Merlin, a Malifaux Henchman from Cork, kindly traveled up to Gamers World in Dublin to give a few of us some demos of Malifaux. He and I played a 35 soulstone encounter while he was there. I used my Guild crew led by Lady Justice and he had a Lilith led Neveborn crew.

The first thing we did was flip for our strategies which is one of the really nice features of Malifaux. Each crew may have different objectives to complete (Destroy the Evidence for me and Claim Jump for Merlin) and they really shake up the dynamic of the game. It was quite strange to play a game where the death of a Master (or Warcaster!) does not mean game over.

The game was a great blast. Early on Merlin’s Lelu narrowly failed to kill my Executioner on the left flank after the Lilitu lured him forward into strike range. The Executioner’s retribution was merciless, killing the Lelu and recovering all of his wounds to boot.

Elsewhere things didn’t go so well. Lilith and the Convict Gunslinger had the right hand approach well covered and I flicked my force left after a Death Marshal was taken down by Lilith. This took time and allowed Lilith and her crew to get into position to greet my crew!

Meanwhile the Executioner was ground down. Samael Hopkins had made moves up that flank earlier and took shots at targets of opportunity. I got overly ambitious with Lady Justice on the left and allowed the repositioned Lilith to charge and destroy her. Transposition is a powerful spell and between that and being Fast Lilith had what was needed to take out my Master. Hopkins retaliated with a couple of well aimed shots, but it wasn’t enough to take her out. She charged him and finished him.

Meanwhile we traded models. The Gunslinger was taken down by a couple of Death Marshals for the loss of one of them. Lilith’s rampage continued with a charge into my final Death Marshal. She took him down with a single blow, but his Slow to Die rule allowed him a final strike before he fell. I had the cards in my hand to cheat it and I just managed to take her out. Only the Lilitu, Doppleganger and The Judge were left. In his activation I used The Judge to take out the Lilitu, which had previously lured him into melee. He turned and cast Bullets and Blades at the Doppleganger, hitting it twice, but just failing to kill it. Merlin’s last model ran to seize his strategy objective and fortunately (for him) the game ended.

I thoroughly enjoyed this game and Merlin was a great opponent. I thought when Lady J was killed that it was all over, but the game came alive when I drew ridiculously good hands. My card luck went from terrible to amazing and I had some exceptionally well judged (read lucky!) ranged attacks! I’ll be playing more Malifaux – it’s a fun, dynamic and challenging game.