Jessica James Pt 2 Batrep written by Steven Shook

Jessica James sat back down at her desk in Guild Headquarters and steepled her fingers. The last battle with the undead forces of the Hole-In-The-Neck gang had left her shaken (and sick with rabies, but a visit to the Witchling Stalkers had cleared that right up.) The undead cowboys were becoming more brazen with every attack. There was a real chance that they could start claiming areas of the city. If only she could find out who their red-headed leader was…

“Well, whoever he was,” she said to herself. “I gave him quite a beating last time.”

Dr. McMourning shuffled into the office on his way to the morgue. “My word, doctor!” gasped Jessica. “What happened to you?”

McMourning stared at her sullenly through his blackened eyes. His face was speckled with bruises, and a long cut on his cheek looked as if he had stitched it up himself. “Och,” he muttered. “I jus’ had a wee bit o’ an accident at a caber tossin’ festival. Took a rogue caber right on me noggin. “I’ll be headin’ home early today.” He painfully shuffled his way out the door.

“I don’t remember any caber tossing festivals,” thought Jessica to herself. “Why is he making up lies to go home early? He always seemed so hard-working. Sometimes, I swear he never leaves that morgue! Ah well, I suppose I should get back to my filing. It looks like Seamus has struck again…”

On the other side of town, the undead cowboy Bloated Bill finished wrapping up the last bundle of dynamite. “We’re gonna get that Justice gal, this time, fer sure!” he told his rotten buddy, the Necropsy Kid.

***
50 Soulstone Battle:
The Evil Ressurectionists:
Three Guild Autopsies
Two Nurses
Canine Remains
Sebastian
Flesh Construct
Rafkin
McMourning with Maniacal Laughter and Moonlighting
Graveyard Spirit

The Heroic Guild:
Nino
The Judge
The Scales of Justice
Witchling Stalker
Two Austringers
Two Death Marshals
Lady Justice with the Crutch of Office, or whatever it is called

Strategy: Recon
Resser Schemes: Spring the Trap, Outflank
Guild Schemes: Line in the Sand, Spring the Trap
***
Turn One opened with the Canine Remains digging up a corpse so that a Guild Autopsy could reanimate it as a Mindless Zombie. El Nino sighted his gun in on Sebastian and did four wounds. One of the Nurses injected Sebastian, healing and paralyzing him. Rafkin moved forward, and the Nurse behind him charged him, stabbing him twice with her needle and pumping him full of poison. The Judge fired at the Flesh Construct, inflicting two wounds on him.

On Turn Two, the Austringers, Death Marshals and the Judge all focused their firepower on the Flesh Construct, eventually blowing the monster to pieces after much card-flipping. Nino fired and killed an Autopsy. Lady J advanced to the center of the board, and McMourning took advantage of this to move around her and place a scheme marker. He maniacally laughed, and created another Mindless Zombie. At the end of the turn, the Ressers revealed “Spring the Trap” and gained two Victory Points. Each side also collected one VP for Recon.

On Turn Three, The Judge attacked McMourning, inflicting two wounds. El Nino fired and killed a Nurse. An Austringer shot Rafkin for a total of four wounds. The Canine Remains dug up another corpse marker. Lady J charged at McMourning, doing three wounds, three wounds, and then drawing a Black Joker for her final round of damage. McMourning ignored her and sliced up the Judge, doing five wounds worth of damage and healing himself five wounds at the same time. He maniacally laughed, bringing two more Zombies onto the board. The Guild revealed Spring the Trap and gained 2 Victory points and both sides got another point for Recon.

McMourning acted first on Turn Four. He cast Rancid Transplant onto Lady J. Due to all of the Zombies around her, she gained eight poison counters. He then turned towards the Judge, cast the same spell, and gave the man five poison counters. He slashed at the Judge, inflicting two wounds and bringing him down to a single wound, then finished him off with Expunge. Another Flesh Construct rose from the body of the Judge and shambled off towards the Scales of Justice. A helpful Witchling Stalker removed all of the poison from Lady J, who started running down the center line and placing scheme markers. Nino shot Sebastian for four wounds, while an Austringer shot Rafkin for seven. One Death Marshal fired at an Autopsy, only to be killed by returning fire, only to drop a scheme marker on the center line anyhow. The always-useful Canine Remains ran forward and ate one of Lady J’s scheme markers. The Ressers gained a VP for Recon but the Guild was out of position and did not.

