Evil Baby Swag

Card Games – The rest of my rewards arrived the other day from the Evil Baby Orphange Kickstater. This was delayed by quite a long time due to the extras, but I'm glad to have all the rewards in hand. 

In the box I received a plushie Ceasar, the three Evil Baby Special Figures, a Evil Baby Fate Deck, 2 expansions, 2 minibooks, and a special tin. Overall not a bad haul for a relatively small investment. I've enjoyed the core game much more than I thought I would and I'm looking forward to adding in the expansions and trying it out.

The plushie is pretty cool and will look nice on my bookshelf next to my other weird toys (so long as the little ones don't try and claim it for their own). It's a little smaller than I imagined it to be but the overall construction is pretty decent quality for something made to sit on a shelf. If I gave it to my kids to play with most likely the felt details would tear off as they are only held on by glue.

The expansions came packed in a larger style box that is of a much better quality then the crappy little box the core game came packaged in. The cardboard is of a heavier stock similar to what most nicer boardgames are packaged in. The additions of more babies, action cards and time nannies as well as another keyword seem to add another layer of depth to the game.

The miniatures are tiny (to be expected they are babies...) and come on a single sprue. The level of detail is on par with the rest of the Wyrd plastics. It still feels like the detail needs to be deeper, however the models are identical to the concept art. They should be fun to paint once I get back into Malifaux.

I was a little bummed about the tin, it will fit everything from the core game and the expansions when they aren't sleeved. However, if they made the tin 1/8" wider  on all sides it would fit sleeved cards (which is really a necessity if you intend to play the game often, as the cardstock for the cards themselves is on slightly flimsy side, not as bad as Super Dungeon Explore but not as high as Magic the Gathering).

Also included in the box was a little history book, coloring book, poster, themed fate deck/playing card deck and some bonus cards exclusive to the Kickstarter. I'm not sure how I feel about all the Chotchkies considering those are the items that caused such a massive delay in the delivery of the final shipment. While they are neat essentially it's just more junk for my shelves and I probably would have preferred Wyrd stick to what they know and perhaps add more models, improve card quality, throw in some card sleeves or create a more functional box.

Malifaux Second Edition ... Media Blitz

Malifaux – Wyrd has taken a different approach with the announcement of Malifaux Second Edition, it seems the developers have been making the rounds on the various Malifaux Podcasts and releasing snippets of information to the public with this media blitz. I for one can't wait until May 31st for the public beta to see where they plan on taking the game.

While I haven't been playing as much Malifaux as I'd like to this still remains one of my favorite games and I try to make a point to demo the game as often as time permits. Malifaux has a ton of unique things going on that you don't see in anything else on the market right now. The insane mass-up of genres within the game world as well as the card duel mechanic are just the icing on the cake.

As with many upstart games Malifaux has been a victim of its own success. The game as it stands now has grown unwieldy with the amount of knowledge needed to play. A series of FAQ's that contradict the wording on stat cards coupled with several versions of the same stat cards in circulation means you may or may not have the most current rule set when playing against an opponent. Not really a huge deal for casual players but unpleasant when that same casual player runs into a forum dweller with the most up to date info from an obscure Rules Marshall reply after 10 pages of trolling arguments about rules intent.

I remember back when I played Warmachine prior to Mark II and would run into the same issues any time I went out to play the game at a store. Eventually I just stopped going to the stores and played with my friends in my basement. It's amazing how much enjoyable games are when you have a great group of guys and only use the rules are written in the books and cards you bought. If something made for sucky games house rule or ban it problem solved. My group never made the jump to Mark II and eventually we just quit playing as the system evolved beyond what I found interesting.

To be fair from what I've seen of the ruleset for Warmachine and Hordes it does seem to be much cleaner and quick to play. (Hell half the time I see guys set up and pack up their stuff before the Malifaux players have finished picking schemes and crews.) It also seems that the game continues to grow an thrive in multiple arenas.

Malifaux is now on that same cusp after 4 books and a 1.5 Errata of the core rule book the game needs to be cleaned up. Rules need to be consistent, models need to be balanced against each other point costs need to be revisited etc. From what I can gather on the press releases and media blitz that is the plan with 2.0.

