Friday, 24 June 2016

Robots Vs Zombie Prostitutes

So whilst other things happened in the real world, I had a very welcome distraction in the form of my first Guild game.

My opponent declared Rezers in a corner deployment, Guard the Stash with Hunting Party, Leave Your Mark, Undercover Entourage & Public Demonstration available as schemes.  Whilst this isn't a battle report (it would be a very biased one) I shall go through my model selection and give observations, so in reverse SS order.

Overall I'm very happy with this as a my-first-Hoffman-crew. In hindsight the Clockwork Traps were an obvious target for Hunting party and my opponent exploited it suitably. that said, placing them on the stash markers meant I could use their placement to block luring efficiency and holding/charging markers meant some trap related annoyance for the opposing crew. 2/5

My original plan for the Soulstone Miner was for it to handle Leave Your Mark but I unburied it too close to my enemy to achieve this, however this peeled Yin away from one stash marker to deal with him which ultimately let me control and dominate that marker, so not all bad at all.  Need to try again to get a better idea. 3/5

The Metal Gamin did his job, he gave Hoffman CA8 and was an activation. 4/5 but then his job was a simple one.

Now, the Guardian comes in for a lot of flack but god damn he was handy in this one.  Throwing protect around like it was going out of season to an already activated Howard and then going defensive itself meant the other stash marker was locked down all game.  Finished the game surrounded by the body of Izamu, the Copycat killer and with Seamus and a Belle not far away, all without a scratch on his armour.  Absolutely superb and very well suited to the strategy, wouldn't use in anything that isn't a "go here and don't die" strategy but they fill this niche very well.  Also theorised that Guardians have a large speaker and spew forth Guild Propaganda "Move along! Nothing to see here!", "Please disperse and return to your homes", "Vote Lucius Mattheson". 5/5

OH MY DAYS THE PEACEKEEPER IS A BEAST. 1st turn the Hoff attached targeting systems to it and I rather cautiously moved it forward, turn 2 I utterly wasted it's turn by firing the harpoon at a Belle in cover meaning the negative flips achieved nothing. Turn 3 onwards it went on what can best be described as "murder death kill rampage", minimum damage 6 (through flips, and discarding upgrades) making short work of Sybelle and a belle before being machine puppeted forward to top a scheme marker for Leave Your Mark.  By my count it had a hand in five out of my eight victory points in this game. 5/5 can't wait to get this guy on the table again.

Howard did pretty much what you'd expect. He went over there, quickly, scored some points by killing stuff and then the opponent threw loads of resource at him to make him dead.  Which I'm fine with.  Where he was brilliant was down to Hoffman making him armour +2 and the Guardian giving Defensive +2 at every opportunity.  He was his usual Howardy self but just more, but I can't give the credit to Howard for that. 3/5

Hoffman. Oh so very versatile.  Much more than I was expecting. The usual power loop shenanigans went off, but I only cast it the once.  Power looping  as the first activation in turn 2, before I split my forces for the two stash markers got everyones stats good and silly, stoning for the trigger to repeat the action to get everyone looped for as few AP as possible and then not activating until as late as possible in turn 3 by which point many many things were dead. Well, deader than they had been, Ressers after all.  Where the Hoff really began to shine was when I stopped power looping and started  to use machine puppet.  Everyone knows just how good Colettes prompt is and the Hoff is no different frankly.  Ok I had to stone for the masks to get the push, but by this point the Soulstone miner was making new ones and that I guess is the counter balance to the fact it was getting cast on any 2+. Two plus!  I can see people easily getting bogged down in constantly trying to keep power loop up or constantly using machine puppet, and the knack here is knowing when to break the power loop circuit. Now by perhaps more luck than design on my first time using him I achieved a good solid balance that spot on for this game.  Must maintain that going forward. 5/5

How would I have changed the list? well that's an odd one.  The Clockwork Traps are the first thing to be looked at, whilst I used them well and they were annoying for my opponent, they gave away points for Hunting Party.  Perhaps a Watcher instead, it would've resisted lures well with stubborn and would do Leave Your Mark well, especially if Hoff can give it Nimble first.  However that would largely make the Soulstone Miner pointless. Inserting a Warden for the Miner, letting the Watcher carry the scheme running load, would've made a great recipient for the targeting systems upgrade to start throwing paralyse around at range, but then again a dead model generates no AP either.

Great first game, against an always enjoyable opponent. It's worth bearing in mind my opponent (crew list just on the right there) had no blasts, no anti armour and no Vix style melee pulses (which given my opponent usually plays Vix he was lamenting massively), so the conditions were pretty much spot on.  Playing against Rezzers after using them a great deal last year; and again just before this project started, proved very interesting.  All those high cards in hand one normally keeps for damage? your'e not going to be able to cheat them.  Once you accept this, plan for it, hard to wound becomes a whole lot less scary.  That said a turn of min damage 6 from the peacekeeper certainly helped on that front as well.



Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The logic of leaning

So, Guild it is then.

Good ol' Guild.

Guildy Guildy Guild Guild Guild.


So where to start? What am I leaning towards? (See! now the title makes sense)

Of the seven Guild masters I am immediately going to discount the following:

Duel faction 

Douglas McMourning (Did you know he was Miranda's Uncle? No neither did I)
Lucas McCabe

The reasoning behind this is I have a distinct memory of Wyrd stating that the Master they will release will not be a duel faction Master. So I can immediately discount these right?
For those keep tracking at home, this is opportunity number ONE for me to be hilariously wrong and for this to massively bite me in the ass. Keep your eyes peeled for more, see if you can collect the whole set!

