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BayouBushido

How vertical is Malifaux?

7 posts in this topic

How vertical are games of Malifaux? Do games mostly take place on the same level, or should terrain allow figures to climb up on buildings of various heights, fight on catwalks, etc.?

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Very little, unfortunately...

One of the less popular changes was from first edition was the simplifications to the vertical side of the game. The streamlining does make a lot of sense mechanlocally (less so the elevation rules), but vertical tables are cool, so it's a trade off between fun to play and cool to watch...

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Thanks for the reply!

I don't really mind if the game isn't super vertical: it makes finding suitable terrain a bit easier. Plus, if I want vertical action, I can play Infinity instead!

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If you have the Infinity terrain already, its scale is just as good for Malifaux, if a bit jarring in theme. I've played a few satisfying games with the paper terrain which fits around Infinity boxes...although, I confess, completely ignoring the vantage point rules, which neither of us could wrap our head around at that point. Since then there's been an excellent guide to elevation and LoS with photos posted, on A Wyrd Place Facebook group, but at the time two wargaming newbies were trying to figure it out, and couldn't.

(Seriously need to convince that player at my FLGS to sell at least the files for cutting his MDF Infinity terrain, if he doesn't want to produce it himself...beautiful octagonal lines to every building, and with stairs that have landings broad enough to accommodate a 4" move/walk and a 40mm base! Slap some textured paint and tiny pro-M&SU wall posters ((files available freely somewhere online)) on it and call it Malifaux-ready!)

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To be honest, the Infinity tables that I've seen or played on haven't been super vertical compared to the Malifaux tables I've seen or played on.  You end up having to make the same sorts of design concessions due to the fact that most models in each game have a 4 to 6 inch movement speed, can't fly and don't climb very fast.

For Malifaux terrain, you have to be careful about a few issues in terrain definition:

  • When you assign terrain traits such as blocking, cover, impassible, and climbable, you need to break the terrain item into pieces and specify which pieces of the terrain item the trait applies to.  For example, for a wall, you probably want the blocking, hard cover, impassible and climbable traits to be applied to:
    • The top surface of the wall is open terrain (no traits) so you can stand on it without being in cover
    • The sides of the wall are climbable and hard cover
    • The inside of the wall of the wall is impassible and blocking terrain so you can't see through or move through it
  • Just like in Infinity, be careful about when you consider the ground (or flat surfaces) terrain.  You only really want to consider the ground/ceiling blocking when drawing line of sight to models on different levels.
  • Just like in Infinity, you have to be careful when setting up a vertically oriented table to consider how much of a "walking vs. flying" divide you create, and may need to be liberal in the use of ladders, stairs, and other scenery elements for avoiding vertical movement penalties.

Both 1st and 2nd edition Malifaux tried to use a mostly "top-down" line of sight system.  Non-movement measuring is "top-down", so auras and pulses end up being cylinders that extend up and down indefinitely (limited by blocking terrain and intervening models), and weapon ranges ignore vertical distances mostly.

So there's a definite bias towards "flat" tables mechanically, but you can make a vertical table work right if you want it.

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On 5/19/2017 at 10:12 PM, solkan said:

Non-movement measuring is "top-down", so auras and pulses end up being cylinders that extend up and down indefinitely (limited by blocking terrain and intervening models), and weapon ranges ignore vertical distances mostly.

Auras and pulses are the same height as the model that creates them, but extend downwards infinitely. With a lot of vertical terrain, this can be a big thing to keep in mind. 

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On 2017-5-20 at 6:12 AM, solkan said:

 

Both 1st and 2nd edition Malifaux tried to use a mostly "top-down" line of sight system.  Non-movement measuring is "top-down", so auras and pulses end up being cylinders that extend up and down indefinitely (limited by blocking terrain and intervening models), and weapon ranges ignore vertical distances mostly.

So there's a definite bias towards "flat" tables mechanically, but you can make a vertical table work right if you want it.

if only it was this simple. 

Auras and pulses have a Ht stat, but it rarely matters unless the aura grants traits like blocking. you need to be in the top down range of the aura, and have LOS to the origin. They don't extend down below the model, but most of the time that doesn't matter (as with the ht stats), they will still effect models below them. 

The game works ok on multiple levels as long as both players are happy to go with it. (For example you both agree on how auras work on different levels)

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