After a late sign up to a tournament organised by those lovely folks at the Canterbury Crusaders saw me up at 4:30am on Saturday morning to meet up with a couple of others from the Tractor Massive to head down to Kent for Canterfaux (let’s just stick with calling it that shall we?)
Toting a bag stuffed full of Ressers I was still unsure whether to use Tara or Molly but on the trip down I decided on the void queen mainly because I haven’t actually played a game with Molly and I’m pretty familiar with Tara, well that and I stood a better chance of not going home with ‘The Rusty Tractor’ (A prize for the lowest placed player in our group) if I took Tara, and with neither Spooner, Wrighty or Mark Sheppard being there the Tractor was most certainly in play!
A friendly welcome greeted us at the venue and it was great to meet / catch up with other players on the Malifaux scene. Seriously if you are considering going to a Malifaux tournament and are a little worried about all these weird wargamer types congregated in one place then don’t be, the Malifaux tournament scene must surely be the most welcoming on the planet (some of them are even normal people)
My welcome pack contained a 13 of Crows, which I decided was a good omen, and a plethora of other cool stuff (I have to say I really like the ‘claim markers’ which seem to be given away at most events now) and we gathered for the draw for the first round. I was almost last to be drawn (as was OldManMyke) but I avoided the Godfather of Malifaux and was drawn against a chap whom I had previously established was playing Gremlins. In Reconnoitre. Great.
Game 1 Tara vs Sommer (Rufus) – Reconnoitre – Flank Deployment – LIS, Protect Territory, Breakthrough, Frame for Murder, Outflank
Reconnoitre is probably my least favourite strategy and I decided to try out the Spare Parts upgrade for the first time, I’m pretty sure my list was
Tara (KOE, OS, SP)
2 x Belle
1 x Nurse
1 x Flesh Construct (to eat all those Gremlins)
1 x Necropunk
Rufus Has Sommer, a stupid amount of cheap green filth, some flavour of LaCroix that I can’t remember and a Pigapult (+Stuffed Piglet). He announced Breakthrough.
Here we Go, I thought, I’ve read the forums, I’ve (unfortunately) listened to that Chasing Bacon podcast, I know for a fact that that Pigapult is a load of crap and not worth the points. Turns out its quite good, who’d of thunk it!
I declared Breakthrough and Protect Territory and Morty started off by digging a load of corpses up then Tara did her thing summoning some Guild Autopsies. I had deployed poorly and had to move my Belles around a bit, the flesh construct started wandering up the table and the Necropunk did some leaping.
Rufus summoned a shed load of gremlins, healed them with a slop hauler and used the pigapult to launch the Lacroix and a load of gremlins at me.
At this point I thought the he might have Frame for Murder on Raphael so I set about him with a couple of Autopsies rather than Mortimer.
I think it was turn 2/3 when I lost control of the Strategy. The pigapult loaded up the stuffed piglet and launched it at the Flesh Construct killing it and the Necropunk. Gremlins flooded this side of the board and put down scheme markers, meanwhile Tara and some Autopsies had got control of the other flank and started doing the same.
Strength in numbers showed and the Gremlins took more points for reconnoitre but the game was decided when Raphael died from poison placed on him by one of the Autopsies meaning Rufus didn’t get the points from Frame for Murder.
Tara 7 (Recon 1, Protect Territory 3, Breakthrough 3) – Sommer 5 (Recon 2, Breakthrough 3)
A good fun game that I just managed to win on a ‘technicality in the rules’ and very well played by Rufus.
The next game saw me play Ben Sime, one of the Malifools and the conqueror of OldManMyke in the first round.
Game 2 Tara vs Mei Feng – Stake a Claim – Std Deployment – LIS, Breakthrough, Assassinate, Plant Evidence, Spring the Trap
Stake a Claim (or Stick a Clam) is a great strategy for Tara, I went with
Tara (KOE, OS & Unnerving Aura)
2 x Crooligans
2 x Necropunks
2 x Belles
Ben went with something along the lines of Kang, Mech Rider, Metal Gamin, Shadow Effigy & something else (Rail Worker I think).
I deployed second and declared Breakthrough and Plant Evidence. Ben declared Plant Evidence.
It started badly for me as I mis-deployed a crooligan that was killed first activation by Kang. Ben then seemed determined to prove how far Mei could move in one activation and sped her straight up the board toward Tara. Unfortunately he didn’t seem to have many high cards left in his hand and when I saw the bead of sweat appear on his brow as he cheated in a high card to prevent her being buried I spammed it and got the bury on the third attempt (Bye, Bye Ms Feng)
The Crooligan and Necropunks swarmed the right flank and started deploying markers of all varieties and the Belles got in position to undress things and make them slow.
The next turn Kang went to town on Chiaki killing her and popping out Mei who was then paralysed by a Nurse (Ben didn’t remember until the next turn that Mei couldn’t be paralysed and I didn’t know, if I’d have known I’d have told him, honest)
Mech rider summoned a couple of things and generally wandered around. I later found out that he was planning to use its drag trigger to pull in Tara and ‘spring the trap’ but could because I had the masks for ‘Through the Hole’
By this time Tara had positioned herself right in the thick of Bens crew on the left flank and shut down their interacts while handing out slow to everything. A spider managed to escape from a Belles undressing and plant couple of evidences and the Metal Gamin just squirmed out of Tara’s grasp to do the same in the meantime my Crooligan and Necropunks were having a party and dropping markers left right and centre unopposed.
I think Mei killed the nurse before the game ended but it was a comfortable win for me.
Tara 9 (Stake Claim 3, Breakthrough 3, Plant Evidence 3) – Mei 3 (Plant Evidence 3)
Another fun game and I did feel a bit sorry for Ben as Tara is a bitch in this strategy and it’s never good when you forget things on your models cards (see game 4), at my first tournament I forgot loads but on the other hand you hardly forget again if it turns out being crucial.
