Monday, 12 January 2015

The skirmish at draftsman tower

Malifaux Battle report

50ss, Strategy- Squatters Rights
Schemes- A line in the sand (Me- declared) Bodyguard (Dom) Vendetta (Dom) Distract (Me) Entourage

Arcanist Crew
Ramos (or ordinal R4mos, my flying construct) with Field generator, Bleeding edge tech and Seize the day. 
Howard (Harold) Langston with Imbued energies
December Acolyte (vendetta target)
Union Miner
Mobile Toolkit
Metal Gamin

Gremlin Crew
Wong (with whatever upgrade boosts glowy, and maybe another)
lovely assistant
Burt Jebsen (vendetta attacker) 
Mctavish (glowy, the dirty evil scumbag) (bodyguard)
2 rooster riders
2 Lightning bugs

Both myself and Dom wanted to test out a few things in our 100ss pool for the 'Here be Dragons' tournament at the end of January, we met up at the lovely new Firestorm games to play one of the pre-arranged strategies, here's the report, in a story-esque form so if I forget the odd detail it's not as obvious;) I have a couple of photos, will upload them later


Burt stood on the cusp of the hill, looking down into the ruined houses in the quarantine zone, his attention focused on the strangely intact tower in the centre of the wreckage.

“yoo's sure he's gonna be here?” he turned to his companion, who was at that point attempting to surreptitiously paste his elaborate moustache back on.

“De Bag knows! It tells me that de man you hunt will come here, he tinks dat he be leading dose wid him into a trap, he jus’ don’ realise it’s our trap, long as Gator-boy gets past dem, you git your boy and I get de tower everybody gon' be happy...”

Burt nodded, hoping Wong was right. The Ten Thunders spy he had chased across Malifaux was the one who had marked Burt’s clan, an informer for slavers and slaughterers, he had taken refuge within the Arcanists, wearing the robes and weaponry of an acolyte of December. As he squinted into the shadowy half-light he saw movement ahead, which resolved into the shape of Mctavish signalling that their enemy had arrived.  Beside him Wong gestured dramatically, and the Lightning bugs and rooster riders capered forward, Wong and his assistant both vanished in a puff of pink smoke, whilst Burt drew his trusty sidearm and scuttled toward McTavish, soon one more piece of Burt vendetta against the ten thunders would be complete.


                Ordinal R4mos hovered close to the ground, it’s brass wings fluttering behind it as the motley group of M&SU explorers spread out, the acolyte had brought them to this tower claiming it held old malifaux texts on constructs and their repair, which the Ordinal knew could aid his allies in Ampersand. The fleshy members of the union that had volunteered to track these documents down, Willie the lunatic, an unscrupulous miner and Johanna the mercenary were spread out on the left on the ruined area, the better to keep Johanna’s accursed hammer as far from R4mos as possible, although if Harold the Steamborg was wary of the weapon he did not show it, slowly picking his way over the rubble beside her. Something in R4mos cogitator did not like this, the situation seemed to good to be true, and he awaited confirmation of his logic engines obvious confusion, signalling to the Gamin beside him to stay close to him with it’s protective aura, as well as the oblivious toolkit. A blast of gunfire ahead illuminated the ground, silhouetting the stunted forms of gremlins in elaborate costumes taking up position opposite them, as his party advanced R4mos sensed the bulk of Lazarus looming out of the shadows beside him, ice crystals still melting on his battered metal carapace.


The giant construct placed a tattered scrap of hide into R4mos hand, the five words scrawled across it in delicate hand enough to confirm the Ordinal's predictions.

He’s not one of mine. R.

Less than a second later the message had passed from R4mos across the constructs at his command, he turned to Lazarus.


He gestured to the Gamin, which shredded the Toolkit at it's feet, providing enough parts for R4mos to start creating more mechanical insects to support his crew, from the left flank came an agonised shriek as Harold decapitated both the giant rooster and it's rider that had ridden out to declare their ownership of this area. So far this was going exactly as expected.


                The shells Wong had magically imbued for McTavish left trails of burning green across Burt's retinas as they seared through the sky, slamming into a ruined hovel they knocked a cloaked figure into view, a rooster rider sped across the ground to engage the acolyte now he was in the open but was distracted at the last minute by the death of his counterpart, leaving the way clear for Burt to carve his revenge on the ten thunders chest. Drawing his knife he leapt into the ruin, time seeming to slow around him as the imposter acolyte recoiled in fear, recognising the Grem who had hunted him for years, a flash in the distance barely registered in Burt's mind before an explosion ripped through the hovel, hurling Burt away and shredding the acolyte, his bloodied corpse smashing into the rooster rider and knocking it's rider senseless.

