Tale of Gamers: Part 1

So, with my first 500pts fully painted, Inquisitor Ariada du Bois and her strike-force took to the field of battle. Investigating a PDF fuel station that had been trasmitting unauthorised data to an unknown source, Ariada arrives to find the area overrun. A force of Dark Eldar are still in the area and, more mysteriously, an Adeptus Mechanicus battlegroup arrives at the depot, refusing to answer her requests for identification before opening fire on the Inquisition…

* * *

Due to an odd number of players, I ended up in a three player game against Tom’s Dark Eldar from last week and an Adeptus Mechanicus force. Setting up in the cover of the treeline against a worrying number of vehicles, my forces quickly ran afoul of the ordnance templates the AdMech threw in to them, quickly decimating Ariada’s retinue and killing enough Stormtroopers that both units fled before they could even fire a shot. The Deathwatch engaged the Dark Eldar, their shotguns taking out two of the Reaver jetbikes before killing the final one. However, it was not enough as the Adeptus Mechanicus continued their advance with overwhelming firepower (Assault 3 Radiation guns as basic weapons on a whole squad!), forcing my remaining forces off the board in short order. No models left, and unable to kill even a single AdMech model before they took me out – not quite what I’d hoped for from the first game.

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The battlefield!

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The Dark Eldar forces skim forward along the abandoned PDF trenchline.

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Inquisitor Ariada du Bois and her Stormtroopers move into position.

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The Deathwatch take an objective.

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The Adeptus Mechanicus close in.

Still, onwards and upwards. Ariada can call in reinforcements for next time, as I get to add 250pts of models to the force. I’m currently swaying between adding one Taurox Prime and bulking both Scion squads up to ten men each, or adding in two Taurox Primes and then bulking each Scion squad up by two or three men. Given how quickly my Stormtroopers were forced off the board, I’m leaning towards giving both squads a transport to hide in…

Assembly is already under way, with both Tauroxes assembled and the Scions next!

Take care,

Ben

Returning to the grim darkness of the far future

You have been told of the Inquisition; that shadowy organisation which defends Mankind and the Emperor from the perils of heresy, possession, alien dominance and rebellion.
You have been told the Inquisition are the ultimate defence against the phantoms of fear and terror which lurk in the darkness between the stars.
You have been told the Inquisition are the bright saviours in an eclipse of evil; purest and most devoted warriors of the Emperor.
You have been told the Inquisition is united in its cause to rid the galaxy of any threat, from without or within.

Everything you have been told is a lie!

* * *

I’ve joined in with a Tale Of Gamers that’s being run by my local club, and next Wednesday is the end of the first month when we’re all meant to have painted our first 500pts. I’ve still got a bit of work to do on mine in finishing my Inquisitor and painting my Stormtroopers, but I’m confident that I can get them all done over the weekend :) It’s been a few years now since I last played Warhammer 40K – in fact, I don’t think I’ve actually played 7th edition at all – so this week I decided to get a practise game in to refresh my memory of the rules.

We went for a small 524pt game (an odd value!), so I just chucked a couple of extra Stormtroopers into my 500pt force. My opponent ran his Archon along with nine Warriors in a Raider, accompanied by ten Warriors in another Raider and three Reaver jetbikes. I chose Inquisitor Ariada du Bois as my warlord (I think this epitomises my attitude to this – I know enough that tactically it makes more sense to have the Commissar as my warlord since then I’d get two warlord traits, but this is an Inquisitorial task force, so of course the Inquisitor has to be the one in charge!), rolling Unquestionable Wisdom on the Ordo Xenos table. Deploying in the ruins of an Imperial city, our forces prepared to battle!

20170208_190833The Inquisition went first, with the psychic energies ebbing low as Ariada failed to cast Prescience. Despite this, the Jokaero in her retinue fired off a beam of blinding energy from one of his digi-weapons, the shot slicing through the Archon’s raider and sending it crashing to the ground in flames! Devoid of his transport, the Archon and remaining bodyguards moved forward into cover while the second Raider swung around, the Eldar warriors on board firing their weapons at the Deathwatch kill team. Two of the marines fell, but the remaining warriors held their nerve. On the other side of the field, the Reaver jetbikes sped forward, preparing to charge the nearby Stormtroopers. The resulting overwatch fire decimated the unit, as the veteran Inquisitorial troops killed two of the three jetbikes. Perhaps seeing what had just happened to his companions, the remaining Reaver failed to roll high enough to engage the Stormtroopers.

20170208_195244With a thunder of rotor-blades and the scream of jet engines, my second squad of Stormtroopers arrived via drop-ship, opening fire on the Archon’s retinue and whittling them down to just a few models left. The veteran Stormtroopers finished off the remaining Reaver, while the Deathwatch pumped high-velocity shells from their shotguns into the nearby Raider, reducing it to one hull point. The Jokaero was unable to repeat his previous success and so, krak grenades in hand, the Deathwatch charged into the Raider. Another marine was cut down by the blizzard of overwatch fire, but one of the remaining marines managed to attach a grenade to the vehicle… only to roll low and fail to beat the armour, leaving the Raider mobile. In response, the troops on-board finished off the Deathwatch, while the Archon’s squad killed a couple of the newly-arrived Stormtroopers. Rolling a double 6 for their morale, the squad turned tail and fled…. a mighty 2 inches as they rolled a double 1 for their movement :P

20170208_195252The third turn started with the Jokaero missing the Raider (again!) and, perhaps foolishly in hindsight, both squads of Stormtroopers opened fire on the Archon and his retinue. The sustained firing of their plasma weapons suddenly showed, though, as both the Commisar’s plasma pistol and the other squad’s plasma gun exploded, killing their users. The remaining shots finished off the warriors protecting the Archon, though his xenos technology kept him safe from the barrage of hellgun fire. In response, the warriors on-board the Raider finished off one squad of Stormtroopers, while the Archon moved forward and gunned down the remaining models in the other squad with the assistance of the Raider’s dark lance.

20170208_202830Finding herself alone with scant few members of her retinue left, Ariada ended up in hand-to-hand combat with the Dark Eldar Archon. The Jokaero sacrificed itself to save her, and her power sword cut through the eldar’s armour to wound it. Realising that it wouldn’t be enough, Ariada hit the displacement field generator built in to her power armour, teleporting away from the alien leader as Inquisition drop-ships arrived to extract the wounded survivors. A victory to the dark eldar!

It was a rather enjoyable game, which started off well and seemed to go downhill for Ariada and her force. I think my mistake was leaving the second Raider alive – being able to fly around and unleash upwards of 18 shots each turn meant it was able to absolutely decimate my squads, which quickly whittled my forces down. The Archon passing so many invulnerable and Feel No Pain saves didn’t help either :P I think it’s solidified the rules in my head, so I’d better crack on and finish painting the Stormtroopers. Next week I’ll write up a report of their first game, so hope to see you then.

