Ran a semi-learning game with a Malifaux newbie. He's a close friend and he wanted Collette as soon as he saw her model and heard about her rules. As it was his Bday, I bought him pretty much a full Collette Crew. Today we sat down to assemble them, and give him his first game...
... well I do lie. We had done a Demo game before (2-rounds) with him as McMourning and myself as Perdita. However I called the game early when I felt I had demolished his crew in a single turn, and felt something wasn't right (and indeed it wasn't. I was using the old rules for the Gun-Slinger alpha strike). So he had some experience, and so we began our game with that.
The game took MUCH longer then it should (primarily because I left my Stat cards at home, and he was referencing everything Collette related on the computer) - as well as us both being completely new to our masters (was my first time as Nico). But the result was we loved it.
The setup was basically the dreaded Cophrees on one side faced off by a pair of dead dogs (yup.... good match up there
), with the rest of the crew on the other-side. We were both attempting "Squater's Rights", so we had our eyes on the 5-strategy markers on the mid line.
We both jumped into action. I realized that my Dogs could have done a much better job of flipping the counters given we were starting close (12" in from the board), and that they could have technically walked 6" to each counter, and flipped them all. But I still managed to use my speed to take initiatve.
In turn he made a strong push to get Cassandra into Melee to use her 2-turn Melee-Immunity advantage, where she proceeded to deal ample amounts of damage. He also had his star Master deploy his explosive Doves straight into my tight group of dogs and wasted them - feeling rather impressed of the destruction he had dealt (especially since it seemed my whole crew was decimated). Naturally he was a bit curious as to why I wasn't concerned.
His answer came when Nicodem activated. Using his "Undertaker" upgrade, he used his (0) action to re-raise all his dead forces back as Mindless Zombies. With none of them suffering summoning sickness, they moved on the enemy and clogged up his lanes. They attempted some bites, but their fumbling seemed pointless.
When Nicodem however started converting them into Punk Zombies, things started to get a bit more dangerous. At first (being only on half health) they were attacked and taken down as my opponent suspected they were dangerous (and he was right). Of course he slowly found himself in an irritable cycle of killing enemies that kept comming back - wasting attacks on a seemingly endless wave.
Eventually he clued onto the fact Nicodem and Mortimer were the main threats - the grave-digger producing 2 corpses each round, that Nicodem was using to re-inforce his numbers (and progressively increase them). With Cassandra having done as much damage as possible, she leapt out of combat to go Scheme hunting. In exchange, the Cophree's formed their Duet to take her place.
And it was then I discovered why sooo many players have said to beware the Robot Ballerinas.
The onslaught they delivered to my already weakened gravedigger (who was using Corpse Bloat to accelerate corpse production) was deadly. They then followed up onto Nicodem who was forced to start sacrificing his own forces who had activated that turn to recover his injuries (though in doing so he was almost redrawing a full hand size).
Inevitably by the start of turn 5, when my foe won initiative and hammered Nicodem hard that he was void of Soulstones to reduce the damage suffered and eventually died, that I called game there. While I still had some numbers, it was highly likely with my inability to take down Cassandra (who had Bodyguard) that I was not going to win the game.
I had x4 Punk Zombies, a Vulture, and a Cannin Remains running around.
He had the Duet, Collette, Cassandra, and Angela.
We still took 5-10 minutes to calculate what the result would have been, both parties discussing how they WOULD have played out the following rounds (as we both could clearly see what would have happened) and found ourselves with a very close result.
The Ressurectionists were at 8 VP
The Arcanists were at 10 VP
End result we were both impressed. I didn't hold back, though we both did retrace actions a few times to make sure we were playing things right and getting the order of our combos correct, so I was impressed at his win.
Privately I commented to myself "well.... its only the Beta. She's probably getting nerfed when she becomes offical".
A lil sour grapes, but not too much to say I didn't enjoy the game.
All in all, in has certainly re-kindled my passion for the game. And I also feel Nicodem has great merit for me and my playstyle.
Indeed, next time I may be looking to try to have Bete Noir take Corpse Bloat (given she rarely survives more then one hit usually), as with the undead sacrifices Nicodem does there is a very high chance she will be around a lot (provided she manages to bury herself each round). With her, Mortimer, and even a few more Cannine Remains in place of Necropunks, I could be getting a LOT more swarming happening.
I look forward to giving it a shot.