Tag Archives: Malifaux

4Ground Terrain Review


The tabletop gaming landscape is very different today than what it was a little over 20 years ago when I was introduced to the hobby via my father. This was via a trip into a local Games Workshop, no doubt the entry way that many of us proceeded through that led us to where we are today.

At the time GW was really the only option. I did some looking around at independent retailers and there was nothing out there that came close to what GW offered. Their models were (and some could argue still are) a cut above the rest and there wasn’t any other game that gave you the scale of combat that was possible for either Fantasy or 40k and that was when 40k was far more of a skirmish game than it is today.

If you wanted terrain for your games you had to make it. Eventually GW did come out with some cardboard kits (as well as stuff they gave away in White Dwarf… remember those days?). Gaming was generally done on a green felt mat, or white table cover (lots of games on snowy terrain there!) Very different to how things are today.

After making the decision to finally leave GW behind I’ve been much more free to rediscover some other gaming systems and look at the games I want to play. I’m waiting on some boards to arrive for Dropzone Commander from a Kickstarter that I backed. Turning my mind to some other skirmish games I rediscovered Malifaux, a game and universe I’d already enjoyed previously, not with a second version of the rules and a huge improvement to boot.

I picked up the Rules manuals and some Arsenal decks and took a look, liked what I see and decided I needed to return. But, I hear you utter, what on earth does that have to do with the title of this post? I’m glad that you asked. In this day and age there is a whole gamut of places whereby one can get affordably priced terrain to enhance your games. I’ve spent a large portion of my gaming life fighting across the grey plastic battlefields of the 41st millennium after all. As I looked into Malifaux again I decided that I wanted to make a proper table, one that would encourage me to have a painted force to play with too. So, I went looking.

4 Ground is a company I’ve been aware of for a while and are at the forefront of this, very popular, movement of laser cut MDF terrain. As anyone who has ever purchased their stuff knows, it smells fantastic! It looks good too and is relatively light on the wallet.

There have been very few moments in my gaming career that I have come across a product that I would have little reservation in completely recommending to anybody, the 4 Ground terrain is in that elite category. I have a little collection of the stuff now and have found it to be a really great product.

Each kit comes in a bag with a number of sheets of pre-cut, pre-painted MDF, along with a page or two of instructions. I heartily recommend that you familiarise yourself with the assembly instructions and look over the terrain sprues just so you know which parts are where and how they are supposed to fit together, this will save time later on when you’ve put glue on the wrong bit!

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I will say that these are certainly not for your beginners, there are also some parts that are very easy to break, especially door frames. However, because this is all just wood, a good dab of PVA and you can resurrect most pieces.

I’ve assembled three kits so far and have bought another three and I’ve never had so much fun putting terrain together. Some of the parts can be a tight fit, but these can be shaved down and you will feel like you’re going to break some of the parts as your try to prise them out of their frames, but as you build things up and you see the building come to life… Well, it’s a pure pleasure, I’ve seriously never enjoyed putting terrain together as much as I have with this stuff.

While the instructions could be clearer in some instances (hence why I recommend you study it out first) things go together easily enough. Occasionally you’re going to want to leave some assemblies to dry for a while as you’re using PVA not superglue so bonding isn’t instantaneous. This is not always a bad thing, although I end up really anticipating getting to sit down and finish off the buildings.

As well as the Marshall’s Office shown above (that I finished last night) I have Rogan’s Bar, the Gallows set and, as of yesterday, Hitching posts, Corrall set and an Under-construction 2 storey building. That should round out my Malifaux table quite nicely.

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What I love about these buildings is that they aren’t just shells. If you pop the roof off there are interior details, this is more obvious in the Marshall’s Office as it has actual working jail cells and interior doors. The bar shown above you could actually decorate if you so wanted, there’s a lot of room in there for stuff.

My only complaint with the Gallows is that the rope is a little too thick and therefore doesn’t quite work to the scale of the models it’s going to be used with (and the string in the instructions is obviously much thinner). But, I still can’t really complain about it for the price.