Take care,

Ben

Tale Of Gamers

My local gaming club has started a Tale Of Gamers. For those of you who don’t remember this White Dwarf classic, it was a series of articles from way back in the days of my youth where members of the studio would each collect and paint a new army, adding a set amount of models each month and playing games as the armies grew. I remember loving the articles back when I was a teenager reading White Dwarf, and decided to reignite my interest in 40K and join in. I’ve already got a half-finished Inquisitorial force from years ago when I last played Warhammer 40K (back in the days of the Daemonhunters codex!), and this seemed like an ideal time to finish it.

So, having picked up the up-to-date codices I would need and re-reading the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies for the millionth time as inspiration, I sat down to write up my starting army. First off, an Inquisitor to lead the force – and with the release of the stunning new Inquisitor Greyfax, there was no question as to what model I was going to use. I’ve never been a big fan of using pre-determined characters, though, preferring to write my own backstory…

* * *

Ariada du Bois was born on the Imperial world of Lacus IX, a planet covered entirely with one massive ocean. Cities are built upon tall metal stilts high above the water, with floating gondolas carrying travellers between each city. Due to its proximity to a relatively-stable warp current known as the Daemon’s Tongue, Lacus IX enjoys prosperous trade but also faces regular attacks from the forces of chaos, as well as any xenos races such as the Tyranids who exit the Empyrean at this point.

Born in a family of Praetors, the local law enforcement on the planet, Ariada naturally graduated towards the Praetor academy where she graduated with distinction. The next two decades were spent rising through the ranks, leading a tactical response unit in various engagements ranging from raids on criminal syndicates to being mobilised alongside the PDF against alien incursions. All that changed when her fireteam was requisitioned by Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Janek Luther to assist in an assault on a chaos cult. Displaying bravery and fortitude in the face of the great enemy, Ariada was offered a position on Luther’s staff. Accompanying him on various missions, she was eventually promoted to the rank of interrogator, before progressing to become a fully-fledged Inquisitor. Due to her experience fighting against various alien races on her homeworld, she has recently transitioned to the Ordo Xenos where her experience and talents have led to a successful start to her career.

Recently, Ariada has been chasing a cabal of eldar pirates who have been raiding convoys and supply routes in the Osmeron system. Having chased them to the planet of Thomia Minor and realising that traitors in the local administratum or military are tipping off the pirates to weak and unguarded convoys, Ariada secretly lands her forces on the planet without informing anyone. Gathering her cadre of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers along with an elite Deathwatch kill-team, she prepares a trap for the eldar, creating a fake supply convoy that – as far as all Imperial records are concerned – is carrying weapons and munitions to a local PDF garrison with minimal guards. Following the convoy, Ariada prepares to strike at the Dark Eldar, turning the predator into the prey.

However, Ariada is soon to realise that the situation on Thomia Minor is far more dire than just eldar pirates. A Nurgle cult bent on turning the planet into a daemon-world for their pestilent god; abrasive and disruptive Adeptus Mechanicus forces who see Ariada’s presence as desecrating their techno-shrines; an Imperial Guard garrison who may or may not be harbouring the traitor leaking information to the eldar; a Deathwatch force with their own secretive agenda and no desire to see an Inquisitor stand in their way; and a battalion of Chaos Space Marines set on laying waste to the world.

* * *

Having been out of 40K for a good few years now and having never really paid attention to the meta when I was playing it, I decided that I wanted to build a thematic force. The starting force ended up spanning two codices, thanks to my desire to use Inquisitorial Stormtroopers (who, oddly, aren’t a part of Codex: Imperial Agents for some reason). Leading the force is Inquisitor Ariada du Bois, accompanied by her trusted cadre of acolytes, henchmen and associates. The bulk of the force is made up of elite Inquisitorial Stormtroopers, along with a small Deathwatch kill-team who Ariada has called upon to assist in hunting down the Dark Eldar.

20170204_084019Inquisitor Ariada du Bois herself, armoured in a suit of power armour and armed with her trusty boltgun and power sword.

20170204_084120Ariada’s retinue, consisting of: Angelos and Constantine, her Crusaders; Eirianwen and Aderyn, twin swordswomen from the planet Carthae (Death-Cult Assassins); a Jokaero weaponsmith; Lucius, the mystic; and three acolytes.

*edit – looks like the Jokaero somehow dodged the photo shoot! 

20170204_084037Commissar Johan Klyosov.

20170204_084143Inquisitorial Stormtrooper squad alpha. Recruited by Ariada from one of the Inquisition’s many secret bases around the galaxy, these men and women are veterans of combat and well-used to the sort of work that the Inquisition requires of them. With only the undercoat and the first coat of gold done, there’s a lot of work for me to do on these models over the next fortnight!

20170204_084217Inquisitorial Stormtrooper squad beta.

20170204_083945Deathwatch killteam ‘Andromeda’. Armoured in matt-black power armour and armed with combat shotguns, kill-team ‘Andromeda’ has worked with Ariada before, and have joined her again to hunt down the dark eldar pirates plaguing the planet.

So, aside from finishing painting the Stormtroopers, some final details on Ariada herself, and finishing the basing, that’s the first month done! I’ve got an allowance of 250pts to add to the force for the next month, and have been deliberating on what to add for the past couple of weeks. Currently I’m thinking of adding in some more Stormtroopers to bring each squad up to 10 men, and maybe adding in a Taurox Prime to add some extra mobility to one squad. I’ve got a couple of games with the force before then, though, so we’ll see how they perform!

Take care,

Ben

My first X-Wing tournament

Last weekend, I attended my first X-Wing tournament at Fanboy Three in Manchester. Driving down with a friend, I brought a slightly modified version of the list I’d originally intended to use at a tournament last year (which in the end I couldn’t make it to, sadly). It features my favourite ship, the IG-2000, with matching upgrades to minimise chances of me forgetting anything(!).

IG-88B (36)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Heavy Laser Cannon (7)
Fire Control System (2)
IG2000 title (0)
Black Market Slicer Tools (1)
Autothrusters (2)

IG-88C (36)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Heavy Laser Cannon (7)
Fire Control System (2)
IG2000 title (0)
Black Market Slicer Tools (1)
Autothrusters (2)

ig2000My first game pitted me against another scum player, with a beautifully-repainted Firespray piloted by Kath Scarlett and a Shadow Caster with Asaaj Ventress. For the first half of the game my green dice were perfect, with both IG’s dodging all fire like they were teflon-coated! I managed to put down Kath with some focused heavy laser cannon fire, but lost IG-88B shortly afterwards to the Shadow Caster, and IG-88C took some heavy damage that left him without shields and only one hull left. I quickly realised that I couldn’t afford to turn my remaining shieldless IG-2000 around with a K-turn or Sengor’s Loop as I wouldn’t be able to chew through her remaining hull before she took me down with the return fire, and so kept boosting away to try and reach the end of the time limit – at which point the game would be decided by a final salvo, where the odds were slightly better for me. By this point we were reaching the end of the round, and time was called on my opponent’s turn. He completed his last manoeuvre, took his last shot – and, with a roll of blanks that balanced out my epic rolling earlier, IG-88C was shot out of the sky.

