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Greetings and welcome to my blog – thanks for stopping in. . The content of what I will be posting here will be primarily related to table top gaming; i.e. board and miniature games. However I would expect from time to time for it to drift onto topics such as books, movies and video games. The reason for starting the blog is as an exercise to be regularly writing and putting out content. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Fist o’ Fate / Joel Faux / Fisting Joel Report

December 1st witnessed the tying together of the Fates. A monumental and historic event – the first tournament run by Mr 300, the lovely Joel Henery!

This was an exciting event as not only would it by my first M2e Event but it was also one of the biggest UK tournaments for Malifaux in 2013, a great indication for where the game is heading. I think that the high attendee of the tournament (38 players I believe) was due to a few things:

1) A great central location, Leicester turns out to be a good overlap for about five or so play groups which means that it becomes an easy drive for many players
2) Good advanced planning with plenty of notice to people about when the event would be occurring
3) Critical mass – when people witnessed that a large number of signups it lead to more people wanted to join due to the size of the tournament 
4) The continued excellent tournament scene that the UK Malifaux community provides. Often spoken about on podcasts/twitter, but when I attend a UK Malifaux tournament I truly do feel like I am playing in a relaxed atmosphere with friends, despite often never having met my opponent before
5) Perhaps it was just the opportunity to avoid being n00b stomped by Joel ;-) 

I arrived with my compadres from Rushden Phoenix Gaming club Rick and Aron and quickly meet up with henchman extraordinaire Clouseau and Timmy making up the local players coming from Northampton. 

The play room was clearly marked and with plenty of parking where certainly good points. The main room had great space and chairs available to sit at and even with 38 players it felt like there was good space to move around. The food provided for the day was good and it came with refreshments which was great. Free Tea and Coffee is always good though it’s nice to have a bar (not that I drink much at tournaments). A break out room to sit and chat or move around between rounds would have been great but I don’t think it would have been practical. I also liked that everyone was expected to help with take-down before the prize giving – it must suck as a T.O. to have to work all day and then do take down. Much better to have everyone help out.

Joel did a great job getting the day set up and run and you can tell that he’s a teacher by trade with no difficulty speaking loudly to a group of players and giving directions so everyone knows what is going on. HENCHMAN LEE was also on hand to help with rules questions and they were always available and on hand to help. Sportsmanship was used as the 3rd tie breaker (which with only 3 rounds was required), while I believe it’s vital to encourage good play as part of the day I think this should be a separate category next time maybe using VP difference as a 3rd tie breaker. Also it was many players (including myself) first use of this scoring system so some further guidance of how to apply the sportsmanship scores would have been good.

As to the games all 3 were excellent – here is a quick rundown: 

1st Round – Tash vs Genius! (Squatters Rights) 
Josh Fletcher @tenshu8

Joel had pulled a very kill based scheme set with his first game; Assassinate, Bodyguard, Make them suffer and Frame for Murder. 

I’ve not played a lot against Outcasts but when Josh declared this as his faction I had to give it some serious thoughts. Seams isn’t great at going on massive killing sprees and can really struggle against models that can use soul stones as he only gets one hand cannon shot a turn. I decided to turn to the good Dr McMourning for this outing. I chose Assassinate and Frame for Murder of Sebastian. 

The game was close with the Ressers almost completely dominating the squatters rights markers and McMourning pushing straight across the table to engage Hans. However some bad cards meant that he was quickly isolated and Von Schille and the Specialist joined in to wear him down. Turns out the Cracked Trigger + rubbish cards makes McMourning have a really low defence! McMourning couldn't seem to kill anything but he tied up VS, Specialist and Hans for the first 3 turns. Despite this it wasn’t until turn four that the good doctor finally went down and the Von Schille moved to the middle of the board to suffer death by Canine Remains as well. Both of us picked up 2 points for Assassinate. 

In the meantime Josh played his frame for murder well and I took out his Friekorps man early. I just wasn’t in the situation to get Sebastian in a vulnerable position and he was too much of a key model for me to throw away. Learning from this I wouldn’t put Frame for Murder on Sebastian in a rush again. 

The game ended turn 4 in a Draw

2nd Round – One for the road! (Turf War)
Robert Smith (I think!)

So continuing with the fun scheme pools we had Protect Territory, Entourage, Breakthrough and Murder Protégé. This would also be my first game against the Brewmaster. I took Seamus with Sinister Rep.

It was a great game, Robert was a really pleasure to play against and I think we both really enjoyed the game. Essentially we both forgot a lot about what we could do – we even forgot that had certain models on the table! One of the best moves he made was using the Hanged with Obey to target Seamus, reduce him to half wounds and stop him from healing. An excellent combo the made me have to change my entire plan.

The Brewmaster is a interesting master to be up against. His play style feels unique and looking back on it I could describe it as a NPE but instead I just found it really cool. Great bit of design that went into him and if I pick up 10 Thunders in the future I might well look at picking him up. He managed to tie up most of my crew with his drinking action – which was fine as they were still in scoring range of the centre. Had I been thinking more about it I could have lured and taken more of the crew out of his aura. 

In the end I managed to pull off a win in turn 4 (again we had time called on us). What made the big difference her was that I was able to get the points for Entourage while Murder Protégé on Mortimer seemed to elude Robert.

3rd Round – Night of the living dead (Steak Stake a Claim)
Ben Halford @Ben__halford (yes, that good dam great painter!)

Scheme pool for this was Frame for Murder, Plant Explosives, Distract and Protect Territory. Ben pulled out Nicodem and I brought the good Dr once more. 

I’ve played Ben before and its always a pleasure to play him also it’s great to see his models grace the table. 

The game opened with some initial cagy moves with Nicodem starting the death ball rolling by summoning up a Hanged and collecting in to a big group in the centre of the table. I pulled some great cards and was able to move my models into the right position with the Flesh Construct being ordered into the middle of the Nicodem ball and placing a scheme marker to score me Plant Explosives. McMourning followed up in person and managed to Red Joker the damage on Nicodem to leave him on 3 wounds and 2 poison at the end of turn 1. 

Nicodem soon found himself as a flesh construct after Ben flipped a 13 for imitative and I pulled the Red Joker again. The Hanged did its job and stopped McMourning from healing for the rest of the game and the rest of Ben’s crew brought him down. This lead to a really interesting game with no masters from turn 2. More shenanigans ensued but I was able to score both my schemes and the strategy points while Ben was only able to pull of Frame for Murder. 

It was a win for me and I can see why McMourning is so good at scheme based games. Distract also still feels like a very easy scheme to get points for. We also managed to finish all 5 turns. 

Overall I had a great day and was very pleased with my results coming in at 6th on the tournament. 

I also put up my crew for a painting competition. Now I am the first to admit that I'm not a great painter but it felt like something I should at least get into the habit of entering and working on my painting to improve my standard. Listening to the Malifools and speaking with Clouseau it is a really key part of enjoying the hobby and something I will keep working on to maybe try and get a bronze one day. It was a highlight of my day to see a few people stop and take the time to look at my crew.

The painting standard was very high with all the crews I faced and it was really nice to see a lot of painted crews on the table. As with a lot of players I really need to learn to play faster.

Thanks again to Joel and Lee for organising a great day – I can’t wait to get more games in next year.