melee range of the mages to tie them up for a turn, which is when I discovered that the Oxford Mage of Blood (who was leading the way) is a horrific combat wombat- furious casting plus the (0) action gives a total of 4 melee attacks in one activation, I splattered the first tot with Elemental bolts then when the other tot rushed in using it’s brood rule Blood’s Elemental Strike dumped severe damage out (with flaming strike) to end the little sods day. This did unfortunately leave the enraged Blood standing slightly singed in a pool of black gore across the only path between boats, forcing Doom to swim across the gap and climb up the side of the barge to advance any. The primordial Magic floated though the factory wall and made Willie insignificant (as Ben had quite accurately guessed I was about to hit Lilith with cursed object) Whilst the Doppelganger (who was now bereft of anyone to copy) ran into the factory toward Widow weaver.  Ironsides took some damage from fears given from, cursed Lilith  then decided it was time to press the advantage and used a point of adrenaline to jump into B2B with the surprised Lilitu in the water, then punched the Demoness into paste with a flurry of savage blows, Lilith retaliated by slicing Willie a new blast hole, only for the resulting explosion to carry all the way across the water and slay the primordial magic, ah Willie, how I love thee. Lilith then went and had a slap at the damp Ironsides, but not a much came of it. Widow weaver was far more effective, tearing chunks out of poor Lazarus (who knew she ignored armour?) so Johanna stepped forward ready to help out next turn, the Tot in the east moved in to smash the toolkit next turn and it was looking pretty balanced so far- both sides scored for Turf, I scored for Cursed., 2-1 to me

One of the reasons I love both Malifaux and Bushido- turn two is always glorious!

Turn 3-
Initiative came down to dirty stinking Doppelganger cheating again (not the sneakiest thing the ganger was going to do this turn) and Widow Weaver had another crack at Lazarus on the small central dock, I got lucky with my flips and her pointy teeth only scraped the paint a bit, Lazarus first self repaired then retaliated by sticking his bayonet into the wounded spider woman a couple of times, once for severe which Ben reduced with another soulstone. Johanna stepped up to give a the Doppelganager a whack with the hammer (can you see my mistake? I didn't) wounding the shapeshifter who then decided that a relic hammer was a fine idea, promptly morphed into the confused Johanna's form (doh!) and began wailing on the even more confused Lazarus, that hurt a lot and left the leviathan on one wound, owch.. over on the rickety gangplank by the barge the pair of Masters continued their dust up, with more punches, black blood, Fears given Form, regeneration and soulstones being burned into the ether, the only noticeable difference being that Atkins remembered to hit Ironsides with cursed object after I'd activated her (Blood was just out of range to make her immune to it too, pants...) speaking of blood, the two mages jogged their pathetic 4" move twice to try and get in on the action (why are the M&SU so sloooow?) whilst I cunningly disengaged with the toolkit and jogged up to Lazarus- I had a plan... The Tot decided it would rather score VP's and ran off to drop a breakthrough marker by the fruit cart, but Coppelius bounded round the corner and up the jetty (he is a nippy one) and engaged both the toolkit and Lazarus, this could get sticky for my favourite mercenary, but we'll see.  we both scored for turf war again, and Atkins scored for Cursed. 3 all.

Unusually Ben was actually playing the schemes whilst I was too focused on killing- this is a reversal of our usual games. 

 Turn 4-
The bloody Doppelganger cheated again, and I needed my SS, so I reluctantly let Ben go first, predictably Widow weaver (who had been pooing webs every turn, i forgot to mention it but they are around...) went for the big guy but missed her first attack, then bit Lazarus last chunk of wounds off, stopping stage 1 of my cunning plan, but not stage 2- hehehe... The toolkit gingerly stepped around Coppelius to get within 3" of all three of the neverborn in the centre, (and inside the trees so everything could see it) I used my one good card to pass the Horror Duel (I needed a 10 with a web nearby and wp3 on the little robot) and then self-detonated, If you aren't familiar with this action, all models within 3" must pass a TN11+ the turn number defense duel, or take damage equal to the turn number- this would have left the Weaver on one wound, coppelius on 6 and killed the Doppelganger outright, of course letting it off so early in the turn he would probably be fine, but at TN15 I hoped to strip a few cards from his hand, it worked better than expected though as he had a poor hand for once, and only had a high card to pass one duel, choosing to keep the doppelganger alive and take the hits on the other two, awesome (plan A was to assimilate the same action with Lazarus, then do it again with the toolkit:) big bada-boom). after picking himself up from the oil and blood-soaked cobbles Coppelius made with the eye candy (hoho) and gave the Weaver a hand before moving up to Johanna for another cursing. Ironsides went next, teleporting over to the far side of Lilith to get within range of buffing the mages and Johanna, before punching the mistress of malifaux a few more times (yes, despite literally just being cursed I totally forgot to curse Lilith... again...).  With the M&SU bonuses kicking in the wounded Johanna easily squished the Doppelganger, but not before it mimicked one of the weavers attacks and took her down to Hard to Wound, she also failed to remove the curse marker (dammit Wk4!) yet more failures occurred as the mages attempted to volley fire into Widow Weaver, Doom bottled it after failing his horror duel, Blood came through again though wounding the spider lady, the Tot in the corner kept up his scheme dropping shenanigans, on the ore barge this time, probably glad to be out of the Clusterfeth in the middle of the board.     another Turf War each and another Cursed for Ben. 4-3 to Ben

You can tell its Turf War by the fact that bad things happen more often in the middle...