Existing Nightmares

This will not be Wyrds first time producing Nightmare editions for Guild.
They've previously, admittedly in 1st edition, released a Nightmare edition of Lady Justice. I am therefore going to discount Lady Justice from my list of masters to learn. Yup, you've guessed it: opportunity TWO.

This last one is a bit of a gamble, in the form of Perdita. Perdita does not have a Nightmare edition. She does however have, not including Avatars, by my count a total of 4 models available to use. Plastic, alt plastic, metal, alt metal. That's enough surely? Now a good friend of mine makes the extremely valid argument that every model in the Perdita box is a named, character model. This in turn presents great scope for Wyrd to create some really interesting models which would be very cool and also largely the point of Nightmare editions.  However, I'm going to stick to my guns, and discount Perdita for two principle reason. 1) The aforementioned reasonable posit that she already has enough alternative sculpts and 2) because F*#%
Perdita. Well spotted, opportunity THREE.

And then there were Two

So by a simple process of elimination, this leaves two Masters: Sonnia Criid and Charles Hoffman.  Oddly it did occur to me that Guild, as the "American" faction as they are so often viewed, have 3 "UK" Masters. I'm almost a little disappointed I'm only left with one of them.

Hoffman, I'm very happy with. His support and force multiplier style is a good match to what I enjoy in all miniatures games. I have a fully painted crew for the Hoff, as well as all of the available models from The Arcanists that he likes to bring in. It will of course make me exceedingly vulnerable to the usual anti armour and critically anti construct lists that are prevalent. Seriously, is anything easier to counter than constructs?  Lastly with the imminent release of both Soulstone Miners and also the Brutal Emmisary I believe there is a nice trove of tricks (hmm pleasing alliteration) to be mined from the Hoff and his crew. Plus I have to say the Schemes and Stones Podcast with Panzer  on Hoffman is one of the best currently released. Always good to have resources.

Sonnia on the other hand will be a very different kettle of fish. The incredibly aggressive, blaster style is completely unfamiliar to me. So much so I am very much looking forward to getting her on the table for the challenge and having my usual very defensive playstyle utterly changed. I don't have a fully painted Sonnia crew, I do own a few pieces but nothing substantial. I'm familiar with the usual Papa Box tricks and own some fully painted Death Marshals (from my unsuccessful "I'm going to make Tara work!" phase) and again with the imminent release of The Brutal Emissary there are more tricks to be had. Sadly the Sonnia Podcasts are less useful as resources.

In many ways I hope it is Sonnia that is released as the Nightmare, just to make the novelty of this challenge complete.

Let the wild speculation begin!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Who are ya?

Or more specifically, who am I?

Given that I am inviting you in to share in this ridiculous road to the Nationals it would make a degree of sense to introduce myself and briefly (always briefly) tell you a little about myself.

I've been playing Malifaux (which my laptop amusingly corrects to Halifax whenever I type it) for just under a year now. A friend was recuperating from surgery meaning he was off work for a good 8 weeks and I had recently found myself amongst the unemployed.  A good friend of ours had told us about Malifaux during the 1st edition days and we had ignored him entirely in favour of our game of choice, 40K.  But finding ourselves with considerably more time on our hands than normal we found our way to Wyrds website and specifically the Vassal module and engine.

Over the next 8 weeks or so we played 3-4 games a day daily, he playing Pandora almost every time (with a smattering of Lilith) and me, as is my usual want, trying a different master/faction every third game or so.  We were utterly hooked with these new novel concepts to going such as "editing", "consistent use of language" and "balance". Something we were frankly just not used to! I was instantly hooked.  A tabletop miniatures game with thought behind it and a fantastic range of models? I didn't stand a chance.

Now it is fair to say I am a "butterfly gamer" or that I suffer from "puffy tail syndrome".  I like to try things out, I like to know how everything works.  It's always been this way, 40K, WHFB (RIP), WoW. I like to try all the things.  Over the last year I've played pretty much every Master in the game, competitively with Resurrectionists and Neverborn.  I've breached the top 100 of the U.K. Rankings (my 1st goal of the year) and continue my advance towards the top 50. I've come as high as 2nd in tournaments, only lost twice in tournaments and taken home a prize at each one I've attended so far.  Casually I've tried every faction at my local store.

All except Guild.  I own some models, I've toyed with the idea of giving them a go but never actually put them on the table. So despite not knowing what Master I will be using I am looking forward to the challenge of this process.  I have narrowed down exactly what I will be trying to start with, but more of that at another time.

In the mean time I continue to be on Twitter at and Instagram at 

Friday, 17 June 2016

The Road to Perdita

or Double Austringer
or Guildy by Association
or Starting Guild By Mistake

This blog could've been called any one of these but in the end, I settled on Brutal Efficacy, with a little help from Twitter and Facebook voters.

In short I made a bet. In hindsight perhaps foolish bet, but the important part is simply that it was made, measured and kept to. The terms of the bet are immaterial and with whom equally irrelevant. What is important was the outcome.

"Whichever faction wins the Kythera event, and gets a nightmare box for Gencon 2016, I will play that faction and Master at the U.K. Malifaux 2016 Nationals"

Innocent words aren't they? But I was today reminded of this bet, and so here I am five months away from the Nationals without a clue of who I shall be playing or even a passing knowledge of the faction they belong to.

This blog is therefore intended as a record of my ham fisted attempts to somehow get familiar, happy with and somehow halfway competent with a faction that I have never played in time for the pinnacle of the U.K. open tournament scene.

Wish me luck?