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First 'master' game & further games

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Okay, a few weeks ago I tried getting my wife and a couple of mates into malifaux. I played a game against my wife (she used Colette crew), and it didnt go well, too many rules, too many abilites, too many objectives... far too much to take in.

So fast forward to a couple of days ago and we went round to our mates house, tried a couple of games against each other there. It went a lot better!

My wife played first, switching to a mixed crew led by carlos, and drew in a game against the vikorias. We all agreed to jsut play the... Strategy, rather than all the schemes too, so they got the kill 2 models a turn to get a VP mission, ended on 2 VP's each. Both enjoyed the game, so we took that as a huge success.

Next up I played against our second mate. I had Seamus, CCK, 2 Rotten Belles, my new Alt model Sybelle, Bete noir, and a canine remains. Danny had his Tara box, which is Tara, katrina, nothing beast, and 3 void wretches. We didnt use upgrades, and because I was 2 SS higher, we agreed Danny should have 2 extra SS in his Cache.

The board was seperated by a river (difficult terrain half move) across the middle that was 4" wide. There were two bridges across at either end of the board, then we had a TT combat huts set and the GW graveyard set as our terrain, so a few LoS blockers and a few fences that hindered movement (mine at least!). We got the stake a claim Strat and Corner set up.

The opening phases had all of Taras crew heading Right (they started in the top left corner from my view), while I sent a belle and madame left and the rest of my crew across the bridge to take on Taras crew. Seamus and the CCK didnt cross the bridge but moved the the river edge and took a pot shot at the nothing beast, puting an early 2 wounds on him. My canine remains went too far fowwards, so Tara reactivated at their end and put 3 wounds on it (luckily I survived!). As Tara took the intative again, the nothing beast charged my poor dog, but whiffed all his attacks! Tara had been tempted forwards to try and kill the dog, so now my belle lured her out to me, allowing CCK to take a potshot (no luck), and then the dog to charge, putting 2 damage on her and 2 poison. Bete charged in (making the most of the dog still living and giving Tara -1DF), and put another... 4-6 wounds on her. The void wretches and Katrina moved up to support as did my belle. On the other side of the board my belle dropped a claim marker, then madame double walked onto the bridge at the other side of the board and called the belle to her, ready for next turns claim.

Mid game the belle and madam continued their walk behind enemy lines dropping markers for the rest of the game. the fight i nthe middle had Tara kill bete noir (I messed up and should have let her be buried on 1W rather then hope to unbury her next turn before the voids could kill her while buried), and then turn and kill the dog. Seamus waded into the river, summoned a dead doxie from one of the bodies, then shot a wretch. The CCK finished off the wretch. My belle called Tara to her, allowing the dead doxie and the belle to pounce and kill her off. From this point it was just a case of mopping up the injured wretches and whittling down the nothing beast. all the time Seamus had been tanking wounds like a boss, then healing again with all the WP duels going on.

End phase had Madam using her shriek blast to kill of katrina and finish off the nothing beast that was in the blast. The game ended with one wretch being alive and Danny having managed to drop 1 claim marker just over the line, while I had 4+ deep in his half.

Was this match up jsut very unfair, or did he make some silly mistakes, did I do anything wrong? any thoughts really?

We both really enjoyed it though, and I'll try to get some pics next time we play.

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Sounds like you have a good start to a malifaux group there!  Playing with just the Strategies first is a good way to introduce someone to the game.

Regarding your questions, it looks like a combination of things.  Firstly, matchup- Seamus deals a ton of damage, and his core crew is good at disrupting the opponent. Tara’s crew really doesn’t do a lot of damage outside of the Nothing Beast.

I think you’ll find the game more balanced once you add upgrades to the mix- in particular, Tara really likes her upgrades that give her positives to initiative and the Pull the Void action.

Lastly, I think your crew sizes were a bit mismatched.  When I built your crews in CrewFaux to compare I have you up 6 soulstones on your opponent, not 2 (your list came out to 33 stone to his 27 stone), unless I missed something.

