Metro League Updates

Malifaux – The metro league has been in full swing. Currently wrapping up week 4 and moving into the final week of the league. 

I tried something different with this league, making a 3 game max with your average determining your score for the week. This system allows players to play multiple games but doesn't penalize players that can only get in one game per week.

To encourage the story driven aspect of the game, players that submit a write-up with photos can earn an extra league VP to be added into their average. Players that do this can put in a little extra effort and are rewarded for it. In the battle report section you can read some of the stories/reports players have submitted.

Special thanks to Jeff E. [mrhobbito] for snapping some photos of Lord Chompy terrorizing the showgirls.

Back-to-School Beginner's Malifaux League


I'll be running a four week beginner's league at Gamer's Gauntlet. This is a great chance for new and old players to get started with the game. The league is set up to award players for building and painting a table ready force.


Each week players can score a number of league points by playing games and painting models. Each point equates into a lotto ticket for the prize draw at the end of the league. The league is FREE to join and will begin 9/11/12. Weekly scoring sheets should be turned in by 10:00pm Tuesday each night of the league and the final drawings will take place 10/2/12 you must be present to win.

Gamer's Gauntlet is located at:

20564 Hall Road 

Charter Township of Clinton, MI 48038

(586) 412-6677


League play takes place 6-10pm Tuesdays.

It's Growing ... Gamer's Gauntlet Demo Nights

Malifaux – The turn-out for demo nights seems to be growing steadily. Which is pretty inpressive since the store still doesn't stock the game. (Soon I hope, let them know you'd like Malifaux and MERCS stock by emailing them here). I had about seven players on Tuesday with several people interested in demos. 

This week I brought out the desert board for a change and it seemed to catch the attention of most of the people who came into the store. With an odd number of players I had a group that played a three-way encounter. Collette vs. Zoraida vs. Perdita. They played shared treasure hunt and Zoraida came away with the win (8 points), Collette was a clse second with 4 points.

Some of the guys that tried out MERCS a few weeks ago came back with full crews, the battle maps and token sets this week as well. I'm glad to see that game is catching on as well as it's my favorite way to round out a night of gaming. Although watching them play on a 2D mat was a little odd looking it seemed to work out fine and made it much easier to transport then my boxes of terrain and tables.

Setting up your own demo night:

• Talk to the store owner and see what night they have space available. 

• Explain the system you want to demo, if the store doesn't stock it currently ask if they do special orders. Also ask if they'll start stocking the game if you can generate interest. 

• Prepare a demo table, if the store doesn't have terrain available or the terrain they have isn't appropriate or impressive. 

• Have several crews/models painted up for use

• Bring enough supplies (measuring devices, stones, cards, dice, markers, tokens) for several people

• Have other experienced players on hand to assist with longer demos

• Talk to every person that comes by looking, be friendly and ask general questions to gauge their interest. essentially you become a salesman for the game, your commission is a good community.

• When someone expresses an interest in learning more, do a quick demo of mechanics, then offer a longer demo if they want to learn more. (if you have a crowd it's helpful to pass them off to an experienced player for a "full" game.

• Promote the night, posters/flyers posted in the store, post on forums, join web groups and post there. If you don't get the word out people won't know to come in. 

• Stick with it, the first few nights you might have a weak turnout, but stick with it and eventually more players will show up.

Tuesday Throwdowns – Malifaux Demo Nights

Malifaux – The first Tuesday Throwdown at Gamer's Gauntlet went well. I think the store was surprised at the turn-out. We had six players actively playing as well as a decent number of on-lookers who were interested in learning more about the game.

I brought two tables with me to the event, my Swamp Board and the Qi & Gong Tavern. Having both an indoor location and an outdoor location is healpful for demo nights as it show off the variety and story driven aspect of the game. Next week I'm going to need to bring more tables as the Warmachine terrain doesn't quite fill the tables enough for Malifaux.

The highlight of my games for the night was a quick 25 stone game against Lilith, in which she took Seamus down to one wound, I popped Killjoy next to Lilith to take her down to one wound, forgetting about Black Blood and killing Seamus in the process. Luckily a Necropunk was able to Leap in and deal that last wound to Lilith. 