Burt staggered to his feet, looking around him at the devastation wreaked by the grenade, where was Wong? The question was soon answered as a shower of sparks and flame shot out of the house closest to the tower, forcing the Hammer wielding human and her miner accomplice back into cover. He looked up to see Lazarus' launcher barrel smoking in the distance, a hovering construct next to him surrounded by smaller scuttling creatures, Burt's trusty pistol raised he fired off a salvo of shots, most of them spanging off the armoured mercenary. Mctavish shot rang out again, the glowy shells slamming into Lazarus and driving him back, Burt barely had time to savour this victory when the berserk Rooster beside him knocked him to the ground before charging towards the lightning bug to the rear. As he scrabbled to his feet a scrawny, soot covered face poked round the corner of the burning hovel.

'Alright green-face, hold this fer me would ya?'

It took Burt a fraction of a second to recognise the stick of dynamite sailing through the air toward him, unfortunately it was a fraction too long and for the second time that day an explosion blasted him from his feet.


R4mos was so far satisfied with the progress of the Skirmish, the logical assault of the M&SU members was driving the more chaotic Gremlins back, Harold had pinned the sorcerer down after distracting him from his explosive exploits, whilst the miner and Johanna were moving up and claiming ground, the only question was why had the false acolyte led them into a Gremlin ambush? R4mos had been expecting Ten Thunders, perhaps even the Guild, but the Bayou dwellers were rarely seen working with human infiltrators. Beside him Lazarus continued to sustain blasts from the Glowing rifle, and after losing an arm to the barrage was falling back from the fray. Unwilling to turn down raw materials, even those so unwillingly given, R4mos quickly marshalled his soulstones to create more arachnids from the wrecked limb. A shout from ahead drew his attention toward Willie, the lunatic was drawing magical fire from one of the absurdly dressed gremlins by the tower, blue sparks threatening to set off the dangerous barrow of explosives. The odds of the human surviving to continue the assault were slim, and R4mos re-formulated his plans, removing Willie as a variable.  This proved wise when a second Gremlin wizard appeared around the edge of the tower and with the help of the grotesquely large pistol armed greenskin that Willie had attacked he was eventually brought down, his barrow exploding spectacularly, the red flame almost disguising the flash of purple as the leader of the wizards disappeared from under Harold’s nose and reappeared on the tower itself, raining down lightning and flame into the Steamborg and Miner nearby. Driven back by the force of the Gremlins assault, they retreated to Johanna’s position, where the rebel steamfitter taunted them, her unique magic re-invigorating them and healing the shallowest of their wounds. The proximity of the wizard’s assistant seemed to be swinging the flank in the gremlins favour, and whilst multiple paths of logic swung through R4mos cogitator, the course of action was simple;


The badly damaged Steamborg’s eyes flashed as the message was relayed across the board, the lunged forward toward the tower. The ground before R4mos was by now littered with scrap from the Swarms of constructs he had sent towards the Human Gator hunter and the Gremlin pistolier, who were fighting almost back to back amongst the constructs, crushing another soulstone to send energy through his core, R4mos moved forward, extending his protective field and summoning yet more spiders to the fray, along with the more sturdy Gamin. The probability of success was slipping, and he may need to intervene personally.


             Usually Burt liked bugs, the brightly coloured creatures that you found dotted around the Bayou were the closest thing most Gremlin young’uns got to candy, as long as you avoided the really poisonous ones anyway. These bugs Burt did not like, just as he was about to blast one away with his gun another would latch on and distract him, as soon as he’d dealt with that two more would appear, if it wasn’t for the support given by Mctavish and his gator, which by now had eaten more scrap than its size could possibly allow, Burt and the Lightning bug would have been overwhelmed beneath the sea of gears and claws. He could see Wong cursing from the tower as his assistant was torn in half by the Steamborg, with a puff of purple smoke he disappeared and re-appeared again, hurling more lightning at the mechanical monstrosity, who was barely able to move two of his five legs. A movement behind the rubble drew Burt’s attention, the hovering construct that had stayed away from the melee so far had moved within range, Burt fired a shot toward it at the same time that Wong spotted this new threat- a huge explosion engulfed the area around Wong, shredding several spiders around a dismembered lightning bug and damaging the winged master, which appeared to rebuild itself even as Burt’s bullets tore chunks off it. Away from this scrum two other humans were busying themselves sweeping away the Gremlins territory marks, reclaiming the area for the arcanists. A fierce heat behind Burt was all the warning he needed to duck beneath the claws of yet another spider, this one accompanied by a gremlin sized creature made of what appeared to be molten metal? He swung at it with his pistol butt as Mctavish ran past;

“Wong’s gone an rabbited on us Burt, steamborg damn near took his head right off” An echoing shot came from Mctavish weapon as he finally got a bead on the arcanist creation “That put the darn thing down, right who’s next?”

