Did you know that your opponents are allowed to play factions besides Gremlins? I had almost forgotten!

Today’s game is against the Henchman for the Twin Cities, David. He’s built a fantastic Malifaux community here in the Twin Cities. A community that looks like it’s growing even more, as we have a couple of spectators who are learning the game.

He offers me the choice of facing Outcasts or Resurrectionists, and I honestly have no preference. First note – all of David’s models look one thousand times better than my own, regardless of which faction he picks. I have no preference, and he declares Outcasts.

Outcasts vs. Outcasts it is!

For Terrain, we have a couple buildings, a pair of ruined towers, some scattered rocks, and a couple forests. We flip, and will have corner deployment.

Today’s strategy and scheme pool comes from 2016 Gaining Grounds. These differ from the normal strategy and scheme pool, usually in pretty significant ways. The primary difference for every scheme is that they are all secret until they’ve been scored, or until the type of condition they score off of is assigned for the first time. The strategies all have slight differences off the strategies from the core rulebook, as well – generally, making them harder to score, or giving you an advantage of some sort towards scoring them again. It’s an objective set which lends itself to far more ‘competitive’ play, and almost all tournaments will use this set.

Our Pool:

Extraction
Convict Labor (Replacing Line in the Sand to always be available in this set)
Show of Force
Detonate the Charges
Hunting Party
Covert Breakthrough

Declaring Outcasts for this pool, I am immediately drawn to Detonate the Charges, and Parker Barrows. Between himself and Mad Dog, he can basically trigger this at any time. Looks like the core Parker crew is coming along – though my ‘test’ list won’t fly. Hunting Party makes having only 2 minions too risky. He drops the two 6 wound bandidos, and suddenly he’s getting free points the rest of the way. So I sub out Sue and Pride for a Ronin and a Freikorps Trapper.

My list:

50 soulstone Outcasts Crew:

Parker Barrows + 6 SS Cache
-Highwayman
-Stick Up
-Hail of Bullets
Doc Mitchell
Bandido
Bandido
Ronin
Freikorps Trapper
Sue
-Oathkeeper
Mad Dog Brackett
-Crate of Dynamite
-Lucky Poncho

David hems and haws over his list, insisting over and over that ‘he has no idea what he’s doing.’ I didn’t believe it at the time, and I believe it even less now, having completed the game. He reveals a Jack Daw crew, lead by the Spirit from the Hanging Tree.

David’s crew:

50 soulstone Outcasts Crew

Jack Daw + 4 SS cache
-3 facedown curses
-Twist and Turn
-Betrayer
Convict Gunslinger
Lady Ligeia
The Guilty
The Guilty
The Guilty
The Hanged
Montresor
-Brick by Brick
-Fearful Whispers

Before this game, I had never played against Jack Daw. This list is basically his box, only with The Hanged and a Convict Gunslinger added. This is also David’s first go-round with Jack Daw.

I immediately regret my crew decision. Almost all of David’s models are incorporeal, or halve damage in some other way from Sh attacks. Though his minions aren’t super tough to kill, hindsight is still twenty-twenty. Lots of shooting isn’t going to do anything against Jack Daw and his bunch.

That makes my scheme selection easy: I go through Breakthrough – one which Parker can usually pull off by himself. For the second, I select Detonate Charges, assuming that between Parker and Mad Dog, late activations will be able to get the scheme markers down and blown up.

We flip for first deployment – I win, and allow him to choose first. He deploys behind the taller of the two ruins in the corner, leaving me to the other. Unfortunately, this also takes the nice, tall platform on top out of play for my Trapper, which was a big reason for me taking him.

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Round 1

David torments the Convict Gunslinger, and phases several of his units through the building ruins in front of him. The Guilty move down the flanks, while Montresor takes up camp in the forest near his deployment zone. Mad Dog, the Ronin, and one Bandido take shelter behind the intact house nearest my corner. Sue and another Bandido shelter in the forest on my side. Doc Mitchell dashes over by the Freikorps Trapper, Deployed from the Shadows near the other building. The Trapper focuses on one of The Guilty, hits him, and then . . . Black Joker. Going to be a long day, folks.

Parker Barrows, however, is too tempting. I make a colossal mistake, moving him to shelter near the middle of the map and toss up a Hail of Bullets between him and Jack Daw, Lady Ligeia, and the Hanged. Both parts of this are incredibly stupid: All can ignore the hazardous terrain from the bullet markers, and the Hanged hasn’t activated yet. For my troubles, I learn about the Hanged’s most terrible attack: Whispers from Beyond. Gone are half of Parker’s wounds, and he can’t be healed for the rest of the game.