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And so game one begins…

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My first kill of the day! Kath Scarlett is focused down by my two assassin droids.

Amusingly, my second game was against my regular opponent who had come down with me! He was running the Millennium Falcon piloted by Han Solo, with Corran Horn in his E-Wing. I managed to get IG-88B behind the Falcon with his S-loop, while IG-88C turned around to flank Han. Unfortunately the Falcon then had a couple of bad turns where it hit asteroids, preventing it from firing back and allowing the assassin droids to take it down with sustained heavy laser cannon fire. Corran Horn swung back into the fight, but wasn’t able to face off against both IG’s at once, and went down to their guns in short order for a 100-0 victory. I felt quite bad about this one, as it could have been very different if the Falcon hadn’t hit those asteroids two turns in a row!

My third game was against the might of the Empire, featuring the Inquisitor in his TIE Advanced, Colonel Vessery and Omega Leader. Most of our ships deployed down one side of the board, with the Inquisitor on the opposite side. The first few turns were filled with jousting as both my IG’s and my opponent’s TIE/fo & Defender K-turning repeatedly. IG-88B was hammered by Vessery and taken down to his last hull point before I managed to finish off Omega Leader. IG-88B fell soon after as the Inquisitor raced into the fight, leaving IG-88C alone again. Not for long, though, as the combined firepower of the Imperial aces cut him down. Chatting with my opponent after the game, he confided that my mistake was going after Omega Leader – seeing his pilot ability and considering my usual reliance on the target locks from Fire Control System, I’d assumed that he should be my priority target – but he advised that I should’ve gone for one of the damage-dealers and left the TIE/fo for last. Lesson learned!

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I try to joust against Vessery and Omega Leader.

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IG-88C swings around with a Sengor’s Loop as IG-88B flees with one hull left!

My final game put me up against the Imperials again – Rear Admiral Chinnerau with Darth Vader and a Gunner on board, and a TIE Phantom piloted by Whisper. I like using the Phantom myself but haven’t really been on the receiving end, so was wary of the decloak shenanigans that she can pull. Once again in a moment of deja vu IG-88B was the first to be shot down, leaving his fellow brobot alone. I put Whisper down with a burst of range 1 firepower, leaving each of us with just one ship left. It was at this point that I realised how deadly his crew combination was, as Chinnerau doesn’t actually need to even hit in order to trigger Vader – so, thanks to his Gunner, he was able to potentially trigger Vader twice a turn. We finally ended up facing each other down, IG-88C on three hull points with a focus token, and Chinnerau on five hull. He attacked, rolling one hit, and I rolled three eyeballs for my defence. Considering the earlier turns where I’d managed to evade Chinnerau’s shots only to be hit twice by Vader, I opted to take the hit in the hopes of being able to return fire and finish off Chinnerau. He chose to use Vader’s ability…. and I flipped a direct hit from my deck, finishing off IG-88C. A very close game in the end!

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I learn first-hand how deadly Darth Vader is!

After all that, the day was great fun and I certainly learnt some lessons on X-Wing tacticsa and strategies. All of my opponents were really nice people, and all the games were really enjoyable. It was nice that two of the three losses were rather close games that could have gone either way. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye open for any other X-Wing tournaments near me in the future.

Take care,

Ben

Malifaux: A Christmas Tale

Guild saved ye merry gentlemen,
Neverborn ye shall not fear,
For the Governor-General
Will drive them out from here,

To push them back, control this land
And save all we hold dear,
Oh give thanks to the guardsmen and the Guild,
and the Guild,
Oh give thanks to the guardsmen and the Guild.

– Officially approved carol, sanctioned by the Guild for use by citizens of Malifaux

christmas-rasputinaIt’s December and, in an attempt to cut down on smuggling, the Guild’s imposed a tax on presents with checkpoints across the city! Seeing a confiscated wagon of ‘gifts’, Rasputina and her cult decide to steal them back from the Guild patrol escorting the contraband.

* * *

On Christmas eve, my wife and I laid out the table for a casual game of Malifaux. We decided to do the Supply Wagon encounter, and to festive-ise it up I made some little presents to stuff in the wagon :) Kathryn would be trying to move the wagon back into her side of the table, while I’d be scoring 1vp if, at the end of the turn, I had two or more non-peon models in base contact with the wagon. We even flipped for unconventional terrain, getting an Ancient Monument – in this case, the giant Christmas tree! Our crews and schemes were:

Rasputina – Arcane Reservoir, Armor Of December, Cold Nights
Wendigo
Snowstorm – Recharge Soulstone
Arcane Effigy
Ice Gamin
Ice Dancer
Silent One
Slate Ridge Mauler – Circus Bear

I went for a thematic crew, choosing Rasputina (it is winter, after all!), along with almost purely Frozen Heart models. I also threw in the Slate Ridge Mauler – I don’t use it enough, and was keen to try out his new 0ss upgrade.

Schemes: Cursed Object (unrevealed) and Breakthrough (unrevealed)

Sonnia – Counterspell Aura
Purifying Flame
Dr Grimwell – Research Grant
Witchling Handler – Disrupt Magic
Witchling Stalker
Witchling Stalker
Nurse Heartsbane – Numb To The World
Orderly

Expecting Rasputina (given that I’d been talking about her in regards to this game for days previously!), Kathryn went for a very anti-magic force of Witch Hunters, with some potent upgrades to make Ca actions harder to cast.

Schemes: Frame For Murder on the Witchling Handler (unrevealed) and Roundup (unrevealed).

* * *

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The Arcane Christmas Tree, a 50mm blocking terrain piece giving a mighty +2 Ca to any model within 2″! Will Rasputina or Sonnia make it there first? Unconventional Terrain is quite fun every so often!

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The supply wagon, filled full of untaxed presents all ready to smuggle past the Guild!

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Arcanist deployment

Turn 1

The game started with both of us flipping the same value card for initiative… twice. On the third flip I finally won the initiative, starting with my Ice Gamin stalking forward before using his Bite Of Winter in anticipation. In response, one of the Witchling Stalkers took advantage of the Handler’s Goad Witchling ability and walked forward towards the Gamin. The Ice Dancer skated away down one flank, using her skills to Work The Crowd and dropping down a scheme marker. Another Witchling Stalker moved up towards the wagon in the centre of the board and, seeing the Guild amassing near the wagon, the Silent One moved forward as well to join the Gamin. Following her charges forward, the Witchling Handler moved up before ordering the Orderly to Follow The Flock, pulling the asylum worker forward with her.

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The Ice Dancer leaves a present behind!

