Wednesday, 21 December 2011

042 - O Breach-side Town of Malifaux

O breach-side town of Malifaux
Where Seamus trusts to fate
By hiding from a Guild patrol
Beneath a sewer grate
Yet in the darkness lurketh
A Teddy, black and white
The monstrous bear will find him there
And spill his blood tonight

The spirits of the restless dead
Are gathered all above
Her victim sleeps, while Kirai weeps
Inflicts her vengeful love
She summons forth Ikiryo
Emerging by the bed
Without a pause its razor claws
Her quarry’s flesh will shred

"O vessel, pawn of Malifaux
Come seek us so we may
Cast out your soul and enter in
Reborn in you today”
We hear the whispering voices
The ancient Tyrants tell
O come to us, be one with us
We’ll send this world to Hell.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, 19 December 2011

041 - Malifaux Masters Invitational

Last week I was pleased to recieve an invite for the UK Malifaux Masters Invitational tournament to take place early next year.

The invited players are all in the top 16 of the UK Malifaux rankings, but I'd thought I was out of the running, since following the upload of the 2011 Grand Tournament results (which I couldn't attend), I'd dropped to around 20th position. As it happens, the 2010 Grand Tournament hadn't yet dropped from the calculation (only results from the last 12 months count towards your score), so when that happened, a few people who had good results at the 2010 GT but hadn't played much in 2011 fell a few places down and I found myself at position 14 and holding a golden ticket!

The event is going to be a 2 day tournament, with five qualifying games on Saturday 14th January, and then the top 4 from the day fighting it out on Sunday to be crowned top dog. It's going to be a really fun event, and I'm looking forward to crossing fate decks with the top players around, most of which I've played before, and most of which have given me a proper kicking, if I'm honest! Note: Some players in the top 16 have opted not to attend, and so the next in line player from Rankings HQ has been offered their spot.

1 Craig Johnson - Craig's Marcus beat my Seamus in the first game of the GT Warm-Up Tournament I've already posted about. It was a tense, close game, and I'd love another stab at his Arcanists.

2 Ant Hoult - Ant recently won the 2011 GT, and his Kirai crew took me to pieces at the Streets of Malifaux Tournament I posted about in June. I still rank that game as the most comprehensive drubbing I've ever experienced, and so I'll be reading up on anti-Kirai tactics in the hope of settling the score a little.

3 James Doxey - I've played James numerous times at the local club, and we've met twice in competition play, currently standing at 1 win each. It'll be fun if the opportunity comes up to settle a decider for the year.

4 Adam MagicPockets - Had an incredible game with Pandora against Adam's Hamelin at a tournament in September, which we both rate as one of our personal most enjoyable games ever. It'll be good to re-fight the encounter and see what happens.

5 Ian O'Brien - I haven't had the chance to play Ian as yet, but he has a reputation for being particularly deadly with his Dreamer crew. I definitely think he could be one to watch for this tournament.

6 Aidan Kirk - Another experienced Neverborn player that I've so far managed to dodge at tournaments. I believe he favours Pandora, so it'll be interesting to see if I end up with my first ever Pandora mirror-match!

8 Ashley Pinder - I think Ashley usually plays a Colette crew, which I don't have much experience of playing against. I may have to get another practise game in against Collette in case we end up facing off.

9 Mitch Harrison - I posted about my game against Mitch back in May, which just happened to be the first tournament game of my life ever. It was a fun game against Perdita, but I think Mitch has switched his crew of choice to a deadly Lady J/Lucius combo that I've not run into before.

12 Justin Plimmer – I played Justin’s Chompy crew at Toy Soldier earlier this year. I received a bit of a beating, as Chompy landed on top of Seamus in Turn 2 and ripped him to shreds. I almost pulled it back and managed to kill the Dreamer by luring nightmares away from him, and then finishing off Chompy with Bete Noire, but his Alps had already capped his objectives. With the Alp nerf, maybe I’ll do better second time around…

13 David Brown – I’ve met David at a number of tournaments but we’ve never met each other across the table, something I’m looking forward to correcting.

14 Me

15 Steve Scurr – Steve gave me a lesson in Leveticus a few months ago, and I learned how deadly he can be. Levi is master I’m definitely very wary of, as I don’t really have anything that can effectively wipe him and his Waifs from the board in a single turn.

16 Tim Brown – Tim’s Chompy gobbled up Baby Kade in the game we played in Birmingham in June. Thanks to Tim, I now know not to bring Kade when the enemy master gets bonuses against Harmless models! My memories are of a very tense and closely fought game that ended in a draw on VPs. A decider is needed.

17 Ian Brocklebank – Ian is a local player that I’ve played a couple of times, including at the first Leeds tournament, but I’m yet to get the better of his Viktorias. Another grudge match here!

18 Rob Owens – Rob gave me an intro to Colette once, which was a lot of fun, but we’ve not played each other competitively before. He has a large number of crews so could be unpredictable, and it’ll be good to play against him with the gloves off.

19 Jimmy Balderstone – Jimmy is another Arcanist player and fan of Kaeris, so it’s likely she’ll make an appearance in his lists, which will probably feature Showgirls and Constructs.

As you can see, quite a formidible list of players, and each and every one of them is capable of giving me a complete pasting! I'll be back in January with a full report!


Monday, 28 November 2011

040 - Dreamer vs Trigonometry

A scene from one of my practise Dreamer games last week:

Lelu and the Sorrow (standing in for a Daydream) are meant to prevent him getting targeted by being within 3". Unfortunately, Ian's clever positioning of his Ronin meant that Dreamer was in melee range but the Nightmares were just out.

