Malifaux 2nd Edition (or M2E as the cool kids call it…)

Change can sometimes be scary. The last time a big rules change effected a game system that I enjoyed was 5th Edition 40K to 6th Edition 40K which was a bit traumatic as quite frankly I hated pretty much every change they had made…

So when the makers of my new favourite thing in the world ever announced that they were releasing an update to the rule-set I was understandably concerned. Fortunately Wyrd took the radical step of sending the designers out to the various Malifaux podcasts and actually talking about what they had planned, answering questions and further announced some public beta testing. Maybe this isn’t going to be so bad after all…

I’ll share the announcement first and then we’ll talk about what we learned from the tour of the podcasts. I’ll also add a bit of detail for those without a working knowledge of the existing rules which will hopefully make the changes easier to understand.

You may have heard the rumors … and now we’re excited to announce that Malifaux 2nd Edition (M2E) is coming!

Malifaux 2nd Edition will be pre-released August 15 (during Gen Con 2013) with a general release by October. In the mean time we plan to tease you with new art, new models, new characters, and the … Public Beta for Malifaux 2E.

Malifaux 2nd Edition

Malifaux 2nd edition is coming! If you want to be one of the first to play it and provide input, we’ll be having a public Beta for your shuffling pleasure. (More details on the Beta below.)
What are some of the features of 2nd edition to look forward to?
  • Streamlined, Updated Ruleset.
    Clarified rules interactions and Model Actions.
  • Upgrade Your Models / Customize Your Crew.
    That’s right, keep your favorite model fresh and competitive for years to come.
  • New Masters.
    From the current Henchmen getting promoted, to fresh faces like Tara, the Herald of Obliteration!
  • Gremlins a Faction?
    You bet!
  • Easier to Read Card Format.
    Every model updated to a new, easier to read format. No more searching through the books. The cards are standard sized as well, making them easy to sleeve for dry erasing.
  • Story Moves Forward.
    Find out what happens to your favorite characters, see the new alliances formed, and discover new Tyrants!
  • FAQ.
    For those of you who never got enough of the rules-love, we’ll be moving to an FAQ system updated on a set schedule! No more searching the forums for rulings.

Public Beta Information

  • What
    Play Malifaux with your friends! See the new rules online as soon as they’re available. This will be your chance to give feedback.
  • Who
    Anyone! No previous Malifaux experience required.
  • When
    Starting May 31
  • How
    Watch the new Public Beta section in our forums. Access the rules, ask questions, give feedback, and interact with other Malifaux enthusiasts.

So what do we have to look forward to

Faction Changes.

1) The factions are getting abit of a re-arrange with a few (who weren’t previously) apparently becoming dual faction. For those of you who don’t know, basically some of the Masters have more than one allegiance so you can select which of their two allegiances that they’re following when you select faction. Mei Feng (for example) could select either Arcanists or Ten Thunders which also effects what minions you can take with you.

The new line-ups will apparently look something like this…

Guild – Perdita, Lady J, Sonnia, Hoffman, Lucius (Neverborn), McCabe (Ten Thunders), McMourning (Resurrectionists)
Resurrectionists – Nicodem, Seamus, McMourning, Kirai, Molly, Yan Lo (Ten Thunders), Tara (Outcast)
Arcanists – Ramos, Marcus, Raputina, Colette, Kaeris, MeiFang (Ten Thunders)
Neverborn – Lilith, Pandora, Zoraida (Gremlin!!!!!), Dreamer, Collodi, Lucius (Guild), Jakob Lynch (Ten Thunders)
Outcasts – Leviticus, Viktorias, Von Schill, Hamelin, Tara (Resurrectionists)
Ten Thunders – Misaki, Yan Lo, Jakob Lynch, Lucas McCabe, Mei Fang, Brewmaster (Gremlin)
Gremlins – So’mer, Ophelia, Zoraida!!!!!!!! (Neverborn), The Brewmaster (Ten Thunders)

2) Gremlins are now a Faction of their own which will also include Zoraida and one new Master who I seem to recall being called the Brewmaster
3) Henchmen (a sub-group of Masters who could either lead crews themselves or be recruited by other Masters) are all being promoted to Masters so you might actually see Molly or Collodi in charge of a crew for once. This will also see the end of Rasputina/Kaeris ‘Fire and Ice’ lists and Von Schill being the solution to everything, lol.

Rules Changes.

