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What would you want to see in a Malifaux 2E Starter Set?

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Okay, here's how you'd do it;
 
Crew choice would come down to a few things;
1. They'd have to be beginner-friendly (ie. easy to understand playstyle and can work just fine out of the box without additional summons or upgrades)
2. They'd have to showcase most, if not all of the rules for Malifaux in some sense (eg. Horror Duels, Conditions etc).
3. They'd have to be popular. This would be easy for Wyrd to work out, just look at the sales numbers and pick the starters with the highest turnover. 
4. They'd have to match up against each other well, both in theme (not essential) and power level (more essential, but could be fixed by fiddling with model content).
5. Both crews would have to offer a significantly different playstyle to the other. So for that reason Sonnia vs Raspy wouldn't work so well. 
 
Contents of the starter set would ideally be as follows;
- Two starter crews (as above). Basically the same setup as what you'd get in the current boxes (Master, Henchman/Enforcer, Totem, Minions).
- Two Fate decks.
- Measuring Tape (optional - most seem to have one of these anyway),
- Card Terrain (in partnership with Terraclips?),
- A5 Rulebook,
- Soulstones (glass gemstones? Surely they'd be super-cheap to source in bulk)
- Scheme and Corpse Markers. (double sided, so opposing colours for the scheme markers and scrap/corpse on the corpse markers)
- Introductory Campaign book.
 
The last one is important. The Intro book would contain a series of linked scenarios (complete with story!), each designed to introduce the rules for Malifaux. So for instance;
Scenario 1: Minions vs Minions, introducing activations, actions and duels. Would have a different objective for each crew.
Scenario 2: Henchman & Minions, introducing Soulstones and Strategies/Schemes
Scenario 3: Full crew (inc. Leader & Totem), introducing upgrades, Masters, Totems and anything else missed by the last scenarios (eg. conditions).
The rules in the Intro book will only give what the players need to know for the scenarios they're playing, but with page references to the A5 rulebook so they can refer to the full rules when desired. 
And of course at the end, you can include a section on how each starter crew plays in the full game (strategy-wise), as well as possible future expansions for those crews. 
 
In terms of price you'd generally be aiming for a bit under the cost of the main components (crews, rulebook, fate decks). Basically enough for it to feel like a good deal, but without compromising the quality of the overall product. 
 
 
Another option might be to just release a "starter pack", with terrain, rules, markers, basically everything but the crews themselves. Then players could buy the starter pack and then two crews of their choice. The negative to this is that the scenarios book to teach those new players wouldn't work so well, both in functionality and theme. 

 
As for what to draw in veteran players, that shouldn't be too hard. I imagine new sculpts for the two crews in the box would be more than enough, especially if the original plastic sculpts were a bit contentious or it includes minions that players might want more of anyway (eg. Rotten Belles). I tgink it would be particularly cool if the sculpts from the opposing crews matched up against each other when placed as a diorama. So for instance Lady Justice could be charging forward while Seamus dives out of the way, Hand Cannon at the ready. 
 
An additional alternative sculpt for a Mercenary would also sweeten the deal (eg. a Convict Gunslinger - not part of the intro rules but something both starter crews could add anyway). 

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Okay, here's how you'd do it;

Contents of the starter set would ideally be as follows;

- Two starter crews (as above). Basically the same setup as what you'd get in the current boxes (Master, Henchman/Enforcer, Totem, Minions).

- Two Fate decks.

- Measuring Tape (optional - most seem to have one of these anyway),

- Card Terrain (in partnership with Terraclips?),

- A5 Rulebook,

- Soulstones (glass gemstones? Surely they'd be super-cheap to source in bulk)

- Scheme and Corpse Markers. (double sided, so opposing colours for the scheme markers and scrap/corpse on the corpse markers)

- Introductory Campaign book.

I agree with this, except for the crews. I think card terrain + mat is kind of expected now, Dropzone has it, Infinity has it, etc. For measuring I'd use a stick, like the GW whips or a card thing.

 

For the crews I'd make two sets of completely new models, henchmen, enforcers, minions, no masters (and some upgrades to introduce in later scenarios). Maybe make them dual faction so you can cover 4 factions, but that may feel forced.

 

Early bird bonus would be an alternative sculpt of an existing model.

