Monday, 17 March 2014

Ramblings - Hopes and Progress

The Scottish Malifaux scene has been steadily growing over the past two years, mostly down to the hard work of DKS. With the advent of second edition there was a period of unrest, similar to that experienced in other communities: some not keen on the changes, some just wanted to play with all of their toys. Things fell into a slum. The GT came, and with 5 people travelling from outside Scotland, the total number of attendees was a poor 16 – only 11 players from the community attended. The next tournament after the GT was “A brave new world” ran by David Hamilton and myself, with only 6 players turning up on the day we both stepped in so that we could actually call that a tournament.

After a period of rest and revitalisation, Paul Campbell organised ‘First Footing through the breach’ for January. This event capped out at 16 players (the capacity of the store), due to allowing use of the then in beta wave 2 models (along with a little coercing of some people). Things were looking up!

On Saturday the 8th March I ran my first tournament as a Henchman for Wyrd. The store reached its capacity of 16 players with most of these signing up well in advance, 3 travelling from the Newcastle area and 2 down from Inverness. I believe that had there been space for more players there would have been a few more signups pushing the number of attendees towards 20.

On the whole, the day ran fairly smoothly; round one was slightly rushed for some players due to my poor planning. I had expected 10 – 10:30 to be used by the players to select crews and schemes, however due to spending most of this time setting up tables and waiting to hear from the 16th player, crew and scheme selection was instead done at 10:30 as part of the 1hr 45 round time. This resulted in less game time and a few games sadly only reaching the end of turn 2. Subsequent rounds were preceded with a 10 minute set-up time which, in my opinion, helped games progress to a more satisfying conclusion. I do believe that with the 10 minutes preparation time, 1 hour 45 is enough time to complete a game of Malifaux, although I know that there are some people only just returning to the game after the release of wave 2 who are not as familiar with the rules and I don’t want any new players to feel intimidated by tournaments.

Just after the start of the first round I heard that the 16th player couldn’t attend, so I stepped in to play in his stead (having planned on grabbing food after round 1 kicked off it was 12:40 before I ate anything this day...). As I was running the event I wanted to use a crew with low activation count and that would either win or lose fast to have more time for any queries. Game 1 was against one of my regular opponents Paul Campbell, so I was likely to be losing fast...

For rounds 1 and 2 (Turf war and Reckoning) I took the exact same crew:
  • Von Schill – Survivalist, Oath keeper, Shirt comes off [Cache 4]
  • Bishop – Oath keeper
  • Freikorps Strongarm – Oath keeper
  • Taelor – Scramble
  • 2 Freikorpsmen
In round 3 I swapped Taelor for a Freikorps Trapper and a Ronin, the trapper immediately proving his worth by red jokering a beckoner off the table in his first activation. Other highlights included Bishop paralyzing Lady J for three turns in round 2 (reckoning) and
Taelor being reduced to 1 wound by a pair of Austringers before she had activated turn 2 in the same game.

This crew did what I wanted it to do; I finished all three of my games with plenty of time to spare (game three was a bloody squatters rights which was all done and dusted in just under 1hr 15). It was also more effective than I was anticipating winning me two of three games (my loss against my regular gaming opponent Paul Campbell). Although low on activations everything in this crew is a threat and so cannot be ignored by the opponent and with the power of each model in this crew you should be able to reduce the opponent’s activation advantage relatively quickly. The strategies did help me a LOT, with Turf War and Reckoning both prime candidates for the Play-it-like-beatdown philosophy. 

Of the non-master models I used today (Von Schill is obviously fantastic), The Strongarm and Bishop were my two favourites. The Strongarm is an amazing model with his Freikorps armour 2, reasonable defence and one hell of a punch. Bishop is possibly my favourite model in all of second edition at the minute; I have yet to find a problem to which he is not the answer, he may need a blog post all to himself to justify his true glory.

In future games I would consider swapping Taelor for Lazarus for some more ranged threat, but I did not own the model until the day of the event.

All in all the day was a success. The overall winner was David Golden, with Paul Campbell and David McGuire in second and third (that is Guild, Ten Thunders and Guild). Guild was the most prominent faction of the day with 5 players, Hoffman seeming to be the most popular master of the day. Outcasts were the second most populous faction with 4 players representing, two of which playing the best master in the faction Von Schill. Neverborn were in third place with three players and Ten Thunders, Arcanists, Gremlins and Resurrectionists all with one player. It was nice to see all factions represented, but it seems the guild still has an iron grip on Scotland in second edition.

Paul’s customary tournament report can be found here (always a good read).

Mr DKS made it along for the third round and prize giving and so has uploaded his photographs here and here.

My far inferior photos can be seen here (I totally didn’t have camera envy on the day....)

My next events are Demo days for a few local stores with a tournament towards the end of April (hopefully as part of something big but I’ve not heard back yet).

I’ll be updating in the next few days with my ToMB progress. Until then, Farewell!

1 comment:

  1. That's a great summary of how M2E has fared in Scotland so far. The first couple of tournaments really suffered from apathy of the test phase and then from only having half the masters available. Things are picking up and I think that your dream of running 20+ person tournaments regularly could come to fruition.