I'm excited to see where it goes, I imagine it can go one of two ways:

Best Case Scenario: The rules get cleaned up and simplified, models are all useful again and the game continues to grow to new levels of play and getting a pick up game at any game store on any given night is easy. New sculpts for everything so the range once again feels cohesive and all the metal models I own are considered retro and command a huge mark up on the secondary market if I ever decide to part with my beloved models. The success leads to mass market paperback sales so you'll be able to read novels about your favorite characters ala Black Library.

Worse Case Scenario: The game is over simplified loses it flavor; feeling much like any other game in the market today. The entire story so far gets ret coned into some weird new story arc ignoring everything that came before. The existing player base leaves in droves because the game is no longer unique and is instead a master kill/points held/kill them all victory system. Ultimately leading to a glut of cheap unwanted models on the secondary market making it easy to pick up anything you want for very little.

Most likely it will be some combination of the two. With any re-write things are going to go away to make things more streamlined. Making a game play smoothly and intuitively should be the goal of any game designer. Wyrd has put out quality (if not rules/FAQ heavy) product in the past so it's unlikely they'll release a stinker to the public now. 

I'll wait until the end of the month before I start shouting, "DOOOM!" or "Brilliant".



Ghost Samurai and Honeypots - Unboxing

Malifaux – Recently I picked up some new Ten Thunders models to expand my existing Resuresctionist force as well as the small Neverborn force I've been working on. These are part of Wyrd's new plastic line and the quality continues to impress me. 

Initially I thought the plastics lacked the character and humor that the original models in the line had, however as I pick up more of them the quality and proportions are growing on me. Combine that with the ease of gluing plastic models and the end result is pretty great. 

I still feel like it would be beneficial to have more options on the sprues. As they are now you really only get the same static pose as you would with a metal model. Granted the poses are pretty great and dynamic, it would still be nice to have some head or arm options to be able to customize the models so yours look different than others on the table. 

I'll post up more pictures after I get these assembled. I just wanted to get some shots of the actual sprues posted as you don't really see much on the box art and for some reason Wyrd isn't showing painted models in their online store like they used to.

Picky about Plastic

Malifaux – Having had a little spare time this week I busted out my Hanging Trees and Miss Terious models to put them together. While my initial impression wasn't love at first sight working with the plastics turned out to be a fairly enjoyable experience. The plastic is harder then the GW stuff so having a fresh Xacto blade is key to cleaning them up. And while it is much harder there are still a ton of fragile parts particularly on the Hanging Trees. One nitpicky thing that bugged me is the lack of instructions, the Hanging Trees have quite a few pieces and while it's easy enough to figure out where things line up I still had an extra branch piece that I couldn't figure out where to glue it on. The main trunk also fits so tight I had a difficult time getting it to fit into the slot. Which means there's a nasty gap that needs to be filled.

Miss Terious was a more difficult assembly, the parts are very small and gluing them together was and exercise in frustration until the glue reacted with the plastic, after that it held like a dream. If you decide to use a scenic base there's no good place to pin her to the base as her feet are tiny. I wound up using gorilla glue to mount her to the base and then attached her to the coffin in a few spots before gluing that to the base as well. The model is pretty amazing looking by itself, however standing next to the existing metals she looks small. I appreciate the realistic proportions Wyrd tries to maintain how ever the face on this model is so tiny It's going to be a challenge to paint. 

Having assembled the models I can appreciate them as stand alone pieces. However when compared to the existing line they look very different so much so that then almost seem to be from a completely different range. The trees were a bit of a let down, they look great but the hype around their release implied a bunch of extras on the sprues which wasn't the case, you get two birds per tree which are needed on each tree to add interest areas to the top branches.

Next step is to get some paint on them and see how well they blend in then.

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.

Wyrd Gencon Order Arrived - First Impressions

Malifaux – This year I kept my Gencon order pretty light. I picked up the new book (love seeing my name in print) and the Nightmare Hanging Tree which netted me Miss Terious the special edition Death Marshall. Wyrd must have had a massive amount of orders again this year as it took much longer than normal to get this in hand. No worries as the models aren't out for general release for a month or more I wasn't in a rush.

Quickly flipping through the book I noticed it's a little smaller than the previous books. This makes sense as there's not a huge add-on to the rules. Essential Storm of Shadows is a faction book for the Ten Thunders. The catch is all the Ten Thunders models in this book are dual faction, meaning they can be used either as Ten Thunders or within their native faction. The idea behind this is the gangs from the Three Kingdoms are infiltrating the existing factions. A nice bit or rules reflecting fluff. 