Under attack from Pythahoras' Theorem itself, Shadowy Form wasn't able to protect him. With only 1 Soulstone in his Cache he succumbed to the Ronin's attack, and with Chompy already heavily wounded the Ronin was able to kill him when he appeared, in a single activation too!

Lesson learned: Positioning is key for Shadowy Form. Dreamer should be slightly behind other Nightmares, in a kind of circular arc formation. Also don't pull Chompy directly towards a Daydream while he's stood on top of a high rock!


Monday, 21 November 2011

039 - Malifaux October & November Releases Review

If you’re looking for a definition of “off to a bad start”; look no further. I did intend to make these reviews a regular monthly feature, but after one month I’m already a month behind! This time round I’ll therefore be looking at the October “old new releases” and the November “new new releases”. Sorry, but this is going to be a mammoth post!


Molly feels a bit out of proportion to me. The body and the head are fine separately, but by putting the ruff between them, it makes her look as though her neck is overly long. I can’t tell from the Wyrd released picture what she’s holding in her arms (or if there’s anything there at all?). Anyone with the model able to help me out? Is it the Gorgon’s Tear? The dress is pretty, although I can’t tell if this is freehand paint work or sculpted detail, and her hair is an interesting shape. Overall from what I’ve seen, which is admittedly not much, the model looks average, but not exceptional.


There’s something about Wyrds children models that I love. Demonic children Baby Kade and Candy got me into the game in the first place, Soulless children the Stolen are also great models, so when I heard they would be releasing undead children I was excited, and these little guys live up to expectation; the models evoke the perfect amount of creepiness and stealth. I’m especially fond of the girl with the bandaged face and teddy. Another panda teddy? Perhaps…

Rogue Necromancy

Slightly disappointed by this model, but I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt as it could be a paint job issue again. I don’t think it captures the raw ferociousness of the beast in the same way that the concept art did. It’s still on the purchase list though, if only for its in-game potential and on the bright side, if there’s one model that’s ripe for conversion it’s this one. When I come to building one I may see what I can do to make a few improvements.

Necrotic Machine

Not sure what to make of this guy. I think I was expecting it to be much smaller than it is, kinda like Molly’s cute little pet, but instead he appears to be pretty big, dwarfing Molly and most of her regular crew choices. Not a problem I guess, just a case of mismatched expectations. The model looks nice and detailed (and possibly a pain to assemble looking at those limbs!), and very characterful, but I don’t care much for the Wyrd paint scheme which seems too colourful. I think mine will be painted with more of a rusty metallic look.


I’m liking the steampunk style of this model. The wings are nice and detailed and look technical without being futuristic; the mechanics give the impression they work a bit like a corkscrew. The face and hair look good, and of course she has an unfeasibly exposed cleavage, but I’ve never complained about that before and won’t be starting now! The outstretched arms do make her look a bit like she’s struggling to balance on one leg though. Who knows, perhaps “Simon Says” is one of the party games they play down at the M&SU?

Fire Gamin

These are funky little critters, very impish in character. It’s cool that we’re seeing different types of Gamin. Perhaps this opens the door for Earth Gamin and Air/Wind Gamin further down the line? I’ve never been a massive fan of “freeze frame” sculpts showing the model firing a spell or bullet or laser beam or whatever. I think water splashes, electricity bursts, magical clouds etc are things that we imagine our models creating rather than need to see on the model, and so I don’t care for the Gamin with fire coming from his hands, but I do like the other two.


Very popular models on the forums these, the female in particular. I understand that she’s based on Trinity from the Matrix, while the male is based on Billy Connolly? I’ve never seen Billy Connolly carry quite so many guns though - this guy is packing some serious heat! Both very cool sculpts, with very dynamic and characterful poses and plenty of detail on them both. I think the male edges it for me though. He has more of a western/steampunk feel, and I was a fan of the artwork already. The female is another case of Wyrd’s continuing trend to release female models that look a bit too futuristic to fit in Malifaux, although the blue hair is probably a contributing factor here!

Mechanical Rider

Another cool addition to the range of riders, the Mechanical looks likely to be the most dynamic of the bunch, but with 3 of its legs in the air people have expressed concern that it looks very fragile and prone to bending. It looks to me like the supporting leg is pretty straight, and you should be able to get a pin quite far up there for extra strength when attaching it to a base, but I appreciate that the novice modeller may have difficulty with this. I like how closely this model matches the artwork, and the colour scheme is bang on.

Ashes and Dust

Definitely the strangest model to come from Wyrd to date. Based solely on the picture preview from Wyrd I don’t really like it, but as I usually do, I’ll likely change my mind when I see one up close. I think my issues are the same as other peoples – it’s a strange shape and a strange paint job and it’s difficult to get a feel for the actual shape of the thing. It looks like these pictures aren’t to scale and that the Dust Storm and Ashen Core are actually smaller in comparison to Ashes & Dust. I’ll be interested to see how this thing plays, since although it’s one of the most expensive minions in the game, I can’t seem to get my head around what it’s meant to do!

Alt Seamus

I’ve not seen any of the Evil Dead films, so I didn’t “get” the pose straight away, but I think it looks cool even without knowledge of the reference. The belle at his feet is an excellent touch and looks suitably deranged. It’s a shame she doesn’t come as a separate piece and she’d make a great model in her own right. I’m not sure what’s going on with Seamus’ gun, which appears to have turned into a pea shooter. I’m also dubious of his rippling torso and overall physique – perhaps this isn’t Seamus after all, but his younger, slimmer, body conscious twin brother? On alternative sculpts in general, I like the idea, as it gives more options when buying a character for the first time. This one’s an excellent model, however not on my priority buy list since I already have a Seamus.

