It was a few years back (2011 or 2012) when my middle son, who generally is not a fan of miniatures, comes to me and says we have to try this new game, it is a lot of fun.
So I went down to my FLGS (Krystal Keep - RIP) at the time and picked up a crew box, and my oldest son picked one up as well. In fact the youngest also eventually got one too.
The game was Malifaux
, by Wyrd Games
. Maybe you'be heard of it?
Whenever you pick up a new miniature game, it is important that you actually like the miniatures you will be playing with. I've never been much of a fan of any human models (though once I started making some demo Kings of War Historical armies that changed a bit), so a lot of the factions didn't interest me.
I did, however, like the steampunk spiders - so I picked Arcanists, and specifically Ramos. As luck would have it, he was one of the more challenging masters to play (in other words I kept getting my butt kicked). The oldest did guild, and the youngest did outcasts (he liked the mercenaries). The middle son - ended up never really playing it after all - go figure.
Malifaux is different because it does not use dice - instead each player has a deck of cards they draw from (with some in their hand as well) when a 'random' number is needed. Most of the time you can play a card from your hand to override the one you drew if you want.
I did play in one local tournament, and they announced (there was no award or prize) that I was judged the best painted army there (not so much a comment on my crew, but more on the field in general that day).
I didn't much care for the game, and never picked up the 2nd edition (partially because one of the biggest faults I had with it (the fact that you would only have to say what faction you were playing, then chose master & crew based after you heard what your opponent was playing - it felt to me like it was too much rock/paper/scissors (and not even rock/paper/scissors/lizard/Spock). (2nd edition did fix the balance between masters (you know have to purchase extra spells and abilities - so you don't get everything for free).
What I found unusual was, at least for their first few books, how much I actually enjoyed the background stories (i.e. fluff). Now I don't care much for the published fluff - it is the models and gameplay that drive me. In fact back when I used to play WFB, I would pick up the paperback army books (when they all started coming out in hardback for $50 (instead of the $20 pb) I stopped getting all of them) as they came out, even if I didn't play the army. I only read all of one of them (Daemons - not sure why). The stories just did not interest me, and I was not invested in the background for their game at all.
But I really liked the Malifaux stories. I don't know if they were just better written, or more cinematic or what, but I even looked for an older book just for the stories, even though the rules were outdated. (I still remember a story where Rasputtina was fighting Seamus - and he pulls out a stick of dynamite to throw at her, lights it, and watches as the winds blow it out. I could just see that in my head and even how it worked on the tabletop).
With 2nd edition of Malifaux, Wyrd, like so many other companies, decided to go with plastic miniatures instead of metal. The transition went very well (I personally thought that it took too long for the wave 2 cards to come out, but that was a minor point). The new plastic models are simply fantastic - every bit as detailed as the metal ones, but much easier to put together. And the sculpts are just amazing.
I don't play anymore, but I have ended up still buying some models from them. I had to have the Nightmare Whiskey Golem because I had drunk dwarfs - and eventually I used it as an Earth Elemental with them in Kings of War.
So I think Wyrd is a good company and I even though I don't care for the way their flagship game plays, I do try to support them a bit (the new game they kickstarted - the Other Side - is still open for late pledges on Backerkit here
), and not just because the youngest son now works for them as a game designer!
Enough of that though - of course the reason for this is to show off more of my old miniatures. Ironically I actually don't have these anymore, as the youngest took them with him when he moved to Atlanta to start working for Wryd.
So first you pick your faction, then you pick your master. I liked Ramos, and actually have two (three if you count the avatar of invention) of him - and there is the 4th plastic one as well. I do like the progression of poses - from comtemplative, to active, to exploding with power!
|Ramos, Avatar of Invention|
Why did I pick Ramos? I liked the steam punk aspect, and the constructs he makes and controls. Just find some scrap and make a construct!
One of the constructs Ramos can make is an Electrical Creation. Basically a floating electric bomb. I actually painted up two of these before I discovered that it is unique - so you can never have more than one in play at a time.
This was one of their fiddliest models - trying to get those thing electrical arcs attached to the tiny posts - I did try pinning them and they were too small for even that. Probably the only model worse than the Steam Arachnids.
Of course, if you are going to be building constructs out of piles of scrap, you always need your tools handy. A lot of the models for Ramos have exhaust pipes - so I would put a bit of cotton on the end of any of these to represent the steam and/or smoke coming out of them.
Of course Ramos has his own totem, the Brass Arachnid.
In addition to the electrical creation, Ramos can also create Steam Arachnids. Three of these can join up to make a Steam Arachnid Swarm. These are also pretty nasty to put together - as these tiny models come in 5 pieces - body and 4 legs (and realistically - you should have been able to fit the body a pair of opposite legs flat in a mold). And each leg needed to be pinned - they are metal after all.
I would expect the newer plastic ones would be SO much easier - simply because the way plastic cement works.
The Steam Arachnid Swarm is just 3 Steam Arachnids glued to a bigger base. I made one set of singles, one full swarm
|Steam Arachnid Swarm|
And one set that is magnetized, so the individual SA an swarm up.
|Steam Arachnids before swarming|
|Steam Arachnids after swarming|
The final spider is the Large Arachnid. Again fiddley to put together, but a bit larger so not as bad as the small spiders. Again, I liked having two of them.
Another of my favorite constructs was the Soulstone Miner. It could hide underground and also generate more soulstones. I made two.
One of the nastier models for Ramos was the Steamborg Excutioner. In 2nd edition they actually gave him a name - Howard Langston. Not nearly as impressive as before, but just as powerful.
|Howard Langston - Steamborg Executioner|
One of the interesting things Wyrd does is to make some special models for conventions. These are just the big items - they also like to do special female versions of some of their normal models - they did one of this - I think it was Miss Tery. I had it but never got it painted (and of course now my son has it down in Atlanta).
Ramos also had some human minions as well. The gunsmiths are M&SU minions that provide for some nice ranged firepower.
I liked Joss because he was a hand to hand beatstick. I think the new plastic sculpt is fairly different.
Bishop is a mercenary that Ramos can take for no extra cost. His new plastic sculpt is completely different.
Kaeris used to be Henchman (henchmen can lead teams but are not as strong as masters). In the 2.0 version however, she got promoted to a full master. I always liked her metal wings that Ramos made for her.
Finally Kaeris needs some cheap fodder for herself. She she has flame based powers, her minions are fire Gamin - little fire devils.
I did get more models, but none of them ever got painted (beyond primer). A mechanical rider, rail golem, metal gamins, union miners were some of them. I had also started getting Hoffman crew together (because I liked the constructs) but they were never painted either.
Because it is all fun and games . . .
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