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Ten Thunders - Jakob Lynch
Neverborn - The Dreamer

50 Soulstones - Malifaux Encounter

Mission: Transport Relic (Crossroads)

By Jonasty

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This game saw my Ten Thunders Jakob Lynch facing off against Ed's Dreamer in a Story encounter for control of an object desired by the Mistress of the Last Blossoms.

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Jakob Lynch didn't know why Misaki had tasked him with retrieving some odd trinket from out in the Badlands but he knew it was best not to ignore her when she set her mind to something. He also knew that since this was Malifaux he was certainly not the only person seeking it.

This is Part 1 in what I hope to become an ongoing series of narrative battle reports. One thing I love about Malifaux are the Story Encounters. They really epitomize the character and flavor of the game; they truly make you feel like you're creating a tale when you play them. Given that I felt it appropriate that this new series start out with one.

I also hope for this to be the start of my using mostly painted crews moving forward. Although given my gamer ADD and volume of crews available, not sure I'll be able to keep that promise. ;-)

The nitty gritty:

Since we were playing a Story Encounter we had free selection of our Schemes. I chose an announced Entourage and announced Watchful Eyes (Ten Thunders Faction scheme). Both of these required me getting across the board and since that was the goal of the strategy for me I figured I'd lump all the eggs in one basket.

Ed took an unrevealed Make Them Suffer and an unrevealed Spring the Trap. MTS made sense given Dreamer's killiness and Spring the Trap isn't bad when you've got a Doppelganger in the midst.

We flipped on the special terrain table and pulled Badlands which would be interesting as it turns out. We decided loser of Init had to flip for Badlands effect.

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Deployment - Ten Thunders - Jakob Lynch

Jakob wiped the sweat from his brow as he walked along the dusty path through the hills of the Badlands. He could hear the distant trickle of a stream nearby which made him curse the blasted heat all the more. But there was no stopping now since they were so close to being done with this fool's errand.

He glanced over towards the dead thing that floated nearby. He barely repressed a shudder looking at it. The only thing making it tolerable was that it was supposed to be on his side although he had too many horrific things already on his side for that to be much comfort.

I deployed in a lined clump along one edge of the board towards the inn. I figured I wanted a straight shot towards the other side and the river with foliage would've hampered that. Also the Ht 1 hill would provide some cover for me if there was an shooting shenanigans that might come up.

I gave the Illuminated the relic marker to carry. Who better to eat the 1 damage a turn than the model with Regen and Armor.

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Deployment - Neverborn - The Dreamer

Jakob could just make out the looming shape of the tavern marking the edge of civilization this far from the city. It seemed to call to him like a warm fire on a cold night, the thought of a cold beverage and some shade from the relentless sun making him smile.

The grin quickly withered on his face as he saw flashes of light begin springing up in the air between him and the building. All he could liken them to was miniature versions of the Great Breach through which everyone entered Malifaux. There was no telling where these led or what might be on the other side of them so it was with amusement and some apprehension that he watched as a small child stepped out of one of the portals.

It vanished with a pop behind him and the child clapped with glee at the other portals spinning around him. Oh fun, he exclaimed excitedly, a game of tag and hide in seek all rolled into one!

Lynch felt his shoulders tighten and he eased his gun in its holster.

There wasn't much to Ed's deployment. He placed the markers around the board and it was just a matter of what was coming through them and where.

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Turn 1

Lynch motioned the others forward and his crew slowly moved towards the building. The child smiled and suddenly tentacled horrors began springing into existence while hulking shapes started to appear out of the portals.

Lynch drew his weapon and could see the others readying themselves for a fight. He'd worked with their kind often enough to recognize the Neverborn across from them. What was more disturbing was that he could feel the Darkness stirring within him. As horrific as his companions and the things they faced were, that was an evil of another level and if it was planning on making an appearance then things could only be worse than they looked.

His attention was drawn back to the moment as a huge winged form swept out of a nearby portal and made a beeline for the floating corpse. The nephilim could almost be beautiful, which was often the case with them, were it not for the demonic aspects to her appearance and the frenzied look in her eye.

She swung an enormous sword at the undead but couldn't seem to connect with the floating strands of flesh. Using her distraction Lynch made sure to get a shot off that connected solidly with her.

To his right he could he could just make out his girl waving to the young child who skipped forward eagerly towards her. He wouldn't have thought of his girls as motherly but apparently their charms could work even on the young.

Ed stones for cards. I don't.

Ed win's Init and takes it. I flip for Badlands terrain, nothing this turn.

Ed brings a Daydream out of a marker which walks twice.