Avatar Seamus
The big guy is the only model from this list that I actually own, and so I can say for certain that it’s a great sculpt. Not that I’m biased or anything, but it’s one of my favourite Avatars. The pose easily conveys his bulk and strength, and I like how his ripped clothing harks back to the original Seamus model to imply the avatar transformation. With this being my first resin model, I’m not completely sold on the material - I’ve always liked the weighty feel of a metal model and Seamus just feels too light for a model of his size. I’ll be posting more about this model in the near future as I start to put down some paint on him.

Alt Justice

Rather a sexy model, with the pose, the dynamic swishy hair (much better hair than the original Lady Justice by the way). She looks lither and deadlier than the original sculpt, like she’s actually planning to use that greatsword against someone. The scales in her left hand add to the theme and make for a great model. I’ll absolutely be choosing this one over the original when I finally get around to properly expanding into the Guild faction. I’m sure you’ve predicted my only issue with the model though… What is it with the blue hair again Wyrd? Lady J is a redhead! With this paintjob she looks more like a Rasputina minion than a Guild master!

Avatar Justice

This Avatar strikes me as more of a display piece than a model for the tabletop. I think it’s a combination of a fragile pose that makes me worried about how it might transport to games clubs without damage, and the fact that the sculpt is kinda artistic and abstract. The Ram and the Crow don’t actually emerge from her hands as far as game abilities go – they’re on the model to represent her role as a balancing force between life/death (or good/evil, or Guild/Rezzers, take your pick). Apart from that, she’s an awesome model that looks a real challenge to paint. Kudos to Wyrd for doing something with her that I think nobody expected too.

Alt Pandora

I’m undecided on this model and think I need to see it in person before I decide. I’ve not been a massive fan of the regular Pandora model, despite her being my first master. She has a strange 80’s hair vibe going off, and the box is a little bit too low-key. The alternative version has the box front and center (rightly so!), spilling out ethereal snakes. She appears much younger in the alt too, more befitting her roles as “the Maiden” in the Neverborn trinity. Perhaps this is why she’s also showing much more leg and cleavage? She appears to be wearing a Lady Justice wig in the Wyrd photo, but I think if I replicate my current Pandora paint-job she’ll look just fine. Again not a priority, but on the “will pick up at some point” list.

Avatar Pandora

I remember first seeing this model when Eric J posted up a preview on the Wyrd boards, and how amazed I was. This is exactly what he meant when he said that they were aiming for “Wow factor” when it came to Avatars. The tentacles erupting from the ground, the arms raised to the sky, the spirits erupting from the box, it all adds up to a very evocative model. I think this may be my favourite Avatar model so far. I’m terrified of how strong some of those thin joins are – they’re going to require some inventive pinning I think! As for the new Candy, I’m a bit underwhelmed. She’s better than how she appeared in the initial preview, but I think she needs to be prettier than this new sculpt looks. Probably another case of mismatched expectations though.


A very cool concept executed very well. With these guys carrying their anchors and weights around it’s very obvious how they died, and the Wyrd paint job and basing does well to emphasize their bedraggled and wet appearance. My favourite is the anchor carrying zombie based on the art work. I don’t know why, but in these cases where multiple models of a type have been sculpted, I almost invariably like the concept art one the best. Maybe the alternates were thought up afterwards and had less consideration put into the design I can’t tell, but the art work based mini always seems to capture the essence of the character better.

Alt Flesh Construct

The first ever Alt minion, and hopefully the first of many. This shows that Wyrd is taking seriously the problems that some players have faced regarding fielding multiples of particular models on the table and there not being enough sculpts to ensure they’re all different. Hopefully Belles and Bayou Gremlins are on the list for future alts! I prefer this guy to the original, who I always felt looked a bit like a cartoon Frankenstein in a hospital robe. This version is incredibly tall, and clearly stitched together from multiple sources, with some mechanical or alchemical vat attached to his back for good measure. The exposed muscles give the impression that some of the parts were taken post-autopsy too, and he’s just more menacing and scary than the original. I suspect people will find that the old model looks a bit silly next to this one, and find they have to buy a second alt sculpt and customize that themselves, putting them in the exact same situation they were in before!

Aaaand hat's it for Oct/Nov! Well done to everyone that made it this far. Luckily there's only a short list of December releases for next month, but some of them are crackers!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

038 - Off Topic: Carnevale

You’ll have to forgive me for straying “Off Topic”, but I discovered a game yesterday that may be of interest to Malifaux players.

Carnevale is a new skirmish game from new company Vesper-on Games, set in an alternate Venice in 1795 (ie. around 100 years before Malifaux), where a rent in the sky pours magic over the city. With most of the population dead, the survivors fall mainly into 4 factions:

The Patricians are the Venetian nobility but, corrupt as they are, venture onto the streets to commit acts of brutality on the peasants, with the city guard in tow.

The Ospedale is a cabal of doctors and alchemists who experiment on the Venetian citizens and wildlife that they can capture alive, including the inspired “remote control rhino”

The Rashaar are an ocean dwelling Cthullu-type demonic race that have emerged from the deep to enslave humanity.

The Guild is, unlike the Malifaux Guild, a group of thieves and assassins, who actually appear to be the good guys, protecting the peasants from the ravages of the other factions.

There are some very nice models in the initial range, and the setting is pretty unique, however I’m not sure whether it might be too similar in feel to Malifaux for me to pick it up as a side game.

