Malifaux Crew Building

Malifaux is an amazing game! There are tons of different ways to win the game and tons of models to bring. This attracts people that love deep and involved games. However, to the new player crew building can be…. let’s just say overwhelming!

Take a look at the strats and schemes above. For the seasoned Malifaux player, you already have some ideas of what you would like to take here. However, if you are a new player, what are some barriers that are present in this Pool?

  1. New players struggle to even know how to score. A new player will struggle to learn and remember the strats and schemes. When I first started playing in M3E, I had to continuously look at the strats and schemes. Honestly, new players are usually just trying to kill shit!
  2. I think the second conditions to score the schemes are really hard for new players to grasp. I don’t know why Wyrd decided to make the reveal and end game conditions different, but it can really be tough for a new player to deal with.
  3. Finally the deployment can really change the game for any player, but new players usually don’t understand how different a game with flank deployment and corner deployment!
  4. Let’s finally assume that a new player has an idea about which schemes they want to take, but now they have to choose which master they want to bring???? Do you bring a fast master? A killer? A jack of all trades? This is soooo hard for a new player to decide. I was totally lost at this step as a new player.

So looking at the pool above, who do you bring if you are playing let’s just say Bayou…. You have Mah Tucket, Zoraida, Zipp, Brewmaster, Wong, Som’er, Ophelia, and Ulix. Corrupted leylines requires mobility, so we could be leaning towards Zipp, Mah, or Ulix. However, we also have some killy schemes like assassinate, so we may want to lean towards Mah or Ulix. Since we are a new player, we will say that we chose Ulix because we like the models, fluff, and thematics of Ulix.

Now that we’ve selected Ulix, we have to pick 50 soulstones worth of models to play the game. Generally speaking, new players are going to bring the core crew for their master. So I would expect a new player to bring Major, Sow, Gracie, a couple piglets, and throw in a random pig of your choice. A new player may miss out on tech picks or support pieces like the Slop Hauler or the hog whisperer. As a new player, I was also never sure on how many soulstones to bring for the game. New players often guess, but in fact they need to think about what their crew is going to be doing. If I am playing Ulix, I probably need 5 to 6 stones to help reduce damage, sculpt my hand, and get timely triggers.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You’re a new player and you made it to playing the game, but now you have to play the game…. I am not going to even touch the number of masters, models, abilities, triggers, attack actions, and tactical actions there are in the game….. but as a new player, you just look at all of these cards and you have to figure out what to do….

So as a new player, what is the best way to play and improve your gameplay in this complicated game?

  • Play one master for at least 5 games! If you are like me and you want to play all the cool toys, this sucks…. But it is the best way to become familiar with your crew.
  • Play the same strategy for a few games. Once you have played the strategy a few times, you will start understand how the strategy works and how your crew plays best in that strategy.
  • Pick 4 to 5 schemes that you really like and understand. Some great newbie friendly schemes are leave your mark, assassinate, claim jump, and spread them out.
  • RTFC!!!! This stands for Read the Fucking Cards! This means read your cards before you go to play the game!!! If you have an idea of what your keyword’s basic rules are and what the crew does well in the game, you will be more successful in the game.
  • Ask for advice. There are a lot of great podcasts, discord channels, reddits, etc. Ask around how the crew works and what you should focus on as a new player.

Malifaux is a great game that rewards players that put the time in to the game. The better player is going to win most of the games. That is what is appealing to so many gamers. New players just need to stick with the game and get your reps in!

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