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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

MDRG Terrain: Dude, That's My Car!

A while back I stumbled across an article over at Matakishi's Tea House about a couple of grav cars he made for his Rezolution APAC crew out of old mice.  No, no, no, I'm not talking about the living kind; that would just be creepy!  In this case I'm talking about old PC mice saved from the doom of the trash can and given a second case at life!  Needless to say I was quick to dig out a mouse from one of our old computers to make my own, though I wasn't as quick to actually get it painted.  Still I've finally gotten it mostly done so here it is!


You can definitely still tell what it is but overall I'm really happy with how it looks.  I'll probably add some more details like graffiti and maybe some old markings as well but for now its good enough for gaming.  Now I just need to get my hands on some more mice to make some more grav cars which won't be too hard as you can get them dirt cheap on eBay.  Until next time...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gettin' Crazy With Lego: The Rat Tavern

We finally decided to take apart the Vampyre's castle the other day but the Munchkin was quick to ask to build some more using this set.  I started building a small tower complete with tomb, study, and organ while her project seemed to be a little more abstract.  At first I thought it was just a collection of plates she was spacing out but things really took shape as she finished up.  Let me present... the Rat Tavern.


As you can see the number of little details she was able to cram in here is really amazing and other than a few of the bones all the bits came from the Vampyre Castle set which is a testament to just how massive that set is.  As you can imagine from the name, this is a tavern for rats.  The entrance is through the doors on the bottom level and the rats can travel up through the various small levels to the bedroom where they can feast on the skeleton.  And what's his story?  Well he got drunk and passed out on the bed (notice the goblet in his right hand?)... and then the rats came.


Gruesome yes but then again one of the first things she did on our Dungeons and Dragons game was start collecting teeth from the dead wolves to make a necklace.  Not just the canines mind you; she wanted to use the small teeth as beads.  She's pretty awesome.  A little creepy sometimes but awesome none the less.

That's about it for this time but be sure to come back soon!   Now that the year is almost over I've finally gotten around to making some terrain.  Better late than never right?  Plus hopefully Spacer and Dreamer can pull out another Malifaux battle report... provided the Showgirls don't make another appearance by the sound of it.  Good thing Spacer also picked up Nicodemus!  Until next time...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Malifaux Half-Battle Report: Cassandra vs. Dreamer

That's right, a half-battle to be reported on. And no, I didn't mistakenly type Cassandra where Colette's name should be. My wife, who's usual interwebs name is dreamwithme, had been waiting to get another game to the table after last time's tie. Not because she felt like we had a score to settle, but because she had a good time playing and was actually very satisfied with the outcome of a draw. I knew she was reluctant to play against my Colette crew, but after today, I'm not sure I'll be able to get her to play against them ever again. Let's dive in and see what happened!

Colette sat in her dressing room, removing make-up and glitter from her face after tonight's performance. As she did, she idly weighed the small sacks of soulstones her girls had been smuggling through the ticket booths. "Quite the haul tonight, wasn't it?" Her apprentice, Cassandra, was dumping the satchels and sorting the precious stones. "We haven't had a night quite like this in a while," her Southern drawl heavily saturating her words. "This new act's quite the showstopper."

Colette turned to the girl, a wry smile spreading across her face. "Well, a little danger does tend to make for a better trick."

As the magician and apprentice chuckled, Lucille, one of the lovely assistants, burst into the room. "Boss! You're never gonna believe this. The theatre's been rigged with dynamite! And I think a little kid's behind it." 

Springing into action, the three clamored out the door and peered out across the dimly lit stage and into the theatre. Three bungling little creatures cackled and guffawed at one another as a little boy meandered in through the doors. "Won't it be fun to see this place go kaboom? I can't wait!" The boy was wispy and ethereal, barely even visible from Colette's vantage point.

The magician turned to Lucille. "Gather the girls and their dolls. Nobody threatens a stage when I'm making a killing on it." The girl bolted down the hall as fast her dress would allow. "And Cassandra? This is why we always leave the ghost light on after a show..."