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This terrain set has also been bought for potential use with Deadman’s Hand. In fact, all of the terrain I have is from this range in 4 Ground’s catalogue. I can’t speak highly enough about the quality of it and the wonderful experience I’ve had assembling stuff. It makes me happy to think I still have some more to do at home and when I think of how this is going to look when it’s on the battlefield… This is certainly going to be the best one I’ve ever put out to play games over.

Collette Du Bois – Shenanigans!


As Servitob’s picture from the weekend alludes to we had a bit of a gaming session this past Saturday. Due to the lovely weather and the number of attendees scattered throughout the day we decided to throw open the patio doors from the buccaneering side of the floating citadel and enjoy some gaming al fresco. nBreaker was the first to arrive and so we decided to crack out the Malifaux for our game before anyone else turned up.

We setup the terrain and then flipped for our Strategies, I got Destroy Evidence and nBreaker got Treasure Hunt. We then each picked two Schemes, I announced one of mine and kept the other secret. As the dust cleared we were both sitting on 3 VPs and most of our forces had been gutted (I love Cassandra, she killed two full health minions in one activation). This was the closest and most bloody game of Malifaux that we’ve ever had but it was also super enjoyable.

For this game I ran the Showgirls box set, this was the first time I’d had the opportunity to run the girls after the last few games running a Seamus crew and Raspy before that. I’d had a lot of success with Raspy and her offensive magic stylings but it has been a while since I looked over the Malifaux stuff so we were a bit rusty and I therefore hadn’t unlocked all of Collette’s tricks.

After the game we had a lot of time for some reflection. nBreaker took Lady J again, backed up by the Judge, Samael Hopkins, a Witchling Stalker and Death Marshal, with the Scales of Justice for the large breasted sword master herself. I knew that he therefore had a lot of ranged power and some melee powerhouses.

The first thing that stands out about Collette and her crew is that every one of them has the ability to use Soulstones, I started the game with 7 in my pool and there are plenty of ways in which to generate more. The game lasted six turns and I had great fun learning of and pulling off a lot of shenanigans. Cassandra ate through Samael and the Witchling Stalker, then Collette used her abilities to swap places with her, landing Cassandra near to the melee forces of Lady J’s crew but keeping the much more important Collette out of harms way. This teleporting tricksiness allowed me to accomplish all the objectives that earned my those 3 VPs.

Unfortunately I had some bad luck with the cards, pulling the Black Joker or 1’s when I really needed to get off some spell combos, however, nBreaker played a much tighter game too and made me pay for spreading myself out and missing those combos. I’ve noticed a couple of things I could have done with the crew since the game finished and I am looking forward to using them again. The Showgirls are certainly very different from the Cult of December, they aren’t really a direct damage kind of crew, they pull off all kinds of funky things that distracts and annoys your opponent but I think I’m going to have to study things out a lot more in order to better work out the vectors for winning.

However,saying that I did always keep my focus on completing my objectives and having done that keeping Collette alive stopped nBreaker from completing another objective that would have netted him 1 more VP and therefore the win. I don’t think it will be that long before he is beating me to a bloody pulp but I think next time he might try out his new Dreamer crew and as I’ve not faced them it may prove to be a very interesting game.

What this game did show me though was how much fun Malifaux is. We played the Strategies from the newest book and took Schemes for the first time too, it provides a real twist to the game so that you aren’t always sure of what your opponent is up to. He had an objective to kill Cassandra, I’d stacked her defence to over 30 on a duel total and thought she’d be safe to have a go at Lady J in my activation but when a Red Joker was cheated in it sealed her fate, that was a VP to nBreaker that I didn’t know about until the end. It made me understand why the Red Joker was applied to that Duel, he was also lucky enough to draw the Black Joker in his hand and therefore remove it from the game, whereas my Black Joker appeared 2 or 3 times at really annoying moments.