For anyone interested, the Rulebook and model stats are available for free on Vesper-on Games homepage

While I’m Off-Topic, it’s worth mentioning that this week I played an intro game of Eden against Adam, my Bamaka Clan vs his Jokers. It was a fun little game, and we both really like the post-apocalyptic setting so this is likely to get the occasional play now and then, but there’s nobody else locally playing it, so we will see.

Monday, 14 November 2011

037 - Painting Progress Update

With the end of 2011 fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of a review of my year's painting progress and see where I'm at.

The goal at the start of the year was, as it always is, to only buy as many models as I can paint. Let's see how I did:

2011 Painted

The Dreamer
3 Sorrows
Baby Kade
Insidious Madness
Stitched Together

3 Belles
Grave Spirit
Punk Zombie
2 Canines

Papa Loco

Bayou Gremlin

2 Eden Bamaka Clan
3 Heresy Doctor Who figures

That's a total of 36 painted models, giving me average rate of 0.8 models per week to date. I'm actually pretty surprised that I've managed almost one model a week, as there have been a couple of months this year when it's felt like I've made no progress at all, especially recently.

As far as not buying too many models I have, as I always do, failed to keep to this plan, succumbed to shiny stuff syndrome and treated myself to way too many toy soldiers for my incredibly sluggish painting speed to keep up with. The current count is 48 unpainted or part painted models waiting to be made table-ready, including complete crews for both Rasputina and Somer Teeth/Ophelia as well as quite a big pile of Ressurectionist reinforcements.

Since this means I'm 43% through my current collection, I think a reasonable target for the end of the year will be to reach 50%. I'll need to paint 6 more models over the next 7 weeks - doable at my current rate, but with no room for slacking! I'll also need to make sure I don't buy any more figures, or if I do, that I get some extra painting done to compensate!

Friday, 11 November 2011

036 - Building a Gaming Board - Part 1

A bit over a month ago the Leeds Wargaming Center, where I played the vast majority of my games, unexpectedly closed down. This was a big blow to the local gaming community, who had settled into the place over the last 8 months, and there was a period of uncertainty regarding when and where we'd find a new place to play toy soldiers. A few alternatives have now been organised, but none of them are ideal for me.

The Night Owls gaming club found a community center which could accommodate them on Sundays, but that's no longer a viable day for me. The old HEART club continues to open on Thursday evenings, but this clashes with my martial arts class. A small new club has opened in Keighley, which I hope to get to soon to take a look at, but it's a bit out of my way and the opening times are erratic. All of these places also suffer on the extra count that their tables and scenery will never live up to the incredible standard of Kaine's Malifaux boards at the LWGC.

The combination of these factors means I've decided to start a little terrain project of my own in the form of a modular gaming board, with the plan being that I'll be able to play games at home (enticing unsuspecting victims to my house with promise of beer and/or pizza may be required), or transport it easily to another location if required.

Here's where I'm at so far - I've built three of the 1-foot square pieces that will make up the playing surface. Being a complete amateur when it comes to woodwork, they're going to need a little tidying up, but I'm pleased with the results so far and how easy they were to knock together.

I'm mulling over a few ideas for themes for the board, but I'm currently leaning towards a frontier town type setting.

As you can see I haven't got far yet, and this will probably be a bit of a slow-grow project, but I'll be throwing up the occasional update post over the next few months. I've never attempted anything like this before, so it'll be a learning process, and I'd be grateful for feedback and advice as I go!


Monday, 7 November 2011

035 - GT Warm-Up Tournament Report

Last week I attended a tournament in Stockport organised by Craig (aka UKRocky), intended as practice for next week's UK Grand Tournament (EDIT: By the time this is published the GT will have been and gone). Although I'm not attending the GT, I'd been itching for some Malifaux action after not managing to get a game for the last month or so, and so I decided to go along for the day. There were 14 players there, including many of the UK tournament regulars, but a few new faces also.

The format was designed to emulate the GT, and there were 3 games, each of which had exactly the same conditions as one of the GT games due next week, allowing people to refine tactics and lists. Over the course of the day I played:

25ss Shared Treasure Hunt
35ss Shared Slaughter
45ss Shared Destroy the Evidence
Schemes were unique for the day.

I didn't remember to take any pictures, so I'll keep the battle reports short and sweet.

Game 1:
25ss Shared Treasure Hunt vs. Craig (UKRocky)

2 Belles
Punk Zombie
Grave Spirit
7ss cache
Hold Out, Frame for Murder (unannounced)

I decided to roll with my pretty standard Seamus crew, apart from adding in Sybelle with the intention of using her to get to the treasure counter first. I wanted a high cache, as in smaller games like this one the Master becomes even more important and I wanted Seamus to be the lynchpin of the crew, with enough SS to throw some into attacking and not just saving them for defense.

