Alongside assembling Kirai and her spirits, painting more of Lucius and his mimics, and eating a fantastic pub lunch, I found time to get a game of Puppet Wars Unstitched in with my wife this weekend :) It was the classic matchup…
In the dimly-lit confines of Zoraida’s shack, the puppets slowly stirred as Seamus and Lady Justice bid them to action. I ran Seamus, of course, while Kathryn went with Lady Justice (who’s proven to be her favourite both in Puppet Wars and in regular Malifaux). Seamus’s toybox had:
2 x Punk Zombie
Lady Justice went for a more thematic crew of puppets, with:
3 x Guild Austringer
3 Death Marshall
2 x Ronin
And so the stage was set for battle!
I played the lower card, going first and bringing the iconic Rotten Belle out of the toybox. She stumbled over towards the left-hand side workbench, while Lady Justice called Misaki out of her toybox. The oriental puppet made a beeline towards Seamus, but veered off to claim the central workbench for the Guild. She’d barely moved off it, though, before Seamus’s Silurid leapt out the toybox, jumping over the detritus between them and claiming it back for the Resurrectionist Master! In response, a Death Marshal hopped from Lady J’s toybox, pop guns blazing at this new threat. Despite the Silurid’s impressive defence, the cork projectiles hit him dead-on, knocking some stuffing out but leaving him standing. Aware of the threat posed by Misaki, Seamus grabbed Rusty Alyce from the toybox, propelling her towards the Ten Thunders puppet. Despite Kathryn playing a 12 of tomes for her defence, Alyce still managed to do what she does best and tore apart Misaki, taking her magical slippers for herself.
On the other side of the room, the Rotten Belle managed to claim another workbench for the Resurrectionists, but all the action was happening in the centre of the board as a Guild Austringer appeared out of the toybox. He threw his pigeon puppet with unerring accuracy, the stuffed bird hurtling over the blocking terrain to hit the Silurid square-on and knocking the stuffing out of the little puppet.
Finally, a Ronin stumbled from the toybox to join Seamus, attacking the Austringer and managing to inflict a rip – Kathryn did dodge with a 10 of crows, but I decided it was worth using the 12 of crows in my hand to damage the infuriating Austringers!
Turn two saw the Guild continuing their assault on Seamus. The Death Marshal took a shot at him, but luckily Seamus dodged with a seven of masks. In a cunning gambit, my Malifaux Cherub fluttered out of the toybox, ending up next to the Austringer. With an ace of masks in my hand, I attempted to use his Can’t Say No To You ability on the Austringer, intending to have the Guild minion hurl his bird at his own master – but, as so often is the case, fate thwarted my plan as I turned over the Black Joker!
In an attempt to salvage some dignity, the Belle moved off her newly-aquired workbench, attacking and damaging the nearby Death Marshall. With a similar idea clearly in mind, Lady Justice also moved to take an unoccupied workbench for the Guild.
Another Death Marshall joined the fray, but before he could get too far Bete Noir appeared from a nearby workbench, her paired knives digging deep gouges in his fabric. Undeterred, the Death Marshall took a shot at Seamus, who despite his best efforts to dodge was still hit by the cork projectiles, wounded but far from finished. In retaliation, Seamus called a Punk Zombie forth from the toybox, who lunged at the Death Marshall, finishing him off but failing to grab his pop gun in the process.
With a heavy clang and a grinding of gears, one of the Guild Executioners pulled himself out of Lady Justice’s toybox, heading straight towards the Cherub. The little Neverborn puppet did its best as I played a 13 of rams, but it was to no avail as Kathryn flipped a ram and cheated in a thirteen of crows, the Executioner’s claws shredding the little puppet. I’d intended to use the Cherub, but since he’d been taken out I decided just to make the best of it and let Seamus enter the fray. He jumped on the nearest Death Marshall, cutting him apart and stealing his pop gun upgrade.
Kathryn’s Ronin popped out of the toybox, heading straight for the Executioner and tearing him apart to take his claws. In the centre of the board, my Punk Zombie finally moved off the workbench to free it up for use again. Clearly with its little mind set on murder, the Ronin went straight for Alyce, and despite playing a Red Joker for her defence she still managed to hit her, taking her down to one stitch! In retaliation, Seamus summoned his own Executioner, who trotted forward to attack the Ronin, killing her in one swoop.
Seeing that carnage had erupted in the centre of the room, my Nurse tottered forward on her high heels to help Alyce, prodding stuffing back into her before crudely sewing up some of the cuts and rips with her needle. Seeing this and hoping to undo the Nurse’s good work, one of the Guild Austringers took careful aim before hurling his stuffed bird at Alyce. She dodged the attack, however, using an ace of masks. Meanwhile, another Death Marshall appeared from the far workbench, moving towards the unoccupied bench nearby. Seeing this, Bete Noir followed in hot pursuit, catching up to the unfortunate Marshal. She couldn’t hit him, though, the wily puppet dodging her attacks with a 13 of tomes. Finally, my Ronin had a go at the nearby Austringer, who dodged with an impressive 12 of masks. It wasn’t quite enough, though, as I cheated in a matching 12 of masks to finish him off and take his pigeon.