I’ll be back for more though, I can guarantee that!

ZombiePirate Announces His Retirement…


… from Warhammer Fantasy and 40k.

Yeah! This might take some explaining.

I have been involved with gaming for almost 20 years, ever since the day my Dad and I I first stepped into GW Dudley and bought me my first Space Marine Captain. I saw second edition 40k arrive and although I didn’t touch Fantasy for many years I remember the High Elves Vs Goblins box set as the current edition when I was little. Over the years games have come and gone, and as all long time (proper) hobbyists know this is never just a hobby, it is an obsession. Speak to any gamer and the norm is to recount each other with tales of swathes of metal and plastic models hidden in almost every available nook and cranny numbering similarly to Xerxes’ crusading Persians in the 5th Century BC.

I can attest to this as I’ve bought far more models than was ever possible for me to paint or even play, I am a sucker for a good-looking model though, it’s the artist in me, that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. The rather sensationalist headline to this post is not something that has come idly on a whim however. Various other denizens of the floating citadel can attest that I have voiced this particular idea before it is just now, after a long and hard thought out plan of what I want from my gaming future that this decision has been reached. I’ve looked at my model count, looked at what we as a group are playing, and then made a decision. This may come as a shock, considering that 8th edition of Fantasy has come out and we reviewed it rather favourably, I also have 3000pts of models for it too. Not only that but the Dark Eldar are on the horizon, being released next month, an army that I have been waiting an awful long time for to come of age. It’s an awful long time since we last had a game of 40k and I can’t see Warhammer being much of a goer with War of the Ring now making appearances on our gaming tables.

I am therefore pledged to sell off my 40k and Fantasy stuff, I’ve already got rid of quite a bit and have a swelling Paypal account to prove it. I’m sticking with War of the Ring, it’s a very good game, is less prone to arguments over rules and gives me my army level fix from a universe that I enjoy a lot. I really like to models and the simplicity, the fact it is inspiring me to keep painting is another plus point. Malifaux is staying too, we haven’t had chance to throw down recently and I need to assemble my Collette box but it provides a different experience to the other games we have so I am sticking with it, the fact it needs only a handful of models is another bonus. Firestorm Armada gets a lot of regular play and we are starting to properly expand the fleets we use. I need to assemble some ships to get me ready for our 750pt games but this is also staying on my play list. We then also have Warmachine. Everyone in our play group has at least some Warmachine stuff and I know generally people like it. I’ll therefore be adding a little to my Retribution force to hit 35pts, enough for a proper game, I think I need to buy one more boxset and a couple of blisters to be done, £30 tops I think. That will then constitute the capacity of my regular gaming along with Space Hulk of the board and card variety. D&D will continue and having a reduced number of models to paint now I should also be able to spend more time writing campaign adventures.

In order to compare what’s changing, here is a list of games systems I currently have models for;

  • Warhammer Fantasy – 3000pts one army plus various other models
  • Warhammer 40k – over 4500pts from two armies
  • Uncharted Seas – 2 Fleets
  • Necromunda – Original Escher boxset (still boxed) with additional Heavy Plasma Heavy
  • Firestorm Armada – Can probably do almost 1000pts of Dindrenzi
  • Warmachine – Not a lot these days, but working towards that 35pts of Retribution
  • War of the Ring – Almost 1500pts from the Fallen Realms list
  • Malifaux – Ressurectionists and Arcanists forces

Those are the major systems that I have stuff for. I’ve already started selling the 40k stuff, still plenty of other stuff to shift. Once I’m done I’m hoping the results will be me having stuff for;

  • Firestorm Armada
  • Warmachine
  • War of the Ring
  • Malifaux

Much less gaming real estate and still a good variety of games from skirmish to army level. This feels like a good move to me and I’m waiting for the Sherriff to cancel the pre-order I chucked up for the Dark Eldar. With fewer games I reckon not only will I be able to get to play them all but there is also a universe-ending chance that I may end up with it all painted…

I wonder if retiring from those games qualifies me for some kind of pension?