2 Silurids
Student of Conflict
Eye for an Eye, Steal Relic

I won Turn 1 initiative and, with a high mask in my hand, used Sybelle to catapult a companioned Belle close to the treasure counter. After a quick rulebook check we quickly both learned that the treasure counter can in fact be picked up in melee (something neither of us had realised), and Craig moved one of his Silurids in to contest the objective.
Marcus charged the Grave Spirit that had linked onto the Punk Zombie, but flipped Black Joker on the damage and had to retreat again causing no damage. Seamus moved to reinforce the developing combat in the center of the board, but was wary of Kaeris so didn't get too close. A .50 calibre gunshot wound to the face took down the other approaching Silurid, despite its camouflage. The first Belle on the scene picked up the treasure, but couldn't escape the melee, and was eventually killed by a Silurid bite and dropped the treasure back where she'd found it.
Marcus took another charge at the Grave Spirit and to Craig's exasperation again flipped Black Joker on damage. Determined to finish off his new nemesis, Marcus took a second Strike action which killed the spirit, but this left him dangerously close to the Punk Zombie.
Winning initiative again, the Punk Zombie obligingly used Flurry on Marcus, bringing him to the edge of death. Marcus killed the Punk, and Kaeris did some serious serious damage to Seamus (bringing him temporarily to just 1 wound!) before casting a Flame Wall to give her Master some cover. Seamus slit the jugular of the other Silurid and healed himself from the brink of death.
Undeterred by the wall of fire, Sybelle charged through, taking 3 damage in the process. Marcus was surprised to see a flaming zombie appear out of nowhere, and Sybelle stripped him of his last wound with an Iron Fan slice.
Kaeris picked up the treasure and stole the relic from Seamus, who hit her back with his Bag O'Tools, making her Insignificant and unable to gain VPs for the treasure. Craig's cunning plan was therefore to use the Student of Conflict to remove her Insignificant in the final turn "until her next activation", meaning she would be Significant at the end of the game and able to score points for the strategy. In another amazingly back luck clip he turned over another Black Joker and she was deprived of the 2VPs for carrying the treasure.

Final score 4-3 to Marcus - We'd both achieved our schemes but nobody got any points for the strategy.

I remembered after the draw for the second round had taken place, that Kaeris should have done a WP duel at the end of the game or count as dead, and that this would have affected Steal Relic and maybe given me a draw, but it was too late by that point. It's a shame to finish on a "what if" like this, as I'll forever wonder if I would be the first person to break Craig's 29-games-long winning streak with Marcus. It's worth mentioning that Craig is placed number 1 in the UK Malifaux Rankings, so I was very happy with the outcome of this game, and was extremely pleased when he remarked that this game was the best he had seen Seamus played.

Game 2:
35ss Shared Slaughter vs. Jo (Neverata)

2 Belles
Punk Zombie
Grave Spirit
Bete Noire
8ss cache
Kill Protégé (Ronin), Assassinate

I opted to use the same crew as the previous game, adding Bete Noire for her killing power and resilience - in my experience in a Slaughter she can kill 10+ SS of enemies without too much trouble, and very rarely gives up her own high SS cost to your opponent. An extra SS for Seamus meant he had the full cache and could be my other main damage dealer. My schemes were aimed to synergize with the Strategy, as I'd be gunning for the Masters anyway for the additional point (and to stop them slicing my own models into small chunks of dead meat)

6 Ronin
5ss cache
Hold Out, Eye for an Eye

4 of the Ronin advanced up my right flank, with the Viktorias and the other two Ronin (including my Kill Protégé target) moved forwards on my left. My plan was to keep my entire crew to the left, moving around the large obscuring building in the middle, and try to take on Jo's crew in two halves. Unfortunately my guys got bogged down in melee in the center, allowing the 4 additional Ronin to catch up to me on Turn 3 and meaning I had attackers on both sides.
A Belle lured one of the Ronin accompanying the Viks, attempting to split that group up too and prevent a massed charge, but even with the help of the Punk Zombie she was unable to kill the target due to Hard to Kill. One of the Viktorias became engaged in combat with Seamus, Sybelle and a Belle, and wounded them all, but she took heavy damage in return. She suffered a barrage of attacks from most of my crew in Turn 2, but she weathered the storm of blows by burning through her entire cache. She managed to hang onto her last wound before swapping places with her sister further back. I also faced a particular dilemma twice in a single turn - what do you do if you want to Flurry (requiring that you discard a card to make 3 strikes) but all three of the cards in your hand are 11+? I opted to just Strike twice, and I'm still not sure whether that was the right decision.
Jo sneakily committed Sepakku with the Ronin that was my Kill target, gaining herself another two soulstones and depriving me of two VPs.
The center melee was joined by four fresh Ronin, but Bete Noire appeared from the body of one and slit the jugular of another two in an impressive knife display, while the last Ronin failed her Terror test and ran away crying after trying to charge Seamus.
The fresh Viktoria managed to finish the job on Seamus, but was killed by my crew's counter attack. With only one Vik left (and on 1 wound), Jo opted to retreat, but my remaining models were unable to catch up to her. I made sure one of my Belle's sprinted forwards for the final two turns to end the game in the enemy deployment zone and deny Hold Out.

Final score 2-1 to Seamus - Neither of us had achieved any Schemes, but I managed to claw a few VPs in the very complicated Slaughter conditions, while Jo gained a point for killing Seamus.

For Jo and me, this was our 3rd competitive matchup to date. It seems that whenever we're both at a tournament we're guaranteed to get drawn against each other, but I'm not complaining as she's always fun to play. It was a nice surprise too to see her using a different master as I was expecting to be facing Lilith again. This game regains Seamus' honor (slightly anyway...) after she beat him with Lilith in the first Leeds tournament back in May, and I'm sure she'll be looking forward to get a game against my Pandora at our next clash to try and equalise that score too. Actually... maybe not. Nobody looks forward to playing against Pandora.

Game 3:
45ss Shared Destroy the Evidence vs. James (MythicFox)

3 Belles
Punk Zombie
Crooked Man
Grave Spirit
3 Canine Remains
6ss cache
Army of the Dead, Bodyguard

This was the first time I'd ever played a game above 35ss, and I was at a bit of a loss about what to take. I swapped out Sybelle and Bete for a Crooked Man (intended for objective denial), a Shikome (intended to objective capture) and an Onryo (an additional damage causing body). I brought the 3 Canines intending to use them to gather up Corpse Counters and send them to Seamus for the Army of the Dead scheme.