Looking forward to more reports!

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Belles are very powerful for 5ss models if there isn't a lot of terrain to completely block line of sight. They're also more powerful the newer the player while Tara is a master that requires more finesse than Seamus even if I don't think she is worse than him.

It also sounds like you had a lot more stones from my quick calculation.

That being said the wretches should probably have been dropping markers at about the same time you started doing so because they are faster than belles so it also sounds like your opponent prioritised killing over scoring victory points with them. That is a common beginner mistake because killing Bete doesn't give direct VP and the action point inefficiency of attacking buried models probably lost them a lot of strategy points. Tara could also have run disruption duty and tied up Sybelle and the belle to prevent them from interacting.

As a general rule I think the very first game is good to do with henchmen leaders, maybe a couple of more games to get the feel for base mechanics. Henchmen have a lot less to keep track of than masters and don't become one-man armies. Some masters also have really unique play styles which becomes hard to balance at less than half the stones of a regular game. I usually do a strategy and have players select a single scheme each in early games to get a feel for the asymetric scoring although if you don't have an oldbeard to keep track for you I can see doing the same revealed scheme for both players.

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Ah thats annoying... I'll have to ask him, he said his crew was 31 total... has there been an update to his cards that reduce costs or was he jsut failing at maths?

He had intative the entire game anyway so I dont think that upgrade would have made much differnce. But the other points are very true, he was trying to kill intially, I think he had stretched his forces too much so I could jump Tara with several models at once while staying out of reach of a lot of his forces.

There was a fair bit of terrain to, but I think this is us both being new to it, that he didnt properly stay out of sight/got lured out to attack the dog. I'll let him know this stuff when I play xwing with him on wednesday and we can have some more analysis of it for next time. Thanks for the feedback!

I'll also suggest a single other scheme so we can do mis matched objectives as well. I forgot to mention we also had played a 4 player free for all with henchmen led crews before this so the actual mechanics we had, it was just what the best more was to do rather than what the moves were we could do.

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Ah flip... I'll have to let him know it's like, his entire box thats been changed. I think the change I could spot on the Belles is they've lost a wound... which actually would have led to one dying in the late stages... I'll let him know that too.

I think he must have done that then. All good learning points at least, Thanks guys. It'll be a few weeks at least until we can next get a game in I suspect, but I'll update with our next battle report (with pics) then. :)

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Honestly, Tara can't do much without her upgrades. Those upgrades give her a ranged bury attack, let her deploy the dreaded 'Beast Bomb', where she buries the Nothing Beast, then unburies it in your face, and all sorts of shenanigans. Also, Katrina's 0 cost upgrade makes her a summoner. Without it, she's basically useless.

For your opponent, he should really pick up the Scion of the Void. It adds a whole new level to Tara's lists, and is great for leading Henchman games.

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Cheers dude. He was talking to me about his plans yesterday, wants to get some death marshals as he can hire them in. And I think he's been reading up on Tara tactics as he was telling me about that beast bomb thing... sounds nasty!

I'll suggest to him the scion as well, he was also trying to explain all of katrina summoners options but I couldnt follow all of that... but I think some of them are what his second purchase is after the death marshals.

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Haha I'm finally on here! Hi all I'm the new one with the Tara crew :) I think my first mistake was assuming that killing all your stuff was a thing need to remember it's not Necromunda! 

A scion of the void is definitely on my list :)

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Hey dude! Glad you found it!

We'll make sure to take some pics this sunday and see if we can write it up better.

I'll be trying to get down to the shop and picking up Rasputina crew for Em too so you might be facing that on Sunday!

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Okay, @V0ided, do you want to do a write up of your game on sunday in here and I'll do the our one. We can just use this thread for cataloging any of our games we want to I reckon.

Readers, as you may have been able to tell form the above, 4 of us played games on sunday, and I'll hopefully write up mine now. This was our first 50SS game, and my first with full schemes and strats there (my opponant had played a grand total of 1 game with them before, so we're both well new!).