Mini Malifaux League - Week 1

Malifaux – Week one went off without a hitch. We had 13 players signs up for the three week league with every faction represented. Everyone showed up on time and game wrapped up by 10 pm (most before that). I was happy to see some new faces participating in the event as well as the regular crowd.

Week One used the "Break the Seals" scenario that was featured during the GenCon 2011 event. A fun scenario that involves three columns in the center of the table. On player has to defend the columns the other has to destroy them. The scenario was quite fun, although I did have one player voice his concern that the defender has an advantage. Based on the results I would have to say it is a minor advantage if anything. 

We did have several tables of TerraClips set up and players seemed to enjoy them. I still prefer more three dimensional terrain, but for what they are and the easy of storage TerraClips is a great product. I will say you need to either add additional elements to the board or give height to some of the printed elements to get the right amount of terrain on the board.

Gaining Ground – Malifaux Event Reports

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. 


World Steam Expo

Memorial Day weekend I had the pleasure of running Malifaux demos both Saturday and Sunday. The event was lots of fun with plenty to see and do. There were several bands that I wasn't familiar with prior to the con, but they seemed pretty good for niche steampunk themed music. The costumes were pretty amazing and I'm sorry to say I forgot my camera when I was walking around the con so I don't have more pictures to share of the rest of the areas.

The vendor room was packed with interesting things. Lots of costumes and accessories, (gears, goggles, fancy hats and what not) I broke down and bought a top hat. However I refuse to pay for "welder's goggles" that have been modified. I'm going to make a pair of my own since the materials are incredibly cheap and I want mine to be Malifaux-themed.

Demos went amazingly well, I started 2 hours early on Saturday because the table was ready. As soon as I set up my demo tables and other gear, numerous people flocked to the tables to ask questions and learn more. Around 5 when the demos were scheduled to start we had a sudden influx of people, with numerous quick demos of the mechanics and an explanation of the game. Well over half of the people that received the "quick demo" came back later to either participate or watch a full game.

Sunday we went none stop from the time the room opened until it closed at 11:00pm. Luckily I had two guys there to help out. Both Trevor and Alan were super energetic and played tons of full demo games. Boiling the game down to a simple game of war with a twist was the easiest way I found to explain the mechanics to non-gamers (which we a had a ton of). It's an easy sell for people who have played Warhammer, Warmachine or another miniatures game in the past. Most of them loved the easy buy-in for a skirmish style game and thought the rules were a breath of fresh air.

Special thanks is in order for both RIW and Pandemonium (game stores in the area). Both stores provided coupons and information for their upcoming leagues. I'm hoping to see lots of new faces at both locations.

In other news, Pandemonium is starting their "Faction Wars" league Monday June 14th. Check the Wyrd forums for more info. And RIW has their Tuesday Tussels every Tuesday night (Malifaux has significantly out numbered the Warmachine players every week...No hate though). If you live in the Metro Detroit Area you should definately try to make it out to either location.

"I Left My Heart In Malifaux" Wrap-up

Malifaux – The February tournament went off without a hitch. We had a respectable 15 players show up. Several players made the drive up from Toledo and other parts of the Metro Detroit area (as well as RIW regulars). 

Every faction was represented with at least two players per faction. 

Rounds lasted 90 min with about half of the players able to complete a full 6 turns. I'm still wrestling with a way to allow players enough time to complete their games and still have a decent sized list. 35 soul stones seems to be the right size for tournament games, but I'm wondering if 90 mins is enough time. I'm going to continue to track the last turn played per round for the next few events I run to see if it improves.

I'm a big fan of the lotto system for large prizes. It gives all players a chance to win something cool regardless of skill level. For this event the players daily average determined the number of tickets they were awarded, and players were able to purchase additional tickets for $1 each. Store credit and pins were awarded to the 5 best in faction winners, and the other categories were awarded pins.