Energizing Rasputina with its Arcane Radiance, the Arcane effigy walked forward to join the Arcanists grouped near the wagon. Sonnia walked three times towards the wagon, deciding that this was a fight best led from the front. The Wendigo walked to join the clump of Arcanists, while the Guild’s totem took advantage of its Incorporeal nature to float through models and terrain alike. Pushing forward with “Dance, Boris”, the Slate Ridge Mauler ambled towards the wagon, a low growl emitting from its maw at the prospect of violence. The Orderly moved even further forwards.

Having grouped her forces together in a tight cluster, Rasputina revealed her plan as she walked forward before casting December’s Touch on the Effigy. Fate intervened as I flipped the black joker but, not to be deterred, Rasputina spent her last ap to cast it again, temporarily granting the little doll Armor +2 and the Frozen Heart characteristic. Grimwell strode forward, but it was too late as Snowstorm unleashed an Icy Tornado. The Frozen Heart models were safe from the howling gale, pushed forward towards the cart instead of being shredded by the icy winds. Stalking forward, Snowstorm spoke December’s Command, pulling Rasputina towards her. Nurse Heartsbane walked forward, creeping forward even further with Right Behind You Dear, but as the turn ended the Arcanists still had the most models near the wagon, moving it 5″ away from the Guild forces.

Sonnia cursed silently. She’d expected this ever since the damned icy winds had separated her forces from the wagon, but she could now clearly see that ice witch Rasputina and her cult. She ordered her forces forward with all haste, expecting to be able to outrun the cult, but her eyes widened in shock behind the metal mask as a gust of frigid wind hit the Arcanist forces, speeding them forward. Around her, her crew broke into a run, but it was too late as the Decemberites reached the wagon first, grabbing the reins and leading it away from the Guild.

Turn 2

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The forces converge as the Arcanists manage to push the cart away from the Guild.

Despite spending a soulstone to reflip, I still lost the initiative, and Kathryn started by having the good Doctor Grimwell Nimble forward. His Doctor’s Orders moved the loyal Nurse Heartsbane closer, before he walked to the Christmas tree and the supply wagon. The Silent One walked into base contact with the wagon, her eyes set on holding it in place and retrieving some of the untaxed presents, before unleashing a bolt of Freeze at the nearby Nurse Heartsbane. The bolt hit the nurse for weak damage, and taking advantage of the Frozen Shards the cultist cast it again, though Heartsbane was ready this time and dodged the elemental bolt. The Wendigo used Companion to chain activate, but failed to summon the Ice Pillars thanks to the [-] imposed by the nearby Witch Hunters (all I needed was a 4…). Loping back to the cart, the ravenous creature moved into base contact in preparation for the end of the turn.

Having taken a battering, Nurse Heartsbane charged into the Wendigo. Her Electroshock paddles must have been turned up to 11, the powerful charge dropping the Wendigo in one severe damage hit and leaving the little creature twitching and spasming on the ground, out of the game!

Seeking to shore up the line where the Wendigo had fallen, the Arcane Effigy walked into base contact with the wagon before handing a brightly-wrapped gift to Dr Grimwell and revealing Cursed Object. Emanating more Arcane Radiance at Rasputina, the little doll chose to Accomplice the nearby Ice Gamin. The frozen construct also walked into base contact with the wagon and used Bite Of Winter, attacking Nurse Heartsbane though the Guild ‘medical’ officer dodged the creature’s attack. Seeing the press of Arcanists around the wagon and looking to even the balance, one of the Witchling Stalkers charged the Arcane Effigy. The little creature was clearly ready, though, dodging both of the Stalker’s attacks.

Rasputina decided to lead by example, moving forward with a Guarded Advance before unleashing December’s Curse on the Witchling Handler. Ice exploded in all directions as the attack dealt moderate damage, catching the nearby Witchling Stalker for weak. Channelling December’s Power, Rasputina sought to Overload the Guild Officer, but the Handler flipped the Red Joker and promptly reflected the magic back on Rasputina! Not to be outdone in this sorcerous battle, Rasputina sent another blast of freezing power towards the Handler, killing her and damaging the Witchling Stalker again. The little creature died, exploding in a burst of sorcerous energies and damaging both Sonnia and the Orderly… but Kathryn revealed Frame For Murder on the Handler, scoring the maximum 3vp. Curse my over-eagerness to kill her and remove that pesky Disrupt Magic upgrade!

Seeing her nemesis in the open, Sonnia walked towards the Christmas tree for its Ca bonus before unleashing a Flameburst, hoping to melt the ice witch’s power. The first bolt hit her for weak damage, and capitalizing on her success Sonnia threw another Flameburst at Rasputina, dealing weak damage again.

On the flanks, the Ice Dancer continued to walk towards the Guild deployment zone, her Forward Momentum keeping her safely out of line of sight. The Purifying Flame joined the Guild forces around the wagon, but the Slate Ridge Mauler took the opportunity to charge it. Even the Incorporeal spirit wasn’t able to withstand the fury of the Mauler, and it fell under a flurry of attacks. In response, the Guild Orderly walked to contest the wagon. Snowstorm also moved up into range to contest the wagon, before throwing an Icy Tornado into the scrum of models. It hit the Ice Gamin, but the black joker appeared for the damage flip and prevented me from laying down any blast markers.

At the end of the turn, the supply wagon moved nowhere as we both had an equal number of models contesting it. I scored one vp from having two models in base contact, and another by removing the Christmas present / cursed object from Grimwell.

Ben: 2   Kathryn: 3

Dashing in close, Emily planted both electroshock paddles firmly on the furry creature’s chest. ‘Clear!’ she muttered sarcastically as the instrument triggered, sending thousands of volts into the Wendigo. It spasmed uncontrollably as the electricity coursed through it before collapsing to the ground where it lay, twitching sporadically.

On the other side of the field, Rasputina summoned December’s energies to her as she sent bolt after bolt of frigid power at the Guild officer. The trinket the woman carried was somehow disrupting the magic of her cultists, reducing their potential from an avalanche to a trickle. She smiled as the icy blasts sent the woman staggering back, before unleashing one final bolt that exploded in a blizzard of icy shards, cutting apart the Witchling Handler and wounding the Guild officers nearby. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw that Sonnia looked remarkably unperturbed by the death of her lieutenant. That can’t be good, Rasputina thought to herself…

Turn 3

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Chaos errupts around the supply wagon! At least Dr Grimwell has a present :)

The Arcanists took the initiative, with the Slate Ridge Mauler taking advantage of its proximity to Sonnia to Bear Hug her with all four arms. Dropping the Slow Guild leader, it swung at her, but Sonnia blocked its massive paw with her runed blade – only for the giant bear to hand her a present / cursed object for its final ap. In my haste to Slow Sonnia, I’d neglected the nearby Witchling Stalker, who promptly removed Slow with Dispel Magic before attacking the Arcane Effigy – and dealing moderate damage and Burning despite being on a [-] [-]. The Effigy removed the Burning from itself with Cleanse Fate, before dropping a card for defensive stance in an attempt to stay alive. Taking advantage of the Effigy’s Accomplice, Snowstorm entered the fray and attacked Heartsbane. The matron tried to dodge the attack, but the Grip Of Winter trigger kept Snowstorm on a [+] damage flip and left Heartsbane bleeding out on the frozen cobblestones.