My list was

Seamus (Sinister rep, hat), CCK, Sybelle (not too banged up, bleeder lash), Bete noir, Rotten belle, Rotten belle, Flesh construct, Nurse, Canine remains, 1 extra SS in the cache.


Vik, Vik sister, Little sister (student?), Healing sister (who does scary blast damage!), 3 Ronin, Taelor (the hammer lady with blast/radius damage), Some upgrades, I dont know what. She had 2 SS left over to add to her cache.

We got corner deployment, Reccontaire strat and the schemes were: aLitS, Assasinate, Protect territory, Vendetta, Cursed object. I took Cursed and Assasinate (both unrevealed), and Heather took line in the sand and Protect territory (both revealed).

I completly forgot to take pics of turn 1/2 I think... sorry. So roughly... the student gave fast to the healing sister who sprinted along a far edge, I moved through a small river at the half way point towards her with sybelle then called a belle up to her. It basically had my bete and dog move acorss the cloest edge into my lower right table quarter, while my flesh construct went into the middle (there were two buildings that he could position between and block up), and sybelle took the nurse and belles with her upwards towards the top left table quarter. The viks went towards to the top left, and then taelor took the 3 ronin down kinda towards the bottom right table quarter. I then had a belle lure henchmen vik (as she had gone slight further forwards compared to leader vik), towards me, then Seamus back alleyed in front of her, shot her twice (once with hte live for pain gun, once with actual gun), then the CCK appeared in front of him and finished her off. Not the leader vik but a good start for turn 1.

Turn 2, Seeing the Hench vik get shot, the healing sister (who you can jsut make out in the open to the left of the top barrels and above the lower set), blasts at CCK who was in base contact with seamus, who was in base contact with a belle. I didnt know she has blasts... that was a surpirse! So whe nthe dust settled, seamus took 2 wounds, CCK was dead and the belle took 2 wounds. I then promptly shot the student little sister... and it died (the resurectionist icons in the pics are corpse markers). The silver strip in the pic is the river, thats my nurse on it. My belle on the other side of that building next to the river lured in the Leader Vik, failed to hurt her... then she cut down the belle and a dead doxie that seamus had raised from the CCK remains. My nurse seeing an unhurt leader target... fully healed and paralysed her. Then sybelle wailed on Vik doing... a fw wounds... not many.


The pic shows the pile up behind the building... Seamus has fast from the dead doxie dying, a ronin charged in to help (there moves below)... hurt the belle there some but didnt kill her.


By this point the Taelor group and verved towards the center of the board and the ronin in yellow had engaged my flesh contruct... bit of damage each, ronin was going to die turn.. 4 or 5 due to poison... but was alive at the moment. As you can tell, I dont know ,much about the enemy crew... Heather forgot that ronin cant be charged, until a turn later, by which time I had charged my dog in... to reduce the ronin's defence... and fail my attacks anyway.



This shows... halfway through turn 2 (maybe near the end actually). So I have bete at the bottom in some ruins... holding that table quarter, Taelor lined up for a charge to clear the middle alley way and a ronin fighting for her life.

Turn 3

The game is basically 2 close halfs now... Heather I think is now playing for kills, given up on schemes. Suits me as I've been taking table quarter points so far... and at the start of my turn my nurse gives sybelle the Mi attacks only +2 damage combat drugs... and acomplices sybelle to attack... she promptly wails on Leader vik netting me assasinate.


by now 2 ronin are trying to help Vik, but it isnt enough... seamus backhands one and pushed out then shoots her... to kill her. he also raised a belle who lures the other towards her... doesnt do any damage and the ronin flurries her back into a corpse marker...

The other part of the battle, Taelor charges into the center alley and... reduces the dog to 1 hp... and I have no cards in my hand (maybe a 1 or 2), so straight flip needing a 11 to keep the flesh contrcut alive from the 3" blast pulse death thing... 11! he survives by the skin of his teeth! (much to heathers annoyance!). In return the flesh construct kills the ronin, and the dog I remember can give tealor a cursed object... meaning I get a VP at the end of the turn as she ahs activated so cant get rid of it (is this right?).

