Malifaux 2nd Edition is here (otherwise known as M2E). I am reposting below what I posted on my local gaming club’s forums, feel free to add comments here or visit the forums at http://fgsnc.com
I haven’t done anything but skim through the cards and start reading some of the rules but didn’t get very far and certainly haven’t played a game of M2E yet. I am not sure if M2E drove me back to playing Warmachine or if I was getting back into WM due to the new Convergence of Cyriss faction release first.
My first impressions on the art are that most of them are in a style that I don’t like. Maybe part of it is that I have a vision of each model in my head from the old art and when someone like McMourning looks so different it bugs me but we’ll see.
My biggest beef is the release schedule. They only put out Book 1 models plus extras for the factions that are new since then. How are we supposed to really test this thing with only a very limited number of models? I much preferred Privateer’s way of releasing beta rules for all existing models all at once and it seems like they might have had more models to deal with for the Mk II beta. It feels like Wyrd was rushing to get something out before Gen-Con but this mixed schedule just doesn’t feel right. I think that the true beta would start when all the new model rules are out in August but by then it’s probably too late to be making player-suggested changes to the core rules. There will be only 4-5 months of true full beta before the new book comes out and I don’t know if they are going to do one giant-ass book with all the models or do a new Book 1 (2nd edition) and then faction books or something.
I have listened to all the beta release podcasts with all the company statements from Mack and Justin and read some feedback (especially from Bill at Gamers Lounge on his Dead Tau Project blog). I don’t have any first-hand play experience but so far the upgrade system bugs me. It sounded good in theory on the podcasts but once I got a look at the cards I was disappointed. I feel like my master will have a butt-load of upgrade cards to manage on the table (literally) and I don’t like that pretty much every model can do at least one upgrade; I expected them to be limited to Masters at the start. Upgrades seem like a good way to tweak a model later if it turns out to be under performing or overcosted I suppose.
While Wyrd played up the idea of “optional complexity” via the upgrades I think that was always possible. One of the first tips I read when I got into Malifaux Classic (as Bill calls it) was that when you first start with a new master (or even other complex models) pick one or two abilites and focus on those for a couple of games before you start trying to use more and more abilities. I don’t like that Wyrd stripped down the Masters and makes you buy back their abilities.
The other thing I don’t like about upgrades is that when my opponent brings Sonia Criid to the table I won’t fully what she will be like since she can be different every time with upgrades. Wyrd is using that variability as a selling point but if you want to be competitive at all you need to know what you are facing and having to remember a different combination of upgrades every game is not going to help with that.
I like that the whole scheme mechanic was reworked and you can score relatively more points for them now. Scheme markers seem like a good idea but I want to see them in practice. I am on the fence about the scheme pool mechanic. It sounds great for tournament play, not so much for casual play though IMO. I still need to read through all the schemes though.
I know that one of the goals for Wyrd in M2E was to make the game more accessible to new players. I felt like the original Malifaux would be a bit daunting to play as someone’s first tabletop miniatures game, I think that I had a leg up having played WM/H for a few years before trying Malifaux. That being said Wyrd has declared that they didn’t remove any complexity in the game yet made it easier for new people to pick up. I guess only time will tell if that’s correct but it seems to me like they kind of tweaked the soul of Malifaux enough that it may not be the same game to veterans. I do realize that from a business point of view that losing a few veterans in exchange for a potentially huge new player pool over the next five years is obviously a good trade-off for Wyrd and people just have to deal with that fact.