First off, the terrain. You'll again have to pardon my plain white science fair board and just look at the cool Terraclips.  I figured, if I'm playing the Showgirls, they need a proper place to perform. And this is what I concocted with a little ingenuity and experimentation.

 An aerial view of the theatre.
 
And a close-up of Colette on-stage for perspective.

I've never really used the balconies and railings from the Buildings of Malifaux kit, mostly because I don't often make multi-story structures to play in. In creating a stage, I found the perfect use for all those unused pieces, becoming fashionable supports for elevating and holding up the stage. So yeah, cool innovations with Terraclips. They're just waiting to be found.
Anyways, to the game! We decided to try out a shared strategy, as we've only ever each flipped our own and never actually ended up matching. We flipped A Line In The Sand, with myself as the defender and dreamwithme as the attacker. Going into it with a mobile crew, I was pretty confident at my ability to teleport and shuffle my Showgirls to minimize the impact of the 2AP Disarm action, but if any Nightmares decided to camp on markers, I'd be in trouble. We wanted a decent size game again, so decided to stick with our 30ss Scrap like last time.

Here's the lists so you can play it out with the home version.

Colette - Full 8 cache
Cassandra - 9ss
2x Performers & Mannequins - 12ss
2x Mechanical Doves

I chose and announced Bodyguard and Perfect Performance as my schemes.

Dreamer/LCB - 6ss cache
Coppelius - 9ss
Stitched Together - 5ss
3x  Daydreams - 6ss
3x Alps - 9

She chose and announced Bodyguard and Hold Out.

Standard deployment was flipped again, and I took the rear of the theatre, mostly for flavor purposes. Colette started in base contact with a Mannequin on stage, and one Performer and a dove where deployed opposite them. Cassandra and the remaining dove began outside on the left, and the performer and mannequin duo took the right exterior. The Dreamer and one Daydream started outside, across from Cassie, and the other two Daydreams were placed center field and far right.

Round 1

I won initiative for the first turn, and simply linked my stage-bound Mannequin to Colette. I keep forgetting to use Cassandra's Confident ability to move her 6" prior to the first turn, so I handily lost out on the free movement. The Daydreams moved straight up, Mannequins linked and birds flew to better positions. But the real meat of turn one was Cassandra killing the Dreamer's Daydream companion and almost killing the Dreamer himself. I actually forgot that he is immune to blast damage, so as handy as casting Breathe Fire on my Dove to extend the blasts to him was, it didn't go as I planned. But this would set the tone for the next two turns.
Round 2

In an unbelievable stroke of simultaneous luck and unluck, I won initiative on a Red Joker. I immediately activated Cassie, used her Nimble to move her into base contact with the Dreamer. I opted for Blonde Act as my 0 action for the turn, hoping to maximize the power of her fire breathing. The first casting of it soundly knocked the Dreamer out of the game, placing Lord Chompy Bits in, but just outside of Blonde Act. It also made all of the unboarded Nightmares appear way over on the far side, otherwise they'd have been stuck buried. Surrounded by Alps and facing down Chompy, Cassie succeeded at her Terrifying resist and cast Breathe Fire again, complete with a soulstone use. Yeah, she gains Use Soulstone when hired by Colette. Ridiculous, right? Unfortunately, I flipped a 1 on the soulstone boost, and ended up still being at a negative twist on damage, resulting in only a weak hit of 3 to Chompy. Dreamwithme then activated an Alp, hoping to give Cassie Slow and knock her down 5 wounds before letting LCB deal with her, but missed with both attacks. This gave Colette the option to sacrifice the Dove with her to teleport Cassie to safety. One of the Alps armed the exterior dynamite while a Stitched Together armed one in the emergency exit hall. The Performers moved into better positions and the Copellius presented his nasty face in the center of the theatre, going for the bomb.

This could have totally gone south fast if not for Colette and her Showgirl-wrangling magic.

