A Line in the Sand (Malifaux Battle Report)
Another Malifaux battle report for you, and another Resurrectionist-Arcanist showdown.
This time it was McMourning (Steve and I) versus the witch Rasputina (James).
A Line in the Sand
James had put together a rocking terrain layout again. This time a canal district, with a waterway bissecting the play area north to south.
We were to play a shared strategy – Line in the Sand – which featured five dynamite markers spread across the centre line. Victory Points to the Resurrectionists for arming them, and to the Arcanists from ensuring they weren’t armed by game end.
Here’s who the masters brought to the 30 soulstone party:
Dr Douglas McMourning
3 x Necropunks
Sebastian, Morgue Assistant
Essence of Power
2 x Ice Gamin
The Resurrectionists declared a holdout scheme – assuming they’d be able to stop the Arcanists breaking through to their deployment zone (we really didn’t think that through!). Rasputina’s Arcanists confidently declared bodyguard – securing VP’s if they could keep their master alive.
Both sides also kept a scheme secret.
Deployment was standard, and the Resurrectionists lined up first – spread across the table. Rasputina cannily opted to keep her crew together, in a refused flank deployment.
Turn 1 – A Rash Opening Gambit
Disabling and armed objective would take twice as long as arming them.
Unfortunately this sealed the fate of both undead constructs and they were taken down in short order – one being pounced upon and torn limb from metal limb by the three-headed Cerberus, and the other being shattered with an ice blast by Rasputina, channelled through her Essence of Power totem.
McMourning marshalled his crew toward the dynamite over on the East bank, as the remainder of the Arcanists advanced cautiously toward the bridge.
Its parts, he thought, would come in useful.
At least the first dynamite had been successfully armed.
Turn 2 – Tiger on the Prowl
Curiously, it stopped by the clocktower and appeared to drop some sort of device it had been carrying at the base of the building.
Clearly Rasputina had a sabotaging scheme up her sleeve.
The Arcanist ice witch meanwhile continued her confident advance across the canal, pausing only to call on the power of December and summon up ice pillars to block off the alleyway nearest the central dynamite.
Irritated by this development and the early loss of two of his undead creations, McMourning snapped at Sebastian to switch places with him and go arm the Easternmost dynamite.
The Morgue assistant, fearing his master’s wrath, dutifully obeyed.
Turn 3 – Frozen Pincer Claws
The Resurrectionist Doctor had clearly realised that caution was the watchword and kept his minions in cover.
He would only need to arm three of the dynamite crates, he realised, and a standoff seemed likely at this point.
Joss, his twin axes beginning to hum with the buildup of power, crossed the bridge to the south – eager to take the fight to the necromancers.
To the North, Cerberus leaped across the canal and rounded the buildings, homing in on the scent of its next prey – the third Necropunk.
Turn 4 – December’s Curse
The Resurrectionists were surprised by the sudden leap of the fearsome sabertooth and before they could think to act it had ripped up the last Necropunk. Casting about for its next target, it decided that the robust Sebastian would make for a tasty morsel.
The plump Morgue Assistant was not without teeth of his own, however. He revved up his vicious circular bonesaw and charged at Cerberus, grievously wounding it. As it staggered – two of its heads lolling limply – the undead Rotten Belle shambled forward and clubbed it to death with her grimy parasol.
McMourning, knowing that Rasputina could channel December’s magic through most of her minions, took it upon himself to find cover and ducked into the central alleyway. Desperately he tried to summon up a giant Flesh Construct but fate seemed to have turned its back on him and he was unable to call upon his necromantic gift this time.
As he was trying this, a sinister high pitched laughter could be heard on the wind. Bete Noire, drawn to the death of Cerberus, appeared out of the shadows to stand upon the spot where the Sabretooth had fallen. Spying a target, she whipped around and threw a pair of wicked daggers at Joss – wounding him.
Rasputina closed her eyes and channeled more of December’s Curse through her minions, fatally freezing Bete Noire in the icy blast. When the sudden hailstorm abated, however, there was no sign of the spirit of vengeance, and her cruel laughter echoed through the wind once more.
The Arcanist master also managed to summon forth more ice pillars, hoping to block McMourning in the short alleyway. The doctor, raging now at the ice witch’s insolence and his own impotence, had to clamber up a drainpipe to escape this ice prison.
One of Rasputina’s Ice Gamin had remained on the West bank and was now heading north toward the Resurrectionist deployment zone. His kin, the other Gamin, was across the bridge behind Joss and frozen in place – suddenly as still as a carved ice statue.
Turn 5 – Acts of Desperation
The Arcanists were clearly in control of this engagement and, with strength in numbers, had the luxury of being able to wait for the Resurrectionists to make their move.
Rasputina’s Essence of power drifted silently down from the bridge across the water to a vantage spot from which it could draw a bead on the doctor.
Joss, his axes now literally crackling with power, suddenly leapt into action, charging along the canal side to put himself between the McMourning and his objective. As Joss charged, Rasputina channelled her December’s Curse yet again at the doctor, wounding him despite the magical use of a soulstone to stave off the damage.
Joss, in a frenzy of action, let loose with a devastating flurry of axe blows which were too much for the Resurrectionist master to defend.
The Doctor crumpled to the ground in the alleyway, incapacitated.
The dust settles
We decided to call the game here at the end of turn 5 as an Arcanist victory.
While there was technically a slim chance that the Resurrectionists might snatch a result, time had gotten the better of us. And with McMourning down and the Arcanists at nearly full strength, it really wasn’t worth us going another turn.
The Ice Witch Rasputina had yet again proved to be McMourning’s nemesis.
Final score tally was as follows:
Line in the sand (3 disarmed = 2vp)
Bodyguard (announced = 2vp)
Line in the sand (2 armed = 2vp)
Hold out (failed)
Grudge (Ice Gamin, failed)
Hope you’ve enjoyed the battle report. I’ll do a tactical post mortem (fitting for the Resurrectionsist, no?) in the next day or so.
As ever, I’d love to hear your comments, especially if they’ll help me take down that damn witch 🙂