Sunday, 10 April 2011

013 - Battle Report x2 - Seamus vs Kirai/Lady Justice

In the last week I've played a couple of games with Seamus, whose crew I've been painting as a break from my Neverborn. I'll be showing off a few pictures of them later this week. Both games were played at the new Leeds Wargaming Center in Leeds, and so I was able to use the gorgeous Malifaux terrain boards there for the first time. There are three Malifaux boards at the store, all made from Hirst Arts plaster blocks, and they're a joy to play on. Both games this week were played on the "Soulstone Gin Distillery" board. You'll have to excuse the poor quality photos - I'm beginning to realise that my iPhone is woefully inadequate for this kind of photography!

The first game was against James, the local Wyrd Henchman, who wanted to try out his Kirai crew. I get the feeling she must be flavour of the month, as this would be the 3rd game I'd played against Kirai (and I'd only played 5 games total!), however I thought I'd be ok as I'd already seen all the tricks she could pull. I thought wrong.

Me: Seamus, Madame Sybelle, Copycat Killer, Bete Noire, 3 Belles, Crooked Man
Strategy + Schemes: Slaughter + Hold Out & Kill Protégé (Shikome)

James: Kirai, Lost Love, Shikome, Hanged, 2 Onryo, 3 Seishin
Strategy + Schemes: Destroy Evidence + Hold Out & Grudge (Belle).

James managed to completely out-manoever me through the whole game. By activating his Seishin towards the start of his turn and merely declaring Defensive Stance, he managed to force me to commit my model's activations before he could react with his more powerful hitters.

The Shikome in particular (who I foolishly declared as the target of my Kill Protégé scheme) used it's total combined movement of 15" to fly about the table each turn, firstly despatching the Belle that was its Grudge target, and then destroying two pieces of Evidence, and then hiding deep in my deployment zone without me being about to pin it down and kill it. At one point Kirai used Swirl Spirits twice to swap the Shikome with another model twice, and effectively teleport it to the other side of the table!

Path of the Shikome
I learned the hard way that I need to be careful when choosing my moment to reveal Bete Noire. When the Ikiryo appeared in my lines in the first turn and killed one of the Belles, I impulsively brought out Bete early who took her inevitable revenge, but it left her somewhat stranded and unable to do damage to the rest of James's crew. I also overestimated the damage she'd be able to do, since when halved against Spirits it was quite pitiful, and I now realise she definitely needs to appear next to her target to be able to Flurry. Moving or charging and making a single attack just isn't enough for her to kill most things.

James managed to destroy all three pieces of evidence, and I managed to whittle down his forces enough to complete my Slaughter objective (ever reappearing Seishin make it particularly easy to bump up your models-killed total). Neither of us managed our Hold Out objectives, and James had satisfied his Grudge. When I failed to kill the Shikome in Turn 6, I thought it was all over, but the cards dictated that the game would go on for a further turn. In Turn 7 I still couldn't bring the damn thing down, nor in Turn 8 when the cards were kind to me yet again! When it got to Turn 9, James realised that Kirai could use Sacrifice Spirit to remove the Shikome from the table and prevent me from killing it! Next time I face Kirai I'll be very wary of taking any schemes which require me to "kill" things, as shenanigans like that would make it impossible to secure VPs. I may find it hard not to declare Grudge against this particular Shikome though!

At the end the victory points came out at 6-4 to James, a close fought and very enjoyable game.

Later in the week, after I promised not to use Pandora against him, Paul agreed to another game, and this time he left his traitorous Puppet Deck at home "on the naughty step".

Me: Seamus, Madame Sybelle, Copycat Killer, Bete Noire, 3 Belles, Crooked Man
Strategy + Schemes: Slaughter + Bodyguard & Stake a Claim

Paul: Lady Justice, Samael Hopkins, Santiago Ortega, 2 Witchling Stalkers, 2 Guild Guard, Death Marshall
Strategy + Schemes: Line in the Sand + Extermination (Belles) & Hold Out.

Things started well. I managed to take out one of the Guild Guards in the second turn, and protected the dynamite counters in the center of the table by using the Crooked Man to guard them with a Shafted marker, which meant that any of Paul's models attempting to light the fuses would run the risk of death or paralysis. Two of my Belles moved to my left to protect two of the other dynamite counters, facing up to the Witchling Stalkers, while the rest of our forces converged in the centre of the distillery.

In the almighty ruckus that followed, I severely wounded both Samael and Lady Justice (with hindsight, I should have focussed my fire better to bring down at least one of them), but Lady Justice managed to skewer Sybelle and then, after Seamus failed to disengage and make a run for it, she sliced him up too - one attack managed to inflict 12 Wds on him!

With my master lost, and severely outnumbered, the only way I could claw back some dignity was to try and defuse enough of the dynamite to stop Paul achieving full VPs for his strategy. The two Belles in the corner did reasonably well, managing to disarm one of the dynamite counters and took down a Witchling Stalker, but one of them died as he exploded leaving me with a single model left at the end of the game.

The final total was 6-0 to Paul, another fun game in which Paul reclaimed his honor. We agreed to count this result towards the Malifaux league/campaign that recently started at the Night Owls gaming club.

Lessons learned this time are:

1) If you see Lady J coming towards your master, just run! If she gets close, even Hard to Wound 2 and Hard to Kill aren't going to save your ass. That goes double if one of your Schemes is Bodyguard!
2) I need to remember to focus fire on dangerous targets - instead of splitting my attacks on several enemies.
3) Crooked Man didn't do all that much in either game. I'll probably drop him next time and try something else.

All round not a very inspirational start for my Seamus crew - hopefully they'll improve as I get more used to how they work!