The final results were as follows:

Best in Faction, Outcast; Overall Winner – Vincent Curkov

Best in Faction, Neverborn – Dave "nerdelemental" Bowen

Best in Faction, Arcanist – Sheri Chap

Best in Faction, Guild – Dave Kruger

Best in Faction, Resurectionist – Jonathan "shortman" Mann

Best Painted – Scott "Griff" (Gremlins)

Best Sportsman – Ryan Romans (Seamus) [Ten way tie randomly determined]

Biggest Loser – Jaimie Mitchell (Kirai)

City Table Lotto – Amber, Arcanist

I liked the addtion of "soft scores." Thirteen of the fifteen crews were painted to some extent. I noticed that the players marked down for bad sportsmanship had multiple judge calls. What was interesting to me was this changed the dynamic and actually worked against players that tried to be "cut-throat" or "rules-lawyers."

I also tried to be sure that match-ups would actually determine best-in-faction to prevent any ties which can be common with true round-robin events. Also to keep things interesting the first two rounds no one was matched up against their friends/regular opponents. 

RIW Tournament Update – Sharing the Love

I just finished up designing the pins that will be awarded at the Feb 5th event I'm hosting as RIW Hobbies in Livonia. I think they're a fun play on the "I Love New York" logo. From my experience players enjoy having some type of take-away that says they won an event. So I try to create a unique pin for each event I run. 

The pins are created by printing this pdf onto inkjet shrinky-dink paper. Once the pins have been shrunk I attach pinbacks (you can get these at any arts and crafts store) and seal them with an acrylic spray.

Save the Date – Feb 5, 2011

Since this is a Valetine's Day Themed event, there will be a special rule in effect for the entire day.

Each board will have a fixed strategy and special event/terrain.

At the beginning of each round the TO will flip a card from the top of a deck. If the card is a heart/ram or a joker than the following rule will be in effect for the duration of the round.

Love is in the Air

Models attacking a model of the opposite sex receive a negative twist on CB duels, models attacking a model of the same sex receive a positive twist on CB duels. Constructs are sexless and neither rule applies to them.


10/23 Malifaux Lotto Tournament

Malifaux – RIW Hobbies held a unique Malifaux Tournament on Oct 23. The event was a standard 35 SS scrap with three rounds. The unique part was the big prizes were given out via a lottery system, which resulted in a fun casual feeling event.

I ran three different Res. lists over the course of the day and had a blast at the event. My daughter came with me and took photos throughout the day. I plan on doing some write-ups for the games I played check back in the battle reports section for updates.

Metro Malifaux League Wrap Up

The league was a success. Overall I think allowing people to chose their opponents and take an average for the games played was the biggest draw for this league. It kept things feeling very casual while keeping a competitive environment. Tuesday we'll be having some tiebreaker games and then the awards. 

Basically the way the league worked was:

Players chose their opponents and must play one game per week and can play a maximum of three games per week. A win is worth 3 VP, Tie 2 VP and Loss 1VP. The total number of VP players earn is averaged with the number of games played to determine each week's score.

After five weeks the winner's are determined. In the event of a tie the total Encounter VP's are used for the tie-breaker. If the players who are tied agree, there will instead be a tiebreaker game during the award week.

If you're interested here's the weekly strategies:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Metro Malifaux League Week 5

Seamus gets Spiritual


Narrative Battle Report
by Josh Powers [jmp_mydog]

“Bloody Hell, these were new boots,” Seamus exclaimed as he trudged through the swampy bog. Reflecting on the events that put him here. 

During the last his last visit to Nicodem’s new Observatory, the undertaker’s newest pupil shared the secrets of bending the wills of spirits to follow the orders of a master. At first the hatter scoffed at the idea, but after seeing them in action he reluctantly conceded their usefulness. With Molly and Sybil running another errand he brought some of the restless spirits with him for this errand.

The hissing and screeching of the harpies abruptly jarred him from his thoughts. The gardener called these creatures Shikome. Apparently they’re soul hunters, and for this little mission they should be most useful. Flocking around them were several bat-like apparitions, commonly referred to as Night Terrors, these particular beasts seem to have an affinity for the Shikome.

