I'm mythicFOX a UK Malifaux Henchman, tournament regular, film nut, and all round geek.
Also the Malifaux devil, apparently.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Tournament Time Management: So it is written

The M&SU approach Pandora with care.
Last Saturday I got to my first tournament in a few months. Having been out of the game for a while I expected to be rusty and so made the trek north to the 'So it is Written' event in Sunderland with mindset that this was essentially three practice games.

To be honest I was a little apprehensive the night before the event, would I still enjoy the tournament game after so long away?

By the morning this had evaporated though and I was genuinely excited to catch up with people and push my toys around again.

On the table I avoided major blunders, but I didn't manage my time as well as I needed to. Time management in tournament games is a critical skill, and one I clearly need to work on, as it cost me at least 5 VP diff during the day.

With that in mind here are my top tournament time management tips;

The timer I use at events
Know what time it is:  Most TO's don't make regular enough time calls. Get a app on your phone, wristwatch, or a countdown timer for your tournament bag. Set it at the start of each round and check it regularly, That way you'll always know how you're doing for time.

Practice Timed Games:  The week before a big event it's worth getting one or two games in using the timing rules on the day, so you get the feel for them.

Plan for four turns:  You can't rely on getting all five turns into a tournament game, even if you play quickly enough you may have a slow opponent. Plan to be winning at the end of turn four and five.

Think about lists in advance:  Most events give the strategy and deployment for each round in advance, It's often helpful to make 'dummy' lists in advance of the event to use as starting points once you see; terrain, opponent, and schemes. This speeds up crew selection and helps you think about how you want to approach the game in advance. 

This is also the main reason I'm keen for more events to publish scheme pools in advance, but that's a topic for another time.

Had I put these tips into practice at the event as well as I used to do  I would have done better at the event overall.  As it was I ended the event with on; a win, a draw, and a loss with zero diff.

Still that's what I expected and I had a great time; free tea, good company, and three games of Malifaux. What more you could you want from a day?

If you've any time management tips when you're at events, please share them in the comments!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Snow In September

It's time for me to pick up a new master, I've been torn between Colette and Rasputina for a little while. At a deadlock I did the only sensible thing I could do...

I asked twitter to decide for me.

I'm a dumb-ass.

Twitter has spoken and December help me my next project is a Rasputina crew, mostly because there will be more than enough Colette players out there as soon as the plastics hit.  My 'thanks' to everyone who gave me their thoughts on which I should choose and why.

Fortunately I own almost all of the models already, except maybe one model I'll get gouged for on ebay. That said most of them are untouched and unassembled somewhere in the crates for Malifaux toys I have in my study.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.
Currently the only frozen heart in model in my case is the December Acolyte, because he's really fun filthy.

This makes it more a question of maintaining the hobby stamina to do the necessary work and get her on the table and freezing my enemies to death before actual December rolls around again. I am not the quickest of painters after all.

To this end I'm going to set myself a challenge;

I'll win at least one game with a fully painted Cult of December crew before the end of September. 

Doesn't sound like a lot but with other hobby commitments, work and family commitments, I may have bitten off more than a Wendigo can chew. That said what're blogs for if not publicly overcommitting to things?

Right I'm off to play with a big tub of scenic snow and some glitter to see what kind of cool snow effects I can make.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Back on the Horse

I've been playing Malifaux as my main game for over five years now.  Since almost the beginning of the game and the UK scene.  Playing as long as I have from time to time I need to take a break.  The mood will come upon me suddenly and I'll have no motivation to play for a while.

In my experience trying to play through this loss of motivation is counter-productive so I use these breaks to mess about with other games.  Then after finding these games inferior to Malifaux my desire to play resets. That's how it was this time, after a few months inactivity I woke up one morning a week back refreshed and raring to go.

The only problem with not playing Malifaux for any extended period is how quickly your skills degrade.  I've been playing less an eighth of the rate of games I need to be sharp, so right now I'm slow and my moves are clumsy.  I'm in the process of sharpening back up and aiming to be more than competent again soon. 

For the main topic of this post I wanted to very briefly overview some of the games I've messed about with while I've been taking a break and what I think of them;

Dropzone Commander;  This is a really fun game. If you were looking for a 10mm SciFi version of Malifaux this would be it. My only criticism is it's one of those games where you roll low numbers of D6s, and as a result the variance is higher than I'd like.  If you can cope with that though give it a whirl. The minis are a dream to paint.

Alien vs Predator: The Hunt Begins;  I love me some Space Hulk, and this game shares a lot of DNA with that seminal title. It's also got some great ideas of its own, a cool board, and stunning minis.  The deal breaker though is the rule book, which has the quality of writing you'd expect from a free PDF home brew rule set.

It's so bad that I'm actually offended Prodos Games had the nerve to ship the game with the rules in this state.  When I grumbled about this on twitter they tweeted me asking what rules I was confused by, when I politely told them they chose not respond. That's the last time they'll receive my custom.

Hearthstone; As a reformed cardboard crack addict (read MtG player) this one hooked me pretty quickly and suspect I'll keep playing it. It's a fantastically fun and tactical digital CCG. It has some truly elegant game design and a monetisation model I could appreciate even while it emptied my bank account.

That's it for this post. I'm lining up a few more blog posts at the moment, aiming for shorter three to five hundred word posts quickly covering a key topic. So check back soon for some more gaming ramblings...