Turn 4 my dead doxie orders my nurse round behind my dog and flesh contruct.. who then heals (the full health) tealor, and paralysised her... and my dog gives her another object while my flesh construct flees... The surviving ronin charges... Seamus I think, puts 6 damge on him, and I get someWP dules going reducing that to 2 damage again (I love that ability!).

Turn 5 is similar... I think I ended with full points to 1 or 2... not sure...

Post game anaylsis... lots of thoughts on how summoning is really powerful, as even though I'd used SS and high cards from my hand to do it (was down to no hand by second activation turn 2 and regularly had no cards in my hand) it still gave me AP advantage over the Outcasts... which was consideralbly more useful. Heather is now considering Ramos as her next master... and apart from remembereding to cheat down damage on her hench (where it might ahv ehelped), and the no charge ronin... I think we got things right. Dissapoointed with bete but thats my fault for using her to jsut hold a table quarter all game... still not used her right yet I dont think.


Any thoughts? Sorry for the poor pic quality... hope it all makes sense.


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First of all, I started with tara as my first master and she gets a lot better once you get the whole burry mechanic and her new upgrades.She has a few different playstyles but from my experience karina and her summoning isnt really worth it. Tara also has 2 different factions and both bring seperate playstyles. She is really difficult to learn in the beginning but once you know what she does best in the right situation, she becomes really versatile and a lot of fun. In other words, it's worth investing some learning time and power into. 

Viktorias are very unique in a way that their games are pretty all or nothing when you start learning them. The most important thing with them is carefull positioning and finding a hole in the enemy lines to reach the important models and destroy the enemy crew with a brutal strike to the heart of the crew. Also nowdays there are a lot of options to make the glass cannon viktorias more survivable and more forgiving but thats more advanced tech. For the first games I'd try to focus on the schemes and strats with the rest of the crew and use the viktorias to create threat to their key models and strike at the right time. Once viktoria of blood dies a huge threat is gone and if she didnt take out a few enemy models in return its generally a bit of a disatvantage for the crew because vik of ashes is kind of limited in her use for the crew in general. The viks are, similar to Tara, even tho they are completly different in playstyles, worth investing time for because they become really really scare when mastered and can lead to some brutal viktories. 

Ramos is a good starting point if you like the summoning playstyle. He is easy to use and provides a lot of power for the simple requierements of the game (Model count, Fighting power, durability, ...) but in my experience people move on from him to more complex summoners with more diverse playstyles after a while.

Ramos and Seamus have really good core boxes with a lot of points to work with. Viks box is also pretty nice. Tara has problems with her box only but its not that far to go from there.

I wish you guys a really nice time discovering Malifaux. You have chose one of the best table top games! With more playtime you will see that malifaux has its powercurve from master to master but mainly depends on finesse and experience. Almost every crew has its hidden power and brings fun to the table. 

Find a playstyle that fits you, find a master with the same playstyle that you find astheticly nice and enjoy the games a bit more every game you play.

Good Luck! 

Edit: Ah, btw summoning and ranged crews seem really powerfull in the beginning. It gets better with more experience and if you play with a good amount of terrain. Playing against a summoner, threatning them early and pressuring their resources (for example their hand) is a good way to stop the avalanche of bodies. Also there is anti summon tech (Taelor, Blasts, etc.).

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That's a good write up @spafe hopefully I can manage to write just as well :P


I faced off against another beginner player Emma and her Rasputina crew set up was as follows: 

Raspy crew;

Rasputina (black joker upgrade) 3ss cache 

Ice golem

3 Ice Gamin

2 Acolytes of December

1 Ice dancer


Tara crew; 

Tara, Obliteration symbiote, Knowledge of Eternity, Dead of Winter 6ss cache

Nothing Beast, Void Shield, Scramble 

Aionus, I pay better

2 Void Wretches 

1 Death Marshal

Karina, Face s of Oblivion

Strategy was Reckoning and because we were both relatively new we decided to only do one scheme, the pool was Protect territory, line in the sand, assassinate, frame for murder and I can't quite remember the last one. 

