Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Into The ToMB: Month Zero, or Where To Start?

OK, so if you have no idea what ToMB is, check out my intro post here.

Quick recap:

  • Choose a new Malifaux Master,
  • Buy things with a monthly budget ($60 this month, $25 each month after),
  • Assemble and paint said Master & Crew,
  • Play games,
  • Document the whole shebang.
I'm new to Malifaux, so whoever I decided on would be my first Master. Of all time. EVAH.

I will go into more depth about the process I went through in deciding on who to buy in a 'Malifaux: A Beginner's Tale' post at some point soon, but I ended up (because you can't choose just one, can you?) getting three Crew Boxes.

I got:
  • Seamus (Shadows of Redchapel - Plastic) - BIG discount online.
  • Sonnia (The Torch And The Blade - Plastic) - Because the new Samael Hopkins model is badass.
  • Lady Justice (Death Marshals - Metal) - I prefer the classic sculpt; had to snap her metal box up before it disappears for good.
Got to choose one to start with. And the winner is...

The mistress of blasty goodness herself - Ms. Sonnia Criid! 

There's a couple of reasons for choosing Cherufe's plaything over the Mad Hatter and Lady J. For one, I got my hands on her box before Seamus turned up. Second, I didn't have the Guild Wave 1 Arsenal Box, so had no M2e cards for Lady J's box. 

Plus burning stuff and blasting fire at the enemy is cool, right? And yes, I realise blowing up the opposition is not always productive in Malifaux, but hey, it's fun!

Month 0 Spending

Starting Budget: $60

Bought: The Torch And The Blade -$40

Total Spent: $40
Carry forward to Month 1: $20

Month 1 Plan

This gives me the following to use in Month 1:
  • Sonnia (3SS cache)
  • Samael Hopkins (9SS/4SS cache)
  • Purifying Flame (3SS)
  • 3 Witchling Stalkers (5SS each)
This means I can play some small games (20SS or so) with Sam leading the Crew e.g.
  • Sam (Witch Hunt, Lead Lined Coat) 
  • 3 Witchling Stalkers
    • Total: 19SS (5SS cache)
or I can (by loading up on Upgrades) reasonably play up to 35SS games once I have the hang of things.

I've got a little bit of an idea of how the Crew might play from watching this video battle report by Games Wot I Played:

And looking at the cards, it's obvious that I'll need to use the Witchlings as objective runners and to put as much Burning on enemy models as possible so that Sonnia and Sam can blast away from behind cover using their Visions of Flame ability to ignore Cover and Line of Sight.

Seems like the Crew might play slow (all the models except Purifying Flame have a Wk of 4) given their lack of movement shenanigans, but can definitely dish out plenty of hurt. Definitely possible to deny areas of the board to enemy models with Sam and Sonnia.

Only getting the models on the table will tell for sure though!

After Month 1

Unless I really can't help myself, I'm planning to roll the $20 I haven't spent over into Month 2 to give me $40 to expand that month. That way I can add in the Death Marshals ($22 in metal, $24 in plastic) and Judge (~$10 based on other single figures on Wyrd's site, since he's technically not available separately) from my Lady J box.

Other thoughts would be an Austringer or two ($12 apiece) for a bit more maneuverability/interaction out of activation through Deliver Orders, or perhaps a Freikorps Specialist ($9.50) for even more Burning! 

And then there's that box of Guild Riflemen ($21) sitting on my LGS's shelves right now...

Too much choice!

See you Through The Breach...

The Scribe

Friday, 7 February 2014

40,000 Words: February Hobby Progress Commitments

So I made up my mind!

I've finally committed to a unit for the Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge 2014, and that unit is................................

Ten Chaos Cultists with Autopistols & Close Combat Weapons!!!

OK, so that's not that exciting. But I do have them all assembled:

They've also since been primed (done when we actually had a break from the rain...) and I've started playing around with base coat colours for skin and cloth on a test model.

But that's all for another post when I actually have some proper progress to report. Only ~3 weeks left...

See you through the Eye of Terror...

The Scribe

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Malifaux: A Beginner's Tale, Episode 1 - So What Is Malifaux Anyway?

© Wyrd Games

This is the first of my Malifaux: A Beginner's Tale articles. These are designed to help an absolute beginner (newbie, noob, n00b or any number of other silly terms) start playing and enjoying the game.

