Scheme Pool: Convict Labor, Hunting Party, Take Prisoner, Detonate the Charges, Set Up
- Seamus, Sinister Reputation (1), Mad Haberdasher (2), Red Chapel Killer (1)
- Madame Sybelle, Bleeding Tongue (1), Decaying Aura (2)
- Datsue Ba, Spirit Beacon (1), Spirit Whispers (1)
- Yin the Penangalan, Unnerving Aura (1)
- Rotten Belle
- Rotten Belle
- Copycat Killer
- McMourning, Plastic Surgery (1), On the Clock (1)
- Sidir Alchibal, Promises (1), By Your Side (1)
- Francisco Ortega, Wade In (1)
- Pale Rider
- Guild Austringer
- Brutal Effigy
- Zombie Chihuahua
Seamus: I chose Detonate the Charges and Convict Labor, working on the assumption that I could probably score 1 point from Convict Labor, then draw in models who would try to prevent me scoring it a second time, then Detonate the Charges on those models. My crew selection was more or less mandatory based on my models available. Madame Sybelle is the best beater of the three Henchmen / Enforces that I had, so it seemed a good plan to give her the aura denying Soulstones for healing.
McMourning: He chose Detonate the Charges and Hunting Party, given that I had three good targets and would be summoning Seishin and possibly more Belles.
I won the flip for deployment and opted to deploy second (to ensure Seamus was out of LoS). He deployed in the southeastern corner, mostly in the forest. Sidir and Francisco are on the west side, and the Pale Rider and Watcher on the north side. All the rest were arrayed in-between.
I deployed in the northwestern graveyard. Seamus and the Copycat are tucked behind the wall, with Madam Sybelle in the gateway (ready to whip Seamus into compliance). Two Belles are just south of the wall, with Yin (on the 40mm base) to the east. Datsue Ba is on her own beside the eastern Mausoleum.
There was lots of blocking cover for Seamus’ back alley, but also lots that blocked line of sight. With the trees in all corners it made it harder to maneuver for dropping scheme markers out wide, something that really comes into play late game as you’ll see.
TLDR: Nothing died. We all spread out.
I had an average spread of cards (2 weak, 3 moderate (1 of which was a 10), 1 severe), but opted not to stone for cards because we were deployed so far apart. In hindsight this was a mistake because it meant that Seamus was not as effective as he could have been. The turn was mostly uneventful, with both sides pushing out. Madame Sybelle whipped Seamus and used a Soulstone to get the Comply trigger so that he could Back Alley, then she moved up and called a Belle. Both Belles pushed forward, as did Yin. Datsue Ba moved east and summoned a Seishin. The Copycat moved over to where Seamus was, shot at the Pale Rider and missed and then walked behind another building. Seamus had already Back Alley’d out to the east behind the center building, but bad positioning meant the Pale Rider (who had pushed up) could see him – I didn’t realize he was Ht 3, so I couldn’t block LoS with the Seishin. Seamus dropped a scheme marker and walked around the building.
My opponent moved Sidir and Francisco west, pushed north with Pale Rider and Watcher, and the chihuahua bit McMourning to load him up with Poison – he pushed out west with the two Henchmen. The Brutal Effigy and Austringer moved west more slowly.
My models (in white) form west to east: Belle, Sybelle, Belle, Yin (partially concealed by the house), Seamus, Seishin, Datsue Ba, Scheme Marker, Copycat Killer.
His models: Francisco, Sidir, McMourning (hidden beside Sidir), Scheme Marker (red), Austringer, Effigy (hidden beside Austringer), Chihuahua (in the forest), Pale Rider, Watcher (behind the caravan).
