Malifaux Nationals 2016 part 1

Last weekend was the 2016 Malifaux Nationals tournament – the ‘Grand Tournament’ if you will for the Malifaux community.

The tournament was run at Battlefield Hobbies in Daventry, a relatively new gaming venue, which opened this year. This was the first time I had been down to the venue and I was impressed, there is a well stocked shop with a variety of historical and fantasy games, including Bolt Action, Flames of War, Malifaux and the usual Games Workshop products. As well as the shop there is a sizeable gaming area out the back, consisting of a hall with a mezzanine level above it.

The Battlefield Hobbies gaming area, full to the brim with Malifaux players

This weekend there were 124 players battling it out for a share of the glory, I didn’t have much confidence going into it, as I haven’t played much Malifaux (if any) in the past 6 months – too many other games to play! but I was looking forward to catching up with everyone from the scene. The Malifaux scene is one of the friendliest scenes I’ve been involved with, and everyone makes sure they are there to have fun first and foremost. We had also planned a night out in Northampton – which TBH was one of the major draws for going down 😉

In the weeks leading up I was struggling to decide on what faction/masters to take along, this tournament had a few different ways you could play:

  • Fixed Faction – The standard way to play Malifaux, you declare one of the 7 factions available and you can then switch between any masters in that faction.
  • Fixed Master – An alternative way of playing, where you select one master for the entire tournament, but can select different crews to go with this master, in this case you could switch faction in the case of dual faction masters.
  • Trinity – Three fixed lists with three different masters, each list must be from a different faction and must be used at least once during the seven games.
  • Fixed List – For the masochists out there – submit a fixed master with a fixed list which must be used in all games with no changes.

So there was quite a variety, my initial thoughts were to use Arcanists as they were my first faction way, way back when first edition Malifaux came out, I was planning on primarily using Ramos and Colette, giving me options for several different strategies and schemes. However as it got closer to the tournament I realised I hadn’t had enough practise with either of these masters, Colette especially having lots of tricks to try to remember – so to keep things simple I decided to go fixed master with one of my favourite masters – Perdita and the Guild.

I even made a T-shirt

When Malifaux was first released there were always cries of ‘Perdita is broken’ mainly due to her damage output and her high defence, but as the game has progressed the amount of ‘tricks’ from other masters has reduced her down the pecking order and lots of players regard her as a bit of a ‘noob’ master. I like the amount of mobility and damage a Perdita crew can output, with Francisco, the enslaved nephlim and austringers Perdita can advance up the board quite a way before she activates, giving her more chance to use her 14″ range pistols to cause maximum damage, also Francisco giving her +2 Df and WP is always good, making her a mighty DF9 and WP9!

My standard Perdita build normally consists of the following models:

  • Perdita herself – normally with Badge of Office and Trick Shooting upgrades, Trick Shooting allows her to ignore armour or cover – enabling max damage from her shooting/melee attacks and Badge of Office because even with Df7/DF9 she still only has 10 wounds, and a big attack getting through can really spoil her day.
  • Francisco – the only other family member I normally use, he’s Perditas right hand man, sticking with her and boosting her DF/WP as well as allowing her to push towards him and doing some nasty melee damage as well. He comes with the Wade In upgrade, because it might as well be on his card – Hard to Kill and a (0) heal is just golden.
  • Enslaved Nephlim – Perditas totem gives a lot of mobility to the crew, allowing friendly models to push towards other friendly models, regardless of LOS – couple with a trap or pathfinder and the crew can get towards the middle of the board quickly.
  • Lone Marshall – some mobile shooting with built-in positive attack/damage flips – very useful to get around cover, his push also stops him getting caught up in melee
  • Guild Austringers – Long range (18″) no LOS shooting is great, but his Deliver Orders action is probably even better – giving friendly models extra pushes and allowing them to perform interacts for free – very useful for schemes such as Cursed Object
  • The rest of the crew is made up of either dogs, witchlings, watchers or occasionally another enforcer depending on the strategy/schemes in play.

So, the decision was made, bags packed and after an early start we headed down the M1 towards Daventry and potential glory.