Turn 5 saw the amusing spectacle of the Flesh Construct, who had so recently been the Judge, pick up the Scales of Justice and swallow them whole. Less amusingly, one of the Austringers shot Rafkin and killed him, then wounded Sebastian. Sebastian ran towards the edge of the board and took up a defensive stance, trying to survive to the end of the turn to claim Outflank, but El Nino shot him down. The Ressers gained one VP for Outflank, as an Autopsy held the other side of the board, while the Guild gained 3 VP for Line in the Sand and neither gained any VP for Recon.

Guild Victory, 7 VP to 6!

I played my crew much better this time. One of the things I improved was making sure that I moved the weaker elements of my crew first, and activated McMourning last, except for the turn in which it was necessary for me to kill the Judge. Although McMourning is good in close combat, it is best for him to be slicing and dicing after he has taken some wounds so that he can heal himself while hurting others. Also, his Maniacal Laugh upgrade works much better when there is a pile of bodies around him from people dying during the turn. Expunge is also better if people have accumulated poison damage during the turn from Autopsies or Flesh Constructs damaging them.

This was the first game where I got to use the Maniacal Laugh and the Mindless Zombies, and while it is amusing to see them shambling around the board, being activations, and generally getting in the way, they didn’t really accomplish anything. They are both Slow and Insignificant, with weak attacks and defense. On the upside, the Moonlighting upgrade states that if they die from poison within 8” of McMourning, they turn into Canine Remains, which ARE, useful models, so I may wish to drop the Graveyard Spirit and get the Zombie Chihuahua back just so he can fill them up with poison. I can also shove them around with McMourning’s (0) Injection, which moves them, forces them to place a scheme marker, and then poisons them, which kind of solves all of their problems at once .

I’m having a lot of trouble getting any kind of value out of Sebastian or Rafkin. Both of them are melee fighters, but neither seems strong enough to survive long enough to get into melee or to survive long once they get there.

The performance of the Nurses is so-so. I’m not sure that healing my models while paralyzing them is a worthwhile trade-off, while I am often afraid to cast their spells at the enemy, lest I end up boosting them by accident.

On the side of the Guild, Lady Justice continues to be unstoppable in melee and destroys my Zombies utterly when she kills them. Nino scored three kills and innumerable wounds with his gun, so I just have to stay out of his way. Not sure what to do about Austringers when they can just kill me from inside of a locked basement. The Judge did not disappoint, as he got killed, as he usually does. Having my construct swallow the Scales of Justice was definitely the high point of my game.

So, until next time, the Hole-In-The-Neck gang will plot their vengeance against the Guild…

Thanks for reading!

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The story of Jessica James Part 1 Battle report written by Steven Shook

Mild-mannered Guild secretary Jessica James pulled open the top drawer of the filing cabinet and drew out a report. ‘Hmm,’ she thought to herself, ‘Another robbery by the Hole-in-the-Neck gang. Eyewitnesses describe the leader of these undead bandits as a man wearing bloodstained hospital scrubs with a bright orange shock of hair. The perpetrator uses surgical instruments in close combat. Sadly, he wears a surgical mask that conceals his identity. If only we could discover who their leader was, we could shut down that gang for good. Oh, well.’

She turned as she heard the office door open up. “Oh, good morning Dr. McMourning,” the young woman said, briefly rolling her eyes at how stupid the greeting sounded. She winked briefly at the orange-haired man in the bloodstained hospital scrubs. “Another late night in the morgue with those pretty nurses of yours?”

“Hehe,” laughed the physician, nervously. His eyes darted left and right. “Just so, young lady, just so. Certainly nothing untoward or illegal. Nope, not a bit.” He glanced at the clock on the wall. “My, my, is that the time? I really must get home and, uh, get some sleep.”

Jessica gestured at a blood-dripping burlap bag he held. “Taking your work home with you, Doctor?”

McMourning jumped, slightly. “Oh, hehe, this?” He clumsily tried to hide the bag behind his back. “Oh, no, I would never do that. This is just my…um…breakfast. It’s haggis. It’s a Scottish dish. Everyone eats it where I come from. Now, really, I must be going!” He practically bolted for the door.

She smiled at the retreating doctor. ‘Such an odd man,’ she thought. ‘Still, I’m sure his heart’s in the right place.’

Sometime later, on the other side of town, Malifaux residents fled in terror as three undead cowboys swaggered towards the bank. Their leader, Bloated Bart, spat a stream of embalming fluid onto the street and smiled. “This town is gonna be ours, soon ‘nuf.”

His companions, Butchered Cassidy and the Necropsy kid, chuckled in agreement and drew their rusted pistols. All three charged into the bank, slamming open the doors and easily knocking down the aged guard inside.