My Stitched drops a scheme marker, walks, then casts Creepy Fog.

Dreamer shows up, summons Coppelius, Ed stones for a mask and summons Lilitu. Dream walks for 3rd AP then does (0) dropping Waking from 2 to 1.

Samurai activates and just walks and defensive stance.

Lilitu goes, heals some from Dreamer aura and Regen then walks.

Beckoner walks once then lures Dreamer, pushes into woods with trigger.

Second Daydream pops out, does Lead Nightmare on Lilitu and Coppelius.

Depleted goes, (0) to push towards Beckoner, then walks twice engaging Dreamer.

Doppleganer pops out and walks twice and the Blend In vs melee.

Huggy walks once, Heeds Voice on Depleted to attack Dreamer twice, missing both times.

Coppelius walks once while healing from Dreamer.

Yin walks twice and attempts Gnawing fear on Dreamer but misses.

Nekima shows up and charges Yin. Passes terror and then 3 swings in total but Mass of Viscera stops them all.

Illuminated drops a scheme marker, then walks once.

Teddy pops out then walks twice.

Lynch goes, draws 2 cards for being last then (0) Mulligan and walks once. Close enough for Play for Blood on Nekima, hitting and giving her Brilliance. Then does Final Debt on her, hitting for whopping 7 damage. Ed stones to prevent but only stops 1 wound on Nekima.

Candy pops out, walks twice and then tries to heal Coppelius her Ca expert AP but doesn't get the suit.

Only end of turn effect is Illuminated taking 1 damage from the relic.

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End of Turn 1 - Turn 1 (Image 2 of 2)

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Turn 2

The deadly beauty moved towards one of Lynch's regulars that had been tasked with carrying the object they sought. Lynch had no sympathy for the man as the monster's blade cleaved him in half, only a sense of annoyance at having to deal with the relic himself.

The undead thing lashed out with it's entrails, wrapping around the nephilim's neck and squeezing with a bone-crushing force. The winged shape fell in a heap and the horror turned its focus back on the boy.

Another of the Honeypot's unfortunates was attempting to grab the young boy but he couldn't seem to touch him. For his part, the child simply laughed as more creatures suddenly appeared around him.

Jakob felt the Darkness suddenly burst forth as the large tentacled apparition roared across the ground. It picked the child up and hoisted him off the ground with a surprised look on his face. Lord Chompy Bits, he's cheating! Make him stop cheating!

You act to impede me Nyghtmare? I will outlive you as I have outlived all. The Darkness's voice was more a feeling that weighed on Lynch than anything he could actually hear.

Getting no response from his plea the boy simply stuck his tongue out at the monster gripping him, his voice more annoyed than scared. You're not playing fair. This game is stupid, I don't want to play anymore. And with that he simply vanished.

Lynch was dumbfounded by what he just witnessed and even more so by the reaction of his "benefactor". Rather than the expected anger at the child fleeing his grasp, the entity seemed to radiate a sense of accomplishment. Like it had won some kind of contest that only it could understand.

Lynch turned his attention back to the task at hand as bullets and magic flew through the air. The object was still clutched in the dead man's hands and Lynch took his first opportunity to observe it. Actually examining it for the first time it looked rather unassuming. It was a box with no lid or opening that he could see, made of a metal he couldn't identify and covered in strange carvings that didn't resemble anything he'd ever seen before.

He reached down to pry the box free and hoist it and as he did he nearly dropped it again as stinging pain lanced through his hands and up his arms like he'd gripped a live wire. It took all his focus to keep the thing aloft and he gritted his teeth as he moved forward with it.

Ed won init and I didn't stone which meant I flipped for Badlands getting nothing.

Nekima walked up to the Illuminated passed the terrifying checks for Yin and Illuminated and then attacked the Illuminated. She hit twice, second one with the Red Joker killing it and taking the trigger for all surrounding models to pass a WP check or be pushed, which all of them made. He then revealed Make Them Suffer.

Yin attacked Nekima twice, hitting both times and dropping her. She also managed to get Gnawing Fears on Dreamer.

A Daydream goes and Leads Teddy and Coppelius.

Coppelius then companions from the Daydream, walking once and attacking the Depleted but missing.

Depleted then attacks Dreamer twice, first one is shunted to Teddy. Ed has no cards at this point (although see BFU) so the second hits Dreamer and gives him Brilliance. The Depleted then pushes via (0) into b2b with Dreamer.

Teddy uses Gobble You Up on the Depleted, pushes to b2b and takes his free attack but black jokers's. He throws two regular attacks at it both hitting and pushing Depleted twice while the Depleted's Hard to Kill kicks in.

