Battle Reports, Malifaux, Wargaming Clubs
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Malifaux – Gentlemen’s Game

Malifaux is sticking in my head for quite some time now (along with few other games, obviously). While most of my hobby life turns around Games Workshop products, I assumed, it’s nice to diversify and get in few skirmish games as well. Malifaux seemed to me as one of most natural choices – it expands rapidly in Warsaw and generally in Poland. Many veteran gamers gave up their hope on ‘good old’ Games Workshop and picked up Malifaux.

…and I’ve been watching Malifaux for over a year now, started collecting around June 2015, painted first Master with the crew (Lilith) in September 2015 and finally had my first, introduction game also in September 2015.

Later, I had a break due of my journey across the Asia. And actually I was pretty close to play Malifaux while visiting Jakarta in December 2015, but it was rather busy time for me so whole idea for it failed…

…but on the plus side I managed to paint Pandora and her crew, and now I have two Neverborn Masters ready to play.

So, the idea of welcome home party was to practice and get used to all rules and schematics of Malifaux gameplay. The time was to go into it for real!

Perfect chance for that was during regular event organised by Rafał, official Malifaux Henchman.

“Hunt for The Soulstone” is fourth edition of the series – with simple idea of gathering as many Malifaux players as possible and play for as many games as possible. Cool, right?

The event, like I wrote is rather regular, but there’s no monthly fixed date. If you wish to participate it’s better to confirm by contacting with Rafał or by visiting Facebook page of Gentlemen’s Club – our local wargaming club in Warsaw.

The idea for this club is great – it’s connecting all miniatures enthusiasts, no matter the age, sex or game you like (well… maybe Age of Sigmar is not particularly liked here:).

Beside regular Malixaux events, there are, for instance, weekly Thursday meetings called “Veteran’s Thursday” when everybody could come and probably will find the opponent for any system he would like to play. Mondays are called “There was no Age of Shitmar”- you can probably imagine what exactly Monday is about:). Beside that – you can find players for Infinity, X-wing, Bolt Action or Wolsung.

Gentlemen’s Club is located at Smulikowskiego Street 1/3 in the basement – spacious room with plenty of tables and full of terrain pieces for any time period you wish.  There’s everything that gamers can imagine – nothing to worry about – just play:).

During my visit in Gentlemen’s Club at ‘Hunt for The Soulstone’, there were also second event, the same day, the same time – Infinity’s Tournament (registered for ITS) – if my memory doesn’t elude me – about 20 players playing in formula: each playing three games and the best results/most victory points gained is the winner.

infinity-tournamnet

Infinity Tournamnet

While Infinity player occupied most of the room, in the back there were few tables meant for Malifaux.

malifaux-players

Malifaux corner.

I had bad luck that day – my car broke down (thankfully nothing serious:), and I had to got to Gentlemen’s Club by Underground, and I was late about 30 minutes. And at the time I was there – all eight players were paired up. Four games were already on, and I just need to wait for them to finish and wait for my turn.

I do not complain – I was had only one intro game. Of course, I watch battle reports, read rules all the time, but looking at actual game – it’s different level of learning. So, I was watching the game between Łukasz with his Outcasts and Rafał and his Arcanists. By watching the gameplay – I want to get in, feel it, and know it better. However, Malifaux might be easy to comprehend, but Masters and their crews have abilities that make it more complex. Dozens of combos, various connections between characters are what Malifaux are famous for. To learn, to remember and put them in use is hard. So when I was watching Kaeris in action and all her burning actions… well…My first impression – what the hell is going on? Why is it happening? Slow down!

outcasts-vs-arcanists

Outcasts vs Arcanists. The game I was trying to watch and learn…

kaeris

Kaeris giving the burn!

Yeah, at this point, I knew, I want Malifaux game BADLY. Luckily for me, another player has appeared. So after 30 minutes of waiting, I was ready to go.

Game 1. Lilith vs Lucius

At first, I was thinking to write a battle report from this game, but after short consideration, I made the decision it’s no point. First of all, I was still newbie and while I knew all general rules, at the same time I was pretty sure all my actions will be too chaotic and it’s going to count more as tutorial than proper game. And second, my opponent, a moment after first turn, declared he has to go in about half an hour. I don’t have any hard feelings, but too bad he didn’t tell me before we started, right?:) So, we were forced to play shortened version, lasted only two turns.