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I have always felt that the best demo match was Seamus vs Justice. You get strong melee, strong shooting, plenty of casts, an intro to summoning, board control, terrifying, bury, and + and - twists. All with out upgrades; plus a few other things (Finish the Job, for instance).

Personally, I would say to keep the set simple and the cost down. Models, rules manual, and 2 decks. Maybe include a sheet with tokens and blasts to cut out. Getting the set out at or under $100 seems important to me.

Easiest way to get current players to buy it is alt sculpts of anything, hands down.

Alternatively, making a box containing just extras (tokens, cards, card terrain, etc) but no models could be viable, BUT defeats the purpose of a two player starter (one box to buy to start the game). It would still simplify things, though.

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Contents of the starter set would ideally be as follows;

- Two starter crews (as above). Basically the same setup as what you'd get in the current boxes (Master, Henchman/Enforcer, Totem, Minions).

- Two Fate decks.

- Measuring Tape (optional - most seem to have one of these anyway),

- Card Terrain (in partnership with Terraclips?),

- A5 Rulebook,

- Soulstones (glass gemstones? Surely they'd be super-cheap to source in bulk)

- Scheme and Corpse Markers. (double sided, so opposing colours for the scheme markers and scrap/corpse on the corpse markers)

- Introductory Campaign book.

 

I think all of the strikethrough text is unnecessary, based on my experience with other game starter sets.

 

The important thing is models and basic rules, and the ability to use those basic rules.

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I think Rathnard has it pretty much perfect.

 

Crew selection is the tricky part. I'd suggest full crew boxes - the 'Henchman and a couple of minions' sounds alright till you realise that it'll be less than 10 models on the back of a £60 box set, no matter how much extra stuff you cram in the punter looks at the models first and foremost. 

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The transmortis style crews with extras sounds like the best approach to me. The starter should be a sample that gives you a nice start and with 4 models per crew it could easily go for 80$ with the extra loot. In that case, I'd suggest 3 with all factions outside of Resurrectionists to do a vs package, mostly since Ressers already got transmortis and it's a good way to get those extra releases out for the other factions. So a Guild Vs Neverborn, Arcanist Vs Gremlons and Ten Thunders Vs Outcast for example or what have you with a couple of fate decks, a simplified strategy plus scheme and so on.

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I think all of the strikethrough text is unnecessary, based on my experience with other game starter sets.

 

The important thing is models and basic rules, and the ability to use those basic rules.

 

You're right in that what the models and rules are the most important parts, but if that's all you're including in a starter set then why bother making one at all? You'd be better off forgetting about an official "starter box" and just doing a package deal instead - A5 rulebook, 2 fate decks and two crew boxes for a discount on RRP. 

 

IMO, the primary aim of the starter set is to provide a starting point for someone completely new to the game to learn and enjoy it with a minimum of confusion. Giving them the A5 rulebook and a crew will provide them with what they need, but even that requires some serious reading (and in some cases, confusion) for the new player. Not to mention that it gives almost no background or story, which is a major drawcard for a game like Malifaux. 

 

That's where the intro book comes in. It lets you present the rules in a manner that lets players learn the game easily as well as highlight the more appealing aspects of the game (eg. strategies and schemes). Plus you can fit in some stories to give the player a feel for the background. 

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Okay, here's how you'd do it;

 ...

 

The last one is important. The Intro book would contain a series of linked scenarios (complete with story!), each designed to introduce the rules for Malifaux. So for instance;

Scenario 1: Minions vs Minions, introducing activations, actions and duels. Would have a different objective for each crew.

Scenario 2: Henchman & Minions, introducing Soulstones and Strategies/Schemes

Scenario 3: Full crew (inc. Leader & Totem), introducing upgrades, Masters, Totems and anything else missed by the last scenarios (eg. conditions).

The rules in the Intro book will only give what the players need to know for the scenarios they're playing, but with page references to the A5 rulebook so they can refer to the full rules when desired. 

...

 An additional alternative sculpt for a Mercenary would also sweeten the deal (eg. a Convict Gunslinger - not part of the intro rules but something both starter crews could add anyway). 

 

A tutorial scenario booklet with incremental rules would be a must for new players.

I can see good and bad for doing (new) Henchman lead crews - full crews is better for new players, henchmen crews adds appeal for existing players. 

