Monday, October 27, 2014

Salt City Gladiator Games Recap - Part 1

The view from the front, looking at the TO
table -- you can see one of the Henchmen
taking pictures of the table.

Almost all the pictures in this post came from the Intermountain Malifaux Facebook Group -- my phone died on the first day, and I simply forgot to take pictures on the second.  If you're a Malifaux player, or someone simply interested in the game, and in the Intermountian area, please come join us.

Other pictures came from the A Wyrd Place Facebook Group -- if you're into Malifaux, Puppet Wars, Evil Baby Orphanage, or anything else Wyrd, join that group.

The picture of the Henchman Hardcore game came from the TO's Twitter account.  Follow him!

This last weekend was the first annual Salt City Gladiator Games -- a 2 day tournament / convention, featuring Warhammer 40k and WarmaHordes, but with an open play area that had Malifaux, Infinity, Dark Ages, and HeroClix demos and tournaments throughout, as well as speed painting and a painting competition -- and I had the opportunity to attend.  My initial plan was to play both Malifaux tournaments -- which I did -- and get in as many game demos as possible.

The view from the TO's table --
that's Jason Tuttle, the TO, walking away.

Day 1 - Friday, and the Malifaux Henchman Hardcore Tournament

I was lucky enough to get Friday off work so I could get the full Gladiator Games experience, so Evan and I showed up about an hour after the doors opened.  There were WH40k and WarmaHordes qualifier tournaments happening throughout the day, but we weren't there for those games so we had time to kill.  First things first, we checked out the eight Malifaux tables (visible on the right) -- there was a lot of variety, and enough terrain that the Ortegas and LaCroixs weren't going to have an unfair advantage throughout the tournament (there was at least one table without cover through the middle area, which I felt the full force of on Day 2, but one out of eight isn't bad).  After that, and a quick lap of the entire event to see what other games were playing on (WH40k were pretty standard, and I had no idea WarmaHordes played on basically empty tables), Evan and I set up for a practice / friendly / demo game.

As an aside, on our second day, playing a second non-tournament game a full two hours before the tournament started, we were essentially asked by another player why we would bother playing games for fun, instead of standing around waiting for the tournament to start. This player would go on to be the most complained about player in the tournament -- he seemed to intentionally waste his opponents' time during the Henchman Hardcore game through surfing on his phone and calling over the TO for clarification on everything that wasn't going his way, and finished the two-day event by arguing with the TO about how he should have placed higher because of... something...  This is all I'm going to say about him, but it's a sad reality of the competitive scene that there will always be "That Fucking Guy. (TFG)"

During our first friendly game, Evan was trying out his newly purchased-and-assembled Lilith crew so he could get a feel for her before the actual event started.  I don't remember a whole lot about the Strat/Scheme Pool, or our crew make ups, but a few stand-out things happened:
  •  I had Kang and Miss Step (the official counts-as-Howard Langston) fairly close together, and Evan didn't like the look of them, so he attacked Kang with a Mature Nephilim.  The Nephilim landed in some trees (his base wouldn't fit between them), got a decent attack off on Kang, and was then decapitated by a Flurry from Miss Step.
  • Evan and I both took Frame for Murder, then proceeded to pit our two patsies against each other.  Barbaros and a Gunsmith spent two or three rounds attempting to have the other kill them before a Fire Gamin-caused splash of Barbaros' Black Blood took the Gunsmith out.  Barbaros was then killed by Mei, herself, so we both got full points.
After that we grabbed lunch and picked up Evan's Battlefoam bag and Beckoner model that had been delivered to his house. 

Upon returning, I got a demo of HeroClix in, which was interesting -- you could tell the person who gave me my demo loved the game, but he wasn't great at running a demo, so he spent probably an hour explaining rules and random neat things to me before we ever pitted models against each other.  I wasn't getting it -- I am a person who learns by doing, not being told -- so we ran a 275 point 1 vs 1 game of Ronin the Accuser vs. Cosmic X-23 (by the way, when did she get a last name?).  During that part of the demo, I figured the game out, and it's a lot of fun despite being rules-heavy.  I'll probably pick up a starter box to play with Ninja within the next few weeks.


Henchman Hardcore

Finally, it was time for the Henchman Hardcore (again, pictures on the right).  In case you aren't familiar with the format, it's a 20 Soulstone Henchman-lead game with exactly four models per side.  No totems, no summoners, Turf War is the only Strategy, and Assassinate and Make Them Suffer were the only Schemes.

Through some peer pressure, we were able to cobble together a 10-player tournament.  A few of these players had never played Malifaux before, so their first game was going to be their demo.  My first opponent was one of these players -- he had plenty of experience with tabletop games, so he picked things up pretty quickly, and I feel like I did a decent job explaining the game (decent enough that the two Henchmen that were available left our table alone to concentrate on teaching the other new players, anyway).

Evan and I both played against TFG during this, which soured our taste for him (during Evan's game he did the aforementioned phone-surfing, and he called over the TO and decided to make dinner plans during mine), but otherwise it seemed to go well.  We ended up in the middle of the pack, and I got a lucky draw in the raffle and ended up with a M1E Leveticus box set.

We learned that Henchman Hardcore, due to the rapid-fire nature, is NOT a good format for people who are prone to panic attacks.

We finished the night by grabbing food with the Henchmen, and a few other players, and played a couple rounds of Hex Hex at dinner.  All in all, it was a great first day.


  1. I can't wait to do this again for next year's Salt City Games!

    1. I can't, either -- except there's a lot of painting I need to do between now and then.