Hello everyone, today I’d like to share with you a new game that I’ve recently become addicted to. This game is called Malifaux. I’ve been playing it for a few months now, and feel that I’m ready to give an opinion on it.
Malifaux is the brainchild of Wyrd Miniatures, a company that began producing just miniature models in 2005. In 2009, the first game for these miniatures was published; this game was, of course, Malifaux.
The game is set in the 1700’s. The story began on a magically dependent Earth. One day a portal opened up to another world, this portal would later be known as the Breach. The brightest and best minds of Earth started out on an expedition through the Breach and found themselves emerging in another world. Malifaux, as the world would be called, was not entirely unlike Earth. But, where Earth was a thriving population of life, Malifaux was a wasteland. The scattered remains of another civilization were the only evidence of any life having ever existed.
The Arcanists are the next group. They are the direct enemy of the Guild. These men and women form labor unions and believe in the equal distribution of Soul Stones. Taking the side of the worker, the Arcanists are very popular among the people, whom most already have a solid foundation of hate for the Guild. This rebellious group hides in the populous and has many faces, making it hard for the Guild to target. But, underneath the disguise of a peoples’ army, there is the unmistakable face of a crime syndicate.
Malifaux is a unique game with simple rules, but vastly complex strategies. Each crew has a unique play style with nicely contrasting strengths and weaknesses. The simplest way to think about the game is to compare it to chess. Each model has a unique role, and it’s the overall synergy of the crew that makes them effective. Also like chess, players take turns playing one piece at a time. Rather than the approach many other miniature games take, which involves one player playing all his models at once, Malifaux’s design allows one person to activate one model and perform all their actions at that time.
Each faction has different crews within it. At the start of the game, players choose which faction they will to play. Then the objectives for each player are discovered, you and your opponent can have different objectives, then you may select special side missions if you choose. Then finally you select your crew. Deciding what crew to bring to complete your mission is all part of the strategy. Some crews make some missions more challenging while others easier.
The most unique feature about Malifaux is that it doesn’t use dice. You heard it, no dice in this game. Instead the game uses cards. Just like a regular deck of playing cards, each card has a value and a suit. When making an attack you would flip a card and add its value to the model’s attack value. Then your opponent would flip a card and add it to his defense. The higher total wins, this is called a duel. This the same system used for most other events in the game.
The Malifaux models are exquisite. Each is unique and very well detailed and most are extremely easy to assemble. Many models come as whole pieces. The entire line is metal, which isn’t a bad thing since the models are so cheap and rarely require complex construction.
Perhaps one of the biggest factors for me to start playing was the cost. Malifaux is a small game and only takes one to two hours to play. An average size game has anywhere from five to ten models, excluding some hoard crews who can reach up to twenty models if the player chooses. Models come separately or you can purchase a whole crew in a starter box. Unlike Games Workshop starter boxes, the models in a Wyrd starter box are enough to actually play the game, and play it well. Such as, in the Friekorps box, which is only about $40, you get six models and instantly have enough models to play a medium size game. It also comes with all the models that crew needs to win! You don’t have to buy the starter box then go out and buy the “good” models, too. Also as an added bonus, each model comes with a player card. These cards contain all the model’s stats and abilities, similar to Warmachine.
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