Thursday, 17 May 2012

Bad things...

Well, I’ve talked enough Iron Hands, so I’m going to let that lie for a spell.  Next up: Malifaux chatter.

I’ve been interested in this game for over a year now, but it’s only been relatively recently that I’ve actually been able to get into it.  I had one test game at a club in North London and got on with it fine, although that was mainly down to luck and Hans the sniper.  It was only a couple of months after that that I was able to assemble some sample crews and get a couple of test games at my club.  Naturally, I stumbled at that point too, seeing as most of the rules were still a mystery to me.  Some of them still are, quite frankly.

Thankfully, it resonated well with a couple of the guys at the club and we’ve been playing semi-regularly for the past couple of months, although we’re only just getting round to using the special terrain section of book.  Another spot of good news is that we all have a different favourite faction which leads to a handy natural division for games, rather than having to deal with mirror matches.  One of us really likes the Guild, another goes for Resurrectionists in a big way and me; I’m an Outcast player.  I realise I may be getting a little ahead here, as some of you may not know much about the game, so such information is pretty much meaningless.  Let me explain.

No, there is too much.  Let me sum up.

It’s the turn of the century.  The 19th century, just edging to the 20th.  A rip in the fabric of reality occurs in California and a parallel dimension is discovered.  This dimension has interesting natural resources called ‘soulstones’ which allow genuine magic to be enacted on both sides of the rip (called the ‘Breach’.  A town is discovered just inside the rip, fully built, but utterly empty.  A town called Malifaux.  This is used as a base of operations and general conurbation for mining expeditions to recover soulstones, and the assorted businesses and hangers-on that go with this kind of prospecting operation.  Then the Breach closes inexplicably for a number of years.  During this time, a society used to using soulstones in a variety of ways struggles to adjust to their ever-increasing rarity and an unfortunate discovery is made: that when someone dies near a soulstone, it recharges.  Take this factoid through to its logical conclusion.  Thoroughly unpretty.

Anyway, suddenly the Breach opens up again.  The town is just how it was, but there are no people again.  No bodies either.  All deserted.  Naturally, people being people, Malifaux is soon repopulated and the business of mining continues ever onward.  That’s the rough idea.  Now the factions.  You’ve got five factions in this game.  The Guild, who are the forces of law and order in Malifaux, but (naturally) corrupt and tending towards fascism.  Resurrectionists, who are your necromancer types.  Very easy to see why they’re not liked.  It’s the smell, I think.  Then you have the Arcanists, who are unsanctioned magic users railing against the rules of the Guild.  After that there are the Neverborn, who are basically demons and nightmare creatures.  Pretty much the native inhabitants of Malifaux.  They don’t seem to like the humans being around.  At all.  And last you have the Outcasts, who are the oddities and mercenaries hanging around the place.

Most of the Outcasts can be hired by other factions, but you can have a full Outcast crew, and that’s what I focus on.  That said, I’ve got a crew for all the factions other than Resurrectionists as I wanted to get a variety of crews to give intro games and such.  And I don’t particularly like Resurrectionists.  Zombies are overplayed.  There, I’ve said it.

Anyway, I’ve very much got a favourite Outcast crew, being the Freikorps, who are basically steampunk special forces.  Military outfit, gas masks and a lot of clockwork guns.  I’ve been doing fairly well with them, and that’s actually a bit of a problem.  I’m worried that they may be a little overpowered.  It could well be that my opponents both favour spell casting leaders, and a big plus point for the Freikorps is that their armour is very good at shrugging off a lot of magic and renders them pretty much immune to area-of effect damage.  This tips the balance very much in my favour versus my two regular opponents.

They don’t seem put off by it though, which is good.  Nevertheless, I’m exploring a different sort of Outcast crew now.  I’m think the Viktorias, maybe with some Freikorps backup.  Whether or not this works out for me remains to be seen.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  So long readers!