Tag Archives: Cult of December

Malifaux – The Guild go Hippy


In what may turn out to be a horrible abuse of the commandment “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy” the 6 Inch Movers once more descended on Servitob’s gaming mansion to avail ourselves of some fun. Having ditched Mrs Servitob to the rigours of choir practice and myself finally having gotten around to some dinner due to a Fast weekend, we packed my car up with some bits and pieces for Malifaux and spent the evening in a 4-player 2 per side mass scrap.

This was the first time we’d played Malifaux to this scale and we also had a new player on each side who were learning the ropes, with hindsight I would not recommend this as the way to teach new players. While Malifaux’s rules are very simple at their heart, everything being resolved via the duel mechanic, the vast amount of special abilities with each of the models takes a little preparation and getting used to. I’d definitely recommend just going with starter sets in the future for showing people the ropes.

Our match involved an all Guild turnout of nBreaker and Gribblin, playing Lady Justice and Sonnia Criid respectively, going up against temporary allies in the form of myself and blog commenter CaRaBuS playing Seamus and Rasputina. We all made a few modifications to the starting crew, Sonnia took her Purifying Flame Totem along with the starter crew, LadyJ dropped a Death Marshall to take Nino Ortega and the Scales of Justice while Seamus dropped Madame Sybelle and a Rotten Belle in order to fit in the Convict Gunslinger and a Hanged. Rasputina decided not to create a third Ice Gamin but took along a December Acolyte.

The two teams had a scheme to achieve between them but we used an activation order for each individual crew, also, all spells could only affect your own crew with the exception of anything that would catch things in a blast of course. Our team flipped for the strategy and ended up with Reconnoiter, we needed a model in each of the four table quarters to claim 4 VPs or in three to claim 2 VPs. Gribblin and nBreaker pulled Claim Jump and we placed a 5″ by 5″ forest in the middle of the table, they needed to own it completely to get their 4VPs or outnumber us for 2VPs. With hindsight the nest time we get this Strategy we are not going to use a forest, it made it a lot harder for any of us to do anything with it, it would be better to try to use a building and some fences or something like that.

We flipped for deployment and ended up with Diagonals, for the number of models we had we decided that this would be horrifically cramped so decided to go with a corners deployment instead, which wasn’t actually all that much better. My only real gripe with Malifaux is that we are playing on a 4′ by 4′ board and even with the number of models we were using it still takes a little while to get close for combat. I know that 3′ by 3′ is the proper size for games at this level but larger is fine if you extend the deployment zones by a few inches, this may be something we test or house rule for the coming engagements. Also, even though this was a game to show people the ropes I am starting to understand why Schemes can be quite important, those secondary objectives can keep you in the game if the primary mission goes up the creek.

I’m not going to go into a blow-by-blow account, we called the game due to time in the middle of turn 5 with the Guild posse holding the Jump despite being petrified to the spot due to fear of the Undead as well as the fact Rasputina had turned the wood into a giant ice-cube using her Freeze Over action. I’ll go over the highlights of the match and then offer my thoughts on the game and the models involved. This was the second time for my Seamus crew but I had a lot more experience with Rasputina and knew what to expect (somewhat) from Lady Justice and her gang. I have never seen Sonnia Criid so knew not what she was capable of.

The first few turns saw me ditherĀ  about what to do with the Conflict Gunslinger, the whole game was a little cagey to be honest of no-one diving right on it and getting stuck in, I think I need to play more aggressively as Seamus is really tough to take down and can heal himself back quite easily. Moving the Gunslinger back and forth meant he didn’t even get a shot off all game so was effectively a wasted model. The only models of mine that did anything were Seamus, one of the Belles who died and was brought back and the Hanged.

