Malifaux – Recently I was able to attend two Malifaux tournaments both of which were fairly different as they used two of the scoring systems outlined in the Gaining Ground document. The nice thing about both events was I wasn't running them so I was able to look at the system from the viewpoint of a participant.
The first event was in Flint, MI at Gamer's Sanctuary. This is a smaller store that has much of it's footprint taken up by gaming tables. The terrain was mostly GW kits with some nice scratch built items as well. Unfortunately I forgot my camera and didn't get any photos of the tables. A few of the table had some weird bowing going on that was a little distracting but didn't significantly hamper gameplay.
The event had 10 participants and used the accumulation format (Tournament points than VP's for tie-breaker) Each table had a fixed terrain element and each round there was a shared strategy for all players. Many of the players were relatively new to the game but there were very few questions or rules disputes that arose (I think the Rules Manual may just be working ..). The cap on VP's at 8 is a good thing because it limited players from wracking up extra points with Jack Daw. I came in third overall which was a bit of a surprise for me.
The second event was the following weekend at Pandemonium in Garden City, MI. This event had nine participants due to scheduling conflicts (only 2 of the players from their league made it to the event), so I was able to see how the bye system worked in practice. For this event I brought some of my tables but the event organizer chose not to use any of the special features or terrain elements so most of the tables were the same set-up with some sparse trees and a few buildings.
Each round a shared strategy was flipped for and used the differential format. I think this format is a better gage of skill level then accumulation but I'm not sure about the bye system. Basically you average the player's overall score to determine the points for the bye. This leads to some weird situations but I think its fairer than giving a flat score for the bye.
Overall I found it to be a fun event. However there were a few improvements that should have be obvious in my opinion. For the first round of an event you shouldn't pair people who came to the event together against each other, especially in small events like this where it's pretty easy to avoid. The other takeaway is special events/terrain are pretty important to creating an exciting game. In a fixed format if you don't have special terrain elements the random events should be used and specific to each table otherwise every table is essentially the same.
August 15, 2011 will be the start of a Mali Mini-League at RIW Hobbies in Livonia. Sign-ups will begin August 8. The event will be run like a tournament each week you'll be paired with an opponent and play a 40 Stone Scrap. The league only runs 3 weeks and takes place on Tuesdays at 7:00pm sharp. Pairings will be determined at 7:00 pm based on attendance. Cost is $5 which will go towards prizes.