Friday, August 5, 2011

Malifaux Revisited

Malifaux from Wyrd Miniatures is another game I want to become more involved with this year. Interested in finding out about how its card mechanics operated, more than a year ago I read through the original rulebook and thought it seemed like it could be a really fun game and that it definitely had a lot of potential. Intent on really learning the game with the possibility of running demo games in my local area, I bought a pair of starter boxes along with a few extra models for each faction. As is so often the case however, there were other distractions competing for my attention at the time and these Malifaux plans were pushed to the side.

A few months ago at Adepticon I played against Bill Anderson from Gamers Lounge and The Dead Tau Project in the first round of a Warhammer Fantasy tournament. Before our game began we spent some time talking about other hobby interests and I mentioned that his own blogging about Malifaux had been one of the original reasons I became interested in the game. He then went on to excitedly advocate on behalf of Malifaux and strongly recommended that I give it a try. It was a great reminder to hear again about the things I'd found fascinating about Malifaux and our conversation reignited my interest in it, though I decided I should wait until after the move before picking it up with it again.

Now that I'm settling into the new house, I am psyched to be taking a second look at Wyrd Minis distinctly weird game. One of the things I find most appealing about Malifaux is just how different it is from the other games that I enjoy. I think it goes beyond using cards instead of dice, although that certainly does create a very novel play dynamic. One feature that I suspect I will especially enjoy is the system of variable and indeed even customizable victory conditions, Strategies and Schemes. Aside from these neat game mechanics, I love the deeply atmospheric setting created for Malifaux and have found the development of the storyline surprisingly compelling. All quite good stuff, really.

The Guild - Sonnia Criid and her Witch Hunters

The Arcanists - Ramos of the Miners and Steamfitters Union

So you can see in the pictures above the Crews that I'll be starting out with for my introduction to Malifaux. When I originally selected these minis I did so without much understanding of the game itself aside from an appreciation for its unique aesthetic. Fortunately from what I remember Sonnia Criid and Ramos seem to be a fairly decent matchup and I'm optimistic that they'll provide a good feeling for what this game is all about. I've heard so many positive things about Malifaux that I will be shocked if it does not become one of my regular favorites.

Along with putting together and painting my models, I've realized recently that I had forgotten almost everything I learned about playing the game since first reading the rules. After talking to Bill at Adepticon I purchased a copy of the mini rulebook which I started reading earlier today. I do remember there were some areas of the original rulebook that I found either confusing or at least a little ambiguous, so I am eager to see if the mini-book brings more clarity to the rules. My goal is to have a good understanding of the rules and game mechanics by the time I have painted both of my Crews.

If anyone's been playing Malifaux and has advice for someone just starting out, I'd really appreciate hearing about your experiences with the game. Of course I'm keen for anyone else to share his or her thoughts about the weird world of Malifaux, too. Otherwise I'm ready to begin assembling my minis and hope to be painting them soon after. I don't know which group I'll work on first though I'm leaning towards Sonnia Criid and friends.

Okay, that's it for now. I hope everyone has a great weekend with plenty of gaming fun. Goodnight!


  1. I will be following this with great interest as I am currently researching the game and reading the rulebook myself. I think the miniatures are great and really detailed, as well as having that creepy feel to them

  2. I've just started this myself, with a Ramos crew. :)

    He's very interesting to play, and requires a real shift of thinking for me, I'll be interested to see how you get on with him, although with a brass arachnid, joss and an electrical creation in there it looks like you've done your research :)

  3. Good to see you've got the Malifaux bug. Bill is very infectious when he talks about Wyrd's flagship game and I've found him and Gamers Lounge podcasts a fantastic source of inspiration and advice for Malifaux. He sums it up nicely when he says that Malifaux is an easy game to learn but a difficult game to master, and I have to agree.

    I have been playing Lady J and Perdita for a few months now, just picked up Sonnia for some casting experiences. I feel I have got the basics down to the point where I'm teaching other gamers how to play. I've been showcasing my experiences on my blog as I go.

    Advice-wise I would suggest listening to GL episodes relating to Malifaux. You have the Rules Manual already which is fantastic and far better and up to date than the original rules book. The Wyrd forums have been a fantastic source of advice and inspiration – people are very friendly, eager to help and answer even the silliest of questions. Finally I would say play as much as you can. Reading through the rules is great but playing the game brings everything to life and makes even the most complicated of rules easy to follow. After a while you start spotting potentially devastating model/action combinations to try out.

    Best of luck.

  4. The other essential source is of course the Malifaux wiki –

  5. @ Silar - Fantastic! I'm curious to find out what your impressions of the game as well. It's encouraging to know more people are taking a look at Malifaux. Thanks, SIlar!

    @ Karitas - That's great news! Good to hear your enjoying your games using Ramos. Sounds like fun... thanks, Karitas!

    @ The Dark Templar - Thank you very much for sharing your experience of the game, that's all great advice. Bill's enthusiasm for Malifaux definitely made an impression on me, no wonder he's become such a good source of information about it. I'll be sure to check out his coverage on Gamers Lounge, thanks for the suggestion! Also I only recently found out about the Malifaux wiki and will look into that too. Wow, I really appreciate all the excellent recommendations... thanks, Dark Templar!

  6. I am just getting into this game myself. I picked up a rulebook and my first crew (Perdita) last night. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

  7. @ slipwing - Right on, that's good timing! :) I hope you have lots of fun with your chosen Crew as you learn to play the game. I'm really eager to start learning it as well. Thanks, slipwing!