Malifaux: Back for a Second Try

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

  • Cool, I will definitely check out the 2e rules. It’s a shame this came out too late for us to try a game; the only games of Malifaux I ever really enjoyed playing were against you.