Sonnia managed to move away from the Mauler, dropping the present it had given her before sending a Flameburst back towards the four-armed bear. Legend has it that a Slate Ridge Mauler is Impossible To Wound, but that didn’t seem to matter for Sonnia as she top-decked the red joker, taking the bear down to its last wound and dealing moderate damage to Rasputina, Snowstorm, the Ice Gamin and the Effigy! The Effigy died from the blazing inferno, but the others managed to survive with varying low wounds left…

Seeking to repair some of the damage Sonnia had done, the Silent One threw a Freeze spell at the Orderly for moderate damage before healing Snowstorm with her December’s Favour. The Orderly followed suit, putting his medical ‘training’ to good use with some hasty Emergency Surgery on Dr Grimwell. Not to be deterred, Rasputina Focused her energies before hurling December’s Curse at the Witchling Stalker, the magical energies enveloping the little creature and killing it. Both the icy blasts from her spell and the explosion from the dying Stalker hit Dr Grimwell, leaving the good doctor standing but badly wounded. Seeking to block his charge lane, Rasputina summoned a pair of Ice Pillars – however, I’d stupidly forgotten to see if they’d fit first. They did not, and so left Grimwell free to engage the Arcanists. His Nimble walk got him into range of Snowstorm where, with a maniacal grin that would have made McMourning jealous, he revved up his bonesaw for a Lobotomy on the pair. The medical instrument clearly wasn’t intended to deal with such a target, however, as he only managed weak damage. In response, the nearby Ice Gamin handed Grimwell a present, while the Ice Dancer – now completely ignored by the Guild and free to run amok in their back field – walked and dropped down a couple of scheme markers with her theatrical talents to Work The Crowd.

At the end of the turn, the Slate Ridge Mauler succumbed to Burning and died, and I removed the present / cursed object from Dr Grimwell for another VP.

Ben: 4   Kathryn: 3

With a primal roar, Snow and Storm entered the fray. Nurse Heartsbane turned to face them, raising her electroshock paddles in a futile gesture as a gust of cold wind froze her in place. The titanic creature’s paw sent her sprawling onto the frozen cobblestones. Lifting her head up with a tremendous force of will, Emily stared up into the cold, merciless eyes of the cloaked woman accompanying the creature. The woman lifted one hand, ice and snow gathering around it, before a flash of frozen energy hit Emily and everything went black.

Turn 4

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Sonnia escapes from the Slate Ridge Mauler while Snowstorm wades into the melee around the wagon.

Sonnia went first, eager to capitalise on the destruction wrought last turn. She threw another Flameburst at Rasputina, who discarded Cold Nights in an attempt to resist the spell. The +2 Ca from the Christmas tree was potent, however, and Sonnia still dealt severe damage, leaving the ice queen on her last wound. The ensuing blasts from the attack hit Snowstorm and the Ice Gamin, finishing off the diminutive creature – and starting a chain reaction. The Gamin exploded in a storm of shards, finishing off Snowstorm who also sent a blizzard of ice in all directions, killing the persistent Dr Grimwell and leaving the Silent One on her last wound! Seeking to neutralise the tenacious Arcanist, Sonnia tried to negate Rasputina with Grounded Magic, though the ice queen resisted the attack. Out of options, Sonnia used her Confiscated Lore to increase her defence in preparation for the coming counter-attack.

The Silent One interacted to remove her Burning before healing her mistress with December’s Favour. Despite Sonnia’s expectations, Rasputina did not attack and instead moved into base contact with the cart through three Guarded Advances – I needed two models in base contact to score, after all. The Ice Dancer continued to litter the Guild deployment zone with scheme markers, oblivious to the carnage in the centre of the board.

Ben: 5   Kathryn: 3

Calling upon the power of Cherufe bound inside her lantern, Sonnia unleashed a cataclysmic gout of fire. Eyes widening in shock, Rasputina threw up her hands to raise a shield of ice, but it was to no avail as the magical energies overwhelmed her defence. Fire erupted all around, cutting through the icy fog that had enshrouded the field until now.

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Sonnia focuses her energies…

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…and clears the area!

Turn 5

Sonnia took the initiative for a third time, continuing to batter the Arcanists with her Flameburst. Despite throwing in the red joker from my hand Rasputina was still hit by the attack, the fiery magic finally putting her out of the game and the blasts finishing off the Silent One too. Alone in the centre of the board, Sonnia walked towards the supply wagon to begin moving it back towards Guild territory. Completely oblivious to the fact that she was the last Arcanist standing (and with not much else to do!), the Ice Dancer continued dropping scheme markers.

The cart pushed back towards the Guild’s side of the board, but wasn’t able to quite cross the centreline. It looked like it was all over….

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Rasputina tries to support the Silent One on the present wagon, but finds herself facing off against a Ca 9 Sonnia…

Ben: 5   Kathryn: 3

Cherufe was constant now, its voice echoing inside her head. Some part of her knew that she needed to fight it, to force its influence back into the lantern prison where it could be controlled, but another part of her simply enjoyed the power. She raised her arms again, sending another burst of fire at the remaining Arcanists behind the wagon.

Rasputina saw the fire coming towards her. Battered, singed and exhausted, she realised that she hadn’t the strength to withstand Sonnia’s Tyrant-enhanced power any longer. As the fire washed over her, she used her last reserves of energy to summon a cloak of frigid air around her, teleporting away from the battlefield and abandoning her remaining cultists.

Turn 6

The game continues! Sonnia continued to stay near the cart, and the Ice Dancer simply hung around her scheme markers. The cart wheeled firmly back into Guild territory, and with that the game ended.

Final score – Ben: 8   Kathryn: 6

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MVP – once again, the Ice Dancer proves to be a game-changer, scoring me a last-minute 3VP from Breakthrough!

A rather close finish, in the end! Kathryn certainly enjoyed the game, which is great. For me, handing out little presents with Rasputina on Christmas eve – well, what more can you ask for?

Thanks for reading, and hopefully see you in the new year for some more battle reports (probably less silly, and a little more serious!).

Take care, and have a happy Christmas,

Ben

Malifaux battle report: The Train Heist

Cue the music and turn the volume right up – it’s time for a classic train robbery!

* * *

Toni was bored.

The train clattered through the surrounding forests, with nothing but trees and more trees to see on either side.The carriage was mostly empty, with a group of Union workers playing cards at one end with a few showgirls a few seats down. One of the performers had joined in their card game, and by all accounts seemed to be doing rather well.

For the first part of the journey she’d amused herself by working out, using the metal bars along the roof for chinups and the wooden benches for dips. After that, she’d read the book she’d brought with her – a dense tome of the philosophy of neo-Confucianism. Once she’d finished that, she ended up staring out of the window at the endless trees, drumming her fingers on one knee.

