After four hours on the road we landed at the obligatory travelodge with obligatory frightening night desk guy. Tonight's special guest had this uncanny valley joy about him, like he was feigning human emotion until it was time to kill again. Fortunately the hotel room was comfortable and with all the spare furniture stacked against the door I got something resembling sleep.
Next morning we arrived at the venue to discover the place was a quaint old stone building, which turns out to have been an nine-hundred year old leper hospital. Surely good news for the Resurrectionists among us. Inside the Malifools and other regulars who'd made the trip were gathering and we got caught up ahead of a frantic days Malifaux.
The day was fixed master, so I'd opted for my main man Ramos. I actually wound up using the same models in my lists all day with slightly different upgrades and soulstone pools; Ramos, Electric Creation, Joss, Miss Step, Johan, and two Molemen.
Johan has replaced the second Rail Worker in my routinely used pool of models. The power of Rebel Yell to remove conditions, on both friendly and enemy models with ease is too strong to overlook. Plus he's no slouch in melee and can ruin Flesh Constructs, which seem to be heavy in the meta right now.
Twenty-two players arrived for the event, large one day events are always a logistical challenge. Do you go for three or four rounds? Three gives you enough time to comfortably time the games, four leaves you pushed for time but leads to a cleaner result on games. The winner is usually on TP at four rounds and VPD at three. Lee, who was TO'ing the day had opted for four rounds which meant we were going to be moving through games at a fair old pace. For the record there's no right answer here, it's a difficult balance.
I originally typed a rundown of my games here, but when I read it back it was very long and very boring, so I've edited it out. I'm going to talk about something else instead.
|One of the Bendyboards used at the event.
At the end of the second round I was on two wins, putting me in the top bracket on points. However my VPD, the difference between mine and my opponents victory points totaled, was the minimum possible for a player with two wins; +2.
This meant I was low on VPD and may be paired down to play someone on one win and a draw, or
at the very lease would be playing at the lower end of the players with two wins.
This also led to there being effectively four scenarios for me following the outcome of round three;
- If I lost the best I could hope for is fourth place.
- If I drew the game I was on track to end the event on the podium in second or third.
- If I won big I was on track to win or podium the event.
- If I win small I can only come first or finish fourth place or lower, second and third are out of bounds.
This led me to a conclusion, I need to work out how to 'win big' in Malifaux. As things stand my win rate is sufficient and I'm happy with that, however I'm only winning an average of two points a game. Which is fine at events where you can reach the top of the pile by winning games alone, but in most events you need a good VPD to get to the top.
So I'm going to dedicate some hobby time over the coming weeks to understand how I can 'win big' in games. Which I appreciate is a nice problem to have. I think this will be connected to being more aggressive and changing my builds to focus more on scheme marker removal.
At any rate I managed to score a 7-4 win in the final round, in a riot of a game against Malifool Mike Marshall's McMourning crew, try saying that after a few drinks. This gave me the full four wins and was enough to put me in first place and net me a shiny new bendy board to take north with me.
Ant made it into second place with three wins and a draw, followed by UK number one ranked player Joel Henry in third.
I had a fun day, everyone was welcoming and all my opponents were great people. Big thanks to Lee for running the event, everything went smoothly. Plus there was free tea all day, a privileged a may have abused.
I have another tournament, Halifaux, on Sunday this week and more in the pipeline after that so it's shaping up to be an interesting start to second edition.