The art and design of the book is very much the same as the last two books, so fans of that style won't be disappointed. They've also kept with the story, rules story format so you can sit down and read the book cover to cover.

I haven't sat down to read through the book yet, but will post a full review after I've had some time to thoroughly read it.

The next items that I pulled from my big box are the new plastic models. The Hanging Tree and Miss Terious, both are special edition models which in itself is impressive to do a small run of detailed plastics. The boxes these models come in are huge, I can see this being a problem for stores with limited shelf space as the Miss Terious box is almost as big as a crew box by herself. It seems like they could have better designed the boxes to take up less space and use less packing material, but it's a minor thing I imagine retailers will voice their concern as more of the line comes out in plastic and the number of skus overwhelms the existing shelf space.

Taking the model out of the box the plastic appears to be a solid grey similar to the GW plastic but not quite as brittle. Miss Terious in in a bunch of small pieces and the detail is pretty good. She does look very different then the metal minis in the line, I don't think that's a bad thing and I won't be able to finalize my opinion until she's painted as next to the other Guild models I own.

The Hanging Tree came in an even bigger box, however this one has foam pads to keep the sprues from banging together. A nice thing considering the limited nature of the product however not really necessary as the plastic seems to be very durable. I'm not overly impressed with this model. It's clean and pretty sharp but compared to the Nightmare models of previous years this one falls kind of flat. Again first impressions only my opinion will probably change once I get it put together and painted. 

My plan is to pick up a Garden of Moor cemetery set and have a themed terrain set using the Hanging Trees. Of course given the amount of projects on my plate that isn't going to happen until later this year. In the meantime I should be able to incorporate them as terrain pieces on my other boards. I don't really see using them as Hanged models given the dramatic increase in base size.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Eric Johns of Wyrd Miniatures. If you don't know who he is, he's one of the owners of Wyrd Miniatures and is responsible for most of the ruleset. Read on to learn more about Wyrd and their plans for 2011.

TE – How do you feel about the success of Malifaux so far. It’s relatively rare for a new company to rise in popularity so quickly.What do you attribute the success to?

EJ – I am of course thrilled by the success and continued growth of the game. After putting so much time into it, I had hoped it would do well, but I was also realistic, so kept my expectations low. I think it’s safe to say that all those expectations were easily exceeded, and they continue to be. 

I’d like to attribute all the success of Malifaux to my game design!  I do think that the Game itself plays a big role, and includes some exciting and innovative elements which continue to attract players. But, even I have to admit it’s not quite so straightforward. We see new players drawn to the game all the time due to the miniatures, or the artwork, or the fluff, each of which seems to continue to get very positive responses. So ultimately it’s all of these things in combination. On top of this, I do believe we entered the market at a good time, despite the downturn in the economy. Our game suddenly became “economy-appropriate,” or in other words, a relatively inexpensive game to play at a time when people had less and less money to spend on games! Also at a time when there were relatively few other new games hitting the market. 


In short, it seems like between hard work and luck, all the elements seemed to come together!


TE – As with most miniature games Malifaux has quite a bit of errata. The new rules manual and pdf seems to be a strong idea in addressing the issues that came up from the initial run of the book. How do you feel about the reaction from your player base? Is it true that the pdf will basically be a quick-start guide? When is this scheduled for release? 

EJ – Unfortunately the initial release of Malifaux did have a ton of errata, which no one liked! However, we have always been dedicated to fixing the problems in the absolute best way we can think of, and this led to the idea of the Rules Manual. 


As we were preparing for the 2nd round of errata to go “live” I realized it was simply too much to expect players to have to deal with, and in our efforts to close every loophole, and fix all the wording issues in the game, we’d created something which was simply not usable any longer! As a result we knew we had to find a different solution. 


The Rules Manual allowed us to create a new book, which incorporated all the changes with the goal of presenting to the player a quick, easy, completely revised and updated rule-set, and do it at far less than it would cost for a completely new, full sized book. Also, with it’s small size, it would become the perfect game accessory, and easy to carry around any time! 


The PDF of the Rules Manual will be available at the end of March. It will include all the same basic information as the Rules Manual itself, but with a bit of twist to it. It will be missing a bunch of the extras however (artwork, examples, diagrams, additional strategies/schemes). The result is everything you would need to get pick up the game, but leave out just enough to get you wanting more Malifaux! 