One of the Alps armed the exterior dynamite while a Stitched Together armed one in the emergency exit hall. The Performers moved into better positions and the Copellius presented his nasty face in the center of the theatre, going for the bomb.
 
Round 3
 
Against all odds, I won initiative a third turn in a row, and once again let Cassandra get right to work. Now inside and staring the Copellius in the face, she blew fire from the orchestra pit, landing a Severe damage to handily drop the monster in a single shot. She suffered her 4 wounds for killing it, and my wife decided there was no way for her to win without the mobility of the Dreamer. She also decided that Colette does very little other than move stuff around, and that Cassandra should be the actual master for the Showgirls crew. Hence the title of this post.

So there ya have it. Did I feel bad? Yes, because my wife never quits any game, no matter how badly it's going. Would she have hated it if I held back? You bet she would have, because it would be patronizing to her skill as a gamer. All in all, she's not so frustrated as to never play again, but it'll probably be a while before she goes up against the Showgirls again.

I do hope y'all like these write ups, and I hope you like the little flavor narrative at the top. I thought it'd be fun to give the game some fluff, what with Malifaux being so character driven. 

Catch y'all later!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Silent Death: Breaking The Silence In The Outlands

Long, long ago in a gaming store that doesn't even exist anymore I found a copy of Silent Death Metal Express and I snatched it up.


This was a game from way back in 1990 that I remember reading about in Dragon Magazine but I never actually saw it for sale anywhere.  Not surprising as out LGS was actually a bookstore with a small selection of games but it was always something that interested me.  In case you hadn't guessed the game centered around space fighter combat which has always sounded cool to me (part of the reason I also picked up Renegade Legion: Interceptor).

Perusing the rules they really seemed very straight forward and the figures that came with the game looked pretty sweet to boot.  Unfortunately the thing that I was lacking at the time was an opponent so the box was relegated to a shelf to sit and gather dust.

Fast forward a number of years.

While in another LGS (which still exists though in a different place) I stumbled across Silent Death: The Next Millennium.


Remembering the old game that I had on the shelf I decided to snatch up this copy as well because it came with even more figures for a pretty good price and how can you have too many space fighters, right?  This was a new edition of the game set after the collapse of the Imperium (the main power that be in the original game) but other than the setting update the game was virtually identical.  I picked up a couple of expansions that I managed to find and started putting together my own little campaign world beyond the borders of what was once the Imperium.  Unfortunately it never got beyond brainstorming but I really liked the setting and its been safely stored away on the computer all this time.

Leaping ahead again to the present I've gotten the urge to break out these minis yet again and actually get them painted up so I can play some small games with them (of course paint is not required to play but it does make it that much better).  So far I've only gotten one small group of fighters done but more are in the works.

The Malcontents (pirates... in... spaaaaaace!!!)
"The Malcontents are one of the pirate groups that has plagued the Outlands Sector since the fall of the Imperium.  While no where near as organized as other groups like the Cartels, the Malcontents still represent a threat to the regular shipping lanes.

True to their chaotic nature, the Malcontents do not have any kind of regular flight structure.  In fact most raids by them consist of whoever decides to come along and what fighters happen to available at the time making any encounter a truly haphazard event.  One encounter they might be fielding a gunship or two and then a week later be running with just a group of light fighters.

Local powers have tried to put a stop to the threat they represent but so far they are proving to be more elusive than anyone had expected."

Kind of generic I know but the chaotic nature of their unit meant that I could just paint up whatever caught my eye without worrying about a more rigid flight structure.

I also started painting up some other ships with even more unique paint schemes to represent lone "gun men" or bounty hunters that could be used to flush out the ranks if needed.  First up is the bounty hunter Lightning Strike.

The Lightning Strike!!!

"The Death Wind class medium fighter is known for being a powerful combatant but with the skill of her pilot and gunner Lightning Strike is able to push the envelop even further.  Credited with capturing or destroying some of the most dangerous bounties in the sector, Lightning Strike has given many raiders and criminals pause when they show up on the scene."

