Thursday, 13 June 2013

Winter is Coming - Malifaux 2E Battle Report

So recently Gmort (of Gmort's Chaotica) and I have been play testing the beta rules for Malifaux 2.0. We've had about four games and I've had a couple of others to try and test the changes in the rules and how the new rules set holds up.

During our most recent game I decided to take notes in the hope of writing a battle report, show casing not just the new rules but also Rasputina. Before I begin that however lets have a look at the changes M2E has made from Malifaux 1.5.

1) There are now only two types of duel;
Simple duels which target your own models (usually for buff spells)
Opposed duels where one player attacks or targets an opposing model, where one player can resist the other players duel.

2) Most model can buy upgrade cards.
In some cases these grant a model an ability it previously had in 1.5 or a last effect that alters how that model plays in the game. These upgrades can change between games an can give models a totally different feel, taking some from combat monsters and turning them into support characters or vice versa and many others in between.

3) Setting up and playing a game has become much more simple with players flipping on small concise charts for strategies and schemes (though players are still free to choose, if they so desire).

Some other changes will be covered in the battle report, but I intend to do a more encompassing review of the system when we have the final rules set.

But on to the main focus of the article, the battle report.

We chose to play a 35 soul stone game which is the starting box for Rasputina (Raspy, Wendigo, Ice Golem and three Ice Gamin) and Seamus (Seamus, The Copy Cat Killer, Madam Sybelle and three Rotten Belles.) and leaving enough points for some upgrades. This is a smaller game by 2.0 standards and we both took a larger than average cache of soul stones into the game so we could test the new effects.

Rasputina Crew - Citizen Williams

Rasputina (Cache of 3) - 0
Wendigo - 3
Ice Golem - 10
Ice Gamin - 4
Ice Gamin - 4
Ice Gamin - 4
Total - 25 SS

Rasputina Upgrades:
Child of December (1) - Grants Rasputina Bear Skin armour and gives her the (0) ability Shatter.
Decembers Pawn (2) - This allows Rasputina to treat the Black Joker as a second Red Joker.

Cold Nights (1) - Gives Rasputina the (1) action spell Ice Pillars.

Ice Golem Upgrades:
Sub Zero (1) - Grants all models with 'Frozen Heart' within 8" the Df trigger sub zero which ends an attacking models activation once the model with 'Frozen Heart' takes damage.

This puts my crew at 30 SS and gives me a maximum cache of 7 Soul Stones in the game.

Seamus Crew - Gmort

Seamus (Cache of 3)
Copy Cat Killer - 3
Madam Sybelle - 8
Rotten Belle - 5
Rotten Belle - 5
Rotten Belle - 5
Total - 26 SS

Seamus Upgrades:
Sinister Reputation (1) - Grants Seamus the (1) action live for pain and gives opposing models within 6" -2 Wp.
Mad Haberdasher (2) - Allows Seamus to prevent damage using his hat.
Not Too Banged Up (1) - Gives +2Wk to models effected by a Belle's 'Lure' spell.

Sybelle Upgrades:
Bleeding Tongue (1) - Gives Sybelles combat attack two triggers, one to force a model to do an action and one that can instantly kill an enemy model.

Picture by Gmort

This Put Gmort on 31 SS and gave him a cache of 7 Soul Stones also.
At the beginning of the game we flipped for a strategy and drew Turf War. which involves players having two scoring models (not peons) within 6" of a centre marker. to score on Vp at the end of turn.

We flipped corner deployment which gave us a 12" quarter corner of the board to deploy in.

Schemes in 2.0 work in a very interesting way. You flip two cards which generate 5 possible schemes (two per card and one you always have access to), players then choose two of those schemes to try and achieve in the game.