As the game entered turn 4, Kathryn’s Death Marshall continued to play the objective, firing again at Seamus. Once again, despite playing an 11 of tomes for his dodge, Seamus was hit dead on (he never seems to be able to dodge anything when I play him!). Bete decided that her master didn’t quite own enough of the board, taking another workbench for the Resurrectionists. Lady Justice, meanwhile, had seen the beating Seamus was taking from being on the front lines, and (rather wisely) decided she was well off out of it, instead attaching a pop gun from one of the torn-apart Death Marshalls to offer some ranged firepower in case she needed it. Seeing this, Alyce started to move towards her, intent on taking out the red-haired puppet.
The final Austringer jumped out of the toybox, trying to protect his mistress and taking a shot at Alyce. Once again she dodged the attack, before attacking the Austringer in return. The Guild puppet did an impressive pirouette to dodge, but thanks to the Magical Weapon taken from Misaki earlier, Alyce was still able to hit him and tear him apart, stealing his That Darn Pidgeon upgrade for herself.
As things looked pretty bleak for the Guild, Lady Justice’s lieutenant appeared from the toybox. Tattered bandana fluttering and gleaming steel knives in hand, the Judge moved forward towards the fray. He didn’t attack, though, since Kathryn was hesitant to flip any cards from the tiny pile of six or so cards left of her deck – that all-too-familiar affliction that we all know, and like to call ‘Oh no the Black Joker’s in there and I’m about to flip him aren’t I’. Taking advantage of this lull in the offense, Seamus called his Nurse over to him where she dutifully started to stitch him back together again. Seeing the dire straits his mistress was in, the Judge attacked the Ronin, but as luck would have it Kathryn flipped the Black Joker and the Judge’s attack glanced off the Outcast puppet. Behind him, a whirr and click of clockwork gears announced the presence of the Razorspine Rattler, who lunged at the Judge. He gamely dodged, but the mechanical creation was too quick, following his movement and taking a bite out of the Judge.
Kathryn’s Death Marshall reclaimed a workbench, while my Executioner finally decided that he wasn’t doing any good over this side of the board, attaching the Cherub’s wings before fluttering over to Seamus. The Judge, meanwhile, decided that Alyce was a little too close to Lady Justice for comfort, and dashed over to try and take her out. His aim was true, but not enough to finish her as she stayed standing with one stitch left. In retaliation, Alyce swung at the Judge, using her Disassemble to cut him apart. Far on the other side of the room, the Rotten Belle staggered towards a workbench with the intent of taking it for her master, but a Guild Executioner pulled his heavy metal form out of the toybox, entering the fray and immediately cutting apart a nearby Punk Zombie, taking his Sugar and Spice upgrade for himself. Lady Justice reclaimed another workbench for the Guild, while the battle of the day was played out across the room – the Executioner vs. Executioner showdown!
Kathryn’s Executioner dodged with a high 12 of tomes, but Seamus’s Executioner managed to hit him anyway, causing one rip thanks to Sugar and Spice. On the flanks of this epic fight, a Rotten Belle tried to go for the nearby Death Marshal, attempting but failing to hit him as the nimble puppet dodged aside. An Austringer hopped from the toybox to back him up, hurling his bird at Seams who dodged with a (rather appropriate) ace of crows.
Seeing her master in trouble, the Rotten Belle made a move towards the Austringer, but the puppet had clearly learnt from the past few turns and dodged her clumsy attack. The Death Marshal moved towards a Resurrectionist workbench, while Alyce turned back to help Seamus against the increasing numbers of Guild puppets suddenly flooding the board! But the Death Marshall had already lined up his shot, both cork guns blazing at Seamus. The mad hatter dodged with an 11 of masks but, true to form, the Marshal’s shot hit him anyway. Seamus returned fire, and Kathryn dropped a 12 of rams to dodge – which turned out to be pointless as Seamus flipped the Black Joker, resulting in the cork getting stuck in his pop gun.
The Executioner brawl continued, with Seamus’s Executioner hitting the Guild one and taking off another stitch – curse that Sugar and Spice upgrade! The nearby Guild Austringer threw his bird with surprising accuracy through the melee, hitting Seamus square on (despite him dodging, again… when will I learn that Seamus just can’t dodge?) and taking him down to one stitch. In a desperate bid to finish him, Kathryn threw her Ronin into him, but finally Seamus managed to dodge the attack by dropping the Red Joker in defence. His Nurse desperately teetered up behind him, quickly stitching up some of the (considerable) damage he’d suffered.
As the game entered turn seven, things were getting desperate! The Death Marshall shot at Seamus, who played a 13 of rams to try and dodge. In response, Kathryn threw in the Red Joker, bringing Seamus back down to one wound. Rusty Alyce desperately attempted to take out some of the Guild puppets surrounding Seamus, hitting a Guild Austringer and Dissassemble-ing him. But it was to no avail as Kathryn animated the Death Marshall again, suffering a rip in the process. The lawman puppet took aim at Seamus again, cork guns popping as they fired. The mad hatter tried one last desperate gambit, dodging with a 12 of crows, but it was to no avail as the Marshal’s shots hit true, knocking the stuffing out of Seamus and sending him flying to the floor in tatters. The Guild had won!
It was a really fun game, and we both felt it was rather hard-fought given how Kathryn was very much on the back foot for the first half of the game – sadly I didn’t manage to capitalise on this, and ended up cornered myself! I do love Puppet Wars, and it’s great to have all the models painted and based. I hope you enjoyed this little write-up, and I’ll try and do another one soon – maybe I’ll be able to report a victory for our favourite serial killer ;)