Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Malifaux on Vassal, Pandora Schinanigans and a visit to Mr Magpies Circus

Long weekends are a rare and complicated beast. You look forward to them, but then in the final few days before they arrive, I often find my time gets booked up, and before you know it, the weekend is over and you're left wondering where it went.

Something odd happened this weekend, and for some reason the entire long weekend was free. This gave me the opportunity I was looking for, and through stealth and cunning, I managed to notch up some serious hours on Malifaux.

First up was one of my international league games using the vassal platform. Over the course of two days and about four hours of play we took Kirai and Yan Lo for a spin in a 25ss shared slaughter scrap. Four hours does sound like a lot for that sized game, but vassal isn't as fluid as playing in real life and we were plagued with comms issues throughout the entire game. Nonetheless there's something cool about playing someone in Japan from the comfort of your own study.

Vassal is a great addition for a number of reasons and I encourage everyone to give it a try, but for me the overriding reasons why I value the platform are:
- it means I get to play more
- it means I get to play different people
- it means I get to play crews outside my usual meta
- the disconnect from the gaming board means I have to focus that much more, and in doing so, I learn new things about my crew.

At the end of it I took home my first slaughter win, an 8-0 win but that result belies how difficult a game it was. Going up against Toshiro and Izamu was terrifying, they are a superb combination and very difficult to put down. I went into the start of turn four, loosing the initiative and watching four of my crew slaughtered. I summoned backup and finally managed to fell Izamu before killing Toshiro in turn 5. Whilst Kirai was nothing short of a spirit factory, in a slaughter game, you don't really want to be resurrecting that much of your crew, because you are going to find it difficult to win on VPs.

I may have won that game using conventional scoring, but when it came to achievements I lost out. Killing three of the same minion and then killing five of my crew netted Joel two achievements points to my one for tabling my opponent. Achievements are turning out to be the great counterpoint to VPs and has made me realise that next weekends achievement orientated tournament (Thunderstruck) is going to be a real challenge.

After playing on the Internet, came a real life game vs Mr Fantasy, playing against Pandora. Now I've played against Pandora quite a bit now and although she gives me trouble in every game, I thought I had her tactics nailed. Not so, it seems! In turn four I watched as a companioned poltergeist and pandora held back a tide of my spirits from the treasure counter and then beat them up time and again using willpower duels to strike wound after wound. This I think was my punishment for felling teddy in one round of combat with two Gaki triggering off each other...

(Teddy wants the treasure)

And whilst my recollections of that scrap are going to be anecdotal at best, I thought I'd share pictures of the board we played on. Inspired by the Aethervox readings of Mr Magpies Circus, Justin went about creating this beautiful board. You can read more about it on his blog firewaterportal.blogspot.com.au

Life under the big top

Both crews after the proceeds of Mr Magpies ticket sales

(Kade survives attacks from a Shikome and Ikiryo without taking a scratch)

And as to the rest of the week, well it promises to keep the heat coming. I have our monthly Faux Pas night with Outpost South tonight, my second worldwide league game during the week, a league game for our local achievement league on Friday night and on Sunday I'm playing in Thunderstruck, our one day achievements tournament. And with any luck ill get some time in on my beginners board as well!

Fun times.

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