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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Malifaux and Journeyman League

Once again, it has been a long time.

What have I been up to lately?

Well, for starters...

...I've recently gotten into Malifaux. What a kick ass game system that is! Plus their new plastic kits are some of the most dynamic looking models I've seen! I got the new Second Edition rulebook plus a starter kit for the Ten Thunders faction. I always play the Asian forces in any game I find, whether it's Ogre Kingdoms in Warhammer Fantasy or the Yu Jing in Infinity, I've gotta represent!

The rules are extremely easy to grasp. I've only skimmed the book around 2 times now and I feel very confident in playing this game. I love Infinity, and wish more people around my FLGS played it, but the rules are definitely dense. I've been wargaming for over a decade now, and those rules made me feel like I was playing D&D. Don't get me wrong, that's great once you get your head wrapped around it. No other game offers as many options as Infinity does. It's just a tad non-newbie friendly.

The rules of Malifaux kind of remind of the old Star Wars Miniature game, where you choose a model to activate, then your opponent does until you run out (but in SW you activated 2 at a time). It uses a traditional format of Action Points (AP) per model, where everyone gets 2 AP and the masters get 3 AP. What I like about this system is that it doesn't dictate that you have to do them in a certain order. What I mean by that is in Warmachine/Hordes you can never move after you attack unless you have specific rules that state you can, like the rare rule of bushwack or spells like Energizer. This opens up a skirmish game to more options and strategies that I felt were lacking in other games, because although I hate to compare games to real life I find that the inability to move after you shoot a gun a bit perplexing, even when those shots are imaginary and determined by pips on a cube.

Speaking of dice, I love that this doesn't use them! It could have been gimmicky, but using a deck of cards to determine results is genius! You still have a random factor with flipping, but you can control "fate" with cards in your hand for that crucial attack or defense. This reminds me of tense games of Magic where you have to choose wisely how you reveal your hand, and seeing an opponent with no cards tells you exactly when to open up. It adds plenty of flavor, no doubt, but with the addition of suits and triggers you add a further layer of depth that other games haven't tapped into. One thing I've noticed is that the suits themselves are actually flavorful. Some models/factions favor certain suits, and each suit represents a different type of action. Rams (or hearts) are smashy suits, adding triggers to increase damage, while Crows (Spades) tend to be related to death and poison, Tomes (Clubs) seem like control suits and Masks (diamonds) do something else that I can't think of right now.... On top of that some abilities automatically add the suit to help with triggers, thus creating more depth by stacking suits on top of each other. Some triggers require multiple suits. This mechanic dominates the game and even dictates the way you deploy and objectives.

It seems like a great game, and I can't wait to get into it. My wife has even gotten into it and started reading the rule book. She and I have also been working on some paper terrain so that we have a unique and modular board to play on.

I can't get straight into Malifaux, however, since this Friday I'll be heading up a Journeyman League for Warmachine/Hordes at my FLGS. This is a great way to kickstart a community into the game since it's designed specifically with newcomers in mind. The compulsory entry level points start with a Starter box so everyone is on even ground (ish...). Then the points get increased slightly every week or two until you have enough points for a standard sized army. Everyone gets points for participating and you also get points for painting which is a great motivator for lazy guys like myself! I'm creating a forum for everyone to communicate their games and schedules to each other. Hopefully it will be a success and I can find more than just one regular opponent!

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll hopefully remember to update this more often, but seeing my past record I most likely will forget...