First Look at Malifaux by Wyrd Miniatures
Wyrd Miniatures has finally debuted their long-awaited Malifaux tabletop skirmish game at Gen Con. Would-be players, many of whom have been drooling over the game’s amazing line of miniatures, were finally able to get their hands on the beautiful full-color soft cover rulebook, which weighs in at 216 pages.
Intriguingly, the game is totally diceless, and uses a card-based mechanic to generate the results for attacks, defenses, spellcasting, and so on. Basically each turn each player draws a hand of cards that can be used to “cheat fate.” In the course of a turn whenever a model wants to do something like shoot an enemy or cast a spell, the controlling player flips over the top card from his Fate Deck (a standard 54-card deck that includes both red and black jokers) and adds the result to his relevant characteristic to generate a total.
If the test is unopposed, for example if a model is casting a spell on itself, then there is a target number (which varies) that must be beaten. In the case of an opposed check (like an attack), the opponent also gets to flip their top card and the result to their relevant defensive stat. Once each model’s total outcomes (stat+card) are established, the player who is losing the contest may “cheat” and replace the card he flipped with one from his hand.
There’s a lot more to the game engine, of course. I’ve only seen a brief demo so far and don’t yet have a copy of the rules, but what I’ve seen seems to run with impressive smoothness and elegant design. With its innovative mechanics, gorgeous minis and unique horror-steampunk-western genre mashup background, Malifaux is the most interesting new game I’ve seen so far.
I have an interview scheduled this afternoon with several of the Wyrd crew, so expect a lot more details about the game. There are also a passel of photos, but you’ll have to be patient for a bit longer because I haven’t gotten them back from my photographer just yet. In the meantime, enjoy the demo video.
To read more about the game and check out their amazing studio miniatures pics, head over to the Wyrd website.
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