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.

Malifaux Canal Terrain

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

Zombie Chihuahua
3 x Necropunks
Rotten Belle
Sebastian, Morgue Assistant
Bete Noire


Essence of Power
Sabretooth Cerberus
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.

Malifaux Battle Report - Deployment

Turn 1 – A Rash Opening Gambit

McMourning Makes PlansMcMourning took the initiative and immediately sent out two of his Necropunks to arm dynamite on the west bank, more as a delaying tactic than anything else.

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.

Cerberus Pounces on a NecropunkFinally, realising he would need a more substantial minion on his side, he proceeded to butcher up his faithful little Zombie Chihuahua.

Its parts, he thought, would come in useful.

At least the first dynamite had been successfully armed.

Malifaux Battle Report - Turn 1

Turn 2 – Tiger on the Prowl

Arcanists on the MoveCerberus, the three-headed sabertooth cat, stalked the back streets on the West bank, necrotic gore still dripping from its fangs.

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.

Cerberus StalkingThe 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.

Malifaux Battle Report - Turn 2

Turn 3 – Frozen Pincer Claws

Rasputina on the BridgeThe Arcanists continued to advance on McMourning’s crew.

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.

Malifaux Battle Report - Turn 3

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.

Belle and the CerberusThe 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.

Malifaux Battle Report - Turn 4

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.

McMourning Penned InDr McMourning, realising he must act before it was too late, ducked back in to the alleyway, desperately intent on arming that third dynamite. His Rotten Belle shambled in after him.

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.

And defeated.

Malifaux Battle Report - Turn 5

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:

Arcanists (5vp)

Line in the sand (3 disarmed = 2vp)
Sabotage (1vp)
Bodyguard (announced = 2vp)

Resurrectionists (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 🙂

~ by Max Von Deadlock on March 3, 2011.

8 Responses to “A Line in the Sand (Malifaux Battle Report)”

  1. Great write up again Jon. It kind of appears I had an easy game, but from my perspective it was still very tense, especially when we all converged on the far side of the bridge. I still have bad memories of McMourning from our first game and I am probably overly scared of him. Maybe its the same with you and ‘Tina.


    • Rasputina keeps me up at night. And not in a good way!

      I’m going to compose a post with a tactical review, but I really struggled with the idea that if we ever stepped out into the open we were going to be toast.

      Probably the numerical advantage and initiative flips contributed to the WMD that is Rasputina being able to hold back to the end of the turn.


      • I’ve been thinking about your Ressers vs Rasputina problem. Some ideas:

        – lots of dogs for numerical advanage. Against Tina, don’t kill them for parts; the Flesh Construct is probably not much use vs Tina anyway

        – Lure the Gamins with your Belles so they are more than 6″ from Tina. On her own she only has a 10″ range, and if she has to expend actions to get back in range her damage output obviously drops.

        – I think having no ranged capability made things much much harder for you. Swap out Bette Noir for Convict Gunslinger? This would also help on the numerical advantage front.

        – alternatively use a Shikome (? – harpy thing) to get in close, do some damage, then turn into Bette to finish the job if/when Tina kills it.


  2. Terrific batrep, and I love the terrain. I am off to take a look at the rest of the blog, now 🙂


    • Cheers Sholto. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy what you find on here 🙂


      • I have added your blog to my Google Reader subs. Really enjoying your painting and batrep posts. The shading on Baby Kade is a bit of a revelation – I will need to get me some of that colour wheel! 🙂


  3. […] Tomorrow – I’ll be playing Malifaux with James. Not sure which factions to take along with me but I am tending toward a celebratory outing with Pandora. It will give me the excuse to get some more paint on Teddy tonight. Maybe I will assemble and undercoat some Stutched Togethers and/or Coppelius for some more variety. James puts together a nice terrain layout with his impressive Papercraft skills on display (you may have seen my reports of our previous games here and here) […]


  4. Great battle rep, really well put together 😀 Cheers 🙂


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