4 Marionnettes
1 Wicked Doll
Bad Juju
Mature Nephilim
Insidious Madness
5ss cache
Kidnap (Canines), Kill Protégé (Shikome)


I’ve found in the past that Shared Destroy Evidence can often come down to whichever player wins the first activation flip, as so many crews out there have enough movement tricks to get to the center Evidence on the first activation and begin the game with a 1-0 unrecoverable advantage. I knew Collodi was capable of some movement tricks but MAN is he fast! Winning initiative with a 13, James activated Collodi and his Marionettes, who proceeded to run up the board at incredible speed and destroy two Evidence markers (both requiring a (2) Interact action and being 8” apart and 12” from his deployment zone!) within the first activation of the game. They were part of the way towards destroying a third when their momentum ran out.

At a bit of a loss of where to go from there, and with Collodi rather close to my deployment zone, most of my crew moved up table slowly, being wary of Bad Juju who had popped up on my right flank. The Shikome declared the Insidious Madness as prey and began to stalk it, but it stayed put and the winged demon was denied any extra movement. Zoraida, with a vantage point on top of a pillar, cast Obey on the Mature Nephilim, and her summoned Voodoo Doll did the same thing, which meant it was close enough for a diving tackle into my lines. The Mature Nephilim made short work of the Shikome before getting mobbed by several of my crew in an attempt to stop it destroying move evidence markers. It wore them down though, including the last Canine Remains that had dived in the combat to try and pick up Corpse Counters to send to Seamus.

The Punk Zombie charged Bad Juju and with a fortunate Red Joker managed to put it down, in the uneasy knowledge that it would be back next turn. It did so, and parked itself on one of my evidence objectives. Zoraida watched over another evidence marker, casting Obey to make any of my models that tried to get close to it, to turn around and walk away.

In my deployment zone, Collodi made a dash for the last piece of evidence and destroyed it. I’d already marked him for death after his first turn escapades, but this took the biscuit and so, in the knowledge that I wasn’t going to come close to achieving my strategy in the few turns remaining, I decided that he needed to be taught a lesson. The Punk Zombie used Slice and Dice with another Red Joker to cut down all of his nearby Marionettes, and then Seamus finished off Collodi once he was unable to bump hits onto his puppets.

Final score 8-3 to Zoraida - The board was littered with corpse counters, mostly from my own crew, so I picked up 3 VP for my schemes but nothing for the Strategy, whereas James had completed all his objectives.

James is a pretty regular opponent of mine, being from the same locale, but this was only our second competitive matchup, putting us at 1-1. I’m not sure about whether I liked the larger scale of the game or not, It might just be that I’ve grown comfortable with 35SS, so I’m willing to play a few more larger Scraps and see how I get on, but it felt at times like the game got a little bogged down with the larger number of models on the table. James played exceptionally well and gave me no real mistakes to capitalize on (except maybe forgetting about the Punk’s AOE damage – but Collodi had served his purpose by that point), whereas I made a number of blunders. The Shikome should have had the Mature Nephilim as its prey instead of the Madness; Sybelle should have been in the crew to attempt the Turn 1 Belle Catapult tactic etc.

All in all a very enjoyable tournament! Thanks to all my opponents and to Craig for organising the day.


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

034 - Puppet Wars - what did I miss?

Several threads are starting to show up on the Wyrd boards of people showing off their puppet models from Wyrd's new Puppet Wars board game, and there's been plenty of admiration, but I have to admit I'm just not seeing the model's appeal.

Let me start by saying I haven't played the game, or seen it played. I've been hoping one of the local gamers has picked up a copy as I'd quite like to give it a go and see how it runs. I do really like the idea of a stripped down "Malifaux-lite" that takes less than an hour to get through and doesn't need a lot of space or time to set up. I'm sure it's a lot of fun to play, although I have my doubts about how successful it'll be outside the established Malifaux player base. To a person not already familiar with the Malifaux fluff, it doesn't seem to me that, for example, Puppet Nino or Puppet Bad Juju would be particularly characterful, instead they'd just end up being abstract pieces devoid of context.

What is "Nino" anyway?
There's one main reason, though, why i don't plan on buying the game for myself and that reason is, im sorry to say, the models are just not very attractive! Compare something like the Puppet Rotten Belle or Puppet Witchling Stalker to pretty much anything in the Malifaux range and the lack of detail is astonishingly obvious. I honestly believe I could sculpt models myself to the level of detail on the Puppets I've seen so far.

Brown blob with a sword

I know they're meant to be puppets, and so will inevitably be simpler models, but some look like amorphous blobs and don't capture the essence (for me at least) of the Malifaux models they're based on. There are a couple of notable exceptions - Lucius is nice, and the Canine Remains is rather cute, but on the whole I'm not too excited. Usually when Ratty on the Wyrd boards posts up his most recent work it inspires me to run out and try something similar, but this time I'm not feeling it.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

033 - Ding, Dong, the Alp Bomb's Dead

This week, the Alp Bomb was brutally killed off as a viable tactic. Wyrd posted six changes to the Alp's abilities onto the forums in a long-awaited post here.

You can follow the link for the full details of the changes, but in summary Wyrd have changed the way that Alps work in two separate ways:

Firstly, Alp abilities that cause enemy models to suffer Wds by being in proximity when they activate, walk or strike are not as powerful as they were previously. Before, you would suffer 1 Wd for each Alp in range. Now, you only suffer 1 Wd regardless of the number of Alps up in your grill. A bunch of Alps dropped on your crew will still have a good chance of inflicting Slow and a Wd or two, but aren't going to be killing potentially any non-Soulstone user they surround. "Extremely deadly" has been downgraded to "Extremely annoying".