GW and the Dark Eldar in Non Male-Pubescant Female Stereotype Model Shocker


Ironically I posted a similar topic almost a year to the day. Today I am actually going to be using some pictures to back things up and the topic is slightly different. After placing my pre-order for virtually every item on the current Dark Eldar advance orders page of the GW site I thought I’d talk about one of the ones I didn’t pre-order. I placed orders for the things I reckon I’ll be using straight off the bat, but this one I might pick up later.

Now, I happen to think that this is one of the best female models ever produced! I mentioned it a little in my post on the Dark Eldar being shown off at Games Day but wanted to expand on that. I love the Sherriff’s new aesthetic with flowing models loaded with movement rather than boring, static pieces. Lelith Hesperax is a special character and hence my decision not to pick this up as a must have straight away. Chances are I’ll get it at some point, especially if I go with a heavy Wych theme as I could use her as a generic Archite but not sure how the rules for the update are going to be yet.

What I love about this model, other than the dynamism is that it looks female. Wychs are gladiators without peer, the pinnacle of that concept and are therefore lithe and muscular. I have to praise GW for doing the concept justice rather than falling into aged stereotypes, let’s look at an example of that shall we?

Yup, large breasted, wafer thin waists with an aversion for clothing of any kind. Games Workshop aren’t the only ones to follow this trend though;

Collette Du Bois (I happen to own this model *coughs*) does own a bordello though so you can’t really blame her dress, it does fit with her theme. However, again we have a buxom wench and then there are the below;

Now, I’m not going to go through every set of models ever made, nor every faction for every game, but suffice to say there are a fistful of models that do nothing but portray the schoolboyish image of stylised women meeting the typical fantastical idea of the female form. While I’m not advocating that we end up with 300lb gorillas for models of our sweet gender opposites it would be nice if there was some natural variety rather than stick thin boobarellas. Let’s try to make gaming a hobby that can be looked upon as respectable rather than the province of giggling school boys who think boobies is a dirty word best spelt on inverted calculators.

What Makes Games Fun?


There is no mistaking that the tabletop gaming arena is getting crowded with competitors. While there have always been a number of companies who have made models it seems increasingly that these companies are now striking out into the gaming market by producing rule sets, Freebooter and Wyrd are just a few that spring to mind.

While this may mean that as gamers we have plenty of choice it also means that we have a lot of games clamouring for our attention. We don’t all have the limitless wealth that the our friendly Sherrif may think we do, so buying into every single game that comes our way isn’t feasible, although for some of us, we do try. Long-suffering wives see their beloved homes turned into galleries of metal and plastic in various stages of construction and painting, while us menfolk surreptitiously try to hide our latest purchase in among the forest of toy soldiers that is almost impossible to catalogue without an expert’s eye.

Some of the decision-making for what we play is based around aesthetics but nowadays we are also seeing innovation in the mechanics of the games, moving away from dice to cards or using cards to represent models and their stats rather than lots of chod crammed into a bulging rulebook. While choosing games to play is a deeply personal choice surely there are going to be some offerings and one game has the potential to not be as good as another. Some rules are clunky and difficult, some leave room for ambiguity due to poor language, others are the efforts of extensive writing and play testing and are a joy to behold. How do we know which games are which when we are making our decisions and how do we know what we will enjoy and be able to coerce invite our friends to play with us.