Still more work to do on the other units I have floating around in my head but its always best to one thing at a time, right?  I still have more in the works including some terrain pieces, the remainder of my Guild minis for Malifaux, and any number of other projects that happen to catch my eye.  Ah well, at least it keeps my busy.  Until next time...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Every Vampyre Needs A Castle... Especially If Its Lego!

This Halloween (yes this post is a little late...) we decided not to throw a party but we still wanted to do something special for our daughter and the answer came in the form of LEGO.  As I've mentioned, we've been pretty taken by the new Monster Fighter line so we decided to "bite" the bullet and pick up... the Vampyre Castle!  Dun-dun-daaaaahhhhh!!!


This set is amazing!  With all the little towers it really captures the image I have in my mind of Transylvanian castle and all the little details inside it are amazing!  There's a small lab, a library (complete with "books" on the shelf!), a map room with a trap door... heck, there's even an organ for the vampyre to play while the heroes are trapped in the dungeon!

This set is not cheap but I really think its a good value for the money with all the things they managed to pack in there. Still need to get myself some trees for a Fear and Faith game though... Have to save that for another day though.  Until next time...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Malifaux Battle Report: Nicodem v. Dreamer

Hey y'all, Spacer here. No excuses for the long absence other than the one Snowman gave me a couple posts back. Babies make gaming a bit tricky. Regardless, me and the wife had a chance to get our newest Malifaux crews to the table for a test run, so let's get right into it!

When I first looked at Malifaux, I was completely opposed to playing Ressurectionists. I don't know if it was because they were so overplayed locally, the oversaturation of zombies in pop culture as of late, the green box as opposed to a blue box, or what. But, as with all things, if I totally grief it, I'll end up loving it, and here I am writing a battle report after piloting Nicodem and his gaggle of gangrenous grunts.

As for my wife, she loves Neverborn through and through, always has and always will. The flavor of the Dreamer/LCB is by far her favorite crew in the game. So despite many warnings about his severe learning curve and rules complexity, she chose him as her post-learning process first crew.

We decided on a 30ss Scrap to get our heads around these new models. I flipped Contain Power as my strategy (which is a total headache against such a mobile master with my slow crew) and she flipped Claim Jump. The game hadn't even started and already I was a bit worried about the match-up.

Here's the list for those who want to play along at home.


Nicodem - 3ss Cache
Mortimer - 7ss
2x Canine Remains - 4ss
2x Rotten Belles - 8ss
2x Crooked Men - 8ss

I chose Hold Out and Stake a Claim as my schemes, announcing both for maximum pointage potential.

Dreamer/LCB - 5ss Cache
3x Daydreams - 6ss
Coppelius - 9ss
Stitched Together - 5ss
2x Alps - 9ss

She took Bodyguard Dreamer/LCB and Eye for an Eye as her schemes, also both announced. I puffed up some false bravado in regards to her taking Bodyguard when I had flipped Contain Power, yammering about how it was a daring move and blah blah blah, but if anyone can call my bluffs, it's the lady-gamer of the house. She knew Dreamer's mobility and my zombies' pokiness was a concern for me from the get-go.

I had spent some time in the afternoon piecing together a fancy little board for us to play on out of my single box of Buildings of Malifaux Terraclips, (y'all watched the review, right?) but we didn't do anything fancy other than the manor floorplan. No events, weather conditions, or special interactive terrain.

The board may be totally plain Jane, but look at those interior details!

We flipped standard deployment, and the wife gave me the right side of the picture up there. With only one immediately accessible entrance to the manor at my disposal, I piled a Belle, Mortimer, Crooked Man, AND Nicodem into the doorway. I then deployed the Canine Remains and remaining Belle and Crooked Man on the far far right of everything. Their job would be simple. Run up the side of the house and sit on the Claim Jump marker.

Dreamer has funny deployment, in that most (and by most I mean ALL sans totems) of his crew begins the game Buried, or out of play, only to be dreamt up exactly where they're needed in a later turn. So she placed Dreamer and his three Daydreams directly opposite my door rushing gang, and that was it.