We flipped:
Distract - Models gain a (1) action distract and players score points for when models are distracted.
Breakthrough (Gmort took) - Player earns 1 Vp for each scheme marker dropped within 6" of the enemy deployment zone.
Frame for Murder (we both took) - Player nominates and gets a non peon model killed by the enemy master.
Take Prisoner (I took) - Player notes a non leader model and ends the game engaged with them in melee.
A Line in the Sand (always available) - Players earn 1 Vp for each scheme marker dropped on the centre line of the board.

Once all the preamble was completed we flipped for deployment. I won so Gmort deployed first.
Our Deployment on the Terraclips city board in Titan Games.


Turn One:.
Gmort went first and began moving his Belles toward the pool in the centre of the board. I followed suit ensuring I kept the Gamin within 8" of the Golem so they benefited from Sub Zero. Rasputina was the only model to take an action besides walk as she summoned a couple of ice pillars to block off some of the access to the objectives.

Turn 2:
Gmort again won priority (this became a regular thing much to my chagrin). He opened up with the Copy Cat Killer. Now much improved the little imp is able to fire is .45 pistol twice but at the cost of being pushed back 4" by the recoil. His first shot slammed into my Wendigo dealing a hefty 4 damage on a weak flip. The next shot went wide and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Not standing for being hit from long range Wendigo charged the Copy Cat. Unlike in 1,5 where charging made you attack hit harder in 2.0 you get 2 attacks on the charge. This was good for me. My first attempt went wide, cursing my luck I scanned Wendigo;s card for anything that could help me. Then I saw it. Wendigo's Devour attack allow him to 'eat' a ht 1 or paralysed model and has a much better Ml (melee) value than his standard attack. Luckily for me the CCK is Ht 1. The attack is a little hard to get off as it require a crow but it does auto trigger "Pound of Flesh" which gives Wendigo's attached caster Fast. The attack missed but I cheated fate with a 13 of crows from my hand and the CCK was no more.

Gmort's next activation was Seamus who promptly used his "Lives for Pain" ranged attack to finish Wendigo, meaning both totems were out the game. Wendigo being a living model dropped a corpse counter (unlike CCK as he was eaten) which Gmort swiftly turned into a forth Rotten Belle.

This left me in a precarious position with a newly summoned Belle on my flank and three more on the objective I charged my Ice golem into the pack of three in the hopes of clearing the area out. He is soon joined by Madam Sybelle, the rest of the Belle and all but one of my Ice Gamin all chipping wounds away from each other while Seamus looked on. On the back foot I moved Rasputina up.

Masters in 2.0 ALL have 3 Ap (action points) to use each turn, Raspy gaining a forth from the Wendigo saved my bacon this turn as she swatted the newly summoned Belle aside and thanks to the Blast from her "December's Curse" spell took a few wounds of the Redchapel killer him self.

Turn 3:
Gmort won initiative, and activated Seamus. He opted to use a Soul stone to give Seamus's Pistol shot a positive flip (one of the new soul stone options) and fired at my Gamin (while in combat) he missed his Belle and obliterated a Gamin from full wounds to dead. Upon a Gamin's death they explode and deal two damage to all models within 2". This killed the Belle the Gamin was in combat with but Gmort used her corpse counter to make a fresh full wounds Belle.

This left Rasputina in combat with a freshly summoned Belle with very little way to deal with her. I was forced to paralyse the Belle (through "Ice Mirror", using the Gamin as the origin for the spell) so Rasputina could walk out of combat and then cast "Biting Chill" using a Soul Stone to buy a "Mask" suit so that i got my "One Thousand Cuts" trigger allowing me to cast the spell again. With my final AP I summoned another set of ice pillars to block Seamus's access to Raspy.

The minion combat continued with no one really gaining an upper hand, a few wound were dealt here and there but the golem's armour and the Belle's Hard to wound meant everything in the combat was very survivable.

