The report was tantalisingly unspecific. Tall man, wearing a suit and hat, and surrounded by shambling undead things were the pieces that piqued her interest. It couldn’t be. Nicodem was dead, but things didn’t often stay dead in Malifaux. Grabbing a map from a shelf, she spread it out on the table and began tracing her finger towards the northeast of the city. Some places were so nondescript they didn’t even get a proper name. Settlement 83 was where she sought. Pinpointing it about thirty miles from Ridley, her mid was made up. The train to Ridley would get them most of the way there, but it’d still take at least a day and a half to get there. Many things day ended her attention here in the city, but this report couldn’t be ignored

Time to play some Malifaux again. Covid disrupted many things and M3E was certainly one of those. I last played in August 2019. It was also my first game of M3E. With Covid disruptions easing, it was time to get back to this game, which remains one of my favourites.

Gavin dropped over on Wednesday. He’d planned to bring a Dreamer crew, but when he arrived he realised he’d grabbed the wrong wargames cases (we all have too many of those!). Thankfully he had the makings of a Jacob Lynch crew. We’d deliberated decided to keep things simple, with 35 soulstone crews and just playing with the strategy. We’ll add schemes for the next game.

I decided to return to my Malifaux origins and field Lady Justice, my first master. My crew was very straightforward: Lady J, the Judge, 3 x Death Marshals, Scales of Justice (which I painted quickly for the game) and an Exorcist. Here are how the two crews looked as we deployed…

Turf War was the strategy. It’s changed and, like all of the M3E changes I’ve seen so far, it seems to have been a change for the better. My plan was simple. Get Lady J in the centre of the board to threaten the opposing crew and the Turf War tokens in the other quadrants, and use my (mostly) ranged ability with other models to occupy Jacob and co.

This mostly went to plan, but I didn’t have things all my own way. Hungering Darkness contested my left hand quadrant, beating on the Scales and a Death Marshal. I managed to Pine Box it (on the second attempt; see the card flip for the first attempt below), but that didn’t hamper it too much. Ultimately it took the Guild models out before Justice started to move towards it.

Speaking of Justice, she was an absolute power house. She took down a Beckoner and two Illuminated, and flipped two strategy markers on the way. I decided not to hunt down Jacob as I’d accrued a decent amount of Brilliance, so dealing with him would have been hard.

On the right, Jacob and friends definitely fared better. The Beckoner lured out the Exorcist and a Death Marshal, though it took some time to deal with the latter. The Judge contested the central marker, but ultimately was taken out too. A lone Death Marshal handled one of my strategy markers. He and Justice were my only two models to survive the game.

I managed to win 2:1, but without Schemes and at 35 SS, it’s probably not a particularly balanced experience. That said… who cares! Malifaux is such fun (flipping cards, putting ethereal creatures in magic coffins and killing things with big swords) that balance is of secondary concern!

I really enjoy narrative games. Malifaux, though, possibly is constrained in some ways. It is full of named characters and the they’re really needed to play the game. It means narrative tends to be limited to ‘their’ stories. I must have a think about how to have campaigns that aren’t to named character heavy. Maybe the M2E campaign rules or Through the Breach will offer some inspiration…

Depleted… not undead. Justice understood how the uninitiated could make that mistake, but they weren’t really her responsibility. Malifaux was overrun with undead and she couldn’t waste time in the wilds hunting these glowing creatures down. She’d given the trickster and his followers a bloody nose today. It was time, however, to return to the city. Settlement 83 would just have see what fate had in store for it.

Until next time,