Well the Malifaux Masters is upon us and while the real prize is qualifying (and I'm not saying that because I'm pretty sure to go out of it on day 1!) the second best prize is winning it.
So, having crunched some stats I've decided to put together a little preview of the players and how well might do....
please note: all photos are stolen from various places and used without permission!
Joel Henry – Tournaments - 16, Wins - 4, Podiums - 4, Av Placing - 5.2/24.7, % of Wins - 25%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 50%, preferred faction – Neverborn (7)
Joel has been top of the rankings (or thereabouts) for what seems like forever! The Mr consistent of the Malifaux scene had never failed to podium at an event before 2015 but is hampered (?) by playing gremlins (all for charity) and from what he says he will be out on day 1 and looking forward to using Neverborn on the day 2 side event. Personally if I were him I wouldn't bother packing the Neverborn as it will be Gremlins for day 2 as he sails through the group.
James Doxey – Tournaments - 14, Wins - 1, Podiums - 4, Av Placing - 5.8/26.4, % of Wins - 7%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 36%, preferred faction – Arcanists (14)
James has been on the scene for a long time and being a forum mod he is very knowledgeable about the game. I’m surprised he only has 1 win in 2014 and his form has tailed off a little toward the end of the year which could be because he secured qualification early, but he certainly knows his Arcanists. Should qualify from the group if he puts his mind to it!
Luke Cocksedge - Tournaments - 9, Wins - 1, Podiums - 3, Av Placing – 12.7/29, % of Wins - 11%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 44%, preferred faction – Outcasts (9)
An outstanding player with Leviticus in 1.5 he has carried his master over into M2E and despite just scraping into the Masters (not helped by an abysmal GT result) he is still a formidable opponent on his day. I have never had the pleasure of playing him but have been on the table next door a couple of times and he certainly knows what he’s up to. Will need to be on form to get to day 2 but it’s certainly possible if he’s using Levi.
Connor Barker - Tournaments - 17, Wins - 3, Podiums - 1, Av Placing - 9/23.8, % of Wins - 18%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 24%, preferred faction – Gremlins (11)
Like Luke Connor is another player who qualified due to drop outs. Again I have never played him but looking at his results he has been slowly improving throughout the year as he switched to, and got to grips with, Gremlins! Anything is possible but unless he distracts his opponents by wearing his GT costume I cant see him qualifying from the group (sorry Connor, but there are some good players here).
Mark Elwood - Tournaments - 14, Wins - 4, Podiums - 3, Av Placing – 4.8/27.3, % of Wins - 29%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 50%, preferred faction – Neverborn (14)
Mark is another tournament regular whose path I have never crossed while playing. He says he makes too many mistakes in games but he has won almost a third of the events he has been to this year and podiumed at half so I dread to think how good he would be if he didn’t make mistakes! Has a reputation for having a meticulous playstyle which could make him the ‘Ice Man’ of Malifaux. The stats say he should qualify but this is a tough, tough group (and I’m not saying that to get my excuses in early!)
John Wharton - Tournaments - 8, Wins - 1, Podiums - 4, Av Placing – 4.5/29, % of Wins - 13%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 63%, preferred faction – Outcasts (7)
Yet another opponent I haven’t faced John is a part of the excellent North East Malifaux scene and his ranking position is well deserved. Apparently a very aggressive Vics player I think he could easily top this group and just as easily finish bottom, that’s the problem with being an aggressive player. He has podiumed at over half the events he has attended this year so he could cause some surprises, unless he plays Greg on day 2. (sorry about the photo John, its all I could find - you must be camera shy!)
Martin Wodehouse - Tournaments - 6, Wins - 0, Podiums - 2, Av Placing - 5.7/33, % of Wins - 0%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 33%, preferred faction – Arcanists (6)
Along with myself Martin is the only player to have qualified from 6 events (which is obviously a fantastic achievement, cos I’m the only other person to have done it!). Colette is his master of choice at the minute and he has beaten me with her at the last 2 events we have attended, including a smashing at the GT. Martin seems to have trouble maintaining his consistency for an entire event and usually falls at the last fence, but this is the first fence and he is certainly capable of qualifying from the group
Scott Porter - Tournaments - 6, Wins - 1, Podiums - 1, Av Placing – 8.6/33.5, % of Wins - 17%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 33%, preferred faction – Ressers (4)
I just managed to qualify thanks to a 4th place at the final event of the year despite a strong start to the year. Lack of playing time hampers my chances (I wont have played and personally I don’t think I have a chance in this group. In truth I’m happy just to have made it to the event and look forward to some good games on day 1 and then a change of master for the side event on day 2.
