Giving Malifaux A Go – First Impressions Of The Game!

January 28, 2015 by brennon

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Over the last few months I've been constantly asked by people at my local gaming store to start giving Malifaux from Wyrd Miniatures a go. I've tried the game out a few times but never really considered it something to play mainly because there have been so many other projects on the go at the same time. But, a week ago I cracked and got myself The Torch & The Blade for The Guild...

Meet The Crew

The Torch & The Blade

My stipulation for Malifaux was that I wasn't going to buy a crew that I wasn't happy with all the models for. I have had a look at a lot of the different crews for the game but the two that stuck out for me were The Guild's Judgement (Lady J) and The Torch & The Blade (Sonnia). I love the look of the models, a pseudo cowboy feel, and the overall feeling of the crews was great. As mentioned above I settled on The Torch & The Blade for their cool Witchling Stalkers, Samael who looks like a beast and Sonnia with that cool mask of hers.

The Torch & The Blade (Assembled)

On opening the box I was kind of expecting to sit there for hours scratching my head when it came to putting them together. The Witchling Stalkers were simple one piece figures that easy just got glued to their bases. Sonnia and Samael did take a little longer to put together due to the way they're presented on the sprues, basically dismembered and the Purifying Flame actually confused me for the longest time. I couldn't work out how the body was fitted to the legs!

These miniatures from Wyrd are some of the best looking plastics I've seen but if I could complain about anything it would be the way that Wyrd just expect you to know how to put this stuff together. Instructions are online as a PDF but would it really have been so big an expense to put them in the box? Also I dislike that on the back of the box you just have the big grey renders. It would have been nice to see either a painted crew or simply an assembled 'grey' crew. Renders also look really ugly on the back compared to the amazing artwork.

Adding Some Colour

Sonnia (Painted)

Painting huge armies might end up being a thing of the past for me. I have my big Warhammer Fantasy Dwarfs project that is always in continual flux but I've started to appreciate painting single figures and small skirmishing warbands now. This is why I got all my crew finished in three to four days. I can't say I'm the best painter out there but I really enjoyed painting up Sonnia and crew...

As you can see above I went through a bit of a blue phase with this crew and I think it works out well. I tried to keep things as close to the box art as I could although I need to redo a bit on Samael. I don't like that I gave him brown trousers and want to switch them up for some blue jeans to match Sonnia. Should help break up the tanned leather look!

Samael (Painted)

The amount of detail also means that painting them is actually a joy. The definition between places on the models works really well as a guide for painting. I wouldn't say it's an easy task for Jimmy's first tabletop game but for anyone with any skill at painting it's a great project.

Witchling Stalkers (Painted)

On the other side of things I also picked up some extra model to expand my crew further. The extra Witchling Stalkers and Witchling Handler are going to help in the long run but I actually found it harder to paint up these metal figures. I think the new plastic sculpts just work a lot better!

My First Game

Open Graves

Over the weekend I played my first game against Nicodem and his Open Graves. We played a simple game using both basic boxed sets but added in the schemes and strategies. The ones I focused on were line in the sand, where you place markers on the central line, and one all about territory grabbing.

Samael (Game)

It took a bit of working out but I quickly figured out that setting people on fire was the way to go with Sonnia and crew. The Witchling Stalkers were great at dashing forward and dropping a few scheme markers before setting up some flaming zombies. The Purifying Flame was great too, floating ahead and scaring off opponents with its flaming attacks.

Sonnia (Game)

All this fire soon meant Sonnia came into her element and with her ability to just pick out enemies wherever they are within 14" because they're on fire meant I was soon blowing up a lot of stuff. Samael was also a beast. He smashed through a wall and staked a zombie to the ground before lockin' and loadin' his revolver and filling Nicodem with hot lead.

Stalkers (Game)

By the end of it Mortimer was the only chap left and he was running for his life. I had a lot of fun in the game and it was great working out how the combinations all came together. There is plenty of room for synergy in Malifaux and it also lends itself to a great narrative experience.

Where Next?

Witchling Handler

My next step is to get to 40 Soul Stones and play with a Witchling Handler and some upgrades to bring more Stalkers onto the board. I can see this working out pretty well. At 50 Soul Stones I'm going to bring in some Guild Guard or Guild Riflemen. The Riflemen might be good for giving some covering fire to the Stalkers as they dash around the board putting down markers.

Essentially I've been bitten by the Malifaux bug and I can see it being a really fun skirmish game to play with friends. The rules are easy to learn and very intuitive as well as having some cool bonuses due to the way cards are used from your hand to cheat fate. The tactics and synergy in the game is great.

Guild Guard

I found a great resources thanks to some friends in PullMyFinger which helps with tactics and strategy for the game but I think the real strength of Malifaux is in it's story telling. I can't wait to get another game in and see what other tales we can weave.

For those of you looking to get into the game I would suggest talking to a seasoned player first if you can. Play with some of their crews, watch a few games and generally do a bit of research. Also don't discount the cool factor as if you like the miniatures you'll probably enjoy the crew!

Look out for more Malifaux in the future!

"...the Purifying Flame actually confused me for the longest time. I couldn't work out how the body was fitted to the legs!"

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"Samael was also a beast. He smashed through a wall and staked a zombie to the ground!"

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