Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the puppet-beast war

Last Thursday, made my way out into the wilds of Virginia for a second go-round with the Collodi puppets. Once again, no pictures! Totally forgot to recharge the cellphone. But it was time to beat up Marcus and his menagerie.

Thirty-five stones, again. Maurice, my foe, had an excellent swamp board for us to play on. We rolled for the Hag's Territory and got Bog. Also known as a field day for his Silurids, and a nice slow walk for everyone else. Shared strategy was Reconnoiter, hold all four quarters at the end of the day. Thought I would have an easy time of this, or at least be able to deny making it easy for him. Occupy the middle, shift out at the end. This will be ironic later on.

I brought the usual sack of puppets. I'd bring more Stitched Togethers if I could. He brought Marcus, a Rattler, the Slate Ridge Mauler(!), two Raptors, three Silurids, and one Jack-Jack-Jackalope.

I chose two schemes. First, declared a Grudge against his Slate Ridge Mauler (proxied by an excellent Chainmail Owlbear. I love owlbears.) For the other, I picked Exterminate against the Silurids, because I am dumb and read the card wrong. During the point tally at the end of the day, when the error was picked up, we retconned that I picked 'Beast' instead, as that was the only other viable choice. Lesson learned.

His schemes were Primal Source and Frame for Murder, the latter of which kind of cracks me up, considering the parties involved.

One thing Collodi does well is deciding where the big brawl will happen. Early on, I try to sidle out and put up stakes in the middle of the board. The Raptors and the Silurids are going to outmaneuver me, and I need to keep most of the puppets together. Turns out I am slowed by the Bog, being severe terrain, like, everywhere, but not as bad as I feared. Meanwhile the Rattler and the Mauler are dragging tail. (Nothing else of his is really affected, so, good times.) I shift the horde slightly to be able to hit the Mauler quickly in his backfield and, hopefully, tie up the Rattler until I can get the job done.

And it's a bloodbath. Like, whoah. Stuffing, fur, felt, and mud everywhere. The Stitched Togethers clean out the Raptors and cripple the Silurids within a couple turns, but don't last anything much beyond that. The rest is just a war of attrition. Maurice has figured out that the way to stop Collodi is to kill puppets. Not hurt, kill. They can be replaced, but it takes two actions, and any turn spent replacing a puppet is a turn not spent boosting the rest of them.

The Mauler is a complete monster. Three puppets in one activation! Ow ow ow. The Rattler is fierce (I've seen it in action before) but can't get the job done today. He puts a hurting on Collodi, who slides off the damage to some nearby puppet pals.

So, yes. I kill beasts, he kills puppets. End of turn six, I have... Collodi, standing alone. And he is in close combat with Marcus, and the Jack-Jack-Jackalope. There are no other models on the board. I hold out for a seventh turn by burning through soulstones, and the game is over after that. Yeesh. No idea how to kill Marcus, in and of himself.

Final victory points total is two-nothing. I get two for announcing the Grudge against the Slate Ridge Owlbear and following through. And, that's it. Great game, but rough.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

the puppet-ghost war

Got together last week for a little Malifaux, specifically to try out the Neverborn. I'd only every played Guild before, so I studied up on the forums on how things are different. Also made some notes on the synergies between the different figs. Malifaux really lives and breathes on its combos, and apparently much more for Collodi than Justice. 

My esteemed opponent was playing Kirai. Love that model (and the Onryo as well, though they didn't show up that day.) (Both sculpted by James Van Schaik, who is easily one of my favorite sculptors working in the industry.) I only had a little experience fighting the Resurrectionists, and hadn't fought Kirai at all. That combined with my inexperience worth my own figs was a bit of an impediment, but by a couple turns in, everything was flowing smoothly. A special shout-out to my opponent, Mr. Conte. We have a pretty friendly playgroup, and he is no exception. He helped me with the rules I was missing, and graciously answered my repeated questions, like "why should I be afraid of that figs of yours there?" and "why does that sound bad?"

And because we're masochists like that, we also played one of the Halloween scenarios, specifically "The Carver Strikes at Midnight." Which was... brutal. First turn, I was up more than halfway across the board. Collodi + puppets = fast like a freak. Already searching for clues about the Carver, and all but completing my 'Reclaim Malifaux' scheme. The Carver was out by the second or third turn, and lived up to his name. After realizing how scary the Shikome was, I made quick work of it by gambling with the Stitched Togethers. (Stitcheds Together? That name is awkward.)

But oh. The comedy. So it turns out that Collodi's puppet army is great at dishing out lots of little attacks. Rather than one big strike, he drives them forward, and it's all snip snip snip and stab stab stab.  But it turns out Kirai is good at healing her ghosts, and bringing them back, and it quickly turned into a quagmire where I could mess up his figs, but never enough to clear a space for me to rush the big boss. And he could whittle at the puppets, but they kept on coming.

We decided to call it after four turns. Points were close, but I think he would have taken the trophy in the end. (He's a really good player, and Malifaux is his #1 game.) MVP has to go to my Stitched Together. I love those little guys. And they are mean.

Looking forward to a rematch soon. With pictures, too.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Malifaux: Collodi's puppets

As noted earlier, top of the painting queue was Collodi and his puppets, for Malifaux. I dig on evil puppets, and Collodi was a positively creepy addition to the game. Was looking for something to be a counterpoint to my Lady Justice and her Guild, so that fit the bill.

The local crew threw up a deadline of October 1st, and fake deadlines are the best way to get myself motivated. Yes, there's a lot of detail work that I have to get done on these guys. It feels like I never really finish painting everything. Nonetheless, these guys are more done than a lot of my figs, so I will count that as a win. Didn't get the creepy wagon put together in time, but have all the components ready to go, so maybe I will see if I can get that done and painted by Halloween.

First up is Collodi and his Stitched Togethers. Seriously love those figs, and I've had the Oogie Boogie stuck in my head all month as a result. A wash will help pick out the details I glossed over, which is a good rule for a lot of my figs. Maybe blacken up his hat for the puppet Napoleon look.

The Wicked Dolls were fun to paint, too. Many patches of color to help tie the force together. A lot of character packed into simple figs. Will pick out the claws in a brighter silver, maybe.

Was originally going to keep them the same colors, but they were too easy to go individual on. Will need to get more detail on those faces, despite my well-known aversion for painting faces. Even puppet faces.

Where to go from here? Will play them a few times to see. Zoraida would be a logical choice, but ehn. Pandora held more charm for me, even though the models never did. The Weaver Widow from the new book is a great choice, to compliment Collodi, and gives me an excuse to pick up Teddy. Oh yes. Will look at the Effigies as well. Probably don't need all of them, but some of them should improve the force.

Next on the painting table are my Sefadu for Mercs. Assembling new Pulp City and Empire for Anima Tactics. Rolling rolling rolling.