Friday, 15 July 2011

024 - Nightmare Teddy: Now with 50% less cuddly!

No Avatar news this week I'm afraid. Instead Wyrd have leaked pictures of two of the Limited Edition figures that will be up for grabs at Gencon.

I've been really looking forward to seeing the new Teddy since it was revealed that he would be one of the Nightmare models this year, and the big reveal doesn't disappoint!

Some musings:

1. Wow!
2. That is one seriously tall model!
3. He seems more... real looking than the regular Teddy model, which some might say is a negative point for a model that's meant to be a dream/nightmare. For me though I think it's an improvement over the slightly cartoonish original. That's not to say the original isn't great, just in a different way.
4. I think using both normal and nightmare Teddies together would look strange. They're completely different styles of sculpts.
5. This will probably mean I retire my current Teddy and grab two nightmares (maybe...)
6. This plan is made all the more apt by there being two different heads and an alternative (currently unseen) arm.
7. My wallet has already started crying.
8. Why hasn't the alt arm been shown yet? I suspect he'll be carrying something amazingly cool and Wyrd are holding it back as a surprise. Giant carving knife to match Kade's, maybe? Or even a nightmare Kade himself, being carried along by his giant cuddly pal?
9. He's much leaner than expected, but I'm happy with that. He looks like a scraggy old teddy bear that's been mistreated, with half his stuffing mostly fallen out.
10. Not sure if he will suit a panda colour scheme any more - I fear if I try that he may come out looking like a skunk!

Also pictured alongside Teddy is Miss Deneanor, the new alt Convict Gunslinger, who will be taking the place of Miss Pack for 2011/2012. It's not yet known if she'll be packed as a random rare drop in X% of crew boxes, or if Wyrd have different plans for making her available after Gencon.

I'm undecided on this model. She looks pretty cool in a Tomb Raider sort of way, but she's too modern looking for me - I'd have preferred something a little more Steampunk. Looking at her alongside the recent female Desperate Merc, I'm a little worried at the direction Wyrd are taking with female miniatures recently. They just seem to be of a style completely alien to Malifaux, so fingers crossed it's not the start of a real trend - I have high expectations for alt-Pandora and don't want her spoiling!

Friday, 8 July 2011

023 - More Avatar Shinyness! (Viktorias and Som'er)

The leaks and previews continue to show up on the Wyrd forums in the run up to Gencon. This week saw preview wallpapers for the Viktorias and Som'er Teeth Jones, as well as a teaser of a new Lady Justice concept. Other teasers were also leaked into "smilies" (small pictures that can be used in the middle of a forum post) which gave us a glimpse of the Avatars for Rasputina and Lilith.

At my gaming club we'd already called the form that these two masters would take as their Avatars. The Viks as a duet on a single base (although I'd never have expected them to get so bloodthirsty or for the sword to triple in size!) and Som'er riding a warpig (Peaches is such a lovely name for a warpig don't you think?) were both easy to predict.

Less expected were the forms for Rasputina and Lilith:

I was already leaning towards Rasputina for a future master and this Avatar just reinforces that. A giant Ice Golem encasing her is an amazing concept and looks like it'll give her some speed and combat punch. Lilith I'm not so sure about - maybe it's the picture but I don't think I like it that much. In the words of James, "It's Lilith, naked, and lurching out of a tree". Not what a lot of people were expecting to see, but I can see some nice new synergies with Waldgeists emerging, and perhaps she'll be able to summon them who knows.

If Wyrd keep to this schedule I expect we'll be seeing two more Avatar wallpapers and a couple more preview smiley gifs before this time next week. Stay tuned!


Thursday, 7 July 2011

022 - Unfocused minion painting

My painting has been a little erratic in recent weeks, with lots of projects on the go and far too many models in my painting queue. Here's a few of my recent efforts:

Some Guild Ortegas. The plan is for these to be my other demo crew, along with Seamus. I've already got a friend looking for an intro game, so the rest of these are quite high on the priority list to get finished.

A couple of Neverborn that I painted a few weeks ago for a tournament. They work nicely with Pandora, and they'll fit perfectly into my future Dreamer crew too. The rest of the unpainted Neverborn I currently have are shifted to low priority.

Lastly here's the first test model for my next main crew. This is also the first real test case for my upgraded painting equipment and my first ever base insert. I'm really happy with the results! The plan is for a Gremlin crew to be ready for the UK Grand Tournament in November, so there's a long way to go yet. However given my painting speed, and the number of models required, I think Gremlins also need to be high priority!

Watch this space for more pictures soon(ish)!

Friday, 1 July 2011

021 - Avatar Forms Preview (Seamus & Sonnia)

I was very excited to see the preview on the Wyrd forums yesterday which showed off the concept art for two of the Avatars that will be pre-released at GenCon in August.

For those not already familiar with the upcoming releases, GenCon will see the release of Twisting Fates, the second expansion book for Malifaux. Unlike Rising Powers the book will not be filled with new Minions (although there will be a few), and it's not expected to have any new Masters. What it does have, though, is new rules for Avatars, which are different forms your Master can turn into mid-game once certain conditions are met. It's also likely to be a temporary effect.

At the moment I can see this working one of two ways:

a) All masters will gain a (1) Avatar ability which will need a particular trigger and/or high casting value, or
b) Different masters will be able to transform into their Avatar after meeting some criteria specific to them eg. Chompy may transform after eating an enemy model.

Malifaux co-creator Eric Johns has explained that the Avatar isn't a plain upgrade in that you're always going to want to transform as soon as possible. Instead it will be a situational ability that will change the Master's abilities, making them more powerful in some areas but nerfing them in others.