My first Rotten Belle failed to do anything until she got shot and died, after being brought back she cast Lure on a Death Marshall who failed to resist and walked right towards the Belle and, more importantly, into range of Seamus who promptly shot him and then pounded him to death with spells healing the wounds he had taken earlier. The Hanged floated into the frozen wood and targeted Lady Justice with a Call from Beyond and knocked off half her wounds in one fell swoop, this was after she had stepped foot into the wood which spent two turns frozen, stopping her from moving as well as being affected by Seamus’ Undead Psychosis. The Hanged himself took a lot of wounds and eventually died, even though we realised halfway through combat that he was a Spirit and only suffered half wounds from non-magical sources. The rest of my crew did nothing.

The December Acolyte one shotted a healthy Death Marshall with his Harpoon gun, the first time the Acolyte had been used and had tied up a flank for the majority of the game, his 12″ range proving to be quite beneficial. Nino Ortega proved his worth again by killing a Belle on his own in one turn, I hate that guy. Sonnia Criid unleashed a massive flame burst, ignoring the Ice Pillars that Rasputina had cast and with my nice crew all bunched together did a massive amount of damage across my crew. Seamus healed himself continuously but the rest of my crew spent a lot of time damaged. I need to look at my options again as to what to take. It really was a game of dancing around each other rather than going hell for leather and getting stuck in, as I know how dangerous Seamus is I think I need to be more bold in getting him stuck in to something and back him up with his Belles. I may also drop Madame Sybelle back in for the buffs she brings to the Belles and the board control options. The Convict Gunslinger can do a massive amount of damage but the other team knew this and with my own poor use of the model he did nothing at all which hindered me. I think we also spent too much time trying to deny the Guild their objective before moving towards ours. With the Belles close by they and Seamus can move really quickly across the board.

Although we technically lost due to the time the game was called it certainly was one of those games that leaves me with a lot to think about with how I play and what I need to take along with me. Expect Seamus to have a few different tricks the next time and I am really thinking that I might squeeze in a totem…

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Are you sitting comfortably?


Servitob will need to read this in the presence of another human being, he made some kind of medical assistance when he’s done.

Last night I put the final highlight coat onto my Ice Golem, I am not sure the process will work with the 3 Gamin but the Golem is looking pretty good. I managed to paint the guy over 4 nights (Servitob would have done him in one go but once a drybrushing brush is wet from washing a colour out if you use it again no matter how much you dry it you don’t get the same effect until it is dryed properly) and took me around 40 minutes to do. I need to paint his eyes and the base needs doing. Once that is done I’ll be posting a picture, hopefully this can be done over the weekend. So, there we have it, a potential for my first properly completed model of this decade (yes, and the last….)

Malifaux: Rules Review


I love skirmish games. I feel no remorse in making this statement and after months of anticipation all it took was my wife to go out to her school’s Bingo night as an opportunity to invite nBreaker around for our first bash at Malifaux.

In preparation for our clash I re-read the rulebook to try to keep myself fresh with the core rule concepts, but as this was a first game I knew we’d be living out of the rulebook for this. So, before we do anything else let’s give all of you readers out there an idea of the game and how it plays.

Malifaux is set in a hybrid universe that mixes elements from the Old West, Steampunk and Horror genres. If you chucked frontier America from the 1800’s, Magic: The Gathering and Tomes: Spirit Guide referenced in Ghost Busters, wined and dined them, then took them back to your place for some “coffee” then I am sure the resultant offspring would look a lot like what we have here. Despite this mix of things though it all fits together very well.

There are 5 factions to choose from, these are; The Guild (the ruling faction), The Resurrectionists (I wouldn’t want to go to hospital here, I’m just saying), The Arcanists, The Neverborn (homicidal teddy bears included) and The Outcasts (mercenaries that can either be hired into another faction or play as their own). There is a lot of variety between the factions and each of them has three starter sets which have different play styles. I won’t go into each one here but there should be something to suit everyone’s tastes and there are some really good sculpts throughout the range.