“Well now my sweets, that blind whore is out here somewhere. I need you to track her down and do your worst.” The beauty of these spirits is while they suck the life from their victims they leave the body unscathed, making resurrection last a bit longer.

With a screech the Shikome and Terrors launched into the air scanning the swamp for signs of their prey. The hatter trudged off through the bog keeping an eye to the sky for a sign they’ve found his nemesis. Silently following behind was a hungry ghost, these Gaki are drawn to the living hoping to feast upon their flesh. 

As he burst into a clearing, gunshots rang out. The Terrors had found some prey. Getting a better look, it appeared they had scared one of the Ortegas from his hiding place. Suddenly a crash a hiss of steam burst from the underbrush...a peacekeeper. “Isn’t this just my luck, since when do they send that mechanical beastie out in the swamp. Well I guess that’s my que.” and he ducked back behind a ramshackle structure. 

A vengeful spirit, draw to the energy manifested appeared and lashed out at the construct. It’s ghostly claws tearing rents into the side of its carapace. The constructs massive arms lashed out and briefly disrupted the Onryo’s hold on this world. With a shriek it vanished passing through the body of Samuel Hopkins, as he stepped out from behind another shed. 

“It seems I must do everything myself,” Seamus sighed as he cocked the hammer of his .50 cal, and unloaded into the construct. The massive boom of the hand cannon was shortly followed by a larger explosion as the boiler tanks ruptured and the Peacekeeper collapsed into the bog. Giggling hysterically the hatter then turned his attention to the squawking harpies, who were swooping and diving behind the shed Hopkins just stumble from.

“Excellent, my sweets. That’s right let’s end this whore once and for all. What the hell...?” Seamus exclaimed as a giant bird tore into his shoulder. Crouching down the hatter scanned the area to see where the flying vermin came from. A rustle in the underbrush gave away the unseen assailants position. “Well now no need to be hiding their, Bukko. Come out an play nice.” Reloading his flintlock Seamus closed the distance between himself and the cowardly bushwhacker. 

A shot rang out, knocking Seamus’ hat from his head. “I don’t have time for this, why don’t you go away.” he ordered, firing his hand cannon in the direction of the shot. Santiago collapsed as his shoulder exploded in a shower of gore. Unseen from the shadows the Gaki leapt onto the wounded gunfighter and began to gorge.

Behind the shed, Lady Justice is swarmed by the vicious harpies. She swings here sword and tries valiantly to dispatch the apparitions, but her efforts are for not. The poisonous claws rake her face and tear at her body. Through shear brute force she is able to sever the ties that hold one of the soul-hunters to this world, but the poison takes it’s toll and the other beast is able to bring her down. Silently she collapses into the murky water.

“Well now, what have we here. Looks like the gardener might be onto something. Shoo now, I need the body, she going to make quiet the beautiful flower, yes ... yes she will.” Wiping the Austringers blood from his hands he gathered up the still warm corpse of the sword mistress and headed back to the city proper.

Badges, buttons or something

So I've been working on sculpting some badges for the different factions. The plan is to use them as prize support for events. Once I finish the original I'll make mold of them so I can cast them out of resin and affix some type of pin or magnetic clasp to them. I'm going to make them look like aged brass using an antiquing rub.

The basic shapes were cut out of Sculpty and baked until hard. I'm using Milliput to sculpt the raised portions of the designs. So far the Neverborn and Ressurectionist ones have the basic shapes finished. Now it's just a matter of smoothing them out and cleaning up the details.

Downtown Malifaux

Malifaux – work continues on the downtown breach district. I've detailed out three buildings and have the base coats on them. I decided that I'm going to try to stay away from the traditional grays for this board. It seems like everytime you see a urban board it's all gray. This might help make the minis stand out but I don't think it feels right. 

As when I first began this project, it seems like a waste of time to make the buildings useable from the inside. That said I also decided that they needed ladders and fire escapes to make them more than a big impassible box. If someone insists on going into them, I've come up with a house rule. "It takes two movement actions to go from one floor to the other, and this allows you to go anywhere on that floor when inside the building. 

