50 Soulstones - Malifaux Encounter
Mission: Reconnoiter (Strategy (2014))
Threw down against Jon in a warm up game for the league. He's still new-ish to Malifaux and this was only my second game with Yan Lo so it would be interesting.
We flipped Corner deployment.
Reconnoiter is one of my least favorite Strategies and Jon's as well and we mulled over re-flipping but he made a good point that if we both hated it then we probably should force ourselves to try it out. It was a good experience to figure this one out.
Given our scheme pool I was tempted to fall back on relatively "easy" schemes Bodyguard and Cursed Object but I wanted to stop going for default choices. So I took Entourage with Yan Lo and Protect Territory, both announced. Both schemes are not ones I typically take and even then I avoid announcing schemes in general to avoid giving my opponent an advantage so this was a nice stretch for my playstyle.
Jon took Bodyguard on Santiago and Protect Territory, both unannounced. This feels like a solid decision when playing the Ortegas with Recon. They're both schemes that don't require a ton of movement which the Ortegas don't have a lot of and they both require me to engage his beefcake crew to deny him. And since the Strat didn't require much movement after you got where you wanted to go, he was poised to park his guys and wait me out.
I deployed along the curve of the DZ with most of my crew bunched up towards the middle. I kept the Student of Viscera off on his own as I was looking to send him along the side to distract Jon's attention and hopefully pick Nino off.
The other thing is the table was filled with a lot of narrow ravines that could only accommodate a 30mm base so I tried to keep my movers that didn't care about terrain on the outskirts. I wanted to make sure I didn't bottleneck my crew too much.
Jon deployed towards the front center of his deployment area which gave his crew a good field of fire across the center of the board. He then set Nino further to the left which let him cover more of the center.
Jon won initiative ... with a 3. He had me go first which was fine.
Turn 1 was the same as most every Turn 1, a lot of movement around the board.
Nino Focused and took a shot at Yin. He was able to get past the Terror check with cheating and then hit her. Only weak damage but in classic Guild fashion he had 2 rams for Critical Strike to do 3 damage to Yin.
For some retribution I managed to walk the Rotten Belle up and Lure Fransisco. Belle truly earned her keep with this, hitting him with the double crow trigger to make him discard a card, walking him forward into the hazardous terrain and managing a Severe flip on the corresponding damage.
Perdita took a shot at Yin and even with the negative was still hitting me so I had to toss a 12 just to make her miss.
Soul Porter pushed Yan Lo (in the wrong direction ultimately) and then walked once to stand behind the Belle.
The Enslaved Nephilim walked once and then Shackled Fransisco towards Perdita, avoiding another hazardous terrain flip next turn.
Toshiro walked twice along the back of the board and then gave Fast to the Night Terror with War Fan.
One of the Pistolero's walked twice to get into position.
I realized I shouldn't head my crew into the deathtrap shaping up in the center of the board so I swung Yan Lo back down along the backside with a bunch of walk actions and gave himself Chi +1.
Chiaki then walked twice as well along the back of the board.
Turn 2 Initiative was even more of a joke than Turn 1. We started by both flipping 9's, then I reflipped a 1 and he a 2. I had to stone that and managed a whopping 4. He then stoned and instead of drawing out a good card from him, he managed to beat me with a damned 6!
Perdita activates and Focuses to then target Yin and ignore the Mass of Viscera. Jon cheats in an 11 mask to hit me and get his Witch Bullet which gets him a straight damage flip. Turns out he didn't need to cheat the damage though since he top decked a severe and wiped Yin off the board. She then popped a Scheme marker to finish the turn, giving me an idea of one of Jon's schemes.
Fransisco then Companioned off Perdita, giving her el Mayor. He popped his (0) to heal himself, cheating to get the spell off and then cheating in the severe to heal himself. He then walked once and popped a scheme marker.
Soul Porter then went, walking once and Empowering Ancestor on Yan Lo.
Santiago walked twice, climbing the terrain towards Yan Lo and company.
Night Terror activated with Fast and just walked 3 times, woohoo.
The Nephilim walked some.
Toshiro walked twice.
Nino changed the pace up and only walked once and then dropped a scheme marker.
Student got us back into the groove by walking twice, hoping to get in position for some Ortega skewering.
Latigo walked once and dropped a scheme marker.
Chiaki walked twice.
Fransisco walked and dropped a scheme marker.
The Belle went and easily Lured the Latigo although the severe terrain prevented him from hitting the flames. The second Lure drew a high card from Jon so I was ultimately fine letting him win that one.
Yan Lo was last up and started by giving himself +1 Chi and then spending both of his 2 Chi for Spirit Ascendance. Given the terrain and model placement the Incorporeal was a much needed benefit. He then walked twice and finished by giving himself Defensive Stance +1.
Tons of walking this turn which made sense given I was keeping out of fire lanes and trying to run around the edge of the board. Not much for Jon to do but pop scheme markers and reposition to try to keep me in sight.
We each earned 1 point for Recon at this point.
We flipped Initiative for Turn 3 and I was finally leading 7 to 2 on the flip. He spends a stone and of course top decks a 13! Looks like Jon goes first again.
Perdita activated and targeted the Student, using her 0 to ignore the Armor and then focusing on her first attack. Jon decided to cheat the Mask and ultimately brought it to a + damage flip which he then cheated severe on. He followed up with a second attack and since he was ignoring the Armor, he cheated in a low but still hitting Ram to get the Crit Strike trigger. No Black flipped during damaging meant the Student was toast.
Rotten Belle tried to Lure a Latigo who resisted with a top decked Red Joker. She tried a second time and he resisted with a top decked 13 (damn Perdita's bonus) and my hand didn't have enough resources to waste on hitting that.
