Sunday, November 25, 2012

Malifaux Weekends: Nicodem Dreamer Redux

Last week's half-game was definitely not enough Malifaux to keep Dreamer (not the model, my wife) and I sated. We've also been incredibly busy this week, what with holidays and crazy Black Friday work hours, so we didn't get a chance to paint either. When we discovered Saturday was free of obligation other than general baby raisin', we knew we'd have to make the most of it. But before we get to the game, I have to say that Dreamer is the greatest wife I could ever hope to have. Not only did she set me up with a Malifaux shopping spree for Christmas, she gave me early access to the Streets of Malifaux Terraclips set despite being part of my Christmas gift. Let's take a look at how it mixed with Buildings, eh?

No more ugly science fair board, and I didn't even have to flock anything!
That's 3'x2'9" completely covered by two sets of Terraclips. And yes, I still had leftovers, just ended up building myself out of that furthest corner, or all 9 square feet would be consumed by high-detailed awesomeness. Three buildings, each with two stories, a bridge connecting two of them, an open fountain area, elevated roads wrapping around the back... Totally sweet. 
A closer perspective on the aerial walkway connecting the central buildings.
I guess I should also mention that this also required two boxes of actual TerraCLIPS, in case you were curious. The only shape I ran out of was I-joints, but I totally overdid it with joining the roads together, and next time will definitely have spares of everything.

So, after spending about an hour and a half to two hours piecing this crazy map together, we wanted to see models on it, and not just a few. Going totally crazy, we opted to play a whopping 40ss game, still single masters (because we only have one combo of masters that's legal to play as a Brawl =P) and standard deployment.

The lists looked like this:

Spacer's Crew
Nicodem - 7ss Cache
Mortimer - 7ss
Punk  Zombie - 5ss
2x Canine Remains - 4ss
2x Crooked Men - 8ss
3x Rotten Belles - 12ss

I flipped the Black Joker for my strategy, and Dreamer gave me (Ugh!) Contain Power. For my schemes, I took and announced Kill Protege and Break Through.

Dreamer's Crew
Dreamer/LCB - 7ss Cache
Coppelius - 9ss
Lelu - 7ss
Lilitu - 7ss
3x Alps - 9ss
3x Daydreams - 6ss

She flipped Escape and Survive as her Strategy and took and announced Stake a Claim (on the bridge) and Kill Protege.

Round 1
Deployment set the dogs, Nicodem, Mortimer, a Crooked Man and a Belle at center, the dogs, Punk, and a Belle far left, and the spare Belle hovering generally just right of center, should she be needed for Luring purposes. As always, the Dreamer deployed with nothing but Daydreams, one center, on far left, and one with him on the right. As soon as I saw where the Dreamer ended up, I immediately regretted placing the dogs center, and had them use their impressive movement to run to the left end. Belles helped with early moves, and the nightmares just shimmied forward.

The kid's out there somewhere, and zombies are swarming the city.

Round 2
The second round started with initiative going to Dreamer. The Daydream on the far left used Magical Extension to cast Frightening Dreams and plopped the Alps inside of the central left building. From that moment on, the inside of that place would remain infested with the awful little beasts until the end of the game... My central Belle moved in and attempted to crack one with her parasol and failed miserably. Of course, it's retaliatory action was just as whifferific as hers, so it all worked out. The Crooked Man then attempted to sneak a Cave In into the crowd of Alps, but due to positioning and his 2" melee range (which, but the way, was the greatest thing ever in Warmachine/Hordes but I find myself cursing it often in Malifaux) ended up just having to hammer an Alp to death. More jockeying for position happened, but the real magic was the Dreamer dropping off Lelu and Lilitu right in Nicodem and Mortimer's faces. He also gave them both Terrifying 13, which yeah, my zombies ignore, but Nico and Morty still have to deal with it. I knew those models were rough, but again, until I saw them in action, I had no idea just how nasty they can be. 
The Nephilim/Nightmare/Woe Duo make their Sin City Dispatch debut with a bang. They also make a great addition to any Neverborn crew with all those types tagged onto them!
Lelu activated first, and went straight for those Kill Protege points. Luckily, he missed on the charge, but sunk a nasty 4 wound hit with Poison 2 on Mortimer. Lilitu's 4" melee range (?!?!) ended up entangling everyone, requiring Nicodem to disengage from BOTH of the demon siblings to get anything done this turn. He did great on the morale duels, but proceeded to flip miserably on the disengages, requiring me to eat some really nice cards from my hand to not lose his activation. I was ready to play risky, fired a Decay into the fray... and hit Mortimer. For Severe... The blast was great, and stung both demons, but it also meant killing my own Morty on turn 2. It sucked, but ultimately prevented Dreamer from scoring 2 way-easy VP, which worked out okay in the end. Nicodem then used his Casting Expert action to cast Reanimator on the now-fallen Morty, turning him into a bleach-blonde Punk Zombie.

