Update to end all updates

Well it has been almost a year after all…

I honestly cannot remember what I did after my previous update last summer. I don’t actually know where the last year has went to if I’m honest. So where to start?

In July we got a new pet. Buddy the border collie came to live with us and he’s loved every minute of staying here. We’ve had a few heath scares with him though and I don’t think we’ll ever stop getting funny looks from other dog owners until we’ve told everyone about his kidney issues. Trying to find low protein dog treats is next to impossible by the way!

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My brother also married Carla in July and we all had a great day as well as it being great to see all the family, old and new, in one place.

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We also had Vonnie officially graduating from college.

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We also had another wedding to go to with Ross and Pauline getting married on Arran. This was a great day only tempered by the fact the day after we had to pack up the tent in the pouring rain and then spend the entire day in the ferry terminal because the weather was that bad no ferries ran. Thankfully Ross’ parents put us up overnight and we got off the island the next morning on the only ferry that ran. The bride and groom also made that ferry which meant they actually made their honeymoon flight.

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Back in August or there abouts Vonnie convinced me that I should go back to college. I’d spent way to long on job seekers allowance with only one interview to show for it and even that was only for 6 months maternity cover at a college in Paisley. When asked why I wanted the job I said I needed to get myself back into a routine having been out of work so long and with wanting to go back to college actually working in one would be the kick up the backside I needed. I didn’t get the job btw…

So I started applying for places at my local college to do an HND in Computing Science. I’d been doing the HNC as distance learning to try and update my modules from my previous attempts and decided just to go at it full time. It was something that comes easy to me but not necessarily something I enjoy. I was looking for something that would stand me in good stead for getting work at the end of it and not looking any further past that point. And then Vonnie pointed out that if I’m going to effectively retrain I could do anything and should probably find something to do that I was passionate about. I’d been wanting to do a course at the Scottish Agricultural College for years along the lines of Countryside Management or Rural Land Use but never thought of it as an option.

Just before the kids went back to school they were in the drama schools productions of Annie and The Gingerbread Man. Erica loved it so much she went back after the holidays to the weekly classes.

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Findlay won himself a scholarship to a local independent secondary school so he started there and seems to be thriving.

In September I started at the newly renamed Scottish Rural College (SRUC) studying towards an Enviromental Management HND.

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I knew it was going to be hard going. Having been through the wringer at college and university before I sort of knew what was expected of me but having since found out about my dyslexia I had no idea how that would change things. It took the whole of the first term to sort out my equipment and help and the hoops I had to jump through we’re stupidly arranged but the last few days of term one I had a new laptop fully stocked with almost every piece of software id need to help me.

The first year of the course I’m on is shared with the Countryside Management class with a few exceptions so apparently it was strange to have a class as big as ours in the college. With about twenty-two students it felt tiny but then there were only seven of us doing the environmental management side of things.

The first term set us up for what the rest of the year would be like though. Fascinating classes like Ecology tempered by classes like Environmental Awareness and then all the hard science classes where I struggled to remember what I’d learned in school. I only ever studied Physics so I had a grip of that but Biology and Chemistry were tough.

The Conservation Society opened my eyes a little in that it made me wish I was on the other side of the class studying to be a park ranger. Still not going to change over but I think it was this sort of stuff that made me choose SRUC over Clyde College. I didn’t manage along to much after term one but we were cutting down trees, making bat boxes with a local school, who incidentally went on to win an award for that sort of stuff, and dry stone wall building in Galloway Forest. We did feel a little like a work crew for hire at times but it was all good fun as well as educational.

With Vonnie’s involvement with the National Union of Students I started to take an interest. Nothing major or anything like that but I’s put myself forward as class rep unless others really wanted it, they did, and had started trying to get involved in the campuses student council. By term two it turned out that we didn’t have one and despite my best efforts I still havent managed to attend a council meeting. In fact I don’t think there was a meeting during term three and only one if our lucky during term two. Anyway, my involvement with the piloting of the change100 internship scheme at the beginning of the year got me angry about the lack of a disabled students campaign this year which ultimately led to me being voted on to the campaign committee for next year.

