Malifaux Battle Report – McMourning Vs Ramos (25SS)
James and I had our first game of Malifaux on Saturday.
I’d played once before and watched a couple of games so had a basic grasp of the rules, though we were still classing this as a learning game. For me, more to get an idea of how the Resurrectionists played, and particularly how best to use McMourning.
James had been prepping an Arcanist crew of steampunk Arachnids and I had spent the week building and drybrushing terrain for the showdown.
So, with the table and terrain arranged to represent the outskirts of a small Malifaux mining town, we set up our forces. here’s what was brought to the table in our 25 soulstone scrap:
Dr Douglas McMourning (Master, 6ss cache)
1 x Zombie Chihuahua (Totem, 1ss)
2 x Rotten Belles (4ss ea.)
2 x Canine Remains (2ss ea.)
1 x Convict Gunslinger (Outcast Mercenary, 5+1ss)
1 x Nurse (5ss)
and lurking suspiciously near the table was a Flesh Construct, you know, just in case…
This gave me a cache of seven soulstones, four of which I converted into Body Parts using a McMourning ability. Leaving me with three for the game.
Ramos (Master, 2ss cache)
1 x Steamborg Executioner (10ss)
1 x Steam Arachnid Swarm (9ss)
1 x Steam Arachnid (3ss)
James began the game with a sizeable cache of seven soulstones.
Let Battle Commence
Forces assembled we set up the encounter by flipping (cards) for strategies. The Resurrectionists were tasked with annihilating all of the Arcanists (4VP for killing all Arcanists, 2VP for only killing the minions), while Ramos was intent on assassinating McMourning (4VP if McMourning was killed)
We then went on to select schemes, each choosing a public one (for double VP) and also a secret one. I declared the Resurrectionist scheme to end up with more models than my opponent, seeing as it tied in with my overall objective anyway, and James declared a Hold Out.
We then set up our crews and set to.
Ramos had set himself up on the North Western edge of the board, by the barn and buildings. McMourning and his dog pack, plus an attending nurse were on the Eastern edge behind a copse of trees. Meanwhile the Belles and the Mercenary Gunslinger prepared to flank around the Southern edge.
Ramos seized the initiative and immediately ordered the Steamborg Executioner to charge forward to engage McMourning. Meanwhile the steam arachnids began clambering over fences and around the back of the buildings on the edge of town.
McMourning, knowing that he might need a heavy hitter, immediately turned on one of his zombie dogs and began dissecting it for body parts which he could use later. The Belles and the Gunslinger skulked around the town border, looking to take up a good vantage position.
It wasn’t long before the fearsome Steamborg Executioner had closed on McMourning’s position, thundering through the edge of town. McMourning, having finished with the hapless mutt, immediately turned his attention to the giant construct bearing down on him. With a scalpel sling he instantly closed the gap and we got to see just how devastating the Resurrectionist master can be in melee combat. With a couple of precise dissecting slices with his scalpel he reduced the Executioner to a pile of scrap and body parts. Safe to say, both James and I were astounded at how easily McMourning had made literal mincemeat of a 10 soulstone minion.
It was time for a different tactic and this time Ramos gave McMourning pause as an Arachnid Swarm leapt onto and overwhelmed him. They were able to incapacitate him and began shredding away at him causing wound after wound, while one of McMourning’s faithful zombie hounds tried to tear the spiders off with its teeth.
Across the other side of the town Ramos was making his way intently toward one particular building in the North East. The Belles tried to lure him down an alleyway but their rotten charms had no effect on the seasoned Arcanist – more machine than man. Instead he unleashed a bolt of arcane fire which incinerated one of the Belles, before continuing on his way to his objective.
McMourning, finally able to gain composure was able to fling off the swarming arachnids and send them the way of the Executioner. Slicing and dicing until they were yet more scrap at his feet. He was left severely wounded however and yet another of Ramos’ Arachnids was scuttling toward him intent on weakening him further. With Ramos nearby, it looked like the Arcanists might succeed in assassinating the rogue Resurrectionist.
Luckily for McMourning however his attending nurse was near enough to rush to his aid, patching up his wounds.
Dismayed by this, Ramos concentrated on his secondary objective of sabotaging a secretly designated building with some sort of steam bomb. Realising his chance to kill McMourning had been lost he opted to retreat from the town. He ordered his remaining arachnid to protect his retreat and also fired up an arcane shield as the Resurrectionists began closing on him.
The newly reinvigorated McMourning put his twisted surgical and necromantic skills to work and brought to life a giant monster of flesh constructed out of the body parts littered around him. This immediately began shambling toward Ramos with single purpose.
Ramos only needed to survive mere minutes before he could make good his escape and, weathering a fearsome barrage of shots from the Convict Gunslinger which left him severely wounded, he attempted to flee down an alleyway. Only to run into the remaining Rotten Belle. The last arachnid similarly attempted to flee, attempting to climb up and over the sabotaged building. Just as it began to clamber away, the Flesh Construct swung out with its Flesh Hook and snagged it.
The game was up for Ramos, although at the final tally things were closer than the death toll might suggest.
We had played through to the end of turn six and decided to call it quits at that point as it had been quite a long game with plenty of rules clarifications and re-reading (as can be expected from a learning game). James was happy to concede that things were probably lost for Ramos, although on VP tally he’d actually done OK. If we played things out, there was a chance that Ramos could have survived – thwarting my main objective – and also I’d completely forgotten to send a minion close enough to his deployment zone to thwart his Hold Out scheme. Though I did have a Canine Remains close enough to straddle the deployment line within one move.
I think we mostly got the rules correct, with the exception of my lure attempts on Ramos – he’s immune to them as a construct. Not a game changer though as all attempts failed anyway.
There may also have been some forgotten options and actions which may have helped the Arachnids overcome McMourning, though it’s hard to say how this would have affected the overall result as I had some soulstones remaining for healing / damage prevention flips if needed.
Tactically there were things which could have been done differently and James is unlikely to charge right into scalpel range of McMourning in the future without serious backup or having softened him up from range. On the face of things McM appears to be a very strong Master for his cost – able to dish out serious hurt (Dissection can inflict 10 wounds, ignoring armour and wound flip reduction!) and able to summon powerful minions relatively cheaply.
Overall, it was a great game and we both learned a lot about how the key mechanics and how the different masters play. I really like the card flipping mechanic which adds a very nice hand management element to the game. Also the crew construction allows for a lot of combos and synergies akin to what you might find in a CCG card game.
Looking forward to the next game now. And also to getting my Neverborn Pandora crew up and ready for action. Looks like she plays quite differently.