Let's start with defining some terms, shall we? Malifaux's creators, Wyrd Games, describe Malifaux as a 32mm tabletop miniature skirmish game. Right, five terms: 32mm; tabletop; miniature; skirmish and game.

Making the grand assumption that anyone other than me reads this blog, I'm assuming that those people already have some interest and knowledge of miniature gaming in general. If not, then very briefly, miniature gaming usually makes use of models to represent armies, gangs, spaceships and what have you. Generally speaking, two or more players then use these pieces to fight a battle - the game - of some description.

These take place either over a beautifully modelled board with custom terrain, or as is more likely the case if you're starting out, a table with improvised terrain (books and drinks cans are the classic example) hence the term tabletop.

The 32mm refers to the scale of the miniatures. There are various ways of measuring, but this is an indication of how tall an 'average' or human sized model is at that scale. Games Workshop - many people's entry point into miniature gaming - use 28mm scale for their 40k and Fantasy systems, but with exaggerated or 'heroic' body proportions. Some games, such as Hawk Wargames' Dropzone Commander, use even smaller scales, like 10 or 15mm, and are usually designed to represent very large engagements.

Which brings us nicely on to skirmish. The back of the original Malifaux rulebook says you could play with just 4-6 models, and expand to play with more. This is indicative of a skirmish level game. Even though the average size of Malifaux games has increased since the game first released, it is still focused on small groups of models. By comparison, a game like 40k can require dozens (or even hundreds) of models to play a game at the standard level.

The other thing that Wyrd say about their creation is that it is character driven. This means that each model in a game is an individual, with differing and sometimes unique characteristics and abilities to use in a game. All the characters in the game have a back story and a reason to be there. This is a major selling point of the game to me, since it is more interesting to have models that not only look characterful but also act in a variety of ways rather than as just one part of a larger unit as they might do in some other games.

There is one more thing to consider about Malifaux before I wrap up, and that is the way the game functions - its core mechanics. The vast majority of tabletop games are played using dice to determine the random outcomes of game actions and effects. Not so in Malifaux. Rather, a deck of cards, called a Fate Deck, is used for this purpose, and as a form of resource management. This gives the player a little more control of certain outcomes.
© Wyrd Games

Now, in order to avoid falling prey to the Wall-of-Text monster, that's where we'll leave it for now. The next episode will dig a little deeper into how the game plays, what you need to play it and how else it sets itself apart from other tabletop miniatures games (like the fact that you can still win even if all your models are dead!).

I hope someone finds this useful!

See you Through The Breach...

The Scribe

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Into The ToMB - Joining the Tale of Malifaux Bloggers

I have already said on here that I intended to write about approaching Malifaux as a total beginner. Well, guess what? Other people seem to have had a similar idea.

Chris King (@Lemonconstruct) of the Chasing Bacon podcast and Dave Chandler (@iamsssk) of Play It Like Beatdown had noticed the lack of 'beginner friendly' info about Malifaux floating around. They've decided to gather some bloggers together to remedy this. Thus A Tale of Malifaux Bloggers (#ToMB) was born.

The idea is that each player chooses a new Master to build a crew for. Like the old Tale of Four Gamers articles in White Dwarf, we'll each start with a few models - say one of the plastic boxes - build them, paint them and play games with them.

Then, each blogger will sum up their experiences with their new crew over the course of a month, all starting from the 17th February. Mostly this will focus on learning how the crew plays, but will also include painting progress amongst other things.

After Month 1, each player will be able to add something new to their crew and see how that addition affects their gaming experiences. This will carry on for six months. In theory, this is all intended to show what it is like to start playing Malifaux and how you might go about building a crew for a particular Master.

Now, I'm actually a new player, so I will be learning not only a new Master, but the game itself! My hope is that this will provide an even more realistic look at starting a crew from scratch, because I will have less familiarity with ALL the models than the experienced guys.

I'm also planning to keep my original idea of a more general 'Beginner's Guide' to Malifaux as well, so expect plenty of posts as well as the monthly ToMB ones. I'll be looking at fluff, rules, painting, playing and more, so stay tuned!

I'll have another post about ToMB soon, talking about which Master (or Masters...) I've chosen. In the meantime, check out this post by Dave for more detail about the rules and regulations.

See you through the Breach!

The Scribe