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Gremlins Gameplay Thoughts – Game 2

With the aid of proxies we expanded to a 50 soulstones scrap. I’ll be getting the Kin and Slop Haulers boxes from Gencon so I’m content to proxy these for now.

Once again So’mer took on Misaki. We got three turns within two hours so we’re still running slow. But we’re learning! This post is again capturing my thoughts on gameplay.

First though, we generated schemepool via The Breach. This is a new smartphone app with crew creator, scheme generator and summon cheat sheets. The iOS version is free on iTunes. This was great as it saved on flipping cross referencing and served as a handy reminder throughout the game. Even better the + button reveals scheme rules so you can check detail quickly. Our pool looked a little something like this:

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My first though was – ooh, Distract and Plant Explosives please. Both are good when a crew has a numerical advantage and, in a sense, AP to spare completing the scheme. But I decided that I didn’t want to take both it was likely that my opportunity to go for Plant Explosives would come just when I was looking to lock in my Distracts. I felt that rather than complement each other these would be competing for my AP. I kept hold of Distract because I like giving my opponent the decision to spend 2 AP turning it off. When they are already out activated that AP can be critical. I figured that Misaki would break ranks at some stage so Assassinate would be a good second scheme. I could happily stack the Dumb Luck damage to kill her off – if I could hold a few high cards to get me hitting.

Brief game summary

Already sitting on a 1 model advantage So’mer pressed this home by summoning two further Gremlin bros which were fed healing biscuits by the Slop Hauler. The Skeeters whipped into position to lock down the ranged support. Fuhatsu advanced to cover the centre area while the Torakage dashed into position to lay scheme markers.

Turn two and both sides started pressing their schemes. Torakage set up and successfully planted explosives (a downside of Skeeters dashing forward is that they are wide open for this scheme) while Bayou Gremlins made the most of being Drunk and Reckless and sped out and Distracted some 10T. Lenny tossed some Gremlins forward to start taking control of a 10T table quarter and then Misaki made a play to score her Make Them Suffer point – a long charge at a Bayou Gremlin who flipped the Red Joker on his defence flip and Squeeled his way to safety leaving Misaki stranded… right in front of a Bayou Gremlin and Raphael. The Gremlin shot and through Bayou Two Card managed to draw out Misaki’s control hand. Raphael then unloaded, and with Lenny’s Dumb Luck aura was able to take Misaki down. Which was nice as it awarded my Assassinate points.

Turn three and Francois charged a Torakage and tore it apart. At this point we’d run two hours and the Gremlins were pressing home the advantage strongly. We called it there.

3 learning points about my crew

1. Skeeters. Two games in and these have been my MVPs. They have the pace to very quickly get behind the opposing crew and and the Df/Wp to simply hold their ground. In this game I found that if I can get a Skeeter next to a high value target then I’m willing to spend high cards in order to hold them there. During turn two one Skeeter caught a Thunder Archer and a Wastrel and held them there for two turns while the other caught Fuhatsu, Shang and a second Wastrel. I’ve found the control these models offer really magnifies the general numerical advantage I have enjoyed so far.

2. Only narrowly beaten to MVP status is Raphael LaCroix, the scamp. When he is hanging out with Lenny his Dumb Luck damage track is so impressive, and his mitigation against clumsy self harm really shines. Even at moderate damage he only suffers a single wound – which he generally exploits Dirty Cheater to recover. I expect opponents will look to separate Raphael and Lenny as much as possible.

3. Francois LaCroix was an expansion to my crew for this game and he demonstrated his threat amply. He got a charge off against a Torakage which resulted in a single negative flip for damage. Making the most of his natural Ram he triggered Dumb Luck hoping for a moderate outcome and blammo – flipped a moderate and the Red Joker. He chose the moderate (6 damage to kill Torakage outright) but I had not really considered quite the impact that a Red Joker might have if an elite Gremlin can flip/cheat it. Francois will offer a counter punch if the crew gets snagged in melee.