Santiago moved once and then dropped a scheme marker.
Soul Porter walked twice.
Fransisco just walked twice towards my brewing forces along the left side of the board.
Chiaki walked twice up the side of the board and then popped her (0). We both cheated, nothing crazy but it ultimately ended with me gaining +1 Chi for Chiaki and dealing 1 damage to Santiago.
One of the Latigos moved and started climbing some of the terrain.
Yan Lo activated and hit the Lightning Dance against Santiago (who flipped the Black to ensure it), popping him over in perfect position for some later hurt. I then proceeded to get utterly hosed on the next two attempts I tried against him, even with spending stones on both attack flips, so rather than teleporting back to relative safety the old man was left to hang out exposed on the top of a hill with 2 less SS for help.
The second Latigo takes shots at Yan Lo but Jon finally started top decking some mediocre cards and the old man dodged the bullets.
Night Terror attacks Santiago twice, hitting weak on the first and then somehow getting severe on the second even with a negative to the flip.
Nino moves and takes a shot Yan Lo but wooshes thankfully.
Toshiro then walked twice and hit War Fan again to give the Night Terror Fast.
The Enslaved Nephilim tried to Influence(?) Yan Lo into walking off a cliff and while I flipped the Black thankfully Jon didn't have the Mask he needed to pull it off and ending the turn.
We both then scored another 1 point each for Recon.
End of Turn 3 - Turn 3 (Image 2 of 2)
Neither of us stoned for cards and then flipped Initiative. Jon won again even with me spending a stone for a reflip.
Perdita activated and discarded a card to push closer towards Yan Lo. Then ignoring my Incorporeal with her (0) she Focus shot at Yan Lo, cheated in the Red for the hit and Mask and then cheated in the Severe. I stoned to prevent a whopping 1 wound. She then Blacked on the second which was good.
Yan Lo activated and Lightning Danced to Santiago to get out of the line of fire he was left in. He moved Santiago a little further towards the back, still in B2B with Toshiro. He then hit Santiago twice with Spirit Barrage bringing him to 1 with the HTK kicking in. He then used (0) Ascendance to attach Ash.
Santiago then swung twice at the old man, hitting him once for weak of 2.
Chiaki tried to hit her (0) on Santiago and missed so then followed up by charging Santiago. The Black coming out on damage for the first attack was annoying but I did drop him on the second so it was fine.
Fransisco walked twice towards my clump.
I cheated with Toshiro to summon an Ashigaru off Santiago's corpse and then walked once towards Jon's DZ.
One of the Latigos attacked the Night Terror and hit twice, dropping it to 1 wound.
Soul Porter walked twice.
The second Latigo walked once and then finished of the Night Terror.
The Belle activated and walked slightly more into cover and then just chilled out.
The Enslaved Neph walked and then walked and Shackled one of the Latigo's towards the back.
The Slow Ashigaru just walked once towards the DZ as well.
Nino then walked twice towards my forces ending the turn.
Nino's move actually ended up pulling him outside of the quarter which left Jon only possessing one at the end. So I scored 1 VP for Recon at this point.
End of Turn 4 - Turn 4 (Image 2 of 2)
For the last Initiative flip of the game lets go ahead and assume Jon won it, cause he did.
I reminded Jon at this point that Protect Territory required models to be within 2" of the scheme marker for it to count at end of game so most of the turn for him was moving his crew back towards his dropped scheme markers to ensure points.
Given this shift away from my crew, I proceeded relatively unimpeded towards Jon's deployment with Yan Lo while the rest of my crew moved forward and dropped scheme markers. I made sure to keep Chiaki in on the other side of the quarter boundary so I kept my Recon control.
With the final movements I managed to steal control of one of the quarters from Jon, denying him another Recon point. We flipped for but didn't get a Turn 6.
End of turn/game I snagged another 1 point for Recon and then the full 3 for Entourage and full 3 for Protect Territory.
Jon finished up with 2 points for Protect Territory.
Belle sitting pretty, earning me Recon points. - Turn 5 (Image 2 of 2)
Perdita owned the board unsurprisingly. She managed to finish off Yin after Nino's potshot, completely invalidated my Student of Viscera selection by killing it before it even saw combat or earned me points, and then put the hurt on Yan Lo as she flipped the bird to his Incorporeal. Had the Strat and Schemes been more kill-focused it would've been even worse but she still managed to cause a lot of F-bombs to be dropped by me.
I generally try to avoid bitching about my fate deck results cause that's the nature of the game and you work around it but this match was at a whole other level. I lost Initiative all 5 turns, even when spending stones for a reflip when Jon was only rocking a 3 to start one turn. Every time I needed to get an action off I was flipping complete garbage while Jon managed to top deck his way out of things with no cards left in hand.
Oh and 5 full turns with no Red Joker for me. Not once. But I managed to see the Black almost every turn.
Obviously none of this cost me the game but my fate deck definitely decided that I was gonna have to earn every damn point.
Jonah/Yan Lo 10
I was really happy with my tactics this game, I managed to focus on the VP's rather than locking it up with my opponent and it paid out for me in the end. The Belle just camped near my deployment zone and did nothing except earn VP's, it was nice though to get a couple of Lure's off in the beginning at least lol. Granted I knew I was facing Perdita so that helped me want to avoid combat as much as possible.
Being still relatively new to the game Jon played a solid match. He knew what his crew did and had a good idea of the schemes he needed to accomplish. He was very good at recognizing the importance of the positives and negatives to the flip and played smartly with those to ensure that he was really hurting the models he wanted or needed to hurt. There were a couple of missteps but overall he kept me on my toes and made it a tough match.