Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rasputina's First Tournament!

Our gaming store hosts "Malifaux Mondays", which is unfortunate for my husband and I, because we live well out of town, and I have to get up at 3am for work... so the only time we can game with other people is on Friday and Saturday - and we play D&D on Saturday evenings. However, there are occasionally Malifaux tournaments on Saturday afternoons, and so we make it a point to attend them so we can play with other people.

My second game of Malifaux ever was a tournament this past June. I had known about it for a few days, but with my school schedule (I work 60 hours a week and attend school part time) had not had time to paint my models, so the day of the tournament I went to work until 8am, got home a bit before 9am, and had to have my minis painted before 11:30 am.

Fortunately, I had had time to prime the models the day before. However, the primer was several years old, and extremely fuzzy. It wasn't a super great foundation to work on, but I didn't have time to do anything else.

Here is what my first experience with painting minis - and also coincidentally, my first experience with speed painting - looked like. In other words... A MESS!! Poor Raspy!!

You'll have to trust me that the pictures turned out better than they are in person. Unfinished and shoddily painted, they were absolutely embarrassing to play!! Especially compared to my husband's Marcus crew that looks absolutely exquisite. Regardless, months later they are still unfinished. I plan on eventually stripping them and painting them up pretty.

The Essence of Power looks weird because I tried to use green stuff to add more swirlies of power around it. I was especially embarrassed of that model because it was only wearing two colors.

We arrived to the tournament five minutes late. Fortunately, they decided that my army was painted well enough to participate. Since everyone was paired up, my hubby and I played our first game against each other. I did my best to blast him to hell again, but between our first game and then, my husband had found time to read the rulebooks and think about tactics. Playing smarter this time, he absolutely decimated me. Arriving late as we did and trying to frantically start, we forgot to take time to choose schemes... something I regret to this day!

My next game was against Lilith. My opponent seemed quite afraid of my Ice Golem until he figured out that I didn't know what I was doing! After he figured that out, he was a kind and gracious opponent who helped me with rules and general game play. Losing to him was a pleasant experience.

My final game was against Zoraida. My opponent's models were all fantastically painted, and wonderful to look at! Playing against him wasn't very fun, however. He moved fast, spouting out rules and actions left and right, and it was very hard as a new player to follow along. He enjoyed rubbing his successes and my failures in my face, though I got the feeling that this was simply his personality, not that he was trying to be mean. He essentially controlled my ice golem the whole time and destroyed my own army with it!

So my tournament results:

Rasputina vs. Marcus = Marcus more or less trounces me! But I laugh a lot.
Rasputina vs. Lilith = Lilith wins, but I have fun killing a couple models and learning from a nice guy.
Rasputina vs. Zoraida = Not even a fun game, and a solid loss.

My husband's Marcus crew managed to come in 2nd place in the tournament, surprising many! Here is where I get back to regretting not taking schemes in that first game. It was a very close point total between first and second place, and those might have helped him win if he had completed a successful scheme!

I came in dead last!

What I learned:

* Choose schemes.
* You can't cast 3 ice pillars on the same turn.
* Lilitu is not a henchman!
* People are frightened of large models, regardless of their effectiveness.
* Ice gamin can kill your crew when they die!
* It is fun play Malifaux even if you lose, as long as your opponent isn't a jerk.
* The more special abilities a model had, the more I disliked it.
* I know nothing about strategy!
* Card sleeves and dry erase markers are your friend.
* Raspy was, at that point, too complicated for me to play.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rasputina Meets Marcus... and I Win My First Game!

Surprisingly, we didn't immediately play a game the same day we bought our first box sets. It was our gaming night, and we had D&D to contend with. I showed Raspy to my brother while we were waiting for the others to show up at his apartment, and hoped that he would be more interested in her than he actually was. As fate would have it, it would be at least another six months before he gained some interest in her!

So the boxes sat for perhaps four days or so, and my husband and I decided that we would try a game. We didn't have a cleared off table in the house, so we decided to play on top of a large box, which was smaller than the 3 x 3 board we should have been playing on. For terrain, we used junk that we found around the house. The fate cards told us that we were fighting in a goblin village, so we used the lid from a 32 oz. fountain drink for a pond, an upside down cup as a silo, and so on. Surprisingly, I could visualize the village even with our haphazard improvised terrain. The final touch was a button for a treasure marker.

And oh, how we fought for that button! Our unpainted and unassembled crews rushed at each other, and I learned very quickly that Raspy could blast the hell out of things. Unfortunately, all I really did was cast December's curse over and over, and charge forward into melee with everything else.

It worked for my first game. My husband's strategy with Marcus was to rely on numerous attacks to plink me to death, and it just wasn't enough to contend with even my poorly played Raspy blasty smashiness.

He studied the rules afterward, and as an experienced gamer (and excellent strategizer) changed his playing style entirely. This was one of two games that he has ever lost with Marcus... he has won all the rest!

Contrarywise, this was the only game to this date that I have won on my own.

I am terrible with rules, and horrid with strategy!

I still love this game. Even losing game after game after game since.

Monday, December 26, 2011

It begins...

My husband has been heavily into Warhammer 40k (and Fantasy, to a lesser degree) for a number of years. I never really understood his miniature gaming hobby, though I occasionally went with him to various gaming stores to look at giant boxes of very expensive miniatures (GBoVEM's). He had mountains of GBoVEM's at home, so I didn't understand why he wanted more. Most of the GBoVEM's were unassembled and unpainted, and we had been carrying them about from place to place in the 4 years we had been living together. I knew that he had played with these expensive toys in his past life, but that leaving his home-state to move in with me, he had abandoned all of his good friends who shared this hobby with him.

It was out of guilt for this that I tolerated the occasional trip to a local gaming store which focused more heavily on miniatures and less so on the tabletop RPGs that interested me. I even occasionally let him buy more GBoVEM's, which also sat, unassembled.

Imagine my surprise when one day a trip to the gaming store, there was something that caught my eye! This is what I saw:

Ah, the Coryphee! Aren't they absolutely wonderful?! I fell in love with these deadly dancers immediately, and began to examine all the rest that Malifaux had to offer. I saw grotesque teddy bears and freakish children, plagued rats and samurai cowboys, undead whores and even a topless model with pendulous granny boobies. I was in love.

My husband, of course, encouraged my interest. We looked over the miniatures together, and it wasn't long before one of the store employees came over and began to tell us all about Malifaux. He was so enthused about it, that he rambled on for upwards of an hour. Before I knew it, my husband and I had picked out two starting box sets of our very own to take home. Sadly, the Colette box set whose models most interested me was not in stock at the time, though I am now thankful for the fact - I was not ready for her then, and I am still not ready for her now! There was still plenty that was interesting, however. The shopkeeper seemed a bit surprised by our choices, because the Arcanists aren't very popular at that particular location. My husband had picked out Marcus to start with, and I (for the love of stripey socks and all things winter) had chosen Rasputina.

Now, I just had to learn... everything.