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)
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;)