Saturday, 7 March 2015

ToMB - Mick v Jonah

This past week Mick and I decided to play out our first ToMB against one another.  Here's some of the details first:

Deployment: Corner
Strategy: Interference
Schemes: ALiTS; Power Ritual; Deliver a Message; Protect Territory; Breakthrough

In the spirit of ToMB we each took the full crew boxes plus the rest of our commitment for month one and some extras.  This worked out as the Rail Crew, 3 x Metal Gamin and Johana for Mick with Torch and Blade, Witchling Handler, Brutal Effigy and Pathfinder for me.  Mick with his Arcanists chose Deliver a Message and Protect Territory and myself with the Guild opted for Deliver a Message as well and Power Ritual.

We both felt a little constrained by our crew choices as neither of us would have chosen what we had with the strats/schemes on offer (I had a (theoretically) great plan to take Nino and the Pathfinder and put them in opposite corners to drop scheme markers on turn two with some Hunters running up to support them (plus take the corners for Interference) but it worked out as far too many SS).  I felt like it was a difficult match up for me because of all the armour and practically everything in Mick's crew having Hard to Kill but with me being able to splash Burning around I did have the perfect counter so it made for an interesting game.

With the Witchling Handler I felt a little quicker than usual although one of my Witchling's did nothing except start off dropping a scheme marker in my own deployment zone then spend the rest of the game trying to play catch up (though the Handler also died fairly early - see below!)!  The Pathfinder did well by taking down a Rail Worker early in the game (I cheated in a Mask to ignore armour after Mick had cheated in a Tomb for +2 Armour which was a sly kick in the teeth!) plus was generally frustrating by chucking out and moving Traps and also dropping my second scheme marker for Power Ritual.  My Brutal Effigy ran to the other adjacent corner and dropped a third scheme marker and also managed to take out a Rail Worker (which had previously lost two wounds to an exploding Witchling!).  He also managed to hold up a Metal Gamin in the late game to keep the scheme marker in place.  The rest of the game as mostly moving around the centre staying more than 6" away and trying to move into whichever quarter our models were needed.  Samael impressed once again despite all my reservations about him and I'm thinking that I need to take him more often.  I ran him without his upgrade this time as I couldn't afford it but he put some hurt on Kang (who promptly healed four wounds because it was turn four!), took out the Emberling and also acted as a big deterrent in the part of the board he was in.

Mick lost a lot of duels early in the game although it was only the one Rail Worker who felt the wrath of the Pathfinder and the Emberling who died until end of the game when Sonnia took out both Kang and Johana and the Effigy took out another Rail Worker.  He made a mistake in the first/second turn by putting Mei Feng in Sonnia's face to Deliver a Message without realising that Master's couldn't do it.  I had moved the Witchling Handler back and she was engaged with Mei at the start of turn three when I flipped a 12 for initiative and thought I was on for the three VPs for Delivering a Message.  Mick took a risk in burning a SS to re-flip initiative and came up with a 13 (Seize the Day helped with this).  It was a risk but a well calculated one that won the game in the end (see below) but also meant the Mei took out the Handler in one hit!  I cheated a RJ for her first Df flip then an 11 but Mei did 4 moderate damage then pushed the Handler back into Hazardous terrain and did another 4 to kill her - ouch!  Mei was mostly irritating otherwise but on turn three Kang and Johana also discarded Imbued Energies to get engaged with Sonnia.  Mick won initiative next turn which allowed Johana to Deliver a Message.  My other Witchling Stalker eventually went down to the combined efforts of a Rail Worker and Metal Gamin (though there was some bad luck with a BJ damage flip in there) who went hunting the Brutal Effigy.  At this point the Pathfinder was mostly hiding so that I could try to hold the corner it was in for Interference which meant a Metal Gamin and Rail Worker could go about dropping scheme markers for Protect Territory with abandon!

