|My little red handbag... look I'm comfortable with my sexuality. Now where are my stilettos?|
Well After my last review of a Battlefoam product proved so successful in giving people a heads up of what to expect from their product I thought I'd continue in that vein and review all the Battlefoam products I've managed to lay my hands on. So next up is my Malifaux bag, or as my other half calls it my 'little red handbag'. Yeah I'm not too sure I should have gone for red now either. However, I like my little red handbag (bugger she's got me at it now), it looks different from the black Battlefoam bags I own and will undoubtedly own in the future. Don't get me wrong I prefer the black to the green in the main, I mean black was good enough for Johnny Cash right? But, I'd like a bit more colour because I'm so past my goth phase. I am however going to be honest and say that my Malifaux bag has not seen anywhere near as much action my Warmachine bag and neither has it been chucked down stairs, sat on or driven over by old ladies who are far too blind to be allowed to drive. So with that out of the way lets get on with it shall we?
Well I went for the Red bag as you can see from the pictures. Sure the Black one would have been less conspicuous, and there was no way I was going for the brown bag... far too dull! Yeah OK so I have to suffer the indignity of having my manhood questioned by she who must be obeyed referring to it as my handbag, but the red brings out the blue in my eyes. The Malifaux bag is a hell of a lot smaller than the Warmachine, PACK 720 and even my Infinity Apha bag I own. But, that's a good thing really for a game like Malifaux where you don't need all that many figures. As always because I'm boring and all that I went for the straight forward option of the standard loadout, which gave me a 2.5" pick and pluck foam tray (which I normally hate)but actually ended up being my most used tray for Malifaux, there's also a 1.5" tray with 32 decent sized cut outs that aren't too bad a size for most Malifaux miniatures on their scenic bases and finally there's the 1" tray with 44 normalish sized cut outs that aren't as great for dynamically posed Malifaux miniatures or those on scenic bases. The bag comes with no topper foam either. He's Romeo's video for the bag, I had to include it simply because he had a fecking vuvuzela in it, is it just me or did they ruin the World Cup for you as well?
Usefulness 7 out of 10
My other Battlefoam bags could all fairly be described as large bags or at the very least medium sized bags. I guess despite what they say size does matter to some of us, Malifaux however, is a quite small skirmish game for those of you who haven't played it. You don't really need masses and masses of storage for your warbands. The game has a really small miniature count really, and provides hobbyists with some quite whacky shaped miniatures, that in some respects I think must be difficult to design a standard bag for. I have to say the 1" tray is only really going to be useful for Malifaux miniatures that aren't the most dynamic, or not on scenic bases. But I like most Malifaux players have my mini's on nice detailed resin bases or Wyrds own scenic base inserts, which increases the miniatures size. You could always butcher the tray I guess, but I really don't like doing that.
|The 1" Tray has its uses but the cut outs could do with being bigger|
The slightly larger cut outs in the 1.5" tray are more usable, but even they aren't great for certain combos of scenic base and wacky pose... I'm looking at you my undead ladies of the night with your umbrella ella ella eh eh eh (I take no responsibility for your actions if you follow that link!). Still I've found I can squeeze most of my Malifaux miniatures into this tray without too much hassle. It is without a doubt though the 2.5" pick and pluck tray that proved to be the most useful tray for some of my more delicate and bigger volume posed pieces. On the whole I'm not massively happy with the options I have with this load out for Malifaux, it's not that bad for Hell DOrado or Anima Tactics and their ilk, but it has cause me a few problems for Malifaux, and I'd advise people to perhaps go with a custom loadout specifically designed for their gangs.
The last thing I need to talk about are the pockets. The back pocket is where most of you Malifaux players will want to head first. There's space for two fate decks in Velcro sealed pockets, a slightly bigger pocket for your character profile cards and finally a larger pocket for soul stone counters, glass gems and maybe a tape measure to boot, all sealed with Velcro flaps. There's also space for two dry wipe pens for keeping track of those wounds. It's also big enough to fit one of the larger rulebooks in, I once tried fitting two of them in but it proved too much of a squeeze. This leads us to the front pocket, again not a bad size all things considered, you can fit one of the larger rulebooks in quite happily. But that is it. Meaning you don't really have space for all three large rulebooks. There is a slide pocket on the inside of the bag where you can keep the ever growing FAQs and small rulebook, but certainly not the original large rulebook.
