Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Malifaux 2nd Edition Part I

Well it's finally here:  M2E.  I've had the book and my wave 1 arsenal boxes for a couple of weeks now thanks to some very kind people, and I've had a couple of games since the official release now so I thought I would share some thoughts on what I've found so far.

The Book
The book itself is excellent.  It's full colour throughout and there's plenty of new artwork (and some re-used artwork).  It's softback which I don't have a problem with but mine's only been out of the house three times and it's already a bit dog eared on the corners of the cover.  Hopefully Wyrd will release an A5 sized rules manual for M2E which will be much easier to carry around.

The rules are pretty clearly written, although coming from a position of having played M1E for such a long time it can be hard to be objective being as I am familiar with the basic concepts.  The major changes (with opinions on both sides) have been well covered on plenty of podcasts so I won't go into detail here suffice to say that after a couple of games I'm pretty happy with them.  The core rules have been cleaned up substantially and alot of the difficult semantic differences have been removed such as Attack vs attack, towards vs directly towards, within vs completely within etc.  This has made things alot clearer and easier to understand.  Most of the rules are now written on the cards rather than just a keyword referring back to the rulebook which helps during the game.  Clarity and streamlining were what the game needed.

The book includes stats for all the wave 1 models, but to play a game you're going to need...

Arsenal boxes
The stat cards have been totally re-vamped from M1E.  They're now standard playing card size so your MtG card sleeves and deck boxes will fit them.  Most people are either sleeving them or laminating them so they can be written on with dry wipe markers.  I've laminated all mine which was a major task with 5 boxes of 50-60 cards but I think it's worth it to give that extra protection.

The arsenal boxes are not required to play M2E, you could just use the rulebook.  Alternatively, the new plastic box sets include the stat card for each model and all the upgrades that are specific to that crew.  They don't however include the generic faction upgrades, they are only in the arsenal boxes.  For existing players, they're going to want these boxes for the factions you play and they're priced at about £6 RRP which is roughly the same as the retro fate deck.  For players entering the game, they could get away with just buying the new plastic crews but really I would have thought that until the model line is completely re-vamped most players will want the relevant arsenal box.

New plastics
I don't own any of the new plastics as yet, as other than Raspy I already had fully painted crews for all the other boxes.  My club mate Sam has Tara, Seamus and Justice boxes so I have seen the new models and they look really good.  The details on them is excellent.  For example, I don't like the Tara sculpt, but the detail on it, especially the face and hair is really nice.  The disco Death Marshals got a lot of flak when the art came out for them but having now seen the model they are really cool looking.

I've built a fair few Wyrd plastics in the past and I have to say they weren't all that enjoyable to build.  From what Sam has told me that has changed with the new boxes and they are much easier to build than previous kits so Wyrd are clearly learning from the experience of earlier kits.

I was not a fan of the new art style when the first few examples were released during the beta.  It has since grown on me and I think I realized the issue:  the Viks crew.  Seeing that artwork (which I still hate) coloured my judgement against much of the rest of it which I was wrong about.  Happily I still have my M1E Viks models so I'll be carrying on using those rather than the new samurai lap dancer models.  I'll more than likely be getting Zoraida and Marcus boxes once they are released in future.

I'll post some thoughts on my first few games in the next post.

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