“This here’s a stick up!” shouted Bart. He pointed his gun at an elderly woman. “What you got in that bag, lady?”

“This is the Christmas fund for the Malifaux orphanage!” she cried in alarm. “If you have any shred of humanity left in that rotten body of yours, you’ll leave it be!”

Bart gestured at the Necropsy Kid. “Take it, and give that old biddy a slap fer bein’ so darn mouthy.”

Unseen by Bart, the bank teller stepped on a button that rang an alarm at Guild headquarters.

Jessica James dropped her file at the alarm bell rang. “Jumping Jackalopes!” she exclaimed. “And the Ortegas are out of the office! This looks like a job for…” she took a dramatic pause, then ripped open her conservative, high-necked blouse to expose the Japanese halter top underneath, “Lady Justice!”

***
Crissy’s Guild has been tearing my McMourning force apart, but I think that was an issue of my army not having too many “support” models and not enough “troops.” She was kind enough to buy some metal Guild Autopsies for me, so now I think I have a better chance. We both agreed to play “Stake a Claim” for our next game, as we both need practice with that strategy. I selected a scheme pool to complement the idea of Ressers and Guild fighting for control of a town: Assassinate, Vendetta, Line in the Sand, Bodyguard and Entourage. While it is a good strategy to select your crew after you know the schemes and strats, my army is currently limited by the models I own. Christmas is coming, though…

50 Soulstone Resurrectionist list:

Master: Doc McMourning. He is a beast in close combat, healing himself as he does damage, hard to wound, ignoring armor and hard to wound and inflicting poison damage with his blades. At range, he poisons people, forces them to take all of their poison damage at once, and can push friendly troops forward. I’m going to want to push him into close combat as quickly as I can and cut my way through the enemy army.

Upgrades: I try not to take too many upgrades, as they are easy to forget in the heat of battle. However “Moonlighting” (1) is a wonderful upgrade in that it allows McMourning to summon undead creatures while doing what he normally does anyhow. Summoning even a single Canine Remains will put me three SS ahead from this card.

3 Guild Autopsies (12) These are perfect troops for the McMourning crew, inflicting poison in both close combat and at range, hard to wound and able to summon Mindless Zombies. They will reactivate, which could be devastating to my opponent, IF another friendly model activates (meaning they should move early on in the turn) AND my opponent has no cards in hand. Any Flesh Constructs I might summon through Moonlighting will do the same, so I need a way to empty my opponent’s hand, which leads me to my next model choice.

Graveyard Spirit (3) Sorry, Zombie Chihuahua, but I need the Spirit’s ability of One Foot in the Grave to make my opponent drop a card. Normally, my opponent would want to keep one card in hand to prevent me from reactivating. The Graveyard Spirit will want them to keep two cards in hand instead, which can only be a good thing. Aside from that, his Incorporeal status makes him more survivable than the Chihuahua and his abilities to boost armor and essentially double-walk for one point are automatic and not card-dependent.

Two Nurses (10) Sebastian (7) and Rafkin (7). The nurses are wonderful models, able to hand out poison or other conditions as needed, and as they can Accomplice, and move a second model after their own move, it seems sensible to pair them with my henchmen/enforcers so I can drug someone up with the nurse and then send in the thugs to deal with the drugged victim. Sebastian takes the upgrade “Those Are Not Ours!” (1) which allows him to destroy a friendly undead model to gain a soulstone. This has strategic advantages, such as being able to destroy a weak “distracted” model before the end of a turn, or tactical ones, such as sacrificing an out-of-position Mindless Zombie for a soulstone. The second ability “Man’s Best Friend” is the real winner to me, though. Summoning a Canine Remains is good, but drawing a card afterward is pure gold, especially as I am trying to trade my cards for my opponent’s.

The final model in my army is The Hanged (9) who doesn’t really fit into the army but causes people fits whenever they see him. The Hanged is tough, terrifying and has some devastating attacks. What’s not to like?

Crissy, my opponent, led with Lady Justice who carries the “Badge of Office (2)” (or as her detractors call it, “The Crutch of Office.”) Lady J intends to cut through my weaker models and survive to reach my deployment zone. Two Witchling Stalkers (10) must be taken with Lady J. so that they can shoot conditions such as “paralyze” off of her.

“The Judge” (9) is coming along, although I have never seen him do anything particularly impressive. Papa Loco (7) causes all kinds of problems because of his explosive ways. A guild Marshal (6) and an Austringer (6) are solid models. Her new model Bishop (10) will make an appearance. Bishop is an insane melee fighter with both Swift and Flurry, allowing him to dish out four MI attacks per turn. In addition, he can always choose to add a suit to his activation, meaning his fists can be armor-piercing as well. Ugh. I would like to say that I would run away from him, but he is too swift. I’ll just have to throw as many sacrificial models as I can to him.