TE. The encounter system for Malifaux is one of the more unique aspects of the game (other than the card mechanic), how did you come up with it? Were there any other games that lead to the idea? 

As you know, a lot of other games feature different scenarios, which was the basis for our system. However, to my frustration, it seemed like in the vast majority of cases, the scenarios were just a way to pretty up the game, when in reality you always only had 1 goal, which was to kill your enemy. So we wanted to go beyond where we felt other games had fallen short, and really make the Strategies/Schemes system in Malifaux integral too the game, and get beyond the idea that war-games had nothing more to offer than the goal of slaughtering your opponent. 

It did take a lot of work and testing, and is in fact something we constantly are working on and adjusting (as you’ll see there are quite a few little changes in the Rules Manual even!). But keeping in mind our stated goals, we’re finding it more and more easy to think up fun and challenging ways to force a player to get more, different results out of their miniatures on the board.


I think it was perhaps my favorite Malifaux moment ever, during the first Tournament at Gencon when the game was released. Two players finished up a game, and called me over to report their results, with one player stating that her routed the other off the board, expecting full points and a win in the tournament. I sat down with them to figure out the Victory Points for the game, and it turns out that none of his Strategies or Schemes had anything to do with killing other models, and he resulted with 0 VP for the game, while his opponent had achieved 2 or 3 (I forget). The result was of course a solid win for the player who was routed. The initial confusion on their faces eventually turned into something more, and at that moment I realized that perhaps we achieved at least part of what we set out to do.

TE –  Are there plans to release models for the story-based encounters? It seems like this would be a excellent opportunity to do limited release models. It seems like any time a limited release is issued there are plenty on nay-sayers as well fans.

EJ – Yes, there is! In fact we are hoping to have our first “Scenario Pack” available at Gencon, which would include a whole story-line of encounters for players, as well as a miniature or two you won’t be able to get any other way. I’m not making any promises right now though, but it’s an idea we’re excited about!

TE – What are Wyrd’s plans for 2011? Almost all the models from Rising Powers are released or scheduled to be soon, what’s next?


EJ – We have a TON of plans for 2011! As you’ve already seen we’re released the Rules Manual, which we’re very excited about. In addition we expect to have another Malifaux book ready for release at Gencon, along with a whole host of new miniatures and ways to play Malifaux. Also, we expect to finally see the release of our exciting modular terrain TerraClips, which is getting VERY close to completion now. It’s something that has taking a lot of work to perfect, which caused far more unfortunate delays that we had hoped, but we’re very excited about it! And finally, we of course have Puppet-Wars, a new game which has been taking up a ton of my time lately, and should be available later in 2011 as well.

TE – If you could change one thing about Malifaux what would it be? 

EJ – Well, ideally I’d love to be able to go back and hand myself the rules manual before the initial book release of Malifaux, so I could have gotten everything right the first time! But of course that’s not possible.  In terms of the core mechanics, I’m actually very happy with the result, and there is very little that stands out to me, leaving me wishing I had done it differently. Of course there are lots of little things, models, abilities, etc...which I sometimes wish I had done a bit differently, but definitely nothing that keeps me up at night! 

TE – Can you tell us anything about Puppet Wars? It’s hinted at on the puppet deck and photos of puppet models are floating around the internet and there’s been a call for playtesters. Is this a new game, any super secret things you can reveal?

EJ – Ah, Puppet Wars. This is a game which has been getting a huge chunk of my time and attention, and something which I’m VERY excited about. At first it was designed to be “Malifaux-light,” and something which would be a good, quick introduction to Malifaux, but very quickly I realized that I had a chance to make the game so much more. It is still very much simplified from Malifaux, while keeping some of the core mechanics you’re used to, but at the same time, by simplifying the core of the game, it’s let me build in a lot more depth! It is a bit hard to explain, but with a simple core, it allowed us to build in more elements of both board games and collectable card games. All together, the game becomes quick and easy to play, but with the synergies and potential combinations that you might find in a CCG. That’s the goal at least! 


With the artwork, game, and miniatures, we’re hoping all the factors come together as well as they did with Malifaux, but to create a distinctly different gaming experience.

TE – What’s it like working with Nathan? How about the other developers?