Then we had Shona and Dave’s wedding which was fantastic. Being up on Loch Lomond and Loch Awe for the weekend was just what we needed even if the beds were too short for me.

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All this political activity also had me putting myself forward for student president as well. All I’m going to say about that is I loved how much I got into it but it was severely dampened by the apathy present in the student body. Almost noone votes unless they know the candidate beforehand and the fact our six campuses are spread all over the country makes it hard to involve everyone in the process. I didn’t win although apparently going into the last day it was virtually neck and neck with only a couple of votes in it until the eventual winner pulled away. I’ll still be involved somehow but that apathy and lack of understanding how the students association works from all over the student body has made me question just how feasible it is to get enough people engaged to make it work the way it should.

One of the students on my course decided that being part of a work gang for hire wasn’t her idea of extra-curricular work experience so we’ve also spent some time helping her start up a new society with the idea being to work on short and long term projects using all the skills we learn in class. The plan I think is to eventually get stewardship of our own bit of land but in the meantime we’re working to get it established for next year. So far we’ve looked at a woodland survey and had a weekend trip to Ben Lomond to learn a bit of fencebuilding and path maintenance.

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We also rounded the year off with a trip to Ailsa Craig. An hour or so each way by boat and we got to spend some time on the island before doing a trip round it to see the gannets and puffins.

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I have however had next to no social life this last year. I’ve not managed to get any gaming in at all other than a few games of Malifaux with the boys and my painting has taken a back seat to studying. Hopefully I’ll get to give both of them a go over the summer though.

There were loads of other things we did like go to the ice hockey, take part in a CND protest, and the Halloween procession but I could go on and on.

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To the Lido!

It’s been a while but I’m back. With our many situation meaning no big holiday adventures abroad this year we decided once a week we’d do something with the kids. Last week was a trip to Dinoland or whatever its called down in Dumfries and this week we decided to take them to the outdoor pool in Gourock. Needless to say I hoped the hot weather we’d been having continued through today.

Just before lunch we loaded up the car and headed off. I don’t know why by the kids seemed to think we were actually going swimming in the Clyde estuary rather than in a pool and so we started getting asked about sharks and whether basking sharks could eat you or not. They even started running down to the water when we got to the pool rather than the entrance.

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Once inside they loved it though. Or at least everyone with the exception of Nairn did. He took real offence at the water in the pool actually being sea water. So much so he went and sat at the side of the pool for ages.

It’s a nice enough pool and the large one is heated with the smaller paddling pool seemingly left to be heated by the sun. We had a great fun though even if the paddling pool was a little murky.

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Afterwards we headed down to Wemyss Bay for some fish and chips. Its been almost 30 years since I was last there and it chant changed a bit although 90p for a can of Coke from the newsagents was taking the piss a little.

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Then it was down to Largs for some ice cream. We seem to make a habit of stopping by Nardinis at stupid times of the year in and all weathers just for a cone. Today at least was sunny and during the summer holidays.

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The kids are knackered. I’m knackered. Everybody is knackered. Time for bed said Zebadee.

 

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Where did the month go?

It’s been a couple of weeks of lots of Malifaux related stuff getting done and very little to show for it.

Last week a few of us descended on Alan’s house for a game. Alan’s Perdita crew was taking on Paul’s Nico crew whilst my Lady J/Lucius crew took on Mook’s Lillith crew yet again.

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I’ve no idea how Alan and Pauls game went but despite a resounding loss against Mook I’m claiming it as a win. He usually wipes me out by about turn three and I lasted until turn 5 this time and I even managed to kill something of his! OK maybe not a win but a vast improvement.

I messed up my activations and tactics for the first turn and from that point on I was on the back foot. It didn’t help that on several occasions I forgot what my guys could do!