After Turn 1
TLDR: I got aggressive, but was thwarted by better cards
I had to stone twice (yes, cheating I know (now!)) for cards but ended up with a 6 and 9 thru 13 in various suits. McMourning walked around the building and charged my belle, ending up on top of the crates beside her. She weathered it like a champ, and went down to two wounds. She tried to undress to slow Francisco but Sidir stepped in to take the duel instead – it mattered not, as she failed to cast with a mighty Ace of Crows. She dropped a scheme marker – I’m not sure how, but I’m guessing McMourning must have been no longer engaged due to a push.
Sybelle took advantage of McMourning being out in the open to summon the belle back to her side and take a couple of Shriek attacks on McMourning. Both hit and damaged and McMourning dropped to 5 wounds, Sybelle’s Aura upgrade stopping him from reducing the damage. However, I totally forgot that it prevented him from healing as well, which ended up mattering later.
The Copycat Killer went into base contact with Seamus and took a couple of pot shots at McMourning – these were rebuffed by my opponent’s high cards. The Austringer took out the Seishin, and my Belle on the western side pushed up behind the building and dropped a scheme marker. The Brutal Effigy unloaded into her and flipper a red Joker for damage, which really hurt! Francisco moved up and pew-pewed at Seamus, doing around 6 wounds.
I was holding back with Seamus to see what he did with his Pale Rider, as this was the best turn I had to be able to shoot that guy dead. Datsue Ba moved into the forest in the northeast and dropped a scheme marker near the center line, summoning another Seishin. Sidir pushed forward and shot at Yin (I think) with no effect, other than to make her mad and have her charge McMourning, getting Francisco in range too – McMourning’s push shenanigans enabled my opponent to get out of that easily though at the end of the turn so I probably should have just charged Francisco – but was unable to do any real damage. Gnawing Fears was countered again by a good card from my opponent’s control hand.
The Pale Rider moved in between the two houses on the east side and up into the northeast quarter, looking to claim a quarter for interference, but my slow Seishin moved over and engaged him to counteract his presence. Seamus finally activated and dropped a scheme marker, focused and shot McMourning but was vanquished again by superior cheated cards and was unable to zero action because nothing with a body had yet died!
At the end of the turn McMourning pushed out of combat underneath northwestern house in the center. We each scored a point for the strategy – I controlled the northern half and he the southern – and I revealed Detonate the Charges, scoring a full three (one marker got both McMourning and Francisco, and the other got the Pale Rider), as well as scoring one for convict labor (scheme marker in the northeast forest, under Seamus near the center, and by the southwest house). My opponent revealed Hunting Party and scored one for my Seishin.
My models, from west to east: Madame Sybelle, Belle, Belle (under the southwest house), Yin, Copycat Killer, Seamus, Seishin, Datsue Ba (in the northeast forest).
His models, from west to east: McMourning, Sidir, Francisco (just visible beside the central southern house), Brutal Effigy and Austringer hidden to the south of that same house, Chihuahua beside the red scheme marker, Pale Rider and Watcher (who is hiding on the corner of the northeast house and did nothing notable)
After turn 2
TLDR: Mistakes were made. Some stuff dies. The interesting turn.
I lost initiative again (spoiler: I always lose initiative against this opponent – I put it down to him being English and me being Irish and it just being part of the laws of nature).
McMourning dropped a scheme marker charged the Copycat Killer and murdered it in short order. The belle beside Sybelle moved up and lured McMourning out of combat with Seamus (and healing him into the bargain) – my intent was to shoot McMourning with Seamus and finish him with Sybelle, but I mis-measured and McMourning walked into engagement range with the belle. Francisco unloaded into Yin and killed her. Datsue Ba summoned another Seishin in base contact with the Pale Rider to prevent it from pushing out of combat, and then focused to kill the Watcher and turn it to a Gaki. With hindsight, I should have used a stone to summon an Onryo, because even though they’re only Wk 4, with all the severe terrain nearby they would probably have been more maneuverable.