Secondly, Alps have been made Insignificant. This is a err... significant change because they'll no longer be useful in achieving some Strategies or Schemes.

The first change I expected, as it's been a sore topic on the Wyrd boards since before I discovered the game. Everyone knew it definitely needed changing, with hordes of players begging Wyrd to swing the nerf bat. Despite all the pitchfork waving, Wyrd have obviously taken their time playtesting to understand any unforeseen implications the change might have, before reacting accordingly. Thanks Wyrd!

The second change I didn't expect, but I can understand why it was made. At 3ss, Alps have been brought more in line with Sorrows, as a model that's nice for supporting the crew's main hitters, but isn't going to be game winning by itself. As other people have already pointed out, now that the Dreamer has access to Night Terrors, he doesn't need another cheap Significant minion to be able to compete at eg. Recconoiter.

Alps will still feature in many crews, but as annoyance/support, which it seems is how they were originally envisaged. Best of all, Neverborn players will no longer face abuse from their opponents for bringing Alps - so we can all rejoice!


Sunday, 18 September 2011

032 - Painting Update & My Workstation

Not much of an update today, just thought I'd share a work-in-progress picture of what I'm currently painting, and give you a behind the scenes look at my workstation.

I'm currently working on Gremlin models, and painting a mix of So'mer Teeth and Ophelia models. Here's Ophelia with her base complete and some initial work on the Henchlady herself. The Bayou Gremline is complete and only there so I can make sure the colour schemes stay consistant. I think I've already failed though and need to go back to Ophelia's shoes to make them a more muted brown, so that the crews tie together visually.

Here's some pictures of the rest of the stuff that crowds my painting workstation. It's only an extremely tiny portable table with wobbly legs, which I use to paint in the living room in front of the tv. I don't really have a permanent space to go and paint where I could spread out a bit more and be able to keep things tidier, because I prefer to sit and paint on the sofa and keep the girlfriend company.

Filling up the space at the moment you can see various other Gremlin models, including some almost finished flying piglets. Also in the queue you can see Nightmare Teddy that I've made a start on, a half finished Shikome, and a couple of Doctor Who models that I'm assembling ready to teach the missus to paint. I made her a Doctor Who diorama (Matt Smith, Karen Gillan & the Tardis) last Chrismas which she really liked, so they seemed like a good choice for her to have a go at painting her first models.

The wet palette and water jar take up a lot of space, and when painting in the evening I often try to squeeze a posable lamp on the table too, so space is at a premium! Tools and paints wise, I try to keep most of my stuff in a box behind the sofa and only pull out colours when I need them, until gradually the table gets filled up and I pack them all away again until needed.

Well there you go, a bit of an insight into my living room. Hope it was of interest!


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

031 - Malifaux September Releases Review

The September releases are due to hit the shops on the 15th, so I thought I'd give a quick review of what we're going to see. The big release this month is of course Twisting Fates, the second expansion book for the game, but I haven't had chance to fully digest all the contents yet so I'll post a review of that separately in the near future.

Onto the models:


Underwhelming is how I'd describe these. Maybe it's another case of raised expectations, but it seems to me that Wyrd missed the opportunity to make something unique and Malifaux-esque here. Instead we get very generic looking birds that don't really stand out compared to the same sort of model produced by many other companies. I haven't checked, but I'm guessing this is a case where people will have lots of proxy options should they want different bird models.

Soulstone Miner

It's a bumper release for Arcanists this month, although in fairness they have the largest number of unreleased minions from Rising Powers. I really like the look of this model. Very dynamic sculpt and just like the artwork. Those spinning blades look especially nasty! One downside to it that I can see is that it's just made up of pieces of metal, so it will be hard to make it really stand out painting-wise, but if anyone wants to practise their Non-Metallic-Metal painting techniques, this is the model to buy!

Large Steampunk Arachnid

One guy on the forums with a fear of spiders said this model creeps him out, and I can kinda see why. It's very spindly, not at all like the more compact regular Steampunk Arachnids. I don't really understand why it has what looks like a crown on its back though - that looks a bit out of place. Arcanist players are happy that it appears to be on a 50mm base, which means that it drops additonal scrap counters when dying, meaning Ramos will be able to get extra SS of value out of killing it and summoning smaller Arachnids.


Absolutely love this model! The sheer size of the thing hanging off the edge of the base, the expression on the pig's face, the pirate gremlin lookout, it all comes together to make a really cool minion that perfectly captures the spirit of the gremlin faction. I'm not convinced yet about it's game-worthyness, but if nothing else it can be played in friendly games for comedy value! Various customisations and conversions of the pig have been suggested, ranging from top hats to monacles - I'll definitely have to do something interesting with mine!

Sonnia Alt

A big improvement on the original Sonnia sculpt, which I never really liked. She always seemed to me to be one of the most boring master sculpts, not really doing anything interesting and not oozing character like most of the other masters. She does look to have a slightly weird expression on her face, but that might be the angle of the photo. Apart from that the leaning back stance and raised sword is a cool pose, and the fireball looks great. Between this and the Avatar I'm no longer writing off Sonnia as a master I'm not interested in ever getting!