A by-product of gaming at Alan’s though was that I could finally get his board delivered to him. It’s been sitting in my loft since before Christmas just waiting to be sealed and it had to wait until the kids went back to school so that I could spray it whilst they were out as I use the loft for that sort of thing when it’s too cold outside. I had a minor heart attack though as when I’d put the final layer on about an hour before I left the house and it frosted up when I put it in the car. Thankfully it cleared up by the time I got to his house.

I’ve not managed any painting since New Years Day. I’ve tried but I’ve never had the spare time which is annoying seeing as Findlay got the Somer box set for Christmas, I picked up the Hoffman box, and Nairn bought himself Willie. I’m not used to paint queues this size anymore. In fact I’d go as far as to say it was this sort of thing that stopped me painting my GW models!

The main thing I’ve been up to though has been learning a lot of carving plaster and making rtv silicone moulds. I’ve managed to make a Hirst-style prototype for the bricks I need to make my sewer board which I’m very happy with although there are a lot of things I need to change for building anything else.

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I’ve started building what I thought would be a small test building with them. Little did I know just how big it would get and how heavy it would be. I’m only on layer four of what will be a 15 layer building and it’s huge and it’s likely to squash my board panels at this rate!

I’ve also started carving out base inserts for some scenery which I’ll cast in resin once I’ve designed enough.

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Finding a way to make the plaster discs really tested my patience. I couldn’t cut plasticard accurately enough to not look silly and I couldn’t find anything of the correct diameter that I could make moulds from. Eventually I found some buttons that I could form an acetate mould around and eventually make these disks. Now I need to work out how to do them for the 40mm and 50mm bases!

Looking forward to start building up a more varied bases once I get a larger selection of Malifaux themed bits. I’m not sure I could get away with putting lasguns and cracked aquilas on a few rocks…

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With a black bun and a bottle of whisky in hand it’s over the threshold I go.

I wonder if anyone first-foots The Breach?

These last four or five months have sort of flew by. From picking up the game in August/September to attending every tournament I can get time away for it’s fair to say I’ve jumped in with both feet with this one.

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Looking back at games I can see plenty of places where I would, knowing what I know now, have maybe tried something different. In the first tournament I might have played with a bit more reckless abandonment as every model was precious to me back then. At the Clovers Pact team tournament Alan and myself hd almost no synergy on the table. Sure we worked out tactics together and tried to take models to compliment each other but in almost every game we ended up effectively playing as two separate crews. I was a one trick melee monster that couldn’t actually get into melee have the time and we suffered for it.

I’ve almost always practiced route one troop movement on the table to get me within striking distance but never had enough cover to successfully do it. I’ve based crews around a single model and then just filled it out with models I don’t know how to use just to get a crew to the desired size and taken models to tournaments without even reading their stat card never mind played a game with them. I’ve chose schemes almost at random just because I haven’t got a clue what half of them actually require and end up with completely the wrong schemes for my opponents such as Raid against Ressers.

I’m learning though. All be it slowly.

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The two things I’ll take from these first few months is the social side of the game and the worst move I’ve been part of to date.

It’s the one thing that terrified me about going along to tournaments as I’ve played in environments like that before and hated every minute of it. Nobody chats and everyone is serious. People going nuts because you interrupt them to ask a question about their army because that has put them off. I don’t like social situations at the best of times but I run away from things like that! Except it was nothing like that. Everybody has a laugh and it’s the first game where I’ve had opponents say “Are you sure you want to do that?” in a tournament setting and then talk you through something that might actually work if the cards are right.

The worst move was when Alan and myself spent a good five minutes trying to work out exactly how we were going to take out the Steamborg that we needed for some VP’s. We knew we’d need to move Lady Justice out of the Papa Loco’s blast radius and we worked out what everyone else would have to do and what order our activations would need to be. And then Alan Leroy Jenkinsed Papa up the table first and I ended up adjusting where we moved him to. We completely forgot about the activation order and blew him up wasting half our force in the process. We got the VP’s thanks to that move but I think I ended up with only LJ and a Stalker after the dust settled as the Judge was at ground zero and we had an Austringer in the trees just on the edge. We didn’t kick ourselves. We didn’t moan about it. We laughed for the rest of the day about it. In fact it was that moment where I fell in love with the game. It’s moments like that which you remember and it was just so fitting for the character of Papa Loco.