 

I also like the idea of adding a pair of Merc figures (one for each side) with hiring rules in Scenario "2.5", and don't "assign" either of them in the scenario.  Use high-contrast mercs, such as a Convict Gunslinger (range-oriented) and a Ronin (melee-oriented) (and a new Ronin sculpt that's more thematic would be liked in general).

 

I wonder how well Transmortis has done for them?  It's sort of a starter set, although a very odd way of doing one.  I must admit that I haven't broken down and bought the set yet, myself - there always seems to be something ahead of it in the purchase queue.

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A tutorial scenario booklet with incremental rules would be a must for new players.

I can see good and bad for doing (new) Henchman lead crews - full crews is better for new players, henchmen crews adds appeal for existing players. 

 

I also like the idea of adding a pair of Merc figures (one for each side) with hiring rules in Scenario "2.5", and don't "assign" either of them in the scenario.  Use high-contrast mercs, such as a Convict Gunslinger (range-oriented) and a Ronin (melee-oriented) (and a new Ronin sculpt that's more thematic would be liked in general).

 

I wonder how well Transmortis has done for them?  It's sort of a starter set, although a very odd way of doing one.  I must admit that I haven't broken down and bought the set yet, myself - there always seems to be something ahead of it in the purchase queue.

Doing full pre-existing crews is also cheaper for Wyrd. They would not even have to cut sprews any differently. If Wyrd had to make new models just for the starter, it would instantly drive up the price of it. I also know that as a new player, I would skip a starter box that did not have a master and just go for a crew box that looked cool to have a more complete force.

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This is a most tricky question.

First:

  1. Go for a budget starter, two crews, a mini rule book, a pair of limited edition decks (just one deck with cool new art) and maybe a 'scenario' model/terrain piece like the hanging tree. Sell it at maybe 75% 'true' value. This idea is to minimize the initial outlay to get as many folks interested as cheaply as possible.
  2. Go for a mid-range set; your two crews, mini rules, starter decks and maybe add limited edition models (outcast so accessible to all?), a 3'x3' (I mean its the game table size and manageably sized), maybe some terrain pieces. In this case go for mat and terrain which is not paper/card. I think if you include terrain stuff it needs to have durability.
  3. Go all out; some crews or even a pair of 'crew redeem' vouchers?, limited edition decks, maybe a limited edition crew, play mats, terrain, dancing persons (male/female/ambiguous, flexible is the key), death ray, auto 'Mako' ability painting robot (or alternatively a dancing/painting Mako [assembly may be required]), a Ratty pinata because lets face facts its a forum role which can be expanded. Really go nuts.

The real kicker is what to even put in for crews to any starter. There are literally numerous faction/crew combinations and making any selection attractive, accessible, balanced.... Its going to be tough.

  • Guild is perhaps the prototypical 'Humans are invading' faction. Hard to pass up.
  • Ressers are cool because lets face facts Zombies are the new it thing.
  • Aracanists exemplify some of the key components of the game notably magic and steam constructs.
  • Neverborn are the horrifying dark natives of the world and the nightmares made real, how can they not be in.
  • Outcasts cool, mercenary and give the ultimate in flexibility.
  • Gremlins because in many way the mad cap, comic, deadly chaos of gremmies is pretty much Malifaux embodied.
  • Ten Thunders you get some cool cross faction action and who doesn't want to know Kung Fu.

I have got to say I'd probably go Guild (the Human tyrants) vs Neverborn (the Nightmare denizens) as the obvious faction.

Don't really play either faction but....

Perdita Crew (gun play, cool multi-gender mix, more forgiving [?], specifically confronts Neverborn)

 

Against

 

Lilith Crew (she is the mother of Nightmares, the basic Neverborn demonic horror and I believe as nasty as hell)

 

Personally seeing say the Jack Daw crew we've seen initial art for and Zorida as the Neverborn/Gremlin/Voodoo madness would be amazing because it would introduce models which are not yet released in 2E so be appealing to a lot of folks just for the hell of it and it captures some interesting cross faction/multi faction interchange.

 

As I said its a tough question......... :blast:huh::blast

 

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If they put out dancing mako robots, I want one.

Wait, two. Then I can start an all-Mako rock band and get a rep for trashing hotels and driving cars into swimming pools. Even with three of me, I still won't get all my painting done...

And we'd have to keep them (and me) away from the death ray.