I'm guessing this isn't Battlefoams fault and it's probably speaks more to the fact that Wyrd aren't being quite as 'planned' as I'd personally like with their release schedule. The bag leaves you one books worth of space short. That's annoying me now, and the fact that the standard load out isn't the best option for those of us that have used the scenic base inserts means my Malifaux bag isn't really being used for Malifaux anymore. If I get a custom load out for my bag then I'll probably use it for my Malifaux miniatures again, and if you do want to get a Malifaux bag please seriously consider going with the custom load out option and design your own trays specifically around your miniature collection. It's not a bad little bag, and it's size is great for smaller skirmish games, but it's no longer and great match for Malifaux it once was. That's probably Wyrd's fault more than Battlefoams though.
|As always the stitching and detailing is great|
This bag was awesome when there was the one rulebook and passable when there was the two rulebooks, but now Wyrd have expanded to 3 large rulebooks, the game has kinda outgrown the bag. Now I'm not too sure that's Battlefoams fault, in fact I'm going to say it almost certainly isn't. Battlefoam have, with the Infinity Alpha bag, left space in the front pocket for the third expansion book in that product, so when they're aware of games potentially expanding they build this into the product with nice details. Clearly that didn't happen with this bag and Battlefoam were clearly only expecting the second book... hey Romeo don't worry none of the players were expecting the third book so soon either!
|Again like always, what space there is gets used|
So ironically my Mallifaux bag isn't actually suitable anymore for Mallifaux, coupled with some of the spaces in the foam being a little bit too tight for my Mallifaux miniatures when they're on their scenic bases, it doesn't feel as well suited to the game as some of their other branded bags are. It has however seen use for carrying other game systems and will no doubt remain useful for years to come for other skirmish games out there, if not Mallifaux. The pockets as the back of the bag designed for decks of cards and character profile cards are great for Mallifaux and show that it was originally designed for the game, but they're also useful for storing dice, game counters and tape measures too.
|Ooohh sturdy buckles, just what a good handbag needs!|
As always I can't criticise the build quality of a Batllefoam bag. It's constructed to their same usual high standards. The stitching of the Mallifaux logo on the front of the bag is wonderfully detailed as always. The hard inner shell provides sturdy protection, while the foam is the same foam in all their bags and protects any miniatures you can slot into the spaces as well as their other products. There are the obligatory metal clips, that offer strength and Romeo's favourite word 'durability'. There's also the high quality rubber grip on the shoulder strap and handle. It's a good quality product.
Service 9 out of 10
I ordered this bag a few months after my Warmachine bag turned up, it impressed me so much. They were also ordered way before the UK distribution hub was opened. I also ordered the limited Edition Black PACK 720 at the same time. The service was outstanding it really was. From order to being in my hands took just under two weeks. My friends Warmachine bag was also included on the order and all came really well packaged and somehow the HUGE box they came in sailed past customs.
Price 6.5 out of 10
I guess given the way Malifaux has grown as a game and possibly even out grown this bag the price of the Malifaux bag does seem a little bit expensive now. At $79.99 or the £52 it worked out at when I got it the bag doesn't seem as good value. If you really don't mind about the Malifuax logo or you want to use it for other small skirmish games out there then you might want to look at the PACK C4 or PACK 216, which are cheaper and might offer you more versatility. If you are ordering the Malifaux bag from the UK distributor it's retailing for £62.40 for the standard load out I got or £78 for a custom load out.
|The 1.5" foam Tray is much more useful|
Overall 7 out of 10
I'm going to have to say that the bag has not been as useful as some of the other Battlefoam products I own. This is partly down to my personal preference, partly down to Battlefoam not really thinking about how Malifaux gamers based their miniatures etc, and also down to Wyrd for their rulebook overload. It's still the same quality Battlefoam product and it ironically works OK for some of the other skirmish games I own such as Hell Dorado or Anima Tactics. It's just not really useful anymore for the game I got it for. Sure you don't have to use the scenic base inserts, but most of us want too don't we? I also accept you might not always need to carry the rulebooks round with you, but I do because I play that many games I can get honestly confused and often need to resort to reading them. I just think even for Malifaux now, Battlefoam offer better products in their PACK range. Peace out!