Once each fortnight, the train carried the Union payroll from the outlying towns back to Ridley station. It was a nothing job, a milk run. Despite the value of the train’s cargo, no-one was stupid enough to attack a Union train. Either they’d heard rumours about Arcanist involvement, or they’d just seen the show of force the M&SU put on at both stations with crowds of miners, steamfitters and workers accompanied by hulking constructs like the serpentine Soulstone Miners and the massive Rail Golem. Either way, nothing ever happened, but Toni was still assigned to accompany the train.

Suddenly, the train braked, the deceleration jolting people in their seats and sending the miners’ playing cards scattering across the floor. As they cursed and bent down, Toni was already out of her seat, heading towards the engine. A wall of heat hit her as she entered the cabin, the engineer turning as she approached. ‘What’s happened?’ she demanded.

The man swore. ‘We’ve got trouble up ahead. Looks like Neverborn, and explosives on the track. I can slow her down, but she won’t stop in time.’

Toni smiled, flexing her muscles at the prospect. ‘Just slow the train as much as you can. We’ll clear the line.’

Before the man could say anything else, she’d leapt from the train. Crushing a soulstone in her hand, she felt the magical energies coursing through her before she hit the ground running. Speeding up, she overtook the train and dashed towards the waiting forces up ahead.

* * *

Finally caving in to my persistent nagging and enthusiasm for this scenario, Izaak agreed to play the Train Robbery story encounter from book 4, Ripples Of Fate.

I’d already settled on Toni Ironsides to lead my crew – aside from the fact that she’s one of my favourite masters, who else would you expect to be guarding a Union payroll train? Accompanying her was a group of M&SU workers and showgirls, returning from the northern town of Huxley’s Peak to Ridley, and a lone Wind Gamin summoned from the trees.

Toni Ironsides – Arcane Reservoir, Challenge The Crowd, Iron Determination
Cassandra – Recharge Soulstone
Joss – Recharge Soulstone
Performer
Performer
Union Miner
Union Miner
Wind Gamin

Seeing the train up ahead and keen to play ‘train robbers’, the Dreamer called a motley assortment of his friends to his side.

The Dreamer – Dreams Of Pain, Otherworldly
Daydream
Daydream
Doppelganger – Mimic’s Blessing
Mr Graves – Thousand Faces
Teddy – Thousand Faces
Widow Weaver

Being a story encounter, all the schemes were available. I chose Gathering Power (revealed) and Breakthrough (unrevealed), while Izaak chose Deliver A Message (revealed) and Bodyguard on the Doppelganger (unrevealed).

deployment

Deployment

* * *

Turn 1

The Arcanists won the initative, with the Wind Gamin Leaping forward and taking a couple of walk actions. In response, one of the Daydreams used Lead Nightmare to push the nearby Widow Weaver forward, before sacrificing itself to give the Dreamer a Lucid Nightmare. Seeing the power gathering ahead, one of the Union Miners walked forward to the little station platform ahead.

The Dreamer summoned more of his nightmarish friends to join the battle, Coppelius flexing his fingers and the shadowy Bandersnatch creeping from the darkness. He healed Coppelius before lowering his Waking by one, sleeping soundly despite the monsters around him. Taking advantage of his Accomplice, the Bandersnatch crawled into Teddy’s shadow, the hulking bear grinning maliciously as its shadow extended menacingly. The second Union Miner walked forward to join his companion, while Coppelius also stalked forward. Seeing the Neverborn creatures gathering, Toni sprinted forward along the left-hand side of the tracks, ready to lead the charge and protect the train. In response, the imposing Mr Graves used Show Ya The Door to pull the Doppelganger forward before dropping a scheme marker on the railway line. Joss moved to join Toni on the left-hand side of the tracks, while the Widow Weaver scuttled closer to Toni and her miners, throwing a web marker down on the platform. Cassandra moved forward, and Coppelius was pushed even further forward by one of the Dreamer’s Daydreams.

turn1Trying to pull the creature into the open, one of Cassandra’s Performers used her Siren Call on the Widow Weaver, but the spider-like creature proved immune to even the magically-enhanced tricks of Colette’s girls and resisted the action. Seeing the girl out of position, Teddy strode forward, using Gobble You Up to push into base contact before attacking the Performer, dealing moderate damage and taking her down to one wound. Wary of the Doppelganger who was still to activate (and able to get a scheme marker in place to derail the train), I decided to gamble, activating my second Performer who dropped down off the train and used Siren Call on the first Performer. She hit the trigger to take a free attack, ruthlessly killing her companion – and giving Cassandra Reactivate via Precious in the process. With nothing else left to activate, Izaak walked his Doppelganger forward before dropping a scheme marker and having her Blend In. Attempting to move away from Teddy so she could remove the scheme marker, Cassandra tried to Nimble out of combat… only to be held in place by the nightmarish creature, ending my last chance of removing the scheme marker. She tried to attack the hulking creature, promptly failing her Terrifying test and ending her activation.

turn1-end

Disaster strikes as the Doppelganger derails the train!

The turn ended, and the train hurtled forward, colliding with the Doppelganger’s scheme marker and derailing! Crates of scrip spilled out the back, so while I now had no chance of auto-winning the game by getting the train off the board at least the loot markers were a fair distance away from the rest of the Neverborn…

With a ear-splitting screech of metal the locomotive hit the mine, the force of the blast lifting all 110 tons of the engine off the track for a moment before it crashed back down. Slewing to one side, the train ground to a halt, throwing up plumes of dirt and steam. The Dreamer whooped and capered as it lurched to a full stop, laughing at the decapitated bodies of the engineers amidst the wreckage of the cabin. ‘Wasn’t that fun? Wasn’t it?’ he asked the Neverborn around him, the Widow Weaver slowly nodding in agreement. ‘Come on you lot!’ he exclaimed, pointing to the train. ‘It’s not a proper robb’ry unless you steal the loot!’

Turn 2

Coppelius took advantage of winning the initiative, charging the nearest Union Miner and hitting his sinister I Want Them Both trigger. The Arcanists around him had clearly seen much worse, though, as everyone passed the resulting horror duel. His second attack did weak damage, leaving the Miner standing but wounded.

Seeking to neutralize the threat before it could activate, my remaining Performer walked forward before using her Siren Call on the Teddy. I threw in the Red Joker from my hand, choosing the crow trigger and Paralyzing Teddy. Meanwhile, the Widow Weaver threw down another web marker on the platform before using Exhale Fear on Toni. The first attack did severe damage despite being on a [-], though again the Arcanists around her managed to pass the horror duel. The second attack only managed weak damage, which was prevented by a soulstone. My wounded Miner took advantage of the sheer number of buffs he was receiving – Hand-Picked Men from Toni and Stand Together from the other Miner being nearby – and walked into range of Coppelius, attacking the creature but only managing weak damage despite the [+] [+] to his damage flip.

