Thursday, July 31, 2014

Malifaux Battle Report - Marcus vs Rasputina

Malifaux Monday was canceled this week, but my friend, Bogo, insisted on getting his Malifaux fix, so we organized our own game for Tuesday.  I introduced Bogo to the game just a couple of months ago, and he is absolutely enthralled with the game.  To the point that he has not only purchased around 4 crews, but he's already painted most of them to an above-tabletop standard!

We held a grudge match of my Marcus crew versus his Rasputina crew.  The last game we played resulted in a hard-fought, nail-biting tie.  So the two crews were spoiling for another fight.

We used my made-for-Malifaux Terraclips terrain set, Streets of Malifaux.  This is the first time that I've finally used this terrain, having purchased it 3 years ago!  This is exactly the kind of terrain that I want to have for the canal district that I've been developing as a side project.  Something that adds more 3-dimensionality to a skirmish game, with lots of catwalks and nooks and crannies.  I'm building a similar concept for 40K, but an industrial theme instead.

Start of game

We have a standard deployment 12" from the centerline.  The strategy is Turf War -- basically "king of the hill".  Have two models within 6" of center to score one victory point per turn, beginning at the end of Turn 2.

Rasputina is on the left; Marcus is on the right.  For those who know Malifaux, the 5 Schemes to choose from were:
  • Line in the Sand  (Rasputina, Marcus)
  • Breakthrough  (Rasputina)
  • Protect Territory
  • Plant Explosives
  • Frame for Murder
 Both of us revealed 'Line in the Sand'.  Bogo also revealed 'Breakthrough'.  I kept my second Scheme hidden.

Rasputina with her evil, sidekick Wendigo.  Plus two Ice Gamins and a Silent One.

Three December Acolytes were forward-deployed to the centerline.

Marcus, Myranda, the Jackalope, Sabertooth Cerberus, 2 Silurids, and 1 Moleman.  Plus another Silurid & Moleman pair deployed on the left flank.

Turn 1

With the December Acolytes forward-deployed, the action started right away.  This picture fails to show all the action that happened at the top of photo, where 4 models immediately engaged in furious combat.  It took a Sabertooth Cerberus to finish the task of dispatching a tenacious December Acolyte.

I made the same mistake on the first move of this game as I did the last time we had this match-up.  Tempted by the proximity of the December Acolyte, I needlessly jumped it with a Silurid, just because I "thought it would be fun".  It was fun, but it was no longer fun when he got squished, and the realization sunk in that I had needlessly sacrificed not only a useful resource, but an activation as well.  Same as last time.  It was even a Silurid the last time.  You know what they say, when you repeat the same behavior and expect different results....

The dead pool.

In the foreground, the rest of Marcus' crew has stacked manpower against the threat on Marcus' left flank.  Marcus used +3 to his Walk to zip him 24" from the opposite side of the table!  It's a risk for Marcus, if Rasputina wins Initiative on Turn 2.  The Wendigo could theoretically Devour Marcus and remove my Master from the game!

Turn 2

Rasputina won Initiative with a 13!  But Rasputina's activation went towards a different threat than Marcus.  Whew!  That left Marcus free to deal with the Wendigo.  Pumping up his Shillelagh into a 4/4/6 beat-stick, he stomped the Wendigo with a Red Joker on the first attack!  Which left 2 Actions to actually Charge the December Acolyte and whop her on the head, scoring two kills in one Activation!  This is the first time I've seen Marcus actually work a full offensive beat-down.  The field was re-leveled, after losing the Silurid.

Meanwhile, Myranda made a move for the center courtyard, in order to claim the objective.  She wanted to transform into the great white ape, Cojo, but she was underneath the bridge, and she couldn't fit Cojo's Height 3 form under the Height 2 bridge!  So she transformed into a Sabertooth Cerberus instead, to replace the first one, which had just been killed.

Marcus' beasts look mean, but those Ice Gamin are nasty, channeling spells for Rasputina and exploding when they die.  But what made them really hard to deal with was the protection they gained from Sub Zero, canceling the beasts' activations after the first hit.

Along the way, a Silurid Plants Explosives and scores 2 victory points!

Turn 3

Marcus' luck totally reverses.  Bearing a constant onslaught of attacks, and despite spending his Soulstones fairly wisely, he eventually falls, due in part to a vicious series of 3 Aces and the Black Joker.

Turn 4

Sabertooth Cerberus goes on a suicide run, to shut down Rasputina's devastating spells, buying time for the Silurid and the Molemen to concentrate on Line in the Sand.

A Moleman "Digs In", desperately holding on to his last remaining health point.

A December Acolyte makes a desperate run to attempt the Breakthrough mission, but the resurrected Jackalope intercepts the Acolyte and spoils her plans.

Turn 5

All of Marcus' crew is dead except one resolute Moleman!  But...Line in the Sand is achieved and Marcus' crew pull out the win 7-4!

<sung to Queen>  We are the Champions!

A photo I submitted to Wyrd's Summer Painting Challenge (now finished, so I may now post the photo)


  1. Great batrep, Shades. Thanks for doing it.

    To Raspy, killing Marcus and his entire crew felt a little like victory. She snarled through her loss over a cup of hot cocoa, while the victorious Marcus was becoming a nice home for all his worm friends. :)

    That's one of the things I love most about Malifaux. It really isn't about the combat. By Turn 4, I realized I was screwed--and no amount of killing was going to help. Nonetheless, when the game ended, I couldn't stop smiling and was riding a HUGE adrenaline buzz.

    Thanks again for hosting.


    1. I like to think that the named characters (Master's, Henchmen, and Enforcers) are "vanquished", never killed... ;-) After all, they keep coming back for more, just like their players!

      I'm with you on the appeal of Malifaux. Combat is just one tool to use to navigate to victory. Combat is expensive in terms of spending models' activations, a limited resource that requires some allocation to objectives. The game does well to offer a variety of ways to neutralize enemy models, other than killing them (like Rasputina's Paralyze and Sub Zero abilities!). The game-play is a constant balance of objective-seeking, survival, and denial. I find it very chess-like, but with a lot of added pizzazz and a lot of creative options.

      Thanks for commenting! Until next time!

  2. Your point about Masters being "vanquished" is especially true in this case. Since Raspy and Marcus are both Arcanists, this was probably just an exercise . . . most likely set up by Ramos.

    Given Raspy's personality, however, I'm sure she didn't hold back much . . . and Marcus has some nice bruises to show for it.

    1. Marcus simply learned that fighting bare-chested is ill-advised against a frigid, winter-summoning sourpuss. He's going to skin that Wendigo and make a nice, warm fur coat for next time.

      Either that, or Ramos himself will take the field.... (danh-danh, daaanhh....)


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