A good example of this can be seen in the awesome concept art released for the Avatar for Seamus

Clearly channeling Mr Hyde, when he transforms into an Avatar Seamus looks like he's going to grow massively both in stature and physical strength. On the flip side, it appears that he will lose his .50 Flintlock, and I'm willing to bet that most of his ranged spells will go too. Clearly there will be times when you want Seamus in his regular form, and times when he will be best off transforming. I don't think his Bag of Tools is going to be getting much use once he replaces it with some Smash-Fu!

Also previewed is the "Alternative Seamus", which will be one of a series of alt Master sculpts, purely for the sake of making some nice new models. From the look of alt-Seamus with his ripped shirt, it seems that maybe the alt sculpts will depict the master after their Avatar transformation, so you could swap to the Avatar model for a turn then bring out the alt sculpt when the effect expires. If true it's a really nice idea!

Also previewed were the Alternative and Avatar forms of Sonnia Criid. I've never been that taken with Sonnia until now, but the alt-Sonnia just looks so much cooler than the current version, and her Avatar form looks to be absolutely beautiful. I've no idea how that would ever fit onto a 50mm base. Well done Wyrd for making even one of the least appealing Masters (to me at least) suddenly look very attractive indeed!

I was hoping to cut back on the Malifaux spending for the next couple of months and focus on getting my painting backlog under control, however I don't think I'll be able to resist buying the new Seamus stuff when it comes out in August. We haven't even seen the Nightmare edition models yet!

I'm hoping for a Nightmare Baby Kade, complete with pram! How about everyone else?

020 - Battle Report x 2 Seamus vs Leveticus/Pandora

I'm afraid to say my ranking in the local league took a nosedive this week after a run of bad games. Where I was in 4th place last week I'm now in last place (11th). In our league, rankings are calculated on a rolling 3 week interval, so a few bad results can have a big effect on your standing.

Seamus vs Leveticus
I first played against Craig's Leveticus crew, which would be my first game against the Steampunk Necromancer.

Craig brought Levi, Alyce, 4 Steampunk Abominations and 3 Necropunks, while I had Seamus, Copycat Killer, Sybelle, 2 Belles, Hanged, Onryo and Punk Zombie. My strategy was Slaughter and Craig was playing for Destroy the Evidence. In the early stages of the game I was incredibly wary of most of his models as I couldn't be sure what tricks they were going to pull against me, and this meant I struggled to be pro-active in my tactics.

Levi took the occasional pot shot with his spells to wear down my Belles, while the Steampunk Abominations rushed down the centre-table and combined into a Desolation Engine. Although the Engine did kill Madame Sybelle, the combined efforts of the rest of my crew managed to put it down and score me an early lead on Slaughter. I couldn't keep up the momentum though, and when Rusty Alyce came forwards later in the game to start sniping my models (killing 3 minions including a headshot against my Hanged..! *sob*), my forces became too depleted to be able to fight back.

I did almost manage to deprive Craig of his last Evidence marker, when my Onyro brought down the Necropunk that Craig was relying on, but in the end Leveticus had two whole Turns to finish off the Onryo and claim full VPs, whereas I'd failed to score any!

I did enjoy the game though, and learned a lot about how Leveticus works. His mechanics are quite unusual on paper, but I don't think they affect how you should play against him too much. One thing I did come up against was his ability to deny me my Corpse Counters. His models didn't leave any, and often mine didn't either when they were killed by particular spells. At one point I had a hand full of high crows ready to summon some Belles, and Levi just summoned a new Steampunk Abomination before I had chance.

Seamus vs Pandora

This was another complete drubbing for me, although I discovered afterwards that this was mainly because Adam, who was bringing his Pandora crew out of retirement, had slightly abused Pandora's "Project Emotions" ability.

My crew was Seamus, Sybelle, 3 Belles, Hanged, Grave Spirit, Onryo, Punk Zombie, and Adam had brought Pandora, Poltergeist, Baby Kade, Doppelganger, 2 Insidious Madness and 2 Stitched Together. Despite having Pandora myself this was the first time I'd faced her, and it was interesting for me to see a Pandora list played without Sorrows. At first it seemed that Adam would be using the Insidious Madness in base contact with her as replacements for Sorrows, but as he got closer they separated and Pandora moved around using different Woes as cover each turn.

The Strategy was shared Claim Jump. I started off well by wounding one of the Stitched Together and killing Kade on one flank, and taking out one of the Madnesses in the center. This unfortunately left many of my models bunched together and Adam used this opportunity to cast Project Emotions (with Mental Anguish trigger) with a high enough casting total that Seamus, Sybelle and a Belle were all caught under the template and forced to flee from one action. (I've since checked and found that the trigger should only be applied to the target, so Adam shouldn't have been able to do this! Ah well... we live and learn)

From Turn 4 onwards I was on the back foot, with Pandora well established in the center of the board and half my crew too far away to affect anything before the end of the game.

I'd also kept a Belle safely back in my deployment zone when I realised that Adam had taken Kidnap as one of his schemes. Unfortunately I'd mis-judged which 3 models he had chosen and this Belle was unable to contribute to the game at all. Luckily the other Belle (the scared away one) was the last model left for his scheme and she survived til the end due to having legged it across the board, so he was only able to score 1VP for Kidnap.

The final result though was 7-1 which, although not as bad as against Leveticus, meant that I'd lost my most recent 3 games and fell to the bottom of the league table.

The only way is up!