Ah, trying to dig up the dirt around Wyrd HQ? As with any project, people have different ideas about what needs to happen. However, with Nathan and I, we’ve been friends for long enough, that we’ve never reached a breaking point, or even come close to it. In fact, more likely, the disagreements turn into conversations, which turn into hybrid ideas, which turn into something better than either of us could have thought up alone. Bottom line is that without the hard work of everyone around here, we wouldn’t be close to where we’re at as a company, and I think that we all recognize the contributions of the others.


As for my development team. I don’t have enough good things to say about them. A bunch of WAY too smart people who work long hard hours for far less appreciation than they deserve. And they have to put up with me regularly pulling the rug out from under them and taking projects in new directions with little or no warning...so I guess they also must be a patient bunch...or at least don’t let me know it to my face! Either way, it’s another part of Wyrd that I feel is a big reason for our successes. 

TE – Do you currently or in the past play other games? What are your favorites?

EJ – It’s the funniest thing; when you spend so much time making games, you find yourself playing less and less, until you aren’t playing any at all. 


In terms of Miniature Games, I did spend quite a bit of time playing the “big” ones out there (you know the ones), but also dabbled in quite a few others, and ultimately have read just about every game system I can get my hands on. It’s not the same as playing, but it’s enjoyable for me, as I think my mind thinks in rules more than experiences sometimes. 


I’ve also tried my hand at quite a few board games, but typically stayed away from chance based games, those simple ones we all grew up with, and always gravitated towards games of strategy and skill. I would probably say however, my favorite board game is Diplomacy. A game which features NO random chance. Unfortunately it takes 7 dedicated players and quite a bit of time to play, and I rarely get to play anymore.

I’ve also played quite a few CCG’s, had a year of two of extensive Poker playing, along with all types of other dice and card games. In the end, those have all faded, as I’ve gotten more and more focused on creating my own games! 

TE – Early in the game there was an option to buy T-shirts as well as an online magazine. Any plans on bringing these back? Are there plans for other Wyrd branded product?

EJ – Yes, we have tons of ideas and plans, just waiting for the time and energy to make them happen. However, I know for sure you will be seeing at least a few of these plans come to light before or at Gencon this year

TE – Competitive play is always a big draw for miniature games. Does Wyrd have any plans to support competitive play, possibly prize kits? Do you think the story-based nature of the game lends itself well to organized play? 

EJ – You’ve hit another of our upcoming plans, and this one happening sooner rather than later. You will soon be seeing an official Organized Play document for Malifaux, which will correspond to new prize kits. Additionally, I think you will find that the new Story Encounter Packs will also lead to some very interesting events in this new system as well. 

TE – Some other companies have recently released campaign kits, does Wyrd have any plans to do something similar?

EJ – With everything else we’re working on, it’s not something currently in the works. However, I do think in a lot of ways our Story Encounter packs will take the place of this in our game system and world. I do have something bigger along these lines on the back-burner in my mind, but it’s something that you will just have to wait for!

TE – Who’s your favorite master?

Marcus. I think that my involvement with him left him a bit on the weak side (as determined by the consensus of gamers out there). It was a lesson I learned early, to not get too involved with any single master or model, because it removes my ability to be unbiased when working on them. 

TE – Is there anything else you like to share?

EJ – How about I just show off some of the new exciting Puppet Artwork we have coming up. I’ll leave it up to you do figure out which puppet is which ;)

Happy Holidays

The holidays are upon us once again. I've been pretty busy trying to get some christmas presents done. This Christmas Sophie is one of my favorite Reaper models. 

I've also had quite a few new commissions. First up is the Witch Hunters Crew, I really like all the guild models so these were fun to paint. I kept everything in a simple brown scheme, Samuel really feels like a Daniel Boone/Davey Crocket character. From the few tournaments I've been to he seems to be an auto-include for most guild players. The Witchling Stalkers and Sonnia Criid are also really great models and don't need much work to make that look really great.

In addition to the guild models I just finished a few models for the Arcanists. The Ice Golem is such a pleasure to paint, washes and light dry-brushing bring out the detail. I stuck with the same color scheme as the Ice Pillars. The sabertooth was painted similar to the studio scheme. The Rattler started off using the same colors as a coral snake but the spines made it too busy. The black and red stripes give it the feel requested without detracting from the sculpt. You can see more photos in the gallery section.