Thursday, July 10, 2014

Beginning Malifaux!

I've recently started going to Gamer's Gambit in Danbury, and am loving it!! There are some great guys playing 40k there on Thursdays, Matt has an awesome Warmachine Hordes group going on Tuesdays, and my kids play Pokemon Card Game on me time for more miniature gaming!!

All that, and it is literally 7 minutes from my house!

A few weeks ago I learned they were having a Malifaux night on Mondays. Everyone I know that's tried Malifaux has loved it, and I really love the aesthetic of the models I'd looked at, so thought I'd give it a try.

And I'm hooked!!!

For those that don't know Malifaux, it's a 'skirmish' style mini game set in the fictional 'world' of Malifaux, which was discovered when earth's magic-using weanies all got together to cast a spell to restore magic to earth but they instead blasted a hole (the Breach) to the magical land of Malifaux. There they mine 'soulstone' to enable the use of magic on earth.

Different from most mini wargames, the 'random' factor in Malifaux is done with an oft-shuffled deck of cards. Just a normal deck of playing-cards will do, though of course Wyrd would much prefer you buy their cool cards! When you need to see if some action you want to perform is successful, instead of rolling a die, you flip over a card from your face-down deck.

Random is still random, but in Malifaux you have a secret 'hand' of cards that in most cases  you can use to 'cheat fate'...if you don't like the number or suit you got, you can play one of the cards from your hand. Your hand is of course a limited resource, with only a few 'cheat' cards available per turn.

Moving and fighting mechanics are pretty standard and simple...models have attributes that define how far they move, how much damage they can take, how they attack or interact with other models, etc. Other than the card mechanic, veterans of other mini war games will have no problem picking this game's basic mechanics up.

But where the game REALLY shines is the Victory Conditions. In most mini war games, you and your opponent both know what the victory conditions are, you're both trying to do the same thing and stop the opponent from doing it. Objectives in 40k, for example. The number of different possible Victory Conditions is relatively limited (40k main rulebook has only 6 'normal' missions, 4 of them are objectives done in slightly different ways, one is relic, other is kill points. /yawn)

In Malifaux, however, things work quite a bit differently. Players accrue Victory Points thru the game. How they accrue victory points is determined randomly at the start of the game. One "Strategy" will be determined (thru the flip of a card, of course)...this is an objective that applies to both players. Then five "Schemes" will be determined (out of about 15 total possible), and each player will SECRETLY pick two of those Schemes.

THEN you build your army! Yes, you build your army after you know what Schemes are available, knowing what your objectives will be but not your opponents.

Some of these Schemes will be kept secret until you complete them. Some you'll get more Victory Points if you reveal them at the start of the game to your opponent.

This is what really makes the game stand out to me. The combinations of secret and asymmetrical missions and choosing what models you'll use after you know what those missions will be (and what faction your opponent has!) makes for a very dynamic and exciting game!

The faction I chose is the Neverborn...creatures and monsters of myth and legend that live in the Malifaux world. My first "crew" is led by "The Dreamer"....and I fell in love with how twisted this story is...he's a real boy in the real world. When he sleeps, he goes to Malifaux. Any horrible twisted monster he thinks up in his "dream" comes to life and murders (horribly) people for him.

But he thinks it's a game in a dream. He doesn't know that it's real. How fucked up is that!?

He has an 'imaginary friend' too, that he calls Lord Chompy Bits...a very powerful Nightmare creature that's trying to use the Dreamer's power to get out of nightmares and be 'real'. Chompy is terrifying!

The Dreamer has a lot of the aspects of what I like about Malifaux built in to him already. With optional Upgrades that he can take (as part of building an army list...called a "Crew" in Malifaux), he can other summon powerful creatures during the game, be extra supportive to his nightmares, make Lord Chompy Bits more powerful (and easier to manifest), or even make his own attacks a bit more powerful.

And of course, all the models in Dreamer's crew are horrific childish monstrous beasties from a kid's imagination...giant evil Teddy Bears, Coppelius who steals children's eyes and feeds them to his own children that live on the moon, evil Daemon Twins, black widow women, crazed manifestations of madness (very Tzeentch-like!), and even relatively happy little Daydreams!

I've started painting some of these guys up, and have really enjoyed it. It's fun to paint some really outlandish things and not have to 'assembly line' paint!

Dreamer in his nightgown and blue blanket. Little guys to the front are his Daydreams. Teddy and Chompy beside him. Insidious Madness behind. Flanking them all are the demon twins Lelu and Lilitu.

Very happy with how Chompy came out. Note he's wearing the Dreamer's blanket, and yes, he has a belly mouth!

I invite anyone in the area to stop by Gamer's Gambit on Monday evening. We'll happily go thru a demo game with you! We already have about half a dozen active people, and would love to have more!

I know it's lame to have no posts for months then two on the same day, but what can I say? I'm in the mood to blog :P

Hope to post up more Malifaux pics and some battle reports soon!

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