Ben Crowe - Tournaments - 11, Wins - 4, Podiums - 4, Av Placing – 2.6/25.5, % of Wins - 36%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 73%, preferred faction – Outcasts (4)
The man on form. Ben has podiumed at an incredible 73% of the events he has attended and he has won or finished second at the last 6 events he has attended including winning the GT. Since starting to use Levi he seems almost unbeatable and despite the quality of the opposition he should qualify for day 2 with ease and stands a good chance of going all the way.
Maria Wieland - Tournaments - 12, Wins - 1, Podiums - 3, Av Placing - 8/27.8, % of Wins - 8%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 33%, preferred faction – Outcasts (12)
Maria is a quality player but a little inconsistent. She qualified for the Masters last year and on her day stands a chance against anyone. A fan of Relic Hammers by all accounts she has the ability to cause an upset but with the competition in this group I don’t think she’ll be there for day 2.
Rob Smith - Tournaments - 8, Wins - 2, Podiums - 2, Av Placing - 5/30.8, % of Wins - 25%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 50%, preferred faction – Gremlins (5)
The thing with Rob is you are never sure if he is going to be playing Wong or Colette (filth all round) or if he plays better while hung over or sober. What is for certain is that he is a solid player who’s 5th in the rankings from 8 events, quite an achievement. I tip him to qualify from the group and he’s also my dark horse to win the Masters depending on if he’s drunk, or sober, or whatever!
Joe Wood - Tournaments - 8, Wins - 1, Podiums - 2, Av Placing - 5.5/27.5, % of Wins - 13%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 38%, preferred faction – Guild (8)
Another player I haven’t played Joe has a reputation as a fearsome Sonnia Player. A member of the Southern scene Joe looks to have been consistent throughout the year but might struggle against the opponents in this group.
Ant Hoult Tournaments - 13, Wins - 4, Podiums - 1, Av Placing - 5.4/29, % of Wins - 31%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 38%, preferred faction – Ressers (8)
Ant is the top Resser player and is a stoic player who doesn’t make many mistakes or give any quarter on the table. His preferred Resser master is Nico but I know he has dabbled with arcanists recently. Another player who secured qualification early and who’s form has dropped a little in recent months. Despite having a reputation for being a little dour Ant is a really nice guy who will be stiff competition in this group but might struggle to qualify depending on Blu-Tac’s form and if he can re-discover his early season form.
Greg Piskosz - Tournaments - 18, Wins - 3, Podiums - 8, Av Placing – 3.9/25.2, % of Wins - 17%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 61%, preferred faction – Neverborn (10)
The Chosen One, Greg was runner up at last years Masters and a fearsome player who rarely seems to make mistakes as his 3 wins and a massive 8 podiums attest to. I have only played him once at MCC in a friendly game and he certainly knows how to pick a crew and use it! He should breeze the group in my opinion and will be in the mix to win the whole thing
Graham Bursnell - Tournaments - 21, Wins - 2, Podiums - 1, Av Placing – 8.9/26, % of Wins - 10%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 14%, preferred faction – Arcanists (16)
The statistics would imply that Blu-Tac is a weaker player, a massive 21 events this year, only 2 wins and an average finish of 8.9. This is where statistics lie. On his day I believe Graham is capable of beating any player on the scene and he has a great understanding of Raspy. I tip him to qualify with Greg from the group.
David Golden - Tournaments - 11, Wins - 1, Podiums - 3, Av Placing – 7.1/20.5, % of Wins - 9%, % podium finishes (inc wins) – 36%, preferred faction – Guild (8)
David is a player that I have never met and know nothing about! The stats would say that he’s a solid if unspectacular player and a little inconsistent. On this basis he should struggle to qualify from the group but on the day who knows!
So there you go, and heres some nice graphs and stuff