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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Blimey – this blog is getting rather full up now isn’t it? What’s that – 4 posts in a single day? Well anyway, hello there. I’m the aforementioned ‘Tom’ and I did indeed play a game of Malifaux last night with Ben. Here’s how it went:

So Malifaux then... After a few weeks of hearing what a cool game this was and a chance to look at some of the minis, Ben and I got a chance to play the game last night with his Ortega gang facing off against my ‘Undertaker’s Lot’ of Nicodem and (zombie) friends.

When I first heard about the game’s small scale and card based dynamics (yep, no dice here…) I wasn’t sure how tactical it could be but I was actually really impressed with everything going on. So how do you play?

After setting up your guys, you then take alternating activations with your opponent for each of your respective characters. This means that you have to think carefully about which of your gang to take action with first – do you cast that spell and boost your character or do you seize the chance to get into combat with the other guy? Will hanging back with that one character give your opponent the chance to force the advantage with one of his?

Combat and spell casting is handled by flipping a card from the top of your deck over and adding the total to the relevant value in your stat line, and works well. There’s an extra element to this due to the ‘control deck’ - a hand of 6 cards you draw at the start of the turn with which you can modify these flips. Couple this with a trigger system that causes extra effects on the flip of certain suits and you have a surprisingly deep system that forces you to think about how you want to approach each individual activation.

It’s also a lot of fun – I won’t go through every little detail, but highlights from last night’s game included dynamite wielding loon Papa Loco blowing himself up for fun, some zombie samurai rising from the dead to chop up a couple of Ben’s Ortegas and Nico Ortega getting to make repeater rifle shot after repeater rifle shot (thanks to some canny fate cheating by Ben) to decimate my zombies again and again.

By the end of the game, we had both got the hang of the basics and were starting to discover the specialties of our respective gangs. Nicodem and co. are very much a ‘grind your opponent down with cheap troops’ type of gang, whereas Perdita and her Ortega brethren are quick and good at shooting, but quite poor in combat. Further playtime will reveal some of the more subtle tricks involved, but both Ben and I agreed that it’s a game we’d definitely like to pursue. High praise indeed!

The end.

For anyone looking to get started with Malifaux, it’s really quite affordable compared to, well, pretty much any mini based game these days. You can get started for $60-70 depending on your gang. For further info www.wyrd-games.net is the official site.


  1. Oh, Nino Ortega...very much my MVP of that first game. I think he killed two zombies, Mortimer, and Nicodem, so all but three of your zombies. I like him a lot.

  2. Wait...are you really going to give us all that and then not tell us who won?