Oops.

Round 2

Parker goes first, sticking up Ligeia to stop her moving (Worthless). Then he attacks The Hanged. Black Joker. My Master is completely off his game. Jack Daw sucks in all of his Tormented to him, and I begin learning a lesson about Montresor and Ligeia – namely, stay away. FAR away. I’ve only experienced one worse tarpit than this pair.

Doc moves up, so that Parker can’t see him, and pulls out his hidden deringer, firing it at the Convict Gunslinger to finish him off. Convict Gunslinger pulls an Ace! Doc Mitchell flips an . . . Ace. A miss.

Some focus on the Guilty who have moved up near the crew hidden near the house. After some pings from the Bandido and the Ronin, and then Mad Dog steps up, shotgunning the Guilty to death, and placing the Scheme Marker I’ll need to score a full Detonate Charges!

Both sides score extraction, but Parker Barrows’ crew Detonates the Charges, with 5 enemies within range. 4-1 Outcasts.

Round 3

img_20160907_204221308I continue my great run of Black Jokers, and flip another on initiative. Sue and Parker Barrows continue being super ineffective, stuck in the Montresor tarpit, supported by Ligeia keeping me from cheating anything to get the boys up and running. Sue is able to kill off The Hanged, and then starts talking about how Love is a Burning Thing. Parker goes paralyzed on his first ability point, terrified of Montresor. Montresor is lit on fire after casting some spells that basically ruin Parker’s life, and then Jack Daw kills Sue to finish off his song.

An attack on Parker by Montresor flips at three negatives on a defensive soulstone fueled tie, and, well, this happens:

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Let nobody tell you a defensive soul stone isn’t worth it! Parker is saved.

Mad Dog blasts away a second The Guilty, and drops a scheme marker. This time, however, it’s not to detonate charges – it’s a Box of Dynamite! It goes boom, taking out Parker, despite a soul stone to reduce damage. Jack Daw takes a hit as well, but Montresor and Ligeia are fine. The trapper gets real suspicious of this Guilty guy floating around, and makes a break for it (and, maybe, placing the breakthrough markers in the next couple rounds).

Most importantly, I am in a position to score precisely zero points. After killing Doc Mitchell, David scores Hunting Party, and also Extraction as his models are the only ones anywhere near the middle, so he also scores that. 4-3 Outcasts.

Round 4

I win initiative! My very first action is a shot by the Freikorps trapper on Jack Daw and . . . Black Joker. The Freikorpsman throws down his gun, intending never to touch the damn thing again. It might as well have been a feather for all the good it did me this game.

Montresor charges forward, and sucks the two Bandidos up to him. Looking to tarpit the ladies one last time, and bringing Jack Daw to him, as well.IMG_20160907_212323372.jpg

Jack Daw dashes over to the Trapper, Red Jokering him immediately and ending the Freikorpsman’s troubles forever. Then, things start to go right at just the right time.

Mad Dog moves forward, and blasts Jack Daw with his shotgun, blowing him away from the Extraction zone. Then, the Bandidos activate, pitching my entire hand in order to attack Montresor, and bring the tarpit down!

David scores a third Hunting Party in a row, but I’m the only one to score extraction this turn. David looks at the table, and realizes he has made a mistake – Convict Labor, unlike its counterpart Line in the Sand, can be scored every turn after the first. I’ve dropped two scheme markers for him – all he needed to do was drop a third. He flips Convict Labor and swears. I score extraction again, Jack Daw driven out of the middle of the board and Montresor killed.

Round 5

The money round. I move my bandidos using their move shoot move action, firing shots at Jack Daw, but more importantly threatening to take away David’s Convict Labor tokens near the middle of the board. He guns them both down. Looks like Hunting Party will score again. Lady Ligeia gets shot by Mad Dog, blasting her away from the middle (who cares? She’s insignificant), then he dashes forward to make sure extraction is scored.

The Guity who has survived this far places the scheme marker needed for Convict Labor, as the Ronin and Mad Dog claim the Extraction zone.

Those doing the math at home know that makes the score 6-6. It’s another Tie between me and David.

Outcasts 6 – Outcasts 6.

the Black Jokers string I ran through barely mattered. Mostly it just meant the Trapper did exactly nothing. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Last Thing – don’t believe for a minute that David didn’t know exactly what he was doing, or at the least didn’t know enough about Jack Daw and his crew to pull off exactly what he was attempting to do. That Montresor/Ligeia tarpit was way too amazing.

 

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