Turn 4:
The only Turn I won initiative, and it did not save me. I activate the Ice Golem first feeling confident that Rasputina is safe from Seamus for a while, he uses all three of this actions (to standard AP and +1 Ml AP) to do his smash attack, a devastating hit that does 9/10/12 damage/ Aimed at Sybelle I was confident I'd waste the madam and be in a strong position for the end of the game. I was wrong. The golem hit on a solid 11 better than any card in my hand and Gmort cheated to save Sybelle by 1. My heart sank as using companion a Belle and madam Sybelle ripped the golem apart. In his death throws he didn't even manage to take out a Belle with his explosive demise. In the Battle of the Belle vs the Gamin the Belle won out but the Gamin's explosive demise took out the undead horror.
Seamus then activated summoning a Belle through the ice pillars, (which he can totally do :( ) and the used his Back Passage" ability to appear on the other side of the pillars. Where he promptly shot Rasputina with his pistol leaving her on two wounds with no crew to help  In return Raspy dropped a few wound from the roguish serial killer but my low hand made defending easy.

Turn 5:
I looked one way then the other desperate for a way out. There was none so dutifully I flipped a card for initiative. A five. Gmort flips a nine and my heart sinks. I have one out though, the final soulstone on the board. So if I can beat a nine, I'm going first; with no chance of Gmort cheating, a great hand full of high masks and a clear line of sight to Seamus. I spend the stone and flip... the Black Joker. I swiftly check the wording of "Decembers Pawn", no dice I have to weather the storm and hope i can stay alive. Seamus activates. Flips a red joker to hit with his pistol. I can't cheat (new Red Joker rule) and the shot hit home for seven damage. Game over.

Gmort - 4 (4 turns holding the centre), no Schemes
Citizen Williams - 0 + 2 for "Frame for Murder" as Seamus killed Wendigo.

Over all the game was a great one but initiative and a good control hand seem to be a little more necessary in 2.0 than 1.5. Gmort's knowledge of his crew exceeded mine too, as evidenced by his utter disregard for my ice pillars.

There will be more 2.0 on the blog in the weeks to come as well as over at the Hobbynomicon. Thank you for sticking with me and I hope you enjoyed the battle report. It's my first time trying to do one properly so feedback is more than welcome either in the comments below or emailed to


  1. Cool battle report, but I don't think Raspy can ice mirror freeze over if she is in combat. As it has a gun symbol. She is still the one casting it, and the rulebook says you may not use ranged attacks while engaged in combat.

  2. Oh also unless the wendigo was casting some of the ice walls, there should have never been 4 of them. And they go away next turn when you activate raspy or the wendigo again.

  3. Correct on both points. Thanks for the feedback. I'm still getting to grips with her new abilities. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I think that some of our mistakes come from the fact that we're both so familiar with the 1.5 rules for the crews we used that it's easy to presume that the new rules work the same.

      Plus each new rule version seems to have a nerf to Seamus's crew so I'm going to have to keep careful track of each new set of this rate he'll have 3 Wounds, 'back alley' will have a range of 2" and his gun will heal the enemy rather than wound it, lol.

  4. No problem. I played my first game of 2.0 on monday and made a bunch of mistakes. Casted one of Marcus's attack actions on himself and thought leap cause a disengagement strike, lol. I like 2.0 though, feels a lot faster. And some of the new powers masters got really rock!

  5. Agreed I can't wait until we get the rel rules.

    1. I just hope they (Wyrd) are willing to change some of the rules back to their earlier playtest versions if they overcompensate for some imbalances that are only perceived rather than actual ;-)

      Most changes so far make sense though....most....not all....

  6. Cool batrep.

    I'm curious as to how Wyrd is going to use any of the feedback provided to them...are Beta testers filling out questionnaires? Are they posting on the forums?
    Properly implemented, a Beta can truly result in a more satisfying product for all the parties involved.
    Or, y'know...not, if it isn't.

    1. There's a forum but many people have e-mailed them as well.

      To be fair several cheesy rule exploits have been discovered and eliminated already. For example there was apparently a way of freezing an enemy Master and then hurling a particular Totem at them which could then eat them which has been nerfed.

      I'm not 100% convinced about a few of the changes but 95% Of them have made sense :-)