I picked up some Victorian style street lights at the local train store and will be using them on each building base.

New Terrain

Malifaux – I've been working on demo boards that will fit all the encounter locations for Malifaux. The sewer board that can be seen in previous posts works for all the urban encounter locations, on the reverse side of the sewer board is a generic earthy board that can work with the mountain mining town terrain as well as the swamp terrain available in the online store. 

I've almost completed a dedicated swamp board, that will work for all the swamp/bayou encounter locations. The water effects were achieved using Envirotex.

The basic board is completed and I'm in the process of making the matching terrain. I went through the possible special terrain features an am making a set of them for each of the boards. The plan is to just count the water as a water effect unless "Bog" is flipped. There are also 3" and 5" forests. I haven't decided if I want to make a quicksand pit or something else for the hazardous terrain feature.

On the flip side of this swamp board will be a generic urban board. I found some textured wall paper that looks like cobble stones, which saved me a ton of time and more closely matches the Dragonforge Designs bases I'm using for my Resurectionist crews. This board is going to take some time yo figure out how to make the buildings so that they can be repositioned and still look like they belong. Initially I wanted to wire it for street lamps, but realized that a fixed board would be better suited for that. The problem with fixed board is that they eventually get old and games become stale.

I've also completed a desert board for the remainder of the encounter locations. One side has fixed hills and the other is just a flat surface with matching texture. The cactus patches count as forests with a little twist they are dangerous terrain with a 0/0/1 Poison 2 damage flip. It shouldn't make that much of a difference in the games but does add a small risk/reward element. I'm still working on the graveyard and bottomless pit as the hazardous terrain element. Right now I have some GW spirit hosts that are acting as mysterious effigies. I'm sculpting 30 mm Easter Island type heads that will replace them once finished. The Ancient monument was some plastic toy I found in my bitz box, I'm working on sculpting something similar to cast for the other boards. Also for this set I've made a soulstone vein, magical nexus, deadzone, campsite, hanging tree and a treasure counter. The plan is to make two different colored treasure counters for each set just in case both players flip them. More pictures of all the boards are available in the gallery section.

Joining the Guild

Malifaux – I just finished up the Death Marshals and Ortega crew boxes. These were a commission for my friend Dave, he just moved to Wisconsin for an internship and is hoping to get the local store up there interested in Malifaux. Originally he was playing Arcanists using Ramos as his master. I think he's going to find the Guild fits his play-style better. He has a thing for the "red" armies, in Warhammer 40K he has a couple thousand points of Khorne Daemons and Bezerkers, Warmachine he plays Khador, in Necromunda he plays the Goliaths and in D&D he's usually a barbarian. So the in your face style of Lady Justice is really going to suit him better than the way Ramos plays. 

I tried to keep brown and red as a primary color scheme throughout all the models. For the Ortegas I stuck with a traditional Caucasian skin tone so as not to lose the flesh in the leather coats. I'm really happy with how Lady Justice turned out, the white jumpsuit makes her stand out on the table. I achieved the slightly other-worldly skin tone on the Death Marshals by applying a purple wash to the skin. This gives them a not quite human appearance without looking like undead flesh.

The bases were constructed from cork and a sand/litter mixture. Painting them in various shades of brown and applying a sepia wash gives them a nice earthy color. The grass is from Woodlandscenics. I've mixed flock, static grass and some coarse turf to give a more natural appearance. I've found that by applying brush on super glue, than dipping the model in a bag of the mixture and blowing off the excess, the grass sticks very well and will stand up. 

Demo Board – Phase II

I've made some progress with the sewer side of my demo board. The water effects are done and the walls have been painted with the base colors. I need to do some weathering and ink washes to the walls and pipes to make them appear like a grimy ancient undercity. I haven't decided if I want to just paint the torches as flames or if I should try to do a lighting effect on the wall as well. Right now it's playable but I really want to make sure it's impressive. A great table filled with cool terrain and painted models is the best way to draw interest to the demo. More pics are posted in the gallery.