Ain't It just my luck to be in the same goddam shanty town as a Carver sighting on All Hallow’s Eve. With the Neverborn massing to boot! I’ve tried reasoning with Ironsides that Union business takes precedence over this. We should find the renegade and extract him as soon as possible, let the Guild handle this problem. But the crazy bitch wants to test her mettle and our safety be damned!
If I survive this, I’ll be sure to make my feelings on the matter known to the boss! If I don’t, may my soul forever haunt her nights!
- From the journal of Josephine Evelyn Ness
Last week I played my first game of Malifaux since Vapnartak against Ben, for whom it had been even longer. I used the opportunity to start my Arcanists, in this case Ironsides, and Ben took Collodi as he'd been wanting to use his fully painted crew for some time.
As it was nearly Halloween when we played, we decided to play the Night of the Carver scenario from the Crossroads book. Neither of us have enough experience to know how balanced the scenario is, but it was more about playing a game and getting back in to the swing of the mechanics after so long out of it.
The Strategy for the game was for me to score 1 VP per turn if I was able to kill or sacrifice at least 2 of the opposing crew, and for Ben, he was required to flip a card to determine his conditions. In this case he flipped a Ram meaning that he would score 4 VPS if he killed either a Henchman or the Leader. We weren’t too sure if we were supposed to determine schemes or not, but we decided not to.
I must admit that I did feel a bit bad with my crew selection as it was geared entirely to damage outpost, and as I took Johanna as well as the Captain, I had two Relic Hammers to use against an almost entirely construct crew. Truth be told I had considered taking Taelor for a third Relic Hammer, but in the end I decided that I would rather use a Gunsmith so that I could return to the idea of creating a running narrative for my games by including Josephine Ness (I didn't name her before so will have to write a bit more info about her elsewhere).
After a slow first turn of trying not to kill anything for as long as possible, but at the same time be on the verge of killing many, I finally finished off the model Ben had designated to be Carver’s Sacrifice, and Ben was excited by his arrival as it meant he could unleash carnage with him almost immediately. It wasn’t to be however, as I had 1 AP remaining on the Oxfordian Mage that had caused the Carver to be summoned, and although I flipped a Black Joker for damage, the appearance of that card meant that Carver became my model to control before Ben even got a chance to use him!
That pretty much summed up the game. Every time a Joker was flipped giving Ben control, another was flipped before he got any decent use out of him.
By the end of turn four I had managed to flip Carver back to my control and then wipe out Ben’s crew meaning that with no more card flips needed, Ben couldn’t kill The Captain nor Ironsides to take the victory, though that said, he had managed to do enough damage to them throughout the game that had he control of Carver for even just one activation longer, he’d have killed either of them with ease and AP to spare! I think to add insult to injury, it was his attempt to gain reactivate with Carver that caused this (the Carver player may flip four cards to gain the condition, thus increasing the risk of flipping a Joker and giving Carver to your opponent)
The result of the game was 2 VPs to Nil in my favour, but to be fair, had there been schemes in play, I doubt that I would have won, and in any case it was hard fought as it was.
It was good to play the game after so long, and as for once it wasn’t a tournament game I was able to take a bit more time to make choices, and given it was a new faction for me to play, that was a godsend. I did enjoy the way the crew played, but saying that, as I said before, while it excels at damage, it is rather lacklustre at dropping schemes or similar. I need to have a bit of a think what I want to swap out and in to try and mitigate that issue without diluting the hitting power too much. Whilst Johanna does at least have Finish the Job, I don’t really want to depend on such an expensive model dying in order to gain just one scheme marker.
I suspect eventually I will need to go to a second master to achieve a more scheme orientated force, but to start with I want to stick with Ironsides to get to grips with how to use her.
Josie didn't make too much impact in the game, though I think she took down a wicked doll or two. But that's all fine as I don't want her to be all powerful anyway.
I don't know what was more disturbing, the sight of The Carver, or how quickly it turned on its own kind. We barely took a scratch. Ironsides and The Captain took a beating, and Johanna went down, but all will pull through.
I can't help feeling that something else was at work. I give thanks to whatever or whomever watched over us tonight, but I worry for the debt that such protection has cost us.
- From the journal of Josephine Evelyn Ness