Saturday, 4 August 2018

Agram Arena and Black Queen 2018 Report

Two weeks ago I took part in a Malifaux tournament organized by UMS "Agram" in Zagreb. This was also combined with "Black Queen" painting competition. After returning home I enjoyed brief holidays with my family and then started a new job so finding time to write about my experience was really hard.

I played Neverborn, one game with Titania, four with Zoraida. I was too immersed in games I played to take precise notes and take pictures. Anyway, you'll find the gist of what happened below.


Game 1

Deployment: Standard 
Strategy: Ours
Schemes: Guarded Treasure, Set Up, Inescapable Trap, Take Prisoner, Public Demonstration

This was the only time I used Titania. She does Set Up so well that I felt she was a better choice here. Guarded Treasure was another scheme that Titania's crew is good at. I took the Emissary, Mr Graves, Cyclops, Pukeworm, The Thorn, Bultungin, and Mysterious Effigy to bluff Public Demo.
I faced Nina from Croatia with her Lucius (+Jury, 2 Thralls, Austringer, Scribe, some other minions I don't remember). 
I quickly moved up the board, blocked the middle with Pillars, and dropped schemes for Guarded Treasure. Cyclop was a nuisance in the middle of the board while other models were placing scheme markers. Close to the end of the game the was a hilarious moment . The FormT double walked to lure the Judge in for set up. I had high cards in hand so all she had to do was to survive walking through Hungry Land market. It was then that Nina flipped the red joker for damage. Bad things do happen I guess. Titania flew in, placed The Jury next to two other markers, placed the third withav trigger, and secured 3vp for me. At that moment I was leading by a big Martin and let my guard down. Nina took advantage and in the last turn scored 3 points for public demo and one for Inescapable trap. The game ended with my 9-7 victory.


Game 2
Deployment: Flank
Strategy: Supply Wagons
Schemes: Guarded Treasure, Covert Breakthrough, Undercover Entourage, Take One for the Team, Public Demonstration

The T-shirt of my opponent shows true dedication to the game
In my second game I was paired with Matija and his Ulix crew. He had Old Major, Penelope, the Sow, Slop Hauler, Merris, some piglets. Seeing the schemes I immediately thought of Zoraida. I completed her crew with 2 Cyclops, Juju, Iggy, Spawn Mother, and two Wisps.
I decided to get rid of Merris first as I saw her as a main threat for covert breakthrough. I set her on fire with doll/Iggy combo and, luckily for me, she exploded in the middle of her crew. Next turn I launched the Juju missile into the middle of my opponent's crew. He stopped there for a while, which allowed me to push my wagon way up into his half, and push his slightly back with a Gupp I summoned earlier. Juju took a while to go down, he was on his last two wounds and received 3 damage. I prevented and flipped red joker. Next turn I activated the gupp first and killed his pig. I cheated in a red joker for the fuel, which allowed me to summon a Silurid. This also meant that the Gupp was sacrificed and I was able to bring Juju back. In the meanwhile the Cyclops were effectively blocking any movement forward on the flank.

Things are getting ugly

In the end it all came down to Zoraida's activation. She flew into the opponent's deployment zone and forced one of the big pigs to kill Wisp that was my FFM target. I won 7:2 


Game 3
Deployment: Close 
Strategy: Guard the Stash

Schemes: Guarded Treasure, Set Up, Undercover EntourageTake One for the Team, Show of Force

Once again, I chose the same schemes and a similar crew. I basically only swapped Spawn Mother for the Emissary, took one Cyclop, and added one Depleted.
I played against Miran and his TT Lynch with Hyggy, Yamaziko, Lone Swordsman, two Illuminated, and a Beckoner.

Juju missile brings death
It was close deployment and I lost the initiative flip. Miran decided to let me go first so I activated Zoraida, obeyed Juju to walk and charge Lynch. I put some damage on him, survived the retaliation and flurried onto him. Lunch barely survived on one wound and tried to run away. Fortunately for me, I'd used Zoraida's last action to obey the Emissary to walk forward. He walked again and killed Lynch. Next turn the Emissary survived a few big his and killed both Yamaziko and Huggy. Cyclop and Depleted we controlling one stash marker while wisps were hovering next to another one with hungry land marker blocking the path to it. Iggy was burning the hell out of Swordsman and Zoraida kept obeying Illuminated away from the stash marker. In the end she obeyed Illuminated to charge my Wisp and later flew into enemy's deployment zone. I won 10-0 thanks to a combination of good decisions and great flips, I have to admit that my deck was really on fire throughout the whole game.

Game 4
Deployment: Corner 
Strategy: Symbols of Authority
Schemes: Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough, Dig Their Graves, Hold up their Forces, Search the Ruins 

As the only player with three wins and a solid differential, I was firmly at the top after day one. This meant that my opponent would be challenging. It turned out to be Georgi with... another TT Lynch. He brought Huggy, Beckoner, Lone Swordsman, shadow effigy, monk that can remove conditions, Sensei.
I took Zoraida, this time without cyclops (which I regretted later) but with grootslang and Insidious Madness.
This was a very tactical game and we both played cagey. I underestimated Lynch's damage output and he quickly got rid of Juju. Beckoner lured Grootslang away from my crew and Swordsman finished him off. My opponent was playing wisely, keeping models away from potential hems from the doll. Emissary and his hungry Land marker limited his movements. I copied Zoraida's teleport with a Wisp to prevent my opponent from removing my symbol and removed one of his with my Insidious Madness. I killed one of the wisps with iggy to bring back Juju. Juju then killed the monk, which gave me another point.
We didn't get to play all 5 turns but at the end I had three markers in place to score 3 more points for search the ruins and won 5:3.

Game 5

Deployment: Close 
Strategy: Interference
Schemes: Punish the Weak, Inescapable Trap, Show of Force, Take Prisoner, Recover Evidence 

At this point I knew that barring a disaster, I will win the whole tourney. I faced Vinko whom I also played against last year in my last game and it was a hard fought draw. This time he brought Ironsides with Captain, Joss, the mages, effigy, and engineer. I took Zoraida with two Cyclops. Right at the start I blocked the middle section of the board with pillars. Ironsides got pushed forward and took down the cyclop easily. I activated another cyclop and blocked another section of the table.
This game was also very tactical without a lot of back and forth action. I quickly burned the effigy with iggy and I should have targeted the engineer sooner as it would have guaranteed me 3 VP for the scheme. Instead, I burned one of the mages to death.
We had to finish after turn 4 so all I could do was to take Captain for prisoner for 3 VP. Had we played another turn, I would have scored two more points and won but we run out of time. I lost this one 7:8

In the end I was the winner and got the best painted trophy. I also won two gold (single miniature and crew category), one silver (large miniature category) and one bronze (bust) in Black Queen painting competition so I have to say it was a really good weekend for me.





(photos of my entries courtesy of UMS "Agram" club)

The event was very well organized, things run smoothly and the were no negative emotions at all.

After the event we went out of the club to enjoy the pre-final atmosphere in the streets. The game didn't end the way we were going for but the atmosphere in the city was festive anyway. Becoming the second best team in the works was huge, and the Croats were very proud of their team.


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