Friday, 16 December 2011

Review: Battlefoam Malifaux Bag

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?

Product description

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
Detail 7 out of 10

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!
Quality 9 out of 10

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!


  1. What's the actual difference between the different game-specific Battlefoam bags? Are they simply adjusted to compensate for model numbers and rulebook?

  2. @GoldenKaos, pretty much. The HoMachine bags have ring binders for card sheets etc. Plus the foam is desgned specifically for Privateer Presses miniatures. Likewise the Infinity bags. The Malifaux bag isn't a bad size for some of the smaller skirmish games, its just the standard foam load out wasn't great to begin with and now Wyrd have expanded the game beyond where many thought it would be, it's sort of outgrown the bag. I think Wyrd need to slow it down as I said in an article recently. Whether they will is anybodies guess.

  3. When lugging around 3 (THREE?!?) is necessary for a mini game, that game needs tightening up or a new edition/revision.
    That's....just insane.

    I definitely think a quality bag is a good investment-not due to the cost of the minis, but due to the time, effort and love we invest in them.
    Broken minis break my heart, and I have a Tiger Tank, A Horniss, and a PaK40 gun in the repair depot now.

    Malifaux minis, and I think Infinity minis as well, come in some odd designs- 1 inch foam ain't helpin,' I dinna think.

    And I'd MUCh rather watch Rihanna than Romeo...any day of the week.
    That's the best version of a song that was remixed WAY too many times.
    Jay-Z makes every song better.....
    Shush. I'm from NYC. We love Jay here.

  4. Great review as usual FL. Was wondering whether you could recommend a battlefoam bag for flames of war? The options I've looked at on Waylands are all a bit bewildering!

  5. @ Mickey- I've seen it and it's really nice.
    Just don't get it in red.

  6. @SinSynn, yeah 3 main rulebooks and the mini rulebook with the revised rules!!! Serious creep. And yep I'm in 100% agreement they need to consolidate their rules into a more manageable system. I also think their profile cards need a rethink and a redesign. It's almost there though as a game system. Just a bit of care and attention given to the rules and some better product planning and 2nd ed Malifaux could really take off again. Yep a decent bag is a must. As I've said before the time, money and love we pour into our miniature collections is often impressive... for us then to store and carry them so haphazardly baffles me it really does. Rhianna or Romeo, I know who I'd rather spend the evening with but who would you trust with your miniatures?

    @Mickey, I'm actually told the Battlefoam FoW bag is utterly brilliant, although I don't own one. I was told by a FoW nut that like me he wouldn't be putting his mini's in anything else. Go onto the Battlefoam website and look at the product there its better organised. Wayland Games website is so epically dire it's untrue. It's like it was designed to stop you finding the product you want, I hate it. The lay out and ordering of much of the product as well makes me wander if the person doing the web design is a gamer!!!

    @SinSynn, hey!!! What the hell is wrong with RED?!?! It's a fine colour for a handbag!

  7. Yeah, so there are a lot of letters and numerical values in this article. But no real assesment of the product. I mean what did the cats think of it? If they don't approve, then it's a do-over :D

  8. @Joesmokem, PMSL. I knew you only read the blog for the cats!!! Its too small for Macca, Tybs and Princess Dinah bear. So they're not so keen. Poppy doesn't mind it, but for skirmish games she thinks the Infinity Alpha bag is 'moar yusafull'

  9. PS, to those of you who like my lolzcatz articles I'll be posting some up in the week long run towards Christmas. Just a bit of silly fun before the season of gluttony and avarice.

  10. I also own this red bag, because, hey, it's just that much cooler than the other colors! That being said, I have a few key issues with BF bags. I sleeve my Fate cards, and keep them in a Ultra-Pro deck box. That doesn't fit in the bag. Also, I really dont like how the bag STANDS up. IMHO models are meant to lay down flat. If you put your bag flat and put the minis in, slide the tray in (and this isnt 100% applicable to the Malifaux bag, but it is to their other products, and I work at a game store that carries their entire line), put the bag down wrong-side-up and pull...well, its an added thing to be cautious about that Im not a fan of.

    So, good review. I tend to stick with Army Transport...but even their soft-sided bags arent the best :( I just wish there was a universal tray size...

    1. On the whole I really like my battlefoan bags. But this one wasn't as thought out as it could've been. Or perhaps future proofed is a beter way of looking at it. But I'm not sure thats Battlefoams fault. I think it's more Wyrds fault because I really don't think they had a clue where they were heading. Love my Warmachine bag, love my Infinity Bag and I totally love my PACK 720. No doubt I'll be coveting a Heavy Gear Blitz bag soon... God am I really that much of a brand whore as well?God damn it how am I so easily manipulated? I even know they're doing it!!! What's bloody wrong with me!!!!