Army selection is a little like MkII Warmachine. You select an encounter level which determines how many Masters you can take (1 for a Scrap and 2 for a Brawl), this also sets how many soulstones you can spend on recruiting your force. Unused soulstones can be kept and used in-game, a nifty little mechanic that has you working out the most efficient use of your stones. Scraps can be from 1-40 Soulstones and Brawls up to 75. Each Master has their own cache of Soulstones so you should end up with something after spending them but there are maximums you can use in-game, 8 for Scraps and 10 for Brawls. The Master doesn’t cost anything to hire but all the other models do, there are other limits on the minions you can take depending on how common they are. We played a pretty easy 25SS game that makes best use of the starter boxes. I took my Rasputina Cult of December starter box against nBreaker’s Death Marshall’s crew led by Lady Justice.

Possibly the most remarkable thing about Malifaux is that it doesn’t use dice. Instead you use a deck of cards with two jokers, you can either use a standard deck of cards or purchase a Malifaux deck themed to your faction. I have a nice purple deck to complement my Arcanists. Everything you do in the game requires a flip of a card from your deck, this normally adds a stat from a model’s profile to give you a total, either against a flat number or a total from the flip of another player. As a part of this there is a Cheat Fate mechanic, each player has a “Control Hand” of cards they draw at the start of the game and replenish every turn, once in each duel (a duel is the flipping of the cards to get a result of an action) you can replace the card you flipped from your deck with one from your hand, the suits are just as useful as the numbers on the cards in certain respects. Models who can use Soulstones (pretty much just Masters at this point) can spend a Soulstone in order to draw another card and ADD this to their total. This can make it really hard for an opponent to stop you from doing something if you get decent cards at the right action. Learning when and when not to Cheat Fate and/or use your Soulstones adds a lot of depth to the game.

Each turn is split into three phases, one that begins the turn with resolving certain game effects, discarding any cards from your hand you don’t want and then drawing replacements. The next phase deals with the turn, each player draws a card and the higher number goes first, you can spend a soulstone to have another go if you drew the lowest card, if you are then at a higher number than your opponents they can spend a soulstone to grab another card too. The highest scoring players goes first. You activate a model and perform all its actions and then your opponent gets a go with one of theirs. Before the battle begins you pick a Scheme, which is a mission you are trying to achieve, these are picked through flipping a card and matching the number to a table in the rulebook. There are quite a few Schemes and these can be made more interesting via Strategies which I will probably leave for another post.

Armed with your scheme your Crew then tries to achieve that while stopping the enemy, all Schemes are announced at the start of the game so you know what your opponent is up to in terms of his main objective.

Each model gets action points to spend, this allows them to walk, charge, climb, boost their abilities, cast spells and smash people’s faces in. The Duel mechanic is used to resolve all combat and casting actions. This makes for a quick game, our first game wasn’t as fast as it could have been but when we started to see how quick certain things are resolved it gives you an idea about how fast the game is going to play once you get used to it. Malifaux plays fast. nBreaker has already given his impression that this game is fast and brutal, an assessment I’d agree with. Once you succeed in a duel there are a number of Triggers that the model can activate. This means you can get extra damage or perform an extra action and things of this nature, this adds another dimension of strategy as these normally have suit requirements and getting one of these off at the right time can secure victory or deny your opponent an advantage. It is these Triggers that help to speed up and brutalise the play.

Each game takes places over 6 turns and at the end the person holding the most victory points wins. All of the Schemes and Strategies tells you how you can claim these Victory Points.

In a nutshell that is how Malifaux plays and a brief overview of the rules. I may post up a rundown of how our game went from my point of view later on, but my first impressions of this game are very favourable. It has depth to its gameplay but still retains a simplicity that new players will find accessible to get to grips with. I think this game has a bright future and it is one of the more original offerings I’ve had the pleasure of playing. This is the first of what I hope will be many games and we are planning on demoing it to our play group at the next meeting.

After having played it I give Malifaux a massive 9/10. Awesome background, really nice models and a great playing game. As we are big fans of low model count, fast playing games here at 6 Inch Move I reckon this one could become a favourite.