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So where am I going this year with Malifaux? It’s possibly going to be another year of very little money to spend on the game so apart from the occasional splurge on something to paint rather than play I’ll be sticking to the Guild for 2013 I think. I’ve picked up Hoffman’s box set over Christmas to round out my choice of Masters a little and I’m intent on getting McCabe at some point but aside from a couple of constructs I really only want to pick up some Austringers and Rifleman to use with Lucius. I might pick up a few Ortegas but I can’t see me picking up Perdita or her whole family.

As for the tournament side of things? With both Barry and Dave planning on running one per month I’m hoping to get a few more games in. My only issues are going to be that I can’t do Barry’s Sundays without a lot of help from my parents as with Vonnie working I need to find childcare and Dave’s tournaments are becoming that popular that he’s booking them out within hours of them being opened up for registration. Thankfully Barry’s gaming location seems to be able to hold the entire West Coast Malifaux scene and then some so as long as I can make it I should be able to book a few days before the day if I do manage to sort something out for the kids.

Out with the actual gaming Malifaux introduced me to something that I always wanted to do from the day I first started wargaming. In fact you could probably say it’s bringing out the failed model rail enthusiast in me. I love building terrain more than I do painting and playing the game. I’d always wanted to build my own rail layout as a kid and I’m guessing thats were the enjoyment is coming from. So what does it all mean and whats it got to do with Malifaux? Let’s just say I have plans and I’ll let you know once they start to pan out…

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Tartan Skirmish Radio Ep 14 – Mean City Mash

It’s been said that I’m their only listener of Tartan Skirmish Radio but ever since they moved to Podbean for their hosting their stats have proved that wrong. This time around yours truly is on it though!

Our local Henchmen DKS and Barry are joined by Dave Hamilton to go over the recent Mean City Mash that I attended recently whilst the second half of the podcast is myself, Mook and DKS chatting about what it’s like to be coming into Malifaux as n00bs. When Dave says at the end that he cut the interview short as we went wildly off topic he wasn’t wrong. Not entirely sure where he got the idea that Mook and myself shouldn’t be left along in a room with weapons though…

I should also add that out of all the Malifaux podcasts out there TSR is easily my favourite and it’s not just because I know the guys and go to their tournaments. The style and content won me over a long time ago!

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Mean City Mash Tournament

Ever since playing my first tournament at Spellbound Games I’ve been looking forward to this tournament. I didn’t think I’d get through to any games in Livingston so I thought this was going to be my next tournament and fixated a little on it. Anyway as it turned out I have managed to get through there a few times and have enjoyed every minute of it.

The Mean City Mash was the Glasgow Henchman Barry’s first major Malifaux tournament and it coincided with the gaming clubs Spencer Warner Memorial Gaming Day. This meant there would be plenty of other games going on around the hall to have a look at during down time.

I had to get there first though. Just as I made it on to the motorway as we left to drop the kids off at their grandparents for the day the fuel warning light came on. Nothing to worry about normally but it’s a ‘new’ car to us and we have no idea how far the car will go from that light going on until it stops in the middle of the road. As I got to within 50m of the first petrol station I came across the engine cut out and we coasted into the forecourt. I think it’s safe to say that light gives us about 10 miles! Anyway I just made it for the start of the day which I really didn’t think would happen at one point.

We ended up having 10 players for the day, including Barry to round out the numbers, and with the tables all set up the first pairings were announced and we got on with the day.

I’d struggled to decide on a crew for the day so managed to thin it down to three different choices. With the help of one of the other players who’s name I’ll keep quite as they randomly chose my crew. I aimed to blame any defeats on their choice and had hoped to bring a nerf gun to shoot them with whenever I lost… I forgot to bring it though. What I ended up playing with was Lady Justice, Lucius, Executioner, Scales of Justice and two Guild Hounds.

