By now you should have a pretty good understanding of what Malifaux is all about. Next step would be to go out and spend some money. This week’s guide is about how to get started and what you need to pick up. Compared to other tabletop games, Malifaux is reasonably priced. If you want to get stuck in and see what it’s all about, you don’t have to rob a bank or hide the statements from your other half. How does £25 for a starter box sound?
The RulebookFirst things first, grab yourself a copy of the rulebook. I highly recommend the larger version; not only does it have all the rules, but it’s full of artwork and stories to give you a real feel for the game. You’ll also find each faction and it’s initial wave of miniatures, so you can read up on all the rules before your fist model purchase (should you wish). This means you won't have to buy a specific book for your faction like a codex.
The big book
There is also a smaller rulebook. From what I understand it contains the rules only. Whilst I have never had a flick through this myself, if you are on a budget this would do you fine if you just want to game.
The little book
The ModelsThe Malifaux starter crew boxes are just great. In one of these you have a Master, their Totem, their Henchman (Lieutenant) if they have one, and the closely associated lackeys that follow them. It also comes with the relevant stat cards and optional upgrades. Between the price of £20 and £30, you essentially have a mini-crew in a box that has everything you need to game straight away.
After a few games with these models, you can then start to buy individual models to suit your taste and compliment your crew’s play style. The prices of individual models range from £6 up to £25. Your looking at about 50 Soulstones (the hiring cost) for a standard game. The starter crew box gives you a 30ish Soulstone crew, which can be more with upgrades, so you’ll only need a few more models to make it to the standard 50. It’s always good to have a load of tools in your box though, so picking up a few more than this wouldn’t hurt.
So the total cost of a playable crew? Well it can vary, but to give you some examples, I’ve just picked up a 2nd edition Pandora crew. The starter box gave me Pandora, a Poltergeist, 3 Sorrows, Baby Kade and Candy. I also picked up Teddy for some heavy melee action. That comes to 47 Soulstones total without upgrades (which I would be taking). Total cost? £36. £36 for a fully playable standard size force? Yes please! Can you think of any other popular tabletop game that costs 5 times that for a playable force?!
Now I know your only getting 8 models out of that rather than an entire army, but for those of you who are conscious about spending large amounts of money on plastic soldiers, it’s pretty nice on the wallet! On top of this, you can really go to town on your painting. As every model is different, it’s a real joy to be able to focus your efforts on just 1 model at a time, putting in that extra bit of effort than you would do normally. If your a regular GW gamer, have you ever gotten tired of endlessly painting the same colours on your army model after model, to the point where it feels like a chore just to get them finished? Or maybe the sheer amount of time needed to paint an entire army means you’ve had to settle for a tabletop standard just so you can get them done to game with? With Malifaux, you won’t have those problems. Every model can be your HQ centrepiece.
Painted by Viruk on the Malifaux forums
Also, as it’s not much of an investment, there’s no problems getting a bunch of different crews and masters to play with. Switching armies in GW means getting the codex and re-investing hundreds of pounds to change things up a bit. With Malifaux, you just pick up a starter box (as you already have the crew’s rules from the rulebook) and your done.
Gaming MaterialsSo far you have your rulebook and models. Now for the gaming materials. Tape Measure? Check. Standard deck of cards? Check. Ok, gaming materials done… Seriously, that’s all you need! If you want to invest in a cool Malifaux deck with artwork and dedicated suits, you can, but again, if your on a budget, just use a standard deck of cards. It’s completely transferrable.
Finally, terrain. As Malifaux is a pretty warped reality, it has parts of everything we have come to expect on Earth. You’ll find the Wild West, urban environments and buildings, ruins, swamps, forests, ice and snow type battlefields, mines, graveyards, hamlets, the lot. Pretty much anything in your terrain collection will fit in with Malifaux, providing it’s not Sci-Fi.
However, if you want to build a dedicated Malifaux table, that’s pretty easy too. Your simplest stop would be Terraclips terrain. Specifically designed for Malifaux, it’s thick double printed card stock that allows you to build streets and buildings in a variety of different ways. There are 3 sets available: Streets, Buildings and Sewers.
Every set is compatible with each other, allowing you to combine the pieces into a battlefield of your choice. It can also be multi-level with removable floors and roofs, allowing you to use the interior of buildings. For every set you buy, you’ll want to pick up a box of Terraclips Connectors. These are the clips that hold everything in place as one big battlefield. Once you’ve finished with your initial build, pack everything away, and then build a completely different battlefield the next time! Personally, I picked up the Streets set and Buildings set along with 2 boxes of Connectors and that suits me fine for a 3x3 table. If you wanted to go wild and build a really fancy table full of multi-level buildings, add in a few more boxes accordingly.
That’s it for this week. Hopefully those of you who are considering Malifaux now have a good idea of where to go if you want to start up the game. Next week will be the final article in the series where I’ll discuss where to go to develop your interest in the game even further. Campaigns, the community, narrative, tournaments...