We’re back with Malifaux from Mars and today we’re actually going to learn how to play Malifaux! Are you excited yet? I know I am! I remember my first Malifaux game (demoed by Ebonstar); it was dramatic, it was exciting, it was easy to learn, and more importantly… I had fun! Unfortunately I can’t cover every little rule on how to play and I can’t cover full stats of any character because that is breaking Wyrd-Miniature’s copyright laws, but I will try to help you learn the general idea of Malifaux. Hit the jump to start learning.
Let’s start with the setup! You will need a 3’x3’ board to play on. I find buying a 3’x3’ Zuzzy Mats is one of the easiest thing to start with. But as a Wargameron a Budget, I rather make one myself using methods directed by WargamerConsortium. If you already have another type of gaming table, feel free to use them too! Each player will then need a Fate Deck, a crew to field on the map, tape measurer, their crew’s stat cards, and counters/tokens.
Guild Austringer by Mars
Both players then would agree on the size of the game. A “Scrap” is typically 25 – 35 Soulstones (1 Master), while a “Brawl” is typically 60 – 80 Soulstones (2 Masters). A typical deployment zone is within 6” from the edges but that depends on the “location” card drawn. Both players then shuffle their “Fate Deck”, and it is customary to let the opponent cut the deck when you are done. One player will flip a card to determine what random “location” they will get and each player flips a card to determine what strategies (each player gets their own strategy to play) they have to fulfill. Sometimes there’s a chance that both players will play the same strategies. After strategies are set, each player then pick a Master and the crew they will play with according to the Soulstone limit. Once that is done, each player than picks 2 “schemes” they want to play/achieve. Some schemes need to be announced but for the most part, you don’t. You do get bonus points for fulfilling an announced “schemes”. Basically you get bonus Victory Points if you call out what schemes you are running.
For example, “Framed for Murder” is worth 1 point if you successfully get one of your minions killed by the opponent’s Master, and it is worth 2 points in total if you announce which minion needs to be killed by the opponent’s Master.
When that is done, both players then flip a card to determine who deploys first. This is very crucial! The player with the highest card gets to choose who deploys first. Each player will then deploy according to what the “location” rules tells them to. Shuffle your “Fate Deck” again, let your opponent cut and you are ready to play!
A Malifaux game underway
At the start of the first turn (“Turn” = series of activations of your models until there’s no more models to activate), both players will deal 6 cards (unless your Master has a different rule) and they will be their “Control Hand” (the cards you can use to “Cheat Fate” a.k.a. replace the cards you dealt during the game). Once that is done, each player then flips the top card from their Fate Deck and the player with the highest card gets to activate his model(s) first. Each player takes turn in activating models one by one unless one of them has the “Companion” ability. “Companion” allows all models with the same ability within 6” to activate at the same time (Perdita crew is a good example of this).
All models have 2 Action Points (AP) to do either “Walk”, “Attack (Melee or Range)”, or “Cast Spell” for 1 AP each. So they can “Walk” twice, “Attack” twice, “Cast Spell” twice, or the combination of those actions. They can also declare a “Charge” for 2 AP. All of these available actions are listed on your model’s stat cards with their explanations on the back.
Now, to help me explain what typically happens in an activation, Ebonstar will give you a mini demo on our How to Play Malifaux: A Typical Activation video.
Learn to Malifaux in 10 Minutes with Mars & Ebonstar
After each player finished activating all his/her models, the turn then ends. Both players discards the cards from their Control Hand they don’t want to keep, shuffle their Fate Decks, and deal as many cards needed to make a total of 6 cards again in their hands. At this point, usually you don’t need to cut the opponent’s deck anymore but the option is still there. Both players then flip the top card from their Fate Deck again to see who gets the initiative (who gets the first activation). This cycle will be repeated every turn until turn 6 (Turn 6 is the maximum number of turns in a typical game of Malifaux, the Malifaux Rules Manual will explain how to go beyond Turn 6).
Remember to keep track on your Victory Points throughout all the turns because your opponent will be too busy keeping their own VPs! Player with the highest VP collected is the winner, and don’t forget to give your opponent the handshake for the good game you just had!
Well that’s it guys! That is a general idea on how to play Malifaux. I hope this post will get you guys as psyched as I am about Malifaux and start researching on what kind of crew you want to play as! Next time I will cover the factions that’s fighting over the control of Malifaux but until then, Mars out!