Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Journey Into Malifaux

Greetings all.  SeerK here.  Today I wanted to talk about a game that I have recently been learning.  Tj has been talking about his journey into Infinity, I am starting to get into that as well, so I thought I should post about my journey into the world of Malifaux.  I was approached by 40kOrigins to help out at Origins Game Fair June 3rd-7th.  They are running all the 40K, Necromunda and BFG tournaments as well as running demos of Mercs, Drop Zone Commander, Rivet Wars and Malifaux.  I personally will be Running Malifaux Demos Wednesday and Thursday.  I am not running and Spartan Games stuff, but I will have my fleets and Planetfall army with me if anybody is interested in a game or 5.  Next year me thinks there will be some Firestorm Armada though.

I am new to the world of Malifaux.  For those of you unfamiliar with Malifaux, it is a 32mm Skirmish game based in the old west produced by Wyrd Games.  The old west meets Gothic steam punk with some magic and inter dimensional travel mixed in for good measure.

 Malifaux itself is the world beyond "The Breach". The Breach is a rift between the world we know and the world of Malifaux.  A gold rush of sorts started after a substance was discovered in Malifaux.  Soulstones make up the currency of the world and can be used for a variety of things, including Magic. The three big factions are the Guild, who control the Breach as well as the mining and flow of Soulstones, the Arcanists who smuggle Soulstones and practice magic and the Neverborn who are the native inhabitants of Malifaux

Unlike most miniature games Malifaux does not use Dice to make to hit rolls or skill tests. Instead the method of randomization takes the form of a deck of cards.  The "Fate Deck" is a standard 52 playing card deck.  The official fate deck produced by Wyrd has the four suites which differ from the standard playing cards you are use to however.  You can use a deck of cards in a pinch as they give you what each suit represents in the rule book. All tests and such are resolved by flipping cards from your fate deck.  These are known as Duels.  You have simple Duels, which are used for skill checks or checks that do not involve your opponent and Opposed Duels which involve your opponent. Opposed Duels are usually combat actions.

Malifaux uses a small force of Miniatures called a "Crew" You have a Master which leads the crew. Masters have a soulstone Value in the upper right hand corner of their stat card.  This number represents the cache of soulstones the master has available to recruit crew members.  Basically its a point value.  You get your master for free and then you have a number of points with which to recruit members to the crew.  All henchman and minions have a cost to them.  You and your opponent decide the "Point Level" of the game you are going to play and recruit crew members from there.

Games of Malifaux are referred to as encounters.  To set up an encounter you go through the following steps

1. Define and place terrain
2.  Determine encounter size
3. Announce factions
4.  Determine deployment
5.  Determine strategy and available schemes
6.  Hire and reveal crews
7.  Choose and Reveal schemes
8.  Deploy crews

You score victory points to win the game.  The Strategy determines how you score.  This is the shared scenario, the reason both crews are fighting in the first place.  Schemes are personal goals and add another way to score victory points.  I like to think of the set up as a multi tiered mission.  You have your primary goal and then your secondary and tertiary goals.

Games go to 5 turns and then you randomly determine if you go past turn 5.  The game is an "I go You Go" style of game, but unlike 40K you alternate activating members of your crew.  So you activate one member of your crew, do all their actions then your opponent  activates a crew member.  You do this until all units have activated and then continue to the next game turn.  I am very familiar with this style of game.  All of Spartan's games, Firestorm and the like, use this method.

Being a skirmish game, the games go quick.  I am not sure what the average game size is for Malifaux is at this point.  As I have said I am just starting out.  From what I understand though you can play with a Crew starter box no problem and really only have to add in a couple other units to get a decent sized game.  Games should be in the 30 to 90 minute range depending on the size of the game. A 4x4 table is used for most encounters and a good amount of terrain is used.

I will have some more as I play this interesting game more.  I think I am going to go with the "Children of December" crew as my first crew.  The models looked cool and I like the idea of having a big Ice Golem on the field.  The Initial investment in the game is pretty small as well.  Crews are around $45.00 and the Rulebook is a steal at only $15.00 for the small book.

I did want to mention as well that The Michigan Crew and myself will be running Firestorm Armada events at the 2015 Michigan GT September 25th-27th.  We have a Narrative event and two tournaments planned.  "The Alpha Sector Incursion" is shaping up to be a fun weekend for Firestorm Armada players.  More info to follow!

Until Next time crush the Alliance and as always....

Remember Dramos!!!!!


  1. I've been getting into Malifaux as well and having a blast. Just a couple notes - the game is designed to be played on a 3x3, not 4x4. Also, I've been told by some of the people who got me into the game that it's best balanced at 50SS - most of the crew boxes are 30-50SS so the entry for first crew is still that nice low cost. And don't forget Ten Thunders, Resurectionists, and my Gremlins!

  2. Thanks for the correction and info. A 3x3 makes more sense and I now know what to build to

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