The Pale Rider murdered a Seishin and then pushed out of combat and walked into the forest to drop a scheme marker, block a scheme marker of mine and to be in engagement range of Datsue Ba. The living Seishin moved into base contact with the Pale Rider and took an ineffective swipe. The Chihuahua moved up to the fence near the center. Madame Sybelle charged McMourning and again brought him down to nearly dead (he had healed a bunch by this point). The Austringer delivered orders to McMourning to push him out of combat and have him drop a scheme marker. I moved the belle on the far west to try to intercept Sidir and prevent him from getting to the scheme marker (she was slowed from a previous attack, not sure which), but he was able to move past and get in range of the scheme marker to prevent my points. Finally, the Gaki moved down toward the the northeast corner.
At the end of the turn, my opponent revealed Detonate the Charges and removed the scheme marker near Datsue Ba and the one near Sybelle and the Belle to score the full 3 points. He also got a point from Hunting Party for the dead Seishin. We each scored a point for the strategy because both Sybelle and the belle were slightly over the center line, which meant he controlled both western quarters and I controlled both eastern ones. The score was now 6-6.
End of turn 3. Sorry, forgot to take more photos.
Unfortunately my memory gets fuzzy here because it was after midnight. I don’t recall what happened in Turn 4 vs Turn 5 (shame on me for not having more photos). I know we each score one point for Turn 4, with his from the scheme and mine from the strategy. I will combine the description of both turns into this Endgame section and go model by model.
Belle 1 (by Sybelle): gets killed by McMourning in close combat, but managed to slow Francisco in turn 4.
Belle 2: gets killed by Sidir
Sybelle: McMourning and Francisco double team her and take her down in turn 5 when I had no stones left. I stoned twice for cards in turn 5 having drawn a handful of weaks (which I now know I’m not allowed to do, thanks Kirby!), and then my last stone went on trying to win initiative when my opponent flipped a 7 – I failed.
Seamus: Kills the Brutal Effigy and Sidir to be the last model standing in the southwest quarter. Failed to summon a belle on the last turn of the game (no stones and no card in my hand) to allow me to ensure control of the quarter, which meant that Datsue Ba had to come and lend a hand.
Datsue Ba: Summons another Seishin as the last activation of the game to block McMourning from pushing into the southwest quarter from his poison ability at the end of turn, and moves into the northwest quarter to ensure that I score 1 point from the strategy there. I did forget to try a disengaging strike on the Pale Rider (the Seishin went first and failed so the Rider walked away) when in engagement range.
Seishin: Constantly engage with the Pale Rider so that he didn’t count for Interference, thus showing why the strategy is so-named.
Gaki: Dropped a scheme marker in the very north east corner and avoided dying so that I scored my scheme point for Convict Labor turn 4 and my strategy point turn 5.
Annoyingly his Zombie Chihuahua came out from behind the fence and sat on the scheme marker in the center of the table to deny me my extra point from Convict Labor, and Datsue Ba didn’t have enough actions to be able to guarantee the tie and take a swipe at the Chihuahua and hopefully win the game. If Seamus had summoned the belle then I could have potentially managed it – it was all so close!
Turn 5 he scored a point for Hunting Party giving him max for both schemes and 2 for the strategy. I scored another point for the strategy at the end of turn 5 bringing the final score to …
Final Score: 8-8
Decaying Aura is a strong upgrade choice for Madame Sybelle, but I need to keep a stone or two to keep her alive. I like using her to whip a Belle or Seamus into complying.
Datsue Ba was tactically excellent, and being able to summon that Gaki off a weak model was a great choice. Will look for low wound targets for that in the future. Seishin are annoying as hell for helping control quarters.
Yin died too soon as being able to push out of combat made her less effective and left her exposed.
Seamus needs a good control hand on any turn where you need him to move a lot e.g. turn 1 and still do something. However, I think I protected him well. I didn’t protect the Copycat Killer anywhere near as well, exposing him to a charge where I should have kept him more at the sideline.
Rotten Belles continue to be excellent value for their cost, but I’d like to try taking one and a nurse for more utility.