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3 ED scenerio generation is terrible

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I think it's a core feature of Malifaux - like the cards - that the game has you pick lists based on scenarios. The only drawback, really, is that it's hard for new players to get an idea of what Malifaux is - but that's not an area where Infinity shines either, mind. I'd much rather teach a new player M3E and relax the scenario restrictions a bit (or better yet, pick a strat and scheme pool, and select two crews for it, myself) than teach a new player N3 and just take light infantry - the latter teaches less of what being a regular player of the game is like.

As others have mentioned (I'd take it a bit further) you can do a lot of it beforehand - and I know, it's very time consuming if you don't. If you're playing games at home, then I'd go as far as step G, with a slight modification - instead of choosing and defining terrain as step B, make it step H - that way everything until G can be done without needing two people in the same room who spend their time looking at the model collection separately instead of playing a game.

Malifaux without the intricacy scenario selection would, to me, be like playing Infinity without AROs, or Keyforge Constructed - you could do it... but why?

I'll also say that M3E has also gone a LONG way to making a leader's hiring pool be able to deal with different challenges. A number of people don't like the out-of-keyword hiring penalty, but I like that it a) encourages thematic list building, and b) means that M3E game designers should be keeping keywords in mind when developing new schemes and strats.

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When I first started Malifaux, I worried it would be a bit 'pay-to-win.' In practice, I am not finding it too bad (though suspect it can get a bit 'pay-to-win' at the tournament level).

Most people at my club have one crew/keyword (and don't even own all the models in that keyword). Nevertheless, you can build your crew to fit pretty much any scenario.

I, for example, bought Molly's crew box, Archie, and some rabble risers. With that crew, I can build to any strategy - being very good for plant explosives and corrupted idols, and decent to good at turf war and reckoning. It is also a very skill intense game, so it is very easy to make up theoretical weaknesses by outskilling your opponent. If I wanted to go to the competitive level, it seems to me a good plan is to have two masters/keywords that cover all your bases (for instance, I'd want a second master that covers reckoning and turf war).

Unless your gaming group is full of min-maxers, you'll be fine. Do note however that there are a LOT of niche models that are particularly good for one matchup/strategy/scheme (or combinations of models). If you wanted to have a fully optimised crew every time, you'd have to own a large portion of the faction and it would get very expensive. But unless you're shooting for this very top tier of play, I'd say you'll be fine. Molly will cover all my bases most of the time, but some matchups I might want to toss in a nurse, or gravedigger, grave golem, sloth, etc.

The bigger issue from a cost perspective is the game is pretty addictive. I don't NEED another 5 masters/crews to be competitive and win games. But they're all so awesome that I WANT them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Most games that started out as skirmish scale eventually expanded into army sized.  Warmahordes and Age of Sigmar being two notable examples.  Largely this is because miniature companies need to keep selling you stuff to stay in business.

Malifaux side-stepped this dynamic by putting the growth pressure not on game scale, but collection scaling.  You "need" to buy more not to play larger games, but to ensure you have the right crew you need to face a given opponent or optimally pursue the chosen schemes and strategies.  This is a model closer to a CCG or collectible miniature game.  Having a larger collection is a comparative advantage.  Amusingly, improving balance (which M3E seems to have done) exacerbates the pressure to buy more models because there's no longer a narrow range of objectively superior choices against all (or most) comers.

Now, it is perfectly possible to play Malifaux with just a single master and even just a single crew build for that master.  But when I am talking about the game to prospective players and I'm fielding the cost question, I'm up front about the fact that Malifaux isn't the same as a game like Blood Bowl, where maybe all you'll really get is your own team.  I think even most casual Malifaux players include a few masters in their roster, or at least a good range of options for 1-2 masters.  

One of the consequences of Malifaux's crew selection system is that it significantly increases the value of experience.  Knowing what all your models do is non-trivial, but knowing what all your opponent's models have is a real dividing line between serious and more casual players.  Malifaux has a rock-paper-scissors element to it (though not quite that deterministic), and understanding these dynamics across the entire model range is a considerable undertaking.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing.  Experience should improve your chances at victory.  But it can make crew selection more daunting for new players, and it probably makes list building a more significant element in victory than is generally appreciated.

I know when it comes to competitive 40k, which is a scene I am familiar with from friends but not personally a part of, there is a strong sense that the game can be over "before it's begun" due to list dynamics.  Malifaux is not that extreme, but the fact that lists are not set before hand means that the experienced/knowledgeable player may be able to build in an advantage every game, whereas if you had to bring a "take all comers" list, that factor would be diminished.  

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10 minutes ago, EccentricOwl said:

I did just want to ask, because I was having a bit of difficulty grokking it -


Do I just bring my entire collection to each game night? Like, when you do generation for the encounter, at what point am I supposed to choose my Master and all my units? 

If you know who you are playing - sort it out with them beforehand as described above. I've been doing that all of M3E - we even take a photo of the table set-up first. Then you know which faction, master, table, strat and schemes that you are playing and you just bring along the models you need for the game. If I'm going to a games night to play then obviously I don't know who I'm playing and we sort it out on the night. I generally bring two masters + crews I might want to play and just suck it up if I get unlucky on the opposing master, schemes and/or strats. It isn't how the game is designed to be played but it has to be practical as well.

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5 hours ago, EccentricOwl said:

I did just want to ask, because I was having a bit of difficulty grokking it -


Do I just bring my entire collection to each game night? Like, when you do generation for the encounter, at what point am I supposed to choose my Master and all my units? 

I probably have an idea what I'm going to play before I show up, but I do bring most of my collection when possible, or at least  My collection of a faction.

The process is (according to the rules)

Determine encounter size 

  • Most players play 50 stones as "tournament standard" but people might go for smaller games as they can be a bit faster, or larger games just because (I used to flip 7 cards to determine game size when we wanted a bit of variety)

Place and define terrain -

  • here is where you make up the board and should decide how you mare ruling things. This will allow you to know if its a game where there are lots of shooting or charging lanes, and how useful abilities like In impeded will be. This might change what sort of crew you bring.

Determine Scenario

  • This also determines the attacker and defender and deployment zones

Determine Schemes

Choose faction and leader

  • Here both players will announce their faction. then after they have announced faction, they will announce leader. Both players should announce Faction simultaneously, and then they should announce leader simultaneously. (Because most tournaments are fixed faction, a lot of people often show up to games knowing they want to play a certain faction in practise for that, so only need bring what they need for that faction)

Hire Crew

  • This is the step where you actually hire the crew you are going to be using for the game.

Reveal crews

Choose schemes


Start the game



Some groups may change this up a bit to allow them time to generate crews before they arrive, so might not have done the define terrain step, but did the strategy and scheme selection and announced to each other faction and leader before hand.

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