So, along with “Stake Claim” I chose “Assassinate” and “A Line in the Sand.” I may not be able to successfully take down Lady J, but I do know that she will be in the thick of things and I won’t have to chase her around the board, at least. “Line in the Sand” goes well with “Stake Claim” since they are both about moving models and dropping markers. Now, let the game begin!

On Turn One, everyone ran towards the center of the board, trying to stay in cover behind buildings or wagons. Nothing of note occurred.

On Turn Two, the Austringer launched his bird into Sebastian’s face, causing severe damage. In response, the nearby nurse jammed her giant needle into Sebastian’s posterior, causing him to heal all damage and collapse with a blissful smile. Bishop and Lady J staked claims, and Papa Loco threw a stick of dynamite at the target of his Vendetta, Rafkin. The Guild earned two victory points this turn.

Turn Three saw the Guild gain the initiative but the Ressers stole it with a soulstone play. One of my Guild Autopsies dropped a claim marker that erased the Guild’s previous two claim markers. Gunfire played out along the line as the Autopsies sprayed their poisoned bullets. Papa Loco threw sticks of dynamite as if they were burning his hands, causing terrible damage to Rafkin. A nurse sprayed paralyzing drugs at the Judge, but a helpful Witchling Stalker shot the paralysis away.

With the Guild out of cards, the three Autopsies reactivated, raising hell along the center line. The Ressurectionists scored a point for Stake a Claim this turn.

On Turn Four, McMourning charged at Lady Jay, but his poisoned scalpels proved insufficient to slay the just woman. A nurse pumped Rafkin full of poison, and encouraged him to run with the Accomplice ability, which he did, lightly healing himself on the way. The Judge stormed down the street after him, dragging Papa Loco along. The Death Marshal tried to hurt Sebastian, but ended up dying to the poisoned knife of an Autopsy, and became the first casualty of the game. Sebastian wasted no time summoning a Canine Remains from body of the Marshal. The dead dog ran over and took a chunk of out of Lady J’s leg with a Red Joker damage, giving her Rabies! Lady J sacrificed her Badge of Office to survive a second dog bite, and the Ressers gained another point for Stake a Claim.

On Turn Five, the Judge attacked Rafkin and cut him. The ever-helpful Nurse jammed a needle into his thigh and completely healed him. Lady J activated and after two failed swings with her broadsword finally put an end to McMourning’s mischievous plans. One Autopsy stabbed a Witchling Stalker to death with his sword, then turned and shot another to death with his gun.

Papa Loco had really had enough. That villain Rafkin had evaded him at every step. So, Loco let himself on fire and exploded. He then died, and exploded a second time. As a result, Rafkin died, earning the Guild two victory points, the helpful Nurse died and the Graveyard Spirit died.

Lady J was still alive, and time was running out, so the second Nurse ran in and tried to stab with her needle. She failed, and took three points of damage with her needle, then failed again and was saved from a riposte attack only by the appearance of the Black Joker.

Game ended: 7 VP for Guild, 4 VP for Ressers

Overall, I have to say that the Guild Autopsies are amazing models and well worth their points, especially when they can reactivate. The highlight of the game for me was when Sebastian raised a Canine Remains, and even though it was slow, it was still able to charge Lady J because she was poisoned, and do a Red Joker’s worth of damage to her and give her Rabies! Overall, though, I couldn’t kill Lady J, and so Assassinate seemed like a waste. Crissy used Bishop well for Stake a Claim, and perhaps McMourning should have been pursuing that goal as well. I could have dropped more scheme markers with the Autopsies and done less shooting with them. After all, a marker drop cannot be opposed, but a shooting attack might be defended against and be a waste of an AP. Good job Crissy, and looking forward to our next game!jessica james pt 2 pic 1 jessica james pt 2 pic 2 jessica james pt 2 pic 3 jessica james pt 2 pic 4

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The Children of December

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As the fall gave way to the winter, I made the jump to the Children of December crew box.  I picked up the alternate version of Rasputina, and the old metal version so I could have all three of them.  Here is the alternate version of her, and I am working on the new Wendigo models.  I hope to have the entire crew box done by the end of the year.

Then I can start in on the December Acolytes, Snow Storm and some other goodies to help her through the scenarios.

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Marcus and his little Molemen !

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Its the day after my good friend Chad’s first tournament and I am still buzzing.  I’ve never been a amazing player or very competitive but I enjoy playing in tournaments because it gives me a chance to play against new crews that I’ve never played against before and different play styles.