Round 1

I can't win initiative to save my life. Period. Ask Snowman. Even in our D&D game I am ALWAYS at the bottom of the list. So naturally, I was not taking the first activation.
Little happened on the first turn. My four zombies assigned to stay outside (no dogs in the house. All the drool... and you know, guts hanging out of them.) ran up the board as best zombies can run, Nicodem, the Belle, and Mortimer made their way into the grand hall, and the Crooked Man wandered off down the hall to prevent too many points of to my Deployment Zone. 
The Dreamer and the Daydreams moved into the library and dropped off a Stitched Together in the doorway, who turned on his fog effect to ensure no early-turn shots found their way to the kiddo.

Round 2

 In an unbelievable twist of fate, I won initiative for the turn. I opened with Mortimer, who magically cost me nothing to create a Corpse Counter with his Exhume spell. The Stitched Together shuffled out of the library and into the atrium, turning the fog back on. Let me tell you, a mobile 8" obscuring cloud is the devil when your master's best source of damage output is a ranged spell and your best bet for weakening/repositioning enemy models is also a ranged spell. Curse you line of sight drawing 3" through obscuring terrain!!!

Anyways... The Canine Remains made their way up to the Claim Jump marker and sat like good boys. What followed was my introduction to arguably the two most annoying models I have ever have the misfortune to fight against.

The Dreamer activated, moving into the fog-filled atrium and casting Frightening Dreams. Up came a Mask and the trigger was tripped. Out popped the Coppelius and the two Alps, ready to cause me more headache than I could have ever expected. Luckily, they were placed close enough to the edge of the fog I was able to target them when Nicodem activated. He fired a Decay into an Alp, flipping red joker on the attack flip. I soulstoned as well to pump the total into a positive twist on damage, resulting in a Severe. The ensuing blast dealt a handy 3 damage to the Coppelius' 10 wounds and killed both Alps before they could activate. I moved Nicodem out of the Coppelius' charge range and called it an activation. It's really too bad I didn't just bomb the Coppelius...

When that thing activated, it did not come after Nicodem as I had predicted it would, but rather went after my Crooked Man in the hall. FYI, I totally forgot that the Crooked Men could lay traps, which would have probably saved me some major headache. On the first attack, she opted to trigger the ability that automatically gives it Moderate damage and gains an Eye Counter, which can be used for all kinds of cool things. With that Eye Counter, it took a (0) action and created an Alp! Then, using a Melee Expert action, she swung into the Crooked Man one more time, and flipped the red joker on damage. This replaced her Alp-summoning Eye Counter and knocked the shambling zombie back into death.

*knock knock* The Coppelius pops in, and brings back a friend!


Round 3

Going back to my roots, my wife won the initiative flip. Playing cautiously, she activated a Daydream that did very little, giving herself the option to play more reactively. Nicodem activated early in the turn, and managed to Reanimate two Punk Zombies with the corpse left by the Crooked Man and the one dug up by Mortimer. Apparently this manor was the site of The Tell-Tale Heart, 'cause I can't quite figure out how else Morty popped a body out of the floor boards...

But, my well-flipped Reanimate victory was short-lived as the Coppelius tore into it, killing it swiftly and gaining yet another eye counter. The 9ss monstrosity then moved into the grand hall, attacked Mortimer for weak damage, and summoned yet another Alp. All my hard work Decaying the little devils and here they were, back in my face.

Little did I know, the real fun in Round 3 hadn't even begun.

I'd held up courageously against the Alps and their auto-damaging effects. I'd resisted the Coppelius' Terrifying, and thought I was sitting pretty. Then the Dreamer activated. He turned on Flight, got up in my Belle's and Nicodem's collective grills, and proceeded to turn into Lord Chompy Bits. Now, I'd read the card, looked over his triggers, yadda yadda yadda. But reading it and seeing it happen to your poor dead hooker are two completely separate things... He made 5, count 'em 5! Melee strikes, first slaughtering the Belle, then turning his monstrous strength towards Old Man Nico. The red joker once again reared it's face for my wife on a damage flip against the Belle, and thanks to some crafty soulstoning and lucky flips, Nico made it out only suffering 2 wounds. 

