The Malifaux Wave 2 beta has been running for about three weeks now. It was just updated today, as a matter of fact. The latest document is located here.
I’ve really been impressed, as I have said before, with the way Wyrd has really stepped up their game with this second edition. The first test-play of book 1 was very solid. It contained some new models, and moved some models around from other books to the First book, but otherwise was a simple redo of the rules and the first set of masters they created. It swung heavy from time to time, with some masters needing heavy tweaks or multiple passes, but was mostly just excellent play test feedback.

This second wave seems much more restrained. They seem to have learned from the first test and have really honed in on the models and what they want to do with them in each instance. They’ve been able to take the concept that they had in 1e and make it both playable and storydriven in 2e. There are small discrepancies here and there as any good game will have, but the overall effect has been very positive. I’ve been focusing on Guild, and only today did they get a really solid pass, with Hoffman being tooled around quite a bit. This pleases me, as I am starting to see what I am going to pick up with the pile of cash I made off my last little bit of GW stuff I had before I moved.

I mentioned before I am going to now have a McMourning Crew, but I am also really pleased for the McCabe crew as well. This wave of the test fills out the models I wanted to use with McMourning, and gives me McCabe.

I’m going to be able to field a pretty cool crew of Guild Guard now under McMourning, with Drill Sergeant Daschell, Hounds, Riflemen, Guardsmen, Trappers, and one of my favorite models, the Guild Guard Captain. They each layer buffs on each other, and can remove paralyze, which is one of the downsides to McMournings Nurses he likes to have come along. I’ve really got a cool theme for them I am going to put together somehow, and when they hit the field, its gonna be fun!
Well, at least after the first few times of me learning how they freaking work. I have a mind of Iron. It takes forever to scribe anything into it, but once its there, its there forever!

Sadly, I’ve been unable to really play the game due to my daughter being born, but its worth the trade off. I’ll sit on the sides, patiently reading updates about what and how the game is changing right before my very eyes.

This extended play test has given me much more hope about what the future hold for Wyrd. they say this will last three months, so maybe I can get a game or two in before it ends, but who knows.

So, its been quiet for a lot longer than I would like around here. I’ve been preparing for a number of major life events.
The wife and I had our daughter, and she’s an adorable little person, and If I have anything to do with it, a future nerd. She gets to make the final decision, but its pretty much all daddy does. Now, 10 days later, I will also be moving, and packing for that has been great fun. I apologize for the delays, but I feel its good reasons.

We’re just gonna get some general nerd comments out there, its gonna be a brief one.

I finished inferno, but have not started up on the Stronghold, the last of the Standard Campaigns. It was a good ride through inferno, and I look forward to finishing the game.

I picked up Puzzle and Dragons. Its Pokemon meets bejewled, and its my time-killer of choice lately.

I sorted through my old D&D notebooks. I’ve got maps and notes from 12+ years ago, and its some really cool stuff. My world has grown and expanded well past anything I’d imagined. Well, grown isn’t the right word. I’ve destroyed all but one of my civilizations, and that one is about to get a rude awakening. Also, the notes I was reading through made me realize: I’d never written a history for Tysis (the continent where all the action happens). When I originally created it back in ’95, it was an “as is” state. I’ve moved forward almost 30 years at this point, but I’ve only looked here and there at the history. Its time to rectify that.

I’m finally getting rid of a ton of my old GW models. I am pleased.

Warstore weekend is about to go down! Normally I’d be there to help out my buddies, but this newborn thing is pretty complicated, so I’ve bowed out for the year. Head up to northern Jersey if you get the chance. Most of my Convention Locals will be there, give em hell!

Malifaux Has edited and updated their 2e tracker with beta Wave 2! In it they have all the models of Malifaux that were not covered in the initial release. So, for me, I am getting my first look at Lucious, the new Neverborn/Guild Master (he’s been upgraded from Henchman in 1.5) and McCabe, the Guild/Ten Thunders Master. They both look fun, and perhaps a reason to pick up Lucious that I’d never had before, especially with the influx of money from the GW stuff. It also has Abuela Ortega and the Latiago Pistoleros, both of which are a favorite of mine. Oh, and the vast majority of the guild guard models that I had enjoyed in theory were in there as well, with the Drill Sergeant, Captain of the Guard, and Riflemen, among others. I really look forward to grabbing those and using them with McMourning. It makes only perfect sense.

That’s all I have for now. I’ll be trying to get in 3 times a week and see how that works out.

Jonathon

Skeltor from : http://dreddabrutallac.deviantart.com/art/Skeletor-166200008

Reaper is at it again.

Their bones miniatures, which are really good, are back on Kickstarter. This brings me both joy and sadness. I like the idea of getting some more models, but do the really need another Kickstarter?

I like the concept of Kickstarter. It is a unique way of getting direct to user funding, breaking the traditional model of investment funding. Why should any concept be tied to the stodgy tried and true concepts others have tried? Investors are notoriously closefisted with their money and generally unwilling to jump for new ideas. I like that it gets novel ideas into a marketplace that has the ability to bring creators and individual funders together. Direct funding is really inspiring and I think its use for expanding the genres that a tenured company can venture into, reaching sideways, can be a boon. I even think its really great for companies going to novel production methods that test the tried and true bedrock.

