TTG’s Top Board Games of 2016: Why Malifaux is my Game of the Year
TTG contributor Lucy Orr explains why Wyrd Games' 2009 miniatures title continues to hold a special place in her heart, seven years on
Who’s not partial to a Pigapault flinging undead explosive piglets across a gaming table? Miniatures game Malifaux, set in a rift word where crews battle each other for power, has been around since 2009, but this lengthy tenure doesn’t stop it being my 2016 Game of the Year.
2016 saw a reworking of the Gaining Grounds, Schemes and Strategies Deck followed by the release of the final Wave 3 models from expansion books Shifting Loyalties and the start of Wave 4, Ripples of Fate, in the annual updating of the game.
In this game killing isn’t everything, and players need to use guile and cunning to score points, lay traps and beat opponents by scoring up to 10 points. Wave 4 also revealed new masters for each faction - this resulted in a game where no faction is overpowered and a tournament scene can consist of a stimulating variety of factions and masters.
I’m a Gremlin girl at heart and the recent introduction of Zip, the Sky Pirate, means that I have one of the most incredibly maneuverable models of the game, who doesn’t need much synergy to slaughter opposing crews. Though, Wong will always be my fall back master - a sorcerer gremlin that could be straight out of Big Trouble in Little China and is full of magical potential.
Malifaux has a unique card system to determine results, using cards to randomise instead of dice each player having a Fate Deck and a Control Hand. The black joker can ruin anybody’s day, but you’d have to cycle your entire deck for it to happen twice a turn! Learning to use cards from your control hand to cheat the Fate Deck is part of the resource management part of the game along with a Crews action points to score the schemes and strategies.
The UK had the biggest Malifaux tournament in the world in 2016 and an increasingly strong and friendly co-operative community that host events across the UK every week. Often these events will include raffles so it’s not only the top players who walk away with a prize, adding inclusion and a sense of parity among players.
In 2017 Wyrd Games are due to expand their stable with the imminent release of The Other Side. This Kickstarter game shares the world of Malifaux but asks players to pick an Allegiance - be sure, I’m keen to pledge my fidelity to the Gibbering Hordes!