I like averages; generally not minute details, but overarching themes that are easy to remember. I decided to do some research into the defence (DF) and willpower (WP) of models in Malifaux and the attack actions that are resisted by them. These statistics are for the wave one and wave two models across all the factions. There are crossovers, however, due to dual-faction models. Please be beware I haven't taken abilities or upgrades into account, as this is only a brief glance at defence and willpower. Hopefully you can use these somehow when building your crews or facing another player.
DF5 and WP5 are by far the norm in Malifaux, which are followed by DF6 and WP6 in second and DF4 and WP4 in third. The Voodoo Doll, Ashen Core and Pigapult all have the lowest DF in Malifaux of 1, while The Nothing Beast and Void Wretches have the highest (artificial) DF of 9 and 8 respectively. Lenny has the lowest WP of 1 and the Electric Creation, Zoraida and Pigapult all have the highest WP of 10.
DF5 is most common in The Guild. There are roughly an equal number of models that are DF4 or DF6. Perdita has the single-highest DF of 7. Almost all of the models are either WP5 or WP6. The Guild are typical of the average DF and WP in Malifaux.
There are a higher number of DF4 Resurrectionist models than in any other faction. As a result, they have fewer models that are DF5, although there are still a reasonable number of DF6 models. Bete Noire has the single-highest DF of 7. The majority of models are WP5. Resurrectionists generally have lower DF and WP than the average in Malifaux.
The majority of models are either DF5 or DF6. The Arcanists have the highest number of DF6 models in Malifaux. Myranda has the single DF of 7. WP5 and WP6 are common across The Arcanists, but there are still a significant number of models that are WP4. There are no models with WP7 or above apart from the Electric Creation which is WP10. The Arcanists have a higher average DF in Malifaux which makes them stand out.
DF5 is most common in The Neverborn, followed by DF4 and DF6. Lilith, Baby Kade, Vasilisa (and effectively Pandora) all have DF7. WP5 is most common in The Neverborn, but there are a significant number of models that are WP7. The Neverborn are typical of the average DF and WP in Malifaux, but they also have some models with very high DF or WP.
Nearly half of the available models are DF5. WP5 and WP6 are most common in Outcasts. Like The Neverborn, Outcasts have a significant number of WP7 models.
Most Gremlin models are either DF5 or DF6, yet there are a lot that are DF4. Gremlins have the second-highest number of DF6 models in Malifaux. Skeeter and Sammy Lacroix both have the highest DF of 7. Gremlin WP is evenly but roughly split between WP4, WP5 and WP6, although Zoraida and the Pigapult each have a monstrously high WP of 10.
DF5 is the most common, followed by DF4 and DF6. What makes Ten Thunders stand out is the higher than average WP of 6.
Attacks resisted by DF and WP:
Even though the majority of models in Malifaux are DF5, the most common Ml, Sh or Ca stat across all factions that is resisted by DF in an opposed duel is 6. This clearly means the attacker has a clear advantage over the defender. Interestingly, Resurrectionists and The Neverborn have the lowest number of attack actions that are resisted by DF, although they by far have the highest number of attack actions in Malifaux that are resisted by WP. For example, Resurrectionists and The Neverborn have 31 and 28 attack actions respectively that target WP, while The Guild and The Arcanists only have 11 and 8. Like attack actions that are resisted by DF, those resisted by WP are most-commonly Ml, Sh or Ca 6.
Defence and willpower in Malifaux – some thoughts:
Take these stats with a pinch of salt; it’s not possible to look at them so crudely in Malifaux due to good/bad luck, the ability to cheat fate, buff or debuff models and so on. Nevertheless, it’s still worth considering when building your crew or facing a particular faction. Some thoughts: expect more DF4 models in Resurrectionists and more DF6 in The Arcanists; take models or upgrades that can buff your models’ WP if you’re facing Resurrectionists or The Neverborn; is it worth attacking with a Ml4, Sh4 or Ca4 model in an opposed duel? And watch out for those Ml7, Sh7 and Ca7 models!