If we were to do a comparison between the offerings out there today we’d end up with a rather large post, there are certainly a large number of games I can think of available to joe public. A direct comparison between them isn’t always going to be possible either, while you could probably get away with comparing War of the Ring, 40k and Warhammer Fantasy as they are all games based upon army scale conflicts. Adding in Warmachine, Malifaux, Hell Dorado etc… would be unfair as they are skirmish games and therefore play differently. However, whether skirmish or army the one thing that I think unites games is that they should be fun. If you spend the majority of your gaming time poring over the rules then you probably aren’t having much fun, but if the core mechanics are easy to learn then you can get on with playing and things are much more enjoyable. Again this is a deeply personal view on things, I love games like Malifaux and Warmachine where you have a few models to play with and unit cards on the table in front of you give you everything you need to play and provide a quick reference to speed things up. Malifaux’s rules are wonderfully short, once you have the turn sequence and the concept of duels sorted then you can play, the trick to the game is combining the models in your crew, all the abilities and special rules are on the model’s cards and you spend more time with those than having your nose stuck in the rulebook.

Warhammer relies on you remembering a lot more, the rules are longer and more prescriptive, you can make yourself little notes so that you remember all the magic items bulging the pockets of your heroes and the numerous special rules that your army has. War of the Ring handily condenses a lot of the rules that we see in Warhammer and looks completely different. Warmachine has a whole host of options for you to use within the rules and you need to remember those, but the core mechanics are simple but rely on you unlocking the combinations in your army to maximum effect, I suppose it is a little like Magic: The Gathering in tabletop form.

But what makes a game fun? As this is a hobby we aren’t doing this for the work and effort required to assemble and paint an army, we are doing it to relax, to get away for a while in another world that allows us to (temporarily) forget our jobs and other responsibilities. While it is possible to take each element of our lives to extremes I’d like to think that some alone time is something we all do while not neglecting our family, employment or other areas of our lives. Anyway, enough of the heavy stuff.

What makes a game fun is surely an opinion rather than anything we can probably define. While I find both Uncharted Seas and Firestorm Armada to be fun, I prefer the spaceships, they are more “fun” as a game. I know others prefer US or even the 6 Inch Move blog nemesis Full Thrust, which is why this is interesting to me as gamers have vastly different tastes.

I think that on the whole Warmachine is more fun that Warhammer, however I enjoy both games sufficiently that I invest in both (although I haven’t played Warmachine in a while). I like Warhammer because of the sweeping battles and it plumbs different areas of my brain to the skirmish games I play. I love Malifaux because the mechanics are so different from a dice game and things can be far more brutal if Fate is with you, it’s a very different play experience to any of the other skirmish games I like as well as being totally different from army sized games. Warmachine is fun because you can use magic robots to headbutt each other into the ground and chuck stuff across the table. Each of the games that I choose to play are fun for different reasons and that is why gaming is such an interesting hobby. To my wife they are just toy soldiers or whatever, but to me, they provide different experiences that I can enjoy with my friends and I think this final point is the key.

Gaming is at its heart a social hobby, while you can play with yourself (pun intended) the hobby takes on a whole new and more satisfying dimension when these experiences are shared with friends. While sometimes we will whine about the dice deserting us, or a sub-par unit choice, or that cheesy magic item combo etc… each time I spend time with my good buddies thrashing out some fantasy conflict between zombie hookers and metaphorical personifications of axioms or whatever I have memories of fun times spent quaffing liberal quantities of Dr Pepper and sharing the highs and lows with a bunch of people who add something to my mortal experiences.

So, what makes games fun for me? I’d have to say it’s the people I play with, for me there couldn’t be a better bunch of nerds to share my time with!

Malifaux Rising Powers – Impressions


Anyone with a Wyrd bent will no doubt be aware that the second book for the excellent Malifaux has been released. There was a little delay in getting the books out to the non-US market post Gen Con but those players within the 6 Inch Move floating citadel have our grubby little mitts on our copies now.