Game One – Shared Slaughter
I was paired up with David Hamilton yet again for the first game. This time he was playing Nicodemus rather than his usual Guild crews and yet again I was coming up against a crew I’d never played before. I honestly didn’t think I had much chance so basically chose two schemes that I thought I would either have no chance in getting or would possibly have a slim chance with. With that in mind I chose Raid and Exterminate  (dogs) whilst David chose Bodyguard on Nico and Grudge against the Executioner.

On turn one I ran Lucius forward and slingshot the Executioner forward. I was amazed how that worked and spent most of my time shouting ‘WOW’ over and over in my head. On the second turn I took down Dave’s Rogue Necromancy and was building in confidence whilst Nico sat in his corner churning out  more undead. I moved Lucius forward expecting to slingshot Lady J only to cast the spell and find she was sitting just over 19 inches away. Bugger. So my plans started changing so that I could move him back into range and then David engaged him in melee.

Turn three I lost my Executioner, one of my hounds was poisoned and Lucius tried and failed twice to disengage and ended up sacrificing the un-poisoned hound by mistake in order to reactivate. I then failed to disengage him with both attempts yet again. I had been recording everything that had happened so far for this write up but after all this it went right out the window.

By this point I gave up and just ran Lady J forward. I just managed to get her into combat and had hit one of his minions that badly that I think I had a three card positive flip for damage to flip and just as my hand went down to do this Barry called the last card flip. Dave tried to encourage Barry to let me flip as it could change the result of the game but quite rightly I never got to do that. As it turned out Dave won the strategy with 13ss worth of my guys killed against my 10ss of his guys killed. He got both his schemes and despite him killing all but one of his dogs I never managed to catch up with the last one. The final score was 6-0 to Dave oh and he had about 32ss of models on the table at the end. Safe to say it was a walkover in that regard though I’m very happy he didn’t wipe me out like last time.

Game Two – Deliver the Message
Next up was Paul and his Sonnia crew. Despite owning and painting almost all the Malifaux figures he’d actually only just started playing the game himself although he’d demoed it quite a bit for folk. We both took the same schemes, Hold Out and Kill Protegee (Executioner) for Paul and Kill Protegee (Francisco) for myself.

This time I had a bit more of a clue what to do but I still got the timing wrong. I ran Lucius up the board once Sonnia had activated and slingshoted Lady J up aiming for Sonnia in the hope that I’d get within the two inches I’d need to deliver the message on activation. It didn’t work that way though as I was short and had to move her up into range. The next turn Perdita delivered the message first and I used up my two actions to deliver the message and then hit her with my last melee action. She had her inferno thing up though so I was going to take damage one way or another. I hit her with a ram for a negative flip I think and pulled the Red Joker on Damage and then pulled another severe on the extra flip. Fourteen hits took her right down and even a damage limitation flip didn’t save her.

Soon after that the stalkers started popping and setting each other off. Paul took down my Executioner and I took down Francisco meaning we had to make a run for our opposing deployment zones and try and stop each other getting in to our own. Lady J sat in Paul’s denying him VP’s for hold out whilst a hound took out the last stalker and Lucius and my totem took out the Austringer that was running down my right flank.

I’d wiped him out and we both thought I’d won. And then we counted up the scores only to find it was a 6-6 draw. We were both amazed by this and had loved every minute of it.

Game 3 – Contain Power
I was drawn against Barry for this one. I always dread this as he’s the Henchman and knows his stuff and he’s also pretty good with his Lillith Crew. He’d brought the box set with him so was fully soulstoned up which made me worry even more. With Mook playing Lillith I have seen plenty of times just what she’s capable of and I’d never managed to best her in combat. I had a new model though so in for a penny and all that…

Again I pushed Lucius forward but had intentionally placed Lady J and Lucius in the centre of the board so that I could get as far forward as possible with the slingshot. When it came time to move her I don’t thin Barry realised what he’d done in moving Lillith to where she was as we went straight into combat on the first round and by the second round we’d used up all our soulstones and Lady J was the only one still standing of the two. My troops picked off the mature nephilim after that but his tots kept hitting their flay trigger and my crew started falling fast.