Burt was still trying to disentangle himself from the spiders around him when something connected with the side of his head that brought stars to his eyes and set part of his hair alight.. did the metal grem-thing just headbutt him? He swayed on the spot as he turned to face it.. oh yeah,,, that’s exactly what happened.. was about to happen again? A dull thud of metal on flesh was the last thing Burt heard before darkness overcame him.


                     The loss of Harold signalled a major turning point for the skirmish, when the construct had driven off the diminutive wizard R4mos had increased their success probability to 80%, without the steamborg, and with the hunters strangely glowing rifle slicing through steel armour like butter, the odds were shortening rapidly. With no time to construct more allies the most logical course of action would be to ensure this victory himself if the contents of the tower were to be secured. The last of his spiders rushed the hunter and remaining wizard, pinning them in place even as they were blasted apart or eaten by the gator, R4mos sailed forward, sacrificing another spider to magnetise toward it he blasted a bolt of lightning at the Gremlin, then finally succeeded in distracting the Hunter long enough for the flares the miner had been preparing with Johanna in the long lines of sand to leap into the sky- soon Arcanist reinforcements would be here, and the tower would be secured, he turned back toward the Gremlins in time to see the human gator wrangler sling one of his unconscious comrades over his shoulder, with a wry grin at the hovering construct he slunk away into the shadows, leaving R4mos taking stock in a field of scrap. A sound behind him alerted him to a bedraggled Willie digging himself out from under the ruins of the hovel,

“Hehehe That was a fine shindig, lots o’ boom fer your buck.. Did we win?”  


Score- 8-7 to me, 
I scored 2 for squatters rights, 3 for a line in the sand, and 3 for distract thanks to a Ramos hail mary on turn 5. 
Dom scored 4 for squatters rights and 3 for bodyguard 

Post game- 
This game basically came down to initiative on turn two and a VERY lucky guess (or genius piece of deduction, one or t'other) after Dom didn't reveal either scheme I assumed he plumped for Bodyguard and Vendetta, entourage isn't his bag generally, I had activation control so distract wasn't optimal and he'd always declare alits, I had initially pegged Lazarus as the Vendetta victim from the heinous glowy mctavish, as the terrain set out gave the Laz nowhere to hide against Mctavish horrible ignore-everything shots, however at the end of turn one Tavish had blasted the acolyte so obviously no vendetta, however the obscenely cheap Burt (6ss) had moved into a position to finish the acolyte (7ss) off, despite there being better targets for him, This made me reconsider Vendetta again- I decided that if I won initiative (which I did with a 13 thanks to seize the day) I'd give the snowy chump a backful of Lazarus grenade launcher's 3 shot special- this would achieve a few things- If he WAS the vendetta target I could hopefully eliminate him before it had even been revealed, denying all 3VP, if not I could cheat the acolytes DF down, get a severe damage with Laz and drop 2 templates over Burt and the nearby rooster rider, The acolyte was a goner anyway so his loss will still be mediated by the damage to the rooster and Burt if I could pull it off. It was a little tense as I was shooting into a 3 way melee, and I really wanted to hit the Acolyte, the first shot hit Burt and Dom cheated to miss, the second was square in the acolytes back and flipped a 12 for damage, taking the acolyte out, hammering Burt and reducing the rooster to the point it was berserk (which effectively took it out of the game to all intents and purposes, and as I had distracted it last turn it struggled to get the AP to remove the condition) one shot that denied 3VP and almost certainly won me the game (the third shot incidentally did another haul of weak damage to Burt- Lazarus version of ranged flurry is great in that it unlike most versions it does not need to target the same model with all three shots.)

I had some above average luck in this game, I summoned the swarm twice from a straight flip (no cheating required) as well as having the red joker in hand twice (once for a first turn summon, again for a brutal amount of damage on Wong). Dom was also (I'm pretty sure) taking it easy on me, Wong spent turn one making pretty pictures with scheme markers and not exploding things, and he 'forgot' a very important squee when Wong was down to his last wound. despite this it was very close, coming right down to Ramos last activation on Turn 5 to get the second Distract token back on McTavish to push me 1VP ahead, a cracking game vs a very friendly and challenging opponent.

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