In the past year and a bit, I have been really getting into a new miniatures game. This is unusual for me, as I had kind of sworn off them a bit after getting somewhat tired of the prices and shenanigans of Games Workshop, and a perceived lack of time to paint anything I was actually interested in, such as my Hordes starter set from Privateer Press.
The game in question, as you have likely deduced from the title, is Wyrd Miniatures’ skirmish game, Malifaux:
Now, the best way to explain Malifaux, I believe, is to use the developer’s own words. This is taken from the Wyrd Miniatures website:
Based in an alternate Earth, Malifaux uses gothic, steampunk, and victorian horror with a dose of the wild west to inject fun and depth into the magical lawlessness of a world rife with monsters, necropunks, man-machine hybrids, gunslingers, and powerhungry politicos. Actively using character-driven stories to define the world of Malifaux, seek your fortune in this fast paced and brutal 32mm tabletop miniature skirmish game. Assemble your crew and stake your claim!
Malifaux 2E completely updates the rules of the game, adding strategic depth, clarity, and choices. New stories, new factions, and new characters continue to pull you through the Breach and leave you battling for opportunity and survival in the dangerous world of Malifaux.
The background story of Malifaux is really good. It centres around a breach in the fabric of reality that takes you to another place, the magical and terrifying city of Malifaux. Wyrd’s wonderful background story can be found here, but I also present a short summary taken from Wikipedia:
The fictional universe of Malifaux as presented in the rules books and the online Malifaux Record and Wyrd Cronicles is both a city-state and a world in a parallel dimension. This universe is also the setting for the role playing game Through the Breach. The first known breach (also called The Breach of The Great Boundary) to this world was created in 1787 after our own world was threatened by the decline of magic and magicians looking for a new source of magic discovered a world separated from our by a thin barrier. The creation of the breach destroyed the city surrounding the ritual site ripping the life force from its inhabitants creating a new equilibrium between the two worlds. Beyond the breach was discovered the city of Malifaux, supprisingly similar to many of our own but devoid of inhabitants. The new world turned into a new frontier when crumbling mining towns surrounding the city were rebuilt into boom towns in the search and trade of soulstones, the source of magic. With exploration continuing during the following decade, hostile natives called Neverborn were encroached upon. Tombs were discovered and with them the magic of resurrection. Discovered too were intelligent machines powered by soulstone.
In 1797, the breach was destabilised by a blizzard collapsing while smoke and the sound of battle was heard Earthside. After turmoil the Guild was formed by those who had made the Breach in the first place, controlling the dwindling resource of soulstones left Earthside and preparing for its reopening. In 1897 the Breach spontaneously reopened. The Guild was ready and took control with the Breach and the reopened frontier fuelling a new boomtrade in Soulstone.
The present is 1901 Earthside. The Guild’s control is precarious. Lesser, unstable breaches have appeared. A significant part of the workforce have organised themselves in the Miners and Steamfitters Union and smuggling is rife.
The background is actually quite rich and the characters all seem well thought-out and bursting with personality.
The models that Wyrd have produced for the second edition of Malifaux are fabulous. I specify ‘second edition’ because with the launch of M2E, Wyrd took the brave and unusual decision to redesign and relaunch their entire line of miniatures, making the switch from metal to hard plastic and a more realistic style in regards to proportions. The models are really what sold me on this game, and I really like how the sets are put together. Each one of the main crew sets takes one Master model and a selection of thematically appropriate models that, for the most part, work well together. Here are a couple of example sets, and remember that you can click the image for a closer look:
I’ve picked up a few of these sets so far and have been pleasantly surprised by the style and quality of the models. For people like myself who are perhaps used to Games Workshop or Privateer Press models, the Malifaux miniatures are very different. For one, they are very fine, with some very intricate detail, slim models and very thin weapons and accessories. It’s actually quite daunting at first to remove the pieces from the sprues, and I have had to repair one small breakage to Nicodem’s walking stick.
Of the sets I have picked up, I have managed to paint two so far and have enjoyed the experience. The models are a pleasure to paint. They aren’t the best pictures, as they were snapped in the passing during last week’s gaming night, but here is my Resurrectionist crew, led by Nicodem, the undertaker:
And my Arcanist crew (yet to be based), The Cult of December, led by the fearsome Rasputina:
In both cases, I hope to get some better photos sorted out soon(ish)!
I am really enjoying my time building and painting these miniatures and look forward to both expanding my existing crews and branching out in some other directions. I have particular plans for an Outcast/Ressurectionist crew based around tormented spirits.
Next time, I intend to take a look at the rules of the game and consider what sets it apart from other miniature games.