In the end it was a 4-4 draw with Barry hitting his schemes I think and myself getting the strategy VP’s. It was quick and dirty and I really don’t remember much about it!

Roundup
I loved the day with my only criticism being that everyone else was too slow! I think my last two games finished up 30 minutes early because we got into it so quickly thanks to Lucius facilitating Lady Justice making peoples day end quickly. For me the day was a resounding success with a LDD record which despite not winning I’m claiming as my most successful tournament result to date. I don’t count the wins but I count the losses! I think I came in 5th but I’ll happily be corrected if I’m wrong.

David Hamilton came first with David McGuire and Mark B picking up second and third. Alan picked up the best painted crew award for his Ortegas and Peter picked up the wooden spoon which I honestly thought I’d be fighting for.

All in all a very successful day of Malifaux!

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The Missing Piece?

I won’t lie. I’ve struggled with the Lady J crew and it’s sedate pace for moving about the table. At the tournaments there always seems to be at least one game where the strategy relies on your crew being fast. I decided to do a bit of reading on the other Guild models to see what I could find to help out with that and it looks like Lucius may be the answer to all my problems.

I’m playing at the Mean City Mash tomorrow and I’m struggling to work out whether or not to take him in my 25ss crew. At his ss cost it’s a huge chunk out of my total and I’m worried that whilst I’ll be able to hit hard and fast I don’t think I’ll have any staying power. I have no idea how to use him though. I’ve looked over his card a little but I’ve yet to actually get him on the table.

Anyway I hate playing with unpainted models so I rushed painting him just in case I decided to take him. I messed up the base coats and layers enough that I almost decided just to give up and drop him in a mug of Dettol to strip him. It would mean I wouldn’t be taking him though. I persevered though and I think I managed to do a good enough job on the model that on the table he looks really good. I might go back and strip him at a later date, maybe when I do my Judge, and see if I can improve him any.

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If You Build It, They Will Come

After talking away on the Society of Scottish Malifools Facebook page it turned out that there were a few folk who hadn’t played in a while, couldn’t make it to G3 on Tuesday nights either and wanted to get back into playing Malifaux. With our ever open arms our group invited them along to one of our games and I offered to host.

It meant I had to get Mook’s board operational and make a few more bits of scenery. I chose the easy route though and just built a 4 part hill and two single hills that can be placed on top of it if we want a little extra height. I never managed to get their second coat of flock or sealed though so they took a bit of a beating.

Anyway Mook and Alan took on Peter and Paul whilst I sat back and got stuck into assembling and undercoating Fin’s gremlins. Alan took on Paul so we had Nico versus Perdita on one table and we had Mook and Peter playing Lillith and Kirai on the other. It’s safe to say everyone had a good time and hopefully we’ll be doing something like that again in the future.

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The Malifaux Anniversary Bash – Worlds at War, Scotland

As I mentioned in the last post I had a tournament to attend yesterday. It was my first individual tournament since the beginners tournament a couple of months ago so I was a little nervous. I went into that first tournament having no clue what my basic crew could do and after switching out the Death Marshals for the team tournament I hadn’t really given them much thought. With this all in mind even after all this time and multiple games I still had no idea how to run that basic boxset.

When I found out that the strategies for the tournament were going to be Treasure Hunt, Deliver Message and Turf War I knew that I’d need a little speed in my crews and with the crew sizes being 30, 35 and 40ss I also knew that I would be basically playing with every miniature I own at one point. The only speed I had was with a pair of Guild Hounds which I’d never tested before and after running almost exclusively with Witchling Stalkers instead of my Marshal’s I knew it was going to be a learning experience more than anything else.