Turn 5-
It was time for drastic action if I was going to claw back any VP's and the only man for the Job was- The Oxford mage of Blood! he charged acrosst the barge and into lilith, then promptly kicked the black blood out of her (magically, i mean he didn't want to dirty his feet or anything), The Neverborn Master spewed some black blood around but it wasn't enough to stop the Red Joker finally finishing her off (I only had 2 red jokers all game, one to hit Lilith with ironsides, one to damage her)  his companion finally made good on the 'doom' front though and killed widow weaver at last, removing the web markers that had dogged my warbands horror and manipulative duels all game, (Weaver is surely a must have for Turf War?) Coppelius wasn't about to give me the last laugh though, and an eyeball plucking later Johanna went down. Ironsides was now free to skip into the breakthrough zone and drop a marker whilst the Tot popped a third into my zone and started to head back just in case, with only one Mage and Coppelius in the rather battered centre dock neither of us were scoring for turf this turn, and with Ben having 3 turf, 2 curses and 3 for breakthrough vs my 3 turf, 1 curse and 1 breakthrough it was looking like an 8-5 victory to the neverborn, I desperately needed a turn 6...

The Tot on the Ore barge later retired from a life of terror and took up a pleasure boat business in the Bayou...

Turn 6-
And I got it! The Oxford mage of Doom in the centre could (just) drop a curse token on Coppelius if I could act first... initiative flip- two two's! The doppelganger was clearly cursing me from beyond the grave... I didn't even have a soulstone to reflip, and the eyeball snatcher gibbered off happily into the darkness across the jetty. my mage tried to fire a few paltry bolts after him but I failed another horror duel despite the lack of web markers and the [+] for the nearby master.. (the highest card in my hand was a 5...) this also meant the paralysed gimp was stood in the way of blood at the very edge of the Turf scoring area, meaning I couldn't even get in there for another point that way! Doom is going to get a Gibbs slap to the back of the head when we get back to base... Ironsides did nail down two more Breakthrough markers on the main road though, so at least I had pulled it back to an 8-7 to Ben. ah well, it could have been worse... 

run away little coppelius...

Some games are learning experiences due to what happens on the table, and some due to what happens before the game even takes place. About halfway through turn one I realised I had completely chumped this up, I took breakthrough with a warband where half my models were walk 4, Cursed object vs a neverborn crew with a high Wk across the board who outnumbered me to boot, and my crew selection was based on fear of the unknown rather than why I knew worked, the only reason Ben won by such a small margin was because it was his first time playing Lilith, he certainly out-Malifauxed me across the board from the moment we flipped for strategy.lessons learned; Crew selection> very important> taking the right scheme> very very important!

The revelation of the game for me was the Oxford Mage of Blood, I usually take him as my second after Nemesis as the immunity to conditions is very powerful, but I don't worry too much about the ability to use his (1) action in melee, this game showed me how deadly that can be- with furious casting I can get three 2/3/4 hits off (with burning+1 usually) at Ca6, followed by a (0) of 1/2/3 which can either gain me a soulstone, up to 2/3/4 as in this case, or even insta-kill! my tactics using this fellow are bound to change after this game. Ben's eye-opener was the mobile toolkit, he's only ever seen him sharpening stuff for Lazarus or Howard, or making Joss armour +3, and usually he gets splatted early on for Ramos to make scrap, but as he survived to turn four in this game I had the opportunity to show how deadly his explosion could be, at TN15 even his DF6 models struggled to dodge it, and it probably kept me in the game when things were looking grim, not bad for 3ss;)

Thematically the two masters stood on the rickety gangplank above the water punching the crap out of each other for three turns is a brilliant image, between us I used four of my five soulstones on damage prevention, all on Ironsides, between that and the adrenaline heals plus the Regen given by Doom Ward Ironsides took almost twice her wound count over the three turns from lilith's attacks and (more frequently) Fears Given Form, Ben also spent six of his seven soulstones of prevention, 3 on the widow weaver and 3 more on lilith, in the end it was only a big hit from ironsides for severe damage and the heroic actions of Blood Mage that took her out, although it almost killed the mage in the process and   finally took Ironsides down to hard to kill!  (edit- I have since realised that in Blood's proximity Ironside's would be immune to stinking black blood, so she probably came out shinier that i thought by a long shot)

Ben is known as a Proxy king (amongst other things) in our gaming group, he loves to try out new ideas and new crews, which is great for me because I get to play against everything you can imagine, it's like having four more players in the local meta, and I learn a lot from our games, the fact he is a fair bit better than me at most wargames balances out the fact he's usually using a crew for the first time, it does mean i don't take too many photos of our games though as the proxies do look a bit odd (in this game a knight models harley quinn stood in for the doppelganger, a cyberpunk devil ronin stood in for Lilith and a Bushido Hebi monster for the Weaver) but next time I play on the board it will hopefully be finished and I'll get some in game photos:)

Until next time... *shakes fist"


  1. Awesome report, very enjoyable.
    Thanks for writing it up ...

    1. cheers:) Might try and get another one up over the next week or so:)