Sonnia Avatar

Such a incredibly dynamic and unique model, this was one of my favourites of the GenCon preview releases. I believe it's a combination of metal and resin parts. Sonnia herself looks suitably possessed and is nicely posed, although I can't help but feel that her hair should be spread out a little wilder than it is as she swoops through the air. The majority of the model is made up of swirling fire (Mike's Painting Hint: Fire should be highlighted the opposite of other materials, lightest colour in the recesses blending to darker red at the extreme edges), and it looks great, especially the dragon rising behind Sonnia. Perhaps things are a little cramped, even on a 50mm base, but the overall effect just works really well, for me anyway!


Saturday, 10 September 2011

030 - Ortegas vs Marcus

I take no credit for this picture, which was the work of "011121" on the Wyrd forums. Nevertheless it made me chuckle so much I think it deserves a repost here.

More of his amusing Malifaux pictures can be found in the thread here (including some cute girls in Steampunk outfits, which is always nice!)


Friday, 2 September 2011

029 - D'oh! GenCon delivery missed!

Unfortunately I was at work this morning when they brought my package, and the girlfriend was sleeping soundly and didn't hear the postman! Hopefully I'll be able to pick it up tomorrow.

DateTimeLocationTracking Event
02-09-201109:48Leeds DepotDelivery attempted
02-09-201100:53Leeds DepotLoaded to vehicle for delivery
01-09-201112:59National HubReceived and processed
01-09-201108:55International HubForwarded for UK processing
01-09-201108:50International HubReceived in destination country
25-08-201106:41Delivery Agent - MIAMIForwarded for export
23-08-201117:38Delivery Agent - UNITED STATES AMERICACollected from customer
01-01-198006:55Heathrow AirportReceived in destination country

As you can see, my parcel somehow made a short trip to the year 1980 which may have slowed it down a bit, but it's now safely back in the present day!

I'm actually quite impressed with the speed the order got to me. I was expecting it to be well into September before I received anything, so I'm pleasantly surprised! With a bit of focus I might be able to have Nightmare Teddy ready to eat some face at the Leeds tournament next weekend...


Monday, 29 August 2011

028 - "Never Happen...."

Firstly - apologies for the lack of posting recently. I moved house a few weeks back and I've only just this week gotten my shiny new broadband connection up and running.

Now onto business. A couple of weeks ago I entered the Iron Owl painting competition at Leeds Wargaming Center. I'd been working on something special for a while, and although I didn't win anything (the standard was very very high), I was really happy with how my entry turned out and gave me a great opportunity to develop some basic conversion skills.

One of the more amusing Malifaux abilities is called "Never Happen..." and is found on the Gremlin Hog Whisperer. Basically, it gives all friendly pigs within 12" the ability of Flight. To me this was crying out for a comically customised model, so I decided I was going to give my first Warpig some wings. Here's the final result:

I figured it'd be worthwhile showing everyone how he was made in case other people decide to do something similar.

The hardest part of the conversion was the legs so this was the part I tackled first. The Warpig comes in two halves, and the rear leg on each side is what he usually stands on, with his front legs raised off the ground as though he's charging or pouncing.

I quickly realised that if I was to raise him into a flying pose, the back legs would look totally wrong, as he would still be in a standing position with his feet flat as though they were on solid ground. I therefore decided to cut off the back legs with my trusty hacksaw, and alter their position so as to look like they were hanging down naturally when he was up in the air. I had to take a pretty big chunk out of the back of each side of the model in order to get these legs off, including destroying most of the muscles in the rear end, but I planned to resculpt them back on later. Admittedly I was quite worried after seeing my new model cut into small chunks!

On the pigs left flank, the leg turned and re-attached easily enough in it's new position without needing modification to the leg itself.

Unfortunately the right hind leg is sculpted in a bent position and needed some further work to get it to look natural. I cut into the leg at the knee joint and again at the ankle to split it into three pieces, which were rearranged into a completely new shape. Both legs were pinned back onto the body for extra strength.

The rest of the pig was assembled normally. Regrettably this model is one of those that never fits together very well, and there were loads gaps around the head and tail that needed plenty of green-stuff to fill in.

The crucial addition to my Warpig would be the wings, and I searched for a long time to find the right ones. At one point I was leaning towards the large feathered wings from Micro Art Studio, but they looked heavy and I wasn't sure they would be the right size. I toyed with the idea of stealing the wings from a GW Bretonnian Pegasus Knight, and tried to find these parts on some Bitz websites, but they appeared to be the most popular part of the kit and were always out of stock.

Despairing that my porcine friend would never be able to get airborne, I stopped by my local GW and told a staff member that I wasn't as familiar with the current range as I used to be and did he have any ideas? On their in-shop painting station they had some WIP new Dark Eldar Scourges and I knew right away I'd found my wings! I snapped up a box there and then and luckily, after choosing the right pair of wings for me (I definitely didn't want the bat wings) managed to sell the rest of the models on to Darren at the local club who wanted them for his Dark Eldar army. Win-win!

GW still make the best plastic miniatures around - hands down

The wings had a few cables and mechanical looking parts that needed carefully scraping off with a craft knife, following which I did my best to resculpt some feathers where the damage had been done. All that remained was to drill a hole for a 2mm brass rod in the base of the pig and mount him to a Wyrd Bayou 50mm base insert.

You can see at this point I had the wings in a different position. Thankfully my girlfriend convinced me to raise them up and outstretched which I realise now is a far better pose.

I got a big carried away at this point and forgot to take a picture of the model after I'd re-sculpted the hind leg muscles, but you can see the results in the final photos below.

As one of my first real conversion efforts I'm incredibly pleased with the final result, and I hope I've inspired someone to try something similar with their own pigs.

Until next time... oink oink!


Saturday, 27 August 2011

027 - I am the King of Pinning!

Nuff said...