The problem as I see it here is that any two crew starter will automatically have limited uptake, since each master is only 1/7 of the ones for their faction and you'd only have 2 of 7 factions there. Selling it cheaply enough to make sense to the buyer even if you dump one crew seems like it might end up being a loss leader (not necessarily a good thing, but I haven't seen the accounts). Selling it so it's more expensive than the single crew but cheaper than two crews means only people that want both (or that like a deal and are ok with the second crew) will pay the extra.

For example, I'd buy one featuring Lady j, Raspy, Colette, Kaeris or Toni (considering looks and a bit of fluff, and stopping at two factions because it keeps it short). If it was Sonnia vs Ramos, even though I like a lot of arcanists, I'd pass on it. I might consider it if it was lady j vs Ramos, but I'd probably pass as I have no use for spider boy, even as a freebie to friends.

The rulebook, two fate decks, measuring device (one like those little plastic 1,2,3,4 inch measuring panels would be good, or a tape - not whippy sticks that don't store in bags and are always bent), two standard box set crews and maybe the arsenal decks for the factions they belong to (encouraging people to look at all the options for expanding). Definitely a short ish intro games/campaign booklet, involving a fair bit of fluff focussed around the games and characters. That's everything you need to get two people playing and in the world, I personally think.

A play mat would be annoying bulk to me, as I'll either have a scenic table and terrain already or be happy to mark out a 3' square and use proxy terrain (had a great starter game using cokes and doughnuts for that once, though the terrain did fluctuate whenever we got hungry).

Limited edition sculpts will likely lead to people complaining loudly that they can't get those individual sculpts for a sensible price, and will jack up the outlay for making the set, so I'd actually be tempted to steer clear of them. (It would bug me, there's some sets I've seen for infinity where the only model I like is a sculpt I can only get in that set, meaning a very costly model and five bits of uninteresting junk. And even more annoying when there's no version of it I like in the rest of the range.)

Terrain is heavy, bulky and expensive generally so that's probably not worth it if you want a low price point and high sales.

Currently unreleased stuff won't be unreleased for the lifetime of the product, so that will only provide a bunch of sales at reduced income at the start (due to the discount price of the bundle) and not necessarily make the starter pack sell over time.

Honestly, much as I like the idea, it seems pretty difficult to do in a way that generates a decently selling product that is viable for the company as a growth tool and a cost/benefit balance.

Which is a shame, as I do want the dancing Makobot :D

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To me the current entry point for Malifaux is so comparatively low and the variation in master choice so big that I do think it is hard to compose a decent starter.

When I recently restarted Hordes I bought the two player starter because I wanted to play Circle, was passingly interested in Legion and it was a good deal in terms of miniatures. Especially since I knew that I'd want to use several of them in many lists

When me and my wife started Malifaux it was with Raspy v. Viks. A starter set of say Lady J v. Seamus (one of the likely combinations) would have been entirely uninteresting as they were miles from what we wanted. You could even do different master from those factions, say Ramos v. Hamlin and we would still have auto-passed, pretty much regardless of the price point. The value proposition is really low if I don't want at least one of the two masters. And the wide appeal of the many different masters looks to me like one of the key things drawing people into Malifaux. In that way having 'approved starter masters' might even work against the game.

I also find two-player starters a little tricky because they only contain one rulebook. Its great if I want it all, but if its two people sharing (the ideal, IMO) then you are a rulebook short.

There is also the question of who the target audience is. The more bits you add for completely new players the less appealing it might become to gamers looking for a new game. Like the mat that's been talked about, if you play other games it would need to be really good to be interesting at all. Same with terrain, I heard some discussion of the Infinity starter and someone saying they would just throw away the cardboard terrain anyway so the box seemed expensive to them. I'd also never used a brooklet introducing rules over a handful of slow build games, but that might just be personal choice.

It makes me think that a starter 'kit' with rulebook and accessories would be the best approach, so you just need two items to start playing the game. You could even include said introductory booklet in the pack. It would leave out terrain and the like, but I've played many games with improvised terrain. Or had some from other games and it could keep the price low.

If you can sell it for about £15 and have the small rulebook, fate deck, strategy and scheme cards, intro booklet and a measuring stick then you only need a crew box and you can play. Maybe soulstones as well. But to me that's the kind of budget you are looking at for a starter kit. Then you can start playing for as little as £35, that's less than the rulebook for some games. And it provides an easy item to pick up to start the game with.