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First Thoughts on Playing Gremlins

My first run out with So’mer Teeth Jones’ crew was at 4 soulstones up against my regular opponent who was equally trying a new crew – Ten Thunders Misaki. I am tying to limit myself to only using models that are out now, or will be released shortly. I figure that will give me opportunity to try new things as Wyrd’s plastic range develops.

Ultimately Gremlins were able to reduce Misaki’s numbers and press home schemes to win.

I want to capture a few thoughts about what I learnt. Mostly for my own benefit so I don’t forget my lessons learnt.

It became really obvious that there’s a lot of reasons to group models together. Lenny’s aura effects, Slop Hauler’s healing range and even So’mer’s ability to pass round suits – these all encouraged me to bunch up. I need to be careful as blast markers are a worry and it’s very easy to bottleneck movement when bunched limiting my ability to spread across the board and place markers etc. getting the balance right is going to be key.

Raphael LaCroix stood out. His damage track, subject to triggering Dumb Luck, is a threat to most enemy models. And his effective damage reduction of 2 (Armour and Lenny aura) means he is less of a threat to himself than other Gremlins can be. He also has a neat (1) action to push out of combat to keep on shooting.

My favourite element of the crew were the Skeeters. So’mer can take two of these Wk10, Flying distractions. They appear perfectly tuned to locking down ranged support models in melee. They can break beyond the battle line early by moving 20″ in a turn without concern for the obstruction of scenery so generally they will be able to stand next to their enemy of choice. Generally, the sort of ranged support model they will target will have poor Ml attacks – so Df7 is a perfect characteristic. Handily they also have an ability to gain positive flip when they take disengaging strikes (at Ml6) which makes it unlikely that models can walk away.

Of course, Skeeters have obvious weaknesses. Wd3 means that opponent will generally kill them on first or second successful strike. A 0/1/2 damage track means that they are not likely to be killing any opponents (though access to So’mer’s Pull My Finger action helps). But, you can’t have it all for 2 soulstones.

What of the grunts? What of the Bayou Gremlin? At 3 soulstones I suspect I will take at least three in most scraps if only for access to the AP – and they can generate 3AP by getting Drunk and Reckless and taking 2 damage (mitigation of which is another driver to cluster by Lenny). And these chaps have a shooting attack. A rather haphazard shooting attack but the massed threat at range is nice.

So, that leaves So’mer Teeth himself. What did I learn about him? I don’t really know. I expected to be making a lot of use of Git Yer Bro to summon more Bayou Gremlins but found myself clinging to Lenny’s aura and taking Boomer shots augmented by Thinkin’ Luck. With his Bayou Two Card giving him opportunity to take a punt on cheating fate he healed a lot of damage through the Dirty Cheater upgrade. Late game he charged and tore some dudes apart with his Pig Prodder.

Getting the most from him will be critical. I’ve got my eye on the Quality Mash Liquor upgrade. This would give So’mer a role in healing and perhaps keep the Slop Hauler standing for longer. It would take AP away from his attack actions. Or maybe I like Encouragement. Positive flips for the duration of an action will increase the accuracy of key attacks. That upgrade will leave So’mer’s AP available to do more whacking. Sounds good.

If you read this please remember this is my thoughts after one game. I intend to keep this going so I can monitor the development of my understanding. I’d welcome comments if you care to tell me where I’m going wrong.

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Gremlins Update 2 – Bayou Gremlins

Hoorah. Slow going, but I’ve completed two Bayou Gremlins. These were much harder than Lenny to paint and I’m really not as happy with them. The skin in particular feels much more messy to me. But, at least the models are flowing. That’s about 16 soulstones in value completed now.

2 more models done!

2 more models done!

There are elements on the models that I do think were successful. The bare knuckle fighter Gremlin has a jug of moonshine on a rope. I’m pleased that I’ve managed to capture the impression of the jug being half full. And on the gentleman Gremlin I was able to give the impression of the pipe being lit. Nice little quirks to the models.