Rasputina took Framed for murder and I took protect territory

Deployment was corner deploy 

I took the first turn and moved Tara up toward the top edge of the map getting her to the edge of the river with a void Wretch, Aionus and the NB moving up in support. Karina and the Death marshal moved across my deployment edge towards the lone December acolyte on the left intending to remove it. Karina summoned a Guild autopsy and I had the void Wretch move up to support it. 

In the meantime Rasputina moved the ice golem, the ice dancer and 2 gamin straight down the left edge of the board with an ice dancer pushing down towards my deployment and dropping a scheme marker. Raspy moved and that's when limbs flew everywhere as she ice mirror to blast apart a guild autopsy, a void Wretch and knock a chunk of health off karina too.... 

Turn 2 was more promising as I retreated my death marshal behind a building (back the way he came) and moved karina away from the opposing crew too, summoning another guild autopsy in the process who decided to take shots at the ice gamin who had moved in on my territory removing most of its health and poisoning it ready to kill it off at the end of the go. 

Tara and the NB moved up past the river and Tara engaged the Acolyte of December in a small shoot out knocking some health from him before dropping a scheme marker of my own. The death marshal moved even further away from the Acolyte who was  now encroaching on my deployment zone. The nothing beast moved to intercept the Acolyte and buried him after damaging him further with Obliterate. Aionus in the meantime engaged a line ice gamin and slaughtered it mercilessly unburying the Acolyte in Base contact with him. The ice golem positioned itself behind the wendigo so that the wendigo could try to eat the NB that Rasputina was hoping to paralyse. Unfortunately that didn't end up working and the wendigo charged in to the NB only to be smacked back by itsVoid Obliterate and get buried. 

Turn 3 saw Tara unbury a guild autopsy and then move around to drop another scheme marker and the void Wretch snap at the wendigo from beyond the veil. Karina summoned another guild autopsy and marched it off to face down the ice dancer  the death marshal fired off an ineffectual shot against the December acolyte and retreated (again) and an ice gamin launched itself at him. The Ice golem moved up to avenge try to engage the NB but found it was a little short and instead became an ice mirror for Rasputina shooting the NB but doing nothing as I'd managed to empty my hand and get his DF to 9. Aionus managed to kill the acolyte which unburied the wendigo right in front of him keeping both models locked down. The Wendigo could do nothing against Father Time and scored no wounds. Tara set off towards Rasputina with murder in her eyes and scheme markers at her feet. 

At the bottom of turn 3 the Ice gamin with poison on it expired due to poison  exploding and killing karina and damaging the Death marshal. This was it turned out her frame for murder target... Which was unfortunate since death from poison essentially counts as no kill from either crew :/ the guild autopsy near the dead form of his mistress buried himself and died due to excessive dirt swallowing. 

Turn 4 saw the nothing beast charge the golem and reduce it to powder getting an impressive amount of damage output against the golem best stat! Aionus finished off the wendigo and with 1 AP and then charged Rasputina who was unfortunately too close, doing very little damage but managing to slow her down. 

The guild autopsy consolidated it's position on its scheme marker ensuring it wouldnt be sniped off by the incredibly mobile Ice dancer. Tara did the same but moved into position to shoot anything popping up nearby. 

Turn 5 Rasputina managed to disengage from Aionus and then paralysed him in a show of cold rage. Tara pulsed fast to the ice dancer who had pushed up to me and then tried to bury her failing horribly. The Nothing Beast however obligingly killed her. 

At the end of it all I won 4 points to 1 I believe 

My learn from this game is Blast masters are truly terrifying and stopped me from bunching up to benefit from Tara's fast pulse 

It was an awesome game though and could have gone either way :D

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