Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A long overdue post

Whilst there has been something of a lull in my posts of late, this has been largely due to most of my spare time being filled with one of two activities: Playing Guild! and Painting Guild! That and attending my first tournament as Guild (run expertly by the ever hospitable Panzer and Claire)...which in turn was my worst ever showing at a tournament. Gone from coming 2nd with Dreamer at my last tournament, to 21st with Guild who said anything about Neverborn being broken *cough*.

Since I last posted back in August I have played approximately 30 games with my new found faction, a few games with Nellie now that I have that boxset (just as much fun as I thought it would be!) Some Dr McMourning, and some Lady Justice.  Now those of you with a keen sense of observation will notice that none of these are either Lucas McCabe or in fact Rollins Black (ok you may all have noticed this).  Why is this? Well....

McCabe/Black is an incredibly versatile Master.  I don't believe that I am surprising anybody by saying that nor is it a great shock.  However what took me a little time to realise, the kind of realisation that only really comes with a good number games under ones belt with a specific Master, is that having an incredibly versatile Master and ones dependancy on that versatility is not the same as being a versatile player oneself. There are on occasion times when versatility, powerful a tool though that may be, is not in fact an advantage.

If you're reading this then I'm going to assume you listen to at least some of the many Malifaux related Podcasts that are around which discuss many aspects of the hobby.  You may even have heard Mike Marshall describe me as incredibly nice on his Podcast (he didn't mention my blog by name, so I'm not going to mention his podcast by name :P). On episode 23 of Schemes and Stones (embedded at the end of this blog) Maria Wieland in her tactica on Hamelin described the Outcast Rat obsessed Tyrant as (and I'm paraphrasing somewhat here) "at his best when the Schemes and Strategies conflict with one another" and that has largely become my approach to McCabe/Black.  Having Hunting Party in the scheme pool is great when Headhunter or Reckoning is the Strategy, they go to gather well, but what about in Interference? this to me is where Black/McCabe shines, when the Strategy is asking you to do one thing, but the scheme pool another.  I'd be interested to know if other factions have this "Strats &Scheme conflict Master"?

In short having an incredibly versatile Master is not the same, nor is at as powerful, as being versatile and well versed in a variety of play styles yourself.  Hence my recent games with Nellie, McMourning and Lady Justice. Now of those 30 games around two thirds of them have been with McCabe/Black so I still feel I am entering properly into the spirit of the "the bet".  I don't think I am breaking any of my self imposed the rules, implied or inferred or otherwise. The wording was simple, "Take this years Nightmare edition crew box to UK Nationals" this will be done, will I use him every game? no and I don't think I would be fully representing myself were I to mono-master the whole tournament (I don't think that is how the game is meant to be played, but that is another topic entirely that I could for hours on).

Preparation, both practice and painting continues for the Nationals.  Hell I may even give this guy some table time...