Sunday, December 7, 2014

Malifaux Battle Report: Yan Lo vs Rasputina, 65 Soul Stones!

So, as you can read in this article, Ali has finally finished her Yan Lo box, plus the extra models she really wanted to use thematically with it.  As a reward, she wanted to do something she never does and play a BIG GAME, using all her freshly painted pieces.  As it turns out, the only person with enough painted models to go up against a 65 soulstone force all with one theme was me.  So, we ditched the normal order of picking things, and settled right into going to town with Yan Lo vs. Rasputina!

Ali brought the full Masters of the Path box, with a few added models to really throw some punch in. Yan Lo had the Reliquary upgrade to try to make sure models stayed on the table. Chiaki had Pull of the Grave.  Datsue Ba was on her list of wanted models from the start because of the mythological connection to the rest of the faction (which meant she had to run as Resurrectionists basically).  Izamu was a lock from the beginning because of his massive Oyori, which with his Decaying Aura would give him an edge if he had to go toe to toe with SnowStorm. Toshiro was selected because...well... you may have noticed, but Ali has a thing for Zombies. Toshi had the Command the Graves upgrade so he could summon more models. Yin the Penangalan was put in, I'm sure, in part just because I think the paint job she did is freaking creepy, and partially because Ali wanted to see the model photographed. Yin had Unnerving Aura, just to drive home that paint job. 

 Rasputina is probably my favorite Master in the game, and the model that first hooked me into Malifaux originally.  So, any excuse to take my favorite girl out for a light snack on the table is a good one. This entire list is made up of conversions (even if just torso swaps) so it's got some nice unique pieces in it.  Rasputina is armed with December's Pawn, which for my money is a no-brainer that has always gotten me an extra Joker throw. Flanking Rasputina in the photograph is an Ice Golem and my Snowstorm stand-in Slate Ridge Mauler.  Three Acolytes provide punch and field control.  The Wendigo is the go-to totem for movement speed and Ice Mirroring capabilities. Finally, three Ice Gamin round out the list. This is probably the first time I've fielded all three Gamin, as I'm not terribly fond of them and usually find something else to do with their points- like turn two of them into an Acolyte. 

So, the setup for the game is Turf War with a flank deployment.  The schemes we have to choose from were A line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Distract, Frame for Murder, and Vendetta.  I decided to play away from my normal style and took Bodyguard with Snowstorm (normally I bring him in to a fight, and I expected Ali to want to keep him away at a distance and wouldn't mind not charging him, so using his distance attacks all game should work well enough), and Frame for Murder on Datsue Ba with Stabby the Ice Gamin, knowing that Ali couldn't pass up an easy target for reanimation.

Ali sets up mostly within the buildings at the bad side of town (typical), because she's concerned with where my Acolytes will begin, and doesn't want to give me any really early shots at anything important.  Plus, putting her incorporeal models behind terrain really doesn't slow their ghostly shuffle down any. 

That makes my deployment zone the park in the other corner.  I set up a dual flank attack with my biggies:  the Ice Golem and one gamin spreading to my right, with SnowStorm and another gamin splitting left.  Rasputina and the last gamin I keep in the midfield to Ice Mirror in as many directions as once. The Acolytes I split up in a 2/1 cycle.  Two of them are on the table to my right (near the tan building) while the last one sets up on the "Hi Mom!" spot behind the statue in the dead center of the table- pretty much giving fire supremacy to anything crossing the table.

Turn one is as uneventful as usual.  On the right flank,  the Ice Golem flings a gamin to relative safety behind the building, who then double walks around the building. Datsue Ba moves up towards the tan building, pulling Izamu along.  Both of my Acoyltes on that side of the table take aim at the hag, twice.  One misses, twice.  The other sticks one shot for moderate damage, but lacking "spirit harpoons" means the damage is reduce.  Curse you and your incorporeal body, Datsue Ba!

On the other side of the table, Toshiro and his Ashigaru escort have moved into the field.  The Acolyte behind the tower shoots at an Ashigaru, who deflects the harpoon with a swat of his weapon <red joker for defense>.  SnowStorm moves, pulling the gamin along with him, and they both take up positions alongside the grey building.  Rasputina uses the Acolyte to blast at the line of Ashigaru, scoring moderate damage down the line.  Yan Lo and his entourage come out from behind the building, approaching the table center. No points can be scored in turn one, so that pretty much finishes that.  

Turn two begins with SnowStorm moving and summoning an Ice Tornado on the same Ashigaru.  Who again throws a red joker for defense, and thus gains the nickname "Lucky" for the rest of the game.  Izamu charges toward the Acolyte behind the dragon, while using his body to block the line of sight of the other Acolyte as well. The Acolyte plinks a few shots as Izamu hoping to slow him down.  Izamu is having none of that, and with his incredible reach impales the Acolyte from the other side of the dragon statue. Three strikes to the chest means he's gone to meet his ancestors.

Stabby, the sacrificial pawn, starts sprinting for Datsue Ba, counting on Ali's desire to use Datsue to turn killed models into spirits meaning she'll ignore the little guy with Izamu. The Wendigo moves into midfield to prep for next round, and the Ice Golem lumbers up into position behind him as well.  Datsue Ba manages to fail to weigh the gamin's sins enough to kill him, but knocks him down to one wound.