I’ve also found that photographing the smaller models is much harder with my Foldio setup. The LED strip focuses light from above which creates significant shadowing over the model (particularly those with big hats). So you’ll also see that I found the editing job in Pixelmator much harder – for example, the auto selection tools struggled to pick the edge of the base out from the shadow on the background.

If any has some tips for photographing models in a Foldio setup then please let me know. I found the process so easy with Lenny that I was surprised to struggle this time.

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New Painting Project: Malifaux Gremlins

It’s time to try to get regular gaming again.

It’s time to try to get regular painting again.

It’s time to try to get regular blogging again.

Let’s see how it goes! I’ve managed a couple more games of 2nd Edition Malifaux and it still delivers fun in buckets. But with all the fancy new plastic kits being released I’m envious of those coming new to the model range. So, rather than replace my metal Ressurrectionists I’ve decided to take on a new faction. And yes, they’ve been newly promoted to full faction status. It’s the Gremlins, hurrah.

I picked up the lovely new Bayou Boss box set giving me 8 models clocking in at around 30 Soulstones in value. That gives me a master (So’mer Teeth Jones), enforcer (Lenny), 2 totems (Skeeters) and 4 minions (Bayou Gremlins) which already feels like a lot of painting before I even start to think about pigs.

Mmmm, pigs.

Woah, stoppit.

So this is the start of a new project. And with new projects come opportunities to do things differently. First thing I want to do is document my progress to serve as motivation and document my lessons learnt in painting and gaming.

So here’s my plan – watch me abandon it within weeks!

1) Paint each purchase before buying more models.

2) Use Foldio and Pixelmator to document painting progress on this blog. Good opportunity to improve photography/digital art skills.

3) Type up brief battle reports on the blog capturing key moments of luck and also tactical cunning. Maybe.

Second thing is painting. I want to try something new there too. I’m so used to painting dark, brooding undead stuff. Blacks, dark reds, etc. Dude, these are hillbilly goblins! I want these guys to be bright and bold and almost cartoony. So, dammit, let’s try white undercoat and see if that brings out the zing. I don’t think I’ve used a white undercoat since painting Epic Blood Angels on snow bases (ie. I left them plain white) in 1997.

You know what, you’ve had the patience to read this far. Is there a reward? Well, sort of. Here’s an example of what you can expect from the painting side of the blog. It’s Lenny, hi Lenny.

Click to enlarge.

That’s one painted!

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Flesh on Flesh Action

A few games into M2e and I’m loving McMourning’s play style. It’s great fun to fill an enemy with poison and Expunge the lot to trigger Abra Cadaver and boom… summon a Flesh Construct.

So, it follows that I need to get some constructs painted up!

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Obviously they are a work in progress and I think I need to find a way to introduce some bolder colours. I’ll update when I’ve done all the wiring and detail work to finish these guys off.

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Malifaux 2e

I had a small points outing with the refreshed Malifaux rules over the weekend. And jolly good fun it was too. So fun that I forced some painting in on Sunday.

I play Ressurrectionists. The villains of the piece who like playing with reanimated corpses. In Seamus’ case he likes it a lot.

Over first edition I drifted toward the straight forward damage output of Dr Douglas McMourning as my master of choice. So it seems right to pick up with McMourning in M2e.

I won’t get into the hordes of learning points from the game but, suffice to say, Sebastian died quickly. So I decided to paint him – painted models deserve more caution.

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Ghouls! Ghouls! Ghouls!

Hot jam. I’ve managed to make time to finish all four shaven Ghouls for the Undead Blood Bowl.

I’m not overly pleased with one of them, but I can live with that. My highlight might be the Ghoul drooling gore. I think he’ll end up taking the lead blitzer role and hopefully roll Mighty Blow – he just looks mean.

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That means I’ve now painted three positions completely and I’m not convinced that I’ll need more than a single Skeleton at a time. So, I guess I just need to fill out the squad with Zombies now.

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And maybe some star players.