So, what’s in the book then? When you look at the Rising Powers book it is pretty much the same size as the original rulebook, you’re not going to find any duplication here either, if you want to know how to play the game you’re going to have to pick up the first book. While Rising Powers does introduce some new rules it doesn’t give you everything you need to play, it just adds some bits here and there so is a true expansion rather than an alternative. One of the first things you notice is that the book is chock full of fluff, not the actual desiccated remains of its authors, but background story setting the scene for the new Masters, Henchmen etc… as well as telling you what people are up to following on from where things were left in the main rulebook. It’s of the same quality as what we got in the first book too, giving you little insights into the world of Malifaux, as usual the artwork presented throughout is excellent as well.There is an expanded section on working out encounters, the Schemes and Strategies from the first book are expanded upon and there are now Shared Strategies that you can use as well as a pointer to downloadable Story Encounters that I have yet to check out. There are more ideas for creating and setting up Encounters, including indoor locations and these parts are what takes up the majority of the “rules” section of the new book. In between all of this is the story sections leading up to what people are really interested in, the new models.

If I was to pick a main critical point about the book it would be that there are no pics of the new minis, while we’ve already had some insight with the Kirai, Collette and Gremlin boxes there is a large hole for the rest of the new forces. With some really nifty artwork I am hoping that they can translate them into awesome models, judging by the quality of what we have already seen I have high hopes. Each of the main factions gets a new Master, from what has already been released I reckon we’ll be seeing a new Guild and Neverborn starter set too to match the Arcanist and Ressurectionist sets already released. Henchmen are introduced for the first time too, these lads and lasses are an alternative to taking a Master and open up several more options for constructing your list. They can be taken with a Master if you are inclined but each has their own Special Forces type which changes what you can bring into your army. Not only are there new Totems for the new Masters but there are new faction Totems such as we saw within the first book. There are then a whole host of new Minions that expand on what was already on offer. You get much more of a feel for the Lawman style of the Guild with the extra options added into their section, while the first book really showed the forces linked to each Master you now can see more of the run of the mill Guild employees.

The new Masters aren’t a carbon copy of anything we have already seen, each one is genuinely different to stuff that we can already use and I have to commend Wyrd for this. Coming up with new themes for a Crew is going to be one of the hardest things they have to try, I’m looking forward to finishing reading all the back story to see more of how these newcomers interact with personalities already established in the narrative.

Considering that Wyrd seem to be one of these companies on the fringe of gaming, not having the market presence of your Games Workshops or your Privateer Presses but for me now we have more of a repertoire to judge them on I really hope that they generate a lot of success with their product. The Malifaux world is something vastly different from what we have already seen and its mechanics are interesting to say the least. I can recommend this book to anyone that wants more of what Malifaux has to offer, for anyone looking at starting the game then you’d be better served getting the first book as you then have all the rules you need, but there are enough starters to find something that will appeal to anyone and things are getting better and better.

I’ve looked at and played a lot of different games and this one just continues to impress. I look forward to trotting out Collette and her Showgirls in the not too distant future to see how they play.

if you’ve resisted Malifaux for a while, now may be the time to take a train through the Breach and see what the City has to offer!

Malifaux – Rising Powers


ZOMG!!!!

It isn’t often that (I believe anyway) I start a post with the kind of poor spelling/grammar that is very much enjoyed by a large section of the Internet world. However, being the veritable bubbling cauldron of manliness that I am, what with a penchant for spending my down time playing with plastic toy soldiers, there are a few newsworthy items that, upon catching my attention, spring forth in childish glee.

I am not referring to Servitob’s subtle manipulations of the laws of averages from our last game of Firestorm, but to something else that has graced my monitor. Being such a self-confessed geek, I am probably not alone in having a number of newsletters that arrive in my inbox on a rather frequent basis. One of them this morning was from a company I have bought miniatures from in the past and it included some info on new models coming out for Malifaux and a pre-order for things to come. This is the reason for my loss of control and posting such a misuse of abbreviation at the head of the post, I’ll even try to recreate the moment for you with the following;

Yes, that’s right, Malifaux is getting bigger!!!

See that? THREE exclamation marks together… what is the world coming too? While the only partakers of the Malifaux deliciousness are myself and nBreaker at the moment it is a much-loved game. I was very impressed when I first tried it and the mechanics are unique enough to provide a game experience far different that what I am used to with the normal chucking of dice. Therefore the news that the game is expanding is really good news, especially with the final few models for the original release coming out as we speak.