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If I were going to do a starter set, I'd have it be brand new Henchmen and Minions on each side, specially designed to make sure that they showed off the game without getting weird with it. Then it's good as a starter, and still has a use for already existing players who want the new models.

Sort of like a "double" Transmortis box, only the second crew would be different from the first.

EDIT: For instance, Guild vs Arcanists, Henchman, Enforcer, and two Minions on each side. One minion on each side could be Living, the other a Construct, just to demonstrate the scrap and corpse dropping of models.

Then just pick a minor theme to tie everyone on each side together - for instance, the Academic Characteristic - that makes them cohesive to play together, but also tie the models back to the various Masters in the Faction proper, so that they work well outside of the starter box, but also to give a bit of a "chocolate sampler" of that Faction's themes to a new player. You really like the way that Guardsman model works? Well, Lucius specializes in making Guardsmen better! The Construct really drew your attention? Let me tell you about Hoffman! And so on.

Toss in some cards, a small rulebook, some counters and a few pieces of punch out terrain. Maybe a coupon for $5 off the webstore just to get players logging in and checking out the website.

This.

I think two entirely new henchmen, two alt sculpts of enforcer level, and a couple minions each.

Two decks

One mini rulebook

And a small guide on terrain idea with an advertisement for Terra clips. (It'd be cost prohibitive to supply any helpful amount of terrain imho)

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2 fate decks

2 sets of 5 models for each side, balanced to play against each other

14 cool soulstones

Rules manual

Background booklet for the malifaux world - description of breach/etc.

I'd buy that, perfect for running demos.

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2 fate decks

2 sets of 5 models for each side, balanced to play against each other

14 cool soulstones

Rules manual

Background booklet for the malifaux world - description of breach/etc.

I'd buy that, perfect for running demos.

This also.

I've just started getting into Malifaux and for me the easiest thing would have been to pick up a rule book, 2 fate decks and some tokens in one box. If enough crews were in stock at the shop I would pick 2 up I liked the look of, as anyone who sells them should know all the crew boxes can be used straight out of the box and I'd be ready to go.

Instead the only local shop that stocks M2E just had the rule book and so I had to order everything else separately online (and 2 weeks later I still only have the rule book). I would impulse buy anything that had everything needed to play a basic game (even without figures) just for convenience and if there was a saving even better! As a 40k player I'm used to high prices and I'm well trained in impulse buys so I don't think any starter box like the ones suggested would have a hard time selling. As a cheaper game than 40k I presume newer players are very valuable the Wyrd seeing as new players generally have higher spends when starting up.

If there were crews included I would pick something with dual factions, I've ordered the Mei Feng and Claw and Fang sets to use as demo crews and to give me flexibility later on, so either share with a friend and get 1 small crew each or get 1 bigger crew for 1 person?

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For me the goal is to get the newbie up and running as quickly as possible. Established players don't/shouldn't need a starter set.  

 

This is also likely to for players who do not (or cannot) hang out at the FLGS and will need to figure out how to play with a pal/family member on the dining room table.   If I did have regular access to the FLGS I wouldn't need a two player starter.  The FLGS would probably be wise to offer me a starter crew, arsenal deck, and rule book at a small discount if I purchase them as a bundle and learn the game in the store, but this is simply too much fiddling around for Wyrd (I think).

 

I bought my first crew (with the intent of painting, not playing) so no biggie when I found that I still needed an arsenal deck and rule book if I wanted to move from painting to playing.  But if I had wanted to go home and play (or if I now want to tell someone how to get started)I would have needed:

 

Two crews (boxed or not, I wouldn't know the difference as a newb).  From reading the forums I know that some crews play well together and others do not--this is the big advantage to a pre-packaged product, making sure that the beginner gets a nice balanced game to start.  Two crews that are melee heavy or ranged heavy, not one of each.  Wyrd can decide whether to use current boxed sets or something  different--the forums are certainly full of advice to newbs suggesting a crew box plus a couple of extra figures so it might be useful to use those discussions as guides.  I know that I got lady J and Raspy +Wendigo based on forum suggestions.  Had I not already gone nuts buying stuff, I would have gladly picked up a starter set based on these two.  

