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.

I got another game of Malifaux in last night.
I played my final Thursday night game against a Tara Crew with my Perdita Crew.
In that game, Perdita Ortega, Spanish gunslinger and Demon Hunter, was charged by an enormous Nothing Beast.
She calmly stared it straight in the eyes, drew her gun, and shot it once, killing it.

This type of evocative, powerful narrative that plays out on the tabletop with Malifaux is really what makes it shine among the other minis games. No other concentrates as much awesome and insanity in as tiny of nuggets. With no more than 20 models on the board, we were able to have an exciting game with clear rules and only a few disputes.
The Scenario was some sort of murder-fest, in which we had to kill two models in a single turn to score points.
The schemes were Protect Territory, Plant Explosives, Assassinate, Distract, and Line in the Sand.
I was trying to Protect Territory and Plant Explosives, and he was trying to Protect Territory and Distract. I managed to set up some explosives, while he managed to steal a point from me by using papa loco to kill himself and the Austringer. We both Protected a ton of territory.
In the end, we tied the game. Francisco the lone Ortega on the board, Facing down his totem, a death marshal, and a nightmare creature. It was glorious

I play the game very little, and am trying to learn the way it plays. Intrinsically woven into this game is the scheme and scenarios, that allow the game to be fun and fair with a semi-natural endpoint. The Endpoint is actually the one thing I dislike in the game. I have found that the organic endings created in Warmachine are much more satisfying than the forced end of game that both Infinity and Malifaux have.

However, it is mitigated somewhat by having enjoyable schemes and strategies. Figuring out what you have to do with your crew and how to manipulate your opponent and your objectives are something I find mentally enjoyable.

Currently, I don’t announce schemes, as I find it hard enough to learn the game itself without my opponent trying to screw me and working directly cross purpose. I know this lessens my chance to actually win the game. I’ll take my licks while learning so that when I take my training wheels off, I’m that much better.

From Reading a bit online, Diestra, one of the Upgrades for the Family, was one I was really ready to get my mitts on. I put it on Perdita, as she only has SH attacks, and therefore will always benefit from it. the [-] on SH defense flips is really, really helpful to Perdita, as it will almost always guarantee a hit. Which will allow her to pick the best poison with which to stamp out her opposition.
The Nothing Beast was one such model. With Point Blank adding rams on all attacks while engaged, and Critical Strike making each ram do +1 damage, I ate a soulstone, giving myself 2 rams, and then ended up cheating in a third. My damage was 2/4/5 bumped to 5/7/8. Given Papa Loco’s dynamite, I was sitting at a cheatable damage flip, and cheated in enough to kill the bugger in a single shot.

I don’t feel that this same activity would have gone on in M1e. One side or the other would have been rocked off the board before anyone was able to really get a cool groove on.

Nabing McMourning, and knowing that he wants to run a guild guard crew makes me pretty psyked to pick up some guild guard in the near future. Hopefully after the wave 2 field test I’ll have a better idea of what to take with him.

The game is fantastic, and every time I say it it feel a little better in my mind. More masters are definitely in my future!

Its been a quiet couple days, at least for Nerding.

It took me three more days to beat Haven in Heroes VI. It was a grinding and brutal affair that forced me to restart the map at least three times before I got the hang of it and took the map. It wasn’t easy. There is a group above ground and a group below ground that you have to defeat. Each group had its own way to come at me from angles that I couldn’t stop, and it forced me to make a very difficult decision: sacrifice the upper world. I went underground, and took the whole map down there, while there was only one way in and one way out. I left every town and fort above ground abandoned, and they were all eventually captured. However, the sacrifice allowed me to gain enough ground, and create an unassailable underground base from which to strike. I eventually took back everything I had lost above ground, which allowed enough production to assault and destroy the final boss. I was pleased with the overall decision. Haven was a grind, and I am glad its behind me. Now I’ll grab on to sanctuary.
Reminds me that I didn’t go over the Necropolis Campaign. I should get to that.

Thursday was football night for my poor Ravens. What a shellacking. Well, that’s what the 5th Preseason game is for.

More spoilers for Theros popped up, and its looking better and better. Its hard not to appeal to a person what loves Greek mythology, though. Augers, Oracles, Minotaurs, Gorgons and Hydras: Whats not to like!

Malifaux 2e Beta Test Part 2 can’t come fast enough. I’ve a great desire to see what Abuela, the Pistoleros, and the Pale Rider all can do in this new edition. I also want some more options to play, looking at Zorida and McMourning. Zorida as a theme I liked back in 1.5, and McMourning as a model that can run a pretty neat guild grew.

Finally, I got my Croak Hunter from Sweden! He came with some delicious candy, as well. Maybe I’ll get back to painting here shortly, It’d be a nice break. Its so nice outside, too. Good time to primer some models while the humidity is about 0%. Speaking of which…

I’m gonna prime some models, and then get some Warmachine games in. I’ll probably deconstruct them tomorrow.

-Tio

Malifaux: You finally got it right.

