A Quick Overview
Since its launch in 2009, Malifaux has evolved and grown, currently in its third edition. What sets Malifaux apart from other tabletop games is its unique resolution mechanic that adds depth and strategy to every action. Instead of relying on dice rolls, players flip cards to determine the outcome of their actions, adding an element of unpredictability and decision-making.
At the core of the game is the Fate Deck. Each player has a deck of cards, which they use throughout the game. When a model performs an attack or takes a tactical action, the player flips a card from their Fate Deck and adds relevant stats. By comparing the totals to the defender’s value, the success or failure of the action is determined. This card-flipping mechanic introduces strategic elements and forces players to carefully consider their options.
One of the key strategic aspects introduced by the card mechanic is the ability to “Cheat Fate.” Players can manipulate the outcome by replacing a flipped card with one from their hand, allowing them to increase their chances of success or mitigate potential failures. This adds a layer of tactical decision-making and creates opportunities for unexpected twists and turns.
The Fate Deck also includes two special cards known as the Red Joker and the Black Joker. These Jokers can have significant effects on gameplay. The Red Joker represents a critical success, providing powerful bonuses or effects, while the Black Joker represents a critical failure, resulting in severe penalties or setbacks. These Jokers add an element of excitement and tension to each game, as they can dramatically alter the course of events.
A game of Malifaux unfolds over five turns with alternating activations, ensuring that both players remain engaged and involved throughout the entire game. Rather than solely focusing on eliminating opponents’ models, Malifaux introduces a Strategy and a set of secret Schemes that players must try to accomplish to score points and achieve victory. These Schemes are kept hidden from the opponent, adding an element of mystery and strategic planning. To score points, players need to fulfil the prerequisites of their chosen Schemes while adapting to the evolving battlefield, making each decision and action crucial.
One of the strengths of Malifaux is its accessibility. With small crew sizes and affordable models, it provides an inviting entry point for new players. The game’s thematic crews, led by unique Masters, offer diverse playstyles and encourage strategic list construction. Each crew has its strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities, allowing players to tailor their strategies and tactics to their preferred playstyle.
Malifaux is a game that rewards careful planning, adaptability, and clever manipulation of resources. The use of cards instead of dice adds a refreshing twist to traditional tabletop gaming, offering a unique and engaging experience. Whether you are a seasoned wargamer or new to the hobby, Malifaux provides an immersive and strategic gameplay experience set within the rich and captivating world of Malifaux. Prepare to test your skills, outmanoeuvre your opponents, and uncover the secrets of this weird and intriguing universe.