 

There are many choices for the pair of starter crews included.  I would select two sets of two crews and no more.  The newbie needs a place to start, not an overwhelming range of choices.  More than two starter sets to choose from and I, as a newb, walk out of the store empty handed more often than not.  

 

Some sort of rules tutorial.  Unless I have an experienced player around I have no chance of understanding ALL of the rules, or identifying the rules that are relevant to these two crews.  Give me what I need to play with the crews I have in front of me and no more.

 

A rule book, the rules and just the rules is the more economical way to go, but there should be some sort of fluff included.  The basic fluff (2 pages)  plus some comments on why these two crews would be fighting at a minimum.  

 

Arsenal decks are not strictly needed, but they encourage the newb to expand their model count by providing a sort of preview for other figures.  If Wyrd doesn't want to use their pre-packaged starter crews this is the easiest way to get cards in the box.  I would include them.

 

Counters/tokens--lots of good suggestions, I'll only state that I agree this is a selling point for the newb.

 

Fate decks?  Not sure.  If included something cheap but serviceable.  

 

Price does depend on what is in the package, but it should not cost much more than the cost of the starter crews.  Essentially charge for the starter crews and give away the rest for "free" or really cheap.  If the price is much higher, I, as a newb, will simply purchase the starter crews and maybe a rule book.  Since I am not hanging out at the FLGS this leaves me in a place where any lack of dedication on my part leads me to never get into the game.  

 

Even at this price point the starter set is not going to be attractive to most established players--that's okay, this is about getting newbs into the game.  

 

For established players Wyrd can/should do something different.  Not sure what established players would go for, but the starter set shouldn't be it.  

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The problem with 2 defined masters in a single starter box is that there are 39 in the game, very different and very varied. Basically, a Lady J vs Seamus starter, will it be really that appealing if people are interested in other concepts? And like stated before, the cost of entry is already pretty low. As I see it a vs box of 2 defined masters would just end up taking shelf space because most players will probably pay a bit more to get the box they want.

 

It's the reason I favor a lot more the "starter pack" that basically includes simplified rules and a couple of decks or 3 different starters with new stuff to appeal to the old players while also giving a varied starting point to the new ones which doesn't instantly commit them to a master, just maybe a faction.

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This sounds awesome. If you wanted to go cheap and bare-bones, you wouldn't need soulstones or even Fate Decks (since people can just use playing cards). Just models, cards, and rules. But it'd be nicer to go less barebones: some 30mm bases with inserts for corpse, scheme, and scrap markers, two fate decks, and maybe a few alt sculpts to appeal to regular players.

 

Natural matchups:

The Guild Masters are obvious choices because each has a fluff-based standard enemy, and the first book's worth are straightforward to learn. There are some other good choices out there, though.

 

Lady Justice vs. Seamus

Sonnia vs. Rasputina

Perdita vs. Lilith

Von Schill vs. Ophelia

Jakob Lynch vs. Misaki

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As a new player trying to convert his group of friends to the fun that is M2E I think you'd lose a lot of people if you didn't add fate decks. The suit conversion from normal cards to malifaux already took too much effort (although the card mechanic itself is a BIG plus to newbs who aren't so into war games). Suit conversions and so many tables spread all over the big rule book really stilts the game with too many pauses needed for clarification.

Once people get the core rules though you generally find they are playing without needing any input for the majority of the time but getting over that initial barrier is the tricky part.

To make it even simpler the starter set needs a reference table so so badly and proper fate decks. I had to write out 4 pages of A4 just to get the basics like fate modifiers into an easy referenced format to explain before starting the game.

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Using pre-existing models and sprues will help greatly to keep the price of any potential starter box lower. The only manufacturing costs should be the design of the box and beginners rules. The models, mini book, and fate decks are already done. Any new models, or modifications to existing models / sprues, would increase the price of the box for Wyrd and by extension the consumer.

 

The problem with 2 defined masters in a single starter box is that there are 39 in the game, very different and very varied. Basically, a Lady J vs Seamus starter, will it be really that appealing if people are interested in other concepts? And like stated before, the cost of entry is already pretty low. As I see it a vs box of 2 defined masters would just end up taking shelf space because most players will probably pay a bit more to get the box they want.

 

It's the reason I favor a lot more the "starter pack" that basically includes simplified rules and a couple of decks or 3 different starters with new stuff to appeal to the old players while also giving a varied starting point to the new ones which doesn't instantly commit them to a master, just maybe a faction.