With my forces rapidly turning into corpse counters, it was time to redirect some back-up. The Belle and Crooked Man made their way inside through the servant entrance, luring Chompy out of melee and off of Nicodem, then proceeded to drop some sweet blast counters on the resummoned Alps and Coppelius. Did I have to hurt my one remaining Punk Zombie to do it? I sure did. Was it worth it? Oh yeah it was!

Round 4

Once again, I lose initiative. But this time, someone was playing for keeps. Chompy activated off rips, first decimating the Crooked Man for killing his Alp buddies (with a red joker AGAIN no less!), then turned again to deal with Nicodem. After getting knocked clear down to 5 wounds remaining, the old man was through with this tom-foolery. But he'd have to wait, as I had other things to attend to first. 

Mortimer, dealing with both Slow AND Poison thanks to the Coppelius and Alps, swung his shovel with all he could muster, knocking the squidy-faced monster's nightmarish block off. Of course, the damn thing couldn't just die. It has an ability that triggers when it dies, dealing 4(!!) wounds to whatever killed it. Morty died a hero that day, and his sacrifice would not be forgotten.

One Alp still lived, puffing his smug little cigar, but at 1 wound, I wasn't too worried. A Daydream fired off some shots from the Atrium, but to little avail. My Belle once again pulled Chompy out of melee, and it was time for Nicodem to activate.

Of course, on a key turn, I flip miserably to resist Slow from the last Alp! And with an abyssmal hand made up of nothing over 5, I'd just have to make do. The Alp had walked up to Nicodem to harass him, and the old man was done. He cracked that cigar-puffing devil right across the face, immediately turning it into a Mindless Zombie. Take that, "nightmares don't drop corpse counters!" With his Casting Expert action, he lobbed a Decay at the near-forgotten Stitched Together, but only weak damage snuck through. With a (0) action and a wave of his pale hand, all those rekilled zombies stood back up as Mindless Zombies, and suddenly all was at least a little more right with the world.

I'm WAY too cheap to buy a bunch of Mindless Zombies, so all those unpainted Showgirls are putting on quite the performance as proxies.

The other two Daydreams then activated, pulling Chompy out of the hall and safely into the Atrium, where he was soothed back into the Dreamer. It was time for everyone to buckle down on VP, and it was gonna be a close race.

Round 5

It was coming down to the wire, so naturally I activated second. The Dreamer reburied the Stitched Together, getting him away from the crotchety old man's zombie-makin' cane, and flew back to the library. I realized I had no models committed to my staking my claim, and ran the dogs through the garden, off the near-forgotten Claim Jump marker, and into the mud room for some much needed VP action. Chompy had been too aggressive for me to take out, so I had given up on Contain Power. Nicodem hobbled to the servant's entrance door to try and put a stop to any last minute dreamt-up Stitched Togethers that might appear on the Claim marker. The Daydreams, having fulfilled their Chompy-wrangling duties, launched an all-out "tie up the remaining zombies" plan. It worked, as they were just defensive enough to not die, and just enough in my way that I couldn't quite get where I needed to cut the Dreamer off. 

Round 6

The finish line was in sight. The Dreamer flew into the gardens, dreamt up the Stitched Together on the Claim marker as anticipated. Try as I might, there was no getting him AND the Stitched off of it, but I did manage to kill the Stitched Together with a couple Decay bombs. I shambled my zombies through the motions, killing a couple Daydreams for the heck of it, and called it a game.

The end of the game. Little but shambling zombies and a couple of kooky daydreams remain.


Result:

I scored 2VP for having no enemy models in my deployment and 2VP for having puppies in the mud room. My lady scored 2VP for sitting on the Claim marker and 2VP for keeping her master alive.