I had three amazing games yesterday against three really good opponents. In my first game I played against a Marcus crew with a army of Molemen and Slurids. I haven’t played against Marcus since first edition and this wasn’t your typical Marcus list.  We had Stake A Claim for our strategy which I’ve only played maybe 3 times in my entire Malifaux career.  It only comes up on jokers and I see now that I should be playing it more. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it and struggled the whole time.

I see now how bad Perdita and family is at doing this strategy. You really need models that get extra movement or have leap or tunneling. Perdita soon learned that obey was her friend and started obeying models to take walk actions to get to the other half of the board so they could activate and take a 2 interact when they activated but other than that it was rough. Not only was the crew not good for the strategy but I’m still struggling with understanding that Strategy !!

My opponent was awesome and helped me with it lots. He was patient and tried to help explain it to me , and at times telling me when you take the interact actions or to remove the markers. I also saw how great his crew was at this strategy. His super fast models with leap and tunneling were affective at moving nimbly around the board as they dropped scheme markers to move through and then dropping stake a claim markers. At the end of the game he had scheme markers everywhere and sadly it had never dawned on me that they were for anything other than tunneling. Then he announced Protect territory!!! I was blown away !  This game was so fun and I learned so much ! My opponent made me work very hard and made me think about things differently and thats what I love about this game !!

How do you play Stake A Claim ? What lists do you use that doesn’t have models that have extra walks or leap ?? Tell me  !

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Guild Pathfinder and his snappy lil friends

So I started painting the Pathfinder and the traps today while at work.  First off, I was only painting them to go in a Hardcore list. I’ve owned them since they came out and they have sat in the box on the shelf for probably a year.. maybe more.

I wasn’t super excited to paint them at first but right after I started I realized I do like the models and now I anxious to finish them ! Here is a WIP pic of them ! Im really loving the earthy greens and brown 🙂

guild pathfinder wip

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A little bit of poison

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Steve and I played a game tonight and it was pretty fun. Steve just got Dr. McMourning and friends when he took second place at a local tournament. At first he wasn’t sure he wanted the crew, even though he wants to play Seamus, but I convinced him to keep him because when you play Resurrectionists you play the faction not the master.  So, this was our second game with him playing McMourning and he is still trying to get down the crew and finesse it to his play style.

I took Lady J with two Death Marshalls, two Witchling stalkers, Lone Marshall, Govenors proxy, Papa Loco, and the judge.

He had McMourning, Sebastian, two Flesh Constructs, two nurses, one belle, The hanged, and a canine remains.

The game was brutal with Lady basically healing most damage and the witchling stalkers shooting off all of the conditions that his crew was handing out.  Between that and Steve having some terrible luck with his cards it was a rough game for the ressers. We ended the game at turn 4 where I had 9 VP to his 0.

We talked to my friend Chad and he suggested we add a Rafkin and some Guild Autopsy or Guild Guards. Does anyone have other suggestions to make this crew more…. hard hitting and less supporty  ?

Please comment ! Lets talk about this 🙂

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UPPD the un-talked about disorder

It is time for me to open up and share my experience over the past 10 years.  My condition has worsened with time, and I feel close enough to those of you in A Wyrd Place to share my struggles.

I did not realize I had UPPD until earlier this year when I started into the world of Malifaux.  Looking back I should have seen the symptoms as early as 2006.  Many of you even warned me about making the move to this game.  I did not listen, I could not stop even if I wanted to.  I have Unstoppable Plastic Purchase Disorder, or UPPD for short.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 12.38.11 PMUPPD is not talked about very often as the shame felt by those afflicted with this ailment is powerful.  It begins with a simple starter box and a rule book.  Next is adding that one extra model for some fun.  Before you know it you are rummaging through the clearance bins, and pre-ordering more models than you have time to paint.

Each day you wake and rush to the front porch, hoping for that small box of injection
plastic to be there waiting.  Each day you surf your favorite shopping sites, looking for that one more model to add to the stack you have to assemble and paint.  Each time a new box shows up you rip it open to smell that freshly molded mini smell.  Oh the rush.

Sure you spend hours each week gluing, and gap filling, and painting.  But to what end?  To simply awaken the next day and repeat the dance again.  New box sets, limited edition figures, and fancy translucent versions of things you already own.  How can you control it, how can you break the cycle?  You can’t, you don’t have the ability to do so.  UPPD is almost more of a virus than a disorder.  UPPD is in your heart, it flows through your veins.

My name is Craig, and I have UPPD.

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