 

The same could be said about the Warmachine starters. They have well over 39 Casters/Locks and only two starter sets each with two different sets. But you get SO much for the price that even players not interested in those characters / factions long term, see them as a great starting point  short term. They can easily trade away if they like the game but not those models.

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I kind of disagree on the crews not really mattering - if I don't want both crews, or a friend that wants one and I want the other, I'd rather pay the extra so I don't have one or two junk crews. I'd have to then try to find someone to trade it to, without knowing any nearby players or being a forum regular.

Maybe that's just me though, as getting an opponent isn't big on my priority list. Interesting crews are though.

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For me the goal is to get the newbie up and running as quickly as possible. Established players don't/shouldn't need a starter set.

This is also likely to for players who do not (or cannot) hang out at the FLGS and will need to figure out how to play with a pal/family member on the dining room table. If I did have regular access to the FLGS I wouldn't need a two player starter. The FLGS would probably be wise to offer me a starter crew, arsenal deck, and rule book at a small discount if I purchase them as a bundle and learn the game in the store, but this is simply too much fiddling around for Wyrd (I think).

I bought my first crew (with the intent of painting, not playing) so no biggie when I found that I still needed an arsenal deck and rule book if I wanted to move from painting to playing. But if I had wanted to go home and play (or if I now want to tell someone how to get started)I would have needed:

Two crews (boxed or not, I wouldn't know the difference as a newb). From reading the forums I know that some crews play well together and others do not--this is the big advantage to a pre-packaged product, making sure that the beginner gets a nice balanced game to start. Two crews that are melee heavy or ranged heavy, not one of each. Wyrd can decide whether to use current boxed sets or something different--the forums are certainly full of advice to newbs suggesting a crew box plus a couple of extra figures so it might be useful to use those discussions as guides. I know that I got lady J and Raspy +Wendigo based on forum suggestions. Had I not already gone nuts buying stuff, I would have gladly picked up a starter set based on these two.

There are many choices for the pair of starter crews included. I would select two sets of two crews and no more. The newbie needs a place to start, not an overwhelming range of choices. More than two starter sets to choose from and I, as a newb, walk out of the store empty handed more often than not.

Some sort of rules tutorial. Unless I have an experienced player around I have no chance of understanding ALL of the rules, or identifying the rules that are relevant to these two crews. Give me what I need to play with the crews I have in front of me and no more.

A rule book, the rules and just the rules is the more economical way to go, but there should be some sort of fluff included. The basic fluff (2 pages) plus some comments on why these two crews would be fighting at a minimum.

Arsenal decks are not strictly needed, but they encourage the newb to expand their model count by providing a sort of preview for other figures. If Wyrd doesn't want to use their pre-packaged starter crews this is the easiest way to get cards in the box. I would include them.

Counters/tokens--lots of good suggestions, I'll only state that I agree this is a selling point for the newb.

Fate decks? Not sure. If included something cheap but serviceable.

Price does depend on what is in the package, but it should not cost much more than the cost of the starter crews. Essentially charge for the starter crews and give away the rest for "free" or really cheap. If the price is much higher, I, as a newb, will simply purchase the starter crews and maybe a rule book. Since I am not hanging out at the FLGS this leaves me in a place where any lack of dedication on my part leads me to never get into the game.

Even at this price point the starter set is not going to be attractive to most established players--that's okay, this is about getting newbs into the game.

For established players Wyrd can/should do something different. Not sure what established players would go for, but the starter set shouldn't be it.

This post for the win.

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I had a big long response, then the quick reply glitched and ate it.

 

The only reason an established player will look at starter product are the following.

-Pocket rules (already available on its own)

-Exclusive models

-Discounted models

 

Beyond that the focus should be getting new players going.

2 crews balanced to play against each other, 2 decks, quickstart rules, and toss in something extra per crew to make it stand out from being two crew boxes taped together. Throw in some contrived story encounter to demonstrate game mechanisms and you can use any two crews you want. That's all it would have to be. Any player who would pass on it because of faction/master options is likely to type of player who would be doing more research that a two player starter to see if they like a system. While we always talk of the suitcase strategy, most players stick to a few crews and few models for them.

 

This reminds me I should really update my Malifaux budget stuff once I at least have Crossroads in hand.

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