Sunday, August 19, 2012

Malifaux (I know, right?)

Well....I got hooked.

My FLGS (The Foundry in Huntsville, Alabama) had a mini tournament this weekend....but lets rewind a bit for the full story.

During the Flames of War Tournament last month I organized last month I was talking with Bethany (Store Owners wife and Malifaux aficionado) while the games were going.  She mentioned that there was a mini tournament that was noob friendly and that I should come out and play.

I had always viewed Malifaux as that "Wierd" game (It is a Wyrd game since they are the publishers of it) with really cool models.  I have a passing interest in Steam Punk....but Bethany's enthusiasm was infectious and she spurred by interest so that the next week I borrowed a rulebook (Big mistake I know!!!!!!)  Add to that the store has made some cool terrain for the game...first off is thier village board:

Well... I got hooked on the fluff and the weirdness (or wyrdness) of the game made since.  The game blends steam punk with daemons with zombies with goblins with cowboys....and soon with martial artists!  The mechanics are really slick.  No dice...random actions are determined by a deck of cards and deck manipulation is a big part of the game.  Each model is a character with special abilities and triggers based on the card suites.  Every faction and crew has a very distinct flavor and character.  I have to say it was a lot of fun.

Fast forward to this weekend...the Mini tournament.  I learned a lot about running a tournament. Tera (The lead organizer) and Bethany did a great job.  The prizes were themed and very slick.  There were 3 "qualifying rounds" and the top four of those went to the semi finals and the top two would play a final match on a new board (sewer board) made just for the tournament.  The games played also went to Wyrd's Dead Heat campaign.

Sewer Board

Well, suffice to say I was nervous.  This was my first tournament playing since 1990 (Yes I am an old fart).  I ran the Perdita Ortega crew...a cowboy themed crew with a hot chick leading her family.  Lots of shootie goodness. 

My first game was against Alex and a Seamus crew (Think undead pimp and hooker zombies).  Great opponent and surprise surprise...I won.  It boiled down to an initiative flip.  Who one that flip would get first action and have the first chance to win...I got the initiative and won my attack.

My Second game was against Angel...she ran a Victoria's crew.  Think steam punk street gang lead by twin girls with swords...but are they REALLY twins?  She was a lot of fun to play against and it was another close one.  Malifaux is all about your missions...not necessarily killing the other crew.  This mission was "Destroy the Evidence" where there are 3 objectives on my side that she has to destroy, 3 on her side for me and one in the middle for both of us.  she got the middle on and the 2 closest in my side REAL quick and I thought that was it.  But we still had 4 turns for sure (game ends at 6 turns unless the last person moving wants to go longer and flips a high card each turn thereafter).  My shootie crew started and I got some really good damage flips and cleared out enough of her crew so my guys could make a break for the objectives.  I got the overall mission (Strategy) and my 2 side missions (Schemes)...I won again.

My third mission was against Will who ran the same crew as Angel.  Hers was a quick and agile force, his was a beefy smash in your face version. He was great player and am still reeling over the beating. but get this....We are tied for third place...and we both advance to the semi finals.

Next game was versus Mike who ran Perdita as well.  Great opponent and I learned a lot from him...special thanks to him for taking time to teach along the way.  Our mission was "Deliver the Message" where one of your characters has to be adjacent to the other team's leader for a full turn.  It boiled down to we killed everything off except our leaders and they weren't going near the other one, but he was able to get one of his secondary missions (Called Schemes) and he went on to the finals.

At this point final totals were tallied and Angel won best theme (She also dressed up to match her crew), I got best Sportsman and cool themed leather ledger (had to say that)...and for third place it went to...what?  Will and I are STILL tied?!?!?!?  Well, first tie break was total victory points...we were still tied!  But, Will came ahead on the second tie break of head to head since he beat me in the qualifying round.  So, he got third and I came in a respectable 4th.

I had to leave after that and didn't get to watch Adrien (Store Owner and overall Game God) take on Mike.  But it was 2 Guild crews facing off....Mike's Perdita crew versus Adrien's Sonia crew (Think fire magic user and witch hunter).  I heard that Adrien was able to come out ahead in the game and take first place.  Guild wins!

So, I am hooked.  It is a great game.  Easy to get into as well with a low model count for games.  A Crew Starter box is roughly $35 on average and is what we played in the tournie for the most part...extra models are about $10 a blister.  Great community I see myself playing some more for sure.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

WWPD Articles and Status

Just wanted to share a few of the recent articles I have done for WWPD in case you aren't a regular viewer at WWPD (which I recommend you do daily as they always have good articles). 

These articles are reviews of the models used in the Raiding Aces campaign he held at our FLGS here in Huntsville Alabama. For the articles so far we covered the forces that I played (the Autosahariana), that Adrien played (he LRDG) and that John played (the SAS).  The models shown were painted by the people that played them (except the SAS, I painted those).  The articles also include some tips for playing those forces. So far the articles done are:

Autosahariana AS42 Article
LRDG Article
SAS Article

I plan to do at least one more on the raiders...the OSS that Michael ran.  That should be up in a few weeks.  That is a cool force among other cool forces.

Other than that I am knee deep in the commission for Luke from WWPD and am swimming in US Infantry and Armored Rifles. Working through that and have already sent him back 2 Armored Rifle Platoons with all the fixings as well as seated GIBs (Guys in Back) in the halftracks.  Luke is going to make a post on WWPD when he gets them all based (he is basing them them himself to keep a common theme across his forces....remember an earlier post I had on that?  :-)  ).