Huggy pops Recalled Training and charges Dreamer. First attack hits and I'm able to cheat a ram to bump the damage profile, then flip severe for 7 CA based wounds, dropping Dreamer in one go. Second attack of the charge is wasted. Using 3rd AP from Casting Expert, Huggy attacks Coppelius and RJ's which gives me the ram and then flip severe for another 7 killing Coppelius.

The second Daydream walks and Leads Lilitu.

Samurai walks once and shoots at Lilitu, hitting with trigger for another attack against Daydream, hits and kills with the trigger, then targets Doppleganger but fails Manipulative check.

Lilitu walked twice to engage the Beckoner.

Beckoner attacked with Despicable Promises twice, hitting once and giving Lilitu brilliance.

Doppleganger tries to Mimic Teddy's attack, misses then walks twice.

Stitched Gambles Your Life on Teddy twice, the first fails and then Rotten Contents hits both Samurai and Beckoner, second hits Teddy for severe. Stitched then failed to cast Creepy Fog.

Candy walked once and wailed at Beckoner, hitting and then (0) Run Away Home.

Lynch goes, draws 2 cards, picks up relic for 1 AP, (0) mulligan, then walks twice.

End of turn, Ed scores 1 VP for Make Them Suffer and Lynch takes 1 damage from the relic.

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Turn 3

Lynch's gift for magic upon crossing the breach seemed rather well designed for his chosen profession as he could manipulate and sense luck around himself. He knew when the cards would flip in his favor or when the dice would come up snake eyes.

It was this gift that let him know something wasn't quite right and he was only just able to reach the inn as a sudden rock slide swept through the pass they had been fighting through. His companions behind him weren't as lucky and many were hit by bouncing debris but Jakob didn't waste a single thought over concern for them. He simply fought through the pain of holding that cursed box and moved forward.

The armored warrior Misaki had sent with him recovered quicker than the rest and unleashed a storm of lead from the massive gun propped on his shoulder. It tore through the Neverborn with ease although Lynch could see the shapeshifter amongst their foes proving elusive.

Lynch had employed their services in the past when on an errand for the Darkness and he knew they were a slippery lot to contend with. But the thing wasn't focused on him so he simply ignored it and pressed on.

I won Initiative and of course Ed flips a 2 for Badlands. A Rock slide hits the board, turning all terrain into hazardous which most of my crew is in but Ed's of course isn't.

Huggy activates and takes some hazardous. Huggy attacks Teddy hitting, giving him Brilliance. Attacking with the CA extra action he kills teddy, taking the Drain trigger and healing to full. Then Huggy walks twice out of the terrain element.

Lilitu activates, heals and then takes some hazardous but not enough to die. She still has Brilliance cause of the Beckoner's aura so she does Whispers from Beyond for a (+) to counteract the negative for attacking the Beckoner and hits.

The Stitched walks twice into hazardous towards Lilitu taking severe, Rotten Contents misses the Beckoner thankfully and puts him closer to Lilitu.

The Daydream walks and then Leads Lilitu towards it.

I walked the Depleted into the hazardous terrain intentionally, dying close enough on the hazardous flip which allowed the Beckoner to heal the full amount from her Sweetest Fare.

The Doppleganger walked twice and then Blended in against shooting knowing the Samurai was on deck.

Samurai took some hazardous then shot at Doppleganer, hitting with a ram to then trigger another shot at the Daydream and killing it. This was with another ram and so he shot again with the trigger back against the Doppleganger but the Red Joker saved her. Samurai took his second attack and hit the Doppleganger again but no trigger or targets for it.

Having popped up in the backfield Candy walked once and then wailed at Lynch missing. She avoided cheating to avoid the damage and then just walked again.

Yin activated and took some hazardous damage then walked twice towards Candy.

Stitched reactivated and tried to Gamble Your Life on Lilitu but failed and killed itself.

The Beckoner took some hazardous damage and then attempted to walk away. Lilitu stopped her the first time but she managed to escape on the second attempt and moved towards my markers.

Lynch finsihed the turn, drawing 2, Mulligan and then walking once. He was close enough to Candy to try Final Debt on Candy but missed even with the stone. He then just walked one more time to the inn's doorway.

The only end of tun action was Lynch taking a point of damage from the relic.

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End of Turn 3 - Turn 3 (Image 2 of 2)

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Turn 4

As the dust swirled from the dislodged boulders Lynch pushed his way inside the empty building. There was no sign that anyone had been inside the place today and Lynch had to marvel at the planning that went into place around this little venture. Misaki seemed to have covered almost every angle. Well every angle except for a strange child showing up with an army of monsters.

