10 July 2011

Freikorps run in with the Guild [Malifaux]

My Freikorps had their baptism of fire this Friday and here's the battle report from a very brutal game.

35 Soul Stone limit per side

The Guild
Pertida
Francesco
Santiago
2x Witchling Stalkers
Abuella
2x Guild Guards

Main objective:
"Treasure hunt". Retrieve the treasure and bring it back to the Guild deployment zone.

Secondary objectives (announced):
"Hold out", to prevent enemy models in friendly deployment zone.
"Body Guard"-Pertida, keep her alive.


Freikorps
Von Schill
Librarian
Specialist
2x Trapper
3x Freikorpsmenn

Main objective:
"Distract", prevent enemy master, henchmen and totems to end the game on friendly half of the table.

Secondary objectives (announced)
"Kill Protegé"-Abuella
"Gather Soulstones" end the game with more soul stones in your cache than the enemy.

........................

The game was absolutely brutal and it was also testing ground for 1 completely new crew, the Freikorps. Both me and my opponent had to learn their abilities and tactical values during the game so neither of us had the advantage here. My opponent playing the Guild also had a few new units himself. The Guild guards and Abuella were his recent additions (hence the unfinished paintjobs).

Throughout the game the Freikorps had crazy good luck with the turn initiative. Winning all but the very first and very last turn initiative, so luck was on my side in that regard. I also had 3 soul stones while my opponent only had 2 to be used in game and with my announced "Gather Soulstones" scheme I put him in a difficult position where he ended up gambling that I would not win and ended up using his Soulstones which of course also allowed me to use some.

My first turn playing the Freikorps however did not go very well. Pretty much every unit flipped really crappy cards to hit / to damage so very little was achieved. My Trappers covered the Treasure objective with sniper rifle crossfire at least  to make the enemy a bit cautions instead of rushing straight for it.

The enemy were very anxious about the Specialist armed with flamethrower so they focused all their effort to kill him. And they did. And the poor sod did not even inflict any damage with his "slow to die" action either. Complete waste of soul stones that one. The Freikorps returned the favor by killing one Guild guard and wounding the Witchling stalker heading for the treasure objective.

Following turn Pertida started her fast move down the flank while the Withling stalker picking up the objective and running back towards friendly deployment was shot in the back. The treasure objective was picked up Abuella who disappeared around the corner of a building while a serious shootout commenced between the two sides.

The Freikorps Librarian worked her magic to provide her comrades with extra +2Df and Von Schill jumped at Pertida to lock her and prevent her from running around freely. One Freikorpsman was killed and on the right flank the lone Trapper supported by a distant Freikorpsman saw as the Guild units led by Santiago closed in. The remaining Witchling stalker moved into close combat with the Trapper on the hill but failed to kill him.

Santiago took a bullet lowering him to 4 wounds which just strengthened his resolve and boosted his stats.

Von Schill smacked Pertida over the nose but was then subjected to her nasty "Execute" spell  twice and ended up dead as I had run out of good control cards on my hand and did not want to waste my last soul stone.

The following turn Pertida managed to kill the Trapper closest to her and then run away before the rest of the Freikorps could retaliate. Francesco moved into close combat with the Freikorpsmenn but was swarmed and put out of action by their "Flurry" of close combat attacks. On the other flank Santiago was killed and the last Guild guard moved in closer and put a bullet in the head of one Freikorpsman standing next to the Librarian.

That Guild Guard was soon killed leaving Abuella and Pertida alone against the Librarian, one trapper and 2 remaining Freikorpsmenn. Abuella was chased back to the Guild deployment zone, shot in the back my the Trapper and finished off by the flanking Freikorpsman. The objective she was carrying was picked up and brought out of the enemy deployment to prevent them from scoring any victory points.

Pertida tried to cast "Obey" but failed thanks to the enhanced willpower of the Freikorps in defensive magic duels. She used her last couple of actions in the game to run across the table and jump into one of the buildings in the Freikorps half of the table thus preventing the Freikorps to score any vitory points for their main objective.