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‘Stand together!’ Coppelius survives the onslaught of the Union Miners.

Mr Graves moved the Dreamer upfield with Show Ya The Door, and then used Keeping The Peace in spectacular fashion by flipping the Red Joker! The second Union Miner did a little better than his friend despite only benefiting from Stand Together, walking in and doing moderate damage to Coppelius. The Dreamer continued to call more nightmares into reality, summoning an Insidious Madness and an Alp onto the station platform before lowering his Waking again. The Insidious Madness chain activated, healing itself from the Dreamer’s Pleasant Dreams before trying to Induce Phobia. Despite the tormenting images Toni passed the duel, though the Miner next to her wasn’t so strong-willed.

Cassandra walked twice away from the Teddy, using Understudy to copy Siren Call and pull Joss towards the Teddy. (In hindsight, I should’ve just left Cassandra to deal with him and kept Joss on the other side of the table where he could deal with the Dreamer’s summons). The remaining Daydream walked forward, while Toni joined the fray. Her first attack killed the Alp in front of her, but the Insidious Madness proved to be a tougher opponent and evaded the attack. Using Stand Up, Stand Tall to heal herself, Toni attacked Coppelius but flipped the Black Joker for the attack flip, missing the creature.

While the Teddy stood immobile, its shadow writhed around with a life of its own as the Bandersnatch struck. The clawed shadow hit the nearby Performer, catching her by surprise and dealing weak damage. Knowing what to expect, she managed to dodge the second attack just as Joss charged past her, barrelling into the Teddy. His Arc Axe cleaved through fur and stuffing, dealing moderate damage. Despite the paralysis, he still managed to miss his second attack! In response, the Teddy activated to clear Paralyze, while the Wind Gamin walked behind the Hitching Post. Finally, the Doppelganger copied Exhale Terror, though Toni burnt another soulstone to prevent damage.

More of the Neverborn creatures appeared on the station, and pandemonium errputed around the wreckage of the train. A long-limbed creature with tentacles for a mouth was grappling with Mikael, its long fingers grasping for his eyes as he tried to fight it off with his mining tools. Next to him, his companion Josef was paralyzed by fear as waves of terror emanated from the shapeless form on the platform.

Turn 3

Winning the initiative, the Neverborn unsurprisingly opted to go first, and the Insidious Madness handed over a wax-sealed envelope to Toni to score 3vp from Deliver A Message. In retaliation, the wounded Union Miner attacked Coppelius. His first attack missed, though the second attack connected and finally killed the creature.

Sulking somewhat since the Unionists weren’t playing fair by killing his creations, the Dreamer summoned a Stitched Together. As the burlap creature appeared, its rotten stuffing spilt everywhere, killing the wounded Union Miner and wounding both his companion and Ms. Ironsides. His mood brightened by the appearance of his new friend, the Dreamer lowered his Waking before re-summoning Coppelius. The Stitched Together activated by Accomplice, playing a twisted Game Of Chance with the Miner and drawing some cards.

Seeking to keep the Teddy out of the fray, Joss attacked with his Pneumatic Fist. In an impressive display of strength and wrestling ability that would put Mancha Roja to shame, he choke-slammed the Teddy into the ground, Paralyzing the creature again!

Continuing her assault, the Widow Weaver put down a third web marker before using Exhale Fear against Toni. The Arcanist leader burnt another precious soulstone to prevent the damage, and managed to pass the horror duel from the second attack. In response, Toni used Rush ‘Em to engage the Doppelganger, flipping the Red Joker for damage on her first attack! Her second punch killed the mimic, and Toni walked into the middle of engagement with the Dreamer, Widow Weaver and Daydream to set up her Adrenaline for the next turn. Seeing Toni deal with the Doppelganger and muttering something about, ‘If you want something done right…’, Mr Graves walked twice to engage her as well.

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‘Bring it!’ Toni puts down the Doppelganger and moves to engage the nearby Neverborn.

The Performer fled from the Teddy, leaving the Bandersnatch free to attack Joss, and dealing moderate damage on the first attack followed by weak on the second. The Wind Gamin interacted for a scheme marker before fluttering further into the Neverborn side of the field, while the Daydream pushed Coppelius further upfield and pushed Teddy away from Joss. Seeing the gangly figure, Cassandra attempted to finish Coppelius off with her Breath Of Fire, but fate favoured the Neverborn creature as I flipped the Black Joker for damage. Taking advantage of his luck, Coppelius walked forward to base contact with two of the treasure markers…

turn3-end

End of turn 3.

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Coppelius sneaks around to the unguarded loot markers.

With a surge of adrenaline, Toni rushed forward towards the Neverborn shapeshifter. It turned towards her, taking on the appearance of her long-dead mum – but the attempted subterfuge only served to enrage Toni. Her fist hammered into its face, sending it reeling in a spray of blood and teeth. It staggered backwards, losing control of its mimicry as a multitude of personas appeared and disappeared over its face. Before it could react further, Toni’s uppercut connected with its jaw, snapping its head back with a sickening crack as its neck broke.

Turn 4

Fate favoured the Neverborn as they won the initiative, and Coppelius took two of the treasure markers. Determined to finish the job, Joss charged the Teddy again, his Arc Axe finally cleaving through the creature and leaving it as little more than a pile of stuffing and thread. The Stitched Together continued gambling with the remaining Union Miner and, despite the Wp penalty from three web markers, the Miner won the first game! We all know you can never really win a game when playing against a Stitched Together, though, as it played a Game Of Chance again and won this time.

Seeing the Bandersnatch out in the open now that Teddy was gone, Cassandra focused her energies before letting loose a gout of flame, the sorcerous energies killing the incorporeal creature. She pushed back towards the remaining scrip in a Swirl Of Motion, before putting on her innocent-showgirl look with her Southern Charm.

Attempting to get Toni away from his boss, Mr Graves tried to Show Ya The Door. Despite the mimic’s trunk-like biceps and strength, Toni’s Bring It! ability kept her safe and she held her ground. Activating in response, Toni was in her element as she rocketed up to Adrenaline +6. She hammered her Brass Knuckles into the Widow Weaver, flipping the Red Joker (again!) for damage and hitting the Follow Through trigger. Her Uppercut sent the spider-creature flying backwards with a sickening crunch, hitting the trigger again to lower her Adrenaline. Pushing back into the fray, Toni punched the Daydream, though it seems that punching the insubstantial creations of a child’s memory aren’t necessarily the best way to kill it as she only managed weak damage. She punched it again for her second ap, killing it before walking back towards the loot markers and healing back to full health from Stand Up, Stand Tall. Stand tall indeed Toni, that was a good activation!

Inspired by his boss’s attacks, the remaining Union Miner used Companion to activate, swinging his hammer down on the Stitched Together… only to flip the Black Joker for his attack flip. His second attack managed moderate damage, but left the rotting creature standing. Nearby, the Insidious Madness used Induce Phobia twice, but both Toni and the Miner passed their horror duels now that the Widow Weaver’s web markers had been removed. Meanwhile, the Wind Gamin continued to be a nuisance, dropping a scheme marker before Leaping and dropping another one.