There are some exceptions, though. I’m not fond of big companies plumbing Kickstarter for their basic tenants. Certainly, if other funding avenues are not available, then I’m OK with it. But I really object to seeing large name companies pitching the same type of product they would have been able to sell normally to Kickstarter. I’m also opposed to something I’ve seen come more and more: rapid-fire Kickstarters. I don’t think Kickstarter should be used a your basic business model and before putting another project up, you should definitely deliver on the first.

So, its with mixed feelings that I have signed up for Bones II. I have backed the original Bones Kickstarter, Warmachine: Tactics, Wild West Exodus, and Relic Knights, and I have had different results from each one. Relic Knights is still not at my door, Wild West Exodus is currently on the block to be sold, and Warmachine: Tactics has just finished up. Bones did me right, though. It delivered my products a little late, but they were all in there. A Kickstarter success, my first!

So when I heard the about Bones II, I was excited. The bones models I got were fantastic if a little bendy but the value was enormous, and I felt that I was helping Reaper achieve what it couldn’t do without my help: make the bones line a success quickly. It would be a kickstart to their bones line allowing them to get deeper into production. but then they put up Bones II, and the more I thought about it, this second incarnation had me more than a little torn. while there are some fantastic sculpts that are coming to the bones line, I feel that going back to Kickstarter is a little disingenuous. Isn’t this what we did for you the first time? Weren’t you supposed to move forward with your line once we got you… Kickstarted?

I’ve pledged in, but only to see what type of models they’ll release, and maybe get some extras. The real hook for me the first go round was the piles of giants I could get. Oh, and that I would never need another hero model again. 240 some models for $100 was pretty phenomenal. This next one, with about 14 days left, is sitting around 135 models. Its just not as thrilling. The addons are pretty neat, but only in a conceptual manner. The hill giants are really the only ones I have a powerful desire for.

We will see how it all pans out, but I am really hoping that they get a little more strength before the end so that I can feel good about my money going to them. Its going to need a lot more than a few cool models this time.

The Inferno Campaign has been the second most enjoyable campaign of the game so far. Necropolis was a ranged powerhouse and easily my favorite, and Inferno is the opposite: a melee powerhouse with some of the most enjoyable mobs so far. They cover all the basic devil/demon tropes -cCerberus, succubus, pit fiends, maniacs, lumbering rampagers and swift tormented beasts are all represented in some way.

I played a magic hero with Necropolis, might with Haven, and magic with Sanctuary so it was time to return to might with Inferno. My experience with Haven was a little harrowing, and had really put me off the concept of might heroes, but as I’ve always said: I’ll try anything twice. I rolled up a might hero, and started off into the great unknown, hoping to not hate the game. This time, though, I was rewarded with an enjoyable experince right from the go. Having the experience of what didn’t work as a might hero in Haven really helped, as I was able to build a solid might hero right from the start.

Each campaign features four maps. On the first one, your limited to your basic three creatures, called Core Units. You might get an Elite level as well if your lucky. The second map allows you access to all of the Elites and Cores, and the third gives you access to Champion units. Each of these units has to be earned and found on the map. Sometimes its a simple stack hanging around that you recruit, and sometimes its a quest. Each creature has a basic form and an upgraded form, as well. The third map never gives you access to your Upgraded Champion; that is the purview of the fourth and final map. Whats so fun about the fourth map is that you get to have access to all your creatures from the get-go. You have to spend the time and resources to build their recruitment centers, but its up to you to pick and choose when to get what units.

Each recruitment center generates a certain amount of units each week, 7 turns, so preserving these is paramount. In the Necropolis and Haven campaigns you have access to replenishment with necromancy and healing respectively. In Sanctuary you just have a million-billion units so you care less about losses. In Inferno, you have no access to anything, and your units aren’t super-plentiful, but they hit plenty hard, and seem to have a decent amount of HP among them. Magic Heroes allow you to pummel your enemies with powerful spells, which is good for armies with weaker units like Necropolis and Sanctuary, but the hardier units of Inferno have really enjoyed the plentiful buffing that goes on with the might heroes. From the ability to counter-attack before being hit instead of after, to the ability that lets you summon extra guys based on the size of your army, to the ability to call out a unit to go immediately, might heroes have some very compelling abilities.

The style of play that Inferno has is a no-mercy, hit first, hit hard melee beating. They have only two Ranged units, one Core and one Elite, but they can’t hold down the fort for you unless you do some serious work on them. Instead, you summon a huge amount of extra demons and charge them into the face of the enemy until there is no enemy left. Speaking of summoning demons, each faction has its own unique ability and Inferno probably has the best. When you build the requisite amount of points, you can designate a place on the board where a new stack of one of your units will be summoned in a turn or two. This area of the board is impassible to all units much like a rock formations. It can also be destroyed with enemy attacks similar to how you can destroy castle walls. As a final benefit, it occupies the same space as the unit stack does. Placed properly, this will block enemy advances, funnel them into your stronger units, and distract enemies as they attack the portal. Its control, offense and defense all in one, and is by far the best ability that I’ve had so far.

As cool as the Inferno Campaign is there is a downfall. The main character, Kiril, is supremely effeminate and could be labeled with a strong Emo title. His voice is grating, he has a pet name for the demon in his head, and he is completely unphased by the two succubus who are hitting on him the whole time. Its a little strange and off putting, but who plays these games for the characterization, right?

On the last Sunday of September, I played a pair of games with Lord Exhumator Scaverous

He worked alright. That actually surprised me as I was 2-7 with that giant bastard. I’m not sure that list would have worked in a tournament, but it was definitely fun. It also had some glaring weaknesses that I only discovered once I played the list. Lets get into it.

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