Game One
The first game was against Dave Hamilton who chose to run his Perdita crew against me. Dave always places at tournaments so I wasn’t going to get upset at a loss. I’m used to that anyway what with still never having racked up an individual win. First turn went off easily enough with both of us making our way towards the marker in the centre. Turn two came along and Dave familied up his entire crew, pushed Franscisco in to pick up the treasure and started to pick off my models before I managed to get anywhere near him.

I lost my hounds pretty quickly but as the turns went on my hands were getting worse and worse. As it turned out this prove to be a good thing as Dave was waiting for me to cheat my way down to one card left in my hand so that he could headshot me and kill me off as I couldn’t discard the two cards I’d need to negate it. Kind of helped at that point that my hand consisted of two 2′s and a 1 almost every turn by that point.

Lady J eventually broke through and took out a few of his guys before she was taken out out leaving me with one Death Marshal left. I’d realised that I’d whittled him away enough that my Eye for an Eye scheme was still doable if I could just survive rounds five and six which given the terrain was entirely possible. Then I lost initiative. Lets just say that the 8-0 thrashing wasn’t unexpected but at a couple of points I had hopes off pulling off a draw. All in all a good game for learning for me and Dave even apologised before he started off his family shenanigans. A gentleman if ever there was one. I should have probably held off attempting Break Through until the Turf War game though…

Game Two
This one turned out to be a game of firsts. It was the first time I’d played against Joe and the first time I’d ever seen a Marcus model never mind play against his crew. Other than being a beast master I had no idea at all what he could do or most of his models. I did know what his Silurids could get up to after seeing Barry’s run riot at the team tournament.

I set up knowing full well that the only hope I had of getting anything from this game was using the hounds to Deliver the Message before the Silurids could get in and do it before Joe. Again though with not knowing how to Marcus’ crew works I decided to play it very defensively. Joe had chosen Kill Protegee on one of my Death Marshal’s so I stuck him beside another DM on the left hand side. The hounds and the third DM went on the right with the totem running up the middle. I kept Lady J just inside my deployment zone and stuck a stalker on either side of her with the Executioner just in front.

I’d chosen Exterminate on the Silurids as I knew they were coming for me but I wasn’t sure how their movement worked. In the hope that it was a spell that gave them some of the extra movement the Stalkers would hopefully strand them within combat range long enough for me to clear them out before they could deliver the message. As it was the last Silurid managed it with it’s last action before being slaughtered.

The hounds and the DM mixed things up on the right hand side with Marcus jumping about all over the place. The Executioner moped up the big beast thing Joe brought with him as well as the Gunsmith in the centre of the table leaving Marcus alone to try and take out the DM he was supposed to kill. As it turned out I managed to cheat my way through that combat and the DM managed to activate on turn 6 and deliver the message before Marcus could finish him off.

Joe had taken Exterminate which he failed to do and just missed out on Break Through when we realised that Marcus wasn’t fully within my deployment zone. I chose Raid which was successful and Exterminate which was also successful. Combine that with my last action of delivering the message meant I won 5-4. My first ever solo win and possibly the most enjoyable game I’ve had so far. Everything was up in the air and it took a tape measure to work out the winner in the end.

Game Three
For the last game I was paired against the tournament organiser Dave. He was running an Avatar Ramos crew with Lazarus and the Rail Golem. I was really interested in how Ramos worked as I’m seriously considering getting him after I’ve picked up Hoffman so yet again it was a game I wasn’t expecting to win and I was more interested in learning about him than beating him. That sounds the wrong thing to be doing in a tournament I suppose but not knowing anything about him to begin with I was determined to also work out where his crews weaknesses were. It’s all about learning at this point for me. With that in mind I chose Kill Protegee on his Rail Golem for a laugh and to force him to use it more so I could work out it’s weird mechanics. I also chose Frame for Murder but that was that uneventful I’ll completely ignore that one.