On the other side of the field, the gamin moved up to an intercept position to guard Snowstorm, and Rasputina has used all her actions to turn Lucky into an inaminate pile of bones. One Ashigaru squeeze through to try to push SnowStorm back out of the quadrant, but fails to do so.  The other Ashigaru and Toshiro gang up on the Gamin, who also manages to survive with a single wound left. Yan Lo and his entourage move up to a more commanding midfield presence, and turn  two comes to a close.  Both of us control our home quadrant and one other, so both score a point.

Coming into turn three, and the quadrant with the grey building is in a lot of trouble.  The Ashigaru up against Snowstorm tries to distract him and push him out of the quadrant.  His first action manages to land the Distraction on Snowstorm. The second attack lands the right suit on a tie, and then flips the red joker for damage, jogging him a bit too hard. Snowstorm implodes, killing the Ashigaru in the process.  The Wendigo bounds across the table catching Yan Lo a bit by surprise, and nibbles on him for moderate damage.  Toshiro swats down the unassisted gamin in the corner, and then swats his warfan at the nearby Ashigaru to speed him up a bit. 

Datsue Ba attempts to finish off the gamin, and fails on her first attempt to weigh his sins.  She nearly fails on the second as well, except that since I really wanted maximum points for that scheme, I throw the black joker I had been holding for Rasputina on his defense.  Datsue Ba not only kills him, but summons a Gaki out of him (represented by a spectre since we didn't have any Gaki models- need to get some!). 

The Acolyte by the tan building hooks Izamu, and brings him close enough for the Ice Golem to charge...who fails to do much damage, but does scratch the laquer on the armor something wonderfully. Even though the Golem is a beast, three weak results into Izamu's armor doesn't do much.  In the meantime, the sped up Ashigaru makes it to melee range with the mid-table Acolyte, who gets violently and grotesquely turned into a kabob. The rusty old yari doesn't manage to finish him off,  but it gets close enough to convince him to jump into the shadows and escape combat. (Sorry about the shakecam on that one!) Ali announces that she's playing Bodyguard on Izamu, so she can start getting points on that. Turn Three comes to a close with me gaining three points for Framed for Murder, and Ali gaining the strategy point, for a total score of 4-3 my favor.

Turn Four, and things are getting stuck in.  The Soul Porter uses Empower Ancestor to push Yan Lo from combat and his Bladed Spear knocks the wendigo around.  Yan Lo moves forward and blasts Rasputina with two volleys of lightning bolts...but can't finish her off.  Rasputina fires back with winter blasts at Yan Lo, and also leaves him with only one point left.  The Ashigaru that just skewered the Acolyte rushes in, and finishes off Rasputina. The Wendigo is patently horrible at trying to injure the Soul Porter, and Chiaki comes in to finish him off. The Acolyte near midfield harpoons the Soul Porter, pulling him scorpion-style into close combat. Toshiro doesn't do much, but he does bring in reinforcements, pulling an Ashigaru out of the corpse-like remains Ashigaru. Seems legit.

My other Gamin manages to charge Datsue Ba, and while he can't kill her off (damn her Incorporeal form!!!), but he does do some serious damage to her.  Datsue activates, and finishes him off, summoning another Gaki from him.  And then he explodes, giving him the coup de grace on Datsue Ba. Big Chilly and MC Armor succeed in beating on each other to no avail, and the Acolyte manages to pull the new Gaki and lay in some solid hits, but again lacking spirit harpoons doesn't quite get the job done.  Turn four ends with Ali getting a point for the strategy, and a point for the Bodyguard scheme, putting her up 5-4.

Turn five came and went really quickly.  Everyone was stuck in, The Soul Porter falls to an Acolyte, and Toshiro moves in close on Yan Lo just in case it goes to turn six.  The Ice Golem still cannot manage to drop Izamu, even though the other Acolyte finishes off a Gaki.  The Ice Golem would have been finished off by the Gaki's attacks, by Ali realized the blast would finish off the badly damaged Izamu, and she still wanted that point, so she smartly left it alone.  Turn five draws to a close with Ali score Strategy and Bodyguard again, ending the game at 7-4

Thoughts on the Master of the Path:  This was only a 65 soulstone game on paper.  My opponent's ability to raise models from my dead models in a game where standing models in quadrants counted was massive.  And she didn't even really utilize it fully- Yan Lo never once needed to bring back an Ancestor because I never managed to drop one until the end of the game,  and she never had solid enough cards in hand to fully utilize Toshiro's ability to raise from both corpse tokens and scrap tokens- that can get massive.

I think perhaps the thing that struck home most was that my Rasputina force has been really hard for anyone in the club to handle, and Ali took it apart without really having a solid grasp on her force yet.  I think this is going to be a really solid faction for her as she learns better how to manipulate it.

MVP of the match: This ones tough.  On one flank, Toshiro with the Ashigaru trio was really tough... you weren't getting through that, and every time you lost a model it might just switch sides.  However, Datsue Ba and Izamu as dancing partners is intense.  She speeds him up, he protects her from some damage.  He can beat models down to a wound or two, then she can finish them off and they switch sides.  It's really, really a brutal combination.  I look forward to playing it again!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this one.  I'll see you on the other side of the table.
The Second Class Elitist

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