Currently the details of what is in the book are sketchy, although there are pictures of the new starter kits that are coming out and from the colour text on the Wyrd site you get a feel for where the factions are heading. To save you the bother of searching I’ll include the pictures of the starter kits and some of my own descriptions.

Let’s start off with my current favourites, the Resurrectionists;

Oh yes, here we go, Asian themed Undead and there was me thinking that zombie hookers was where it was at. It’s really nice to see that the miniature’s quality is still as high as ever and I really like what they have done with these. It’ll be really nice once I can see what they do, they certainly stand out as rather unique among the current batch of Resurrectionists, whether this means there will be a whole new set of more Asian styled models coming into this faction we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m excited to see the spell and ability lists and look at how to absorb them into my games.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Wyrd seem to have taken all the things that I am drawn too in a typical manly fashion and carved them into pure gaming gold. When I first started looking at Malifaux I bought the Ortegas, feeling that hot female masters were the way to go, this lead to me then grabbing Rasputina who I first started working with when we finally got the game to the table. So really my first proper faction was the Arcanists. Raspy was awesome and laid down a lot of the early smackdown flinging around pillars of ice and cursing people with repeating spells of frozen doom. While nBreaker is now the happy custodian of my Guild stuff I still maintain my Arcanists and these have been sitting out recently due to the zombie hookers I mentioned earlier.

Have a guess what Wyrd has done? They’ve taken my lovely zombie hookers, added a heartbeat and released an entire squad of them as an Arcanist set… I don’t think I can even find the superlatives to describe my happiness. Again I know we don’t have any rules yet but the theme here and the amazing models mean that I can almost guarantee that these are going to be finding their way onto my table at some point in the near future. Each of the models is really characterful and adds a new facet to the Miners and Steamfitters Union. Although if I field my Convict Gunslinger alongside this lot I can’t imagine him looking where he is shooting too much.

Wyrd really do produce some quality metal and it is nice to see that the standard has not dropped since they went from a model company to a true gaming powerhouse. While this game may not have the exposure of Warhammer or Warmachine the niche they have carved for themselves is very welcome and I will be continuing to support their efforts on the apparent strength of their new stuff. Seeing an expansion so soon after the original game shipped is a testament to Malifaux’s popularity.

There are a couple of other starter sets announced too, Leveticus finally gets himself a box and yet more Gremlins appear too, although, I will not post pictures here in case anyone has a weak stomach, click the link already posted above to find out what hideous abominations are crawling out of the Bayou in August.

One of the other things to notice is the Terraclips stuff from World Work Games. I haven’t looked at their main site, just the stuff posted on Wyrd but if this stuff allows you to make a typical 3′ by 3′ field for gaming on I reckon on getting at least the sewer set, I think it looks fantastic as a rendering and if they can turn a finished product of similar quality they could well be onto a winner. the one problem we have at the moment is the amount of terrain we play with. While I have a pretty decent collection not all of it works for Malifaux and you do need to have quite a lot of the field covered for the game to work properly.

The fact that all this new goodness appears to be coming around August makes things even better. I love the fact that August is also my birthday and will be the one year anniversary of the blog too. I am hoping that we will get more details of other starter sets for the Guild and Neverborn in the not too distant future to round things out but the future is looking really bright for Malifaux gamers.

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 dither  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…

A Wild Tabletop Game Appears – GW Competitors, I Choose You!


Last night I got a call from Servitob and was asked to come and help give a demo of Firestorm Armada to a chap considering diving into the Storm Zone. So it was I packaged up all my gear and made the drive over to his house picking up Gribblin along the way. Even though I had planned to spend my time sat at home painting my Haradrim it was nice to get to have a game of Firestorm for the evening and it was a close game. By then end all that was left was a heavily damaged Dindrenzi Battleship supported by two undamaged Cruisers beating on the Terran Battleship that was also starting to take damage. Servitob conceded at the end of turn  7 but it really was a game where out fortunes went back and forth as to who was holding the upper hand.