As it was almost everything happened down my left flank and in the end after a lot of battering Lady J took out the Rail Golem and I made what was possibly my biggest mistake of the tournament. I declared a critical strike as my trigger for extra wounds that I didn’t need to kill it instead of the trigger that stops counters being dropped. As it was the Golem dropped six scrap counters which aRamos hoovered up and spat out a large Arachnid onto his sabotage target and a watcher onto the top of the Stake a Claim terrain piece he’d chosen. With one ill chosen trigger choice I’d gifted Dave 4VP’s just in time for the game ending. That’s not to say he wouldn’t have pulled it off without them but it certainly made things easier. That left the game at 3-5 to Dave.

Round Up
So for my first proper solo full strength tournament I think I learned an awful lot on top of that first win. I’m actually beginning to understand my crew and how they work together and tactics are starting to click in my head a little. I just need to hold it together a little bit longer into the third game so I don’t make silly mistakes.

Jonny came first with David Hamilton and Dave Reekie picking up second and third. David ‘Sholto’ McGuire of Malifaux fiction fame picked up the best painted crew and Jonny picked up the best painted miniature. My marker picked up the Best Treasure Hunt Marker trophy after every one voted and that got me one of the plastic Puppetwars miniatures as well. I still think Jonny’s Foodog should have won but I’m not going to argue!

Looking forward to the 2013 season now! Roll on February!

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Objective Markers

*EDIT* It won best marker!

Growing up with Warhammer 40k in it’s first couple of guises the closest thing we ever had to an objective marker was a die we’d place on the gaming board to signify something we needed to get too. We never built up models for them and we certainly didn’t create different models for each and every different objective marker it was supposed to be.

And then I started playing Malifaux and there are tokens and markers needed for everything. Sure you could use blank bases or card tokens but the look and feel of this game basically begs you to make them up properly.

One of our ‘local’ Henchmen runs an additional competition on the day outwith the ranking titles and the normal painting competitions. Every tournament he picks a different objective marker to be used during the day and the best one wins a prize at the end of the day. The last time I took part it was Destroy The Evidence markers and this coming tournament it’s the turn of Treasure Hunt markers.

I’d seen a few tutorials in the past for making fire markers using flickering LED’s and fancied making up a treasure chest full of stolen soulstones that my crew could be confiscating. I’d actually thought of using this idea as a supply wagon for the tournament I ended up not being able to go to so shrinking it down to fit in a 30mm base was going to stretch it a little. I’m not an electronic person so soldering my own together was out of the question but thankfully I picked up some LED flickering tealights in the bargin bin for Halloween recently. The battery holder was huge but I managed to cut it down enough to fit within the 30mm base. After that it was just a case of building the base up enough to hide the wires and I could go about building the chest on top.

I didn’t know at this point that my friend and fellow competitor was also coming up with an idea using LEDs. Needless to say I love his and he loves mine so I guess we’ll do a swap at some point!

http://youtu.be/4K5vM0UXlzg

Years ago I picked up a bag of plaster barrels and crates and I’ve been working my way through them ever since. Unfortunately they aren’t hollow so I had to drill out the bottom, space for the LED and then the top had to be drilled out enough to fit some clear beads into it. I had a slight accident when hollowing it out though and chipped the sides. Thankfully I think I’ve managed to pass it off as damage when the box was opened with a crowbar.

I painted it up and placed it on top of a lump of milliput that was going to hide the wires and hold the battery case in place. Everything looked fine until I went to turn it on and the switch came away in my hands. A bit of a bodge job later and it worked again but it’s certainly not as robust as I would have liked. I’m not a fan of the beads I used as I would have prefered something without a hole in them but beggars can’t be choosers and all that.

It was very plain though. Even with the LED turned on it was very monotonous so I had to think of something to break it up a little. I wanted a crowbar but couldn’t think of where to buy one or even how to make one. And then I remembered the old Space Marine banners from the original mk6 armour. A quick snip to take the main pole off, a swift wave over a lit candle to soften it up a little and I had one very nice crowbar.

I don’t know what it is about creating objective markers but I’m actually getting more fun out of it than actually playing the game at times!

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