This was my first independent game, when I needed to choose my own crew and decide what to do and where to go! Little bit intimidating! So, no, battle reports will come, when I will be feeling more confident with all this new for me Malifux fuss:). Soon, I promise.

We decided to play 35 Soulstones game. The Strategy: Stake a Claim. The Schemes I chose: A Line in The Sand and Cursed Object (Once again – total nob here. My choice of schemes were rather intuitive and had nothing to do with any planning ahead. It was more about trying them out than tactical thinking).

1g-deploymnet

Deployment. Railroad is the centreline.

I chose Lilith and my opponent took Lucius.

Lilith (Wicked Mistress upgrade) hired Barbaros, Cherub, Terror Tot x2, Young Nephilim and Doppelganger

Lucius (Secret Assets upgrade) hired Captain Dashel, Guild Lawyer, The Scribe, Guild Rifleman x2 and Guild Hound x2.

As mentioned, the game was short. Both of us rushed immediately to the centreline (which was at the exact same place as the railroad) to put our scheme markers. In the heat of the game, I totally forgot about Cursed Object scheme  it happened, that my opponent also chose this scheme, and exactly like me, he did nothing with it), and I focused on doing as much harm to The Guild as possible. Doppelganger mimiced Giuld Rifleman to shoot at The Lawyer. Lilith finished him down.

Terror Tots before they died, put two Scheme Markers in the centreline.

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Terror Tot, forgotten by everyone, sprinting to put Scheme Marker.

Nephilim killed one dog, and Lilith  wounded Lucius badly…

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Nephilim killing The Hound

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Lilith and Barbaros after Lucius and The Lawyer.

All went well and according to plan, which was obviously chaotic. It was look like this – I looked at the ability or action of Lilith or Doppelganger, for instance – and I tried to use it somehow. Trying this and that. Seeing what is useful and what is waste of time.

1g-barbaros

Barbaros turned out to be useless in this game…

I was lucky, my opponent played two or three games before, so he was still at learning the game stage as well. So, both, with help of rulebook and more experienced players around, we managed to finish second turn. The final score was 2-2. We just managed to put few scheme markers in the centreline (Lucius was also after Line in The Sand). I did not put any Strategy markers on Guild’s half, but at the same time, there’s no on my side.

1g-the-guild

The Guild

Cursed Object was dead end Scheme. Instead of giving some hoaxes to enemy models I tried to harm them.

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End of turn 2. Game over. Result 2-2

Lesson learned: I need to concentrate more on the goal. Strategy and Schemes. Or simply choose the scheme that would fit more into my style of play. Just feel it and play. Many things to correct, and many abilities to remember. I realised – Malifaux is the game of knowing your Master and your crew and using them in most efficient way. There is no place for errors. If you made one, your opponent take the advantage of it. Focus is the key.

With that last sentence in my mind, I was ready to try it again.

Game 2. Pandora vs Von Schill

This time I chose my second master – Pandora and hired her other models, willing to try something different:).

It was 40 Soulstones game. Strategy: Reconnoiter. My Schemes: A Line in The Sand and Distraction.

Pandora (the Box Opens upgrade) hired Barbaros (Nephilim Gladiatus upgrade), Poltergeist, Sorrow, Terror Tot, Doppelganger and Waldgheist

Von Schill hired Rusty Alyce, Freikorps Trapper, Lazarus and Freikorps Librarian.

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Von Schill’s crew.

2g-deployment

Deployment. Barbaros and Terror Tor are to far from the main group. My fatal mistake here…

While at the beginning of the game, I remembered of my initial resolution, then starting from Turn 2. it all went south. I didn’t know what exactly I was doing – moving here and  there, trying desperately to achieve something. Barbaros and Terror Tot at the right flank were separated from the main group.

2g-featured-pandor-and-her-crew

Main group is on the left.

Fatal mistake. They were left alone, with no chance to survival. Rusty Alice was just producing scrap markers, and turning them into Abominations. And they just overan right flank. Barbaors was finished by Von Schill himself, and Abominations ate my Terror Tot. At least he managed to put  Scheme Marker in the centreline.

