Friday, March 6, 2015

Malifaux Tourney Primer Part 2: Tools of Conflict


As the date of my first tournament looms closer and my excitement builds, I take a look at my checklist. More than just making sure your ready for the game mentally, like I discussed last time, there are plenty of other things to do in order to make a tournament go as smoothly as possible.  At its base, Malifaux tournaments require 2 things: models and cards. The truth is you actually need a bit more than that to be prepared. So here's my checklist as I count down the days to seeing just how tournament ready I am.

Measuring Tools
Not specifically Malifaux, but gives you an idea.
In almost all miniature games some sort of measuring tool is required. Malifaux is no exception. Most of the time these can be acquired cheaply at any dollar store or hardware store. There are specific ones made by hobby companies, I have a galeforce 9 measuring tape. Regardless, you will need something. There is a growing trend towards using pre measured widgets, especially for the small, standard things such as 1,2 and 3 inch engagement ranges. I have a few left over pieces from my warmachine days, but there are a few companies out there who sell them specifically for Malifaux.

Dry Erase and Tokens
Make sure you have a good dry erase marker for keeping track of wounds on your cards. I write conditions down on the cards as well, but many use tokens of some sort for various purposes: Conditions, Marking activated models, etc. These can be as simple as glass beads at the dollar store or you can get creative and make your own. Using a thick stock paper and printing some small condition tokens is an option that takes up small amounts of space with less weight too. Remember you have to drag all this stuff around so keeping things compact is always good.

Tournament Tray
This is a new trend that I approve of when heading to a shop for games. Mini games take up tons of space and everyone is bringing their cool carrying bags full of models. Depending on your LGS, the space might be limited. If you know what models you are bringing and don't want to lug around or run back to your bag between every round, a tournament tray isn't a bad idea. These can be as cheap as gluing a magnet to the bases of your model and using a cookie sheet, or some of the neat laser cut trays out there for sale. These display your well painted models for others to ogle and make it much easier for you to just grab the ones you want without digging through your bag for 30 minutes. This is especially important for Malifaux where you don't always nail down your list before you get to the table.

Scheme/Corpse/Scrap/etc Markers

Malifaux requires a lot of markers on the table. Most of these are 30MM size, though some are larger. There are cheap ways to create them, print from a template online or buy some cheap 30mm bases from your LGS. I suggest you get a bit creative though and make sure that at least your scheme
These are the ones I made, quick and easy.
markers are customized even just a little to make sure they are separate from your opponents. I have some cheap 30mm bases and glass beads that I have painted simple symbols on. Flag for scheme, Skull for corpse, Gear for Scrap, and a web for Widow Weaver's nasty web markers. I also have some 50mm bases that I have printed some lovely fiery explosions and glued them down for blast markers. Remember to look over all your cards and decide what you need before you take off. You are responsible for all the markers you need. Playing Raspy? make some quick Ice Walls. Playing waldgiests? print some quick forest themed circles off. You can even get creative and impress your opponents with neat looking accessories.
Note: I would bring 8-10 scheme markers with you, as you want to make sure you have enough. If you want to play Line in the Sand and Breakthrough you could end up short on makers and stall the game while you look for more. Caveat: you might even need more if you are worried about markers getting removed and must spam them.

Know Your Models

Might be spill over from last time, but its a good point to reinforce. Spend the time to really know what your models can do. Tournaments are time limited and spending time each turn trying to decide what your model can do is going to slow you down. Also, if you haven't played a model or are unsure about it, don't play it. Stay safe with the ones you know and you'll be more confident and do better. There have been a few times I've switched a list in other games at last minute and manage to beat myself because I spent the whole game second guessing my options.

Take Care of Yourself

Do not, and I mean do not make the mistake of practicing all night before the tournament. The last minute games might help your strategy but lets face it, you will be at your LGS from 9 or 10 in the morning until well into the afternoon. You will be on your feet most of that time and your mind will be engaged. Tournaments are fun but they are also exhausting. Get a good night's sleep, get up early and check to make sure your stuff is ready. Eat well, make sure you have lunch or money for lunch. A growling stomach can be just as distracting as being tired. Seems like common sense, but the excitement of getting to play and seeing that big prize ahead of you can sometimes blind you.

When gathering things together for Malifaux it feels like you have 3 options: Cheap, Easy, and Creative. You get to pick 2 of those. If you want easy accessories that won't take up your time you probably are going to have to pay for it, such as going online and getting the things that are pre made. This is not a bad option at all if you have it in your budget. Alternately, you can get creative and make your own. These range from the super cheap like dollar store glass beads or printing things off (though ink does start to add up) to spending the time to make awesome Ice Wall markers which will also start to add up on materials. Anyway you go is perfectly fine, though I encourage you to attempt some creative styles. The more you dabble into the hobby aspects of the game, the more rewarding it can be. Fair warning, it gets addictive.
Generally, being prepared ahead of time will leave you with less stress on tournament day and you'll be better focused and have more fun. The tournament is 3 weeks away and I'm going to be playing a few games this weekend to see what models I want to bring and how I like the Gaining Grounds strategies. I will admit I'm getting pretty excited. My son is revving up his gremlin play as well and we are trying to figure out shared custody of Zoraida. Maybe he'll just have to buy his own.
Until next time, Keep Cheating Fate-- John Fox

1 comment:

  1. Deodorant and hand sanitiser. It shouldn't have to be said, but seriously, deodorant and hand sanitiser. You don't want to be THAT guy playing over at table 3 but being smelt over at table 7.