At the lunch break I grabbed a sandwich and caught up with the guys, I think Henchman Lee (of BendyBoards fame) was sitting on 2 wins, Pete was a win and a draw and Mike was reserving a parking place for the Tractor with 2 losses.
Game 3 was against a gent called Patrick and Yan Lo in Reckoning.
Game 3 Tara vs Yan Lo – Reckoning – Corner Deployment – LIS, Breaktrough, Assassinate, Vendetta, Take Prisoner
I went with
Student of Viscera (Or Sinew, whichever the ‘anti-undead’ one is)
Bette (Decaying Aura)
Patrick went with Yan Lo, Izamu, Jaakuna Matata, Toshiro, a spirit of some variety (Onryo maybe) & Detsu Ba
We deployed either side of an absolutely huge Buddah and I declared Breakthrough.
The game was brutal, probably the most insane game of Faux I have ever played. I set the tone by burying Bishop and throwing him in Izamu T1 taking him down to 1 wound and declaring Vendetta. Turn 2 saw Bishop finish off Izamu in short order and Patrick getting a point from Vendetta with Izamu’s parting shot.
I think proceeded to plough across the board smashing things to pieces left right and centre and trying to drop marker.
Partick re-summoned Izamu and killed Bishop and we had a TO ruling that it was not the declared model for Vendetta as it was a new Izamu not the original one.
During Turn 3 I realised Tara was the assassinate target and I couldn’t keep her alive even with a bunch of soulstones and then the game started to swing from what I thought was a comfortable victory to sweaty palms time. In hindsight I should have put Eternal Journey on Tara to whip her back to the deployment zone and out of harm’s way.
I didn’t quite realise how far away the deployment zone was for Breakthough but I managed to get 3 markers down but in the last turn Patrick pulled a smart move and swapped Yan Lo around with my Student allowing him to remove 2 markers in the turn.
In the end it was a victory by the narrowest of margins and a great game.
Tara 8 (Reckoning 4, Breakthrough 1, Vendetta 3) – Yan Lo 7 (Reckoning 2, Assassinate 3, Vendetta 2)
As I found my table for game 4 I was knackered and the early start was taking its toll. I looked at the table and though, well I’ll be OK as long as I don’t face guild.
My opponent was Paul and he was using Perdita.
Game 4 – Tara vs Perdita - Recconniotre – Std Deployment – LIS, Assassinate, Protect Territory, Entourage, Take Prisoner
My List Was
2 x Belles
Bette (Decaying Aura)
Paul took Perdita, Francesco, The other Ortega chappy, Nino, a Pistelero and 4 guild hounds.
I declared Entourage (Tara) & Protect Territory. It started badly and didn’t get much better. I deployed behind the cover on my board edge and Mortimer dug up some bodies. I had one 10 in my hand which I needed to save for Bette and so Tara failed to summon anything in the first turn.
My hand was so bad that even the Belles were failing to lure dogs and the only option I had with the Nurse & other Belle was to move them up into the open where they promptly got shot.
At this point I was tired and just thinking ‘whats the point’ so I must apologise to Paul if I was a little grumpy.
The Necropunk spent the entire game leaping backwards and forwards trying to drop markers only to be stopped by Nino’s spotter ability and just managed to hang on until the last turn thanks to hard to kill and re-attach (love Necropunks)
The second turn was pretty much the same as my deck was dishing out dross despite stoning for cards and Paul’s decks seemed to be made up of 13’s.
It all changed end of turn 2 when Bette arrived in the face of whichever Ortega buffs Perdita and tore him to pieces and then proceeded to tear Perdita a new one and paralyse her.
Tara’s summoning began to come off a bit and the Autopsies were slowly thinning out the dogs which had merrily been dropping markers everywhere.
Bette once again tore into Perdita and I completely forgot I had decaying aura as I’m pretty sure Paul used his stones to keep her alive (See Ben, happens to the best of us)
There was some tricksy Ortega switching going on and the Paul make a mistake by moving 2 models into the no score zone and I started picking up points for recon.
In the meantime Tara had been nonchalantly walking up the board completely indifferent to the fact that there was no cover and any Ortega that shot at her saw the bullet go straight through the hole.
Last turn both masters made a break for the endzone, Dita was just short and Tara had time to get there and drop a couple of markers too.
Mortimer’s contribution to the game was to dig up 2 corpse counters that I failed to summon anything from and hit a dog over the head with his shovel. For 11 points I think he’ll be staying at home if I’m playing things that drop corpse counters.
In the end it was the fact that Paul didn’t declare his schemes that meant I had an 8-6 win.
Tara 8 (Recon 2, Protect Territory 3, Entourage 3) – Perdita 6 (Recon 2, Protect Territory 3, Entourage 1)
4 great games against 4 great opponents saw me knackered as we waited for the scored to be totted up.
In the end I came in second as 3 people finished on 4 wins and Jan Proudly took the top spot with his dirty Wong (well done Jan) and local boy Dave Hill finished off the podium placings.
I won a very nice trophy and a spiffing bag and to top off a great day not only did I overtake OldManMyke in the rankings but he also went home with The Rusty Tractor! (I expect I’ll be walking to my next tournament)
The best in factions then took part in some kind of gladiatorial event which used the cards that had been given in the welcome pack. There was much cheering but to be honest I was cream crackered and just crashed in the other room.
So, thanks to all my opponents, everyone who turned up, the organisers for a great day and the Tractor Massive for the lift and company on the way down.
See you all in the future and if you haven’t been to a Malifaux event yet then I suggest you do.