Another Saturday and another game of Malifaux using my Ortega crew. Brett was once again happy to throw down with me at Myth Games and this time we used the Strategies and Schemes to help flesh the game out. I played the Ortegas again as they are a fairly straightforward crew and I wanted to explore the rules a bit more and not have to be distracted by learning a new set of units. Brett took the opportunity to play a game using a new Leviticus crew and I think it was the first time he had used the crew.

As before my crew consisted of:

Perdita Ortega — 5 Cache
Enslaved Nephilim [2ss]

Nino Ortega [7ss]
Papa Loco [6ss]
Santiago Ortega [7ss]
Francisco Ortega [5ss]

Brett was playing Leviticus and had the following:

Leveticus, Steampunk Necromancer — 0 Cache

Steamborg Executioner [10ss]
Rusty Alyce [8ss]
Steampunk Abomination [3ss]
Steampunk Abomination [3ss]
Steampunk Abomination [3ss]
Steampunk Abomination [3ss]

Brett’s plan was to use the Steampunk Abominations to summon a Desolation Engine into play and then have that beat the hell out of my Ortegas.

It appears that I can’t count as I somehow thought that I had three Soulstones in the game when I clearly had five available. No biggie though as I was able to get through the game only using one. Leviticus is a very bizarre Master to play and I think this game really demonstrated this as Brett was unable to really pose a serious threat and I think that most of this had to do with him figuring out the synergies and abilities of Leviticus as the game went along.

game start

We set up on a 3’x 3′ table with a deserted Gremlin village inside. Brett flipped and got the Contain Power Strategy and I got Claim Jump. One of the buildings was moved to the centre of the table to act as the terrain piece that I needed to hold. Brett needed to kill my Master and Totem and I needed to hold the building at the table centre. I picked the Bodyguard scheme and announced it to get the extra VP. I figured that it made sense since Leviticus was trying to kill Perdita and this basically gave me points for stopping his Strategy. Brett picked the Soulless Life scheme which required him to have Leviticus killed or Sacrificed four times. He also announced his scheme.

I set up with Perdita, the Nephilim and Santiago in the centre, Papa and Fransisco on my right and Nino on his own on the left. My plan was to have Perdita and Santiago hold the building in the centre and Nino and Fransisco would creating a wall of covering fire from each flank. Papa was with Fransisco to see if he could take out something big or just blow a lot of stuff up with “Take ya all with me!”.

Brett began with Rust Alyce, Leviticus and a Steampunk Abomination in the centre, a Steampunk Abomination and the Steamborg Executioner on my right and the other Steampunk Abominations on my left.

Turn 1 end

Turn one was simply me advancing on each flank and Brett pulling his Steampunk Abominations closer to Leviticus to summon the Desolation Engine. The Steamborg Executioner moved forward to threaten my right flank. Perdita used Obey to get Papa to move forward again and get into position to attack the Steamborg Executioner. I wasn’t really worried about him being lost since even if he killed him, the Steamborg Executioner would take damage due to Papa’s Boom! ability.

Claws v dynamite

Turn 2 started the action. Papa Loco moved into cover and within range and tossed dynamite at the Steamborg Executioner. Sadly it did nothing. I also forgot that the Executioner had Arachnid and so was able to easily charge over the cover and engage Papa. His charge attack took Papa down to three wounds and the Executioner used the additional action from Melee Expert to attack Papa a second time. He was able to get his Decapitate trigger with the paired Executioner Claws but Papa was dead in any case and the decapitation was just a final humiliation. Happily Pap’s Boom! ability went off and damaged the Executioner.

Brett got all of his Steampunk Abominations into a clump and then summoned the Desolation Engine. Santiago moved into the building and took cover inside a doorway to and Fransisco fired at the Executioner and did a minor amount of damage. Perdita then moved forward and used Execute to finish off the Executioner. Fitting I thought.

Leviticus moved forward and used his Withering spell to wound Santiago but sadly this just dropped him low enough that his special abilities kicked in making him more effective with his guns. Brett mentioned that as being a potentially bad idea :-)

Nino dashes to the building on the left to take cover and also place himself to use the extra range of his repeating rifle to cover the approach to the building that Perdita and Santiago were trying to hold. I moved the Enslaved Nephilim over to Nino in order to have the possibility of using Obey to get Nino to fire three times in a turn.

Turn three was fairly quick. Brett was down to four activations due to the loss of the Executioner and the sacrifice of the Abominations. The Desolation Engine double moved forward (causing two wounds to itself) to position itself to attack Santiago and Perdita. Rusty Alyce moved forward into cover and Leviticus and his Hollow Waif moved foward to attempt to cast spells.

Nino used Hunter to pick Rusty Alyce out of cover and was able to get his Trigger Happy trigger on his second shot to do a third shot which then triggered the Headshot trigger. Sadly Alyce was only at 1 wound at that point and was dead anyway.

Leviticus tried to get his Withering Spell off at Perdita but was unsuccessful. Santiago used his additional cb and Damage Twist from “Is That All You Got?!” with Rapid Fire to do six points of damage to the Desolation Engine. Fransisco moved from his position by the side of the building to the cover where Papa was recently exploded but wasn’t able to shoot. Perdita shot and by using a Soulstone and stacking cards she was able to generate three additional points of damage to Severe damage with her Peacebringer to take the Desolation Engine out. Sadly it summoned two Abominations when it died.

Turn four was the last run in the game. Brett and I studied Leviticus’ card to determine what order I needed to take out Leviticus and the Hollow Waif to stop Leviticus from re-incarnating. One of the Steampunk Abominations charged Santiago and drew a Red Joker for his to-hit flip and then the Black Joker for his damage flip. Talk about unlucky. Fransisco was able to shoot down Leviticus and then Perdita moved forward and took out the Hollow Waif (having to use Fast to get another shot as she fluffed her first attack) and effectively ended the game.

To be fair to Brett I think this was his first game with Leviticus and he seems to be a very tricky master to use. I like his crew and the fluff for him but I immediately stepped away from purchasing his starter when I started reading his stat card and realized just how much finesse he needed to play.

I had just as much fun this game as I did in my first and it was nice to start to get a handle on how to plan my actions around the cards in my control hand and also how to use Cheating Fate and Soulstones to deal some really incredible damage. This game also had a lot more triggers being used and also saw me able to use cards from my control hand to Cheat Fate to generate trigger effects.

The Strategies and Schemes really added to the game and it was really interesting to see how the choice of Schemes is influenced by the Strategies in play. Using Bodyguard was a no-brainer for me based on the Strategy that Brett had flipped since it basically gave me VPs for stopping Brett. The Strategies and the indeterminate game length also mean that every game is going to be different. Adding Schemes makes the game even more diverse and when you consider that each player has different Strategies or different conditions if they get the same Strategy then each game is going to be pretty unique. There is never really any reason to have the same-old “line up and kill the other guy” game that some rule systems tend to end up being.

I can’t wait to get my next game in and I am working on assembling the Guild Executioner and the Austringer to try out in a larger game.