Friday, August 02, 2013

M2E Beta: Now With More Perditas!

Perdita has a special place in my heart as she was my first Malifaux model, the first I bought, the first I painted and the first Master I fielded. She was also the first I had to have replaced, since she came with a pretty severe casting error and was missing most of her right arm.  As a result, I actually had my first interaction with Wyrd's customer service before I flipped my first card.  It seems fitting then that my primera señorita be the first model I write up for Malifaux 2e.

Masters in M2E

A lot of noise has been made about the changes coming to Malifaux in the upcoming edition with strong opinions both for and against the changes.  Setting aside the general mechanical differences and focusing instead on the individual models, it seems that the M2E Masters have borne the brunt of the change.  Gone are the crowded walls of text that made up their stat cards, replaced instead with a boiled-down essence of the character.  Many of the Masters' abilities have been shifted off of their main cards and have moved over to a series of Upgrade cards that can be purchased at option during Crew selection prior to an encounter.  Again, like seemingly every issue that has arisen during the Beta, this is viewed as either a fantastic idea that is broadening the scope of the game and future-proofing Malifaux or it is a major fumble that is sapping the spirit and character out of the game.

The largest complaint seems to be that a lot of Masters are less powerful than they were before.  Between the changes to Soulstones, the general standardizing of Master abilities and the retemplating of powers in general Masters can do a lot fewer different things now than they could in the past.  In 1.5 Perdita had 15 different abilities, actions, triggers and spells including four different zero actions.  In M2E she has been reduced to eight.  So the question is, have the Masters traded their souls for a more accessible and less tactical game?

Awesome or Option?

For me, the answer is relatively simple.  In the first edition of the game, there was one amazing Perdita Ortega, in M2E there are 120 distinct Perditas at you disposal.  Some combinations of Upgrades are better than others, some are downright silly, but it doesn't change the fact that I now have considerably more options available to me than I did before.  Added to this, as the game continues to roll out, and as more Upgrades are created in the future, the number of ways I can field my Master jumps.

Under the previous edition I played Perdita exclusively for the first dozen or so games until I got my other Masters completed and then I got bored.  She was great, but she was the same, each and every time.  Her Companion chain all but demanded that I take her with her Family and I quickly grew tired of the looks I would get when I explained the benefits of Immune to Influence to my opponent.  Perdita went onto a shelf, then into a box, along with the rest of la familia.  

Now she's back, and I couldn't be happier.  She has been revitalized with a new rules set and a new purpose.  Like her fellow Masters she now has the ability to choose Upgrades that give her abilities and actions specific to the flipped strategy, your schemes or your personal play-style.  Her added flexibility makes non-family models a much stronger option than they ever have been before.  The number of choices that you need to make when you decide to field her has gone through the roof.    Less tactical indeed.

Next time I'll discuss what she's gained, what she's lost and how she'll play in M2E.

Thanks for reading.

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