1) Pre-measuring is now to be allowed at all times rather than just to measure your melee range. This isn’t a big deal really as Malifaux is played on a smaller table area anyway.
2) Spells have a target number like before but are apparently now normal duels like any other ranged attack which should simplify things by having one system for both.
3) Ca value (How good you are at casting spells and similar) is built into spell description rather than being a specific stat. This is apparently in order to balance the Masters abilities better.
4) A Red Joker flipped for Damage (Dg) now does Severe + Weak Damage rather than the previous Severe plus an additional flip…as I invariably always flip a weak card for the 2nd one this won’t effect me much…people with better luck might have a different opinion though.
5) Red Joker prevents opponent from cheating when it’s used. I believe this is in order to increase the ‘Red Jokers awesome, Black Jokers terrible’ mechanic.
6) Avatars (an ‘uber’ version of a Master that can be paid for as part of your crew cost and then replaces him later in the game under certain circumstances) will vary in cost now rather than being all the same value. This makes sense as some are blatantly better than others. As far as I can tell the manifest method is going to be broadly the same though.
7) The ‘Drain Souls’ Action is no longer going to be in the rules…I never used it so I’m not sure how much difference that’s going to make.

Changes to Strategies and Schemes.

1) Strategies are now all of the shared variety so you’ll both have the same basic ‘mission’ though there are not as many now but are apparently more balanced than before. It was also mentioned that Victory Points (VP’s) will now be calculated each turn rather than at the end.
2) Schemes are now worth more Victory Points (VP’s) and I believe the value mentioned was 4. The players now generate a pool of schemes that they will be able to pick from for that game. This is going to be a pool of 5 from a selection of 19. Not revealing your schemes seems to make less difference than before being only worth one less than the new revealed value of 4. This should stop people picking the same simple ones over and over again which in turn should add more variety to each game and make people be a bit more creative than picking ‘Bodyguard’…every…fucking…time…
3) Models can take a (1) Action to drop a Scheme marker.  You can do this even if you don’t need them for the Scheme presumably as a form of psychological warfare against your opponent so he doesn’t know what your actually up to 😉
4) ‘Line in the Sand’ is now in the Schemes section presumably as a balancing issue.

Changes to Soulstone Use.

1) Using a Soulstone to re-flip for initiative is unchanged.
2) When you draw your hand during the Draw Phase you can spend a Soulstone to draw two extra cards and then discard down to the normal hand size (I’m presuming this is still the same hand size as before as I am yet to hear otherwise)
3) During an attack, you spend a Soulstone to add a Positive flip or a particular Suit instead of the previous effect of adding a card to your total. This would means you would cast a spell requiring two Suits by using an appropriately suited card and adding a second via a Soulstone.
4) When the Defender you can spend a Soulstone to get a Positive flip and give the attacker a Negative flip to Damage (Dg). Not sure if this is two separate uses or if you gain both benefits from a single Soulstone. Positive and Negative flips is an important game mechanic so this is a significant change.
5) Damage Prevention flips are unchanged but Healing flips are gone which will upset all those people who rely on ‘Slow to Die’ healing flips to keep their Masters alive. For the uninitiated, ‘Slow to Die’ is an ability that allows you to take a single Action when reduced to zero Wounds before the model is removed..Masters can currently spend a Soulstone to make a healing flip as a single Action so several of them with ‘Slow to Die’ are very frustrating to finish off.

Crew Changes.

Yes…this is actually the same group…

1) Stat cards are to be cleaned up (I’m guessing this means less abilities on them) and will now be standard playing card size. Models can then spend Soulstones on upgrades to their models (within limits obviously). This is one of the changes that concerns me as I’ve seen the balance issues that poorly thought out upgrade options can create when playing other systems…you know the ones I mean 😉
2) Models now have new classifications which indicates both the number of Action Points (AP) and the amount of upgrades they can take. Previously all models had two Action points and one (0) Action with some having abilities that added to those totals. This will be changing from that to this…
3) Masters get 3 AP and 3 upgrades, Henchmen (Right hand men such as the Judge) get 2 AP and 2 upgrades, Enforcers (your beat-sticks such as Ice Golems, Executioners, etc) also get 2 AP and 2 upgrades, Minions (I’m guessing this is every-one else) get 2 AP but only one upgrade and finally Peons (The new designation for Insignificant models) get 2 AP but no upgrade options at all.
4) Standard game size is now 41- 50 Soulstones presumably to take upgrades into account.

3) The early versions of Misaki and Hamelin are going to be removed completely from the game but as newer versions exist (and pretty much no-one uses the old versions anyway) this is a none issue for me at least.

So that’s some of what we have to look forward to and hopefully this is change for the better rather than change for the sake of it…..

For more articles on Malifaux (and other stuff) feel free to pop over to my own blog which can be found here.

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

You may also like...