All in all, a riveting 4 - 4 draw! We were both pleased with our crews' respective performances, but definitely saw things we could improve upon, not to mention things to watch out for next time we face each other.

Here's hopin' y'all like the write-up, and we plan on playing again real soon. Next time I think I'll play my Colette list and see how super mobility does against super mobility. =P

Friday, November 9, 2012

Malifaux: Bounty Hunting Done Family Style!

I have finally gotten around to working on my Ortegas boxed set for Malifaux and I have to say that they are really looking sharp!  So far I've mostly finished painting Perdita, Francisco, and Santiago.  This actually gives me a respectable little crew I could run on their own but I definitely want to get Papa Loco, Nino, and Abuela to the table as well.  Of course also I have to get off my butt and contact Wyrd about getting replacement for Nino since half of him is missing but the blame for that falls more on me than them since I've heard great things about their customer service.  But enough about what is still to be done, let's take a look at what's already (mostly) finished.

Unlike my Witch Hunter minis which kept a similar palette throughout, I really wanted to mix things up a little with the Ortegas.  Since they are a family rather than an official branch of the Guild, I really felt like it gave me some room to play around with the colors and I like how they are turning out.  Rather than going with the more muted style of the Hunters, my Ortegas are much brighter which creates a nice visual contrast when they are on the board together.


 Of the family, Perdita was the one that I had the hardest time deciding on and it was actually my wife's suggestion that was the inspiration for her paint scheme.  After taking one look at the mini she was instantly struck with the image of a flamenco dancer; the flared trousers, the sevillano hat... which made the choice of colors easy.


Black overall with a bright red top.  I also plan on picking out the buttons along the pant legs with red just to add another bit of pop to the figure and then she will be complete!

I decided to paint up Francisco next since I was already thinking about using him to support my Witchhunters for larger games.


His paint scheme with the bright green ruffled shirt and jeans was largely inspired by the artwork in the book as I just liked the look of it though I did paint his sombrero black with red piping inside.

Finally (so far at least...) is Santiago, the brute of the family.


Unlike the others which had been cleaner looking overall, I really wanted to make him look rough around the edges.  To do this I went with a beige for his shirt to make it look like it been lived in along with his jeans.  Finally I did his bandana in a bright red to add in a real pop of color.  As with Perdita I still need to finish him off (the guns are going to be metal plus I need to finish the base...) but you get the idea.

For the remaining models I've got a pretty good idea how I want to handle them, I just need to get Papa started, Nino replaced, and Abuela based, not to mention all the other Guild goodness that I've picked up lately.  Then there's also Bete Noire but I have something special in mind of her.  Until next time...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Growing Their Own Army Of Gamers

I just want to let everyone know that my semi-irregular contributor Spacer and his wife have added a new gamer to their group.  I'm sure the nine month character creation might have seemed a little drawn out to them but we're all glad that she's finally here.  Congratulations you two on the birth of your little baby girl and welcome to the wonderful world of Parenthood!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

SoBH Terrain: This One's Definitely A Keep-er

Spacer and I recently placed an order for more Malifaux goodness from Miniature Market (great online store by the way... definitely recommend checking them out if you haven't already...).  Since we were pooling our funds to get the free shipping, I decided to order some of the larger items that have been sitting on my wishlist with them for months now, one of which I've just gotta share.


This is the Castle Keep from, you guessed it, Mage Knight!  This is only one piece of several that WizKids produced which actually let you build an entire castle but unfortunately most of the other pieces are not that easy to find nowadays.  Not so for the keep though.  In fact not only is it pretty easy to find, its also pretty easy to find cheap!  This particular one ran me a whole $6.  Talk about breaking the bank!

Personally I'd definitely recommend grabbing one of these if you happen to run across one for a reasonable price.  Not only is it a very sturdy piece but the paint job looks pretty good as well!  Now I just need to work it into a scenario... like maybe with those orcs I picked up earlier in the month.  But more on that later.  Until next time...