Lynch caught a glimpse out the window of a familiar little girl running towards the floating head, fists waving. He could only shake his head ruefully as he continued towards the bar. Malifaux was indeed a place where a friend one day could be an enemy the next.

He could hear some sporadic gunfire continuing but he could already tell this little drama was reaching its end.

Ed cheated his Init with the Doppleganger to win and I managed to flip for the Badlands again. This time we got the Dust Storm effect making all areas of the board not containing terrain counting as severe terrain.

Doppleganger activated and Mimic'ed the Samurai's Gatling with the tome to then target the Beckoner, taking her out. She then double walked towards Lilitu.

Samurai walked once to get LOS on Doppleganger and then hit her with the gatling. The ram was wasted as there were no other targets available for the trigger.

Lilitu walked once into the woods and then Lured the Samurai towards her into engagement.

Yin walked once then attempted Gnawing Fears on Candy but missed. She then did Fear Behind the Eyes and hit. Decided not to push with the trigger since Candy could just pop away anyways.

Candy charged Yin, passing the Terrifying but between a Black Joker flip and Mass of Viscera didn't land anything. She then Ran Away Home.

Huggy just walked twice.

Lynch went, drew 2 cards, Mulligan'ed, walked twice and then dropped a scheme marker.

End of turn, Lynch took 1 point of damage from the relic. I then scored the full 4 points for Transport Relic and a full 3 points for Entourage. Didn't get the second marker down for Watchful Eyes so no points for that.

Ed earned another Make Them Suffer point since I had no minions/peons on the table at that point. He wasn't able to Spring the Trap and got no VP's from the strat.

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Man of the Match - Huggy

Hungering Darkness stole the show. Popping Recalled Training and charging the Dreamer, dropping him in 1 hit and then using the remaining attack from Casting Expert to drop Coppelius. He then follows up with Teddy on the next turn. It could've easily swung the other way if he'd been focused on but he played like the true glass cannon he is. Set him loose and plunged him quickly into the heart of things first.

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BFU - The Missing Card

After dismantling the Dreamer Ed discovered he had 1 card remaining he'd completely forgotten about, a 13 of crows he'd set aside to use for summoning later. There's no guarantee that this would've been enough to save the Dreamer from Huggy's onslaught but it certainly would've altered how that turn went and possibly the game.

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Final Summary

Jakob dusted himself off as he approached the deserted bar. He reached behind the counter and helped himself to a bottle of something brown, wet, and sharp. Taking a few healthy pulls he watched as the large armored form of the samurai approached him.

The Neverborn have been driven off. Your role in this is complete and I will be taking the box to mistress Misaki now.

Lynch waved to the thing with a sardonic grin as he took a third drink. Help yourself, damn thing is a nuisance and I'm glad to be rid of it. Thankfully luck was with us today and we got your pretty her precious toy.

The warrior didn't rise to Lynch's baiting and didn't flinch as he picked up the box which Lynch could respect. As he left Lynch didn't bother to hide the Cheshire grin that split his face and he could feel Darkness's amusement churn within him.

He didn't know what exactly the box contained or did but he could feel the sliver of brilliance growing within the samurai and knew he'd be seeing him again real soon.

Luck indeed.

Final VP:

Jonah/Jakob Lynch 7

Ed/Dreamer 2

We got a late start so we ended up finishing the game after Turn 4. Also we could kind of see where things were headed. Theoryfauxing through Turn 5 probably would've been a 10/3 finish. I would've completed my Watchful Eyes and Ed would've snagged the last Make Them Suffer point.

I was very happy with how I played the crew and it was fun to see the Samurai in action. Overall it was a solid performance and I'm excited to see where Ten Thunders Lynch takes me.

Ed had a good run with Dreamer although as we talked afterwards I felt like he went into the game relying too heavily on the summoning via his initial model hiring. Both Teddy and Nekima were huge points sinks where I think I'd have taken just 1 of them and given myself some more mid tier options and activations. He got some good summons off during the game but he wasn't able to keep up with my models once we got tied in.

Looking back at the turns after the fact, I also think that with Dreamer tied up with a Depleted and in charge range of Huggy Ed's other misstep was in activating Teddy instead of Dreamer. Huggy was poised for some craziness no matter what but Ed might've been able to get a few more summons off and bring out LCB before Huggy went, which more than likely would've kept the Dreamer in the game.

The End - Where do you want to go now?

View Jonasty's profile and their other reports.

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