Walking forward to the loot, the Dreamer summoned a Daydream to his side… and reached Waking +4, disappearing from Malifaux to be replaced by the terrifying Lord Chompy Bits. The Performer continued fleeing, dropping a scheme marker in the process, and Lord Chompy Bits attacked Cassandra. His Ten-Inch Claws cut deep, dealing moderate damage and hitting the Onslaught trigger. Even a formidable duellist like Cassandra was powerless against the brutality of the tyrant, suffering weak damage before his second attack knocked her sword from her hands and sent her flying backwards where she collapsed, unmoving. Playtime over, the Dreamer unburied next to his friend as Lord Chompy Bits faded away, his myriad of malicious red eyes being the last feature to disappear.

turn4-end‘It’s not fair!’ The Dreamer’s cry echoed around the forest. ‘You’re not s’posed to do that!’ He pointed angrily at the prone figure of the Widow Weaver. Around him, reality began to distort as his anger affected the very fabric of Malifaux. ‘I’ll show you!’

With a discordant screech reality was torn asunder for a brief second, before the world snapped back into place – and, standing where the little boy had been, was a six-armed figure from nightmare. Cassandra turned towards it, instinctively raising her sabre, but a flurry of muscluar arms sent her reeling back, blood staining her dress. She parried one of the arms, before another grabbed the sword and ripped it from her grip. With a gutteral roar, Lord Chompy Bits casually backhanded the showgirl, sending her flying backwards where she hit the ground, unmoving. As the monstrous figure of Lord Chompy Bits faded away, the Dreamer stood where he had been, a smug grin crossing his face. ‘Hah! That showed you!’

Turn 5

Seizing the initiative, Toni activated and lowered her Adrenaline to Rush ‘Em, jumping into base contact with the Dreamer and blocking his line of sight to Coppelius. Having seen just what this ‘defenceless child’ was capable of, Toni didn’t hold back, hammering a punch that hit home for moderate damage and gained her another stack of Adrenaline. Her second punch hit the Follow Through trigger, and the Uppercut sent the child stumbling backwards, where his form finally faded from Malifaux as he woke up Earthside.

Seeing the Wind Gamin fluttering around in the Neverborn back field, Graves moved to engage him, his Fence Post attack dealing moderate damage to the little creature. Seeking to finish off the tenacious Stitched Together, the Miner swing his hammer… and flipped the Black Joker again for his attack. Hefting the weapon, he aimed a killing blow… and missed the second attack. In response, the Stitched Together challenged him to Gamble Your Life, winning the duel and killing the Miner before dropping a scheme marker down to try and counteract the sea of blue markers.

Joss walked back towards the loot, standing in-between the two remaining markers to discourage anyone from trying to steal them. With Joss now blocking the markers, the Insidious Madness dropped down another scheme marker, while the Wind Gamin Leapt away from Mr Graves to lay down another scheme marker, flying away from the muscled mimic. The remaining Daydream pushed both Coppelius and the Stitched Together, while the Performer walked further into the Neverborn deployment zone and interacted for another scheme marker. Coppelius attacked Joss, but the big man avoided the first attack. Reaching in again, the nightmare’s second attack hit, even managing to paralyse Joss in terror. But, with that, the game ended in an 8-6 victory for the Arcanists.

turn5-endToni didn’t hesitate as she closed in on the boy. She’d seen enough of what he could do to know that he wasn’t human, or at the very least was somehow leading the Neverborn. The boy turned to her as she approached, that smug grin still on his face – right up until her brass knuckles connected with the smile, twisting his head to one side. Turning to face her, he looked down at the blood on his white nightshirt in shock. ‘Hey, now, this is my dream! You’re not s’posed to be able to…’ He never got a chance to finish his sentence, as Toni continued her relentless assault, battering the Dreamer before landing a vicious uppercut. His body faded away before it could hit the ground with a giggle of childish laughter – not the strangest thing she’d seen in Malifaux, Toni mused, as she turned to the remaining nightmares next to her.

* * *

This was such a fun encounter, and one I’d highly recommend playing if you want a break from the usual rulebook / Gaining Grounds strats and schemes. Maybe it’s just all the old Western films and games like Red Dead Redemption, but to my mind a train heist is just so cool!

In hindsight, I’ve realised that actions like Induce Phobia were horror duels, not willpower tests, and so my models would have automatically passed the second attack (such as in turn 4). Izaak’s been playing Pandora quite a lot, so I just assume that all attacks like that are willpoewr duels nowadays, whoops!

Take care,

Ben

Divergent Paths – divergent factions

For the last couple of Divergent Paths games, I’ve broken my usual modus operandi and played Outcasts rather than Arcanists. The main reasoning behind this is that it’s been a little surprising to see the same few factions (Neverborn, Resurrectionists and Arcanists) winning many of the weeks, and I decided – admittedly rather late – that I wanted to do my bit to try and help one of the other factions. Of the other factions I have, Resurrectionists are definitely out and Guild don’t really grab my interest, so that just leaves Outcasts. I’ve always liked Tara in the backstory, and originally picked up her Nightmare box as soon as she was available. Never did get around to playing her, though, so this seemed like the perfect time to rectify that.

thereisnoshelterhereI ran Tara in both the Trickster and the Inquisitive Child’s games this week, managing to win both of them against Pandora and Wong respectively. I rather enjoyed playing her – her time-manipulating abilities are great fun, and the challenge of using Temporal Shift to benefit as many friendly models as possible while affecting as few enemy models as possible is rather neat. I particularly liked using her with an offensive approach to the Bury mechanic, running three Death Marshals in both games to try and cram enemy models into their Pine Boxes where they can then be attacked by Void Wretches, or have their actions copied by Tara. I never did manage to find the points for Karina, so I’m yet to experience her. The summoning upgrade looks very interesting, though the high target number and suits could be problematic given her status as an Enforcer. Now, if I were to use her in a Shifting Loyalties campaign where she could benefit from Change Of Station to become a Henchman…

In terms of Tara’s crew, I’ve been enjoying her thematic mix of Void Wretches, the Nothing Beast and Death Marshals. The Pure Nothingness ability is rather neat, and it feels like running Tara is almost the opposite of my usual masters – while Colette, Sandeep and Marcus like to have cards in their hands for actions and / or triggers, Tara’s crew are the exact opposite. Df 8 on a 4ss minion is pretty awesome, even if it does mean having no cards in your hand!

Divergent Paths has finished now (after all that the Outcasts won the Child!), so Tara is being shelved once again as I return to my favourite faction (oh Colette, never leave me again!). Still, I’ve got a little modelling project in mind for her, and will make sure to break her out again at the start of the next worldwide event – whenever that is!

Take care,

Ben