I played a game last night that was brutal, fun, in flavor and a fantastic experience. Nino and an Austringer got murdered by a Steamborg Executioner, Francisco got popped by a tiny-spider swarm, and Perdita, in my moment of mental weakness, got hacked in half by Joss.

But it was fun, and that was something I’d all but given up on before the 2e was announced. Now, I’ll admit that I am still very wary of Wyrds balance issues. Their history gives me pause, and until they come out with an original book, unavailable to a public playtest, that is actually balanced, I’m not going to be convinced they aren’t their own worst enemy. For right now, however, I am going to enjoy the hell out of their game. It feels balanced and fun, its got a back and forth that enables some really cool plays, and I’ll enjoy it while that lasts. I viciously, bitterly, intensely loathed the 1st edition of the game. It was horribly unbalanced; it was busted, it was, no lie, the worst game I’ve ever played. I fully understand why,supposedly, the new core rules book has sold more copied than every other rule book they ever made, because the game is a ton of fun now.

the best change they made, and the part of the game that truly enables fun, dynamic play, it is the scheme/scenario focus. Flipping for shared scheme, and then determining five scenarios (suit + number for two cards, and then Line in the Sand) of which you choose two is a really good method for enabling dynamism.. It allows you to play to your crews strengths and allows you to play of opponents possible weaknesses. the game is truly scenario focused, and it really benefits from it.

Upgrades are a concept I am still getting used to. I brought about 8 points worth of upgrades, and I think I got the most out of all of them… Except Nino. He got ate by a cyborg crab person on turn 2. He… He was not cool with that, and he didn’t get to use his upgrade. It is kinda contradictory, as well. Focusing gives him a 36″ range (double his 18″ normal range) rapid fire gives him 3 shots, but they both use up his whole set of AP. I will still debate this internally for a while, but I think its one I can easily drop. and having to balance the Upgrades, Soulstone Cache, and actual model count is an intriguing, strange thing. I believe I enjoy it.

This game, Its going to be a ton of fun if Wyrd doesn’t smash themselves in the face.

Ok, enough raving. Here’s what happened:

I brought a Crew of Spanish Demon-killer Gunsligers (The Ortega Family) – Perdiata, Nino, Papa Loco, Fancisco, Santiago, Perditats Totem an ensalved Nephalim, and a Guild Austinger.

My opponent brought a Cyborg Electromage and his entourage of Mineworkers and Steamfiters Union buddies – Ramos, Joss, Johan, Steamborg Executioner, a Pair of Electrospiders and a Brass electrospider.

We end up flipping a scheme for claiming table quarters: Pretty Standard. The key is, if you’re within 6″ of the Center point, you don’t count! Neat little twist on it.

We ended up flipping the folowing schemes:
Entourage: Get a Master or Henchman either to the enemys half of the board (1) or their Deployment (2)
Breakthrough: Put Scheme Markers within 6″ of their deployment zone
Spring the Trap: Place Markers within 4″ of the master, then reveal to gain that many points (up to 3)
The final one I don’t remeber. It wsan’t picked by either of us.
Line In the Sand is always available: Drop Scheme Markers along the center line
My buddy revealed Entourage (Ramos) and Line in the Sand. I didn’t reaveal anything, because I’m trying to feel out the crew, and didn’t want anything interfering with my learning process, and having the opposing crew try and directly interfere would have probably done that.

Perdita’s crew involves a ton of movement. Perdita can move up to 8″, Santiago can drag a friend 5″, the Totem can move one model 8″, and then use obey for another standard move. its a crew that does a ton of moving, a ton of shooting, and ferocious re-positioning. It was cool to use and see how it works.

The opponent had a crew that was brutally effective in combat. An axe wielding construct, a Giant cyborg-spider person with claws that literally clipped poor Ninos head off, and spider creatures that can join into a giant spider swarm that ate Francisco.

I ended up calling it at 11pm, tired and broken. He’d managed to swing the game to a point where I’d no longer be able to catch up on VP’s, and he held two table quarters for three turns, and had gotten Ramos into my DZ. I’d managed to attempt both of my schemes, but Perdita getting killed stalled that chance completely out. I dropped three tokens near his deployment, and I only needed to keep Perdita safe for one more turn, I stepped to close to Joss, and he tore me apart. The gamed ended at 6-3, but if the last turn had been played it would have been much less close.

Its a good day to own Malifaux. If you don’t know anything about it, check out Wyrds Website.

-Tio

Welcome Back.

This week has me really pumped. There are a ton of Nerd things coming up are nothing short of fantastic:
M2e Beta (part 2)
Theros Block (MTG)
Relic Knights Rules book and cards released
NOVA Open
I’ll dedicate a post to each of these things in turn in the next few days, but man is it a good feeling to have so many things to look forward to doing.

In addition, I’ve been playing Heroes of Might and Magic VI … Or Might and Magic:Heroes VI. I don’t know. Its dumb that they changed the name, or maybe even didn’t. No one seems to know.
Oh, Shit! X-Com Enemy Within! How could I have forgotten. Announced recently, and coming out in November, Its something I am really, really looking forward to.

-Tio