Prepare for the most epic of battle reports ever to be caught on poorly taken photos…
NB! It’s a bunch of pictures, so if you’re surfing from 1995, you might want to reconsider.
This is a story about two gentlemen and a worn Internet expression.
One dark evening within the cold confines of cyberspace, the two formerly mentioned gentlemen were debating upon the many cracks and nooks of wargaming. Chilly as it might be on the waves of data traffic, the gents, however, did not freeze – such was the fiery passion upon which they jibbed and jabbed at each other regarding the concept of ‘Cheese’.
As the men debated, other distinguished colleagues gathered around, and as such the rate at which the loaded words were shot between the two gentlemen increased. Proverbial arms began to flail, metaphorical hats were thrown on the ground and stomped upon to emphasize the importance of the subject at hand. The first of the gentlemen stated boldly: “Balls! I’ll show you proper cheese! I shall challenge you to a battle of the mind and wits alike, a game of Malifaux, and hear ye, nay – Fear ye! For I shalt bring a list of such level of cheese that none of your models shall be left standing!”.
Aghast, the second man twirled his long moustache in anger. He cannot let this slip, and by the honour of his fez and non-nicotine pipe, he shant just accept his adversaries challenge – He shall raise it! The gentleman scoffs mockingly and lets one of his silk gloves fall to the ground. “Hah! Bollocks! I’ll cheese so badly you won’t even lose a single model!”. This fact somewhat confuses both parties involved, but it sounded about right. As such, both agreed to meet up at dusk of the coming night, loaded braces of carrying cases. Clash of the titans, WWF of miniature wargaming was at large, and the world would tremble as the behemoths of gentlemanny gaming would have at each others throats like rabid juggernauts…
A Malifaux Battle Report, or Don’t touch my junk
A new introduction, our scene of conflict takes place in the slums of Malifaux. It’s a dark and foggy night. Our viewer can just barely notice the scared urchins hiding between scraps of paper and assorted junk in the periphery of our outlook. The camera pans out. Something seems amiss in the otherwise so calm, thick Malifaux aire. Something is disturbing the otherwise so calm, albeit a bit malicious, scene.
The camera pans out even more, and the viewer can now see most of the city block. Close to an old, partially destroyed brick house, something’s gleaming. The viewer can almost feel the importance of the gleaming object through the screen, even though they cannot make out exactly what it is. The camera zooms in on the object in a wide arc, granting a partly panoramic, partly dizzy, descent on the illuminated mystery object. Just as we start to make out what it is, something pulls the attention of the camera, and it quickly spins away from the object, focusing on a grizzly discovery groaning not far from it.
We see a slim, scantily clad woman trying to heave herself up from a manhole in the ground, but it seems as if she is stuck, halfway up. It doesn’t feel right, and the viewer awkwardly looks at his fellow viewer to the left. They both exchange confused looks before once again refocusing on the screen. The low, guttural moan doesn’t fit the slender, attractive and frail looking stature of the woman. It sounds a bit like she’s in pain. It’s not until the camera closes in just slightly on the woman that the viewers realize that she’s not in a manhole at all. She’s just missing her lower body, and she is helplessly trying to claw her way from wherever she is. They wonder where she would go if gravity and her arms would let her. Either way, she should definately not be alive. She is not alive, but yet she moves.
The camera slowly moves around the old ruined house, revealing both her wiggling legs as it does, until it returns to the gleaming object we just recently examined with such curiosity. The object is now slightly more discernable, but it somehow blurs the vision still. It looks like some sort of golden appartus, a cubic looking device with impossible angles which seem to change as the camera closes in, almost like one of those old holograms you can get on cereal packages. You want to touch it. You reach out towards the screen. Somewhat relieved, you realize that the screen still separates you from the strange object. You are not all that certain that you’d really dare to touch it.
With a snap, the camera shoots back, rewinding itself in a rapid slur of motion through the sporadic path which you’ve travelled, and we’re back in the initial introduction scene. It’s a dark a foggy night. And now, you see that everything is not as calm as it initially was. There’s movement. Two separate parties are circling in on the location. You lean back in the wooden chair, feeling the old, rough edges of the seat with your fingers. There’s anticipation. You nod at your partner.
The grand battleground
After a very verbose introduction, the author has already grown bored of writing, and needs a break. Luckily, there’s no need for artistic extrapolations when it comes to describing board setup and crews!
Gentleman A and Gentleman B constructs a table together and agrees for it to be in the slums. After some reflipping (scrap heaps are no fun if noone uses scrap counters), they settle on it being a Foggy slum at that. A dark and foggy slum, but technically just Foggy.
Dark and foggy!
Special Features: Foggy
Gentleman A’s stuff
Strategy: Treasure hunt
Scheme: Eye for an Eye, Sabotage – Eye for an Eye announced
Arcanists Crew – 35 – Scrap
Rasputina — 5 Pool
Fire Gamin [4ss]
Ice Gamin [4ss]
Silent One [6ss]
Gentleman B’s stuff
Strategy: Destroy Evidence
Scheme: Bodyguard (Molly), Steal Relic – Both announced
Ressurectionists Crew – 35 – Scrap
Seamus, The Mad-Hatter — 8 Pool
+ Seamus, Avatar of Dread [2ss]
Molly Squidpiddge [9ss]
Necrotic Machine [2ss]
Madame Sybelle [6ss]
Night Terror [3ss]
Night Terror [3ss]
Rotten Belle [4ss]
At the flip of the cards, the dastardly December cult, backed up by Kaeris and her gunsmiths, set up first.
