Thursday, 11 December 2014

Scheming in Malifaux

Hello to all, just a quick article here from me regarding scheme, strategies and the change in mind set Malifaux requires for someone new to the game.

As a new player coming from the traditional army v army style games I was blown away by the fact that every single one of my models could die horribly and I could still win. Now clearly having models on the table is going to preferable but it was a viable situation and something that required a massive mindset change for me, it took a while for me to fully realise the potential of this.

After 20 years of trying to keep my models alive, that unit or so of fodder aside, it was a real switch in thinking that I could, and at times should, charge  model x or y into their certain doom for the good of the cause. You realise after a few games that even a model as important as your leader may die and it may not matter in the overall picture, it might even help as long as your opponent didn't have Assassinate of course and if they had Deliver the Message you are actually denying them 3 VPs!

This change in mindset 'unlocks' you to pull off all sorts or weird and wonderful plans or strategies that can really throw your opponent off balance. In a recent game, not that this was exactly wild and wonderful but I hope it highlights the point, my opponent was lining up to kill Barbaros, the nephilim henchman, so come my activation I moved him nearer to the two models that were hovering for the kill and promptly dropped a scheme marker and I think went defensive, Barbaros has nimble hence the additional action. I was running the Plant Explosives scheme and now my opponent had some tough decisions to make, does he kill Barbaros and therefore leaving this scheme marker with two models nearby or take evasive action ... of course he also didn't even know at this point if I HAD that scheme so mind games were aplenty. As it turned out he attacked Barbaros who manage to live and then to really rub it in, boOm!! 2 VPs to me thank you very much, a third elsewhere from another scheme marker and full points were achieved for that particular scheme.

A few weeks prior there was no way I would have thought of doing that as Barbaros is a henchmen with lots of fluff associated to him so you can't have him die right ? Wrong ? ... although personally I prefer thinking of it as knocked out. So throw him in there and get your points no reason having a model alive at the end of the game and zero points.

So while I'm certainly not advocating kamikaze tactics on turn one, there are certainly times that valour IS favoured over discretion.

Barbaros may disagree with me but hey, suck it up big guy!

In another game recently I was reminded just how important it is to be mindful of your opponents schemes as well. This I found quite challenging starting off, not only am I learning the rules, my crew AND my opponents but I need to be mindful of what he was trying to achieve as point denial can be at times more important than scoring yourself.

In this instance I used Lilith's Tangled Shadows spell to pull the old switch-a-roo and place Gracie (the Gremlin Hench...pig!) who had already activated into base contact with Lilith while sending one of my big hitters up the table. The plan was to kill the now out of position pig quick smart and gain some advantage, what I had failed to appreciate was come next turn even after I won initiative I got carried away and activated someone else first to achieve some goal however this let left Gracie open to Deliver The Message to Lilith and score the full three points.... Very daft by me, the scheme had even been revealed but I got to caught up in my own plans, maybe I wasn't expecting a pig to talk!

Anyone, that is it for my musing for now, thanks for reading.


  1. A clubmate and I just played a game last night that illustrates your point well. He dominated 2/3rd of the board, but because I kept him tied down in fights I wanted with models I didn't need, I secured strategy and schemes he did not, and won 10-2. Anyone used to "traditional" wargaming would swear it went the other way.

    The strategic advantage of planning your crew to your schemes plus the tactical action on the tabletop really makes Malifaux a unique game. I highly recommend it!

  2. Yeah my first few games were like that. Playing away thinking yeah I'm killing things, I'm going great .... oh I lost 10-2 :-p