Round 3
Initiative was flipped... and we both hit 13s! A second flip... And I win, on another 13! While I was disappointed about losing those juicy cards on going first, it turned out for the best. Nicodem activated immediately, Bolstering Undead with his (0), successfully paralyzing Lelu with Rigor Mortis, dropped a smooth Decay bomb on Lilitu, which snuck a couple wounds onto Lelu. With her melee beatstick wounded and paralyzed, Dreamer took the option of activating a Daydream to drop the Coppelius off with the Alps, turning the central building into a nightmarish kill-box. Reanimated Punk Mort went next. I discarded a 1 to activate Flurry, and even though Black Blood stung like a mother, he managed to slash Lelu down to size, leaving his sister wildly unprotected. Continuing the chain of very reactive activations, Dreamer activated the Dreamer, reburied Lilitu, and kept him safely up on the bridge, out of LoS from Crooked Men and Nicodem. My Belle and Crooked Man inside the central building proceeded to get slaughtered by the Alps and their new friend the Coppelius, so I sent the far left squad to wrap into the place for back-up. The dogs continued bolting for the enemy deployment zone to make sure I could at least score some Break Through points.

Round 4
Initiative went back to Dreamer this round, and the Coppelius ripped up my Punk Zombie back-up... so much for that plan! But, his death paved the way for a well-placed Cave In, killing two Alps. Of course, the first one that had been killed had just been put back into play by the Coppelius, so it really wasn't as huge as it could have been. I used the Crooked's second AP to send another Cave In on top of the central Daydream, killing it.

Yeah, those three corpse counters used to be walking corpses. Alps, man. I'm tellin' ya, auto-damage is irritating...
The far left Belle used both of her AP to lure Nicodem into a better position, from which he raised up two more Punk Zombies with the fallen remains of a Crooked Man and the recently butchered Punk. Despite having slow, they managed to slice up a couple Alps. But then Lord Chompy Bits decided to crash the party...
There's just something about that big beastie's appearance that always warrants a picture.
Chompy put a hurting on my Belle, but stopped short to rekill Punk Morty. After getting hit with Flurry, she wasn't about to let me get it off again. The puppies reached their destination and sat like good dogs in Dreamer's deployment zone. My Belle retaliated, hitting Chompy for a smooth 6 damage.

Round 5
It was coming down to the wire and all I had was the dogs holding a deployment zone Dreamer wasn't willing to repopulate due to Escape and Survive. Nicodem again activated first, and of course, I ended up with hand of, literally, 5 Tomes. Not a Crow in the mix and tons of Corpse Counters! The Coppelius had returned Alps to play each turn, and they had in turn continued to prevent my Punk Zombies from reaching the mind flaying monstrosity. I went for the random flip Reanimator, spending soulstones on both flips... and not hitting a single Crow in 4 cards. So after a majorly facepalming Nicodem activation, the Coppelius activated, laughed in my face, wounded the remaining Punk Zombie, made two healing flips instead of returning an Alp, and stayed cozily inside. My Crooked Man, the one on the center street, moseyed his way around the corner, non-chalantly cast Cave In, and Dreamer flipped the Black Joker on her defense for Chompy! It was like a Christmas miracle. I managed to flip Severe damage, and Chompy was vanquished, reverting to Dreamer form. If only any models were left to hit him!

Round 6
Dreamer won initiative again, blocked the door with her Alps, which, by the way, multiplied THEMSELVES by killing the wounded Punk Zombie with their Slow auto-damage, and held Nicodem off from getting a clear shot at the Coppelius. With all my other resources committed elsewhere, that was it. Dreamer flew back to the safety of the bridge, unburied Lilitu, and sat pretty with only 2 points for Staking a Claim. 
The final board, after all activations had resolved.
My dogs once again proved useful in holding locations in otherwise tricky-to-reach places for zombies, scoring me 2 for Break Through. And once again, Nicodem and Dreamer/LCB fight to a stalemate.
The game took an incredibly long time to play, and with a baby, had many little interruptions. We also took a dinner break around round 3, putting the start-to-finish time of the game somewhere around 5 hours. Of course, just counting dedicated playtime it wasn't THAT long of an encounter, but 40ss worth of models on both sides is a lot of activations, especially when we kept bringing stuff back. We'll more than likely go back to playing 30ss games, as it seems to be just enough to let you play around with the structure and playstyle of the crew without feeling quite as limited as a 20 or 25ss game.

So there ya have it. New terrain is fun, looks great, and apparently Rezzers and Neverborn will tie forever. When Christmas morning comes and I open my McMourning, we'll see how much things change... Not that I totally know what I'm getting or anything. =P

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