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New player, slow learner


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Good afternoon all.

Can anyone recommend a starting crew that does not take too much to get to grips with?

I like the look of the Guild and the Frontier especially, is it as easy as that?
Im a slow learner but i keep at it until i get to grips with it then i branch out. What i dont want to happen is get overwhelmed by abilities and actions and just end up confused all the time.

Many thanks

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It really is easy as that 😉


Frontier is a good starting pick, mostly because it is also a part of the Explorer's Society, which is the new faction that is being slowly introduced. So if you like Basse you have an in for both Guild and Explorer's if you want.

As far as crew complexity goes - I always suggest that instead of looking at cards you look at which minis you like the best. But I'm a very tactile person and prefer to play with things i like the look or story of instead of what is hard/easy/good/bad.

I don't know if you have a friend or a club that's already playing or getting into the game with you, but ways to slowly get to grips with the game and your crew specifically is to look at smaller games and then build up from there to a full 50ss game.

If you're part of a club see if they have a slow grow campaign or something similar planned? Maybe check for smaller point games or Henchmen Hardcore.

Ask questions on the forums or the FB if you get stuck, the community is in general very friendly.

If you like podcasts you could also find some that are very informative and fun to listen to.

All, in all welcome and enjoy the ride!

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Guild and Frontier are good starting places for people.  Basse has a pretty simple mechanic (they start farther forward, can push each other a bit, and give themselves cover).

In guild I think the following masters are decent places for new players:

  • Basse
  • Lady Justice - jump around and kill undead.
  • Perdita - shoot + support eachother
  • Sonnia - catch people on fire to buff yourself

I'd stay away from Dashel (cause summoning requires more models to own), Lucius (lots of obeys / trickines), nellie (non-damagin crew, so different than most).  Hoffman i just didn't include cause I don't play him, but he's probably fine too.

Goodluck.  All the cards are online, so feel free to look at em / proxy / shadow box a bit.  It's the best way to try stuff out before you commit.

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The aesthetic of this game is one of the main reasons why I got into the game myself. I was looking through the second edition crews at the suggestion of a friend and saw the Jackolope and the Cerberus and put my order in without even looking at their abilities. Once you pick your faction you can switch to other crews if you find you need a different play-style, or simply want different looking models on the table. If you play enough games with a crew you choose (for any reason) you will learn the rules for that crew eventually. I play to have fun more than to win, so power-gaming and rules manipulation are not as important to me. Always remember that this is a game; play the game to have fun for the reasons you want to have fun playing it.

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Most of my overwhelmed feeling, early on, came from my opponent. I had enough to think about just learning my own crew and then these mystery beings would show up! The Malifaux M3e Crew Builder didn’t exist then, so I didn’t have their stats on hand either. These days, when I hear what my opponent has brought, I can look it up quickly mid-game in the app. Also I sometimes still ask ‘so what’s your crew generally going to do’ which is easier to answer for some crews that others, and when facing a newer player try to play the same crew I played in our previous games.

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Basse himself has one weird spot in his approach to the game: that attack which moves people around in terrain while making it hazardous. It is very powerful if it uses the terrain already on the table, not just the dust cloud markers he is making. You have to pay attention to the table layout as though it is part of your crew, because for him it is one of his damage dealers. Does the table have flat pieces of terrain you can walk through, like a wild forest theme? Basse is happy. Is it all buildings and barrels which cannot be walked through, like a western town theme? Basse is not happy.



I would move Perdita down in the suggestion list and Hoffman up. Perdita’s crew ability push is only in one direction and Hoffman’s pushes in any direction. It’s easier to use Hoffman’s ability to get out of trouble.

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Even an individual crew can be soooooo much to learn.

Instead of recommending a particular crew, I'll recommend a very slow start to learning. I wrote this introduction series here which you may find useful:

For a super simple version, I'd go with...

  • Do a very brief practice 'game' with a single minion on each side, to learn moving and attacking.
  • Learn the interact rules.
  • Do a simplified game with a henchmen and 1 minion.
  • Do a simplified game with the same henchmen and 3 of that same minion.
  • Do a regular game with a master, totem, same henchmen, and 1-3 of the same minion.

Then you don't have to learn *too* much from the get go. Plus, a single core box can get you to do all that, and that should be enough material for 1-2 months of playing once a week :)

Malifaux has a really terrible learning curve, and it is worth going easy on yourself and just doing some super simple games and only adding one new model at a time.

Don't overwhelm yourself :)

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All crews can have complicated bits and all crews can be played "simply". So some of the nature is what you find comfortable.  The Guild is often a good starter choice in that they are a combat faction, that can fight both at range and up close. It is worth keeping in mind that the game isn't won by killing people, but its a rare game that has no combat so its not bad beign good at it.

My advice in general is to largely stick with a similar crew as you are learning the game rules, and your crew rules. So, if you do choose to start with Basse, then I would suggest you play with the box set quite a lot. I'm sure there are people who will tell you that the Frontiersmen are not a good minion, and they may well be right, but to learn, that's not that important. What is more important is that you have multiple models with the same stat line that you will see in a range of different situations, and you can find out where they work, and where they fail.

Once you start to get to grips with your crew and understand what they do, you can start to try and learn soulstones. One way to do this is to play a game with none, and see how this does, and then play a game with a full cache and spend them quickly to see how they can help.

Likewise, learning to use you control hand can be learnt by playing games where you horde it and almost never use it, and games where you spend the cards when ever you can. Hopefully then you can get to an understanding of what cards allow, how important they are to your plans, and what things you prioritise.

Those both expect you to go into games where your aim is to learn the game, and do bad things to try and find out why they are bad. If you are able to play lots of games, then this can be fine, if you're limited to only getting to play occasionally, it might not be such a good idea to use one of those rare oppitunities to do bad things.

Again, as you start understanding what your crew box does, you can start to look at customising the crew list, fitting in new models that either fit your plan for that game, cover weaknesses you have found, or help you exploit strengths.


After you are happy with that, the trickest thing is learning what you opponent can do. If you has a small number of reagular opponents, its not too bad, you'll start learning what crews they use, and what they expect to do with them. Learning what a crew is likely to do from just looking at it is a lot harder. Expect crews you dont' know to "Break" the game in different ways. Don't get too upset because you lost to a crew you never faced before and they did something crazy that was amazing. You just need to learn what the amazing things for the crews are, and how to stop them happeing to you

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