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Playing Malifaux solo

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Greeting all! Looking for something to do while locked inside self-isolating, and bored of painting minis? Why not a game of Malifaux...

(TLDR: rules for playing Malifaux by yourself)

This is a little something I have been working on for quite some time as I just don't get the opportunity to play with other people very often any more. 

I've seen other games use an 'Artificial Intelligence' to control models and allow you to play against yourself, so I thought I'd have a go at building an AI to use in a game of Malifaux. This ended up being a lot more intricate than I had originally thought.

So how to use this AI.

Firstly set up your game choosing your crew, the AI crew, deployment zones, schemes/strategies etc.

When an enemy (AI) model needs to activate or do any sort of action or interaction with other models refer to the AI rules.

Start at the top of the relevant list and attempt to answer the questions. If the answer is yes, resolve the text to the right of the question. 

If the answer to the question is 'No' move to the next question.

Keep moving down the questions till the action is resolved.


This is a work in progress so please add any comments or improvements that you can think of.

AI can be found here: (this link will be updated to always link to the latest version)




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For a game of Malifaux from lockdown probably the best option is Vassal. An AI is very very hard to make it work in a game as complex as this one, but it's a nice try :)

You may also just play a game taking both sides; I've not done it with Malifaux but I've done it when I playtested other games a few times (but those were games way shorter than this one, 45 min max); you "learn" more about the game seeying both sides, but it's obviously not as fun as against a player XD.



About the improvements... probably a full AI for all models will make models do random things unrelated to their kit and waste resources. I'd go asigning AIs per model (or kind of model); maybe 1 AI specific per model is going to be too much right now, so you can start going with the kind of model idea (like Schemer, Brusier, Shooter, Support...); all of this supervised for a master AI that is the one controling the order of activation and that has the power to swift some of the more combat oriented AIs (like Brusier/Shooter) to Schemer AI if scoring is needed and vice-versa. This will make each model work more accordingly to their strenghts. Also asign priorities to those models is probably important, so models with high priorities has access to more resources (cheat, SS to defense, triggers...) than those with low priority. 

A "master" AI is also going to need imputs, enemy ranges, high priority enemies, kind of crew the player and AI is using, what are the goals for that turn, the posible "combos"; for example a Nekima crew AI should take in count the posibility to grow Matures from BBS or a Master AI should take in count the more threaten models to be supported, activated or repositioned before others; the posibility to deny enemy schemes or strategy points is also important... making it simple enough but still challenging for the player is the key.

Also an AI is going to always be way worse than a player (and a player may try to exploit the AI), the AI crew should get extra resources and SS than a real player; this needs testing so maybe start with 30% extra SS and hand (65SS and 8 cards); and you may even introduce "dificulty" levels giving the AI extra resources.

As said above it's quite hard to implement but if you like it, it could be a good way to kill time, good luck!

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When I've played Malifaux solo it has been a normal game of Malifaux against myself. It does have a down side of trying to "forget" each hand during the cheating process, but I'm normally fairly capable of doing that. The "AI" listed above is fairly close to the general check list I would go through, but you still have the down side that the crew you are "playing" knows what the otherside can cheat (And you can potentially try and abuse the AI choices).


A few of the M2e story encounters had a 1 player mode in them. (transmortis springs to mind but I think some of the others did as well) You generally tried to achieve the adjectives and get the maximum score possible. They didn't have a huge amount of re-playability once you worked out the ideal route, unless you could come up with a widely different plan to see if it works.


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1 hour ago, LordZombie said:

But not everyone is down with vassel or can even find someone to play. 

its not for everyone but there is a decent size growing community on there. if you know where to look it shouldn;t be hard to find someone to play

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