The game finished with a 8-6 victory for Mick (Mick scored 3VPs for Protect, 3VPs for Deliver a Message and 2VPs for Interference; I got 3VPs for Interference and 3VPs for Power Ritual).

I'm enjoying Guild and there's more things I want to try out but the more I play Sonnia the less I enjoy her.  She feels a bit of a one trick pony who isn't particularly effective at that one trick.  The few games I've played with Perdita I find her to be a lot more flexible.  I think it partly because I've yet to really get Sonnia going so I'll definitely persevere with her some more.  I think she definitely benefits from some help with movement with makes Francisco almost an auto-take for his 5" Push.  Pathfinder's and Brutal Effigy's have definitely been my two most reliable minions so far.

I'll let Mick edit with his thoughts on his Rail Crew (or post a separate thread).

(A charitable write up there, was an interesting game, I'll add my thought's later for now here's some blurry photos... Mick)

Jonah let me deploy first, so I took cover from what I expected to be a flamey death line

Sonnia had spotted my utter lack of ranged attacks however, and just wandered blithely on

The table was pretty balanced, not too many firing lanes, not so much cover I'd be free to jog around, and one puddle of useful dangerous slime. The pathfinder is in the top right, behind the red roofed house. the git.

Couple of pics from the end of turn one, before I inevitable got too excited/stroppy to take pictures;)


  1. Rail workers df trigger reduces dmg by 2 doesn't add +2 armour so doesn't get ignored by stuff that ignores armour.

    1. Mick should probably know this! Although Severe damage on the Pathfinder is 5 so still would have done 3 sounds ignoring the one point of armour.

  2. Nice report. Sonnia's blasting trick becomes a lot more effective if you add Papa Loco and a Death Marshall into the mix, but I agree that she's very focussed on dealing damage; this can make her less demanding to play than some of the trickier masters.

    1. Yeah, I've run her with Papa Loco and she was more useful but I couldn't afford him in this game. Still feels like she needs a lot of investment to get her working though.

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  4. Thanks for the write up:) Jonah didn't mention I started the game more than a little bit ranty as things seemed to be going against me, (I always draw terrible hands at malifaux, other than one card each turn I had 7 as my highest card all game...) but he was chilled enough to carry on until I calmed down, which was very kind of him:)

    I found the Rail crew very different to my usual M&SU crews, I'm naturally a very defensive player at all wargames, but in Malifaux that tendency to castle up and play it slow had massively punished me in every game I'd done it, Ironsides work's best when her and the union are directly applied to the face, and Ramos needs his hitters up front buying him time to make minions, so I'd got used to playing fast and aggressive, this crew (entirely walk 4 bar Kang, Mei and Emberling) just couldn't do that, not least because without ranged support they needed to hug cover to avoid being set on fire (a lot). In fact, I almost stumbled upon this crews best asset by accident, during my stroppier early turns I had assumed that my inability to extend myself and take the fight to the enemy was going to result in me being massacred, what I hadn't noticed was that barring Mei and the Emberling my entire crew had Hard to Kill, and almost the entire crew had armour, making my crew unusually durable despite the 4 wounds on each card.

    Another accidental success came from me paying no attention to the strategy, I clean forgot that Masters couldn't deliver a message (as Jonah said) but Mei got there so early turn 2, that Sonnia spent pretty much the rest of the game engaged with either her, Kang (via energies) and eventually Johanna who finally delivered the message. This mistake didn't just help net me the 3 VP that won the game, it also effectively neutered Sonnia, who is far less formidable in melee, and left Mei on a clear flank with only the quickly dispatched Witchling handler and probbaly the hardest witchling that ever lived to worry her, (seriously- the witchling took a full turns attacks, including extras from a trigger and I still barely killed it) so it pretty much took Jonah's ability to deliver the message out of play. (Wish I could say I had planned it that way, but I really didn't)

    I'll add my learning points about the crew itself to my post above, (including learning maths) but thanks for the game, looking forward to seeing where you go next:)