Gentleman A chose to the gather his forces on an elevation with good line of sight, to better throw out wicked ice magic and the coming wave of rotten burlesques.
The Redchapel gang, on the other hand, chose a more secluded location, and began the battle safely hidden away in the Malifauxian sewers, ready to ambush whomever came close.
Turn 1 begins with a so-called hooker-blitz as the Redchapel Gang won the initiative. Madame Sybelle ran with an unnatural speed not often seen in such a strange creature straight up to one of the scattered pieces of evidence and called her attaché Rotten Belle, whom subsequently destroyed the wiggling limb.
The cult of December took on a more defensive approach, with a Gunsmith moving up in safety across one of the viaducts, looking very inconspicuous as he did.
The ghastly Night terrors flew over and through some houses, aiming to flank the unknowing Arcanist threat.
Seamus, most dapper of crazed murderers, casually strolled up to the closest piece evidence, the torso, and discretely (yet strikingly fashionably) destroyed it. Things were looking bright for the Resurrectionists, but much was still to come!
After the destruction of the poor torso-evidence, Seamus took a moment to stun everyone with his good looks.
Back to the action! The Arcanists advance towards the alluring treasure, hugging the cover of the parapet as they do.
After the Gunsmith and Fire gamin has secured the lower ramp, Kaeris flies up on her steampowered wings, shooting out deadly flames to hinder the Resurrectionist advance toward their treasure.
Molly, being a withdrawn and careful girl decides to take the safe route behind the house together with her pet Necrotic machine, Ponto.
With cold determination (let’s see how many ice-related puns we can fit in here) Rasputina summons howling winds as enormous ice pillars shoot out of the ground to block the other side of the ruined building, which is now surrounded by both walls of fire and walls of ice.
At the end of turn one, Seamus can only peek out between the flames and establish that he’s basically solo versus an entire crew of steaming Arcanists.
Turn two begins and Resurrectionists once again win Initiative. With this, the skies grow dark as Seamus aptly named plan “Operation Interference” springs, and horrible, terrible Night terrors swoops down onto the unsuspecting arcanists, locking them all in a swirling mêlée.
Unfortunately for the Night terrors, the author described their frightening ascent on the Arcanists a tad too vigorously, as the Arcanists respond by turning them both to icy, although ethereal, cubes of slushy.
And after some cleaning up, they are once again free to act. But did it cost too much time, and would they be able to secure the treasure?!
Molly looked miserable.
Both Rasputina and Kaeris decides that Seamus should be kept at a safe distance from the treasure and conjures up pillars of fire and ice alike, effectively separating him from the gleaming treasure.
After shutting Seamus off, Kaeris flies away on a flank. Resurrectionists start to suspect that she’s up to something, but lack the means to stop the steampowered firecracker in time.
Ponto smells a bush.
As a Rotten Belle starts to walk up towards the last piece of evidence, she gets intercepted by a charging Ice Gamin, resulting in some torn zombie flesh and a sad Belle. Sad, but mostly unharmed, though.
Sybelle fills her rotten lungs to let out a deafening shriek, but realizes that the Gunsmith up on the viaduct doesn’t really look that intimidating, and decides to just wander off into the sewers.
Molly looks like a sad, sad little creature.
Empowered by Molly’s invigorating spells, Sybelle runs up from her sewer hole, up to the last piece of evidence, much to the awe of the Arcanists, not having anticipated such a fast piece of bald zombie goodness.
After smashing through a pillar of ice, Ponto and the Fire gamin lock horns, while the Gunsmith takes the opportunity to grab the treasure right in front of his Dapperness Seamus nose! This calls for retaliation!
Seamus puts two fingers to his lips and lets out a high pitch whistle, causing the Rotten Belle to wake up. She turns her attention away from the ice demon and calls helplessly for the Gunsmith.
The pillars of flame and ice start to spread even further across the battlefield as Rasputina decides to take matters into her own hands. She once again blocks the pathway between herself and Seamus with solid walls of ice, and speeds up to the treasure. Somewhere inbetween, Ponto somehow downs the Fire gamin, whom explodes in an impressive manner.
To block Madame Sybelle from destroying the final piece of evidence, the Gunsmith on the platform charges her, inflicting minor damage with his special-design silver bullets, but more importantly stopping her from destroying the last of the wobbling legs.
After a quick hiss a loud explosion rings across the battlefield as Kaeris TNT’s the old brothel that Seamus was aiming do establish as his new hideout once the battle was over. Curses!
So he dashes up on the second floor and jumps down on the unsuspecting ice queen!
“You’re making me dapper…you wouldn’t like me when I’m dapper!”
Full of dapperness, the suave Resurrectionist transforms into a giant hulk, much to Rasputinas dismay!
How will this drama end?!
Turn five approaches, and things are looking more grim for the Arcanists…
So Seamus pulls again…
…And again, managing to snatch the relic from Rasputina this final time!
The camera zooms out from the battlefield, leaving the combatants only as moving dots down on the ground. Like ants, working an anthill. Ants that occasionally shoot out flames in spectacular ways. Static gradually fill the screen. You look around. You realize you’re alone. You’re not even sure if you ever did exchange any glances with anyone else. The screen is black now.
Around here, Gentleman A and Gentleman B decides to call it, with a victory for the Resurrectionists.
Total losses: 2 Night terrors, 1 Fire Gamin – Very cheesy indeed! Or was it cheeky?