I totally forgot about Reconnoiter strategy and I left quarters of the table off guard. My opponent took this opportunity and with little help of few Abominations, cover all table with his models. Bugger…

2g-waldgheist

Waldgheist shot down…

Another thing I learned hard way, was how important is sticking to the strategy an schemes, and do not carry away. When Barbaros and Terror Tot on the right were gone, Rusty Alice moved to my deployment zone and put some markers to gain VPs trough Breakthrough strategy. Yeah, I was so desperate on  giving the punch to anyone of The Outcasts, so I totally messed up all my plan that I was building in my head.

2g-outcasts-everywhere

Outcasts all over tabletop. Gaining VPs like they should…

…and finally – one more major mistake. I chose Distraction scheme, while I was not prepared to use it in proper way. I was not even closing in to any enemy models to ‘distract’ them, so how, on earth, this scheme would be good for me?

At the end of Turn 2. I knew it was all lost, so with great help of my adversary, I focus on trying to unveil all possibilities of playing with Pandora, and proper use of Poltergeist and Sorrow.

2g-von-schill-vs-neverborn

Pandora vs Von Schill. I learn how to use her in the game…

What I know now, I’m going to concentrate to master Lilith first. She is much easier to learn and play than Pandora for beginners like me. Eventually, when I get better with all this Malifaux twists and turns, I reach for Pandora or other Master.

What I learned: The game is so rich! So many options, combinations. Really, my main thought was – if I want to play Malifaux, and be good at it – I should give up on Warhammer, Infinity and whatever I want to play. Malifaux requires great memory to acquire necessary data (your own models, but also all enemy factions) and intelligence to know how to use it in efficient way. While, I can’t imagine I quit Warhammer FB or 40k, I need to read a lot of Malifaux and try to become expert on one Master only and then move on. So, step by step, I need to do my homework and study data cards, and of course paint more models to give myself more options in hiring the crew. It’s not going to be easy:).


So, that was it, my Malifaux day at Gentlemen’s Club in Warsaw. Two games – one draw, one lost. But I got more familiar with rules and gameplay. And that was exactly my point. Eventually, time will come and I will start to win.

At the end, I would like to thanks my opponents (unfortunately in the heat of the moment I forgot completely the names…sorry for that guys!), and I hope we could meet some other day soon and play again. Also, big thanks to Rafał, official Henchman for organising this, and of course Big UP to all Gentlemen’s Club – you made really cool place here. Keep it up!

Now, I want to paint more Malifux. Next model in line – Teddy!

Until next time!

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4 Comments

  1. Interesting – the only stuff I have ever seen of Malifaux is on your blog…. seems like a fun game though I am not really a fan of the miniatures or the background so much.

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    • personally I like Wyrd minis a lot, but I know what you mean – they’re specific, and the game itself is entirely different stuff I’ve ever played before. I need to explore more!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great to read that you’re enjoying getting some Malifaux games in. I agree that the game is very deep; each master brings something different to the table and every crew can be played differently. Add to that the fact that you would make up your crew only after finding out what will score VP means that every game can be so different. Since you’re so new at the game, I only offer three small pointers.

    1 – Pick a master and play enough games with them that you feel that you are comfortable with the core rules. It doesn’t really matter which master, but Lilith is probably a better choice than Pandora since the latter ignores a lot of normal game rules (on the other hand, so do most masters in their way).

    2 – Move up to playing 50 soulstone games as quickly as you can manage. Even if you play multiples of the same piece for simplicity. In smaller games, it only takes for one player to bring a heavy summoning master (Dreamer and Ramos are probably the most extreme examples) and you can find the games being very one-sided, very quickly.

    3 – Put some more terrain on the board. Malifaux really benefits from a lot of stuff to hide behind, walk round and climb over. The basic rule of thumb is to play a game against a shooty crew, and if it feels unbalanced, you need more terrain. It’s not actually easy to see in the photos because of that really cool purple cobblestone mat thing, but it looks as though much of one half of the board (the one with the fenced-off field) is mainly open ground.

    I can’t wait to read more of your exploits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks for the tips. I’ve already decided to focus on Lilith in first games. many players were telling me she is relativelly easy to play (and learn the game). and you are right about 50 SS, almost all games in the area are in that format. I played smaller points only because it was my first games. from now on – 50 SS it is:)

      …and take a look at my first Malifaux batrep in last post. This game was great, and I’m slowly starting to get which models are good with Lilith. Matter of time:)

      Like

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