The encounter still ended a Freikorps victory.


The Freikorps earned 2VP for having 1 soulstone more than the Guild at the end of the game. 2VP for having successfully killed Abuella. They had also prevented the enemy main objective by hauling the treasure out of the enemy deployment and beating the enemy side objective of keeping enemies out of Guild deployment.

The Guild prevented the Freikorps to earn any victory points for their main objectives as Pertida effortlessly moved into their half of the table last turn. They also earned 2VP for having kept Pertida alive.

Game ended 4-2 to the Freikorps.


.........................

In retrospect, I should have tried to charge Pertida when I could towards the end with my Freikorps standing closest to her instead of trying to kill her. Pertida is pretty much impossible to kill with her Df8. Of all the times I've met her before I have never been able to kill her with any Resurrectionist crew. It proved equally hard with the Freikorps.
She also has brutal combat values and very good abilities and spells. A real hard-ass, and probably why she survived the encounter when everyone else died.

I was sloppy with von Schill but I really wanted to lock the enemy master so that the rest of my crew could join the fight the following turn. I underestimated her combat abilities and she did short work of von Schill with that crazy "Execute" spell.

The game was very brutal, by turn 3 most of the Guild had been killed and I myself had lost von Schill, the Specialist and a trapper. At the end of turn 4 it was pretty much my endgame survivors against Pertida and Abuella. The Freikorps are an interesting crew to play. The Librarian is a damn good "medic" though the whole crew suffers from a tactical disadvantage.

In order to get the +2Df from the Librarian you have to win the turn initative, which you end up spending on a purely defensive action. The best way to go about it is to activate von Schill and then use his 0 action to activate the Librarian next so that you have at least some damage dealt to the enemy. Otherwise you win the initative and pretty much hand if over.

The other thing is that everyone but von Schill deals really low minimum damage which will be very problematic against units with armor.

On the upside, I found the Freikorpsmenn to be solid and them having flurry was a nice bonus. Locking an enemy with 2 Freikorpsmenn could be very brutal. The Specialist died so I could not evaluate him properly. The trappers range was much needed to inflict first blood, their reposition did not come to any use during this game though. I read that players using the Freikorps include other Outcast models that are good close combat fighters. But I think the crew I played today could handle themselves just fine against most enemies.

6 comments:

  1. Btw, if you wonder why the Freikorps are turned in funny ways in some of the photos.

    I came up with a way of tracking activated models without using any markers. Pretty much using the same system that is in Battles of Westeros boardgame. Models facing the enemy deployment during turn 1 are unactivated. When activating a model they are turned to face friendly deployment.

    Next turn it is the opposite, activated units are turned to face the enemy deployment. Works very well.

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  2. Great write up! Very entertaining.

    How do you think the Freikorps would cope against some of the other Outcast casters? Leviticus for instance?

    The new crew look great btw!

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  3. Thanks, I think they would to well actually. They have a little bit of everything.

    The Trappers get + on the damage flip against constructs and animals. The flamethrower specialist ignores armor. The Librarian ignores armor but not against constructs. And von Schill close combat attacks ignore armor as well.

    It could be hard but not impossible. Would love to try it out but at the moment none of the local Malifaux players have any Outcast crew.

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  4. Nice Batrepo and thanks for letting us know about he tracking. Not familiar with the actual game mechanic (except via Batreps) so I did wonder.

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  5. I keep track of activated models by tossing the activated cards into a pile away from the stack I keep my unactivated cards in.

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  6. That's a good way if you have unique models. I have double sets of Freikorps - painted identically. I painted the 2 trappers a bit differently but wanted to keep the "grunts" completely uniform, and doodling something on the base didn't feel right with this crew.

    But yeah, my opponent has a system where he simply flips his cards to the side once a unit has been activated.

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