Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Things that I play: Malifaux

Website ( Wyrd Games )

What can I say about Malifaux? Well I think it is fair to say it has rapidly become the 'other game' of choice for many hobbyists and gamers regardless of their first game of choice. Why is that? Well its a very small game played on average between gangs of roughly 5 or 6 models each, although this can be scaled up to include more quite easily if you so choose. Its a really quick system and a fun game with wonderfully quirky rules and even quirkier miniatures. Its ace (excuse the pun) up its sleeve though is that rather than using dice to determine the outcome of your actions, Malifaux uses a deck of cards. This could easily have been a gimmick  but its not, it is an integral part of the character of the game, with an ability to hold cards to one side and 'cheat fate' when you make a bad draw, safe in the knowledge the card you put down afterwards will do the job required as opposed to the one you may have randomly drawn. 

It is however a very different sort of a game system because of the cards and some of the terminology can take some serious getting used to, just as much as the rules can with flips being negative flips or positive flips... I know, it takes some getting used to no question. However as with most things in life its worth the perseverance in the end, as the game becomes a really fast paced little blast. Now I'm certainly no expert at Malifaux and I probably won't ever play it enough to truly ever become a master of it, but it seems to me as though there are hidden depths to it and it obviously has its own set of skills to learn... not least of which is learning to have a p-p-p-poker face p-p-poker face... sorry. But the cards do kind of add an element of poker to the game with bluffs counter bluffs or just being honest and saying yeah I've got the black joker in my hand so no worries about that cropping up matey!!! I also think because of the cards Malfaux has a Texas hold 'em, yehaw, undeniably wild west American feel to it and that really does make it unique in today's crowded market place.

So it is a clever little game system that is set in a wonderfully rich cyber-steam-punk-wild-west universe that is as bonkers as it sounds, did I mention the Japanese ghosts? The game does have serious hidden depths to it and a cool setting. It's just a really good alternative to have in your gaming locker for when you want to play something different and its popularity means you should be able to get a game. While I like the style of many of the miniatures, they're not all of the greatest standards out there and some of the sculpts could be accused of being static, but it would be churlish to criticise the miniatures too much, especially when many of them are just so wonderfully unique and many of the sculpts are truly splendid. Its a damn cheap game to get into as well with the ability to pick up the small rulebook for about £9 and a starter gang for roughly £25. You can play using a normal deck of cards that you have lying around the house but most of you will want to pick up one of the branded decks I'm sure, if only for the artwork. So that's it my short but sweet overview of Malifaux. Peace out!


  1. Well, certainly it is very subjective, I think 40k and WFB rox, because its massive, its brutal, it is real battles and war, and not little skirmishes.
    I respect your opinion, but I think GW does great job with their games, being massive, with lots of troops, tanks and monsters. It is large scale war.
    Again that is only my opinion.

  2. Hey Sebastian to each their own!!! I'm not here to tell people what I think, I'm here to tell people what I think. Its always good to hear other peoples opinions. I'm at a certain stage in my life where I want games that offer tactical depth and the GW's games don't offer that. Not even their staunchest supports would say that, its just run at each other meet in the middle of the board and roll dice. Great if you like that sort of thing. Any who as this article was about Malifaux have you actually played it or would you consider playing it?

  3. Definitely one of the better low cost game out there, I believe they have some facet of the rules for download if someone wanted to check them out. Its also nice to just set up and play a game or two in a relatively short time.

  4. @DotP I wholeheartedly agree and I wish I'd only been able to play more games of it than I have but life... and currently Infinity keep getting in the way. I do think though that I'm going to be trying to get more games of Wyrds wonderful creation in. I've got my Red Chappel Gang almost painted now and I've just assembled and primed lady justice's gang. I'll probably do some WIP on Lady Justice's crew.