However, this isn’t a post about Firestorm, that was just a pre-amble to what I have been trying to come up with the words for over the majority of this week. There should be no surprise that personally I am unconvinced by the new version of Warhammer Fantasy and that all of us here feel a great sense of excitement about War of the Ring. Odd how two games from the same company can bring about such different emotions. I know there are a lot of people out there in Internet land that cannot stand 40k, I happen to find it an interesting and fun game, this may depend on the environment in which you play it though. My friends and I enjoy chilling out and playing with each other, we don’t take the super competitive armies nor do we go to tournaments.

From this I have been wondering about how people decide on which games they will play. For many years now GW has not been the main player, there are a number of viable competitors exciting the market, I’ve had the fortune to play a number of these and some I’ve looked into but never took off. Sure I’ve gone through a large part of my adult life with no one to play with (yeah, I know, /violin) but since getting in with my current pals we do play some games and not others. Firstly, I think I should make a list with all the games I’ve spent money on getting the rules and/or models for in the not too distant past;

  • Warhammer Fantasy
  • Warhammer 40,000
  • War of the Ring
  • Warmachine
  • Hordes
  • Infinity
  • Secrets of the Third Reich
  • Malifaux
  • Sphere Wars
  • Necromunda
  • Confrontation
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Magic: The Gathering
  • LOTR: CCG
  • Uncharted Seas
  • Firestorm Armada
  • World of Warcraft: TCG

That’s a lot of stuff that has come around, far more than any of us could actually get around to gaming with, yet as I have said in previous posts I am a sucker for fantasy worlds. Some of these games all I ever got was the rules, some of them have good models, some of them don’t. I like the rules for Secrets of the Third Reich but the models are hideous. So, let’s put up another list of the games that are really the ones that our group will be playing in the foreseeable future;

  • Warhammer 40,000
  • War of the Ring
  • Malifaux
  • Warmachine
  • Firestorm Armada
  • Dungeons and Dragons

This is still quite a long list, Warhammer Fantasy may pop back in there later but at the moment I have little inclination to get the new rules and finish off my High Elves. But, how did we come to the conclusion that this is what we would be playing. Well, a large part of it is what people are willing to spend their money on, a lot of the games listed at the top I guess most of our group has never even heard of. I am always looking through gaming forums and spotting what is new and if the models are good (we bought stuff for Sphere Wars from Salute just because the models were really awesome, I don’t see us playing it ever if I’m honest with everything else happening). Warhammer 40,000 is a long time favourite of the group, it’s what we started playing together and we all have armies for it. War of the Ring is obviously the newbie for us but it looks a solid rule set and we are all really excited by it, more so than anything else for a while. Warmachine is throw back to our individual gaming days as we all have models for this game already, we’ve had a couple of games of Mk2 and people are keen to keep it around to play now and again.

Malifaux is awesome, currently there are only myself and nBreaker playing it, but I love the Fate Deck mechanic and the game is a lot of fun, it is quick to play and is different from the other games that we play, hence it stays. Firestorm allows us to take a break from normal gaming as it is a completely different setting, we all really enjoy it so again, it stays. D&D got a resurgence after we tried 4th Ed at Salute, Servitob is currently DMing a campaign and I think we are almost at the end of his current set of prepared stuff. It tends to be a quite light-hearted game (we are currently running through a mine that has a beholder as the foreman who has a magical hat which allows him to look human for public appearances) and expands the gaming circle to include Mrs Servitob playing her emo Wizard.

So, we have a broad range of games that are across genres and settings, each has a rich universe to enjoy and allows us to test our grey matter against one another. But with all the other games out there how many do you feel comfortable playing, how often do you get to play them all and how do you decide which ones are keepers and which drift into obscurity?