Oh well back to the grindstone!  As long as I dont get sidetracked by any.......ooooHHHHH?  what's that?  Malifaux?  That's that wierd game right....but the models are so pretty.....prettyprettypretty


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tournament Results

The Foundry Firefight was held the last weekend in July and a lot of fun was had by all.

The Firefight was a 3 round, 1750 point, Late War, Flames of War tournament held at The Foundry in Huntsville, Alabama. 


- Forces were restricted to any list from an official Flames of War Late War Version 3 compatible source (book or PDF).  Force could not exceed 1750 points.

- 3 rounds (1st round Mobile Battle, 2nd round Defensive Battle,  3rd round Fair Fight).  Players decided mission or rolled for mission from those available for that round if they could not come to terms. 

- Round lengths were 2.5 hours with 30 minutes between rounds

- Initial pairings were be based upon player’s estimated strengths while trying to keep as many matches Red vs Blue as possible.  Remaining rounds pairings were based upon player tournament standings.

- Matches were randomly assigned to a table.

- Tables consisted of a variety of terrain (urban, desert, wadi, village, light forest, streams, hills, etc…).  The Tables used:

Rules clarifications were announced early.  Specifically, we used the following clarifications:

            - “Ambushing Pioneer Supply Vehicles (PSV):”  PSVs that are in ambush reveal their obstacles when the unit is declared to be in ambush.

            - It was preferred that aircraft be on the “new” Battlefront standard oval aircraft bases.  In the event aircraft were not, we measured to a spot 2.5 inches up from the table to determine the aircraft’s location. 

            - Hills.  Several tables had “sculpted” hills.  These tables were identified as such and “hulldown” status is earned from true line of sight.  On tables with “flat topped” hills, players claimed hull down concealment if the hull was just behind where the crest of the hill would be if it were not a flat game hill.  The crest was defined as an imaginary line running along the center of the hill. 

            - Terrain types for each board were identified with a handout at each table

Well, no plan survives first contact…and this was no exception.  We had expected several out-of-towners to attend, but alas they did not show.  So, we were down to the core of our local players.

Steve Toth's Hungarians

Michael Raper's US Tanks

Mark Kilness' Panzer Grenadiers

Paul Applebaum's British Guards Infantry


Round 1: 

    Steve vs Michael:  Hasty Attack     Steve was the victor 4-3

    Mark vs Paul:  Hasty Attack           Mark was the victor 6-1

Round 2:

    Steve vs Paul:  Pincer     Steve was the victor 4-3

    Mark vs Michael:  Surrounded           Michael was the victor 6-1

Round 3:

    Steve vs Michael:  Dust-up     Steve was the victor 4-3

    Mark vs Paul:  Dust-up           Mark was the victor 4-3

Final Standings:

                        R1       R2       R3       F

Steve             4          4          4          12
Michael          3          6          3          12
Mark               6          1          4          11
Paul                1          3          3          7

Tie breaker was the painting competition that was held during the lunch break.  The judge was Clay Williams of The Foundry.  Clay is a Gold Daemon Award Finalist and has judged numerous other painting competitions to include several Games Workshop Grand Tournaments.

Paint Competition:

1st:  Steve Toth
2nd:  Michael Raper
3rd:  Paul Applebaum
4th:  Mark Kilness

Final Standings:

Using the Painting Competition as a tiebreaker, Steve Toth was the Overall winner with Michael Raper coming in second.  Their games were close blood baths and it was only fitting that it fell out the way it did.  Great job done by all the players…The Foundry’s staff…and The Foundry’s other patrons putting up with us.  Thanks to all of you.

Lessons Learned:

- Advertise…AdvertiseAdvertise… You need to do more than word of mouth.  You need to call other game stores…visit other groups. 

- Strike up relationships with the people and groups you advertise with.  If you travel to their tournaments and visit them….they will be more much more inclined to do the same and visit you…and attend your tournament.

- Timing.  Start advertising at LEAST 3 months in advance and keep in touch with the places/people you are advertising with.  This will really help give people time to make plans, especially if they are out of town.  Follow up is also key…don’t want them to forget!

- If you have the tournament in your FLGS, make sure other patrons know in advance that you will have a tournament and gaming space will be limited. The store had several disappointed players of other systems show up to see that we had occupied the gaming areas they wanted to use…at least for a few hours until we opened some up to them.

- Be flexible.  We had 9 tables set up, based on initial estimates, but ended up only using 2 tables per round.  So, we opened up 3 of the tables part way into the first round and then opened up the tables we just played on as each round ended.  This allowed the other patrons of the store to get there game on….and helps you maintain that positive relationship with the store.

- Rules knowledge.  This is one area I was really worried about.  I felt at first that I needed to be a walking encyclopedia of Flames of War knowledge.  You can’t know it ALL.  You need to have the basics down.  Be familiar with the current hotnesses (Ambushing Pioneer Supply Vehicles for instance)…but know where you can get the info quickly should you need it.  I was asked maybe 2 questions for the whole tournie…the players did a great job handling things themselves.

Parting Comments:

Again. thanks to The Foundry for hosting the tournament and to the players who came.  I think everyone had a good time and were challenged.  Taking the lessons learned, I think the next time I do this it will be even better.